All of MixedNuts's Comments + Replies

Now is the time to eliminate mosquitoes

Well yes, I am very concerned, because you're talking about convincing people that it won't collapse ecosystems, and not about figuring out whether it'll actually collapse ecosystems in the real world that doesn't care how persuasive you sound.

0Dr_Manhattan5yI agree figuring out whether this might collapse ecosystems is important, (and what this collapse would entail, it would probably go beyond mosquitos and lead to some species rebalancing, but pretty darn sure not "destroy everything" either)
Notes on Psychopathy

Considering that psychopaths may indeed be prosocial or ethically motivated.

Does that happen? I mean, there are psychopaths who decide to ignore the tendency and act morally, but would shooting some dudes still be fun then?

0[anonymous]6yIt would depend on the psychopath. Some psychopaths might not care for violence. Others may feel that it represents a kind of power to them. Considering that psychopaths may enjoy therapy because they get better at manipulating, but aren't specifically manipulating for gain within that dyad (like malingerers), I imagine they might consider it training, should they ever become unhinged and do something criminal. Dynamic inconsistency is a hell of a drug.
Meetup : Singapore Meetup Group

User:SuikaSuika can't comment for some reason, but wishes to register interest.

Is love a good idea?

Wait, you mean actually feel safe, as in you can relax just as much as when you're alone with a good book, not just be aware that the person is allied to you? How does that jive with "using your conscious decision to behave nicely to the other person even if at the moment you don't feel emotionally compelled to"?

I was abused as a child. You seem to be very distressed about this, so let me make it clear that my life is pretty good and I don't have any awful traumas or anything. But all sources of advice about how to move on and go on about one's l... (read more)

3Viliam_Bur8yYes. Well, almost; nothing is perfect. There are some sensitive topics and situations, but the longer we are together, the less sensitive they become, because our expectations of "if a person does X, they will probably also do a bad thing Y" are repeatedly proven wrong. Two things. First, sometimes my emotions are irrational [], but I am aware of it, and I decide not to act on the emotion. As an example, some people get angry at work because of some problem at work, then they come home but the frustration is high in them, and then they start screaming at their family members because of some trivial mistake they made. (Often the mistake is something real, but the emotion and the reaction are hugely disproportional.) I try to be aware of this, try to be fair, and rather to err on the side of calmness. Sometimes I make a note of the topic I wanted to discuss, and I mention it later when the strong emotions are gone and we are able to discuss it calmly. This all happens rarely (once in a few months), and is less frequent the longer we are together. But even if it's rare, if I had reacted otherwise, it would certainly have bad long-term consequences. Second, sometimes I decide to do something small and nice even if my feelings at given moment are neutral. It's like the rule that when you start smiling, even if you don't feel happy, the act of smiling makes you a bit more happy -- I'm just doing it to other person and starting a small positive feedback loop of nice feelings. For example, thinking for 10 seconds about "is there something nice (and true) I could say about the other person now?" Another example, if I am happy or satisfied with something the other person did, my natural reaction would be to enjoy it quietly; but instead I take the extra step of saying "thank you". Even when it's something trivial []. I don't comment the trivial things all the time, but in random mo
Is love a good idea?

Thanks! That doesn't match my experience at all, so it's nice to learn about.

maybe that's the gap that you have to overcome using your conscious decision to behave nicely to the other person even if at the moment you don't feel emotionally compelled to

Crushing fear of being abusive, and guilt about having hurt them in the past, works really well for this.

5Viliam_Bur8ySomething feels to me really wrong about that last sentence. Not that it hypothetically couldn't be technically true, but it's certainly not a way I would recommend to anyone. Associating love and closeness with fear and guilt... that's how I model a strongly religious person or a victim in an abusive relationship... and it's a state of mind I definitely do not endorse. (I try keeping an open mind that there may be some specific situation where it isn't as bad as it seems to me, but I give it a low probability.) For me, feeling safe is an opposite of fear, so an idea of a "crushing fear and guilt" as a way towards love makes as much sense as stabbing oneself with a knife as a way to achieve health (yes, there may be a very specific situation where...). Considering this and your previous comments, I update towards belief that you simply don't have an experience with the emotion, and the verbal explanations just don't click because there is nothing to connect the words with. (Alternatively, you may have the experience with the emotion in some other context, but something in your mind prevents you from even imagining it in the context of a sexual relation.) Which sounds like a horrible thing, so I'd recommend trying... uhm... a) speaking about this topic with a psychologist; b) finding a couple with a good long-term relationship and either ask them or just spend a lot of time around them to learn by copying; c) speaking about this with someone you trust, e.g. on the next LW meetup, but personally, not online, because an online debate does not transfer emotions well. (I apologize if this offended you, of course there is a chance that I am completely wrong, but the value of information is possibly very big here.)
Is love a good idea?

I think your classification is missing something. I've had close trusted friends I had sexual desire for (whether I acted on it or not) without wanting to date them. B, as lucidian suggests, probably contains more sub-components.

Because of this, I can't understand the rest of your post. Thanks for the advice; it's good, but not new.

Does a normal good relationship happen like so?: "You develop obsession and (possibly later) desire, then closeness, then the obsession fades." (I'm not sure many people agree that Mature Adult Love takes less than six... (read more)

3Viliam_Bur8yWhat I described is what works for me, so I'm not going to generalize []. Happens to me, too. Yes, there is some important component missing that I haven't described. (Trying to think about specific examples: Sometimes the sexual attraction was there but not high enough; I would rather have sex with the person than not, but I believed I could do much better. In a polygamous society they would probably be a great secondary partner. Sometimes the life goals were so incompatible, I couldn't imagine living together; or there was a great understanding in some issues, but also a vast lack of understanding in others.) But still, this is almost a subset of what I tried to describe. Sometimes I even thought that if it would be possible to split people into components and arrange them differently, I already had enough material to build a perfect partner for me. You start noticing that other things exist, too. You are able to enjoy a good book, even if the person is in the same room. You realize there are things you liked to do before you met this person, then you completely forgot about those things, and now you miss them. If you don't understand what is happening, and especially if the other person is still in the obsession phase, you may feel guilty for not loving them enough, or gradually become angry that they are "suffocating" you, because they want to take all your attention, but you now also want to focus on your hobbies. (An irrational person with lack of introspection may even blame the other person that they made them abandon their hobbies; but it's more likely that during the obsession phase they gave up their hobbies voluntarily, and now they are just editing the past to fit into a better narrative.) The other person probably feels ignored, not loved, and may suspect you found someone else instead of them. If the other person is already out of the obsession phase, and you get out later, it simply means you
Is love a good idea?

The obsessive part of love only lasts for three or six months

I've never been in Mature Adult Love. Is it a real thing, or just having no particular feelings but deciding you like the company? What is it like?

It is a real thing. You can find more detailed explanation on Married Man Sex Life blog, but essentially there are three things people can mean when talking about "love", and each of them is driven by a different set of chemicals.

a) obsession
b) closeness
c) sexual desire

The obsessive love is A + C, or sometimes just A. The mature love is B + C, with a smaller intensity of A returning shortly once in a while, usually when you break your stereotype in a good way, e.g. go together on an exotic vacation, or go dancing.

You probably already have the exp... (read more)

Tell Culture

What's your policy for interacting with Patrick? Do you get along? I have some of the same problems you describe about walking on eggshells around Guessers.

Tell Culture

The one I love and hope to spend my life with is a Guesser. This is how I learnt the previous comment. So I have quite a stake in learning Guess dialects. It helps not to mind weirdness, and to develop systems to catch misunderstandings. I'd be grateful for any advice.

9TheOtherDave8yMy usual approach for dealing with culture-clashes in ongoing relationships is to work on the issues primarily in low-stakes contexts at first. Beyond that, it helps to get some explicit agreement, first, that this culture-clash exists and what properties it has, and second, about what you collectively want to do about it. If they are willing to meet you halfway, for example, they can practice explicitly verbalizing requests and expectations, and commit explicitly to not treating your silence as a refusal of a request even if it seems like one to them, and commit explicitly to not treating your explicit requests as demands even if they feel that way. You can make that easier by asking them whether they have a preference and if so what it is, framing questions open-endedly (e.g. "what would you like to do for dinner?" rather than "wanna do chinese?"), and vocalizing any uncertainty you may have ("wait... this feels weird. did I just miss an implicitly expressed preference?") If you are willing to meet them halfway, for example, you can study their pattern of cues and learn to recognize their implicit requests and responses. They can make that easier by telegraphing those cues, no matter how rude and insulting it feels to them like they're being. If they have any family members or childhood friends or whatever who have some insight into their own variant of Guess culture, they might be able to provide "translation," but it's important to understand that mostly people aren't aware of the cultural cues they rely on, any more than we're typically able to describe the phonetic rules of our native language. Certain things just sound right, that's all.
Tell Culture

This is a horrible thing to do to a Guesser. When you Ask out of turn, you're forcing them to either comply or be rude, and they resent you. When you Tell, you're imposing intimacy on them - making yourself vulnerable and demanding they do the same, and underlining exactly how a refusal would hurt you. That causes terrible guilt.

This is a horrible thing to do to a Guesser. (I agree denotatively, but...)

It took me almost six months from meeting a particular Guess person to realise this: the times I offended them clustered according to whether I was a soldier in their war, not by my actual actions.[0]

Lots of things, maybe most things you can do in a conversation are horrible things to do to a Guesser. I'm well above average for social skills plus a few points above LW average IQ and even I find it hard to navigate conversations with a Guesser (I swear I have better social skills... (read more)

There's not really a better way to interact with Guessers, though. You either Guess yourself and spend a lot of effort in low-bandwidth discussion with lots of misunderstanding and weirdness, or you be mean to them in order to communicate and get your needs met.

I grew up in a strong Guess culture, and really one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to get out of that kind of place. It's a way to passive-aggressively get concessions from those around you while making yourself miserable. Guessing is a terrible, terrible way to "win".

4Said Achmiz8yYeah, this is pretty terrible. I (being on the autism spectrum) am definitely in favor of Ask culture over Guess culture — and I still find the quoted practice... somewhat repellent.

I have unusually low social anxiety, so I don't experience Askers this way, but it is my impression that most Guessers would experience it in roughly that way, and yeah — that's kind of a mean thing to do to someone.

Personal examples of semantic stopsigns

Downvoted, not because the content of the post is bad, but because it encourages people to list polite ways to get out of annoying conversations, decide they don't count as polite anymore, and throw hissy fits when people won't discuss their pet topic.

3kalium8yIn other words, sometimes stopsigns are useful.
8David_Gerard8yIndeed. Most of the examples have a very clear conversational meaning: "that's nice, I'm not interested, but I'm trying not to be rude about it." Failure on the listener's part to understand this is not a failure of rationality on the speaker's part. I note the examples being raised are mostly clearly of this sort, rather than in a conversation that is anything to do with careful application of thought.

Upvoted, not for your downvote, but for raising the point that these expressions can serve as conversational signals of what LWers call tapping out. (Tangent: "tapping out" in the LW sense is a terrible appropriation of a term from a different context, because in the original context it explicitly and literally signals submission.)

Making the chaff invisible, and getting the wheat ($200 prize too)

print some pages mirrored upside down

This is too good not to hear the story. Google turns up nothing. Tell!

2DaFranker8yshrugs It's not all that special in terms of technical details. When I was younger and living with my parents, my father had at some point an imported printer for some reason. This is back when XP was still the latest Windows version for sale. Wish I remember the details of who and what, so we could point and laugh at the silly printer-makers or something, though. (I wasn't older than 16 at the time, probably closer to 13) Sometimes, when printing full screen images directly through some software, or maybe when printing oversize images or documents that had to be "fitted" to the printer's page size, the first page of the queue would come out mirrored upside-down or sideways, or rotated. It would only do this from my father's computer, not fom mine. After much troubleshooting and head-scratching, we tried something dumb: his Windows was in French, mine was in English, we changed the windows language to English (and the locale settings got reset in the process, maybe? I don't remember that part, but that makes sense). The problem was gone. Skipping over the tedious examination that follows, he told me that the region settings were at fault, and had to be set to the same thing in the driver software's control panel as that of Windows for it to not do this. My best reconstruction with my current technical knowledge of what I remember but didn't fully understand at the time is that this printer used (and probably abused) Windows XP's multi-monitor features for processing the documents sent to the drivers for processing and printing, generating an image on a windows "monitor" of the right size before sending this out to the printer. I assume the coding they had made this virtual monitor "reset" or perform some kind of self-diagnostic, either of which including rotations and mirrorings of the monitor, when the regional settings were different or when it was internally different from windows'. The printer would send to print anyway while this happened, resulting in a
2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Last year there were 2% "other" answers, versus 13% "polyamorous" and 30% "uncertain/no preference" ones. This suggests there is no need to break down "other" any further, unless people in relationship models like yours pick "uncertain" rather than "other" and would switch if "monogamish" was an option.

3Eneasz8yPersonally I picked "monogamous" because it's the closest to how my relationship actually works. Aside from sex with other people, we are a monogamous couple.
2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Why do you want this to be a separate option, rather than "other"?

3Eneasz8yBecause I think it's one of the three major relationship models. Pure Monogamy is traditional, and Polyamory is the reaction against it, but Monogamish is how a lot of relationships actually work (while operating under the cloak of monogamy). It's like a worldwide religion survey allowing only "Christian" and "Muslim", and lumping Hinduism under "Other". There's another major option here that should be broken out.
2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Took the survey. Surprisingly short.

Rationality Quotes October 2013

Due to fundamental attribution bias, understanding people's motivations deeply is likely to make you love them more and hate them less.

9Desrtopa8yWell, statistically yes, but necessarily no. I've certainly encountered situations where the reverse was true.
I played the AI Box Experiment again! (and lost both games)

I can't really imagine anything that would elicit these sorts of emotions between two mentally healthy parties communicating by text-only terminals

There's no particular reason why you should assume both parties are mentally healthy, given how common mental illness is.

Some people cry over sad novels which they know are purely fictional. Some people fall in love over text. What's so surprising?

It's that I can't imagine this game invoking any negative emotions stronger than sad novels and movies.

What's surprising is that Tuxedage seems to be actually hurt by this process, and that s/he seems to actually fear mentally damaging the other party.

In our daily lives we don't usually* censor emotionally volatile content in the fear that it might harm the population. The fact that Tuxedage seems to be more ethically apprehensive about this than s/he might about, say, writing a sad novel, is what is surprising.

I don't think s/he would show this level of... (read more)

AIs and Gatekeepers Unite!

I'm sublimating my urge to get into fights and hurt people.

1passive_fist8yDoesn't sound healthy. I was going to offer to be an AI but forget it.
Mistakes repository

Taking advice because it's consistent and sounds reasonable, rather than because it's worked in practice.

AIs and Gatekeepers Unite!

Gatekeeper looking for AI. (Won two games before.) I'll pay zero or low stakes if I lose, and want the AI to offer as least as much as I do.

I don't believe any human can convince me. I believe there exist possible defense strategies that protect against arbitrary inputs and are easily learnt with training, but I'm not confident I'm there yet so it's quite possible a transhuman intelligence would find the remaining cracks.

AIs and Gatekeepers Unite!

Is this still true? I want to be gatekeeper, message me.

0passive_fist8yAre you offering to prove a point, or just for fun?
I attempted the AI Box Experiment again! (And won - Twice!)

Just won my second game as Gatekeeper. Hungry for more. AIs, feel free to contact me.

1Tuxedage8yI read the logs of MixedNut's second game. I must add that he is extremely ruthless. Beware, potential AIs!
I attempted the AI Box Experiment again! (And won - Twice!)

I've read the logs of the SoundLogic vs Tuxedage AI-box experiment, and confirm that they follow the rules.

Rationality Quotes August 2013

Did it once, binge-ate the candy a few hours later, bought more candy, binge-ate it again. Trying again in two weeks (or going to the doctor if still prone to binging).

Rationality Quotes August 2013

If UFOs are controlled by a non-human intelligence, assuming they'll behave like human schemes is as pointless as assuming they'll behave like natural phenomena. But of course the premise is false and the Major's approach is correct.

4FiftyTwo8yA creature that can build a spaceship is probably closer to oe that can build a plane than it is to a rock at least, you have to start somewhere.
Rationality Quotes August 2013

you wouldn't like it if someone folded your ear over

That's not particularly uncomfortable.

You're suffering from the typical ear fallacy. Some people have much stiffer cartilage, or something; I don't find it uncomfortable, but I've met people who're caused actual pain by it.

More "Stupid" Questions

This sounds less like normal variation and more like a medical problem. Are there things you do enjoy?

3Oscar_Cunningham8yzortharg says right there in the post that ve likes video games.
Arguments Against Speciesism

Historically, we have dismissed very obviously sapient people as lacking moral worth (people with various mental illnesses and disabilities, and even the freaking Deaf). Since babies are going to have whatever-makes-them-people at some point, it may be more likely that they already have it and we don't notice, rather than they haven't yet. That's why I'm a lot iffier about killing babies and mentally disabled humans than pigs.

Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

There's a certain breed of progressives that want to push widely-held positions out of the Overton window. While I feel a few shitloads more comfortable around such people than around people who are sympathetic to said positions, this worries me.

  • Shutting up debate (in every place Proper Decent People talk, not just specialised places where people want to move past the basic questions) is always somewhat dangerous, though admittedly that applies to every position. This can be circumvented by yelling at people who imply or baldly state these ideas are true

... (read more)
4Viliam_Bur8yUhm, curiosity made me google Twisty Faster, and... well, how could anyone not love a blogger whose comment moderating policy includes: "Everyone dislikes reading un-excellent comments. [] "? She says that men are not allowed [] to comment at her blog, which in my opinion is more fair that pretending to have a blog open for everyone and then silence any man who dares to disagree ("check your privilege", "mansplaining"). She even quotes the S.C.U.M. Manifesto [] , and her ideas about preventing rape [] sound like a coherent extrapolation of ideas already existing in a weaker form. But this article [] and its 200 comments are pure gold. If you don't want to read it, the essence is this: -- Imagine that I (a man) simply declare myself to be a woman and enter a women's sauna. (In the original article it was women-only college, but the analogy with sauna was made in the comments.) Should I be allowed to do that? -- The extra challenge is in properly explaining why, without saying anything that could be interpreted as a sexist, trans-phobic, or otherwise politically incorrect argument. (For example you can't say it's because I'm a man, because I declared myself a woman, and who are you to question my identity?) Twisty Faster bites the bullet, if I understand her correctly, and says that I should be allowed to do that. Respect! I am not sure if that lady is real [], but the internal consistence of her opinions makes her sound deep [http://lesswrong
Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

Start out on a volunteer basis, use donations to accumulate wealth, and use that, rather than political power, as a lever to keep the Jews/women/poor down and make people have kids and other fascist policies? You can't use violence, but you can get a monopoly on everything and make people obey or starve.

1wedrifid8yI like the way you think.
[Link] AI advances: computers can be almost as funny as people

I've heard this joke before I heard of the paper, and found it funny. I'm surprised nobody's come up with that one before.

Rationality Quotes August 2013

Betcha it'd work. I'm going to set a piece of candy in front of me, work for half an hour, and then put it back, at least once a day for a week.

0wedrifid8yOh, bother. I wish I'd seen this earlier.

Accountability check!

Did you do it? How'd it go?

I sometimes find that telling my Inner Lazy that it can decide—after I've done the first one—between whether to continue a series of tasks or to stop and be Lazy gets me to do the whole series of tasks. Despite having noticed explicitly that in practice this 'decision delay strategy' leads to the whole series getting done, it still works, and rather seems like tricking my Inner Lazy to transition into/hand the reins over to into my Inner Agent.

Rationality Quotes August 2013

Empirically, heaping scorn on everyone and seeing who sticks around leads to lots of time wasted on flame wars.

1Lumifer8yA relevant example: [] Linux kernel seems to me a quite well-managed operation (of herding cats, too!) that doesn't waste lots of time on flame wars.

Empirically, heaping scorn on everyone and seeing who sticks around leads to lots of time wasted on flame wars.

Straw man. The grandparent explicitly made the scorn conditional, not 'on everyone'.

Empirically, heaping scorn on everyone and seeing who sticks around

Eric Raymond isn't suggesting that. Why are you?

-2Risto_Saarelma8yWhile the more socially enlightened attitudes lead to very effective and high signal-to-noise conflict handling, as can be observed on Tumblr and MetaFilter?
Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

Can you send me yours? Please PM me here or on IRC. I already know the most famous one here.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90

Thanks! You're right, I don't get it. I do have questions, though:

  • How do you recognise success? I don't think I could distinguish it from giving up or going numb.
  • What do endpoints look like? Like, can I answer "I wish he wasn't going to die" with "Because then he won't be alive and that's bad, duh" or do I need to find some way to pick that apart?
  • How does looping back work? "Why do I wish he'd sign up for cryonics? Because if he doesn't he will die. I wish he wasn't going to die." works, but I don't know what to do with "Why am I even acknowledging things? Because jimmy said I'll be more effective at preventing things if I come to terms with them".
3jimmy9yDamn! That's a disappointing thing to be right about. I admire your continued curiosity on the topic. For example, you're probably not crying over not having a yacht to sail around on. Like, sure, it'd be nice, but of course you don't have a yacht. It feels a lot like that. Someone that just spent all their money on one just to have it sink would be upset about it because they're framing it differently. They're "supposed to" have a yacht, and reality is violating their picture of what they "ought to" have. It's about updating your picture to have it match reality again. Once it feels like there's no way reality "could" be different, then there's no more room for the ought-is divergence to cry about. Just of course it sank - that's what yachts do when you run them into rocks. And of course I ran it into rocks, I was told it was clear. And of course I was told it was clear, Bob is incompetent, and I knew I was taking a risk when hiring him. It's just all understood down to the level where it's just not important enough to go into it. What am I gonna do? Wish that the known-incompetent bob magically got it right? How much sense does that make? There's no loss of motivation, just loss of distractions. If you want a yacht, fix it - it's just no longer "this can't have happened", it's "it did happen. Shrug". It's all pull motivation now, not a pushing motivation - which is good because things tend to buckle under compression loading anyway. Perhaps more important is that it just feels right. With going "numb", it's like "I can't let myself want because it hurts too much and I wish I didn't have to bury this hurt" - we can do better than that. It's kinda one of those "when you're dreaming you don't realize you're dreaming, but when you're awake you know you're awake" things. You'll know when you're there. It's not like "eh, am I doing it right? Is this how I "should" feel?". It's more like "ahhhhh... peace at last". Just nothing else you could ask for. I mean, it'd be
Rationality Quotes July 2013

It seems comprehensibly big. It would take between three and four years to walk around the Earth, walking for a sustainable number of hours at a reasonable pace every day, if you could walk around it in a straight line.

0DanielLC9yWalk on the surface of a sphere, in a straight line?
-2fractalman9y[joke mode] congratulations, you just walked into the ocean. [/joke mode] Now, about looking down at the grand canyon floor from the glass platform to engage your visual cortex?
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90

How does one go about doing that? I can tell whether I have a plan to prevent a bad thing or deal with its consequences, and whether I'm repressing thoughts of bad things happening, encouraging them, or letting them happen, but I'm not sure how I know I've come to terms with something.

2jimmy9yWell... It's hard to explain. I've never managed to "just tell" someone and have them pick it up - despite trying. I've always had to guide them through one so that they feel the difference between what they were doing and what I was getting at. I was mostly just pointing it out for the extra motivation to "come to terms with it" - so that if/when you do bump into the option, you know to take it. If you think you can be the exception, here's my current hack at the problem [] EDIT: My newer hack at the problem is mostly "just go read 'focusing' by Gendlin", and then maybe get back to that routine. Also, I didn't actually create that routine - just that explanation of it. Credit goes to Joe Fobes [] for that. He knows his stuff when it comes to hypnosis and therapy and stuff.
Beeminding Sin

What's the downside of lust?

1CoffeeStain9yLust seems to be closely related to envy, but more visceral and with more brain chemicals. Wanting what you can have, and which is good for you, is okay. Getting off to what you can't have is likely less so. Porn is a potentially addictive cycle of erotically pretending you have something you don't. Its current widespread availability is a completely new innovation that we shouldn't prima facie expect to be healthy, although it's possible it could be shown to be so for reasonable portions of the population. I don't have an unbiased sample on quitting porn, as I only know the outcomes of those who have done so and succeeded, including myself. I've been meaning to do a survey of actual studies and potentially report it in Discussion. I can only say for myself and a lot of others that making the choice has shown the greatest productivity increase of any small life-tweak I've tried, an improvement far beyond just regaining the time previously spent directly on it. The community I joined for it doesn't strike me as the most scientifically minded, and the information often passed around there hinges on hearsay. I'd be interested in the other side of things, or rather the whole story as understood by the best research.
5fubarobfusco9yShort time horizon? Some folks spend a lot of time on porn, or money on lap-dances, etc.
Rationality Quotes July 2013

It's definitely terrible and to be avoided if at all possible, but it is kind of fun. We can and do get back a small part of that feeling with roller coasters and action movies and fighting sports.

4RichardKennaway9y"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” Winston Churchill (from his years as a war correspondent).

Do you have data for prevalence in this respect?

As a martial artist and as someone whose been in fear of getting the crap knocked out of them in the past this just doesn't line up with my experience. There's a degree of focus that goes on in fights that largely excluded feelings of excitement, it's not like being on a rollercoaster. At least not for me. Fighting feels more like floating if it can be said to be like anything,I just get incredibly tuned in and a lot stronger than usual.

Admittedly I don't think everyone experiences it like that, some people probably do enjoy it.

Rationality Quotes July 2013

That sounds like fun, from a LaVeyan-ish perspective. Fighting and killing are more exciting than singing Kumbaya. Does she just not like raw meat?

Because the consequences of losing are so terrible, people tend to avoid serious fighting if they can. Being hunted - a far more likely state - is decidedly un-fun.

4CronoDAS9yIt's actually from the prologue of a romance novel, and the narrator is a werewolf.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90

It's pretty obvious why you wouldn't want to go into details, but this seems rather too vague to be of use. Should I think of plans in case I need to find a student in Hogwarts, to fight a troll, to convince a student to disobey McGonagall? Should I do a headcount every time I walk into a room and try to guess where missing people are and what will happen if someone announces there's a troll in the castle? Should I sign up to Defense classes and duelling clubs and the Armies so I'll get training in thinking and acting under pressure? Should I think of poss... (read more)

0jimmy9yNah, it's fine. That one was hard for me because it hit a spot I hadn't worked through yet, but I'm good now and not afraid to give details. I just feel weird bringing up personal details when it doesn't feel relevant - like if I were to start talking about the taste of death blood/vomit unnecessarily :P On the forethought/practice side of things (as opposed to the emotional prep side), it really depends on your risk level. For MoR!Harry, probably something like "all of the above". For me personally, the risk level isn't obscene like that, but given how big my family is and the fun stuff we do, it was almost surprising no one had been seriously injured (before the accident). There's no way I could have planned out the logistics of incident any more carefully - everything was right there. The only mistake I made that night that definitely would have made a difference was treating the guy in danger as less of a PC and more of an NPC. It's actually a mistake I've made in the past, but I had no idea it would apply to him. Even in hindsight it's not obvious. In terms of preparing for that kind of thing, other than common sense safety protocols, I keep in mind which situations are potentially life threatening and which risk a broken bone at most - and taking extra risks in the latter category because it gets me practice and is fun (never actually broken a bone, or been present while one broken, btw). In terms of learning from the aftermath, it seems like it just follows from taking responsibility but not blame. You're a deterministic system. Why'd you do what you did? No, "I'm a crappy person" isn't a real answer since there's no fundamental crappiness to excise. In my case, there were several things I didn't think of. None of them I could have been expected to specifically prepare for beforehand, but I probably would have done better if I was less panicked. So why was I panicked? Well, my cousin might die and that's not okay for one, and two, I had never had panic lev
Rationality Quotes July 2013

Does it actually help? My usual reactions are "Ha, yeah, I totally do that. Silly human foibles eh?", "Screw you, anonymous proverb author, just because you don't mention what makes this a least-bad option doesn't make it worse", or "Yeah, that's the problem. Do you have a solution?".

Does it actually help?

Yes. One option is to use it as a memorable trigger- "Oh, I'm making mistake X, like the proverb"- and then amend behavior. (This is one of the reasons why it's worth trying to word proverbs as memorably as possible- rhyming helps quite a bit. If your actions you want to jigger, then do not fail to set a trigger! Sometimes it works better than others.)

A superior option is, upon seeing the maxim, to contemplate it fully, and plan out now how it could be avoided in some way, and then practice that offline.

In general, though... (read more)

Public Service Announcement Collection

Not a known side effect of that one, but that's certainly a possibility. I'm trying to go off it, so I'll see.

Public Service Announcement Collection

It's not project-specific. It's not repulsive so much as slippery - I happily begin working, but constantly lose focus. I was diagnosed with depression over a year ago, but I'm on meds and it's pretty much gone, and I don't have trouble focusing on things that don't require much insight.

0ShardPhoenix9yI've heard that anti-depressants can have a wide variety of side effects including things like this. Maybe look into the possible side-effects of the one you're taking?
Public Service Announcement Collection

I assume this means close to, if slightly below, the level of the average pro

No, just very haphazard. I know how to do many things, but I don't know how to do many other, often easier, things, and I seem to have become oddly unable to learn. Of course nobody wants a CSS whiz who never learnt HTML5.

7[anonymous]9yUtterly random hypothesis: your odd inability to learn is caused by the tension between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. You got into programming and learned stuff because it was fun in itself, but when you started thinking that you should use your skills to earn money and started analyzing every programming-related action in terms of its money-earning potential, it stopped being fun and became ugh.
2Halfwit9yThen my advice is this: talk to someone who has the entry-level job you want and ask him or her what skills he/she needs to do it and what skills whoever hired him or her thinks one needs. Then learn them. As for the "oddly unable" thing, I suggest reflecting on how you learned what you are good at in the first place. If there's anything different about your current, ineffective approach to learning new techniques stop doing it. Unless you've recently suffered brain trauma, it's likely just some weird ugh field-like effect.
Public Service Announcement Collection

I'm not completely stupid. I used to be a decent programmer. I'm now a halfway-decent programmer. I'm unable to make any progress, and my ability to hold a job of any kind is dubious. What am I doing wrong?

2jimrandomh9yHard to say, but a few key pieces of information might lead you in the right direction. Is the inability to make progress project-specific? You can test this by doing something small on the side. Is it accompanied by an "ugh field"? Do you have non-programming-related signs of depression?
0Viliam_Bur9yYou don't provide enough information here. Your problem, and therefore the solution, could be pretty much anything. (Get enough sleep? Solve your emotional problems first? Find another job? Read the official specification? Get medicated? ...)
2Halfwit9yYou're asking me for advice? That was the first time I've looked at code in my life. I'm sure the textbook recommendation [] thread has something on programming. From what I understand, though, halfway-decent programmers are very employable at the moment, so either you're overestimating your ability, there's some other factor you haven't shared, or my intuition on the employment prospects of halfway-decent programmers (I assume this means close to, if slightly below, the level of the average pro) is incorrect.
Meetup : LW Meetup in Lyon

I'm in Saint-Etienne. I can make it to Lyon, but as I'm completely broke, if there are few people and nobody particularly minds taking the train, I'd rather have the meetup in Saint-Etienne.

1Oriane9yWe are for the moment five people interested in Lyon. The best would probably be for you to send me an email if you have the occasion to pass by Lyon and I can put you in contact with the rest of us. Otherwise going to St Etienne is complicated for me as well. I will set up a date and time in 3-4 days for a first meetup.
Open Thread, June 2-15, 2013

No. High oxytocin is present whether you orgasm or not, as we just established. I expect this to help productivity. I also expect that orgasm would

  • Hurt productivity, because "so sleepy and satisfied, why do anything?" (from low dopamine, possibly from high prolactin)
  • Help productivity, because "feeling so relaxed, doing things that normally make me so anxious and icky is so easy right now" (from high prolactin; sex without orgasm (high-oxytocin, low-prolactin) does provide some pleasant feelings but not this specific effect)
  • Help productivity overall, relative to sex without orgasm
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