Comments should be indexed by Google. I just went to 5 very old posts with hundreds of comments and randomly searched text-strings from them on Google, and all of them returned a result:
More recent example
If anyone can find any comments that are not indexed, please let me know, and I will try to fix it, but it seems (to me) that all comments are indexed for now.
Lol. We should probably finally get around to disable posting and commenting from deleted accounts. I will delete this post and this comment though, since that seems unnecessarily confusing.
For whatever it’s worth, my sense is that it’s actually reasonably doable to build an institution/process that does well here, and gets trust from a large fraction of the community, though it is by no means an easy task. I do think it would likely require more than one full-time person, and at least one person of pretty exceptional skill in designing processes and institutions (as well as general competence).
Wait, the comments there are mostly pointing out that the parts of Barbour that Eliezer is referring to are obvious and nothing novel. Not that what he is saying is wrong!
His first idea, that time is simply another coordinate parameterizing a mathematical object (like a manifold in GR) and that it’s specialness is an illusion, is ancient. His second idea, that any theory more fundamental than QM or GR will necessarily feature time only in a relational sense (in contrast to the commonly accepted, and beautiful, gauge freedom of all time and space coordinates) is interesting and possibly true, but it is most likely not profound. I can’t read all of his papers, so perhaps he has some worthwhile work.
As far as I can tell, Eliezer is referring to the much more “trivial” aspects of Barbour’s work as described here.
To be clear, I am not a huge fan of the post in question here, but it is important to separate saying wrong things from saying confusing things.
I also want to separate making wrong claims from attacking academic institutions. I think it’s fine to say whatever you want about Eliezer’s tone, but your original comment said:
Most of the entire quantum sequence has been wrong
Which is primarily a claim about factual correctness, which I think is quite misplaced. Though I am not super confident, so if you do have a comment that points out a concrete error in one of his posts, then that would definitely convince me (though still leave me skeptical about the claim of “most”, since a lot of the sequence is just really introductory quantum mechanics that I myself can easily verify as correct).
As far as I can tell, this is wrong. Over the years many people with a graduate background in quantum physics have fact-checked the sequence, and as far as I can tell there are no significant factual errors in it. Of course there are philosophical disagreements about how to evaluate the evidence about things like MWI, but in terms of basic facts that can meaningfully be checked, the sequence seems to hold up quite well, and I would take a bet that you can’t find a simple error in it that hasn’t been addressed.
I think it would make sense if you weakly vote on them, by spending relatively few points of your quadratic budget on them. Voting very strongly on them feels wrong to me. Basically, vote in strength proportional to your confidence times the goodness/badness of your assessment of the post, would be my guess.
Seems reasonable to me. We use markdown-it for markdown conversion, so does this plugin look like what you would want?
If so, I think I can probably get around to adding that to our markdown plugins sometime this week or early next week.
Would you count Paul’s “altruistic equity allocation” as part of an impact certificate market?
Should be fixed now.
Welcome! (In as much as that makes sense to say to someone who has been around for 10 years)
Is it just me or are the Open Threads kind of out of the way?
Open Threads should be pinned to the frontpage if you have the “Include Personal Blogposts” checkbox enabled. So for anyone who has done that, they should be pretty noticeable. Though you saying otherwise does make me update that something in the current setup is wrong.
The Wikipedia article states that he was tried for treason at least two times, once for his involvement in the Main Plot, and once for the things he did on his El Dorado adventure. So I think that doesn’t contradict what Scott said.
Sorry for editing it! I accidentally hit the submit button before the comment was ready (the thing I posted was a first draft). I will make sure to edit back some version of the comment next week, just so that your comment here doesn’t end up lacking necessary context.
[Accidentally submitted something, will probably respond sometime early next week]
Promoted to curated: I found this post quite compelling, and also generally think that understanding how people have historically modelled progress in AI (and to what degree we have beaten benchmarks that we thought previously were quite difficult, and how much goalpost-moving there is) is a pretty important aspect of modeling future developments in the field.
Write a review!
I thought the comment was pretty clear that it was trying to give a summary of my comments, and a suggestion for how I should phrase my comment in order to better get my point across. A suggestion which (at least for the case of the use of “sealioning”) I disagreed with.
I agree with you that there was an implicature in Duncan’s comment that he thought the term was an accurate characterization, though I am actually and honestly not that confident Duncan actually believes that the term accurately describes your commenting patterns (in addition to it accurately describing my model of your commenting patterns). I would currently give it about 75% probability, but not more.
In general, I think implicatures of this type should be treated differently than outright accusations, though I also don’t think they should be completely ignored.
On a more general note, since the term appears to be a relatively niche term that I haven’t heard before, it seems to me that the correct way for us to deal with this, would be for people to say openly what connotations the term has to them, and if enough people agree that the term has unhelpful connotations, then avoid using the term. I don’t think we should harshly punish introducing a term like this if there isn’t an established precedent of the connotations of that term.
Note that at least from the little I have read about the term, this seems like a reasonable stance to me, and my guess (as the person who instigated this thread) is that it is indeed better to avoid importing the existing connotations that term has.
My guess is that the term is still fine to bring up as something to be analyzed at a distance (e.g. asking questions like “why did people feel the need to invent the term sealioning?”), but my sense is that it’s better to not apply it directly to a person or interlocutor, given its set of associations.
This is a relatively weakly held position of mine though, given that I only learned about that term yesterday, so I don’t have a great map of its meanings and connotations.
Edit: I do want to say that the summary of “I don’t expect engaging with you to be productive, therefore I must decline this and all future requests for dialogue from you” doesn’t strike me as a very accurate summary of what people usually mean by sealioning. I don’t think it matters much for my response, but I figured I would point out that I disagree with that summary.
Hmm, my guess is you are misunderstanding the comment? I don’t think the above accuses you or anyone else of sealioning (I am also not super familiar with the term, as I said below, so I don’t think I know its full connotations).
It is bringing into the discussion a term that other people might have found useful, and from what I can tell opening up a discussion of whether that term makes sense to use in this context. In particular the comment explicitly says:
Naming the problem is not solving the problem; sticking a label on something is not the same as winning an argument; the tricky part is in determining which commentary is reasonably described by the term and which isn’t (and which is controversial, or costly-but-useful, and so forth).
I mean, I think I agree with you that (from the few minutes of reading I’ve done about that term) I very likely don’t want us to use the term in the way it is used in most of the rest of the internet. I do think it’s pointing at a real cluster of people’s experiences, so I don’t think I want to ban mention of that term completely from LessWrong. It seems valid for people to look at that term and see whether it helps them makes sense of some experiences, and in any case its use is at least a valid sociological phenomenon that people can analyze.
Edit: I think my feelings here are somewhat similar to Nazi comparisons or something like that. I think sometimes someone actions are indeed somewhat similar to the historical activities of nazis, and it’s sometimes fine to bring that up as a comparison, but I in the vast majority of cases I prefer others to use a less loaded and less-frequently-misused comparison. Again, I don’t know to what degree sealioning falls into that category, but your reaction suggests that you perceive it to have a similar history of misuse, so I think there might be a good argument here to avoid using that term unless really necessary. Though other users and moderators who have more context might want to chime in on what rules we want to have here.
Sorry for that! We do have an editor in the works that has proper table support.