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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 September 2014 08:35:52PM 1 point [-]

Research about online communities with upvotes and downvotes

We find that negative feedback leads to significant changes in the author’s behavior, which are much more salient than the effects of positive feedback. These effects are detrimental to the community: authors of negatively evaluated content are encouraged to post more, and their future posts are also of lower quality. Moreover, these punished authors are more likely to later evaluate their fellow users negatively, percolating these undesired effects through the community.

I don't think things are quite that bad here.

Comment author: ChristianKl 14 September 2014 04:06:50PM 2 points [-]

The example (and the only bit I remember) was about a woman who had an issue she couldn't get noticed by her local government.

How to interface with your local government depends a lot of knowing how your local government works. For Berlin I can tell you where you can go if you want to talk with the politicians that matter about an issue but the same solution might be totally different for another location.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 September 2014 08:20:55PM 0 points [-]

I'm sure there's a lot of local variation, but perhaps stories of finding out whet's possible would make people more likely to believe that they can find out what they need to do rather that seeing government as an incomprehensible immovable blob. It would also be worth having an estimate of how much time and effort is likely to be needed to get a change.

Comment author: RPMcMurphy 14 September 2014 09:20:27AM *  1 point [-]

There should be a "Government Hacks" section or "Hacking Society" section. You do realize, it's possible to "hack the government," thanks to I & R, organized jury rights activism, and many other ways involving civil disobedience, construction of coercion-hindering products, AKA counter-economics.

There are 24 States that have some form of I & R (public ballot measure process, such as Initiative, Referenda, or Constitutional Amendment). Of the 24, 14 are direct, and unable to be sabotaged after the fact. Unlike politicians (in those 14 States), ballot measures do not change their minds, once they have accessed the ballot or gotten elected. Of those 14, some are unusable, "fake" I & R processes, that are impossible or prohibitively expensive to use.

If we had a true free market, you'd be surprised what we could accomplish, in almost no time.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 September 2014 02:20:31PM 5 points [-]

This is reminding me of something I heard about, but don't know how to find-- a resource about informal but legal methods of hacking the government.

The example (and the only bit I remember) was about a woman who had an issue she couldn't get noticed by her local government. Then she got advice from someone who noticed that a politician who could affect the issue was in an uncontested election. So the woman with the issue signed up to be the opposition from the other party. The politician called her and said, "What do you want?" The woman has been active in politics ever since.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 September 2014 07:12:27AM 3 points [-]

A karma change dif so that it would be easier to see which which articles and comments that one has written have gotten or lost votes.

This would make it easier to track conversations on old threads.

Comment author: Risto_Saarelma 14 September 2014 06:24:35AM 4 points [-]

Toggleable unthreaded comment view for seeing exactly what is new after a given date, even in deep subthreads. Just show every comment in the order they were posted in as a new root-level comment in this view.

Or maybe just figure out a way to show even the deepest subthreads on one page, so they won't get hidden from Bakkot's helper script.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 September 2014 07:10:24AM 2 points [-]

Yes to both suggestions.

Perhaps we could go deeper into the nested comments by having the right (blank) side column disappear when necessary.

This may sound revolutionary, but we could even have an option to make the left column disappear when necessary.

Comment author: Risto_Saarelma 14 September 2014 06:20:00AM *  7 points [-]

Only reset comments on a post as read up to the present after you've viewed it from a root-level URL. Clicking through comments in an RSS feed, opening a subthread page and having all the rest of the thread get marked read is a constant small annoyance.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 September 2014 07:07:49AM 3 points [-]

And you get the same annoyance if you click on a comment from Recent Comments.

Comment author: skeptical_lurker 12 September 2014 05:10:34PM 1 point [-]

My 30 day karma just jumped over 40 points since I checked LW this morning. Either I've said something really popular (and none of my recent comments have karma that high), or there's a bug.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 September 2014 12:01:43AM 1 point [-]

My karma's been running higher than I expected, too.

I wish there was some way to track karma dif. So far as I know, there's no way to do it for older comments and posts.

Comment author: cameroncowan 11 September 2014 07:52:20PM 1 point [-]

I think people want that because they don't how to communicate effectively in any other way. You also have to decide why people choose to communicate in the way that they do. People that prefer written communication (as I do) may be passive aggressive or be afraid of verbal communication. Those who want their partner to "just know" I think will have the least amount of success because of their inability to use a method of agreeable communication to express their needs and desires. I am somewhat aware of this because I do expect people to have certain ideas and execute them and I have learned that I have to speak up about what I think should be done because they aren't "just going to figure it out" because most people don't think like I do.

As for the "I win" button, I don't think thats what people want. People want their needs met in a pleasurable and dynamic way. Is that "winning?"

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 12 September 2014 02:10:46PM 2 points [-]

It seems reasonable to me that people are afraid of being forced into whatever modes of communication they think they're bad at-- it's not a specific flaw of people who prefer verbal/written communication.

I wonder if the people who expect their partners to "just know" are confusing successful non-verbal communication with telepathy.

Comment author: Lumifer 11 September 2014 04:23:36PM 1 point [-]

If your creators include an interest in novelty in their CEV, then aliens are going to provide more variety than what your creators can make up on their own.

Heh. The situation is symmetric, so the humanity is also novelty for aliens. And how much value does novelty has? It it similar to having some exotic pets? X-D

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 11 September 2014 04:39:37PM 1 point [-]

I meant novelty in a broad sense-- not just like having an exotic pet. I'd expect different sensoria leading to somewhat different angles on the universe, and better understanding of biology and material science, at least.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 24 March 2014 11:00:31PM 4 points [-]

What projects are you currently working on?/What confusing questions are you attempting to answer?

If you go through my posts on LW, you can read most of the questions that I've been thinking about in the last few years. I don't think any of the problems that I raised have been solved so I'm still attempting to answer them. To give a general idea, these include questions in philosophy of mind, philosophy of math, decision theory, normative ethics, meta-ethics, meta-philosophy. And to give a specific example I've just been thinking about again recently: What is pain exactly (e.g., in a mathematical or algorithmic sense) and why is it bad? For example can certain simple decision algorithms be said to have pain? Is pain intrinsically bad, or just because people prefer not to be in pain?

As a side note, I don't know if it's good from a productivity perspective to jump around amongst so many different questions. It might be better to focus on just a few with the others in the back of one's mind. But now that I have so many unanswered questions that I'm all very interested in, it's hard to stay on any of them for very long. So reader beware. :)

Do you think that most people should be very uncertain about their values, e.g. altruism?

Yes, but I tend not to advertise too much that people should be less certain about their altruism, since it's hard to see how that could be good for me regardless of what my values are or ought to be. I make an exception of this for people who might be in a position to build an FAI, since if they're too confident about altruism then they're likely to be too confident about many other philosophical problems, but even then I don't stress it too much.

Do you think that your views about the path to FAI are contrarian (amongst people working on FAI/AGI, e.g. you believing most of the problems are philosophical in nature)? If so, why?

I guess there is a spectrum of concern over philosophical problems involved in building an FAI/AGI, and I'm on the far end of the that spectrum. I think most people building AGI mainly want short term benefits like profits or academic fame, and do not care as much about the far reaches of time and space, in which case they'd naturally focus more on the immediate engineering issues.

Among people working on FAI, I guess they either have not thought as much about philosophical problems as I have and therefore don't have a strong sense of how difficult those problems are, or are just overconfident about their solutions. For example when I started in 1997 to think about certain seemingly minor problems about how minds that can be copied should handle probabilities (within a seemingly well-founded Bayesian philosophy), I certainly didn't foresee how difficult those problems would turn out to be. This and other similar experiences made me update my estimates of how difficult solving philosophical problems is in general.

BTW I would not describe myself as "working on FAI" since that seems to imply that I endorse the building of an FAI. I like to use "working on philosophical problems possibly relevant to FAI".

Where do you hang out online these days? Anywhere other than LW?

Pretty much just here. I do read a bunch of other blogs, but tend not to comment much elsewhere since I like having an archive of my writings for future reference, and it's too much trouble to do that if I distribute them over many different places. If I change my main online hangout in the future, I'll note that on my home page.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 11 September 2014 04:30:56PM 2 points [-]

What is pain exactly (e.g., in a mathematical or algorithmic sense) and why is it bad? For example can certain simple decision algorithms be said to have pain? Is pain intrinsically bad, or just because people prefer not to be in pain?

Pain isn't reliably bad, or at least some people (possibly a fairly proportion), seek it out in some contexts. I'm including very spicy food, SMBD, deliberately reading things that make one sad and/or angry without it leading to any useful action, horror fiction, pushing one's limits for its own sake, and staying attached to losing sports teams.

I think this leads to the question of what people are trying to maximize.

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