I only give 10%, but that is enough to make itemizing deductions worth it for me, when combined with my mortgage interest. I am also looking to retire early (or at least become financially independent and increase donations substantially). Good financial advice is always relevant to everyone.
Three hundred dollars is a pretty minimal deduction. I expect there are at least a few effective altruists on here who have significant enough charitable contributions that it still makes sense to itemize deductions even with the increase in the standard deduction.
This advice may or may not be applicable to members of the effective altruist movement who have large enough charitable contributions that they still itemize taxes even after the increase of the standard deduction. But you're correct, if you don't itemize, mortgage interest doesn't help at all.
I found my favorite strategy for responding to salary questions on r/negotiation several months back: "Right now I'm focused on trying to figure out if this job is a good fit for the direction I want to take my career. If we both decide it is, I'm sure we can come to an understanding on salary."
Then, if they press: "Well I don't think it's fair to consider just salary in comparing job offers. I'd have to look at a total holistic benefits package to fairly compare two offers."
Then if they insist: "Look, you and I both know that my naming a desired salary puts me at a negotiating disadvantage. Please don't ask again." At this point, you probably don't want to work at this company anyway.
I'm in a pretty high tax bracket, but I still do Roth IRA/401k contributions. This is because if you are maxing out your accounts (which if your goal is "early" retirement, you almost certainly will be) you are protecting more real dollars from taxes. The contribution limits are the same regardless of whether you contribute on a traditional or Roth basis. If I can protect $6000 and never have to pay taxes on it or protect $6000 that I'll eventually have to pay taxes on, I'd rather take the tax penalty now and protect more real dollars. I never see this discussed anywhere, but it's my primary motivating factor in doing Roth. There is also the flexibility consideration which you mention. (There are also more advanced strategies such as backdoor Roths and mega-backdoor Roths that you didn't really touch on, but they're not super important.)
One thing you don't discuss is the tax advantages of owning a home. All interest you pay (in the US) is tax deductible. Commentary on the prudence of that aside, it doesn't seem likely to change any time soon. Besides which, interest rates are currently so low that it probably makes sense to finance other items as well, even if you have the ability to pay for them out of pocket. But I'm not up to speed on car/student/etc. loans, so that might not be true for other asset classes. My recently refinanced interest rate on my home is 2.5%. At a rate like that they are literally giving money away, if you assume 3% inflation every year (admittedly a debatable assumption). If you are risk-tolerant (most people aren't risk tolerant enough, remember) you should generally be happy to finance debt to invest the returns in the market.
I downloaded the dataset from OurWorldinData and estimated the % of cases coming from the UK strain based on the GSAID chart (Note: It's unclear what exactly they mean by "Week 47", so the percentages might be off by up to 7 days, but I did my best.) If there is better data on this, (In particular, an updated GSAID dataset) please let me know, I couldn't find any. I would be happy to redo the below analysis with data past 11/16.
On the below charts, the top chart is total Covid cases. The bottom chart is total Covid cases broken down by strain. I started this by saying I thought you were overreacting, but then I deleted that sentence, because now I'm not sure. One thing you will notice that is lost in the above is that the emergence of the new strain was immediately followed by a large reduction in total cases. It was already at 10% of sequenced strains by ~11/16. This gives me some hope that things are not as dire as maybe they appear. Without the data from 11/17 onward, it seems really hard to say what's happening in the UK with respect to the new strain. But I'm finding several sources now that are saying current infections in the UK are ~50% new strain. So that would be consistent with the possibility that lockdowns leveled out the old strain infections at ~15000 per day and the rise over the last few weeks is all attributable to the new strain. But I think ultimately the data I have is inconclusive.
"It’s clear that [testing] demand greatly exceeds supply."
Is this true? Are people that want tests unable to get them? Or do people just not want to get tested? Or did we tell people early in the pandemic that testing capacity was limited and that they shouldn't get tested unless they've been exposed and people still believe that now? I suspect it's the last.
I've had three tests, all paid for 100% by insurance (I think it would be $64 w/o insurance, IIRC). Turn around time on the first (early June) was three days, second (Nov) was three days, and the third (a few days ago) was a day and a half. The only thing I had to do each time was tell them that I was exposed at work, which was varyingly true. My brother gets tested every other week through work. Fiancée got tested at CVS and they didn't even ask her that screening question. I haven't had a single experience leading me to believe tests are in short supply.
Don't tell my employer that. The guy in the office next to me got it (from a meeting at work) and gave it to the girl across from me. There are a total of four offices in my building. I was deemed "not to be a close contact".
The money question to me WRT the UK strain is what it's doing in other countries. Are other countries where the strain has been detected seeing the same rise in cases? Are they doing enough sequencing to know it even if they are?
20. The 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes of screenwork, look at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will reduce eye strain and is easy to remember (or program reminders for).
I noticed my eyes were horribly bloodshot yesterday, so I just downloaded a Chrome extension that will remind me to do this every 20 minutes. (File under: Automate literally everything)
23. (~This is not medical advice~). Don’t waste money on multivitamins, they don’t work. Vitamin D supplementation does seem to work, which is important because deficiency is common.
I would really really love for someone (Scott) to write "Vitamins: Much More Than You Wanted to Know", because I'm not sure I agree with this one. In particular, it seems like one of those areas where the science is all exceptionally poorly done. I take four vitamins (with a meal Soylent) daily, a multivitamin, a B complex, 5000 IU of Vitamin D, and a Algae Oil pill. I'm pretty confident in the research around Vitamin D and DHA/EPA (I am a vegetarian), but the Vitamin B and multivitamin I'm much less sure of, and I've heard this specific advice many times. But that being said, I can buy a year's supply at Costco for $20. If they're doing anything that's worth it. Health is irreplaceable in a way that money is not.
53. To start defining your problems, say (out loud) “everything in my life is completely fine.” Notice what objections arise.
This one is great. I come at it from a slightly different angle of appreciating what you have though. A couple years ago I formed a habit of, whenever I think about it, I take a deep breath and say to myself "I have a great life", and I think of all of the many satisfactions that I have that many people don't.
That's interesting. Do you have specific examples? I'd be interested the context where he said that. I do agree if that reduced Eliezer's contribution that was a significant negative impact.
My concern is more rooted in status. LW is already associated enough with fringe ideas, I don't think it does us well to be seen endorsing low-status things without evidence. Imagine (as an extreme example, I'm not trying to equate the two) if I said something about Flat Earth Theory and then if I was challenged on it said that I didn't think it was an appropriate place to discuss it. That's... not a good look.
I guess I'll introduce myself? Ordinary story, came from HPMOR, blah blah blah. I was active on 1.0 for awhile when I was in college, but changed usernames when I decided I didn't want my real name to be googleable. I doubt anyone really remembers it anyway. Quit going there when 1.0 became not so much of a thing anymore. Hung out with some of the people on rationalist Tumblr for awhile before that stopped being so much of a thing too. If you recognize the name, it's probably from there. Got on Twitter recently, but that's more about college football than it is the rationalist community. Was vaguely aware of the LW 2.0 effort and poked around a little when it was launched, but never stuck. I think I saw something about the books on Twitter and thought that was cool. Came back this week and was surprised at how active it was. So if this is to say anything it's to say good job to the team on growing the site back up.
On a side note, I used to live in rural Louisiana, which pretty obviously didn't have a rationalist community (Though I did meet a guy who lived a couple hours away once) and now I'm in Richmond, VA. Most surveys I've seen still show me as the only one here, (There's obviously the DC group, but nothing my way.) but if any of you are ever around after this whole "global pandemic" thing is over, hit me up.
Am I the only one who doesn't understand the Moderna Efficacy Table you screencapped?
39/1079 is an infection rate of 3.61% (They have 96.7%, which I assume means virus free? But that doesn't match)
They say 7 out of 996 got infected who got one dose of the vaccine. That's an infection rate of 0.703%. 0.703% / 3.61% = 19.4%, which I would call an 80.6% "effective" vaccine. They show a percentage of 87.5%?
None of this really matters, I guess, because the overall point is the same. Obviously one dose is ~pretty effective for varying definitions of "pretty". But it's still not clear to me what kind of math they're doing.
I wasn't trying to suggest that the discourse doesn't exist. I agree its existence is self-evident. Nor was I trying to censor you. I think your first comment was a good one.
My point was that you made a controversial statement ("For a majority of women that behavior isn't attractive.") for which the only evidence you offered was the existence of a controversy surrounding it. Then when someone told you that didn't match their experience (a comment that was upvoted significantly, indicating this is likely true for many people, as it is for me) and asked you to support that claim, you declined to offer any more evidence of your original claim. That is the behavior that I don't think belongs here, and I stand by that.
Also, as I understand, it's actually better not to cancel the cards you sign up for (unless they have an annual fee), because "average age of credit line" is a factor in the FICO score. Snip them up, set up auto-pay and fraud alerts and forget about them, but don't cancel them.
It does not seem like the expected value of the probability of something slipping through the cracks would pay for the marginal increase in the credit score.
I'm losing a lot of confidence in the digit ratio/masculinity femininity stuff. I'm not seeing a number of things I'd expect to see.
First, my numbers for correlations don't match up with yours. With filters on for female gendered, and answering all of BemSexRoleF, BemSexRoleM, RightHand, and LeftHand, I get a correlation of only -0.34 for RightHand and BemSexRoleM, not -0.433 as you say. I get various other differences as well, all weaker correlations than you describe. Perhaps differences in filtering explain this? -.34 vs -.433 seems to be high for this to be true though.
Second, Bem masculinity and femininity actually seem to have a positive correlation, albeit tiny. So more masculine people are... more feminine? This makes no sense and makes me more likely to throw out the entire data set.
Thirdly, I don't see any huge differences between Cisgender Men, Transgender Men, Cisgender Women, or Transgender Women on digit ratios. I would expect to see this as well. I get 95% confidence intervals (mean +/- 3*sigma/sqrt(n), formatted [Lower Right - Upper Right / Lower Left - Upper Left]) for the categories as follows:
F (Cis): [0.949 - 0.996 / 0.956 - 1.004]
M (Cis): [0.962 - 0.978 / 0.963 - 0.979]
M (Trans): [0.907 - 0.988 / 0.818 - 1.070]
F (Trans): [0.935 - 1.002 / 0.935 - 1.019]
There's pretty significant overlap between all 4 categories. I made a dotplot that I can't upload and it doesn't look to me like there's any difference in the distributions, but I don't think we have enough of a sample size to have a meaningful distribution on anything except cis males and maybe cis females.
Lastly, I guess I just skipped over the favorite LessWrong post? Not sure what I would have answered, but it would have been either When None Dare Urge Restraint or Intellectual Hipsters and Metacontrarians. Surprised to see neither of those on the list.
About 10 percent of A.I. researchers believe the first machine with human-level intelligence will arrive in the next 10 years. Nearly all think it will be accomplished by century's end.
My first thought upon reading this was "Holy crap! Really?!" as I began revising my own probability/risk estimates. Then I realized that people probably also said this in the 1950s. How much are other people updating on this?
I have a problem staying awake when I drive. Unrelated, I wanted more intellectual stimulation in my life. So I started downloading podcasts to listen to while I drive instead of music, which, while not the intended benefit, engage my brain and keep me more awake. Intellectual stimulation is up too.
I started getting back into trying to read and post (albeit under the name of a new account not tied closely to my real name) on LW, tumblr, and a couple others.
I got a promotion (well, I'm training for the promotion that I'll get in a couple months) for a job I'm really enjoying. I was disliking my previous job more and more, so this is a welcome change.
For at least 10 years, I've wondered why men don't wear skirts, because I've always imagined that they are fantastically comfortable. It only recently occurred to me that, as a human with money, I can give that money to people who will deliver skirts to my front door, and I can wear them around the house for increased comfort without embarrassment because I live alone. I can officially confirm that they are wonderfully comfortable, at least in my opinion. However this does run contrary to the opinion of, well, pretty much every woman I've talked to.
This seems like a case of privileging the hypothesis. Why should we have to show that early retirement + EA volunteering is superior to working a standard job and donating free cash flow, and not the other way around?
keep working a high-paying job for sometime regardless. That way, he could gain valuable experience, and use the money he earns to eventually become financially independent, i.e., 'retire early'. Then, when he is age forty or something, he can do valuable work as a non-profit manager or researcher or personal assistant for free.
This is a career path I am very seriously considering. At the very least, I will continue to invest/save my money, if for no other reason that it doesn't seem intuitively obvious to me that I should prefer saving 100 lives this year to 104 lives next year. Add to this that I expect the EA movement to more accurately determine which charities are the most effective in future years (MIRI is highly uncertain to be the most effective, but could potentially be much more effective) and subtract the fact that donations to current effective charities will potentially eliminate some low hanging fruit. After all of that, I suspect it is probably a little more optimal to save money and donate later than to donate now. However I still can't shake the feeling that I'm just writing reasons for my bottom line of not giving my money away. This is a difficult question that there have been a number of threads on, and I don't claim to have a good answer to it, only my answer.
I'm a vegan for ethical reasons. I'm not rigid about it, (the bean burgers I mention contain small amounts of eggs, for example) but I definitely watch which animal products I consume. If there weren't healthy ways to get something critical, I would probably make an exception. I tend to believe that there is a vegan substitute for just about anything, however I'm open to be proven wrong.
I just set up a Chronometer account, that seems like a good service. Is there a way to put exact recipes in? I put in my breakfast this morning, which was some leftover homemade bread I made last night. Chronometer said that "homemade bread" had a gram of trans fats in it, which I doubt is accurate. I would suppose that there is high variation in nonstandard food items, and I'm hoping there's a good way to address this.
A few other things have been causing me look at supplements, and this thread is making me seriously consider developing a regimen. I'm not sure where the best place to start is. On an intuitive level, there are a few supplements that seem like they would be common sense for me:
Melatonin - I just started working a shift schedule, 7 day shifts / 4 off / 7 graveyard shifts / 2 off / 7 evening shift / 1 off. It seems common sense that melatonin would increase quality of sleep, which is a large problem with the rotating sleep schedule. I see one of the results for my Amazon search has turned up Valerian instead. Does anyone have experience with this relative to melatonin?
Vitamin D - I really only leave the house when I have to. Pretty much the stereotypical stay-inside nerd.
Algae oil - I recently (about a year go) became a vegan, but I'm not sure I'm doing it very healthily. From what I've read, Algae oil is the best substitute for fish oil.
Multivitamin - I have a bottle of multivitamins that I theoretically take every day, but am actually horrible at following through. Hopefully developing a more structured regimen will help with this, what with the cognitive dissonance and all.
Whey protein - I used to be very successful at drinking a protein shake every morning before work (I have been a vegetarian for many years) but I developed a distaste for them. Since then, I've started eating 2 bean burgers just about every day that are my primary source (34g) of protein. I'm unsure exactly how much my other foods fill the 22g gap between this and the recommendation.
What other low hanging fruit is there for me to investigate? The above are only what seem obvious, they are not necessarily what is optimal. Particularly, information on any supplements important for vegans would be helpful.
To me, it's more about financial independence than early retirement. Financial independence gives you the options to do a lot of different things; "retire" and volunteer for an effective charity, continue working and donate 100% of your income to charity, continue working and balloon your nest egg to establish a trust to be donated to an effective charity upon your death, etc. The knowledge that you are 100% financially independent gives tremendous security that (as well as it's other benefits, such as decreasing stress) allows someone to comfortably and without consideration give large amounts of money.
What are some strategies for pursuing this? I considered trying to write something, but it seems that the central message of "people are kind of bad at spending money efficiently and you are a people and you are probably bad at it too" is hard to convey without being rude, and unlikely to succeed. Particularly when you're, in effect, going to be asking them to give their money away instead of saving it for retirement.
I have a question about the Effective Altruism community that's always bothered me. Why does the movement not seem to have much overlap with the frugality/early retirement movement? Is it just that I haven't seen it? I read a number of sites (My favorite being Mr Money Mustache, who retired at age 30 on a modest engineer's salary) that focus on early retirement through (many would say extreme) frugality. I wouldn't expect that this, or something close to it, would be hard for most people in the demographic of this site. It seems to me that the two movements have a lot in common, mainly attempting to get people to be more responsible with their money. If you take as an axiom that, for members of the EA movement, marginal income/savings equals increased donations, it seems as though there is tremendous opportunity for synergies between the two.
May want to add Slate Star Codex as an exception to the referrals question.
Time in community question needs to be updated to 7 years for the start of the community.
Might be worth it to specify aggregate Karma if you have multiple accounts. (This is an account that I started using after I decided I no longer wanted to use my real name. I mostly lurk anyway, though.)
It would be worth it to add a "no meetups in my area" option to the meetups question.
I wasn't thanks. I'll try to read that sometime when I get a chance. At first glance though, I'm unsure why you would want it to be logarithmic. I thought about doing it that way too, but you then you lose the meaning associated with average error, which I think is undesirable.
Hi. I'm Baisius. I came here, like most, through HPMOR. I've read a lot of the sequences and they've helped me reanalyze the things I believe and why I believe them. I've been lurking here for awhile, but I've never really felt I had anything to add to the site, content wise. That's changed, however - I just launched a blog. The blog is generally LW themed, so I thought it appropriate. I wouldn't ordinarily advertise for it, but I would particularly like some help on one of the problems I explored in my first post. (see footnote 3)
One of the things that's bothered me about PredictionBook, and one of the reasons I don't use it much, is that its analysis seems a bit... lacking. In the post, I tried to come up with a rigorous way of comparing sets of predictions to see which are more accurate. I did this by looking at the distribution of residuals (outcome - predicted probability) for a set of predictions. The odd thing was that when I looked at the variance, the inverse of the variance showed some very odd patterns. It's all there in the post, but if anyone who knows a bit more math than I do could explain it, I'd really appreciate it.