All of Alicorn's Comments + Replies

(briefly) RaDVaC and SMTM, two things we should be doing

Isn't lithium in water linked to lower depression rates and not really something you'd want to straightforwardly remove even if it turned out to be making people fat?  I guess you might win on net if it turned out you could cure about that much depression with lotsalightboxes and be rid of obesity in the bargain, but it's at least a little complicated.

Sex-Positivity is Countercultural

Your link to Quillette is broken for me.

2Jacob Falkovich3moI'm not sure what's wrong, it works for me. Maybe change the https to http? [] Googling "sex negative society quillette" should bring it up in any case.
Nonspecific discomfort


2cousin_it4moI think the various kinds of soma (drink, TV, internet) are a different species of thing. They don't just pretend to solve the problem, they actually solve it, make nonspecific discomfort go away. Not in the most healthy way, but I think they can often distract people from worse things.
Training My Friend to Cook

I do usually roast it, and would only sauté if I were being miserly with dishes or didn't want to turn on the oven, but I would expect it to be fine, yeah.

Training My Friend to Cook

...I'm a pretty good cook and can't actually think of any reason you shouldn't sauté asparagus.  You shouldn't sauté... lettuce?  I can't think of a good reason to sauté seaweed?  But asparagus seems like it'd be fine.

1Patrick Breitenbach4moYou can absolutely sauté asparagus and it's delicious with just a little oil, salt & pepper. Cut it into 1-2 inch pieces or leave it whole.
3justinpombrio5moMost people, myself included, think it tastes better roasted. But you can sauté it, and I know someone who prefers it that way.
2GuySrinivasan5moI'm a pretty good cook who has sauteed and enjoyed asparagus. :D
A Response to A Contamination Theory of the Obesity Epidemic

Does it seem likely that soybean oil in particular is special?  I think I could pretty straightforwardly eliminate it from my diet - I never cook with it and am not specifically attached to snacks that contain it - but I'd have a harder time if I also couldn't use canola, sesame, avocado, coconut...  Let alone other soy products like tofu.

1ADifferentAnonymous5moJeff Nobbs [] (one of OP's sources) says polyunsaturated fatty acids are the real culprit and provides a helpful chart [*aXyR6319S-8XhAQ4o1LFLw.png] . Tl;dr coconut oil is great, olive and avocado oil are pretty good, avoid canola/peanut/rice bran/corn/sunflower. (Sesame isn't on the chart but IME it's used in pretty small quantities anyway). It's hard to get much oil from whole versions of the source foods [*n6PBYOFqhioDizb4SbLm1A.png] . My quick calculation say you can add '5 tbs soybean oil requires six blocks of tofu'.
2gilch5moAs for the other soy products, I have heard some concerns about the lectins, which are poisonous. Vegetables in general have toxins, which are usually there to protect them from insects. Humans, like most animals that eat plants, have adaptations to deal with this, so vegetables in general are not thought to be unhealthy, and probably not all of their effects are harmful, so I'm not sure what to make of this. Most legumes, nuts, whole grains, and nightshades (e.g. tomatoes) contain a concerning amount of lectins, but cooking and fermentation can mostly break them down, and soaking and rinsing can also get rid of them. Most lectins break down with heat, but those found in peanuts and soybeans seem to be an exception, and might explain why allergies to these two foods are so common. Maybe some types of lectins are harmful and others are not, at natural doses.
2gilch5moI'm also suspicious of canola, but avocado and coconut oil have very different properties from soybean oil. Canola is from recently developed cultivars of rapeseed, is high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, which also oxidizes (becomes rancid) more easily, and since canola is usually extracted with solvents and heat, it usually contains some amount of very unhealthy trans fats. This gets worse if you cook with it. If your only goal was to avoid saturated fats, then it sounds good on paper, but it's probably bad for you. Sesame is a seed oil like canola. It's even higher in omega-6. Sesame oil tastes fine when cold-pressed, so trans fats would be less of a concern in that case. It's probably still bad for you overall. Coconut oil is mostly saturated fat. It's resistant to oxidation, shouldn't contain trans fats, and is safe to fry with. Are saturated fats bad for you though? Some say so, but I'm not sure if I believe them. Avocado oil is mostly monounsaturated fat, which isn't the supposedly unhealthy saturated fat, and is more resistant to oxidation and heat than polyunsaturated fat, though not as resistant as saturated fat. It should be safe too cook with as long as you're not using high heat. Its composition is actually really similar to olive oil. If you're going to add oil at all, avocado oil is probably one of the healthiest choices. Olive is good too for the same reasons, but it might have additional beneficial compounds when it's fresh.
1skot5235moSoybean oil grew the most in the USA, and some studies in mice make it look quite bad. I’m not positive, but my takeaway is that it is very low downside and quite easy to cut it out of my diet. On the one hand it is new, and our ancestors were fine without it, whether it is bad or not. And two, it’s highly concentrated in processed junk that everyone agrees to avoid anyways. As for general soy products, not my area of expertise but I’m not going out of my way to avoid them if they’re not highly processed
Art Meet

I don't have a Facebook account.  I use my spouse's so I can read things but I don't eve know how to do the rest.

2habryka5moCan't say that's a mistake. But for organizing events in particular, FB is really useful. I would be happy to create an event for things like this in the future and invite people who are nearby if you send me a PM.
Art Meet

Attendance of the meet wound up being: 

  • me
  • my four year old, for about the first half hour
  • an adult and child who were over anyway for a playdate
  • one other person

I am curious if there are things I could have done to improve turnout, if anyone has ideas.

5mingyuan5mo[Epistemic status: just my gut reactions. I knew I wasn't going to go because I'm moving in two days and so was busy, but also probably wouldn't have gotten up the courage/agency/will to go anyway (maybe 20% chance I would have gone).] I think the "there are only eight chairs" thing maybe gave a bit of a vibe of exclusivity and/or set expectations low for attendance, which makes it less appealing as a getting-to-know-people event. I also think a large part of it is just that the first instance of a thing is harder to get buy-in for — with choir there's a very established structure and a core of people who show up, so you really know what you're getting into, whereas with this I was unsure what to expect. I guess I'm not sure if there's an action item here. Maybe more assertive wording? I notice I also felt weird about the idea of drawing outside. I just like to draw on a nice smooth table, and I don't want bugs on my paper. Obviously I get why you would have the event outside, and besides, I don't even know if this would be a deterrent for anyone else.
2habryka5moWas there an FB event? In my experience it's hard to get people to show up to anything without inviting them on FB or very directly via PM or individual emails. In the future, maybe we can somehow figure out how to get better visibility to the right people by just creating a LW event, but sadly, at this point in time, I think it's necessary to post the event other places to get the right amount of visibility and turnout.
Utopic Nightmares

How do you motivate the embedded assumption that there is no such thing as harmless variation?

2Jozdien8moI was thinking about less ideal variations more than explicitly harmful ones. If we're optimizing for a set of values - like happiness, intelligence, virtuousness - through birth and environment, then I thought it unlikely that we'd have multiple options with the exact same maximal optimization distribution. If there are, the identical people part of it doesn't hold yeah - if there's more than one option, it's likely that there are many, so there might not be identicals at all.
Iterated Trust Kickstarters

I think an important obstacle to "I'll apologize if they'll apologize" situations is that people often have very specific needs for the traits of an apology they're receiving, doing it correctly without instructions is a very important signal of being on the same page about what went wrong, and incorrect apologies can be downright insulting (such as "I'm sorry you feel that way", a classic, or, "I'm sorry about X" "this whole time you thought I was mad about X???  I don't give a crap about X!")  The existence of a hypothetical apology doesn't serve the same purposes as a fully featured one.

2Raemon9mo(this comment let me through a chain of thoughts culminating in " [], except instead of 'I'd like to date or something' you check boxes for 'I'm secretly mad but want you to apologize first.'")
2Raemon9moYeah. 'I didn't get into some of the messy implementation details here because it was hard to come up with good-but-hypothetical-examples. But, I do think it's pretty key that often the steps along an iterated trust kickstarter are pretty oddly specific, and yeah it's often important to do without spelling out the particular thing you want someone to do. A sort of generic version of a message I might send, if I were in some situations like this is "hey, I'm pretty mad. I see you are pretty mad. I'd be willing to invest effort trying to empathize with you and figure out where you're coming from if you were willing to invest effort trying to empathize with me and figure out where I'm coming from." (where, something is lost here from Bob not figuring out on his own what exactly Alice is mad about and revealing himself to already be on the same page. But, I’m assuming by the time you get to consider an ITK type solution, its already revealed that you’re not in the nicest of worlds where that was an option) ((also: an okay outcome is that Alice wanted to check if Bob was on the same page, and then if bob reveals himself to not be on the same page, the ITK truncates, hopefully as gracefully as possible))
Enabling Children

We tried to buy a place around the corner (not right adjacent, but no crossing streets, so we could have let pretty small kids walk it alone), but we could only afford to lowball it and didn't get it.  We don't want to move because moving is horrible but if the place burned down or something we would probably all or mostly all move together.

I would like to see this energy directed somewhere more empathetic.  Can many humans with a healthy relationship to food and no medical dietary restrictions be physically healthy on a vegan diet (and a B12 supplement)?  Probably.  Does everyone you're talking to have all those qualities?  Absolutely not.  Are their traditions, tastes, and convenience, and every flowthrough effect of their culture, enjoyment, and flexibility, wholly worthless?  You aren't likely to save many animals by telling them so even if you feel that way.... (read more)

Enabling Children

We did this approximately by accident.  We had a kid, and separately had a habit of letting our friends crash in our spare bedrooms, and one of them did enough caretaking (letting us SLEEP!) that we were like "wait... if she leaves... that will hit the kid like a divorce" and arranged to keep her forever.  Now we live with her and her fiancée and additional Spare Room Friends and a second kid, and we are very crowded in our large house and don't have room for any more Spare Room Friends which is very sad, and plot to purchase neighboring houses a... (read more)

2lincolnquirk10moThanks! This gives me a lot of hope, that it can happen by accident. I would love to hear if you end up purchasing adjacent property, or if you would consider moving all together to another spot!
"Can you keep this confidential? How do you know?"

It's not really workable to say "oh yeah, I can keep secrets, I keep so many secrets, like for example," so I tend to describe my surface area - things like "sometimes my literate three year old looks at my screen and asks me what a phrase means in front of the contents of my living room, I'm not good at not laughing at things I read if they're funny, I consider it morally wrong to lie and am not volunteering to do it anyway for you but am good at deflecting with the truth so cannot guarantee to conceal the existence of a secret but can decline to elaborat... (read more)

2Raemon1yYeah, that all sounds about right.
Organizing a Group Buy of Flour

I'd like to do something like this - it turns out we go through flour with breathtaking speed if I'm trying to personally keep up with household bread consumption through baking. But I can't find a distributor! I looked at the ones in my area listed on King Arthur Flour's website, and one doesn't have it (I think; they have no search function so I had to look manually through pages of random foods), and the other won't let me check without my having a restaurant account.

1Zian1yYou could try asking a local bakery if they would be willing to sell to you. They might be willing to tell you who their supplier is too. Just be sure to go to the location with the active ovens (if there are multiple locations) or call ahead.
2jefftk2yIt looks to me like you could get King Arthur Special Patent? It's slightly higher gluten (12.7% instead of 11.7%: []) but I think it's a decent all-purpose? Or you could get You could get high gluten flour, low gluten flour, and mix them depending on what you wanted to make? [] For the KA SP, [] , it looks to me like it would ship to you at $38 for one bag or $33/each for ten bags. If you choose larger quantities it gets even cheaper, but they'll want to do common carrier shipping which is a pain to unload (because getting the good of the truck is your job and not the driver's).
Should I floss?

I went from rarely flossing, to flossing every night, when I started trying to set an example for my eldest child. When my new baby was born, I neglected flossing for several weeks, since doing things with a new baby is hard. I promptly experienced unpleasant gum problems that I doubt are coincidental, and have put in more effort towards flossing on a daily basis.

The LessWrong 2018 Review

No, I mean, it redirects me to with the weird stuff stripped out, and shows me all posts, not sorted by karma and including the one that was posted eight hours ago and so on.

7mingyuan2yThis is also happening to me
2Kaj_Sotala2yI got that when I first followed the links from this page, then re-opened them and then it took me to the right version. No idea what made the difference.
The LessWrong 2018 Review

The link to the 2018 posts sorted by karma is not working correctly for me; it redirects me to /allPosts for some reason.

2Raemon2yI've updated some formatting in the links, see if it works now.
2Raemon2yStill not sure what's causing the problem, but here are the direct links to the pages in question. (People who are having trouble – if you enter these directly, does it work?) [] []
2habryka2yThat's correct. It uses a set of URL parameters (all the weird stuff after the "/allPosts") to restrict the posts to the year 2018. We maybe should make the UI for that a bit clearer.
Ideal Number of Parents

We've got multiple parents for ours - we sort of fell into the arrangement (one moved in with us when kiddo the first was a few weeks old, it gradually became obvious that if she ever left he was going to take that like a divorce and we should be thinking about how to keep her around, eventually she added her primary partner in the manner of a stepparent). But only I am primary caretaker (everybody else has a job), so while I rely on the others for advice and discuss things with them, what's sustainable and practical for me tends to trump - if I... (read more)


I don't think "mediocrity" is the right word to apply to parenting that leaves you some slack and doesn't involve crazily striving for violin virtuosity in your children. There are lots of axes on which parents can vary. Being, say, really consistent with Faber&Mazlish style parenting skills even when you are sleep deprived, would be amazing parenting, and that's probably still worth getting better at for almost every parent on the margin, while leaving room for slack and not-being-insane-about-the-violin.

Which of these five AI alignment research projects ideas are no good?

Are you aware that people's votes are worth different amounts? I do not think there's a way to vote less than one's default vote amount.

1rmoehn2yNo, I wasn't aware of that. Then I guess I have to come up with a different mechanism for my next poll.
Do children lose 'childlike curiosity?' Why?

I have a kiddo whose "why phase" is in full swing and I am not actually confident that it's motivated by curiosity. It's also not the most efficient way to learn things, or even the most efficient simple way (that'd probably be something like "tell me stuff about $TOPIC"), nor is it obviously geared at that goal.

In particular, my kid (I don't know how common this is) will typically formulate his questions by re-grammatizing whatever statement was most recently made in his vicinity ("it's a nice day" &... (read more)

7Viliam3yYup, similar with my child. Maybe the first time the question is motivated by actual curiosity, but the following 99 repetitions of the same question have to be motivated by something else. Most questions I get are repetitions of something that was already asked and already answered, and the child actually remembers the answer.
6MakoYass3yGetting the impression that not even children know how to ask good questions. It's a crucial skill that I've never seen taught, and I know that I don't have it. I'm in the same room as one of my heroes, I know they're full of important secrets, I know they're full of vital techniques, I could ask them anything, but nothing comes, I just smile, I say, "nice to meet you", I spend all of my energy trying to keep them from seeing my finitude. I come away no bigger than before. I never see them again. I want to learn to be better than this.
8ryan_b3yMy firm conclusion going into this is the why game is about getting the adult to interact. But because I love layered explanations, I have been mentally preparing for this phase for a long time. My daughter turned one recently, which means I only have a short while longer to wait. She has no grasp of the trap into which she will toddle!

This sounds like another circle game that kids like to play.

Is there a guide to 'Problems that are too fast to Google'?

When I did jujitsu we learned to fall. The important things are to tuck in your head, and to strike the ground - like, slap it as hard as you can with your hands - before your landing to reduce the force with which you hit.

3Matt Goldenberg3yAs far as I remember, both Judo and Parkour (which are about from falling from higher than in JuiJitsu) both recommend rolling on impact (if you land right).
Reasonable Explanations

I'll start.

A few years ago, I received a hand-addressed package with my correct name and address on it; the return address was a completely unfamiliar name in a state I've never visited and have no friends in. The contents were three Asterix books in the original French which I had no use for, did not know of anyone who wanted, and could not in fact read.

N sevraq unq hfrq obbx-fjnccvat jrofvgr Obbxzbbpu gb trg zr fbzr cerfragf n juvyr cerivbhfyl naq unqa'g erzrzorerq gb hcqngr gur nqqerff jura trggvat gurfr sbe ure uhfonaq.

3Dagon3yThere's a question of specificity too - you could make a high-confidence prediction that guvf cnpxntr jnf frag gb lbh qhr gb na reebe, abg vagragvbanyyl but there was a very wide possibility space for jub znqr jung xvaq bs reebe. The idea of confidence levels only works at fairly high abstractions of predictions. Nobody is 90% confident of extremely precise predictions, only of predictions that will cover a large amount (90%, in fact) of near-infinite variety of future states of the universe.

I expect that when I replace my scooter at the end of its useful life I will be able to get a much better scooter. For me, this one is at what I think is currently a good tradeoff between portability (more battery is heavier, more torque might require a heavier machine too), plausibility as a wheelchair (for use indoors and on the sidewalk rather than among cars), and price (I'd pay more knowing what I know, but when I got it I didn't actually realize quite how big a deal it was going to be for me).


I've had tests for Basic Deficiencies in Important Stuff, but maybe once I get a new pcp I'll ask about a physical therapist.


I haven't tried physical therapists in particular and my initial reaction is pretty considerable skepticism. It seems like this would require a lot of investment of time in appointments, I doubt my insurance would cover it, and then I'd have to pay attention to some sort of instruction they gave me, all the time whenever I moved, which, if I could do that, I'd have better posture.

My experience with physical therapists has been that they are good at finding soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) issues; and they generally provide exercises for you to do at home which are supposed to help your specific issues. (They do not expect you to pay close attention to your movement at all times; normal people can't do that and they're at least that realistic.) I suppose they might ask you to do something like it for a short time to help with diagnosis, but not as a form of long-term treatment. (Although as another caveat, if there's a specifi

... (read more)

The catalyst was the Costco scooter and from there it was just a matter of hunting down something with the right specs, but what led me to trying it that day? I don't know, probably some combination of "they were right there and obviously free to try" and "I really really wanted to sit down right then" (maybe we parked far away).

I think it's not unrelated to as a concept. If you do something weird, that might just be you being weird, but there could also be an underlying problem you could fix.

AI Reading Group Thoughts (2/?): Reconstructive Psychosurgery

It seems unlikely that the memory can be reconstructed (although it could be recreated, if the AI happens to know who-all was at the gym that day). Your perspective makes sense to me but for my part I don't think that kind of detail is important to me; it's okay if I wake up missing a lot of minor episodic memories like that.

Open Thread August 2018

The more naive interpretation of the phrase is instead represented by "self-aware", if that's helpful.

1Paperclip Minimizer3y"self-aware" can also be "self-aware" as in, say, "self-aware humor"
Expected Pain Parameters

Hm, I guess that's a slightly stronger claim, but I do endorse it now that I think about the distinction; not to the point where every single such piece of advice should come bundled with an unsolicited painfulness model, but to the point where if you're giving painful advice you should have the model on hand.

Expected Pain Parameters

What I mean is more like "if someone is suggesting that you do something painful, they should present you with a model of why and how that pain is okay". This doesn't rule out misappropriation - I'm sure cult leaders and certain brands of interpersonal abusers do it handily, especially if they're weaponizing guilt - but it's at least robust against generic, opaque commands to "suck it up", and if you go in with that expectation you'll have an opportunity to notice something is wrong if someone tells you that yo... (read more)

I agree with the idea that it's important for people to understand their pain when they aren't going to just flinch from it.

The framing you chose seems odd to me though. Instead of saying "if you're going to suggest people do something painful, you should present them with a model/make sure they understand" or saying "if someone is suggesting you do something painful, make sure you have a model", you say "*they* should present *you* with a model". Are you intending to suggest to your audience that they should feel *entitled* to having a model accompany the initial request, above and beyond the fact that it's important to understand?

Expressive Vocabulary

I think those examples are fine in many possible contexts. You can make a blog post with either instance as content just fine. My objection would come up if someone said "incel" and you said it was a horrible word instead of responding to their statement about incels - make that suggestion at another time. You could, if genuinely puzzled, ask if they mean incels as in lonely or incels as in violent misogynists, but I think context will tend to make that clear. And where it doesn't they don't in fact mean one of those things - they mean the conflation, and the word communicated that!

Expressive Vocabulary

I want to point out that there are lots of situations where English speakers fluently use words that don't have clear dividing lines between their applicability and their inapplicability - it depends on context and details. "The music is loud." What if I'm deaf or far away or like to be able to feel the bass line in my bones? That doesn't make the sentence impermissible or even hard to understand and I don't need the speaker to produce a decibel value. "If you go to high altitudes, the air is thinner and you might get... (read more)

2bfinn2yI suspect pointing out someone's confusion about the scope of the terms 'natural' and 'chemicals' is a proxy (not necessarily a bad one) for pointing out that their whole thinking on the topic is confused. It's a sign they assume incorrectly that natural (whatever they mean by it) is good and chemical (likewise) is bad, which is usually what they are implying. E.g. I heard someone on the radio talking about this re the term 'processed' food; he said people who disapprove of processed food might say it's much better to eat e.g. pasta with some parmesan and wine. Whereas in fact those are all highly processed foods too. So pointing this out is a more polite way of saying "your thinking is so muddled you haven't even thought through what counts as 'processed' (or 'natural' or 'chemical'), so you're not justified in assuming that that entails something is good or bad, which indeed it doesn't." Which seems a valid point.
Expressive Vocabulary

Suggesting search engine terms might be helpful. I don't think I'd ever find "you're going to confuse people" helpful - either I already know that I'm not being very precisely expressive and these are all the words I have, or, if that's not the case, "could you elaborate/rephrase that" would be better. I didn't feel exasperated by this comment but might by a long chain of them on this branch.

Expressive Vocabulary

Some people are in fact responsive to "that's a slur; the preferred term is X", especially if X isn't a barbarous use of language, if they were using the slur to encompass the whole group and got caught by a euphemism treadmill or just pick up their vocabulary from sources unsympathetic to Xes. And you don't have to reject an offered word for being a syllable longer if you want to make that tradeoff. I think this is a case of Postel's law, or should be.

0[comment deleted]4y
1rossry4yOh, I certainly didn't mean to imply that there weren't cases of suitable replacements for slurs (or that it wouldn't be valuable to find such); rather, I only meant to claim that there existed a case where it isn't obvious how to find a suitable replacement (contra jimrandomh above).
3ksvanhorn4yHmmm. I would be responsive to "that's a slur," but the follow-on "the preferred term is X" raises my hackles. The former is merely a request to be polite; the latter feels like someone is trying to dictate vocabulary to me.
Expressive Vocabulary

I wish to clarify that I'm not asserting that everyone knows exactly what things are "chemicals" and what things are not. There's room for disagreement, for one thing, and the disagreements might turn on all kinds of little points about where a substance came from and even why it was added to the food. But I do think that given two lists of ingredients for different brands of, say, packaged guacamole, you could distinguish "few to no chemicals" from "lots of chemicals". That there isn't a strict, look-up-able... (read more)

2Dagon4yIt's a statement that's reasonable to utter, and a statement that a more music-savvy friend might want to understand by asking what you mean, getting some positive and negative examples, and suggesting more precise terminology (along with suggesting specific music, one hopes). Pointing out that your use of those words is likely to confuse people and search engines is something I'd expect you to encourage rather than invoking your peeve. Note that I recognize that this comment may be an example of the thing you oppose - I'm verbosely challenging a (possibly) non-central point. I'd be interested to hear whether you find this example to be exasperating or valuable.
Expressive Vocabulary

Yeah, I don't fully endorse the linked Tumblr post; in particular there's certainly ways to resolve these conflicts that aren't "abdicate the terminology yourself". But some of it is highly relevant and well said.

Expressive Vocabulary

Extensionally, "chemicals" is food coloring that doesn't come straight out of a whole food, disodium edta, ammonia, peroxide, acetone, sulfur dioxide, aspartame, sodium aluminosilicate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, sodium sorbate, methylchloroisothiazolinone....

And not: apple juice, water, table salt, vodka, flour, sugar, milk...

A thing doesn't have to be a natural category for people to want to talk about it and have a legitimate interest in talking about it.

I disagree with your second point and think you're missing mine. If you do... (read more)

3Paperclip Minimizer4yArgh ! NO. The kind of probability that matter when calculating expected utility and making decisions based on expected utility is the Bayesian kind. The math WOULDN'T be the same. There is no such thing as the frequency of rain tomorrow beyond 100% if it does rain and 0% if it doesn't, so you can't compute it before the event happened. Propensity is more complicated and possibly incoherent as a concept, but you can't compute it either.
7ozymandias4yI feel like the example for "loading definitions" does, in fact, strike a word from my vocabulary without suitable replacement. I would like a word for "the aspects of masculinity that are bad"; in order to prevent the conversation turning into a bunch of complaints about my use of a particular term, I instead have to just say "masculinity." I do not want to use "masculinity" to mean "the aspects of masculinity that are bad." I would like to distinguish between those two things. (While I have no moderation power, I would personally really prefer that this conversation not turn into a conversation about the merits of that particular term.)
Explicit and Implicit Communication

I spent a lot of this post interested in the content, mostly the rich examples, but confused about where the entire post was pointing because I didn't realize until toward the end that you meant something totally different than me by "explicit communication" - you seem to mean something like "communication with a lot of moving parts and techniques and cringey NVC goop specifically addressing certain subtopics", and I would have expected the phrase to mean "communication that is clear, not sarcastic, and not very reliant on con... (read more)

3elhelado4yWas thinking something similar. I'm not familiar with the management theory/etc. that is being referenced here, and if you asked me what 'explicit communication' was, I would think it would mean being BLUNT , and not sparing anyone's feelings.
2lionhearted4yThat's reasonably close to my definition. "Cringey NVC goop" is not part of my definition; it's rather an example on one extreme.
Misery Pits

I do think there are intermediate stages of misery-pit-ness.

The target audience was "people like the people I've talked to about this before who find this model/framing helpful to them in their efforts to set and enforce boundaries before, not after, they are harmed by taking on too much responsibility for other people". I don't have any really useful advice for misery pits themselves that isn't implicitly in the post. The second conversation doesn't come free with the first because it requires more content which I don'... (read more)

Misery Pits

What disclaimers exactly? I can't diagnose misery-pit-hood of article readers as a group, so I can't say "if you're reading this you aren't a misery pit". I suppose I could... say that I'm not trying to get anyone to commit suicide...? I just don't understand how this problem could be solved by disclaimers.

So, I have some concrete answers to the "what disclaimers would help?" thing, but having slept on it I'm generally pretty uncomfortable with the way this post is currently written and disclaimers feel more like a band-aid than a solution.

This post seems to be aiming for a purely descriptive look at the problem, but... well first of all, "Misery Pit" just isn't a neutral descriptive word. (It's evocative and clearly communicates the phenomenon, but this is a phenomenon that's highly triggering to many people who are s... (read more)

Misery Pits

Being gripped by destructive rage when your friends succeed sounds like not a central case of the thing I was trying to describe.

I suspect alkjash's description is the same phenomenon, just somewhat less visible to your social group (because your group rewards/tolerates misery and sympathy demands, but rejects overt anger). There're a lot of variants of "uncontroll[ed|able] bad feelings"; Anger and sadness are fairly common to find together in the pathologies you're talking about.

It's not obvious to me that this topic is much different than any other human suffering - the vast majority of cases are emotionally distant enough that I'm not able/wil... (read more)

Social Technology

I'm interested in this topic but this post strikes me as vague and meandering, which I guess might be an artifact of it being originally intended for Medium (maybe Medium audiences don't know what social technology is at all?) I'd like to see more detailed and example-heavy posts about social technology on LW.

5Samo Burja4yYes! It was intended to be a simple introduction to the concept. I agree in-depth exploration of social technologies being a valuable kind of writing & research, but to include them in this piece would balloon it quickly. The "examples" given are not instances, but categories. I don't even claim it is an exhaustive list of useful categories of social technology. There will be future pieces that reference back to this one, with detailed object level examples for each category. As an example for a in-depth treatment of a category of social technology I would recommend David Friedman's book [] on law and even that doesn't exhaust the category.
Inconvenience Is Qualitatively Bad

I freeze butter; cutting it up from frozen is hard.

Here’s what you do:

Take a sharp knife (i.e. a chef’s knife). Run it under hot tap water for a few seconds, then wipe it with a paper towel. Then, use it to cut your butter (repeating the hot-tap-water/wipe-with-towel procedure after every few cuts).

(After all, where do you think the expression “went through [thing] like a hot knife through butter” comes from? ;)

(This is also how you can cut cheesecake, or brownies; doing it this way results in clean cuts, and prevents the cheesecake/brownies/etc. from getting mangled.)

Inconvenience Is Qualitatively Bad

Which approach makes sense depends on the extent to which it will come up again and how much that's your problem. (And potentially, in the case of Googling things, how good your retention is.)

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