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Comment author: michael_vassar 06 February 2009 08:55:00AM 2 points [-]

I agree that deriving morality from stated human values is MUCH more ethically questionable than deriving it from human values, stated or not, and suggest that it is also more likely to converge. This creates a probable difficulty for CEV.

It seems to me that if it's worth destroying Huygens to stop the Superhappies it's plausibly worth destroying Earth instead to fragment humanity so that some branch experiences an infinite future so long as fragmentation frequency exceeds first contact frequency. Without mankind fragmented, the normal ending seems inevitable with some future alien race. Shut-up-and-multiply logic returns error messages with infinite possible utilities, as Peter has formally shown, and in this case it's not even clear what should be multiplied.

Comment author: michael_vassar 23 October 2008 06:59:00AM 1 point [-]

Hmm. I remember being non-reflective in first grade but not in second grade. One consequence was that I couldn't re-write explicit beliefs in response to new information and I saw general injunctions and commands as relatively binding and automatic. Conflicting commands couldn't be accommodated, nor could common sense. I don't think that my emotions were any more intense. I never re-wrote myself, or noticed a change at the time, but I notice it in my memories. Early ones don't include the question "why am I doing this?" or "why do this rather than that". In 6th grade I suffered catastrophic failure to relate to anyone who was not reflective and largely but incompletely corrected this failure as a college sophomore at age 18. Efforts to correct it continue, with large steps in the last 2 years.

I agree with much of what Robin has said here but wish he would write his own blog post about it.

In response to The Level Above Mine
Comment author: michael_vassar 04 October 2008 03:41:00PM 2 points [-]

Actually RU, that's a good approximation for many/most professions, but not all that good an approximation.
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Peabody/SMPY/DoingPsychScience2006.pdf
gives more detail, showing a significant marginal impact from, at the least, 99.99th percentile math achievement at age 12 relative to merely 99.8th percentile math achievement at age 12.

Comment author: michael_vassar 30 September 2008 09:31:00PM 3 points [-]

Phil: Your estimate rewards precision and penalizes self estimate of precision. A person of a given level of precision should be rewarded for believing their precision to be what it is, not for believing it to be low. If you had self-estimate of precision in the numerator that would negate Nick's claim, but then you could drop the term from both sides.

Comment author: michael_vassar 30 September 2008 04:37:00AM 8 points [-]

Eliezer: I'm pretty sure that MANY very smart people learn more from working on hard problems and failing quite frequently than from reading textbooks and practicing easy problems. Both should be part of an intellectual diet.

In response to The Level Above Mine
Comment author: michael_vassar 27 September 2008 07:02:00AM 0 points [-]

Maksym: We actually do need someone to translate all this OB stuff very badly, though maybe it's desirable to wait for the book. Still, someone should be presenting it. As for convincing smart college students, there are three fairly separate barriers here, those to rationality, those of information and those to action. I recommend working on barriers to rationality and action first and in conjunction, belief second, and let people find the info themselves. Politics is the natural subject to frame as rationality. Simply turn every conversation where politics comes up into an opportunity to discourse on OB. Rules of etiquette are weak at Harvey Mudd, so this should be OK.

Denis: In technical fields? If so, I unhesitatingly deny the data. I suggest you look at Gottfredson. Lynn is far from trustworthy, but may also be summarizing. Do you really think that people who can't pull 600 on the SAT Math can do engineering?

In response to Psychic Powers
Comment author: michael_vassar 13 September 2008 06:45:11PM 0 points [-]

You pretty much said it. Hypotheses suggested by mind-projection priors turning out to be true pretty much refutes Occam and consequentially science.

In response to Psychic Powers
Comment author: michael_vassar 13 September 2008 01:17:09PM 2 points [-]

It's not on that level, that's the level which I respond to with the forbidden bet, e.g. p = 0, along with all the other stuff that implies strongly that our concepts of probability are simply broken.

Reason is a mistake for less extreme reasons such as "I'm dreaming" or "I'm a Boltzman Brain" or some forms of "my life is not merely a simulation but a psychological experiment".

In response to Psychic Powers
Comment author: michael_vassar 12 September 2008 10:49:01PM 10 points [-]

I took psi seriously back when I thought that the scientific method defined rationality. Once I learned about Bayes I realized that the sort of reports of psi that science turns up would be expected if psi isn't real while much more blatant things would be expected if real psi inspired the investigation. I also noticed that priors matter and psi really should be ignored without very large effects based on low priors. Somewhat earlier pre-Bayes psi had blended somewhat into the category "Everything you know is wrong" and loose specific identity as 'psi'. Post-Bayes the "Everything you know is wrong" itself split into a few categories and psi went in the "reason is a mistake" extreme category.

In response to Points of Departure
Comment author: michael_vassar 10 September 2008 03:41:59AM 4 points [-]

Thinking about the future as today + diff is another serious problem with similar roots.

Robin: Great Point! Eliezer: I'm awaiting that too.

Shane Legg: I don't generally like sf, film or otherwise, but try "Primer". Best movie ever made for <$6000 AND arguably best sf movie. The Truman Show was good too in the last decade or so. That's probably it though. Minority Report was OK.

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