andrew_richardson

146Joined Feb 2021

Comments
17

Yeah I personally find it very hard to do ML interviews for that reason. So far I'm doing a mix of theory/conceptual questions and practical ML coding questions. It helps if the conceptual questions include some unusual setups, or ask about unusal tweaks. 

  1. It depends a lot on what I'm hiring for and what the candidate's background is. If it's an ML job, I ask ML programming and design questions, but if I'm hiring someone to do networking, I'll ask a question about distributed algorithms or something. This is in contrast to how Google hires, because they're hiring generic SWEs so they don't care a lot about the particulars. 
  2. If I had to hire someone more senior, I would reach out to other more senior people who I trust to ask them for help.
  3. For a small team, generalism can be more important than it seems.

If there's too much demand for this, I'd also be willing to do these. 

When I was interviewing at big tech companies, it helped that I had 3 roommates who worked for Google. In general it seems like EAs who want to work for big tech but don't have existing connections to it are disadvantaged. That seems suboptimal. I'm glad you made this post. 

What are some effective charities that are working to address the situation? 

The GiveDirectly campaign in Yemen seems similar, across the Gulf of Aden. They budget $192/person/4 months for basic needs. 

Most vegetarians and vegans aren't taking the vitamins that would be good for them, and that can be a health problem. What about subsidizing vitamins somehow? Maybe we could get vegetarian meal kits to include vitamins. 

"Veg*n" encompasses both vegetarians and vegans.

I don't think the math checks out here. I do a quick cost benefit analysis here, and meat vs. climate interventions don't seem like comparable orders of magnitude to me. Not eating meat appears to be a much more cost effective sacrifice. 

(Math: Responding to Robi's comparison between not eating 1kg chicken (meat for 3 days) vs not using AC for 3 days. I'm not sure where the 10^(-14) °C number came from, but let's assume it draws ~1,000 watts, or about ~100,000 watt-hours/3days. US power generation apparently produces about 0.85 pounds of CO2 emissions per kWh, so that's 85 pounds of carbon. At about 2 trillion tons of carbon per degree Celcius, that is indeed about 10^(-14) °C of warming.)

Given a value of 10^8 deaths per degree of warming (notes), this comparison implicitly values human to chicken lives at about 1,000,000 : 1. (10^-6 = 10^8 * 10^-14) (1 chicken produces ~1kg meat)

Reasonable EAs disagree, but I guess I value chickens at more like a 10,000:1 ratio to humans, especially given how much suffering factory farming entails. Given that not eating meat for 3 days and not having AC for 3 days feel like comparably small hardships, the impact of not eating meat seems to be about 100 times higher for the same cost. 

This sort of cost-benefit analysis makes me feel like personal sacrifices for the climate are not very high value compared to veganism. 

Are there personal climate sacrifices that are more worthwhile than this, or is this line of reasoning incorrect somehow? 

Could you describe a little bit more about the fight against malnutrition? Do you buy food for people, and if so what kind? What other sorts of program do you run? What is your budget like? 

Pay for all the productivity apps that you're thinking of using. Task managers like Amazing Marvin or note taking apps like Evernote are all slightly better in the paid version, and at least for me it's always been worth it. 

Around the house, spend money on shelving. Having plenty of storage space makes it easier to stay organized. 

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