In our WEIRD culture, unilateral is probably better. But it also reinforces that culture, and I have my qualms with it. I think we’re choosing rabbit in a game of stag. You’re essentially advocating for rabbit (which may or may not be a good thing)
In a highly individualistic environment you can’t work things out *as a community* because there aren’t any proper coherent communities, and people aren’t going to sync their highly asynchronous lives with yours.
In a highly collectivist environment you can work things out alone, but it’s not as effective as moving in a coordinated fashion because you actually do have that strictly superior option available to you.
I believe the latter has more upside potential, was the default in our ascendral environment, and has the ability to resolve equilibria of defection. The former is more robust because it’s resistant to entropic decay, scales beyond dunbar’s number, and doesn’t rely on good coordinators.
So I would say “unilateral or GTFO” is a bit too cynical. I’d say “be aware of which options (unilateral or coordinated) are available to you”. In a low-trust corporate environment it’s certainly unilateral. In a high-trust community it is probably coordinated, and let’s keep it that way.
IMO this is a disagreement of topic, not a disagreement of style. Klein is answering the question “what social truth is convenient?” and Harris is answering the question “what natural truth is accurate?“. Seems like simply another failure of proper operationalisation.
Thank you for your criticism. We need more of that.
I am not aiming to get a formal diploma here, and I don’t think you plan on awarding me any.
A pipeline has 2 purposes: training people and identifying good students. We want to do the latter as much as the former. Not just for the sake of the institutions we ultimately wish to recommend candidates to, but also for the sake of the candidates that want to know whether they are up to the task. We recently did a poll on Facebook asking “what seems to be your biggest bottleneck to becoming a researcher” and “I’m not sure I’m talented enough” was the most popular option by far (doubling the next one).
I agree that it looks silly right now because we’re a tiny startup that uploaded 2 videos and a few guides to some textbooks, and it will probably be this small for at least a year to come. You got me to consider using something more humble in the meantime. I’ll bring it up in our next meeting.
LessWrong is a movement that seriously tries to better the world by a significant margin, not shying away from the most unconventional strategies. Most notably, we believe in the prime importance of securing AI Safety, and we subscribe to the values of transhumanism. Knowing that nature is not a fair enemy, we put in a great effort to grow as individuals and as a community, hoping to gather enough strength to live up to the task. We do this in various ways, applying epistemic standards at least as rigorous as that of science, thinking hard about late advances in philosophy and how to put it’s lessons into practice, while keeping an open mind to the benefits of subjective wisdom like spirituality and our intuitions.
Would you share your model? My intuition is that there are no topics or opinions that should be shunned, because if tolerating a topic leads to bad outcomes, then you just have bad epistemics. i.e. it’s a bandaid solution for your average conflict-theorist internet community that I think the thoroughly mistake-theorist LW doesn’t need.
There is honor in it if we could handle this.
Now I feel bad for going quiet. Still love you guys!
Appreciate your attempt to address a touchy subject. Do keep in mind that epistemic humility applies tenfold here. The subject is littered with blindspots and motivated reasoning, and I haven’t come across anyone with a remotely satisfying answer yet.
And it’s never enough; their appetite is endless.
That’s an assumption, and I think it’s wrong. I think apple seekers are satisficers, like everyone else. I, for one, don’t suffer from the brandishing. Got access to enough apples.
My model is that it’s a problem of inequality. You see, apple holders get a large part of their status from which apple eater they associate with. Now when it comes to status, one naturally wants to be in the upper regions:
Imagine a world where, every few years, 90% of it’s highest status inhabitants are selected to replace the remaining 10%. If you’d want to remain in this world indefinitely, how much status would you need? Indeed, from the perspective of our genes, only the maximum is good enough.
Over the decades, Inequality in apple eaters has greatly increased (another assumption). Compared to decades before, It’s a lot harder to find an apple eater that is truly on top of their shit. And so, apple holders are more reluctant to share their apples with someone of comparative (sexual) status, especially in the lower regions.
But it could be something else entirely. In any case, brandishing doesn’t have to be a problem for apple eaters.
As it stands now, I can’t accept this solution, simply because it doesn’t inform the right decision.
Imagine you were Beauty and q(y) was 1, and you were offered that bet. What odds would you take?
Our models exist to serve our actions. There is no such thing as a good model that informs the wrong action. Probability must add up to winning.
Or am I interpreting this wrong, and is there some practical reason why taking 1⁄2 odds actually does win in the q(y) = 1 case?
/Why/ am I trying to achieve that goal. I struggled with this idea of a “root goal” the primary function of my life that would give order to all other subgoals and I eventually settled on “to be a good human being”, as unsatisfactory as that is, because I found no meaningful or fulfilling progress in existential questions of this nature.
Your root goal is not something to learn, it is something to decide. If nothing seems satisfactory, consider the possibility that you’re in a dependency mindset. I.e. You’re evaluating your goals according to the impression that it would make or the praise it would solicit, instead of according to what you want. The fact that you come here looking for guidance is evidence for that (not saying it’s bad).
If everyone was dumber than you, if your knowledge was more advanced than anyone elses, what change would you strive to manifest? What kind of slightly better parrallel universe do you yearn for? Make it so.
I alternate between setting up a cozy life that I’m certain I could thrive in, (example: returning to my home town to teach) or committing my life to bettering a portion of the world larger than what’s just in front of me at the cost of my own comfortability, or at least my sense of security.
Always be at your edge. There is no such thing as a cozy life. Finding a balance between overwhelm and boredom is where you’ll find yourself most fulfilled. Here’s a few interesting data points that I’ve come across lately:
Dopamine encodes a mismatch signal between data and prediction
Extraversion follows a u-shaped curve with increasing dopamine levels
Extraversion is strongly correlated to happiness
I take this as neurological evidence of Jordan Peterson’s (and other spiritual people’s) idea that the optimal place to be is on the edge of order on chaos. Bonus evidence: flow experiences occur when you’re challenged exactly enough, but not too much.
I obviously think that I would do less harm if I found myself in a great position, but I suspect equally that incompetence could cause harm and I am not yet certain my competence is sufficient.
Not competence, integrity. There are different reasons to aspire to power. Mao strikes me as a person who was motivated by the wrong needs. He wanted power to placate his ego. There are other reasons, like love and beauty. But those are screened off by lesser needs like safety, so first make sure you have your needs met, then aspire to influence. Only then will you use it for good.
I fear that if I commit to a life of trying to obtain a great position I may cause myself unnecessary grief and ultimately do less good than if I merely did what I could with what’s in front of me.
Power should come as an entirely unanticipated consequence of trying to attain something more pure. It’s all about the incentive. So dig deep in your psyche and try to figure it out: why power? If you think you’re probably well-intentioned, think again. Since I don’t know you, and you strike me as dependent on approval, I give it a 1% chance that you’re truly astruistic.
Please don’t take that as an insult. I have the same prior for everyone else.
Also, Hello everyone. My name’s Leo and I’m new here.
You’re most welcome!
Do you believe that felt lack of status is completely uncorrelated with others’ willingness to cooperate?
I think it’s strongly correlated, and causally bidirectional: higher status leads to better performance (for mental health reasons) leads to higher status.
The way I see it is that high status is the baseline condition and lack of status is a malfunctioning that makes one function below their capacity. In the same way that having to go to the toilet does.
would it be easier to just literally wirehead? Electricity to the part of the brain that seeks status?
If we could, yes. How many years until it’s commercially available?
This is what we’re doing at LW Netherlands. The “partner” community we’ve chosen is the spirituality community, which strikes me as remarkably complementary to LW in multiple ways. We’re going to weekly ecstatic dance parties, some of us are signing up for zen retreats (which is a bit more masculine), and there’s the potential that some of us will try tantra at some point.
And it’s really gold for learning rationality, because when it comes to lines of attack on becoming smarter, spirituality couldn’t be more different from, yet as potent as, our strategy.
Bonus is that their gender ratio is pretty much the inverse of ours.
Surely if you go down to the nuts and bolts of it, you get a graph with a “willingness to help” function from People x People → R. And then you could break this down even further adding “Time” and “Modality” to the domain, and all that...
But what I’m interested in is increasing the feeling of status, or to be more precise, minimizing the felt lack of status. I do expect those variables to be a scalar. How reality maps to this scalar is an interesting question.
status is a side-effect (or maybe a cognitive summary) of much more complicated interpersonal feelings and habits.
I think it mostly boils down to a few simple acts that are all proxies of this “willingness to help” thing.
As a general principle, In altering the perception of Thing, I believe it’s best to just alter Thing. In our case that’s altering the actual willingness to help each other.
I don’t think this is all that much more likely for any individual to choose than your recommendation, but it has the advantage that it’s unilateral and doesn’t require anyone else to cooperate.
This looks like editing your utility function instead of satisfying it, which I think is a lot harder. Surely there is some low-hanging fruit in interpreting things differently to make yourself feel happier, but afaict we all learn this as kids and then we get stuck in the failure mode of assuming that it’s always about reinterpretation. That’s what happened to me, anyway.
Otherwise you always have additional avenues along which to gain status since every person is making a choice about how much status they consider a person to have even if it is heavily influenced by information they get from other people about how much status they think people should have.
True. But you still seem to implicitly assume people are maximizers, ie that they will capitalize on these opportunities.
But okay, let’s grant that there will be differences. What if we ensured a minimum? Would that be enough?
Here’s one data point: I no longer feel a strong longing for status, implying that there is indeed a threshold beyond which people are mostly fine. This contradicts my assumption that people want the maximum. Maybe they just want to reach an absolute threshold of social capital.
That’s a horribly depraved thing to do. I’m not even accounting for environments that are that low-trust. Those just can’t work. It’s a non-starter. If this is really the kind of thing you’re dealing with, and I am the exception as opposed to you, we should think about increasing trust in other ways.
Or (excuse me) you should move out of the US.
Uh, well I don’t know you, but it seems unlikely that anyone would deny an argument just because it’s conclusion (vaguely) implies that you should be regarded with respect.