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Kaj Sotala
Works at Machine Intelligence Research Institute
Attended University of Helsinki
Lives in Helsinki
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Kaj Sotala

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My game now lets you attend a psychology lecture by the famous Professor Alt. Sample lecture:

'As you all know, there's a chance that A. Hmm... so then it is likely that if  A, then B. How far we've gotten. I remember when we all thought that this was because of episodic memory. No, it's all about the five-factor model. Might then C? Maybe. I think it's likely, at least if not B. It's all about the anchoring heuristic, you see. In which case, D! Isn't science fantastic? Remember what I said about the five-factor model? Then whether or not E depends on whether D. Now where was I going with this, again? Oh yes, framing. We figured this out because of my good friend, Dr. Prof. Weltschmerz. Straightforward, no?'

'Anyway, I hope that was enlightening. If there's anything you didn't understand, I'll leave it as a homework exercise to work it out. Thinking keeps your neurotransmitter juices flowing! Heh heh.'

Figuring out what the hell was just said is its own minigame.
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[75 endorsements for my favorite Helsinkian candidate in the Finnish parliamentary elections]

75 eri ihmiseltä kerätyt syyt äänestää Otso Kivekästä Helsingissä. Mukana mm. omani: "Otson argumentaatio on asiallista ja faktoihin perustuvaa. Koen, että voin jättää hänelle vastuun päätöksenteosta ja luottaa siihen, että asiat päätetään niihin tutustumisen perusteella ennakkoluulojen sijaan."

Kommentteihin voi käydä lisäämässä omansa. :)
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Otson vaalikampanja on kerännyt lahjoituksia jo 400 erilliseltä pienlahjoittajalta.  Me Otson vaalikampanjassa mukana olevat haluamme o
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This looks like an interesting concept.

> An Office Nomad is a person, who has a new host organisation every month. The Office Nomad always arrives on the first and leaves on the last day of the month. Office Nomad continues working on his/her own tasks or business, but acts as a member of the work community.

> There is no business relationship between the Office Nomad and the host company. This means no expenses, no invoices, no direct business. However, there are endless opportunities for both parties to learn and explore new ways of working.
Promoting all means for future work
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What company are you going to ask to do this with, +Kaj Sotala ?
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Tuure Parkkinen: Hypothetical election promise by a future political party: "We will destroy 40,000 more unnecessary jobs"
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Sounds... delicious.
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Why can you never trust an atom?

Because they make up everything.

(via Princess Awesome)
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Skylines modders: building creative traffic solutions since 2015.
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Is there actually any modding involved here? This looks like normal Skylines traffic "engineering" to me.
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Idea: a service that's kind of a cross of OKCupid and Chatroulette, geared towards those moments when you're feeling lonely and just want to have someone to talk with right now. Hit the "I want to talk" button, and the service connects you to some other person who's also feeling like talking and that you have things in common with, and suggests an initial discussion topic chosen at random from the interests that you happen to share. Can use your public Facebook, Last.fm, Goodreads, etc. information as a data source, as well as allowing you to specify specific criteria ("only match to people with at least 50 karma on the Philosophy Stack Exchange").
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...or is the idea to increase the amount of karma necessary to talk to young women(who they are looking for) on Philosophy Stack Exchange until those horny teenage boys learn sufficient philosophy to make contributions to the philosophical world a la https://xkcd.com/810/ ?
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Okay, let's see if I can do this. I want to finally get my thesis done, or at least in a close-enough-to-done shape, before May when I start a new internship which will be taking up my time. Therefore no social media use before I hit that goal: in particular, no public posts, +1's, or comments. I'll put in an exception on event invitations and such, as well as for making posts that are somehow useful for my thesis (like "hey, I need playtesters"). I may or may not respond to private messages, but if you want to reach me, I recommend sending an e-mail instead.
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Javier Reyes speaking at Utopia 2048 seminar: We are not profit-maximizers: we are social maximizers, we seek social relationships and meaning. Yet our economy is built around maximizing profit, shifting our perspective and causing our thoughts to focus on that.

My thoughts on the above:

First the caveats and disagreements with the claim.

I do think that in general, "making profit" correlates reasonably well with "creating value for people", for people pay for what they find to be valuable. Similarly, I do also think that free markets are one of the best ways to aggregate information about what people want, that prices are a powerful signal of things that there's an insufficient supply of, and that aiming to make profit by seizing upon a market opportunity often ends up making lots of people better off.

I also think that the often-repeated criticism of classical economics assuming that people are pure profit maximizers reflects a misunderstanding of economics, in that even classical economics viewed people as seeking to satisfy a large number of needs, with money just being the most effective way of collaborating with other people to get your needs met.

Those things said, I think the claim also made valuable points. The speaker had a nice example of four friends who decide to build a house for someone else. After doing it once, they decide that hey, now they could make a living of this, and go register themselves as a corporation.

Now their whole social dynamic changes. Maybe someone loans the new corporation money and becomes a majority shareholder; maybe someone else becomes the chief executive. Possibly their incorporation is a net benefit for them and the world overall, but regardless, when they meet next Sunday to play Xbox games together, their whole relationships with each other are very likely affected by the legal fiction of them now forming a corporate entity.

More generally there's the whole question of how market norms are different than social norms, and how these interact: there was a chapter in Freakanomics about a daycare that instituted a fine for parents who came to get their children late and kept the workers there overtime. The end result was that more parents ended up being late, because their mental frame had changed into one of market norms: they felt that paying the fine was how they bought themselves the right to be late, whereas earlier they had been on time out of a sense of duty and as a social norm.

And while I do think that profit-maximizing correlates reasonably well with value-creation, there is always Goodhart's law: "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." Probably all of us can think of countless of examples that produce lots of profit while not being particularly socially beneficial, or outright harmful for people's well-being. The way our society is structured, people have to focus their energies on making sure that they manage to make a living and get money from somewhere. When money becomes what enables you to live, if you're lucky and privileged you may look for the things that earn you a living and contribute value to others: but if you're less lucky and privileged, you're forced to just look for anything that turns a profit, and an increasing part of your attention and focus will be centered on that, as opposed to the other things that would provide you with value.

I'm not saying that having a market economy would be a bad thing, on net: nor do I have any particular suggestions (other than a basic income made possible by increasing automatization). But thinking in monetary terms does alter people's mindset, and whenever the basic thing that our society incentivizes is only roughly correlated with well-being, that's always a good thing to be aware of.

s an interesting alternative incentive structure, look at how people interact online. A lot of creativity is driven not for the desire for monetary profit, but for the desire for attention and respect. Post something online and hope that other people will like it and appreciate it in return.

Could you run a whole economy this way? No, at least not with our current technology level. Does it work for everything? Ditto. Is it an interesting alternative incentive structure that's arguably more close to "social maximization" than "profit maximization"? Yes. Is that a good thing? Maybe.
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This dovetails with something else I read yesterday that might be relevant:

right now legacy financial institutions(banks and institutions whose structure has been more or less static for 100-350+ years) reward "savers" who keep from spending their money with time, but the upstarts who are challenging them suggest that, while saving is necessary, the rate of rewarding said savers can be lower (and thus their personal profit higher) if they reward them for different things.  Ie by looking and rewarding how people interact(ie rewarding for being part of the system) attention and respect.  Ripple/Stellar might be one step in this direction, but it's hardly the only step possible. 

https://twitter.com/RippleStream/status/588773687706443776

It seems like you're grasping from one end of this problem, they are grasping from the other.  Whether you'll meet in the middle, it's hard to say, but it looks like the same problem.  They are grasping from a profit maximizing perspective but from a perspective that maximizes profit in a more important (to them) dimension, leaving this particular dimension to be defined by incentives that do not include profit as their origin.
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Turns in the online card game Hearthstone are usually limited to 90 seconds, so of course this guy had to set up a situation where his turn takes 40 hours to resolve. Repeating the same simple animation for the whole time. And livestream the whole thing on Twitch, responding to comments from the chat.

Why? Because he could.
The world record for the longest single turn in ;Hearthstone ;is currently being set, with 35 more hours to go.
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> The takeaway here is that being– a Nice Guy ™ is not a guy thing—it’s a people thing. Specifically, Nice Guy ™ is what happens when you get someone who is not sure how this whole “relationships” thing works exactly, who is petrified of rejection, and who doesn’t fully understand that people of the other primary gender are actually people and not some kind of complicated relationship-granting automation.

> I think for a lot of people it’s a normal developmental stage on the path of figuring out how relationships work, and there’s nothing wrong with that (you get amnesty about any relationship mistakes you make before the age of 18). The problem is when some people of any gender get stuck there.
My name is Ozy, and I was a Nice Girl ™. I had tangled, unbrushed hair that fell limply to my shoulders; my skin was a pizza crust of acne; my glasses were unflattering; I wore stained and torn clo...
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Have him in circles
1,994 people
Jarmo Puskala's profile photo
Patri Friedman's profile photo
Samuli Pahalahti's profile photo
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Antti Kautiainen's profile photo
Satu N.'s profile photo
Nuutti Kotivuori's profile photo
Jeromy Anglim's profile photo
Amy Willey's profile photo
Work
Employment
  • Machine Intelligence Research Institute
    Research Associate, 2013 - present
  • Finn Lectura
    Software Developer, 2013 - 2014
  • Machine Intelligence Research Institute
    Research Fellow, 2012 - 2013
  • Machine Intelligence Research Institute
    Research Associate, 2012 - 2012
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Currently
Helsinki
Previously
Turku, Finland
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Wrote three non-fiction books
Education
  • University of Helsinki
    Cognitive Science (BA), 2006 - 2011
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Male