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jp's Shortform

What to do if you suddenly need to rest your hands

On Monday I went from "computer work seems kind of uncomfortable, I wonder if I should be worried" to "oh crap oh crap, that's actually painful". Everything I've ever heard says not to work through RSI pain, so what now? I decided to spend a week learning hands free input. I wanted to a) get some serious rest and b) still be productive. And guess what? Learning hands free input is like the one activity that does not suffer a productivity penalty from not being able to use your hands.

When I started it was really slow going. Lots of yelling "no don't type 'delete word' delete the f**king word!!!"[1] But then I found this talk, which was just .. woah. Since then, I have been using Talon, and I am in love.

The key to understanding Talon, and the reason I think it's heads and shoulders above everything else I've tried, is the basic insight that most of the time the input you want to do is not writing. Talon has the concept of modes, and most of the time you're in the command mode.[2] And because there's a limited set of commands, there's much less ambiguity between inputs.

After one week, I'm able to dictate an existing code file painlessly albeit still slowly. The thing that feels important to me, is that I'm no longer living in fear of my career being taken away from me by my wrists. 

So my recommendation to you, if you find yourself in the situation I was is to rest your hands, and try learning this thing. If you do, reach out to me! I'm (at least currently) sufficiently excited about this that I would very much enjoy help you out.

Epistemic postscript: I'm writing this while still excited about it, which is providing the motivation to do the writeup, but also makes me believe that in the future I will be less optimistic, and you should take that into account when evaluating its implicit predictions.


[1] A word to the wise, if you have dictation software listening, yelling at your computer is the opposite of productive (this is good, a frustrating experience with quick negative reinforcement for outbursts induces a zen-like experience).

[2] This is similar to vim, if you're familiar.

Habryka's Shortform Feed

I had forgotten this post, reread it and still think it's one of the better things of it's length I've read recently.

Problem relaxation as a tactic

Why is this comment bold?

Announcement: LessWrong Coronavirus Links Database 2.0

Another suggestion: could this post be linked to by the link database page?

Announcement: LessWrong Coronavirus Links Database 2.0

Suggestion: a forecasting section. Already some of your "Other" links would do well there.

March Coronavirus Open Thread

Does anyone want to venture a guess for the true number of cases in the Bay Area right now?

I just some rough back-of-the-envelope calculations, following the method here. Currently there are 2 deaths in the Bay Area. I keep his time-till-death rate of 17.3 days, but substitute a doubling time of 3 days, based on Our World in Data's US number. I get 2*100*exp(17.3*.231) ≈ 11,000, or about 2/1000 bay area residents. Super non-robust number, take with several grains of salt.

(.231 is the rate I get when solving for r in the exponential growth function for a doubling in 3 days.)

March Coronavirus Open Thread

Why not ask this as a question post?

Raemon's Shortform

I intuitively think it's good, but have in fact noticed myself clicking to dismiss it despite not having read it or thought about whether I'd like to read it.

Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019

Rohin argues elsewhere for taking a vote (at least in principal). If 50% vote in favor, then he has successfully avoided "falling into the unilateralist's curse" and has gotten $1.6k for AMF. He even has some bonus for "solved the unilateralist's curse in a way that's not just "sit on his hands". Now, it's probably worth subtracting points for "the LW team asked them not to blow up the site and the community decided to anyway." But I'd consider it fair play.

Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019

It could partially motivated by lifesaving but they wouldn't have donated otherwise. Like, not if they're a perfectly rational agent, but hey.

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