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Comment author: highpriestessofelua 15 September 2017 07:10:07AM 1 point [-]

I'm obviously very late to the party, but FWIW I have a different take of what LessWrong 2.0 should look like: https://highpriestessofelua.tumblr.com/post/165334646282/apparently-some-people-are-trying-to-revive

Comment author: Regex 17 September 2017 03:40:08AM 1 point [-]

My impression reading this is that you mostly just want a better Tumblr. Would that be fair?

Comment author: ozymandias 15 September 2017 03:55:59PM *  13 points [-]

Thank you for making this website! It looks really good and like someplace I might want to crosspost to.

If I may make two suggestions:

(1) It doesn't seem clear whether Less Wrong 2.0 will also have a "no politics" norm, but if it doesn't I would really appreciate a "no culture war" tag which alerts the moderators to nuke discussion of race, gender, free speech on college campuses, the latest outrageous thing [insert politician here] did, etc. I think that culture war stuff is salacious enough that people love discussing it in spite of its obvious unimportance, and it would be good to have a way to dissuade that. Personally, I've tended to avoid online rationalist spaces where I can't block people who annoy me, because culture war stuff keeps coming up and when interacting with certain people I get defensive and upset and not in a good frame for discussion at all.

(2) Some inconspicuous way of putting in assorted metadata (content warnings, epistemic statuses, that sort of thing) so that interested people can look at them but they are not taking up the first 500 words of the post.

Comment author: Regex 15 September 2017 04:22:08PM 4 points [-]

How culture war stuff is dealt with on the various discord servers is having a place to dump it all. This is often hidden to begin with and opt-in only, so people only become aware of it when they start trying to discuss it.

Comment author: pepe_prime 13 September 2017 01:20:21PM 10 points [-]

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment author: Regex 15 September 2017 05:22:47AM 18 points [-]

I have taken the survey... away from everyone.

No one can have it.

It lives under my bed now.

In response to What is Rational?
Comment author: Yosarian2 25 August 2017 12:42:47AM *  0 points [-]

What about the gambler who knows not of the gambler's fallacy, and believes that because the die hasn't rolled an odd number for the past n turns, that it would definitely roll odd this time (afterall, the probability of not rolling odd n times is 2-n). Are they then rational for betting the majority of their fund on the die rolling odd? Letting what's rational depend on the knowledge of the agent involved, leads to a very broad (and possibly useless) notion of rationality. It may lead to what I call "folk rationality" (doing what you think would lead to success).

I think it depends where the knowledge comes from, right?

If he just has an instinct that a 6 should come up again, but can't explain where that instinct comes from or defend that belief in any kind of rational way other then "it feels right", then he's probably not being rational.

If he actually did an experiment and rolled a dice a bunch of times, and just by coincidence it actually seemed to come out that whenever a 6 hadn't come out for a while it would show up, then it might be a rational belief, even though it is incorrect. Granted, if he had better knowledge of statistical methods and such he probably could have ran the experiment in a better way, but I think if someone gathers actual data and uses that to arrive at an incorrect belief and then acts on that belief, he's still behaving rationally. Same thing if you developed your beliefs through other rational methods, like logical deduction based on other beliefs you already had established through rational means, or probabilistic beliefs based on some combination of other things you believe to be true and observations, ect.

A rational agent can not actually know everything, all the rational agent can do is act on the best information it has. And you can only spend so much in the way of resources and time trying to perfect that information before acting on it.

So, I would say rationality is defined by:

A- how did you arrive at your beliefs of the state of the world, and

B- did you act in a way that would maximize your chances of "winning",if your beliefs formed via rational methods are correct

Comment author: Regex 25 August 2017 03:43:28AM *  1 point [-]

If he just has an instinct that a 6 should come up again, but can't explain where that instinct comes from or defend that belief in any kind of rational way other then "it feels right", then he's probably not being rational.

Maybe in the specific example of randomness, but I don't think you can say the general case of 'it feels so' is indefensible. This same mechanism is used for really complicated black box intuitive reasoning that underpins any trained skill. So in in areas one has a lot of experience in, or areas which are evolutionary keyed in such as social interactions or in nature this isn't an absurd belief.

In fact, knowing that these black box intuitions exist means they they have to be included in our information about the world, so 'give high credence to black box when it says something' may be the best strategy if ones ability for analytic reasoning is insufficient to determine strategies with results better than that.

Comment author: Venryx 05 August 2017 11:52:52AM *  0 points [-]

Yeah, I use Chrome myself, so compatibility in Firefox breaks sometimes. (and I forget to check that it's working there more often) I'll look into it relatively soon.

As for the submenus not closing when you re-press their sidebar buttons, I just haven't coded that yet. Should be a one line change, so it will probably be added by tomorrow. Thanks for checking it out.

EDIT: Okay, I tried opening it in Firefox, and could not reproduce the "black boxes" issue in your screenshot. What version of Firefox are you using? Also, I've now updated the submenu/sidebar buttons to close the menus when re-pressed. (and updated their appearance a bit)

Comment author: Regex 13 August 2017 05:32:33PM 0 points [-]

It appears I can't replicate it either. I may have updated Firefox since last week or something? 54.0.1 (32-bit) is my current version.

Comment author: Venryx 02 August 2017 12:42:07PM *  1 point [-]

Hey everyone! It appears I'm six years late to the party, but better late than never.

I've been building a website for the last few months which is very close to the ideas presented in this article. I've summarized some features of it, and added an entry to the wiki page:

Debate Map: Web platform for collaborative mapping of beliefs, arguments, and evidence.


  • Collaborative creation, editing, and evaluation of debate/argument maps.
  • Open source. (under the MIT license)
  • Developed using modern web technologies. (react-js, redux, firebase)
  • Built-in probability and validity rating, and calculation of argument strength from these ratings.
  • Tree-based structure which can extend very deep without loss of clarity or usability.
  • Integrated term/definition system. Terms can be defined once, then used anywhere, with hover-based definition display.


  • Has a learning curve for casual users, as content must conform to the argument<-premise structure at each level.
  • Performance is currently less than ideal on mobile devices.

I'm the sole developer at the moment, but I'm very invested in the project, and plan to spend thousands of hours on it over the years to make it the best it can be. I'm very interested in your feedback! I've been a silent reader of this site for a couple years, and it'll be neat to finally get involved a bit.

Comment author: Regex 04 August 2017 09:00:11PM 0 points [-]

Playing around with the debates on firefox causes graphical glitches http://i.imgur.com/QsoLeqn.jpg

Chrome seems to work, but these submenus don't close after you click on them http://i.imgur.com/sbNBhZ1.png

Machine Learning Group

7 Regex 16 July 2017 08:58PM

After signing up for this post, those of us that want to study machine learning have made a team.

In an effort to actually get high returns on our time we won't delay, and instead actually build the skills. First project: work through Python Machine Learning by Sebastian Raschka, with the mid-term goal of being able to implement the "recognizing handwritten digits" code near the end.

As a matter of short term practicality currently we don't have the hardware for GPU acceleration. This limits the things we can do, but at this stage of learning most of the time spent is on understanding and implementing the basic concepts anyway.

Here is our discord invite link if you're interested in joining in on the fun.


September 14th 2017 edit:

Wasn't enough activity to keep it going. The book we chose also focused on scikitlearn rather than teaching how some of the algorithms are programmed after ~chapter 2 so I think that was part of the problem, but the main failing I suspect is that I personally did not push forward hard enough and got distracted by other projects.

So alas, this effort did not succeed. Feel free to check out the discord to find the people interested in it, and maybe look at the logs to see where we went wrong ;)

Comment author: Regex 25 June 2017 12:05:17AM *  0 points [-]

Before even reading it I was confused.

Epistemic status for the first part of this post:

[image of thinking woman in front of math]

Epistemic status for the second part:

[Image of greek? philosopher preaching]

Admittedly I should probably know who the second image is of, but I have no idea what they're trying to say with either of these.

As we say in the Bayesian conspiracy: even if you’re not interested in base rates, base rates are interested in you.

No. Stop. This is just awkward to read.

Comment author: lifelonglearner 24 June 2017 05:20:58AM *  4 points [-]

Note: Everything I write below about pedagogy is anecdotal, and I don't have much experience outside of being a student.

This is a really cool idea! I think it's a good way of bringing people in the community closer together!

That being said, I'm worried the classes might not turn out to be very good because good teaching seems generally pretty hard. (Which isn't to say that I don't think LWers can't rise to the challenge, just that this means my priors on "Video tutoring will turn out well" are low.) (Or perhaps I just didn't have many good teachers).

I think personalization could be a very important niche role we could exploit here to make things better. So rather than the Teacher spending time going over the subject, they could chat individually with Learners to assess where they are at, suggest materials, and then follow up after each iteration. (Think something like the flipped classroom model where we're counting on people to be self-motivated learners, and these video sessions would be more for supplementing self-studying.)

Comment author: Regex 24 June 2017 07:53:45PM *  0 points [-]

I suspect this will end up being something more akin to self-study groups that produce teaching material as a direct result of learning the material themselves. For example, writing up an explanation of how to do a particular book example. This doubles as an assessment of people's skills since other people that know the topic really well can build on those explanations or correct mistakes.

With a series of such explanations, anyone else trying to go through the material will have a clearer pathway for the level of understanding of a given sub-topic they need to develop to progress: the exercises and readings needed to be able to understand something, or do a particular difficulty of project.

Comment author: Regex 22 June 2017 01:08:53AM 0 points [-]

The S is for "Skitter"

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