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It's a style guide. It's supposed to be ruthlessly dictatorial. I wrote it for myself and co-workers. Some local Less Wrongers enjoyed it and encouraged me to post, so I did. I thought it would be appreciated. Oh well.

Why the tails come apart

Statistical point: the variance of forecast error for correctly specified simple regression problems is equal to:

Sigma^2(1 + 1/N + (x_o - x_mean)^2 / (Sigma ( x_i - x_mean) ^2))

So forecast error increases as x_o moves away from x_mean, especially when the variance of x is low by comparison.

Edit: Sub notation was apparently indenting things. I'm going to take a picture from my stats book tonight. Should be more readable.

Edit: Here's a more readable link. http://i.imgur.com/pu8lg0Wh.jpg

Total Utility is Illusionary

"Instead, every time you arrive at a decision point, evaluate what action to take by checking the utility of your constituents from each action. I propose that we call this "delta utilitarianism", because it isn't looking at the total or the average, just at the delta in utility from each action."

Perhaps we could call it "marginal utility."

Meetup : Houston, TX

All, Isaac_Davis, dvasya and myself had a pleasant chat at Ikea. Looking forward to the next meetup. Hopefully we'll have enough people next time to play paranoid debating.

Meetup : Houston, TX

Unless I'm missing something, it hasn't occurred yet.

Meetup : Houston, TX

I'll likely be there. Looking forward to it.

Tell Culture

I'm not sure that's true. From the original LW post on ask vs. guess:

Apparently East Asia is more "guess-based" than the US.

I've also heard that Russia is more ask-based, and the U.S. is somewhere in the middle with stereotypical differences between urban and rural environments.

Tell Culture

A lot of the comments are ignoring the fact that this game has multiple equilibria. Saying "humans evolved into X, so therefore there must be a logic to X" makes as much sense as saying "Americans drive on the right side of the road, so therefore there must be a logic to using the right side of the road."

Also, when traveling outside the monastery, our first priority should be to figure out how the other people drive.

Tell Culture

If you’re occasionally dishonest and tell people you want things you don't actually care about--like their comfort or convenience--they’ll learn not to trust you, and the inherent freedom of the system will be lost.

Maybe I'm only thinking of trivial examples, but I haven't noticed this. If I have guests over at my house, of course I care about their convenience, as I want the social capital that comes with throwing a good party. I want my co-workers slaving at the same project as me to be comfortable as it will make them more productive. There are tons of truly selfish reasons to be superficially selfless, and I don't think most have an aversion to superficial selflessness.

Perhaps a major exception should be made for early-stage romantic interactions.

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