And if we are willing to ascribe moral weight to fruit flies, there must also be some corresponding non-zero moral weight to early-term human fetuses.
I don’t really have much confidence in any of my assertions in the OP, but I will point out some possible questions that might challenge the “narrow” view.
1. Can you always/sometimes/ever subjectively correlate individual, transient spikes of pain/discomfort to particular external stimuli, and if so, what if those stimuli turn out to be extremely variable, as in, not reducible to one specific thing like “factual beliefs about pain’s source”?
2. How does your theory explain ulcers, which don’t have any obvious relationship to muscular tension?
3. How does your theory explain the fact that I can make pain/discomfort dissipate in the span of 10 seconds by asking, specifically, “What are you trying to tell me, Mr. Subconscious?” but not by simply thinking, “Oh, this pain is probably psychosomatic in origin.“?
To comment further on question #1: when I’m in a particularly sensitive physical state, i.e. when my chronic pain is flaring up, I can walk down a street and simply take observations. I feel a flare of pain, and ask myself what’s happening in my immediate surroundings. Perhaps I just walked by a homeless person. I didn’t feel anything particular about the homeless person, but perhaps that’s because I am “suppressing” some kind of disgust/annoyance for the homeless person, an emotional reaction which would be unacceptable to my conscious mind. Such an explanation feels post hoc and tenuous, but if I keep this monitoring process up for half an hour or so, I can’t help but collate a list of pain flareups associated with events which specifically seem like they could be the kind of thing that my Id hates but my Superego is stifling.
Again, this whole topic is weird and confusing to me, I place low confidence in any particular beliefs expressed here.
I agree that there is practically no purpose to using this kind of method if you are just going to give the AI information about our reality anyway.
I’ve read a couple of meditation books (TMI and a couple others, haven’t finished MCTB yet) and am a novice meditator, and I will remark that I consciously stopped meditating a while back because … the act of meditating was causing incredible physical tension and eventually pain. This was very frustrating obviously but I wasn’t convinced that “meditating through it” would work and couldn’t figure out any other way through.
In retrospect, in this provisional Sarno framework, it seems possible that the pain and unpleasantness of meditation was a subconscious reaction to really not wanting to meditate, subconsciously. Knowing myself, paying attention to something that I don’t want to pay attention to breeds a high level of resentment, and meditation is the purified and crystallized form of that. I’ll tentatively try meditating again and see if the tension returns, with this perspective.
Also, I do really need to read MCTB.
Could you point me to a good resource/overview on coherence therapy? I’ve looked into it before but never quite got a handle on it.
I actually agree completely that the subconscious is often in the right. I think that question of which subagent is actually right is somewhat orthogonal to the chronic pain phenomenon, but I would be interested to learn more. For example, you may actually be doing far more than your share of work in the community without garnering any recognition for it, creating a net drain on your resources, and you continue to do so because that’s what a Good Person would do, so your subconscious tries to intervene in way that is fundamentally self-protective but quite messy in execution. In this case the analysis by the subconscious is “right” but the cure is worse than the disease.
OpenAI Five plays 180 years worth of games against itself every day, learning via self-play. It trains using a scaled-up version of Proximal Policy Optimization running on 256 GPUs and 128,000 CPU cores — a larger-scale version of the system we built to play the much-simpler solo variant of the game last year. Using a separate LSTM for each hero and no human data, it learns recognizable strategies. This indicates that reinforcement learning can yield long-term planning with large but achievable scale — without fundamental advances, contrary to our own expectations upon starting the project.
RL researchers (including ourselves) have generally believed that long time horizons would require fundamentally new advances, such as hierarchical reinforcement learning. Our results suggest that we haven’t been giving today’s algorithms enough credit — at least when they’re run at sufficient scale and with a reasonable way of exploring.
From a Hacker News comment by one of the researchers:
We are very encouraged by the algorithmic implication of this result — in fact, it mirrors closely the story of deep learning (existing algorithms at large scale solve otherwise unsolvable problems). If you have a very hard problem for which you have a simulator, our results imply there is a real, practical path towards solving it. This still needs to be proven out in real-world domains, but it will be very interesting to see the full ramifications of this finding.
In other words: Current algorithms do seem to be able to tackle levels of sophistication (long time horizons, imperfect information, high-dimensional option space) that even experienced researchers wouldn’t have predicted, if you give them enough compute. And this person suggests that they could tackle even more sophisticated problems as long as you have a simulator for the problem domain.
Awesome! May I ask how you’re going about it? Sending to a small group of friends or keeping it to yourself, what software you’re using, how long the entries end up being? Just curious.
So its hard to tell people to refrain from moving to Berkeley
So its hard to tell people to refrain from moving to Berkeley
I apologize for possibly/probably twisting your words a bit here, but I never have trouble telling people to refrain from moving to the Bay/Berkeley. I tell them I lived there for a few years and it’s a pretty unpleasant place, objectively, along any of ten different metrics relevant to comfort and peace of mind. I tell them I never actually developed any sense of belonging with the local Rationalist Community, so it’s not gauranteed that that will happen. I tell them I make a pretty good amount of money in many cities, but since I’m not a Comp Sci grad that doesn’t translate to a decent living in Berkeley. I tell them on top of that, Berkeley is one of the most expensive places to live in the world and if there were some kind of objective ratio of cost of living divided by objective comfort/quality/value-of-a-dollar, Berkeley would be near the top worldwide.
I also don’t find the proposition that you have to literally move to an expensive unpleasant overcrowded dystopian city in order to be rational to be particularly, uh, rational.
A: (punches B) Slug bug!
B: (immediately punches A back, roughly equally hard)
A: Hey! You don’t get to hit me back. That’s the rules.
B: I understand. However, I was actually playing Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma. And so were you, by the way. Furthermore, I wasn’t aware that we were playing Slug Bug, so my prior has to be that you were actually just demonstrating or testing your physical dominance over me.
A: We’re friends! We’ve known each other for forty years! You’re godfather to my children! I’m married to your sister! Why would I be demonstrating physical dominance over you?
B: I guess this is one of those better-safe-than-sorry situations. I actually do trust you to lay down your life for mine, but I don’t trust you to perfectly and continuously control your human status impulses. You stepped over a line, I checked you on it. Now we can proceed with neither of us wondering if that punch had any hidden implications to our relationship. By the way, now that you’ve announced we’re playing Slug Bug, I’m game for it.
A: But I wasn’t playing this “status-regulation-prisoner’s-dilemma” that you’re describing, I was playing Slug Bug. Under my rules, I should just punch you a second time!
B: Do what you must. Be aware that I will just punch you back, again.
A: You’re so insecure! I bodily carried you through a minefield and on a separate occasion threw myself onto a grenade to save you.
B: I consider the fact that you obviously love and cherish me to be completely separate from the issue of instinctive dominance and status behavior. Put it this way: if you expect the dynamics our relationship, and its base of sacred trust, to permit you to punch me for no apparent reason, then you must symmetrically expect our relationship to permit me applying a very mild, exactly proportionate corrective measure. In fact, I’m far more concerned that you’re surprised and angry that I punched you back, than I was concerned that you punched me in the first place. Your concern implies that you did assume an asymmetry in our positions. I’ll put it even more clearly: You can’t punch somebody, expect them not to make a big deal of it, and then proceed to make a big deal of it when they punch you, regardless of what game you think you’re playing in your own mind.
A: (punches B) Slug bug! You weren’t paying attention.
Drinking enough water is important. I’ve started adding a pinch of salt to my water to make sure I’m not messing up my osmotic balance. But that’s one of those “maybe it helps a little bit?” type interventions that I intentionally withheld from adding to the post. I wanted to only include things I was really sure about.
While exercise supposedly helps with headaches, neck issues, etc., I can’t really say that it’s been the case for me. Actually, working out tends to give me headaches.
I’ve been “fit” before, and that definitely did cause me to feel better, but that was before my body became sensetized to headaches. It’s good advice, but not something I have any particular insight into.
The confidence intervals on their hazard numbers are so broad as to make it impossible to make any particular conclusion beyond “looks like 7 hours is best, probably, all things being equal”. Then they forget about their confidence intervals in the graphs on pg. 134.
Additionally, the paper appears to completely disregard confounders. Sleeping 9 hours per night every night is probably correlated with all-cause mortality because anybody who sleeps 9 hours per night on average is probably already sick in some significant way. That’s why they sleep so much. It’s not the sleep that makes them sick. This says nothing about the causal claim that the median human should be getting enough sleep.
Unfortunately I can’t really link to the contents of a book, but this book makes a strong case that getting enough sleep reduces all-cause mortality.
Also I would re-emphasize that 100% of the advice I gave in this post was meant to be easily empirically testable. If you actually feel better on 4 hours of sleep per night than 7, then more power to you.
As a bit of a self-made expert on headaches, I am pretty sure that it’s not the thinking that’s causing the headache, but rather unconscious physical tension associated with perceived strenuousness of the activity.
Tension in your neck muscles, temples, jaw, etc. can be practically impossible to notice consciously. You can be totally unaware that you’re experiencing it. It can ramp up and initiate a headache quite easily, especially if you’re the type of person susceptible to such.
You may have associations between the things your thinking about and stress. Personally, I notice that thinking about stuff that I’ve been procrastinating on (which I don’t really want to be thinking about) feels miserable and manifests itself as physical tension. But I can think intensely about other things for hours without negative effects, if I want to be thinking about those things.
(Edit: Also, if you’re “thinking really hard” it’s pretty likely that you’re sitting in one position for too long. Holding still is shockingly bad for human bodies. We’re supposed to be moving around almost constantly. Sitting and staring at one thing for an hour induces an incredible amount of muscle fatigue in the neck, eyes, etc.)
This reminds me a bit of my technique for becoming aware of intentions. Lotus-nature, or want-grabbiness, feels like a thing once you learn to notice it. Learning to notice it gives you powers you didn’t have before you crystalized the concept and paid attention to it. The same goes for being aware of inner intentions, and, perhaps more importantly, their absence. (For example, if you find yourself vaguely disgusted with yourself for having browsed Facebook for an hour, but you cultivate a sense of your intentions, then you start automatically noticing that the primary reason you’re still doing it is that you haven’t bothered to formulate an intention to do anything else, so inertia wins by default.) I think there are a number of mental phenomena that we feel controlled by because we never actually notice them in detail. It’s a bit like training peripheral vision. You can’t train it until you notice it’s a thing to be trained.
Done. Felt quite rushed, but I’m glad I did this.