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Comment author: Qiaochu_Yuan 20 December 2016 07:42:01AM 18 points [-]

The bucket diagrams don't feel to me like the right diagrams to draw. I would be drawing causal diagrams (of aliefs); in the first example, something like "spelled oshun wrong -> I can't write -> I can't be a writer." Once I notice that I feel like these arrows are there I can then ask myself whether they're really there and how I could falsify that hypothesis, etc.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 20 December 2016 08:07:46PM 1 point [-]

Agreed -- this sort of "bucket error" can be generalized to "invisible uninspected background assumption". But those don't necessarily need to be biconditionals.

Comment author: Raemon 07 December 2016 05:42:40PM *  1 point [-]

Fair. Created a separate meetup. (Note that the location is still to be determined, but we have a backup location if we're unable to find a better one, which we'll announce a few days before if need be)

Comment author: Sniffnoy 07 December 2016 09:47:55PM 0 points [-]

Thank you!

Comment author: Raemon 06 December 2016 06:28:08PM 0 points [-]

Sorry about that, thanks.

Details for the megameetup are here:


Comment author: Sniffnoy 07 December 2016 07:11:33AM *  0 points [-]

This is still very easily missed, seeing as you've only put it in a reply to my comment and not in the main body of the post. Indeed, someone might just not click at all because they have no idea that the Solstice might be associated with a megameetup (it hasn't always been) and they're not interested in the Solstice (I don't intend to go to the Solstice). IMO it would be best for it to be a separately-listed meetup so that people who aren't intersted in the Solstice will still see "NY megameetup" in their sidebar.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 01 December 2016 05:59:42AM 1 point [-]

Interesting. Some time ago I was planning on writing some things on how to have an argument well, but I found a lot of it was already covered by Eliezer in "37 ways words can be wrong". I think this covers a lot of the rest of it! Things like "Spot your interlocutor points so you can get to the heart of the matter; you can always unspot them later if they turn out to be more crucial than you realized."

One thing I've tried sometimes is actively proposing reasons for my interlocutor's beliefs when they don't volunteer any, and seeing if they agree with any; unfortunately this doesn't seem to have gone well when I've done it. (Maybe because the tone of "and I have a counterargument prepared for each one!" was apparent and came off as a bit too hostile. :P ) Not sure that any real conclusions can be drawn from my failures there though.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 01 December 2016 05:36:07AM 0 points [-]

I gather from SSC there's also an associated megameetup that day / next day. You might want to note this here, not sure how anyone would find it out in general (I only did by asking).

Comment author: btrettel 30 November 2016 04:31:24PM 3 points [-]

Some sort of emoticon could work, like what Facebook does.

Personally, I find the lack of feedback from an upvote or downvote to be discouraging. I understand that many people don't want to take the time to provide a quick comment, but personally I think that's silly as a 10 second comment could help a lot in many cases. If there is a possibility for a 1 second feedback method to allow a little more information than up or down, I think it's worth trying.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 30 November 2016 08:27:26PM 2 points [-]

I'm reminded of Slashdot. Not that you necessarily want to copy that, but that's some preexisting work in that direction.

Comment author: nshepperd 27 November 2016 07:06:01PM 14 points [-]

I think you're right that wherever we go next needs to be a clear schelling point. But I disagree on some details.

  1. I do think it's important to have someone clearly "running the place". A BDFL, if you like.

  2. Please no. The comments on SSC are for me a case study in exactly why we don't want to discuss politics.

  3. Something like reddit/hn involving humans posting links seems ok. Such a thing would still be subject to moderation. "Auto-aggregation" would be bad however.

  4. Sure. But if you want to replace the karma system, be sure to replace it with something better, not worse. SatvikBeri's suggestions below seem reasonable. The focus should be on maintaining high standards and certainly not encouraging growth in new users at any cost.

  5. I don't believe that the basilisk is the primary reason for LW's brand rust. As I see it, we squandered our "capital outlay" of readers interested in actually learning rationality (which we obtained due to the site initially being nothing but the sequences) by doing essentially nothing about a large influx of new users interested only in "debating philosophy" who do not even read the sequences (Eternal November). I, personally, have almost completely stopped commenting since quite a while, because doing so is no longer rewarding.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 30 November 2016 08:39:31AM *  11 points [-]

doing essentially nothing about a large influx of new users interested only in "debating philosophy" who do not even read the sequences (Eternal November).

This is important. One of the great things about LW is/was the "LW consensus", so that we don't constantly have to spend time rehashing the basics. (I dunno that I agree with everything in the "LW consensus", but then, I don't think anyone entirely did except Eliezer himself. When I say "the basics", I mean, I guess, a more universally agreed-on stripped down core of it.) Someone shows up saying "But what if nothing is real?", we don't have to debate them. That's the sort of thing it's useful to just downvote (or otherwise discourage, if we're making a new system), no matter how nicely it may be said, because no productive discussion can come of it. People complained about how people would say "read the sequences", but seriously, it saved a lot of trouble.

There were occasional interesting and original objections to the basics. I can't find it now but there was an interesting series of posts responding to this post of mine on Savage's theorem; this response argued for the proposition that no, we shouldn't use probability (something that others had often asserted, but with much less reason). It is indeed possible to come up with intelligent objections to what we consider the basics here. But most of the objections that came up were just unoriginal and uninformed, and could, in fact, correctly be answered with "read the sequences".

Comment author: Houshalter 12 September 2016 01:31:58AM 1 point [-]

I didn't design the questions and those are the official answers. And it does seems correct to me, that it should include all bills ever printed and not just those currently being printed.

I'm really not sure how to do your second point. I could fit all the answers into a normal distribution sure, but what information does that give me for any specific individual? It doesn't really tell me what their true probability of getting the question correct was, which I can already get from the percent of people that answered each question correctly.

The third idea is interesting, comparing people who got the same number of answers right. But it still does reward luck and prior knowledge. As I showed, people have indistinguishable probabilities of getting each question right, all that differs is how overconfident or underconfident they are.That model seems to produce the best correlations as well.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 15 September 2016 11:11:36PM 1 point [-]

Agree with Luke about the Hamilton questions. I read it about current ones. If it meant "has appeared on", it should say "has appeared on", not "appears on". While certainly the latter can be read as all the ones he's ever appeared on, the more natural interpretation to me means those currently being printed.

You can probably get some idea to what extent it was interpreted this way by looking at the size of the answers. I'd say, if we assume people have some idea how American currency works, then 0-1 probably indicates a "present" interpretation, 3 or more will almost always indicate an "ever" interpretation, and 2 is hard to tell from. But that is assuming people have some idea of how American currency works.

Comment author: ingres 25 June 2016 07:14:35PM *  1 point [-]

Siderea was included because she was mentioned as part of a LiveJournal LW-disapora community. Which seemed interesting enough to try sniffing out.

To my memory none of the write in blogs were interesting, but I could take another look.

If we're going to talk about omissions, I didn't include UNSONG. To be fair, this was because I figured Scott already had readership statistics for UNSONG and it was a relatively new story at the time I was making the survey, so it didn't really 'fit'.

In retrospect, I'm sure Scott has the straightforward readership statistics, but being able to do a more in depth analysis of his demographics would have been nice.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 26 June 2016 06:15:24AM 1 point [-]

Siderea was included because she was mentioned as part of a LiveJournal LW-disapora community. Which seemed interesting enough to try sniffing out.

Right, I'm saying I don't think that mention is an accurate description. She may be read by a bunch of LWers after some prominent recent posts, but she doesn't seem part of the LW diaspora community in any way other than that. Not necessarily a bad thing to ask about, of course, if she is much read! It just stood out as odd.

To my memory none of the write in blogs were interesting, but I could take another look.

Just on a quick look-through, Shtetl-Optimized seems to have come up a bunch.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 25 June 2016 06:55:02PM 2 points [-]

Nothing here about the write-in blogs?

Siderea is a surprising inclusion. Her blog is insightful, I'll agree, but it doesn't seem to either have a particular rationality focus, nor does she seem to be connected to LessWrong socially. Is it just a case of "a bunch of people mentioned reading her" thing?

"Blindsight" seems maybe worth mentioning in the story section due to how often it's been discussed here, IMO.

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