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joined 2022 September 06 02:00:55 UTC
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User ID: 787



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 06 02:00:55 UTC


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User ID: 787

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This is liefsome, but how would we win over the leeches to eft learn all their leechcraft anew?

You expressed interest in non-political or nuanced storytelling, in gritty superhero vibes, and in analysis of the consequences of superpowers' numbers/magnitude/mechanisms, for all of which you got a perfect recommendation. If you'd said you wanted brevity, on the other hand...

Slave imports fell off a cliff in 1809

1808, surely? Or was there a year or two of significant smuggling in between the de jure and the de facto end of the slave imports?

every woman who was friendly to me turned out to still have their high school boyfriend back in their hometown

I had this brought up to me in tones and contexts that (should have) made it clear that this was just another angle of flirting, "look at this social proof of my attractiveness which is nevertheless only nominally an obstacle for you", from women who hadn't yet learned that that doesn't typically work the same way on men as it would have on them.

My own thoughts went from "whew, my new friend is establishing clear boundaries quickly so now I don't have to worry about accidentally overstepping them!" at the time to "damn, how did I miss that opportunity!" with a little hindsight to "wow, glad I dodged that bullet!" with a lot of hindsight.

it's unlikely anything really changed inside his head until his death.

Was this a deliberate choice of phrase, I hope? IMHO Trotsky ice axe jokes never truly get old. Just like Trotsky.

I know these are rhetorical questions to make your point, but I think looking at examples underscores it.

How often does it happen in the US that someone gets acquitted for killing a cop because they thought a no-knock-raid was a robbery and shot first?

Last time I looked there was someone who a grand jury wouldn't indict and someone else who a jury wouldn't convict, but for the most part the raidees' odds weren't good. And in the time since that comment, Marvin Guy's status changed from "several years without trial" to "acquitted of capital murder, convicted of murder, sentenced to life in prison".

How often are police convicted of using excessive force during no-knock raids?

One cop was indicted for spray-and-pray tactics in the Breonna Taylor incident (not for excessive force against them, mind you, but for the risk to their neighbors further down the line of fire), but was cleared by a jury last year. Three cops were convicted over the Kathryn Johnston case, so that outcome is not unheard of either. But a typical outcome seems to be the one in the Phonesavanh case, where even if behavior is egregious enough to put taxpayers on the hook for it ($3.6M in that case, about half medical bills and damages vs half punitive, from a warrant based on false information that led to a baby being burned and mutilated by a flashbang grenade to his crib), it's still not egregious enough to convict anyone at fault.

It's been decades since the explosion in no-knock raids and its de facto consequences started making national news, but the de jure consequences still seem to be more a matter of luck than any fixed principle. Defending yourself from home invaders claiming to be police isn't safe, and of course non-police home invaders know it too.

women are spooked if you don't have an Instagram profile

Instagram specifically, these days?

But I get the spooking. I set up a Facebook account when it first came out, didn't find it interesting, and didn't think about it in connection to dating because I was in an LTR at the time; a few years later another (somewhat younger) girl I dated found that abandoned profile and seemed genuinely weirded out by my not having Friended every person in my life, like I had the profile of a serial killer. I hadn't realized that Facebook had succeeded in growing from "More pretentious Myspace ripoff" to "Indispensable credential of social proof" in just a few years. Back in the before times we had to wait for a new SO to introduce us to friends and family, but apparently now if a man doesn't at least have a sort of "pre-introductory portfolio" in that regard girls worry that they might get the "it puts the lotion on its skin" treatment.

I eventually met my wife on OkCupid, back when dating sites were new and weird, but also deep and suggestive of a more positive future. Then Match bought it out, and swiping-without-depth apps beat it out, and now if you start to type "dating las vegas" into Google then autocomplete will helpfully suggest "dating last chopper out of nam" instead.

Upvotes and downvotes can't be anonymous to admins, because the software has to be able to query them to highlight them for a user when serving a page. If a non-admin mod can't see votes without an admin's help, or if an admin can only see them via some low-level database tool rather than a friendly UI, that's not unimportant, but neither would I call it anonymity.

That's a very good point ... but doesn't that flaw make my man-vs-potential-bear scenario as favorable as possible toward not choosing "man"? If we imagine instead that our hiker first saw the bear herself and turned around, and then encountered a man in between her and the trailhead, it feels even wilder to imagine her turning around a second time and taking her chances with the actual-bear after all.

Would Plato’s account of the trial and death of Socrates be better if there were a possibility of Socrates simply... not dying?

This is a weird example to give. Unless Plato pulled another Atlantis here, this was an account of a real historical event where there was a possibility of Socrates not dying. (not "simply", but via something like the hypotheticals you brainstormed). Was that reality just a confusing mess of possibilities, which could only become art once its complexity and unpredictability were stripped away? If so, is that a damning thing to say about reality, or about art?

But she can replicate the effect of having died back then by simply committing suicide now.

Regardless of whether your conclusion is right, it doesn't follow from this argument. Even to someone for whom rape is worse than death, rape+death can be (and likely is) still worse than rape-without-death.

hyperbolic social signalling

I want to believe this, but I didn't even expect the "bear" answer to be popular in the context of signalling, so I'm clearly not modeling people correctly ... if there are people who would answer "bear" as some weird rhetorical point, couldn't there be people who would decide "bear" in real life too? I'm imagining a woman hiking alone in a canyon (unprepared for any sort of combat), when a male hiker catching up to her shouts that the park rangers got a report of a bear further down the trail ... but I'm trying to imagine the woman then breaking into a run away from the man and toward the bear, and I just can't seem to do it, not without adding a bunch of assumptions that weren't in the viral question.

Why is he influencing people to work on AI?

Intentionally, because of his belief (at one point, at least; he's gotten much more pessimistic lately) that the least-bad way to mitigate the dangers of "Unfriendly AI" is to first develop "Friendly AI", something that also has superhuman intellectual power but that has values which have been painstakingly "aligned" with humanity's. ... I originally wrote "best way", but that has the wrong connotations; even in his less pessimistic days he recognized that "get its capabilities and values right" was a strictly harder problem than "get its capabilities right and cross your fingers", and thus the need to specifically argue that people should deliberately avoid the latter.

Unintentionally, because he doesn't get to pick and choose which of his arguments people believe and which they disbelieve. Long ago I wrote this about evangelism of existing AI researchers, but much of it applies to prospective new ones as well:

Existing AI researchers are likely predisposed to think that their AGI is likely to naturally be both safe and powerful. If they are exposed to arguments that it will instead naturally be both dangerous and very powerful (the latter half of the argument can't be easily omitted; the potential danger is in part because of the high potential power), would it not be a natural result of confirmation bias for the preconception-contradicting "dangerous" half of the argument to be disbelieved and the preconception-confirming "very powerful" half of the argument to be believed?

Half of the AI researcher interviews posted to LessWrong appear to be with people who believe that "Garbage In, Garbage Out" only applies to arithmetic, not to morality. If the end result of persuasion is that as many as half of them have that mistake corrected while the remainder are merely convinced that they should work even harder, that may not be a net win.

Or even "anti-a-fraction-of-anti-Trumpers"? I think Trump was a depressingly sub-par president, but I'm still able to appreciate that the right way to beat him is "nominate someone much better", not "insist that prostitute hush money is clearly a campaign expense and prosecute misreporting it".

Yet rather than the answer to "It's no big deal" being "fine, then let me win" instead

In case anyone else is put off by the volume of other links, I want to point out that this was a particularly amusing little rabbit hole to go down, despite my disinterest in most of the NixOS drama.

[Demand for codifying mandatory apologies to anyone who makes a claim of having been hurt]

[Pointing out that the validity of each claim might be an important detail]

[Doubling down, insisting that "if your mindset is already in that kind of detail" you're probably not "productive"]

[Pointing out that this kind of insult is hurtful and should deserve an apology]

[crickets chirping]

They might as well save some bytes and replace the CoC with "Who, whom?". That would also give them more time to focus on software, if somehow they retain any of the detail-oriented people you need to write decent software.

When the causal graph has more than two nodes, something can have a negative correlation (when measured with no controls) despite having a positive causative effect (which would show a positive correlation in an RCT), or vice versa. People who get chemotherapy are way more likely to die of cancer than people who don't.

I can't imagine the education/fertility relationship being an example of that, though. Nerds go to college more and have fewer kids, but not as many fewer as they'd have had without going to college? Sounds like a stretch.

We've already synthesized "real" meat that may not be as good as real meat. Grain-fed beef can have an omega-3:omega-6 ratio several times worse than traditional grass-fed grass-finished beef, but everyone eats grain-fed since it's half the price. Time to fix the problem with a ban?

If men are bad alone why would they be good together?

Because of the binomial distribution? If 1/6 men are secretly pure evil, so each individual man is Russian roulette, then a clump of just 5 random men gets the odds of evil ones outnumbering good down to 1/28, and a society of as few as 99 men gets us down to about 1 in 100 trillion.

Or just because of the multiplication rule in probability? If 1/6 men are secretly mostly evil (they'll commit a rape in a he-said she-said scenario but they won't kill unfavorable witnesses) then even a clump of 5 random men has the odds of unanimously-evil down to 1/7776.

And if individual men aren't quite as risky as Russian roulette, the risks get pushed down even faster in groups. A rate of 1% for individuals (now each individual man is a mere climb to the summit of Everest) now becomes 1/100,000 or 1/10,000,000,000 in a group of 5.

Were there protests against Israel in 1973-74?

Oh yeah. The backstory had a similar "fuck around and find out" pattern, right down to a sneak attack on the same Jewish holiday, though a priori you'd have thought the Egypt / Syria / Saudi / Algerian / Jordanian / Iraqi / Libyan / Kuwaiti / Tunisian / Moroccan (plus a handful of Cuban troops and North Korean pilots!) coalition had a much better chance than Hamas did of accomplishing something more than just psychological warfare. The protest actions afterward were also much more directly impactful.

If the rough estimates Wikipedia collected are reasonable then you're a surprisingly good guesser.

There is simply no way that most people would prefer years of incarceration to caning or similar physical punishments.

I think more important than whether we've properly calibrated the amount of punishment is whether we've optimized the effects of punishment.

Why do we punish people? For incapacitation, for denunciation, for retribution, for a deterrent, for reparation, for rehabilitation, and for expiation. The further you go down that list in that order, the worse prison looks.

Incapacitation is probably what prison is best at, better than any punishment short of the death penalty (and a lot more flexible than that...). Every year you keep an offender away from potential victims is a year likely to have fewer actual victims. I suspect no amount of caning or stockades or whatever else we might bring back would be enough to completely eliminate the need for prison as a "backup" for repeat offenders.

You'd think calibrating any sort of punishment would make it reasonably effective for denunciation and retribution, right? We have The System tell the offender that they did a horrible thing, it prescribes a certain level of suffering for the offender, and this gives us a shared ethical code and some feeling it's being enforced (at least if the police and the prosecutors are doing their jobs, but that's a requirement with any form of punishment). Thinking about incarceration from this perspective, already it's possible to see cracks in the system. Is it even possible to calibrate the suffering we prescribe to different offenders? If you're accosted by some thug and have to fight back before the police arrive, do you think his prison sentence would deliver as much suffering as yours would, if a jury doesn't think your self-defense was justified or proportional and convicts you in addition to or instead of him? If you're very upper class you may have the social/financial/cultural capital to recover (respect, Martha Stewart!), or if you're very lower class you may be okay with a little free room and board, but if you're middle class your career may never recover. Other forms of punishment have similar flaws here, though, so it's hard to fault incarceration specifically.

As a deterrent, incarceration is probably specifically much less effective than the same level of suffering would be if delivered as corporal punishment. The sort of high-time-preference offender who thinks crime is a good idea in the first place is not going to be nearly as deterred by suffering which is scheduled years into the future, and because the suffering from prison is so more gradual than the suffering from corporal punishment there's no way to avoid letting it stretch long into the future for serious crimes.

For reparation (aside from "the victim feels better to see the offender suffer"; I'm counting that with retribution), incarceration is basically useless (it doesn't transfer any value to the victims) or worse (it conflicts with possibilities like wage garnishment that could transfer some value to victims).

For rehabilitation, in theory prison could be helpful, but in practice it seems to be worse than useless. Criminals are not being isolated from the bad influences that led them to crime, they're being put into a community full of them. Depending on what connections a prisoner makes, they may end up more disposed to a life of crime when they leave than they were when they came in.

And for expiation, incarceration is probably grossly counterproductive! In theory The System has told everyone that "they've paid their debt to society" upon release; in practice any significant sentence length makes it difficult to maintain relationships with non-fellow-criminals (and nearly impossible to continue providing friends/family/dependents any support) and difficult to find a (legal) job when the punishment is over. Arguably these are the most punishing aspects of prison, but they're also precisely the aspects of an offender's life we want to encourage, not punish!

Once there were enough non-nerds there, it wasn't the early days of the Internet anymore.

The World needs to be a Singleton

Eppur si muove!

I was going to say "borrowed time", but looks like the majority of the answer may be "Universities"? The first stats I found showed black people making up 4.1% of Google tech employees vs 7% of Computer field employment. That's barely more than the ratio of underrepresentation that white people have among Google tech employees. (which might also be a factor? "you picked too many whites" can become a lawsuit even without allegations of racial animus, but I'd expect "you picked too many Asians" to raise eyebrows in any crowd less racist than a Harvard admissions committee)

Edit: I initially misread that 7% as being "CS degrees", rather than employment in the field as a whole. It sounds like the gap among new graduates has narrowed, if "In computer science fields, Black students earned 9% of bachelor’s degrees, 13% of master’s degrees and 7% of all research doctorates over the 2017-2018 school year." Comparing Google's cumulative hiring stats over decades to new graduate stats a few years old is a bit apples-to-oranges, but if I were one of Google's legal compliance people I'd now definitely be looking for some apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges numbers before I felt safe.

Oh, there's no general consensus; to non-nerds the original perpetual internet flame war may have been Kirk-vs-Picard, but to nerds it was vi-vs-emacs.

I'm a happy vim user, but I would recommend it if and only if you expect to spend a significant portion of your life editing text; it's great to use but time consuming to learn.

I have a lot of coworkers, including the ones who wouldn't touch Windows with a 10 foot pole, who are big fans of Visual Studio for C/C++ development, but I don't know how well it works for Python.

I'm not much of a Python guy in particular (though I think it's fantastic that the same language is useful for both teaching kids and writing cutting-edge software; when I was a kid we had various forms of BASIC, which were used for and useful for neither).

But my most useful tips are language-agnostic:

Write and comment and document (three separate things!) all your code so thoroughly that even a complete stranger doesn't need to ask you questions to understand it all. This doesn't sound so important for a "sole developer" role, but at some point you'll have to extend some of your own code that you haven't looked at in years and you'll be the complete stranger who can't ask your past self questions.

Cover your code with tests. Set something up to automatically run tests before allowing any new merge (I'm assuming you're using a version control system; if not then let's call that tip #0). You will write bugs, but it won't matter so much as long as you're the first person who's hit by them, because then you have a chance to make sure you're the only person who's hit by them.