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I up-voted because:

  1. Writing-style gives me a strong internal impression of clarity / comprehension. I enjoy this sensation and think it correlates with understanding, and so am trying to promote more of it.
  2. Blue feels very soothing and I think contributes to the sensation of clarity / comprehension. I up-vote soothing sensation.
  3. I like the possible direction this could take in terms of microeconomic utility, revealed preferences, and so on for understanding human intelligence. So my up-vote is payment for expected future ideas.

Eh. Wouldn't it also be blasphemous to compare the mind of God to the mind of men?

I don't know how Maimonides is viewed among Orthodox Jews, but his whole ineffability of God seems to cast serious doubt on the efficacy of any analysis built out of experience of human writers. Afterall, does anything in Orthodox Jewish belief preclude God from writing in multiple voices, styles, ideological agenda?

I imagine the blasphemy comes in when the authors suggest that the variation was due to variation in the "conduits" or "transmitters" of God's chosen words.

Yes. I'd also love to see follow-ups afterwards to report on what was effective, what wasn't, what form of advice worked best, and what would the relevant known and (at the time) hidden variables.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for tracking.

So far have gotten back responses from two doctors / doctors-in-training. They both strongly suggest seeing a social worker to find out what resources are available vis-a-vie cleaning your apartment, improving your living situation, etc.

They also suggest you might take vitamin B and folate supplements, but you should check with your doctor to see if you have any deficiencies that may be contributing to your chronic pain and tiredness (as you mentioned in the eating vegetables and meat post).

Finally, there are a number of follow-up questions. You don't need to answer all of these, and ultimately what matters is that you see your doctor, but if you want here they are. Feel free to respond by PM.

  1. Is the chronic pain a recent or long-term problem?

  2. Are the migraines a recent or long-term problem?

  3. Are you depressed? Do you have a history of depression?

  4. Any history of eating disorders?

Many thanks. Good advice all. The resources you're suggesting are particularly helpful.

I will hopefully have many of those books in the next few weeks depending on shipping to Beijing.

I am hoping that I can get into a program before leaving the country, but regardless I am committed to resigning and moving by middle of next spring.

I am also looking at the terminal masters programs in the U.K. I know Cambridge has some.

I've sent an overview of your situation to all my friends who are doctors or training to be doctors. I will let you know their opinion. (I've also included information from your meat and vegetables post).

I strongly suggest you do not wait for them to get back to me and consult with local experts as soon as possible.

Also, if anyone in the LW community has medical training or knows someone who does who would be willing to offer an opinion on this, I encourage them to do so.

Yes. Asking them to drop you on a street-corner with a lot of people probably won't go over too well.

How is your time currently distributed? Is there anything you're currently using your time for that you would be willing to and have the ability to redistribute towards social activities?

Obviously, this is going to subject to cost-benefit considerations, but some sense of how much flexibility you have here will help point towards realizable social activities.

Three suggestions then:

  1. Enlist the help of your family to ferry you to population centers, friends, or wouldbe friends; eventually you'll have non-family relationships that are strong enough that these new friends can come pick you up on the way elsewhere thus reducing the burden on your family.

  2. Look into activities, hobbies, etc. that involve other people. People often gather around crafting something, music, political activism. You may also find some public debating societies interesting. There are also some public speaking clubs like Toastmasters which should draw people who have something to say and who are interested in meeting people and self-improvement.

  3. Spend some serious time reflecting on and understanding what your criteria for an interesting person is. If you are more "luminous" about this, then you may be able to more efficiently find people nearby who you are interested in.

I will keep thinking on this and see if I can come up with other immediately actionable suggestions.

If you're uncomfortable, then you can stop here, right now...also, later. No one should feel they need to reveal more than they want. I will not be hurt if you decide you want to stop.

I'm trying to build a profile so that I can think of ways you can find interesting people nearby.

By evaluation process what I mean long do you take to decide whether you want to continue or discontinue talking to someone. In other words, if you meet someone for the first time, when do you know whether they are interesting. By adjusting this process you might be able to increase the number of interesting people you find.

I don't want to pry into your relationship with your family, and so if you don't want to talk further about them that is fine. It seems that a lot of stress and a high cost to failure would be major factors to consider in any recommendation.

Questions you definitely don't need to answer:

  1. How openly can you talk with your family?

  2. Are they in favor or opposed to you socializing with people face-to-face?

  3. If they are in favor, do they have the time / means to help you socialize?

I would like to go to grad school for physics and philosophy.

The Situation:

  1. I did my bachelors in Economics at a very good American university, but I only did moderately well.

  2. I took mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and wave phenomena. I also took theoretical multi-var, linear algebra, and abstract algebra, basic statistics, econometrics. In philosophy I've only taken a course on Kant's ethics.

The Constraints:

  1. I have not taken quantum mechanics, statistical thermodynamics, or any science-relevant philosophy (i.e. metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of ...).

  2. I've not taken the GRE, either general or subject. The Physics GRE covers QM and Thermo.

  3. I have no formal research experience working under anyone.

  4. I am currently working roughly 9-6 Monday through Friday with about a half hour commute on either end. It takes me about an hour to get ready in the morning.

  5. I am currently living in Beijing, China as an American expatriate. My Chinese is decent, but not fluent enough to have deep conversations or to make day-to-day interactions easy. I take about 3.5 hours of Mandarin instruction a week with probably 2 hours of out of class homework.

  6. In order to combat depression, reduce stress and maintain my health, I try to cook lunch every morning as well as go swimming. Since the nearest pool that is open in the morning is a 30 minutes away I have been getting up at 5 AM and have been arriving at the office a little after 9 AM.

  7. I feel very lonely as my family and friends are almost all in the U.S. or U.K. still. As such I need to devote some amount of time to both socializing face-to-face here and to communicating with friends and family back home. This was recently exacerbated by my father having major surgery (which was successful) and by my persistent if now mild feelings of unrequited romantic love.

The Problem:

I believe I need to teach myself QM and Thermo to a sufficient level to do well on the GREs. I also need to brush up on the other subjects which I haven't touched in about 5 years.

However, I find I do not have the time / motivation / ability to teach myself these subjects. I have been making some progress reading through textbooks, but I have found that without working through problems all the way to their conclusion I don't really learn or internalize the ideas and practices.

Additionally, I'm concerned about demonstrating sufficient worthiness in other ways i.e. via recommendations, research, experience, etc.

I am open to inquiries regarding my motivation for this goal to help point towards near substitutes.

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