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Comment author: username2 08 July 2017 02:53:49AM *  2 points [-]

It would be accurate to say that self-directed improvement has a lot of failure modes that are hard to recognize from the inside -- human biases and all. Working with others in a shared environment with scientific ground rules ensures that your biases and their biases form a non intersecting set and you're left with the truth.

I work in open source and it is very often the case that someone new comes to the project with a gigantic, unreviewable pile of changes that they want merged. Almost inevitably, it is 90% bad changes on top of 10% of innovation, and the bad came about because they didn't understand what they were changing or the reason for its existence. The 10% is good but they've got to go back and extract it out which is a long and protracted process. Much better to have been involved in the community from the beginning, where they would have had things they wouldn't have thought of themselves pointed out and learned bits that they wouldn't have thought relevant, but are.

Comment author: adamisom 11 July 2017 08:48:57PM 1 point [-]

Working with others in a shared environment with scientific ground rules ensures that your biases and their biases form a non intersecting set

I liked your first point but come on here.

Comment author: adamisom 01 July 2015 04:46:38PM 5 points [-]

Lack of curiosity made people lose money to Madoff. This you already know - people did not due their due diligence.

Here's what Bienes, a partner of Madoff's who passed clients to him, said to the PBS interviewer for The Madoff Affair (before the 10 minute mark) when asked how he thought Madoff could promise 20%:

Bienes: ‘How do I know? How do you split an atom, I know that you can split them, I don’t know how you do it. How does an airplane fly? I don’t ask.’ ‘Did you ask him?’ ’Never! Why would I ask him? I wouldn’t understand it if he explained it!’

And a minute later: ‘Did you ever think to yourself, this is just too easy, this is too good?’ Bienes: ‘I said ‘I’m a little too lucky. Why am I so fortunate?’ And then I came up with the answer, my wife and I came up with the answer: ‘God wanted us to have this. God gave us this.’ '

Comment author: adamisom 28 January 2014 09:29:08PM *  2 points [-]

Are you kidding me? I'm staring right now, beside me, at a textbook chapter filled with catalogings of human values, with a list of ten that seem universal, with theories on how to classify values, all with citations of dozens of studies: Chapter 7, Values, of Chris Peterson's A Primer In Positive Psychology.

LessWrong is so insular sometimes. Like lionhearted's post Flashes of Nondecisionmaking yesterday---as if neither he nor most of the commenters had heard that we are, indeed, driven much by habit (e.g. The Power of Habit; Self-Directed Behavior; The Procrastionation Equation; ALL GOOD SELF HELP EVER), and that the folk conception of free will might be wrong (which has been long established; argued e.g. in Sam Harris's Free Will).

Comment author: shminux 20 February 2013 07:07:43AM 15 points [-]

If your point is that the best way to achieve the terminal values of a superhero is to have instrumental values of a supervillain, then you better offer a way to cope with the unreliable wetware your utility computation runs on.

Comment author: adamisom 24 February 2013 03:10:17AM *  3 points [-]

If this comment was written by a bot that produces phrases maximizing the ratio of the number of usages of pleasant-dopamine-buzz-in-group LessWrong language to non-in-group language, it would produce something like this.

I say this even though I really appreciate the comment and think it has genuine insight.

Comment author: Bugmaster 20 February 2013 01:22:28AM 22 points [-]

I would expect some more "meat" from a Main post; for example, some hard empirical data that points to the effectiveness of thinking without internal censors -- assuming that anyone had ever studied this issue, of course.

Comment author: adamisom 20 February 2013 07:10:56AM 2 points [-]

Agreeing that it should have been in Discussion.

Comment author: adamisom 20 February 2013 06:31:32AM *  8 points [-]

If this gets upvoted highly, I will update in favor of LessWrong continuing to become more in-group-y, more cutesy, and less attached-to-actual-change-y. It's becoming so much delicious candy!

In response to Non-theist cinema?
Comment author: lukeprog 08 January 2012 09:43:55AM 12 points [-]

Some atheistic films not mentioned in the OP:

Agora, Bad Boy Bubby, Chocolat, Inherit the Wind, The Ledge, The Wicker Man, Planet of the Apes, The Magdalene Sisters, There Will Be Blood, The Tree of Life, The Golden Compass, The Apostle, Black Robe, Breaking the Waves, Creation (about Darwin), The Crucible, Contact, Hanna and Her Sisters, Paul, Saved, Whatever Works, The White Ribbon, God on Trial, Watchmen.

Comment author: adamisom 02 February 2013 12:52:51AM 0 points [-]

How can someone have such a good memory?

Comment author: Kawoomba 28 October 2012 06:34:14AM 4 points [-]

Indeed, it's good to be aware of the narrative-bias on some level, just not too aware. More like an exception handling routine that's just checking for out-of-bounds errors.

Welcome to LW, glad that my little comment sparked you to make your first comment. :)

Comment author: adamisom 02 February 2013 12:42:12AM 0 points [-]

More like an exception handling routine that's just checking for out-of-bounds errors.

Oh God. I love this place.

Comment author: Kawoomba 28 October 2012 05:32:54AM 18 points [-]

You're discounting the case where precisely because it fits the narrative, it is effective.

Getting coffee and building the narrative of "I'm a Hard Worker who will now do his Hard Work with Focus and Determination, look at me getting ready with coffee" is priming yourself for that hard work, the narrative is part of your motivational structure and embellishes your Focus and Determination.

Being too aware of "it's only plain old me, whether in a uniform, or in an office, or at Starbucks" is needlessly sabotaging an often effective placebo-like effect that relies on your internal narrative.

Epistemologically useful, possibly, but contraindicated as an instrumentally useful habit.

Comment author: adamisom 02 February 2013 12:41:33AM 0 points [-]

And this is why I love LessWrong, folks--sometimes. In other rationality communities--ones that conceived of rationality as something other than "accomplishing goals well"--this kind of post would be hurrah'd.

Comment author: MugaSofer 25 January 2013 11:34:39AM *  1 point [-]

A lot of people don't consider failure to exist the same as dying. Of course, we need some level of procreation as long as there is death, and humanity would probably continue to expand even then.

Comment author: adamisom 27 January 2013 04:06:20AM 3 points [-]

Why? Because dying is painful? Beyond that, I see them equivalently.

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