AI-Based Code Generation Using GPT-J-6B

These responses look to me more like the AI is really good at searching StackOverflow and returning the code from a random answer, not really writing code itself. I guess being able to replace programmers who Google stuff and copy the first answer from StackOverflow without understanding it will save some time, but it doesn't really feel transformational to me.

Experiments with a random clock

Why would I arrive ten minutes early to the Skrillex-as-a-cure-for-dengue talk, when I could spend ten more minutes reading about exorcism under fMRI?

The way I solved this was with a smart phone with an RSS reader, Instapaper, and an ebook app. Why not arrive ten minutes early and read about exorcism under fMRI at the location of the talk instead of reading at home?

(I'm considering getting a phone with an e-ink screen to make this nicer, since I usually don't feel like carrying a Kindle around.)

Electric heat pumps (Mini-Splits) vs Natural gas boilers

For some people, another consideration is that you could use both. Thermostats frequently have a way to connect multiple heat sources, and there's presumably one fancy enough that you could decide between them based on the outdoor air temperature. I plan to do this whenever the one-way heat pump ("air conditioner") that came with my house breaks.

For that to be worth, you would need several things to be true though:

  • You want a heat pump for other reasons (air conditioning)
  • There are some days when the heat pump is better than the boiler despite electricity costs
  • The upfront cost of the slightly more expensive heat pump is made up for by the lower energy cost on the days you use it
Don't feel bad about not knowing basic things

If it helps, I know how to scale web systems and basically never do it because you can run almost anything on one server unless you're Google.

Is driving worth the risk?

I don't have an answer regarding how you should value your life, but some things to consider are:

  • I suspect the gulf between actual-good-drivers and normal drivers in deaths is massive. Most people think they're better drivers than average, but they do stupid things like speeding and driving aggressively. As a rationalist, I would expect that you can learn to actually be a good driver and your risk will be much lower.
  • If you're not driving, what's your alternative? You mention flying instead, but how do you get to the airport? Given the point above, I suspect it's much safer for you to drive yourself than to be in a car driven by the average taxi/Uber driver. My experience is that taxi drivers drive even more dangerously than the average person.
  • Having a car and living close enough to things that you don't needing aren't mutually exclusive. I live close enough to stores and gyms that I can walk to them (and work remotely), but I also have a car and use it a few times per week (going to Costco, hanging out with friends).

Assuming it makes sense for you financially, my recommendation would be to learn how to drive (safely), but continue to optimize your location so you don't have to use it constantly.

MIRI location optimization (and related topics) discussion

I live in Fort Collins, and I'd love for you to move here, but I doubt you'll find the property you want. I doubt there's any 20+ acre campuses for sale, and even if you found one it would be incredibly expensive (although, maybe cheaper than you expect if you're starting with SF prices as your baseline). You might be able to find a ranch or something for sale up in the mountains though? Although, I'm not sure if the amenities would work (hope you're signed up for Starlink).

Another downside is that the nearest (and only) big city is around an hour drive south, and Denver is a pretty lame city. And if you're in the mountains, Denver would probably be > 2 hours away.

Being near CSU might be useful for hiring new people, since we have a decent CS department and a complete lack of interesting jobs (pretty much everyone works for HP or various boring hardware companies). The city is nice enough that most people don't want to move, so "do something that actually matters without having to leave" would be very attractive. Also the incredibly number of mountain trails would probaby be good for thinking.

Could MMRPGs be used to test economic theories?

This answer is really good. One thing I want to add is that "players destroying value" doesn't have to be quite as literal as it is in EVE Online to be useful.

In World of Warcraft, players destroy value every time they equip a "soulbound" item (these items can only be used by one player and can't be given away or sold once they're used for the first time).

There's also levels of accuracy in the simulation. You can probably test economic theories in World of Warcraft's auction house, but you'd have to keep in mind that the economy in that game isn't like the economy of any real countries (but maybe some parts are similar enough to generalize?).

Taking the outside view on code quality

This is only tangentially related, but in cases like this, the strategy of improving variable names when you're working on a piece of code is significantly more valuable than searching for code to refactor and improve.

It's true that improving a random variable name in your code base is not a big win, but:

  • Since you're already looking at this piece of code and presumably making a change, the cost of changing the variable name is lower than if you were changing a random part of the code.

  • The fact that you're looking at this piece of code and not a different one is evidence that this is something people are more likely to look at than usual, so the benefit of improving it is higher than improving a randomly chose variable name.

Because of these two things, the procedure "improve code you're working on" is signifantly more valuable than you'd expect if you think the procedure you're following is "improve all the code".

Could MMRPGs be used to test economic theories?

The plot of my economic MMRPG would be humans in the far-future mining resources to build spaceships that they use to mine more resources and/or attack each other.

You might find it interesting that EVE Online hires economists to keep their in-game economy healthy, which among other things includes setting transaction taxes at a level that keeps inflation under control. You can see their March 2021 economic report here.

I'm having trouble finding a good article about this, but here's one.

Is sitting in the sun much better than sitting in the shade?

Note: If you don't mind spotlights, 10,000 lux isn't that hard. Just buy one of these and point it directly at your face.

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