Jakob_J

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A Small Vacation

Economic security is probably far more important than physical security, and much more difficult to obtain. The reason we don't already see wealthy refugee cities in deserts and other remote areas is that the thing everyone is looking for, a stable income, is simply not available there, and constructing all the required infrastructure and local economy from scratch is a difficult task even for developed nations. Simply put, in the choice between moving to a deserted area of Nevada versus say LA or NY, most if not all would choose the big cities due to the far greater economic opportunities on offer there.

TEAM: a dramatically improved form of therapy

I'm glad I managed to rekindle your interest in TEAM therapy!

Unless you have heard them already, I think the first 15-20 episodes give a pretty good overview of the structure and motivation of TEAM. The episodes with Mark, 29-35, also provide quite a good breakdown of the structure, since they stop and comment on each section before proceeding.

Book review: "Feeling Great" by David Burns

Regarding the podcasts, I agree that they are somewhat confusing and seem out of context, unless you listen to a substantial amount of them. I discovered the podcast before Feeling Great came out, and while the book is great, I think the podcast has helped me more on the "gut level" as it really drives the point home. I can definitely recommend listening to the live sessions in addition to reading the book - I've put together a list of some of the best episodes here

TEAM: a dramatically improved form of therapy

Awesome, really glad that you've found the episodes helpful! I have also found that the live sessions focused on relationship issues to be some of the most enlightening ones.  

If you haven't already found them, there are several more episodes on the same theme. For example, you might be interested in listening to the ones with Mark:
Live Session (Mark) — Introduction & Testing (Part 1)

and the session with Brian:
Anger in Marriage: The Five Secrets Revisited
 

TEAM: a dramatically improved form of therapy

Thanks for your comment!

Regarding your prior, yes I agree with this, and I also think the effectiveness of TEAM decreases dramatically with an unskilled therapist. All of the recorded live sessions are with David Burns, which might be an indication that it takes extreme practice to fully master it. I have only ever used it for "self-therapy", in order take the edge of some of my most self-critical thoughts as in the example. I think it works quite well for people who are looking for CBT-style therapy.

TEAM: a dramatically improved form of therapy

There are certainly similarities, but TEAM is a bit less "psychoanalytic" in the sense that it doesn't seek to unveil childhood trauma or anything like that. Instead, it focuses more on the here and now, and more on a person's positive qualities. The positive reframing step is meant to bring resistance to conscious awareness, since the patient usually do want to change their negative patterns of thought.

MIRI location optimization (and related topics) discussion

Immigration issues aside, I second the choice of the United Kingdom. Having lived in several European countries, the UK probably has one of the strongest intellectual cultures I've seen. The population is roughly that of California and Texas combined, and yet its combined cultural and scientific outputs is on par with the US as a whole (it has received the second largest number of Nobel prizes in the world, and in terms of Nobel prizes per capita it outperforms the US by a factor ~2). 

However, I would say that Oxford wouldn't be my first choice:

  • Most great things about Oxford are behind the walls of the colleges - if you are not a member of the university, you feel quite cut off from the intellectual life there. (Even as a member of the university, things are only active during term times, which are much shorter than elsewhere)
  • Living outside Oxford and commuting in is a pain - the roads are always clogged, even for buses. Commuting by train is possibly only from a few places.

I would recommend living near London:

  • London is a really fun city. Whatever your interests might be, it is quite likely that you will find groups with the same interests as you. Also the food scene is amazing - you could probably find both great restaurants and grocery shops specializing in any cuisine you want.
  • Public transport is pretty great, much better than what I have seen in e.g. NY. It is common to live >1 hr outside the city and commute in, so there are lots of places in the countryside which are affordable but with a direct train to central London.
  • The job market is very active, and it shouldn't be a problem for two people to find a job here.
Specializing in Problems We Don't Understand

Where is the selection effect coming from? You'd think that the human body is large enough to host a range of different bacteria, so unless they have some way of competing within the body, sterilization would just remove some bacterial populations rather than select for those resistant to antibiotics.

Lessons on Value of Information From Civ

Thanks, I agree that LW is a good place to start reading. I would add that LW can also be a good source for curated material, i.e. someone might post about the best primary and secondary sources to find out more about a topic. 

I also get your point about "broad" vs "shallow". I do wonder what a good model would look like for reading since broad understanding in itself is relatively useless - it needs to be translated into shallow, technical understanding at some point. 

Lessons on Value of Information From Civ

Thanks, knowing about this game mode makes me want to play Civ again!

I was wondering if you have any thoughts on how we as individuals might act to acquire useful information effectively. A lot of information out there that we normally consume (social media/news etc) is often eye-catching or interesting but not very useful (it doesn't change our plans or outlook in life). Personally I would guess that books might be the best bet, but it can be hard to find the right ones.

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