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

Meetup : First Medellin, Colombia Meetup

0 jpulgarin 17 April 2017 11:03PM

Discussion article for the meetup : First Medellin, Colombia Meetup

WHEN: 06 May 2017 06:00:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: Starbucks Coffee One Plaza, Medellin

In the spirit of http://lesswrong.com/lw/bc2/setting_up_lw_meetups_in_unlikely_places_positive/, I'm holding a meetup in Medellin, Colombia. I've been living here for 2 years now, and want to see if there are any other LW readers.

It will be held at the Starbucks located in the "One Plaza" office building at 6pm on Saturday, May 6th. I will have a copy of 'Quantum Computing Since Democritus' at my table for easy identification, and commit to being at Starbucks until 7pm even if nobody shows up.

Discussion article for the meetup : First Medellin, Colombia Meetup

Comment author: polymathwannabe 03 February 2017 10:47:49PM 0 points [-]

ARARRRARGGGGHHH why do I only see this now.

Do you have any plans to come visit again?

Comment author: jpulgarin 14 February 2017 02:50:32AM 0 points [-]

Sorry :/, it was my fault for posting it at such short notice. No one else came.

There's a chance I'll be back in Bogota during the first week of March. If so, I'll make sure to post it with a bit more notice.

Do you go to Medellin every once in a while? I'm thinking of starting a regular meetup here.

Meetup : First Bogota, Colombia Meetup

0 jpulgarin 22 January 2017 06:02AM

Discussion article for the meetup : First Bogota, Colombia Meetup

WHEN: 28 January 2017 06:00:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: Starbucks Zona G

I'm visiting Bogota for the weekend (currently live in Medellin), and it would be awesome to meet other LW readers!

I will have a copy of 'Quantum Computing Since Democritus' at my table for easy identification, and commit to being at Starbucks until 7pm even if nobody shows up.

Discussion article for the meetup : First Bogota, Colombia Meetup

Comment author: adamisom 05 November 2012 12:58:07AM 0 points [-]

Because you have something I aspire to (multiple casual sex partners), why else?

Comment author: jpulgarin 05 November 2012 05:41:04AM *  3 points [-]

Largely a result of Salsa dancing.

Comment author: adamisom 04 November 2012 09:41:15AM -1 points [-]

I like you

Comment author: jpulgarin 04 November 2012 11:50:40PM 1 point [-]


Comment author: jpulgarin 03 November 2012 11:20:37PM 24 points [-]

Do casual sex partners count under the "Number of Current Partners" question?

The instructions tell me that higher numbers are for "polyamorous relationships" which makes it seem like a monogamous person who has multiple casual sex partners should answer 0 for that question.

Comment author: diegocaleiro 30 October 2012 05:30:34PM 0 points [-]

Villiam Said "Maybe it's different for other people, but I have trouble imagining a person who could make millions -- I mean really has the necessary skills, both external and internal; not just imagines having them to raise self-esteem -- and just avoids it because they see absolutely no benefit in doing so. If someone told me they are that person, I would still give them 99% chance to just rationalize."

That depends on several factors. I do not posses millions. I do possess more money than the average american savings (which is not hard to do, $500! , but I mean I have enough to live 2 or 3 years). I guess I have 40% chance of making millions if I wanted. 55% of making a single million. and the rest distributed.

But do you know (I assume you know, most people do) how long it takes to do that? Do you know how much energy, time, and effort must be spent to obtain those millions? There are friends of mine working 12 hours a day to make $6000,00 per month, the beggining of a career that could very well end up giving them millions by the time they are 45-60.

Now what has the wisdom of the ages (namely, positive psychology) taught us? The most important thing, for longevity and for happiness, is having 5-6 close friends and 1+ girlfriend/date/wife/bodyfriend. It is just a tiny bit more important than not smoking. I think, if you do the math, that this is actually more healthy than having health insurance, but would not confirm. I know it gives you a bit more than 12 extra years (which is what not smoking does).

So I didn't make the choice (not yet at least) of trying to go there and make millions. I would probably try doing it the Tim Ferriss way (because it is for personalities similar to the ones aimed at by The Mistery Method, a PUA book that I have mastered when I felt like teaching PUA back in the day). I might be able to, but I didn't.

Instead I look forward to the next awesome posts in LW, I interact with the Effective Altruist Community. Direct a Transhumanist institution in Brazil www.ierfh.org , read the best philosophers ever (Russell, Dennett, Bostrom, Nietzsche, Hofstadter, Pinker, David Lewis, Chalmers, Putnam etc...). Try helping X-risk, find tickets for free for strange trips around the world (there are loads) bikeride to the university to learn Norvig's AI book, pretend to be doing a masters of a book I've already written.

And some personal stuff I don't want to disclose here. Now, do you blame me for not trying to make millions while I'm young?

Comment author: jpulgarin 30 October 2012 11:22:50PM 2 points [-]

find tickets for free for strange trips around the world (there are loads)

Can you please elaborate?

Comment author: timtyler 19 November 2011 01:27:42PM *  0 points [-]

have a perception-determined utility function (like AIXI)

OK, so, I read the reference - but I still don't know what you mean.

All agents have "perception-determined utility functions" - in the sense that I describe here.

The post you linked is not about whether utility functions are "determined by perceptions", but rather about whether they are based on extrapolated future selves, or extrapolated future environments.

Comment author: jpulgarin 13 September 2012 03:25:05AM 0 points [-]

There's no disagreement here, you're just confused about semantics.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 01 January 2012 10:52:11AM 2 points [-]

I have been wondering if anyone from LW knows of the most efficient way to learn to dance. I enjoy dancing and suspect being better at it would cause me to enjoy it more.

Comment author: jpulgarin 29 July 2012 08:11:31PM *  0 points [-]

I see in a reply of yours that you're interested in salsa dancing. By far the most important factor in getting better is to quickly achieve a level of competency that makes salsa socials really fun. I don't think I've gone more than 7 days in the last 2.5 years without attending a salsa social, and this has been the biggest factor in my improvement.

You may already be at this stage since you said you enjoy dancing, but if not I suggest you learn the basics from a friend or a class (I would spend no more than 10 hours on this stage), and then force yourself to attend a bunch of salsa socials, until you start really enjoying the experience.

Once you've reached this stage, you've solved the motivation problem, and now you can optimize towards becoming a really good dancer (if you even want to at this point - it's not necessary to reap the majority of the benefits).

Comment author: [deleted] 23 September 2011 12:30:00AM *  9 points [-]

I've played in several competitive tournaments myself and had a chess coach for a number of years. I don't know of any general studies or research (so I'll be interested if anyone finds anything more principled than my anecdotal evidence). In my experience, the main goal of chess coaching and training was to teach you how to act like you were a computer. Any kind of "intuitive" play or even creative play was harshly criticized from a young age. The first goal was to memorize a massive amount of opening theory and what is known as 'book' knowledge. Once a student has a reasonable amount of book knowledge, then you move on to techniques to focus you on calculating quickly.

In my later years, I've come to realize that the heuristics that chess teachers employ cause you to think in a way that's analogous to simulated annealing. You scan the board and make simulated "proposal" moves in your head, and in the early stages of your turn you should be very open (high temperature) to suggesting any move, no matter how preposterous, to yourself. But you also have to just very quickly look at the move's surface level consequences and basically classify it as "worth more of a look" or "worthless". You do this a few times, and assuming some independence of the distribution of your brain's ability to pick out decent moves, you'll have whittled down to maybe 5-10 respectable moves, and perhaps a few other riskier moves worth a second look.

At this point you really dive in deep and attempt to examine long chains of moves, maybe 5-6 moves deep for each of the 5-10 moves you've got going in your head. Your annealing temperature is much lower, so you're less likely to spend time thinking about weird variants or moves that don't have an obvious upside. You systematically focus on understanding two things, the immediate consequences of the moves and the level of complication each line of hypothetical play will bring about. The reason complication matters is that human chess is all about resource management. Given enough time, every player in the tournament is good enough to see the best moves, potentially even the best moves that a computer would see. The difference in human performance, though, is decision fatigue, carelessness, and inability to calculate long, complicated lines in memory (some kind of human cache limit, basically).

During this deeper analysis stage, you should ultimately come down to 3 moves that seem to be the best. For these moves, you'll go back over the 5-10 move sequences, maybe even up to 15 moves deep if you're a grandmaster, and you'll not only detect the complication, but also the larger strategic principles. Will having two bishops in this particular variation give you more mobility? Will your pawn structure effectively lock down your pieces? After the dust settles in a large exchange sequence, will your opponent have a passed pawn and can you stop it without losing a whole piece to babysit that pawn? Will there be pressure on the dark (or light) squares because of an exploitable tactic. From this, you eventually emerge with your chosen move.

There is also some meta-analysis that goes into it. Since you are analyzing the amount of complications expected in certain lines of play, you also develop some experience for knowing when the really critical points of the game are happening. You obviously cannot spend the effort of the paragraphs above on every single move. You have to miniaturize it and hurry it up for most moves, and to do that safely you need to be confident that you're not making fast moves in a deeply complicated portion of the game. This can be accomplished by studying lots of classical games, or by knowing a lot about your opponent's games and styles prior to a match, Most grandmasters will have only two or three moves per game that take longer than 15 minutes to make, but each of these will take 45+ minutes. If you spend 45 minutes on a move, you have to get more bang for your buck out of that move, so the subsequent moves should be able to go faster. If you spent 45 minutes on a move and then your opponent surprises you and you have to spend another large chunk of time, you're in trouble.

At any rate, my experience was that the nerves and the situation don't play much of a role at all because, if you have practiced well enough, you dive right into this deep Zen of computation, busily reducing the game down into the conscious simulation of a serial algorithm plus memory lookups, according to what your coach / training has taught you.

Comment author: jpulgarin 29 July 2012 07:55:35PM *  0 points [-]

This is the best description of a fairly strong chess player's thought process that I've read. If it were worth the effort, I would link every person who asked me, "How many moves deep do you calculate in chess?", to your comment.

View more: Next