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wasoxygen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 11, 2022

Turns out it’s pretty simple to diagnose a bad burner on an electric range as a switch problem or a burner problem.

Mine turned out to be a burned-out spot in the heating element.

In our post-apocalyptic world, badly corroded burners harvested from old appliances go for $40, so I plan to try to bridge the gap with a copper ferrule. Melting point is 1984°F, but I haven’t found a good estimate for how hot the resistance wire itself might get. There are stories of unattended aluminum pans (mp 1221°F) melting on a stovetop.

wasoxygen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 11, 2022

Interesting, one eBay listing says the publisher of the Shapiro book was Bantam Books, that venerable house of pulpy paperbacks.

The new edition is printed by Echo Point, an aptly named print-on-demand service for out of print titles.

With shipping, the paperback is 50¢ cheaper than on Amazon, and the up-to-10-day lead time to run off a copy gives me time to make progress in another eBay book.

wasoxygen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 11, 2022

eBay is my best source, but I just pick up disposable paperbacks. Maybe you could use a saved search and get a notification when a listing appears.

Are you assembling a collection of rare running books? There are only two copies of that Shapiro book on eBay and the cheaper one is $83.

wasoxygen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 11, 2022

Are you watching Mike Wardian’s transcon? He had done ten 50-mile days and was halfway across Nevada on Monday.

wasoxygen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Bitcoin Ends

    6. Incentive

    By convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that starts a new coin owned by the creator of the block. This adds an incentive for nodes to support the network, and provides a way to initially distribute coins into circulation, since there is no central authority to issue them. The steady addition of a constant of amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended.

    The incentive can also be funded with transaction fees. If the output value of a transaction is less than its input value, the difference is a transaction fee that is added to the incentive value of the block containing the transaction. Once a predetermined number of coins have entered circulation, the incentive can transition entirely to transaction fees and be completely inflation free.

— Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Fees provided incentive to miners from the start. Bitcoin was not intended to run on good will. If users don’t find using the technology worth the cost, they can switch to alternatives.

    People doing intermittent fasting, as I understand it, are trying not to calorie count. Therefore, comparing its effects to calorie counting really misses the point.

But both groups in this study restricted calories.

    We randomly assigned 139 patients with obesity to time-restricted eating (eating only between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.) with calorie restriction or daily calorie restriction alone.

So I wouldn’t conclude that intermittent fasting works as well as calorie restriction, just that it doesn’t improve calorie restriction.

I agree that a better study would measure intermittent fasting versus no rules at all.

In an update Caplan shared correspondence from Applied Divinity Studies suggesting that the main value of including quantitative evidence is not that the reader will be persuaded after reviewing the numbers.

One benefit to number-crunching is that the researcher may change their understanding after carefully combing through the evidence. ADS looked into San Francisco shoplifting and found that the data do not support popular perceptions of a crime surge.

The other benefit to including spreadsheets is that it promotes a kind of reputational social trust. Most of the audience, including experts, won't carefully review numerical evidence that took months to compile. But there is a reputational reward available to anyone who can discredit a public figure by finding embarrassing errors in their work. Even an amateur with no field expertise can point out falsified figures and arithmetic anomalies.

Hence Alexey Guzey launched his science career by debunking Why We Sleep.

And Dan Ariely took a reputational hit when one of his studies on honesty was found to contain fraudulent data.

It's easy to make vague explanations and predictions that can't be checked with facts. Including quantitative evidence suggests confidence by increasing the attack surface provided to adversaries.

Caplan's blog is named "Bet On It" because of his conviction that "bets are one of the best ways to (a) turn vague verbiage into precise statements, and (b) discover the extent of genuine disagreement about such precise statements."

In this case, one forecast will be right and one will be wrong, depending on whether the final value is above or below 402. Some unanticipated factor could influence the result, or a known factor could have unexpected effects.

There is always uncertainty in predictions; if everything were known in advance there would be no value in making forecasts.

The 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, a "multi-agency effort, representing the first update since 2017, offers projections out to the year 2150".

Figure 2.2 provides "observation-based extrapolations using tide-gauge data and five Scenarios, in meters".

The sea level values are relative to a baseline of zero meters in the year 2000.

The vital signs sea level chart cited for this wager depicts a rise between 1993 and 2000 ranging from a minimum of 19.8 mm (July 2000) to a maximum of 29.4 mm (October 2000).

For mk's prediction to come true, a minimum additional 372.6 mm of rise must occur between 2000 and January 2040 (29.4 mm 1993-2000 + 372.6 mm 2000-2040).

Table 2.1 shows predicted median values for 2040 ranging from 250 mm (Low scenario) to 350 mm (High scenario). The "likely range" of the High scenario is 180 mm to 390 mm.

wasoxygen  ·  90 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 2, 2022

We had to detour to Ajijic when our accommodations in Guadalajara didn't work out the day we arrived. It seemed like an ex-pat retirement community. Quiet and friendly with nice views from the hills. It got so dark at night I thought maybe I saw Andromeda.

Any chance of a #tripreport?

wasoxygen  ·  92 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Subaru Brat

    Sadly, the industry has yet to come up with a handy name for these utility vehicles of questionable utility. Simple portmanteaus yield unpalatable combinations like Trar and Cruck. A spork-like solution does not appear in the offing.


wasoxygen  ·  102 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 2, 2022

In CDMX check out the cafe/bookstore Cafebrería El Péndulo, the location in the fancy Polanco neighborhood is amazing.

I am not big on shows but the Ballet Folklórico de México was great, and a good reason to see inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Picking up tickets in advance from TicketMaster was an adventure, it’s probably easier today.

Teotihuacán is a long drive north to climb the pyramids, something it might not be possible to do in the future. It is impressive to go 50 km from the city center without leaving the urban environment. Be sure to take the toll road to save time. We were told Uber would only take us one way so we arranged a driver with the hotel.

Restaurants are great, but it’s a huge city with many nice districts scattered around, so get a ride to the destination and then explore on foot. The Frida Khalo museum was interesting but crowded.

wasoxygen  ·  102 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 2, 2022

An unplanned detour to Ahijic was one of the best parts of Guadalajara.

Guadalajara is pretty great too.

¡Buen viaje!

wasoxygen  ·  104 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Like a Lemon to a Lime, a Lime to a Lemon

    also worth reading


wasoxygen  ·  108 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 469th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

“Cissy Strut” heard in “Another Round.”

wasoxygen  ·  136 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: HAPPY NEW YEAR HUBSKI!!!

2/22/22 is a … Tuesday.

wasoxygen  ·  179 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Chemistry: What if we just give everything away?

    And you're blatantly avoiding my followup.

Sorry, I'm slow.

    This deal a blow to my strong thesis, but doesn't work for less restrictive qualifier. You can still benefit some, but you're silently equating those two positions as bad.

Okay, we agree that taking your words literally, that "everyone can benefit" is an exaggeration. Only some people can benefit. I have gone to some length to acknowledge the dye giveaway program provides benefit. I support the program! It doesn't have to solve every problem to be good.

    the material cost is negligible, and this becomes more true as you scale up production, but it's the know-how distribution that is the bottleneck

I remembered the article addressing the difference between costs to develop and costs to manufacture: "During my time in industry, I also learned that dyes are expensive to develop but often cheap to produce – leading to strikingly large profit margins, partly to recoup the research costs."

Rereading the article, it's clear that the free dyes are the ones that have already completed the costly R&D process: "Because we had optimized the methods to synthetize the dyes, the price per aliquot was now down to mere pennies."

So my concern that demand for free dye will be a financial burden on Janelia was misplaced. The material cost is negligible, but there are other costs:

• If Janelia had sold or licensed the dyes which are now offered for free, that represents lost revenue.

• There is an opportunity cost in running the giveaway program rather than doing other work. The author has a good attitude and doesn't complain: "We fielded more and more emails; Jon resynthesized material, prepared the aliquots, and I spent Sunday nights divvying them into little protective bags. In hindsight, we probably spent too long doing it this way, but I enjoyed directly interacting with all the scientists who put our tools to use."

So I repeat my assessment that it is wonderful that these guys are making the world a better place by providing these dyes at no cost to researchers who might not have the budget to pay market rates.

    The goal of reaching every potential customer is so important...


I was talking about firms operating under the profit motive. They do not make their services an "open secret," rather they publicize their offer as broadly as possible. If the researcher does not know the product is available, it cannot do them any good. So there's a natural incentive with the profit motive to make people aware of how the product can help them ... and this incentive is so strong the rest of us are annoyed by irrelevant ads.


I didn't understand your response about "pre-emptive waste" in fusion research, which is completely different from the goal of distributing existing fluorescent dyes. We don't know if fusion will work out with any amount of research. If it never works out, we might conclude in hindsight that research was a waste of effort, but in advance we don't know so it might be worth taking a chance. If it does work out, the benefits could be so great that almost any amount of spending on research will be worthwhile. I don't see how this informs a discussion of alternate ways to distribute existing dyes.

    Also, you're treating research institutions like a business whereas it's not their role.

When Janelia is inventing new dyes and other things, I see them as a research institution. When they are deliberating between Plan A "wait for companies to license our molecules ... earn a few royalties" and Plan B "give everything away" it's not really research, it's closer to the business activity of sending out a product in return for compensation, either financial or good will. And at risk of being too repetitive, I'll say I am delighted that they are going for karma rather than license fees, even if it doesn't scale like a business, and even if there are dye-selling firms negatively affected by having to compete with $0 prices.

    His entire reasoning follows from the prefect knowledge of the system, rules, and its actors.

You sound like the economist who said

"I fear that our theoretical habits of approaching the problem with the assumption of more or less perfect knowledge on the part of almost everyone has made us somewhat blind..."

Actually that's Hayek in this very paper. His big idea is that experts cannot have perfect knowledge of the system, hence a planned economy will always be less efficient than one in which individuals are free to transact using their individual, dispersed knowledge of their situation and preferences.

    Pretty par for the course in economics

I often see this objection that economists, with their mathematical models, treat people as perfectly rational actors always pursuing their self-interest like robots. But economists themselves seem quite sensitive to this difficulty of modeling behavior.

Here's David Friedman in Hidden Order

    Economics is based on the assumptions that people have reasonably simple objectives and choose the correct means to achieve them. Both assumptions are false—but useful.

    Suppose someone is rational only half the time. Since there is generally one right way of doing things and many wrong ways, the rational behavior can be predicted but the irrational cannot. If we assume he is rational, we predict his behavior correctly about half the time—far from perfect, but a lot better than nothing.... One reason to assume rationality is that it predicts behavior better than any alternative assumption. Another is that, when predicting a market or a mob, what matters is not the behavior of a single individual but the summed behavior of many. If irrational behavior is random, its effects may average out.

wasoxygen  ·  179 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Chemistry: What if we just give everything away?

    the core of the issue is that sharing resources isn't a purely material concern

I am a bit confused by this. "Sharing" can mean multiple people using the same resource, so I think "distributing" might be a better term. There is a lot of fluorescent dye at the Janelia Research Campus, because they make the stuff. There are laboratories scattered around the world that can use dye to perform research. Moving dye from Janelia to the laboratories is useful because it enables the research to continue. I compare two methods of distribution: selling dye and giving it away.

    If you want to look at that lab like it's a business that needs to grow, it's missing the point of what labs and researchers do.

Labs and researchers are the consumers. Dye distribution is not their concern, they are focused on doing science, not business.

Janelia is not doing scientific research when they set up an e-commerce website for dyes and set all the prices to zero plus shipping. The dyes already exist and are available for sale elsewhere; this program is a kind of economic or social experiment to see what happens "if we just give everything away." They don't "need to grow" but if they don't grow one consequence is that the reach of the program will be limited. That's fine with me; the goal can be to "provide dye to some laboratories with limited budgets that can't afford expensive dyes" rather than "satisfy the entire world's demand for dye" or "maximize the quantity of dye shipped."

wasoxygen  ·  179 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Chemistry: What if we just give everything away?

"that route" being the one where we characterize each others arguments, rather than engaging with them.

I characterized your comment as being of that sort that expresses indignation at an argument but fails to say why it is wrong. "Dude, seriously?" is a good opening statement, but not an argument.

You characterize my arguments as all boiling down to "make profit = good." Since my thesis is that the profit motive provides better outcomes than alternatives, I am pleased to see you note that my arguments support my thesis. I am interested in learning why you do not find them persuasive.