Optimisation

what do you mean are you implying my contributions thus far have been merely quotations and therefore pretty useless
 

luka

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i dont know what the conversation is about. it started as a way to try and dig out some of the assumptions hidden away in Stan's use of the word optimisation.
 

luka

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Gus has a habit of reducing complicated social processes to little neat diagrams which makes me skittish and uncomfortable.
 

suspended

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Im familiar with some of the slate star codex stuff, i read the nrx essay. seems youve played a part gus?
Played a part in what? I read him a lot between 2014-2016, not regularly anymore. But at the time, it was like a fresh of breath air in the suffocatingly stuffy air of the Ivory Tower. There are certain beliefs that don't quite feel right to you, but everyone you know and interact with pays lipservice to the belief, and suddenly you see someone from the outside writing about this, offering a reasonable point of view, talking about the dynamics that set up that extent of preference falsification. In some real way, it helped preserve my sanity.
 
Played a part in what? I read him a lot between 2014-2016, not regularly anymore. But at the time, it was like a fresh of breath air in the suffocatingly stuffy air of the Ivory Tower. There are certain beliefs that don't quite feel right to you, but everyone you know and interact with pays lipservice to the belief, and suddenly you see someone from the outside writing about this, offering a reasonable point of view, talking about the dynamics that set up that extent of preference falsification. In some real way, it helped preserve my sanity.
i really like him in particular. can you break it all down for the uninitiated
 

suspended

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i really like him in particular. can you break it all down for the uninitiated
Oh sure I mean he's basically a moderate liberal with more libertarian tendencies than most. You could probably call those tendencies anarchist and it'd be equally true. Worries about bureaucracy, worries about distant micro-management of locals who can handle their own shit more effectively and efficiently.

He's part of the larger rationalist community, originating in the website LessWrong, which was founded in the mid 00s by Eliezer Yudkowsky and friends like Robin Hanson. Scott popped up in the scene some point early on as well, built up a following. Rationalists are interested in 1) debugging human thought, a la behavioral economics of Kahneman & Tversky, 2) existential risk, especially AI safety. #1 leads to #2 insofar as they think that human brains have blindspots that lead them to seriously overstate certain issues and seriously understate other issues like AI risk. LessWrong and rationalists probably deserve a fair amount of credit for raising the alarm on AI safety/risk, from Elon Musk's public statements to the work of Ray Kurzweil. They also launched Effective Altruism, a movement that tries to calculate the biggest bang-for-your-buck charitable causes, in terms of lives saved/living standards improved. Think the Bill Gates approach of rigorously auditing charities + local conditions. (The org is called GiveWell)
 

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I come out of the postrationalist scene, which is largely folks who came up reading rationalists but think the framework has seriously blindspots w/r/t language, culture, art, social games. Rationalism is traditionally a little more New Atheist (there are network connections between the subcultures) whereas e.g. postrationalists are more likely to point out ritual & religion's social benefits, to worry about the cost of rationalizing society, to cite James Scott's Seeing Like A State, etc. The names of these subcultures are a bit grandiose, really we're just talking about folks between age 20-40 who hang out on a handful of websites and blogs—in postrationalism's case, Ribbonfarm is the major touchstone.
 

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I think Slate Star Codex is worth reading for a couple reasons. He's the most sincere person I've ever encountered, would never say something he didn't believe. That means you don't get a buncha signaling voodoo, preference-falsifying ketman. He's very even-handed, or at least does a good job of giving the impression of weighing both sides evenly. He's more pragmatist than ideological. He has a good habit of unpacking the sociology of disputes, so that you get out of the object-level (e.g. "is abortion bad/good") and into the "meta-level" dynamics of how complicated the question is, how different sides mobilize to make the issue seem simpler than it appears, etc etc
 

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I've heard people talk about "the paradox of tolerance" (tolerating anyone but the "intolerant") around here, which I take to be more or less the same idea as "I Can Tolerate Anyone Except The Outgroup"

Is that all an OK intro shiels?
 
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