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See also the visual novel Eliza, which explores a similar idea:

Big fan of this idea, but I need to be careful where/how I apply it. Otherwise:

"Why did you break up with your significant other?"

"Well, you see, their snoring bothered me but I didn't want to use a deterministic strategy that destroys all the expected value, so I decided to roll a d20, and I got a 2."

The "step-by-step what I did before each physics exam" sounds interesting and useful, would you be open to sharing it here?

Alas, people often don’t let you use them, such as this account where someone who was immunocompromised wasn’t allowed to use one on a flight, and thinks that’s how they got Covid-19.

Nit: Does the linked tweet say the person was in contact with an immunocompromised person, rather than immunocompromised himself?

What do you all think of "General Semantics"? Is it worth e.g. trying to read "Science and Sanity"? Are there insights / benefits there that can't be found in "Rationality: AI to Zombies"?

For Linux users (or Mac OS X users that use the Terminal) who want to pick up a journaling habit:

I set up the following aliases to DRAMATICALLY reduce the "activation energy" for writing a journal entry:

alias jcd='cd <journal directory>'
alias today='jcd; vi `date +%Y-%m-%d`; cd -'
alias yesterday='jcd; vi `date -r \`expr \\\`date +%s\\\` - 86400\` +%Y-%m-%d`; cd -'

So if I want to write a journal entry, I just type 'today' and get started. Note that this also has the secondary benefit of keeping journal entries nicely organized by date.

BTW, I am no writer, but this technique has gotten me to write a decent amount over the years:

$ jcd; cat * | wc -w

Here's how I calculate 15% tips in my head. After getting used to this approach, I could consistently beat friends who were fumbling with their smartphones.

BTW, math majors have a reputation for NOT being able to do mental arithmetic, so being a math major who could do this was a fun and ironic way to defy stereotypes.

Preparation. Memorize the product of each digit with 1.5

  • 1 x 1.5 = 1.5
  • 2 x 1.5 = 3.0
  • 3 x 1.5 = 4.5
  • 4 x 1.5 = 6.0
  • 5 x 1.5 = 7.5
  • 6 x 1.5 = 9.0
  • 7 x 1.5 = 10.5
  • 8 x 1.5 = 12.0
  • 9 x 1.5 = 13.5

Step 1. Round your bill to two significant digits (35.76 -> 36)

Step 2. Recall the product of the first digit with 1.5 (3 x 1.5 = 4.5). The tip is going to be pretty close to the product you recalled (4.50)--you just need to adjust it upwards a bit using the second digit.

Step 3. Recall the product of the second digit with 1.5 (6 x 1.5 = 9), divide the product you recalled by 10 (9 / 10 = 0.9), and add it to the result of Step 2 (4.50 + 0.90 = 5.40) to get your final result.

Congratulations! You've just calculated your 15% tip to within an accuracy of 10 cents. If you want more speed, you can round your bill to just the first significant digit and skip Step 3--this will give you a 15% tip to within an accuracy of 1 dollar. Alternatively, if you want to impress your friends with more accuracy, you can keep more significant digits around and continue adjusting.

I wanted to stop using Facebook, so I deleted my account and then blocked the domain.

Now I don't have any friends anymore, and I have a lot of free time.

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