All of Raj Thimmiah's Comments + Replies

How long should I wait from cold inception to travel (back home)? I have 2 things I'm optimizing for:

a. apparently traveling with sinus issues on a plane is exceptionally painful

b. I don't want to infect other people

I don't have a good model of how quick I should expect to recover/when I'm reasonably non-infectious.

Does anyone have an actual example of applying Bayes theorem in real life? Never bothered learning it because its actual application has never been clear to me

2Ben Pace3mo
Practically speaking, I primarily do multiplications of odds.  To be clear, the odds aren't my literal first thought, but as I'm reflecting on how strong the evidence is and try to clarify my reasoning, or as I'm trying to make the argument to my teammates, being able to use conditional probabilities is very helpful.

Are there any modern competitors to metamed? Have a health issue, very willing to spend money to fix it. 

2ChristianKl6mo [] might be a good way to find somebody who provides that kind of service. 
You could post a research bounty on this site.

For those wondering if they should come and if anyone is going to show up: there are way more people RSVP'd on the facebook event

This event was originally listed as being on Feb 12th. It is not on Feb 12th! It's on the 19th! Please don't come on the 12th, no one will be there. 

There are a fair few:

-I want to make software to enable me to use more of Ray Dalio's Principles

-I want to organize a rat dojo in SF

-possibly try to do EA outreach in SF

-want to get better at programming and do something around a SuperMemo clone though I'm not sure what exactly yet

-I want to figure out what the highest impact things I want to work on are (this should probably be highest priority)

(I'm answering asking based on what I know a little about.)   What do you want out of a SuperMemo clone?   How can software help you use more of these principles?

What are good fictions for an inaction bias? When I have an idea or thing I want to work on, I tend to think too much about outcomes and even if it does seem like there's a decent chance of success, I don't even try because I then know how daunting the thing will be.

What are some things you want to work on?

Yeah, that's the exact way I've started thinking about it. Too much coercion can cause desynchronization. I'm hoping improving my ability to watch my mind will improve this. 

We’re on the far east side of memorial glade

FocusMe can be helpful.  When I was using it more though, I did have the issue that I blocked distractions that I was addicted to because the work I was doing wasn't fulfilling enough, which I ignored and tried to fix by blocking more distractions. I'll probably try it again now that I'm better at internal retrospection. 

For anyone trying now for the first time though, I'd definitely be careful of this failure mode.

This is a good example of what I call synchronizing your s2 with your s1

Does anyone know a good explanation of dopamine/psychological arousal? Recently made the connection that me craving novelty/wanting high psychological arousal levels reduces focus/leads to overthinking and difficulty actually doing normal work that I'd normally enjoy doing. I'd like a better model of my brain with this in mind that I can work around.

In case anyone is interested, Piotr Wozniak, the man that invented spaced repetition, is on voice chat on the SuperMemo server!

I have some music I really like but I don't want to over listen to them for fear of enjoying them less. Does anyone know research on how to min/max listening vs. long-term novelty?

I don't have any solid research or results yet, but you might be interested in my notes/discussion on how to approach that question of rewatches: [] []

For anyone that's gone through super forecasting material, have you been able to make it pragmatically useful day to day?

How do you compare the utility of ongoing skill acquisition vs. working on projects?

I'm trying to prioritize what I work on in the day by utility and this is easy for projects but I'm struggling to figure out where skill acquisition things should go, especially open ended ones without a finite end like using SuperMemo

Does anyone have a means they use for tracking how long things take vs. predictions to use for future outside view calculations?

What’s the least expensive way to acquire a copy of HPMOR as a gift for a friend? Same for Unsong too though lower priority

Least expensive is to send them the URL [] .  If you mean a literal copy (of the bits), you could download the site to a cheap USB drive, I guess.  EPub and MOBI versions on that site if your friend uses a Kindle or other e-reader.  And podcast version if they prefer audiobooks.   If you mean a printed copy, I don't know of any pre-printed versions.  Print-on-demand tends to be quite expensive for one-off.  You're probably best off generating a PDF from the EPub, and having it ring-bound at a copy store.

I have a hunch that task switching is lowering my productivity some amount but I'm not sure because there are multiple possible sources:
-might be coworking around friends who might be talking
-might be reading and task switching to phone
-might be doing some work, need to ask friend a question on discord and then getting distracted (even if I really am asking/discussing thing with them)

How could I test just how bad it is for productivity and optimize it over time?

I'm working on a project to implement some fraction of Ray Dalio's Principles in app form. 

Part 1: be able to access principles on my apple watch. I have this working. I have principles I can edit on computer and run on apple watch. I'm mainly using them for morning/night routines. 

I'm trying to, each night, write down the mistakes I made during the day and spend a yoda timer fixing as many of them as I can by writing new programs and updating existing programs. The issue I've run into is that I've been kind of bad at actually remembering to run ... (read more)

Does anyone have experience doing rationality adjacent hackathons? I’m thinking of hosting one in the Berkeley area aimed at trying to make cool rationality tools. I’m interested on input for what kinds of an event people would want or if people have relevant experience and suggestions!

I think it'd be cool if there was a way to browse projects/side-projects rat adjacent people are working on. It'd be nice to see what kinds of things people are interested but it'd likely lower the barrier to finding interesting things to work on with other people.

I'm curious if such a thing already exists or if anyone would actually possibly use it if it did exist

That would make a good monthly open thread.

Yes, this. I don't remember what the application required but I got in and I don't have an especially cool use case

Asking for a friend of mine, would you be willing to hire/manage visa stuff for people that are interested in working at lightcone but live abroad?

Yep! We have done so many times already, this is something we know how to do. The team is 4/5ths not-American.

Do you have a link to more info on how they do goal factoring/what software they were using?

When I learned it from Geoff in 2011, they were recommending yEd Graph Editor. The process is to generally write things you do or want to do as nodes, and then connect them to each other using "achieves or helps to achieve" edges (i.e., if you go to work, that achieves making money, which achieves other things you want).

yeah I'm gonna try more of this. hard part is just getting myself to go outside but that's getting easier as I do it more

I'm working on some rationality-adjacent apple watch apps aimed at:

-making it easier to capture mistakes you make throughout the day

-when you notice a trigger, to have an easier way to access reference material/actions that would be more updateable over time than normal TAPs

-capturing data of what you're doing throughout the day with experience sampling methods

I'm interested in:

-mentors that know swift: I've been hacking together code so far and while this kind of works, this isn't the best approach. Having someone I can ask questions would speed up a lot ... (read more)

I've made an iOS app using Swift before, though I am far from competent with it.

you might want to try which is made by long-term SuperMemo users to be an easier alternative to SM. Unfortunately I think they're in the midst of a redesign though so they may not be accepting more registrations

If you want to try it again, I'd be happy to teach you (and anyone else interested!). It took me like 5+ months on my own to even start incremental reading because I couldn't figure out the documentation. I've found with 1-1 teaching though that in ~1-2 hours I can get people to being able to do ok IR.

Also: For people interested in either Anki or SM (or just learning/SRS in general), I recommend joining the discord server

There's an anki discord server but the SuperMemo one tends to be more active/more interesting discussion

I'll try this. Need to find some addicting audiobooks, would make it pretty trivial to spend much of morning outside.

For health reasons, my sleep is consistently bad. I can still get around 2-3 hours of work done in the morning and another 2-3 in the evening but I have a lot of time where I'm just tired and don't want to do anything too intellectually stimulating. 

Any recommendations on good filler activities?

I just moved to Berkeley so fairly often I can go to a meetup of some sort in the evening. But the mornings are harder to fill.  When I get myself to, walking around  works fairly well (I'm finding it a lot harder now than when I was in Japan since in... (read more)

The first thing that comes to mind is some sort of exercise. Valuable on its own and might also improve sleep.

Does anyone else struggle with rejection sensitivity dysphoria (common in people that have ADHD)? It's gotten better for me over time as I understand myself better but it's still a big problem and I'm not sure how to go about dealing with it

Just found a discord group:

and a facebook group:

that were created right after the ACX meetup

Where are SF/Berkeley area events usually coordinated? (going to hopefully be living in the area)

I tried to look for a facebook group but didn't have too much luck

1Raj Thimmiah1y
Just found a discord group: [] and a facebook group: [] that were created right after the ACX meetup

Has anyone considered a way of using a variation of an electrolarynx + voice to text to enable some method of using voice to text without needing to actually speak out loud?

(I know electrolarynxes produce noise but I get the impression some variation could be much quieter than normal speech and still work)

I would also be interested in an explanation of how the replication crisis effects the sequences and willing to put in 10$ to givewell

For those that don’t know, according to Scott’s email on ACX meetups he should be attending!

For people that have read Ray Dalio's Principles: how did you apply the book to reality?

Specifically, how did you write out principles and actually check and iterate on them over time?

Any suggestions on decent online universities? I've decided to move back to the US from abroad without finishing my degree but my parents still want me to get some sort of degree for long-term employability (ruling out bootcamps unless I can make a really convincing argument). 

I'm trying to optimize for:
-not too time consuming: I want to spend most of my time on side-projects of my own interest
-not too expensive: don't want to burn money
-marginally useful/interesting: will be less hard to complete if it feels actually useful (read more)

Thanks, this is helpful. From this I have an idea of what I'll try

  • I have a journal template I'm going to start using today
  • will add a daily recurring section of TAPs I want to implement and pay attention to (maybe to be added to each Sunday?)
  • for long-term TAPs, I'll try a coda SRS template (I use SuperMemo normally but can't use it for this since the algorithm is too good and on 3rd rep I've seen cards get to like 2 month intervals. wouldn't work well for checking on my TAPs)

I'll report back next Sunday how it goes.


How many TAPs do you currently have?... (read more)

Just 9. I also started adding TAPs relatively recently.

What breathing techniques do you use?

* Square breathing. see e.g. here []. I did read about it first in On Combat [] and it works well to reduce pulse levels.  * Breathing meditation from Vipassana, see e.g. here []. * Consciously breathing thru the nose and diaphragmatic breathing []    PS. How did you find this old post?

I'm 65% moving back to us in a month or two but haven't lived there in like 5 years so am not sure what to expect nor where I'd like to go.

I'm mainly optimizing for friend-making/having/meeting (IRL) though I'm not sure how much I care about that since I haven't had much chance to do that for the last few years. though also trees and stuff are nice too

I'm not really sure how to choose between cities in terms of satisfying this. vaguely seems like SF would be cool and have many cool people that would be nice to meet but is also expensive

Any recommendations on figuring out where to stay?

I've thought about that but my main concern is: I'll probably move back at some point. I'm not particularly benefitting from living here except for the inertia of already being here and having an apartment. 

I could have made more friends at college but I made a decision I somewhat regret now: took only classes where I could just do them online instead of having to go live. The first semester or two where I was showing up in person, did have some luck making friends. Because of the virus, there aren't many (if any) events being held at uni I can attend to meet people so I'd basically have to wait for next semester I think. 

I also sort of suffer from the issue that I kind of want friends that are interesting. I don't hate just hanging out with people but a... (read more)

How important are real social networks? I'm debating on moving back to the US from Japan pro's and cons being:


-university is easy
-is cheap
-have nice apartment and setup
-corona situation is way better than in the US
-health care is cheap and good

-very few friends (can probably change this next semester. can maybe change it this semester if I make a real effort to go to meetups. But will be hard, since is hard in general here to make friends and I'm not currently studying towards native level Japanese)


-can probably make many friend... (read more)

A real effort to go to meetups might be easier then the effort of moving.  As far as the Covid situation goes, I would expect that in the next year it's primarily a function of vaccination where the US is doing well.
Ooh, that's hard. As someone currently living in Japan and worried about my social circle (though working, not studying), I feel like I should have more helpful things to say than I do. Regarding the main question, I would say that if you ever decide in the future that an IRL circle of friends is valuable, anecdotally it's much easier to make friends in college than after. Like an infomercial would say, you should act now. Of course, not all friends will be preserved in the transition after graduation so it might not be worth the move. In a more general vein, what are your plans for the future? You list many important considerations for your present situation, but without much focus on how they'll affect you later. Finally, I do think it should be absolutely possible to make friends in Japan, especially since either your university is English-friendly enough that there are other foreigners around, or your Japanese is good enough despite being non-native to communicate effectively.

Do any of you have systems you've used to test out which diet you find best for yourself?

I'm also curious: how did you manage confounders such as life changes/sleep and other things

you might find exercise 3 useful if your issue is sleep procrastination. I had to slowly block alllllll kinds of things incrementally till I stopped screwing up my sleep

Are you still using it now or did you find a better solution?

I don't do goal factoring regularly, so I haven't used yed that much. For very small graphs I find graphviz better. If for some reason I need to draw a large graph and I don't need it to look very good, I'll probably go for yed again.

Is there still a map of LW community members?

stumbled upon this: and the link it has to map of users is defunct

There is a map on the community page []. (You might need to change something in your user settings to be able to see it.)

awesome, dm'd you for more details

Is anyone interested in being accountability partner for unscrewing sleep?

In the past, I've used a system: which worked pretty well for unscrewing my sleep a few months ago. 

It's pretty simple: when I screw up my sleep and commit to fixing it the next day with willpower, that fails. 

When I fix what screwed my sleep that night, something new comes to screw my sleep. So you basically have to go down a list of things that break your sleep and fix A... (read more)

I'd do this! Right now my dog is my accountability partner, but she adjusts to waking up later herself! :) I'm in Pacific timezone
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