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Convict Conditioning Book Review

I've read this book and many other calisthenics and weightlifting focused fitness books. I like Convict Conditioning. It was pretty influential in the online fitness community when it came out, and remains so to some extent. That said, the information and programs in the book are somewhat out-of-date compared to more modern thinking.

I would recommend anyone interested in calisthenics to start with the reddit /r/bodyweightfitness FAQ. They have easy defaults (e.g. the Recommended Routine, or the Primer) which come with more battle-tested explanations and progression schemes. Additionally, having a community you can participate in for motivation or asking questions will make it more likely that you'll stick with a program.

Sticking to the program is by far the hardest part of any workout program, though, so the most important thing is to find something that you can fully commit to regularly, especially if it's something you find intrinsically fun or interesting.

The best frequently don't rise to the top

I watched a few of the DHH, Eric Normand and Be a Better Dev videos. DHH's videos are very good, actually I was sucked into watching a couple, but he doesn't have very many. Also, your link points to his old channel, and now all those videos are https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9wALaIpe0Py6E_oHCgTrD6FvFETwJLlx, although he only did one more in that series. The couple Eric Normand videos were pretty good, I could imagine that there are really good ones somewhere in the feed. For Be a Better Dev, the videos seemed pretty low quality, very focused on learning AWS-specific technologies. It gave me the impression that he was just following traffic for what to talk about, the exact opposite of DHH. It's the equivalent of YouTube blogspam.

Clubhouse

In the early stages of Quora, it was a legitimately awesome place to get unfiltered answers from people you were interested in. Eventually, the bleeding edge people got bored of it and left it to the vultures, the same people who had SEOed bullshit pages cluttering up google search results. I've never used Clubhouse, but this seems like a risk. Is there some structural reason this won't come to pass?

Why does Applied Divinity Studies think EA hasn’t grown since 2015?

ScottAlexander had a very interesting response to this post on reddit

Are there good negotiation classes?

I second this. Most negotiation advice is geared toward formal "negotiation" settings, like when you are negotiating sales contracts or business transactions. For those purposes, having negotiation tools is really useful (my favorite is "Bargaining For Advantage" which I learned of from The Personal MBA). But for being a manager, you are almost never explicitly negotiating, and in fact trying to come into your work with that mindset is counterproductive. When you are working with your reports, it would be disastrous. When you are working with other internal teams, it's mostly about informal tit-for-tat kind of long-term favor trading or reputation building (or just getting to fundamental value for the business for both parties and moving forward based on that), not explicit negotiating. These aren't things that are taught under the term "negotiation."

Remembering people's name with Anki

I have used Anki to remember names and faces on multiple occasions. It works well, usually I've only used it at the beginning of being in the environment. For the names of famous people I don't think it passes the cost-benefits test. Gwern recommends only adding a card if it will save you 5 minutes over a lifetime, and so memorizing large corpuses where you may only need a handful of them ever is likely to be a bad tradeoff. The difference between these scenarios is that remembering faces and names is something you need to have instant access to, but misremembering famous people is either acceptable in the case of conversations, or can be referenced when it comes up in my writing or thinking.

Evening drawing

My guess is head, painting photograph.

First (Head): Lacks the level of detail of the other two examples. A painting would also possibly be drawn from a reference, although I have no idea what even the style of painting you were referencing. The major distinction here is that the cheeks in the the second (painting) photo have mottling that suggests to me a better reference. The proportions also seem just a bit more exaggerated to me than the other two. The neck of the first one seems larger, and the shoulders have some asymmetry which is hard to interpret. It looks a bit as if her left shoulder is closer, but that doesn't exactly fit with the posture of her face.

Second (Painting): Basically by comparison with the others. It feels intermediate in realisticness.

Third (photograph): This seems like the photograph to me because it captures more detail than I would hold in my mind's eye, unlike the other two. In particular, crisp laugh lines and the detailed contrast of the eyes makes it feel like it had the most real-world reference. There is also the detail of the clothing, and I feel like most people wouldn't draw that if they were drawing a face from their imagination. (That's actually an argument for the first being painting and the second being head, though).

Reviews as "How should this be improved to meet the bar?"

I have thought about a problem related to this very often. There was an Amazon shareholders letter written by Jeff Bezos that elaborates on their culture of high standards. In particular, it talks about the cost of high standards when writing Amazon's "six-page memos." The idea of having teams with high standards on their written memos resonated with me, but I have not been able to apply it that much in my professional career.

My standards are higher than those of the organization around me, and when it came down to spending the relationship capital to criticize people't documents to the level I felt would make them really high-quality, I just can't do it. Some documents achieve the standard already, so it's not unachievable in general. What it really is is that to provide criticism that feels specific and kind, it feels like I would have to understand the underlying issue at the depth that I want that person to explain to me.

Basically, to get to that level of quality, I have to put in a large fraction of the effort of drafting the document, which I don't have time to do. In some cases, I can point out areas that I feel could offer more elaboration, but sometimes the document feels inadequate and I can't explain why without several hours of concentrated effort.

I feel the same issue could come up here. You can tell a really high quality post because it offers insights that are brilliant but unexpected, or it uncovers primary source data that is neglected and unknown, or it's just a really compelling written explanation. But explaining how to create that out of an average post feels like it requires me to become the expert I want the author to be.

What's Wrong with Social Science and How to Fix It: Reflections After Reading 2578 Papers

Why do you think people don't already do this?

They have to do it to some extent, otherwise replicability would be literally uncorrelated with publishability, which probably isn't the case. But because of the outcomes, we can see that people aren't doing it enough at the margin, so encouraging people to move as far in that direction as they can seems like a useful reminder.

There are two models here, one is that everyone is a homo economicus when citing papers, so no amount of persuasion is going to adjust people's citations. They are already making the optimal tradeoff based on their utility function of their personal interests vs. society's interests. The other is that people are subject to biases and blind spots, or just haven't even really considered whether they have the OPTION of not citing something that is questionable, in which case reminding them is a useful affordance.

I'm trying to be charitable to the author here, to recover useful advice. They didn't say things in the way I'm saying them. But they may have been pointing in a useful direction, and I'm trying to steelman that.

"the predators are running wild" does not mean "most people are acting in good faith, but are not competent enough for good faith to be a useful assumption".

Even upon careful rereading of that sentence, I disagree. But to parse this out based on this little sentence is too pointless for me. Like I said, I'm trying to focus on finding useful substance, not nitpicking the author, or you!

What's Wrong with Social Science and How to Fix It: Reflections After Reading 2578 Papers

This problem seems to me to have the flavor of Moloch and/or inadequate equilibria. Your criticisms have two parts, the pre-edit part based on your personal experience, in which you state why the personal actions they recommend are actually not possible because of the inadequate equilibria (i.e. because of academic incentives), and the criticism of the author's proposed non-personal actions, which you say is just based on intuition.

I think the author would be unsurprised that the personal actions are not reasonable. They have already said this problem requires government intervention, basically to resolve the incentive problem. But maybe at the margin you can take some of the actions that the author refers to in the personal actions. If a paper is on the cusp of "needing to be cited" but you think it won't replicate, take that into account! Or if reviewing a paper, at least take into account the probability of replication in your decision.

I think you are maybe reading the author's claim to "stop assuming good faith" too literally. In the subsequent sentence they are basically refining that to the idea that most people are acting in good faith, but are not competent enough for good faith to be a useful assumption, which seems reasonable to me.

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