All of mindspillage's Comments + Replies

How To Build A Community Full Of Lonely People

I am +1 on Step 1 being most important and most difficult here.

I would also say I am just okay at it, because connecting with other introverted people is difficult for me and I won't necessarily get far enough into conversation to find out about a lot of people's interests unless they have may in common with me or there's someone outgoing to carry the conversation. (There are many people more naturally inclined to be outgoing who could become amazing at connecting people if they realized that they have tons of this sort of knowledge that other people who ... (read more)

April 2017 Media Thread

"All This Time", by Jonathan Coulton. Video for the first song from his new future-themed album, placed in this category because the text-adventure video adds to the story. (Song name-checks Kurzweil and is about our future robot overlords.)

Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag

Some of this reminds me of a talk by Sumana Harihareswara, a friend of mine in the free software community, where she tries to exmaine which strange and offputting things are necessary and which are needlessly driving people away: Inessential Weirdnesses in Free Software

I think there are in fact a lot of parallels between issues in free software and the rationalist community--similarly devaluing Hufflepuff skills even when they're necessary to get the full value out of everyone's contributions, similarly having concerns about not watering down the core phi... (read more)

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

This would probably have to be less expensive long-term and at least as convenient as my current living situation (apartment in the south bay) for my partner and I to be interested, but it is something I think we would consider. (I would be more interested in the social group aspect, and he would want low social obligation but would be interested in resource-sharing. I have not yet actually asked him about this post.) In particular, there are plenty of things that are reasonable and useful if shared in small groups (tools, recreation equipment, etc.) but a... (read more)

Open thread, Jan. 23 - Jan. 29, 2017

In general, don't optimize for uniqueness or quirkiness; you have limited space and your potential workplace is probably using the resume to screen for "does this person meet enough of the basic desired qualities that we should find out more about them with an interview". You can add a few small things if they really set you apart, but don't go out of your way to do it. A better opportunity to do this is in your cover letter.

The best reference for workplace norms and job-hunting advice that I know is Ask A Manager; you may want to browse her archives.

A quick note on weirdness points and Solstices [And also random other Solstice discussion]

The recent East Bay solstice was my first one. (I'm not usually enthusiastic about rituals or very large social events where I don't know many people--but I do enjoy singing with friendly people, so I came as part of the choir.)

I was pleasantly surprised by how not odd it was. It felt quite a lot like other ritual-type events I've gone to--church services, memorial events, formulaic holiday celebrations, etc.: much reinforcing of common themes for the group and reference to shared values and oft-repeated material. It was not as in-groupy as I expected--I c... (read more)

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

I wouldn't make a restricted donation to a charity unless there was a cause I really cared about but I didn't think the charity behind it was well-run and I didn't know a better way of helping that cause.

I do not consider money to keep a good charity running as "wasted"--if anything I am deeply dubious of any charity which claims to have minimal to no administration costs, because it's either untrue (the resources to manage it effectively must come from somewhere, maybe from the founders' own personal resources) or a likely sign of bad managemen... (read more)

3B_For_Bandana7yYeah, I think that's right. I'm the same as people who don't want to give to charities who have too much "overhead," leading to perverse incentives, as you say. GiveWell itself can be looked at as overhead for the charities it recommends, even though technically it's a different organization. As such they deserve to be supported too. Will click "Unrestricted" in the future.
Musings on the LSAT: "Reasoning Training" and Neuroplasticity

Also, logical reasoning of the type on the test hardly showed up at all in law school--most of the reasoning required was not very complicated, so most reasonably intelligent college graduates would already be able to do it.. (Some more complicated logic showed up in Conflicts of Laws, also.)

Musings on the LSAT: "Reasoning Training" and Neuroplasticity

1) I took it, but I didn't do much studying for it. (Basically, I signed up for it at nearly the very last moment after I saw someone mention that all it took to get into law school was a good LSAT--I had been pursuing a different career and had not previously thought of going to law school, but I had started doing legal-related work in a volunteer gig.) Maybe a week before the exam I went to the library and checked out a prep book. And the logic games section was already something I basically knew, so what I did spend time on was careful reading of the cr... (read more)

1mindspillage7yAlso, logical reasoning of the type on the test hardly showed up at all in law school--most of the reasoning required was not very complicated, so most reasonably intelligent college graduates would already be able to do it.. (Some more complicated logic showed up in Conflicts of Laws, also.)
Stupid Questions December 2014

It builds substance - citation neded. It seems like it could just as easily build insecurity, resentment, etc.

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that I know a lot more than any of my peers (I'm 16), and practically all of that is due to the reading I did and am still doing. That reading was a direct result of my isolation and would likely not have occurred had I been more socially accepted. I should add that I have never once felt resentment or insecurity due to this, though I have developed a slight sense of superiority. (That last part is som

... (read more)
Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum

I am far more lax than most people I know also--when I was growing up there were leftovers, but we couldn't afford to waste them unless they were really not good; I was still broke in college and would not turn my nose up at things other people were wary of. I have never been completely stupid about it, but I am not terribly afraid of food poisoning either, mostly because it barely registers on the list of risky activities I should worry about. (For comparison, I am convinced that my lack of driving skill would seriously injure myself or others, and so I d... (read more)

March 2014 Media Thread

I recommended it, and I am glad for your report! FWIW, I liked it more than Gravity, in part because it was less emotionally affecting.

0edanm8yLike Anatoly, I also really liked the book. It's not very deep in my mind, but it's just good ol' fashioned fun, for the kind of people who love hearing of highly technical matters (about which they honestly know little, at least in my case).
1Anatoly_Vorobey8yI also read it based on your recommendation (I think - don't remember clearly) and I really really liked it. The near-future science is overwhelmingly convincing in a good way. What's funny is that I thought the characters were pretty shallow and the constantly peppy attitude of the hero not believable and somewhat grating; usually the quality of characters and their development is a must for me, their shallowness ruins any book. Somehow it didn't happen here. There was just so much of this juicy mind-opening fascinating engaging sciency stuff that kept me at the edge of the chair. I'm really glad I read this book - thanks!
February 2014 Media Thread

The Martian, by Andy Weir. This was first published chapter-by-chapter on his website and was taken down when he got picked up by a publisher. (I found this out by going to link it on an earlier thread and realizing it wasn't there anymore...)

It is serious, well-researched hard sci-fi: astronaut goes on a Mars mission, basically everything goes wrong, he has to do something with the resources available. (Opening lines: "I'm pretty much fucked. That's my considered opinion. Fucked.")

Mental Subvocalization --"Saying" Words In Your Mind As You Read

Same here, with writing: it generally feels like transcribing an internal monologue.

Mental Subvocalization --"Saying" Words In Your Mind As You Read

I suspect this is true for me also, but of course I can't quite manage to observe it...

December Monthly Bragging Thread

Yes, well, I said I was smart enough to leave the Committee, not that I was smart enough to turn down other jobs. :-)

December Monthly Bragging Thread

I co-drafted the new version of the Creative Commons licenses which has been released at long, long last.

I've taken up gymnastics classes after a break of about 20 years. Have managed to get a back walkover without killing myself. (Still working on the back handspring I was terrible at as a child.)

December 2013 Media Thread

Ólafur Arnalds--contemporary classical, mostly strings+piano+electronics. Try the Living Room Songs for something spare and minimally-produced (I like "Film Credits"), and "3055" which starts slowly and builds eventually to a more powerful climax.

Max Richter--contemporary classical, strings-heavy, melancholy. Try "On The Nature Of Daylight" first.

Loquat--lyrics-heavy melodic San Francisco pop. Lots of rationalist-friendly lyrics, including "Comedown's Worse" and "Harder Hit"; "Time Bending" is gen... (read more)

December Monthly Bragging Thread

I am laughing at this being in the brag thread when I might brag about being smart enough never to run for the committee again, and looking forward to meeting you in person--I turn up at the WMF office on my work from home days.

5David_Gerard8yConsidering that you quit the arbcom because you'd joined the Wikimedia board of trustees and ended up chairing the Foundation ... I'm pretty sure I'm avoiding emulating that model! I have no idea what schedule they're running me through, but give 'em a ping ...
Useful Habits Repository

My keys are attached to my wallet; I can't forget one without forgetting both. I am terrifically absent-minded but haven't left without them since I started doing this.

Public Service Announcement Collection

Tangentially: that is in fact my wet-type earwax illustrating the Wikipedia article. (Picture taken by my partner. No terrible story.)

Open Thread, July 1-15, 2013

I like this, and also "I don't quite understand why [X]", which puts them in the pleasant position of explaining to me from a position of superiority--or sometimes realizing that they can't.

2Viliam_Bur9yI guess this only works on people who feel friendly. Making them also feel superior... now they owe you a decent explanation. A hostile person could find other way to feel superior, without explanation. For example, they could say: "Just use google to educate yourself, dummy!"
Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012

The vast majority of activity on Wikipedia is nice and friendly. But some of that minority, well...

(More in high-conflict areas than elsewhere, yes, but crazy people are everywhere. Articles get written on obscure subjects because no matter what the topic is, someone is obsessive about it. But people go crazy about unexpected topics, because no matter what the topic is, someone is obsessive about it...)

Licensing discussion for LessWrong Posts

David is correct about the way the copyleft works, which almost no one ever is: your content never "becomes" copylefted just because you build upon a copylefted work; you must either explicitly license it under a compatible license, be using the original work in a way that doesn't require a license (fair use, de minimis, etc.), or you are infringing.

Just to go into slightly more technicalities: if CAR doesn't take copyrightable expression from CAH, you can license original work in the new game under a different license; the share-alike requiremen... (read more)

Licensing discussion for LessWrong Posts

What David said. If you hit one of his hot buttons, he will get worked up about it until you come around (using the term "intellectual property", for example). But in general he's forward-thinking and holds positions that he's come to after a long time considering their implications and how they fit into his goals--I think very hard before disagreeing with him. (Even if he is lacking in social graces.)

How To Have Things Correctly

I can't keep track of my keys, and I don't drive. (No car keys, but housekey/mailbox key/office key all fairly important.) So I attached my keychain to the zipper on my wallet, because I basically can't go anywhere without my wallet. Astonishingly, I have not misplaced my keys or my wallet since doing this.

Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

Thank you. I bookmarked this after this thread and just found occasion to use it (successfully); I was more inclined to try it on the recommendation of someone here.

Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

UnderArmour ColdGear Frosty: I hate being cold--these made it tolerable to go out biking in cold weather, and I also found myself wearing them as leggings under regular skirts when I was tired of a winter full of pants.

Rationality Quotes July 2012

The words "I am..." are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.

--A.L. Kitselman

See also Paul Graham's essay Keep Your Identity Small, on the same subject.

1Dorikka10ySeems like it could be read as 'a seminar on residences.' I was just confused when I read it.
Rationality Quotes July 2012

Reminds me of advice to people who want to know if they can sue someone: You can always sue. You just can't always expect to win.

I can call spirits from the vasty deep. Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?

Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

In most places I think it's unnecessarily costly for the small added value. But in SF, I'm really not sure how else you're supposed to get a cab without budgeting a half-hour on top of your travel time to flag one down.

I'm not applying for this because I'm not quite in the right circumstances for it--but I'm female and moving to the peninsula in mid-August for work, and would be interested in being part of social events. (I've been to 2 or 3 Berkeley meetups in the past when on other trips in fact.)

1ShannonFriedman10yCool! Drop me a line when you get here and I'll be happy to hook you up with social events and introductions.
2Alicorn10ySend me dates and dietary requirements and I will attempt to tuck you into a party.
Rationality Quotes May 2012

"In war you will generally find that the enemy has at any time three courses of action open to him. Of those three, he will invariably choose the fourth." —Helmuth Von Moltke

(quoted in "Capturing the Potential of Outlier Ideas in the Intelligence Community", via Bruce Schneier)

There is a corollary of the Law of Fives in Discordianism, as follows: Whenever you think that there are only two possibilities (X, or else Y), there are in fact at least five: X; Y; X and Y; neither X nor Y; and J, something you hadn't thought of before.

Acausal romance

This has just beat out Alan Sidelle's "The Answering Machine Paradox" (paywalled, sorry) as my favorite philosophical paper.

6lukeprog10yHey look! I "found" a copy [] that isn't paywalled.
Help! Name suggestions needed for Rationality-Inst!

I don't like it much--it brings up mental images that you're going be there with a bunch of people who treat it as a game, rather than a serious endeavor (something that suggests it might be fun is fine, but not something that suggests it is not serious). And maybe that it will be mostly intended for the video game demographic of socially awkward college-aged men.

Shit Rationalists Say?

One huge category of utterances remains unrepresented:

"Ooh, is there a new Methods of Rationality chapter up yet?"

"I can't believe there's no new chapter yet."

"Have you read Methods of Rationality? You have to read it, OMG."

6Locke10yNow that Eliezer is writing at a decent pace again I'm just desperate for progress updates.
0novalis10yCodex is everywhere! That is, I think many Codexians are connected to via multiple distinct paths.
Non-theist cinema?

Agora drove me crazy because it could have been good and was so terribly inaccurate.

Smart and under 20? Peter Thiel wants to pay you to not go to school.

Assuming this is a serious question: the Thiel Foundation may be an employer, but it's the other side you want to look at--fellows are not technically employees.

Is anyone else worried about SOPA? Trying to do anything about it?

Blacking out Wikipedia is still as serious a possibility as it ever was--but it would be ridiculous to do it when the timing doesn't make sense and waste the possibility for impact.

More "Personal" Introductions

It is likely that I have watched, and attempted to learn from, one of your hooping tutorials! (I don't know your account name. But I have watched a lot of them while trying to find people who explain things in a way I understand.)

2011 Survey Results

Are there any significant differences in gender or age (or anything else notable) between the group who chose to keep their responses private and the rest of the respondents?

How did you come to find LessWrong?

Heard of Overcoming Bias through the Extropy Institute discussion list, which I've been lurking on for a billion years. (Or a dozen. One of those.)

The main way people in my social circle who were not familiar with LW have become interested in the site is through getting links to specific essays that were of particular interest to them, or of interest to people involved in whichever activity we have in common. (I don't know how many of the HPMoR readers have converted to LW readers, though at least a few.) Just saying "there's this site about rationality and cognitive biases" will get a "yeah, that's cool, whatever" unless the post on the front page is unusually compelling.

0scientism10ySame here.
2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

There are people in law who are making awesome things happen, but they are not getting paid anywhere close to as much for it as the ones who are doing standard things for deep-pocketed clients.

1dlthomas10yFor that matter, there are people in finance who are making awesome things happen - if we want a particularly PC example, Grameen Bank []
5curiousepic10yRelative to manifesting video of the person speaking the answers in a genuine manner after the fact, yes. But point taken, the irony of manually transcribing videos from an AI researcher is not lost on me. I feel somewhat like a monk in the Bayesian monastery.
2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey

I don't feel like it's embarrassing to know it--why embarrassed? (I remember first learning mine by overhearing my parents talking about it.) It might be embarrassing if you put too much weight on it over practical ability, or if you waved it around as a substitute for convincing argument. But I don't see too much cause for embarrassment in simply knowing it.

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