anholt's Posts

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Instrumental rationality/self help resources fixed what I was doing with personal finance. In particular, not saving for retirement consistent with what my goals are on reflection. The best part is that what he tells you to do for investing is really easy and involves almost no choice, which meant I got started immediately while reading more about other life changes. He also drills into you that the naive cost/benefit calculation for outsourcing small home repairs done by a lot of us geeks misses less obvious costs of outsourcing and under-counts the benefit of learning skills, which was a big update for me.

Progress on automated mathematical theorem proving?

Muchnick's book is excellent, and we wrote the open source GLSL compiler using it. I wish it was a little more opinionated on how to do things right and avoid wasting your time (Go SSA! Right away! Even if you feel your problem space is special and SSA might not help you!) as opposed to just reporting on all the variations that exist in the wild, but it's hard to fault it for that when I wish software theory was more grounded in reality in general.

And, yeah, I'm proud to say I still don't know how to write a lexer or parser. I've got flex/bison for that.

Akrasia hack survey

This poll needed the "I don't think I need this" option. Exercise (rock climbing currently) is so much fun I don't remember what not doing it is like.

Giving What We Can, 80,000 Hours, and Meta-Charity

Excellent. That sounds pretty reasonable, and that's pretty impressive leveraging given those assumptions.

Giving What We Can, 80,000 Hours, and Meta-Charity

I recently sent in my membership for GWWC, and just got confirmation for the larger of my two donations for the year, and this article got me thinking:

The membership form asked me (iirc) what I expected to be donating before learning about GWWC and what I expect after joining GWWC. I filled in the "before" field based on historical behavior (~2% of income). But I think that was a wrong answer on my part -- the main thing that GWWC changed for me was the idea of 10% of income as the focal point. But since I decided to join a year ago, I've encountered the 10% idea elsewhere, in only slightly less persuasive ways, so I probably would have committed to 10% pretty soon anyway. We may be overcounting the impact of GWWC because people whose donation patterns would have gone up over time anyway are not accounting for that (unless you already do in your analysis).

Advice On Getting A Software Job

I'm an open source driver developer, and I've been involved in the hiring process for our driver team. From my experience in hiring: Participating in any open source project you're interested in is the best way to recommend yourself as a candidate. We get to totally skip the resume[1] and the write-some-code-on-the-whiteboard BS, because we've already googled you and looked through the actual patches you've made and how you interacted with other developers on the projects you've tried to work with. The interview process then becomes "let me tell you about our group and what it's like and some things we might be interested in you working on."

[1] (actually, a bachelor's degree in something is required. CS does not score bonus points)

Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

I've been bike-only for 10 years, with the option to borrow a car from family a 20 minute bike ride away. I signed up for zipcar a year ago after I really wanted a car for something and the family spare wasn't available.

In the year since then, I've looked into using the zipcar for things probably 5-10 times, and rejected it every time. I'm faced with a choice like: do I walk 10 minutes to the car, then borrow it for an hour for $10, then walk 10 minutes back, or just do the errand on a bike? Or, do I borrow the zipcar for a few hours (where the walking time doesn't matter as much), but it's $30? Nah, I'll do things some other way.

Meetup : Portland Meetup?

First Portland meetup, and I'm out of town for the weekend. Hope it becomes a recurring event.