All of henryaj's Comments + Replies

This is wonderful; thank you for writing it. Very much enjoyed the exposition of the "Quiet" state; have been trying out your advice of switching everything off and trying to slip into such a state and am enjoying what I've found there.

Likewise, thanks for all you're doing Zvi.

Sure enough, the UK has triggered its "Plan B" which mandates working from home for those who can, plus vaccine passports for big events. Perhaps suggests lockdowns coming in the new year.

Do you know what kind of research Theodora's lab is actually doing? (She doesn't have a surname on Twitter so I can't find her). But I imagine research into spike protein mutants could just involve synthesising spike protein that has mutations and assaying the binding affinity of antibodies to the synthetic spike protein – not necessarily creating mutated viruses.

(undergrad biochemistry was a long time ago. I could well be wrong)

I also don't understand her comments about the peptide 'not neutralising COVID in cell [culture]' - why would it? The peptide is just an antigen to get the body to raise an immune response; on its own it doesn't kill COVID.

I interpreted this to mean antibody against the peptide.
I was also confused about that. I'm sure some kind of cell-culture method is useful for testing vaccines, but I don't know exactly what's involved. Just culturing immune cells, maybe?

Not the OP so can't answer for him, but qualitatively the second (November) lockdown was quite different from the first (March) lockdown - much more leeway given on exercising outdoors, workplaces largely stayed open (even if people were working from home). In March, police officers would move people along if they were sitting on a park bench (as that's not exercise); the second time round things were much less strictly enforced. Rules around forming 'bubbles' with other households also didn't exist in March.

Tier 4 is essentially the same as the November lockdown but you can meet one other person outdoors.

1Neel Nanda2y
A really key difference between March and November is that schools were open in November but not March. Though the UK is now in a third lockdown, and it looks like schools won't be re-opening

Cases went from about 20 on September 1 to 370 in  mid November.  Then they *dropped* to 213 before jumping up to 500.

The UK had a national lockdown in November, and lifted it at the start of December.

Amazing how it differs by region. Here in the UK, anecdotally tests are pretty easy to come by and turned around rapidly - but are still restricted only to those with canonical COVID symptoms (fever/cough/change in sense of smell or taste).

Meta: anyone else getting a bunch of broken images in this post?

Yes, but not on the blog
I am getting it in an incognito window. They are hosted on Gdrive, so that's probably the reason. I will move them over to our in-house CDN.

Thanks for the well-written and well-reasoned response!

Thanks for putting these updates together! :)

Um, isn't that basically a wiki?

Just picking up on this one point - I've used a bunch of personal wikis in the past; they just haven't stuck for me. Roam has some nice features around this, like backlinking (so just by idly putting something in [[brackets]] you're starting to collate a list of pages under that term) and searching through text to find 'missing links', neither of which I've seen in wikis.

2Said Achmiz3y
PmWiki has these features.
That just means you've not seen that many wikis. ;-) For example, the ConnectedText personal wiki software includes backlinks, date-specific pages, and graph visualization of link structures, much like Roam. It also has the ability to include pages in others, and some of Roam's other features could likely be emulated using CT's scripting and templating systems, though it'd be a pain. I actually own a copy of an older version of CT but stopped using it many years ago because it's not terribly interoperable with anything else.

Some thoughts:

  • buy nice homeware. The temptation is always to scrimp, but you're going to be using this stuff regularly for at least the length of your lease, and maybe years beyond that, so splash out on nice kitchenware (knives, nonstick pans, chopping boards, a rice cooker) and bathroom stuff (especially towels).
  • similarly, if there's stuff that needs fixing, do it right away - then you get the benefit of it for longer. For example, use draft excluder tape to seal the gaps around doors, fix radiators that don't work, rearrange furniture if
... (read more)
Thank you. I happen to use my phone as my alarm - should I get a different, separate alarm so my phone can charge in another room?
decided that people would probably use LaTeX more often than trying to use the dollar sign

Err... this seems like the kind of thing that *really* wouldn't stand up to user testing.

How do you Ankify knowledge like that? Or, to be specific, what's on the other side of those cards in Anki?

I make cloze texts involving the habit. Example: * Front: You should take... * Back: a breath, a stance, take up space, take your time and keep stil But for me the remembering of the text is less important than to be reminded of the habit at all. There wouldn't have to be page B. I'd just rate how well I did the habit. The cloze is just a quick check of how well I remember the key instructions.

Interesting stuff. I've not had a great deal of success with OkC, but I tend to get bored of the dating site cycle – the few dates I've been on haven't been very exciting, and I tend to prefer meeting people in person (like at parties) as I find that more immediately engaging and exciting.

Could you link to your OkC profile? It'd be interesting to have a look at!

I ended up retiring the profile I went on all the dates with, because I didn't think it was getting me enough dates. It also went through a couple of complete rewrites over the period in question. I do actually have a pretty coherent personal theory of how OKCupid profiles should be constructed, but I'd be hesitant to evangelise about it, because it's probably just optimised for being me.

Cat, are you (or another instructor) planning any more trips to Europe? I'm sad to have missed out on your previous class!

Great idea! I'm tempted to chop these up and put them into a mailing list - I feel they would be more useful in a one-quote-a-day format than in one big block.

Argh - just had a little twinge when I saw that you were born in 1989. You're the same age as me, but have done so much more!

Congratulations on reaching your goals. Reading this has reminded me that I ought to do the same.

We have social norms of ... rewarding each other for doing good things (and a "gem economy" for this purpose)

I must hear more about this.

There is a house economy of shiny gems that are used for positive reinforcement. People get reinforced for things like helping others with tasks, initiating activities, or expanding their comfort zone (e.g. trying a dance for the first time). Everyone has their personal stash of gems that they can use to award others, and there is also a house vault. Once a week, you are allowed to take a gem from the house vault (instead of your own stash) and award it to someone.

We originally planned to use poker chips for this purpose, but decided that gems are much mo... (read more)

Sounds excellent. WIsh I could make it, but I've got a family thing to attend to that day. Next time, for sure!

I'm intrigued by this – comfort zone expansion strikes me as a very good idea, if done carefully; I'm thinking of things like Rejection Therapy, 'daygame' (making conversation/flirting with strangers in daytime settings, taking care not to become a harasser) and just generally being social.

In my forays with talking to strangers—an ongoing experiment!—I've found that Londoners are actually mostly very friendly, just with a veneer of coldness that needs breaking. I suspect this is true for people in most big cities, and is an adaptation to avoid the usual ar... (read more)

This is up to the individual - what scares one person, someone else does habitually. When I did this at the May CFAR workshop, things I did included singing in the toilets, complimenting someone's shoes, asking for a free croissant, and letting someone try to sell me some skincare stuff. I'm struggling to remember what other people did, but one person struck up conversations with strangers, and one of the instructors managed to get a massage circle going. During the discussion beforehand, people will be able to come up with ideas of things they want to do.

Great post! Those are both sources I really like. Some of Mark Manson (writer of PostMasculine)'s old material on Practical Pickup is good as well.

(I actually have written a long post meditating on this stuff that I'll be posting in a few days on LW Discussion, so look out for that. :P)

Did this ever get posted? I'd happily read through the draft and give you some feedback, if you like.

Nthing the "you are an inspiration" sentiment expressed here. This has reminded me that you should 'always be shipping'; always be doing stuff and making stuff.

What's your working environment like? You mention doing work for SI; is that at their offices or at home? I've been flirting with the idea of working part-time to pursue other projects in my spare time but I'm not sure I could hack being in a home office all day.

(And, if you don't mind me asking, how do you bankroll all this? Do you have a 'day job' per se?)

There's nothing fancy about it - I work on a laptop at home on an ordinary enough desk. (I couldn't afford to live in the Bay area.) I keep flesh on bone with random things and assignments.
(And, if you don't mind me asking, how do you bankroll all this? Do you have a 'day job' per se?

One of the parts of this study involved quizzing men and women on their likelihood of accepting sex from a stranger using pictures of either an attractive or an unattractive person of the opposite sex to see if that affected the subject's likelihood of accepting the proposition, and found:

For the proposition by the attractive person, women were at 4.09 [out of 7] to 4.16 for men — just about a tie.

Which seems to suggest that, in this particular domain—sex with an attractive partner—men and women are equally desirous. It's the perceived danger (and lowe... (read more)

My understanding is that testosterone, gram for gram, affects the female body more potently than it does the male body. So bringing up a female's testosterone level to that of a male might not be dose-equivalent.

Or to put it another way: men's and women's physiologies are different. I'm not sure it's safe to assume that someone who has transitioned from female to male through hormone replacement is identical (and so directly comparable) to someone who was born male, so I'd question the validity of comparisons made between the two.