All of raydora's Comments + Replies

Is nuking women and children cheaper than firebombing them?

Games with non-real-world rules are how everyone who fights wars prepares for wars.

3Dustin2moAlso fighting in other wars. (I'm under the impression that this was maybe more the case in the past than it is today, but I'm not super confident in that.)
Polling Thread January 2016

16 minutes here. Also guessed frequently.


We have mandatory 'fun days' where we grill hot dogs and play ultimate football.

Thanks for the link, I'll definitely attempting to implement some of the lessons from it to my draft next year. Incidentally, drafting is where I've always failed- I kind of just picked players without any knowledge or analysis, and then figured out what I could do with them during the season. The waiver wire helped, of course. Mine is an extremely blue collar league, so there's not much in the way of strategy besides 'I follow my gut'.

Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016

I'm deeply interested in this problem.

I've got to ask, though.

Isn't this a niche filled by 'business intelligence' and 'data science'? They call it a lot of different things, sure, but they seem to be operating in the same space- at least, they may seem to, to a non-technical executive. An exception is mid-to-small business - I don't think there's a lot of penetration there.

1[anonymous]6yTheoretically, yes. In practice, most companies with BI dashboards and data science analytics experience more information overload than before, because they don't have the human capital to make sense of all that information. There are limited cases (e.g. weather reporting and website split testing) where the niche is narrow enough that the computer can basically do everything on it's own, but computers aren't at the point yet (and likely won't be for a long time) where they can use generic data to make complex decisions.

I no longer play sports (unless it's mandated by work), unless you count grappling on occasion.

Yes, I maintain a fantasy football team to practice statistical thinking (as opposed to actual statistics, at the moment) and because I found it ingratiates me with my colleagues. My workplace went from a den of geeks to regular Monday night football types in the space of months, so I switched from D&D to fantasy football.

It's safe to say I don't really have teams I root for (once upon a time it was Newcastle United, because I liked zebras as a kid) or spor... (read more)

0adamzerner6yInteresting points about sports being so meritocratic; I never thought about it that way. Mandated by work?! What have your experiences been like with fantasy football? Sorry to be so negative but I've been appalled at the way people approach it. I had an argument with someone once that ended up reducing to the fact that he was valuing a player by how many points they produce (Aaron Rodgers) and I was valuing him less because I was valuing him based on how many points he scores relative to what the alternative [] would be (I even linked him to the article, which didn't change his mind; it was an ego thing; I'm playing him in the championship now, yay competition!). I've also been disappointed to see that people heavily reach for players in the draft, effectively saying "I disagree with all of the experts". Maybe they are just trying to have fun and don't actually think it's the best strategy? That isn't my impression, my impression is that it's genuine. Personally, I largely stick to the rankings (experts know more than me), but I do adjust based on the strategy I'm taking, and I do disagree with the experts sometimes. This year, for example, I valued the elite wide receivers very highly compared to the experts (because I liked the receivers and because I didn't like many running backs this year). I actually never heard the expression of "rooting for a jersey", but I'm very glad to learn of it! Personally, I'm one of the few people I've encountered who doesn't root for a jersey; I root for the teams that I think play the game the right way. In basketball this means I change a lot year to year. In football, I've been a big Steeler fan for a while. Admittedly, I do "root for the jersey" to a nontrivial extent with the Steelers, but at the same time I like the way they approach things and would stop rooting for them it they stopped doing the things I like. Sorry to hear that you haven't found peop
Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December

Measuring RMR could reveal snowflake likelihood.

If ego depletion turns out to be real, choosing not to limit yourself in order to focus on something you find important might be a choice you make. Different people really do carry their fat differently, too, so there's that. Not everyone who runs marathons is slender, especially as they age.

And then there's injuries, but that brings up another subject.

I'm not sure how expensive whole body air displacement is in the civilian world, but it seems like a decent way to measure lean mass.

0ChristianKl6yI would guess that 3D scanning [] is the better way. In principle a smart phone app should be able to do this sooner or later by using camera + accelerometer.
Open thread, Nov. 16 - Nov. 22, 2015

Have you talked to her about it? What does she say?

Rationality Merchandise - First Set

I'm a little surprised you hired someone for those designs. May I ask how much you paid? Quite honestly, you could've gotten the same design from a middle school student taking a graphic design class. This is fine if you're doing it yourself, but if you're paying for it, well, I think I could do better for free, and I've got absolutely no qualifications in the field.

I know what kind of designs appeal to a subset of society, but I guess we'd have to figure out who your target audience for those t-shirts are. It might not be anyone here, or anyone with the ... (read more)

0Gleb_Tsipursky6yI hired a friend who is a website designer, has graphic design skills, and was interested in Intentional Insights as a project, so was willing to cut a deal for managing the design of the T-shirts and the backend of Cafepress alike. Yeah, I hear you about the aesthetic appeal. I made a new post here [] asking people to give feedback on some design ideas.
Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

I'm talking about pleasure in general. Not just sexual.

0[anonymous]6yOh. Ummmm. I guess I have more pleasure than I'd like to. I'm somewhat bad at controlling impulses.
Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

I'm not sure the potential risk of side effects of the drugs in question are worth such a change. I don't know how old you are, but your libido might also diminish over time.

I used to have similar thoughts as a teenager, so I understand the sentiment, but like everything else at that age, those concerns seem minute in hindsight.

How much fun do you have? Increasing hedons might yield a more efficient balance.

0[anonymous]6yI'm in my 20's and 'have fun' a few of times a year..(no steady partners)
Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015

Late reply, I know!

Standardizing decisions through checklists and decision trees has, in general, shown to be useful if the principles behind those algorithms are based on a reliable map. In medical practice, that's probably the evidence-based medicine approach to screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

In addition, all this assumes that patient management skills are not a concern, since it's not something I personally consider important (from the point of view of a patient) when considering a provider of any medical or technical service. If you typically req... (read more)

Sidekick Matchmaking - How to tackle the problem?

I think becoming a sidekick would be an interesting experience.

I don't really have (this is not false humility- I think my most advanced skill is cooking, and I've never cooked for a living) any strong suits, and am mostly concerned with mundane instrumental rationality at the moment.

I'm a liberal arts dropout who joined the military a few years ago. My immediate goal is learning basic math and programming.

I suspect an outside interest (i.e, a 'hero') might help lend some focus.

Nature publishes an article about alternative therapy

Am I alone in thinking this should be in the Open Thread? /meta

Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015

I don't have any surefire methods that don't require a very basic working knowledge of medicine, but a general rule of thumb is the physician's opinion of the algorithmic approach to medical decision making. If it is clearly negative, I'd be willing to bet that the physician is bad. Not quite the same as finding a good one, but decent for narrowing your search.

Along with this, look for someone who thinks in terms of possibilities rather than certainties in diagnoses.

All assuming you're looking for a general practitioner, of course. I wouldn't select surg... (read more)

4Dorikka6yAny particular evidence in favor of this approach, anecdotal or otherwise?
Ultimatums in the Territory

That's a good question. I don't really know. I think I've been equating 'persuasion' with 'dark art'. I need to figure out what separates effective persuasive techniques from dark arts, if anything, and if the label 'dark art' has any use.

Rationality Quotes Thread September 2015

Yes, it does, though those answers lead to further questions.

How can you gain information from a prediction you cannot test, until you die? Is there some way to test it? Or have you encountered personal evidence of an afterlife already?

Why does free will or an afterlife require a God?

It's hard to convey tone in text, but these are honest questions. If they make you uncomfortable, it's fine if you ignore them.

Regarding the sequences, you may find it easier to derive the same information from books popularizing a lot of the source material it is based on, if the sequences themselves turn you off.

-1CCC6yWell, the obvious answer is "by dying". However, this also prevents me from communicating my results, calling the usefulness of the procedure into question... No, but there are people who have. Feel free to look them up. Note that one of the requirements of canonisation as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church is that someone find evidence, sufficient to convince the Church, that the person being canonised is in the afterlife. So a look through the Vatican records will probably provide a number of examples to look over, if you'd like. They do not require a God. My argument for both requires a God, but there may be other arguments that do not. Actually, by and large they don't. There is one element of the Sequences which niggles at me a bit, but it doesn't really bother me all that much; Eleizer is perfectly entitled to his opinions.
Rationality Quotes Thread September 2015

What can you predict with the existence of your God that you can't predict without?

And what makes your God more likely than any other God or Gods?

I suppose it's a question of granularity. While there have been a number of sound arguments for 16/64 equalling 1/4, there are hitherto no arguments of equal strength for the existence of any particular deity.

16/64 being equal to 1/4 allows people to predict what will happen when they scale objects.

1CCC6yThe existence of an afterlife. The presence of free will. I start with the question, "Is there a God?", by which I mean a being both omnipotent and omniscient. I am confident that the answer to that question is "yes". I have since assigned a number of further ideas to this concept, some of which are almost certainly wrong (but I'm not sure which ones). It is highly likely that someone else has come up with a more accurate idea of God than my idea. (There are seven billion people on Earth; the odds of my idea being the most accurate are laughably small). ...does that answer your question?
Open thread, Sep. 28 - Oct. 4, 2015

Perhaps a rating system based on proportions, symmetry, and skin health. However, I'm not convinced this is that (it is a large factor in decisions, yes, but it's not one you can change much beyond style and hygiene, unless you're willing to undergo plastic surgery) important, except in the realm of Tinder-esque situations.

If you happen to live somewhere where random people will complement you or flirt with you, I suppose number of incidents/number of people exposed to over a large span of time could be a metric.

0ChristianKl6yI think that has more to do with how approachable you look than with how attractive you look.
Open thread, Sep. 28 - Oct. 4, 2015

How is a sexbot different from a sexdoll or a fleshlight and pornography?

I don't think it would create any problems in a mentally healthy individual, though it might exacerbate those suffering from pre-existing issues surrounding sex.

Open thread, Sep. 28 - Oct. 4, 2015

A large portion of my coworkers (due to the nature of the job, they're probably in that weird space between family, friend, and acquaintance) fiercely endorse beliefs that I am at odds with (against gay marriage, strong religiosity, complete climate change denial, etc) but we can discuss our beliefs (for the most part; one of them insisted he would have his daughter flogged if she 'turned gay', and then kidnapped and sent to some less accepting society to 'chase it out of her') without any heated arguments. Even if we do, we still have no problems buying ... (read more)

Examples of growth mindset or practice in fiction

The scifi action flick Edge of Tomorrow might be a close-but-not-perfect example. Most of the movie is an extended training montage, with one (more or less the same as Groundhog Day) unique conceit.

The coming of age movie I Not Stupid is essentially about the distinction between a growth and fixed mindset, as played out against a backdrop of the highly competitive Singaporean education system.

Arguably Batman, when taken at face value. Due in part to sheer volume, there are probably a few story arcs from both Batman and Spider-Man comics that have elemen... (read more)

Ultimatums in the Territory

I agree, though that particular technique (in and of itself, without context) is also used as a Dark Art.

0ChristianKl6yCould you elobrate why you think this technique is a dark art? I don't see anything dark about it.
2zedzed6yI wouldn't be surprised if every single principle of effective learning has, by someone, somewhere, been co-opted into a dark art.
Stupid Questions August 2015

Speaking only from personal experience, it reduces akrasia rather than eliminates it.

An odd factor is an inability to engage in pure entertainment, but I wonder if this is merely a latent psychological issue specific to me that only surfaces when taking modafinil. This seems like it's a benefit, but it can be an annoyance in regards to social interaction, almost like a classic djinn wish. Since it only lasts half a day (for me) after the first week, this isn't really a problem, though.

I recommend never taking anything with caffeine in it while on modafin... (read more)

Peer-to-peer "knowledge exchanges"

Are you thinking of Cognito?

Could it be a more targeted additional function of the lw study hall?

I do think that it's an idea that warrants further exploration.

Forecasting health gaps

Yesterday, I was surprised when I treated a patient (for a heart attack) to find that he later ended up in the ER. I've only treated a handful (exactly five!) with MI-like symptoms, and none of them had his low heart rate or controlled breathing. Surprise meant my model needed to be updated, and a quick look at this showed me that I really only needed two symptoms to be wary.

Physicians and other healthcare providers in the 'algorithmic' camp (vs 'clinical') essentially forecast diagnosis through probability-based predictions. Algorithms are also referred t... (read more)

0Manfred6yNope, but it seems interesting.
July 2015 Media Thread

Within the fantasy genre, he seems well known as the current authority on the (seriously labeled, humorously adopted by him) 'grimdark' genre.

If you like that, you'll probably loveBest Served Cold and The Heroes. He's got the trappings of a debutante in The First Law, but those two books show an experienced designer at work.

There's something Tarantino-like about him, as applied to fantasy fiction. An ability to confer personality through changes in writing style is probably what truly sets him apart from other fantasy authors, though. Above all, he is abl... (read more)

0shminux6yJust finished The Heroes, one more book and a few stories to go in the series. Looking forward to them.
Open Thread, Jun. 15 - Jun. 21, 2015

My math skills are probably extremely poor, so it's been easier for me to to make large gains. Most often, this is manifest in three digit multiplication or division, in situations that don't allow for calculators. Small scale logistics (how much fuel do we need for x days in x area? How much food?) and other stuff a middle schooler wouldn't have trouble with. The difference between three minutes and thirty seconds usually doesn't matter, but I'm preparing for worst case scenarios anyway.

Currently, I have memorized nonsense paragraphs for work and basic me... (read more)

Open Thread, Jun. 15 - Jun. 21, 2015

I can honestly say that utilizing a memory palace and linking was a significant jump in my life. I started training myself in their use about a year ago, but never had to put them into action in a constrained time frame until recently. It felt wonderful. Currently working on incorporating spaced repetition into my routine. My chief problem is prioritizing lists. Figuring out what needs to be memorized in a subject requires some understanding, and I usually lack that in subjects I'm deeply interested in.

A combination of mnemonic techniques and mental math m... (read more)

1Elo6ywhat kinds of things do you have remembered in the repository? (can you make a list?)
5ChristianKl6yWhat kind of work do you do that being able to do mental math makes a huge difference?
Lesswrong, Effective Altruism Forum and Slate Star Codex: Harm Reduction

This is not a well thought out post, in keeping with the nature of the subject matter. Less Wrong does seem to encourage solidified thoughts rather than subconscious reactions. A good thing, I think, but difficult all the same. Ideas follow.

  • An IRC-style (not necessarily chat) section which has neither votes nor a delineation between post and comment. An area for LWers to post thoughts as they occur. Restrict formatting of these posts to plain text. Not a design choice, so much as to encourage train-of-thought style conversation.
  • Why upvotes at all? Why not a well defined rating scheme, in addition to use of belief tags in standalone Main and Discussion posts?
Stupid Questions June 2015

I suppose the problem with that statement was 'good' and 'working'. It is far easier to simply memorize the symptoms and general knowledge, see what it looks like on assorted Youtube videos and browsing Figure 1, which is free and accessible to the public, than it is to acquire experience with it. This is the cheapest route, and getting that initial knowledge uses the same study techniques you would use to learn, say, microeconomics.

You don't need too much (EMT and CPR) to be certified to become an Emergency Room Technician, solely to volunteer (as opposed... (read more)

Confession Thread: Mistakes as an aspiring rationalist

Dying in Warframe? What a casual!

Your explanation seems like it might be true. I know usually encounter that problem, on the other side. Incorporating failure as an opportunity to improve is how I've dealt with it in the past, but that may be akin to someone telling a depressed person "just be happy."

A friend who's willing to explain how you could improve, and be extremely polite about it might help.

2Cariyaga6yI don't really have any problem with accepting criticism if it's couched as such. Or, for that matter, failing (I play Path of Exile hardcore, after all!). It's simply dealing with comments that are intended to be sarcastic, poking-fun-at, that I take to be serious when in the moment. While I'm good at picking up social cues when given time to analyze them, while I'm playing a game it's difficult for me to recognize.
Confession Thread: Mistakes as an aspiring rationalist

Does frequency of socialization change your feelings about it? I know, personally, that my ideal amount of socialization is about once a week with people I am close to, and once a month with strangers. There are others who need it every day, but still like a weekend away from people every now and then.

In addition, forced socialization (if your work or school requires a lot of communication, poor or otherwise) can be especially draining.

Stupid Questions June 2015

I don't believe I've ever seen them in regular over-the-counter emergency kits, but making sure you have a tourniquet within (and know it's use) reach can't hurt. A pocket mask is great, too. An AED would probably be amazing if you have over a thousand US (or it's equivalent) dollars to spend. Emergency treatments in general change pretty drastically every few years, so it would be an ongoing investment.

Have a good, working knowledge of what diabetes looks like, and various cardiac issues. While it may never happen to you, recognizing it and calling for h... (read more)

0palladias7yKnowing where the AEDs are in your workplace is a good idea, too!
-1Lumifer7yHow do you expect people who are not doctors or nurses to acquire that?
Open Thread, May 18 - May 24, 2015

This sounds like a larger implementation of the models pathologists use to try and predict the infection rate of a disease. Considering the amount of computing power needed for that, such a service might be prohibitively expensive- at least in the near future.

I'm wondering if there would be a way for participants to place some skin in the game, besides a connection to prediction markets.

Open Thread, May 18 - May 24, 2015

I recently joined this site after lurking for awhile. Are blog contributions of that sort are the primary purpose of Less Wrong?

It seems like it fulfills a niche that the avenues you listed do not: specifically, in the capacity of a community rather than an individual, academic, or professional endeavor.

There are applications of rational thought present in these threads that I don't see gathered anywhere else. I'm sure I'm missing something here, but could viewing Less Wrong as a potential breeding ground for contributors of that kind be useful?

I realize... (read more)

LessWrong experience on Alcohol

I've liked beer since adulthood, chiefly because I love coarse, bitter breads and beer (I tend to stay away from the blander productions mass marketed by the largest brewing companies) has always seemed like a wonderful liquid take on bread.

Food is my primary source of hedons, and my beverage consumption developed as an extension of that. I have a love affair with mead, a recurring fling with whiskey, and an occasional one night stand with liquors at large. I appreciate cocktails, but I've found my tastes to require seeking bartenders that are near impos... (read more)

0Elo7yI appreciate the quantified measure of how much alcohol and how much you spend on it. This sounds like a topic you have invested a lot of thought into already. I find the "dull system 2" as you described to be unproductive in trying to get to the types of interesting conversations that I try to get into. "being social" has not been enough for me since I realised that I sometimes did not like spending time with a particular social group and asked myself why that was so. I am still trying to be social to gain valuable insight into life and new information about the world around me. When I get tired of that I will probably be okay being "generally social", but that may be a sad day for the scientist within me...