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Comment author: jwoodward48 03 March 2017 12:18:35AM 1 point [-]

Sounds meaninglessly deep to me.

Comment author: Jiro 05 March 2017 06:56:14AM 0 points [-]

It isn't. It's meant to point out that calling something a 'tax on stupidity" is itself meaninglessly deep-sounding. Intelligence is used for pretty much everything; calling something a tax on stupidity says nothing more about it than "it's part of the world".

Comment author: Jiro 20 February 2017 05:25:17PM 0 points [-]

It also assumes that people are taking the cost-per-life-saved numbers at face value, and if so, then GiveWell already thinks they’ve been misled.

This is absurd. There are such things as degrees of misleading. They could believe that the numbers are already somewhat misleading, but that using them this way is more misleading.

Comment author: korin43 19 February 2017 03:15:54AM 0 points [-]

I'm not insured if I break my own vases, so how does this argue against my point that you should pay other people to move your stuff? If you also want insurance then you should hire a fancier moving company than I do.

Regarding the truck, I always rent my own truck and pay other people to pack it.

Comment author: Jiro 20 February 2017 04:59:03PM 0 points [-]

If you move your own vases, since any loss is borne by you, you are motivated to take all necessary precautions. Someone who you pay is not so motivated, increasing the chance of loss, but the insurance then mitigates the risk. If you just pay $20 to someone on Craigslist, neither of those is the case.

Comment author: korin43 19 February 2017 03:08:22AM 0 points [-]

I think you're being too risk averse here. How do you know you hired a competent person? Can you really be sure that they didn't do something stupid? Are you sure you won't need the money you spend on them for something else? Obviously you should do a cost benefit analysis, but in the cases I mentioned, the costs are way too high for basically no benefit besides saving a small amount of time.

Comment author: Jiro 20 February 2017 04:55:03PM *  1 point [-]

You know that you hired a competent person because they

  • have a reputation to lose if they screw up
  • have a reputation for having done competent business in the past
  • are going to stick around such that you can take them to court if they screw up
  • have insurance
  • have licensing that requires demonstrating some level of competency
Comment author: korin43 18 February 2017 04:09:01PM 0 points [-]

We have the internet now. You can look up how to do these things.

And regarding renting from the hardware store: it seems to work out fine for most people, but I got a blower that didn't work right (since hardware stores don't maintain rarely used tools well) and that made it take a lot longer than it should have (mostly driving because I don't live anywhere near a hardware store or tool rental store). The worst case scenario if you make this mistake is that you return your (free) hardware store rental and go to a tool rental store anyway. I'm just trying to save other people time if they try this.

Comment author: Jiro 18 February 2017 04:46:27PM 1 point [-]

We have the internet now. You can look up how to do these things.

But where do you get the knowledge to know that you picked the right guide off the Internet and that it isn't going to violate housing codes that don't exist in the area of the person who made the guide? Or how do you know that it isn't going to have a long term chemical reaction with the floorboards because the guy writing the guide didn't have such floorboards and didn't bother to mention the possibility? Or any of many things that could go wrong? You need knowledge in the first place in order to know which source has knowledge you can trust.

And regarding renting from the hardware store: it seems to work out fine for most people

I didn't even know that there is such a thing as renting from the hardware store.

Comment author: korin43 18 February 2017 04:11:59PM 0 points [-]

You generally pay movers when they're done, so the only risk is the status quo (they don't show up and you have to do it yourself).

Comment author: Jiro 18 February 2017 04:39:40PM *  0 points [-]

This was about paying people at the price level that requires hiring a random person, not hiring professional movers. I'm pretty sure the $20 guy off of Craigslist isn't insured when he breaks your vases, and there's also a chance that if the move goes bad he'll just disappear (no fixed business address). I'm also pretty sure that there's nothing in practice keeping him from saying "okay, now that it's all on our truck we won't unload unless you pay us $300", at which point you either pay, or sue him while they have physical custody of all your property.

Comment author: korin43 14 February 2017 01:53:28AM 7 points [-]

Paying people to help with moving. I don't know why I waited so long to try this but it costs like $20 to $50 to pay 2 people to carry all of your stuff (and competently pack a moving truck). I will never do this myself again.

Comment author: Jiro 17 February 2017 10:09:57PM 0 points [-]

Paying people carries risks. "I paid $20 and it worked great!" just means you took the risk and got lucky. It doesn't mean that taking the risk was a wise thing to do.

Comment author: korin43 15 February 2017 03:17:52PM 1 point [-]

I can think of a lot of things that most people would be better off doing themselves, but it doesn't surprise me, since we're biased to think anything we haven't done before is really hard.

In terms of unsurprising things that people should DIY:

  • Paying plumbers and electricians to fix easy things (YouTube can explain how to fix a lot of things). Some of this stuff can be done with less effort than setting up an appointment to have someone else do it.
  • Painting walls. Patching walls is annoying, but painting with a roller is really fast and easy.
  • Blowing insulation into an attic: Save $1000 or more by doing it yourself. It takes an hour or two and the only hard part is getting the insulation blower (get it from a tool rental store, not a home supply store).
Comment author: Jiro 17 February 2017 10:07:35PM 2 points [-]

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: The_Jaded_One 17 February 2017 07:14:01PM 3 points [-]

I think this is more useful as a piece that fleshes out the arguments; a philosophical dialogue.

Comment author: Jiro 17 February 2017 10:03:36PM 3 points [-]

I don't believe for one moment that using a Balrog analogy actually makes people understand the argument when they otherwise wouldn't.

It is a fallacy to think of AI risk as like Balrogs because someone has written a plausible-sounding story comparing it to Balrogs. And that seems to be the main effect of the Balrog analogy.

Comment author: Jiro 16 February 2017 04:07:23PM 2 points [-]

In other words, if you set up the allegory so as to force a particular conclusion, that proves that that's the proper conclusion in real life, because we all know that the allegory must be correct.

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