These are extremes that I have no experience with. I have had no childhood trauma. I have never had, sought, nor been suggested to have any form of psychological diagnosis or therapy. I have never had depression, mania, anxiety attacks, SAD, PTSD, hearing imaginary voices, hallucinations, or any of the rest of the things that psychiatrists see daily. I have had no drug trips. I laugh at basilisks.
It sometimes seems to me that this mental constitution, to me a very ordinary one, makes me an extreme outlier here.
My recursive suggestion won’t work. One can devise a UTM that gives the shortest code to itself, by the usual reflexivity constructions. The computability theory textbook method looks better. But what theoretical justification can be given for it? Why are we confident that bad explanations are not lurking within it?
Actually, perhaps we shouldn’t be. It has already been remarked by Eliezer that Solomonoff induction gives what looks like undue weight to hypotheses involving gigantic numbers with short descriptions, e.g. 3^^^3, despite the fact that, looking at the world, such numbers have never been useful for anything but talking about gigantic numbers, and proving what are generally expected to be very generous upper bounds for some combinatorial theorems.
The definition of Solomonoff induction is indifferent to the choice of universal Turing machine, because the difference it makes is a bounded number of bits. Two calculations of Kolmogorov complexity using different UTMs will always agree to within a number of bits c, where c depends on both of the UTMs (and measures how easily each can simulate the other).
c can be arbitrarily large.If you pack your UTM full of preferred hypotheses given short codings (e.g. “let it be a human brain”), then you will get those hypotheses back out of it. But that did not come from Solomonoff induction. It came from your choice of UTM.
This raises the question: if, contra the theoretical indifference to choice of UTM, the choice does matter, how should the choice be made? One might consider a UTM having minimal description length, but which UTM do you use to determine that, before you’ve chosen one? Suppose one first chooses an arbitrary UTM T0, then determines which UTM T1 is given the shortest description length by T0, then generates T2 from T1 in the same way, does this necessarily converge on a UTM that in some definable sense has no extra hypotheses stuffed into it? Or does this process solve nothing?
Alternatively, you might go with some standard construction of a UTM out of a computability theory textbook. Those look minimal enough that no complex hypotheses would be unjustly favoured, but it seems to me there is still a theoretical gap to be plugged here.
That is an area in which it appears that experiences differ a great deal. I doubt that Said would recognise these “sub-personalities”, and for that matter, neither do I. I experience myself as a coherent person, made of parts that do not behave like persons.
The fish seems to be choosing environment B in order to relieve its pain
Given that a child can build a Lego robot that will avoid light, or loud sounds, or whatever else it has a sensor for, it’s not clear why this behaviour in a fish is evidence of pain qualia when we don’t take it to be so in a robot.
Usually, if I click on one of the spam articles listed in the notifications sidebar, it’s already gone. Whatever the spam-be-gone process is, would it be possible for it to also remove it from the notifications?
(I think I’ve seen it before too, but I can’t remember where.)
Possibly on LessWrong (v1.0), where on a couple of occasions I called it the Texas Sharpshooter Utility Function (to imply that it is a useless concept).
So, one way of solving the recursion problem would be for Hugh to never use the machine as a first resort for answering a question Q. Instead, Hugh must resolve to ask the machine only for answers to questions that are “smaller” than Q in some well-ordered sense, and do the rest of the work himself.
But unless the machine is faster at simulating Hugh than Hugh is at being Hugh, it is not clear what is gained. Even if it is, all you get is the same answer that unaided Hugh would have got, but faster.
One might even say that all functioning communities are alike; each dysfunctional community is dysfunctional in its own way. “For men are good in but one way, but bad in many.”
This is a false dichotomy. But whenever someone marks two points on an otherwise featureless map, typically the rest of the space of possibilities that the world explodes with disappears from the minds of the participants. People end up saying “combat good, nurture bad”, or the reverse, and then defend their position by presenting ways in which one is good and ways in which the other is bad. Or someone expatiates on the good and bad qualities of each one, in multiple permutations, and ends up with a Ribbonfarm post.Said Achmiz has spoken eloquently of bad things that happen in “nurture culture”. For examples of bad things in “combat culture”, see any snark-based community, such as 4chan or rationalwiki. All of these things are destructive of epistemic quality. (If anything, nurture goes more wrong than combat, because it presents a smile, a knife in the back, and crocodile tears, while snark wields its weapons openly.)When you leave out all of the ways that either supposed culture can go wrong, what is left of them? In a culture without snark or smothering, good ideas will be accepted, and constructively built on, not extinguished. Bad ideas will be pointed out as such; if there is something close that is better, that can be pointed out; if an idea is unsalvageable, that also.Several Japanese terms have gained currency in the rational community, such as tsoyoku naritai and isshoukenmei. Here is another that I think deserving of wider currency: 切磋琢磨, sessa takuma, joyfully competitive striving for a common purpose.
It is not at all clear to me how this works. The questions that immediately occur to me are:
How does the recursion bottom out? If real Hugh’s response to the question is to ask the machine, then perfectly simulated Hugh’s response must be the same. If real Hugh’s response is not to ask the machine, then the machine remains unused.
If, somehow, it bottoms out at level n, then Hugh^n must be answering without consulting the HCH. How does that simulated Hugh differ from Hugh^(n-1), that it is able to do something different?
Does Hugh^n know he’s Hugh^n?
If the Hugh^i (i<n) all just relay Hugh^n’s answer, what is gained over Hugh-prime answering directly?
Answering a question by predicting what the answer is going to be sounds like pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps. Where does this predictor get the information it needs to be able to make its predictions?
I’d park the thought and examine it later. Why didn’t I get a good night’s sleep or eat breakfast? What bad choices did I make then? What earlier events did I let get in the way? Is any of that really the reason for my state of mind in the game? Is there something in all this I am doing habitually? How will I prevent that pattern from recurring in the future?
Answering that last question is the purpose of the examination.
THE MAIDEN. You havnt told me how I shew my age. That is what I want to know. As a matter of fact I am older than this boy here: older than he thinks. How did you find that out?
THE ANCIENT. Easily enough. You are ceasing to pretend that these childish games—this dancing and singing and mating—do not become tiresome and unsatisfying after a while. And you no longer care to pretend that you are younger than you are. These are the signs of adolescence. And then, see these fantastic rags with which you have draped yourself. [He takes up a piece of her draperies in his hand]. It is rather badly worn here. Why do you not get a new one?
THE MAIDEN. Oh, I did not notice it. Besides, it is too much trouble. Clothes are a nuisance. I think I shall do without them some day, as you ancients do.
THE ANCIENT. Signs of maturity. Soon you will give up all these toys and games and sweets.
THE YOUTH. What! And be as miserable as you?
THE ANCIENT. Infant: one moment of the ecstasy of life as we live it would strike you dead. [He stalks gravely out through the grove].
Instead of an irrational universe created and ruled over by fickle and oft-competing gods—where mathematics that held true in Egypt had no reason to be true in Greece
Who believed that mathematics was not universal? Euclid wrote around 300BC. He has generally been recognised as having “looked on Beauty bare”. Before that, Plato in the Meno has Socrates demonstrating the universality of mathematical knowledge by eliciting a geometrical insight from a slave boy.
As for Christianity playing a role in science, in Moslem countries Islam played a role in science, and in Soviet Russia, no textbook was complete without a genuflection to Lenin in the preface. That is because religion and its near relations play a role in everything. That does not mean that religion can take the credit for all the things that its adherents have created, even if the religion is genuinely their motivation.
I’m having a sense of déjà vu. Is this a repost or rewrite of something from years back?
I’m reminded of Heinlein (who refers to General Semantics several times in his stories):
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Though I agree, they do a decent job pointing out that whatever “statistics” the Fraser institute puts out is largely ideologically motivated. Duh, like they were ever hiding it.
As are those that the article substitutes. They choose a different measure of “size of government” and get a conclusion that they prefer. Would they have stuck with that measure if it had gone the other way?
The conclusions are causal statements, but none of the findings address causality in any way.
If being fat is a problem for this hypothetical person, that makes embarrassment about using a gym also a problem. Maybe they can work around that problem instead of solving it, but it still would be valuable to them to solve it.