Posts

Why capitalism? 2015-05-03T18:16:02.562Z · score: 8 (12 votes)
Could you tell me what's wrong with this? 2015-04-14T10:43:49.478Z · score: 1 (4 votes)
I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines 2015-04-11T17:52:04.900Z · score: 10 (11 votes)
On immortality 2015-04-09T18:42:35.626Z · score: 1 (14 votes)

Comments

Comment by algon on On immortality · 2017-10-21T19:12:01.414Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I get the problem(s) now.

Its been over two years. Why'd you bother commenting? I don't mean that in an agressive way.

Comment by algon on Open thread, Sep. 12 - Sep. 18, 2016 · 2016-09-12T11:02:48.207Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Do some people here agree with the 'prime directive' approach in general? I think its not very good myself, for the same reasons one might contact and exchange ideas with tribes that have no knowledge about the rest of the world.

Comment by algon on Should you change where you live? (also - a worked “how to solve a question”) · 2016-07-23T15:18:29.147Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Why the down votes? Decent article by the way.

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-06-15T10:20:48.751Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That is a good point.

Still, it would be nice if I could do such things when I really need to. Would you mind sharing the techniques you used?

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-06-03T16:06:56.147Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've seen you mention trigger point therapy before. It's something I do, and it helps to a degree, but it has not had made a large change in my quality of life.

The rest seems worthwhile. Thank you for that.

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-06-03T16:03:51.108Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the help!

I have chronic migraines. In my case it means a constant headache with a powerful migraine every few days.

In terms of medication, I've tried: Triptans & NSAIDs as pain relief; Propanalol, Amitriptyline, Topiramate and an Ocipital Nerve block as preventation. I've tried Magnesium as a supplement, which I'd hear helped others.

Then there's stuff like acupuncture, trigger points and one or two things I can't remember the name of.

Botox is an option, but one that's met with resistance in my family.

That's it I think. I really appreciate the advice.

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-06-01T17:22:33.129Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Pain catastrophising seems like a bad thing. So are you saying that trying the reverse is a good thing?

Do you know any strategies that you can recommend?

I was recommended cognitive behaviour therapy because I've tried almost all medications. I'm guessing that its something like what you're talking about.

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-06-01T17:19:21.928Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, a Thriving Journal seems like a good idea. Thanks for mentioning it. It makes sense.

I do try avoiding thoughts like 'my life sucks' or things like that because of the reasons you said. Its just that every so often, I get fall into a negative feedback loop. Which is not very fun.

One 'hope' I recently acquired is being able to lucid dream. It seems like you can avoid feeling pain in lucid dreaming, so its something I'm working towards. Any one tried something along those lines.

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-05-31T20:10:08.617Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

To fellow victims of chronic pain: do you ever despair about the future, knowing your pain might never end? If so, how do you deal with it?

I've made it a schelling point to never end it all. To leave open the possibility of suicide seems too dangerous to me, too alluring. But I'm still afraid that one day I might try. Do any of you ever feel like this?

I would like to know how others deal with this, as I'm only doing so-so.

Comment by algon on Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 · 2016-05-23T15:16:35.754Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good god, how long did that take to write?

Comment by algon on Room For More Funding In AI Safety Is Highly Uncertain · 2016-05-13T21:26:23.964Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if MIRI's General Staff or Advisors deal with issues like this.

Your last point was interesting. I tried making a few, narrow comparisons with other fields that are important to people emotionally and physically i.e. cancer research and poverty charities. Upon a cursory glance, things like quacks, deceit and falsification seem present in these areas. So I suppose stuff like that's possible in AI safety.

Though I guess the people involved in AI safety would try much harder to lock out people like that or publicly challange people who have no clue what they're saying. However, its possible that some group might emerge that promotes shaky ideas which gain traction.

Though I think the scrutiny of those in the field and their judgements would cut down things like that.

Comment by algon on Open Thread March 28 - April 3 , 2016 · 2016-03-30T10:40:54.737Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

But, isn't this what he's been saying for years? What's the point in posting about it?

Comment by algon on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-16T11:45:58.284Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

All the constraints you put down aren't the same as making the least powerful genie. Restricting its time or resources or whatever increases its efficiency, but that's just as a by product, an accident. The least powerful genie should be the most efficient, not as a by-product of its design, but as the end goal. The model you put down just happens to approximate the least powerful genie.

Comment by algon on Stupid Questions August 2015 · 2015-08-03T20:07:30.119Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does that mean I should try and seek a high paying job? Or try and add a little more brainpower to the problem? Perhaps both?

Really, my life goal for the past decade and a half was to become a physicist. But this definitely seems like something I'm obligated to support.

But I will definitely try and donate whatever meagre amounts I can produce.

Comment by algon on Stupid Questions August 2015 · 2015-08-03T20:02:09.413Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the recommendation.

Comment by algon on Stupid Questions August 2015 · 2015-08-03T18:12:27.019Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hello. I am a young man about who's quite worried about Ai, like many here, and I'd like to know if I could help in any way.

I can't donate much money, at least not for a few years, and from reading So8res' recent post, money won't be much of an issue in a few years.

However, I am fairly intelligent, and I think I could help a little research wise. Of course, after a few years of rigorous study.

But there are many people at least as intelligent as I, so perhaps my trying to help wouldn't make any difference.

The issue is, I'm in no place to know. If someone out there is working in the field and comes across this, please advise me on what to do. Should I study hard and try and help a little, or would going down this path be fruitless?

Comment by algon on State-Space of Background Assumptions · 2015-07-29T20:02:11.938Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with the others, some of those questions would take way too long to answer properly. They were pretty vague.

And the middle option should reflect some neutral position like 'I'm not sure' rather than 'it's irrelevant for consciousness', or whatever. That's what I used it for.

Also (though this is really my fault) some of those terms were unfamiliar, and I was feeling to lazy too look them all up, so you may get some anomalies in there. I expect some people might have done this with at least one question.

Comment by algon on Stupid Questions July 2015 · 2015-07-13T09:12:48.900Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Is MIRI making an FAI only in regards to humans? That is, it would do whatever best aligned itself with what humans want?

If so, what would happen in the case of extra terrestrial contact? All sorts of nasty situations could occur e.g. them having an AI as well, with a fairly different set of goals, so the two AIs might engage in some huge and terrifying conflict. Or maybe they'd just agree to co-operate because the conflict would be too costly.

So have the researchers at MIRI put something like this as a goal?

Comment by algon on There is no such thing as strength: a parody · 2015-07-06T20:11:09.582Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, that makes sense.

I would probably put something like 'this is a parody of the arguments used for 'there is no such thing as intelligence etc'' as some people (AKA me) might not pick up what you're parodying.

Though perhaps I'm just in a small minority, and I don't read internet debates as often as others do.

Thanks for the clarification by the way.

Comment by algon on There is no such thing as strength: a parody · 2015-07-06T08:59:26.810Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You know, I must applaud you. You really surprised me there. After reading that I could only say 'What?'

Was this made as a prank or just as a humorous piece? I'm quite curious to know your intentions here.

Comment by algon on Open Thread, Jun. 22 - Jun. 28, 2015 · 2015-06-26T19:14:35.888Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A little while back, someone asked me 'Why don't you pray for goal X?' and I said that there were theological difficulties with that and since we were about to go into the cinema, it was hardly the place for a proper theological discussion.

But that got me thinking, if there weren't any theological problems with praying for things, would I do it? Well, maybe. The problem being that there's a whole host of deities, with many requiring different approaches.

For example, If I learnt that the God of the Old Testament was right, I would probably change my set of acceptable actions very, very quickly. Perhaps another reasonable response would be to try and very carefully convince this God to change its mind about a couple of things, as though the God of the Old Testament is capable of change if I remember rightly.

On the other end of the spectrum, what about the Greek gods? Well, I think it would still be a good idea to try and convince them not be, you know, egotistical tyrants. Or failing that, humanity should probably try and contain them in some fashion, because who'd want someone like Zeus going about as they pleased?

And if Aristotle's Prime mover were real... Well, I guess you'd just ignore it.

Anyway, I think Its a pretty interesting topic, if not a very useful one.

Any thoughts on how you'd react to any of humanities collection of deities?

Comment by algon on In praise of gullibility? · 2015-06-18T14:57:53.817Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm gullible. Or at least that's what I'm told...

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T20:53:02.823Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, I guess I sort of agree with the things you said, though I'm not sure how else I could express my feelings on your comment.

But I think that the Collaborative Commons does provide an alternate to capitalism in the form of a social economy rather than a market economy. And the rise of things like social entrepreneurship seem to back that up.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T19:01:59.237Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Alright. So, personally (as I'm just one person, and fairly frugal by nature, with a pretty poor memory) I have bought several tissue box holders, a little soap box, two phone cases, a replacement for my satchel's arm strap (which could have been easily repaired with a 3D printer), a couple of plastic door handles, several headphones which I replaced because the little bits at the end broke of (you know, the small ones) and I had to get, and would like to get, several other things replaced because of some small but important little bits that fell off.

This is off the top of my head, and I'm not even the home owner. If you included all the little bits and bobs over the past three years that my family and I have bought/replaced and would like to replace but its too damn expensive over the past three years, I think £400 is not too unreasonable, which is about $600.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T18:44:01.328Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I meant things like that, on that sort of scale and complexity.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T17:01:26.215Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Eh, I meant more like phone stands and cases. Door handles as in the actual nob. Do people lean on door handles? Also, what kind of toiler paper holders do you use? I've never seen one with a spring inside. What sort of mechanism does it use?

And a low quality 3D printer is something that probably could last a few years. And if not now, then certainly in a few years time.

The thing is, 3D printing is only really getting its legs under it. In order to really revolutionise things it needs to have the proper infrastructure developing alongside it which is only happening now. Each industrial revolution not only had a new mode of production, but also a new form of energy and communication accompanying it. We have the communications medium, the internet, but the so called 'energy internet' and the 'internet of things' are just starting to emerge, and it will probably take a few decades before the whole 'third industrial revolution' is finished.

By the way, I didn't just make that up, Here's an article from the economist briefly covering the idea: http://www.economist.com/node/21553017

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T15:24:01.904Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, so a cheap, low end 3-D printer costs about $400-500. Feedstock costs about $30-40 per KG. Now, with one of these, you can make things like stands, casings, door handles, so on and so forth.

Lets assume that things like this would cost you about $200 dollars a year, including things that you would have to replace because they're damaged. Now, if you use about a kg or two each year, and use hollow constructions, you could make a 'return' of about $120 each year, including the filament costs. That's about 4 years before the 3D printer pays for itself.

You could also get something like the filbot: http://www.gizmag.com/filabot-plastic-recycling/25848/ for about $300 (not the one in the link), in which case you pretty much eliminate filament costs and you'd break even in roughly... 4 years. Still, its probably a good idea to get one if you're going to be printing a lot of things and want to recycle some of you old stuff.

Now, of course, the technologies getting better and better each year, so you'd probably be wise and wait a few years before investing in one. However, it is still a reasonable purchase right now.

I will add one caveat, however. You probably won't get things with as high a quality finish as if you bought them, but from a functional stand point, they're fine.

Edit: Also, this: http://www.appropedia.org/Waste_plastic_extruder and this: http://reprap.org/wiki/Recyclebot make some decent points about sustainable development.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T14:56:50.320Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

hmm, i thin I phrased that poorly. What I meant to say is'X is part of the reason why the Commons was dismissed as an economic paradigm'.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T14:48:18.945Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps. And probably cheaper too. Also, I don't think that was taking into account the time it took to make the parts, or the shipping times.

And yes, I am comparing current pre fab tech to 3D printing. I apologise if I wasn't clear.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T14:45:28.427Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's why I'm advocating the commons as an alternate to capitalism. I mean, capitalism has done a lot of good, but it has also done a lot of bad. Or more accurately, it has allowed a lot of bad things to happen. I would still prefer a capitalist world to the old hunter gather one, or a Marxist society. But I just think that the Commons represents a good, or maybe even better, alternative.

I've added a few links to the main discussion post. I recommend them because they will probably get the idea of the commons across way better than I can.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T14:07:22.064Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Prefabs are, correct me if I'm wrong, made using current technologies, which are more expensive than just printing off a few walls, a base and all the other stuff. Also, the 3D printer is potentially much faster. In fact, scratch that, I am reasonably sure that it is much faster, and can, or will soon be able to, produce a similar quality product for less cost, and with less waste. Also, I suspect that you would be able to transport these printers in one or two large trucks from some nearby construction centres, with the trucks also going back to get the feedstock.

The internet of things stands to greatly increase the efficiency of the current logistics systems in place. I mean, they're shockingly bad. I was actually surprised by how inefficient they tend to be. And this whole paragraph is largely useless.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T13:21:42.828Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think this lecture and paper might better get across what I mean: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2009/ostrom_lecture.pdf http://www.kuhlen.name/MATERIALIEN/eDok/governing_the_commons1.pdf That is, I am advocating a certain type of management rather than just hand waving it away and saying 'social guidelines will make it work',

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T13:09:41.112Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Dr. Berokh Koshnevis, a professor of industrial and systems engineering in the university of Southern California, with support and funding from the US department of defence and NASA for creating techniques for 3D printing buildings was quoted as saying that after 20,000 years of human construction, 'the process of constructing buildings is about to be revolutionised' link:http://singularityhub.com/2012/08/22/3d-printers-may-someday-construct-homes-in-less-than-a-day/ It should give you all the info you asked for.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T11:44:38.701Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

One of the reasons that capitalism is considered to be the best economic paradigm rather than the Commons was because of an influential paper written about half a century ago called the tragedy of the commons. Another paper written later as a rebuttal was called the 'comedy of the commons' and you might want to give it a read, because it would be much better structured/backed up than my responses.

And 3D printing houses was just accomplished. Its just getting of the ground, but its expected by industry experts to make a huge impact on the construction market. If I remember rightly, its estimated that around 2025 it will become the dominant construction technique.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T11:37:18.580Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, that was just one example. I didn't mean anything very deep by saying solar panels. But yes, 3D printing will just get better and better. I mean, it is more cost effective, right now, to get a 3D printer and just print off some common household items than buying them. Like those little things you use to hold up toilet rolls. And as 3D printing gets better and better, and cheaper and cheaper, we will be able to make more things at home without needing to but them.

Sure, the feedstock will cost something for the near future, and so will the energy, but both those things will get cheaper and cheaper. Energy in the form of the energy internet, where we all effectively pool together the various forms of renewable energy we use to provide free energy, at much higher efficiencies than right now. The feedstock will eventually be free because automatons will be able to gather them. And they'll be running of free electricity, and be constructed by... 3D printers and automatons. It'll take a while to get there, but once we do, there won't be any need for companies producing utilities or services. It'll be self-sustaining.

And the resources required, right now, aren't that much of an issue. Someone designed a 3D printed to run off thrown away plastic. Eventually, we'll have enough stuff floating around that we can just make new things out of the old unwanted ones. Of course, that's assuming we make things from all recyclable things.

Now, some people here have mentioned that we couldn't just go wild with 3D printing and print a skyscraper for everyone (can't think of another example right now), as it wouldn't be sustainable. However, I am not advocating a situation where there is suddenly no form of governance about how much you should make. Rather, I am saying that capitalism is not necessarily it.

The alternate? The Commons. I've heard that the paper 'the comedy of the commons' is very good, so you might want to give that a read.

Also, I expect this to be a slow process. The book I was reading pegs the 'eclipse of capitalism' by about 2050, which I find reasonable. And in regards to copyright laws and things like that, many people are advocating for creative commons licences, which is growing as a movement. Eventually, we'll live in a society where social capital is more important than material capital. But capitalism, in the materialistic sense, won't be needed to govern it.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T08:12:52.885Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll definitely read them.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T07:31:33.853Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The commons itself works. Read the 'Comedy of the commons' which was written as an answer to Garret Hardin's 'tragedy of the commons'.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T07:29:00.606Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, so I'm not advocating a world where there is suddenly no business modal and everyone does whatever the hell they want.

I'm advocating (seriously, the book was really comprehensive and very good) the Commons as a governing scheme, wherein members share their resources and have general rules of self governance. This has happened around the world, and there are many isolated communities which have practised this governance model for centuries.

And in regards to your last point, I didn't say that companies would fund anything like this. It would in fact be the people themselves. That is, utility companies will pass on the cost to their customers in the form of small hikes, and the rest will be absorbed by the government over about three decades.

Things like this (upgrade of the electricity grid) have happened before, and they were also public ally funded. For example, in America in the early 20th century, many people didn't have electricity as they were living in rural areas. The then power companies didn't want to invest in them, as they thought rural homes were too few, too spread out and lacking in purchasing power. As a result, the government attempted to do it themselves. And thus the rural electric administration was born.

Sadly, the government could not do provide power to rural America all be themselves. So what did they do? They encourage rural farmers to form electric co-operatives, and granted them low-interest loans along with technical and legal assistance.

The result? Rural America got electricity for about 40% of the cost of what the utility companies estimated it would cost. Massive economic benefit shortly followed.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T07:10:12.987Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't mean to say that 'capitalism will be destroyed'. Just that I was converted to the idea that it will one day be eclipsed by The Commons as an economic paradigm. The market will still exist, and may well continue to be the dominant economic paradigm, but it is also possible that the commons will overcome it. So people who only sell things for a positive price will still exist. But more and more, people are making things on creative commons licences, where everyone is allowed to freely use it. This trend has emerged in various sectors over the past decade or two, and is only growing. Hotels for example are being challenged by various free, or very cheap, services where members stay at other members houses.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-04T07:04:39.693Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The examples you outlined there are part of a governing system called the Commons, which is an older system than capitalism. That is what the author was advocating. Edit: This first paragraph is very badly phrased, but I can't rephrase it properly right now. Sorry for any confusion.

He proposed that this sort of system would not allow for rampant abuse, and gave examples of how in various Commons around the world, resources were self-regulated by the community.

People do not necesarilly need a market to prevent them from wasting electricity. That is part of the governing structure of the commons, wherein social rules prevented overconsumption from occurring.

Yes, there are economies of scale which allow for things like batteries to be built. In fact, one needs to be able to use such economies of scale in order to make a profit. But 3D printing requires no such thing. You pointed out that nothing that could be made by a 3D printer springs out. But your flat itself is able to be made by 3D printers, and at a much lower cost than what we currently have. You can also 3D print solar panels. And this is just right now. The technology keeps on getting better.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-03T19:28:45.171Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Would you be okay with waiting a while before I reply? I need to check a few things here and there.

Edit 1: Renewable energies have lower subsidies globally than fossil fuels. In Germany, a quarter of energy comes from renewables. In fact, only 7% of the renewable sector in Germany was owned by the big traditional power and utility companies. The rest is owned by individuals (40%), energy niche players (14%), farmers (11%), various energy intensive industrial companies (9%), financial companies (11%) and small regional and international utilities owned another 7%. Gerard Mestrallet, CEO of GDF suez (a French utility company) called it a 'real revolution'

There are communities around the world where, after everyone switching to renewable energy sources, they no longer paid energy bills. That is, their energy was free. Part of the reason why we energy is not at zero marginal costs right now is because the current facilities, which are based on technologies from the second industrial revolution, are too inefficient. The building of an energy internet in the US will likely cost about $1.2 trillion, with a return of about $2 Trillion. This doesn't even begin to take into account how much more efficient such a system would be than the current one. The savings would be massive.

It requires massive corporations to take advantage of economies of scale in order to get a profit from fossil fuels. The new 'energy internet' is far more efficient. In fact, if it is properly installed, it represents a future where energies will be zero marginal cost.

temporary edit: that's it for today. I need to switch off the computer now.

Comment by algon on Why capitalism? · 2015-05-03T19:23:08.607Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, I know that no cost doesn't equal zero profit. It is entirely possible that the world will stay capitalist because of various powerful groups (the book also happens to covers this topic. I would recommend it. I think its quite good. But of course, the whole reason I posted this was to see if it is actually any good. So let's wait and see?)

You said that there are fixed costs for things like t.v. shows, and I agree. But part of the reason, maybe most, that people don't create things for free is because the want wealth. And people typically want wealth because it lets them get various goods and services. But if you can get those services for essentially nothing, then there isn't much need for profit.

So if you can get things for essentially zero and have most of your basic needs provided for, you don't really need a job. With this sudden upsurge in free time, and with the basically free equipment, people are capable of indulging their creative/intellectual pursuits.

Just look at all the great works people have put up for free on the internet. Sure there are things like patreon, but creators only really want to make a decent wage so they can provide for themselves and their families, no? You said that there are fixed costs for things like t.v. shows, and I agree. But part of the reason that people don't

Comment by algon on Open Thread, Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2015 · 2015-04-23T20:15:49.329Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What are the consequences of neutral actions in ethics? After a quick perusal of Google, there doesn't seem to be anything addressing my question, and I think there should be some discussion on this.

This question is related to a problem I've been having with ethics lately; namely, should ones ethical system be viable in any kind of reality? Failing that, shouldn't there be some omniversal meta-ethical structure?

I've had a few thoughts on this, and some arguments played out in my head, but I want to see what others think.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-22T16:15:33.428Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That sounds quite promising. I've heard a bit about acupuncture, and its on my countries national health service, so I'll give it a go.

Apparently some research has been done on this, which has shed some light on the subject, but its not yet been able to explain it all. Apparently its pretty difficult to perform a quality experiment to check hypothesis about acupuncture.

Thanks for the advice. No one else recommended it, and I had put acupuncture fairly low on my to try list. If you hadn't recommended it, I probably wouldn't have thought of it for a while.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-16T20:31:42.339Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oops, sorry, I was being stupid. For some reason, I equated quality and variety. My bad.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-16T19:22:58.397Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But haven't studies shown that wines are a lot more similar than people think? As in, very cheap, common wines are considered to be as good as high quality wines by wine testers when they don't know what it is.

The cheese example is interesting though, That's probably the best way I've heard it described.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-16T18:38:21.074Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So is the taste very different to other drinks? I mean, its such a staple in so many parts of the world, I can't help but think its either: delicious, unique or just an easy to get intoxicant. Maybe all of the above.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-16T18:35:19.793Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I do not hold a high opinion of alternative medicine, but I accept that there is something to it. Some things are genuinely helpful i.e. acupuncture. That said, I don't have them highly placed on my to-try list. However, my father is a big believer in alternative/folk medicine, and the sheer amount/variety of stuff I've tried is just too much to note down here. Not one really did anything. But I'll still try it, as long as it isn't too dangerous.

Also, in regards to the blood pressure thing, I sort of get why that helps some people. Some migraines either cause an excess/deficiency of blood and you can ease the pain by getting blood away/in there respectively. For example, a cold compress causes vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels) and cuts the amount of blood in the brain. A heat pack/headstand does the reverse.

Usually, you get one or the other. For me, I get both. They usually result in an increase in pain, but I can combat them relatively quickly. I am also quite hydrated, so that's not an issue. My salt intake is about right, so that's not a worry.

I hadn't thought about modifying my diet, but I eat my culture's food fairly often, so it's probably no that. I'll still put it on the to-try list though.

Thanks for all the advice, you've been really helpful.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-16T18:26:29.636Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, your friend must really love wine. I don't drink alcohol, but is it really all that? I just assumed that most people have alcoholic beverages for the 'buzz'/intoxication.

Comment by algon on I'd like advice from LW regarding migraines · 2015-04-16T09:48:57.600Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I try to limit my drug intake to what is safe. But I sometimes use as much as I possibly can in one go. Usually, that is when I either have a few days off so I can just get my migraine down to a headache with a lot of drugs (lasts for a day, max) or when it is very bad. When it is very bad, it just reduces it to my normal levels. And I don't think anyone in my family has epilepsy, though quite a few have had migraines. I have stopped growing.

Thanks for the advice, I hadn't heard about the lead kits, or the inner ear problems before. I'll try and get on that.