Vlad Loweren

I do science, take photos, and give dating advice. 

My links: https://linktr.ee/See_Elegance

Wiki Contributions


Can confirm, I also didn't have good experience with open-ended questions on dating apps. I get more responses with binary choice questions that invite elaboration, e.g. "Are you living here or just visiting?" and "How was your Friday night, did you go out or stay in?".

Outside of dating, another example that comes to my mind are questions like "What's your favorite movie?". I now avoid the "what's your favorite" questions because they require the respondent to assess their entire life history and make a revealing choice as if I'm giving them a personality test – not everyone is prepared and vulnerable enough to do that. It's also impossible to decline to answer without coming along as impolite ("I'm not telling you") or unsophisticated ("I don't really have a favorite"). 

Instead, I ask "Did you watch any interesting movies recently?", and sometimes add a justification for the question that lowers the stakes ("I'm looking for something new to watch"). This allows the respondent to either answer something their memory readily gives them right away, or simply answer "Not really", in which case I might reply with something I've seen recently and recommend it.

Large breed dogs often die of heart disease which is often due to dilated cardiomyopathy (heart becomes enlarged and can't pump blood effectively). This enlargement can come from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (overgrowth of the heart muscle).

Dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are two different conditions that I've not seen co-occur. They are basically sign-flipped versions of each other.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is when heart tissue becomes weaker and thinner. It stretches out like an overfilled balloon, and can't beat with the same strength. Symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, in severe cases progressing into inability to circulate blood (heart failure).

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is when the heart tissue becomes stronger and thicker. The inner heart space becomes too narrow and can cause a heart valve to get stuck in the "closed" position, stopping the outflow of blood. This type of cardiomyopathy often stays asymptomatic and undiagnosed by routine checkups, until one day a young athletic person presents with a symptom of "sudden cardiac death".

The only feature they both share in common that comes to mind is that the heart becomes larger on X-ray (Cardiomegaly).

One problem I see with your insect alien example, which also, in a much greater way, influences human attractiveness, is that there are not just four, or five, or a dozen of physical attractiveness factors, but hundreds of them. 


Absolutely. Some are simple, legible, and included in our morphometric models explicitly as measurements (height, skin color). Some are highly compound, perceived on a subconscious level and can only be modeled via data science ("aggressiveness").

  • height on a man is considered attractive
  • low body fat on a man is considered attractive, but;
  • a combination of too much height and too little body fat would be unattractive.

Yes, for each flawlessness model there's a maximum point with no flaws, and deviating from this point would lower your score in this model. You can imagine your example as a two-dimensional graph with a maximum value at some combination of (height, body fat), and deviating from that combination would lower the score.

My take is there are hundreds, even thousands of traits that fall under "Flawlessness" but they play very weirdly against each other, and thus Appeal is born; a personal subconscious opinion on what sets of traits one likes most.

How many traits are there in the best-performing flawlessness model nowadays?
I'd describe sequence of events in another order: Appeal is born first, Desirability is an approximation of Appeal, and Flawlessness is a proxy of Desirability. Each one is more usable but also more detached from reality than the last.

Well done, however it's one of the more convoluted correct answers that I've seen.

I guess it works with the riddle as formulated, but the true solution has to use the actual switch function.

You are on a circular train, with carriages connecting so that they form a closed loop. There is a lightbulb in each carriage which is randomly set either on or off. You can find a switch to each lightbulb in the same carriage. You can only interact with switches and nothing else. You have infinite time, the train is not infinite but arbitrarily long. How do you determine, with 100% certainty, how many carriages are there in a loop?

Answer by Vlad Loweren80

Since you've mentioned you're also interested in non-romantic relationships, I (late 20s M) have been casual dating on Tinder for four years. I tend to select my matches based on how attractive they look to me. Most of my dates are students in humanities or arts, service workers, or working professionals in non-STEM fields such as hospitality or translation. Programmers, models and blue collar workers are rarer.

On the first date I typically start with FORD smalltalk topics (family, occupation, recreation, dreams). I discovered that this approach doesn't always need to be boring - I can ask my date about what would she do with a billion dollars, or tell her about the time my organoid kidneys got transformed into beating hearts during my PhD research. This prompt often leads my date to ask: "you're not going to steal my kidneys, are you?", to which I reply: "I'm the least likely person to do this - if I need some, I will just grow them in my lab".

After that we can transition into our topics of interest (that is, if we're not making out yet by this point). Last month I invited my match on a first date to a bar where I told her about Fermi Paradox, then about AI alignment, then I asked her whether she would take hypothetical anti-aging pills, then we kissed and went to a love hotel. Two months ago, on another first date my match spent 90 minutes trying to solve a simple logical riddle, then gave up and left. I didn't hear from her again.

Irrationality is one thing I found hard to deal with - for example when my date brings up astrology signs. At first I was very argumentative or tried to convince my date that she's wrong, but that tends to go poorly. Nowadays I simply switch the topic to my love of astronomy, or play a little prank on my date:

"What's your sign?"

"I don't remember"

"Well, what's your birth date?"

"It's in February"

she pulls out astrological sign table

"Which day?"


"Well you're Pisces then"

"I'm pretty sure February 30th is not on your calendar"

sudden realization

The majority of my dates I only see once or twice, but some of them transformed into friendships or FWB-type relationships. Many of them live in other cities or abroad, but they call me up from time to time when they return to my city. We also keep contact through social media (Instagram).

I'm happy with my dating life and with people I meet - I just wish it was more frequent and less expensive. Almost all of my dates are nice and kind people, some of them can have interesting conversations or can point out my flaws and improve me. My dates also tend to drag me out of my comfort zone and give me a reason to try stuff I would never try for myself, like spontaneously flying to Amsterdam or going to a trampoline park. As for the deep discussion of rationalist-adjacent topics, I'm quite satisfied just talking about them online or with my IRL friends and coworkers.

As a photographer, I got excited at first by the inclusion of the word "visible", but I guess today is not my day. Is there any chance for me to participate in training ML models by collecting a dataset of photos? I'm in the process of relocating to Singapore, but getting a work visa takes a while so I have a lot of free time now.

"Everybody" is a very strong claim, since there needs to only be one person who didn't find it disappointing for the claim to be false. I am that person. I started off barely getting any matches, but after putting in effort in my photography, style, conversation and flirting I now have a happy casual dating lifestyle. I recommend other people to do the same.

Great post! A few months ago I realized that when playing League of Legends, I have a problem losing the sight of my character in chaotic 5v5 teamfights. At the same time, I never had this problem in a casual ARAM mode. It took me some time to realize that in ARAM my camera was fixed on the character, while the regular mode had it floating free. Nowadays when the teamfight is coming, I lock my camera on my character so I can play the game like it's Hades.

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