Comment by kalium on Stupid Questions April 2015 · 2015-04-12T20:12:17.046Z · LW · GW

Water loss through boiling shouldn't make a difference, as the vitamins are not volatile and will not boil off with it.

Comment by kalium on Stupid Questions April 2015 · 2015-04-12T20:11:35.114Z · LW · GW

This doesn't answer your question, but if you conclude that adding water is likely to make rice more filling per calorie (I have no idea whether it will), the dish you want is called congee, and searching for that should yield many delicious recipes.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015 · 2015-03-30T00:24:07.137Z · LW · GW

Example 2: A backup cell phone can cost $20, and at least one provider offers service for $10 for the SIM chip and $20 per year if no calls are made. Requires limiting trips to areas within range of cell towers.

Which provider is this?

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015 · 2015-03-30T00:19:40.269Z · LW · GW

I've lost around 60 points in the past couple months despite hardly commenting at all (haven't spent much time here recently). I did get a smaller swarm of downvotes in September for this comment, in which I was grumpy at Azathoth123 on the subject of gender.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015 · 2015-03-08T23:30:59.308Z · LW · GW

It happens but again it's not at all universal. Scott Alexander seems to think emotional blunting is a legitimate effect of SSRIs, not just a correlation–causation confusion. He also notes that

There is a subgroup of depressed patients whose depression takes the form of not being able to feel anything at all, and I worry this effect would exacerbate their problem, but I have never heard this from anyone and SSRIs do not seem less effective in that subgroup, so these might be two different things that only sound alike.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015 · 2015-03-08T07:52:51.047Z · LW · GW

It depends on the type of local optimum. I am reasonably sure that becoming too depressed to do enough work to stay in was the only was I could have gotten out of graduate school given my moral system at the time. (I hated being there but believed I had an obligation to try to contribute to human knowledge.)

Also flat affect isn't at all a universal effect of antidepressant usage, but it does happen for some people.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-25T06:49:30.790Z · LW · GW

Homeopathy would actually predict good results. According to their rule that "like cures like", this would be expected to help people who are currently suffering from bad memories.

Comment by kalium on The morality of disclosing salary requirements · 2015-02-10T03:43:58.613Z · LW · GW

I'm definitely underpaid now, and I'd definitely be screwing myself over by telling them my current pay, but it's likely that when I finally get off my ass and start a job search I'll be so sick of things that screwing myself over to get out more quickly will feel worth it. Even though it's probably not. Sigh.

Comment by kalium on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-09T04:13:02.140Z · LW · GW

I think our culture genuinely does not care about misleading/inaccurate product descriptions, but I do, and I would feel bad about working at a company where there was nobody at all doing my old job.

I'll begin a job search July 1 if old job is not filled by then (I'm pretty confident it won't be, despite various promises - this company has never yet followed through on anything anywhere near the promised time) but job-searching sucks and I want to avoid it if I can.

Comment by kalium on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-08T21:22:28.037Z · LW · GW

I was promoted at work but my old position is not going to be filled until July and I'm supposed to continue doing the old work (mainly proofreading) until then. I've been encouraged to free up time by lowering standards for the old half of my work, but I'm finding this very difficult due to some combination of conscientiousness and perfectionism. Any advice on how to feel better about doing low-quality work?

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-01T02:08:01.300Z · LW · GW

I was introduced to LaTeX via LyX as a freshman and found the interface very off-putting and confusing and forgot about the whole thing for years. When I found out I could just type a text file instead, run a few commands, and get the same gorgeous result, it was a revelation and I never went back to OpenOffice.

Probably not news to anyone here, but learning to use a good text editor like vim or emacs is hugely useful and I wish I hadn't waited so long to do it. Git for version control is pretty great too.

Comment by kalium on Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life · 2015-01-07T04:10:05.789Z · LW · GW

It should be possible to get a decent used bicycle for under $200.

Comment by kalium on Bragging Thread January 2015 · 2015-01-05T02:34:53.000Z · LW · GW

Pointed out to my boss that my new job responsibilities will mean I've dramatically underpaid compared to industry average. He went from "we see this as a role where you'll be learning a lot, so that's the extra compensation and there's no need to change the pay" to giving me a 20% raise. (Actually did this late December.)

Comment by kalium on Group Rationality Diary, November 16-30 · 2014-11-20T17:15:21.545Z · LW · GW

I'm having good results from using HabitRPG for this sort of thing. Your character gets experience points as you accomplish various daily, weekly, or one-off tasks, and it also records how many times in a row you've successfully done each recurring task. It's kind of silly, but I really feel good about my 37-day streak of actually eating breakfast.

Comment by kalium on November 2014 Monthly Bragging Thread · 2014-11-07T09:01:11.484Z · LW · GW

As a woman, I find skirts super comfortable but with some major problems that don't come up if you're just hanging around the house.

  • The lack of pockets is extremely inconvenient. I'd be afraid of losing a purse with a wallet in it, so I basically can't go out in a skirt unless it's cool enough out that it's reasonable to wear a jacket (since those have pockets). There do exist skirts with acceptable pockets, but the selection is very small and if you're as cheap as I am there just aren't any options.

  • Some skirts (not all!) restrict leg motion enough to make it inconvenient to bike or run.

Comment by kalium on The Danger of Invisible Problems · 2014-11-07T08:53:33.287Z · LW · GW

They're plausibly pretty legit for some joint-related issues. However there's also a whole set of claims that they can treat totally unrelated issues, for example curing the flu by adjusting the spine. Not all chiropractors make this sort of claim, but enough do to make it background knowledge.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-07T08:47:50.193Z · LW · GW

Twill is pretty good for pants and dries faster than denim.

Denim is just a specific type of twill that's made from cotton. Fiber type is generally more relevant than how it's woven.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-04T05:43:07.851Z · LW · GW

Layering is good, but it's much easier to apply to the torso and arms than the legs. So a coat that goes at least down to your knees is very handy. I also recommend wool socks and mittens, since unlike many fibers wool is just as insulating when wet. Source: used to live in Boston.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2014 · 2014-10-30T05:42:50.464Z · LW · GW

I used to work as a proofreader for MIRI, and was sometimes given documents with volunteers' comments to help me out. In most cases, the quality of the comments was poor enough that in the time it took me to review the comments, decide which ones were valid, and apply the changes, I could have just read the whole thing and caught the same errors (or at least an equivalent number thereof) myself.

There's also the fact that many errors are only such because they're inconsistent with the overall style. It's presumably not practical to get all your volunteers to read the Chicago Manual of Style and agree on what gets a hyphen and such before doing anything.

Comment by kalium on Stupid Questions (10/27/2014) · 2014-10-30T04:57:21.354Z · LW · GW

I can see how freezing might help with smell, but what confuses me is sweat. If I wear pants more than about 4 times in a row, they start to itch, and I don't see how freezing would help with that. I don't think I sweat unusually much.

Comment by kalium on What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong? · 2014-10-25T22:09:17.371Z · LW · GW

I used to believe that almost nobody was really interested in anything. This was because (a) I had never been really interested in anything and (b) "Passion" was a mandatory signal, required for getting into college. When I saw people who appeared to be genuinedly interested in things (sports, music, running the school newspaper, building robots, whatever), I assumed they were just better than me at sending the required signals. When I got to college and saw people who continued to appear interested in these things, even though extracurriculars were no longer valuable, I realized I had been wrong.

Comment by kalium on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-24T05:33:53.353Z · LW · GW

The question was about the largest bone, not the longest bone.

Comment by kalium on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-24T05:31:30.784Z · LW · GW

Took the survey.

Comment by kalium on What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong? · 2014-10-24T04:50:26.650Z · LW · GW

This sort of testimony strikes me as weak evidence. If you've just failed to kill yourself and don't want to be committed, or have been committed but want to be let out soon, this is exactly what you'd say regardless of truth.

Comment by kalium on What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong? · 2014-10-24T04:49:02.539Z · LW · GW

It bothers me that this fact is usually interpreted to mean that suicides are the result of poor judgment or a disconnect with reality. Mental illness is a common cause of genuine severe suffering.

Comment by kalium on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey - Call For Critiques/Questions · 2014-10-14T22:02:49.439Z · LW · GW

The standard on psych studies seems to be "Level of education: (1) Some high school (2) High school graduate (3) Some college (4) College graduate (5) Some post-graduate (6) Graduate degree." This is pretty simple and does not warrant more than one question.

Comment by kalium on On Caring · 2014-10-08T09:19:53.153Z · LW · GW

My view is similar to yours, but with the following addition:

I have actual obligations to my friends and family, and I care about them quite a bit. I also care to a lesser extent about the city and region that I live in. If I act as though I instead have overriding obligations to the third world, then I risk being unable to satisfy my more basic obligations. To me, if for instance I spend my surplus income on mosquito nets instead of saving it and then have some personal disaster that my friends and family help bail me out of (because they also have obligations to me), I've effectively stolen their money and spent it on something they wouldn't have chosen to spend it on. While I clearly have some leeway in these obligations and get to do some things other than save, charity falls into the same category as dinner out: I spend resources on it occasionally and enjoy or feel good about doing so, but it has to be kept strictly in check.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014 · 2014-10-05T19:38:59.218Z · LW · GW

Usually the proper fix for a leaking faucet is substantially more conservative than replacing the whole assembly.

Comment by kalium on Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy · 2014-09-24T01:53:30.897Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I was pissed off and stated things a little too strongly. But having your every achievement constantly doubted and assumed less meaningful than the same achievement from a man really is corrosive, and I would say also makes it hard to be productive and encourages the "keep your head down" mentality that fubarobscuro mentioned.

Comment by kalium on Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy · 2014-09-21T21:28:04.958Z · LW · GW

That's logically inconsistent — downvoting means something doesn't belong on the site, not that you disagree with it

I don't think this follows. If a comment contains a glaring logical fallacy, I could consistently both downvote it and point out the flaw in the argument. Not claiming that's what's happening here, though.

Comment by kalium on Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy · 2014-09-21T20:26:49.239Z · LW · GW

Huh. Two downvotes on this, fair enough. But I've also gotten another 9 downvotes for old unrelated comments in the very short time since I posted this. Smells fishy.

Comment by kalium on Link: quotas-microaggression-and-meritocracy · 2014-09-21T18:03:22.981Z · LW · GW

Looking at this comment section... wow. Yes, regularly encountering people who behave like Azathoth at work would be a level of (not really micro) aggression that could easily drive me out of a company, and I consider myself to have a pretty thick skin. Seems like there's no level of achievement a woman could reach that he'd see as strong evidence of competence. Doesn't matter if she has a physics degree from Caltech, no, her professors probably just passed her out of sympathy. Doesn't matter if she's written good code in the past, no, her references must all be assumed to be lying for mysterious reasons.

Hypothesis: Azathoth and people with the same attitude encounter few competent women at work because if said women can get a job somewhere else, where they won't be constantly assumed less competent than their achievements demonstrate, they do so.

The bit about quotas increasing the quality of the female applicant pool to the point where they don't even need to be used is counterintuitive and interesting. Myself, I've always avoided any college/company/etc I thought might have a quota because I want there to be no shadow of a doubt that I've earned what I have, but I'm aware I'm far from being a representative woman.

Comment by kalium on "NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1) · 2014-09-12T02:38:33.934Z · LW · GW

Failing to find an actual paper that does more than mention in passing that they-re not shown effective - it just gets treated as common knowledge. Wikipedia's condom article references "Boston Women's Health Book Collective (2005). Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era. New York, NY: Touchstone. p. 333. ISBN 0-7432-5611-5."

Here's a nifty visualization of the scales involved: Cell Size and Scale

Comment by kalium on Simulate and Defer To More Rational Selves · 2014-09-09T03:18:56.316Z · LW · GW

I've found something like this useful, especially at work, but hard to calibrate. "What would a more less shy kalium do? Tell the CTO that he's wrong, because he's wrong." Sometimes this is a good idea, but sometimes it's not. "What would an optimally shy kalium do?" is not so easy to predict.

Comment by kalium on Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day? · 2014-09-09T03:10:02.918Z · LW · GW

It's not that easy to convert marginal labor into money. Getting a second job is a high transaction cost, and alternatives like online surveys don't pay well. I just don't buy this type of argument except for certain very far from universal situations, e.g. hourly workers who have some leeway to set their own schedules.

Comment by kalium on "NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1) · 2014-09-09T02:56:48.087Z · LW · GW

No, a sperm cell is very substantially larger than a virus particle. Lambskin condoms have not been shown to be effective at blocking virus transmission.

Comment by kalium on Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day? · 2014-09-09T02:29:52.378Z · LW · GW

These people suffer from increased food preparation costs that make $3/meal cheap by comparison.

I don't think it's correct to describe these mental costs in dollar terms. It's more convenient, sure, but that's not the same thing as cheaper. But yeah, now that I think of it cereal is probably $0.50/meal (skip the milk, goes bad too fast) but you don't want that more than once a day, and it's reasonably plausible that it would be hard to get two decently proteiny frozen meals for under $8.50 if grocery store selection is poor in your area.

Comment by kalium on Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day? · 2014-09-08T16:36:36.193Z · LW · GW

I don't understand all these people saying that $3 a meal is cheap. Maybe their alternative is going out to a restaurant?

Comment by kalium on Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/twice a day? · 2014-09-08T16:34:58.262Z · LW · GW

Healthier is pretty hand-wavy. It's got pretty much no protein, which makes it not a great meal substitute for some people. That said, it was tastier than I'd have expected. Butter tea is a similar drink that's also surprisingly tasty, but easier to augment with spices if you don't like the base flavor.

Also... that guy came to speak at the company I work at, and uttered an incredible variety of nonsense. (Mentioned in passing that kale causes autism, said that you have to buy his special coffee beans because the headache you get after the coffee wears off is not caffeine withdrawal but mold poisoning and his beans are the only non-moldy ones on the market.) Kind of put me off the whole concept.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, September 8-14, 2014 · 2014-09-08T16:25:15.850Z · LW · GW

Thanks to its multiple infection sites, herpes has the unusual property that two people, neither of whom have an STI, can have sex that leads to one of them having an STI. It's a spontaneous creation of stigma! And if you have an asymptomatic infection (very common), there's no way to know whether it's oral (non-stigmatized, not an STI) or genital (stigmatized, STI) since the major strains are only moderately selective.

Comment by kalium on "NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1) · 2014-09-07T19:42:02.265Z · LW · GW

1) Agree. I find that even monogamy gives me the creeps unless I think of it as kink.

2) Nitpick: unforced arranged marriages happen too. I would say that being anti those might be un-PC, but being anti-forced marriages is entirely PC. Admittedly the boundary between encouragement to marry the selected partner and being forced is not too sharp.

Comment by kalium on Group Rationality Diary, September 1-15 · 2014-09-07T19:20:06.075Z · LW · GW

Asked my boss to move me from an hourly contractor position to full-time employee. Then negotiated the salary I was offered and got an extra $4000/year.

Comment by kalium on Why appearance matters or “to behave as if” · 2014-08-31T21:55:38.535Z · LW · GW

In practice, it differs in that once an opinion is formed it's sticky and contrary evidence tends not to result in updating.

Comment by kalium on Persistent Idealism · 2014-08-30T17:27:06.379Z · LW · GW

I'd read it as a loss of motivation to the extent of making it hard or impossible to keep doing that demanding, high-paying job that you're doing so you can have more to give. Happens to plenty of people in demanding jobs even if they're giving nothing.

Comment by kalium on "Follow your dreams" as a case study in incorrect thinking · 2014-08-23T02:44:56.005Z · LW · GW

I don't think you understand how screwed up the academic job market is. PhDs students are funded because they provide cheap(ish) labor for a professor's lab, and it's in professors' interest to take on a lot more students than can have a long-term career in science. Science is a popular enough career to have its own "following your dreams" problem.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, 11-17 August 2014 · 2014-08-14T03:17:46.673Z · LW · GW

Or it's based on the poem "Howl," which uses the term Moloch and is quoted in full in the post.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, 11-17 August 2014 · 2014-08-14T03:03:32.572Z · LW · GW

It's easier for me to tell women apart because their hairstyles have more interpersonal variation. (I distinguish people mainly by hair. It takes a few months before I learn to recognize a face.) I'm pretty much just attracted to men though.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, 14-20 July 2014 · 2014-07-19T04:26:56.569Z · LW · GW

With tea, a few people like unsweetened black tea and have always experienced it as having flavor (though there's still the usual acquired-taste aspect of bitter/tannic things). Others, like me, find that without sugar it's just fragrant water that doesn't get experienced as having taste, but they like it that way. I haven't found anyone who's actively learned to enjoy sugarless black tea in the way I would like to.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, 14-20 July 2014 · 2014-07-18T01:59:55.853Z · LW · GW

I've asked more people about tea than about chocolate. But I haven't asked anyone about coffee, because I don't drink it, and I think that's worth trying.

Comment by kalium on Open thread, 14-20 July 2014 · 2014-07-17T02:04:39.397Z · LW · GW

Good advice that I'm already following. I do enjoy Darjeeling with hardly any sugar, but it just doesn't satisfy my "wake you up in the morning" desires the way Assam does. Even with Darjeeling, though, unless I add at least a small amount of sugar (maybe 1/4 of what I'd put in Assam) it's just fragrant water and I don't perceive it as having flavor.