I had this argument with AngryParsley (who also drives a motorcycle); he claimed, IIRC, that the motorcycle figures are inflated by drunk driving, and that for people who didn't drink and were safety-conscious, the figures were much less pessimistic.

Also, in San Francisco, if you look at death maps of motorcyclists, highway onramps are the most dangerous aspect of being a motorcylist. I expect awareness of that and extra caution on and around onramps goes a long way.

4Costanza8yI'm sure the motorcycle figures are skewed by a lot of things. Compared to the average automobile driver, motorcycle riders disproportionately tend to be young males (like Luke), and probably young males who really, really want to show off by tempting death (maybe not so much like Luke). My impression is that the Bay Area in Northern California, partly because of high population density and a lack of parking, has a lot of people who choose to ride motorcycles for relatively practical reasons, and who also log far fewer miles than the average automobile driver. With that said, there are added costs to motorcycle use. If you're going to ride responsibly, you really have to wear the full safety gear each and every time. That's not always convenient. You can't carry very much, even compared to what you can fit in a subcompact car. It rains sometimes. In my experience, motorcycles seem to need a lot of maintenance compared to the more reliable inexpensive cars. On the plus side, gasoline expenses are tiny. And a utilitarian should be happy that that your added risk of injury in the event of a crash is offset by the fact that the low mass of a motorcycle compared to a car means that you're less likely to hurt someone else. And should a rationalist care if riding a motorcycle is cool? With that said, I'd suggest that being seen riding a motorcycle tends to make you a less convincing advocate for cryonics. ETA: I note that one of the job requirements for the executive assistant position is "own a car."

The Singularity Institute is hiring an executive assistant near Berkeley

by Louie 1 min read22nd Jan 201226 comments


The Singularity Institute is hiring an executive assistant for Executive Director Luke Muehlhauser.

Right now his limiter (besides the need for some sleep and recreation) is not (1) cognitive exhaustion after a certain number of hours or (2) akrasia, but instead (3) needing to spend lots of time doing things that don't need to be him: e.g. hunting down the best product for X and buying it, shopping for food, finding names and email addresses for the top 30 researchers in field X, finding motorcycle classes and a motorcycle so he can stop paying so much for cabs when he doesn't have time for public transport, scheduling meetings with dozens of donors and collaborators, finding a good location for activity X, preparing an itinerary and buying plane tickets, and hundreds of other small things. (Some of these are 'life' things, some of these are SI things, but hours are hours.) Luke may also ask his executive assistant to handle certain tasks for other SI staffers.


  • Work directly with some of the central figures of Less Wrong, especially Luke(prog)
  • Work from home most of the time, with a somewhat self-determined schedule
  • Trial period at $15/hr for 20 hrs/week; if all goes well then get hired full-time at SI's standard starting salary of $3k/month


  • Represent our organization in a professional manner at all times
  • Manage scheduling and appointments for Luke
  • Prepare and manage correspondence professionally and accurately
  • Coordinate travel arrangements for Luke
  • Online and local shopping and transport
  • Internet research
  • Whatever else Luke needs done

Job requirements:

  • Good interpersonal skills and strong team-player attitude
  • Capable of clean, professional written communication with proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • Positive, friendly and helpful attitude
  • Ability to handle sensitive and/or confidential material and information
  • Must pay strong attention to detail
  • Professional demeanor, dedicated and reliable, conscientious
  • Computer & internet literate
  • Own a car
  • Live in or near Berkeley, CA

Bonus points if you...

  • ...have read the Core Sequences
  • ...have experience as a personal or executive assistant
  • ...have even better creative non-fiction writing skills than is required for professional correspondance
  • ...are handy with Google Scholar
  • ...know a good amount of math, statistics, computer science, or cognitive science
  • ...have some skills in graphic design / presentation design
How to apply:
Send an email to jobs@intelligence.org with the subject line "Executive Assistant Position". Include your cover letter as plain text in the email body, and attach your résumé in PDF format.