aspiringrationalist feed - LessWrong 2.0 Reader aspiringrationalist’s posts and comments on the Effective Altruism Forum en-us Comment by AspiringRationalist on Cambridge SSC Meetup https://www.lesswrong.com/events/KTa5JvR992tCwM9TG/cambridge-ssc-meetup#iGHPrYSicpC5TCpBf <p>There aren&#x27;t any activities currently planned for that date range, but we&#x27;re always eager to meet visiting rationalists so maybe you could stop by.</p> aspiringrationalist iGHPrYSicpC5TCpBf 2019-04-05T02:17:20.187Z Cambridge SSC Meetup https://www.lesswrong.com/events/HJjnTi6TwXjyG6wRH/cambridge-ssc-meetup <p>Monthly Cambridge (Massachusetts) SSC meetup.</p><p>In apartment 2.</p> aspiringrationalist HJjnTi6TwXjyG6wRH 2019-04-05T02:12:00.121Z Cambridge SSC Meetup https://www.lesswrong.com/events/KTa5JvR992tCwM9TG/cambridge-ssc-meetup <p> </p><p>This is the monthly Cambridge SSC meetup.</p> aspiringrationalist KTa5JvR992tCwM9TG 2019-02-17T18:28:46.057Z Cambridge SSC Meetup https://www.lesswrong.com/events/ibTP4eCdySLcMqbtP/cambridge-ssc-meetup <p> This is the monthly Cambridge SSC meetup. </p> aspiringrationalist ibTP4eCdySLcMqbtP 2019-02-17T18:27:07.227Z Cambridge SlateStarCodex Meetup https://www.lesswrong.com/events/e2nR6njJdTCfyckH2/cambridge-slatestarcodex-meetup <p>After a hiatus, the Cambridge, MA SlateStarCodex meetups are resuming.</p> aspiringrationalist e2nR6njJdTCfyckH2 2019-01-06T05:11:20.893Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Feedback on LW 2.0 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/vPQ3tfAAkE2Md2ZJH/feedback-on-lw-2-0#xmpMezxudxhHmTSve <p>What if weight were capped at 1?</p> aspiringrationalist xmpMezxudxhHmTSve 2017-10-08T03:41:11.088Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Polling Thread October 2017 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/5KmDp9RzbyoAS9m3b/polling-thread-october-2017#PTRoiW46wQcAku49s <p>If you're in a conversation at a party and there is another conversation next to you, how does that affect...</p> <p>... your ability to follow the conversation you're in</p> <p>[pollid:1237]</p> <p>... your enjoyment of the party</p> <p>[pollid:1238]</p> <p>How likely are you to switch conversations?</p> <p>[pollid:1239]</p> aspiringrationalist PTRoiW46wQcAku49s 2017-10-08T00:33:26.282Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/YoH4WQZZftSAoBSYg/can-anyone-refute-these-arguments-that-we-live-on-the#fJ7hLH95aY2micpDr <p>No. The Ottoman Empire <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire">started in 1299</a>. Islam, and various very powerful caliphates, had existed for centuries before that.</p> aspiringrationalist fJ7hLH95aY2micpDr 2017-07-23T04:07:33.126Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/YoH4WQZZftSAoBSYg/can-anyone-refute-these-arguments-that-we-live-on-the#HkKBjPMF45BYmcjni <p>The Qur'an wasn't written down until a while after Muhammad's death, by which time there <em>was</em> an incentive for leaders to edit it for their own benefit.</p> <p>See also Emperor Constantine I's efforts to quash dissent within the Christian community in order to make it more politically unified.</p> aspiringrationalist HkKBjPMF45BYmcjni 2017-07-23T04:04:37.240Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/3XB6spP5czFi9QAc6/open-thread-july-10-july-16-2017#eFwPFK4aLYdG6f6dT <p>Because I think it would be useful to be able to weigh in explicitly on each option rather than just pick a favorite:</p> <p>Matterlist[pollid:1202]</p> <p>LumenList[pollid:1203]</p> <p>PragmaPad[pollid:1204]</p> <p>PragmaPlanner[pollid:1205]</p> <p>Persisto[pollid:1206]</p> aspiringrationalist eFwPFK4aLYdG6f6dT 2017-07-15T20:34:25.239Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on In support of yak shaving part 2 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/CYfJiJg8YnkvGLg4Y/in-support-of-yak-shaving-part-2#uLWhBzGSzw5gjPgkJ <p>I'm curious - what have you outsourced to Fancy Hands? I know in theory that I should be outsourcing stuff to services like that, but I really don't know what stuff I can effectively outsource in practice.</p> aspiringrationalist uLWhBzGSzw5gjPgkJ 2017-07-15T05:19:13.291Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/Hcm58PiyisuDM9msB/open-thread-june-26-july-2-2017#XwfgFMYnY76BiCngA <p>This could also be a metaphor for politicians, or depending on your worldview, marketing-heavy businesses. Or religions.</p> aspiringrationalist XwfgFMYnY76BiCngA 2017-06-29T03:24:36.316Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open thread, June. 19 - June. 25, 2017 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/tzNSQNZosdXExsjCQ/open-thread-june-19-june-25-2017#njWB8qT4HSm2nYZMQ <p>I interpreted &quot;fullscreened&quot; to mean &quot;maximized&quot;, though I'm not totally sure whether that was the intent.</p> aspiringrationalist njWB8qT4HSm2nYZMQ 2017-06-22T03:39:26.944Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open thread, June. 19 - June. 25, 2017 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/tzNSQNZosdXExsjCQ/open-thread-june-19-june-25-2017#DPjFwhwk3f4LKnWqJ <p>Disclaimer: US-centric perspective</p> <p>Elite colleges generally students who are &quot;genuinely&quot; (insert adjectives here), not yet another honor roll student with a boring essay about how their voluntourism trip to Africa changed their life. In a competitive field like that, you want to stand out, and you stand out a lot more by doing something that both clearly signals being good at things <em>and</em> is different from the signals that other students are sending.</p> <p>Therefore, doing whatever other students of your socio-economic status do is a bad strategy. Much better to do something impressive and different.</p> aspiringrationalist DPjFwhwk3f4LKnWqJ 2017-06-22T03:32:48.358Z Why Most Intentional Communities Fail (And Some Succeed) https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/bzkCYAyfdaSZitbBR/why-most-intentional-communities-fail-and-some-succeed aspiringrationalist bzkCYAyfdaSZitbBR 2017-05-22T03:04:23.288Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open Thread, Feb. 20 - Feb 26, 2017 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/LxuFK2zshDPwex4pm/open-thread-feb-20-feb-26-2017#sfNR4FdrQkWcnpLKE <p>Can we <em>please</em> bring back downvoting?</p> aspiringrationalist sfNR4FdrQkWcnpLKE 2017-02-20T22:41:43.529Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Increasing GDP is not growth https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/vQk9pNk78gFg7hMeK/increasing-gdp-is-not-growth#9SpmGEL6uHPdbu2Hc <p>I don't think whether the group's average output increases or decreases is the right metric. What's important is whether the newly enlarged group's output is higher than what the group and its new members' total output would be if the groups weren't merged - do the immigrants become more productive by immigrating, and do they make the native population more or less productive?</p> aspiringrationalist 9SpmGEL6uHPdbu2Hc 2017-02-19T03:18:09.259Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on What are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/J9R3B2iPy52cFf5FK/what-are-you-surprised-people-pay-for-instead-of-doing#kaNtbSPyBQSZDBcWa <blockquote> <p>Just because something is an easy thing doesn't mean you will know it's an easy thing.</p> </blockquote> <p>That's pretty much why I made this thread: so that I (and others) could learn that something that we didn't realize are easy actually are.</p> aspiringrationalist kaNtbSPyBQSZDBcWa 2017-02-19T02:21:20.262Z What are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/J9R3B2iPy52cFf5FK/what-are-you-surprised-people-pay-for-instead-of-doing <p>Two of the main resources people have are time and money. &nbsp;The world offers many opportunities to trade one for the other, at widely varying rates.</p> <p>Where do you see people trading money for time at unfavorable rates - spending too much money to save too little time? &nbsp;What things should people just DIY?</p> <p>See also the flip-side of this post, "<a href="/r/discussion/lw/oma/what_are_you_surprised_people_dont_just_buy/">what are you surprised people don't just buy?</a>"</p> aspiringrationalist J9R3B2iPy52cFf5FK 2017-02-13T01:07:33.803Z What are you surprised people don't just buy? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/qyoECh7MNx6HuaX4R/what-are-you-surprised-people-don-t-just-buy <p>Two of the main resources people have are time and money. &nbsp;The world offers many opportunities to trade one for the other, at widely varying rates.</p> <p>I've often heard people recommend trading money for time in the abstract, but this advice is rarely accompanied by specific recommendations on how to do so.</p> <p>How do you use money to buy time or otherwise make your life better/easier?</p> <p>See also the flip-side of this post, "<a href="/r/discussion/lw/omb/what_are_you_surprised_people_pay_for_instead_of/">what are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves?</a>"</p> aspiringrationalist qyoECh7MNx6HuaX4R 2017-02-13T01:07:12.335Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on A review of cryonics/brain preservation in 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/z5EWwaLv4foHu7E8Y/a-review-of-cryonics-brain-preservation-in-2016#yFxyrv7fH8WCgvek4 <p>Thank you for posting this.</p> <p>I am not signed up for cryonics because I think the current preservation technology is nowhere near good enough work, but I very much appreciate having a concise summary of recent developments so that when the situation improves, I'll know it's time to reconsider.</p> aspiringrationalist yFxyrv7fH8WCgvek4 2017-01-03T03:17:35.164Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Downvotes temporarily disabled https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/7tGjXXNBSqju5WN5A/downvotes-temporarily-disabled#N8YjG5rv7fycHYqhR <p>If all votes required 100 karma, using sockpuppets for votes would get a lot harder.</p> aspiringrationalist N8YjG5rv7fycHYqhR 2016-12-03T21:38:57.649Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/B7iGcJ5NPNt7FW9sG/open-thread-may-30-june-5-2016#eiyDWpvFouGiG5TdE <p>If you have a gene that makes you help you siblings, your offspring are reasonably likely to get it too, which benefits <em>their</em> siblings (also your offspring).</p> aspiringrationalist eiyDWpvFouGiG5TdE 2016-05-30T15:10:17.791Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open Thread May 16 - May 22, 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2aQ6CpngDQijtuRrs/open-thread-may-16-may-22-2016#da3PjnvDvdsN5rLWb <p>Very good to know. Thanks for linking to that.</p> aspiringrationalist da3PjnvDvdsN5rLWb 2016-05-17T02:53:27.534Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open Thread May 16 - May 22, 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2aQ6CpngDQijtuRrs/open-thread-may-16-may-22-2016#eyZwvfveaZ9bgNTQo <p>Flax and chia seeds are both very good sources of omega 3 (but flax seeds need to be ground for your body to absorb it, and once you grind them, you should store them cold), as are fish (especially salmon).</p> aspiringrationalist eyZwvfveaZ9bgNTQo 2016-05-16T01:52:53.592Z [Link] White House announces a series of workshops on AI, expresses interest in safety https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/uzwkFJKzQM8hMFPtj/link-white-house-announces-a-series-of-workshops-on-ai <p>https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/05/03/preparing-future-artificial-intelligence</p> aspiringrationalist uzwkFJKzQM8hMFPtj 2016-05-04T02:50:22.434Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open thread, Apr. 18 - Apr. 24, 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/uBWrZYNrse8xmLiNZ/open-thread-apr-18-apr-24-2016#kCkBvsFEiym5apY3G <p>Maximizing expected log(wealth) is very different than maximizing expected wealth. A log utility function us much more risk averse.</p> <p>The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann–Morgenstern_utility_theorem">Wikipedia article on VNM Utility Theory</a> explains the relationship between the utility function and risk aversion (in the Consequences section).</p> aspiringrationalist kCkBvsFEiym5apY3G 2016-04-19T22:20:10.706Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on What makes buying insurance rational? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/eZo8WbQmpds57bbqf/what-makes-buying-insurance-rational#YC7m7Zm22mK4prRof <p>If someone else is subsidizing the insurance, that can make it worthwhile.</p> <p>In the U.S. You can often find the amount of the employer subsidy footer am insurance policy if you read the details of it. Also you pay for employer based health insurance (I think including dental and vision) with pre-tax dollars, which is in effect a government subsidy.</p> aspiringrationalist YC7m7Zm22mK4prRof 2016-04-04T05:45:12.025Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Tonic Judo https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/5imSj9SBpRQRKyRFE/tonic-judo#hdWfDSsMhQCotr7JM <p>I've been having a lot of anxiety lately, and this is exactly the sort of thing I needed to help me (my System 1) remember how silly it is. Thank you for writing it.</p> aspiringrationalist hdWfDSsMhQCotr7JM 2016-04-03T04:23:52.375Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Lesswrong 2016 Survey https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/hCWKHLKSgW5afmoaR/lesswrong-2016-survey#oWoqqMacn7yzp6ExK <p>I took the survey.</p> aspiringrationalist oWoqqMacn7yzp6ExK 2016-03-27T01:01:08.842Z Group Rationality Diary, February 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/3w5fmhLkgPxunMejh/group-rationality-diary-february-2016 <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 17.7273px;">This is the public group rationality diary for February, 2016. It's a place to record and chat about it if you have done, or are actively doing, things like:</p> <ul style="padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 17.7273px;"> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Established a useful new habit</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Obtained new evidence that made you change your mind about some belief</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Decided to behave in a different way in some set of situations</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Optimized some part of a common routine or cached behavior</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Consciously changed your emotions or affect with respect to something</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Consciously pursued new valuable information about something that could make a big difference in your life</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Learned something new about your beliefs, behavior, or life that surprised you</p> </li> <li> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em;">Tried doing any of the above and failed</p> </li> </ul> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 17.7273px;">Or anything else interesting which you want to share, so that other people can think about it, and perhaps be inspired to take action themselves. Try to include enough details so that everyone can use each other's experiences to learn about what tends to work out, and what doesn't tend to work out.</p> aspiringrationalist 3w5fmhLkgPxunMejh 2016-02-14T01:55:15.553Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/5qxghDmf4DopLFGa8/where-does-our-community-disagree-about-meaningful-issues#yumczTyFRdvT3w3aQ <p>Should we try to grow the community? How? How much?</p> aspiringrationalist yumczTyFRdvT3w3aQ 2016-02-14T00:25:00.474Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/5qxghDmf4DopLFGa8/where-does-our-community-disagree-about-meaningful-issues#4PBEvZYzbKHSeGQJN <p>How important is money?</p> <ul> <li>To have</li> <li>To earn</li> <li>To donate</li> </ul> <p>Are EA causes bottlenecked on money or talent?</p> aspiringrationalist 4PBEvZYzbKHSeGQJN 2016-02-14T00:23:41.202Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/5qxghDmf4DopLFGa8/where-does-our-community-disagree-about-meaningful-issues#MdkikokiW7xtu4Lug <p>From the <a href="http://lesswrong.com/lw/lhg/2014_survey_results/">2014 Survey</a>:</p> <p>Polyamory:</p> <ul> <li>51.8% prefer monogamous, 15.1% prefer polyamorous (a lot uncertain)</li> <li>But only 5.3% have more than 1 partner</li> </ul> <p>Children:</p> <ul> <li>36.1% want more child(ren), 28.3% uncertain, 34.3% don't want more</li> </ul> <p>Politics:</p> <ul> <li>38.9% Social Democratic, 27.7% Liberal, 25.2% Libertarian</li> <li>Taxes: 3.14 +- 1.212 (1 = should be lower; 5 = should be higher)</li> <li>Minimum Wage: 3.21 +- 1.359 (1 = should be lower; 5 = should be higher)</li> <li>Social Justice: 3.15 +- 1.385 (1 = negative view; 5 = positive view)</li> </ul> <p>Ethics:</p> <ul> <li>60% accept or lean towards consequentialism</li> <li>Out of constructivism, error theory, non-cognitivism, subjectivism and substantive realism, none had more than a third</li> </ul> <p>Cryo:</p> <ul> <li>24% don't want to, 36.7% considering, 30.8% signed up or want to be</li> <li>Probability that a person frozen today will be revived: 22.3 +- 27.3% (median 10%)</li> </ul> <p>Misc:</p> <ul> <li>p(many worlds) = 47.6% +- 30.1%</li> </ul> aspiringrationalist MdkikokiW7xtu4Lug 2016-02-13T05:23:57.788Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on [moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xCrhCkPaexhE2FZKP/moderator-action-the_lion-and-the_lion2-are-banned#i8i8my9z6YDyiPWsn <p>Good point. I'm not sure what the right threshold would be.</p> <p>How difficult would it be to look up the percentage of votes that come from different karma levels?</p> aspiringrationalist i8i8my9z6YDyiPWsn 2016-02-03T02:56:05.670Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on [moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xCrhCkPaexhE2FZKP/moderator-action-the_lion-and-the_lion2-are-banned#kB7MCLEJeu4n9ukfo <p>What if we set a significantly higher karma threshold for voting? I think a threshold of 250 or so would make Eugene's sockpuppetry and mass-downvoting shenanigans prohibitively difficult.</p> aspiringrationalist kB7MCLEJeu4n9ukfo 2016-01-31T15:49:32.161Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Study partner matching thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2jY3m8rfLES9FWD8E/study-partner-matching-thread#Akjgana7rzRgrYM4S <p>I just finished <a href="https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning">Stanford's machine learning class on Coursera</a> and I was thinking about starting <a href="https://www.udacity.com/course/deep-learning--ud730">Google's Udacity course</a>.</p> <p>I don't have much formal background in CS (2 classes in college and later a couple Coursera classes), but I've been working as a software engineer for a few years now.</p> <p>I am in U.S. Eastern Time (UTC-4).</p> aspiringrationalist Akjgana7rzRgrYM4S 2016-01-28T02:14:07.813Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Study partner matching thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2jY3m8rfLES9FWD8E/study-partner-matching-thread#WYANqsfysAHHEvimg <p>The Facebook group is closed. Should people here assume that they will be allowed to join?</p> aspiringrationalist WYANqsfysAHHEvimg 2016-01-28T02:08:55.030Z Study partner matching thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2jY3m8rfLES9FWD8E/study-partner-matching-thread <p>Nate Soares <a href="/lw/j10/on_learning_difficult_things/">recommends</a> pairing up when studying, so I figured it would be useful to facilitate that.</p> <p>If you are looking for a study partner, please post a top-level comment saying:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>What you want to study</li> <li>Your level of relevant background knowledge</li> <li>If you have sources in mind (MOOCs, textbooks, etc), what those are</li> <li>Your time zone</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> aspiringrationalist 2jY3m8rfLES9FWD8E 2016-01-25T04:25:03.592Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/gRha5Y968HCezAFpj/open-thread-january-4-10-2016#R2ay4G5ZzaqNHKp5Q <p>Thanks for posting that!</p> <p>The key stats: expected life extension: 4 months; optimal starting age: 24.</p> aspiringrationalist R2ay4G5ZzaqNHKp5Q 2016-01-06T03:04:59.960Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on LINK: An example of the Pink Flamingo, the obvious-yet-overlooked cousin of the Black Swan https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/22pxyzDjCc7ox5Jc2/link-an-example-of-the-pink-flamingo-the-obvious-yet#5jFggjo7q4Fkf9D9g <p>If things escalate to the point where nuclear weapons get used, that probably implies enough of a breakdown of order that it doesn't matter what any treaty says.</p> aspiringrationalist 5jFggjo7q4Fkf9D9g 2015-11-06T01:03:01.985Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/CYDSRKEJruoKgdBXa/low-hanging-fruit-for-buying-a-better-life#dyq4wk7JPfknckkNa <p>So does mine. The humidifier helps, but since I spend a lot of time in environments where I can't easily install one (eg work), I also use moisturizer.</p> aspiringrationalist dyq4wk7JPfknckkNa 2015-10-15T00:38:20.449Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/e3epLdE33njstxBms/stupid-questions-thread-october-2015#KPb9xH2gdZNnLHj5E <blockquote> <p>Do you compartmentalize and pretend you're in control, or what?</p> </blockquote> <p>I think the main takeaway is that you shouldn't worry too much about questions of free will. Basically, the fact that your free will is made of physics doesn't mean it makes sense to make poor choices or not take responsibility for yourself and then blame physics. Also, don't go looking for magical explanations of free will existing &quot;outside of physics&quot;.</p> aspiringrationalist KPb9xH2gdZNnLHj5E 2015-10-14T00:59:06.695Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/e3epLdE33njstxBms/stupid-questions-thread-october-2015#CSptbmjSRco33vngk <blockquote> <p>Supply of labor could decrease. This is a necessary consequence of any effort to help the poor. But since we already have a welfare system, it's just a question of which causes labor to decrease less.</p> </blockquote> <p>For things like welfare (and almost certainly for UBI, though I doubt there's enough empirical evidence either way to be sure), yes.</p> <p>Things like education subsides (assuming they subsidize professionally relevant education rather than just signaling, which admittedly is a somewhat dubious assumption) and the EITC (basically a negative income tax for the working poor in the US) could very well <em>increase</em> the labor supply.</p> aspiringrationalist CSptbmjSRco33vngk 2015-10-14T00:49:23.075Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Selecting Rationalist Groups https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/ZEj9ATpv3P22LSmnC/selecting-rationalist-groups#ixam9hBceeoTEQah7 <p>When we tried Paranoid Debating at the Boston meetup a few years back, we often had the problem that the deceiver didn't know enough about the question to know which direction to mislead in. I think the game would work better if the deceiver were simply trying to bias the group in a particular direction rather than make the group wrong. I think that's also a closer approximation to real life - plenty of people want to sell you their product and don't know or care which option is best. Not many just want you to buy the wrong product.</p> aspiringrationalist ixam9hBceeoTEQah7 2015-10-09T00:08:22.099Z [Link] Stephen Hawking AMA answers https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/GoxiTCzCGd63emDbC/link-stephen-hawking-ama-answers <p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/3nyn5i/science_ama_series_stephen_hawking_ama_answers/">https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/3nyn5i/science_ama_series_stephen_hawking_ama_answers/</a></p> <p>the vast majority of the discussion is about AI risk.</p> aspiringrationalist GoxiTCzCGd63emDbC 2015-10-08T23:13:34.610Z Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/LJHhHZaWeWRptNmLJ/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread-0 <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6px;">Previous thread:&nbsp;http://lesswrong.com/lw/mnq/instrumental_rationality_questions_thread/</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6px;">This thread is for asking the rationalist community for practical advice. &nbsp;It's inspired by the&nbsp;<a style="color: #8a8a8b;" href="/lw/mk8/stupid_questions_august_2015/">stupid questions</a>&nbsp;series, but with an explicit focus on instrumental rationality.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6px;">Questions ranging from easy ("this is probably trivial for half the people on this site") to hard ("maybe someone here has a good answer, but probably not") are welcome. &nbsp;However, please stick to problems that you actually face or anticipate facing soon, not hypotheticals.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6px;">As with the stupid questions thread, don't be shy, everyone has holes in their knowledge, though the fewer and the smaller we can make them, the better, and p<span style="line-height: 15.6px;">lease be respectful of other people's admitting ignorance and don't mock them for it, as they're doing a noble thing.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6px;"><span style="line-height: 15.6px;">(See also the&nbsp;<a style="color: #8a8a8b;" href="/lw/lih/2015_repository_reruns_boring_advice_repository/">Boring Advice Repository</a>)</span></p> aspiringrationalist LJHhHZaWeWRptNmLJ 2015-09-27T21:22:14.904Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/LJHhHZaWeWRptNmLJ/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread-0#kJg93Q2PkG8YzYRg7 <p>Meta sub-thread</p> aspiringrationalist kJg93Q2PkG8YzYRg7 2015-09-27T21:22:04.862Z Notes on Actually Trying https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/HxXb8ogQSLDwnL7xh/notes-on-actually-trying <p>These ideas came out of a recent discussion on actually trying at Citadel, Boston's Less Wrong house.</p> <h2>What does "Actually Trying" mean?</h2> <p>Actually Trying means applying the combination of effort and optimization power needed to accomplish a difficult but feasible goal. The effort and optimization power are both necessary.</p> <h2>Failure Modes that can Resemble Actually Trying</h2> <h3>Pretending to try</h3> <p>Pretending to try means doing things that superficially resemble actually trying but are missing a key piece. You could, for example, make a plan related to your goal and diligently carry it out but never stop to notice that the plan was optimized for <a href="/r/lesswrong/lw/j8n/a_critique_of_effective_altruism/#abstract">convenience</a> or sounding good or <a href="/lw/le/lost_purposes/">gaming a measurement</a> rather than achieving the goal. Alternatively, you could have a truly great plan and put effort into carrying it out until it gets difficult.</p> <h3>Trying to Try</h3> <p>Trying to try is when you throw a lot of time and perhaps mental anguish at a task but not actually do the task. Writer's block is the classic example of this.</p> <h3>Sphexing</h3> <p>Sphexing is the act of carrying out a plan or behavior repeatedly despite it not working.</p> <h2>The Two Modes Model of Actually Trying</h2> <p>Actually Trying requires a combination of optimization power and effort, but each of those is done with a very different way of thinking, so it's helpful to do the two separately. In the first way of thinking, Optimizing Mode, you think hard about the problem you are trying to solve, develop a plan, look carefully at whether it's actually well-suited to solving the problem (as opposed to pretending to try) and perhaps Murphy-jitsu it. In Executing Mode, you carry out the plan.</p> <p>Executing Mode breaks down when you reach an obstacle that you either don't know how to overcome or where the solution is something you don't want to do. In my personal experience, this is where things tend to get derailed. There are a few ways to respond to this situation:</p> <ul> <li>Return to Optimizing Mode to figure out how to overcome the obstacle / improve your plan (good),</li> <li>Ask for help / consult a relevant expert (good),</li> <li>Take a break, which could lead to a eureka moment, lead to Optimizing Mode or lead to derailing (ok),</li> <li>Sphex (bad),</li> <li>Derail / procrastinate (bad), or</li> <li>Punt / give up (ok if the obstacle is insurmountable).</li> </ul> <p>The key is to respond constructively to obstacles. This usually means getting back to Optimizing Mode, either directly or after a break. &nbsp;The failure modes here are derailing immediately, a "break" that turns into a derailment, and sphexing. &nbsp;In our discussion, we shared a few techniques we had used to get back to Optimizing Mode. &nbsp;These techniques tended to focus on some combination of removing the temptation to derail, providing a reminder to optimize, and changing mental state.</p> <h3>Getting Back to Optimizing Mode</h3> <p>Context switches are often helpful here. &nbsp;Because for many people, work and procrastination both tend to be computer-based activities, it is both easy and tempting to switch to a time-wasting activity immediately upon hitting an obstacle. &nbsp;Stepping away from the computer takes away the immediate distraction and depending on what you do away from the computer, helps you either think about the problem or change your mental state. &nbsp;Depending on what sort of mood I'm in, I sometimes step away from the computer with a pen and paper to write down my thoughts (thinking about the problem), or I may step away to replenish my supply of water and/or caffeine (changing my mental state). &nbsp;Other people in the discussion said they found going for a walk or getting more strenuous exercise to be helpful when they needed a break. &nbsp;Strenuous exercise has the additional advantage of having very low risk of turning into a longer-than-intended break.</p> <p>The danger with breaks is that they can turn into derailment. &nbsp;Open-ended breaks ("I'll just browse Reddit for five minutes") have a tendency to expand, so it's best to avoid them in favor of things with more definite endings. &nbsp;The other common say for breaks to turn into derailment is to return from a break and go to something non-productive. &nbsp;I have had some success with attaching a sticky-note to my monitor reminding me what to do when I return to my computer. &nbsp;I have also found that if the note makes clear what problem I need to solve also makes me less likely to sphex when I return to my computer.</p> <p>In the week or so since the discussion that inspired this post, I have found that asking myself "what would Actually Trying look like right now?" This has helped me stay on track when I have encountered difficult problems at work.</p> aspiringrationalist HxXb8ogQSLDwnL7xh 2015-09-23T02:53:36.275Z Meetup : Cambridge Less Wrong Meetup - Book Recommendations https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/yZ8K9uxitkmALNEw5/meetup-cambridge-less-wrong-meetup-book-recommendations <h2>Discussion article for the meetup : <a href='/meetups/1hq'>Cambridge Less Wrong Meetup - Book Recommendations</a></h2> <div class="meetup-meta"> <p> <strong>WHEN:</strong>&#32; <span class="date">04 October 2015 03:30:00PM (-0400)</span><br> </p> <p> <strong>WHERE:</strong>&#32; <span class="address">98 Elm Street, Apartment 1, Somerville, MA</span> </p> </div><!-- .meta --> <div id="" class="content"> <div class="md"><p>Come to give, listen to and discuss book recommendations. People will be giving 1-minute pitches for books they think may be of interest to the rationalist community. All comers are encouraged to offer their recommendations.</p> <p>Phase 1: Arrival, greetings, unstructured conversation.</p> <p>Phase 2: Presentations. This starts promptly at 4:00, and lasts 30-60 minutes (until we run out of book recommendations).</p> <p>Phase 3: Further discussion. We'll explore the ideas raised in phase 2, often in smaller groups.</p> <p>Phase 4: Dinner. It's about a five minute walk to the usual restaurant.</p></div> </div><!-- .content --> <h2>Discussion article for the meetup : <a href='/meetups/1hq'>Cambridge Less Wrong Meetup - Book Recommendations</a></h2> aspiringrationalist yZ8K9uxitkmALNEw5 2015-09-22T02:53:31.734Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on A toy model of the control problem https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/7cXBoDQ6udquZJ89c/a-toy-model-of-the-control-problem#yopwX5oQYFhLXSPDt <p>A's utility function also needs to be specified. How many utils is the first box worth? What's the penalty for additional boxes?</p> aspiringrationalist yopwX5oQYFhLXSPDt 2015-09-17T01:15:46.531Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/rohSDYYGFeo5KTBi8/stupid-questions-september-2015#fTKa3kG47BvBTJNWy <p>That's very useful info. Thanks for the link.</p> aspiringrationalist fTKa3kG47BvBTJNWy 2015-09-08T00:58:13.241Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/rohSDYYGFeo5KTBi8/stupid-questions-september-2015#SuWfQwZH68n5pJSBw <p>The claim that the market is good at predicting future earnings.</p> <p>It probably is, but economics does not yet have the empirical grounding to give me high confidence in its theories (the way I would be for fields like physics or chemistry; I still think economic theory has a strongly positive correlation with reality).</p> aspiringrationalist SuWfQwZH68n5pJSBw 2015-09-07T21:56:15.057Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/rohSDYYGFeo5KTBi8/stupid-questions-september-2015#mLwao8sfjyApTccJP <blockquote> <p>Another interesting thing here is that the currency markets do not fall under EMH, both empirically (they are clearly not a random walk) and theoretically (the preconditions for EMH do not hold).</p> </blockquote> <p>Can you please elaborate on that? Do you mean the prices themselves are not a random walk or do you mean the prices are not a random walk after adjusting for interest rate differences?</p> <p>And what preconditions don't hold for currency markets?</p> aspiringrationalist mLwao8sfjyApTccJP 2015-09-05T21:24:26.319Z Meetup : Boston Meetup https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/NP6HpSTTGneEvs82j/meetup-boston-meetup <h2>Discussion article for the meetup : <a href='/meetups/1h7'>Boston Meetup</a></h2> <div class="meetup-meta"> <p> <strong>WHEN:</strong>&#32; <span class="date">06 September 2015 03:30:00PM (-0400)</span><br> </p> <p> <strong>WHERE:</strong>&#32; <span class="address">98 Elm St, Apt 1, Somerville, MA (Porter Square)</span> </p> </div><!-- .meta --> <div id="" class="content"> <div class="md"><p>—Phase 1: Arrival, greetings, unstructured conversation. This starts at 3:30; before then, Citadel residents will be busy. Looking forward to seeing you at 3:30! —Phase 2: The headline event. This starts promptly at 4pm, and lasts 30-60 minutes. —Phase 3: Further discussion. We'll explore the ideas raised in phase 2, often in smaller groups. <br /> —Phase 4: Dinner.</p></div> </div><!-- .content --> <h2>Discussion article for the meetup : <a href='/meetups/1h7'>Boston Meetup</a></h2> aspiringrationalist NP6HpSTTGneEvs82j 2015-09-04T01:46:49.330Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/rohSDYYGFeo5KTBi8/stupid-questions-september-2015#KbGYp2WWcdRjkMd5k <p>Citation needed.</p> aspiringrationalist KbGYp2WWcdRjkMd5k 2015-09-04T01:29:07.611Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Rationality Quotes Thread September 2015 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/CHqxRJA2sXypHp6ad/rationality-quotes-thread-september-2015#Fqor9J2554ii4f2Wt <blockquote> <p>In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that <strong>the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Ben Franklin</p> aspiringrationalist Fqor9J2554ii4f2Wt 2015-09-03T01:43:53.098Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Open Thread August 31 - September 6 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/kobsPQnTpKHpFSA3D/open-thread-august-31-september-6#xmC2eLnmoGQsauomZ <p>In the US at least, where the system it set up such that there can only be two parties that matter, I think the parties are too much of a &quot;big tent&quot; hodgepodge for that to work. Perhaps it would if they were based on the parties in a country where they have more of an incentive to be based around a consistent world view.</p> <p>Any Germans want to weigh in?</p> aspiringrationalist xmC2eLnmoGQsauomZ 2015-09-01T02:32:14.359Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Group Rationality Diary, August 30 - September 12 https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/mhy7TpvZgWyNRXZNx/group-rationality-diary-august-30-september-12#nZJ6oFR24wNmjJB4r <p>My wife and I recently started using <a href="https://habitica.com/">Habitica</a> (formerly called HabitRPG). The extent to which each of us is engaging in good habits and doing tasks we plan on doing is now visible to each other in the form of character levels and hit points (but the specific items are not). This makes it possible for us to hold each other accountable for improving ourselves without having to nag.</p> <p>Overall I've gone from making good use of ~10% of my free time to making good use of ~30%. I've still got quite a ways to go, but this is significant progress.</p> aspiringrationalist nZJ6oFR24wNmjJB4r 2015-08-31T02:48:56.181Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread#SDGyhNxEDPpkQ4Hzd <p>Moving from small talk to more interesting topics is a totally different skill set than general extroversion.</p> aspiringrationalist SDGyhNxEDPpkQ4Hzd 2015-08-25T00:25:57.310Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread#M7XvNNpTpSen96Fpo <p>One thing that I have found helpful is when a thought like &quot;I should really do [task]&quot; comes to mind, I write it on a post-it note and stick it to the nearest available surface and then carry on with whatever I was doing. Then, when I finish what I was doing, I can actually do that task, put it onto a more durable to-do list, etc.</p> aspiringrationalist M7XvNNpTpSen96Fpo 2015-08-25T00:08:28.125Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread#RZs5zDpHBHmZPbvFH <p>Only personal experience. I noticed that I was more focused and could get by on a lot less caffeine when I was taking it for a cold recently.</p> aspiringrationalist RZs5zDpHBHmZPbvFH 2015-08-23T03:27:28.922Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread#YyEYsFvvHZ6swnZ46 <p>Looking back on when I have improved the most, I've noticed that I have tended to read a lot of self-help books around those times. I'm not sure about the causality, but it seems worthwhile to see if I get a similar effect again.</p> <p>What books in the general category of self-help would people recommend?</p> aspiringrationalist YyEYsFvvHZ6swnZ46 2015-08-23T02:42:51.752Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread#AMaphbhBBTFTzFbNx <p>Pseudoephedrine comes to mind. Does anyone know what the evidence is on that?</p> aspiringrationalist AMaphbhBBTFTzFbNx 2015-08-23T02:16:53.130Z Comment by AspiringRationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread#Brw2qojf5Mp9EfBXX <p>Context: I am a software engineer living and working in the US. I am a US citizen and my wife is not, and we are working on getting her permanent residency.</p> <p>It's definitely worth investigating the difficulty of immigrating to the various countries. Canada and Singapore both have reputations for being a lot easier for skilled workers to immigrate to than the US, but YMMV.</p> <p>Note that if you do marry an American, be sure to start the process of getting your permanent residency while you're still in the country. My wife and I made the mistake of starting the process while she was temporarily abroad, and that has caused significant delays.</p> <p>See if there are companies that are willing to hire you while you're on OPT. I think that buys you a couple years to try for an H1b or perhaps get married. If they're willing to hire you in the US and let you transfer internationally if immigration doesn't let you in, even better.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that if you become a US citizen, the US will tax you on your worldwide income, not just your US income. That's not an issue if you plan on staying in one place, though.</p> aspiringrationalist Brw2qojf5Mp9EfBXX 2015-08-23T01:36:17.786Z Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt/instrumental-rationality-questions-thread <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6000003814697px;">This thread is for asking the rationalist community for practical advice. &nbsp;It's inspired by the <a href="/lw/mk8/stupid_questions_august_2015/">stupid questions</a>&nbsp;series, but with an explicit focus on instrumental rationality.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6000003814697px;">Questions ranging from easy ("this is probably trivial for half the people on this site") to hard ("maybe someone here has a good answer, but probably not") are welcome. &nbsp;However, please stick to problems that you actually face or anticipate facing soon, not hypotheticals.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6000003814697px;">As with the stupid questions thread, don't be shy, everyone has holes in their knowledge, though the fewer and the smaller we can make them, the better, and p<span style="line-height: 15.6000003814697px;">lease be respectful of other people's admitting ignorance and don't mock them for it, as they're doing a noble thing.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 1em; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; line-height: 15.6000003814697px;"><span style="line-height: 15.6000003814697px;">(See also the <a href="/lw/lih/2015_repository_reruns_boring_advice_repository/">Boring Advice Repository</a>)</span></p> aspiringrationalist DY8tXwLuwKQQLpumt 2015-08-22T20:25:11.140Z Meetup : Boston: Unconference https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/62mHgDGiuGqWLHbuX/meetup-boston-unconference <h2>Discussion article for the meetup : <a href='/meetups/1gl'>Boston: Unconference</a></h2> <div class="meetup-meta"> <p> <strong>WHEN:</strong>&#32; <span class="date">16 August 2015 03:30:00PM (-0400)</span><br> </p> <p> <strong>WHERE:</strong>&#32; <span class="address">98 Elm Street, Somerville</span> </p> </div><!-- .meta --> <div id="" class="content"> <div class="md"><p>—Phase 1: Arrival, greetings, unstructured conversation. —Phase 2: Short talks by attendees (you are encouraged but not required to give one). This starts promptly at 4pm, and lasts as long as people have content. —Phase 3: Further discussion. We'll explore the ideas raised in phase 2, often in smaller groups. —Phase 4: Dinner.</p></div> </div><!-- .content --> <h2>Discussion article for the meetup : <a href='/meetups/1gl'>Boston: Unconference</a></h2> aspiringrationalist 62mHgDGiuGqWLHbuX 2015-08-15T02:38:10.327Z Guarding Against the Postmodernist Failure Mode https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/7LNh5yYQvHR6HgE2q/guarding-against-the-postmodernist-failure-mode <p>The following two paragraphs got me thinking some rather uncomfortable thoughts about our community's insularity:</p> <blockquote> <p>We engineers are frequently accused of speaking an alien language, of wrapping what we do in jargon and obscurity in order to preserve the technological priesthood. There is, I think, a grain of truth in this accusation. Defenders frequently counter with arguments about how what we do really is technical and really does require precise language in order to talk about it clearly. There is, I think, a substantial bit of truth in this as well, though it is hard to use these grounds to defend the use of the term "grep" to describe digging through a backpack to find a lost item, as a friend of mine sometimes does. However, I think it's human nature for members of any group to use the ideas they have in common as metaphors for everything else in life, so I'm willing to forgive him.</p> <p>The really telling factor that neither side of the debate seems to cotton to, however, is this: technical people like me work in a commercial environment. Every day I have to explain what I do to people who are different from me -- marketing people, technical writers, my boss, my investors, my customers -- none of whom belong to my profession or share my technical background or knowledge. As a consequence, I'm constantly forced to describe what I know in terms that other people can at least begin to understand. My success in my job depends to a large degree on my success in so communicating. At the very least, in order to remain employed I have to convince somebody else that what I'm doing is worth having them pay for it.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;- Chip Morningstar, "<a href="http://www.fudco.com/chip/deconstr.html">How to Deconstruct Almost Anything: My Postmodern Adventure</a>"</p> <p>The LW/MIRI/CFAR memeplex shares some important features with postmodernism, namely the strong tendency to go meta, a large amount of jargon that is often impenetrable to outsiders and the lack of an immediate need to justify itself to them. &nbsp;This combination takes away the selective pressure that stops most groups from going totally crazy. &nbsp;As far as I can tell, we have not fallen into this trap, but since people tend to fail to notice when their in-group has gone crazy, this is at best weak evidence that we haven't; furthermore, even assuming that we are in fact perfectly sane now, it will still take effort to maintain that state.</p> <p>Based on the paragraphs quoted above, having to use our ideas to produce something that outsiders would value, or at least explain them in ways that intelligent outsiders can understand well enough to criticize would create this sort of pressure. &nbsp;Has anyone here tried to do either of these to a significant degree? &nbsp;If so, how, and how successfully?</p> <p>What other approaches can we take to check (and defend) our collective sanity?</p> aspiringrationalist 7LNh5yYQvHR6HgE2q 2014-07-08T01:34:33.440Z [Link] Concrete steps are being taken towards futarchy https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/z76MZ3XpW9Z6JNPJs/link-concrete-steps-are-being-taken-towards-futarchy <p>Article: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/can-investors-make-money-in-social-services/2013/06/07/a010e7f6-ced6-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html">Can investors make money in social services?</a></p> <p>According to the article, six states are experimenting with funding social programs using "social impact bonds", which only pay out if the programs achieve their official objectives. &nbsp;The project is in its early stages, so it's not clear what will happen if the market decides that a program isn't worth funding, but this looks quite promising.</p> aspiringrationalist z76MZ3XpW9Z6JNPJs 2013-06-14T00:21:46.423Z [LINK] Meteorologists are Epistemically Rational https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/WqntPehy8kwRQ4BRY/link-meteorologists-are-epistemically-rational <p>Nate Silver of the New York Times's political prediction blog <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/">fivethirtyeight</a>&nbsp;has posted an excerpt of his upcoming book on predictions in various disciplines, <em>The Signal and the Noise</em>. &nbsp;The excerpt describes how meteorologists, in contrast to prognosticators in other domains, have substantially improved the accuracy of their predictions by understanding the limitations of both intuition and computer models, enabling them to combine them intelligently rather than relying excessively on one or the other.</p> <p>The excerpt is available at&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline; color: #0000ee; ">http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/magazine/the-weatherman-is-not-a-moron.html?_r=2&amp;pagewanted=all</span>, and a summary is available at&nbsp;<a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/why-weather-forecasters-are-role-models/">http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/why-weather-forecasters-are-role-models/</a></p> <p>Side note: if you are running up against NYT's 10 article per month limit, opening the links in Incognito Mode will get around it.</p> aspiringrationalist WqntPehy8kwRQ4BRY 2012-09-13T04:59:41.716Z What is the best way to read the sequences? https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xxCEAZRczgcfSaeEo/what-is-the-best-way-to-read-the-sequences <p>I am a relative new-comer to LW, and I have read ~half the articles in the core sequences, but I think I have not been optimizing for comprehension/retention while reading them.&nbsp; Could some more experienced members of the community give some recommendations on how best to read them \(both in terms of in which posts in which order and in terms of the actual reading process\)?</p> <p>I will periodically edit this post to include some of the suggestions in order to provide the most benefit to future newcomers.</p> <p>EDIT: Here are the most popular suggestions:</p> <p>Order:</p> <ul> <li>Chronological order (5 or 6 comments)</li> <li>Whatever method you will actually do or already doing (1.5 comments)</li> </ul> <p>How to read them:</p> <ul> <li>e-reader or smartphone (3 comments)</li> <li>Text-to-speech (1 comment)</li> <li>Read How to <a href="http://pne.people.si.umich.edu/PDF/howtoread.pdf">Read a Book</a> and implement its suggestions (1 comment) (note: the link is a 9-page PDF, so it shouldn't be too hard to read and see what's useful)</li> <li>Mind-mapping (1 comment)</li> <li>Try to guess what the links go to (1 comment)</li> </ul> aspiringrationalist xxCEAZRczgcfSaeEo 2012-06-17T03:50:05.672Z