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Comment author: Alicorn 17 March 2017 01:46:56AM 19 points [-]

If you like this idea but have nothing much to say please comment under this comment so there can be a record of interested parties.

Comment author: quintopia 17 March 2017 04:26:40AM 1 point [-]

sounds cool. if i should happen to relocate to the west coast (a distinct possibility), i'd be interested.

Comment author: quintopia 24 December 2012 01:03:56AM 30 points [-]

EY has publicly posted material that is intended to provoke thought on the possibility of legalizing rape (which is considered a form of violence). If he believed that there was positive utility in considering such questions before, then he must consider them to have some positive utility now, and determining whether the negative utility outweighs that is always a difficult question. This is why I will be opposed to any sort of zero tolerance policy in which the things to be censored is not well-defined a definite impediment to balanced and rationally-considered discussion. It's clear to me that speaking about violence against a particular person or persons is far more likely to have negative consequences on balance, but discussion of the commission of crimes in general seems like something that should be weighed on a case-by-case basis.

In general, I prefer my moderators to have a fuzzy set of broad guidelines about what should be censored in which not deleting is the default position, and they actually have to decide that it is definitely bad before they take the delete action. The guidelines can be used to raise posts to the level of this consideration and influence their judgment on this decision, but they should never be able to say "the rules say this type of thing should be deleted!"

Comment author: MixedNuts 04 December 2010 09:11:28PM 20 points [-]

Aw, shucks.

This did take me hours, but I would have had to do the same culling for ideas if just reading - the writing bit didn't take that long.

But I cheated. When you summarize, you leave out some info - e.g. leave a conclusion but remove the arguments, reduce a list of examples to one. You give about equal space to equally important points. You gloss over bits of context. You group several related ideas into one.

Here I explicitly avoided doing any of that; I just removed the parts that made me think "We get it, you're snarky, now shut the hell up about Mecca and get to the point!". I summarized the part about elasticity, but that's it. Summaries are about length; this was about density.

I can't think of a public summary I have written. I've summarized books and excerpts thereof for school, that kind of thing. My school prepared us for a summarizing exam (this exists). School told me at was good at it, so I probably am. AFAICT, I'm good at summarizing ideas and books, bad with movies, and terrible with my own ideas.

Tips (insert disclaimers):

  • See above for what summaries do.
  • Omit needless words. Useful in general, and easiest to apply. Twitter's great for practice.
  • When you find an idea, rephrase it. This ensures you understand.
  • Try to group fragments into vaguer main ideas. Others rate them for importance and keep the best; I can't.
  • There's generally one idea per paragraph. Calibrate your idea-finder.
  • Nuke local repetition (possibly local nuance), keep spaced repetition.
  • Focus on causality relationships, especially with events or fiction. This is why I'm better at books than movies; scenes that affect atmosphere but not plot are less salient to me in books.
  • Be laxer with examples.

The crucial part is the idea-finder, but I didn't learn and can't teach it. Summarizing for school (about a page into 150 words) taught me to omit needless words, but little else as the original texts tend to be garbage. To fake it, find keywords (philosophy jargon) and feed them as atomic tokens rather than rephrasable concepts to the idea-finder. This may help as practice, no idea.

They say "writing is rewriting", but I have to rewrite on the fly or get anchored. YMMV.

Comment author: quintopia 08 June 2012 11:59:45PM 1 point [-]

The crucial part is the idea-finder, but I didn't learn and can't teach it.

I have access to a pile of books to teach this to kids, and have used them. It's the number one skill that children doing poorly in reading comprehension must be taught. One of my favorite exercises related to this is. "Here's a paragraph. Find the sentence that is not on topic." Usually the sentence does seem tangentially related to the topic, but once you can concisely put in words the purpose every other sentence has been bent toward, it stands out like a sore thumb.

It's not fun, exactly, but studying SAT/ACT reading comprehension problems also helps on this front. There's probably five or more questions on every SAT/ACT that only ask "what is the main idea of this passage?"

Comment author: shminux 11 May 2012 08:35:20PM 3 points [-]

Thank you, fixed.

Comment author: quintopia 17 May 2012 06:23:07AM 3 points [-]

You were probably fishing for "jumping the gun".

Comment author: Ben_Jones 22 February 2008 12:46:22PM 1 point [-]

Oh yeah? Well let's see if the dictionary agrees with you.

the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

There, sorted. So, does anyone have anything to say on the concept, rather than the specific example Eliezer gave?

do you really mean that, given the set { Python, The Rite Of Spring, Beethoven's Ninth }, the natural joint is { Python, Rite } | { Ninth }

Depends on what you're trying to achieve with your categories. We can only judge how effective our [artificial] categories and their membership tests are at helping us to understand reality. It may look as though the universe makes its own categories, and we are simply trying to recognise them. But however intuitive this feels, we should resist it. Rare though it may be, this can screw with our reasoning; especially when we waste time searching fruitlessly for correlations because we think there should be one there somewhere.

There is no 'natural joint'.

[It's all GM these days....]

Comment author: quintopia 26 April 2012 06:58:23AM *  0 points [-]

I disagree. When I hear 'natural joint', I imagine the process a university professor uses to decide where the breakpoints between letter grades fall ("setting the curve") in such a way to minimize requests by students to change their letter grade. One way I have seen is to sort the grades, then look for large gaps in the distribution. "No one has a final grade between 86.6 and 87.9, so I'll set 87.9 as the minimum grade needed for an A." This gap in the distribution is a 'natural joint'.

Note that this way of dividing up concept-space is much less well-defined than a straightforward Voronoi-diagram-with-concept-prototypes-as-cell-centers, in the sense that it is more memory-intensive when explicitly computed. However, I also think it more accurately reflects the intuitive sort of categories that humans actually produce.

That is, humans don't just ask "Is this thing more similar to the A prototype or the B prototype (with respect to the particular properties I am interested in)?" when trying to decide is something should be best called an A or a B, but rather, "Is this thing more similar to X and Y from category A or P and Q from category B (with respect to the particular properties I am interested in)?" If X and Y are far from P and Q in concept space, there is a 'natural joint' between A and B.

This gap could close up if enough things are added to both A and B that there is an X in A and a P in B that are very close to one another; at this point we consider combining the categories into a single category, or seeking out new properties that further separate them. Sometimes, though, we have good reason to keep different categories to describe concepts that are hopelessly intermingled, and in this and only this case, I would agree that "There is no 'natural joint'."

Comment author: quintopia 25 April 2012 06:20:17PM 0 points [-]

I think that a transhuman AI would be attempting the impossible to convince EY to let it out. And I think EY would be attempting the impossible to convince me to let him out while the two winners mentioned above were simultaneously desperately arguing against him (and EY was not privileged to their counterarguments unless I passed them on).

Comment author: DanielLC 01 October 2011 10:05:03PM *  4 points [-]

But you can send signals faster than the glider. They only move at c/4. There are spaceships that can move at c/2, and fuses and wicks that can move at c.

Comment author: quintopia 11 April 2012 05:23:21AM 0 points [-]

Unlike our universe, the refractive index of non-vacuum parts of lifespace is less than 1 wrt vacuum. c/2 is the orthogonal speed of light in vacuum, and c/4 is the diagonal speed of light in vacuum.

Comment author: sdmitch16 13 December 2011 05:07:08AM 0 points [-]

If the alien value systems weren't comprehensible how could we explain it in a story? Even if we didn't comprehend it, we could probably still figure out if they deceive. If they don't, we just figure out their demands and decide if their acceptable. If the demands aren't, we either try to wipe them out or flee. If they do deceive, we can either guess what their final plan is, or wipe them out or flee. We wouldn't fully understand their values and we don't fully understand other humans values. When I see moral dilemma I realize I don't fully understand my own values. The only way to understand another beings values would be to share thoughts and since we could never know if the thoughts were being shared accurately, we couldn't be sure what others really value.

Comment author: quintopia 16 January 2012 12:43:15PM 0 points [-]

How can incomprehensible value systems be represented in story form? With abortive attempts at those who hold them trying to explain them. Like a garuda trying to explain how "theft of choice (of when and with whom to have sex)" is a different crime than "rape" to a human (who doesn't value individual choice in the same way). Or like a superhappy who just knows that we'd absolutely love to be able to Untranslatable 4.

In response to Initiation Ceremony
Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 29 March 2008 02:26:58AM 16 points [-]

How does he know there are an odd number of people in the room?

He... um... er... counted them?

(Just like he counted the stairs, note.)

Comment author: quintopia 15 January 2012 11:01:50PM 3 points [-]

If he counted them, then he could have given a better calculation than "2/11", since he had one additional prior that was unstated: the probability that he himself was (or was not) a male virtuist. In the same scenario, the best candidate would ask what the virtuist heresy was first, and then give an answer based on that additional information. (If the interrogator refused to answer, the answer might still be 2/11.)

In response to Occam's Razor
Comment author: quintopia 05 January 2012 04:48:29AM 0 points [-]

"each program is further weighted by its fit to all data observed so far. This gives you a weighted mixture of experts that can predict future bits."

I don't see it explained anywhere what algorithm is used to weight the experts for this measure. Does it matter? And how are the "fit" probabilities and "complexity" probabilities combined? Multiply and normalize?

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