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In response to The Fallacy of Gray
Comment author: adamzerner 17 January 2015 09:45:21PM *  1 point [-]

I came across a good example of this. I recently graduated from a coding bootcamp and am looking for jobs. I applied to a selective company and was declined. They said, "unfortunately we won't be able to move forward with your candidacy at this time". They didn't say anything about the actual reason why I was rejected.

(paraphrased conversation with my friend)

  • Me: I hate when people sugarcoat. I wish they just said, "you don't seem as smart as the other candidates".
  • Him: It isn't necessarily true that they don't think you're as smart. Maybe it's for some other reason. Like maybe it's because you're in NY and they're looking for people in SF.
  • Me: They asked if I was able to relocate to SF, and I said "yes, I want to relocate to SF".
  • Him: Maybe they thought that you were smart, but just that it wasn't the right fit.
  • Me: The position is for a software developer intern. I just graduated from a coding bootcamp. They use JavaScript-based technologies. I learned the same/similar technologies. They're an education company. I'm very interested in education. They want unconventional and ambitious people. I'm definitely unconventional and ambitious.
  • Him: ...
  • Me: So what do you think the reason is for why they rejected me?
  • Him: I don't know, they didn't tell you so I can't say.
Comment author: Morendil 17 January 2015 10:08:30PM 3 points [-]

Is there any reason you couldn't email back saying something along the lines of "I'd appreciate your pointing out what specific weaknesses made you rule out my application, so that I can improve to become a stronger candidate for later or for other similar companies, and possibly so that I can send candidates your way that better fit the profile?"

Comment author: Morendil 01 January 2015 06:28:42PM 2 points [-]

I'll be there.

Comment author: Morendil 26 December 2014 07:36:48PM 26 points [-]

Donated $300. Happy New Year!

Comment author: Morendil 30 November 2014 11:57:35PM 22 points [-]

Ran 21k for the first time, within a few seconds of 2h. Reasonable grounds to hope for a sub-2h finishing time in the half-marathon I'm signed up for this coming March 8.

December 2014 Bragging Thread

3 Morendil 30 November 2014 11:54PM

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to comment on this thread explaining the most awesome thing you've done this month. You may be as blatantly proud of yourself as you feel. You may unabashedly consider yourself the coolest freaking person ever because of that awesome thing you're dying to tell everyone about. This is the place to do just that.

Remember, however, that this isn't any kind of progress thread. Nor is it any kind of proposal thread. This thread is solely for people to talk about the awesome things they have done. Not "will do". Not "are working on"Have already done. This is to cultivate an environment of object level productivity rather than meta-productivity methods.

So, what's the coolest thing you've done this month?

Comment author: Morendil 10 April 2013 09:32:17AM *  11 points [-]

The "98,000 patients" claim is really interesting as an example of Dark Arts, aside from its having been debunked often.

It is often presented as follows: "98,000 deaths per year from medical errors (the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every day)".

It would be... provided every single jumbo jet flying in the US was populated by people already seriously ill or injured in the first place, rather than (as is actually the case) not only healthy but generally also wealthy passengers.

Of course you're supposed to overlook that trivial difference in the demographics of people who are in planes and those who are in hospitals, and picture hospitals killing healthy rich people by the planeload.

(This also suggests that "number of deaths" is a poor metric for making such estimates and comparisons; it would be better to compute "overall loss of expected QALYs resulting from preventable mistakes in medical care" and compare that with aggregate loss of QUALYs from other causes. Of course that's much less catchy.)

Comment author: Morendil 16 November 2014 06:01:14PM 0 points [-]

Interestingly this article offers a QUALY-based economic estimate, but for some weird reasons plucks a wild ass guess as to the average number of years of life lost as a result of medical errors - ten years, with not the slightest justification. Of course this leads to a largish estimate of total impact.

This other article updates the estimates of annual deaths in the US to 400,000 with a lower bound of 210,000. This may be the result of misapplying an estimate of what fraction of adverse events are preventable - this was estimated on the overall sample (including non-fatal adverse events) but then applied to the much smaller set of fatal adverse events. Most fatal events result from surgery, which the same article notes has a much lower rate of "preventable" events, but I can't see that the total deaths estimate accounts for that.

Comment author: Morendil 01 October 2014 12:11:16PM *  4 points [-]

Now that running regularly, for fitness and to keep my weight down, is a well established habit, I've signed up to run a half-marathon next March. (Not without a twinge of sadness, thinking of Hal Finney.)

Instead of just going out for a run on sundays and the occasional weekday, I'm now "following a training plan", that is, running workouts with specific targets, using a heart rate monitor, and so on. It makes some interesting differences and I've learned a few things.

One aspect of keeping fit that I'm still somewhat failing at, despite much self-monitoring and various attempts at behavior change, is getting more sleep. I'm still sleep-deprived (less than 5h) two or three nights a week.

Comment author: VincentYu 19 September 2014 01:46:21PM 4 points [-]

Unfortunately, my university library reports that they have exhausted all possible sources and no library was able to supply this paper.

Comment author: Morendil 21 September 2014 04:45:49PM 1 point [-]

Interesting! Thanks for trying.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 August 2014 08:54:55PM 2 points [-]

Well, someone needs to fly there and copy all their know-how. Are we rational enough to coordinate at this?

Comment author: Morendil 31 August 2014 10:04:00AM 3 points [-]

Suggestion: start a new discussion thread titled something like "European Rationality Solstice Ritual". That will be a start. I'm based in France, experienced at the logistics of running unconferences and community meetings, willing to help.

Comment author: Morendil 28 August 2014 11:02:03PM 0 points [-]

Haga, William J. "Perils of professionalism." Management Quarterly (1974): 3-10.

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