I feel there is an important thing here but [setting the zero point] is either not the right frame, or a special case of the real thing, [blame and responsibility are often part of the map and not part of the territory] closely related to asymmetric justice and the copenhagen interpretation of ethics.
Afaict, the first simple game is not the prisoner’s dilemma, nor is it zero-sum, nor is the prisoner’s dilemma zero-sum.
This is not intended as a criticism in any way, but this post seems to overlap largely with https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/k9dsbn8LZ6tTesDS3/sazen.
[Edit: After looking at the timestamps it looks like that post actually came out after, anyway it might be an helpful alternative perspective on the same phenomenon.]
Is it just me or are alignment-related post titles getting longer and longer?
This post has a lot of particular charms, but also touches on a generally under-represented subject in LessWrong: the simple power of deliberate practice and competence. The community seems saturated with the kind of thinking that goes [let’s reason about this endeavor from all angles and meta-angles and find the exact cheat code to game reality] at the expense of the simple [git gud scrub]. Of course, gitting gud at reason is one very important aspect of gitting gud in general, but only one aspect.
The fixation on calibration and correctness in this community trades off heavily against general competence. Being correct is just a very special case of being good at things in general. Part of Duncan’s ethos is that it’s possible to learn [the pattern of gitting gud], and furthermore this is more important and consistent than learning how to be good at one particular arbitrary skill.
It seems important to notice that we don’t have control over when these “shimmying” strategies work, or how. I don’t know the implication of that yet. But it seems awfully important.
A related move is when applying force to sort of push the adaptive entropy out of a certain subsystem so that that subsystem can untangle some of the entropy. Some kinds of meditation are like this: intentionally clearing the mind and settling the body so that there’s a pocket of calmness in defiance of everything relying on non-calmness, precisely because that creates clarity from which you can meaningfully change things and net decrease adaptive entropy.
Two further comments:
(a) The main distinction I wanted to get across is while many behaviors fall under the “addiction from” umbrella, there is a whole spectrum of how more or less productive they are, both on their own terms and with respect to the original root cause.
(b) I think, but am not sure, I understand what you mean by [let go of the outcome], and my interpretation is different from how the words are received by default. At least for me I cannot actually let go of the outcome psychologically, but what I can do is [expect direct efforts to fail miserably and indirect efforts to be surprisingly fruitful].
Yeah… for some reason, on this particular point, it always does, no matter how I present it. Then people go on to say things that seem related but importantly aren’t. It’s a detail of how this whole dimension works that I’ve never seen how to communicate without it somehow coming across like an attempt to hijack people. Maybe secretly to me some part of me is trying. But FWIW, hijacking is quite explicitly the opposite of what I want. Alas, spelling that out doesn’t help and sometimes just causes people to say they flat-out don’t believe me. So… here we are.
Sure, seems like the issue is not a substantive disagreement, but some combination of a rhetorical tic of yours and the topic itself being hard to talk about.
Very strongly agree with the part of this post outlining the problem, your definition of “addiction” captures how most people I know spend time (including myself). But I think you’re missing an important piece of the picture. One path (and the path most likely to succeed in my experience) out of these traps is to shimmy towards addictive avoidance behaviors which optimize you out of the hole in a roundabout way. E.g. addictively work out to avoid dealing with relationship issues ⇒ accidentally improve energy levels, confidence, and mood, creating slack to solve relationship issues. E.g. obsessively work on proving theorems to procrastinate on grant applications ⇒ accidentally solve famous problem that renders grant applications trivial.
And included in this fact is that, best as I can tell, anyone who really groks what I’m talking about will want to prioritize peeling off adaptive entropy over any specific outcome. That using addiction or any other entropy-inducing structure to achieve a goal is the opposite of what they truly want.
This paragraph raised my alarm bells. There’s a common and “pyramid-schemey” move on LW to say that my particular consideration is upstream and dominant over all other considerations: “AGI ruin is the only bit that matters, drop everything else,” “If you can write Haskell, earning-to-give overwhelms your ability to do good in any other way, forget altruism,” “Persuading other people of important things overwhelms your own ability to do anything, drop your career and learn rhetoric,” and so on ad nauseum.
To be fair, I agree to a limited extent with all of the statements above, but over the years I’ve acquired so many skills and perspectives (many from yourself Val) that are synergistic and force-multiplying that I’m suspicious any time anyone presents an argument “you must prioritize this particular force-multiplier to the exclusion of all else.”
Sure, no big deal.
You can’t fight fire with fire, getting out of a tightly wound x-risk trauma spiral involves grounding and building trust in yourself, not being scared into applying the same rigidity in the opposite direction.
The comment is generally illuminating but this particular sentence seems too snappy and fake-wisdomy to be convincing. Would you mind elaborating?
Thanks for sharing this, it puts into relief a problem I’ve noticed about academic research: the real research happens behind closed doors and in private communications that the young people don’t have access to. Young people end up only learning about the finished theorems much later on in polished form.
That’s great to hear, I’ve been slowly working on this myself in recent years. E.g., it’s greatly improved my gaming experience—from being a total lurker to engaging with Discords, posting bugs and suggestions, occasionally writing Steam guides—it’s enriching for sure.
I don’t know about skills plural, but the game definitely drilled in that particular skill of aiming to falsify one’s hypotheses instead of just confirming them. That’s a skill well worth a dozen hours of deliberate practice in my opinion.
Fantastic game, thanks for recommendation!
I reimplemented the game in vanilla Python and managed to simulate it several hundred times with ~10k random species for a total of hundreds of thousands of generations.
Unfortunately, I didn’t read Hylang documentation carefully and thought foragers could simultaneously eat one of every food available, instead of just the most nutritious one...
Only my throwaway locust clone survived under the real rules. :’(
Haven’t played Osu! for many years now unfortunately. I only got into it briefly to practice mouse accuracy for FPS games, but that motivation has dried up. I suspect Osu! would still be damn good fun without it, so I’ll let you know if it gets to the top of my gaming queue. :)
Here are two recentish papers I really enjoyed reading, which I think are fairly reasonable to approach. Some of the serious technical details might be out of reach.
I tried Touhou Perfect Cherry Blossom at one point and never got past any difficulty, so I defer to your expertise here. There’s a general skill of getting better at focusing one’s attention in tandem with getting better at execution and this post is only a first approximation.
Yea, I think there’s some general pattern of the form:
Research is weird and mysterious.
Instead of studying research, why don’t we study the minds that do research?
But minds are equally weird and mysterious!
Ah yes, but you are yourself possessed of a mind, which, weirdly enough, can imitate other minds at a mysteriously deep level without consciously understanding what they’re doing.
This paper of mine answers exactly this question (nonconstructively, using the minimax theorem).