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Comment author: JenniferRM 28 May 2011 06:25:58AM *  13 points [-]

Skill: Maintaining "contextual pointers" with your knowledge, both for the sake of evidential sourcing and contextual usage.

The idea here is twofold.

First, many intellectual conversations between people who lack this skill are are random walks through topic space. Each tangential leap is potentially useful for mining relevant evidence from each person's mind... but in conversations exploring an important central thesis it is good to treat the tangents as objects pushed onto a stack in the course of linear conversation. When you go to far afield with a tangent you need the presence of mind to notice that D was inspired by C which was inspired by B, which was profoundly relevant to the pragmatically important question of A. Stepping back to C or B or even A is frequently called for in important conversations but requires contextual mindfulness.

The second use of context is evidential. Being mindful of where evidence comes from (if it can be managed) helps keep track of the value and meaning of evidence. Confabulation induced or permitted by source amnesia, isn't necessarily a bad thing in terms of "usage optimized concepts" but in terms of epistemic hygiene its a killer. It is especially pernicious in modern media environments full of advertising, fiction, and bullshit.

I bring these two sorts of context up because they both involve "context pointers" and together the two kinds of context pointers enable clear "tree formatted thinking" where reasons radiate from a root node, and leaf nodes carry citations to allow validation.

Comment author: lockeandkeynes 29 May 2011 03:40:01PM 4 points [-]

Exercise: keep a physical stack trace on a whiteboard or something when talking

As topics become reframed for clarity, you can resolve child topics if they become irrelevant.

Comment author: lockeandkeynes 29 May 2011 03:37:08PM 4 points [-]

Skill: Compartmentalizing, or keeping track of threads and subthreads in a discussion so that it doesn't become derailed by minutiae.

This is more important in board meetings with Robert's Rules of Order in place, but it can be useful in general rational discussion. Just last night I my friend was helping me with C++ references and we got caught up over array pointers, forgetting entirely about the bug we were trying to solve.

Comment author: James_Miller 28 May 2011 12:02:27AM 0 points [-]

Skill: learning that rational people can't agree to disagree.

Comment author: lockeandkeynes 29 May 2011 03:28:29PM 1 point [-]

I wouldn't call that a skill so much as a frame of mind going into a discussion. Also, they can if they start with different arbitrary priors that neither one can assign objectivity.

Comment author: Annoyance 17 June 2009 01:44:04PM 1 point [-]

For instance, revenge is irrational,

Says whom? It seems to me that revenge can easily be rationally justifiable, even if what motivates people to actually do it is usually non-rational emotional states.

It's rational for birds to build nests, but they don't do so because they possess a rational understanding of why. They don't use rationality. They don't have it. But the rational justification for their actions still exists.

Comment author: lockeandkeynes 01 January 2011 04:31:13PM 0 points [-]

I think the idea is that revenge both requires time, effort, and resources, whilst breeding further malcontent between you and the person you take revenge against, causing you to have a greater field of people who would not wish to help you, or who would work against you.

Alternately, if you were to try and make the same person like you better (though that's not always possible), it would confer more advantages to you generally.

In response to Serious Stories
Comment author: lockeandkeynes 08 December 2010 08:49:49PM 0 points [-]

There we go. Gotta know whether you cut yourself, but you don't need to know MORE about how someone broke your finger. Knowing is knowing.

In response to Failed Utopia #4-2
Comment author: lockeandkeynes 08 December 2010 05:06:31PM 4 points [-]

Doesn't sound bad at all.

In response to Nonperson Predicates
Comment author: lockeandkeynes 03 December 2010 02:47:45AM *  0 points [-]

I thinks that's all rather unnecessary. The only reason we don't like people to die is because of the continuous experience they enjoy. It's a consistent causal network we don't want dying on us. I've gathered from this that the AI would be producing models with enough causal complexity to match actual sentience (not saying "I am conscious" just because the AI hears that a lot). I think that, if it's only calling a given person-model to discover answers to questions, the thing isn't really feeling for long enough periods of time to mind whether it goes away. Also, for the predicate to be tested I imagine the model would have to be created first and at that point it's too late!

In response to Drawing Two Aces
Comment author: lockeandkeynes 15 November 2010 04:23:17PM 0 points [-]

Combination vs. permutation, right? I don't care which ace is where; I just care if, among the three cards that the other card COULD be, that card is the one ace left.

But how about this: I deal each of us two cards out of a deck of AS, AH, 2C, and 2D. I ask you if you have an ace and you say yes. Surely the odds of me having both 2C and 2D are the same as above.

Comment author: lockeandkeynes 15 November 2010 12:28:34AM 2 points [-]

You mean 9/11 wasn't aliens?

Comment author: lockeandkeynes 16 September 2010 05:03:49AM 4 points [-]

Eliezer Yudkowsky only drinks from Klein Bottles.

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