Effective effective altruism: Get $400 off your next charity donation 2015-04-17T05:45:37.644Z · score: 9 (10 votes)
Possible interest in Louisiana Meetup? 2014-11-05T02:00:59.097Z · score: 3 (3 votes)


Comment by baisius on LessWrong Diplomacy Game 2015 · 2015-07-20T21:55:40.690Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'll play.

Comment by baisius on Effective effective altruism: Get $400 off your next charity donation · 2015-04-19T04:39:08.261Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was more making a point about the value of a credit score - mine is near perfect anyway. I have a mortgage and three permanent credit cards that I maintain, and no real blemishes.

Comment by baisius on Effective effective altruism: Get $400 off your next charity donation · 2015-04-18T05:16:33.037Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by baisius on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-08T01:54:08.728Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's not clear that this maps to colloquial use of the terms "feminine" and "masculine" then. I think most would consider them opposite ends of the same spectrum.

Comment by baisius on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T11:34:15.442Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Comment by baisius on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T10:54:20.294Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Edit: As always, thanks for doing this!

Comment by baisius on [Link] Will Superintelligent Machines Destroy Humanity? · 2014-11-28T04:37:05.182Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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?

Comment by baisius on November 2014 Monthly Bragging Thread · 2014-11-11T23:56:10.553Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well I'm also kind of genderqueer/nonconny so I like it because of that too. Defying Authority always seems like a Big Scary Thing though and it's hard for me to do that. I just don't think outside the box very naturally.

Comment by baisius on Possible interest in Louisiana Meetup? · 2014-11-05T19:54:55.365Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ruston is in northern Louisiana, about an hour from Shreveport and an hour and a half from Natchitoches.

Comment by baisius on November 2014 Monthly Bragging Thread · 2014-11-05T02:19:54.354Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

I have done a number of things.

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.

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-11-02T20:42:39.112Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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?

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-11-02T20:38:51.895Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You can also be motivated by "Earning to Give", or something to the same effect. That was largely the point of my thread.

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-10-28T07:08:52.190Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Probably because it's largely composed of or at least represented by the kind of people who REALLY like living in places like NYC and the Bay Area, which are the opposite of frugal.

This is actually a point I have made to myself about the movement.

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-10-26T20:58:52.232Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by baisius on What supplements do you take, if any? · 2014-10-26T20:49:12.888Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for such an in-depth reply.

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.

Comment by baisius on What supplements do you take, if any? · 2014-10-25T09:51:43.705Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

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:

  1. 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?
  2. Vitamin D - I really only leave the house when I have to. Pretty much the stereotypical stay-inside nerd.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Comment by baisius on Non-standard politics · 2014-10-25T08:16:18.988Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure any of those things measure incorruptibility.

Comment by baisius on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-23T09:47:49.582Z · score: 39 (39 votes) · LW · GW

For those that have mentioned a lack of a ruler, I used this one online:

Might be worth it to link in the survey, if it's still editable.

Comment by baisius on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-23T09:45:00.293Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

You should probably Rot13 this. I scanned the comments before I did the survey, and I couldn't remember why I was so confident in the correct answer, but I was.

Comment by baisius on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-23T08:44:41.594Z · score: 53 (53 votes) · LW · GW

Completed. Very excited to see the digit ratio data.

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-10-22T20:00:31.040Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-10-22T19:54:10.657Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-10-22T08:15:16.393Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by baisius on Open thread, Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2014 · 2014-10-21T08:04:14.520Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by baisius on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey - Call For Critiques/Questions · 2014-10-12T15:59:47.005Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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.

The header for part eight is listed twice.

Comment by baisius on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-11T10:59:27.938Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

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.

Comment by baisius on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-11T02:22:25.843Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

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.