Comment by yosarian-t on Six economics misconceptions of mine which I've resolved over the last few years · 2020-08-03T03:52:00.181Z · LW · GW

In an economy where the relative wealth of rich and poor people is constant, poor people and rich people both have consumption equal to their income.

Don't rich people tend to die with a significant portion of their lifetime income unspent, while poor people don't?

Comment by yosarian-t on Engaging Seriously with Short Timelines · 2020-07-30T00:00:37.632Z · LW · GW

I think there's a wide range of scenarios where narrow ai make certain companies more profitable and replaces a lot of jobs and maybe changes society as much as the industrial revolution did, without tipping over into recursive self improvement of that type. Or at least not right away.

Comment by yosarian-t on Adding Up To Normality · 2020-06-28T18:53:01.707Z · LW · GW

I agree with this, but a counterpoint is that it's very hard for people to change longstanding habits and behaviors at all, and sometimes a major internal update is a good moment to make significant behavior changes because that's the only time most people can manage major behavioral changes at all.

Comment by yosarian-t on Meta-Honesty: Firming Up Honesty Around Its Edge-Cases · 2020-06-27T19:14:12.384Z · LW · GW

Yeah, this correct. Also, I think "I'm fine" generally literally true in the narrow sense, since it's literally true that, for example, I am not in urgent need of medical attention at this moment.

If I was literally bleeding to death and someone asked my how I was and I said "I'm fine", people would take that to be a falsehood in some sense. But if I'm physically healthy but emotionally upset, and someone asked me how I was and I said "fine", people don't consider that a lie, because it isn't one, in the narrowest sense; I am "fine" in one sense of the word.

Which is also why it so often becomes the default answer, because it's almost never a lie, in at least the very narrow "wizard's rule" sense.

Comment by yosarian-t on How Doomed are Large Organizations? · 2020-06-25T17:11:44.529Z · LW · GW

This essay and sequence has really helped me put into words why I love the current school I teach at, even though it objectivly should be a mess in a lot of ways. (Students with a low socioeconomic status, high violence rate in the neighborhood, underfunded, physical school building that is literally falling apart, etc). Nonetheless it has a much better culture than most other schools I've taught at, in ways that both students and teachers are aware of, and it's a lot more effective at actually teaching students than even much more well-off schools.

-The principal and school culture strongly selects for people who don't have the kind of political behavior.

-Instead, this school heavily selects for hiring quirky people with unusual styles who have "soul in the game" (IE: who actually care about what they're doing and about their students and have a deep belief that it's important, people who would continue to teach even if there was no pressure to do so and if it was easier to not teach).

-Unusual or unique classroom management and teaching styles are strongly encouraged, so long as they appear to be successful. People who are both personally and professionally non-conformist in appearance, lifestyle, and dress are rewarded for it.

-While this isn't immune to Goodhart's Law (nothing is), this type of behaviors seems unusually hard and expensive to fake compared to actually being a quirky individual with their own philosophy of teaching and soul in the game, and tends to be mostly incompatible with most maze-like behavior.

-The school principal and administration fairly regularly makes a show of defying the irrational maze-behavior of higher levels of the school district bureaucracy in order to do what's right for the students, to such a degree that much of the staff is worried he's going to get himself fired and even tries to encourage him to play the game a little more so he doesn't. Nonetheless that attitude really sets the tone for the school.