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

Comment author: orthonormal 03 July 2012 04:07:10PM 26 points [-]

The highest-level hack I've found useful is to make a habit of noticing and recording the details of any part of my life that gives me trouble. It's amazing how quickly patterns start to jump out when you've assembled actual data about something that's vaguely frustrated you for a while.

Comment author: Wilka 04 July 2012 08:24:51PM 5 points [-]

Is it possible for you to give an example of this works in practice? I'm curios what type of things you would note down.

It sounds like a useful idea worth trying out, but I'm having trouble seeing how I would start using it.

Comment author: wallowinmaya 30 December 2011 11:12:37AM *  2 points [-]

I think toodledo ( to organize your life) and evernote ( for taking notes) are really useful apps.

Oh, I have some related questions for the LW-hivemind:

Is the iPhone sufficiently awesome to justify its high price? Are there good low-cost smartphones? Ios or android?

Comment author: Wilka 30 December 2011 02:06:45PM 3 points [-]

Is the iPhone sufficiently awesome to justify its high price? Are there good low-cost smartphones? Ios or android?

My first question would be: how do you intend to use the device?

The two apps you mentioned are also available on Android, and I'm very happy with Evernote on my HTC Desire HD (I don't use Toodledo). So if your main use would be those apps along with the typical phone stuff (calls/text message/email/web browsing) then an Android device should be fine for you.

However, a high-end Android device gets close to the price range of an iPhone.

Comment author: ksvanhorn 29 December 2011 01:06:50AM 0 points [-]

The point about interaction is a good one. I've been thinking to some extent about that, but I hadn't considered the benefits of live interaction. That's definitely easier to get when you have people meeting face to face. We'll want to brainstorm some ways of getting an element of live interaction into an online setting.

Comment author: Wilka 29 December 2011 12:46:31PM 2 points [-]

It can still be done online, e.g. Google+ Hangouts are an example of live group interaction (up to 10 people) that seems to be fairly popular.

The experience still isn't as rich as in-person meeting, but it's a big step up from pre-recorded video.

Comment author: Wilka 14 December 2011 04:31:42PM 3 points [-]

For example, if we started a human-level AGI tomorrow, it's ability to revise itself would be hugely limited by our slow and expensive infrastructure (e.g. manufacturing the new circuits, building the mainframe extensions, supplying them with power, debugging the system).

This suggests that he see the limiting factor for AI to be hardware, however I've heard people argue that we probably already have the hardware needed for human-level AI if we get the software right (and I'm pretty sure that was before things like cloud computing were so easily available)

I wonder how likely he thinks it is that a single organisation today (maybe Google?) already has the hardware required to run a human-level AI and the same speed as the human brain. Assuming we magically solved all the software problems.

Example of poor decision making under pressure (from game show)

7 Wilka 10 December 2011 03:39PM


This is from a UK game show. The aim is to put the pile of money on the right answer, or if you're unsure you split it between multiple answers. Whatever money was on the right, you get to use for the next question - after 8 (I think) questions, you get to keep whatever you have left.

The girl here didn't listen to the complete question, so is answering a different question. The host of show repeats the question very clearly several times, but the girl still doesn't notice.

The combination of high stakes (£1,000,000 in this case) and time pressure are clearly too much for the couple. The girl will probably feel like it was her fault, but I found what the guy did quite interesting as well - he can see the answer makes no sense, and tries to point out the correct one. But the girls confidence in her answer makes him go along with that one, even though it makes no sense.

Comment author: SilasBarta 07 November 2011 04:36:20AM 2 points [-]

This seems like a great idea! I want to do this for myself. (I've had the honesty box up on facebook for a while but no one uses it.)

Any easy way to set this up for everyone? (Btw, I bet you'll get a message from "User:"Clippy saying that you don't make enough paperclips or something...)

Comment author: Wilka 07 November 2011 05:22:55PM *  1 point [-]

This looks to be a Google Docs form (used for making surveys), it just has a single question which is a "paragraph text" field. It shouldn't take long to do the same thing for yourself.

Have a look at this help topic for details on making a form.

Comment author: dreeves 07 October 2011 07:27:27AM 2 points [-]

Thanks so much to everyone checking it out already! This would be a fine place to ask questions if anything is confusing about it or anything. Or if you want to rip the whole idea to shreds, by all means, bring it on! :)

Comment author: Wilka 07 October 2011 12:41:12PM *  6 points [-]

When signing up, I was told the password I tried to use was too long (I have unique, randomly generated, passwords for each site I use). so I generated a < 20 chars password instead - however, password length limits around this size suggest that the site might be storing the passwords as plain text, rather than only storing a salted hash of the password.

So I was wondering, if that's the case here?

Comment author: taryneast 29 August 2011 11:29:10AM 1 point [-]

Luke has shown this skill publicly on Less Wrong and also on his blog, with this distilled analysis of Eliezer's writing "Reading Yudkowsky."

Do you have links handy? :)

Comment author: Wilka 29 August 2011 05:20:36PM 4 points [-]

You can find his "Reading Yudkowsky" series at http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=13052

Comment author: tetsuo55 26 August 2011 10:24:34AM *  1 point [-]

this could be a good project, any takers. We need to collect the information and put it all together on 1 site, we don't have to release our own studies.

In some fields most of the studies are refuted within 2 years of publishing, i wonder if it might be better to include any and all studies we can find and then rate them on a reliability scale like this one: http://www.cebm.net/index.aspx?o=1025 / http://chronopause.com/index.php/2011/08/12/interventive-gerontology-101-01-the-basics/ .

that scale might not work for all fields but we can probably think of a scale that does work. And then say any rating below X should be never be cited.

I do not however have a solution for how to become a respected agency.

Comment author: Wilka 26 August 2011 12:59:54PM 1 point [-]

I do not however have a solution for how to become a respected agency.

If journals start to reject publishing researched because it relies on 'poor' citations, that should have the effect of making this proposed archive-of-study-quality respected.

So maybe a more specific question: how could we get journals to use this archive as part of their review process?

Comment author: [deleted] 21 August 2011 04:11:42PM *  4 points [-]

I wonder if there is a bit of self-selection going on in the comments here. Considering LW norms I expect very few people if any to leave comments without reading the entire article. Thus naturally the commenter's will like or at least tolerate the new style.

I loved the content and indeed I think its more readable than the shorter articles, but I actually had to eat a snack before mustering the willpower to read this.

Comment author: Wilka 21 August 2011 07:53:05PM *  2 points [-]

That seems likely to me.

I enjoyed this post a lot, and I've shared with several other people that I think would also like it (and spend the time to read it). But it did take me a while to get to get through, I made coffee at least twice while reading it. I think it was almost 2 hours from opening the article to getting to the end. Not all of that time was spent reading - as well as getting coffee, I paused several times to digest what I'd read so far. However, it was still a lot longer than I'd normally spend on a single post.

View more: Next