I know you said android, but I use an iPad Pro and am quite happy with it. The biggest thing affecting drawing performance is pad-to-screen latency, and Apple has actual experts that have spent a lot of time on that problem at the OS and hardware level—I don’t think android is well set up to achieve anything similar because of OS/hardware disintegration.
Huh, interesting. I’d like to hear more about your plans & vision, but I’ve put my interest in the spreadsheet.
Regarding one’s ability to effect social change: It seems like the standard arguments about small-probability, high-impact paths apply. I think a lot of STEM types tend to default to shy away from policy change, not because of comparative advantage (which would often be a good reason) but because of some blind spot in the way technologists talk about how to get things done in society. I think for historical reasons (the way the rationality community has grown) we tend to be biased towards technical solutions and away from policy ones.
My position is similar to that of 80000 hours: it seems like a super high impact cause, vying for the top with AI risk, pandemic risk, global poverty, and maybe 1 or 2 others. But is far more widely recognized and worked-on than those other causes. Enough so that it doesn’t seem like the marginal thing I can do is interesting compared to other problems I could work on.
My models for how to work on it if I did decide to work on it: 1) technology—we should have technology that solves the problem if widely enough deployed. I think we are basically there with nuclear and solar PV+energy storage, so I would probably only spend 10% or so of time getting up to speed on the technology before focusing on
Policy—we need to convince people to deploy the technology. This seems bigger and harder than the technology one, because of two reasons: a) society’s nuclear blind spot and b) the short-term interests of oil companies and the like who are powerful opposition to any policy which would hurt them in the short run regardless of long term societal outcome.
I don’t have a clear policy agenda but it seems like some combination of carbon tax, investment in PV, and nuclear is the right way to go. I currently would expect that work on the nuclear blind spot would be the most leveraged thing. The reason we have a blind spot seems to be the work of environmentalists from the 70s. As long as we could get them to flip, that could propagate through society in a useful way.
Oh great! I realize a lot of different people might have different ideas about what the vision is. Could you spend a few sentences distilling what exactly excites you about the idea?
Ok, I’ve thought a lot about this but I don’t have a strong pitch to make yet.
Here are my thoughts:
Cost of living seems really important in the long run! High cost of living eats up lifestyle slack really quickly, which constrains the sorts of occupations that one can have while being part of the community.
That said, there is a pretty substantial tradeoff between optimizing a place for the community (essentially relying on your social life being in-community members), and optimizing it for the surroundings. e.g., if you pick a place for low cost-of-living, you might expect nearly all your friends to be people who live in your community. Whereas if you pick a big city, you are probably picking it because you expect a rich social life outside the community.
As Vaniver wrote, it makes sense to pick places which are well suited to create a pocket neighborhood. Living in the same city as your friends is good, but living 2 doors down from them is way more awesome!
I know people talk about the weather as being important, but I am not fully sold on that needing to be a constraint. Humans are adaptable and most people should be able to adjust to bad seasonal weather pretty quickly. Seasonal mood disorders are a real thing though, and if we did go to a place with bad weather, I would definitely want to invest as a community into infrastructure that can help with this. I also am not willing to accept bad air quality in exchange for more temperate weather—e.g., when I lived in Senegal, the weather was gorgeous but the air quality was terrible. (That said, in the US there aren’t many places with really bad air quality.)
One weird idea I am considering is the monastery life: explicitly try excluding the outside world, optimize the space only for the gated community, and see how it works. It’s just an experiment, but if people are interested, let me know. (Inspiration from Neal Stephenson’s Anathem :) )
This seems absolutely right to me. I’ve been noodling on ideas in this space for a long time and it definitely seems like the right end-state for living long term is more like an archipelago / cluster than the group houses we usually see. I also don’t know how to find places that are well suited to this sort of development.
But even without the support of a town, it should be possible, with enough planning/thoughtfulness, to purchase (over time) a high % of the properties within a given city block or cul-de-sac or apartment building or whatever. To me, this just seems like a chicken-and-egg coordination problem—there are so many plausible cul-de-sacs you could buy, none will be perfect but any could work if there was already momentum, but there’s not yet. (Also, most people are impatient and don’t have the lifestyle slack to wait 2-5 years for a place to open up in their desired pocket neighborhood)
Have you read https://www.benkuhn.net/hard/ ? Curious what you think. (Disclosure: I started the company that Ben works for, which does not have hard eng problems but does have a high potential for social impact)
Nice post. I’m excited—is there a place where people who want to work on this sort of thing / live there can coordinate?
$100k and $250k are standardized life insurance amounts which over-fund CI by a lot. I can get a $100k 10-year term life at $11/mo and a $250k one for $15/mo. I currently get $100k life insurance through my company so I just did that. Smaller than $100k doesn’t seem worth thinking about.
I do expect to pay out of pocket once I have saved enough money for the cost not to matter, because I want to stop dealing with the logistics of proof of insurance.
(Context: I’m an EA aligned startup founder. I wish my employees asked questions like this :) )
First and foremost, grow into a great employee and team member. This may sound self-serving, but it’s not: I think the employees who are individually great end up in thought leadership roles — I trust them more and thus give them a lot more leeway, and then those employees can start making their own decisions and expand the scope of what we do.
I suspect that what makes employees great is different in different companies, but there are certainly likely to be similarities: cultural resonance, individual effectiveness, and communication/cooperation skills.
Second, start thinking long term but be impatient in the short term. If you really like this company and want to grow within it, and think it can support you in your growth, then your marginal impact per hour of work is likely to increase by at least an order of magnitude over the next several years. There are lots of things you can do to accelerate this trend, and you should take those opportunities — but I tend to think that trust-building takes time. Try to avoid being marginalized, and make sure your work is seen. But (at least over the first few months to a couple years) you should avoid making many short-term tradeoffs which will delay the point where you reach maximum marginal impact in the long term.
Leadership training is highly underrated. If you’ve never done management/leadership training, you can get a lot from online resources (e.g. Manager Tools podcast and such); beyond that I think there’s still a lot of gains to be had from courses, individual coaches, etc.
Do weekly or monthly reviews where you step back and check whether things are on track for your career or personal impact. Share your goals with your manager and get them to buy into what you’re trying to achieve.
Stay away from stuff that will antagonize your company in the short term (“NDA chicken”, distractions from their short term goals for you during work hours). If recruiting / getting recruiting advice is an important part of your role, it should become obvious soon, at which point it will make sense to use 80k / job postings/ whatever.
There’s a thing where entrepreneurs are optimistic. Sometimes ridiculously so. This is because entrepreneurship requires a lot of optimism to think that what you’re doing can work. But that optimism can lead you astray and cause you to work on things that are too hard.
Jess and Robin will never be entrepreneurs. They aren’t optimistic enough. But Elon may be over-optimistic. The sheer scope of the project makes it hard to guess accurately what the difficulties are going to be without getting pretty far into trying it and seeing where you get stuck.
And I’m just thinking about getting a Mars colony at all. I do think “self-sustaining” is a ridiculously high bar, much higher than simply having some people living on Mars. But how important is “self-sustaining” as a short-term goal? — if the colony works at all, there will be a path where the amount of Earth resources required to sustain it shrinks over time due to market forces.
Big if true!
Going to shower right now and try this (I needed a shower anyway). Will report back...
Edit: post shower, my feet feel tingly a little bit. My methodology was to rub my feet five times firmly with a wash cloth at the beginning and end of my shower. I do feel good about life right now, we’ll see how long that lasts. Results inconclusive.
Hey wow, neat company and I’m glad you posted about it here!
Unfortunately, I get the sense that your product is up in the Coelux range of pricing, because you don’t list the price. I think a lot of people here are going to immediately dismiss it as an option given that we can’t easily figure out how much it costs.
Your marketing is also aimed at businesses instead of homes. Especially given that my post was about home lighting, do you have anything you can share about home applications of your product?
(BTW, I remember reading an article in the 90s from a tech mag—like Wired or something—about crack.com, although I had no idea what you did, but the notable thing that stuck in my brain from that article was “why on earth would anyone name a company after a horrifically addictive drug?” I’d be curious if you know what article I’m talking about and whether you have a link to it!)
Thank you for writing this! I’ve been harping on something along this axis for a long time to anyone who will listen to me. Now I have something to link them to, which explains this much better than I ever did :)
I understand that—if you’re facing down someone else who’s armed you should obviously just comply. I’m mainly expecting this strategy would work against e.g. unarmed looters. Do you not think it would?
I’ve seen this advice / philosophical point a few times (and I mostly agree with it), but I don’t feel like I have a complete understanding of it. Specifically, when does this not apply?
For instance, coronavirus: to me, this doesn’t “add up to normality” and I’m trying to sort out how it’s an exception. As soon as we heard about the coronavirus, the correct action was to take prep advice seriously and go prepare; and governments moved far too slowly on updating their recommendations; etc. Life after coronavirus is super different than life before. If you were reciting “it all adds up to normality” while reading about corona, you’d probably miss some important opportunities to take quick action.
My guess is that the rule is not supposed to apply to coronavirus (perhaps it’s too object-level?) but I don’t exactly understand why not.
It seems like a big part of the value of a gun might be the ability to wave it around and say “I have a gun”. So, as an alternative strategy, have you considered buying a prop gun and practicing the words in a mirror?
Nice! I hadn’t heard of your product till now, and I immediately bought it upon seeing this post & your website. I hope it works :P
If you can effectively “stay home” and socially isolate yourself, your particular living situation (how many housemates you have and their likelihood of bringing the virus to you) seems to swamp all other variables.