I'm currently researching forecasting and epistemics as part of the Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute.


Beyond Questions & Answers
Prediction-Driven Collaborative Reasoning Systems


ozziegooen's Shortform

On Berkeley coworking:

I've recently been looking through available Berkeley coworking places.

The main options seem to be WeWork, NextSpace, CoWorking with Wisdom, and The Office: Berkeley. The Office seems basically closed now, CoWorking with Wisdom seemed empty when I passed by, and also seems fairly expensive, but nice.

I took a tour of WeWork and Nextspace. They both provide 24/7 access for all members, both have a ~$300/m option for open coworking, a ~$375/m for fixed desks, and more for private/shared offices. (At least now, with the pandemic. WeWork is typically $570/month for a dedicated desk apparently).

Both WeWork and NextSpace were fairly empty when I visited, though there weren't many private offices available. The WeWork is much larger, but its split among several floors that I assume barely interact with each other.

Overall the NextSpace seemed a fair bit nicer to me. The vibe was more friendly, the receptionist much more friendly, there were several sit/stand desks, and I think I preferred the private offices. (They were a bit bigger and more separated from the other offices). That said, the WeWork seemed a bit more professional and quiet, and might have had a nicer kitchen.

If you look at the yelp/reviews for them, note that the furniture of the NextSpace changed a lot in the last ~1.5 years, so many of the old photos are outdated. I remembered one NextSpace in SF that didn't seem very nice, but this one seemed better. Also, note that they have a promotion to work there for 1 day for free.


Attributions, Karma and better discoverability for wiki/tag features

I'm really happy to see this. I've been impressed that the wiki has worked so well so far. More functionality like this seems very reasonable.

Assessing Interest in Group Trip to Secure Panamanian Residency [Imminent Rules Change]

Another issue with Panama, long-term (I'd expect the main benefits to come 6 to 30 years from now), is climate change, perhaps with political stability. 

I couldn't find much on the topic in an incredibly limited search, but here's something: (though the source isn't great)

Panama is considered a highly vulnerable country to climate change impacts. Panama experiences a series of extreme weather events including intense and protracted rainfalls, windstorms, floods, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tropical cyclones, tsunamis and ENSO/El Niño-La Niña events.

Assessing Interest in Group Trip to Secure Panamanian Residency [Imminent Rules Change]

I did a bit more investigation on this:


The duel citizenship thing seems possibly messy. I imagine it's moreso for people outside of the U.S.

It is true that on paper Panama does not recognize dual citizenship and requires you to renounce your previous citizenship in order to be naturalized. However, this does not mean you have to really give up your existing citizenship.

The Panamanian nationality law requires an oath of renunciation of former citizenship as a condition of naturalization. However, currently the US court system interprets this oath as “non-meaningful” and therefore it will not result in the loss of US citizenship, unless the US citizen renounces their citizenship directly to the US State Department, which will then result in loss of US nationality.

That said, it is not necessary to renounce US citizenship to the US State Department to become naturalized in Panama.

Assessing Interest in Group Trip to Secure Panamanian Residency [Imminent Rules Change]

This sounds potentially extremely promising to me. It seems really nice to have some legitimate backups of residency, just in case various things turn bad. Thanks so much for work here.

Do you have any idea on how annoying being a dual resident would be? My impression is that it's fairly easy to revoke, and the forms would be fairly simple (after you have residency). If it were the case that it's a whole lot of extra tax work, that could be a significant downside.

The Practice & Virtue of Discernment

Thanks for the response. 

I added a flag to the debate section of this post to show that the example is contested. If I were to ever discuss this in further detail, I'd look into finding other examples.

There's a whole lot here, so I'll try to address some of the points I might be able to help clarify.

You also conflate the question with specifity with the one about whether the debates are good for intellectual progress.

I'm less sold that debates are bad for intellectual progress than others on LessWrong. I definitely think that some debates are poor, but have hope that there could be ways to structure them a bit differently to make some types quite good. One thing debates are great as is for demonstrating multiple sides of an issue. Around EA/rationalism, sometimes it feels like there's a lot of uniformity of opinion. I did debate in High School and College and found them quite interesting, though suboptimal.

There's no reason for that being any different for the topic of a debate.

One of the reasons I wrote this post on LessWrong is because I'd like to see such precision being used more here (and in the EA sphere). I'm not saying I'm particularly good at it myself. I imagine it's a skill that takes time to improve. 

I agree that many areas are lacking in precision, I just used debate as an example because it seemed particularly on the nose. Debate is definitely less relevant or important than those other areas, I don't really care about it in particular.

I think you are guilty here of what you are charging given that I don't have any idea what the phrase "structured attempt at specificity" means and how it differs from the incentive based one of the BPS rules. 

I'm not trying to claim I'm great at discernment or precision. Part of why I investigated it was because I was interested in improving. Virtues are kind of meant to be aspired to. Sorry if this was confusing.

The Practice & Virtue of Discernment

Good point, thanks. Much of this was inspired by lectures and high-level reading I've witnessed around General Semantics. By chance do you recommend any resources in the area? I've found the area somewhat difficult to penetrate. 

The Practice & Virtue of Discernment

Thanks for the clarification here. That said, I have watched a few of these debates (partially) on Youtube, and haven't been very impressed by their abilities in practice to actually give much specificity. 

This is obviously a pretty poor debate title by most ideas about what titles are for. 

I don't understand what you mean here. Personally I find many of these debates rather poor for real intellectual progress, and I think that a structured attempt at specificity could be an improvement (or at least a useful alternative), but I could definitely be wrong.

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