Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Rational Home Buying · 2014-02-11T01:35:01.615Z · LW · GW

But that's exactly what I mean. The union, the construction company, all have a stake, but none of them evil. It could even be all good guys. Say the planners are all looking out for the little guy. But one is worried about construction noise, and another about worker safety, and another about secondary traffic effects in local neighborhoods and another about cost overruns.

It's the n-dimensional, multiplayer tug of war that produced a fucked up result, not actual malice on anyone's part.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Humans can drive cars · 2014-02-03T20:10:35.299Z · LW · GW

at least two people told me they had deliberately tried to get more scared of driving,

I don't know about other people, but when I am scared, my driving gets worse. I start over thinking everything. I obsess about whether that guy at the drive way is just creeping forward, or if he's going to suddenly zip in front of me. Then fail to notice the guy right in front of me.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Rational Home Buying · 2014-02-03T18:51:00.402Z · LW · GW

The quote is commonly called "Hanlon's razor" (by analogy with Occam's Razor)

It is usually interpreted as pointing out that the prior probability of incompetence is much, much higher than the prior probability of evil. So that with any given fuck-up, even if it seems obviously evil, is still more likely to be caused by incompetence.

In this case, it is very unlikely that there is any person or persons in the DoT that is amused by PhilGoetz's frustration and rage. It is highly likely that, between unions, and construction companies, and highway patrol departments, and schedule slips and general inattention, there is systemic incompetence in the DoT industrial complex.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on The best 15 words · 2013-10-07T15:26:27.306Z · LW · GW

Because the problem is complex and your clear, simple solutions has at least 3 knock-on effects, one of which will make the original problem worse. And the other 2 will cause new complex problems in 10 years time.

The clear, simple solution to "X is to expensive" is "Declare a cheaper price for X by government fiat."

By the time you have compensated for the knock-on effects, regulated to prevent cheaters, and taxed to pay for costs, the solution is no longer simple.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Rationality Quotes October 2013 · 2013-10-07T14:53:41.139Z · LW · GW

I suspect that for this situation to develop as it has, polarization must be very near saturation in the first place.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Rationality Quotes October 2013 · 2013-10-04T15:00:58.048Z · LW · GW

You assume that money is the only reason for people to to develop new medical devices. People could also do so because it helps people. Because the technology is awesome. Any number of other reasons. There is ample evidence that creative workers are DE-incentivized by money.

If money IS the only incentive, then reduced profits on device A might cause them to expand by developing device B.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Rationality Quotes June 2013 · 2013-06-03T14:20:29.535Z · LW · GW

A lesson here is that if you ask "Why X?" then any answer of the form "Because " is not actually progress toward understanding.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-14T14:27:40.623Z · LW · GW

That was also a week he spent travelling. Sleeping away from home, long plane/car rides, irregular schedule, and all the other attendant discomforts are quite enough to throw me off my game, even without dietary shifts.

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Good luck, Mr. Rationalist · 2013-04-30T15:28:47.913Z · LW · GW

The Young Wizards series has "Dai stihó", a greeting in The Speech between wizards. It's simplest translation into english is "go well" but it also contains senses of "good luck", "do your best", "behave morally" and "be what you are".

Comment by DysgraphicProgrammer on Polyhacking · 2013-04-28T18:15:58.182Z · LW · GW

Since I first read this about a year ago, it had had an interesting side effect. I am less able to enjoy fiction where the plot requires a monogamous assumption to function. Plots and Tropes like "Love Triangle", "Who Will Zie Choose?", "Can't Date Them, Not the One", and some "Cheating Spouse" and "Jealous Spouse" now seem weird and artificial to me (unless the poly option is considered and discarded).

I was never a huge fan of romance or romantic comedy, so this is no great loss. It is an interesting minor memetic hazard though.