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Jeff Kaufman
Works at Google
Attended Swarthmore College
Lives in Cambridge MA
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Jeff Kaufman

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With a bunch of travel this weekend I transcribed +Robert Wiblin's talk from this summer's EA Global conference on "long-term indirect effects" (previously known as flow-through effects).
The following is a transcript of Rob Wiblin's August 2016 EA Global talk, "Making sense of long-term indirect effects". The video is here and audio is here. This transcription is just from the audio. This is a better turnout than I was expecting. There's no way I'd be up at this morning at 9am to go to a talk after giving a party last night, unless I was the one giving the talk. So if you're just...
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Jeff Kaufman

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I've recently gotten pretty excited about chickpea puree. It's pretty great:

* Minimal flavor, so you can use quite a lot without having a large effect on the overall dish flavor

* Good source of protein, especially lysine

* Good thickener, nice texture when blended

* Very cheap, especially when compared to other things I might use instead (soy milk, ground cashews, tofu)
Living with several vegans I've been trying to figure out more vegan recipies I'm happy with. One thing I've recently gotten pretty excited about as an ingredient in sauces is chickpea puree. It's pretty great: Minimal flavor, so you can use quite a lot without having a large effect on the overall dish flavor. Good source of protein, especially lysine. Good thickener, nice texture when blended. ...
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+Jeff Kaufman
Sorry, this was whole, which is why I wasn't entirely sure if it would apply to hummus.
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Jeff Kaufman

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Blokus is typically a turn-based game, but it also makes a fun real-time game:
* Everyone plays at once, no turns
* Only use one hand
* Be very careful not to disturb pieces that are already placed
* It's a silly game, don't take it too seriously
It plays in about a minute.
Blokus is typically a turn-based game, but it also makes a fun real-time game: Everyone plays at once, no turns Only use one hand Be very careful not to disturb pieces that are already placed It's a silly game, don't take it too seriously It plays in about a minute....
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Jeff Kaufman

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Selecting regions for Power Grid (Italy) the wrong way can get you Brown-Purple-Red 1.5x more often than selecting uniformly over regions does.

On the France/Italy Power Grid expansion there are the usual six regions, but because of the way Italy is a peninsula there are fewer combinations than usual: The board has six regions, Brown, Purple, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green, and in an N player game you randomly choose N connected regions to play with. In a three player game, for example, the options are: Brown, Purple, Red Purple, Red, ...
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[But really, we've always found hewing to the exact rules for region selection leads to grumbling, and generally try to come to a vague consensus on what kind of game we want to play. This works for most of the boards. Ever tried Australia?]
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Jeff Kaufman

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Tallying up how much dance weekends tend to pay, or at least how much they have been paying me.
Prompted by a Sarah's comment on yesterday's post I was interested: how much do dance weekends usually pay? I don't have great data here, just my experience, but here's the range of what I've gotten with the Free Raisins. All of these included food and housing during the weekend, but only some included travel. Within each year weekends are sorted by payment to avoid making public what specific wee...
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Will Catapult help you get booked for dance weekends? Watch me mess around with data and fail to answer the question!
Catapult is a contra dance weekend with the goal of making it easier for bands to start getting booked for dance weekends, festivals, etc. They get something like six bands and six callers together in Atlanta over memorial day weekend, and they encourage people who are involved in booking bands and callers elsewhere to come dance. This makes some sense: dance weekends are generally once a year, so...
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"Some kinds of writing are formal and strongly considered, the product of a careful revising and editing process. Other kinds are casual and off-the-cuff. In response to recent controversial articles I've seen people suggesting that we treat all writing as being formal, and that people should restrict informal communication to speech. I think this would be harmful, and both kinds of writing serve important roles.

One thing I really like about the EA community is that we can build ideas collaboratively over large distances, where many of us have never met in person. This works in part because we have public venues where people can write the way they would speak at a meetup. You try to make yourself understood to the people you're talking to, mostly talking in the moment as opposed to taking time out to research and reflect.

As ideas become more developed it's also good to have formal venues, like papers, blog posts, and conference talks, where people can carefully put together the strongest version of their thoughts for wide distribution and careful consideration by others.

This is another aspect of being responsible about transparency. If writing in casual public discussion gets you jumped on, then that kind of discussion goes private. Overall, the benefits a community where people everywhere can freely participate are much larger than those of making sure bad statements receive sufficient censure."
Some kinds of writing are formal and strongly considered, the product of a careful revising and editing process. Other kinds are casual and off-the-cuff. In response to recent controversial articles I've seen people suggesting that we treat all writing as being formal, and that people should restrict informal communication to speech. [1] I think this would be harmful, and both kinds of writing ser...
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Jeff Kaufman

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"Later this month I'll be leaving Google, after four—nearly five—good years. I'm finding myself quite wistful: it's the best place I've worked, with a great culture and so many wonderful people. Google's reputation as an excellent place to work is well-deserved, and the Cambridge office is awesome. So why am I leaving?

I joined Google so I could earn money to donate, and over my time here I've been able to donate over half a million dollars. Now I have the opportunity to do something even more valuable: building a mobile money system in a low-income country. I estimated in an earlier post that expanding mobile money would be extremely beneficial, and I think Wave can make it happen."
Later this month I'll be leaving Google, after four—nearly five—good years. I'm finding myself quite wistful: it's the best place I've worked, with a great culture and so many wonderful people. Google's reputation as an excellent place to work is well-deserved, and the Cambridge office is awesome. So why am I leaving? I joined Google so I could earn money to donate, and over my time h...
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+Jan-Willem Maessen I'll miss working with you as well!
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After spending a little time teaching relatives how my mandolin style works, I thought it might be helpful to repeat the same things into a camera in case other people would find it useful.
I just published a set of videos on how to play chords for mandolin. Specifically, videos detailing how I play chords. Some of this I also have in text form in this post but this is often something that's easier to communicate with video. I've put these on a new youtube channel, and as I make more I'll upload them there. Anything you'd like to see explained?...
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"How much prep did you do for these?"

No prep, actually! I just sat down and talked about how I play.
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"I think they key thing made these cases of volunteering work was seeing something that needed doing and doing it, without needing to coordinate with organizations about what needed doing. If I had started one of these projects and then lost interest, I wouldn't have been wasting anyone's time."
Many EA organizations don't take volunteers. GiveWell used to but stopped, 80,000 Hours doesn't take volunteers, and CEA generally doesn't either. At first this seems weird: these organizations all have a huge amount of work, volunteers are offering to do some of this work. Why wouldn't organizations want to take advantage of this free labor? It turns out that having volunteers is a bunch of work...
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Getting mobile money deployed one year earlier in a low-income country the size of Ethiopia looks to be about as valuable as donating $500M to GiveDirectly (or $100M to AMF).
In the US we have many options for sending money around: there's the traditional cash, check, credit card, bank transfer, etc., and then there's the electronic PayPal, Venmo, Square, Wallet, etc. In poorer countries, however, if you want to send money to someone in another city your best option is often to send cash on a bus. In 2007 Safaricom introduced M-Pesa in Kenya, where it has been very suc...
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"Everyone wants bands and callers to be paid well, and everyone wants dances to be cheap enough that they're accessible to all. These are kind of in tension: to pay people well you need more money. There are two ways out: get more people to come dancing, and people who can afford to contributing a little more. Let's see what this looks like for a typical dance. ... "
Everyone wants bands and callers to be paid well, and everyone wants dances to be cheap enough that they're accessible to all. These are kind of in tension: to pay people well you need more money. Here are the expenses for a representative dance with normal expenses, one caller, and three musicians: Hall$450 Performers$400 Sound$75 Insurance$30 Other$20 Total$975 So $975 is the break-even poi...
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Story
Introduction
I work at Google on mod_pagespeed (an open-source Apache module that helps make the web faster), play for dances with the Free Raisins, help organize the BIDA contra dance, and blog about all sorts of things.
Education
  • Swarthmore College
    Computer Science, Linguistics, 2004 - 2008
  • Commonwealth High School
    2000 - 2004
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
January 29
Relationship
Married
Links
Other profiles
Work
Occupation
Programmer
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2012 - present
  • Adverplex
    Software Developer, 2010 - 2012
  • BBN Technologies
    Associate Scientist, 2008 - 2010
  • Pinewoods Camp
    Dishwasher/Dining Hall Manager, 2008 - 2008
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Cambridge MA
Previously
Medford MA - Swarthmore PA - Somerville MA
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617-871-0237
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West Medford MA 02155
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Jeff Kaufman's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Free Raisins
market.android.com

An energetic dance band from Boston, the Free Raisins fuse New England roots with a modern groove. Provided by artist representative

Chrome
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Search and browse fast with Chrome on your Android phone and tablet. Sign in to sync your personalized Chrome experience from your computer

South Carolina & Gingrich, Egypt & the Muslim Brotherhood
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Juan | Democracy, Egypt, Elections, Uncategorized, US Politics

absonant: little moment of compulsion #1*
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N and I buy plain white printer paper by the box. We use it for everything from grocery lists to problem sets; I'll spare you the enumer

absonant: Faith and Apologetics
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The Story of Vedanta, courtesy of Wikipedia: Once in a tree there were two birds, one at the upper branch, serene, majestic and divine, and

GiveWell — Marginal Revolution
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GiveWell, by far the best charity evaluator working today, has a new top ranked charity, the Against Malaria Foundation. Why is VillageReach

Things to Percolate Next to Your Beverage of Choice
www.contrasyncretist.com

_ Pause For many people, 'tis the season for parties and celebrating. Frequently, it is also a time of year where you're hurry-up-and-waitin

Free Raisins
plus.google.com

Boston area contra dance band playing energetic New England dance music

Rooting For Your Home Team | Giving What We Can
www.givingwhatwecan.org

There's a gap between charity evaluators and charity workers* Look at any article on effective charity, and you're likely to see responses f

GiveWell — Marginal Revolution
marginalrevolution.com

GiveWell, by far the best charity evaluator working today, has a new top ranked charity, the Against Malaria Foundation. Why is VillageReach

Radiant Things: Crazies
jdwise.blogspot.com

Crazies. Last week, my dad and I were talking about the uproar about someone letting her nine-year-old son ride the New York subway alone. “

Very good work. Repointed our whole foundation and fixed an area where it was starting to fall apart. No problems in the six months since: very happy!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
2 reviews
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