KPier

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Cash transfers are not necessarily wealth transfers

That is, of course, consistent with it being net neutral to give people money which they spend on school fees, if the mechanism here is 'there are X good jobs, all of which go to people who've had formal education, but formal education adds no value here'. In that scenario it's in anyone's interest to send their kid to school, but all of the kids being sent to school does not net improve anything.

It seems kind of unlikely to me that primary school teaches nothing - and even just teaching English and basic literacy and numeracy seems really valuable - but if it does, that wouldn't make this woman irrational while it would make cash transfers spent on schooling poorly spent overall.

The Craft & The Community - A Post-Mortem & Resurrection

Thanks for answering this. It sounds like the things in the 'maybe concerns, insufficient info' categories are largely not concerns, which is encouraging. I'd be happy to privately contribute salary and CoL numbers to someone's effort to figure out how much people would save.

https://angel.co/manchester/jobs is a little discouraging; there are Lead Java Developer roles listed for £30-50k , no equity which would pay $150,000-$180,000 base in SF and might well see more than $300k in total compensation. Even if you did want to buy a house, which again Bay rationalists largely just don't, that means a house costs three-four years' salary in both cases and in one case you own a million-dollar property which will (unfortunately for the city) probably appreciate significantly and in another you own a £125k property not expected to appreciate any. It might be better to target people who want to retire early to Manchester and people not in tech.

I don't think any amount of gender-related recruiting is more predictive of gender balance than 'how similar is this to the parts of the community which have gender balance'? So it actually would surprise me if, even throwing everything under the bus to achieve this goal, it worked. Of course, I'd say a thriving Manchester community with a lousy gender ratio would still be an amazing accomplishment. A reasonable way to estimate gender balance in the Bay might be "count at Solstice, excluding anyone who flew in for Solstice"? (On the Facebook page so far, of the 29 people attending 12 are women, but Facebook pages are very noisy estimates of attendance and the attendance will be an order of magnitude higher than that, so I won't put that much weight on that.)

Come to think of it, you've got an uphill battle on gender ratios for another reason, which is that women are on average less likely to do weird things, less likely to be underemployed in their twenties, and likelier to have close social ties preventing moving. I still am confident in my prediction but this general factor might be a stronger contributor than culture-specific ones.

The Craft & The Community - A Post-Mortem & Resurrection

Are you disagreeing with my prediction? I'd be happy to bet on it and learning that two of the four initial residents are trans women does not change it.

The Craft & The Community - A Post-Mortem & Resurrection

I wrote a post listing reasons why I would not move to Manchester. Since writing it I've gotten more confident about the 'bad culture fit' conclusion by reading bendini's blog. I would also add that the part of the community with the best gender ratio (rationalist tumblr) and the adjacent community with the best gender ratio (Alicorn's fan community) are also the ones with the norms that the founders of this project seem to find most objectionable, and the ones who seem to be the worst culture fit for the project. I think things like 'culture fit with existing parts of the community that are gender-balanced' end up predicting gender ratio much more than degree of prioritization of attracting women, so I predict Manchester will have significantly (10% or greater) worse gender balance than the Bay in five years, and less strongly expect it to have worse gender balance than the community as a whole.

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

I would live in this if it existed. Buying an apartment building or hotel seems like the most feasible version of this, and (based on very very minimal research) maybe not totally intractable; the price-per-unit on some hotels/apartments for sale is like $150,000, which is a whole lot less than the price of independently purchasing an SF apartment and a pretty reasonable monthly mortgage payment.

2014 Survey Results

I am suspicious of this as an explanation. Most straight-identified women I know who will dance with/jokingly flirt with other women are in fact straight and not 'implicitly bisexual'; plenty of them live in environments where there'd be no social cost to being bisexual, and they are introspective enough that 'they are actually just straight and don't interpret those behaviors as sexual/romantic' seems most likely.

Men face higher social penalties for being gay or bisexual (and presumably for being thought to be gay or bisexual) which seems a more likely explanation for why they don't do things that could be perceived as showing romantic interest toward men (like dancing or 'joking' flirting) than that women are borderline bisexual by nature.

Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014

I am not sure that we're communicating meaningfully here. I said that there's a place to set a threshold that weighs the expense against the lives. All that is required for this to be true is that we assign value to both money and lives. Where the threshold is depends on how much we value each, and obviously this will be different across situations, times, and cultures.

You're conflating a practical concern (which behaviors should society condemn?) and an ethical concern (how do we decide the relative value of money and lives?) which isn't even a particularly interesting ethical concern (governments have standard figures for the value of a human life; they'd need to have such to conduct any interventions at all.) And I am less certain than I was at the start of this conversation of what sort of answer you are even interested in.

Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014

Sorry, I am unwilling to assume any such thing. I would prefer a bit more realistic scenario where there is no well-known and universally accepted threshold. The condition of ships is uncertain, different people can give different estimates of that condition, and different people would choose different actions even on the basis of the same estimate.

It doesn't have to be well-known. Morally there's a threshold. Everyone who is trying to act morally is trying to ascertain where it should be, and everyone who isn't acting morally is taking advantage of the uncertainty about where the threshold is to avoid spending money. That doesn't change that there is a threshold.

Consider doctors sending patients in for surgery after a cancer screening. It is hard to estimate whether someone has cancer, and different doctors might recommend different actions on the basis of the same estimate. This does not change the fact that, in fact, there's a place to put the threshold that balances the risk of sending in patients for unnecessary surgery and the risk of letting cancer spread. On any ethical question this threshold exists. We don't have to be certain about it to acknowledge that judging where it is and where cases fall with respect to it is basically always what we're doing.

Mr. Doc's actions are morally right to the extent he's right (given the evidence he could reasonably have acquired) about the threshold.

Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014

Assume there's a threshold at which sending the ship for repairs is morally obligatory (if we're utilitarians, that is the point at which the cost of the repairs is less than the probability*expected cost of the ship sinking, taking into account the lives aboard, but the threshold needn't be utilitarian for this to work.)

Let's say that the threshold is 5% - if there's more than a 5% chance the ship will go down, you should get it repaired.

Mr. Grumpy's thought process seems to be 'I alieve that my ship will sink, but this alief is harmful and I should avoid it'. He is morally justified in quelling his nightmares, but he'd be morally unjustified if in doing so he rationalized away his belief 'there's a 10% chance my ship will sink' to arrive at 'there's a 3% chance my ship will sink' and thereby did not do the repairs.

Likewise, it's great that Mr. Happy doesn't want to worry, but if you asked him to bet on the ship going down, what odds would he demand? If he thinks that the probability of his ship going down is greater than 5%, then he should have gotten it refitted. If he knows he has a bias toward neglecting negative events, and he knows that his estimate of 1% is probably the result of rationalization rather than reasoning, he should get someone else to estimate or he should correct his estimate for this known bias of his.

Mr. Doc looks at this probability and deems it acceptable (so, presumably, below our action threshold). He is not guilty of anything.

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