Sinclair Chen

Wiki Contributions


lactose intolerence is treatable with probiotics, and has been since 1950. they cost $40 on amazon.
works for me at least.

Conglomerates like Unilever use shadow prices to allocate resources internally between their separate businesses. And sales teams are often compensated via commission, which is kind of market-ish.

I'm a secular person who also is less certain near-term AI doom. While I do think the eschaton of becoming grabby aliens is both true and spiritually meaningful, I don't predict it to happen soon, so I'd also appreciate the inclusion of more parochial near-term future ideas and technology.

Sheet music is good.
Charging money is good actually.

let people into your heart, let words hurt you. own the hurt, cry if you must. own the unsavory thoughts. own the ugly feelings. fix the actually bad. uplift the actually good. 

emerge a bit stronger, able to handle one thing more.

My literal interpretation of Zack:

The secret lore of the Rationalist movement is that some specific kinds of criticism make Rationalists hate you, such as criticizing someone for being too friendly to racists.
The secret truth of rationality is that all "criticism" is at least neutral and possibly good for a perfectly rational agent, including criticizing the agent for being too friendly to racists. 

My thoughts

- Reputation is real, but less real than you think or hope. And reputation is asymmetrically fact-favored - just speak the truth and keep being you, and your reputation will follow.
  - Slander may cause dumb or mean people to turn against you, but wise people will get it and kind people will forgive you, and those people are who really matters.
  - Bad press is good press. It helps you win at the attention economy.
- The Rationalists are better at accepting criticism, broadly construed, than average. 
- The Rationalists are better at handling culture-war stuff than average, but mostly because they are more autistic and more based than average.
- The average sucks. Seek perfection.
- I understand on an emotional level being afraid of cancel culture. I used to be. For me it's tied up with fear of social isolation, loneliness, rejection. I overreacted to this and decided to "not care what other people think" (while still actually caring that people saw me as clever, contrarian, feminine, etc; I just mean I decided to be egotistical.) This led to the opposite failure of not listening enough to others. but it was a lot of fun. I think the right identity-stance is in between.

On a personal level, crockers rule made me happier and believe more true things. Even activating, unfair, or false criticism as a gift of feedback. The last time someone said something super triggering to me, it caused me to open up my feelings and love people more. The time before that, I became more accepting of embarrassing kinks I had - and this time was from some quite off-base trolly criticism.
It's related to "staring into the void" or considering the worst possible scenarios - literally as in "what if I lose my job" but also spiritually like "what if people stop loving me." Kinda like how you're supposed to think of death five times a day to be happy. Or like being a dnd monk I imagine. Either they're right and you deserve it or they're wrong and it doesn't matter.


Good stories rank well on google, social media, & word of mouth; drawing in more customers and prospective employees. The market of ideas is reflexive. If more people pay attention to a field / framework / method / company, more progress is made.

(There's also sampling bias. You are more likely to hear the fun stories than the numbers from your friends, twitter feed, etc)


Ok. Well I don't think there's a robust nutrition engineering either. Except maybe whatever the gym bros are cooking up (iirc mostly macronutrients, some supplements, and don't take certain research chemicals that will kill you). There is a lot of incredible engineering in making food tasty and cheap though.

Skipping showering is easy actually.

Caveat: people differ in body odor based on genetics, hormones, and armpit microbiome. I personally am privileged to not smell bad, therefore I don't shower until my skin or hair starts to feel icky (a few days).

I used to get dandruff a lot even back when I was showering daily. I saw r/HaircareScience saying sulfates and other chemicals in typical shampoos dry out the scalp and make it overcorrect by producing more oil. this matches my experience. Shampoo is like coffee; it creates dependency. Later, when I stopped showering daily, I did some experimentation and found that if I used shampoo, my scalp would actually feel worse the day after. So I just went cold turkey.
Now, my hair routine is: brush it every morning, use normal conditioner every time I shower, and use clarifying conditioner if my hair feels icky.


I saw people on r/parkour talk about running barefoot, so I gave it a try. The impact hurt at first, but I focused on landing on my forefoot, I immediately learned the technique and honed it over a few runs. Then I was able to use this technique even while having my shoes on. 

At the time, I reasoned that this skill would allow me to be prepared in scenarios where I was wearing high heels or something, because I had the option to take them off and run. Which is true but moot: now I prefer to wear shoes with a "zero drop" because they pack light, are cheap, and comfortable to me.


Walking strictly slower than running. Most things if done faster will give you more stress, but pure movement done fast both saves time and is healthy.

I tried to give up walking for Lent - except when inside or walking with a group of people, and I can walk when out of breath. Honestly I've forgotten to do this sometimes. But it's fun and I'm getting better.

I also don't have a sports bra, or any bras really because I've grown out of my old ones. This is definitely me being an idiot, but to cope I've discovered how to run with long gentle strides such that when the foot lands it loads the energy into the arc of my foot like a spring, using my leg and foot almost like a suspension, and this eliminates the jerky shockwave that would make my tits hurt. It's easier on the knees and saves energy I think, but harder on the achilles tendon probably? (I don't trust my biomechanical description here.) 

warning that these things can have surprising tradeoffs. my energy-saving technique for descending stairs / slopes quickly also makes me more likely to slip, for instance, though I think I am better at catching myself than most people...

(Splitting into multiple comments)


  • Yes, the employee matching is "free money." But transferring my money out of this to do a Roth IRA rollover was really annoying and I may have accidentally done it wrong and now I need to talk to a CPA.  All this work for just for a matched $6000. Bureaucracy, friction, and poor UI are bad because it makes my adhd brain procrastinating on actually investing. (Incidentally this is also a reason to be wary of crypto as an investment - annoying to get on/off chain)
  • Retirement accounts are also often not able to invest in non-traditional assets like crypto or startup equity. They are less liquid.
  • I've reduced my "necessary" possessions to only what fits in a single tiny backpack. I've also cut my expenses substantially. I've saved so much money, I could retire very soon and travel the world in low cost-of-living countries, just living off the 4% of the principal. So by keeping my money in "retirement" accounts I am delaying the age at which I can retire because of the tax penalty!
    (I love working at manifold tho, and even if I left I'd probably just start my own startup, or something else ambitious, while being a nomad.)
    • maybe you don't earn very much, but the future is coming fast so who knows when financial escape velocity will come for you

index funds

  • diversification has diminishing marginal returns.
  • if instead you just hand-pick a dozen of stocks of companies you think are underrated, spread out across industries, you've got most of the benefit of diversification already, but at higher EV
  • if you're young, you should be taking on more risk for higher EV
  • the lesswrong zeitgeist in particular was ahead on crypto, covid, and AI. I have made money listening to it. what else will this community be ahead on?
  • if everyone buys the top 500 companies in the S&P, because "they're supposed to," then the top 500 are overvalued and you should buy the 501st company. (some mutual funds do this trade, and my rationalist friend who I think is smart, but who also lives in his mom's basement, swears there's still alpha in this. I don't bother.)
  • The future will be weird
  • Markets are anti-inductive

Of course, you probably should not be thinking too much about optimal investments if you have very little to invest, or if you are in debt. Weigh the value of your time. If you are young the most important thing to invest in is in yourself - your skills, equipment, knowledge, etc.

Whatever you use, remember to backup your vault regularly. A cautionary tale:

I lost access to my bitwarden vault containing a private key to a few thousand $ worth of crypto, after changing my master password to something that I was then not able to recall perfectly.  And bitwarden's website / extension start to rate limit you client-side after failed attempts. So instead, after a lot of research I was able to find the bitwarden hashfile on my computer where chrome stores data for its extensions. I then downloaded hashcat and tried to do a dictionary attack and some other clever attacks that made use of what I thought my password was supposed to be, but to no success.

Don't be me. Bitwarden lets you download your encrypted vault from the website or CLI. do that.

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