I have the impression that very smart people have many more ideas than they can write down & explain adequately, and that these kinds of ideas especially get developed in & forgotten after conversations among smart people.
For some people, their comparative advantage could be to sit in conversations between smart people, record & take notes, and summarize the outcome of the conversations (or, alternatively, just interview smart people, let them explain their ideas & ask for feedback, and then write them down so that others understand them).
If you interview smart people on a video and publish it on your channel, it will be almost like Joe Rogan, who is quite popular. If you prioritize “smart” over “popular”, and interview some of them multiple times (under the assumption they have many more ideas than they can write down), it may be less generally popular, but also more original, so you could create your own niche. In addition, you could have a blog with short summaries of the interviews, with the videos embedded (which would make it easier to move to another platform if YouTube bans you).
I think this would be awesome. If you are tempted to try it, and only wait for encouragement, then by all means go ahead, you have my blessing! (I would be somewhat tempted myself, but my spoken English is not very good.)
By the way, the ideas don’t even have to be that special. Someone explaining their daily job can be already interesting enough. I mean, worst case, you don’t care, so you skip this specific video. That means, the potential material would not be scarce, and you are only limited by the time you want to spend doing this.
I regularly think about this. My big question is how to judge if your comparative advantage is that instead of doing the research/having the ideas yourself.
Thoughts on Fillers Neglect Framers in the context of LW.
LW seems to have more framers as opposed to fillers
This is because
framing probably has slightly higher status (framing posts get referenced more often, since they create useful concept handles)
framing requires more intelligence as opposed to meticulous research, and because most LWers are hobbyists, they don’t really have a lot of time for research
there is no institutional outside pressure to create more fillers (except high status fillers such as Gwern)
The rate of fillers to framers seems to have increased since LWs inception (I am least confident in this claim)
Perhaps this is a result of EY leaving behind a relatively accepted frame
I am probably in the 25th percentile-ish of intelligence among LWers, and enjoy researching and writing filling posts. Therefore, my comparative advantage is probably writing filling type posts as opposed to framing ones.
The child-in-a-pond thought experiment is weird, because people use it in ways it clearly doesn’t work for (especially in arguing for effective altruism).
For example, it observes you would be altruistic in a near situation with the drowning child, and then assumes that you ought to care about people far away as much as people near you. People usually don’t really argue against this second step, but very much could. But the thought experiment makes no justification for that extension of the circle of moral concern, it just assumes it.
Similarly, it says nothing about how effectively you ought to use your resources, only that you probably ought to be more altruistic in a stranger-encompassing way.
But not only does this thought experiment not argue for the things people usually use it for, it’s also not good for arguing that you ought to be more altruistic!
Underlying it is a theme that plays a role in many thought experiments in ethics: they appeal to game-theoretic intuition for useful social strategies, but say nothing of what these strategies are useful for.
Here, if people catch you letting a child drown in a pond while standing idly, you’re probably going to be excluded from many communities or even punished. And this schema occurs very often! Unwilling organ donors, trolley problems, and violinists.
Bottom line: Don’t use the drowning child argument to argue for effective altruism.
I don’t know, I think it’s a pretty decent argument. I agree it sometimes gets overused, but I do think given it’s assumptions “you care about people far away as much as people closeby” and “there are lots of people far away you can help much more than people close by” and “here is a situation where you would help someone closeby, so you might also want to help the people far away in the same way” are all part of a totally valid logical chain of inference that seems useful to have in discussions on ethics.
Like, you don’t need to take it to an extreme, but it seems locally valid and totally fine to use, even if not all the assumptions that make it locally valid are always fully explicated.
On self-reflection, I just plain don’t care about people far away as much as those near to me. Parts of me think I should, but other parts aren’t swayed. The fact that a lot of the motivating stories for EA don’t address this at all is one of the reasons I don’t listen very closely to EA advice.
I am (somewhat) an altruist. And I strive to be effective at everything I undertake. But I’m not an EA, and I don’t really understand those who are.
Yep, that’s fine. I am not a moral prescriptivist who tells you what you have to care about.
I do think that you are probably going to change your mind on this at some point in the next millennium if we ever get to live that long, and I do have a bunch of arguments that feel relevant, but I don’t think it’s completely implausible you really don’t care.
I do think that not caring about how people are far away is pretty common, and building EA on that assumption seems fine. Not all clubs and institutions need to be justifiable to everyone.
Right, my gripe with the argument is that these first two assumptions are almost always unstated, and most of the time when people use the argument, they “trick” people into agreeing with assumption one.
(for the record, I think the first premise is true)
I just updated my cryonics cost-benefit analysis with
a general Caveats section
incorporating the Quality of Cryopreservation for different age groups
some more Caveats on Future Life Years specifically on discounting future life years & putting diminishing returns on future life years
along with some small fixes and additions.
The basic result has not changed, though. It’s still worth it.
Adblockers have positive externalities: they remove much of the incentive to make websites addictive.
If the adblockers become too popular, websites will update to circumvent them. It will be a lot of work at the beginning, but probably possible.
The straightforward solution would be to move ad injection to the server side. The PHP (or whatever language) code generating the page would contact the ad server, download the ad, and inject it into the generated HTML file. From the client perspective, it is now all coming from the same domain; it is even part of the same page. The client cannot see the interaction between server and third party.
Problem with this solution is that it is too easy for the server to cheat; to download thousand extra ads without displaying them to anyone. The advertising companies must find a way to protect themselves from fraud.
But if smart people start thinking about it, they will probably find a solution. The solution doesn’t have to work perfectly, only statistically. For example, the server displaying the ad could also take the client’s fingerprint and send it to the advertising company. Now this fingerprint can of course either be real, or fictional if the server is cheating. But the advertising company could cross-compare fingerprints coming from thousand servers. If many different servers report having noticed the same identity, the identity is probably real. If a server reports too many identities that no one else have ever seen, the identities are probably made up. The advertising company would suspect fraud if the fraction of unique identities reported by one server exceeds 20%. Something like this.
They also have negative externalities, moving websites from price discrimination models that are available to everyone, to direct pay models that are only available to people who can afford that.
Mistake theory/conflict theory seem more like biases (often unconscious, hard to correct in the moment of action) or heuristics (should be easily over-ruled by object-level considerations).
[epistemic status: tried it once]
Possible life improvement: Drinking cold orange juice in the shower. Just did it, it felt amazing.
Cold shower or hot shower?
Life is quined matter.
DNA is a quine, when processed by DNA Replicase.
Although with a sufficiently complex (or specific) compiler or processor, any arbitrary stream of information can be made into a quine.
You can embed information in either of instructions/substrate, or compiler/processor. Quines usually seem limited to describing instructions/substrate, but that’s not the only place information can be drawn from. I’ve kinda come to think of it as 2-term operation (ex: “this bit of quine code is a quine wrt python”).
(More physical quines: Ink scribbles on a sheet of paper are a quine wrt a copy-machine. At about the far-end of “replicative complexity gets stored in the processor,” you have the “activated button” of a button-making machine (which activates with a button, and outputs buttons in an active state). I think the “activated button” here is either a quine, or almost a quine.)
The cool thing about life is that it it is both a quine, and its own processor. (And also, sorta its own power source.)
I find it simpler to call systems like this “living” (at least while active/functional), since they’re meaningfully more than just quines.
Viruses are definitely quines, though. Viruses and plasmids are non-living quines that compile and run on living biological systems.
Isn’t life then a quine running on physics itself as a substrate?
I hadn’t considered thinking of quines as two-place, but that’s obvious in retrospect.
Two-by-two for possibly important aspects of reality and related end-states:
I think there are multiple kinds of attacks, which matter in this matrix. Destruction/stability is a different continuum from take control of resources/preserve control of resources.
I also think there’s no stasis—the state of accessible resources (heat gradients, in the end) in the universe will always be shifting until it’s truly over. There may be multi-millenea equilibria, where it feels like stasis on a sufficiently-abstract level, but there’s still lots of change. As a test of this intuition, the Earth has been static for millions of years, and then there was a shift when it started emitting patterned EM radiation, which has been static (though changing in complexity and intensity) for 150 years or so.
I agree with Daniel, as well, that coordination and attack-to-control leads to singleton (winner takes all). I think coordination and attack-to-destroy may lead to singleton, or may lead to cyclic destruction back to pre-coordination levels. Defense and coordination is kind of hard to define—perfect cooperation is a singleton, right? But then there’s neither attack nor defense. I kind of hope defense and coordination leads to independence and trade, but I doubt it’s stable—eventually the better producer gets enough strength that attack becomes attractive.
Shouldn’t the singleton outcome be in the bottom right quadrant? If attack is easy but so is coordination, the only stable solution is one where there is only one entity (and thus no one to attack or be attacked.) If by contrast defense is easier, we could end up in a stable multipolar outcome… at least until coordination between those parties happen. Maybe singleton outcome happens in both coordination-is-easy scenarios.
Idea to for an approach how close GPT-3 is to “real intelligence”: generalist forecasting!
Give it the prompt: “Answer with a probability between 0 and 1. Will the UK’s Intelligence and Security committee publish the report into Russian interference by the end of July?”, repeat for a bunch of questions, grade it at resolution.
Similar things could be done for range questions: “Give a 50% confidence interval on values between −35 and 5. What will the US Q2 2020 GDP growth rate be, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis Advance Estimate?”.
Perhaps include the text of the question to allow more priming.
Upsides: It seems to me that making predictions is a huge part of intelligence, relatively easy to check and compare with humans
Downsides: Resolution will not be available for quite some time, and when the results are in, everybody will already be interested in the next AI project. Results only arrive “after the fact”.
After nearly half a year and a lot of procrastination, I fixed (though definitely didn’t finish) my post on range and forecasting accuracy.
Definitely still rough around the edges, I will hopefully fix the charts, re-analyze the data and add a limitations section.
epistemic status: a babble
While listening to this podcast yesterday, I was startled by the section on the choice of Turing machine in Solomonoff induction, and the fact that it seems arbitrary. (I had been thinking about similar questions, but in relation to Dust Theory).
One approach could be to take the set of all possible turing machines T, and for each pair of turing machines t1,t2∈T find the shortest/fastest program p1 on 2 so that p1 on 2 emulates t1 on t2. Then, if p1 on 2 is shorter/faster than p2 on 1, one can say that t1 is simpler than t2 (I don’t know if this would always intuitively be true). For example, python with witch can emulate python without witch in a shorter program that vice versa (this will only make sense if you’ve listened to the podcast).
Maybe this would give a total order over Turing machines with a maximum. One could then take the simplest Turing machine and use that one for Solomonoff induction.
Happy Petrov Day everyone :-)
Politics supervenes on ethics and epistemology (maybe you also need metaphysics, not sure about that).
There’s no degrees of freedom left for political opinions.
Actually not true. If “ethics” is a complete & transitive preference over universe trajectories, then yes, otherwise not necessarily.
I feel like this meme is related to the troll bridge problem, but I can’t explain how exactly.
In both cases, the reasoner has poor reasoning (in the meme, due to being bad at math; in the bridge problem, due to unexpected paradoxes in standard mathematical formulations). Where they diverge is that in the meme, poor logic maximizes (presumably) the decider’s benefit, whereas in the bridge problem, the poor logic minimizes the benefit the agent gets. But in both cases, the poor logic is somewhat self-reinforcing (though even moreso in the bridge problem than the meme)
If we don’t program philosophical reasoning into AI systems, they won’t
be able to reason philosophically.
This is an idea that’s been talked about here before, but it’s not even exactly clear what philosophical reasoning is or how to train for it, let alone if it’s a good idea to teach an AI to do that.