Comment by pktechgirl on How do you know it's time for a break? · 2019-05-16T04:35:21.408Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If all of the following conditions are met:

  • It's mid-afternoon
  • I've previously been able to focus on the project.
  • I can't focus and just seem to keep checking social media.

I either need a nap or to leave for a room with less carbon dioxide.

How do you know it's time for a break?

2019-05-16T04:33:38.312Z · score: 22 (3 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-05-10T14:59:52.273Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see where Said's comment implies a dichotomous view of prestige. He simply believes the gap between LessWrong and Donald Knuth is very large.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-05-10T14:53:54.599Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

That makes sense. Neither of those was my intention- I declare at the beginning that the research is crap; repeating it at every point seems excessive. And I assumed people would take the conclusions as "this will address this specific problem" rather than "this is a Pure Good Action that will have no other consequences."

I understand that this isn't how it came across to you, and that's useful data. I am curious how others feel I did on this score.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-05-09T20:20:48.125Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the kind words.

I'm unclear if you think all conclusions should be hedged like that, or my specific strong conclusions (site visits are good, don't split a team) are insufficiently supported.

Comment by pktechgirl on How long can people be productive in [time period]? · 2019-05-09T03:59:12.333Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Update: found a relevant book, have ordered from library.

Comment by pktechgirl on How long can people be productive in [time period]? · 2019-05-08T20:20:44.378Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

These kinds of questions feel premature, given the absolute lack of data. I'd be interested in "returns drop off after N hours of deliberate practice" or "meetings go net negative after M minutes."

Comment by pktechgirl on How long can people be productive in [time period]? · 2019-05-07T06:46:03.097Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed. I'd love to see data on all of those as well.

Comment by pktechgirl on How long can people be productive in [time period]? · 2019-05-06T23:08:06.178Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm hoping for something that can definitively say "productivity drops after N hours", or at least examines that question, rather than "we checked and people only do N hours of work/day". Maybe people can do more than N if they feel like it, in which case it's not a matter of how much the brain is capable of but of motivation.

How long can people be productive in [time period]?

2019-05-06T22:35:27.700Z · score: 38 (8 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on [Meta] Hiding negative karma notifications by default · 2019-05-05T02:02:30.272Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW
since people check the score of their old content quite frequently

I've stopped doing this since karma notifications came online.

Comment by pktechgirl on What are concrete historical examples of powerful technological secrets? · 2019-05-01T23:31:05.981Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Post-WW2, the allies sold enigma machines to developing countries, without mentioning they had broken the code.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine

Note: some people speculate the purchasing countries knew this and accepted the risk (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/5cpqrc/after_ww2_the_uk_government_sold_enigma_machines/).

Comment by pktechgirl on What are concrete historical examples of powerful technological secrets? · 2019-05-01T23:26:37.096Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The British kept radar secret during WW2, and attributed pilots' ability to shoot down planes in the dark to vitamin A.

Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/a-wwii-propaganda-campaign-popularized-the-myth-that-carrots-help-you-see-in-the-dark-28812484/

Comment by pktechgirl on Has government or industry had greater past success in maintaining really powerful technological secrets? · 2019-05-01T04:49:47.952Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The grandfather of a friend in college had a technique for producing irreplaceably smooth ball bearings that he preferred to keep secret rather than patent. He had two employees, one of which was his son in law.

I suspect there are a lot of small cases like this, because it would be weird for me to know the only one.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-05-01T00:37:51.639Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Data points from papers can either contribute directly to predictions (e.g. we measured it and gains from colocation drop off at 30m), or to forming a model that makes predictions (e.g. the diagram). Credence levels for the first kind feel fine, but like a category error for model-born predictions . It's not quite true that the model succeeds or fails as a unit, because some models are useful in some arenas and not in others, but the thing to evaluate is definitely the model, not the individual predictions.

I can see talking about what data would make me change my model and how that would change predictions, which may be isomorphic to what you're suggesting.

The UI would also be a pain.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-30T23:14:51.906Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
clearer epistemic status tags for the different claims....

I find it very hard, possibly impossible, to do the things you ask in this bullet point and synthesis in the same post. If I was going to do that it would be on a per-paper basis: for each paper list the claims and how well supported they are.

Generally, what research do you wish had existed, that would have better informed you here?

This seems interesting and fun to write to me. It might also be worth going over my favorite studies.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-30T22:30:31.656Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Orienting a bit more around the "the state of management research is shitty" issue

Can you say more about this? That seems like a very valuable but completely different post, which I imagine would take an order of magnitude more effort than investigation into a single area.

Comment by pktechgirl on The Forces of Blandness and the Disagreeable Majority · 2019-04-29T02:13:49.642Z · score: 20 (9 votes) · LW · GW
About 80% of Americans think “political correctness is a problem”

And lots of people who agree with statements about hate speech being bad, white people starting out with advantages in life, sexual harassment being a problem, etc, also think political correctness is a problem.

How much of this is about the definition of political correctness? I haven't seen the term used positively since the 90s, while people only seem to care more about correct speech. I suspect many people who say they hate political correctness nonetheless support punishing a lot of kinds of speech.

Comment by pktechgirl on Counterfactuals about Social Media · 2019-04-23T00:55:45.743Z · score: 21 (9 votes) · LW · GW

The easiest way for friendships to build is out of repeated low stakes interaction. The more atomized society gets, the less those happen naturally. Jumping from "hey I met you at a party" to "let's eat 1:1" is hard, and puts pressure on the 1:1 interaction. I've found facebook and blogs to be good ways to bridge that gap.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-22T23:11:35.185Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The most relevant paper I read was Chapter 5 of Distributed Work by Hinds and Kiesler. You can find it in my notes by searching for "Chapter 5: The (Currently) Unique Advantages of Collocated Work"

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-22T23:10:07.543Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Teams were typically static for the duration of the studies, although IIRC some were newly formed task-focused teams and would reshuffle after the task was over.

Some studies looked at the effect of WFH in co-located team. I didn't focus on this because it wasn't Oliver's main question, but from some reading and personal experience:

  • If a team is set up for colocation, you will miss things working from home, which will hurt alignment and social aspects like trust. This scales faster than linearly.
  • Almost everyone reports increased productivity working from home.
  • But some of that comes from being less interruptible, which hurts other people's productivity.
  • Both duration of team and the expectation of working together in the future do good things to morale, trust, and cooperation.

Based on this, I think that:

  • Some WFH is good on the margins.
  • The more access employees have to quiet private spaces at work, the less the marginal gains from WFH (although still some, for things like midday doctors' appointments or just avoiding the commute). I think most companies exaggerate how much these are available.
  • "Core Hours" is a good concept for both days and times in office, because it concentrates the time people need to defensively be in the office to avoid missing things.
  • How Scaled Agile effects morale and trust will be heavily dependent on how people relate to the meta-team. If they view themselves as constantly buffeted between groups of strangers, it will be really bad. If they view the meta-team as their real team, full of people they trust and share a common goal with but don't happen to be working as closely with at this time, it's probably a good compromise.
Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-17T00:20:48.827Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think tasks, environments and people have a range of allowable OODA loops, and that it's very damaging if there isn't an overlap of all three.

Notes from Literature Review: Distributed Teams

2019-04-16T17:58:55.300Z · score: 9 (5 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-16T17:51:47.138Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

RE: OODA loops as a property of work: let's take the creation of this post as an example. There were broadly four parts to writing it:

1. Talking to Oliver to figure out what he wanted

2. Reading papers to learn facts

3. Relating all the facts to each other

4. Writing a document explaining the relation

Part 1 really benefited from co-location, especially at first. It was heavily back and forth, and so benefited from the higher bandwidth. The OODA loop was at most the time it took either of us to make a statement.

Part 2 didn't require feedback from anyone, but also had a fairly short OODA loop because I had to keep at most one paper in my head at a time, and dropping down to one paragraph wasn't that bad.

Part 3 had a very long OODA loop because I had to load all the relevant facts in my head and then relate them. An interruption before producing a new synthesis meant losing all the work I'd done till that point.

I also needed all available RAM to hold as much as possible at once. Even certain background noise would have been detrimental here.

Part 4 had a shorter minimum OODA loop than part 3, but every interruption meant reloading the data into my brain, so longer was still better.

Does that feel like it answered your questions?

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-16T17:11:50.646Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Substantially increases activation costs of collaboration, leading to highly split focus of staff

I think this is a mixed blessing rather than a cost. It makes staff members less likely to be working in alignment with one another, but more likely to be working in their personal flow in the Csikszentmihalyi sense of the word. I believe these two things trade off against each other in general, and things moving the efficient frontier are very valuable.

Comment by pktechgirl on Literature Review: Distributed Teams · 2019-04-16T01:21:18.976Z · score: 25 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Notes have been moved to this post to save scrolling.

Literature Review: Distributed Teams

2019-04-16T01:19:27.307Z · score: 94 (32 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Knowing I’m Being Tricked is Barely Enough · 2019-02-27T18:48:09.422Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree Zvi and I are talking about the same general principles, but I found this piece's basis in fear did more harm than good for me in particular. It made me want to push away the knowledge. What I was trying to do here was engage with the specifics of what was happening so I could develop defenses beyond flipping the table over and refusing to play.

Comment by pktechgirl on Knowing I’m Being Tricked is Barely Enough · 2019-02-27T02:27:51.547Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm confused. Do you think it's bad/a waste of time to examine tricks as a concept, or that I was pretty seriously tricked (while actively looking for tricks), which seems to me like it calls for spending more time on the concept?

Knowing I’m Being Tricked is Barely Enough

2019-02-26T17:50:07.608Z · score: 39 (15 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-12T04:58:42.188Z · score: 21 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Another way of evaluating the fairness of the delivery charges is how much profit the delivery services are making. The only data I could find was this chart. Eyeballing it, grubhub is making ~10% profit- good, but not obscenely so. They appear to be selling pretty close to cost.

Comment by pktechgirl on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-12T04:54:43.003Z · score: 38 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I can't tell if this post is referring to ordering online and picking up yourself (suggested by " If you would cost your local place $5 to save the cost of a fifteen second phone call...") or delivery (suggested by the 20% fee and the companies listed). If it is talking about delivery, it's incomplete without addressing the relative cost of delivery vs dining in.

This is a little messy because rent is an extremely fixed cost and labor is only adjustable on long time horizons, but back of the envelope:

  • According to the first article I found on Google, table service restaurants spend 30-40% of income on labor, and fast food can get as low as 25%. The service of fast food is about equivalent to what it takes to serve takeout or hand to a delivery service, so let's assume the labor costs of dining in are 5-15% (which is lower than I would have guessed).
  • There's also the physical building. This quora post (which places labor costs at 20-40%) says rent makes up 10-50% of cost. Of course some of that is covering the kitchen, which serves delivery orders as well. Call it 1/3.
  • If delivery services handle the credit card fees, that's another 2-3% they're saving the restaurant (grubhub passes on the credit card fee, but charges only 15%).
  • Then there are smaller costs they're saving- some utilities, diningware, reduced liability costs from the lack of physical proximity.

So take away/third party delivery costs the restaurant somewhere between 14 and 50 percent less than dining in. Given this, losing 20% to a delivery service doesn't seem inherently unjust, depending on the restaurant's cost structure. The real injustice is charging takeout customers dine-in prices.

Comment by pktechgirl on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-12T04:26:42.880Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's 30% for delivery, not just taking the order. OP is a little unclear, but a phone call is only a substitute for ordering online, not for delivery.

Burnout: What it is and how to Treat it.

2018-11-07T22:02:23.649Z · score: 53 (15 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Epistemic Spot Check: The Dorito Effect (Mark Schatzker) · 2018-10-05T01:50:22.951Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Re: seasoning. Page 19: "Miscellaneous foods including spices generally increased from 10 pounds per capita in 1909 to 13 pounds per capita in 2000. Spices were not added to the food supply until 1918. The use of spices increased more than fivefold from one-half pound per capita in 1918 to 2.59 pounds per capita in 2000 (data not shown)."

Have contacted you out of band with a copy of the paper, which does indeed go into more detail than the abstract.

Comment by pktechgirl on Epistemic Spot Check: The Dorito Effect (Mark Schatzker) · 2018-10-03T23:09:26.267Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Huh. Does your experience of taste change depending on how full up you are on a nutrient?

Epistemic Spot Check: The Dorito Effect (Mark Schatzker)

2018-10-03T17:10:01.026Z · score: 45 (12 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Unknown Knowns · 2018-09-08T16:24:20.403Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Given that the stereotypes are known to all players and can be manipulated (moreso the baseball cap than race), refusing to believe the signals seems like the correct thing at high level tables where all players can be assumed to have thought through their presentation. Even with something like race, if the 20 year old asian knows you think he's likely to be aggressive, he can use that to his advantage.

Comment by pktechgirl on Ask Us Anything: Submit Questions Asking About What We Think SSC is Wrong About, and Why · 2018-09-08T04:09:02.332Z · score: 16 (5 votes) · LW · GW
I'd actually be more critical of how SSC fans, rationalists and effective altruists have taken SSC memes like the virtue of silence, or blaming everything on Moloch, to stifle conversation the way the "politics is the mind-killer" meme is often overused.

This feels really disingenuous to me, given statements like "Scott Alexander is a pseudo-intellectual not worth reading." and " SSC bungles history and philosophy in general, and the history and philosophy of science in particular"

Comment by pktechgirl on Interpretive Labor · 2018-09-07T03:27:08.203Z · score: 23 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, in retrospect that was a mistake. They're related, but it begins the slippery slope to using "interpretive labor" to mean "all emotional labor"

-Post author

Comment by pktechgirl on Tactical vs. Strategic Cooperation · 2018-08-16T19:45:17.904Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Was veto power over reports your terminal goal, or was it a means to prevent information you viewed as inaccurate going out to customers?

Comment by pktechgirl on Cargo Cult, Self-Improvement, and What to Do · 2018-08-07T21:30:04.732Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Your point that most self-help books are not peer-review backed is very true, and something more people should be aware of. OTOH, I did trials with a number of self-help books, and how useful they were to me and my friends did not correlate with scientific rigor. https://acesounderglass.com/2018/04/14/self-help-epistemic-spot-check-results/ . Given that, I think it makes sense to put more emphasis on individual testability.

Research Debt

2018-07-15T19:36:31.466Z · score: 26 (10 votes)

Ineffective entrepreneurship: post-mortem of Hippo, the happiness app that never quite was

2018-05-27T23:03:37.333Z · score: 31 (9 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Mental Illness Is Not Evidence Against Abuse Allegations · 2018-05-14T17:04:16.744Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

this isn't obvious to me, can you elaborate?

Comment by pktechgirl on The reverse job · 2018-05-13T18:39:25.375Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think this is a cool idea and look forward to seeing it attempted.

Comment by pktechgirl on Introducing the Longevity Research Institute · 2018-05-08T21:50:38.411Z · score: 15 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This was my bad- I misinterpreted a conversation and thought these were okay for the front page. You're correct on the policy, thanks for pointing it out.

Comment by pktechgirl on Introducing the Longevity Research Institute · 2018-05-08T18:38:54.881Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Moved to front page

Full disclosure: I'm on the board of LRI.

EDIT: I misinterpreted the policy and promoted this to front page when I shouldn't have.

Comment by pktechgirl on *Deleted* · 2018-03-28T20:30:35.248Z · score: 18 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Most research shows sex to be positively correlated with relationship satisfaction. How does this fit in with your theory?

Comment by pktechgirl on [deleted post] 2018-03-20T22:39:20.395Z
*I'll note that some of the Chicken Littles were clamoring for an off-ramp

I really dislike the dismissal of people who wanted to preserve easy exit as an abuse avoidance measure. I get that it can feel like an accusation, but being able to say "we should have this preventative measure" without implying anything negative about anyone is a critical to preventing abuse, because it lets you put the measure in place before the abuse is so bad it's obvious. I also (knowing basically nothing about Duncan or the way the suggestion was delivered, and having vague positive feelings about the project goals) think that "something intolerable happens" is a reasonable concern and "leaving" is a reasonable solution.

Comment by pktechgirl on Social Technology · 2018-03-03T18:40:35.271Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

can you explain your goals in listing these?

Comment by pktechgirl on Meta-tations on Moderation: Towards Public Archipelago · 2018-02-25T19:00:18.738Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · LW · GW
Without a “culture of unfettered criticism”, as you say, these very authors’ writings will go un-criticized, their claims will not be challenged, and the quality of their ideas will decline.

This seems like a leap. Criticism being fettered does not mean criticism is absent.

Comment by pktechgirl on Meta-tations on Moderation: Towards Public Archipelago · 2018-02-25T18:57:08.471Z · score: 21 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I love the idea of an off-topic or "deemphasize" button, for the reasons you describe.

Comment by pktechgirl on [Meta] New moderation tools and moderation guidelines · 2018-02-21T23:21:14.075Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That makes sense. Why such a high threshold for front page posts?

Comment by pktechgirl on [Meta] New moderation tools and moderation guidelines · 2018-02-21T18:30:13.342Z · score: 17 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What was the logic behind having a karma threshold for moderation? What were you afraid would happen if low karma people could moderate, especially on their personal blog?

Comment by pktechgirl on A model I use when making plans to reduce AI x-risk · 2018-01-23T06:02:25.972Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I promoted this to curated for:

  • Being very specific and actionable.
  • Clear, concise writing.
  • Explaining both the model and the implications.
Comment by pktechgirl on The Tallest Pygmy Effect · 2018-01-22T00:36:58.267Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does it seem useful to you if it refers to cases where the benefit comes from being the tallest, rather than absolute value level? That can be true regardless of absolute level, but is most likely to be true when absolute level is low.

The Tallest Pygmy Effect

2018-01-21T23:00:00.601Z · score: 53 (18 votes)
Comment by pktechgirl on Jacobcoin · 2018-01-21T22:58:02.522Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Moderation note: could you rephrase this more constructively? What is it you object to?

Comment by pktechgirl on Kenshō · 2018-01-21T20:51:01.757Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A+ to flibble analogy. I found this story about flibble much easier to understand and reason about than the OP.

Epistemic Spot Check: Full Catastrophe Living (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

2017-12-29T06:10:00.419Z · score: 47 (14 votes)

Epistemic Spot Check: Exercise for Mood and Anxiety (Michael W. Otto, Jasper A.J. Smits)

2017-09-09T23:50:00.293Z · score: 1 (1 votes)

Epistemic Spot Check: A Guide To Better Movement (Todd Hargrove)

2017-07-01T05:20:00.841Z · score: 10 (9 votes)

Epistemic Spot Check: The Demon Under the Microscope (Thomas Hager)

2017-06-21T16:00:01.016Z · score: 5 (5 votes)