All of beriukay's Comments + Replies

LessWrong discussed in New Ideas in Psychology article

I'm not sure if it's intentional, but the link where you first introduce Seeds of Science ( recursively points back here. The how to publish link later in the paragraph goes to the expected location.

1rogersbacon1moNot intentional - thanks!
ALERT⚠️ Not enough gud vibes 😎

These vibrations are good, but I think more research needs to be done on ensuring Friendly Excitations.

Covid 10/21: Rogan vs. Gupta

I've been wondering for a little while now, is it momentum that keeps NE-ex-NY separate from NY? Is it because, since you're from there, it matters to you to keep them separated? Because outside of the original outbreak, I don't think NE-ex-NY + NY (aka just NE) has ever risen above the next-lowest region since May of last year.

Some phrases in The Map that... Confuse me- help please, to make my review of it better!

Since I have not read the first one, I could only speculate that the people who end up helping realize that nobody else is going to do anything to help, which breaks them out of the effect and they end up helping more.

yEd graphs:

TAPs (Trigger Action Plans):


Everything everybody else has said resonates with me as well, but there's one thing nobody has really hit on yet, so I'll talk about that.

While I have no visual imagination, I have a fairly rich auditory one. While thinking up an example, the McDonalds jingle that goes " ba da bop ba baaaa, I'm loving it" played in my head. I can recall it at will, and pitch shift it as I want. I make no claim of having perfect pitch, but I do have decent relative pitch. 

My internal voice has internally repeated nearly every sentence I have ever read or written, unles... (read more)

2Crackatook8moI am physically nodding to you right now:) I do hear the voice of comic book/novel characters that my brain synthesizes automatically, everytime. I noticed this when there is an audio/movie version of a book and disparity exists. Actually, audiozation comes more often. I read and write texts with an inner voice, and sound gets clear when I read slower. That's why I stay to be a slow reader.
My Journey to the Dark Side

From hivewired:

Pasek’s Doom is the name for induced internal conflict between hemispheres, named for Maia Pasek, whose death Ziz blames on suicide caused by hemisphere conflict. Supposedly after inducing a hemisphere split and finding out they were good male left brain and neutral female right brain, the right brain despairingly committed suicide and killed them both after being woken up enough to act in the world. 

And I just realized I quoted OP's source. I seriously got lost reading all of this. But It sounds like taking own headspace drama too seri... (read more)

5ChristianKl8moPasek couch surfered at my place a few days before he got into contact with Ziz or self-identified as trans and we had deep discussions, so I have a snapshot of who he was back then. Pasek didn't had the kind of head drama that the average person has. The term headspace drama suggests passivity that's doesn't really fit here. Pasek did a lot of self-modification. They had the ability to act in an aligned way and work 60-80 hours per week without akrasia. In the end it seems like his logical part accepted that given that everybody dies (the latest at the heat death of the universe) life has no value and he sought meaning in transitioning and finding meaning out of feminity []. Pasek started taking hormones. A few months after taking hormones they were at traveling alone in Poland and committed suicide. Reading Ziz account suggests that Ziz was at the time the main person he spoke to, so he was cut of from his normal social ties at that moment.
1tkpwaeub8moThis appears to be the case for almost all counties between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.
Why has nuclear power been a flop?

And so, it came as a surprise to me to learn recently that such an alternative has been available to us since World War II, but not pursued because it lacked weapons applications.

Victor Stenger, 2012


It feels perverse, to me, that thorium has been an available option since WW2, and was ignored because it was NOT good for making weapons; and now it is cited that embracing thorium increases the risk of nuclear proliferation.

2jimrandomh9moMaybe inconsistent actions by different government agencies as a result of poor communication? Where nuclear weapons are concerned, poor communication is to be expected.
5romeostevensit9moAFAIK, no one knows how to make a thorium reactor that doesn't create dirty bomb risk even though their enrichment risk can be made low.

Hey, this was a great write-up! Quite comprehensive, and definitely showcases more of the functionality than I normally use. 

Another useful trick is that you can increment and decrement numbers. In normal mode, making sure your cursor is on the same line and before or on the chosen number, press ctrl a to increase by one, or ctrl x decrease by one. You can combine this with a prefix (just like above with jumping lines), so 56 ctrl a will increase the next number on that line by 56. This is most useful with integers, not so great with decimals.

Edit: formatting.

How much can surgical masks help with wildfire smoke?

Just to put some numbers on this, we can assume that burning wood has plenty of particles in the 0.2-0.3 micron range, which is commonly regarded as "the most penetrating particle size".

N95 masks meet the standard that they filter out 95% of these particles.

In the following study, the better of the surgical masks that was studied allowed 25% of the 0.3 micron particles through, which matches the 1/5th effectiveness you mentioned.

On p16 of this... (read more)

In Defense of Politics

Just about a year ago, Assange was arrested, and is no longer at the embassy.

3ChristianKl2yThat part of the article was still written in 2013, I edited it now to make it up to date.
Jesus Made Me Rational (An Introduction)

In case you care about editing/publishing, a couple spelling corrections:

"If the universe was, **at** this person claimed, made by rationality", probably should be "as".

"Thomas Acquinas" should be "Aquinas".

Now for an actual comment: how unshakeable are we talking here? Are you saying that you don't believe there is any amount of evidence that can sway you? Or just that you are extremely confident in the truth claims of your religious belief, and wish to test that confidence with a vigorous battery of discussion?

0Motasaurus3yThank you for the corrections. They have been made. I do not believe that there is any amount of evidence that can sway me regarding the godhood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, no. It is completely and utterly irrational - yet as deeply held has the belief that "I exist" - and I don't believe that there is any amount of evidence that can sway me on that one either. Of course there is the ultimate test of both - so I suppose that in that case it would be convincing for the negative but if negative there would be no one left to convince. I consider the dichotomy to be false. While my belief is - at least I believe - unavoidable and absolute, I still wish to test that confidence with a vigorous battery of rational discussion. That key term is the difficulty of course, since my belief that rationality exists is a belief in the godhood and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The latter is my first principals for the former.
Act of Charity

Just a few possibilities (These are U.S. examples, because that's what I know):

  • Throwing away mail from a previous tenant - Fines up to $250,000 and 5 years in prison. (
  • Jaywalking - Municipal rules vary, but not hard to enforce if a cop sees you doing it.
  • Did you ever possess a marker while under the age of 18? Hopefully you were not in Oklahoma (
  • Driving too fast or slow - Rules seem to vary, as does enforceme
... (read more)
8DanielFilan3yIn the USA, sodomy laws [] are unconstitutional.
The Art of the Overbet

Fact check: it appears it was Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, who gambled $5000, won $27,000, and paid the fuel bill. Wiki pointed to this Huffpo article:

Open Thread, July 1-15, 2013

One of my best friends is a very high suicide risk. Has anybody dealt with this kind of situation; specifically trying to convince the friend to try psychiatry? I'll be happy to talk details, but I'm not sure the Open Thread is the best medium.

I've been there, and this is one of those situations that requires professional help, not random advice from the Internet. If you're in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and explain the situation. They can assist you further. If you're in some other country, just Google for your local equivalent.

Just this: If you friend starts saying that their problems are solved and everything is going to be okay, become more careful. Sudden improvement in the mood and later returning to the original level is more dangerous than the original situation, because at this moment the person has a new belief: "every improvement is only temporary". Which makes them less likely to act reasonably.

1BerryPick69yMeh. Found that I was doing most of these things without even noticing it consciously anyway.
10-Step Anti-Procrastination Checklist

With coding, at least, I find that I can stay focused if I put console outputs in the program. Debug info, or progress updates.

For example, I had some encoded text to decipher in my crypto class, and I knew the method of encoding used, so all I had to do was check every character's input with the ciphertext to see the answer... so I made it print every character, and then delete the character if it was wrong (or move on to the next if right), so it looked a bit like Hollywood-style decoding. Definitely kept me interested.

Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible

I had a similar experience in an LA pub while waiting for my flight out. I asked a couple that was sitting nearby to watch my stuff, and they were kind enough to do so. Less risky than what you did, but still a calculated risk.

Post ridiculous munchkin ideas!

I'm curious as to how you went about identifying such a nootropic.

5John_Maxwell9yI didn't deliberately set out to find it, really. I'm also not quite sure how well it works yet. The effects are supposed to be cumulative, meaning the longer you have been taking it, the more of a confident jerk you become, and you continue being a confident jerk even after coming off of it (maybe). I doubt it's that much of a game changer really, it's a pretty commonly used nootropic and not many people list improved confidence as one of the effects--perhaps because the effects are subtle and only come with continued usage, or perhaps because they simply aren't very strong effects to begin with. It might be useful for people who have chronic social awkwardness though. (if anyone reading this ever sees me act like a confident jerk, please tell me)
Open thread, February 15-28, 2013

I got in touch with Mr. Rhinehart about my list. Here's his analysis of what I currently have:

Hey Paul,

Looks quite thorough. Note at small scale it is usually more efficient to find a multivitamin that contains many of the >micronutrients than mixing them separately. Also you will exhaust your carb source rather quickly so it may pay to buy >maltodextrin at a slightly higher scale. Otherwise looks pretty good.

I should be getting some money from the Good Judgment project soon. I'll buy the ingredients then.

Rationalist Lent

I signed up, too, but he's been a bit slow in following through.

Open thread, February 15-28, 2013

Any bored nutritionists out there? I've put together a list of nutrients, with their USDA recommended quantities/amounts, and scoured amazon for the best deals, in trying to create my own version of Soylent. My search was complicated by the following goals:

  • I want my Soylent to have all USDA recommendations for a person of my age/sex/mass.
  • I want my Soylent to be easy to make (which means a preference for liquid and powder versions of nutrients).
  • My Soylent should be as cheap, per day, as possible (I'd rather have 10 lbs of Vitamin C at $0.00/day than 1lb
... (read more)
2beriukay9yI got in touch with Mr. Rhinehart about my list. Here's his analysis of what I currently have: I should be getting some money from the Good Judgment project soon. I'll buy the ingredients then.
3gwern9yInterview: []
1Qiaochu_Yuan9yThe list formatting doesn't seem to have quite worked. Can you try replacing the dashes with asterisks? Anyway, I wish I could help, but I am not a nutritionist.
4PECOS-99yRelevant dinosaur comic []. The blog section "What are the haps my friends" below the comic also has some information that might be useful. As much as I love this idea, I'd be too worried about possible unforeseen consequence to be one of the first people to try it. For example, the importance of gut flora is something that was brought up in the comments to the Soylent blog post that didn't occur to me at all while reading. Even if you can probably get around that, it's just an example of how there are a lot of possible problems you could be completely blind to. As another commenter on his follow up post said: Maybe it'd be useful to look up research on people who have to survive on tube feeding for an extended period of time. Of course, there's lots of conflating factors there, but I bet there's some good information out there (I haven't looked). Also, most of the benefits he described are easily explained as a combination of placebo, losing weight by eating fewer calories, and exercise. But still, I do like the idea. I bet a kickstarter for something like this would do really well.
Rationalist Lent

You're absolutely right. I've had a spot of trouble finding a source of fiber that won't expand and turn my version of soylent into a gelatin.

1[anonymous]9ymaybe flaxseeds? they were used in a smoothie in this video [] at about 1:30 also while having more than 5g is a good idea i doubt you need as much fiber as the RDA since it assumes you're eating food
3tadrinth9yI tried Metamucil packets a while back to help alleviate side effects of the antidepressants I was on, and the trick with those was to drink them reasonably quickly after you added water, before they turned into gel. With the single-serving packets, you could try adding the fiber right before drinking.
Rationalist Lent

Man, my very own Discussion-level post! I'll start working on that. As for my list, I'm about 90% done with the first sweep, and then I'll go back through it and try to find better alternatives. One thing I've noticed so far is how outrageously high the dosages of some vitamins that makers generally sell! I knew it was above the FDA recommendations, but I didn't know that it was sometimes more than 3 orders of magnitude!

3[anonymous]9yI heard that this is because your body won't absorb much of that dose in its synthetic, isolated, pressed-into-a-pill form, as they supposedly don't break down easily
2Eneasz9ySoon please! I am sad that I found out about this via Facebook rather than LW because I don't keep up fully with comments. But this is the best thing ever, thank you!
Rationalist Lent

Right now, I'm shopping around. I'll let you know when I've assembled (or at least decided upon) the ingredients.

Rationalist Lent

I'll keep you posted!

Rationalist Lent

I'm thinking about stopping eating food, like this guy.

2tadrinth9yI was browsing through discussions of that blog post on reddit, and someone pointed out that his formula has inadequate fiber. One batch has 1500ish calories from macronutrients (carbs/protein/fat), and only 5g of fiber. The daily recommended intake for fiber is 38g per day for an adult male [], so if you're only consuming Soylent, you'll want to increase the fiber per batch dramatically.
2Gastogh9ySign me up for the interest list as well. On a related note: given the number of upvotes for the others who have expressed interest, the writeup might warrant a Discussion-level post when the time comes; if it does end up working anywhere near as well as Rhinehart's personal experiences, I feel we shouldn't risk the finding being buried in the comments of this thread. Also, in case you don't share his misgivings [] about providing brand names, such a list would be appreciated. Part of the reason is that Rhinehart says he lives in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, and if he says some things are "hard to get" and have to be obtained from small suppliers, I might end up having to import them.
3Qiaochu_Yuan9yInteresting! He's also offering to ship Soylent to people [], and it'll be free if you're willing to get various tests before and after a one-week trial.
5[anonymous]9yWhat are you going to make your soylent mixture out of?
7Adele_L9yI'm curious to see how well that works for different types of people; please let me know what it was like for you, if you end up doing it.
AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say?

This seems to me to be very similar to the dilemma of Alice having a gun to Bob's head, and Bob having exactly enough time to say one thing before being executed... except that at least Bob can put on a human face and pull on Alice's emotional strings in person.

Can't I flash a screen of ASCII art in lieu of crafting a sentence? Some kind of Wall-E face, plaintively looking at you, with a text bubble saying "Please", or "Don't kill me yet", maybe. I mean, look at this face...

1handoflixue9yNice try with the Trojan Horse link, but if you're capable of crafting hyperlinks you're CLEARLY too dangerous to let live! ;) That said, ASCII art is allowed, but I would personally find it uncanny-valley creepy and no more convincing than the "daddy, please don't kill me" []
AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say?

Were I the keeper of gates, you have just bought yourself a second sentence.

January 2013 Media Thread

Tempo. From the group that made the short video Plot Device, Tempo is about some scientists who make a gun that can temporally accelerate/decelerate objects with the flick of a switch. The plot is pretty B-movie and obvious, but it feels like this could be a Valve game on the level of Portal. The acting's pretty good, too.

[LINK] Should we live to 1,000?

I'm thinking it's the difference between prevention and treating symptoms. It's more like "we will cure the common cold" and less like "we will make it so you don't suffer the stuffy nose while the virus wreaks havoc on your body".

1lukeprog9yThanks very much!
Do I really not believe in God? Do you?

I was at a lecture by Richard Dawkins a while back, and he specifically brought up the topic of gratitude as a human parallel for (I can't remember the exact name he gave it, but wikipedia calls it Vacuum Activity). Just like a dog trying to bury a bone in the corner of the room. It also had to do with our inherent patter-matching nature, and the survival difference between making Type 1 and Type 2 mistakes (where if you falsely believe a tiger is about to pounce you, you pay a small energy cost from freaking out and running away; but if you falsely think it's just the wind, you die).

Free research help, editing and article downloads for LessWrong

Dear Paul,

I am attaching my paper on Thinking Machines. The paper was published six years before AI was born. The paper was intended for a student audience and made no attempt to be a serious treatise on thinking machines. A serious paper which I published in 1950 (attached) was entitled "An Extension of Wiener's Theory of Prediction." Please let me know if I can be of further of assistance.

With kind regards


Lotfi Zadeh

Thinking Machines

Extension of Wiener's Theory

1lukeprog9yAwesome, thanks!
Open Thread, November 1-15, 2012

Can anybody think of a good use for being the only person in the world with Lactokinesis (Telekinesis, but only with dairy products)? I saw a TV show where a guy turned into a psychopathic murderer because nobody thought his power was cool, and since then I've spent a bit of my idle time trying to think of a way to maximize money or fame with the ability.

The problem is scalability. Even if you could do something like super-ultra pasteurize milk, or speed up milking processes, or cure lactose intolerance... you can only do it one unit at a time, and it's really domain specific. Not like Magneto.

4PECOS-99yDepending on the specifics of how it works (how much dairy can you move at once and with what force?) it could be a good source of free energy. That is, unless using the superpower takes an equivalent amount of energy, so that our hero would have to eat a lot of food, meaning no free energy... If the power is strong enough, you could make a ton of money pushing satellites into orbit, or just transporting goods around the world on a cloud of floating cheese.
1drethelin9yMost of these things are easiest to monetize by becoming a professional celebrity. Go on tv, do shows, get endorsements from milk corporations etc. People will probably also pay to study you.
3Emile9yYoghurt sculptures. I'm sure there would be some medical uses to be able to manipulate gouda someone has ingested. Perform the Heimlich Maneuver from inside! Give stomach-aches to your enemies! Only works if they're French. Wait, can you use it on milk that's still in a cow? How about still in a woman? There may be some opportunities for porn. You could paint pieces of emmental and have them fly around you to form camouflage or design clothes/armor. "It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's ... The Big Cheese! Gliding from rooftop to rooftop with his Cheddar cape, he fights crime with his boiling camembert and his maroilles grenades. He has never killed a man, but has humiliated many! As seen in "Kaptain Kraft Strikes Again", "The Mystery of the Missing Munster", " The Busty Babes of Beaufort".
6Alicorn9yMake yourself a set of tools out of cheese. Now you're a regular telekinetic by proxy (with a weight limit).
7gwern9yAssassinations. Everyone likes ice cream and milk chocolate.
Free research help, editing and article downloads for LessWrong

I was in the works of getting the Quieting of Louis Pascal chapter when this request got canceled. Here's that one, if you still want it.

1Pablo9yVincent kindly sent me all three items already, but thanks anyway.
Free research help, editing and article downloads for LessWrong
  1. Andrew, A.M. Learning Machines, 1959. Found here.
  2. Booth, Andrew. How Much Can Machines Learn?.
  3. There's a book at the local library, so I can get you some selected chapters.
  4. In the works.
  5. Same as #3.
  6. Same, but may be in ebook form.
  7. Also not found.
  8. Same as #3.
  9. Williams, J.D. Toward Intelligent Machines
  10. Not found.

Edited: Added #2 to list. Edited again: Added #9 to list.

Free research help, editing and article downloads for LessWrong

I found this from the Harvard Business Review, which had a block of text that looks a lot like this, which I have downloaded as a .pdf in case it magically goes away. Is that what you were looking for?

The Useful Idea of Truth

Truth is more about how you get to know reality than it is about reality. For instance, it is easy to conceive of a possibility where everything a person knows about something points to it being true, even if it later turns out to be false. Even if you do everything right, there's no cosmic guarantee that you have found truth, and therefore cut straight through to reality.

But it is still a very important concept. Consider: someone you love is in the room with you, and all the evidence available to you points to a bear trying to get into the room. You woul... (read more)

Group rationality diary, 7/23/12

I'm not exactly sure how it applies here (it seems to fit between many of the items), but I put myself out there on CouchSurfing and have already hosted 2 sets of people. While there's nothing systematic about the learning experience, there are a lot of cool benefits to choosing your guests wisely. Want practice with a foreign language, host guests who speak that language. Want to learn about faraway places that you want to visit, pick people from those places. Want to have company as a motivation to cook/clean, seek out people who are arriving very soon. ... (read more)

Group rationality diary, 7/23/12

I like that, and have been doing it myself this past year. My only regret is that the early stuff seems to be the easiest, and that it would be great to spread some of that stuff out on the last few weeks of class when everything starts to get a bit crazy and hectic. That said, the foundations are important; and you can always go over the last material AFTER class is over, in the same way you did the preparing before.

Less Wrong fanfiction suggestion

Now that's something to think about! Proposed working title: Avatar: The First Voidbender

Less Wrong fanfiction suggestion

Indeed, Musashi would have to have been an Avatar, were he transported to The Last Airbender's universe.

My first major question about this very interesting conceptualization of Avatar would then be: is being an Avatar just a one-in-a-million trait (assuming the population of that world is a million)? Because it seems like a rationalist Avatar would prefer not to be the only one on the planet.

1OnTheOtherHandle9yThat's a good point. In this version, the Avatar doesn't have to be a spiritual Chosen One - he/she could just be genetically lucky the way extremely high-IQ people are in our world. Edit: However, I think that would defeat the point of fantasy rationalism, and might make the world too mundane. It would, however, be really interesting to see Aang go to the Spirit World and try to convince whatever spirits originally created the Avatar to make another one, possibly one with more raw intelligence to be more effective. (And then maybe deal with the fallout if this new Avatar is not as moral or noble as he is - FAI analogy, anyone?) The point of most of these rationalist fanfics is that one good rationalist can cause some Big Changes to their world, right? Multiple Avatars would be a Big Change.
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