Meetup : Shanghai Meetup 2013-03-30T13:56:28.062Z
Meetup : Shanghai Meetup Wednesday, 7:30 2013-02-18T05:18:54.528Z
Meetup : Shanghai Meetup 2013-01-26T04:10:37.118Z
[LINK] Why You Should Keep Your Goals Secret 2012-03-03T13:40:48.113Z
Meetup : Dublin, IE, Meetup 2011-10-07T12:34:24.574Z
Influence = Manipulation 2011-06-14T17:47:05.690Z
[LINK] Clothing as status signalling, logos and co-operation 2011-04-02T15:41:39.303Z
New Month's Resolutions 2010-11-02T16:15:48.766Z


Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread August 31 - September 6 · 2015-09-05T05:53:01.435Z · LW · GW

Based on my own experience I strongly suspect the only way to do this is to fail repeatedly until you succeed. That said the following rules are very, very good.

If you really, really want an example I can send you my Developmental Psychology and Learning and Behaviour Deck. It consists of the entirety of a Cliff's Notes kind of Developmental Psychology book, a better dev psych's summary section and an L&B book's summary section. In retrospect the Cliff's Notes book was a mistake but I've invested enough in it now that I may as well continue it, most of the cards are mature anyway. I would recommend finding a decent book on the topic you're learning, and writing your own summaries or heavily rewording their summaries and using lots and lots of cloze deletions.

I just found this guide to using Anki.

It's possible it may be worth looking at.

If you really want my deck pm me your email address.


Here again are the twenty rules of formulating knowledge. You will notice that the first 16 rules revolve around making memories simple! Some of the rules strongly overlap. For example: do not learn if you do not understand is a form of applying the minimum information principle which again is a way of making things simple:

Do not learn if you do not understand Learn before you memorize - build the picture of the whole before you dismember it into simple items in SuperMemo. If the whole shows holes, review it again! Build upon the basics - never jump both feet into a complex manual because you may never see the end. Well remembered basics will help the remaining knowledge easily fit in Stick to the minimum information principle - if you continue forgetting an item, try to make it as simple as possible. If it does not help, see the remaining rules (cloze deletion, graphics, mnemonic techniques, converting sets into enumerations, etc.) Cloze deletion is easy and effective - completing a deleted word or phrase is not only an effective way of learning. Most of all, it greatly speeds up formulating knowledge and is highly recommended for beginners Use imagery - a picture is worth a thousand words Use mnemonic techniques - read about peg lists and mind maps. Study the books by Tony Buzan. Learn how to convert memories into funny pictures. You won't have problems with phone numbers and complex figures Graphic deletion is as good as cloze deletion - obstructing parts of a picture is great for learning anatomy, geography and more Avoid sets - larger sets are virtually un-memorizable unless you convert them into enumerations! Avoid enumerations - enumerations are also hard to remember but can be dealt with using cloze deletion Combat interference - even the simplest items can be completely intractable if they are similar to other items. Use examples, context cues, vivid illustrations, refer to emotions, and to your personal life Optimize wording - like you reduce mathematical equations, you can reduce complex sentences into smart, compact and enjoyable maxims Refer to other memories - building memories on other memories generates a coherent and hermetic structure that forgetting is less likely to affect. Build upon the basics and use planned redundancy to fill in the gaps Personalize and provide examples - personalization might be the most effective way of building upon other memories. Your personal life is a gold mine of facts and events to refer to. As long as you build a collection for yourself, use personalization richly to build upon well established memories Rely on emotional states - emotions are related to memories. If you learn a fact in the sate of sadness, you are more likely to recall it if when you are sad. Some memories can induce emotions and help you employ this property of the brain in remembering Context cues simplify wording - providing context is a way of simplifying memories, building upon earlier knowledge and avoiding interference Redundancy does not contradict minimum information principle - some forms of redundancy are welcome. There is little harm in memorizing the same fact as viewed from different angles. Passive and active approach is particularly practicable in learning word-pairs. Memorizing derivation steps in problem solving is a way towards boosting your intellectual powers! Provide sources - sources help you manage the learning process, updating your knowledge, judging its reliability, or importance Provide date stamping - time stamping is useful for volatile knowledge that changes in time Prioritize - effective learning is all about prioritizing. In incremental reading you can start from badly formulated knowledge and improve its shape as you proceed with learning (in proportion to the cost of inappropriate formulation). If need be, you can review pieces of knowledge again, split it into parts, reformulate, reprioritize, or delete. See also: Incremental reading, Devouring knowledge, Flow of knowledge, Using tasklists

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-01T05:56:16.910Z · LW · GW

It may not be an effective way to help people but it sure as hell helps you up to do it up to three times a year. All hail longevity! I regret I am in a rush so I can't link but I believe RomeoSteverns' post on optimising your health has the references.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, Jan. 12 - Jan. 18, 2015 · 2015-01-13T14:14:07.423Z · LW · GW

I have heard that in economics and possibly other social sciences Ph.D. students can staple together three journal articles, call it a dissertation and get awarded their doctorate. But I've recently read "Publication, Publication" by Gary King, which I interpret as saying a very bright and hardworking undergraduate can write a quantitative political science article in the space of a semester, while carrying a normal class load.

This is confusing. Now, Dr. King teaches at Harvard so all his students are smart and it's two students writing one paper but this still seems insane. I'm guessing a full course load is around 6 classes a term and people are to write a journal article or close approximation thereof in a semester when three of them will suffice to get a Ph.D. and many people fail out of said degree who are very, very smart.

Where am I confused? Is research not that hard, a stapler thesis a myth or these class projects not strictly comparable to real papers?

Abstract: I show herein how to write a publishable paper by beginning with the replication of a published article. This strategy seems to work well for class projects in producing papers that ultimately get published, helping to professionalize students into the discipline, and teaching them the scientific norms of the free exchange of academic information. I begin by briefly revisiting the prominent debate on replication our discipline had a decade ago and some of the progress made in data sharing since.

Citation: King, Gary. 2006. Publication, Publication, PS: Political Science and Politics 39: 119–125. Copy at

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Munchkining for Fun and Profit, Ideas, Experience, Successes, Failures · 2014-12-22T15:01:57.846Z · LW · GW

They have examination centres in many, many countries, the USA included.

Centres in the United Kingdom Belfast, Darlington, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Newport (Gwent), Sheffield, Southport, Titchfield, York.

Centres outside the UK Alphabetical list of current non-UK centres, including some that have not been used for a few years.

Our professional exams are not offered in Hong Kong. Instead, the Hong Kong Statistical Society provides professional exams of an equivalent standard.

Anguilla: The Valley Australia: Perth; Sydney Austria: Vienna Barbados: St Michael Bermuda: Paget Brunei: Darussalam Canada: Montreal; Victoria, BC; Yukon College Cyprus: Nicosia Germany: Cologne Ghana: Accra Gibraltar: Gibraltar Greece: Athens Grenada: St Georges Guyana: Georgetown India: Mumbai Ireland: Dublin Italy: Rome Jamaica: Kingston Japan: Tokyo Kenya: Nairobi Korea (South): Seoul Lithuania: Vilnius Malawi: Lilongwe Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur; Kuching Malta: Valletta Mauritius: Port Louis Montserrat: Brades Netherlands: Amsterdam New Zealand: Wellington Nigeria: Lagos Philippines: Pasig City Poland: Katowice St Helena: Prince Andrew School St Kitts: Basseterre St Lucia: Castries Singapore: Singapore South Africa: Johannesburg Spain: Barcelona; Madrid Switzerland: Baden Tanzania: Dar es Salaam The Gambia: Banjul Trinidad: Port of Spain USA: Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; San Diego, California; Washington, DC Zambia: Lusaka Zimbabwe: Harare

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Non-standard politics · 2014-10-27T05:22:01.674Z · LW · GW

(Friedman, among other things, supported a version of guaranteed basic income. To which today's GOP mainstream would probably say, "but if we do that, it will just make poor people even lazier!")

He supported a large negative income tax for those on the lowest (earned) incomes, tapering off to zero, then positive as earned income increased. This is really very far from a guaranteed basic income.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Assessing oneself · 2014-09-30T05:49:58.572Z · LW · GW

I think you may be over-estimating the intelligence required to be a physicist. I don't know what constitutes a meaningful contribution to physics, but there are certainly productive tenured professors who are not in the top 25% of quantitative ability.

This is not true. According to Kaufman, Alan S. (2009). IQ Testing 101. New York: Springer Publishing MDs, JDs and PhDs have an average IQ of 125+. PhDs in Physics are going to have higher quantitative scores than that. I regret that being behind the Great Firewall I can't source this but Steve Hsu wrote on his blog, that he thinks the average professor of Physics is 1 in 100,000 in intelligence. I may be misremembering badly and the 1 in 100,000 could be anything from has a doctorate in Physics to is an outstanding contributor to Physics.

The idea that there are tenured professors of Physics who are just barely in the top quartile of quantitaive IQ is mindboggling. There will be few enough professors of English with quantitative IQs that low.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, August 1-15 · 2014-08-24T05:45:08.198Z · LW · GW

Introduction to the History of Psychology Good, well written, excellent summary and glossary at the end of each chapter. I'm not finished but so far my only complaint is the obvious political bent in the intelligence chapter.

Psychology, Themes and Variations Clear, concise and comprehensive introductory psychology textbook. Reading the history book has made me aware of some minor errors in it but nothing damning, just a reminder that if you're really interested this is the first book to read, not the last.

Social Psychology Very far from the first social psychology textbook I've read. Doesn't stand out in my mind. Covers all the classic social psychology experiments that are in the Sequences and more. Almost certain to be substantially revised next edition in light of the big replication project in social psychology, seeing as some of the most famous social psychology experiments just don't replicate.

Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence Comprehensive review of the subject, informative, well written.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, August 1-15 · 2014-08-15T11:39:01.009Z · LW · GW

Success: Still exercising, have now read three and a half psychology textbooks, still using Anki for learning Chinese, moved from contextless Anki cards to multiple cloze massive context as recommmended by My savings continue to grow, which is great.

Failures: Opening Habit RPG got aversive due to me constantly dying due to missing dailies on programming and diary writing so I stopped. I have just realised I should take them out of dailies and put them in habits. I also really need to start doing to do lists and planning things, considering what I want to do, etc.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, August 4 - 10, 2014 · 2014-08-10T07:21:47.023Z · LW · GW

Academia in the US is much leftier than the population at large. I believe it was Jonathan Haidt who went looking for examples of social conservatives in his field and people kept nomimating Philip Tetlock who would not describe himself thus. At a conference Dr.Haidt was looking for a show of hands for various political positions. Republicans were substantially less popular than Communists. Psychology is about as left wing as sociology and disciplines vary but academia is a great deal to the left of the US general population.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, August 4 - 10, 2014 · 2014-08-08T10:26:44.099Z · LW · GW

I believe his political views are somewhere between way to the left of the Democratic Party and socialism. He dislikes the entire field of intelligence research in psychology because it's ideologically inconvenient. He criticises anything that he can find to criticise about it. Think of him as Stephen Jay Gould, but much smarter and more honest.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, 30 June 2014- 6 July 2014 · 2014-06-30T13:52:09.350Z · LW · GW

Where could one find many, many past exam papers for university undergraduate courses? I find attempting them under exam conditions the ideal way of preparing for exams, and really excellent at pointing out where there are gaps in my knowledge and I need to revise. I'm particularly interested in psychology exam papers.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-06-03T14:04:40.080Z · LW · GW

Please write about this or link me to someone who has already. Congratulations on your escape.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, May 19 - 25, 2014 · 2014-05-22T14:07:47.298Z · LW · GW

Why haven't you gone back to college for a Masters in English Literature or something along those lines? Robin Hanson was 35 before he got his Ph.D. in Economics and he's doing ok. The market for humanities scholars is not as forgiving as that for Economics but that's what you want, right?

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, May 19 - 25, 2014 · 2014-05-21T00:42:21.929Z · LW · GW

One can read in one's spare time or learn languages or act. If one does not come from wealth not majoring in something remunerative in college is a mistake if you will actually want money later.

He didn't dismiss the humanities he said studying them at university was a poor decision.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, May 16-31 · 2014-05-18T22:46:20.946Z · LW · GW

How are your todos functioning for long-term repeating tasks, or tasks that have a long while before they become actionable?

Dailies, forget about it or Boomerang.

Read any really interesting textbooks lately?

Cambridge Handbook of Expert Performance and Psychology, Themes and Variations are it so far. They are large tomes so I feel okay about going so slowly.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, May 16-31 · 2014-05-18T13:46:42.541Z · LW · GW

I have started using HabitRPG to reinforce reading on a daily basis, Anki usage and exercise, as well as doing some programming, though that last is less well established. I had the program on my phone for a while but kept on forgetting it so I just set two daily reminders in Google calendar. Problem solved. I uninstalled remember the milk as HabitRPG's todk functionality is good enough.

I am now spending a lot of time that was previously unproductive internet time reading textbooks on my phone's Kindle app. Almost certainly inferior to paper books but my phone had pretty much killed that habit already. I amn't able to read and process highly technical or mathematical texts but for psychology textbooks and the like it works fine.

I've been going to the gym two or three times a week, ttavel excepted for three months now. I'm still above my ideal weight but more of said weight is muscle. I feel like I should do some kind of minimal daily exercise routine in addition to lifting at the gym but am unsure what I should be doing.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-12T09:20:39.648Z · LW · GW

The difference between a monster and a god is in your point of view, unless it's a sexless, lifeless husk like the Abrahamic religion's God, or some other platonic ideal. The cyborg seems likely to be a reference/confusion to the Singularity as Rapture of the Nerds, where we become as gods, a large misunderstanding of what it seems most here hop for, an AI np more conscious than a chair that makes us what we would want to be if we were more what we want to be.

Why ate you spending time on RationalWiki? I know LessWrong has gone downhill but there are still interesting books, and blogs, and people.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on A brief summary of effective study methods · 2014-05-06T13:57:00.904Z · LW · GW

Just want to say I'm glad you're back and don't let the bastards/SJWs grind you down.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, May 5 - 11, 2014 · 2014-05-06T13:53:48.474Z · LW · GW

I understand the idea of limited capacity per sleep cycle -- I'm curious whether it works in different ways for different kinds of learning.

Personally I'd be surprised if it did. The maximum amount of deliberate practice you can get in a day tops out at 3-4 hours, according to K. Anders Ericsson. I think that's quite close to the limits of what the brain can do. I'll honestly be surprised if napping tesets that clock or he or other psychologists woul have uncovered them.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Discussion: How scientifically sound are MBAs? · 2014-05-06T12:08:35.291Z · LW · GW

It is also generally held as true that on the global scale all top-ten business schools are American.

Yeah, it's not really surprising that Americans think that. Being 5% of the world's population and 25% of its economy leads to understandable insularity of vision. The FT's 2014 businesses school ranking has London Business School, INSEAD in France/Singapore, IESE in Spain and HKUST in Hong Kong in the top 10. The latest Economist rankings have IESE in Spain and HEC in France in the top 10 as well.

The US is certainly dominant but it's not crushing dominance.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on A brief summary of effective study methods · 2014-04-27T13:30:48.368Z · LW · GW

Move to Main. One learns by rote, not wrote.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-22T08:59:57.798Z · LW · GW

Use the try harder Luke.

What do you mean by "not new to programming at all"? How many hours programming have you done? How many projects have you completed? Because unless you've had a job as a programmer before or you did CS as a college degree your previous experience will be utterly swamped by App Academy. If you feel insecure about algorithms specifically practice them specifically. If you want more practice with Ruby maybe do Hartl's book. The Codecademy Ruby course is not the end of the world. If programming appeals to you prepare, apply and let App academy do the judging.

Edit: Remember, many people who have had jobs as programmers can't do FizzBuzz if asked to in an interview. Retain hope.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Earnings of economics majors: general considerations · 2014-04-15T23:59:54.664Z · LW · GW

Hey Jonah, you might be interested in It's been years since I looked at it and it's been extensively redesigned but as a site with information about I-banking it was excellent way back. There's an associated site of similar quality on Management Consulting as well. Its name escapes me but it shouldn't be too hard to find from M&I

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-09T14:17:24.277Z · LW · GW

How to Get into Grad School for Math, Engineering or Computer Science

Juniors and seniors often ask me how to get into a Ph.D. program. Having looked at applications for three years now, I feel like I can offer some good advice. [This advice applies for masters students too.] The one-word version of that advice is: PUBLISH.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread March 31 - April 7 2014 · 2014-04-02T15:34:08.320Z · LW · GW

Five minutee has not found me the link but there is a much upvoted post on the value of reading the Classics or Great Works of a field. IIRC Vassar commented that outside of fields like Math or Chemistry where progress is completely unambiguous it's a good idea. Darwin invented, conceived and distinguished natural and sexual selection in his greatest work. Despite this sexual selection was more or less rediscovered from scratch starting in the 70's.

Macroeconomists are still talking about DSGE models, right now, after the Great Recession. I recall a recent crooked timber post about a macro survey book which (basically ignored Keynes and Keynesianism)[]. If population genetics can ignore Darwin to its detriment macroeconomics is entirely capable of underselling Keynes.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread March 31 - April 7 2014 · 2014-04-02T09:47:26.140Z · LW · GW

Why are people downvoting this? It is the refounding of macroeconomics.

If I was recommending a first book on economics this would not be it because macroeconomics is compared to microeconomics useless and something we know nothing about but still. Also, if your only reason for learning about economics is to bullshit about politics Keynes' book will equip you to crush the ignorant quite adequately.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on April 2014 Media Thread · 2014-04-01T11:19:49.386Z · LW · GW

Is "Worm" finished and is there a pdf/epub/text file somewhere convenient for one behind the Great Firewall? I have heard Good Things about it.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on What colleges look for in extracurricular activities · 2014-03-28T10:09:51.900Z · LW · GW

Kawoomba suggests that colleges' statements on the first point below can't be taken at face value. What do you think?

I find it alarming that you assumed honesty on the part of the admissions officers. It reduces my confidence in everything you wrote that you assumed honesty from people whose job it is to be gatekeepers to the American elite class.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, March 16-31 · 2014-03-27T15:05:15.583Z · LW · GW

I suggest looking into r/bodyweight. Bodyweight exercises, followed by same supplemented by a bookbag gradually more full of books, then gradually more full of bags of sand/gravel are not expensive and don't require a gym.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-13T07:13:33.338Z · LW · GW

In my career coaching work, one of the things I try to teach is how to spot these patterns of which way a market is going. This has some classic signs, and I can give plenty of examples of other industries in which this same pattern took place.

Examples would be appreciated. But this seems to be a case of trying to time the market and the usual objection applies; if you can time the market to within a year you can make huge piles of money. One of the contributors on HN, lsc of talks about how he was calling the property bubble in the Bay area for years before it popped, and how if he had just got in at the frothy height of the dotcom bubble like everyone else, he'd still be ahead now on property, very far ahead.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, March 1-15 · 2014-03-04T09:35:53.711Z · LW · GW

I stopped running at lunchtime since I kept on injuring my knees. I joined a gym a month ago and have been going three times a week, doing barbell weightlifting, bench, squat and overhead press. My progress has been almost non-existent in weight lifted so I probably need to alter my diet. At least I no longer get DOMS.

I started spending too much time mindlessly checking websites so I banned myself from spending any time on the internet at work . This works a lot better than having an exception for legitimate use.

I now have a very large collection of Chinese Anki sentence cards. I now spend more than two hours a week just on Chinese cards. I started a psychology deck but I think I'll delete it. Books with glossaries and summaries are excellent raw material but it's better to rewrite than trabscribe though the latter beats most ways of studying.

I could be better at learning Chinese if I had entertaining listening/viewing material but I don't do much of that in any language.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Don't rely on the system to guarantee you life satisfaction · 2014-02-18T15:24:32.387Z · LW · GW

Amy Chua's kids have two Yale law school professors for parents. Genetically and in terms of social capital they rolled a natural 20. I suggest reading Judith Rich Harris's "The Nurture Assumption" and/or Bryan Caplan's "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids" if Chua is getting to you.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on [Open Thread] Stupid Questions (2014-02-17) · 2014-02-18T05:45:24.784Z · LW · GW

The middle class would prefer that people be homeless than that they have permanent dwellings that do not reach their standards. None of your explanations is correct but the second comes closest. See Flophouse. I believe Matthew Yglesias has written on this and there's a commenter on slatestarcodex, St. Rev, who may or may not have a blog, who's homeless.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on A few remarks about mass-downvoting · 2014-02-14T05:49:24.181Z · LW · GW

My first thought on reading this was of one person driven away from LW, Peter D. Jones by extensive downvoting. Reading his posts this was obviously a good thing. Enabling downvoting has driven away at least one person I really wish was still an active contributor, (wedrifid)[]. I think given that Hacker News doesn't have downvotes for stories but does for comments and employs hellbanning extensively I support the current system. Do you have any examples of good redditalikes without downvoting?

The buzzer would be annoying. Downvotes are just a signal people don't like what you wrote. Not equivalent.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on January Monthly Bragging Thread · 2014-01-07T23:51:12.107Z · LW · GW

I've been running during my lunchbreak for two weeks now. I've decided to just walk for the rest of this workweek because I've been moving heavy crap while moving house but it seems an easy habit to keep up and a clear win.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013 · 2013-12-14T09:02:11.000Z · LW · GW

I am not professionally involved in these fields but I have read that among those who are there is a very jaundiced opinion of Chinese and Indian scientific research. If none of the following hold completely ignoring their publications is apparently a good heuristic; at least one foreign co-author or one who did their doctorate in the first world or an institution or author with a significant reputation. Living in China and having some minimal experience with the Chinese attitude to plagiarism/copying/research makes this seem plausible. I doubt anyone's missing anything by ignoring scientific articles published in Mandarin. I make no such claims for social sciences.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Less Wrong’s political bias · 2013-10-26T10:53:26.640Z · LW · GW

Because if you read the recommendations they are none of them objectionable though some may be mistaken if taken as moral injunctions rather than as guides to bear in mind. Your post otoh, is mealy mouthed misdirection combined with "Boo blues!".

Don't discuss politics, discuss policy, unless you're aiming to overthrow the system because even if you devote your entire life to one singular policy goal, and get elected to your national Parliament your chances of achieving your goal is not great.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Less Wrong’s political bias · 2013-10-26T10:34:47.749Z · LW · GW

Politics, dating, anyone got a third topic where Lesswrong varies between being useless and immensely frustrating compared to the usual standards of discussion around here?

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, October 13 - 19, 2013 · 2013-10-14T13:46:26.336Z · LW · GW

When using pre-made decks the only efficient way is to follow along, i.e. if you don't know the source book/course it's not very good. Partial exception, vocabulary lists.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, October 13 - 19, 2013 · 2013-10-14T13:41:58.704Z · LW · GW

Personal fitness folk: doing starting strength is three hours a week that will make all the rest much better and a personal trainer will make your form good, which is really important. If your conscientiousness is normal tutors rock. If you can afford one, hire a tutor.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, September 30 - October 6, 2013 · 2013-10-02T01:37:25.769Z · LW · GW

Auf Englisch wuerde man STEM, science, technology, engineering, mathematics nutzen statt MINT.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, September 30 - October 6, 2013 · 2013-10-02T00:51:44.808Z · LW · GW

Don't deliberately screw yourself over. Don't accept less than the average for your position and either point blank refuse to give them negotiating leverage by telling them your current salary or lie.

For better, longer advice see [Salary Negotiation for Software Engineers](

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open Thread, September 30 - October 6, 2013 · 2013-09-30T09:10:31.652Z · LW · GW

Given the Bloom two sigma phenomenom it would not surprise me if unschooling + 1 hour tuition per day beat regular school. And if you read Lesswrong there's a reasonable p() that an hour of a grad student's time isn't that expensive.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Signaling of what, precisely? · 2013-09-17T22:06:33.998Z · LW · GW

My failure to write precisely strikes again. As long as your work process isn't illegal or against a relevant code of conduct no one cares how you got your grades. This does rather speak against what I wrote above. College is a four year adventure in less supervision than you will have at work.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Signaling of what, precisely? · 2013-09-17T11:53:21.906Z · LW · GW

I cannot be the only person who had no trouble getting up at five in the morning for money but found getting up at ten verging on impossible in college. No one cares what you do in college but if you don't show up for work you won't get paid. I'm not sure whether people like me support your argument or not. Maybe I'm just a workaholic with a high discount factor.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-16T09:59:40.552Z · LW · GW

I made a policy that aimless dicking around on the internet is not allowed between the time I leave my flat and finishing work. Finding answers to questions, adding Anki cards, finding worksheets to print off are fine, reading HN, LW, or news sites is not. I now spend a lot of time on Anki, email and Kindle. It works because it's very easy and clear what's allowed and when.

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, September 9-15, 2013 · 2013-09-12T12:11:22.315Z · LW · GW

Marginalrevolution, econlog and where else?

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, August 1-15 · 2013-08-17T11:07:44.692Z · LW · GW

I am using Anki though sub-optimally. Until recently I was just using one of the shared decks, New Practical Chinese Reader. Now I'm catching up with myself inputting the phrases and vocabulary from the book I'm using, "Chinese for Foreigners". Making cards is a massive PITA but worth it for things you actually care about learning. How long did it take you to do a textbook's worth of cards when in university?

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Open thread, August 5-11, 2013 · 2013-08-06T06:01:46.070Z · LW · GW

This is at least the third time I've seen you reference this. Would you care to furnish us some examples of this pattern of dismissal?

Comment by Barry_Cotter on Group Rationality Diary, August 1-15 · 2013-08-04T05:12:11.761Z · LW · GW

After a year and a half of living in China I got a Mandarin tutor for an hour six days a week. I'm making much more progress, faster, than I did in my previous half assed way of learning.