Other Useful Sites LWers Read

by atucker1 min read11th Jul 201132 comments


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There seems to be a lot of knowledge that LessWrongers have which is fairly awesome, but not particularly well-covered on Less Wrong.

What other sites do people recommend?

I originally came to LW through HN, and Paul Graham was somewhat influential on my early high school thoughts.

I also fairly regularly read

I've poked through these a bit on recommendation from other people, and they seem ridiculously useful.

There are a few blogs in the LW cluster, but I'm sure others read more of them than me.

If you want to be super nice, could you link to some of your favorite posts/articles?


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Modeled Behavior can be quite insightful, though they post a lot of current analysis. For example his thoughts on obesity are quite clear thinking (example, posts).


I just watched the video that this person posted under the 'Top Upgrades' page. Some of the stuff that he mentions I've seen before -- seeing multiple sources mention it and say that it works increases my p-estimate that it would work for me. Some other stuff I've never heard about and is setting off my woo-alarms, such as when he's talking about DNA and quotes Deepak Chopra. I would really appreciate it if someone who was more familiar with life-hacking stuff in general would take a look at the video and help me sort out what kinds of things are likely to be helpful and which (if any) are places where the presenter caught a virulent meme.

I used freelancer.com to get some linguistic data collection done at work. With the recession in the US at the moment, the market rate for someone with a BA to do tempwork from home seems to be about $5usd per hour. Tasks can be for as little as $30, and you can expect to be able to talk to the person and instruct them one-on-one. The rate for developing country labour is $2/h or less, but these have a high management cost as it's more difficult to find reliable people.

That looks really interesting, thanks. I'd love to hear more about your experience with this kind of service. Are there non-obvious pitfalls? Was the work quality good?

The only real mistake I made was trying to over-invest in planning for it. I dithered around trying to make a perfect screencast video showing how to use our web-based data entry tool, etc, write perfect decision notes, etc. This was all a waste of time. It would've been better to just jump in sooner.

You'll meet a lot of people who can't do what you want, and as soon as you post a project you'll get a lot of bid-spam. One trick I had was to make the instructions on how to bid slightly non-trivial. We had 2,000 documents to get done, and didn't want to give it all to one person. So I instructed bidders to bid for a number of documents and a price per document. This meant that if someone posted "I will do it for $100", their bid was meaningless, and they could be excluded from consideration.

Very useful, thanks. :)

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is like a more vulgar and direct version of XKCD. I've found both of them informative on moral and philosophical problems.

  • Nick Bostrom's parliamentary model of ethical decision making: article
  • Gamification of human incentive structures: article
  • Creating duplicates of a person: article
  • Evil vs. Good: article
  • Causality: article
  • Shutting up and doing the impossible: (or not)

I looked though a couple of entries on #1 and it didn't look very promising, can you clarify what you found valuable about it?

Yeah, Last Psychiatrist is a bit of a hit and a miss. Especially when he writes about psychiatry, it's not very interesting (for me). The articles that he writes well deal with public's perception of various political issues and issues in popular media (example). And he often writes about narcissism (example), which I think he does well. I like his perspective because his view is "from the ground", so to speak. He actually consumes and processes all the media that most people do. It's just he is taking it with a huge grain of salt.

Megan McArdle is often interesting on current economics http://www.theatlantic.com/megan-mcardle

  • Instructables -- I've found a few projects to be of use.
  • Although it's a pay site, Safari Books is extremely useful to anyone interested in that sort of thing. Very roughly: Netflix for tech-related ebooks.

http://blog.lifehacker.com/ Somewhat variable, but at its best is a good source for instrumental rationality. It contains a mix of computing, household and psychological advice, generally in a succint and easily absorbed format.

Ben Hyde posts seldom but has an impressive insight-per-post ratio.

I'm quite fond of this for quick statistics for my Economics course; http://www.tradingeconomics.com/ Although the CIA World Factbook; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ is my favourite if I have to supply a reference without checking back to government or private statistic sources.

What about interesting RSS feeds? Anyone that uses Google Reader for RSS will have a 'shared items' feed that other people can subscribe to. I'm guessing that LW readers would tend to have an interesting 'shared items' feed if they use that feature?

For example, mine is http://www.google.com/reader/shared/wilka.hudson - although most of the stuff I share that would interesting to LW readers actually comes from LW, so maybe it's not such a good idea after all.

TVTropes is awesomely fun to read, but definitely deserves a time-sink warning.

I strongly agree about David Brin's blog, but the other site is horrible idea. The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology also carries Brin's work and is usually pretty good.