weft's Comments

What is operations?

Random thought:

Before working in operations, I was a nanny for many years. Before that I was doing research while in grad school. I've always been bemused by the differences between the way people perceive and treat me in my various roles over the years.

Particularly, operations jobs (and childcare jobs) are possibly not a great idea for people whose identity is strongly centered around being (perceived as) intelligent:

Most of your work isn't the sort of work that proves how smart you are. Coworkers expectations of your intelligence will be much lower. The skills you need run towards conscientiousness and agreeableness, which are traits that people stereotype as correlated with lower intelligence. Because your tasks are so wide ranging, there will always be things you are brand new at, therefore less competent at.

I've pushed my identity over the years more into being "a responsible hard worker", so that people's opinions of my intelligence don't feel meaningful at all. Given that I feel the need to have SOME sort of identity, this seems like a more useful one. Identifying as "smart" can't do anything to change my underlying g factor. But identifying as responsible and hard working is likely to actually make me behave in those ways.

I'm mostly bringing this up because LW readers often highly value being regarded as intelligent, and it might be a thing to take stock of before aiming for a new career in operations.

The Relationship Between the Village and the Mission

Let's say a bunch of friends hang around a beach on the weekends. There isn't food there and they wish there were. It's really easy to become the person who brings a cooler of goodies and some veggie hot dogs to grill.

The Berkeley community is like a beach that already has a really good taco truck. Sure, maybe it'd be nice if there was another food truck down the beach a ways, or with a different type of food, but food isn't really NEEDED in the same way. The low hanging fruit is taken. It's harder to establish a brand new thing when there's a pre-existing thing. And maybe the person running the taco truck would like to step down, but it's a lot bigger ask to hand off running a fully licensed taco truck, than bringing some goodies in a cooler.

Status model

This model makes it easier to point out when people are using circular reasoning around status. E.g. "Bob has mates because he's high-status" -What do you mean by high-status?-"He's obviously high status because he has mates!"

The Third Alternative

Yes, but from my current understanding if you were both Young Earth Creationists when you HAD your children and THEN one of you became atheist (or whatnot), then the court would rule to keep the kids with the Young Earth Creationist parent, and not let the atheist do any atheisting at the kids.

Paper Trauma

The tin ceiling tiles work well as dry erase boards. I got a few samples, and learned that if the tile is "unfinished" it is much less dry eraseable than one that is finished. So you can get the tiles in any solid color. Note: Even on the finished ones, if you leave writing up for a really long time (multiple months), then it will leave a bit of an afterimage that's hard to get off, but the same is true for regular dry erase boards.

Reflections on Berkeley REACH

Thanks for all the work on this!

Do you think it's possible for it to be (mostly) self financed through bed/room rentals any time in the near future, or do you think it will always rely primarily on donors?

How to talk rationally about cults

I think a more interesting question that comes from this is when we take it to a general level. How do we treat situations where we are certain that individuals are engaging in practices that are harmful to themselves? When do we think it's okay to use whatever individual power we have to make them change their behavior or beliefs? When do we think it's okay for the law to force people to do things "for their own good"?

Some examples:

-A friend is joining Scientology and is about to give them all their savings

-A 14 year old daughter is dating a 45 year old man, and certain they are "in love".

-An acquaintance doesn't want to use modern medicine. They also won't let their kids use modern medicine.

-An adult relative who is somehow impaired (dementia, mental retardation, drug addiction) is being taken advantage of with their own consent, such that it is

Current laws are set up such that things like "engaging in sex work" or "smoking pot" are considered so harmful to the self that the police are allowed to arrest you for them. But denying your children modern medicine is fine, and giving all your money to a sex cult leader in the woods is also fine.

Meta: I feel like I am not framing this question well at all, and if anyone wants to reframe in a more elucidating manner that would be helpful.

The Intelligent Social Web

Agreed. "Omega" already refers to too many other things in our discourse. I almost didn't open this post because I thought it would be about decision theory/ Newcomb. One reason Moloch works is that's it's an old reference that wasn't currently being used to describe a hundred other things.

In keeping with the theme, how about calling the social network something like Hestia, Vesta, or Eunomia. You can write a post personifying it in a poetic and mythic way. Omega can be her son with Hephaestus, if you like.

If you wait too long to change it, it's going to stay Omega by default, and I think that would be a BAD thing.

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