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

Comment author: nino 22 December 2015 03:03:01PM 1 point [-]

I can't give you an exact time, but if you need a few months until you can sign up, your chances will be improved by providing content (e.g. lightning talks). If I remember correctly, last time it took about 6 months until all spots were filled, but it may well be sooner this time.

Comment author: nyralech 22 December 2015 09:31:33PM 3 points [-]

Having a list where people can sign up to be notified when spots are running low would be very useful.

Comment author: turchin 17 October 2015 08:10:29PM 0 points [-]

Also the statistical difference in 12 years is still strong in this case as Hompertz curve is much steeper in 90th that in 70th.

For example, after 100 a person has the probability to die 50 per cent a year. In this case gaining several years is very unprobable event. For example for 91 years old person to survive until 103 has probability around 1 in 1000.

The statistic for twins is also probably distorted by earlier deaths of most twins (like 65 and 71) - because most people die earlier than Hompertz curve is not so steep.

Comment author: nyralech 17 October 2015 11:30:21PM 1 point [-]

I agree that it is some support, but I do not have any knowledge of the statistical distribution of differences between twins deaths. I would assume that there are enough twins that such a large difference is not terribly unlikely to happen just by chance alone.

However, it's quite clear to me that you are more informed about this than I am, so it would be nice if you could point me toward some resources with stats on this.

Comment author: nyralech 17 October 2015 01:59:40AM 12 points [-]

The example of Rita Montalchni is incredibly interesting (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_Levi-Montalcini). She administered a nerve growth factor (NGF) as eye drops and lived for 101 years while her twin sister died when she was 91. (Bearing in mind the average life duration difference of twins is six years, we can conclude that she gained about four years.)

Actually, all we can conclude is that you have managed to find a single anecdote to support your point. (Sidenote: according to the link she died at 103 years of age.)

Comment author: 27chaos 04 October 2015 05:44:55PM 2 points [-]

Is there any way to do these things without paying a large pricetag? Could you just lurk around campus or something? Only half-joking here.

be sure to first consider the most useful version of grad that you could reliably make for yourself... and then decide whether or not to do it.

Planning fallacy is going to eat you alive if you use this technique.

Comment author: nyralech 04 October 2015 08:40:08PM 0 points [-]

Is there any way to do these things without paying a large pricetag? Could you just lurk around campus or something? Only half-joking here.

Moving to europe, and (maybe) not exactly GB, should for the most part allow you to do that.

Comment author: HungryHobo 14 September 2015 10:46:09AM 0 points [-]

In the example I gave the nuke exploding would be a narrow local effect which bleeds over into a large area. I agree that a pump which needed to monitor everything might very well choose only quite local direct effects but that could still have a lot of long range bad side effects.

Bursting the damn a few hundred meters upriver might have the effect of carrying your mother, possibly even alive, far from the center of the building and it may also involve extinguishing the fire if you've thought to add that in as a desirable element of the outcome yet lead to wiping out a whole town ten miles downstream. The sort of the point is that the pump wouldn't care about those side effects.

Comment author: nyralech 14 September 2015 11:04:36AM 1 point [-]

But those outcomes which have a limited initial effect yet have a very large overall effect are very sparsely distributed among all possible outcomes with a limited initial effect.

I still do not see why the pump would magnify the chance of those outcomes terribly. The space of possible actions which have a very large negative utility grows by a huge amount, but so does the space of actions which have trivial consequences beside doing what you want.

Comment author: Kawoomba 11 September 2015 08:56:48PM 15 points [-]

Their approach reduces to an anti-epistemic affect-heuristic, using the ugh-field they self-generate in a reverse affective death spiral (loosely based on our memeplex) as a semantic stopsign, when in fact the Kolmogorov distance to bridge the terminological inferential gap is but an epsilon.

Comment author: nyralech 13 September 2015 05:00:20PM 0 points [-]

I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by Kolmogorov distance.

Comment author: taryneast 10 September 2015 12:41:56AM *  2 points [-]

"whether they're worth the cost of keeping alive." and this highlights the differences in our views.

our point of difference is in this whole basis of using practical "worth" as The way of deciding whether or not a person should live/die.

I can get trying to minimise the birth of new people that are net-negative contributors to the world... but from my perspective, once they are born - it's worth putting some effort into supporting them.

Why? because it's not their fault they were born the way they are, and they should not be punished because of that. They need help to get along.

Sometimes - the situation that put them in their needy state occurred after they were born - and again is still not their fault.

Another example to point out why I feel your view is unfair to people: Imagine somebody who has worked all their lives in an industry that has given amazing amounts of benefit to the world.. but has only just now become obsolete. That person is now unemployed and, due to being near retirement age, unemployable. It's an industry in which they were never really paid very well, and their savings don't add up to enough to cover their ongoing living costs for very long.

Eventually, there will come a time when the savings run out and this person dies of starvation without our help.

I consider this not to be a fair situation, and I'd rather my tax-dollars went to helping this person live a bit longer, than go to the next unnecessary-war (drummed up to keep the current pollies in power).

Comment author: nyralech 10 September 2015 04:18:14AM 1 point [-]

I consider this not to be a fair situation, and I'd rather my tax-dollars went to helping this person live a bit longer, than go to the next unnecessary-war (drummed up to keep the current pollies in power).

I think this shows the underlying problem. You would also rather have all your tax money go to give a cute little puppy more food than it will ever need, simply because war is a terrible alternative.

But that doesn't mean it's the best thing you can do with your money, or even anywhere near that standard. And neither is, one could argue, giving money to an obsolete person in a country where the cost of living is very high comparative to other countries in the world.

Comment author: HungryHobo 28 August 2015 12:38:49PM 0 points [-]

I think the unlimited potential for bad outcomes may be a problem there.

After all, the house might not explode, instead a military transport plane nearby might suffer a failure and the nuclear weapon on board might suffer a very unlikely set of failures and trigger on impact killing everyone for miles and throwing your mothers body far far far away. The pump isn't just dangerous to those involved and nearby.

Most consequences are limited in scope. You have a slim chance of killing many others through everyday accident but a pump would magnify that terribly.

Comment author: nyralech 28 August 2015 11:49:23PM 1 point [-]

Most consequences are limited in scope. You have a slim chance of killing many others through everyday accident but a pump would magnify that terribly.

That depends entirely on how the pump works. If it picks uniformly among bad outcomes, your point might be correct. However, it might still be biased towards narrow local effects for sheer sake of computability. If this is the case, I don't see why it would necessarily shift towards bigger bad outcomes rather than more limited ones.

In response to Tell Culture
Comment author: Princess_Stargirl 19 February 2015 10:20:58AM 0 points [-]

I really do not understand how "ruthless truth telling" is supposed to work. Lots of behavior is motivated by reasons that cannot be said aloud with hurting people. What if my reasons are things like "I think X person is pretty dull and I am not interested in what they have to say." There are alot of unpleasant feelings in most people's heads (including mine). I would strongl prefer these unpleasant feelings not be spoken aloud.

Comment author: nyralech 08 August 2015 09:49:36AM 0 points [-]

Yes, that's definitely a problem. But then I'd say you're trying to use it on the wrong group of people.

Many people here (I hope) would very much prefer it if you told them "hey you're dull" to you making up excuses every time you come across them and they try to talk to you, whether it be to reflect on why you think they're dull, or to stop wasting both of your time by trying to interact with you if you aren't even interested.

Comment author: TheMajor 07 August 2015 09:58:29PM *  3 points [-]

Actually most of it is quite natural, QM is the most obvious extension that you get when you try to extend the concept of 'probability' to complex numbers, and there are some suggestions why you would want to do this (I think the most famous/commonly found explanation is that we want 'smooth' operators, for example if turning around is an operator there should also be an operator describing 'half of turning around', and another for '1/3 of turning around' etc., which for mathematical reasons immediately gives you complex numbers (try flipping a sign in two identical steps, this is the same as multiplying by i)).

To my best knowledge the question of why we use wavefunctions is a chicken-and-the-egg type question - we want square integrable wavefunctions because those are the solution of Schrodingers equation, we want Schrodingers equation because it is (almost) the most general Hermitian time-evolution operator, time-evolution operators should be Hermitian because that is the only way to preserve unitarity and unitarity should be preserved because then the two-norm of the wavefunction can be interpreted as a probability. We've made a full circle.

As for your second question: I think a 'natural part of the theory' is something that Occam doesn't frown upon - i.e. if the theory with the extra part takes a far shorter description than the description of the initial theory plus the description of the extra part. Informally, something is 'a natural result of the theory' if somehow the description for the added result is somehow already partly specified by the theory.

Again my apologies for writing such long answers to short questions.

Comment author: nyralech 08 August 2015 01:18:41AM 0 points [-]

Thank you, that was certainly insightful. I see now that it is some kind of natural extension of relevant concepts.

I have been told however that from a formal point of view a lot of QM (maybe they were talking only about QED) makes no sense whatsoever and the only reason why the theory works is because many of the objects coming up have been redefined so as to make the theory work. I don't really know to what extent this is true, but if so I would still consider it a somewhat unnatural theory.

View more: Next