All of new_throwaway's Comments + Replies

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 afte... (read more)

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... (read more)

What abut minimizing the probability of those children, and everyone else's children, dyeing horribly, by working to reduce existential risk? What about making sure you can keep on being a father, and being rich, and so on by working towards immortality? In general, if you're satisfied with what you have, work towards not losing it rather than getting more things.
LW ought to be looking at you as if you were a strange alien lifeform. What, you're not a university student not yet out in The Economy, or an underachiever whose life was derailed by sci-fi dreams, or working for an "existential risk" or "effective altruism" charity? Tell us more about this strange world of "family and a good job" that you inhabit!

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?

I would point out to people that it is utterly futile to simply suggest new goals. If OP doesn't feel already the desire to pursue them, then the desire will not appear out of nowhere simply because you uttered a few words, even if they are well-chosen reasonable words. ("Reason is, & ought only to be the slave of the passions, & can nev... (read more)

Pinky: "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?" The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!" "World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation." Think bigger. Good husband, good father are as open ended as the goods possible to your wife and children in terms of health, welfare, and happiness. A lot of people here are planning on vastly extended lifespans. That's quite a good. Whether or not you buy into that, few people do more than 1% of what can be done in terms of medical monitoring and evaluation. You're a man of means, expecting to be of greater means. Put some of that coin to good use. Genomic scans for everybody! Find some service that puts that into good use in evaluating metabolic pathway efficiency. Enzyme efficiency is one area that genomic scans are already useful for, IMO, particularly for drug metabolism. Personalized supplement regimens, based on the genomic data. Monthly blood draws. Neuromuscular evaluations. Weekly massages for you and the wife. Hyperbaric oxygen. Infrared saunas. Hook yourself up with some longevity center, and let them figure it out. Talk to that Med research service here. There's so much that can be done, and so little of it that does get done.
How about a Bucket List?
May I suggest "zooming in" on one or more of your goals? Take, for example, being a good father. There's quite a lot of uncertainty in the broader community about exactly what that entails. One could spend a lot of time just figuring out what "be a good father" means. You may decide, as I have for myself, that being a good father means embarking on significant self-improvement efforts.
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.

I guess the $150k is what you gained for the company. What is the relationship (if any) between this figure (once aggregated over a year, or whatever) and how much they pay you?
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.

It seems like there would also inevitably be ugly second-order effects if we had large betting markets on events with huge consequences for large numbers of people. I mean, we know that gamblers will bribe or even injure sports competitors to win their bets. This is not a hypothetical. This happens, and for fairly small amounts of money. We know that business investors will try to move the markets, that they will pay for inside information, and that they will influence political campaigns and even destabilize governments. Do we really want to give lots of people financial incentives for, say, a new flu outbreak?
New Monthly Thread: Bragging

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

Please elaborate. Algorithmic trading?

Grats! You know, the MIRI's 2013 Summer Matching Challenge is still on, if you need tax deductions :)

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.

Yes, but some people are humbler than is warranted. []
I've considered it, but having more social confidence at least in the way I've been using the term in this post, seems to me to be generally a good thing. I recognise that it is not good to be overly confident in your abilities to the point that you are unrealistic and delusional about them. But I'm more talking about training the ability to engage is social situations which you find uncomfortable, and I see type of social confidence as generally a good thing because it opens up your options more, and means that social fear acts as a smaller constraint on your actions.
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 reorg... (read more)