Are aircraft carriers super vulnerable in a modern war? 2020-09-20T18:52:29.270Z · score: 14 (5 votes)
Titan (the Wealthfront of active stock picking) - What's the catch? 2020-08-06T01:06:04.599Z · score: 10 (3 votes)
Asset Prices Consistently Violate Efficient Market Hypothesis 2020-07-28T14:21:15.220Z · score: 11 (7 votes)
Half-Baked Products and Idea Kernels 2020-06-24T01:00:20.466Z · score: 53 (19 votes)
Liron's Shortform 2020-06-09T12:27:51.078Z · score: 7 (1 votes)
How does publishing a paper work? 2020-05-21T12:14:17.589Z · score: 42 (19 votes)
Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? 2020-05-18T01:56:58.415Z · score: 23 (12 votes)
How About a Remote Variolation Study? 2020-04-03T12:04:04.439Z · score: 27 (8 votes)
How to Frame Negative Feedback as Forward-Facing Guidance 2020-02-09T02:47:37.230Z · score: 47 (19 votes)
The Power to Draw Better 2019-11-18T03:06:02.832Z · score: 37 (15 votes)
The Thinking Ladder - Wait But Why 2019-09-29T18:51:00.409Z · score: 21 (5 votes)
Is Specificity a Mental Model? 2019-09-28T22:53:56.886Z · score: 22 (6 votes)
The Power to Teach Concepts Better 2019-09-23T00:21:55.849Z · score: 87 (27 votes)
The Power to Be Emotionally Mature 2019-09-16T02:41:37.604Z · score: 27 (11 votes)
The Power to Understand "God" 2019-09-12T18:38:00.438Z · score: 16 (14 votes)
The Power to Solve Climate Change 2019-09-12T18:37:32.672Z · score: 31 (19 votes)
The Power to Make Scientific Breakthroughs 2019-09-08T04:14:14.402Z · score: 23 (7 votes)
Examples of Examples 2019-09-06T14:04:07.511Z · score: 19 (7 votes)
The Power to Judge Startup Ideas 2019-09-04T15:07:25.486Z · score: 87 (41 votes)
How Specificity Works 2019-09-03T12:11:36.216Z · score: 88 (44 votes)
The Power to Demolish Bad Arguments 2019-09-02T12:57:23.341Z · score: 85 (58 votes)
Specificity: Your Brain's Superpower 2019-09-02T12:53:55.022Z · score: 53 (28 votes)
What are the biggest "moonshots" currently in progress? 2019-09-01T19:41:22.556Z · score: 15 (7 votes)
Is there a simple parameter that controls human working memory capacity, which has been set tragically low? 2019-08-23T22:10:40.154Z · score: 16 (7 votes)
Is the "business cycle" an actual economic principle? 2019-06-18T14:52:00.348Z · score: 45 (14 votes)
Is "physical nondeterminism" a meaningful concept? 2019-06-16T15:55:58.198Z · score: 24 (6 votes)
What's the most annoying part of your life/job? 2016-10-23T03:37:55.440Z · score: 13 (16 votes)
Quick puzzle about utility functions under affine transformations 2016-07-16T17:11:25.988Z · score: 6 (7 votes)
You Are A Brain - Intro to LW/Rationality Concepts [Video & Slides] 2015-08-16T05:51:51.459Z · score: 13 (16 votes)
Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 2015-02-09T18:58:17.449Z · score: 15 (20 votes)
A proposed inefficiency in the Bitcoin markets 2013-12-27T03:48:56.031Z · score: 3 (34 votes)
Atkins Diet - How Should I Update? 2012-06-11T21:40:14.138Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Quixey Challenge - Fix a bug in 1 minute, win $100. Refer a winner, win $50. 2012-01-19T19:39:58.264Z · score: 6 (45 votes)
Quixey is hiring a writer 2012-01-05T06:22:06.326Z · score: 10 (17 votes)
Quixey - startup applying LW-style rationality - hiring engineers 2011-09-28T04:50:45.130Z · score: 27 (28 votes)
Quixey Engineering Screening Questions 2010-10-09T10:33:23.188Z · score: 2 (19 votes)
Bloggingheads: Robert Wright and Eliezer Yudkowsky 2010-08-07T06:09:32.684Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
Selfishness Signals Status 2010-03-07T03:38:30.190Z · score: 1 (37 votes)
Med Patient Social Networks Are Better Scientific Institutions 2010-02-19T08:11:21.500Z · score: 37 (45 votes)
What is the Singularity Summit? 2009-09-16T07:18:06.675Z · score: 10 (19 votes)
You Are A Brain 2009-05-09T21:53:26.771Z · score: 114 (124 votes)


Comment by liron on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2020 · 2020-09-26T21:57:00.453Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Because the driver expects that the consequences of running you over will be asymmetrically bad for them (and you), compared to the rest of humanity. Actions that take humanity down with you perversely feel less urgent to avoid.

Comment by liron on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2020 · 2020-09-26T21:44:45.808Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah I was off base there. The Nash Equilibrium is nontrivial because some players will challenge themselves to “win” by tricking the group with button access to push it. Plus probably other reasons I haven’t thought of.

Comment by liron on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2020 · 2020-09-26T08:48:08.848Z · score: 11 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Right now it seems like the Nash equilibrium is pretty stable at everyone not pressing the button. Maybe we can simulate adding in some lower-priority yet still compelling pressure to press the button, analogous to Petrov’s need to follow orders or the US’s need to prevent Russians from stationing nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Comment by liron on Are aircraft carriers super vulnerable in a modern war? · 2020-09-24T14:43:38.978Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wow A+ answer, thanks!

Comment by liron on Covid 9/17: It’s Worse · 2020-09-17T22:25:07.625Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Now that so much of California has burned, does that mean we’re in good shape for a few years of mild fire seasons?

Comment by liron on Book Review: Working With Contracts · 2020-09-17T10:57:04.947Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the informative and easily-readable summary! This makes me wish Blinkist would add a checkbox to enable good epistemology in their book summaries. Or more plausibly, makes me want to contribute some summaries here too.

Comment by liron on How to teach things well · 2020-08-29T18:32:32.406Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Re examples of toy examples with moving parts:

Andy Grove’s classic book High Output Management starts with the example of a diner that has to produce breakfasts with cooked eggs, and keeps referring to it to teach management concepts.

Minute Physics introduces a “Spacetime Globe” to visualize spacetime (the way a globe visualizes the Earth’s surface) and refers to it often starting at 3:25 in this video:

Comment by liron on How to teach things well · 2020-08-29T18:24:41.595Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My favorite part was the advice to highlight what’s important, and it helped that you applied your own advice by highlighting that the most important part of your lesson is the advice to highlight the most important part of your lesson.

I’ve previously attempted to elaborate on why examples are helpful for teaching:

Comment by liron on The Wrong Side of Risk · 2020-08-24T18:56:37.993Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
You can make money from an out-of-the-money short call even if the stock goes up

Oh so in this case you're selling a call, but you can't be said to be "shorting the stock" because you still benefit from a higher price?

Comment by liron on What posts on finance would your find helpful or interesting? · 2020-08-24T18:54:43.188Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nice ones. The first is probably the one that most accounts for funds like Titan marketing themselves misleadingly (IMO), but the others are still important caveats of the definition and good to know.

Comment by liron on The Wrong Side of Risk · 2020-08-24T12:31:15.525Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You are allowed to be bearish at times, but it's better to sell calls or buy anticorrelated bonds and continue to collect the risk premium, than to short the stocks and be on the hook for the dividends or buyouts.

Doesn’t “sell calls” mean the same thing as “short the stocks”?

Comment by liron on What posts on finance would your find helpful or interesting? · 2020-08-23T14:08:16.932Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I’ve been wondering what are the caveats with relying on Sharpe ratio to measure how much risk was taken to get an investment’s returns.

For example, Titan touts a high Sharpe ratio, and frames its marketing like it’s better than the S&P in every way with no downside: see

But doesn’t EMH imply that all Sharpe ratios long term will tend to the same average value, i.e. no one can have a sufficiently replicable strategy that gives more returns without more risk?

And in the case of Titan, is the “catch” to their Sharpe ratio that they have higher downside exposure to momentum reversal and multiple contraction?

Comment by liron on Inner Alignment: Explain like I'm 12 Edition · 2020-08-09T11:36:41.436Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hm ya I guess the causality between sex and babies (even sex and visible pregnancy) is so far away in time that it’s tough to make a brain want to “make babies”.

But I don’t think computationally intractability of how actions effect inclusive genetic fitness is quite why evolution made such crude heuristics. Because if a brain understood that it was trying to maximize that quantity, I think it could figure out “have a lot of sex” as a heuristic approach without evolution hard-coding it in. And I think humans actually do have some level of in-brain goals to have more descendants beyond just having more sex. So I think these things like sex pleasure are just performance optimizations to a mentally tractable challenge.

E.g. snakes quickly triggering a fear reflex

Comment by liron on Inner Alignment: Explain like I'm 12 Edition · 2020-08-08T23:22:50.586Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the ELI12, much appreciated.

evolution's objective of "maximize inclusive genetic fitness" is quite simple, but it is still not represented explicitly because figuring out how actions affect the objective is computationally hard

This doesn’t seem like the bottleneck in many situations in practice. For example, a lot of young men feel like they want to have as much sex as possible, but not father as many kids as possible. I’m not sure exactly what the reason is, but I don’t think it’s the computational difficulty of representing having kids vs. having sex, because humans already build a world model containing the concept of “my kids”.

It seems to me that one under-appreciated aspect of Inner Alignment is that, even if one had the one-true-utility-function-that-is-all-you-need-to-program-into-AI, this would not, in fact, solve the alignment problem, nor even the intent-alignment part. It would merely solve outer alignment (provided the utility function can be formalized).

Damn, yep I for one under-appreciated this for the past 12 years.

What else have people said on this subject? Do folks think that scenarios where we solve outer alignment most likely involve us not having to struggle much with inner alignment? Because fully solving outer alignment implies a lot of deep progress in alignment.

Comment by liron on Titan (the Wealthfront of active stock picking) - What's the catch? · 2020-08-07T12:16:50.397Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I guess my point is that mutual funds are kind of scammy, and this is no exception. It’s known that index funds do better than mutual funds over the long term, but they’re marketing themselves like their long-term focus is what makes them better than investing in index funds.

Comment by liron on Tools for keeping focused · 2020-08-06T13:32:48.477Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Great list, thanks. I like the tip about disabling Slack notifications and will probably make heavier use of the “do not disturb” feature to batch notifications. My OS X dock is auto-hidden so I don’t see the red circle with the notification count.

I think the #1 highest impact thing for most people is making sure incoming emails don’t interrupt or distract them in realtime. Like seeing your Gmail tab saying “(1) Inbox”. My solution for this is to right click and do “Pin Tab” so then it only shows the Gmail logo and I can’t tell if a new message has come in.

(And obviously never enable or any website’s push notifications)

Comment by liron on Titan (the Wealthfront of active stock picking) - What's the catch? · 2020-08-06T03:21:46.453Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

They’re claiming that picking a subset of 20 S&P stocks and charging a 1% fee is an expected win for their clients’ net returns, so if what they’re actually selling is an expected money-losing strategy compared to buying the whole index, that seems like a catch

Comment by liron on Asset Prices Consistently Violate Efficient Market Hypothesis · 2020-07-29T02:32:44.395Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · LW · GW
There is only the claim that all available information is incorporated into the price, so there's no exploitable (predictable) variance.

The author gives a specific example of an exploitable price: The stock of Hong Kong Land, where the underlying real estate assets are being priced at 25 cents on the dollar because they're packaged into a listed equity.

His claim is that anyone buying this equity at its current price is exploiting the market by a factor of 4x by achieving an equity-like 10%/yr return, but with the low risk/volatility of a 2-4% real estate asset or close.

He claims that this price inefficiency persists because there aren't many people in a position to hunt for and invest in these kinds of arbitrages, because funds often structurally restrict themselves to investing in one type of asset class (i.e. leaky abstraction). So in this case, the inefficiency persists because there are not enough fund managers like himself: competent enough to recognize attractive real estate investments but not structurally limited to the Real Estate asset category.

Comment by liron on The Basic Double Crux pattern · 2020-07-23T11:17:44.926Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Great post refreshing our understanding of an important concept. The example dialogue made it easy to understand.

I often just use Single Crux: I say my current view, and that I would change my mind if [X]. This makes me feel like whenever I “take a stance”, it’s an athletic stance with knees bent.

Comment by liron on My Dating Plan ala Geoffrey Miller · 2020-07-18T01:23:24.118Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm sounds like you have a procedure to filter people, and the main problem is its inefficiency. Maybe you can design some automated initial screens: like a written portion, a recorded video portion, then one or more video hangouts/dates. Just brainstorming :)

Comment by liron on My Dating Plan ala Geoffrey Miller · 2020-07-17T13:22:55.275Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

+1 for Mate, the best and most solid introduction to applied men's dating that I've seen.

I wouldn't consider being 26 to be a weakness. Age 26-35 is probably the age range with the most mating options for hetero males.

I agree that living in DC is pretty optimal for you.

Starting a campus club or teaching GRE skills might help

Sure but if you don't feel like doing that is playing to your strengths (i.e. if you're not sufficiently extroverted, organized or leader-like), I wouldn't bother with it. Dating apps have already solved the problem of finding people to date for all but the least physically attractive people.

College educated black women in DC face a particularly bleak market, not sure where to meet them.

On dating apps.

The "mating market" section of the mating plan is now quite trivial due to the absolute dominance of the dating app option for anyone who isn't strongly extroverted or already connected to a strong social network.

What you listed in Section 4 on "small wins" are all nice things, but mostly unnecessary as instrumental milestones to dating (except mental health). If your goal is dating, you can focus more directly on the tactics to get a date: Having good pics on dating apps, a specific kind of conversation skill that leads to dates, and conversation skills for dates.

Re "5. Focus on social life and fun", also seems like a distraction. Dating apps have enabled a more direct and efficient process where you don't have to just pretend like you're having non-goal-oriented fun in a platonic social group, you can just instantly turn a stranger into a date and there's mutual knowledge that you're both evaluating each other's compatibility toward your mating goals.

By the way, I'm the founder of and specialize in helping nerdy people date. Anyone can DM me for some free advice.

Comment by liron on How "honest" is GPT-3? · 2020-07-11T01:24:30.751Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When you say it is not a door [because it’s ajar], what you mean is it is open, like a container


Comment by liron on What gripes do you have with Mustachianism? · 2020-07-08T02:30:38.967Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think the biggest correct takeaway is that most people don’t appreciate how rich they are because they set their standards on buying the latest crap. If they just set their standard of a good product to “used stuff from 5 years ago”, suddenly everything is 75% cheaper and still much better than anything that people 50 years ago could dream of.

Comment by liron on snog toddgrass's Shortform · 2020-07-04T03:20:57.392Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wrote a blog post on this topic -

But anyway, this little optimization is nothing compared to a deep toolbag of conversation skills you could employ. Feel free to DM me for more specific advice.

Comment by liron on Liron's Shortform · 2020-07-04T03:18:22.614Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you’re using dating apps and not sure how to write a “good text”, feel free to ask me in a comment or DM. I’ve developed and tested an extremely detailed framework on how to manufacture a good conversation.

Evidence of expertise is that I created

Comment by liron on Site Redesign Feedback Requested · 2020-07-04T00:42:56.538Z · score: 36 (14 votes) · LW · GW

The new design looks good to me.

I just want to say overall the LessWrong team is killing it! You folks successfully revived a mostly-dormant community and now it’s lively and special, the community whose feedback I seek and respect the most on many topics. Thanks for making the software lively and special too.

Comment by liron on Half-Baked Products and Idea Kernels · 2020-06-26T00:34:22.894Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes the value of half-baked kernels and quick iteration loops generalizes to most “projects” including vacation planning :)

Comment by liron on Half-Baked Products and Idea Kernels · 2020-06-24T02:07:09.171Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Related to this, here’s my site dedicated to explaining how Minimum Viable Products should be more half-baked and less bloated:

Comment by liron on Liron's Shortform · 2020-06-09T12:27:52.531Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Check out my blog about how most startup MVPs (minimum viable products) are overly bloated:

Comment by liron on Covid-19: My Current Model · 2020-06-06T20:30:44.903Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If COVID were 3x higher on either parameter, it probably wouldn’t have led to a more effective US federal response. My guess is that it would just have been a much bigger crisis.

Comment by liron on Covid-19: My Current Model · 2020-06-06T18:08:04.948Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

We simply observe that COVID is not on the convex hull of bad-pandemic-causing parameters. It’s a luckier roll of the dice than the one portrayed in the plausible Pandemic movie.

The “next” pandemic is likely to revert to the mean, but it seems like over 20% chance that on a 30-year timescale there will be a virus with much higher IFR and/or much higher R0, maybe due to much more surface and aerosol spread than SARS-CoV-2 which is apparently mostly droplet spread.

Comment by liron on Covid-19: My Current Model · 2020-06-03T16:37:35.893Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately I feel like the whole pandemic will only lead to a very slight overall uptick in preparedness for the next, much worse one. The biggest impact will probably be people’s perception that pandemics can be real threats.

Comment by liron on What aspects of the world emotionally bothers you on an immediate personal level on a daily basis? · 2020-05-22T13:39:47.188Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I’m somewhat scared to check my email inbox in the morning because every week or two there’s something in there that existentially threatens my company, like our app not getting approved in the app store or most recently Facebook inexplicably blocking our ads.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-19T19:57:02.539Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ya I’m now pretty convinced that Tesla’s market cap isn’t obviously off by an order of magnitude, and is merely a good buy with expected value similar to buying any top tech stock. So my accepted answer to the original question is “no”.

I endorse buying a significant amount (10%+) of top tech stocks and Tesla as part of a diversified personal portfolio.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-19T01:38:18.664Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ok 100x Tesla's 2019 gross revenue is a stretch (100 * $25B = $2.5T = half of car industry, 5x Walmart), I didn't think that through.

For comparison, Toyota's market cap is $194B and their 2019 operating profit was $22B. Today the market is valuing Tesla at almost Toyota's level. I'll say there's at least a 20% chance that Tesla will surpass Walmart's revenue in 7 years, i.e. reach double Toyota's 2019 revenue.

If Tesla can 5x their 2019 revenue (that's $125B), then they'll probably grow into their $150B market cap with a normal P/E ratio (I'm assuming higher margins than Toyota).

So yeah, this seems like the consensus guess that the market is pricing in: Tesla keeps getting more powerful every year because it's building on a bunch of accumulated advantages, until it's one or two Toyotas, or it could somehow stumble and fire sale.

But now, on top of that, we need to layer on the Elon Musk magic. Beyond 2025, Musk is just getting started. There are going to be "oh shit" moments where threads come together. It's like when SpaceX recently announced they're planning to start launching 1,000x more weight into space each year than all the rest of the world's companies combined (not to mention reusable rockets and Starlink). I can't invest in SpaceX, but I at least want to be holding tickets to the Elon Musk / Tesla show.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-18T14:51:49.585Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with what you're saying. My point is that public stocks rarely can be said to have a startup-like "chance to see those big numbers" (10x+ upside). When such a chance is say 20%+, then you don't need to worry too much about the 80% chance of a 0.5x or 1x downside.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-18T14:45:41.741Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So far the feedback in this thread has updated my opinion from "the rationalist community could conceivably agree that this is an amazing stock pick" to "this may be merely the usual kind of high-priced high-quality stock".

The point I haven't seen addressed in the comments is I think Tesla has unusually potent ingredients for a more than 10% chance of a 10x+ upside. Just scaling up its gigafactories and dominating battery production across all industries seems like a sufficient ingredient to tell a disjunction of such stories. Making an equity bet where the maximum loss is 1x therefore still seems attractive to me.

But you could probably say that about all the top 5 tech stocks, especially Amazon if I had to pick one. I do think it's currently good to own these tech stocks as a significant percentage of one's portfolio, and I guess owning Tesla may not be any better than that.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-18T14:37:45.948Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems like all the competitor EVs today have two major downsides vs Tesla: Huge price increase for same battery range ($20k or more) which I guess supports your point that Tesla's battery dominance is its main advantage, and the other EVs' autonomy features are very lacking. I also suspect that their overall car OS / software platform is lacking the design and integration that Tesla has.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-18T04:11:45.922Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think Tesla is pretty clearly making the best EVs right now but ya it’s hard to say how many years of lead they have and whether the lead is growing or shrinking.

Why are you convinced that Waymo is ahead of Tesla on autonomy?

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-18T03:47:02.800Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think they are likely to grow to 100x their current revenue - reasoning backward from market potential the way a startup investor does, rather than anchoring from their current size.

Comment by liron on Isn't Tesla stock highly undervalued? · 2020-05-18T03:25:11.838Z · score: 1 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I agree the market is pricing in a normal kind of expectation of “significant gains” but it’s not pricing in a major industry-changing “surprise” breakthrough announcement, which on the meta level should not be a surprise IMO, but rather the expectation. This company has ingredients in place for a massive upside. I admit I don’t know the facts here but I’m feeling pretty skeptical that BMW will have caught up to Tesla’s vehicles in 5 years or even shrunk the size of the lead, even given their currently much higher scale of car production capability.

Re autonomy, I heard on the Third Row Tesla podcast that driving a Tesla in the last couple months has noticeably better autonomy than ever and the fraction of time/situations when you can let the car drive smoothly for you without touching anything keeps increasing. They are also collecting a lot more data than Waymo, the highest quality kind of data you can get: real driving on real roads, and times when the driver disengaged autopilot.

Comment by liron on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-18T00:57:02.469Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This layout has worked decently well for me and I haven't tweaked it in months, but it makes major tradeoffs, most notably:

1. No arrow keys in the main layer

2. The same key can be either enter or right shift so occasionally I accidentally hit enter in a chatroom when I don't want to. But at least my thumbs can do a lot of heavy lifting.

Comment by liron on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-18T00:47:33.838Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ah ya I didn't realize Dvorak helps significantly with layout of punctuation. The Ultimate Hacking Keyboard looks great, only thing for me is I prefer the two sides extra far apart and I think Ergodox's cable span is an extra foot or so.

Comment by liron on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-17T18:20:26.269Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My solution for keyboard RSI:

For software engineers, a normal QWERTY keyboard requires the pinky on the right hand to press a ton of different keys, and my pinky joint was getting sore.

I bought this Ergodox EZ keyboard and remapped the "P" and various brackets to extra keys that are easily-pressable with my forefinger or thumb. It took a couple weeks to stop being annoyed by the new layout, and a couple months to return to my old typing speed, but this is a lifelong ROI.

There's another major bonus: I can now separate my arms far apart when I type, instead of squishing them together to accommodate a one-piece keyboard.

Comment by liron on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-17T18:16:38.992Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Any gym equipment in your house, even just a couple 15-pound dumbbells.

Exercising used to be the #1 reason I leave my house, and I don’t leave my house much overall, so pre-COVID I thought I might as well keep using outside-the-home gyms. But I'm also somebody who finds doing 10+ minutes of "task-switching", like driving to the gym, to be a pretty big psychological barrier.

So finally I bought some weights and a treadmill, and now almost every day I'm like sure, at some point of this day I'll take 30 seconds to switch tasks from sitting in a chair to moving my body, it's a nice change of pace.

Comment by liron on The Power to Demolish Bad Arguments · 2020-05-16T23:35:56.349Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If a single dad is having a hard time with Uber, it seems relevant to ask counterfactually about the same dad if Uber didn’t exist. To some degree you have to keep this in mind and not forget and let the conversation be steered away. Part of the “zooming in” operation I describe involves holding your mental camera steady :)

Comment by liron on The Power to Demolish Bad Arguments · 2020-05-10T00:31:27.974Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, can you give an example of the kind of back & forth you find yourself having?

The technique in this post demolishes a common type of bad argument, in which the arguer's claim sounds meaningful when phrased in abstract terms, but turns out to be meaningless when viewed at a higher specificity level.

In your experience as I understand it, your discussion partner furnishes an example per your request, and the example seems like a valid illustration of their general claim, not something that dissolves into nothing when you try to repeat back what they're trying to say?

In that case, it sounds like their claim might not be a meaningless one like Steve's. But at least you can use the example to help your thought process about whether the general claim is right.

Comment by liron on COVID-19: List of ideas to reduce the direct harm from the virus, with an emphasis on unusual ideas · 2020-04-09T12:31:28.287Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Related to decreasing initial viral load: Anyone want to guess whether there’s a significant (10%+) chance that getting infected via rectum has a flu-like Infection Fatality Rate at any dose?

Comment by liron on How About a Remote Variolation Study? · 2020-04-06T00:55:35.322Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The lead of the study can be in a country that is unlikely to prosecute, or anonymous.

Comment by liron on How About a Remote Variolation Study? · 2020-04-06T00:54:24.619Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A simple rule can be that anyone who has been self-quarantining for 14+ days can be considered negative at the start of the test. We wouldn't lose that much data quality with that rule IMO.