Lukas T

Cofounder of EA Graz, Entrepreneur, Circling Facilitator, Co-Organizer of the annual Circling Festival in Germany

Wiki Contributions


Preprint is out! 100,000 lumens to treat seasonal affective disorder

I participated in this study, with full-room illumination of 60.000 lumens and 6 hours per day of treatment. The effect was remarkable. Throughout Winter 2019/2020, I did not feel depressed or lethargic on even one single day on which I used the setup correctly. I did feel depressed 2-3 times per week in the weeks prior to starting treatment. And I felt depressed on some of the days where I did not use the system.

Here's what surprised me: Throughout the winter I went hiking in direct sunlight for 3 hours each day. And my office had really big windows with unobstructed view of the Sky. And that still wasn't enough to fix depression. By adding 6h of light therapy per day on top of that, my winter depression vanished.

I am amazed that such a simple, cheap and side-effect-free intervention has such a big effect. On top of that, such whole-room illumination is really pleasant subjectively and makes me feel as if I'm sitting outside. When friends suffer from SAD, light therapy is the first thing recommend.

Fight Akrasia and Decision Fatigue with DIY Productivity Software

All my tools are just Windows desktop applications built on old technology, C# and Windows Forms, using a simple file for data storage. The Facebook API is extremely limited due to privacy considerations, IIRC it does not allow fetching a list of your friends. Therefore I just implemented everything using web automation.

A study on air purifiers and birth weight

Thanks for bringing up the issue. I think air purification is neglected, both in terms of research aswell as in implementation.

For a general overview of the cost-effectiveness of air purifiers, have a look at my EA forum post [1]. The conclusion of that post was: Placing air purifiers in peoples homes is plausibly good enough to qualify as an “effective” or even “highly effective” health intervention according to WHO criteria.


Fight Akrasia and Decision Fatigue with DIY Productivity Software

I have had very good experiences writing my own productivity software. Many of them were so useful, they paid back the time invested in developing them after less than a year.

Some examples of tools I wrote and still use regularly:

  • An application called "event radar", helping me build my calendar of social events for each week.

  • Personal contact management software. Key feature: import contacts from my phone and Facebook, organize my friends into groups and auto-invite to events based on their interests

  • A very simple recipe management software, helping to optimize protein per kcal and cost per kcal. It produces shopping lists. May upgrade it in the future so it automatically sends grocery orders.

  • Software for catching all small tasks and errands. Key feature: It auto-selects the next task to work on. Turns out, this feature alone makes errands vastly easier to handle. It was exactly the feature I needed for my particular psychology, which underscores the point raised in your article.

Why indoor lighting is hard to get right and how to fix it

Thank you, great post! I especially liked your insight on the color rendering index.

There are some reports that LED lighting can damage your eyes. From a quick glance at Wikipedia, the evidence does not seem very convincing, but I'm not an expert. What do you think about those claims?

And if there is no particular danger from LEDs: Is there an inherent danger in looking at high-lumen lights (regardless what type of light it is)? At which point do we have so much brightness in one small spot that it becomes dangerous?

Two relevant links:

March Coronavirus Open Thread

When to cancel events due to Coronavirus? Calculations by Linch Zhang [1], I've put them into a Guesstimate with some slight changes and adaptions for Austria [2]



March Coronavirus Open Thread

Dating during Coronavirus: What's the risk of going on a date with a random new person at the height of an outbreak?

Under my assumptions, if 1 in 7700 people gets newly infected every day, it translates to an infection risk of 0.2% per encounter (range of 0.45% - 0.053%). Feedback welcome.

Is there any value in self-quarantine (from Coronavirus), if you live with other people who aren't taking similar precautions?

This question (“will I get infected if people in my household are sick?”) was asked in the recent Reddit AMA with experts. Keep in mind I didn't verify the original sources.

“It is possible to stay uninfected! Yesterday in a press briefing, Dr. Nancy Messonnier at the CDC said that the secondary attack rate among family members of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is 10.5% so far. So that means that about 1 in 10 family members who have been exposed by a relative have gotten sick.”

Here’s the posting and some more comments about this issue:

Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread

What is your source for this? The CDC recommends hand sanitizer in cases where washing is not easily possible.

Studies confirm the efficacy of hand sanitizer against enveloped viruses [1][2]. Although there is some evidence that handwashing is preferable against viruses [3].