In 1 year and 5 years what do you see as "the normal" world. 2020-09-10T12:47:35.497Z · score: 8 (4 votes)
What is the current process for increases testing? 2020-07-12T17:21:49.847Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Restricted Diet and Longevity, does eating pattern matter? 2020-06-01T21:28:19.010Z · score: 6 (2 votes)
Will the many protests throughout the USA prove to be good test cases for reopening? 2020-05-31T12:15:31.400Z · score: 9 (3 votes)
If bacteria gave us a tool for bio engineering, have viruses given us a delivery mechanism? 2020-05-20T22:31:08.099Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Do any mammal species exhibit an immune response in some of the herd in response to the infection in other herd members? 2020-05-16T17:33:24.946Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Will the world hit 10 million recorded cases of COVID-19? If so when? 2020-05-13T17:26:07.232Z · score: 7 (5 votes)
Settle Investment Trades Only Daily an improvement? True or False 2020-05-11T21:56:04.882Z · score: 5 (3 votes)
COVID-19 from a different angle 2020-05-04T17:58:02.100Z · score: 8 (3 votes)
Should we be reassessing the argument for globalization? 2020-04-26T13:52:40.126Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Could city design impact spread of infections? 2020-04-22T14:57:54.511Z · score: 3 (2 votes)
COVID-19 and the US Elections 2020-04-08T18:25:20.425Z · score: 10 (4 votes)
What is going on in Singapore and the Philippines? 2020-04-06T11:27:25.268Z · score: 13 (6 votes)
What marginal returns now? 2020-03-30T23:12:03.853Z · score: 7 (2 votes)
Ideas on estimating personal risk of infection 2020-03-23T16:33:29.442Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
North Korea and COVID-19 2020-03-19T15:51:48.428Z · score: 7 (2 votes)
When will total cases in the EU surpass that of China? 2020-03-17T12:34:32.980Z · score: 7 (2 votes)
What might be learned from the COVID-19 buying patterns? 2020-03-15T02:58:26.078Z · score: 6 (4 votes)
Best time to take supplements? 2020-03-13T15:11:40.293Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Dealing with the left overs: COVID-19 2020-03-05T14:10:02.299Z · score: 8 (3 votes)
To mask or not mask 2020-03-04T15:55:04.646Z · score: 22 (7 votes)
Did everyone miss the big thing about your phone? 2020-03-04T13:35:15.495Z · score: 22 (8 votes)
Is there a better way to define groups for COVID-19 impact? 2020-03-04T13:24:51.221Z · score: 11 (4 votes)
SARS, MERS and COVID-19 2020-03-01T20:53:06.459Z · score: 7 (3 votes)
Will the current COVID-19 outbreak increase the use of block-chain in supply chain management globally? 2020-02-28T14:53:15.777Z · score: 4 (1 votes)
Literature regarding epidemics and political stability? 2020-02-24T13:21:50.937Z · score: 8 (3 votes)
Making Sense of Coronavirus Stats 2020-02-20T15:12:51.292Z · score: 23 (9 votes)
It "wanted" ... 2020-02-15T20:52:07.094Z · score: 4 (1 votes)
Source of Karma 2020-02-09T14:13:30.650Z · score: 4 (1 votes)
Are the bad epistemic conditions global? 2020-01-25T23:31:21.283Z · score: 18 (4 votes)
AI Alignment, Constraints, Control, Incentives or Partnership? 2019-12-31T13:42:56.471Z · score: 6 (2 votes)
Double Cruz and Verification of Claims 2019-11-21T13:37:57.368Z · score: 6 (2 votes)
Current Law Proposed to allow competition in Social Media 2019-10-23T13:13:32.581Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Does human choice have to be transitive in order to be rational/consistent? 2019-08-11T01:49:23.967Z · score: 9 (6 votes)
Would refining the question a bit be better in terms of getting to answers? 2019-08-01T16:25:32.549Z · score: 4 (2 votes)
Another case of "common sense" not being common? 2019-07-31T17:15:40.674Z · score: 6 (4 votes)
Learning Over Time for AI and Humans and Rationality 2019-06-13T13:23:58.639Z · score: 5 (2 votes)


Comment by jmh on Some thoughts on criticism · 2020-09-20T02:16:31.111Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if there is not also another way to approach your goal. This may not get to everything you wish to improve but perhaps gets out of the whole eliciting honest and constructive criticism from your direct reports.

For the most part I see a people manager's job as not only making sure they are doing their job but more importantly have the support and resources needed to accomplish their responsibilities. So an indirect way of assessing your own performance on the job as their manager is to inquire about the challenges they are facing and then consider what role you can play in removing some of the challenges.

Comment by jmh on Covid 9/17: It’s Worse · 2020-09-18T00:04:59.084Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are the figures for the past decade the total burned, the planned burn or just the wild burn?

I ask because I read something, not closely at all, sometime in the past week or so, that seemed to be saying for the past decade environmental policies and regulators have been preventing so much of the planned burn the west has a serious problem Based on that one might think that rather than some mild years coming up more of the same, and even more of that, might be more likely.

For those living there I just say "Hope that is wrong!"

Comment by jmh on Book Review: Working With Contracts · 2020-09-15T20:23:06.295Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

While I don't think this quite gets to where you are suggesting every contract I have ever seen includes some clause that pretty much talks about the independence of the sections and how they stand even if some other clause is invalidated. That seems to be a form or modular/scope structure.

Perhaps the question there is where the difference might be. For instance, when using the software metaphor I don't think it is really good to compare a simple application to the contract but more like a whole suite of applications. Don't compare Excel to the contract but Office365. In this setting, does contract seem to stand a bit more firmly than say the security around the inner working of the applications within Office?

Or is than not really a good comparison?

Comment by jmh on Comparative advantage and when to blow up your island · 2020-09-13T13:14:09.558Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think another point to keep in mind when thinking of comparative advantage is that it is clearly a necessary condition for trade (or at least seems obvious to me that it is) but not clearly a sufficient condition.

Even in this two good model it seems that one must accept there is an implied third good, everything else (leisure, sleep, something else?) so the analysis of the two goods is a partial equilibrium analysis. If the margins are getting changed there then the general equilibrium has now been disturbed. That will then feed back into the two good relationships.

I think one of the questions then is just what margins or constrains are being relaxed when looking to trade based on the comparative advantage.

For instance, lets assume that the two islands specialize in either coconuts or bananas and then trade at the 1:1 exchange. Production and consumption has not changed. Since they clearly had more minutes in the day to increase output on their own consuming 10 bananas and coconuts a week was optimal. If that level of consumption is not changed due to trade (generally assumed to be the case but lets ask) what happens with the time no longer needed for production?

If the additional available time is now just boredom I would think trade becomes a bit of an annoyance and trade is curtailed. If that is true on one side but on the other they other things they can do with the time a different form of friction emerges, perhaps one side claiming the other is dumping or protectionist.

Comment by jmh on The Case for Human Genetic Engineering · 2020-09-01T01:38:23.956Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

One aspect of such engineering is clearly what is the focus -- clearly the "improved super human" a la Star Trek is perhaps too ill defined so it will have to be about doing things in parts.

I would be curious about your thoughts on where the current state of knowledge and technology might be between targeting intelligence versus targeting longevity. If we could make good progress on the longevity front that then releases some constraints on the efforts towards intelligence. However, it that is the harder nut to crack then one could argue focusing on intelligence gains leads to a relaxed constraint on longevity research.

I suspect the two paths are not all that complementary to one another beyond some rather basic level so parallel tracks might not work as well (assuming bio-engineers with the sufficient skills are a binding constraint).

Somewhat related to the above, am I correct in thinking your focus is less on improving the currently living and more on upgrading the next generation with these efforts?

Comment by jmh on The Case for Human Genetic Engineering · 2020-08-30T13:15:20.092Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, you state that much better than I did.

The idea was that we have chromosome pairs, each will have the same set of genes, but the gene on each chromosome can vary but are still the same "gene". So the label as allele (or mutation -- not quite sure where one draws the line between mutation and allele) seems a bit more clear to me.

Comment by jmh on The Case for Human Genetic Engineering · 2020-08-29T13:19:31.477Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting and I look forward to reading the other posts in this effort.

One minor nit. I think the correct terms in the bit on recessive traits is not gene but allele (genes contain two alleles as I understand the claims).

Comment by jmh on [deleted post] 2020-08-22T02:31:39.042Z

Perhaps I misunderstood what I was reading but I thought senescence in cells was not about them dying out but rather them becomes zombie cells -- no more division or "life" but not really dead or disposed of. That resulted in them (often?) pumping out various proteins that were not well coordinated with the bodies needs. I also thought some of the newer research was suggesting a connection between the quantity of senescence cells and the onset of cancers. Particularly on this last bit you seem to be saying the reverse so I'm a bit confused.

Comment by jmh on Highlights from the Blackmail Debate (Robin Hanson vs Zvi Mowshowitz) · 2020-08-21T17:19:30.577Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems the entire discussion boils down to what should or should not be allowed to be sold. In a standard market one assumption and prerequisite for selling something is a legitimate ownership right.

Did Hansen establish some ownership right the blackmailer enjoyed? Did anyone establish any ownership rights at all?

In the case of the NDA bit that seems like a completely difference class than the case of blackmail. There seems to be a serious asymmetry between the "pay me to keep my mouth shut about your information" and that of "I will share this information with you but you must not disclose -- and I will even provide some compensation to add the incentive for nondisclosure beyond the pure contractual obligation and stated remedy".

Comment by jmh on Does crime explain the exceptional US incarceration rate? · 2020-08-18T01:05:48.143Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see why one thinks homicide is a good proxy for crime in general. I wonder if a different approach here might be simply focusing on homicide and incarceration to see if that sheds any light.

Comment by jmh on The Fusion Power Generator Scenario · 2020-08-10T16:40:58.252Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not sure if this is pure musing or a question. The, rather obvious, thought strikes me that this discussion could be held without any reference to AI at all. It is very clear that people with 150+ IQ are much more capable than those with 120 IQ and those with 120 are much more capable than those with sub 100 IQ.

For the most part we live in a market society driven my mass market demand, which seems like it will be dominated by a lower average IQ, which is designed and produced by the "smart" tail of the curve.

This has been the case (well perhaps not the market society claim) for most of human existence.

That suggests we might have evolutionary design patters that have been emerging to protect the masses of the human race from both their own (and perhaps misunderstood or even unknown) risky demand that are delivered by the smart minority of humans.

Is that line of thinking any part of the larger picture (AI alignment I suppose)?

Comment by jmh on What is filling the hole left by religion? · 2020-08-08T01:28:45.227Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but when is that really the case. Perhaps it's a case of my just not seeing the setting as that of pure isolation. So while we might call it morality perhaps it is potential impact in other games we also play that are not one-shot.

For instance, I see someone drop $10,000 (or $100 if you want) and not notice they did. I let them walk out of site and notice no one else is around and quietly pick it up and put it in my pocket.

Later I'm out with friend having lunch or drinks and offer to pick up the tab. In generally we all tend to pay our own way as none generally had a lot of money to just throw around. They start asking why so how do I explain?

Or perhaps my child has been asking for a special toy that was not in the budget. Suddenly I can buy it. How do I explain that to my spouse and child?

The idea being the lives we live is not one with the degree of separability implied by the one-shot assumption, so the game setting is really a repeated game but not always with same players.

Perhaps that is just explaining why morality might emerge and so your point holds but I'm not sure.

Comment by jmh on Property as Coordination Minimization · 2020-08-08T01:04:09.323Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Lacking a source to support the claim but I am very confident in the statement here, that sound very similar to the critique James Buchanan (Public Choice economist) made of Friedman's Machinery of Freedom. Basically the machine can work as long as everyone has the same understanding of property rights. Once that assumption is lost the machine is broke.

Comment by jmh on What is filling the hole left by religion? · 2020-08-04T23:51:07.021Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure that is as sound as suggested. Just when are we really in a one-shot PD setting? In the, I might argue, rare cases where we are, is it really morality or merely habit of thinking that set our behavior?

Comment by jmh on The Era Of Unlimited Everything: Unlimited Materials & Unlimited Money · 2020-08-01T16:29:27.987Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps going a level further down we can talk about the wonder of polymers. Plastics. Oils. DNA. WIthout polymers we have no life I suspect.

Comment by jmh on Six economics misconceptions of mine which I've resolved over the last few years · 2020-07-14T22:42:58.077Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think the answer is yes. I would say it is a very similar strategy to that of corporate financial management and using financial leverage to improve returns and earnings.

Comment by jmh on School Has It Backwards · 2020-07-14T15:02:31.757Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Should I ask what question you were asking when you decided on this position ;-)

I think you are creating an incorrect dichotomy. Neither schools, nor learning in general, are about either getting answers or posing questions. I think they are a bundle we take together.

To the extent you are arguing modern schooling approaches might tend to penalize a curious (and probably less focused) mind in the interest of conveying known facts and knowledge I would agree to some extent. At the same time, there are a lot of people that seem born with a lack of intellectual curiosity, or at least a lack of discipline and gumption to pursue that interest (a lot of us are lazy, though I suspect many like me just have to work a lot harder than others to get the the same place so lazy might just be another way of saying lack or energy to get there).

Comment by jmh on Six economics misconceptions of mine which I've resolved over the last few years · 2020-07-14T02:22:04.765Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think all these sort of fail on the basis of partial equilibrium rather then general equilibrium but here are a few thought that may or may not fit somewhere.

1. Is a bit of a Say's Law take. One thing that might be considered is just how quickly the realized new demand from increased wages (and how quickly some might react in terms of quantity of labor employed is reduced) transmits thought the local economy. If demand propagates quickly, 1 might hold.

2. That's an interesting approach. Could increased wages result in increased investment in human capital? Maybe, maybe not. An interesting historical debate might come back here. The old Cambridge Capital Controversy, as it was explained to be once, basically supports a multi equilibrium outcome. One is a high wage equilibrium with a low return to capital (the w and r in the model). While the debate was supposed to be been resolved and so the two outcomes not possible I never got the sense that all agreed so perhaps there might be something there.

3. Was a theory called Efficiency Wages.

All that said, I think the biggest problem with wage theory for economics is that "wages" are not really set as much in the market as in the corporate HR office. This is not to say that there is not linkage to external markets, but borrowing from old monetary policy terms, is only loosely linked. Within a medium to large (and probably even what would be called small these days) corporation the effort is very much a complex joint production activity and margins are poorly understood (and probably not even known in a lot of cases). The standard micro economic analysis only goes so far. The margin really should be some unit output from the corporate effort. Wages then become more a political economy setting where the issue is more distribution and less about allocation. (Include all the thinking about need for "slack" for productivity...)

Comment by jmh on Was a PhD necessary to solve outstanding math problems? · 2020-07-11T01:34:57.545Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

No clue if they might fit well with your thinking or if it is even common, but where would you put the case where the person has a Ph.D. but in a different field from their main study?

Would that fit better with the non credentialed case? I would like to think so but perhaps just having the paper gets you into the club.

Comment by jmh on (answered: yes) Has anyone written up a consideration of Downs's "Paradox of Voting" from the perspective of MIRI-ish decision theories (UDT, FDT, or even just EDT)? · 2020-07-07T00:16:37.337Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not sure where of if this fits into your thought or not. In many was I see both the paradox and many of the attempts to explain it may well stem from incorrectly specifying the question. The argument is that the payoff from voting for any given person is lower than the costs incurred so why vote?

However, since people clearly do vote isn't the better question to ask: what did we miss in specifying the equation that results in the implication all these people are irrational and imposing costs on themselves?

In other words, rather than accepting the claimed paradox why not just take the empirical observation and then look for the underlying explanation. Would a good scientist ever talk about the paradox of flight once observed?

Comment by jmh on Second Wave Covid Deaths? · 2020-07-05T15:32:21.926Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect a couple of things might be worth considering, but I'm not the expert here either so take everything with the view I am speculating/thinking aloud not stating any findings.

I don't think testing will tend to lower the CFR as that testing will move things towards the real IFR rather than the CFR. This probably related to point 1 & 2 above.

I think the 10-12 days from the old data to say we see movement in the death data due to the new cases probably has some type of skew in it, the older the data the more likely it will be complete. That should be driven by the the death reporting distribution (and perhaps even corrections). The closer the old data gets to the new threshold of new deaths it should under report due to the lag. Perhaps we need to look at the distribution of reported deaths over that 8+ week period before trying to assess the results after the 10-12 days. I'm not sure if that is what you are saying in point 3.

Comment by jmh on High Stock Prices Make Sense Right Now · 2020-07-05T15:08:58.293Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you make any adjustment on the PE evaluation, particularly for the top 4, in light of all the ways reported earning can be manipulated. I have not looked but would you have the same list if looking at things from a revenue based valuation or a free cash flow valuation?

Comment by jmh on Second Wave Covid Deaths? · 2020-07-03T15:11:49.250Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Small addition on:

If there was a 7 day lag, we'd expect to see a 20% increase in deaths by from May 31 to June 28. Eyeballing the google deaths data things look basically flat. So I guess that means a drop of ~20% in fatality rate over that month.

The CDC site says the lag on reporting deaths is between 2 and 8 weeks -- and can be longer.

Comment by jmh on Second Wave Covid Deaths? · 2020-07-03T00:00:20.867Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Might be that deaths are being classified a bit differently now too. Just looking at for the national level numbers/trend for "Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)" look different from last year. I also heard someone claim that something of a spike in pneumonia deaths is happening but didn't really see that in the data.

But I would also think some marginal improvement in treating patients and keeping them alive has occurred as well.

Comment by jmh on Half-Baked Products and Idea Kernels · 2020-06-25T16:07:53.563Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That was the experience I had in the last corp I worked for. They traditionally were waterfall and trying to move towards agile. As T3t notes below, it's best not to think of things as either or (and I suspect you are not suggesting such).

A couple of related thought come to mind though. One clearly is the cost of the bug and effort to fix -- I don't think all environments support ease of update to code base or code modules. Additionally, in different settings having something go wrong for 30 minutes might be a minor inconvenience (I'll do something else this morning and come back this afternoon) while in other cases you might be talking about billions in damage/loses or even lives lost.

There is also something of a culture aspect here. Organizations and the staff who lived and breathed waterfall have a lot of business processes & procedures and human thought process in place that don't really support agile, and vise versa.

However, I think the approach in the OP is fully compatible with either waterfall or agile development. But it might actually be more valuable to the former. Might also generalize pretty well into things like, say, vacation planning????

Comment by jmh on When is it Wrong to Click on a Cow? · 2020-06-22T20:07:01.920Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What if we rephrased the question as "When is it okay to be bored?"

The way the post seems to frame the setting is that these three are doing things in a largely nonsocial setting. None are overtly engaging in some activities that imply some form of social interaction. As such, if we consider that aspect and then pose the alternative "go home and stare at the wall" does that suggest any additional takes on how to assess the situations?

Comment by jmh on Why do all out attacks actually work? · 2020-06-13T12:45:33.526Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

But why doesn't the all out attack work against status?

This model, when we're only talking about status, seems like another reflection of the "I can't" view so no commitment to make the effort is made.

I assume your "slap down" is not merely those with status ridiculing the idea attempting to point out flaws in the theory or design but rather that of applying both economic, political and perhaps even raw force to stop you. In that case the issue doesn't seem to be status (though clearly that might indicate a level or location of risk). It issue is the ability of others with an interest in stopping you in achieving that goal. Seems to me that decision process there would be performing a calculation on a different set of inputs than status.

Comment by jmh on Self-Predicting Markets · 2020-06-11T13:01:10.899Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

One additional point that should matter. The valuation is not merely Hertz as an enterprise but the value of Hertz's assets to other market players. If Hertz is gone then the market equilibrium shifts for all the other rental companies. What is the value of merger (friendly or not)?

Comment by jmh on We've built Connected Papers - a visual tool for researchers to find and explore academic papers · 2020-06-09T13:33:42.790Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I also like the tool and expect to use it at times so thanks for building and sharing.

I have to also share the performance related experience -- yesterday I had several attempts return the system overloaded response.

This morning my test looks to be progressing 45% after about 10 minutes. I suspect that your message there might be a bit optimistic. If generating the results is expected to take more than a few minutes allow some form of notification once the graph has been complete.

Comment by jmh on Most reliable news sources? · 2020-06-07T00:03:04.038Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I lack a good answer for you. I find all the suggested sources okay and read them myself in most cases (FT and Economists no but used to long ago).

I also read South Morning China Post and Al Jazeera (and some Korean papers) for non western perspectives. I keep saying I should add some of the continental European papers.

Occasionally I will check out something from Russia and some of the party mainland China papers as well as Japanese.

I look at a couple of Philippine papers as well for personal reasons and sometimes get a new insight to a larger theme.

I don't think any are unbiased and non really seem to try to be completely objective. That is why I would suggest reading several version of the same story. Basically, it's the application of the old saying, your side, my side and somewhere in between is the truth.

Comment by jmh on Russian x-risks newsletter spring 2020 · 2020-06-04T16:30:47.403Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't the claim about using first use of nukes as defense old news? I want to say Putin made similar statements at least a year ago.

I've not looked into the details here so perhaps there has been a shift in just how they would be used.

Comment by jmh on Restricted Diet and Longevity, does eating pattern matter? · 2020-06-03T23:25:39.400Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks and it is a good thing to keep in mind.

Got some hints there at least ;-)

Comment by jmh on Restricted Diet and Longevity, does eating pattern matter? · 2020-06-03T23:15:51.500Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


That is largely what I'm getting from Sinclair's Lifespan. What it seems to do, if I'm following his claim, is the restricted diet puts the body in a stressed mode (not malnourished state, that is to be avoided). The switches on come cellular activity that shift energy from cell division to cell maintenance and cleans up a lot of the garbage (malformed and miscoded proteins).

He also suggests that the other thing to diet wise it reduce the intake of some of the essential amino acids. We get too much of those and they are all associated with activating an enzyme that promotes the cellular division activities and away from the garbage collection and maintenance work.

I had not gotten to this point when asking the question but the book also goes on to say that a lot of different structures to the diet, each meal lite, fast a day a week or so, skip meals... all seem to function the same. Not surprising as all put us in a stressed mode and then the cell functions react. But he was not sure if some are perhaps better than others.

I don't know if he has identified a gear, or or the as the book seems to suggest, for aging but interesting so far.

Comment by jmh on Covid-19: My Current Model · 2020-06-03T22:02:51.898Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
If we think Covid-19 deaths are bad, well, they look a lot like deaths from ‘natural causes.’ Yet those are considered good and right and proper, and not like the horror that they are. We’re all going to die.

Sounds a bit like Sinclair in his book with LaPlante, Lifespan. We should be looking at aging as a disease, not a natural outcome of life.

With regard to the whole overpopulation fear or bored with living it is worth noting that solving aging doesn't seem to be achieving immortality - at least not anytime soon I sounds. More about increasing the quality of life post 50 or so with perhaps an extra 10 to 30 years. Whether or not that extra time or the less aged middle year would really result in a significant increase in population I'm not sure. Others might have a good idea on how to model that.

Comment by jmh on Covid-19: My Current Model · 2020-06-03T21:43:54.745Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've seen this claim that the next time will be worse that this one a few times now (not limiting to LW).

I'm curious about the claim. Is that related to some underlying model or some biologic or virologic reason. Is the claim based on the view the human population will continue growing so population density increases, even if density increase that social interaction will increase relative to today? Something else?

Comment by jmh on Predicted Land Value Tax: a better tax than an unimproved land value tax · 2020-05-27T21:06:09.207Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Have you even looked into Henry George's Land Value Tax theory, or the critiques made of that theory? If not might be worth skimming or checking out the cliff notes or other summary.

Also, I'm not entirely sure I understand the problem being solved. Is this about a more accurate or efficient taxing?

Comment by jmh on Baking is Not a Ritual · 2020-05-26T19:32:23.883Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Here is a recipe that might be helpful, as either a ritual approach or by looking at the different ingredients and then at what they might be doing chemically and structurally.

Egg whites are proteins and so are gluten in wheat and both will provide some degree or structural rigidity.

Since we don't know your recipe I would make a rather wild guess that perhaps the use of cream of tartar. This suggests "A pinch of cream of tartar also helps stabilize whipped cream to prevent it from deflating", so perhaps as well as functioning as a leavening agent with the baking soda it is also adding some strength.

Here is one more link. A quick scan of some sections suggests you won't need a chemistry background but it does talk about how the ingredients work at the level. For instance, I never new salt worked to act as a strengthener for gluten during baking.

Comment by jmh on Baking is Not a Ritual · 2020-05-26T15:37:10.066Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Put a little differently, there is a reason why we have Betty Crocker cake mixes and Aunt Jamima or Bisquick pancake mixes for people. It provides a ritual they can blindly follow and get repeatedly good results.

However, it they try deviating from the ritual (the defined recipes on the box) the results will start getting unpredictable with the underlying knowledge. In worst case scenarios (not sure baking gets us there but perhaps) people start thinking the world in that area is just random outcomes or is unpredictable.

Comment by jmh on Baking is Not a Ritual · 2020-05-26T15:20:32.848Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I would say baking is the most complicated form of cooking to understand because it is chemically the most complex.

I think the general point of the OP is you cannot easily violate the ritual (ad lib with the recipe in baking). I suspect most people don't grasp the difference between baking and other cooking (which is also rather chemical reaction driven). I would suggest the different is widths of the error bands. Baking has really narrow bands, other cooking has relatively wide ones.

I think the post gets to a much deeper question. Just when should someone be a ritual follower and when is that not so important. I think part of that answer related to the error band concept. It also related to knowledge of the gears.

Comment by jmh on The Oil Crisis of 1973 · 2020-05-25T22:50:03.656Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
this recession will be different, because (among other things) we will simultaneously have a labor shortage and a lot of people out of work. That’s really weird, and there’s almost no historical precedent

Labor shortage and recession. It strikes me that perhaps WWII offers a similar setting. Massive labor shortage since many men were off fighting. A recession setting by a lot of metrics from a consumer demand and supply perspective -- so lots of rationing and the like.

Maybe some insights from analysis of those times?

Comment by jmh on Highlights of Comparative and Evolutionary Aging · 2020-05-23T16:30:05.744Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Probably not as relevant to this specific post as the general sequence on aging but have you seen and read Lifespan by Sinclair & LaPlante? If so what is your assessment. I've just started reading.

Comment by jmh on The Oil Crisis of 1973 · 2020-05-23T16:25:05.062Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am pretty sure that the price of all goods started to fall relative to gold after the USA moved to a pure fiat money regime. If so do the gold price of oil itself informative or should one look to the relative price of oil (in what ever money units) to other goods or baskets of other goods.

Put a bit different, how was oil performing in the inflationary world?

Comment by jmh on What are objects that have made your life better? · 2020-05-22T00:42:50.956Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Imported japanese toothpaste that has hydroxyapatite. It's under patent dispute in the USA. Remineralizes teeth.

+ 1 on this one. Hope the availability does not disappear. But it also seems hydroxypatite is available on its own so one might be able to just add to any toothpaste.

Comment by jmh on If bacteria gave us a tool for bio engineering, have viruses given us a delivery mechanism? · 2020-05-21T14:29:38.647Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. Interesting. Seems that the term I want is "viral vector".

Clearly some bugs still to work out (bad pun, sorry) but seems like a very promising approach though I think eventually the fix should be something that is also present in off-spring (which currently is probably illegal so and will change the risk assessment needed)

Comment by jmh on Settle Investment Trades Only Daily an improvement? True or False · 2020-05-21T13:55:22.129Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

We'd have to look into the specific rules here. The only thing I do know is limit orders trade before market orders do and orders are time stamped. In other words, the current institutional structure is more about managing order flow than establishing the clearing price when supply and demand are considered in the larger context -- such as buyers and sellers who want to participate today but will be sending the orders at much different times during the period the market is open.

Draw a simply Supply and Demand picture, and assume those curves do represent the true price quantities of the market participants that exist during the given period. The intersections would then be the standard economic model clearing prices. Let those curves represent one day.

Currently, under the order flow regime, the when ever the orders come in at attempt to find a matching order on the other side occurs. But that would allow a supplier that has a price in the supply curve that is above the intersection to be pairs with buyer on the demand curve that is at or above the ask price.

The difference between the transaction price and that implied market clearing price when considering the days actual supply and demand characteristics seems to represent the loss of value the buyer would have saved if they could have bought at the theoretical market clearing price, which is only known when the day closes. This also represents a transfer to the seller with the above market price. This seller, on some pretty standard market logic, really should not have been able to get that trade as the price asked was too high.

Changing the rule about matching trades (supply and demand) at the end of the day rather than as the orders come in prevents that type of inefficient pairing of buyer and seller.

To my knowledge that is what happens in the morning for all trades, and why sometimes when unusual events occur the opening for a security is delayed while the market or market makers try to figure out just where the open clearing price really is.

Large institutional and large investors will also use some slightly different orders and pay something or an weighted average price for the shares they sell on a give day. This appears similar to my suggestion and I would suggest lends support to the underlying thought.

You are correct that the duration of the period might matter and a day may not be the right one. I picked that because generally information is fairly consistent over a day so revision to orders places should me small.

Comment by jmh on Signaling: Why People Have Conversations · 2020-05-20T16:49:55.938Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
People like talking more than listening. If we participated in conversations primarily to gain information, then you’d expect people to want to listen more than they speak. People almost always show the opposite behaviour.

This seems to shift the line a bit. If the goal of conversations exchange of information I don't think we can really say who will do the most talking so should not try to draw any conclusion about conversation as info exchange based on people liking to talk more than listen. (It is perhaps interesting that is seems a lot of communication theory agrees that people who don't actively listen tend not to be good at communication or conversation.) That said, I suspect one might use the signaling view to explain why more want to talk than listen. Knowledge is power. Power is status. People like status. Therefore people want to talk more than listen.

But that behavior is fully consistent with the idea conversation is largely about info exchange.

I did enjoy reading and appreciate that your wrote up your thoughts and summaries from reading the book. So don't take my selecting one point to question as a signal otherwise ;-)

Comment by jmh on A Problem With Patternism · 2020-05-20T16:23:17.868Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This seems related to the post on Pointing to a flower. Do you seem the two lines of thinking/inquiry as complementary?

Comment by jmh on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-19T02:43:14.838Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Their 5+ year lead in autonomous driving is, by itself, a really exciting thing to bet on

I"m not exactly how to assess this but probably worth mentioning that Buick, GM and Ford were conducting testing for self driving cars back in the early 1990s. To be sure, they were a lot different and how the entire system would need to come together to be successful is different.

However, it is also not clear, to me at least, that the best next generation small vehicle transportation system will simply be the same network of roads and control systems with "smart" cars. In other words, Tesla may well be a great stepping stone to the next level of transportation but not really where that is going and perhaps not even positioning it well for a better system/infrastructure setting.

Exciting yes but I think history has a pretty good number or first innovators that ended up getting sidelined for various reasons -- all I suspect relating to network type effects as they relate to the larger economic nexus in which they need to fit.

Comment by jmh on Extracting Value from Inadequate Equilibria · 2020-05-18T23:03:36.488Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if some of the discussion in the posts related to Moral Mazes might offer any insights.

Comment by jmh on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-16T17:49:17.180Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It really is surprising just how much you can get from a very little amount of time. When I quit smoking (and even some of the times I unsuccessfully tried) one simple trick I used when I felt the urge was to simply say "I'll go in 5 minutes" and resume whatever I was doing.

Every single time it was 30 minutes, an hour, a couple of hours later that the next urge for a smoke returned. Moreover, I never really felt I was waiting in anticipation of that 5 minutes to expire.

Now, I don't think that is what ultimately accomplished the quitting but it did address one of the problems that will lead to not quitting.