Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Nyc Solstice And East Coast Mega-Meetup Interested In by Clarkey (LW 2.0) – Announcement post for the NYC Solstice (Dec 10th) and the East Coast mega meetup/sleepover (Dec 8th – 10th).

Dating Accordions Vs Sitars by AellaGirl – Some people are easy to date and relationships with them require little energy. Some people are ‘high cost’. Even though it is hard to say this explicitly many people want and need a high cost partner. Before you get into a relationship you should think about what kind of partner is truly best for you.

Thinking Toys by Gary Basin (LW 2.0) – 10 Thinking techniques along with short descriptions. “I call these strategies Thinking Toys. Little tricks we can pick up, play with for a moment, and then throw aside as we move on.”

AI:

Alphago Zero And The Foom Debate by Yudkowsky (LW 2.0) – Alpha Go Zero was trained exclusively with self play. It did not have access to any previous go matches, human heuristic or hand crafted features. This shows that general architecture is very important; in particular more important than cultural transmission of knowledge.

Ldl 2 Nonconvex Optimization by magfrump (LW 2.0) – Deep learning involves optimization in very high dimensional spaces. In high dimensional space getting stuck in a local optima is very unlikely. An illustrative analogy involving slices of Pizza and Gauss-Bonet.

Politics and Economics:

Recent Updates To Gwern.net by gwern (lesswrong) – Links to updated Gwern blog pages. Statistic, Biology, AI, Genetics, Misc.

Globalization Paradox by Ben Kuhn – Good reasons to oppose globalization: Huge wealth transfer from producers to importers, Unemployment concerns, tariffs can improve growth rates. Economics tend to ignore these restrictions and emphasize you can make free trade Pareto efficient by redistributing between countries. But such redistribution is hard to size correctly and unlikely to ever happen. Freak out about technological unemployment.

For Stability Rents by Robin Hanson – In many cases people can extract value by pretending to value their property more than they do. Ex: buying internet urls to sell later. A scheme to encourage efficient use of property. Tax property on owner assessed value, but the owner must sell to anyone who offers to buy at this value.

HBD Investing Part 2 by Grey Enlightenment – “How wealth is concentrated, in that high-IQ entities concentrate wealth at a higher density than less intelligent ones. When inventing, you want as much wealth as possible concentrated in your particular investment.” Chart of income as a function of national iq. High-IQ sectors maintained high returns over time, lower IQ sectors such as the steal industry did not. Which companies would be very hard to replace if they disappeared.

Misc:

Halloween Costume Paper Clipper by Elo – Dressing up as Clippy for Halloween.

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Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Fire Alarm by Eliezer Yudkowksy – At no point before AGI is created is it going to be socially acceptable to seriously worry about AGI. The actual standard for when AI researchers will agree there is a problem is when they personally can see how to build AGI. Lots of things have become much easier in AI but researchers always experience the difficulty of being on the cutting edge. AI researchers cannot even model what can be accomplished in two years, never-mind ten.

Markets That Explain Via Markets To Pick A Best by Robin Hanson – Can you use prediction markets to explain their predictions. General Method: “How to cheaply get a single good thing, if you have access to many people willing to submit and evaluate distinguishable things, and you have access to at least one possibly expensive judge who can rank these things”

Beginners Meditation by Zvi Moshowitz – Zvi goes to a beginners meditation class mostly filled with old ladies.

The Fish Head Monk by Zvi Moshowitz – A poor Sufi lives on fish head soup. His teacher lives in opulence. The teacher tells the Sufi to be less worldly.

You Can Never Be Universally Inclusive by Kaj Sotala – Any set of norms will exclude some people. Being inclusive in the usual sense tends to mean adopting norms that attract more people then they repel. Competing access needs. Don’t try to be inclusive in general, figure out what to be inclusive towards.

Rare Exception Or Common Exception by weft (LW 2.0) – “Pointing out that rare exceptions exist is usually a negative derailing tactic. However if you think your conversational partner is annoyingly pointing out a rare exception, double-check in case they think they are pointing out a common exception.”

Idea Inoculation Inferential Distance by Conor Moreton (LW 2.0) – The combination of idea inoculation and inferential distance quickly destroys communication. If you find yourself in a high inferential distance conversation tread very lightly.

Politics and Economics:

Yet Another Half Baked Theory Of The Political Spectrum by Artir – Theories of left/right: Thrive/Survey, Caplan’s model that leftists are anti-market and rightists are anti-left. The data Scott wants to explain. Are Scott’s clusters actually natural. What unites leftists is utilitarianism, what defines the right. A three axis model. What factors predict each axis.

The Guardians Inferno by sam[]zdat – Social Media, The like button, Tech companies, Trump and Bexit, Tristan Harris. Attention is money. Advertising. Addiction. Real radicals vs the guardian. Identity won’t change anything.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Ssc Meetup Bay Area by Scott Alexander – 3pm Meetup Saturday. Special guest Scott Aaronson from Shtetl-Optimized. Also me, Katja Grace, possibly David Friedman, hopefully other people will be there.

Rationalist:

On Models by mindlevelup – A model is something that says, “If you give this input to this system, then it will output this other thing.” Implicit and explicit models. Models are about expectations, surprise is a sign of model inadequacy.

Politics and Economics:

Internal And External Value Systems by Grey Enlightenment – External value system: “How society & culture should behave.” Internal value system: “How I and those close to me should behave.” Discussion of communities which are high on one value system and low on the other. Examples discussed include r/nrxn and r/the_donald.

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Signal Seeding by Katja Grace – “In general, if an action is a tiny bit good, not doing it can look a tiny bit bad (or stupid, or lazy, or incapable). Which makes it better to do, which makes it look worse to not do it, and so on.”

Politics and Economics:

The Over Hyped Purported Efficacy Of Australias Gun Laws by Grey Enlightenment – The fall in homicide deaths in Australia was already occurring when they instituted their gun control measures. Looking at the graphs its hard to find where the gun controls occurred. Homicide rates fell even faster in the USA, despite the USA loosening gun control during much of the relevant period.

Rational Feed

Scott:

In Favor Of Futurism Being About The Future by Scott Alexander – Scott criticizes an article about futurism. Scott basically claims the author decides which set of futurists are right based entirely on group demographics instead of actual arguments about futurism.

Ssc Journal Club Serotonin Receptors by Scott Alexander – “Pop science likes to dub dopamine “the reward chemical” and serotonin “the happiness chemical”. God only knows what norepinephrine is, but I’m sure it’s cutesy.”

Rationalist:

All Else Being Equal by Tom Bartleby – “Our culture has moved, without anyone really talking about it, from a culture in which “all else is never equal” to one in which “all else is always equal”—and it’s really harmed our equality.”

Its not the Critic who Counts by Scott Aaronson – Scott Alexander and the mathematician Timothy Gowers seem to genuinely love their subjects. Whenever you read their work, even their controversial posts, you learn new things. Some of their critics seem consumed by politics.

Terms by Ben Kuhn – Stock options that seem valuable can become worthless even if the company issuing them did very well. How can this be? Detailed analysis of Square’s IPO. Valuations are essentially completely made up. The valuation that matters to you depends on the kind of stock you have; you can explicitly compute the implied values of different kinds of stock. “Huge sample of more than 200 companies valued at $1 billion or more. For each one, they figured out the terms their investors got, and used this to compute how overvalued each one would be if you used the headline valuation as the company valuation.”

Gnostic Rationality by gordon (LW 2.0) – Doxa, episteme and gnosis. “This would be a purely academic distinction if it weren’t for the fact that I see many of my rationalist friends suffering and finding consistently that those who suffer the most tend to be those with the least gnosis of rationality.”

AI:

Distinctions In Types Of Thought by Sarah Constantin – Effortless vs effortful thinking. Effortless thinking is the sort of thinking involved in familiar motor skills. Effortful thinking is exemplified by deliberate logic. Neural nets mostly represent effortless thinking.

Meta Learning For Wrestling by Open Ai – “We show that for the task of simulated robot wrestling, a meta-learning agent can learn to quickly defeat a stronger non-meta-learning agent, and also show that the meta-learning agent can adapt to physical malfunction.”

Politics and Economics:

Defending Thaler From Guerrilla by Noah Smith – Defenses of Richard Thaler and behavioral economics: The invisible hand-wave. Ethical concerns. The invisible hand-wave, again. Endowment effects and money pumps. External validity of lab effects.

Individual Ideological Philosophical Classification System by Grey Enlightenment – Five Categories most people fall into. Mainstream left/right, Far left/right, Rationalist Left, Rationalist Centrist, Rationalist Right. Descriptions and examples of each group.

Podcast:

Facing The Crowd by Waking Up with Sam Harris – “Nicholas Christakis about mob behavior, moral panics, and current threats to free speech.”

Nick Beckstead: Giving Billions by 80,000 Hours – The far future vs current people. What jobs to take. Lab grown meat. Eliminate mosquitos or distribute nets. Greatest risks. Better Decision making: specific vs general. Is it better if the economy grows quickly or slowly. Nick’s top book recommendations.How he developed exceptional judgement, made tough career decision. Less dilettantism and more expertise in EA.

Cryptocurrencies by The Bayesian Conspiracy – The basics of cryptocurrencies and what they have to do with EA.

Rational Feed

Scott:

Ot86 Utopen Thread by Scott Alexander – Bi-weekly open thread. Lesswrong 2.0 announcement. Berkeley meetup.

Rationalist:

Community Capital by weft (LW 2.0) – “Argument: There is a Thing called Community Capital (closely related to social capital), and because it is based more on How Humans Work, you can get a lot more out of it than just plain old Money.”

Podcast:

Tim Oreilly On The Evolution of the Internet by EconTalk – “O’Reilly surveys the evolution of the internet, the key companies that have prospered from it, and how the products of those companies have changed our lives. He then turns to the future and explains why he is an optimist and what can be done to make that optimism accurate.”

Rational Feed

Rationalist:

Contra Double Crux by Thrasymachus (LW 2.0) – What is a crux? How common are cruxes (and double cruxes)? Crux-asymmetry. Motte and bailey defense of DC. A description of an already existing superior alternative to DC. Dc is epiphenomenal – it has appropriated the benefits of other techniques.

How to Screw Up The Lesswrong Survey And Bring Great Shame To Your Family by ingres (LW 2.0) – The 2017 lesswrong currently has ~300 responses compared to 1600 last time. What went wrong?

AI:

Embodiment And Orthogonality by Entirely Useless – Predictive processing and its implications for the orthogonality thesis. In order to create an artificial mind with goals the first step is to create a prediction engine. Once you have done this all the hard work is over.

EA:

Policy Oriented Civil Service Uk by 80,000 Hours – Pros: Large potential impact, build skills and network, varied and stimulating work, reasonable hours and environment. Cons: Hard to directly see impact, bureaucracy, less flexible and lower salary than the best private sector options.

Improving Institutional Decision Making by 80,000 Hours – The decision to invade Iraq. Catasthropic risk. Review of the problem profile in terms of scale, neglectedness and solvability.

Politics and Economics:

Asset Based Capitalism by Grey Enlightenment – “Perhaps people are becoming weary of the asset-based, winner-take-all system of capitalism we have presently, instead of the build-and-make version of capitalism that was present decades ago.”