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recent posts on blogs I follow


On Transhumanism And Eugenics

Transhumanism as anti-ableist praxis

via Thing of Things June 7, 2024

Linkpost for May

Effective altruism, psychology, rationality, politics, short stories, fun.

via Thing of Things June 6, 2024

Conversations I often have about parenting

Topics that come up a lot The post Conversations I often have about parenting appeared first on Otherwise.

via Otherwise June 4, 2024

Ozy in Asterisk

Somewhat against Emile Torres

via Thing of Things June 3, 2024

Announcement: Ozy Has Written A Novella!

Her Voice is a Backwards Record

via Thing of Things May 31, 2024

Comments on the FTC antitrust investigation of Google

This is a summary of the publicly available documents on the 2011-2012 FTC investigation of Google's allegedly antitcompetive actions in search and ads, followed by a tech-focused analysis of the decision from someone who's worked at the two companies that are discussed in the most detail in the memos (Google and Microsoft), worked in search, and worked closely with ads teams on optimizing ads ranking algorithms. I've seen a number of law-focused and economics-focused analyses, but …

via Posts on May 26, 2024

Bad Therapy Review: Social-Emotional Learning

In praise of indoctrinating children

via Thing of Things May 24, 2024

How bad is alcohol?

Unfortunately we landed on a pretty bad drug as a default. The post How bad is alcohol? appeared first on Otherwise.

via Otherwise May 6, 2024

Moving on from community living

After 7 years at Deep End (and 4 more years in other group houses before that), Janos and I have moved out to live near a school we like and some lovely parks. The life change is bittersweet – we will miss living with our friends, but also look forward to a logistically simpler life […]

via Victoria Krakovna April 17, 2024

Clarendon Postmortem

I posted a postmortem of a community I worked to help build, Clarendon, in Cambridge MA, over at Supernuclear.

via Home March 19, 2024

How web bloat impacts users with slow devices

In 2017, we looked at how web bloat affects users with slow connections. Even in the U.S., many users didn't have broadband speeds, making much of the web difficult to use. It's still the case that many users don't have broadband speeds, both inside and outside of the U.S. and that much of the modern web isn't usable for people with slow internet, but the exponential increase in bandwidth (Nielsen suggests this is 50% per year for high-end connections) has outpaced web bloat for…

via Posts on March 16, 2024

Why We Shouldn't Have Daylight Savings Time

I'm lying in bed, pleasantly sleeping when it's supposed to be 6am. Then my alarm goes off. Later, at school, I am very tired. Why do you think this is? This is all the fault of daylight savings time. Daylight savings time is a thing the government does so that in the summer we have daylight in the evenings but in the winter it's light out when kids are walking to school. They think it probably wouldn't be fun to walk to school in the dark. For the record, I think it would be ve…

via Lily Wise's Blog Posts March 13, 2024

Your wedding doesn’t have to be that great

Your future happiness does not depend on how gorgeous this one day is. The post Your wedding doesn’t have to be that great appeared first on Otherwise.

via Otherwise March 4, 2024

When Nurses Lie to You

When the nurse comes to give you the flu shot, they say it won't hurt at all, right? And you trust them. Then they give you the shot, and it hurts! They lied to you. A lot of nurses lie to children about shots and blood draws. Part of it is they probably don't remember what it's like to be a kid about to get a shot. But also they kind of have to do whatever they can to convince the children to let them give them the shot. When they lie to kids, the next time that happens the kids won'…

via Lily Wise's Blog Posts February 28, 2024

How I build and run behavioral interviews

This is an adaptation of an internal doc I wrote for Wave. I used to think that behavioral interviews were basically useless, because it was too easy for candidates to bullshit them and too hard for me to tell what was a good answer. I’d end up grading every candidate as an “okay, I guess” because I was never sure what bar I should hold them to. I still think most behavioral interviews are like that, but after grinding out way too many of them, I now think it’s possible to escape that trap.

via February 25, 2024

Diseconomies of scale in fraud, spam, support, and moderation

If I ask myself a question like "I'd like to buy an SD card; who do I trust to sell me a real SD card and not some fake, Amazon or my local Best Buy?", of course the answer is that I trust my local Best Buy1 more than Amazon, which is notorious for selling counterfeit SD cards. And if I ask who do I trust more, my local reputable electronics shop (Memory Express, B&H Photo, etc.), I trust my local reputable electronics shop more. Not only are they less likely to sell me a counte…

via Posts on February 18, 2024

Raising children on the eve of AI

How do we prepare them for what we're not prepared for? The post Raising children on the eve of AI appeared first on Otherwise.

via Otherwise February 15, 2024

Why it's impossible to agree on what's allowed

On large platforms, it's impossible to have policies on things like moderation, spam, fraud, and sexual content that people agree on. David Turner made a simple game to illustrate how difficult this is even in a trivial case, No Vehicles in the Park. If you haven't played it yet, I recommend playing it now before continuing to read this document. The idea behind the site is that it's very difficult to get people to agree on what moderation rules should apply to a platform. Even if yo…

via Posts on February 7, 2024

Notes on Cruise's pedestrian accident

This is a set of notes on the Quinn Emanuel report on Cruise's handling of the 2023-10-02 accident where a Cruise autonomous vehicle (AV) hit a pedestrian, stopped, and then started moving again with the pedestrian stuck under the bottom of the AV, dragging the pedestrian 20 feet. After seeing some comments about this report, I read five stories on this report and then skimmed the report and my feeling is that the authors of four of the stories probably didn't read the report, and that …

via Posts on January 29, 2024

Good job opportunities for helping with the most important century

I wrote ~2 years ago that it was hard to find concrete ways to help the most important century go well. That’s changing.

via Cold Takes January 18, 2024

Solve My Mini Puzzle Hunt

I designed a puzzle for family for Christmas! This was designed to be solved in-person, but blog readers can solve it too (mostly – some pieces weren’t particularly web-friendly). I also wrote my notes below about how I designed it and what I learned. But first:

via Home January 7, 2024

2023-24 New Year review

This is an annual post reviewing the last year and setting intentions for next year. I look over different life areas (work, health, parenting, effectiveness, travel, etc) and draw conclusions from my life tracking data. Overall, this year went pretty well (and definitely better than the previous two). Highlights include a second kid, hiking in […]

via Victoria Krakovna January 3, 2024

The sugar budget

A method of deciding how much sugar kids can have The post The sugar budget appeared first on Otherwise.

via Otherwise December 31, 2023

Retrospective on my posts on AI threat models

Last year, a major focus of my research was developing a better understanding of threat models for AI risk. This post is looking back at some posts on threat models I (co)wrote in 2022 (based on my reviews of these posts for the LessWrong 2022 review). I ran a survey on DeepMind alignment team opinions […]

via Victoria Krakovna December 20, 2023

My startup advice

I sat down for a conversation with Alex Long. He took notes and sent them to me, and it seemed worth lightly-editing the notes and posting. I’ve left it quite raw, more like a tweet thread than a proper blog post.

via Home October 23, 2023

A Big Problem With The Going To Bed Book

One day my dad was reading this book called the "Going to Bed Book" to my sister Nora. The book is basically about a bunch of animals who are getting ready for bed on a boat. They go down the stairs, take a bath, hang their towels on the wall, find their pajamas, brush their teeth, go up and exercise, then go down again and fall asleep. But I noticed there was a big problem: my whole life everyone has been telling me "don't exercise before bed". The reason you shouldn't exer…

via Lily Wise's Blog Posts September 18, 2023

When discussing AI risks, talk about capabilities, not intelligence

Public discussions about catastrophic risks from general AI systems are often derailed by using the word “intelligence”. People often have different definitions of intelligence, or associate it with concepts like consciousness that are not relevant to AI risks, or dismiss the risks because intelligence is not well-defined. I would advocate for using the term “capabilities” […]

via Victoria Krakovna August 9, 2023

Self-driving car bets

This month I lost a bunch of bets. Back in early 2016 I bet at even odds that self-driving ride sharing would be available in 10 US cities by July 2023. Then I made similar bets a dozen times because everyone disagreed with me. The first deployment to potentially meet our bar was Phoenix in … More Self-driving car bets

via The sideways view July 29, 2023


I first started playing fiddle when I was five, just around my birthday. I had really wanted a fiddle because I wanted to learn how to play it and my parents got me one for my birthday so I started taking lessons. Though after a couple of lessons I started to find it more and more boring and at the time I wasn't really prepared for my fingers to hurt when I did it, so I didn't really like it that much and also overall I think that probably starting from that age wasn't the best idea. …

via Lily Wise's Blog Posts July 13, 2023

Why altruists can’t have nice things

I posted this on the Effective Altruism forum as part of the EA Strategy Fortnight. I’m cross posting it here.

via Home July 1, 2023

Vegan nutrition notes

I just got comprehensive blood test results and it seems my nutritional numbers are in decent shape (vitamin D, B12, etc) after being vegan for over a year, which is a good sign that I’m probably doing most things okay. Also, I feel good, my weight hasn’t changed, and I can still build muscle (although not quickly; it seems I need to eat more in order to build muscle quickly, and I am not prioritizing that right now).

via Home June 2, 2023

Some mistakes I made as a new manager

the trough of zero dopamine • managing the wrong amount • procrastinating on hard questions • indefinitely deferring maintenance • angsting instead of asking

via April 23, 2023

Fixing a Tire

I noticed that there was a hole in one of the park toys at the park near my house, Lexington Park, specifically. It was one of those toy cars that babies scootch around in, and one of the front wheels was broken. It had a big hole in it, and there was a crack running almost all around it. I decided to go home and get my toolbelt to fix it. I decided that probably tape and cardboard would be the best materials because metal and wood and stuff wouldn't really keep the right shape. First I starte…

via Lily Wise's Blog Posts April 18, 2023

Near-term motivation for AI alignment

AI alignment work is usually considered “longtermist”, which is about preserving humanity’s long-term potential. This was the primary motivation for this work when the alignment field got started around 20 years ago, and general AI seemed far away or impossible to most people in AI. However, given the current rate of progress towards advanced AI […]

via Victoria Krakovna March 9, 2023

What does Bing Chat tell us about AI risk?

Early signs of catastrophic risk? Yes and no.

via Cold Takes February 28, 2023

How major governments can help with the most important century

Governments could be crucial in the long run, but it's probably best to proceed with caution.

via Cold Takes February 24, 2023

What AI companies can do today to help with the most important century

Major AI companies can increase or reduce global catastrophic risks.

via Cold Takes February 20, 2023

Jobs that can help with the most important century

People are far better at their jobs than at anything else. Here are the best ways to help the most important century go well.

via Cold Takes February 10, 2023

Leaving Wave, joining Anthropic

love for Wave • why leave • where to • why there • what’s next

via February 1, 2023

My Rainbow Kit

For Christmas I got a really fun kit about rainbows. It had a rainbow catcher, a really cool necklace, a streamer thingy, and it also had a really really cool pinwheel, and it also had a bracelet and a pinata. Unfortunately the pinata didn't work out that well. I didn't make the bracelet yet. The pinata just didn't fall apart when we hit it. We had to take it apart with our hands to get it open. It even had a really really fun part. Actually, it wasn't really that fun. It did m…

via Anna Wise's Blog Posts January 5, 2023

Why and how to write things on the Internet

because you’ll have more awesome friendships • be consistent • suggested post ideas • setup advice • getting initial readers

via December 29, 2022

Three reasons to cooperate

In this post I’ll discuss three reasons to cooperate in a truly one-shot prisoner’s dilemma: Kindness makes common sense, but correlation and reciprocity are often lumped together under “weird acausal stuff.” I think they are worth distinguishing because they work quite differently. I’ll talk about details of correlation and reciprocity, and then argue that most … More Three reasons to cooperate

via The sideways view December 24, 2022

Staring into the abyss as a core life skill

thinking about scary things • examples from Wave • examples from elsewhere • finding a buddy • getting the timing right • a list of abyss questions

via December 22, 2022

Corncob Dolls

I went to a farm and at the farm I got to see a corncrib and the corn that had fell out of the corncrib that no one wanted I got to use my fingers to take off the corn kernels and once the cobs were empty I put them in a bag and then once I got back to the house I was staying in I ate dinner and I got to work with a few pencils some tape and some paper and some markers and I used some of the markers to make the eyes and mouth but I didn't want to add a nose so what I did was I made little pink s…

via Anna Wise's Blog Posts November 7, 2022

On the Beach

I really like going in the water and this beach is a great place for building sand castles and boogie boarding. I also like trying to float on top of big waves. I'm not very good at it. I only float on the flat waves.

via Anna Wise's Blog Posts July 12, 2022

Decision theory and dynamic inconsistency

Here is my current take on decision theory: When making a decision after observing X, we should condition (or causally intervene) on statements like “My decision algorithm outputs Y after observing X.” Updating seems like a description of something you do when making good decisions in this way, not part of defining what a good … More Decision theory and dynamic inconsistency

via The sideways view July 3, 2022

Buckingham Palace

I love England. Especially because of the big castle called Buckingham Palace. I got to see the outside there, but my mom showed me some pictures of the inside. I love it there. But the outside doesn't look very fancy to me. But I never knew why those people wear big bear skin black poofy hats.

via Anna Wise's Blog Posts April 25, 2022

What is causality to an evidential decision theorist?

(Subsumed by: Timeless Decision Theory, EDT=CDT) People sometimes object to evidential decision theory by saying: “It seems like the distinction between correlation and causation is really important to making good decisions in practice. So how can a theory like EDT, with no role for causality, possibly be right?” Long-time readers probably know my answer, but … More What is causality to an evidential decision theorist?

via The sideways view April 17, 2022

I Love England

There are many big buildings here. A lot of them are skyscrapers. And, there's lots of old buildings here. Like, buildings from long ago. Like, ones that Romans built! One of them is even a castle. It's pretty fun here, and it barely ever snows here. So there's always pretty flowers here. And there's even palm trees.

via Anna Wise's Blog Posts April 17, 2022

EDT with updating double counts

I recently got confused thinking about the following case: Calculator bet: I am offered the opportunity to bet on a mathematical statement X to which I initially assign 50% probability (perhaps X = 139926 is a quadratic residue modulo 314159). I have access to a calculator that is 99% reliable, i.e. it corrupts the answer … More EDT with updating double counts

via The sideways view October 12, 2021

via openring