All of Orborde's Comments + Replies

I was the co-game-master for 2018 Oxford/Seattle and had to make a call about whether the game-end launch was legit. Your telling is accurate - the guy who pressed the button indeed acted unilaterally and (he claims) thought the button was disabled.

Setting it all up was damned expensive: she died at ninety - about 70 years of redaction time multiplied by a typical human metabolic rate and mass landed you with a lot of redaction entropy. Look at the price of energy, convert the Kilowatt hours and it came to a lot of money. She had to set up an on-death remortgage of her home to cover it even with the subsidies.


A typical human consumes maybe 3000 kcal of food per day. Which is about 3.5 kWh. Current price for electricity in the US is about $0.17/kWh. Do all the math, and you get an electricity co... (read more)

You are actually the second person to point this out. I think that making it 10x the cost by handwaving a machine efficiency of 10% is very reasonable. At a 10% efficiency we are looking at more like  $200,000. That is in the territory where a pensioner would not be expected to "just have it" in cash savings, but a remortgage of their home being enough is very reasonable. That is my post-hoc justification. In the first instance this was a result of me missing a zero.

I have sometimes considered this but worry that doing so will lower the cost of capital for AGI-constructing companies and accelerate AGI development.

I'm not sure this is a realistic concern for Google/Alphabet - I think they have not bothered to raise capital since the Google IPO and aren't about to start.

Can you link to your comment?

My policy with microcovid from the very beginning has been to look at the numbers and basically ignore the "high risk / medium risk" designations, because they don't match my risk tolerance and that divergence has only increased over the course of the pandemic (now that I'm vaccinated, 1 uCov is less costly because it carries less risk with it).


Not from the very beginning, but for most of this year this is how I've used microcovid.


I finished at 11:44:16 AM and placed #193, and I didn't really start until about 10:30AM. The puzzles were not very hard, so I infer that there were not a very large number of contenders.

I'm confused about this diagram. Is it plotting out activity preferences?

It looks like her objection is that the RaDVaC folks chose some pretty questionable peptides. Presumably you could simply order some different peptides, but I think you'll run into the following problems:

  • You need to pick peptides that will, in the RaDVaC formulation, wind up folded similarly to their conformation in the live virus. I, personally, have no idea how to do that.
  • You don't really have much evidence of immunogenicity for your new RaDVaC formulation and probably need to measure it again (my understanding is that the RaDVaC designers have done some immunogenicity measures in themselves, so the current formulation has some evidence of immunogenicity).
When it comes to chosing peptides, it seems to me like the issue here is that the ferret study used lipopeptides. They do something where they appended cholesterol, in cell-cell fusion assays. This seems more complicated then the RaDVaC peptides.  In addition to being more complicated to produce the lipopeptides then the RaDVaC choices, you would additionally need to make sure that the rest of the RaDVaC cocktail works well with lipopeptides. However the lipopeptides might be more stable so they have some advantages.  It's worth noting here that the ferret study manages to great results with a single peptide. From reading the study it seems to me like their vaccine might be better then the Oxford vaccine which only prevents 2/3 of the patients from being infectious (it prevents more from developing symptoms) as none of the treated ferrets became infectious. It's possible that you need immunity in the mucosal immune system to not be infectious to other people and a nasal vaccine can give that to you while the injected vaccines don't provide that. Even if half of the RaDVaC choices don't do anything that might still give you a working vaccine.

A medical worker who tried to sign up for vaccine administration recruitment was confronted with needing 21 pieces of paperwork showing that they had completed various trainings, many of which have nothing to do with vaccination.

Care to paste a source link?

2[comment deleted]3y

Originally, former health workers were being asked to provide 21 pieces of evidence before being allowed to take part, which included evidence of anti-terrorism training, fire safety and conflict resolution.

But the [British] Government came under huge pressure to get rid of the excessive bureaucracy, with Boris Johnson promising last Wednesday 'all such obstacles and all such pointless pettifoggery has been removed'.

It was reported last night that the number of requirements had been chopped down from 21 to 15, which critics said did not go far enough. NHS

... (read more)

Stress tests

Many systems get "spot-checked" by artificially forcing them into a rare but important-to-correctly-handle stressed state under controlled conditions where more monitoring and recovery resources are available (or where the stakes are lower) than would be the case during a real instance of the stressed state.

These serve to practice procedures, yes, but they also serve to evaluate whether the procedures would be followed correctly in a crisis, and whether the procedures even work.

  • Drills
    • Fire/tornado/earthquake/nuclear-attack drills
    • Military drills
... (read more)

Current open market price of an asset

Public, highly liquid markets for assets create lots of information about the value of those assets, which is extremely useful for both individuals and firms that are trying to understand:

  • the state of their finances
  • how successful a venture dealing in those assets has been
  • whether to accept a deal (a financial transaction, or some cooperative venture) involving those assets
  • (if the assets are stock in some company) how successful the company has been so far
it assumes that the Pigouvian tax is set to $100,000 instead of the opportunity cost of the pollution (in this case $50,000)

How are you calculating "opportunity cost"? Is it simply the land use conversion cost ($50,000)?

Posting because the title of this linkpost was a big surprise for me.

even if Peters et al are wrong about expected utility, do you think they're right about the dangers of failing to understand ergodicity?

Not sure. I can't tell what additional information, if any, Peters is contributing that you can't already get from learning about the math of wagers and risk-averse utility functions.

It seems to me like it's right. So far as I can tell, the "time-average vs ensemble average" argument doesn't really make sense, but it's still true that log-wealth maximization is a distinguished risk-averse utility function with especially good properties. * Idealized markets will evolve to contain only Kelly bettors, as other strategies either go bust too often or have sub-optimal growth. * BUT, keep in mind we don't live in such an idealized market. In reality, it only makes sense to use this argument to conclude that financially savvy people/institutions will be approximate log-wealth maximizers -- IE, the people/organizations with a lot of money. Regular people might be nowhere near log-wealth-maximizing, because "going bust" often doesn't literally mean dying; you can be a failed serial startup founder, because you can crash on friends'/parents' couches between ventures, work basic jobs when necessary, etc. * More generally, evolved organisms are likely to be approximately log-resource maximizers. I'm less clear on this argument, but the situation seems analogous. It therefore may make sense to suppose that humans are approximate log-resource maximizers. (I'm not claiming Peters is necessarily adding anything to this analysis.)

Tangentially: reading about the history of gambling theory (the "unfinished game" problem, etc.) is pretty interesting.

Imagine how weird it was when people basically didn't understand expected value at all! Did casinos even know what they were doing, or did they somewhat routinely fail after picking the wrong game design? Did they only settle on profitable designs by accident? Are blackjack, roulette, and other very old games still with us because they happened not to bankrupt casinos that ran them, and were only later analyzed with tools capable of identifying whether the house had the edge?

1. Something like MVP. Don't start by throwing a brand new game out there - even if you have the edge in the game, you have to get people to play it. Getting the stuff for a new game + advertising costs money. Test it out a little (small scale). If you lose money testing it*, you paid a little bit of money to find out you'd have lost a lot of money if you'd tried it out big. (More naturally - big companies are at times known for staying the same, with startups coming in with new ideas. If you copy ideas from other people that haven't bankrupted them...) 2. It seems like it's possible to make it by on "this is unlikely" or setting things up so you always win. (I notice snake eyes doesn't come up a lot. (Perhaps I check this by rolling dice a bunch of times.)) Simplest case: you buy a place, and pool equipment, and you rent it out to people. If they make bets with each other on the outcome, you don't care - they're just paying you so they can play pool. Slightly more complicated: you offer to handle the betting on the game. People pay you a little to be able to bet (and later, to win big), but the money all comes from them, and you don't care who wins - you make money off people playing, people watching, and people betting! 3. Were casinos a thing before probability was understood? *One game night with a few people, maybe you and your friends? If you have people who are happy to try out a new game, without real money, (For Free! perhaps?), that's a place to start initially - and all you lose is the time to run it. If you have fun, then maybe that's a small price to pay. And if people are willing to pay to play a game with fake money, then you can just print more monopoly money if you run out - no odds calculation needed for a sure bet.

ChristianKI is right - I was speculating that people would stop retiring. Updated my post to make that clearer.

While I'm not terribly familiar with the details, I've heard complaints of this happening at one university that I know of. There's an internal market where departments need to pay for using spaces within the university building. As a result, rooms that would otherwise be used will sit empty because the benefit of paying the rent isn't worth it.

This is confusing. Why doesn't the rent on the empty rooms fall until there are either no empty rooms or no buyers looking to use rooms? Any kind of auction mechanism (which is what I'd expect to see from something described as a "market") should exhibit the behavior I've described.