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Comment author: gjm 20 April 2016 12:42:21PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: Viliam_Bur 20 April 2016 09:14:33PM 1 point [-]


Comment author: shminux 08 April 2016 07:30:23PM 6 points [-]

Not this month, but a few months back... Successfully hypnotized people over text chat on several occasions. Surprisingly easy once the subject is willing and trusts you.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 08 April 2016 07:43:44PM 1 point [-]

Congratulation! By the way, were those subjects mathematicians/programmers? Because I was told (by someone who uses hypnosis professionally) that those are the most difficult ones to hypnotize.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 07 April 2016 02:13:12AM 0 points [-]

"Featured Articles" is such a "best of," but that isn't obvious. But the other list is clearly marked "recent."

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 08 April 2016 07:40:57PM *  0 points [-]

Maybe at the front page the "Recent Promoted Articles" and "Featured Articles" should move on the top, and the "Less Wrong is…" description should be below them.

Or maybe even articles first, map of meetups second, and the website description on the bottom. And the bullet points in the description are unnecessarily large.

Things at the top of the page are more likely to be noticed.

Comment author: gjm 06 April 2016 01:34:11PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: Viliam_Bur 06 April 2016 08:42:50PM 2 points [-]

Removed (both the comment and the user).

Comment author: kephasp 30 March 2016 01:19:07PM 0 points [-]

We have a pretty stupid banking system if you can cancel a transaction after the target has had time to make a transaction back to you. Or it should be straitghforward and fee-less to cancel that second transaction as a consequence.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 March 2016 07:44:38PM *  0 points [-]

I am not an American, and the American ways of transferring money are mysterious to me. When I want to send money from point A to point B, I log into a web page, fill in the required data, confirm the data, and in a day or two the money is there. If I understand it correctly, the American way to do this is to personally go to the bank, take a paper form, write the data on the paper, deliver the paper to the target, and the target must take the paper to their bank.

It was a huge surprise to learn this, because I automatically assumed that the American ways of dealing with money must be more advanced and more convenient, just because of having more experience with internet and capitalism in general. But now I guess that the American system is simply a victim of its own inertia: these methods were invented and became a norm before the internet, and now people are resistent to the change, because no one wants to experiment with the new methods when their own money is involved.

Still, I agree that the second transaction should be cancellable after the first transaction was cancelled. Not sure what is the trick here. Maybe the scammer wants the part of their money returned using a different method (one that does not allow cancelling, or has shorter deadlines). Maybe the plan is that most people will not notice the cancelling of the first transaction, or be busy enough that they miss the deadline for cancelling the second one. Maybe there is some psychological trick preventing the victim from cancelling. Really, I don't know (and not being familiar with the American system, even if I read an explanation, there is a chance I would misunderstand it).

Comment author: SanguineEmpiricist 21 March 2016 01:41:14AM 4 points [-]

What's going on in his thought process? Is he still downvoting people? What is he doing that's this bad? I mean i'm sure there's a good reason, but it's sort of strange he keeps coming back and not changing his behavior or not moving on to one of our tangent communities.

I've not dealt with him, so can someone explain to me what he is doing?

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 21 March 2016 07:08:15PM 8 points [-]

How I see it, deleting of Eugine's new accounts is a continuous enforcement of the permanent ban from 2014 (explained here). Whether he continues in his previous behavior should in theory be irrelevant; I would delete his new accounts anyway because that's what "permanent" means. But in practice, he continues with his old behavior, which makes him easier to detect, and motivates me to overcome my laziness.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 20 March 2016 08:49:44PM *  7 points [-]

moderator action: Torchlight_Crimson is banned

Another account of Eugine_Nier / Azathoth123 / Voiceofra / The_Lion / The_Lion2 / Old_Gold is banned, effective now. This is an enforcement of the already existing ban, therefore only this message in Open Thread.

EDIT: Also Crownless_Prince.

Comment author: gjm 09 March 2016 09:34:31AM 1 point [-]

In some jurisdictions it may be cheaper for the company to donate a given amount to charity than to pay it to an employee (because of tax rules intended to incentivize charitable donations).

The company may value both employee-motivation and helping charities.

The company may value being seen as the sort of company that helps charities.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 12 March 2016 11:18:33AM 1 point [-]

This seems like a correct answer. The company (1) wants to be seen as the sort of company that helps charities, (2) doesn't care deeply about the charities, and (3) wants to motivate employees.

The first part explains why they have a budget for charities, and the second and third part together explain why they let employees allocate that budget instead of the company doing it itself. The charitable explanation of the second part is that the company trusts their employees to have good knowledge about charities, and thus kinda outsources the research of good charities to them.

On the other hand, an uncharitable explanation is that if most employees don't donate to charities, then this strategy allows the company to appear more generous than it actually is. For example, if a company with 1000 employees publicly declares to match each employee's donations up to $1000, it gives an impression as if they are going to donate $1000000 to charities, while in fact they may know that only five of their employees actually donate to charities, so the expected expense is $5000. (There is a risk this could backfire, but maybe they did experiments with smaller sums in the previous years, and/or maybe there is a small print somewhere making an exception in the case that too many employees decide to donate.)

Comment author: Grif 06 March 2016 03:36:27PM 0 points [-]

The comments baffle me. I think it can be taken for granted that people on this site have an elevated sense of skepticism -- perhaps not enough to repel ALL scams, but certainly enough to recognize a scam when your attention is explicitly drawn to it contemporaneously. Why are we now wasting time with in-depth discussion ABOUT scams and methodology, WITH the scammer in the conversation? And if you believe him not to be a scammer, why are you putting a burden of proof onto him to countersignal "fishy behavior" rather than simply lay out behaviors which will not be tolerated, or setting up an escrow Bitcoin wallet?

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 07 March 2016 08:40:55AM 2 points [-]

I think it can be taken for granted that people on this site have an elevated sense of skepticism

They also have an elevated sense of contrarianism. I suspect it's not enough to make them literally send money to a scammer, but enough to argue publicly about giving the benefit of doubt.

My long comment was written for the audience. To make people potentially swayed by clever arguments remember the context -- that this is a website where we publicly talk about donating to MIRI, publicly talk about money in general, already have a lot of quality financial advice, and no one is preventing our mysterious benefactor from posting an article.

Comment author: Vaniver 06 March 2016 03:14:09PM 0 points [-]

You try to make the recipients of your messages feel special, yet you and your associate copy/paste the same messages to multiple people.

His first message to me involved asking where he could find his previous sent messages to copy-paste it to me also.

If your goal is to provide free education, you could have posted the first lesson publicly. If you don't want to be public with your name or with the name of your company, just create a pseudonymous account called e.g. "JumpingSquirrel2016" and refer to your company as e.g. "CompanyX". Even if your goal is to find two or three people to cooperate with privately in the future, you can still advertise your skills by posting one free lesson publicly.

Agreed that this is generally a good approach. Not sure if it applies to financial topics specifically, because 1) they're anti-inductive and 2) it's dangerous for people to be half-informed. Telling someone that there's money to be made exploiting inefficiencies in the penny stock market, but not what those inefficiencies are, could possibly lead to them losing a bunch of their money by making dumb bets that they think are smart.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 07 March 2016 08:33:40AM 0 points [-]

So, Vaniver, are you personally going to cooperate with this guy in the "donating to MIRI through you" project? Could you please promise in advance to write an article about it when the financial transaction is over?

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