lexande

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English Bread Regulations

1) People are probably less likely to throw out stale bread if it's impossible to obtain fresh bread?

2) If the price of e.g. fish is less regulated but generally higher than that of bread, banning fresh bread would lead to a larger rise in the price of fish as more rich people switch to it, which would perhaps lead to fishermen working longer hours and catching more fish, helping make up the overall calorie shortfall from the poor harvest without increasing costs for poor people who could never afford fish in the first place. Whereas letting the price of bread itself rise would be more regressive?

3) Same as with fish but with meat from livestock, pushing tradeoffs in the direction of "slaughter this year" vs "keep fattening up for next year", which could be desirable if the wheat shortage is expected to be temporary, and might even decrease demand for wheat as livestock feed if that was a thing at the time?

Not sure how large any of these effects would be.

What's the upper bound of how long COVID is contagious?

Since apparently some confirmed cases never develop symptoms (this study of Diamond Princess passengers estimates 18%), it seems the answer to your second question is "never"?

Rent Needs to Decrease

The world population is not infinite. If somebody moves to San Francisco that means lower demand and lower rents wherever they came from (and conversely many other US cities now have housing crises caused by exiles from San Francisco). The desirable cities should be allowed to expand until there is more than enough room for everybody (yes, everybody) who wants to live in them to live in them, at which point landlords will no longer have the leverage to keep rents high.

The Rocket Alignment Problem

Next time I see somebody say "shoot for the moon so if you miss you'll land among the stars" I'm going to link them here.

Secondary Stressors and Tactile Ambition
You seem to be saying that you prefer general words that encompass many concepts rather than specific and more precise words.

I can believe that you meant something more specific and precise than "worrying sometimes makes things worse" when you said "secondary stressors", but your post failed to get any more precise distinction across, and if people used the term as jargon they wouldn't be using it for anything more precise than "worrying making things worse". (Less sure about the motivation vs "tactile ambition" example since I don't know of any decent framework for thinking about motivation.)

The Craft And The Codex

Yeah, Lesswrong sometimes feels a bit like a forum for a fad diet that has a compelling story for why it might work and seemed to have greatly helped a few people anecdotally, so the forum filled up with people excited about it, but it doesn't seem to actually work for most of them. Yet they keep coming back because their friends are on the forum now and because they don't want to admit failure.

Debt is an Anti-investment

FDIC doesn't insure safe deposit boxes. It does insure your checking account balance, but your bank still has to figure out somewhere with a nonnegative interest rate to put your money (since the FDIC insurance triggers only after the bank itself is wiped out). Or find a way to charge you enough fees to make your effective interest rate negative.

Debt is an Anti-investment

Yeah, ignoring the option to declare bankruptcy or foreclose, effectively bounding your downside, seems like a major gap in this analysis. Especially as many jurisdictions usually allow people to keep significant assets (primary residence, 401ks) in bankruptcy. (Though on the other hand since 2005 US bankruptcy law obliges many filers to accept "repayment plans" for some fraction of what they owe, so it's not quite "discharging your debt for free".) That said I guess the most common debt for people reading this post is probably nondischargeable student debt; it makes sense if it's mainly talking about that.

Debt is an Anti-investment

Bank lockboxes have fees, which typically work out to more negative interest than the most negative actually-observed government-debt interest rates. (Indeed the operating & insurance costs of bank lockboxes at scale are basically a lower bound on how low government-debt interest rates can go in the market; this article from the European interest rate lows in 2016 suggest insurance costs of 0.5-1%.)

A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy

Bitcoin is (currently) pretty much useless as a medium of exchange. It remains of some practical use as a store of value resilient to certain legal risks (e.g. as the answer to the question Eliezer asked in this Facebook post), and in general with a risk profile uncorrelated with other assets. Its strength over other cryptocurrencies for this use case is based primarily on being the most established Schelling point. It's also possible (though not looking particularly likely) that future software changes will eventually make it useful as a medium of exchange again.

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