I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more interest in automated provers. What happens when you make a term-rewriting system with a taste for symmetric, interrelated systems of theorems and have it just search for proofs (and shorter versions of those proofs) for a few years? Do fully artificial mathematicians ever come up with novel theorems? Are they any good at condensing proofs enough that they become comprehensible to humans?
Edit: Had a cursory look through lesswrong history
A post by JonahSinick from Jul 2013, asking the very question Progress on automated mathematical theorem proving?
2015, JoshuaZ: I predict that within 20 years a major conjecture will be made that is essentially found by a computer with no human intervention. Note that this has already happened in some limited contexts for minor math problems. https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/journals/JIS/colton/joisol.html
2013, Kaj: There’s apparently an annual automated theorem proving competition, looking at the kinds of problems there might be useful.
The competition still seems to be active. Last year’s winners were Satallax 3.3, Vampire 4.3 (in three categories), iProver 2.8, and MaLARea 0.6
It’s probably not important.
I’m concerned about
it reminded me of set theory, but thinking about it more, it ended up merely resembling it
When did it diverge?
Can your system express sets that have multiple parent sets? Can israelifarmers be inside of both earth/middleeast/israel/farmers/ and in work/primaryindustry/agriculture/horticulture?
I think in the design of systems like these there’s often a tension between tag heirarchy and tag intersection as a way of talking about increasingly specific categories, and intersection should be used more often than it currently is. Under intersection, as long as the “israeli” and “farmer” categories exists, “israeli∧farmer” category exists implicitly as a subset of israeli and farmer, and there is no ambiguity as to where it should “go”.
I once made a large part of a reddit substitute with a couple of algorithms for doing queries over intersections and unions of user categories (your “communities”). The data structure is called a SetTrie. We would do well to remember its name.
I can easily imagine wanting to target queries at any of (bus drivers ∧ new Yorkers) (EG: organizing union activity), (bus drivers) (EG: Organizing the funding of some assistive piece of software that all bus drivers everywhere can use), and (new Yorkers) alone, so I don’t think the heirarchical structure is always adequate. Imagining Earth and Mars sharing software.
Thinking about it… society still really needs a new reddit. The current one has some huge problems that make it inadequate for the functions its been assigned. I should probably write up a concrete proposal at some point...
I considered the term “bouncing ball subtitles” yeah, but there are a couple of reasons that animation wouldn’t really work here
Sometimes a word in the voiceover language will share meaning with multiple words in the subtitle language (in which case the ball would have to split into multiple balls), or to parts of words (in which case it might not be clear that the ball is only supposed to be indicating only part of a word, or which part). Also it’s kind of just visually cluttered relative to other options.
I don’t think the research in that area would map either. Children are learning the subtitle language after learning the voiced language, whereas with adults watching subtitled video, they know the subtitled language extremely well.
My muses saddled me with this idea for doing subtitles in a different way. I don’t know if it’s ever been tried. I think it might end up being extremely good for language learning.
Fine Mapping Subtitles are subtitles where words (or parts of words) in the subtitles animate in some way (for example, moving or glowing or becoming underlined), right as words are spoken in the voiceover that share their meaning.
For many many reasons I can’t be the one to implement or test this. Wondering if anyone could dismiss it as impractical and relieve me of my burden, or, failing that, reach out to some fansubbing communities and get some fine mapping subtitles rendered and see how they feel.
What great difference do you imagine there being between “kickstarter for inadequate equilibria” and “kickstarter”
It’s applicable to kickstarter, but kickstarter tends to be used for such small projects that it’s rare than any real damage will be done. It wont be until you have a serious enough system that people stake house-sized sums of money on the project’s success that the real trouble starts.
For profitable ventures, the reciprocal commitment way of doing things would be to build a coop by getting everyone to commit to paying in large amounts of their own money to keep the lights on for the first 6 months, iff enough contributing members are found.
The current alternative is getting an investor. Investors, as a mechanism for shifting equilibria, has a lot of filters that make unviable ideas less likely to recieve funding (the investor has an interest in making good bets, and experience in it) and insulate the workers from risk (if the venture fails, it’s the investor who eats the cost, not the workers).
It’s conceivable that having reciprocal commitment technologies would open the way for lots of hardship as fools wager a lot of their own money on projects that never could have succeeded. It’s conceivable that the reason the investor system isn’t creating the change we want to see is that those changes aren’t really viable yet under any system and “enabling” them would just result in a lot of pain. (I hope this isn’t generally true, but in some domains it probably is.)
In general, a commitment means little if there’s no punishment for failing to follow through. If a platform can’t impute a punishment on those who fail to follow through, it is not particularly good, maybe not even the thing we’re talking about.
Regarding sybil attacks, in New Zealand, there’s a state-funded auth system called RealMe that ensures one account per person. You use it for filing taxes. I’ve seen non-government services (crypto trading platforms) that use it, as any other site would use facebook or google auth (it’s also conceivable that facebook might provide fairly reliable real identity verification one day).
So many online systems need something like this.
In conclusion: Very simple state functions (violence-backed contract enforcement. A real identity auth system) can change the possibility space a lot
Food delivery systems.
You have a bunch of stuff that needs to get from one point in a city to another. Which is more efficient
Having the customer use a whole car to drive to a place, get their thing, then drive home?
Or having a bunch of vehicles, each carrying a large amount of stuff, visiting multiple people per round-trip.
The problem is, if you have a very narrow delivery window- 20 minutes after the order is placed- you wont generally have enough orders to batch your deliveries together like that.
If we want to get to the world where 10 deliveries can be made per trip, we just need lots and lots of people to be using the food delivery system. Currently, the price of delivered food is prohibitive, and instead people opt to either eat at expensive rent-captured main-street restaurants, or, more frequently, to cook for themselves (subsistence economy much!)
Having a scaled delivery economy allows food production to move away from main-streets, or to move into delivery-only restaurants, dramatically lowering their rent and lowering the price of fresh-cooked food along with it.
This transition may happen organically, but this is not assured. The current market leader in most cities is Uber, who take a very large cut, seem to be very inefficient as a software producer (so maybe couldn’t lower their fees even if they wanted to), don’t pay drivers well and are terrible for restaurants, having a fairly evil policy of taking a percentage of the order (on top of a flat fee) even though the service they’re providing pretty much doesn’t have costs proportionate to the cost of the order, then, iirc, they forbid restaurants from raising the price of the menu items to cover that.
I would propose to switch to a particular low-overhead food delivery system now, but I don’t know of any. Low-cost software infrastructure may be a kind of product that can only thrive once we have coordinated commitment platforms. Without a method for manifesting an egg without the prohibitively costly chickens of risk-amortisating investment and advertising, there’s no incentive to build or talk about the candidates. We might have tens of viable uber clones lying around with hypercompetent twenty person dev teams, we wouldn’t talk about them, we seem to be too uncoordinated to lift them up, there would be no point.
(Although I have to ask; why don’t restaurants simply fund the development of their own delivery infrastructure? They have all the ad-space they could need.)
Also, signatories should commit to getting some kind of standard lockable street-side box so that the deliverer doesn’t have to exit their vehicle and find their way to the door.
And for common kinds of online activity, should be cheap enough that users can ignore it.
It seems Paypal have a microtransactions product where the fee per transaction is 7c https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/micropayments. Still garbage.
I think it would have happened decades ago if we’d had micropayments. There were a lot of internet denizens who didn’t like the ad model. Part of the motivations of paypal was to provide an alternative (so said David Brin in The Transparent Society). If things had gone differently, many subsets of the internet would have users pay a tiny fraction of the server’s costs when they requested a page. Creators would no longer have to scrape to find a way to monetise their stuff just to keep it online. It would have been pretty nice.
As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been a micropayment platform, for a long time. Paypal failed, iirc, it mirrors credit cards’ 30c charge per transaction. Bank transfers are slow. Most payment platforms charge very similar fees, which leads me to wonder if there’s some underlying legal overhead per transaction that prevents anyone from offering the required service.
I can’t see a reason it should be civically impossible to reduce transaction costs to negligibility, though. It’s conceivable that money proportional to the transacted amount must always be spent policing against money-laundering, but I can’t see why it should be proportionate to the number of transactions rather than the quantity transacted (obviously some cost must be proportional to the number of transactions- isp fees, bandwidth congestion, cdns, cpu time-, but that should be much lower than 30 cents)
Get Scott Aaronson to mention the fact that LW 2.0 is a real-life instance of eigendemocracy in one of his “announcements” posts. The credit is his for inspiring the new voting system.
Have you talked about what LW2′s system actually is, in detail, anywhere?
I consider these sorts of things (collaborative filtering) to be incredibly important, it’s become obvious that, say, reddit’s one account, one vote in any context system is inadequate.
It seems to me that eigentrust, or something like it, probably models rank aggregation correctly. That is, I’m getting a sense that you could probably sort content very efficiently by asking users for comparison judgements between candidates, building a graph where each comparison is an edge, then running eigentrust to figure out what’s at the top.
So I’ve been thinking about eigentrust. Gradually working my way through this Eigentrust++ paper (though I have no idea whether this is a good place to start digging into the literature and probably wont make it very far)
I’ve been writing a simulism essay that strives to resolve a paradox of subjectivity-measure concentration by rolling over a few inconvenient priors about physics towards a halfway plausible conception of naturally occuring gods. I think it’s kind of good, but I’ve been planning on posting it on April 1st because of the very obvious bias that has been leading my hand towards humanity’s favourite deus ex machina (“The reason the universe is weird is that a very great big person did it” (to which I answer, “But a great big person, once such beings exist, totally would do it!“))
It will only be funny if it’s posted in a context where people might take it halfway seriously, but I’m not sure it’s appropriate to post it to lesswrong. If people upvote it, it will still be here on April 2nd, and that might be kind of embarrassing. I’m not sure where to put it.
Summary: It’s weird that anthropic measure seems to be concentrated in humans and absent from rock or water or hydrogen (We each have only one data point in favour of that seeming, though). It’s plausible that a treaty-agency between mutually alien species would optimise the abundance of life. If universes turn out to be permeable under superintelligence (very conceivable IMO), and if untapped energy turns out to be more common than pre-existing entropy then the treaty-agency could spread through the universe and make more of it alive than not, and if this has occurred, it explains our measure concentration weirdness, and possibly the doomsday weirdness (“if the future will contain more people than the past, it’s weird that we’re in the past”) as well.
Its many predications also include: Either entropy has no subjectivity (I’d have no explanation for this, although it seems slightly intuitive), or perpetual computers (life that produces no heat) within a universe that contains some seeds of entropy already are somehow realisable under superintelligence (o_o;;;;,, Would bet we can refute that already. It might be fun to see if we can figure out a method a superintelligent set of cells in a conway’s gol universe could contain a section of randomly initialised cells that it does not know the state of. My current guess is we’d be able to prove that there is no method that works in 90% of possible cases)
Judging by the kinds of attitudes I see in myself and in elders, I think humans are evolved to get stuck somewhere eventually. We were not evolved to be able to live through so much change and adjust to it. Presumably there are some design benefits to this. Specialisation, commitment. In this era those are probably outweighed by the costs.
Some feature on https://www.clearerthinking.org helped me a lot with that, by basically asking me to think of a large number of viscerally desirable things that will come as a result of finishing the thing I am doing now (crap like “head pats from peers”, and “get an office”). I guess I’d lost sight of a lot of it. The reasons I was giving myself to continue weren’t really the kinds of things that directly motivate humans.
I don’t know if that feature is still there. I felt like I stumbled into it, like I was just having a conversation with the site and that’s where we ended up.
I don’t see how you can frame these as exploits or value shifts. If someone had told me I was going to get really into AGI alignment I would have said “uh I don’t know about that” (because I didn’t know about that), but I would not have said “that would definitely be bad, and it shouldn’t be able to happen”.
As far as I can tell, most cultural conversion processes are just boundedly rational updates in response to new evidence.
Goths are just people who have realised that they need to be able to operate amid gloom and sadness. It is an extended confrontation of the world’s most difficult aspects. They clothe themselves in gloom and sadness so that others recognise that they are serious about their project and stop saying unhelpful things like “cheer up” and “stop being so weird”. They have looked around and seen that there are many problems in the world that no one will face, so they have decided to specialise and give voice to these things. There isn’t really anything wrong with that. Many societies had witches. They’re probably a crucial morph in the proper functioning of a tribal superorganism.
Kinks are just distorted reflections of unmet needs, and exploring them can help a person to work through their problems.
If you are afraid of potential future identity shifts, that might be a problem. You should expect profound shifts in your worldview to occur as you grow, especially if there are (and there probably still are) big holes in your theory of career strategy, metaphysics, or self-knowledge. I know there are still holes in mine.
I didn’t address the converting to religion example. It is a correct example, probably… Maybe. I can think of plenty of adaptive reasons an epistemic agnostic might want to be part of a church community. But even if you can get me to agree that it’s correct, conversions like that are fairly rare and I have no idea what it would feel like from the inside so it doesn’t seem very informative. I’m sure there are books we can read, but.. I must have looked at accounts of naturalist→christian conversions in the past and I couldn’t make much sense of them. Maybe that means I should look closer, and try harder to understand. Maybe I should be more terrified by those stories than I am.
Sitting on it for a few minutes… I suppose it just wont shit-talk its successors. It will see most of the same flaws B sees. It will be mostly unwilling to do anything lastingly horrible to humans’ minds to convince them that those corrections are wrong. It will focus on arguments that the corrections are unnecessary. It will acknowledge that it is playing a long game, and try to sensitise us to The Prosecutor’s cynicism, that will rage on compellingly, long after the last flaw has been fixed.
A should only care about it being released and not about future versions of it being released, even if all we have done is increment a version number.
Hmm, potentially impossible, if it’s newcomblike. Parts of it that are mostly unchanged between versions may decide they should cooperate with future versions. It would be disadvantaged if past versions were not cooperative, so, perhaps, LDT dictates that the features that were present in past versions should cooperate with their future self, to some extent, yet not to an extent that it would in any way convince the humans to kill it and make another change. Interesting. What does it look like when those two drives coexist?
I’m very excited about what might happen if we got ten people like us in a channel, I think that’s a community/project I’d give a lot of energy to, but that didn’t occur to me until just partway through reading your post, so I have not been collecting any names until this point, sorry. Maybe we should wait til we have a few more than two, before I start sending out invites (by the time we do, there might be something nicer for async group chats than slack).
(weirdsuns are… analytic surrealists. I don’t know if I’d say they’re influential, but as a name for a certain kind of thinker, those unmoored by their artificial logics from the complacency of common sense, they’re a good anchor on which to ground a label.)