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 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.

Comment by dustin on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-06T21:33:39.729Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW


I find the comments at SSC to be useless. I mean, there may or may not be good content in there, but it's nearly impossible to read/participate in those comments so I just don't use them or read them or look at them.

Maybe like 1 out of 10 posts, I'll find myself heading towards the comments and giving up after 5 minutes.

Comment by dustin on A Map of Currently Available Life Extension Methods · 2015-10-17T15:12:13.854Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

After reading turchin's post on my phone last night, I was going to make this same point when I got to my PC this morning.

While turchin calls this "incredibly interesting", it seems pretty uninteresting to me. The very least of reasons being that the average life duration difference between twins being six years can easily mean vast swaths of twins die at the same age difference Rita Montalchni did.

Comment by dustin on Should there be more people on the leaderboard? · 2015-09-03T20:25:05.545Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose it's because of my habitual blocking out of sidebars, coupled with the fact that it's all the way at the bottom of the sidebar.

Comment by dustin on Should there be more people on the leaderboard? · 2015-09-02T14:50:57.077Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Embarrassingly, I never realized the leaderboard existed and I've read LW from day one.

Comment by dustin on Why people want to die · 2015-08-28T22:02:52.821Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is a good point, but I did a poor job conveying the actual question asked by Gallup, which was:

If you had to do it over again, how many children would you have, or would you not have any at all?

Which, at least, is a little better than what I implied.

Comment by dustin on Why people want to die · 2015-08-25T14:55:14.607Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

According to Gallup, 53% of people 18-40 (I'm 37) have children, and another 40% who don't want to.

Also according to Gallup and contrary to the implications in the original post, only 7% of all those aged 45+ with children would go back and not have children.

Comment by dustin on Why people want to die · 2015-08-24T21:13:12.662Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Not a comment on the argument in the post which seems like it could be roughly correct, but just to throw this out there:

I guess I'm even weirder than the typical LW'er.

Not only am I interested in a wide variety of subjects, I'm also married with a kid. The optimal raising of my child is just one of a wide variety of subjects I'm interested in on a deep level.

I also want to live forever.

Comment by dustin on Autism, or early isolation? · 2015-06-18T01:46:21.881Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Note that JonahSinick is referring to intellectually gifted individuals who refer to themselves as having autism or Aspergers. Most nerdy people I know who refer to themselves so have never had any sort of formal diagnosis.

My guess is that, if the hypothesis of the post is true, many intellectually gifted people may tend to refer to themselves as autistic when they are not.

In other words, the fact that real autism involves other symptoms does not necessarily disprove the hypothesis of this post.

Comment by dustin on The Joy of Bias · 2015-06-09T19:16:34.167Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I usually have a negative reaction at first.

Then, at some later time, I find myself looking back at those times with a sense of pride.

Comment by dustin on Lesswrong, Effective Altruism Forum and Slate Star Codex: Harm Reduction · 2015-06-08T20:15:27.848Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

A lot of us are on Tumblr now; I've made a few blog posts at the much more open group blog Carcinisation, there's a presence on Twitter, and a lot of us just have made social friendships with enough other rationalists that the urge to post for strangers has a pressure release valve in the form of discussing whatever ideas with the contents of one's living room or one's Facebook friends.

I don't like this.

I do not have the time to engage in the social interactions required to even be aware of where all this posting elsewhere is going on, but I want to read it. I've been regularly reading OB/LW since before LW existed and this diaspora makes me feel left behind.

Comment by dustin on Communicating via writing vs. in person · 2015-05-25T15:50:18.803Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A president or prime minister will be the public face of the nation. He'd be expected to meet with foreign dignitaries and speak in public. At the very least, a debate gives people an idea of how their leaders carry themselves when under stress in full public view.

Yeah, that's the argument I was talking about when I said "there is an argument to be made...".

In fact, this is a silly hypothetical because we could have both verbal and written debates.

Making prepared statements is usually done by a politician's staff. The candidate might make some suggestions and approve/reject a draft, but otherwise such a debate would be staffers vs. staffers.

As it should be. Generally speaking, in the type of races I have in mind, politicians don't sit around hammering out policy ideas and details, they get all of that from their staff and other advisers. I feel like it's more important to know how good their team is, and less important to know how good they are at public debate.

My feeling is that like 70% of the value the public gets out of politicians is the quality of their team and how well the politician integrates with that team.

Comment by dustin on Communicating via writing vs. in person · 2015-05-24T16:15:29.498Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that's exactly what I meant and what I would expect.

Comment by dustin on Communicating via writing vs. in person · 2015-05-24T01:56:02.109Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My root comment on this subject was made in the context of the OP comparing verbal vs written conversation. To be clear, I don't disagree with your main point and in fact, I've made the same argument.

I do lean towards disagreement on the idea that it "wouldn't change much" (of course, defining that phrase is problematic), as it seems to me that a large part of "winners" and "losers" in debates is "mere" presentation and likability in that format and that these presentation and likability skills mean little towards the effectiveness of fulfilling their purported jobs. Reference the classic example of the Nixon/Kennedy televised debate (a quickly-googled link for a refresher).

In a written format presentation and likability are also important but candidates can have all the help they need with as much time as they need in a written format.

In all, though, I don't think we disagree much on this. I, too, would like more rigorous debate moderation and if I had to choose between written debates with current standards of debate moderation and verbal debates with rigorous moderation, I'd choose verbal debates with rigorous moderation.

Comment by dustin on Communicating via writing vs. in person · 2015-05-23T17:25:49.220Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

On a related thought, I've idly mused on multiple occasions that live in-person political debates seem overweighted in importance.

I mean, there is an argument to be made along the lines of these types of debates showing candidates ability to think on their feet.

However, if I had to choose between live, in-person debates and a written format where candidates had plenty of time to formulate their thoughts and gather supporting evidence, I'd take the written format every time.

Comment by dustin on Leaving LessWrong for a more rational life · 2015-05-21T22:38:23.858Z · score: 15 (17 votes) · LW · GW

it is also curious to me that many here point me to articles written by Eliezer Yudkowsky to support their arguments

It's been my experience that this is usually done to point to a longer and better-argued version of what the person wants to say rather than to say "here is proof of what I want to say".

I mean, if I agree with the argument made by EY about some subject, and EY has done a lot of work in making the argument, then I'm not going to just reword the argument, I'm just going to post a link.

The appropriate response is to engage the argument made in the EY argument as if it is the argument the person is making themselves.

Comment by dustin on Is Scott Alexander bad at math? · 2015-05-04T21:37:14.918Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I almost immediately start glazing over when I see some math in a text and it takes real effort to make myself pull it apart.

I find that I almost always understand an algorithm when implemented in a programming language with much less effort than if I'm reading it in some mathematical notation.

Comment by dustin on Efficient Food · 2015-04-07T02:25:04.894Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This makes me think of Little Caesars pizza. They have a variety of pizza-place-type of stuff on their menus (hot wings, breadsticks, etc), but I wouldn't be surprised to find if 90% or more of their business was their $5.00 14-inch pepperoni pizza.

Around here (midwest USA), during prime pizza-buying hours, they set up a card table outside stacked with dozens of pizzas and people just drive by with a $5 bill out and grab a pizza.