Thanks Josh, your comments have been informative and I'm glad you made them! A major thing that I think this reveals is that I personally am quite risk-averse — I'm willing to pay a premium for maybe-slightly-better perfusion even though that field is so murky, and for life insurance that won't just stop covering me. A maybe-related personality trait is low confidence, so like even if I believe the arguments for short timelines, I don't have enough confidence in that belief to take on (what I perceive to be) the risk of term insurance just based on that.
Al... (read more)
Yeah, I largely agree with lsusr. According to my mom (whose career has focused on second language acquisition and Chinese-American cultural exchange), basically no student gets past second year Chinese at a university level unless they're majoring it. Like, even business majors who plan to work in China. When I took university-level Chinese it really shocked me how much harder it was than other languages I'd learned – after nine months of five hours a week of quality university-level instruction, reading-wise I could barely understand books aimed at toddl... (read more)
Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait we are IN THE SAME PLACE
This is awesome, I've been curious about Asian flush for ages but never put in the work to research it. Thanks!
Your link in the first sentence is broken; it should go to https://www.alignmentforum.org/posts/6DuJxY8X45Sco4bS2/seeking-power-is-often-robustly-instrumental-in-mdps
I don't feel like listening faster solves the same problem as having a transcript...
Also yeah, like the podcasters below mentioned, it's totally worth it to make transcripts. Just use Rev.com.
This doesn't address the exact question you asked, but I think it's important to say. (But it's 1 AM, so I'm not going to say it very well.)
(I'm largely using the general 'you' here rather than specifically calling out OP.)
COVID has put us in a state of fear that doesn't always respond appropriately to new data. It has always been true that you can get sick from being around other people. In fact, it's always been true that you can contract an as-yet-uncurable chronic disease from being around other people.
Is your post-vaccination risk of contracting long ... (read more)
Fixed! Thanks :)
I don't watch videos but I just wanna say I love that cover art! Such a lot of meaning packed into one image!!
I think it used to apply to me more – as a kid if people asked me something along the lines of "what did you do today?" I would automatically say "I don't know," and then if I thought they wanted a real answer, I would think for a bit. But I could almost always answer after thinking for a couple seconds.
I think part of your confusion comes from conflating experiential memory with verbal memory. In the essay, he also mentions that he's really good at remembering arbitrary sequences of digits; I presume that extends to things such as grocery lists, and possi... (read more)
Oh, and I also notice that despite my weak visual imagination, movie adaptations can still 'ruin' books for me, not exactly because they lock in a certain way that things look, but because they lock in the characters' personalities and the general vibe.
I don't even know how to answer this because it's coming from a place that's so foreign to me. I have a quite weak visual imagination (not full-on aphantasia), and I've never heard a voice speaking words in my head when I read (although actually, now that I've listened to a lot of audiobooks, I can force this to happen briefly if I concentrate). But I've always enjoyed reading! To me, I guess I would say, words are just sort of fundamental? Like, the word itself, the shape of squiggles on the page, is the thing that has meaning, and I don't have to visuali... (read more)
The slender, olive-skinned man brushed the golden locks out of his hazel eyes. He was so focused on preparing for the assassination that he burned his tongue on the scalding cuppa joe (hazelnut, light cream).That becomes: There’s an assassin.
The slender, olive-skinned man brushed the golden locks out of his hazel eyes. He was so focused on preparing for the assassination that he burned his tongue on the scalding cuppa joe (hazelnut, light cream).
That becomes: There’s an assassin.
This resonates so hard for me! When writing fiction I've always felt a bit like I'm doing it wrong because I write almost solely about the characters' feelings, motivations, and internal monologuing. Visual descriptions are something I shoehorn in because I feel like I'm supposed to have them, and figuring out t... (read more)
No, Ray is almost certainly right. Everyone I talked to who lived with one exactly one other person (my sister and my mom, and lots of people with their romantic partners) had a way better time than everyone I know who lived in a group house, N=50+. (I can think of maybe one exception?) This is partly about it being easier to negotiate with just one other person, as mentioned in the post, but also just everything being less difficult with just one other person. It's easier to avoid them if you're feeling anti-social; it's easier to build routines alongside... (read more)
As mentioned in the post, I'm working on the assumption that all costs double roughly every 20 years due to inflation. So the mid 2060s would be two doublings from now, so you'd multiply the current funding minimum of $80,000 by 4 = ~$320,000. Obviously that's just a rough estimate from a very simple model, but I hope it helps :)
I mean, not really? Everyone has told me that 'nutritionists do/believe it' is not a good reason to do/believe something. I'm also not saying that I stand behind 2000 calories per day; I'm saying that Jim says a lot of things about nutrition all the time and I want to know why.
Okay, I've heard you say "for most people, 2000 calories per day is a shortfall" and other nutrition-related claims like a hundred times (probably literally if secondhand "Jim says X about nutrition" counts), but unless https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/nutrition is seriously failing me, you've never written about why you believe any of that. Which seems especially bad to me in a domain where most information is untrustworthy, and we all know that it's untrustworthy but most of us don't know how to figure what is true. I feel like I'm just supposed to believe ... (read more)
While I'm not against this policy (I'm Chinese American and already sometimes wore surgical masks when sick), I expect your experience of the past year has given you a falsely inflated sense of the efficacy of masks. Yes, they definitely help prevent you from contracting airborne diseases, but a large part of the reduction in infectious disease transmission risk this year was due to the full battery of COVID restrictions, rather than just your own mask use. Like, flu rates were very low because people were very isolated from one another, and so in any g... (read more)
Reasonable; looking at it again, '0 and 1 are not probabilities' was not my true rejection at all. Mostly I was just surprised to see such an extremely good result from the vaccine that everyone seems to agree is worse.
I jumped at the chance to get J&J even though I'm not a essential worker or anything. I think the disconnect between our intuitions is here:
People who can easily continue to guard against significant COVID risks for several weeks without much downside other than quality of life should wait several weeks for Pfizer or Moderna.
As was discussed a bunch in my post on lockdown, the quality of life & mental health impact can be really massive. A marginal month may not seem like a lot if you are really just doing totally fine in lockdown and don't have an... (read more)
See, but they did know!
Side note, my dance group was entirely made up of nerds. And in general I don't resonate with the nerd/jock dichotomy, like, at all. Though based on my sister's experience (in competitive tae kwon do) that may have to do with competitive vs non-competitive forms of exercise.
"Only do it if it's easy and you like it" doesn't seem as obviously wrong to me as it's supposed to sound. During the 6 years of my life when I had dance practice ~twice a week I never just decided I didn't want to show up, because I really liked going! In performances I would get this high where I wanted to just do every song straight through for the full hour (or however long), even though I always scheduled in rests for each person – and a lot of other people had this experience as well. Similarly, when I run on an elliptical I get to a point where I fe... (read more)
God, life would have been so much better if I could drive. I could have gone home to my family. I could have done so many things! But extremely unfortunately I spent 2019 and the latter half of 2018 cultivating a pathological fear of cars, and specifically me driving them. Agh.
Anyway I'm glad you're satisfied with what you did, that's really good! Definitely watch out for that agoraphobia – I've heard a lot of people express that same sentiment and I sincerely hope we don't all end up socially crippled for the rest of time. Do you ever have those totally normal dreams where you're.... doing anything at all.... and then you realize that no one is wearing masks and why are you so close to them? Alas.
Thanks for the post! It's cool to see people updating their beliefs in public :) Also you refer to me as 'he' but I'm a girl.
Oh yeah that too. Rob with the assist!
See also Scott Alexander's response on Reddit.
Other people have already replied well to the central point of this post, so I'll say something different: I think you misunderstand the relationship between Good Ventures and Open Phil. You frame it as:
EA finances stopped growing because Good Ventures stopped growingGood Ventures stopped growing because the wills and whims of billionaires are inscrutable?
This isn't how it works. Disclaimer: I have worked for both GiveWell and Open Philanthropy in the past, but it's been more than two years since I was involved at all and also I was mostly, like, an intern... (read more)
You need to change the sharing settings on the application form for microgrants. Also, great post as always, you're my hero :D
This is my favorite take/summary. Author endorses.
I mean, this question is why I wrote the post in the first place. It's not hyper-altruism. I think it's an inadequate equilibrium, although I don't know that calling it that actually explains anything. There was a lot of stuff at play here that is hard to write about because it's sort of nebulous and social and I don't remember all the details that well. Perhaps someone else in my bubble could take a stab at it?
To add more color to the inadequate equilibrium: I didn’t want to hang out with people with a lot of risk, not because of how bad COVID would be for me, but because of how it would limit which community members would interact with me. But this also meant I was a community member who was causing other people to take less risk.
This is definitely not what happened, but maybe a related thing happened. The Wikipedia article talks about aiming to minimize conflict / agree at all costs, which is very much not what happened in my house (Habryka is a conflict maximizer! always argue!!). There was definitely some measure of wanting to avoid conflict, but only insofar as people don't like hurting each other, not because of conformity pressure. I think the more important factor was fear of the unknown / pressure to accommodate the most risk-averse person in the bubble (which I'm ashamed t... (read more)
Justin Corwin (obituary, LW account), quoted in this post. I'm sorry about your grandmother. And about Justin, and that death exists in general :(
Fuck. I’m shocked to hear about a nice LessWronger like Corwin dying. That feels closer to home in some ways than many of the deaths I’ve known.
I’m also sorry to Gwern about your grandmother :(
Yes, 100%. We started with ~10 people in the house, and gained and lost various people over the course of the year. There were greatly varying levels of trust among the pairwise relationships – the rough categories being (1) me and my partner, and some other sets of best friends, (2) long-time housemates, (3) newer housemates, and (4) a totally random squatter who we worked really hard to kick out before shit got real. That is just so much to negotiate.
And then if you have two ~10-person bubbles that want to collide, with the same problem of varying levels... (read more)
Maybe I used the term wrong? I meant tail risks in terms of outcomes, not model uncertainty. Like, if we had all been looser (and honestly if we had all just gotten COVID at the outset) that would have been great in a lot of ways, but what if one of us – say, you or I – got long COVID or died? Was this year worth it if it prevented that?
A year of lockdown also has a lot of tail risk and the person who had the sepsis death died to tail risk of the lockdown.
Not consuming health care services and mental health consequences of reduced social interactions both have dangerous tail risks.
One person moved to a cabin (pretty far from things but close enough for grocery delivery) and had no interaction whatsoever except with their partner, who until recently had no interaction with anyone at all either. Another person wears a positive-pressure suit for every interaction, including in some parts of their house.
Yes! This is an important factor that I had written into a previous version. If I'd known at the outset that it would last a year I think (/hope) I would have made very different decisions. As it was the goalposts kept moving just a little further out, so it always felt like "can I keep doing this for 1-2 more months" rather than "would I reflectively want to do this for a whole year".
Very fair reaction. I should note that among the people in my house, I have done the fewest things by a fair margin, so this is not exactly representative – although I am also not the most locked-down person I know, by a long shot. Of the people in my house, most have traveled in the past year, including internationally, but day to day we mostly just... see each other, work (with people in our bubble) and sometimes walk around. Our bubble expanded at one point, though it's still only ~12 people, since we lost a lot of housemates over the course of the year... (read more)
I’ve got to ask, what is the most locked-down person you know doing? It’s hard to imagine being more locked down than you are!
Yeah this is a very good point that didn't feel like it fit neatly into the sequence proper, especially since I want the sequence to be accessible to more than just hardcore LWers. I did discuss AI timelines a bit in an appendix but didn't make this particular point.
I grew up in an American household eating home-cooked hybrid-but-largely-Chinese-influenced food. Basically every meal was a mix of protein (meat, tofu, or eggs) and vegetables over rice, which turns out to be plenty to work with. The thing that's always been weird to me about American food is that they serve you a giant slab of meat as your meal, and then everything else is sides, which leads to the whole "eat your vegetables" problem in the first place. In Chinese food the meat is always cut relatively small, and sometimes tiny. It's so mixed in with the... (read more)
I looked at the 2020 Forbes list of most powerful women (which was the first thing that came up when I googled "powerful women") and spent about an hour total investigating whether they have children. The Forbes list had 100 women; I was able to find probably-reliable information about children for 95 of them (many of them are very private about their personal lives, which is reasonable). Of those, 25 were childless, or 26%.
This source indicates that 85% of women in the US have children in their lifetime – a lot of the women in question weren't from the US... (read more)
Yes, thank you for pointing out the gender difference! As a woman working on x-risk and dating other people working on x-risk, I'm terrified by the stories of people like Laura Fermi and Clara Haber. Both were promising scientists in their own right, but once they married their famous scientist husbands, their own careers were abruptly ended. Laura felt like her life had become a footnote to Enrico's, was expected to take care of the children, and felt demeaned at social gatherings, and it wasn't until after her husband's death that she achieved any measur... (read more)
I indeed hadn't been thinking much about the gender differences and am kinda embarrassed about it.
I'm kinda deliberately putting on my Cold Utilitarian Hat for this whole conversation because it seems like locally good practice for me (normally I'm the guy pushing against the Cold Utilitarianism), but within Cold Utilitarian Hat, if you have 15-30 years to stop the world from ending, having half of your people get consumed by childcare/family-rearing is a pretty big deal (whether or not it also ends up having gender dynamics attached to it)
I have no idea about an IRL analog of what Malfoy has, but I'd recommend the book The Charisma Myth (in addition to, not instead of lsusr's suggestions), and all types of acting, not just improv. Improv may be great for overcoming shyness and other mental blockers, but acting from a script and inhabiting a character lets you try on vastly different ways of experiencing the world. Playing a powerful and/or confident character won't teach you negotiation skills, but if done right it will teach you the body language of a powerful person and what it feels like... (read more)
People have those tally rings that you twist to increment the count (example) and those handheld/keychain clickers (example), both of which seem easier to read and use than an abacus (which most people aren't used to), but which also have the downside that clicking and twisting things are too fun. It makes sense to me that necklaces are less popular, because you by default can't see them, and people counting things often want to know what number they've reached.
I've been on hormonal birth control (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol, 0.15 mg/0.03 mg) for about five years, and for about two of those years I (on the advice of my doctor) either took the sugar pills every 3 months or just didn't take any placebo pills at all. During that time I was unable to notice any cycle at all, physical or emotional. It seems like you may have already tried this, but if you haven't, it might be worth looking into.
Then again, my cycle was never unmanageable even before that – plenty of discomfort, but no vomiting or violent mood... (read more)
Thank you for looking into that! I couldn't figure out the answer just by looking at the site.
It shouldn't be a problem due to Alcor's buy-back agreement (essentially Alcor agrees to relinquish control of any insurance policy within a month of your written request).
Thanks for your feedback! But I think I stand by the choice to do what I did with the sequence. I said in the very first post that I was writing for "people who already think signing up for cryonics is a good idea but are putting it off because they're not sure what they actually need to do next", and I think having that narrower mission let me write a better sequence overall.
My reasoning was that there's already been a whole lot written on the 'why' and 'whether' of cryonics, and as someone who's not particularly passionate about cryonics, I wasn't ... (read more)
Oh yay, that's exactly what I was hoping to accomplish! Good luck!