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Comment by malderi on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-18T15:35:09.432Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer,

It might be useful to put a notice at the bottom of the chapter about new entries taking a while. All previous chapters have a similar note about the next update, and the lack of one on this chapter may imply the ending of the fic to some (especially those that don't read the discussions).

Comment by malderi on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-03-29T22:35:11.045Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Clarification: the weekend/weeklong distinction was NOT clear from the dates listed, I saw dates and skimmed for more information. It wasn't until I got to the costs section that I realized it and went back up to the dates.

Comment by malderi on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-03-29T22:32:05.898Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, it was clear to me.

I would prefer the weeklong one but am considering the weekends. The cost of airfare is the same.

Another question: Is there any particular reason why you are including the hotel costs into the fee? I can see the marketing value from "single number", but for those already in the Bay Area (or with friends/family there), reducing that cost by a bit and staying elsewhere would be helpful.

If activities/teambuilding are going late, that makes sense, but that was not clear on a single read through (I could read through again to find out, but figure the feedback on this not being clear might be helpful).

Comment by malderi on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-03-29T22:01:10.570Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I was mostly kidding (but I can't deny that it would be an awesome perk).

Comment by malderi on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-03-29T21:42:51.253Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. I doubt I will go this year for the reasons I listed above. Next year when I have more vacation time built up I'd consider doing it.

Although if you'd like to include "read advance chapters of HPMOR" into the benefits, I'm in.

Comment by malderi on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-03-29T21:26:48.757Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Feedback: I'm interested in this but will not attend.

Why: I'm a professional in another city with limited vacation time. I could potentially go to the Bay Area for this, but it'd be expensive in money, time, and vacation not spent elsewhere. I believe it might still be worth doing it, but am not convinced.

However, I AM convinced that if one were held in my city (in this case, Seattle) for a similar price, I would be very interested. The cost could be offset because lodging/travel by the instructors would be paid instead of the attendees. If the workshops were something like Thursday/Friday evening and all weekend, so much the better.

Suggestion for the future: Check interest for doing these locally in other major cities and run the numbers to see if it's worth it. It might not make sense, but if it did, count me in!

Comment by malderi on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11 · 2012-03-23T02:23:33.891Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

By the end of chapter 80, I think I would have stood up, looked Lucius in the eye, and destroyed the dementor in full view of everyone.

Comment by malderi on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-16T02:43:04.024Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Comment on 79, which was just posted 45 minutes ago, so go read it.

Well, 79 certainly funneled the story a bit. Answered lots of questions and a clear path forward. I was kind of hoping for it to end like, "At the end of a hallway, the Defense Professor walked out of the newly empty room." That part could still be told in the next chapter, of course...

Comment by malderi on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T16:26:32.380Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Well, I don't think it'll come completely out of the blue either, but I don't think predictions are possible at this time. (Should've clarified). I'm sure it'll all make total and perfect sense... In a few chapters.

By the way, EY, if you're reading this: for whatever it's worth, your writing is amazing, and stuff like the theory of potion making and then using acorns to make bright light is one of the best things I've read. Thanks for being awesome

Comment by malderi on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10 · 2012-03-12T14:18:01.701Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose it is for attempted murder, but I can't imagine it being normal procedure for three Aurors and the Headmaster to arrest a student.

My prediction: The sequence of events leading up to Hermione's arrest will not be predicted, because we don't have enough information currently to do so.

Comment by malderi on Diseased disciplines: the strange case of the inverted chart · 2012-02-11T01:58:58.775Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The ICSE conference has attendance figures listed here: http://www.cs.uoregon.edu/events/icse2009/ExhibitProspectus.pdf. In 2008, they had 827 attendees.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2008 there were 1.3 million software engineers employed in the United States alone. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos303.htm

There are plenty of conferences, even non-academic ones, relating to computer science and software engineering, such as GDC, the Game Development Conference. However, very few focus on the methodology of software engineering, unless they're for a specific methodology, such as conferences for Agile or XP.

I subscribe to a few ACM journals; out of the 11 other software engineers in my office, none of the rest do. We build software for airplanes, so plenty more subscribe to the likes of Aviation Week, but none about software engineering. The plural of anecdote is not data, but it's illustrative all the same.

Edit: I decided to add some clarification. I agree with you on your observations about software engineering as a field, including the problems that exist. My main point is, I'd expect them to exist in any field as broad and non-academic as software engineering, and I also don't see any way to fix it, or the situation to otherwise become better. That's why I disagree with the "diseased" adjective.

Comment by malderi on Diseased disciplines: the strange case of the inverted chart · 2012-02-10T03:21:25.365Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that's a relevant question, because it might help prove my point, but it's not strictly necessary for it - and I'm also not a mechanical engineer, so I don't have any. I can try asking some of my friends who are about it, though.

Let me rephrase. You're judging software engineering as a discipline because it has some tribal wisdom that may not be correct. It hasn't been retracted, or refuted, and merely perpetuates itself. I agree with you that this is bad.

My point is that you're judging it as an academic discipline, and it's not. Academic disciplines (like computer science) have journals that a significant portion of the field will read. They have conferences, and even their own semi-feudal hierarchies sometimes. There are communication channels and methods to arrive at a consensus that allows for knowledge to be discovered, disseminated, and confirmed.

Software engineering has none of those things. Most software is written behind closed doors in corporations and is never seen except by those who created it. Corporations, for the most part, do not like sharing data on how things were produced, and most failed projects fail silently (to the outside world, anyway). Corporations do not publish a paper saying "We spent 3 years with 10 software engineers attempting to create this product. We failed, and here is our hypothesis why."

Is this a bad thing? Oh, absolutely. The field would be far better and more mature if it wasn't. But it's a structural problem. To put it another way, it isn't a disease; it's genetics. Understanding why is the important part.

Comment by malderi on Diseased disciplines: the strange case of the inverted chart · 2012-02-08T04:23:51.046Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You're ascribing diseases to an entity that does not exist.

Software engineering is not a discipline, at least not like physics or even computer science. Most software engineers, out there writing software, do not attend conferences. They do not write papers. They do not read journal articles. Their information comes from management practices, consulting, and the occasional architect, and a whole heapin' helpin' of tribal wisdom - like the statistic you show. At NASA on the Shuttle software, we were told this statistic regularly, to justify all the process and rigor and requirements reviews and design reviews and code reviews and review reviews that we underwent.

Software engineering is to computer science what mechanical engineering is to physics.

Comment by malderi on Meetup : Seattle Board Games · 2012-01-07T03:28:44.362Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How late do these usually go? I'd like to come, but I was already making plans that day. I can shorten them slightly and come mid-afternoon if this is going to go into the evening.