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Group rationality diary, 6/4/12

Have you considered melatonin? Quoting gwern:

Melatonin allows us a different way of raising the cost, a physiological & self-enforcing way. Half an hour before we plan to go to sleep, we take a pill. The procrastinating effect will not work - half an hour is so far away that our decision-making process & willpower are undistorted and can make the right decision (viz. following the schedule). When the half-hour is up, the melatonin has begun to make us sleepy. Staying awake ceases to be free, to be the default option; now it is costly to fight the melatonin and remain awake.

I use it for exactly this reason and it works brilliantly.

If epistemic and instrumental rationality strongly conflict

This is like saying "if evolution wants a frog to appear poisonous, the most efficient way to accomplish that is to actually make it poisonous". Evolution has a long history of faking signals when it can get away with it. If evolution "wants" you to signal that you care about the truth, it will do so by causing you to actually care about the truth if and only if causing you to actually care about the truth has a lower fitness cost than the array of other potential dishonest signals on offer.

A Kick in the Rationals: What hurts you in your LessWrong Parts?

I've noticed many people who practise meditation have a strong belief in meditation and the more 'rational' core of Buddhist practices, but only belief in belief about the new age-y aspects. My meditation teacher, for example, consistently prefaces the new age stuff with "in Buddhist teachings" or "Buddhists believe" ("Buddhists believe we will be reincarnated") while making other claims as simple statements of fact ("mindfulness meditation is a useful relaxation technique").

9/11 as mindkiller

I appreciate this. I genuinely didn't (still don't ) understand what lessdazed was trying to say, and it would be a really bad thing if downvoting ignorance became common practice.

9/11 as mindkiller

It's important to avoid the if-not-for-the-worst-waste-of-money-in-the-budget-the-most-worthy-unfunded-program-would-have-been-funded argument.

Can you explain why? This seems like a perfectly normal and reasonable sort of argument about dividing a limited pool of resources wisely.

Please do not downvote every comment or post someone has ever made as a retaliation tactic.

Perhaps sparklines would work for this. They compress the recent history of a measurement in a space-efficient way which can fit inline with text.

Leveling IRL - level 1

This sounds a lot like the Scouting merit system, in a good way. I learned more life skills from Scouts then I ever did from public education.

Distracting wolves and real estate agents

This doesn't seem to be an answer to Wei Dai's question.

Best articles to link to when introducing someone to Less Wrong?

I recently introduced a friend to HPMR and she went on to discover Less Wrong entirely of her own accord. She has explicitly cited it as sparking her interest in things like Bayesian inference, which she would never have considered learning about before.

The 48 Rules of Power; Viable?

The link "summary" and the link "Here is a little more expanded text" seem to point to the same place, in my browser at least.

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