Lukas Trötzmüller

President 2021 of EA Austria | Co-Founder of EA Graz | Entrepreneur | Circling Facilitator | Running Applied Rationality Workshops

Open to meet potential cofounders or joining an existing EA-aligned startup. Read more:

Current Business:

Wiki Contributions


I found that when using voice dictation, I can do journalling and diary-writing much better (versus when I type). My thoughts tend to go deeper, I get better access to my emotions and I tend to have more awareness. Especially when I sit in a comfortable place with my phone (or walk), being able to look around and lift my eyes off the screen.

Piggybacking with another nitpick:

Apollo 8, where it took 134 days between “what if we go to the moon?” to the actual landing.

Should be "flight" instead of "landing". Apollo 8 was the first manned flight to the moon. The first landing was Apollo 11 in July 1969. Also, they just changed the Apollo 8 mission profile from earth orbit to lunar orbit with the same spacecraft - so the hardware was already existing.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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:

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]



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.

Answer by Lukas Trötzmüller130

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:

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