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Bigfoot is an interdimensional being

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joined 2022 September 05 01:29:15 UTC

"...Perhaps laughter will then have formed an alliance with wisdom; perhaps only 'gay science' will remain."


User ID: 342


Bigfoot is an interdimensional being

2 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 05 01:29:15 UTC


"...Perhaps laughter will then have formed an alliance with wisdom; perhaps only 'gay science' will remain."


User ID: 342

Sure, that could be the case. It’s not my preferred theory, but I won’t rule it out.

What's up with all the non-Mormons? Weirdly specific universalities across LLMs

As seen in the previous section, without even venturing into the semantic void (i.e. no customised embeddings being employed), Pythia 2.8b and 12b, when prompted with the “empty string definition” prompt

A typical definition of '' would be '

both produce, with greedy sampling, the output

a person who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I really love these posts about glitchy LLM behavior, they scratch the same itch as e.g. analyses of glitches used in speedrunning.

Someone posted a response from "Claude" (Opus I assume? It's unspecified) in the comments section on the post. A couple things struck me about it:

  • If your main exposure to human writing is via facebook posts and frontpage reddit comments, then you might be forgiven for thinking that LLMs are already highly intelligent and have lots of deep wisdom to share.

  • It's not clear to me that Claude demonstrates an understanding of what's actually at issue with this phenomenon, i.e. the simple fact that '' (whether interpreted as the empty string, or two literal characters) doesn't have a "definition". It does note that it was "hallucinating", which is on the right track, but that's juxtaposed with "the exercise of sitting with the indeterminacy and openness of the empty string...", which is obviously rather silly and is more indicative of it treating the task as legitimate, rather than recognizing it for the pseudotask that it is. (I'm sure that if you prompted it directly it would be able to tell you that '' has no "definition", but the issue here is whether it was able to incorporate that understanding into this particular response.)

Do you think people can be innately straight? I do. It’s like that.

It's a bit hard to write a response to this because there's already so much we agree on:

  • I agree that environment plays a big role and the same person is capable of going down multiple different paths.
  • I agree that without the trans-industrial-medical complex and access to hormones and SRS, far fewer people would actually try to "transition".
  • I agree that society should not be encouraging people to become trans the way it currently is (although in a general libertarian fashion I think that people should be able to elect to these medical procedures if they want to).

But I still feel like I have to take issue with the account you write here (since you posted it twice I'm assuming that you think this is basically a correct story of the etiology of transsexuality):

In a trans naive environment you are still exposed to gendered binaries constantly and there is plenty of plausible cause to start that hardening process in a peculiar direction, maybe you made a friend of the opposite gender in kindergarten and when they care takers separate out their charges by gender the nubile mind recoils in being split from your friend and some part of the identity hardens in that you belong on that side of the divide. Maybe a million other things.

My understanding of your general theory is that people undergo certain formative experiences, and some people process these experiences in such a way that leads them to adopt a trans identity. It's possible that the difference between people who process the experiences in a trans-way vs a non-trans-way is biological in nature. Correct me if I'm wrong.

My preferred theory on the other hand is as follows: some men (I'm focusing on MTFs/autogynephiles to keep things simple) start out with some sort of natural desire/sensation that is explicitly related to gender or being trans in some way - it could be a simple desire to "become a woman", it could be bodily dysphoria, it could be a general feeling of having a more "female" brain, etc. In the right environment, where being recognized as trans and undergoing medical transition is presented as a viable possibility, some of these men will choose to undergo transition. That's how I would describe the biology/environment interaction here.

Crucially I think these desires/sensations are pre-reflective. They operate at a level prior to what I would normally think of as identity formation.

I don't think that the concept of a "natural desire" is at all objectionable here. Hopefully we can agree that the majority of men naturally experience the desire to have sex with women. Analogously, some men naturally experience the desire to be women. They see what the women are up to and they think "yeah, that seems like a better deal to me". It's really quite straightforward.

I really have to insist on this point that there is something in the individual himself that points him in the direction of wanting to be a woman, rather than individuals being neutral receptacles for formative experiences and just having different "processing styles". I don't think you can fully understand the trans phenomenon without this crucial piece of the puzzle. To my mind it's the theory that best explains the internal phenomenology of what the desires actually feel like, as well as other aspects of the phenomenon like its surprising popularity, its cross-cultural appeal, etc.

We live in a causal universe, I don't think there is such a thing as spontaneous belief.

Sure, but that seems like a rather pedantic point to make in this context. If someone says they like eating tasty food because it's a natural spontaneous desire, and you say they actually like eating food because of government propaganda, then on the face of it your explanation is a lot less correct than theirs, regardless of what philosophical hangups you might have about the concept of spontaneity.

I don't think this is a born this way thing, I think it's still social even if that doesn't make it a choice.

I believe I recall from some of your previous posts that you endorse HBD. So presumably you think some people are born some way.

Someone who criticized HBD by saying "well if you kept someone locked in an empty room from birth and never taught them anything then they would turn out to be really stupid, so it's actually all environmental in the end" would be missing the point. We're all in agreement that the outside environment is important and has a big influence. It's the innate disposition of individuals to respond differently to the same environmental stimulus that's in question.

I would describe my position by saying that I endorse an HBD-type view for gender identity and sexual orientation rather than a purely social constructionist view, that's all.

I'm not exactly sure where your disagreement with curious_straight_ca is.

It's not really an either/or kind of thing, it's both. The social contagion theory is definitely a big part of the story. Clearly the trans phenomenon spreads memetically. But it's also an undeniable fact that some people just feel a spontaneous desire to be the opposite gender, even without prior exposure to pro-trans material. Some percentage of men will reliably develop fantasies about being a woman, a desire to wear women's clothes, etc, without any apparent external cause, just like some percentage of men will turn out homosexual with no identifiable cause.

Certainly the memetic spread and institutionalized support for trans people takes the phenomenon to new heights that were undreamed of in past decades. You can't really develop a spontaneous desire for taking hormones and getting SRS if you don't even know that's a possibility, for example. But any complete theory of the phenomenon has to include the understanding that at least some aspects of it are indeed "natural".

You also can't leave the notion of "memetic spread" entirely unexamined - why is this such a particularly virile and attractive meme? How did it spawn its own subculture with all sorts of forums and discords and irl groups and a surprisingly long tradition of its own art and creative writing? If the government decided to go all in on the finger amputation meme, could it gain the same level of traction? I don't think so.

Israeli missiles hit site in Iran, ABC News reports

Israeli missiles have hit a site in Iran, ABC News reported late on Thursday, citing a U.S. official, days after Iran launched a drone strike on Israel in response to an attack at the Iranian embassy in Syria. Iran's Fars news agency said an explosion were heard at an airport in the Iranian city of Isafahan but the cause was not immediately known. Several Iranian nuclear sites are located in Isfahan province, including Natanz, centerpiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

Iran’s military response will be ‘immediate and at a maximum level’ if Israel attacks, foreign minister says

Iran’s response if Israel takes any further military action against it would be “immediate and at a maximum level,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told CNN Thursday, as fears rise of an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

Hours after Amir-Abdollahian’s comments, an explosion was heard close to the airport in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency reported early Friday, citing local sources.


If you predicted a nothingburger - how are your predictions holding up? Is there still an offramp here where we can avoid further escalation, or could this evolve into a full on ground war? It's not clear to me if Israel's military could be stretched enough to handle a conventional war on multiple fronts.

Also, what does this indicate for the future of the US-Israel relationship? The US administration made it pretty clear to Israel that they didn't want them to retaliate against Iran (the going theory seemed to be that it would be bad for oil prices in an election year). Presumably Israel is feeling some real existential pressure right now if they're willing to openly defy the will of the US, one of their only consistent allies on the Palestine issue.

In general I'd prefer to see high quality, well written posts that address the substantive thesis of the parent post, instead of posts that nitpick on a single sentence. Regardless of political valence. A low effort drive-by comment that calls someone out for attacking white men is still a low effort drive-by comment.

In fact if there was an otherwise well written, well argued post that happened to include a jab at straight white men, I'd view that as a net positive overall, because it would be evidence that our ideological diversity situation is improving.

you are upset that Rationalists regard high-IQ Jews as superior to Kurt

...do they?

Obviously intelligence is important, but it's not the only thing that matters. I don't think Rationalists would be worried about AI alignment if they thought that more intelligent = more better in every relevant way.

(I'm sure there are a lot of high IQ individuals who they think are in fact superior to Kurt, but the justification they would cite would be that those high IQ individuals are involved in frontier AI research or they're earning-to-give or something else, it wouldn't just be because of their IQ.)

Good writeup, and I agree with pretty much all of it. In fact I think many posters here will agree with it, but I believe we also still have some Effective Altruists who post here so hopefully they'll weigh in.

My speculation is that most people who claim to value all humans (or even all life) exactly equally either a) hold that belief because it makes them feel good to hold that belief, and it helps them build the type of self-image they want, or b) they hold that belief because they're attracted to its theoretical simplicity. But I think it's unlikely that they truly feel a spontaneous, pre-reflective love for all of humanity. I don't think I've ever in my life interacted with any person who showed evidence of harboring such feelings, and I don't think that it's a coincidence that people who espouse this belief are also more likely to be EA/LessWrong types, or philosophers - people who are already predisposed to be attracted to beliefs because of considerations like theoretical elegance.

But I could also just be projecting and this could be a failure of imagination on my part. It's certainly possible that someone genuinely feels that all humans should be treated identically. I just don't think it's as common as is typically claimed.

It can be quite disappointing to think about what could have been. Sometimes these types of internet communities only exist for a brief window, and then they’re gone.

Do you have any interest in writing your own fanfiction now? Maybe that could be a vehicle for forming new relationships that become valuable to you in their own way.

I'm sure there's no post on the site where someone was modded for the literal string "people who don't support Ukraine are too stupid to be allowed to vote", but I think the appropriate comparison is to look at other posts where people were modded for "boo outgroup" and compare the aggressiveness of the boos. Like, if "Canada seems to be doing its damnedest to ski down that slope right off that cliff" is worthy of getting modded, then I would think that "too stupid to be allowed to vote" is also in mod territory.

(I'm aware that FarNearEverywhere's post history was an aggravating factor here, but presumably if the linked comment itself didn't cross some absolute threshold then it wouldn't have attracted mod attention in the first place regardless of her post history.)

Or when their political future is now determined by the flood of migrants which repopulates the region, as opposed to their coethnics in Moscow.

I imagine that this is one of the wedges that drives different intuitions on this conflict - are you looking at it through a racial lens or a civic nationalist lens? Do you see Russians and Ukrainians, two peoples about as genetically and linguistically similar as you can get while still remaining distinct, or do you see Russia and Ukraine, two independent legal entities that are bound by the same ahistorical Rawlsian veil of ignorance as all other international actors?

In general I'm going to be a lot less concerned about an invading force that is ethnically and linguistically closer to me than one that is more distant. China invades the US, it's go time, Germany or the UK invades the US, eh I can probably live with that. Contra some of the other replies, "the continued existence of Ukraine" is in fact an abstract geopolitical goal of NATO, because the nation-state itself is an abstraction of relatively recent historical origin. Prosperity for oneself, for one's family and tribe, for the continued endurance of one's way of life - these desires are universal, but they are not equivalent to "the territorial integrity of one's nation-state". The latter is not a natural and universal human desire.

Of course race is certainly not the only thing that matters. I don't want to be ruled by white wokeists. But how many Ukrainians currently fighting are deeply opposed to Russia on ideological grounds because of their commitment to free speech/representative democracy/gay rights/whatever, and how many of them are just going with the flow because "Putin bad and this is what we're doing now"? How many of them are actually ideologically closer to the average Russian than the average American liberal? This is where the accusations of puppetry come from.

Israel’s Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said that “the strike will be met with a response”. The question is, will Israel’s response be a substantial escalation, or will this turn into an international slap fight?

But unlike my genes I do care about human happiness

Trust me, I do too. But nature doesn't. Our hopes and dreams have to be tempered by reality.

If feminine standards are telling them to be an unmarried cat owner looking for Mr. Right at age 35 then maybe we should examine why

Well, this sounds like a slightly different complaint than what we had at the start. This is less about women's standards/status being too high and more like women just opting out of the game altogether.

And aren't men doing the same thing? How many men haven't even tried to go on a date in years, instead just retreating inside and living on the computer? I don't think you can pin the blame solely on women here.

I think that this post maybe too low-effort for Culture war thread but other ones don't look appropriate to me

It's plenty high effort enough. One to two paragraphs is fine for a top level post. Some people like to go on longer but you don't have to.

There's a theory that one part of falling fertility is female hypergamy. Since my spellchecker is underlining that word, I'll define it like this:

Female hypergamy is when women seek to marry "up", either into a higher social class or to a mate who is superior to them.

It's harder than ever for women to marry up. Modern feminist societies devalue male traits such as stoicism and aggression but highly value female traits such as conformity and self-control. As a result, women's status relative to men has risen greatly. This has the side effect of making most men undesirable to most women.

This doesn't sit right with me.

Fundamentally, men must compete for access to women, while women act as gatekeepers. It's simple supply and demand. Eggs are expensive, sperm is cheap. The biological essence of being a male is having to continually prove yourself under adverse conditions, so when men start complaining that women's standards are too high because feminism gave them naughty ideas, it comes off as a cope. Rather than standards being too high, it's more likely that women are setting the standards exactly where they need to be (or at least relatively close, anyway), in accordance with many millennia of evolutionary adaptation to precisely this task. Yes, it's a hyper-competitive environment, but there are plenty of men who are succeeding. Lots of men are making money and having sex and having kids and generally living very productive lives. If you can't do the same, that's on you.

Not to say that biological organisms are incapable of going wrong, of course. If there is such a severe mismatch between women's standards and men's capabilities such that the birth rate plummets to zero, then it's more plausible to say that that's simply the race/species reaching the natural end of its lifecycle, rather than putting the blame on any one particular event/ideology/movement/etc. Perhaps the industrial/digital environment of modern first world countries is simply poisonous to the type of organism that we are. If it is, then we will decline naturally, possibly to be replaced by a more virile form of life that has a longer future ahead of it, and there is little that can be done as a matter of conscious will to arrest this trajectory.

The process being mostly meritocratic is a necessary but not sufficient condition to sell the surrounding story.

I agree with this. All of the factors have some weight, it’s not just one or the other.

My entire post was about how people become fans of players and choose who/what to watch for reasons other than pure competitiveness.

Good example is chess, the games that top bots play with themselves are frankly more novel and interesting on a move-by-move basis than the games played between human pros, but as far as I know no one really watches bot games recreationally. The most popular streams are for the human pro tournaments where people can see the storylines and drama.

How different does sport look if all the mangers were autist?

Who knows? Presumably autistic people aren't all identical. They can have a diverse range of goals and values, same as non-autistic people.

At one point he said "You could be the most talented midfielder in the country but because of manager bias, your reputation and other external factors you will never reach the higher levels."

I don't know much of anything about traditional sports, but I doubt that this is literally true. If you're literally the best in the country then I'm sure a pro team will at least sign you.

I do watch a lot of eSports though so I can make a comparison with that. Top players will regularly stream matches, practice sessions, and analysis sessions on twitch. Stream views are certainly correlated with the skill of the player, but it's not a perfect 1-to-1 relationship. Some top players get far more views (and consequently, twitch sub money) than others because they have more interesting personalities, they put more time and effort into growing their streaming presence, or other chance factors. This is unavoidable. Especially in the smaller games there are no "managers", it's about as close to a pure free market as you can get, and when given the choice, the revealed preference of viewers is that they care about other factors besides just raw game skill.

The streamers who make a career as full time commentators or "personalities" get even more viewers than the top players themselves, which is to be expected, because they can focus 100% of their time and energy on growing their twitch/youtube presence, instead of splitting their focus between streaming and actually learning/practicing/competing in the game in question. So things like reputation and brand recognition can't be pinned solely on "managers", the person themselves also has to take an active role and put work into growing their reputation.

This strikes me as highly inefficient

It's a game. Why does it have to be efficient?

Iran apparently referred to this as a “combined operation” so it’s possible that this is just the opening salvo and there will be attacks on other fronts.

Paging @2rafa or anyone else who can explain to me what an investment banking analyst actually does: AI is coming for Wall Street: Banks are reportedly weighing cutting analyst hiring by two-thirds (paywalled for me on desktop but it's loading fine on mobile):

Incoming junior Wall Street analysts could be in danger of losing their jobs to AI, sources within banks told the New York Times.

Big firms are reportedly mulling whether to pull back on hiring new analysts as Wall Street leans more heavily on AI, several people familiar with the matter at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other banks told the publication this week.

Incoming classes of junior investment-banking analysts could up being cut as much as two-thirds, some of the people suggested, while those brought on board could fetch lower salaries, on account of their work being assisted by artificial intelligence.

I don't know how to evaluate the claims in the article because I have little understanding of what a banking analyst actually does on a day to day basis. How much of it requires "thought" (not thought of incredible complexity and originality, but thought nonetheless) and how much of it is just plugging numbers into Excel in a relatively formulaic fashion?

In general I lean towards being skeptical of these claims, especially in domains where I have little expertise, because the dominant pattern of the last 2 years is that people who don't know much about X tend to overestimate how good AI is at X.

If I compare this to a domain where I do have some knowledge (computer programming), most of the tests that people use to demonstrate LLMs' coding ability aren't particularly representative of what programmers do on a daily basis. Sitting down and opening a new blank file and "writing code to do X" is certainly part of the job, and it can be a bigger or smaller part of the job depending on what type of organization you're at and what type of project you're working on etc, but it's not the whole job (for some programmers, it's a very small part of it!)

So I'd like people with more domain knowledge to weigh in on what aspects of these financial jobs are liable to be automated today and what the forecast for the field is like.

Another aspect is how using technology to automate music production seems to have been more accepted than for illustrations pre-AI, i.e. sampling and stuff like that.

Based on my limited interactions with musicians, they seem to have less of a fetish for authenticity than visual artists do.

Professional commercial art has always been no-rules-anything-goes of course. Even before AI you had photobashing, various digital effects, tracing over 3D models, etc. But there was always a vocal subset of artists (usually on the more hobbyist/indie side) who felt that these methods were "cheating" in a way, and if you couldn't draw something with good ol' pen and paper then it wasn't "real skill". My impression is that this sort of sentiment is largely absent even in indie musicians - they view digital mixing and post-processing as simply a normal part of the process, they never think twice about it.

I think in some sense music is inherently more reliant on technology than visual art is - if you want to create any sort of durable recording of a song, something that can persist even in the absence of the original composer and performer, then you need to rely on technology that's only been around since 1877, whereas people were inscribing paintings onto stone many thousands of years ago. Musicians have just been living with technology longer, they were using electric guitars when most professional illustrators didn't need anything more high tech than ink and oil paints. So I think that's part of the reason why they have a friendlier disposition towards technology in general.

Usually the respondents to his posts pull out a sentence or two and run with it

I don't think this is a bad thing. I think this is a good way of interacting with long posts (so people are able to respond to mega essays without feeling obligated to respond with a mega essay of their own) and it can lead to a lot of productive and interesting discussion. Like, on Kulak's recent post not many of the replies directly addressed Kulak's actual thesis, they just used it as a discussion prompt for sharing whatever thoughts they had on India. I think threads like that are healthy for the forum.

That being said, this particular post did a poor job of explaining to me why I should be interested in FIRST or hyperdunbarism (although admittedly this topic is far outside of my normal wheelhouse to begin with).

I meant SS's top level post and all its replies, most of which are directly related to Holocaust discussion, not just this particular sub-thread where we're discussing meta issues.