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Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

Depending on where you live, mold can become a problem.

Group rationality diary, 5/21/12

I've been getting up at 7:30 every day and exercising since I got back, which is essentially unheard of for me. It's very exciting.

Unfortunately, there is a lot non-rationality related stuff that needs to be done in the next three weeks, so I've had very little time to synthesize and go through the rest of it. I'm hoping that in a month when things are less crazy I'll be able to commit half an hour a day as was suggested, but am worried that by then momentum will be lost. Any suggestions?

Learn A New Language!

I'd also recommend an introductory paragraph, where you explain what the post is going to be about, your basis for believing your information is correct, etc. Something like "this is a post describing a specific strategy for learning a new language. I've used it to learn Mandarin, French, Urdu, and Hindi." First because the opening is rather abrupt, and second because (as you can see) without citations everyone assumes you're working only from anecdotal evidence. If you aren't, you should definitely give your sources. And if you are, you should explicitly make that disclaimer, because otherwise it feels (at least, to me) like you're trying to make a stronger claim than just "hey, here's something that works for me."

Hold Off On Proposing Solutions

This is one of the techniques I've always thought sounded really useful, but never had a clear enough picture of to implement for myself. Does anyone have an example (a transcript, or something of the like) of groups and/or individuals successfully discussing a problem for 5 or 10 minutes without proposing any solutions? I have trouble imagining what that would look like.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

I'm not sure that's at all clear. Harry is going to extremely desperate measures to save Hermione - that he is willing to sacrifice any possible piece on the board, possibly including his own better nature, for one single person (no matter how special) certainly strikes me as a taboo tradeoff.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

The ministry was clearly not actually trying to catch Death Eaters during the first war. Even simpler than this (as a first pass to catch spies) would be to make all ministry employees roll up their left sleeve on a regular basis.

[SEQ RERUN] "I don't know."

If you haven't already seen it, this might interest you, it's a pretty cool story. Also, this.

SIAI Fundraising

The rule of thumb I've heard is that an employee's cost to their employer is between two and three times their salary. Even if the employer is not paying benefits, they still have to carry worker's comp insurance, for example, as well as administrative overhead on managing payroll, etc.

Where are we?

I'm in central Oregon

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