All of Halceon's Comments + Replies

The True Rejection Challenge

Well, TF2 doesn't seem like a disorienting game per se, but the generally fast pace of the game can and probably will add to the disorientation.

Personally I wouldn't call it addictive either. But from the sample of people I have around me, I'd say that games with instanced gameplay tend to take up a lot more time than expected, especially if the next round is loaded automatically. It's what I like to call the "One more level" problem. Every round is relatively short, but the number of rounds has a slight tendency to get out of hand.

The True Rejection Challenge

I wouldn't recommend Team Fortress 2 to someone with problems with 3D virtual environments. Nor to someone with discipline problems.

0JackEmpty10yI took the specification of Portal to mean more highly visually disorienting games. It's why I didn't recommend Mirror's Edge. Maybe I parsed it incorrectly? If so, yes. Yes you do have a point there. And I didn't really find it all that gripping, in the getting-addicted-to-it sense. I am generalizing from my own personal experiences here though, so I may be an outlier, where the majority of players do get sucked in? My reasoning is more that there's no real plot. You don't need to "finish" the game, you can just play it whenever and it is just as satisfying from an entertainment standpoint. shrugs I will take your dissent as evidence, however. I am quite new to the game.
The True Rejection Challenge

I wouldn't necessarily call "Why?" as presenting a choice, but point taken. I guess my real reason why I began not deleting everything is that I've lost a lot of my early writing and regret doing so. What I wrote above still occasionally applies.

Why do you delete everything?

1MixedNuts10yHuh, I might have been unclear. I was explaining why I changed my mind to agree with you, not criticizing you! I deleted everything because after working on something for long enough, I start hating it and seeing the flaws in it and being ashamed of it and hating my past self for wanting to show it to everyone. I hear this is normal, so when in doubt I wait a few months then reread... and it looks even worse.
The True Rejection Challenge

For #1 you can combine games with other activities, mainly the relationship. Playing boardgames together is a delightful experience. Especially games that require direct interaction like Alias. Generally you should look for games with 2 players as the minimum requirement and a low setup/ cleanup time.

The True Rejection Challenge

The idea is that by deleting something you condemn everything that was in it as useless. Even that incredibly catchy metaphor about cats and trash compactors. Or the perfectly good first page that is followed by 10 pages of dross. It's useful to keep a backlog of things you've done and discarded. When you have distanced enough from the work enough, you can return and analyse, and learn not only from your mistakes, but also from the gems that may be found among them.If you delete your writing, you retain only the feeling of not being satisfied with it, unle... (read more)

6MixedNuts10y"But surely it's better to delete what you do nothing but cringe at, while keeping writing that's mostly bad but has a couple good points! When you come back..." "Stop. What you're defending is what you already do. [wordless] Faced with a choice either to change one's mind or to prove there's no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. Domain experts are telling you you're wrong. [/wordless] Change your mind." "I changed my mind! I'm such a good rationalist! Can I go brag on LW?" "Knock yourself out. Maybe you can rationalize it by saying you need to show agreement more, and promoting a norm of publicly changing one's mind in response to evidence, or something." "Yay!"
Rationalist horoscopes: A low-hanging utility generator.

For the past 2 days the horoscopes have been repeating. With only 33 choices it's bound to happen, but it does seem a bit often.

Also, my english is letting me down. Does "repeat once every 16 days" mean "no more than one instance in any 16 day period" or "no more than 2"?

0AdeleneDawner10y"Repeat at most once every 16 days" means they can repeat twice in 17 days (once on day 1, no more for the rest of the 16 days, and again on day 17), but don't have to. And in this case, they mostly shouldn't be repeating every 17 days. I'm not sure if we're seeing a bug in the horoscope-choosing code or it's just that the unused ones aren't being given enough of the probability mass, but if it's been three days in a row I suspect the former. I'll look into it. ETA: There's at least a bug, since horoscope 8 came up twice with about a week between instances. Hopefully Peer will have time to take a look at it tomorrow, and while we're poking at the code anyway I'll have him change the default functional score of the unused ones to 3 rather than 1. There may still be another couple days of repeats while we iron things out, though.
How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

Well then you're in luck, because this very book is available as an audiobook. http://librivox.org/how-to-live-on-twenty-four-hours-a-day-by-arnold-bennett/

-1djcb11yThanks! I already eye-read the little book though. I actually wasn't too impressed with the contents; but I guess it's good to read these kind of self-improvement books now and then - they hardly say anything new (from Dale Carnegie to Anthony Robbins), but they do give somewhat of a motivational boost.
0katydee11yTo be fair, it's also quite short-- I got through it in probably fifteen minutes. Ironic, when you consider some of his suggestions, but I got the impression those were more oriented towards "serious" reading.
We're all forgetting how to read analog clocks. Or are we?

I'm currently using a wristwatch with an analog clockface and a smaller digital screen underneath. Looking at it, it takes me less time to tell the analog time, with an approximate error of up to 2 minutes, but the digital screen isn't well visible. A well visible digital time is mych faster, though.

Some approximate times would be 0.7-1 seconds for the analog and something around 0.3 for digital. Although, it does take me slightly longer to work out, e.g., how much time I have left when looking at a digital clock.

So, digital is easier to percieve, but more difficult to analyse.

0Relsqui11yThat's an interesting point--I hadn't thought about that. Analog time "chunks" easily into groups of 5 and 15 minutes, for example.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 6

Ok, objection noted. My first sentence, however, stands and they still have magic.

Though this might be a matter similar to the clocks - nobody has thought of doing it, so it hasn't been done.

I should probably have been clearer: the reason classes are often scheduled at the same time is because it's impossible not to. You have some amount of staff, each of whom have to teach some amount of lower level and/or elective classes, and then you have a couple hundred students each of whom pick 5-7 (or whatever it is, I haven't read the books recently) electives in whatever combination most appeals to them. The chances of not having a collision anywhere in the whole timetable are pretty damn low. Non-magical schools deal with collisions by forcing stud... (read more)

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 6

They do, however, have magic. And if there are charms that specifically identify trash to clean, then there must be charms that can organize words on parchment according to a few simple rules.

3wedrifid11yAnd house elves. There are almost certainly spirits of intellect they could summon too! If not, they have had time to do plenty of selective breeding on their chattel. That said... HP wizard authorities are really thick when it comes to these things.

The rules are not that simple. School timetabling is NP-hard and even stimulated annealing is unlikely to get it completely correct.

A "Failure to Evaluate Return-on-Time" Fallacy

I'd suggest looking at Pathologic, which implements a world-saving task with a set time limit. You are free to walk around, talk to people and just try to do your regular side-questing, but you need to learn some things and do somethings before the first day is over, you lose. The gameworld is pretty alive in itself - important characters will move around on their daily business, making you ask people for possible directions.

It creates a lifelike situation, where you can't really predict the causal links between your actions and possible progress towards y... (read more)

3Baughn11yWarning: I tried Pathologic. It's a gem of a game, but a very unpolished one, and the translation is absolutely horrible. It may still be worth trying, if you can look past that; if you know russian, certainly, since you can then get the un-translated version. I hear there's a fan-translation project going on, but they haven't gotten too far. Maybe in a year or two.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 3

Not directly related to MoR, but whatever. I recently joined a massive HP roleplay forum and what i noticed among the players was a huge deal of optimisation by proxy. Basically the general sentiment is that being sorted into one house means that you have no traits from the others. This makes some sense, because a wizard employer will probably look at the candidates' house affiliation first. I'll need to reread some of the books, to check if it's canon, but in the fans' minds at least, all of Magical Britain is aligning itself to an arbitrary division. It's a bit disturbing, really.

6PhilGoetz11yI was in a White Wolf MUSH some while ago, and it was the same story. The stereotypes helped bad roleplayers be not awful, but hindered really good roleplay.
Five-minute rationality techniques

If we use LW as a metric of conversion, then you can consider me a new convert, lured here by the occasional link from the Octagon. This is, of course, a pretty weak metric. I've been interested in rational thinking since the 9th grade, when i went to a debate club and realised that people went there to win arguments, not get to the truth. While i've done my best to keep my actions and words rational in cases that seem detached from my personal life, i think i mostly fail at self-examination.

My personal observations confirm that the geek/nerd social group... (read more)

2thomblake11yWelcome to Less Wrong! [http://lesswrong.com/lw/2ku/welcome_to_less_wrong_2010/]