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Comment author: StefanPernar 18 November 2009 05:08:09AM 0 points [-]

In general: Because my time can be used to do other things which your time cannot be used to do; we are not fungible.

This statement is based on three assumptions: 1) What you are doing instead is in fact more worthy of your attention than your contribution here 2) I could not do what you are doing as least as well as you 3) I do not have other things to do that are at least as worthy of my time

None of those three I am personally willing to grant at this point. But surely that is not the case for all the others around here.

Comment author: kurige 18 November 2009 06:19:09AM *  2 points [-]

1) You can summarize arguments voiced by EY.
2) You cannot write a book that will be published under EY's name.
3) Writing a book takes a great deal of time and effort.

You're reading into connotation a bit too much.

Comment author: kurige 27 October 2009 12:27:39PM 3 points [-]

10,000-line Perl program.


It's nice to see some programming related content on LW. Thanks.

Comment author: kurige 22 July 2009 08:42:10AM 3 points [-]

I would prefer a variation of bullet point number 3:

  • Allow i-rationality discussion, but promote only when it is an application of a related, tightly coupled e-rationality concept.

I am here for e-rationality discussion. It's "cool" to know that deodorant is most effective when applied at night, before I go to bed, but that doesn't do anything to fundamentally change the way I think.

Comment author: kurige 17 July 2009 06:01:19AM 65 points [-]

There is a soul. It resides in the appendix. Anybody who has undergone an appendectomy is effectively a p-zombie.

Comment author: kurige 29 April 2009 05:28:47PM 2 points [-]

Thanks for the examples of how to apply OB/LW techniques to everyday life.

Definitely more articles in this vein would be greatly appreciated.

In response to comment by Nominull on Less Meta
Comment author: Emile 26 April 2009 06:30:42AM *  2 points [-]

Posts that aren't promoted (like this one [edit] -- um, not any more) don't show up on the front page, only in the "new" list and on the sidebar.

In response to comment by Emile on Less Meta
Comment author: kurige 26 April 2009 10:01:55AM 1 point [-]

Just to avoid confusing Nominull... This post has now been "promoted", so it does now appear on the front-page, and in RSS feeds.

In response to Escaping Your Past
Comment author: kurige 23 April 2009 03:17:11AM *  -1 points [-]

Epistemic rationality alone might be well enough for those of us who simply love truth (who love truthseeking, I mean; the truth itself is usually an abomination)

What motivation is there to seek out an abomination? I read the linked comment and I disagree strongly... The curious, persistent rationalist should find the truth seeking process rewarding, but shouldn't it be rewarding because your working toward something wonderful? Worded another way - of what value is truth seeking if you hold the very object you seek in contempt?

If you take the strictly classical, rational view of the world than you lose the ability to say that truth is "beautiful". Not a great loss, considering "beauty" is an ill-defined, subjective term - but if you continue to cut everything our of your life that has no rational value then you very quickly become a psuedo-vulcan.

Truth, at the highest level, has an irrational, indefinable quality. It's this quality that makes it seductive, worthwhile, valuable, desirable. Truth is something you grok. Heinlein was a loony, but I do thank him for that word.

but some of my friends tell me there should be some sort of payoff for all this work of inference. And indeed, there should be: if you know how something works, you might be able to make it work better. Enter epistemic rationality, the art of doing better. We all want to better, and we all believe that we can do better...

I like to think that I seek truth. Others are here to "win" or "be better". Maybe we're all talking about the same thing. Maybe not.

This comment is a bit off-topic from the rest of the post, and quickly becoming dangerously Zen, but I would much appreciate it if somebody more knowledgeable on the subject could offer some disambiguation either here or in a separate post.

Comment author: kurige 22 April 2009 09:50:43AM *  14 points [-]

Eliezer, I don't know if you're familiar with the CIA's Intellipedia, but you seem to have hit the nail on the head.

The CIA have had huge success doing exactly what you describe here. You can read more about it in the paper here. The basic idea is that the intelligence community should harness the synergy of the blog/wiki combo.

From the paper:

The Wiki and the Blog are complimentary companion technologies that together form the core workspace that will allow intelligence officers to share, innovate, adapt, respond, and be—on occasion—brilliant. Blogs will cite Wiki entries. The occasional brilliant blog comment will shape the Wiki. The Blog will be vibrant, and make many sea changes in real-time. The Wiki, as it matures, will serve as corporate knowledge and will not be as fickle as the Blog. The Wiki will be authoritative in nature, while the Blog will be highly agile. The Blog is personal and opinionated. The Wiki is agreed-upon and corporate.

Comment author: MrHen 21 April 2009 04:51:19AM *  42 points [-]

(Note) This mostly has to do with karma with a minor rant/point at the end. If that doesn't sound interesting, it probably won't be.

Because I really do honestly think that if you want to downvote a comment that seems low-quality... and yet you hesitate, wondering if maybe you're downvoting just because you disagree with the conclusion or dislike the author... feeling nervous that someone watching you might accuse you of groupthink or echo-chamber-ism or (gasp!) censorship... then nine times of ten, I bet, nine times out of ten at least, it is a comment that really is low-quality.

Some of the most interesting things I have registered about LessWrong thus far have to do with the karma game. I am convinced that there are huge swaths of information that can be learned if the karma data was opened for analysis.

If I had to guess at the weaknesses of the karma system I would peg two big problems. The first is that (some? most? many?) people are trying to assign an integer value to a post that is something outside of the range [-1,1] and then adjust their vote to affect a post's score toward their chosen value. This seems to have the effect that everything is drawn toward 0 unless it is an absolutely stellar post. Then it just drifts up. I think the highest comment I have seen was in the high teens. I know there are more than twenty people visiting the site. Do they not read comments? Do they not vote on them?

The second problem spot is that I find it hard to actually use the feedback of karma. I have no way of knowing how well I am doing other a number. I have noticed that my karma has jumped lately and this leads me to believe I have made a change for the better. Unfortunately, I have no easy way of seeing which comments did well and which did poorly. Was it my tone? Did I get wiser? Are my comments more useful? Since I am new, my comment level is low and I can dig through what is there and learn, but this will simply get harder as time goes on. The karma system seems to work well on a comment by comment basis but not so much as a teaching tool. I see this as a problem because this is exactly what I need and I feel like I am squeezing a square peg into a round hole. It makes me think I am not using it correctly.

I find both of the above problems frustrating to me personally. I see a comment get voted down and think, "Okay, that was bad." If I ask for clarification, it goes back up, which just makes it confusing. "Uh, so was it bad or not bad?" The difference between the highest rated comment of mine and the lowest is less than 10. I think the highest is 5 and the lowest was at -2 before I deleted it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining that my super-great-excellent posts are not voted to 20 karma in a single weekend. I am complaining that my crappy posts are all sitting at 0 and -1. I just started posting here and already have over 50 karma and the dark secret is that I am a complete poser. I barely even know the terms you guys use. I have not read much of Overcoming Bias and if you gave me a test on key points of rationality I would probably limp through the guessable stuff and start failing once the questions got hard. I can pick apart the logic within a given post, but the only real contributions I have made are exposing flaws in other comments. How in the world am I succeeding? I do not know.

To put this back into the original point, if people are shy about telling me my posts are low quality I can (a) never learn the difference between "mediocre" and "bad" and (b) any fool can limp by with comments that just repeat basic logic and use key terms in the right order. The chances of that being fun are low. One of my great paranoias is that I am the fool and no one pointed it out; I am the elephant in the room but have no mirror. I don't want to trample on your garden and smush the roses. I want to partake in what seems to be a really awesome, fun community. If I don't fit, kick me out.

(To be a little less harsh on myself, I do not consider myself a fool nor am I trying to play the role of a fool. If I am one, please let me know because I apparently have not figured it out yet.)

Comment author: kurige 21 April 2009 05:14:02AM 10 points [-]

The karma system is a integral part of the Reddit base code that this site is built on top of. It's designed to do one thing - increase the visibility of good content - and it does that one thing very well.

I agree, though, that there is untapped potential in the karma system. Personally I would love to see - if not by whom - at least when my comments are up/down voted.

Comment author: dfranke 22 March 2009 12:43:45AM *  5 points [-]

I think autonomous vehicles are a better example not because I think the EV is higher than that of cryonics, but because there are fewer ways to dispute it. There are a number of arguments, most of them well-known here, as to why cryopreservation is unlikely to work. It seems like a virtual certainty, on the other hand, that autonomous vehicles, if deployed, would save a large number of lives.

Edit: Also, you have your dimensions wrong on the financial calculation. The cost of autonomous vehicles should be amortized over their MTBF, not over one year.

Comment author: kurige 23 March 2009 06:29:16AM 3 points [-]

Also, for it to be an unbiased comparison the two statements, "smart cars for all" and "cryopreservation for only the people who actually died that year" should be limited to the same domain.

If you compare different sets, one substantially larger than the other, then of course cryo is going to be cheaper!

A more balanced statement would be: "buying smart cars to save the lives of only the people who would have otherwise died by car accident in any given year would probably cost less than cryo-surance for the same set of people."

Plus you don't die. Which, for me, is preferable.

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