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I tend to have itchy eyes. An optometrist suggested "derm dry eye relief mask" by eyeeco. Heat it in the microwave 20 seconds or so and then lay down with this lump of warm stuff on your eyes for 10 minutes until it isn't warm anymore. Gently rub once afterward.

This seems to help and I do it fairly reliably.

The theory is that there are glands on your eyelids that secrete some magic substance that makes your eyes dry out slower. Those glands get clogged up if you stare at a computer screen and don't blink enough. Rubbing at them does a poor job of removing the cloggy stuff and the warm compress is better because the compress melts it. The optometrist claimed to be able to see the cloggy stuff.

This theory predicts that I would have dry eyes if I didn't rub them when they itched.

https://www.eyeeco.com/derm-warm-compress-mild-dry-eye-relief.html says they only sell to eye care professionals, but Google finds lots of equivalent competing products I could buy directly. I loathe that business model and I hope the competitors win.

They sell it for use with moist compresses, but I don't add any moisture.

In response to "how so?": If this catches on, you can sell a drug by infiltrating the forum and posting fake news of miracle cures under many different names.

For schemes like this to work, you need some way of guessing who trusts whom. The spammers might claim to trust each other, and you never really know who the spammers are. The best you can hope for is for the real people to get good information from other real people they trust, and the spammers get garbage information from other spammers but that doesn't matter because they are spammers.

I don't know of any implementations of this.

I read the book before reading this review. I have recently had success with the Conference Therapy technique they describe, so I highly recommend the book.

I actually started reading the book, rage-quit in the middle, then came back to it years later and found it useful. I rage-quit because the section on EMDR was about a patient with panic attacks, EMDR was done, and afterward the patient still had panic attacks but they claimed the treatment was a success anyway. Any sensible interpretation would call this failure. So at least one of the authors does motivated cognition. If several therapists are writing a book together and the outcome is motivated cognition, they are all making a mistake that is within their area of competence to fix, and they failed to fix it.

But, nevertheless, the Coherence Therapy parts of the book actually seem to work for me. I have to assume the coauthors didn't check each other's work, one of them cannot find and fix their own wrong emotional learnings, and the one(s) who wrote the Coherence Therapy parts didn't have that problem. Or maybe the Coherence Therapy parts are useful by luck.

Another issue is that it is apparently not unusual for a problem to need to be solved with Coherence Therapy several times before the symptom goes away. This is not well explained by their theory, but it seems to be true. The typical number is around 3, based on the examples in the book and my experience using the technique on myself. I tend to be stubborn, so if CT failed for a problem that is important to me, I hope I would try to use CT on it at least ten times before giving up.

Another problem is that they claim to be agnostic about which learnings are true and which are false. Nevertheless they start the process by identifying a symptom. The word "symptom" presupposes that beliefs that justify it are false. Even though they aren't as agnostic as they say, their technique appears to work. You have to ignore the pretend agnosticism to succeed with it.

I disagree with the review's approach of trying to figure out if the technique described in the book works by analyzing whether it agrees with the research or with other techniques. There are lots of therapy techniques that sound like they ought to work in principle but don't, so you can't find the truth in this space by reasoning from first principles.You know it works if you tried it and got good results. Otherwise you don't know it works.

In response to: "I don’t understand why or how weight-loss-that-is-definitely-not-changes-in-water-retention comes in chunks. If you have an answer I’m quite curious."

I too have observed that this happens. I read somewhere that if you lose fat, it is a few cells losing all of the fat instead of many cells each losing a little bit of the fat. The empty fat cells fill with water and your weight stays approximately constant. After there are enough empty fat cells that have been empty long enough, some of them do apoptosis and you pee out the water and you lose weight then.

I don't remember where I read it.

Does the discriminator get access to the symbolic representation of f, or just its behavior?

If the discriminator only gets access to the behavior of f, I might have a solution. Define g(y,z) = 1 if y = y * z, 0 otherwise. So g(y,z) is 1 if z is 1 or y is 0, which is two different mechanisms.

Pick some way to encode two numbers into one, so we have a one to one mapping E between pairs (y,z) and numbers x. Define f1(x) = g(E(x)).

Now pick a cryptographic hash H that might as well be sha256 except some fresh algorithm not known to the discriminator or guessable by the discriminator. Define f(x) = f1(H(x)).

Does that do what you want? If not, how does it fail?

f in the original problem stands for the AI's estimate of "are the humans getting what they want?", and the two mechanisms are the humans really getting what they want vs something insane and unwanted that manages to look that way. It seems unfair for the humans to encrypt their minds to make this difficult. The AI will have access to brain scans, so the discriminator should have access to the symbolic representation of f, and therefore if we assume an unguessable H we are solving the wrong problem. Agreed?

Another problem is that the f I stated is going to be hard for an AI to guess an x such that f(x) = 1. That is easily fixable. Redefine g so it clears all but the low 5 bits of y and z before doing the multiplication. Now the AI can guess x by trial and error with 1000-ish trials.

Eby hasn't updated his blog https://thinkingthingsdone.com/ in 10 years. He didn't even put a post there describing his wonderful next job or project, or his wonderful retirement. He is posting to Twitter, so he's not dead.

If his advice worked for him, he wouldn't be in that situation.