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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 October 2016 11:46:54AM 0 points [-]

I was just listeing to an NPR piece about the problem of workplace noise, with some focus on noisy co-workers. For example, working near someone with a frequent loud cough is a miserable thing.

I don't know if there's a munchkin solution, but possibly being a noise consultant for businesses is a possible niche. Perhaps just selling white noise machines in bulk to businesses would work.

Comment author: username2 25 October 2016 09:07:33PM 0 points [-]

There's a serious shortage of psychiatrists accepting insurance, full stop.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 October 2016 11:42:23AM 0 points [-]

The economics of being a therapist.




A very short version is that insurance doesn't compensate adequately, and a therapist can't work 40 hours/week because patients typically aren't available during conventional working hours. Also, therapists are only paid when patients show up, so schedulng enough hours is even harder than it sounds.

Comment author: ChristianKl 25 October 2016 08:30:44PM 1 point [-]

According to the Mayo clinic swimming in clorinated water is a risk factor for dry skin. To me that suggest this might be an issue that's about the bacteria that live on your skin.

https://ubiome.com/ used to provide a skin kit but might not do it anymore (their website currently only shows the gut product).

It might be possible to develop a probiotics solution.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 October 2016 11:32:09AM 0 points [-]

If chlorine is the problem, there are shower filters that take out a lot of the chlorine.


As for money, it's a complicated question, since ChristianKl contributed (I didn't know about chlorine as a possible problem) and you'd need to gamble by getting the filter.

If a fliter works and you feel like sending me $100/year, I won't turn it down.

Comment author: Mac 25 October 2016 02:10:34PM *  0 points [-]

Maybe you can break it down and focus on the areas that would appear to allow an effective, profitable, scalable intervention. A few thoughts:


-Clothing/brace that reduces the risk of injury?


-Objectively measuring pain is difficult. Here's an attempt.


-Mental health intervention

-Interesting article here on how VR helped a severe burn victim. Note to self: ketamine trips are insane.


-Counter irritants

-This device seems like an interesting idea, but has poor reviews.

Permanent solution

-Brain surgery? Probably isn't what you're interested in.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 October 2016 11:24:21AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: Viliam 25 October 2016 10:26:00PM *  1 point [-]

The part about healthcare is USA-specific, but the relationship between total hours and total pay is nonlinear at other places, too.

In Slovakia, the healthcare is set up so that everyone pays a fixed fraction of their income, and then everyone receives exactly the same healthcare regardless of how much they paid. So it shouldn't have any impact on hourly rate.

Yet, it is difficult to find a part-time work on the market. When I tried it, I had to work for 50% of my previous salary just to reduce the work to 4 days a week, and the employer still believed they were doing me a favor. (After a few weeks I decided that getting 50% of money for 80% of time is not a smart deal, so I quit.)

I believe the problem is signalling. Almost everyone is okay with working full-time; especially men. (Women can use having small kids as an excuse for a part-time job, but that also dramatically reduces their hourly rate, which is an important part of the pay gap.) If you are a man unwilling to work full-time, it makes you weird.

So it's not like the employer literally needs you there 5 days a week. It's simply a decision to not hire a weirdo, when there are non-weird candidates available. If you differ from the majority by not willing to work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, who knows what else is weird about you? Why take the unnecessary risk? Also, well-paid employees are supposed pretend they love their job; and by asking for a part-time job you show too clearly that you actually care about something else more.

Thus, I sometimes had jobs where I was able to spend up to 50% of my working time just browsing websites from the company computer. But no comparably well paid option where I could officially work 4 days a week, or 6 hours a day, and then simply go home.

(I was also trying to get home office, so that instead of browsing the web I could do something useful. But the companies where the employees spend much time online are usually on some level aware of what is happening, so they don't allow home office. As long as everyone must stay in the building the whole day, the management can keep pretending that people are actually working.)

I believe that if for example 50% of people working in some profession would demand part-time work, this problem would mostly disappear. Then, wanting to work part-time would simply be normal. But that's a coordination problem, and I don't even know how many people would actually be interested in working part-time if that would be a legitimate option (with the same hourly rate).

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 October 2016 11:18:12AM 1 point [-]

Having more workers (shorter hours for each worker) adds administrative costs. I have no idea whether employers are over-estimating those costs.

Comment author: woodchopper 25 October 2016 12:11:06PM *  1 point [-]

Can someone here come up with any sort of realistic value system a foreign civilisation might have that would result in it not destroying the human race, or at least permanently stunting our continued development, should they become aware of us?

As has come to light with research on super intelligences, an actor does not have to hate us to destroy us, but rather realise we conflict, even in a very minor way, with its goals. As a rapidly advancing intelligent civilisation, it is likely our continued growth and existence will hamper the goals of other intelligent civilisations, so it will be in their interests to either stunt our growth or wipe us out. They don't have to hate us. They might be very empathetic. But if their goals are not exactly the same as ours, it seems a huge liability to leave us to challenge their power. I know that I would stop the development of any other rapidly advancing intelligent species if I could, simply because struggles over our inevitably conflicting goals would be best avoided.

So, my question is, can you see any realistic value system a superintelligent alien civilisation might hold that would result in them not stopping us from going on growing and developing our power as a civilisation in a self-directed way? I cannot.

Given this, why is it in any way legal to broadcast our existence and location? There have been efforts in the past to send radio signals to distant solar systems. A superintelligent civilisation may well pick these up and come on the hunt for us. I think that this is one of the biggest existential threats we face, and our only real advantage is the element of stealth and surprise, which several incomprehensibly stupid individuals seem to threaten with their attempts to contact other actors in the universe. Should the military physically bomb and attack installations that attempt to broadcast our location? How do we get the people doing this stuff to stop?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 October 2016 02:01:23AM 1 point [-]

Can someone here come up with any sort of realistic value system a foreign civilisation might have that would result in it not destroying the human race, or at least permanently stunting our continued development, should they become aware of us?

Not being bored. Living systems (and presumably more so for living systems that include intelligence) show more complex behavior than dead systems.

Comment author: ernestdezoe 23 October 2016 09:58:02AM *  0 points [-]

I think one area where the private sector is strangely inactive is weather forecasting , it has so many potential clients ranging from farmers to vacationers ...actual models are useless beyond a 15-day timeframe

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 October 2016 05:56:27PM *  0 points [-]


I think there's a market for curated forecasts-- forecasts that specialize in giving the information a particular organization needs.

Even individuals might pay to get a weather forcast for a travel route.

Comment author: gwern 22 October 2016 03:24:13PM 0 points [-]

I've read Seeing like a State but not that one. I'm not sure how that kind of ethnocentrism is Ra-like.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 October 2016 04:21:47PM 0 points [-]

The thing is, it isn't ethnocentrism. Sometimes the people inside the empire and outside the empire are of the same ethnicity. It's just that people inside the empire have a very strong system of self-congratulation.

Comment author: MrMind 21 October 2016 04:12:38PM *  1 point [-]

Sooo... brief comments while I read along.

He mentions "Moloch", and while attributes it's genesis to Ginsberg, he is clearly referring to Scott's Moloch, as per link on the first mention. But then:

What they have in common is that the Establishment is primarily an upper-class phenomenon, that it is more about social and moral legitimacy than mere wealth or raw power

which is nothing like the Moloch, which is a race to the bottom caused by lack of coordination, and is thus more pertinent to the lower strata of the population.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 21 October 2016 04:44:15PM 0 points [-]

I look forward to more of your comments-- readalong comments for longform writing is a good idea.

The author is Sarah Constantin.

You've got a good point about Moloch and Ra not having that much in common, though I could make a case that Ra greases the path for Moloch.

Comment author: gwern 21 October 2016 01:50:46AM *  3 points [-]

I don't find it convincing. Even though it's long, I don't recognize any of the examples as being 'Ra' ness and I can't think of any examples of 'Ra' in my own experience. The name 'Ra' is also not that great as unlike some of the other reifications going around like Yvain's 'Moloch', which at least have some intuitive connection with their concept, 'Ra' seems pretty much arbitrary.

EDIT: Obormot and saturn2 on IRC note that 'Ra' seems in her telling to slightly overlap with the whole complacent-elite meritocracy going on in the Ivy League & Wall Street, of the Twilight of the Elites type.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 21 October 2016 01:01:38PM *  1 point [-]

Have you read James C. Scott's The Art of Not Being Governed? I recommend it in general, but I think his description of southeast Asian empires has them displaying a lot of Ra-ness. People in empires are self-described as being better even when their lives as similar to-- but worse-- than the lives of people outside the empire.

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