Creator of the Complice productivity system, which hosts the Less Wrong Study Hall:

Working full-time on solving human coordination at the mindset level.


There’s no such thing as a tree (phylogenetically)

Oh huh I completely skimmed past that on first read & didn't even notice it, but revisiting it after seeing this comment, I also find it off-putting. Could capture most of the good and none of the bad with something more like "Buckle up, you have no idea what you're in for!" which feels (appropriately) like an invitation to a wild tour, rather than a "you fucked up."

Feels weird being told to shut up when I hadn't said anything.

Zvi's Law of No Evidence

I appreciate you trying to write this up, but as other commenters have noted, there's no contradiction here in the first place and you appear to have missed the point.

As far as I can tell, if you understand Yudkowsky's point, Zvi's follows directly. {No evidence of X} = {evidence of not-X}, but the speech act of claiming "There is no evidence of X" only occurs when there is some evidence worth claiming doesn't count as evidence.

And Yudkowsky's point also points out that essentially "no evidence" is not just vague but in virtually all cases just completely misleading. It would be better to say "the absence of any photographs or eyewitness accounts is evidence that this story was fabricated."

There is evidence for and evidence against but there is no "no evidence".

Well, apparently I decided to write this up as its own post.

Canada Covid Update: thinking out loud

Yeah not quite Australia but closer to Australia than to what we've had. The border has been nearly closed to all except citizens and close partners. Canada has forced 14-day quarantines for everyone entering, and fined a guy $500k for stopping to sightsee on his way to Alaska. One weird thing is that while the land border basically only lets citizens go into their country (with rare exceptions), I gather that Canadians can fly to the US, but not the reverse. So returning Canadians would be a major source of infections.

I think sane policy would have increased returning quarantine to 3 weeks to be safe, and enforced it quite strictly. Then pour tons of resources into contact tracing as well.

Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots

🇨🇦 Tiny Canada update: we've now vaccinated 10 doses per 100 people, and since we're officially doing first doses first in most cases, that's nearly 10% of the population vaccinated. The territories, that have almost nobody in them, are like half-vaccinated already.

Interestingly, while we're way behind the USA on administering vaccine doses (they're at 37 doses per 100 people), we've already soared way past the "more people vaccinated than ever tested positive" figure because we had fewer people test positive in the first place. From a timeline perspective though, that unfortunately means we're even further from herd immunity than being so behind on vaccines would imply.

Nevermind, this update became not-tiny and I made it its own post:

🇨🇦 Canada Covid Update: thinking out loud

Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots

This is a good point, and suggests that the bigger issue was whatever caused anyone to publish anything saying there seemed to be an association between the vaccines and blood clots in the first place.

Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots

Guessing that that varies by location—I've heard of online classrooms where you're not allowed to have your video off nearly all day.

But even if it's all as you describe, one answer for how virtual classes might still be worse is that for kids whose home situations are abusive or neglectful, it makes a meaningful positive difference to get to be around teachers and other kids outside their home.

Covid 2/4: Safe and Effective Vaccines Aplenty

🇨🇦 Canada update: we are WAY behind on vaccines (2.7% of population) and the bottleneck is very clear: we don't have the doses.

The "why" is also becoming a bit more clear: we never even tried to create a big manufacturing plant for it last year and instead just tried to partner with everybody, including a deal with China that was announced last May and started going sideways 3 days later but we're just finding out now that it completely fell through and is a nonstarter! Wtf.

A couple articles to read on that front:

Not sure what we can do about any of that now though, unlike the USA where Zvi points at many obvious mistakes being made in the present, or choice points around approvals.

Meanwhile cases continue to trend downward (restrictions are mostly working) but there's no reason I'm aware of to think we aren't still going to gradually see growth of the UK strains and others.

Here's a longer update I wrote awhile ago: Covid Canada Jan25: low & slow

Covid Canada Jan25: low & slow

News: This article lays out roughly why Canada is way behind on vaccines—no attempt was even made last year to ramp up manufacturing capacity in Canada, instead just a bunch of partnerships, including one with China that completely fell through (other sources (eg globe & mail) have speculated that it may have fallen through in part because China is still grumpy at Canada for arresting the Huawei exec 2 years ago, but that's unclear).

LILLEY: Britain's vaccine success the path Canada should have followed

Technological stagnation: Why I came around

Something missing from the top-level post: why stagnation.

I'll just put out that one of the tiny things that most gave me a sense of "fuck" in relation to stagnation was reading an essay written in 1972 that was lamenting the "publish or perish" phenomenon. I had previously assumed that that term was way more recent, and that people were trying to fix it but it would just take a few years. To realize it was 50 years old was kinda crushing honestly.

Here's google ngrams showing how common the phrase "publish or perish" was in books through the last 200 years. It was coined in the 30s and took off in the 60s, peaking in 1968. Interesting & relevant timing!

Technological stagnation: Why I came around

I don't have the detailed knowledge needed to flesh this out, but it occurred to me that there might be a structure of an argument someone could make that would be shaped something like "we got a lot of meaningful changes in the last 70 years, but they didn't create as many nonlinear tipping points as in the previous industrial revolutions."

Fwiw, flying cars probably wouldn't hit any such tipping point, though self-driving cars probably would.

Widespread nuclear energy might've meant little concern about global warming at this point, but solar & wind have been trucking along slowly enough that there's tons of concern.

I think the internet is doing something important for the possibility of running your own 1-2 person business, which is a meaningful tipping point. There are various other tipping points happening as a result of computers and the internet, which is why I think it stands out as @jasoncrawford's only named revolutionary technologies.

Anyway, hoping someone can steelman this for me, considering the nonlinear cascades in each era & from each technology, and seeing whether there's indeed something different about pre-1970 and after. I'm not confident there is, to be clear, but I have some intuition that says this might be part of what people are seeing.

Load More