Posts

Advice on reducing other risks during Coronavirus? 2020-03-24T23:30:37.172Z · score: 12 (6 votes)
International Conflict X-Risk in the Era of COVID-19 2020-03-18T11:42:42.538Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs 2020-03-07T22:49:47.616Z · score: 12 (7 votes)
A Cautionary Note on Unlocking the Emotional Brain 2020-02-08T17:21:03.112Z · score: 54 (26 votes)
Milk as a Metaphor for Existential Risk 2020-01-13T21:07:57.231Z · score: 2 (2 votes)

Comments

Comment by evan-huus on Are HEPA filters likely to pull COVID-19 out of the air? · 2020-03-25T01:23:16.361Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Seems highly unlikely to me, for at least two reasons:

  • The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are roughly 50-200 nanometers in size, right around the size where HEPA filters are least effective (both facts from Wikipedia).
  • Given the 2-meter-distance advice, I'd assume most airborn contagion comes from fairly direct breathing/coughing/aerosolization. It's possible that a strong ventilation system could help here, but it would have to circulate a lot of air very quickly.

Edit to add: HEPA filters are already widely used in hospital ventilation systems, so I imagine any low-hanging fruit here has already been plucked.

Comment by evan-huus on Advice on reducing other risks during Coronavirus? · 2020-03-25T01:07:34.032Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

https://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/prep/#3.4 was probably in the back of my mind when I asked this question, but I just dug it up again. Lots of great tips in there.

Comment by evan-huus on Coronavirus Justified Practical Advice Summary · 2020-03-16T02:30:03.067Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
You’ve tested your vitamin D recently and levels were normal or high (as a fat soluble vitamin, it is possible to overdose on)

As somebody who hasn't tested my vitamin D level and doesn't know how (I assume this isn't something you can easily do with standard household materials?) and is worried about the possibility of overdose if I suddenly start supplementing - how should I calibrate on my "likely current vitamin D level" and what level of supplementation is safe?

Comment by evan-huus on Possible worst outcomes of the coronavirus epidemic · 2020-03-14T17:55:05.154Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Generally agree, but I would think that some kind of "new waves" scenario has a much higher than 1% probability given that it's how influenza and many other seasonal viruses continue to circulate. That said, in many "new waves" scenarios we are able to create seasonal vaccines or otherwise mitigate the effects. This may result in a permanent drag on economic growth without reducing growth below 0 (collapse).

Comment by evan-huus on Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs · 2020-03-08T23:23:01.701Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xdwbX9pFEr7Pomaxv/meta-honesty-firming-up-honesty-around-its-edge-cases (also by Eliezer) is closer to what I was actually trying to express.

Comment by evan-huus on Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs · 2020-03-08T19:32:48.891Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That seems both correct and desirable to me in certain scenarios? If somebody can help me win more effectively by deceiving me, I would prefer they do that. Especially when the consequences of “not winning” are severe, as in the case of a potentially deadly pandemic.

Comment by evan-huus on Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs · 2020-03-08T12:00:29.118Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I also support the general norm to default to truth. But I do believe there are cases where the negative consequences of truth become so severe and immediate that it is reasonable to not do so in favour of winning. The bar for that should be very high, but not unreachable.

Comment by evan-huus on Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs · 2020-03-08T11:57:05.366Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To me that post is specifically about self-deception, not about deception of others. I fully agree that once you know a thing, it’s not worth trying to deceive yourself in order for increased winning. But it can still be worth trying to deceive others.

Comment by evan-huus on Credibility of the CDC on SARS-CoV-2 · 2020-03-07T22:31:16.416Z · score: 27 (17 votes) · LW · GW
But right now, there is no source we could give an uninformed person and say “all you need to do is listen to them”.

A lot of your arguments are of the form "they're saying something untrue in an effort to get people to do the right thing". So isn't pointing an uninformed person at the CDC the correct thing to do, since we assume that on reading it they'll end up doing the right thing?

Separate from the infohazardness of this post (discussed in other comments and fairly specific to the audience), it seems weird to prefer truth over consequences in what we tell arbitrary uninformed people who have no interest in rationality and just want to know what the best thing to do is?

Comment by evan-huus on Has a technological dependency graph been made? · 2020-02-28T01:45:46.772Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Tongue half in cheek - play a game like Civilization? https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/civilization/images/e/eb/Tech_Tree_%28Civ6%29.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20170301234054

Comment by evan-huus on Suspiciously balanced evidence · 2020-02-12T23:04:54.229Z · score: 16 (9 votes) · LW · GW

But isn't it strange that there are so many questions for which the evidence we have is so very balanced?

But there aren’t. We just focus on the very tiny subset of questions for which that is the case, because those are the ones that are interesting.

Comment by evan-huus on A Cautionary Note on Unlocking the Emotional Brain · 2020-02-09T13:34:25.200Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW
So my suggestion would be to try to get to know the 'false' belief better and to acknowledge why it is there, the good it did, the good intention behind it - and with associated beliefs

Yes, I suspect you are right. This is something I had never done with my problems before I read UtEB, and I have found it one of the more useful insights (it would have been worth me reading the book just for this even without the rest of the model), but it is definitely not a habit yet. It's entirely possible that I hadn't properly completed this step before I tried to acknowledge the juxtoposition.

Comment by evan-huus on A Cautionary Note on Unlocking the Emotional Brain · 2020-02-09T13:30:06.413Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, too personal to share on the public internet, sorry. To kind of translate it into the case of Richard as described in the book - imagine if Richard also happened to have some minor doubts around his ability to read body language. They don't come up in discussion with his therapist since they're far more minor and apparently unrelated. Then, Richard notices his colleague speaking up confidently and being apparently received well. Instead of deciding that his original belief (being confident is bad) was false, Richard's brain resolves the conflict by deciding that the colleague was in fact also hated by everyone, and he just *really* can't read body language. So now Richard has his existing problem (being confident is bad) and also deeply believes he is incapable of reading any body language.

[I should be clear, the situation became rather more dire in translation; my case wasn't that life-impacting, and after noticing this I was able to reverse the process with additional work.]

Comment by evan-huus on A Cautionary Note on Unlocking the Emotional Brain · 2020-02-09T13:10:07.023Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would put that down partly to my personality (I do tend to view things as fairly black-and-white, and struggle sometimes with nuance), and partly to the framing of the book. The book frames the entire approach as a more decisive therapy vs the very gradual approaches used in a lot of traditional therapy which don't cure the underlying root cause.

Comment by evan-huus on Healing vs. exercise analogies for emotional work · 2020-01-28T15:44:43.185Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

On the topic of persistent ongoing work vs occasional epiphanies, I highly recommend "The Holy Sh!t Moment" by James Fell. It's a bit poppy for my taste, but it dives deeper into that aspect of things and ties really well into the model presented in Unlocking the Emotional Brain.