Notes from "Don't Shoot the Dog"

This was a rich read, thank you!

A Simple Ethics Model

This is interesting. Am I wrong in summarizing it as "deontology helps with coordination"? 

The LessWrong 2019 Review

Is there a way to see all the nominations listed? I registered in 2020 so I can't vote but I'd still love to pick through the nominations. 

100 Tips for a Better Life

I of course agree (with original parent comment) that there are real problems and real solutions. I think three things are needed to qualify as a grifter, as compared to an honest informer. 

1) The sell. A grifter doesn't just tell you there's a problem, they will share the solution for a price. If you give them money (or control), they'll relieve your worry. 

2) The exclusivity. Alternative solutions are specifically highlighted as being insufficient or counterproductive. Somebody engaging in good-faith can acknowledge the costs and benefits of different approaches (while still believing their solution is best). 

3) The promise. Grifts promise a solution, not just a tool. An honest informer will have ideas about what can help, but won't guarantee their success. 

I think somebody can fit two of these three and still be in good-faith. 

100 Tips for a Better Life

76 was originally disclaimed with "wait a year before trying to be friends", which maybe should be added back in. I think friendship with exes is often doable eventually, it's the immediate aftermath where I think people handle themselves poorly and add trouble to whatever trouble made them break up. 

100 Tips for a Better Life

Yeah, I think the Reddit solution will lose its value over time. I think the important part is to find an argument (this applies to Hacker News too). 

I'd be interested to find another take on #69, I think that's one I came up with on my own through trial and error.

100 Tips for a Better Life


It's not near the top of my mind either, but it is something I feel confident recommending to almost everybody, whereas I don't feel confident advising people on their financial investments. This is a small fruit, but it's low-hanging. 

100 Tips for a Better Life

These are useful criticisms! I'll caveat it later towards trusted friends, which I think cuts off much of the risks. 

Open & Welcome Thread - March 2020

Hi all!

I've been reading SSC for years, and took the plunge to read the sequences last year. It shifted a lot of my previous beliefs, and though I have a strong aversion to group identity, I suppose I'm an "aspiring rationalist" now!

About me: I work in Kelowna, BC. I've written for Quillette and Areo in the past, but my current writing output is confined to Letter (including this conversation on metarationality). I will probably do effortposts here eventually, but for now I'm mostly scanning for coronavirus information.

Any rationalists or effective altruists in BC, message me!


Please pardon the late reply. I've modified the plan to two months each for a gratitude journal, cold showers, meditation, and cutting sugar. Thank you for sharing your own experiences!

Cold showers: I'm curious about the distance between how people swear by them and the inconclusive research - and, like you said, there's no obvious harm. When I've done them in the past I've noticed an energy boost in the hours afterwards, but I've been unable to push myself to keep them up when autumn hits. So this will be a summer experiment.

Sugar: I once cut sugar (all sweets, though not all added sugars) for roughly two months and felt like I noticed the disappearance of big energy drops. This time I want to see what else comes of it.

Gratitude journal: Given the research behind it, this seems obviously worth the effort, and is what I'm doing right now. It seems like there's evidence that writing 1-3 times a week gives better results, but I'm doing it daily for the habit formation.

Other than that, I don't have much to reply beyond appreciating the personal reference points, the meditation links, and the encouragement!

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