Posts

SSC Meetups Everywhere 2019-09-10T06:02:10.679Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge LW/SSC Meetup 2019-08-31T17:10:38.696Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge LW/SSC Meetup 2019-07-23T00:47:42.743Z · score: 7 (2 votes)
Self-experiment Protocol: Effect of Chocolate on Sleep 2019-07-22T03:32:19.106Z · score: 27 (9 votes)
Cambridge LW/SSC Meetup 2019-06-03T01:55:57.895Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge LessWrong / SSC Meetup 2019-05-13T01:56:43.913Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge SSC Meetup 2019-04-05T02:12:00.121Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge SSC Meetup 2019-02-17T18:28:46.057Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge SSC Meetup 2019-02-17T18:27:07.227Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Cambridge SlateStarCodex Meetup 2019-01-06T05:11:20.893Z · score: 5 (1 votes)
Why Most Intentional Communities Fail (And Some Succeed) 2017-05-22T03:04:23.288Z · score: 6 (6 votes)
What are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves? 2017-02-13T01:07:33.803Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
What are you surprised people don't just buy? 2017-02-13T01:07:12.335Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
[Link] White House announces a series of workshops on AI, expresses interest in safety 2016-05-04T02:50:22.434Z · score: 11 (12 votes)
Group Rationality Diary, February 2016 2016-02-14T01:55:15.553Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
Study partner matching thread 2016-01-25T04:25:03.592Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
[Link] Stephen Hawking AMA answers 2015-10-08T23:13:34.610Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread 2015-09-27T21:22:14.904Z · score: 6 (7 votes)
Notes on Actually Trying 2015-09-23T02:53:36.275Z · score: 13 (15 votes)
Meetup : Cambridge Less Wrong Meetup - Book Recommendations 2015-09-22T02:53:31.734Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Boston Meetup 2015-09-04T01:46:49.330Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread 2015-08-22T20:25:11.140Z · score: 14 (15 votes)
Meetup : Boston: Unconference 2015-08-15T02:38:10.327Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Guarding Against the Postmodernist Failure Mode 2014-07-08T01:34:33.440Z · score: 8 (11 votes)
[Link] Concrete steps are being taken towards futarchy 2013-06-14T00:21:46.423Z · score: 4 (9 votes)
[LINK] Meteorologists are Epistemically Rational 2012-09-13T04:59:41.716Z · score: 9 (10 votes)
What is the best way to read the sequences? 2012-06-17T03:50:05.672Z · score: 4 (7 votes)

Comments

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Cambridge SSC Meetup · 2019-04-05T02:17:20.187Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There aren't any activities currently planned for that date range, but we're always eager to meet visiting rationalists so maybe you could stop by.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Feedback on LW 2.0 · 2017-10-08T03:41:11.088Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What if weight were capped at 1?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Polling Thread October 2017 · 2017-10-08T00:33:26.282Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you're in a conversation at a party and there is another conversation next to you, how does that affect...

... your ability to follow the conversation you're in

[pollid:1237]

... your enjoyment of the party

[pollid:1238]

How likely are you to switch conversations?

[pollid:1239]

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? · 2017-07-23T04:07:33.126Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

No. The Ottoman Empire started in 1299. Islam, and various very powerful caliphates, had existed for centuries before that.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? · 2017-07-23T04:04:37.240Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Qur'an wasn't written down until a while after Muhammad's death, by which time there was an incentive for leaders to edit it for their own benefit.

See also Emperor Constantine I's efforts to quash dissent within the Christian community in order to make it more politically unified.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017 · 2017-07-15T20:34:25.239Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Because I think it would be useful to be able to weigh in explicitly on each option rather than just pick a favorite:

Matterlist[pollid:1202]

LumenList[pollid:1203]

PragmaPad[pollid:1204]

PragmaPlanner[pollid:1205]

Persisto[pollid:1206]

Comment by aspiringrationalist on In support of yak shaving part 2 · 2017-07-15T05:19:13.291Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm curious - what have you outsourced to Fancy Hands? I know in theory that I should be outsourcing stuff to services like that, but I really don't know what stuff I can effectively outsource in practice.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 · 2017-06-29T03:24:36.316Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This could also be a metaphor for politicians, or depending on your worldview, marketing-heavy businesses. Or religions.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open thread, June. 19 - June. 25, 2017 · 2017-06-22T03:39:26.944Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I interpreted "fullscreened" to mean "maximized", though I'm not totally sure whether that was the intent.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open thread, June. 19 - June. 25, 2017 · 2017-06-22T03:32:48.358Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Disclaimer: US-centric perspective

Elite colleges generally students who are "genuinely" (insert adjectives here), not yet another honor roll student with a boring essay about how their voluntourism trip to Africa changed their life. In a competitive field like that, you want to stand out, and you stand out a lot more by doing something that both clearly signals being good at things and is different from the signals that other students are sending.

Therefore, doing whatever other students of your socio-economic status do is a bad strategy. Much better to do something impressive and different.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open Thread, Feb. 20 - Feb 26, 2017 · 2017-02-20T22:41:43.529Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Can we please bring back downvoting?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Increasing GDP is not growth · 2017-02-19T03:18:09.259Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think whether the group's average output increases or decreases is the right metric. What's important is whether the newly enlarged group's output is higher than what the group and its new members' total output would be if the groups weren't merged - do the immigrants become more productive by immigrating, and do they make the native population more or less productive?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on What are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves? · 2017-02-19T02:21:20.262Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just because something is an easy thing doesn't mean you will know it's an easy thing.

That's pretty much why I made this thread: so that I (and others) could learn that something that we didn't realize are easy actually are.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on A review of cryonics/brain preservation in 2016 · 2017-01-03T03:17:35.164Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for posting this.

I am not signed up for cryonics because I think the current preservation technology is nowhere near good enough work, but I very much appreciate having a concise summary of recent developments so that when the situation improves, I'll know it's time to reconsider.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Downvotes temporarily disabled · 2016-12-03T21:38:57.649Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If all votes required 100 karma, using sockpuppets for votes would get a lot harder.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open Thread May 30 - June 5, 2016 · 2016-05-30T15:10:17.791Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you have a gene that makes you help you siblings, your offspring are reasonably likely to get it too, which benefits their siblings (also your offspring).

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open Thread May 16 - May 22, 2016 · 2016-05-17T02:53:27.534Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Very good to know. Thanks for linking to that.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open Thread May 16 - May 22, 2016 · 2016-05-16T01:52:53.592Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Flax and chia seeds are both very good sources of omega 3 (but flax seeds need to be ground for your body to absorb it, and once you grind them, you should store them cold), as are fish (especially salmon).

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open thread, Apr. 18 - Apr. 24, 2016 · 2016-04-19T22:20:10.706Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maximizing expected log(wealth) is very different than maximizing expected wealth. A log utility function us much more risk averse.

The Wikipedia article on VNM Utility Theory explains the relationship between the utility function and risk aversion (in the Consequences section).

Comment by aspiringrationalist on What makes buying insurance rational? · 2016-04-04T05:45:12.025Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If someone else is subsidizing the insurance, that can make it worthwhile.

In the U.S. You can often find the amount of the employer subsidy footer am insurance policy if you read the details of it. Also you pay for employer based health insurance (I think including dental and vision) with pre-tax dollars, which is in effect a government subsidy.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Tonic Judo · 2016-04-03T04:23:52.375Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've been having a lot of anxiety lately, and this is exactly the sort of thing I needed to help me (my System 1) remember how silly it is. Thank you for writing it.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-03-27T01:01:08.842Z · score: 39 (39 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? · 2016-02-14T00:25:00.474Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Should we try to grow the community? How? How much?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? · 2016-02-14T00:23:41.202Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

How important is money?

  • To have
  • To earn
  • To donate

Are EA causes bottlenecked on money or talent?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? · 2016-02-13T05:23:57.788Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

From the 2014 Survey:

Polyamory:

  • 51.8% prefer monogamous, 15.1% prefer polyamorous (a lot uncertain)
  • But only 5.3% have more than 1 partner

Children:

  • 36.1% want more child(ren), 28.3% uncertain, 34.3% don't want more

Politics:

  • 38.9% Social Democratic, 27.7% Liberal, 25.2% Libertarian
  • Taxes: 3.14 +- 1.212 (1 = should be lower; 5 = should be higher)
  • Minimum Wage: 3.21 +- 1.359 (1 = should be lower; 5 = should be higher)
  • Social Justice: 3.15 +- 1.385 (1 = negative view; 5 = positive view)

Ethics:

  • 60% accept or lean towards consequentialism
  • Out of constructivism, error theory, non-cognitivism, subjectivism and substantive realism, none had more than a third

Cryo:

  • 24% don't want to, 36.7% considering, 30.8% signed up or want to be
  • Probability that a person frozen today will be revived: 22.3 +- 27.3% (median 10%)

Misc:

  • p(many worlds) = 47.6% +- 30.1%
Comment by aspiringrationalist on [moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned · 2016-02-03T02:56:05.670Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. I'm not sure what the right threshold would be.

How difficult would it be to look up the percentage of votes that come from different karma levels?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on [moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned · 2016-01-31T15:49:32.161Z · score: 12 (11 votes) · LW · GW

What if we set a significantly higher karma threshold for voting? I think a threshold of 250 or so would make Eugene's sockpuppetry and mass-downvoting shenanigans prohibitively difficult.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Study partner matching thread · 2016-01-28T02:14:07.813Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I just finished Stanford's machine learning class on Coursera and I was thinking about starting Google's Udacity course.

I don't have much formal background in CS (2 classes in college and later a couple Coursera classes), but I've been working as a software engineer for a few years now.

I am in U.S. Eastern Time (UTC-4).

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Study partner matching thread · 2016-01-28T02:08:55.030Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Facebook group is closed. Should people here assume that they will be allowed to join?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T03:04:59.960Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for posting that!

The key stats: expected life extension: 4 months; optimal starting age: 24.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on LINK: An example of the Pink Flamingo, the obvious-yet-overlooked cousin of the Black Swan · 2015-11-06T01:03:01.985Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

If things escalate to the point where nuclear weapons get used, that probably implies enough of a breakdown of order that it doesn't matter what any treaty says.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life · 2015-10-15T00:38:20.449Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So does mine. The humidifier helps, but since I spend a lot of time in environments where I can't easily install one (eg work), I also use moisturizer.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 · 2015-10-14T00:59:06.695Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Do you compartmentalize and pretend you're in control, or what?

I think the main takeaway is that you shouldn't worry too much about questions of free will. Basically, the fact that your free will is made of physics doesn't mean it makes sense to make poor choices or not take responsibility for yourself and then blame physics. Also, don't go looking for magical explanations of free will existing "outside of physics".

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 · 2015-10-14T00:49:23.075Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Supply of labor could decrease. This is a necessary consequence of any effort to help the poor. But since we already have a welfare system, it's just a question of which causes labor to decrease less.

For things like welfare (and almost certainly for UBI, though I doubt there's enough empirical evidence either way to be sure), yes.

Things like education subsides (assuming they subsidize professionally relevant education rather than just signaling, which admittedly is a somewhat dubious assumption) and the EITC (basically a negative income tax for the working poor in the US) could very well increase the labor supply.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Selecting Rationalist Groups · 2015-10-09T00:08:22.099Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

When we tried Paranoid Debating at the Boston meetup a few years back, we often had the problem that the deceiver didn't know enough about the question to know which direction to mislead in. I think the game would work better if the deceiver were simply trying to bias the group in a particular direction rather than make the group wrong. I think that's also a closer approximation to real life - plenty of people want to sell you their product and don't know or care which option is best. Not many just want you to buy the wrong product.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-09-27T21:22:04.862Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Meta sub-thread

Comment by aspiringrationalist on A toy model of the control problem · 2015-09-17T01:15:46.531Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A's utility function also needs to be specified. How many utils is the first box worth? What's the penalty for additional boxes?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 · 2015-09-08T00:58:13.241Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's very useful info. Thanks for the link.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 · 2015-09-07T21:56:15.057Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The claim that the market is good at predicting future earnings.

It probably is, but economics does not yet have the empirical grounding to give me high confidence in its theories (the way I would be for fields like physics or chemistry; I still think economic theory has a strongly positive correlation with reality).

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 · 2015-09-05T21:24:26.319Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Another interesting thing here is that the currency markets do not fall under EMH, both empirically (they are clearly not a random walk) and theoretically (the preconditions for EMH do not hold).

Can you please elaborate on that? Do you mean the prices themselves are not a random walk or do you mean the prices are not a random walk after adjusting for interest rate differences?

And what preconditions don't hold for currency markets?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Stupid Questions September 2015 · 2015-09-04T01:29:07.611Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Citation needed.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Rationality Quotes Thread September 2015 · 2015-09-03T01:43:53.098Z · score: 12 (18 votes) · LW · GW

In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.

Ben Franklin

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Open Thread August 31 - September 6 · 2015-09-01T02:32:14.359Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In the US at least, where the system it set up such that there can only be two parties that matter, I think the parties are too much of a "big tent" hodgepodge for that to work. Perhaps it would if they were based on the parties in a country where they have more of an incentive to be based around a consistent world view.

Any Germans want to weigh in?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Group Rationality Diary, August 30 - September 12 · 2015-08-31T02:48:56.181Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

My wife and I recently started using Habitica (formerly called HabitRPG). The extent to which each of us is engaging in good habits and doing tasks we plan on doing is now visible to each other in the form of character levels and hit points (but the specific items are not). This makes it possible for us to hold each other accountable for improving ourselves without having to nag.

Overall I've gone from making good use of ~10% of my free time to making good use of ~30%. I've still got quite a ways to go, but this is significant progress.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-08-25T00:25:57.310Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Moving from small talk to more interesting topics is a totally different skill set than general extroversion.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-08-25T00:08:28.125Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

One thing that I have found helpful is when a thought like "I should really do [task]" comes to mind, I write it on a post-it note and stick it to the nearest available surface and then carry on with whatever I was doing. Then, when I finish what I was doing, I can actually do that task, put it onto a more durable to-do list, etc.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-08-23T03:27:28.922Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Only personal experience. I noticed that I was more focused and could get by on a lot less caffeine when I was taking it for a cold recently.

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-08-23T02:42:51.752Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Looking back on when I have improved the most, I've noticed that I have tended to read a lot of self-help books around those times. I'm not sure about the causality, but it seems worthwhile to see if I get a similar effect again.

What books in the general category of self-help would people recommend?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-08-23T02:16:53.130Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Pseudoephedrine comes to mind. Does anyone know what the evidence is on that?

Comment by aspiringrationalist on Instrumental Rationality Questions Thread · 2015-08-23T01:36:17.786Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Context: I am a software engineer living and working in the US. I am a US citizen and my wife is not, and we are working on getting her permanent residency.

It's definitely worth investigating the difficulty of immigrating to the various countries. Canada and Singapore both have reputations for being a lot easier for skilled workers to immigrate to than the US, but YMMV.

Note that if you do marry an American, be sure to start the process of getting your permanent residency while you're still in the country. My wife and I made the mistake of starting the process while she was temporarily abroad, and that has caused significant delays.

See if there are companies that are willing to hire you while you're on OPT. I think that buys you a couple years to try for an H1b or perhaps get married. If they're willing to hire you in the US and let you transfer internationally if immigration doesn't let you in, even better.

Also keep in mind that if you become a US citizen, the US will tax you on your worldwide income, not just your US income. That's not an issue if you plan on staying in one place, though.