Less Wrong/2008 Articles/Summaries

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Posting on Politics
The Two-Party Swindle
The American System and Misleading Labels
Stop Voting For Nincompoops
Rational vs. Scientific Ev-Psych
A Failed Just-So Story
But There's Still A Chance, Right?
The Fallacy of Gray
Absolute Authority
Infinite Certainty
0 And 1 Are Not Probabilities
Beautiful Math
Expecting Beauty
Is Reality Ugly?
Beautiful Probability
Trust in Math
Rationality Quotes 1
Rationality Quotes 2
Rationality Quotes 3
The Allais Paradox

(and subsequent followups) — Offered choices between gambles, people make decision-theoretically inconsistent decisions.

Zut Allais!

Offered choices between gambles, people make decision-theoretically inconsistent decisions.

Rationality Quotes 4
Allais Malaise

Offered choices between gambles, people make decision-theoretically inconsistent decisions.

Against Discount Rates
Circular Altruism
Rationality Quotes 5
Rationality Quotes 6
Rationality Quotes 7
Rationality Quotes 8
Rationality Quotes 9
The "Intuitions" Behind "Utilitarianism"
Trust in Bayes
Something to Protect
Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality
OB Meetup: Millbrae, Thu 21 Feb, 7pm
The Parable of the Dagger
The Parable of Hemlock
Words as Hidden Inferences

The mere presence of words can influence thinking, sometimes misleading it.

Extensions and Intensions
Buy Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace
Similarity Clusters
Typicality and Asymmetrical Similarity
The Cluster Structure of Thingspace
Disguised Queries
Neural Categories
How An Algorithm Feels From Inside

(see also the wiki page)

Disputing Definitions

An example of how the technique helps.

Feel the Meaning
The Argument from Common Usage
Empty Labels
Classic Sichuan in Millbrae, Thu Feb 21, 7pm
Taboo Your Words

and Replace the Symbol with the Substance - Description of the technique.

Replace the Symbol with the Substance

Description of the technique.

Fallacies of Compression
Categorizing Has Consequences
Sneaking in Connotations
Arguing "By Definition"
Where to Draw the Boundary?
Entropy, and Short Codes
Mutual Information, and Density in Thingspace
Superexponential Conceptspace, and Simple Words
Leave a Line of Retreat
The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Engines of Cognition
Perpetual Motion Beliefs
Searching for Bayes-Structure
Conditional Independence, and Naive Bayes
Words as Mental Paintbrush Handles
Rationality Quotes 10
Rationality Quotes 11
Variable Question Fallacies
37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong
Gary Gygax Annihilated at 69
Dissolving the Question

This is where the "free will" puzzle is explicitly posed, along with criteria for what does and does not constitute a satisfying answer.

Wrong Questions
Righting a Wrong Question
Mind Projection Fallacy
Probability is in the Mind
The Quotation is not the Referent
Penguicon & Blook
Qualitatively Confused

Using qualitative, binary reasoning may make it easier to confuse belief and reality; if we use probability distributions, the distinction is much clearer.

Explaining vs. Explaining Away
Fake Reductionism

It takes a detailed step-by-step walkthrough.

Savanna Poets
Joy in the Merely Real
Joy in Discovery
Bind Yourself to Reality
If You Demand Magic, Magic Won't Help
New York OB Meetup (ad-hoc) on Monday, Mar 24, @6pm
The Beauty of Settled Science
Amazing Breakthrough Day: April 1st
Is Humanism A Religion-Substitute?
To Spread Science, Keep It Secret
Initiation Ceremony
Hand vs. Fingers
Angry Atoms
Heat vs. Motion
Brain Breakthrough! It's Made of Neurons!
Reductive Reference
Zombies! Zombies?
Zombie Responses
The Generalized Anti-Zombie Principle
Belief in the Implied Invisible

That it's impossible even in principle to observe something sometimes isn't enough to conclude that it doesn't exist.

Quantum Explanations
Configurations and Amplitude
Joint Configurations
Distinct Configurations
Where Philosophy Meets Science
Can You Prove Two Particles Are Identical?
Classical Configuration Spaces
The Quantum Arena
Feynman Paths
No Individual Particles
Identity Isn't In Specific Atoms
Zombies: The Movie
Three Dialogues on Identity
The So-Called Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
Which Basis Is More Fundamental?
Where Physics Meets Experience
Where Experience Confuses Physicists
On Being Decoherent
The Conscious Sorites Paradox
Decoherence is Pointless
Decoherent Essences
The Born Probabilities
Decoherence as Projection
Entangled Photons
Bell's Theorem: No EPR "Reality"
Spooky Action at a Distance: The No-Communication Theorem
Decoherence is Simple
Decoherence is Falsifiable and Testable
Quantum Non-Realism
Collapse Postulates
If Many-Worlds Had Come First
Many Worlds, One Best Guess
The Failures of Eld Science

Fictional portrayal of a potential rationality dojo.

The Dilemma: Science or Bayes?
Science Doesn't Trust Your Rationality
When Science Can't Help
Science Isn't Strict Enough
Do Scientists Already Know This Stuff?
No Safe Defense, Not Even Science
Changing the Definition of Science
Conference on Global Catastrophic Risks
Faster Than Science
Einstein's Speed
That Alien Message
My Childhood Role Model
Mach's Principle: Anti-Epiphenomenal Physics
A Broken Koan
Relative Configuration Space
Timeless Physics
Timeless Beauty
Timeless Causality
Einstein's Superpowers
Class Project
A Premature Word on AI
The Rhythm of Disagreement
Principles of Disagreement
Timeless Identity
Why Quantum?
Living in Many Worlds
Thou Art Physics
Timeless Control
Bloggingheads: Yudkowsky and Horgan
Against Devil's Advocacy
Eliezer's Post Dependencies; Book Notification; Graphic Designer Wanted
The Quantum Physics Sequence
An Intuitive Explanation of Quantum Mechanics
Quantum Physics Revealed As Non-Mysterious
And the Winner is... Many-Worlds!

An index of posts explaining quantum mechanics and the many-worlds interpretation.

Quantum Mechanics and Personal Identity

A shortened index into the Quantum Physics Sequence describing only the prerequisite knowledge to understand the statement that "science can rule out a notion of personal identity that depends on your being composed of the same atoms - because modern physics has taken the concept of 'same atom' and thrown it out the window. There are no little billiard balls with individual identities. It's experimentally ruled out." The key post in this sequence is Timeless Identity, in which "Having used physics to completely trash all naive theories of identity, we reassemble a conception of persons and experiences from what is left" but this finale might make little sense without the prior discussion.

Causality and Moral Responsibility
Possibility and Could-ness
The Ultimate Source
Passing the Recursive Buck
Grasping Slippery Things
Ghosts in the Machine
LA-602 vs. RHIC Review
Heading Toward Morality
The Outside View's Domain
Surface Analogies and Deep Causes
Optimization and the Singularity
The Psychological Unity of Humankind
The Design Space of Minds-In-General
No Universally Compelling Arguments
2-Place and 1-Place Words
The Opposite Sex
What Would You Do Without Morality?
The Moral Void
Created Already In Motion
I'd take it
The Bedrock of Fairness
2 of 10, not 3 total
Moral Complexities
Is Morality Preference?
Is Morality Given?
Will As Thou Wilt
Where Recursive Justification Hits Bottom
The Fear of Common Knowledge
My Kind of Reflection
The Genetic Fallacy
Fundamental Doubts
Rebelling Within Nature
Probability is Subjectively Objective
Lawrence Watt-Evans's Fiction
Posting May Slow
Whither Moral Progress?
The Gift We Give To Tomorrow
Could Anything Be Right?
Existential Angst Factory
Touching the Old
Should We Ban Physics?
Fake Norms, or "Truth" vs. Truth

Our society has a moral norm for applauding "truth", but actual truths get much less applause (this is a bad thing).

When (Not) To Use Probabilities
Can Counterfactuals Be True?
Math is Subjunctively Objective
Does Your Morality Care What You Think?
Changing Your Metaethics
Setting Up Metaethics
The Meaning of Right
Interpersonal Morality
Humans in Funny Suits
Detached Lever Fallacy

There is a lot of machinery hidden beneath the words, and rationalist's taboo is one way to make a step towards exposing it.

A Genius for Destruction
The Comedy of Behaviorism
No Logical Positivist I
Anthropomorphic Optimism

You shouldn't bother coming up with clever, persuasive arguments for why evolution will do things the way you prefer. It really isn't listening.

Contaminated by Optimism
Hiroshima Day
Morality as Fixed Computation
Inseparably Right; or, Joy in the Merely Good
Sorting Pebbles Into Correct Heaps
Moral Error and Moral Disagreement
Abstracted Idealized Dynamics
Is Fairness Arbitrary?
The Bedrock of Morality: Arbitrary?
Hot Air Doesn't Disagree
When Anthropomorphism Became Stupid
The Cartoon Guide to Lob's Theorem
Dumb Deplaning
You Provably Can't Trust Yourself
No License To Be Human
Invisible Frameworks
Mirrors and Paintings
Unnatural Categories
Magical Categories
Three Fallacies of Teleology
Dreams of AI Design
Against Modal Logics
Harder Choices Matter Less
Qualitative Strategies of Friendliness
Dreams of Friendliness
Brief Break
Rationality Quotes 12
Rationality Quotes 13
The True Prisoner's Dilemma
The Truly Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma
Rationality Quotes 14
Rationality Quotes 15
Rationality Quotes 16
Singularity Summit 2008
Points of Departure
Rationality Quotes 17
Excluding the Supernatural
Psychic Powers
My Childhood Death Spiral
My Best and Worst Mistake
Raised in Technophilia
A Prodigy of Refutation
The Sheer Folly of Callow Youth
Say It Loud
Ban the Bear
How Many LHC Failures Is Too Many?
Horrible LHC Inconsistency
That Tiny Note of Discord
Fighting a Rearguard Action Against the Truth
My Naturalistic Awakening
The Level Above Mine
Competent Elites
Above-Average AI Scientists
Friedman's "Prediction vs. Explanation"
The Magnitude of His Own Folly
Awww, a Zebra
Intrade and the Dow Drop
Trying to Try
Use the Try Harder, Luke
Rationality Quotes 18
Beyond the Reach of God
My Bayesian Enlightenment
Bay Area Meetup for Singularity Summit
On Doing the Impossible
Make an Extraordinary Effort
Shut up and do the impossible!
AIs and Gatekeepers Unite!
Crisis of Faith
The Ritual

Depiction of crisis of faith in Beisutsukai world.

Rationality Quotes 19
Why Does Power Corrupt?
Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans)
Entangled Truths, Contagious Lies
Traditional Capitalist Values
Dark Side Epistemology
Protected From Myself
Ethical Inhibitions
Ethical Injunctions
Prices or Bindings?
Ethics Notes
Which Parts Are "Me"?
Inner Goodness
San Jose Meetup, Sat 10/25 @ 7:30pm
Expected Creative Surprises
Belief in Intelligence
Aiming at the Target
Measuring Optimization Power
Efficient Cross-Domain Optimization
Economic Definition of Intelligence?
Intelligence in Economics
Mundane Magic
BHTV: Jaron Lanier and Yudkowsky
Building Something Smarter
Complexity and Intelligence
Today's Inspirational Tale
Hanging Out My Speaker's Shingle
Back Up and Ask Whether, Not Why
Recognizing Intelligence
Lawful Creativity
Ask OB: Leaving the Fold
Lawful Uncertainty
Worse Than Random
The Weighted Majority Algorithm
Bay Area Meetup: 11/17 8PM Menlo Park
Selling Nonapples
The Nature of Logic
Boston-area Meetup: 11/18/08 9pm MIT/Cambridge
Logical or Connectionist AI?
Whither OB?
Failure By Analogy
Failure By Affective Analogy
The Weak Inside View
The First World Takeover
Whence Your Abstractions?
Observing Optimization
Life's Story Continues
Surprised by Brains
Cascades, Cycles, Insight...
...Recursion, Magic
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ad Hominem
Engelbart: Insufficiently Recursive
Total Nano Domination
Thanksgiving Prayer
Chaotic Inversion
Singletons Rule OK
Disappointment in the Future
Recursive Self-Improvement
Hard Takeoff
Permitted Possibilities, & Locality
Underconstrained Abstractions
Sustained Strong Recursion
Is That Your True Rejection?
Artificial Mysterious Intelligence
True Sources of Disagreement
Disjunctions, Antipredictions, Etc.
Bay Area Meetup Wed 12/10 @8pm
The Mechanics of Disagreement
What I Think, If Not Why
You Only Live Twice

"My co-blogger Robin and I may disagree on how fast an AI can improve itself, but we agree on an issue that seems much simpler to us than that: At the point where the current legal and medical system gives up on a patient, they aren't really dead."

BHTV: de Grey and Yudkowsky
For The People Who Are Still Alive
Not Taking Over the World
Visualizing Eutopia
Prolegomena to a Theory of Fun
High Challenge
Complex Novelty
Sensual Experience
Living By Your Own Strength
Rationality Quotes 20
Imaginary Positions
Harmful Options
Devil's Offers
Nonperson Predicates
Nonsentient Optimizers
Nonsentient Bloggers
Can't Unbirth a Child
Amputation of Destiny
Dunbar's Function
A New Day