All of mingyuan's Comments + Replies

I don't understand why the target subject here should be people who have never put any effort or thought into their diet. That way you don't get relevant evidence about the prevalence of iron deficiency among veg*ns, but only the almost trivial conclusion that people who don't take any care of their dietary health have some deficiencies.


It makes plenty of sense to me; I think the vast majority of people don't put any thought into what vitamins they might be deficient in. I was vegan in college for ethical reasons, and I was in the school's vegan / an... (read more)

5Martín Soto11d
I don't doubt your anecdotal experience is as you're telling it, but mine has been completely different, so much so that it sounds crazy to me to spend a whole year being vegan, and participating in animal advocacy, without hearing mention of B12 supplementation. Literally all vegans I've met have very prominently stressed the importance of dietary health and B12 supplementation. Heck, even all the vegan shitposts are about B12! Even if that might be literally true for scientific purposes (and stressing again that the above project clearly doesn't have robust scientific evidence as its goal), I do think this won't be an accurate representation of the picture when presented to the community, since most vegans do supplement [citation needed, but it's been my extensive personal and online experience, and all famous vegan resources I've seen stress this], and thus you're comparing the non-average vegan to the average omnivore, giving a false sense of imbalance against veganism. As rational as we might try to be, framing of this kind matters, and we all are especially emotional and visceral with regards to something as intimate and personal as our diet. On average, people raised omnivores have strong repulsion towards veganism (so much so as to override ethical concerns), and I think we should take that into account.

What was hard about drinking from a can?

My understanding is that the anti-tourniquet meme is outdated, and the emergency medical response advice now is that the benefits of potentially preventing someone's death from blood loss outweigh the risk of amputation. I recall being taught in my college course in 2015 that it's fine to put on a tourniquet, just mark it with the time. And a few years ago, when my mom pulled a heavily bleeding man out of the cab of his overturned truck and wouldn't let any of the other truckers apply a tourniquet to his arm because she'd been taught that you should never ... (read more)

Thanks. This is helpful context. The class I took was only a year ago, so I don’t feel like that obviously fits the “this information is just outdated” narrative, but I am genuinely unsure whether it was good advice at this point. On the margin my statement may have been too strong, and I don’t want to suggest that never using a tourniquet is correct, but I do think it’s probably correct for people to know the risks and alternatives before applying one.

I took an emergency medical response course in college (~40 hours, all in-person, with a mix of verbal lessons and practical exercises in each class), and the most important thing I learned was that having memorized what to do in an emergency is not sufficient to get you to actually act. [ETA: Also, to call 911 in an emergency!]

I got 100% on the written test and still remember much of it to this day, but I am an absolutely terrible person to go to in an emergency because I panic and freeze every time. I've seen this play out in myself many times over my li... (read more)

In addition to training, Leo Prinsloo [] mentions the value of "pre-visualization" in this video []. Could work well with Anki cards -- don't just review the card, pre-visualize yourself putting the steps into action so it becomes automatic under pressure.

Thanks for the last section because that's totally what I was going to comment while reading the rest of it! Feminine beauty standards are so deeply internalized that they don't subjectively feel like they have anything to do with men or dating — they feel closer to, like, moral truths? Or something?

Like, I'm afraid of gaining weight not because I think it would be bad for my health or make my husband stop liking me, but because I've internalized the message that being fat is an unacceptable moral failing — and I've felt this way since at least the beginni... (read more)

I'm confused, it was my impression that a lot of Chinese people, including in the West, have been masking strategically since like 2003 (the first SARS wave), i.e. wearing a mask if they are sick, or if the risk of getting sick is unusually high (e.g. a bad flu season at university). The only people I ever saw wearing masks for illness prior to 2020 were Asian (except for one very immunocompromised white friend). Honestly it seems crazy to me that the norm prior to this was just to do nothing to try to prevent illness, because being sick is both terrible i... (read more)

I use ibuprofen almost exclusively because a source I trusted told me years ago that it was better for me longterm than acetaminophen (alas I have no idea what the source was) but I think the same principle applies. I always take one pill to start because I worry about developing tolerance / rebound headaches / kidney damage / stomach upset, and then if that doesn't seem to make a difference within 60-90 minutes, I take a second one. I find that usually I need two (i.e. the recommended dose), perhaps since I only take painkillers at all when the pain has r... (read more)

This seems wrong to me? Hard to say because it was so long ago but I imagine I spent at least 15 hours a week on homework. I went to a basically normal public high school, and while most of the work wasn't hard for me (varying between mindnumbingly easy and moderately challenging), there was just so much of it that it took a ton of time. Sure I wasn't 'working smart', and I was a perfectionist to an unreasonable level, and I cared too much about what my teachers thought of me, but I imagine none of those things are unusual for kids trying to get into good schools.

No. I would wake up early to do homework, spend 8 to 10 hours at school (and often do homework during class), and then go home and do more homework. Looking back I got a lot more value out of my non-school activities and hobbies than I did out of doing homework, but there was just so little time for anything else. I was constantly stressed about missing deadlines and usually extremely tired. Meanwhile when my husband was in high school he did zero homework and actually did things in the world like building a house and starting a startup, which seems way be... (read more)

I feel emotional whiplash from moving out of young adulthood into regular adulthood. It feels like I was robbed of the transition between the two. I wish we could have peacefully handed the baton off to the next generation, rather than waking up one day and finding it gone.

I'm maybe five years younger than you but I feel much the same way. Before lockdown I felt like I was just beginning adulthood — I'd been out of college for less than three years and graduated pretty young, so in most workplaces or social situations I was one of the youngest people aroun... (read more)

One of my objections is similar to benjamincosman's — people not taking no for an answer in romantic/sexual contexts is a problem I've seen in people of all ages, races, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, social status, and points on the autism spectrum. It was a big problem at both my urban public high school and my elite private college.

Yes power differentials make it worse, yes it's more of a problem in an environment as gender-imbalanced as EA or the wider Bay Area tech scene, and yes people who are striving to be moral should hold themselves ... (read more)

I'm glad you like the sequence! I went with a $200,000 death benefit to hopefully account for inflation.

Note that the date has been changed to Thursday the 27th!

Logging on today, I noticed that all of the posts with this problem (today) were personal blogposts; are those treated differently? Also some of these are tagged 'ML', but that makes it through the AI filter, which.... I guess is intended behavior :/

The situation is that posts show up in the moderator-queue, moderators take a few hours to get to them, and in the meanwhile they are personal blogposts. So if you're okay with hiding all personal blogposts you can solve the problem that way. This would probably also hide other posts you want to see. I'm hoping we can ship a "authors are nudged to give their post a core-tag" feature soon, which should alleviate a lot of the problem, although might not solve it entirely.

Yeah this is a point that I failed to make in my own comment — it's not just that I'm not interested in AIS content / not technically up to speed, it's that seeing it is often actively extremely upsetting

3the gears to ascenscion4mo
I'm sorry to hear that! Do you have any thoughts on ways to rephrase the ai content to make it less upsetting? would it help to have news that emphasizes successes, so that you have frequent context that it's going relatively alright and is picking up steam? in general, my view is that yudkowskian paranoia about ai safety is detrimental in large part because it's objectively wrong, and while it's great for him to be freaked out about it, his worried view shouldn't be frightening us; I'm quite excited for superintelligence and I just want us to hurry up and get the safe version working so we can solve a bunch of problems. IMO you should feel able to feel comfy that AI now is pretty much nothing but super cool. [edit to clarify: this is not to say the problem isn't hard; it's that I really do think the capabilities folks know that safety and capabilities were always the same engineering task]

I don't actually know how subforums are implemented on EA Forum but I was imagining like a big thing on the frontpage that's like "Do you want to see the AI stuff or the non-AI stuff?". Does this sound clunky when I write it out?... yes

4Wes F4mo
I would love an option to say "I don't want to read another word about AI alignment ever"

I'm in favor of subforums — from these comments it seems to me that a significant fraction of people are coming to LW either for AI content, or for explicitly non-AI content (including some people who sometimes want one and sometimes the other); if those use cases are already so separate, it seems dumb to keep all those posts in the same stream, when most people are unhappy with that. (Yeah maybe I'm projecting because I'm personally unhappy with it, but, I am very unhappy.)

I used to be fine with the amount of AI content. Maybe a year ago I set a karma pen... (read more)

Ah. We'd had on our todo list "make it so post authors are prompted to tag their posts before publishing them", but it hadn't been super prioritized. This comment updates me to ship this sooner so there'll hopefully be fewer un-tagged AI posts.
I don't actually know how subforums are implemented on EA Forum but I was imagining like a big thing on the frontpage that's like "Do you want to see the AI stuff or the non-AI stuff?". Does this sound clunky when I write it out?... yes

And see also also Anna Salamon's How to learn soft skills, which could possibly be helpful here

See also Raemon's very similarly named post, which is also good and covers pretty different ground!

I indeed did a doubletake when I saw this post, thinking "...did... didn't I write that?"

Note: The location has been changed to Little Man Coffee on Bridge St!

After it is about half published on serial fiction websites, I plan to publish it on Amazon and make a website with the whole text posted.

I don't think Amazon allows you to do this, legally. My sister self-publishes through Amazon and used to offer everything but the last chapter of her first book for free on her website — she had a note at the end that she'd send the final chapter via email to anyone who asked, but Amazon didn't want her to have the entire thing posted for free anywhere while it was also being offered through print-on-demand. I don't know... (read more)

3Timothy Underwood5mo
That sounds very weird to me and surprising. I have been actively self publishing for seven years, and I've never heard anything about that. It might be some weird specific contract with Amazon. The general problem that does come up is there are benefits to having an exclusive contract with Amazon, where only a ten percent sample can be posted elsewhere, but I'm not planning to go that route as it would probably limit the audience more than it would expand it.

This all seems great honestly, I would love if there were more posts about this kind of thing. I'm especially into the rationality lessons angle (first bullet point), but the rest all seems useful too. 

I've seen a lot of people face this situation and have to figure it out from scratch, and I don't think much has been written about this kind of thing on LessWrong (though there is this). Sure lots has been written about it in general / not on LessWrong, but I found the vast majority of that to be extremely epistemically questionable, and/or to be reall... (read more)

Agreed on epistemically questionable info. I've seen a range of canned advice including defeatist ones. Lynette's post was interesting because I think I also have something like POTS, but her post is very unlike something I would write myself, and I wouldn't have found the post useful when I was starting out (I actually probably even read the post when it first came out and probably didn't find it useful). I am puzzled at what this means for how generalizable people's experiences are. And thanks, I'd be interested in introductions to potential collaborators!

Thank you for the information! I've updated the post accordingly.

I'm not sure if one can interface with insurance companies without a broker? In fact, I'm like 70% sure that you can't. But if you try, let me know how it goes.

The relevant search term here is "CMS waiver". See e.g. here:

At the 2017 Annual Meeting, cryopreservation minimums were left unchanged, remaining at the levels set in 2011. These minimums remain:

Neuro: $80,000 (or $100,000 to receive a waiver of the $180/year Comprehensive Member Standby fee).
Whole Body: $200,000 (or $220,000 to receive a waiver of the $180/year CMS fee).

I use WebOutLoud on iPhone. You can use it for free (with lots of free voices to choose from) and it allows you to follow along / skip around the text. It's not a mindblowingly perfect app, but I can't really think of anything in particular I'd change about it.

Also, just saying, when I started using TTS I was surprised at how natural-sounding computer-generated voices have become. Not that you'd mistake them for human, but the cadence is pretty decent.

I've really enjoyed this and the previous post, not because I give a shit about what happened to Epstein, but because you're walking us through your reasoning process step by step and I love to see that. Good posts for LW!

Thanks for this! I've recently been thinking about why I'm so turned off by the writing on the EA Forum,, and, and I was struggling to put my aversion into words. I hit upon the evangelism, and the attitude that the core tenets upon which every post rested were obviously objectively correct, but as usual you say it far better and in more detail

Follow-up trios were already a thing at my workshop in March 2017. We were told to meet weekly for six weeks, and keep meeting after that if we wanted to; we successfully met every week for six weeks! And then never spoke to each other again, despite vague expressions that we should keep meeting.

My mom's follow-up trio (summer 2019) met weekly for I think more than a year, and still meets occasionally.

Aww. Heartwarming. I was once in a habits-group that was originally like 6 people, eventually dwindled to three, and then I tapped out. Last I checked the other two people were still going but it's been a year since I checked in.

This feels kind of strawman-ish. A whole lot of people I know have gotten Covid; I was able to find references in my messages to 27 people with definite positive tests + symptoms (which is certainly an undercount of people in my circles who have got it, probably by a factor of 2 or more). I'd assume most people in the US know at least this many people who've gotten Covid, since my friend group was quite careful early on.

Of those 27 people, not a single one shows signs of debilitating brain damage, and as far as I know only two (both of whom had significant risk factors) had symptoms continuing beyond a month. 0.9^27=0.058, or a ~6% chance of observing this if the 10% figure were true.

While I don't disagree that The Territory is full of cool people, there is also rationalist stuff in Portland! Which is probably more convenient (ETA: Whoops, Adam beat me to it!)

(Adam, congratulations on getting out of Vegas! :P)

2Adam Zerner7mo
Haha yup! Thanks! I am not missing the 120 degree weather right now, that's for sure.

(Epistemic status: vague recollections that I'm not going to bother to look up, also I skimmed this post rather than reading it thoroughly)

I remember people in the GiveDirectly programs in Africa spending the money on things like replacing a thatched roof with a tin roof, or buying a cow. These are investments that can improve your well-being long-term (e.g. because your roof used to leak every time it rained, and now it's not going to leak again for five years). I can't think of anything comparable that a person in the US could do with a ~comparable lump ... (read more)

I don't know, I see where you're coming from, but I still I think I stand by the data I got from babysitting when I was younger — which reinforced my existing preference against having children. True, I never babysat any particular kids at a deep enough level of involvement to really fall in love with them, but I did have some affection for them. What I noticed was:

  1. I lacked the energy to keep up with a kid between the ages of 0 and 12 and keep them entertained. I physically could not play tag or keep up doing something entertaining for a baby because I was
... (read more)

I have a very sensitive nose and totally get where you're coming from. I have a metal garbage can with an odor filter on the inside*, so the smell doesn't escape unless and until I open the lid. The lingering smell after opening the lid still sometimes bothers me enough that I decide to take the bag outside, especially if I've recently thrown away animal products (which luckily for me isn't that often).

*The brand I have is iTouchless, but presumably there are other brands that are metal and have odor filters without the expensive electronic lid

I have the same problem. Often, if I have food scraps I expect will smell bad, I put it into a gallon-sized ziplock bag, then close that, then put that in the trash, which I find helps (and is less gross to me than taking the whole bag of trash outside then having to replace the bin liner more frequently).

This isn't a direct answer to any of the questions you asked, but your post brought to mind this Tumblr post* that I recently read that made me feel better about not making fresh home-cooked meals every day, because that's kind of an insane amount of time and energy to expect for a lot of people

(*epistemic status: it's a Tumblr post, so for all I know it could be 100% lies)

Google tells me that there are no raccoons in the UK, so my guess is that's the whole difference (the rest sounds pretty much exactly like how trash collection works in every US state I've lived in). Raccoons are everywhere in the US and can both remove garbage can lids and knock cans over to get to what's inside.

Huh. I hadn't realised raccoons were such a nuisance. Thanks.

This is great, thank you for the link! My 16-month-old niece recently started daycare and that's seemed like a shame to me since she was thriving on tons of one-on-one attention (being with a rotation of loving relatives from 7am to 5pm on weekdays, and parents the rest of the time). I think her parents made the switch because they want her to be socialized but I now see that that's not a thing; maybe I can get them to pull her back out and wait until she's older! :D

I think socialization may play a positive role later on in school, but for toddlers in daycare, the results are indeed very clearly negative.

Summer Wars is one of my favorite movies, and I showed it to a bunch of my rationalist friends a couple years ago! Definite AI safety vibes

4Ben Pace7mo
I watched it on mingyuan's recommendation, and it was... [checks notes] my 9th favorite piece of art/media I engaged with that year.

(I started with "doesn't seem fully right" rather than "seems wrong" because I do see where you're coming from)

This doesn't seem fully right to me. I think it can be really hard to hear the answers to these kinds of questions, especially early in a relationship when you don't yet feel security, or just if you have a lot of internal insecurity. Hearing criticism of your personality, interests, and skills at that point can feel like "wow my partner dislikes me fundamentally and is going to break up with me", even if that's not how it's intended, and that can lead to further insecurity and further problems.

You and Logan were both CFAR instructors for years, so you're ... (read more)

General agreement with what you're saying here. I think that there's a pretty important thing about "early in a relationship" ... like, it is in fact the case that a tree can handle more weight than a sapling, and a sapling can handle more weight than a three-inch sprout, and it would be bad and wrong to say that there was something wrong with the three-inch sprout or the sapling just because it hadn't had time to grow and strengthen into a tree yet. To give a cheap and easy example, many people convert away from homophobia because they learn that someone they know personally and feel positively toward was quietly gay all along. Presumably, that update would have been impossible if the person had led with "btw I'm gay" and thus the relationship never became rich enough to cause the questioning of other assumptions. That being said, though, I think there's something actually Important about that list of questions, and similar lists like it. I think you're right to locate some fraction of the, uh, I'm going to call it "problem" even though some people would disagree, in the individual, as opposed to in the relationship itself. Like, you point out that some fraction of why-these-questions-could-be-destructive lies in people's relationships to truth, and their ability to handle scary and confusing stuff. That seems correct, to me. But I think that, even as I endorse pushback against my offhand comment above, I do stand fairly firmly behind "if you and your partner have had what seems like a good relationship for 6-12 mo+, and this list of questions would cause you problems, that's strong evidence of a real problem somewhere, whether it be in you, or your partner, or the line between you." Like, I do in fact believe that there is some quality of Goodness (good, healthy relationship between good, healthy people) that smoothly-navigating-these-questions points at, and that an inability to smoothly navigate these questions points to a meaningful lack of a goodness pr
(I started with "doesn't seem fully right" rather than "seems wrong" because I do see where you're coming from)

Man, I'm glad I'm familiar with CFAR workshops or half of this probably would have been nonsense to me.

I'm actually super glad you wrote this because I'm running a workshop-type-thing for the first time, basically solo, and have been feeling pretty overwhelmed with that. People were telling me to ask you what a do, but actually asking you seemed too hard because you're a busy boi. The week before you posted this I asked my friends in Slack how to plan content for a workshop, and then I fell asleep during the day and had a dream that you answered my Slack m... (read more)

I guess the reason I feel surprised by / dislike the idea is that Lightcone/LW is pretty bottlenecked on employee (and especially manager) time, so hiring interns just seems like a crazy idea to me that I would never have suggested (at least in Lightcone's current state). But it's not like everyone knows that, so it wasn't unreasonable for you to suggest it.

Yeah, I'm not really aware of the state of Lightcone/LW and I didn't necessarily mean to imply that all of these ideas should be implemented right away.

What do you think an 'intern' is? Like are you using the term loosely or do you think LW should, like, hire college students 

Well, they don't have to be college students but they are the ones who are most likely to take you up on this opportunity. I guess I'm curious that you seem to find this idea surprising? I know there's a limit to what interns can get done but I suspect it's just about picking the right tasks.

This is awesome pedagogy advice and I am a terrible teacher. I've been good at writing for so long (like since before I can remember) that I still wouldn't really even know how to begin teaching someone to write. But I've been trying to teach someone guitar — a skill that I started learning at age 15, and so can remember various stages of being really terrible at — and I just keep being like "it's easy, I don't know, just do the thing I'm doing." Focusing on explicit rules is smart. Yeah. I should try that.

Also damn that tweet about vulnerability is spot-on. Well-articulated.

Too tired and addled to write a smarter comment than this but mostly just want to express appreciation for this post :)

You can't just cite a Shakespeare quote as being from King Henry IV, that is two different plays you BARBARIAN. If you were trying to pander to me because King Henry IV Part 1 is my favorite play, you FAILED; you quoted from King Henry IV Part 2. Disgusting.

There's a sizable LessWrong community in LA and the leader has ties to the Ukrainian community in the city; they've been made aware of this now and will help however they can. I'm sorry that you're in this situation and hope that it resolves for the best <3

Thank you, it sounds really great!
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