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Comment author: gilch 30 August 2017 01:18:58AM 0 points [-]

AutoHotKey can remap keys in Windows, among other things. I used it to get basic Vim commands in any text field. It also has a Python module. I haven't found a good alternative for Linux or Mac.

Comment author: gilch 09 July 2017 11:45:56PM 1 point [-]

I propose that Learners individually reach out to Teachers, and set up meetings.

Consider that it may make sense for you to act as a Teacher, even if you don't have a super strong grasp of the topic.

Why that way instead of the reverse? True, the learners probably have the greater motivation. But, the learners have a better idea of what they want to learn than the teachers have of what they can teach, especially if we're accepting teachers without a super strong grasp of their topics. Thus, I think it would make more sense for the learners to post in detail what they want, and the teachers to look over all of that and make the offer on whatever topics they can help with, even if only a little.

We could certainly do both, but then I worry that each will hope the other initiates. The cure for this is if one individual plays matchmaker to get things started. Due to the bystander effect, I'll name adamzerner as the obvious choice for the role, but you could delegate then abdicate if someone else is willing.

I pinned http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/p69/idea_for_lesswrong_video_tutoring/ to #productivity on the LessWrongers Slack group.

A chat room could also work better than individual emails. But everybody has to be on the same channel and check it regularly. I don't even have an invite yet (I just asked Elo for one). Is everyone else on?

Comment author: ZeitPolizei 09 July 2017 03:46:08AM 0 points [-]

It reminds me a lot of the "mastermind group" thing, where we had weekly hangouts to talk about our goals etc. The America/Europe group eventually petered out (see here for retrospective by regex), the Eurasia/Australia group appears to be ongoing albeit with only two (?) participants.

There have also been online reading groups for the sequences, iirc. I don't know how those went though.

forums, wikis, open source software

I see a few relevant differences:

  • number of participants: If there are very many people, most of which are only sporadically active, you still get nice progress/activity. The main advantage of this video tutoring idea is personalization, which would not work with many participants.
  • small barrier to entry, small incremental improvements: somewhat related to the last point, people can post a single comment, fix a single bug, or only correct a few spelling mistakes on a wiki, and then never come back, but it will still have helped.
  • independence/asynchronicity: also kind of related to small barrier to entry. For video tutoring you need at least two people agreeing on a time and keeping that time free. In all the other cases everyone can pretty much "come and go" whenever they want. In principle it would be possible to do everything with asynchronous communication. In practice you will also have some real-time communication e.g. via IRC channels.
  • Pareto contribution: I don't actually have data on this, but especially on small open source projects and wikis the bulk of the work is probably done by a single contributor, who is really passionate about it and keeps it running.
Comment author: gilch 09 July 2017 11:27:39PM 0 points [-]

We might be able to apply these "differences" to our attempt. A lot of the value we're talking about here is just some basic direction to get started and help when you get stuck. That's a pretty "small barrier to entry", and then "small incremental improvements".

Could we dedicate a Slack channel to video tutoring? My experience with small IRC groups is that there is a small number of experts who check in frequently, or at least daily. Then the beginners will occasionally pop in and ask questions. If they're patient enough to stay on, an expert usually answers within the day, and often it starts a real-time chat when the expert mentions the beginner's handle. We could use the Slack channel to ask questions to get started or when we get stuck. If an appropriate teacher is on, then they can start a video chat/screen share on another site. There would be no obligation for a certain time limit.

Comment author: adamzerner 09 July 2017 09:28:09PM 0 points [-]

Good points, I agree. Screen sharing is possible via Hangouts, Skype and talky.io. I'm not sure what the best online whiteboard software is, but screen sharing + using some sort of notepad type thing should work.

Comment author: gilch 09 July 2017 11:07:37PM *  0 points [-]

Screen sharing is one-way though. If you both need to draw on the same space, it would be pretty awkward. I've heard of Twiddla, Deekit, and GroupBoard, but haven't used them.

That https://talky.io site looks pretty useful. I've used a similar one called https://appear.in which also uses WebRTC. I don't know if one is better. [Edit: looking this over, talky seems better for our purposes.]

Comment author: ZeitPolizei 07 July 2017 04:29:13PM *  2 points [-]
Comment author: gilch 09 July 2017 02:24:52AM 1 point [-]

I'll second that it's relevant. Links should say what they point to though. In this case, it was: Idea for LessWrong: Video Tutoring

Comment author: gilch 09 July 2017 02:23:00AM 2 points [-]

Video chat probably isn't good enough by itself for many topics. For programming, screen-sharing software would be helpful. For mathematics, some kind of online whiteboard would help. Is there anything else we need? Do any of you know of good resources? Free options that don't require registration are preferable.

Comment author: ZeitPolizei 26 June 2017 09:51:43AM 1 point [-]

I think this is a great idea, likely to have positive value for participants. So going Hamming questions on this, I think two things are important.

  1. I think the most likely way this is going to "fail", is that a few people will get together, then meet about three times, and then it will just peter out, as participants are not committed enough to participate long-term. Right now, I don't think I personally would participate without there being a good reason to believe participants will keep showing up, like financial incentives, for example.
  2. Don't worry too much about doing it the Right Way from the beginning. If you get some people together, just start with the first best thing that comes to mind and iterate.
Comment author: gilch 09 July 2017 02:16:41AM 1 point [-]

Failure seems like the default outcome. How do we avoid that? Have there been other similar LessWrong projects like this that worked or didn't? Maybe we can learn from them.

Group projects can work without financial incentives. Most contributors to wikis and open-source software, and web forums like this one, aren't paid for that.

Assume we've made it work well, hypothetically. How did we do it?

Comment author: entirelyuseless 04 July 2017 01:22:57AM 0 points [-]

You deny the existence of morally neutral acts?

There are acts which are neutral in the abstract, which can sometimes be good and sometimes bad. But particular acts are always one or the other. This is obvious, since if an act contributes to a good purpose, and there is nothing bad about it, it will be good. On the other hand, if it contributes to no good purpose at all, it will be bad, because it will be a waste of time and energy.

I think a normal person would be more likely to say that an act by an incompetent person "would" be wrong, if it were done by a competent person, rather than saying that it "is" wrong. But I don't think there is much disagreement there. I agree that in order to be blameworthy, a person has to be responsible for their actions. This makes no difference to the scenario under discussion, because people would be purposely reproducing. They could just not reproduce, if they wanted to; so if the act were wrong, they would be morally obliged not to reproduce, and this is false.

Comment author: gilch 04 July 2017 06:16:36PM *  0 points [-]

But particular acts are always one or the other. This is obvious, since if an act contributes to a good purpose, and there is nothing bad about it, it will be good. On the other hand, if it contributes to no good purpose at all, it will be bad, because it will be a waste of time and energy.

You can't have this both ways. You define the morality of an act not by its consequence, but by whether the agent should be blamed for the consequence. But then you also deny the existence of morally neutral acts based on consequence alone. Contradiction.

Moral agents in the real world are not omniscient, not even logically omniscient. Particular acts may always have perfect or suboptimal consequences, but real agents can't always predict this, and thus cannot be blamed for acting in a way that turns out to be suboptimal in hindsight (in the case the prediction was mistaken).

It sounds like you're defining anything suboptimal as "bad", rather than a lesser good. If you do accept the existence of lesser goods and lesser evils, then replace "suboptimal" with "bad" and "perfect" with "good" in the above paragraph, and the argument still works.

Comment author: Thomas 26 June 2017 06:14:09AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: gilch 02 July 2017 11:08:16PM *  1 point [-]

Possibly relevant (crazy idea about extracting angular momentum from the Earth)

Comment author: ChristianKl 29 June 2017 10:02:51PM 0 points [-]

Oh come on. You know what I meant with the first part.

To me the expressed sentiment feels, like talking to someone without a mass background who's impressed by big numbers and who generally knows no numbers in that category. $60 billion for example is near the NIH budget.

If I want to focus on deaths the number of bacteria that die within myself in a year is likely higher than 60 billion.

This site is all about mitigating cognitive biases as well as related fields, so it IS about change.

It's interesting that you don't defend the idea that this website is supposed to be about pushing for change in your reply but a more general one, that this website is about valuing change.

Creating internal alignment through a CFAR technique like internal double crux can lead to personal change but there's no pushing involved.

Comment author: gilch 02 July 2017 11:02:10PM *  0 points [-]

Rationalists should win. We do care about instrumental rationality. Epistemic rationality is a means to this end. Doesn't that mean "change"?

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