Political Office for Beginners? 2022-01-12T17:27:30.199Z
What would be the pros and cons of a government-backed, property-based cryptocurrency? 2021-12-05T17:57:26.171Z
What are the limitations on politically motivated relocation? 2021-12-04T15:16:18.573Z
Where in the world will a UBI develop first? 2021-12-03T15:54:04.130Z


Comment by Asgård on Political Office for Beginners? · 2022-01-13T18:31:55.376Z · LW · GW

Seeing that this question is quite popular, but there's a lack of responses, I'll try to do some research myself and post answers in their own posts.

Comment by Asgård on Political Office for Beginners? · 2022-01-13T18:05:10.397Z · LW · GW

Hey, thanks for the insight.

The running in-line with a political party is a great point for anyone in America. The successes of third-party candidates are rare enough, that the rational first step to take is probably always joining one of the two parties.

Comment by Asgård on Political Office for Beginners? · 2022-01-13T17:58:52.280Z · LW · GW

The mapping of voting blocs seems like a really good idea, very actionable, and a great way to visualize who could be electing you. Putting their requirements, or encouragements out in a visual way, to weigh where the least action can cause the greatest gain.

I think that the situation I'm considering has an intensely powerful patronage network that it can relatively easily attach itself to. Other patronage networks will also be necessary.

Comment by Asgård on Activated Charcoal for Hangover Prevention: Way more than you wanted to know · 2022-01-11T18:06:46.933Z · LW · GW

Anecdotal evidence here, Germany (or at least one hospital in Germany) uses activated charcoal to combat alcohol poisoning.

Source: Youth/idiocy.

Comment by Asgård on Testing, Testing, Hopefully · 2021-12-26T19:10:24.064Z · LW · GW

I guess my heuristic here would be looking to see if there are similar situations to the American situation in the world, and what they're doing differently. Europe has quite a few similarities (EMA to FDA), (440 million to 330 million), and so I'd look to Europe for comparisons. 

Anecdotally, buying a bundle of rapid tests in Europe was cheap and easy. They were available in every drugstore, and the ease/price of access was a huge advantage, which may be hard to overstate, especially if you're coming from a position of "high" access to the American rapid tests.

(No easy ability to research these numbers at this time, apologies.)
Quoting half-remembered articles without sources, Europe hasn't had higher numbers of super-spreader events. Europe hasn't had significantly higher case numbers over the whole pandemic. Hard to think of what other statistics would show "extra information outweighing misplaced confidence", but I feel that Europe has outperformed the US or been even with the US in the majority of those cases.

Comment by Asgård on Omicron Paths · 2021-12-20T19:15:34.180Z · LW · GW

I agree with a lot of this post, and think it's well written, thanks for overlay of Delta and Omicron numbers, I hadn't thought too much about the lack of variant tracing in America and what that means for their reaction times. 

I do agree with the gist, (though I don't know your family, their precautions seem very reasonable) that depending on your situation, it's safe to meet for the holidays. I disagree with your assessment of it being an increasingly large risk of an increasingly small harm, though maybe we just have different lengths of time that we're looking at. I think that with the likelihood of an overwhelmed medical system climbing along with the chance of infection, I'd assess it as more of an increasingly large risk of an increasingly large harm. 

I don't have (and can't have) these numbers in front of me, but I can imagine a boosted Bob in January, at the theoretical peak of Omicron, having a higher chance of [serious outcomes] than a vaccinated Vicki in November, just because once hospitalized, the treatment will be much poorer around January. Would be interested in people's feelings/actual numbers on this.

Comment by Asgård on What would be the pros and cons of a government-backed, property-based cryptocurrency? · 2021-12-07T11:35:38.648Z · LW · GW

Hey datscilly, thanks for your two comments. I could very well believe that the ACX-hosted Book Review and later research had tinged my thoughts on this. I still need to understand more of the Land Value Tax to see how something like that could be integrated into this idea.

I think the majority of BLM land could probably be bundled under a similar swath. Alternately, large chunks of land in Russia, Canada, Alaska, South America, etc. could maybe benefit from a similar program. Like I said above, the land has been classically unattractive, but remote work, global internet, a drive out of some cities, and whatever interest this program would generate could lead to the land being seen as much more attractive in the coming decades.

Comment by Asgård on What would be the pros and cons of a government-backed, property-based cryptocurrency? · 2021-12-06T17:22:32.719Z · LW · GW

That's a great point, thank you for bringing the idea back down to earth.

Comment by Asgård on What would be the pros and cons of a government-backed, property-based cryptocurrency? · 2021-12-05T18:13:39.883Z · LW · GW

For the BLM:


  • Takes land that currently creates little to no value for the US Government, and immediately monetizes it, despite the actual sale of the land maybe being years off.


  • If the value of the currency dips below the USD value of the amount of land that it's worth, then investors could buy it up and use it to get BLM land for cheaper than expected. This feels like it would be self-correcting.

In relation with other cryptocurrencies:


  • A branch of the US Government would accept this coin as legal tender, which is a level of recognition sought by many cryptocurrencies.
  • There is a minimum value set, which (afaik) no other coins have.


  • The government would have the ability to stop the sale of this coin at any time, which removes some of the decentralized aspect of it.
  • There's no clearly defined mining procedure, since the coins are created in correlation with land. So, I don't even know if this is considered a cryptocurrency?
Comment by Asgård on Where in the world will a UBI develop first? · 2021-12-05T17:27:03.161Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the comment, lechmazur, I referenced Alaska in my question, but disqualified it from UBI status on the basis of it not being an "income", e.g. not being significant enough to live on, and also to a lesser degree, not being paid monthly or weekly, but yearly.

I do agree with you though, that Alaska seems to be the US State most oriented towards a UBI, the dollar value of their PFD would just need to increase by an order of magnitude for it to qualify as a UBI, imo.

Comment by Asgård on Where in the world will a UBI develop first? · 2021-12-04T22:36:37.896Z · LW · GW

The first point seems reasonable, but maybe moving there to bring about a UBI sooner could be seen as an equally valid reason for the move?

The second point is an interesting one, that I hadn't thought much about. Do you think there will be a general cost of living increase under a UBI? And thanks for reminding me about that fantastic book review!

Comment by Asgård on What are the limitations on politically motivated relocation? · 2021-12-04T16:56:03.953Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the response, Viliam! 

The fact that FSP had a pledge wasn't something I was aware of, which is a relatively clean solution to the coordination issue. Maybe a financial cost/reward to cement the pledge? If you don't move after x years, you pay y amount (perhaps increasing from year to year?), which is distributed to all the members that have moved already?

I agree with the rest of your points, especially how moving just to vote somewhere else can feel very marginal in comparison to the financial/social costs. (Although I think that New Hampshire probably cost less than wherever FSP members were living before, and the social scene there is probably fascinating) So I agree with that point, but think that it's circumventable/flippable, by moving somewhere cheaper, doing remote work, and moving in a socially interesting bloc.

The personal limitation is an interesting one as well, especially because it almost (but not quite) translates to a financial reason. And, it made me realize that my question was quite American-centric, which was not my intention. There is a FSP Europe (in Montenegro, though not very successful as of yet), if you follow the ACX post, and I think that there's a number of countries around the world where the financial incentives would be quite high if you could work remotely (reduced taxes, cheaper land, cheaper food).

Comment by Asgård on Where in the world will a UBI develop first? · 2021-12-03T17:42:26.502Z · LW · GW

Makes sense:

  • Tech brings in a lot of per-capita income
  • Tech brings in utopian, disruptive voters
  • One of the most progressive states
Comment by Asgård on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-06T19:35:01.425Z · LW · GW

Definitely enjoyed this, would very much appreciate a few more posts of this style. The relatively basic solution I implemented is as follows:

I created a dictionary in Python for the total successes. For each stat (cha, str, etc), I found the number of successes and total attempts at each score(1-20). Dividing the successes by total attempts gave me a rough success rate for each stat score.

Then, I set my character up as a dictionary, and iterated over it, increasing each value by one and seeing what the change was for the success rate from that increase. After a single iteration, I increased my character's stat where the greatest positive change was found.

Iterating over that 10 times, or until all my points were gone, gave me this spread:

STR: Eight (increased by two)

CON: Sixteen (increased by two)

DEX: Fourteen (increased by one. Weird, I know, but there was an increase to be had from 13 - 14, even though afterward it's negative returns)

INT: Thirteen (no change)

WIS: Twelve (no change)

CHA: Nine (increased by 5)


Weak points:

  • This assumes that the stats have no correlations between each other. Alexei checked, thank you, Alexei, I'm not sure how to properly do that.
  • This misses out on bigger steps having large effects. Say for DEX, moving from 13 to 14 gave you a -5% chance of success. But moving from 14 to 15 gave you a +45% chance. Because my algorithm just checks single steps, it misses the chance to move two steps and gain 20% per step.
  • This is all based on a very simplistic model and uses very little actual statistical analysis.