All of BarbaraB's Comments + Replies

Are the uniforms at US schools reasonably practical, comfortable and do they have reasonable colour, e.g. not green ? As a girl of socialism, I experienced pioneer uniforms, which were not well designed. They forced short skirts on girls, which are impractical in some weather. The upper part, the shirt, needed to be ironed. There was no sweather or coat to unify kids in winter.. My mother once had to stand coatless in winter in a wellcome row for some event. I can also imagine some girls having aesthetic issues with the exposed legs or unflattering color. But what are the uniforms in the US usually like ?

What's wrong with green?
Schools in the US are run locally and are very diverse. Some schools (mostly private ones) require uniforms, but as far as I know the majority of public schools do not. There are dress codes -- all schools have policies about what's acceptable to wear to school -- but within those guidelines you can generally wear what you want.

What happened to lesswrong parents discussion ? Is it alive somewhere else ?

Yeah, that. There's no way of getting money that's so ugly that some poor, desperate person somewhere won't try.

I do not retract, I just pressed the wrong button...

But, anyway, some people have hypothesis, that Voldermort plans for Harry to rule the world (as his copy). Quirrel says something like that in parseltongue during Azkaban arch. So some believe, he is showing Harry some of the most powerful spells in this chapter on purpose. That is also consistent with what is happening.

Unlike canon, Voldie's father in HPMoR could have lacked magical phenotype, but must have had one magic allele and at least some distant wizard/like ancestors, because of inheritance of magic in HPMOR (which is different from canon). If somebody sequenced the DNA of HPMoR version of Voldie's father, they would find the squib genetic make-up, not muggle.

That is just a side technical note, though. The father was probably sufficiently unrelated to the mother's family, which probably really helped with the inbreeding problems.

Did I understand correctly, that the parchment contained 2 alternate instructions for dealing with the room enchanted by Snape ? One side of the parchment contained a comparatively short puzzle, similar to the canon HP, while the other side contained incredibly long and laborious recipe ? When a child or young student is given 2 alternate version of homework, one short and entertaing, while other a boring and laborious pain in the ass, which one do they normally choose ? Voldermort, however, does not believe in simple solutions, he tends to do overkills al... (read more)

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I do not retract, I just pressed the wrong button... But, anyway, some people have hypothesis, that Voldermort plans for Harry to rule the world (as his copy). Quirrel says something like that in parseltongue during Azkaban arch. So some believe, he is showing Harry some of the most powerful spells in this chapter on purpose. That is also consistent with what is happening.

Btw., the definition of feminism "...establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women" makes it a movement I endorse, but I am not sure the definition accurately describes what happened to it.

On November 2, I wrote: "Partial success. I meant to fill in the survey completely, but my internet froze at calibration question 5. In an attempt to revive it, I pressed Enter, which resulted in submission of the incomplete survey. Now what ?" I received recommendation to take the survey again and report the unfinished one as something to be discarded. So now I finally took the full survey. To avoid duplicity, please discard an old incomplete survey finished at calibration question 5, from someone who lives in Slovakia, attended 2013 "full" minicamp and reported that time carma of cca 174.

Btw., the definition of feminism "...establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women" makes it a movement I endorse, but I am not sure the definition accurately describes what happened to it.

Partial success. I meant to fill in the survey completely, but my internet froze at calibration question 5. In an attempt to revive it, I pressed Enter, which resulted in submission of the incomplete survey. Now what ?

Take it again, and report here (which you pretty much already did) that there is an incomplete survey submitted just before or just after calibration question 5, and it should not be counted. ETA: Not that I know what you're officially supposed to do, but that's what many people so far did do.

A response from someone, who is happy in research of biosciences:

The personality of your boss is very important. I always payed a lot of attention to my emotional responses to potential bosses during interviews. Privately asking for the opinions of their subordinates can also help. As you write below, your boss "is widely regarded as a bit of a tyrant". There must be a way to find out in advance next time. For me, the meaningful topic is not enough to save the job, if the boss is a toxic person. On the other hand, the less sexy topic can become m... (read more)

Yes, ignoring this advice was in retrospect very foolish. I badly underestimated how important the supervisor/student relationship is. I'm going to be a lot more careful next time.

I think that the somewhat balanced upsides and downsides of flu-shots are recognised. In Slovakia, I perceive almost no pressure, at least to adult me, to get this particular type of vaccination. Although now that I am googling it, my insurance will cover the shot, should I want it, and my insurance company actually does recommend it for my demographic. It is compulsory only in some specific situations, such as in the homes for the elderly. On the other hand, the importance of vaccinating children against polio etc. is emphasized a lot, much, much more than flu.

One of his charts like [] but perhaps using micromorts or another such risk unit.

I want to draw an illustrative axis of how probabilities of events feel like. For isntance: 1% probability - lifetime chance of dying in a car crash, 10% probability - blue eyed person in Greece, 0.01 % - occurence of four clover leaf among three clover leaves. Can you give me more of similar specific examples ? I am most interested in 0.1%, 1%, 2 %, 3% and 4%, but I will appreciate any illustrative example, even for very rare events. More illustrations for already covered percentages are also appreciated.

Gut feelings have pretty bad resolution. In particular, I don't think gut feelings can differentiate between, say, 2% and 3%. As a rough approximation (and, possibly, subject to the typical mind fallacy :-D), I think the gut thinks in these categories, assuming the probability is of something bad happening: * Too low-probability to even think about it. * Too low-probability to worry about it unless the consequences are really bad. * Not likely, but worrisome -- worth guarding against unless prevention is expensive/unpleasant. * Feels dangerous, there is motivation to do something about it. * It's coming my way, active measures are called for. * I'm fucked. For fine resolution you can train your mind. I'm not sure how trainable your gut is.
Sounds like an xkcd comic. Maybe borrow from his charts?
I think something that touches closely to what you're trying to do is Rational Poker [], which is using poker to train your bias overcoming skill. Specifically the This is what 5% feels like. [] exercise. The idea is that you can combine your explicitly calculated chance of winning a hand with your gut feeling enough times that they begin matching up. You'll eventually understand what 5%, 10%, 50%, or 90% actually feel like from the inside. Unfortunately, Im uncertain how well this gut feeling generalizes, so using it to determine probabilities outside of areas you've trained it for may be less successful.
Chance of a rolling a double six is ~2.8%, and something that comes up in quite a few games.
I'd advice you to avoid choosing examples, which might have a different perceived probability than the real one in most people - the usual example would be things which often get reported on the news (which leads to them being are perceived as more likely than they are). Alternatively, use those examples but only in conjunction with other [hopefully] less distorted ones. I'd personally mostly use examples that relate to sports, games and so on - e.g. chance to draw 2 aces in a row from a pack of cards.
Nice idea, but I'm not sure the examples are that illustrative. People who haven't been to Greece have no idea of how common blue eyed people are there, for instance. What you want is something that people have a good grasp of so that they can develop their intuitions. I don't have an alternative suggestions (apart from things like dice throws, but I guess that's not what you want) off the top of my head, though.

Those are some very good tips, thanks !

Thanks, seems expensive, but I will do the free trial.

Can you give me advice, where I can study medicine online ? I understand that it may be kind of impossible, because there are a lot of seminars with hands-on laboratory work during medical studies. And I know the load of data is enormous. However, I would be thankful for the closest approximation to "get even" with real physicians, or at least nurses.

I suppose you've already checked the usuals like coursera, udacity, youtube courses etc.? "Medicine" is exteremely broad, but you can find some interesting intro courses to some of its aspects, e.g.: [] Just some more general courses that sound interesting/useful: Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students [] Understanding Research: An Overview for Health Professionals (looks extremely useful!) [] Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us [] Clinical Problem Solving [] Introduction to Pharmacy [] Introductory Human Physiology [] Plus many intro courses on genetics, neuropsychology etc.
Buy a subscription to Elsevier's Clinical Key website. Lots of books, updated clinical guidelines, and an endless flow of journal articles. You'll need to pay extra if you want to specialize.
What would be the point?

Any examples ? Even fictional evidence ?

I also already wondered if there is an analogue to the Alpha/Beta distinction in women.

There definitely are alpha and beta women, but it is not about slut / prude dilemma.

Imagine a group of young people discussing what to do, for instance which movie to see. If an alpha woman says, she wants to see Titanic, suddenly several men want to see Titanic, even though it seems disproportionate, if we have known those men for longer and are aware they do not generally like this type of films. Then a beta, or rather omega women says, she wants to see Matrix and i... (read more)

No. That doesn't sound right. We are no looking for Alpha<->Omega i.e. graduation of success at dominance. We are looking at genuinely desireable (for men) but orthogonal properties in woman. Men: Alpha = Capability to control others, Beta = capability to provide and care for children Women: Alpha = Beauty?, Capability to influence others?, Beta = Health? Practical intelligence?

Why did the centaur disarm Harry at all ? To remove a wand (I imagine thin stick) from somebodys hand, that requires very good aiming. Why not simple kill Harry with the first spear, if killing was really the intention ?

OK, I admit, maybe I do not remember canon as well as I thought. I am sure, Dumbledore made some RPG game there for Harry and company, Hermione had a mathematical puzzle there etc. Was the troll plot separate from that RPG ?

You didn't even read the wiki entry you were just linked to, did you? If you'd so much as glanced at it, you'd have seen that there was no "troll plot" beyond Quirrell using a troll as a distraction to allow him to try to get the Philosopher's Stone. If you'd further gone on to use said wiki to refresh your memory, you'd have found that there was no RPG made by Dumbledore - there was a chess game, made by McGonagall, and later the Mirror of Erised, placed by Dumbledore. The puzzle Hermione solved, meanwhile, was logic rather than mathematics. I very strongly suggest that you abstain from further discussion until you've used the wiki (or the books) to remind yourself what really happens in canon.

"If quirrel can get a troll into Hogwarts..."

It was not Quirrel, but Dumbledore, who got troll into Hogwards. In analogy to canon, Dumbledore brought a troll to Hogwards as a training device for Harry and Hermione, see the book HP and Philosophers stone. In canon the purpose was fulfilled, because the children had some sparring with troll and defeated him safely afterwards. In HPMOR, the plot is reversed, because neither Harry nor Hermione fall for this training trap. When told they should NOT go to Hogwards basement, because the troll is there, ... (read more)

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1drethelin9y [] also you seem to have a very shitty understanding of canon.

Why everybody believes that centaur wanted to kill Harry ? It rather seems like centaur was disarming him. And it is even possible, he was under imperius curse (from Quirrel) while disarming Harry. He seemed to be surprised about what he was doing (looked up with widened eyes) and he apologised. I believe Quirrel just wanted to interrupt the conversation between Harry and Centaur.

The centaur talks about Harry's apocalyptic destiny. Then he talks about the implications of a centaur killing a child. Then he attacks Harry. Then, once Harry is fully disarmed and vulnerable, he apologises. Then he's surprised by Quirrell's assault. You appear to be offering two alternative interpretations. a) The centaur talks about Harry's apocalyptic destiny. Then he talks about the implications of a centaur killing a child. Then he attacks Harry. Then, once Harry is fully disarmed and vulnerable, he apologises. But he's just disarming Harry for its own sake, with no intention of killing him, because... he felt like it? b) In the middle of the conversation, Quirrell Imperiuses the centaur to attack Harry, and to apologise in the middle of doing so, before coming to the "rescue" himself. The fact that the centaur was talking about centaurs killing innocent children right before this is a complete coincidence.

What if they visit the website and feel hesitant, whether the atmosphere is welcoming enough for them, considering all the HBD staff ? I do not imply we should censor HBD away, I am interested in it too. If there is some thruth to it, we will have to face it sooner or later anyway, taking into account all the DNA sequencing projects etc. In the world outside, I got yelled at for my interest a couple time, it is my interest to have clear discussion here, so that I know, where things stand. But, anyway, regardless of nature or nurture, all the data agree, th... (read more)

I respond to your guestion for the fairness sake, but my reasons are not impressive.

  1. Most of it is probably a wishful thinking, driven by my desire not to have the powerful AI aronud. I am scared at the idea.
  2. The fact that people have felt AI is near for some time and we still do not have it.
  3. Maybe the things which are essential for learning are the same which make human intelligence limited. For instance forgetting things.
  4. Vague feeling, that biologically based inteligence is so complex, that computers are no match.

Prominent EA Julia Wiseman and her husband have decided to have kids.

I am glad to hear it, because they were the most annoying example for me before. Good for her / them.

And note that Eliezer did not forbid pick-up art discussion and whatever You guys hold dear.

I could try and write a similar post as was that about women, but I am a small fish in this pond.

Please do! It would be worth a try (though I'm not totally sure what kind of post you want to write...)

If you want to increase your fish-size, articles / comment threads which generate lots of upvotes are a good way to do it. And since your fish-size is small already there's not much to lose if people don't like it.

Maybe I am naive, but, how about explicitly stating, by some high status member, that we would be very happy if they contributed here ?

Eliezer wrote the same thing about women. It was not exactly "Women, come, please" but it was clear they would be welcome to participate. It might have helped. Or maybe the increased percentage in the census result was due to something else ? How would I know...

And note that Eliezer did not forbid pick-up art discussion and whatever You guys hold dear.

I could try and write a similar post as was that about women, but I am a small fish in this pond.

In my experience, reading blogs from minority representants (sensible ones) introduces you to different thought patterns.

Not very specific, huh ?

Gypsies are the most focused on minority in my country. The gypsy blogger, who managed to leave her community, once described a story. Her mother visited her in her home, found frozen meat in her freezer, and started almonst crying: My daughter, how can you store meat at home, when people exist, who are hungry today ? (Gypsies are stereotypically bad at planning and managing their finances, to the point of selfd... (read more)

Yes. It would be nice. I am genuinely uncertain whether there's a good way to make LW appealing to people who currently dislike it, without alienating the existing contributors who do like it.
Could you elaborate on why you think that way? It's always interesting to hear why people think a strong AI or Friendly AI is not possible/probable, especially if they have good reasons to think that way.
The plan [] to write an AI that will implement the Coherent Extrapolated Volition of all of humanity doesn't involve talking to any of the affected humans. The plan is, literally, to first build an earlier AI that will do the interacting with all those other people for them.

What word would You suggest instead of eugenics ?

(Btw, I find it hilarious, having the discussion about inventing newspeak at LW, of all forums !)

I'd like to borrow from David Brin and call it "Uplift".

Affirmative Genetic Action; Fighting Against Genetic Unequality; Genetic Justice; No Mutant Child Left Behind...

The not-morally-objectionable stuff that still gets called "eugenics" generally fits comfortably under the term "human enhancement." You can also talk about more specific technologies e.g. embryo selection.
The mainstream media seems less terrified of the idea of "designer babies", which is not specifically eugenics, but related enough that I wonder if Eugenics shouldn't quietly respawn in the Designer Babies category?

Peer pressure is a strong thing. I do not want to have a peer pressure of self-handicapping pathologically literal people on me, but they are EA mainstreem as far as I can tell. Therefore I want to keep distance from EA as "folks to hang out with". I, for instance, hope that LW meetup groups in Bratislava and Vienna will remain sensible places for me to go.

I have no idea what could be done about it.

Maybe invite blacks or other members of marginalized communities explicitly ?

Some time ago, Eliezer wrote a post, which made it clear he would be glad to see more women on LW. I thing his article was well written. Did any of You guys, the opponents of crazier versions of feminism, feel annoyed by that ? Later, there were other efforts to drag women here. (It does feel flattering, I tell You). Now, the percentage of LW women has grown slightly (lazy to look up the census result), athough we are still a minority.

I don't think simple invitations are going to make much difference. If some marginal group didn't drift here spontaneously because they're inherently interested in the community, then we must provide them other incentives. Unfortunately this might mean privileging them some way, which to be honest I usually find so unjust and contrary to truth seeking it pisses me off. Perhaps there are benign forms of such privileging, but none are cognitively available to me at the moment.

the percentage of LW women has grown slightly (lazy to look up the census result)

It grew from 3% in 2009 to 8.9% (cis) + 1.3% (trans) in 2012.

Someone affected by the issue might bring up something that nobody else had thought of, something that the science and statistics and studies missed

Aye !

but other than that, what marginal value are they adding to the discussion?

Is that not enough for You ? Especially in some discussions, which are repetitive on LW ?


However, the EA subgroup will not force her into assigned-sex-based gender role. They will tell her it is comparatively immoral to have children. Another way the subcultures on LW are not overlapping.

As a woman, I am annoyed at both approaches, but I can cope.

But part of the strength of the (EA) movement is the message that people can achieve a lot without great personal sacrifice. I wonder where that message got lost.

Hm, are You asking why I did not notice that message, or why did it, objectively, get lost ? I will answer the first part, why I never noticed such a message.

  1. Short after learning, that EA exist, my CFAR friend, who is dating an EA, told me about a disagreement she had with her boyfriend. He did not not want her to go her best friends wedding, because travel expenses and time spent could be us

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There is an identifiable homogenous movement? I'll gladly adopt the good ideas and apply them as it suits me, forget about the movement if it consists of self-handicapping pathologically literal people. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

For women with pregnancies previously determined as "low risk" - is there any statistical benefit of choosing hospital for giving birth, instead of home birth ?

See here.

A very good one. My first guess was correct, but then I just kept swapping my bets.

Sell this idea to Hollywood !

It would still be sorry for the chicken.

However, I bet, somebody is working on it already.

In my previous research institution, they fed chicken with grain mixed with sand and afterwards cut the heads of and measured the concentration of happiness chemicals. The justification was, that these chicken breeds gain weight too quickly, which kills them before their age of reproduction. However, the farmers need to reproduce some of them, so they have to keep them half hungry, until they reach sexual maturity. The research was supposed to find out, whether the starvation is more pleasant with sand mixed into feed. Luckily for my mental health, I did not participate on this research. Duh, these memories make me shudder !

First, I am not convinced that chicken brains are advanced enough to feel suffering (as opposed to pain) the way higher primates do. Second, breeding chickens for quick weight gain would probably not be considered very ethical to begin with, so this research seems like locking the barn doors after the horses have bolted.

It is interesting, what people inside EA find troubling, compared to people outside. (I do not identify myself as EA).

For me, the most repellent things are mentioned here:

In other words, self sacrifice is expected from me to the extent, that my life would suck. No, thanks.

Specifically, the issues about children:

  1. I want to have them.
  2. Apart from my psychological need - do the damned EA know what they are doing ? Is it really that helpful, that western middle clas
... (read more)
I do have to say, I've never understood the European/Western liberal (in the broad classical sense, not the "social democratic sense", but more strongly among social democrats) impulse to devalue one's own culture and values so very much that one would rather go extinct in the process of helping others than survive in any form. Yes, our planet cannot currently sustain a population of 9 billion (projected population peak in 2050) living at Western standards of income/consumption. Population reduction and/or (inshallah!) space colonization are necessary for humanity to live sustainably. This does not mean that we should segregate the species by belief into "Those who believe in sustainability", who then go extinct from non-breeding, and "Those who believe in having as many babies as possible", who then suffer an overpopulation crisis right quick. Sustainability yes, voluntary extinction no.

Prominent EA Julia Wise and her husband have decided to have kids. IMO, a good way to think about EA is that everyone makes their own trade-off between their own quality of life and the quality of life of others. You can also think of helping people in terms of scoring points.

"Is it really that helpful, that western middle class should have even lower population growth, than there is now" Like seriously. I don't think effective altruism will do too much damage to the already abysmal fertility rate of the Western world, but it sure isn't helping! I'm disturbed that may highly intelligent individuals have declined having children in favor of maximizing QALYs.
I think some individual EAs may very reasonably decide that it's not worth it for them personally to have children. But part of the strength of the movement, that attracts people, is the message that people can achieve a lot without great personal sacrifice. I wonder where that message got lost.
Seems like EA could be yet another destructive Western superstimulus [], although unlike many others it generates a lot of utility in other parts of the world. Still, maybe avoiding self-destruction could be wiser in long run -- you know, just in case the Friendly AI fails to materialize for another 20 years or more.

the truth in this case is that there doesn't appear to be a link between race and intelligence.

How did You come to such conclusion ?

There is a wikipedia article on that. (Warning: it keeps changing all the time).

This battlefield of arguments failed to convince me either way so far. I may have some preliminary preferences as to what sounds more probable, but untill the mechanism underlying the genetic component of intelligence is properly explained, I say I do not know.

The solution to this problem is do something Eliezer always argues against for some reason, namely, to compartmentalize.

Does Eliezer really do that ? I got the impression, than compartmentalization is, at least at some cases, perceived as a functional model to avoid big mistakes. (Just as You suggest).

I could not swallow the weather example either. Eventually, I looked it up in the article from Meyers: "Southerners were not more likely than Northerners to adjust to a tropical climate."

It sounds like the Northerners were not addapting better, but, rather, there was no difference between groups. If so, the word "opposite" is not fair in this context.

7Eli Tyre3y
In which case, TraderJoe and Rixie, good job at being appropriately confused!

Not for infants.

Theoretically, that could make a difference. In my country omegaven is available, but the pack insert gives warning about insufficient experience in children.

Anyway, I still want to bet. What is a fair time span ?

(BTW, do I understand it correctly, that in the USA, omegaven is approved neither for infants nor for adults ?)

Young men go for violence because - in the absence of showing off their ability as provider - fight for an alpha male position via force (I will look up references if needed).

Could I have the reference, please ? Very curious about the experimental set-up.

The best I could find quickly online. Not really experimental setups though. Competitiveness, risk taking, and violence: the young male syndrome: [] hunter gatherer fighting: [] TESTOSTERONE AND DOMINANCE IN MEN: []

I have recently seen this article on a drug, which is as yet not approved by FDA due to lack of controlled study. However, the proponent doctor considers the drug a life saver for babies and the existing evidence sufficient to skip the trial phase and go ahead saving lives.

I am usually fond of evidence based medicine. However, in this case, I am shaken by the fact, that the drug is already in use in Europe for some time, with no scandals. Additionaly, it is basically a mixture of lipids from fish oil, which sounds like normal nutrition to me, not a novel ... (read more)

Not for infants.

I did read one of them before and the other one after you suggested. What is the important message for me ?

"As modern neuroscience has shown, there is no correlation between cranial size and intelligence (at least between individuals of the same species). "

Not true.

Exactly. The no-criticism zone could serve the purpose of people getting to know each other. The event was for newcomers to the town, right ? "I am Suzie and I believe in homeopathy." "I am Anna and I am scientific sceptic rationalist and atheist." It is a pretty fast way to find a soulmate at a social gathering.

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