caffemacchiavelli

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Making Vaccine

From what preliminary legal advice I've received, I'm allowed to hand it out as a research chemical but anything beyond that might get me into trouble. That sadly limits me to offering it to other nerds who I can reasonably expect to use it for research purposes, but I also highly doubt that anyone outside that cluster would even be interested.

Making Vaccine

Thanks for posting this, this looks excellent.
It's my impression that you can indeed just buy the antigen needed - the lowest price for 1mg I found was around 900€. Allowing for 10% waste, this would cover 20 individuals at 45µg each. I looked at the antigen test results first and was worried that the vaccine wouldn't perform as well in live tests, but the neutralization results Stöcker posted are quite promising and a Nature study suggests that using 319–545 of the RBD is effective in providing immunity to live virus in primates. I don't expect the remaining amino acids will affect the results in a major way, so this looks quite promising indeed.

I've asked a few people with more domain knowledge to comment on this and depending on their judgment (and access to sterile lab space) I might fund vaccines for myself and friends, given that Germany's vaccine rollout seems to be taking its time.

Ways to be more agenty?
  • Make sure your don't have undiagnosed ADD and spend ten years of your life going from one self help technique to the next and failing to get your executive brain to use any of them.

  • Also, virtuous cycles are incredibly powerful for me. It's much easier to start a big project when I have a few victories fresh in my mind than when I don't. So I try to go for quick wins whenever you have free time. Small home improvement projects work well for me and also make my surroundings nicer.

  • Avoid clutter. This can double as a way to procrastinate, but I've found that I can focus much less in a messy place.

  • Have agenty friends. If not able to: Watch interviews with agenty people or read fiction about them.

  • For longer projects, make meditating on them a habit. I usually contrast where I am with where I want to be and why. This helps avoid shiny new things getting in the way.

Low hanging fruits (LWCW 2020)

The mediawiki suggestion was mine (and the whetstones, but that's more specifically for people who cook and/or relax more easily with something to do) and it's been surprisingly useful.

There's always something small to add, so it can very quickly become a virtuous cycle of finding something that cheers you up and adding something to cheer up future you in turn.

New LW Meetup: Bogota

I'm not the organizer, but the Cologne meetup has been happening regularly for a while. The mailing list is here and the date is decided via online poll, but always a Saturday and usually towards the end of the month.

Rationality Quotes May 2016

Certain people -- some of whom are in positions of enormous power -- just do not give a damn about other human beings. A certain head of state in Syria comes to mind.

I'd also say that your ability to care about other people, along with overall sanity, will diminish under constant stress. That's why "Preserve own sanity" is #1 on my rules to be followed in case of sudden world domination list and something I need to stay aware of even in my current (and normally not that stressful or important) job.

Instrumental behaviour: Inbox zero - A guide

Happy to share my system. This isn't supposed to be a jab at zero inboxing, I just never felt the need to physically move email. I've been using multiple addresses, filters and tags since long before I actually had things to do and they actually continue to do the job pretty well.

My current set-up looks something like this:

  • Bulk inbox for everything unsorted.
  • Business inbox for everything sent to me about my job by a person.
  • Ad inbox for everything sent to me about my job by a robot.
  • Accounts inbox for bills I intend to keep and any financial mail.
  • Chat inbox for forum updates and responses to blog posts. >90% university-related discussions.
  • Private inbox for close friends and family. When my phone is not on priority mode, I also get a notification for these.
  • Subscription inbox for newsletters and advertisements at me personally. I go through these after work and sometimes tag stuff I want to read during dead time (e.g. waiting in line).

Bulk, Ads, Accounts and Subscription get automatically marked as read when I shut down the program.

Filters sort >90% of my mail for me and are mostly based on the address used, as it saves me the time to manually add the sender to my filters (and hope they only use one email). Since my starting screen shows the bulk folder, I can just glance at the other <10% and move on, as it's usually unimportant. Today's bulk mail includes two Japanese book shop coupons, Reddit, two seminar invites, a reminder at myself and a meetup proposal.

I also have an emergency email which has no inbox but forwards mails directly to my phone in all situations. Never been used, of course, because nobody remembers obscure email addresses in emergencies (and my life actually isn't as action-filled as one would expect the life of a business consultant with a dozen email filters to be...). Still, I like the idea of handing them out in the hope that it makes my other addresses "non-emergency" by contrast.

Each inbox currently holds several thousands of emails and after a few tantrums at having deleted that one email, they will likely stay undisturbed for the next couple of years.

What is your rationalist backstory?

FWIW: The idea of upvoting the poll itself kinda eluded my internal option mapper until right now, even though I like them. Guess my decision making process went straight past "If post interesting then upvote" to "If poll interesting then participate".

Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014

I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing. (Btw, are there more general, practical utility lectures like this?)

When you talk about being underwhelmed with other students, could you go into detail what criteria you'd specifically assess when making that judgment?

I've noticed that most intellectual doujins tend to think of themselves as particularly special and of other people as not quite as much, even if the empirical evidence isn't all that convincing (Mensa can be notoriously bad about this, so is the "I have goals!" self-help crowd), so I always take some time to look at the actual data before adopting a similar belief.

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