Others have said most of what I would have, but I’ll add one more point: TypeScript doesn’t (AFAICT) support operator overloading, and in ML you do want that. ML code is mostly written by scientists, based on papers they’ve read or written, and they want the code to resemble the math notation in the papers as closely as possible, to make it easy to check for correctness by eye. For example, here’s a line from a function to compute the split rhat statistic for tensors n and m, given other tensors B and W:
eung = ac.fdeg((a − 1) / a + (z + 1) / z * O / J)
In TypeScript, I guess you would have to rewrite this to something like
rhat = sqrt((n.Minus(1).Divide(n)).Plus(m.Plus(1).Divide(m).Multiply(B).Divide(W)))
...which, like, clearly the scientists could do that rewrite, but they won’t unless you offer them something really compelling in exchange. TypeScript-tier type safety won’t do it; I doubt if even static tensor shape checking would be good enough.
Drive wouldn’t let me access your data, but that makes sense; a much larger share of the population is going to college now than in the 70s.
Just in case you, like me, wondered whether this was just a high base rate of vitamin d deficiency: no, vitamin d deficiency is common but not that common.
In Jaynes’ thesis, Achilles and Agamemnon are “obedient to their gods” and “did not have any ego whatever”.
I don’t think this is really right. Athena doesn’t give Achilles a command that he obeys, she offers him a bribe which he accepts. Here’s Butler’s translation:
And Minerva said, “I come from heaven, if you will hear me, to bid you stay your anger. Juno has sent me, who cares for both of you alike. Cease, then, this brawling, and do not draw your sword; rail at him if you will, and your railing will not be vain, for I tell you—and it shall surely be—that you shall hereafter receive gifts three times as splendid by reason of this present insult. Hold, therefore, and obey.”
“Goddess,” answered Achilles, “however angry a man may be, he must do as you two command him. This will be best, for the gods ever hear the prayers of him who has obeyed them.”
Achilles certainly knows he can disobey the gods (later he’ll get into an outright battle with Xanthus, the god of Troy’s river). But he can be negotiated with, and Athena successfully persuades him.
It also isn’t true that the Iliad is empty of deceit. For example, Athena later tricks Hector into facing Achilles alone by taking the shape of Hector’s brother. Her idea is to get Hector killed, and it works perfectly.
The technical reports do seem to contain at least one strong, surprising prediction:
This [multiway formulation of QM] leads to an immediate, and potentially testable, prediction of our interpretation of quantum mechanics: namely that, following appropriate coarse-graining...the class of problems that can be solved efficiently by quantum computers should be identical to the class of problems that can be solved efficiently by classical computers. More precisely, we predict in this appropriately coarse-grained case that P = BQP...
Of course Wolfram and Gorard are not the only people to say this, but it’s definitely a minority view these days and would be very striking if it were somehow proved.
Not a doctor, but it doesn’t seem fishy to me: most people do not die, most of the time. If you sample a random person it’s highly likely that they’ll survive the next two weeks. This is true even among high-risk groups (the elderly, obese, etc.). If you hear that someone died, and that they had a CV19 diagnosis, you should not put much weight on the hypothesis that they died of something unrelated, just because of this low base rate.
It makes more sense to worry about the opposite thing: people dying without formal CV19 diagnoses being excluded from the official statistics. For example, right now in New York about 200 people are dying at home each day, up from a baseline of 20 to 25, according to the city’s department of health: https://gothamist.com/news/surge-number-new-yorkers-dying-home-officials-suspect-undercount-covid-19-related-deaths These are not presently counted as CV19 deaths, but probably a lot of them are.
A calibrated-over-time 80% confidence interval on such dice could be placed anywhere (e.g. [1,80] or [21,100], so long as they are 80 units wide.
Yes, but the calibrated and centered interval is uniquely [10, 90].
I share the general sentiment that these are tricks and unsuitable for interviews, but lsusr’s answer is correct and does not require additional constraints.
I think you’re asking too much of evolutionary theory here. Human bodies do lots of things that aren’t longterm adaptive—for example, if you stab them hard enough, all the blood falls out and they die. One could interpret the subsequent shock, anemia, etc. as having some fitness-enhancing purpose, but really the whole thing is a hard-to-fix bug in body design: if there were mutant humans whose blood more reliably stayed inside them, their mutation would quickly reach fixation in the early ancestral environment.
We understand blood and wound healing well enough to know that no such mutation can exist: there aren’t any small, incrementally-beneficial changes which can produce that result. In the same way, it shouldn’t be confusing that depression is maladaptive; you should only be confused if it’s both maladaptive and easy to improve on. Intuitively it feels like it should be—just pick different policies—but that intuition isn’t rooted in fine-grained understanding of the brain and you shouldn’t let it affect your beliefs.
It gives a reasonably rigorous way of predicting how many upvotes and downvotes a post will get, given the history of the user who wrote it. Specifically, it defines a probabilistic model: for each user, we can specify a Beta distribution with various unknown parameters, and then learn those parameters from the user’s post history. The details of that learning are rather charming if you’re a statistician, or aspire to be one, but don’t translate very well.
mr-hire would like to know what his particular Beta distribution looks like. To find out, we have to adapt Moulton’s method to the LW karma system. This turns out to be a little difficult, and requires some additional modeling choices:
Moulton models votes on individual posts with a Binomial distribution, which is used for sequences of binary outcomes. In this case each voter either upvotes the post (with probability p) or downvotes it (with probability 1-p) -- we ignore non-voters since it’s hard to know how many of them there are. But a LessWrong voter has four choices: they can vote Up or Down, and they can vote Normal or Strong, so the Binomial distribution is no longer appropriate.
This is fixable with a different choice of distributions, but then you run into another problem. In LW, even normal votes vary in value: an upvote from a high-karma user is worth more than one from a low-karma user. Do we wish to model this effect, and if so how?
If you were willing to treat all user votes equally I think you could get away with using the Dirichlet-multinomial. If not, I think you have to give up on modeling individual votes and try to model karma directly, without breaking it down into its component upvotes and downvotes.
Is this correct? I’d have thought “colo*r” matches to both “color” and “colour”, but “colou*r” only to “colour”.
It’s correct. Some pattern matchers work the way you describe, but in a regular expression “u*” matches “zero or more u characters”. So “colou*r” matches “color”, “colour”, “colouuuuuuuuur”, etc.
(In this case one would typically use “colou?r”; “u?” matches “exactly zero or one u characters”, that is, “color”, “colour”, and nothing else.)
I’d love to see the post cleaned up to make it clear that you’re talking about “contextualizing as understanding how your words will have an effect in the context that you’re in” and decoupling as “decoupling what you say from the effects it may create.”
I don’t think there’s a general consensus that this post does, or should, mean that. For example, Raemon’s review suggests “jumbled” as an antonym to “decoupled”, and gives a description that’s more general than yours. For another example, you described your review of Affordance Widths as a decoupled alternative to the contextualizing reviews that others had already written, but the highest-voted contextualizing review is explicitly about the truth value of ialdabaoth’s post—it incorporates information about the author, but only to make the claim that the post contains an epistemic trap, one which we could in principle have noticed right away but which in practice wasn’t obvious without the additional context of ialdabaoth’s bad behavior. This is clearly contextualizing in some sense, but doesn’t match the definition you’ve given here.
I think this post is fundamentally unfinished. It drew a distinction that felt immediate and important to many commenters here, but a year and a half later we still don’t have a clear understanding of what that distinction is. I think that vagueness is part of what has made this post popular: everyone is free to fill in the underspecified parts with whatever interpretation makes the most sense to them.
“Important” was not the right word, I agree; I took a slightly better stab at it in the last paragraph of my reply to ZeitPolizei upthread. Vocabulary aside, would you agree that there’s a class of cultural values that this framing doesn’t help you talk about?
Does this also apply to your own personal culture (whether aspiring or as-is), or “just” the broader context culture?
Does this also apply to your own personal culture (whether aspiring or as-is), or “just” the broader context culture?
We’re talking about a tool for communicating with many different people with many different cultures, and with people whose cultures you don’t necessarily know very much about. So the bit you quoted isn’t just making claims about my culture, or even one of the (many) broader context cultures, it’s making claims about the correct prior over all such cultures.
But what claims exactly? I intended these two:
When you say, “In my culture X”, you’re also saying “In your culture plausibly not X”.
For some values of X, this will start fights (or hurt feelings, or sow mistrust, or have other effects you likely don’t want).
It seems like you came to agree with point #1, so I won’t belabor it further—let me know if I misread you and we can circle back. For point #2, I definitely agree that, the more charity the listener extends to you, the smaller the set of hurtful Xs is. But if you rely on that, you’re limiting the scope of this method to people who’ll apply that charity and whom you know will apply that charity. I picked “punishing the innocent” for my example value of X because I expect it to be broadly cross-cultural: if you go find 100 random people and ask them whether they punish the innocent, I expect that most of them will take offense. If you also expect that, you should build that expectation into your communication strategy, regardless of what your own culture would have you do in those kinds of situations.
Now, the better your know the person you’re talking to, the less important these warnings are. Then again, the better you know the person you’re talking to, the less you need the safety of the diplomatic/sociological frame, you can just discuss your values directly. That’s why I feel comfortable using all that highly absolutist “always/never” language above; it’s the same impulse that says “it’s always better to bet that a die will roll odd than that it’ll roll a 1, all else held equal”.
Thinking about it more, I suspect the real rule is that this method shouldn’t be used to talk about cultural values at all, just cultural practices—things that have little or no moral valence. That phrasing doesn’t quite capture the distinction I want—the Thai businessman who won’t shake hands with you doesn’t think his choice is arbitrary, after all—but it’s close. Another rule might be “don’t use these statements to pass moral judgement”, but that’s hard to apply; as you saw it can be difficult to notice that you’re doing it until after the fact.
I use this technique sometimes (my lead-in phrase is the deliberately silly “Among my people...”), but it has a couple of flaws that force me to be careful with it.
Most importantly, this framing is always about drawing contrasts: you’re describing ways that your culture _differs_ from that of the person you’re talking to. Keep this point in the forefront of your mind every time you use this method: you are describing _their_ culture, not just yours. When you say, “In my culture, we put peanut butter on bread”, then you are also saying “in your culture, you do not put peanut butter on bread”. At the very most you are asking a question: “does your culture also put peanut butter on bread?” So, do not ever say something like “In my culture we do not punish the innocent” unless you also intend to say “Your culture punishes the innocent”—that is, unless you intend to start a fight.
Relatedly, you have to explicitly do the work of separating real cultural practices from aspirational ones—this framing will not help you. When you write “In my culture we do not punish the innocent”, probably you are thinking something like “In my culture, we think it’s important not to punish the innocent”, since mistakes do still happen from time to time. But statements like “In my culture we put peanut butter on bread” do not require this kind of aggressive interpretation, they can just be taken literally, so your listeners might reasonably take “In my culture we do not punish the innocent” as a (false) statement of literal fact. Clear and open communication is unlikely to follow.
(If you feel like you grasp these points and agree with them, here’s an exercise: can the section of the OP that starts “In my culture, we distinguish between what a situation looks like and what it actually is.” be productively rewritten, and if so how?)
Overall, although I do like this technique and use it from time to time, I don’t think it’s well-suited to important topics. For similar reasons it’s easy to use in bad faith. That’s why I present it in such a silly and sociological (instead of formally diplomatic) way.