# Metus

Karma: 1,774
• Skim­ming your com­ment his­tory it seems like the ma­jor­ity of your down­votes comes from ex­press­ing views in­con­sis­tent with the pro­gres­sivist nar­ra­tive on gen­der. LW now is over­loaded with that.

• There ex­ists a mild mar­ket in or­gans. I can donate a kid­ney in ex­change for a loved one get­ting a kid­ney. I also can donate my body to sci­ence, in ex­change the in­sti­tu­tion—at least in Ger­many—pays for some kind of burial.

Im­me­di­ate edit: Ac­tu­ally, since there ex­ists a black mar­ket in or­gans we could make some es­ti­mates about prices and con­di­tions on a le­gal­ised mar­ket in or­gans.

• π seems like half the size it should be

That one you found out already, it would make it much more con­sis­tent with how similar con­stants are used.

The grav­i­ta­tional con­stant looks like off by a fac­tor of 4π

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean when com­par­ing the equa­tion for grav­i­ta­tional force to the elec­tric force? Or do you mean when look­ing at the ‘in­tu­itive’ way of writ­ing the differ­en­tial equation

$\\nabla g = \\rho$?

In ei­ther case it seems that the choice of 4π is ar­bi­trary on one equa­tion or the other. For ex­am­ple choos­ing Gaus­sian units in­tro­duces a 4π in the elec­tri­cal equa­tion and makes it look more like the grav­i­ta­tional equa­tion.

co­sine seems more prim­i­tive than sine

They seem equally prim­i­tive by

$sin^2 x \+ cos^2 x = 1$

and

$sin\(x\$%20=%20cos(x%20-%20\pi/​2))

The Rie­mann Zeta func­tion ζ(s) negates s for rea­sons be­yond me

It doesn’t ac­cord­ing to Wikipedia

The Gamma func­tion has this −1 I don’t understand

I haven’t read up on that so I don’t re­ally know. Seems ar­bi­trary to me too.

• Euro­pean coun­tries are way more le­nient with work­ers who do not show up for health rea­sons. How does the data com­pare there, are work­ers more pro­duc­tive on av­er­age and sick less of­ten?

Also, what is the un­in­tended side effect of this? Do we open up an evolu­tion­ary niche for some­thing even more hor­rible? Wouldn’t it be bet­ter to re­quire sick peo­ple to wear a face mask like it is usual in some Asian coun­tries?

• [Seper­ate post, be­cause it is a seper­ate point]

I won­der how a “ra­tio­nal” fund­ing sys­tem would look like if an economist de­signed it. The ex­pres­sion “where re­searchers see the most po­ten­tial for a break­through” un­der the con­straint of com­pe­ti­tion over limited re­sources just screams “mar­ket mechanism” to me.

• It seems to me that re­search fund­ing is sur­pris­ingly well cal­ibrated with a bias for in­fec­tous dis­eases as op­posed to what I as an am­a­teur would call “struc­tural failure” col­lect­ing is­chemic heart dis­ease, stroke, in­jury and so on.

Look­ing at the “over­funded” cat­e­gory the worst offen­ders are HIV and can­cer. I sup­pose can­cer re­search is over­funded be­cause peo­ple donate to causes their loved ones suffered and can­cer tends to kill old peo­ple with a lot of money. But I have no good ex­pla­na­tion for the over­fund­ing of HIV which is a com­pletely pre­ventable dis­ease on the per­sonal level by us­ing a con­dom and re­frain­ing from us­ing IV drugs. BTW, the most suc­cess­ful HIV re­duc­tion pro­grams give out free nee­dles and con­doms, re­duc­ing the need for med­i­cal treat­ment and of course hu­man suffer­ing in the first place.

Look­ing at the “un­der­funded” cat­e­gory we have in­jury, is­chemic heart dis­ease, COPD, de­pres­sion, stroke. In­jury is some­thing that dis­pro­por­tion­ally af­fects poorer peo­ple, so I use the re­verse rea­son­ing to can­cer. I have no good ex­pla­na­tion for the un­der­fund­ing of the other dis­eases here, ex­cept for maybe de­pres­sion which has a bit of a stigma to it. At best I’d guess that heart at­tack and stroke do not have the spec­tac­u­lar, drawn out suffer­ing like can­cer and HIV treat­ment have.

• Rin­der­pest was a dis­ease in cat­tle we have erad­i­cated. We are also mak­ing progress on on some more. Let’s hope that this does not have any un­in­tended hor­rible con­se­quences like open­ing the ecosys­tem of hu­man par­a­sites to some­thing po­ten­tially more deadly.

• It would be an in­ter­est­ing anal­y­sis to find out how many tra­di­tional play­ers are in­volved and to de­rive from that con­fi­dence in the op­ti­mal­ity of the bit­coin price.

• Fur­ther adding on that: Depend­ing on the le­gal struc­ture of the re­tire­ment fund, it can serve as a re­place­ment for smaller in­surances or you can have your chil­dren in­herit it. Or have donated to char­ity upon your death.

• You very prob­a­bly have not all recom­mended in­surances in your coun­try of res­i­dence or your manda­tory in­surance doesn’t cover ev­ery­thing you’d want it to cover. Same goes for sav­ings, you don’t save enough for old age and emer­gen­cies. Ba­si­cally if at some point you would have had to do some­thing to pre­pare for the fu­ture, you didn’t do it.

The short ver­sion about in­surance is this: Never in­sure any­thing where you can go “damn it” and pay in cash, the same rule goes for de­ductibles. On the re­verse, in­sure any­thing that you ab­solutely have to pay for and would fi­nan­cially ruin you. Some pos­si­ble ar­eas are your house, li­a­bil­ity in­surance and health care cost. Google “nec­es­sary in­surance” or similar.

The short ver­sion about sav­ings re­tire­ment plans is this: Use google to find out if your gov­ern­ment pro­vides suffi­cient pro­vi­sions for re­tire­ment, if you plan on re­tiring at all. If not, look for ways to provide for old age and/​or in­vest money, the sooner you start, the bet­ter. Hold about three months worth of liv­ing ex­penses in the most liquid form pos­si­ble to cover emer­gen­cies. To en­sure sav­ing, or­der your bank to trans­fer a set amount of cash ev­ery month to a seper­ate bank ac­count which you can not ac­cess on the go.

• Another way to ask the ques­tion is, as­sum­ing that IQ is the rele­vant mea­sure, is there a sub­lin­ear, lin­ear or su­per­lin­ear re­la­tion­ship be­tween IQ and pro­duc­tivity? Same ques­tion for cost of rais­ing the IQ by one point, does it in­crease, de­creasy or stay con­stant with IQ? Foom oc­curs for suit­able com­bi­na­tions in this ex­tremely sim­ple model.

• 30 Dec 2014 1:24 UTC
−1 points

Without a sim­plic­ity prior you would need some other kind of dis­tri­bu­tion.

You can act “as if” by just us­ing the like­li­hood ra­tios and not op­er­at­ing with prior and pos­te­rior prob­a­bil­ities.

• A ques­tion for spe­cial­ists on EA.

If I live in a place where I can choose be­tween a stan­dard mix of elec­tric­ity sources con­sist­ing of hy­dro­car­bons, nu­clear and re­new­ables, and a “green” mix of re­new­ables ex­clu­sively that costs more, should I buy the green mix or buy the cheaper/​cheap­est mix and donate the differ­ence to GiveWell?

• Am I un­usu­ally dense or is the site un­usu­ally in­ac­cessible with re­gards to rele­vant ad­vice re in­tern­ships and gen­er­ally?

• Any other fundraisers in­ter­est­ing to LW go­ing on?

• I am not go­ing to start a lengthy dis­cus­sion on this sub­ject as this is not the place for it, so please do not read the lack of any fur­ther an­swers as any­thing else than the statemet above. That be­ing said …

I am not com­pletely sold on the premise that all hu­man lives are equal which puts the whole idea of a cheaper saved life in ques­tion. I am not donat­ing out of a moral im­per­a­tive but per­sonal prefer­ence so my dona­tions ex­hibit de­creas­ing marginal util­ity mak­ing di­ver­sifi­ca­tion a ne­ces­sity. And fi­nally I have gen­er­ally mas­sive skep­ti­cism to­wards any­thing and any­one that claims to solve a huge, long stand­ing prob­lem like poverty just like the EA move­ment tends to do.

This is the rough sketch of my reser­va­tions. I will not dis­cuss it fur­ther here but I am will­ing to dis­cuss it in a more ap­pro­pri­ate place, like a seper­ate thread or the open thread.