Early example: “The Creative Personality and the Ideal Pupil”, Torrance 1969.
There are lots of specific examples. I see it as a generalization.
Speaking of Schmidhuber, he serves as a good example: he spends weirdness points like they’re Venezuelan bolivars. Despite him and his lab laying more of the groundwork for the deep learning revolution than perhaps anyone and being right about many things decades before everyone else, he is probably the single most disliked researcher in DL. Not only is he not unfathomably rich or in charge of a giant lab like DeepMind, he is the only DL/RL researcher I know of who regularly gets articles in major media outlets written in large part about how he has alienated people: eg https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/27/technology/artificial-intelligence-pioneer-jurgen-schmidhuber-overlooked.html or https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-15/google-amazon-and-facebook-owe-j-rgen-schmidhuber-a-fortune And this is solely because of his personal choices and conduct. It’s difficult to think of an example of a technologist inventing so much important stuff and then missing out on the gains because of being so entirely unnecessarily unpleasant and hard to bear (William Shockley and the Traitorous Eight come to mind as an example; maybe David Chaum & Digicash too).
The question isn’t P(ever abused|mentally ill), the question is P(true accusation|mentally ill). Maybe 40% of mentally ill women have been victims of at least 1 attempted rape at some point in their lives, but if they go around making dozens of rape accusations, while non-mentally-ill women hardly ever do, then a mentally ill accuser is strong evidence that a specific accusation is probably false. None of the statistics you quote bear on this or prove your claim. (One might say you spend all your effort establishing a denominator but forget the numerator.)
Don’t fall into the horns effect.
Don’t fall into the horns effect.
The horns effect is real because everything is correlated.
Here’s how I think of optimizing grocery shopping. Food makes up a nontrivial fraction of my recurring monthly expenses, and while shopping, I’ve given it a bit of thought. I’m impressed how much money many people manage to spend on food, especially when they should be benefiting from scale/group. Anyway:
plan recipes ahead to avoid impulse shopping and food wastage while puzzling how to eat something. Resources on frugal cooking are everywhere and you can find tons of advice on eg cooking soup or stew. You should emphasize minimally unprocessed goods which are commodities and so cheap, with fewer layers of bogus product differentiation and overhead and advertising. (I wouldn’t take ‘health’ too seriously as a criterion. Diet and nutrition research is one of the worst fields in all medicine, IMO. Don’t let that diminish your quality of life!)
investigate all local groceries. The average price can differ considerably between stores. In my own, I have Walmart, Target, Shoppers, Aldi, NEX and some others (BJ’s is the major alternative but I’ve never been convinced I would be able to buy enough to benefit). When I switched from NEX to Walmart, I saved a good 10%; when I switched (most of) my shopping to Aldi, I saved another good 10%. (The cost savings had I started with Whole Foods or Harris Teeter hardly bear thinking on.) There are some disadvantages to shopping at Aldi (more restricted selection, very disorganized store, having to remember to bring a quarter for the shopping carts) but saving $20 or $30 is a good salve for the annoyances. It may take some time to get familiar with a store (I take about an hour to thoroughly walk through a store, looking at where everything is and noting prices for things I often buy), but consider the Value of Information: if you spend 2 or 3 hours to find a new grocery store and save 10-20%, that’s a savings of easily $120+ a year for a NPV of something like $2k. (120 / log(1.05))
120 / log(1.05)
in choosing a grocery store and what to buy, remember the costs also of travel and time spent shopping. The goal is to get your groceries for a total cost which minimizes money, time, and effort. Every second spent shopping is a waste—certainly I don’t particularly enjoy it. The cost of driving to a store is somewhere around $0.10-$0.50 per mile, and then there is the risk of accidents and your own time; adding up the mileage and time, I get ~$15 per grocery trip. This is a substantial fraction of the total cost of my groceries, and so I keep that in mind when planning: I shop once a month, stocking up as much as possible. I’d much rather make one trip to buy a lot of food at $120+$15=$135 than two trips at $60+$60+$15+$15=$150! (In this respect, Aldi is a wash for me: I have to spend somewhat longer driving to it, but it’s so much more compact and tiny that I spend much less time walking around it and checking out.) Travel time is also why it makes a lot of sense to occasionally buy from the local dollar store about 3 minutes away—when a single trip costs $15, then even if a bottle of ketchup or whatever costs twice as much as at Aldi, it’s still a lot cheaper. (Although if you find yourself resorting to that too often, it suggests you are making mistakes further upstream.)
in buying a specific ingredient, always start with the unit cost. Many foods keep a long time and you can easily make use of a larger quantity. It’s somewhat unusual for something to be too big to buy and a bad idea due to spoilage/opportunity cost (usually something either perishable, like fruit, or ridiculously long-lasting; eg a few months ago, I finished off a bottle of molasses which dated, as best as I could infer from the copyrights on the label, from ~1995, and it would not be a good idea to buy a very big bottle of molasses if you only use it once in a while like I do, for baking rye bread).
when buying a new ingredient, start with the generic.
If you have doubts about buying generic, test it: require the much more expensive brandname goods to justify their existence. My preference is to take into account Value of Information: by the same logic as choosing groceries, rejecting a cheap generic food in favor of an expensive one is a very expensive mistake as you incur it indefinitely. One of my pet peeves is how much money people waste on brandname goods rather than defaulting to generics or off-brands, when there is rarely a noticeable taste difference to me.
So my suggestion is that whenever you try something new, buy 1 of everything and try them out side by side to see what you like and if the brandname quality can possibly justify paying so much more. I’ve done this with butter, milk, applesauce, cereal, bacon, sausage, mustard, ice cream, etc. It baffles me how few people apparently take advantage of this—like at Walmart, the ‘irregular bacon’ tastes literally identical and is not that different from the regular bacon and yet is always almost half-price per ounce! Half! If I spend $8 a month rather than $4 on bacon, that’s a NPV of -$983. Quite an expensive mistake to make over a lifetime.
I don’t advise reinforcement learning-style approaches like Thompson sampling. Why? Because the VoI for testing all options is so high, you can sample them all simultaneously (making it more of a multiple-play MAB), there is large cognitive costs to maintaining options (the point is to get in and out as fast as possible, remember, to minimize time-cost) and so each sample has a fixed cost (which is ignored in the usual MAB formulation where it’s assumed you have to choose each round anyway), and in my experience sampling foodstuffs, not many things are ‘acquired tastes’ where multiple tastes will yield a different result, and there is not just not that much noise in taste comparisons of this sort. Typically, I try something and it’s immediately extremely obvious that the generics/brandname are equivalent or which one is much superior. (And if the difference is subtle, then it doesn’t matter, and typically the price difference is not subtle.) If there is no noise, the EV is very positive, and you can take multiple actions simultaneously, taking a Thompson sampling or sequential testing approach is merely incurring unnecessary regret and complexity compared to a single-trial decision approach. So it’s best to do a single precise test of all available contenders, and then buy the top-ranked item from then on without thinking about it further.
Does the optimal buy change? Maybe, but food prices are fairly stable in a relative sense (eg when bacon spiked in price the past 2 years, all the bacons did simultaneously, so I wound up buying the exact same discount bacon), so the decisions don’t seem to need to be revisited more. Even if the information decays, the tests are still worth running because aside from learning about the specific food type you’re testing, you benefit from getting an idea of the general range of variation in food taste/quality and how much a brandname is worth (ie ‘little’).
skip coupons and sales. They are obviously negative sum games after sorting through the gimmicks and all the options, intended to get things you didn’t want to buy in the first place, even at the discounted price, even occasional mistakes will wipe out the savings, and they discourage experimentation and comparison (you wouldn’t want to buy the other applesauce which you don’t have a coupon for, would you? why, that would be a ripoff!); worse, they are by definition ephemeral, so your gained knowledge and effort becomes immediately worthless, as compared to stable long-term knowledge like which grocery store is cheapest, where all items are located, which generics to buy etc. Like credit card churning or frequent-flier miles, they should be avoided as traps. Life is far too short.
Grocery lists should be kept regularly and reused as templates to avoid forgetting about important things or indulging in impulse or spree purchasing.
Tracking expenditures can be helpful in finding categories of food which have been getting imbalanced spending and reviewing enjoyment/$ tradeoffs.
After evaluating stores, learning where items are, finishing taste comparisons, picking recipes, making template lists, the whole process shouldn’t occupy more than an hour or so a month: you take your template, modify slightly for current recipes, drive there, dash in to the prespecified items, buy just those, and get out.
plan sensible cheap meals
find the cheapest local grocery store
buy as rarely as possible, in bulk, and generic (unless a food is proven in taste-testing to be superior); get in and out and don’t be tempted.
In terms of optimizing, keep in mind the Pareto principle: quantitatively, I think the biggest wins comes in this order:
choice of foods (potentially 10x difference in cost)
generic vs brandname (1-3x)
choice of grocery store (<=1.3x)
buying bulk (1-1.5x)
location and frequency of visits (1-1.1x)
in-store shopping efficiency (1-1.05x)
I spend about $110 a month on regular food, excluding tea. (Tea is one of my great luxuries which I like to splurge on, and it would be unfair to include that. If I wanted to save money there too, I think I could probably get it down to ~$5-10/month by buying >500g of a good oolong tea from Upton’s, freezing most of it, and doing resteeps more.) I think I eat reasonably well: eg today I had eggs, kimchi, bacon, Old Bay flavored sausages, cottage cheese (there’s something addictive about the Aldi cottage cheese), milk/protein powder, a banana, carrots, vanilla yogurt, and plenty of tea; tomorrow my sous vide beer-sauce corned beef will finally finish cooking, and I’ll be having that and chili, and maybe making yogurt with the sous-vide cooker or something chicken. (Since Monoprice restocked their $70 sous-vide cooker, I’ve been trying it out for cooking meat and I’m pretty pleased by how much better it cooks chicken than I do; this is great since chicken is just about the cheapest meat around. I’ve also been cooking more meat in general as part of my past year of weight loss & exercise; see my occasional posts on /r/SlateStarCodex for details/graphs.)
...It was 2013. Michael, age 43, had suffered from psychiatric problems since he was a teenager—epic procrastination, binge drinking, and depression. He’d seen psychiatrists for 20 years and tried almost every antidepressant. What had helped him, at least temporarily, was a prescription for stimulants in the wake of a diagnosis of adult attention deficit disorder in his early thirties...So one day in January 2016, Michael drove with his wife to meet Wolfson and Andries at the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo, where they rented space. There, water gurgled in a fountain, a bird twittered in a cage, and the smell of Chinese herbs filled the air. Wolfson, a big garrulous man with white, curly hair and a pronounced limp from several back surgeries, asked about Michael’s medical history. As a teen, Michael had had a noncancerous tumor removed from his abdomen. The tumor was acting like an extra adrenal gland, secreting hormones that prevented him from growing and caused him to sweat profusely, often until his clothes were drenched. The surgery was successful, but recovery had been long and difficult, he told Wolfson. He’d been intubated in the intensive care unit for nearly a week.
As Michael recalls, Wolfson told him, “You may be depressed, but I don’t think that’s the root of your problem. You have every glaring symptom of PTSD.” Michael wasn’t a veteran. He’d never been sexually abused. Wolfson’s diagnosis felt off. He also knew that, years ago, Wolfson had lost a son to leukemia; the detail was on his website. In that moment, Michael diagnosed his therapist. “He’s projecting,” he thought. Still, he felt comfortable enough with Wolfson to proceed.
...ABOUT SIX MONTHS after beginning with Wolfson and Andries, Michael had a breakthrough. As he was coming out of a ketamine session, his mind’s eye perceived a smooth, black object that reminded him of the monolith in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. He remembers chuckling to himself, and thinking “What the heck?” Then the monolith morphed into a single word: anesthesia. Michael saw himself as 14 and lying on an operating table. Surgeons in white coats and masks bent over him. One turned to him and said, cheerfully, “Don’t worry. You can’t feel this. You’re under anesthesia.” During a later session at home, with lozenges, the meaning of the vision became viscerally clear. Michael felt that man cut into his belly with a scalpel. He was overcome by a searing pain so unbearable that it seemed to expel him from his body. He felt like he was floating above himself.
What Michael seemed to have remembered was that he’d woken up during surgery decades earlier—that he was conscious when doctors removed that tumor. It’s impossible to know if the memory is real, although the phenomenon, called anesthesia awareness, is documented, and one of its consequences is PTSD. When I asked if Michael doubted the memory’s veracity, he said that what led him to believe the memory was true were the details he wouldn’t know to make up, like the oily plastic odor of the operating room and the cigarette smell on one nurse’s breath. Once that memory emerged, others surfaced as well. He recalled, for instance, that during his recovery in the ICU, the morphine often wore off, leaving him in agony over the 12-inch incision in his abdomen. Just when its analgesic effects waned, therapists would guide him through a series of coughing exercises to remove fluid in his lungs, which were excruciating because his abdominal muscles had been sliced open. “It was like being tortured several times a day,” he says. For Michael, these memories seemed to explain a lot. Here was the source of the PTSD that Wolfson had so confidently diagnosed that first day.
An extreme version of this, to (possibly uncharitably, I’m not sure) paraphrase of part of a post by Gwern on Denmark:
I would phrase it more as, ‘one or two people have tried to argue that subsidizing Greenland is charity; however, this is one of the most inefficient possible charities which does the least good without being outright harmful, and if Denmark really thought this was the best charity for it to do, it is made of either fools or knaves; of course, it is not, because subsidizing Greenland has nothing whatsoever to do with charity and they are making that up out of whole cloth’. Modus tollens, basically.
Extensive comments at https://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/8di9nk/d_ai_researchers_are_making_more_than_1_million/ https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16880276 https://www.reddit.com/r/reinforcementlearning/comments/8di9yt/ai_researchers_are_making_more_than_1_million/
Their 2016 Form 990 just surfaced: http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2016/810/861/2016-810861541-0eb61629-9.pdf says they had $13m income in 2016, and at the end, assets of ~$2.6m.
It was partially to point out that you can get self-modification hazards with a substantially less complex setup than your proposal with a little hand-engineering of the agents; since none of the AI safety gridworld problems could be said to be rigorously solved, there’s no need for more realistic self-modification environments.
Have you seen “AI Safety Gridworlds”, Leike et al 2017?
Doesn’t the speed prior diverge quite rapidly from the universal prior? There are many short programs of length _n_ which take a long time to compute their final result—up to BB(_n_) timesteps, specifically...
Speaking of Billboard: “What Makes Popular Culture Popular? Product Features and Optimal Differentiation in Music” Askin & Mauskapf 2017:
In this article, we propose a new explanation for why certain cultural products outperform their peers to achieve widespread success. We argue that products’ position in feature space significantly predicts their popular success. Using tools from computer science, we construct a novel dataset allowing us to examine whether the musical features of nearly 27,000 songs from Billboard’s Hot 100 charts predict their levels of success in this cultural market. We find that, in addition to artist familiarity, genre affiliation, and institutional support, a song’s perceived proximity to its peers influences its position on the charts. Contrary to the claim that all popular music sounds the same, we find that songs sounding too much like previous and contemporaneous productions—those that are highly typical—are less likely to succeed. Songs exhibiting some degree of optimal differentiation are more likely to rise to the top of the charts. These findings offer a new perspective on success in cultural markets by specifying how content organizes product competition and audience consumption behavior.
...We hypothesize that hit songs are able to manage a similarity-differentiation tradeoff. Successful songs invoke conventional feature combinations associated with previous hits while at the same time displaying some degree of novelty distinguishing them from their peers. This prediction speaks to the competitive benefits of optimal differentiation, a finding that reoccurs across multiple studies and areas in sociology and beyond (Goldberg et al. 2016; Lounsbury and Glynn 2001; Uzzi et al. 2013; Zuckerman 2016)
...Products must differentiate themselves from the competition to avoid crowding, yet they cannot differentiate to such an extent as to make themselves unrecognizable (Kaufman 2004). Research on consumer behavior suggests that audiences engage in this tradeoff as well. When choosing a product, audiences conform on certain identity-signaling attributes (e.g., a product’s brand or category), while distinguishing themselves on others (e.g., color or instrumentation; see Chan, Berger, and Van Boven 2012). This tension between conformity and differentiation is central to our understanding of social identities (Brewer 1991), category spanning (Hsu 2006; Zuckerman 1999), storytelling (Lounsbury and Glynn 2001), consumer products (Lancaster 1975), and taste (Lieberson 2000). Taken together, this work signals a common trope across the social sciences: the path to success requires some degree of both conventionality and novelty (Uzzi et al. 2013)
Brewer 1991, [“The Social Self: On Being the Same and Different at the Same Time”](http://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/15341_Readings/Intergroup_Conflict/Brewer_1991_The_social_self.pdf)
Chan, Berger, and Van Boven 2012, [“Identifiable but Not Identical: Combining Social Identity and Uniqueness Motives in Choice”](http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.462.8627&rep=rep1&type=pdf)
Goldberg et al 2016, [“What Does It Mean to Span Cultural Boundaries: Variety and Atypicality in Cultural Consumption”](http://dro.dur.ac.uk/16001/1/16001.pdf)
Hsu 2006, [“Jacks of All Trades and Masters of None: Audiences’ Reactions to Spanning Genres in Feature Film Production”](https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt5p81r333/qt5p81r333.pdf)
Kaufman 2004, [“Endogenous Explanation in the Sociology of Culture”](https://sci-hub.tw/http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.soc.30.012703.110608)
Lieberson 2000, _A Matter of Taste: How Names, Fashions, and Culture Change_
Lounsbury & Glynn 2001, [“Cultural Entrepreneurship: Stories, Legitimacy, and the Acquisition of Resources”](http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.199.3680&rep=rep1&type=pdf)
Uzzi et al 2013, [“Atypical Combinations and Scientific Impact”](https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/488a/f28ee062c99330f4277d59ba886b4c065084.pdf)
Zuckerman 1999, [“The Categorical Imperative: Securities Analysts and the Illegitimacy Discount”](https://www.dropbox.com/s/50k36a9j9lwyl8e/1999-zuckerman.pdf?dl=0)
Zuckerman 2016, [“Optimal Distinctiveness Revisited: An Integrative Framework for Understanding the Balance between Differentiation and Conformity in Individual and Organizational Identities”](https://books.google.com/books?id=PVn0DAAAQBAJ&lpg=PA183&ots=v8QKB6HRXZ&lr&pg=PA183#v=onepage&q&f=false)
No idea. Some Google Scholar checks turns up nothing.
David Abel has provided a fairly nice summary set of notes: https://cs.brown.edu/people/dabel/blog/posts/misc/aaai_2018.pdf