Related: don’t use the few moments of agency you have to do object level things. Use them to alter your environment such that the object level thing gets done even by low agency you.
KonMarie is a good example of this.
Improvements to subjective well being can be extremely legible from the inside and fairly noisy from the outside.
The thing meditation, drugs, and radical empathy does.
Consider open and closed mode for inspiration (one of if not the best talk I’ve ever seen):
The tacit stance behind ‘just say what you mean!’ is that if they were smarter they’d be able to do a better job of explaining themselves. Consider that they might be just as smart as you. If that were the case, what might they be trying to tell you?
I’ll try to say it with rationalist flavor: they are trying to point out to you that you have a major blindspot (it’s actually both an object level and meta level blindspot!) and want to induce the cognitive jitter necessary for you to directly see it. The fact that you ask for them to give you simple directions when they *have* given you simple directions *over and over again* and yet you ignore these simple instructions points at the blindspot.
This suggests a core tension. Good scholarship happens when you don’t take credit for much (more citations, more expository work). But status pressures you to take credit for everything, which involves renaming already existing concepts and obscuring the trail.
Truth tracking as a function of environmental harshness runs deep. Convergence speed has to be high, so pruning occurs at meta levels as well.
We do, a little, when they fight live on TV. Normal people need ideas to become embodied and fight each other. Ideally with narrow margins of victory for excitement. Legibility issues means this is mostly continuous with poiliticking, LCD etc.
Oh, right I was not paying much attention to the two week thing. I got a large effect with a retest one year later with daily practice and multiple retreats.
I think of this in terms of modularity. The more streamlined and side effect free each area becomes the more flexibly it can interface with other modules without unexpected difficulty. This enables the building of more complex modules that get you more of what you want. Some people like to live their life on the bleeding edge, always building modules that they can barely (or can’t!) sustain. Others settle into a set of very easy to maintain modules that, combined, get them their needs met. I think maturing *well* is something like deliberate practice and flow. You organize things well enough that you can take on new challenges, but at a pace that you’ve learned is enjoyable and fruitful. Less worries about missing out on all the things one says no to, even when those things go on to success.
I found this highly useful and wish there were better incentives for producing research reviews.
I agree there should be skepticism when people report significant changes on psychometrics that are in general testing populations stable. The same thing arises in small studies sowing meditation boosting IQ. But the hypothesis that meditation can change things that other interventions can’t should be chased down since if true it’s very important.
Very large changes that are concordant with others’ reported changes in your behavior are likely not measurement error.
Rationalist types are often already maxed on openess. I experienced an uptick in extraversion in addition to the effects you mentioned.
The most valuable stacks are going to be ones that are in demand while having anti-correlated component skills.
Big 5. Use the same test each time. Ideally you’d also have an external assessor complete a questionnaire about you (someone who interacts with you closely) and compare the 4 results.
People we like are often those we feel free to share, as Herbert Simon put it, “half baked, quarter baked, and no baked ideas.” Intelligent communities often wind up with criticism based cultures as a means of showing off cleverness, which is death for generative processes. I think of this as search and prioritization having different ideal conditions in which to operate. Search/generation/ideation doesn’t work well in the presence of criticism, which is part of the prioritization process. New things are also often stupid without a bunch of other things being different also. But sometimes changing all those other things is more tractable than it first appears.
I’ve never thought about it this way before, but crab buckets are a stable equilibrium in punishing search spaces. i.e. the young people trying new stuff are going to get their fool selves killed.
Consider the mapping between a physical system and its representation. There are degrees of freedom in how the mapping is done. We should like the invariant parts of the respresentation to correspond to invariant parts of the physical system and likewise with variant parts. We’d like the variant parts to vary continuously if they vary continuously in the physical system and likewise for discretely. Some representations are tighter in that they have such type matching along more dimensions. A sparse representation that only captures some of the causal structure of the physical system (lossy) can be desirable if the other dimensions don’t generate externalities relevant to our intent (the representation is modular in the same way that reality appears to be eg chemistry). When we find a lossless representation that has all of its variable parts varying in exactly the same way in the representation we bundle the whole thing up as an equation. That is to say a conservation relation.
This may all sound straightforward, tautological even. But I think it’s worth examining in closer detail what the act of formalization is. Because of course we aren’t actually comparing representations to physical systems, we’re comparing representations with representations. Degrees of invariance is all we have. When we seek a way to test a hypothesis eg whether gavagai refers to a rabbit, a part of a rabbit, or a situation that includes a rabbit, we’re seeking a way to collapse a degree of freedom in the respresentation. Sentences cut down the degrees of freedom in the relation between things until intent is clear. A hypothesis is of the form ‘dimension X appears to vary, but is actually a function of dimension Y’ which decreases the size of the search space by a whole dimension. Words are hypotheses about how reality is bundled. Sentences are hypotheses about how bundles relate.
> algorithms don’t get simpler as they get better.
or s you minimize cost along one dimension costs get pushed into other dimensions. Aether variables apply at the level of representation too.
In general I think working on taxonomizing failure modes is valuable. In the case of one of the meta generators of failure modes, proxy divergence, even more valuable.
Formalization generators: I often find it useful to think about which kinds of distinctions I can make in order to decompose a category. A few high level ones: split into variant and invariant parts, past/future asymmetry, descriptive/prescriptive parts, continuous vs discrete representation, implementation/algorithmic/functional level (Marr’s levels), complexity classes (in particular some strategies forcing other strategies into worse complexity classes), breadth vs depth first search spaces, and strategies differing due to beliefs about payoff distribution shape (incl. type 1 and 2 error penalties).
With that last one an object level example: knowing that the payoff distribution has changed before others because you’re the one who changed it (caused the proxy to diverge).
I like the generator of how markets might clear under some adversarial conditions and wonder what models quants have of this they might be willing to share.