All of AngryParsley's Comments + Replies

How to sign up for Alcor cryo

Is that 50-55% estimate conditional on no civilizational collapse or extinction event? Either way, it seems very optimistic. According to current actuarial estimates, a 30 year-old has about a 50% chance of living another 50 years. For life expectancy to dramatically increase, a lot of things have to fall into place over the next half-century. If you think anti-aging tech will be available in 30 years, consider how medicine has advanced in the past 30. Unless there are significant breakthroughs, we're sunk. I'm signed up for cryo and I donate to SENS, but my estimates are much more pessimistic than yours.

1Dentin6yI believe I used a fairly small number for civilizational collapse and extinction, on the order of ten to fifteen percent. I just don't find such doomsday scenarios that likely or plausible. It may be that my background and upbringing have inured me to it - I've seen the end of the world not happen far too many times in my lifetime: * Communists failed to conquer everyone * There was no nuclear war/nuclear winter with russia * The UN new world order didn't enslave everyone * The end times due to the second coming of christ haven't happened at least a dozen times * y2k didn't cause problems * 2012 was just retarded * There has been no superflu * The stock market has become more stable over time, not less * Peak oil happened and nobody even noticed * There was no hard AI takeoff There's probably more if I stop to think about it. At the moment, I find biotech to be the most likely existential threat, with general civilization collapse and strong AI the next two major candidates.

If you want to improve your writing, I strongly recommend The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker. He explains why certain guidelines usually make text clearer, shows how they can fail, then gives the underlying mechanisms for why. It's a much more scientific look at language than the usual, "Trust my advice because I'm good at writing. Do this. Don't do this. Except sometimes, do."

Rationalist Sport

The real answer is: Whatever you can get yourself to do regularly.

If you don't exercise regularly, deciding on a sport is like a picking a programming language before you've learned even one of them. There is no one-size-fits-all sport or exercise. It really depends on your interests, physical abilities, social circle, the weather, what's near you, etc. This discussion might help give people ideas, but so could a list of sports. The most important thing is to get out there and do something.

Also, your quoted example sounds like a just-so story. I thought bowling and football were popular because they're an excuse to drink with friends.

0Caspar427yOf course, motivation is an important issue in choosing a sport. If you start running, it might be boring and not very satisfying, so it is hard to practice regularly. But I think from a huge extensive list of sports, a lot of them can be discarded for being too risky (maybe soccer or mixed martial arts?), having no physical/mental health benefits (maybe most e-sports?) etc. So I do not think that "Whatever you can get yourself to do regularly" provides a sufficient condition for finding out whether a sport is rational, even though it is definetely a necessary condition.
My Heartbleed learning experience and alternative to poor quality Heartbleed instructions.

I think Eugine_Nier means to imply (and I would agree) that anybody using SSL2 is incompetent when it comes to security.

If you have a significant amount of money in your account, I recommend asking your bank about multi-factor authentication. I had to pay a small fee for it, but Wells Fargo gave me an RSA token for my accounts. Its use is required when transferring funds to other banks. So even if my password is stolen, my money is safe. Silicon Valley Bank has a similar scheme using SMS authentication.

My Heartbleed learning experience and alternative to poor quality Heartbleed instructions.

For #1, "I reacted immediately" and "I reacted when the urgency became evident" are probably the same thing for most people. I heard about the bug 20 minutes after it was announced, from the Cloudflare blog of all places. Not even USN had posted about it. I patched my servers within an hour, and spent the next 5 hours waiting for my CA to respond to my revocation and re-key requests. Apparently they were inundated.

On the bright side, I prepared for security issues like this. I used multi-factor auth for our admin tools and perfect forwa... (read more)

What are you working on? December 2011

An update for those who are curious: Ag is now the 11th most-starred C repository on GitHub. It's more popular than memcached or Arduino. It will soon surpass XBMC to become #10. People freakin' love it.

How can I spend money to improve my life?

The risk of dry eye is because LASIK cuts a flap in the cornea, severing many of the nerves that sense irritation and dryness. Other procedures like epi-LASEK or PRK don't involve cutting into the cornea, so their risk of dry eye is much lower. Unfortunately, those procedures are more painful and take months to heal. They involve scraping the epithelial cells off of your cornea, zapping your eye, and then letting them grow back. On the bright side, there is no flap that can be dislodged by a blow to the eye.

I got wavefront-guided epi-LASEK a few years ago. My vision went from 20/200 to 20/15. It can be pricey ($5k), but it's definitely the best money I've ever spent.

As an upload, would you join the society of full telepaths/empaths?

I defy your assertion that both societies are similarly happy. Unless the telepath society is extremely accepting of fringe thoughts, it's going to be worse. Knowing that others will read your thoughts and judge you for them causes you to censor yourself. But at that point, it's already too late. People will know that you thought of something objectionable and suppressed it out of fear of judgement.

Really though, the two options are silly. Ems allow for so many more possibilities. A society in which people could voluntarily expose their thoughts would have quite a few advantages. Ditto for a society with perfect (optional, voluntary) lie detection.

2mwengler8yOnce fringe thoughts are visible, our conception of what is human, what is acceptable, expands a lot. If there's one thing that internet searches and rule 34 have taught me is that there are a lot more people on similar fringes to the one I am on than I thought as a young adult (in the pre-internet days of the 1980s). What is talking and mirror neurons and empathy other than an expression of the value to the species of having a hive mind? When evolution finds something valuable, like sexual reproduction for instance, it seems to build in to the organisms powerful drives to make that happen, the satisfaction of which can be very, well, satisfying to the organism. I would take my fringey mind and take my chances on deep satisfaction, especially if there is an opt out choice as implied in the original post.
2shminux8yI never asserted that. All I said is that telepaths appear to be happy, and the rest appear to be "normal". Indeed. I was simply trying to come up with a scenario where there is an option to live in a "thoughts and feelings set on public" society, and sims seem like a decent model of it.
New Monthly Thread: Bragging

I do not. Your praise is more than enough.

Also, I have pretty much everything I want that can be ordered off Amazon.

New Monthly Thread: Bragging

My co-founder and I launched Floobits, a tool for remote pair programming. We'd been soft-launched and were slowly growing through word of mouth, but we hadn't tried to get publicity or told the world that we're a Y Combinator startup.

We got coverage on:

...and a couple other places I've forgotten about.

I also wrote an insubstantial post about getting into YC. It doesn't contain any special hints, just a summary of the journey so far.

Demo day is next week, so maybe I should have waited to post in this thread. :)

6Technoguyrob8yDo you have an Amazon wish list? You are awesome.
"Why doesn't that cool thing happen when I *try* to do it?"

That was my first thought as well.

My second thought was, "Somebody needs to clean their desk."

What are you working on? February 2013

This is a follow up to the last time I posted in a WAYWO thread.

A little over a year ago, I started working on a code searching tool in my spare time. It's been more successful than I ever thought it would be. The GitHub repo has more watchers than Ack, the project I set out to imitate. I learned a lot about optimizing, profiling, benchmarking, and using pthreads.

It's also had a nice side-benefit: random people online recognize me.

2David_Gerard9yI frequently have cause to grep -r our entire codebase, so I think I'll be having a play with this. Thank you! Edit: And you've helped me impress my boss. Well done :-D (We use Ubuntu 10.04 VMs as servers, so the Lucid deb [http://swiftsignal.com/packages/] was just the thing.) HEY EVERYONE: If you ever find yourself having to grep -r a codebase, just use ag instead. Feature request: output in the same format as grep -r (to feed to other scripts). Edit: and lo, it does this automatically when its output is a pipe. Win!
February 2013 Media Thread

I liked the movie, but I was annoyed by the misleading editing near the end.

Gur vagreivrjf gnyxvat nobhg gur snzvyl xvyyvat Avpubynf vagrefcrefrq jvgu gur cevingr vairfgvtngbe qvttvat va gur onpx lneq ernyyl fhttrfgrq gung gurl jbhyq svaq n obql. V xrcg guvaxvat, "Gurer'f ab jnl ur'f tbvat gb svaq n obql... ohg ubj ryfr jvyy guvf raq? Gurl jbhyq bayl neenatr gurfr fprarf gbtrgure vs vg jnf tbvat gb cnl bss." Gura bs pbhefr, vg qvqa'g cnl bss.

I'd say it's worth a watch, although I'd never heard of the disappearance of Nicholas Barclay. I'm not sure it'd be as interesting for someone who already knew the story.

What are you working on? December 2012

Considering recent progress in self-driving vehicles, I don't think that's a wise career choice.

1atorm9yThat's a really good point.
January 2013 Media Thread

English vocals tend to distract me, so much of my work music is ambient. All album links are to Spotify.

Many of the names are pretentious, but I find the music pleasant.

2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Yes, I noticed I could skip around. I mostly did the questions in order, since they got progressively harder. Still, I ran out of time and had to guess on the last two.

2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

SD was 15 and the tests were geared for high-IQ people. I've taken tests meant for average people and gotten hilarious results (163).

3[anonymous]9yErrr... Did you notice that on iqtest.dk you were allowed to skip to earlier and later questions by clicking on the numbers on the left? The first time I took that test, about a year ago, I didn't, so I wasted plenty of time on certain difficult questions before giving up.
2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Back in grade school, I took several real-life IQ tests and usually scored in the high 130's to low 140's. I'd heard of Raven's Progressive Matrices, but this was the first time I'd taken that type of test. It was quite humbling. I got 122 on iqtest.dk. From what I've heard in #lesswrong, most people score low on this test.

I opened the test again in a different browser, VPN'd from a different country. It gave the same questions. That means your subsequent tests aren't valid. You already knew many of the answers. Worse, you knew which questions had stumped you before. You were probably thinking about those questions before you started the test a second or third time.

4RichardKennaway9yDoes anyone know what IQ it gives to a perfect set of answers? Its picture of a bell curve superimposed on a scale tops out at about 140.
5[anonymous]9yI got 135... Was I the only one who realized I could go back to previous questions, or something?
4[anonymous]9ySee this comment of mine [http://lesswrong.com/lw/f9l/2012_less_wrong_censussurvey_now_open/7r6g].
-8adamisom9y
Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

It was a rhetorical question. You do have a way of knowing that you haven't thought of anything new: The idea of cryonics has been around for over half a century. Brilliant and creative minds have explored the argument territory quite thoroughly. You should expect to bring nothing new to the table.

Rant mode engaged.

Your post won't help us learn how to convince women to sign up for cryonics. The sample size isn't random and it's certainly not big enough to draw any useful conclusions from. We'll just replay some tired replies to some tired objections. At be... (read more)

2jefftk9yAm I correct in reading you to be saying that it's pretty much a clear case in cryonics' favor? If you were to die in a month, with sufficient warning to line up deathbed cryosuspension and all, how likely do you see some form of revival?
6Epiphany9yAlso, if you guys have already figured everything out, then why is convincing women perceived as extra hard? Obviously something is missing, and that element might be anything from not knowing all of the objections women will make to not having good enough persuasive skills to a seemingly unrelated difference between the genders (maybe it's that women don't read as much about technology or that they go to doctors more often and have learned more about the flaws in medical technology, leading to distrust) - but without opening up a line of communication about it, and experimenting to see what kinds of ideas emerge, how are you ever going to make testable guesses about what the missing piece(s) is/are?

Most importantly, is there any other area of debate where we use different arguments to convince women? It would be bizarre.

You seem to be ignorant of what values are. From the point of view of a rationalist, they are axioms, and slippery ones at that as they are axioms elucidated by the individual introspecting his (or her) own emotional reactions to various theoretical situations.

Arguments to convince someone to DO something are tailored to fit the individual being convinced.

Trivial examples of using different arguments to convince women vs men (on average) include arguments to see a particular movie (chick flick vs boobsploitation or violence).

1Epiphany9yWhy would you have thought I would have known that? All I know is that I wasn't convinced, and people didn't know how to convince women, and a bunch of people voted in my poll that they thought this was a good topic idea. You really don't think anyone here is interested in getting practice? Just about everyone here has family members. I imagine they'll want them to survive.
Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

I'm signed up for cryo and I don't want to convince you.

This topic has been discussed to death, both here and elsewhere online. Do you think you've brought up any arguments that haven't been discussed before? Replying to these objections is a waste of time.

In general, "convince me" posts are a bad idea. You've got a brain. You've got a computer. You've got a search engine. Use them. Convince yourself.

7Epiphany9yThat was my first instinct, but then I remembered that there was a consensus in another thread [http://lesswrong.com/lw/e0z/mentioning_cryonics_to_a_dying_person/] that women are impossible to convince. In that thread, the poster wanted to convince his mom to sign up for cryo but didn't know how to. A lot of people here might want a chance to figure out how to convince women to get cryo. So instead of convincing myself, I gave them an opportunity to practice on me. I have no way of knowing that, seeing as how I avoided convincing myself so that other people could experiment on me. I am open to reading articles that people feel are convincing, as I realize that it would be pretty boring to explain the same stuff all over again. It says that in the OP.
Less Wrong Polls in Comments

The results so far (only showing answers with > 1 responder):

11 "0.0"
 8 "-1.0"
 7 "2147483647.0"
 5 "3.0"
 4 "42.0"
 4 "1e+19"
 3 "9.0"
 3 "8.0"
 3 "1.0"
 2 "666.0"
 2 "32767.0"
 2 "24.0"
 2 "2.0"
 2 "1e+17"

To regenerate this, run grep -v "#" poll.csv | awk -F , '{ print $3 }' | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr.

I'm not surprised by the number of votes for 2^31-1. It was the first number to pop into my head when I saw the poll.

Who Wants To Start An Important Startup?

That study was about VCs choosing investments, not startup founders working long, stressful hours side-by-side. I realize there are disadvantages to working with friends, but I'm pretty sure the advantages outweigh them. Paul Graham seems to agree, and he makes a living picking founders.

Who Wants To Start An Important Startup?

I think the biggest problem with your proposal is that it's hard to do a startup with founders who don't know each other well. The founders and early employees will face long hours, stress, and possibly financial woes. Some background history and an interview aren't enough to ensure that someone won't flake. The best co-founders are friends who have worked together previously. As Paul Graham says:

And the relationship between the founders has to be strong. They must genuinely like one another, and work well together. Startups do to the relationship between the founders what a dog does to a sock: if it can be pulled apart, it will be.

4michaelkeenan9yI'd be interested in meeting a co-founder on Less Wrong. I'd want to work on some smaller project first - some trivial website or web app, or a browser extension, that could be finished in a relatively short time. That would give me an idea of the prospective co-founder's skills and work habits. Of course it's not as much information as I'd like to have, but it'd be a good start.
3AlexMennen9yhttp://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/06/good-friends-can-make-bad-business-partners.html [http://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/06/good-friends-can-make-bad-business-partners.html]
4John_Maxwell9yAnecdotally, Dropbox was founded by two guys who had just met each other. But yeah, this is probably true in general. Maybe the best we can do is start making friends with people who we might like to start startups with later, as a preliminary step? I'd like to make friends with a web designer, myself.

I believe there are results (linked by Hanson recently?) showing that cofounders do better when they're selected for merit reasons (i.e. this guy was the best coder we found) rather than identity reasons (i.e. we both went to the same university). It's also relatively easy to get to know people quickly.

Flakes as cofounders, however, is a critical error that must be consciously avoided. I like your mention of previous projects- whenever someone tells me they think we'd make a good founding pair, I try to look for a small project that we can ship in a few months that will give us a taste of how we work together. I've avoided a few mistakes that way.

Yeah, that's definitely tricky and a downside.

I think having the common philosophies of Less Wrong would go a long way. It would also be an upside if all people are passionate about the cause and have thought it through in a lot of detail before committing to work together. There is also nothing to say that people can't get to know each other well before embarking on a project together, even if they do hook up on this blog. Things like Skype and even planes are easy to use in this day and age - if people are truly motivated and taking initiative, the... (read more)

Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

A reading light. It's battery-powered and can clamp onto things. I find it useful for reading in bed, especially when travelling.

Rationality Quotes July 2012

I'd like to propose a new guideline for rationality quotes:

  • Please don't post multiple quotes from the same source.

I enjoy the Alpha Centauri quotes, but I think posting 5 of them at once is going a bit overboard. It dominates the conversation. I'm fine with them all getting posted eventually. If they're good quotes, they can wait a couple months.

Group rationality diary, 6/25/12

I'm glad you're focusing on improving your appearance, but be careful. If they think you're going to be a one-time customer (Which is likely, since you don't live here. Yes, people can tell.), the staff have a massive incentive to say you look good. Bring a friend if you want an honest evaluation.

3Despard9yGood point and good call. My plan is to arrange some clothes shopping time with friends when I get back to Kingston. I rather suspect they will be shocked when I ask them to accompany me. :) I realised last night that I spent about 3 hours clothes shopping yesterday, without getting anxious once. It's much easier when you think of it as simply a problem to be solved...
Marketplace Transactions Open Thread

I bought this, and I endorse it. It could be expanded in some places*, but it's a great start.

*I should have taken notes while reading. I definitely remember thinking "this part seems too brief", but I don't remember where.

1Morendil9yThanks! Probably Chapter 8, which is just a sketch, and of course Chapter 14, where I'm supposed to wrap it all up. My current dilemma is whether to leave the overall structure alone or basically write another half of the book, where I share my tips for reading papers in software engineering critically: how to parse a research paper's structure, how to read a graph, how to assess an experimental setup, how to use Google Scholar, how do do basic bibliometrics... The idea would be to intersperse these chapters with the ones exposing the flaws in the literature. I have no way of knowing who's coming from LW, but since the grandparent comment was published three copies were sold netting me a tad under $25 in royalties.
Low Hanging Fruit in Computer Hardware

I agree with everything mentioned, but I'd like to add one thing:

If you use your computer a lot and you have money, don't hesitate to buy something expensive. The cost per hour ends up being ridiculously low. I've said this for years, but many of my peers are still averse to spending "too much" on computer equipment.

Mindfulness Meditation Thread

I was in the same spot as you until I read this post by Sam Harris. It's a pretty good intro to mindful meditation. It also links to some useful resources, such as guided audio tracks.

6chaosmage9yI've done an extensive search of guided audio tracks on the web and can confirm these seem to be the best ones available in the English language.
What are you working on? December 2011

I've tried Eclipse's search before, and it's way too slow for my needs. Also, the Eclipse UI has a lot of annoyances since it's not a native OS X application. It doesn't obey my keyboard map, for example.

I haven't seen grepcode before, but it looks like it builds an index. That's a non-starter for me, since code often changes and I don't want to wait for an index to get rebuilt before searching. If the tool silently rebuilds the index in the background, it's even worse. Then I don't know if the search results are correct or not.

0jimrandomh10yIt doesn't have to mean that. It could respond to your search by walking the directory structure checking last-modification times, comparing them against its index, and updating anything that's been modified.
0Bugmaster10yI see, that makes sense, but I think that you might be better off with a hybrid approach: build an index first, and do real-time search on all files that have been changed, and thus haven't been [re-]indexed yet. I'm not sure if any of the existing systems do that, but it's worth checking out. Of course, if your codebase is relatively small, performance won't be much of a problem...
What are you working on? December 2011

For the past couple of weeks I've been writing a utility to search through code quickly. I'm doing this because at work, some large dependencies got tossed in extern, making ack and grep pretty slow. At first I tried to make them faster (creating aliases to ignore certain files), but I soon gave up and started writing my own thing.

Grep is slow because it doesn't ignore files by default. Ack is slow because it's written in Perl. So I'm writing it in C, using libpcre for the regex matching. So far it's about 3x faster than ack and 10x faster than grep. With ... (read more)

0Bugmaster10yHave you considered existing solutions, such as Krugle [http://www.krugle.com/products/krugle-basic.html], or IntelliJ and Eclipse's built-in tools or plugins [http://grepcode.com/faq] (assuming you're coding in Java or Python or whatever else Eclipse supports) ? If so, what were their major deficiencies, and how is your solution better ? The reason I'm asking is because, well, I'm a selfish bastard who doesn't feel like implementing his own code search engine, so I might as well use yours :-)
.

I think the one-sidedness of it made it funny to me. The turtle had absolutely no chance, and it was probably oblivious to any danger. It reminded me of The World's Most One-Sided Fistfights Caught on Film.

Of course I also felt a twinge of pity for the turtle.

Rational Home Buying

I never thought to write a post about it, but I use similar criteria when looking for an apartment. It's easier to switch apartments than houses, but it's harder to modify an apartment. This means that many of the criteria for apartments are more specific. Here are some criteria I use that Yvain didn't mention:

  • East-facing windows. The sun rising in the morning is great at waking me up and forcing me to keep a normal sleep schedule. Without it I tend to go on a 26-28 hour day.
  • Noise level. If possible, try to talk to some tenants. Try to gauge their age a
... (read more)
0[anonymous]10yPlus, rooms with west-facing windows easily become way too warm for my taste in the afternoon.
Rationality Quotes August 2011

In the Golden Oecumene, modifying minds is commonplace, so people are usually as patient, humble, energetic, etc as they can be. The quote is about changing more basic values. Ironjoy was a sociopath until the Curia punished him.

Rationality Quotes August 2011

"You could trifle with your mind, using activators and redactors from your own thought-shop, and put yourself back into the state of mind you were in before the Curia forced you to experience your victims' lives."

"Is this some sort of test or quiz? You know I shall not do that."

"Why not?"

Ironjoy started to turn away, but then stopped, turned, and answered the question. “If I were now as I was then, I would gladly change my self to remain as I was then; but I am now as I am now. The me that I am now has no desire to be any other me. Isn’t that the fundamental nature of the self?”

-- The Phoenix Exultant by John C. Wright

[anonymous]10y14

I'd very much like to be more patient, humble, energetic, experienced, diversely skilled, productive, motivated, dedicated, disciplined, courageous, self reliant, systematic, efficient, cautious, pragmatic, sociable, polite, forgiving, courteous, cooperative, uninhibited, consistent, generous, expressive, coherent, observant, imaginative, adaptable, witty, inquisitive, gracious, tranquil, impartial, and sincere. Am I missing the intent of the quote?

The True Rejection Challenge

I run a decent amount and I used to be self-conscious about it. Eventually I realized: What does it matter what random strangers think? Their opinion of you has no effect on your life. They won't even know your name or remember your face.

Now it doesn't feel the least bit unusual when I ignore people. I'm breathing hard. In a few minutes I'll be half a mile away from this person. Why spend the effort to make eye contact and nod?

Please refresh your browser cache so the new LessWrong.com design will look right.

Take the advice of GTmetrix with a big grain of salt. Many of their recommendations are conflicting ("Remove query strings from static resources" vs "Use a CDN") or difficult/expensive to implement (CSS sprites).

It looks like easy wins would be to enable compression and put script tags after CSS includes. Everything else, meh.

0tetsuo5510yThanks for analysing the results!
So, I guess the site redesign is live?

That's a caching issue. The + and - have been replaced with thumbs-up and thumbs-down.

2Paul Crowley10yAh, thanks! Thought a shift-reload would clear that up, but obviously not.
Please refresh your browser cache so the new LessWrong.com design will look right.

You probably already know this, but if the CSS was generated, you could minify it and have cache-busting. It looks like this is already done for most of the site's JavaScript. All the CSS includes have cache-busting query strings. Ditto for a good portion of images in the HTML. So currently, users get the updated CSS immediately, but their browser will display cached versions of the images included in url references in the CSS. Adding "?blah=12345678" to the url() references in main.css, lesswrong.css, etc would fix this. Then people wouldn't have to worry about styling bugs due to browser caching.

1matt10yWe tried cache busting, but missed many assets. It was several embarrassing oversights.
Help Request: Cryonics Policies

I looked at both before I signed up, and chose Alcor. Both organizations have similar numbers of members and corpsicles, but I bet the average wealth of their members is quite different. Alcor's higher dues are reflected in their staffing, research, and legal battles. CI is much more low-key.

The biggest difference between Alcor and CI is that Alcor does standby and transport. If you're very ill, they'll send a team to your deathbed so you can be cryopreserved as soon as possible. If you go with CI, you have to contract with Suspended Animation to get that treatment.

Designing Rationalist Projects

That's the point I was trying to make. I'm sorry if it came across as endorsing the tactic. "Commitment and consistency" and "social proof" are two of the six "weapons of influence" from Cialdini's Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

The elephant in the room, AMA

Have you read much about cryonics? If so, what are your thoughts?

Designing Rationalist Projects

That tactic combines commitment and consistency with social proof. After 5 people have told the group what honorable and high-status things they're going to do, you'd have a hard time saying, "Well I didn't learn anything useful tonight, but it was fun to catch up with some of you guys." even if it were true.

2handoflixue10yHmmmm, that's a good point. I like the idea of hanging out casually and growing at my own pace. I like the idea of learning skills that help me accelerate that pace. I definitely dislike any sort of social pressure to match the group's pacing, though.
4fubarobfusco10yThis suggests that it would inspire making things up to sound good, regardless of whether they are true. I don't think that's a hugely great result.
Optimizing Sleep

Like other commenters, I recommend melatonin and keeping lights low before bedtime. Blue light seems to reduce the amount of melatonin in the brain, so dimmed incandescent lights are better than fluorescents or LEDs. Programs like F.lux or Redshift can change the color temperature of your screen at night.

More than anything else, vigorous exercise has helped keep me on a 24-hour cycle. Days when I don't run are days when I have trouble getting to sleep. I don't think this works for everyone though. Keeping a regular exercise routine is probably harder than keeping a standard sleep schedule.

2Mqrius9yMy sleep schedule tended to drift further into the night as well. I installed f.lux s little over a week ago, and just realized a day ago that I find myself going to bed around midnight consistently! The amount of sleep has also decreased, to about 7.5 hours. sleep quality seems similar. (I'm using ElectricSleep for tracking movement) Capitalizing on this, I've ordered orange-tinted blue-blocking glasses [http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000USRG90], and have attempted to find something like f.lux for Android. There are custom ROMs that can do it, and there's apps like Lux that only change brightness. Supposedly you can use Chainfire3D + Chainfire3D Pro + CF.Lumen, although I think that modifies your ROM. I'm using EasyEyez right now, which can put an ugly red overlay over the screen. I don't know how effective it is, but at least you'll need to reduce blue to go from a white colour to a red colour. YMMV, my girlfriend didn't notice any change since using f.lux.
3wedrifid10yRed LEDs obviously wouldn't fit the deprecated category. If my understanding is correct they are also good for providing illumination in situations where it is critical that you do not lose your night vision. I have found F.lux useful and surprisingly unintrusive. Without playing conscious attention or turning it on and off to verify the difference is not noticeable. If you do go and turn it off after adapting to the altered display it actually feels unnaturally glaring.
Optimizing Sleep

I had a similar set-up for a while and it was quite useful. I used some X10 modules and cron jobs to turn on lamps in the morning. The automated lamps became superfluous after I moved to a place with east-facing windows. It's not easy to shut off the morning sun.

Barring a bedroom with east-facing windows, I'd say the outlet timer is the best option. Home automation stuff is harder to set up and more expensive.

Rationality Quotes: May 2011

Until the third morning, when Wim finally declared, "Everything's a trick, if'n you can see behind it, just like with them witches in the hills. Everything's got a–reason. I think there ain't no such thing as magic!"

Jagit fixed him with a long mild look, and the specter of the night in the Grandfather Grove seemed to flicker in the dark eyes. "You think not, eh?"

Wim looked down nervously.

"There’s magic, all right, Wim; all around you here. Only now you’re seeing it with a magician’s eyes. Because there’s a reason behind everything

... (read more)
Ethics and rationality of suicide

I think you're right, but there's a possible selection effect. The ones who survived but didn't regret jumping could have successfully committed suicide later. Then they wouldn't be around for any interviews. Some quick searching doesn't give me any useful stats about the likelihood of survivors re-attempting.

Limitless, a Nootropics-Centered Movie

this seems to be of the common subgenre of scif where any new technology must have terrible costs, and when there aren't any plausible costs, the power of plot will provide them.

Yep. Something tells me this will be similar to caveman science fiction.

6atucker11yI was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't.
3DanielLC11yI think this is more of the Anthropic Principle [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AnthropicPrinciple] than a Space Whale Aesop [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceWhaleAesop]. In other words, the guy's being chased so there'd be a plot, not because they think think nootropics are bad and show you via an unlikely scenario.
1gwern11yPredictable, really. There's not much of a Hollywood movie story in 'guy takes a pill and becomes really really awesome. The End.'
0[anonymous]11yRegardless, I think I will be watching this. It has something I like. Even if Hollywood doesn't understand it. Thank you for the heads-up. It's been a while since I've seen a movie about anything I'm even remotely interested in.
1Raemon11yCavemen science fiction is awesome.
Cryonics and the importance of body to cognition

I agree that the state of one's body changes cognition quite a bit. Still, if someone becomes a quadriplegic or acquires locked-in syndrome, we don't consider them to be dead or a different person. And compared to extracting a mind from a cryopreserved brain, rebuilding a (simulated or real) body from memories and DNA isn't that hard.

3David_Gerard11yDefinitely. But some people really, really like being a body - it's a major part of who they consider themselves. Cryonics may have trouble reaching them if it doesn't address this. (Which may be minor to all the other marketing deficiencies it seems to have.)
Rationality Quotes: February 2011

For most of the time I spent reading this quote, I thought the men were celebrities or demagogues and the giants were the populace.

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