Albert Einstein worked in a patent office. In 1905 he published 4 groundbreaking papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity and mass-energy equivalence. That year he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich.
Pretty soon he no longer had to work in a patent office. This freed him up to work on Einstein solids, the adiabatic principle, Bose–Einstein statistics, zero-point energy, stimulated emission, de Broglie waves, Einstein–Rose... (Read more)
[I recently made a post in the OT about this, but I figured it might be good as a top-level post for add'l attention.]
After writing Planning 101, I realized that there was no automated tool online for Murphyjitsu, the CFAR technique of problem-proofing plans. (I explain Murphyjitsu in more detail about halfway down the Planning 101 post.)
I was also trying to learn some web-dev at the same time, so I decided to code up this little tool, Plan-Bot, that walks you through a series of planning prompts and displays your answers to the questions.
In short, you type in what you want to do, it ask... (Read more)
In the course of making plans, Murphyjitsu is the practice of strengthening plans by repeatedly envisioning and defending against failure modes until you would be shocked to see it fail. Here’s the basic setup of Murphyjitsu:
1. Make a plan.
2. Imagine that you’ve passed the deadline and find out that the plan failed.
3. If you’re shocked in this scenario, you’re done.
4. Otherwise, simulate the most likely failure mode, defend against it, and repeat.
-alkjash, Hammertime Day 10: Murphyjitsu
Copying over Anders Sandberg's Twitter summary of the paper:
... (Read more)
There is life on Earth but this is not evidence for life being common in the universe! This is since observing life requires living observers. Even if life is very rare, the observers will all see they are on planets with life. Observation selection effects need to be handled!
Observer selection effects are annoying can produce apparently paradoxical effects such that your friends on average have more friends than you or that our existence "prevents" recent giant meteor impacts. But one can control for them with some ingenuity!
I cook my own meals because restaurant food is expensive. But there are many activities I would prefer to cheap versions independent of price.
|I Like||I Don't Like|
|Linux, LineageOS||Windows, Mac, iPhone|
|i3, CLI||GUI, IDE, desktop metaphor|
From the perspective of someone with unusually high intelligence, activities involving skill tend to be cheap because our civilization has adequate material capital, The limiting factor of our ind... (Read more)
This post appeared first on the EA Coaching blog.
Some life paths are well mapped out. If you want to be a doctor, there is a straightforward path through undergrad, med school, and residency (at least in the US). These goals may require a lot of work, but it’s relatively easy to figure out what your next step is.
However, many cause areas that effective altruists focus on don’t have clear paths to success. You need to figure out what to do for yourself if you’re doing global priorities research, or working on pandemic preparedness, or founding a new charity. Similarly, if you don’t yet kn... (Read more)
Epistemic Status: Personal anecdote with reasonable sounding theory.
I love to read. There is no activity I like more than it, or one I want to do as often. I’ve been blessed with an intensely vivid imagination, and twenty minutes spent reading a well-written short story can elevate my mood through the whole rest of a day. For that reason, you would think I would try to make sure my reading was as high-quality as possible.
At the beginning of 2020 I set out to find out just how much of my reading was high-quality. I started a spreadsheet to make a record of everything I read during t... (Read more)