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Comment author: timujin 17 August 2017 02:42:58PM 0 points [-]

What's wrong with ethanol made from corn, anyway?

Comment author: robirahman 18 August 2017 01:11:01AM 0 points [-]

It's another subsidy to agribusiness conglomerates, which leech huge sums of money from taxpayers already.

And it uses up the corn so it can't be sold to hungry poor people, which is bad because starvation is bad.

Meetup : Slate Star Codex - Washington, DC

0 robirahman 09 August 2017 06:07PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Slate Star Codex - Washington, DC

WHEN: 19 August 2017 02:03:48PM (-0400)

WHERE: 1700 Leighton Wood Lane, Silver Spring, MD

The monthly Slate Star Codex and Less Wrong discussion meetup for Washington, Maryland, and Virginia. We'll meet from 7pm to midnight. Expected attendance is about 30.

Discussion article for the meetup : Slate Star Codex - Washington, DC

Comment author: robirahman 08 February 2017 10:35:04AM 0 points [-]

I'll be there! What games should I bring?

Comment author: robirahman 12 June 2016 12:05:23PM *  0 points [-]

I'll probably be there today! What games should I bring?

Edit: Couldn't make it this week, sorry :(

Comment author: robirahman 05 May 2016 05:28:48PM 0 points [-]

When will the survey results be published?

Comment author: devi 01 May 2016 07:21:05PM 1 point [-]

I just remembered that I still haven't finished this. I saved my survey response partway through, but I don't think I ever submitted it. Will it still be counted, and if not, could you give people with saved survey responses the opportunity to submit them?

I realize this is my fault, and understand if you don't want to do anything extra to fix it.

In response to comment by devi on Lesswrong 2016 Survey
Comment author: robirahman 05 May 2016 05:28:30PM 2 points [-]

Someone said elsewhere in this thread that if you stop in the middle of the survey, it does record the answers you put in before quitting.

In response to Are wireheads happy?
Comment author: robirahman 02 May 2016 08:47:57PM 0 points [-]

This summarizes a common strain of thought in economics, the idea of "revealed preferences". People tend to say they like a lot of things, like family or the environment or a friendly workplace. Many of the same people who say these things then go and ignore their families, pollute, and take high-paying but stressful jobs. The traditional economic explanation is that the people's actions reveal their true preferences, and that all the talk about caring about family and the environment is just stuff people say to look good and gain status.

I think you are mischaracterizing the concept of revealed preference. It's not that they claim to care about family or the environment "just for status", but rather, they exaggerate how much they care about one thing relative to another. For example, when I was overweight, I used to say stuff like "I want to be skinny". But I'd keep eating junk food anyway. The reality was that I wanted to eat junk food more than I wanted to be healthy. (Maybe not long-term: hyperbolic discounting can explain this, since people over-weight rewards that come sooner, so even people who will pick an apple instead of a cookie for tomorrow's lunch might be tempted enough to eat the cookie when the choice is right in front of them.) Nowadays, I enjoy being healthy more than I enjoy the taste of ice cream, so I can convince myself to stop eating it if I think about the downsides.

Comment author: robirahman 26 April 2016 03:44:02AM *  0 points [-]

I can’t actually remember the exact process/theorem in order to determine probabilities from betting odds. Can anyone link it to me?

From this article:


In the usual way of writing probabilities, probabilities are between 0 and 1. A coin might have a probability of 0.5 of coming up tails, or the weatherman might assign probability 0.9 to rain tomorrow.

This isn't the only way of writing probabilities, though. For example, you can transform probabilities into odds via the transformation O = (P / (1 - P)). So a probability of 50% would go to odds of 0.5/0.5 or 1, usually written 1:1, while a probability of 0.9 would go to odds of 0.9/0.1 or 9, usually written 9:1. To take odds back to probabilities you use P = (O / (1 + O)), and this is perfectly reversible, so the transformation is an isomorphism—a two-way reversible mapping. Thus, probabilities and odds are isomorphic, and you can use one or the other according to convenience.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 April 2009 12:47:55AM 4 points [-]

I'd tend to assume that the absence of a moderator makes it easier to abuse the more inexperienced party.

Comment author: robirahman 17 March 2016 04:23:53AM *  0 points [-]

Did this debate ever end up happening? If it did, is there a transcript available somewhere?

Edit: Found in another comment that WLC turned down the debate.

Comment author: Tiiba2 05 October 2007 05:25:53AM 3 points [-]

I know it's not entirely on topic, but biblical physics seems like a more important test of the Bible's truth than God's morality. If God does not follow the arbitrary laws of human society, what does that prove? Nor does the Bible wrongly saying that God is merciful mean much - what would you do if you were God and had to write a book? But if the Bible accurately states the age of the Universe, that's something. In the end, the only important issue is whether you're going to hell or heaven.

I actually think it's rather irrational for someone to think that God's cruelty is an argument against His existence, and this seems a common opinion among atheists. I mean, I believe in Stalin, who also claimed to be a milkmaid's best friend while executing anyone who looked at him funny.

Comment author: robirahman 15 January 2016 04:53:56PM 0 points [-]

I don't think God's cruelty in the Bible is evidence that there isn't any god, but it is evidence against the benevolent, omniscient, personal, omnipotent kind of theism that Christians and Jews would argue for.

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