LessWrong developer, rationalist since the Overcoming Bias days. Connoisseur of jargon.
Certainly if lawsuits were allowed for approving things but not allowed for failing to approve things, that would be a disaster. But the issue here isn’t that they approved something they shouldn’t have, it’s that, faced with extremely time-sensitive approval decisions, they keep dragging their feet and waiting weeks while not appearing to do anything in the mean time, ie failing to do their job promptly. If they could be sued for that, it would likely be an improvement.
When I originally floated the idea on Facebook, I was considering implementing it as an LW feature directly, which would’ve been a lot of effort. Then it turned out ThoughtSaver was already building it, with cross-site integration in mind. The actual implementation on LessWrong works the same way as the Metaculus and Elicit integrations we already had, and took less than an hour on our end. (Much more than an hour of effort on ThoughtSaver’s end, obvciously, but amortized across more applications than just LessWrong integration, and that part of the effort didn’t come from the LessWrong team.)
Discussions of rent control never seem to distinguish between rent control on new and recently constructed units (which suppresses construction), and rent control on 20+-year-old houses (which doesn’t). Paying attention to this distinction suggests some easy wins, like waiving property tax for the first few years of a building’s life.
AFAICT there isn’t significant disagreement among experts about the effects of rent control, construction, etc on housing prices. However, I don’t think local policymakers have reliable access to uncorrupted information; if they try to find out what effects policies will have, then political processes can guide them to a tiny minority of economists who will tell them whatever those political processes wanted them to hear. It might help to tell city councilmembers that they can pin an economics-department directory to a dartboard, and that throwing darts at it and emailing whoever comes up will get them more reliable information than they’re currently getting.
This does not work without a drastic reduction in total government expenditure. The reason is that the majority of “wealth” is in the form of individuals’ earnings potential, but this can’t be owned (or rather, owning a share of someone’s earnings potential is just income tax under a different name).
Online discussion about this subject is traditionally full of people making bald assertions like this, without evidence they understand any of the subject quantitatively. “Hundreds of tons” is not an intensifier that you stick in a sentence like the word “very”; it’s a number that (a) should be sourced, and (b) is only meaningful in comparison with other waste streams, eg fly ash.
An important caveat to the vaccine-latency estimates is that some people will have been infected before they were vaccinated, but still be in the incubation period. These people will not be protected much by the vaccine, obviously, but in the graph they look like they were infected post-vaccination. So when estimating the risk others pose to you, subtract off the approximate incubation period (~7d) from the latency estimates. (But when estimating the risk you pose to others, don’t subtract that off, because you could be in the incubation period and not know it.)
Maybe inconsistent actions by different government agencies as a result of poor communication? Where nuclear weapons are concerned, poor communication is to be expected.
This all makes sense. But also, I strongly suspect that sabotaging the nuclear power industry this way was a deliberate choice, driven by nuclear weapon proliferation concerns. The experience curve for nuclear power has a lot of overlapping pieces with the experience curve for nuclear weapons; if the US went all-nuclear for its electricity, then other countries would follow, and it’d be a lot harder to stop a country from acquiring nuclear weapons when they already have nuclear power. Similarly, nuclear reactors are a vital piece of US naval power, and commoditized nuclear power generation would undermine that.
I don’t think these concerns were worth sacrificing nuclear power, given how much of a problem CO2 emissions turned out to be. But it does mean that the right strategy for fixing things might be subtler than it looks, and involve finding a department hidden away somewhere and convincing them that there are new reactor designs with less proliferation risk.
No. The FDA is fully immune to lawsuits related to its decisions, no matter how moronic.
It depends what you mean by “rough proxy”, and whether you’re applying it to scientific papers (where Goodhart has been out in force for decades, so a one-time check is off the table) or to LessWrong posts (where citation-count has never been something people cared about). Most things have zero citations, and this is indeed a negative quality signal. But after you get to stuff that’s cited at all, citation count is mainly determined by the type and SEO of a paper, rather than its quality. Eg this paper. Citations also don’t distinguish building upon something from criticizing it. That’s much worse in the Goodhart arena than the one-time arena, but still pretty bad in the one-shot case.
I’m posting here (cross-posted with my FB wall and Twitter) mostly to vent about it, and to warn people that sharing VR headsets has infosec implications they may not have been aware of. I don’t think this comment will have much effect on Facebook’s actions.
On October 26, 2020, I submitted a security vulnerability report to the Facebook bug bounty program. The submission was rejected as a duplicate. As of today (April 14), it is still not fixed. I just resubmitted, since it seems to have fallen through the cracks or something. However, I consider all my responsible disclosure responsibilities to be discharged.
Once an Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2 is logged in to a Facebook account, its login can’t be revoked. There is login-token revocation UI in Facebook’s Settings>Security and Login menu, but changing the account password and revoking the login there does not work.
One practical impact of this is that if your Facebook account is ever compromised, and the attacker uses this vulnerability, they have permanent access.
The other practical impact is that if someone has unsupervised access to your unlocked Quest headset, and they use the built-in web browser to go to facebook.com, they have full access to your Facebook account, including Messenger, without having to do anything special at all. This means that if you’ve ever made a confidentiality agreement regarding something you discussed on Facebook Messenger, you probably can’t lend your headset to anyone, ever.
Additionally, the lock-screen on the Oculus Quest 2 does not have a strict enough rate limit; it gives unlimited tries at 2/minute, so trying all lock-screen combinations takes approximately 35 days. This can be done without network access, and can be automated with some effort. So if someone steals a *locked* Oculus Quest 2, they can also use that to break into your Facebook account. There is almost certainly a much faster way to do this involving disassembling the device, but this is bad enough.
One methodological worry I have with some (but not all) of these studies is: suppose some kinds of air pollution interact with a slow-adjusting homeostatic mechanism. In that case, the results on short-term intervention tests wouldn’t generalize to long-term effects.
Some athletes will spend time at higher altitudes, because the reduced air pressure causes their body to produce additional red blood cells to compensate, which they can keep for awhile when they return to sea level. Suppose increasing CO2 or particulate concentration worked the same way as increasing altitude. Then all the studies which worked by manipulating the air in a room for the duration of a single exam would be misleading.
It looks like this is a software product; they aren’t making CGMs, they’re reselling the Freestyle Libre. There’s nothing wrong with writing data-analysis software for CGM data, but this kind of software is a fairly commoditized, low-value high-competition market, especially in comparison to the CGM hardware market, which makes billions of dollars a year in revenue. Their marketing presentation seems like it’s trying to obfuscate this distinction.
I think vitamin D deficiency might be the hidden factor that determines vulnerability. Reasons for thinking this:
Vitamin D is an immune modulator, so there’s a clear mechanism.
Vitamin D deficiency is about the right fraction of the population, 29-41% depending where you set the threshold, which approximately matches the household secondary attack rate and the infection rate at superspreading events.
It varies over time with random variation in diet and indoor/outdoor activity patterns.
It correlates with season, latitude, race and BMI.
I think there’s a reasonably high chance that, if any town had handed out 5kIU vitamin D supplements to everyone, that town would have had almost no cases.
This is occupying a weird place half-way between satire, and a real thing that could be useful. As a piece of mildly offensive satire, it works as-is; as a thing that could go on a real website, it doesn’t.
On one hand: enforcing high standards can make for much better spaces, and impartial standards are great. There are some kinds of forums where requiring new users to solve a tricky math problem would be really good. There’s a real, major problem with people entering and dragging down conversations that require knowledge they don’t have, and flooding what could otherwise have been intellectual spaces with petty drama.
On the other hand, the way this is framed and presented seems unnecessarily alienating. It sets a high bar, while seeming to pretend that it’s a low bar. It starts with a checkbox labelled “I’m not stupid”, then asks a question which the majority of people won’t be able to solve. If the label was more straightforward about where it was setting the bar, in a way that was respectful to the people it turned away (while still turning them away), I think this could be used on real sites.
Some people have a sense of humor. Some people pretend to be using humor, to give plausible deniability to their cruelty. On April 1st, the former group becomes active, and the latter group goes quiet.
This is too noisy to use for judging individuals, but it seems to work reasonably well for evaluating groups and cultures. Humor-as-humor and humor-as-cover weren’t all that difficult to tell apart in the first place, but I imagine a certain sort of confused person could be pointed at this in order to make the distinction salient.
Looking at your list of objects, used to estimate how much hardware will be needed to create AGI, I am worried that there may be a problem, related to something I’ve heard of but didn’t quite understand, called “reference class tennis”. To address the problem, I suggest adding a tennis racket, a tennis ball, and a tennis court to the list of objects. This should also help to make the result more statistically significant, by increasing the sample size.
Will it be able to infer my desired username and password from public data sources, or will I have to make an account?
Rob Bensinger wrote a pretty good summary of consciousness for the LW wiki/tag page. The short version is: When the quarks are arranged in a way that implements an algorithm, and that algorithm has certain properties (though the exact details of those properties are somewhat difficult to pin down, since we don’t understand intelligence all that well yet).