All of Malo's Comments + Replies

MIRI’s 2018 Fundraiser

Update: Added an announcement of our newest hire, Edward Kmett, as well as a list of links to relatively recent work we've been doing in Agent Foundations, and updated the post to reflect the fact that Giving Tuesday is over (though our matching opportunity continues)!

LessWrong.com URL transfer complete, data import will run for the next few hours

It's my understanding, thought Oliver can of course correct me if I'm wrong, that the canonical domain will be lesswrong.com, and all lesserwrong.com/* links will redirect to lesswrong.com/*, to ensure that any links on the web to lesserwrong.com continue to work.

4habryka3yYep, that's correct. We probably will get around to doing that today.
MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

Update 2:

Professional poker players Martin Crowley, Tom Crowley, and Dan Smith, in partnership with Raising for Effective Giving, have just announced a $1 million Matching Challenge and included MIRI among the 10 organizations they are supporting!

Also, we’ve hit our first fundraising target ($625,000)!

See here for more details.

MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

Update 2: Professional poker players Martin Crowley, Tom Crowley, and Dan Smith, in partnership with Raising for Effective Giving, have just announced a $1 million Matching Challenge and included MIRI among the 10 organizations they are supporting!

Also, we’ve hit our first fundraising target ($625,000)!

See here for more details.

MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

Awesome! Thanks so much :)

MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

We just passed the 1/4 mark towards our first target! Fun fact, of the ~$200k raised so far in the fundraiser, ~65% of that has come from cryptocurrency dontions.

1ArisKatsaris3yMakes sense, I'm betting many members of the wider rationalist community have seen their assets increase because of the significant rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies this year.
MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

We just passed the 1/4 mark towards our first target! Fun fact, of the ~$200k raised so far in the fundraiser, ~65% of that has come from cryptocurrency dontions.

Living in an Inadequate World

You might also want to check out Ketolent.

Inadequacy and Modesty

It's just a really big project. It's almost an order of magnitude longer then In Eq, and it was written in a way that makes it much more challenging to turn into a paper book. E.g., links are pretty important when reading the Sequences. Said another way, the task of getting a physical book up for sale on Amazon is pretty trivial. The process of transforming the actual content of the Sequences into something that works in book form is significantly harder. In Eq doesn't have this issue.

The enormity of the task combined with other competing priorities at MIRI are the reason it's not out yet.

1Andrew Me3yI don't understand. It's already in book form, just only available as an e-book. Wasn't the plan to turn the ebook into a physical book? (not create an entirely new book?) Also, links are great, but they aren't preventing an audio book. And a goal of R:AZ was that "You can simply read the book as a book." MIRI themselves stated in 2015 that " Paper versions should be available later this year." I guess they were just demonstrating this: https://www.readthesequences.com/Planning-Fallacy We should start a pool if this will be out before Winds of Winter!
2Andrew Me3ywtf happened to rationality's print version?
10/28/17 Development Update: New editor framework (markdown support!), speed improvements, style improvements

I think the new font looks pretty good. I do think though for a body font the x-height is pretty small which makes is less readable.

1habryka4yYeah, that is also my biggest problem with it. I might move towards Merriweather, which has a larger font-size, but fits a bit less with the theme of the page.
LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

I personally think to grey lines on the side do a pretty good job, but I also think that the boxes on LW 1 are doing something that makes things clearer. I do think that the LW 1 comments boxes do look a little junky though, and I'm very much enjoying the clean look of LW 2.0 overall. Not sure what a good compromise would be. Maybe all top level comments are a little more distinguishable in some way?

LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

I agree there is something nice about being able to see who upvoted or downvoted a comment or post, but I don't think I'd want this to be the default. I expect I'd feel uncomfortable voting on some stuff if I knew that my vote would be public. Maybe after voting, an option could appear that said something like “Make vote public”. Then you could have something pop up on hover (or with a tap on tablets/phones) that showed something like “Malo and 3 other people upvoted this post”. Though that would probably get unweildy if lots of people made

... (read more)
3Said Achmiz4yWell, I think I might've been unclear. I wasn't actually suggesting that upvotes come with authorship labels. All the reasons you list for why this isn't a great idea, I agree with. I was saying, rather, that the upvote/downvote system is fundamentally missing something; that it can't substitute for expressing explicit verbal agreement. The immediate corollary that should occur to us is: what is voting even for? Consider a scenario. I write a post about software usability. A hundred people read it, and have a strong enough opinion on its quality that they are moved to click the voting widget. 99 of those people are ordinary LessWrongers, with no particular expertise in the subject. They upvote me. The 100th person is Jakob Nielsen [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_Nielsen_(usability_consultant)]. He downvotes me. My post now has a score of 99 points. Is this an accurate representation of its value? No. One “layman” doesn't equal one Jakob Nielsen, when it comes to evaluating claims or opinions about usability engineering. Even 99 laymen doesn't equal one Jakob Nielsen. If Nielsen thinks that my post is crap, and that basically everything I'm saying is wrong and confused, well, basically, that's that. 99 non-expert LessWrongers doesn't “balance that out”, and the sum of “99 LessWrongers think I'm right” and “Jakob Nielsen thinks I'm wrong” does not come out to “a score of +99! what a great post!”. That's just not how that math works. Furthermore, suppose Nielsen posts a comment under my post, saying “this is crap and you're a nincompoop”. What, now, is the value of that “99” score, to a reader? You now know what a domain expert thinks. Unless other domain experts weigh in, there's nothing more to discuss. That 99 LessWrongers disagree with Jakob Nielsen about usability is... interesting, perhaps, in some academic sense. But from an epistemic standpoint, Nielsen's hypothetical comment tells you all you need to know about my post. The upvote score is obviated a
LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

Yeah upvotes can mean a lot of different things like endorse, agree, or high quality comment (even though I disagree). This comment thread on another post discussed some potential extensions to upvoting that might help with this.

LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

I don't think this is working for me. I just made a bunch of comments last night, and got a couple replies since then. When I visited the site today I only noticed people had added comments when I saw then in the recent comments section.

How's this supposed to work?

LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

Re: #1: I to am a big fan of Practical Typography :) That's a pretty good point, I actually don't thik we disagree much. I think I may prefer just slightly prefer whiter backgrouds with slightly grey text. But only slightly.

Re: #2: I largely agree with this, though I might lean more on the side of giving the user less configuration options. Like, if you give everyone an option for everything, then the options get real cluttered. But I don't have strong feeling about adding this preference in general.

Re: #3: Totally.

LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

This is an epic comment with lots of great ideas and observations.

A few comments/opinions:

  1. I don't think the text should be proper black as in #000000. I find that slightly off black makes for a better reading experience, and I think this is pretty standard practice, though I may be mistaken.

  2. I think it's a feature that upvotes and downvotes appear above and below. I may want to see the count at the top before reading, but then again at the bottom so I can vote once I've read the post.

  3. Agree that hamburgers aren't great, but hover based

... (read more)
3Said Achmiz4yThanks! Re: #1: It is common practice to make body text off-black. Is it good practice? Well, Matthew Butterick’s book, Butterick’s Practical Typography [http://practicaltypography.com/what-is-good-typography.html]—considered a definitive work on the subject—uses black text. You may note that Butterick suggests [http://practicaltypography.com/color.html] using off-black text—but consider his reasoning: the issue is contrast! As Butterick notes, screens emit light rather than absorbing it, making high contrast potentially painful to look at. Indeed; but darkening the background reduces the amount of light emitted, while lightening the text increases it. The former is superior as a way of reducing contrast. (Just don’t do both! That's wholly unnecessary.) Edit: Check out readthesequences.com [https://www.readthesequences.com/] for an example of “black on off-white”. Re: #2: Something to be A/B tested, I suppose. (Alternatively and even better: have this be user-configurable, via the account settings page, e.g.: "Display vote widget (•) above post only ( ) below post only ( ) both above and below post". "Sane defaults plus comprehensive configuration options" is the gold standard of UX design for such matters.) Re: #3: This is exactly the point of responsive design. Hover for desktop clients, hamburger for mobile. There is no reason at all to insist on a single, unified solution; web UIs should at all times be appropriate to the platform they're being viewed on.
LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

Nice!

Two thoughts:

  1. What about adding a small link icon next to the time that is the link to the comment. Having the time be the link is pretty hard to discover. Facebook does it this way, and it took me a pretty long time to consistently remember, and rediscovering was really annoying.

  2. I think the idea of displaying the linked comment at the top of the page is cool, but I also find it a little confusing (like I instictively think “where’s the rest of the discussion” for a quick sec). I also almost always click the “Show comment in full contetxt” link. Given

... (read more)
3Said Achmiz4yFully seconded, on both points.
LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

Harvard Law Review also has a pretty classy way of doing footnotes (example post).

LessWrong 2.0 Feature Roadmap & Feature Suggestions

Yeah that would be really great. Medium does this kind of well. Chris Olah's blog also has this feature (example post), but it’s implemented in a pretty hacky way using Disqus.

It would be cool if you could highlight some text in a post, and there was an easy way to create a comment that quoted that part of the text. Maybe you could even show some sort of visual highlight on that text in the post if the dicussion is high quality (measure by come combination of Karma and lenght?).

Welcome to Lesswrong 2.0

Yeah, it's pretty unreasonable to expect typography to be dialed in for the closed beta :)

Some quick thoughts/opinions I have for the post text:

  • I'd consider making the body text a serif font. I find it's a better reading experience.

  • Body text is too grey. It definitely shouldn't be black, but maybe darker at something like: #2F2230.

  • I'd differentiate heading a little more, maybe a different font, or real small caps. Also if I was being really opinionated I'd only support 3 heading levels and make them smaller. I think people are

... (read more)
1habryka4yAs many of you might have noticed, after a discussion with Malo and some great suggestions by him, the typography for the whole page is updated and looks a lot better! I will still do a larger typography rework at some point during the closed-beta, and will obviously do adjustments as I notice problems with the current setup, but I am definitely happier with this.
Welcome to Lesswrong 2.0

I'd generally recommend reading Practical Typography, and Professional Web Typography. I expect knowing that stuff well would be valuable since LW is primary a websites where people read lots of text.

2habryka4yYes, I am a fan of Practical Typography and skimmed Professional Web Typography a while ago. I haven't yet spend super much time optimizing the typography of LW2, and am happy about input. Rereading both of the books above in the process of that might be a good idea.
MIRI's 2015 Summer Fundraiser!

Someone just snagged the last $1,001 match. Thanks to all those who donated $1,001 to secure the matching, and DeevGrape for providing it!

MIRI's 2015 Summer Fundraiser!

Another $1,001 donation has come it.

One last $1,001 match remaining.

6Malo6ySomeone just snagged the last $1,001 match. Thanks to all those who donated $1,001 to secure the matching, and DeevGrape for providing it!
MIRI's 2015 Summer Fundraiser!

3 of the 5 $1,001 matches have already been claimed. As additional $1,001 donations come in I'll post updates here.

8Malo6yAnother $1,001 donation has come it. One last $1,001 match remaining.
New forum for MIRI research: Intelligent Agent Foundations Forum

The server was down, but it is back up again now.

3ETranshumanist6yThank you!
New forum for MIRI research: Intelligent Agent Foundations Forum

It does: http://agentfoundations.org/rss

The link to it is the last thing in the right sidebar. It says RSS in green.

Rationality: From AI to Zombies

Definitely beneficial, there is no cost worth considering when it comes to the next marginal person getting the book through our site, even if their selection is $0. So don't worry about directing them there.

Rationality: From AI to Zombies

No fees, but also takes some extra staff time (additional bookkeeping/accounting work is involved), so there is some cost to it. If we got more BTC donations it would reduce the time cost per donation, due to effects of batching, but as it stands now, they are usually processed (record added to our donor database and accounting software) on an individual basis.

One thing that takes a significant amount of time is when someone mis-pays a Coinbase invoice (sends a different amount of BTC then they indicated on the Coinbase form on our site). Coinbase treats t... (read more)

2[anonymous]6yI used and prefer Bitcoin, which wasn't an option for the eBook and which carries smaller fees.
Rationality: From AI to Zombies

Depending on how you sent money to MIRI, we'd incur transaction fees anyway (donating through PayPal using a PayPal account or CC). ACH donations have lower fees, and checks don't have any, but both of those take staff time to process, so unless the donation was say $50 or more, it probably wouldn't be worth it.

1[anonymous]6yWhat about Bitcoin?
A Guide to Rational Investing

Slight nitpick. It's actually saying, you can do better than just buying index funds, not that you shouldn't buy them.

A Guide to Rational Investing

In my opinion it is not really possible to scale a market-inefficiency-exploiting strategy to the level that Betterment and WealthFront are after.

Yeah, I can imagine it's hard to take advantage of some of the inefficiencies you pointed out at that scale. Though they do invest in funds like Small-Cap ETFs because of the market inefficiency you pointed out.

I consider their approach to be an alternative to using Vanguard . . .

This confuses me a little since the vast majority of the funds they invest in are Vanguard ETFs. Maybe you mean something more specific that I'm missing?

5ColbyDavis7yHaha, ok. So you can just go buy a Vanguard target-date retirement fund and let the fund's internal structure take care of the asset allocation for you, or you can go talk to somebody at Vanguard [https://investor.vanguard.com/what-we-offer/investing-help/choose-the-help-thats-right-for-you] who will either give you some straightforward advice about how to build your own portfolio for a one-time fee or build your portfolio for you for an ongoing fee, or go to Betterment where they will build you a portfolio out of Vanguard funds, or you can build it yourself using some of the insights you gleaned from this article. All of these are reasonable solutions.
A Guide to Rational Investing

Am I right that services like Betterment and WealthFront are basically automating most of this? They offer automated investment in a mix of ETFs (of stocks and bonds) weighted to ones risk tolerance, which is rebalanced automatically, and bought/sold in the most tax efficient manner (all for a small fee).

I recently spent some time figuring out how I wanted do investing in the US, and settled on using Betterment. Using a service like theirs seems strictly better than doing it myself, and I haven't found any compelling arguments that finding a financial advisor would be worth the effort.

6ColbyDavis7yThe online services Betterment and WealthFront explicitly state they hold the efficient markets hypothesis is true and invest exclusively in broad-market index funds. I consider their approach to be an alternative to using Vanguard, which is to say, they offer an excellent service and many people would be well to use them, but I believe more optimal investing is possible. In my opinion it is not really possible to scale a market-inefficiency-exploiting strategy to the level that Betterment and WealthFront are after.
Open thread, September 8-14, 2014

Unfortunately the program has been discontinued by Capital One :(

We have it in our queue to look into alternatives.

One thing you might want to look into is that many cards will allow you to donate your reward points etc. to charity. For many credit cards, this generates more value for the charity you choose to donate to.

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

We are definitely planning on doing this. Just waiting for all prizes to be officially awarded first.

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

The leaderboard is unique donors for the whole 24 hour period. But the prizes are for most unique donors in an hour, so the leaderboard won't tell us much.

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

We didn't win the 12 pm hour, but we won the 1 am hour! We also won the 408 prize of $2,500!

We have a live blog setup here, and a live feed of “the war room” at MIRI.

1steven04617y(MIRI lost the third hour despite being comfortably on top of the leaderboard: what matters is the increase over the last hour, so at this point the leaderboard is probably misleading as an indicator of how close things are.)
Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

Weird not sure how that happened. Fixed in the blog post. Luke should be updating the LW post momentarily.

Thanks for catching that!

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

Ooh, I misread that.

I didn't even know there was a LW Facebook group! I've just requested access and will post momentarily.

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

Yes.

The reason is that we have no real data about how many donations in any given hour will be enough to win the $2,000. So the trade off we decided to take is to increase our likelihood of winning a few hours, at the expense of having an even distribution over more hours. Since I'm happier to win a few by a landslide, than loose all of them by a hair. Also, more practically, coordinating the latter approach is much more difficult on a large scale.

3seez7yOh, yeah. I thought you meant you put it on the LessWrong Facebook group, not the MIRI Facebook page.
Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

Glad to hear it, and thanks for the kind words!

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

Done :)

Also boosting it with some ad dollars to increase the reach.

3seez7yer, you did? I don't see it.
Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

I'm sure there are ways to do that, but very few people know how to use those tools.

As for MIRI staff staying up there are other reasons to do so, such as monitoring the giving patterns of other orgs, and monitor our attempts to win matching and coordinate those individuals.

(Also FWIW, I think you could have made the suggestion about automating the process, which is a great and helpful idea, in a much nicer and constructive fashion.)

Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity!

They will not :(

All donations must be made through our page on Razoo. Razoo only accepts credit cards and debit cards.

3Dr_Manhattan7yAnd Paypal
2DanArmak7yYes, it seems they stopped accepting PayPal at some point in the past two hours? ETA: never mind, I got it to work again. Had to delete cookies and restart. Previously the paypal option didn't even show up.

It might be worth saying that explicitly in the post, I didn't look at the links and was going to go to your normal donate page. (Which I see is currently just directing people to this post, so no loss, just minor friction.)

MIRI Donation Collaboration Station

Yeah, coordination will be very important. See this comment for some of my thoughts.

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