Posts

What are examples of the opposite of perverse incentives? 2021-06-18T16:04:44.158Z
What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment 2021-05-17T20:46:18.933Z
Notes on Robert McIntyre’s Brain Preservation Talk at the Long Now Foundation 2021-04-28T20:47:41.325Z
BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) 2018-04-08T19:32:57.520Z
Large Mammal BPF Prize Winning Announcement 2018-03-13T23:48:53.311Z
The Benefits of Taking Cold Showers: A 3 Month Trial 2017-12-08T17:01:56.653Z

Comments

Comment by JohnGreer on (2009) Shane Legg - Funding safe AGI · 2021-07-18T05:04:24.349Z · LW · GW

Thanks for sharing this! It's inspiring to dig up old posts where people talk about their goals and to see how well it worked out.

Comment by JohnGreer on What are examples of the opposite of perverse incentives? · 2021-06-23T19:34:57.711Z · LW · GW

Yes, I think Pigovian taxes are really interesting and useful. I suppose then I'm looking for examples of privately implemented Pigovian taxes that fixed a problem successfully.

Comment by JohnGreer on What are examples of the opposite of perverse incentives? · 2021-06-23T19:33:36.837Z · LW · GW

Thanks

Comment by JohnGreer on What are examples of the opposite of perverse incentives? · 2021-06-23T19:33:18.821Z · LW · GW

Yes, I agree that a grocery store is a great example. I suppose I'm looking for examples where people recognized a problem, changed the incentives, and then it fixed/improved things.

Comment by JohnGreer on What question would you like to collaborate on? · 2021-06-02T22:07:15.892Z · LW · GW

Thanks for writing this up! It's a good idea and a thing worth experimenting with.

Comment by JohnGreer on The Argument For Spoilers · 2021-05-21T15:35:27.481Z · LW · GW

The qualia of enjoyment or not is different for different people. I don't have the gleeful anticipation of an upcoming twist. My main reason for avoiding spoilers is it ruins the feeling of suspense.

This also applies to sporting events as well. If I'm watching a fight where I know the outcome, it's much less enjoyable than if I don't know it. If I know someone wins, I'm not on edge when they're getting punched and kicked by their opponent like I would be if I thought those blows may decide the fight.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T19:57:47.248Z · LW · GW

Yes, good idea! I wonder how much we'll end up needing stored seeds in the future or if we/AI will be able to mitigate any problems.

Is produce quality decaying? You mean where we maximize things like storage ability at the expense of flavor?

I want to visit the Svalbard Global Seed Vault sometime.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T19:55:34.494Z · LW · GW

Yes, it's really hard to predict what shifts will happen as we become more and more digital and advanced. Buying and selling human minds might be restricted, though. 

I wonder what antiquities will be the most valued.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T19:54:13.338Z · LW · GW

That's a cool idea! It'd be funny to have an index fund of the top n rare species. I wonder if anyone is doing/can do this now.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T19:52:55.268Z · LW · GW

That's a cool idea! Plot of 2121's heist movie will be about robbing the San Diego Frozen Zoo

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T05:49:50.210Z · LW · GW

Yes, authenticity matters so much. Original work is a good bet although I wonder where NFTs will bring things.

Re: financial fraud and art. It’s possible we will have AI that will stop that but it’s hard to say.

Yes, success stories in investing in art/collectibles seem like survivorship bias. There are probably ways to sift the wheat from the chaff but like startups, it seems really tough. You can follow the heuristics but even Y-Combinator’s success rate is still so low.

Do you think pre-NFT prints will still be a good bet?

Land is a good option. Technology would be interesting. 

I appreciate your analysis! Sounds like a Stradivarius in an ivory and pearl-studded case painted by David Hockney authenticated with film by Quentin Tarantino with the reel stored inside?

Do you collect art? What kind?

I’m curious what collectibles you would actually buy today!

Semi-related: Have you seen Velvet Buzzsaw?

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T05:29:40.054Z · LW · GW

Yes, it's a good point -- people often ignore the storage costs.

I wonder what the future of antiques will be. 

The world of limited edition cars is interesting: https://www.jamesedition.com/stories/cars/the-vip-list-question-how-to-gain-access-to-a-limited-edition-supercar-1000117/

It's apparently discouraged to resell them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_Valkyrie#Resale_policy

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T05:03:45.316Z · LW · GW

Yes, definitely. I think rare elements are some of the safest bets.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T05:03:11.047Z · LW · GW

You'd need quite the humidor to store the cigars that long, haha! I had a Cuban cigar once and couldn't tell the difference but I probably don't have the palette.

I wonder what the recreational drug scene will be like including tobacco and alcohol products -- if they'll still be popular. Wine is a good pick. I always think of one of my favorite Columbo episodes that features and winery owner who likes buying old and rare wines. 

Horse racing will probably be outlawed by then. 

Signaling post-scarcity does seem like one of the most resilient stores of wealth unless we figure out wireheading right and remove the need.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T04:53:18.949Z · LW · GW

Re: value for who. It's a great point. If I was maximizing value for others, I'd probably go with AI safety.

Re: longevity. I'm right there with you. I wrote a whole series on it: https://www.johncgreer.com/the-three-buckets/

Re: fuzzy ownership. Yes, I think of things like the controversy with the British Museum's holdings.

The seashell joke is a good one! I'll have to look up his stuff.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T04:41:25.343Z · LW · GW

Berkshire Hathaway is another safe bet. It would be cool to get actual certificates too. Reminds me of old movies where people are robbing trains for bearer bonds.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T04:40:20.373Z · LW · GW

Vanguard isn't cheating, haha. I think it's one of the safest bets but it is so difficult to know what kind of government/economic systems will be around and negate the wealth.

Comment by JohnGreer on What Would You Store to Maximize Value in 100 Years? A Thought Experiment · 2021-05-18T04:34:58.303Z · LW · GW

I like the out of the box answer! It'd be an interesting thought experiment of it's own to figure out how to best store reputation. I'm not sure how valuable 100 year old data about people's spending habits would be, though, except as a historical novelty.

Comment by JohnGreer on April 15, 2040 · 2021-05-05T04:06:56.536Z · LW · GW

This was a fun read! Thanks for writing it!

Comment by JohnGreer on Notes on Robert McIntyre’s Brain Preservation Talk at the Long Now Foundation · 2021-04-30T22:44:36.322Z · LW · GW

You're welcome, Charlie!

Yes, I would love to interview him and find out.

Comment by JohnGreer on Notes on Robert McIntyre’s Brain Preservation Talk at the Long Now Foundation · 2021-04-30T22:42:45.971Z · LW · GW

You're welcome, Charlie!

Yes, I would love to interview him and find out.

Comment by JohnGreer on Better air is the easiest way not to die · 2021-04-28T20:27:44.991Z · LW · GW

Yes, I had the exact same experience. I was happy to see it works but it can be kind of annoying because it's the loudest right when we're going to eat or watch something.

Comment by JohnGreer on Core Pathways of Aging · 2021-03-29T17:53:14.426Z · LW · GW

Thanks for writing this up! We need more people thinking about how to defeat aging. 

Curious if you've read Nintil's posts? https://nintil.com/categories/aging/

Comment by JohnGreer on "If You're Not a Holy Madman, You're Not Trying" · 2021-02-28T20:14:03.678Z · LW · GW

Thanks for writing this out. I'm more sympathetic to Nate Soares view and wish more rationalists would take action on their beliefs and this is useful to point to the distinction that exists.

Comment by JohnGreer on How to Improve Your Sleep · 2021-02-02T20:22:00.434Z · LW · GW

I asked a sleep doc this:
"I’ve read a lot of advice about using the bed just for sleep and sex. I’m wondering if there’s actually some special reason why sex is an exception or if it’s just to be pragmatic (you don’t think people will actually refrain from using their beds for sex)?"

He said this:
"Good question. You’re right that it’s not about sex itself. Just that sex doesn’t really seem to interfere with the bed/sleep conditioning process. It (usually) does not take hours and hours like tossing and turning. Plus, there are reasons it may enhance ability to sleep..."

Comment by JohnGreer on The Power of Annealing · 2020-12-17T01:43:46.414Z · LW · GW

Mike Johnson's article might interest you! https://opentheory.net/2019/11/neural-annealing-toward-a-neural-theory-of-everything/

Comment by JohnGreer on What is “protein folding”? A brief explanation · 2020-12-01T16:57:58.940Z · LW · GW

I would also love your take on his opinion!

Comment by JohnGreer on What could be done with RNA and DNA sequencing that's 1000x cheaper than it's now? · 2018-06-27T21:19:15.546Z · LW · GW

That talk is one of my favorites ever and so inspiring. Upvoting for actually doing the exercise!

Comment by JohnGreer on Trivial inconveniences as an antidote to akrasia · 2018-05-19T02:29:29.515Z · LW · GW

I find that trivial inconveniences become less powerful the more I go through the routine of overcoming them. For example, I delete apps and re-install them and am now used to the process so while it still helps it's become less of an inconvenience now that I'm acclimatized to the process. It seems good to try to reduce/get acclimated to trivial inconveniences that stop us from doing useful things and try to increase them for non-optimal things (and also beware starting a routine of getting used to them).

The mailbox thing is a really interesting idea (provided it doesn't get messed up by the postal worker trying to fit a package in there and dropping it)!

Your mom and you might be interested in this as well if you didn't know about it: https://www.thekitchensafe.com/

Comment by JohnGreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-15T02:57:02.142Z · LW · GW

"Conceptual gerrymandering" is a very useful concept. Thanks for writing the post.

Comment by JohnGreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-12T22:45:52.356Z · LW · GW
If I were Tom Clancy I hope that I would not have published Debt of Honor. I don't know whether terrorists were inspired by it, but at least for me it's pretty clearly in the "not worth the risk" category.

I get the argument but then I'm wondering where it stops? Don't direct A Clockwork Orange because there's a high likelihood that copycat murders will happen? Stop production on all things where someone might copy something harmful?

Comment by JohnGreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-12T20:21:36.956Z · LW · GW

It seems implementing systems that prevent hijacking of planes is easier with how airports and plane travel work vs how much would need to change to stop vehicles being used in attacks. Seems similar to the debate over whether the Slaughterbots video and campaign to stop autonomous weapons will be successful. The supporters use nuclear weapons policy as the success story but it may not be the most useful comparison because nuclear weapons are much easier technology to restrict.

Comment by JohnGreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-12T15:03:11.113Z · LW · GW

This reminds me of my favorite TV show Survivor. There are a number of reasons why it's great, but one aspect that is so fun to watch is seeing someone come up with a new strategy or tactic and then seeing how it immediately gets adopted in the later seasons. One of the most intellectual players, Yau-Man Chan, had the idea to create a fake immunity idol. Now it is standard to save pieces from things to try to make one. Russell Hantz started looking for hidden idols before clues to them were even found. That's become standard too and new strategies and counter-strategies keep being invented and you can see how fast memes take off in the show. From sanitation to eating Tide Pods, memes are powerful.

Comment by JohnGreer on The Chromatic Number of the Plane is at Least 5 - Aubrey de Grey · 2018-04-12T22:46:55.112Z · LW · GW
I hope Aubrey de Grey negotiated the moral trade with the mathematicians successfully, and now that he solved one of their most beloved problems, they will start working on solving aging.

Haha, this would be wonderful. Let's get Terence Tao on the aging problem!

Comment by JohnGreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-11T06:08:05.364Z · LW · GW
I kind of like the lightweight obligation/excuse to repeat the meal which is incurred by having one person pay.

Mm, I see. I guess I don't find I need to incentivize friends to get together. And this norm would be for more casual and/or business meetings in which case I doubt people would be getting back together because they felt obliged to pay for the next meal.

Comment by JohnGreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-10T07:28:24.595Z · LW · GW

The one off vs repeat interactions is a good point. I guess my dream scenario is to have this become a meme and in-turn a norm.

I think the worst co-diner's preference is usually to awkwardly ignore that the bill is there in which case I assume their preference is that we pay for their lunch. I suppose I can say "Would you like to Venmo us or pay cash?" or something like that if we don't think it's worth it offer to pay for their lunch.

Comment by JohnGreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-09T02:39:31.293Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the reply! I don't mind letting people pay if they genuinely want to and our in a better position to. The problem is that in many instances there does seem to be a signaling game like there is in Chinese culture with refusing gifts at first, where just accepting without protesting is considered rude.

Comment by JohnGreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-09T02:15:19.456Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the reply! Switching off for who pays is something I do and don't mind but it's only applied to friends who meet semi-regularly. The problem with business meetings, is that it's unlikely I'm going to be meeting them again in the future on any regular basis, if it all.

Comment by JohnGreer on April Fools: Announcing: Karma 2.0 · 2018-04-02T04:19:01.854Z · LW · GW

No flashing neon text? A bit disappointing but happy to see refreshing innovation from the rationality community...

Comment by JohnGreer on On the Loss and Preservation of Knowledge · 2018-03-27T09:30:22.684Z · LW · GW

For those that like this topic, the fiction book The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is probably worth reading.

Comment by JohnGreer on Making yourself small · 2018-03-16T07:40:28.825Z · LW · GW

Thank you!

Comment by JohnGreer on Making yourself small · 2018-03-13T06:31:19.133Z · LW · GW

Thanks for writing this! I would love to hear more about this and if you have links in mind, would love to read them:

"As with lots of interpersonal concepts, this can also be useful internally: if you’re familiar with internal double crux / internal family systems / other “parts-work”, play around with the motion of having parts of yourself make themselves small (or big)."

Comment by JohnGreer on Lessons from the Cold War on Information Hazards: Why Internal Communication is Critical · 2018-02-26T07:34:25.887Z · LW · GW

For people interested in nuclear war history, the 2003 documentary The Fog of War is wonderful. Alex Wellerstein's blog is also great: http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2014/08/08/kyoto-misconception/

This also reminds me of how companies may benefit like Buffer's commitment to transparency: https://open.buffer.com/transparency-timeline/

Unfortunately, with an entity like the US government and military it seems like a hard inadequate equilibria to overcome even if certain actors knew better communication was more effective overall. It seems like coming up with the optimal organizations of groups (branches of the military, intelligence services, government entities) or lack thereof and the hierarchy and responsibilities within and between them is one of the major blockages.

Edit: I found an interesting prescriptive article of potential ways to overcome the problems I discussed: http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2016/03/18/conversation-with-a-super-spook/

Comment by JohnGreer on The Monthly Newsletter as Thinking Tool · 2018-02-09T22:46:56.034Z · LW · GW

Yes, that's a good point regarding having to be mindful of the shared history and not wanting to have to change that to open it up to a broader audience. I guess the easiest thing to do would be to write the same and have the para-readers like me accept that they just won't get certain references.

Comment by JohnGreer on Arbital postmortem · 2018-02-08T06:29:11.143Z · LW · GW

That's okay! Thanks for mentioning it at all. I'm exploring content on there now. :)

Comment by JohnGreer on The Monthly Newsletter as Thinking Tool · 2018-02-07T00:53:32.980Z · LW · GW

This is a great idea! I think it is different from regular blogging in that it's more of a book club/reading group in newsletter form. How much time do you think you spend on it per month? I would also be interested in reading it if you're open to sharing.

Comment by JohnGreer on Arbital postmortem · 2018-02-06T21:52:38.233Z · LW · GW

Which specific content on http://platformed.info/ would you recommend?

Comment by JohnGreer on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-02-04T03:42:07.069Z · LW · GW

That's a smart idea!

Comment by JohnGreer on Examples of Mitigating Assumption Risk · 2017-12-04T02:58:28.621Z · LW · GW

Backup your stuff: My backup process is to scan or take pictures of items. Put files on an external hard drive. Backup that external drive to another external hard drive. Then I backup up everything to the cloud through Backblaze. That way you have the physical items themselves, the items on hard drive1 that you take with you, the items on hard drive2 that you store somewhere, AND everything is on the cloud. It may seem excessive but it's easy once you have everything set up. There are more risk mitigation tips in my post on my experiences prepping for a hurricane for those interested.

Comment by JohnGreer on Project proposal: Rationality Cookbook · 2017-11-22T16:02:23.248Z · LW · GW

This is an interesting idea but I think something like it already exists: http://curetogether.com/conditions