I've been a LessWrong organizer since 2011, with roughly equal focus on the cultural, practical and intellectual aspects of the community. My first project was creating the Secular Solstice and helping groups across the world run their own version of it. More recently I've been interested in improving my own epistemic standards and helping others to do so as well.


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Keep your beliefs cruxy and your frames explicit
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Inviting Curated Authors to Give 5-Min Online Talks

Go to your user profile (clicking on your username in the top-right), then, in the posts section, click the gear icon, and change "All Posts" to "Curated"

Matt Goldenberg's Short Form Feed

Habryka framed the Gendlin litany as a stoic meditation, which made me dislike it a bit less. i.e, it's something you say to yourself to help make it true that you can endure the truth, by choosing to adopt a frame where the truth is already out there. (not sure if habryka exactly endorses this summary)

The main issue I then have with it (through this frame) is it says "people can endure what is true", rather than "I can endure what's true" – "people" sounds like it's making a claim about the external world, rather than a mantra I'm repeating to myself. (Although I can imagine a reading where the "people" is still directed inward rather than outward)

I guess put another way, further steelmanning the original version: the fact that people can stand what's true, doesn't mean that they do stand what's true. You can be reminding yourself of what's possible, and committing to cleave towards the truth and be the sort of the person who will stand what's true by framing it as something you're already enduring.

The new Editor

Could you go into more of what you mean by this? (You can copy-paste images directly into the editor, and I'm not sure what else you would mean by screenshots)

Comparative advantage and when to blow up your island

This actually has been a major question for me. 

It seems like there are two separate claims here, which is "societies tend to produce goods that are their comparative advantage" and "you, an individual, should try to do this." I'm mostly focused on the second one, and whether it applies to things like the x-risk ecosystem. People have talked as if it did apply. My guess is that insofar as there's formal math, it's much less clear and might be dominated by other considerations. 

It still feels vaguely like "what is my comparative advantage" within a particular community aimed at a particular task should be a relevant factor. 

The very crude algorithm I think I've been doing is "look at the list of things I seem particularly good at" (that I might have absolute advantage in), and then look at the things that are in-demand (which, I might plausibly turn out to have comparative advantage at). That at least narrows the search space a bit to "things that are good hypotheses for being my comparative advantage."

Comparative advantage and when to blow up your island

Curated. I've read several explanations of comparative advantage over the years, and I found this to be among the most clear and accessible ones that I've read. I also liked the juxtaposition with ZOPA. I found Villiam's followup comment additionally helpful for solidifying how a couple different economics principles fit together.

Draft report on AI timelines

I'm assuming part of the point is the LW crosspost still buries things in a hard-to-navigate google doc, which prevents it from easily getting cited or going viral, and Ajeya is asking/hoping for trust that they can get the benefit of some additional review from a wider variety of sources.

Covid 9/17: It’s Worse

I was going off wikipedia California Wildfires (search for "Post-2000")

I've heard mixed things about the "preventing the burn" – my current very very vague correct-me-if-I'm-wrong understanding is that "people actively preventing burns" was a 20th century thing, and nowadays there's some kind of consensus of "okay we need to do more planned burns", but, it's sort of intrinsically tricky how to cause that or incentivize it. (because, it is still totally possible for people doing controlled burns to fuck up and cause major damage, and it's some combination of 'politically unpalatable' and possibly also 'actually a bad idea' to just encourage people to burn things willy nilly)

Covid 9/17: It’s Worse

For frame of reference, looks like ~3 million acres burned this year, and in the past decade it's ranged from half a million to 1.5 million or so. 

So, while this is more than usual, and probably we'll regress to the mean a bit anyway, it's not like this year was so much more that we should expect it to dramatically change future years.

Book Review: Working With Contracts

Curated. In addition to giving me an overall grounding in "what's up with contracts?", I was particular intrigued by the parallels with software development. 

I'm interested in learning more about whether there have been any startup-y attempts to do some manner of "integrate lessons from software development into contract design".

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