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Comment author: Vulture 16 April 2014 07:56:11PM *  0 points [-]

Interesting. Did there seem to be any pedagogical benefit to having relatively easy access to research-level experts, though?

Comment author: Vaniver 16 April 2014 08:53:27PM *  2 points [-]

I mean, it's easier to get research positions with those professors, and those are learning experiences, but the students generally get very little out of it during the actual class.

Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 16 April 2014 12:44:42AM *  2 points [-]

parenting is about convincing other humans that you are a good parent

What if you convince everyone that you're a good parent while poisoning your child?

And everyone else can believe you're dead and you can still be alive. In fact sometimes in order to live you have to convince everyone you're dead.

Comment author: Vaniver 16 April 2014 03:11:21AM 0 points [-]

What if you convince everyone that you're a good parent while poisoning your child?

Then you are a successful Christian Scientist, say. Those are all descriptive claims, not normative ones.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 15 April 2014 10:26:04PM 3 points [-]

This made me realize I don't really have to finish reading Worms.

Thanks, I guess I owe you a few dozen hours of my life.

Comment author: Vaniver 15 April 2014 11:10:52PM 1 point [-]

You're welcome!

Comment author: aisarka 15 April 2014 04:24:47AM 3 points [-]

Does anyone know where the most recent version of the welcome thread is? I searched and searched for keywords like "welcome" and "introduction" / "introduce". Do you not use welcome threads anymore?

Comment author: Vaniver 15 April 2014 04:38:46PM 0 points [-]

The wiki has a page on Special Threads which tries to point to the most recent of various threads. According to that, this is the most recent introduction thread.

Comment author: Zaq 14 April 2014 08:57:55PM *  0 points [-]

Suppose my decision algorithm for the "both boxes are transparent" case is to take only box B if and only if it is empty, and to take both boxes if and only if box B has a million dollars in it. How does Omega respond? No matter how it handles box B, it's implied prediction will be wrong.

Perhaps just as slippery, what if my algorithm is to take only box B if and only if it contains a million dollars, and to take both boxes if and only if box B is empty? In this case, anything Omega predicts will be accurate, so what prediction does it make?

Come to think of it, I could implement the second algorithm (and maybe the first) if a million dollars weighs enough compared to the boxes. Suppose my decision algorithm outputs: "Grab box B and test it's weight, and maybe shake it a bit. If it clearly has a million dollars in it, take only box B. Otherwise, take both boxes." If that's my algorithm, then I don't think the problem actually tells us what Omega predicts, and thus what outcome I'm getting.

Comment author: Vaniver 14 April 2014 09:11:40PM 0 points [-]

In the first case, Omega does not offer you the deal, and you receive $0, proving that it is possible to do worse than a two-boxer.

In the second case, you are placed into a superposition of taking one box and both boxes, receiving the appropriate reward in each.

In the third case, you are counted as 'selecting' both boxes, since it's hard to convince Omega that grabbing a box doesn't count as selecting it.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 14 April 2014 02:32:00PM 3 points [-]

This article proposes a plausible mathematical model for the subject perception of (long) time spans:

http://www.stochastik.uni-freiburg.de/~rueschendorf/papers/BrussRueSep3:Geron.pdf

This is interesting for the following reasons:

  • It is general and robust to definitions of time perception in particular it doesn't rely on a specific measurement or definition of events.

  • It is analogous to model of perception of other stimuli.

  • The derived relationship suggests time perception being logarithmic with age and thus at age a time seems to proceed only at a rate of 1/a

  • A corallary would be that if you could become immortal you'd probably be bored to death.

  • An escape hatch to this is that you'd possibly could increase the rate of new events for older people.

Comment author: Vaniver 14 April 2014 08:43:38PM *  1 point [-]

A corallary would be that if you could become immortal you'd probably be bored to death.

And I think this points in the other direction- I think this suggests that 'a century is but a blink in the eye in the life of an elf' might actually be accurate. You throw some dwarves in the dungeon, then go about your normal routine, and then say 'oh, didn't we just capture some dwarves?' and it turns out that you've done your weekly routine a few thousand times since then.

That is, if you're ten times as old, you only expect a tenth the number of 'new events' during the same period, and it's likely that anything faster would lead to a feeling of change happening too quickly. Hanson's talked a bit about minds (and thus ems) ossifying, which lines up with this- if you've been practicing a particular variety of corporate law for 300 years, you're probably very good at doing that law and not very good at picking up anything else.

Comment author: Nornagest 11 April 2014 08:22:02PM *  7 points [-]

I think you could make a case for totalitarianism, too. During the interwar years, not only old-school aristocracy but also market democracy were in some sense seen as being doomed by history; fascism got a lot of its punch from being thought of as a viable alternative to state communism when the dominant ideologies of the pre-WWI scene were temporarily discredited. Now, of course, we tend to see fascism as right-wing, but I get the sense that that mostly has to do with the mainstream left's adoption of civil rights causes in the postwar era; at the time, it would have been seen (at least by its adherents) as a more syncretic position.

I don't think you can call WWII an unambiguous win for market democracy, but I do think that it ended up looking a lot more viable in 1946 than it did in, say, 1933.

Comment author: Vaniver 11 April 2014 10:42:07PM 4 points [-]

fascism got a lot of its punch from being thought of as a viable alternative to state communism when the dominant ideologies of the pre-WWI scene were temporarily discredited.

Note terms like the third position or third way.

Comment author: CronoDAS 10 April 2014 04:21:12AM 1 point [-]

I insertion sort. :P

Comment author: Vaniver 10 April 2014 05:03:27AM 1 point [-]

Doesn't almost everyone? I've always heard that as the inspiration for insertion sorting.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 09 April 2014 05:26:20PM 0 points [-]

This paper and this one (I haven't read either) make me wonder if living in a warm climate is beneficial, especially as one grows older.

Comment author: Vaniver 09 April 2014 06:12:34PM 0 points [-]

From paper 1:

The decline in seasonality of coronary mortality in the US since 1970 may be linked to increasing access to microclimatic control (air-conditioning) in countering the environmental effects of cold.

It looks like it's relatively easy to control the amount you're temperature-shocked, and they talk some about cold adaptation but I didn't see it quantitatively linked to the other parts of the paper.

In general, cold is more dangerous than heat, and while hot climates have historically had worse diseases and bugs than cold climates, it's not obvious to me that's still the case. There probably is something to retiring to Florida.

In response to comment by Vaniver on Schelling Day 2.0
Comment author: Ben_LandauTaylor 09 April 2014 05:58:10PM 4 points [-]

It's because of the peak-end rule. Last year, Boston's potluck started out with us following up on what people had shared, and then drifted to our usual conversation topics. I think there are still good reasons to eat a meal together, and good reasons for such a meal to be a potluck, but I'd recommend doing so before the event. I'll edit that in to the post.

Comment author: Vaniver 09 April 2014 06:01:12PM 4 points [-]

I think there are still good reasons to eat a meal together, and good reasons for such a meal to be a potluck, but I'd recommend doing so before the event.

This is what I expected, thanks!

We're planning on running one in Austin this year.

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