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Comment by j_taylor on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-11T04:39:40.760Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

This post is shameless bragging:

I donated two days of pay to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. As always, this is incredibly easy to do. If you would like to do so, here is a link:

https://givewell.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com/donate-to-sci

Comment by j_taylor on One Sided Policy Debate - The Science of Literature · 2013-12-30T17:05:11.096Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

things that people don't want to read

vampire romance novels

People do want to read vampire romance novels.

Comment by j_taylor on Games for Rationalists · 2013-09-12T22:44:36.581Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

From the constant rumors of nonexistent Pokemon, I learned how to distrust the epistemological practices of my peers.

Comment by j_taylor on Mistakes repository · 2013-09-11T16:08:30.247Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Every time you go the doctor, you put yourself at risk of iatrogenic complications. Following the rule:

Every time you have a medical problem (this is a vague term), see a medical professional.

Is not very pragmatic.

Comment by j_taylor on Mistakes repository · 2013-09-11T01:39:30.382Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you do not mind, could you tell us what your initial symptoms were and what condition was causing them?

Comment by j_taylor on Should We Tell People That Giving Makes Them Happier? · 2013-09-07T02:01:33.685Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I sometimes have feelings of separation from my fellow man. Philanthropic activity tends to alleviate this. Likewise, it tends to buffer my emotions from feelings of personal inadequacy. Of course, these correlations are not sufficient to establish causation.

Also, I do get warm, fuzzy feelings. However, I do not hold these positive feelings to be as important as the suppression of negative feelings.

Comment by j_taylor on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98 · 2013-08-29T04:09:22.782Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Remind me to buy you a copy of the Muggle novel Atlas Shrugged," the sourceless voice said. "I'm starting to understand what sort of person can benefit from reading it."

Although the Weasley twins are extremely willing to repay perceived debts, it would seem to me that this inclination is more likely, given their usual inclination towards public action, to be of positive utility in the long-run.

Comment by j_taylor on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 27, chapter 98 · 2013-08-29T03:59:32.470Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems pretty clear from chapter 61 that MOR!ArthurWeasley knows precious little about the muggle world.

When it comes to wizards who lack recent Muggle ancestry, Arthur may well be the most knowledgeable expert regarding these matters. Considering the racism of even well-meaning wizards, this likely gives Arthur a certain degree of clout in certain circles.

Comment by j_taylor on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-23T22:38:33.560Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I donated to the Against Malaria Foundation, which is GiveWell's top charity.

Here is a link for those who wish to do likewise:

http://www.againstmalaria.com/

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, August 12-18, 2013 · 2013-08-15T05:27:19.469Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

After more work than I would honestly prefer to put into such an effort, I eventually found this post:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/goe/open_thread_february_1528_2013/8iuo

As a curiosity, this post cannot be found from my user-page, nor can it be found via Wei Dai's app. Fascinating.

Comment by j_taylor on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-15T04:27:33.610Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This was a delightful chapter. I very much look forward to the next one.

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, August 12-18, 2013 · 2013-08-15T03:51:58.345Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Idle curiosity / possibility of post being deleted:

At one point in LessWrong's past (some time in the last year, I think), I seem to recall replying to a post regarding matters of a basilisk nature. I believe that the post I replied to was along these lines:

Given that the information has been leaked, what is the point of continuing to post discussions of this matter?

I believe my response was long the lines of:

I hate to use silly reflective humor, but given that the information has been leaked, what is the point of censoring discussions of this matter?

At this time, I am unable to find these posts. Am I being paranoid, or was perhaps this thread deleted?

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-08-15T02:21:48.097Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If this evidence is of interest to you, I still have not bought any more packs since converting to electronic cigarettes. If you have not yet converted, I would highly recommend doing so. If you are interested, I will message you my apparatus and places to purchase it at.

Comment by j_taylor on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-07T00:50:40.939Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Some fraction of the population is naturally poly, some naturally mono, some can go either way depending on circumstances.

seems to mean something other than

Some fraction of the population is poly, some mono, some can go either way depending on circumstances.

Comment by j_taylor on [link] Back to the trees · 2013-08-03T17:55:25.591Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think this is it.

http://www.sivatherium.narod.ru/library/Ramjet/01_en.htm

Comment by j_taylor on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T12:41:32.301Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I endorse this as being my original intention.

Comment by j_taylor on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T06:43:23.206Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I apologize if I misinterpreted your statement:

Some fraction of the population is naturally poly, some naturally mono, some can go either way depending on circumstances.

I was curious what was meant by this.

Comment by j_taylor on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T06:38:25.444Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

How does one best optimize personal opinions for purposes of status-acquisition?

Comment by j_taylor on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T06:35:44.058Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

When you say 'naturally', are you referring to genetics, prenatal environment, or something else?

Comment by j_taylor on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-17T22:48:50.248Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You could legalize eating tiger.

Tiger parts have a variety of uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Making harvesting these parts from farmed tigers would be a somewhat efficacious solution.

Comment by j_taylor on An attempt at a short no-prerequisite test for programming inclination · 2013-06-30T01:02:44.108Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I got this right, but ended up having to invent notation to keep track of the indirection in the last segment.

This is also the case for myself. I would be very impressed by anyone who did not have to do this.

Comment by j_taylor on Bad Concepts Repository · 2013-06-29T05:10:19.598Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

No, but I am much more comfortable with it than I am with the other words.

Comment by j_taylor on Bad Concepts Repository · 2013-06-28T00:05:53.970Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In that sentence, I find the words "clone", "really" and "you" to be as problematic as "is".

Comment by j_taylor on Learning programming: so I've learned the basics of Python, what next? · 2013-06-22T07:27:38.730Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

programming 8+ hours a day

From both my experience and what little research I've done on this topic, programmers do not program 8+ hours per day.

Comment by j_taylor on Initial Thoughts on Personally Finding a High-Impact Career · 2013-06-21T22:46:13.116Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've heard this book is pretty good, but I've never read it. It's really easy to find copies of it floating around online:

http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/098478280X

Comment by j_taylor on Initial Thoughts on Personally Finding a High-Impact Career · 2013-06-21T00:57:28.941Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This all assumes you are decent at programming: It may still work even if you aren't, but become good while doing it.

  1. You put on your resume that you are x months away from receiving a Bachelor's Degree from Denison. No need to specify the major.
  2. You take some free online classes from Udacity or Coursera. At this time, you may become decent at programming, if you weren't already. You can now honestly say you've taken classes in computer science.
  3. Do so. No real reason to specify on your resume where you took the classes.
  4. List the technologies you know on your resume. Also, list some you could learn quickly, and technologies people associate with your specializations.
  5. Do some easy projects to gain some light practical experience in project implementation.
  6. Use this resume to pass the HR department's almost meaningless screening.
  7. Use your l33t skills to pass technical interview, and get job.
  8. ?
  9. Profit.

Should take a little less than a year to get to step 9.

Comment by j_taylor on Some reservations about Singer's child-in-the-pond argument · 2013-06-21T00:28:42.827Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Even though people's intuitions do lead them to believe it is morally necessary for one to save the hypothetical drowning child, in that particular scenario, I wager that there are situations in which people's intuitions would lead to other conclusions. One relevant hypothetical scenario is one in which one is amidst a group of people who also are observing the drowning child, and who are better able to bear the economic hardship of losing a pair of dress shoes (I know that the phrase "economic hardship" sounds rather callous in this scenario, but I cannot think of a better phrase off the top of my head.) Hell, perhaps some of them own thousands of pairs, while you own only one pair.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I have a pet theory that people's objections to Singer's scenario, whether they know it or not, are largely game-theoretical. In light of this, I see debates over the the precise cost of a child-saving as being, not irrelevant, but at have little to do with a much more important objection to Singer's argument.

Comment by j_taylor on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-17T04:07:41.373Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Writing down only every arithmetic fact you know, assuming you have basic knowledge of math, would, in theory, take an infinite amount of time. In practice, the universe would end first.

Comment by j_taylor on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-17T04:05:36.486Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Aid in demonstrating things to others, social aesthetic value as a decoration, and personal aesthetic value. Also, erasing is way faster.

Comment by j_taylor on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-05T17:05:44.427Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Empirical observation.

Comment by j_taylor on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2013-06-05T01:49:27.625Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would say that the primary factor is a very strong personality: any idea on how to attract those kind of girls?

Please consider what sorts of guys the sorts of girls you are attracted to are attracted to.

Comment by j_taylor on Orwell and fictional evidence for dictatorship stability · 2013-06-01T02:44:09.482Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Could you please name some that did?

Comment by j_taylor on Curriculum suggestions for someone looking to teach themselves contemporary philosophy · 2013-05-31T23:08:06.465Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Regarding philosophy:

Do you have any specific research interests?

Generally speaking, the Stanford Encyclopedia is the best online source of information about philosophy. I would recommend reading the following article:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logical-empiricism/

Here are the titles of what are considered to be the most influential works of the 20th century:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Lackey-What-are-the-modern-classics.pdf

Comment by j_taylor on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2013-05-25T02:05:15.284Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder how the Imperius curse resolves loops.

Comment by j_taylor on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-24T01:54:54.570Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What's next, a Rational (tm) Work Out sequence? A Rational (tm) Build Your Own PC sequence?

Those would both be very useful, especially the former one.

A Rational (tm) Dating sequence?

No. This kills the mind.

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-05-24T01:51:22.594Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you.

Comment by j_taylor on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-23T04:11:35.072Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Apparently I'm not alone, either; there seems to be some evidence that there's a link between iodine and diabetes more generally.

Could you please post or link to it?

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-05-22T02:36:05.083Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Did you search the site

Yes.

and read previous comments?

Yes. Results were generally negative.

However, I was unable to find any results regarding this new rig.

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-05-22T01:29:18.472Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't suppose any users here have experience with trans-cranial direct current stimulation. More specifically, the Focus V1?

http://www.foc.us/

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-05-18T02:15:00.069Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

After buying an e-cig, I never bought another pack of cigarettes. It has been roughly six weeks, I think. My consumption was slightly higher than yours.

Comment by j_taylor on [Link] More Right launched · 2013-05-11T00:52:04.592Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately, I cannot look at the actual post and am merely trying to infer its contents based on posts on LessWrong. The only major argument I can make in favor of using the word "tribalism" is that the term has useful negative connotations:

"This is tribalist thinking." == "This is silly, savage thinking which we are trying to overcome as rationalists."

Comment by j_taylor on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-11T00:35:20.299Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is incredibly pedantic. (Also rather unjustified, due to my own lack of knowledge regarding occult enthusiasts.) However:

It's interesting that demons in computer science are called that way. They have exactly the same functionality as the demons that occult enthusiasts proclaim to use.

Although daemons in computer science are rather akin to daemons in classical mythology (sort of, kind of, close enough), they really don't particularly resemble our modern conception of demons. I mean, they can totally get a programmer into "Sorcerer's Apprentice"-style shenanigans, but I've never heard of a daemon tempting anyone.

You can always say: "Well, it's just my mind doing something strange." At the same time it's a hard confrontation.

I have previously recommend to friends that alcohol is a moderately good way to develop empathy for those less intelligent than oneself. (That is, it is a good way for those who really cannot comprehend the way other people get confused by certain ideas). I wager that there are a wide array of methods to gain knowledge of some of the stranger confusions the human mind is a capable of. Ignoring chemical means, sleep deprivation is probably the simplest.

Also, congratulations for going through these experiences and retaining (what I assume is) a coherent and rational belief-system. A lot of people would not.

Comment by j_taylor on Are there good reasons to get into a PHD (i.e. in Philosophy)? And what to optimize for in such case? · 2013-05-11T00:22:25.704Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But it is easy to find critics if you want to.

I agree with this. However, I wager that actually wanting to find critics is a nigh-impossible task for the average person.

Comment by j_taylor on Are there good reasons to get into a PHD (i.e. in Philosophy)? And what to optimize for in such case? · 2013-05-04T07:09:59.682Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Doing it right, of course, likely requires having good mentors who can guide you away from the path to crankdom. Whether these mentors are best found in academic philosophy programs, I am not certain.

Comment by j_taylor on Sayeth the Girl · 2013-02-27T03:22:37.888Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This seems deep, open minded, egalitarian and... blatantly false.

I was honestly going more for silly, cynical, misanthropic and... obviously hyperbole.

If you do not mind me quoting a different part of this thread momentarily:

To the extent that it is a joke it is a bad joke, inappropriate to the context, with an undesirable expected influence, encouraging flawed patterns of thought.

I do not understand what flawed patterns of thought I am encouraging. Could you elaborate a bit?

Comment by j_taylor on Sayeth the Girl · 2013-02-26T04:24:59.036Z · score: 1 (15 votes) · LW · GW

Most people, regardless of whether they are men or women, want attractive partners, and yet, in my experience, only men are accused of being alienating or superficial or even sexist when they are honest about their desires.

As a general rule, everyone is constantly accusing everyone else of everything.

Comment by j_taylor on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-26T04:14:11.718Z · score: 8 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The reputational damage to Less Wrong has been done. Is there really anything to be gained by flipping moderation policy?

I hate to use silly symmetrical rhetoric, however:

The secret has been leaked and the reputational damage is ongoing. Is there really anything to be gained by continuing the current moderation policy?

Comment by j_taylor on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-29T00:12:22.574Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Possibly an example. Are you are referring to this:

"Your adversary has no warning about what kind of magic you're about to perform," said Hermione, "which gives you a split-second advantage."

"An answer copied almost word for word from The Standard Book of Spells, Grade Six," said Snape dismissively (over in the corner, Malfoy sniggered), "but correct in essentials."

This is basically Snapish for "You got the only correct answer, but I still hate you. Had you given an incorrect answer, I would told you that you suck as a person. Thankfully, the correct answer to this question is in a schoolbook. As such, I'll still use this opportunity to tell you that you suck as a person." It does not seem to have anything to do with Hermione actually having an eidetic memory.

Comment by j_taylor on Failed Utopia #4-2 · 2012-12-28T05:45:11.744Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What about cases in which group B is a subset of Group A?

Comment by j_taylor on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-28T03:08:20.185Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

She quotes textbooks word for word, all the time.

I am having difficulty finding evidence of this. Could you perhaps give an example? (Ideally, a passage from the book.)