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Very interested in any unique approaches and I don't want to constrain your creativity, but I am happy to jump on a 5-minute call to rapidly exchange ideas or discuss limitations or strengths of the data, if you think that might help. Also curious which newsletter so I can thank them for the signal boost.


You are drawing out many thoughts I had not explicitly stated in the post, so thank you. The contest is offered as such because I believe I've already stumbled into an answer and it is buried within the data. A couple weeks here and there when I ate certain macros or walked enough steps and prematurely quit, not realizing careful retrospective analysis reveals statistically significant loss above RMR for those periods that persisted for months, before being reversed by whatever combination of factors "unlocks" raising my set point.


Added a sentence to the opener expressing the essential issue. Whether pure potatoes or meal replacement shakes, my body isn't fooled by them. I have plenty of hunger to eat 2500 calories of potatoes or drink half a dozen shakes, so there's no advantage over eating regular, interesting food.

If I can't solve the mystery subtractively, a 'tide drug is the last resort. I don't yet have a rationale I can articulate for wanting to succeed on my "factory settings" but the desire is there.


Previously, Tourette's occupied the same category in my mind as stuttering, a lifelong organic brain disease or wiring fault not amenable to coaching or psychiatry. However, I'm questioning this after watching The Vow, an NXIVM documentary illustrating, with video, a childhood Tourette's sufferer be "cured" by some sort of negative reinforcement training. Upon looking up the Wikipedia, I'm surprised to find a prognosis of "80% will experience improvement to disappearance of tics beginning in late teens." Further, there's been an extreme uptick in Tourette's experienced by children simply from watching TikTok videos of others' tics, including taking on the tics they're exposed to.

Together, these three data points have shifted my belief that Tourette's, and perhaps stuttering, is not some physical wiring defect, but a named conversion disorder. Perhaps psychiatry already knew this and was being polite, but I did not. I understand the need to group similar behavior disorders into diseases, regardless of somatic or organic origin. However, I also see the danger in naming (or renaming) somatoform disorders like delusional parasitosis as Morgellons, giving legitimacy and cause célèbre to what are otherwise social contagions with no underlying organic etiology.

I can't speak for others, but if one day I woke up with tics, I suspect my recovery path would be quite different depending on whether I was told, "this is a habit you can unlearn or will likely soon outgrow" or, "this is a serious, unique brain disease, and you deserve sympathy and accommodation."


I believe consciousness mostly exists to translate complex life situations into a language that can be matched to our instincts. One of the instincts underlying testosterone regulation is probably something like: "If you are victorious in a difficult battle for status you did not expect to win, upregulate." I doubt it's easily fooled since your own consciousness is using your full intelligence to map the terms "difficult," "status", and "victorious" from the instinct script to the actual situation you've placed yourself in.


Sometimes, in trading, one accepts a fixed value and in exchange offers something in return of near infinite value to all of society until the end of time that others build upon.


Where can I learn more of the frontier thought on schizophrenia? The most compelling theory I've heard is a failure to realize one's internal monologue is one's own, manifested as "hearing voices." However, if I lost that feedback loop and began hearing my thoughts as externally produced, I'd immediately think, "uh oh, schizophrenia" yet this absolutely isn't the case for schizophrenics. What model offers an explanation as to why I'd begin to hear voices yet still maintain I'm not schizophrenic despite that being, to me, an obvious, known symptom?


Could rationalists be the worst people to be put in charge of keeping an AI in the box? We can assume:

  1. Smarter people can convince perfectly rational dumber people of anything, even against their best interests.
  2. Evolution figured out it can't be guaranteed to produce the smartest brain and needs to give everyone built-in safeguards.

I've seen AI box transcripts in which the consensus was: the AI stayed in the box because the AI player was too "dumb" to be swayed by the nuanced, rational arguments. Instead of attributing stubbornness to lack of intelligence, is it a deliberate installation by evolution to defend against clever wordplay and manipulation? Is rationalism the ultimate "cult" as its defining feature is a volitional removal of a safeguard in place to prevent domination of values and goals by those with superior wordplay?

Are there loopholes in this mechanism specifically for one's parents? Is that why the values given to you by your parents, whether about religion or automobile brands, are so difficult to displace? If religion's propagation is primarily through a parental trust loophole closed to others, would that be easy to test by seeing if a preference for Ford or Chevy is just as generationally robust?


I'm sure this phenomenon has a name by now, but I'm struggling to find it. What is it called when requirements are applied to an excess of applicants solely for the purpose of whittling them down to a manageable number, but doing so either filters no better than chance or actively eliminates the ideal candidate?

For example, a job may require a college degree, but its best workers would be those without one. Or an apartment complex is rude to applicants knowing there are an excess, scaring off good tenants in favor of those desperate. Or someone finds exceptional luck securing online dating "matches" and begins to fill their profile with requirements that put off worthwhile mates.


Is it possible we already have a lot of information about the impact of viral load and just don't realize it? Ever since we switched to agriculture and civilization, the human population has had a large fraction wiped out dozens of times. I don't think we're descendants of merely lucky or biologically "sturdy" people, but of people whose behaviors optimized viral load or had personality traits that helped them avoid it entirely.

Could we be looking at two distinct, competing behaviors which help survival that have evolved out of the ashes of the plagues that devastated humanity? One may be mysophobia/OCD, a behavior pattern about things we cannot see. If this trait has a large hereditary component, that would be strong evidence of why it came about.

The competing strategy may be deliberately attempting to introduce a small viral load frequently to avoid a large load from something like a sneeze to the face. Based on the quantity of recent memes lamenting difficulty in not touching one's face, perhaps there's a genetic component to it. It seems like a stretch to suggest a face-touching gene, but with how many droplet contagious diseases have killed so many of us, one would think it would be selected against by now if it didn't have some redemptive factor.

I'd be most convinced if population modeling showed mysophobia and frequent face-touching were rarely traits that occurred in the same person, suggesting they were opposing strategies, an attempt to avoid exposure entirely and an attempt to deliberately take on a small exposure. Would a combination of both traits compromise survival? Do people at different ages have differing severity of mysophobia or face-touching corresponding to their immune system strength? Does the quantity of each trait in comparison to its population density or type of historical plague correlate strongly enough to these traits to draw any conclusions?

Are we saying "don't touch your face" to people who've specifically evolved to do just that because it got their ancestors through dozens of plagues?

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