The Industrial Revolution is over; the machines won

Here’s an argument I hear a lot around Silicon Valley: “Used to be ‘technology’ was televisions and cars and moon rockets and the factories that produced them, but now ‘technology’ means just software. We seem to have given up on innovation outside of software. Have we exhausted all the easy innovations, the ‘low-hanging fruit’? Or [Read More...]

Best guide to supplement manufacturers? (especially for vegans)

I was vegetarian from approximately my junior year of college (specifically late 2007, I think) to summer 2011. I quit when I realized eating eggs isn’t really all that good for animal welfare. I recently switched back to vegetarianism, with the addition of trying to be mostly vegan. Why only mostly vegan? A big reason [Read More...]

Philosophical incompetence as an existential risk

Note: the following is a revised version of a 15-minute lightning talk I wrote for the 2014 Effective Altruism Summit in Berkeley, California. Hi. My name is Chris Hallquist. Once upon a time, I was a PhD student at the university of Notre Dame. Then I dropped out, wandered the earth for three years, and [Read More...]

The geography of the Bay Area tech job market


(Note: probably irrelevant to most readers of this blog, but once I found myself trying to explain this stuff to multiple people in a short span of time, I figured I should write it up as a blog post.) When I first started looking for a job in the Bay Area in January of this [Read More...]

Peter Thiel on conventions, secrets, and mysteries

I spent last weekend at the Effective Altruism Summit. I have a bunch of blog posts I want to write about it, but first here’s a very quick reaction to Peter Thiel’s keynote address. Peter Thiel has this idea of conventions, secrets, and mysteries. These class notes from a class Thiel taught at Stanford explain [Read More...]

No really, what’s the expected value of a startup?

In the effective altruism community, there’s a lot of interest in tech startups, because they look like an especially promising avenue for people who are earning to give. This is because if your reason for wanting money is to donate it to charity, the marginal value of your money declines slower, so it makes sense [Read More...]

Thoughts on CFAR

In spite of my criticisms of the LessWrong subculture, I’ve been contemplating going to a CFAR workshop for awhile now. I thought I’d type up my reasons for doing this. First, for people who don’t know what CFAR does, this is from the CFAR website: The Center for Applied Rationality is a nonprofit founded to [Read More...]

“Negatives” aren’t special

The oft-repeated claim that you can’t prove a negative is, frankly, dumb. Really, really dumb. It implies that you can’t prove Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, but you can prove he stayed dead. I’m not just being flippant. Negative statements always imply positive statements and vice-versa. If p is true, not-p must be false. [Read More...]

Bankroll management for entrepreneurs

Edit: After writing this post, I thought more about the topic and realized the entrepreneurial equivalent of good bankroll management is obviously “minimizing your burn rate.” So I’m kind of re-inventing the wheel here, but I think there are benefits to thinking about burn rate from a gambling perspective. Among professional gamblers, there’s a concept [Read More...]