All of iceplant's Comments + Replies

I have COVID, for how long should I isolate?

I totally agree that ideally I would test negative before sharing air with anyone, especially those who didn't "opt-in" to the risk. Unfortunately antigen likely won't be available in my area, and PCR seems to not be a great indicator of current viral load, so I'm left estimating based on my symptoms/days of isolation. Continuing to isolate is a significant inconvenience/quality of life downgrade for me, but I am able to do it indefinitely without impacting my basic survival needs. 

I have COVID, for how long should I isolate?

Good to know. I wasn't able to take my temperature, but I felt subjectively "feverish" with mild body aches and bizarre dreams on days 1 and 2 and not after. 10 days after that would put me at 12 days of total isolation. If you have any first or second hand sources you can share I'd love to check them out, but I understand if you can't. 

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I grew up in California, and many of my friends chose to go to community college part-time instead of high school, and basically got this "modular" design the commenter discusses for later education. I think it worked really well for them. When I was 13 I really wanted an academically "normal" environment, probably irrationally so, maybe a little rebelliously so, which is why I didn't choose to do this. I think expanding California's already very high caliber and affordable community college network to provide a more independent alternative to high school ... (read more)

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I think there's potential for it to go well/poorly at any age, and I'd encourage shifting the focus on the specific way the kid can be unschooled, whether they want to or not, and how well suited to it they are.  A lot of parents in my community saw their decision to unschool as protecting the early childhoods of their kids from the stresses of a culture of "academic rigor" that they saw as stress inducing, mind-numbing, and turning kids into cogs of a capitalist machine, and then later allowed or encouraged their kids to go to more traditional or ind... (read more)

2Daniel Kokotajlo7dIMO the main consideration should be whether she wants it or not. If she's happy at school, great. If she's being bullied or is super bored all the time, take her out. But where to draw the line? I was reasonably happy at school I guess (it's hard to remember) but I bet if someone asked me whether I'd rather stay home and play all day I would have said yes.
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

This is a good point that spelling everything phonetically is probably not a great/sustainable way of writing a language. I'm wondering if there's a word for "spelling system where each letter corresponds to exactly one sound but that sound can change with consistency based on regional dialect/inflection/other context". I think Spanish is a great example of a relatively straightforward spelling system with regional dialects that generally preserves the consistent mapping of letters to sounds. Granted it has some oddities (like "h" having no sound, the redu... (read more)

1TAG7dThere's an implementation! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengwar [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengwar]
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

A friend in college who was very involved in the community kept bring up interesting ideas/events he encountered. When I was commuting a lot, I started listening to the Rationally Speaking and SSC/ACX podcasts, then started following Zvi's covid updates and engaging with 80k hours career coaching. I still don't feel like I'm "part" of the community, and would like to be more involved!

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I honestly don't know. I'm inclined to think there's a strong genetic component since almost all of my genetic first cousins have some level of clinical anxiety/depression/adhd traits. Possible the unschooling/family dynamic played a role too, but it's hard to tell.

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I didn't know about the IPA itself but I imagined something like it must exist for people who study sounds or something and didn't understand why we couldn't just use that. Or just spell everything phonetically like in Spanish. Hell, even defining a single-valued mapping form letters to sounds would be better than the bullshit we have today that wastes thousands of productive human-hours and makes the defacto universal language less accessible (as you can see I still have strong feelings about this, though I now know how to read and write). 

1acylhalide10dMakes sense, I can definitely visualise it better now. Thanks. -- As for whether phonetic languages are a good or optimal idea: I feel like the running cost of using a written language in practice should matter more than the one-time cost of learning it. Cause you can learn it in a few years but will use the language for a lifetime. Factors besides phonetics might dominate if you optimise for running cost, depending on which use case you optimise for (could be typing speed, better epistemics, recall/memorability etc). (Agreed that today's languages may not be very well optimised by any measure.) Keen on your thoughts.
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I think there's definitely a middle path, and as much as I loved the flexibility to follow my nose I think I could have benefitted form a little more structure. 

As far as the job goes I feel like I'm missing a lot of intuition about how the corporate world operates. Something feels hollow about doing things for profit with minimal academic interest. There are certifications I could get that would give me a significant pay bump, but I keep putting them off because the material feels like corporate propaganda and I can't stand studying for them. Most of my experience before this was in research labs though, so maybe that explains my experience more so than my childhood. 

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

Lack of socialization was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to traditional high school. Do you have any hobbies that you can commit to more seriously? Are there sports teams, arts programs, hacker spaces, internships you could do that would get you regularly out of the house and around other (young?) people? Many of my homeschooler friends started at city college half time at 14 instead of going to high school, did very well, and got to college way ahead of their peers. That might be a good middle ground if it's available to you.

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I learned to read really late - at age 8 or 9 I think. I don't remember because there were no grade levels so a lot of experiences are in a blurry age range. This was because I didn't want to - English spelling seemed like a stupid and inefficient way to store information when we could just spell everything phonetically using the IPA or other system. I guess when your parents are willing to do radical things because of their beliefs that teaches you to do the same. I didn't enjoy reading for a very long time, and still find it somewhat tedious. I'd much ra... (read more)

1acylhalide11dWas this reasoning you came up with as a kid? This seems like a complex thought, am trying visualize this :p Thanks for the response!
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

They both had pretty negative experiences in grade school, and felt that school was more about "warehousing" and "preparing kids to be cogs in the capitalist machine" than actually teaching and nurturing kids. I agree with that to an extent. 

I'm an only child, which may have exacerbated some of the problems I've mentioned in other comments. Growing up in the Bay Area, there was a pretty active community of unschoolers, and we'd meet up at "Park Days" once or twice a week. Unfortunately, the homeschooler community can be pretty fragmented based on whic... (read more)

3Self-Embedded Agent12dI'm sorry to hear that, it sounds incredibly lonely.
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

There were a lot of opportunities to dive deep when cool things presented themselves. For example, each year I got to go with my grandma to a natural products convention for two weeks and learned a lot about the supplement/vitamin industry. When I got Rosetta Stone I got to drop all other subjects and binge learn Spanish for a month. That definitely wouldn't have happened in a traditional school.

1sudoLife11dYeah I can totally relate to yearning for one thing and wanting to drop everything else. However it's a luxury I can't afford :( How does the job feel? Do you approach it with the same Feynman-like playfulness or does it feel more like a "system"?
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

That's too bad you have to choose so early on. The kids I saw who seemed the most successful in homeschooling were the ones who started in traditional school, and then left for a specific reason (child actor, competitive figure skater, wanted to write a novel, got bullied, etc). Many kids went back and forth and seemed to do well. A lot of parents homeschool their kids because they want to engrain an ideology on them (whether that be religious or not). I'd encourage you to stay grounded in what's best for your kid and will make them happy and satisfied, and not what lifestyle you want your kid to live. 

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I absolutely agree. My parents both have graduate degrees, worked part time throughout my childhood, and our family/housing unit was relatively stable. This helped a lot. If you look at r/HomeschoolerRecovery many stories there are of kids with parents who have no experience teaching and used homeschooling to justify controlling and often abusive behavior.  That said, I don't think this is a sufficient condition for homeschooling, especially unschooling, to work well. Like you said, I think the kid's learning style needs to be compatible with that level of independence, and the parents need to be confident in their abilities to provide the vast set of resources schools can provide.

AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

I remember being shocked how many kids were totally disinterested and disengaged from the thing they were dedicating close to half of their waking hours. That never happened when I was homeschooled - if I wasn't interested in something, or didn't like how something was being taught, it could be done differently. I understand that's a very labor intensive way to teach, and I don't blame kids for being disengaged from the unpaid fulltime job they're being actively coherced into doing. I want to believe school shouldn't be mandatory, and that a lot of kids wo... (read more)

2Pattern10dPediatricians and teachers sometimes pick up on that. There's also more teachers that might recognize it. (That is, kids have more teachers than parents.) More eyeballs, and all that. (Though it might be more about being trained to recognize.) I don't have data, on how common stuff is caught by a teacher versus a parent (versus a doctor).
AMA: I was unschooled for most of my childhood, then voluntarily chose to leave to go to a large public high school.

Long story short, I wanted more structure in my life and wanted to be around more kids my age for more of my day. I'd describe myself as a shy extrovert, so I enjoy when the logistics of my life put me around a lot of other people every day (I've really enjoyed cooperative living as an adult). I was also getting frustrated with the lack of structure and found the flexibility of not having a curriculum disorienting. 

What to do if you can't form any habits whatsoever?

Are you relying on willpower? I’ve found it useful to see myself as a dumb robot that responds instinctively to its environment, and focus on data driven behavioral interventions instead of personal decisions. For example, instead of “committing to spend less time on Facebook”, I got a chrome extension that makes me wait 30 seconds before o can access Facebook. Instead of trying to will myself to brush my teeth every night (which wasn’t very effective), I kept a bottle of gummy vitamins in my bathroom and I got to eat one if I brushed my teeth after. To ge... (read more)

1masasin1yI'm using a complete blocker for those things, but then I get distracted by others. I don't think the gummy vitamins would work for me because I'd just end up eating them all with or without brushing my teeth. (I forget to eat until my hands start shaking, and I have emergency peanut butter set aside for that, but if there's something else that's easy to eat it might become the new target.) I try to offload as much as I can to checklists, but I can't get started with the task (and there's no guarantee I'd finish it even when using the checklist; even going to a different room resets everything). I also made e.g. something that reads my calendar events out loud because the notifications don't do anything. There is pretty much zero automaticity in anything I do, though. If I did react consistently to the environment, I think I might have been able to figure something out by now.
Practical post on 4 #ProRep methods (Proportional Representation)

These are cool strategies! I hope some kind of voting reform is able to pass in these countries for all the reasons you listed. I’m curious if you have any thoughts about the social mechanisms to get voters and politicians on board with alternative voting systems. It seems like RCV has gotten a lot of apathetic pushback, and I’m wondering how you think we should address it. Here are some challenges that come to mind:

  1. All politicians are the beneficiaries of the system that elected them. Getting them to do surgery on the hand that feeds them could be a to

... (read more)
1Jameson Quinn1yIt seems that most of what you're talking about are single-winner reforms (including single-winner pathologies such as center squeeze). In particular, the RCV you're talking about is RCV1, single-winner, while the one I discuss in this article is RCV5, multi-winner; there are important differences. For discussing single-winner, I'd recommend the first two articles linked at the top; this article is about multi-winner reforms. Personally, I think that the potential benefits of both kinds of reform are huge, but there are some benefits that only multi-winner can give. For instance, no single-winner reform can really fix gerrymandering, while almost any multi-winner one will. The issue of politicians not wanting to "do surgery on the hand that feeds them" (I like that metaphor) is a real one. The four methods I've chosen to discuss are all chosen partly with an eye to that issue; that is, to being as nondisruptive as possible to incumbents (unless those incumbents owe their seats to gerrymandering, in which case, fixing gerrymandering has to take precedence). Actually, of the four methods, RCV5 is the most disruptive, so if this is your main concern, I'd look more closely at the other three methods I discuss.