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Comment by andekn on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-23T12:05:25.913Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This seems to be just another case of journalists exaggerating and misrepresenting a scientists point in order to create attention-grabbing headlines, at least according to Anders Sandbergs blog post about the issue.

Comment by andekn on Rationality Quotes March 2014 · 2014-03-17T10:32:36.322Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

if there's a wall in your way, smash it down

BUT keep Chesterton's Fence in mind: if you don't know why there is a wall on your way, don't go blindly smashing it down. It might be there for a reason. First make absolutely sure you know why the wall exists in the first place; only then you may proceed with the smashing.

Comment by andekn on Shoulds can be changed to Cans · 2014-03-15T15:19:48.360Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly. I think almost every "should" statement includes an unspoken "...but I don't want to" in the end.

Comment by andekn on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-08T12:29:43.779Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Did you mean this post about him and his wife pushing each other into doing things they know the other will like, despite the spouse's initial protests: I Love My Wife Because She Disrespects Me?

Comment by andekn on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-08T11:03:04.544Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I attended a fire preparedness course, and the instructor told us that actual fire evacuation drills were not necessary. It was enough just to spend a couple of minutes vividly imagining what we would do in case of a fire. Our chances of surviving would greatly increase if we imagined the situation in advance. Unfortunately he gave no references to that claim.

Comment by andekn on Lifestyle interventions to increase longevity · 2014-03-01T21:59:00.599Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Let’s use flossing as an example. Trying to remember to floss after I brushed didn’t work. At all.

I had the same experience for years. Every six months or so I would read an article like this one reminding how important it is to floss, visit a dentist or something similar. Then I promised to myself that from now on, I'd floss daily. And then I'd forget to actually do it.

After reading The Power of Habit (the book Kaj Sotala summarised in his article linked above) I realised that just trying to remember would never work. Instead, I needed to create a cue. I did this by placing the floss in front of my facial cleanser. Then, every evening when I reached for the cleanser (this already was a habit for me), my hand would hit the floss. That reminded me to floss and only after flossing I would clean my face. And it worked. I don't have to think about flossing anymore: after a month it had become a habit and now, after six months or so it's starting to feel weird that there was a time I didn't floss every day.

Comment by andekn on Rethinking Education · 2014-02-18T08:33:49.880Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I actually agree with you on all points, but I think you are underestimating how overwhelming things can be for a teacher just beginning her career. Without any central curriculum a teacher has to inspect textbooks much more carefully in order to find a book that would suit her needs. It's a lot of extra work.

This is a smaller problem in math and science teaching and a larger one at humanities and social sciences. This problem could be alleviated by having teacher education include classes where you get familiarised with different textbooks and different approaches to teaching your subject.

Comment by andekn on Rethinking Education · 2014-02-17T17:39:11.345Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

To use the graph structure fully, you would have to allow each student to progress individually... but then you can't have in the same classroom, listening to the teacher

Well, yes and no. There are methods (usually called within-class groups) that allow students to progress at different paces while being in the same classroom. These methods usually depend a lot on small-group instruction and peer helping. So no, they won't be simply listening to the teacher, at least not all at the same time.

Comment by andekn on Rethinking Education · 2014-02-17T17:08:36.947Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If you get rid of the whole idea of a curriculum teachers are suddenly free to innovate.

They are also free to teach e.g. young-Earth creationism. At least some degree of standardisation is beneficial, since it creates boundaries against worst excesses. Also, curriculum makes it easier for a beginning teacher to organise her classes, although this could also be arranged by having loose guidelines instead of strict curriculum.

Comment by andekn on Open Thread for January 8 - 16 2014 · 2014-01-14T11:15:33.346Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I had the same problem couple of months ago. It was about confirming an e-mail address: I received an email asking me to confirm the address I was using, with a link. After that, I could comment normally. Unfortunately I can't remember what I did in order to receive that email: something in preferences, probably.

Comment by andekn on Open thread for January 1-7, 2014 · 2014-01-06T19:51:55.399Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know whether you refer to a business partner, you are male and refer to a girlfriend or you are female and refer to a boyfriend.

You omit at least two possibilities: that he is male and referring to his boyfriend or that she is female and referring to her girlfriend. In these cases, word "boy/girlfriend" would have you interpreting the situation wrongly.

As others have commented, the fact that we do not know these unnecessary details is a feature, not a bug, of ungendered words.

Comment by andekn on What is the Main/Discussion distinction, and what should it be? · 2014-01-05T22:52:33.002Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

When you go to the Discussion page, there is a permanent disclaimer on top: "This part of the site is for the discussion of topics not yet ready or not suitable for normal top-level posts" (emphasis mine). That would indicate that at least originally Discussion was meant for lower-quality content.

Comment by andekn on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2014-01-03T22:48:18.019Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Hanson/Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate".

Comment by andekn on How I Am Productive · 2013-12-16T11:22:11.638Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm interested in what this looks like. Could you elaborate?

My weekly review looks like this:

  • I go through my "Waiting" folder and see if some things should be moved to "Action" desk. I add them to my task list.

  • I look through my to-do list for tasks that have no set date on them. I pick one that I could do during next week and assign a date and time for it.

  • Then there are the bits I took from the daily review in your plan: I take a moment to reflect the successes and mistakes of the past week. Are my habits and tasks working? Is there something I should change, add or remove in the routine?

Comment by andekn on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-11T20:16:02.237Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sometimes, yes.

Well, if you're still interested: the book is called "Opastin" and here's a link to buy it. I don't believe they ship outside Finland, though.

Comment by andekn on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-11T12:44:18.620Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately it's written in Finnish.

Comment by andekn on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-10T11:51:34.721Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I had my first book published. It's a textbook for upper elementary school, and I'm reasonably confident it is the only such textbook in the world that includes

  • an explanation of the planning fallacy

  • a description of confirmation bias and survivor bias

  • a sub-section titled "What do you think you know and why do you think you know it?".

Comment by andekn on How I Am Productive · 2013-12-09T12:56:03.230Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

This article was so good, I wanted to put it to a test. At the start of October I began to try the advice given in the article. Now, after two months of practice, I wanted to give thanks. This practice has increased my productivity substantially; for example I am now almost two months ahead of schedule on a major work project. This is quite unprecedented experience for me.

I didn't follow your every advice and I had to abandon some ideas that obviosly were not working for me. Following are my experiences: I hope that somebody gets some little benefit from them.

The most helpful bits of the article:

  • Write things down. This really was the most important rule. I now have a notepad with a pencil next to it in every room of my apartment. Whenever a thought hits me, I write it down.

  • Two minute rule. This was also something I needed to hear. I used to have a bad habit of procrastinating over the smallest things. The "Two Minute Rule" was a useful heuristic to get rid of that.

  • To-Do-lists. I was already using my calendar a lot, but using to-do-lists more actively was a major change.

  • Action-Waiting-Reference. Very useful. I now have a habit of not leaving anything on a desk unless I'm going to do something to it within two days. Rest of the things go into "Waiting" folder or "Reference" shelf.

  • Weekly review. This seemed like a small thing, but it was something that had been missing from my previous attempts at increasing productivity.

Things I tried, but didn't really work for me:

  • Workflowy. The possibility of creating hierarchical lists is fantastic, but without notifications and alerts a to-do-list isn't as helpful to me. I use Gtasks for Android instead.

  • Eisenhower Matrix. Too many of the tasks seemed to be "Kinda Important and Semi-Urgent", i.e. I had trouble sorting them under Eisenhower matrix.

  • Always Inbox Zero. Don't really see the point. It seems like too much trouble for too little benefit. This might be due to the fact that I don't get that much email, at least compared to some people.

  • Daily reviews. Too much introspection for every day: I incorporated bits of this into the weekly review.

This article made a significant change in my life. Thank you for posting it.

Comment by andekn on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-25T19:24:35.796Z · score: 26 (26 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey.

This is, incidentally, my first comment on LessWrong. I've lurked for years, and pretty much thought I'll probably stay as a lurker for good. For some reason taking the survey made me want to break my silence.So that's a bonus, I guess.