# wnoise

Karma: 1,526
• so­ciopaths by the clini­cal defi­ni­tion make about 1-4% of pop­u­la­tion.

smart so­ciopaths make maybe 0.1% of the population

Are you as­sert­ing that “smart” is top decile to 2.5%, or that so­ciopa­thy is cor­re­lated to in­tel­li­gence?

I’d con­sider a sigma away from the mean to be smart, so 0.3-1.3%.

• A video of Daniel Den­nett giv­ing an ex­cel­lent talk on free will at the Santa Fe In­sti­tute: https://​​www.youtube.com/​​watch?v=wGPIzSe5cAU It largely fol­lows the gen­eral Less Wrong con­sen­sus, but dives into how this con­struc­tion is use­ful in the pun­ish­ment and moral agent con­texts more than I’ve seen de­vel­oped here.

• 23 Oct 2012 5:58 UTC
3 points

It’s helpful to go a bit fur­ther for these cor­rec­tions. What’s the rea­son not to use “un­cor­re­lated” here?

In or­di­nary English, “un­cor­re­lated” is in­deed used for this (and a host of other things, be­cause or­di­nary English is very vague). The prob­lem is that it means some­thing else in prob­a­bil­ity the­ory, namely the much weaker state­ment E(a-E(a)) E(b-E(b)) = E((a-E(a)(b-E(b)), which is im­plied by in­de­pen­dence (p(a,b) = p(a)p(b)), but not does not im­ply in­de­pen­dence. If we want to speak to those who know some prob­a­bil­ity the­ory, this clash of mean­ing is a prob­lem. If we want to ed­u­cate those who don’t know prob­a­bil­ity the­ory to un­der­stand the liter­a­ture and be able to talk with those who do know prob­a­bil­ity the­ory, this is also a prob­lem.

(Note too that un­cor­re­lat­ed­ness is only in­var­i­ant un­der af­fine remap­pings (X and Y cho­sen as the co­or­diantes of a ran­dom point on the unit cir­cle are un­cor­re­lated. X^2 and Y^2 are perfectly cor­re­lated. Nor does cor­re­lated di­rectly make any sense for non-nu­mer­i­cal vari­ables (though you could prob­a­bly lift to the sim­plex and use ho­mo­ge­neous co­or­di­nates to get a rea­son­able mean­ing).)

• The usual situ­a­tion is that both de­tec­tors ac­tu­ally have some cor­re­la­tion to Q, and thereby have some cor­re­la­tion to each other.

This need not be the case. Con­sider a ran­dom vari­able Z that is the sum of two ran­dom in­de­pen­dent vari­ables X and Y. Ex­pert A knows X, and is thus cor­re­lated with Z. Ex­pert B knows Y and is thus cor­re­lated with Z. Ex­pert A and B can still be un­cor­re­lated. In fact, you can make X and Y slightly an­ti­cor­re­lated, and still have them both be pos­i­tively cor­re­lated with Z.

• That’s the big one I can think of, and this usu­ally arises in a very differ­ent con­text where it’s easy to de­hu­man­ize those forced to take such tests: alleged crim­i­nals and chil­dren.

(Even in these con­texts, pee­ing in a cup or tak­ing a breath­a­lyzer is quite a bit less se­vere than en­dur­ing a forced preg­nancy. Manda­tory blood draws for DUIs do up­set a sig­nifi­anct num­ber of peo­ple. How you feel about em­ploy­ment tests and sports dop­ing might de­pend on how you feel about eco­nomic co­er­cion and whether it’s truly “manda­tory”.)

• We don’t, for in­stance, re­quire peo­ple to donate re­dun­dant or­gans, nor even blood. Nor is or­gan dona­tion manda­tory even af­ter death (pre­haps it should be).

What are some cases where we do re­quire peo­ple to give up their bod­ily au­ton­omy?

• Like­wise, the po­si­tion “ev­ery sperm is sa­cred” seems mis­taken be­cause sperm are by na­ture fun­gible (and be­yond that, we can com­plain about the word sa­cred).

In what way are sperm fun­gible? There is usu­ally a wide va­ri­ety of differ­ence be­tween two ran­dom ones from the same per­son. After all, half the ge­netic vari­abil­ity of two siblings is due to the differ­ence in sperm.

It’s true that differ­ences are such that we can’t eas­ily tell much differ­ence be­tween any two sperm (of the same sex and chro­mo­some num­ber) -- but the same is true of a just fer­til­ized zy­gote or just di­vided em­bryo, which you ap­pear to count as non-fun­gible when you say that “I can’t think of a situ­a­tion where I would be will­ing to ac­cept the death/​mur­der of a fe­tus or in­fant where I wouldn’t be will­ing to ac­cept the death/​mur­der of an adult.”

It seems that “fun­gi­bil­ity” needs to be treated as a con­tinuum. I think that just about all rea­son­able crite­ria for de­cid­ing this turn out on closer in­spec­tion to be fairly con­tin­u­ous.

1. Wouldn’t Gibbs free en­ergy be more ap­pro­pri­ate? pV should be available for work too.

2. I find my­self slightly con­fused by that defi­ni­tion. En­ergy in straight quan­tum me­chan­ics (or clas­si­cal New­to­nian me­chan­ics) is a tor­sor. There is no preferred ori­gin, and adding any con­stant to all the states changes the evolu­tion not at all. It there­fore must not change the ex­tractable work. So the free en­er­gies are clearly in­cor­rectly defined, and must in­stead be defined rel­a­tive to the ground state. In which case, yes, you could ex­tract all the en­ergy above that, if you knew the pre­cise state, and could ma­nipu­late the sys­tem finely enough.

• Given a quan­tum state, you can always tell me the en­tropy of that spe­cific quan­tum state. It’s 0.

Only for pure states. Any sys­tem you have will be mixed.

• Some peo­ple re­port that it’s eas­ier to re­move ton­silloliths as well as a pos­si­ble re­duc­tion in for­ma­tion. If you don’t get them, not a con­cern, of course.

• Every ra­tio­nal num­ber has two in­finite dec­i­mal ex­pan­sions.

No. Every ter­mi­nat­ing num­ber has two in­finite dec­i­mal ex­pan­sions, one end­ing with all ze­ros, the other with all nines.

13, for in­stance is only rep­re­sentable as 0.333… , while 1/​8th is rep­re­sentable as 0.124999… and 0.125.

• It’s a stan­dard joke about math­e­mat­i­ci­ans vs ev­ery­body else, and I in­tended it as such. I can do limited vi­su­al­iza­tion in the 4th di­men­sion (hy­per­cubes and 5-cells (hy­per­te­tra­he­dra), not some­thing as com­pli­cated as the 120-cell or even the 24-cell), but it’s by ex­tend­ing from a 3-d vi­su­al­iza­tion with math knowl­edge, rather than spe­cial­iz­ing n to 4.

• Do­ing spe­cific ro­ta­tions by break­ing it into steps is pos­si­ble. Ro­ta­tions by 90 de­grees through the higher di­men­sions is doable with some effort—it’s just co­or­di­nate swap­ping af­ter all. You can make checks that you got it right. Once you have this mas­tered, you can com­pose it with ro­ta­tions that don’t touch the higher di­men­sions. Then com­pose again with one of these 90 de­gree ro­ta­tions, and you have an effec­tive ro­ta­tion through the higher di­men­sions.

(Un­der­stand­ing the com­mu­ta­tion re­la­tions for ro­ta­tion helps in this break­down, of course. If you can then go on to un­der­stand­ing how the in­finites­i­mal ro­ta­tions work, you’ve got the whole thing down.)