Regex's Comments

Frequently Asked Questions for Central Banks Undershooting Their Inflation Target

I've only taken a really basic economics course, but found the explanations really straight forward and learned a lot. So I don't think the topic is as hard to parse as you'd think.

(Alternatively, I may have misunderstood details, overlooked problems, and simply don't have anything to contrast these statements to. This would make it harder to judge.)

The bank's persona did however fall flat repeatedly and could have been a lot better by having realistic responses.

thought: the problem with less wrong's epistemic health is that stuff isn't short form

High upvote low reply is less bad, but still feels like it is fundamentally broken in some way. Failing to leave a mark maybe? I think I would mostly be confused given such a reaction. There might be specific types of posts that would generate that, but I feel those qualities do not generalize to the set of "authoritative, well researched and obviously correct" posts.

thought: the problem with less wrong's epistemic health is that stuff isn't short form

Moreover, why should there be discussion? If a post is authoritative, well researched and obviously correct, then the only thing to do is upvote it and move on. A lengthy discussion thread is a sign that either the post is either unclear, incorrect, or has mindkilled its readers.

Alternatively, a length discussion could be a sign that the post inspired connections to related topics and events. Additionally, it may have made a critical advance that furthered understanding of the topic for other people. Even though optimizing for engagement yields divergence from what we want doesn't mean we should optimize against engagement. Or that a lack of engagement is somehow good.

If there are a bunch of long-form articles for which the only reasonable response is, “Yep, that’s all true. Good article!” that’s a win condition.

I do believe there is a place for that, but were I to repeatedly make posts which were so thoroughly correct and got essentially no engagement I would take that as a sign that people weren't really interested in it and that I should focus on other topics that have a larger impact.

Less to Greater, Bookmarklet Edition

I independently generated an alternative solution using the redirector extension:


Example URL:

Include pattern: *lesswrong*

Redirect to: $1greaterwrong$2

You should get out example result:

(I am using Firefox and I assume it is the same on other browsers)

UBI for President

I do agree that a graduated UBI (negative income tax) would be cleaner than the current welfare system. A smooth gradient out instead of a sharp cut in benefits. The incentives would align substantially for people seeking to escape the poverty trap.

A major issue for me when I think of this is the incentives for increasing the amount until it is unsustainable. Being able to vote yourself more money is... well. A ticket towards candidates promising to give people more money out of the pockets of others.

This would incentivize brain drain as well as immigration of people in dire straits. It would also incentivize a population boom since people would no longer worry as much about being able to support their family. This in turn makes the problem worse.

Although this applies to any kind of welfare. So it may be strictly easier legally to end the old programs and start on this one. The savings from no longer dealing with red tape, frustration, and bootstrapping from meagre resources may actually be sufficient to counterbalance these negative effects.

I do wonder on the effect of various UBI schemes on people's productivity and life choices.

UBI for President

~300,000,000 US citizens.

$1,000/month/person = 12,000 $/year/person

$12,000*300,000,000 = $3,600,000,000,000/year = 3.6 trillion dollars a year

For reference, the United States takes in a little over 6 trillion dollars a year in taxes.

Thoughts on the REACH Patreon

Found a big list of crowd funding options. Don't have to set up our own, just need to find one that is both low fee and trustworthy.

Finding a superior option seems doable in 5-10 hours?

Thoughts on the REACH Patreon

There is one pretty big problem with using patreon as their fundraising platform: It eats a little less than 8% of the money you put in. That is money simply lost from the community. This makes patreon an unacceptable medium for transactions.

Now, about 3% of that is from credit card fees. Are there alternatives to that? I am unsure how much the one time donation takes, but I suspect it is only the credit card fees. We're losing 5% to the convenience of not pressing a button to donate every month.

As of this writing they're making $5,464/month. I presume that's pre-fee. I'll also assume everyone actually pays every month.

They lose $163/month to the credit card fees, and from the remaining another $265/month for a total of $428/month lost all due to the medium of monetary transfer.

That's about half of what I spend each month to live, so the inefficiency here is costing us 50% of one person's living situation. Minimum wage is about $8/hour. So a more concrete measure is we're losing ~60 minimum wage hours a month. We should be willing to pay someone that much to fix this transaction problem.

And that's just for this one project.

I presume they're using patreon because people know it and are willing to use it, but this is a coordination problem, and a rather serious one at that should this medium become more popular.

The Craft & The Community - A Post-Mortem & Resurrection

The Origin Project is also working on the same general problems, and looking to grow. You don't have to move anywhere, and you can get started right now.

We've been working for the last few months on building out a cultural framework that can be used wherever you are, and just with the people around you. To build a sense of community and meaningful interactions.

But we're not there yet. We're too few.

Come as you are.

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