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Comment author: peter_hurford 25 April 2017 02:09:49AM 3 points [-]

Thanks for the feedback.

I added a paragraph to above saying: "We're also using this as a way to build up the online EA community, such as featuring people on a global map of EAs and with a list of EA Profiles. This way more people can learn about the EA community. We will ask you in the survey if you would like to join us, but you do not have to opt-in and you will be opted-out by default."

Comment author: fubarobfusco 25 April 2017 04:17:46AM 1 point [-]

Thank you.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 24 April 2017 10:33:04PM *  6 points [-]

Caution: This is not just a survey. It is also a solicitation to create a public online profile.

In the future, please consider separating surveys from solicitations; or disclosing up front that you are not just conducting a survey.

When I got to the part of this that started asking for personally identifying information to create a public online profile, it felt to me like something sneaky was going on: that my willingness to help with a survey was being misused as an entering-wedge to push me to do something I wouldn't have chosen to do.

I considered — for a moment — putting bogus data in as a tit-for-tat defection in retribution for the dishonesty. I didn't do so, because the problem isn't with the survey aspect; it's with the not saying up front what you are up to aspect. Posting this comment seemed more effective to discourage that than sticking a shoe in your data.

Comment author: WhySpace 20 April 2017 02:28:01AM *  2 points [-]

TL;DR: What are some movements you would put in the same reference class as the Rationality movement? Did they also spend significant effort trying not to be wrong?

Context: I've been thinking about SSC's Yes, We have noticed the skulls. They point out that aspiring Rationalists are well aware of the flaws in straw Vulcans, and actively try to avoid making such mistakes. More generally, most movements are well aware of the criticisms of at least the last similar movement, since those are the criticisms they are constantly defending against.

However, searching "previous " in the comments doesn't turn up any actual exemples.

Full question: I'd like to know if anyone has suggestions for how to go about doing reference class forcasting to get an outside view on whether the Rationality movement has any better chance of succeeding at it's goals than other, similar movements. (Will EA have a massive impact? Are we crackpots about Cryonics, or actually ahead of the curve? More generally, how much weight should I give to the Inside View, when the Outside View suggests we're all wrong?)

The best approach I see is to look at past movements. I'm only really aware of Logical Positivism, and maybe Aristotle's Lyceum, and I have a vague idea that something similar probably happened in the enlightenment, but don't know the names of any smaller schools of thought which were active in the broader movement. Only the most influential movements are remembered though, so are there good examples from the past ~century or so?

And, how self-critical were these groups? Every group has disagreements over the path forward, but were they also critical of their own foundations? Did they only discuss criticisms made by others, and make only shallow, knee-jerk criticisms, or did they actively seek out deep flaws? When intellectual winds shifted, and their ideas became less popular, was it because of criticisms that came from within the group, or from the outside? How advanced and well-tested were the methodologies used? Were any methodologies better-tested than Prediction Markets, or better grounded than Bayes' theorem?

Motive: I think on average, I use about a 50/50 mix of outside and inside view, although I vary this a lot based on the specific thing at hand. However, if the Logical Positivists not only noticed the previous skull, but the entire skull pile, and put a lot of effort into escaping the skull-pile paradigm, then I'd probably be much less certain that this time we finally did.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 20 April 2017 11:25:27PM *  1 point [-]

Just a few groups that have either aimed at similar goals, or have been culturally influential in ways that keep showing up in these parts —

  • The Ethical Culture movement (Felix Adler).
  • Pragmatism / pragmaticism in philosophy (William James, Charles Sanders Peirce).
  • General Semantics (Alfred Korzybski).
  • The Discordian Movement (Kerry Thornley, Robert Anton Wilson).
  • The skeptic/debunker movement within science popularization (Carl Sagan, Martin Gardner, James Randi).

General Semantics is possibly the closest to the stated LW (and CFAR) goals of improving human rationality, since it aimed at improving human thought through adopting explicit techniques to increase awareness of cognitive processes such as abstraction. "The map is not the territory" is a g.s. catchphrase.

Comment author: J_Thomas_Moros 20 April 2017 01:08:01AM *  0 points [-]

To me, success would be the number of patient's signed up for cryonics, greater cultural acceptance and recognition of cryonics as a reasonable patient choice from the medical field and government.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 20 April 2017 09:16:08PM 1 point [-]

Maybe starting the Church of the Frost Giants and declaring cryonic suspension to be a religiously mandated funerary practice would work to that end.

I think actually reviving some ice mice might be a bigger step, though.

Comment author: J_Thomas_Moros 18 April 2017 04:41:48PM 10 points [-]

A friend and I are investigating why the cryonics movement hasn't been more successful and looking at what can be done to improve the situation. We have some ideas and have begun reaching out to people in the cryonics community. If you are interested in helping, message me. Right now it is mostly researching things about the existing cryonics organizations and coming up with ideas. In the future, there could be lots of other ways to contribute.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 18 April 2017 05:29:26PM 9 points [-]

What does "successful" look like here? Number of patients in cryonic storage? Successfully revived tissues or experimental animals?

Comment author: Brillyant 06 April 2017 09:02:23PM 0 points [-]

and sports

It is?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 07 April 2017 01:04:32AM 3 points [-]

In many towns in the US, high school sports (especially football) are not just a recreational activity for students, but rather a major social event for the whole community.

Comment author: Error 27 March 2017 08:32:42PM 0 points [-]

Here's a thought: Weight votes according to how often the voter votes the same way you do.

It would neuter the effectiveness of serial downvoting, while simultaneously encouraging more participation. Your votes would benefit yourself as well as others, by training the system.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 28 March 2017 03:27:21AM 2 points [-]

This is an algorithm for producing filter bubbles, rather than for discovering or implementing community norms.

Comment author: Lumifer 20 March 2017 06:24:55PM 2 points [-]

Ensure that the benefits of AI accrue to everyone generally, rather than exclusively to the teeny-tiny fraction of humanity who happen to own their own AI business.


Now, where have I heard this before..?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 20 March 2017 06:36:37PM 2 points [-]

String substitution isn't truth-preserving; there are some analogies and some disanalogies there.

Comment author: moridinamael 20 March 2017 03:09:47PM 2 points [-]

What is the steelmanned, not-nonsensical interpretation of the phrase "democratize AI"?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 20 March 2017 05:59:58PM *  4 points [-]

One possibility: Ensure that the benefits of AI accrue to everyone generally, rather than exclusively to the teeny-tiny fraction of humanity who happen to own their own AI business.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 17 March 2017 02:56:59AM 2 points [-]

Composing a comment and then deciding not to post it can be a good form of rubber-ducking.

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