All of blob's Comments + Replies

Covid 2/11: As Expected

20.3% of the analysed cases in week 4 were B.1.1.7, and current numbers for week 5 show 28.5%. The pdf linked from is currently updated daily.

Data about the new coronavirus variant (B.1.1.7) from Denmark

This follow-up work is also interesting:

They use an agent-based model to extrapolate that the UK variant will reach 50% prevalence in Denmark around 40-50 days after Jan 1. 

The model does not account for control loop effects or vaccinations. It says that absent these and with the usual assumptions, Denmark would see a strong peak after 90 days where around 1.4% of the country would be infected at the same time, followed by herd-immunity d... (read more)

What evidence will tell us about the new strain? How are you updating?

On 2: This reports that Denmark has found 33 cases of the new variant, out of 7800 analysed between Nov 14 and Dec 14. Source:, English reporting:

Note that the 2020 LWCW was cancelled due to COVID-19.

2habryka10moI was already wondering about that. Will move this post back to drafts.
Stupid Questions - September 2017


My slightly grumpy theory is that Apple introduced silly-high dpis as a unique selling point and the other manufacturers had to follow. Sure, some increase in pixel density was useful but they overshot the ideal. (maybe my eyesight is worse than usual, or I have atypical usecases?)

2ChristianKl4yI'm not sure you would consciously notice an improvement in the display quality that would increase your reading speed by 2% or that would make you less tired while reading.
Stupid Questions - September 2017

The typical distance between your eyes and the display is closer for a smartphone than for a monitor. If you had both and they had the same resolution the smartphone-pixel would usually take up more of your field of view than the monitor-pixel. The closer the display is to your eyes, the more pixels you'd like it to have. Think about VR headsets as an extreme case: their displays have resolutions like 2160x1200 and people complain that they can see every pixel.

And relating to that, adding more pixels has diminishing returns. Personally for instance I

... (read more)
2gjm4yThat's true and relevant but clearly only part of the story, because for some time almost all mobile phones have had displays whose resolution is high enough that in normal use even people with quite good eyesight don't see individual pixels, whereas even now most monitors don't have that property.
LW 2.0 Open Beta Live

I have the same problem with a gmail account. I've tried several times, checked spam, searched. I assume google didn't accept the email.

EDIT: One of them arrived now.

2017 LessWrong Survey

I've taken the survey.

Why CFAR? The view from 2015

Here's a concrete anecdote related to the "Do-gooding and epistemic rationality" part.

One of the key benefits I got from the workshop I attended in 2014 was clearer perception and acceptance of my goals.

"I don't know what's important to me beyond myself, family, friends" and "It doesn't seem like I really care about the world" (donating to EA charities seemed like a should) got changed. I do care, and already did before the workshop. It seems like the goals hadn't propagated fully, I hadn't accepted them - possibly because of ... (read more)

European Community Weekend 2016

There's a good chance you'll be able to participate even if you sign up late. We plan for more participants this time (100 instead of 80) and will also stagger signups in a way keeps some tickets available until a month in advance. If you want to be sure, committing now remains the best option though.

European Community Weekend 2015

There'll be many international participants so the official proceedings and most informal discussion will be conducted in English.

European Community Weekend 2015

Of course it will also be possible to offer contributing content at a later point. There will be an additional "call for papers" at a date closer to the actual event.

European Community Weekend in Berlin

The response has been great: We now have 40 people tentatively signed up and can't accept more, unfortunately.

If you'd have wanted to sign up, please email John anyway! We may get back to you If someone can't come after all. It also gives us a better idea of how many people to expect next time!

3MondSemmel7yPlease add the contents of this comment to the main post itself. Preferably in bold and/or with an 'Update:' or something. Not everyone reads all the comments, after all.
1vollmer7yGreat! I'm in for this one.
European Community Weekend in Berlin

I'll gladly clarify things:

  • The 70 Euro mainly include a bed in a shared room for two nights, two breakfasts and a part of the conference room rent. We've tried to keep it as cheap as possible to allow everyone to attend.
  • The conference room fits 40, maybe more. We currently only booked 30 beds but could surely extend that.
  • Signing up involves transferring money, possibly internationally, and banks are ridiculously slow at executing these transfers. So only one person has successfully signed up by now. Maybe some bitcoin transfers have reached John already, I don't know. Yesterday evening there were 35 people who are definitely interested and 4-10 maybes.
European Community Weekend in Berlin

If you send me a message with your email address, I'll make sure it gets to John. See you there!

2mjr7y's fine, I got an acknowledgement. See you :)
Meetup : Berlin, practical rationality

The location changed! Please check the mailing list for details.

Programming the LW Study Hall

Somewhat customizable: It supports widgets, but I'm not sure to what degree the layout is editable.

Rearranging the internal video canvas layout seems to be not supported.

0[anonymous]8yWhat I understand from that is that there can't be more than one video canvas. What we would like is to move the elements around: get rid of the large video (just the strip of smalls is fine), move the strip up, get the chat in the center. That kind of thing.
Meetup : Berlin

Welcome to LessWrong!

If you're in Berlin and considering to attend, definitely join the mailing list. We usually have a poll to see who is coming to a meetup, but didn't run one this time. There are usually 6-10 of us.

2012 Winter Fundraiser for the Singularity Institute

I donated 650$ and will donate the same amount to the CFAR fundraiser.

Meetup : Berlin Meetup

We will meet at Ming Dynastie tomorrow.

Meetup : Berlin Meetup

The meetup after this one isn't planned yet. We'll probably use a doodle poll that's sent around on the mailing list to find a good day again. Also check the note about scheduling in this meetup's announcement.

Meetup : Berlin Meetup

It's on Friday the 28th. The poll was sent via the mailing list, I'm not sure whether you're subscribed to it.

Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

E-book readers such as the Kindle

I use mine way more often than I originally expected. The low weight means I can have it in my bag by default. A lot of content is available in e-book format and it's easy to get onto the device. Reading lengthy articles on it makes me less likely to get distracted by links, email, etc.

The unexpected killer feature for me was that you can use it one-handedly. I've been carrying my sleeping daughter and reading at the same time for hours - that would have been impossible or at least prohibitively uncomfortable with a book.

0listic9ySpecific advice would be much appreciated. I live in a country where name-brand E-book readers are quite rare. I am aware of E-Book readers for quite some time, but I am unsure if I can justify buying one, because of a) non-existent electronic bookstore support. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony and such doesn't work here officially. Will E-book reader provide enough value if I will only download books to it manually? I heard it doesn't handle pdf format well? b) uncertain reliability of the e-ink devices. My only experience with it is when my brother borrowed a PocketBook reader for a day and it broke, somehow. He never even took it out of its leather case. Looks like those e-ink screens are very fragile? Or, maybe that's only true for some? I was thinking of buying a Sony Reader [], which had metal cases, but they changed for plastic in the latest generation. Any thoughts on this?
How to Run a Successful Less Wrong Meetup

Great document! Were there any major changes from the last version on google docs?

Some comments:

The "Add new meetup" button described in "Making the announcement" only appears if you have more than two points of karma. While most organizers probably meet that requirement, I thought I simply hadn't found the right place and had to ask someone. I'd prefer if the button showed, but was disabled and had a "need two karma for that" tooltip for people with <2 karma over adding the information to the document.

In the section on Lia... (read more)

4Alexander2307yThis 2 karma restriction creates inconvenience when an organizer wants to delegate the posting about meetup to another person who have to create new account. If it's an anti-spam measure, maybe it can be done in better way, such as optional phone number sms confirmation that will remove karma restriction from announce posting.
5Kaj_Sotala9yThanks for your feedback! Probably some, but we didn't keep a changelog, so I don't remember what they were. I guess all the people working on the guide had enough karma to be ignorant about that. :-) I'll add a mention of it. Your suggestion is good too, hopefully some site developer will implement it. Argh, that's the problem with referencing Wikipedia. I guess I'll change the link to point to the archived revision.
Group rationality diary, 5/21/12

Is the mini-camp material available publicly somewhere? It may be interesting to have for other meetups but I couldn't find it in a quick search.

0matt9yAll of the materials from the July minicamp are available at [] … for those with access to that private repository. The modules are all in Markdown format and the project includes build scripts that make HTML and PDF "books" that select some or all of the material. The formatting needs some work, and the project needs an owner. I think the CfAR brass are happy that I give access to Alumni of past minicamps, but I'll need to confirm that before I add anyone.If you're interested in having access to the materials, please contact me with your github username and I'll seek permission to give you access. Rationale:Github and Markdown is geekier than a wiki would be, but many of us are geeks, and having a build script to generate actually usable materials makes it easier to treat this repository as a master, rather than having available the shortcut of just using the MS Word document you used last time and you'll come back and update the repo as soon as you have time and ohh, look at that shiny thing over there… … ooo! Other shiny thing… (repo not updated, master materials scattered across many hard drives and not available to meetups). Practical reality so far:I think CfAR instructors have made further modifications to their old sources for the materials and since August no-one but Trike employees have made any contributions to the repo. I think this can work if someone drives it, and Trike is available to help where we can. (cross posted to the meetup organisers Google group [!topic/lw-organizers/VB-8ZfubSt4])
Meetup : First Berlin meetup

Sure! Can you send me your email address? I'd like to ask if anyone else from the mailing list is interested and would CC you to make it easier to organise.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012)

I have decks for:

  • English vocabulary. I've learned many new words and sometimes get an explanation for a word I had only inferred the meaning of from the context - and guessed wrongly.

  • Family facts, mostly birthdays. It's a minor thing really, but I used to not know how old everyone is. And more than once I felt bad when someone asked about the age of a parent and I had to say 'no idea'.

  • Random facts I've looked up several times before or that I don't want to have to ever admit not knowing. Like the age of the solar system, the first few digits of Euler

... (read more)
Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012)


I'm a mathematician and working as a programmer in Berlin, Germany. I read HPMOR after following a recommendation in a talk on Cognitive Psychology For Hackers and proceeded to read most of the sequences.

Reading LW has had several practical consequences for me: Spaced repetition and effective altruism were new to me. Things have also improved around social skills, exercise and nutrition.

I'm also part of a small Berlin LW meetup: spuckblase and me have met twice - and now we got contacted by two other Berlin based lurkers which prompted the ... (read more)

0gwern9ySuch as?
[German] Wo wohnt ihr?

That's me. I found here through HP:MoR fairly recently and am currently reading through the sequences. I'm also a mathematician who, surprisingly, never attended a lecture on probability theory. Eliezer insistently praises Jaynes' "Probability Theory", so I also got that to fill in the blanks.

If you're interested, I'd like to meet and chat. I'll send you a PM.