All of danlucraft's Comments + Replies

How do you take notes?

All my notes take the form of questions and answers now. I find that notes that can't be used to challenge me to recall and think about the material are pointless.

Note these are not like SR flashcards, which I have had little luck with outside things such as vocab.

I keep them in markdown in Dropbox, and edit them on my iPad or phone while reading. When I feel like reviewing I have a custom style sheet to present them in a form that it is easy to cover up the answers with one hand.

In terms of deciding what information to capture, I used to fetishise names a... (read more)

Making the chaff invisible, and getting the wheat ($200 prize too)

Sign up for and track the artists you named and the SF Bay Area metro area. I work at this company and we exist to solve this problem for live music. We only email you about stuff you have previously told us you are interested in.

0diegocaleiro8ypromising. Will check out.
Superintelligence fiction - "Understand", by Ted Chiang

After reading this story I spent about 30 seconds worrying that my ipad was broken because the display was now tinted pink. Even a restart didn't fix it. Then I realized.

Open thread, August 5-11, 2013

Thank you, I'm not sure if I had seen that.

Open thread, August 5-11, 2013

What techniques have you used for removing or beating Ugh Fields, with associated +/- figures?

(A search of LW reveals very few suggestions for how to do this.)

1Adele_L8yYou may have already seen this, but this article [] claims that the value of the Pomodoro technique is blasting through Ugh Fields.
Improving Enjoyment and Retention Reading Technical Literature

Awesome. I'm going to try this on something (short).

Random thoughts:

  • if you are describing a static system, how to represent character arcs? Can a leukocynoid become king?
  • there'll be hundreds and hundreds of characters. But I suppose that's still better than hundreds and hundreds of random meaningless pieces of jargon.
  • this is very like other kinds of constrained writing That some of those things are even possible makes me think this is more likely than you might imagine at first glance.
Rationality Quotes August 2013

In the context of LW, I took it as an amusing critique of the whole idea of rewarding yourself for behaviours you want to do more .

On private marriage contracts

"In particular, when it comes to marriage, outside of the aforementioned libertarian fringe, there is a total and unanimous agreement that marriage is not a contract whose terms can be set freely, but rather an institution that is entered voluntarily, but whose terms are dictated (and can be changed at any subsequent time) by the state."

If true, this is a new thing. In the past the terms were dictated by the church. I doubt you will find unanimous agreement today that the views of the church are irrelevant to marriage. So perhaps the total and un... (read more)

Group rationality diary, 12/10/12

Trying to do something everyday that is useful or cool enough to tell people about (at work). There are obvious visibility arguments for doing this but I've also found it a great motivator. Asking "who cares?" seems to cut through a lot of prioritisation fuzz. (Only 11 workdays in so far.)

Share Your Checklists!

It apparently stops them getting clogged with fat. You follow the bleach with a kettle of boiling water as well, I forgot to add.

Share Your Checklists!

On each day that the clocks go forward or backward:

  • change my master passwords
  • pour a carton of bleach down the external drains
0jsalvatier10yWhat's the bleach thing for?
Learn A New Language!

So, the plan is: invest 1000 hours now, so that when you actually need to learn a language you only have to invest 800 hours then?

Anyway, I hear you saying that you have intrinsic motivation here, so these kind of calculations aren't really relevant to you, which I understand.

Learn A New Language!

I can't say I will never live in a non-English speaking place, but since I have no particular plans to at the moment, I have no reason to learn any particular language out of hundreds, either.

0[anonymous]10yAs I said elsewhere, learning a language is likely to make it easier to learn another one later on; also, some languages are more influential [] than others, so if you choose to learn German or French (if you're in Europe) or Spanish (in America) you have a non-negligible probability of finding the very language you chose useful in the future.
Humans are not automatically strategic

Perhaps the only way to train yourself to achieve long-term goals is to use short-term motivation to improve your automatic behaviours, instead of trying to train ourselves to have motivational systems that work on long-term multi-step plans.

What if we broke down the action steps of your algorithm into:

  • ask yourself what kind of person achieves goals like this by habit
  • ask yourself how you could change yourself into that kind of person, perhaps by establishing new habits
  • evaluate whether your new habits are effectively causing you to do things that work t
... (read more)
Torture vs. Dust Specks

People who choose torture, if the question was instead framed as the following would you still choose torture?

"Assuming you know your lifespan will be at least 3^^^3 days, would you choose to experience 50 years worth of torture, inflicted a day at a time at intervals spread evenly across your life span starting tomorrow, or one dust speck a day for the next 3^^^3 days of your life?"

1TheOtherDave10yI would almost undoubtedly choose a dust speck a day for the rest of my life. So would most people. The question remains whether that would be the right choice... and, if so, how to capture the principles underlying that choice in a generalizable way. For example, in terms of human intuition, it's clear that the difference between suffering for a day and suffering for five years plus one day is not the same as the difference between suffering for fifty years and suffering for fifty-five years, nor between zero days and five years. The numbers matter. But it's not clear to me how to project the principles underlying that intuition onto numbers that my intuition chokes on.
2Nornagest10yClever, but not, I think, very illuminating -- 3^^^3 is just as fantastically, intuition-breakingly huge as it ever was, and using the word "tomorrow" adds a nasty hyperbolic discounting exploit on top of that. All the basic logic of the original still seems to apply, and so does the conclusion: if a dust speck is in any way commensurate with torture (a condition assumed by the OP, but denied by enough objections that I think it's worth pointing out explicitly), pick Torture , otherwise pick Specks. One of the frustrating things about the OP is that most of the objections to it are based on more or less clever intuition pumps, while the post itself is essentially making a utilitarian case for ignoring your intuitions. Tends to lead to a lot of people talking past each other.
2ArisKatsaris10yI've heard this rephrasing before but it means less than you might think. Human instinct tells us to postpone the bad as much as possible. Put aside the dustspeck issue for the moment: let's compare torture to torture. I'd be tempted to choose a 1000 years of torture over a single year of torture, if the 1000 years are a few millions of years in the future, but the single year had to start now. Does this fact mean I need concede 1000 years of torture are less bad than a single year? Surely not. It just illustrates human hyperbolic discounting.
Meta Addiction

This year I've quadrupled the amount of structured meta thinking I do, compared to last year, and I have seen a big improvement in my ability to make and stick to goals. So I think more meta-thinking can help you get more done, if you have a problem with sticking to resolutions, as I do. Probably the meta-thinking has to have a point to it, though.

But I've also been amused at just how much meta-thinking it takes for me to achieve a goal. Like, currently, achieving brushing my teeth more would take hours and hours of thinking about brushing my teeth, consid... (read more)

1Viliam_Bur10yIt is not just "more meta" versus "less meta". On any level one can do the right thing, do the wrong thing, do it skillfully, or do it clumsily. Problem is, many intelligent people seem to have a bias "any meta is good meta". The advantages of going meta are obvious to intelligent people. But there are also dangers: meta can be attractive for the wrong reasons. It allows one to avoid work; so a choice between "more meta" or "less meta" is influenced by laziness. It allows one to avoid updating (if "updating" is "meta work", then I see a pattern here), because the more meta one is, the further one is from experience, so the pressure of reality is weaker. We can go meta to avoid reality, and at the same time pretend we do it because we try to be better at handling reality. We should check whether the meta level is really helpful, but we can always avoid it by saying "it does not seem helpful now, but in the long run it will be helpful", although we have no evidence for that. (There is an evidence that in general, going meta can be helpful. But I'm talking about a lack of evidence that this specific instance of going meta is helpful.) If going meta makes you achieve your goals, then you are doing it right. Perhaps it's not the best way, but at least it is better than nothing. If your ability to make goals and achieve them is improving, that's evidence that you are doing the right thing at the second meta level too. But the evidence appears at the bottom level []; without it, all the meta work would be useless.
My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination

You mention trying techniques for getting more energy. Can you elaborate?

2lukeprog10ySee 'How to Beat Procrastination' for details on that and the other subskills mentioned here.
My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination

That's a great graphic. Your website appears to be down right now.

Church vs. Taskforce

The closest thing to a secular church that I have ever encountered are Light Opera Societies. In the UK lots of towns above a certain (quite small) size have one.

They pursue harmless but uplifting goals. The goals are challenging, but achievable. Participants must follow the instructions of a group leader precisely. Participants must learn to trust other group members. Performing in front of others is a fairly intense social experience. Once you have signed up, attendance every week is almost mandatory for a significant period of time.

EDIT: for those not into this kind of thing, Light Opera means Gilbert and Sullivan, or Singing in the Rain.