Jeff Kaufman

Software Engineer @ Nucleic Acid Observatory
Working (6-15 years of experience)


Software engineer in Boston, parent, musician. Recently switched from earning to give to direct work in pandemic mitigation. Married to Julia Wise. Speaking for myself unless I say otherwise.

Full list of EA posts:


I didn't vote either way on your comment, but I take the disagreement to be people thinking (a) Will's community building work was the right choice given what he and others knew then and/or (b) finding people "who are good at running organisations and willing to the do the community-leadership/public facing stuff" is really hard.

I like the idea of thinking of this as a spectrum! When I've done tabling, however, (only a little, when I was at Google) I still found loaning worthwhile: since we're all regularly coming to the same campus returning things wasn't that hard. And if someone had acted like they didn't think they'd be able to return it I'd have told them not to stress about it and to pass it on to someone else when they were done.

(Not trying to pick on you or your group! And you're better placed to figure out what's working for you.)

A comment here is not a good place for this: it's barely related to the content of the post. A new top level post, your shortform, or a comment on relevant post would be a much better fit.

(It's also very similar to a comment you wrote a week ago in another unrelated thread.)

How so? Aren't these both cases where Habryka has similar amounts of professional knowledge? If not, which case do you think he knew more about?

Google Fonts who get fined from time to time for not being GDPR-compliant

I don't believe Google Fonts has been fined for GDPR violations? Are you think thinking about European publishers being fined for using Google Fonts, because this meant sending user IP addresses to an American company?

A/B testing in general is great. For UI-related changes you generally want to run the experiment sticky per user, to reduce confusion and allow the time for users to adapt to changes. This does add statistical complexity, though, because one heavy user in an experimental treatment can have a large impact on aggregate statistics like "total number of comments per category".

Happy to talk more about this if you'd find it helpful; this is an area I used to work in.

There are auditors that business-people know to trust less? Then why do they exist? I guess because most consumers don't know enough to downgrade trust?

Maybe the big 4 are enough more expensive that it's common for people to go with other firms for reasons other than "we're doing fraudulent stuff and hope to sneak it past auditors"? And so even if you would be able to afford one of the big 4 it doesn't send a strong signal by going with someone else?

There are a lot of degrees of freedom in "worst". I'm not that familiar with Enron's accounting, but my impression is their finances were careful and relatively normal looking, just intentionally over-complex and with 'aggressive' choices that made things look much better than they actually were? So if you think sloppiness is a very serious issue in this business (a sensible position to hold!) then you might not need very much before the state of documentation can be 'worse' than Enron?

Thanks for sharing your first-hand experience!

FTX’s new CEO has slammed their accounting practices, and I don’t understand why he would be incentivized to lie here

This is minor, but the more he paints a picture of FTX as a mess the harder a job it looks like he's taken on, the more slack people give him, and the better his efforts are likely to be judged in hindsight. I doubt he would lie as in "say things he knows are untrue" but it's very common for people to end up with somewhat self-serving beliefs.

EDIT: not saying their accounting practices were good! Just that I expect them to be less bad than if I took the CEO's statements literally.

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