Posts

Meetup : Christchurch, NZ Meetup - Games & Discussion 2014-05-29T05:33:09.382Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Christchurch, New Zealand Meetup 2014-05-14T21:15:16.524Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Christchurch, NZ Inaugural Meetup 2014-04-12T02:37:53.676Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup 2014-02-24T22:20:24.948Z · score: 1 (2 votes)

Comments

Comment by free_rip on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-05T01:15:02.803Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You could use an intermediate step, like Charity Science's fundraisers (I'm sure there are plenty of other places that allow you to do this if Christmas/Birthday/Event doesn't fit your needs) so you can see how much is being donated. Then when you donate the whole lot to Givewell etc. at the end you can ask for a receipt/show it on your bank statement.

Comment by free_rip on Sidekick Matchmaking · 2015-03-02T04:05:25.874Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I think it would make more sense to just have a project match-making thread - people can say what they're working on, and others who want to help/make it easier for the runner of the project (even in ways not directly related to the project, which seems to be what the side-kicking thing is about) can offer said help.

Comment by free_rip on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-25T08:06:21.177Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty much this.

Focus on what you are doing, and who you are helping, not who you aren't. This is a broader problem than just EA too - you could think of all the possible achievements or research or inventions or friendships you could make in your life, and thus any particular string of them is irrelevant. But if you don't focus on that infinity of great things you could do, you're able to realize this particular life is pretty great too. Think of it in terms of 'if I wasn't here, these particular people would be worse off' (usually quite a long list, even for non-EAs - friends, family, colleagues you help out etc.) and your contribution seems a lot more important :-) After all, you're only one person of that infinity, so if you help more than one person considerably you've actually made a big (relative to you) contribution.

Comment by free_rip on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-16T05:33:43.941Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How many hours is your coding job? If it's 10+ and they'll allow you to reduce them, you could go for that - you'll still get to list having x months of experience there on your CV, will still get that experience and network from it, but will have a bit more time.

Don't cut into the basic time you need for the essentials of life - being stressed or sleep deprived etc. will only make you less productive and exacerbate the problem. You also don't mention any hobbies - do you get regular exercise? I know this means more time spent, but if you don't get much already even 20mins every other day will make you more alert and productive.

There are easier courses and harder courses - try to take easier ones (still meeting requirements) as long as they don't conflict with your interests. You can ask classmates about which are easier/have better lecturers.

Prep for your classes in the holidays - before each year I'll look at the syllabus of the courses I'm taking and look up each of the terms there, spending maybe 30mins on each getting a general idea of what's involved. This means you're not seeing it for the first time in class, which makes it way easier to learn and retain (less overall effort).

Also ask why is the work harder now? I often find work hard for one of a few reasons: either I don't have the background, I'm tuning out of the lectures (because the lecturer is boring, because I already know most of it, or because I feel like I don't know enough to understand it even if I tune in), the work is actually time-consuming but not hard and this registers as 'hard' because I don't want to start it, or I have just a few problems/knowledge gaps and don't have the resources (friends, lecturers, example problems) to turn to to fix them. Each one of these has a different way of fixing it - for example the last one, having friends in that class helps with immensely, because you can each fill in those little gaps for eachother. I find it useful in math particularly.

Finally, there will be people at your college that also hate partying/drinking/etc. I've been lucky, having a solid group of 7 friends pretty much since I started college, all of whom aren't interesting in drinking or partying, have similar majors (a lot in IT) and are happy to just hang out between classes and chat/study with eachother. I'm not entirely sure how you can find these people other then persistence - if you're looking to go flatting, perhaps look at flats that say they are 'quiet', if you're doing group projects try to group up with the harder working members of your class etc. and then follow up with this - ask where they hang out when they're not in class and if you can join them. If you find one or two people with similar outlook to you, you'll tend to find a whole bunch, because their friends will be similar to them.

Comment by free_rip on What supplements do you take, if any? · 2014-10-23T20:48:47.937Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I use a joint iron/B12 supplement every couple days (I'm vegetarian). I started taking it a few years ago because I was very pale and low in energy, and it's helped a fair bit on those counts.

Comment by free_rip on Happiness Logging: One Year In · 2014-10-10T08:02:57.696Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I used to rate my happiness and productivity on 1-10 scales at the end of each day, and this was my experience too. I've since dropped that part of my diary routine, instead focusing on just writing the three best things and three things to improve/do more/do next. I still have an idea if I look back later of trends of happiness and productivity, since I can see some good things are better than others, but I don't have that feeling of disappointment in myself every time I don't make an 8+ for both.

That said, the only way I can analyze this is looking back over it, I can't input it to make informative graphs or the like.

Comment by free_rip on What are you learning? · 2014-09-17T23:22:22.158Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

HabitRPG is completely open-source, and has very little actual staff (I think about 3 currently). Contributing to HabitRPG has more info (scroll down to 'Coders: Web and Mobile') - basically the philosophy is 'if you want something changed, go in and change it'. I thought you might like the app in general, and by adding that feature be able to get everything out of it you do with your own app, while helping lots of other people at the same time.

Fair enough - it does require more testing, and if you've got one going that works for you that's great :-)

Comment by free_rip on What are you learning? · 2014-09-17T00:05:48.136Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, although it hasn't yet implemented losing health if you don't meet it by a deadline - it's on the list of improvements to come, though. @Florian_Dietz, if you were interested in using what HabitRPG already has and implementing that functionality there, I'm sure a lot of people would be very grateful!

Comment by free_rip on What are you learning? · 2014-09-16T08:31:31.320Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds similar to HabitRPG - missing out on daily/weekly habits there lose you 'health' and doing them/doing your to-dos/habits such as a certain amount of work you get experience, which lets you level up.

Comment by free_rip on Open thread, September 8-14, 2014 · 2014-09-10T21:55:29.186Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Never worked for them in particular, but my experience with such online tutoring businesses hasn't been great: generally don't get many hours, are expected to commit fully to being available at certain times every week (which when in uni, with tests etc. at unexpected times, isn't too possible - might be possible for you in your situation) and they take a fair chunk of your earnings. On one occasion I put a lot of time into signing up, getting documents etc. to verify myself, and then never got a single student. On the other hand, signing up for services such as www.firsttutors.com has been great (not sure if this is international, I've been using the NZ site, but think it is). Basically it's a repository of tutors, people come and leave messages for you to see if you'd be a good fit and if you have times you could both make it, and then you each pay a small one-off fee (usually <$20 for the tutor) for the website providing the interface and get eachother's contact details. I've set up both online and in-person tutoring through this, online being about a fifth of all requests. The first year I used it I got about 3 or 4 students through it (each of whom I met for one or two hours a week and lasted on average ~6 months). Nowadays, with a few good reviews on there, I've put up my fees to double what they used to be and still get about 15 requests a year, each of which is good for about 2 hours tutoring a week - I don't take them all, but I could. And the fee the website charges is nothing in comparison to the hours I get out of it, usually it's less than an hour's work to make it back.

Comment by free_rip on Simulate and Defer To More Rational Selves · 2014-09-09T03:07:05.936Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly my experience - it helps with making little decisions throughout the day and staying productive, but when it comes to ones I'm reluctant to make... no matter how many times the little people in my head go 'this one!' the issue isn't cleared.

Comment by free_rip on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-06-02T23:45:31.551Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, pretty much, it's a rallying cry type of thing

Comment by free_rip on Willpower Depletion vs Willpower Distraction · 2014-06-01T22:30:45.884Z · score: 19 (18 votes) · LW · GW

An even more recent study has failed to replicate the glucose effect entirely, too: Lange, F., & Eggert, F. (2014). Sweet delusion. Glucose drinks fail to counteract ego depletion. Appetite, 75, 54-63 <-- This one also has an interesting survey of the methodological flaws in similar studies.

Also, there's some evidence (still preliminary) that ego depletion effects decline with age: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0026351 <-- free access paper if anyone wants to read it. It basically looks at a meta-analysis by Hagger done about 2010? I think, and shows a significantly higher effect for younger people (which, being psyc and reliant on college students most of the time, is most of them) - then conducted their own study and found the same (using groups of <25 vs. 40-65). Since 25 is approximately when the pre-frontal cortex is fully finished maturing, maybe the effect has something to do with that.

Also, in terms of the 'out of willpower' and giving up thing... several studies have shown that with sufficient incentive (money, being told the research will help develop Alzheimer's therapies) the ego depletion effect goes away (but then comes back triple-fold on a third non-motivated task). Also, people tend to conserve willpower when they expect to need it later. So you don't have to give up, it might just be a bit harder - but if a few dollars (literally what it was) can motivate someone out of it then you can probably motivate yourself out of it for anything important. This is where the muscle analogy comes into play, like an athlete resting for a big match then pushing through discomfort during it.

^Ref for the last paragraph: Muraven, M., Slessareva, E. (2003). Mechanisms of Self-Control Failure: Motivation and Limited Resources. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(7), 894-906

All in all, I'm not convinced one of those things is going on, because there's no explanation there as to why they would happen more for a task that requires self-control than one that doesn't. Most ego-depletion studies match up tasks to make them the same domain, often the same length and tediousness. Why would a task requiring more self-control give you more physical discomfort, hunger, thirst or indignation? The anxiety about willpower depletion I can get behind, but that's only for people who know what they're being tested on.

Comment by free_rip on Meetup : Christchurch, New Zealand Meetup · 2014-05-17T09:45:59.703Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cool, be good to have you there :-)

Comment by free_rip on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-14T07:10:48.382Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

One of the ways of building intimacy or closeness, which is a key component of companionate love (the type you seem to be going for here, have a look at the research on passionate vs. companionate love if you're interested) is self-disclosure that is responded to by one's partner with warmth, understanding and supportiveness.

You can spend a lot of time doing things together without having this self-disclosure: to get it, you need to want to disclose/hear more about the other person, and preferably have dates etc. where you spend some time just talking about whatever, in private, about your pasts or your thoughts - things that might lead to self-disclosure.

So first step, set up these situations. Second step, talk about your past and your thoughts and try to be open - be trusting. Relate random conversations to things you hold close to you. Third step, if your partner opens up to you, make sure to respond supportively and engage with it, and not brush it off or turn the conversation to less close topics.

Which is not to say you should do this all the time, fun dates and silliness and dancing in a club way too loud to talk in are good too. But with any luck, adding a bit more of this in will help you feel that connection and intimacy.

Comment by free_rip on May Monthly Bragging Thread · 2014-05-06T02:35:55.984Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I completed my statistics internship, and got strong all-around compliments from the audience on my presentation, and my adviser on my report.

I succeeded in being selected for a consulting job after a long interview/testing process, and taught myself how to do competitor research, to good feedback from my team.

I asked two people to be references (this doesn't sound like a big one, but it was probably the hardest thing on this list for me - I've always felt really uncomfortable about asking for this) and they both said yes, they'd love to.

I integrated HabitRPG into my everyday life, and since doing so (about a week ago) have achieved all the daily habits I'd previously been inconsistently working on for months (including habits about when to turn screens off, when to go to bed and get up, exercise and other health things) at least 5/7 of the time, and have been feeling much more productive in general.

My stats tutee went from failing her course to getting 80% in her most recent test.

Comment by free_rip on Meetup : Christchurch, NZ Inaugural Meetup · 2014-04-27T03:25:02.830Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'll head in soon; will have internet there so if you get lost, feel free to PM me. Anyone is welcome to come, see you all there :-)

Comment by free_rip on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-22T08:02:20.477Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I've been reading about maximizers and satisficers, and I'm interested to see where LessWrong people fall on the scale. I predict it'll be signficantly on the maximizer side of things.

A maximizer is someone who always tries to make the best choice possible, and as a result often takes a long time to make choices and feels regret for the choice they do make ('could I have made a better one?'). However, their choices tend to be judged as better, eg. maximizers tend to get jobs with higher incomes and better working conditions, but to be less happy with them anyway. A satisficer is someone who tries to make a 'good enough' choice - they tend to make choices faster and be happier with them, despite the choices being judged (generally) as worse than those of maximizers.

If you want, take this quiz

And put your score into the poll below: [pollid:682]

Comment by free_rip on Meetup : Christchurch, NZ Inaugural Meetup · 2014-04-22T05:26:47.622Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed, be good to have you there. I don't think many of us will have attended one before, but if this goes well it will hopefully become a regular thing

Comment by free_rip on Meetup : Christchurch, NZ Inaugural Meetup · 2014-04-22T05:25:38.597Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm... perhaps How to be Happy - I can bring along my positive psyc textbook to supplement it and it's something everyone should be able to contribute to whether they've read the article or not. No need to stick too closely to it though, I think for the first meetup fairly free discussion could be more fun, to see what everyone's interests are.

I'd guess it will go about 3 hours, but we'll end when things naturally close, and if anyone needs to go earlier that's fine.

Comment by free_rip on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-19T07:55:49.956Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I used to have the same, to the extent that I wouldn't ask even ask teachers, people paid to help me, for help. I hated the feeling that I was a burden somehow. But I got over it in the space of a couple months by getting into a position where people were asking me for help all the time - and that made me realize it wasn't an unpleasant or annoying experience, I actually liked it, and others were probably the same. In most cases you're doing people a favor by giving them a chance to get warm-fuzzies for what's (usually in the case of rejection therapy) a relatively simple request to fulfill.

Of course, there are still certain requests that might be uncomfortable to reject, and my thoughts on those are that they're usually the ones where you feel like you've left someone out who really needed your help. So to get over this, don't choose things to ask that are going to go bad if you don't get it - for instance asking for a ride when it's pouring out, or telling someone you need some money to call your kids at home so they don't worry (instead of just 'I need to make a call'). As long as what you ask is casual and you don't seem desperate, people should have no problem rejecting it without feeling bad, and to lessen any impact even more you can smile and say 'no problem, thanks anyway' or something similar to show you're alright without it.

Also use your sense, if you ask and they look uncomfortable going 'oh, umm, well...' you should be the one to jump in and say 'hey, it's no problem, you look busy so I'll check with someone else' or something like that, rather than waiting for them to have to say outright 'no'. Some people don't mind just saying no outright, some people do, so be attuned to that and no-one should be uncomfortable. Good luck!

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-04-12T02:40:30.338Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For everyone who's interested, check out the details of the first meetup here: http://lesswrong.com/meetups/z6

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-04-12T02:39:31.529Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The meetup is launched! A little late for schelling day, but we can call it that in spirit. http://lesswrong.com/meetups/z6

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-03-02T01:50:29.071Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nope. Probably Sunday 16th or 23rd

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-02-27T00:17:09.989Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Alright, I'll see what people think of Saturday. I suggested Sunday because the library is open to 9pm on Sunday and only 5pm on Saturday, but if we did early afternoon and everyone could make it there's no reason Saturday couldn't work

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-02-25T22:43:29.004Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It is indeed. I'll give an exact room, directions, and contact cell number for if anyone gets lost when I put up the actual meetup

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-02-25T21:43:39.023Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Great, thanks for commenting and I'll be sure to keep you informed

Comment by free_rip on Interest in a Christchurch (New Zealand) Meetup · 2014-02-25T21:40:26.305Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, good catch, forgot there are probably several. In New Zealand

Comment by free_rip on Useful Personality Tests · 2014-02-11T23:13:27.817Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I find the Love Languages test, http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ , despite sounding a bit odd, to be useful. It rates whether you express and feel affection more strongly from Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service or Gifts.

Mainly useful because while the results made sense, they were not the ones I tend to think of and present as most important (or that I would like to be most important to me) - so they gave me a bit of insight into what emotionally felt best, rather than what I would like to appreciate most. Similarly it's useful to have partners try it, as it may be different from what they ask for or think is important.

Comment by free_rip on How can I spend money to improve my life? · 2014-02-02T20:56:14.265Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Depending on if you have them already, invest in a few tailored pieces clothing that go with a lot and you can wear regularly.

Offer to pay for your friends to come with you to do what you like (for instance if you like ice-skating and you all usually end up at bars, offer to pay for them to come ice-skating with you - they'll be happy to go for free, and you'll get better quality out of your time with them).

Give small amounts to charities you see along the street, if you identify with them (for the warm fuzzies).

Make a habit of buying something nice at a bakery or similar outside work once a week and bringing it in for your colleagues. Chat with them over it.

If you don't have dietary restrictions and are easy about what you eat, get one of those packages where they deliver you recipes and ingredients every week (cut down the time planning, buying and cooking and you can find one that's healthy and balanced - most are by design anyway).

Comment by free_rip on Studying and Part-time work/supplementary income · 2014-01-22T04:38:49.910Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Throughout college, I've used tutoring (tertiary, not kids) as my supplementary income source. If you know your stuff well enough, there are several key benefits: you can usually tutor on campus if your client goes there too (which is super convenient), you get to brush up on all the basics as you go so it's like extra study while you work, it requires little to no prep if you know your stuff, and I personally find it lots of fun. It also tends to have a high pay-rate, and once you get some experience you can set your own (when I started I charged $15ph an hour, now two years down the track I charge $25ph).

If you're just starting college this year you may have to do a semester of tutoring kids first, seeing as you won't have done any courses you can tutor in at tertiary. I've tutored courses I'm in the middle of taking before, but only when I am very confident in the area already. But see if you can sign up with a department, register on online tutoring directories, and put up flyers around campus.

The other opportunities I see around a lot for students (other than min-wage) are mostly tech-related (web development - usually one-offs, programming). If you're good at music you might get a few one-offs playing at parties, but I wouldn't expect any sort of reliable work. You could advertise as a cheap professional photographer for weddings, parties, kids photos etc. if you invested in a good camera and spent some time learning the basics.

Comment by free_rip on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-23T09:30:53.570Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

Took the survey. Prisoner's dilemma was a nice addition - would be interesting next year to have 'would you co-operate in a prisoner's dilemma situation' earlier in the survey before the for-stakes version, and compare how often people co-operate in the for-stakes then as compared to this year (also compare across who has taken a LW census before, since this one might bias that a bit).

Comment by free_rip on How to choose a country/city? · 2013-11-07T23:05:30.852Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Same here, in Christchurch, happy to answer any questions.

Comment by free_rip on Help! Name suggestions needed for Rationality-Inst! · 2012-01-30T05:55:20.351Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

First ones that come to mind with this structure:

Intelligent Winning

Calculated Success

Acting for Success

Intelligent Change

Rational Success

Purposeful Rationality

Purposeful Wisdom

Purposeful Thought

Purposeful Strategy

& whatever institute, foundation, center etc. bits people want to add on.

Comment by free_rip on POSITION: Design and Write Rationality Curriculum · 2012-01-26T04:56:38.021Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If you like chips better, eat chips. The rule here is 'don't waste calories' - not 'eat chocolate rather than chips.'

ie. instead of buying the cheap stuff you don't like as much, buy the expensive stuff because it's costing you more than money - it's costing calories as well, so you should get the most utility out of it you can, and put on the minimum calories for it. If you happen to like the cheap stuff more per calorie, then eat that. I always feel satisfied quicker with high-quality chocolates than chips and I assume that's true for most people, but it won't be for everyone.

Comment by free_rip on POSITION: Design and Write Rationality Curriculum · 2012-01-21T00:00:51.116Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"I am entirely incapable or many of the things mentioned" "I might be very good at coming up with certain types of examples or providing a certain kind of hard to articulate meta intuition. I also know a bunch abaut art and design." They've stated they're looking for people who can do just a one or a couple steps (as well as all-rounders), so sounds like you should go for it.

"I am unable to commit or fully participate due to helth and geographical reasons, and a bunch of other things... what should I do?" If I were you, I'd send in an email saying just that, but with more detail of course - what things you'd like to do, what limits on time you're likely to have etc. My guess is you'd still be a help, and if not you've only lost 5mins in checking.

Comment by free_rip on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-12-20T17:26:26.973Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you! I am still enjoying the site - there's so much good stuff to get through. I've read most of the sequences and top posts now, but I'm still in the (more important, probably) process of compiling a list of all the suggested activities/actions, or any I can think of in terms of my own life and the basic principles, for easy reference to try when I have some down-time.

Comment by free_rip on 2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey · 2011-11-02T02:24:08.577Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Taken. Moral views question gave me a bit of trouble, I didn't agree with any of them. Another option like 'There is morality, but I don't define it in any of the ways above' would be nice.

In general I thought the categories covered things pretty well.

Comment by free_rip on Teachable Rationality Skills · 2011-05-29T08:48:06.159Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

These are learnt best in full drama (not just acting) lessons, with daily, weekly or monthly performances and at least some devising left up to the students, letting them work it out together with decreasing guidance. I've taken these types of drama lessons for four years, and found them very useful for the above. I took formal acting lessons (where the teacher made all the decisions, gave all the feedback) and quit after three months.

A good way of teaching it can be to demonstrate concepts through lecturing and requiring daily performances for a week or two (have everyone perform at the end of the lesson) and then letting everyone get into groups with scripts and design their performance for a month or week from then, with whatever restrictions, advice, resources you decide. Organizing rehearsals is another good and transferable skill.

These might not go too well in short hour or such lessons, though - but getting people to create a short minute or so performance on a topic/style with a few people in their off-time, and present in class, would do as well and leave more time for 'teaching'. People can also laugh and joke and, I've found, do better work in their own rehearsals then in a class format with other groups all around them.

Comment by free_rip on Teachable Rationality Skills · 2011-05-29T08:47:19.263Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

More skills:

Group-work skills: compromise, listening to other's ideas, shifting your own, recognizing when someone's is better than your's and when it isn't, recognizing when it's important to someone that their idea be used and when it isn't.

How to take criticism, and use it. (In four years of drama, I've never done a performance with more than a week prep time where I haven't gotten feedback that's made it better.)

Creativity, quick-thinking, improv.

Comment by free_rip on Mini-camp on Rationality, Awesomeness, and Existential Risk (May 28 through June 4, 2011) · 2011-04-28T09:32:09.327Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Anna commented on basically the same question earlier:

"We'll let people know by a week from today (i.e., by Monday, May 2). If anyone needs to know before then, please message me privately and I'll see if we can fast-track your application."

Comment by free_rip on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-03-29T08:43:11.092Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, David. I was very happy when I read

I work in government and am interested in practical applications of rational thinking in large and complex organisations.

A huge amount of people here have math/computing/science majors and/or jobs. I'm in the same basket as you, though - very interested in the applications of rationality, but with almost no education relevant to it. I'm currently stuck between politics and academia (in psychology, politics, economics maybe?) as a career choice, but either way...

And we need that - people from outside the field, who extend the ideas into other areas of society, whether we understand it all as in-depth or not.

So best of luck to you! And as Alexandros says, don't hesitate to put a post in the discussion forum with any progress, problems or anything of interest you come across in your quest. I'll be keeping an eye out for it.

Comment by free_rip on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-24T04:24:59.866Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Models? The only one I saw was basic 'ask for things you think will be rejected' - with a few extra bits like the 30-day-challenge and rejection cards. What different models did you find? And which do you think would work best?

Comment by free_rip on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-24T04:19:27.636Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Haha, thanks Isaac.

I meant scary to try, although it would be terrible if everyone did it - what request could you trust they meant? I read a few of the blogs, and a common thread was when people unexpectedly said 'yes', the... what to call them?... wannabe rejectee would feel guilty for requiring them to go out of their way for something they didn't really want. On the other hand, if you only ask for things you really want, it limits your options and usually has higher stakes.

Before my tangent gets too far lost, I'm bringing this up because I get way more guilty about things like that than the average, from what I've seen. It was a bigger problem when I was younger; I'd refrain from things that had a chance of being slightly inconvenient for someone - even if it was extremely inconvenient for me. I'm better about it now, have trained myself to feel less guilty (by literally catching myself when I am and considering it, then forcing it down), but it still shows through in many ways.

So I might benefit a lot from the program, but as I say it sounds like it could create scary situations - I deal well with more formal improv (theater sports, debating, chatting with close friends etc) but not with social situations I'm unfamiliar with, or with strangers/acquaintances. It also sounds a little new-age to me. I can see how it could work, but I can also see that it could compound fears through the uncomfortable situations, and that it could negatively effect relationships - seeing as for it to work best, they can't know why you're really asking.

Maybe it works for some and not others. I don't know - I haven't seen any research on it, just a few blogs (which are more likely to be written by those it worked for, I'd think). I'll be interested to see how it works in the camp. It'll be different there, though, with everyone knowing people are trying to get rejected. On that note, @Jasen: how are you going to work through that? Even if you make it 'get rejected x amount of times during the whole camp', people will be on the lookout for wannabe rejectees. It would be less 'real-world'. And I'd think telling them 'go ask that person for x' would ruin the point of the exercise (as a buildup of willpower, confidence and social skill in self-motivated real-life situations).

In the end, despite all the above, I'd be interested in trying it out in a controlled situation like the camp - sure, I'd prefer it with nice research and such backing it, but I'd definitely be up for it anyway. And what other way are we gonna get those stats?

I know - that was a long explanation. I think I'm yes-no answer averse. ;-)

Comment by free_rip on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-23T08:32:33.035Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This would be great next year, when I take my gap year between high-school and uni. Although I must say, just seeing the results will be amazing in itself - I can't wait until you release the details of the games and such you used, and how well they worked. (I'm taking from your previous replies to comments that you intend on this, for now at least.)

Are there age limits? I saw on the application it asks about degrees, employment etc... which, as a 16-year-old, I don't have yet. But I think I could really benefit from this if it's still running in 2012.

I'm not going to say this is a brilliant idea, because I'm sure it's not original at all - but actually doing something about it, bringing this to life - that's brilliant. I'm sure it takes a hell of a lot of planning, effort and money: so thank you.

I'm really hoping this is the start of something that will grow, because the sense of pure awesome that filled me when I read it is something I don't want to have to fall down.

Oh, side note, I had to go and look up 'rejection therapy' - it sounded iffy. After researching, it sounds scary and iffy. Has anyone here tried it before?

Comment by free_rip on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-09T10:07:58.192Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Mine has an assessment in it in early high school, but it's not a main part of the course and you only learn it if you take applications. (As opposed to Multimedia, Programming or Hardware.)

Anyway, I got from about 15WPM to 25WPM at school. Then I got my own computer at home, and in two weeks I was up to 60WPM just from using it so much.

I'm now at around 75-80WPM

Comment by free_rip on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 7 · 2011-01-31T08:13:57.724Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Both colons and semi-colons are known to break the flow of writing. Dashes generally flow better than semi-colons. This is something I've found after writing many pieces (often with lots of semi-colons, which my natural style has a lot of) on a peer review writing-site and having reviewers tell me - 'x sentence doesn't flow well' for basically every sentence with a semi-colon.

They work better in non-fic writing, where the flow can be more formal.

Comment by free_rip on META: Which posts are appropriate for the articles section vs. the discussion section? · 2011-01-29T03:14:04.301Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know about the rest of it, but with the summary of David Chalmers article, while it's not original, it's original (or perhaps 'new' would be better) to LW. As in, if it's discussing ideas that could promote new thinking in LW, I think it qualifies for the articles section.

You wouldn't want the whole main page clogged with summaries, especially those where the article itself could simply be linked, but a few seems okay.

Just my personal thoughts, not based on any guidelines other than the ones listed here.

Comment by free_rip on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-01-28T07:24:00.507Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, okay, I think I understand it a bit better now. Thank you!

I think I will order Godel, Escher, Bach. I've seen it mentioned a few times around this site, but my library got rid of the last copy a month or so before I heard of it - without replacing it. Apparently it was just too old.

Comment by free_rip on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-01-28T07:20:38.036Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! That looks like a great list, just what I need.