magfrump

Mathematician turned software engineer. I like swords and book clubs.

magfrump's Comments

Price Gouging and Speculative Costs

So is there a way to run a charitable organization that accomplishes this?

For example, if an org started ordering respirators to be built to expand capacity starting in January, would that be a good fit for Open Phil funding?

Would LW be able to convince people to move money to it at that point?

What will the economic effects of COVID-19 be?

One piece of this is how many businesses will go out of business.

My cousin, who owns a small business, suggested that 50-75% of small businesses might go under based on a couple of months of being unable to earn money. I don't know enough specifics to dissect exactly what that means but just to name some more specific questions that probably have answers:

How much operating runway do most small businesses have?

How much of that determination is based on rent, and how likely is it that they will have rent payments suspended for a month or more?

How much of that is from payroll, and how much lower will payroll costs be? Presumably much lower for businesses that are not operating at all.

Will employees return to work without difficulty in general?

What will be provided in terms of government assistance?

If a large number of small businesses go under, this will have significant downstream effects on the economy.

Will business lot rents go down?

Where will business owners transition for work?

Will some job markets be flooded? Which ones? How much will this vary by area?

How to Identify an Immoral Maze

I don't like the specific description of levels of hierarchy for reasons I'm not quite certain about. This is at least partly just the phrasing, not the deeper point.

One piece of this is that, as is mentioned in some other comments, not every level of management has the same size. For example, if I regularly speak with my manager's manager and they have both explicit awareness of the object level work I do and share some responsibility for the outcome of that work, are they really two levels above me? What if I only talk to them once a month? Once a quarter? There may be some calculus that one can use to compute whether these count as 2 levels or 1.27 levels, but it seems like it has a strong interaction with the other criteria, such as how much slack I'm given, whether excellence is measurable, and who has skin in the game.

Maybe this is an optimistic take based on good luck with the team I currently work on, but my expectation is that usually there will be more levels of hierarchy than there are levels of non-interaction; that is, I expect most actual ranked titles to correspond to 1/2 or less of a level of hierarchy, which makes it a bit difficult to measure the depth of an organization.

Maybe this is just pessimistic of me though, and it's easy to find an up to date, readable org chart when joining an organization? That doesn't match my experience though.

Anyway I don't really feel satisfied that I've found my true objection but maybe this will help someone else or future me identify something.

What is Life in an Immoral Maze?

If your value at a company is 90% determined by your relationships, moving to a new company in most cases means giving up 90% of your value to the company since you will have no relationships at a new company outside of a coordinated move.

If you aren’t in middle management you potentially have other ways of demonstrating value to be better placed and not sacrifice as much career progress.

A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy

This post distinguishes between the success of the LW community on identifying crypto and the relative failure on acting on crypto in a way that reminds me of how important it is to actually act on information instead of just processing it mentally.

I think this failure mode of understanding a problem but failing to act on that understanding is a very common one for me and I would expect for other readers. I think both emphasizing that this is a part of the problem to be solved, and illustrating specific benefits from solving that problem in a historical context, where you can actually assign monetary value to those outcomes, is a great way to emphasize the specific value involved in rationality.

Also the discussion quickly converges on a relatively cheap solution of writing up tutorial style documentation for processes like this that you've found to be high value. That kind of intro tutorial is one of the most valuable things to read for exactly this reason, because it can close that "understanding->action" gap and I would love to read more articles inspired by this notion that there are plots of value ready to be grasped.

Jacob's Twit, errr, Shortform

I certainly have the moral instinct to.

I don't have a lot of experience with people within my friend group hooking up, or necessarily a lot of experience hearing about the details of hookups enough to have explicitly put me in that situation.

I have had several personal experiences where I reciprocated advances from women, then later been hit by the fallout of the lack of explicit verbal negotiation of what was going to happen. And I certainly reprimand friends (including women) for failing to communicate in their relationships at a broader level when I do know about it.

Jacob's Twit, errr, Shortform

In my experience I endorse affirmative consent as a *strongly* enforced social norm. Having sex or even kissing someone without explicitly asking first is something that I would reprimand friends if I knew they did.

I am probably in some very strongly selected communities but I like living in a world where affirmative consent is the explicit norm and I would not want to go back outside that.

Buck's Shortform

How do you connect with tutors to do this?

I feel like I would enjoy this experience a lot and potentially learn a lot from it, but thinking about figuring out who to reach out to and how to reach out to them quickly becomes intimidating for me.

Norms of Membership for Voluntary Groups

I think an important point with this system (and RE: "Not a Taxonomy") is that it's possible to mix and match norms.

For example, in a recreational sports team you see inclusion and membership having Civic norms (sometimes moving slightly toward Guest norms for something like pickup games) but praise and feedback being closer to Kaizen norms.

I bring up this specific example because I think it's the default assumption I made about the sort of space LessWrong was when I discovered it. In particular because the cost of admitting additional members is very low, I expect the minimum standards for expertise in the community to be very low, but the expectations around feedback and discussion to be goal-driven. This contrasts with something like a sports team or a workplace, where there is often a limit on the number of people who can join a community or a high cost to adding more members, and each member relies directly on the work of others.

A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy

Strongly agree that I probably would have bought some crypto on LW advice had there been a nearby meetup to go through the process of doing it. Otherwise my priors about not giving my credit card info (or whatever) to strange websites were too strong to believe I would even successfully engage in the strategy.

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