Absent unusual cases such as traumatic brain injury, there is no clear dividing line between “human who is concentrating” and “human who isn’t concentrating”. A normal human can switch back and forth between these states with no warning, either for well-motivated reasons (“wait, that doesn’t make sense”/“bored now”) or for essentially none. So I think “humans who aren’t concentrating” is about transitory state, and “is/isn’t a general intelligence” is about overall capacity; any equating between those two sides is a category error.
How do I know when some trend isn’t made of S-curves? How do S-curves help me make predictions, or, alternately, tell me when I shouldn’t try predicting? Is this falsifiable?
Minor point: on the settings page, the order of options for updates is currently “disabled, daily, weekly, realtime”, when “disabled, weekly, daily, realtime” would make more sense.
Maine, not Massachusetts. Massachusetts will probably pass ranked voting in 2020, though.
“Starting at the local level and building up” is a good plan, but not the only one. For anti-gerrymandering fixes (that is, proportional representation), starting with the federal level could make sense.
I am a board member of the Center for Election Science, which was behind the campaign in Fargo. They definitely deserve your support, and are a big part of the improvement I see over 20 years. 20 years ago, the debate was largely between IRV and Condorcet; though approval voting had been proposed, its theoretical grounding was still not complete. Now, the theory of cardinal voting is much better, and we’re beginning to seriously look at cardinal/ordinal hybrids such as STAR or 3-2-1. I could go on for pages about the intellectual history of this transition but I have to work on my thesis.
Are activists and academia one and the same? Sadly, not at all. That’s why I, an activist, am at Harvard doing a PhD in statistics.
Yes, my ultimate targets are the big ones: the federal governments of the USA, Canada, and the UK. Aside from the Fargo case you mentioned, I was also deeply involved in the BC referendum on proportional representation last year; though this failed, I think we laid some good groundwork for future similar attempts in Quebec, PEI, and eventually Ontario. There’s also some good reform energy in the US Pacific Northwest, with groups like equal.vote, Counted, and Sightline. I could go on, but you get the idea.
I think that there is a place for basic research here. By that I mean, research which, as much as possible, is motivated by fundamental bottlenecks, not by practical ones. Such research already exists in a tension between the specific and the abstract, and getting too abstract is one failure mode. My way of handling that tension is to metaphorically keep my feet on solid ground even as my eyes are on the horizon, and the specific immediate problems are that solid ground.
This is not to say that it is not good to look at the problem from the transhumanist angle, too. And in the countless hours I spend thinking about this stuff, a few of them point in that direction, even if I don’t write it all here. But I think that even if your primary focus is the transhumanist angle, you should be happy that I’m over here looking at the problem mostly from a different angle.
(“Your” there was directed to a generic/abstract reader, not specifically to Raemon.)
Fair enough. You were thinking about the problem from the point of view of hiring a teacher; when projecting it onto the problem from the point of a teacher deciding how to teach, I had to make additional assumptions not in the original post (ie, that “teachers care about true performance to some degree”).
Still, I think that putting it in concrete terms like this helped me understand (and agree with) the basic idea.
Am I correct in saying that this suggests avoiding Goodhart’s law by using pass/fail grading? Or at least, by putting a maximum on artificial rewards, such that optimizing for the reward is senseless beyond that point?
Let’s take a common case of Goodhart’s law: teachers who are paid based on their students’ test scores. Imagine that teachers are either good or bad, and can either teach to the test (strategize) or not. Both true and measured performance are better on average for good teachers than for bad, but have some random variance. Meanwhile, true performance is better when teachers don’t strategize, but measured performance is better when they do.
If good teachers care to some degree about true performance, and you set an appropriate cutoff and payouts, the “quantilized” equilibrium will be that good teachers don’t strategize (since they’re relatively confident that they can pass the threshold without it), but bad teachers do (to maximize their chances of passing the threshold). Meanwhile, good teachers still get higher average payouts than bad teachers. This is probably better than the Goodhart case where you manage to pay good teachers a bigger bonus relative to bad teachers, but all teachers strategize to maximize their payout. So this formalization seems to make sense in this simple test case.
ETA: I was trying to succinctly formalize the example above and I got as far as (U~𝒩(μ(teacher)-δ*strategy,σ²); I=-2δ*strategy ) but that is taking I as the difference between the test score and the true utility, not separating out test scores from payouts, and I don’t want to write out all the complications that result from that so I quit. I hope that the words are enough to understand what I meant. Also I don’t know why I was doing that via unicode when I should have just used LaTeX.
I’ll look into those possibilities. However, though my proposed work relates to AI alignment, it is not focused on that issue; and I’d consider it “outside the dominant paradigm” of AI alignment work.
Edited to add: I was going to do a separate post about those possibilities, but it appears that this website is a reasonably up-to-date summary of all the funding sources that are linked from that post, so me repeating that work would be redundant..
My time horizon is about 6 months. I could probably extend that by a few months but that would involve (tolerable but noticeable) sacrifices. So the difference between 1-6 months and 6-9 is meaningful to me, though not completely dispositive.
Crossposted on EA forum.
I am aware of the EA hotel, but since I have a family, I think it’s probably not an option. Thanks for the EA forum suggestion; I planned to go there next, but thought here was the best place to start (highest upside-to-downside ratio for a half-baked query).
I just published this, and it’s not immediately clear to me whether or not I put it in the right place, as a personal post. I expected to be asked “where do you want to publish this” when I clicked “publish”. I’ll try to make sure it’s in the right place but this interface is not transparent to me.
I encounter the same problem when I’m writing about voting theory. But there is a set of people who have followed past discussion closely enough to follow something technical like this with a glossary, but not without one. My solution has been to make sure every acronym I use has an entry on electowiki, and then include a note saying so with a link to electowiki. I think you could helpfully do the same using less wrong wiki.
Where’s the glossary again?
I’m an obsessive about voting theory, and have been for over 20 years now. As time passes and my knowledge deepens, I find that while I still feel “this is really important and people don’t pay enough attention to it”, I feel less and less that “this is MORE important than whatever people are talking about here and now, and it should be my job to make them change the subject”. Obviously I think this is a healthy change for me and my social graces, but it also means that you are more likely to hear about voting theory from a younger, shallower version of me than you are from me.
I don’t know how to solve that problem. It’s one thing to be immune enough to evangelists so that you can keep a balance of caring across multiple issues, as discussed in the post above; it’s another harder thing to be immune enough yet still curious enough to find your way past the proselytizers to the calmer, more-mature non-evangelist obsessives.
In my anecdotal experience, the kids are OK. At least as OK as we were when I was a kid in the 80s reading SF from the 60s and 70s.
If you want me to take this hypothesis more seriously than that, show more evidence.