Wiki Contributions


Should PAXLOVID be given preventively?

I don't think we have nearly enough supply to do that anytime soon, especially if we wanted to do it continuously.

D&D.Sci Dungeoncrawling: The Crown of Command Evaluation & Ruleset

I haven't been playing because I don't have enough time (i.e. I have other priorities right now), but they're really interesting and I read all of them. I just wanted to mention that.

They don't make 'em like they used to

The linked article contains a lot of commentary that boils down to “yes, the problem exists and is as described, but … is it really that bad if your glassware sometimes explodes?”

This is a completely misleading summary of the article. It gives several reasons why most people would probably prefer the new Pyrex over old Pyrex:

  • It's cheaper
  • When it does shatter, it's less dangerous
  • It's less likely to break when you drop it

Note regarding the original article: Pyrex is a weird thing to focus on anyway though, since borosilicate glass bakeware is still easy to find (OXO makes it), it's just not made by Pyrex.

They don't make 'em like they used to

MacBook keyboards, buckling-spring desktop keyboards, and consumer-grade wireless routers.

These are strange things to cite. Keyboards are optimizing for something you clearly don't want (cheapness for most keyboards, thinness for laptop keyboards, and fashion for anything from Apple), but that doesn't mean you can't get the "better" ones. Laptops with mechanical keyboards exist, they're just not very popular: https://www.fifthgeek.com/laptops-with-mechanical-keyboards/

(I'm assuming you're aware that mechanical desktop keyboards still exist)

I'm not sure what you're talking about for consumer grade routers. According to this article, the WRT54G cost $199 in 2001 (~$300 today with inflation). For the same price today, I could buy a router that's 20x faster, supports significantly more concurrent clients, has security that actually works, and is more stable (not to mention all the other bells and whistles new routers have, like how they almost all support printers and network storage).

Or I could get a router that's only 10x faster than the WRT54G (and has security that actually works, etc.) for $60.

Or I could get a low-end enterprise router for $300 if I care about enterprisey features more than raw speed.

Book Review: Spark! How exercise will improve the performance of your brain

Thanks for writing this!

Something you might want to consider in the future is going into the claims made by the book slightly more. While I was reading this, I found myself constantly thinking "Yeah, but should I trust this study?". It sounds like you've looked into this and find them convincing, but I personally would have found it useful to include a little bit more information, like "How big was the study?", "Was it observational or experimental?", "Has anyone reproduced the results?".

The part I was most skeptical of is:

Students were free to come to school one hour earlier than usual and spend that hour exercising. They performed fitness activities such as running rather than team sports, where there can be a lot of waiting around and a much more diluted exercise.

It sounds like there's a pretty major confounder here if group A is "kids who chose to go to school an hour earlier" and group B is "kids who chose not to go to school an hour earlier". I would be very surprised if group A didn't do better in school, given that they're being selected for motivation/not being tired/etc.

Anyway, I still found this useful and don't want to be negative; just thoughts on what would make it even better for me in the future.

Considerations on Compensation

It seems like you're assuming there's no space between "people who don't find EA convincing" and "people who find it so convincing they're willing to donate 30% of their salary". What about the people who think EA is a good idea but don't want to donate such a large amount (right now)?

How can one identify the absolute safest car in practice rather than theory?

Another thing to consider is to what extent each manufacturer hyper-optimizes to pass safety tests (vs actually focusing on safety). I’m having trouble finding a good source for this, but I’ve heard that Volvo has a reputation for doing internal safety testing that goes beyond what NHTSA tests (which would make them safer than safety rankings indicate).

For example, they introduced their “Side Impact Production System” in 1991 (https://www.volvocars.com/us/v/car-safety/safety-heritage) and NHTSA started testing for side crash production in 1996 (https://www.nhtsa.gov/ratings).

I don’t know to what extent they (still) do this but it’s something to consider in any metrics.

Candy Innovation

Adding to the apple/watermelon situation, grapes have improved significantly with Cotton Candy Grapes and Moon Drop Grapes. Apparently the company behind them is just getting started: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fruit_Genetics

The LessWrong Team is now Lightcone Infrastructure, come work with us!

Yes, but nonprofits usually underpay people because of their funding constraints, not as a hazing ritual. There's a big difference between "We believe that your work is worth x but we can't pay you that much because of funding constraints" and "We believe your work is worth x and we're not going to pay you that for no good reason".

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