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# Metus

Karma: 2,469
• 8 Feb 2015 16:30 UTC
−2 points
in reply to: [deleted]’s comment

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

?

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

%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
−2 points
in reply to: Vulture’s comment

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?

• Any other fundraisers interesting to LW going on?

• 25 Dec 2014 11:48 UTC
4 points
in reply to: Kaura’s comment

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.