I was in Natchitoches, unfortunately, so a bit away from you. I met a guy once from Munroe. But I’ve since moved to Virginia, so I probably won’t be attending any hypothetical LA meetups.
Huh. A sister (chemical) plant to mine manufactures HPMC in Belgium. That’s probably what’s making the actual barrier. I wonder how necessary the other ingredients are.
I only give 10%, but that is enough to make itemizing deductions worth it for me, when combined with my mortgage interest. I am also looking to retire early (or at least become financially independent and increase donations substantially). Good financial advice is always relevant to everyone.
Three hundred dollars is a pretty minimal deduction. I expect there are at least a few effective altruists on here who have significant enough charitable contributions that it still makes sense to itemize deductions even with the increase in the standard deduction.
cash contributions to charity have a special call-out
Is this true? I don’t think it is. From irs.gov: “You may deduct charitable contributions of money or property made to qualified organizations if you itemize your deductions.”
I found my favorite strategy for responding to salary questions on r/negotiation several months back: “Right now I’m focused on trying to figure out if this job is a good fit for the direction I want to take my career. If we both decide it is, I’m sure we can come to an understanding on salary.”
Then, if they press: “Well I don’t think it’s fair to consider just salary in comparing job offers. I’d have to look at a total holistic benefits package to fairly compare two offers.”
Then if they insist: “Look, you and I both know that my naming a desired salary puts me at a negotiating disadvantage. Please don’t ask again.” At this point, you probably don’t want to work at this company anyway.
I’m in a pretty high tax bracket, but I still do Roth IRA/401k contributions. This is because if you are maxing out your accounts (which if your goal is “early” retirement, you almost certainly will be) you are protecting more real dollars from taxes. The contribution limits are the same regardless of whether you contribute on a traditional or Roth basis. If I can protect $6000 and never have to pay taxes on it or protect $6000 that I’ll eventually have to pay taxes on, I’d rather take the tax penalty now and protect more real dollars. I never see this discussed anywhere, but it’s my primary motivating factor in doing Roth. There is also the flexibility consideration which you mention. (There are also more advanced strategies such as backdoor Roths and mega-backdoor Roths that you didn’t really touch on, but they’re not super important.)
One thing you don’t discuss is the tax advantages of owning a home. All interest you pay (in the US) is tax deductible. Commentary on the prudence of that aside, it doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. Besides which, interest rates are currently so low that it probably makes sense to finance other items as well, even if you have the ability to pay for them out of pocket. But I’m not up to speed on car/student/etc. loans, so that might not be true for other asset classes. My recently refinanced interest rate on my home is 2.5%. At a rate like that they are literally giving money away, if you assume 3% inflation every year (admittedly a debatable assumption). If you are risk-tolerant (most people aren’t risk tolerant enough, remember) you should generally be happy to finance debt to invest the returns in the market.
Interesting. I didn’t realize that (wasn’t active on LW at the time). Is Scott not interested in cross posting?
Does Scott’s contract with Substack prevent automatic cross-posting here? I really do loathe Substack as a UI.
One of the differences is that transmission is, for obvious reasons, much, much easier to control on an island. Hawaii isn’t doing nearly as badly as the rest of the United States, for example.
I downloaded the dataset from OurWorldinData and estimated the % of cases coming from the UK strain based on the GSAID chart (Note: It’s unclear what exactly they mean by “Week 47”, so the percentages might be off by up to 7 days, but I did my best.) If there is better data on this, (In particular, an updated GSAID dataset) please let me know, I couldn’t find any. I would be happy to redo the below analysis with data past 11⁄16.
On the below charts, the top chart is total Covid cases. The bottom chart is total Covid cases broken down by strain. I started this by saying I thought you were overreacting, but then I deleted that sentence, because now I’m not sure. One thing you will notice that is lost in the above is that the emergence of the new strain was immediately followed by a large reduction in total cases. It was already at 10% of sequenced strains by ~11/16. This gives me some hope that things are not as dire as maybe they appear. Without the data from 11⁄17 onward, it seems really hard to say what’s happening in the UK with respect to the new strain. But I’m finding several sources now that are saying current infections in the UK are ~50% new strain. So that would be consistent with the possibility that lockdowns leveled out the old strain infections at ~15000 per day and the rise over the last few weeks is all attributable to the new strain. But I think ultimately the data I have is inconclusive.
“It’s clear that [testing] demand greatly exceeds supply.”
Is this true? Are people that want tests unable to get them? Or do people just not want to get tested? Or did we tell people early in the pandemic that testing capacity was limited and that they shouldn’t get tested unless they’ve been exposed and people still believe that now? I suspect it’s the last.
I’ve had three tests, all paid for 100% by insurance (I think it would be $64 w/o insurance, IIRC). Turn around time on the first (early June) was three days, second (Nov) was three days, and the third (a few days ago) was a day and a half. The only thing I had to do each time was tell them that I was exposed at work, which was varyingly true. My brother gets tested every other week through work. Fiancée got tested at CVS and they didn’t even ask her that screening question. I haven’t had a single experience leading me to believe tests are in short supply.
Also, yes, air ducts can almost certainly spread the virus, and six feet is not a magic number.
Don’t tell my employer that. The guy in the office next to me got it (from a meeting at work) and gave it to the girl across from me. There are a total of four offices in my building. I was deemed “not to be a close contact”.
The money question to me WRT the UK strain is what it’s doing in other countries. Are other countries where the strain has been detected seeing the same rise in cases? Are they doing enough sequencing to know it even if they are?
Great list. Thanks for posting.
20. The 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes of screenwork, look at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will reduce eye strain and is easy to remember (or program reminders for).
I noticed my eyes were horribly bloodshot yesterday, so I just downloaded a Chrome extension that will remind me to do this every 20 minutes. (File under: Automate literally everything)
23. (~This is not medical advice~). Don’t waste money on multivitamins, they don’t work. Vitamin D supplementation does seem to work, which is important because deficiency is common.
I would really really love for someone (Scott) to write “Vitamins: Much More Than You Wanted to Know”, because I’m not sure I agree with this one. In particular, it seems like one of those areas where the science is all exceptionally poorly done. I take four vitamins (with a meal Soylent) daily, a multivitamin, a B complex, 5000 IU of Vitamin D, and a Algae Oil pill. I’m pretty confident in the research around Vitamin D and DHA/EPA (I am a vegetarian), but the Vitamin B and multivitamin I’m much less sure of, and I’ve heard this specific advice many times. But that being said, I can buy a year’s supply at Costco for $20. If they’re doing anything that’s worth it. Health is irreplaceable in a way that money is not.
53. To start defining your problems, say (out loud) “everything in my life is completely fine.” Notice what objections arise.
This one is great. I come at it from a slightly different angle of appreciating what you have though. A couple years ago I formed a habit of, whenever I think about it, I take a deep breath and say to myself “I have a great life”, and I think of all of the many satisfactions that I have that many people don’t.
That’s interesting. Do you have specific examples? I’d be interested the context where he said that. I do agree if that reduced Eliezer’s contribution that was a significant negative impact.
My concern is more rooted in status. LW is already associated enough with fringe ideas, I don’t think it does us well to be seen endorsing low-status things without evidence. Imagine (as an extreme example, I’m not trying to equate the two) if I said something about Flat Earth Theory and then if I was challenged on it said that I didn’t think it was an appropriate place to discuss it. That’s… not a good look.
I think if you don’t want to debate or defend controversial statements it’s probably best to just not make them in the first place.
I guess I’ll introduce myself? Ordinary story, came from HPMOR, blah blah blah. I was active on 1.0 for awhile when I was in college, but changed usernames when I decided I didn’t want my real name to be googleable. I doubt anyone really remembers it anyway. Quit going there when 1.0 became not so much of a thing anymore. Hung out with some of the people on rationalist Tumblr for awhile before that stopped being so much of a thing too. If you recognize the name, it’s probably from there. Got on Twitter recently, but that’s more about college football than it is the rationalist community. Was vaguely aware of the LW 2.0 effort and poked around a little when it was launched, but never stuck. I think I saw something about the books on Twitter and thought that was cool. Came back this week and was surprised at how active it was. So if this is to say anything it’s to say good job to the team on growing the site back up.
On a side note, I used to live in rural Louisiana, which pretty obviously didn’t have a rationalist community (Though I did meet a guy who lived a couple hours away once) and now I’m in Richmond, VA. Most surveys I’ve seen still show me as the only one here, (There’s obviously the DC group, but nothing my way.) but if any of you are ever around after this whole “global pandemic” thing is over, hit me up.
Am I the only one who doesn’t understand the Moderna Efficacy Table you screencapped?
39/1079 is an infection rate of 3.61% (They have 96.7%, which I assume means virus free? But that doesn’t match)
They say 7 out of 996 got infected who got one dose of the vaccine. That’s an infection rate of 0.703%. 0.703% / 3.61% = 19.4%, which I would call an 80.6% “effective” vaccine. They show a percentage of 87.5%?
None of this really matters, I guess, because the overall point is the same. Obviously one dose is ~pretty effective for varying definitions of “pretty”. But it’s still not clear to me what kind of math they’re doing.
I wasn’t trying to suggest that the discourse doesn’t exist. I agree its existence is self-evident. Nor was I trying to censor you. I think your first comment was a good one.
My point was that you made a controversial statement (“For a majority of women that behavior isn’t attractive.”) for which the only evidence you offered was the existence of a controversy surrounding it. Then when someone told you that didn’t match their experience (a comment that was upvoted significantly, indicating this is likely true for many people, as it is for me) and asked you to support that claim, you declined to offer any more evidence of your original claim. That is the behavior that I don’t think belongs here, and I stand by that.
I’m interested in attending. But it is unclear how I might actually do that, even on the Facebook event. This seems like a barrier to entry you all did not intend.
I don’t think this is the place for unsupported theses.