All of Henrik Karlsson's Comments + Replies

What to optimize for in life?

I tried searching too, but couldn't find it. I can't remember his wording exactly. I do have that episode downloaded to my mp3-player though, so it seems likely. If I haven't hallucinated it all.

What to optimize for in life?

Aren't we keeping the search light a little bit to narrow here? Overgeneralizing a bit, I'm sensing most answers are seeking what to optimize for in life in the direction of individual effectiveness or something like that. Some other possible areas:

Quality of conversation. That would probably be a lot of fun, lead to a healthy marriage, good parenting, a focus on developing skills that give you access to interesting people, a good network, probably an above avarage pay.

The wellbeing of your community. That is a known predictor for life-satisfaction, which ... (read more)

What to optimize for in life?

I didn't put a link in because I wasn't sure. My best guess is this one.

1davidgasquez7dDid a quick search on the episode transcript [] and couldn't find it. I'll probably re-listen it though! That said, would you be able to confirm this is the episode by quickly taking a look at the conversation transcript? I'd love to dig deeper if that's not the episode!
Networks of Trust vs Markets

Good points. These are important considerations to keep in mind when deciding when to rely on markets and when on friends, and also when deciding whom to include into your network of trust. I try to be highly selective about whom I transact with outside of markets, as well as in markets. Generally, the people I trust are not perfectly correlated with the people I consider my close friends. But the bias that makes us overrate people we trust is important, and I will try to correct for that, which might make markets more attractive compared to networks of trust.

Networks of Trust vs Markets

To be clear, by hippie I mean any highly trustworthy person that is willing to do non-market transactions with an extended network, or something like that. But yeah, actively looking for more people like that is having some interesting effects on my life.

This post could be read as an introduction to a (hypothetical) sequence about using and scaling networks of trust. If there is interest, I might write another post detailing my observations so far. Any thoughts?

Thinking in public like this has been great - several of the comments have helped me clearify my thinking and pinpoint new opportunities and potential pitfalls.

5Pattern12dI'd be interested in that.
Networks of Trust vs Markets

Could you expand on this thought?

It is an interesting point that there is something non-zero-sum about a reputation transaction. "The hippie" mentioned in the essay worked very much on this assumption. By being extremely trustworthy he creates a reputation that expands his network of trust, so he can get more help with things he needs done etc; but being helped by him also raised my reputation, as I got his stamp of approval. (This can happen in a market transaction as well, since markets and relationships of trust bleed into each other.)

But I wonder how t... (read more)

2Arvid Kästel12dWell I'm working on a longer text on the subject, but the short version is analogous to the situation between nations with sovereign currencies. How is this trade possible if you don't only send goods but money? If there is a solution for this situation there must be something that should, at least in theory, work for individuals. One important point is that reputation is public and that it is not isolated to one situation. But a sketch is that my own reputation is affected depending on whom i interact with. So optimally i trade with people of good intent. Good intent would be to maximize not ones own value but aim for the social optimum. This is not however possible with ordinary money since transactions are zero sum. We need a system that can handle something similar to the clark pivot. MMT is actually a step in this direction, since allows a trusted party (the state) produce money in certain areas where we have increasing return dynamics, thus not creating inflation. It has other drawbacks though. I'm also playing with the thought of using reported utility as trust. Since you cannot experience more than a limited amount of "happiness" per time it acts as a trust guard. That would lead to the possibility of a system that creates a utilitarian optimum. It would strike the "optimal" balance between redistribution and incentives. Long story short...
Networks of Trust vs Markets

This is a great point that I had overlooked. I have similar bad experiences now that I think about it, mainly from starting a company with a friend, whom I should have questioned more on technical skills, but didn't because of our high trust. That was a nightmare.

I need to think a bit more deeply about why relying more on trust has worked so well this time, because as you say, it is not a given. Your bullets are a good starting point for a more nuanced understanding of the comparative costs of markets and trust networks. Thanks!

Networks of Trust vs Markets

Thanks for your non-market essay feedback!

I don't know exactly why shipping companies are so expensive in Scandinavia. Part of it is of course high tax and insurance cost, but that can't explain the entire difference in cost compared to doing it your self. Maybe shipping is unattractive as a job for various reasons, so we have an undersupply of shipping companies?

And you're definitly right that my post is cherry picking galore. I should have underlied that it was more of a hunch! I don't have data to answer the question whether people in general could gain... (read more)

Networks of Trust vs Markets

Good points! I agree with everything, and the way you puts it is clearer.

You're definietly right that markets do not reduce trust. That was a bad turn of phrase: what I tried to say, and what I think you are saying, is that markets enables transactions with lower levels of personal trust.

And it is very true that markets are great enablers when they allow you to do things not possiblie within your network. Expanding my network to include someone with a truck might (or might not) be an efficient investment for me, for example. I don't think it would be ratio... (read more)

Open and Welcome Thread - May 2021

Hi, my name his Henrik. I've been lurking here for a long time, and today finally dared write something myself. I have been looking for a community like this for a long time, and I'm so grateful for being able to listen in to all the conversations happening. Emerging oneself in a better culture can really bring out good things in oneself. The last few months, after hanging out here, it feels like my thoughts are moving in new, orthogonal and fruitful directions. I just want to say my thanks to all the people working to make sure that this bubble can exist.

4Pattern12dThat's a great post by the way. I loved it.
What books are for: a response to "Why books don't work."

I think this ties in a lot to Matuschak's idea that it would be good to have an "authored time dimension" to books, sort of like how meditation apps spread out the experience of learning about mindfullness over several month. This makes learning about meditation from apps much more salient than reading about it from a book that you finish in the space of a few days. I find the idea that books should have an authored time dimension intriguing, and I think Matuschak's thoughts on the topic indicates that you overstate the case that he does not understand the importance of letting ideas "take up an appreciable amount of room on our cognitive real estate".

Are there good classes (or just articles) on blog writing?

It'd be good to know if the strategy works for you, so if you try it, please let me know.

Are there good classes (or just articles) on blog writing?

Franklin had a pretty interesting way of improving his writing, which can be generalized. He would read articles that he liked, and then try to rewrite them from memory. That way he could compare what he wrote with the original - which creates a very clear feedback channel.

By comparing your choices with those of an experienced writer, you hone in on exactly where your mental model of writing needs improving. Depending on what you need to improve you can tweak Franklins model. You mention structural problems: to improve you could try to outline good blog po... (read more)

2korin432moThanks, this is a great idea!