THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Classified Thread 6

This is the…monthly? bimonthly? occasional?…classified thread. Post advertisements, personals, and any interesting success stories from the last thread.

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216 Responses to Classified Thread 6

  1. James Banks says:

    I’ve been working on some books for a while, and now they are out, at 10v24.net. Some of them might especially appeal to SSC readers.

    The Tree With Unimaginable Roots is a novel about lacking or dodging the meaning of life, and seeing the world for the first time. Recommended for EA people.

    Letters to People Who Care is a novel about living in a specific future, a “eudystopia” of limited natural resources and people who somewhat don’t care. Recommended for futurists.

    These two are free to download, and a few shorter works are also free.

    • jeray2000 says:

      I recommend posting them to reddit.com/r/rational It’s basically a subreddit for rationalist-aligned fiction

  2. kaakitwitaasota says:

    I have moved from Chengdu to Ulaanbaatar. Anybody around?

  3. Elliot says:

    I’m developing an app to help people with mental health issues get treatment – giving users information, practical support finding and registering at a docs, a step-by-step checklist/reminder function, and information on self-help.

    We have some funding from my university (UK), already have an app developer and some local advisors, and at some point in the next few months we’re going to need to hire people for:
    – Graphic design of the app, logo, etc.
    – Legal overview, to make sure we’re on solid ground, not going to get sued etc.
    – Psychology overview, to make sure the information and advice offered is sensible, responsible and helpful.

    Anyone interested (or got more general input)?

    • Gray says:

      There might be some hesitance to install an app expressly for mental health services – are you publishing a website to go with it?

      If there’s a way to make app ratings and feedback private on the app store, for example, that might save users some concern about unfair stigma associated with seeking help for mental health.

      • Elliot says:

        Agreed! It’s tricky. At the moment the plan is to advertise it more along the lines of “ah, ever feel down or don’t enjoy your hobbies? Check out this app for some info” rather than “got mental illness? This will help with treatment”, then include some tools like the NHS’s PHQ-9 test for depression to give people an idea of what problems they might be able to get help with. It’s intended to be of most use to people who’ve never engaged with mental health services before, but the question is how do we reach them and get them to try the test? The other group it’ll help the most are people with depression/anxiety who know they have a problem but who are overwhelmed by/underinformed about what’s ailing them, how to register at a doc, what they can do to help themselves etc..

        We’re working on a website, but it’ll probably just be a landing/info page, at the moment the plan is to have most of the functionality just in the app itself. Though it wouldn’t be much harder to include a web version of the app…

        The private rating and feedback idea is interesting! I’ll think about that.

    • amaranth says:

      to get on people’s side, to show them that you have good intentions, understand that the DSM was made mainly by studying people who are in bad enough shape that they get evaluated by the medical system. so all of the names you get from it are pathologically pathologizing – they have a very nice range of names for many personality types, but they call them all disorders

    • sohois says:

      When you say hire people for graphic design, I presume you mean you are looking for a freelancer? Because if not you definitely do not need a full time graphic designer for an app

    • Joy says:

      Have you looked into what others are doing in this area, such as 7cups?

    • jessriedel says:

      I highly recommend talking to Eric Gastfriend, an EA who has at least two years experience with, and substantial external funding for, a mental health app. (Addiction treatment primarily, I believe.)

      • Elliot says:

        Ah nice! Good tip. I had a good chat with the CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids who also worked in app development, and he had some useful advice too. I’ll try get in touch with him.

    • alcoraiden says:

      Can you find a way that people don’t have to pick up a phone and call the doctor? Because I’m so peeved at how this is a roadblock still in this technological age. So many people are willing to send a text or email but not to call, because calling is fucking scary and has all sorts of Implications ™ for people who are reluctant to get treatment.

      Can we do the “set up an initial appointment” online already?

      • Aapje says:

        Perhaps a chat bot?

      • Elliot says:

        That was initially a big part of the plan – I was hoping the registration, appointment booking and prescription ordering might be able to be done through the app. Sadly, after speaking to some GP surgeries it sounds like it’d be impossible to implement (at least from my perspective) since each surgery has its own system and they’re slow to change, and online registration apparently isn’t tenable.

        A lot of surgeries do have online appointment-booking and prescription ordering though, and though we probably won’t be able to integrate that into the app, it will have a “find my nearest GP” function and for each surgery it’ll say whether they do online booking or not.

    • app says:

      Clinical psychologist here. Not licensed yet as I just graduated with my doctorate this summer, and am currently a postdoctoral fellow at an academic medical center. Could potentially be interested in doing some psychology overview vetting/writing/proofreading myself, or would have a lot of contacts from my studies and work in the field who might be interested.

      • Elliot says:

        Hey! That’d be excellent 🙂 Can you send me an email at emckernon at gmail? Are you based in the UK by the way?

    • edd91 says:

      Hi James,

      I’m in Australia but if you need any help on the legal aspect feel free to reach out to me eddiee at gmail. Sounds like a good project, I’d be happy to give any thoughts or advise, not concerned about money.

    • armorsmith42 says:

      I can’t do any of those things, but I think might be able to connect you to folks who can. I also know a smart person who has experience trying (and failing) to sell to the NHS. I’m my username @ gmail.com

      > information on self-help

      I was about to post on here wondering if there was anyone available who was essentially a cross between a psychotherapist and a librarian. A bibliotherapist if you will. I’m looking for someone whom I can schedule an hour’s videochat with where they listen to the issue I’m trying to get past and then use their extensive knowledge or the self-help books out there to give 2 personalized recommendations.

  4. Gray says:

    I put together a Template: Priorities spreadsheet and Template: Timesheet spreadsheet that may be of interest to others who are looking to keep track of their priorities and how they spend their time. Eventually I’ll have some Google Data Studio templates to allow for pretty charts to show time breakdown by project/priority. (If you’d like to use these spreadsheets, go to File > Make a copy… or Download as)

    Anything in my Public share is available for anybody to copy/use and I’m open to comments or questions on the content, if anybody’s interested.

    Could use mentoring on a handful of topics, if anyone with experience is interested in offering some guidance: OpenStack/computing cluster implementation for home lab, machine learning, 501(c)(3) startup, critical path CSS implementation.

  5. chaosmage says:

    I’ve written three Secular Sermons, long rhyming rationalist poems on the awesomeness of mere reality. I made an audio recording too, but the sound quality is poor and I have a German accent.

    Would anybody like to make a better recording?

    • JohnBuridan says:

      Just letting you know Firefox displays this message:

      Your connection is not secure

      The owner of http://www.sevensecularsermons.org has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.

      Looking forward to reading these! 🙂

      • JohnBuridan says:

        .kassnet seems to be disliked by Chrome and Firefox (I didn’t try any other browsers).

        Great website and beautiful poems!
        I highly recommend! +1

      • Error says:

        More specifically, the site is presenting an SSL certificate for kasserver.com instead of sevensecularsermons.org. This is is a pretty common error, and usually happens when a misconfigured site shares its IP with another (often a shared hosting service).

        The problem only affects https connections, not http. How John got that specific error I’ve no idea. Perhaps he uses HTTPS Everywhere or a similar extension.

        If you use shared hosting, you can take it up with your provider. If you do it yourself, you need to include a valid SSL certificate in your configuration.

        If you don’t care about supporting encrypted connections, disregard this technobabble.

      • chaosmage says:

        Thanks a lot for your help! I got a Let’s Encrypt certificate now. Would be happy to hear if that fixed it.

  6. Diaghilev says:

    I’m moving to Seattle in about a week. Is anyone running a tabletop RPG and looking for a player? I’m in my early 30’s and have been gaming for about 20 years. I mostly play D&D 5E, but I’d be happy to play many other games. Reply here or send me an email at CSLewin@gmail.com if you’ve got an open seat and let’s find out if we’re a good match!

  7. Poruchik Rzhevsky says:

    Does anyone recommend a good ENT doctor or facial reconstructive surgeon in the DC area? I’ve had my nose examined 5-6 times and everyone says the structure (turbinates, nasal valves, etc) look fine, but I experience constant severe congestion, which results in mild-grade asphyxiation — and it’s slowly ruining my life. Probably not empty nose syndrome since my turbinates are still mostly in tact and I have heavy congestion, which Afrin relives — but only for 12 hours at a time before the rebound congestion sets in.

    Any leads are GREATLY appreciated, my life is truly hell right now.

    • amaranth says:

      i assume you take allegra or such daily. consider trying kratom? it’s a weak opioid that’s relatively safe to take daily, and it does wonders for my moderate congestion

      • famous oprah quotes says:

        I recommend against this. I am glad it works for you but I had a terrible experience withdrawing from kratom and I believe most people cannot stop daily use without significant negative effects.

    • b_jonas says:

      If this is so important for your quality of life, then why does it have to be in the DC area? If the doctor does anything useful for you, then it will cost you significant amount of money. Spend some of that money on traveling to Europe (Ukraine or Hungary), where you can get the same medical service in high quality and cheaper. There are even providers that set up the whole service deal, including travel and accomodation. They advertise themselves on airplanes in in-flight dead-tree magazines, but I’m sure you’ll find advertisments on the internet too.

    • lincolnquirk says:

      Oh my gosh, my colleague just went through something similar. Murugappan Ramanathan, the Head of the ENT clinic at Hopkins ENT in Bethesda, solved all his problems. Highly recommended.

  8. Dutch Nightingale says:

    Any software/tech/data people in London (or anywhere, quite frankly), want to do professional networking?

    I’ve met plenty of devs at the London Rationalish meetups, but then everyone spends the time talking about unschooling or Huel or infinite torture scenarios or whatever. I’ve also had some success on here just asking if people in my specific field (python/ML) want to grab a drink some time, which was cool. It feels like this could all be upscaled or made better somehow.

    Some ideas:

    – Plan some small meetup-like event in London where people give some lightning talks about tech stuff and then socialise

    – Make a big list of interested people and arrange a bunch of coffee dates between them

    – People just comment here saying “hey, I build underwater rocket ships in TypeScript” and interested parties find one another

    • Виталий Горбачев says:

      I’m from Moscow, but work in your field, leading an in-house ML department. That falls under “Anywhere, really”, though.

      Maybe there’s some people in Moscow that want to talk and network?

    • FlorianDietz says:

      I’m from Germany. I used to work as a Data Scientist, but now I’m building a startup to make data science easier and more accessible: elody.com

      I’m very interested in networking, since I’m actually looking for cofounders for my startup, as well as developers / data scientists who are interested in testing it.

    • James says:

      I’m a Python developer in Bristol. (Currently mostly web backend, though I’d be open to other things, too.) My email address is james@ the domain that my username here links to. I have a gig for the time being but I’m interested in networking for opportunities in the medium-term future.

      Perhaps drop me a line if you plan something? I’m a bit out of the area, but I am sometimes in and out of London, so it’s possible I could make it to something.

    • stubydoo says:

      I am in that field, in New York City (though my day job is not quite so cutting edge). Would definitely be interesting in some way of seeing what kinds of things people are getting up to.

    • armorsmith42 says:

      I would be happy to, though I don’t have a huge appetite to talk code outside of work. However, I’ve been reading a book on the cognitive science of maths that I’d be happy to talk about. I also *really* like talking about history.

      Whereabouts in London are you? I’m in east hipstershire

    • Droch says:

      I’m also in London, in a software-development-adjacent role, and interested in networking. If you want to get in touch, shot me an email at

      start = “yaevbnm”
      email = “{}@yandex.com”.format(start)

  9. theodidactus says:

    There is still a month to play, and judge, the games entered in this year’s IFCOMP:
    https://ifcomp.org/ballot/

    One of the largest text-based game competitions. It’s a great way to apply your arbitrary standards to stuff people have agonized over designing for months and months.

    It’s also a great way to find new and interesting games. I’ve now played most of the games in the competition. Dead Man’s Fiesta, Bullhockey, and The Master of the Land are all worth a look.

    Full disclosure: I have a game in the competition as well, and it’s totally awesome, but I’m not gonna tell you which one.

    If you like some of my earlier work, and you don’t mind getting eaten by bloodthirsty forest-spirits, you can also take a crack at my old-school text based adventure game Tingalan: http://www.theodidactus.com/tingalan/

    • Vivificient says:

      Commenting to encourage others to check out Tingalan. It’s a well-written and surprisingly deep little game with a bit of an old school D&D meets Lovecraft horror feel.

    • Zeno of Citium says:

      Oh, this is cool. I’ll play some of these, thanks!

  10. CarlosRamirez says:

    Anyone else in San Juan, Puerto Rico?

  11. onyomi says:

    Anyone with the ability to read Chinese, the ability to read music (basic okay), and looking to do some freelance programming, ideally in Java?

    • liate says:

      I can’t read Chinese, and Java is not one of the programming languages I currently know, but I’m curious: what do those three things have to do with each other?

      • onyomi says:

        I want to create a searchable online database of some traditional Chinese vocal music scores, ideally with some tools for e.g. comparison of different versions of the same melody.

    • Austin Chen says:

      Hm, I’d be interested. Reach out to me at akrolsmir@gmail.com and let’s see if we can work something out.

    • JohnHarper says:

      I know basic Chinese and basic music reading, but not jave unfortunately. I do know some tech people in China, so if you have a link that I can share with a job desscription I could pass it along.

  12. JobDestroyer says:

    Interested in hanging out with libertarians on Discord? Check out the GOLD AND BLACK discord server!

    The discord server is a spin-off of the subreddit, and is a great destination if you want to talk about weird polycentric legal systems without central governments. Click Here to join it.

  13. Alaburda says:

    Moving to Chicago in a week. If anyone has a bedroom to rent or if anyone has any tips on how to find a safe place to live in, let me know!

    • mlafayette says:

      I don’t have a room to rent, but I’m from the city and am happy to give you some info on safe/nice areas. Feel free to email me at mechanicalmodernwhim(at)gmail.

    • secondcityscientist says:

      If you’re working in the city, you’ll really want to strongly consider where you are working and how you’ll get there when planning where to live. Ideally, you’ll be able to take one train from your home to your work (or even better, you’ll be able to walk). One bus is OK too, but buses tend to be slightly less reliable. Having to transfer from one train to another or from a train to a bus will make your commute quite a bit longer.

      Google maps is pretty good at telling you the best public transit routes, you should try it with any place you’re considering.

      • Alaburda says:

        I’ll be working in the Loop. Near West side or anything north of the city seems like the best choice, although Near West seems more on the expensive side? I have only tried Facebook groups and craigslist postings so far. Should I try PadMapper etc?

        • woah77 says:

          North West Suburbs are also good. You can take the Metra Trains in to the loop area and get from Train to Office fairly easily.

        • secondcityscientist says:

          If you’re working in the loop then you can live anywhere with an L train (or a Metra train, I guess). Getting downtown with a car is a bit of a pain though, so you should try to do public transit. If you’re moving from a smaller, inexpensive city you should anticipate higher rents. Many of my younger co-workers (on pretty limited incomes) have lived in either the Edgewater or Buena Park neighborhoods and been pretty happy with them. Most of the neighborhoods around the north side branch of the red line, with the possible exception of Uptown and Rogers Park, are safe although I’ve had friends live in both of those neighborhoods and they seemed fine. Most of the neighborhoods along the O’Hare branch of the Blue line are pretty safe too.

          When I was looking for an apartment I had good luck with an apartment-rental company (though that was many years ago). The only thing is they tend to be cagey on the exact location. Domu.com advertises heavily here and seems to be a local outfit.

          • I’m not sure what rents are like nowadays in the Hyde Park/Kenwood area of the South Side where I used to live, but the IC (Illinois Central rail) runs from there to the loop. And it’s a university community, which you might enjoy.

          • A Definite Beta Guy says:

            I haven’t heard anything bad about Uptown in a while. Lakeview has supposedly deteriorated somewhat lately, but all of my old coworkers were still flocking there.

            Blue Line is incredibly crowded these days, so I’d stick to the Red Line stops.

            Rent is more expensive from smaller cities, but I got bored during Friday afternoon and saw a bunch of decent apartments sub-1200 and even sub-1000 in the Lakeview/Uptown area. If you can handle a roommate, your options expand a lot.

          • tronpaul says:

            Padmapper is how I found apartments when I was renting. Things I would take into consideration: what’s the max commute time you want, how close you want to live near hip/cool places, how much you want to spend.

            My best recommendation is live near enough to walk to the L on a nice day no matter what neighborhood you live in and near enough to a bus stop that you can take the bus to the L when it’s not so nice. This is out of date, but I lived in a 1200 a month 3br in Bridgeport 7 years ago, a ~1200 a month 1br in Wicker 5 years ago, and a ~1900 2br in Wrigley 2 years ago. I ended up back in Bridgeport cause it’s quiet, cheap and if I want to go out on the north side I can just cab, lyft or whatever.

    • woah77 says:

      Where about in Chicago. Native here.

    • Dack says:

      You can get positively rural and still be within walking distance of a metra station. Any specific suggestion depends heavily on how much you are willing to spend vs how much commute time you can tolerate.

  14. sscgdpr says:

    Anyone want a cheap GDPR data privacy assessment or Privacy Shield application? I have a legal background but I am looking to get into the field but your first client is always the hardest. sscgdpr@gmail.com

  15. James Miller says:

    I have written three articles for Quillette including an effective altruism plea to exterminate mosquitoes.

    • Freddie deBoer says:

      I mean there’s a list of problems with that mosquitoes article longer than my arm, but in general the ubiquitous EA pretense of saying “this is like Hitler!!!!” every 15 minutes does you absolutely no good. It does not have any rhetorical utility at all. It just gets people to roll their eyes.

      • James Miller says:

        I think if the death toll is in the millions and you could stop the deaths with relatively little social effort you can reasonably say this is like Hitler.

        • toastengineer says:

          You certainly can, but what do you expect it to get you?

          • To see the problem, imagine the controversy was over climate change. Person A is confident that it will have large bad effects, which could be prevented if only we did the right things. Person B believes it will not have very large bad effects, but some of the things Person A wants to do to slow it will.

            Both A and B can honestly claim to believe that the other’s policy will lead to millions of unnecessary deaths. Is the debate over climate change likely to be improved by each of them claiming that the other is like Hitler?

            What is special about Hitler in this context is not that what he did killed millions of people but that what he did was intended to kill millions of people–deliberate objective, not error or regrettable side effect.

          • James Miller says:

            To write for a general audience you need to tell or connect to narratives. The “Hitler was bad” narrative is one I can assume my readers believe and understand a bit about.

          • dick says:

            It’s also one that they associate with lazy thinking and exaggeration, so much so that there’s a name for that association. How about giving the reader an idea of the scale by comparing it to traffic accidents or prostate cancer or somesuch?

        • Deiseach says:

          I have to agree with Freddie, I went into reading that article intending to be as positive about it as I could, but the start was very poor and when I got to the “Hitler-level evil” I’m afraid my immediate reaction was “Oh really? Then slap on a moustache and call me Adolf, because I ain’t buyin’ it!”

          What I mean by the start being poor is that, if you’re writing to convince the average idiot (like me), then it reads all too much like a parody of the “in order to save the wide-mouth frog-mimic moth, we have to stop the development of the new factory which will give jobs to the impoverished town of Rustville”, and too bad about the three thousand people hoping to get jobs out of that development project. Right there, someone who knows nothing about EA and is only glancing over an article is going to go “what the hell, is this serious? is this another one of those environmental nutjobs?” and stop reading and ignore the rest of it. They won’t read far enough in to get “Oh, this is a worked example!”, instead they’ll have the association in the back of their head “project that wants to kill humans to keep beetles and mosquitoes alive”.

          The “if you don’t do this you are LITERALLY HITLER!!!” screeching also does not help you one bit; nobody likes being hectored. How would you feel about sitting through a traditional fire and brimstone sermon telling you what a miserable wretched sinner you are – would that change your mind or convince you? Remember the saying about honey and vinegar – be positive about all the GOOD THINGS HAPPINESS RAINBOWS FLUFFY KITTIES that will come out of doing this, rather than the negative MILLIONS WILL DIE AND YOU WILL HAVE KILLED THEM GENOCIDAL TYRANT READER approach.

          Besides, no-one is going to believe it (except for the few poor ones suffering from scrupulosity who will take this to heart and suffer agonies of crushing guilt and despair over their wickedness, which won’t get you anywhere on killing mosquitoes but will have increased human misery, good job there James). Nobody is going to think “Why yes, by not donating to bed nets I am just like an SS trooper rounding up Jews and crushing the skulls of children with the butt of my rifle, indeed that is exactly what I am”. They may think “Eh, I could probably do more” but if you tell them “YOU ARE LITERAL HITLER IF YOU DON’T DO THIS”, they are probably more likely to go “The hell with you, guy” and turn to a different problem that doesn’t call them a mass-murdering dictator
          for not jumping in feet-first.

        • Randy M says:

          … do you think Hitler was stopped with relatively little social effort?

    • Well... says:

      Somewhere in an OT a while back I asked about whether anybody qualified (e.g. with a biology or ecology background) has given serious thought to what would happen if mosquitoes were completely exterminated. Someone replied with a link to a pop-sci article that concluded, pretty compellingly in my opinion, that it wouldn’t be good for humans. I guess it really “takes all kinds”.

      I can’t remember where the article was, so I apologize for that. Maybe a savvy Googler can search SSC OTs for “mosquitoes”.

      • James Miller says:

        A month or so before I wrote the article, I was at a party with lots of academics from the life sciences. One person had recently been in Asia working on malaria control. I asked a few people about mosquito eradication, and they said there would almost certainly be no significant negative consequences in part because mosquitoes make up such a small percentage of the food supply for species like birds and bats.

      • pontifex says:

        I thought the idea was to eradicate specific species of mosquitos that were vectors for e.g. malaria, not to eradicate all mosquitos.

  16. RDNinja says:

    Since there seems to always be an RPG discussion in the Open Threads, and multiple people either looking for games or looking for more players, I created a Discord server specifically to facilitate that.

    https://discord.gg/EKvwH6p

    Anyone is free to advertise for players, and discuss what kind of game they’re looking for. If you want, I’ll even create channels on there to run Play-by-Chat games.

  17. vcanadav says:

    Does the idea of working from home sound appealing? Do you have a knack for programming? Do you have experience with open-source technologies such as Apache, MySQL, jQuery, JavaScript, Perl, etc.? Are you able to work within mountain standard time? Are you self-motivated and eager to tackle new projects? If so, WebRezPro might be a great fit for you.

    We are a Canadian company that makes software for hotels, and we are actively looking for candidates of all levels of programming experience.

    We care far more about demonstrated competence than credentials of any kind.

    If interested, please email your cover letter and resume to careers@webrezpro.com.

    • Basil Elton says:

      Are you looking for candidates in Canada/US only? I have one friend who might be interested but he’s in Bulgaria.

      • vcanadav says:

        It’s more about timezone than location. If he thinks he can work on MST there would be no harm in applying.

  18. DragonMilk says:

    Been working in finance in NYC for 8 years. Need to find another job as current firm is cutting my group (head fired, was given equivalent of 9 months notice?).

    Any suggestions for a front office structuring/private equity guy who’s been pretty bummed out by companies not being able to invest new money? haha

  19. gwern says:

    I want a Javascript visualization of multi-stage selection procedures, showing the gain you get as you repeatedly select the maximum datapoint from a normal sample. My suggested metaphor is Galton’s quincunx/bean machine/pachinko machine: as the balls drop through multiple layers of machines, you see the gain escalate, even when the total number of balls is fixed. Since my JS is terrible, I’m willing to commission someone to do this (a volunteer would be great but is too much to expect). Email me (gwern@gwern.net) or DM me on Twitter.

  20. hydro says:

    I’d like to practice speaking French with a fluent, ideally native, speaker. I took some French in high school, and two semesters in college.

    Alternatively, other suggestions for how to improve from “basically able to hold a conversation” to “actually able to talk/read about interesting things” are welcome.

  21. moshez says:

    Books:

    * My self-published ebook: “from Python import better”: https://gumroad.com/l/BVOGd
    * My soon-to-come “Expert Twisted” published by APress: https://www.apress.com/us/book/9781484237410 (available for pre-order)
    * My friend’s Hillel “Practical TLA+” also published by APress: https://www.apress.com/us/book/9781484238288

  22. Aceso Under Glass says:

    In lieu of a personal ad, please enjoy this OKC profile (bay area, female, 30s): https://www.okcupid.com/profile/AntsWithTophats/ .

    OKC’s interface sucks, so you can reach me at elizabeth at [username without spaces] dot com

    • dank says:

      I’m not in the bay area and I don’t think we’re compatible, but I have to commend you on a really well written profile. You describe the kinds of relationships you are looking for, and convey the way you think.

  23. Nick says:

    I’m hiring for a few roles at CodeCombat, the programming game for learning to code, including China General Manager, UI/Visual Designer, and Curriculum Developer, as well as some general operations roles. San Francisco and Beijing. More here: https://jobs.lever.co/codecombat

    If you are interested in education and know some coding, take a look at the Curriculum Developer role: https://jobs.lever.co/codecombat/dee46cce-35e9-4040-bf5b-014201482647

  24. Slicer says:

    There’s a piece from the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation that’s directed straight at the rationalist community.

    https://www.leafscience.org/updating-your-priors-on-rejuvenation-biotechnology/

  25. EricN says:

    I had the following idea a few months ago, which I’m guessing isn’t viable, but perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can tell me that it is.

    In the 2016 election cycle, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump together raised nearly a billion dollars from individual contributors. Much of this money was a waste, in the following sense: a Clinton supported and a Trump supporter, each of which contributed $100 to their respective candidates, could have instead kept their money, or contributed it to a charity they both liked, with there being no difference made in one candidate’s fundraising advantage over the other. The $100 on either side canceled itself out, and went toward dueling advertisements that in expectation had a net zero effect on the final outcome.

    So here’s my idea: host a website through which supporters of the Democratic nominee and supporters of the Republican nominee can contribute their money. When a contributor donates, they specify which charities (of a group of 20 or so that we select — ones with bipartisan appeal) they would be happy with their money going toward. Then, at the end of every week, the website pairs off as much of the money donated to the Democratic candidate and the Republican candidate as possible, and donates that money to charity; the unmatched money then goes to the candidates.

    As a simplified example, say that $10 million is contributed to the Democratic nominee and $12 million to the Republican nominee, and say that our only charity is the AMF. Then $20 million gets donated to the AMF and the remaining $2 million to the Republican nominee.

    From the perspective of a potential donor, this is great: their $x (worst case) goes to their preferred candidate, or (best case) cancels out $x to the opposing candidate and has the effect of $2x going to a charity they like.

    I’ve run this idea by several people and they all liked the idea, but were concerned that more typical people wouldn’t understand the reasoning for donating to this website instead of to the campaign, or would have other objections. On the other hand, this doesn’t seem more complicated than vote swapping, and on the order of a hundred thousand people swapped votes in 2016.

    Another potential concern is campaign finance laws. Would the website even be able to contribute the money directly to a politician’s campaign? Individual contributions are limited to $2700; would this limit apply to the website, or would there be a way around that?

    Anyway, I’m interested to hear any thoughts or suggestions you all have! Also, if you’re excited about this idea and have some expertise in the area, you can contact me at eneyman -æt- princeton -dot- edu.

    • sentientbeings says:

      You should bring up this idea in the next open thread. It deserves a full discussion, IMO, which might be beyond the scope of the classified thread.

      • EricN says:

        Thanks for the advice. I wasn’t sure where to post this because it’s *sort of* an advertisement, in that I’m advertising a thing I’d potentially want to build, so I wasn’t sure it would be appropriate for an open thread.

      • SamChevre says:

        Second: I would enjoy discussing this idea and it would be a good fit for an open thread.

    • wilykat says:

      my initial concerns:

      Unless the plan is explicitly “I’m giving you the money and you’ll let me know what you did with it”, there might be some issues that need to be resolved wrt political contributions not being tax-deductible and regular donations being deductible; that said if you can resolve those that makes this even more appealing since your nominally political contribution becomes a tax writeoff.

      It might be a concern for some people that they believe their candidate is better than the other and specifically that they’d spend their money more efficiently than the other, so both candidates getting $100 would be perceived as better than both candidates getting $0 for purposes of getting their candidate to win.

      Though I don’t know the legal issues, I suspect that you’d want to structure this as your website holding funds in escrow and then the donations would actually come from the people who supplied the funds. I’m sure there are a myriad of concerns with that though.

      • ordogaud says:

        >It might be a concern for some people that they believe their candidate is better than the other and specifically that they’d spend their money more efficiently than the other, so both candidates getting $100 would be perceived as better than both candidates getting $0 for purposes of getting their candidate to win.

        Yes, I think that’s the biggest problem with this idea because it’s usually true that money and ads will be more effective for one of the candidates, typically the non-incumbent. This isn’t some kind of zero-sum race where each candidate gets the same benefit out of each dollar raised.

        • EricN says:

          Thanks for your input, wilykat and ordogaud! I agree that this should be a major concern.

          On the other hand, let’s say you’re donating to the non-incumbent and think that your $100 do 20% more than someone donating $100 to the incumbent. The question is still whether you prefer that the money goes to each candidate (essentially giving your candidate $20 of extra value) or that $200 go to charity. I think most people would prefer the latter, but then again people often don’t think about these things rationally/in these terms.

    • James Miller says:

      It seems like a great idea. One problem, however, is that someone who would ordinarily give $1000 to a charity and nothing to the political candidate they favor might instead donate the entire $1000 to your website hoping to get a double benefit.

      • VivaLaPanda says:

        This isn’t a really though out idea, but what if you just made it so there was a small probability that the money you donated went to the candidate instead of the charity. There’s still some EV calculations the donator could do, but I don’t think most people would do those and if they wouldn’t have donated to their preferred candidate to begin with they wouldn’t donate to this.

      • EricN says:

        Thanks for the observation! You raise a valid point, though the specific thing you said is in my opinion not an issue. Doing what you suggest makes sense if you think your candidate has less funding than the opposing candidate on the website; but then instead of donating $1000 to charity you end up with $2000 going to charity which is great. This does raise an issue which is that if you think your candidate is ahead on the website then you may not want to donate to the website and donate to the campaign directly, fearing that people on the other side will exploit you by donating to the website and forcing your money to go to charity instead.

        I think this is an issue but is *probably* mostly fine. Consider this example: you think your candidate will have 2 million dollars on the website and your opponent will have 1 million. Let’s say you donate $1000 and let’s treat you as a random donor.* Then $500 of your $1000 cancels out $500 going to the opposing candidate and ends up in charity, and $500 goes to your candidate. So if you donate to your candidate, they get $1000; if you donate to the website, they get $500, their opponent loses $500, and $1000 goes to charity; if you donate to charity, the charity gets $1000. I think donating to the website is best for you out of those three outcomes, by a significant amount. (The 2:1 ratio is an arbitrary choice but makes the math nice and is I think a reasonable ratio to suppose assuming your candidate has more money on the website.)

        I actually think I mis-analyzed this a bit, because I think it makes sense to treat the money the opponent candidate gets and the money you donate as non-independent random variables (specifically, if you know nothing about other people’s actions, the action you take may inform you about what other people are likely to do). I may come back to this later.

        Also, I’d like to point out — if you think your candidate has less funding on the website then you’re better off donating to the website, and if you think your candidate has more funding on the website then you’re better off donating to the charity. This means that the equilibrium is where both sides donate the same amount, which is really the optimal way things could work out.

        *Maybe it makes sense to think of you as a marginal donor rather than a random donor. I think this is a super tricky philosophical question; I’m inclined to think of you as a random donor, but I definitely understand the appeal of treating you as a marginal donor. If you’re treated as a marginal donor, then all your money goes to the candidate, which is what would’ve happened anyway had you donated directly.

    • scmccarthy says:

      I’ve tried to pitch this idea to some people who donate money politically over the last few years and they did not like it, so I kind of gave up. The main objection was they didn’t actually see it as zero sum – i.e. they valued their donations to their own side significantly more than their political opponents’ donations.

    • Moorlock says:

      I love the idea and hope it catches on. You aren’t the first to try. A project called “Repledge” did the same thing in 2012.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20120625133032/http://www.repledge.com:80/

      I’m not sure how well they did with their project, but you might try to track them down. It seems repledge.com is no longer active.

    • dick says:

      Is the app going to handle money? If so this is essentially an escrow service, which is pretty complicated and expensive for a variety of reasons. (Although that would not be the case if it was limited to cryptocurrency) If not, if it’s just matching me up with someone and then we each give our money to the charity directly, it seems trivially game-able.

    • honoredb says:

      I looked into this concept a bit a few years ago, got as far as registering americansgive.org and formally incorporating with some friends, and then discovered that another group, Repledge, had also been working on it simultaneously, asked the FEC for an advisory ruling on whether it broke campaign finance laws, and got a split 3-3 decision along party lines (apparently the FEC is always governed by 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans and this usually happens). They’ve put it on indefinite hold since then.

      I’m at work and don’t have all my notes handy, but you can get all the proper nouns you need from http://saos.fec.gov/aodocs/1319090.pdf

      Some developments have happened since I was focused on this last–smart contracts and other escrow technology is a thing, which might help sidestep legalities, and AFAIK there hasn’t been any legal trouble for the people making conditional pledge drives to “any opponent of this Senator unless they vote against confirming Kavanaugh,” which seems like it could set a soft precedent. Also, I spoke briefly to the Repledge people maybe 4 years ago, and they were hopeful that since the membership of the FEC had changed, they might be able to get another shot at a definitive ruling on what campaign finance laws this concept is and isn’t subject to.

      • EricN says:

        Thank you! This is very helpful to know. A few questions:

        – Do you know how much legal fees in pursuing a new decision from the FEC would cost? Perhaps I could get funding from Princeton.
        – Do you know whether the Democrats or the Republicans voted against the decision? If (say) it was the Republicans, would it make sense to find a conservative lawyer to argue the case, since such a lawyer would better understand what would convince the Republicans?

    • EricN says:

      I’ve created a survey to get a basic sense of whether it’s the case that liberals and conservatives are about equally likely to use the website. (I realize this is nowhere close to a perfect gauge of this.)

      The survey is anonymous. Please consider taking it, regardless of whether you think this is a good idea. The survey is here. You can view results here.

    • If candidate A has 10 million dollars and candidate B has 6 million dollars, which candidate benefits if each loses 5 million?

      • EricN says:

        Certainly A. This is the reason I’m talking specifically about presidential elections: there, the amounts of money each candidate gets is so large that the marginal dollar is basically worthless. (In particular I think that in general campaign money doesn’t do anything once each candidate has universal name recognition.) If candidate has 500 million and the other has 300 million, eavh candidate losing 5 million dollars (I think) doesn’t substantially hurt the one with less money.

    • chotu says:

      I’m pretty excited about this project. I’m happy to collaborate/help if you want. Just did some quick research on Repledge. As honoredb mentioned, they had sought an advisory opinion by the FEC in 2012 and got a 3-3 decision. All documents from that are at the FEC website. However, they seem to have tried it again in 2015 and this time it seems like the FEC was cool with it? The details are here. I have no expertise in the area, so I might be interpreting this incorrectly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything substantial on Rick Hasen’s blog on Repledge.

    • MB says:

      Suppose that one side is hoping for $40 million in donations and the other side is hoping for $50 million, so they are rather evenly matched. However, this donation-matching idea takes off and $35 million in donations from each side now go to charity. Now one side gets $5 million, while the other side gets $15 million; one has as much as three times the other and can completely outspend the other.
      Maybe making such a big impact would be a good problem to have; certainly getting it started seems harder. Anyway, the side that sees itself as the underdog may not agree to it.

      • nyc says:

        > Anyway, the side that sees itself as the underdog may not agree to it.

        Sure, but that decision happens at the individual level. So suppose as a result that supporters of the underdog give $20 million directly to the candidate rather than to the website. Then the candidate with more donations gets $20 million more from the website, so now the candidates have $25 million and $35 million, with $30 million still going to charity.

        This is also counterbalanced by the issue identified by others which is that if you expect your candidate has less money, you can give money you would have donated to charity to the website and it still ends up going to charity along with an equal amount of money that otherwise could have gone to the opposing candidate.

        The result is that both sides have a reason to give to the website and a countervailing reason not to. But as long as some non-zero percentage of donors for both candidates give to the website, double that amount of money goes to charity.

  26. Fractalotl says:

    I do coaching for productivity and flow, focusing on:
    – Untangling stuck places
    – Working with internal and interpersonal conflict
    – Connecting with a sense of meaning and purpose

    I’m coming from a background in rationality techniques and approaches to metarationality. You can read more, contact me, or book a free 30-minute consultation here.

  27. Isaac says:

    Do you want to cheaply generating good parameters for multi layer neural nets without relying on end to end gradient descent?
    Are you frustrated that you can not get multi layer neural nets with binary/ternary weights and binary activations to train?

    If you have either of these problems, or would like to have them, let’s talk! I may not have solutions, but we can be frustrated together.

    You can contact me at isaac@isaacleonard.com

  28. mlafayette says:

    I am thinking of putting together an online index of any articles/blog posts where the author is willing to bet on some claim they make. Does anybody know of something similar?

    Also, if anybody is interested in helping out or wants to submit some writers who commonly do this, feel free to email me at mechanicalmodernwhim(at)gmail.

  29. Maryana says:

    I work for a water analytics company – we use machine learning to help water utilities maintain critical drinking water services in the face of challenges like aging infrastructure and water scarcity. We’re looking for a backend software developer and a data scientist to join our small (15-person) team in San Francisco. JDs on LinkedIn:
    * Backend dev: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/922404736/
    * Data scientist: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/922411021/

    Come join us and work with at least one SSC fan (me!) and a bunch of other friendly, truth-seeking, altruistically-motivated humans. Email me at justdandy at gmail if you want to chat more about the positions or the company.

    • Ben J says:

      Hi Maryana

      Could you give me a sense of the salary for your new data scientists?

      • Maryana says:

        Hey Ben,

        I don’t know the specifics for these two roles, but I’ll say that for my role (product manager) the pay is slightly below market relative to the big 5 tech companies (i.e., ~20% less than my total comp at Amazon, including stock and signing bonus) but substantially above market for what I’ve seen offered for the same role at many early and midstage startups. We were recently acquired by a large parent company, so the cashflow is very stable, and I think there’s room to negotiate up.

        For me, the work-life balance, company culture, and meaningfulness of the product far outweigh the paycut for not working at a FacebookGoogleZon, but your mileage may vary.

        Hope that helps! Feel free to email me for more details.

    • Teeki says:

      Asking the same, but for the dev position.

  30. I’m almost ready to self publish my Legal Systems Very Different from Ours, which was discussed here a while back, and I need a cover. I would be interested in hearing from anyone with graphics arts experience, ideally someone who has read at least some of the webbed draft of the book, about ideas for a cover, price to be negotiated.

    My current idea is to have the names of the legal systems I cover arranged in some pleasing fashion on the cover, possibly along with small pictures relevant to some of them. But I’m open to other and better ideas.

    • Polly Gnomial says:

      I really enjoyed your book, thanks!

      My mind’s eye of the cover is a sloppily dressed figure of blind justice holding the scale, wearing items from various cultures – eg. a Viking helmet, toga, jewish neck thingie, amerindian bone vest. On the other hand this might offend nearly everybody. YMMV

      • Well... says:

        For whatever it’s worth, I like your book cover idea way more than the one David described.

        @David:

        Another idea could be to consider what might be one of the more striking visuals from one of the legal systems you’ve written about and simply show a picture of it. I read the chapter on the Amish and part of the one on the Jews and nothing visual from those stands out to me (plus it was a while ago) but maybe there’s something in a different chapter?

        • One obvious visual is an 18th century hanging scene. One of the things that legal system is famous for is that almost all serious offenses were capital.

          But that focuses too much on one system.

          • axolotl says:

            I like the Justice clothing idea. A lower-risk version might be a bunch of objects relevant to the various systems — a Talmud, a noose, some historically-accurate coins representing weregild. You could drape the objects over each other or otherwise arrange them artistically.

            I think that would be less likely to run afoul of identity politics than a figure dressed up as a member of lots of different cultures.

          • Another idea that occurred to me was to show the names of the legal systems, scattered over the page, and, in smaller print, terms from them—diya, wergeld, momser, marimé, fiqh, …

          • Tenacious D says:

            I think axolotl’s idea of an arrangement/collage of artifacts relevant to the various systems is great.

      • Vivificient says:

        Even without the other items, blind Justice wearing a horned viking hat would be a pretty good cover.

    • Nancy Lebovitz says:

      I find the idea of having some clickbait text added very attractive.

      “Really Different! MORE DIFFERENT THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!”

    • Ted Pudlik says:

      Naive question: why not go through a traditional publisher, maybe a university press? (I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but I’m curious what’s the issue.)

  31. jooyous says:

    I’m currently reading Ryan Holiday’s book called “Trust me, I’m lying” about media manipulation. He mentions a super-exploitable platform called HARO where all the terrible quotes from terrible news articles get sourced from. So, my question is, do we need any media manipulation? Like, as a community? Are there any ideas/products that we need to plug? Kickstarters? EA? Anything?

    If there’s nothing now, it seems like a useful tool to put in your back pocket for later.

    • Bugmaster says:

      I am not sure this is such a good idea. First of all, what is our “community” all about ? If it’s about thinking rationally (lowercase-r), then normalizing media manipulation would seem to be antithetical to our goals. Perhaps more importantly, the Rationalist community is small and full of introverted people. If media manipulation is a battlefield, then Rationalists are an uncontacted Amazonian tribe, and you propose that they take on the rest of the world by throwing spears at tanks. That’s not a winning strategy.

  32. VivaLaPanda says:

    If you like music, and even better music with friends, check out my most recent project, UtaStream.
    It’s still beta software, but the idea is to make it easy for semi-technical individuals to set up their own online radio without going through the maze that is dealing with Icecast.
    Also, the software is designed with “collaborative listening” in mind, a bunch of people can queue their own music unto the shared server. Think Discord music bot, except not limited to Discord, and with a bot to step in if the queue runs out.

    You can also check out an example server at: https://vivalapanda.moe/stream.mp3

  33. Way back in the first classified ads thread, I posted seeking to hire help updating the look of my web site.

    I got some enthusiastic responses, but for whatever reason, probably my own lack of followthrough, nothing came of it.

    I’m looking for incremental improvements, not radical changes.

    The site (The Political Graveyard, a database of U.S. political history and biography) consists of more than 100,000 pages of static HTML, all periodically — but not recently — regenerated by database programming I wrote. My plan is to resume doing those periodic updates, but with better code, and better looking pages.

    I also have thousands of new entries, corrections, new information, etc., that I am eager to get online.

    People who commented or wrote to me at the time had some great ideas. Can we resume this conversation?

    For email, my surname is my gmail address.

  34. dentonzh says:

    I learned how to program and build web apps using online courses. To give back to the e-learning community, I decided to build a website called OpenCourser that helps others like me discover courses more easily.

    Most of my visitors gravitate towards Programming / CS and Data Science courses, but you can find courses on almost any subject. I’ve personally enjoyed courses about history (of architecture, jazz, China, etc.) and philosophy outside of ones I’ve used for career development.

  35. OgakiOpaki says:

    I’m looking for a full-time job, SF Bay Area or remote. I’ve spent the past 9 years as a PostgreSQL and DevOps consultant, and before that I was a web developer. I’ve also done some VoIP programming.

    Objective: a position where my deep and varied skills can make a significant contribution to your organization. Considering both IC and management roles.

    Please contact me at the email address in my resume; thanks! I look forward to discussing how we can work together.

    ASCII resume
    PDF resume

      • OgakiOpaki says:

        Thanks! This looks like a fantastic place to work.

        My only concern is that my skills are in Unix and PostgreSQL, while CareEvolution uses Windows and SQL Server. The only skills mentioned on your /careers/ page that I have are Python, jQuery, and JavaScript in general.

        If you’re looking for competent folks who can self-teach technologies, I may be a fit for you. If you’re looking for someone who’s already up to speed with Microsoft tools, to be candid, that’s not me.

  36. cryptoshill says:

    I am looking for someone to tutor me in C#, Azure, and cs concepts. I am preparing to go to a 4.5 month crash course run by Big Software Company with a guaranteed interview and want to be maximally competitive. Compensation and time is negotiable, send me an email at jaghadai[at]gmail.com.

    • Bugmaster says:

      I know nothing about Azure, but if you’d like, I could run you through an interview process that our company uses to destroy people. Not all people, per se, but the subset of them who put “I have VERY STRONG” [yes, in all caps] C# skills” on their resumes. That said, I’m not sure what your level of familiarity with C# and basic CS theory is like; your skills might very well be beyound the scope of the basic interview.

  37. etheric42 says:

    I have been a reader for a few years, but this is my first post. I am looking for a job in the Austin, Texas area or remote work appropriate for a jack-of-all-trades like myself. I am currently Operations Supervisor at a third-party medical call center. I manage a small Client Services and Quality Assurance team remotely, meet face-to-face with important clients and act as a business analyst for ones with complex needs, manage critical projects such as moving us to a SaaS helpdesk system, design and improve business processes, train our programmers in basic HTML and CSS, hire and manage contract programmers for special projects, audit the administrative staff, negotiate with vendors, design reports, and whatever else the company president needs me to do.

    On the side I am doing UX design work and some light writing for the PC game AI War 2, which just released into Early Access on the 15th.

    I enjoy operations and the ability to work on a variety of projects while also being able to follow my own initiative and really be able to see the impact of my work, but I am open to try new experiences out. Some people on the SSC Reddit page recommended project or product management.

    I will be watching this thread, but you can also reach out to me directly at ee1064 [at] gmail [dot] com if you want to talk directly or want a copy of my resume.

    Thanks in advance!

  38. Moorlock says:

    Insomnia trouble you? This might help:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rmj9vuCUh5zfZag0sVkYNCCI3lJEbqLjP79vkXT9cCo

    It’s a method for getting to sleep. It doesn’t require drugs, supplements, apps, apparatus, doing anything special before bedtime, changing your diet or lifestyle, or spending money on anything. It also permits you to explore some interesting altered states of consciousness and may help you to engage in lucid dreaming. I hope it works for you as well as it did for me.

    • Matt C says:

      I think I saw this once before, and then couldn’t find it when I went looking for it later.

      I don’t have much trouble getting to sleep, but early morning waking is a real problem for me. I’m interested to try out some experiments. Thanks for posting.

  39. Godbluff says:

    Hi, I’m a 27 years old attorney currently living in Bogotá, Colombia. I work in tax but I’m very interested in everything related to the rationalist movement/futurism/transhumanism. Anyone around?

  40. Daniel says:

    There’s this awesome optical illusion, a non-interactive animation. I’ve created an interactive version in a few lines of code. I have to admit that currently my version is no more interesting than the original, but I believe the opportunity is there to do something really cool with the interactive aspect. Any suggestions?

    • zqed says:

      Can you provide a quick description of the illusion? I am not sure what I’m supposed to see.

      • Jalex says:

        In the non-interactive version, try to compare the density of points on the left side and the right side. The actual density stays constant, but the side most recently in motion seems denser.

  41. bbeck310 says:

    I’m a lawyer in Chicago with a Mechanical Engineering background; I specialize in patent litigation but I handle pretty much anything involving intellectual property or technology. Thanks to pro bono work, I’ve even done child neglect cases. For federal law issues, we can assist anyone in the U.S., not just Illinoisans. If you’re looking for legal help, especially in a tech area where you want your lawyer to understand your field, please send me an email at brian dot beck at spencepc dot com.

  42. Rebecca Friedman says:

    Hello! This is a repeat from the last classified thread, if you’ve already read feel free to skip; it’s basically just the same information. Posting anyway because there always seem to be new people reading. Now on to the ad…

    I am a freelance editor specializing primarily in fantasy and science fiction, but good for 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. To everyone on the last classified thread who told me that it was very messy and I should change it: Thank you for your feedback! Some changes have been made, more likely will be as I sort out how to upgrade WordPress without it crashing. Prices have risen since the last classified thread, and are currently at $1.50-$6/500-word page depending on how much work is needed (for fiction; non-fiction has separate pricing unless by exception), 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 and additional details are all on the website. And thank you again to everyone who contacted me after the last ad!

  43. usernamechecksout says:

    Can anyone recommend any good / unusual / strange Chinese science fiction to me, preferably novels? I don’t speak any Chinese language, unfortunately, so I’d also appreciate pointers to good English or German translations.

    For a long time, I’ve been suspecting that there must be a plethora of amazing science fiction available in China, for various reasons, including:

    1. China is huge, so surely a large number of authors must have written some?

    2. China has a rich culture with great mainstream and non-mainstream art in various genres that appeals to me, so I would expect their sci-fi to work for me as well — if only I knew some!

    3. Especially in the People’s Republic of China, I’d expect sci-fi to be a valve through which writers can express thoughts, ideas, and criticism that otherwise would run the risk of being censored, with sufficient deniability, both in the past and today. In the 80s, this has been the case in other Eastern-bloc countries such as the Soviet Union, Poland, and Eastern Germany. (However, when I asked some people from the PRC about this, they answered that this comparison would not hold for the past: They said that the Cultural Revolution created an atmosphere in which expressing even the most slightly nonaligned thought would be dangerous, and that there was basically no debiability at all.)

    The only Chinese sci-fi books I know are those from the Three-Body Problem series by Liu Cixin. (He’s also the only relevant author my Chinese friends could name.) This series has good translations and was sufficiently hyped to catch my attention, and I happened to like it especially for its difference to typical Western sci-fi.

    In case it makes any difference, I prefer the more philosophical type of sci-fi. My favorite authors include Eastern bloc authors such as Stanislav Lem (Poland) and the Strugatsky brothers (Soviet Union), as well as Philip K. Dick, Iain M. Banks, and Neal Stephenson.

    • Hummingbird says:

      Try out Haruki Murakami. I’d call his genre a sort of magical realism that reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut or Phillip K. Dick. But less sci-fi and more like strange things happen to people. He is a very famous author in China, and for good reasons.
      I have only read two or three of his books, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. My friend who adores his books thinks that Kafka on the Shore is his best but that HBWatEotW is a good starting place.
      Hope this was helpful, enjoy!

    • nweining says:

      The collection _Invisible Planets_ has a very interesting selection of short stories by contemporary Chinese SF authors and reading those might be a good way to see whose writing/ideas you like enough to seek out their novels. I enjoyed the stories by Chen Qiufan and Ma Boyong especially.

    • jacksontom says:

      I can’t help with the Chinese SF query, but I’m struck by how many of your favorites are my favorites. Are you on Goodreads? My ID there is Tomj

  44. mattparlmer says:

    The Chicago Neoliberals are meeting tomorrow afternoon at Sawada Coffee in Fulton Market, we’d love to see some of you there!

    • I’m mostly used to seeing “neoliberal” as a label some people apply to other people they don’t like. Could you describe how you are using it?

      • Knut says:

        I would imagine he is using it like the people over at the “neoliberal” subreddit, who want to “reclaim neoliberalism […] and unify under the empirical and market-based political philosophy that has led to the vast improvements in living standards that the entire world has enjoyed over the last 50 years.”

    • A Definite Beta Guy says:

      Is there a regular meetup of this group? There is nothing on the Facebook page and I would like to come, but I am unfortunately at a lifestage that requires me to plan these things weeks in advance.

  45. WashedOut says:

    I make musical scores and soundtracks for short film, videogames and promotional videos. If you have a project that requires music and sound design, I would be happy to help. I have done work for several SSC people in the past, much to their satisfaction.

    No budget too small, no project too weird or niche. Get in touch via email at vilemasquemedia[at]gmail[dot]com

  46. N Zohar says:

    I am continuing to collect stories from people who’ve quit social media, with the goal of eventually publishing something and presenting it. So far I’ve mostly heard from people who’ve quit Facebook, so now I am specifically seeking out people who’ve quit Twitter. If you have quit Twitter and are interested in participating, please email me: nadavzohar at hotmail dot com.

    I’m conducting this research via email correspondence, where I send you some questions (mainly centered around your decision to quit), you send me answers back, I respond with follow-up questions, etc. In the past this has gone about three rounds maximum. Please allow several weeks or more between emails, as I am juggling many respondents and this is all done in the wee hours after I fulfill my other full-time obligations. Your identity will be kept strictly anonymous too by the way.

    • Bugmaster says:

      Is never joining it as good as quitting it ? I’m guessing not, but still…

      • N Zohar says:

        Heh, I think most deliberate Twitter non-users would say yes. Unfortunately for this research I am looking specifically for quitting stories.

        But, I have thought about doing some future research involving people who have outright rejected various popular technologies, possibly including social media, so feel free to reach out anyway.

    • James says:

      I just want the world to know that I quit facebook before it was trendy.

      • N Zohar says:

        Before Facebook was trendy, or before quitting Facebook was trendy? (Is quitting Facebook trendy?)

      • Randy M says:

        If only there was some way you could tell the whole world at once about your not using social media.

  47. illott says:

    Are there websites/apps/groups that help depressed (or even just unproductive) people connect with each other to make mutual commitments, set goals, share progress, support one another, etc.? I suppose I’m describing a digital support group, albeit one more focused on tangible progress than merely being okay.

    Maybe it’s impossible due to the attrition rate and impersonability of digital groups, but it would be wonderful if a group of aligned depressives could uplift one another.

    • maintain says:

      People who are depressed kind of by definition don’t want to make commitments or set goals. If you rely on depressed people to do that stuff you are just going to be disappointed over and over again.

      Why don’t you find some people who are not depressed to help you?

  48. Michael Crone says:

    I spend about half of my time traveling around the USA. To me, writing is work, so it’s not like I’m going to have a travel blog or anything, but I’m better with writing/texting a specific person, probably because it’s easier to respond to someone than to come up with something original, and I’d like to share my experiences, so if anyone wants a personal travel reporter, I have a Gmail account with the handle drmichaelcrone.

  49. Dave92F1 says:

    I’m looking for a Windows networking consultant for our small company north of Boston (93 and 495). Prefer somebody local.

    I’ve been doing Windows networking myself since Win3.1, so I can do the basic stuff myself. I need someone who knows a lot more than that. An intimate knowledge of RoboCopy and Python would be helpful.

    Email dave at mugwumpery dot usual-commercial-TLA if interested.

  50. maximiliantiger says:

    Looking for climbing partners in the Bay Area. I lead sport up to 5.10c outdoors or so, and can follow trad (not that good at cracks though). I’ve taught several people outdoor climbing if you’re looking the make the transition from the gym. Have roughly a double rack/gear for a small group/crashpads. I don’t have a car.

  51. edd91 says:

    Are there any technical people into machine learning especially video processing/facial recognition that are interested in a project? I am in the early stages of a great idea and looking for someone to work with, feel free to reach out to me eddiee at gmail.

  52. Manx says:

    Hi, I’m Dr. Laura Baur. I’m a NYC-based psychiatrist with interests in literature review, reproductive psychiatry, and relational psychotherapy.

    http://LauraBaurMD.com

    I take a personal interest in evidenced-based medicine and taking the time to perform problem-specific literature review and analysis. I also value forging a strong therapeutic alliance and take a relational approach to psychotherapy. This explores interpersonal relationships, including the one between the therapist and the patient. Within this framework, I also incorporate modern dynamic, interpersonal, CBT, and DBT techniques to best suit your needs.

    I am licensed to prescribe in NY state, however I am currently applying for a CA license and should be able to do telepsych appointments there within 4 months.

    *Please note that due to overlapping social circles, I will not treat NYC rationalists, or CA rationalists who are close to my close friends. If you are unsure if this applies to you, I am happy to discuss prior to beginning treatment.

  53. Placid Platypus says:

    In the past Classified Thread successes category: I was linked to the web novel The Fifth Defiance in a previous classified thread and I quite liked it. Especially recommended to anyone who enjoyed Worm.

  54. Jair says:

    Hi, I’m a recent-ish math PhD interested in data science positions in the (USA) Pacific Northwest area. Currently located in Portland but interested in the Seattle area. I have two years of hands-on experience in data science. See my linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jair-taylor/), or email me, jairmtaylor @ gmail. In the short term, possibly interested in collaborating on some kind of data science project or discussion group, or meeting new people in the area in general.

  55. noahyetter says:

    For sale: Sherline 5000A desktop vertical mill (https://www.sherline.com/product/5000a-dro5100a-dro-standard-mill-package/)

    I bought this ~6 years ago with fantasies of learning how to do basic machining. Turns out it’s a really complicated and deep skill that I don’t have time to learn properly, so this machine has mostly just sat in my garage.

    Included is the mill itself with factory DRO, all the tooling included in the factory kit (a vice, various other work-holding tooling, and a small variety of cutters), as well as a couple of extra cutters I acquired at some point. It has seen very little use, probably less than 2 hours of total power-on time.

    I’d like to get $500 for it. I also have a Starrett dial indicator that I would sell with the machine for a little extra.

    Greater Denver area buyers only! I cannot ship this! Not only is it big and heavy, it’s a precision instrument that needs careful packing that I am not equipped to do properly. I live in Lakewood and would be happy to let you check out the machine in person. nyetter at gmail dot com

    (this is obviously a total long shot…)

  56. JohnHarper says:

    Job beg

    Recently moved back to the UK from China and looking for jobs. Lot of experience in education, public speaking, research, philosophy, and politics. Speak and write basic conversational mandarin.

    My linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnwbharper/ or email johnwbh [at] googlemail [dot] com

  57. Erusian says:

    Hello!

    I’m moving down to Miami in late December/early January and am looking for connections. I have a few friends from when I used to live there but that was a long, long time ago! I’m generally involved in business, technology, and (to a lesser extent) the arts, so I’d especially appreciate anything to do down there with those!

    Also, I’ve noticed a greater than normal amount of business and app ideas the last couple of threads. I’ve been moderately successful in business and I’ve sat on several committees to assess such ideas for funding/potential/access to programs. So I’ve got a fair bit of experience in evaluating and help improve business ideas and plans. If anyone is serious about starting business, I’d be glad to take an hour or two to do a deep dive.

  58. American Hempcrete Construction Company – Hempitecture

    I expect you will hear more about hempcrete as a green building material in the near future, but posting here for those who are interested.

  59. As you called for ads, I trust this is appropriate — and I trust also that you’ll delete it if it’s not.

    My new book Can You Outsmart an Economist? 100+ Puzzles to Train Your Brain consists of puzzles and brainteasers that teach lessons about rational inference; I expect it’s likely to appeal to the sorts of people who are fans of SlateStarCodex (as I am). If you take the ten-question rationality test in Chapter 6, I’ll be glad to hear how you did.

    • taogaming says:

      I’m very tempted by this. How do you say it compares to (or differs from) The Armchair Economist?

      • taogaming: Well, they’re different books. Armchair is a series of conventionally written chapters; Outsmart is a series of puzzles and brain teasers intended to illustrate the pitfalls of failing to think beyond the obvious. The subject matter overlaps a fair amount, so that readers of Armchair might have a leg up on solving some of the puzzles in Outsmart — but there’s also a lot in each book that doesn’t overlap with the other. I hope of course that everyone who likes either book will want to buy the other one!

  60. kwc says:

    Two statistics professors have created a website intended to act as an alternative to the usual peer review system. I figured this would be of interest to people, especially given EY’s take on misaligned incentives in academia in Inadequate Equilibria.

    Disclaimer: I’m a grad student at NCSU and am fond of Ryan Martin, one of the co-creators.

    The site can be found here: https://www.researchers.one/
    And here is Andrew Gelman talking about the website.

  61. Moya says:

    I founded a software development company with the aim of aiding space exploration and scientific research – see asofterspace.com.

    If you need any kind of software for space or research – say hi!

    If you need any kind of software for other projects – say hi too; we use the revenue of such projects to reduce the pricing for research projects, which traditionally are chronically underfunded.

  62. John Lynch says:

    Wrote a book, it’s out on Amazon. Some people think it’s pretty good.

    New Persia: Before the Storm

    Blurb:
    In the far future, human colonists have forgotten their origins. Their planet is hostile to human life, spawning continent-spanning storms of fire and destruction.
    The fallen scion Nasrin Avesta and the rebel Suri Pahlavi reject the future their families chose for them and create their own.
    Captain Basir Turani must use all his intellect and cunning to prevail against the elements, the enemy, and traitors in his midst.
    The coming storm will change them all.

  63. Ben Schwyn says:

    I’m looking for a junior software engineering position. I’m currently based in Seattle but am willing to move (particularly to silicon valley, Austin, Pittsburgh, and NYC). I have about a year and half of professional experience doing a variety of backend automation, data science, ads, and machine learning.

    Resume: https://imgur.com/a/Iw62SKR
    Github: https://github.com/bschwyn

  64. IohannesArnold says:

    Ecquis habitat Chicagine et suam facultatem latine loquendi vult augere? Erit sermo de historia artis latine loquendi apud Universitatem Chicaginiensem die sexto mensis Novembris. Omnes laetissime invitati sunt.

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/de-arte-latine-loquendi-tickets-51595821491

    If you didn’t understand the above, but would like to, and you live in Chicago, you’re welcome to come to the University of Chicago on November 6th to learn more about spoken Latin — yes, people do still speak it, and in fact it’s having a bit of a moment!

  65. armorsmith42 says:

    Any history enthusiasts (or just folks who like watching history youtube videos) in London want to get together on November 11th for an Armistice commemoration event? I’m still looking for something to do then.

    (email address is username at gmail.com)

  66. mahasim says:

    Hi, I’m also looking for a full-time job in the Bay area. I have my master’s in Bioinformatics (data science,) three years of experience working with big data, and have spent the past summer interning at NASA. I’m familiar with R, gene annotation tools, statistical analysis, linux/bash, and am currently re-acquainting myself with python.

    I’m interested in a job that will encourage me to learn more, and especially one that is working on an altrusitic or meaningful project.

    Contact me at pkfalu92 [at] gmail [dot] com for my resume/more info.

  67. theriac says:

    Hello,

    I’m looking for a job somewhere on the coasts of the US. I’ve got an MS in statistics, and I’ve previously done research in genomics and the corresponding enormous datasets. I have a good chunk of programming experience, particularly in the context of electronic medical records and the underlying databases and data entry. I’m familiar with Python, R, SAS, SQL, and Intersystems Cache.

    Hoping to find a job in or adjacent to statistics or data science where I can learn new things about interesting subjects. Positive impact’s a plus.

    If you have an opportunity you think would fit, or you’d like to see my resume, drop me a message at gzfpuvyy (at) thattheregooglemail (dot) com. Thanks for your time.

  68. stronico says:

    We’re having a meetup in Atlanta this Saturday the 27th at 2:00 PM EST of October

    Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery
    720 Moreland Ave SE,
    Atlanta, GA 30316, USA

  69. yossarian says:

    I currently live in Hamburg, was wondering if there are any SSC readers around maybe willing to chat or meet up occasionaly. I’ve seen there are meetups in other German cities, so was wondering if there are any around here.

    • Jo says:

      I am in Hamburg, I read this blog, I am available, but I have no idea what people do during such a meetup. If you like, come to the lesswrong study hall on complice.co to talk.

  70. Pechorin says:

    Anyone interested in working for a financial firm in Chicago as a data engineer? Need 5+ years of experience and strong R skills. I’m looking for a quality coworker.

  71. themindgoo says:

    I would like to advertise my blog themindgoo.wordpress.com
    It’s a bit like worse TLP but I hope that someone might like it.