Aharon

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2017 LessWrong Survey

Thanks for your work in creating the survey, and for LesserWrong. I shared the link to the survey in our meet-up group, and hope many people will contribute.

Twenty basic rules for intelligent money management

I agree, and I think we can already observe the consequences: For example, since exchange traded funds have become more popular, their number increased from 276 to 3.906, and not all of them are passively managed any more. I don't know about the situation in the US, but in Germany, one of the largest direct banks incentivizes buying ETFs that are indexing risky underlying things (for example, one ETF follows the development of pension-funds in emerging markets). It does so by having lower trading costs for incentivized funds.

I think on a private level, one can still find index funds that are actually useful. On a global level, there are some worries that ETFs might contribute to a potential future crisis.

Open thread, Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015

Yes, that's correct. This is why I stated market knowledge is neccessary - if you decide to buy a plan where this kind of energy is supported, you don't reach your goal of heightening the production of renewable energy. The first paragraph was intended as an intro that shows the pit falls. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

Open thread, Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015

You can do so, but it takes market knowledge to find such a plan. There are several plans that offer 100% renewable energy, usually certified in some way (example: http://www.tuev-nord.de/cps/rde/xbcr/SID-7251F8DB-F18E650D/tng_de/kriterienkatalog-oekostrom.pdf). The certified electricity is usually from hydroelectric power plants which are already 100% depreciated and don't get any surplus from the renewable energy levy.

However, there are some plans (for example http://www.gruenerstromlabel.de/english/) that come at a higher price, but also pay for installing new renewable power.

To answer the OP question: I'm not an EA-specialist, but I think that depends on your goals. If you agree with the version of utilitarianism that most EAs hold, buying the cheapest mix and donating the difference to GiveWell is best. If the goal of promoting renewable energy in your country is of similar importance as improving living conditions in developing countries, you should find out if in your country, solutions which actually cause investment in green energy exist and then buy those (the most effective solution would probably be to buy 100% renewable energy from depreciated hydroelectric plants and directly invest the difference in cost to higher-quality labels in green energy projects, but I assume this option isn't available to you).

2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Done. Skipped the digit ration questions to not put off answering the rest.

Examples of Rationality Techniques adopted by the Masses

I do not think that this is true for the majority of players.

Will Darkcoin Have Thiel's Last Mover Advantage

I probably should have emphasized the "partly". Of course, other factors also played a role in its demise, but they did try to gain footing in other European countries rather late.

Concerning Xing: Yes, you're right, this went very differently. It would be interesting to compare the LinkedIn/Xing and Facebook/StudiVZ situations to find out the differences and commonalities, but to do so in detail is beyond the scope of a comment, I think.

Will Darkcoin Have Thiel's Last Mover Advantage

Case in point: before Facebook became large in Germany, there was a carbon copy called StudiVZ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StudiVZ). It lost out partly because it came chronologically after Facebook - it wasn't able to map connections to people outside of Germany well, which Facebook could.

Stupid Questions Thread - January 2014

I first wanted to comment on 5, because I had previously read that having children reduces happiness. Interestingly, when searching a link (because I couldn't remember where I had read it), I found this source (http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2012-013.pdf) that corrobates your specific expectation: children lead to higher happiness for older, better educated parents.

2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

I'm a European, and the thought that geographical Europe might be meant didn't even occur to me,since in most of my daily interactions (media consumed, small talk, etc.), "Europe" is used interchangeably with "European Union". Teaches me to read such survey questions more thoroughly.

I want to congratulate you on how well you integrated the many suggestions you got, I see many improvements compared to the 2012 (for example, the introductory text convinced me to take the survey right away, when I was one of those who put it off last year).

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