All of kalium's Comments + Replies

Stupid Questions April 2015

Water loss through boiling shouldn't make a difference, as the vitamins are not volatile and will not boil off with it.

Stupid Questions April 2015

This doesn't answer your question, but if you conclude that adding water is likely to make rice more filling per calorie (I have no idea whether it will), the dish you want is called congee, and searching for that should yield many delicious recipes.

Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015

Example 2: A backup cell phone can cost $20, and at least one provider offers service for $10 for the SIM chip and $20 per year if no calls are made. Requires limiting trips to areas within range of cell towers.

Which provider is this?

0DataPacRat7y [] ... though it looks like I misremembered, and the least-expensive option is $25 instead of $20. If you mean the cellphone, I got the low price from [] .
Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015

I've lost around 60 points in the past couple months despite hardly commenting at all (haven't spent much time here recently). I did get a smaller swarm of downvotes in September for this comment, in which I was grumpy at Azathoth123 on the subject of gender.

Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015

It happens but again it's not at all universal. Scott Alexander seems to think emotional blunting is a legitimate effect of SSRIs, not just a correlation–causation confusion. He also notes that

There is a subgroup of depressed patients whose depression takes the form of not being able to feel anything at all, and I worry this effect would exacerbate their problem, but I have never heard this from anyone and SSRIs do not seem less effective in that subgroup, so these might be two different things that only sound alike.

Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015

It depends on the type of local optimum. I am reasonably sure that becoming too depressed to do enough work to stay in was the only was I could have gotten out of graduate school given my moral system at the time. (I hated being there but believed I had an obligation to try to contribute to human knowledge.)

Also flat affect isn't at all a universal effect of antidepressant usage, but it does happen for some people.

0gjm7yIsn't flat affect also a rather common effect of depression?
Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015

Homeopathy would actually predict good results. According to their rule that "like cures like", this would be expected to help people who are currently suffering from bad memories.

The morality of disclosing salary requirements

I'm definitely underpaid now, and I'd definitely be screwing myself over by telling them my current pay, but it's likely that when I finally get off my ass and start a job search I'll be so sick of things that screwing myself over to get out more quickly will feel worth it. Even though it's probably not. Sigh.

Stupid Questions February 2015

I think our culture genuinely does not care about misleading/inaccurate product descriptions, but I do, and I would feel bad about working at a company where there was nobody at all doing my old job.

I'll begin a job search July 1 if old job is not filled by then (I'm pretty confident it won't be, despite various promises - this company has never yet followed through on anything anywhere near the promised time) but job-searching sucks and I want to avoid it if I can.

Stupid Questions February 2015

I was promoted at work but my old position is not going to be filled until July and I'm supposed to continue doing the old work (mainly proofreading) until then. I've been encouraged to free up time by lowering standards for the old half of my work, but I'm finding this very difficult due to some combination of conscientiousness and perfectionism. Any advice on how to feel better about doing low-quality work?

7[anonymous]7yThis sort of thing has happened to me before, and typically it has come with an unstated, "No, we're just kidding about accepting lower-quality work for your old job. Suck it up and don't bother asking for overtime pay." I hope your managerial culture is different.
Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

I was introduced to LaTeX via LyX as a freshman and found the interface very off-putting and confusing and forgot about the whole thing for years. When I found out I could just type a text file instead, run a few commands, and get the same gorgeous result, it was a revelation and I never went back to OpenOffice.

Probably not news to anyone here, but learning to use a good text editor like vim or emacs is hugely useful and I wish I hadn't waited so long to do it. Git for version control is pretty great too.

2passive_fist7yFor me it was the exact opposite. I'd been using LaTeX for years before I discovered LyX. I can't imagine writing in raw LaTeX anymore. Especially, live math preview has become indispensable for me, as well as 'smart' label handling and intelligent handling of documents composed of multiple independent files (like chapters in a book).
Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life

It should be possible to get a decent used bicycle for under $200.

3Punoxysm7yThe bike you should get depends a lot on your use case. A used one is a decent choice if you're doing short commuting and random city errands. If you want to do long or fast rides, invest more (though beware there's no real ceiling on bike cost and accessories have strong allure). Whatever bike you get, make sure it's in decent shape and is sized correctly for you. Also put a bit of effort into maintenance (lube the chain and inflate the tires and you're fine for casual riding). AND GET SAFETY LIGHTS.
Bragging Thread January 2015

Pointed out to my boss that my new job responsibilities will mean I've dramatically underpaid compared to industry average. He went from "we see this as a role where you'll be learning a lot, so that's the extra compensation and there's no need to change the pay" to giving me a 20% raise. (Actually did this late December.)

Group Rationality Diary, November 16-30

I'm having good results from using HabitRPG for this sort of thing. Your character gets experience points as you accomplish various daily, weekly, or one-off tasks, and it also records how many times in a row you've successfully done each recurring task. It's kind of silly, but I really feel good about my 37-day streak of actually eating breakfast.

0hamnox7yThat is an excellent feature. I've transitioned away from it because it loads slowly on my computer and doesn't give a history of to-dos by date that I can reference whenever someone complains I don't do anything--myself especially. It also integrates with beeminder now, FrameBenignly, which is a point in its favor.
November 2014 Monthly Bragging Thread

As a woman, I find skirts super comfortable but with some major problems that don't come up if you're just hanging around the house.

  • The lack of pockets is extremely inconvenient. I'd be afraid of losing a purse with a wallet in it, so I basically can't go out in a skirt unless it's cool enough out that it's reasonable to wear a jacket (since those have pockets). There do exist skirts with acceptable pockets, but the selection is very small and if you're as cheap as I am there just aren't any options.

  • Some skirts (not all!) restrict leg motion enough to make it inconvenient to bike or run.

2Alicorn7yI've found a number of pocket-bearing skirts in thrift stores for very cheap.
2Gunnar_Zarncke7yThis is one of the things I have wondered about: Why there are no skirts with pockets. But I guess the reason is that there is already a completely well accepted solution: Handbags.
The Danger of Invisible Problems

They're plausibly pretty legit for some joint-related issues. However there's also a whole set of claims that they can treat totally unrelated issues, for example curing the flu by adjusting the spine. Not all chiropractors make this sort of claim, but enough do to make it background knowledge.

Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014

Twill is pretty good for pants and dries faster than denim.

Denim is just a specific type of twill that's made from cotton. Fiber type is generally more relevant than how it's woven.

0Strangeattractor7yAh, thank you for pointing that out. I think maybe the word I meant was chino. Which is also a twill made from cotton, but using finer threads. Or so Google tells me.
Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014

Layering is good, but it's much easier to apply to the torso and arms than the legs. So a coat that goes at least down to your knees is very handy. I also recommend wool socks and mittens, since unlike many fibers wool is just as insulating when wet. Source: used to live in Boston.

Open thread, Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2014

I used to work as a proofreader for MIRI, and was sometimes given documents with volunteers' comments to help me out. In most cases, the quality of the comments was poor enough that in the time it took me to review the comments, decide which ones were valid, and apply the changes, I could have just read the whole thing and caught the same errors (or at least an equivalent number thereof) myself.

There's also the fact that many errors are only such because they're inconsistent with the overall style. It's presumably not practical to get all your volunteers to read the Chicago Manual of Style and agree on what gets a hyphen and such before doing anything.

Stupid Questions (10/27/2014)

I can see how freezing might help with smell, but what confuses me is sweat. If I wear pants more than about 4 times in a row, they start to itch, and I don't see how freezing would help with that. I don't think I sweat unusually much.

2KnaveOfAllTrades7yI wondered about this too before I tried it. I thought I had a higher-than-average risk of being very sensitive to my own perspirations/sheddings. But I haven't detected any significant problems on this front after trying it. It goes both ways: Now I know that I'm not very sensitive to my own trouser sweat, it means I can wear trousers longer after they've been washed (i.e. exposed to potentially irritant laundry products), which possibly reduces the risk of skin problems from the laundry products (another problem that I think I have a higher-than-average chance of having; the two aren't mutually exclusive). (Insert disclaimer about this maybe being very dependent on lots of factors, e.g. maybe I'll move to another city with an imperceptibly different climate and get screwed over by wearing jeans for more than a day.)
What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong?

I used to believe that almost nobody was really interested in anything. This was because (a) I had never been really interested in anything and (b) "Passion" was a mandatory signal, required for getting into college. When I saw people who appeared to be genuinedly interested in things (sports, music, running the school newspaper, building robots, whatever), I assumed they were just better than me at sending the required signals. When I got to college and saw people who continued to appear interested in these things, even though extracurriculars were no longer valuable, I realized I had been wrong.

2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey

The question was about the largest bone, not the longest bone.

0jdgalt7yLargest is ambiguous. It could mean longest, or largest volume (with or without counting the volume enclosed, if we're talking about the skull), or even heaviest.
1Kawoomba7yTomayto, tomahto. Comes out to the same. Which is good, since the question would be ambiguous otherwise. Wasn't sure whether to round to 100 or to 99. After all, we could all have been lied to.
What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong?

This sort of testimony strikes me as weak evidence. If you've just failed to kill yourself and don't want to be committed, or have been committed but want to be let out soon, this is exactly what you'd say regardless of truth.

3VAuroch7yThat would explain why you said so to a doctor, but not why you agreed to an interview with reporters and said the same thing there.
What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong?

It bothers me that this fact is usually interpreted to mean that suicides are the result of poor judgment or a disconnect with reality. Mental illness is a common cause of genuine severe suffering.

0hyporational7yIt would bother me too if the interpretation was that this is always so. I'm not sure how you could reliably investigate the quality of their judgement concerning suicide. Much of the poor judgement might not be so much the mental disorder itself, but normal hyperbolic discounting combined with severe temporary suffering.
2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey - Call For Critiques/Questions

The standard on psych studies seems to be "Level of education: (1) Some high school (2) High school graduate (3) Some college (4) College graduate (5) Some post-graduate (6) Graduate degree." This is pretty simple and does not warrant more than one question.

0gjm7yI personally have no problem with that -- but komponisto wants to make more detailed distinctions, and was originally (i.e., at the other end of the link in the great-grandparent of this comment) responding to someone else who wanted to count courses currently in progress as well as ones already completed. I'm sure both of them have reasons (indeed, it's not hard to guess some) and I bet they're both aware that it's usual simply to ask for highest qualification actually attained.
On Caring

My view is similar to yours, but with the following addition:

I have actual obligations to my friends and family, and I care about them quite a bit. I also care to a lesser extent about the city and region that I live in. If I act as though I instead have overriding obligations to the third world, then I risk being unable to satisfy my more basic obligations. To me, if for instance I spend my surplus income on mosquito nets instead of saving it and then have some personal disaster that my friends and family help bail me out of (because they also have obliga... (read more)

Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014

Usually the proper fix for a leaking faucet is substantially more conservative than replacing the whole assembly.

Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy

Yeah, I was pissed off and stated things a little too strongly. But having your every achievement constantly doubted and assumed less meaningful than the same achievement from a man really is corrosive, and I would say also makes it hard to be productive and encourages the "keep your head down" mentality that fubarobscuro mentioned.

Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy

That's logically inconsistent — downvoting means something doesn't belong on the site, not that you disagree with it

I don't think this follows. If a comment contains a glaring logical fallacy, I could consistently both downvote it and point out the flaw in the argument. Not claiming that's what's happening here, though.

Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy

Huh. Two downvotes on this, fair enough. But I've also gotten another 9 downvotes for old unrelated comments in the very short time since I posted this. Smells fishy.

2Lexico7yI've also went from a steady 23 total karma all in dead posts from a couple of weeks ago, and went down to 14 after posting this. I'm still rather new here, but I do remember reading that downvote stalking had become an issue in the past. Did LW ever resolve any policies to help combat that?
Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy

Looking at this comment section... wow. Yes, regularly encountering people who behave like Azathoth at work would be a level of (not really micro) aggression that could easily drive me out of a company, and I consider myself to have a pretty thick skin. Seems like there's no level of achievement a woman could reach that he'd see as strong evidence of competence. Doesn't matter if she has a physics degree from Caltech, no, her professors probably just passed her out of sympathy. Doesn't matter if she's written good code in the past, no, her references must ... (read more)

0ChristianKl7yThat seems wrong. Woman do get hired from time to time because an employer considers them to be competent and Azathoth doesn't object to that status quo.
5kalium7yHuh. Two downvotes on this, fair enough. But I've also gotten another 9 downvotes for old unrelated comments in the very short time since I posted this. Smells fishy.
"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

Failing to find an actual paper that does more than mention in passing that they-re not shown effective - it just gets treated as common knowledge. Wikipedia's condom article references "Boston Women's Health Book Collective (2005). Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era. New York, NY: Touchstone. p. 333. ISBN 0-7432-5611-5."

Here's a nifty visualization of the scales involved: Cell Size and Scale

Simulate and Defer To More Rational Selves

I've found something like this useful, especially at work, but hard to calibrate. "What would a more less shy kalium do? Tell the CTO that he's wrong, because he's wrong." Sometimes this is a good idea, but sometimes it's not. "What would an optimally shy kalium do?" is not so easy to predict.

4therufs7yPerhaps your simulated assistant is optimized for the wrong thing, and you actually want Kalium Who Acts With Regard to the Greater Good of the Project or similar. "Don't be shy" is orthogonal to "someone in charge is making it difficult to get stuff done".
Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day?

It's not that easy to convert marginal labor into money. Getting a second job is a high transaction cost, and alternatives like online surveys don't pay well. I just don't buy this type of argument except for certain very far from universal situations, e.g. hourly workers who have some leeway to set their own schedules.

2ChristianKl7yIt really depends on your base income. A programmer who makes 100k a year is in a very different situation then a college student.
"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

No, a sperm cell is very substantially larger than a virus particle. Lambskin condoms have not been shown to be effective at blocking virus transmission.

8MathiasZaman7yNot that I don't believe you, but would you happen to have a source I could use for further reference?
Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day?

These people suffer from increased food preparation costs that make $3/meal cheap by comparison.

I don't think it's correct to describe these mental costs in dollar terms. It's more convenient, sure, but that's not the same thing as cheaper. But yeah, now that I think of it cereal is probably $0.50/meal (skip the milk, goes bad too fast) but you don't want that more than once a day, and it's reasonably plausible that it would be hard to get two decently proteiny frozen meals for under $8.50 if grocery store selection is poor in your area.

3[anonymous]7yLabor costs.
Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day?

I don't understand all these people saying that $3 a meal is cheap. Maybe their alternative is going out to a restaurant?

6[anonymous]7yI'm not one of these people, but I've heard that some people find almost all forms of cooking stressful, difficult and unsatisfying. These people suffer from increased food preparation costs that make $3/meal cheap by comparison.
2zedzed7yCommercial soylent is overpriced. However, you can DIY for <$5/day, even if you need unusual amounts of food. Compare that to these [] numbers, which were the first thing I found. My $35/week is about 19% less than thriftiest food budget using conventional food for my gender/age. Plus I'm fairly large (but lean), active, and trying to add muscle/not lose weight, all of which should increase how much food I need relative to average.
-2Lumifer7yI am guessing that no Soylent aficionados cook :-) And of course $3/meal is cheap compared to Starbucks lattes X-D
1Punoxysm7yCheaper alternatives are either not-so-great nutritionally or take a decent amount of planning (especially if you're cooking for yourself alone).
Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day?

Healthier is pretty hand-wavy. It's got pretty much no protein, which makes it not a great meal substitute for some people. That said, it was tastier than I'd have expected. Butter tea is a similar drink that's also surprisingly tasty, but easier to augment with spices if you don't like the base flavor.

Also... that guy came to speak at the company I work at, and uttered an incredible variety of nonsense. (Mentioned in passing that kale causes autism, said that you have to buy his special coffee beans because the headache you get after the coffee wears off is not caffeine withdrawal but mold poisoning and his beans are the only non-moldy ones on the market.) Kind of put me off the whole concept.

Open thread, September 8-14, 2014

Thanks to its multiple infection sites, herpes has the unusual property that two people, neither of whom have an STI, can have sex that leads to one of them having an STI. It's a spontaneous creation of stigma! And if you have an asymptomatic infection (very common), there's no way to know whether it's oral (non-stigmatized, not an STI) or genital (stigmatized, STI) since the major strains are only moderately selective.

"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

1) Agree. I find that even monogamy gives me the creeps unless I think of it as kink.

2) Nitpick: unforced arranged marriages happen too. I would say that being anti those might be un-PC, but being anti-forced marriages is entirely PC. Admittedly the boundary between encouragement to marry the selected partner and being forced is not too sharp.

Group Rationality Diary, September 1-15

Asked my boss to move me from an hourly contractor position to full-time employee. Then negotiated the salary I was offered and got an extra $4000/year.

Why appearance matters or “to behave as if”

In practice, it differs in that once an opinion is formed it's sticky and contrary evidence tends not to result in updating.

1buybuydandavis7yOr, it starts from a poor probability assignment in the first place. Basically, prejudice as a bad thing is poor Bayesian reasoning, not all Bayesian reasoning. Unfortunately, many opponents of prejudice would insist on throwing out some good Bayesian reasoning as well.
Persistent Idealism

I'd read it as a loss of motivation to the extent of making it hard or impossible to keep doing that demanding, high-paying job that you're doing so you can have more to give. Happens to plenty of people in demanding jobs even if they're giving nothing.

"Follow your dreams" as a case study in incorrect thinking

I don't think you understand how screwed up the academic job market is. PhDs students are funded because they provide cheap(ish) labor for a professor's lab, and it's in professors' interest to take on a lot more students than can have a long-term career in science. Science is a popular enough career to have its own "following your dreams" problem.

4ChristianKl7yScience PHDs usually get useful skills that make them employable outside academia that someone who fails at being a sport star or musician doesn't get. Furthermore I think that our society benefits from investing more resources into solving biology while it doesn't benefit from more people wanting to become sport stars.
Open thread, 11-17 August 2014

Or it's based on the poem "Howl," which uses the term Moloch and is quoted in full in the post.

Open thread, 11-17 August 2014

It's easier for me to tell women apart because their hairstyles have more interpersonal variation. (I distinguish people mainly by hair. It takes a few months before I learn to recognize a face.) I'm pretty much just attracted to men though.

Open thread, 14-20 July 2014

With tea, a few people like unsweetened black tea and have always experienced it as having flavor (though there's still the usual acquired-taste aspect of bitter/tannic things). Others, like me, find that without sugar it's just fragrant water that doesn't get experienced as having taste, but they like it that way. I haven't found anyone who's actively learned to enjoy sugarless black tea in the way I would like to.

0eeuuah8yI enjoy sugarless black tea. I didn't use to. I got into through green tea (which I admittedly still prefer in the general). I think drinking a lot of green tea and getting pretty into it (trying lots of different loose leaf types, learning about ideal steeping temperatures and times) got me used to the basic form of tea, after which it's a lot easier to get into black tea.
Open thread, 14-20 July 2014

I've asked more people about tea than about chocolate. But I haven't asked anyone about coffee, because I don't drink it, and I think that's worth trying.

0Douglas_Knight8yWhat is the outcome of asking people about tea? Do they say useful things? specific to tea, or things that might generalize to chocolate?
Open thread, 14-20 July 2014

Good advice that I'm already following. I do enjoy Darjeeling with hardly any sugar, but it just doesn't satisfy my "wake you up in the morning" desires the way Assam does. Even with Darjeeling, though, unless I add at least a small amount of sugar (maybe 1/4 of what I'd put in Assam) it's just fragrant water and I don't perceive it as having flavor.

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