Having spent a good amount of time on Google Memegen myself, I think what you describe would actually be a misuse of the “guy drinking beer” meme. It’s supposed to be something about laziness (so an EA-flavored related meme here would be something like: “earning to give does more harm than good? better do nothing!”). It’s based on the original burned-out-college-student/lazy-college-senior meme, where the punchline is supposed to be that you’re happy you don’t have to do some task.
There’s actually a big problem with using Brier scores for open-ended questions like this, which is that the optimal option if you’re, say, 50% confident you have the right answer, is to instead report “Don’t know / bleeblabloo, probability 0.0001”. Then you get a good Brier score for knowing you would be wrong.
We ran this at our meetup today and it was the subject of much discussion. A big conclusion seemed to be that Brier scores work best when there is a fixed, limited number of possibilities to guess from; when the number of possibilities is large/unknown and you can guess “I don’t know,” you get this bad behavior.
We came up with a kind of hacky solution that gave you negative points for wrong answers and positive points for right ones, scaled to the probability you gave, plus regular Brier scores for the True/False questions. It’s unlikely that solution was a proper scoring rule, but it was somewhat better in removing the incentive to always guess “[wrong answer] with probability epsilon.”
DCMore info: https://www.lesswrong.com/events/znhpFMsfXEStFEywN/dc-secular-solstice
I skipped through 90% of the text of this example without it detracting much from the main point of the post. I think it would be better with much less text and with translation of the jargon used.
It’s worth noting that Twitter polls are easily corrupted/manipulated by someone trying deliberately to do so. But no one is likely do that unless they know you take the results seriously. It’s anti-inductive: the more you use them, the less useful they get.
Even if it benefited people in the short term, releasing a gene drive without consulting the local government would likely lead to a huge backlash
But has anyone asked a local government?
There’s a wonderful Econtalk segment on this issue: https://www.econtalk.org/michael-heller-and-james-salzman-on-mine/
The authors wrote a book on property rights in everyday life, and how they differ from legal property rights. The example of airline seats is a case where, if you survey people, they give basically 50⁄50 answers about who “owns” the airspace in front of an airline seat, and therefore whether reclining the seat is appropriate.
Their belief is that it is actually in the airline’s interests for this to be ambiguous. This is because when paying for an airline seat, people naturally assume that they will have the right to both recline and the right to not have the person in front of them recline. The airline doesn’t want to mediate this conflict, because they want to continue to sell seats to people who optimistically believe they will have access to both. So the airline has no desire to give a clear pronouncement either way, because that will lower the perceived value of a seat.
Hey, one year later, just wanted to say thanks for writing this post. I found the Feeling Good podcast really interesting and I’ve also bought and read Feeling Great, and I find myself often going back to the ideas in the book and podcast to help me with different situations. I think going through the exercises in the book helped me out a lot with medical anxiety. So, thank you for the recommendation!
I wrote some more potentially-disagreeable statements for the DC meetup today. Here are the ones that were actually controversial:
If I had the option to have my brain uploaded with perfect accuracy into a simulated life better than my current life, but only if it destroyed my physical brain and body in the process, I would take it.
Having more children today improves the world overall.
A good way to find good statements for this is asking random attendees: “What view do you have that you think lots of people here might disagree with?”
Couple more examples that came up from that:
Believing in the supernatural gives you benefits that you can’t achieve without such beliefs.
If I had the option to use a Star Trek teleporter (which breaks down your body atom-by-atom and reassembles it somewhere else), I would/would not.
Morality exists independent of people in the world.
I rewrote the pair sorting code to pull from the output of a Google form, so you can just copy-paste and click a button to get the output. https://tigrennatenn.neocities.org/double_crux_helper.html Should be easier to use than the Jupyter notebook version, and maybe easier/more robust than doing it finger-wise.
I have strong memories of not wanting to wear seatbelts as a child because the strap was uncomfortable on my neck; I would often put the shoulder belt behind me to avoid it, which is obviously pretty unsafe. I had one babysitter who used a device that attached to the seatbelt mount and changed the angle of the belt to go over my shoulder instead, which was literally just a triangle of fabric. Something like these: https://www.amazon.com/Seatbelt-Adjuster-Triangle-Positioner-Protective/dp/B078K5N2BQ Costs $10, small, easy to move. I suspect these don’t count for legal purposes, though.
Midjourney seems to be better at stylistic consistency. E.g. see the images on the post, which are pretty stylistically consistent: https://alexanderwales.com/the-ai-art-apocalypse/
How to solve a Rubik’s Cube via learning 3,915 algorithms for the final layer. I notice I am more confused that this didn’t happen earlier than I am impressed or surprised that it happened now. I mean of course that’s the way to do it, right?
Not sure how serious this is, but to give a little more context, the standard methods involve memorizing 57 algorithms for OLL (“orientation” of the last layer—getting all the yellow bits on the top face) and 21 algorithms for PLL (permutation of the last layer—fixing the sides of all the top cubies). Breaking it down into two steps reduces the amount of memorization quite a bit—and also makes recognition of the cube state for what algorithm to use much faster. The guy said on reddit that doing this memorization didn’t help his times: his average is around 15 seconds, which is nowhere near record-breaking these days. The world record average-of-three is sub-5 and a friend of mine’s average is around 11, for context. I would guess that recognition takes him substantially longer than most champion speedcubers, and that’s not helping. So that’s probably why this guy is the first to do it. Not much incentive to other than to be able to say you did!
What I took away from this comment was: Mainstream meditation teachers are not happy with Martin because he has redefined “awakening” to mean a thing that is good and people want (being happier), rather than a thing that is strange and possibly bad that people don’t want, and is teaching people the good and wanted thing instead of the weird mysterious thing.
Couple questions about this sequence.
Is there any plan to write down and post more of the surrounding content like activities/lectures/etc.?
How does CFAR feel about “off-brand”/”knockoff” versions of these workshops being run at meetups? If OK with it, how should those be announced/disclaimed to make it clear that they’re not affiliated with CFAR?
I’m interested in this as an organizer, and based on conversations at the meetup organizers’ retreat this weekend, I think a number of other organizers would be interested as well.