All of Ustice's Comments + Replies

Does anyone else sometimes "run out of gas" when trying to think?

Yes. I have ADHD. Sometimes it’s like my brain just refuses to cooperate. This is more common when I have been stressed or haven’t had enough sleep. I’m a software engineer, and so it’s very obvious to me while working. It’s like the code loses all meaning, or more specifically I can’t keep track of all of the different contexts.

ADHD for me feels like I lack the ability to have background processes. It feels like most people have all of these background thought that stick around, like “I need to check on the food in an hour,” or “once I’m home, I need to l... (read more)

1Sunny from QAD10moThis very much matches my own experiences! Keeping something in the back of my mind has always been somewhere between difficult and impossible for me, and for that reason I set timers for all important events during the day (classes, interviews, meetings, etc). I also carry a pocket-sized notebook and a writing utensil with me wherever I go, in case I stumble on something that I have to deal with "later". I have also found my attention drifting away in the middle of conversations, and I too have cultivated the skill of non-rudely admitting to it and asking the other person to repeat themselves. As for improvising... I play piano, and the main thing I do is improvise! I find improv sessions much easier to stay engaged in than sessions spent trying to read through sheet music. And, I also have a ton of projects that are 1/4 to 3/4 done (though I think that's probably common to a larger subset of people than the other things). So thanks for sharing your experiences! I had never seriously considered the possibility that I had ADHD before, even though I've known for a while that I have a somewhat atypical mind. I'm gonna look into that! Makes note in said pocket-sized notebook. Side note: I think one reason I never wondered whether I have ADHD is that, in my perception, claiming to have ADHD is something of a "fad" among people in my age group, and I think my brain sort of silently assumed that that means it's not also a real condition that people can actually suffer from. That's gonna be a WHOOPS from me, dawg.
Examples of positive-sum(ish) games?

My intuition is that there are an (effectively) infinite number of ways that people can cooperate to their mutual benefit above which they can achieve alone. This is true on the individual-level such as two people building a shelter. It’s also true on the level of societies where economies generate wealth and value.

On a more physics-level, potentially fusion? I mean you’re giving up mass for energy, but I suppose that would depend on your definition of a game. My view on games is that this wouldn’t apply, as there are no players, but I’d also include your ... (read more)

Does taking extreme measures to avoid the coronavirus make sense when you factor in the possibility of a really long life?

1% is a pretty high estimate; however, It’s okay to value your life to an arbitrary degree. Yes, that breaks down outside certain bounds, but it’s okay to take precautions. It’s a scary situation. Just don’t forget to see to your emotional needs too.

I hope that you’re doing well. It’s nice to run into you.

  • Jason Kleinberg
A 'Practice of Rationality' Sequence?
Answer by UsticeFeb 14, 202015

I would add active and empathic listening, and nonviolent communication. By improving our skills at communicating and connecting with others, we improve both our effectiveness in cooperation as well as the quality of our relationships.

2romeostevensit2y+1 exploring a technical topic with another person involves a lot of soft skills, and this might be one of the anti correlations that makes dramatic progress rare.
Illness anxiety disorder: how to become more rational?

I don’t think that more tests are necessary. You’ve had two doctors look, and you have had your chest imaged. The chance that it is cancer given two strong pieces of evidence against, given that your baseline risk is very low, is extremely low.

You’re privileging your hypothesis, and are only looking to conform rather than looking to disprove your hypothesis.

The problem isn’t your beliefs though. It sounds like you logically understand that you are very likely fine, but your aliefs are misaligned. Those are harder to change. More evidence isn’t going to do

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1completely_irrational2yTo give a bit more context, whenever I had the GPs "touch" the parts that I feel were alarming, they never managed to "feel it" or "grab it" the way I do. So I don't feel like I gave them enough evidence. And for the "chest being imaged", it was about one year ago (things might have changed since then), and the doctor did it quickly looking at my heart, not really looking precisely at the part that I'm concerned about. (I know that I sound a bit like "the medical evidence is wrong, they didn't find anything because they weren't doing it right, I know what I truly have", but that's how I honestly feel). I didn't know about the concept of alief, that's really cool, thanks! Not now, definitely needed. I feel like someone specialized in illness anxiety would help more with the anxiety than a psychiatrist, but the psychiatrist would know what's psychosomatic and what's not. I'm unsure how much you could injure yourself from just probing daily (with different levels of intensity) for like 6 months. That's definitely something I considered. When I probe my right chest, it's painful for like 10-20m, but I almost never do it. When I saw the first GP, he told me the region I was pointing at was near a tendon in the "pectoralis major". Interesting. I haven't reached the point where I do it every hour. For now, it's maybe 10m in bed, so not too constraining. I also have enough self-control to not do it during the day (even more now that I wrote this post). Word. I'm the kind of person to develop new anxieties with cannabis though.
Operationalizing Newcomb's Problem

After the experiment has ended, and I’m free to stay in the waiting room, or leave, I’ll stay for 10 minutes, and walk out having given the correct answer, and to hell with your extrinsic motivations! 😉

Seriously though, I think that I would stay the ten minutes regardless of what is in the bag. I’d either expect that they would eventually award the $200, or I would have enjoyed the experience enough that I’d probably just frame the $10 bill.

As to the possibility of that then being the true end of the experiment, I’m just not going to go down that recursive rabbit hole.

Personal musings on Individualism and Empathy

I've found I've become much happier as I honed my empathy while minimizing the assumptions that I make about others.

I'm pretty convinced that none of us really understand the vast majority of our own motivations. It therefore feels doubly useless to worry about that in others. It's better to just have a theory of behavior when looking at people most of the time. It allows you to really understand how others feel when they are just as lost and confused as me.

It's listening and communication over modeling. When someone tells you how they feel, just fullstop

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How to notice being mind-hacked

I'm willing to accept your meaning when you say "mind hack," but each of your examples read as personal epiphanies. From the inside I think that it feels like, "Wow! Yeah!" It's generally preceded by simlier smaller moments.

I have worried about this when I encountered some of the neoreactionary ideas on here and related communities. I could see myself—given that I have seen people who have had such shifts in thought—being swayed by reasonable arguements, and adopting what I currently believe to be repugnant conclusions, and thus spreading darkness in the u

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1Pattern3ySuppose we are open to ideas for a reason.* Then we would need a greater reason still, to not be so. *This practice is associated with an idea about ideas, and might be applied only to lesser ideas. (Or apply with a degree inversely proportional to idea level. For instance, to prove that all actions are equally useful requires much more evidence, than to prove that one action is more than/less than/equal in value to another.)
What self-help has helped you?

The three most useful for me:

Codependent No More — This really helped me get past some problematic behaviors in relationships. It helped me form a foundation without coersion. It showed me that having boundaries is healthy.

Nonviolent Communication — This one helped me learn techniques to talk about hard subjects with people without them getting defensive.

The Ethical Slut — This gave me language for ideas that I already had as well as guidance on how to do polyamory in a healthy way.

3habryka3yWant to make this an answer instead of a comment?
4ChristianKl3yThere are many ways to learn nonviolent communication, how did you learn it?
Do Animals Have Rights?

Slaves? Obligations? Seriously? This is an absolutist argument. It's the sort of argument that you'd hear for supporting slavery as society was changing away from the vile practice.

My guess is that once our society isn't dependent on animals for meat—and likely medical experimentation—the idea of animals having rights will be in the majority.

If animals have rights, then our only obligation is to respect those rights.

Common sense as a prior

How would this apply to social issues do you think? It seems that this is a poor way to be on the front of social change? If this strategy was widely applied, would we ever have seen the 15th and 19th amendments to the Constitution here in the US?

On a more personal basis, I'm polyamorous, but if I followed your framework, I would have to reject polyamory as a viable relationship model. Yes, the elite don't have a lot of data on polyamory, but although I have researched the good and the bad, and how it can work compared to monogamy, but I don't think that I would be able to convince the elite of my opinions.

0Nick_Beckstead8yMy impression is that the most trustworthy people are more likely to be at the front of good social movements than the general public, so that if people generally adopted the framework, many of the promising social movements would progress more quickly than they actually did. I am not sufficiently aware of the specific history of the 15th and 19th amendments to say more than that at this point. There is a general question about how the framework is related to innovation. Aren't innovators generally going against elite common sense? I think that innovators are often overconfident about the quality of their ideas, and have significantly more confidence in their ideas than they need for their projects to be worthwhile by the standards of elite common sense. E.g., I don't think you need to have high confidence that Facebook is going to pan out for it to be worthwhile to try to make Facebook. Elite common sense may see most attempts at innovation as unlikely to succeed, but I think it would judge many as worthwhile in cases where we'll get to find out whether the innovation was any good or not. This might point somewhat in the direction of less innovation. However, I think that the most trustworthy people tend to innovate more, are more in favor of innovation than the general population, and are less risk-averse than the general population. These factors might point in favor of more innovation. It is unclear to me whether we would have more or less innovation if the framework were widely adopted, but I suspect we would have more. My impression is that elite common sense is not highly discriminating against polyamory as a relationship model. It would probably be skeptical of polyamory for the general person, but say that it might work for some people, and that it could make sense for certain interested people to try it out. If your opinion is that polyamory should be the norm, I agree that you wouldn't be able to convince elite common sense of this. My personal take i
HP:MoR Audio Book Pilot

As someone that often listens to audiobooks while driving, I don't find problems with comprehension, unless there is something that is taking up a large portion of my attention. As long as I can basically drive on instinct and muscle memory, I remember it as well as if reading it. If there is something that I have to listen to, or read, then I generally either stop the book, or go back.

One strange effect for me though is that if within the next week or so, I hear a part of the book, I can tell you exactly where I was at that time, though I can't generally go the other way, and think of where I was in a book when I was last at a location. The brain is pretty weird/cool.

0jwhendy11yHmmm. Interesting to know. I did listen to a lot of religious debates, but I'm not sure how to tell if I have great recollection. I could summarize the gist and certainly remember the overall points/strategies, though. Debates probably aren't the best for trying to probe post-listening recall, though. They're all over the place and I've listened to so many on the same topic that they blur together. Maybe I should just try this and see what happens. Re. the knowing your location, that's really cool. I can do something like that visually -- if a quote struck me, I can remember quite long after where it is on the page and just riffle through keeping my eyes fixed on that part of each page and find it.
HP:MoR Audio Book Pilot

Geography isn't a problem. Skype can be used to get everyone "together."