Comment by t3t on Blackmail · 2019-02-20T07:02:09.766Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You do gesture at it with "maximum amount of harm", but the specific framing I don't quite see expressed here is this:

While a blackmailer may be revealing something "true", the net effect (even if not "maximized" by the blackmailer) is often disproportionate to what one might desire. To give an example, a blackmailer may threaten to reveal that their target has a non-standard sexual orientation. In many parts of the world, the harm caused by this is considerably greater than the (utilitarian) "optimal" amount - in this case, zero. This is a function of not only the blackmailer's attempt at optimizing their long-term strategy, but also of how people/society react to certain kinds of information. Unfortunately this is mostly an object-level argument (that society reacts inappropriately in predictable ways to some things), but it seems relevant.

Comment by t3t on Pedagogy as Struggle · 2019-02-16T03:45:23.862Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This brings up the question of what you're trying to optimize for when teaching; in particular, which segment of the student population are you trying to best teach? If the median, then this strategy will, at best, be useless, at worst, actively harm their learning. If the top percentile, then it may very well produce better outcomes than a more straightforward approach. But it does seem to be the case that there's a trade-off.

Comment by t3t on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-12T07:12:57.294Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Grubhub also exclusively uses its own drivers. See my response to Said:

Comment by t3t on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-12T07:12:22.843Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Here is a neutral (from the perspective of potential competition) source, that quotes industry insiders:

I agree that delivery services provide significant value to the consumer for the reasons you describe. I suspect that in the situation where a specific class of restaurant (pizza places) already have their own delivery network in place (fixed costs already paid, domain-specific efficiencies already captured), a bare-bones online order system could easily beat out a full-service middleman like UberEats or Grubhub.

Comment by t3t on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-11T17:36:44.097Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In fact for some services it's 30%:

I only learned about this a few days ago, and (bizarrely) thought it was only UberEats that had such a high fee schedule.

Comment by t3t on X-risks are a tragedies of the commons · 2019-02-07T06:32:25.667Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think there's an important distinction between x-risks and most other things we consider to be tragedies of commons: the reward for "cooperating" against "defectors" in an x-risk scenario (putting in disproportionate effort/resources to solve the problem) is still massively positive, conditional on the effort succeeding (and in many calculations, prior to that conditional). In most central examples of tragedies of the commons, the payoff for being a "good actor" surrounded by bad actors is net-negative, even assuming the stewardship is successful.

The common thread is that there might be a free-rider problem in both cases, of course.

Comment by t3t on Playing Politics · 2018-12-05T06:06:10.816Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I want to signal-boost this harder than just upvoting it, because a couple examples could have been pulled directly from my life.

It should also be noted that I haven't experienced anybody getting upset about somebody taking charge of organizing something after it's been (unsuccessfully) opened to group coordination. I notice that when I'm on the other side of that equation, I'm mostly just grateful that somebody else is doing the work of organizing/coordinating things.

Comment by t3t on Anyone use the "read time" on Post Items? · 2018-12-02T06:07:36.861Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry for not specifying - if you hover over the bottom half of the link to a post, i.e. the part that shows Username, points, time since post submission, and read time, it will display "Show Highlight". Clicking on any part of the bottom half except the username will expand the item to show a section of the post, along with "Collapse" and "Continue to Full Post (59 words)" option (word count will vary; I used the one for this post as an example).

Comment by t3t on Anyone use the "read time" on Post Items? · 2018-12-02T00:54:26.105Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I occasionally use it to gauge approximate post length, since the seeing the word count requires UI interaction. I would rather have the word count be immediately visible, but I probably wouldn't miss "read length" if it was gone entirely either.

Comment by t3t on Paul's research agenda FAQ · 2018-07-02T04:50:02.574Z · score: 16 (10 votes) · LW · GW


It's difficult to tell, having spent some time (but not a very large amount of time) following this back-and-forth, whether much progress is being made in furthering Eliezer's and Paul's understanding of each other's positions and arguments. My impression is that there has been some progress, mostly from Paul vetoing Eliezer's interpretations of Paul's agenda, but by nature this is a slow kind of progress - there are likely many more substantially incorrect interpretations than substantially correct ones, so even if you assume progress toward a correct interpretation to be considerably faster than what might be predicted by a random walk, the slow feedback cycle still means it will take a while.

My question is why the two of you haven't sat down for a weekend (or as many as necessary) to hash out the cruxes and whatever confusion surrounds them. This seems to be a very high-value course of action: if, upon reaching a correct understanding of Paul's position, Eliezer updates in that direction, it's important that happen as soon as possible. Likewise, if Eliezer manages to convince Paul of catastrophic flaws in his agenda, that may be even more important.

Comment by t3t on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-19T22:15:42.278Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

From talking to some people in the UK, my impression is that pay is considerably lower (by 50% or more!), but I don't know what interviewing is like. I'll see if I can get some info on that.

Comment by t3t on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-19T19:03:58.454Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Taking Google as an example, that is what they want at entry-level. If you're more experienced, my impression is that you still get run through the same gauntlet, but then you also get interviewed by a few different teams for more specific skill sets (i.e. mobile will want actual mobile experience, etc).

Keep in mind "data structures and algorithms" is underselling it a bit - you need to know well beyond what you typically cover in an introductory algorithms course.

Comment by t3t on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-17T02:23:51.756Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Because I'm not sure what the motivations behind asking trivia questions are, I don't know for sure how your answer would be perceived. That is likely how I would answer a question about an API I wasn't familiar with, though filters are more of a structural aspect of .NET MVC than an API (though it's still all functions at the bottom). Not knowing an important structural aspect of a framework you claim to be proficient in can be a red flag - though in my case I knew what they were, but did not know what they were called. (I looked them up after the first interview where I was asked about them, which was a good thing, because I was asked about them again in my last interview.) Another good lesson!

I agree that making the interview pleasant for the interviewer is a good idea. It does seem like a "too obvious to be said" sort of thing, which probably means it needs to be said more often. The question that follows is how to do that, especially if you don't have an instinct for it.

I've also read the advice to practice answering questions on a whiteboard. It's good advice, but in the interview that got me hired I didn't actually do any whiteboarding, so I didn't think to list it.


Comment by t3t on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-16T21:18:43.644Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In fact, all of my jobs (3 in total) until the current one had placed very lenient demands on my time. I think it's more of a management/operational issue, though. While I won't deny that I can solve some problems fast, most of the downtime was from an inefficient work pipeline.

Comment by t3t on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-15T20:57:50.119Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have 10-15 hours a week to spend writing code? It's likely possible to frame your absence from the job market in a way which doesn't hurt your prospects too much. Feel free to DM me if you want to talk more.

You Are Being Underpaid

2018-04-15T06:28:00.374Z · score: 66 (21 votes)
Comment by t3t on One-Year Anniversary Retrospective - Los Angeles · 2018-04-15T04:56:09.233Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry for the delayed response - for some reason I never got any notifications about comments on this post.

We never had a discussion about the schedule when the reboot happened, mostly because "weekly" was the way we'd always done it and nobody seemed interested in changing it. Yes, it was explicitly weekly. The "core" members had known each other for anywhere from 3-5 years, but that was mostly in the context of the meetup (with a few exceptions). That's changed significantly - we (including the newer members) spend much more time together socially outside of the context of the meetups now than we used to.

Comment by t3t on One-Year Anniversary Retrospective - Los Angeles · 2018-04-01T06:44:42.892Z · score: 17 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks - I remember finding your post interesting the first time I read it. This time I put it in Evernote so that I actually remember to try some things out.

One-Year Anniversary Retrospective - Los Angeles

2018-04-01T06:34:27.315Z · score: 39 (9 votes)
Comment by t3t on Los Angeles LW/SSC Meetup #50 - Cognitive Bias Round-Robin · 2018-03-12T23:30:23.400Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind for future events.

Comment by t3t on Los Angeles LW/SSC Meetup #50 - Cognitive Bias Round-Robin · 2018-03-12T06:09:50.498Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, group is here:

Is it not showing up?

(On a related note: I ran into an error when trying to create the group when pasting an address in the "location" field, not realizing until I tried to create an event instead that it required me to allow it to autocomplete the address by typing it in from scratch. The error consisted of these lines:

  • Mongo location is required.
  • Group Location is required.
  • Location is required.
  • Schema validation error

Suffice it to say, it was not terribly clear why it wasn't accepting the location at first.)

Comment by t3t on The sad state of Rationality Zürich - Effective Altruism Zürich included · 2018-02-28T05:25:39.974Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm the Los Angeles organizer and can confirm that Elo seems to be fairly put together, as these things go(though we only met for a few hours.)

Comment by t3t on Mana · 2017-12-20T19:24:25.230Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I found some of this difficult but not impossible to understand, without any prior context. Of course, it's possible that I'm wrong about my level of understanding, in which case I'd prefer to be corrected.

Here is my understanding of the relevant details.

Erfeyah is confused by what you mean by mana, and more specifically what it meant to "apply" mana to a rental car company employee. If my understanding is correct, this was a process of using emotional support techniques, as you describe them (or perhaps the opposite - introducing a "hostile social reality", i.e. dark arts - this is something I'm not clear on), in order to accomplish your goals.

I'm also not sure what this means:

"You must sever your nerve cords. The Khala is corrupted"

Unless it means disconnecting your perception of social reality from your goal structure, while maintaining a surface-level awareness.

Comment by t3t on Placing Yourself as an Instance of a Class · 2017-10-04T03:49:49.209Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

To extend the programming metaphor a bit:

Agents who understand and explicitly use a decision theory along the lines of TDT/FDT may be said to be implementing an interface, which consequently modifies the expected outcomes of their decision process. This is important in situations like deciding how to vote, or even whether you should do so, as you can estimate that most agents in the problem-space will not be implementing that particular interface, so your doing so will only entangle with the outcome of the limited set of agents who do implement it.

Comment by T3t on [deleted post] 2016-12-13T08:52:05.038Z

I don't see what this has to do with rationality, or any other core interest of LW. This seems to be a fairly prototypical example of the genre, so I don't even see what kind of useful analysis you can perform on it. Maybe try /pol/?

Comment by t3t on Open thread, Nov. 16 - Nov. 22, 2015 · 2015-11-17T01:03:31.877Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was able to use Square to transfer money from a pre-paid gift card (not sure if it was Visa though) to my bank account. Transaction fee is ~2.75% iirc.

Comment by t3t on Open thread, Nov. 16 - Nov. 22, 2015 · 2015-11-16T23:39:13.951Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Has anybody donated a car to charity before (in the US? CA in particular, but I imagine it'll generalize outside of location-specific charities).

The general advice online is useful but not very narrowly-tailored. Couple points I'm looking for information on:

1) Good charities (from an EA perspective)

2) Clarification on the tax details (when car's fair market value is between $500 and $5000)

Would appreciate any advice.

Comment by t3t on A Proposal for Defeating Moloch in the Prison Industrial Complex · 2015-06-02T23:41:20.599Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Missing actor/incentive structure:

Our current justice system is largely based on the idea of retribution, not rehabilitation. This is a trade-off where the State delivers vengeance for victims/families of victims to prevent vigilante justice. It may not make much sense in terms of impact today, but as a cultural norm it still exists and this idea does nothing to address that.

Other thoughts:

Does not really address "recidivism" of victimless crimes, including most drug crimes, except in the most general sense. Convincing people that smoking weed is morally wrong is much harder than convincing them that murder is morally wrong.

Comment by t3t on How to save (a lot of) money on flying · 2015-02-03T23:26:22.087Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This is not a secret anymore, and the attention I bring to the issue by posting it on LessWrong is pretty marginal. The fact that there's already been a lawsuit over this is an indication that the airlines think it's cheaper to try and suppress it that way than to change their pricing structure.

Comment by t3t on How to save (a lot of) money on flying · 2015-02-03T19:56:56.272Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I doubt it - this is a trick that high-volume fliers have been using for a while. That said, airlines being annoyed by it is a reasonable concern, though I don't know what they could possibly do about - forbid you from flying with them? That seems like the sort of thing that would get attention.

Edit: see new posted warnings.

How to save (a lot of) money on flying

2015-02-03T18:25:24.064Z · score: 8 (15 votes)
Comment by t3t on Memes and Rational Decisions · 2015-01-09T08:11:06.774Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

How should I contact Vassar regarding my willingness to follow his lead regarding whatever projects he deems sensible?