Workers are only sterile in the most eusocial of species. In others, being a worker vs. queen is something of a choice, and if circumstances change a worker may start reproducing. There isn’t a sharp transition between cooperative breeding and eusociality.
Even in very eusocial haplodiploid species (so ants and bees, but not termites), unmated workers may reproduce after the death of the queen. They can only produce sons, but it’s still reproduction. .
The reason it still took over the macroscopic world is that evolution does not simply select for reproductive fitness
Here I define reproductive fitness as the average ability of your genes to reproduce
I think this is false by definition? The thing evolution selects for is the ability of genes to reproduce. How are you using the terms here?
The first time: I made no conscious choice about sugar consumption. One day I noticed I’d had the same dessert in my fridge for weeks without any desire to eat it. If I was alone I just had no desire for sugar. If someone prompted me to eat sugar I’d say I didn’t want to break the streak. The desire definitely came back gradually, but my watermelon consumption also trailed off gradually as it became harder to get.
The second time: desire for sugar went away the second I gave up stevia soda (which was months after restarting watermelon).
I think gut bacteria likely are in play here, but it seems like the good bacteria can be cultivated while still consuming sugar.
oh interesting. Do you have any thoughts on how long it would take for that effect to kick in?
I take a supplement (mostly for the other ingredient) that has 250-500mg of inositol. 2 lbs of watermelon has 280mg (source: first hit on google), and presumably there’s more in other foods I eat. I’d be surprised at that big an effect on sugar from such a modest change, but there could be threshold effects, or it could be a combination of things.
This is funny because my next post (not yet cross-posted here) is on inositol for anxiety.
lmk how it goes, I’d love to have more data.
FWIW, my matching symptom buddy says he also got good results from ketotifen and naltrexone
A repost from the discussion on NDAs and Wave (a software company). Wave was recently publicly revealed to have made severance dependent on non-disparagement agreements, cloaked by non-disclosure agreements. I had previously worked at Wave, but negotiated away the non-disclosure agreement (but not the non-disparagement agreement).
But my guess is that most of the people you sent to Wave were capable of understanding what they were signing and thinking through the implications of what they were agreeing to, even if they didn’t actually have the conscientiousness / wisdom / quick-thinking to do so. (Except, apparently, Elizabeth. Bravo, @Elizabeth!)
I appreciate the kudos here, but feel like I should give more context.
I think some of what led to me to renegotiate was a stubborn streak and righteousness about truth. I mostly hear when those traits annoy people, so it’s really nice to have them recognized in a good light here. But that righteous streak was greatly enabled by the fact that my mom is a lawyer who modeled reading legal documents before signing (even when it’s embarrassing your kids who just want to join their friends at the rockclimbing birthday party), and that I could afford to forgo severance. Obviously I really wanted the money, and I couldn’t afford to take this kind of stand every week. But I believe there were people who couldn’t even afford to add a few extra days, and so almost had to cave
To the extent people in that second group were unvirtuous, I think the lack of virtue occurred when they didn’t create enough financial slack to even have the time to negotiate. By the time they were laid off without a cushion it was too late. And that’s not available to everyone- Wave paid well, but emergencies happen, any one of them could have a really good reason their emergency fund was empty.
So the main thing I want to pitch here is that “getting yourself into a position where virtue is cheap” is an underrated strategy.
There’s also a dynamic of something like… this is one of those issues where being too interested in the problem is correlated with being bad at solving it. Obviously you have to compromise on this a little or these kinds of things never get done, but if someone’s only qualification is interest I think the EV is very negative.
That sounds really discouraging, so I want to tell @tailcalled: I think it’s great you care about people are want to prevent them from being hurt. I think the easiest, least risky way to do that is to create abundance so people have less dependence on any one entity and are thus less vulnerable. The more parties being thrown by people who aren’t creeps (or harboring creeps), the easier it is to avoid the parties that are. So I’d encourage you to start by building socially, rather than investigation.
One thing that struck me reading your post was the number of times I wanted to say “no, you”. Issues where you see mistreatment of vegans or bad epistemics from omnivores, and I see the symmetric bad behavior from vegans. My guess is we’re both accurately describing things we’ve seen, and we’re both activated and protective after engaging in a lot of interactions where the other party was acting in bad faith. And those situations just take a lot of time to wind backwards, even though I think we’ve both done admirable jobs of it here.
I few things I thing are important and could possibly be addressed in a quick response:
You’re worried my posts will lead more people to eat meat. AFAIK the practical effects have been dozens of vegans getting tested (with some portion of those starting vegan supplements), and one and a half people saying the posts were a component leading them to consider adding meat in once or twice a week (and those came much later, not as a result of the testing posts). People are more likely to report supplements than diet changes, but I also think my posts deserve more responsibility for the tests and supplements than for the dietary changes. It would mean a great deal to me to have this empirical fact either explicitly disagreed with or acknowledged.
But you’re right my posts probably weren’t optimal for maximizing the number of vegans in the world. Probably because I wasn’t optimizing for that, because I don’t think it’s as important as you or other vegan advocates do. I consider this a direct consequence of EA vegan advocacy’s failure to provide basic nutritional education to the vegans it created. If you don’t want omnivores running your vegan education, provide it yourself.
You bring up EA/rat optimization drive as the root cause of nutritional issues. I think your description is confused but there is some core vibe I agree with, and I agree people would be better off relaxing that cosntraint on themselves. But I have no idea how to fix it. Meanwhile, for most existing naive vegans there’s a $20 bill on the floor, in the form of some simple tests and supplements. I do write posts along the lines of “chill out” and maybe they’re even helpful, but they have nowhere near the surgical problem-solving capacity of “hey here is a major problem you can fix with a pill.”
And yes, I do talk about $20 bills for omnivores (or just unrelated to diet) when I find them, but most of the problems with omnivorism are more complicated or involve giving up things people like, which is just much harder.
E.g. you see all the places not offering vegan meals. I see vegan meals at Lightcone and Constellation. EAG serves only vegan meals (even when the caterer is unequipped for this). My impression is CEA’s general policy is vegan-only. The upcoming Manifest conference explicitly promises vegetarian and vegan food. Atlas Fellowship workshops’ chefs would technically serve meat, but you could tell their focus was on the vegan food. You see omnivores as having bad epistemics and not giving their real reasons. I see the omnivores I knew in 2016 who were actively pursuing information about animal suffering and reducitarianism/ameliatarianism, until bad vegan advocates ground that curiosity down. Advocates who wouldn’t acknowledge the existence of trade offs, or differences in ability to be vegan, or wouldn’t let the discussion be about anything except veganism and vegetarianism even when vegetarianism was higher net suffering than the complicated thing the omnivore was considering.
Hi Martin- I really appreciate the thought and detail that went into this post, it was well worth the wait.
I have a lot of things I want to clarify, but suspect it just doesn’t make sense to do so in this format. One option would be to try out LW’s new Dialogue format. However I’d need to start this week, and it sounds like that’s not an option for you. If this is a thing where money can help, I have some grant money and a good dialogue would be a good use of it, but I understand it probably can’t. In which case hopefully you’ll see my next post when things clear up and we can talk then.
I forget how long they gave us at first (my deadline got extended). I do think that companies should give people long deadlines for this, and short deadlines are maybe the most antisocial part of this? People are predictably stressed out and have a lot to deal with (because they’ve been laid off or fired), and now they have to read complicated paperwork, find a lawyer, and negotiate with a company? That’s a lot.
Non-disparagement and non-disclosure feel complicated to me and I can see how strong blanket statements became the norm, but using tight deadlines to pressure people on significant legal and financial decisions seems quite bad.
I think some of what led to me to renegotiate was a stubborn streak and righteousness about truth. I mostly hear when those traits annoy people, so it’s really nice to have them recognized in a good light here. But that righteous streak was greatly enabled by the fact that my mom is a lawyer who modeled reading legal documents before signing (even when its embarrassing your kids who just want to join their friends at the rockclimbing birthday party), and that I could afford to forgo severance. Obviously I really wanted the money, and I couldn’t afford to take this kind of stand every week. But I believe there were people who couldn’t even afford to add a few extra days, and so almost had to cave
the median outcome for projects like this is doing far more harm than good
you haven’t given any indication you understand the risks, much less are likely to beat them.
This sounds like you’re saying “I won’t prescribe B12 until my patient gives up oreos” or even “I won’t prescribe B12 until everyone gives up oreos”, which would be an awful way to treat people. Even if you’re right that oreos represent a larger problem, taking B12 pills is useful in its own right, and easier than giving up oreos.
I assume you don’t mean that. You probably mean “I don’t think Elizabeth/anyone should spend time on veganism’s problems, when metabolic issues are doing so much more aggregate harm.” But tractability applies even more on a population level. People aren’t eating oreos out of ignorance: they know they’re bad. They eat them because taste is winning out over health.
It’s impossible for a blog post to fix “oreos taste good” or “people care more about taste than health”. But it’s pretty easy theoretically possible for a blog post to fix ignorance of the benefits of some tests and supplements. When I see similarly tractable opportunities to help omnivores, I take them.
Hell, I found a (vegan) cure for oreos tasting good (n=1). Finding it took years of self-experimentation (where the iron post took a few days, for more certainly). AFAIK no one else has tried it, because it takes consistent effort over several months to see an effect on weight.
So no, I am not going to let McDonalds shitty advertising hold up alerting people to problems with simple diagnoses with simple solutions
Especially by the time someone is in the doctor’s office for oreo-related problems. The people who find oreos easy to give up have already done so.
It also costs $5-$10/day, but I know people jumping through a lot of hoops to get semaglutide, so I’m pretty sure the issue here is the delay and uncertainty.
McDonalds and sugary cereal advertisers are widely viewed as harmful if not evil for the way they confuse the epistemic environment in order to make money and others’ expense. Calling something “no worse than fast food and sugary cereal advertisers” is an enormous moral and epistemic insult to it.
I spent a long time simplifying my life so that the number of things I needed to do really was manageable (which included limiting my freelance work to things that were either short or didn’t have deadlines. This required strategy and sacrifice on my end, but I also feel like I should own that I had other gifts that made it easier, like a set of skills people will sometimes pay a lot for even when I won’t do tight deadlines.
It was often hard for me to know what I was capable of because it fluctuates and because I sometimes won’t realize I’m spending down reserves until they’re gone, so it was really important not just that the overall workload be low, but that I be able to suddenly peace out without it being a disaster.
I also had to give up doing The Most Important Thing, in favor of Something That Will Actually Get Done. I think EA/rationality memes are paralyzing to a certain type of person, and what I really needed at the time was to do small things, for lots of reasons. the cumulative finishing of small things freed up energy in my life, it built a sense of efficacy, and it gave me information that was eventually useful in doing bigger things. I talk about this some here,
An intermediate point was, when choosing what to do for a day or week, forcing myself to think of one or two alternatives and choose between them. I didn’t have to pick the absolute best choice (which was I probably right was impossible, and was parayzling even if i was wrong), but I did have to think about my choice at all. This naturally built up the skill of identifying and choosing between options.
After things had been going well for several years, I started to get a sense that I really wanted more continuity and long term investment in my projects. This was different than the previous big-thinking, which was mostly about making other people happy (see the post I linked above). It was more like an itch, or a nutrient I needed. That started a little under two years ago. I spent the first year trying stuff, little of which panned out but I think I was following the right algorithm.
A little over one year ago I made a list of potential projects and resources they needed, and it became clear that getting myself more energy and time should be my top priority. Of ways to do that sleep was probably the most influential, except it was also affected by most things, so that didn’t really add much clarity. I spent three months with medical stuff being my primary focus, most of which was useless but at the very end I found a magic device that improved my life by 2 points out of 10 (unfortunately this only replicates for a few people).
I started creating or signing up for bigger commitments. I recently finished 2 months teaching at a summer program, and my next few months are spoken for by grants I applied for back in July (which was a big step for me, to be confident I’d want to stick with anything that long, and that I could predict it two months ahead of time). I’m currently in the middle of figuring out a project management system that will support my new workload, in addition to actually doing the work.
Something I want to caution here is that, if you’re like me, your body will eventually go on strike unless it believes in what you’re doing. So it was important to get myself internally aligned and pointed in the right direction before I stepped on the accelerator.
Oh man, it’s worse than that. My original paperwork had both a non-disparagement clause and a non-disclosure clause relating to the agreement itself. The latter was removed in my agreement but presumably not others’.
While I have the emails open, I want to note that the lawyer described the agreement as pretty standard.
It’s been a while but I think I remember who I negotiated with and it wasn’t Lincoln (or Drew, the other co-founder). I find it pretty plausible that person had the authority to make changes to my agreement without running them by the founders, but would not have had the authority to change the default. So it’s entirely possible multiple people pushed back but it never reached the conscious attention of the founders.
And it may not have even come up that often. I think I am several sigmas out in my willingness to read legal paperwork, push back, and walk away from severance payments, so you’d need a large sample to have it come up frequently. Wave probably hasn’t laid off or fired that many people with severance, and presumably the founders were less likely to hear about pushback as the company grew.
So it just seems really likely to me that Wave didn’t invest its limited energy in writing its own severance agreement, and the situation didn’t have enough feedback loops to make people with decision-making power question that.
I think you are incorrect.
Cryptid Brent Dill doesn’t look that much like the exiled Brent Dill. I’m mildly face blind and would normally defer to others on this, but it really doesn’t look like him to me.
Cryptid Brent Dill’s youtube channel goes back 6 years and seems based in the Pacific Northwest. That’s well before the exile, and while I guess I can’t rule out that he had a secret double life the whole time it seems really unlikely. I’ve heard credible rumors of where he has been in the meantime, and it wasn’t the PNW.
I don’t think making sure that no EA every give paid work to another EA, with out a formal contract, will help much
I feel like people are talking about written records like it’s a huge headache, but they don’t need to be. When freelancing I often negotiate verbally, then write an email with terms to the client., who can confirm or correct them. I don’t start work until they’ve confirmed acceptance of some set of terms. This has enough legal significance that it lowers my business insurance rates, and takes seconds if people are genuinely on the same page.
What my lawyer parent taught me was that contracts can’t prevent people from screwing you over. (which is impossible). At my scale and probably most cases described here, the purpose of a contract is to prevent misunderstandings between people of goodwill. And it’s so easy to do notably better than nonlinear did here.