Defeating Moloch, one optimisation at a time | MSc student in AI, currently working on generative modelling for bioinformatics | Machine learning, game theory, personalised medicine | Co-host of Bit of a Tangent podcast and Narrator of Replacing Guilt audiobook | gianlucatruda.com
Okay, I absolutely love this post! In fact, if you were to break it down into three posts, I would probably have been a serious fan of all of them individually.
Firstly, the expected utility formulation of lateness is excellent and explains a lot of my personal behaviour. I'm aggressively early for important events like client meetings and interviews, but consistently tardy when meeting for coffee or arriving for a lecture. Whilst your methodology focussed on unobservable shifts to the time axis, I suspect there are also interesting gains to be made in reshaping the utility curve — for instance, by always carrying reading material, like korin43 mentions in another comment.
Secondly, your approach to self-blinding is fantastic. I do a lot of Quantified-Self research and self-blinding is one of the most challenging and essential components of interventional QS studies. I really like how your protocol builds from the theoretical formulation you created and acts as a convolution on the utility function. I had a little nerdgasm when reading that part!
Thirdly, the fact that you collected and visualised data to evaluate the methodology is outdone only by how pretty your plot is.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to comment on your excellent use of humour. I chuckled multiple times whilst reading. Expertly balanced and timed to resonate with the tone of the technical content.
Most rationalists are heavily invested into AGI in non-monetary ways — career paths, free time, hopes for longevity/coordination breakthroughs. As other commenters have pointed out, if humanity achieves aligned AGI in the future, financial returns will feasibly be far less important. Given that, maybe the best investments are to bet against AGI as a hedge for humanity not achieving it.
There are 3 futures: If we achieve aligned AGI, we win the game and nothing else matters*. If we achieve misaligned AGI, we die and nothing else matters. If we fail to achieve AGI at all, then we've wasted a lot of our time, careers, and hopes. In that case, we want investments to fall back on.
In that 3rd future, what commodities and equities are most successful? Can we buy those now?
*subject to accepting the singularity-like premise.
One approach that feels a bit more direct is investing in semiconductor stocks.
I agree with this and the above points.
One way to potentially overcome the issues with TSMC might be to supplement the investment by buying into commodities like silicon and coltan. This is still not guaranteed to capture most of the value, but might be a method of diversification. But there are many ethical considerations (particularly with coltan).
This is a superb overview! I've used Vim for about 2 years now, but I still learned a bunch of things from this post that I didn't pick up from other cheatsheets or articles.
My 2-cents: Vim itself is powerful as an editor, but I always missed some IDE features. What I've come to realise is that the real power of Vim is not the editor, but the keybindings. I installed the Vim extension in VSCode some time ago and have loved the hybrid workflow. Since then, I've been gradually incorporating Vim keybindings into all the tools I use for text — like Overleaf for writing papers in LaTeX and Zettlr for writing notes in Markdown. I still use Vim itself for small scripts and quickly editing files. It's so powerful being able to go between applications and never have to think about what your fingers are doing to transform ideas into output.
One thing I still haven't quite figured out is in-browser text entry. So far, I haven't liked the solutions I've found, but it's something I'm looking into for the future. Writing this comment without my usual keybindings is... slow.
If you listen from 31:54 (linked here) to 46:00, Lex articulates very nicely what's unique and interesting about Clubhouse and they discuss how it compares to Skinner-box social media. It's a nice summary of the underlying value and definitely echoes some of my experiences so far.
Try joining communities/clubs on topics you’re interested in. Then any rooms started by their members should pop up in your lobby. Also, I’ve heard that following people you’re interested in helps improve the suggestions.
Thanks for compiling the series like this. I really appreciated being able to read it on my Kindle!
To help make Nate's ideas even more accessible, I'm currently producing an audio version. It can be found at https://anchor.fm/guilt or by searching "Replacing Guilt Podcast" on all podcast platforms. I intend to make a single audiobook out of it at the end too*.
If you know of people who would benefit from Replacing Guilt, but primarily consume audio instead of reading, please do forward it their way.
No, to be clear, what I interpreted of your post was that you are "prescribing" how much time should be spent. "Predicting" how much time you will spend on something is not particularly helpful in achieving any output results, especially if it's largely just repeating what you did before. Your response does help in that it clarifies what you have done. It's just not what I thought you had done. In my experience, a "prescription" -- a plan for what you must do to achieve some valuable outcome -- is of more use in self-experimentation than a prediction. If, on the other hand, you have a lifestyle that is chaotic and in flux, where estimating time required by novel tasks is a challenge, then yes, a prediction is indeed useful. Thanks for getting back and sorry that my response is a fortnight later.