All of palladias's Comments + Replies

I agree it would be good to add a note about push polling, but it's also good to note that the absence of information is itself a choice! The most spare possible survey is not necessarily the most informative. The question of what is a neutral framing is a tricky one, and a question about the future that deliberate does not draw attention to responsibilities is not necessarily less push-poll-y than one that does.

One good idea to take out of this is that other people's ability to articulate their reasons for their belief can be weak—weak enough that it can distract from the strength of evidence for the actual belief. (More people can catch a ball than explain why it follows the arc that it does).

I love GEB! For these kids, it's not going to be a proof-based class. I'm more trying to get them to understand that stat is "a guide to how to update beliefs" rather than "a list of tests with sig/not sig outcomes."

If you can articulate and better define what the actual handful core insights are that you hope to transmit maybe you or someone else here can pinpoint better literature for what you are looking for. It seems to me Eliezer's "Probability is in the Mind" post may include at least in part of what you are looking for. Maybe you can slightly edit and streamline it for the purpose of making it more approachable to your audience. Highlights from that post: Quote #1 Quote #2

I have learned about Focusing from CFAR instructors and what you took away from it is what I took away as the core, useful thing. Even though this isn't really how it was taught. The version I heard had a lot more focus on the physical sensations (which did bupkis for me) while the thing you described "Is it X?" did more.

I am interested but not planning to move to the Bay Area. I might move to Hyattsville, though:

  • have kids
  • polyamory
  • read fiction
  • earn to give
  • animal rights

I'd be interested to see your results!

And I wouldn't invent a new name for ITTs for two reasons: First, you're cutting down on the ability of people who are interested to find other examples, but not teaching them the commonly used name (and limiting how many ITT-interested people find you!). Second, I think the ITT name makes sense, Turing's original example (which he called the Imitation Game) was basically an ITT for gender; it makes sense to keep the allusion.

These are great suggestions! (As are others, suggested in other comments.) Thank you! When I gave my presentation last night I made sure that people knew that it was called the ITT by others and that was what to search for (I also pointed them to UnEY). I'm still on the fence about pushing the name (ITT is really hard to say) but I'll keep your reservations in mind. I'll keep you informed of the details moving forward. :-)

Knowing where the AEDs are in your workplace is a good idea, too!

Do you love it to the tune of $20?

I think they're all pretty exciting! Different forms of monasticism suit different people (and are vulnerable to different forms of doing them wrong) but I'm pretty happy to live in a world with chatty Dominicans wandering and teaching, contemplative orders meditating, etc.

I really liked some of the discussion of Orthodox spirituality in The Mountain of Silence.

With regard to the theological differences, the Orthodox and Catholic churches agree on most of the big things for day-to-day things (sacraments, etc) and, although there are disagreements (the filioque, etc) they're more the kind of thing I'd need to get a theology degree in order to sort out for myself.

Thanks for the book recommendation and your quick answer! What do you think about differences in the monastic traditions?

I published a book! And Amazon ran out on the second day of it's release!

My book, Arriving At Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer explains how I learned seven kinds of Catholic prayer after conversion.

I can promise it's the LW-iest book you've got to read on prayer, so, if you want to better understand a religious friend or have some ways to open a conversation, you might like it. Plus it cites Ender's Game and Terry Pratchett.

I had to learn prayer in the language of reference I spoke, so my chapter on Confession has a big section on the Su... (read more)

Congratulations! ---------------------------------------- Leah, do you have any views on Orthodox Christianity?

I think of irrationality as being stuck in a pocket universe. The real world is the way it is, but my biases/blind spots/false beliefs exile me to a smaller world, disconnected from the real one, and I want to correct my errors and return home.

In fact, it's even worse than a pocket universe, because my actions take place in the real world. So every error can have consequences (imagine walking around, blind to trees, and how often you'd bonk your head)

Wait, a pocket universe actually sounds like a cozy nice safe place to hide from the big, mean world. About actions, this really rings with my empoweredness hypothesis: if people feel their future depends on their own consequences, i.e. they are not powerless, they are motivated to be rational. If people feel their future depends on the powers that be that use them as puppets and their own choices matter not, then not.

In the US, the federal RFRA law (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) actually has a quasi-relevant test here. RFRA was passed when a ban on certain kinds of drugs kept Native Americans from using peyote in religious rituals, and Congress decided it wanted to re-balance how religious people could seek relief if a law wound up hampering their religious practice. The law wasn't supposed to become a blank check, but it was supposed to give a way to carve out exemptions to neutrally written law (a la Alice doing the "normal" thing without specificall... (read more)

I'm sure you'll see me pop up while researching :)

I've just started a job as a news writer at FiveThirtyEight (author archive here), I'm really looking forward to this, and I'd love for folks to think of me as a possibly-summonable research person. If you have a question/dataset/etc related to American news, send me an email (leahDOTlibrescoATgmailDOTcom) and I may wind up researching it and covering it.

Due to the repeated exposure effect in marketing, it might be a good idea to follow up on John Oliver pieces (or other popular pieces that are potentially high leverage) with easily shareable via social networks infographics. Examples: Civil Asset Forfeiture, Criminal Justice Reform, Municipal Violations, etc. The nice things about topics like these is that they have some headline stats that are inflammatory and attention getting. Like how badly the US is doing relative to insert developing country or how many people are getting screwed over. This should align with 538's incentives since creating these while the iron is still hot makes them more shareable.

I have no idea what possibly-summonable research person means, but now I imagined a Lvl 3 wizard spell "Summon Researcher" where a demon in lab coat appears and answers every question with "I will reply in 2 weeks, if I find statistically significant studies" and it sounds mildly amusing. I know you meant news research but it is funnier this way :) BTW congrats!

Congratulations! Also you should remember that LW has a fairly wide knowledge base. If you're looking for a place to get started on a complex topic, I'll bet that this site would be a good place to ask a few initial questions and establish a broad research outline.
You should feel free to post on LessWrong requests for help in writing future articles.

This is great for the bragging thread.

The urge occured about as often as before, but when I did roll a one, I felt like I'd really lucked out. When I missed one, I felt good about having it settled, with no tsuris.

I'd tried Beeminding it before then (a cap per week) at it made it feel like I was using up my cookie slots when I went, muting my enjoyment, and meant I always spent a while mulling whether to go.

I try to structure questions so that they'll be less vulnerable to shibboleth exploits (plus, some shammers do do a bit of research to be able to drop in jargon!).

One other approach to avoid constantly haggling with yourself (which I agree is draining and annoying) but without giving up the temptation completely is just to randomize whether you act on your urges.

At an old job, I used to want to go out to get a cookie in the afternoon a couple times a week. I didn't want to act on the urge every time I felt it, but I also didn't want to solve the problem by making afternoon cookies verboten forever. So, when I wanted a cookie, I went to and set it to pick a number from 1-3. If it was a 1, I got a cookie, if not, not.

No decision fatigue, no being "bad cop" to myself, and I got to enjoy a thing I wanted intermittently!

A general form of deciding on a process and committing to it. Take the decision out of your hands. Ask the Magic 8 Ball. A trick I've read (Baumeister?) is to just postpone the eating. Have a plan to have a cookie tomorrow. Or at the end of the week. Knowing that you're going to have one is supposed (has been shown?) to lessen the immediate temptation. In the random and postponement cases, your mind gets the satisfaction of maybe getting a cookie now or surely getting a cookie later. That anticipation is supposed to have it's own satisfaction that makes the actual eating less motivating.
That is how gambling works, which is why I fear it can be horrible advice. Random reinforcement of expectations is more addictive than a predictable one. This is also why the Red-Pill types advice never initating and randomly reciprocating the affection of your partner. This an unethical, but also functional manipulation method, it forms addictions much more than predictable reinforcement.
How did it affect your desires for cookies? Did it stay the same? Lower? Higher?

I'm running an Ideological Turing Test about religion, and I need some people to try answering the questions. I've giving a talk at UPenn this week on how to have better fights about religion, and the audience is going to try to sort out honest/faked Christian and atheist answers and see where both sides have trouble understanding the other.

In April, I'll share all the entries on my blog, so you can play along at home and see whether you can distinguish the impostors from the true (non-)believers.

I just took the "root of all sins" test and I tried to distinguish the answers of the Christians and non-Christians entirely based on shibboleths. Disordered love? Christ is a blinding searing light? Humans are finite beings who naturally desire the infinite? Maybe. But the decision was not "would a Christian have those ideas" but "would a Christian phrase the ideas that way". Of course I can't just go count the shibboleths; it's possible that non-Christians might overcompensate and actual Christians don't talk about Jesus' blinding light much at all, at least not actual Christians of the type who answer such surveys. But either way, I didn't feel that the most likely way to figure out which answer came from Christians was to look at the content of the answer. So I think that the test has already failed. On top of this is the question of what type of Christian the non-Christians are trying to imitate. Are they trying to imitate average Christians, average survey-answering Christians, average blogging Christians, average Christians who are knowledgeable about Christianity? Trying to imitate the wrong kind of Christian can mean that knowing too much about Christianity can make your imitation fail.
One thing I noted when doing this. Most of my true answers were more specific than my made up answers, which might give them away. I look forward to reading the results!
These questions are quite difficult and will require effort. I'll try to submit an entry. Edit: Completed. :)
How do you account for ideological Turing tests failing because of shibboleths? It's one thing to be unable to express or recognize the same ideas as a Christian, it's another to be unable to express or recognize in-group terminology.

I'm doing a hashtag/image on social media of #LittleAngelsReadUp (a reference to Night Watch). I'm using it to ask friends who haven't ever read Pratchett to tell me, and then I'll buy/loan them a book. I'm getting three people books now.

If you want to join up, I've got the image to share here

I really like the Jesuit examen (a way to review your day and plan for the future) and I recommend Fr. Timothy Gallagher's book on this practice. Gallagher is great at outlining the practice and giving concrete examples of how Catholics have used this debugging-your-life ritual -- it helped me notice not just active errors I was making but ways I was passively letting opportunities to be kind slip by.

Sounds like it's the same or similar to what some modern practicing stoics do.

Mazel tov! Good luck on the AIME!

I've done a couple LW posts on speaking skills (none intended to be Dark Arts-y), in case you find any helpful:

Four Tips for Public Speaking - The four tips that seemed to improve speeches the most, fastest, when I was mentoring other speakers in college

False Friends and Tone Policing - Ways to recognize if you're giving inadvertent offense that is making it impossible for your audience to listen to you

Change Contexts to Improve Arguments - Putting thought into choosing good environments for disagreement (my living room, with freshly baked cookies, makes p... (read more)

I wonder if the final room is not visible on the Marauder's Map because it's warded or because the room you enter is determined by whether/how the potion is flawed.

As a veteran Potion's professor, Snape would be able to predict very accurately the way a first year would screw up such a fiddly task. Screw it up in the right way, see an innocuous final room with a little "Well done, don't spoil it!" from the Headmaster. Execute it perfectly and trigger... what exactly?

This seems like a good occasion to quote the twist reveal in Orson Scott Card's Dogwalker:
There's an old metaphor I read somewhere, that compared an unmeasured quantum state to the image in an unobserved mirror. The Map isn't sure who is in the Mirror room; maybe it's still indetermined.

Good job! I still don't know what the best sustainable way for me to practice French is, but I'm sure that doing Duolingo everyday is a big improvement from thinking it would be a good idea to practice French, so that's what I'm doing til I have a better idea.

Could the thing in the mirror be the Resurrection Stone, instead of the Philosopher's one? Linking Hallows seems more likely to lead into the prophecies about Harry than simply retrieving Flamel's stone.

I think it's more likely that Quirrell has the Resurrection Stone. When Harry shows him the Deathly Hallows symbol, he cuts their meeting short and hurries off somewhere. In canon, the stone was set into the Gaunt family ring, which Quirrell would have seen and would know the location of (it is implied that HPMOR follows the canon relationship between Tom Riddle and his family: "I have long since resolved my parental issues to my own satisfaction", "my family are long since dead at the Dark Lord's hand", Snape and Moody meeting at Tom Riddle Senior's grave).

Perhaps, especially since I assumed the Philosopher's Stone was under the lampshade in Dumbledore's office.

I've been asked for previous salaries in webform applications where the question is marked as required and won't take dummy info (I tried both "no response" and 0 without success)

Other useful dummy values are $1, $42, $1,000,000, $9999999999999.95, and "'; DROP TABLE salary; --". As someone who has written input validation code for web forms on a few occasions, I personally give you my blessing to subvert them.

I'd nominate C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters as a soft skills book, that gives your System 1 a lot of vivid, specific ways human thinking goes wrong to chew on and find ways out of.

One of my favorite examples is this passage which made a big impression on my System 1 about things that do bore me but I nonetheless get sucked into. (Context note: Screwtape Letters is written as a series of letters from a senior devil to a junior tempter about how to lead human lives astray)

You will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering at

... (read more)

Boomerang for Gmail is a great way to send delayed messages. I've used it to schedule replies for "tomorrow" while still being able to write the reply immediately, and thus keep up my good "Do it now" Inbox Zero habits.

For Mozilla there is Send Later.

Don't use it for people you care about. I've wrecked a potential date because he found out I've used Boomerang to fake indifference. It’s quite easy to figure out the email was sent through Boomerang and even how much delay youset. It's better to be "honest" or let it cool in Drafts.

Yup, I think those are good approaches. There are also franchise-y places like CulinAerie that will offer classes. But I think craigslist/friends might be best if you want someone to tailor to your needs/experience. Also worth finding out wherever restaurant line cooks tend to look for normal job postings and trying to place an ad there.

Yup! Also a put it on hold person. I always wind up reading library books first because they have to be returned, and it makes it easier for me to carve out time that I want to carve out for reading, because the library book has a deadline.

  • one-on-one cooking tutoring (get s/o who's good at household cooking to teach you to shop, knife skills, expand recipe repertoire)
  • take a level in badassery (lockpicking lesson, car repair, archery class -- anything that will give you a frisson of pleasure when you think - yeah, I know how to X)
  • trip to unusual/disciplined environment (Ignatian retreat, etc)
  • throw strange, themed party that your friends will remember and discuss for a long time
  • fix whatever egronomic thing annoys you most, at present (standing desk?)
  • pay s/o to reorganize messy thing in w
... (read more)
Having basic car repair skills is an amazingly empowering thing. Pick up an aftermarket guide ($25-30) for your car and watch some youtube videos for specific repairs.
Agree. For some people it may be useful to spend the money on gifts, if they can see an increase in quality of relationship which is to them important.
Tutoring is a general one. I was just talking to somebody the other day who independently was excited by the idea of paying a PhD student to privately tutor them in advanced math.
Might seem trivial, but what's a good way to find someone willing to teach cooking skills? Asking friends until you get a hit? Posting on Craigslist or Reddit? I'd like to learn to cook better, but I don't know anyone who would be willing to tutor me off-hand.

I use beeminder to hold myself to a 1am bedtime (my graph is here). I don't use any fancy inputs, I just type the time I'm going to bed in on the app just before I get into bed.

It does give me flexibility to sometimes be up late, as long as I've gotten enough buffer ahead of time.

It was easiest for me to set the input format by entering time in a 24 hr format, where noon is 0. Thus, my bedtime of 1am is 13, and it's easy for me to indicate a midnight (12) or too late 2am (14) time without having to do math on how many hours past bedtime I am/use negative numbers.

I wear a bunch of nerdy shirts (from xkcd, webcomics, thinkgeek) when I'm not at work (where I have to be business casual) and I'm really pleased by the effect! I've gotten into conversations with people who recognized the source, discounts on coffee from the nerdy barista, and I try to hold up my end of the bargain by saying "Nice shirt! I love [X]" to other people wearing similar shirts.

I just want to know about the actuary from Florida; I didn't think we had any other LW'ers down here.

I suggest rot13ing the quotes/spoilers, so folks like me (who aren't planning to watch the ep) can read the quotes without inconveniencing others.

And thanks for assembling them!

What kind of freelance writing are you doing/could you do? Whether or not you have a job at a newspaper, do you have any relationships with editors who you can pitch? Most people enter writing by doing a lot of freelancing and (maybe) ending up with a job, but amassing a big portfolio of clips.

I'm not sure, from this post, which kind of journalism you're interested in. Longform profiles? Reviews? Beat reporting? Editorial?

You can't get steady work doing any of those easily, but you can often get sporadic work (and feedback/experience) doing any of them

I have a half hour walking commute, which I really love taking. I get to say Morning and Evening Office on the walk and still have time for some reading. When it gets cold, I tend to read more on kindle, since the "pages" are easier to turn in gloves. But, overall, it's nice, active time to read.

I built my first arduino project this month! I was Alina Starkov, the Sun Summoner, for Halloween, so I built accelerometer controlled LED gauntlets so I could turn the lights at my wrists on and off with gestures.

The instructable I wrote is here.

I had an enormous amount of fun, and the arduino system (I was using LilyPad, since I needed it to be sewable) was very beginner friendly. Glad to answer questions/provide encouragement!

Oh, and here are pics of the final costume. (I ran into a HJPEV at my Halloween party)

I built my first arduino project this month! I was Alina Starkov, the Sun Summoner, for Halloween, so I built accelerometer controlled LED gauntlets so I could turn the lights at my wrists on and off with gestures.

The instructable I wrote is here.

I had an enormous amount of fun, and the arduino system (I was using LilyPad, since I needed it to be sewable) was very beginner friendly. Glad to answer questions/provide encouragement!

Oh, and here are pics of the final costume. (I ran into a HJPEV at my Halloween party)

I break the project down into small sections (I hate writing long things, and if I had written my book as a book, rather than as chapters, each divided into ~1k word sections, I would not have written it). So, the first question is how it makes sense to start divvying up.

For the book, I knew what the different chapters would be (Rosary, Divine Office, Examen, etc), so I made a Freemind diagram of all the points/ideas/etc I expected to use in each of those sections. (And that just needed to be enough of a handle for me to remember what I was talking abo... (read more)

Meh, I could not remember where I was in relation to this threshhold without scrolling up, and I don't open tabs to check people's karma while I'm reading and commenting.

I keep wrapping paper around, both for wrapping presents and to give me a tool for killing bugs at a can't-jump-on-me-from-here distance.

Just wanted to say good job for realizing the problem was probably with this job, not with you. You may find it helpful, motivationally, to talk to friends/acquaintances and ask them what they like best about their job, so that "a job that doesn't make you miserable" feels more achievable and you feel more hopeful/driven about pursuing it.

I say this b/c a friend of mine was miserable at his job, and I realized how miserable when I told one funny story about my workplace, and he wondered if he could work there, specifically, because I didn't seem... (read more)

I like reading the transcripts of TAL, but I hate listening to podcasts, so I don't know what the audio is like. I do definitely recommend the reporting/storytelling!

Right, I'm saying that I do think it's possible that people working 60hr weeks might be more productive while being unhappier than the 40hr people. I don't trust that happiness and productivity are tightly correlated enough that an employer trying to get more of the latter out of me will help me out with the former.

Plus, there are a bunch of jobs that currently exist where the model is to extract a lot of productivity over 2-3 years while quashing an outside life and then to just hire a new crop of people when your current set burn out (TFA, I-banking, Hill jobs, etc).

I agree with all that. The only thing that puzzles me is that it looks as if you expect me not to, and I'm not sure how I gave that impression. Perhaps I should make it explicit that my comment four upthread from this one wasn't in any way trying to suggest that employers can be relied on to do what's best for their employees, or to criticize you for your choice of jobs, or anything like that. I got the impression that you were suggesting that the question of what working hours lead to max productivity is a duly one or a boring one or an improper one, which I don't think it is even though employees should be thinking about other things besides productivity-maximization.
Load More