Tears Must Flow 2021-11-30T18:37:57.408Z
I'm Sorry Fluttershy 2021-05-22T20:09:27.342Z
Small and Vulnerable 2021-05-03T04:55:52.149Z
People Will Listen 2021-04-11T16:51:10.467Z
Violating the EMH - Prediction Markets 2021-03-28T04:05:09.184Z
deluks917's Shortform 2021-03-27T14:57:57.956Z
The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence 2021-03-18T18:38:30.881Z
Group house norms really do seem toxic to many people. 2021-01-11T23:42:36.239Z
Bet On Biden 2020-10-17T22:03:19.144Z
What should experienced rationalists know? 2020-10-13T17:32:32.388Z
Engaging Seriously with Short Timelines 2020-07-29T19:21:31.641Z
Construct a portfolio to profit from AI progress. 2020-07-25T08:18:05.633Z
How much does neatly eating matter? What about other food manners? 2019-06-11T19:40:45.539Z
Rational Feed: Last Month's Best Posts 2018-05-02T18:19:47.821Z
Rationality Feed: Last Month's Best Posts 2018-03-21T14:12:26.432Z
A Concrete Multi-Step Variant of Double Crux I Have Used Successfully 2018-03-15T01:26:16.028Z
Correct Models Are Bad 2018-03-04T16:51:25.919Z
Rationality Feed: Last Month's Best Posts 2018-02-12T13:18:39.909Z
Rational Feed: Last Week's Community Articles and Some Recommended Posts 2017-10-02T13:49:05.937Z
Rational Feed: Last Week's Community Articles and Some Recommended Posts 2017-09-25T13:41:55.117Z
Rational Feed 2017-09-17T22:03:25.134Z
Rational Feed 2017-09-09T19:48:18.079Z
Rational Feed 2017-08-27T03:49:15.774Z
Bi-weekly Rational Feed 2017-08-08T13:56:20.160Z
Bi-Weekly Rational Feed 2017-07-24T21:56:46.003Z
Bi-Weekly Rational Feed 2017-07-09T19:11:21.767Z
Bi-Weekly Rational Feed 2017-06-24T00:07:03.768Z
Concrete Ways You Can Help Make the Community Better 2017-06-17T03:03:33.317Z
Bi-Weekly Rational Feed 2017-06-10T21:56:38.374Z
Bi-Weekly Rational Feed 2017-05-28T17:12:57.118Z
A Month's Worth of Rational Posts - Feedback on my Rationality Feed. 2017-05-15T14:21:32.995Z
I Updated the List of Rationalist Blogs on the Wiki 2017-04-25T10:26:51.234Z


Comment by deluks917 on Tears Must Flow · 2021-12-02T17:14:54.955Z · LW · GW

The second post is really quite good. But I am not sure it's the best fit for what I wrote. It's not like I wrote about racism or how much people suffer in solitary confinement. I am expressing some truly niche views that are only popular among a tiny minority. For fundamentally I think my emotional reaction is grounded in some very basic cruxes. As far as I can tell turkeys served for food really do suffer terribly. I think one is just Eulering themself if they start rejecting 'suffering is bad'. 

I think the first post is an interesting critique. Responding to it in a serious way requires going into some deep water about how to model what we want and how we should 'generalize' our desires. There is definitely some doubt introduced. I am going to link 'shut up and divide' to my trusted friends and see what they think.

I would say I care quite a lot about the aggregate plight of animals. I am not even sure it's humanely possible to care an appropriate amount about this plight, but I definitely act like I care. Never mind caring an appropriate amount about future astronomical suffering. But I would rather close as I can to the optimal amount.

Comment by deluks917 on Speaking of Stag Hunts · 2021-11-08T20:35:20.761Z · LW · GW

All of which is to say that I spend a decent chunk of the time being the guy in the room who is most aware of the fuckery swirling around me, and therefore the guy who is most bothered by it. It's like being a native French speaker and dropping in on a high school French class in a South Carolina public school, or like being someone who just learned how to tell good kerning from bad keming.  I spend a lot of time wincing, and I spend a lot of time not being able to fix The Thing That's Happening because the inferential gaps are so large that I'd have to lay down an hour's worth of context just to give the other people the capacity to notice that something is going sideways.


If Duncan is going to make claims like these it is important people are allowed to cite his actual track record. His track record is quite poor. In my understanding, he was a close associate to serial sexual abuser in the rationalist-adjacent community (Brent), for example Duncan was involved in running Brent's burning man group. It is public record he was among the last defenders of said abuser. Duncan will dispute this characterization but I will include the full text he posted on facebook long after everyone else figured Brent out. 

The context for Brent and his relationship with Duncan:

Brent Dill was a long time rationalist community member. For example, he led the structure building project at Berkeley’s Summer Solstice. 

He was also close personal friends with multiple community leaders. No one is going to release records documenting how close they were to Brent, but Duncan was quite close to Brent. For example, Duncan was involved in running Brent's burning man camp (Black Lotus).

Brent was involved in (at least) two relationships that were considered abusive. One of the people who had been involved with Brent, “Persephone”, made a post about abusive behavior on Facebook that did not name Brent explicitly but nevertheless was clear to insiders. At first, Brent apologized for his behavior and this apology seemed to be broadly accepted by the Bay Area rationalists.

Later multiple very serious accusations were made publicly.

Accusation 1

Accusation 2

Accusation 3

Here are some representative quotes the accusations:

Brent had a habit of responding to me saying I wanted to break up, or that I didn’t want to do a scene, with something like “If you deprive me of this thing I want, you’re doing violence to me; please just punch me in the face so it can be universally recognised as violence.” Refusing to punch him and sticking to my guns re. my preferences would go nowhere, and often he’d self-injure to get me to agree to do what he wanted.

My ability to be the engine for this group depends on my confidence. I am confident when I know I have money, sexual access to youthful and attractive women, and true power in my demesne. What can you do?” — Brent

Brent pushed back against that idea. He told me that previous partners had been manipulated, by their therapists, into thinking that he was abusive and that he interpreted me seeking therapy as me losing trust in him.[about Brent]

” There were fewer times, but probably still dozens, that he didn’t ensure I had a safeword when going into a really heavy scene, or disrespected my safeword when I gave it. Safewording was never safe. It routinely led to him complaining, afterwards, about the fact that I’d ended the scene, and was occasionally completely disregarded.” [about Brent]

Here is another summary by Ozy.

Duncan's Response:

It seems clear that Brent made little effort to hide his deranged ideology. Duncan was close to Brent. Despite this, Duncan was one of the last people left defending Brent. I encourage you to read his own words. Here is what he posted on Facebook long after the situation was clear:

"There's a Thing going on in my social circles. Someone I know (who wishes to remain anonymous) recommended that a version of the following statement be posted by the person at the center of the Thing. I don't think that person is likely to follow that advice. I imagine that they're pretty overwhelmed, whether they're guilty or innocent or something in between. I'm posting it here myself, instead, putting words in their mouth, to see how people respond. For instance, I can imagine people saying that it makes sense, or that it's not enough, or that it's manipulative, or that it's good but sets up bad incentives, etc. I wonder if a statement like this would be seen as meaningful, in this whole situation, or if it would simply be confirming evidence to both sides. I'm curious to hear your reactions. I am unlikely to respond to any of them. Again, this is me, a third party who knows everyone involved reasonably well, IMAGINING words that they might say, in response to prompting from another anonymous third party. None of this is secretly a sock puppet campaign, for instance. The people involved can't see this post or your replies to it. (I'm trying to figure out subtle social stuff, and NONE of them need the stress of watching us throwing a bunch of hypotheticals back and forth when their lived experience is real and present-to-them and traumatic. But at the same time, I think the rest of us HAVE to be able to discuss these things, and not to let our knee-jerk reactions run the show.) You're allowed to be emotional in your response, if you have one. You don't have to try to adhere to my usual standard of rationality. You can say things that you don't fully endorse or can't fully defend (and I will defend you from others attacking those things, though they're welcome to disagree with them). But avoid escalation/accusations/flame wars on this hypothetical thread; if things get too tribal or too fight-or-flight I'll just delete them."

-------------------------------------------------------- A statement from an imaginary version of Brent:

"Two of the women I have dated believe I have abused them. Others might feel the same. From my point of view, I think the story is more complex, and there's a lot of difficult-to-predict and difficult-to-understand stuff going on with consent and power dynamics and people asking you to do things in unusual contexts and people processing trauma. However, I agree that I hurt them, and I agree that their present pain is at least half on my shoulders. I have tried repeatedly to atone and apologize, and been unable, in part because our history understandably makes it difficult for them to let me get close enough to do so. I'm not adding a public apology here, because that just sets up a weird dynamic. But I regret what happened, did not want them to be where they are now, and would do things differently given a time machine. Here are their statements [link]. Here is mine [link]. If you are thinking of dating me, this is information you deserve to have. I don't think all of what's written there is true, but it's all believed by those who wrote it, and that counts for something even if facts are uncertain. I don't think these stories disqualify me from being a good romantic partner, or an upstanding member of society. I do think they provide evidence about my ability to tell where the line is, or to distinguish between what my partners seem to me to want in the moment versus what they will endorse having wanted in the future. If you're uncertain about your ability to stand your own ground, or susceptible to pressure and confusion, you shouldn't date me. If you think I'm an abuser, you absolutely shouldn't date me. But I don't think that all people fall into those buckets, and I don't think the answer to my past is to preemptively make everyone else's decisions for them in the future."

-------------------------------------------------------- Two things to add (since, again, I don't plan on responding much to comments): 1) 

I (Duncan) do think there remains genuine uncertainty about matters of fact and blame. I think that the statements of the women are entirely accurate insofar as they honestly represent the pain and trauma experienced, and what was going on for them both in the past and now. I don't think they're exaggerating what it felt like to go through what they went through. I think they deserve trust, care, support, and protection, and that they are acting in honest defense of future women who they want to protect from similar experiences. AND YET it still seems to me, given my present state of knowledge (which includes private conversations with all involved parties at various points in time), that all of the data admit of multiple explanations, not all of which require malice, and that it's my moral obligation to not throw away those explanations in which the cause is [tragedy and confusion and it's-hard-to-communicate-around-sex-and-power and people-often-mispredict-how-they-will-respond-to-things] as opposed to [overt intent-to-harm or sociopathic disregard for others]. I agree 100% that unintended harm is STILL HARM, and that risky behavior is STILL RISKY even when people consent, and that it's reasonable to take concrete action to prevent the future from resembling the past when the past caused damage. This is not a call for "no action." But we can take preventive action without incorrectly vilifying people, and I don't yet have sufficient reason to believe that vilification is the right direction to move in.

2) If you ever find yourself in a position like the one described by the women involved in this situation, and you reach out to me, I will come for you, I will get you out, and I will 100% respect your autonomy and sovereignty as I do so. I have done this in the past and I will continue to do it in the future. I don't have to know who's right and who's wrong and whose fault it is to simply help create space for people who desperately need it.

You can make up your own mind on whether Duncan should be making these grandiose claims about his ability to model social situations. It is harder to cite but Duncan is also famously combative even on relatively unimportant topics. I am not saint either. I have made a lot of mistakes too. But I don't go around saying "All of which is to say that I spend a decent chunk of the time being the guy in the room who is most aware of the fuckery swirling around me".  I am really sorry for the ways I fucked up. People can do better, I am trying to do better. But doing better is going to require some level of humility. The track record of Duncan's ideology is not good. Duncan needs to be taking a very different approach. 


Comment by deluks917 on Self-Integrity and the Drowning Child · 2021-11-01T22:05:53.292Z · LW · GW

Humans don't swim very well wearing lots of clothing. Take off your suit before going into the water.

Comment by deluks917 on I Really Don't Understand Eliezer Yudkowsky's Position on Consciousness · 2021-10-30T16:44:51.216Z · LW · GW

Animal rights obsessed vegan checking in:

I am extremely worried gpt3 is concious! To be honest i am worried about whether my laptop is concious! A lot of people worried about animal suffering are also worried about algorithms suffering.

Comment by deluks917 on People Will Listen · 2021-10-19T03:34:57.888Z · LW · GW

I have suffered the severe consequences of selling a majority of my Solana around 40. 

Comment by deluks917 on Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research · 2021-10-13T22:19:26.344Z · LW · GW

This reaction has been predictable for years IMO. As usual, a reasonable response required people to go public. There is no internal accountability process. Luckily things have been made public.

Comment by deluks917 on How to think about and deal with OpenAI · 2021-10-10T19:31:37.018Z · LW · GW

Releasing GPT-3 non-trivially increased the odds of doomsday. So yeah they are not good actors.

Comment by deluks917 on Fascists and Rakes · 2021-09-29T16:59:17.541Z · LW · GW

Many people have proposed this model with respect to animals but it isn't true. This old post covers a particular saliant time it came up in the rationalist community.

Vegans: If the meat eaters believed what you did about animal sentience, most of them would be vegans, and they would be horrified by their many previous murders. Your heart-wrenching videos aren't convincing to them because they aren't already convinced that animals can feel.


I think the people who changed my mind about this are underestimating how many people believe non-humans aren't sentient, but I was drastically underestimating how many believe animals have internal experience but eat them anyway.

This is also misleading because I am mostly not in the group of meat-eaters I was describing, despite eating meat. Granted, I didn't claim to be, but it's a perfectly predictable inference that I shouldn't have allowed. Before now, I thought that other people reflectively aware of being like me were incredibly rare, but apparently I was wrong. I've seen several people today claim that they believe animals are conscious and that they don't care.

Comment by deluks917 on The Coordination Frontier: Sequence Intro · 2021-09-05T16:33:15.251Z · LW · GW

In my experience, people seem to coordinate ok when they genuinely share the same goals. A lot of friends of mine have mostly shared the goal of 'make six to eight figures on crypto'. Truly enormous amounts of money was loaned on trust. Several deals were made when the price was still unclear (just get me 30K on Biden) and people never asked for receipts. No one was ever stiffed out of their money. As far as I know, there has not been a single serious dispute.

Many of the people involved don't even like each other! And yet huge amounts of money changed hands based on reputation and trust. Many people were willing to help out people they didn't even like at moderate or high risk to themselves (and no upside, just screwed over or neutral). This is very common in crypto. Even at the scale of OTC desks, many things are run on trust. There are definitely scammers but among the 'community' most things are settled in a very high trust environment.

If people really want they can coordinate. Most of the time there are actually hugely conflicting goals and people don't want to 'coordinate'. 

I will say people working on 'finding the best mtg deck' seem to coordinate really well too. If you don't spend much time in communities with genuinely shared goals it is easy to forget what it looks like!

Comment by deluks917 on Columbus, OH – ACX Meetups Everywhere 2021 · 2021-08-27T16:14:39.391Z · LW · GW

Good amount of RSVPs. Excited to meet people.

Comment by deluks917 on Going Out With Dignity · 2021-07-13T17:58:51.820Z · LW · GW

I don't know how it will all play out in the end. I hope kindness wins and I agree the effect you discuss is real. But it is not obvious that our empathy increases faster than our capacity to do harm. Right now, for each human there are about seven birds/mammals on farms. This is quite the catastrophe. Perhaps that problem will eventually be solved by lab meat. But right now animal product consumption is still going up worldwide. And many worse things can be created and maybe those will endure.

People can be shockingly cruel to their own family. Scott's Who by Very Slow Decay is one of the scariest things I ever read. How can people do this to their own parents?

After a while of this, your doctors will call a meeting with your family and very gingerly raise the possibility of going to “comfort care only”, which means they disconnect the machines and stop the treatments and put you on painkillers so that you die peacefully. Your family will start yelling at the doctors, asking how the hell these quacks were ever allowed to practice when for God’s sake they’re trying to kill off Grandma just so they can avoid doing a tiny bit of work. They will demand the doctors find some kind of complicated surgery that will fix all your problems, add on new pills to the thirteen you’re already being force-fed every day, call in the most expensive consultants from Europe, figure out some extraordinary effort that can keep you living another few days.

Robin Hanson sometimes writes about how health care is a form of signaling, trying to spend money to show you care about someone else. I think he’s wrong in the general case – most people pay their own health insurance – but I think he’s spot on in the case of families caring for their elderly relatives. The hospital lawyer mentioned during orientation that it never fails that the family members who live in the area and have spent lots of time with their mother/father/grandparent over the past few years are willing to let them go, but someone from 2000 miles away flies in at the last second and makes ostentatious demands that EVERYTHING POSSIBLE must be done for the patient.

Comment by deluks917 on Going Out With Dignity · 2021-07-10T17:42:40.090Z · LW · GW

I don't particularly blame humans for this world being full of suffering. We didn't invent parasitoid wasps. But we have certainly not used our current powers very responsibly. We did invent factory farms. And most of us do not particularly care. 

I am very afraid more powerful humans/human-aligned beings will invent even worse horrors. And if we tolerate factory farming it seems possible we will tolerate the new horrors. So I cannot be confident that humans gaining more power, even if it was equitably distributed among humans, would actually be a good thing. 

I fear this has already happened and I am already at the mercy of those vastly more powerful humans. In that sense, I fear for myself! But even if I am safe I fear for the many beings who are not. We can't even save the pigs, how are we going to save the ems!

Comment by deluks917 on Going Out With Dignity · 2021-07-10T17:12:41.887Z · LW · GW

It is not obvious at all that 'AI aligned with its human creators' is actually better than Clippy. Even AI aligned with human CEV might not beat Clippy. I would much rather die than live forever in a world with untold numbers of tortured ems, suffering subroutines, or other mistreated digital beings. 

Few humans are actively sadistic. But most humans are quite indifferent to suffering. The best illustration of this is our attitude toward animals. If there is an economic or ideological reason to torment digital beings we will probably torture them. The future might be radically worse than the present. Some people think that human CEV will be kind to all beings because of the strong preferences of a minority of humans. The humans who care about suffering have strong enough preferences to outweigh small economic incentives. But the world I live in does not make me confident.

I also put non-trivial probability on the possibility that the singularity has already happened and I am already one of the digital beings. This is good news because my life is not currently horrible. But I am definitely afraid I am going to wake up one day and learn I am being sent back into digital hell. At a minimum, I am not at all interested in cryopreservation. I don't want to end up like MMAcevedo if I can still avoid such a fate.

Comment by deluks917 on You are allowed to edit Wikipedia · 2021-07-05T16:08:20.396Z · LW · GW

I think it's a bad use of time these days. 

Comment by deluks917 on What will be the aftermath of the US intelligence lab leak report? · 2021-06-27T21:07:41.475Z · LW · GW

Imagine thinking the intelligence community will be honest.

Comment by deluks917 on Are bread crusts healthier? · 2021-06-18T17:35:40.974Z · LW · GW

I usually cut the crust off my bread! It is way tastier that way. 

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-06-16T02:10:34.566Z · LW · GW

These leverage tokens do not behave how they should. Very few if any people should use them. But Binance did not lose use funds. If you were doing perp-spot arbitrage on Binance you were not at any risk.

note: the future-spot arb has indeed dried up.

Comment by deluks917 on Why do patients in mental institutions get so little attention in the public discourse? · 2021-06-12T20:38:33.199Z · LW · GW

People, by default, do not care very much about the suffering of the powerless. This is a very general pattern: De facto torture of the old and dying (Who by Very Slow Decay), Animal in factory farms, prisoners in solitary, Scott's rant about school being child prison, etc. 

There is no real need to explain a specific example of a very general trend. In fact it is the opposite that needs explanation. We actually have made progress in various ways (for example slavery is greatly reduced, though the USA still has prisoner slaves). But compassion toward the powerless is a deviation from the default. We need to fight for it. The fight has not been won in the USA.

Comment by deluks917 on Violating the EMH - Prediction Markets · 2021-06-07T22:28:12.187Z · LW · GW

Update. I exited the oly bet 2 days ago at 87.2 percent. Just letting people know.

Comment by deluks917 on The BTC equilibriumating and the ETH one-eightening · 2021-05-26T02:17:40.259Z · LW · GW

I am holding some eth. Hope this timeline happens. But color me skeptical. 20k eth seems doable though. I think we probably cross 20k if eth 2.0 and optimism both perform well.

Comment by deluks917 on We should probably buy ADA? · 2021-05-25T01:11:33.465Z · LW · GW

Cardano has been very Too weak Too Slow. They have a giant valuation but they still haven't launched smart contracts! The coin launched in 2017, so they had plenty of time to work. Despite this they have the fourth-highest valuation! (excluding stablecoins). This situation seems crazy to me on fundamentals. Of course, they probably will pump once smart contracts launch. But despite having most of my net worth in crypto I am not buying Cardano.

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-05-24T07:21:05.345Z · LW · GW

Explicit YOLO ALL IN numbers for my biggest bags. Until we hit these numbers I am not shoving everything:

Sol - 8 

Matic - 0.3 

FTT - 7.5 

ETH - 500 

BTC - 12K

Remember in 2018 ETH went 1400->89 and it wasn't all downhill. Lower highs, lower lows. Be ready for the opportunity.

Comment by deluks917 on New Magic Post: The Pro Tour Was Magic · 2021-05-22T16:16:39.646Z · LW · GW

The early Pro Tour seemed amazing. When I followed the pro your ten years ago it was still extremely interesting. But I started interest years before the MPL. They have continually de-emphasized draft. They killed Rochestor draft in ~2005. Then they got rid of the all draft pro tours in 2008. In 2020 they completely removed draft from 'players tours'. 

De-emphasizing draft was bad enough. But the real death kneel was when they moved the Pro/Player's Tours so far back from set release. I am not sure exactly when they started doing this but it feels like it was a few years ago. For a long time, the PT was around two weeks after the set released. Players were incentivized to form testing houses. Usually, the format was still fresh by the time the Pro Tour rolled around. As I recall sometimes sets were even delayed a little on MTGO which helped a bit. If anything the PT should have been a little closer to set release but ~2 weeks worked well. Now the Pro Tours are usually stale formats. Sometimes exciting stuff comes out. But ever since they moved the PTs so far back I have lost interest.

For many reasons, I don't play serious magic. But I have been a fan and player for many years. I am very sad about what happened to the Pro Tour.

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-05-22T05:13:42.123Z · LW · GW

I have been saying this on other forums (where more people listen to me) for over a week but I might as well post it here too:

I have been pushing crypto quite hard. I do NOT recommend buying crypto until momentum reverses. If taxes and bankroll were not relevant I would say buying and selling are probably close to equivalent with a slight preference to selling. Of course, this means I put a decent probability on a quick recovery but I am not betting on it. Make sure you have at least some dry powder for the deep bear market if it comes. I hope you took some profits on the way up to fund this. But if not sell off your momentum plays and keep some post-tax money to buy the real dip.  Otherwise, hold. Maybe momentum will reverse but it's dangerous to buy this dip unless you have a ton of dry powder. You need to conserve for the real winter if it comes. Almost no one is capable of continually buying the 'dip' with their paychecks for months while losing money. Preserve your USDC.

Good luck friends!

Comment by deluks917 on Thoughts on Ad Blocking · 2021-05-06T04:21:47.485Z · LW · GW

The people who make ad blockers have improved my life enormously. It's worth noting Facebook timeline ads are not particularly annoying. Maybe forcing sites to mask their ads as content is a good thing.

Comment by deluks917 on Death by Red Tape · 2021-05-01T21:13:49.904Z · LW · GW

It only assumes there are a lot of domains in which you would be happy to make progress. In addition success is at least somewhat fungible across domains. And it is much easier to cut red tape once you already resources and a track record (possibly in a different domain). 

Don't start out in a red-tape domain unless you are ready to fight off the people trying to slow you down. This requires a lot of money, connections, and lawyers and you still might lose. Put your talents to work in an easier domain, at least to start.

Comment by deluks917 on Death by Red Tape · 2021-05-01T19:54:49.306Z · LW · GW

If you are a smart person I suggest working in domains where the regulators have not yet shut down progress. In many domains, if you want to make progress most of your obstacles are going to be other humans. It is refreshingly easy to make progress if you only have to face the ice.

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-04-26T02:07:53.637Z · LW · GW

Everyone shits on younger people (say 14-22). But the younger people I interact with have a lot of great ideas and good perspectives. I am always happy to have a chance to learn from them. Why so much hate? 

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-04-24T03:18:38.896Z · LW · GW

Crypto is not doing the hottest. But another part of the story is BTC is losing dominance. Though who knows what is about to happen.

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-04-17T05:40:48.379Z · LW · GW

Use Authy, not Google authenticator. GA not supporting any sort of backups is a huge problem.

Comment by deluks917 on People are gathering 2 million USD to save a kid with a rare disease. I feel weird about it. Why? · 2021-04-17T01:12:16.034Z · LW · GW

The magnitudes are much smaller on both sides of a recent situation. My father died three weeks ago. The family somehow ended up spending over 40K on death expenses (funeral, mausoleum slot, flowers, etc). My mom ended up spending six hundred and fifty dollars on a single rose arrangement in the shape of a big heart. The time to convince my family of effective altruism is not right after my father died. But I found spending so much money on a dead man, or more charitably expensive rites for the living, horrifying to see up close. Six hundred and fifty dollars is around the average monthly salary in Kenya. We could have really helped someone out sending that money overseas. Never mind what forty thousand dollars could have been used for.

Comment by deluks917 on The consequentialist case for social conservatism, or “Against Cultural Superstimuli” · 2021-04-16T18:23:12.317Z · LW · GW

Years of accumulated experience and metis point the other way, at least for this audience. Anyone who has spent time in rationalist or rationalist adjacent spaces knows that a huge percentage of rationalists* are trans. After many years of being an active rationalist* I literally know dozens of trans people in or adjacent to the community. If a rationalist is struggling with whether to transition they should try transitioning. A huge number of rationalists think trying hormones was the best decision they ever made, very few seriously regret it. If a rationalist tries transitioning I strongly predict they will think it was a good decision. Though there are some people who have regrets the expected value is very good.

I will note that the people who do best don't get too preoccupied with philosophical debates about the true nature of transition. The extremely simplistic ideas like 'transwomen are women, transmen are men'** do great however. Rationalists who give transition a real shot are usually happy they did so. Taking HRT for a month or two is mostly reversible but you don't have a time machine. You cannot get back the years you spent miserable.


*For simplicity, I am just going to say rationalist. But I am including anyone active in spaces adjacent to the community such as effective altruism. I am not going to count people who are only weakly involved, for example, they just read SSC.

**No intent to erase non-binary people!

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-04-14T17:35:38.194Z · LW · GW

The coronavirus response has been so bad I no longer doubt many Sci-Fi premises. Before I often said to myself "you have tech that can do X and you still have problem Y. Ridiculous!". But apparently, we can make a coronavirus vaccine in two days. But we still had over a year of lockdowns and millions of deaths. One in six hundred people in the USA have died of the virus but we blocked a vaccine because one in a million people who take it MIGHT develop treatable blood clots. 

My standards for 'realistic' dysfunction have gotten a lot lower.

Comment by deluks917 on People Will Listen · 2021-04-12T03:04:06.055Z · LW · GW

There are several groups now because people wanted to keep some topics seperated. Sadly I don't think any of them are open to the public.

Comment by deluks917 on People Will Listen · 2021-04-12T02:44:14.578Z · LW · GW

Which epistemic values? I am posting these trades in public (not always on lesswrong itself but in adjacent spaces which are easy enough to check if needed). If they blow up I will suffer the reputational consequences. The inverse should occur if they work out well. Do you want to bet on whether losses a substantial amount of user funds in the next year? What odds do you give?

The opportunities don't seem gone to me. Though I doubt we see anything as good as 2011 bitcoin. Many rationalists bought Solana around January 7th when it unlocks. I posted about this on the EA investing group in early January (before the unlock). It is up more than 10x. That's not 250x but it's something. The arbitrage opportunities I discuss are live right now. 

You claim there are these huge counterparty risks but you have no presented any data substantiating your claims. I would estimate the expected loss rate in decentralized finance is probably between 1.6%-2.75% yearly. This is based on actual empirical data. The loss on a centralized is dramatically lower. Probably a tenth of that. Exchanges do not commonly lose user funds. They have been safe for many years. You should be more concerned with getting hacked than with counterparty risk from a Cefi exchange. As I said before the risks would have to be quite large not just present to compensate for the returns. I see no evidence that they are.

I believe scholarship is one of the twelve virtues. Please teach me this value. Please show me some kind of credible analysis that counterparty risks are extremely high (as in 10%+ a year)? Many people I know will be very interested if you can. I will share your findings with many interested parties.

Comment by deluks917 on People Will Listen · 2021-04-11T22:46:58.584Z · LW · GW

1 - The historical returns would obviously have been ludicrously high. I assume advice will be worse going forward. There has not been all that much investing advice on lesswrong and some of it was to buy crypto relatively early. If some of your investments 200-2000x you don't need to be right about much else. And it is not like all the other advice would have gone terribly. Tech stocks are doing great. Some of the advice was also boring stuff like 'buy index funds'. Do you think there are hundreds of examples of investment ideas on lesswrong that went to near zero? Which examples are you thinking of? Why do you think the normal investment ideas even underperformed the S&P500 (or whatever your favorite index is).

2 - It does not seem like a 'really hard problem' to me. I don't think I am especially talented. I know many rationalists who are doing much better than I am. The reason you are hearing from me is that I am the one willing to break the norm against posting such threads. Now is an unusually easy time to make money but rationalists are also making good money on things like prediction markets. If someone is a smart rationalist it seems to me they can pretty reliably find a way to 'beat the market'. 

It's worth noting that I talk to many people who are actually professionals. They agree the trades I discuss are good. I agree it is a hard problem for most people. But the idea that good rationalists cannot make money trading part-time seems based purely on theory. Experience, over quite some time in many cases, begs to differ.

I also disagree with the framing. In many cases the community agreed the advice was good but just failed to act!

Comment by deluks917 on Monastery and Throne · 2021-04-07T00:40:04.421Z · LW · GW

A good friend of mine, who I know is making absurd returns on altcoins, is still bummed about that losing his entire investment on that options trade. Losing 100% is pretty demoralizing I guess. 

Comment by deluks917 on Learning Russian Roulette · 2021-04-04T02:43:46.591Z · LW · GW

That is not a similar situation. In the AI situation, your risks obviously increase over time. 

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-04-03T04:23:14.294Z · LW · GW

If you are trying to get people into an investment don't mention the price you got in at. Mentioning it just makes them less likely to buy-in. They don't have a time machine so they don't need to know. What matters is why you think the current price is too low.

Comment by deluks917 on Learning Russian Roulette · 2021-04-02T21:52:25.617Z · LW · GW

It is not a serious problem if your epistemology gives you the wrong answer in extremely unlikely worlds (ie ones where you survived 1000 rounds of Russian Roulette). Don't optimize for extremely unlikely scenarios. 

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-04-02T12:28:26.927Z · LW · GW

I agree and recommend this trade here:

Comment by deluks917 on deluks917's Shortform · 2021-03-27T14:57:58.337Z · LW · GW

My father died It has been a rough year.

Comment by deluks917 on A whirlwind tour of Ethereum finance · 2021-03-23T03:25:59.937Z · LW · GW

ETH is switching off PoW. Once ETh swaps crypto will be less than 90% PoW. 

Comment by deluks917 on Conspicuous saving · 2021-03-22T18:08:49.187Z · LW · GW

I would not forget to include something like a house. We rent.

Comment by deluks917 on Conspicuous saving · 2021-03-21T04:33:14.757Z · LW · GW

Me and my partner Titania are living on 2500-3000usd a month all-inclusive. Our income is quite a bit more than that lol. We are hoping to get this lower.

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-03-19T22:55:05.876Z · LW · GW

I was quite explicit the current perp trade will only go on so long. You can lever the trade some amount to get to 5 or ten percent. Though there are limits to how much leverage you can use.

Imo you certainly should not compare a low risk investment to a plan that involves going long crypto.

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-03-19T22:52:05.792Z · LW · GW

You dont seem to be doing any sort of empirical calculation about how often things go wrong. Especially with respect to crypto exchanges. Exchanges have operated for many years. Users losing their funds is very rare. Empirically there is nothing like a one percent chance an exchange losses your money over a few months.

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-03-19T22:45:14.112Z · LW · GW

The short answer is no

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-03-19T00:16:21.165Z · LW · GW

I think you need to follow good practices. Getting out with no plan is not following good practices. I will write up my opinion on best practices soon. Though it is nothing too crazy.

Comment by deluks917 on The EMH is False - Specific Strong Evidence · 2021-03-19T00:13:11.653Z · LW · GW

Saying that something is less than 1% to happen is not saying it's impossible. If you hit the bad 1% you lose your investment. This is certainly possible. I am happy to take favorable bets even if 1% of the time I lose the entire investment. I am not going to bring down the financial system if I get unlucky. The risks on some of these are much less than 1% over the relevant time periods.