The idea of ontological flexibility hints at this.
Unsong from Scott Alexander is a masterpiece.
An unexplored land within LessWrong is where the objective world meets the narrative world. Science dedicates its time almost exclusively to objective facts (what is) but this is hardly our everyday life. The world we live is full of emotions, motivations, pain, and joy. This is the world of stories that constrain and inform action. Rather than brush it aside, it should be explored as an important puzzle piece in instrumental rationality (I think this is what Unsong is kind-of about, including other works in the category of the aptly named: “Rational Fiction.”)
Funny that you have your great LessWrong whale as I do, and that you recall that it may be from Wei Dai as well (while him not recalling)
One of the things that enticed me about LessWrong is a concrete and easy way to call someone a “rationalist,” namely someone who has read the three books from the Library section (Sequences, HPMOR, and The Codex.)
After that, the curated sequences and the concepts page. I just think is a wonderfully easy way to define concepts, and create a shared vocabulary while building on top of it. I hope that with time it gets expanded to encompass more books and sequences.
The term rationalist then falls short but this is how I easily can separate people and am sympathetic to those who want to change the name.
A talk given by Rogen Penrose is apt here: The Problem of Modelling the Mathematical Mind. He tries to define how the mind of a sufficiently good mathematician may work with emphasis on parallelization of mathematical solutions. And an interesting book may be The Mathematician’s Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field by Jacques Hadamard.
Mathematician Richard Borcherds said in an interview that he does not have a great memory, that this allows him to come back to a mathematical problem and try solving it in a different way than he did before (because he does not remember how he solved it.)
This is amazing. Incredible execution, it does not go unnoticed!
This is a really good comment. If you care to know more about his thinking, he has a book called, “hackers and painters” which I think sums up very well his views. But yes, it’s a redistribution of wealth and power from strong people and bureaucrats to what he calls “nerds” as in people who know technology deeply and actually build things.
The idea of instrumental rationality touches at the edges of builders, and you need to if you ever so desire to act in the world.
The heads of Government and the FDA don’t work like you do. Who knows the incentives that they have? It’s entirely possible that for them this is just a political play(moving chess pieces) that make sense for them while the well-being of the people take secondary place to a particular political move.
This wouldn’t be the first thing that this happens in any kind of government agency, but, at any rate, it’s too early to be skeptical. We need to see how this unfolds, may be the pausing don’t last as much.
This is a really interesting post. I wonder how implementable this is, it does touches the edges of collective action. Imagine a change.org petition for someone to read something and make a review of it, despite public interest it does miss the incentive structure for one who actually carries the task.
Going further, some people are tokenizing the hours of their day and selling them on the blockchain (this is too broad, but imagine a particular action being tokenized, where people can fund it through sheer interest and then someone like David Deutsch could claim it.) This does not seem so far-fetched to me.
I don’t think there’s enough written about long-termism. You have a reader here if you ever decide to write something. I wonder as to where between those two school of thoughts you fall.
As a side thought: One of the things I always sensed from this forum is a deep affinity for different ways of understanding things. So, not surprisingly, many converge and are enthralled by Bret Victor, though there are many (Nielsen, Matuschak, the web you linked, 3blue1brown, Jonathan Blow.)
So I think that exploring different mediums can be and end on itself rather than just making visualizations to understand a given subject (I get a sense of that from your comment, and I hope you explore it further!)
I think the problem with visualization content is that is very time-intensive to make (let alone the difficulty.) You should look at the manim library written in python from which 3blue1brown made his videos of Linear Algebra.
Huh, I understand where you’re coming from. Especially, this:
[...] a kidney stone increases my level of baseline fear
Since I did not consider it. It’s completely possible to imagine a world where your baseline fear increases ever so slightly in a way that outweighs the fact of knowing what may be going on when it hits you.
But –though I concede your point– is your behavior someway modified, at any rate, given the fact that you may get hit by kidney stones? For example, say, analogizing with family history of high blood pressure, I would most likely take some precaution measures if I knew high blood pressure (or kidney stones) were in my family. Precautions that I wouldn’t have taken in the case where I’m oblivious to my inclination for such diseases.
I think that most of what I’ve gotten out of the Sequences is actually this. The act of noticing. I think it not only applies to shame, but to many more related internal conflicts.
In my experience, it’s surprising the amount which we can learn by applying procedures such as the method you outline. Hopefully we get to see more about this.
While I think, the Typical Mind Fallacy is strong with this one; the post does have some good bits. I messaged him privately my problems with it, but I up-voted since I think the post taps into something broader and good which I would like to read more about.
Hey Isnasene, I agree with most of what you say; but I do have a point to make about what I think is the sense of this post.
1. Less confusion means that people have better models of their environment,
2. which means they have better control over their environment,
3. which reduces uncertainty and fear,
While I do not agree completely with agai, I also do not agree with the other extreme, which is what you propose:
is false. Having an understanding of kidney stones doesn’t give me any more control over kidney stones. Understanding kidney stone treatments doesn’t give me any more control over kidney stones. Getting treatment from people who have the tools to treat kidney stones gives me a little bit of control.
How many people end up in the emergency room not knowing what they have? The fact that you have, at least, a bit of understanding about kidney stones (like your family’s history), does give you a control about them. Alas, not a complete control, but way better than the alternative. Thus, the very moment you feel pain in a very localized zone, you can hurry and see the doctor. That’s pretty much the way I would define a good model.
Don’t you think that the fear you would feel when succumbing to the pain of kidney stones and not knowing what you have is greater than the fear (that you do not have) of getting kidney stones? This is a case where an accurate model of the world does indeed reduce your fear and uncertainty.
This is a great comment!
Holistic leveling up would then consist of making a list of all “required” things, evaluating sincerely how good you are at each of them, and focusing on the ones you have most neglected. Plus doing something about your selected “optional” thing.
there is a lot of value on just thinking on what our values are, what we need and feel we need, and what the best course of action is (while also committing); but the framework of these “required” and “optional” framework makes it better, especially when coupled with the idea of following the things which are likely to provide most benefit!
On the other hand the last paragraphs deserve another post on their own, I remember Eliezer writing that any writer has at least 1million words that need to get out before writing the real stuff. I would say, “don’t push that million on me!”
Anyways, welcome John Igo, I really like it when new users read the stuff that the community is really about.
Sorry, I noticed that other people did that thing and it seemed sort of funny to me. But anyways, I hope I made my point somewhat clear and this post –and all the comments in it– overall helps you; I think it did.
Yeah… that is not what I mean at all. You want a site, what about this one or SSC? I hardly think that you need any research paper, or meta-analyses (although, you can most certainly find them.)
Instead, if what you need is to “beat” your uncle by telling him, “You see… I’ve got this paper right here, Golden et al. Which Indicates that the aluminum and thimerosal content within vaccines is not harmful at all...” Then you need another thing. And that is not the solution to your problem. If what you are, is involved in a domination game right here, right now in the middle of Christmas then the solution is to pass! And of course, to vaccinate your children, and persuade everyone to vaccinate their children (Or you know… give them a pass on the genetic pool? — I joke, of course.)
For next year your uncle will come and say, “The earth? Yeah, it’s flat.” You will get wide-eyed, you will shrug and say, “No uncle, not again!” And then, you will get at the right solution.