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My 11-year-old son had homework on how to be more compassionate. Rather than doing the homework he decided to donate (and tell the teacher that he was donating) $25 to the against Malaria foundation.

I wonder if the teacher knows the term "category error". A: "How would you improve your rationality?" B: "I've just sent $25 to IBM."
Lots of school is propaganda and the goal of the assignment was undoubtedly to get the children to do more to help others throughout the children's lives. So giving the money was more about directly accomplishing the ends of the assignment. If we want to be more cynical, the goal of the assignment was to signal virtue, and by giving money my son accomplished this better than if he completed the assignment the normal way.

While that's part of the goal of the assignment it likely wasn't the only goal. If he was supposed to write an essay on the topic of "how to be more compassionate" he was likely also supposed to train essay writing.

Did it work? While I would give him full credit, I can easily imagine many teachers not approving.

The teacher apparently didn't like it, and found it disrespectful. Overall, however, she is a good teacher.

Debatably. There was a scene in the movie "A beautiful mind" where Nash walks into a class and closes the windows because of noise. One of his student's protests because it was so hot and he says he needs to be able to think without noise. Another student goes to the window and asks the workers outside to not make so much noise for 45mins while they have the lesson so they can keep the windows open. as a pivotal moment in the movie it was fun, Nash replies, "sometimes there is more than one solution to any given problem". This seems like what your son has done (found another solution to the problem). So long as he understands that. He is doing well.
Your son will do well. Bloody school. Bloody homework.

Just musing on how LW has had a profound impact on my life. It was a strong influence in my deconversion from theism, it's helped me make significant medical decisions, and I'm in love with someone I met at a LessWrong meetup, as well as another person whose first interaction with me was a Bayes theorem joke.

Please relay the Bayes joke!
A rabbi, a priest and a Bayesian walk into a bar. What's the probability this is a joke?
Based on your post, it is unclear to me whether you are in love with one person or two. Outside of LW, I would assume you were in love with one person, but here on LW, I assume polyamory is at play here.
Polyamory indeed, sorry to be unclear.

Seeking help with Voronoi map generation

I'm hoping somebody here can help me create a particular map. I'd like to build a weighted Voronoi map of North America, with the weights corresponding to each urban area's population. Or, put another way, I'd like to start with http://lpetrich.org/Science/GeometryDemo/GeometryDemo_GMap.html , input the urban areas listed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_by_population , and then tweak how the map is produced so that if one metroplex has a population of 1,000,000 and another has 10,000,000, the border between them is about 90% of the way closer to the smaller city.

I'm trying to build a scifi setting to put a story in, and have certain suspicions about what such a map would look like, but would like to confirm my intuition. I'm running Fedora Linux, and don't mind compiling oddball software, I just don't know which packages I'd need to even try to generate this thing.

By any chance, anyone here already able to generate the final product with just a few mouse-clicks? :) If not, anyone have any advice on how to get started?

You can use the pyvoro library to compute weigted 2d voronoi diagrams, and the matplotlib library to display them. Here's a minimal working example with randomly generated data: http://pastebin.com/wNaYAPvN edit: It seems this library uses the radical voronoi tessellation algorithm, where "weights" represent point radii. This means if you specify a point radius greater than the distance between it and the closest point, the tessellation will not function correctly, and as a corollary, if a point's radius is smaller than half of the minimal distance between it and a neighbour, the specified weight will not affect the tessellation process. Therefore, you need a secondary algorithm that takes the point weights and mutual distances into account to produce the desired result here.
Welp, it looks like it's been longer since I tried tweaking basic code than I thought. I'm having trouble just trying to adjust the box's range to be from -124 to -71 and 25 to 53 (ie, longitude and latitude) instead of 1-10/1-10. I'm going to keep puzzling away, but anyone reading this, feel free to offer advice. :) (I have some TV to watch later with the fam, so I won't mind doing some drudge work during the shows of typing out the city-list into an array of X/Y coordinates and population/weight, to paste into the Python script in place of randomly-generated points. ... Once I figure out how to get the script to accept a fixed array instead of randomly-generated points.)
The range is specified by the box argument to the compute_2d_voronoi function, in form [[min_x, max_x], [min_y, max_y]]. Points and weights can be specified as 2d and 1d arrays, e.g., as np.array([[x1,y1], [x2, y2], [x3, y3], ..., [xn, yn]]) and np.array([w1, w2, w3, ..., wn]). Here's an example that takes specified points, and also allows you to plot point radii for debugging purposes: http://pastebin.com/h2fDLXRD
Thank you kindly for your help so far. :) I started entering the live city data, and everything was going fine. Had to tweak the weights a bit to avoid some initial problems... then I got to Washington DC, and nothing I try seems to get it to work again. http://pastebin.com/q1JhUpSp is what I've ended up with; if I comment out DC's lines, I get a plot, if I put it back in, python just errors out, no matter what I set the weight divisor to. Any thoughts?
Two things: * all other points have a negative x coordinate, and the x range passed to the tessellation algorithm is [-124, -71]. You probably forgot the minus sign for that point's x coordinate. * as mentioned above, the algorithm fails to converge because the weights are poorly scaled. For a better graphical representation, you will want to scale them to the range between one and one half of the nearest point distance, but to make it run, just increase the division constant.
I'd like to see the resulting map - at least of that doesn't interfere with your plot. Or if a variant of same.
It turns out that in order to make this Voronoi library work, I have to reduce the cities' weights so much that they make effectively no difference to the overall figure. But if you'd like a map, then after toying a bit with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MapofEmergingUSMegaregions.png and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ninenations.PNG , my un-weighted Voronoi map of North America looks a little like http://www.datapacrat.com/temp/NorAm%20Regions.jpg . Needs some further tweaking, but might be food for thought. :)

Homestuck has just joined HPMOR, Ra, Pact and TNC in the pantheon of "geek epic" stories with underwhelming endings :-(

As far as I know, only Worm and Undertale have managed to beat that curse so far.

What's TNC? Google did not help.
The Northern Caves, probably. (I like Floornight by the same author better.)
Ohh, Floornight is pretty awesome (so far). Thanks!
I liked both Worm and Pact, but was unimpressed by the endings. Both seemed similar in that the first 3/4 of the novel bring new information, the protagonist explores new options, etc., which keep it interested. The remaining 1/4 of the novels are like putting almost everyone ever mentioned in the story, plus many new monsters, in the same room, and let them fight. About as interesting as a verbal transcription of 2 hours long Doom multiplayer.
Worm has too many fight scenes, that problem is not unique to the ending :-) I can't think of any big questions that were left unresolved, though.
What was so wrong with the ending of HPMoR? rot13 please.
Cebcurpl nobhg Uneel raqvat gur jbeyq vf haerfbyirq, cebcurpl nobhg qrsrngvat qrngu vf haerfbyirq, rirelguvat nobhg Ngynagvf naq gur angher bs zntvp vf haerfbyirq. Vs gurfr jrera'g gur znva dhrfgvbaf va lbhe zvaq juvyr ernqvat UCZBE, vqx jung gb fnl. Nyfb, ab zntvpny erfrnepu unccraf.
Nyy gehr. Ba gur bgure unaq, vg jbhyq or haernyvfgvp sbe nal bs gubfr guvatf gb unir orra erfbyirq tvira gur pbafgenvagf bs gur fgbel (UWCRI'f svefg lrne ng Ubtjnegf). Vg zvtug unir orra orggre vs Ryvrmre unq znantrq gb pbaqrafr gur fgbel bs UCZBE ol, fnl, n snpgbe bs guerr be fb, naq gura pbagvahr vg shegure vagb gur shgher naq erfbyir zber bs gubfr guvatf. Ohg ol, fnl, unys jnl guebhtu UCZBE vg fubhyq unir orra cerggl pyrne gung gung jnfa'g ba gur pneqf. Gur ceboyrz jnfa'g jvgu gur raqvat ohg jvgu gur jubyr fgehpgher. (Gur zrgn-snasvp "Fvtavsvpnag Qvtvgf", jubfr riragf gnxr cynpr fbzr lrnef nsgre gubfr bs UCZBE, trgf shegure gbjneq erfbyivat gubfr guvatf. Ohg vg'f nobhg gb svavfu naq V jvyy or irel fhecevfrq vs vg cebivqrf fngvfsnpgbel erfbyhgvbaf bs gurz va gur gvzr vg'f tbg yrsg -- naq zl thrff vf gung abar bs gurz jvyy or erfbyirq orsber gur raq bs FQ.)
Znlor gur ceboyrz pbhyq or fbyirq ol pyrne pbzzhavpngvba. Jura na nhgube ernyvmrf gung fbzr cybg guernq jvyy fgnl hasvavfurq, gurl fubhyq fbzrubj vaqvpngr gung orsber gur svanyr.
Maybe stick with Rot13 throughout this discussion?
V arire tbg gur vzcerffvba gung UCZBE jnf nobhg pbzvat hc jvgu engvbanyvmngvbaf sbe gur fvyyl zntvp ehyrf WX Ebjyvat vairagrq sbe n puvyqera'f fgbel. Vg jnf nobhg cebzbgvat Lhqxbjfxl'f vqrnf nobhg engvbanyvgl naq nagv-qrnguvfz hfvat gur Uneel Cbggre jbeyq nf n pbairavrag ubbx.
V gubhtug lbh zrnag gung gurer jnf fbzrguvat abg fb tbbq jvgu gur svany pbasebagngvba.
Gung gbb.
V jnf qvfnccbvagrq jura Uneel hfrq cnegvny genafsvthengvba gb fhecevfr Ibyqrzbeg, orpnhfr ur unq nyernql qbar gung va sebag bs Ibyqrzbeg qhevat gurve gevc gb Nmxnona, fb vg fubhyqa'g unir orra fbzrguvat frperg. Vg chyyrq zr bhg bs gur fgbel.
V gubhtug gung gur zrgubq Uneel hfrq jnf fhssvpvragyl sne bhgfvqr gur obk gung ab bar jvgubhg n fhofgnagvny xabjyrqtr onfr bs obgu fpvrapr naq fpvrapr svpgvba jbhyq rire guvax bs vg be rkcrpg vg. Uneel unq hfrq cnegvny genafzhgngvba orsber, ohg arire hfvat gur zbyrphyrf sebz nve vgfrys (gung V erzrzore) be hfvat n zrgubq gung jnf jrncbavmrq va n jnl gung zhttyrf unira'g ernyyl jrncbavmrq vg orsber.
I thought Worm had a very bad ending. Vg cebzvaragyl srngherf Pbagrffn, jub vf gur jbefg punenpgre naq unezf gur fgbel fvzcyl ol rkvfgvat. Gnlybe ybfrf ure cbjref. Gur Fvzhetu fgnegf fbzr cyna naq gura gur cybg guernq vf nonaqbarq. But despite this I still consider it one of my favorite stories.

Rust, a video game, has a veil of ignorance

After you've had a character for a while, gender is imposed randomly and permanently.

While I don't play Rust, my impression is that the devs are being dicks (heh) for what looks to be ideological reasons. They say:

"Technically nothing has changed, since half the population was already living with those feelings. The only difference is that whether you feel like this is now decided by your SteamID instead of your real life gender."

They are wrong, of course, what changed was that there was no choice possible and now there is a choice (which they dangle in front of you and then deny to you).

Maybe they should offer an expensive, inconvenient way of changing gender.

Ah, a new monetization technique :-) Well, not really new. A lot of MMORGS will allow extensive plastic surgery for your character, often once for free and then for a fee. An interesting side-note is that some (typically Asian) games have gender-locked classes. There is usually some whining about it, but not that much.
I can imagine the whining, though, if there were gender choice but your account was locked to a random class.
I think the whining would be only moderate because most people will say WTF, wonder at the stupidity of the devs, and happily go play something else X-)
Such as creating new Steam accounts and buying the game repeatedly, until you get the desired outcome? Oh, maybe this was the strategy from the beginning.
Not to mention that even the most rabid proponents of "transgenderism" claim that it's prevalence is anywhere near 50%. Original thread here.
Interesting. I'm male, and tend to prefer playing female characters in RPGs, but am happy in those that don't allow a variation (always male or always female). I think I'd be put out if both genders are supported but I don't get to make the choice. Feels like game designers trying (badly) to make a statement rather than trying to make the game enjoyable. The difference between choice in the game and in real life is that I have knowledge of other things I could be doing, so I can safely opt out of the game if I don't like what's imposed on me.
It's not hard to persuade guys to play a girl character. The right argument is: Whose jiggling butt do you want to stare at for hours? X-)
The game designer explains (Not very) sorry for the clickbait, but you'll never guess who's most likely to complain about being assigned a black avatar. The designer says it's a survival game where it's difficult but important to form coalitions, and the assigned visual traits are a way of preventing anonymity for avatars-- you can't betray people and come back looking different. That's looks like an excuse-- avatars could just have permanent names or tattoos or somesuch. Still, this is a really interesting experiment, and the game is apparently good enough enough that people have been playing it for years.
I have a little sneaky worm of suspicion that it might have been an excellent PR stunt.
Fairly soon I imagine you'll get games that allow you to choose the pronouns used to address your character separate from their looks and a slider or more freeform body-sculpting ability rather than just two choices.
Do you mean the pronouns used to address your character are automatically edited to be what you want? It would be interesting if people could put up lists of the pronouns they prefer, and that would give them a tool for roughly judging how much trouble people are willing to go to to appear to be on their side. Are there any games which encourage a you/thou distinction?
Games typically will avoid pronouns and just use the character's name. It's not hard because most of the dialogue in games is addressed to the player and is not two NPCs talking about the player. In English the only reason to use thou would be some fake medievalism along the lines of Ye Olde Electronics Shoppe. But I wonder how things work in e.g. French where tu/vous distinction is alive and well.
I was thinking about chat between players.
Well, most players don't care. However in games with enough population you are likely to have role-playing guilds which will go to some trouble to role-play and yes, that involves the language used in chat (on the third tentacle there is always an OOC (out of character) chat channel where you can speak normally). Gender-wise, everyone is assumed to be a guy -- unless (a) you explicitly declare yourself a girl; (b) you are on voice comms and your voice is clearly that of a girl; (c) you're in guild chat where people know that you're a girl.
It's hard to get players to use specific speech patterns, and harder to teach them to get it right. I've worked on a game which tried to get players to use pseudo-Elizabethan prose (in a particularly ham-handed way, granted), but in practice what happened was the people who didn't care just used natural speech, and the people that did used whatever butchered old-timey dialect they thought would be appropriate for their character. Most people didn't care.
Cabinet Minister: On se tutoie? Mitterand: Si vous voulez. Actually it's dying out in French (or possibly going back to being a singular/plural distinction rather than a familiar form), I sound gloriously stuffy because I'm not very good at the tu forms and tend to call people vous even once I've been properly introduced. My French teacher said "You will never know anyone French well enough to call them tu, so there's not much point in learning that, except for the exam". That was probably true in the 1950s. In Greek and German it's even worse, the second person singular and plural are both familiar, for friends and family only. With strangers you have to say things like: "Would the gentleman care for a glass of beer", and sound like some sort of creepy servant.
I hope there are not, people would use the wrong cases and verb forms all the time.
No, but there's American English. I've been trying to introduce you and y'all in Cambridge, it's pretty cool.
Keep in mind that it's more complicated than just singular/plural. There are three forms: you, y'all, and all y'all.
there's also ya'all
I didn't know about all y'all. That's also pretty cool. Does "y'all" carry the implication "but not all y'all"?
I had thought "all y'all" arose where "y'all" had come to be used universally, even when referring to a single person, so that "all y'all" became the new plural form. But that seems to be an oversimplification. See this discussion on Language Log which I think makes it clear that singular y'all is relatively rare but by no means unknown, and suggests that "all y'all" is used in different ways in different places.
The last time I queried an authoritative source on y'all (a waitress in a Waffle House in South Carolina), she was quite sure that "you" should be used for one person, "y'all" should be used for up to 5-6 people, and if you're addressing more than that, it's "all y'all".
Well, it's second-person so I'm not sure in which situation you would choose to use y'all to mean "you guys here but not those guys over there".
That exists and has existed for a long time. In many games (usually MMORGs which have an incentive for you to get attached to your avatar) you can rather extensively body- and face-sculpt your character. There are still constraints imposed by your choice of race (not necessarily human) and sex. You are also limited to the general human body plan (two legs, two arms, no tentacles, etc.). I don't know if any mainstream game (not counting sandboxes like Second Life) ever offered a fully customizable character model. There are issues here, from practical -- each player has a unique mesh and textures, and there are many players -- to social -- your game will have giant walking penises and floating vaginas.
Well, Second Life did had giant flying penises...

I agree with the assessment of Good_Burning_Plastic and Lumifer that user vision is Eugine redivivus yet again.

Have our esteemed moderators taken a look at what accounts are upvoting all Eugine's comments (across his multiple identities)? If, as has often been suggested, Eugine is getting most of his upvotes from sockpuppets then disabling those might be somewhat effective in making it harder for each of Eugine's accounts to start mass-downvoting before getting banhammered.

Yes writing a general script that lists the amount of upvotes a user gets from various people is likely useful work. Than that script can be used for every account that we want to to ban.

I think you misunderstood their comment. They aren't raging proponents of "transgenderism" whatever you seem to think that means.

They were saying that women (50% of the population) were being forced to play as guys when they played Rust.

R.A. MacAvoy on talking with imaginary people

Is it really a tulpa if you win all the arguments?

My own Will Theranos get more than 100 FDA approvals for blood tests by the end of 2018? just got published.
You're behind the news:
It's nice timing ;) Interestingly quite a few people on Metaculus still think that there's a chance for Theranos to succeed as a company.

Sorry for mindkilling content, but I remember reading on LW long ago that the political left is supposedly morally different, because it doesn't use the "purity/disgust" moral axis.

Then I found these photos online, and I wonder whether that is the microexpression (except there seems to be nothing "micro" when these people do it) of disgust. Or am I reading the expression wrong?

My point is that if someone has this expression pretty much stuck on their face, I find it quite difficult to believe that they don't care about the "purity/... (read more)

Is the hypothesis about the political left not using the "purity/disgust" axis wrong?

It is wrong. Or, rather, the original hypothesis was about which axis dominates in political discourse and yes, purity/disgust does not dominate, but it is not completely absent either.

A clear example of the left doing the purity/disgust axis is environmentalism, opposition to GMOs, organic food, etc.

are their expressions very unrepresentative of their usual behavior?

If I take a few dozen pictures of one person talking, I can find in them most any microexpression you want including ridiculous ones. These expressions are not representative of anything.

By the way, there is Kling's three-axis model and there is Haidt's moral foundations model. They are different.

Tabloid news are a great example of this. If you take thousands of pictures of the most gorgeous and breathtaking people in the world, you can find one where they look like deranged freaks.
Yep. If you are interested in examples, look for pictures of Hillary and Trump on right- and left-wing sites respectively.
I gravely doubt that anyone has that expression permanently stuck on their face. The image you linked to was obviously created in order to show "SJWs" in a bad light, and I can't imagine that anyone wanting to do that would use typical photos rather than particularly bad-looking photos for that purpose. (The SJWiest people I know do not generally wear that sort of expression.) I'm sure you're right that treating impurity and disgustingness as moral is not confined to the political right. I suspect that the things treated as disgustingly wrong in "social justice" circles tend not to be ones that arouse feelings of disgust, as such, in most people, whereas things treated as disgustingly wrong among traditionalist social conservatives are often more widely felt to be disgusting. To put it differently: I suspect that "moral disgust" takes different forms on the left and on the right: on the left it's usually moral disapproval that has engendered disgust, and on the right it's usually disgust that has engendered moral disapproval.
This is the most salient conclusion. Photography is — among other things — the art of selectively promoting some visual evidence to the viewer's consciousness. I'm not so sure. For one thing, "the left" and "the right" are concepts far up the ladder of abstraction, whereas a lot of "moral disgust" seems to be trained System 1 responses. Here are some things that might elicit "moral disgust" responses by people with different trained responses: * A parent and five-year-old child are in a store. The child picks up a toy from a shelf and does not put it back when the parent tells him to. The parent slaps the child on the face. The child drops the toy, begins quietly crying, and then puts it back on the shelf. * A political leader holds a rally in which the symbols of his party and nation are presented alongside one another. In a speech, he denounces the opposition party as corrupted by global business elites. * Two women sit on a park bench cuddling and kissing each other. * An elderly man dies alone in a nursing-home bed. He hadn't seen his son or daughter in ten years. His death is not noticed by staff for twelve hours. * Two fifteen-year-olds have sex. They use a condom, but it breaks. The young woman goes to the neighborhood pharmacy and buys an emergency contraceptive with her own money. * A worker completes his federal tax forms and mails a check to the government. He feels proud to have completed a duty to his nation. * A family finish dinner and throw away several portions-worth of uneaten food. * In a city playground, a man is watching twin girls swing on the swings. * A religious denomination, facing declining attendance, combines three parishes into two. They sell the now-abandoned third church building to a commercial developer. The developer has the sanctuary demolished and puts up a pirate-themed sports bar with scantily-clad waitresses. (Arrr.) * Outside an open-air market in an affluent suburb, an elderly woman is sitting on the sidewalk wit
I don't think there's any contradiction. (Compare: "introvert" and "extravert" are concepts far up the ladder of abstraction, but introverts and extraverts differ largely in their System 1 responses to various sorts of situation.) (For what it's worth, reading your examples I feel strong moral disapproval about some of them but no disgust about any of them. I might consider describing some of them as "disgusting" but wouldn't mean it very literally.)
Well, there was more than just one photo; I have seen a few videos of one of them, that's why I said the expression is stuck. The photo was merely most convenient to share to illustrate the point. But of course the same argument could be applied here, that the videos were selected for displaying the person in bad light.

And the people were probably selected for being easily displayed in a bad light.

I just did a totally scientific experiment. I determined a perfectly fair and unbiased sample of leading names in social justice by (1) thinking what names come to mind when I think about "SJ" or "feminism" and (2) putting "leading advocate of social justice" into Google. I then looked for pictures of the resulting people (once again, Google is my friend).

In the resulting images, there were maybe one or two wearing something a bit like that sourly-disapproving expression, and none anywhere near as bad as in the image you linked to. Which, by the way, doesn't seem to name the people whose pictures it's showing; are they in fact prominent SJ people?

So I don't know how much is selection of people and how much is selection of photos, but I'm pretty sure that that facial expression is not in fact "The Face of Social Justice" in any useful sense.

The photos you selected look more like the "hate" microexpression from your link. Also, why is Anna Kendrick considered an SJW?

I don't think there is that implication here.

The funny thing is looking at the responsible party. Just who is responsible for releasing a game where your character could only be male and no female option was available?

Why, I think the devs are women-haters! X-)


1. Validity of altruism

Lesons from India

People self reported money and jobs as more important than health

Quite a few times we asked impoverished people what they most desired or what they thought would improve their happiness most. The most common answer we got was the desire for employment or a better job. People's happiness seemed to vary a lot depending on their job and it also came up a lot in general conversations. The second and third most common things we heard were money and food. We almost never heard about health issues or loss of family member

... (read more)
Can you give me a source for this? I've never heard of anyone renouncing their caste, and I have heard about many instances of lower-caste people lying about their caste, and I can't reconcile the two.
Beyond caste might be misleading. You can always become casteless, but that is worse than being the lowest caste.
Oh, OK. I suspected that's what Clarity meant. It's a bit misleading to call that "opting out".
Every sanyasi is beyond caste. You can ask them, it's an oral tradition more than a written tradition. People lie that they are lower caste too for affirmative action.
Well at least, your accounts are safe now.
Your first point matches what I've heard about people being very willing to work long hours to get time and a half pay.


Transference: explains the relationship that failed to take after she said I 'felt' like one of the her ex's in Hong Kong, but then I emphasize that 'I'm different', explicit.


In the southern United States before the Civil War, paternalism was a concept used to justify the legitimacy of slavery. Women would present themselves as mothers for the slaves, or protectors that provided benefits the slaves would not get on their own. Plantation mistresses would attempt to civilize their workers by providing food, shelter, and affection. These wome

... (read more)


I have been playing with the thought of instead of buying a house for a big family, maybe I should buy a small land/house for me and my potential fiancee, and seperate lands/houses for my children.

At what age would you be confident that your child could handle living alone-ish?

I plan to have a large family (this is coming from a childless person, so make of it what you will, but I am entertaining the idea of double digits...so what this means in practice, is that their number probably won't be bottlenecked by my willingness, and thus, the ... (read more)

You have no children yet, and you are planning double digits. Let's assume that means 10 children, and that there will be 2 years intervals between their births, and they will stay with you till about 20. That means it will be 40 years later when the last child flies out of the nest. Also, you might want to provide a backup solution for children who fails to become financially independent at 20. If you are going to build a big house, I would probably try making it modular -- to build it in a way that if in the future you build two or three internal walls, you will effectively split the house into two or three independent households. Each of them with its own kitchen, bathroom, etc. (With so many people, you will need multiple bathrooms anyway. So you just have to place them strategically.) So you could later split the house, keep one of the parts, and provide other parts to some of your children -- or if they are not interested, you can rent of sell them to someone else. (Also this provides you an alternative if you later decide you actually don't want so many children.)
I think this sounds like a very cool idea, but I have some questions about potential difficulties. My first thought was that this sounds expensive. Have you checked on the costs vs. your resources, admitting that both of them will be estimates? Are you planning on adopting if it looks like you're not likely to have that many biological descendants? Have you thought about how to teach your children housekeeping and home maintenance, both the facts and the habits?
Christopher Alexander's Towns Buildings Construction has a treasure trove of advice for your case. Applicable patterns that come to mind: * House for a small family * Intimacy gradient (rooms more distant from the entrance should be smaller and more intimate * Couples Realm * Connected Play and Children's Realm (the basic pattern is that all rooms/areas used by children basically (should) form a contiguous realm - simply because that's what will inevitably happen anyway. You will recognize it by the toys littering this connected area) * Sleeping to the East * Teenager's Cottage (this might be the minimum of what you might intend/do) * House a for a single Person * House for a couple * Home Workshop * Master and Apprentice * Teenagers Society * Public Outdoor Room (space between buildings should form 'outdoor rooms' with recognizable sides and 'doors/windows' instead of just gaps between buildings) * Adventure Playground See here for a list of the patterns: https://www.patternlanguage.com/apl/aplsummary.htm
Depending on where you are, the limiting factor might be not your willingness to let your children live on their own, but your legal right to do so.
mostly worth adding: it depends on the kid. My brother moved out of home at age 16 and it was an excellent choice. My sister was 21, I stayed till 24. This was also a good choice. I started learning to manage assets when I was 13. I could have started sooner. I was doing things on my own from 18. With power comes responsibility. It's a great idea to give someone their own space; so long as you are sure they are responsible enough not to wire electronics badly; or start a fire. I would suggest a certain level of adult-ness is required to not accidentally kill one's self. given that we live in the age of big metal things on wheels that you control with your fingers to take you across the country, and electron flows in our streets that can kill people in a blink. flammable gas flowing around the place too, sharp objects (and weapons available generally), the ability to play music loud enough to deafen ourselves by accident... Just to name a few. Now I have no reason to think that bright lw-kids will suffer risk to their health like that; but if they are self-raising they might not have the right guidance to get it right first time. By all means people should make mistakes; but only mistakes that don't kill, or seriously wound you in the process. Those mistakes are the good ones that we can learn from.
There are multiple stages or degrees of "living alone", and it's very difficult to satisfy all of them without a number of physical moves that you can't buy space very far in advance. a) shared room with parents b) shared room with siblings c) separate space/room, shared meal preparation and amenities d) separate house/apartment, walking distance for many shared meals and events e) separate household, rare visits f) separate household, moving through it's own phases a-e. It's hard to know when each of these phases will become appropriate to an individual, nor the individual preferences for variation in distance and specifics of house. Also, building a house is harder than you think.
Lots of kids wouldn't want to live alone even at an age at which they safely could.
I would assume that most guys who have such an idea and propose it to their wife wouldn't have the wife accept the idea.
Do you mean the age where the child wants to live alone or the age where they could handle it without too much damage? How much distance between the houses are you talking about?
Handle it without too much damage. Distance, I don't really know. When I think about living in the same city, I instinctively think about my city, which allows for getting from one point to another relatively fast. Like, less than 15 minutes. I think you can usually buy land in the same general area, so I would go as far as to say 'in really comfortable walking distance'. But how one's feelings change as the distance increases would be worth going into more.

Past surveys show that most LessWrongers are consequentialists, and many are also effective altruism advocates. What do they think of infinities in ethics?

As I've intuitively always favoured some kind of negative utilitarianism, this has caused me some confusion.

I'll come in to say yes I agree these problems are confusing, although my ethics are weird and I'm only kind if a consequentialist. (I identify as amoral, in practice what it means is I act like an egoist but give consequentialist answers to ethical questions)
What I've noticed is that this has caused me to slide towards prioritizing issues that affect me personally (meaning that I care somewhat more about climate change and less about animal rights than I have previously done).
Doesn't anthropics strongly push us to figure that the universe is infinite?
I suppose so, and that's where the problems for consequentialism arise.

Counterfactual Diaspora Question:

If Eliezer had written on OvercomingBias and gotten enough activity to create LessWrong, but the population was filled with different personalities (no So8res, no AnnaSalamon, no Yvain, etc.) do you think the diaspora would have occurred in the same way and on the same general timeframe that it has?

I' m curious about what parts of LessWrong's development you think were inevitable and why.

Ethics question:

Apple introduced http://www.techinsider.io/iphone-night-shift-blue-light-affects-your-brain-and-body-2016-4 . If Apple would have information about the sleeping habits of it's users via the Apple Watch. Would it be ethical for Apple to use that health data to inform decisions about how it doesn f.lux style color changes? Would it be ethical if it uses other information from the Care Kit for that decision without explicitely asking for it (of course the terms of condidtions that noboby reads would include information)?

Especially in the conte... (read more)

excellent questions; I doubt they are very likely to be bound ethically, it would be hard for them to be bound ethically as well. could slow down their innovation. Ideally they should be doing what is in the best interest for people. it's hard to say what that is. I don't know of any professional things being done in this area.

So I was wondering what career is best in terms of being able to accumulate wealth and having a decent quality of life. I've heard finance jobs are good.

Check out 80,000 Hours. For finances in particular see their career review for trading in quantitative hedge funds.
Good for wealth. Not so good for quality of life. Also, finance has the reputation of being pretty brutal: if things go badly for you you could find yourself out of a job and not so wealthy after all. (Also also: changes in the regulatory environment or in economic performance could have a larger impact on how lucrative finance is. It wasn't always as much a money-fountain as it has been lately.) [EDITED to fix a typo: I accidentally wrote "had" instead of "has" in the third sentence.]
That looks to be a popular meme which is not true in reality. Of course, there is the usual question of "compared to what?"
I imagine it varies a lot. For what it's worth I'm not going only off the popular meme but also off what I've heard from people in finance. Of course. The same goes for wealth, of course.
With wealth at least there is some data. There is a distribution of wealth in a given society and you can look up the quantile of any wealth value easily enough. But quality of life? To start with, it's not even a well-defined term as it is usually used as a catch-all bin for everything except money. I have no idea what a distribution of quality of life would look like.
Fair points. I think that when people complain about "quality of life" in finance they mostly mean working hours and (secondarily) stress and job security. Working hours, at least, are pretty readily quantifiable, though I don't think they're surveyed anything like as thoroughly as pay.
I don't think I myself have strong data about the issue. Do you have any empiric data?
Anecdata in the form of observations that people working in finance don't seem to lead horrible lives. Of course there is selection bias present: there are certain narrow career tracks in finance which require high-motivation full-effort workaholic overachievers. People self-select into these career tracks so it's no wonder that they work a lot of hours and don't spend much time sitting on the couch in front of a TV. I wouldn't call their quality of life "low", though, because they chose to do it and because there are side benefits like being able to fly to the Caribbean for a weekend if they feel like it. Plus finance is a large industry. If you start as a teller and grow to be, say, a bank branch manager, your worklife will probably be quite placid and uneventful.
There is no generic answer, it depends on you. Finance jobs are excellent for some people and terrible for some other people.
That isn't exactly the question that 80000 hours wants to answer but it's near. Have you taken their test?
What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? What if anything are you exceptionally good at? Do long hard working hours excite you or scare you (or something else)? What things are you ethically scrupulous about? Do you want a career in which you are (more or less) sure of accumulating amount of wealth, or one where you do so on average? (The latter might e.g. appeal to someone whose goal is "earning to give".)
I'm generally good at science and math. I can put up with long working hours for a time , but I wouldn't want that permanently. I'm generally not ethically scruipulous about much (besides obvious stuff like fraud and dishonesty).About whether I want to be sure of accumulating wealth or am willing to do so on average, I guess it would depend. If the floor of the career is still a decent amount , I be willing to take on an increased risk of making a greater amount.
Actuaries are consistently near the top in terms of job satisfaction, enjoy stable employment, and make a good amount of money (I believe low six-figure is common.). Other advantages are high income you often don't need a degree in the field as long as you can pass the rigorous licensing tests. However it does require a lot of specific knowledge and good mathematical ability.

For the purposes of completely illustrating the relative merits of this criterion based approach in comparison to the contributor guarantor model, it may be more efficacious to identify the general form of authorship problems than attempt to exhaust every conceivable existing and potential problem. This is because the contributor-guarantor model addresses all the challenges that individual criterion based guidelines are established to address – the asymmetrical standards between readers as to the interpretation of authorship assignment and order. Authorshi... (read more)


4. Karma policy

I used to have a 50% positive/negative karma target (0 net karma).

Recently a LW user (feel free to identify yourself if you want to be known and not if you don't) asked about my former karma policy. I don't currently have a karma policy.

That user suggested I make a post about it, so here it is with answers to their questions:


Thank you for your interest.

aim for 50%

Last evening I edited my wikipage (a couple of hours before you sent this) to edit out that line. It takes time for the wiki page to update. Did that edit play a role in ... (read more)

Thanks for the writeup. I predict that this isn't what is happening. I think it is either * people adjusting to you * you subconsciously adjusting to the community or both.

I don't think it's that the community got used to your mental illness posts, it's that the lack of focus and high quantity got on people's nerves. Now that you aren't doing that, you aren't getting as much negative karma.

While I'm hoping that no one posts in the future with so much lack of focus, I think that if someone does, they will get at least as much negative karma.

It's also possible that people's perception of the landscape itself changed over time as Clarity posts often and has been here a while now. That, and if any votes were from Eugene's downvote brigades, then their removal would have helped. (I'm at 85% karma and i think almost all of the negative votes were from Eugene's accounts.)
Fair points, thanks