Careful with Caching

A friend recently shared this graphic on Facebook:

(I've added the "wrong" overlay.)

This is clearly incorrect: there's no way Massachusetts has more prisons than colleges. (MA actually has the largest ratio of colleges to prisons in the US.) After putting a link to the original source in the Facebook discussion, however, we found something pretty weird: people on mobile were seeing the incorrect map, but people on desktop were seeing a corrected one:

It turns out that Facebook was appending a tracking parameter, ?fbclid=... on desktop, but not on mobile. Normally this wouldn't do anything, because the site would ignore that in determining what page to return, but this site is apparently configured with a cache.

Boston Rents Over Time II

Since 2011, and monthly since 2013, I've maintained a map of Boston-area rents, scraping Padmapper. I looked at how they were changing over time in in 2015, but I have a lot more data now:

You can see the pandemic bringing down listing prices in 2020-2021, and then a rise as things opened up again. While it looks like they're back where they were, if we adjust for inflation (CPIAUCSL) they're back to where they were in 2015:

Two Kids Crosswise

When traveling, we sometimes end up somewhere with the older two kids sharing a double bed. Initially we would put them down the normal way, as the bed was made to be used, but recently we realized it goes much better if you think of the bed as being sideways:

Kids are pretty short, and if they sleep crosswise they're farther from each other, which minimizes fighting. Our kids don't fight that much normally, though they don't get along as well as they did a year ago, but bedtime while traveling is one of the worst situations: they're extra sleepy, and the sleepier they are both the worse their impulse control is and the more irritable they are. Rotating the arrangement makes it easy for them each to have their own space. Separate sheets and blankets also help.

Clapping Lower

Clapping is normally relatively high pitch:


I find clapping annoyingly high, so I usually clap a bit differently:


Perverse Independence Incentives

In writing about parenting, I don't write enough about what didn't work: this might give the impression that everything I try works, which is not the case! Here's an example of something that didn't, and which I might have caught before trying if I'd thought a bit more.

Brief recap: I see one of my main roles as a parent being building independence:

I want to let my kids be as independent as possible, as early as possible. Not only does it make their lives better, because they can meet their own needs how they want, but it makes my life easier, because they can handle more on their own. Sometimes this involves a bit more effort up front, but I think it's substantially less effort in total.

For a while I had an approach which was essentially, "if you can do it yourself I'm not going to do it for you." For example, soon after Lily learned how to get her own cereal, we had some conversations like:

Hiring Programmers in Academia

A professor I know through the EA community has been trying to hire a software engineer for their research, and they explained some privately about how this is tricky. The following are points I took away that might be useful to programmers considering job postings, people in academia looking to hire programmers, and people trying to understand why it's hard for EA projects to hire programmers despite there being a lot of them in EA.

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