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bvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbv's Shortform


I am not aware of any way to quantify (even naively like my system) this kind of thing and I am very eager to hear about other ways people have found.

bvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbvbv's Shortform

A metric for comparing Social Circles

Epistemic status : Just an idea I had on a walk, doesn't seem that stupid to me

I have been thinking a bit about this topic lately, had an idea of a solution and figured LW would be interested in pointing out the unavoidable flaws in the reasoning.

Here's the gist Find a formula to quantify, as objectively as possible, your filter bubble (also called social bubble or even social circle). One could also see this as measuring by how much your social circle differ from random. The metric I chose to focus on is the income in local currency unit, but I think the idea is easily generalizable. For example we could use the total number of years of education.

But why ? One could use it to compare his own bubble to other people's. I can see it being used as a wakeup call (i.e. it's one way to find out how much you're privileged), or to judge a politician or something.

Here's a simple algorithm I came up with :

  1. ask the person to write down the names of the 10 most influential person they see more than once every 2 month. It has to be people they physically interact with, exchange ideas and so one. Any superficial friend doesn't count, one way relationships (watching someone one youtube for example) don't count either. Family members don't count. Neither do neighbours (that would skew results too much).
  2. write down their income, or if they live at their parent's expense : the average of their parent's income.
  3. sum the total income of your circle, add your own income, divide by 11. The difference between that value and the median income of your area of residence is your SocialCircleScore. You can compare this number to the one of others to better grasp the privileges that some may have without realizing it.

What do you think? Any idea of a better formula? What is missing? How would you see this being used? Ever heard of something like that? If so, I'd love to read on it.

What are the gears of gluten sensitivity?

My several cents :

It's not just about celiac disease. There are several other disorders that seem to be worsened by gluten, the first one that comes to my mind is endometriosis.

The way I see it, it seems that some people are susceptible to pro inflammatory effects of gluten, whereas most are not. So if you already have an inflammatory disorder or autoimmune condition AND have this inflammatory sensitivity then gluten will worsen it.

I don't know if this susceptibility to gluten's inflammatory effect is genetic, or genetically identified / identifiable. Whereas you can indeed identify celiac related antibodies using various tests.

Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

I don't think this question has been asked before here but I'm wondering about the effect of the age of the dog at the start of the training.

  1. IIRC feral children that learn to communicate as adults have missed their critical period for grammatical expression. In effect there oral skills are akin to "dog speak". Maybe if the dog starts at age 0 it can lead to more complex word associations. If indeed there is a "grammatical critical period" for dogs even though dogs don't ever have to use grammars in their natural state that would be a breakthrough in my opinion.

  2. it would be very interesting to see the impact of missing a sense from birth on this. For example, if a dog is born blind and taught at age 0 to communicate with this kind of device, maybe it could sort of rewire the unused parts of his brain to expand even more his speaking skills. Of course the device would have to be enhanced for blind dogs, maybe using braille bumps on top of the buttons, or scented buttons or by making the buttons emit a very faint tone specific to each button.

Remembering people's name with Anki

Regarding the fact that you forget quicker than usual. Why not using the deck settings like lowering the interval modifier + adding a 6 month limit ? Or just lowering the starting ease.

Comparing Covid and Tobacco

It will have been a year in a month and a half. We are currently at 1.33 million deaths. We are not going to have 3.7 million deaths in the next month. For why that won't happen regardless of the amount of policy attention see

I don't follow. I know there won't be 3.7M deaths in a month and a half, I'm arguing that without policies we would be at more than 1.33 million deaths and would plausibly end the year at more than 5M. If you disagree, could you point me to an article instead of the whole zvi website? I have no idea where to look.

We know COVID has a barrier to reinfection, so Covid is very unlikely to "circle the world for years". Also the tobacco deaths are actually going to continue for decades, so this can't be an argument for more marginal attention to Covid.

I didn't say the deaths that would happend at the n'th time around the earth would all be as high. I meant to say that there would be deaths chronically as opposed to just from this year.

Tobacco will be around for decade That's a fair point. But I think you dismiss too easily the possibility for covid to stay around for years. There are still numerous unknown around animal reservoir also. So covid could plausibly, gently circle the earth several times per decade, reinfecting some houmans and infecting younglings etc. I have no competence to judge on this matter but I can't see how that's not to be taken into account.

Do you believe the marginal cost of preventing a Covid death is lower than the marginal cost of preventing a tobacco death? Why or why not?

I am terrible at this but my guess is that there is a diminishing return when trying to reduce tobacco below a certain threshold as (somewhat) opposed to covid where you need more ressources to completely erase it but if you do it's done. Addiction cannot be that "easily" defeated given how diverse our psychiatric profiles are.

Comparing Covid and Tobacco
  1. You could add the added uncertainty. Covid had all the more reasons to gather lots of attention at its beginning because we had no idea of the possible death rate. Whereas tobacco's risk has been known for a while. We still don't know anything about long term consequences of such an infection. Maybe none, maybe not.

  2. I think most people consider than smokers more or less choose to smoke, whereas covid kills and cripples far more arbitrarilly. This makes it way more of a threat for most people, who "could just decide not to smoke".

Aside from that, can you link to sources as to why only 5 million people would die if no policies or behavior were changed? A death rate of 0.1% out of 5 billion people would be 5 million but

  1. it doesn't take into account the possibility of reinfections : if covid has no barrier to spread and circles the earth for years, this could increase the death count dramatically, provided antibodies don't last that long or that a high percent of patients don't produce those antibodies
  2. 0.1% death rate is what can happen when you are in the ER, ie NOT what will happen to most patients if covid can propagate freely.first source from ddg
  3. There are more than 5 billion houmans.
Scheduling Algorithm for a PhD Student

The real problem is assigning values to the different tasks. How valuable is planning out my course schedule for the next year? Evaluating a specific research agenda? Exploring the papers in a new field? Unfortunately, I lack good answers for these questions. I'm vaguely aware that I should have >5 articles published when I enter the job market. But the weightings for quality, quantity, prestige and coherence of these publications are unclear. This is a vital area for further research.

I have been slowly developping my own python app to solve this. I have talked here about this before so let me put the link to my previous comment where I explained this :

I am selftaught and terribly bad at estimating what's left to code. I'll probably finish it when my exams make me procrastinate the most.

To sum it up in a few words : It manages a db of entries containing your goals It asks you "which is more important" after picking 2 items It then asks you "which takes most time to complete" It computes ELO score (one for "importance" and one for "length") You do this with enough pairs of entries, you can now rank all your tasks by what is the most important and takes the less time, even if sometimes you can't compare two items the ELO will find a way to converge somewhat, and supposedly fast enough.

The reason my coding is so slow is that I try to make it generalizable for n scores. For example for my movie database : it takes into account importance / length / size of the file. In your situation, you could add a question "what will help me most to become a professor" etc.

This way I watch what's important and short while never fulling my hard drive to the brim.

If there are coders that whish to participate and that are armed with tremendous patience for my lack of skills, I could open the github. If you have any question or recommendation don't hesitate.

I'm Voting For Ranked Choice, But I Don't Like It

What are your opinions on STAR vs majority judgement?

To me, when I was reading about the different voting systems at the time of the last election in my country I recall majority judgement was a very clear winner. So I'm surprised to not see it mentionned here.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

Personnaly I don't. I just call some friends individually and organize a serie of 1-1 dinners.

The science youtuber behind the channel "the thought emporium" and "the taste emporium" has an interesting take on this : at 25 seconds. Basically he makes a cake outside of his skill set, spends the whole day on it and give it to his friends.

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