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Comment by coffeespoons on Is it sensible for an ambitious nonsmoker to use e-cigarettes? · 2015-11-27T14:40:03.659Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't find that there's much of a social cost to smoking e-cigarettes. Most non-smokers don't mind them as they don't smell, and where I live (the UK) you can smoke them inside in lots of places.

Comment by coffeespoons on The Importance of Sidekicks · 2015-01-12T12:34:56.122Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW I also interpreted your statement as normative.

Comment by coffeespoons on The Importance of Sidekicks · 2015-01-12T00:28:04.862Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, I meant to say it worries me a bit if young LWers are leaving paid employment to work unpaid for their partners. I haven't actually witnessed a bunch of people appear to do this - it was more of a concern after reading the post. However, it looks as if Swimmer963 is making sensible plans.

Comment by coffeespoons on The Importance of Sidekicks · 2015-01-11T02:26:26.292Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It worries me a bit that several young LWers appear to be leaving paid employment to do (presumably?) unpaid work for their partners. What happens if these relationships break down? Are they going to be able to find paid work after a long break from the job market?

Comment by coffeespoons on Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014 · 2014-10-03T22:22:48.691Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I would recommend Fidelity's FTSE All-Share tracker (it had the lowest fees I could find when I started saving some money in there a few months ago).

Comment by coffeespoons on Open thread, 25-31 August 2014 · 2014-08-26T17:09:21.116Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

waves hello thanks for the masterlist and the follow :)

Comment by coffeespoons on Open thread, 25-31 August 2014 · 2014-08-26T12:25:41.976Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I just started a tumblr (coffeespoonsposts) - which tumblrs should I follow?

Comment by coffeespoons on Quantified Risks of Gay Male Sex · 2014-08-21T14:55:20.823Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, sorry, I must have missed that due to reading too quickly.

Comment by coffeespoons on Quantified Risks of Gay Male Sex · 2014-08-20T16:10:16.155Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm female, but I had no idea until after I'd had sex with bisexual men that the HIV risk was much higher than from sleeping with straight men. I used condoms anyway, but I was pretty shocked to learn about it. I still date bi men*, but I'm much stricter about making sure they've had STI tests than I used to be.

*My main social group are the UK bi/poly community, so two out of three of the men I've dated in the last few years have been bi.

Comment by coffeespoons on Quantified Risks of Gay Male Sex · 2014-08-20T11:58:39.343Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Regarding HIV, what about Truveda?

Comment by coffeespoons on List a few posts in Main and/or Discussion which actually made you change your mind · 2014-06-13T13:49:03.177Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I have changed my mind about lots of things since my introduction to less wrong (I'm much less political for instance), but I can't think of any specific posts right now. Mostly I've changed my mind through discussing things with rationalist friends.

Also, I'm much less social justicy since reading slatestarcodex and Yvain's previous blog.

Edit: Not a less wrong post, but Yvain's meditations on superweapons changed my mind about various social justice feminist thngs.

Comment by coffeespoons on Bragging Thread, June 2014 · 2014-06-09T12:01:28.371Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I have an anxiety disorder, and I managed to get through a very stressful few weeks (work deadline, family difficulties, a minor injury, a moth infestation and a difficult accountancy exam), without my anxiety causing too much trouble. A couple of weeks ago I felt paralysed with anxiety, and I forced myself to have a rest and to do some mindfulness exercises. I did the same the next day and I started to feel less anxious gradually. I completed the work deadlines and I'm pretty sure I passed the exam as well.

EDIT: This is particularly significant, since my anxiety has certainly improved a lot over the last couple of years. However, I was worried that it would become severe again in a stressful situation. I'm glad that it hasn't!

Comment by coffeespoons on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-22T22:40:50.192Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

do note that people are usually paid for the value they produce and that individuals' capability to produce value differs GREATLY

That's true, but I still care about people who don't produce much value, and I don't like to see them being impoverished and miserable.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-26T21:52:36.922Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I had thought that reactionaries were anti-enlightenment though?

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-26T12:38:32.329Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

From reading HPMOR and some of the sequences (I'm very slowly working my way through them) I get the impression that Eliezer is very pro-enlightenment. I can't imagine that he'd often explicitly claim to be pro-enlightenment if he weren't, rather than simply avoiding the whole issue.

Comment by coffeespoons on Self-serving meta: Whoever keeps block-downvoting me, is there some way to negotiate peace? · 2013-11-19T16:21:31.869Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I think it might be a good idea for admin to get involved now, either to explain what action they'll take or to explain why they're not taking any action. The reasons for admin to get involved are:

1)It makes karma a less effective way of signalling the quality of a user's comments

2)IT seems to have happened to several people

3)It upsets people, and makes them less likely to post here

4)It might cause drama (someone has publicly named a karma abuser below)

Comment by coffeespoons on Is it immoral to have children? · 2013-10-26T11:59:05.878Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, there will be payback to the world, but not as much as if you spend the money on efficient charity (I would think).

Comment by coffeespoons on Is it immoral to have children? · 2013-10-24T22:04:01.346Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Because having children is just so incredibly expensive!

Comment by coffeespoons on Advice for a smart 8-year-old bored with school · 2013-10-11T14:12:27.800Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It strikes me that very little has been said about the costs to the parents of homeschooling.

Even if homeschoolers only spend a few hours a week teaching their children (and that assumes the children are motivated enough to teach themselves the rest), they still have to make sure someone is in the house with the children all the time, which requires either career sacrifices (unless they can work from home), or probably more money than private school would cost (childminders are very expensive).

Also, I'm not convinced that even the average gifted child would be motivated enough to learn everything they need by themselves. I expect that the total time a homeschooler would end up spending would be substantially more than a few hours per week, which would again require major career sacrifices.

Finally, it can be very draining for a lot of parents to be around their children all the time. Often parents find having jobs outside the home to be a welcome break from childcare.

Comment by coffeespoons on Need some psychology advice · 2013-09-27T20:41:17.030Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm less confident of that now, but it's still a great deal better than nothing (and I think it's probably better than psychoanalysis at teaching coping skills for this sort of anxiety).

I also think that the technique I suggested can improve the accuracy of your predictions, which is a good thing independently of whether it improves anxiety or not.

Comment by coffeespoons on Need some psychology advice · 2013-09-26T14:17:35.910Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Also, from Scott's post:

Some versions of CBT for anxiety and DBT for borderline also seem to just be basic coping skills about getting some distance from your emotions. I think it’s likely that these have some small effects (I know a study above found no effect for CBT on anxiety, but it was by a notorious partisan of psychoanalysis and I will temporarily defy the data).

Comment by coffeespoons on low stress employment/ munchkin income thread · 2013-07-23T22:53:41.661Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

Low level drug dealers face far worse pay and conditions than workers in most minimum wage jobs.

Comment by coffeespoons on Writing Style and the Typical Mind Fallacy · 2013-07-14T22:15:39.794Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I voted "both equally", but really I want Eliezer to continue writing in Eliezer's style and Luke to keep writing in Luke's style! Mostly I prefer reading factual things written in Luke's style, but Eliezer's style really seems to work for the sequences.

Comment by coffeespoons on How I Became More Ambitious · 2013-07-08T11:17:15.094Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

ETA: sorry for the rather rambling comment, and sorry for making it all about me!

This post is really interesting, thank you. When I was 22 I did quite badly in my exams at university, mostly because I had mental health problems around exam time. I had been ambitious up until then, but after that, my ambition somehow deserted me, since I became convinced that if I tried to do too much I would get too stressed and fall apart. I dropped the economics part of my degree, since it was harder, and graduated with a philosophy degree. In my final year, I put in the minimum amount of work needed to get a 2.1 (which was what the average student on my course got).

Since I graduated, I've done jobs that are far less challenging than I'm capable of, and spent large amounts of time being totally convinced that I'm on the verge of getting fired (I haven't been fired :)). I've just been convinced that if I try to achieve more than "having a job" I'll fail at everything and there will be doom.

Recently, however (after 7 years), my ambition is returning. My mental health has vastly improved, in part due to mindfulness and CBT techniques, and I'm taking on something challenging at work. I've decided to take more risks even though I might fail.

I've found HPMOR (I read it all at once in the last week) really useful too. I think I mostly want to develop my Griffindor side. I just don't do many brave things. I'm not out to my family about polyamory, bisexuality or kink. I'm not out to most of my friends as a less wrong reader and aspiring rationalist because I'm worried that they'll think that I've joined a phyg! I don't ask guys out, and I'm even too scared to go to the local less wrong meetup because I'll be older than people and I worry they won't think I'm smart enough. I'd like to try to do more scary things.

Comment by coffeespoons on Public Service Announcement Collection · 2013-07-01T07:59:01.595Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty much all the non monogamous people I know get regular tests. So yes, most people use testing in addition to condoms. I don't have casual sex any more, really, but I never caught an STI when I did.

Oh, and most condoms sold in the UK contain spermicide.

Comment by coffeespoons on Public Service Announcement Collection · 2013-06-30T22:53:33.480Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Replacing condoms doesn't work for people who aren't currently in monogamous relationships. We need them to protect against STIs. Encouraging people to entirely replace condoms would I should think lead to an increase in STIs.

I've used condoms every single time I've had sex, and they've only failed twice. Both of the times they failed I took emergency contraception. I've never had a pregnancy scare. Of course I could be infertile, but many of my friends use the same method, and they find it effective. Others use a combination of hormonal contraception and condoms.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-27T22:31:33.537Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I found that quite hard to read. Even if poor impulse control were the sole cause of obesity, there would be no reason to attack the obese so nastily, instead of, for instance, suggesting ways that they might improve their impulse control. I find the way he relishes attacking them incredibly unpleasant.

In fact, the internet has quite a lot to say about improving impulse control.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-20T08:19:18.348Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that "calling out" types can be extremely harsh and unpleasant - I agree with NancyLebovitz there. However, I don't get what she meant by the problems between feminist and trans people leading her to respect it less.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-19T15:53:01.334Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

IME "call out culture" feminists are very anti-transphobia. Second wave feminists aren't so interested in getting people to check their privilege.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-18T16:23:03.105Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've moved away slightly from SJW attitudes on various matters, since starting to read LW, Yvain's blog and various other things, however, I've actually moved closer to SJW attitudes to weight, since researching the issue. The fact that weight loss attempts hardly ever work in the long run, is what has changed my views the most.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-18T16:06:46.337Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Link to twin study. A quick scan (I don't have time to read it in full right now, but I will later) suggests they used twins of the same sex, and they also compared BMI not weight, which controls for height.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-18T15:57:39.390Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I think the problem is that maintaining a state on semi-starvation for the rest of one's life is very unpleasant and difficult, and is achieved by very few people:

“Those who doubt the power of basic drives, however, might note that although one can hold one’s breath, this conscious act is soon overcome by the compulsion to breathe,” Dr. Friedman wrote. “The feeling of hunger is intense and, if not as potent as the drive to breathe, is probably no less powerful than the drive to drink when one is thirsty. This is the feeling the obese must resist after they have lost a significant amount of weight.

Controlling for height and sex?

Well, the identical twin parts of the study would automatically control for height and sex :)

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-17T17:05:41.235Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've posted some exerpts from another possibly relevant article here:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/hpz/open_thread_june_1630_2013/96na

Comment by coffeespoons on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-17T14:49:03.877Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

Genes take charge and diets fall by the wayside.

You need a New York Times account to read it, but setting one up only takes a couple of minutes. Here are some exerpts in any case.

Obese people almost always regain weight after weight loss:

So Dr. Hirsch and his colleagues, including Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, who is now at Columbia University, repeated the experiment and repeated it again. Every time the result was the same. The weight, so painstakingly lost, came right back. But since this was a research study, the investigators were also measuring metabolic changes, psychiatric conditions, body temperature and pulse. And that led them to a surprising conclusion: fat people who lost large amounts of weight might look like someone who was never fat, but they were very different. In fact, by every metabolic measurement, they seemed like people who were starving.

Before the diet began, the fat subjects’ metabolism was normal — the number of calories burned per square meter of body surface was no different from that of people who had never been fat. But when they lost weight, they were burning as much as 24 percent fewer calories per square meter of their surface area than the calories consumed by those who were naturally thin.

Thin people who are forced to gain weight find it easy to lose it again:

...His subjects were prisoners at a nearby state prison who volunteered to gain weight. With great difficulty, they succeeded, increasing their weight by 20 percent to 25 percent. But it took them four to six months, eating as much as they could every day. Some consumed 10,000 calories a day, an amount so incredible that it would be hard to believe, were it not for the fact that there were attendants present at each meal who dutifully recorded everything the men ate.

Once the men were fat, their metabolisms increased by 50 percent. They needed more than 2,700 calories per square meter of their body surface to stay fat but needed just 1,800 calories per square meter to maintain their normal weight.

When the study ended, the prisoners had no trouble losing weight. Within months, they were back to normal and effortlessly stayed there.

The body's metabolism changes with weight loss and weight gain:

The implications were clear. There is a reason that fat people cannot stay thin after they diet and that thin people cannot stay fat when they force themselves to gain weight. The body’s metabolism speeds up or slows down to keep weight within a narrow range. Gain weight and the metabolism can as much as double; lose weight and it can slow to half its original speed.

Genes and weight:

.A few years later, in 1990, Dr. Stunkard published another study in The New England Journal of Medicine, using another classic method of geneticists: investigating twins. This time, he used the Swedish Twin Registry, studying its 93 pairs of identical twins who were reared apart, 154 pairs of identical twins who were reared together, 218 pairs of fraternal twins who were reared apart, and 208 pairs of fraternal twins who were reared together.

The identical twins had nearly identical body mass indexes, whether they had been reared apart or together. There was more variation in the body mass indexes of the fraternal twins, who, like any siblings, share some, but not all, genes.

The researchers concluded that 70 percent of the variation in peoples’ weights may be accounted for by inheritance, a figure that means that weight is more strongly inherited than nearly any other condition, including mental illness, breast cancer or heart disease.

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-04T11:23:56.149Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

googles Shangri La Man,I'll definitely try that before I try intermittent fasting. The only low carb diet I've looked at is Atkins, and it just sounds really unpleasant, but I'll look at paleo.

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-04T07:40:20.576Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think concentrating on improving social skills and learning to dress better are important. Regarding social skills, if you suffer from social anxiety, CBT, mindfulness and antidepressants work well. Apart from that, I don't really know, as my social skills improved without a great deal of effort, but good self help advice is probably the way to go. I also don't know a great deal about men's fashion, but googling "how to dress for overweight men" brings up lots of results. A word of caution though - after getting internet fashion advice check how things look with a friend!

I think losing weight is also good idea, but you may not be able to lose it sustainably, so doing other things as well is important. Recently, I've wanted to look better. I am going to try to lose weight (I don't have a great deal to lose, but I'd look better if I dropped a few kilos), but the first thing I did was buy some new clothes and get a new haircut.

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-04T07:28:16.779Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes I would recommend these steps to guys interested in girls :). A lot of dating advice recommends them.

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-03T10:22:22.647Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've read on this site that you already have four girlfriend in a polyamorous relationship. Is that true? If it is, how did you achieve that without losing weight?

Some women prefer overweight men, and some don't mind dating overweight men. If I'm honest I'm more likely to be attracted to slimmer men (certainly most of the men I've dated are slimmer), however I have been attracted to fat guys in the past, if they have other attractive qualities (being smart, amusing, relaxed about sex, for instance).

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-02T20:25:17.421Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I also think that people who hang out in kink spaces are more likely to have non mainstream sexual tastes. You are, I would think, more likely to find women who are really keen on fat guys (these women do exist) in these spaces. It's been my experience that in kinky and similar communities (e.g. the poly community) people (both men and women) who are not conventionally attractive are more likely to be sexually successful than they would be outside these communities.

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-01T09:24:21.585Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Losing weight and keeping it off is really difficult. It's pretty rare for people to maintain a weight loss over a number of years. I can't find reliable stats right now, but I believe the numbers are 10% regain within 1 year, and after 5 years only a very small number remain at a lower weight. I'm not , however, sure if metabolism is the reason or not.

This article is interesting.

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-01T00:26:37.488Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I'm female and I didn't date at all until I was 22 . People very rarely seemed to be attracted to be before that, but since then, I haven't found it at all hard to get dates! I think 3 of the most important changes I made are as applicable to men as to women:

  1. Learning to dress better. I figured out what clothes suited me and wore them.

  2. Becoming better at socialising. I had been terribly socially anxious before that, which made it hard for me to talk to new people.I went on antidepressants for generalised anxiety and depression, but an accidental side effect was that they made me massively less socially anxious. I made friends much more easily, and that meant I could meet and talk to people I was interested in dating.

  3. Not worrying too much about whether a particular guy liked me or not. Becoming too keen too quickly can be offputting, so remembering that there are lots of other men in the world was a good idea!

I'm still not great at relationships, but that's another story!

Comment by coffeespoons on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-05-31T23:37:41.393Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I have known several very overweight men who've managed to be very attractive to women. I'm not quite sure how they did it, but whatever they did worked. They have generally been pretty charismatic and charming.

Just want to add that AFAICT losing weight and not regaining it is very hard. I think only a very small number of dieters manage to keep weight off in the long run (though paleo etc might be more effective than most diets - I'm not sure). I'm not convinced that dieting is the "lowest hanging fruit," but I'm not sure how MrMind could develop the kind of charisma required to be attractive despite being very overweight.

Comment by coffeespoons on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-05-30T11:56:23.354Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm considering trying a diet that involves fasting for 2 days a week. What do people think about intermittent fasting diets?

ETA: I don't have a great deal of weight to lose, and if I'm honest I want to lose it for aesthetic rather than health reasons.

Comment by coffeespoons on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-30T10:16:28.706Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does MMM take into account the cost of time spent saving money? For instance, it seems to me that trying to eat as cheaply as possible involves a lot of time spent going to different shops and finding the best deals. It might be better to spend that time working more or gaining further qualifications so to improve income in the future.

Comment by coffeespoons on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-30T10:11:58.852Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but optimising for cheapness of neighbourhood (as MMM does) so you can spend a lot of time with your kids is unlikely to have the best outcome.

Comment by coffeespoons on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-30T09:38:22.661Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

because although having parents who are active in their life is great, a child's peer group also has a huge influence on their development

Citation needed, but I had thought that recent research indicated that peer group is much more important than parenting.

Comment by coffeespoons on Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible · 2013-05-25T20:33:02.633Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The last time I dealt with an insurance company it wasn't all that painful (maybe 2-3 hours work). Depending on how the OP values her time of course I suspect the cost would still be quite a lot lower than £2000.

Comment by coffeespoons on Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible · 2013-05-25T15:53:16.864Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The OP says that she's insured, so theft of the items would be significantly less costly than £2000.

Comment by coffeespoons on Be a little bit more trusting than most people think sensible · 2013-05-25T14:20:53.221Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Rare" might well be enough for purplerabbits to feel happy leaving it there.

Comment by coffeespoons on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-25T13:13:21.699Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would be pretty interested in seeing financial advice specifically aimed at women. Many women seem to rely on their partners/husbands to support their lifestyle to a greater degree than I think is really wise, given the divorce rate. I've seen women who are almost certainly smarter than me doing this, and I'm always a bit surprised. I've also seen it go wrong - for example a woman I know is getting divorced and is going to have trouble finding work as she hasn't worked for over a decade, due to relying on her husband.