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Comment author: MichaelVassar 17 January 2014 09:54:41AM 0 points [-]

It is possible to play both, but difficult, and you can't play both at once as well as equally smart non-analytical types will play just the social game.

Comment author: duckduckMOO 27 January 2016 08:52:51AM *  1 point [-]

Why not? Purely In terms of the social game, isn't "being smart and analytical" just one style of play?

Disadvantages: less natural concern for offense or feelings

Advantages: more concern and ability for logical politeness, finding the truth, and focusing on ideas (not taking offense).

That's^ if you want to really enter the game and play it the standard way.

You can also just be yourself, which gets you points and naturally crafts a reputation/expectations, and be idea-focused, which naturally does the same.

from an above comment, which has also been my experience:

"In some ways, my obliviousness was very powerful for me, because ignoring status cues is a mark of status, as are confidence and being at ease with high-status people - all of which flow from my focus on ideas over people or their status. Yet as I've moved from more academic/intellectual circles to business/wealth circles, it's become crucial to learn that extra social subtext, because most of those people get driven away if you don't have those extra layers of social sense and display it in your conversational maneuvering."

I'm not even sure of the necessity of the second part, but it's a good ability to have regardless. I don't see where the cap on communication plus socialising comes from, because communicating well score someone a lot of social points, especially in terms of reputation, but also immediately -if they do it "right" for their environment, which is usually fairly straightforward (be polite and respectful and/or friendly and/or humble and/or oblivious, probably etc).

Imo one of the best things you can do specifically for social games, is to pay 0 attention to them. Very few people are such explicit, calculated, and committed status seekers that they can't accept someone who isn't playing (and being described by those 3 adjectives wouldn't even cause them to either). Instead what usually happens is that some people are suspicious of people who don't appear to be playing, and prone to turning on them (not usually out of active malice/calculation: on the basis of something like "subconsciously felt hostility") but if the person who is oblivious/uninterested is either friendly, polite, "cool", or just oblivious-enough, this suspicion will dissapear over time. Because the basic suspicion, imo, is that someone is not genuinely uninterested/oblivious, but actively posing as high status.

If they then e.g. see the person doing things which would deliberately lower their status, -if they were being deliberate-, then most people will figure out what's going on. e.g. self deprecating comments, coming over to people and being friendly, respectfulness and politeness, explaining things well and with understanding -any of that kind of thing-, then they'll see (perhaps over time rather than quickly) that the person is not posing as high status.

If one doesn't have any of those habits then I guess that maybe they'd have to adopt them, if they want to be sure to have an easy time, but then again just acting "naturally high status" for a long time will generally result in people seeing someone that way so these meta level considerations are unnecessary in any case. Plus there's bound to be some signs.

And of course if you're in a discussion with such a person and they give you a confused/that's weird look, you can just explain yourself. Most people aren't, like, status-demons. Status is just a "working model"/overlay; most people don't worship it/explicitly value it; they just want to be respected, though well, of, and feel safe in their social environment. (or if this isn't technically true, it's an equally good overlay to status, in my case a much better one.)

Anyway here's some things smart and analytical people can naturally do/have better than others socialwise:

  1. Present interesting and useful ideas. Offer them to others/ the group. Includes just making conversation with others, even very anti-abstract people: speak with enthusiasm as broadly as is necessarry for the listener, with tone something like "isn't it such a rich tapestry of varied human experience and perspectives in this wide world", i.e. an aesthetic rather than intelectual focus. Most people like this kind of thing and, even if absolutely nothing else, and even the most anti-abstract people, can feel the good intentions of trying to lift their spirit with lofty/fancy ideas, or grow fond of it in a patronising "isn't that cute/nice/smart" way.

  2. Have a genuine focus on ideas rather than people. Many people value this, and people who don't are generally not enemies to it. And people who are, are generally enemies by default rather than as an active and deliberate thing (and therefore are open to suasion from that stance WRT to individuals and even sometimes such people in general. This also naturally "signals high status", as detailed above, though I don't know how much that usually really means anything in this general case. (a lot of modifiers on that last clause, but I wanted to be precise). Being genuinely oblivious or uninterested is by far the absolute best way to occupy (incidentally or otherwise) such a social role. If you desire to not worry about this stuff, the best way to do it is to start not worrying about it, and that's a social skill because it's a really low energy/ other-expenditure way to navigate a social world. Efficiency is a positive in much the same way that efficacy is. (if one does not have a reputation for obliviousnes/disinterest, they can just tell/ announce to others that they've decided to be a more focused individual or something, and be rightly applauded if they frame it properly/the people around them respect/like/have good intentions towards them. (because people don't generally support status in the abstract: it's an overlay for viewing people's actions, {imo on par with something like the mbti personality index, or a bit below actually}, not something most people explicitly value.)

  3. Explain things well. Imo this is one of the best social skills (it's also a skill of course, but it becomes a social skill if you do it right), -to learn how to explain things to people, not with patience, which implies benificently tolerated irritation, but with understanding that others actually and literally don't understand or sometimes even have the framework to understand what they don't understand. This is much easier for analytical people because they can break down the concept of "obvious" from a one-place to a (correct) two-place understanding, and of course because analytical people can move more easily through the world of ideas in which people can get lost. (Imo this is a great natural crossover point between analytical thinking and social skills, or more specifically empathy/simulating others experiences, so it's also a good way to practice being social for analytical people that aren't currently very good at it).

  4. Analytical people can learn to analyse situations/reality, and analyse how they would be better attuned to that reality. Making such changes is largely an intuitive/emotional skill, but imo that part of it is much easier to learn than how to analyse reality unbiasedly, comprehensively, and well. (Not 100% strictly speaking an advantage, as emotional/intuitive/social people have other peaks they have easier access to, and probably every kind of person does, but still)

Comment author: duckduckMOO 07 November 2014 02:04:49PM *  -1 points [-]

PvP is fun even if you aren't good at it, otherwise it is literally just a status game. This is a lot of obfuscating dressing on the idea that human status games is where it's really at. Never mind how they're negative sum, promote perverse incentives, how people coordinate and warp perception to be unfair to people as much as the target's low status will allow, and otherwise 90% shitty in the particular, pvp is fun, and not really like social status games, so we all have to be bitches in the future.

Comment author: duckduckMOO 28 July 2014 02:35:55AM *  -2 points [-]

How is it not obvious that rape is something on which people are INSUFFICIENTLY CLEAR about its badness. I mean you've personally written about not adopting evolution's alien values, do you think humans are going to get that wrong when the time comes, or do you not see how "legalised rape" is just hopping on board the hooray for monkey brains and negative sum subgoal stomp train? Then having the superhappies, seemingly in most other respects humanities superiors, contrasted to abhorrent aliens, also converging on drastically increased sexuality as a natural convergence point for drastic intervention in people's natures.

If the story didn't seem otherwise so idealistic, it might just slip in as part of the background. But it doesn't seem like an an attempt at a realistic extrapolation of what humans would actually end up as: the characters are all rational and well intentioned and smart and appealing, and there's lighthearted popculture references as well as dramatic appeals to your own memes (good memes they are but still). And then throwing in rape, RAPE for fuck's sake, in as legalised in an otherwise fairly shiny future (and if you dispute shiny, at least sensible or sane) really seems like at best a reckless and self indulgent whim.

Do you think people have too much trouble entertaining thoughts of adjusting their values in ways that allow them to exploit others, and benefit from a privileged (unfortunately, this privileged does seem to be the literally correct word for something I want to say) position? Are most people too pure and nice, and just need to get in touch with their inner tribal and/or feral animal? That's the only direction this is going to open anyone's eyes. "Open mindedness" is not a quality to encourage in directions people are already severely tempted to be immoral. You should not have appealing opportunities for people to repudiate their better natures slipped into work that is otherwise so brilliant they will be tempted to believe anything it seems to imply, and clearly enough backed by an intellect at least a level up from most readers that they may be tempted, legitimately even, to just take on trust what you seem to be implying. How often do you read, on this site, comments like, "I wonder if humans don't inherently need other people to suffer for them to be happy?" and elsewhere morons basically literally believing "fucking bitches" is the meaning of life because evolution/the life made famous by the phrase "that's life", says so, and the almost complete lack of resistance or rebuttals to such ideas as normative or as remotely reasoned.

Hold on here's a concrete example:


look at the arguments he's making, and how people are responding to them. Something about our sick environment makes people really tempted by naturalistic fallacies especially ones that lead into proposing we forget that whole thinking thing and give over our identities to evolution's eldritch values.

I'm not sure if reddit should be expected to be below or above average on this but just look at the shit people are thinking, that it's socially respectable to think.

Believing in your shitty local equilibrium and that the compromises people make to fit into/survive in/thrive in it are moral and neccessary (in order to better signal and fit into it) is pretty much the main moral failure mode of humans in general. Exploitative strictly hierarchical environments, (aka the specific people they're made of) destroy people's investment in altruism and reciprocal cooperation. If everyone stops jumping in bed with every piece of rhetoric that represents an appealing alliance, rhetoric will no longer decide "social reality." The more people stand against coercion and domination and abuse, and every aspect of the race to the bottom, and the more people quit with the whole domination and compromise ideology thing the less there'll be people feeling rape is part of the "natural order", and that natural orders are more important than principles and decency. That's an extremely hard coordination problem but it really, really needs to be solved. It's non solvedness is what we regretfully refer to as the human condition, or the absurdity of life, or the "real world." If your CEV doesn't include doing something about this you're a baby eater.

Speaking of which actual humans are effectively baby eaters, we eat animals which are apparently roughly as sapient, that's another one of those really fucking important coordination problems, luckily it seems to have an engineering solution. Come to think of it you must have thought of that which makes me question if there's some higher level reason for this for half a second but NOPE, throwing in a "rape, why not?" from the collective decision of an otherwise (comparitively) highly awesome alt/future humanity on reflection, with the understanding that you're smarter than me and I clearly don't understand what's going on, still seems like a really fucking bad idea.

In response to The value of Now.
Comment author: duckduckMOO 27 July 2014 10:01:16PM *  1 point [-]

i'm only going to consider the first one. The obvious thing to do is to pick the bees and hope for the bees, and it's an incredibly clear illustration of a situation where you might interpet the necessary unpleasant consequences of a good decision, as negative feedback about that decision, in the form of regretting the possibility of hornets. It pinpoints that feeling and it should help to push it away any other time you might be in abject pain or experiencing other lesser discomfort, e.g. after you, say, go to the gym for the first time. it really pinpoints that false temptation.

There is an argument for box 1 though: with a billion dollars and the perfect proof of your own credibility to yourself, and bearing in mind that any impairing trauma caused by the torture would be erased, it's possible that you could do more direct good than a thousand years torture is bad, and that the indirect good you could do (in bringing about positive sum games and opposing negative sum ones, being a part of establishing a better pattern for all of society, by gaining power and using it to influence society away from negative sum interactions, would be bigger again.) And of course I'd love to discover that I was that crazy, that altruistic, that idealistic, that strong. There's a part of me that wants to just say fuck it. In fact, bearing in mind the possibility of immortality or at least great expansion before I die/cryonics runs out or fails to work, do I want to be the guy who chose the bliss or the resources? Fuck it, I want to be the second guy. Throw me in the box before I change my mind.

Comment author: Daemon 16 September 2013 09:50:04PM *  1 point [-]

Fine, Eliezer, as someone who would really like to think/believe that there's Ultimate Truth (not based in perception) to be found, I'll bite.

I don't think you are steelmanning post-modernists in your post. Suppose I am a member of a cult X -- we believe that we can leap off of Everest and fly/not die. You and I watch my fellow cult-member jump off a cliff. You see him smash himself dead. I am so deluded ("deluded") that all I see is my friend soaring in the sky. You, within your system, evaluate me as crazy. I might think the same of you.

You might think that the example is overblown and this doesn't actually happen, but I've had discussions (mostly religious) in which other people and I would look at the same set of facts and see radically, radically different things. I'm sure you've been in such situations too. It's just that I don't find it comforting to dismiss such people as 'crazy/flawed/etc.' when they can easily do the same to me in their minds/groups, putting us in equivalent positions -- the other person is wrong within our own system of reference (which each side declares to be 'true' in describing reality) and doesn't understand it.

I think this ties in with http://lesswrong.com/lw/rn/no_universally_compelling_arguments/ .

Now, I'm not trying to be ridiculous or troll. I really, really want to think that there's one truth and that rationality -- and not some other method -- is the way to get to it. But at the very fundamental level (see http://lesswrong.com/lw/s0/where_recursive_justification_hits_bottom/ ), it seems like a choice between picking from various axioms.

I wish the arguments you presented here convinced me, I really do. But they haven't, and I have no way of knowing that I'm not in some matrix-simulated world where everything is, really, based on how my perception was programmed. How does this work for you -- do you just start off with assumption that there is truth, and go from there? At some fundamental level, don't you believe that your perception just.. works and describes reality 'correctly,' after adjusting for all the biases? Please convince me to pick this route, I'd rather take it, instead of waiting for a philosopher of perfect emptiness to present a way to view the world without any assumptions.

(I understand that 'everything is relative to my perception' gets you pretty much nowhere in reality. It's just that I don't have a way to perfectly counter that, and it bothers me. And if I did find all of your arguments persuasive, I would be concerned if that's just an artifact of how my brain is wired [crudely speaking] -- while some other person can read a religious text and, similarly, find it compelling/non-contradictory/'makes-sense-ey' so that the axioms this person would use wouldn't require explanation [because of that other person's nature/nurture]).

If I slipped somewhere myself, please steelman my argument in responding!

Comment author: duckduckMOO 21 July 2014 01:38:11AM *  -1 points [-]

The downvotes and no reply are a pretty good example of what's wrong with less wrong. Someone who is genuinely confused should not be shooed away then insulted when they ask again.

First of all remember to do and be what's best. If this doubt is engendering good attitudes in you, why not keep it? The rest of this is premised on it not helping or being unhelpful.

External reality is much more likely than being part of a simulation which adjusts itself to your beliefs because a simulation which adjusts itself to your beliefs is way, way more complicated. It requires more assumptions than a single level reality. If there's a programmer of your reality, that programmer has a reality too, which needs to be explained in the same way a single level one should as does their ability to program such a lifelike entity and all sorts of other things.

More fundamentally though, this is just the reality you live in, whatever its position in a potential reality chain.

If we are being simulated, trying to metagame potential matrix lords' dispositions/ ask for favours/look for loopholes/care less about its contents is only a bug of human cognition. If this is a simulation, it is inhabited by at least me, and almost certainly many other people, and there's real consequences for all of us. If you don't earn your simulation rent you'll get kicked out of your simulation place. Qualify everything with "potentially simulated-" and it changes nothing. "Real" just isn't a useful (and so, important) distinction to make in first person reguarding simulations.

and/or you could short circuit any debilitating doubt using fighting games or sports (or engaging in other similiar activities) which illustrate the potential importance of leaning all in towards the evidence without worrying about the nature of things, and are a good way to train that habit.

Also, in this potentially simulated world, social pressure is a real thing. The more infallible and sensitive you make your thinking (or allow it to be) the more prone it is to interference from people who want to disrupt you, unless you're willing to cut yourself off from people to some extent. When someone gives you an idiotic objection (and there are a lot of those here), the more nuanced your own view actually is the harder it will be to explain and the less likely people will listen fairly. You could just say whatever you think is going to influence them best but that adds a layer of complexity and is another tradeoff. If you're not going to try to be a philosopher of perfect emptiness taking external reality as an assumption is the most reliable to work with your human mind, and not confuse it: how are you supposed to act if there are matrix lords? There's nothing to go on so any leaning such beliefs (beliefs which shouldn't change your approaches or attitudes) prompts is bound to be a bias.

Comment author: duckduckMOO 11 June 2014 05:20:04PM *  -1 points [-]

I think the "...and that's terrible" is pretty clearly implied. What exactly is wrong with the quote? It looks like you're dissecting a straightforward appeal to people's (stated or real) anti-unfairness values, as if it's a given that it's dishonest. I don't get it.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 06 June 2014 05:18:23PM *  20 points [-]

I think people go to Slate Star Codex, because that's where Scott writes his articles, not because of the voting mechanism.

From the paper:

authors of negatively evaluated content are encouraged to post more, and their future posts are also of lower quality

Seen that at LW a few times. At some moment the user's karma became so low they couldn't post anymore, or perhaps an admin banned them. From my point of view, problem solved.

I think it would be useful to distinguish between systems where the downvoted comments remain visible, and where the downvoted comments are hidden.

I am reading another website, where the downvoted comments remain proudly visible, with the number of downvotes, and yes, it seem to enrage the user to write more and more of the same stuff. My hypothesis is that some people perceive downvotes as rewards (maybe they love to make people angry, or they feel they are on a crusade and the downvotes mean they successfully hurt the enemy), and these people are encouraged by downvoting. Hiding the comment, and removing the ability to comment, now that is a punishment.

Comment author: duckduckMOO 07 June 2014 10:57:40PM *  1 point [-]

"some people perceive downvotes as rewards"

Is this just a dig at people vehemently defending downvoted posts or are you serious in calling this a hypothesis?

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 25 August 2013 06:15:36PM 1 point [-]

Why is this quote upvoted?

Maybe because of this part:

Players [...] equated lots of dice rolling with the game being "more random" even though that contradicts the actual math.

Comment author: duckduckMOO 27 September 2013 03:49:49PM *  1 point [-]

Rolling 10 dice instead of one makes the game less random. Rolling dice often instead of rarely makes the game more random. This game rolls dice for every attack and not that many. The dude said people complained about lots of dice rolling, not rolling lots of dice. Yeah, obviously if you roll 10 dice its less random than rolling one but what are the chances card game enthusiasts: people "geeky" enough to play star wars TCG don't understand that basic part of probability? It's far more likely that people were annoyed at lots of dice rolling, not the amount of dice you roll each time. Which matches the reported complaints of the players. Not that I'd expect an accurate report of the players positions when making excuses for why rolling dice in a card game is a bad idea.

Comment author: cody-bryce 03 August 2013 04:48:51AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: duckduckMOO 23 August 2013 06:41:24PM *  1 point [-]

Why shouldn't they be? The idea that if you don't rate yourself highly no one should is just an excuse for shitty instincts.

Obviously it's a useful piece of nonsense to tell yourself. People are more likely to come to your side if you are confident. But the explicit reasoning is reprehensible. (not that any explicit reasoning probably went in, it's such a common idea that it is repeated without thought. It's almost a universal applause light.)

This is more of an irrationality quote. A bit of of paper thin justification for a shitty but common sentiment which it's useful to adopt rather than notice.

Comment author: Particleman 02 August 2013 06:07:05AM 38 points [-]

In 2002, Wizards of the Coast put out Star Wars: The Trading Card Game designed by Richard Garfield.

As Richard modeled the game after a miniatures game, it made use of many six-sided dice. In combat, cards' damage was designated by how many six-sided dice they rolled. Wizards chose to stop producing the game due to poor sales. One of the contributing factors given through market research was that gamers seem to dislike six-sided dice in their trading card game.

Here's the kicker. When you dug deeper into the comments they equated dice with "lack of skill." But the game rolled huge amounts of dice. That greatly increased the consistency. (What I mean by this is that if you rolled a million dice, your chance of averaging 3.5 is much higher than if you rolled ten.) Players, though, equated lots of dice rolling with the game being "more random" even though that contradicts the actual math.

Comment author: duckduckMOO 23 August 2013 05:58:42PM *  -3 points [-]

Unless you're rolling an impractical number of dice for every attack having your attacks do random damage (and not 22-24 like in MMORPGs but 1X-6X) is incredibly random. Even if you are rolling a ridiculous number of dice the game can still be decided by one roll leaving a creature on the board or killing it by one or two points of damage.

What maths says that rolling dice doesn't make the game more random? Maybe he means the game is overall less random, but I don't see any argument for that, or reference to evidence of that claim.

If the reason for the game's failure was that people thought it lacked skill less additional randomness is not a decision to defend even if people were slightly overestimating the randomness.

Having to roll dice in a card game is kind of a slap in the face too. In other card games you draw your cards then make the most of them. There's 0 randomness to worry about except right when you draw your card or your opponent draws theirs (but you are often happily ignorant of whether they play a card from their hand or that they drew except in certain circumstances.) You can count cards and play based on what is left in your deck, or you know is not in your deck anymore.

Also, unlike miniature games, card games pretty much never start pre-deployed. You start with nothing on the board. If your turn one card kills his turn one card because of a dice roll then he has nothing on the board and you have a creature, giving you some level of control over the board (depends on the game, often quite high) In a miniature game if you kill more of his guys on turn one because of dice rolls you still have an army, though smaller.

Why is this quote upvoted?

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