DIY Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. Who wants to go first? 2012-03-14T16:58:30.024Z · score: 14 (19 votes)
RAND Health Insurance Experiment critiques 2012-02-18T17:52:59.330Z · score: 5 (6 votes)


Comment by dustin on The questions one needs not address · 2020-03-23T19:31:03.169Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm having a hard time understanding how your comment is applicable to mine. AFAICT, definitions have little to do with my comment.

Comment by dustin on The questions one needs not address · 2020-03-21T23:55:11.376Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It’s the sort of act that says “Yeah, we made this awe-inspiring thing, but we really owe it to thousands of of past generations. None of us can fully comprehend how we managed to do this, so let’s dedicate its highest floor to something transcendent, something that symbolizes the beautiful, impossible and absurd experiment that made it possible, our society”.

It feels like this is something you're reading into it more than what people creating it necessarily thought. You can easily tell a bunch of other just-as-plausible stories about it that are not nearly as positive-sounding.

Comment by dustin on Importing masks from China · 2020-03-21T01:27:18.259Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

For plenty of stuff the fact it's fake, a cheap copy, or just crappy in general isn't that much of an issue.

For example, aliexpress is widely used by hobbyists for cheap electronics components like sensors and microcontrollers.

Comment by dustin on How are people tracking confirmed Coronavirus cases / Coronavirus deaths? · 2020-03-08T01:20:01.691Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I use Home Assistant for my home automation needs. It has a coronavirus sensor which pulls from the John Hopkins data. I then do two things with that data:

1. I have HA configured to send notifications to my phone when deaths and confirmed cases change by X%.

2. I use the influxdb integration with HA to ship the sensor data to...influxdb. I graph that data with Grafana.

covid-19 graph

Comment by dustin on Quarantine Preparations · 2020-03-03T00:29:17.922Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm interested in the mask recommendation.

Not that I've done a ton of research but most of the articles I've come across have been neutral-to-negative about masks.

Here's one of the articles I just came across today:

edit: Though, I guess maybe the idea of getting some is to protect others if you have symptoms rather than protecting yourself from getting infected.

Comment by dustin on How much delay do you generally have between having a good new idea and sharing that idea publicly online? · 2020-02-22T23:38:45.671Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'll ship it when it's ready.

If I have a good idea about how to tie my shoelaces I'll share it immediately!

If I have a good idea about a foundational change in western philosophy it will take me years.

Comment by dustin on Wanting More Intellectual Stamina · 2020-02-18T18:51:41.627Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I used to be terribly distracted by video games.

I can't pinpoint the exact thing that happened that let me really cut down on that, but some things I did that all seemed to lead to my current state of playing video games 0-3 hours per week.

1. Uninstalled all games and game distribution services.

2. Downgraded my internet connection to something that makes downloading games take a long time. (I've since upgraded my internet connection but haven't had a "relapse")

3. Unsubscribed from video gaming RSS feeds.

4. Gotten older!

Comment by dustin on Don't Double-Crux With Suicide Rock · 2020-01-01T21:09:01.287Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I just want to spring off of this to point out something about Aumann's agreement theorem. I often see it used as a kind of cudgel because people miss an important aspect.

It can take us human beings time and effort to converge on a view.

Oftentimes it's just not worth it to one or more of the participants to invest that time and effort.

Comment by dustin on Circling as Cousin to Rationality · 2020-01-01T02:00:15.698Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

A slight bit of style critique: I spent the first half of the post thinking "why does he keep capitalizing the word circle and using it this way?". I've literally never heard of this.

It's possible that I'm just way out of the norm here. I don't live in a rationalist hub of activity, but I do read a good portion of LW and a few related blogs.

Comment by dustin on Programmers Should Plan For Lower Pay · 2019-12-29T19:29:12.544Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I handle this uncertainty via diversification.

I've dumped portions of my income into purchasing and building rental properties.

Comment by dustin on Defining "Antimeme" · 2019-12-27T00:08:51.217Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
The typical response to encountering a regular meme is to assign a truth value to it via rationality.

This seems...iffy.

Comment by dustin on Tapping Out In Two · 2019-12-06T00:32:22.044Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As I've gotten older, I've become more and more fine with just leaving an internet argument. The *other guy is winning* feeling is 95% gone.

Now, that doesn't mean I won't make a comment or two, but if the other person wants to get into a back and forth that seems like it's going to be draining I'm completely fine with just not participating anymore.

All this to say is that maybe it'll get easier for some?

(FWIW, I'm ~40 and I've been arguing on the internet since I was 12-ish)

Comment by dustin on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-11-04T20:06:46.381Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't that just the price of an electric car right now? Won't they be vastly cheaper in the future?

Comment by dustin on Aella on Rationality and the Void · 2019-11-01T19:46:35.718Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've never went on a trip, but I always find descriptions of the experience puzzling. The various things that people describe seem like things I "do" myself when I put my mind to it.

This confuses me as either people are bad at describing what the experience is like or I'm different from people who write about their experiences on LSD.

edit: To be clear, people generally note that it's difficult to put into language what the experience is like, so when I say people are bad at describing the experience, I don't believe this to be an accountable failure on the explainers part.

Comment by dustin on A simple sketch of how realism became unpopular · 2019-10-12T15:50:07.176Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I can see this being true, but I'm not entirely convinced.

I have no background in philosophy. I don't read philosophy other than occasionally dipping into LW.

Of course, there exists the possibility that occasional dipping into LW has been enough, or that the necessary mental rigor has just seeped into the general populace over the intervening few hundred years.

Also, I'm not sure "anyone in 1710" is the right comparison. More like "people thinking about philosophy in 1710".

Of course, that is likely what you meant, but I think the less precise wording you used makes your argument a lot more convincing so I think it's important to point out the distinction.

To be clear, I'm not arguing that actually I am a ninja of philsophy. I'm just saying that your point doesn't necessarily make me less confused.

Comment by dustin on A simple sketch of how realism became unpopular · 2019-10-12T00:27:26.808Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW
The error here is mixing up what falls inside vs. outside of quotation marks. "I'm conceiving of a not-conceivable object" is a formal contradiction, but "I'm conceiving of the concept 'a not-conceivable object'" isn't, and human brains and natural language make it easy to mix up levels like those.

I immediately saw this mistake *while reading the text of the mistake.*

So, now I'm confused. Am I master ninja of a philosopher? Are you misrepresenting the level of people's confusion about this? Have I been arguing on the internet for 3 decades and thus I'm just hypersensitive to language/text based mistakes? Are we both wrong that this is a mistake?

Comment by dustin on What is category theory? · 2019-10-06T17:46:32.341Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm curious if being a programmer is helpful to understanding category theory in the same way as having "a few mathematical structures under your belt" is.

Comment by dustin on Why did we wait so long for the bicycle? · 2019-07-17T19:50:24.143Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW
So what’s the real explanation?

It seems most likely to me that there is no one real explanation, but rather a combination of a bunch of things.

Comment by dustin on What makes people intellectually active? · 2018-12-31T19:24:59.158Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that is true. However, the thought I intended to convey when I started writing my comment was that it's possible that many people have ideas that they just don't write or talk about that much because of confidence or just not caring enough or whatever.

In other words, you might be asking "why don't people want to share their ideas?" rather than "why don't people have ideas?".

Comment by dustin on What makes people intellectually active? · 2018-12-30T01:22:17.307Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My first thought do you know people aren't having ideas? Very few of my ideas are something I've thought enough about to write down or talk about in public, and many (most?) people do not have a great desire to write down or discuss their not-fully-fleshed-out ideas for public consumption anyway.

This comment is an idea of sorts, and I just happened to read it whilst at the right confluence of mood, energy, thoughtfulness, etc for me to put in the effort of making it. Another possible contributing explanation for the dearth of idea-having people?

Comment by dustin on Epistemic Spot Check: The Dorito Effect (Mark Schatzker) · 2018-10-04T01:01:29.330Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not that I've noticed.

Comment by dustin on Epistemic Spot Check: The Dorito Effect (Mark Schatzker) · 2018-10-03T22:26:02.924Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW
This doesn’t jive with my personal experience. I definitely crave nutrients and am satisfied by them even without tasting them.

This is interesting to me. I have no similar experience.

Comment by dustin on The simple picture on AI safety · 2018-05-29T01:28:50.662Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The "correct" part is what everyone is concerned about, though.

Comment by dustin on Moral frameworks and the Harris/Klein debate · 2018-05-04T18:21:21.376Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You make Ezra's point so much better than he did. (If that is indeed a good summary of what Ezra was trying to say).

Of course, that's much easier to do while not in the midst of a back-and-forth.

Comment by dustin on Popular religions suggest extrapolated volition is non-existence and wireheading · 2018-02-09T00:45:33.112Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not commenting to agree or disagree really, just saying something your post made me remember thinking about before...

I'm not convinced that the typical religious person has actually thought through the implications of the supposed end result of their religion. Even when confronted with the fact that wireheading or whatever is the end result, other tribal biases come into play.

Comment by dustin on The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence · 2017-12-06T17:47:15.310Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Quick feedback:

Something about the text formatting, paragraph density, and paragraph size uniformity makes this difficult to read.

Comment by dustin on Feedback on LW 2.0 · 2017-10-01T15:57:31.401Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

As has been mentioned a couple times already...I don't know how I'm supposed to use the site.

I go there and then I'm just like "now what?".

  1. It looks like there's different places I can go to read different subsets of all available posts. How do I know I'm not missing any posts?

  2. When I go to, there's a huge section at the top of stuff I've already read and it's always there. I have to scroll below the fold to see new content.

  3. So the first section I see when I scroll down is called "Featured Posts". What makes these posts featured?

  4. Next section is "Recent Frontpage Posts". What's a "Frontpage" post? Am I missing some sort of non-frontpage posts by just reading this section?

  5. Under the "Frontpage" posts heading there's a couple of links that look like they're supposed to filter the posts. Maybe I should be reading the "see all posts" link. Does that mean all "frontpage" posts and leaves out non-frontpage posts? I dunno.

Comment by dustin on LW 2.0 Open Beta Live · 2017-09-21T16:39:01.405Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What, specifically, is the problem you're having that requires patience? It's not using any notably weird/esoteric/advanced technology...

Comment by dustin on LW 2.0 Open Beta Live · 2017-09-21T14:26:17.053Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm a little confused about how to use my current LW account over there.

If I click "forgot my password" I never get an email, even though I have an email address tied to my LW account.

ETA: nothing in my span folder when I search for "lesser"

Comment by dustin on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview · 2017-09-17T17:50:15.106Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Over the years I've gone through periods of time where I can devote the effort/time to thoroughly reading LW and periods of time where I can basically just skim it.

Because of this I'm in a good position to judge the reliability of karma in surfacing content for its readability.

My judgement is that karma strongly correlates with readability.

Comment by dustin on Ten small life improvements · 2017-08-20T23:04:16.415Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm very impressed you're still using this sort of system 5 years later!

Comment by dustin on Ten small life improvements · 2017-08-20T19:34:25.915Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'd be really interested in how someone uses (work|vim)flowy day to day.

I've started to use workflowy several times over the years but then just kind of drift away after a week or so...

Also, Ditto is a great clipboard manager for Windows.

Comment by dustin on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-24T18:54:37.438Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

1) It's not readily apparent to me that it is readily apparent to all potential readers that it is a throwaway generalization.

2) I'm not sure what you mean by "focus on". Are you claiming that someone who notices that some might feel outgrouped or that someone who does feel outgrouped are going to be unable to read, comprehend, and/or appreciate the rest of the post? Are you claiming that the rest of the essay makes it readily apparent that the phrase under discussion is just a throwaway generalization? Are you claiming that everyone should always recognize throwaway generalizations and not react to them? Are you claiming that throwaway generalizations do not ever say anything about the mindset of those who are using them?

Comment by dustin on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-20T13:51:49.512Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Consider that the phrase seems like a pretty effective way to out-group other people.

Comment by dustin on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-19T17:52:10.369Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm skeptical that meetups are representative of rationalists in general.

Comment by dustin on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-19T17:44:31.839Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Rationalists like to live in group houses.

Do they? This seems like a pretty strong claim to make.

Comment by dustin on How often do you check this forum? · 2017-02-05T02:58:32.061Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I read almost every post and not very many comments...because i subscribe to the RSS feeds.

Comment by dustin on Is Evidential Decision Theory presumptuous? · 2017-02-02T13:54:32.327Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

My first thought after skimming your post and thinking about it for 30 seconds is that reality does not have to care about about what you think is presumptuous. (I post because many times I reason myself out of my initial reaction and then later regret having done so. Maybe by putting it down in writing it will help me only do this if necessary.)

If the problem with EDT is that is spanws or destroys multiverses with a single thought, and you want to use this fact as an argument against EDT, than you'll have to make the argument that multiverse spawning/destroying is not logically or physically possible.

Presumptuousness is a state of your mind, not something upon which the workings of reality hinges...or at least it doesn't seem that way.

Comment by dustin on Willpower Thermodynamics · 2016-08-16T15:03:28.261Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't really follow the discussion about willpower depletion but seeing this post reminded me that I saw that earlier this year there was a registered replication effort that seems to indicate that ego depletion doesn't exist or is a very small effect.

The paper and some commentary:

And the pop-science article where I first saw mention of it:

Comment by dustin on [Link] Salon piece analyzing Donald Trump's appeal using rationality · 2016-05-04T22:06:13.907Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure why I got downvoted for this. Unless you define "elite" as those against it, this statement is clearly untrue.

Comment by dustin on [Link] Salon piece analyzing Donald Trump's appeal using rationality · 2016-04-24T15:12:50.809Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

the elite are against it while everyone else is for it

You're living in a filter bubble if you think this.

Comment by dustin on Roughly you · 2016-04-21T17:31:32.788Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I expect most people have some older relative or friend who they feel has added some wisdom to their life

Interesting, I expect this to not be the case...but my confidence in my expectation is weak.

If I offered you partial immortality - immortality for just part of you - how rough an approximation of "you" would you be willing to accept?

I think this question hides a pretty fundamental assumption. That assumption being whether or not we can talk coherently about "a rough approximation of 'you'".

If I'm missing 90% of my memories but with no hit on my IQ, I'd definitely accept that. But I'm not even sure the distinction between memories and IQ makes any sense. Would I accept coming back with 60IQ? Well, I don't think most people with 60 IQ want to die, so yes.

I think the only thing I can say with certainty is that if the state I come back in feels like it has some continuity with the current me and this future state does not want to exist, then I do not want to come back in that state.

I'm not even sure how coherent it is to say that last bit. For example, if you are to ask me what my wishes are if I was to develop Alzheimer's...I'm not positive that I have any claim over the disposition of this future being who shares some sort of continuity of physical existence with the me of now. To make claims about what should or should not be done to me at that point feels a little wrong. On the other hand, I am forced to make guesses at what future states of me would prefer the me of now to do so that I can make decisions about what to do now.

Is it possible to exist in a state where it's impossible to make decisions about whether or not I want to exist in that state while at the same time it making any difference whether or not I exist in that state? A rock, as far as I know, cannot make such decisions, but then I don't think it makes any difference if the rock exists or not. A worm doesn't seem to be able to make any decisions in a manner that has any important weight to me, and I don't think it makes any difference if it does or doesn't exist. A me with an IQ of 60 seems like it can make decisions about whether or not it exists. When it comes to a state of me with no ability to decide whether or not I want to exist...I have no idea whether that me should or should not exist. I also have no idea if that state of me is coherent to call a state of me.

Anyway, I'm just typing out a stream of thoughts without any coherent philosophy backing them. Which isn't to say that I haven't attempted to tackle the question, I'm just not smart enough to come to a satisfying answer.

Comment by dustin on Update to the list of apps that are useful to me · 2016-04-08T19:02:53.145Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I moved on from Pushbullet to Join when Pushbullet changed their revenue model in a manner that didn't really work for I think I like Join better.

Comment by dustin on Tonic Judo · 2016-04-04T01:18:37.310Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So, I think this comment is largely correct and yet I don't think it's in conflict with my comment. The likely explanation of this discrepancy that what I intended to communicate wasn't sufficiently explained as I was making a short off-the-cuff comment that was not intended to denigrate in any way the OP's post.

I now feel bad about the off-the-cuff-ness of my comment because it engendered two large comments.

Comment by dustin on Tonic Judo · 2016-04-02T21:36:05.082Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've had similar sort of conversations (with me on your side) for 25 years. I've received feedback many times that I'm a good listener and I've never gotten any feedback that I come across as an asshole.

There's been very little change in the people with whom I've had these conversations except for them to acknowledge that we'd had the conversation in the past and it hadn't changed their emotional reaction to whatever situation.

So, for example, if my past experience is any guide (and I fully acknowledge the tentativeness of this), your friend will have the exact same reaction next time someone takes his comb but with "yes, I remember our conversation from last time" tacked on to the end.

In general, people don't seem to be very good at reasoning themselves out of non-constructive responses.

Comment by dustin on In Defence of Simple Ideas That Explain Everything But Are Wrong · 2016-03-28T16:33:24.182Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I can't seem to find a link to order one, where is it?

Comment by dustin on A Rationalist Guide to OkCupid · 2016-02-03T23:07:32.441Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not in the market for a date, but your post was interesting enough to get me to subscribe to your RSS feed, so kudos to you!

Comment by dustin on Sports · 2015-12-27T17:38:27.809Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well...yes. I'm not sure what other interpretation of that makes much sense.

Comment by dustin on Sports · 2015-12-27T00:35:07.985Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think the difference between playing and spectating sports gets glossed over in lots of "sports are dumb" conversations.

I do not care at all about watching other people play sports. It's super boring.

Playing sports ball with people you enjoy being around is quite rewarding.

Comment by dustin on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-06T21:35:38.780Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This is probably the single most important obstacle to making a better LW on the technical side.