RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus 2020-08-04T10:05:29.718Z · score: 38 (16 votes)
Kevin's Shortform 2020-04-25T11:14:08.963Z · score: 8 (1 votes)
Jaan Tallinn: A Skype founder on biomonitors, existential risk and simulated realities 2013-06-01T00:52:57.304Z · score: 7 (9 votes)
Nick Bostrom: Moral uncertainty – towards a solution? [link, 2009] 2012-03-08T11:07:01.051Z · score: -6 (15 votes)
Japan Weighed Evacuating Tokyo in Nuclear Crisis [link] 2012-02-28T10:45:52.187Z · score: -7 (10 votes)
Fissure opens in chess AI scene [link] 2012-01-23T02:14:46.525Z · score: -4 (17 votes)
Details of lab-made bird flu won't be revealed [link] 2011-12-25T00:17:11.104Z · score: 8 (11 votes)
Spend Money on Ergonomics 2011-12-23T06:40:08.943Z · score: 45 (55 votes)
Larry King: I want to be frozen 2011-12-05T02:11:11.400Z · score: 9 (12 votes)
Kickstarter fundraising for largest Tesla Coils in history 2011-11-28T05:48:15.225Z · score: 1 (12 votes)
One pixel electronic contact lens tested on rabbits [link] 2011-11-22T11:31:07.392Z · score: 2 (7 votes)
The nocebo effect [link] 2011-11-14T12:59:13.438Z · score: 1 (4 votes)
A Brief Rant On The Future Of Interaction Design [link] 2011-11-11T09:15:32.070Z · score: 1 (10 votes)
Michael Lewis on Kahneman and Tversky! [link] 2011-11-09T00:49:58.184Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Particles break light-speed limit? 2011-09-23T11:00:36.866Z · score: 9 (20 votes)
Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies. [link] 2011-09-23T05:10:52.859Z · score: 5 (10 votes)
Bayesian Conspiracy @ Burning Man 2011 2011-07-21T05:16:24.565Z · score: 9 (12 votes)
Making an Amanda Knox prediction market 2011-06-30T00:53:26.331Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Nevada Passes Law Authorizing Driverless Cars 2011-06-23T23:08:52.814Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
The Multiverse Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics [link] 2011-06-03T08:45:19.330Z · score: 9 (12 votes)
Ben Goertzel interviews Michael Anissimov regarding existential risk [link] 2011-04-20T22:07:34.703Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Ray Kurzweil on The Colbert Report [video embed] 2011-04-17T10:32:51.347Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Virgin Galactic hiring full time astronauts [link] 2011-04-12T01:02:08.375Z · score: -9 (13 votes)
The Stoner Arms Dealers [link via] 2011-03-21T09:57:21.910Z · score: -20 (25 votes)
Less Wrong at Burning Man 2011 2011-03-09T01:17:00.485Z · score: 8 (11 votes)
Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software [link] 2011-03-06T10:26:12.072Z · score: 3 (10 votes)
NASA scientist finds evidence of alien life [link] 2011-03-06T10:22:48.419Z · score: 1 (8 votes)
Singularity Institute now accepts donations via Bitcoin 2011-02-28T16:03:32.243Z · score: 14 (15 votes)
IBM Watson Research Team Answers Your Questions [link] 2011-02-23T22:50:10.592Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Ken Jennings to give 50% of Watson competiton winnings to VillageReach [link] 2011-02-10T19:13:59.246Z · score: 8 (13 votes)
Richard Dawkins: Should employers be blind to private beliefs? [link] 2011-01-25T19:57:20.424Z · score: 4 (7 votes)
The Mathematics of Beauty [link] 2011-01-12T06:51:22.352Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) 2011-01-02T09:58:46.996Z · score: 10 (11 votes)
Every "best paper" from Computer Science conferences since 1996 [link] 2010-12-30T11:03:49.505Z · score: 4 (7 votes)
MoNETA: A Mind Made from Memristors [link] 2010-12-29T10:57:33.252Z · score: 2 (7 votes)
Newtonmas Meetup, 12/25/2010 2010-12-22T06:27:22.566Z · score: 8 (11 votes)
Disruption of the right temporoparietal junction with transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces the role of beliefs in moral judgments 2010-12-15T14:44:05.499Z · score: 0 (3 votes)
Unsolved Problems in Philosophy Part 1: The Liar's Paradox 2010-11-30T08:56:51.279Z · score: 4 (11 votes)
localroger: Replotting The Transmigration of Prime Intellect 2010-11-25T07:33:38.809Z · score: 2 (11 votes)
Rolf Nelson: How to deter a rogue AI by using your first-mover advantage 2010-11-17T14:02:44.444Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
Criticisms of CEV (request for links) 2010-11-16T04:02:20.548Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Public international law 2010-11-10T10:10:02.647Z · score: -13 (16 votes)
Making the Universe Last Forever By Throwing Away Entropy Into Basement Universes? 2010-11-09T12:03:09.418Z · score: -2 (9 votes)
This Is How Bill and Hillary Discuss Dinner Options 2010-11-09T09:08:13.898Z · score: -6 (9 votes)
What are the best demoable findings in cogsci? 2010-11-08T10:22:18.879Z · score: 0 (3 votes)
Conjoined twins who share a brain/experience? 2010-11-06T00:44:53.675Z · score: 12 (17 votes)
.1% of human liver grown in lab for first time 2010-10-31T11:58:51.789Z · score: 1 (4 votes)
Ben Goertzel: The Singularity Institute's Scary Idea (and Why I Don't Buy It) 2010-10-30T03:25:24.493Z · score: 11 (14 votes)
You don't need barefoot shoes to start walking differently. 2010-10-15T06:41:34.772Z · score: -3 (12 votes)
Ben Goertzel: What Would It Take to Move Rapidly Toward Beneficial Human-Level AGI? 2010-10-11T09:01:27.508Z · score: 2 (7 votes)


Comment by kevin on RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus · 2020-08-05T07:47:28.174Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think until recently 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 · score: 4 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (1 votes) · 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 · score: -1 (3 votes) · 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 · score: 6 (3 votes) · 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 · score: 4 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 3 (4 votes) · 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 · score: 8 (4 votes) · 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 · score: 4 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 5 (3 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 3 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 10 (6 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 4 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Comment by kevin on Singularity Institute now accepts donations via Bitcoin · 2013-11-19T14:40:55.601Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · 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 · score: 1 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 1 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 0 (0 votes) · 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 · score: 7 (7 votes) · 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 · score: 7 (7 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 11 (11 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (6 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 1 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by kevin on Compromise: Send Meta Discussions to the Unofficial LessWrong Subreddit · 2013-04-23T04:45:29.416Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · 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 · score: 0 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 1 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 5 (5 votes) · 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 · score: -27 (33 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by kevin on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-26T02:20:35.131Z · score: -2 (24 votes) · 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 · score: 1 (11 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (2 votes) · 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 · score: 1 (1 votes) · 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 · score: 5 (5 votes) · 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 · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by kevin on Farewell Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) · 2013-01-13T11:51:20.764Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · 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 · score: -3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

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

Comment by kevin on Morality is Awesome · 2013-01-06T02:56:20.464Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like the word awesome a lot, but as a particular useful word in English have noticed it becoming very overused of late.

Awesome decomposes to full of awe, or inspiring of awe. Wondersome, full of wonder or inspiring of wonder, seems like it would be similarly useful.

Can anyone coin relevant neologisms?

Comment by Kevin on [deleted post] 2012-12-25T09:24:54.421Z

Probably not have retributive justice

Comment by Kevin on [deleted post] 2012-12-25T07:33:40.109Z

Taboo ethics

Comment by Kevin on [deleted post] 2012-12-25T06:05:16.320Z

This post is a clever troll attempt and makes my applause lights go off.

Comment by kevin on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-25T05:55:50.799Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What would the response to this have been if instead of "censorship policy" the phrase would have been "community standard"?

Comment by kevin on Firewalling the Optimal from the Rational · 2012-12-21T07:29:55.637Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I also replied on Reddit... but I'm wondering if co-administering magnesium would fix this. Or test if Concentrace (, mostly my favorite commercial supplement and a highly bioabsorbable magnesium, improves sleep quality.

Comment by kevin on 2012 Winter Fundraiser for the Singularity Institute · 2012-12-09T11:01:45.687Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Probably the best of all is to be a matching drive sponsor.

I can't argue with that!