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Comment author: gwillen 17 March 2017 08:06:30AM 5 points [-]

This is interesting and I am interested in it. (I live in the distant far reaches of southbay which makes my interest maybe less relevant than it could be.) I see a few major sticking points.

  • If not everyone is paying their own way, a sticking point is the arrangement of who pays how much, accounting for the fact that individual people's desire to pay for individual other people may change over time, and people's financial situations may change over time, and kicking people out of their housing on short notice is bad, and housing in the bay area is already very expensive so the prospect of paying a premium to subsidize others, especially unspecified others, may be unpalatable.
  • As you say, dispute-resolution: It will be necessary to regulate people's behavior and it will sometimes be necessary to expel people, and this is the usual problem of expelling people from communities -- which is already so hard that communities typically handle it poorly it and are sometimes destroyed by either doing it or failing to do it -- except that money and people's housing will be at stake in this case, which not only raises the emotional stakes significantly (as if they weren't bad enough), it adds financial and maybe legal stakes as well.
In response to LessWrong Discord
Comment author: RyanCarey 13 March 2017 09:35:54AM 4 points [-]
Comment author: gwillen 13 March 2017 09:36:06PM 5 points [-]

Or even more oddly on point, today's XKCD:

https://xkcd.com/1810/

Comment author: dglukhov 10 March 2017 09:40:47PM 2 points [-]

Low-quality thought-vomiting, eh?

I'll try to keep it civil. I get the feeling the site is as far removed from the site's founding goals and members as a way to striate the site's current readership. Either pay into a training seminar through one of the institutions advertised above, or be left behind to bicker over minutia in an underinformed fashion. That said, nobody can doubt the usefulness in personal study, though it is slow and unguided.

I'm suspicious, of the current motives here, of the atmosphere this site provides. I guess it can't be helped since MIRI and CFAR are at the mercy of needing revenue just like any other institution. So where does one draw the line between helpful guidance and malevolent exploitation?

Comment author: gwillen 11 March 2017 11:48:33PM *  1 point [-]

Can you please clarify whose motives you're talking about, and generally be a lot more specific with your criticisms? Websites don't have motives. CFAR and MIRI don't run this website although of course they have influence. (In point of fact I think it would be more realistic to say nobody runs this website, in the sense that it is largely in 'maintenance mode' and administrator changes/interventions tend to be very minimal and occasional.)

Comment author: Bound_up 11 March 2017 02:53:44PM 4 points [-]

On the Value of Pretending

Actors don't break down the individual muscle movements that go into expression; musicians don't break down the physical properties of the notes or series of notes that produce expression.

They both simulate feeling to express it. They pretend to feel it. If we want to harness confidence, amiability, and energy, maybe there's some value in pretending and simulating (what would "nice person" do?).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches that our self-talk strongly affects us, counseling us not to say "Oh, I suck" kind of things. Positive self-talk "I can do this" may be worth practicing.

I'm not sure why, but this feels not irrational, but highly not-"rational" (against the culture associated with "rationality."). This also intrigues me...

Comment author: gwillen 11 March 2017 11:45:36PM *  2 points [-]

In this vein, I have had some good results from the simple expedient of internally-saying "I want to do this" instead of "I have to do this" with regards to things that system 2 wants to do (when system 1 feels reluctant), i.e. akratic things. I have heard this reframing suggested before but I feel like I get benefit from actually thinking the "I want" verbally.

Comment author: gwillen 19 February 2017 01:11:10AM 0 points [-]

Hm, my fox (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hedgehog_and_the_Fox) and satisficer instincts really really don't the recommendation to 'unwind partial funding'. (I feel like there's a lot of stuff mixed into this post, but I am only talking about partial funding issues.) I thought I had seen something similar to the rough argument I'm about to make in a GiveWell/OPP blogpost, but it's not in the one you're writing about, so I'm not sure whether I did or not. If I did, I am probably partly plagiarizing it, badly.

The argument basically goes this way: I think it's very often the case that a mixed strategy is a good idea in practice, even if you're totally sure that one of two pure strategies must be superior, but you can't tell with any confidence which one it is.

It seems to me that you're arguing it's better to pick whichever of the two pure strategies -- full funding or no funding -- seems more likely than not to be superior, rather than do some of each. (It seems like in reality you think fully funding is a clear winner, but in 'Unwind partial funding' you seem to allow that either is possible -- just not anything in between.) In fact, I see in a longer post you state the notion that "GiveWell thinks that its recommendation underperformed opportunity cost, and therefore did net harm." As far as I can tell from my sense of your meaning, this is a perfectly utilitarian position, but the idea that underperforming opportunity cost is a net harm implies that any possible action that GiveWell takes with imperfect information is doing vast, tremendous, incalculable amounts of net harm. No matter how much good they do relative to the state of the world if they didn't exist, they are doomed to do huge quantities of net harm, relative to the world where they have certainty about what the optimal choices actually are.

This doesn't seem like a very encouraging position to take, in a messy world where human beings with extremely limited knowledge and optimization capacity are slowly groping their way towards doing good.

So I bristle at the idea that, because GiveWell is concerned that Good Ventures fully-funding their charities might cause harm -- but is certain that Good Ventures not funding those charities at all would cause harm -- they should be subject to moral outrage for some sort of dishonesty because they chose to hedge their bets.

Comment author: gwillen 22 December 2016 07:09:54AM *  1 point [-]

Hm, I did notice a child -- I suspect and presume the same one you mean -- who made a number of loud comments during the performance. (That one couldn't have been Alicorn's, who is too young to make comments.) At least for the comments that happened while I was on stage with choir, I felt like they got a laugh from the audience, and I found the whole thing mildly entertaining. The rest of the time I didn't really notice them well enough to recall details. But I can totally see how they could be distracting and bothersome to others.

I fear, though, that -- if you feel that the event was truly 'ruined' by this -- it may be hard to find sufficient common ground between you and child-havers for both to be happy attending the same event. As a non-child-haver myself (and a non-child-wanter) who doesn't especially dislike children, my suspicion is that you are a significant outlier on the "degree of annoyance" spectrum? But I now find myself interested in data on this.

(EDIT: I just realized that it's possible that the child was much closer to you than to me, so we might have had different experiences that might color my views differently if I were sitting where you were.)

Comment author: gwillen 24 December 2016 09:01:09PM 1 point [-]

Self-reply: After reading other comments and replies to me, I'm updating in the direction of believing that I'm unusually tolerant of child noises, for someone not possessed of children myself.

Comment author: username2 22 December 2016 10:53:19PM 2 points [-]

I really enjoyed the main East Bay solstice! Thanks to everyone who put it on.

I found it slightly off-putting that one of the performers seemed to take lots of joy in using lyrics different from those displayed on the screen. I can definitely see how this might be an honest error, but that's not how my gut felt. I felt like I (and the other audience members) were being very implicitly made fun of by not being allowed to know what lyrics would come next during the sing-along. I suspect that this sort of status game is negative sum, since lots of audience members can feel put down by it, while Critch is the only one who really benefits.

Other than that, I generally enjoyed the musical parts, and greatly appreciated the performers :)

Comment author: gwillen 23 December 2016 11:05:02PM 3 points [-]

I think Critch was just trying to make light of an awkward situation not of his making -- at least for some of the disagreeing parts, he was clearly working from written notes that differed from the written slides on the screen (not just making it up as he went).

FWIW I had the same impression you did initially but I think it wasn't accurate.

Comment author: ChangeMyMind 22 December 2016 08:17:16AM *  6 points [-]

I don't normally mind children (if they are taken outside once they begin screaming loudly) and don't have strong sensory issues. I grew up in environments with plenty of children around, typically regarded most of their noise as more amusing than the people around me seemed to, and rarely minded them making noise since people were polite enough to take them outside if they were throwing a full tantrum. I typically expect this response from parents. Are cultural norms normally different in that regard in California?

I was sitting at the circular tables in the back half of the building. If you were in the front areas near the speakers then I would expect your experience to have been much better. For instance, if you could hear any of the first half of Ben Hoffman's speech then your experience was certainly far different from mine.

Comment author: gwillen 22 December 2016 07:20:03PM *  5 points [-]

Because I didn't perceive a significant disruption to the event, I was mentally bucketing you with people I know who severely dislike children and would secretly (or not so secretly) prefer that they not attend events like this at all; or that they should do so only if able to remain silent (which in practice means not at all.) I suspect Anders_H had the same reaction I did.

It sounds like the reality is that the disruption was much more significant in the back of the hall than the front, where I was sitting with the choir. It's hard for me to form an opinion on a qualitative question like this without having experienced it myself. But I now appreciate that probably for much of the audience, the distraction was more significant than I was giving it credit for.

I also believe I may have met the child and the child's parent at one point during the festivities, so I admit I'm reacting with a certain amount of defensiveness on behalf of a person who seemed nice enough when I met them in person, as to the complaints of someone I only know online. This is obviously to a large degree a tribal and not a rational response.

I guess that, contra taygetea below, my perception of some of the geek communities I have spent time with, which are made up primarily of non-child-havers, (not this one specifically) is that children are generally disliked and their parents are expected to take any steps necessary to ensure that they don't inconvenience anybody who doesn't have children themselves. But I think this may be down to a few loud and prickly individuals, combined with held-over feelings from before my peer group started having children, which are now dissipating but at a variable rate.

Comment author: ChangeMyMind 22 December 2016 05:05:38AM 19 points [-]

The only extremely weird thing at the solstice was the constantly screaming and crying child that interrupted half of the presentations and was never taken outside of the building. It honestly ruined the entire celebration for me and made the whole thing extremely disappointing as an event I flew all the way into San Francisco to attend.

Comment author: gwillen 22 December 2016 07:09:54AM *  1 point [-]

Hm, I did notice a child -- I suspect and presume the same one you mean -- who made a number of loud comments during the performance. (That one couldn't have been Alicorn's, who is too young to make comments.) At least for the comments that happened while I was on stage with choir, I felt like they got a laugh from the audience, and I found the whole thing mildly entertaining. The rest of the time I didn't really notice them well enough to recall details. But I can totally see how they could be distracting and bothersome to others.

I fear, though, that -- if you feel that the event was truly 'ruined' by this -- it may be hard to find sufficient common ground between you and child-havers for both to be happy attending the same event. As a non-child-haver myself (and a non-child-wanter) who doesn't especially dislike children, my suspicion is that you are a significant outlier on the "degree of annoyance" spectrum? But I now find myself interested in data on this.

(EDIT: I just realized that it's possible that the child was much closer to you than to me, so we might have had different experiences that might color my views differently if I were sitting where you were.)

Comment author: gwillen 11 December 2016 10:30:20PM 14 points [-]

Can we not do clickbait titles on linkposts, please? Let's use the Hacker News rule -- default to the article title, but if it's not a good representation of the content of the article (e.g. it's clickbait), change it to something descriptive.

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