Just this guy, you know?
You’re overthinking this. First Doses First would have been the better policy a few months ago, but in most places it just hasn’t taken hold, and delivery has ramped up to the point that appointments are fairly easy to get for anyone who wants it. They’re often a few weeks out, but the optimization of delaying yours by X weeks to get someone else’s X weeks earlier is not worth the effort.
Get your second shot. Show everyone that getting the shots as recommended is the right general answer. Encourage standardization and avoid contrarianism and confusion, except on topics where it’s egregious and clearly needed.
I think this is simultaneously too weak a statement, and too harsh a judgement of analogies. In truth, ALL analogies are wrong. The entire point is that there are two distinct things/situations that you’re comparing. There are going to be differences which your analogy ignores. However, this is just a subset of the fact that all models are wrong. The entire discussion is about maps, not territory. Reality is simply too complex to fully understand or communicate, so you internally use analogies and models to predict bits of it. There’s no avoiding that.
I take your point that arguing and convincing are generally indicators that you’re moving away from truth-seeking. In those cases, analogy isn’t the problem; there’s a more fundamental power dynamic that’s getting in the way.
None of my beliefs feel weird to me—I find it weird that many/most people seem to believe different things.
For this site, I’ll go with radical anti-realism. All value is personal and relative—there is no objective view or measure about moral decisions. Crowley had it right (on this point; he was wackadoo on others) “Do what thou wilt, and then do nothing else”.
I think you’re missing an underlying point about the Boltzmann Brain concept—simulating an observer’s memory and perception is (probably) much easier than simulating the things that seem to cause the perceptions.
Once you open up the idea that universes and simulations are subject to probability, a self-contained instantaneous experiencer is strictly more probable than a universe which evolves the equivalent brain structure and fills it with experiences, or a simulation of the brain plus some particles or local activity which change it over time.
A lot depends on how much personal control you have of when and what kind of vaccine you get. If you knew for certain you could wait 3 weeks and get your preferred vaccine, that’s probably better than taking J&J today. But if there’s a fair chance that you WON’T be able to—either you’ll have to wait much longer or take J&J anyway, you’re probably better off just taking it now.
The driving factor is just how much COVID-19 sucks, and the cost of getting it during that voluntary gap. If you’re truly comfortable and truly locked down, then waiting longer is more reasonable, and it also lets people who need it more than you get it sooner. In that case, delays of up to a few months may be justified. If you’re only mostly locked down (as I am—I still go out briefly a few times a week for things that can’t easily be delivered), then delay is riskier and you should prioritize any vaccine, delaying no more than a week or two.
The flip side of this is tradeoff bias (a term I just made up—it’s related to false dichotomies). Assuming you have to give up something to get a desired goal, and that costs always equal rewards is a mistake. Some people CAN get all As, excel at sports, and have a satisfying social life. Those people should absolutely do so.
I think the post has good underlying advice: don’t beat yourself up or make bad tradeoffs if you CAN’T have it all. Experimenting to understand tradeoffs, and making reasoned choices about what you really value is necessary. But don’t give up things you CAN get, just because you assume there’s a cost you can’t identify.
Anthropic reasoning is hard. It’s especially hard when there’s no outside position or evidence about the space of counterfactual possibilities (or really, any operational definition of “possible”).
I agree that we’re equally likely to be in any simulation (or reality) that contains us. But I don’t think that’s as useful as you seem to think. We have no evidence of the number or variety of simulations that match our experience/memory. I also like the simplicity assumption—Occam’s razor continues to be useful. But I’m not sure how to apply it—I very quickly run into the problem that “god is angry” is a much simpler explanation than a massive set of quantum interactions.
Is is simpler for someone to just simulate this experience I’m having, or to simulate a universe that happens to contain me? I really don’t know. I don’t find https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain to be that compelling as a random occurrence, but I have to admit that as the result of an optimization/intentional process like a simulation, it’s simpler than the explanation that there has actually existed or been simulated the full history of specific things which I remember.
On self-reflection, I just plain don’t care about people far away as much as those near to me. Parts of me think I should, but other parts aren’t swayed. The fact that a lot of the motivating stories for EA don’t address this at all is one of the reasons I don’t listen very closely to EA advice.
I am (somewhat) an altruist. And I strive to be effective at everything I undertake. But I’m not an EA, and I don’t really understand those who are.
is not of type
For something that’s impossible to implement, this seems like a surprisingly small step toward EITHER futarchy and the embedding of good conditional predictions in more policy and behavioral decisions, OR to resolving the broken incentives of prosecutors (convictions, not truth).
I was mostly reacting to “I’d previously talked about how it would be neat if LW reacts specifically gave people affordance to think subtler epistemically-useful thoughts. ”, and failed my own first rule of evaluation: “compared to what?”.
As something with more variations than karma/votes, and less distracting/lower hurdle than comments, I can see reacts as filling a niche. I’d kind of lean toward more like tagging and less like 5-10 variations on a vote.
I don’t participate in a very wide swath of social media, so this may vary beyond FB and the like. But from what I can tell, reacts do exactly the opposite of what you say—they’re pure mood affiliation, with far less incentive nor opportunity for subtlety or epistemically-useful feedback than comments have.
The LW reacts you’ve discussed in the past (not like/laugh/cry/etc, but updated/good-data/clear-modeling or whatnot) probably DO give some opportunity, but can never be as subtle or clear as a comment. I wonder if something like Slack’s custom-reacts (any user can upload an icon and label it for use as a react) would be a good way to get both precision and ease. Or perhaps just a flag for “meta-comment”, which lets people write arbitrary text that’s a comment on the impact or style or whatnot, leaving non-flagged comments as object-level comments about the topic of the post or parent.
Thanks for this—I mostly agree, but it’s important to note that a lot of this is confusion about the metaphor(s) of identity such that “keep it small” actually means anything. Let alone that it means to me what Paul Graham intended. Let alone whether what works for him works for me or you.
I tend to think of “keep my identity small” as “keep my attachments to identity dimensions weak”. I am not my (current) identity—neither the salient points of a self-image at any point in time, nor the things that any friends or acquaintances use to summarize and predict me. I am a collection of related identities across contexts and time. I’m not sure if I’m more than that, but I’m at least that, not any given point-identity.
I’ve very happy to take your reminder that the best path (for most of us) to this is acceptance rather than denial or force. Accept that your self-perception is incomplete, and that your experiences will be deeply impacted by self-image and the many many variations of others’ image of you. You CAN adjust these images and perceptions, but you probably CANNOT just declare them to be different.
It’s not a topic I expect to learn from or make much use of, and I think that variations in individual situation and definitions of “attractiveness” are great enough that it makes advice difficult to give or hear without getting tangled up in judgement and perceived judgement.
That said, there are very likely interesting discoveries and experiences you can share, and there’s almost no topic that’s not appropriate for this forum, if the focus is on experimentation, evidence, and structured approach to important-to-people topics.
I’d say go for it. It could help someone, it could get you useful feedback in your endeavors, it could be interesting or trigger side-discussions that are fun, and it’s unlikely to do any harm. Hmm, maybe move this paragraph to the start of my answer.
Weirder or less weird about this than about other things people do with their money? Seems better than going on vacation or owning fancier houses, which are things nobody bats an eye at.
Is the conflict about how much social credit you give the donors for being generous, but inefficient? You want to appreciate the generosity while bemoaning the inefficiency. Sounds like you are, at least a bit, Utilitarian in that.
I personally focus on the generosity—doing something uncoerced to help someone, at some cost to oneself, is laudable. Yay them! There are certainly some ineffeciencies and side-effects that would make the consequences negative or zero, and this would make me less supportive, of course. But that doesn’t apply here—I recognize that it’s complicated what the actual effects are. The $2M isn’t being burned to keep the kid alive, it’s going to fund professionals, equipment, and systems which will save the kid, but also be in place to save more kids and generally get better at saving people.
You win! You’ve proven Less Wrong to be unwilling to engage whatever point you were making. Now why are you trying to chide the same closed-minded jerks about their failings?
“Government incompetence” is a fully-general objection to almost anything. I wish it weren’t so often a CORRECT objection.
And vaccine passports are exactly the sort of topic which we should expect such incompetence. It’s unclear what problems are being solved by them, what measurements can be used to adjust or kill the program if it’s not working, or what the incentives are of any players involved.
I don’t have a good inside-view model of the large numbers of people going maskless in crowds without the vaccine, but my outside-view model of them makes it seem VERY likely that they’ll just ignore it for most things, and forge or otherwise bypass it if actively enforced.
Really, the blend of arguments adds up to “why bother?”
Most auto shops will do a safety/mechanical inspection for a small amount (usually in the $50-200 range, but be aware that the cheaper ones subsidize it by anticipating that they can sell you services to fix the car if you buy it).
However, as others have said, this price point is too low for your first car as a novice, unless you have a mentor and intend to spend a lot of time learning to maintain/fix. Something reliable enough for you to actually run the experiment and get the information you want about the benefits vs frustrations of owning a car is going to run probably $5-$10K, depending on regional variance and specifics of your needs. For a first car, look into getting a warranty, not because it’s a good insurance bet, but because it forces the seller to make claims of warrantability to their insurance company.
You can probably cut the cost in half (or more) if you educate yourself and get to know the local car community. If the car is a hobby rather than an experiment in transportation convenience, you can take a lot more risk, AND those risks are mitigated if you know how to get things fixed cheaply.
Just a note of thanks, for the essay (which I skimmed, and will read more thoroughly when I have more time), but more for all of your writing (and direct activity) regarding hacker culture. I hadn’t really made the connection in my mind between the different domains of rational/skeptical/hacker thought until this—I’m between you and Eliezer in age, and have considered myself a hacker since the mid-80s, having read a different subset of historical thought—light on philosophy, very heavy on the SF that everyone references, but also Knuth and Hofstadter and Dijkstra which mixed philosophy of thinking with rigor of procedural execution. Anyway, thanks for this! And for any other readers who aren’t familiar with your work, check out the Rootless Root at http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/unix-koans/ .
“Ritual” and “magic” are related, but not identical. You’re correct that many of the participants don’t know the full evolution behind the rituals, and many of the components make no sense to you or I. The rituals that make things Official do somewhat well at the job of seeming important and making it less likely for an average person to think they can get away with cheating, and make it easier for an adjudicator to see whether things appear “standard” and they need only to verify actual details, or whether everything is haphazard and they have to examine process and provenance before even thinking about the details.
That feeling that these irrelevant processes are critical to get right, or un-defined Bad Things will happen, is a benefit of rituals.