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My reading of the EMDR section was that the patient had panic attacks, did EMDR, then had a panic attack, and then either the patient ran out of money or it was time to write the paper, so we don't know about the presence or absence of panic attacks after that.

On rereading that section, it is clear that there is no claimed period of time when the patient was observed not to have a panic attack during that period of time. The last panic attack was labelled as "mild". I didn't bother to read back to see if any of the other panic attacks were "mild" before success was declared.

There is such a thing as a symptom pool. Some people who are having a difficult time instinctively acquire symptoms that are fashionable and signal their difficulty, but the symptoms are not related to the actual problem. The prototypical example for this, IIRC, is incidence of anorexia in some specific country (Hong Kong?). An anorexia awareness campaign caused that symptom to become fashionable and increased the apparent incidence much more than can be explained as an increased ability to observe the cases that were present before.

This applies to some but not all of the social dark matter being discussed in the OP. Like cosmological dark matter, there is room for debate about whether some instances of social dark matter are real or not.

I would not categorize you as Christian. In my conversations with Christians, the unifying themes have been:

  • God is good
  • Heaven exists as a desirable place to go after you die.
  • Jesus exists and has some significant role in getting you into Heaven.

You didn't mention Heaven at all and you seem to regard Jesus as another iteration in the general improvement of moral examples instead of as someone special.

I don't mean to imply that there is any reason for me to regard you as Christian. I'm just a little surprised, or maybe I have misunderstood you.

But to get back to the original question. My original question was indeed about what happens after death. I can clarify the question by pointing at these Bible verses:

2 Th 1:8-20: [Jesus or God] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

John 14:6 has Jesus saying "No one comes to the Father except through me."

These resemble 'the downside of not being Christian is "demons eat your guts"'.

So, how do you deal with living in a world where these verses exist in the Bible, God is good, and God communicates in the way we discussed that limits the ability of many to come to the Father and avoid everlasting destruction?

Be aware that 2 Th is commonly considered to be a forgery. However, it is canonical according to Catholics and all the other Christian groups I know of.

If you are Catholic, or remember being Catholic, and you're here, maybe you can explain something for me.

How do you reconcile God's benevolence and omnipotence with His communication patterns? Specifically: I assume you believe that the Good News was delivered at one specific place and time in the world, and then allowed to spread by natural means. God could have given everyone decent evidence that Jesus existed and was important, and God could have spread that information by some reliable means. I could imagine a trickster God playing games with an important message like that, but the Christian God is assumed to be good, not a trickster. How do you deal with this?

In response to "The real problem is humanity's lack of rationalist skills. We have bad epistemology, bad meta-ethics, and we don't update our beliefs based on evidence.":

Another missing rationalist skill is having some sensible way to decide who to trust. This is necessary because there isn't time to be rational about all topics. At best you can dig at the truth of a few important issues and trust friends to give you accurate beliefs about the rest. This failure has many ramifications:

  • The SBF/FTX fiasco.
  • I quit LessWrong for some years in part because there were people there who were arguing in bad faith and the existing mechanisms to control my exposure to such people were ineffective.
  • Automata and professional trolls lie freely on social media with no effective means to stop them.
  • On a larger scale, bad decisions about who to trust lead to perpetuation of religion, bad decisionmaking around Covid, and many other beliefs held mostly by people who haven't taken the time to attempt to be rational about them.

>if you won't accept 1 pepper for 1 mushroom, then you should accept 2 mushrooms for 1 pepper

You need a bunch more assumptions for this to hold, and I would like to know what they are. For example: If I don't have or want any mushrooms, and nobody I know wants mushrooms, then I can't accept 1 pepper for 1 mushroom because I can't pay the mushroom. But it still doesn't make any sense for me to accept two mushrooms for one pepper either because I don't have any use for two mushrooms. To get intuition about this, replace "mushroom" with something that is both useless and unavailable, such as a pound of neutrinos in a box. There's no way to get the neutrinos into the box, and even if you had them in the box, they would leave the box instantly and still be useless.

In general, there is a tendency for people to use alleged theorems without checking the premises. You can get surprising outcomes when the premises don't hold.

Found a different, perhaps better explanation: salt intake leads to temporary weight gain from water. Restaurant food is salty. 42:30

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. 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.

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