maia's Comments

What will the economic effects of COVID-19 be?
27. That's the number of days that nearly half of all the small businesses in the United States can go without making any revenue.

Source: NPR

March Coronavirus Open Thread

Complete speculation here: Our economy in 1918 was based much more on agriculture and industry, whereas now it is much more based on services, aka people going to work, which they now can't do, and also much larger. So perhaps the coronavirus will, in fact, destroy more real value than the Spanish flu was able to, even as a percentage of the market.

2020's Prediction Thread

"Any road that Google Maps has access to" is a high bar when you consider that that includes the roads in many countries with wildly different driver and pedestrian dynamics than the United States.

2020's Prediction Thread
At least one company sells fully autonomous cars, defined as cars that can autonomously perform nearly all tasks that normal drivers accomplish. 80%

There are some unspecified parameters here. Do you mean autonomous cars that are ...

  • region-locked, or able to drive anywhere?
  • able to drive in all weather conditions, or limited to only some?
Propagating Facts into Aesthetics
do you think startup cofounders tend to team up because they’ve helped each other take out the trash?


To expand on this a little bit: I do think that sharing a vision and purpose and stuff is important, but that doing little things together and for each other can also make or break a long-term relationship. This applies to both marriages and founding startups. If your co-founder helps you take out the trash, you'll be a little less pissed off at them for whatever important stuff you're disagreeing about this week, which in turn will help resolve those disagreements more smoothly.

Meetup Cookbook

Oh yeah, I forgot to suggest doing rounds of names during the introductory period of the meetup. That's helpful too. (A benefit of being the organizer is it's much easier to remember everyone's name, because if you have a bunch of regulars, you only have to remember one or two new names each week.)

I'm skeptical of making an FAQ for new people, unless it's genuinely made up of questions that you, personally, have received in this circumstance. Seems likely to come off as condescending.

My strategy with people who seem like they come from very far outside the LW subculture is to try to meet them where they are... ask questions like "what did you find interesting about rationality / why did you come here?" and try to meet them in the middle, or have a productive conversation if you have obvious disagreements. Focus on areas where you have commonalities, rather than telling them everything they are wrong about right off the bat.

But I don't get too much practice with this, since most of our new people find the meetups through the LW website.

Meetup Cookbook

Nope, that is not right.

Our schedule is weighted towards doing things that are simpler and have good replay value. We do board games and projects each once every 5 weeks, Group Debugging a little less often than that, and mix the remaining meetups in semi-arbitrarily, at a frequency of once every couple months for each type.

We do almost no explicit rationality content at all. Only reading discussion meetups could be described as that, and we do them very rarely.

People talk amongst themselves about whatever they want. Usually the structured portion of the meetup is about 1/3 of the total time, and the rest is just general conversation. There's a fair amount of it that ends up being related to rationality inside baseball, but it depends on who shows up and what they're thinking about on a given week.

Open Thread June 2018

So you don't like the gamification on the app. Have you considered... using a less gamified app to track workouts? Or not using an app at all?

How To Build A Community Full Of Lonely People

I'm okay at it. Step 1 is to actually know things about the interests of people. To do that, you have to be reasonably good at one-on-one conversation: asking people open-ended questions, showing genuine interest in them, etc. That's how you find out what they're interested in in the first place.

Once you've done that, Step 2 is just to mention it to each of them when they are both present, especially when you're introducing them. "This is X, they are a professional Y and also like to do Z in their spare time" works well if you already know the other person is interested in Y or Z.

Stupid Questions January 2015

The DC LessWrong group has a strong norm of splitting up conversations into multiple, which works well if people are being bored by a single person talking - one person will turn to someone else who looks bored and strike up a different thread with them. (Then if other people also are bored, they will join the separate thread or start their own.)

This fixes a few other conversational problems as well.

Load More