Showing posts from February, 2023

Communicating with binaries and spectra

To communicate, it's convenient to code information in words and numbers. Words are discrete, so they're well-suited to expressing binaries: this is big, that is small. They're also well-suited to express finite partitions: microscopic, tiny, small, big, huge, enormous. Thought is often tripped up by finite partitions: many things do not fit neatly into the partitions, or what's relevant about something might be only poorly expressible with the available partitions. So instead an adjective can be taken as pointing at a spectrum. This is bigger, that is smaller. This is 10 meters long, that is 1 millimeter long. Thought can also be tripped up by spectra: again, what's relevant might be only poorly expressible as lying somewhere on the spectrum. What's relevant might be multidimensional, so that a one-dimensional representation requires a lossy projection. This weighs 2000 kg and is 10 meters long, that weighs 3 mg and is 1 millimeter long. A description could

Please don't throw your mind away

1. Dialogue 2. Synopsis 3. Highly theoretical justifications for having fun 4. Appendix: What is this "fun" you speak of? What's a circle? Hookwave Random smooth paths Mandala Water flowing uphill Guitar chamber Groups, but without closure Wet wall 1. Dialogue [Warning: the following dialogue contains an incidental spoiler for "Music in Human Evolution" by Kevin Simler . That post is short, good, and worth reading without spoilers, and this post will still be here if you come back later. It's also possible to get the point of this post by skipping the dialogue and reading the other sections.] Pretty often, talking to someone who's arriving to the existential risk / AGI risk / longtermism cluster, I'll have a conversation like the following. ———————————————————— Tsvi: "So, what's been catching your eye about this stuff?" Arrival: "I think I want to work on machine learning, and see if I can contribute to align

Rules for the flighty-souled

[This post is labeled בבל, meaning it's especially experimental. See: בבל disclaimer ] Never take your phone out while you're walking. Unless it's an emergency or you're going to take notes (but voice notes are preferable).   Never take your phone out while you're with someone. Ever. Unless you explicitly take a break from being together. If they take their phone out first, it's less bad, but still never do it. Never wear clothing with words or images. Especially not logos or branded symbols. Accept as little money as possible. Never be in photos, ever. When you're having a long-distance call, make it audio only, not video. Avoid being inside cars. Never go on a dating app. Don't go on Facebook, Twitter, or other similar networks. Never say the same thing twice. Never speak to more than three people at once. Preferably, never speak to more than one person at once. Never touch anyone unless you mutually have some type


[This post is labeled בבל, meaning it's especially experimental. See: בבל disclaimer ] [Note February 2023: this is an unedited first draft written in April 2018 while I was heavily involved with a psychopath.] 180408 01:46:29 esc. summary: modalities attempt to mention a statement S, so to speak (by transforming it to a different statement [[M]] S), without using it. but the hidden effects of uttering S are often-roughly also caused by [[M]] S. thus S escapes its modality. speaking in a modality [[M]] attempts to transform a statement S into an object some other type, denoted [[M]] S (which can also be taken to be a statement, but in a different modality (as in, sensory modality)). some examples of modalities: [[M]] S may be: a string (the quotation modality; for example, "i was going to say [[']]i can't deal with this right now[[']]"); an emotion (e.g. "[[i feel like]] you are trying to hurt me"); a perception (e.g. "[[it seems to