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Comment author: RichardKennaway 01 August 2014 01:03:36PM 5 points [-]

I mention all this because I find that people from outside the Bay Area or those with very little contact with Leverage often think that Connection Theory

Um, this person from outside the Bay Area with very little (i.e.no) contact with Leverage does not think about Connection Theory at all. It may be something that looms large in the circle of people you know, even those of them in the outer darkness beyond the Bay Area, but that is bound to be a small subset of LessWrong.

I see that Leverage and CT have been discussed here before, here and here, although none of the links there to their site work any more. The current Leverage site looks like something designed from the top down that hasn't bottomed out in real things yet, a shell still under development. There is no information about Connection Theory to be found there at the moment.

Perhaps someone from Leverage could write something here to say what the criticisms of the OP are criticisms of?

Comment author: Pfft 30 July 2014 03:10:16AM 0 points [-]

A more low-tech solution, which is recommended by countless self-help books/webpages of dubious authority, is to snap a rubber band against your own wrist when you have done something bad. It seems this should work roughly as well as the Pavlov? In theory it should suffer the same "can't condition yourself" problem. On the other hand, if lots of people recommend it, then maybe it works?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 31 July 2014 06:36:03AM 1 point [-]

I suspect that if electric zapping or snapping a rubber band work (I don't know if they do), they do so by raising your level of attention to the problematic behaviour. A claim of Perceptual Control Theory is that reorganisation -- learning to control something better -- follows attention. Yanking your attention onto the situation whenever you're contemplating or committing sinful things may enable you to stop wanting to commit them.

See also the use of the cilice.

Comment author: Metus 28 July 2014 11:44:35PM 3 points [-]

I appreciate the extention on my thought process. It is very clear to me that since you have to pay an insurance premium buying insurance is necessarily a net loss. Buying insurance is very meaningful before a rainy day fund is filled up, if emergency financing methods are not available through a credit card or very trustworthy person and if the insurance contracts include other services, e.g. getting liabilities of the other party paid in case of their unwillingness to pay.

This is implicit in my phrasing

rare events with disastrous consequences

but made explicit by your post and will be included in the end report. Generally I come to the conclusion that buying insurance is a necessity unless you are perversely rich and even then there is some meaning found in insurance as even insurance companies themselves are insured. Just go for contracts with high co-pay to lower the exposition to the insurance premium which is basically just unnecessary bureucracy in case of small claims, as in the example of the $1000 dollar computer. For things in that price class I read an interesting sentence "if you can not afford to buy it twice, you can't afford it in the first place" alluding to self-insurance.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 30 July 2014 08:37:17AM 4 points [-]

"if you can not afford to buy it twice, you can't afford it in the first place"

An excellent maxim, which has crystallised for me why I am so reluctant to move to a bigger house, even though I would like one, and I could buy one immediately for cash plus the price I'd get for my current house. It's because I can't afford to do that twice. With an extra cost-of-a-house in the bank I might.

Comment author: jbay 29 July 2014 02:30:20PM *  0 points [-]

That's fine. Do you consider yourself a utilitarian? Many people do not.

For that matter, following Illano's line of thought, it's not clear that the amount that poor people would appreciate receiving all of my possessions is greater than the amount of sadness I would suffer from losing everything I own. (Although if I was giving it away out of a feeling of moral inclination to do so, I would presumably be happy with my choice). I'm not sure what George Price was thinking exactly.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 02:59:48PM 1 point [-]

That's fine. Do you consider yourself a utilitarian? Many people do not.

No, I don't. The Price endgame is one reason why. The complexity of value is another. I do what seems good to me. That may be informed by theorising, but cannot be subservient to it.

Comment author: sediment 29 July 2014 12:38:16PM *  3 points [-]

It's called the Pavlok. It seems to be able to monitor a variety of criteria, some fairly smart.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 01:12:31PM 2 points [-]

Wow, it is indeed a real thing! Thank you for posting this.

Comment author: jbay 29 July 2014 11:44:28AM *  2 points [-]

Yes, of course. But the net average quality of life is increased overall. Please examine the posts that I'm replying to here, for the context of the point I am making. For convenience I've copied it below:

How many billion people would be better off if allowed to immigrate to GB? Utilitarianism is about counting everyone's utility the same...

You can't fit billions of people in the UK.

If you are entering the argument with a claim that the UK's current inhabitants can be utilitarian and simultaneously weigh their own utility higher than those of other humans, then you should be directing your argument toward buybuydanddavis' post, since ze's the one who said "That weighting factor should be 1 for all". I am merely noting that not being able to fit billions of people in the UK is not a valid counterargument; net utility will still be increased by such a policy no matter what the UK's population carrying capacity is.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 12:04:26PM 0 points [-]

But the net average quality of life is increased overall.

If that is an argument for doing it, it's also an argument for managing one's own home the same way. That ended badly for George Price.

I don't recognise an obligation to give my stuff away so long as anyone has less than I do, and I take the same attitude at every scale. There's nothing wrong with anyone trying to emigrate to a better place than they are in; but nothing wrong with No Entry signs either.

Comment author: sediment 28 July 2014 10:21:55PM *  45 points [-]

I recently made a dissenting comment on a biggish, well-known-ish social-justice-y blog. The comment was on a post about a bracelet which one could wear and which would zap you with a painful (though presumably safe) electric shock at the end of a day if you hadn't done enough exercise that day. The post was decrying this as an example of society's rampant body-shaming and fat-shaming, which had reached such an insane pitch that people are now willing to torture themselves in order to be content with their body image.

I explained as best I could in a couple of shortish paragraphs some ideas about akrasia and precommitment in light of which this device made some sense. I also mentioned in passing that there were good reasons to want to exercise that had nothing to do with an unhealthy body image, such as that it's good for you and improves your mood. For reasons I don't fully understand, these latter turned out to be surprisingly controversial points. (For example, surreally enough, someone asked to see my trainer's certificate and/or medical degree before they would let me get away with the outlandish claim that exercise makes you live longer. Someone else brought up the weird edge case that it's possible to exercise too much, and that if you're in such a position then more exercise will shorten, not lengthen, your life.)

Further to that, I was accused of mansplaining twice. and then was asked to leave by the blog owner on grounds of being "tedious as fuck". (Granted, but it's hard not to end up tedious as fuck when you're picked up on and hence have to justify claims like "exercise is good for you".)

This is admittedly minor, so why am I posting about it here? Just because it made me realize a few things:

  • It was an interesting case study in memeplex collision. I felt like not only did I hold a different position to the rest of those present, but we had entirely different background assumptions about how one makes a case for said position. There was a near-Kuhnian incommensurability between us.
  • I felt my otherwise-mostly-dormant tribal status-seeking circuits fire up - nay, go into overdrive. I had lost face and been publicly humiliated, and the only way to regain the lost status was to come up with the ultimate putdown and "win" the argument. (A losing battle if ever there was one.) It kept coming to the front of my mind when I was trying to get other things done and, at a time when I have plenty of more important things to worry about, I wasted a lot of cycles on running over and over the arguments and formulating optimal comebacks and responses. I had to actively choose to disengage (in spite of the temptation to keep posting) because I could see I had more invested in it and it was taking up a greater cognitive load than I'd ever intended. This seems like a good reason to avoid arguing on the internet in general: it will fire up all the wrong parts of your brain, and you'll find it harder to disengage than you anticipated.
  • It made me realize that I am more deeply connected to lesswrong (or the LW-osphere) than I'd previously realized. Up 'til now, I'd thought of myself as an outsider, more or less on the periphery of this community. But evidently I've absorbed enough of its memeplex to be several steps of inference away from an intelligent non-rationalist-identifying community. It also made me more grateful for certain norms which exist here and which I had otherwise gotten to take for granted: curiosity and a genuine interest in learning the truth, and (usually) courtesy to those with dissenting views.
Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 11:44:14AM 1 point [-]

The shock bracelet intrigues me. I imagine it could be interfaced to an app that could give shocks under all manner of chosen conditions. Do you have any more details? Is it a real thing, or (like this) just clickbait that no-one intends actually making?

Comment author: sediment 28 July 2014 10:21:55PM *  45 points [-]

I recently made a dissenting comment on a biggish, well-known-ish social-justice-y blog. The comment was on a post about a bracelet which one could wear and which would zap you with a painful (though presumably safe) electric shock at the end of a day if you hadn't done enough exercise that day. The post was decrying this as an example of society's rampant body-shaming and fat-shaming, which had reached such an insane pitch that people are now willing to torture themselves in order to be content with their body image.

I explained as best I could in a couple of shortish paragraphs some ideas about akrasia and precommitment in light of which this device made some sense. I also mentioned in passing that there were good reasons to want to exercise that had nothing to do with an unhealthy body image, such as that it's good for you and improves your mood. For reasons I don't fully understand, these latter turned out to be surprisingly controversial points. (For example, surreally enough, someone asked to see my trainer's certificate and/or medical degree before they would let me get away with the outlandish claim that exercise makes you live longer. Someone else brought up the weird edge case that it's possible to exercise too much, and that if you're in such a position then more exercise will shorten, not lengthen, your life.)

Further to that, I was accused of mansplaining twice. and then was asked to leave by the blog owner on grounds of being "tedious as fuck". (Granted, but it's hard not to end up tedious as fuck when you're picked up on and hence have to justify claims like "exercise is good for you".)

This is admittedly minor, so why am I posting about it here? Just because it made me realize a few things:

  • It was an interesting case study in memeplex collision. I felt like not only did I hold a different position to the rest of those present, but we had entirely different background assumptions about how one makes a case for said position. There was a near-Kuhnian incommensurability between us.
  • I felt my otherwise-mostly-dormant tribal status-seeking circuits fire up - nay, go into overdrive. I had lost face and been publicly humiliated, and the only way to regain the lost status was to come up with the ultimate putdown and "win" the argument. (A losing battle if ever there was one.) It kept coming to the front of my mind when I was trying to get other things done and, at a time when I have plenty of more important things to worry about, I wasted a lot of cycles on running over and over the arguments and formulating optimal comebacks and responses. I had to actively choose to disengage (in spite of the temptation to keep posting) because I could see I had more invested in it and it was taking up a greater cognitive load than I'd ever intended. This seems like a good reason to avoid arguing on the internet in general: it will fire up all the wrong parts of your brain, and you'll find it harder to disengage than you anticipated.
  • It made me realize that I am more deeply connected to lesswrong (or the LW-osphere) than I'd previously realized. Up 'til now, I'd thought of myself as an outsider, more or less on the periphery of this community. But evidently I've absorbed enough of its memeplex to be several steps of inference away from an intelligent non-rationalist-identifying community. It also made me more grateful for certain norms which exist here and which I had otherwise gotten to take for granted: curiosity and a genuine interest in learning the truth, and (usually) courtesy to those with dissenting views.
Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 10:04:12AM *  0 points [-]

I wonder what they think of Beeminder, that allows you to financially torture yourself over anything you want to. Not that I'm going to go over there, wherever it is, to ask.

Comment author: sediment 28 July 2014 10:21:55PM *  45 points [-]

I recently made a dissenting comment on a biggish, well-known-ish social-justice-y blog. The comment was on a post about a bracelet which one could wear and which would zap you with a painful (though presumably safe) electric shock at the end of a day if you hadn't done enough exercise that day. The post was decrying this as an example of society's rampant body-shaming and fat-shaming, which had reached such an insane pitch that people are now willing to torture themselves in order to be content with their body image.

I explained as best I could in a couple of shortish paragraphs some ideas about akrasia and precommitment in light of which this device made some sense. I also mentioned in passing that there were good reasons to want to exercise that had nothing to do with an unhealthy body image, such as that it's good for you and improves your mood. For reasons I don't fully understand, these latter turned out to be surprisingly controversial points. (For example, surreally enough, someone asked to see my trainer's certificate and/or medical degree before they would let me get away with the outlandish claim that exercise makes you live longer. Someone else brought up the weird edge case that it's possible to exercise too much, and that if you're in such a position then more exercise will shorten, not lengthen, your life.)

Further to that, I was accused of mansplaining twice. and then was asked to leave by the blog owner on grounds of being "tedious as fuck". (Granted, but it's hard not to end up tedious as fuck when you're picked up on and hence have to justify claims like "exercise is good for you".)

This is admittedly minor, so why am I posting about it here? Just because it made me realize a few things:

  • It was an interesting case study in memeplex collision. I felt like not only did I hold a different position to the rest of those present, but we had entirely different background assumptions about how one makes a case for said position. There was a near-Kuhnian incommensurability between us.
  • I felt my otherwise-mostly-dormant tribal status-seeking circuits fire up - nay, go into overdrive. I had lost face and been publicly humiliated, and the only way to regain the lost status was to come up with the ultimate putdown and "win" the argument. (A losing battle if ever there was one.) It kept coming to the front of my mind when I was trying to get other things done and, at a time when I have plenty of more important things to worry about, I wasted a lot of cycles on running over and over the arguments and formulating optimal comebacks and responses. I had to actively choose to disengage (in spite of the temptation to keep posting) because I could see I had more invested in it and it was taking up a greater cognitive load than I'd ever intended. This seems like a good reason to avoid arguing on the internet in general: it will fire up all the wrong parts of your brain, and you'll find it harder to disengage than you anticipated.
  • It made me realize that I am more deeply connected to lesswrong (or the LW-osphere) than I'd previously realized. Up 'til now, I'd thought of myself as an outsider, more or less on the periphery of this community. But evidently I've absorbed enough of its memeplex to be several steps of inference away from an intelligent non-rationalist-identifying community. It also made me more grateful for certain norms which exist here and which I had otherwise gotten to take for granted: curiosity and a genuine interest in learning the truth, and (usually) courtesy to those with dissenting views.
Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 09:57:53AM 12 points [-]

I recently made a dissenting comment on a biggish, well-known-ish social-justice-y blog.

Um, why?

I mean, walking through a monkey house when all they're going to do is fling shit everywhere isn't something I would choose to do.

Comment author: MrMind 29 July 2014 07:05:20AM 3 points [-]

If I wanted to learn about a precise formulation of UDT, where should I look / who should I ask? Info on the wiki is hopelessly outdated, and there lacks a single clear exposition.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 29 July 2014 09:46:03AM 2 points [-]

Is anyone working on formalising UDT, TDT, and the like, for publication in academic journals? Has any of it appeared there already?

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