Dude, I'm just a guy, but I love this blog. It has changed my head.
Three books! That's great! I gotta tell you...
Here's a practice that I have long used to gain a skill, or just get through a project. I get the three best-looking books on the topic. The classic, the bible, the tome. (I avoid the "for dummies.") Reading them, I determine my favorite AUTHOR, the guy whose outlook and philosophy and depth and commitment to the skill impresses me the most. Then I CALL THAT SUCKER UP ON THE PHONE.
It helps that I'm as personable ... (read more)
Many automobiles are spaghetti towers. The longer a model or drivetrain is in production, the more spaghetti. I drive a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon. Its ancestors had horizontally opposed four cylinder air-cooled engines in the rear, like all ancestral VWs. In 1984 the Vanagon got water cooled, but still horizontally opposed four cylinder rear-engine. The plumbing is, as they say, like a submarine. Some later Vanagon models layered onto this concept four-wheel drive and air conditioning. Talk about plumbing.
Of course, most every automobile wiring system grew ... (read more)
Wow, that was good. As a clueless teen in Dutch-settled Rensselaer county, NY, bordering Vermont and Massachusetts, I visited nearby New England frequently, by bike and car, then moved there in my early twenties. My curiosity about the roots of the very different present-day cultures on either side of the New York border led me to a study of regional history. In short, the two sides of the border were colonized and settled by people with very different philosophies and politics. New York by royal land grants administered by nobles through a serf-like tenan... (read more)
I'm pretty comfortable liking things that others don't, but less comfortable not liking things others consider great. I do know that after listening to bluegrass music for a few years, learning it on the mandolin was challenging but doable. When I switched to jazz, both listening and learning at the same time, it was much harder. Now, I can hear jazz melodies and rhythms and structure that was just not reaching my brain earier. And they are lovely.
On another note: one time on a bicycle trip I passed through Paris and wandered into the Louvre. I hadn't pla... (read more)
You don't have to share a taste for, or approval of "...refined murderous evil of the particularly uncommon kind..." It can be explained as a reaction to events or conditions, and history is full of examples. HOWEVER. We have this language that we share, and it signifies. I understand that a rapist has mental instability and other mental health issues that cause him to act not in accordance with common perceptions of minimum human decency. But I can't say out loud, "I understand why some men rape women." It's an example of a truth that is too dangerous to say because emotions prevent others from hearing it.
The art of condescension is subtle and nuanced. "I'm always fascinated by..." can be sincere or not--when it is not, it is a variation on, "It never ceases to amaze me how..." If you were across the table from me, Alejandro, I could tell by your eyes. Most FB posts, tweets, blog posts and comments on magazine and newspaper articles are as bad or worse than what is described here. Rants masquerading as comments. That's why I like this venue here at LessWrong. Commenters actually trying to get more clarity, trying to make sure they unders... (read more)
I say give them smaller raises more frequently. After the first annual bonus, it becomes expected.
I'm just a regular guy who stumbled on LessWrong some time ago, and it has helped me see a lot that I was missing in this world and, yes, to change my mind. Much of this stuff is hard to grasp for a man with limited math skills, but I think I may have an innate grasp of heuristics in some cases. At any rate, I have long made it a practice to budget an amount for a particular gift, and then seek out the smallest, most precious object that that amount will buy, rather than the biggest and most bountiful. (Except for children under 7 or so years of age--for t... (read more)