I’ve personally looked into DIYing modafinil. The process itself actually seems pretty straightforward organic chemistry—all the reagents are available online, and the synthesis is clearly described in patent filings. I also found that the hardest part would be “what quality assurance steps are typically used?”.
But that’s just chemistry, and while my knowledge of the subject is shaky I can get by going slowly and looking things up. Vaccines and biology feels like a much scarier black box, amounting to “something something mRNA???”, but I’d guess it’s probably much more achievable than the average person would guess.
Agreed—conditional on the EMH holding, I think the most likely explanation is that you’re taking on risk you’re not aware of. If this is indeed the case, I’d expect a traditional financial advisor to be able to pick up on it very quickly, and so I’m curious what such a person has to say.
If that’s not the case, my guess is that the quants on wall street are bogged down in some kind of inflexible process that prevents them from targeting the opportunities you’re going for. That feels like a stretch, though. Or maybe it’s some kind of knowledge that’s illegible to a trading bot?
Personally, this is still an update in the direction of “I should be browsing obscure financial subreddits”
This is the premise of the chapter “8 May 1905” of Einstein’s Dreams (“The world will end on 26 September 1907. Everyone knows it.”)
In the PDF that shows up in google results, it starts on page 65. The chapter can be read on its own without context.
I’m a bit late to the party, but I’d like to mention Vimium. It’s a browser extension (chrome and a firefox port) that creates vim-like hotkeys and injects them into every page.
Scroll with “hjkl”, search with ”/”, jump tabs and bookmarks with “T” or “B”. My favorite command is “f”, which puts a little box with letters next to everything clickable on the page. Type the letters and it clicks the element.
I’d estimate I use the mouse for browser navigation about 20-30% of the time. The activation energy for learning to use “f” in particular was very low, because it was almost immediately a better experience than using the mouse.
So, for optimizing a process with many variables (like tomato sauce), estimate the direction you might improve each variable and move a small amount in that direction, instead of exhaustively testing each variable independently? Because we know that actually works pretty well.
There are some things that Alice does that a gradient descent optimizer doesn’t, though, which might also be important. Particularly: she recognizes which variables are likely to affect which features, and she adds a new variable (carrot) from a rather large search space.
I wonder if Alice is vulnerable to a local minimum trap—she might converge upon pretty good tomato sauce that she can’t improve upon, while Bob exhaustively searches for (and might eventually find) a perfect tomato sauce. I agree with the point, though—if you try Bob’s strategy, you’ll be eating a lot of bad sauce in the process of exploring all possible ingredient combinations.