Posts

BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) 2018-04-08T19:32:57.520Z · score: 8 (7 votes)
Large Mammal BPF Prize Winning Announcement 2018-03-13T23:48:53.311Z · score: 11 (3 votes)
The Benefits of Taking Cold Showers: A 3 Month Trial 2017-12-08T17:01:56.653Z · score: 12 (5 votes)

Comments

Comment by johngreer on What could be done with RNA and DNA sequencing that's 1000x cheaper than it's now? · 2018-06-27T21:19:15.546Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That talk is one of my favorites ever and so inspiring. Upvoting for actually doing the exercise!

Comment by johngreer on Trivial inconveniences as an antidote to akrasia · 2018-05-19T02:29:29.515Z · score: 20 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I find that trivial inconveniences become less powerful the more I go through the routine of overcoming them. For example, I delete apps and re-install them and am now used to the process so while it still helps it's become less of an inconvenience now that I'm acclimatized to the process. It seems good to try to reduce/get acclimated to trivial inconveniences that stop us from doing useful things and try to increase them for non-optimal things (and also beware starting a routine of getting used to them).

The mailbox thing is a really interesting idea (provided it doesn't get messed up by the postal worker trying to fit a package in there and dropping it)!

Your mom and you might be interested in this as well if you didn't know about it: https://www.thekitchensafe.com/

Comment by johngreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-15T02:57:02.142Z · score: 13 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"Conceptual gerrymandering" is a very useful concept. Thanks for writing the post.

Comment by johngreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-12T22:45:52.356Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW
If I were Tom Clancy I hope that I would not have published Debt of Honor. I don't know whether terrorists were inspired by it, but at least for me it's pretty clearly in the "not worth the risk" category.

I get the argument but then I'm wondering where it stops? Don't direct A Clockwork Orange because there's a high likelihood that copycat murders will happen? Stop production on all things where someone might copy something harmful?

Comment by johngreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-12T20:21:36.956Z · score: 16 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It seems implementing systems that prevent hijacking of planes is easier with how airports and plane travel work vs how much would need to change to stop vehicles being used in attacks. Seems similar to the debate over whether the Slaughterbots video and campaign to stop autonomous weapons will be successful. The supporters use nuclear weapons policy as the success story but it may not be the most useful comparison because nuclear weapons are much easier technology to restrict.

Comment by johngreer on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-12T15:03:11.113Z · score: 25 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This reminds me of my favorite TV show Survivor. There are a number of reasons why it's great, but one aspect that is so fun to watch is seeing someone come up with a new strategy or tactic and then seeing how it immediately gets adopted in the later seasons. One of the most intellectual players, Yau-Man Chan, had the idea to create a fake immunity idol. Now it is standard to save pieces from things to try to make one. Russell Hantz started looking for hidden idols before clues to them were even found. That's become standard too and new strategies and counter-strategies keep being invented and you can see how fast memes take off in the show. From sanitation to eating Tide Pods, memes are powerful.

Comment by johngreer on The Chromatic Number of the Plane is at Least 5 - Aubrey de Grey · 2018-04-12T22:46:55.112Z · score: 20 (7 votes) · LW · GW
I hope Aubrey de Grey negotiated the moral trade with the mathematicians successfully, and now that he solved one of their most beloved problems, they will start working on solving aging.

Haha, this would be wonderful. Let's get Terence Tao on the aging problem!

Comment by johngreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-11T06:08:05.364Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW
I kind of like the lightweight obligation/excuse to repeat the meal which is incurred by having one person pay.

Mm, I see. I guess I don't find I need to incentivize friends to get together. And this norm would be for more casual and/or business meetings in which case I doubt people would be getting back together because they felt obliged to pay for the next meal.

Comment by johngreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-10T07:28:24.595Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The one off vs repeat interactions is a good point. I guess my dream scenario is to have this become a meme and in-turn a norm.

I think the worst co-diner's preference is usually to awkwardly ignore that the bill is there in which case I assume their preference is that we pay for their lunch. I suppose I can say "Would you like to Venmo us or pay cash?" or something like that if we don't think it's worth it offer to pay for their lunch.

Comment by johngreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-09T02:39:31.293Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the reply! I don't mind letting people pay if they genuinely want to and our in a better position to. The problem is that in many instances there does seem to be a signaling game like there is in Chinese culture with refusing gifts at first, where just accepting without protesting is considered rude.

Comment by johngreer on BYOL (Buy Your Own Lunch) · 2018-04-09T02:15:19.456Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the reply! Switching off for who pays is something I do and don't mind but it's only applied to friends who meet semi-regularly. The problem with business meetings, is that it's unlikely I'm going to be meeting them again in the future on any regular basis, if it all.

Comment by johngreer on April Fools: Announcing: Karma 2.0 · 2018-04-02T04:19:01.854Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

No flashing neon text? A bit disappointing but happy to see refreshing innovation from the rationality community...

Comment by johngreer on On the Loss and Preservation of Knowledge · 2018-03-27T09:30:22.684Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For those that like this topic, the fiction book The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is probably worth reading.

Comment by johngreer on Making yourself small · 2018-03-16T07:40:28.825Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you!

Comment by johngreer on Making yourself small · 2018-03-13T06:31:19.133Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for writing this! I would love to hear more about this and if you have links in mind, would love to read them:

"As with lots of interpersonal concepts, this can also be useful internally: if you’re familiar with internal double crux / internal family systems / other “parts-work”, play around with the motion of having parts of yourself make themselves small (or big)."

Comment by johngreer on Lessons from the Cold War on Information Hazards: Why Internal Communication is Critical · 2018-02-26T07:34:25.887Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

For people interested in nuclear war history, the 2003 documentary The Fog of War is wonderful. Alex Wellerstein's blog is also great: http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2014/08/08/kyoto-misconception/

This also reminds me of how companies may benefit like Buffer's commitment to transparency: https://open.buffer.com/transparency-timeline/

Unfortunately, with an entity like the US government and military it seems like a hard inadequate equilibria to overcome even if certain actors knew better communication was more effective overall. It seems like coming up with the optimal organizations of groups (branches of the military, intelligence services, government entities) or lack thereof and the hierarchy and responsibilities within and between them is one of the major blockages.

Edit: I found an interesting prescriptive article of potential ways to overcome the problems I discussed: http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2016/03/18/conversation-with-a-super-spook/

Comment by johngreer on The Monthly Newsletter as Thinking Tool · 2018-02-09T22:46:56.034Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that's a good point regarding having to be mindful of the shared history and not wanting to have to change that to open it up to a broader audience. I guess the easiest thing to do would be to write the same and have the para-readers like me accept that they just won't get certain references.

Comment by johngreer on Arbital postmortem · 2018-02-08T06:29:11.143Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's okay! Thanks for mentioning it at all. I'm exploring content on there now. :)

Comment by johngreer on The Monthly Newsletter as Thinking Tool · 2018-02-07T00:53:32.980Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is a great idea! I think it is different from regular blogging in that it's more of a book club/reading group in newsletter form. How much time do you think you spend on it per month? I would also be interested in reading it if you're open to sharing.

Comment by johngreer on Arbital postmortem · 2018-02-06T21:52:38.233Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Which specific content on http://platformed.info/ would you recommend?

Comment by johngreer on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-02-04T03:42:07.069Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's a smart idea!

Comment by johngreer on Examples of Mitigating Assumption Risk · 2017-12-04T02:58:28.621Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Backup your stuff: My backup process is to scan or take pictures of items. Put files on an external hard drive. Backup that external drive to another external hard drive. Then I backup up everything to the cloud through Backblaze. That way you have the physical items themselves, the items on hard drive1 that you take with you, the items on hard drive2 that you store somewhere, AND everything is on the cloud. It may seem excessive but it's easy once you have everything set up. There are more risk mitigation tips in my post on my experiences prepping for a hurricane for those interested.

Comment by johngreer on Project proposal: Rationality Cookbook · 2017-11-22T16:02:23.248Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is an interesting idea but I think something like it already exists: http://curetogether.com/conditions

Comment by johngreer on Call for Ideas: Industrial scale existential risk research · 2017-11-20T21:59:26.228Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems really interesting but I'm wondering how they can measure the accuracy of low probability but long term risks like "someone could release a hacked virus". I look forward to reading your fleshed out post! The aligning incentives reminds me of this: https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/a7pjErKGYHh7E9he8/the-unfriendly-superintelligence-next-door

Comment by johngreer on UnTAPed Learning · 2017-10-31T00:36:50.520Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could you say more about designing holidays? That sounds interesting!

Comment by johngreer on What are some Meta-Umeshsims? · 2017-10-05T00:25:13.973Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This breakdown is great.

Comment by johngreer on Open thread, October 2 - October 8, 2017 · 2017-10-03T13:31:40.472Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Has Eliezer written anything outlining why he's working on AI rather than directly on life extension? I could guess (we need AI to speed up research, we need to make sure we don't die from AI first, etc.) but I'd prefer to read it explicitly. Posts not from Eliezer but answering the same question would also be welcome.

Comment by johngreer on How to brainstorm effectively · 2017-10-01T20:48:02.923Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In SF, the infamously "rude" waiter Edsel Ford Fong was considered an attraction at the restaurant Sam Wo.

Comment by johngreer on Ten small life improvements · 2017-09-04T15:48:13.847Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You might be interested in Inbox When Ready which can hide your inbox and do a number of other things.

Comment by johngreer on Decision Theories in Real Life · 2017-05-14T09:52:39.194Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for writing. It really helps to have concrete examples of how this would affect decision making in real life.

Comment by johngreer on Introducing the Instrumental Rationality Sequence · 2017-04-29T21:21:39.920Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted! The instrumental side of things appeals to me a lot more and having more content/an actual sequence developed for it is exciting!

Comment by johngreer on Announcement: Intelligence in Literature Prize · 2017-01-12T03:15:30.543Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Bravo, this is a really smart idea to help disseminate these ideas to a wider audience!

Comment by johngreer on Applicable advice · 2016-08-13T12:58:39.733Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How did you like the workshop? I've read A.J. Jacobs' article about Radical Honesty and skimmed Brad Blanton's book and wondered if it was worth going deeper in. Did you change any behavior from that or the Conscious Intimacy workshop?

Comment by johngreer on Open thread, Jul. 04 - Jul. 10, 2016 · 2016-07-06T11:30:25.043Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, this doesn't really apply to my social circle.

Comment by johngreer on Open thread, Jul. 04 - Jul. 10, 2016 · 2016-07-06T01:26:22.256Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I periodically do things to get out of my comfort zone. I started years ago before a friend introduced me to LW where I pleasantly discovered that CoZE was recommended.

This write-up is about my most recent exercise: Do a Non Gender-Conforming Thing

I chose to have my nails painted. Having painted nails requires low enough effort that I have no excuse not to and, wearing them out in public is just out-of-the-ordinary enough to make me worry about how people will react. After getting them painted, I realized why girls say "My nails!" a lot after a manicure and worry about screwing them up. It took work to paint them and chipping them makes them look like shit. Can’t let that happen to me!

Then I challenged some friends to do it and gave these suggestions:

I think breaking arbitrary societal conventions and expanding comfort zones are positive things so I'm challenging a few people to try it and post a picture or video. Bonus points for a write-up of how you felt while doing it and any reactions from observers.

(Those who live in Berkeley are playing on easy mode.)

(People challenged may totally already do these! The list was limited to my imagination and ideas I could find. The idea is to get out of your comfort zone so feel free to get creative...)

Exercises I came up with:

Ideas for men:

  • Get a manicure/pedicure (it's basically a massage)

  • Wear (traditionally feminine) jewelry

  • Carry a purse

  • Play a “girly” pop song loud enough for others to hear

  • Order a fruity alcoholic beverage

  • Get your nails painted

  • Wear a feminine outfit (or at least a pink shirt or something)

  • Read/ask about fashion or some other traditionally feminine topic

Ideas for women:

  • Wear a masculine outfit. (I feel like women have to try a bit harder than guys here)

  • Don’t shave your legs for a week

  • Don't shave your armpits for a week

  • Wear a tie

  • Give a guy a compliment

  • Ask a guy on a date

  • Don't wear makeup for a week

  • Don't wear a bra for a week

  • Read/ask about sports or some other traditionally masculine topic

My thoughts so far: It’s still weird for me to see my own hands. It takes me a second to recognize them as my own. “And how pretty they are!”

I'm already hypervigilant in public but we were in public in a new area and I was more hypervigilant than normal. I had to fight the urge to keep hiding my fingernails in the grocery store. I was worried that our hosts at the Airbnb we're staying at would be weird about it...

Now I'm caught between not wanting people to see my nails at all and not wanting to see them all chipped (it's hard taking proper care of them!). I'm conscious of my dad seeing this. I do weird enough things that my model of people in my tribe reacting is "John doing another thing..."

I need to get rid of them before we visit our friend’s parents so that way I don’t make a weird first impression. A lot of the discomfort has more to do with being misperceived or miscategorized. For instance, one time after getting my haircut, my shirts was covered with hair, so my friend lent me her Pink Floyd T-shirt to wear. I wasn’t defying social norms by wearing a Pink Floyd shirt, but that was not the kind of thing I would usually wear so I felt extra-aware of the potential for being perceived a certain way based on how I was dressed. Likewise, if I smoke a clove cigarette or cigar, which I do once every six months with a certain friend, I would be horrified to be falsely labeled a regular smoker.

I'll have to try this again when I'm in public more frequently to give it a fair shake.

Meta-Communication: I'm also getting out of my comfort zone because I'm not sure this is the right place for this type of post or if these kinds of posts are welcome.

Cross-Posted and editing from my Facebook. Feel free to follow me there!

Comment by johngreer on Open thread, June 27 - July 3, 2016 · 2016-06-28T19:06:18.918Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've done a fair amount of reading and am comfortable in the social/PUA realm but am always on the lookout for more recommended resources (especially higher-level stuff).

Comment by johngreer on Open thread, June 27 - July 3, 2016 · 2016-06-27T20:55:06.239Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What other resources do you support in this field, ELO?

Comment by johngreer on Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016 · 2016-03-23T21:01:08.432Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the in-depth response, Vaniver! I don't have a good grasp on these issues so it helps reading others' analyses.

Comment by johngreer on Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016 · 2016-03-23T02:13:24.151Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Has there been any response to Brett Hall's critique of Bostrom's Superintelligence? What do y'all think? http://www.bretthall.org/superintelligence.html

Comment by johngreer on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? · 2016-02-13T01:19:44.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I've mostly seen a Democrat favored. I bet two bitcoin on Hilary a year ago based on FiveThirtyEight's posts.

Comment by johngreer on February 2016 Media Thread · 2016-02-02T06:41:43.066Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Billions: Show about the war between a hedge fund billionaire and the U.S. Attorney. Recommended for anyone that likes dramatized power plays. It's House of Cards meets Wall Street.

Comment by johngreer on [Link] Lifehack Article Promoting LessWrong, Rationality Dojo, and Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-11-15T00:20:51.626Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The link you provided isn't working. Here is the article: http://www.lifehack.org/330221/6-science-based-hacks-for-growing-mentally-stronger

Comment by johngreer on Reflexive self-processing is literally infinitely simpler than a many world interpretation · 2015-11-15T00:17:03.707Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For anyone interested: the author is famous for his high IQ and was the subject of an episode of the filmmaker Errol Morris' TV series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggur-Ca2nzs

Comment by johngreer on Actually existing prediction markets? · 2015-09-04T01:51:14.631Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seconding https://www.predictious.com/ recommendation.

Comment by johngreer on Welcome to Less Wrong! (7th thread, December 2014) · 2015-07-07T02:05:44.976Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the tip! I've read some of her posts but will look into the ones I've haven't.

We're going to be moving in about two weeks and are fairly busy before so probably not going to be able to. I regret not going to a Berkeley Meetup while I had more time.

Comment by johngreer on Welcome to Less Wrong! (7th thread, December 2014) · 2015-07-06T06:24:45.175Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Hello!

I’ve lived in Berkeley for about six years. My girlfriend is going to medical school so we’re going to be moving to Boca Raton, Florida (most likely) or Columbus, Ohio in less than a month. I’m sad to be leaving the Bay Area but thrilled to be with my girlfriend when she starts such an exciting chapter of her life. I’m also very fortunate that I can handle nearly all my business online.

I co-founded a startup devoted to making a web game with an old buddy of mine. This same guy introduced me to LW.

Critical thinking and debate has been a focus of mine since I was quite young so LW fit right into my interests. I’m very interested in instrumental/practical applications of rationality. I’ve been lurking for many years and finally decided to make an account to get over my fear of online embarrassment given my unfamiliarity with a lot of the lexicon and protocol on LW.

Some passions of mine are movies, seeking out novel experiences (examples are shooting an AK-47, judging a singing competition, and visiting Pixar), and martial arts.

I’m also interested in effective altruism and AI research but still have a lot of learning to do, especially in the latter.