All of Lachouette's Comments + Replies

Guidelines for cold messaging people

tl;dr: Inform your recipient if you're asking multiple people the same thing

FWIW I also got the same email (I think the person might have been going through a list of practicing coaches and messaging some or all of them) and I considered it rude not to be informed this is a copy-paste message they are reaching out to several people with. This would perhaps be a lesser problem for people who are following the rest of the advice, but in any case I would recommend being transparent when you're reaching out to multiple people who are quite busy, so they can ma... (read more)

1Thomas Sepulchre7mo
Wouldn't this lead to some bystander effect?
It's not just that they're thoughtlessly maximizing responses at the expense of recipients' time: recipients are liable to notice this, be annoyed by it, and therefore be less likely to respond as a result. So maybe they're (in some sense) trying to maximize responses and not caring about recipients' time, but in practice they aren't even doing that; they could probably get more responses by being a bit more thoughtful and polite.
European Community Weekend 2017

I just signed up. Three years ago this was my entry point into the wider community and I'm looking forward to being around again!

Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

Malcolm has since created a new chatroom, which runs independently of tinychat! It's still the same link as mentioned in my earlier comment. In addition, a chatroom for effective altruists (the EA Workspace) now exists as well.

The transition has been mostly smooth and everyone's used to the new format by now, I think.

Less Wrong Study Hall: Now With 100% Less Tinychat


Seriously though, great work and so many thanks for ridding us from Tinychat. :)

Note that you do not (and will never) need a Complice account to access the page. Signing up for Complice adds, well, the Complice-inherent features that aren't essential to the functioning of the chat itself.

Announcing the Complice Less Wrong Study Hall

Update: As of now, we switched to Malcolm's own chat (which is at the same link as he provided). This means it's not an embedded tinychat channel anymore, and the old tinychat room still exists, but is empty.

Announcing the Complice Less Wrong Study Hall

(Note: if you're confused because it's not asking you for a password, that's because Malcolm replaced the embedded tinychat channel with his own chat. So we're finally rid of the bane of tinychat!)

Less Wrong Study Hall - Year Two

Unfortunately, these owls are not being produced anymore so the link doesn't lead anywhere useful. Anyone who still wants one can buy up the rests by the resellers (try googling "Mars&More tweed owl" or similar). I think there's still a few Terrys and Levis to be bought, e.g. on Amazon.

Jkadlubo also found a cheaper spinoff with somewhat different design on a Polish interior decor website, so there's that.

[Edit: or contact me and I'll help you find one if I can.]

European Community Weekend 2015 - Followup

We did have 6 owls, one eagle, a duck, an octopus and an angry bird, to count only the plush toys I remember right now. I think we were missing a six feet plush crocodile though. It was oddly bird-centered.

A 6ft crocodile is necessary at such events. I'm really not sure how you all managed without Mr. Scaly. :)
European Community Weekend 2015 - Followup

In case you're wondering why there were only 74 participants: 80 people signed up, but 6 did not attend and didn't give notice, so the spaces could not be filled.

Clearly, this event needed many more owls.
Open Thread, Jun. 29 - Jul. 5, 2015

I tried to find some first messages that I liked, to give some better examples, but since I tended to message people first myself, there really isn't that much.

Messages I responded positively to: (German)

(longer) messages I disliked: (this one is German from a guy trying to be funny. It's so cringey that I actually didn't answer at all. I'm unsure about the match percentage but it was probably < 95%)

I'm not the best person to ask f... (read more)

Open Thread, Jun. 29 - Jul. 5, 2015

I don't recall individual messages (it was 4 years ago). Trying to look through my messages folder, but I might have deleted some to save space. There were no longer messages I didn't answer. Usually contact broke off after a few messages though.

Reasons I could imagine for not answering:

  • looking at their profile, not being particularly interested, wanting to answer out of politeness but continually forgetting to (i.e. other things being more important)
  • hm, I remember a really nice guy I wrote back and forth with and eventually I stopped answering, partly
... (read more)
Open Thread, Jun. 29 - Jul. 5, 2015

Agreement on CBHacking's points.

I found the match factor to be very predictive. With an ex-boyfriend of mine, the boyfriend I found via okc and a more recent one I had 99% match, though the maximum height of the match factor is constrained by amount of questions answered and the way you answer them, so you might not get that high in the first place. 95% is really decent, I never found anyone <80% interesting enough to talk to for longer.

For the enemy thing I recommend checking the answers marked "unacceptable" that go into the factor calculat... (read more)

TL;DR: Agreed on the "check the match questions, especially the 'unacceptable' ones" comment! The enemy rating can be a total lie. Oh jeez, OKC match questions. I'm sometimes amazed that the site works as well as it does when the match questions (and their answers) are so terrible. Some very common problems I have with them: 1) Questions where the only possible answer is nuanced - "Would you date a person who ?" for some X that has a wide range of possible meanings - and the only possible answers are yes and no. No "maybe", much less an "it depends", never mind the chance to choose an answer specifying the thing it actually depends on. I just skip these, usually. 2) Questions/answers which presuppose an attitude on some subject. "If you discovered a first date was carrying condoms, would you tease them about it?" and all four possible answers indicate that this is a bad, or at best neutral, thing to do. My answer to this one is actually true - I probably wouldn't say anything - but I'd approve and there's no way (that is relevant to the algorithm; the "explain your answer" box is ignored for purposes of percentages) to indicate this approval. 3) Questions where, for example, there's two acceptable answers, one unacceptable one, and one great one. Problem is, you can only specify that an answer is "acceptable" or not, and then rank how important it is that the other person's answer is one of them. Do I mark all three that I'm OK with and say this is important, to strongly exclude the fourth, or rank it less important because two of them I'm not actually strongly in favor of are nonetheless acceptable? Or mark only the one great answer as acceptable, and then say it's important because if you agree with me that's great and should bump up our match percentages... or that it's less important, because I'm excluding some options that would actually be OK? 4) Questions (or occasionally answers) where I want to give one answer based on what the question appears to be a
Have there been people with Match>=95% where you didn't reply to their messages? If so, what were the prime reasons?
Open Thread, Jun. 29 - Jul. 5, 2015

I can confirm that for my case - when I (female) removed my picture from Okcupid, it had the (desirable, then) effect that I didn't get any messages whatsoever anymore, over the space of ~6 months. I might have gotten a non-zero amount if I hadn't stated on my profile that I wasn't looking for relationships at the time, but even with that clear statement I still got messages every once in a while during the time I had the picture up. I didn't try experimenting with a more/less attractive picture.

I got the impression that many people just look at the profile and don't even check the relationship status at the top of the profile.

Open Thread, Jun. 29 - Jul. 5, 2015

I'd have liked you to phrase the first sentence as "I wouldn't recommend online dating to men."

I mean, I'm aware that there are 10-15% women on this site, but let's not accidentally exclude them. Especially for nerdy/geeky/intellectual women, okcupid is in my experience a really great place. I got the impression that I was able to find people that were much more similar to me than anyone else I knew from my university environment - which lead to a few friendships and my longest relationship to date.

It's true that my male friends' experiences were usually less successful. It doesn't have to be your only strategy though.

Good point. I implicitly meant I wouldn't recommend online dating to Clarity, who I'm assuming is male. My personal experiences on OKC were also positive, but the stats released by them and other sites are not very reassuring.
European Community Weekend 2015 Impressions Thread

Christian and Richard already addressed your concerns well. Yes, this was a community event, not a conference. We wanted people to find friends and create (deep) connections - you don't get that nearly as much with intellectual conversations.

We're not rational agents, but sophisticated apes, more or less. Most people have social needs for security, closeness, empathy, sharing emotions and so on. We were trying to address that by introducing the relating games and a space for relaxing and cuddling, while (hopefully) not pressuring anyone to participate. It seems that overall we succeeded at this.

Announcing the Complice Less Wrong Study Hall

As tkadlubo says, most people choose to visit as guests. Otherwise you are free to create an account on and visit the chat after logging in, which is what I do. It allows you to PM people and potentially become a moderator, neither of which are necessary for just participating in the pomodoros.

Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

(replying here for visibility)

By the way, Malcolm has fulfilled some of the Study Hall users' wishes by embedding the tinychat hall in his Complice website:

Unfortunately it's still tinychat and therefore just as buggy, but it now has a timer! And you can see tasks of other users! That means that breaks are cut off somewhat more abruptly, but they no longer run over. Overall the hall got more awesome! Password stays "lw", you don't need to be a Complice user to access the s... (read more)

Malcolm has since created a new chatroom, which runs independently of tinychat! It's still the same link as mentioned in my earlier comment. In addition, a chatroom for effective altruists (the EA Workspace [] ) now exists as well. The transition has been mostly smooth and everyone's used to the new format by now, I think.
Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

How would one implement such a thing? Who should I ask to make it happen? I presume someone responsible for the site content, but I don't know who to ask.

... to take this onto a more action-oriented level.

1Adam Zerner7y
I don't know who to ask, but I'll help you in any way I can. Clicking "Report Issues" of the footer on the bottom of the site took me to the LW GitHub repo. After clicking around, this page [] says that you could make feature requests here []. And here [] are the most recent feature requests. I get the feeling that this isn't maintained too much though. Ie. I worry that in posting a feature there, it could easily get forgotten about and/or ignored. Just a vague suspicion though. My proposal: * Start off by posting the feature request there. Perhaps it is maintained and someone will see it and add it. * You do it. You seem to have a much better reputation than I do and I sense that this will improve the chances of success. * If this doesn't get a response, I think a good next step would be to post in Discusssion a) a poll on who thinks it should/shouldn't be on the side bar and b) a request to be put in contact with someone who'll respond. IMO, there are other things that should be on the sidebar too. Like: * The map [] of LW users. * A link to Open Thread. * Perhaps a way to collaborate on projects. * Perhaps a way to find people to live with. Perhaps a better approach would be to make a post in Discussion on "what links do you think should be in the sidebar?". Do the feature requesting of things to add to the sidebar all at once. This actually seems like a better approach to me. a) If a lot of people upvote things, the request will carry more weight. b) I sense that a feature request for multiple things to add to the side bar will get more atten
European Community Weekend 2015

Technically that wasn't correct at the time you wrote it (since there were 47 attendants at last year's LWCW), but we now certainly have enough to break that record!

Could you be Prof Nick Bostrom's sidekick?

I don't think it's obvious that would be the best approach.

This forum is as internal as it gets without asking potential candidates via email or in person.

Both approaches are valid, but they optimize to attract different people. The gist that I get from this job ad is that they are looking for someone who is a good assistant while being passionate about effective altruism, willing to help indirectly rather than promote their own ego and eager to find creative ways to improve themselves and Bostrom's workflow. My guess is that they would prefer someone les... (read more)

Facebook is not internal. Also LW is world-readable. I think it's perfectly fine not to care about the cultishness impression, by the way, just as long as you realize that is what you are doing.
Could you be Prof Nick Bostrom's sidekick?

Thank you for voicing your worries. It's important we discuss this aspect as well, and I hadn't taken that into account when I posted the comment about "sidekicks".

The "sexual innuendo" part was surprising to me - I (female, 24y) didn't get that impression from reading the post and neither did any of the smart, young people I showed it to. Maybe we were talking with people in different social circles (my friends are already EAs for the most part). You're right that phrasing it as "sidekick" makes it look more cultish. I'm not ... (read more)

if the ideas of innuendo could come from anywhere its where it says "conscientious and discreet" since guys are always saying they're discreet or making that a condition in their ads when they are seeking other guys to hook up with.
This is not an opportunity to exercise creativity, find the most boring stodgy company's ad for a secretary, and copy it. People will be able to read between the lines on everything else (or you can use community slang internally to explain, just not externally). (I agree with the grandparent, part of "growing up" is adopting boring stodgy professional norms for instrumental rationality reasons).
Where is the line between being a good child and taking care of oneself?


There's a lot of good comments on this already, so I won't add another one in the same spirit. I feel with you and I hope you can resolve this conflict in a way that's good for you.

I know we've talked about this briefly in the Study Hall, but I'd like to mention it again here: Your mileage may vary, but I got a lot out of reading "Dance of Anger". It's exactly about how to navigate situations in which you feel angry or frustrated and how to use that anger constructively without lashing out or letting it boil internally while not showing it to anyone.

It's not expensive as a kindle version, and an easy read. You can probably get most value out of it in two hours.

I bought it the next day you told me about it. Started reading but not yet finished the preface.
Could you be Prof Nick Bostrom's sidekick?

I would hope that this is exactly the right forum to for this approach. Acknowledging that their own "impact per working hour" is probably less than Bostrom's... is the least I would expect from someone claiming to honestly evaluate their own skills.

I agree that the approach as summarized by you isn't very appealing, but to me the ad doesn't read like this. It's a difficult job to do well, and can be prestigious. Whether it is depends on the framing you apply.

Could you be Prof Nick Bostrom's sidekick?

Better framing: "Want to be Nick Bostrom's sidekick?"

... I'd take it.

I'd frame it as "Nick Bostrom needs Jeeves. Are you Jeeves?" (After P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster [].)

I disagree. 'Sidekick' attracts people who seek apprenticeships . This is not an opportunity for Nick Bostrom to mentor you, and not an opportunity for you to offer your valuable insight. The job is to silently clear his path of little obstacles and stay out of the way.

3-day Solstice in Leipzig, Germany: small, nice, very low cost, includes accommodation, 19th-21st Dec

I'm happy to take part this year! :)

On a different note, this would read a lot better if you'd spellchecked it before posting.

Cryonics in Europe?

Hi Roland, since I'm currently in the process of signing up for cryonics I have looked into this a bit too. There are indeed no other options (yet), and I would personally be wary about trusting a new institute, anyways. There has been a number of institutes before that went bankrupt before or failed due to personal conflict amongst the founders, so this is definitely a concern. I also don't know how a for-profit model like KrioRus's will work for cryonics. I live in Germany and I've been informed that the transportation of the body over the border is tric... (read more)

European Community Weekend 2014 retrospective

That was one of the cases where my preferences were too nuanced for the keywords/stickers. I was fine with hugs from everyone, but would have preferred to be asked for cuddles first. And the long hug you gave me was, from my point of view, cuddling. It prompted thoughts like "Why is he the cuddling right away? Is he trying to initiate more than just friendly conversation? Should I get some distance between us to signal that I'm not interested?" and that made me uncomfortable though system II agreed that there wasn't any way you could have told t... (read more)

No, in that case the observation was that you were getting tense was clear. I'm not sure whether I could told it visually alone on that day but with physical contact it was quite clear. Is it theoretically possible that you tell yourself in such a situation a story that makes it okay that you get tense when I touch you? Yes, but very unlikely. There are cases in Salsa dancing where I dance with a woman who's a beginner. The woman might get a bit tense in close physical contact but tell herself a story that she's tense because she's a beginner and that's just part of being a beginner at Salsa. However even in those cases it's often good to give the woman a bit of space. In general people often make up story to explain why they are feeling a certain way that don't really have much to do with why they actual feel what they feel. If you stimulate a neuron in someone's brain and that initiates an action, the person will still do his best to make a plausible story of why he engages in that action. The same goes for actions done because of posthypnotic suggestions. Even if the other person knows why they are reacting the way they do, there are often social reasons why the person might not want to share everything openly. In your case your suggestion that you felt what you felt because you had a different expectation is interesting. If I act in ways that follow the expectations of other people surely makes it easier for them to model me and therefore easier to interact with me. I don't see hugging primarily as a means to initiate something. The fact that it feels good is reason enough to do it. In that situation the next reason would be to be more associated with my own body. I do have a bunch of male friends whom I great in that physical intensity so it doesn't even have much to do with the fact that you are woman. Two years ago I did have a time where I pushed the boundaries in regards to trying to go as far as I can in regards to physical intimacy with woman. Toda
Tell Culture

Actually when a person is hurt they might not be in a state of mind to phrase it like that. I know that I tend to focus on the feeling of being hurt first, and it is incredibly difficult to not react indirectly with defensiveness which would be directed at something other than "I guess you don't find me interesting", because that shows vulnerability. A person (like unreflected me) might instinctively attack in a different area to "retaliate" to what they felt was a surprise attack on their self-worth. I am working on this, but I doubt ... (read more)

Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

Tkadlubo has used this at work consistently (and with video) in the past year. Marcel can't broadcast a video from his office, but he shares his screen instead, which is perhaps even better for productivity. Both are comporate employees. It probably depends on your employer if you can have it running, but it seems worth a shot to ask (or to just try and see if someone complains).

tkadlubo's employer doesn't know about LWSH and tkadlubo's opinion is that this is none of their business as long as it does not interfere with his work. As far as I remember, at some point the previous employer found out but didn't complain. (oh, and I quote his opinions because I'm his wife. Maybe not as reliable source as the man himself, but close.)
We've got weird confidentiality stuff, but I'll see what I can do. Thanks!
Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

In fact, there is another try going on right now - the post was written before it happened. :) Anyone who wants to take part can contact me, redacted, tkadlubo or error.

I am hopeful that this time we will be able set up something awesome. ^_^

Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

Thank you for writing this excellent post, error. I know a lot of time went into this in the last months. The Study Hall does need to be more visible and posts like this, especially on main, help in showing more people that this exists.

And maybe, just maybe, this visibility and ensuing popularity will push forward the idea of changing tinychat to something else.
Less Wrong Study Hall - Year 1 Retrospective

I would be happy to see you back in the Hall, hamnox! :)

Akrasia Tactics Review 2: The Akrasia Strikes Back

Concerning the Study Hall, it's still active and we get way better coverage now. It might not work for everyone but it's definitely worth a try.

Could you repost the link to study hall? I recall initially people had been trying different venues and services and I wasn't sure where it ended up.
Breaking the chain of akrasia

Incidentally, I know a place where a lot of productive people spend their time and that is a good setting to discuss akrasia while already tackling the problem: the Lesswrong Study Hall. The password is "lw".

It is a tinychat room made in March 2013 as a 24/7 surrounding for co-working and we get pretty good coverage by now, so there should be someone around at most times of time zone. It is for people who struggle with procrastination, but obviously the regulars who are around most are productive people themselves.

How it works: We do pomodoros t... (read more)

Co-Working Collaboration to Combat Akrasia

Please note that the Study Hall is password-protected as of today. The password is "lw". The relevant discussion post (explaining why we chose a password) is available here: link

LW Study Hall - 2 Month Update

Please note that the Study Hall is password-protected as of today. The password is "lw". The relevant discussion post (explaining why we chose a password) is available here: link

LessWrong Study Hall will be password-protected

No, unfortunately not. I don't know tinychat well, but I don't think data on that is available anywhere, so the only way to estimate it would be to ask people. (I also keep a list of new additions in the order I met them, so I can roughly say if there have been more or less new people around lately, but this is not accurate/complete/what you asked for.)

LessWrong Study Hall will be password-protected

The password is in place now. If you know someone who does not frequent LW and might not have read this, please contact them.

LW Study Hall - 2 Month Update

Yeah, tinychat isn't really optimal.

The idea to move it to google hangouts has been around for a while. The problem with it was that creating a permanent hangout is difficult, as far as I know.

You're welcome to look into solutions for that problem though! :) Maybe you can also find a solution for the library not allowing it for now. Maybe a proxy?

Zombies! Zombies?

Replying to (1):

That misses the point. No one can possibly show any logical contradiction in the hypothesis that zombies exist, because those who postulate it have not made their claim falsifiable. As in, there is no observable difference between a world with zombies versus one without them. Similarly, I could claim my room is filled with scientifically undetectable, invisible fairies and you would not be able to logically refute this claim. I don't believe your inability to disprove it would make it any less laughable, however. The fact that the hypothesi... (read more)

Heat vs. Motion

I've searched all those comments because I couldn't believe I'm the only one bothered by that. The difference is actually hardly trivial; "H20" suggests there is a molecule made from 20 connected hydrogen atoms! The missing subscript doesn't help (isn't there a way to make subscript the number?). Of course I know it wasn't deliberate, and I guess no reader would interpret is as anything else but "water". For the sake of completion I would appreciate an edit, though.

Fwiw, all html or formatting aside, there's a fairly well-supported unicode subscript 2 []. Water has the chemical formula H₂O. Sugar is C₆H₁₂O₆. See them all here []
LW Study Hall - 2 Month Update

Personally I've actually already covered the university spring break with this chat. I'm not sure how it's for other students, but I don't actually get fixed holidays, I get "lecture-free time", with a lot of internships, exams and such. Then those lecture-free times aren't synchronized in different countries, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm actually looking forward to using my pomodoros for things that are more about personal development than university in the summer break.

LW Study Hall - 2 Month Update

I agree with BerryPick on the optimal amount of people. Usually it gets more fun with more people, but for disciplined working you don't need more than two people that are actually around. You should maybe try and see for yourself what works best. The schedule for the following week should be full enough to pick a time where at least one person is around.

LW Study Hall - 2 Month Update

Thanks, it should be fixed now.

LW Study Hall - 2 Month Update

I reposted this comment on discussion because I think more people need to consider visiting the chat, but as someone who almost never posts anything, I wasn't sure if that's proper "posting protocol". I'd be glad about feedback concerning that.

Reminding and updating people about a useful tool (that also happens to build community) seems like a great use of Discussion.

I was not aware that this existed; thank you for sharing.
Co-Working Collaboration to Combat Akrasia

Two months have passed and I’m glad to say the LW Study Hall on tinychat is still active and alive. Since judging from the comments it kind of looks like we’ve moved on from tinychat, a review like this might be useful for anyone who hasn’t been there yet.

My first sessions on the chat were driven more by curiosity than anything else since I didn’t believe it would be really effective for me – I’ve felt that I procrastinate too much, but it never occurred to me that working together with other people might make me more effective. I was proven wrong.

Since th... (read more)


Okay, I realize I'm pretty late for a reply to this post, but anyway: Yes, I did try to make a rational decision about my diet. In my case that was a step to being a vegan, but I don't think that's very relevant in this context.

I'm surprised no one else commented on this, but maybe that's due to other reasons than lack of people who decide on their diet using rational thinking.

About 2 years ago, I heard of a book called "Eating animals" by Jonathan S. Foer and felt that this might be an okay source to get some insight in a subject I didn't know m... (read more)