Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag

I think it'd be interesting to have an online unconference, as well. Maybe put up a post here on the day, and people can write in comments with a time, topic, and google hangout link.

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

As a rationalist who had kids while within a deep community, I will say that only some of the community (that mostly said they wanted to stick around) actually stuck around after the kids showed up. I think there's a whole series to be written about that, but I'll sketch towards it now:

  • Parents schedules are different. If you really want to see them, you have to show up, not just invite them to your nonparent parties.
  • After a dozen invites that we don't make it to, nonparents stop inviting us parents, and then we're cut off. Even if we don't show up, we appreciate the invitation - I have occasionally made it to a nonparent invitation, but only from those who persist in inviting me.
  • Immediately after the baby arrives, the best things to do to help parents are chores. Prepping and making food, laundry, cleaning, etc.
  • Now that the kids are old enough for a consistent bedtime, I'm probably best available to hang out at 5:30pm or 9pm, but not 8pm. The 9pm one relies on you visiting me, or my partner hanging out in case the kids wake up. (I love 9pm visitors). If you're a nonparent who wants to help, you can always offer to hang out after the kids are asleep so parents can go out (if they're not going to sleep by 10, which is pretty common, so don't be surprised if that doesn't work for many parents)
  • As a nonparent, expect to build familiarity with the kids over a handful of events before you can babysit. Kids warm up to adults just like people warm up to other people - often slowly.
I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

There are a handful of developers who specialize in building cohousings so that folks interested in living in one can focus on building community and then all moving in together. In Portland one of the longer persisting ones is Orange Splot. I'm sure there are Bay Area ones, and it's possible the folks at Orange Splot know them. I'd expect they'd also show up at the Cohousing Conference.

Doing both community development and building development is, of course, three times as hard as just doing the community development part and moving in to a building that someone else prepares for you.

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

The cohousing conference ( ) is a great place to get questions answered and learn from the folks who've been doing this for a while. The Bay Area definitely has a handful of solid cohousings, and often they give tours and talk to folks who are interested in setting them up.

(I'm happy to talk about this further, but may well lose track of this thread. feel free to email me or catch me on the slack.)

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

Cohousing, in the US, is the term of art. I spent a while about a decade ago attempting to build a cohousing community, and it's tremendously hard. In the last few months I've moved, with my kids, into a house on a block with friends with kids, and I can now say that it's tremendously worthwhile.

Cohousings in the US are typically built in one of three ways:

  • Condo buildings, each condo sold as a condominium
  • Condo/apartment buildings, each apartment sold as a coop share
  • Separate houses.

The third one doesn't really work in major cities unless you get tremendously lucky.

The major problem with the first plan is, due to the Fair Housing Act in the 1960s, which was passed because at the time realtors literally would not show black people houses in white neighborhoods, you cannot pick your buyers. Any attempt to enforce rationalists moving in is illegal. Cohousings get around this by having voluntary things, but also by accepting that they'll get freeriders and have to live with it. Some cohousings I know of have had major problems with investors deciding cohousing is a good investment, buying condos, and renting them to whoever while they wait for the community to make their investment more valuable.

The major problem with the coop share approach is that, outside of New York City, it's tremendously hard to get a loan to buy a coop share. Very few banks do these, and usually at terrible interest rates.

Some places have gotten around this by having a rich benefactor who buys a big building and rents it, but individuals lose out on the financial benefits of homeownership. In addition, it is probably also illegal under the Fair Housing Act to choose your renters if there are separate units.

The other difficulties with cohousing are largely around community building, which you've probably seen plenty of with rationalist houses, so I won't belabor the point on that.

Link: The Cook and the Chef: Musk's Secret Sauce - Wait But Why

The author does not seem to understanding survivorship bias. He never approaches the question of whether the things he proposes are the reason for Musk's success actually work, or whether they happen to work for Musk in a context-dependent way. In other words, if you give this as advice to someone random, will they end up successful or an outcast. I'd guess the latter in most cases. This is in general the problem of evaluating the reasons behind success.

Also, unnecessary evolutionary psychology, done badly, even to the point of suggesting group selection. Ick.

The idea that using technical language (which isn't actually any more precise in meaning in the examples cited) in regular life is beneficial in being more scientific is also pretty suspect.

Using the Copernican mediocrity principle to estimate the timing of AI arrival

75% probability that the following things will be gone by: LessWrong: 2020 Email: 2135 The web: 2095 Y Combinator: 2045 Google: 2069 Microsoft: 2135 USA: 2732 Britain: 4862

These don't seem unreasonable.

I'm not sure that this method works with something that doesn't exist coming into existence. Would we say that we expect a 75% chance that someone will solve the problems of the EmDrive by 2057? That we'll have seasteading by 2117?

MetaMed: Evidence-Based Healthcare

caveats: they're new; it's hard to do what they're doing; they have to look serious; this is valuable the more it's taken seriously.

They have really wonderful site design/marketing...except that it doesn't give me the impression that they will ever be making the world better for anyone other than their clients. Here's what I'd see as ideal:

  • They've either paid the $5k themselves, a drop in the bucket of their funding apparently, and put up one report as both a sample and proof of their intent to publish reports for everyone, or (better) gotten a client who's had a report to agree to allow them to release it.
  • This report, above, is linked to from their news section and there's a prominent search field on the news section (ok), or there's a separate reports section (better)
  • The news section has RSS (or the reports section has RSS, or both, best)

On a more profiteering viewpoint, they could offer a report for either $5k for a private report, or $3k for a public report, with a promise to charge $50 for the public report until they reach $5k (or $6k, or an internal number that isn't unreasonable) and then release it.

Most people who are seriously sick tend to get into a pretty idealistic mode, is my experience, and would actually be further convinced by putting their $5k both to help themselves and to help others, and while sure, they could release the report themselves, metamed has a central, more trustable platform. If they want me to believe that they're interested in doing that kind of thing, it'd be nice if they had something up there to show me that they hope to.

On preview, I realize that the easy objection is that these are personalized reports, and data confidentiality is important. They obviously will only be able to publish pieces of reports that are not personal, and this is obviously a more costly thing than just tossing a pdf up on a website. Hm.

All of that said, they look like a really exciting company, I really hope they do well (and then take my advice =).

LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance

It's less the colors available to the kid and more the way the outside world responds to the kid in those colors, I think.

I've seen there be much more color variation among boys clothes, yes, but more importantly, a toddler wearing pink is gendered by others as female, and talked to as if female, and all other colors are generally talked to as if male. Occasionally yellow is gendered female too.

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