Why did the Ming treasure voyages end in 1433? 2020-11-30T13:30:38.265Z
Can we get people to shut up on public transportation? 2020-11-28T15:30:16.797Z
How do you evaluate whether a $500 donation to a project that you know well is a good idea? 2020-11-19T12:42:41.732Z
Did anybody calculate the Briers score for per-state election forecasts? 2020-11-10T17:51:20.275Z
Does BioNtech's vaccine result of 90% disease prevention mean that 90% of the vaccinated can't pass the virus to other people? 2020-11-10T15:27:33.065Z
Is corruption a valuable antidote to overregulation? 2020-11-08T12:15:35.819Z
How do you read the news critically? 2020-10-31T11:48:27.749Z
What's holding back outsourcing to cloud labs? 2020-10-28T23:07:19.509Z
Stupid Questions October 2020 2020-10-21T11:41:38.474Z
Not all communication is manipulation: Chaperones don't manipulate proteins 2020-09-27T16:45:52.172Z
If Starship works, how much would it cost to create a system of rotable space mirrors that reduces temperatures on earth by 1° C? 2020-09-14T18:46:19.490Z
What's the CFAR position on how the workbook can be used? 2020-09-09T13:56:52.514Z
When should I be concerned about my Oura measurements indicating COVID-19? 2020-09-04T22:15:54.577Z
From GPT to AGI 2020-08-31T13:28:35.442Z
How hard would it be to change GPT-3 in a way that allows audio? 2020-08-28T14:42:17.387Z
How will internet forums like LW be able to defend against GPT-style spam? 2020-07-28T20:12:56.458Z
Is there an easy way to turn a LW sequence into an epub? 2020-07-18T18:20:03.795Z
How big of an issue are patent trolls to the average startup? 2020-07-16T11:31:05.934Z
What do we now know about long-term consequences of a COVID-19 infection? 2020-07-15T14:42:33.222Z
[Resource Request] What are good resources for best practice for creating bureaucracy? 2020-07-09T12:05:54.262Z
Could Nixon going to China be a cause for the big stagnation? 2020-07-05T06:58:35.119Z
Why don't we tape surgical masks to the face to seal them airtight? 2020-04-14T08:33:14.637Z
In Defense of Politics 2020-04-10T19:26:50.747Z
Why don't we have active human trials with inactivated SARS-COV-2? 2020-04-09T19:40:15.922Z
How do you determine temperature cutoffs for women's body-temperature? 2020-04-08T12:11:33.977Z
How do you do fit-testing for KN95/N95/FFP2/FFP3 masks? 2020-04-07T08:46:14.425Z
What to draw from Macintyre et al 2015? 2020-04-05T16:56:18.734Z
What should you do regarding footwear to protect against COVID-19? 2020-04-02T19:28:38.193Z
Using the Quantified Self paradigma for COVID-19 2020-03-22T21:14:16.909Z
mRNA vaccine development for COVID-19 2020-03-21T15:17:17.577Z
Cost of a COVID-19 test that uses shotgun RNA sequencing? 2020-03-19T21:33:42.485Z
Why isn't increasing ventilation of public spaces part of the best practice response to the Coronovirus? 2020-03-12T10:40:47.502Z
How's the case for wearing googles for COVID-19 protection when in public transportation? 2020-03-08T09:31:25.200Z
How long does SARS-CoV-2 survive on copper surfaces 2020-03-07T10:00:26.951Z
What are sensible ways to screen event participants to reduce COVID-19 risk? 2020-03-03T20:43:39.280Z
How do you use face masks? 2020-02-13T14:18:05.037Z
Phage therapy in a post-antibiotics world 2019-12-29T17:03:01.679Z
Is daily caffeine consumption beneficial to productivity? 2019-11-26T13:13:05.613Z
SlateStarCodex Berlin: Social meetup 2019-11-18T16:29:08.317Z
When is pair-programming superior to regular programming? 2019-10-08T11:48:46.734Z
How good is the case for retraining yourself to sleep on your back? 2019-09-25T09:51:58.498Z
What happened to Leverage Research? 2019-09-02T17:45:45.542Z
ChristianKl's Shortform 2019-08-18T20:13:54.199Z
Why is the nitrogen cycle so under-emphasized compared to climate change 2019-08-06T09:25:50.255Z
How would a better replacement for tissues look like? 2019-04-05T09:13:36.335Z
What's the best way for me to improve my English pronounciation? 2019-01-02T23:49:19.428Z
How can I most effectively improve my writing abilities? 2019-01-01T13:22:38.854Z
Who's welcome to our LessWrong meetups? 2018-12-10T13:31:17.357Z
Taking vitamin D3 with K2 in the morning 2018-11-30T19:00:59.563Z
How to use a microphone r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ during public speaking 2018-09-14T17:14:25.695Z


Comment by christiankl on Straight-edge Warning Against Physical Intimacy · 2020-12-03T18:39:38.774Z · LW · GW

Yes, I think that would match the intended meaning. 

Comment by christiankl on Straight-edge Warning Against Physical Intimacy · 2020-12-03T10:59:48.692Z · LW · GW

The problem is that it's not accurate here as while a trans man has the hormones in their blood they don't produce them (or at least not all of them).

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-12-02T23:48:56.793Z · LW · GW

Epistemic status: I did study bioinformatics but it's been more then a decade, so I have basic familarity but no strong expertise.

I meant B. Most mRNA errors will result in no protein being produced. 

One scenario is that you have the mRNA cut somewhere in the middle. The front of the mRNA is marked with a 5' cap addition. The tail of the cut mRNA doesn't have that, so it won't be processed into a protein.

The front with does have the 5' cap addition however doesn't have the polyadenylation at the end of the mRNA that normally marks the end of it. Lacking that exonucleases will degrade it. This is a process that the body has to get rid of damaged mRNA. 

Given these processes I would expect that no clinical significant amount of proteins that only has the front X amino acids gets build.

Even with proper handling many mRNA molecules will be damaged by the time they reach the ribosomes inside cells. If damaged mRNA molecules would cause problems you would likely see those problems also in patients in the clinical trials. 

Comment by christiankl on Can we get people to shut up on public transportation? · 2020-11-30T21:51:46.782Z · LW · GW

In general ordinance would likely work in Germany but it's not easy to define non-reasonable conversations into law. You probably want people to be able to say "We are going of that the next station".

Practically, I don't have direct input input into policy-making. 

Comment by christiankl on Can preference falsification be reduced with Ring Signatures? · 2020-11-30T16:33:34.614Z · LW · GW

Okay, I got it. It seems like your citation of Wikipedia is obfuscating as it doesn't describe what's required for calculating the ring signature when you suggest that it provides clarification.

It seems a key question that's not answered in the Wikipedia page would be whether you can reuse existing private/public keypairs.

If you can reuse existing private/public keypairs, this solution should be able to scale in communities that do publish keys for communicating in an encrypted way with each other. 

Comment by christiankl on Can preference falsification be reduced with Ring Signatures? · 2020-11-30T13:21:35.806Z · LW · GW

When high-ranking White House officials are quoted in the media they usually aren't named because they aren't authorized to speak on the issue. 

We have laws against unauthorized disclosure and not laws that are designed to make unauthorized disclosure of secrets by White House officials easier. Ring signatures would be a tool that can be used if the powerful would want more unauthorized leaks but they don't. 

The same goes for corporations. No cooperation wants to make it more easy for it's employees to engage in unauthorized disclosure of information. 

That leaves the question what kind of organization might give their members ring signatures. Anonymous organizations can easily give out ring signatures but their signatures are worthless. "A member of XY anonymous said ..." isn't different then "A anonymous person said..." if  XY anonymous hasn't a reputation for selective membership. 

Some academic organizations might have values that are compatible with having their members being able to speak anonymously while being able to identify as members of the organization.

Practically, there's the risk of any member of the organization not being careful with their information security and thus allowing a third party to speak in the name of the organization. The possibility of a hacker from 4chan getting the credentials to speak in the name of Havard is likely enough that it's a tough sell. 

Comment by christiankl on Book review: WEIRDest People · 2020-11-30T11:31:40.938Z · LW · GW

(Or is the idea that colonialism did cause the IR, but colonialism was in turn caused by technological advantages that were the result of WEIRDness?)

The Ming treasure voyages do suggest that the technical capability for colonialism exist in China. It was just not persued after 1433. 

Comment by christiankl on Book review: WEIRDest People · 2020-11-30T11:18:10.914Z · LW · GW

I see a strange parallel to Marxism when Henrich describes the need for societies to go through different, partly opposing (dialectic), stages. But Henrich is the opposite of a Marxist in many other respects, such as the ability of intellectual leaders to predict those stages.

Marx took that from Hegel and Marx it not the only one influenced by Hegel. 

Comment by christiankl on Book review: WEIRDest People · 2020-11-30T10:46:37.269Z · LW · GW

Belief in heaven and hell correlates with (and likely causes) a large increase in economic growth. Alas, belief in heaven alone doesn't seem to be very valuable.

That seems surprising to me. Didn't the dark ages start with those spreading? And the middle age ending with the enlightment?

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-29T14:08:57.643Z · LW · GW

I would expect that there are reported vaccine side effects that don't go away after a few days. 

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-28T22:10:45.231Z · LW · GW

What does that mean? I don't understand the meaning, severity or prognoses related to "cardiac involvement" and "ongoing myocardial inflammation". 

This means you have a medical test that shows the heart was damaged. We don't have the full knowledge of how that heart damage plays out years down the road. 

Oh come on, I expect better from people on LW. There was no opportunity yet to produce evidence for long-term problems due to the vaccine.

This sounds to me like you don't understand what the word evidence means when it's used on LessWrong. On LessWrong the word evidence is generally meant in the Bayesian sense.

There are long-term effects that only appear after a while. Neither for COVID-19 nor for the vaccine we can measure those effects currently.

On the other hand there are adverse effects that happen when a person gets vaccinated or a person gets ill. We can measure whether those effects disapper after 2-3 months or are still there. 

Comment by christiankl on Pain is not the unit of Effort · 2020-11-28T21:46:11.423Z · LW · GW

There are plenty of different sensations that people sometimes call pain. Being able to distinguish those sensations and treat them differently is useful. 

Not counting the sensensation that comes with soreness as pain is an option but it's not how everyone uses the word pain and especially people without much experience of it will lump it into the general pain cluster when they encouter it.

Comment by christiankl on Notes on Good Temper · 2020-11-28T21:17:17.290Z · LW · GW

Internet trolls play social media like a video game in which they score points by provoking other people into pointless displays of rage. 

I have similar claims many times but they are usually asserted without evidence. What's the case for believing this happens at a significant amount?

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-28T16:33:43.327Z · LW · GW

My risk model treats all the available vaccines as "drug that was developed under political and financial pressure and whose trials ended much sooner than is normally the case".

And what other drugs do you believe have been in that reference class? Without that, it doesn't tell you much. All drugs are developed under financial pressure. 

Direct finanical motivations seems to be even less strong in this case. Big Pharma is more in it for the goodwill then for the profits. If you read market analysis like How much could Pfizer make from a COVID-19 vaccine?:

And while there will be massive COVID-19 vaccine sales, he actually doesn’t see pharmaceutical companies in general making significant profits off of them in the long run.


So why race to be first? Conover said other incentives, along with profit, would include a company being able to generate goodwill with governments and patients. 

Comment by christiankl on Pain is not the unit of Effort · 2020-11-28T15:54:23.845Z · LW · GW

Most amateur and intermediate athletes are doing something wrong if it hurts. 

This goes counter to the general NHS advice for excersie Why do I feel pain after exercise?:

It can be alarming for people who are new to exercise, and may dent their initial enthusiasm to get fit.

The good news is the soreness will decrease as your muscles get used to the new physical demands being placed upon them.

The soreness is part of an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build. 


DOMS typically lasts between 3 and 5 days. The pain, which can range from mild to severe, usually occurs 1 or 2 days after the exercise.

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-28T14:18:06.936Z · LW · GW

Among the 181 individuals who participated in clinical interviews at follow-up, 6 (3.3%) had a history of psychiatric disorders before contracting SARS. At the time of follow-up, a total of 77 (42.5%) had experienced at least 1 active psychiatric illness as determined by the SCID. The most common diagnoses were posttraumatic stress disorder (42 of 77 survivors [54.5%]), depression (30 of 77 [39.0%]), somatoform pain disorder (28 of 77 [36.4%]), panic disorder (25 of 77 [32.5%]), and obsessive compulsive disorder (12 of 77 [15.6%]).


Chronic fatigue was found to be common among both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric groups. The prevalence rate according to the Chalder fatigue questionnaires (chronic fatigue score ≥4 and symptoms lasting for >6 months) and the modified CDC 1994 criteria15 for CFS were 40.3% and 27.1%, respectively. Those with fatigue symptoms were more likely to have comorbid active psychiatric disorders (Table 3).

Both are scientific papers published years after SARS and before our present issues with COVID-19 

Comment by christiankl on Pain is not the unit of Effort · 2020-11-28T02:51:37.329Z · LW · GW

There are different kinds of pains. Different pains provide different signals. Some of those are useful while others aren't. 

If you do sports and stretch yourself, it comes with a specific kind of pain that's part of stretching. On the other hand there's pain that's a sign of doing things wrong. 

One of the key Radical Honesty teachings is being able to distinguish when having a touch conversation is good pain and when it's just needless suffering. The same goes for other domains. Striving to feel no pain is a bad plan as is striving to feel as much pain as possible. It's about being open for the right kind of pain in the right context. 

Comment by christiankl on Understanding your understanding · 2020-11-27T15:47:27.967Z · LW · GW

The level analogy suggests that someone with level 2 understand would usually understand a subject better then a person with level 1 understanding. 

Not all caluclations are equal and there will be people with level 1 understanding who can calculate and predict better then some people with level 2 or level 3 understanding.

Comment by christiankl on Evading Mind Control · 2020-11-26T10:35:34.861Z · LW · GW

Most people have weeks where they don't read books. The fact that someone needs to make a conscious decision to go a week without reading books is a sign fo a person who reads a lot of books.

A Quora answer from 2016 (a decade after 4-Hour Workweek) suggest he read 1-4 books/per week at the time. 

Comment by christiankl on Evading Mind Control · 2020-11-25T22:02:19.548Z · LW · GW

Tim Ferriss (two s) does lay out his reasons in the linked post, so there's not really a reason to speculate.

Comment by christiankl on Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career? · 2020-11-25T19:21:33.925Z · LW · GW

In my experience having different parts of oneself believe different things is not good for motivation. 

Comment by christiankl on Evading Mind Control · 2020-11-25T17:58:31.134Z · LW · GW

Tim Ferris doesn't just avoid news, television and social media.

That statement seems to be too general given that his last post about recommending books he read isn't even a year old. 

It seemed Tim Ferriss did say:

To that end, I’m committing to *not* reading any new books in 2020. This means I will not read any books published in 2020.

Older books seem to be still fair game for him.

Comment by christiankl on Mark Manson and Evidence-Based Personal Development · 2020-11-25T12:25:57.676Z · LW · GW

It's worth noting that Mark Manson is influencial for what other bloggers in the personal development field do (the German bloggers I know personally consider him a good role model). 

Comment by christiankl on Should I do it? · 2020-11-25T09:25:34.810Z · LW · GW

I haven't found a clear solution anywhere. There is only one point that everyone agrees on. 

Yes, according to current knowledge most AGI designs are dangerous. Speaking to researchers could help one of them to explain to you why your particular design is dangerous. 

Comment by christiankl on What risks from vaccines? · 2020-11-24T19:26:51.741Z · LW · GW

I read a while ago of a company uses Hela cells to produce the mRNA. From my latest reading, it seems like different companies produce their mRNA in different ways. Unfortunately, the production process is not easy to research.

Comment by christiankl on The next AI winter will be due to energy costs · 2020-11-24T18:48:41.099Z · LW · GW

Energy prices (in USD per kWh) may decrease in the future (solar? fusion?)

Solar costs do fall exponentially if the last decades are any indication. If you are fine with not getting 365/7/24 energy because energy is your biggest cost they will give you cheap power.

There might also be a time where you want to fly your solar cells nearer to the sun to pick up more sun. Computers in space could be powered that way.

Comment by christiankl on Straight-edge Warning Against Physical Intimacy · 2020-11-24T18:28:25.972Z · LW · GW

My point is that transwomen who don't produce oestrogen but supplement it, have it in their blood. I would expect a trans women who takes hormones to be similarly affected as a cis woman.

Comment by christiankl on Embedded Interactive Predictions on LessWrong · 2020-11-24T17:27:37.130Z · LW · GW

Calling a feature that's about getting a numeric value between 1% and 99% prediction suggests it shouldn't be used for asking questions that aren't predictions. Is that a conscious choice?

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-24T17:02:08.559Z · LW · GW

The priors we have from SARS suggests that those symptoms are lasting. 

Comment by christiankl on Toon Alfrink's sketchpad · 2020-11-24T16:04:23.097Z · LW · GW

Prizes are not constraints for running tournaments and treating them like they are makes it harder to bring a tournament to reality. 

Comment by christiankl on Straight-edge Warning Against Physical Intimacy · 2020-11-24T13:59:27.644Z · LW · GW

Note that these effects are stronger within people who produce predominantly oestrogen over testosterone, but everyone is affected by them.

That's an odd way of phrase male/female. I would expect that blood levels of either are more important then how much a person produces (blood-levels include artificial supplementation). 

Comment by christiankl on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-24T13:32:14.023Z · LW · GW

I don't think there a good reason to abbreviate EITC here given that it's not a common abbreviation and not spelled out.

In any case earned income tax credit is not the only way to provide government welfare. There's welfare for the unemployed. The key difference of UBI is that the welfare that unemployed get doesn't come with a requirement of them searching work and accepting job offers. 

Arguing that time for children is important is a different argument then that having enough food is important.

There is clear evidence that malnutrition keeps cognitive ability down but I'm not aware of clear evidence that parents having time for children is predictive of adult cognitive capacity. 

Comment by christiankl on Toon Alfrink's sketchpad · 2020-11-24T13:13:10.471Z · LW · GW

Given specific criticisms to proposals that people make isn't throwing away information. 

Comment by christiankl on Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career? · 2020-11-24T10:37:34.210Z · LW · GW

Hm, I was imagining it as a given that the chance of getting a job in academia is high enough for it to be worth continuing

It seems unlikely that a person who holds confused beliefs about the likelihood of getting a professorship is capable of making that judgement.

Comment by christiankl on Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career? · 2020-11-24T10:36:08.822Z · LW · GW

If the only reason you are focusing on your thesis is to get a professorship, it sounds like you are not into doing the research for the right reasons.

How about choosing research topics that seem important enough that even in the case you don't get professorship you could say it was worth investing yourself into them?

Comment by christiankl on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-23T21:33:54.912Z · LW · GW

How much healthier and higher-IQ would the population be if poor children had access to better food, better housing, and parent's with more free time and energy?

Children's access to food and housing quality don't depend on whether the help that their parents get from the government comes with the government pressuring the parents to get work or not. 

Comment by christiankl on Embedded Interactive Predictions on LessWrong · 2020-11-23T21:08:11.711Z · LW · GW

You get metaculus points by being active on Metaculus. People who spent a lot of time on metaculus have thought a lot about about making predictions and that's valuable but it's not the same as it being a measure of calibration.

The the expection of jimrandomh all the people in the top 20 have more then 1000 predictions (jimrandomh has 800). I'm Rank 87 at the moment with 195 predictions I made.

If you go on GJOpen you can see the calibration of any user and use it to judge how well they are calibrated. Metaculus doesn't make that information publically available (you need to have level 6 and pay Tachyons to access the track record of another user, 50 Tachyons also feels too expensive to just do it for the sake of a discussion like this). 

Comment by christiankl on Can We Place Trust in Post-AGI Forecasting Evaluations? · 2020-11-23T12:23:24.977Z · LW · GW

That said, the really important thing isn't how the evaluations will actually happen, but rather what forecasters will think of it. 

No, empirical feedback is important for getting good predictions.

Comment by christiankl on ChristianKl's Shortform · 2020-11-23T10:47:29.804Z · LW · GW

Running simulations of driving situations is a key feature of how machine learning models for driverless cars get trained.

Maybe a key reasons for why humans dream is to allow us to simulate situations and learn to act in them?

Comment by christiankl on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-23T09:59:54.611Z · LW · GW

If I give you $8k, you will probably value marginal dollars less than you used to.

With an UBI you actually keep most of your marginal dollars that you earn at that point. In many systems where earning more means that you lose government support, earning a few marginal dollars isn't very helpful as the unemployed have a very high marginal tax rate when you account for them losing their benefits when taking a low paying job.

Comment by christiankl on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-23T09:50:05.232Z · LW · GW

There is no strong proof for such effect. Such proof would greatly increase acceptance of governments' policies, so there is a strong incentive to publish any such proof.

Trump spent months speaking about vaccines being soon available. Now we have the evidence that a vaccine works and the FDA will wait three weeks before to think about whether or not to approve the vaccine. 

There would be strong incenties to start vaccinating now and vaccinating as soon as possible is a prime goal of the US president but still not done because the system is dysfunctional to an extend that even after spending years deregulating the FDA and having months to prepare for the moment of the vaccine. 

While we do have slighlty more functioning governments in Europe, our governments are also not spending as much more on science to deal with COVID-19 as would desireable.

There's a study that German researchers did do that says:

Findings  In this cohort study including 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 identified from a COVID-19 test center, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%), which was independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and the time from the original diagnosis.

There's a recent study that suggest 20% of COVID-19 patients develop diagnoseable mental health issues. Here it's worth noting that 20% is not the upper bound as mental illness that gets developed through physical trauma often takes longer to show up (see the literature on depression due to head trauma).

Neither of those are surprising because our priors for this Coronavirus should come from the last problematic Coronavirus which was SARS with produced long-term mental health issues in a even larger number of patients and chronic fatigue syndrome (which might be a result of myocardial inflammation).

Divide that by 25 and stockpile large quantities of vitamin D in case you get the disease (

Even if the Vitamin D treatment they did in the study would have such an effect, you don't get that by stockpiling vitamin D and taking it when you get symptoms. 

Orally taken Vitamin D takes a while to be converted into it's active form and in the study they gave that active form intravenously.

Pfizer's vaccine requires extremely low temperatures, so there is a danger that in some locations it will be transported or stored incorrectly, causing greater risk than that suggested by the trials so far

Damaged mRNA doesn't cause additional risks. It just won't produce the desired proteins.

Given the studies that we have that do suggest long-term problems from COVID-19 and no evidence for long-term problems due to the vaccine, you need pretty high double standards to consider the vaccine more risky then getting infected with COVID-19.

Comment by christiankl on Embedded Interactive Predictions on LessWrong · 2020-11-23T08:55:26.138Z · LW · GW

As a fellow member of the top 100 Metaculus leaderboard I unfortunately have to tell you that it doesn't measure how well someone is calibrated. You get into it if you do a lot of predictions on Metaculus.

Comment by christiankl on Should I do it? · 2020-11-22T17:05:56.467Z · LW · GW

But isn't humanity already killing itself?

No, population is growing. Spending a few additional decades on AI safety research is likely improving our chances of survival. Of course listening to AI safety researchers and not just AI researchers from a random university matters as well.

Comment by christiankl on Should I do it? · 2020-11-21T21:38:16.186Z · LW · GW

I didn't mean security issues. That question is still open.

It seems like if your AGI actually works there's a good chance that it kills humanity.

Comment by christiankl on Can we prime people to take risk? · 2020-11-21T20:15:58.881Z · LW · GW

Given that Wikileaks is quite capable of publishing without Assange, most of the people running Wikileaks are free. I don't have information about the current size of that team but they seem to be functional without Assange. Both the leak about the investigation into the alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack and the Fishrot files are examples that people don't want published. 

Assange isn't free because he thought it was valuable for PR reasons for Wikileaks to have spoke people that aren't anonymous and not because anonymisation technology doesn't work. 

I'm not sure why Alexandra Elbakyan made the decision not to be anonymous but I haven't heared that stories of it being due to anonymisation tech failing. 

Comment by christiankl on Can we prime people to take risk? · 2020-11-20T17:15:52.892Z · LW · GW

The internet isn't perfect but it's resilient enough that billion dollar companies like Elsivier can't bring down sci-hub after years of fighting it. Wikileaks even still has their original URL. 

That's not where the practical problems of implementing alternate infrastructure lie.

Comment by christiankl on Can we prime people to take risk? · 2020-11-20T14:35:50.150Z · LW · GW

Silk Road did just fine to the tune of billions without true anonymity

Silk Road had a design where it's owner had the power to remove individual sellers. It's not structurally different when it comes to the ability to exclude people wanting to sell services that the owners don't like.

If I put a BTC address in this comment you could send me money right now with no financial or government  intermediaries 

We still live in a world where you complain about big tech having the ability to wield power by shutting down money transfer even when a killer was hired on Hydra to go after a law enforcement official. Hydra kicks you off the market when you fail their quality checks and isn't doesn't allow anyone to do anything as well.

If I were to put that address on an anonymous service it would be no different, just harder to track and censor it.

This shows that there's no technical obstacle in the way. The obstacles that do exist are due to big tech being able to provide much more user-friendly software because they can pay for it's development. 

We might have a future where people still develop the software we need for decentral communication but the reason we don't have that now is economics.

Comment by christiankl on How do you evaluate whether a $500 donation to a project that you know well is a good idea? · 2020-11-20T14:16:47.304Z · LW · GW

Let's look at the example of your local rationality community wanting to host a big event. It seems like there's no room easily available for that size but you could spend $500 for room rent for the event.

Given that you have a better understanding of your local community and the value the event would provide them someone who evaluates grants at LTFF it would be a very inefficient process if such a project would be funded by you giving money to LTFF and then LTFF reading a grant review for the project and deciding based on the grant review without knowledge of the local community that the project is worth funding. 

How would you go about using your judgment in that case?

Comment by christiankl on Should I do it? · 2020-11-19T20:45:09.298Z · LW · GW

Well, I know all the possible problems and obstacles in development. 

I wouldn't trust someone to do anything safety critical if they claim that they know all possible problems and obstacles. Unknown unknown problems are always part of the concern when doing something new. 

If you actually do make a decision to run this, I recommend doing it on an airgapped computer and commit to if it actually manages to self-improve in any way show the thing to someone well-versed in AI safety before removing airgapping. 

Comment by christiankl on Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things · 2020-11-19T20:20:46.971Z · LW · GW

An antibody test gives a scalar value of how much antibodies there are. If you want to go from a scalar value to a binary value you have to decide on a cutoff that switches from infected to -not-infected. 

Given even a tiny bit of test inaccuracy, when the amount of antibody reaction is right at your cutoff, you will have 50% showing infected and 50% showing not not-infected.