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# riceissa(Issa Rice)

Karma: 1,165

I am Issa Rice. https://​​is­sarice.com/​​

• I am also in­ter­ested in do­ing Ja­panese trans­la­tions.

• It’s worth not­ing that there is also Duck­DuckGo (a search en­g­ine), which has bang ex­pres­sions for out­sourc­ing re­sults. Just to give some of the equiv­a­lents for those listed above: ”!gi” for Google Images, ”!yt” for YouTube, ”!w” for Wikipe­dia, etc. To be sure, one has to rely on Duck­DuckGo for adding the ex­pres­sions (al­though I’ve had suc­cess sug­gest­ing a new ex­pres­sion be­fore).

• I usu­ally ask these as ques­tions on Quora. Quora is in­cred­ibly tol­er­ant of even inane ques­tions, and has the benefit of al­low­ing oth­ers to provide feed­back (in the form of an­swers and com­ments to the ques­tion). If a ques­tion has already been asked, then you will also be able to read what oth­ers have writ­ten in re­sponse and/​or fol­low that ques­tion for fu­ture an­swers. Quora also has the op­tion of anonymiz­ing ques­tions. I’ve found that always con­vert­ing my thoughts into ques­tions has made me very con­scious of what sort of ques­tions are in­ter­est­ing to ask (not that there’s any­thing right with that).

Another idea is to prac­tice this with writ­ing down dreams. After wak­ing up, I of­ten think “It’s not re­ally worth writ­ing that dream down any­way”, whereas in re­al­ity I would find it quite in­ter­est­ing if I came back to it later. Forc­ing one­self to write thoughts down even when one is not in­clined to may lead to more se­d­u­lous record-keep­ing. (But this is just spec­u­la­tion.)

• I took the sur­vey.

• I re­cently wrote an up­dated timeline. It in­cludes not just for­mal pub­li­ca­tions, but also blog posts and con­ver­sa­tions. To see just the for­mal pub­li­ca­tions, it is pos­si­ble to sort by the “For­mat” column in the full timeline and look at the rows with “Paper”.

• Thanks for the feed­back. I could add word­count. Not sure what you mean by qual­ity rat­ing; LW, OB, and EA Fo­rum have their own vot­ing/​rat­ing mechanisms but are not com­pat­i­ble (so putting them in a column might be con­fus­ing, al­though group­ing by venue and look­ing at rat­ings within each venue might be in­ter­est­ing). Sum­mary would be the most time-con­sum­ing to pro­duce, and many of Carl’s posts have sum­maries at the top.

• In some re­cent com­ments over at the Effec­tive Altru­ism Fo­rum you talk about anti-re­al­ism about con­scious­ness, say­ing in par­tic­u­lar “the case for ac­cept­ing anti-re­al­ism as the an­swer to the prob­lem of con­scious­ness seems pretty weak, at least as ex­plained by Brian”. I am won­der­ing if you could elab­o­rate more on this. Does the case for anti-re­al­ism about con­scious­ness seem weak be­cause of your gen­eral un­cer­tainty on ques­tions like this? Or is it more that you find the case for anti-re­al­ism speci­fi­cally weak, and you hold some con­trary po­si­tion?

I am es­pe­cially cu­ri­ous since I was un­der the im­pres­sion that many peo­ple on LessWrong hold es­sen­tially similar views.

• Based on de­scrip­tions on the FHI web­site, it looks like Kyle Scott filled this role, from July 2015 to Septem­ber 2017.

Kyle brings over 5 years of op­er­a­tions ex­pe­rience to the Fu­ture of Hu­man­ity In­stu­tute. He keeps daily op­er­a­tions run­ning smoothly, and man­ages in­com­ing and out­go­ing re­quests for Prof. Nick Bostrom.

Strate­gi­cally, he works to im­prove the pro­cesses and ca­pac­ity of the office and free up the at­ten­tion and time of Prof. Nick Bostrom.

Kyle came to the Fu­ture of Hu­man­ity In­sti­tute from the Effec­tive Altru­ism move­ment, de­ter­min­ing that this job po­si­tion would be his most effec­tive con­tri­bu­tion to so­ciety. Learn more about Effec­tive Altru­ism here.

The page is still up but it doesn’t look like he holds the po­si­tion any­more.

He seems to be a pro­ject man­ager at BERI now:

Kyle man­ages var­i­ous pro­jects sup­port­ing BERI’s part­ner in­sti­tu­tions. He grad­u­ated Whit­man Col­lege with a B.A. in Philos­o­phy. He spent two years work­ing in ca­reer ser­vices and sub­se­quently moved to Oxford where he worked for 80,000 Hours, the Cen­tre for Effec­tive Altru­ism and most re­cently at the Fu­ture of Hu­man­ity In­sti­tute as Nick Bostrom’s Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant.

On Novem­ber 13, 2017 FHI opened the po­si­tion for ap­pli­ca­tions.

ETA: Louis Franc­ini comes to the same con­clu­sion on Quora. (Con­text: I asked the ques­tion on Quora, figured out the an­swer, posted this com­ment, then Louis an­swered my ques­tion.)

• do we have any statis­tics about it?

For ses­sions and pageviews from Google An­a­lyt­ics, I wrote a post about it in April 2017. Since you men­tion scrap­ing, per­haps you mean some­thing like post and com­ment counts; if so, I’m not aware of any statis­tics about that.

Wei Dai has a web ser­vice to re­trieve all posts and com­ments of par­tic­u­lar users that I find use­ful (not sure if you will find it use­ful for gath­er­ing statis­tics, but I thought I would men­tion it just in case).

• I don’t see refer­ence num­ber 17 (“Per­sonal cor­re­spon­dence with Carl Shul­man”) used in the body of the post. What in­for­ma­tion from that refer­ence is used in the post?

• I was con­fused about this too, but now I think I have some idea of what’s go­ing on.

Nor­mally prob­a­bil­ity is defined for events, but ex­pected value is defined for ran­dom vari­ables, not events. What is hap­pen­ing in this post is that we are tak­ing the ex­pected value of events, by way of the con­di­tional ex­pected value of the ran­dom vari­able (con­di­tion­ing on the event). In sym­bols, if is some event in our sam­ple space, we are say­ing , where is some ran­dom vari­able (this ran­dom vari­able is sup­posed to be clear from the con­text, so it doesn’t ap­pear on the left hand side of the equa­tion).

Go­ing back to cousin_it’s lot­tery ex­am­ple, we can for­mal­ize this as fol­lows. The sam­ple space can be and the prob­a­bil­ity mea­sure is defined as and . The ran­dom vari­able rep­re­sents the lot­tery, and it is defined by and .

Now we can calcu­late. The ex­pected value of the lot­tery is:

The ex­pected value of win­ning is:

The “probu­til­ity” of win­ning is:

So in this case, the “probu­til­ity” of win­ning is the same as the ex­pected value of the lot­tery. How­ever, this is only the case be­cause the situ­a­tion is so sim­ple. In par­tic­u­lar, if was not equal to zero (while win­ning and los­ing re­mained ex­clu­sive events), then the two would have been differ­ent (the ex­pected value of the lot­tery would have changed while the “probu­til­ity” would have re­mained the same).

• I had a similar thought while read­ing this post, but I’m not sure in­vok­ing causal­ity is nec­es­sary (hav­ing a di­rec­tion still seems nec­es­sary). Just in terms of propo­si­tional logic, I would ex­plain this post as fol­lows:

1. Ini­tially, one has the im­pli­ca­tion stored in one’s mind.

2. Some­one as­serts .

3. Now one’s mind (per­haps sub­con­sciously) does a modus po­nens, and ob­tains .

4. How­ever, is an un­de­sir­able be­lief, so one wants to deny it.

5. In­stead of re­ject­ing the im­pli­ca­tion , one adamantly de­nies .

The “buck­ets er­ror” is the im­pli­ca­tion , and “flinch­ing away” is the de­nial of . Flinch­ing away is about pro­tect­ing one’s episte­mol­ogy be­cause deny­ing is still bet­ter than ac­cept­ing . Of course, it would be best to re­ject the im­pli­ca­tion , but since one can’t do this (by as­sump­tion, one makes the buck­ets er­ror), it is prefer­able to “flinch away” from .

ETA (2019-02-01): It oc­curred to me that this is ba­si­cally the same thing as “one man’s modus po­nens is an­other man’s modus tol­lens” (see e.g. this post) but with some ex­tra emo­tional con­no­ta­tions.

• I’m hav­ing trou­ble un­der­stand­ing why we can’t just fix in your proof. Then at each iter­a­tion we bi­sect the in­ter­val, so we wouldn’t be us­ing the “full power” of the 1-D Sperner’s lemma (we would just be us­ing some­thing close to the base case).

Also if we are only given that is con­tin­u­ous, does it make sense to talk about the gra­di­ent?

• Here is my at­tempt, based on Hoagy’s proof.

Let be an in­te­ger. We are given that and . Now con­sider the points in the in­ter­val . By 1-D Sperner’s lemma, there are an odd num­ber of such that and (i.e. an odd num­ber of “seg­ments” that be­gin be­low zero and end up above zero). In par­tic­u­lar, is an even num­ber, so there must be at least one such num­ber . Choose the small­est and call this num­ber .

Now con­sider the se­quence . Since this se­quence takes val­ues in , it is bounded, and by the Bolzano–Weier­strass the­o­rem there must be some sub­se­quence that con­verges to some num­ber .

Con­sider the se­quences and . We have for each . By the limit laws, as . Since is con­tin­u­ous, we have and as . Thus and , show­ing that , as de­sired.

• My solu­tion for #3:

Define by . We know that is con­tin­u­ous be­cause and the iden­tity map both are, and by the limit laws. Ap­ply­ing the in­ter­me­di­ate value the­o­rem (prob­lem #2) we see that there ex­ists such that . But this means , so we are done.

Coun­terex­am­ple for the open in­ter­val: con­sider defined by . First, we can ver­ify that if then , so in­deed maps to . To see that there is no fixed point, note that the only solu­tion to in is , which is not in . (We can also view this graph­i­cally by plot­ting both and and check­ing that they do not in­ter­sect in .)