"The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is Dosage" Shirts and Bags

post by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-27T22:11:59.937Z · score: -3 (24 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 50 comments

Happy to share that, after multiple rounds of feedback, here is the set of rationality-themed T-shirts and bags with the slogan that got most support from the community, "The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is Dosage."

   

   

 

These t-shirts and bags are an effort to update based on the feedback received on the original set of rationality shirts and optimizing suggestions. This includes use of graphic images in the words, use of more professional designers, etc. We went back to the drawing board, and tried to design a new shirt that used a slogan that was quite popular. We ran the design by the Less Wrong FB group a couple of times (1, 2) and this is the final product.

 

As you can see, there are two styles available, one with "Dosage" empty and with the image of the dropper, and one with "Dosage" filled in and without the dropper. Various colors, sizes, and materials are available for each shirt/bag.


The first style is available for purchase on CafePress here.

The second style is available for purchase on CafePress here.

Look forward to hearing about your experience and thoughts about these t-shirts and bags, and the impact they make in carrying good rationality-themed memes into the world! We will be making more shirts and running them by the community as we did with these. All revenue will go into promoting rational thinking strategies to a broad audience.

50 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by mkf · 2015-12-28T10:58:20.179Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry to be blunt, but I find them simply ugly. This many fonts and effects make text hard to read and look like someone's first engagement with MS Word when they were 12.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T14:36:01.907Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for that feedback, really helpful - appreciate the bluntness :-) I'll take that feedback back to our designer.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-12-28T16:24:04.060Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Gleb, consider not making little object level changes, and reconsider IntentionalInsights as a whole. There is nothing rational about your approach to rationality outreach as far as I can see. I read your annual report. You spend 40k on intentional insights thing this year and deliver minimal value. It's absurd. You're good at writing and rational outreach as a journalist. I encourage you to keep doing that. The rest is annoying is shit. If it weren't so blatantly awkard one would think you were intentionally taking advantage of the rationalist community. Take it from someone who is also still learning how to make contributions that are valued by the community - if you get strong negative reactions to your discussion posts, really, deeply reconsider the strategy behind something - what I've learned is that even posts where I'm approaching something all wrong get upvoted if the topic is generally of interest. Your post here is an example of ,,,

I just realised I'm becoming even more critical than those who've criticised me here. I was going to delete this comment but I know Gleb appreciates critical feedback...

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T16:43:23.864Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I understand your concerns and your desire to help improve rationality outreach! I think we have a difference of opinion about the impact of Intentional Insights :-) There are lots of people who do want rationality-themed shirts, for example, and the fact that the current design doesn't work for many is just evidence of the need for more work on this area.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-12-28T16:49:42.575Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Would anything convince you to change your mind about Intentional Insights?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T17:06:55.379Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Of course, two things:

1) If I see clear evidence that Intentional Insights does not have support from those rationalists and effective altruists who are dedicated to spreading rationality to a broad audience.

2) If I see InIn content as not having a positive impact on a broad audience.

However:

1) There is clear evidence that a number of rationalists and EAs are supporting InIn, which is why my current estimate of this project having support from some members of these communities.

2) There is clear evidence of InIn having a positive impact on at least some members of a broad audience.

The annual report, which you read describes both of these.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-28T17:09:41.216Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There is clear evidence of InIn having a positive impact on at least some members of a broad audience.

Really? Which evidence? All I've seen so far is reports of, basically, impressions (eyeballs/clicks). Do you have evidence of actual positive impact?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T17:13:58.051Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

See pages 13 and 14 of this document.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-28T17:19:51.917Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

/rolls eyes

So if I convince a guy I know that he should finally junk his old car and get something that doesn't break down all the time, do I also get to brag about having clear evidence that I made a "positive impact on at least some members of a broad audience"?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T17:24:12.877Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If that is an example from a series of workshops you ran, sure :-) That's the kind of case study story that CFAR uses, after all, except they target elites who make decisions within their own lives/companies that address the kind of sunken cost fallacy this exemplifies.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-28T17:32:43.971Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think kitchen-table common-sense advice qualifies as spreading rationality and requires a full-blown non-profit to do :-/

Evidently, I also love hyphens X-)

comment by [deleted] · 2015-12-29T06:33:42.720Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think kitchen-table common-sense advice qualifies as spreading rationality and requires a full-blown non-profit to do :-/

You seem to have a much rosier outlook than I on the average person's ability to use common sense :)

comment by Lumifer · 2016-01-04T17:09:19.684Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You seem to have a much rosier outlook than I on the average person's ability to use common sense :)

I don't think that's true, I tend to consider "average people" idiots. But I also don't think that plain-vanilla advice along the lines of "don't normally carry a balance on your credit cards" requires a special non-profit or a lot of noise about rationality.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-04T17:45:42.366Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But I also don't think that plain-vanilla advice along the lines of "don't normally carry a balance on your credit cards" requires a special non-profit.

What do you think the best way to get these types of messages to sink in is?

comment by Lumifer · 2016-01-04T17:55:09.950Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Um, an advertising campaign professionally designed? :-/ If you want to manipulate people, ask those who do that for a living.

I'm rather sceptical about educating the stupid, though.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-04T18:09:56.233Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Um, an advertising campaign professionally designed?

Who pays for the professional design? Who coordinates it?

Isn't that the purpose of having a non-profit around becoming more rational?

comment by Lumifer · 2016-01-04T18:16:15.409Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Who pays for the professional design?

Whoever wants this to happen.

Isn't that the purpose of having a non-profit around becoming more rational?

So far Gleb is personally splashing in the slime pools of HuffPo while demonstrating, to my eyes, a rather breathtaking lack of a clue about marketing...

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-04T18:18:12.647Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So far Gleb is personally splashing in the slime pools of HuffPo while demonstrating, to my eyes, a rather breathtaking lack of a clue about marketing...

Yes, it remains to be seen (for me) whether Gleb is the right one to lead this non-profit, but I read your original statement as saying that such a non-profit shouldn't exist.

comment by Lumifer · 2016-01-04T18:51:03.253Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

as saying that such a non-profit shouldn't exist.

Not quite. Judgments about what should or should not exist are usually presumptuous and silly -- if Jane Doe wants to set up and run a non-profit aiming, say, to impress the wonders of the high-fiber diet on the constipated populace, she can perfectly well do so and I don't see my opinion about that as relevant.

I wouldn't run one and I would expect such a non-profit to be not an efficient use of money, but that's just me.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T17:36:21.316Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Hindsight bias is a powerful thing :-)

comment by LessWrong (LessWrong1) · 2015-12-28T07:51:47.644Z · score: 4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

This does not deserve to be on LW.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T14:35:18.551Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm confused - this is a follow-up of a longer discussion about this topic that was on LW for quite a while. What makes you believe it does not deserve to be on LW? I'm quite open to changing my mind on this with appropriate evidence.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-28T16:25:52.300Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

All you've done is take a very old saying (that doesn't have much to do with rationality), give it fontitis, and throw it on CafePress. What exactly does that have to do with LW?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T16:48:18.018Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm responding to the LW community's desires for this quote on a T-shirt as expressed here. Clearly, a number of people do find it expresses what they believe rationality is about. So might have to do with different ways of perceiving rationality.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-28T16:57:55.643Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm responding to the LW community's desires for this quote on a T-shirt as expressed here.

I don't think the LW community expressed any desires about T-shirts. And, of course, anyone who wants to can go onto CafePress (or Zazzle, etc.), upload their design, and get the t-shirt without any intermediaries involved. It's not rocket surgery.

You made a top-level post about the fact that you've designed a t-shirt and want people to buy it. Do you think that's a sufficiently high quality post for LW?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T17:12:03.895Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, when you said top-level post, I freaked and thought you meant main post for a sec. I had to go back and check into that again. Don't scare me like that :-)

For the other point, fair enough about the community comment, I update and take that back. Let me be more clear that a number of members of the community expressed a desire, which is why InIn took on the project of coordinating making t-shirts in the first place.

So your timeline is a bit off - people first expressed a desire, then InIn took on the project, then it was discussed quite a bit with Less Wrongers giving feedback on various phrases and design, then InIn made a first batch, then we got some more feedback, and now this is the first example of a second and more stylized batch. Thus, I do think it belongs on LW Discussion, not main, of course.

comment by LessWrong (LessWrong1) · 2015-12-28T17:53:49.394Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Slogans are by design anti-epistemology. While they may have some sort of intuitive appeal, (and I'd be grateful if someone told me if there's a proper term to it) even one dimensional thinking will already bring up more questions than the small "makes sense" intuition can answer.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T18:58:39.040Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I accept that you believe that, but there are plenty of Less Wrongers who disagree. So this is a matter of difference of aesthetic preference about one's thought processes, rather than a matter of objective statement. After all, even "I notice I'm confused" or "update your beliefs" are slogans, and they seem to be conducive to good epistemology.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-12-28T19:10:03.980Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"I notice I'm confused" or "Update your beliefs" would make better T-shirt slogans.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T20:00:57.208Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Here's the "I notice I'm confused" shirt, and we are working on "Update Your Beliefs" :-)

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-12-28T20:08:36.837Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The color of the letters makes a difficult contrast with the white background. That and the excessively thin font result in poor readability.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-29T03:36:18.761Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the feedback, will let our designers know - appreciate it!

comment by entirelyuseless · 2015-12-28T21:15:46.666Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Both of those slogans can be used to justify bad epistemology, e.g. the first to justify rejecting a factual narrative that actually happened but doesn't happen to correspond to your pre-existing beliefs, and the second to assume that something is probable because a lot of people you know happen to be arguing for it.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-29T03:36:46.252Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed they can be.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-28T17:35:13.068Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure what the slogan has to do with rationality, though I'd like a good slogan which told people to think about how much of something is good or bad, how good or bad it is at various quantities, and for whom. And while I'm wishing for a rocketship and a pony, I might as well include something about checking on whether your predictions match your theories.

Is lead at all good for people at any dose?

I agree that the shirt design has too many fonts and colors. When you first linked to the design, I despaired. I didn't want to do a tutorial.

At this point, have a partial memory-- an adage about not using more than 2 font families (it might have been 3) on a page unless you have a degree in design.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T17:41:41.625Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for that feedback, really helpful stuff about design! I will take that to our designer, and keep that in mind myself. For a bit of meta about myself - I don't have a good visual sense at all, so I am acting as a go-between for what Less Wrongers express as important and our designers.

For the slogan, it was expressed by a number of Less Wrongers here as something they associate with rationality, which is why we worked on it.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2015-12-28T17:48:47.379Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did the slogan make sense to you?

How did you choose your designers?

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T18:55:28.701Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nancy, the slogan made sense to me as a way of illustrating as a way of illustrating one aspect of rational thinking, but it's certainly not the most important aspect in my view.

Chose designers through Upwork.

comment by Raziel123 · 2015-12-28T14:53:44.258Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe you should crowdsource less and hire a professional designer with a clear aesthetic and judge just his final product has a whole, the T-shirt look like a collection of suggestions without coherence, I mean, 6 sentences, 3 fonts, 2 colors of letters and 2 different images all in the same space.

I am tempted to make an analogy between democracy and private government but I hope you get the point.

btw I find your capacity to update and the way you take criticism quite impressive (sometimes to the point of being cringeworthy).

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-28T16:44:50.851Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! Yeah, this is a good point. I am updating toward this perspective as I write the comment - really helpful!

Also appreciate the meta-comment about feedback and updating. I try :-)

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-12-28T17:42:27.839Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

btw I find your capacity to update and the way you take criticism quite impressive

Is there a term in the Dark Arts for that? Complimenting people for having the character of doing what you want them to do?

comment by Lumifer · 2015-12-28T17:45:14.291Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"positive reinforcement" :-)

comment by PhilGoetz · 2015-12-28T22:25:37.902Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry to say this now, but I think you should have posted the initial question on LessWrong in addition to on your Facebook page. Getting 6 likes is impressive, but it was the only suggestion offered.

I hope you don't get too discouraged by all the dislikes. Hopefully they just mean that those people don't want that particular t-shirt.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-29T03:35:43.502Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just to clarify, the initial question was posted on the Facebook Less Wrong group. But yeah, I guess I should have posted it on LW itself too, good point. Updating on that one :-)

comment by WhyAsk · 2015-12-29T16:46:02.112Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not to get all medical on you, but. . .

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=LD50&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

and

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=ed50&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2015-12-29T17:36:35.586Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nice, thanks for the references :-)

comment by Jiro · 2015-12-28T16:26:59.028Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not aware of any dosage of carbon monoxide that is medicine.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-12-28T16:35:54.012Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"CO functions as a signaling molecule in the neuronal system, involving the regulation of neurotransmitters and neuropeptide release, learning and memory, and odor response adaptation and many other neuronal activities."

comment by Jiro · 2015-12-28T16:44:43.731Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Is involved in normal biology" is not the same thing as "is medicine".

comment by polymathwannabe · 2015-12-28T16:46:47.586Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Research about CO is still at a stage where pharmacological applications are difficult to devise. It doesn't mean pharmacological use is in principle impossible.