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Comment author: DanielLC 22 April 2014 12:44:49AM 0 points [-]

He only says you're allowed to steal it. Not to use it with permission. If you take it without permission, that's stealing, so you have permission, which means that you didn't steal it, etc.

Comment author: ygert 22 April 2014 09:57:33AM *  1 point [-]

No, no, no: He didn't say that you don't have permission if you don't steal it, only that you do have permission if you do.

What you said is true: If you take it without permission, that's stealing, so you have permission, which means that you didn't steal it.

However, your argument falls apart at the next step, the one you dismissed with a simple "etc." The fact that you didn't steal it in no way invalidates your permission, as stealing => permission, not stealing <=> permission, and thus it is not necessarily the case that ~stealing => ~permission.

Comment author: iconreforged 20 April 2014 10:24:19PM 1 point [-]

Does anyone know of a way to collaboratively manage a flashcard deck in Anki or Mnemosyne? Barring that, what are my options so far as making it so?

Even if only two people are working on the same deck, the network effects of sharing cards makes the card-making process much cheaper. Each can edit the cards made by the other, they can divide the effort between the two of them, and they reap the benefit of insightful cards they might not have made themselves.

Comment author: ygert 22 April 2014 09:44:12AM 0 points [-]

You could use some sort of cloud service: for example, Dropbox. One of the main ideas behind of Dropbox was to have a way for multiple people to easily edit stuff collaboratively. It has a very easy user interface for such things (just keep the deck in a synced folder), and you can do it even without all the technical fiddling you'd need for git.

Comment author: V_V 20 April 2014 09:04:19AM 1 point [-]

How do you know that Skynet is not a paperclipper?

Comment author: ygert 20 April 2014 11:43:13AM *  2 points [-]

By observing the lack of an unusual amount of paperclips in the world which Skynet inhabits.

Comment author: ygert 16 March 2014 10:04:49AM 0 points [-]

I have some rambling thoughts on the subject. I just hope they aren't too stupid or obvious ;-)

Let's take as a framework the aforementioned example of the last digit of the zillionth prime. We'll say that the agent will be rewarded if it gets it right, on, shall we say, a log scoring rule. This means that the agent is incentivised to give the best (most accurate) probabilities it can, given the information it has. The more unreasonably confident it is, the more it loses, and the same with underconfidence.

By the way, for now I will assume the agent fully knows the scoring rule it will be judges by. It is quite possible that this assumption raises problems of its own, but I will ignore them for now.

So, the agent starts with a prior over the possible answers (a uniform prior?), and starts updating itself. But it wants to figure out how long it will spend doing so, before it should give up and hand in for grading its "good enough" answer. This is the main problem we are trying to solve here.

In the degenerate case in which it has nothing else in the universe other than this to give it utility, I actually think it is the correct answer to work forever (or as long as it can before physically falling apart) on the answer. But we shall make the opposite assumption. Let's call the amount of utility lost to the agent as an opportunity cost in a given unit of time by the name C. (We shall also make the assumption that the agent knows what C is, at least approximately. This is perhaps a slightly more dangerous assumption, but we shall accept it for now.)

So, the agent want to work for as many units of time as it can before the marginal amount of extra utility it would earn from the scoring rule from the work of a unit time is less than C.

The only problem left is figuring out that margin. But, by the assumption that the agent knows the scoring rule, it knows the derivative of the scoring function as well. At any given point in time, it can figure out the amount of change to the potential utility it would get from the change to the probabilities it assigns. Thus, if the agent knows approximately the range in which it may update in the next step, it can figure out whether or not the next stage is worthwhile.

In other words, once it is close enough to the answer that it predicts that a marginal update would move it closer to the answer by an amount that gives less than C utility, it can quit, and not perform the next step.

This makes sense, right? I do suspect that this is the direction to drive at in the solution to this problem.

Comment author: blacktrance 03 March 2014 04:58:49AM 0 points [-]

It only shows percentages, not the number of upvotes and downvotes. For example, if you have 100% upvotes, you may not know whether it was one upvote or 20.

Comment author: ygert 03 March 2014 12:27:35PM *  2 points [-]

If a comment has 100% upvotes, then obviously the amount of upvotes it got is exactly equal to the karma score of the post in question.

Comment author: MathieuRoy 02 March 2014 01:44:51AM *  3 points [-]

I am doing a Youtube playlist of transhumanist songs (with a particular quote from each song). Since there's not a lot of these, I also put songs that are only somewhat transhumanist (frankly I'm shocked at the ratio of transhumanist songs to love songs). So do you have suggestions for songs that are somewhat related to transhumanism (and/or rationality) (not necessarily in English) please?

For example, here are the ones that I have put in the playlist so far:

Turn It Around by Tim McMorris

Have you ever looked outside and didn’t like what you see

Or am I the only one who sees the things we could be

If we made more effort, then I think you’d agree

That we could make the world a better place, a place that is free

Another one is Hiro by Soprano: a song about someone who's saying what he would do if he could travel back in time. (it’s in French but with English subtitles) (it's inspired from the TV show Heroes which I also recommend).

Tellement de choses que j’aurais voulu changer ou voulu vivre (So many things that I would change or live)

Tellement de choses que j’aurais voulu effacer ou revivre (So many things that I would erase or live again)

The classic Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace…

The Future Soon by Jonathan Coulton

Well it's gonna be the future soon

And I won't always be this way

One that I saw recommended on LW: The Singularity by Dr. Steel (it's my favorite!)

Nanotechnology transcending biology

This is how the race is won

Another that I saw on LW: Singularity by The Lisps

You'd keep all the memories and feelings that you ever want,

And now you can commence your life as an uploaded extropian.

Singularity by Steve Aoki & Angger Dimas ft. My Name is Kay

We’re gonna live, we’ll never die

I am the very model of a singularitarian

I am a Transhuman, Immortalist, Extropian

I am the very model of a Singularitarian

Another World by Doug Bard

Sensing a freedom you've never known,

no limitation, only you can decide

Transhuman by Neurotech

The mutation is in our nature

Transhuman by Amaranthe

My adrenaline feeds my desire

To become an immortal machine

E.T. by Katy Perry ft. Kanye West

You're from a whole other world

A different dimension

You open my eyes

And I'm ready to go

Lead me into the light

Space Girl by Charmax

She told me never venture out among the asteroids, yet I did.

Comment author: ygert 03 March 2014 08:12:07AM 2 points [-]

In this writup of the 2013 Boston winter solstice celebration, there is a list of songs sung there. I would suggest this as a primary resource for populating your list.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 25 February 2014 02:24:27AM *  3 points [-]

Agreed that making up the story only tells so much about the narrator. But so far we're only considering the narrator.

Believing the story is what will change you. Until the day the kid knows any better, he will seriously believe that the universe has a punishment system that kills people for staying up late. If he's upset at his little brother, he may try to trick him into not sleeping, hoping for him to be eaten. This may or may not poison their future relationship.

In a world where the kid grows up without being told the monster wasn't real, he will tell the same story to his own kids. The first scenario will repeat itself, but this time the adult will mean it.

Edit: I just noticed this scenario contradicts my previous argument, where I suggested the narrator was more to blame than his gullible listeners. I feel more inclined to think otherwise now.

Comment author: ygert 25 February 2014 08:55:03AM *  1 point [-]

Upvoted for explicitly noticing and noting your confusion. One of the best things about Less Wrong is that noticing the flaws in one's own argument is respected and rewarded. (As it should be, in a community of truth-seekers.)

Good for you!

Comment author: MathieuRoy 10 February 2014 04:58:14AM *  2 points [-]

What transhumanist and/or rationalist podcast/audiobook do you prefer beside hpmor which I just finished and really liked!!

Comment author: ygert 10 February 2014 12:41:42PM *  1 point [-]

As I mentioned to you when you asked on PredictionBook, look to the media threads. These are threads specifically intended for the purpose you want: to find/share media, including podcasts/audiobooks.

I also would like to reiterate what I said on PredictionBook: I don't think PredictionBook is really meant for this kind of question. Asking it here is fine, even good. It gives us a chance to direct you to the correct place without clogging up PredictionBook with nonpredictions.

Comment author: blacktrance 07 February 2014 06:43:44PM *  4 points [-]

It would be convenient if, when talking about utilitarianism, people would be more explicit about what they mean by it. For example, when saying "I am a utilitarian", does the writer mean "I follow a utility function", "My utility function includes the well-being of other beings", "I believe that moral agents should value the well-being of other beings", or "I believe that moral agents should value all utility equally, regardless of the source or who experiences it"? Traditionally, only the last of these is considered utilitarianism, but on LW I've seen the word used differently.

Comment author: ygert 09 February 2014 05:43:43PM *  9 points [-]

Right. Many people use the word "utilitarianism" to refer to what is properly named "consequentialism". This annoys me to no end, because I strongly feel that true utilitarianism is a decoherent idea (it doesn't really work mathematically, if anyone wants me to explain further, I'll write a post on it.)

But when these terms are used interchangeably, it gives the impression that consequentialism is tightly bound to utilitarianism, which is strictly false. Consequentialism is a very useful and elegant moral meta-system. It should not be shouldered out by utilitarianism.

Comment author: hyporational 09 February 2014 05:15:57PM 0 points [-]

I try to use language economically, there's a precision trade-off. On a spectrum from centralized to decentralized, do you think it's more centralized now than it was in the middle ages?

Comment author: ygert 09 February 2014 05:31:23PM *  9 points [-]

In a sense, most certainly yes! In the middle ages, each fiefdom was a small city-state, controlling in its own right not all that much territory. There certainly wasn't the concept of nationalism as we know it today. And even if some duke was technically subservient to a king, that king wasn't issuing laws that directly impacted the duke's land on a day to day basis.

This is unlike what we have today: We have countries that span vast areas of land, with all authority reporting back to a central government. Think of how large the US is, and think of the fact that the government in Washington DC has power over it all. That is a centralized government.

It is true that there are state governments, but they are weak. Too weak, in fact. In the US today, the federal government is the final source of authority. The president of the US has far more power over what happens in a given state than a king in the middle ages had over what happened in any feudal dukedom.

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