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Does anyone know of any posts or resources that are targeted at rationalists that help with extracting yourself and recovering from an abusive relationship?
I've been a longtime student of LessWrong and related communities, studied physics at a top school, great at programming, very introspective etc. etc. All the regular boxes checked. Just a week ago I left a relationship that I realized has become extremely abusive (both emotionally and physically) and I'm having a lot of trouble understanding how I ever got in that situation. Having intensely strong signals from my rational side (RUN RUN) and even stronger signals from my emotional side (GO BACK, YOU HAVE TO HELP HER) is a very uncomfortable position for me to be in and something I've never experienced before.
I had a moment of clarity a week ago after my significant other threatened in a calm, honest tone to give me sleeping pills, cut off certain of my body parts, and then make me watch her put them down the garbage disposal. I opened up to my entire family about everything going on over a frantically intense few hours because I realized soon I would go back to hiding what was going on so that everyone would continue to love h... (read more)
I hope you don't wait with getting help until you find something targeted specifically for rationalists. Get all the help you can right now. A little bullshit here and there may annoy you, but non-rationalists can also have a lot of domain-specific knowledge.
If there are any methods -- rational or not -- to erase this feeling from your mind, do it a.s.a.p. That is priority #1. Stop your brain from ruining your life.
Congratulations on telling your family. Actually, telling anyone. Saying certain things aloud allows one to think about them more clearly.
Finally an opportunity to use my Dark Arts for the benefit of humanity. Here it goes:
You see the abusive mentality of your girlfriend as an illness, and your support as a cure. Your urge to stay is rationalized as a hypothesis that being there, exposing yourself to the abuse, somehow cures the illness. Now let's ignore the fact that it is you and your girlfriend for a moment, and ask a general question: Do you really believe, as a general rule, that the best way to cure abusive people is to give them a supply of victims? Is there any psychological pubblication suggesting that this could be true? If you were a psychologist, would you recommend this as a therapy? Because as far as I know, it is exactly the opposite: enabling harmful behavior, protecting people from natural consequences of their actions, makes it more difficult to heal. That means, your staying in the relationship actually makes your girlfriend's illness worse.
Returning to your specific case, is it your personal experience that the longer you are with your girlfriend, the less abusive she gets? (Something like: at the be
I'm still stuck in the Dark Arts mode and I'm aware of it, but I will ask you anyway:
Would you also give the same relationship advice to a battered woman?
Speaking as somebody who could easily be on the other side of that equation, except for a very rigorous moral system, including a rule to stay the hell away from people who scream "Victim!" into my brain, I can tell you exactly how you got into that situation.
She became whatever you needed her to be, in order for you to be the target she wanted you to be. (I can manipulate anybody into doing anything. I just have to become the person they would do that thing for - and my self is flexible in ways most people couldn't imagine.)
In particular, she became somebody who needed help, because you would try to help her.
It's important to realize - she doesn't need help. She never needed help. The person you want to help doesn't exist, and never did. That person was a mask that the person who threatened you wore to make you vulnerable.
Allow yourself to mourn the person you thought she was. But do not imagine that that person was ever her.
Do any digital nomads read LessWrong? What region are you in? How did you setup your remote work? What is the best/worst feature of the lifestyle? What was the biggest surprise? Is anyone else thinking about trying out the lifestyle?
Argues for mixing up what you're learning (at least within a subject) rather than trying to just focus on one thing at a time.
The value of interleaving is evidence that a lot of conventional education is about teaching people to endure boredom, and this is a very bad mistake.
Recent discussion topics on Omnilibrium:
Why is there a need for a head of state?
Should atheists support teaching both evolution and creationism in schools?
How far should the West go to prevent Iran from getting the nuclear weapons?
Is Donald Trump less rational than other Republican candidates?
Hey, look: data.
Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 306 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 188 countries, 1990–2013: quantifying the epidemiological transition
I had a realization today that does not grant a separate thread.
I'm reading RAZ and got to Mysterious Answers, specifically Explain/Worship/Ignore?
I have kids. Most people know that kids love the question "why?" (If you didn't know - now you do. My family of origin has a joke that the last question of a longest stretch was number 37: why is mummy chewing on the carpet?)
When my daughter asks "why", I give her some answers usually pondering how I can influence the direction of the questions and information that I give her*. But in light o... (read more)
Are there any lesswrong-like sequences focused on economics, finance, business, management? Or maybe just internet communities like lesswrong focused on these subjects?
I mean, the sequences introduced me to some really complex knowledge that improved me a lot, while simultaneously being engaging and quite easy to read. It is only logical to assume that somewhere on the web, there must be some articles in the same style covering different themes. And if there are not, well, someone must surely do this, I think there is some demand for this kind of content. ... (read more)
Link: Computer-based [big five] personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans
Harvard Business Review: We're all terrible at understanding each other.
I find myself occasionally in conversations that aim at choosing one of two (or more) courses of action. Here are some patterns that arise that frustrate me:
A: We'll get to City in an hour. When we're there, do you want to do X? Or maybe Y?
B: I haven't thought about it yet, I've been dodging sheep and potholes. What do you want to do?
A: Whatever you're comfortable doing.
B: Umm ... Which is easier to get to?
A: I don't know. Or, we could do C, D, or E?
B: Now I'm getting choice paralysis.
A: Well, I wanted to see if you were really enthusiastic for any of them... (read more)
Meta: This thread was late; the usual guy was busy. I guess I am volunteering to do it for MrMind.
Heh. Qualify this under "crazy ideas". Chinese tech companies are motivating programmers by hiring cheerleaders. It would be interesting to know if this increases productivity. Do cheerleaders help improve results sports teams?
My instinct is that cheerleaders don't improve results for sports teams, but that that also isn't their function.
On the original topic, I've actually encountered the situation of "environment filled with dude programmers with poor social skills suddenly gets a few very attractive ladies who have incentives to be nice to them." My frat went co-ed senior year.
To put things mildly, productivity did not improve.
On the other hand, a lot more guys wanted to join up. So my guess is that the office cheerleaders do not make existing programmers more productive (and may in fact do the opposite), but that they may make the office more desirable as a work environment to prospective hires.
That depends on what you consider to be the main purpose of a sports team - winning matches or providing entertainment and selling tickets to their games.
Suppose someone offers you the chance to play the following game:
You are given an initial stake of $1. A fair coin is flipped. If the result is TAILS, you keep the current stake. If the result is HEADS, the stake doubles and the coin is flipped again, repeating the process.
How much money should you be willing to pay to play this game?
The expected value doesn't converge but it grows extremely slowly, where almost all the benefit comes from an extremely tiny chance of extremely large gain. The obvious question is counterparty risk: how much do you trust the person offering the game to actually be able to follow through with what they offered?
If we think of this as a sum over coin flips, each flip you think is possible gives another $0.50 in expected value. So if you think they're probably only good for amounts up to $1M then because it takes 20 flips to pass $1M the expected value is $0.50 * 19 or $9.50. Similarly if you think they're good for $1B then that's 29 flips max for an expected value of $14.50. You could be fancy and try to model your uncertainty about how much they're good for, but that's probably not worth it. And you do want to take into account that someone offering something like this with no provision for how they'll handle extremely large payouts is probably not entirely on the level.
Expected value is also not the right metric here, since we all have diminishing marginal returns. Would you enjoy $1B 1,000x as much as $1M? Even if you're giving your winnings to charity there are still some limits to our ability to effectively use additional donations.
Short answer: $5. (This trusts them to be good for $1024, and is in a range where utility should still be pretty much linear in money.)
How many rationalists live in Africa, and especially South Africa? I'm kind of surprised that there is no LW meetup anywhere in Africa, I would have guessed that at least South Africa or Nigeria are sufficiently developed and have sufficiently prevalent internet access to have one. Should somebody who has more conscientiousness than I do (at least for now) start one here in South Africa?
I'm going coldturkey on compulsive porn, music, junk foods, procrastination, negativity, worry, approval and gambling, all of which have been conceptualised as addictions, for at least one year and hopefully life. I've tried this moderation approach fmany times and failed, so this is it.
Is it bad to sleep in a hunched over or crunching or hooked kind of position?
I've always been annoyed by how icky traditional sunscreen makes me feel, so I was happy to find out that there's a roll-on sunscreen that works reasonably well. I've used it a couple of times now, and while I wasn't outside for long enough that I would have burned when I used it in either case-- and therefore can't comment on the effectiveness of a single layer of the stuff-- I would say that applying it was much quicker and easier than applying traditional sunscreen. While applying sunscreen isn't the lowest hanging fruit in health interventions out ther... (read more)
Basic sunscreen is zinc. To get that into an applicable form it is usually put into an oil suspension. As mentioned you don't like the oil. You can also get alcohol based suspension sunscreens that feel a lot nicer; and sunscreen in spray form. The benefit of oil is that it doesn't wash off so easily. But there's no point being stuck with oil based sunscreen if they make you feel that uncomfortable
This link might help: http://www.skinacea.com/sunscreen/physical-vs-chemical-sunscreen.html#.VdunDbKqqko as should https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunscreen
I have an impression that conscientiousness feels like an outside force. Instead of "I choose to tidy up/proofread my writing/tip the server", it's more like "the situation requires that I do the right thing".
Does this match other people's experience? Does conscientiousness feel more like an outside force than other behaviors?
This might be of interest to LW.
From the abstract:
I remember seeing a paper about a woman (still alive) with basically absent frontal lobe, yet only slight mental retardation and no serious problems, a month or two ago, but can't find it now. Does anybody have a link?
The description on Wikipedia of reactions to brief reactive psychosis is confusing and interesting. Can anyone who's experienced it share their experiences?
Slouching is unbecoming and say say it increases back pain. I have chronic lower back pain. When I feel like slouching or hunching, because I'm too tired to sit up straight, what are some alternatives where lying down is inappropriate?
I'm very confused about something related to the Halting Problem. I discussed this on the IRC with some people, but I couldn't get across what I meant very well. So I wrote up something a bit longer and a bit more formal.
The gist of it is, the halting problem lets us prove that, for a specific counter example, there can not exist any proof that it halts or not. A proof that it does or does not halt, causes a paradox.
But if it's true that there doesn't exist a proof that it halts, then it will run forever searching for one. Therefore I've proved that the pr... (read more)
Has anyone got opinions on Clifford Geertz? He's supposedly the most-influential American anthropologist. I began reading his famous book, Interpretation of Cultures, and I'm struck by how illogical it is. He has interesting insights into his own perspective, but he's consistently completely unable to comprehend anyone else's perspective. Odd, for someone who says that's the purpose of his own profession. He fails to draw even caricatures or straw men of behaviorism and cognitivism, his main opponents, and just says they're wrong, then tells entertain... (read more)
A few nutrition-related questions:
Why does Soylent 2.0 have so much fat? They appear to be going for 45% of calories from fat, whereas the typical recommendation is 10%-35%.
Why does the Bulletproof stuff include so much saturated fat? It appears that the consensus is that saturated fat significantly increases blood cholesterol and arterial plaque formation - curious why such a deviation here.
How many of the following do you identify with, strangers?... (read more)
For those who are preoccupied with lists that can actually be read and hold to the overly strict standard that preformatted text shouldn't be used where bulleted lists are intended, here's that list again in more readable form:
And for those who overconscientiously think that one should cite one's sources, I'll add that these are the DSM-5 criteria for OCD, and that having four of them is supposed to indicate OCD.
Is sexual relationship between two consenting adult siblings ethically okay and should it be legal? It's an interesting ethical problem because there are so many complicated dimensions and it could go either way. I think generally when it comes to social issues our society seems to head in a right direction, people are becoming more tolerant of people who choose differently and so on, but incest between siblings seems to become maybe more taboo even though there are some rational justifications you could make for it.
Some have made parallels to homosexualit... (read more)
(trigger warning: rape)
How much can we be sure, if this would be made legal, that the consent of the adult siblings would mean the same thing as the consent of two random unrelated people. If someone wants to have sex with their sibling who is not really happy about that idea, how much opportunity would they have to pressure them into "consent", if they merely have to wait until their 18th birthday, as opposed to the opportunity to pressure into "consent" someone who is not a relative?
Even if the person who wants to have sex with their sibling waits with the coitus until the sibling's 18th birthday, they still have plenty of opportunity to "groom" them before they are 18. Imagine siblings with large age difference, where the older sibling uses their mental superiority to "brainwash" their younger sibling, to ruin their other relationships and make them socially isolated, to make them emotionally dependent, so that when the younger sibling becomes 18, they are not in a position to say "no".
Also, many people at 18 are not really ready to be economically independent on their family. Imagine a family with two children, one strongly love... (read more)
Available the usual places: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8gv0el0anfyymed/1971-seemanova.pdf / http://moscow.sci-hub.bz/092ee3d082e9cffd04b7064c36ba808a/10.1159%40000152391.pdf (Personally, I'm impressed she managed to get that big a sample in just Czechoslovakia. Creepy. Also, note that's only one of the studies being meta-analyzed.)
It's very clear that inbreeding is really bad: to give some examples, it drives species extinct within generations, its effects are long-term and underestimated, inbreeding can result in 20+ IQ points loss in other populations such as in India and of course we all know about the Habsburgs (which was so extreme that "Charles II was moderately more inbred than the average among the offspring from brother-sister matings").
What makes you think there are any human populations none of whose recessive and mutation loads affect cognition?
Just because I thought it was funny (an ad at a local restaurant)
I have developed a learned helplessness and external locus of control about gardening and personal food production. Since I care about close quality monitoring, I will be remediating this and learning to garden properly. Any guides to edible gardening for rationalists?
I would add to that that your first year or so, it is not bad to plant something easy that will overproduce. In the long run you aren't going to want much zucchini, but your first year it is motivating to have something come up that is edible, once the birds have eaten your berries, the insects have devastated your lettuce, and your tomatoes have mysteriously decided not to give you anything. I would have given up early on if I didn't have something that produced a reasonable amount the first year. And you can often give away excess fresh vegetables, gaining some small amount of social capital.
Does anyone make productivity-time goals too? I sometimes say to myself, 30 seconds till you get to the bathroom, and it'll keep me focussed on that goal.
I just tried this 'battleground god' thing and it told me:
I don't get it. Why can't I be unsure about the truth value of something just because it's a logical impossibility? My understanding of logic isn't exhaustive.
Not sure if this is obvious of just wrong, but isn't it possible (even likely?) that there is no way of representing a complex mind that is sufficiently useful enough to allow an AI to usefully modify itself. For instance, if you gave me complete access to my source code, I don't think I could use it to achieve any goals as such code would be billions of lines long. Presumably there is a logical limit on how far one can usefully compress ones own mind to reason about it, and it seams reasonably likely that such compression will be too limited to allow a singularity.
I'll ask again: where are the videos from the various EA Global events?
If stuff hasn't been recorded or even if stuff just hasn't been uploaded yet, I feel like the EA community is probably missing out on a fair amount of publicity and views and attention by not having their relevant content out and viewable promptly, while it's all still fresh. This is especially true since I hear some big names went to some of these events.
I am assuming effective altruists want their point of view to spread and become more popular. It seems to me that they are not bein... (read more)
I've read that genes explain about 50% of the intelligence. Does anyone know: Did these studies regard the fact that good genes for intelligence presuppose good genes of the parents and they determine the environment in which a child grows up too, so from that point of view genetics might explain more than 50% of intelligence.
Is there any explanation, term, or research into the phenomenon of shifting mental health diagnoses? Like getting diagnosis retracted, remissions, then appearance of symptoms suggesting something else, and so forthe? Perhaps there is an explanation for how or why mental health conditions might transform into one another?
which countries and places in the world in general is it unsafe to get sick in?
I'm concerned about the health systems in other countries but like the idea of traveling.
How are transfers between health systems arranged and when is it a good idea?
Efficient charity: you don't need to be an altruist to benefit from contributing to charity
Effective altruism rests on two philosophical ideas: altruism and utilitarianism.
In my opinion, even if you're not an altruist, you might still want to use statistics to learn about charity.
Some people believe that they have an ethical obligation to cause a net 0 suffering. Others might believe they have an ethical obligation to cause only an average amount of suffering. In these causes, in order to reduce suffering to an acceptable level, efficient charity might be ... (read more)
Valproate is the most underated cognitive enhancer. Though it's probably bad for your sperm. It's like borrowing your future children's intelligence.
Why aren't information dense, important World Bank documents like this literred with citations?
I feel guilty that I'm not using facebook, something that might be pretty exclusive to our generations, where the next version may be less amenable to such gaming, to use it to do something BIG - like start the next arab spring, or push products to sell, or become a politician and advertise on it using my youthful savvy. Can anybody pass on some advice?