Category Archives: Rationality

A non-absurdity heuristic, and why I’m not a Singularitarian

So er… Erm. Yeah. This is no longer a thing. I wrote a post exactly six months ago explaining why I was a Singularitarian. Or, well, so I thought. Except then I thought about it long and hard. And I finished … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Rationality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Truth, Probability, and Unachievable Consistency

What is truth? Many an author has written lengthy philosophical treatises that begin with exactly this question, but, however shaky my identification with the group may be, as a rationalist my first and foremost answer to that question – or my … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Probability Theory, Rationality | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Metaphor of the Hills

Imagine that one day you’re standing on a very foggy field of grassy hills. It’s so foggy you can’t see even an inch in front of your nose, and what’s worse, you have no GPS or 4G reception. You decide to … Continue reading

Posted in Computer Science, Intuitive Mathematics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Rationality | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

An anti-conjunction fallacy, and why I’m a Singularitarian

When anyone talks about the possibility or probability of the creation/existence of an UFAI, there are many failure modes into which lots of people fall. One of them is the logical fallacy of generalisation from fictional evidence, where people think up … Continue reading

Posted in Rationality | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Alieving Rationality

Almost six years ago, Scott wrote a post on LW about the apparent lack of strong correlation of real-world instrumental success and studying what he calls “x-rationality” – that is, OB/LW-style rationality, of the kind that’s above and beyond the regular skills … Continue reading

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On Arrogance

arrogant adjective having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. A friend of mine once mentioned on a comment written in response to some post or another in a facebook debate group that he had knowledge … Continue reading

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The use of Less Wrong

I’ve been planning on writing a post along these lines, and the recent thing on tumblr about the LW community has given me just the right motivation and environment for it. Specifically this nostalgebraist post gave me the inspiration I needed. … Continue reading

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Absence of evidence is evidence of absence

The W’s article about Evidence of Absence is confusing. They have an anecdote: A simple example of evidence of absence: A baker never fails to put finished pies on her windowsill, so if there is no pie on the windowsill, then … Continue reading

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Beliefs and aliefs

What does it mean to believe? This is not supposed to be some Deeply Wise prod to make someone write philosophical accounts of the mystical uniqueness of human consciousness or some such. It’s an actual question about the actual meaning of … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Rationality, Rationality | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bayesian falsification and the strength of a hypothesis

At the end of my post about other ways of looking at probability, I showed you a graph of evidence against probability. This is the relevant graph: Looking at this graph was one of the most useful things I’ve ever … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Probability Theory, Rationality | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments