All of qazzquimby's Comments + Replies

Open & Welcome Thread October 2021

Thank you for making my floundering into something actionable...
I'll first try looking into what people have found before on this thinking. I find it surprisingly difficult to see what my outgroups are or what advice I should be thinking of reversing.

Babble challenge: 50 ways of sending something to the moon

I'm pretty sure it would have been easy to find ten more of most of those, but it would have felt like cheating.

I felt the same way. It's easy to generate something similar to an existing choice, like I included both catapult and trebuchet, but it feels wrong. But when I think about it feeling wrong, that's premature pruning...

Babble challenge: 50 ways of sending something to the moon
  1. find the moon's postal code and mail
  2. catapult
  3. shot-put style
  4. by waterslide - to the moon
  5. hack the package's location value
  6. bring the moon to the package
  7. create a children's book "how the package reached the moon" with a choose your own ending page, and use the most promising submission
  8. space escalator
  9. photoshop the package on the moon
  10. trebuchet - superior to the catapult
  11. just build a bridge
  12. look at the moon, hold up the package, close one eye, and position it just right
  13. close my eyes and imagine the package is on the moon, then leave the room
  14. name your house "the moon"
... (read more)
Open & Welcome Thread October 2021

Thank you! I had been looking through tags, and even thinking "what I really need are 'techniques'" - yet I did not search for techniques.

Research productivity tip: "Solve The Whole Problem Day"

The "drilling down along a new and different branch of the tree" concept makes me think of tree search algorithms, naively being depth or breadth first searching. It's overly simplified, but might uncover related theory.

The goal is to search from whichever node you estimate to being closest to the goal. Calculating the estimate is difficult, so we tend to only look at a small nearby neighbourhood, which is usually low level. Backtracking forces you to make estimates for earlier nodes.

If I was making this algorithm faster, I'd try to find a way to make the ... (read more)

Hammertime Day 9: Time Calibration

I'm not certain if this qualifies as a planning fallacy, but I've noticed a class or problem where a large nebulous task isn't made actionable, and we just expect it to happen at some point. More an error of "when it will be done by" than "how long it will take."

For example, my family knew for maybe a year that we would benefit from an exercise machine, and had discussed it many times. It was only when I realized the problem and set a deadline for myself that we actually got it.

Hammertime Day 7: Aversion Factoring

The tedx video lost me at the "just get over it" step, which at first glance looked extremely unhelpful. Looking at the CFAR handbook helped it make sense: Ideally at that point the things you're getting over are small, concrete, and approachable.

For minor inconveniences having drastic outcomes, I didn't get a significant haircut for years because I didn't want to hear a day of "oh you got a haircut" comments.

Hammertime Day 6: Mantras

I've never consciously thought in terms of mantras as far as I know, so there's probably a good answer in my brain I'm failing to recollect.
This sounds like a good way of making a thought easy to recall.

Not a series of magic words, but I regularly think along the lines of "it can be done." That people can accomplish amazing things with time and effort. It is not a question of if I can, but if it is worth my unfortunately limited time.

"If I was born in their body, and lived their life, I would make the same choice." - If you believe human behavior is predic... (read more)

Open & Welcome Thread October 2021

Inspired by the SSC post on reversing advice:

How can I tell what should be moderated versus what should be taken more-or-less to an extreme?

Also, is rationality something I should think about moderating? Should I be concerned about not having enough spiritualism in my life and missing beneficial aspects of that?

Tentative plan: look for things I strongly value or identify with, and find my best arguments against them.

This also reminds me of something I read but can't find about problems arising from "broken alarms" in self inspection, such as a person being... (read more)

3Pattern1dCan they be tested against reality? In the same fashion: is it working in a way that gets the best returns? Can it be improved? What is its return? (I have seen arguments about optimizing, to the tune of, the improvements of productivity research should exceed the costs (and this depends on how long you expect to live), though I haven't seen stuff on: how much groups should invest, or more work trying to network people/ideas/practices, so that the costs are reduced and the benefits are increased.) Relevant xkcd. [] (Though its answer on how long should you spend making a routine more efficient, is based on how much time you gain by doing so. It's also meant as a maximum, a breakeven. It doesn't take into account the group approach I mentioned.) Advice about this might take the form of 'go for the low hanging fruit'. I don't actually know what the returns, or beneficial aspects, are. For both, there might be arguments that, if that's what you want, then go for practices. (Meditation may have risks.)
Hammertime Day 5: Comfort Zone Expansion

I spent 2 timers writing down approximately nothing. My brain mostly generated large projects I'm already interested in (like itavero's), and things where I have no interest or potential benefit. Many of the examples like "shout as loud as you can" felt like this.

I understand forcing myself to do things I'm slightly uncomfortable about for practice, and in entertaining more ideas to avoid under exploring. 

Looking at my recent history I have asked strangers for help with something, joined and started posting here, and started trying to mashup melodies ... (read more)

Hammertime Day 4: Design

I had a hard time with this one for a few reasons.

I have a very unusual living situation that gives me very little space that control. Pretty much just a desk. I've already optimized my desk pretty hard. I adjusted my startup-apps, but otherwise my phone and pc are both very streamlined.
I think noticing and being irritated by repeated time costs may be related to me being a programmer.

Hammertime Day 3: TAPs

I think taps are great any time you actually want to act some way automatically, but often things are more contextual than that, and the miss rate would make the tap unproductive. Sapience seems like such a tap, as Raemon says. Maybe a better solution would be more specific taps for avoiding common automatic failures, like learning what status quo bias feels like, and practicing detecting that so you can tap it to a fix.

I'd be interested in seeing other's experiences with picking up many taps, and which ended up being useful.

Open & Welcome Thread October 2021

I've decided I should be less intimidated by people with qualities I admire, and interact with them more.

Recently I've been thinking about how certain ways of reframing things can yield quick and easy benefits.
- Reversal test for status quo bias.
- Taking an inside or outside view.
- And in particular, deliberately imagining that you are another person looking at yourself, to advise from outside yourself. In my experience that can be very helpful for self compassion, and result in better thinking than I would have had in first person. I recommend tryin... (read more)

2MondSemmel5dYou could check out the Techniques tag [] on LW - a few of the most highly upvoted posts probably touch on what you're looking for. For instance, the recent post on Shoulder Advisors [] could partially be seen as an unconventional way of getting access to a different perspective.
8Daniel Kokotajlo19dScout Mindset is a recent book that has tons of practical tests / advice like that.
Hammertime Day 2: Yoda Timers

Most of the bugs were solved through rapid googling, which felt a little like cheating, but was probably the best method.

- Realized the shelf on my desk was only used ~ once per month, and removed it, giving me more work space.
- Found trivially easy healthier breakfasts.
- Resolved to continually add gratitude notes to anki at least once a week. Method is to appreciate the item on the card, visualizing life without it to better feel the value.
- Learned about linters for technical writing like vale, and plan to incorporate. Found a book to skim later.... (read more)

Hammertime Day 1: Bug Hunt

Strangest bug fix is willfully changing perspective often, similar to how this page suggests imagining the perspective of a friend, or looking at the far future, or taking an outside view.
While it feels a little silly in principle, changing perspective often gets immediate results in overcoming a bias or seeing things I would have missed.

The Best Software For Every Need

Obsidian's dataview plugin might have all the database features you're looking for.

Strongly agree with sync and publish though. The free solutions I out together for each are ugly.

2Hans R1moThanks for pointing me to it, if I make the jump in the future, that might come in handy. Although it does slightly take away from the appeal of pure markdown files.
The Best Software For Every Need

Software: Zenhub

Need: Agile project management for multiple projects.

Other programs I've tried: jira, Monday, clickup, trello, etc

I use scrum to manage my general productivity (not just professional work) and other programs have tended to be painful when managing multiple projects, or have been fiddly in ways I didn't need. A downside to zenhub is it's only free for public projects, so someone inclined could read through your tasks. Zenhub's main selling point is github integration, but I largely ignore that and just use it for standard issue management.

The Best Software For Every Need


Need: Knowledge management system.

Other programs I've tried: Roam, dynalist, tiddlywiki, lightweight or physical note taking systems.

If you're not using a personal knowledge management system I highly recommend you read about what they can do for you, possibly under "zettlekasten" or "digital gardening". I wish I'd started earlier. is sadly closed source, but it works entirely on standard markdown with locally stored files. It has a thriving thriving plugin community supporting things like sql queries of your notes, kanban boards, and spaced repetition.

1jellyfin1moThe things that are most valuable to me in roam (other than the obvious) are: * the daily notes page * phone2roam * each block is its own unit I assume since Obsidian has such a great plugin community, that the phone2roam functionality exists there. But last time I checked, there was nothing like the daily notes page in Obsidian and it also wanted to treat each page as a unit rather than each block. Have those shortcomings been overcome yet?
1masasin1moI'm using Obsidian as well. IIRC there is an open source alternative that aims to work with Obsidian markdown files (with features still being added the last time I looked). I forgot what it's called, though, and it doesn't have the same plugin ecosystem either.
3Tom1moThis is an important but tricky category. I liked Notion for a while, and it certainly has done well, but it has pivoted to the Enterprise market and away from individual consumers, and more importantly, it is just too slow.
The Best Software For Every Need

Software: Pycharm, and other jetbrains IDEs

Need: Programming environment

Other programs I've tried: Vscode, atom, sublime, etc.

Jetbrains ides make so many things easier that I would have a pretty bad time if forced to work without them. In particular their debuggers probably save me hours of pain every week. I also appreciate the perpetual license, where any version owned for at least a year is kept for life.

1Phoenix Eliot1moHaving used both PyCharm and VS Code for quite some time now, but working for a bootcamp that uses VS Code, I've switched to mostly using VS Code for things. It is certainly missing a few nice things from PyCharm, but here's a few comparisons I notice often: * Much less resource intensive * Much faster startup time (so I can use it for quick text edits with the power of IDE text editing) * Almost-as-good debugger (the interface arrangement is just a bit worse, but functionality is very similar for my uses) * Strong extension ecosystem * Especially well-tuned for web development languages (HTML/CSS/JS, and TypeScript, which has first-class support) It is not as good at working with Python as PyCharm, but it's passable. The advanced language-aware features (like smart refactoring / extraction of code) work OK but are a little crunchy at the moment.
2burrito1moStrongly agree. As a relative beginner I've found the automatic code completion and method listing/descriptions incredibly useful.
2Dustin1moStrong agreement from me. I really hope CoPilot and Codex or similar comes to their IDEs.
2Darmani1mo++++ Anytime I try a new language, first question is "Is there a JetBrains IDE or plugin for it?"
0ThomasJ1mo+1, CLion is vastly superior to VsCode or emacs/vi for capabilities and ease of setup, particularly for C++ and Rust
2Maxwell Peterson1moSeconded - I spent years in emacs then tried PyCharm for my Python coding and it's just so great. The static analysis is so useful.