Murphy's Quest
Babble and Prune


The Pit

If I had to say (and this is only a slice of the story), I am the boy and the scientists (or whatever they are) are the rationality community. Rationality showed me light, taught me how to seek truth, saved me from destructive biases. Many others in my position dropped their "conventional" lives and moved to Berkeley/started working on EA or AI Risk. But me - after my interaction with rationality - I turned away from the community to continue grad school and pursue my pure mathematics with renewed vigor.

[Hammertime Final Exam] Quantum Walk, Oracles and Sunk Meaning

I just stumbled back into LessWrong after many months, very pleased to see that you completed this journey with such seriousness! Looking forward to your thoughts and comments in the postmortem post.

Re: Sunk Meaning, immediately after reading this, my brain sent strong signals that *something else is going on here* with regards to making the cow's death mean something and there's some Chesterton's fence that you shouldn't break. I think the error you're making is basically the same error that causal decision theorists make two-boxing in Newcomb's problem. You do not get to choose whether or not to honor a dead cow in this specific instance. You only get to choose (for all time) whether or not your source code implements an algorithm which honors the dead. Being able to do this is really really useful for all sorts of Newcomblike situations that occur in real life.

[Hammertime Final Exam] Accommodate Yourself; Kindness Is An Epistemic Virtue; Privileging the Future

I identify strongly with the "Accommodate Yourself" - a substantial fraction of things I figured out with rationality boiled down to realizations of the form "You didn't have to live like this!" I set up a Schelling point for my glasses so I didn't have to scramble around looking for them every morning. I got over the inherent virtuousness of cooking my own meals and tried Mealsquares. I got a monitor and mouse for my laptop. The list goes on...

Kierkegaard wrote "So only one lack remains [in our time], even though not yet felt, the lack of difficulty. Out of love of humankind, out of despair over my awkward predicament of having achieved nothing and of being unable to make anything easier than it had already been made, out of genuine interest in those who make everything easy, I comprehended that it was my task: to make difficulties everywhere." It seems to me, however, that despite all our progress, life is sufficiently hard as it is. We don't need to make it any harder than it has to be.

With regards to the thoughts on delayed gratifications, it seems like a valuable reminder that pendulums usually swing a little too far in the other direction. Most people most of the time would benefit from a reminder that the future exists, but some smaller fraction of them also need the reminder that the present exists too.

Thanks for following Hammertime, and I'd love to see more of your writing on here in the future. =)


Just book a slot and leave a message for how long you want it to be.


Guvf vf evtug, avpr! Gunaxf nyfb sbe gur pbeerpgvba.

Gur bayl pbzzrag V unir vf: sbe gur ynfg ceboyrz, lbh fubhyq or noyr gb jevgr qbja n pybfrq sbez, be ng yrnfg na rfgvzngr. Jung xvaq bs tebjgu engr qbrf guvf fhzzngvba unir? Cebonoyl Fgveyvat jvyy gnxr lbh pybfr gb gur evtug nafjre.

Urer'f nabgure jnl gb trg fbzrguvat: tebhc hc gur pbbeqvangrf va frgf bs guerr naq gnxr gur frg bs nyy irpgbef juvpu unir (1,1,1),(0,1,1),(1,0,1),(1,1,0) va rnpu gevcyr bs pbbeqvangrf. Guvf rknzcyr tvirf lbh 2^{(2/3)a} irpgbef.

Unyielding Yoda Timers: Taking the Hammertime Final Exam

I like (2) a lot, I find writing up talk/lecture notes on a topic extremely productive. It's surprising how many details I'm always missing that take work to produce.

Would you mind commenting a link to this on the original final exam post?

Harry Potter and the Method of Entropy

Gur svefg unys vf evtug, gur xrl vqrn vf gb pbzcner r gb o, naq purpx gung guvf oernxf n havirefr bs 15 cbffvovyvgvrf vagb 7 naq 8. Nsgre gung lbh unir gb or n ovg zber pnershy nobhg znxvat gur evtug pbzcnevfbaf, sbe rknzcyr vg ybbxf yvxr lbh'er nffhzvat n<r<o whfg orpnhfr r<o, jura vg pbhyq nyfb ybbx yvxr r<n<o.

April Fools: Announcing: Karma 2.0

Smart and thoughtful change, what a wonderful Easter surprise!

Harry Potter and the Method of Entropy

1.2.3 Gurer rkvfgf n fgenvtug naq aneebj cngu gb fbegvat 5 ryrzragf va rknpgyl 7 zbirf. Xrrc ybbxvat sbe pbzcnevfbaf gung qvivqr gur ahzore bs cbffvoyr jbeyqf nf pybfr gb rirayl nf cbffvoyr.

2.2 Gung'f ebhtuyl evtug, tbbq wbo! Sbe shegure qrgnvyf ba guvf ceboyrz, frr gur "Yvne Tnzr" va Nyba&Fcrapre Pu 14.

3.2.2 Rknpgyl! V'yy fnl zber nobhg guvf arkg gvzr ohg lbh'ir ebhtuyl erperngrq gur vqrn bs Uhsszna pbqrf.

Harry Potter and the Method of Entropy

Avpr gevrf, n srj pbzzragf:

1.2.1 Vs lbh qba'g xabj Fgveyvat'f nccebkvzngvba, guvf pna or qbar whfg ol vagrtengvat ybtk sebz 0 gb a.

1.2.3 Gur ybjre obhaq jr cebirq vf 7. Pna lbh npghnyyl rkuvovg na nytbevguz juvpu gnxrf 7 pbzcnevfbaf gubhtu?

2.2 V npghnyyl qba'g xabj gur rknpg nafjre, ohg lbh pna qb orggre guna xybt_2(a). Urer'f nabgure jnl gb guvax nobhg gur ceboyrz jvgu 1 yvr: vavgvnyyl, lbh unir a puvcf ng cbfvgvba 2 ba gur ahzore yvar. Rnpu dhrfgvba, lbh trg gb cvpx n fhofrg F bs gur puvcf naq Serq zbirf rvgure F be F_pbzcyrzrag yrsg ol 1. Puvcf snyy bss gur obneq jura gurl ernpu 0. Ubj znal zbirf qbrf vg gnxr gb rafher bayl bar puvc erznvaf? Sbe rknzcyr, lbh fubhyq or noyr gb jva gur tnzr ba 32 cbffvovyvgvrf naq 1 yvr va 9 zbirf.

3.2 Gur fgengrtl lbh qrfpevorq vf ernyyl onq jura nyy gur c_v ner rdhny gb 1/a; lbh'yy arrq a/2 zbirf ba nirentr vafgrnq bs gur jbefg pnfr ybt_a jr unq orsber.

Load More