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LW 2.0 Strategic Overview

I will say that lesserwrong is already useful to me, and I'm poking around reading a few things. I haven't been on LessWrong (this site) in a long time before just now, and only got here because I was wondering where this "LesserWrong" site came from. So, at the very least, your efforts are reaching people like me who often read and sometimes change their behavior based on posts, but rarely post themselves. Thanks for the all work you did - the UX end of the new site is much, much better.

Open Thread - Aug 24 - Aug 30

This is exactly how conscientiousness feels to me - not wanting to do something but doing so because it's the Correct Action For This Situation. Generally, this applies to things that don't give me a direct, immediate benefit to do, like cleaning up after myself in a common space.

Open Thread, May 11 - May 17, 2015

Consequentialism, where morality is viewed through a lens of what happens due to human actions, is a major part of LessWrong. Utilitarianism specifically, where you judge an act by the results, is a subset of consequentialism and not nearly as widely accepted. Virtue Ethics are generally well liked and it's often said around here that "Consequentialism is what's right, Virtue Ethics are what works." I think that practical guide to virtue ethics would be well received.

Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

I am such a worker, and my immediate boss sits literally right behind me. It's mildly uncomfortable, but not really much more uncomfortable than a traditional set of cubicles. It helps that my boss doesn't care if I'm e.g. reading this site instead of working at any given time, as long as I get my work done overall.

I estimate I would have about a 50% increase in work done if I had an office with a door, no increase if my boss was not in the same building and I had an open plan office, and no increase if I had traditional cubes (open plan offices really do make it easier to talk to people if you need to).

Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

To clarify, the definition of the prisoner's dilemma includes it being a one-time game where defecting generates more utility for the defector than cooperating, no matter what the other player chooses.

Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

"One of the current economys problems is also that advertising and such creates otherwise frivoulous needs that prodeucts can be marketed for. "

This is an excellent summation of a point that gets bandied about a lot in certain circles. Do you mind if I shamelessly steal this?

Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

It does seem like these are two mostly unrelated skills - leadership, teamwork, and time management on one hand, and vision, creativity, and drive on the other. They don't really oppose each other except in the general sense that both sets take a long time to learn to do well. There are enough examples of people that are both, or neither, that these don't seem to be a very useful way of carving up reality.

Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

When I read the phrase "adult man's skill set", I immediately thought about carpentry. Did everyone else think about sex, or are there other people that thought this was going to be a post about practical, traditionally manly things?

Open thread, Jan. 19 - Jan. 25, 2015

I think you are thinking about this the wrong way. People become caffeine tolerant quickly, but tolerance goes away pretty quickly too. You would get more benefit out of the opposite approach - spending most of your time without caffeine, but drinking a cup of coffee rarely, when you really need it. You would effectively be caffeine naive most of the time, with brief breaks for caffeine use, and this never develop much of a tolerance. If it's been a long time since that first cup of coffee that you don't remember it, trust me, the effects of caffeine on a caffeine-naive brain are incredible.

I know I once read a study that says you can get back to caffeine naive in two weeks if you go cold turkey, but I can't find anything on it again for the life of me. I do remember distinctly that going cold turkey is a bad plan, as the withdrawal effects are pretty unpleasant - slowly lowering your dose is better.

On a more practical level, it is certainly possible to have relatively little caffeine, such that you aren't noticeably impaired on zero caffeine, while still having some caffeine. The average coffee drinker is far beyond this point. I would try to lower your daily dose over the course of a month or so until you are consuming less than a cup of coffee a day - ideally, a lot less, like no cups of coffee. Try substituting tea (herbal or otherwise) if you need something hot to drink to help kill the craving - herbal tea has no caffeine, black tea has about 1/4 of the caffeine per cup, and if you add cream and sugar the taste will be familiar.

EDIT: VincentYu's comment above is interesting in light of this. I am not going to perform my own meta analysis on this, but there are a great deal of studies that find that caffeine tolerance and caffeine withdrawal are real things - a quick Google Scholar search for "caffeine tolerance" will find them.

I am now very interested in a large study on this without the possible conflict of interest. Also, I find it odd that they choose to not include studies before 1992.

[Link] An argument on colds

Just because it would be good for society if people stayed home when they were sick, doesn't mean legislating that would actually have that effect without any drawbacks. Something between the two states seems to be in order.

I've been watching various colds and winter ailments move through my workplace. While I've been doing my part by trying to convince my co-workers that they ought to stay home if they're sick, people still come in when they're sick maybe half the time. At other places I know of, where workers don't get dedicated use-it-or-lose-it sick time, matters are much worse. I wonder if legislating sick time would have a strong effect.

Actually, it looks like this is happening ( Should be a couple of papers for some enterprising economist or sociologist comparing productivity per worker in states where this happens compared to states where it doesn't.

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