All of koroviev's Comments + Replies

Are there good classes (or just articles) on blog writing?

Here's a video of Larry McEnerney from UChicago teaching about how to make your writing more valuable to the reader: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtIzMaLkCaM

Normally, I don't watch videos when I want to learn something, but this one made a big impression on me. I've found the advice it offers at just the right level--not too low to lose sight of the big picture, but also not too high and abstract to confuse me. The gist of his message is to write with the reader in mind. The video offers advice how to do it, focusing specifically on text structure, whic... (read more)

1[comment deleted]11d
Convict Conditioning Book Review

I read this book about 10 years ago and began working on the six progressions. At some point, when when I passed level 6 in one progressions, I would spice it up a bit with other exercises I found in books about gymnastics (eg. l-sits, dips, etc.). Nowadays, I still do the program with some modifications as a way to maintain fitness. I credit it with keeping me healthy and in good shape despite spending hours per day in front of the computer.

I've found that while the CC program is great for building strength, it's good to add in some yoga and cardio. Espec... (read more)

Rationalism before the Sequences

Fascinating and enjoyable read. I put a few of the recommended books onto my to-read list. Thank you.

In your journey, I wonder if you've come across Buckminster Fuller and, if yes, what's your opinion on his ideas?

I ask this because I found Fuller's works at the same time I found Korzybski's. And while vastly different in theme and scope, they seemed to be underpinned by the same spirit--positive, human-centered, problem-solving--one I would label as "humanism."

3Eric Raymond1y
I have run across Bucky Fuller of course. Often brilliant, occasionally cranky, geodesic domes turned out to suck because you can't seal all those joints well enough. We could use more like him.
Open, Free, Safe: Choose Two

Good point. I think my characterization was overly broad, where in my mind, I was picturing anonymous registration, eg. not checking identity at the gate, allowing anyone in, even multiple times.

Open, Free, Safe: Choose Two

Great post, thanks for sharing. I have been picking away at this area ("healthy communities") and one of my take-aways mirrors your conclusion that "safe & free" is the more correct choice and that "openness" is very risky. I see it as the need for strong, clear moderation as a force for setting and enforcing community norms. I have seen many web 1.0 forums dissolve into 4chan-like chaos due to lack of moderation. I've also seen software projects dissolve into an immobile mess when their community decided to only do "safe" and discard "free" completely... (read more)

4Jiro1y
The problem (or at least a problem) with seeing moderation this way is that moderators who are aware of the concepts at all tend to say that criticism of arbitrary moderation amounts to criticism for not being open--in other words, once you accept that openness is a bad idea, pretty much anything the moderators do becomes justified on that basis.
3cata1y
I only skimmed the article you linked, but I don't think I agree with your characterization of anonymity -- it's not on the axis of openness, but the axes of freedom and safety. If someone is already let in, they may choose to be anonymous if they think anonymity helps them express things that are outside the box of their existing reputation and identity, or if they think anonymity is a defense against hostile actors who would use their words and actions against them.
Return to New York City

I think the answer is: actually everything, minus a few odds and ends.

There are some things that are not available, mainly having to do with physical reality, like: hiking trails, suburban life, buildings as old as in some other places. But if it's something related to human culture, you'll find it. Food is the easiest dimension to talk about because it's everywhere, but if you're looking for art, history, books, NYC has you covered with multiple galleries, a museum it would easily take you a few days to get through, and the 4th largest library in the worl... (read more)

1skybrian1y
Museums I'll give you (when they are open again). For bookstores, in these days of electronic books, I don't think it matters where you live. I remember the last time I went into Powell's. I looked around for a while, dutifully bought one book for old time's sake, and realized later while reading it that I was annoyed that it wasn't electronic. I still go to a local library (when there's not a pandemic) but it's mostly for the walk. Teachers: that's something I hadn't considered. Since getting out of school, I'm mostly self-taught.
Suspected reason that kids usually hate vegetables

Your description of flavorless mush reminds me of my childhood in Eastern Europe. You would have seemingly randomly chosen vegetables boiled and combined into a mucky whole that tasted weird. Salt, pepper, sometimes sour cream or white vinegar were added. 

Only in my early 20s did I discover how great raw vegetables like carrots or cucumbers taste. Then I discovered hummus, then mustard/balsamic/nuts/cranberries/raisins. Just recently I rediscovered lettuce - who knew it tastes so good when it's fresh and crisp?

My pet theory is that most parents don't ... (read more)

3Viliam1y
In former Czechoslovakia, there was an official list of recipes that restaurants were allowed to cook, during socialism. (To legally cook anything else, you had to ask for an official exception and get it approved.) That explains why some meals were not just horrible, but identically horrible across restaurants. The only tasty vegetable I remember from my childhood was fried cauliflower -- probably not very healthy.
Are there good negotiation classes?

I will add "Never Split the Difference" by C. Voss to the recommendations.

While it's not a class, I found it shifted my thinking in a new direction. The book focuses heavily on concrete techniques, but after finishing it, I came to realize a deeper theme behind all the techniques: getting both sides to talk and reveal their preferences without shutting the door in someone's face. All of the "tricks" are meant to establish a channel (and keep it open) until both sides can figure out a price. 

This has also pushed my understanding of conflict from "argh,... (read more)

Making Vaccine

Thank you for both conducting this experiment as well as for writing it up in great detail.

How much study do you estimate someone would have to invest into biology (or biohacking) to at least understand what's going on here? What are some "genres" of biology someone could start looking into to understand this work?

This looks like a really interesting area to probe, but my current level of knowledge in biology ("1 year of high school biology classes") makes it difficult to even formulate questions or google queries about it.

8Dentin1y
In my case, I'd estimate that I've spent around two hundred hours over the last several months coming sufficiently up to speed on the topics that I can reason about them. I started with about your level of biology (or possibly less), but probably a slightly stronger chemistry background. For the basics, I started with cell biochemistry, DNA/RNA, mRNA and protein construction. From the vaccine side of things, I just started looking up things I found in the whitepaper which I didn't understand, and once I understood all the terms I started looking for and reading research papers. When I found something I wasn't sure about, I researched it and learned about it. As examples, in early January, I spent about ten days reading up on VED (vaccine enhanced disease). Shortly after, I spent a few days digging into chitosan, and trying to understand how sensitive nanoparticle creation is to changes in the mixing process (hint: not very.) Everything I searched for I was able to find, and pretty much everything reinforced the same internally consistent view of the world. When you find something that doesn't make sense and you're stuck, write it down, file it away and come back to it later. Eventually you'll be able to make sense of it. When you're able to read through most or all of the whitepaper and understand both what's being discussed and why specific things were selected, you'll be in pretty good shape. It's not particularly difficult, it just takes time and effort.
3johnswentworth1y
That's a tough question. To a large extent this project involves specialized knowledge about the immune system, and that's stuff which you just have to look up one way or the other. That part is pretty straightforward. Same with looking up random jargon; that's a part of any biology research. The harder part is the not-very-legible general intuitions about biological systems - e.g. things like "a <25 amino acid peptide isn't likely to have any function as a protein in its own right" or "error bars are on a log scale, and probably wide". If you want to acquire those sorts of intuitions, one relatively-fast path might be the bionumbers book [http://book.bionumbers.org/]. On the other hand, even without those intuitions you could just brute-force your way through by checking everything. For instance, if you don't have the intuition that error bars are wide and on a log scale, you could find a paper experimentally measuring the concentration tolerances for chitosan nanoparticle formation. In some ways that's better - you're less likely to miss things and you can end up a lot more confident in your assessment - but it's a lot more work.
Retrospective on Teaching Rationality Workshops

I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing.

I recently went through Mark Xu's "CFAR training regime" sequence and I'm looking for ways to strengthen what I learned there and share it with other people. Your post and lesson plans give me lot of ideas to think through and try to practice in the future.

Pre-Hindsight Prompt: Why did 2021 NOT bring a return to normalcy?

I predict that there is a lot of pent up demand on account of people being shut up in their homes and distancing themselves. There's consumption-like stuff like eating out and going out for drinks. Then there's stuff like museums, live music, festivals, conferences, etc. that are somewhere between consumption and production. Then, there's the productive stuff like writing workshops, hackathons, jam or improv sessions, and all the other events where brains can come together to make something together. The increase in unemployment will mean more time-rich, m... (read more)