All of coffeespoons's Comments + Replies

I don't find that there's much of a social cost to smoking e-cigarettes. Most non-smokers don't mind them as they don't smell, and where I live (the UK) you can smoke them inside in lots of places.

Flavoring is optional, but the vast majority of e-cigarette users use strong smelling flavored liquids. Some of them smell worse than tobacco IMO.

FWIW I also interpreted your statement as normative.

Sorry, I meant to say it worries me a bit if young LWers are leaving paid employment to work unpaid for their partners. I haven't actually witnessed a bunch of people appear to do this - it was more of a concern after reading the post. However, it looks as if Swimmer963 is making sensible plans.

It worries me a bit that several young LWers appear to be leaving paid employment to do (presumably?) unpaid work for their partners. What happens if these relationships break down? Are they going to be able to find paid work after a long break from the job market?

Name three?
Does "partners" mean "romantic partners"? Is that a good idea? This is not a rhetorical question, and I could see how it is a awful I idea that has the potential to go wrong, but can also see that the intimacy is actually extremely beneficial.
Clarification: I'm not actually planning to do unpaid work for Ruby, at least not immediately. I'm going to be retraining as an executive assistant, because they're useful, and keeping my nursing license valid (possibly finding a part time nursing job if that turns out to be at all feasible, because I really love working as a nurse.)

I would recommend Fidelity's FTSE All-Share tracker (it had the lowest fees I could find when I started saving some money in there a few months ago).

waves hello thanks for the masterlist and the follow :)

I just started a tumblr (coffeespoonsposts) - which tumblrs should I follow?

The one blog I can really recommend is scientiststhesis. Otherwise I'd suggest going over the Masterlist and see what strikes your interest. The one thing about tumblr is that good, interesting content is often on the same blogs as Doctor Who gifs and "OMG THAT'S SO CUTE!" The signal-to-noise ratio is rather low.
Here is the newest version of the rationalist masterlist [] I know of, thought it's still a few months out of date. Also people who follow you (looks like we are following each other now, yay!). Also it can be fun to follow blogs for fandoms or things you think are cute, or whatever random things you are interested in.
I think there was a masterpost of tumblr rationalists at some point- ask ozy [] about it, maybe? Besides that, it depends on your other interests.

Ah, sorry, I must have missed that due to reading too quickly.

I'm female, but I had no idea until after I'd had sex with bisexual men that the HIV risk was much higher than from sleeping with straight men. I used condoms anyway, but I was pretty shocked to learn about it. I still date bi men*, but I'm much stricter about making sure they've had STI tests than I used to be.

*My main social group are the UK bi/poly community, so two out of three of the men I've dated in the last few years have been bi.

Its the same as pre exposure prophylaxis.

I have changed my mind about lots of things since my introduction to less wrong (I'm much less political for instance), but I can't think of any specific posts right now. Mostly I've changed my mind through discussing things with rationalist friends.

Also, I'm much less social justicy since reading slatestarcodex and Yvain's previous blog.

Edit: Not a less wrong post, but Yvain's meditations on superweapons changed my mind about various social justice feminist thngs.

Yvain's meditations on superweapons changed my mind about various social justice feminist things.

Scott is pretty amazing at getting people to change their minds in a non-pushy way, with almost no advocacy. I wonder if this skill can be taught.

Also, feel free to elaborate on which feminist social justice concepts you retained and which you had to revise, and maybe quote the relevant post, as a bonus.

I have an anxiety disorder, and I managed to get through a very stressful few weeks (work deadline, family difficulties, a minor injury, a moth infestation and a difficult accountancy exam), without my anxiety causing too much trouble. A couple of weeks ago I felt paralysed with anxiety, and I forced myself to have a rest and to do some mindfulness exercises. I did the same the next day and I started to feel less anxious gradually. I completed the work deadlines and I'm pretty sure I passed the exam as well.

EDIT: This is particularly significant, since my ... (read more)

do note that people are usually paid for the value they produce and that individuals' capability to produce value differs GREATLY

That's true, but I still care about people who don't produce much value, and I don't like to see them being impoverished and miserable.

Sure. Nobody says you have to not care about less productive people. So redistribute some of your value to them.

I had thought that reactionaries were anti-enlightenment though?

It's complicated. We reject some parts of the Enlightenment but not all. Jayson just listed three of my favorite monarchs, actually.

From reading HPMOR and some of the sequences (I'm very slowly working my way through them) I get the impression that Eliezer is very pro-enlightenment. I can't imagine that he'd often explicitly claim to be pro-enlightenment if he weren't, rather than simply avoiding the whole issue.

being pro-enlightment from the perspective of a science fanboy and poly amorous atheist is different than being pro-enlightment as a direct counterargument to reactionary thought. Certainly before I read NR stuff I never thought a reasonable person could claim the enlightenment was a bad thing.
The Enlightenment predates democratic orthodoxy. Monarchs like Louis XVI, Catherine II, and Frederick the Great were explicitly pro-Enlightenment.

I think it might be a good idea for admin to get involved now, either to explain what action they'll take or to explain why they're not taking any action. The reasons for admin to get involved are:

1)It makes karma a less effective way of signalling the quality of a user's comments

2)IT seems to have happened to several people

3)It upsets people, and makes them less likely to post here

4)It might cause drama (someone has publicly named a karma abuser below)

I'd like to add 5) It is directly discouraging participation of productive users. See here 6) The nature of the downvoting is creating a situation that may be turning LW into a political battleground, which given the goals of the community is a bad idea. (See prior link.)

Yes, there will be payback to the world, but not as much as if you spend the money on efficient charity (I would think).

Why do you think that? Here's a simple model. Suppose that the value of what you do and create (excluding offspring) in your life is A. You are paid some amount B for this. (If you have an honest job, B is less than A.) Of that, you spend C on your own household excluding children, leaving B-C for either charitable giving or raising offspring. Let D be the cost of raising a child. The number you can afford to raise is N = (B-C)/D. If you do not have a child, the value of your life to others is A-C. If you have K children, the value of all your lives (assuming the same figures apply to your children) is (K+1)(A-C-KD). The former minus the latter is (K+1)KD-K(A-C). This favours not reproducing only if K > (A-C)/D - 1. But suppose you have one less child than the maximum you can afford. Then K = N-1 = (B-C)/D - 1. If you have an honest job, this must be less than (A-C)/D - 1. The optimum value of K turns out to be ((A-C)/D - 1)/2 (or some value a little less than N, if that is smaller). So the conclusion of this calculation is "be fruitful and multiply".

Because having children is just so incredibly expensive!

It strikes me that very little has been said about the costs to the parents of homeschooling.

Even if homeschoolers only spend a few hours a week teaching their children (and that assumes the children are motivated enough to teach themselves the rest), they still have to make sure someone is in the house with the children all the time, which requires either career sacrifices (unless they can work from home), or probably more money than private school would cost (childminders are very expensive).

Also, I'm not convinced that even the average gifted child woul... (read more)

Indeed. But the primary reason I haven't mentioned the costs when recommending homeschooling is because the costs are nearer to James_Miller than the benefits. If he's going to overestimate the costs or benefits of homeschooling, it's more likely that he'll overestimate the costs- and so it makes sense to focus on the the benefits. It also works as a door-in-the-face []: well, if you aren't willing to devote full-time employment to your child's education, then surely private school is a bargain?

I'm less confident of that now, but it's still a great deal better than nothing (and I think it's probably better than psychoanalysis at teaching coping skills for this sort of anxiety).

I also think that the technique I suggested can improve the accuracy of your predictions, which is a good thing independently of whether it improves anxiety or not.

Also, from Scott's post:

Some versions of CBT for anxiety and DBT for borderline also seem to just be basic coping skills about getting some distance from your emotions. I think it’s likely that these have some small effects (I know a study above found no effect for CBT on anxiety, but it was by a notorious partisan of psychoanalysis and I will temporarily defy the data).

Do you still believe that "CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) has a strong evidence base"?

Low level crack dealers in gangs face worse pay and conditions than workers in most minimum wage jobs. My friendly independent neighborhood pot dealer makes a good living. There is still a risk of being robbed etc. without any legal recourse, but I'd imagine it's a lot lower if you aren't selling crack in the inner city.

That leaves me with a question that they were nice enough to explicitly ask at the end of the page: Do they answer it later in the chapter?

I voted "both equally", but really I want Eliezer to continue writing in Eliezer's style and Luke to keep writing in Luke's style! Mostly I prefer reading factual things written in Luke's style, but Eliezer's style really seems to work for the sequences.

ETA: sorry for the rather rambling comment, and sorry for making it all about me!

This post is really interesting, thank you. When I was 22 I did quite badly in my exams at university, mostly because I had mental health problems around exam time. I had been ambitious up until then, but after that, my ambition somehow deserted me, since I became convinced that if I tried to do too much I would get too stressed and fall apart. I dropped the economics part of my degree, since it was harder, and graduated with a philosophy degree. In my final year, I put in the... (read more)

I hate the "phyg" coinage so much. That said, I've had a decent amount of luck introducing the LW meme cluster to people as a toolset rather than an identity, thus avoiding all the heuristics that get triggered by "hey, mom, wanna hear about this new philosophy of life that I've started identifying with?" Ideally, the name of the site should come up much later: start with the stuff your audience would find useful or interesting, and if that works well, you know where to find more. Truthfully, I'd say that's a better way to approach it even if you aren't trying to build community. As to LW meetup demographics, I wouldn't worry too much about age. If you're older than most of your local group, that's if anything a status positive, and expected intelligence isn't likely to be much of a problem either; bear in mind that what you see on the site is filtered for some level of domain knowledge, thanks to our norms against spinning bullshit or repeating popular beliefs without research. People, especially young people, tend to come off as less knowledgeable and eloquent in person.
Do ... do you mean we can have friends outside of LW? Don't the sequences say that's irrational? I've by now pitched LW to quite a lot of friends, STEM-types mostly. It's worth thinking of a 'pitch', or some sort of casual mention, you feel comfortable with, so you don't avoid the topic at the last moment. Raising awareness for the EA community in general, or LW in particular, are probably among the lowest hanging fruit for having a high impact for low effort, it's worth getting down that barrier of somehow being 'embarrassed' by hanging out with ostensibly smart people sooner rather than later. Be proud of who you are, and of your affiliations!
I think every post I've ever written has been mostly about me! This is not something that LW will usually punish, if the content is useful to others in some sense. Yeah, I've had enough experience of this brand of self-doubt. My worry is less that I'll have a major nervous breakdown; I've always been pretty resilient in that sense; but I'm definitely terrified, all the time, that an emergency will happen and I'll freeze up or react too slowly and be completely useless. I've had this fear since at least the age of twelve, when I started taking lifesaving classes at the pool and realized that it was really freaking hard for me to stay calm under pressure. I think my most Gryffindor trait is that I've faced this fear down, repeatedly, covering it up with enthusiasm or helpfulness or whatever. I think I've been useless quite at lot. But this is no longer a major fear of mine. I don't know if the same solution will work for you. I can rely on myself to go home, exercise, write a story, bake some cookies, and bounce back to my normal emotional state even if I've had a day where I felt totally useless. I've also always been good at doing a lot of things at once and having a ridiculously full schedule; this isn't the kind of stress that gets to me or makes me depressed or anxious, which I know it does for some people. I guess maybe it's mindfulness techniques that help :) I've done counselling and tried mindfulness/CBT techniques for my work-related anxiety, but so far it's been less effective than my base strategy of reminding myself that my anxiety is internal to me and not a part of the situation itself, and focusing on just getting particular, measurable tasks done. Anyway, I wish you luck with the Gryffindor endeavour!

Pretty much all the non monogamous people I know get regular tests. So yes, most people use testing in addition to condoms. I don't have casual sex any more, really, but I never caught an STI when I did.

Oh, and most condoms sold in the UK contain spermicide.

Replacing condoms doesn't work for people who aren't currently in monogamous relationships. We need them to protect against STIs. Encouraging people to entirely replace condoms would I should think lead to an increase in STIs.

I've used condoms every single time I've had sex, and they've only failed twice. Both of the times they failed I took emergency contraception. I've never had a pregnancy scare. Of course I could be infertile, but many of my friends use the same method, and they find it effective. Others use a combination of hormonal contraception and condoms.

I'm torn here. Do I tell you that's a good point because combination strategies can be much more effective at preventing pregnancy, or do I let you know that the efficacy rate for STIs are subject to the same forces as the efficacy rates for pregnancy? I guess I can do both. You'll decide what risk to take in any case. The amount of protection that you can get from a condom against STIs is not as good as the amount of protection you get against pregnancy. Not everyone can give you an STI (about 20% of the population) whereas most straight couplings can lead to pregnancy (about 90% of people of childbearing age are fertile). So that increases your odds of a good outcome. Some people are honest about their STI status, and that also increases your odds of a good outcome - but don't forget that some people do not even know that they have an STI, and others may be in denial or crazy or sociopathic - and if you're having casual sex, you really can't be sure about a person's moral character and sanity level. Your chance of getting an STI while using a condom would be a lot higher than 50% if you had a partner with a disease for the rest of your life. If you have random partners, and 1/20 people has an STI and some of them don't know it, and some of them aren't honest... I'm not sure what your chances are, but if you're successful with finding partners, it could be substantially worse than a 2% lifetime risk. You may want to try looking up rates of STI among people who have non-relationship sex. Another possibility is to find a special friend and get tested together. If that won't work, a combination strategy (like condoms with spermicide) could be a significant improvement. You may want to research nonoxynol-9 before using it. I've heard that it increases the chance of disease transmission.

I found that quite hard to read. Even if poor impulse control were the sole cause of obesity, there would be no reason to attack the obese so nastily, instead of, for instance, suggesting ways that they might improve their impulse control. I find the way he relishes attacking them incredibly unpleasant.

In fact, the internet has quite a lot to say about improving impulse control.

I reckon there's special pleading going on with the obese. Way more anger & snottiness gets directed at them (at least on the parts of the Internet I see) than at, say, smokers, even though smoking is at least as bad in every relevant way I can think of. (Here're some obvious examples. At an individual level, smoking is associated with shorter life [] at least as much as obesity. At a global level, smoking kills more and reduces DALYs far more [] than high BMI. Like obesity, smoking is associated [] with lower IQ & lower conscientiousness. And so on.)

I think that "calling out" types can be extremely harsh and unpleasant - I agree with NancyLebovitz there. However, I don't get what she meant by the problems between feminist and trans people leading her to respect it less.

I mean that call out culture presents itself as an optimal way for people with different levels of privilege to live with each other, and I think that intractable problem between second wave feminists and transpeople is evidence that there are problems with call out culture, even if .what second wave feminists have been doing is technically before the era of call out culture. There used to be a really good analysis of the problems with call out culture at, but that blog is no longer available.

IME "call out culture" feminists are very anti-transphobia. Second wave feminists aren't so interested in getting people to check their privilege.

If that's true, then I don't understand NancyLebovitz's criticism of "call out culture" or the relevance of her statement to Multiheaded's point.

I've moved away slightly from SJW attitudes on various matters, since starting to read LW, Yvain's blog and various other things, however, I've actually moved closer to SJW attitudes to weight, since researching the issue. The fact that weight loss attempts hardly ever work in the long run, is what has changed my views the most.

[OT: just noting that one could be "away from SJW attitudes" in different directions, some of them mutually exclusive. For example, on some particular things (racial discrimination, etc) I take the Marxist view that activism can't help the roots of the problem which are endemic to the functioning of capitalism - except that I don't believe it's possible or sane to try and replace global capitalism with something better anytime soon, either... so there might be no hope of reaching "endgame" for some struggles until post-scarcity. Although activists should probably at least try and defend the progress made on them to-date from being optimized away by hostile political agendas.] Actually, I still suspect that the benefiits in increased happiness and mental health would still be better than the marginal efficiency of pressuring lots of people to try and lose weight even if it depended in large part on personal behaviour. And social pressure is notoriously indiscriminate, so any undesirable messages would still hit people who can't or don't really need to change. Plus there are still all the socioeconomic factors outside people's control, etc.

Link to twin study. A quick scan (I don't have time to read it in full right now, but I will later) suggests they used twins of the same sex, and they also compared BMI not weight, which controls for height.

I think the problem is that maintaining a state on semi-starvation for the rest of one's life is very unpleasant and difficult, and is achieved by very few people:

“Those who doubt the power of basic drives, however, might note that although one can hold one’s breath, this conscious act is soon overcome by the compulsion to breathe,” Dr. Friedman wrote. “The feeling of hunger is intense and, if not as potent as the drive to breathe, is probably no less powerful than the drive to drink when one is thirsty. This is the feeling the obese must resist after t

... (read more)
What? I meant, it doesn't surprise me at all that if you pick a bunch of pairs of twins, the correlation between “x's weight” and “x's twin's weight” would be very large -- but if you only picked pairs of male twins between 1.77 m and 1.80 m tall and you got the same result...

I've posted some exerpts from another possibly relevant article here:

Genes take charge and diets fall by the wayside.

You need a New York Times account to read it, but setting one up only takes a couple of minutes. Here are some exerpts in any case.

Obese people almost always regain weight after weight loss:

So Dr. Hirsch and his colleagues, including Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, who is now at Columbia University, repeated the experiment and repeated it again. Every time the result was the same. The weight, so painstakingly lost, came right back. But since this was a research study, the investigators were also measuring metabolic

... (read more)
3Houshalter7y [] (EDIT: Found another article about that here: []) The study referenced appears to be from here: [] Here is one theory on an environmental cause of obesity: [] Here is a study that suggests Jet fuel causes obesity. And it's an epigenetic effect: [] Another interesting link I'd like to save here: [] EDIT: More links. Haven't gone through them thoroughly yet though. Putting this stuff here more for future reference: [] [] Looking for any relevant research or articles on the causes of obesity, or effectiveness of interventions. another link to dump for now: []
And here is the kind of attitude that, in my eyes, justifies all the anger and backlash against fat-shaming. Oh damn, I feel like I understand the SJW people more and more every time I see crap like this. [] The "harsh truth" is that people suffering from obesity need to be protected from such vile treatment somehow, and that need is not recognized at the moment. Society shouldn't just let some entitled well-off jerks with a fetish for authoritarianism influence attitudes and policy that directly affect vulnerable groups. ... Goddamn reactionaries everywhere.
Lesswrongers are surprised by this? It appears figuring out metabolism and nutrition is harder than I thought. I believe that obesity is a problem of metabolic regulation, not overeating, and this result seems to support my belief. Restricting calories to regulate your weight is akin to opening the fridge door to regulate its temperature. It might work for a while but in the long run you'll end up breaking both your fridge and your budget. Far better to figure out how to adjust the termostat. Some of the things that upregulate your fat set point are a history of starvation (that's why calorie restriction is bad in the long run), toxins in your food, sugars (especially fructose - that stuff is toxic []) and grains. Wheat is particularly bad - it can serioysly screw with your gut [] and is addictive [] to boot.
ADBOC. I don't know that seeming like someone who is starving, so long as you aren't actually risking to die from starvation and your micronutrient intake stays adequate, is a bad thing, and indeed the [] evidence [] seems to suggest that it isn't. And yeah, slowed metabolism means that if you go straight back to eating as much as you did before starting the diet, you'll gain back the weight. Which is why people are usually advised not to do that. Controlling for height and sex?

On the other hand, here's a study that shows a very strong link between impulse control and weight. I'm not really sure what to believe anymore.

Adipocyte count is essential to maintaining weight. [] It is unclear to what extent weight is genetic rather than environmentally set at a later stage in development. I am unable to find whether fat cell count can be changed over this 8 year time scale, though my biochemistry professor was inclined to that hypothesis. Heredity and weight: The long-term weight loss cited in this review used a 1-2 year followup, during which time only <16% of adipocytes could have turned over.

Moderately surprising corollary: so society IS treating fat people in a horribly unjust manner after all. Those boring SJW types who have been going on and on about "fat-shaming" and "thin privilege"... are yet again more morally correct on average than the general public.

Am now mildly ashamed of some previous thoughts and/or attitudes.

googles Shangri La Man,I'll definitely try that before I try intermittent fasting. The only low carb diet I've looked at is Atkins, and it just sounds really unpleasant, but I'll look at paleo.

I think concentrating on improving social skills and learning to dress better are important. Regarding social skills, if you suffer from social anxiety, CBT, mindfulness and antidepressants work well. Apart from that, I don't really know, as my social skills improved without a great deal of effort, but good self help advice is probably the way to go. I also don't know a great deal about men's fashion, but googling "how to dress for overweight men" brings up lots of results. A word of caution though - after getting internet fashion advice check ho... (read more)

At the moment I cannot really assess my social skills, but I don't think I'm terribly anxious. If my plans come to fruition, I'll have a good environment where to practice socializing. Although I suspect that amiably chatting with girls won't bring me the results I'm searching for :)

Yes I would recommend these steps to guys interested in girls :). A lot of dating advice recommends them.

I've read on this site that you already have four girlfriend in a polyamorous relationship. Is that true? If it is, how did you achieve that without losing weight?

Some women prefer overweight men, and some don't mind dating overweight men. If I'm honest I'm more likely to be attracted to slimmer men (certainly most of the men I've dated are slimmer), however I have been attracted to fat guys in the past, if they have other attractive qualities (being smart, amusing, relaxed about sex, for instance).

You are one of the few commenters who indeed didn't suggest to lose weight. Based on your experience, what would you suggest a fat guy should concentrate on if he wanted to result attractive?

I also think that people who hang out in kink spaces are more likely to have non mainstream sexual tastes. You are, I would think, more likely to find women who are really keen on fat guys (these women do exist) in these spaces. It's been my experience that in kinky and similar communities (e.g. the poly community) people (both men and women) who are not conventionally attractive are more likely to be sexually successful than they would be outside these communities.

Losing weight and keeping it off is really difficult. It's pretty rare for people to maintain a weight loss over a number of years. I can't find reliable stats right now, but I believe the numbers are 10% regain within 1 year, and after 5 years only a very small number remain at a lower weight. I'm not , however, sure if metabolism is the reason or not.

This article is interesting.

Lots of people have system 1 processes governing calorie intake and expenditure that are maladaptive within their current environment. It's possible to overrule these maladaptive impulses with system 2, but that imposes lots of cognitive load so most people are only able to sustain such efforts for a short time before reverting. The article describes the common experience of people who temporarily go on medically supervised diets. Once they are left to their own devices, bereft of the external support and close supervision, they rely entirely on ongoing effort from system 2 to regulate their intake and expenditure. This eventually fails when limited system 2 resources get allocated to other tasks leaving system 1 to prevail. Wealthy people can reliably obtain good long-term outcomes by hiring a nutritionally savvy chef and a good personal trainer, thereby creating an durable external regulatory system that doesn't require ongoing conscious supervisory effort from their system 2. Of course it is unfair that some people's system 1 drives are wildly maladaptive, while others' require only minor correction. File a support ticket to the Blind Idiot God. If you choose not to wait for the bug to be patched, however, then you must spend your system 2 effort wisely. Spend it upfront to impose prudent structure and routine around diet and exercise with the goal of minimizing the day-to-day, minute-to-minute supervisory effort required.

I'm female and I didn't date at all until I was 22 . People very rarely seemed to be attracted to be before that, but since then, I haven't found it at all hard to get dates! I think 3 of the most important changes I made are as applicable to men as to women:

  1. Learning to dress better. I figured out what clothes suited me and wore them.

  2. Becoming better at socialising. I had been terribly socially anxious before that, which made it hard for me to talk to new people.I went on antidepressants for generalised anxiety and depression, but an accidental side eff

... (read more)
Would you reccomend these steps also to guy who are interested in girls rather than the opposite? Or you are interested in girls?

I have known several very overweight men who've managed to be very attractive to women. I'm not quite sure how they did it, but whatever they did worked. They have generally been pretty charismatic and charming.

Just want to add that AFAICT losing weight and not regaining it is very hard. I think only a very small number of dieters manage to keep weight off in the long run (though paleo etc might be more effective than most diets - I'm not sure). I'm not convinced that dieting is the "lowest hanging fruit," but I'm not sure how MrMind could develop the kind of charisma required to be attractive despite being very overweight.

If they are not dead, it might just be possible to ask them directly. Are they someone who I can contact?

I'm considering trying a diet that involves fasting for 2 days a week. What do people think about intermittent fasting diets?

ETA: I don't have a great deal of weight to lose, and if I'm honest I want to lose it for aesthetic rather than health reasons.

I think some people tolerate them better than constant calorie limitation. Chris Kresser says that some of his patients who do intermittent fasting have blood sugar regulation problems []. More. [] I'd read somewhere that IF is a bad idea if you're already under stress. IF leads to increased cortisol and can result in adrenal fatigue. I thought I saw it at Chris Kresser, but I can't find it there. However, there are other articles [] which are concerned about the cortisol angle. I'd say it isn't an awful idea-- IF does work for some people, but maybe you should be getting blood tests and have some way of remembering to drop the IF if your life gets stressful.
I did that for a few months a couple of years back; I fasted every weekend. Big thing I learned from it is that I become extremely grumpy/unpleasant when I don't eat for two days in a row. (I wasn't doing it to lose weight, it was an attempt to gain better control of my automatic processes. I don't think it actually worked to any significant extent.) First couple of times I permitted myself an unlimited quantity of clove tea. After the first couple of times clove tea began to taste like dish soap and I stopped drinking it.

Does MMM take into account the cost of time spent saving money? For instance, it seems to me that trying to eat as cheaply as possible involves a lot of time spent going to different shops and finding the best deals. It might be better to spend that time working more or gaining further qualifications so to improve income in the future.

Yes, but optimising for cheapness of neighbourhood (as MMM does) so you can spend a lot of time with your kids is unlikely to have the best outcome.

I'm not familiar with that MMM guy, but I'd just chime in with the observation that the kinds of parents with high agency and high planning abilities coupled with a willingness to break the usual societal norms probably wouldn't be subject to research which dealt with a much broader spectrum and more average families. IOW, someone who optimises his family and his family life so radically is unlikely to be subject to the same research results yielded by "You know it's hard being a single mom, I tried my best, but he always wanted to go play with the other kids" type parents. For example, high agency parents in a poor neighborhood may be more able to shuttle their children to activities in other neighborhoods, and to shield them from the resident school system via homeschooling. I agree that it's unlikely to have the best outcome, if only because getting the best outcome is hard.

because although having parents who are active in their life is great, a child's peer group also has a huge influence on their development

Citation needed, but I had thought that recent research indicated that peer group is much more important than parenting.

Efficient parents can choose the peer group, making it a de facto extension of their own influence.

The last time I dealt with an insurance company it wasn't all that painful (maybe 2-3 hours work). Depending on how the OP values her time of course I suspect the cost would still be quite a lot lower than £2000.

Yes, I would expect 2-3 hours work dealing with it plus a loss of utility for the holiday of around £200. If I cost my time at a tenner an hour that works out at under 50p for a luggage free bathroom break, which sounds pretty reasonable to me.

The OP says that she's insured, so theft of the items would be significantly less costly than £2000.

Then it seems the general advice prooffered should be "trust people more, but make sure you insure your expensive items and don't tell the insurers that you leave them alone in a crowded public place."
The cost would be measured primarily in emotional damage done by police and insurance investigators blaming the victim for leaving the goods unattended.
Or more costly if you factor in the aggravation of dealing with the insurance company. For those that havn't done it before...well, it's not pleasant unless you know exactly what you are doing. Or have a lawyer handle it, which can be its own brand of pain.

"Rare" might well be enough for purplerabbits to feel happy leaving it there.

I would be pretty interested in seeing financial advice specifically aimed at women. Many women seem to rely on their partners/husbands to support their lifestyle to a greater degree than I think is really wise, given the divorce rate. I've seen women who are almost certainly smarter than me doing this, and I'm always a bit surprised. I've also seen it go wrong - for example a woman I know is getting divorced and is going to have trouble finding work as she hasn't worked for over a decade, due to relying on her husband.

On the other hand, a well-planned divorce could be an important part of a financial plan. "Early Retirement Extreme Extreme" -- get retired within a week! :D
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