Problem Machine

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Everything posted by Problem Machine

  1. Endorsements from Thumbs Readers

    I just picked up this one and so far it seems great! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IBVD4I/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  2. The McElroy Family of Products

    Eh I gotta disagree with people wanting a more humor-centric TAZ. I think the humor was great as-is, and all the more so for being contrasted against some heavy shit. That said, I would prefer a move away from the 'epic' towards more personal stories, since the personal interactions and improvisations were really where the show excelled.
  3. Masculinity

    It super doesn't matter if any of us condemn him! We're not a jury. This fixation on needing to decide whether someone is a bad person or not is one of the least healthy forms of discourse and it's fucking everywhere and I'm sick of it. So so much of the vapidity and wastefulness of modern discourse falls away if we just let go of the need to determine Who Is Right and Who Is Good and Who Is Bad. He did some things he shouldn't have done and is probably going to face some consequences for it -- and as far as we, the public, are concerned, that's essentially the end of it. If someone is a fan of Nick's work and feels a desire to continue to support him, the question is not "is it okay to support a bad person?" it's "am I okay with supporting a person who has done the things he has done?"
  4. Masculinity

    Short answer is it's not really any of our business, but as I understand it it mostly has to do with misrepresenting himself and being generally overly insistent and dishonest to get nudes and possibly more. But this still sounds a lot like not trusting women to know the difference between flirting and harassment and believing that they will constantly interpret benign behavior in a negative way as a trait that, again, crosses all cultural boundaries besides gender. I'm pretty sure that just being clueless or awkward doesn't accumulate a string of harassment stories from women throughout an entire industry. If you want more information on whether your own social behavior is acceptable, this is probably not the most beneficial avenue of investigation: I believe there are articles out there for dudes who are worried about being creepy, so maybe mining stories of peoples personal trauma isn't the best source of data.
  5. Masculinity

    For me the Nick situation is pretty simple: When a bunch of women independently say a dude has harassed them, you can either believe that A: A bunch of people tied together only by their gender decided to make up rumors about a guy for reasons or B: he's a creeper. One of those is hugely misogynist, so I do the other one. Beyond that, the specifics aren't particularly relevant.
  6. Masculinity

    Well my personal stance is that masculinity and femininity are stupid cultural ideas, but that building communities, developing self-reliance, caring for and protecting and nurturing providing for others are all desirable traits that overall benefit society and aren't really in conflict with each other. However, regardless of whether these ideas are stupid they still exist, and certain traits, positive and negative, are coded as masc or femme.
  7. Masculinity

    I have no particular gender associations with someone living alone. What's maybe more interesting about that image search is how different the results are if you search for "do it yourself" instead of the acronym
  8. Masculinity

    The "mother bear" scenario is not considered typical gender behavior though, the way that scenario is usually presented is that a mother's caring nature is so overpowering that it overcomes her typical feminine inclination towards non-violence and peaceful resolution. Like, the entire reason it's A Thing at all is because men are the ones who are stereotypically supposed to be the defenders.
  9. Masculinity

    1) Those aren't the same things except in a very vague sense, 2) The words we choose to describe things still matter, 3) Self-reliance is absolutely 100% more associated with masculinity????
  10. Ahh, interesting point. The parallel hadn't occurred to me. Probably because I've never seen The Thing. I guess I should sometime.
  11. Forum theme woes

    Ah I was wondering about this, thanks for posting about it.
  12. Masculinity

    If you're looking for a fuck, say you're looking for a fuck. There are a lot of websites out there for this explicit purpose. It's disingenuous to say you're looking for something else rather than a fuck if all you want is a fuck. So there's a baseline miscommunication/deceit which is itself not intrinsically masculine, but then masculinity is weaponized towards this deceitful goal. Also, what drives that deceit is the toxic masculine behavior of 'scoring' or seeing women as prizes to be won. Positive masculine values are generally along the lines of dadliness -- self-reliance and a desire to protect and provide for another. These aren't exclusively male traits obviously, but are traditionally considered masculine, as opposed to the more feminine equivalents of community-building and desire to care for and nurture another.
  13. Well that one's just kinda racist though, isn't it?
  14. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    Listen Jake this is the kind of forum discussion you get when you wade into the heady psychosociological waters of bee pizza.
  15. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    True! That's why I say that it's the right decision over the long time scale and the wrong decision over a small timescale. My argument is that it's only wrong when viewed in a very specific way, whereas in the vast majority of circumstances it's right. How would you define a decision? The exact moment when you pick up the box? When you start moving to pick up the box? When you look at the box? When you think to yourself "I will take this box"? Language is by necessity imprecise, but we can at least be precise about its imprecision, and acknowledge that we often mean many different points in time when we talk about when someone makes a decision.
  16. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    Uh huh, but is there any difference in the information obtained? I think we just use 'decision' as a descriptive term for an inflection point in a human behavior, but these are just arbitrary descriptions that we use out of convenience. So, depending on what magnitude or shape you require to describe something as a decision, we can describe someone as either making a million decisions a second or zero seconds over their entire lifetime. However, what drives those decisions is always deeply rooted in a person's history, and is inseparable from that history.
  17. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    Eh, is 100% reliable prediction of the future different from information directly from the future? I don't see any difference there. I don't understand, my entire point was that it isn't possible for the predictor to err. I mean everything else you say tracks I just found that confusing. My perspective is that 'decisions' aren't something that happens in just one moment, that they're something that extends over time. Maybe at the exact moment your decision is enacted it's the wrong one, but on a time scale that includes the predictor's read on your decision it's the correct one -- the result is just being skewed by artificially cropping the time window down to the 'climax' of your decision.
  18. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    Argh now I'm frustrated because I feel like you're not acknowledging what I'M saying. The idea is no choice is made in isolation, it's always made within the context of the mind's framework which is mechanistically deterministic. Making the decision to take the box now is a result of the mechanisms of the mind, which also determine what's in the boxes. You can't just choose to take a different thing than you've chosen, that would require spontaneously changing the mechanical composition of your brain, in other words supernatural interference. Therefore, the causal effect you have on the contents of the box is in having the mind-layout that makes you make the correct choice. Sure, what box you choose doesn't change the past, but what box you will choose already has. Believing that you can just jump the tracks is supernatural nonsense. Getting information from the future doesn't require time travel in a mechanically deterministic universe, it only requires complete information about the current moment and the capacity to make complete mechanical predictions based upon that -- basically just simulating the universe and time stepping it forwards a few hours. We humans do a simple and shitty version of it all the time, but in this case I'm positing a predictor who can do the real thing.
  19. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    I'm doing my best to understand your approach, but it's not helped by me not really being clear on when you're agreeing or disagreeing with me. My contention is just that this is an obvious choice based on one approach consistently yielding far better results: This doesn't seem to be something you disagree with me on. What you do seem to disagree with me on is the original intent of the problem posed, to which I say, "fine, but that's not how it was originally presented to me, so you can see why I'd find it silly in its original context". I now acknowledge the utility of it as a tool to explain the difference in approach to problem solving, but suggest that this utility is somewhat undercut by it presenting a circumstance where one approach is clearly superior to the other, so it could probably be formulated better if that's the intent. I don't feel that I'm ignoring the things you say, but sometimes nuances fall through the cracks, so perhaps I've missed something in my characterization of our exchange. Now, having had a chance to do a bit of reading re: evidential decision-making vs causal decision-making, my stance has shifted. I don't really understand the point of evidential decision-making except as a stand-in for when there's a lack of visible causal evidence, but I also don't feel this decision is a good illustration of causal vs evidential decision-making, since saying it does ignores the causal link between deciding to take the second box, between being the sort of person who would take the second box, and that box being full of money. You're saying that in the moment there's only one correct decision for the causal decision-maker to make, but there's no moment without the moment before, no effect without cause, and in this case the cause of the box being full of money is making the decision to take that box. Think of it this way. Say I'M the predictor: I can choose now to either fill the boxes with a million dollars or not. I know that afterwards my memory is going to be wiped and I will be presented with this problem (not being told that I was the predictor). If I predict wrong then they kill me or whatever, something that ensures that I try as hard as possible to predict correctly. Under those circumstances, I'm going to do my best to essentially collude with myself, I'm going to put a million dollars in the box knowing that my logical process would lead me to take that box. There is a clear causal relationship between my decisions now/later and what's going to be in the box. A machine that could mechanistically predict my actions would be if anything more reliable than me trying to predict my own actions -- saying that acknowledging that is somehow beyond the realm of causation is difficult for me to swallow. Both the predictor and the chooser are operating as different spokes on the same gear, moving at a time offset but in the same direction.
  20. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    Okay, but we agree that this specific case highly incentivizes that one particular branch of decision-making, which means it's not very good at highlighting their relative strengths. And, sure, creating a problem specifically to highlight a situation in which they generate different outcomes is interesting, but every presentation of the problem has been as a paradox or as a dilemma, not as an illustration of the consequences of different decision-making processes. My argument is not that evidential decision making is always better, just that clearly the correct decision in this case is to take the opaque box. Maybe that's different in other cases, in which case that's fine. I'd be interested in seeing those cases though, if you have any examples handy for me to search.
  21. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    I'm having trouble with how we can agree that causal decision making will definitely cost you a million dollars but you can still argue that it's not a bad way to approach the problem. This sounds like, rather than a dilemma created to demonstrate two separate but equally viable systems, a dilemma contrived to make one of those systems look foolish. I didn't assume any such thing. What would reality contradicting itself look like? I'm not arguing that there's some inherent logic of reality, but that whatever reality is is what it is. Whether it's logical or not is just a matter of whether what reality is is something we can understand -- in any case, that's a flaw in our logic, in the symbolic systems describing the underlying reality, more than anything else.
  22. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    Mostly based on observation, but also based on what a paradox is: The idea of a paradox is that something is contradictory, but reality doesn't contradict itself, only the symbols we use to describe reality can contradict. The problems presented by paradoxes are entirely symbolic, and thus can be resolved by rephrasing the problem, or discovering there was never an underlying problem at all, just a weird semantic trick. This is what I mean when I say that this distinction comes down to weird time-picking: You should always, from our perspective now outside the problem, choose to take the opaque box. However, from the perspective of being inside the room at the moment-of, you should always choose to take both boxes -- except for, by being the person who in the moment would take both boxes, you've just again screwed yourself out of a million. Oops. So the solution, I suppose, is to always pick the opaque box and then end up unintentionally somehow picking up both. Does the AI account for clumsiness??? Does the AI account for you having been introduced to the problem already on a podcast/forum? Except it's not impossible to fuck with the prediction when you assume that the machine has already simulated your exact decision-making process in the past. In that case, it is to your benefit to be the person who will come to the decision that. Causality works in reverse as well: Effects have causes. My argument is that one of the decision theories is based on a belief in the supernatural power of free will to escape causality, and is thus actually completely incorrect. And literally everyone wastes their time on stupid problems, semantics, and sloppy thinking, so let's not preemptively eliminate that as a possibility. Also re: all this not a paradox stuff, isn't this called "Newcomb's Paradox"???
  23. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    You are taking the risk by deciding to pick both boxes and choosing to be the jackass who takes both boxes. This is a 'paradox' created by picking apart the timeline in a highly specific way rather than creating an actual strategy. The best play is to choose to take one box. Maybe in the future it would be better to take both, but making the decision now you choose to take one, and you commit to that decision because to do otherwise would be to fuck with the prediction that is making it the best choice to choose one box. See, you're coming at this from the perspective that if people have spent a long time arguing about it it's an intractable problem. I'm coming at it from the perspective that if people have spent a long time arguing about it it's probably a stupid problem. Most 'paradoxes' are just tricks of semantics and sloppy thinking.
  24. Important If True 21: The Real Monkeys

    If the goal is to make the most money possible and they wanted actual clarity to that goal they should have just loaded them both with something close the same amount, like $1000/$2000. The way this is framed, it's taking a huge and unnecessary risk for a 0.1% gain. Casul decision theorists, good job, you just screwed yourself out of a million dollars with your bad decision-making.