Why didn't we find katas for rationality? 2021-09-14T16:43:44.648Z
How do you decide when to change N95/FFP-2 masks? 2021-09-10T07:40:41.353Z
How does your data backup solution setup work? 2021-09-06T09:10:48.659Z
Bupropion and CBD oil 2021-08-19T09:14:48.869Z
What made the UK COVID-19 case count drop? 2021-08-02T13:01:30.048Z
Prediction-based-Medicine instead of E̵v̵i̵d̵e̵n̵c̵e̵ ̵b̵a̵s̵e̵d̵ ̵M̵e̵d̵i̵c̵i̵n̵e̵ Authority-based-Medicine 2021-07-30T10:42:25.243Z
Academic Rationality Research 2021-07-25T13:59:02.848Z
Why is Kleros valued so low? 2021-07-21T13:50:11.732Z
Is there a reasonable reading according to which Baric, Shi et al 2015 isn't gain-of-function research? 2021-07-21T08:19:12.973Z
You are allowed to edit Wikipedia 2021-07-05T09:56:13.253Z
How would you run the statistics on whether Ivermectin helped India reduce COVID-19 cases? 2021-07-03T16:09:17.991Z
What's the effective R for the Delta variant of COVID-19? 2021-07-02T12:49:30.401Z
How do the ivermectin meta-reviews come to so different conclusions? 2021-06-29T22:34:47.443Z
What will be the aftermath of the US intelligence lab leak report? 2021-06-26T20:33:22.098Z
How do the side effects of Novavax compare to other COVID-19 vaccines? 2021-06-24T16:36:19.488Z
War on Cancer II 2021-06-24T14:59:33.464Z
How do you deal with people cargo culting COVID-19 defense? 2021-06-23T19:59:35.454Z
10 Deadly Viruses And Bacteria Created In Labs - 6 SARS 2.0 2021-06-19T22:29:59.999Z
Why did no LessWrong discourse on gain of function research develop in 2013/2014? 2021-06-18T23:35:35.918Z
Fauci’s Emails and the Lab Leak Hypothesis 2021-06-18T13:55:19.913Z
The aducanumab approval 2021-06-17T14:05:39.846Z
Are there any existing open source human evolution models? 2021-06-14T17:28:49.731Z
Which rationalists faced significant side-effects from COVID-19 vaccination? 2021-06-14T09:39:29.218Z
A systematic error that lead to a bad policy response to COVID-19 2021-06-12T19:56:30.399Z
Why do patients in mental institutions get so little attention in the public discourse? 2021-06-12T17:37:41.744Z
Should we vaccinate against PGBD5 which codes for a transposase? 2021-06-08T19:22:03.892Z
Will outlets like the NYT be captured by Chinese influence and if so, when? 2021-06-08T16:31:09.244Z
Hypothesis: lab mice have more active transposons then wild mice 2021-06-05T12:36:06.664Z
Anatomy, diseases and aging damage 2021-05-31T14:01:48.364Z
What should we expect from ARPA-H? 2021-05-19T12:21:41.941Z
SpaceX should provide IPFS proxies with Starlink 2021-05-17T15:05:28.521Z
Why Glen Weyl is a technocrat 2021-05-16T18:01:16.945Z
Why are the websites of major companies so bad at core functionality? 2021-05-06T16:02:09.691Z
Is there a good software solution for mathematical questions? 2021-04-25T18:03:09.594Z
Preventing overcharging by prosecutors 2021-04-06T11:13:50.893Z
What are the best resources to point people who are skeptical of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 to? 2021-03-20T11:18:52.089Z
How can we stop talking past each other when it comes to postrationality? 2021-03-12T15:15:20.948Z
Attempt at a gears model of getting infected with COVID-19 2021-03-02T15:39:36.087Z
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment? 2021-02-28T20:30:20.410Z
Why aren't we all using Taffix? 2021-02-26T23:09:35.968Z
Are multiple shorter exposures less likely to reduce in infections of COVID-19 then one larger exposure? 2021-02-24T13:14:53.751Z
What does the FDA actually do between getting the trial results and having their meeting? 2021-02-12T13:08:57.164Z
We got what's needed for COVID-19 vaccination completely wrong 2021-02-10T07:59:46.331Z
Why are clinical trials so expensive? 2021-02-05T00:10:21.735Z
Are there examples of rationalists getting censored for COVID-19 related communication? 2021-01-15T18:46:15.459Z
What's up with the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trial? 2021-01-07T23:31:07.619Z
Why is loss of muscle cells not considered one of the hallmarks of aging? 2021-01-05T14:19:42.407Z
Empiricism in NLP : Test Operate Text Exit (TOTE) 2021-01-01T16:09:10.546Z
SpaceX will have massive impact in the next decade 2020-12-31T01:04:03.127Z
[Linkpost] Drug-Approval Denationalization 2020-12-30T22:09:56.347Z


Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T15:56:19.247Z · LW · GW

I now have my 24" monitor in a way where the eye level aligns with the top of the monitor. I find that I can look at my whole monitor just by using my eyes without adding any tension. On the other hand looking 10 cm over my monitor is an act that does add tension around the atlas. 

Evolutionary, I imagine that it works that way because it's quite important for hunter gathers to look down in front of them (you need to do that a lot when walking barefoot) but less often important to look up above themselves.

The image does show what those people who make a living selling ergonomics equipment consider to be good.

The best way to prevent slouching is to have some physical activity in your life and not try to force your body into looking up by requiring looking over the eye level.

It's not just the website I linked. You find the same sentiment on all the top results for "optimal monitor height" on Google.

Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T14:25:10.383Z · LW · GW

Generally, if you follow the SuperMemo recommendations you first learn that library is the word for biblioteca and only after you have learned that you create a card and put it into SRS to avoid forgetting the card. You don't just put that card into a SRS without having learned the word first.

Most of the time in SRS is spent because you forget cards. If you build a good foundation by learning before memorizing you reduce that time.

Comment by ChristianKl on How feeling more secure feels different than I expected · 2021-09-20T12:57:46.584Z · LW · GW

Reading your other post it seems like IPF is for solving the issues causing problems that are learned before the second birthday and self-concept issues are problems that arrise later then that. 

I would expect that for many people both kind of issues are important to resolve. 

Comment by ChristianKl on What should one's policy regarding dental xrays be? · 2021-09-20T12:43:01.157Z · LW · GW

Nobody who might publish new research has really been interested in the topic before now

Or to express it another way, all the people who actually have the expertise in the topic are not interested in publishing anything but rather want to do hands-on-work.

In the case of dentistry, the current best source of evidence in many cases is dentists. 

That's true. Dentists all over the world are advocating flossing, so flossing seems to be worthwhile. 

When it comes to interventions such as very regular dental exams that are done much more in the US then in other countries the case is less good.

Dentists have large financial incentives to overtreat their patients. Getting the x-ray increases your chances that your dentist will drill into a teeth that doesn't really need drilling.

As far as dental interventions oral probiotics is one that a lot of dentists don't recommend but that actually has a few studies on it's side. 

Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T12:07:19.616Z · LW · GW

Here on LW a lot of people don't just follow the official advice and it's generally fine to recommend things that differ from the official advice. In those cases I however think it's important to explain why one considers the official advice wrong.

I would be surprised if the advice came out of having a smaller monitor. I used to believe monitors should be higher too. Human biomechanics are complicated. This reminds me of one dance teacher I had you had a professional training in dance and who went to learn from other dance teachers in New York. After she came back she had the idea that the impulse during dancing should always go forward. Four months later all the women in her dance classes were a lot more tense during dancing. 

From an naive point of view having a monitor higher exerts a force on being more upright similar to having the impulse being forward in the dance example which is also making the dancer more upright. I think that argument got me started to increase the hight of my monitor before I understood anything about human biomechanics. Unfortunately, I don't think I can easily explain the gear level of why it's that way in a comment, so I just point to the official advice and the problem having a higher monitor caused for my cervical spine.

Comment by ChristianKl on How feeling more secure feels different than I expected · 2021-09-20T09:14:47.265Z · LW · GW

Transform Your Self by Steve Andreas is good for working on self-concepts. Kaj worked with it a while with personal improvements that were visible to coworkers and then we (some rationalists in Berlin) had a reading group for it. 

To give you one example of what it did for me personally, in 1-2 hours I adopted the self belief of "I'm attractive" that I previously didn't hold. 

Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T08:17:22.306Z · LW · GW

To me this suggests that your cards aren't well formed or you try to memorize before understanding. Spend more effort on learning a fact before you put it into the SRS and work on making the cards clearer.

Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T07:59:09.223Z · LW · GW

On what basis do you believe 20-27" to be ideal?

It seems to conflict with common ergononic advice as found on websites like that suggests the top of the monitor should be on eye level.

In the past I remember having a monitor that high and I think it created bad posture habit involving overstretching the cervical spine and I now have it lower.

Comment by ChristianKl on Great Power Conflict · 2021-09-19T07:59:59.300Z · LW · GW

Speaking about states wanting things obscures a lot. 

I expect that there's a good chance that Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, Cisco, Palantir and maybe a few other private entities are likely to have strong offensive capabilities. 

Then there are a bunch of different three letter agencies who are likely having offensive capabilities. 

This would greatly surprise me (indeed, I'm not familiar with domestic or international law for cyber stuff, but I would be surprised to learn that US criminal law was the thing stopping cyberattacks on Russian organizations from US hackers or organizations)

The US government of course hacks Russian targets but sophisticated private actors won't simply attack Russia and demand ransom to be payed to them. There are plenty of people who currently do mainly do penetration testing for companies and who are very capable at actually attacking who might consider it worthwhile to attack Russian targets for money if that would be possible without legal repercussions.

US government sponsored attacks aren't about causing damage in the way attacks targed at getting ransom are.

And I'm not sure how this would change the conflict landscape.

It would get more serious private players involved in attacking who are outside of government control. Take someone like . Are those people currently going to attack Russian targets outside of retaliation? Likely not.

Comment by ChristianKl on Great Power Conflict · 2021-09-18T22:04:54.615Z · LW · GW

There's no clear line between war and peace. We live in a world that's already in constant cyberwar. AI gets deployed in the existing cyberwar and likely will be more so in the future.

It's unclear how strongly the control about the individual actors are controlled by their respective governments. Arkhipov's submarine didn't get attacked because anyone up the chain ordered it. Attribution of attacks is hard. 

The countries that are players are all different, so you lose insight when you talk about Albania and Botswana instead of the real players.

Given Russia tolerating all the ransomware attacks being launched from their soil, it could be that one US president says "Enough, if Russia doesn't do anything against attacks from their soil on the West, let's decrimilize hacking Russian targets". 

Comment by ChristianKl on What should one's policy regarding dental xrays be? · 2021-09-18T09:26:19.080Z · LW · GW

You can drown in a river that's on average 20 centimeter deep. Understanding how radiation causes permanent damage isn't easy.

There are models that suggest it causes permanent damage if enough damage is done within one cell that the cell repair mechanisms can't easily repair the damage in a short amount of time. 

That suggests radiation for a small amount of time on a small area of the body is more problematic then average background radiation that's the same over a longer time frame and goes towards the whole body.

Comment by ChristianKl on A Fight is a Faster Tax on Bullshit · 2021-09-17T20:04:52.054Z · LW · GW

I'm saying that it's not based on the quality of most of your empirical beliefs. If I'm telling my friend that I strongly believe that politican X will do Y if elected, my ability to fight has nothing to do with taxing me if that belief is bullshit.

Comment by ChristianKl on A Fight is a Faster Tax on Bullshit · 2021-09-17T19:45:57.266Z · LW · GW

Your ability to win a fight is distinct from whether what you are saying is bullshit. Being able to defend your argument by being phsyically stronger then the other party doesn't make you truth aligned. 

Comment by ChristianKl on How factories were made safe · 2021-09-17T19:37:58.914Z · LW · GW

The idea that people are equal in the sense of one hour of work being the same is one of the cornerstones of Marx's work.

Comment by ChristianKl on How factories were made safe · 2021-09-17T10:25:06.941Z · LW · GW

There's a general idea of starting out with the "rule of the proletariat" after the revolution in Marxist ideology which means actual working class people would govern. They would also govern without first needing to be educated for that.

Social democrat ideology doesn't have the same issue but the Marxists do have it.

Comment by ChristianKl on How factories were made safe · 2021-09-16T07:17:46.735Z · LW · GW

1) Middle class better at theory than working class -- is there actually anything surprising here? I mean, if you take a random sample of middle class and a random sample of working class, who would you expect to do better at a math test? Science test? History test? Betting on the middle class is the obvious winning move here, right?

Part of the socialist ideals is that the working class should actually have the power to make a lot of decisions. Believing that the middle class is better goes counter to socialist ideas.

Comment by ChristianKl on Why didn't we find katas for rationality? · 2021-09-15T12:27:10.477Z · LW · GW

Do you write the guess down somewhere or just keep it in your head?

Comment by ChristianKl on Film Study for Research · 2021-09-15T12:26:17.309Z · LW · GW

One way to do film study as a PHD student is to ask your advisor whether you can record your conversations with him and then review those conversations a month later.

I could also imagine that it could be useful to watch a few videos of how one writes papers to get a better insight into one's own process. 

Comment by ChristianKl on Why didn't we find katas for rationality? · 2021-09-14T20:26:23.748Z · LW · GW

Calibration using search: anytime I am searching for something with a quantitative answer I have the chance to do a fermi estimate/reference class forecasting and getting feedback on how I did.

Do you have an explicit process for this?

Comment by ChristianKl on Why didn't we find katas for rationality? · 2021-09-14T19:30:57.121Z · LW · GW

A kata contains a bunch of individual moves that are usually done in the same order every time and practiced together.

The idea is by practicing them that way the individual moves will go into muscle memory and executed in a fast way.

Predicting a metaculus question would be a general task that can be accomplished in a lot of different ways.

Comment by ChristianKl on Why didn't we find katas for rationality? · 2021-09-14T19:26:05.351Z · LW · GW

It's my impression that John regularly provides different exercises and that there's no continues practice of the same task.

Comment by ChristianKl on Nisan's Shortform · 2021-09-14T14:57:51.078Z · LW · GW

The point of using a word like this is to point to different habits of thoughts. If you use an existing word that's unlikely to happen in listerners.

If you don't do that you get a lot of motte-and-bailey issues. 

Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-13T17:14:16.011Z · LW · GW

Why do you think you think one should take the wishes of other people seriously?

In particular your comment doesn't really provide any use for someone who seeks a book scanning software given that your comment provides no useful information for chosing between the available options.

Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-12T18:45:21.407Z · LW · GW


Comment by ChristianKl on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-12T07:00:16.181Z · LW · GW

The rule in this thread is "You must briefly name the other programs you have tried and why you think your chosen program is superior to them". The comment does violate that rule.

Comment by ChristianKl on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-11T21:57:30.010Z · LW · GW

Yes, it was on your shortform by accident. I wasn't even aware that it's possible to top level post on others shortform.

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-11T18:07:31.927Z · LW · GW

The point is that if you want to speak about power structures, discussing whether or not power structures exists is pointless. What matter is discussing how people should be justified and the benefits and drawbacks of different ways of allocating power. 

Using SAT scores for college admissions is for example a way to distribute power. Decades ago people didn't want as many Jewish people at universities and thus introduced character assessments into the mix of what matters. Today, the group of people that is argued to be overrepresented was extended and many colleges dropped SAT scores altogether.

Back then the argument was that Jewish people had too much power and power structures should be changed so that they have less. Now, the argument is that White people have to much power and power structures should be changed so that they have less. 

If you just focus on the fact that there are power structures and not the benefits of for example distributed power to intelligent people who score highly on SAT scores, you won't get a good view of the issue to think about good policy and do things like discriminating against Jewish people.

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-11T17:02:53.406Z · LW · GW

Mind reading ("It's an attempt to signal you hold some sort of moral high ground") isn't what you do in tell culture. The idea that you are "telling the truth" when you are mind reading seems strange to me.

In contrast when ozziegooen says I do X because I expect Y then it makes sense to assume that his explanation of his own motivation is correct. Unless of course, you think he's lying about his motivation (maybe because he would actually believe ¬Y, and has another reason). 

Comment by ChristianKl on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-11T16:29:37.925Z · LW · GW

I remember reading a post about how the US navy went down in number of ships and average age of the ships went up a lot over time. It was about how the US military in general spends a lot of their money very inefficiently.

Unfortunately, it might have been a decade since I read it and I don't find it. Does anybody here know the post I'm referring to?

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-11T14:30:28.073Z · LW · GW

I believe that operating from tell culture when interacting on LessWrong is fine. Yes, that will mean that people who are socialized in guess culture will find some things rude or unpleasant but that doesn't justify LessWrong switching to ask culture norms.

Jordan Peterson's rules for life are about taking responsibility for your own life. It seems like you advocate here that other people are supposed to take responsibilty for you feeling offended. 

I seems to me like you are violating the rule you appear when you advocate here if you state that ozziegooen should have self censored themselves instead of truthfully expressing what he believed to be true.

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-11T14:26:37.501Z · LW · GW

and power structures are systemic and deeply ingrained into our culture

Is there any culture in which power structures aren't systemic and deeply ingrained into our culture? Even a tribe of hunter gather has it's cultural norms that regulate the power between the individuals.

You don't learn anything about a culture by assuming that's true for a culture. I would expect that most people at LessWrong don't have a problem with power structures provided they fulfill critieria like being meriocratic and a few other criteria.

Comment by ChristianKl on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-11T11:01:29.556Z · LW · GW


Comment by ChristianKl on How do you decide when to change N95/FFP-2 masks? · 2021-09-10T21:30:53.220Z · LW · GW

Keep in mind that the filter surfaces (where the air flows through) of the mask may have spent hours collecting COVID particles from the atmosphere, since you've been continuously pulling contaminated air through the mask. 

How do you get into a threat scenario where you would assume constant exposure to COVID particles in the atmosphere?

In Germany, we have an app that measures whether or not I'm near people who then get tested positively with COVID-19. While only  ~10% of infected people actually use it, that gives an idea of how much exposure there is. In all that time I traveled in public transportation I was never exposed to a person who then tested positively. 

This suggest to me that exposing myself to multiple people with COVID-19 in a single day is very unlikely and I don't spend more then 20 minutes exposed to the same person. 

Comment by ChristianKl on How do you decide when to change N95/FFP-2 masks? · 2021-09-10T19:18:27.527Z · LW · GW

As far as I understand there's also something like a minimum effective dose for COVID-19, which I wouldn't expect to be reached that way.

Comment by ChristianKl on Is LessWrong dead without Cox’s theorem? · 2021-09-09T19:58:51.096Z · LW · GW

Yes, I'm fine with someone downvoting lazy criticism. Having different standards for different things is good. It seems to me very strange to expect that standards should be the same for all actions.

If you look at medicine you see they have huge epistemic double standards for benefits and side effects of drugs. 

If I imagine having the same epistemic standards for allowing people to claim "Bob is a rapist" and allowing them to claim "Bob has good humor" that would seem to me really strange. We even have laws that enforce that double standard because largely society believes that it's good to have epistemic double standards in that regard. 

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-09T15:38:51.246Z · LW · GW

I am quite curious as to whether anything like this (a group of people deciding to hate themselves) has ever happened before in recorded history. Does anybody know?

Under occupation German culture developed a self-hatred in the 60ies. 

I would expect that to the extend that there's self hatred in other ethnic group it's likely not a ethnic group that has the power in their territory. 

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-09T15:35:18.023Z · LW · GW

3) Since Jewish people have more power than non-Jews on average, any logically consistent claim of the need to fight Whiteness also justifies anti-Semitism (to make it abundantly clear, I am attempting a reducto ad Hiterium argument, I am not trying to justify anti-Semitism)

Sartre's Reflections on the Jewish Question is well worth reading in this regard. I picked it up after Michael Vassar recommended it. For Sartre (who was Jewish) a lot of what anti-semitism was inherently about is anti-intellecutalism. Given how people conceptualize Whiteness as being about the various intellectual features like valuing objective truth and high IQ, the content of both fights seems very similar. 

Comment by ChristianKl on Handicapping competitive games · 2021-09-09T10:26:31.747Z · LW · GW

Especially in Go, I think this handicap system is under-used - in my opinion, it changes the game less than giving the weaker player handicap stones on the board at the start.

Having all the handicap in points usually means that the stronger player needs to kill more of the stones of the weaker player. I expect that normally to be less fun and also to teach the weaker player the wrong things if they have to be overly worried about being attacked. 

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-09T10:04:03.973Z · LW · GW

Autists are not willfully ignorant. Most autists are aware that there are social dynamics that they don't understand and won't say things like "I don't see people in terms of race".

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-09T09:42:56.461Z · LW · GW

I see where you're coming from, and I also wish I didn't have to do the extra work to remember the correct technical definition of racism when I read White Fragility. 

There's nothing technical about the definition of racism that gets used by people like DeAngelo. In physics a definition becomes technical when it's well defined enough to objectively measure the resulting effect. There's nothing that makes their definition more inherently correct either. 

In the civil rights area a lot of laws were passed to combat racism and I would say that the resulting legal concepts of racism are the nearest we have to a technical definition of racism and that definition is about discriminating for people based on the their race (perceived race). 

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-09T09:37:20.765Z · LW · GW

But what if the response were "Well shoot. I hope I'm not doing anything racist. Can you explain to me what exactly is racist about it so that I can make sure not to do it?" 

There's frequently the sentiment that it's not on other people to do the work of explaining to white people that they are racist but that it's the obligation for white people to figure that out themselves.

Comment by ChristianKl on Is LessWrong dead without Cox’s theorem? · 2021-09-07T15:20:59.207Z · LW · GW

I'm fine with someone commenting under a post: "I really liked that you wrote this". I'm not fine with someone writing a comment that just contains "I really dislike you wrote this".

That's a double standard and I'm happily arguing in favor of it as it makes the interaction in a forum more friendly. 

Comment by ChristianKl on What Motte and Baileys are rationalists most likely to engage in? · 2021-09-07T13:01:44.062Z · LW · GW

This doesn't seem to be about the term rationalist at all. It seems to be about which rhetorical style different people prefer. Eliezer makes in a much more confident and more polarizing way then Scott. 

Comment by ChristianKl on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-07T11:43:22.941Z · LW · GW

Power structures are important and not abusing power is ethically important. The central problem with approaches like the of DiAngelo is that they try to impose a general idea about which power structures exist and how power should be redistributed to every particular interaction instead of looking at the power structures of the particular interaction.

People who are socially powerless generally have little power to appeal to general ideas about how power should be redistributed. Those who do have a degree of social power can appeal to general ideas to get more power for themselves and use it to obscure their power in the interaction. 

Consultants like DiAngelo can use those ideas to have power to blackmail companies into paying them a lot to do corporate trainings. It allows upper-class black people to demand that lower class white people with less actual power bend towards their will. 

One of the things DiAngelo recommends is that white people shouldn't cry in front of black people because the act of crying has inherent power. The problem with such advice is that it prevents interracial relationships of vulnerability and encourages people to only share vulnerability within the same race. Sharing vulnerability is key for building up shared trust and loyality and this is going to generally make it harder for black people. 

The strong abstract ideas about how power should be distributed also make it a lot harder to have open conversations about how power should be distributed in particular social interactions. It makes people defensive and makes it easier for the people with the actual power to shut down those conversations whether those are white or black people. It forces people to think through the interpolitical consequences of everything they say instead of openly experessing themselves and becoming vulnerable.

While you might argue that vulnerability doesn't have a direct place in the workplace, it matters for building relationships. Men who drink beer together after work and are vulnerable with each other build bonds and then support each other in the workplace. 

One interesting aspect of your summary is you saying:

It felt useful to me to try on DiAngelo’s perspective about race and to interpret my outlook, experience, and actions through its framework.

On the other hand you don't say that it changed anything about how you actually interact with other people. This might mean that after reading the book you don't feel like those changes are worth mentioning. It might be that it feels vulnerable to talk about those changes and there too much pressure for you to be vulnerable about them. It might also mean that the book didn't get you to do any meaningful changes. 

To me you saying that it felt useful to you without pointing to any actual use is a huge warning sign here. It's also quite ironic that you read a book like that and the way you judge it is about whether it's useful to you to have read it and not useful to those black people with whom you interact that you have read it. The book got you to focus on yourself and not on other people when dealing with the subject matter. 

Comment by ChristianKl on Blind Spots in Science and Culture · 2021-09-06T18:40:05.592Z · LW · GW

When it comes to actually producing valuable work I think it's important to distinguish amateur work from non-academic work. Academia is not the only knowledge community nor the only professional one. For many questions in the psychological domain I don't think they are even the people with the most insight. A while ago I was reading Roy Baumeister's Willpower and the sillyness that went into the reasoning around the nature of willpower was amazing.

Take a paragraph like:

There are also some subjects that may be inherently difficult to study because they require considerable domain-specific knowledge (e.g., high-level athletic performance, hunting or survival skills, extensive meditation practice) which a professional researcher is unlikely to have.  Collaboration with amateurs who have special knowledge or abilities could provide unique insights into these areas. 

Let's apply that to the Willpower discourse. There are plenty of people outside of academia that spent a lot of time in practice to motivate themselves and others. Some people even have 24/7 glucose monitors. They problem wasn't that there weren't experts with special knowledge that could have told people like Roy Baumeister that they weren't on the right track but that there was little interest to talk to anyone who understands the subject and more interest in p-hacking. 

If you see a discourse like this and see the academic blindspots there's little you can do as an outsider.

If you actually want to create valuable knowledge you have to think about for what the goal of your inquiry is. Do you want to gain knowledge for yourself to act better? Do you want to produce it as part of a knowledge community?

There's certainly a lot in the blind spots in academia but a lot of it will neither be of value to yourself nor of a knowledge community that you want to contribute to.

Comment by ChristianKl on Why there are no online CFAR workshops? · 2021-09-06T09:37:25.585Z · LW · GW

The particular instruments are not the point. 

When asked whether CFAR wanted to collaborate of scientifically validating their instruments, the answer I heard was that CFAR doesn't because it doesn't consider the instruments of central importance but considers giving people agency about changing their own thinking process of central importance. 

There are many aspects of Lifespring. If I look at the Wikipedia page it suggests that they tried to maximize the amount of people enrolled to lifespring seminars. You complain that CFAR doesn't do enough to maximize the amount of people who are exposed to CFAR content.

As I understand Lifespring tries to sell people more couses after they completed their first training. CFAR is not setup to sell you more courses after you went to the 4 day workshop.

Teaching people instruments does relatively little if people don't use them. Teaching people agency means that they won't only use the instruments taught at the workshop but also ways of thinking they make up themselves.

After leaving CFAR Julia Galef wrote the Scout Mindset because she believes that the mindset people have is of critical importance. The Solider Mindset/Scout Mindset isn't directly about what CFAR is about but it falls in the same category of mental shifts. If you could have a 4 day workshop that would turn someone who's mostly in Soldier Mindset into a person that's mostly in Scout Mindset that would be valuable.

You could cluster workshop that change people the mindset of people in a deep way with Lifespring, but that cluster ignores a lot of what's problematic about Lifespring that doesn't exist the same way in CFAR. Generally, I don't think a workshop that doesn't work on that deep level is worth the kind of money that CFAR charges. 

Comment by ChristianKl on Why there are no online CFAR workshops? · 2021-09-06T08:15:00.647Z · LW · GW

It is a good justification for this behavior, but it does not seem to be the most rational choice. 

That's not what "rational" is about.

To know whether their decision is rational you would have to compare it to the alternative choices. Holding a workshop has an opportunity cost. If CFAR is not holding a workshop they are doing something else with the time.

I don't have a good idea what CFAR did in the time they didn't hold workshops but without knowing that you can't make any decision about whether holding online workshops would have been better then what they did. 

I am pretty sure there is a significant number of people, who would prefer an online workshop to the offline one 

That's mostly irrelevant given the goals that CFAR has. It would be toxic to make a decision on that basis given that "giving people what they prefer" and "giving people what will improve their rationality" are two different very things. There are a lot of personal development workshops who's makers focus on the former. CFAR doesn't. 

To say that we are not doing it because some people do not have privacy is like for the restaurant to stop offer meat to everyone because there are vegans among customers. 

As far as high end restaurants go, high end restaurants don't let people order from multiple options. Attempting to give everybody different options is cheap low end and mid level restaurants do. 

Apart from that a restaurant is a business that sells products to make a profit on selling products. That's very far from what CFAR is.

Comment by ChristianKl on Why there are no online CFAR workshops? · 2021-09-06T08:14:20.319Z · LW · GW

I don't think just attending it would allow someone to answer better. A good answer would come from someone who actually speaks for CFAR. 

Moreover, even if the online workshop is less effective due to lack of this spirit, is it indeed so ineffective that it is worse than no workshop at all? 

When I was talking to Valentine (head of curriculum design at the time) a while ago he said that the spirit is the most important thing about the workshop.

Comment by ChristianKl on Why there are no online CFAR workshops? · 2021-09-05T15:25:36.983Z · LW · GW

I take my guess from what I know by speaking with CFAR people. An answer from CFAR directly would likely tell you more.

The goal of a CFAR workshop is not just teaching individual techniques but giving people agency about how the think. The shared group spirit helps with that. That sense of being together is less strong with an online event and thus it's harder to reach people at that deep level.

Comment by ChristianKl on Is LessWrong dead without Cox’s theorem? · 2021-09-05T06:47:30.360Z · LW · GW

Most of what's in CFAR's handbook doesn't depend on Cox's theorem. Very little that happened on LessWrong in the last years is affected in any way. Most of what we talk about is but button up derived from probability theory. Even for parts like credence calibration that are very much derived from it Cox theorem being valid or not has little effect on the value of a practice like forecasting Telock style.