Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: maia 03 August 2012 04:03:06PM 4 points [-]

I would be interested in reading such a post.

Comment author: Torben 03 August 2012 04:46:53PM 1 point [-]

Ditto

Comment author: TimS 21 April 2012 08:21:54PM 0 points [-]

I see what you mean. But I thought "ripples of one wave affected the other wave" was the accepted interpretation of the double slit experiment. In other words, the double slit experiments prove the wave-particle duality. I wasn't aware that the wave-particle duality was considered evidence in favor of MWI.

Comment author: Torben 25 April 2012 12:34:42PM -1 points [-]

In Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch claims the double-split experiment is evidence of photons interfering with photons in other worlds.

Comment author: Armok_GoB 03 September 2011 08:29:30PM 1 point [-]

I keep running into problems with various versions of what I internally refer to as the "placebo paradox", and can't find a solution that doesn't lead to Regret Of Rationality. Simple example follows:

You have an illness from wich you'll either get better, or die. The probability of recovering is exactly half of what you estimate it to be due to the placebo effect/positive thinking. Before learning this you have 80% confidence in your recovery. Since you estimate 80%, your actual chance is 40% so you update to this. Since the estimate is now 40%, the actual chance is 20%, so you update to this. Then it's 10%, so you update to that. etc. Until both your estimated and actual chance of recovery are 0. then you die.

An irrational agent, on the other hand, upon learning this could self delude to 100% certainty of recovery, and have a 50% chance of actually recovering.

This is actually causing me real world problems, such as inability to use techniques based on positive thinking, and a lot of cognitive dissonance.

Another version of this problem features in HP:MoR, in the scene where harry is trying to influence the behaviour of dementors.

And to show this isn't JUST a quirk of human mind design, one can envision Omega setting up an isomorphic problem for any kind of AI.

Comment author: Torben 04 September 2011 04:34:01AM 3 points [-]

Your model assumes a constant effect in each iteration. Is this justified?

I would envisage a constant chance of recovery and an asymptotically declining estimate of recovery. It seems more realistic, but maybe it's just me?

Comment author: Torben 18 July 2011 08:04:08AM *  5 points [-]

Interesting post throughout, but don't you overplay your hand a bit here?

There's nothing that looks remotely like a goal in its programming, [...]

An IF-THEN piece of code comparing a measured RGB value to a threshold value for firing the laser would look at least remotely like a goal to my mind.

Comment author: AlexM 16 July 2011 07:40:39PM -1 points [-]

If China is moderate capitalism, one shudders how would extreme one looks like...

Comment author: Torben 17 July 2011 09:43:17AM *  -1 points [-]

Well, moderate as in they don't have rule of law etc. What I meant to say was that even this level of capitalism has worked wonders in dragging hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Contrary to decades of Western foreign aid.

Comment author: AlexM 16 July 2011 07:34:54PM 1 point [-]

I'm immensely skeptical of the notion that clever people are needed to tell dumb people what to do to achieve what they want

Every system ever devised consists of smart people telling the dumb ones what to do. Even in feudal society with hereditary rule, the thicker-than-brick kings were manipulated by smart barons and courtiers :-P

Caveat lector: I'm reading Atlas Shrugged right now.

Generalization from fictional evidence

Comment author: Torben 17 July 2011 09:41:48AM *  3 points [-]

Every system ever devised consists of smart people telling the dumb ones what to do. Even in feudal society with hereditary rule, the thicker-than-brick kings were manipulated by smart barons and courtiers :-P

I'd venture capitalism less so than other systems. At least dumb people to some extent get what they want in capitalism. But of course, this is one aspect of nature that's very difficult to remedy and I worry that the cure is worse than the ailment

Caveat lector: I'm reading Atlas Shrugged right now.

Generalization from fictional evidence

I meant it as an explanation of my current dismal perspective, not as evidence of anything. Sorry if it didn't come across right.

Comment author: wedrifid 16 July 2011 04:01:01PM 0 points [-]

I'm immensely skeptical of the notion that clever people are needed to tell dumb people what to do to achieve what they want; to "harness the capitalist system".

You 'harness the capitalist system' by participating in it, selling stuff, acquiring resources and exchanging those resources to achieve your goals. (And those goals can be selfish, altruistic or as arbitrary and nonsensical as you please.)

I see little hope for centralized harnessing by clever people

That is the position that I was "sure was not mine".

I say the marketplace and the economic engine behind it are out there, ready and waiting to be exploited by anyone with the ambition and competence to do so. It is a tool which can be used to translate whatever comparative advantage you have into the most efficient goal-maximisation that you can manage.

Comment author: Torben 16 July 2011 04:06:57PM 0 points [-]

Sorry for jumping to conclusions.

I took "harness the capitalist system and the dumb people's desires in such a way that they can achieve their own desires" as a paternalistic statement.

Comment author: Torben 16 July 2011 03:49:56PM 2 points [-]

Megan McArdle is often interesting on current economics http://www.theatlantic.com/megan-mcardle

Comment author: wedrifid 16 July 2011 03:26:39PM -1 points [-]

You ignore that smart etc. people have to be able to distinguish between fuzzies and reality. Without a marketplace to weed out poor performers, this is wishful thinking.

I'm not sure what position you are arguing against but I am sure it is not mine.

I live in Europe...

I live in Australia but am visiting Berkeley. I am not sure why this is relevant either.

Comment author: Torben 16 July 2011 03:45:16PM *  3 points [-]

I'm sorry me message didn't come across clearly. I can see it's not phrased well.

I'm immensely skeptical of the notion that clever people are needed to tell dumb people what to do to achieve what they want; to "harness the capitalist system". Mostly because so-called smart people have multiple other flaws that mainly stem from their not participating in or acknowledging the marketplace.

Many (public/social) intellectuals have such poor understanding of basic issues of economics, psychology and evolution that their prescribed cures worsen the ailment.

Which is why I mentioned Europe, a moribound continent which doesn't seem to understand that it has to produce stuff to consume stuff and which appears to value appearances and 'ethical policies' over facing economic reality.

Save for problems regarding the tragedy of the commons, I see little hope for centralized harnessing by clever people. I see socialism as the economic variant of creationism: the notion that good, complex things cannot arise without central planning.

Caveat lector: I'm reading Atlas Shrugged right now.

Comment author: Morendil 14 July 2011 05:47:02PM 3 points [-]

Yes, don't leave it to the professionals with a busy schedule to review your work - build a network of friends who are knowledgeable and interested enough in the subject matter to provide you with constructive and sympathetic (but lucid) observations.

LW functions almost as one such group - I'm tempted to write up a post setting out the rules in Richard Gabriel's book now that the Discussion forum can serve as a lower-pressure environment where people could post pieces specifically for the purpose of getting useful feedback on their writing.

Comment author: Torben 16 July 2011 03:23:02PM 1 point [-]

I'm tempted to write up a post setting out the rules in Richard Gabriel's book now that the Discussion forum can serve as a lower-pressure environment where people could post pieces specifically for the purpose of getting useful feedback on their writing.

Please do so.

View more: Next