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The Ultimate Newcomb's Problem

I'll flip a coin. Heads I 2-box, tails I 1-box. That's got to be pretty good in expectation. Gotta make omega work for that 99.9% accuracy!

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

Well, going to Stanford with the goal of making a lot of money is a great start! I think the best thing is to go broad as an undergraduate. CS or EE or something is good because you will be able to go in a lot of different directions when you graduate such as finance or the start-up world. Taking some econ/business courses is good and getting prestigious internships in the private sector is good. As long as you work hard and try to do as well as or better than your classmates you should be in great shape to make a lot of money.

Also, I recommend that after reading this comment you close LessWrong and never look at it again. Some clever post might convince you that you'll do more good by doing good directly rather than earning and donating. If you buy into that and end up going to work at MIRI or something you could really harm your earning potential!

Open Thread: How much strategic thinking have you done recently?

My problem is that I have basically run out of life goals. My goals used to be:

  1. Get rich
  2. Get married
  3. Have children + be a good father

I did 2 a number of years ago. 3 is ongoing though I've made it past the hump of actually having 1 child, and so far consensus is that I am being a good father. I'm not rich yet but progress on that is also steady and I've made it past the major hurdles such that if I continue on the path I am on I'll be rich in a few years. I've already been "high income" for awhile and that is much like being rich except a bit more stressful.

Unless life throws me a curve ball I don't have much uncertainty about achieving my major goals. I just have to keep doing what I am doing. It's unbearably boring! So now my new goal is to figure out how to actually get excited about something again without interfering with the ongoing achievement of my previous goals. So far I haven't made much progress. Any thoughts?

New Monthly Thread: Bragging

I get a percentage. I don't want to disclose specific details of my compensation, even anonymously, but in my industry I have seen anywhere between 25% and 65%. Higher than 65% usually requires putting in your own capital and less than 25% is usually a different situation. There are also a lot of places that do discretionary bonuses rather than fixed percentages, and that can work great, but for me personally it creates a lot of anxiety to not be able to calculate exactly what I'm making.

New Monthly Thread: Bragging

Yeah. I would call it automated futures market making.

Bets on an Extreme Future

I always worry about the legality of these types of bets. Does anyone else worry about that? Its not a big deal right now since they are rare and typically small, but the people who advocate for them seem to want them to be much more common.

New Monthly Thread: Bragging

I'm a futures trader. The week before last was my best week at my current company. $150K baby!

Motivation and Merciless Commitment Contracts

have you ever considered that a lack of social confidence is actually just a manifestation of humility and maybe it is a good thing? That's how I look at it, anyway.

Motivation and Merciless Commitment Contracts

I've never use stickk or beeminder but I have made commitments in life and what I've found is that committing myself to do something is a good way to do that thing but that's about it. For instance, I signed up for a marathon and fear of failure made me go out and train. I did the marathon and then stopped running a lot. If I want to start running a decent number of miles/week again I'll probably have to sign up for another marathon. Now, some fraction of people will probably sign up for a marathon, start running a lot, realize that they love it, and reorganize the rest of their lives to run a lot. But not most people. I think that is the fallacy of any temporary commitment. Unless you discover that you love doing whatever you committed to doing, you'll probably just revert to your old behavior once the commitment is over.