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Comment author: tukabel 20 February 2017 12:31:51PM 1 point [-]

So Bill Gates wants to tax robots... well, how about SOFTWARE? May fit easily into certain definitions of ROBOT. Especially if we realize it is the software what makes robot (in that line of argumentation) a "job stealing evil" (100% retroactive tax on evil profits from selling software would probably shut Billy's mouth).

Now how about AI? Going to "steal" virtually ALL JOBS... friendly or not.

And let's go one step further: who is the culprit? The devil who had an IDEA!

The one who invented the robot, its application in the production, programmer who wrote the software, designed neural nets, etc.

So, let's tax ideas and thinking as such... all orwellian/huxleyian fantasies fade short in the Brave New Singularity.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 20 February 2017 10:41:43PM 2 points [-]

Can we please bring back downvoting?

Comment author: DryHeap 17 February 2017 12:19:23AM 0 points [-]

Speaking of immigration, immigration is not absolutely productive. There are a myriad of factors at play here. If one wishes to inject a population with a group in order to increase the population's overall productivity, they must ensure that the injected group is as-productive or more productive than the original population.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 19 February 2017 03:18:09AM 1 point [-]

I don't think whether the group's average output increases or decreases is the right metric. What's important is whether the newly enlarged group's output is higher than what the group and its new members' total output would be if the groups weren't merged - do the immigrants become more productive by immigrating, and do they make the native population more or less productive?

Comment author: Jiro 17 February 2017 10:07:35PM 1 point [-]

Just because something is an easy thing doesn't mean you will know it's an easy thing. When you figure out whether it's worth it you need to consider the chance that it may look easy but is not really easy. After all, if you don't know anything about insulation blowing, how would you know if there's some way it could go badly wrong that you haven't heard about? Also, you're ignoring the cost of getting the knowledge to do the easy thing. (Really, I'm supposed to know I have to go to a tool rental store?

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 19 February 2017 02:21:20AM 0 points [-]

Just because something is an easy thing doesn't mean you will know it's an easy thing.

That's pretty much why I made this thread: so that I (and others) could learn that something that we didn't realize are easy actually are.

What are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves?

2 AspiringRationalist 13 February 2017 01:07AM

Two of the main resources people have are time and money.  The world offers many opportunities to trade one for the other, at widely varying rates.

Where do you see people trading money for time at unfavorable rates - spending too much money to save too little time?  What things should people just DIY?

See also the flip-side of this post, "what are you surprised people don't just buy?"

What are you surprised people don't just buy?

3 AspiringRationalist 13 February 2017 01:07AM

Two of the main resources people have are time and money.  The world offers many opportunities to trade one for the other, at widely varying rates.

I've often heard people recommend trading money for time in the abstract, but this advice is rarely accompanied by specific recommendations on how to do so.

How do you use money to buy time or otherwise make your life better/easier?

See also the flip-side of this post, "what are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves?"

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 03 January 2017 03:17:35AM 3 points [-]

Thank you for posting this.

I am not signed up for cryonics because I think the current preservation technology is nowhere near good enough work, but I very much appreciate having a concise summary of recent developments so that when the situation improves, I'll know it's time to reconsider.

Comment author: Viliam 03 December 2016 03:13:06PM 4 points [-]

Also if you have dozen sockpuppets that upvote each other. Just saying.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 03 December 2016 09:38:57PM 1 point [-]

If all votes required 100 karma, using sockpuppets for votes would get a lot harder.

Comment author: Viliam 30 May 2016 08:44:53AM *  -1 points [-]

Some people believe that altruism has evolved through helping your relatives or through helping others to help you in return. I was thinking about it; on the surface the idea looks good -- if you already have this system in place, it is easy to see how it benefits those involved -- but that doesn't explain how the system could have appeared in the first place. Anyone knows the standard answer?

Imagine that you are literally the first organism who by random mutation achieved a gene for "helping those who help you". How specifically does this gene increase your fitness, if there is no one else to reciprocate?

Or imagine that you are literally the first organism who by random mutation achieved a gene for "helping your siblings". How specifically does this gene increase your fitness, or the fitness of the gene itself, if your siblings do not have a copy of this gene?

In other words, it seems simple to explain how these kinds of altruism can work when they are already an established system, but it is more difficult to explain how it could work when it is new.

And this all is a huge simplification; for example, I doubt that "helping those who help you" could be achieved by a single mutation, since it involves multiple parts like "noticing that someone helped you", "remembering the individual who helped you" and "helping the individual who helped you in the past". Plus the problem of how to start this chain of mutual cooperation.

My guess is that... nygehvfz pbhyq unir ribyirq guebhtu frkhny fryrpgvba. Yrg'f rkcynva vg ol funevat sbbq jvgu bguref. Svefg, vaqvivqhnyf abgvpr jub vf tbbq ng tngurevat sbbq, naq gurl ribyir nggenpgvba gbjneqf tbbq sbbq pbyyrpgbef. Gung znxrf vzzrqvngr frafr orpnhfr vg vapernfrf fheiviny bs gur puvyqera, vs gurl nyfb trg gur trarf tbbq sbe tngurevat sbbq. Nsgre guvf nggenpgvba rkvfgf jvguva gur fcrpvrf, gur arkg fgrc pbhyq or fvtanyyvat: vs lbh unir fbzr rkgen sbbq lbh qba'g npghnyyl arrq, oevat vg naq ivfvoyl qebc vg arne bgure vaqvivqhnyf, fb gung bguref abgvpr lbh unir zber sbbq guna lbh pna rng. Ntnva, guvf znxrf vzzrqvngr frafr, orpnhfr vg znxrf lbh zber nggenpgvir. Abgvpr ubj arvgure "urycvat lbh eryngvirf" abe "urycvat gubfr jub uryc lbh" jnf arprffnel gb ribyir urycvat vaqvfpevzvangryl. Npghnyyl, gubfr pbhyq unir ribyirq yngre, nf shegure vzcebirzragf bs be nqqvgvbaf gb gur vaqvfpevzvangr urycvat.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 30 May 2016 03:10:17PM 3 points [-]

If you have a gene that makes you help you siblings, your offspring are reasonably likely to get it too, which benefits their siblings (also your offspring).

Comment author: Lumifer 16 May 2016 02:45:38AM 2 points [-]

Omega-3 is a group of several different fatty acids and flax seeds do not provide the ones you actually want.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 17 May 2016 02:53:27AM 0 points [-]

Very good to know. Thanks for linking to that.

Comment author: harshhpareek 16 May 2016 12:27:51AM *  0 points [-]

I've been having digestive trouble recently and have started wondering if I've developed a new allergy/intolerance (Known: milk, cashewnuts, chocolate). Does anyone have a recommendation for tests to check for these?

Apparently, "Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish." (source: http://www.foodallergy.org/file/facts-stats.pdf). However, nuts are good for you (eg. https://examine.com/faq/how-can-i-best-ensure-cardiovascular-health-and-longevity/). So what do you do?

I imagine allergies are bad for your body, even apart from the digestive issues. So, do you take any supplements for nuts? The only one I am aware of here is Omega-3, which is common to various nuts.

Sidenote: If you are willing to put a "nuts without allergies" supplement together, I might buy it from you. See https://www.reddit.com/r/Supplements/comments/3ptsz8/i_am_a_supplement_caffeineenergy_pill_company/cw9gwht for business advice.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 16 May 2016 01:52:53AM 0 points [-]

Flax and chia seeds are both very good sources of omega 3 (but flax seeds need to be ground for your body to absorb it, and once you grind them, you should store them cold), as are fish (especially salmon).

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