Items to Have In Case of Emergency...Maybe. 2014-04-03T00:23:15.604Z
Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" 2014-01-21T21:13:19.363Z
Meetup : I moved to Portland! I want to meet you! 2014-01-03T19:53:18.675Z
Meetup : Columbus, OH MEGA-MEETUP, Oct 11-13 2013-09-15T06:33:49.203Z
Meetup : [Columbus] Upcoming Workshop Topics 2013-07-12T04:12:33.453Z
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 2013-07-06T03:02:36.426Z
LW Women- Female privilege 2013-05-05T01:58:29.631Z
LW Women Entries- Creepiness 2013-04-28T15:43:49.722Z
LW Women Entries- LW Meetups 2013-04-20T16:52:54.397Z
Columbus Mega-meetup Planning- RSVPs wanted 2013-04-11T14:53:32.039Z
LW Women Submissions: On Misogyny 2013-04-10T19:54:18.267Z
Three Axes of Prohibitions 2013-02-15T07:34:55.569Z
LW Women: LW Online 2013-02-15T01:43:08.454Z
LW Women- Crowdsourced research on Cognitive biases and gender 2013-02-10T22:01:14.177Z
Meetup : Columbus, Ohio; Self-Skepticism 2013-01-23T06:04:22.849Z
LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance 2012-11-25T23:33:30.413Z
Introductory Short Videos 2012-11-18T19:13:20.003Z
Coursera course on critical thinking 2012-11-13T02:13:12.719Z
Meetup : First Meetup- Cleveland and Akron, Ohio 2012-10-28T23:03:44.508Z
Meetup : Who's going to Skepticon 5? 2012-10-28T16:17:48.875Z
Call for Anonymous Narratives by LW Women and Question Proposals (AMA) 2012-09-09T08:39:48.280Z
[Link] Can We Reverse The Stanford Prison Experiment? 2012-06-14T03:41:08.384Z
Low Hanging Fruit- Basic bedroom decorating 2012-05-31T17:26:55.597Z
Meetup : Ohio Monthly 2012-02-23T23:14:38.307Z
TEDxLive Opportunities 2012-02-20T04:31:10.652Z
[Poll] Method of Recruitment 2012-02-06T17:37:25.968Z
Doing Science! Open Thread Experiment Results 2012-01-31T07:57:09.228Z
Meetup : Interest in Reason Rally meetup? 2012-01-27T22:15:46.899Z
Meetup : Ongoing Ohio Meetup 2012-01-23T03:38:53.703Z
January 2012 Media Thread 2012-01-01T17:24:18.070Z
January 1-14, 2012 Open Thread 2012-01-01T05:40:16.848Z
Meetup : Columbus or Cincinnati Meetup 2011-12-22T01:52:36.971Z
Talking to Children: A Pre-Holiday Guide 2011-12-20T21:54:01.573Z
Visual Map of US LW-ers 2011-12-20T07:40:09.245Z
Research Opportunity/Scholarship for ALL students (High school through Post-doc) 2011-12-12T05:26:24.020Z
On "Friendly" Immortality 2011-12-05T04:39:44.447Z
More "Personal" Introductions 2011-12-01T06:22:31.684Z
[Link] TED- Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that Hint at Longer Lives 2011-11-19T02:20:33.325Z
Transcription and Summary of Nick Bostrom's Q&A 2011-11-17T17:51:59.638Z
Transhumanism and Gender Relations 2011-11-11T01:48:02.411Z


Comment by daenerys on [moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment · 2014-07-10T21:31:22.648Z · LW · GW

Daenerys, since there seems to be some uncertainty:

Are you saying that you would prefer if LessWrong increased the height of it's metaphorical wall, keeping out "anti-feminist or biorealist assholes"?

Or are you saying that the model of a public forum is inherently "a great way to drive off women and minorities", and thus you don't use LessWrong and don't care about the moderation policy much?

I've seen different people reading your comment different ways.

Much closer to the latter. I am not making any policy recommendations about LW moderation. I don't really care, since I'm not on LW anymore (except for things like this where people ask me specifically something).

I said that one of the reasons I prefer Facebook is that it's a walled garden. I did NOT say that I want LessWrong to be a walled garden. I would think neo-reactionaries would support the idea of just going to the place that has the rules you like/ voting with your feet.

I do think there can be public forums that do not drive off women and minorities, which is where I disagree with your second statement.

I do not think all biorealists or antifeminists are assholes. I thought EUGINE was an asshole. He was also a biorealist. So he was a biorealist asshole. I've already made a comment about that, but people keep saying that I said that anyways. And quoting only me saying "biorealist assholes". I DO think biorealists and anitfeminists have to be especially epistemically polite (and generally polite) if they want to have any chance of people actually engaging with their ideas.

As an example:

Christian asshole: Fred Phelps
Christian not-an-asshole: Leah Libresco

Skeptic asshole: Penn Jilette
Skeptic not-an-asshole: All the CFAR people

See how I consider "assholeness" as an unrelated trait to whether or not I agree with a viewpoint. If there were prolific skeptic assholes, they would drive off religious users. If there were prolific Christian assholes they would drive of skeptic and LGBTQ users. All assholes tend to drive off all non-assholes.

This whole "OMG! daenerys says all biorealists are assholes and should be banned11!!!!!1" reaction feels like people are willfully misinterpreting me, putting words in my mouth, and using tiny quotes completely out of context (like "biorealist asshole") Especially AFTER I wrote a comment clarifying that I meant ONLY what I said an nothing else. This is another reason I don't LW. Commenting on LW is like reading the comments on a general website. Sometimes you get the impulse to do it, but as soon as you do you immediately remember why you don't. Note that I'm again, only EXPLAINING why I don't use LW, and am NOT demanding moderation changes.

ETA: Also, MugaSofer, I commend (and upvote) you for doing the Right Thing... When a discussion partner says something that you could interpret two ways, and Interpretation A is sane, but Interpretation B would cause you to get super-offended and launch a multi-comment barrage, the polite (non-asshole) thing to do is just to ask if they meant A or B, and NOT to just assume B and get offended and launch the multi-comment barrage. Especially when A is the literal interpretation and B requires quite a bit of twistiness to get to.

Comment by daenerys on [moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment · 2014-07-07T19:39:24.116Z · LW · GW

I'm currently driving cross country and typing this on my phone at a rest stop so I can't comment as much as I would like, but I DO want to clarify that my post meant what it said and nothing more. Eugine himself was an asshole. He ALSO was a biorealist and an anti feminist. When you combine those traits in a prolific user they're likely to drive away women and minorities.

Even if it's epistemically true, discussing those issues in an assholey way is instrumentally unhelpful (for people with goals at all similar to mine).

Comment by daenerys on [moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment · 2014-07-04T19:47:18.732Z · LW · GW

I'm pretty sure (but don't feel like spending time tracking down examples, so I could be wrong) that I've seen Eugine saying biorealist things.

I changed "racist" to "biorealist" in my comment, if you don't think the two should be equated.

Comment by daenerys on [moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment · 2014-07-04T18:10:27.985Z · LW · GW

Hi Stuart! Swimmer is correct; ChrisHallquist posted a link to this on my facebook wall. Personally, I'm glad Eugine is gone, because even without the downvoting he was an asshole. And having anti-feminist or biorealist assholes running around is a great way to drive off women and minorities.

Anyways, I prefer the walled garden, and the conversational tone, and the positive emotional support that Facebook provides, so I doubt I'll come back to posting here.

I'm still extremely active in the meatspace community though, and I have a friend who will be posting some very exciting news here in a couple days about a new rationality non-profit! Also, I'm moving to NYC, and a group of us are starting up a new rationalist house there.

ETA: Another upside of posting on facebook is that it does a better job of raising the general sanity waterline than posting here. It exposes rationality ideas and conversations in a friendly/humanising way to people who would never have sought them out (all my non-rationality friends), and it allows them to participate and interact with those ideas in a much more supportive way. :)

Comment by daenerys on LessWrong as social catalyst · 2014-04-29T02:30:21.022Z · LW · GW

I use LW as a social networking device more than anything else.

  • I got three jobs through the LW community, through a mix of job postings here and social networks, the succession of which has pretty much raised me from poor/lower class to middle class.
  • The vast majority of my romantic partners since getting involved with rationality are through the LW community, often met at meetups or through related social networks.
  • Almost all of my friends are through the rationalist community, especially if you expand that to include some of the related atheist networks.
  • I've hosted two LWers when they were visiting the city I was in, and an internet acquaintance who only knew me through the atheist/rationalist community recently hosted me when I was visiting NYC.
  • I'm currently looking for a rationalist apartment-mate (let me know if you're in NYC and interested! (and clean))
Comment by daenerys on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-22T21:41:55.314Z · LW · GW

That quiz looks like it could use an update to fit modern society. It was hard to answer questions about "channel surfing" or "renting videos" in the modern era of hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Also, thinking back to the days of actual video rental stores, it was much easier to choose a movie there than it is to choose one on Netflix. Possibly because the Netflix selections tends towards "second rate movies I've never heard of OR first rate movies that I've already watched or am not interested in")

Anyways, I am a natural maximizer, which causes lots of stress towards decisions, so I've trained myself towards being a satisficer. I often try to think of decisions in the framework of "it doesn't matter that much WHAT I decide to do here, so long as I just make a decision and move forward with it".

I think about research where they show that the hardest decisions are the least important (if it was obvious which option was significantly better, then it wouldn't be a hard decision.) I think about research where they show that people are happier with decisions when they can't back out of them, so don't second-guess them. I think about cost-benefit analysis and how maximizing that particular decision probably isn't worth the time or stress.

A specific example: I tend to have trouble deciding what to order at restaurants. Knowing that whatever they serve at a restaurant is going to be relatively good, it's not that important what I decide. So when the waitress asks if everyone is ready to order I say "yes", even though I'm not ready, knowing that I will have to choose SOMETHING when it gets to me, and in reality I would be happy with any of the options.

Comment by daenerys on [Requesting advice] Problems with optimizing my life as a high school student · 2014-04-14T22:21:24.992Z · LW · GW

A great way to track time spent on activities (especially fluid and unpredicatable ones) is an app called TagTime. It works best on Android, but you can also get it on your computer if you're hacky. It pings you at random intervals that average out to be worth 45 minutes each, and asks what you're doing at that exact moment. You create tags for different activities, so you just click on the relevant tag(s), and don't have to type in anything. It also integrates with Beeminder, if you'd like to track things that way.

Comment by daenerys on Items to Have In Case of Emergency...Maybe. · 2014-04-07T01:47:25.148Z · LW · GW

In the US the guest is still expected to bring them, but as a host it's really nice to be able to provide for your guest if they need it.


Plus, there are many emergencies where a guest wouldn't be prepared. For example, maybe someone who was coming for a couple hours to hang out/play games had their contact fall out. Or maybe a date went really well, and somebody stays the night who wasn't specifically packed for such. Maybe a friend needs last-minute emergency crash space, etc.

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread March 31 - April 7 2014 · 2014-04-02T23:52:16.797Z · LW · GW

I have a draft of a post relating to Emergency Preparedness. I can probably fish it out and post it.

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-11T10:11:42.797Z · LW · GW

Organizing is investment cleaning. It takes a lot more time in the beginning (it will even look WORSE mid-project), but once you have a place for everything it is SO much quicker and easier to put everything in its place. If your area isn't organized, then you have to think about each think you pick up or clean. Where does this go? Where should I put it? Once you've organized, cleaning is a simple process of putting things back where they belong.

Some heuristics: Things you use frequently should be easy to get to, and easy to put away. For example put your most frequent coat on a hook, not hanger. You want to have shelf space and or a canvas box that is currently empty, to use for future miscellaneous items. Don't be hesitant to just get rid of things.

Re: Picking Up- The number one most important thing to take care of is trash/garbage. Pick it up, put it in a bag, take it out. Do not let it accumulate. This leads to smells and contributes most to a feeling of "grossness". Kitty litter also falls under this category. Number two thing to pick up is clothes. They go in a hamper. For people on this site, number three is probably books. Clothes and books both have the quality of being large, often strewn about, and easy to pick up.

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-04T20:39:38.723Z · LW · GW

I would say the big one to start is Family Traditions, and the like. Ideas:

  • A weekly or bi-weekly date night where you go do something different (no dinner-and-a-movie.)

  • If you don't usually have a "Family Dinner", make one day of the week a "Family Dinner" night.

  • Weekly or monthly get-together where you can hash out plans, see what's been problematic, hopefully correct things before they lead to arguments, etc

  • The yearly traditions such as: having a jar where you write down all the awesome things that happened on slips of paper, and read the paper on New Years, various holiday traditions, or yearly vacations, or whatnot

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread February 25 - March 3 · 2014-03-01T06:29:23.602Z · LW · GW

Someone was asking a while back for meetup descriptions, what you did/ how it went, etc. Figured I'd post some Columbus Rationality videos here. All but the last are from the mega-meetup.

Jesse Galef on Defense Against the Dark Arts: The Ethics and Psychology of Persuasion

Eric on Applications of Models in Everyday Life (it's good, but skip about 10-15 minutes when there's herding-cats-nitpicky audience :P)

Elissa on Effective Altruism

Rita on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Don on A Synergy of Eastern and Western Approaches

Gleb on Setting and Achieving Goals

Comment by daenerys on February 2014 Media Thread · 2014-02-01T23:01:30.356Z · LW · GW

It's been mentioned before a couple years ago, but I highly recommend The Steerswoman's Road. Definitely what we would consider to be rationalist "fantasy", though as the protagonist applies logic and scientific reasoning, it becomes more of a sci fi.

From a blogger who explains better than I could: "Too much science fiction glorifies mere scientific fact and appeals to scientific authority. Such books are doomed to obsolescence as the state of the art passes them by. Rosemary Kirstein’s books, in contrast, are made timeless by their emphasis on the process of science, which anyone can do. The Steerswoman is a fun work of fantasy fiction with dragons, sword fights, and magic — and also a well-honed work of science fiction, demanding to know the answers to hard questions and the logic behind the magic. The Steerswoman lets the reader watch as the characters use the scientific method to discover the true nature of their world. I cannot recommend this book, and its sequels, highly enough."

Comment by daenerys on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-22T03:48:27.797Z · LW · GW

I don't speak Computer, but this is the bot:

We use him in a company hipchat room, and I don't know if he has been altered/reprogrammed in any way to run auctions.

Comment by daenerys on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-21T22:43:19.158Z · LW · GW

In the article I linked to, Bethany argues that separate finances are a requirement to this, and I tend to agree.

A workaround might be having a joint account, AND separate accounts that are used for whatever fun/luxury you each want. You each get $x/month in your fun/luxury accounts, and that is the money you use to yootle with (and pay for dance class, and buy a new sewing machine with, and whatever other luxury, etc)

Comment by daenerys on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-21T22:38:23.243Z · LW · GW

I've lived with other people (either spouses or roommates) pretty much my entire life (30 years), so I feel like I've already acquired the social skills to do without it. Other people's situations may be different. I am generally in support of people learning social skills, so yootling might not be the best answer if it is a replacement for that.

Comment by daenerys on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-21T21:46:26.304Z · LW · GW

The bot doesn't run the money transfer. It runs the auction (collects bids from everybody, displays bids when all have been collected), and runs a random number generator.

We have also used the same bot to play a Schelling Point Game, where someone names a category (eg "a book") instead of a thing to auction, and we all make a guess (e.g "Strategy of Conflict" or "The Bible") instead of a bid. You get a point if your guess is the same as someone else's.

Comment by daenerys on What are you working on? January 2014 · 2014-01-02T18:01:02.750Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the input! I think I wasn't clear though. I actually already am a networky type person (the tribe I am leaving behind is one that I did most of the work building) with high social skills.

However, I am ALSO extremely picky in who I'll allow into my close social circle (I have well thought out reasons for this). That means to start a new tribe I'll have to meet LOTS and LOTS of people just to find one that I consider to be worth my time. When I already have a group, then I don't have to be overly proactive about this because there's no particular rush, so I can just pull in people as I come across them. However when I'm starting with zero, I'm in a bit of a rush, and therefore have to plan going to various events with lots of people I don't know and meet them all, and find most of them boring, or assholes, or unable to logic, or unable to social, or whatnot, and those are the people I have to go through over and over in order to find a single person who I'd actually want to be friends with. And as much as I HAVE social skills, I am also an introvert at core, and so find the idea to be draining (especially right now, when I'm already emotionally drained from moving!). This is not a massive problem, and I can easily overcome the draininess, but I still recognize that it is what I will struggle the most with in the next couple months. :)

Comment by daenerys on What are you working on? January 2014 · 2014-01-02T09:32:50.886Z · LW · GW

There's the overall "move to Portland and start at my awesome new job" Project, which is coming along well. A friend and I drove here from Ohio (pretty much across the entire country) in a little over two days. We drove because I have a very old dog that I didn't want to fly. My POD arrives tomorrow, and I'm excited to have all my things back in my possession (I didn't bring any nice shirts or sweaters with me, so I've been feeling slovenly-ish), but I am NOT excited for having to unpack and move furniture.

More specifically, I'm working on helping to launch the Beekeeper program at Beeminder. If you want to read more about that you can read this blog post we just released on the subject.

Personal-life-wise, I've just started on the "find my tribe here" Project, which I don't like. I like HAVING a tribe (and very much miss the awesome group I left in Columbus), but actually having to go out and either find one or put one together sounds like less fun.

Comment by daenerys on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-11T01:46:20.869Z · LW · GW

Title and link to buy?

Comment by daenerys on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-04T03:01:06.100Z · LW · GW

Got a super awesome new job with Beeminder, and will be moving to Portland in a month. Got rid of so much clothing in preparation for move. Continuing to get rid of things that I don't consider worth moving.

New hobby, making earrings, has been fun and rewarding, and I get pretty earrings out of it. Also, learned to make cake pops, and working on a braid rug.

Held a mega-meetup in Columbus that went off well. Handed off the running of Columbus Rationality, and it's proven to be self-sustaining.

Medical All Things- Got put on allergy shots (did the "rush immunotherapy" where they give you the first six months worth of shots over the course of a single day). Dentisted the cavities.

Comment by daenerys on What can we learn from freemasonry? · 2013-11-24T20:41:55.187Z · LW · GW

I guess the obvious counterproposal is: why don't we just all join the existing freemasons rather than doing work to duplicate them?

Women aren't allowed to be Freemasons, except for a few rare and extenuating circumstances.

Comment by daenerys on Self-serving meta: Whoever keeps block-downvoting me, is there some way to negotiate peace? · 2013-11-21T04:49:52.007Z · LW · GW

And it is unlikely for the foreseeable future that the mods are going to o anything.

Just pointing out that this IS a problem that is temporarily solvable by collective action. If about five people decided to karmassassinate the user in question, they could keep his karma at 0, which I believe would stop him from being able to downvote (until he set up a sock).

(Interestingly, I'm quite fine with losing a significant amount of karma if this post gets heavily downvoted because people don't like the idea of mob rule. I really don't care about my karma number. But there's a big difference between losing magic internet points because people disagree with what you say, versus someone following you around downvoting you, which feels stalkery/predatory.)

Comment by daenerys on Self-serving meta: Whoever keeps block-downvoting me, is there some way to negotiate peace? · 2013-11-18T23:50:47.176Z · LW · GW

It's probably worth talking to these people and seeing if the timing works out the same, but it does seem likely that the downvoting is all caused by the same person, and thus would have similar motives and MO with the downvoting.

Personally, I am pretty certain that is gender issues that cause my karma stalking. It's the only topic I write on that gets any significant number of downvotes. Also, due to timing, my best guess (though I'm not highly confident) is that the triggering event was my post in the mistakes thread admitting to staying married longer than I should have due to not being confident in my independence. I knew when writing it that some of the MRA assholes on here would take offense at it.

Also, whoever is doing it has pretty effectively made me unlikely to post a lot on here. (I still occassionally browse, and obviously I'm writing this, so it's not like I've completely quit or anything.) It's annoying to deal with (and saying "you should just stop caring" is about as effective of advice as telling people to "be more confident"). Considering that half my facebook feed is rationalist/LWers anyways, it's higher reward to just post my thoughts there and not have to deal with the LW baggage, but still get the interesting conversation with the people I want to talk with anyways.

Just figured I should say something because if evaporative cooling is happening in general (and it isn't just me), it could be hidden because the people who leave aren't saying anything.

(ETA: I actually have not lost a LOT of karma from this, so it's not the amount/number. It's just the fact that it's consistent, and it's everything I post)

Comment by daenerys on Why officers vs. enlisted? · 2013-10-31T04:55:25.692Z · LW · GW

Is it merely historical accident for each separate profession?

Just like the two ladders in militaries is a holdover from a more classist society, the doctor/nurse divide is at least partly a holdover from a past (more) sexist society. Even today about 90% of nurses are women. This might be interesting if someone had access past the paywall:

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread, October 20 - 26, 2013 · 2013-10-23T22:32:51.969Z · LW · GW

Someone has been regularly downvoting every thing I've posted in the past couple months (not just a single karmassasination). I really don't care about the karma (so please DO NOT upvote any of my previous posts in order to "fix" it), but I do worry that if someone is doing it to me, they are possibly doing it to other/new people and driving them off, so I wanted to point out publicly that this behaviour is NOT OKAY.

Anyways, if you have a problem with me, feel free to tell me about it here: . Crocker's Rules and all.

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread, October 20 - 26, 2013 · 2013-10-22T19:46:38.009Z · LW · GW

Awesome! I loved Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and it seems like an interesting subject, besides.

Comment by daenerys on Open Thread, October 20 - 26, 2013 · 2013-10-22T06:40:28.722Z · LW · GW

I recently realized that I think the stuff I already know about the history of science, math, etc., is really inherently interesting and fascinating to me, but that I've never actually thought about going out of my way to learn more on the subject. Does anybody on here have one really good book on the subject to recommend? I've already read Science and the Enlightenment by Hankins.

Comment by daenerys on Megameetup on December 13-15th, NYC · 2013-10-05T23:44:27.519Z · LW · GW

This sounds awesome, I can't wait! What's the parking situation for people who are driving up?

Comment by daenerys on Schelling Point Strategy Training · 2013-10-04T21:36:53.126Z · LW · GW

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Comment by daenerys on Open Thread, September 30 - October 6, 2013 · 2013-10-03T00:51:01.155Z · LW · GW

Those sorts of questions are asked in a field called Information Visualization, which is a part of Human Factors Engineering.

Comment by daenerys on Meetup : Columbus, OH MEGA-MEETUP, Oct 11-13 · 2013-09-22T19:29:24.548Z · LW · GW

UPDATE: The upcoming Columbus Mega-Meetup is already halfway full! Don't put off pre-registering, if you are interested in coming, or you might get locked out. ( link to pre-reg form )

Pre-registration is FREE and the form should only take a minute. You can cancel as late as October 4, if you end up unable to come. Thanks!

Comment by daenerys on Meetup : Columbus, OH MEGA-MEETUP, Oct 11-13 · 2013-09-15T13:29:14.907Z · LW · GW

In the previous thread, you mentioned "Friday we may do a swing dance class. Sunday we may go shopping."

Is the Maker's Faire the shopping? Has the swing dancing disappeared into the void?

Swing dancing has disappeared into the void. It was for a different weekend that was under consideration for the mega-meetup. If you already swing dance, I'll happily dance with you for a bit, and/or we have some new leads who would love some instruction, if you'd like to work with them. If you DON'T already swing dance, I'm happy to teach you the basics.

The Maker's Faire is a free, nifty event. You are more than welcome to organize a shopping trip instead of/in addition to it.

Also, I'm relatively certain that at some point Jeni's will be had, because it is a sin to come to Columbus and NOT do Jeni's. Also, it is walkable distance from both our main hangout location, and most of our members' houses.

Comment by daenerys on The State of the Art of Scientific Research on Polyamoury · 2013-09-09T22:01:09.898Z · LW · GW

This dissertation blog focuses on the author's doctoral work on polyamory, including lots of reference lists (scroll down to see reference list for post).

Comment by daenerys on Mistakes repository · 2013-09-09T18:12:12.072Z · LW · GW

-Taking the non-thinking NPC college route (going to whatever school was close enough to commute to, majoring in classes you thought were easy or letting your family influence your decision too much)

-Getting married extremely young because you think (probably correctly) that you can't support yourself, and then staying married much longer than you should have for the same reasoning (probably incorrect, by then).

-Spending most of college trying (and failing miserably) to take a large course load before realizing that you really just can't do it, and the only way for you to actually succeed is to only take two or three classes at a time so that you can do perfectly in all of them (i.e. stop trying to fight your perfectionism if it's causing you to fail, and just give in to it).

-Waiting much too long to start on a career track.

Comment by daenerys on Open thread, September 9-15, 2013 · 2013-09-09T17:45:27.837Z · LW · GW

In my experience, this is something that liberal arts does better than STEM. When I was a History undergrad they DID teach many contrasting theories or interpretations (once you got past 101-level stuff). The common interpretation these days is to say that "Here are three theories for why happened. They probably all contributed to .", instead of just choosing a single interpretation.

Comment by daenerys on The Up-Goer Five Game: Explaining hard ideas with simple words · 2013-09-07T16:27:30.880Z · LW · GW

Hi, I'm new to LessWrong and haven't read the morality sequence and haven't read many arguments for effective altruism, so could you elaborate on this sentiment?

How I read this: "Hi! I know exactly where to find the information I am asking for, but instead of reading the material (that I know exists) that has already been written that answers my question, can you write a response that explains the whole of morality?"

To start off with, you seem to be using the term "rationality" to mean something completely different than what we mean when we say it. I recommend Julia Galef's Straw Vulcan talk.

Comment by daenerys on The Up-Goer Five Game: Explaining hard ideas with simple words · 2013-09-06T00:33:48.769Z · LW · GW

Effective Altruism

"Doing Good in the Most Helping Way"- It is good to try to help people. It is better to help people in the best way possible. You should look at what actually happens when you try to help people in order to find out how well your helping worked. If we look at lots of different ways of helping people, then we can find out which way is best. You should give your money to the people who are best at helping people.

Where we live, and in places like it, everyone has lots more money than most people who live in other places. That means we have lots that we can give away to the people in the other places. It might be a good idea to try to make lots of money so that you can give away even more!

Comment by daenerys on Rationalist households: What can London learn from its predecessors? · 2013-08-24T23:19:18.774Z · LW · GW

We are also establishing a community house, but don't expect to be ready to actually move in together for about a year or so. The first difficulty we ran into was actually moving/lease dates. Some people needed to move asap (moving to city, didn't want to renew current lease, etc), other people won't be ready for a while (waiting for a house to sell, etc). Everyone's leases are up on different months.

Another (probably unique to us) situation is that everyone in the group has been living/ moving to the same area/neighborhood, so that about two-thirds of the greater group (10 of 15) are within walking distance to each other. This is good for the community, but pretty much limits the search for a group house to this one area, since no one wants to set up a community house not near the community.

One thing I've done is create a spreadsheet with the following info: Timing/When does your lease end, Price range, Cleanliness/Lifestyle, Preferred community level (ie do you just want roomies, or do you want an intentional community or something in between?), How many roomies, Location preferences (see above re: being pretty much limited to Victorian Village area), NEEDS, and wants (for example, I need to have my dog. Also, central AC, dishwashers, and more than one bathroom aren't a given in this area (old houses)).

Comment by daenerys on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T04:15:50.508Z · LW · GW

Datapoint: I was poly before joining LW.

This might be an interesting question to ask Yvain to put on the next mega survey.

Comment by daenerys on Columbus Mega-meetup Planning- RSVPs wanted · 2013-07-27T06:39:17.496Z · LW · GW

Glad to hear of the interest! I updated the posting with current details.

In answer to your questions: Attendance to the talks is limited to 50 (our regular workshops bring up to the 30s in attendance). Because of this, we will be selling (very cheap) tickets which will cover Saturday lunch (it's just a way to hold people's places). More people will be at the talks, than at the rest of the weekend.The group of people hanging out for the rest of the weekend will be about 20, I'd guess. Friday we may do a swing dance lesson. Sunday we may do a shopping trip. Crash space will be provided to out-of-towners.

Currently scheduled talks include:

Down the Rabbit Hole: Magic as Psychic Entertainment -Jack Strauss

Magician/Mentalist Jack Strauss will present a stage act as a psychic entertainer. Afterwards, there will be a sit-down talkback with the audience. Topics will be determined by audience questions and may include: ethics of performing on stage with a psychic persona, psychology of deception, techniques of cold reading, etc. The only topic off the table will be the specifics of how the act you just saw is performed.

Jesse Galef- Defense Against the Dark Arts: The Ethics and Psychology of Persuasion

Elissa Caffery Fleming- Effective Altruism (tentative)

Amanda Metskas- The Next Generation (tentative)

Eric Huff- Applications of Models

Demitri Muna- Instrumental Improv workshop

Erica Edelman- Intro to Rationality

Comment by daenerys on low stress employment/ munchkin income thread · 2013-07-24T16:41:35.732Z · LW · GW

Tutoring- If you don't want to find clients yourself, there are companies that will hire you, and then match you up with students. When I did this, I made $20/hr with a bachelors. The problem with tutoring is that you are only working an hour or two, and have to drive there and back. If you're lucky, you can schedule two clients back-to-back, but you still are having to travel for short shifts.

Nannying- If you find taking care of kids and houses to be unstressful, this can pay pretty decently (generally under the table), be full-time or part-time, and include lots of paid-for activities (zoos, museums, parks, all on someone else's dime). Though for your situation, it seems like you aren't functional enough to get the decent paying positions (your own words on being barely functional).

Comment by daenerys on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-22T19:35:20.014Z · LW · GW

Ranty complaint: Someone always downvotes ONLY my meetup posts with no explanation. (I do not flood the list. My last post included topics for the next NINE meetups). I think whoever-they-are is an asshole.

Comment by daenerys on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-14T18:27:04.187Z · LW · GW

You are claiming to speak for all introverts, which turns this into an "introvert v extrovert" discussion. In other words, you are saying that half the population is forcing themselves onto the introverted half of the population. In reality, introverts are often the MOST happy that someone else initiated a conversation that they would be too shy to start themselves.

In reality, the situation is more like "NTs v non-NTs", and you are speaking for the non-NT part of the population. The same way you say half the population shouldn't force their preferences on the other half, I'm sure you can agree that 5% of the population shouldn't force their preferences (of non-interaction) onto the other 95%. Especially when the cost of nobody ever initiating conversations is significantly higher than the cost of being momentarily bothered by another person.

Actionable advice (for stopping an unwanted interaction): Answer in monosyllables or "hmm.." sounds. DON'T look at the person and smile. Maintain a neutral expression. Pull out your phone or a book, and direct your attention towards it, instead of the person.

Ways to end the conversation in a polite way: Say "Well, it's very nice to meet you." then turn your attention to your book/phone, OR add "but I'm at a really good part in this book, and I want to see what happens next....I really need to get this done... I'm really tired and was hoping to rest on the flight...etc." It's alright if the reason is vague. It is generally understood that providing a weak excuse is just a polite way of saying "no", and everyone plays along.

Comment by daenerys on Home Economics · 2013-07-08T04:36:41.986Z · LW · GW

I'm really interested to see what people have to say on this topic, but I think its broadness prevents most people from responding, since we don't really know what you're looking for.

There seem to be quite a number of distinct topics that would each deserve their own post. Off the top of my head: budgeting/finances, decorating, cooking, organizing, cleaning, clothing, entertaining, mixology, etc

Could you ask some specific questions that people could respond to?

My random tip: White vinegar (the cheap kind you buy in a big plastic jug) is great for getting rid of smells. My favorite usage is for clothing and towels. Especially if you live in a humid area, towels often develop a bit of a musty smell when wet, even when they've just been washed. If you toss some white vinegar in the laundry machine while washing, it will get rid of the smell. I throw in some vinegar in each of my loads (the vinegary smell is gone once dry. Other useful usage is cleaning microwaves, refrigerators, etc.

Comment by daenerys on June 2013 Media Thread · 2013-06-07T04:07:49.757Z · LW · GW


Comment by daenerys on June 2013 Media Thread · 2013-06-05T17:36:24.026Z · LW · GW

That's my current read! Hey! I'm reading the same EY is!

(Yeah, that actually did make me feel "cool" and "hip" and "with it"...:P )

Comment by daenerys on Finding interesting communities · 2013-06-01T00:57:47.694Z · LW · GW

Seeing this get voted to be top comment, I figured I should also probably give some downside to the SCA.

What they are actually accomplishing is not very important. There are no startups formed. There is no higher goal. Yes, people are actually doing stuff, which is cool, but WHAT they are doing isn't overly useful (getting really good at tablet weaving, or horn carving, or whatever), and is often done as a status competition (since you gain status by doing these rather overall useless things) [ETA: This is also going to be true about the vast majority of social/activity groups. As an example, geek conventions (comic con, anime cons, dragoncon, etc- mentioned in the OP) are even worse IMO because they are more about CONSUMING media/culture, rather than CREATING anything.]

Stick Jocks. One of the biggest and most useless conveyors of status is how well you hit people with sticks ("swords"). The highest honors and powers (King, Queen, Duke, etc) are granted to those who hit people with a stick really good that day. Unsurprisingly, women tend to a) not participate in the status-conveying people-hitting nearly as much and b) are generally not as successful when they do, and are more often to be in non-statusy support roles (water bearing, keeping score, etc) or to gain status by dating/marrying people who do the stick-hitting well.

Politics. Not obvious at first glance, but oh is it there. (A small, long-lasting community with both an explicit and implicit hierarchy and strong reputational structures? Yeah....)

Time suck. It is not unusual for active members to spend ALL their free time involved in the SCA (you get higher status by doing the things!) When my ex-husband was doing his final push for knighthood he spent a minimum of 4 days/week at SCA stuff (Household gathering, baronial gathering, fight practice(s), weekend event (1-3 days), and hosting armor building workshops).

Taking it too seriously. Spending all your time in an activity that also gives you your prime source of community/social needs, and your prime source of status? Your brain is probably justifying that by convincing itself that this is Really Important.

ETA: How to Ameliorate the Negatives:

Participate in the activities that are more instrumentally rational. For example, commedia dell arte (guided improv theater) can give you all the same skills that improv does (CoZE, body language, thinking on your feet, etc); woodworking and metalworking etc can be useful skills, especially if you are a homeowner; running SCA events gives you the same event-planning skills that running other events does, etc.

Remain a more casual participant. Possibly pre-commit to how many days/month you will spend on SCA stuff. This also helps in staying out of the status race, since you will obviously not "win" at that rate, and helps in staying out of political stuff since you are obviously not a "player" at that point, and helps in not taking it too seriously, since you won't have to justify your major life's activity to yourself... Do NOT have the goal of getting into one of the three highest orders (this is most SCAdians' goal).

Comment by daenerys on Finding interesting communities · 2013-05-31T17:57:51.711Z · LW · GW

A specific example that is available worldwide is the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). [ETA: A medieval and rennaisance recreational and educational non-profit organization]

I have actually had in depth conversations with the local rationalist community about how the SCA does community building/running right, and what part of that can we steal. I think it's set-up is highly optimized for geeky types:

Explicit, official hierarchies (aka The Order of Precedence), with explicit rules of how to advance in it (Do Awesome Things)

Strong reputation-based social system. It is small enough, and people stay in it long enough (I know 3rd generation SCAdians) that personal reputation is a strong factor. Rather than being based primarily on social skills, reputation is built on Knowing Things, Doing Things, Helping People, and Running Things.

Sub-groups. The SCA is officially divided into geographic kingdoms, which are divided into principalities or regions, then into baronies, then into marches or colleges, etc. So you are automatically given a smaller sub-group to be a part of as soon as you join, instead of trying to find friends amongst a crowd of hundreds or thousands. Unofficially, it is also divided into households, which are headed by an individual or couple who has reached the highest levels, and take "squires", "apprentices", etc into their household, which forms a close social group. So you have small social circles that are related to each other, and part of progressively larger social circles, giving everyone an explicit Place to Belong.

Lots of options. This also fits with the "a place for everyone" concept above. Do you want to learn swordfighting, or would you rather make them? If it was done between 600-1600 AD, you can do it for the SCA. Bored of embroidery? Join the commedia dell arte troupe! There are so many options for what you can do or learn, you could never do it all. I think this is how a) entire families can enjoy the activity (there's something for everyone), and more importantly b) People can stay involved for DECADES (it's like 1000 hobbies in one, so if you get bored of what you've been doing, you can switch to something else)

I've found that social reinforcement for doing cool stuff helps a lot.

The SCA explicitly rewards awesome. Did you cook an awesome meal for everyone? People of Authority will publicly thank you. Did you spend months working on a craft project? You can enter a competition or display. Did you spend a decade honing your knowledge and skills of a particular craft? You will be officially inducted into the highest orders and gain the title of "Sir" or "Master" So-and-so (NOT in a kinky way...cmon, guys...)

Also, as a completely volunteer-run organization, the SCA highly acknowledges and values service. The people who do the grunt work are given status for it.

Comment by daenerys on The Centre for Applied Rationality: a year later from a (somewhat) outside perspective · 2013-05-31T06:08:16.260Z · LW · GW

Those seem like very generalizable rationalizations for never actually doing anything.

On rationality amateurs causing harm to the public image of rationality-

  • They can (and DO) do this anyways. On LW, reddit, facebook, blogs, vlogs, etc etc. In fact, I would guess that an enthusiastic amateur could cause more overall harm to the movement on the internet, than running a class irl.

  • The people who are likely to say EXTREMELY harmful things are extremely unlikely to be the types to decide to lead an organization (require related social skills).

  • What do you consider to be your worst case scenario? Worst I can come up with is "I taught a terrible workshop! Who would have thought I shouldn't have talked about infanticide to a room full of new mothers? And that one of them made a viral video about it! I won't be able to teach another class until everyone has forgotten it in about two years! (it is unlikely to have a significant effect on cfar or miri)"

More realistic: "Wow, that was a terrible and boring class! I bet NONE of the twenty people in the room will come back next week. I will have to find new people now."

Neither of these seem worth the level of risk aversion you are recommending here. We are not building an FAI.

  • I DO recommend placing yourself on the helpful/harmful binary. Obviously, a person who so new and lacking in the relevant skills that they would cause massive harm would be in the "harmful" category. Unfortunate faux pas made by the type of people in the helpful category are unlikely to be at a large scale.

Regarding harming "potential future efforts along these lines":

  • Efforts made by whom?

-By myself? Because I suspect future-me will be significantly more skilled at running classes than current-me despite lack of practice?

-By CFAR? I have never seen anything from them suggesting that other people (even amateurs) should hold off on creating communities. Quite the contrary.They have invested significant effort and resources in spreading materials and knowledge to assist meetup organizers (Writing the Meetup Guide, favoring workshop applicants who are meetup organizers for spots and scholarships, etc).This is strong evidence that CFAR WANTS people to take on leadership roles and grow their local scene. It is unlikely that this is counter to their current or future goals.

-By a yet-unknown organization? Obviously bad reasoning.

  • Overly generalizable to "I should never attempt anything I care about, that I don't have an extremely high confidence in succeeding in, because Failure"