I am Andrew Hyer, currently living in New Jersey and working in New York (in the finance industry).

Wiki Contributions


'If done intelligently' is really one hell of an 'if'.

Yes, intelligent climate change mitigation strategies would not cost very much. (On some assumptions about nuclear power, intelligent climate change mitigation strategies might have negative cost).

But the more relevant question is the cost of the climate change mitigation strategies we actually get.

How well do you think current governments do at abiding by their past commitments that large numbers of their constituents disagree with?

Probably generally not true, you're right.  Even if they are prosecuted, 'fined' or 'barred from the securities industry' are more likely.  I do think legal trouble would be at least very plausible.  I'll edit the parent comment.

(Obligatory disclosure I guess: I work in the financial industry, though not in a way related to mortgages or housing.  Anything I write here is my opinion and not that of my employer.)



Imagine a world where, as well as their regular business selling groceries, grocery stores sell tokens that entitle you to a perpetual stream of groceries.  Rather than spending $200/week on groceries, you spend...let's say (200*52/0.05)=$208,000 to buy a Grocery Token. 

Of course many people cannot afford $200k up front to buy a Grocery Token.  Happily, if you save up $40k as a down payment, banks will lend you the remaining $160k.  This is considered a normal thing to do.

Economists track Grocery Token Ownership Percentage as a key indicator of economic health.  Left-wing politicians complain that young people can't afford Grocery Tokens today because of evil corporations.  Right-wing politicians complain that young people these days aren't buying Grocery Tokens because they're lazy, or because they're spending all their money on Starbucks and avocado toast.

Yes, you could not have a token, and just buy groceries from a store.  But think of the insecurity!  You're going to need food next year, and the year after, and the year after!  Imagine if the price of food rose hugely and you starved!  Clearly the only responsible thing to do is to save up and buy a Grocery Token.



More seriously, home ownership is a very weird thing to focus on, and I don't know why so much housing discourse fixates on it.

If a financial advisor told a client 'you should invest your entire net worth in one undiversified asset', they would get fired.  If a financial advisor told a client 'you should lever yourself up to invest 5x your net worth in one undiversified asset', they would end up in jail they would plausibly end up in legal trouble.

Homeownership is a plausible hedge if you are certain that you intend to live in your current location forever, even if it gets vastly more expensive, and want to hedge your future self against that risk.  But this is not reasonably true of everyone!  If you live and work around an expensive city, you should plausibly respond to 'housing costs in this city triple while wages stay the same' by moving somewhere else.  Only if that is not an option for you is homeownership an obviously correct policy.

I had a similar gut reaction.  When I tried to run down my brain's root causes of the view, this is what it came out as:

There are two kinds of problem you can encounter in politics.  One type is where many people disagree with you on an issue.  The other type is where almost everyone agrees with you on the issue, but most people are not paying attention to it.

Protests as a strategy are valuable in the second case, but worthless or counterproductive in the first case.

If you are being knifed in an alleyway, your best strategy is to make as much noise as possible.  Your goal is to attract people to help you.  You don't really need to worry that your yelling might annoy people.  There isn't a meaningful risk that people will come by, see the situation, and then decide that they want to side with the guy knifing you.  If lots of people start looking at the situation, you win.  Your loss condition is 'no-one pays attention', not 'people pay attention but take the opposite side'.

And if you are in an isomorphic sort of political situation, where someone is doing something that basically everyone agrees is genuinely outrageous but nobody is really paying attention to, protests are a valuable strategy.  They will annoy people, but they will draw attention to this issue where you are uncontroversially right in a way that people will immediately notice.

But if you are in an argument where substantial numbers of people disagree with you, protests are a much less enticing strategy, and one that often seems to boil down to saying 'lots of people disagree with me, but I'm louder and more annoying than them, so you should listen to me'.

And 'AI development is a major danger' is very much the 'disagreement' kind of issue at the moment.  There is not broad social consensus that AI development is dangerous such that 'get lots of people to look at what Meta is doing' will lead to good outcomes.

I have no actual expertise in politics and don't actually know this to be true, but it seems to be what my subconscious thinks on this issue.

Very nearly everyone agrees that there is a meaningful difference between action and inaction?

Alice is trying to decide whether to give Bob $10.

Claire is trying to decide whether to steal $10 from Bob.

If you refuse to acknowledge a difference between action and inaction, you can claim that both of these scenarios represent 'choosing whether $10 should end up in Bob's pocket or in your own', and therefore that these two situations are the same, and therefore that Alice's obligation to give Bob $10 is exactly as strong as Claire's obligation to not steal $10 from him.

Outside of the deep end of Peter-Singer-style altruism, though, I don't think many people believe that.

[Chloe was] paid the equivalent of $75k[1] per year (only $1k/month, the rest via room and board)


So, it's not the most important thing in the post, but this sounds hella sketchy.  Are you sure these are the numbers that were given?

$75k/yr minus $1k/mo leaves $63k/year in 'room and board'.  The median household income in New York City is $70,663/yr per census.gov.  Where were they boarding her, the Ritz Carlton?

The 'whole point of libel suits' is to weaponize the expensive brokenness of the legal system to punish people for saying mean things about you.

Going forward I think anyone who works with Kat Woods, Emerson Spartz, or Drew Spartz, should sign legal employment contracts, and make sure all financial agreements are written down in emails and messages that the employee has possession of. I think all people considering employment by the above people at any non-profits they run should take salaries where money is wired to their bank accounts, and not do unpaid work or work that is compensated by ways that don’t primarily include a salary being wired to their bank accounts.


While I have no knowledge of or views on the situation above, this is just a good thing to do in general?  Like, most sentences that begin with the phrase 'my boss, whose house I live at and who I have only a handshake agreement with on pay...' are not going to end well.

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