A hypothetical candidate walks into a hypothetical job interview... 2010-11-09T04:13:55.592Z


Comment by AngryParsley on How to sign up for Alcor cryo · 2015-04-27T09:57:05.925Z · LW · GW

Is that 50-55% estimate conditional on no civilizational collapse or extinction event? Either way, it seems very optimistic. According to current actuarial estimates, a 30 year-old has about a 50% chance of living another 50 years. For life expectancy to dramatically increase, a lot of things have to fall into place over the next half-century. If you think anti-aging tech will be available in 30 years, consider how medicine has advanced in the past 30. Unless there are significant breakthroughs, we're sunk. I'm signed up for cryo and I donate to SENS, but my estimates are much more pessimistic than yours.

Comment by AngryParsley on [deleted post] 2015-02-11T21:40:45.554Z

If you want to improve your writing, I strongly recommend The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker. He explains why certain guidelines usually make text clearer, shows how they can fail, then gives the underlying mechanisms for why. It's a much more scientific look at language than the usual, "Trust my advice because I'm good at writing. Do this. Don't do this. Except sometimes, do."

Comment by AngryParsley on Rationalist Sport · 2014-06-18T08:16:29.878Z · LW · GW

The real answer is: Whatever you can get yourself to do regularly.

If you don't exercise regularly, deciding on a sport is like a picking a programming language before you've learned even one of them. There is no one-size-fits-all sport or exercise. It really depends on your interests, physical abilities, social circle, the weather, what's near you, etc. This discussion might help give people ideas, but so could a list of sports. The most important thing is to get out there and do something.

Also, your quoted example sounds like a just-so story. I thought bowling and football were popular because they're an excuse to drink with friends.

Comment by AngryParsley on My Heartbleed learning experience and alternative to poor quality Heartbleed instructions. · 2014-04-16T09:52:14.372Z · LW · GW

I think Eugine_Nier means to imply (and I would agree) that anybody using SSL2 is incompetent when it comes to security.

If you have a significant amount of money in your account, I recommend asking your bank about multi-factor authentication. I had to pay a small fee for it, but Wells Fargo gave me an RSA token for my accounts. Its use is required when transferring funds to other banks. So even if my password is stolen, my money is safe. Silicon Valley Bank has a similar scheme using SMS authentication.

Comment by AngryParsley on My Heartbleed learning experience and alternative to poor quality Heartbleed instructions. · 2014-04-15T17:09:56.516Z · LW · GW

For #1, "I reacted immediately" and "I reacted when the urgency became evident" are probably the same thing for most people. I heard about the bug 20 minutes after it was announced, from the Cloudflare blog of all places. Not even USN had posted about it. I patched my servers within an hour, and spent the next 5 hours waiting for my CA to respond to my revocation and re-key requests. Apparently they were inundated.

On the bright side, I prepared for security issues like this. I used multi-factor auth for our admin tools and perfect forward secrecy cipher suites for our TLS. Even with our private key, previously recorded traffic cannot be decrypted. And if an attacker got ahold of our passwords, they would still need to steal our YubiKeys to get access to our admin tools.

Hooray for being paranoid about security.

Comment by AngryParsley on What are you working on? December 2011 · 2014-02-13T16:12:16.429Z · LW · GW

An update for those who are curious: Ag is now the 11th most-starred C repository on GitHub. It's more popular than memcached or Arduino. It will soon surpass XBMC to become #10. People freakin' love it.

Comment by AngryParsley on How can I spend money to improve my life? · 2014-02-10T09:11:48.381Z · LW · GW

The risk of dry eye is because LASIK cuts a flap in the cornea, severing many of the nerves that sense irritation and dryness. Other procedures like epi-LASEK or PRK don't involve cutting into the cornea, so their risk of dry eye is much lower. Unfortunately, those procedures are more painful and take months to heal. They involve scraping the epithelial cells off of your cornea, zapping your eye, and then letting them grow back. On the bright side, there is no flap that can be dislodged by a blow to the eye.

I got wavefront-guided epi-LASEK a few years ago. My vision went from 20/200 to 20/15. It can be pricey ($5k), but it's definitely the best money I've ever spent.

Comment by AngryParsley on As an upload, would you join the society of full telepaths/empaths? · 2013-10-16T08:35:15.669Z · LW · GW

I defy your assertion that both societies are similarly happy. Unless the telepath society is extremely accepting of fringe thoughts, it's going to be worse. Knowing that others will read your thoughts and judge you for them causes you to censor yourself. But at that point, it's already too late. People will know that you thought of something objectionable and suppressed it out of fear of judgement.

Really though, the two options are silly. Ems allow for so many more possibilities. A society in which people could voluntarily expose their thoughts would have quite a few advantages. Ditto for a society with perfect (optional, voluntary) lie detection.

Comment by AngryParsley on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-13T18:23:37.042Z · LW · GW

I do not. Your praise is more than enough.

Also, I have pretty much everything I want that can be ordered off Amazon.

Comment by AngryParsley on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-12T11:56:02.905Z · LW · GW

My co-founder and I launched Floobits, a tool for remote pair programming. We'd been soft-launched and were slowly growing through word of mouth, but we hadn't tried to get publicity or told the world that we're a Y Combinator startup.

We got coverage on:

...and a couple other places I've forgotten about.

I also wrote an insubstantial post about getting into YC. It doesn't contain any special hints, just a summary of the journey so far.

Demo day is next week, so maybe I should have waited to post in this thread. :)

Comment by AngryParsley on "Why doesn't that cool thing happen when I *try* to do it?" · 2013-03-06T23:22:49.628Z · LW · GW

That was my first thought as well.

My second thought was, "Somebody needs to clean their desk."

Comment by AngryParsley on What are you working on? February 2013 · 2013-02-07T05:11:03.248Z · LW · GW

This is a follow up to the last time I posted in a WAYWO thread.

A little over a year ago, I started working on a code searching tool in my spare time. It's been more successful than I ever thought it would be. The GitHub repo has more watchers than Ack, the project I set out to imitate. I learned a lot about optimizing, profiling, benchmarking, and using pthreads.

It's also had a nice side-benefit: random people online recognize me.

Comment by AngryParsley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-04T02:34:56.666Z · LW · GW

I liked the movie, but I was annoyed by the misleading editing near the end.

Gur vagreivrjf gnyxvat nobhg gur snzvyl xvyyvat Avpubynf vagrefcrefrq jvgu gur cevingr vairfgvtngbe qvttvat va gur onpx lneq ernyyl fhttrfgrq gung gurl jbhyq svaq n obql. V xrcg guvaxvat, "Gurer'f ab jnl ur'f tbvat gb svaq n obql... ohg ubj ryfr jvyy guvf raq? Gurl jbhyq bayl neenatr gurfr fprarf gbtrgure vs vg jnf tbvat gb cnl bss." Gura bs pbhefr, vg qvqa'g cnl bss.

I'd say it's worth a watch, although I'd never heard of the disappearance of Nicholas Barclay. I'm not sure it'd be as interesting for someone who already knew the story.

Comment by AngryParsley on What are you working on? December 2012 · 2013-02-02T10:52:05.672Z · LW · GW

Considering recent progress in self-driving vehicles, I don't think that's a wise career choice.

Comment by AngryParsley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-09T10:53:41.859Z · LW · GW

English vocals tend to distract me, so much of my work music is ambient. All album links are to Spotify.

Many of the names are pretentious, but I find the music pleasant.

Comment by AngryParsley on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-05T22:25:16.783Z · LW · GW

Yes, I noticed I could skip around. I mostly did the questions in order, since they got progressively harder. Still, I ran out of time and had to guess on the last two.

Comment by AngryParsley on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T21:40:45.368Z · LW · GW

SD was 15 and the tests were geared for high-IQ people. I've taken tests meant for average people and gotten hilarious results (163).

Comment by AngryParsley on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T08:54:57.297Z · LW · GW

Back in grade school, I took several real-life IQ tests and usually scored in the high 130's to low 140's. I'd heard of Raven's Progressive Matrices, but this was the first time I'd taken that type of test. It was quite humbling. I got 122 on From what I've heard in #lesswrong, most people score low on this test.

I opened the test again in a different browser, VPN'd from a different country. It gave the same questions. That means your subsequent tests aren't valid. You already knew many of the answers. Worse, you knew which questions had stumped you before. You were probably thinking about those questions before you started the test a second or third time.

Comment by AngryParsley on Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo · 2012-09-30T08:01:27.173Z · LW · GW

It was a rhetorical question. You do have a way of knowing that you haven't thought of anything new: The idea of cryonics has been around for over half a century. Brilliant and creative minds have explored the argument territory quite thoroughly. You should expect to bring nothing new to the table.

Rant mode engaged.

Your post won't help us learn how to convince women to sign up for cryonics. The sample size isn't random and it's certainly not big enough to draw any useful conclusions from. We'll just replay some tired replies to some tired objections. At best, it will teach us how to convince Epiphany to sign up.

Most importantly, is there any other area of debate where we use different arguments to convince women? It would be bizarre. This is especially true for a topic like cryonics, where "convincing" mostly involves fielding objections. If you want to convince people, then learn about the topic. When someone brings up a specific objection, you can use your knowledge to construct a reply that's convincing, informative, and true. It works no matter one's gender.

Rant mode disengaged.

Comment by AngryParsley on Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo · 2012-09-30T06:20:04.303Z · LW · GW

I'm signed up for cryo and I don't want to convince you.

This topic has been discussed to death, both here and elsewhere online. Do you think you've brought up any arguments that haven't been discussed before? Replying to these objections is a waste of time.

In general, "convince me" posts are a bad idea. You've got a brain. You've got a computer. You've got a search engine. Use them. Convince yourself.

Comment by AngryParsley on Less Wrong Polls in Comments · 2012-09-23T08:33:04.500Z · LW · GW

The results so far (only showing answers with > 1 responder):

11 "0.0"
 8 "-1.0"
 7 "2147483647.0"
 5 "3.0"
 4 "42.0"
 4 "1e+19"
 3 "9.0"
 3 "8.0"
 3 "1.0"
 2 "666.0"
 2 "32767.0"
 2 "24.0"
 2 "2.0"
 2 "1e+17"

To regenerate this, run grep -v "#" poll.csv | awk -F , '{ print $3 }' | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr.

I'm not surprised by the number of votes for 2^31-1. It was the first number to pop into my head when I saw the poll.

Comment by AngryParsley on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-08-14T04:56:07.642Z · LW · GW

That study was about VCs choosing investments, not startup founders working long, stressful hours side-by-side. I realize there are disadvantages to working with friends, but I'm pretty sure the advantages outweigh them. Paul Graham seems to agree, and he makes a living picking founders.

Comment by AngryParsley on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-08-14T03:38:11.906Z · LW · GW

I think the biggest problem with your proposal is that it's hard to do a startup with founders who don't know each other well. The founders and early employees will face long hours, stress, and possibly financial woes. Some background history and an interview aren't enough to ensure that someone won't flake. The best co-founders are friends who have worked together previously. As Paul Graham says:

And the relationship between the founders has to be strong. They must genuinely like one another, and work well together. Startups do to the relationship between the founders what a dog does to a sock: if it can be pulled apart, it will be.

Comment by AngryParsley on Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations · 2012-07-05T05:29:23.781Z · LW · GW

A reading light. It's battery-powered and can clamp onto things. I find it useful for reading in bed, especially when travelling.

Comment by AngryParsley on Rationality Quotes July 2012 · 2012-07-05T02:33:31.105Z · LW · GW

I'd like to propose a new guideline for rationality quotes:

  • Please don't post multiple quotes from the same source.

I enjoy the Alpha Centauri quotes, but I think posting 5 of them at once is going a bit overboard. It dominates the conversation. I'm fine with them all getting posted eventually. If they're good quotes, they can wait a couple months.

Comment by AngryParsley on Group rationality diary, 6/25/12 · 2012-06-27T09:38:35.289Z · LW · GW

I'm glad you're focusing on improving your appearance, but be careful. If they think you're going to be a one-time customer (Which is likely, since you don't live here. Yes, people can tell.), the staff have a massive incentive to say you look good. Bring a friend if you want an honest evaluation.

Comment by AngryParsley on Marketplace Transactions Open Thread · 2012-06-04T00:19:36.527Z · LW · GW

I bought this, and I endorse it. It could be expanded in some places*, but it's a great start.

*I should have taken notes while reading. I definitely remember thinking "this part seems too brief", but I don't remember where.

Comment by AngryParsley on Low Hanging Fruit in Computer Hardware · 2012-06-01T16:02:35.052Z · LW · GW

I agree with everything mentioned, but I'd like to add one thing:

If you use your computer a lot and you have money, don't hesitate to buy something expensive. The cost per hour ends up being ridiculously low. I've said this for years, but many of my peers are still averse to spending "too much" on computer equipment.

Comment by AngryParsley on Mindfulness Meditation Thread · 2012-04-25T07:08:20.008Z · LW · GW

I was in the same spot as you until I read this post by Sam Harris. It's a pretty good intro to mindful meditation. It also links to some useful resources, such as guided audio tracks.

Comment by AngryParsley on What are you working on? December 2011 · 2011-12-14T16:24:56.427Z · LW · GW

I've tried Eclipse's search before, and it's way too slow for my needs. Also, the Eclipse UI has a lot of annoyances since it's not a native OS X application. It doesn't obey my keyboard map, for example.

I haven't seen grepcode before, but it looks like it builds an index. That's a non-starter for me, since code often changes and I don't want to wait for an index to get rebuilt before searching. If the tool silently rebuilds the index in the background, it's even worse. Then I don't know if the search results are correct or not.

Comment by AngryParsley on What are you working on? December 2011 · 2011-12-14T09:38:58.117Z · LW · GW

For the past couple of weeks I've been writing a utility to search through code quickly. I'm doing this because at work, some large dependencies got tossed in extern, making ack and grep pretty slow. At first I tried to make them faster (creating aliases to ignore certain files), but I soon gave up and started writing my own thing.

Grep is slow because it doesn't ignore files by default. Ack is slow because it's written in Perl. So I'm writing it in C, using libpcre for the regex matching. So far it's about 3x faster than ack and 10x faster than grep. With some tweaking to ignore special files like generated code, I got it even faster than that. (0.5 seconds to search the codebase. For comparison, grep was 12 seconds and ack was 4.)

The Github repo is here. I don't recommend anyone try it out yet. It's not even close to done. Although I use it daily, I still need to iron out some formatting bugs, a couple of potential crashes, and then write docs. I bet it'll take me a couple weeks to sort all that stuff out.

(Before anyone replies: Yes, I do know about ctags and git-grep. Ctags requires rebuilding an index after changing any files, and git-grep doesn't work on non-git repositories. Also git-grep can't ignore files committed in the repo, such as everything in extern.)

Comment by AngryParsley on . · 2011-08-28T23:43:40.186Z · LW · GW

I think the one-sidedness of it made it funny to me. The turtle had absolutely no chance, and it was probably oblivious to any danger. It reminded me of The World's Most One-Sided Fistfights Caught on Film.

Of course I also felt a twinge of pity for the turtle.

Comment by AngryParsley on Rational Home Buying · 2011-08-27T03:41:07.757Z · LW · GW

I never thought to write a post about it, but I use similar criteria when looking for an apartment. It's easier to switch apartments than houses, but it's harder to modify an apartment. This means that many of the criteria for apartments are more specific. Here are some criteria I use that Yvain didn't mention:

  • East-facing windows. The sun rising in the morning is great at waking me up and forcing me to keep a normal sleep schedule. Without it I tend to go on a 26-28 hour day.
  • Noise level. If possible, try to talk to some tenants. Try to gauge their age and propensity to make noise. I love living in an apartment complex full of older people. It's so quiet.
  • Top floor. I can't stand people stomping above me. High-rises usually have better sound insulation, making this less of an issue.
  • At least a block or two away from major streets. Big streets have more horns honking and are popular routes for emergency vehicles.
  • Fast internet access. Often, only one ISP is available in an apartment complex.

This list has slowly grown as I've moved to different places and been plagued by different annoyances. My current place fulfills most of the criteria, although it's a little too close to a major street. Firetruck sirens are louder than most emergency vehicles; enough that they break my concentration if I'm not wearing headphones. On the other hand, the Internet connection is particularly fast: symmetrical 100Mbit.

Comment by AngryParsley on Rationality Quotes August 2011 · 2011-08-03T21:34:56.901Z · LW · GW

In the Golden Oecumene, modifying minds is commonplace, so people are usually as patient, humble, energetic, etc as they can be. The quote is about changing more basic values. Ironjoy was a sociopath until the Curia punished him.

Comment by AngryParsley on Rationality Quotes August 2011 · 2011-08-03T05:00:10.039Z · LW · GW

"You could trifle with your mind, using activators and redactors from your own thought-shop, and put yourself back into the state of mind you were in before the Curia forced you to experience your victims' lives."

"Is this some sort of test or quiz? You know I shall not do that."

"Why not?"

Ironjoy started to turn away, but then stopped, turned, and answered the question. “If I were now as I was then, I would gladly change my self to remain as I was then; but I am now as I am now. The me that I am now has no desire to be any other me. Isn’t that the fundamental nature of the self?”

-- The Phoenix Exultant by John C. Wright

Comment by AngryParsley on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-28T06:37:21.655Z · LW · GW

I run a decent amount and I used to be self-conscious about it. Eventually I realized: What does it matter what random strangers think? Their opinion of you has no effect on your life. They won't even know your name or remember your face.

Now it doesn't feel the least bit unusual when I ignore people. I'm breathing hard. In a few minutes I'll be half a mile away from this person. Why spend the effort to make eye contact and nod?

Comment by AngryParsley on Please refresh your browser cache so the new design will look right. · 2011-06-22T10:14:26.196Z · LW · GW

Take the advice of GTmetrix with a big grain of salt. Many of their recommendations are conflicting ("Remove query strings from static resources" vs "Use a CDN") or difficult/expensive to implement (CSS sprites).

It looks like easy wins would be to enable compression and put script tags after CSS includes. Everything else, meh.

Comment by AngryParsley on So, I guess the site redesign is live? · 2011-06-22T09:28:05.823Z · LW · GW

That's a caching issue. The + and - have been replaced with thumbs-up and thumbs-down.

Comment by AngryParsley on Please refresh your browser cache so the new design will look right. · 2011-06-22T09:19:51.566Z · LW · GW

You probably already know this, but if the CSS was generated, you could minify it and have cache-busting. It looks like this is already done for most of the site's JavaScript. All the CSS includes have cache-busting query strings. Ditto for a good portion of images in the HTML. So currently, users get the updated CSS immediately, but their browser will display cached versions of the images included in url references in the CSS. Adding "?blah=12345678" to the url() references in main.css, lesswrong.css, etc would fix this. Then people wouldn't have to worry about styling bugs due to browser caching.

Comment by AngryParsley on Help Request: Cryonics Policies · 2011-06-19T08:43:25.132Z · LW · GW

I looked at both before I signed up, and chose Alcor. Both organizations have similar numbers of members and corpsicles, but I bet the average wealth of their members is quite different. Alcor's higher dues are reflected in their staffing, research, and legal battles. CI is much more low-key.

The biggest difference between Alcor and CI is that Alcor does standby and transport. If you're very ill, they'll send a team to your deathbed so you can be cryopreserved as soon as possible. If you go with CI, you have to contract with Suspended Animation to get that treatment.

Comment by AngryParsley on Designing Rationalist Projects · 2011-05-12T22:30:41.636Z · LW · GW

That's the point I was trying to make. I'm sorry if it came across as endorsing the tactic. "Commitment and consistency" and "social proof" are two of the six "weapons of influence" from Cialdini's Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Comment by AngryParsley on The elephant in the room, AMA · 2011-05-12T16:12:59.553Z · LW · GW

Have you read much about cryonics? If so, what are your thoughts?

Comment by AngryParsley on Designing Rationalist Projects · 2011-05-12T15:15:36.834Z · LW · GW

That tactic combines commitment and consistency with social proof. After 5 people have told the group what honorable and high-status things they're going to do, you'd have a hard time saying, "Well I didn't learn anything useful tonight, but it was fun to catch up with some of you guys." even if it were true.

Comment by AngryParsley on Optimizing Sleep · 2011-05-11T06:41:22.419Z · LW · GW

Like other commenters, I recommend melatonin and keeping lights low before bedtime. Blue light seems to reduce the amount of melatonin in the brain, so dimmed incandescent lights are better than fluorescents or LEDs. Programs like F.lux or Redshift can change the color temperature of your screen at night.

More than anything else, vigorous exercise has helped keep me on a 24-hour cycle. Days when I don't run are days when I have trouble getting to sleep. I don't think this works for everyone though. Keeping a regular exercise routine is probably harder than keeping a standard sleep schedule.

Comment by AngryParsley on Optimizing Sleep · 2011-05-11T06:40:26.993Z · LW · GW

I had a similar set-up for a while and it was quite useful. I used some X10 modules and cron jobs to turn on lamps in the morning. The automated lamps became superfluous after I moved to a place with east-facing windows. It's not easy to shut off the morning sun.

Barring a bedroom with east-facing windows, I'd say the outlet timer is the best option. Home automation stuff is harder to set up and more expensive.

Comment by AngryParsley on Rationality Quotes: May 2011 · 2011-05-07T23:10:11.675Z · LW · GW

Until the third morning, when Wim finally declared, "Everything's a trick, if'n you can see behind it, just like with them witches in the hills. Everything's got a–reason. I think there ain't no such thing as magic!"

Jagit fixed him with a long mild look, and the specter of the night in the Grandfather Grove seemed to flicker in the dark eyes. "You think not, eh?"

Wim looked down nervously.

"There’s magic, all right, Wim; all around you here. Only now you’re seeing it with a magician’s eyes. Because there’s a reason behind everything that happens; you may not know what it is, but it’s there. And knowing that doesn’t make the thing less magic, or strange, or terrible—it just makes it easier to deal with. That’s something to keep in mind, wherever you are … . Also keep in mind that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Wim nodded, chastened, felt his ears grow red as the peddler muttered, "So's a little ignorance…"

-- The Peddler's Apprentice by Joan and Vernor Vinge

Comment by AngryParsley on Ethics and rationality of suicide · 2011-05-02T06:27:12.758Z · LW · GW

I think you're right, but there's a possible selection effect. The ones who survived but didn't regret jumping could have successfully committed suicide later. Then they wouldn't be around for any interviews. Some quick searching doesn't give me any useful stats about the likelihood of survivors re-attempting.

Comment by AngryParsley on Limitless, a Nootropics-Centered Movie · 2011-03-15T03:13:59.913Z · LW · GW

this seems to be of the common subgenre of scif where any new technology must have terrible costs, and when there aren't any plausible costs, the power of plot will provide them.

Yep. Something tells me this will be similar to caveman science fiction.

Comment by AngryParsley on Cryonics and the importance of body to cognition · 2011-03-12T11:02:20.103Z · LW · GW

I agree that the state of one's body changes cognition quite a bit. Still, if someone becomes a quadriplegic or acquires locked-in syndrome, we don't consider them to be dead or a different person. And compared to extracting a mind from a cryopreserved brain, rebuilding a (simulated or real) body from memories and DNA isn't that hard.

Comment by AngryParsley on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-02T10:44:02.762Z · LW · GW

For most of the time I spent reading this quote, I thought the men were celebrities or demagogues and the giants were the populace.