All of KatWoods's Comments + Replies

This may be true in other communities, but I think if you're more status motivated in AI safety and EA you are more likely to be concerned about potential downside risks. Especially post SBF.

Instead of trying to maximize the good, I see a lot of people trying to minimize the chance that things go poorly in a way that could look bad for them.

You are generally given more respect and funding and social standing if you are very concerned about downside risks and reputation hazards.

If anything, the more status-oriented you are in EA, the more likely you are to care about downside risks because of the Copenhagen theory of ethics.

This text was sent on November 4th, almost a month before she arrived to come travel with us (not to work for us).

Emerson is not referring to her saying she would make $3000 a month if she worked full-time on her Amazon business. The context of the conversation is she's trying to figure out whether she should spend an additional $90 to visit her family before joining us, and Emerson is replying saying "If you make $3k a month [$90] is very little money", so he's telling her she should spend the $90 to spend time with family. Directly going against the "keeping her isolated from family" story and also supporting (albeit not conclusively proving) that Alice had told him she made $3k per month with her business. 

6habryka2mo
Sure! I could have checked the date, but in that case this evidence also doesn't support your case here. If indeed she was making $3000/mo at that point in time (which, to be clear, I don't think you've demonstrated), working on it with much more of her time than she would while she was working at Nonlinear, wouldn't this be basically confirmation that she wasn't going to make $3000/mo while working with Nonlinear, given that she was spending much less time on it?  The relevant claim at hand is whether she ever made $3000/mo at the same time as she was working with you at Nonlinear (and you heavily implied that that is what she claimed here). I would be quite surprised if Alice ever claimed this was the case to you.

I’m currently focusing on 2-3 of the claims in their response that most contradict my post, investigating them further, and intend to publish the results of that.

I hope that while you’re investigating this, you talk to us and ask us for any evidence we have. We’re more than happy to share relevant evidence and are willing to set reasonable deadlines for how long it’ll take for us to send it to you. 

We also don’t want to waste more people’s time on going back and forth publicly about the evidence when you can easily check with us first before publishin... (read more)

I strongly think that much or even most of the commentary could have been discarded in favour of more evidence

We said this in our post about the vegan food:

"We chose this example not because it’s the most important (although it certainly paints us in a very negative and misleading light) but simply because it was the fastest claim to explain where we had extremely clear evidence without having to add a lot of context, explanation, find more evidence, etc.

We have job contracts, interview recordings, receipts, chat histories, and more, which we are working full-time on preparing.

This claim was a few sentences in Ben’s article but took us hours to refute because we h... (read more)

I have noticed that you are asking yourself “can I believe this?” when assessing Alice and Chloe’s claims and “must I believe this?” when assessing our claims. Please try to apply similar evidentiary standards to all claims. 

she would be provided benefits adding up to the remainder (which wasn't specified in the contract, but was explained during the relevant interview which Kat posted the transcript off). 

Where does it say that in the transcript? I’m reading it again and I just don’t see where we say anything even like that. 

And it wou... (read more)

3habryka2mo
This seems to confidently speak about the internals of my mind, which isn't always a bad thing to do, but in this case I don't think is accurately capturing reality. My guess is its best to keep at least this conversation at the level of facts and arguments. I did not say here that you "have to pay the difference" (and I don't think anyone else has said that). I don't understand the relevance of this screenshot. I don't think it matters for anyone's model whether Chloe thought of the $1000/mo as salary or stipend. She says "you mentioned that everything is covered", which is vague and doesn't tell us what exactly she thought was covered. Yes, I agree that the literal contract is quite relevant, though again, nobody said that there was such a clause. The relevant component is whether the expectation was set that the benefits would add up to ~$70k, and whether that expectation was set accurately. If my employer sells me on a job by offering me a compensation package they estimate to be worth $70k, and then they spend much less than that, then that clearly seems like cause for a legitimate grievance. I do think the contract generally does matter. It also matters a bunch when Chloe actually signed the contract since it determines for how much of your relevant work period you were on the same page about at least the legal context. Could you confirm when Chloe actually signed the contract?

I'm having trouble following your logic. Ben's post said "they were not able to live apart from the family unit while they worked with them" and we showed evidence that Alice lived apart from us ~50% of the time she worked for us. Are you disputing when Alice and Ben both said she visited her family? Has Alice disputed this, saying that she didn't actually live and work apart from us from that time? 

She didn't live apart once but twice. She also lived/worked separately in the FTX condos (which we did not live in). And if you're counting... (read more)

-60Czynski2mo

Thanks for letting me know! Strange. It shouldn't be doing that. Usually if you wait a couple of seconds, it'll jump to the right section. It's working on both my mobile and laptop.

If you try waiting a couple seconds and that doesn't work, let me know. Maybe DM me and then we can troubleshoot, then we can post the solution up when we figure it out. 

1Rebecca2mo
Thanks for checking! Have now figured out the issue, the thing I described was happening when Google docs opened in safari (which I knew), but I’ve now gotten it to open in the app proper.

The evidence that she made an informed decision are:

Her correctly explaining in her own words how the compensation package works seems like more than enough evidence that she understood the compensation package she was signing up for. The fact that we also sent her a work contract and a... (read more)

1Rebecca2mo
FYI, when I click on some proportion (possibly 100%?) of these links to the Google doc (including the links in your comment here) it just takes me to the very start of Google doc, the beginning of the contents section, and I can’t always figure out which section to click on. Possibly a mobile issue with Google docs, but thought I should let you know 🙂
8Elizabeth2mo
Your document says you sent the contract to Chloe 6 days after her start date. When did she sign it? 

Ah, you're right. So we said twice how much we estimated the compensation package to be worth. Will edit original comment to reflect that. 

2jefftk2mo
I'm sorry, as Daniel pointed out above this is from a later version of the job description, so this was all in the wrong direction.
2jefftk2mo
I think this one is a bit different: with the interview it reads reasonably clearly to me that you're talking about a low amount of cash plus expenses, but the job ad doesn't say anything about that. Was the transcribed interview (which I think I remember you saying was the second one?) the first time you raised that almost all the compensation would be via covering expenses?

Yeah, I agree. I find it quite difficult to write concisely. I am trying to get better, but as you can clearly see, I have not succeeded to the optimal amount yet. 😛

Good points! Added some more points here as well

The "spending 80% on travel" is quit misleading, because it comes from counting AirBnB costs as "travel" expenses. That would make sense if they were just traveling for a short period of time, say, to go to an EAG, but if you only live in AirBnBs, then counting that as travel instead of rent seems misleading. 

If that's true, I have spent $0 on housing in the last 4 years, and that doesn't seem right. 

If you don't count housing as a travel expense, then it comes to only 6% on travel, which is ... (read more)

80% of the money we spent on their compensation was not going to travel. Copy-pasting comments from the thread over here where this number was originally said:

"

spend >80% of their income as travel

Where are you getting that number from? It was a mix of rent, food, medical, productivity tools, etc. Some quick math I did shows that only 6% of the money we spent on her was for travel. 

Math from this doc

Flights:800+190=990

Total spent on her when she was compensated with room, board, travel, and medical + stipend: 17,174

990/17174 = 6%

(I didn't include th... (read more)

Was medical considered part of compensation? In the appendix you describe it as Emerson "generously covering" them, and that Alice never had an agreement to have them covered.

I know it's hard having lots of critical attention and upending your schedule to respond to inquisitive internet people, but if you were able to be a bit more concise I think it would be really helpful for readers. Your comment is ~2k words, but reads to me like it has more like 750 words worth of things to say.

She was interviewed three times and was told about compensation during the second interview.

We only mentioned the "equivalent to" thing once in an offhand manner. Every single other communication that we have on record is just talking about all expenses paid plus a stipend. [Edit: it was actually two places we found. The other was on the job ad, saying "Compensation: $60,000 - $100,000"]

And the compensation did not actually cost $70,000, like we said in that conversation. It cost more!

We added up everything and shared it with her. She knew and didn't tell... (read more)

2jefftk2mo
[EDIT: this was not the right job description; see below]   @Elizabeth  brought up what looks like the job description for Chloe's position, which has "Compensation: $60,000 - $100,000". These seem to be in tension?
8jefftk2mo
Thanks! If you were up for listing some of these fourteen I'd find it really helpful!

then they asked us for an additional week

Where are you getting the idea that Ben gave us a week? The draft was sent to us on the same day Ben said he was going to publish it. On a day Ben knew we were traveling and wouldn't be able to respond properly (sketchy/no internet, chaos of traveling, etc). 

We spoke to Ben 60 hours before he published, and he only told us a subset of all the accusations. A quick re-reading of the post and I found 14 allegations that were new that Ben hadn't discussed on the call. And I only got a short way through re-reading the post (maybe a 20%?) because I find reading it extremely painful. 

2jefftk2mo
Were these fourteen included in the email Ben sent ~5d out (that Habryka summarizes here) and just not discussed on the call, or are you saying that the fourteen were first introduced to you with the final draft?

I posted an approximately full list of claims you were informed of 4 days before publishing.

Would you be able to highlight any important claims that were not included in that list of claims? It is totally possible there are some, but having cross-check the two, I can't find any major ones.

I would change the text. He gave us less than 24 hours.

He sent us the draft in the middle of the night, filled with many accusations we hadn't even heard of, on a day he knew we were traveling and wouldn't be able to respond properly. He said he'd publish it that very day (aka <24 hours)

He ended up publishing it the next day at a time where we normally would have been asleep, except that we'd asked a friend to call us and wake us up if Ben was posting. We ended up having to respond to that post on a fraction of the sleep we usually get. 

You could t... (read more)

Sorry. It was night time when this came out and I'm swamped with comments and trying to gather evidence.  Responded to it as soon as I could. You can see my response here

Ah, sorry. I think what happened is that I was remembering the post from the draft he sent us just before it went live. At least from the post on WebArchive, the things I remember having been changed happened last minute between the draft and it going live. Only one of the changes I remember happened between the web archive shot and now. 

To be fair, I think that change is large and causing a lot of problems (for example, burgergate, people thinking she was working for us at the time, instead of just a friend). However, it does look like I was wrong about that, and I retract my statement. 

I'll edit the comment where I said that. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for looking into it.

The claim in the post was “Alice claims she was sick with covid in a foreign country, with only the three Nonlinear cofounders around, but nobody in the house was willing to go out and get her vegan food, so she barely ate for 2 days.”. (Bolding added)

If you look at the chat messages, you’ll see we have screenshots demonstrating that:

1. There was vegan food in the house, which we offered her. 

2. I personally went out, while I was sick myself, to buy vegan food for her (mashed potatoes) and cooked it for her and brought it to her.

I would be fine if she... (read more)

I did go out to get the potatoes. When I was sick myself. 

It was very hard to find vegan food in the area, and I read through all of the different products in the store, looking to make sure they didn't have any sneaky non-vegan ingredients, like whey. 

She said "nobody in the house was willing to go out and get her vegan food", but you can see that

  1. There was vegan food in the house. We offered her oatmeal, quinoa, peanuts, almonds, prunes, tomatoes, cereal, and an orange, which were in the house. 
  2. I picked her up mashed potatoes and cooked it for her on that day. Despite the fact that I was also sick (eventually found out it was covid). 

In the conversation with Drew, she says it's fine, because she has mashed potatoes. 

She said that we didn't bring her vegan food and we did. The text messages show that. 

Where are we disagreeing? 

8Lachouette5mo
Not sure why no one picks up on the fact that the list you refer to in 1.) is hard to make an edible meal from. You mention oatmeal and cereal, but if there is no vegan milk substitute to eat with it, how is she supposed to consume it? Eat it dry, or mixed with water? Nuts and fruit are fine for a snack but I don't think it's unreasable to refuse to eat only nuts/fruit for a day or more. The only thing I could reasonably see in that list that could be made into a warm meal is cooking quinoa and serving with nuts and tomatoes. I could well imagine why someone might not consider it a passable meal though, eg if she didn't like quinoa. Seeing you consider this random list of ingredients sufficient "vegan food" makes me think you didn't particularly consider her position.
4Viliam6mo
You both agree that no one was willing to bring Alice vegan food that she wanted from outside the house. You disagree about relevance/importance of the fact that there was different vegan food available for her.

Crossposted from the EA Forum:

We definitely did not fail to get her food, so I think there has been a misunderstanding - it says in the texts below that Alice told Drew not to worry about getting food because I went and got her mashed potatoes. Ben mentioned the mashed potatoes in the main post, but we forgot to mention it again in our comment - which has been updated

The texts involved on 12/15/21:

I also offered to cook the vegan food we had in the house for her.

I think that there's a big difference between telling everyone "I didn't get the food I wanted,... (read more)

I think that there's a big difference between telling everyone "I didn't get the food I wanted, but they did get/offer to cook me vegan food, and I told them it was ok!" and "they refused to get me vegan food and I barely ate for 2 days".

Agreed.

One example of the evidence we’re gathering

We are working hard on a point-by-point response to Ben’s article, but wanted to provide a quick example of the sort of evidence we are preparing to share:

Her claim:  “Alice claims she was sick with covid in a foreign country, with only the three Nonlinear cofounders around, but nobody in the house was willing to go out and get her vegan food, so she barely ate for 2 days.” 


The truth (see screenshots below):

  1. There was vegan food in the house (oatmeal, quinoa, mixed nuts, prunes, peanuts, tomatoe
... (read more)
4Irenicon6mo
Cross-posted from the EA Forum thread, mainly because it seems to be a minority opinion and I want to be clear that there are different ways to read these texts: I think it's telling, that Kat thinks that the texts speak in their favor. Reading them was quite triggering for me because I see a scared person, who asks for basic things, from the only people she has around her, to help her in a really difficult situation, and is made to feel like she is asking for too much, has to repeatedly advocate for herself (while sick) and still doesn't get her needs met. On one hand, she is encouraged by Kat to ask for help but practically it's not happening. Especially Emerson and Drew in that second thread sounded like she is difficult and constantly pushed to ask for less or for something else than what she asked for. Seriously, it took 2.5 hours the first day to get a salad, which she didn't want in the first place?! And the second day it's a vegetarian, not vegan, burger.  The way Alice constantly mentioned that she doesn't want to bother them and says that things are fine when they are clearly not, is very upsetting. I can't speak to how Alice felt but it's no wonder she reports this as not being helped/fed when she was sick. To me, this is accurate, whether or not she got a salad and a vegetarian burger the next day.   Honestly, the burger-gate is a bit ridiculous. Ben did report in the original article that you disputed these claims (with quite a lot of detail) so he reported it accurately. To me, that was enough to not update too much based on this. I don't think it warranted the strongly worded letter to the Lightcone team and the subsequent dramatic claims about evidence that you want to provide to clear your name.

Cross posting from the EA Forum: 

It could be that I am misreading or misunderstanding these screenshots, but having read through them a couple of times trying to parse what happened, here's what I came away with:

On December 15, Alice states that she'd had very little to eat all day, that she'd repeatedly tried and failed to find a way to order takeout to their location, and tries to ask that people go to Burger King and get her an Impossible Burger which in the linked screenshots they decline to do because they don't want to get fast food. She asks ag... (read more)

Yes, we intend to. But given that our comments just asking for people to withhold judgment are getting downvoted, that doesn’t bode well for future posts getting enough upvotes to be seen.

It's going to take us at least a week to gather all the evidence, then it will take a decent amount of time to write up. 

In the meantime, people have heard terrible things about us and nobody's a perfect rationalist who will simply update. Once you've made up your mind about somebody, it can be really hard to change. 

Additionally, once things are on the internet... (read more)

I think a comment "just asking for people to withhold judgement" would not be especially downvoted. I think the comments in which you've asked people to withhold judgement include other incredibly toxic behavior.

You could possibly do a more incremental version of this, e.g. link to a Google Drive where you upload the pieces of evidence as you find them? That way people could start updating right away rather than waiting until everything's been put together.  And then you could add a comment linking to the write-up when it's done.

Yes, Ben took Emerson’s full email out of context, implying that Emerson was fully satisfied when in actuality, Emerson was saying, no, there is more to discuss - so much that we’d need a week to organize it.


 

He got multiple extremely key things wrong in that summary and was also missing key points we discussed on the call, but we figured there would be no reason he wouldn’t give us a week to clear everything up. Especially since he had been working on it for months.

(Just for the record, I would have probably also walked away from this email interaction thinking that the summary did not "get multiple extremely key things wrong", according to you. 

I feel kind of bad about summarizing it as just "good summary" without the "some points still require clarification" bit, but I do think that if you intended to communicate that the summary had major issues, you did fail at that, and indeed, it really seems to me like you said something that directly contradicted that)

This is a short response while I write up something more substantial. 

The true story is very different than the one you just read. 

Ben Pace purposefully posted this without seeing our evidence first, which I believe is unethical and violates important epistemic norms. 

He said “I don't believe I am beholden to give you time to prepare” 

We told him we have incontrovertible proof that many of the important claims were false or extremely misleading. We told him that we were working full-time on gathering the evidence to send him. ... (read more)

5NeroWolfe5mo
Given that it's been a while since @Kat Woods and @Emerson Spartz claimed they had "incontrovertible proof" that warranted a delay in publishing, I'm hoping it's coming out soon. If not, a simple "we goofed" response would seem appropriate.
3Thoth Hermes6mo
I think it might actually be better if you just went ahead with a rebuttal, piece by piece, starting with whatever seems most pressing and you have an answer for. I don't know if it is all that advantageous to put together a long mega-rebuttal post that counters everything at once. Then you don't have that demand nagging at you for a week while you write the perfect presentation of your side of the story.

Could we have a list of everything you think this post gets wrong, separately from the evidence that each of those points is wrong?

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like it should take less than an hour to read the post, make a note of every claim that's not true, and then post that list of false claims, even if it would take many days to collect all the evidence that shows those points are false.

I imagine that would be helpful for you, because readers are much more likely to reserve judgement if you listed which specific things are false. 

Per... (read more)

Ben Pace purposefully posted this without seeing our evidence first, which I believe is unethical and violates important epistemic norms. 

For what it's worth, I do not view this post as unethical or violating important epistemic norms. [I do think repeating hearsay is unseemly--I would prefer the post written by Alice and Chloe--but I see why Ben is doing it in this case.] 

A factor that seems somewhat important to me, and perhaps underlies a major disagreement here, is that I think reputation, while it is about you, is not for you. It's for ... (read more)

I am confused how to square your claim of requesting extra time for incontrovertible proof, with Ben’s claim that he had a 3 hour call with you and sent the summary to Emerson, who then replied “good summary!”

Was Emerson’s full reply something like, “Good summary! We have incontrovertible proof disproving the claims made against us, please allow us one week to provide it?”

Yes, it has improved a lot! Due to laziness I haven't really switched, but Speechify seems like a winner compared to Natural Reader on a laptop. But I almost never read with my ears when I'm at my laptop, so can't say for sure. 

Inspired by this comment trying Speechify on my phone for a book and it's taking ages to "process" it, so I might give up. I do have bad internet right now, but also, I often have bad internet, so I can't work with something that requires good internet all the time. Also opened the epub in such a way where I can't seem to click... (read more)

Love that you followed up! 

Cool that you feel like it helped you. Totally get how many confounding factors there can be. 

Btw, might want to check out my article on getting rid of impostor syndrome. Just got the study results back from the class and it had a huge effect (d=1.3 on confidence scores!). Will write up some more on it soon. 

Bring it up because it could be good for you to try it when you're still in the habit of doing an hour a day. 

Not sure I follow the question? I think it's mostly coming from the ability to

  1. Give really specific criteria and 
  2.  It being able to explain why it meets that really specific criteria. 

So like, I discovered Friendship is Optimal via ChatGPT when I gave it a prompt along the lines of "I want a sci fi about superintelligent take-over where the ending is considered good for humanity". 

There might be lists online for books about superintelligences, but not superintelligence + positive. This becomes more true the more criteria you add, and I pr... (read more)

2DirectedEvolution8mo
Sorry my question wasn’t clear, but you managed to answer it anyway! Thanks :)

Looks like there's some technical difficulties. I've reached out to the creators. It's up and running again, but zoomed in weirdly when I open it. 

Thanks for updating! LessWrong at it’s best :) 

I went through and added up all of the reviews from when Emerson was in charge and the org averaged a 3.9 rating. You can check my math if you’d like (5+3+5+4+1+4+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+1+5+5+3+5+5+5+3+1+2+4+5+3+1)/27

For reference, Meta has a 4 star rating on GlassDoor and has won one of their prizes for Best Place to Work for 12 years straight. (2022 (#47), 2021 (#11), 2020 (#23), 2019 (#7), 2018 (#1), 2017 (#2), 2016 (#5), 2015 (#13), 2014 (#5), 2013 (#1), 2... (read more)

7habryka1y
Just for the record, I currently believe this statement to be true, though not very confidently. It matches with what I heard about Dose from a bunch of different sources:  I don't know the exact date that Emerson left, but there are really a lot of negative reviews right at the beginning of 2017, none of them mentioning a major restructuring. I think the highly negative glassdoor reviews are still a quite major warning flag, even if a lot of them happened after Emerson left (though it does definitely also matter that they were made after Emerson left)
3Zahima10mo
I'm trying to catch up with the general alignment ecosystem - is this site still intended to be live/active? I'm getting a 404. 

Just yesterday I was wishing that this existed. Thank you for making it!

A couple other resources that have come out since this was originally posted:

And separately, what works best for me during acute phases of freakout is doing cardio (usually running or jump rope) + listening to The Obstacle is the Way (book about stoicism). 

Sometimes you can try to reason your way out of something, but sometimes what works best is changing your physiology and listening to a pep talk. 

Also, thanks for writing this! I can't tel... (read more)

6dorothy7mo
So, here is the promised review! Tl;dr: I don't think I'm in fundamental well-being, but I do feel my life is significantly better than before the course. However, I find it hard to say whether this is because of the course, or just a coincidence. * The main differences in my life * I'm more present when spending time with other people * and just feel like I'm "a better person" somehow, like more present, patient, caring, grounded, attentive, stable. * Confounding factor: I've spent a lot of time in the last 3 months talking with my partner and taking special care that I'm being as present as possible. * I attribute most of the positive changes to that. I'm very unsure how much of a difference the course made. * Some observations from the course: * Being allowed to scratch itches, stretch, move a bit, and sometimes lie down was helpful to make meditation a lot more feasible for me. * I think without that I would have found it really hard to get through an hour of meditation each day. * The breath focus exercise started out relatively "neutral" * I didn't feel like I got better at paying attention to my nose etc, which I'd hoped would be the case. * But it got harder over time. * At some point it felt like I just couldn't bring myself to care enough about feeling something on my skin/the breath, and got a bit miserable * The morning and evening positive psychology exercises started out easy, but didn't feel effective * But at some point they became negative. They felt like a chore and really effortful/annoying * I found beauty in many situations/sensory experiences in which I wouldn't have expected it. (e.g. things like street noise and dirty walls). That feels pretty nice, like looking at a nice flower and smelling it, just that I can now do it with dirty walls and not only with flowers. Overall I think it was probably worth taking the course, but I'm not completely sure.

Depends on your financial situation, but I'd say if you have anything like a regular first world income, yes. 

I also think that the cost makes you actually follow through and do it. 

Of note, if you work full-time in longtermism and make less than $100,000 per year, you will most likely qualify for the Nonlinear Support Fund to pay for it.  

Just based off of my experience, I adjusted to living in southern India (high humidity, >30c/86f most days) in about a month. The first month I was dying and having to drink water constantly, and then about a month in I'd adjusted almost completely. 

Good question! Not at all confident. I'll adjust the claim there to make it more clear this is just an anecdote. 

2Adam Zerner1y
I see. Thanks for clarifying. I'm not sure myself but it feels like the sort of thing where maybe what happens to the average person doesn't matter. People interested in living nomadically should probably try it out for N months first and see how they personally adjust. Idk though, maybe months is too short a timeframe, maybe it takes years. But if it takes years that feels like too big of an investment to be worthwhile for most people, especially if there's also a risk that you never actually adjust.

it sounds like you are talking more about higher-end places. Those types of places I would feel awkward sitting and doing my work the whole day.

 

I've been doing it for years and it's fine. Not for the whole day, but if you come for lunch, you can usually stay until a bit before dinner and they're fine.

Think of it from their perspective. They just don't want you to be taking up valuable real estate that could be filled with paying customers. Between lunch and dinner most restaurants are pretty empty, so you don't have any counterfactual costs for the r... (read more)

4Adam Zerner1y
Gotcha, that makes sense. I think you're right about the socially acceptable period being something like the timespan of a breakfast/lunch/dinner service rather than the whole day. Makes sense. Oh wow that's really cool! Thanks for pointing this out, I'm considering a folding bike now. Something about traveling with a bike, even a folding one, just didn't click in my head before, sorta like a round peg in a square hole. It makes sense now though.

Two things for heat:

  1. Have a small portable fan that you carry around with you. I love this one because its legs allow you to attach it to practically anything.
  2. You might adjust after you're there for awhile. I grew up in Canada and used to go around in shorts and t-shirt in10C/50F weather. Now, after being in >26C/80F for the last 3 years, I get cold if it goes below 26C/80F. (Not sure if I'm allowed to call myself Canadian anymore) The key is to avoid A/C. If you're in air conditioned places too much, your body will never adapt. (Of note, this is just me
... (read more)
4Adam Zerner1y
How confident are you about this in general? And how much do you think there are individual differences? Personally I grew up in NY and later on lived in Vegas for about six years and never really adjusted to the heat at all. I did notice that certain people are much more tolerant of it than others. My girlfriend's family would always have barbecues in the summer in 100 degree weather and say it's not that bad because we're in the shade or because the sun is down. I'm not sure how much of that is selection effects vs adjusting vs whatever else though.

Cool setup! For me, I always have a baggy that contains one of each of the following to keep it light: painkiller, earbud rubber tip (sucks to lose one), tissue, Pepto bismol tablet, caffeine pill, melatonin, earplugs, bandaid, meds, hair elastic, tampon, travel toothbrush, bit of floss for when something super annoying is stuck between my teeth, stain remover wipe 

Can't tell you how many times I felt like a hero for having a pepto bismol tablet or bandaid available. 

The key is to set an alarm for refilling it whenever you take something out, otherwise it's stops being as useful. 

Thanks for writing this! Some other useful lists of resources:

Should probably be merged with the Lists of Links tag. 

Love this! 

If the offer is still open, you might want to add it it to EA Houses so more people see it. 

2Dojan2y
Hmm, I didn't know about that, thanks for the tip. Very busy right now, and moving shortly anyway, but I'll look into it in a while :)

I'm not super into that, but I've heard good things from people about Otter.ai

2Vael Gates2y
Thanks for doing that Kat!

Good catch! Yeah, I'm switching to .org instead of .co and the re-direct link is currently not working for some obscure reason I'm working on. In the meantime, I've updated the link and this is the new one here http://www.katwoods.org/home/june-14th-2019

I also wonder about this. If I'm understanding the post and comment right, it's that if you don't formulate it mathematically, it doesn't generalize robustly enough? And that to formulate something mathematically you need to be ridiculously precise/pedantic?

Although this is probably wrong and I'm mostly invoking Cunningham's Law

9awenonian2y
I doubt my ability to be entertaining, but perhaps I can be informative. The need for mathematical formulation is because, due to Goodhart's law, imperfect proxies break down. Mathematics is a tool which is rigorous enough to get us from "that sounds like a pretty good definition" (like "zero correlation" in the radio signals example), to "I've proven this is the definition" (like "zero mutual information").  The proof can get you from "I really hope this works" to "As long as this system satisfies the proof's assumptions, this will work", because the proof states it's assumptions clearly, while "this has worked previously" could, and likely does, rely on a great number of unspecified commonalities previous instances had. It gets precise and pedantic because it turns out that the things we often want to define for this endeavor are based on other things. "Mutual information" isn't a useful formulation without a formulation for "information". Similarly, in trying to define morality, it's difficult to define what an agent should do in the world (or even what it means for an agent to do things in the world), without ideas of agency and doing, and the world. Every undefined term you use brings you further from a formulation you could actually use to create a proof. In all, mathematical formulation isn't the goal, it's the prerequisite. "Zero correlation" was mathematically formalized, but that was not sufficient.

Thank you! This clarifies a lot. The dialogue was the perfect blend of entertaining and informative.

I might see if you can either include it in the original post or post it as a separate one, because it really helps fill in the rationale. 

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