Posts

Four Local Gigs 2024-04-15T16:00:02.389Z
Clipboard Filtering 2024-04-14T20:50:02.256Z
Text Posts from the Kids Group: 2020 2024-04-13T22:30:05.326Z
Interference Issues 2024-04-12T02:30:11.904Z
Pandemic Identification Simulator 2024-04-08T19:00:08.304Z
Trying to Do More Good 2024-04-04T14:20:06.303Z
BIDA Election Thoughts 2024-04-02T15:30:05.990Z
Pluck Sensor Circuit 2024-04-01T14:00:05.578Z
Historical Contra Swing Holds 2024-03-29T02:30:06.697Z
Legality as a Career Harm Assessment Heuristic 2024-03-26T11:20:05.428Z
Photo Curation Approach 2024-03-25T15:10:06.264Z
Mandolin Harp Sensor Placement 2024-03-24T18:40:05.412Z
Prototyping Pluck Sensors 2024-03-23T01:30:04.712Z
Where are the Contra Dances? 2024-03-21T02:00:03.887Z
Parent-Friendly Dance Weekends 2024-03-20T02:10:05.422Z
How Much Have I Been Playing? 2024-03-12T02:10:06.621Z
Replacing the Water Heater's Anode 2024-03-11T00:00:10.796Z
MA E-ZPass Without a Car? 2024-03-09T02:40:08.425Z
Boston's Line 1 2024-03-04T19:30:06.723Z
Attending Sold-Out Beantown Stomp 2024-03-03T21:30:05.052Z
Ugo Conti's Whistle-Controlled Synthesizer 2024-03-02T02:50:05.221Z
Adding Sensors to Mandolin? 2024-03-01T02:10:06.930Z
Tour Retrospective February 2024 2024-02-29T03:50:04.019Z
Band Lessons? 2024-02-28T03:00:05.381Z
Balancing Games 2024-02-24T14:40:04.237Z
Gut Renovating Another Bathroom 2024-02-21T03:00:04.787Z
Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines 2024-02-19T18:50:05.231Z
Evaluating Solar 2024-02-17T21:50:04.783Z
Kingfisher Winter Tour 2024 2024-02-16T21:40:15.784Z
Experimenting With Footboard Piezos 2024-02-11T03:00:05.131Z
A Strange ACH Corner Case 2024-02-10T03:00:05.930Z
Running the Numbers on a Heat Pump 2024-02-09T03:00:04.920Z
Full Driving Engagement Optional 2024-02-07T02:30:04.776Z
On Not Requiring Vaccination 2024-02-01T19:20:12.657Z
Sequencing Swabs 2024-02-01T01:50:17.938Z
Stacked Laptop Monitor 2024-01-26T14:10:05.297Z
Importing a Python File by Name 2024-01-25T16:00:13.210Z
Making a Secular Solstice Songbook 2024-01-23T19:40:05.055Z
Who Organizes Dances? 2024-01-22T14:30:06.045Z
When Does Altruism Strengthen Altruism? 2024-01-21T18:50:05.424Z
I Want XMP But I Know Why I Can't Have It 2024-01-19T15:30:07.492Z
More Usable Recipes 2024-01-18T17:40:05.292Z
Live Sound: Big-O Improvements 2024-01-15T19:50:06.329Z
Vote With Your Face 2024-01-14T03:30:06.009Z
Eliminating Cookie Banners is Hard 2024-01-13T03:00:04.843Z
Introduce a Speed Maximum 2024-01-11T02:50:04.284Z
Bent or Blunt Hoods? 2024-01-09T20:10:11.545Z
Better Anomia 2024-01-08T18:40:05.236Z
Sledding Among Hazards 2024-01-08T03:30:08.463Z
Screen-supported Portable Monitor 2024-01-04T13:50:06.179Z

Comments

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Interference Issues · 2024-04-14T20:44:54.143Z · LW · GW

Turns out I forgot to solder the ground and power pins! So they worked, but very poorly.

Combined with switching to shielded cable and swapping the piezo input from +1.65v to ground, it's working well now!

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Browser Audio Latency · 2024-04-03T12:59:36.800Z · LW · GW

I'm seeing 68ms in current Chrome Canary. If I use current stable the test page doesn't work because of this bug. Filed a bug!

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Pluck Sensor Circuit · 2024-04-02T01:33:45.026Z · LW · GW

I did decide to redo it for the Teensy 4.1, and I hooked up all 18 inputs:

I also added mounting holes, and a bit of writing.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Pluck Sensor Circuit · 2024-04-01T19:56:34.610Z · LW · GW

When you get deeper in you will hit the issue that almost every modern part is smd with no through hole equivalent.

I'm not currently planning to get deeper into this, but we'll see!

Audio science review forums will have domain experts who are much more knowledgeable than I am about this, it's very hard to make "perfect" analog acoustic circuits where any design compromises are no longer audible. But it can be done.

One nice thing about this project is that I'm not trying to capture high-quality audio: I only need it to be good enough to work as a sensor.

Testing with a breadboard the 3.3v digital seems to be good enough, and the noise I'm getting seems to be RF on the piezo lines which is hard to avoid.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Pluck Sensor Circuit · 2024-04-01T17:58:52.747Z · LW · GW

Note that if you have a hot air soldering iron and paste it's not difficult to use smd parts of you order the big ones or have a microscope.

I don't, and haven't used one. I suspect it's not worth getting into it for this project?

I silkscreened the actual values not "r1...rn" and the same for capacitance. This makes hand building easier.

My current draft (as pictured here) does both, which is the KiCad default.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Legality as a Career Harm Assessment Heuristic · 2024-03-30T10:36:17.357Z · LW · GW

The post isn't trying to cover all cases of harmful careers, just ones where the career seems to be clearly net positive when approached from a costs-and-benefits framework, but still involves some harms. Trying to think about your class of objections, all the ones I can think of are covered by "that's actually net negative" and not "that's clearly positive, but you shouldn't do it anyway"?

For example, say someone cares a lot about animals and thought their best altruistic option might be working in their family's ranch. They'd (a) they'd earn a bunch of money (hypothetical!) that they'd donate to ACE recommendations, (b) they'd have some influence in the direction of better treatment of animals, but (c) they'd be complicit in raising animals for food. [1] It seems to me that the question here is whether (a) and (b) outweigh (c)? Or do you want to give additional weight to farms like this being incompatible with the stricter moral standard you think is correct?

[1] If the movement were working to outlaw ranches like this I see how working at one could undermine that, and so be another harm in addition to (c).

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on General Thoughts on Secular Solstice · 2024-03-26T16:52:08.332Z · LW · GW

That's right: if it were free to include then sure, even if only 5% of attendees can read it. But it's actually quite a lot of work.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Legality as a Career Harm Assessment Heuristic · 2024-03-26T15:39:33.918Z · LW · GW

I can't tell if you're joking? But at the risk of missing the joke, where do you see this in EA philosophy?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Bucket Brigade: Likely End-of-Life · 2024-03-26T15:14:10.604Z · LW · GW

Twilio has extended this by two years: https://www.twilio.com/en-us/changelog/Extension-of-Twilio-Programmable-Video-End-of-Life-to-December-5-2026

Speak up if you want me to keep this running until the new EOL date?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Photo Curation Approach · 2024-03-25T20:07:00.547Z · LW · GW

It could be fun to see how much of this is automatable: I have a camera roll that goes back to early 2012 combined with my selections for each year. That's a decent amount of annotated data!

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on General Thoughts on Secular Solstice · 2024-03-25T18:18:21.789Z · LW · GW

For an example of #1 at a solstice, I think The Next Right Thing at the 2023 Boston one went pretty well. You can hear as the audience figures it out and starts singing along. The original version is much more complicated, and this version I simplified intentionally for the event.

For #2, here's Song of Artesian Water where you can hear people joining in progressively over the course of the song.

For #3, here's Chasing Patterns, which is also a good bit of #1.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on General Thoughts on Secular Solstice · 2024-03-25T18:13:06.868Z · LW · GW

I don't think there are other community venues that could host the solstice celebration for free

Instead of having one big gathering for the whole Bay Area you could have several gatherings small enough to fit in the houses of community members who have large spaces. Since the main bottleneck is organizers splitting like this wouldn't make sense for the Bay, but hosting them at houses is pretty common in cities with smaller gatherings (ex: Boston, which I help organize).

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on General Thoughts on Secular Solstice · 2024-03-25T18:07:54.648Z · LW · GW

On sheet music: I think this isn't part of the tradition because most versions of Solstice have segments where the lighting is dimmed too far to read from paper, and also because printing a lot of pages per attendee is cumbersome.

I think a bigger factor is that not very many people can sing unknown songs from sheet music, so it wouldn't help very much to include it on the slides.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on General Thoughts on Secular Solstice · 2024-03-25T18:04:58.255Z · LW · GW

There are two ways to get large numbers of people to sing together: you can teach everyone at least rudimentary music literacy & show them the sheet music, or you can sing songs that everyone is already familiar with.

Other ways, all of which I've seen at solstices:

  1. Limit to songs with a melody and structure that are really easy to pick up.  A lot of praise music does this.
  2. Songs are long enough that even though they're not super easy to pick up most people will have it after a few verses and there are a lot of verses. Some people are going to find the first few verses not so fun.
  3. Leader sings something, everyone sings it back (call and response).
Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Using axis lines for good or evil · 2024-03-21T11:07:45.647Z · LW · GW

Yes! But not just time, you should also compare them on accuracy.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Toward a Broader Conception of Adverse Selection · 2024-03-17T11:21:48.564Z · LW · GW

A common experience in parenting is that a little kid will strongly prefer to play with toys that other kids are playing with, even when there are lots of others sitting around totally available. Conditional on another kid having chosen this toy out of all the options it's probably a better toy!

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Ceiling Air Purifier · 2024-03-07T01:23:13.257Z · LW · GW

My guess is it's just that the fan is really big?

Since writing this I've learned more about how the air flows around ceiling fans, and I expect that (a) using slightly taller filters that extend below the blades and (b) adding a cowl would help a lot.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines · 2024-02-29T01:34:37.122Z · LW · GW

But your accounts would be up so much that you'd only need a tiny fraction of them to fund your immediate consumption

Maybe you want to use the money altruistically? To spend on labor, compute, etc?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines · 2024-02-28T21:29:00.907Z · LW · GW

I think a lot of this depends on your distribution of potential futures:

  • What sort of returns (or inflation) do you expect, in worlds where you need the money at various ages?

  • What future legal changes do you expect?

  • How likely are you to have a 5y warning before you'll want to spend the money you've put in a traditional 401k?

  • What are your current and future tax brackets?

  • How likely are you to be in a situation where means testing means you lose a large portion of non-protected money?

  • How likely are you to lose a lawsuit for more than your (unprotected) net worth or otherwise go bankrupt?

The first version of this post (which I didn't finish) tried to include a modeling component, but it gets very complex and people have a range of assumptions so I left it as qualitative.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Band Lessons? · 2024-02-28T16:59:39.961Z · LW · GW

The third example I give is exactly that, where Andrew produced our CD, so a lot of overlap!

Helping you be a better live band in the moment, though, seems like it's usually not going to come out of working with a record producer?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines · 2024-02-27T02:51:53.560Z · LW · GW

This is subtle and I may be missing something, but it seems to me that using a pretax 401k helps some but not that much, and the Roth scenario is only slightly worse than the regular investment account. Compare the three, chosen to be maximally favorable to your scenario:

  1. You contribute to your pre-tax 401k, it grows (and inflates) 2x. You roll it over into a Roth IRA, paying taxes on the conversion. Over the next five years it grows 1.3x. You withdraw the contribution and leave the gains.

  2. You contribute to your post-tax Roth 401k, it grows (and inflates) 2x, and then another 1.3x. You withdraw the same amount as in scenario #1.

  3. You put it in a regular investment account.

Let's assume your marginal tax rates are 24% for regular income and 15% for capital gains.

In #1 if you start with $100k then it's $200k at the time you convert, and you pay $48k (24%) in taxes leaving you with $152k in your Roth 401k. It grows to $198k, you withdraw $152k and you have $46k of gains in your Roth 401k.

In #2 your $100k is taxed and $76k (less the 24%) starts in the Roth. When it's time to withdraw it's grown to $198k. Of that, your $76k of contributions are tax and penalty free, leaving you with $122k of gains. To end up with $152k in your bank account you withdraw $115k, paying $28k (24%) in taxes and $12k (10%) in penalties. You have $7k of gains still in your Roth.

In #3 your $100k is taxed to $76k when you earn it, and then grows to $198k. You sell $179k, paying 15% LTCG, and end up with $152k after taxes and $19k still invested (but subject to 15% tax when you eventually sell, so perhaps consider it as $16k).

So you're better off in #1 than #3 than #2, but the difference between #3 and #2 is relatively small, and this is a scenario relatively unfavorable to Roths.

My claim isn't "Roth 401(k)s are strictly better than putting the money in investment accounts" or "Roth 401(k)s are strictly better than pre-tax 401(k)s" but instead "when you consider the range of possible futures, for most people Roth 401(k)s are better than non-protected accounts and other protected accounts may be even better".

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Sequencing Swabs · 2024-02-27T01:32:55.484Z · LW · GW

The original version of this post had results from a simulation where the key results were off by a factor of 100. See the update at the top of the post for more.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Balancing Games · 2024-02-25T16:45:02.837Z · LW · GW

Many cooperative board games run into a problem where if there are people of differing skill levels on the same team than the strongest player ends up doing most of the playing. Hanabi is the only multiplayer game I've tried that successfully avoids this, where every player needs to be engaged and trying their best.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines · 2024-02-22T12:06:34.197Z · LW · GW

Often, but not always: your plan might not allow in-service withdrawals, so taking the money out right away might require leaving your company.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines · 2024-02-20T00:52:56.507Z · LW · GW

In your 50% of worlds where we get AGI in the next 3y, do you have important uses for the money?

How does your remaining 50% smear across "soon but >3y" through "AI fizzle"?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Retirement Accounts and Short Timelines · 2024-02-19T20:53:28.046Z · LW · GW

Saving, but avoiding protected "retirement" plans so you can invest in traditional taxed assets. This is very hard to justify, for the reasons you give. I'd classify as mostly dumb.

This is the only one I'm trying to argue against in the post, fwiw.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Evaluating Solar · 2024-02-18T03:28:17.573Z · LW · GW

My biggest concern with future solar panels is that net metering rules for new installs might get substantially less favorable.

(In general, net metering is kind of absurd. The idea that power I draw from the grid whenever is most convenient to me is worth the same amount as power I send to the grid whenever is most convenient to me is very far from correct.)

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Running the Numbers on a Heat Pump · 2024-02-09T18:43:01.873Z · LW · GW

If you ran that $2/therm gas (~$0.07/kWh) through a reasonably efficient (~40%) natural gas genset it would produce electricity cheaper than what you currently pay for power, and you would have 2/3rds of the gas energy left over as heat.

I was curious about this, and here are the numbers I got. I looked around and even a 23% efficient Generac 7171 comes out ahead. It's rated for 9kW at full output on natural gas. They say it uses 127 ft3/hr which is 1.37 or 39kWh. This is $0.304/kWh.

Of course this ignores the cost of the generator, maintenance, lower efficiency when run below full capacity, etc. but it's still pretty weird!

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Electric heat pumps (Mini-Splits) vs Natural gas boilers · 2024-02-09T13:27:22.622Z · LW · GW

the power company locally should be able to buy natural gas generators and fuel for around the same price as a power company anywhere else

I don't think this is true. Getting natural gas into this part of the country is very expensive. We don't have enough pipeline capacity, and voters are strongly against building more, so the marginal therm arrives on LNG tankers.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Electric heat pumps (Mini-Splits) vs Natural gas boilers · 2024-02-09T13:24:57.624Z · LW · GW

Given tariff asymmetries between feeding-in and drawing power locally to/from the grid, there tends to exist a strong self-consumption incentive

MA has net metering, so unless you are producing more electricity than your house consumes averaged over the year, this isn't a consideration in favor of adding additional self-consumption.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Running the Numbers on a Heat Pump · 2024-02-09T03:32:24.300Z · LW · GW

Interesting: comparing the DLCPRBH18AAK you linked to the MXZ-SM42NAMHZ2 I was quoted for, yours has maximum efficiency at a relatively high output level while mine has maximum efficiency at it's lowest output level. And yours even is even labeled as able to put out more heat at 5F than 17F, without losing COP, which is pretty weird?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on On Not Requiring Vaccination · 2024-02-03T21:21:33.203Z · LW · GW

I think what confuses me the most about your model is:

a. I'm pretty sure the immunity you get from having had an iteration of the virus and from having had the imperfect vaccine are similar.

b. Then the selection pressures of vaccination vs infection are quite similar.

(Separately, if it were actually the case that annual imperfect vaccination made things worse for the people not getting the vaccine, which in the US is a large majority, then it seems like the CDC should not be recommending them. What do they, and other public health authorities, think of these evolutionary arguments?)

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on On Not Requiring Vaccination · 2024-02-03T12:41:15.648Z · LW · GW

Reading the paper you linked, the idea is that vaccination that doesn't result in eradication contributes to the evolution of the pathogen. They propose targeting vaccines toward virulence antigens (markers highly correlated to the pathogen being unpleasant) to influence the pathogen to evolve to lower virulence.

Their successful examples are all bacterial, which makes sense: it's much easier to separate the functions of a bacterial pathogen. Their viral example is HPV, where they discuss the idea of targeting vaccines to make it less likely to cause cancer. But, as they say, for most viruses we don't know what the virulence antigens are.

I may have missed this in the paper, but I don't see a reason to expect that randomly selected antigens would push virulence in one direction or another, so I don't know why you would expect the current covid vaccines to increase virulence?

Note that all of the above is just based on reading this one 2001 paper; I don't know if the field has made progress since then?

(But any costs or benefits here are quite low: in the US under 20% of people have the recent ("updated") booster, and globally it's surely lower. So the evolution of covid is overwhelmingly driven by escaping natural immunity from previous infections.)

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on On Not Requiring Vaccination · 2024-02-03T12:17:24.720Z · LW · GW

The LW/EA overlap with contra is pretty much only in the younger crowd, driven mostly (I think) by LW/EA being younger overall.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on On Not Requiring Vaccination · 2024-02-02T19:30:14.246Z · LW · GW

That seems pretty unlikely to be popular.

It also requires producing far more vaccine than if you just spray it in people's noses, and gives up control of the dosage and timing.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on On Not Requiring Vaccination · 2024-02-02T19:29:02.610Z · LW · GW

I'm guessing contra dance attendees skew younger than zen center attendees

Nationally I suspect this isn't the case; I'd guess 80% of contra dancers are baby boomers. But some communities have much younger demographics.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on On Not Requiring Vaccination · 2024-02-02T14:19:05.905Z · LW · GW

reduced your chance of giving it to others after you were sick.

What makes you confident?

I've seen a lot of reporting of this over the years, which I think is going back to seeing lower viral loads for vaccinated people? Here's an example study, which I've only looked at the abstract of: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8982774/

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Stacked Laptop Monitor · 2024-01-29T22:46:07.763Z · LW · GW

How does it clip on?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Importing a Python File by Name · 2024-01-27T18:09:51.668Z · LW · GW

I want to call the section from two different pieces of code I'm experimenting with right now. At some point some of it will likely end up in a real system, but right now it's all very exploratory.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Stacked Laptop Monitor · 2024-01-26T20:58:22.814Z · LW · GW

In my case, a big reason that I want the setup I now have is that I really like the laptop's keyboard and trackpad.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Importing a Python File by Name · 2024-01-26T13:35:37.430Z · LW · GW

You mean with open("/path/to/foo.py") as inf: exec(inf.read())? I'd expect that to work, but:

  • It doesn't do namespacing (so instead of being foo.bar any symbols in foo will just end up as bar)

  • I'd really prefer not to use exec: there are so many ways to misuse it, and it's hard to tell if it's being used properly from looking at it. Much less of an issue in research code, but I'd still rather not.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Making a Secular Solstice Songbook · 2024-01-24T12:00:33.925Z · LW · GW

If you think they're very good songs, and especially if you think we're likely going to want to sing them at a future Boston Solstice?

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Make more land · 2024-01-19T21:14:03.164Z · LW · GW

The Reber plan was a very different proposal, involving barriers farther North. This is a much simpler proposal, which doesn't create any freshwater lakes.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on The impossible problem of due process · 2024-01-17T12:15:33.797Z · LW · GW

There are a bunch of problems with this even if implemented in good faith, but an obvious attack is that you convince a friend external to the community to (meet the minimum qualifications for membership and) accuse your target. This gets your target and your friend banned without investigation, but of course your friend does not care about getting banned.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on The impossible problem of due process · 2024-01-17T12:10:26.957Z · LW · GW

Creating a 501c3 is not the hard part. The hard part would be convincing a decentralized and informal community that they should accept the proposed central organization, including trusting it when it said who they should associate with.

(Which people are naturally wary of!)

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Eliminating Cookie Banners is Hard · 2024-01-16T15:19:01.502Z · LW · GW

in any way other than market competition forcing all major browsers to implement the feature, in which case it doesn’t practically matter whether the implementation requirement has legal weight.

I think it does matter? It's not clear that browsers can be required to do this, and even if it were legal to require them to it's not a good precedent. On the other hand, browsers working together with regulators and site owners to make a new technical standard (to communicate shared browser status) + rules (so it's legal to use the technical standard to not prompt about cookies) so users can have a better experience would be clearly legal and a great precedent.

(I have maybe a bit of special knowledge, in that I worked with a browser team and regulatory lawyers 2020-2022 but I'm not claiming to be an expert on how regulations and browsers change!)

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Griffin Island · 2024-01-15T19:47:35.952Z · LW · GW

After writing this I learned that the sign had been put up by Stephanie, a local parent and safer-streets advocate.

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Introduce a Speed Maximum · 2024-01-15T16:04:50.918Z · LW · GW

Sorry, I actually just misread your post as saying "maximum" where you wrote "minimum".

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Eliminating Cookie Banners is Hard · 2024-01-14T18:52:08.987Z · LW · GW

I don't think you need to mandate browser features: a big reason we don't have this sort of thing today is that even if the browser offered this setting it wouldn't be enough to satisfy the regulation. The regulation could say something vaguely like "web browsers may offer their users a choice between three profiles [insert your description] and communicate to websites which setting the user has chosen. If a website receives this information, it may save information to the client device etc"

Comment by jefftk (jkaufman) on Eliminating Cookie Banners is Hard · 2024-01-14T03:33:09.446Z · LW · GW

To the extent that the goal is to give privacy between multiple users, a way to explicitly say "this browser is just for me" and then not see cookie banners would be pretty great.