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Why I Am Not a Rationalist, or, why several of my friends warned me that this is a cult

When you're ready to share these ideas, please let me know how I can help.

[Question] Adoption and twin studies confounders

In separation studies, you're also comparing with environments that include the factors known to produce twins, like high maternal age, fertility treatment, etc.

Open Thread for February 18-24 2014

Ah, I see. So we're looking for a multiple choice question to test whether someone is willing to volunteer unsolicited information.

Open Thread for February 18-24 2014

Ask this: "Name some things your partner can do to make you feel appreciated." If the person answers the question at all and does so in a useful way, that should tell you something about their communication style.

Valuing Sentience: Can They Suffer?

Suffering is an emotional state triggered by desire. Desire is the attachment of value to imagined experiences.

So there's a minimal level of consciousness required to experience suffering, and a neuron farm probably doesn't meet it, that's why it's not morally significant. What sorts of organisms do meet it is another matter.

Home Economics

Most of the stuff I own is consumer goods, and I need to store it in a way that optimizes for accessibility. You know who else needs to do that? Retail stores. So I made a list of all my available closets, shelves, under bed storage, etc. and assigned each space a corresponding retail category. There's sporting goods, where I keep things like my tent and sleeping bags. Headlamps go in electrical along with the flashlights. Some sections are just 1/4 of a shelf, but having a designated area makes it way easier to find things, and cleaning up is a lot faster, when I actually get around to cleaning up, that is.

When I first implemented this idea I went a little overboard and it was really organized, but inconvenient. They say you should normalize until it hurts, then denormalize until it works, and sometimes it's just nice to keep things handy, sometimes in more than one place. So I added back things like the kitchen junk drawer, which consists of a subset of office supplies (pens, notepads, scissors), electrical (batteries), hardware (measuring tape), and personal care (vitamins). After adjusting the balance a bit the system got more comfortable.

I also have two more categories of stuff that fall outside the retail model: reference, and archival. The reference section is for books, digital media and papers, basically the bookshelves and file cabinets. I don't use The Universal Decimal System but it seems like the logical way to organize books. The archival section includes things like artwork and artifacts with historical/sentimental value, which I curate like a museum collection. Some go on display, others go in the least accessible parts of my storage spaces, ie. long term storage.

Prioritizing Happiness

May I suggest, the resource you're referring to might be more like stress tolerance, rather than happiness?

Research is polygamous! The importance of what you do needn't be proportional to your awesomeness

As someone with limited mental faculties myself, I can see where that would present a problem. My usual approach is to ask for lots of feedback so I can get a sense of a) whether the ROI is worth it for my efforts and b) whether I'm just getting in the way. Feedback can come from a variety of sources, including independent observers.

Research is polygamous! The importance of what you do needn't be proportional to your awesomeness

You left off the most important point. If you think a topic is important and that someone smarter than you is already working on it, it would seem like your best move is to try and help.

One argument in favor of leaving RALI A to HLA 1 and going off to fund your own puppy cuteness augmentation program is that you might not want to make a redundant effort. But I think the risk depends on how much progress has been made on the topic in question. If the big fish already have a pretty solid direction, ask someone who knows more about it than you do where the gaps are and go work on that. If you think you might get a response, go ahead and ask the big fish what needs working on. Fortune favors the bold.