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Comment by captainoblivious2 on Action and habit · 2011-06-22T00:28:29.665Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Actually for me it's all mental. Normally I hate being hungry: that gnawing feeling in your stomach that says "FEED ME NOW". But if I'm trying to lose weight, I somehow flip my mental state such that the gnawing feeling is a GOOD thing: that's what losing weight feels like. As long as you've got that feeling, you're losing weight. However, if you eat enough that the gnawing feeling goes away, that's a bad thing: you're not losing weight any more. And god forbid you should eat enough to actually feel FULL - that's the absolute opposite of losing weight! Whatever happens, you don't want that!

Because of the mental flip, I don't feel like I'm depriving myself of something - instead I feel like I'm moving towards a goal, which is a positive feeling, not a negative one.

I wish I could tell others how to perform that mental flip, but I really wouldn't know how to start - it's one of those things you just DO.

Comment by captainoblivious2 on Action and habit · 2011-06-21T01:49:18.232Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I definitely think that overeating is one of the hardest habits to break (and I've never been significantly overweight), because of the reasons you say. Any other bad habit you can simply say "no more" (possibly excepting situations where physical withdrawal symptoms become severe). Note that I'm not saying it's EASY to say "no more", just that it's possible and very well-defined. With eating, on the other hand, you've GOT to eat several times per day, so it becomes all too easy to overeat.

Comment by captainoblivious2 on Best of Rationality Quotes 2009/2010 · 2010-12-22T00:54:09.500Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

While Windows has it's share of flaws, I can't help but wonder if a system in which it's noteworthy to have "precompiled and widely available binaries" (so the USER doesn't have to compile the app before he uses it) isn't just as wrong, only in different ways.

The thing many nix fans overlook is that most people just want to USE a computer, and one that's good enough is, well, good enough. From that perspective, nix isn't so much a tool as it is a toy: something from which people derive more entertainment than utility.

Comment by captainoblivious2 on Rationality Lessons in the Game of Go · 2010-08-24T00:09:13.601Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, and another (cynical) lesson: there are times (when you're likely to get gammoned or even backgammoned) when you can't win, you can't break even, and you can't even quit the game. You actually have to play it out to the bitter end, just to see how bad it's going to be.

Comment by captainoblivious2 on Rationality Lessons in the Game of Go · 2010-08-23T01:19:34.720Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I find backgammon to also be a good analogy for life in general, though I don't really have the time to get into all of the details... perhaps the most important lesson, though, is that if you always take the "safest" move, you're almost guaranteed to lose! You need to take risks - smart risks, where the payoff is worth the danger and the danger is non-fatal, but risks nonetheless.

And sometimes, even if you do everything right, you still lose. That's life.

Comment by captainoblivious2 on Alien parasite technical guy · 2010-07-31T01:11:04.729Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I always wondered about that... sure, it sounds good: try hard, and you can accomplish anything!

But independent of whether it's even true or not, how could anyone actually know it's true? Who volunteered to have 90% of their brain scooped out to see if it made any difference?

(I can see it now: "No, Mr Smith, you were always a complete moron - that's why you let us scoop out 90% of your brain")

Comment by captainoblivious2 on Rationality quotes: April 2010 · 2010-04-03T02:23:54.233Z · score: 16 (20 votes) · LW · GW

"All things end badly - or else they wouldn't end"

  • Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise), Cocktail, 1988. He was referring to relationships, but it's actually a surprisingly general rule.
Comment by captainoblivious2 on What is Bayesianism? · 2010-02-27T16:52:47.599Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sub-tenet 1: If you experience something that you think could only be caused by cause A, ask yourself "if this cause didn't exist, would I regardless expect to experience this with equal probability?" If the answer is "yes", then it probably wasn't cause A.

I don't understand this at all - if you experience something that you think could only be caused by A, then the question you're supposed to ask yourself makes no sense whatsoever: absent A, you would expect to never experience this thing, per the original condition! And if the answer to the question is anything above "never", then clearly you don't think that A is the only possible cause!

Comment by captainoblivious2 on A survey of anti-cryonics writing · 2010-02-09T13:03:32.515Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

True, but I've got life insurance already - this would just be a matter of "re-purposing" a small percentage of it. Or maybe I'll just pay it out of my pocket after I get sick - the insurance isn't really a critical part of the plan.

P.S. does anyone know the legalities of cryonics? For example, suppose I pay for it with cash advances on all my credit cards, and then "die". Many years later I'm somehow brought back to life... do I still have that debt (plus interest and penalties, of course), or has it been wiped out? Maybe it depends on how I'm brought back: if my physical body were to be brought back, I think most people would expect the debt to stick with me (after all, I didn't really die - I just took a long nap)... but if I'm reincarnated as a computer program, it might be a little murkier...

Comment by captainoblivious2 on A survey of anti-cryonics writing · 2010-02-09T03:42:10.588Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me that my death is most likely to come from one of 2 scenarios:

1) I become fatally ill with some disease (e.g. cancer) and, after a period of time, succumb to it.

2) I die suddenly as a result of great physical trauma (e.g. car accident)

Obviously other scenarios are possible, but I think these are the most likely. In case 1 I have plenty of time to sign up for cryonics (and could possibly pay for it with a "settlement" of some sort on my life insurance). In case 2, my body and brain suffer massive physical damage, and the cryonics company probably doesn't get involved until there's nothing left to salvage.

In either case, no great harm befalls me for waiting - over time the process will become more plausible (or possibly even proven), or maybe it'll be disproven, and in any event the costs will likely come down as my income and net worth rise... so what's the rush?

Comment by captainoblivious2 on The things we know that we know ain't so · 2010-01-13T01:33:18.644Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Common sense works surprisingly well in some cases: even as a child I didn't believe the "10% of your brain" thing... think about it: the only way they could know this is if someone had 90% of their brain removed and wasn't affected... and that doesn't seem nearly as likely as people wanting to believe that everyone has vast untapped potential.

And let's not even get started on how/why evolution would provide us with 10x the brainpower we need... is there any precedent for that in evolution? Can cheetas run 10x faster than they normally do just by trying a little harder? Can seals hold their breath 10x longer than normal?