Wiki Contributions

Load More



I feel like this has come up before, but I'm not finding the post. You don't need the stick-on mirrors to eliminate the blind spot. I don't know why pointing side mirrors straight back is still so popular, but that's not the only way it's taught. I have since learned to set mine much wider.

This article explains the technique. (See the video.)

In a nutshell, while in the diver's seat, tilt your head to the left until it's almost touching your window, then from that perspective point it straight back so you can just see the side of your car. (You might need a similar adjustment for the passenger's side, but those are often already wide-angle.) Now from normal position, you can see your former "blind spot". When you need to see straight back in your side mirror (like when backing out), just tilt your head again. Remember that you also have a center mirror. You should be able to see passing cars in your center mirror, and then in your side mirror, then in your peripheral vision without ever turning your head or completely losing sight of them.

  • It's not enough for a hypothesis to be consistent with the evidence; to count in favor, it must be more consistent with the hypothesis than its converse. How much more is how strong. (Likelihood ratios.)
  • Knowledge is probabilistic/uncertain (priors) and is updated based on the strength of the evidence. A lot of weak evidence can add up (or multiply, actually, unless you're using logarithms).
  • Your level of knowledge is usually not literally zero, even when uncertainty is very high, and you can start from there. (Upper/Lower bounds, Fermi estimates.) Don't say, "I don't know." You know a little.
  • A hypothesis can be made more ad-hoc to fit the evidence better, but this must lower its prior. (Occam's razor.)
    • The reverse of this also holds. Cutting out burdensome details makes the prior higher. Disjunctive claims get a higher prior, conjunctive claims lower.
    • Solomonoff's Lightsaber is the right way to think about this.
  • More direct evidence can "screen off" indirect evidence. If it's along the same causal chain, you're not allowed to count it twice.
  • Many so-called "logical fallacies" are correct Bayesian inferences.

French, but because my teacher tried to teach all of the days of the week at the same time, they still give me trouble.

They're named as the planets: Sun-day, Moon-day, Mars-day, Mercury-day, Jupiter-day, Venus-day, and Saturn-day.

It's easy to remember when you realize that the English names are just the equivalent Norse gods: Saturday, Sunday and Monday are obvious. Tyr's-day (god of combat, like Mars), Odin's-day (eloquent traveler god, like Mercury), Thor's-day (god of thunder and lightning, like Jupiter), and Freyja's-day (goddess of love, like Venus) are how we get the names Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Answer by gilchJun 06, 2020250

While an institution's reliability and bias can shift over time, I think AP and Reuters currently fit the bill. They report the facts the most reliably of any big-name general news sources I know of, without very much analysis or opinion. Their political leaning is nearly neutral or balanced, but maybe on the left side of the line (Reuters might be slightly less biased than AP, but still on the left side).

The Wall Street Journal is a little bit less reliable on the facts, also centrist, and on the right side of the line due to their business focus. If you read this too, it may help you counterbalance AP's and Reuters' slight left bias without going to the unreliable right-wing extremist sources.

If you want only one source, The Hill is about as nonpartisan as it gets (maybe a bit less reliable on the facts than the WSJ, but still pretty good). They report on both sides of the aisle. Their focus is, in their words, "on the inner workings of Congress and the nexus of politics and business".

[Epistemic status: I looked at the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart. Exactly how impartial their judgements are, I can't say, but they do seem to try. Media Bias/Fact Check mostly agrees with these judgements, but I don't think they're any more reliable.]

That said, even an "impartial" news source (to the extent there is such a thing) is going to give you a very distorted view of the world due to selection biases and the Overton Window. "Newsworthy" stories are, by their nature, rare occurrences, and will tend to amplify your availability bias. Don't lose sight of base rates. Our World in Data should be worth exploring for that reason. They publish what they think is important rather than what is new.


Why is Google the biggest search engine even though it wasn't the first? It's because Google has a better signal-to-noise ratio than most search engines. PageRank cut through all the affiliate cruft when other search engines couldn't, and they've only continued to refine their algorithms.

But still, haven't you noticed that when Wikipedia comes up in a Google search, you click that first? Even when it's not the top result? I do. Sometimes it's not even the article I'm after, but its external links. And then I think to myself, "Why didn't I just search Wikipedia in the first place?". Why do we do that? Because we expect to find what we're looking for there. We've learned from experience that Wikipedia has a better signal-to-noise ratio than a Google search.

If LessWrong and Wikipedia came up in the first page of a Google search, I'd click LessWrong first. Wouldn't you? Not from any sense of community obligation (I'm a lurker), but because I expect a higher probability of good information here. LessWrong has a better signal-to-noise ratio than Wikipedia.

LessWrong doesn't specialize in recipes or maps. Likewise, there's a lot you can find through Google that's not on Wikipedia (and good luck finding it if Google can't!), but we still choose Wikipedia over Google's top hit when available. What is on LessWrong is insightful, especially in normally noisy areas of inquiry.


Hydrogen can only burn in the presence of oxygen. The pipe does not contain any, and combustion isn't possible until after they have had time to mix. It's also not going to explode from the pressure, because it's the same as the atmosphere. The shaped charge is obviously going to explode, that's the point, but it will be more directional. That still doesn't sound safe in an enclosed space. Maybe the vehicle could deploy a gasket seal with airbags or something to reduce the leakage of expensive hydrogen.


Condensation is not just possible but would happen by default. You described the tubes as steel lined with aluminum in contact with the ground, if not buried. That's going to be consistently cool enough for passive condensation.

Getting water out of a long tube shouldn't be hard with multiple drains, and if there's any incline, you just need them at the bottom. You can just dump it in the ground. Use a plumbing trap to keep the gasses separated. They're at equal pressure, so this should work, and the pressure can also be maintained mostly passively with hydrogen bladders exposed to the atmosphere on the outside, although the burned hydrogen will have to be regenerated before they empty completely, but this can be done anywhere on the pipe. Hydrogen can be easily regenerated by electrolysis of water, which doesn't seem any more expensive than charging the batteries. It might be even cheaper to crack if off of natural gas or to use white hydrogen when available.

Are turbines more expensive than electric motors for similar power? It's true that conventional piston engines are heavy, but batteries are also heavy, especially the cheaper chemistries.

Alternatively, run electricity through the pipe to power the vehicles so they don't have to carry any extra weight for power. It's coated with conductive aluminum already. If half-pipes could be welded with a dielectric material and not cost any more that would work. Or use an internal monorail, but maybe only if you were going to do that already. Or you could suspend a wire. That's got to be pretty cheap compared to the pipe itself.


A vehicle in a hydrogen-filled tube can't use air around it for engines

Why not? Your "fuel" tanks could simply carry oxygen to burn the surrounding hydrogen "air" with.

and shouldn't emit exhaust.

Exhaust would be water vapor, easily removed even passively via condensation and drains. Hydrogen will (of course) have to be replaced to maintain pressure.


The oral flora contains a diversity of organisms, bacterial, viral, and fungal, including some yeasts. Don't some of them produce ethanol already? And adhere to the mucous membrane instead of enamel? It wouldn't surprise me if some even excrete acetaldehyde under some conditions. Is Lumina really such a change?


I didn't say "cavity"; I said, "tooth decay". No-one is saying remineralization can repair a chipped, cracked, or caved-in tooth. But this dentist does claim that the decay (caries) can be reversed even after it has penetrated the enamel and reached the dentin, although it takes longer (a year instead of months), by treating the underlying bacterial infection and promoting mineralization. It's not clear to me if the claim is that a small hole can fill in on its own, but a larger one probably won't although the necessary dental treatment (filling) in that case will be less invasive if the surrounding decay has been arrested.

I am not claiming to have tested this myself. This is hearsay. But the protocol is cheap to try and the mechanism of action seems scientifically plausible given my background knowledge.

Load More