It might be a good idea to point out that there is substantial individual variation in how individual women experience their menstrual cycle. Knowing the averages does not enable you to draw conclusions about what any individual is experiencing. If you find yourself saying, "You must be [X] because of your menstrual cycle," stop. Do not lecture women about their menstrual cycle, do not assume you know more than they do about how their bodies work.
I gather there wasn't any data about cyclic changes in sex drive, but that would be an interesting one to study too.
Do people in your bubble generally find it difficult to make decisions that might seem "selfish," or might be disapproved of by their peers?
It's very strange to me that a group of people who are, on average, very well informed about COVID, and who are probably aware that the risk of death for healthy non-elderly people is incredibly low, would so often go completely overboard on precautions. Is it hyper-altruism?
I've talked to some people who locked down pretty hard pretty early; I'm not confident in my understanding but this is what I currently believe.
I think characterizing the initial response as over-the-top, as opposed to sensible in the face of uncertainty, is somewhat the product of hindsight bias. In the early days of the pandemic, nobody knew how bad it was going to be. It was not implausible that the official case fatality rate for healthy young people was a massive underestimate.
I don't think our community is "hyper-altruistic" in the Strangers Drowning...
While risk of death is clearly relatively low (especially when it gets people to consume medical services that might also reduce risk of death), the risk of long COVID isn't clearly very low.
I’ve got to ask, what is the most locked-down person you know doing? It’s hard to imagine being more locked down than you are!
One person moved to a cabin (pretty far from things but close enough for grocery delivery) and had no interaction whatsoever except with their partner, who until recently had no interaction with anyone at all either. Another person wears a positive-pressure suit for every interaction, including in some parts of their house.
How much of your stress do you think was the result of living in a group house, and thus feeling that you had to get roommates’ consent to very normal things like going on a date or a walk? I know some people seem to like the group house thing, but damn, I like making my own decisions.
I’d like to see survey data on rationalists’ responses to the pandemic. Does this exist (should i make it exist?) I suspect the incredibly super-cautious are more vocal, thus distorting our perception of what others are doing.
Personally, I’m avoiding indoor restaurants/bars ...
You may be overestimating the amount of time and effort rich parents (especially rich fathers) put towards raising kids.
Also, some people would devote themselves to caretaking activities: lots of kids incl. foster kids, lots of dogs or cats. I’m not saying this is exactly bad, in some cases it’s good, but at extremes it can become hoarding, when the impulse to collect kids/pets overwhelms the motivation to adequately care for them.
Drugs, alcohol and porn. How many people have a preexisting tendency towards overuse of these substances that is kept in check by the need to get up on time for work and be reasonably productive and presentable at work? This is no limit to the amount of time an addicted person can spend pursuing their addiction.
You could extend this to other potentially addictive activities, like shopping, video games, and social media.
Thanks for the thoughtful post. I’m not too worried about this problem because I tend to assume that people will evaluate my advice in the light of their own circumstances and needs. I have not had a problem with people blindly accepting my advice on faith, without critical thought. Maybe this would be more of a problem for a teacher of young children or famous person or CEO or someone else with a lot of prestige.
Check them for the alcoholism genes.
Is this possible? I did 23andme and that wasn't included.
What does asserting the right to pseudonymity mean?
I think this post is really valuable because it pushes people to be in information-seeking mode, rather than hortatory mode. And I’m sorry to see that I’m the only one who’s tried to answer the question, because I’m sure my answer is incomplete.
I’d like to encourage other people to really try to think and learn about why the FDA is acting this way. What is happening and why? What procedures and incentives are they operating with? Don’t jump straight to criticizing them, don’t jump to what you would do if you built the system from scratch. (And no, “fire everybody and replace them with AI” is never going to fly in the federal government.)
If this is ever going to change, we need to know what’s happening first.
I don’t think that’s the obstacle. Lots of different people are looking at the application from different angles, and no one seems to have the sense of urgency we might think is warranted.
I addressed this in #1 above. Even if they’ve already seen data, they’re starting from scratch as far as evaluating the Officially Submitted Data goes. Plus the number of different people and groups involved.
I’d love to hear from someone at FDA on this. I do not work for FDA, but here’s my guess.
they need to study the data they’ve been given. Although FDA will have been in communication with the drug company and seen their data all along, they probably have a rule that they can only consider data Officially Submitted as part of an Official Application. In a complex organization, most likely lots of people get involved in a big decision, including managers, lawyers, and political appointees who don’t necessarily have a lot of value to add on safety/efficacy
Brainstorming some answers to my own question, I think it would help to maintain more standard social boundaries with followers. Avoid group living. Don’t have sex with followers (and don’t let on if you find any of them attractive). Don’t adopt followers into your family. Actively foster other leaders, so that group members’ dependence and demands are not centered solely on you.
How do you think it would be possible for an incipient cult leader to fight the tendency for people to idolize him or her? While still maintaining the group and staying engaged with the group? Are there any examples of people successfully doing that?
It would be possible for the incipient leader to just walk away, and in that case I would expect either the group to lose a lot of its cohesion and the good parts of cultishness—or another incipient leader might step in.
Well, I once charted my mood in relation to menstruation for a few months, and no correlations really emerged, except for an increase in libido early in menstruation. I guess I am lucky...or you're unlucky? I don't really know what the typical menstruation experience is like, tbh.
Probably obvious, but have you talked to a doctor about this? Or several doctors? That sounds terrible.
I don’t have menstruation-related symptoms severe enough to affect productivity. I also don’t use hormonal birth control.
I think you are talking about the Anki desktop app rather than the phone app or browser app?
The failure point for me was just getting Anki installed. Can I use it in a browser? Only works with Chrome. Can I use the desktop app? Only works with the latest Mac OS. Well, maybe not the latest, but newer than my computer. So I went with a flashcard app that's not so restrictive.
What is “it” when you say “it” makes sense?
I’ll probably wear masks in e.g. the grocery store even after being vaccinated, because I expect the law to lag the reason for the law, and because wearing a mask for ~half an hour is less costly than the risk of conflict if someone tries to make me wear a mask.
As for whether public places should enforce mask-wearing on people who claim to have been vaccinated, well, enforcement is pretty lax as it is, and I expect it’ll just get laxer as vaccination spreads. As it should.
Please define your terms at the beginning of the post. I see you have a link, but it’s broken and it’s better to have a concise definition integrated into the post rather than hoping people will click through.
If I play a zero sum game and win, that’s good for me, and not bad for the world as a whole. I don’t care about what God or an ideal observer would think, since there is no such thing. One way in which Lewis’s values are dramatically different from those of an atheist.
The only question that matters to me is whether seeking to get into the inner ring will make me happy or not. I see Lewis says it would not make me happy, but I don’t find his reasons really convincing (they seem to be a priori rather than drawn from experience).
I don’t agree that a one-off or “drive-by” comment is a bad thing. Yes, it might be nice sometimes to have a lengthy discussion, but, you know, this is just a website, commenting is not my job, and people have other shit to do. I’d rather get a single good comment than get nothing at all from a person who has time to write one comment but not time to be on LW every day checking to see if their comment got a response.
I think this post is conflating two categories of facts about myself that I might want to conceal: the weird and the disreputable.
Example: if I only listen to 18th-century Japanese music, that's weird but not disreputable. If I'm addicted to phenibut, that's weird and disreputable. (There are also "normal" facts that are disreputable, such as "I'm depressed.") OP's example of "personal problems" would fall into the disreputable and potentially weird category.
A person's answer to the "should I be openly weird" question might not dictate their answer t...
Re #2: you’re conflating the First Amendment and free speech. The First Amendment is one particular legal instantation of the idea of free speech, applicable in limited circumstances in one country. Establishing that there is no First Amendment problem does not establish that there is no free speech problem. And although I agree that there are important differences between government censorship and censorship by private actors, the classical liberal argument for free speech supplies reasons why even private censorship is harmful. You need to engage with these pro-free-speech arguments and explain why they don’t apply here.
Fair point re: #2, but the ultimate point is unchanged. For the same reasons that Less Wrong and SSC engage in content moderation, Twitter does the same. Banning Trump, on balance, will not be harmful.
>Suppose that you earn $4M over the course of your career, and want to spend $2M on yourself over the course of your life.
There's also a difference between MMM and EAers over how long to work. A Mustachian might earn $1M, retire, and donate any funds they happen to have over what they need. The EA person might work for decades longer, make $4M and donate $3M. So there could be very big differences in total amount donated even if the Mustachian and EA person spend the same amount on themselves.
(Average lifetime income is in the range of $1M, is beside the point, but I couldn't resist looking it up.)
Thanks for these thoughts, they resonated with me as an ambivalent Mustachian.
The tension between Mustachianism and effective altruism might be relevant to some on this site. You CAN both save aggressively and give to charity, especially at a high income. But you cannot make both your #1 priority: you have to choose. MMM himself seems to have chosen saving first, and giving to charity after financial independence (he advocates on the blog for effective charities, which I admire). This is my strategy as well on the principle of saving yourself before others...
I tried a hard lockdown in March-June with no friends, no restaurants, no travel, limited shopping, and it certainly was not a "trivial" loss. Our lifestyle and our sanity matters. I could feasibly lock down for a month or two, but I have no faith in my ability to accurately assess when that month would matter.
Where I'm coming out here is that it is not going to be feasible for most people to either lock down hard or intentionally get COVID. It's not a comfortable conclusion, because we as humans like to pretend we are in control, but aside from the extreme I-will-never-leave-my-apartment outliers, who are never going to be more than a small minority of the population, we are not in control of whether or when we get Covid.
I’m having trouble thinking of a feasible and ethical way to get Covid intentionally. Don’t think the hospital would take kindly to a random person showing up and wanting to hang out in the Covid ward. I could increase my level of risk by going to unmasked protests or illegal parties or wherever crowds are, but if I got infected doing that, seems like in the time period between infection and test there would be a significant chance of infecting someone else, and I’m not sure that’s ethical. (Not sure it’s unethical either, given that others who engage in high risk activities have chosen the risk voluntarily, but it’s enough to give me qualms.)
Thanks for the recommendation for Library Genesis. I found 4/10 of the books I searched for on there, so not as good as my local library, but it eliminates having to wait.
I'd encourage people, though, to avoid reading books on a smart phone if possible. Reading on the one device that is most likely to distract you from reading seems like a failure-prone plan. I use a Kindle for ebooks, and it's old and slow enough that I am not tempted to do anything but read on it.
Jeez, California is really trying to drive people away, huh? I’m sorry you have to live there.
Yes! I kind of suspected you might be in a strict-lockdown bubble and overgeneralizing from that. BTW, you can’t legally see a single friend?!
I think people who are immune are often either 1) risk-averse enough not to change their behavior or 2) responding by changing their own choices rather than pushing for changes to government restrictions. I think your surprise is coming from over-estimating the extent to which people's behavior is driven by government rules.
The difference between my behavior currently and my probable behavior post-vaccine or post-infection would be almost entirely about changing self-imposed restrictions. I could already legally eat in restaurants outdoors, work in r...
I strongly disagree with this idea that only a few vaccine experts should be debating the topic. Aside from a few basic technical concepts, the basic question here is ethical. Everyone can judge ethical questions. And if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that medical ethics questions are too important to be left to the experts.
I found it, but the page would not allow me to select it.
I did this, but they are not allowing donations to any of the top-ranked charities I searched for (Give Directly, Malaria Consortium, Against Malaria).
Re #6: why don’t people have people they can talk to about depression?
I’d like to hear more about this. Is it because people want to talk to someone about mental health but don’t have a person to talk to? Or they do have a person but don’t want to talk?
Personally I find myself keeping quiet about a lot of the important things in my life, because either 1) it’s bad and I don’t want to look bad or have the information get around, or 2) it’s good and I don’t want to brag, especially if my friend is doing less well.
>You cannot discover new knowledge for humanity by reading a book written by a human.
But you can discover new knowledge for yourself. Unless you think you've already read enough that you know all human knowledge. This is why rationalists so often get accused of reinventing the wheel—because if you aren't well-read, you can't tell the difference between a genuinely new idea or insight and an old one. And you may come up with a good idea but be unaware of all the downsides that other people have pointed out in books.
Maybe some people need this advice. But most people read dramatically too few books, and in particular too few books from before the 21st century.
Have you considered the harm to physical and mental health associated with unemployment?
Of course, for every person who spends their volunteering or gardening, there will be ten people who spend their time getting high, binge-drinking, watching TV, or playing videogames.
>getting themselves fit and healthy (exercise time +cooking healthy food time)
What is with this idea that you can't be fit and healthy and have a job? A hour for exercise per day is plenty, half an hour for cooking. It's not at all difficult to do that and have a job too.
Outdoor dining in a tent has a lot more ventilation than being inside. But less ventilation than being fully outdoors. So I see your point, but it's about harm reduction. If you make people choose between being outside and unsheltered on a December evening and being inside, most of us will choose inside, so the tent, while probably more risky than fully outdoors, reduces the risk.
It would be an unusual partner who would agree to no physical intimacy (possibly including kissing and hugging) for two weeks so that OP can "reflect on the relationship." That sends a strong signal that you're about to get dumped.
The big failure mode I see with physical intimacy is people rushing into major commitments (kids, marriage, moving in together) in the first two years of a relationship, when they’re still in the tempestuous, exciting, misleading phase of being “in love.” The solution is to be slower to commit.
I am not sure you can avoid the cognition-distorting effects of these hormones by avoiding physical intimacy. It’s very possible to be in love without any physical contact.
I appreciate this question—good to see someone willing to go against the hyperscrupulous LW consensus. I think many people want the vaccine because of a vague idea that it will accelerate the time at which things are back to normal. Most people have suffered more from the indirect effects of the pandemic (job losses, business closures, stress, isolation) than from COVID itself.
This vaccine has been approved much more quickly, and in an environment of much higher political pressure, than most. That is a reason to be more cautious about it than one might be about, say, the flu or pertussis vaccines.
Whether you think there is evidence of "lasting" negative health consequences is going to depend on what you interpret as "lasting." There is lots of evidence SOME people still have symptoms a few months after infection.
More nuclear power. Less hysteria over child sex abuse. More lenient crime policy.
In general, people would worry less about very-unlikely attention-grabbing events, which I expect would lead them to take more risks.
Re the point that mania is very bad, I agree, but people should know that not all mania is associated with bipolar disorder.