EA Forum developer


There’s no such thing as a tree (phylogenetically)

Minute Earth just did this post as a video: . They cite you at the very end of their video description.

jp's Shortform

I'm really curious how places that are planning to be more supportive of remote work are going to handle *partially* remote teams.

Like, a meeting with 3/4 participants being in person is hard for the remote worker to participate in.

I've generally heard that remote work works best when it's full-remote. If so then everyone's getting a very attractive view of remote work but when the pandemic's over, under this model, remote work will not be as viable as it currently is.

jp's Shortform

I wish more scientific authors exported their latex to html alongside their pdfs.

As it happens I was trying for the first time when I procrastinated by writing this.

jp's Shortform

PDFs are the preferred communication style for papers. HTML documents are the preferred communication style for most other public facing documents.[1]

PDFs are inferior to HTML in many ways: HTML can adapt to fit the viewport and fontsize requested by the user, while PDFs are basically fancy images in this regard. This makes PDFs basically useless on mobile, and generally terrible for casual browsing.

However HTML is not as good for deep study. You can't annotate it easily, and it's harder to bookmark your place on a webpage.

I'd really like to see something that allows you to combine the permanence and mark-ability of PDFs with the flexibility of HTML. I'm not sure how good the profit opportunity is, but boy does it seems great. And not that technically difficult to make the product.

[1] Google docs, slack posts, and a long tail of web-based tools are used internally to organizations.

Making Vaccine

You can un-predict by clicking on the prediction block again.

Technological stagnation: Why I came around

Your point seems strong, but I'd go further. If I observe measured productivity go down, coinciding with a digital revolution, why should I update that true progress is slower rather than that digital goods are mis-measured?

jp's Shortform

I think you're gonna need to define soul here. Not in a way that implies you've understood everything, but in the way that you might describe fire as the red hot stuff.

jp's Shortform

I found myself saying recently, "While this strategy does not in this case seem to have much causal connection to good outcomes, I feel like following the strategy in the past few months has been good for my soul."*

Humans don't have souls. I could imagine substituting, "This strategy has made me an easier agent to coordinate with and has moved me closer to the morality I was taught growing up, which has reduced my cognitive dissonance with my formerly more consequentialist actions. And it's an important part of the strategy that I don't alter it just because I can't see any negative consequences here."

I dunno, maybe that's the right way to say the thing? I think if I'd thought of that phrasing at the time maybe I should have just said that. It seems tempting to go with the shorter "good for my soul" phrasing, but I think it's likely to be pretty ambiguous in interpretation. I think after writing this rather stream-of-consciousness shortform that I'd rather stick to awkward but clear language instead of turning poetic.

* (A note in defense of my past self — While recently I've moved further in non-consequentialist directions, I've never been willing to defect when in coordination games with cooperating members of my communities.)

Parable of the Dammed

I'm here for the parables and the pun titles. Thanks for providing me a little of Scott Alexander during the SSC drought.

"Other people are wrong" vs "I am right"

I doubt anyone will think the basic argument of the post is very surprising. Nevertheless, it is not something that lends itself to staying in one's mind. The other side is dumb. "I am permitted" to continue to believe my side. A post with a very memorable title and compelling stories is a good way to fight that effect.

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