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Comment author: CBHacking 25 April 2015 07:35:11AM 0 points [-]

Either that or it was posted almost a year in advance...

Comment author: Quill_McGee 30 April 2015 04:38:05PM 0 points [-]

Well, it does say '2016', so that seems... Yeah, that isn't plausible, but the fact that it says 2016 makes it more plausible than it would be otherwise.

Comment author: komponisto 27 April 2015 07:52:04PM *  0 points [-]

What I was originally addressing, however, was komponisto's assertion that "high IQ" is merely "high processing speed and copious amounts of RAM", which I denied, pointing out that "high processing speed and copious amounts of RAM" alone would surely not have been enough to invent calculus,

This shows that you didn't understand what I was arguing, because you are in fact agreeing with me.

The structure of my argument was:

(1) People say that high IQ is the reason Newton invented calculus.

(2) However, high IQ is just high processing speed and copious amounts of RAM.

(3) High processing speed and copious amounts of RAM don't themselves suffice to invent calculus.

(4) Therefore, "high IQ" is not a good explanation of why Newton invented calculus.

Comment author: Quill_McGee 27 April 2015 10:37:52PM *  0 points [-]

Whereas, if I am interpreting them correctly, what they are saying is

(1) People say that high IQ is the reason Newton invented calculus.

(2) High processing speed and copious amounts of RAM don't themselves suffice to invent calculus.

(3) Therefore, "High processing speed and copious amounts of RAM" is not a good description of high IQ.

Personally, I'd say that 'high IQ' is probably most useful when just used to refer to whatever it is that enables people to do stuff like invent calculus, and that 'working memory' already suffices for RAM, and that there probably should be a term for 'high processing speed' but I do not know what it is/should be.

EDIT: that is, I think that Newton scored well along some metric which did immensely increase his chances of inventing calculus, which does extend beyond RAM and processing speed, which I would nonetheless refer to as 'high IQ'

tabooing IQ would almost certainly be helpful here.

Comment author: Quill_McGee 27 April 2015 06:44:03PM *  1 point [-]

"[[ My favorite "other" referral was someone who checked the URL on tinychat entirely be coincidence, before it was passworded. ]]"

Yep, that was surprisingly successful. I also had success with that tactic on fimfiction.net, though that produced fewer useful results.

(also, unless there's another 15-year-old, I look to be the youngest.)

Comment author: dxu 19 April 2015 08:14:19PM *  2 points [-]

Then what is philosophy supposed to be? Just a field for asking questions (but not answering them)?

Comment author: Quill_McGee 19 April 2015 08:53:57PM 3 points [-]

The system for generating new fields of research? After all, if it generates other areas that are no longer philosophy reasonably regularly, then that actually creates value.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 16 April 2015 04:21:21AM 2 points [-]

My $0.02...

OK, so let's consider the set of neural patterns (and corresponding artificial signals/symbols) you refer to here... the patterns that the label "Santa" can be used to refer to. For convenience, I'm going to label that set of neural patterns N.

I mean here to distinguish N from the set of flesh-and-blood-living-at-the-North-Pole patterns that the label "Santa" can refer to. For convenience, I'm going to label that set of patterns S.

So, I agree that N exists, and I assume you agree that S does not exist.

You further say:

"I'm perfectly fine with letting the word "Santa" refer to this pattern (or set of patterns)."

...in other words, you're fine with letting "Santa" refer to N, and not to S. Yes?

Is there a problem with that?

Well, yes, in that I don't think it's possible.

I mean, I think it's possible to force "Santa" to refer to N, and not to S, and you're making a reasonable effort at doing so here. And once you've done that, you can say "Santa exists" and communicate exists(N) but not communicate exists(S).

But I also think that without that effort being made what "Santa exists" will communicate is exists(S).

And I also think that one of the most reliable natural ways of expressing exists(N) but not communicate exists(S) is by saying "Santa doesn't exist."

Put another way: it's as though you said to me that you're perfectly fine with letting the word "fish" refer to cows. There's no problem with that, particularly; if "fish" ends up referring to cows when allowed to, I'm OK with that. But my sense of English is that, in fact, "fish" does not end up referring to cows when allowed to, and when you say "letting" you really mean forcing.

Comment author: Quill_McGee 16 April 2015 02:27:44PM 1 point [-]

A way to communicate Exists(N) and not Exists(S) in a way that doesn't depend on the context of the current conversation might be ""Santa" exists but Santa does not." Of course, the existence of "Santa" is granted when "Santa does not exist" is understood by the other person, so this is really just a slightly less ambiguous way of saying "Santa does not exist"

Comment author: Kindly 06 April 2015 04:36:05AM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure that regretting correct choices is a terrible downside, depending on how you think of regret and its effects.

If regret is just "feeling bad", then you should just not feel bad for no reason. So don't regret anything. Yeah.

If regret is "feeling bad as negative reinforcement", then regretting things that are mistakes in hindsight (as opposed to correct choices that turned out bad) teaches you not to make such mistakes. Regretting all choices that led to bad outcomes hopefully will also teach this, if you correctly identify mistakes in hindsight, but this is a noisier (and slower) strategy.

If regret is "feeling bad, which makes you reconsider your strategy", then you should regret everything that leads to a bad outcome, whether or not you think you made a mistake, because that is the only kind of strategy that can lead you to identify new kinds of mistakes you might be making.

Comment author: Quill_McGee 06 April 2015 06:56:06PM 0 points [-]

I was thinking of the "feeling bad and reconsider" meaning. That is, you don't want regret to occur, so if you are systematically regretting your actions it might be time to try something new. Now, perhaps you were acting optimally already and when you changed you got even /more/ regret, but in that case you just switch back.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 05 April 2015 07:51:23PM *  1 point [-]

So, I consider the "go back in time" aspect of this unnecessarily confusing... the important part from my perspective is what events my timeline contains, not where I am on that timeline. For example, suppose I'm offered a choice between two identical boxes, one of which contains a million dollars. I choose box A, which is empty. What I want at that point is not to go back in time, but simply to have chosen the box which contained the money... if a moment later the judges go "Oh, sorry, our mistake... box A had the money after all, you win!" I will no longer regret choosing A. If a moment after that they say "Oh, terribly sorry, we were right the first time... you lose" I will once more regret having chosen A (as well as being irritated with the judges for jerking me around, but that's a separate matter). No time-travel required.

All of that said, the distinction you raise here (between regretting an improperly made decision whose consequences were undesirable, vs. regretting a properly made decision whose consequences were undesirable) applies either way. And as you say, a rational agent ought to do the former, but not the latter.

(There's also in principle a third condition, which is regretting an improperly made decision whose consequences were desirable. That is, suppose the judges rigged the game by providing me with evidence for "A contains the money," when in fact B contains the money. Suppose further that I completely failed to notice that evidence, flipped a coin, and chose B. I don't regret winning the money, but I might still look back on my decision and regret that my decision procedure was so flawed. In practice I can't really imagine having this reaction, though a rational system ought to.)

(And of course, for completeness, we can consider regretting a properly made decision whose consequences were desirable. That said, I have nothing interesting to say about this case.)

All of which is completely tangential to your lexical question.

I can't think of a pair of verbs that communicate the distinction in any language I know. In practice, I would communicate it as "regret the process whereby I made the decision" vs "regret the results of the decision I made," or something of that sort.

Comment author: Quill_McGee 05 April 2015 09:48:44PM 0 points [-]

In my opinion, one should always regret choices with bad outcomes and never regret choices with good outcomes. For Lo It Is Written ""If you fail to achieve a correct answer, it is futile to protest that you acted with propriety."" As well It Is Written "If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid." More explicitly, if you don't regret bad outcomes just because you 'did the right thing,' you will never notice a flaw in your conception of 'the right thing.' This results in a lot of unavoidable regret, and so might not be a good algorithm in practice, but at least in principle it seems to be better.

Comment author: James_Miller 05 April 2015 01:29:26AM 0 points [-]

Does this conflict with the Litany of Tarski?

Comment author: Quill_McGee 05 April 2015 02:36:14AM 3 points [-]

On the contrary, this is what the Litany of Tarski states.

Comment author: private_messaging 26 March 2015 08:02:14AM *  0 points [-]

I thought the original point was to focus just on the inconvenience of the dust, rather than simply propositioning that out of 3^^^3 people who were dustspecked, one person would've gotten something worse than 50 years of torture as a consequence of the dust speck. The latter is not even an ethical dilemma, it's merely an (entirely baseless but somewhat plausible) assertion about the consequences of dust specks in the eyes.

Comment author: Quill_McGee 27 March 2015 03:09:14AM 0 points [-]

exactly! No knock-on effects. Perhaps you meant to comment on the grandparent(great-grandparent? do I measure from this post or your post?) instead?

Comment author: TomStocker 26 March 2015 12:55:40PM 0 points [-]

"The Lord Pilot shouted, fist held high and triumphant: "To live, and occasionally be unhappy!"" (three worlds collide) dust specks are just dust specks - in a way its helpful to sometimes have these things.

But the thing changes if you don't distribute the dust specks 1 per person but 10 per second per person?

Comment author: Quill_McGee 26 March 2015 02:33:36PM *  1 point [-]

In the Least Convenient Possible World of this hypothetical, each and every dust speck causes a small constant amount of harm, with no knock-on effects(no increasing one's appreciation of the moments when one does not have dust in ones eye, no preventing a 'boring painless existence,' nothing of the sort). Now it may be argued whether this would occur with actual dust, but that is not really the question at hand. Dust was just chosen as being a 'seemingly trivial bad thing.' and if you prefer some other trivial bad thing, just replace that in the problem and the question remains the same.

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