RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus 2020-08-04T10:05:29.718Z
Kevin's Shortform 2020-04-25T11:14:08.963Z
Jaan Tallinn: A Skype founder on biomonitors, existential risk and simulated realities 2013-06-01T00:52:57.304Z
Nick Bostrom: Moral uncertainty – towards a solution? [link, 2009] 2012-03-08T11:07:01.051Z
Japan Weighed Evacuating Tokyo in Nuclear Crisis [link] 2012-02-28T10:45:52.187Z
Fissure opens in chess AI scene [link] 2012-01-23T02:14:46.525Z
Details of lab-made bird flu won't be revealed [link] 2011-12-25T00:17:11.104Z
Spend Money on Ergonomics 2011-12-23T06:40:08.943Z
Larry King: I want to be frozen 2011-12-05T02:11:11.400Z
Kickstarter fundraising for largest Tesla Coils in history 2011-11-28T05:48:15.225Z
One pixel electronic contact lens tested on rabbits [link] 2011-11-22T11:31:07.392Z
The nocebo effect [link] 2011-11-14T12:59:13.438Z
A Brief Rant On The Future Of Interaction Design [link] 2011-11-11T09:15:32.070Z
Michael Lewis on Kahneman and Tversky! [link] 2011-11-09T00:49:58.184Z
Particles break light-speed limit? 2011-09-23T11:00:36.866Z
Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies. [link] 2011-09-23T05:10:52.859Z
Bayesian Conspiracy @ Burning Man 2011 2011-07-21T05:16:24.565Z
Making an Amanda Knox prediction market 2011-06-30T00:53:26.331Z
Nevada Passes Law Authorizing Driverless Cars 2011-06-23T23:08:52.814Z
The Multiverse Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics [link] 2011-06-03T08:45:19.330Z
Ben Goertzel interviews Michael Anissimov regarding existential risk [link] 2011-04-20T22:07:34.703Z
Ray Kurzweil on The Colbert Report [video embed] 2011-04-17T10:32:51.347Z
Virgin Galactic hiring full time astronauts [link] 2011-04-12T01:02:08.375Z
The Stoner Arms Dealers [link via] 2011-03-21T09:57:21.910Z
Less Wrong at Burning Man 2011 2011-03-09T01:17:00.485Z
Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software [link] 2011-03-06T10:26:12.072Z
NASA scientist finds evidence of alien life [link] 2011-03-06T10:22:48.419Z
Singularity Institute now accepts donations via Bitcoin 2011-02-28T16:03:32.243Z
IBM Watson Research Team Answers Your Questions [link] 2011-02-23T22:50:10.592Z
Ken Jennings to give 50% of Watson competiton winnings to VillageReach [link] 2011-02-10T19:13:59.246Z
Richard Dawkins: Should employers be blind to private beliefs? [link] 2011-01-25T19:57:20.424Z
The Mathematics of Beauty [link] 2011-01-12T06:51:22.352Z
New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) 2011-01-02T09:58:46.996Z
Every "best paper" from Computer Science conferences since 1996 [link] 2010-12-30T11:03:49.505Z
MoNETA: A Mind Made from Memristors [link] 2010-12-29T10:57:33.252Z
Newtonmas Meetup, 12/25/2010 2010-12-22T06:27:22.566Z
Disruption of the right temporoparietal junction with transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces the role of beliefs in moral judgments 2010-12-15T14:44:05.499Z
Unsolved Problems in Philosophy Part 1: The Liar's Paradox 2010-11-30T08:56:51.279Z
localroger: Replotting The Transmigration of Prime Intellect 2010-11-25T07:33:38.809Z
Rolf Nelson: How to deter a rogue AI by using your first-mover advantage 2010-11-17T14:02:44.444Z
Criticisms of CEV (request for links) 2010-11-16T04:02:20.548Z
Public international law 2010-11-10T10:10:02.647Z
Making the Universe Last Forever By Throwing Away Entropy Into Basement Universes? 2010-11-09T12:03:09.418Z
This Is How Bill and Hillary Discuss Dinner Options 2010-11-09T09:08:13.898Z
What are the best demoable findings in cogsci? 2010-11-08T10:22:18.879Z
Conjoined twins who share a brain/experience? 2010-11-06T00:44:53.675Z
.1% of human liver grown in lab for first time 2010-10-31T11:58:51.789Z
Ben Goertzel: The Singularity Institute's Scary Idea (and Why I Don't Buy It) 2010-10-30T03:25:24.493Z
You don't need barefoot shoes to start walking differently. 2010-10-15T06:41:34.772Z
Ben Goertzel: What Would It Take to Move Rapidly Toward Beneficial Human-Level AGI? 2010-10-11T09:01:27.508Z


Comment by Kevin on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T21:47:30.711Z · LW · GW

Is anyone taking the perspective that extreme lock down for >6 months is worse than the slight chance of permanent disability and death?

I have a social bubble that’s about 100 people which still represents social distancing via a 95% reduction in my real social interactions. I have hosted multiple outdoor parties confirmed as not super spreading events, including one favorably reviewed by the lead contact tracer for San Mateo County. I regularly get food delivery and eat in outdoor restaurants. I’ve been to the Black Rock Desert for four weekends this year. Eating inside a restaurant in a Vegas casino and transiting the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno to a hotel room have felt like the riskiest things I have done this pandemic and are around the level of things I regret doing.

I’m happy to be the punching bag for the fatalistic perspective that the cure is worse than the disease given how much we now know about the disease, but it seems like this perspective should be represented.

I also likely had “asymptomatic” covid in early February and took an experimental therapeutic/vaccine about a month ago that may provide me with another six months of immunity or resistance.

Realistically I’ll have difficulty making this event because I’m cleaning up an all night Halloween party in rural California with no 4G and spotty 3g, if you moved it to Monday or Tuesday on my account I could definitely attend.

Comment by Kevin on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2020 · 2020-10-22T21:40:18.774Z · LW · GW

Super lame compared to last year when people were willing to pay thousands of dollars to the code holders or the charity of their choice.

4chan continues inheriting the world.

Comment by Kevin on RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus · 2020-10-22T21:37:48.581Z · LW · GW

I got bogged down on my other company and Color expanded to West Oakland and East Oakland with free next day testing so I missed executing on the immediate business opportunity and the state of covid testing is much better than it was two months ago.

LAMP is still the best way for a citizen scientist to do their own Covid-19 testing. I’m reevaluating this business and may end up coming back to it, possibly with more of a focus on facilitating testing for events.

Comment by Kevin on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T21:34:26.367Z · LW · GW

The culture of local areas here varies enormously in California. Rural California is full of anti mask Republicans and indoor dining is open. I ate inside of an empty French Chinese restaurant in Contra Costa County two weeks ago. Parties on the delta have been wilder than ever over the course of the summer because there was nothing else to do.

In SF and Berkeley, people give you weird looks for not wearing a mask, in Oakland outside of the hot spots people don’t really care.

Politics towards strict lockdowns seem to overlap pretty strictly with liberal social justice advocating attitudes.

Comment by Kevin on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T21:29:13.327Z · LW · GW

Halloween night is the biggest party night of the year in the SF Bay Area and it’s on a Saturday night this year.

Comment by Kevin on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T21:27:49.084Z · LW · GW

Six month immunity is well supported, twelve months is probably significantly too long.

Comment by Kevin on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T21:26:56.671Z · LW · GW

It’s important to sample people from all severities of COVID-19 include “asymptomatic”. It seems likely that the mildest cases of COVID-19 come with no long term disability and that of course being intubated for a month on a cocktail of fentanyl, propofol, and valium comes with serious long term consequences. The question then is how severe and likely are chronic health problems of young to middle aged vitamin d sufficient people that experience Covid-19 with severity somewhere between a regular cold and flu.

Comment by Kevin on RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus · 2020-08-05T07:47:28.174Z · LW · GW

I think until recent throughput issues PCR was basically good enough and some scientists were attached to their hard learned PCR skills, LAMP was new and scary and unfamiliar enough that lots of scientists just didn’t know it was easier and better. Primer design was a serious obstacle in the early days of LAMP but is easy with modern computer primer design tools.

LAMP is also only better than PCR for the things that it is better at. PCR has general applications to biological science and LAMP is only good for an important subset of possible PCR diagnostic tests. I think mainstream scientists lack the understanding of what LAMP can and can’t do and for something as sensitive as HIV testing I can understand that people don’t want to rock the boat and switch to LAMP from PCR.

It’s also relevant that LAMP is only recently leaving patent protection. I’m not sure what the licensing cost structure used to be but now there are no patent license fees pushing through adoption is simpler:

I am going to try and scale towards selling RT-LAMP kits to US states in very high unit amounts; I’m feeling optimistic.

Comment by Kevin on RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus · 2020-08-04T19:58:21.560Z · LW · GW

Does this not get front paged because of coronavirus saturation?

Comment by Kevin on [Link] COVID-19 causing deadly blood clots in younger people · 2020-04-29T06:43:01.012Z · LW · GW is one of the primary sources.

I like the theory that this coronavirus is a blood disease that just mostly seems to hit the lungs because it causes respiratory symptoms.

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome and heart disease seem like the most significant risk factors for serious covid19 cases. I haven't noticed the weight of patients being noted in any of the primary sources on this, but I strongly suspect that most are obese or at least overweight.

Comment by Kevin on How will this recession differ from the last two? · 2020-04-29T06:38:04.934Z · LW · GW

The last recession didn't have a major impact on society. The job market was tough for a few years, but the inevitable progress of technology sent the stock market to all time highs while things continued on as before.

This recession calls into question many of the basic tenets of capitalism. What does it say about the basis of the monetary system if rent and mortgages could be suspended for 6 months with essentially no consequences? The society that comes out of this in a few years may look quite different than the one before as this could be a catalyst for a lot of the world implementing basic income.

If this coronavirus is cured by genetic engineering techniques, then the common cold, HIV, cancer, and much else will also be cured in short order, and the intense focus on treating coronavirus right now means it's not impossible or even unlikely that this could happen. A society with readily available genetic modification is quite different from this one and seriously accelerates singularity timelines.

Comment by Kevin on Kevin's Shortform · 2020-04-25T11:14:09.323Z · LW · GW

I'm considering a long form post against society wide quarantine and towards individual freedom. Given successful curve flattening everywhere outside of NYC, where it's possible that 80% of people have had the virus, huddling in fear has increasing costs over time and human life is not neccessarily of more value than the protection of human rights. It's incredible to see how easily a populace has been totally pacified.

Is anyone willing to share anecdotes about how they've broken quarantine in small ways? I've noticed some community houses talking about best practices for merging quaranteams and certainly many romantic partners nationwide are breaking shelter in place orders to visit. What would it take for you to think that it's ok for romantic partners to visit and community house quaranteams to merge?

Comment by Kevin on Holiday Pitch: Reflecting on Covid and Connection · 2020-04-23T06:37:20.636Z · LW · GW

Covid is traumatic enough that I have no desire to retell the story annually, especially with an emphasis on my least favorite part, large group video calls. There seems to be a subset of people that find video calls really socially satisfying and a subset that's about as large that gets very little value from video as a replacement for in person social encounters. I keep noticing that the people that like video calls project this enjoyment of video calls onto the people that just find them depressing.

Also Passover already occurs annually and happened at the peak of fear during the coronavirus pandemic. This holiday may be redudant anyway with the likely adapations of Rationalist Seder?

Comment by Kevin on How strong is the evidence for hydroxychloroquine? · 2020-04-22T15:41:55.936Z · LW · GW

Dose matters enormously. Hydroxychloroquine is acutely toxic to humans, so using hydroxychloroquine requires you to balance its toxicity versus its antiviral effects. My read of the evidence is that it is ineffective to harmful at the late stages of COVID19 in the dosages high enough to "do something", but taken in the very early stage of the disease (asymptomatic) it might keep the virus contained to its area of initial infection and prevent the disease from migrating to the lungs.

Comment by Kevin on How likely is the COVID-19 apocalyptic scenario? · 2020-04-22T15:25:49.117Z · LW · GW

Most biotech companies in the world have pivoted to working on coronavirus. Failure to win in a year or two seems possible but failure to win over the course of a decade is much less likely, and wins could include safe genetic engineering solutions that cure both the common cold and HIV.

Comment by Kevin on Could city design impact spread of infections? · 2020-04-22T15:18:39.054Z · LW · GW

In NYC, pretty much everyone takes the subway from time to time, 2 meter distancing is impossible, and the underground recycled air is not good. Los Angeles is a much less dense city where most people never take public transit.

Comment by Kevin on How to Build a Lumenator · 2018-08-12T11:40:37.852Z · LW · GW

There are just not very many components here and the design isn't solved enough that I think that would make sense.

There is however a business opportunity in solving the design challenge and then releasing an infomercial marketed light product better than existing solutions.

Comment by Kevin on How to Build a Lumenator · 2018-08-12T11:38:18.073Z · LW · GW

I thought the original builds of this used 5500k bulbs instead of 4000k bulbs.

If you aren't price sensitive, I would try kitting this out with programmable wifi RGB LED lights. That many LED lights in close proximity to each other can create cool effects and you could make a more pleasant light palate by having each bulb at a different color temperature, or having them change to simulate the... sun.

Comment by Kevin on How to Build a Lumenator · 2018-08-12T11:34:05.214Z · LW · GW

The science says unfiltered UV light is bad for you and unfiltered IR light is good for you... darklight box?

But very unclear that staring around infrared light does anything, massive exposure to energetic IR light to you seems to be supported by evidence and human behavior in the winter.

Comment by Kevin on Open Thread August 2018 · 2018-08-12T09:21:25.832Z · LW · GW

An AI with a goal of killing or "preserving" wild animals to reduce suffering is dangerously close to an AI that kills or "preserves" humans with the goal of reducing suffering. I think negative utilitarianism is an unhelpful philosophy best kept to a thought experiment.

I'd like to test a hypothesis around mental health and different moral philosophies as I slowly work on my post claiming that negative utilitarians have co-opted the EA movement to push for animal rights activism. Has anyone done Less Wrong survey statistics before and can easily look for correlates between dietary choice, mental health, and charities supported?

Comment by Kevin on AI Reading Group Thoughts (1/?): The Mandate of Heaven · 2018-08-12T08:54:55.450Z · LW · GW

I've started saying that we are already firmly in the era of transformative AI and I don't thing transformative is the right word for singularity or singleton sorts of speculative AI. That rate of transformation has plenty of space to accelerate, but I like this framing because of the trend of defining AI as whatever doesn't exist yet. Plenty of real AI has remade the world and our lives already; it seems like an improper redefinition of the word transformative to say we aren't there yet.

Is what you describing as "tipping point AI" also something that could be classified as singleton AI? The ability for an AI to destroy other AIs in progress and computer hardware is most of the way towards creating a political singleton.

Comment by Kevin on How to Build a Lumenator · 2018-08-12T08:37:56.304Z · LW · GW

Other things worth trying are infrared saunas and infrared heaters.

I think it's great people engineered a solution that works for their seasonal affective disorder, but I'm skeptical this is a long term population level treatment. I am biased by how subjectively unpleasant I find such lighting systems. In terms of the true physiology of the human body, the visual light energy of the sun impacts the body much less than infrared and ultraviolet light. Therefore, a true treatment for SAD suggests light therapy on non visual spectrums.

An infrared heater has much improved my winter quality of life. Now when it's cold, I look forward to turning on the space heater, because it puts out pleasant sauna like energy instead of feeling like a blow dryer. An infrared heater puts off more negative ions than a conventional space heater. A meta review showed negative ionization of air impacts depression but their prior has them skeptical of the association without current biological mechanism.

Comment by Kevin on Burning Man Meetup: Bayes Camp · 2017-12-28T10:28:24.452Z · LW · GW

The idea that Bayes Camp could have been the most awesome thing at Burning Man is funny to me, looking back on this.

Comment by Kevin on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2014-07-26T21:40:51.641Z · LW · GW

As a speculative ecurrency investor, I am gambling for retirement.

Comment by Kevin on New Year's Predictions Thread · 2014-04-18T08:58:13.259Z · LW · GW

Comment by Kevin on Singularity Institute now accepts donations via Bitcoin · 2013-11-19T14:40:55.601Z · LW · GW

We should have done this! How'd it go for you?

Comment by Kevin on What makes you different from Tim Ferriss? · 2013-06-24T14:43:29.287Z · LW · GW

He's a better popular non-fiction writer.

Comment by Kevin on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2013-05-16T04:18:18.294Z · LW · GW

Is it rational to invest in Bitcoins for retirement?

Comment by Kevin on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2013-05-16T04:17:41.314Z · LW · GW

You can withdraw money from a traditional IRA for a first time home purchase without penalty, I think.

Comment by Kevin on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-14T10:44:35.166Z · LW · GW

I just meant that paying $300/month for driveway parking would seem crazy to the large set of people used to paying $300/month or less for nice housing inside in various other parts of the world.

Comment by Kevin on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-12T00:35:59.318Z · LW · GW

Probably more like $3500 in the Bay Area.

Lasik circa 2013 is way, way, way better than Lasik circa 2003. It's mostly done by machine based on a precalculated map of your eye. Correcting higher order aberrations improves aspects of your vision that can't be improved by glasses or contacts. To me, this feels like vastly improved 3d vision resolution. I can see the intricate structure of the leaves of trees much better than before.

The cost is reasonable enough when amortized over a decade. Lasik sort of wears off over time, so worst case, plan on getting your eyes lasered every decade. Or, plan on getting them lasered for a decade or two, and then get a lens replacement when they can come with high resolution heads up displays.

Comment by Kevin on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-10T22:20:39.344Z · LW · GW

I knew that home film studio would be useful for something...

Comment by Kevin on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-10T22:17:23.879Z · LW · GW

In the crazy economics of Bay Area housing, driveway parking for a van in a desirable location with electricity and shower access is $200-$300/month.

Comment by Kevin on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-10T22:03:48.132Z · LW · GW

For something widely and intuitively believed to be true, I haven't seen the evidence.

Comment by Kevin on New applied rationality workshops (April, May, and July) · 2013-05-10T04:08:11.796Z · LW · GW

1) There isn't that much of a pragmatic difference between whether the money is going to the workshop cost or to keep the CFAR doors open year round. CFAR needs to keep the doors open year round in order to continue to be able to host workshops and keep developing and refining curriculum. The venues and food are always great, but not $1000/night nice.

2) There's something about the weekend retreat format that allows for a really strongly transformative experience. Your time at a CFAR workshop somehow feels more significant than your time in everyday life, like each moment is just pulsing with more of the very fiber that gives reality its existence. This also results in some optimization for remembering self -- the moments at the CFAR workshop feel like something that will be remembered and deconstructed for far longer than the experience itself lasts. And there is a neat change towards increased emotional openness that happens over the course of spending such an intense weekend with new friends. Also, the kinds of people that attend $3900 weekend workshops can make for incredibly high value networking.

3) I expect it will happen eventually, sure.

Comment by Kevin on [LINK] Antibiotic seemingly improves decision-making in the presence of attractive women. · 2013-05-08T03:18:16.293Z · LW · GW

Agreed. , an incredibly potent dopamine reuptake inhibitor, was discovered while investigating antibiotics.

Comment by Kevin on Rationalist Lent · 2013-05-02T02:41:07.697Z · LW · GW


Comment by Kevin on Compromise: Send Meta Discussions to the Unofficial LessWrong Subreddit · 2013-04-23T04:45:29.416Z · LW · GW

We could just have a meta thread on Less Wrong.

Comment by Kevin on Bitcoins are not digital greenbacks · 2013-04-20T20:40:13.408Z · LW · GW

See this (somewhat unreasonable) speculation from Paul Graham that bitcoin was created by a government.

Comment by Kevin on The Amanda Knox Test: How an Hour on the Internet Beats a Year in the Courtroom · 2013-04-04T10:00:20.656Z · LW · GW

It's a possibility, I think, but it would be a very political issue if it happened, and I would expect the US Department of State to intervene to prevent it.

Comment by Kevin on Co-Working Collaboration to Combat Akrasia · 2013-03-07T05:27:09.770Z · LW · GW

You can hire remote assistants (typically in the Phillipines) to do this for you via a Skype window for about $1/hour. I thought someone from here was doing that?

Comment by Kevin on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-26T10:05:41.911Z · LW · GW


Comment by Kevin on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-26T02:20:35.131Z · LW · GW

Can you please stop with this meta discussion?

I banned the last discussion post on the Basilisk, not Eliezer. I'll let this one stand for now as you've put some effort into this post. However, I believe that these meta discussions are as annoyingly toxic as anything at all on Less Wrong. You are not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by continuing to ride this.

The reputational damage to Less Wrong has been done. Is there really anything to be gained by flipping moderation policy?

At this point, let's not taunt people with the right kind of mental pathology to be made very uncomfortable by the basilisk or meta-set of basilisks.

Comment by Kevin on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-26T02:16:43.612Z · LW · GW

At this point it is this annoying, toxic meta discussion that is the problem.

Comment by Kevin on Singularity Institute is now Machine Intelligence Research Institute · 2013-02-03T06:02:24.951Z · LW · GW


Even when they do have it in their hypothesis space, it still gets mangled. I recently got a follow-up email from someone that still thought I was Singularity University. I had briefly explained to him about how SU had acquired the Singularity Summit from us, and his follow-up email said "now that you have acquired the Singularity Summit, you may be interested in my product..."

Comment by Kevin on Singularity Institute is now Machine Intelligence Research Institute · 2013-02-01T01:44:56.035Z · LW · GW


irm-y? Sounds like squirm. Or the name Erma.

Comment by Kevin on Thoughts on the January CFAR workshop · 2013-01-31T14:07:04.384Z · LW · GW

Offering everyone modafinil or something at the beginning of future workshops might help with this.

It would help, but would inevitably offend people and not at all worth the consequences.

Comment by Kevin on Meetup report: How harmful is cannabis, and will you change your habits? · 2013-01-15T03:21:33.670Z · LW · GW


Comment by Kevin on Farewell Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) · 2013-01-13T11:51:20.764Z · LW · GW

No, I was being serious, thinking that federal prisons are a great deal safer than state and county prisons. A cursory search says this may be marginally true but not to the extent that I should have reasonably claimed that the US Federal prison system doesn't have a rape problem. Clearly there is a rape problem.

Comment by Kevin on Farewell Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) · 2013-01-13T00:43:12.829Z · LW · GW

The US Federal prison system doesn't really have a rape problem and is quite safe for prisoners.