Biases/my history: I went to a good public high school after indifferent public elementary and junior high schools. I attended an Ivy League college. My life would have been different if I had gone to academically challenging schools as a youth. I don’t know if it would have been better or worse; things have worked out pretty well.
You come off as very smart and self-aware. Still, I think you underrate the risk of ending up as an other-person at the public high school; friends may not be as easy as you expect. Retreating to a public high school may also require explanation to college recruiters.
I also think your conclusion that you would study better with more friends may be a self-persuading effort that there are scholastic reasons to switch. But there don’t have to be scholastic reasons: Being unhappy for two more years in your teens is a big deal, and if you are satisfied that your happiness will increase substantially by switching, you should switch. Long view is nice, but part of that view should be that two years of a low-friend existence sounds no fun, and the losses of switching are likely to be minimal.
Finally, commuting is a life-killer. Adults very commonly underrate the loss of quality of life for commuting (I commute 10 minutes each way; I have had jobs with one-hour commutes.) I’d suggest it’s even more valuable time lost for a teenager.
Finally finally, I’m confident you’ll get this right for you. Take a look at these responses, talk it out, then rock on. Be good, stay well.
Well done, sir.
Gah. I don’t remember the solution or the key. And I just last week had a computer crash (replaced it), so, I’ve got lots of nothing. Sorry.
I am sure of (1) and (2). I don’t remember (3), and it’s very possible it’s longer than 10 (though probably not much longer.) But I don’t remember clearly. That’s the best I can do.
I think it is worse than hopeless on multiple fronts.
Let’s take another good quality: Honesty. People who volunteer, “I always tell the truth,” generally lie more than the average population, and should be distrusted. (Yes, yes, Sam Harris. But the skew is the wrong way.) “I am awesome at good life quality,” generally fails if your audience has had, well, significant social experience.
So you want to demonstrate this claim by word and deed, and not explicitly make the claim in most cases. Here, I understand the reason for making it, and the parts where you say you want good things to happen to people are fine. (I have on LW said something like, “I have a reputation for principled honesty, says me,” in arguing that game tactics were not dishonest and should not apply to out-of-game reputation.) But the MLK thing is way-too-much, like “I never lie,” is way-too-much.
As others have said, the comparison is political and inapt. You couldn’t find anyone less iconic? Penn Jillette? Someone?
And MLK is known for his actions and risks and willingness to engage in non-violence. I read somewhere that ethnic struggles sometimes end badly. In a world where the FBI was trying to get him to kill himself, he stood for peace. Under those circumstance, his treatment of other humans was generally very good. That’s not a test you’ve gone through.
The confidence of the statement is way, way out of line with where it should be. You have some idea of MLK’s love and compassion for other people, but not all of it. Maybe MLK thought, “Screw all those people in government; hope they die screaming. But I think that war leads to more losses for black people, so despite my burning hatred, I’m putting on a better public face.” (I admit this is unlikely.) He certainly had some personal bad qualities. Maybe you love people more than MLK. (This also seems unlikely, but stay with me.)
We cannot measure love and compassion in kilograms. We also do not know what people are like all the time. I realize that we can put people into general buckets, but I’d caution this sort of precision for others and yourself to a point where you can call people equivalent by this measure. And if we could measure it, there are no infinite values.
As infinite love for all humans is not possible… well, it’s not even a good idea. You shouldn’t have compassion and love for all people. The guy who just loves stabbing toddlers needs to be housed away from toddlers even though we’re ruining his life, which was so happy in those delightful toddler-stabbing days. And if you’re using your love and compassion on that guy, well, maybe there are other people who can get some o’ that with better effect.
Because love and compassion isn’t really a meaningful construct if it’s just some internal view of society with no outward effects. Love and compassion is mostly meaningful only in what’s done (like, say, leading life-risking marches against injustices.)
OK, that’s it. Hope it helps.
I agree that I made my key too long so it’s a one-time pad. You’re right.
“Much easier”? With or without word lengths?OK, no obligation, but I didn’t make this too brutal:
(Again, no obligation to play, and no inference should be taken against gjm’s hypothesis if they decline.)
I encrypt messages for a another, goofier purpose. One of the people I am encrypting from is a compsci professor.
I use a Vigenere cipher, which should beat everything short of the Secret Werewolf Police, and possibly them, too. (It is, however, more crackable than a proper salted, hashed output.)
In a Vigenere, the letters in your input are moved by the numerical equivalent of the key, and the key repeats. Example:
Secret Statement/lie: Cats are nice.
New, coded statement: dcwt (down 1, 2, 3, 1) cuf ildg. Now, I recommend using long keys and spacing the output in five letter blocks to prevent easier soliving.
You can do this online:
This will transmute “It seems unlikely the werewolf police will catch you,” with the key “The movie ends the same way for all of us JRM.” to:
Pokeg vomfm mdytd minyzw wxqdt pwrcu osdue yrhdu bkiot ga.
(Letter grouping by me.)
Again Vigenere’s are potentially crackable, but they are very hard. It’s easier for the werewolf police to just come and eat anyone who puts up hashed or Vigenere ciphered predictions.
I did it even more simply than that: Count things. Most have four iterations. Some have three iterations. The ones with three, make four. Less than 10 seconds for me. Same answer as the rest of everyone.
Nitpick: Asimov was a member of Mensa on and off, but was highly critical of it, and didn’t like Mensans. He was an honorary vice president, not president (according Asimov, anyway.) And he wasn’t very happy about it.
Relevantly to this: “Furthermore, I became aware that Mensans, however high their paper IQ might be, were likely to be as irrational as anyone else.” (See the book “I.Asimov,” pp.379-382.) The vigor of Asimov’s distaste for Mensa as a club permeates this essay/chapter.
Nitpick it is, but Asimov deserves a better fate than having a two-sentence bio associate him with Mensa.
It’s almost always a good thing, agreed.
Smart people’s willingness to privilege their own hypotheses on subjects outside their expertise is a chronic problem.
I have a very smart friend I met on the internet; we see each other when we are in each others (thousand-mile-away) neighborhood. We totally disagree on politics. But we have great conversations, because we can both laugh at the idiocy of our tribe. If you handle argument as a debate with a winner and a loser, no one wins and no one has any fun. I admit that it takes two people willing to treat it as an actual conversation, but you can help it along.
Oh, for pity’s sake. You want to repeatedly ad hominem attack XiXiDu for being a “biased source.” What of Yudkowsky? He’s a biased source—but perhaps we should engage his arguments, possibly by collecting them in one place.
“Lacking context and positive examples”? This doesn’t engage the issue at all. If you want to automatically say this to all of XiXiDu’s comments, you’re not helping.
It’s a feature, not a bug. The friendly algorithm that creates that column assumes you would rationally prefer Atlanta or Houston to anywhere within 40 miles of Detroit.
Let’s start with basic definitions: Morality is a general rule that when followed offers a good utilitarian default. Maybe you don’t agree with all of these, but if you don’t agree with any of them, we differ:
-- Applying for welfare benefits when you make $110K per year, certifying you make no money.
Reason: You should not obtain your fellow citizens’ money via fraud.
-- “Officer Friendly, that man right there, the weird white guy, robbed/assaulted/(fill in unpleasant crime here) me..”
Reason: It is not nice to try to get people imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
-- “Yes it is my testimony that Steve Infanticider was with me all night, and not killing babies. So you shouldn’t keep him in custody, your honor.”
Reason: Even if you dislike the criminal justice system, it seems like some respect is warranted.
-- “No, SEC investigators, I, Bernie Madoff, have a totally real way of making exactly 1.5% a month, every month, in perpetuity.”
Reason: You shouldn’t compound prior harm to your fellow humans.
-- “I suffer no sudden blackouts, Department of Motor Vehicles.”
Reason: You should not endanger your fellow drivers.
That was five off the top of my head. This is in response to SaidAchmiz, because I still think it’s possible that Eliezer meant something different than I interpreted, though I don’t understand it. I also think that in the U.S. you shouldn’t lie on your taxes, lie to get on a jury with the purpose of nullifying, lie about bank robberies you witness, lie about your qualifications to build the bridge, lie about the materials you intend to use to build the bridge, lie about the need for construction change orders, lie about the number of hours worked… you get the picture.
I understand that some disagree. I also understand that if you live in North Korea, the rules are different. But I think a blanket moral rule that lying to the government has only one flaw—you might get caught or it might not work—is a terrible moral rule.
Because the government has power over you, you get no moral demerits for lying to them? Nuh-uh.
You’re saying it″s never morally wrong to lie to the government? That the only possible flaw is ineffectiveness?
Either I am misreading this, you have not considered this fully, or one of us is wrong on morality.
I think there are many obvious cases in which in a moral sense, you cannot lie to the government.
There’s a fundamental problem with lying unaddressed—it tends to reroute your defaults to “lie” when “lie”=”personal benefit.”
As a human animal, if you lie smoothly and routinely in some situations, you are likely to be more prone to lying in others. I know people who will lie all the time for little reason, because it’s ingrained habit.
I agree that some lies are OK. Your girlfriend anecdote isn’t clearly one of them—there may be presentation issues on your side. (“It wasn’t the acting style I prefer,” vs., “It’s nice that you hired actors without talent or energy, because otherwise, where would they be?”) But if you press for truth and get it, that’s on you. (One my Rules of Life: Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.)
But I think every lie you tell, you should know exactly what you are doing and what your goals are and consciously consider whether you’re doing this solely for self-preservation. If you can’t do this smoothly, then don’t lie. Getting practice at lying isn’t a good idea.
I note here that I think that a significant lie is a deliberate or seriously reckless untruth given with the mutual expectation that it would be reasonable to rely on it. Thus, the people who are untruthing on (say) Survivor to their castmates… it’s a game. Play the game. When Penn and Teller tell you how their trick works, they are lying to you only in a technical respect; it’s part of the show.
But actual lying is internally hazardous. You will try to internally reconcile your lies, either making up justifications or telling yourself it’s not really a lie—at least, that’s the way the odds point. There’s another advantage with honesty—while it doesn’t always make a good first impression, it makes you reliable in the long-term. I’m not against all lies, but I think the easy way out isn’t the long-term right one.
Aside: Poker and rationality aren’t close to excellently correlated. (Poker and math is a stronger bond.) Poker players tend to be very good at probabilities, but their personal lives can show a striking lack of rationality.
To the point: I don’t play poker online because it’s illegal in the US. I play live four days a year in Las Vegas. (I did play more in the past.)
I’m significantly up. I am reasonably sure I could make a living wage playing poker professionally. Unfortunately, the benefits package isn’t very good, I like my current job, and I am too old to play the 16-hour days of my youth.
General tips: Play a lot. To the extent that you can, keep track of your results. You need surprisingly large sample sizes to determine whether your really a winner unless you have a signature performance. (If you win three 70-person tournaments in a row, you are better than that class of player.) No-limit hold-‘em (my game of choice) is a game where you can win or lose based on a luck a lot of the time. Skill will win out over very long periods of time, but don’t get too cocky or depressed over a few days’ work.
Try to keep track of those things you did that were wrong at the time. If you got all your chips in pre-flop with AA, you were right even if someone else hits something and those chips are now gone. This is the first-order approximation.
Play a lot, and try to get better. If you are regularly losing over a significant period of time, you are doing something wrong. Do not blame the stupid players for making random results. (That is a sign of the permaloser.)
Know the pot math. Know that all money in the pot is the same; your pot-money amount doesn’t matter. Determine your goals: Do you want to fish-hunt (find weak games, kill them) or are you playing for some different goal? Maybe it’s more fun to play stronger players. Plus, you can better faster against stronger players, if you have enough money.
Finally, don’t be a jerk. Poker players are generally decent humans at the table in my experience. Being a jerk is unpleasant, and people will be gunning for you. It is almost always easier to take someone’s money when they are not fully focused on beating you. Also, it’s nicer. Don’t (in live games) slow-roll, give lessons, chirp at people, bark at the dealer, or any of that. Poker is a fun hobby.
I’ll bite. (I don’t want the money. If I get it, I’ll use it for what is considered by some on this site as ego-gratifying wastage for Give Directly or some similar charity.)
If you look around, you’ll find “scientist”-signed letters supporting creationism. Philip Johnson, a Berkeley law professor is on that list, but you find a very low percertage of biologists. If you’re using lawyers to sell science, you’re doing badly. (I am a lawyer.)
The global warming issue has better lists of people signing off, including one genuinely credible human: Richard Lindzen of MIT. Lindzen, though, has oscillated from “manmade global warming is a myth,” to a more measured view that the degree of manmade global warming is much, much lower than the general view. The list of signatories to a global warming skeptic letter contains some people with some qualifications on the matter, but many who do not seem to have expertise.
Cryonics? Well, there’s this. Assuming they would put any neuroscience qualifications that the signatories had… this looks like the intelligent design letters. Electrical engineers, physicists… let’s count the people with neuroscience expertise, other than people whose careers are in hawking cryonics:
Kenneth Hayworth, a post-doc now at Harvard.
Ravin Jain, Los Angeles neurologist. He was listed as an assistant professor of neurology at UCLA in 2004, but he’s no longer employed by UCLA.
That’s them. There are a number of other doctors on there; looking up the people who worked for cryonics orgs is fun. Many of them have interesting histories, and many have moved on. The letter is pretty lightweight; it just says there’s a credible chance that they can put you back together again after the big freeze. I think computer scientists dominate the list. That is a completely terrible sign.
There are other conversations here and elsewhere about the state of the brain involving interplay between the neurons that’s not replicable with just the physical brain. There’s also the failure to resuscitate anyone from brain death. This provides additional evidence that this won’t work.
Finally, the people running the cryonics outfits have not had the best record of honesty and stability. If Google ran a cryonics outfit, that would be more interesting, for sure. But I don’t think that’s going to happen; this is not the route to very long life.
[Edit 1⁄14 - fixed a miscapitalization and a terrible sentence construction. No substantive changes.]
Took. Definitely liked the shorter nature of this one.
Cooperated (I’m OK if the money goes to someone else. The amount is such that I’d ask that it get directly sent elsewhere, anyway.)
Got Europe wrong, but came close. (Not within 10%.)
(Sadly, Vi Hart rejects the obvious proof.)
I really liked the article. So allow me to miss the forest for a moment; I want to chop down this tree:
Let’s solve the green box problem:
Try zero coins: EV: 100 coins.
Try one coin, give up if no payout: 45% of 180.2 + 55% of 99= c. 135.5 (I hope.)
(I think this is right, but welcome corrections; 90%x50%x178, +.2 for first coin winning (EV of that 2 not 1.8), + keeper coins. I definitely got this wrong the first time I wrote it out, so I’m less confident I got it right this time. Edit before posting: Not just once.)
Try two coins, give up if no payout:
45% of 180.2 (pays off first time)
4.5% of 178.2 (second time)
50.5% of 98. Total: c.138.6
I used to be quite good at things like this. I also used to watch Hill Street Blues. I make the third round very close:
45% of 180.2
4.5% of 178.2
.45% of 176.2
50.05% of 97
Or c. 138.45.
So, I pick two as the answer.
Quibble with the sportsball graph:
You have little confidence, for sure, but chance of winning doesn’t follow that graph, and there’s just no reason it should. If the Piggers are playing the Oatmeals, and you know nothing about them, I’d guess at the junior high level the curve would be fairly flat, but not that flat. If they are professional sportsballers of the Elite Sportsballers League, the curve is going to have a higher peak at 50; the Hyperboles are not going to be 100% to lose or win to the Breakfast Cerealers in higher level play. At the junior high level, there will be some c. 100%ers, but I think the flatline is unlikely, and I think the impression that it should be a flat line is mistaken.
Once again, I liked the article. It was engaging and interesting. (And I hope I got the problem right.)
“Computational biology,” sounds really cool. Or made up. But I’m betting heavily on “really cool.” (Reads Wikipedia entry.) Outstanding!
Anyway, I concede that you are right that calculus has uses in advanced statistics. Calculus does make some problems easier; I’d like calculus to be used as a fuel for statistics rather than almost pure signaling. I actually know people who ended up having real uses for some calculus, and I’ve tried to stay fluent in high school calculus partly for its rare use and partly for the small satisfaction of not losing the skill. And probably partly for reasons my brain has declined to inform me of.
I nonetheless generally stand by my statement that we’re wasting one hell of a lot of time teaching way too much calculus. So we basically agree on all of this; I appreciate your points.