This is the…monthly? bimonthly? occasional?…classified thread. Post advertisements, personals, and any interesting success stories from the last thread.
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AISafety.com hosts a Skype reading group Wednesdays at 19:45 UTC, reading new and old articles on different aspects of AI Safety. We start with a presentation of a summary of the article, and then discuss in a friendly atmosphere.
Norwegian founders with an international team on a mission to offer the equivalent of a Norwegian social safety net globally available as a membership. Currently offering travel medical insurance for nomads, and global health insurance for remote teams.
MealSquares is a "nutritionally complete" food that contains a balanced diet worth of nutrients in a few tasty easily measurable units. Think Soylent, except zero preparation, made with natural ingredients, and looks/tastes a lot like an ordinary scone.
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Jane Street is a quantitative trading firm with a focus on technology and collaborative problem solving. We're always hiring talented programmers, traders, and researchers and have internships and fulltime positions in New York, London, and Hong Kong. No background in finance required.
Beeminder's an evidence-based willpower augmention tool that collects quantifiable data about your life, then helps you organize it into commitment mechanisms so you can keep resolutions. They've also got a blog about what they're doing here
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Dr. Laura Baur is a psychiatrist with interests in literature review, reproductive psychiatry, and relational psychotherapy; see her website for more. Note that due to conflict of interest she doesn't treat people in the NYC rationalist social scene.
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I am looking for someone with experience in search engine optimization or reputation management or whatever the appropriate field is, to help me disconnect my real identity from my blog in search engines. Willing to pay whatever the going rate for this is. Contact me at scott[at]shireroth[dot]org if interested.
If you are having issues with this, it’s probably through a similar mechanism as what happened here (Google can translate), where Google essentially broke a publication ban on a suspects name, despite the name and the case not showing up together on any public pages.
Interesting case (Google breaking the name ban). The problem is that Google’s algorithm is intelligent. The only obvious solutions are (1) stop using intelligent algorithms, or (2) straight-up search for and suppress any conjunctions of search results that would alert users to a true, but proscribed, reality.
Should I feel bad that after seeing this comment and think it’s possible to figure out your real name, I spent some time on Google trying to do so? (I failed, by the way.)
It’s actually not too hard to find his real name from his blog (or at least it didn’t used to be. The thing he’s more worried about (at least last time I saw him mention it) is people finding his blog from his real name.
The name can be deduced pretty easily from some posts on the old LiveJournal.
The difficulty (or lack thereof) of learning Scott’s True Name is a subject to be governed by the Virtue of Silence.
(I’ve been waiting years to make this comment, btw)
this kind of encourages people and the more people are encouraged the more breadcrumbs get laid.
fwiw, it’s trivial to and I haven’t read the old Livejournal, nor much of this site (I’m only sort of a lurker). It pops up on the front page of the appropriate Google search. The reverse (real name -> pseudonym) is probably hard unless you suspect he has interests in EA and so on, I think.
I don’t know how this sort of thing works, but if it’s possible without action on your part I could see you having success posing this as a bounty (assuming that contracting it out doesn’t work). Something like “I’ll pay [nontrivial sum] to the first person who can satisfy objective criteria I’ve written down and which hash to X (so they aren’t just trying to satisfy the criteria), and clearly explain how they did it (to prove it was them and possibly allow you to reproduce it later). “
I checked, and you edited that really easy clue from a few years ago, so that’s good.
I don’t know what all archives are out there, but this project should include updating all of them to the new version of that post.
What I notice when googling your real name is that there are very few results, merely one page worth. AFAIK, SEO is generally about getting the desired results shown first, but as there are few results in the first place, the undesired results will still show up on the first page.
It seems to me that the best solution may be to create a slightly larger web presence under your real name, so that the one blog that links your real name to SSC is pushed to page 2 of the results, where few people look.
It should go without saying that if Scott wants to decouple his True Name from this blog, then it is anti-helpful for anyone here to either search for [redacted] and see if they can find mention of SSC, or search for the old SSC/SA posts that they dimly recall held clues to his true name and see if that is still true. Those pages are normally going to get very few visitors, so even a minor surge of interest now would push them up in the rankings of whatever search engine is used to find them.
I think I emailed you before about a couple items, not sure if they got through your spam filter.
There’s some other breadcrumbs you could probably clean up a little, some with some DMCA’s for things you have copyright on like some photos and for general stuff you can reduce your google-exposure at least in the EU
Noting something like harassment and threats and requesting a few pages that link your identities might help.
I tried a couple different search terms and only found references to your pen name.
if you want to dissassociate your real name from SSC, rather than the reverse (i.e. you don’t want people searching with your real name to be directed here) I have some suggestions:
1) Working on from what Aapje said, create a completely distinct blog in your real name. Post only inoffensive content there. Disable comments. For anyone else I’d say content generation would be an issue, but you – no.
2) Sow confusion as to whose blog this is. Try to get some guest posts on SSC by other people with confusingly similar names. I’m sure Scott Aaronson would do you a favour, and you could ask Scott M Alexander the leadership and martial arts expert (if he declines just link to him somewhere). There’s another Scott Alexander who’s in a band, and a whole load of Scott Alexanders on facebook you could ask. And some Alexander Scotts, too. Change the “about” page so it describes everyone who has contributed.
The idea here is not so much to break the search link [real name] blog -> SSC, but to make them question whether its relevant when they arrive.
OK, so perhaps (1) is more practical than (2). If you have any interests you don’t mention on SSC because they don’t quite fit, I think now is the time to break them out.
The going rate for this advice is free.
From Sigmaleph, the following message: “Important results from the ssc survey: there is at least one more poly bisexual argentinian trans woman who reads ssc. i have no idea how to get in touch with her or even if I have anything to say beyond – hi we have similar demographics want to be my friend?”
Contact them here
I remember a thread about the most unlikely things that happened to people. This would qualify for that thread.
As a poly bisexual brazilian trans woman who (reluctantly) reads ssc… hey, almost there.
Want to help us build a new tool for one-off commitments? http://commits.to
And if you have questions about either that or Beeminder, I’ll monitor this comment thread and answer them! http://dreev.commits.to/answer_questions_in_ssc_comments_for_2_days
(See what I did there?)
Trying to create a commitment takes me to the page http://commits.to/sign-up which prompts me to get in touch but leaves no clue on who to get in touch with or how, any help here?
Yes, sorry! Send an email to email@example.com — at the moment we’re not ready for more beta users though, unless you’re ready to also commit to contributing to the project.
Thanks for checking it out! Super curious to know if you think you’d use something like this.
> just by clicking on such a URL, a commitment is logged here
Hopefully this requires a POST from the resulting page to actually work. GET is supposed to be idempotent, and there are a lot of systems that assume it is, such as web crawlers and (more directly to this use case) some email clients. If someone is using such a client, they can be made to “commit” to things just by helpfully sending them links for their email client to attempt to cache for offline viewing. You know, unless a button push on the resulting page is also required.
We’re radical REST rebels! Quoting myself from the spec:
PS: The current implementation is even worse than you’re imagining because we don’t even have logins. So anyone can create commitments for anyone willy-nilly. Which reminds me that linking to commits.to here means I now get to trawl through the logs to undo possible vandalism (or probably not intentional vandalism but rather curiosity about what happens if a random person on the internet tries to create or delete someone else’s commitments. answer: it just lets you and then I have to trawl through the logs to undo it.).
And to address the point about someone creating rogue commitments for you, our idea is to just make it easy to delete those.
Okay, *now* I have a more fundamental problem: this violates my expectations of what “commitment” means. 😉
No, I agree. It’s honor system right now to only delete something that was never a commitment in the first place. We’re thinking about how to make sure there’s no abusable loophole there though. One idea is an append-only public changelog.
I’d like to hire someone with a decent background in statistics (and preferably some familiarity with causal inference and counterfactual notation) for the following job:
(1) Read two of my papers, in which I propose a new framework for the generalizability of randomized trials
(2) Read two papers by other researchers working on similar problems (Pearl/Bareinboim and Stuart/Cole)
(3) Evaluate my argument for why my approach is, at least in some situations, preferable
(4) Write a report that may be posted to Less Wrong or similar forums, focusing on whether my arguments make sense, whether this research has the potential to help launch an academic career, whether it would be appropriate to ask for research funding from EA sources.
It is important to me that this report is honest and unbiased. Payment will be made in advance. I operate entirely according to Crocker’s rules. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (rot13 for spam protection) with some indication of how much you would charge.
Why not share your papers along with the post ? A lot of academic reviewing is done for free, and you can certainly get a “promising” or “idiot because X” answer from knowledgeable people, for free, quite faster than you’ll get someone to email you a quote. Then you can offer them to write a full-fledged review for money.
The papers are available on ArXiv.
The first paper, which is accepted for publication at the journal Epidemiologic Methods, is at https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.00069 . In this paper, we introduce a new class of parameters for the effect of drugs, called “counterfactual outcome state transition parameters”, and argue that these parameters are more likely to be stable across populations, when compared to risk ratios and risk differences.
The second paper, which is still being developed, is at https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.00068. This paper is partly review, and explains the difference between this framework and the alternative framework proposed by Pearl and Bareinboim.
(Ps. My apologies, I accidentally reported your comment while trying to reply. This was entirely a misclick, but I cannot find a way to undo it)
I’m still a tad unclear of the context it’s aimed at.
So…. I have an RCT, I’m assessing between my trial and control groups….
I’m observing a population being exposed to substance X where I have no control group and …..
Do you have a natural language summary of “counterfactual outcome state transition” ? and for that matter what you mean by the term “case”.
I thought I’d found a natural language summary but it sort of devolves into replacing symbols with word-equivalents.
Thank you for your comments!
The setting is that we have a randomized controlled trial (with both a control group and a treatment group) in a study population. The results from this trial are known. We are interested in how the results may be extrapolated to a separate population, in which the drug is not available. The way I see it, this setup is the general form of the “generalizability” problem for randomized trials.
A “case” is just someone who experiences the outcome. For simplicity, you can think of “cases” as being those who died.
We introduce “counterfactual outcome state transition parameters” which are essentially the probability that the drug saves someone who otherwise would have died, and the probability that the drug kills someone who otherwise would have lived. We then show the conditions under which these COST parameters are equal to standard measures of effect such as the risk ratio.
The point of the paragraph you are citing, is that we are interested in how the magnitude of the COST parameters are determined by other factors which interact with the treatment effect (for example: a bacterial gene that determines susceptibility to antiobiotics, or a human gene that determines susceptibility to allergic reactions to the drug). We show that if these interacting factors are distributed equally between populations, this may lead to equality of the COST parameters.
In other words, the COST parameter scale allows the investigator to outline the specific biological facts which would, if approximately true, justify extrapolation. This is not generally possible with the risk ratio, risk difference or odds ratio.
A suggestion: Blind reviewing. Ask them to evaluate the approaches before telling them which one is yours. Might work better than promising really hard to someone that you are paying them for honesty.
This is a good idea in principle, but in practice I think this would be impossible to blind.
No time these days, sorry Anders :(. Did your old advisor have any thoughts, or is he also too busy?
Without going in detail, my former advisors at Harvard have read the papers. They have not found any major errors, and I believe I have convinced them about the methodological soundness of my approach, but perhaps not fully sold them on the substantive or philosophical significance of the idea.
That said, I’d be happy to defend the substantive and philosophical significance at any time; considering that if people take my approach seriously, it will change how most randomized trials are reported and how meta-analyses are conducted.
Hi, I’m mostly on rationalist tumblr, but since this is the time for self-promotion, I thought I’d drop in and mention that I’m doing a podcast, Early and Often: The History of Elections in America, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a pretty detailed and (hopefully) well researched look at how elections, ideas of sovereignty, and government in general have evolved in the US over time. Maybe not directly rationalist, but people seem to be enjoying it. So far, I’m 25 episodes in and through about the first 80 years of colonization. If that sounds interesting to you, check it out and let me know what you think. Here it is on iTunes, and on WordPress. The WordPress has transcripts of all the episodes if you prefer that to audio. Thanks!
As a listener of the above podcast, I would like to add a quick endorsement. The intricacies of American election history is a lot of fun and really interesting. Plus find out why one dude hated Maryland so much he felt the need to burn the colony down not once, not twice, but three distinct times!
“Plus find out why one dude hated Maryland so much he felt the need to burn the colony down not once, not twice, but three distinct times!”
This should be more prominent in the description. Don’t bury the lead.
That’s a fun story but actually my personal favorite detail so far is when the governor of North Carolina got kidnapped by pirates and held in Algeria for several years. That’s good politics right there.
As one who regularly encounters Maryland drivers, I sympathize.
Thanks for the podcast recommendation, I will check it out.
I work on the Amazon Web Services IoT Analytics service. Please contact me at David.Weinstein@ncf.edu if you think you may be interesting in joining our team. I can answer your questions about our team and refer you. I could also help you apply to other teams, but I am not as knowledgable about them.
I’ve been wondering for a while whether Amazon has a different culture than Google. Based on the James Damore business I would assume only an idiot would post publicly here while working at Google, and yet here an Amazon employee is apparently offering up their real ID. So it must be very different, but why would that be?
Any insights you are willing to share, David? Or maybe they have the same culture but you just like living on the edge?
(Of all the possible comments to draw me out of lurkerdom…)
The answer is yes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some Googlers posting here under their real names.
I’m a googler for four more weeks, at least.
I don’t think Google would go as far as punishing somebody just for posting to some blog. My guess is that Damore got burned at the stake¹ because he – quite likely inadvertently – challenged people in power and their ideology. This is obviously not going to go down well, especially when the ideology is what brought people into power in the first place, or where leaders suffer from impostor syndrome or are otherwise insecure (not saying this was the case here of course, I don’t know the details that well).
¹ And I use that metaphor because I believe it was similar in medieval times, that there was actually room for theological dissent as long as you didn’t openly challenge the church.
I always thought the James Damore story was funny for the same reason that Yes Minister was. Like, surely one person cannot know this and also not know enough to say it out loud. What did he think would happen?
I think its a pity that so many people confused an unwoke nerd with Present Danger to equality and distributive justice.
My coding program manager publicly excoriated Damore and the general atmosphere of tech, then received extremely strong push back from certain members of the community over the next week. The reaction to the excoriation eventually caused this generally fantastic manager to suffer extreme burnout.
I wonder about this – Damore got burned at the stake for his challenge or the public nature of his challenge, sure, but being burned at the stake isn’t the only punishment that exists. I lean pretty hard in the direction of thinking that being publicly perceived to be a conservative(or not a good party man democrat) at Google would at least lead to some subtle/practical shunning; recall the relatively vocal sect of the workforce at Google who stated they couldn’t work with anybody with such very violent thoughts, and you can imagine someone’s chances at being a team leader evaporating for convenience alone.
I’m a software engineer at another Very Large Software Company, and the industry gossip is that Amazon and Google do indeed have very different cultures. Amazon’s is more “get there, do the work (maybe with extremely long hours depending on your team), go home.” Google’s is totalitarian in the etymological sense, in that they provide room to orient as much as possible of your life around the company. Given that someone from a large software company’s posting under his full real name here, I’m not surprised it’s an Amazonian.
I’ve never worked at either one, and I don’t want to, but if I had to choose one it would probably be Amazon.
Amazon is very focused on the bottom line. Jeff Bezos was a quant before he started the company, and he still thinks that way. Amazon is also very decentralized, and different groups are expected to sink or swim on their own. For example, if group X in Amazon wants services from group Y, they need to pay group Y, and this is all tracked internally. So, for example, you may hear groups at Amazon say they can’t use an AWS service such as Redshift, even though it may seem well-suited for them, because it’s too expensive for them.
This would be unthinkable at Google. Google tends to be very inwardly-focused. Entire services may be created for internal consumers, and only exposed later to third parties as an afterthought (This was the pattern for BigQuery, Spanner, etc. etc.)
Google is a much more “academic” company. Larry and Sergei came from academia, and it shows in a lot of ways. Obviously, there’s the left-wing politics, but there’s also a general willingness to go further to do things “the right way” rather than coming up with a short-term pragmatic hack. This has good and bad aspects. Google still brings lecturers to campus to talk about various academic and cultural topics, trying to maintain the atmosphere of a university.
As I mentioned earlier, Amazon is very federated. So you can hear about people having great or terrible experiences there based on what group they end up in.
There is a huge amount of social justice nonsense at Google. To be honest, though, this is the case at most big companies now. For example, Microsoft makes people take the now-discredited IATs periodically (the engineers hate it.) Google is more enthusiastic about this than most of the others, but they’re not unique. The Damore brouhaha would never have happened at Amazon, but mostly because people working at Amazon would not be naive enough to share their political heresies with the company mailing list.
When you get hired, you are assumed to be low-position / status no matter where you came from. After a few years, you might get to make an important decision, but you can’t expect much as a new hire. Both of these companies are a good place to start your career. However, after 5 or 10 years, if you’re not on the management track, best to search for greener pastures. Keep in mind, it’s up or out.
This seems kind of crazy to me. I can absolutely imagine giving credit to group Y for “selling” their product to group X, but I can’t really imagine group X actually paying group Y for anything more than actual company resources they spend on the group.
It seems like it would lead to perverse outcomes like group X deciding to cover their need with inferior but cheaper external product Z.
How is that a perverse outcome? Surely they buy whatever has the best value proposition. That would be optimal and in fact the opposite of a perverse outcome.
A better example of a perverse outcome would be when a loss-making department looks profitable because it is sucking resources from other departments off the books.
Yes, that happens.
Even if you just charge for the actual resources, that’s enough to make many projects not viable (or at least cause groups to consider other solutions).
Are you hiring for machine learning roles?
Where is your team located?
I’m probably not good enough for any sort of coding job yet, but what sorts of skills are these jobs looking for?
Bitcoin enthusiast in Austin area seeking people who understand the technology and stay on top of and understand the latest developments. Trying to build a group of technologists for the purpose of expanding my knowledge on the topic. Zero interest in trading or getting rich. I’m trying to wrap my head around lightning network, bitcoin hivemind and it’s related topics, and fast txn networks like raiblocks.
Yo. I moved here three months ago. I’ve been paying attention to bitcoin since 2011 and have, or had anyway, a solid grasp on the technical details. I tried, and failed, to get rich day-trading back then, and I don’t care to try it again. If you’re looking to set up a study group for the technical aspect, or even just a social group around it, I’m down
There’s an Austin SSC/LW meetup, and some of the group would probably be interested in such a group. We also have a semi-regular member of the group who works in blockchain. Check out our google group, austin-less-wrong, or our in-person meetup, Central Market on N. Lamar, Saturdays at 1:30.
I’ve been to it, I came to one in Februrary. I keep forgetting about this meetup. I’ll try to make it out this weekend.
Not enough of an enthusiast to advise, but there’s a (sold-out) blockchain event in town this weekend: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/refactor-camp-cryptoeconomics
There will be an informal meetup before it starts, Friday at 7PM at Bangers. I doubt they’ll be checking tickets for it, and it’ll be a chance to meet a lot of crypto folks in one go.
I’m looking for climbing partners in the SF Bay Area! Any level of outdoor experience is ok, if you’re already gym climbing.
I lead sport (up to 5.10c or a little higher probably), and can follow trad (but I’m bad at cracks right now).
I have roughly a double rack for trad, and an organic big pad. I don’t have a car.
Climbed in Yosemite, Bishop, J Tree, Devil’s Tower, Wild Iris, Tahoe and around the Bay Area. Pretty focused on safety and am a pretty good teacher (I think).
My employer is hiring software engineers. http://youearnedit.com/careers. (They’re switching our recruitment platform at the moment. If you go there and it says ‘no open positions’, check back later or just email me for more details).
I don’t know the specifics of the roles we’re hiring for (because of the platform switching) but our tech org is mostly focused on web development, using Ruby/Rails, Node/React, and GraphQL.
The company is located in Austin, TX, and is _very_ remote friendly. If any of you are looking for work, please follow up with me at tim.herd at youearnedit dot com
I’m a UX researcher with an interest in how/why people choose to reject or not adopt various technologies. Over the next year I plan to do some qualitative research on people quitting social media. If you have permanently and deliberately stopped using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, or a similar social media website (it can be just one of them), and are interested in participating in an interview via email, please contact me at nadavzohar [at] hotmail dot com.
I’m the IT director at an animal shelter (a registered 501c3 non-profit organization) in Upstate New York. I’m looking for someone who has experience with R and R Markdown and can volunteer with some data-mining projects. I’m self-taught in this area, and I often run-up against the limits of my abilities. If you are interested, please contact me at alexc[at]aya[dot]yale[dot]edu.
Anyone in the Santa Rosa/Rohnert Park area? I’m interested in trying to get together a Rationalist/Practical Philosophy group to happen but I have no idea what the density of readers here is.
I’m in Rohnert Park. I’ve actually been going to the Sacramento group, which meets most Sundays (including this one), but I’m down for joining another group as well.
Do we have any Atlanteans going to Momocon, with a room they might be interested in sharing? My girlfriend and I missed the reservation window at the Omni.
The first game of SSC diplomacy (see summary here) finished a couple of weeks ago. Anyone interested in another? If you are, fill in this form.
Are we expected to provide the same handle as here on SSC? The comment thread you linked suggests that people didn’t know who they were playing against.
Up to you (but either that or your real name is probably the obvious thing). The purpose of the handles is for organising teams (i.e. I’ll send out an email/post a comment on an OT giving the teams in terms of the handles given, then team members can email me and I’ll give them contact details of their teammates so they can organise a shared Backstabbr account etc. The usernames on Backstabbr aren’t connected with countries until the game ends (and don’t have to be the handle on the form anyway).
What will the turn frequency be?
Probably two days for normal turns, one day for builds, a longer time for the first turn (that’s what we did for the previous game and it seemed to work well).
What sort of speed do you play with? How frequently are players in communication with each other? Wondering if I can make the time commitment to play seriously.
Two days/turn (see comment above for details). Last game I think my team sent a handful of messages each day.
Can someone explain the title pun to me? Classified never sinned?
It’s a play on “[just] as if I’d never sinned”, which seems to be a bible thing
That allusion actually came up when I tried to google it, but the pun was too subtle for me to see even with all the clues I needed
I’m really running out of good classified puns; grateful for any help here.
Classified thread 6 – homophonic & homographic
Homophonic & homographic are classifications of puns.
Common phrases ending in “class” — so, prepend to “classified” for an instant mediocre pun.
something something Marxism
Rich and Classy
The Perks of Being Classified
When I am Classified and Wriggling on the Wall.
Classifields of Dreams
[C]Lassie on VHS
Secret Top Secret Classifieds
Classy Ides of [Insert Month Here]
Classtrated For The King
Gaius Classifius Longinus (The Tyrannicide)
Pour Me A Class
Public Static Void
The Sophomore Class
Classifido Delenda Est
I Came, I Saw, I Classified
The Class of the Mohicans
The Classifieds: Family Genus Species
Beyond Classified: Kingdom & Phylum
The Parting Class
Seeking grant proposals — $250k total budget for privacy blockchain tech projects!
Cross-post from the subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/8gtdow/seeking_grant_proposals_250k_total_budget_for/
Hi everybody! I’m posting this here because I know a lot of you are math, comp-sci, or programming people. I also know that some of you are interested in practical cryptoanarchy — things like censorship resistance and the ability to evade oppressive governments.
tl;dr the Zcash Foundation (my employer) wants to fund people with cool ideas that loosely fit into the blockchain x privacy space. For those of you in academia: Discretionary funds! The deadline for proposals is May 18.
Announcement blog post: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/q2-grant-program/
Here’s the call for proposals directly: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/GrantProposals-2018Q2
Ideas go here: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/GrantProposals-2018Q2/issues (you can also see what others have proposed so far!)
The last time we ran this grant program, there were 27 applicants. You can see their proposals and the discussion about them here: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/GrantProposals-2017Q4/issues
10 grants were awarded. The specific amounts were based on scope — it varied from $4,500 to $30,000. More details here: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/grant-awards/
We have more than double the budget for the current round of grants.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below, or email email@example.com. Thanks!
Starting June 1st and ending roughly June 21st, with a lot of slop in the schedule, I’m roadtripping across and around America. My very vague itinerary goes something like:
Seattle->Portland->Davis->SF->LA->San Diego (maybe?)->Tucson (Phoenix?)->El Paso->Austin->Dallas->OKC->Memphis->Nashville->Charlotte->Durham->DC->Northampton, MA->Cape Cod.
(Some of those are drive-throughs, some are “stop for lunch at the best local delicacy”, some are “take a day or two to decompress and hike.” Roles not assigned yet.)
If you live in or around that path and want to hang out, drink, eat, hike, etc, let me know. (I’ve already had a few offers…)
I’m in San Diego if you’d like to meet up! (We have an SSC group and an EA group here)
Seconded! I might be gone for EA Global depending on when you might be in town, but feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Discord PM (Celestia#8516) if you wanna meet up with people and/or want a place to crash.
Baltimore here if you want to meet up!
I’ll formally throw my hat in the ring (again) for OKC. Not sure how your schedule will shake out, but I’d love to meet up.
‘Nother OKC reader here. Buy you guys a round if you meet up! Down for meeting other OKC folks too.
Wait. There’s someone else from OKC here? I tried in the last classified thread or two to see if there was anyone, and didn’t bother this time because it seemed futile.
Come visit us in DC! The monthly meetup might be on June 16th or I can arrange another event if you can’t make it to that.
Say hello in Portland, a hike or other thing might in the offing.
I’d love to either hike, or get lunch/dinner, in Springfield/Northampton.
If you end up with Nashville as a “spend a couple days” (it’s a fun city to visit), I can probably find you a local guide–I have family and friends there. Similarly for Richmond VA, which is on your route but not listed.
A random recommendation–a Springfield Museums membership (Patron level) will get you into a LOT of art and science museums. (There may be a similar museum where you are; Springfield is nice because its in both NARM (art) and ASTC (science).) If you’re interested in visiting museums as part of your road trip, check out a museum membership–it may be worthwhile.
email-username at gmail
I’d probably be down to get coffee in the SF area if you post an email address.
I’m in Austin, and always up to meet up and grab coffee. Email me at this username, at t9productions.com.
I’m in Dallas, and so is at least one other commenter who is much better at planning things/replying to emails than me. I’d love to meet up! vaivfvoyrwryylcrefba @ tznvy .pbz is an email I try to check every few days.
I’m the other one near Dallas. quaelegit and I have been meeting up about once a month.
Contact me at email@example.com and I will be happy to organize something with all of us.
I think last classified thread there was a proposal for a (science?) fiction writing workshop. Would anybody be interested in one for poetry?
If you’re interested, you can email me at powerfuller [at] tutanota [dot] com. I’m open to suggestions for the best platform or method of organizing such a thing.
I’m interested, will email.
I make soundtracks/soundscapes for visual art projects, games and short film. I specialize in ambient music but can work with piano, guitar and synthesizers.
Send me your brief, I send you some demo tracks to suit your project, and you pay what you can afford based on your project budget. All music is original and bespoke, no “stock” sounds or re-used material.
ROT13 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, this is funny, I came here to offer the exact same thing! Though I don’t do much ambient music. Would you be interested in collaborating at all? I’m build my portfolio for soundtracks at the moment, especially for video games/retro-style soundtracks, so I’d be content to work on spec if you had a project you wanted input on.
I write weird fiction. No, not like that. I write fiction that is weird.
On previous iterations of this thread I’ve plugged books and text games that I’ve made. Today, I’m gonna plug some short stories:
* The Fable of the Wisest Oil-Presser is an attempt to make a fable about some modern stuff that bothers me.
* The Great Prophecy (annotated) is a surreal false document
* Dee v. Satan was an attempt to write an interesting story that looked like a law school issue-spotter
* Only One World is what it is.
* Sinewava is a poem about a goddess
I read your fable. Not bad overall, though the level of interstitial flourishes was a little too high for my taste and really broke up the flow while reading. I’m also not sure I quite get what the fable is trying to tell me. There seems to be an element of “there are naive ways and smart ways to exploit a discovery” along with some variant of “do you really expect self-help books to offer deep insights so readily?”. I did quite like how what seemed to be a pretty glib comment near the beginning got called back in a big way later.
I’m not sure I can express in non-fable terms what I was trying to convey with the fable.
I think it’s more about luck than discovery, but now that I think about it they are pretty similar objects.
I suppose it goes like this. People think they are special, and people ARE special…but when people win, it’s almost always because of luck. I’ve seen a lot of situations where people were confronted with a choice: They won because of luck, and they had to figure out how to handle it. This is a very difficult problem.
Thank you for these.
These are great! I really enjoy your writing.
These were very interesting. I definitely enjoyed. ^_^
The fable seems really weird in that the middle guy had a smarter strategy. It’s super unclear how he became bankrupt: surely he kept all the profits he had made before he hired the simpleton(s), and continued to get 1/n of the profits after?
look man, those simpletons don’t come cheap. I mean, they might at the beginning but EVENTUALLY they’re gonna cost you.
He didn’t quit while he was ahead. That’s for sure. He was the richest man in town for a while.
But he was only moderately wise.
I’m a mid-senior-ish applied stats/machine learning focused software dev in London, mostly working in the Python ML ecosystem. Through a weird quirk of my career trajectory, I don’t know that many of my professional peers in the stats/ML space, so I’d like to meet other people with a roughly similar profile to talk to about career stuff, personal development, etc.
I’ve found tech meetups to be an utter crapshoot for this kind of interaction. How about we grab a drink instead?
I’m a grad student in Data Science with plans to get a job in data science in London after this summer. I can’t grab a drink immediately but would love to hear your thoughts about the job market / advice if you are willing to spend some time on skype! After I move to London I’m obviously up for a drink too!
Hi Mr Nightingale,
I match all three of your sentences! Let’s talk: I am [username]@hotmail.co.uk.
I do machine learning for algo trading. I’ll be in London for the next two weeks (plus half of my team is there). Happy to grab a drink [username]@gmail.com
I could really use advice from engineers or other STEM types on how to figure out if an invention is marketable in the U.S. I am not an engineer and haven’t the foggiest where to start or who to go to.
My father-in-law is an electrical engineer in China and runs a small company manufacturing and selling a technology of his own design. It’s an energy efficiency technology for large-scale lighting projects like warehouses and city streetlights. He has patented the design in China and I believe pending in the U.S. (not sure on the current status).
He would like to find out if his technology is marketable in the U.S. Both because of $$ and because his daughter and I live here now. I’d like to see him succeed if at all possible, because my wife is happier the more her parents visit, and would be happiest of all if they could eventually relocate here.
He speaks little English, and has not yet found anyone able and willing to translate his technical materials into English.
Where do I start? Who should I be trying to contact about this? Sorry for already bringing a question to the net about the very first step, but the likely requirement of dealing with technical material in Mandarin has baffled everyone I’ve asked for advice IRL.
Hm. You might not be able to answer “is it marketable” with the confidence you’d need to base major relocation decisions without paying real money to get the answer.
I mean, if you wanted to know if a psychopharmaceutical in use in Russia is marketable in the U.S., the answer is that it might cost you actual currency just to get a mid-level resolution English-language answer about what the Russian drug even does. SSC has a post about this here.
Maybe you can, without spending money (or not much), get some help making a good guess at whether it is marketable, or a good answer for how much it would cost to answer “is it marketable”, and from those two you then decide if it is worth paying a little real money to answer re: marketability.
Some questions that might help you think about this:
Can you get a working example of the design to the states? If an electrical engineer–even one with no Mandarin–can fuss with the thing they need to evaluate, and has a volt-meter, they might get decently far along in terms of figuring out what it is/does.
How much work would it be for your father-in-law to make an up-goer-five type schematic, plus maybe with numbers all in scientific notation, and then get someone with no electrical experience to translate *that*, and then give that to an electrical engineer?
This helps – I suppose I should focus on translation first. It strikes me that I should ask him more about who he hired to help him file for a U.S. patent, and what they did. I imagine technical translation would have been part of that?
Not an engineer but have worked with US/China interfacing companies. There’s a set of consultancies that work in providing advice and contacts to Chinese companies working in the USA and vice versa. I’d strongly recommend looking for one that specialises in patents and engineering. As I imagine they’d have come across similar issues, and the differences in terms of regulation, business environment and culture are often big enough that its worth hiring a specialist.
Also, intellectual property law in China is kinda a mess, so if the patent in itself is whats valuable then you might want to talk to a patent lawyer. China law blog is fairly well regarded as a source so might be a good place to start. https://www.chinalawblog.com/2012/10/how-to-protect-your-ip-from-china.html
Thanks, I’ll look into consultancies doing US/China interfacing. Do you happen to know a reputable name, as a starting point?
Not for engineering unfortunately, my experience here has been mainly in the education sector
The first thing you’d need is a solid business case. In what situations is it applicable exactly and what are the advantages and disadvantages, compared to the alternatives? Is it only suitable for lights that are on for long periods? What are the shapes and sizes in which he can deliver, both in theory and in practice? Is it merely more energy efficient or is it also cheaper overall? What are the costs to change over? For how much of the lighting market is this product better and/or cheaper?
Basically, you want to identify how much potential there is overall and also the customers who are easiest to sell to, because the advantage to them is the greatest. This is where you would generally focus first.
You/he can try to sell the right to use the patent to another company, try to sell your chinese-made products to a large (B2B) retailer, go to venture capitalists and create a startup or something else.
Why is the company so small? Is this product not used very much in China yet, even though it is suitable for many? If so, it seems much more sensible for him to expand in China first.
I’m not sure whether it is wise to try to go to the US. Given your motivations, you and he may be driven more by a desire to have it all, rather than be making a rational choice.
I share those concerns; by “marketable” what I really mean is that I’m trying to figure out whether this technology is actually better (i.e. more cost efficient) than current options.
He is certain that it is, but believes that his potential customers (local governments and their contractors) in China are typically driven more by political/cronyist concerns than cost efficiency in these types of contracts. He thinks this would be different in the U.S.
I don’t know whether he is right, either about his technology or about the U.S. market. I’m trying to find out. If he’s right, I’d expect the best initial move would be for him to start a U.S. distributor but still make the hardware in China.
If you’re interested in help figuring that out, I’ve got electrical engineering background and I know US government contracts pretty well. I also have a very passing acquaintance with electrical grids and have dealt with Import-Export before. I don’t speak Chinese but I could at least give an informed opinion.
He’s correct large corporations and government in China are more cronyist but that’s not the main reason I’d recommend going elsewhere. The Chinese electrical market is massively distorted due to government control and policy. It’s not unheard of for the government to just give unlimited free electricity to certain companies or government offices, which obviously eliminates any incentive to economize.
If you’re interested, drop me a line at (rot13’d): email@example.com.
OK, that makes sense, although I’d be wary of a ‘the grass is greener’ effect.
Erusian’s offer seems like a good one, although you’d probably need to get the documents translated first. I found quite a few companies that offered such services when searching for “translating chinese technical.” So at first glance it doesn’t appear that hard to find a translator…or are you unwilling to pay those kind of fees?
What exactly does the lighting product do? The main thing for lighting controls will be its cost, cost of installation, compliance with current lighting mandates for automatic controls (and how well it interfaces with emergency lighting requirements in the case of loss of power), and how much energy it actually saves.
Speaking as someone who does lighting design for a living, the market is crazy saturated with all the major brands in the lighting industry having tons of different lighting control systems. The next big thing right now is doing power and controls over Ethernet to cut down on the labor of wiring things up. Most controls/sensor designs are not based around saving the most energy but around meeting LEED lighting requirements (to get a certified sustainable building, which only means that their is “daylight harvesting” i.e. turning off lights by windows when the sun is bright, and automatic controls) and meeting electrical code which calls for occupancy or vacancy controls for most room usage types. The amount of energy saved just about never comes up, and the code doesn’t care about what the payoff would be for adding a complicated sensor system for a single LED office light, it just mandates it. I know I said earlier this was an important thing, but it is only important in the marketing sense. This is one of my pet peeves, btw, and I hate having to design in an expensive sensor/control for a 1-3 LED lamp office that my back of the envelope estimates say will not be paid off by energy savings in the life of the fixture or sometimes even building lifetime.
I am curious what sort of controls we are talking about though, but the pickings are likely slim unless this invention either does what other sensors do for much cheaper or much more easily/wirelessly. Wiring up lighting controls is the overwhelming majority of the cost, enough that it often makes sense to have a built-in occupancy sensor per fixture in some cases. If he’s got a patent for something in the US, maybe find a way to reach out to one of the big lighting manufacturers like Eaton, Acuity, or Hubbell to see if they are interested in affiliating. Also note, a good number of projects are looking for American made products, some even mandate it, so American manufacturing would likely be important for the future.
This is great information – thank you!! Although it doesn’t sound very promising for his technology, it’s much better to find out up front about the lack of opportunity.
I’ll explain as much as I know about the technology here, but likely a lot has been lost in transmission from him to my wife to me to you. I’d be delighted if you would email me at (rot13) Yvcfrlyp@tznvy.pbz so I can share a better technical explanation once I can get one translated.
It’s a control technology for LED lighting, indended to vary the brightness and power consumption of the LEDs to allow energy savings during periods when less power is needed. As I understand it, the innovation is in the mechanism of control; it doesn’t require as much hardware or wiring as other options. I think I understood him to say that the control signal is sent through the power wiring rather than requiring its own wiring, but I’m not sure whether that was a key advantage or just part of the description of the system. One of his control boxes can handle dimming for a long line of LED streetlights.
I should add that he was most emphatic on the point that large lighting projects such as city streets should use dimmable LEDs in the first place, rather than that his version beats all comers. Evidently very few even use LEDs, let alone dimmable ones. He didn’t really talk about taking market share so much; he seemed to see it as an obvious and still largely untapped market.
If this is a relatively accurate description, then there very well might be a very lucrative market in retrofitting existing sodium arc/incandescent systems with controllable LEDs. As a number of institutions are doing this right now, this is not a bad time for his technology.
I feel the biggest problem he will have to contend with is understanding the chain of suppliers and vendors of lighting products in the US. Once he has secured a patent, approaching the right level with his product is crucial to getting the widest distribution.
Sent you an email to hear more about it, as I am curious.
Sending the control signal for dimming and switching over the power wire could be quite useful, depending on the exact abilities it has. Is it addressable (i.e. each fixture on the same controller could be independently controlled or are all the lights on the same controller exactly the same)? It doesn’t mess with the frequency or voltage of the power to the lights enough to get in trouble with what the light fixture manufacturers expect, right?
As for most places not using LED lights outdoors yet, that is mostly a legacy issue at this point. No new construction or renovation is putting in new outdoor lights that are not LED due to how much the cost of LED’s has fallen plus its lifecycle efficiency. The only place we still sometimes see non-LED outdoor lights is either residential using bulb-base fixtures that they put fluorescent bulbs in or the high-brightness sports/recreation field lighting. I would be wary about imagining a windfall in sweeping to the street-light market, it is highly saturated and limited only by municipalities wanting to squeeze as much life out of their existing lights before replacing them.
All that said though, if the controller really can control dimming/switching over the power wire, especially if it is addressable, that product could save a ton of time (and electrician time = $$$) on installation.
I’m a US patent lawyer, specializing in litigation, but with some licensing experience. I’m not familiar with Chinese patent law.
Technical translation should have been part of the U.S. patent application process; the USPTO doesn’t accept applications in languages other than English.
If other companies use the technology, you’ll need help enforcing a U.S. patent–that’s most of my work. If other companies don’t use the technology yet, but you need to make sure the invention is protected while you’re shopping it around, I can answer some questions about that process. If you want to ask more about the legal aspects, email me at brian dot beck at spencepc dot com.
Would you mind if a current law student emailed you with some general advice-soliciting questions?
How many SSC readers are there in London? I’m a physics/philosophy guy who’s working on a tech education project; basically making science education for young kids not suck. Robotics is our current obsession! If that sounds interesting then let’s chat.
james [at] inspired minds tutors [.com]
When you say let’s chat, do you mean just casually or are you looking for people to help with this project? I’m also London based, working in edtech, making education not suck for young kids. Maybe there would be some room for collab with the company I’m working for.
Hey, can I say both?
I’m very keen to partner with the right people to find a wider audience and to simply bend people’s ear about something I love. Drop me a note at
James [at] Inspired Minds tutors [.com] I’d love to hear more about where you are
and I’ll tell you about what we do and where I’d like to go. It would be good to arrange a pint and a chat with those who are interested.
I’m based in London (though I’m from New Zealand originally). Sounds like a great project! I’m working as a lawyer but have an undergrad degree in physics and maths.
Cool, if you’d like to be included in any future meet ups then drop me a line at the email address in my comments above.
I am a freelance editor specializing primarily in fantasy and science fiction, though I can edit most types of fiction (the more of a genre I’ve read, the better I am; no sex scenes please, I’d be utterly useless, and I don’t read mysteries by desperately trying to solve them ahead of the detective, so I can critique all other aspects of your mystery but not that one; that said, I have no problems at all with stuff that doesn’t quite fit in any genre, or is generally strange – I enjoyed Unsong) and occasionally interesting non-fiction. My previous work includes fantasy, light romance, the variety of not-quite-fantasy where the geography and history are invented but no magic is present, superheroes, urban fantasy (you may be noticing a pattern here), military sci-fi, mysteries (usually fantasy mysteries), and “interesting nonfiction” (mostly my father’s books, that’s how I got started). Not all of this is published, but for some representative samples: Harald (see note about how I got started), Cantata (a really early one which I firmly recommend on its own merits), and Curveball (web serial superhero fiction, some of the editing I have done is in visible comments, though not all).
My own website is here. It has undergone some mild tweaking since the last classified thread; thanks for the feedback, everyone! I still plan to make some more major changes, but that’s going to have to wait on enough free time to track down some bugs. Prices have also gone up since last time; they’re currently running from $1.50-$6 per 500-word page (precise price depending on how much work is needed), with a five-free-pages offer for new clients so you know which of those prices applies and what you’ll be getting for it before you actually have to pay me anything. Contact information is on the website.
Thanks again to everyone who contacted me last time!
“a reader” was asking for editing of some nonfiction text about history topics. Their comments include https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/04/26/open-thread-100-25-2/#comment-623503 and https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/04/18/open-thread-99-75/#comment-621085 . You might try to contact them.
@b_jonas: koszonom szepen for trying to help me. I don’t expect the granddaughter of a Nobel prize winner to contact me, but I’ll surely contact her next time I write an article that needs editing.
I see on your site that you have a different price for nonfiction, but that you sometimes make exceptions:
Would you please take a quick look and tell me if my history list articles (meant to be read for fun) qualify as “sufficiently entertaining to read to be […] equivalent to fiction” and if yes, how much would such articles cost? I think I may afford your fiction price, but surely not the $12/500 words nonfiction price (I’m Eastern European).
Dinastic conflicts when fathers killed their sons (entries 1-3 edited by skef, the rest in my imperfect English)
10 Little Known Facts about Che Guevara (article rejected by the publisher, don’t know why)
Having taken a quick look, I’m going to say yes. You are writing the “popular history/science” that that exemption was designed for. That said, it would probably be one of the two highest fiction prices. I’d have to do a little editing to confirm which one, but it looks as if I would be fixing a lot of things per paragraph. Mostly very simple things, but also very many.
However, I suggest a very simple solution: my five free pages offer! Pick whatever you’d most like edited, and take me up on it. It’d cover either all or most of one of these, I think, and then you could see what you were getting and I could see just how much work it actually would take me. Worst-case scenario, you’d have one (or most of one) nicely edited article, for free.
Interesting articles. Thanks for thinking of me!
PS: Dynastic, with a y – because that’s a very easy fix, and it’s in your title.
If you are a software engineer in the United States and you think you are being underpaid (or think you could be earning more) but aren’t sure how to go about optimizing your job search, I would like to offer you my (free) assistance. Things I believe I can help you with:
Finding roles to apply for
Writing/improving your resume
Longer post with background info: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/bs5CxuhahMtzzGefp/you-are-being-underpaid
(tld;dr: I got myself a 70% salary increase with my last job switch without following one of the usual paths for that sort of thing. It may or may not have been a fluke but I learned a lot about the job hunt that I think would be useful to other people but doesn’t lend itself to writing down very well.)
Contact: @T3t on the Los Angeles Rationality Discord Server (https://discord.gg/gpaTCxh), or email (rot13): orggrefpnyr ng cebgbaznvy.pbz.
On a completely unrelated note, if you are a software engineer in Los Angeles (or are willing to relocated on short notice to Los Angeles) with some .NET experience and want a new job, my company is hiring. Disclaimer: I will receive a small referral bonus if you are hired. I will do my best to present an unbiased view of my organization.
I’m the founder of CodeCombat, the programming game for learning how to code, and we are hiring for several roles right now: in our SF office, senior software engineer, curriculum lead, and game designer; remote, customer support (help kids fix their AI code and defeat the ogres). Would love to increase our SSC density! More info: https://codecombat.com/about#careers
I interviewed for a devops-ish role with codecombat a few months ago. Ultimately the hiring situation for codecombat changed and I did not get the job (am now happily employed elsewhere), but the process went long enough (and was interesting enough!) that I got a good look at their technology stack (much of which is open-source on Github) and made some tiny contributions.
It left me deeply impressed with their technology and their whole project.
Based on my (obviously limited, but still) experience I can wholeheartedly recommend that you go work for them.
Thanks for the kind words. Wish we had matched up a little better at the time and we’d been able to work together!
I recently started a blog on research methods and statistics. Might be worth checking out if you’re into research
Also, Scott, just wanted to address one of your points in the Cipriani depression article, but Cohen’s D or standardized mean differences aren’t the only “effect sizes”. I remember your point about Kirsch using “effect sizes” and Cipriani using odds ratios. Everything is an effect size. There are continuous ones and binary effect sizes.
Continuous ones include Cohens d, Hedges g (which is an unbiased estimate of Cohen’s D), and the correlation coefficient”
Binary effect sizes include are typically proportions: odds ratios, risk ratios, rate ratios (which are similar to hazard ratios often used in Cox proportional hazards models)
Thought this was worth clearing up and I couldn’t comment this on that article because the comments were closed.
Thanks for this, it looks interesting!
I am looking for a functional programming fan in the SF Bay area to join our team of 6. We have good funding, an enjoyable codebase (mostly Elixir), and I really like our team/work environment. I am happy to provide more info to anybody interested.
I might be interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
If anybody else here is a University of Rochester student, I’d be interested in talking to you. No reason in particular, just looking to make more friends irl. You can contact me at hexbienium[at]hexbienium[dot]com.
I’m a grad student in Data Science looking to get a job in either London, New York or Hongkong for after the summer. Would love to get any advice regarding interviews / experience with the big tech companies and personal projects that would stand out. Currently my best projects are all winning data science hackathons.
Would love to hear from the community! you can contact me at (rot13) email@example.com
I’d also be interested to hear about this, especially for NYC, if people want to answer this comment publicly.
In the spirit of shameless self promotion, I’m looking for a job!
– 28 year old guy from the UK,
– Degree in Philosophy from St Andrews.
– Have worked in China for the past 3 years and currently taking a sabbatical to study Chinese (working towards HSK 3).
– Experience in roles related to education, research, event management and writing.
Check my linkedin for more info: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnwbharper/
If any of that fits a job you know about reply here or drop me a message on Johnwbh (the at symbol here) Gmail (dot) com
Anyone going to Kaustinen festival (9th to 15th July) or interested in meeting up in southern Finland in the days immediately afterwards? I know that Finns are highly over-represented here, so hopefully there are enough that some of you are folkies too.
I’m looking for a data science job in DC. I’m new to Real Programming; I’ve been working in Python professionally for about eight months after a lot of years as a researcher using Stata. I’ve also used some SQL / R / VBA / etc. over the years, and I’m great with Tableau. But really, I want to be mainly working in Python (or R, if someone wants me to learn R).
I’m hoping to find something where a) there are more senior technical people who I can learn from and b) I’m attractive enough for reasons beyond my admittedly somewhat limited Python experience that I’m not being slotted into a junior position/junior pay. (Those reasons could be: I have subject matter expertise in some workforce analytics/labor econ/military personnel stuff, I have a clearance, I’m an experienced writer, I work well with senior leaders, I make really nice-looking maps, I have nice-looking initials after my name, whatever.)
I’ve been getting some interviews that are very much what I want to be doing, so I think this is possible, but I’d like to widen that net. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on reddit at heterodox_jedi.
Can’t speak to the problem generally, but about 15 years ago I tried reviewing a mechanical engineering paper written by native Germans in English that appeared (to me) as if they had just run it through bablefish or Google Translate something.
I ended up just telling the editor that I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I did learn from a German that I sought help from that the phrase “taken about his emphasis” (which appeared multiple times in the paper) meant something like “expressed in the principle inertial axes”.
My book, from python import better, just came out! It’s a short (~50 pages) book about improving your Python code quality.
Already know Python? Want to get better at it? This is the book for you.
Covering among other things: How to take advantage of Python lists and dictionaries, how to improve unit tests and configure static code analysis for your Python and how to use immutable objects to make it easier to reason about your code.
Moshe has been writing Python code in production for over twenty years. This is the collected advice he has for people on how to improve their Python code, without having to wait twenty years.
Can vouch for Moshe, he seemed like a pretty smart guy when we met in person (and works for a prestigious company)
Anyone interested in collaborating with me on writing a rationalist lovecraftian short story? It’s for a good cause.
I don’t have much experience writing fiction, so I’m wondering if someone who does can help me out or even just take my ideas and run with them.
Sent. Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!
Don’t (yet) have time, unfortunately, but good luck with the story! I’d love to see the result. 🙂 Glad you already found a potential collab partner!
Possibly related: Le Maistre Chat is (or was?) posting a story based on The Mountains of Madness on the open threads. Starts here. I haven’t read any Cthulu-mythos stuff but her story is really interesting so far!
(Chapter 2, Chapter 3?)
I have just (literally this morning) gone public with a project I’m working on, tying together altruism and video games. I assume this community has its share of people who enjoy software dev and who also like altruism – if that’s you and you feel like lending a hand, come and have a look.
The basic idea is a suite of educational games to supplement or eventually replace lessons. I have a rough braindump up here: https://rebelcredential.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/the-journey-begins/
I’m happy to help insofar as I can. I can’t code but I taught for a year in an elementary school, and I design board games as a hobby. The school I worked at relied heavily on computer games to teach the students; it worked surprisingly well.
Yes, that kind of help would be awesome! Both input from actual teachers and pointers from game developers who know how to make games fun.
I think I’m going to write up the next post (describing how I see the geometry game) sooner rather than later, and I’d really welcome any feedback you or anyone else cared to leave on it.
Update: I’ve written up a concept outline of the first game I want to make: https://rebelcredential.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/geometry-game-title-tbd/
I ran across this post today (via a math educator), there might be some interesting inspiration here:
It’s an interesting topic, but I worry that, like all the other attempts at gamifying education, it simply won’t teach skills to the same level that traditional education does (see Duolingo). In addition, I strongly feel that with many topics covered in highschool, the main benefit is in the credentials, which this won’t get any time soon (again, see Duolingo). You should make sure that, once you have a rough working prototype (as in, it’s actually a fun game and it seems like it’s actually educational), you do lots of testing with your potential audience to see if it works.
All that said, I hope the best for this project and I’m going to follow your blog.
Thanks for the input, and the interest. Yes, credentials are going to be a big deal (they even feature in the blog’s title.) My working assumption is that eventually there’ll be a reckoning as employers decide en masse that the current institutional credentials are worthless or untrustworthy, at which point there’ll be space for something else to fill the gap. I’ll write a proper post on that at some point, but first things first. We should make sure we’ve taught a bunch of people skills, before we start trying to prove those skills to others.
Re: teaching skills to a high standard, that’s why I’ve started with Maths. I believe we definitely can out do traditional education on maths. I’m not yet sure how we’ll attack other, more ambiguous subjects – but even if we stopped at maths, that’s still a big gain.
And yes, playtesting is definitely a must.
Looking for someone interested in techniques for optimizing, not necessarily continuous, possibly black box, functions.
Given a function which takes a bunch of parameter, which may be boolean, integers or floating point, and returns a loss value sampled from a distribution which is a function of the input, how do you efficiently find locations in parameter space which produce a low average loss?
If you are interested in discussing, you can contact me at email@example.com
This is something we play around with at work.
We typically employ some sort of mixed continuous categorical adaptive machine learning technique to build a predictor of the base system and then run probabilistic sampling to feed into a merit/loss function to provide information about solution stability etc. Then it’s plug and chug with more topical optimization routines.
What kind of discussion were you looking for?
Just about anything!
– If my parameters are a bunch of one bit values, how many should I flip at once?
– XNOR net https://arxiv.org/abs/1603.05279 is trained via back prop, but training a non continuous model via back prop feels hacky. Can I train a binary neural net with an evolutionary algorithm?
– Evolving floating point NNs works fairly well, https://eng.uber.com/deep-neuroevolution/ . How low precision can I make the parameters?
– What’s the relation between number of parameters needed and precision of parameters needed?
– How big should the mini batches be each generation?
I have done various experiments to answer these questions, but I am probably missing something important. I don’t know what field to search for answers in.
Just in case it’s new to you, have you heard of [Bayesian Optimization](https://arxiv.org/abs/1012.2599)? It’s a black-box technique, that is guaranteed to find the global maximum (if you can find the global maximum of the acquisition function, which isn’t really true in practice, but it works well anyways). The algorithm works as follows:
– Given the input-output pairs of the function that you already know, fit a probabilistic model. That is, a probability distribution over the loss, given the parameters. [Gaussian Processes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian_process) are a popular choice, these will give you a Gaussian distribution for every parameter choice.
– Find the maximum of an acquisition function, to determine which point to sample next. The acquisition function takes into account the whole probability distribution over the loss at every point, not just the mean. An example is expected improvement: what is the probability that a sampling a the point will lead to a better maximum than the one I already have?
– Repeat until convergence.
If you run a SSC, rationality, or EA meetup, or if you’re interested in finding meetups near you, check out the new LessWrong community page! As a meetup organizer, you can add your meetup by clicking ‘Create new local group’ on the left-hand side of the page. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to customize your groups information and create events within your group.
If you’re just looking for existing meetups near you, you can use the map to explore nearby events – or if you share your location with LessWrong (either by clicking ‘allow’ when prompted for location info or by inputting your location manually under ‘edit account’ on your user page), it will automatically sort events by proximity.
The page is in a pretty preliminary stage right now – we plan to have a lot more functionalities in the future, including (possibly) the ability for users to RSVP to events, mark groups as inactive, and create recurring events, among other things. The developers are super busy with other things at the moment so we don’t know when they’ll get around to working on the meetups page more, but in the meantime let me know if you have any questions about the page, requests for functions, or general feedback or ideas 🙂
I’m based in the Bay Area and I have a project I’ve been mulling over for a while now that I’d like to start making some progress on. I have an econ and political science background and have been increasingly fascinated by coordination problems, commons dilemmas, tipping points and pluralistic ignorance. I’m sketching out how some of the seemingly intractable social problems often discussed on this site might be addressed using software to scale the feasibility of spontaneous crowd-sourced assurance contracts.
The main objective is to provide a toolset for ordinary people to discover large groups of allies for coordinated, collective binding agreements and actions that can only make meaningful impacts after a critical mass of people or resources is accumulated. It will hopefully deal with some of the social psychology and game theory obstacles that makes it hard for large-scale initiatives to build the necessary levels of support, momentum and accountability mechanisms.
Envisioned applications include direct action, protests, boycotts, fundraising, anti-bullying/anti-extremism, diversity and representation initiatives, group solidarity, mutual aid, economic cooperatives, unionisation, contingency voting, vote trading – anything where significance can only be achieved with cooperation at scale.
If this interests you, reply to this post.
Definitely interested. This ties in to an idea I discussed with some of the London Rationalish guys a while ago, which I quietly codenamed Digital Riot.
you can contact me at emblem1414 [at] [gmail] dot com
also interested. ivy at ivyprime dot 33mail dot com
It sounds like a really interesting project, but I would love it if you spent a lot of time thinking to ensure that your upgrades to social technology actually push us into a better equilibrium when groups come into conflict (or, failing that, select the groups you give your technology to very carefully).
Possible example: Saul Alinsky came up with some cutting edge social technology (described in his book Rules for Radicals) which was used for a good cause (increasing US racial equality) but it now seems like the fact that this social technology is floating around (at this point everyone is using it) seems likely to be a root cause of political polarization.
I don’t think you can really control or even guess which way your social technology is used, quite frankly. ‘Rules for Radicals’ became an organizing manual for the Tea Party about forty years after its original use, and the alt-right basically just flips the script of left-wing identity politics. I guess the only thing you can really do is ask, “what would happen if the group I’m opposing got hold of this and used it”? You could try to think about ways it’s only really useful to low-status groups or something like that, but people in high-status groups are just as clever and usually have more resources.
This year’s San Francisco EA Global conference is coming up in just over a month! SSC ran a review of last year’s conference and it seemed like Scott had a pretty good time.
You can see information about the schedule and theme at https://sf.eaglobal.org/ and apply for the conference using this Typeform.
If you’re not sure if you know enough people to enjoy EA Global, or you, like me, get antsy in unstructured social environments, I’d also like to put in the good word for volunteering! It involves a half-day shift on each day of the conference. There are a wide variety of roles, so you could do anything from A/V to tracking down speakers in the crowd to smiling at people at the coat check to quietly moving chairs between rooms. I’ve also heard about people being recruited by EA orgs after impressing people as a conference volunteer.
If that sounds interesting, here’s a link to the volunteer application. (Note that you need to also fill out the main conference application before you can be accepted as a volunteer.)
I asked around here last thread for advice improving my CV. It worked! I’ve gotten a research position for this summer doing observational astrophysics at UW Madison! Thanks!
I’m moving to Madison for work in August! Let’s be friends.
I’ve been in Madison for ~5 years (master’s mech e and work at an engineering software startup). Hit me up if you have any questions before getting here or want to meet up.
Been here about 3 years, working as an electrical engineer, and I can also answer questions, although I’m more knowledgeable on the north and west sides of the city/surroundings.
Congrats on the job. I’m also in Madison, for about 3 years now. It’s a nice place.
My wife and I are looking to join someones camp at Burning Man this year!
Not sure if this is a good place to post this, might try an open thread as well. We live in NYC. We both have flexible work schedules and are happy to help during build and breakdown. Just shoot me an email if we can talk more!
Yay! Another classified thread.
I write a superperson web serial called The Fifth Defiance.
The start link is here: https://thefifthdefiance.com/2015/11/02/introduction/
It is basically post apocalypse. People got superpowers and everything went downhill.
I try to update twice weekly (story update wednesday night, supplement sunday night), and there is ~300k words already up.
Hiring: I am looking for a crypto expert / accountant / data analyst to help me gather and format my history of crypto trading and related activities. The goal is to build 1) a full account 2) a tree style graph 3) dot the is and cross the ts for tax and compliance purposes. History goes back years and spans dozens of coins, tokens, networks, exchanges, dapps, etc… It will be a lot of work which I will be very happy to pay the right price for. contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
People make life difficult for their self , we are in the world were every thing is in control , i was living a life of poverty and pains, i never new there was a life be young that, but right now i enjoyed every dividend of life , am rich , famous , powerful,i live a life with out no stress, but all this was a surprise , for any body who want riches famous and power,then you have the chance to do that, join the illuminati today to get $25000 every 3 days and $1000000 monthly membership blessing contact the following email. email@example.com . we don,t patronize people to join,. we only want you to rule your world and be free from oppression .
I’m a long-time SSC and LW reader based in St. Louis looking to meet and make friends with other readers in the area. If I get enough responses I might organize a small meetup, but otherwise I’d like to just get coffee or do whatever your preferred activity is when you’re meeting up with a stranger.
Quick self description: I’m a 22 year old male. I’m married, have an apartment in the Central West End, and work part-time for the state parks while getting my degree. I’m interested in nature, science, and history, like podcasts, read lots of sci-fi and fantasy, play video games, practice tai chi, and although I don’t have much experience I’d like to try martial arts or sports if I can find someone that wants to do it with me. Disclaimer that I have mild autism spectrum disorder and that I’m gay, although I’m married and monogamous so I don’t think it would matter to anyone here.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, if you’re part of rattumblr, you can message my blog which is the same as my username on here.
Hi, I am a grad student and researching developmental issues such as cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual. I found this website because I was researching missing developmental milestones. An article from November 3, 2015 references David Chapman and his book: Ethical, Social and Cognitive Competence. I went to Amazon and could not find the text. Typing in the title at Google brings me back to this webiste. Any suggestions on where I canfind the book?
It appears to be an essay, published online https://vividness.live/2015/10/12/developing-ethical-social-and-cognitive-competence/
Hello! I’m looking for a summer internship (paid or unpaid) in the DC area in something economics-related; I’d also be interested in something non-local if housing expenses are covered. I don’t have any relevant education beyond a high school course – I’m graduating this year – but I’ve worked on published research before and have experience working in an office setting as well. Please contact me at email@example.com for my resume/more details or if you know of something that might be a good fit.
Do you know anything about aircraft?
It’s not something I’ve spent any time on, no.
– 5+ years React/Node experience preferred
– Web3 experience required
– Contract work. Full time. 3 months, with the possibility of a full time position.
Your responsibilities will include documenting and assisting in the development of our b0x.js library. This library will be critical to our upcoming integration with various relays and exchanges.
Include your CV and Github in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A few months ago I started a blog, Thinking Complete. Topics covered include philosophy, machine learning, history, economics, the nature of intelligence, and most other things you’d find on SSC (psychiatry excepted). I post roughly every week, and am pretty committed to keeping it active; it would be nice to reach a wider readership. Other SSC readers who follow my blog have told me they find the content consistently high-quality and insightful.
Hi, I’m Moya!
I’m in the process of founding A Softer Space, a software development company. I’m the lead developer and visionary, and have built a team that supports me on the business side of things.
We have two main fields of work:
I strongly believe the future of humanity lies in space, which is why A Softer Space works on space and aerospace projects. My employer until the next month is ESA, and I focus on ground control system development.
Our second field of work is supporting academics that need software for their projects but lack programming skills and also have to stay within the usually tight budgets.
– you need our services
– know somebody who might need our services
– or know somebody who might benefit from networking with us
please contact me under email@example.com!
How much of willpower/motivation is genetic, how much is environmental, and how much is within the persons own control?
I ask this because i kinda want to have an EA focused career, or a career in general, but i just hugely struggle with just applying for a job or doing proper planning most of the time. I do suffer from depression (take 60 mg fluoxetine which works generally really well) and i am high functioning autistic, but i dunno.
I have several times gotten into really bad anxiety/panic attacks over this, twice this week (my chest still hurts from that one, tho i feel better now). It mostly feels like i get things done when it’s very Gamified, or i have my dad or county helper help me.
Im fine having a normal, not very high impact life, but i feel very frustrated/stressed about this because one one hand, i know im smart. I like listening to high level podcasts, i like to be intellectual and that, and other people think im smart. I used to think i were just diligent in reading books or something, but im pretty sure im just smart.
But its really stressing to both feel smart, and feel. like i really struggle to do anything, that when i accomplish things it’s mostly luck (something-in-my-brain-worked-properly-luck). I don’t know. I don’t know if there really is anything that properly motivates me and makes me organized beyond “feel smart and understand this, but can’t actually apply this”, food/hot showers/good fiction, and games.
Im way more better off now then i was beffer my antidepressants, but this aspect doesn’t really feel like its going forward. I am learning things and growing, but im not sure i’ll ever manage to like. be truly intedepent.
(it might be the case that im in a mood right now)
Side note: Can stress cause naseua?
I see you haven’t gotten any responses yet, so I just wanted to let you know that this kind of conversation may be better fielded in the open threads! 🙂
(To explain: As far as I can tell, the classifieds have a more hit-and-run interaction, and people who don’t have time to answer the first time they read the classifieds section are less likely to come back later – whereas open threads are seen as places for conversation.)
One brief bit of information I can provide: Stress often affects your digestive system, although this manifests in different ways with different people. For me, for example, it make me constipated, and occasionally by body assumes I’ve eaten something I’m allergic to, even though I haven’t. Given that second symptom, it doesn’t strike me as completely unlikely that stress could cause nausea. A quick googling of “stress” and “nausea” confirms this.
Two things that might help you beyond the medication: Have you looked at https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/06/16/things-that-sometimes-help-if-youre-depressed/ ? Do you get enough high-quality sleep? (I assume you’ve exhausted these avenues, but there’s a chance you haven’t yet, which is why I’m asking these somewhat bland questions.)
noted. i have look at the SSC thing, but thanks anyway.
I will post this in the OP now
Paris, the city of lights, has not yet seen the light of rationality: there seems to be no (did I miss something?) rationalist/SSC meetup here! I’m a German physics Master student at the ENS, and would love to meet for a coffee (or an apéro, if that’s more to your liking) and chat – with the possible goal of establishing a reading group or something. Email me under firstname.lastname@example.org (ROT13)!
I’m teaching a “Writing about the Sciences” class next fall to undergraduates at my university. I’m a rhetorician and creative writer, so there’s some real gaps in my knowledge and experience when it comes to teaching a course about the sciences.
What are some ideas about what would make the class worthwhile? I’m thinking about teaching it as a kind of “translation” course where science students (or journalists) learn how to translate studies/theories/etc for a more general audience while maintaining nuance, rigor, and accuracy.
For those of you in the sciences, what would you have liked to learn as a student? What would you still like to get better at when writing? What are some of your biggest frustrations with the way the general public consumes science-writing?
Any feedback or thoughts you all have would be valuable!
Teach your students how to *talk* to scientists.
My biggest frustration about science writing is that I often see articles where the author clearly doesn’t understand what they’re talking about, but are building a story based on a press release from the scientists. This leads to click-bait articles unrelated to the actual science.
I think a way around this problem would be to partner with a scientist (not necessarily the person who made the discovery being written about). That way, the scientist can help the writer pick analogies and inferences that are more accurate than not.
Hence, teach your students how to *talk* to scientists.
Is that largely about “checking their work”? Having enough humility and self-awareness to double and triple-check what they think the science says. For many of my students, they’re pretty unaware of how important it is to find/use resources and contacts. I’ve struggled to find ways in which they are forced to use other resources throughout my time as a teacher.
One way that’s proven moderately successful is to require an “interview” for each analysis/essay. That forces them to speak with an “expert” who can tell them a few things that they don’t know they don’t know.
Any other ideas on how to get students talking to scientists would be good. 🙂
As a reader, what I want journalists to do is to pay more attention to what the science they are writing about actually says, less to how they can make a good story out of it. But if I were the employer of the journalists, I would probably have the opposite preference.
An example of the sort of thing that irritates me.
I’m interesting in finding a more apt job in the Twin Cities area. I graduated last December with a degree in communication studies and another degree in political science. I’m very agreeable and self-motivated, but bad at the “applying for jobs” part of career advancement. Additional details can be furnished to anyone who might want to help me out.
Thoughtfulphlox on tumblr. Email is murphyluc (at) yahoo.com
We’re hosting another South Bay SSC meetup this coming Saturday, May 12th. 3806 Williams Rd, San Jose, CA 95117.
I’d like to find some playdates for my one- and three-year old daughters. I live in Jersey City near Grove Street PATH but would be willing to go into Manhattan. They’re bright and usually make friends quickly with new people. Email “moc.liamg@esiwdw” reversed.
Some of us in the Boston area are starting a weekly basic income discussion group on Wednesday nights at 7pm:
We just had our first meetup this past Wednesday. Among other things, we discussed the optional reading “Taxes for Revenue Are Obsolete,” which is a 1946 article by then chairmen of the New York Fed Beardsley Ruml:
This week’s optional reading is “Burdens” from Slate Star Codex:
If you’re in the Boston area, feel free to come by any Wednesday. Skeptics are welcome.
I am nearly finished with Brothers, my third novel, and need to find a cover artist. I advertised here for beta readers some time back and got several volunteers. Are there any readers here who are themselves artists who do book covers or know artists who do book covers that they could recommend? Ideally I would want someone who could read the book and then design a suitable cover.
My first novel was commercially published by Baen, so they found the cover artist. The cover he did got multiple details wrong but the feel of the book right—I think better than anything I could have suggested. I may end up getting him to do this one—I don’t know if he does that sort of free lance work or at what price—but I want to explore other possibilities as well.
David Drake said a cover illustration doesn’t have to show anything in the book, but it has to be the sort of picture that people who like that sort of book will like. I liked the cover to Harald and the book.
What was interesting about the cover of Harald was that the artist got lots of the details wrong, but got the spirit right–making it a better cover than he would have made if I had been the one telling him what to do.
I’ve gotten a response from him and sent him Brothers, so if he likes it and thinks he has a good idea for a cover I expect I will go with him.
I have a friend who is a graphic artist and does fantasy book covers and illustrations – and also D&D character portraits – examples:
More of his works (and the contact information) can be found on his site avatarart.com
I sometimes do digital painting. You can take a look at some work at: https://www.artstation.com/mbwheats
I’m a little late to this, but…
I’m a 21 year old student from the US, studying physics and philosophy, looking for opportunities for July and August of this summer. I’ve taken graduate level Machine Learning and am competent wrangling data with Python. Would particularly love work aligned with AI safety.
I’m open to almost anything, anywhere, so long as it’d be a good learning experience!
If I don’t find anything in particular, I’ll likely be in Singapore (free accommodation there) studying for GREs and beginning work on my thesis. If you’re around, I’d love to hang out with SSC readers.
liam [dot] meier [at] nyu [dot] edu
CV at http://www.liammeier.xyz
Looking for work as a Geographic Inofrmation Systems technician/analyst/specialist, hopefully on the West Coast. I’ve been working for a city in Texas for the last two years, and I’m trying to relocate to the West Coast (or Western Massachusetts) for family reasons. I’ve worked extensively with ArcGIS and Python, especially in feeding GIS data to third-party software. I’ve done production mapping and address/street management, and I’d like to work for another city or county.
If anyone knows of job opportunities (NOT APEX SYSTEMS!) on the West Coast or Western Massachusetts, contact me at bradfordmapping[at]gmail.
Is anybody here from southern Germany? I live and study in Munich and am just generally looking for potential friends.
I’m in Wuerzburg. Got an email?
My email is email@example.com
I used rot13 since I’d like to avoid spam.
(for convenience: http://www.rot13.com/)
I’m a software developer looking for work.
Every $3000 you give to the Against Malaria Foundation saves a life. If you hire me, I will use my salary to give $3000 to the Against Malaria Foundation. Choosing not to hire me is therefore morally equivalent to murder.
Please hire me.
The Boston-area startup I work for (Shearwater) is hiring a mid-level software engineer. We help universities run effective + data-driven mentorship programs. The end goal is to reduce the number of students who drop out of college.
We went through Techstars in 2015.
We’re a small team (18 people overall, hiring our 5th engineer) so the expected impact is high relative to other software engineering jobs — both in terms of your impact on the outside world, through your work, and your impact on our engineering culture and processes. Here’s a bit about our engineering culture: https://shearwaterintl.com/engineering/.
We don’t require that you already know the technologies we use (Ruby on Rails, Ember.js) because we want to find the best candidates possible, and we think that means discarding as many shibboleths as we can. To that end, we have no hard requirements except for 1 year of software development experience, and a willingness to be physically based in our office in downtown Boston.
If you’re interested, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention that you came from SSC.