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Stupid Questions November 2015

After they finish doing the fillings, they file the new material down to fit your bite. You might recall them having you bite down on a piece of paper and then they'd sand away all the parts that were hitting. The more fillings that get done at once, the harder it is to get this done properly, I think. If certain parts of your filling or teeth are hitting before the other parts are when you bite down, or if they are otherwise not fitted well, it can cause pain throughout. (They are also more likely to fall out then)

Source: Personal experience with bad fillings.

The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty on Less Wrong

It looks like MOST of the descriptions people are using for "richness" are pretty vague, which I find to be weird since we actually have readily available numbers.

Median US individual income is $26,695 . Unless you want to claim that half of Americans are "poor" or lower class, you should probably start your middle class no lower than that.

(ETA: For a full-time worker over the age of 25 it's $39k, so you could maybe push it up to that, but it disregards a lot of people who are stuck in part time jobs, or are kept working at just below full time so that they don't have to be given benefits)

10%ers start at $82k. I think it would be silly to say someone in the top 10% of US earners isn't rich. Almost all STEM LWers I've met either make well above this, or work for a non-profit.

Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

London also makes it easy to take up hobbies, and I imagine that would be more consistent in big cities.

I'm in NYC, and hobbies here are INSANELY expensive. Sure, there multiple makerspaces, but their memberships are all $400/mo+. Classes are expensive. Rent is so high that no one has room for hobby equipment. I would like to try brewing, but have nowhere to put a big jug. There are a lot of hobbies I would like to try but I have to space for it. Also, there's not a lot of free and open space for hobbyist groups.

Contrarily, I've also lived in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest in mid-sized cities, and THERE was the sweet spot for hobbies. Big enough that there are people interested in esoteric things, but small enough that it was affordable and there was space for it.

Also, I actually prefer the more tight-knit groups that result from esoteric hobbies in midsized cities. In NYC, there are hundreds of people interested in Underwater Basketweaving, but in Generic Midwest City there are only 10, and so those 10 people become a close-knit community.

Furthermore, in NYC it takes an hour to get ANYWHERE. For one of my main "LOCAL" hobby groups, all the get-togethers are anywhere from 1:30-2:00 away. Almost everyone I've dated here lives about an hour away (the exception is if they happen to live off the same subway line). But in Generic Midwest Town, you're never more than half an hour away from local groups. Travelling two hours would put you in a completely different city/scene.

Solstice 2015: What Memes May Come? (Part I)

I think the topics list is too long for a single holiday. For comparison:

Thanksgiving Giving Thanks Family National Heritage -Pilgrims and Indians

Christmas Generosity/ Giving
Community of All People/ Brotherhood

Also the more major themes you throw at Solstice, the less you have available to differentiate future possible holidays. Instead of eventually having 3-4 different holidays with different themes and feels, you'd get 3-4 holidays that all cover all the themes.

X-Risk is covered pretty well by Petrov Day, so you could probably cross that off the list since it's taken care of elsewhere. And making atheism a major theme doesn't feel right, because then it feels more like a nyah nyah pooh pooh of Christmas rather than something solemn and important in it's own right.

Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015

Pretty sure the sugar is necessary for preserving. You could make it without sugar, but it would just be pulpy juice-water (the sugar is also a thickening agent), and you would have to eat/drink it pretty fast because it will go bad quickly (I would guess a couple days)

Solstice 2015: What Memes May Come (Part II - Atheism, Rationality and Death)

Robert Frost's"Nothing Gold Can Stay" seems like the obvious choice.

1) It is so popular that the majority of people already at least sorta-know it, and a significant percentage could already recite it from memory.

2) It has a cadence that makes it easy to recite in unison.

3) It's simple.

4) It isn't specific to atheism/ doesn't exclude anybody.

5) It faces death rather than rages against it. Funerals probably aren't the best time to rage against death. That's sorta counterproductive to the acceptance that funerals are supposed to provide that helps people move on with their lives in a functioning manner.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.