Topics from "Procedural Knowledge Gaps"

by NancyLebovitz1 min read11th Feb 201211 comments


List of LinksPractical

About a year ago, we had a major discussion about procedural knowledge gaps. Here's what was covered....

How to tell whether food is fresh

pjeby claims that eating raw chicken is safe because the gag reflex identifies it fast

How to buy investments

Memorizing the alphabet and other arbitrary lists

Comparison of various how-to sites

General discussion of making things (including Less Wrong) easier to use

How jump start a stalled car.

How to use the Yellow Pages.

Cheap and easy healthy food.

Questions about preparing a simple soup.


Starting relationships, especially for heterosexual men.

Cooking in general.

Browning meat.

How to become bisexual.

How to transfer money from one electronic account to another.

How to buy a used car.

Interacting with police.  (Don't talk to US police! The rules are different in the UK.)

How to speak clearly, slowly, etc..

How to fold a fitted sheet.

How to make a will.

How to order at a bar. Also, some cookbook recommendations.

Tipping in the US.

Tipping in the UK and France.

Spacial orientation.

Personal hygiene-- washing, soap, shampoo.

Haircuts for men.

Haircuts for women.

Growing and maintaining long hair.

Putting a cover on a duvet.

Telling the difference between flirting and friendliness.

Choosing shirts that fit.

Left vs. Right (which hand, not political).

Shaving one's face.

How to end conversations politely.

How to make people laugh.

Mailing large objects in the US.

How to format comments at Less Wrong.

How to declutter.

E readers.

Touch typing.

Dvorak, etc.

How often to see a doctor.

Remembering to be polite.

Tying shoes.

Home maintenance.

What might melt in a dishwasher.

Kitchen knives.

Sorting laundry.

Does cranking up the thermostat heat the house faster?.

More about investment

How to not stutter.

How to be a good manager.


How to use Google.

How to talk to strangers.

Potential topics:

How to give clear instructions.

How to see things from other people's point of view

Cool sidetrack: Fish and lightning

Links and quotes:

Why grad school in the humanities is a bad choice One probably could not devise a better system for keeping people with humanistic values away from power than by confining them to decade-long graduate programs with a long future of transient adjunct positions making less than the minimum wage. From Part 2. The first article is a nice example of applying the far view (look at how things are in general) to a personal decision.


11 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:48 PM
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This material, being an index of posts, seems like it ought to be on the wiki.

(If requested, I will take care of doing the markup conversion.)

And is a candidate for the potential sticky threads category.

A Simple Fix for Most Electrical Problems - Clean Contacts

Whether automotive or home, many problems are nothing more than a buildup of oxidation, and therefore contract resistance, on what should be a conducting connection between two electrical connectors. You get this a lot with switches , particularly when they aren't used frequently.

A few years back, I was visiting my significant other's family at their home. They had a light that didn't work well in a storage shed. I flipped the switch a hundred times and Presto! There was light! The abrasion from flipping the switch a hundred times cleaned the contacts of oxidation enough for a decent electrical connection.

I drive an 85 Jaguar XJ6. Jaguar was already known for flaky electricals when it came out, and now the car is 25 years old. I've been getting a lot of electrical gremlins, so I just went around cleaning ground straps. A dead headlight came back to life. So did the automatic electric lock on the trunk.

Little wire brushes, rusted screw remover spray, and electrical contact cleaner. The same thing often works with electronics as well. Electrical boards build up oxidation and contact resistance too. Take the boards out of their slots. Clean with contact cleaner, or very gently with fine sandpaper. Reseat board. I've fixed a few things with nothing more than that.

A bonus trick - zap any metal gears and moving parts in an open air mechanical gizmo with the rusted screw remover spray, work the part for a while, spray again, and work again. That can remove a lot of the binding of the parts, and make them much easier to move. Top it off with some silicone spray, and you can have an entirely new device. This is what got the trunk lock working again.

It's amazing how many things you can fix by unscrewing them, taking them apart, looking at them, and then putting them back together.

Great List of Things! The only thing I can thinking that's missing is how to read a bus schedule.

Remembering to be polite.

Tying shoes.

Also both link to the same comment.

Both link duplications have been corrected.

I'm sure how to read bus schedules isn't the only thing that's missing. It's possible that Procedural Knowledge Gaps should be a yearly thread.

You need to put a line space between "How to buy investments" and "Memorizing the alphabet and other arbitrary lists". (line 3)

This is a useful index. Thank you for assembling it.

Thanks for proof reading, and you're welcome.

How to see things from other people's point of view

This might be relevant: