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Comment author: Jayson_Virissimo 18 December 2014 01:35:05AM 0 points [-]

Had better luck anywhere else?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 18 December 2014 10:47:30AM 1 point [-]

The rationality content was my only interest, so I haven't particularly looked for any other source of anime recommendations. However, I have seen Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and Spirited Away, and all I can say of them is that they were pleasant enough.

Comment author: FrameBenignly 18 December 2014 07:28:33AM 0 points [-]

I'm reminded of Lojban which is a constructed language designed to be unambiguous. I think there's an underemphasis on semantics in a lot of fields. Errors like this should just not happen. I don't see much reason to require it outside of academia however. Where would life be without double entendre? Also, I don't think you realize how many different definitions of model there are.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 18 December 2014 10:28:41AM 0 points [-]

Also, I don't think you realize how many different definitions of model there are.

Leaving aside "Model" as a proper name, I think there is just one concept there, specialised in many different ways.

Comment author: lmm 16 December 2014 12:28:23PM 3 points [-]

I can recall one instance of bad advice on a particular subject (I don't want to be specific). In retrospect it should have been obvious that the person giving the advice lacked the experience to give it, but it's hard to judge someone's credentials over the internet.

Some of the media recommendations have been bad; of course no recommendation is perfect, but in my limited experience LW's strike rate is worse than e.g. TV Tropes (which may just be a factor of the latter containing a lot more detail and having more contributors).

Comment author: RichardKennaway 17 December 2014 02:12:02PM 1 point [-]

Of the anime recommendations I've followed up on account of their claimed rationality content, I've yet to find one that repaid the effort.

Comment author: ike 16 December 2014 02:20:46PM *  2 points [-]

In 1 and 2, the thinking is not the type being referred to in the quote. In 3, assuming only one of theirs get chosen, then there are 19 failures, hence 19 non-thinkers or non-sufficient thinking. In 4, they're not all trying to answer the same question "what's the best way to make money", but the question "what's a good way to make money". (That may also apply to 3.) I touched on the difference in another thread. In 5, yes, every test-taker should give the correct answer to every question. Obvious for multiple choice tests, and even other tests usually only have one really correct answer, even if there may be more than one way to phrase it.

In 6, first of all, your example is isomorphic to its complement; where 20 people decide not to lynch an innocent man. If you defend the original quote, then some of them must not be thinking. And the actual answer is that my quoted version is one-sided; agreement doesn't imply idealism, idealism implies agreement.

I could add a disclaimer; everyone should be thinking alike in cases referred to by the first quote. I don't have a good way to narrow down exactly what that is off-hand right now, it's kind of intuitional. Do you have an example where my claim conflicts directly with what the first quote would say, and you think it's obvious in that scenario that they are right and not me?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 17 December 2014 09:11:31AM 2 points [-]

In 1 and 2, the thinking is not the type being referred to in the quote.

The quote is without a provenance that I can discover. If authentic, I presume that Patton was referring to military planning. I don't see a line separating that type of thinking from cases (1)-(4) and some of (5). Ideas must be found or created to achieve results that are not totally ordered. Thinking better is helpful but thinking alike is not.

In 3, assuming only one of theirs get chosen, then there are 19 failures, hence 19 non-thinkers or non-sufficient thinking.

Only if you "thinking better" to retroactively mean "won". But that is not what the word "thinking" means.

In 4, they're not all trying to answer the same question "what's the best way to make money", but the question "what's a good way to make money".

I doubt any of those entrepreneurs are indifferent between a given level of success and 10 times that level.

In 5, yes, every test-taker should give the correct answer to every question. Obvious for multiple choice tests, and even other tests usually only have one really correct answer, even if there may be more than one way to phrase it.

Perhaps you are thinking only of a limited type of exam. There is only one correct answer to "what is 23 times 87?"[1] Not all exams are like that.

Philosophy:

Do we need a notion of innateness in order to explain how humans come to know about objects, causes, words, numbers, colours, actions or minds? (Your answer may focus on a single domain of knowledge.)

Ancient history (from here:

"The mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, follower of Horus, she who is in charge of the affairs of the Harem, whose every word is done for her, daughter of the god (begotten) of his body, Hetepheres." -- Inscription from the tomb of Hetepheres

With reference to the quotation, discuss the power and influence of queens in this period [of ancient Egypt].

The link also provides the marking criteria for the question. The ideal result can only be described as "twenty students giving the same answer" if, as in case (3), "the same answer" is redefined to mean "anything that gets top marks", in which case it becomes tautological.

In 6, first of all, your example is isomorphic to its complement; where 20 people decide not to lynch an innocent man. If you defend the original quote, then some of them must not be thinking. And the actual answer is that my quoted version is one-sided; agreement doesn't imply idealism, idealism implies agreement.

I reject both of those. Agreement doesn't imply ideal, of course (case 6 was just a test to see if people were thinking). But neither does ideal imply agreement, except by definitional shenanigans. And your version of Patton's quote doesn't include the hypothesis of ideality anyway. Neither does Patton's. We are, or should be, talking about the real world.

I could add a disclaimer; everyone should be thinking alike in cases referred to by the first quote. I don't have a good way to narrow down exactly what that is off-hand right now, it's kind of intuitional. Do you have an example where my claim conflicts directly with what the first quote would say, and you think it's obvious in that scenario that they are right and not me?

What are those cases? Military planning, I am assuming, on the basis of who Patton was. Twenty generals gather to decide how to address the present juncture of a war. All will have ideas; these ideas will not all be the same. They will bring different backgrounds of knowledge and experience to the matter. In that situation, if they all all agree at once on what to do, I believe Patton's version applies.

(1) Ubj znal crbcyr'f svefg gubhtug ba ernqvat gung jnf "nun, urknqrpvzny!" Whfg...qba'g.

Comment author: dxu 17 December 2014 01:14:15AM *  0 points [-]

"Because" (in the original quote) is about causality. Your inequality implies nothing causal without a lot of assumptions.

Yes, naturally. I suppose I should have made myself a little clearer there; I was not making any reference to the original quote, but rather to Jiro's comment, which makes no mention of causation, only Bayesian updates.

I don't understand what your setup is for increasing belief about a causal link based on an observed correlation (not saying it is impossible, but I think it would be helpful to be precise here).

Because P(causation|correlation) > P(causation|~correlation). That is, it's more likely that a causal link exists if you see a correlation than if you don't see a correlation.

As for your second paragraph, Jiro himself/herself has come to clarify, so I don't think it's necessary (for me) to continue that particular discussion.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 17 December 2014 08:17:11AM 1 point [-]

Because P(causation|correlation) > P(causation|~correlation). That is, it's more likely that a causal link exists if you see a correlation than if you don't see a correlation.

Where are you getting this? What are the numerical values of those probabilities?

You can have presence or absence of a correlation between A and B, coexisting with presence or absence of a causal arrow between A and B. All four combinations occur in ordinary, everyday phenomena.

I cannot see how to define, let alone measure, probabilities P(causation|correlation) and P(causation|~correlation) over all possible phenomena.

I also don't know what distinction you intend in other comments in this thread between "correlation" and "real correlation". This is what I understand by "correlation", and there is nothing I would contrast with this and call "real correlation".

Comment author: ike 10 December 2014 04:35:31PM -1 points [-]

Ideally, everyone should be thinking alike. How about

If not everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 16 December 2014 01:13:20PM 3 points [-]

Ideally, everyone should be thinking alike.

Twenty art students are drawing the same life model. They are all thinking about the task; they will produce twenty different drawings. In what world would it be ideal for them to produce identical drawings?

Twenty animators apply for the same job at Pixar. They put a great deal of thought into their applications, and submit twenty different demo reels. In what world would it be ideal for them to produce identical demo reels?

Twenty designers compete to design the new logo for a company. In what world would it be ideal for them to come up with identical logos?

Twenty would-be startup founders come up with ideas for new products. In what world would it be ideal for them to come up with the same idea?

Twenty students take the same exam. In what world would it be ideal for them to give the same answers?

Twenty people thinking alike lynch an innocent man. Does this happen in an ideal world?

Comment author: Inst 15 December 2014 02:06:14AM *  2 points [-]

+1 Karma for the human augmented search; I've found the Less Wrong articles on wireheading and I'm reading up on it. It seems similar to what I'm proposing, but I don't think it's identical.

Say, take Greg Egan's Axiomatic, for instance. There, you have brain mods that can arbitrarily modify one's value system; there are units for secular humanism, units for Catholicism, and perhaps, if it were legal, there would probably be units for for Nazi-ism and Fascism as well.

If you go by Aristotle and assume that happiness is the satisfaction of all goods, and assume that neural modification can result in the arbitrary creation and destruction of values and notions of what is good, what is a virtue, then we can arbitrarily induce happiness or fulfillment through neural modification to arbitrarily establish values.

I think that's different than wireheading, wireheading is the artificial creation of hedons through electrical stimulation. Ultra-happiness is the artificial creation of utilons through value modification.

In a more limited context than what I am proposing, let's say I like having sex while drunk and skydiving, but not while high on cocaine. Let's take two cases, first, I am having sex while drunk and skydriving. In the second case, assume that I have been modified so that I like having sex while drunk and skydiving and high on cocaine, and that I am having sex while drunk, skydiving, and high on cocaine. Am I better off in the first situation or in the second situation?

If you accept that example, then you have three possible responses. I won't address the possibility that I am worse off in the second example, because that assumes a negative value to modification, and for the purposes of this argument I don't want to deal with that. The other two possible responses are, I am equally as well off in the first example as I am in the second, and that I am better off in the second example than I am in the first.

In the first case, then wouldn't it be rational to modify my value system so that I assign as high a possible value to being as possible, and assign no value to any other states? In the second case, then wouldn't I be better off if I were to be modified so that I would have as many instances of preference for existence as possible?

==

And with that, I believe we've hit 500 replies. Would someone be as kind as to open the Welcome to Less Wrong 7th Thread?

Comment author: RichardKennaway 15 December 2014 02:08:52PM *  4 points [-]

If you go by Aristotle and assume that happiness is the satisfaction of all goods, and assume that neural modification can result in the arbitrary creation and destruction of values and notions of what is good, what is a virtue

Those are some large assumptions. One might instead assume (what Aristotle argues for — Nicomachean Ethics chs. 8–9) that happiness is to be found in an objectively desirable state of eudaemonia, achieved by using reason to live a virtuous life. (Add utilitarianism to that and you get the EA movement.) One might also assume (what Plato argues for — Republic, book 8) that neural modification cannot result in the arbitrary creation and destruction of values, only the creation and destruction of notions of values, but the values that those notions are about remain unchanged.

Those are also large assumptions, of course. How would you decide between them, or between them and other possible assumptions?

Comment author: passive_fist 15 December 2014 09:36:10AM 4 points [-]

Is there some resource (for instance, in the LW sequences) where I can redirect people to get a quick, clean view into the Bayesian worldview of doing things, especially in science? When I read people say things like "Consensus doesn't matter in science!" I want to respond with "Well, consensus isn't everything, but being informed about the agreement in opinion of a large number of authorities in a subject should make you update your beliefs" but I find it hard to do that without then having to explain what "update your beliefs" actually means.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 15 December 2014 12:30:42PM 3 points [-]

I find it hard to do that without then having to explain what "update your beliefs" actually means.

"Change your mind"? "Take that on board"?

Comment author: Unknowns 15 December 2014 11:16:34AM 5 points [-]

I find it annoying that there is no way to view all the posts at once -- you can see either main or discussion posts, but not both at once. I think it would be good to add "All" next to the tabs for Main and Discussion.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 15 December 2014 12:28:06PM 12 points [-]

There is an undocumented way: all posts, all comments. But those URLs are not linked from anywhere.

Comment author: Wiseman 07 November 2007 06:42:24PM -2 points [-]

No group selection? I believe the math in Eliezer's post is wrong. Here is how a hypothetical fox/rabbit population could evolve restrained breeding through group selection.

Picture a geographically isolated fox/rabbit population. At some level, this is guaranteed, simply because there's not an infinite amount of land on this planet to inhabit. Even if the entire planet was one continent with just rabbits and foxes, then that's the isolation geography. So at some point there won't be other foxes getting to eat the un-eated rabbits from the restrained fox population.

Start with a balance of rabbits and foxes. Perhaps this is because foxes are newly migrated to the area. Whatever. The foxes feast on the rabbits, because they are so easy to catch. The rabbit population drops to something that can metabolically support only 5% of the current fox population. As the foxes die out, any fox that has genes to restrain its breeding, is going to do better than foxes that don't, because it will spend less energy developing fox fetuses that won't survive anyway because there isn't enough food to go around. THIS IS THE KEY. If we assume all foxes are roughly equal at catching prey, then any fox family with constrained breeding will have more viable offspring because their mothers didn't die out trying to give birth to 6 foxes with food for only 2. Or the baby foxes, will go up stronger because food for 2 foxes is spread for just those 2, and not 6.

Now after this initial die off of foxes, the rabbit population will rebound. So won't the non-restrained breeders just take over again? No. As soon as the non-restrained breeders get large enough to diminish the rabbit population, the restrained breeders will have the same advantage they had the last time around. And even MORE of the unstrained breeders will die out removing even more of their genes from the gene pool.

Eventually, the non-restrained breeding genes become so rare it's as if they never existed. Only when they randomly pop up due to mutations would the cycle start again.

And here's where something almost magical happens. Every time those unrestrained breeders go crazy and eat all the rabbits, it does, to a certain extent, harm the survivability of the restrained breeders. Not as much as the unrestrained foxes, but enough. That means that any gene that will suppress the initial growth of an unrestrained fox population, will spread itself throughout the fox population. Perhaps a gene will arise that builds multiple chemical/hormonal systems in the fox to specifically restrain breeding, making it exceedingly difficult for any one mutation that un-restrains breeding to actually CAUSE unrestrained breeding.

Group selection. Tada.

Eliezer, just because the raw mechanics of evolution are very simple, doesn't mean bizarre and conceptually complicated things can't happen in the real world mechanics of evolution. Even if they SEEM counter-intuitive to the principles of evolution.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 15 December 2014 12:06:38PM 1 point [-]

Firstly, can you write all that in mathematics that behaves the way the words say? Words can be made to say anything, but mathematics is a more unyielding medium.

Secondly, there is no group selection here. You have described individual selection: individual foxes making decisions that give them individually a better chance of transmitting their genes to the next generation. That a particular (hypothetical) collective result is produced, that other people have invoked group selection to explain, does not make this group selection.

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