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Comment by huluk on Chris Pikula Belongs in the Magic Hall of Fame · 2018-08-23T06:32:49.260Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with the point that we should reward people who change things to the better *in general*. However, I find it weird to transfer this sentiment to a game: There's nothing inherently bad about making espionage, sleight of hands and rules lawyering part of the competition. Different people will enjoy it, other people will end up on top, that's all. I get that you prefer the current situation, but from an outside perspective, this seems like a neutral change to me.

Comment by huluk on Rationalist Lent is over · 2018-04-04T09:18:20.754Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I committed to give up all obvious sugar except birthday cakes, which ended up being more like "give up obvious sugar except offered" – there were 3 non-birthday occasions where I caved in. I'm still happy with the result: Before this lent, I often found myself in the situation that I saw some sweets, knew that I actually don't like them that much, but ate them anyway. At least during the days since end of lent (2 days earlier for me because I went to Italy and the traditional and only breakfast available seems to be cookies and jam), I was able to resist precisely these situations, and I hope it won't take too much effort to keep it that way.

I learned from this experience that commitments are very effective for me personally (as opposed to "generally a good thing") and I want to do this more regularly than just once a year.

Comment by huluk on Inconvenience Is Qualitatively Bad · 2018-02-27T11:18:14.661Z · score: 23 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I found your point about your commute most interesting, in part because it is very different for me. I need movement in order to get active for the day, and if the commute provides this movement, it removes a possible failure mode – on days I do home office, I have to actively force myself to go outside for a run, and if I fail to do so and start working right away, I'll predictably less productive.

EDIT: The commute is also one of the parts of the day which provides time for reflection on my everyday activities, and I find movement intellectually stimulating.

Comment by huluk on Rationalist Lent · 2018-02-14T10:39:44.943Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I like the term "obvious sugar", and hereby commit to the same.

EDIT: On second thought, I'd like to allow for one slice of birthday cake per birthday, for social reasons.

Comment by huluk on How often do you check this forum? · 2017-01-30T19:59:50.064Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Used the poll. Mostly check discussion in my feed reader (both smart phone and desktop), read easily digestible stuff right away, put off the harder stuff for later (and read about 1/3 of the things I intend for later consumption). Do vote, rarely comment.

Comment by huluk on Mismatched Vocabularies · 2016-11-21T19:08:23.993Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How about #4, interrupt the conversation and ask for your definition ("If you use weird words you can at least save me the work of looking it up").

Comment by huluk on Open thread, Jul. 18 - Jul. 24, 2016 · 2016-07-18T23:48:13.988Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your comment here gives me the impression that you are asking an awfully general question, but actually want the answer to a very concrete question: "Should I study X at a top uni abroad, any uni at home, or not at all, given that I'm good enough to choose myself but will have to make debts to study". This would be a much easier question for us to answer, especially if you tell us what X is, whether you'd want to continue with a postgrad, and maybe what you goals are for the time after your studies. It's perfectly ok not to know all of these yet, but some info would help.

Comment by huluk on Open thread, Jul. 18 - Jul. 24, 2016 · 2016-07-18T17:25:07.938Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The question was also if the effort is wasted. I agree that the prospects are better at a top school, but that's not the same as "don't bother".

Comment by huluk on Open thread, Jul. 18 - Jul. 24, 2016 · 2016-07-18T16:20:41.350Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This may be true if you want to go into research or in primarily reputation-based fields like politics and law. In engineering or technology, you'll be totally fine and get a reasonable job with a degree from other universities. Maybe in the US it's not worth the fees, but that's a different matter and does not apply in many countries.

Comment by huluk on Open thread, Jul. 18 - Jul. 24, 2016 · 2016-07-18T16:05:34.620Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm currently applying for jobs while finishing up my Master's degree, so I'm not technically in the group you are asking, but can hopefully still say something useful.

Background: I've been studying Computer Science with a natural language focus, both at a relatively unknown university in Eastern Germany and at University of Edinburgh. The latter is definitely top n in the field, although it does not have the same nimbus and does not offer as much of regular 1-on-1 teaching time with profs like Oxford and Cambridge do (you can get it if you ask, but it is not a default teaching mode). I can't compare to the US because I haven't been there yet.

Content comparison: I find that the courses at both universities is similar both according to content and quality. The focus is different of course, and workload is much higher in Edinburgh, probably because the degree program is only 1 year instead of 1.5 or 2 for roughly the same content. In both places I could get meetings with professors if I wanted to, although in Edinburgh there is additionally a lot of staff who checks up on us and reminds us about organisational things. Among students, there is a bigger share of really bright and enthusiastic people, and that is quite noticeable. The biggest difference here is that there is direct contact with the people who made major inventions and contributions to the field and are on top of things I actually care about. This is most important in a very narrow range of topics I want to go further. For the basics, it doesn't really matter who explains them. I currently also get very good dissertation supervision, but I cannot compare that to my old university because I wrote my dissertation there during an internship and largely with supervision from the company's research department.

Job applications: I feel like being in Edinburgh gives a significant boost to job applications. In Germany, profs were willing to write recommendations on request, but did not offer interesting company contacts on their own. There were partnerships between university and bigger companies, but this felt very cheesy and ineffective. Around here, I do get very cool company introductions and interviewers sometimes happen to have worked or studied here as well, which gives a good basis for conversation and might give a bonus, even if they try to avoid it consciously.

Conclusion: UK tuition fees at top-n universities (around £7k-25k/year) are low compared to US fees, so they are easier to justify and I think mine are worth it with regards to my future job. I would not say the same for knowledge gain per money, since German living costs are much lower and it does not have tuition fees. I could have done a two-year master in Germany for less money and could have had more relaxed studies with the same gain. I however wanted to have shorter, intensive studies, so the UK suited my preferences. Be aware however that Brexit causes trouble for British research, so this evaluation might totally change in 1 or 2 years.

Comment by huluk on Secret Rationality Base in Europe · 2016-06-19T04:17:38.074Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Distance does not matter, travel time does. As does pricing because prices for train and plane are basically unrelated and because I'm currently a student and don't have much money. My decision mostly depends on the events around my travel – sometimes I have to fly to make it in time. This means I find it difficult to give a simple function, so let me give some examples:

• I currently live in Edinburgh and I fly to visit people in Germany or the Netherlands over the weekend. On the other hand, I will move back to the continent in September and will visit the LW community weekend "on the way". This will involve a travel time of around 25h over a period of 45h (13.5h train, 6h ferry, 4h cycling, 1h waiting, ~0.5h local transport). If I took a plane, it would cost around the same and I'd spent 10h (1.5h flight, 2h security/waiting, 1.5h local transport, 5h packing and unpacking bike + getting the packaging in the first place). EDIT: Without the bike, the times would be 19h (train through the tunnel) vs 5h and I'd fly.

• There is a reasonable probability that I'll be living in Switzerland soon, in which case I'm planning to do family visits by ~9h train instead of ~5h flight+transport. That is because I'm expecting it to be possible to do "home office" in the train.

• I really like night trains. I count night travel as 2-3h time investment due to reduced sleep quality.

• I prefer flying + airport shuttle over driving a car for the same total time if I'm the only driver. If this is a road trip with like-minded people and we share driving responsibilities, up to like 24h of driving seem okay during holidays. I'd probably prefer the plane once I have a job.

Comment by huluk on Secret Rationality Base in Europe · 2016-06-17T16:33:38.403Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that "not be too far from any other country" would lead to a more open community with more fluent membership status. People who feel vaguely connected to a community will go to events which are closeby, but are less likely to attend if they have to fly (and consequently have to plan much longer in advance). At least I'm willing to travel much longer in a train – where I can do work – if I can avoid flying that way, which seems to consist solely of controlls and queueing.

Comment by huluk on Suppose HBD is True · 2016-04-21T16:16:30.414Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

We can't measure them on an individual level; especially not on immigration where people can pretend to care more for laws. In contrast, people cannot really pretend to be of higher IQ. We can however get estimates for groups of people or people who do not have to fear negative consequences for "wrong" answers.

Personally I'd assume that these differences are more cultural than genetic, so I don't think the argument for separation holds. But I can look up original HBD posts regarding this topic later.

Edit: First I found, HBD chick has a ton of these, I think. https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/family-types-and-the-selection-for-nepotistic-altruism/

Comment by huluk on Suppose HBD is True · 2016-04-21T14:38:17.643Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think most of the allure of HBD comes from factors which are harder to measure than intelligence, like altruism or stronger bounds to kin and smaller bounds to state / nation / whatever. In general the point that some people are "better suited" for life in clan structure and some for life in other structures. I don't think you adressed any of this.

[Disclaimer: I'm not a proponent of HBD, so I don't guarantee to sum up the position correctly.]

Comment by huluk on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-03-26T01:06:44.093Z · score: 44 (44 votes) · LW · GW

I have taken the survey.

Comment by huluk on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-03-26T00:55:37.096Z · score: 26 (26 votes) · LW · GW

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment by huluk on Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016 · 2016-01-28T20:59:38.524Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I have thought about this, too. I am currently not publishing my coursework (mostly programming / lab reports) because the tasks may be used again in the following year. I do not want to force instructors to make new exercises for each course and I don't think I'd get much use out of publishing them. The argument wouldn't apply to essays, of course.

Comment by huluk on [Link]Rationalization is Superior to Rationality · 2015-12-18T23:09:23.612Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There is a difference between "crunching probability flows, in order to output evidence apparently favoring that conclusion" and testing a hypothesis. Testing a hypothesis is an open-ended process. The tester may do it in order to find evidence in support of it, but that is not necessarily what they'll get.

Comment by huluk on The meaning of words · 2015-11-27T08:39:20.864Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This article could profit from an introductory paragraph to explain what you are talking about. In particular, I'd find it helpful if you introduced the terms "denotational content" in contrast to "connotation".

Comment by huluk on Best of Rationality Quotes, 2014 Edition · 2015-03-03T05:52:06.585Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

First, you have to find the path where fortune files are stored. In the man file of fortune, there is a chapter "FILES" in which you can find the default path for fortune files. Your path may be different, maybe you have to search for it. Put the files "rationality" and "rationality.dat" into this path and test using the command fortune rationality. If it doesn't work, you can try to generate your own .dat file using the command strfile rationality.

I'd be interested to know whether this worked for you and what steps where necessary, since I didn't try this with different fortune installations.

Comment by huluk on Best of Rationality Quotes, 2014 Edition · 2015-02-28T08:51:23.665Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I also updated my fortune file, so that you can get random rationality quotes to your unix terminal. You can find it here.

Comment by huluk on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-26T20:20:08.391Z · score: 33 (33 votes) · LW · GW

Did the survey. Accidently pressed submit before calculating digit ratio :( Answered everything else though.

Comment by huluk on October 2014 Media Thread · 2014-10-01T23:05:50.751Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes. Tamim Ansary is not trying to give an objective report of historic events; instead he tells stories about people and events that shaped Muslim thought. This includes episodes about Mohammed and the Quran, the reception of Greek philosophy, various rulers, and interactions with neighbouring groups and empires. The book is an easy read and gives a compact overview of the Islamic world. I recommend it for those who don't know much about Islam and want to get an introduction into the narrative of this religion.

Comment by huluk on Group Rationality Diary, March 16-31 · 2014-03-17T16:03:00.731Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There are also multiple volumes of Asterix available in Attic Greek: Link

Comment by huluk on Group Rationality Diary, March 16-31 · 2014-03-17T09:53:21.135Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

When I read a foreign language, I prefer to read aloud. This helps me to understand some phrases I don't get from reading alone. This may work better for languages closely related to the native one, but it also helps getting the pronunciation right. (For languages I'm more fluent in, I read in different accents. This keeps me from getting bored)

For languages I don't know well, reading comics helps me most, because I can pick up many words from context and I don't have to look up words. Switching to comic books was perhaps the best change of learning habits I have done so far. It finally makes reading practice fun.

Generally, I first try to get the pronunciation right before trying to read texts. I listen to pronunciation samples and to radio until I can at least pronounce texts without compound words. Just from passive listening to radio you can pick up the general rhythm. Also, it works well with akrasia.

Comment by huluk on What attracts people to learning things that they consider neither interesting nor important? · 2014-03-14T21:15:58.023Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Which would make the activity an instrument for pleasing the person in power, i.e. important for getting a reward / not getting punishment.

Comment by huluk on Best of Rationality Quotes, 2013 Edition · 2014-02-07T22:16:41.563Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If you want your terminal to greet you with rationality quotes, I created a new fortunes file: https://github.com/Huluk/rationality-fortunes Use with "unix fortune" for your operating system.

Comment by huluk on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-22T18:39:39.551Z · score: 28 (28 votes) · LW · GW

Survey taken, can't wait to see the results :-)

Comment by huluk on Best of Rationality Quotes, 2012 Edition · 2013-08-20T16:16:21.304Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I reformatted "Best of Rationality Quotes 2009-2012" and put them into a fortunes file, which is available here.