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Comment author: khafra 30 October 2014 06:29:33PM 2 points [-]

Are there lists of effective charities for specific target domains? For social reasons, I sometimes want to donate to a charity focused on some particular cause; but given that constraint, I'd still like to make my donation as effective as possible.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 October 2014 05:51:18PM -3 points [-]

Who is talking about spamming anyone? You are completely missing my point. The goal is not to help Elon navigate the terrain. I know he can do that. The point is to humbly ask for his advice as to what we could be doing given his track record of good ideas in the past.

Comment author: khafra 29 October 2014 11:55:23AM 4 points [-]

Do not spam high-status people, and do not communicate with high-status people in a transparent attempt to affiliate with them and claim some of their status for yourself.

Comment author: khafra 23 October 2014 01:14:03PM 39 points [-]

I would have given a response for digit ratio if I'd known about the steps to take the measurement before opening the survey, or if it were at the top of the survey, or if I could answer on a separate form after submitting the main survey. I didn't answer because I was afraid that if I took the time to do so, the survey form, or my https connection to it, or something else would time out, and I would lose all the answers I had entered.

Comment author: Skeptityke 04 October 2014 06:38:26PM 1 point [-]

Question for AI people in the crowd: To implement Bayes' Theorem, the prior of something must be known, and the conditional likelihood must be known. I can see how to estimate the prior of something, but for real-life cases, how could accurate estimates of P(A|X) be obtained?

Also, we talk about world-models a lot here, but what exactly IS a world-model?

Comment author: khafra 10 October 2014 02:43:59PM 0 points [-]

To implement Bayes' Theorem, the prior of something must be known

Not quite the way I'd put it. If you know the exact prior for the unique event you're predicting, you already know the posterior. All you need is a non-pathologically-terrible prior, although better ones will get you to a good prediction with fewer observations.

Comment author: bramflakes 03 October 2014 10:06:28PM 2 points [-]

"They exist but we don't have the tech to detect them"?

Comment author: khafra 04 October 2014 01:03:12AM 2 points [-]

That one shows up in fiction every now and then, but If they're galaxy-spanning, there's no particular reason for them to have avoided eating all the stars unless we're completely wrong about the laws of physics. The motivation might not exactly be "hiding," but it'd have to be something along the lines of a nature preserve; and would require a strong singleton.

Comment author: khafra 03 October 2014 05:17:38PM 3 points [-]

Alien-wise, most of the probability-mass not in the "Great Filter" theory is in the "they're all hiding" theory, right? Are there any other big events in the outcome space?

I intuitively feel like the "they're all hiding" theories are weaker and more speculative than the Great Filter theories, perhaps because including agency as a "black box" within a theory is bad, as a rule of thumb.

But, if most of the proposed candidates for the GF look weak, how do the "they're all hiding" candidates stack up? What is there, besides the Planetarium Hypothesis and Simulationism? Are there any that don't require a strong Singleton?

Comment author: SolveIt 02 October 2014 09:21:33AM 4 points [-]

What does this mean?

Comment author: khafra 03 October 2014 01:51:37PM 2 points [-]

Don't let a summary of reality distract you from reality, even if it's an accurate summary.

-- Steven Kaas

Comment author: khafra 26 September 2014 03:05:45PM 6 points [-]

It's really weird how [Stop, Drop, and Roll] is taught pretty much yearly but personal finance or ethics usually just have one class at the end of highschool.

-- CornChowdah, on reddit

Comment author: CCC 06 September 2014 03:33:56PM 6 points [-]

With regards to your example, you try to fix the gap between "consumption will increase" and "that will be a bad thing as a whole" by claiming little good use and much bad use. But I don't think that's the strongest way to bridge that gap.

Rather, I'd suggest that the good use has negligible positive utility - just another way to relax on a Friday night, when there are already plenty of ways to relax on a Friday night, so how much utility does adding another one really give you? - while bad use has significant negative utility (here I may take the chance to sketch the verbal image of a bright young doctor dropping out of university due to bad use). Then I can claim that even if good-use increases by a few orders of magnitude more than bad-use, the net result is nonetheless negative, because bad use is just that terrible; that the negative effects of a single bad-user outweigh the positive effects of a thousand good-users.


As to your main point - what to do when your best effort to fill the gap is thin and unconvincing - the simplest solution would appear to be to go back to the person proposing the position that you are critically commenting about (or someone else who shares his views on the subject), and simply asking. Or to go and look through his writings, and see whether or not he addresses precisely that point. Or to go to a friend (preferably also an intelligent debator) and asking for his best effort to fill the gap, in the hope that it will be a better effort.

Comment author: khafra 08 September 2014 03:20:57PM 3 points [-]

what to do when your best effort to fill the gap is thin and unconvincing - the simplest solution would appear to be to go back to the person proposing the position that you are critically commenting about (or someone else who shares his views on the subject), and simply asking.

So, you go back to the person you're going to argue against, before you start the argument, and ask them about the big gap in their original position? That seems like it could carry the risk of kicking off the argument a little early.

Comment author: KnaveOfAllTrades 20 August 2014 09:08:14PM *  5 points [-]

Is this in support of or in opposition to the thesis of the post? Or am I being presumptuous to suppose that it is either?

Comment author: khafra 03 September 2014 01:35:46PM 1 point [-]

The opposition is that the number of observers able to ask questions about royal siblings is not heavily correlated with the actual number of royal siblings historically present; while the number of observers able to ask questions about a lack of large thermonuclear exchanges is heavily correlated with the actual number of historical large thermonuclear exchanges.

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