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In response to comment by [deleted] on Decision theories as heuristics
Comment author: Toggle 29 September 2014 12:58:47AM 5 points [-]

I upvoted this comment because I agree with Mark about upvoting discussion posts that I would like to see more of.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 05 October 2014 04:06:06AM *  1 point [-]

I down-voted this comment because it is a clever ploy for karma that rests on exploiting LessWrongers' sometimes unnecessary enthusiasm for increasingly abstract and self-referential forms of reasoning but otherwise adds nothing to the conversation.

Twist: By "this comment" I actually mean my comment, thereby making this a paraprosdokian.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 16 June 2014 01:56:27PM 10 points [-]

Would anyone be interested in forming an R discussion/study/support group?

I have quite modest R skills, but I would like spectacular R skills that are the toast of the town and the envy of all who see them. I suspect I'm not the only person on LW with this desire, so I thought I'd sound out interest in a group to help mutually achieve this.

What I see such a group doing:

  • Sharing interesting or instructional datasets
  • Suggesting interesting projects
  • Showing off awesome stuff you've done
  • Sharing and discussing relevant media, resources and online content
  • General coordination and collaboration

Anyone interested?

Comment author: Technoguyrob 16 June 2014 06:06:00PM *  9 points [-]

I am an active github R contributor and stackoverflow R contributor and I would be willing to coordinate. Send me an email: rkrzyz at gmail

In response to Timeless Control
Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 June 2008 08:27:12AM 6 points [-]

At some point in the future a SI could come a long and explain all those observations in terms of atoms etc and your "control" etc would go poof becoming epiphenomenal.

I repeat: There is a difference between explaining something, and explaining it away.

You can explain a rainbow in terms of optics, but that doesn't make it an epiphenomenon. The haunted mine has been emptied of gnomes, but the rainbow is still there.

For goodness sakes, I just covered all this territory a couple of months ago. Consider rereading the Reductionism sequence.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 29 April 2014 05:58:04PM *  1 point [-]

So you are saying that explaining something is equivalent to constructing a map that bridges an inferential distance, whereas explaining something away is refactoring thought-space to remove an unnecessary gerrymandering?

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 29 April 2014 04:39:33PM 2 points [-]

Hm, yes. "anti" can and is used in that way. I agree. But as always the readings of a word are disambiguated by context. And here I'm not so sure. But OK, I can live with anti-skill.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 29 April 2014 05:00:23PM 1 point [-]

It feels good knowing you changed your mind in response to my rebuttal.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 26 April 2014 08:08:16AM *  10 points [-]

I agree that there is a (context-dependent) spectrum of usefulness of a skill.

But I don't like the term "anti-skill" because "anti" implies the opposite of a skill - the inability to do something instead of a net negative effect. Additionally it is not clear what to call the neutral form. Also your examples are highly context sensitive - as you agree. I'd first like to see an example that is at least net-negative for the average case.

Instead I'd propose detach the usefulness from the word. Say advantagegous/neutral/disadvantageous skill.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 29 April 2014 04:34:56PM 2 points [-]

I disagree with your preconceptions about the "anti" prefix. For example, an anti-hero is certainly a hero. I think it is reasonable to consider "anti" a contextually overloaded semantic negater whose scope does not have to be the naive interpretation: anti-X can refer to "opposite of X" or "opposite or lacking of a trait highly correlated with X" with the exact choice clear from context.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 29 April 2014 04:22:59PM 5 points [-]

I got a frequent LessWrong contributor a programming internship this summer.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 06 February 2014 05:25:23PM 0 points [-]

It is as if you're buying / shorting an index fund on opinions.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 05 January 2014 08:17:33AM 0 points [-]

Strong AI could fail if there are limits to computational integrity on sufficiently complex systems, similar to heating and QM problems limiting transistor sizes. For example, perhaps we rarely see these limits in humans because their frequency is one in a thousand human-thought-years, and when they do manifest it is mistaken as a diagnosis of mental illness.

Comment author: Boris 11 November 2007 10:26:19PM 16 points [-]

You say "the neural circuitry of anger is a reproductive organ as surely as your liver" and "the evolutionary purpose of anger is to increase inclusive genetic fitness."

I don't believe you have enough evidence to assert these statements. All you know is that "angry ancestors had more kids" but you DON'T know that it's as a result of the anger. It could have happened that, say, the same ancestors that could run faster also happened to have the capacity for anger. As a result of their faster running, they reproduced/survived, and so did anger.

I liken this to classic studies on the effects of divorce on children. Of course, kids end up worse off with parents that divorce, but all else equal, divorce may very well be GOOD for the kid. Similarly, although here angry ancestors did have more kids, anger may very well be BAD for reproduction/survival. I'm sure there's also a good cynical example, too, like that the reason the dollar was the dominant currency through the 20th century was because it was green.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 22 September 2013 08:20:54PM 1 point [-]

The possibility of an "adaptation" being in fact an exaptatation or even a spandrel is yet another reason to be incredibly careful about purposing teleology into a discussion about evolutionarily-derived mechanisms.

Comment author: Technoguyrob 31 August 2013 01:19:01AM *  6 points [-]

The question of the subject is too dense and should be partitioned. Some ideas for auxiliary questions:

  • Do there exists attempts at classifications of parenting styles? (So that we may not re-invent tread tracks)

  • Is parenting or childrearing an activity that supports the existence of relevant goals? Do there exist relevant values? Or is parenting better approached as a passive activity sans evaluation with no winners or losers? (So that we may affirm this question is worth answering)

  • Given affirmative answers to the above questions (and having achieved some epistemic rationality in this domain), and assuming a choice of parenting style(s) and/or values, what specific steps can be taken to activate those values in meatspace (so that we may gain instrumental rationality in this domain)?

  • The above kind of direct onslaught will likely lead to overzealous suggestion, so we can also consider stepping back and asking: what are some strategies for generating candidate actions without concurrently assuming premature preferences? [1]

  • Potential answers to the above queries will always be accompanied with degrees of uncertainty. How do we determine when to stop researching and move towards implementation? How does the domain of parenting differ here from the general solution (productivity / to-do systems like GTD or strategical thinking )?

  • Are there tangible contributions that can be made in the general case? If we went through this much work and make significant progress in answering some of these questions, and we have been surprised by some of the answers, is it our duty to make an attempt to inform other parents? What are the best ways of doing so? Joining a local club or school district assembly? A blog? Submitting to an editorial? Your lullaby above is wonderful and could make some serious universe-changing modifications to reality (e.g., a child grows up to assume a mathematical or scientific vocation) but we do not feel the wailing alarm in our head that assigns it the appropriate significance. Effective parenting is one of the most accessible optimization processes Joe Schmoe has access to, so how can we make meta-improvements on a large scale?

If you are serious in your attempt to answer the original query, I recommend selecting one of the above questions or something even finer-grained and re-submitting to Discussion. (By the way, I am interested.)

[1] Say that a naive answer is the banal "brainstorm," to make a list of relevant large-scale projects to relevant values (e.g., figure out a consistent system of reminding my kids to be compassionate to those around them (name 3 examples of specific compassionate actions) if we value empathy and mindfulness). Then a follow-up question is to locate where your candidate actions are in behaviorspace for this domain: collate several "brainstorm" lists by independent parents who seem to have similar values and styles. Are there academic resources? Potential analytics to be done? Are there quantitive variables that correlate to success? Can we data-mine historical sources over these variables? (e.g., if we are determining whether to raise kids vegetarian or omnivore, what do long-term studies in the literature say about follow-up health?)

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