Wiki Contributions


Coordination Skills I Wish I Had For the Pandemic

I appreciate the concept of "Numerical-Emotional Literacy". In fact, this is what I personally think/feel the "rationalist project" should be. To the extent I am a "rationalist" then precisely specifically what I mean by that is that knowing what I value, and pursuing numerical-emotional literacy around it, is important to me.

COVID-19: home stretch and fourth wave Q&A

To make in-line adjustments, grab a copy of the spreadsheet ( and do anything you like to it!

COVID-19: home stretch and fourth wave Q&A

Also, if you live alone and don't have any set agreements with anyone else, then the "budgeting" lens is sort of just a useful tool to guide thinking. Absent pod agreements, as an individual decisionmaker, you should just spend uCoV when it's worth the tradeoff, and not when it's not.

COVID-19: home stretch and fourth wave Q&A

You could think about it as an "annualized" risk, more than an "annual" risk; more like "192 points per week, in a typical week, on average" and it kind of amortizes out, and less like "you have 10k and once you spend it you're done" A tool to estimate COVID risk from common activities

There is now a wired article about this tool and the process of creating it:

I think the reporter did a great job of capturing what an "SF group house" is like and how to live a kind of "high IQ / high EQ" rationalist-inspired live, so this might be a thing one could send to friends/family about "how we do things".

Dario Amodei leaves OpenAI

It's not just Dario, it's a larger subset of OpenAI splitting off: "He and a handful of OpenAI colleagues are planning a new project, which they tell us will probably focus less on product development and more on research. We support their move and we’re grateful for the time we’ve spent working together."

Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition

I heard someone wanted to know about usage statistics for the calculator. Here they are! A tool to estimate COVID risk from common activities

Sorry to leave you hanging for so long Richard! This is the reason why in the calculator we ask about "number of people typically near you at a given time" for the duration of the event. (You can also think of this as a proxy for "density of people packed into the room".) No reports like that that I'm aware of, alas!

Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition

Want to just give credit to all the non-rationalist coauthors of! (7 non-rationalists and 2 "half-rationalists"?)

I've learned a LOT about the incredible power of trusted collaborations between "hardcore epistemics" folks and much more pragmatic folks with other skillsets (writing, UX design, medical expertise with ordinary people as patients, etc). By our powers combined we were able to build something usable by non-rationalist-but-still-kinda-quantitative folks, and are on our way to something usable by "normal people" 😲.

We've been able to get a lot more scale of distribution/usage/uptake with a webapp, than if we had just released a spreadsheet & blogpost. And coauthors put everything I wrote through MANY rounds of extensive writing/copy changes to be more readable by ordinary folks. We get feedback often that we've changed someone's entire way of thinking about risks and probabilities. This has surprised and delighted me. And I think the explicit synthesis between rationalist and non-rationalist perspectives on the team has been directly helpful. A tool to estimate COVID risk from common activities

Also, don't forget to factor in "kicking off a chain of onwards infections" into your COVID avoidance price somehow. You can't stop at valuing "cost of COVID to *me*".

We don't really know how to do this properly yet, but see discussion here:

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