DIY Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. Who wants to go first? 2012-03-14T16:58:30.024Z
RAND Health Insurance Experiment critiques 2012-02-18T17:52:59.330Z


Comment by Dustin on Reflections on Connect Developers · 2022-01-16T02:10:23.443Z · LW · GW

The thing that jumped out to me about this is that it seems too open-ended.  In my experience, meeting with strangers is much easier and less scary if there is some point or goal other than "meeting with strangers who have similar views as you".  

Like, even if it was just to write a simple program together and it was obvious that this was just to give you something to talk about, I think that'd help a lot.  There's tools out there for doing collaborative coding online, you could maybe link to them or set up some sort of template on one of these.

I agree with AllAmericanBreakfast's comment where he says people miss having ways to have open-ended conversations on the internet, but I also think it's good to have some method of breaking the ice to get that conversation going.

All that being said, my weakly-held belief is that good and well-executed ideas are entirely insufficient to gain attention (in fact "good" and "well-executed" are not even required to gain an audience and attention).

Comment by Dustin on (briefly) RaDVaC and SMTM, two things we should be doing · 2022-01-12T16:31:41.123Z · LW · GW

I like the shortlyness of this post and think it perfectly suits the subject. For many purposes longlyness can be counterproductive.

Comment by Dustin on Uncontroversially good legislation · 2022-01-10T17:14:06.941Z · LW · GW

Is it a legal requirement or something they're just being weird about? Maybe it's just about contact lenses and not eye glasses...that's what a quick skim of that metafilter thread seems to indicate? 

For what it's worth, and as far as I can remember from my last eye glasses order a couple years ago, both and just have you put in the values from your prescription and don't even ask you to pinky swear it's a recent prescription.  

Comment by Dustin on Uncontroversially good legislation · 2022-01-10T03:10:11.474Z · LW · GW

We can’t buy glasses or contact lenses if our eye prescription is over 1-2 years old. 

I can go to online eyeglass sellers and put in whatever prescription info I like. It's just the actual prescription values, rather than some form approved my optometrist or something.  Is this one of those things where it's illegal but no one cares?

Comment by Dustin on On (Not) Reading Papers · 2021-12-21T23:48:45.015Z · LW · GW

I wonder how papers would change if everyone knew that everyone knows this?

Comment by Dustin on How I became a person who wakes up early · 2021-12-21T22:10:38.228Z · LW · GW

Good suggestion!

I've always hated naps because when I take one it doesn't really seem to help anything, but I really need to do some experimentation and see if there's some nap schedule that helps.

Comment by Dustin on Elevated Air Purifier Cubes · 2021-12-19T17:35:57.901Z · LW · GW

Yeah, definitely.

I will note that, at least in the fans-for-computers-and-electronics industry you can pay more money and get the same CFM in a smaller AND quieter size.  Motor type/quality and blade design has some sort of effect on this.  Diminishing returns and all that of course.

I don't know if this really applies to the types of fans a person would be using for something like this.

Comment by Dustin on How I became a person who wakes up early · 2021-12-19T01:51:40.725Z · LW · GW

When I was younger I stayed up late and woke up late and there was pretty much nothing I could do to change that without severe cognitive impact.  That's still my current default sleeping schedule.

Now that I've gotten older (mid 40's), I find that over a few days I can pretty much adjust my sleep schedule to wake when I want to.  I don't require an alarm.  My Fitbit tells me I get high quality sleep.

I wish I could explain this, but I didn't take any conscious action to make this happen. My best explanation is just changes to my body as I age.

Another side effect of (what I guess to be) aging on sleep that I've experienced is that I get tired 3 to 6 hours before I should go to sleep. I say "should" because even if I went to bed when I started feeling tired I'd still only sleep 8 hours.

I really, really hate this as it makes a significant chunk of my day significtly less productive.

Comment by Dustin on Elevated Air Purifier Cubes · 2021-12-19T01:28:01.479Z · LW · GW

There's smaller filters of the same (or better!) quality made for different types of air-purifying devices.  If headroom is a problem, I wonder if you could use a smaller, more powerful fan and make a longer tunnel type of box to get the same (or better!) CFM of air filtering.


elevating them is an attractive option

I'm not sure attractive is the right word there!  (I'm just kidding, I know what you mean.)

Comment by Dustin on Interpreting Yudkowsky on Deep vs Shallow Knowledge · 2021-12-06T18:16:19.798Z · LW · GW

Now I'm confused about why you're confused! 

I'll say a few different things and see if it helps:

  1. I'm making a meta point about the particular form of what happened in the paragraph quoted, nothing specific about what Yudkowsky or you wrote.
  2. Specifically, the form follows something like this pattern: Entity A writes stuff. Entity B thinks it means X. Entity A, Entity B, and many others discuss it for a long time to suss out what Entity A really means. Years later Entity A tells us (or we discover in some other way) what they really meant.
  3. There's nothing about that pattern that says that any entity was wrong or not useful or not Good, but it's a pattern that causes an icky reaction from me.
  4. An icky feeling doesn't always mean Thing X is wrong or bad, just that Thing X pattern matches against enough things the person feeling ickyness has previously found to be wrong or bad. Imagine feeling ickyness about root canals.  Things that hurt are generally bad, and feeling icky about them isn't surprising, but sometimes things that hurt are good! (but just because something is icky doesn't necessarily mean there's good versions of the thing)
  5. Whether or not the part I felt icky about was un-controversial seems mostly tangential to the point I was trying to make.
  6. The actual content of what Yudkowsky or you wrote isn't exactly what I'm talking about.
  7. I'm not saying that what Yudkowsky or you wrote is wrong or right. (In fact, I think Yudkowsky  and you seem correct!)
  8. I'm not "comparing deep knowledge with the sort of conclusions that can always be reinterpreted from new evidence". I'm talking about the pattern formed between Yudkowsky's writing and your/our understanding of it regardless of the content/accuracy/virtuousness of the writing. In other words, the comparison is between something like general relativity(not committing to this being a good example, but hopefully it gestures in the correct direction) and insert-any-writing-that-you've-later-understood-to-mean-something-else.
  9. It's possible (even likely) that there is no solution to the problem of some human ideas not being conducive to transfer in human modes of communication from one mind to the other without also being subject to re-interpretation. In other words it's possible that Yudkowsky conveyed his thoughts as well as is humanly possible. He's certainly better at doing that than me.
  10. Back and forth conversation in the wake of a post or posts will often clear up what the author really meant as part of the general process of conveying ideas. However, it's surprising to me that Yudkowsky clarified what he really meant years later in the time, manner, and location that he did and that contributes to the icky feeling.
  11. I often get the sense that Yudkowsky is also frustrated by the general idea I'm gesturing at here.  The difficulty of conveying ideas of a certain type.  Not just that they're difficult to convey, but that they're difficult to convey in a manner that makes people confident in the accuracy while at the same time making them confident in the accuracy for the right reasons.
  12. At this point, I'm hoping it makes sense to you when I say I don't think Yudkowsky's post about religion's falsifiable-ness is exactly on-point.

I find myself unsatisfied with the content of this comment, but as of right now I'm not sure how to better convey my thoughts. On the other hand I don't want to ignore your comment, so here's hoping this helps rather than hinders.

Comment by Dustin on Interpreting Yudkowsky on Deep vs Shallow Knowledge · 2021-12-05T18:42:33.439Z · LW · GW

After first read-through of your post the main thing that stuck with me was this:

But the thing is… rereading part of the Sequences, I feel Yudkowsky was making points about deep knowledge all along? Even the quote I just used, which I interpreted in my rereading a couple of weeks ago as being about making predictions, now sounds like it’s about the sort of negative form of knowledge that forbids “perpetual motion machines”.


This gives me an icky feeling.


(low confidence in the following parts of this comment)


It makes me think of the Bible.  The "specifications" laid out in the bible are loosey-goosey enough that believers can always re-interpret such-and-such verse to actually mean whatever newer evidence permits. (I want to stress that I'm not drawing a parallel between unthinking Christian believers and anyone changing their belief based upon new evidence! I'm drawing a parallel between the difficult task of writing text designed to change future behavior.)

If it's so loosey-goosey than what's it good for?

That's most definitely not to say that anything that you can re-interpret in the light of new evidence is full of shit. However, you've got to have a good and solid explanation for the discrepancy between your earlier and later interpretations.  The importance of, and difficulty of producing, this explanation is probably based upon if we're talking about a quantitative physics experiment or a complicated tome of reasoning, philosophy, rhetoric. The complicated tome case is important and hard because it's so very hard to convey our most complicated thoughts in ways that are so explicit that we can't interpret them in a multitude of ways.

I think producing the explanation of the discrepancy between earlier and later interpretations is likely full of cognitive booby traps.

Comment by Dustin on What have your romantic experiences with non-EAs/non-Rationalists been like? · 2021-12-05T05:09:59.610Z · LW · GW

Married for 20ish years to such a person. In fact, not only is she not anyone I'd call a rationalist, she's not even really interested in any of the works of the mind... philosophy, science, literature, etc.

It's been 95% happy times between us. For my part I think we stick together because she makes me laugh, I'm very easy going, and it's not of the utmost importance to me that my life partner is interested in the same things as I.

All that being said, I wouldn't recommend it. I think we've lucked out so far in that we've been able to make it work as well as we have. If I was looking for a new partner I wouldn't count on such luck.

Comment by Dustin on Looking for reasoned discussion on Geert Vanden Bossche's ideas? +6 Months on... · 2021-12-01T03:07:15.903Z · LW · GW

I do not think that you can track the performance of the LW community on this over time in this manner.  You only had 5-ish commentors on the last post so the best you could do was tracking those people's performance...but you can't even really do that because you don't have any quantifiable data from them.

If you try to track performance with the type and quantity of data you get from free-form comments you will be almost guaranteed to extract the conclusion you already believed and not learn anything new.

If you want more useful data, maybe try a prediction market? But even that is just going to get you a small number of participants that won't tell you anything about the "LW community".

Comment by Dustin on Use Tools For What They're For · 2021-11-25T00:19:00.395Z · LW · GW

If they are so confident that their vaccines are stellar successes, why did they specify in their contracts with European governments that they could not be held liable for side effects?


I mean, that's just good practice.  No one can be 100% sure of anything, and you always want to take as little liability as possible...particularly when the costs of taking less liability are low.

Comment by Dustin on How will OpenAI + GitHub's Copilot affect programming? · 2021-11-13T02:06:42.654Z · LW · GW

I've been using the GitHub's official Copilot plugin for PyCharm for a couple of weeks. Nice to see that they reached outside of their corporate parent to make this.

The plugin is a bit buggy, but very usable.  Copilot is a good assistant.

Comment by Dustin on A Brief Introduction to Container Logistics · 2021-11-11T20:31:16.123Z · LW · GW

Ahh yes, 10% of the impact they were supposed to have.  Thanks for noting that.

Comment by Dustin on A Brief Introduction to Container Logistics · 2021-11-11T17:46:27.085Z · LW · GW

Cool post with insights into an interesting industry!  

I've been in positions with executive authority in multiple locations in multiple industries and at my best guess 90% of quick fixes had maximum 10% positive impact (ranging to greatly negative impact) that they were supposed to have.

Much of what humanity does is too complicated to completely understand and formalize into structures that enable the type of analysis that allows you to figure out the right "quick fix"...particularly to outsiders!  (Not to discount the very real benefits outside eyes can bring to a problem.)


edit: To expand, I'm not talking about only quick fixes created and implemented by me.  There's always someone coming in with some thing to fix all our problems and we'll either see the shortcoming's of the plan up front or try them out and be disappointed.


edit2: Previously I said "quick fixes had 10% of the impact". I just changed that to something more accurate.

Comment by Dustin on Disagreeables and Assessors: Two Intellectual Archetypes · 2021-11-05T20:30:26.480Z · LW · GW

I like this post a lot.

One thing I keep thinking about is this sentence: 

They're quick to call out bullshit and are excellent at coming up with innovative ideas. Unfortunately, they produce a whole lot of false positives; they're pretty overconfident and wrong a great deal of the time.

Are they excellent at coming up with innovative ideas?  

In the context of the framing you're using here: On the one hand, yes of course they are.  On the other hand, a stopped clock is excellent at being right twice a day.  I have a bit of a hard time differentiating the two hands here.  

I think maybe it comes down to what we mean by "excellent" and you get into that in your post.  It just feels wrong on a fundamental level to me to call the process by which these ideas are arrived at as "excellent"...but I guess that's what a dirty Assessor would say!

Comment by Dustin on Resurrecting all humans ever lived as a technical problem · 2021-10-31T21:53:21.179Z · LW · GW

While generating all possible minds some random things I thought about while skimming the post:

  1. Is my mind from 1 second or 1 year ago the same mind as my mind right now?  Are we interested in Archimedes mind from any specific point in time or just at any point in his life?
  2. The state of the minds we're generating in our search.  Are we generating minds whose state is that of a mind that has experienced one billion years of torture?  Is that bad?  Stopping torture is good, no?
  3. How many minds will be generated that did not want to be resurrected?
  4. Some of this depends on the technical details of how traversing the space of possible minds works and also something like...can we generate a mind without "running" it?  If we can generate a mind, and the mind isn't running, are we OK with generating the tortured mind if we can inspect it in a not-running state?
  5. If we're just generating possible minds, how many will say "Yo, I'm Archimedes!" but actually have no relation to our historical Archimedes?
Comment by Dustin on They don't make 'em like they used to · 2021-10-28T16:34:56.720Z · LW · GW

One thing I don't see mentioned too often in these discussions:  I often don't care if something doesn't last as long as it possibly could. I like new things so I get them.  I don't want the ratty lookin stove I had 20 years ago. I want one with an induction cooktop, "smart" features, and a design that matches my current decor. Some people derisively call this "consumerism".  I call this a benefit of living in the modern age. (Note that I do not dismiss the downsides of consumerism as invalid.)

I'd be way happier with this state of affairs if it was much easier to recycle/resale/re-gift older products.  Living in a more rural area than most makes it way harder than it should be to not just throw the old product away.

Sometimes I purposefully choose the product that doesn't last as long because it holds too much of a cost premium over a product that won't last as long. Boots and blue jeans are two items that come to mind.

Comment by Dustin on They don't make 'em like they used to · 2021-10-28T16:22:01.319Z · LW · GW

Even if conspiracies are necessary (though I agree with clone of saturn that they probably aren't) and even if the conspiracy can't survive, it can usually survive for some amount of time and during this time many people become a victim.  Couple this with the fact that there could be many conspiracies across many different products.

So, if you accept that these conspiracies exist, and my points above are true, it doesn't seem too crazy to think that the average consumers house is full of products with planned obsolescence.

Comment by Dustin on They don't make 'em like they used to · 2021-10-28T16:16:57.175Z · LW · GW

One thing this comment makes me want to highlight is that sometimes shaping consumers "needs" is a good thing.

Sometimes the consumer doesn't know that this crazy new invention will actually make their life (or maybe just their descendants' lives) better.  After all, horses/no-electricity/no-computers all served me just fine thank you very much!

Comment by Dustin on They don't make 'em like they used to · 2021-10-27T23:19:09.723Z · LW · GW

I don't really know one way or the other, but I don't think the pandemic proves that mutual interdependence is not safer than self-reliance.  It's not "perfectly safe mutual interdependence".

f major shocks happened more often, we'd see more of it.

Isn't that kind of the point?  We don't suffer major shocks often enough to make self-reliance the safer overall choice.  (Or at least that is the claim one would make if one were convinced the mutual interdependence was safer than self-reliance)

Comment by Dustin on They don't make 'em like they used to · 2021-10-27T23:15:21.395Z · LW · GW

The Phoebus Cartel

The cartel’s grip on the lightbulb market lasted only into the 1930s. Its far more enduring legacy was to engineer a shorter life span for the incandescent lightbulb. By early 1925, this became codified at 1,000 hours for a pear-shaped household bulb, a marked reduction from the 1,500 to 2,000 hours that had previously been common. Cartel members rationalized this approach as a trade-off: Their lightbulbs were of a higher quality, more efficient, and brighter burning than other bulbs. They also cost a lot more. Indeed, all evidence points to the cartel’s being motivated by profits and increased sales, not by what was best for the consumer. In carefully crafting a lightbulb with a relatively short life span, the cartel thus hatched the industrial strategy now known as planned obsolescence.

Comment by Dustin on Impressive vs honest signaling · 2021-10-27T02:08:41.758Z · LW · GW

I found myself nodding in agreement with the dating part, but then not nodding so much at the job part.

At least in the programming jobs market, I feel like getting jobs that require 8/10 skills, but you only have 5/10 skills, is a great way to level yourself up to the 8/10 level.  In my experience, you level up at a rate that outweighs the firing risk.  However, it's hard to know how unique or not my experience with this is.

Comment by Dustin on Book Review Review (end of the bounty program) · 2021-10-16T16:19:01.702Z · LW · GW

The bounty got me to add some books to my "to-read" pile. This includes books that were reviewed and books that I thought others might like to hear reviews of. 

I've got a rather good record of reading books in this pile rather than it just being a pile of books that I wish I would read but don't. 

So, your bounty, without paying me anything, is inducing me to read more and/or different things than I likely would have otherwise.

Comment by Dustin on Book Review Review (end of the bounty program) · 2021-10-16T16:14:22.693Z · LW · GW

I've got to say, I don't think I would have thought you were a non-native English writer if you hadn't included that.  Kudos to you!

Comment by Dustin on Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research · 2021-10-15T21:44:58.635Z · LW · GW

we should tolerate some impropriety for the greater good


On one level I think this is correct, but...I also think it's possibly a little naïve.  

In the potential world which consists of only "us", the people who think this world saving needs done, and who think like "we" do, your statement becomes more true. 

In the world we live in wherein the vast majority of people think the world saving we're talking about is unimportant, or bad, or evil, your statement requires closer and closer to perfect secrecy and insularity to remain true.

Comment by Dustin on Is nuking women and children cheaper than firebombing them? · 2021-10-15T00:44:42.840Z · LW · GW

Also fighting in other wars. (I'm under the impression that this was maybe more the case in the past than it is today, but I'm not super confident in that.)

Comment by Dustin on Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research · 2021-10-14T00:03:27.736Z · LW · GW

Having seen it, I have a very vague recollection of maybe having read that at the time.  Still, the amount of activity on the recent posts about Leverage seems to me all out of proportion with previous mentions/discussions.  

Comment by Dustin on Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research · 2021-10-13T23:27:38.384Z · LW · GW

While I'm not hugely involved, I've been reading OB/LW since the very beginning. I've likely read 75% of everything that's ever been posted here.

So, I'm way more clued-in to this and related communities than your average human being and...I don't recall having heard of Leverage until a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not exactly sure what that means with regard to PR-esque type considerations.

However.  Fair or not, I find having read the recent stuff I've got an ugh field that extended to slightly include LW.  (I'm not sure what it means to "include LW"'s just a website.  My first stab at an explanation is it's more like "people engaged in community type stuff who know IRL lots of other people who communicate on LW", but that's not exactly right either.)

I think it'd be good to have some context on why any of this is relevant to LessWrong. The whole thing is generating a ton of activity and it feels like it just came out of nowhere. 

Comment by Dustin on Building Blocks of Politics: An Overview of Selectorate Theory · 2021-10-12T21:08:33.516Z · LW · GW

Interesting post that I'm still thinking about, but I wanted to ask this before I forget:

and of women under 21 underground, was forbidden

What's this about?

Comment by Dustin on How to think about and deal with OpenAI · 2021-10-10T01:37:55.506Z · LW · GW

You know, I actually knew this, but kind of forgot about it momentarily!  I think it was because of the framing of the post that almost makes it sound like an ongoing concern of Musk's.

That being said, I wouldn't be surprised to hear if the general point I'm making holds for at least some subset of current OpenAI people.

Comment by Dustin on Do you like excessive sugar? · 2021-10-10T01:35:47.746Z · LW · GW

I don't think there is a limit on how much sugar I'd enjoy.  I may get sick of particular kinds of sugar-containing food, but the idea of feeling any sort of desire for or aversion to specific components of food seems alien to me. 

I've cut it out for the past 5 years or so just for health reasons, but I used to drink a lot of soda. Two hundred grams worth of sugar on average is my best estimate.

I had a challenging time stopping, but I think it was more because of the ritual and habits around the soda consumption than it was due to any specific nutrients. (I substituted other caffeine products)

Comment by Dustin on Why Not a Natural Gas Generator? · 2021-10-09T16:15:25.148Z · LW · GW

Have you done any research into what the availability of natural gas has been like in your region during past extended power outages for residential users?

Not only can you easily convert gas generators to run on natural gas, you can convert gas generators to be tri-fuel wherein they will run on natural gas, propane, or petrol. To be honest, I'm not sure I remember seeing generators that were natural gas only. I'm sure they exist, but it makes me think they're not widely least for residential.

However, I'm with you in thinking off-grid solar is a good option for you. It's not a great option for me since:

1. I don't plan to stay where I am long enough to recoup the large cost and 

2. like most areas the resale value doesn't even come close to recouping that cost and

3. roof orientation and tree coverage makes it very not-ideal anyway.

Comment by Dustin on How to think about and deal with OpenAI · 2021-10-09T15:52:51.801Z · LW · GW

Going off of Musk's public persona, I think there's some not-insignificant chance that calling him out like Yudkowsky did will be counter-productive. If this is accurate and if Yudkowsky is correct about the negative value of OpenAI...Yudkowsky just put himself in the same shoes as everyone he's describing as having contributed to OpenAI's success by causing Musk to dig his heels in on the subject.

Comment by Dustin on Candy Innovation · 2021-10-04T21:05:08.087Z · LW · GW

If you like candy/sweets and discovering new stuff, it's pretty cool. That's the place I'm using currently, but I dabble with different options several times a year mainly by just googling something like "international candy subscription".

Comment by Dustin on Candy Innovation · 2021-10-04T18:30:35.264Z · LW · GW

This isn't a direct answer to your questions, but a candy-adjacent innovation I've taken advantage of is...candy subscriptions.

Once a month I get a box of sweets from (random?) countries!

Comment by Dustin on Whole Brain Emulation: No Progress on C. elgans After 10 Years · 2021-10-02T16:54:26.853Z · LW · GW

Do we at least have some idea of what kind of technology would be needed for reading out connection weights?

Comment by Dustin on Covid 9/30: People Respond to Incentives · 2021-09-30T20:41:11.781Z · LW · GW

As a rural-ish Missouri rental property of the few benefits of living here is that we haven't had a problem evicting non-paying tenants. (Besides the dozens of other already-existing regular problems with the process) (As an aside, you might be interested to know that the majority of people who we end up evicting are people who get approved for the apartment and then never make a single rent payment)

Glad to hear about the booster data being collected!

Comment by Dustin on The Paradox of Expert Opinion · 2021-09-27T22:20:39.773Z · LW · GW

The examples make me think of reference class tennis.

Comment by Dustin on Covid 9/23: There Is a War · 2021-09-25T16:42:17.892Z · LW · GW

Anyone have any thoughts about someone already vaccinated with Pfizer getting a Pfizer booster or instead obtaining an additional shot of Moderna or J&J instead (or maybe in addition to?)? Thoughts about effectiveness, morality, risk, etc are appreciated. If it makes any difference to your thinking, I'm at elevated risk because of health issues.

I kind of feel like the mixing approach would be more effective, but to be honest I've not really had the time to keep up with much of anything except work for the past couple of months.

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T20:04:31.165Z · LW · GW

I agree there's a large gap between Chrome and Android on this...though I do think they're on the same spectrum.

Agreed that MS has made their Chromium contributions in areas that are important to them, but then that's always the case with all contributors to OSS, no?  As of a year ago they'd made 1800 PRs from 160 devs. Of course, as you say, what counts as "substantial" is hard to quantify.  A PR can be a small typo fix or a complete reworking of a core technology, so it'd take a lot of work to pin down substantial-ness, and then a person would still be arguing about if it was important or not.

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-20T16:08:09.894Z · LW · GW

I have sympathy for this argument, and I do assign some weight to this factor.

That being said, it doesn't overweigh the other factors in my choice. Part of that is down to the fact that MS is (I haven't actually checked, just what I've heard) making good and substantial contributions back to Chromium...which Google then merges back to Chrome.

Google does add closed source stuff to Chrome. The open source stuff is in Chromium and then Google adds their own stuff to that and releases that as Chrome which is closed source. 

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-12T18:59:03.843Z · LW · GW

(Might Chromium based browsers, but I don't use them, so YMMV)

MS Edge does this, and (unsurprisingly) compared to last time I used Chrome for it about a year ago, does a better job integrating the app with Windows.

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-12T18:55:59.976Z · LW · GW

Strong agreement from me.  I really hope CoPilot and Codex or similar comes to their IDEs.  

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-12T18:53:29.442Z · LW · GW

I'm currently on Notion and have went through many off these different things.

I'm always worried about getting too invested and then the company going under. However, the open source things are always a little too rough around the edges for my taste.

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-12T18:50:35.850Z · LW · GW

AHK is good. However, personally I'd recommend AutoIT over AHK.  It basically do what AHK can do, but it has a better BASIC-like syntax. (Not to say that it is a good language)

I've used a bunch of different solutions for hot keys and system automation (I'm even writing my own solution)

I wonder if I should make a separate recommendation for this or if this comment suffices...

Comment by Dustin on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-10T14:58:42.670Z · LW · GW

Software: Microsoft Edge

Need: Web browser

Other programs I've tried: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave

I've stuck with Edge for about a year. I tried it out because they switched over to the Chromium rendering engine and I wanted to see what the fuss was about.  I'll tell you my main reasons for continuing to use it but note that these can exist in other browsers but don't work exactly like I want.

  • Collections. This features lets you add web pages and snippets of information into persistent collections of info.  Good for when you're researching a specific subject. I use this either for small projects or as a lightweight interim step before moving stuff into my main research gathering tools.
  • Vertical tab stacks. Instead of tabs along the top of the window, I have it set to put them on the side of the window. The bar containing them collapses down into just the favicons and autoexpands to a configurable width showing the page titles when I mouse over.

Web browsers are kind of weird.  They're all incredibly capable and needs-fitting and I would be very happy using any of them. Because of this I considered not posting about it at all, but in the end I decided "web browsers are all really good, but Edge has these features" is useful information.

Comment by Dustin on How does your data backup solution setup work? · 2021-09-07T17:42:47.515Z · LW · GW

I'm currently using Duplicacy to automatically back up to the 1TB of OneDrive storage that comes along with my Microsoft 365 subscription, to my Google Drive, and to my NAS.

  1. The data is encrypted...but of course I'm depending upon the backup software developer to have done this correctly.  I would be happier if the backup software I was using was audited by security professionals.
  2. Duplicacy can back up to many cloud providers, so you have to pick the one that works best for you.  I'd have the Microsoft 365 subscription regardless.  
  3. Yep.
  4. Duplicacy can roll back to many earlier's up to you to tell it how often to keep snapshots.
  5. This is going to be a problem no matter what.  As I mentioned in another comment I've written down my password in many places so hopefully if I've forgotten my password I can at least remember one of those places.