In particular, I felt the need to emphasize the idea that Stag Hunts frame coordination problems as going against incentive gradients and as being maximally fragile and punishing, by default.
In my experience, the main thing that happens when people learn about Stag Hunts is that they realize that it’s a better fit for a lot of situations than the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and this is generally an improvement. (Like Duncan, I wish we had used this frame at the start of Dragon Army.)
Yes, not every coordination problem is a stag hunt, and it may be a bad baseline or push in the wrong direction. It isn’t the right model for starting a meetup, where (as you say) one person showing up alone is not much worse than hunting rabbit, and organic growth can get you to better and better situations. I think it’s an underappreciated move to take things that look like stag hunts and turn them into things that are more robust to absence or have a smoother growth curve.
All that said, it still seems worth pointing out that in the absence of communication, in many cases the right thing to assume is that you should hunt rabbit.
I think this is a little sad (in years past, I definitely put more effort into posts because of that sweet sweet 10x). I remember thinking that this doesn’t do all that much to change the relative ranking of users, and so it’s not clear it’s worth the code complexity, but if it were free I personally would like some smoother gradation (like 2x for posts, another 2x for frontpage, another 2x for curated).
reckoning (plural reckonings)The action of calculating or estimating something.
reckoning (plural reckonings)
The action of calculating or estimating something.
Sometimes words are meant literally :P
Given equal background and motivation, there is a lot less inequality in the rates human learn new tasks, compared to the inequality in how humans perform learned tasks.
Huh, my guess is the opposite. That is, all expert plumbers are similarly competent at performing tasks, and the thing that separate a bright plumber from a dull plumber is how quickly they become expert.
Quite possibly we’re looking at different tasks? I’d be interested in examples of domains where this sort of thing has been quantized and you see the hypothesized relationship (where variation in learning speed is substantially smaller than variation in performance). Most of the examples I can think of that seem plausible are exercise-related, where you might imagine people learn proper technique with a tighter distribution than the underlying strength distribution, but this is cheating by using intellectual and physical faculties as separate sources of variation.
Incidentally, a handful of things have crossed my path at the same time, such that I think I have a better explanation for the psychology underlying the Allais Paradox. [I’m not sure this will seem new, but something about the standard presentation seems to be not giving it the emphasis it deserves, or speaking generally instead of particularly.]
The traditional explanation is that you’re paying for certainty, which has some value (typically hugely overestimated). But I think ‘certainty’ should really be read as something more like “not being blameworthy.” That is, connect it to handicapping so that you have an excuse for poor performance. The person who picks 1B and loses know that they missed out on a certain $1M, whereas the person who picks 1A can choose to focus their attention on the possibility of losing the $1M they did get instead of the $4M they might have had and don’t.
As Matt Levine puts it,
I admit that I occasionally envy the people who bought Bitcoin early for nothing and are now billionaires and retired. One thing that soothes this envy is reading about people who bought Bitcoin early for nothing and are now theoretical centimillionaires but lost their private keys and can’t access the money. I may have no Bitcoins, but at least I haven’t misplaced a fortune in Bitcoins.
“At least I haven’t misplaced a fortune in Bitcoins”! Or, in other words, two different ways to “gain $0″ with different Us.
[For what it’s worth, I think this sort of “protecting yourself against updates” is mostly a mistake, and think it’s better to hug reality as closely as possible, which means paying more attention to your mistakes instead of less, and being more open to making them instead of less. I think seeing the obstacles more clearly makes them easier to overcome.]
I like this comment, but I feel sort of confused about it as a review instead of an elaboration. Yes, coherence theorems are very important, but did people get it from this post? To the extent that comments are evidence, they look like no, the post didn’t quite make it clear to them what exactly is going here.
Especially when describing groups of people, I think it’s better to start off with the extensional definition (‘the Sequences fanclub’) rather than the intensional definition (‘people devoted to refining the art of human rationality’). If I haven’t heard of the Sensemaking scene, but have heard of the Stoa, seeing them as an example early in the post makes it easier to contextualize the rest.
A year ago, I wrote about an analogy between Circling and Rationality, commenters pointed out holes in the explanation, and I was excited to write more and fill in the holes, and haven’t yet. What gives?
First was the significant meta discussion about moderation, which diverted a lot of the attention I could spare for LW, and also changed my relationship to the post somewhat. Then the pandemic struck, in a way that killed a lot of my ongoing inspiration for Circling-like things. Part of this is my low interest in non-text online activities; while online Circling does work, and I did it a bit over the course of the pandemic, I Circled way less than I did in the previous year, and there was much less in the way of spontaneous opportunities to talk Circling with experts. I put some effort into deliberate conversations with experts (thanks Jordan!), and made some progress, but didn’t have the same fire to push through and finish things.
A common dynamic at the start of a new project is that one is excited and dumb; finishing seems real, and the problems seem imaginary. As one thinks more about the problem, the more one realizes that the original goal was impossible, slowly losing excitement. If pushed quickly enough, the possible thing (that was adjacent to the impossible goal) gets made; if left to sit, the contrast is too strong for work on the project to be compelling. Something like this happened here, I think.
So what was the original hope? Eliezer wrote The Simple Truth, which explained in detail what it means for truth to be a correspondence between map and territory, what sort of systems lead to the construction and maintenance of that correspondence, and why you might want it. I think one sort of “authenticity” is a similar correspondence, between behavior and preferences, and another sort of “authenticity” is ‘relational truth’, or that correspondence in the context of a relationship.
But while we can easily talk about truth taking preferences for granted (you don’t want your sheep eaten by wolves, and you don’t want to waste time looking for sheep), talking about preferences while not taking them for granted puts us in murkier territory. An early idea I had here was a dialogue between the ‘hippie’ arguing for authenticity against a ‘Confucian’ arguing for adoption of a role-based persona, which involves suppressing one’s selfish desires, but this ended up seeming unsatisfactory because it was an argument between two particular developmental levels. I later realized that I could step back, and just use the idea of “developmental levels” to compartmentalize a lot of the difficulty, but moving up a level of abstraction would sacrifice the examples, or force me to commit to a particular theory of developmental levels (by using it to supply the examples).
I also got more in touch with the difference between ‘explanatory writing’ and ‘transformative writing’; consider the difference between stating a mathematical formula and writing a math textbook. The former emits a set of facts or a model, and the user can store it in memory but maybe not much else; the latter attempts to construct some skill or ability or perspective in the mind of the reader, but can only do so by presenting the reader with the opportunity to build it themselves. (It’s like mailing someone IKEA furniture or a LEGO set.) Doing the latter right involves seeing how the audience might be confused, and figuring out how to help them fix their own confusion. My original goal had been relatively simple—just explain what is going on, without attempting to persuade or teach the thing—but I found myself more and more drawn towards the standard of transformative writing.
I might still write this, especially in bits and pieces, but I wanted to publicly note that I slipped the deadline I set for myself, and if I write more on the subject it will be because the spirit strikes me instead of because I have a set goal to. [If you were interested in what I had to say about this, maybe reach out and let’s have a conversation about it, which then maybe might seed public posts.]
[I edited in spoiler tags to the above comment.]
Well, I would clearly not last long among the pebble-sorters. I think your criticism is almost right.Unless we can come up with some scheme whereby there’s only one prime left for particular regions, which I think would require 2*337+3*337+n*2*3 to be prime, which it looks to me like 1697=337*5+12 is.
That’s what I get for searching for ‘factors’ instead of ‘prime factors’!
This procedure uses 8 dice.
Presumably you mean coins?
Puzzle 2 (I now think my approach is actually right):
[new]:Roll a d1697 (which is prime, I double-checked). Either the result is in the first 674 (337*2), or the middle 1011 (337*3), or the last 12 (2*2*3).If it’s in the first 674, you now need to roll a d3 to figure out whether it’s 1-674, 675-1348, or 1349-2022.If it’s in the middle 1011, you now need to roll a d2 to figure out whether it’s 1-1011 or 1012-2022.If it’s in the last 12, you need to mod 6 and then roll a d337 to figure out whether it’s 1-337, 338-674, etc.---[edit: shown wrong by kuhanj]Roll a d1089. Either the result is in the first 1011, or the latter 78.If in the 1011, roll a d2 to determine whether they’re in 1-1011 or 1012-2022.If in the 78, mod by 6 to get a number between 0 and 5, which determines whether the winner is in 1-337, 338-674, etc; now roll a d337 to determine which one in the group. Two rolls, guaranteed.---[original, shown wrong by Measure] Can’t you just roll a d2 and a d1011, which identifies the relevant person in two rolls guaranteed? (i.e. the d2 tells you whether they’re in 1-1011 or 1012-2022, and then the second roll tells you which person.)I don’t think you can do better than this, because there’s no way to do it in 1 roll (you need a die of size 2022), and I don’t think there’s a way to do it in less than 2 rolls (because while you can use your first roll to switch what your second roll will be, you can’t allocate probability on the first roll such that you don’t need a second roll, because otherwise you won’t be uniformly selecting from all of the people).
So here’s a partial sketch pointing towards a solution, but it needs a lot of work and maybe more coins.Pick p=1/2, and generate a binary string of length 11 with 11 flips. If it’s in the first 2021 numbers, that identifies your person. If it’s not, subtract 2021 to get a number between 0 and 26, and repeat. [This doesn’t have an upper bound yet.]Line of attack one: shift p such that you can make a very long string which does divide into 2021 parts evenly. I think this ends up being a giant pain because you need to carefully adjust for the different probabilities of all of the different table elements. [Edit: Unexpected_Values found this solution and had an elegant proof of it.]Line of attack two: shift the number of flips such that the remainder ends up a multiple of 43 (and separately) 47. If you can get both, then you can do the first series of flips, stop if it identifies someone and save the remainder mod 43 if it doesn’t, and then do the second series of flips, which either identifies someone directly or gives you a remainder mod 47, and then the two remainders identify someone, and you have an upper bound. [Some brief searching through numbers in python makes me somewhat pessimistic that this will work.]
If someone knows any time-series stats I could run on it, let me know.
There’s a few different things you could be interested in here for ‘time series segmentation’, which slightly shift what sort of method you want to approach.
Identifying the structural breaks. Basically, you can view pom count as drawn from some distribution, but which distribution changes over time.
Identifying local factors. For example, maybe Mondays are persistently different from Tuesdays, or days when you log more poms are followed by a day when you work fewer poms.
Often, people use ARMA models for time series because they can easily capture lots of different local factors, and HMMs for structural breaks (when you have as many as you do). I’m not aware of standardized methods that are good for this problem because often there’s lots of tweaks inherent to your distribution; take a look at all the detail in this accepted answer, for example. But you also might be able to stick your data into seglearn and get something cool out of it.
none capable of accelerating world GWP growth.
Or, at least, accelerating world GWP growth faster than they’re already doing. (It’s not like the various powers with nukes and bioweapons programs are not also trying to make the future richer than the present.)
But… you just don’t want to do that anymore, because of empathy, or because you’ve come to believe in principles that say to treat all humans with dignity.
On the one hand, I think the history of abolition in Britain and the US is inspiring and many of the people involved laudable, and many of the actions taken (like the West Africa Squadron) net good for the world and worth memorializing. On the other hand, when I look around the present, I see a lot of things that (cynically) look like a culture war between elites, where the posturing is more important than the positions, or the fact that it allows one to put down other elites is more important than the fact that it raises up the less fortunate. And so when I turn that cynical view on abolition, it makes me wonder how much the anti-slavery efforts were attempts by the rich and powerful of type A to knock down the rich and powerful of type B, as opposed to genuine concern (as a probable example of the latter, John Laurens, made famous by Hamilton, was an abolitionist from South Carolina and son of a prominent slave trader and plantation owner, so abolition was probably going to be bad for him personally).
Another example of this is the temperance movement; one can much more easily make the empathetic case for banning alcohol than allowing it, I think (especially in a much poorer time, when many more children were going hungry because their father chose to spent limited earnings on alcohol instead), and yet as far as I can tell the political victory of the temperance movement was largely due to the shifting tides of fortune for various large groups, some of which were more pro-alcohol than others, rather than a sense that “this is beneath us now.”
As it happens, I discovered this point in high school; I thought of myself as “the smartest kid at school,” and yet the mental gymnastics required to justify that I was smarter than one of my friends were sufficiently outlandish that they stood out and I noticed the general pattern. “Sure, he knows more math and science than I do, and is a year younger than me, but I know more about fields X, Y, and Z!” [Looking back at it now, there’s another student who also had a credible claim, but who was much easier to dismiss, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had dismissed me for symmetric reasons.]
Rereading this post, I’m a bit struck by how much effort I put into explaining my history with the underlying ideas, and motivating that this specifically is cool. I think this made sense as a rhetorical move—I’m hoping that a skeptical audience will follow me into territory labeled ‘woo’ so that they can see the parts of it that are real—and also as a pedagogical move (proofs may be easy to verify, but all of the interesting content of how they actually discovered that line of thought in concept space has been cleaned away; in this post, rather than hiding the sprues they were part of the content, and perhaps even the main content. [Some part of me wants to signpost that a bit more clearly, tho perhaps it is obvious?]
There’s something that itches about this post, where it feels like I never turn ‘the idea’ into a sentence. “If one regards it as proper form, one will have good fortune.” Sure, but that leaves much of the work to the reader; this post is more like a log of me as a reader doing some more of the work, and leaving yet more work to my reader. It’s not a clear condensation of the point, it doesn’t address previous scholarship, it doesn’t even clearly identify the relevant points that I had identified, and it doesn’t transmit many of the tips and tricks I picked up. A sentence that feels like it would have fit (at least some of what I wanted to convey?) is this description of Tarot readings: “they are not about fortelling your inevitable future, but taking control of it through self knowledge and awareness.” [But in reading that, there’s something pleasing about the holistic vagueness of “proper form”; the point of having proper form is not just ‘taking control’!]
For example, an important point that came up when reading AllAmericanBreakfast’s exploration of using divination was the ‘skill of discernment’, and that looking at random perspectives and lenses helps train this as well. Once I got a Tarot reading that I’ll paraphrase as “this person you’re having an interpersonal conflict with is 100% in the wrong,” and as soon as I saw the card I burst out laughing; it was clearly not resonant with my experience or the situation, and yet there was still something useful out of seeing myself react to that perspective in that way. Other times, it really is just noise. Somehow, it reminds me of baseball, where an important feature of the game is that the large majority of at-bats do not result in hits. Demonstrating the skill of discernment is present in the original post—but only when I talk about sifting through the sections of Xunzi, giving the specific reasons why I dismissed some parts and thought that the quoted section was a hit that justified additional research, contemplation, and exploration. The ongoing importance of that skill to divination is basically left out.
I also hadn’t realized until reading AllAmericanBreakfast’s exploration how much it might help to convey that the little things mattered; my translation of the I Ching surely impacted my experience of doing divination with it deeply, like my Tarot deck impacted my experience of doing Tarot readings. I make a related point in passing (“the particular claim made by a source is what distribution is most useful”), and SaidAchmiz’s excellent comment explains it much more fully. When I think of where to go from here, matching the ‘advice distribution’ to some mixture of the reader and the world feels like a central point.Expanding on that, I think the traditional style of Tarot reading mostly cares about which cards end up in which positions, drawing on the mythical associations of the card’s name more than the features of the cards themselves. Whether or not cards are ‘reversed’ is significant, but as an orderly person and a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, I can’t stand shuffling methods that randomize the orientation of the cards. The tableau defines the relationships between the cards and constructs the overall perspective.
So the way I do Tarot readings is often quite simple: three cards, one for me, one for the other party, and the third for the relationship. [Another common three-card spread is ‘past, present, and future’; this page that I found while writing this review suggests a few spreads and questions that I am excited to try. As is perhaps obvious, the questions seeding how to relate to the cards you draw will have a huge impact on the variety and usefulness of perspectives you will generate.] But this works in part because my deck is so beautiful and detailed; as an example, I’ll do (and ‘live-blog’) a reading about my relationship to this post.
I am the “princet of ground”; in a cave, his staff planted firmly behind him, a glowing triangle (the symbol of ground) floating in his hands. The clear story is that I’m delving deep into the past, looking for treasure while maintaining my grounding; the subtler point is that I initially wrote “holding a glowing triangle” and then realized that it in fact wasn’t being touched by the princet, in a way that rhymes with my sense that I don’t actually understand this fully, or haven’t distilled it crisply enough.
The post is the 3 of wind; three swords piercing a heart in the middle of a storm. The meaning of this is, uh, obscure. And yet, perhaps that obscurity is the relevance? The post is not clear—it is three ‘stabs at the heart of the matter’, which while they touch the point, they have not cleared away the stormclouds or lightning or rain.
The relationship is “The Fountain” (or “Wheel of Fortune”); a fat figure eats and drinks at a party while their reflection is emaciated and surrounded by flame. Water pours from the fountain, causing ripples in the pool. I try out a few stories here, and none of them resonate strongly; am I the fortunate figure, reaping the rewards of having written a solid post? Is the reader the emaciated figure? Is the reflection the illusion of transparency, where there’s a sense that they got it, but actually they missed it, or the post itself is insight porn? [As I say in a comment, “if someone is going to get something out of the I Ching, they’re going to do it through practice, not through a summary”.] The fountain resonates with gradual change, with water moving, in a way that seems hard to articulate but somehow rhymes with people reading this post, seeing things more clearly, or having more tools to see things more broadly and understand more perspectives. [One of my favorite comments about this post was posted by a friend to Facebook, where she attended a Red Tent event that involved someone doing a Tarot reading, and reading this post gave her a clear affordance of how to relate to it in a healthy and connective way, instead of being forced into a dilemma of whether to suppress her disbelief or cause a conflict with the other women there.]
The perspective that seems most resonant, after thinking about it for a few minutes, is that the relationship is a mixture of pride and shame. I like this post; I think it’s good, I think it’s an example of one of my comparative advantages as a rationalist, I am glad to have written it, and I am glad that people liked it. And also… I am ashamed that this is a 2019 post, instead of a 2015 one; that it is just an advertisement seeking to “open a door that was rightfully closed on the likes of fortune cookies and astrology to rescue things like the I Ching, that seem superficially similar but have a real depth to them,” instead of having much depth of its own. And while I still pull out the deck or the I Ching for some major instances, the regular habit never quite stuck in a way that made me suspect I wasn’t being creative enough, or pushing enough towards my growth edge. [‘If you am bored of reading Tarot cards,’ that perspective says, ‘you are not asking spicy enough questions.’]
RE: “did anyone notice?” https://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/5fswdh/anyone_else_notice_that_hermione_mcgonagall_are/
One of the forces present in society is people striving to not just meet some moral standard, but be seen as more moral than others. This is often present both in demonstrating virtue and demonstrating the absence of vice. [“Let me show you how not racist I am!”] For much of human history, courage and strength have been important virtues, and cowardice and weakness important vices.
In England during World War I, as thousands were dying pointlessly in the trenches, pretty girls went around handing white feathers — a symbol of cowardice — to men who weren’t in uniform. [src]
Participation in and advocacy for war are often seen as evidence against personal cowardice and for personal bravery. (The slur “chickenhawk” deflates advocacy without participation, by separating out hollow signaling from substantiated signaling.) Like Kaj, my sense is that people have a baked-in sense of how good war is that’s more tuned to our long evolutionary history than the recent, present, or future bits.
At the time, I argued pretty strongly against parts of this post, and I still think my points are valid and important. That said, I think in retrospect this post had a large impact; I think it kicked off several months of investigation of how language works and what discourse norms should be in the presence of consequences. I’m not sure it was the best of 2019, but it seems necessary to make sense of 2019, or properly trace the lineage of ideas?