Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 2014-05-26T07:42:06.547Z
Meetup : Bratislava lesswrong meetup III 2013-04-26T08:55:44.759Z
Meetup : Bratislava meetup 2012-10-11T17:32:04.002Z
Meetup : Bratislava, Slovakia - the first LW meetup 2012-08-06T10:36:22.781Z


Comment by BarbaraB on Double Crux — A Strategy for Resolving Disagreement · 2016-12-21T05:57:40.500Z · LW · GW

Are the uniforms at US schools reasonably practical, comfortable and do they have reasonable colour, e.g. not green ? As a girl of socialism, I experienced pioneer uniforms, which were not well designed. They forced short skirts on girls, which are impractical in some weather. The upper part, the shirt, needed to be ironed. There was no sweather or coat to unify kids in winter.. My mother once had to stand coatless in winter in a wellcome row for some event. I can also imagine some girls having aesthetic issues with the exposed legs or unflattering color. But what are the uniforms in the US usually like ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Less Wrong Parents · 2016-07-19T21:02:36.913Z · LW · GW

What happened to lesswrong parents discussion ? Is it alive somewhere else ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-19T19:08:44.921Z · LW · GW

"The Bangladesh poor selling organs to pay debts"

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T17:07:53.484Z · LW · GW

I do not retract, I just pressed the wrong button...

But, anyway, some people have hypothesis, that Voldermort plans for Harry to rule the world (as his copy). Quirrel says something like that in parseltongue during Azkaban arch. So some believe, he is showing Harry some of the most powerful spells in this chapter on purpose. That is also consistent with what is happening.

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T11:06:45.542Z · LW · GW

Unlike canon, Voldie's father in HPMoR could have lacked magical phenotype, but must have had one magic allele and at least some distant wizard/like ancestors, because of inheritance of magic in HPMOR (which is different from canon). If somebody sequenced the DNA of HPMoR version of Voldie's father, they would find the squib genetic make-up, not muggle.

That is just a side technical note, though. The father was probably sufficiently unrelated to the mother's family, which probably really helped with the inbreeding problems.

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T10:38:58.969Z · LW · GW

Did I understand correctly, that the parchment contained 2 alternate instructions for dealing with the room enchanted by Snape ? One side of the parchment contained a comparatively short puzzle, similar to the canon HP, while the other side contained incredibly long and laborious recipe ? When a child or young student is given 2 alternate version of homework, one short and entertaing, while other a boring and laborious pain in the ass, which one do they normally choose ? Voldermort, however, does not believe in simple solutions, he tends to do overkills all the time. Maybe that was the distinguishing feature, which Harry wondered about ?

"... real-world security systems had the goal of distinguishing authorized from unauthorized personnel, which meant issuing challenges that behaved differently around people who were or weren't supposed to be there."

Comment by BarbaraB on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-11-09T20:01:11.073Z · LW · GW

Btw., the definition of feminism "...establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women" makes it a movement I endorse, but I am not sure the definition accurately describes what happened to it.

Comment by BarbaraB on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-11-09T19:53:30.582Z · LW · GW

On November 2, I wrote: "Partial success. I meant to fill in the survey completely, but my internet froze at calibration question 5. In an attempt to revive it, I pressed Enter, which resulted in submission of the incomplete survey. Now what ?" I received recommendation to take the survey again and report the unfinished one as something to be discarded. So now I finally took the full survey. To avoid duplicity, please discard an old incomplete survey finished at calibration question 5, from someone who lives in Slovakia, attended 2013 "full" minicamp and reported that time carma of cca 174.

Comment by BarbaraB on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-11-02T19:40:15.241Z · LW · GW

Partial success. I meant to fill in the survey completely, but my internet froze at calibration question 5. In an attempt to revive it, I pressed Enter, which resulted in submission of the incomplete survey. Now what ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Stupid Questions (10/27/2014) · 2014-10-30T15:05:58.894Z · LW · GW

A response from someone, who is happy in research of biosciences:

The personality of your boss is very important. I always payed a lot of attention to my emotional responses to potential bosses during interviews. Privately asking for the opinions of their subordinates can also help. As you write below, your boss "is widely regarded as a bit of a tyrant". There must be a way to find out in advance next time. For me, the meaningful topic is not enough to save the job, if the boss is a toxic person. On the other hand, the less sexy topic can become meaningful, if the boss lets you follow your curiosity and your ideas (within the constraints of the budget). The working hours are also boss-dependent.

However, I must make one point - I am not saving the world or hitting for the Nobel price. My goal is to play and be somewhat useful to society while doing that. None of my papers is a dramatic thing, it rather feels like a tiny drop into the ocean of knowledge. Some people at lesswrong say: if you do not perceive your topic as the most important issue of the world, change the topic. This is the test I would not pass. I just hope to be a little helpful.

Comment by BarbaraB on vaccination research/reading · 2014-10-30T14:30:35.232Z · LW · GW

I think that the somewhat balanced upsides and downsides of flu-shots are recognised. In Slovakia, I perceive almost no pressure, at least to adult me, to get this particular type of vaccination. Although now that I am googling it, my insurance will cover the shot, should I want it, and my insurance company actually does recommend it for my demographic. It is compulsory only in some specific situations, such as in the homes for the elderly. On the other hand, the importance of vaccinating children against polio etc. is emphasized a lot, much, much more than flu.

Comment by BarbaraB on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-06-03T14:03:40.925Z · LW · GW

Which xkcd comic ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-27T10:04:35.954Z · LW · GW

I want to draw an illustrative axis of how probabilities of events feel like. For isntance: 1% probability - lifetime chance of dying in a car crash, 10% probability - blue eyed person in Greece, 0.01 % - occurence of four clover leaf among three clover leaves. Can you give me more of similar specific examples ? I am most interested in 0.1%, 1%, 2 %, 3% and 4%, but I will appreciate any illustrative example, even for very rare events. More illustrations for already covered percentages are also appreciated.

Comment by BarbaraB on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-27T09:48:10.149Z · LW · GW

Those are some very good tips, thanks !

Comment by BarbaraB on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-27T09:46:34.357Z · LW · GW

Thanks, seems expensive, but I will do the free trial.

Comment by BarbaraB on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-26T07:54:57.601Z · LW · GW

Can you give me advice, where I can study medicine online ? I understand that it may be kind of impossible, because there are a lot of seminars with hands-on laboratory work during medical studies. And I know the load of data is enormous. However, I would be thankful for the closest approximation to "get even" with real physicians, or at least nurses.

Comment by BarbaraB on Polling Thread · 2014-02-26T15:24:49.263Z · LW · GW

Any examples ? Even fictional evidence ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Polling Thread · 2014-01-24T17:09:51.517Z · LW · GW

I also already wondered if there is an analogue to the Alpha/Beta distinction in women.

There definitely are alpha and beta women, but it is not about slut / prude dilemma.

Imagine a group of young people discussing what to do, for instance which movie to see. If an alpha woman says, she wants to see Titanic, suddenly several men want to see Titanic, even though it seems disproportionate, if we have known those men for longer and are aware they do not generally like this type of films. Then a beta, or rather omega women says, she wants to see Matrix and is ignored.

What makes an alpha woman become alpha ? Confidence certainly helps, there is an analogy to PUA teachings. Women magazines recommend that all the time. Alpha woman probably does not behave in so strongly dominant manner, as is suggested by PUA for men. But still, she is somewhat dominant. I guess so. You tell me, boys. Beauty helps a lot, too, although there is anecdotal evidence, that bad looks can be overcome.

Now I start feeling lost as I am writing this, so I am leaving my theory incomplete.

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2014-01-20T10:50:54.503Z · LW · GW

Why did the centaur disarm Harry at all ? To remove a wand (I imagine thin stick) from somebodys hand, that requires very good aiming. Why not simple kill Harry with the first spear, if killing was really the intention ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2014-01-17T23:01:02.154Z · LW · GW

OK, I admit, maybe I do not remember canon as well as I thought. I am sure, Dumbledore made some RPG game there for Harry and company, Hermione had a mathematical puzzle there etc. Was the troll plot separate from that RPG ?

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2014-01-17T22:28:37.286Z · LW · GW

"If quirrel can get a troll into Hogwarts..."

It was not Quirrel, but Dumbledore, who got troll into Hogwards. In analogy to canon, Dumbledore brought a troll to Hogwards as a training device for Harry and Hermione, see the book HP and Philosophers stone. In canon the purpose was fulfilled, because the children had some sparring with troll and defeated him safely afterwards. In HPMOR, the plot is reversed, because neither Harry nor Hermione fall for this training trap. When told they should NOT go to Hogwards basement, because the troll is there, they are immune to the reversed psychology. Rather, they reasonably decide to obey and not to do the dangerous thing. They simply ignore the basement. Dumbledore makes another try later by telling Harry once more NOT to go to the basement and NOT to use the Alohomora spell to unlock the basement door. In vain again. So the troll stays in the basement for a long time, until Quirrel unleashes him, transforms him to be sunlight-immune and uses him as a weapon on Hermione.

Comment by BarbaraB on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2014-01-17T20:47:11.211Z · LW · GW

Why everybody believes that centaur wanted to kill Harry ? It rather seems like centaur was disarming him. And it is even possible, he was under imperius curse (from Quirrel) while disarming Harry. He seemed to be surprised about what he was doing (looked up with widened eyes) and he apologised. I believe Quirrel just wanted to interrupt the conversation between Harry and Centaur.

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-10T17:46:57.485Z · LW · GW

What if they visit the website and feel hesitant, whether the atmosphere is welcoming enough for them, considering all the HBD staff ? I do not imply we should censor HBD away, I am interested in it too. If there is some thruth to it, we will have to face it sooner or later anyway, taking into account all the DNA sequencing projects etc. In the world outside, I got yelled at for my interest a couple time, it is my interest to have clear discussion here, so that I know, where things stand. But, anyway, regardless of nature or nurture, all the data agree, there is a significant portion of intelligent individuals in all marginalised groups, and LW would very much benefit from them. If I only could express something like that, and not sound creepy... Some analogy of this:

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-07T18:46:24.491Z · LW · GW

I respond to your guestion for the fairness sake, but my reasons are not impressive.

  1. Most of it is probably a wishful thinking, driven by my desire not to have the powerful AI aronud. I am scared at the idea.
  2. The fact that people have felt AI is near for some time and we still do not have it.
  3. Maybe the things which are essential for learning are the same which make human intelligence limited. For instance forgetting things.
  4. Vague feeling, that biologically based inteligence is so complex, that computers are no match.
Comment by BarbaraB on Another Critique of Effective Altruism · 2014-01-06T19:01:17.057Z · LW · GW

Prominent EA Julia Wiseman and her husband have decided to have kids.

I am glad to hear it, because they were the most annoying example for me before. Good for her / them.

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T16:07:23.924Z · LW · GW

And note that Eliezer did not forbid pick-up art discussion and whatever You guys hold dear.

I could try and write a similar post as was that about women, but I am a small fish in this pond.

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T16:04:01.446Z · LW · GW

Maybe I am naive, but, how about explicitly stating, by some high status member, that we would be very happy if they contributed here ?

Eliezer wrote the same thing about women. It was not exactly "Women, come, please" but it was clear they would be welcome to participate. It might have helped. Or maybe the increased percentage in the census result was due to something else ? How would I know...

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T13:03:57.571Z · LW · GW

In my experience, reading blogs from minority representants (sensible ones) introduces you to different thought patterns.

Not very specific, huh ?

Gypsies are the most focused on minority in my country. The gypsy blogger, who managed to leave her community, once described a story. Her mother visited her in her home, found frozen meat in her freezer, and started almonst crying: My daughter, how can you store meat at home, when people exist, who are hungry today ? (Gypsies are stereotypically bad at planning and managing their finances, to the point of selfdestruction. But before this blog, I did not understand, it makes them virtuous in their own eyes.)

This blog was also enlightening for me.

Would not it be nice to have such people interacting in LW conversations, instead of just linking to them ?

Especially for people intending to program friendly AI, who need to understand the needs of other people (although I doubt very much AI will be developed or that MIRI will ever really start coding it. Plus I do not want it to exist. But it is just me.)

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T10:50:11.887Z · LW · GW

Too narrow.

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T10:41:12.177Z · LW · GW

What word would You suggest instead of eugenics ?

(Btw, I find it hilarious, having the discussion about inventing newspeak at LW, of all forums !)

Comment by BarbaraB on Another Critique of Effective Altruism · 2014-01-06T10:33:28.686Z · LW · GW

Peer pressure is a strong thing. I do not want to have a peer pressure of self-handicapping pathologically literal people on me, but they are EA mainstreem as far as I can tell. Therefore I want to keep distance from EA as "folks to hang out with". I, for instance, hope that LW meetup groups in Bratislava and Vienna will remain sensible places for me to go.

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T08:08:11.807Z · LW · GW

I have no idea what could be done about it.

Maybe invite blacks or other members of marginalized communities explicitly ?

Some time ago, Eliezer wrote a post, which made it clear he would be glad to see more women on LW. I thing his article was well written. Did any of You guys, the opponents of crazier versions of feminism, feel annoyed by that ? Later, there were other efforts to drag women here. (It does feel flattering, I tell You). Now, the percentage of LW women has grown slightly (lazy to look up the census result), athough we are still a minority.

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T07:51:58.667Z · LW · GW

Someone affected by the issue might bring up something that nobody else had thought of, something that the science and statistics and studies missed

Aye !

but other than that, what marginal value are they adding to the discussion?

Is that not enough for You ? Especially in some discussions, which are repetitive on LW ?

Comment by BarbaraB on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-06T07:42:47.562Z · LW · GW

However, the EA subgroup will not force her into assigned-sex-based gender role. They will tell her it is comparatively immoral to have children. Another way the subcultures on LW are not overlapping.

As a woman, I am annoyed at both approaches, but I can cope.

Comment by BarbaraB on Another Critique of Effective Altruism · 2014-01-06T00:04:40.281Z · LW · GW

But part of the strength of the (EA) movement is the message that people can achieve a lot without great personal sacrifice. I wonder where that message got lost.

Hm, are You asking why I did not notice that message, or why did it, objectively, get lost ? I will answer the first part, why I never noticed such a message.

  1. Short after learning, that EA exist, my CFAR friend, who is dating an EA, told me about a disagreement she had with her boyfriend. He did not not want her to go her best friends wedding, because travel expenses and time spent could be used better. (Although he later admitted it was a half joke from his side). She also told me, he periodically scolds her, her temperament is too prone to hapiness, which makes her less understand suffering, which makes less incentive for her to work on preventing it. That was not a joke.

  2. I had some shocks at the EA facebook group. OK, Ben Kuhn complains that EA fb group is stupid these days. I was told that supporting less than optimal charity is immoral. I translate it into examples, that supporting any Slovakian charity is immoral, because money are better spent on AMF. Supporting this baby is probably even more immoral than my favourite Slovakian charity. If the example involved my baby, it was immoral to have the baby in the first place. I switly left the facebook group, but after my departure, I saw an afterdiscussion, that what a pity we made Barbara leave, these truths should not be revealed to newcomers.

  3. I spend 2 or 3 nights reading EA online stuff to determine, whether these interactions were outliers and came to conclusion they were not. Ben Kuhn does not convince me otherwise in his article. The article also confirms, that the pressure to have no children is felt by some. You may decide to have them, but the sentiment is :Aye, I am a sinner !

The peer pressure You get from these folks is overwhelmingly guilt inducing. I perceive the movement as self destructive and not sustainable.

Comment by BarbaraB on Request: Interesting Invertible Facts · 2014-01-05T23:19:49.558Z · LW · GW

For women with pregnancies previously determined as "low risk" - is there any statistical benefit of choosing hospital for giving birth, instead of home birth ?

See here.

Comment by BarbaraB on Request: Interesting Invertible Facts · 2014-01-05T22:47:17.217Z · LW · GW

A very good one. My first guess was correct, but then I just kept swapping my bets.

Comment by BarbaraB on Why Eat Less Meat? · 2014-01-05T21:21:16.666Z · LW · GW

Sell this idea to Hollywood !

Comment by BarbaraB on Why Eat Less Meat? · 2014-01-05T21:19:44.956Z · LW · GW

It would still be sorry for the chicken.

However, I bet, somebody is working on it already.

In my previous research institution, they fed chicken with grain mixed with sand and afterwards cut the heads of and measured the concentration of happiness chemicals. The justification was, that these chicken breeds gain weight too quickly, which kills them before their age of reproduction. However, the farmers need to reproduce some of them, so they have to keep them half hungry, until they reach sexual maturity. The research was supposed to find out, whether the starvation is more pleasant with sand mixed into feed. Luckily for my mental health, I did not participate on this research. Duh, these memories make me shudder !

Comment by BarbaraB on Another Critique of Effective Altruism · 2014-01-05T19:30:28.869Z · LW · GW

It is interesting, what people inside EA find troubling, compared to people outside. (I do not identify myself as EA).

For me, the most repellent things are mentioned here:

In other words, self sacrifice is expected from me to the extent, that my life would suck. No, thanks.

Specifically, the issues about children:

  1. I want to have them.
  2. Apart from my psychological need - do the damned EA know what they are doing ? Is it really that helpful, that western middle class should have even lower population growth, than there is know ? Some people predict, that Europe, as my (our ??) children will know it, will be Islamic. I hope I will not offend the muslim rationalists, I know there are some on this site. Anyway, the culture currently associated with Islam does not seem to me like truth-seeking-friendly. It certainly will fix itself later, like Christianity fixed itself from the bigotry stage in cca 600 years. But do we really want to withdraw from the population battle entirely ? (OK, the word battle probably does not attract You altruist folks, but I do not know the other way to say it). I can imagine the counterarguments, that spreading memes inside familes is not that efficient, that children often rebel. And that memes can be spread outside the family. Well, good luck turning the significant portion of Muslim imigrants into rationalists ! USA is different from EU, but I guess withdrawing middle class from children bearing pool there is also no victory.

I mean, I do not force anybody to have children if they do not want to. It is a lot of work and resources. But to guilt anybody into not having them ? There are way too many people in that cathegory, who are lazy to have them. Why adding another incentive by making it virtuous ?

Comment by BarbaraB on In Defense of Moral Investigation · 2014-01-05T10:22:10.163Z · LW · GW

the truth in this case is that there doesn't appear to be a link between race and intelligence.

How did You come to such conclusion ?

There is a wikipedia article on that. (Warning: it keeps changing all the time).

This battlefield of arguments failed to convince me either way so far. I may have some preliminary preferences as to what sounds more probable, but untill the mechanism underlying the genetic component of intelligence is properly explained, I say I do not know.

Comment by BarbaraB on In Defense of Moral Investigation · 2014-01-05T09:45:04.060Z · LW · GW

The solution to this problem is do something Eliezer always argues against for some reason, namely, to compartmentalize.

Does Eliezer really do that ? I got the impression, than compartmentalization is, at least at some cases, perceived as a functional model to avoid big mistakes. (Just as You suggest).

Comment by BarbaraB on Hindsight Devalues Science · 2014-01-05T09:35:17.178Z · LW · GW

I could not swallow the weather example either. Eventually, I looked it up in the article from Meyers: "Southerners were not more likely than Northerners to adjust to a tropical climate."

It sounds like the Northerners were not addapting better, but, rather, there was no difference between groups. If so, the word "opposite" is not fair in this context.

Comment by BarbaraB on Open thread for January 1-7, 2014 · 2014-01-04T23:07:13.306Z · LW · GW

Not for infants.

Theoretically, that could make a difference. In my country omegaven is available, but the pack insert gives warning about insufficient experience in children.

Anyway, I still want to bet. What is a fair time span ?

(BTW, do I understand it correctly, that in the USA, omegaven is approved neither for infants nor for adults ?)

Comment by BarbaraB on [Link] More ominous than a [Marriage] strike · 2014-01-04T22:45:25.123Z · LW · GW


Comment by BarbaraB on [Link] More ominous than a [Marriage] strike · 2014-01-04T21:29:32.321Z · LW · GW

Young men go for violence because - in the absence of showing off their ability as provider - fight for an alpha male position via force (I will look up references if needed).

Could I have the reference, please ? Very curious about the experimental set-up.

Comment by BarbaraB on Open thread for January 1-7, 2014 · 2014-01-04T21:00:25.555Z · LW · GW

I have recently seen this article on a drug, which is as yet not approved by FDA due to lack of controlled study. However, the proponent doctor considers the drug a life saver for babies and the existing evidence sufficient to skip the trial phase and go ahead saving lives.

I am usually fond of evidence based medicine. However, in this case, I am shaken by the fact, that the drug is already in use in Europe for some time, with no scandals. Additionaly, it is basically a mixture of lipids from fish oil, which sounds like normal nutrition to me, not a novel chemical with unpredictable effects. (Although the application is intravenous, which is not "natural").

I believe no finding will be found, which will, in retrospect, justify the current state of denying access to it to fataly ill children patients. No side effects of the kind of "Oh, I wish I let my baby die back then !" (Disability ? Chronic pain ? Mental retardation? - I do not expect any of that... After not seeing it in Europe so far.)

I want to transform this belief into a bet in prediction book. Can anybody give me advice, how to formulate the bet ? What should be a deadline for the bet evaluation ? It will be my first bet in prediction book...

Comment by BarbaraB on [Link] Changelings, Infanticide and Nortwest European Guilt Culture · 2014-01-04T19:48:48.338Z · LW · GW

I did read one of them before and the other one after you suggested. What is the important message for me ?

Comment by BarbaraB on In Defense of Moral Investigation · 2014-01-03T21:29:07.976Z · LW · GW

"As modern neuroscience has shown, there is no correlation between cranial size and intelligence (at least between individuals of the same species). "

Not true.

Comment by BarbaraB on The problem with too many rational memes · 2014-01-03T19:39:09.916Z · LW · GW

Exactly. The no-criticism zone could serve the purpose of people getting to know each other. The event was for newcomers to the town, right ? "I am Suzie and I believe in homeopathy." "I am Anna and I am scientific sceptic rationalist and atheist." It is a pretty fast way to find a soulmate at a social gathering.