Jacobian talked about in another thread
Minor note: Jacobian and jacobjacob are different people
I updated the formatting to be closer to what seemed to be the intent. One central issue is that apparently the LW markdown requires you to have a space after the ### “heading” syntax.
Appreciate it. That does help.
I think main thing I want to avoid with the back-and-forth is feeling a sense of urgency to respond (esp. if I’m feeling frustrated about being misunderstood). Gonna try an experiment of “respond to comments here once per day”).
Will probably respond tomorrow.
That all makes sense – once the habit is ingrained I wouldn’t expect it to be deliberate effort per se (but, would still require me to make time for this that isn’t ‘right before I go to sleep while lying in bed’)
I could imagine an intersection between the thing Gordon’s saying about learning stuff, but also flow, where people get into flow states easiest when the difficult is juuust in that narrow range between “challenging, but doable at your current skillset.”
Like, solving a particularly hard puzzle is rewarding. But I don’t get into flowstates doing it. But puzzles that are hard-but-consistently-doable I might get into flow more easily.
So: “how can a group of people coordinate to make rational decisions in response to confusing and fraught situations” might be something that’s hard-enough-you-to-be-REAL-challenging instead of ‘flow-state-level-challenging.’
(You could potentially also map the “my friend will really love this part” thing into Gordon’s model. I think Gordon’s model predicts that you’d stop finding that rewarding if you hit a point where you were able to do that effortlessly all the time, because it’s no longer an interesting learning challenge)
On a higher level, email clients could make the “mark as spam” button send information to the sender.
(I guess most of the history here is encapsulated in this blogpost – A Brief History of Murder (in Ultima). I think it’s a bit less impactful if not read in the context of the entire history of Ultima and it’s predecessors but is still a decent 80⁄20)
A snippet relevant to “being a living world” as opposed to a game:
In thinking about the UO resource system in recent posts, I also got to thinking about other things that we either wanted to or tried to get the NPCs to do.
Today, NPCs have gradually evolved more and more towards being quest dispensers. Originally, we wanted NPCs that would give the illusion of life. But there were a few bumps on the road, and today NPCs in all the games pretty much suck. Moving around was actually one of the biggest bumps. One of the most obvious cues that an NPC is actually nothing more than a quest dispenser is to make them immobile terminals with hovering icons over their head. Yet this is what players demand.
In early UO the NPCs moved about — there was even some attempt to make them move about purposefully, from trade implement to trade implement, but that failed. When the NPCs would move around while you were trying to talk to them, players objected, and then eventually the NPCs were frozen in place because their primary purpose was as a dispenser of items. I fought this for a long time.
A central question I’ve been thinking through while reading all this is “is this stuff actually relevant to me?” A lot of it is solving a different problem than the one I’m solving. How much of it transfers to building a rationalist community or ecosystem?
Raph’s work seems most directly relevant to “how to build the great transhumanist future.” His Theory of Fun is, non-coincidentally, related to LW’s Fun Theory sequence. He spent UO and SWG trying to play is own much harder game than any of the players instinctively wanted: how to create a virtual world where player’s lives had meaning.
I find Raph’s story of UO very heartbreaking. I can describe the plot in a few sentences, but I’m not sure I can do justice to the heartache. The design process for UO was a higher level game, and each “round” in the game Raph would try a new strategy.
Victory or loss for Raph’s meta-game was measured (in a goodharty way) by whether players were subscribing to Ultima and/or complaining on the forums.
In a (hopefully less goodharty way), victory or loss was measured by reading the precise stories players were telling or complaining about and seeing if the world was actually achieving the ability to self-police, in a way that was actually meaningful. (A more easy-to-parse-metric for self policing was “amount of playerkilling going on”, where Raph wanted it to be non-zero, but nowhere near as high as it was.)
He tried numerous strategies to give players better tools for self-policing. I think there is some experiential thing that’s important to get from reading, chapter by chapter in Postmortems, each new strategy Raph would try in this crusade, and the ways that it failed or only partially succeeded.
Raph played this meta-game multiple times (i.e. UO never really succeeded the way he wanted. He might have gotten differently closer in SWG, trying a different strategy and perhaps making different mistakes, although I haven’t played either game so I’m not sure)
Appreciate the distillation!
A related question I find myself wondering first is “why are you curious about that?” Is it just raw curious about how the physics/mechanics/chemistry/neuroscience/maybe-philosophy works? Or is the answer to this intended as a means towards some other ends (like “what other things might be so intensely superstimulesque?”)
I notice that this all makes perfect sense but that I don’t expect to use it that much.
Which I think is more of a failure of my part to set up my life such that I can be using my “deliberate effort” brain while reading. I mostly do reading in the evening when I’m tired (where the base-situation was “using facebook or something”, and I was trying to at least get extra value out of my dead brain state)
Currently my “deliberate effort” hours go into coding, and writing. This seems probably bad, but it feels like a significant sacrifice to do less of either. Mrr.
My impression is that sparse newsfeeds tend to start doing things you don’t want.
The target audience for Hazardous Guide is friends of yours, correct? (vaguely recall that)
A thing that normally works for writing is that after each chunk, I get to publish a thing and get comments. One thing about Hazardous Guide is that it mostly isn’t new material for LW veterans, so I could see it getting less feedback than average. Might be able to address by actually showing parts to friends if you haven’t
So I’m making lists of things I might like (cooking, reading, improv, etc) and I’ll try those
This comment is a bit interesting in terms of it’s relation to this old comment of yours (about puzzlement over cooking being a source of slack)
I realize this comment isn’t about cooking-as-slack per se, but curious to hear more about your shift in experience there (since before it didn’t seem like cooking as a thing you did much at all)
This thread is the most bizarrely compelling argument that twitter may be better than FB
If you can be deliberate about learning from projects, this could actually be a good setup – doing one project a week, learning what you can from it, and moving on actually seems pretty good if you’re optimizing for skill growth.
Note on the word “deceptive”: I need some word to talk about the concept of “saying something that has the causal effect of listeners making less accurate predictions about reality, when the speaker possessed the knowledge to not do so, and attempts to correct the error will be resisted.” (The part about resistence to correction is important for distinguishing “deception”-in-this-sense from simple mistakes: if I erroneously claim that 57 is prime and someone points out that it’s not, I’ll immediately say, “Oops, you’re right,” rather than digging my heels in.)
I’m sympathetic to the criticism that lying isn’t the right word for this; so far my best alternatives are “deceptive” and “misleading.” If someone thinks those are still too inappropriately judgey-blamey, I’m eager to hear alternatives, or to use a neologism for the purposes of a particular conversation, but ultimately, I need a word for the thing.
FWIW I think “deceptive” and “misleading” are pretty fine here (depends somewhat on context but I’ve thought the language everyone’s been using in this thread so far was fine)
I think the active-ingredient in the “there’s something resisting correction” has a flavor that isn’t quite captured by deceptive (self-deceptive is closer). I think the phrase that most captures this for me is perniciously motivated, or something like that.
Apologies. A few things to disambiguate and address separately:
1. In that comment I was referring primarily to discussions about the trustworthiness and/or systematic distortion-ness of various EA and rationalist orgs and/or leadership, which I had mentally bucketed as fairly separate from our conversation. BUT even in that context “Only counterargument is base rates” is not a fair summary. I was feeling somewhat frustrated at the time I wrote that but that’s not a good excuse. (The behavior I think I endorse most is trying to avoid continuing the conversation in a comment thread at all, but I’ve obviously been failing hard at that)
2. My take on our prior conversation was more about “things that are socially costly to talk about, that are more like ‘mainstream politics’ than like ‘rationalist politics.’” Yes, there’s a large cluster of things related to mainstream politics and social justice where weighing in at all just feels like it’s going to make my life worse (this is less about not getting invited to parties and more about having more of my life filled with stressful conversations for battles that I don’t think are the best thing to prioritize fighting)