Singularity Institute desperately needs someone who is not me who can write cognitive-science-based material. Someone smart, energetic, able to speak to popular audiences, and with an excellent command of the science. If you’ve been reading Less Wrong for the last few months, you probably just thought the same thing I did: “SIAI should hire Lukeprog!” To support Luke Muelhauser becoming a full-time Singularity Institute employee, please donate and mention Luke (e.g. “Yay for Luke!”) in the check memo or the comment field of your donation - or if you donate by a method that doesn’t allow you to leave a comment, tell Louie Helm (louie@intelligence.org) your donation was to help fund Luke.

Note that the Summer Challenge that doubles all donations will run until August 31st. (We're currently at $31,000 of $125,000.)

During his stint as a Singularity Institute Visiting Fellow, Luke has already:

As a full-time Singularity Institute employee, Luke could:

  • Author and co-author research papers and outreach papers, including
    • A chapter already accepted to Springer’s The Singularity Hypothesis volume (co-authored with Louie Helm).
    • A paper on existential risk and optimal philanthropy, co-authored with a Columbia University researcher.
  • Continue to write articles for Less Wrong on the theory and practice of rationality.
  • Write a report that summarizes unsolved problems related to Friendly AI.
  • Continue to develop his metaethics sequence, the conclusion of which will be a sort of Polymath Project for collaboratively solving open problems in metaethics relevant to FAI development.
  • Teach courses on rationality and social effectiveness, as he has been doing for the Singularity Institute’s Rationality Minicamp and Rationality Boot Camp.
  • Produce introductory materials to help bridge inferential gaps, as he did with the Singularity FAQ.
  • Raise awareness of AI risk and the uses of rationality by giving talks at universities and technology companies, as he recently did at Halcyon Molecular.

If you’d like to help us fund Luke Muehlhauser to do all that and probably more, please donate now and include the word “Luke” in the comment field.  And if you donate before August 31st, your donation will be doubled as part of the 2011 Summer Singularity Challenge.

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By check? Can you PM or email me with the name? The reason I ask is so that I can figure out how close HPMOR is to the 4-day update threshold, add it into my calculations in advance, and make sure it doesn't get double-counted when the actual check arrives. (BTW, do you want credit with my thousands of fanatic readers for bringing the threshold closer?)

I just put in a pledge of $1,000 per month.

Feels counterintuitive, but if just 50 people establish arrangements like this one, SingInst gets a reliable supply of funding on the current spending level independent of funding rallies or big-sum donors.

50 people is a lot. Certainly a large number of people here simply cannot afford that sort of commitment to any charity. There are a lot of grad students here for example, some of whom are getting less than that for their monthly salaries. In fact when I saw Rain's comment my first thought was "how the heck does Rain have that kind of money?"

my first thought was "how the heck does Rain have that kind of money?"

Low cost of living and a good job. I've always wondered the opposite, "how the heck does nobody else have any money?" I have so much left over every month, I wondered what to do with it for a long time before deciding on making a better future in the best way I know how.

How do you go about having a low cost of living? (I think I know how one goes about having a good job.) My best attempts at being a total cheapskate still have me spending my whole 8000 SEK monthly income. Okay, sure, I eat at cafeterias rather than packing lunch, and I buy fresh vegetables rather than eat lentils everyday, but you're a freaking fashion plate!

I don't know if you'll be able to translate to SEK, but here's my canadian dollar budget:

3000/month income after tax
-100/month food
-400/month housing
-300/month personal spending

The rest (2200) is for savings and SI (not that I've organized a monthly $1k yet or anything).

$100 for food: people are consistently amazed at this one. Oatmeal + milk + granola for breakfast. Eggs + english muffins + cheese + mayonaise + celery + peanut butter + carrots + leftovers for lunch. Cheap meat and veggies and rice and such for dinner. I shop at the local grocer for meat and veggies, and Real Canadian Superstore for everything else.

The trick is to be strict about it. Put your money in a box at the begin of the month, eat fucking beans and rice for a week if you blow the budget. You learn quick this way. Only problem is cooking. Eats up like 4 hours a week.

$400 for housing: live with roommates, and rent.

$300/mo personal: that's actually a lot of money, but you do have to be careful, you can't be buying a new jacket every month, or you won't be able to buy anything else. Again, strict budgeting.

I hope this helps people become more effective altruists!

Only problem is cooking. Eats up like 4 hours a week.

This article by Roger Ebert on cooking is, I suspect, highly relevant to your interests. Mine too, as a matter of fact.

I think the largest component of it is spending all of my free time online rather than going out for adventures. Such excursions often end up costing quite a bit, and so long as my interests are occupied by free internet, I don't get any urge to buy "stuff". Also, my taxes are lower due to the large amount of my donations.

I allow myself to splurge when my money builds up, typically on Projects that keep me deeply interested in a whole new facet of society or personal development for some time, but with a budget typically limited to $3000 or less.

It also depends, among other things, on where you live and whether you have children.

I rent a small room in a shitty neighborhood (3200 SEK a month) and have no kids. Stockholm is kinda expensive to live in but I expect the education and subsequent job opportunities to make up for it.

[Looks up SEK exchange rate] Well, 8000 SEK doesn't sound like that much, after all.

For comparison, Julia Wise and Jeff Kaufman spend $22K/year (i.e. 12000 SEK/month, 6000 each), and I guess it's cheaper to be a couple than two single individuals. (FWIW, I spend about as much as each of them, but I live in Italy -- it would have been very hard for me to live on that little in Ireland.)

50 people is still an idea that fits into human imagination and feels usual, unlike a sum of $600,000 or a single donation of $200,000.

Lots of people in the US/UK make several thousand a month, and anything on the order of 10% of income is usually expendable. Of course, depending on income, lower pledge works out proportionally.

Do you want credit with HPMOR's grateful readers, and if so should it be under Rain or your true name?

Hiring Luke full time would be an excellent choice for the SIAI. I spent time with Luke at mini-camp and can provide some insight.

  • Luke is an excellent communicator and agent for the efficient transmission of ideas. More importantly, he has the ability to teach these skills to others. Luke has shown this skill publicly on Less Wrong and also on his blog, with this distilled analysis of Eliezer's writing "Reading Yudkowsky."

  • Luke is a genuine modern day renaissance man, a true polymath. However, Luke is very self-aware of his limitations and has devoted significant work to finding ways of removing or mitigating those limitations. For example any person with a broad range of academic interests could fall prey to never acquiring useful skills in any of those interest areas. Luke sees this as a serious problem of concern and wants to maximize the efficiency of searching the academic space of ideas. Again, for Luke this is a teachable skill. His session "Productivity and Scholarship" at minicamp outlined techniques for efficient research and reducing akrasia. None of that material would be particularly surprising for a regular reader of Less Wrong -- because Luke pioneered critical posts on these subjects. Luke's suggestions were all implementable and process focused, such as utilizing review articles and Wikipedia to rapidly familiarize one's self broadly with the jargon of a new discipline before doing deep research.

  • Luke is an excellent listener and has a high degree of effectiveness in human interaction. This manifests itself as someone you enjoy speaking to, who seems interested in your views, and then who is able to tell you why you are wrong in a way that makes you feel smarter. (Compare with Eliezer, who will simply turn away when you are wrong. This is fine for Eliezer, but not ideal for SIAI as an organization.) Again, Luke understands how to teach this skill set. It seems likely that Luke would raise the social effectiveness of SIAI as an organization and then also generate positive affectations toward the organization in his dealings with others.

Luke would have a positive influence on the culture of the SIAI, the research of the SIAI, and the public face of the SIAI. Any organization would love to find someone who excels in any one of those dimensions, much less someone who excels in all of them.

Mini-camp was an exhausting challenge to all of the instructors. Luke never once showed that exhaustion, let it dampen his enthusiasm, or let his annoyance be shown (except, perhaps, as a tactical tool to move along a stalled or irrelevant conversation). In many ways he presented the best face of "mini-camp as a consumable product." That trait (we could call it customer focus or product awareness) is a critical skill the SIAI is lacking.

An example of how Luke has changed me. I was only vaguely aware of the concepts of efficient learning and study. Of course, I know about study habits and putting in time at practice in a certain sense. These usually emphasize practice and time investment (which is important) but underemphasize the value of finding the right things to spend time on.

It was only when I read Luke's posts, spoke to him, and participated in his sessions at mini-camp that I received a language for thinking about and conducting introspection on the subject of efficient learning. Specifically, I've applied his standards and process to my study of guitar and classical music and I now feel I've effectively solved the question of where to spend my time and am solely in the realm of doing the actual practice, composition, and research. I've advanced more in the past few months of music study than I have ever done in the prior year and a half I played guitar.

In the past month I have actively applied his skill of skimming review material (review books on classical composers) and then used wikipedia to rapidly drill down on confusing component subjects. In the past month, I have actively applied his skill of thinking vicariously about someone else's victory that represents goals I have to make a hard road seem less like a barrier and more like a negotiable terrain. In the past month, I have applied his skill of considering the merits of multiple competing areas of interest, determined the one with the most impact, and pursued it (knowing I could later scoop up the missing pieces more quickly).

I did all of that with the awareness that Luke was the source of the skills and language that let me do those things.

I am more awesome because of Luke.

Luke has shown this skill publicly on Less Wrong and also on his blog, with this distilled analysis of Eliezer's writing "Reading Yudkowsky."

Do you have links handy? :)

I just donated an additional $2000. Yay for Luke!

So, no plans for providing any substantiation of the mini-camp's purported success? (Some want to know.) Or of people who have increased their level of life success as a result of the winning at life guides?

Among the ultimate criteria for the minicamps is their impact on long-term life success. To assess this, both minicamp participants and a control group completed a long, anonymous survey containing many indicators of life success (income, self-reported happiness and anxiety levels, many questions about degree of social connectedness and satisfaction with relationships, etc.); we plan to give it again to both groups a year after mini-camp, to see whether minicampers improved more than controls. I’m eager to see and update from those results, but we’re only a couple months into the year’s waiting period. (The reason we decided ahead of time to wait a year is that minicamp aimed to give participants tools for personal change; and, for example, it takes time for improved social skills, strategicness, and career plans to translate into income.)

Meanwhile, we’re working with self-report measures because they are what we have. But they are more positive than I anticipated, and that can’t be a bad sign. I was also positively surprised by the number of rationality, productivity, and social effectiveness habits that participants reported using regularly, in response to my email asking, two months out. To quote a significant fraction of the numerical data from the exit survey (from the last day of minicamp), for those who haven’t seen participants’ ratings:

  • In answer to “Zero to ten, are you glad you came?”, the median answer was 10 (mean was 9.3).
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, will your life go significantly differently because you came to mini-camp?” the median answer was 7.5 (the mean was 6.9). [This was the response that was most positively surprising to me.]
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, has your epistemic rationality improved?”, the median answer was 7 (mean 6.9)
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, are you more motivated to learn epistemic rationality, than you were when you came?”, the median answer was 8.5 (mean 8.1)
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, have you become more skilled at modifying your emotions and dispositions?”, the median answer was 7 (mean 6.3).
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, are you more motivated to modify your emotions and dispositions, than you were when you came?”, the median answer was 9 (mean 8.3).
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, are you more motivated to gain social skills than you were when you came?”, the median answer was 8 (mean 7.7).
  • In answer to “Zero to ten, have you gained social skills since coming?”, the median answer was 7.5 (mean 7.2).
  • In answer to “zero to ten, did you like Luke’s sessions?”, the median answer was 9 (mean answer 8.7).

Some excerpts from the survey, about about Luke’s sessions in particular:

  • “Luke is an excellent presenter. These sessions exceeded my expectations: I am convinced I have under-valued social interaction and techniques and that I can accelerate my success curve by aggressively adopting them. ”
  • “I really liked Luke's sessions. They were fun and interactive and well put together. There is an effect of being a bit more personally interested in the material.”
  • “Very useful content. Great presentation of it. Very good at handling the practical camp-issues and also useful fashion tips.”
  • “Luke’s sessions were concise, and well structured. Good PPT templates!”
  • “The social effectiveness and fashion sessions were very useful for me. ”
  • “Some parts of some sessions i felt went too slowly... but mostly extremely valuable information. wish we could have more social skills sessions - i would take another camp just for these super low-hanging fruit.”
  • “Luke gave concrete examples and advice. It was very helpful.”
  • “Luke was great as a session leader. His sessions were very clearly, cleanly organized, and discussions in his sessions were handled very well. Luke has, by far, the presence to lead a discussion among 16 people. :)”
  • “Luke was great. His sessions hit the relevant points in an effective manner.”
  • “Luke was very helpful and knowledgeable. The pace of his sessions was really good, and there was a lot of room for discussion. Luke also gave some helpful and specific fashion advice. ”
  • “Pretty much everything with Luke was phenomenal... Luke really made this whole camp worthwhile. I know this is more praise than constructive feedback, but I legitimately can't think of anything!”

I worked on mini-camp with Luke, and I can honestly say that it’s only because of Luke that we were able to hold minicamp at all, and also that he was a phenomenal work partner in organizing the camp, getting all the logistics together, and generally making it a positive and, for many, life-changing experience.

More generally: In minicamp and other SingInst projects, Luke combines energy, reliable ability to carry projects to completion, and strategicness as to which projects make sense and which aspects of those projects are most worth the extra effort; if you’re looking to reduce existential risk, making it possible for SingInst to stably hire Luke seems to me to offer unusually good bang for your buck.

both minicamp participants and a control group

How was the control group selected? Did you select a pool of candidates larger than you could accept then randomly take a subset of these as a control? If not then calling it a 'control group' is borderline at best.

The prior expectation of the influence of one week of training on personal success over a year is far lower than that of various personal and environmental qualities in the individual. This being the case it is more reasonable to attribute differences in progress between the groups to the higher potential for growth in the chosen minicampers. This primarily reflects well on the ability of the Singinst rationality trainers to identify indicators of future success - a rather important skill in its own right!

A good point. The control group was of folks who made it through the initial screening but not the final screening, so, yes, there are differences. We explicitly discussed the possibility of randomizing admissions, but, for our first go, elected to admit the 25 people we most wanted, and to try randomizing some future events if the first worked well enough to warrant follow-ups (which it did). It is a bit of a hit to the data-gathering, but it wasn't growth potential as such that we were selecting for -- for example, younger applicants were less likely to have cool accomplishments and therefore less likely to get in, although they probably have more growth potential -- so there should still be evidence in the results.

Also, we marked down which not-admitted applicants were closest to the cut-off line (there were a number of close calls; I really wished we had more than 25 spaces), so we can gain a bit of data by seeing if they were similar to the minicamp group or to the rest of the controls.

I have a real hard time deciding how seriously I should take this survey.

The halo effect for doing anything around awesome people like are found in a selected group of Lesswrongians is probably pretty strong. I fear at least some of the participants may have mixed up being with awesome people with becoming awesome. Don't get me wrong being with awesome people in of itself will work ... for a while, until you leave that group.

I'm not that sceptical of the claims, but from the outside its hard to tell the difference between this scenario and the rationality camps working as intended.

You're right to suspect that this could have happened. That said: I was a mini-camp participant, and I actually became more awesome as a result. Since mini-camp, I've:

  • used Fermi calculations (something we practiced) to decide to graduate from school early.
  • started making more money than I had before.
  • started negotiating for things, which saved me over $1000 this summer.
  • begun the incredibly fucking useful practice of rejection therapy, which multiplied my confidence and caused the above two points.
  • rapidly improved my social abilities, including the easily measurable 'success with women' factor. This was mostly caused by a session about physical contact by Will Ryan, and from two major improvements in wardrobe caused by the great and eminent lukeprog (in whose name I just donated). I wasn't bad at social stuff before - this was a step from good to great.
  • resolved my feelings about a bad relationship, mostly as a result of boosted confidence from increased social success.

I stuck around in California for the summer, and gained a lot from long conversations with other SIAI-related people. The vigor and insight of the community was a major factor in showing me how much more was possible and helping me stick to plans I initiated.

But, that said - the points listed above appear to be a direct result of the specific things I learned at mini-camp.

I suspect that it's precisely because of concerns like these that they didn't present these numbers until now. It's hard to see what other evidence they could have for the efficacy of the "minicamp" at this stage.

(Edited to replace "bootcamp" with "minicamp" as per wedrified's correction)

Don't get me wrong being with awesome people in of itself will work ... for a while, until you leave that group.

I'm not that sceptical of the claims, but from the outside its hard to tell the difference between this scenario and the rationality camps working as intended.

Indeed. SIAI is conducting a year-later follow up which should provide the information needed to differentiate. Answering that question now is probably not possible to the degree of certainty required.

Answering that question now is probably not possible to the degree of certainty required.

That's exactly the complaint though -- many people have described it as a success, before the data is available.

Yes; what I meant by "success" was more like a successful party or conference; Luke pulled off an event that nearly all the attendees were extremely glad they came to, gave presentations that held interest and influenced behavior for at least the upcoming weeks, etc. It was successful enough that, when combined with Luke's other accomplishments, I know we want Luke, for his project-completion, social effectiveness, strategicness, fast learning curves, and ability to fit all these qualities into SingInst in a manner that boosts our overall effectiveness. I don't mean "Minicamp definitely successfully created new uber-rationalists"; that would be a weird call from this data, given priors.

Sure, but Konkvistador's post is about how the survey might be contaminated by awesome-people-halo-effect, not that we shouldn't be calling it a success. That's a separate concern addressed elsewhere. My post was addressing how we would tell the difference between "working" and "near awesome people".

Since you're using self-reporting anyway, it would have been good if you had a 'how invested do you feel in minicamp's success?' question. Of course I say that having seen the results already.

SilasBarta,

We collected lots of data before and during minicamp. We are waiting for some time to pass before collecting followup data, because it takes time for people's lives to change, if they're going to change. Minicamp was only a couple months ago.

Minicampers are generally still in contact, and indeed we are still gathering data. For example, several minicampers sent me before and after photos concerning their fashion (which was part of the social effectiveness section of the minicamp) and I'm going to show them to people on the street and ask them to choose which look they prefer (without indicating which is 'before' and which one is 'after').

So yes: by all qualitative measures, minicamp seems to have been a success. The early quantitative measures have been taken, but before-and-after results will have to wait a while.

As for future rationality training, we are taking the data gathered from minicamp and boot camp and also from some market research we did and trying to build a solid curriculum. To my knowledge, four people are seriously working on this project, and Eliezer is one of them.

Cheers,

Luke

So it's early enough to call it an unqualified success, but too soon for evidence to exist that it was was a success? If I have to be patient for the evidence to come back, shouldn't you be a little more patient about judging it a success?

Edit: I gave a list of information you could post. The fashion part isn't suprising enough to count as strong evidence, and was a relatively small part of the course that, in any case, you previously claimed could be accomplished by looking at a few fashion magazines.

I mean 'evidence' in the Bayesian sense, not the scientific sense. I have significant Bayesian evidence that minicamp was a success on several measures, but I can't know more until we collect more data.

Thanks for providing a list of information we could post. One reason for not posting more information is that doing so requires lots of staff hours, and we don't have enough of those available. We're also trying to, for example, develop a rationality curriculum and write a document of open problems in FAI theory.

If you're anxious to learn more about the rationality camps before SI has time to publish about that data, you're welcome to contact the people who attended; many of them have identified themselves on Less Wrong.

I'm fairly confident that campers got more out of my fashion sessions than what they can learn only from looking at a few fashion magazines.

Cheers,

Luke

This comes off very strongly as the typical bureaucratic protectiveness - a business doesn't want to share raw data, because raw data is a valuable resource. If you came out and said this was the reason, I'd be more understanding, but it would still feel like a major violation of community norms to be so secretive.

If simple secrecy is indeed the case, I would urge you, please, be honest about this motive and say so explicitly! At least then we are having an honest discussion, and the rest of this comment can be disregarded.

We collected lots of data before and during minicamp

In short, what is the reason you can't share this RAW data, which you state you collected, and which you've presumably found sufficient for your own preliminary conclusions? I don't think Silas is asking for or expecting an elegant power-point presentation or a concise statistical analysis - I know I would personally love to simply see raw data.

Is there truly not a single spreadsheet or writeup that you could drop up for us to study while you collect the rest of the data?

Good grief, people. There are conspiracies that need ferreting out, but they do not revolve around generating fake data about the effectiveness of an alpha version of a rationality training camp that was offered for free to a grateful public.

I went to the minicamp, I had a great time, I learned a lot, and I saw shedloads of anecdotal evidence that the teachers are striving to become as effective as possible. I'm sure they will publish their data if and when they have something to say.

Meanwhile, consider re-directing your laudable passion for transparency toward a publicly traded company or a medium-sized city or a research university. Fighting conspiracies is an inherently high-risk activity, both because you might be wrong about the conspiracies' existence, and because even if the conspiracy exists, you might be defeated by its shadowy and awful powers. Try to make sure the risks you run are justified by an even bigger payoff at the end of the tunnel.

There are conspiracies that need ferreting out, but they do not revolve around generating fake data about the effectiveness of an alpha version of a rationality training camp that was offered for free to a grateful public.

I don't think anybody is accusing the minicamp folks of anything of the kind. But public criticism and analysis of conclusions is the only reliable way to defend against overconfidence and wishful thinking.

When I ended my term as an SIAI Visiting Fellow, I too felt like the experience would really change my life. In reality, most of the effects faded away within some months, though a number of factors combined to permanently increase my average long-term happiness level.

Back then the rationality exercises were still being worked out and Luke wasn't around, so it's very plausible that the minicamp is a lot more effective than the Visiting Fellow program was for me. But the prior for any given self-help program having a permanent effect is small, even if participants give glowing self-reports at first, so deep skepticism is warranted. No conspiracies are necessary, just standard wishful thinking biases.

Though I think this was the third time that Silas raised the question before finally getting a reply, despite his comment being highly upvoted each time. If some people are harboring suspicions of SIAI covering up information, well, I can't really say I'd blame them after that.

For the record, I for one don't recall reading any of SilasBarta's earlier comments on this topic.

It seems rather unlikely to me that being a mini-camp participant would have more of an effect on someone's life than being a Visiting Fellow, new techniques or not-- and if I am wrong, I would very much want to encounter these new techniques!

I wouldn't be that surprised. Explicit rationality exercises were only starting to be developed during the last month of my stay, and at that point they mostly fell into the category of "entertaining, but probably not hugely useful". The main rationality boost came from being around others with a strong commitment to rationality, but as situationist psychology would have it, the effect faded once I was out of that environment.

The positive endorphin rush from you and lukeprog sends signals that loook just like the enthusiastic gushing I see from any week-long "how to fix your life in five easy steps!" seminar. Smart people get caught up in biased thinking all the time. I had a good friend quit AI research to sell a self-help book, so I may be particularly sensitive to this :)

Objective data means I can upgrade this from "oh bunnies, another self-help meme" to "oooh, fascinating and awesome thing that I want to steal for myself." As long as it signals like a self-help meme, I'm going to shoot it down just like I'd shoot down any similar meme that tried to sell itself here on LessWrong.

All right, but there's a fine line between shooting down self-help memes and unnecessarily discouraging project-builders from getting excited about their work. It's not fun or helpful for a pioneer to have his or her every first step be met with boundless skepticism. Your concerns sound real enough to me, but even an honest concern can be rude, and even a rationalist can validly trade off a tiny little bit of honesty for a whole lot of politeness and sympathy.

Why do I say "a tiny little bit of honesty?" Well, if the minicamp were being billed as "finished," "polished," "complete," "famous," "proven," or "demonstrably successful," as many self-help programs are, then it would make sense to demand data supporting those claims.

Instead, the PR blurb says that "Starting on May 28th, the Singularity Institute ran a one-week Rationality Training Camp. Our exit survey shows that the camp was a smashing success, surpassing the expectations of the organizers and the participants."

Leaving aside the colorful language that can and should characterize most press releases, this is a pretty weak claim: the camp beat expectations. Do you really need to see data to back that up?

this is a pretty weak claim: the camp beat expectations

"Please give us money" and "Co-organized and taught sessions for a highly successful one-week Rationality Minicamp" are stronger claims.

For me, this isn't about making SIAI transparent; it does quite enough in that regard. It's about stopping an information cascade genie that's already out of the bottle.

Let me put it this way: right now the ratio of "relying on the assumption of mini-camp's success for decision making" to "available evidence for its success" is about 20-to-1. As I warned before, it's quickly becoming something "everyone knows" despite the lack of evidence (and major suspicions of many people that it wouldn't succeed going in). And that believe will keep feeding on itself unless someone traces it back to its original evidence.

It doesn't reassure me that I'm told I have to keep waiting before anything's conclusive, yet they can declare it a success now.

I just want the reliable evidence they claim to have, rather than just dime-a-dozen self-help testimonials. They collected hard data, and I gave them a list of things they could provide that are easy to gather and don't compromise privacy, and are much more likely to be present if the success were real than if it were not. Even after AnnaSalamon's circling of the wagons I don't see that.

Oh, sure. The reason is easy to communicate. We explicitly told minicampers that their feedback on the exit survey would be private and anonymous, for maximal incentive to be direct and honest. We are not going to violate that agreement. The testimonials were given via a separate form with permission granted to publish THAT data publically.

Oh, sure. The reason is easy to communicate. We explicitly told minicampers that their feedback on the exit survey would be private and anonymous, for maximal incentive to be direct and honest.

I'm unclear, then, why you are citing a lack of staff hours if the data cannot be published at all.

The testimonials were given via a separate form with permission granted to publish THAT data publically.

Has the raw testimonial data been published?

I'm assuming you have data beyond exit surveys and testimonials...?

A summary of the data can be published, for example median scores for measured values. But the data can't be published in raw form.

Not sure if raw testimonial data has been published yet. We do have data beyond testimonials and exit surveys, but that, too, requires precious staff hours to compile and write up, and it is still in the process of being collected.

Typing this stuff from a phone, pardon the brevity...

I mean 'evidence' in the Bayesian sense, not the scientific sense.

Great, so did I! Now communicate that evidence. If it can't be communicated, I don't think you should be so confident in it.

One reason for not posting more information is that doing so requires lots of staff hours

I find that hard to believe. It may take time for the participants to report back, but not for you to tabulate the results.

We're also trying to, for example, develop a rationality curriculum and write a document of open problems in FAI theory.

I'm sorry, but this just sounds like excuse-making. Do you want your audience to be people who just take your word on something like this? I've asked several times for some very simple checks. This claim that you're too busy just doesn't fly.

I'm fairly confident that campers got more out of my fashion sessions than what they can learn only from looking at a few fashion magazines.

Then why don't you mention this in your "how to be happy" post, which is also being used as evidence of your productivity? Do you know a single person who has improved fashion to an acceptable level as a result of those magazines?

Cheers,

Luke

Not necessary.