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Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 July 2013 11:12:52PM 0 points [-]

Nonfiction Books Thread

Comment author: vallinder 11 July 2013 01:20:58PM 1 point [-]

Just came across the book Behavior Modification in Applied Settings, which I don't think has been mentioned on Less Wrong previously. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it looks like it could be useful for those of us interested in boosting productivity and personal effectiveness.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 May 2013 04:47:26PM 10 points [-]

...yes? This seems like a quite reasonable epistemic state.

Comment author: vallinder 27 May 2013 08:43:36PM *  0 points [-]

See my reply to diegocaleiro.

Comment author: diegocaleiro 27 May 2013 05:14:47PM 0 points [-]

Aron, what makes you think otherwise?

Comment author: vallinder 27 May 2013 08:40:45PM *  5 points [-]

Not sure whether I do think otherwise. But if Luke had written "smarter-than-human machine intelligence" instead, I probably wouldn't have reacted. In comparison, "machine superintelligence singleton" is much more specific, indicating both (i) that the machine intelligence will be vastly smarter than us, and (ii) that multipolar outcomes are very unlikely. Though perhaps there are very convincing arguments for both of these claims.

Comment author: lukeprog 27 May 2013 05:05:26AM *  20 points [-]

Machine superintelligence appears to be a uniquely foreseeable and impactful source of stable trajectory change.

If you think (as I do) that a machine superintelligence is largely inevitable (Bostrom forthcoming), then it seems our effects on the far future must almost entirely pass through our effects on the development of machine superintelligence.

Someone once told me they thought that giving to the Against Malaria Foundation is, via a variety of ripple effects, more likely to positively affect the development of machine superintelligence than direct work on AI risk strategy and Friendly AI math. I must say I find this implausible, but I'll also admit that humanity's current understanding of ripple effects in general, and our understanding of how MIRI/FHI-style research in particular will affect the world, leaves much to be desired.

So I'm glad that Givewell, MIRI, FHI, Nick Beckstead, and others are investing resources to figure out how these things work.

Comment author: vallinder 27 May 2013 12:26:36PM 6 points [-]

a machine superintelligence singleton is largely inevitable

So do you think that while we can't be very confident about when AI will be created, we can still be quite confident that it will be created?

Comment author: lukeprog 27 May 2013 06:39:38AM *  0 points [-]
Comment author: vallinder 27 May 2013 08:41:50AM 2 points [-]
Comment author: vallinder 02 May 2013 08:05:20AM 11 points [-]

There's a Swedish word for this, "problemformuleringsprivilegiet," which roughly translates as "the privilege to formulate the problem."

Comment author: ThrustVectoring 16 April 2013 01:39:54PM 0 points [-]

The difference between languages and accents is largely a manner of degree. The boundary lines are completely arbitrary. You can pair mutually intelligible modes of speech together in a chain and have non-mutually-intelligible ends of the chain.

Comment author: vallinder 19 April 2013 05:05:12PM 1 point [-]

Indeed, my point was rather that if Scanian is included, so should ten or so other accents as well.

Comment author: [deleted] 14 April 2013 09:01:24AM 10 points [-]

The map of languages of Europe (as most such maps I've seen) has some very weird things. Why the hell would “Toscan” [sic] be considered a separate language from Italian and Neapolitan wouldn't? Describing most of Ireland as a “bilinguism [sic] situation” sounds like wishful thinking -- Irish might be official but very few people speak it regularly (not counting school classes and the like) except on the west coast.

Comment author: vallinder 14 April 2013 03:13:55PM 7 points [-]

Being from southern Sweden myself, I was also quite amused to see that Scanian – which is really just an accent – is marked as a separate language.

Comment author: lukeprog 02 April 2013 12:34:21AM *  0 points [-]

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12002/abstract (I want the publication version from this website, not the copy available free elsewhere.)

Comment author: vallinder 02 April 2013 09:36:03AM 3 points [-]
Comment author: vallinder 02 April 2013 06:55:33AM 0 points [-]

A few points:

  1. This year, spring has been much colder in most European countries than it typically is.
  2. FHI folks are not very representative: the fact that many of them spend late nights and weekends at the office isn't particularly strong evidence that other folks in the UK and in countries with a similar climate do the same.

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