Is there a place to find the most cited LW articles of all time? 2024-05-17T01:20:22.697Z
keltan's Shortform 2024-04-25T12:07:41.753Z
AI Generated Music as a Method of Installing Essential Rationalist Skills 2024-04-24T07:48:44.537Z
Don't Think About the Thing Behind the Curtain. 2023-09-19T02:07:39.853Z
(Confusion Phrases) AKA: Things You Might Say or Think When You're Confused to Use as Triggers for Internal TAPs 2023-09-17T01:06:25.320Z
A Call For Community: Scientific Language Learning is Still Language Learning 2023-09-14T00:32:31.827Z


Comment by keltan on D0TheMath's Shortform · 2024-06-05T21:31:47.394Z · LW · GW

Unfortunately, I tend to treat any non-independent science related media as brain poison. It tends to be much more hype or misunderstanding than value. Which is a shame, because there is so much interesting and true science that can be minded for content.

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-30T17:47:24.241Z · LW · GW

That first point made me laugh. It’s exactly the type of mistake I expected to make, and I still didn’t see it coming.

I appreciate all this safety advice and will update my decision making based on that.

Geez, the weed thing surprises me. I hadn’t planned to smoke any until after the event. But I think I’ll avoid that now. I’m already struggling with motivation from jet lag. I don’t want to increase that feeling.

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-30T02:24:24.823Z · LW · GW

Hmmm, I think I’m mostly bad at those things. I’ll play it safe.

And thanks for the good idea! I’ve added a session at 3pm on the Sunday.

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-29T18:30:38.551Z · LW · GW

From Newcastle, Australia to Berkeley, San Francisco. I arrived yesterday for I’ve had a bit of culture shock, a big helping of being increasingly scared, and quite a few questions. I’ll start with those. Feel free to skip them.

These questions are based on warnings I’ve gotten from local non-rationalists. Idk if they’re scared because of the media they consume or because of actual stats. I’m asking these because they feel untrue.

  1. Is it ok to be outside after dark?
  2. Will I really get ‘rolled’ mid day in Oakland?
  3. Are there gangs walking around Oakland looking to stab people?
  4. Will all the streets fill up with homeless people at night?
  5. Are they chill? In Aus they’re usually down to talk if you are.

Culture shocks for your enjoyment:

  1. Why is everyone doing yoga?
  2. To my Uber driver: “THAT TRAIN IS ON THE ROAD!?”
  3. “I thought (X) was just in movies!”
  4. Your billboards are about science instead of coal mining!
  5. “Wait, you’re telling me everything is vegan?” Thank Bayes, this is the best. All our vegan restaurants went out of business.
  6. People brag about things? And they do it openly? At least, I think that’s what’s happening?
  7. “Silicon Valley is actually a valley?!” Should have predicted this one. I kinda knew, but I didn’t know like I do now.
  8. “Wow! This shop is openly selling nangs!” (whip its) “And a jungle juice display!”
  9. All your cars are so new and shiny. 60% of ours are second hand
  10. Most people I see in the streets look below 40. It’s like I’m walking around a university!
  11. Wow. It’s really sunny.
  12. American accents irl make me feel like I’m walking through a film.
  14. Ok this is a big one. Apps I’ve had for 8+ years are suddenly different when I arrive here?
  15. This is what Uber is meant to be. I will go back to Australia and cry. Your airport has custom instruction… in app! WHAT!? The car arrives in 2 minutes instead of 30 minutes. Also, the car arrives at all.
  16. The google app has a beaker for tests now?
  17. Snap maps has gifs in it
  18. Apple Maps lets you scan buildings? And has tips about good restaurants and events?
  19. When I bet in the Manifold app. A real paper Crain flies from the nearest tree, lands in front of me and unfolds. Written inside, “Will Eliezer Yudkowsky open a rationalist bakery?” I circle “Yes”. The paper meticulously folds itself back to a Crain. It looks at me. Makes a little sound that doesn’t echo in the streets but in my head, and it burns. Every time this happens I save the ashes. Are Manifold creating new matter? How are they doing this?
  20. That one was a lie

Things that won’t kill me but scare me rational/irrational:

  1. What if I’ve been wrong? What if this is all a scam? A cult? What if Mum was right?
  2. What if I show up to the location and there is no building there?
  3. What if I make some terribly awkward cultural blunder for SF and everyone yells at me?
  4. What if no one tells me?
  5. I’m sure I’ll be at least in the bottom 5% for intelligence at Less Online. I won’t be surprised or hurt if I’ve got the least Gs of people there. But what if it all goes over my head? Maybe I can’t even communicate with smart people about the things I care about.
  6. What if I can’t handle people telling me what they think of my arguments without kid gloves? What if I get angry and haven’t learnt to handle that?
  7. I’m just a Drama teacher and Psych student. My head is filled with improv games and fun facts about Clever Hans! ‘Average’ Americans seem to achieve much higher than ‘average’ Australians. I’m scared of feeling under qualified.

Other things:

  1. Can you think of something I should be worried about, that I’ve not written here?
  2. I’ve brought my copies of the Rationality A-Z books. I want to ask people I meet to sign their favourite post in the two books. Is that culturally acceptable? Feels kinda weird bc Yud is going to be there. But it would be a really warm/fuzzy item to me in the future.
  3. I don’t actually know what a lot of the writers going look like. I hope this doesn’t result in a blunder. But might be funny, given that I expect rationalists to be pretty chill.
  4. Are other people as excited about the Fooming Shoggoths as I am?
  5. I’m 23, I have no idea if that is very old, very young, or about normal for a rationalist. I’d guess about normal, with big spread across the right of a graph.

It feels super weird to be in the same town as a bunch of you guys now. I’ve never met a rationalist irl. I talked to Ruby over zoom once, who said to me “You know you don’t have to stay in Australia right?” I hope Ruby is a good baseline for niceness levels of you all.

If you’re going, I’ll see you at Less.Online. If you’re not, I’d still love to meet you. Feel free to DM me!

Comment by keltan on What mistakes has the AI safety movement made? · 2024-05-26T04:40:10.264Z · LW · GW

Hi! Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a considered response to my ramble of a comment.

Your first question is a hard one to express in text. Instead, I’ll try hard to write a list of requirements for a situation to generate that feeling for me. Then you might be able to image a scenario that meets the requirements and get a similar feeling?


  • I must deeply care about the core idea of the subject. For example, I deeply care about animals not coming to harm, or about the world being destroyed by ASI.
  • I must disagree with the way it is being protested. For example, the use of loudspeakers, or shouting. Seeming angry gives a sense of irrationality, even if the idea itself is rational.
  • I have only seen this in twitter feed context
  • I am already scared of the reaction my employer, family, or friends would have if I expressed the idea. For example, I’m afraid when I have to tell a waiter at a restaurant that I’m vegan, because it is a “weird” idea. “Weird” defined above.

What I’ve seen:

  • Again, just on twitter
  • Extremely small protest groups reminds me of all the antivax or 5G protests I’ve seen irl
  • Loudspeakers and yelling
  • Leaders on loudspeakers addressing individual open AI employees from outside of gates. In what seems to be a threatening tone. While not necessarily being threatening in context.
  • Protestors not taking the inferential distance into account. Which I assume would lead to a confused public. Or individuals presuming the protestors are Luddites.

Thank you again for your reply. I enjoyed having to make this as explicit as possible. Hopefully it helps make the feeling I have clearer.

And thanks you for doing something. I’m not doing anything. I think something is better than nothing.

Comment by keltan on Beta Tester Request: Rallypoint Bounties · 2024-05-25T09:29:27.561Z · LW · GW

Are there plans to expand this further if the Beta runs well?

Comment by keltan on Text Posts from the Kids Group: 2020 · 2024-05-24T11:04:41.643Z · LW · GW

I feel like I’m watching Bluey

Comment by keltan on What mistakes has the AI safety movement made? · 2024-05-24T10:39:20.205Z · LW · GW

IMO I’d feel a lot better if it was less angryish. I think there probably is something like a protest that I can imagine working. I’m not sure if I’d call it a protest? Unless, have you got example protests?

I can image a “change my mind” type of stall/stalls. Where people have calm conversations to explain the situation to the public.

Comment by keltan on What mistakes has the AI safety movement made? · 2024-05-24T10:36:05.657Z · LW · GW

That’s interesting that you don’t consider it a “”weird” thing to protest”.

I guess I want to explicitly point that part out and ask if you stand by the statement? Or maybe I define weird differently? To me weird inside this context means:

“A thing or action that is out of the ordinary in a way that someone encountering it for the first, second, or third time, wouldn’t see as quirky. But as a red flag. If not pre-attached to that thing or person performing the action, a the person seeing it for the first time might form a negative opinion based on the feeling they get seeing it”

Comment by keltan on What mistakes has the AI safety movement made? · 2024-05-24T05:18:05.891Z · LW · GW

I see the Pause AI protests and I cringe. They give me the same feeling I get when I see vegans walk into McDonald’s covered in blood. It feels like: “oh, look. A group that I am a part of is now going to be tied to this small groups actions. That kinda sucks because I wouldn’t do that myself. Totally get their feeling though. Good for them sorta maybe, but also please stop.”

I understand that Scott Alexander talked about PETA and animal ethics a while ago. But I think AI safety has an opportunity right now to take a different approach than PETA had to.

People are already scared. This doesn’t impact “the other” this impacts them. Make that clear. But make it clear is a way that your uncle won’t laugh at over Christmas dinner.

Edit: I just reread this and feel it was a bit harsh on the PAI people. I’m sorry about that. I’d like to point to Chris_Leong’s comment below. It offers something that feels like a better critique than the one I made originally.

Comment by keltan on What mistakes has the AI safety movement made? · 2024-05-24T05:17:54.534Z · LW · GW

I feel like I just walked through a mirror maze and got socked in the nose a couple of times.

In other words, I saw myself, and it hurt.

Comment by keltan on Do you believe in hundred dollar bills lying on the ground? Consider humming · 2024-05-23T22:25:53.890Z · LW · GW

Possible pseudoscientific downside here:

I have often read that if you’d like to make your voice deeper, humming deeply helps quite a lot. Which means I’d expect the opposite to be true if you’re humming high. That’s a downside or an upside depending on who you are and what you want.


Comment by keltan on Cicadas, Anthropic, and the bilateral alignment problem · 2024-05-23T21:33:54.417Z · LW · GW

To bypass the XKCD problem. Maybe we have marketing people who know a lot about ai for the average person, but only very little compared to the average ai researcher?

Comment by keltan on Should we be concerned about eating too much soy? · 2024-05-23T07:31:06.905Z · LW · GW

My understanding is phytoestrogens are plant hormones. If you’d like to intake more animal oestrogen I believe cows milk contains quite a bit.

Anecdotally, I’ve been drinking soy milk every day for ~2 years now. I sometimes go for a week or two eating Tofu as my primary food. I really don’t think it’s a problem.

I however don’t want to comment on soy oil. I don’t have enough info about that.

Comment by keltan on Do Not Mess With Scarlett Johansson · 2024-05-23T07:26:32.534Z · LW · GW

That’s very true. I remember seeing Sam talk in Melbourne a year ago when he was on the “world tour”. Talking about people getting emotionally attached to or using GPT for therapy made him clearly uncomfortable. Or, that’s what he seemed to be signaling. I really did believe that it made him incredibly squeamish.

Comment by keltan on "Which chains-of-thought was that faster than?" · 2024-05-23T06:32:01.762Z · LW · GW

I’ve been thinking about “shortening the way” a lot lately. I’m really glad to see someone else is too.

I did a super rapid, 20 minutes, collect as many data sources about this as possible a few weeks ago. I still haven’t audited them. But there they are anyway. They’re all markdown still bc I’m typing on mobile. Apologies.

  1. "How could I have thought that faster?"
  2. Tuning your Cognitive Strategies
  3. What's up with psychonetics?
    1. deconcentration-of-attention
      1. Deconcentration of Attention: Addressing the Complexity of Software Engineering
      2. Psychonetics: a methodology to work with mind and perception
    2. Ithkuil
  4. Notice your everything
  5. "Focusing," for skeptics.
  6. Babble and Prune
  8. "Fractal Strategy" workshop report
  9. The 5-Second Level
  10. Meditation: a self-experiment
  11. How and Why to Granularize
  12. Native mental representations that give huge speedups on problems?
  13. Brienne Strohl on Hacking Memory
  14. What It's Like To Notice Things
  15. Agenty Duck
Comment by keltan on Some perspectives on the discipline of Physics · 2024-05-20T23:36:20.259Z · LW · GW

I’m just finishing up an intro to physics course for university this semester. I self taught math last year. So I was expecting the hardest part to be the math itself. But actually the hardest part was similar to the start of “what else is there to say”. Understanding that formulas are written with different symbols depending on who is writing them and how they are feeling that day.

Like, why can (s) represent:

  • Seconds
  • Time itself
  • Distance
  • Displacement
  • Probably a few other things I’m forgetting

The hand rules for magnetic fields all called different things by different people. What!?

Still not finished reading this post. But I’m really enjoying it so far. Hope to see you at LessOnline!

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-19T21:05:16.386Z · LW · GW

Man, I wish that was my experience. I feel like I’m constantly asking GPT4o a question, getting a weird or bad response. Then switching to 4 to finish the job.

Comment by keltan on On Privilege · 2024-05-19T11:14:01.837Z · LW · GW

Hmmm, I think the original post was an interesting idea. I think your comment points to something related but different. Perhaps taboo words?

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-19T11:05:13.532Z · LW · GW

I’ve seen a lot about GPT4o being kinda bad, and I’ve experienced that myself. This surprises me.

Now I will say something that feels like a silly idea. Is it possible that having the audio/visual part of the network cut off results in 4o’s poor reasoning? As in, the whole model is doing some sort of audio/visual reasoning. But we don’t have the whole model, so it can’t reason in the way it was trained to.

If that is the case, I’d expect that when those parts are publicly released, scores on benchmarks shoot up?

Do people smarter and more informed than me have predictions about this?

Comment by keltan on Why you should learn a musical instrument · 2024-05-18T11:52:52.537Z · LW · GW

I haven’t, but I’ll take a look. I appreciate the recommendation!

Comment by keltan on Why you should learn a musical instrument · 2024-05-18T11:21:29.980Z · LW · GW

I wouldn’t say I have a good grasp on Nutrition either. But spent a bit of time last year making sure I could parry any uncomfortable comments about my nutrition my family might make because of my veganism.

It seems the main thing is B12. Even the hard core vegan types, who don’t want to give an inch to the “other side”will admit this one is necessary. That makes me believe it really is.

What I’ll say in this next paragraph might be very wrong. If someone sees this and can call me on anything I’m wrong about, I’d love that.

Before going vegan I took fish oil. That’s because I’d heard Omega 3 was “beneficial for brain function”. That carried over when I went vegan, but I mostly ate walnuts as my source. Then I learnt that there are 3 Omega 3 Acids. (I should have noticed my confusion about that “3”, but I was not a rationalist at the time). I then learnt that ALA gets converted into EPA or another chemical. So by skipping ALA and going straight to DHA you potentially don’t lose anything.

Looking back on this, I think when I’m nearing the end of my current DHA supply I might need to take another look at Omega 3 and its functions. Something about it still feels a little off.

Comment by keltan on Stephen Fowler's Shortform · 2024-05-18T10:49:30.906Z · LW · GW

I’d like to see people who are more informed than I am have a conversation about this. Maybe at

Comment by keltan on Why you should learn a musical instrument · 2024-05-18T10:45:25.140Z · LW · GW

Only bc I’m vegan. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be supplementing it.

I wish I could say I had a more accurate model. But my understanding doesn’t go deeper than DHA = Myelin = Faster processing

Was this purely a question? Or is there something I should look into here?

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-18T03:24:50.890Z · LW · GW

This seems incredibly interesting to me. Googling “White-boarding techniques” only gives me results about digitally shared idea spaces. Is this what you’re referring to? I’d love to hear more on this topic.

Comment by keltan on Is there a place to find the most cited LW articles of all time? · 2024-05-17T04:56:44.868Z · LW · GW

That’s an important point I neglected. I mean something like “the top LW post on the list would have the most links from other LW posts”

For example, I’d expect “More Dakka” would be high up on the list. Since it is mentioned in LW posts quite often.

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-17T01:17:58.126Z · LW · GW

Maybe I could even write a sequence on this?

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-17T01:17:05.797Z · LW · GW

Note to self, write a post about the novel akrasia solutions I thought up before becoming a rationalist.

  • Figuring out how to want to want to do things
  • Personalised advertising of Things I Wanted to Want to Do
  • What I do when all else fails
Comment by keltan on Why you should learn a musical instrument · 2024-05-16T21:23:20.811Z · LW · GW

Oh, it’s nothing exciting. Here are the changes I’ve made since last time.

  • Started taking longer morning walks and doing yoga
  • No Tv of YouTube, so that the guitar is like a super stimuli
  • Taking DHA algae powder instead of relying on walnuts for ALA, that converts to EPA, that converts to DHA and forms myelin sheaths in the brain
  • Spaced repetition
  • playing before bed
  • not cramming practice sessions. Instead playing for 20-30 minutes at a time.
Comment by keltan on Why you should learn a musical instrument · 2024-05-15T21:33:11.919Z · LW · GW

This was interesting for me. I’m currently learning the guitar and am torn between continuing or not. It is fun, but there is only a certain amount I can use my hands before I get RSI on any given day.

Besides for figuring out the limits of my hands, which has helped some with developing a better stretching routine. I haven’t had any major improvements in my life because of it.

I did notice that I learned much quicker than I have in the past when I’ve tried to learn instruments. Which tells me that my current character build optimisation towards learning and memory is working. That was a good data point to update on.

It sounds like you’re having a lot of fun though, and your brain sees music differently to mine. I hope it continues to be rewarding for a long time!

Comment by keltan on Building intuition with spaced repetition systems · 2024-05-14T04:09:19.514Z · LW · GW

Sometimes, when I’m thinking about learning a topic, I’ll look at the first video in the YouTube CrashCourse series for the topic. Then I’ll turn that into Anki cards. They’ll then act as hooks of understanding going forward.

I think any topic’s introductory Crash Course video would work well for the video that you’re trying to make.

Comment by keltan on keltan's Shortform · 2024-05-11T02:49:10.995Z · LW · GW

I currently am completing psychological studies for credit in my university psych course. The entire time, all I can think is “I wonder if that detail is the one they’re using to trick me with?”

I wonder how this impacts results. I can’t imagine being in a heightened state of looking out for deception has no impact.

Comment by keltan on Dyslucksia · 2024-05-11T01:42:53.455Z · LW · GW

I’ve got a few questions.

  1. What is “WRT brain function”?
  2. How does someone train themself out of subvocalising?
  3. If you think critically, has speed reading actually increased your learning rate for semantic knowledge?
  4. Most things have downsides, what are the downsides of speed reading?
  5. What are your Words Per Minute (WPM)?
  6. Did you test WPM before learning speed reading?
  7. If this was an RPG, what level do you think you are in speed reading from 1-100?
  8. How long did it take you to reach your current level in this skill?

Sorry that’s a lot of questions. I’ve been curious about this topic for a while. But the sources I hear it recommended from aren’t ones I completely trust. So it feels like a good opportunity getting to ask a LWer about it.

Comment by keltan on shortest goddamn bayes guide ever · 2024-05-10T21:10:45.039Z · LW · GW

In my head I was thinking a tree branch moving in the wind.

Comment by keltan on Dyslucksia · 2024-05-10T08:10:20.978Z · LW · GW

I think it would be correct to say that therapy was effective for my reading. By the end of primary school I could read at a normal level. However, my reading out loud ability seems not to have improved too much since then. I hadn’t realised until just now. But I still have to memorise how to say new words. I can, with a small effort, look at a simple word I have never encountered and pronounce it. Though, the word has to be quite simple. I host trivia as a side gig, and any question with a name that isn’t spelled traditionally trips me up badly. It can be pretty embarrassing trying to say “Sarrah” and not realising it’s just pronounced “Sarah”.

That’s the thing that leads me to think, at least with reading out loud, I have to explicitly memorise a words pronunciation before I can say it. Instead of what I assume others can do, and just look at a word and know how to say it.

In writing, it was necessity and cultural pressure. By the time I was reading out loud alright I was still writing like “i fond how to Mack a YouTube account” “ken i”. That’s a real quote my mother sent me a few weeks ago. When I realised I wasn’t getting what I wanted, (Winning MC battles, Reddit upvotes, winning Facebook wars, girls would comment on my spelling and I didn’t want them to) I would look around at the way others were writing things and cargo cult type copy whatever they were doing. Actually, that’s still what I do.

I don’t think it was high intelligence that caused me to notice these fixes. It took far too long to be intelligence. Instead, I think I’m really competitive and like showing off. Eventually I found methods that got the results I was going for.

I also watched a lot of JacksFilms YGS

Comment by keltan on Raemon's Shortform · 2024-05-10T07:44:13.929Z · LW · GW

Ramble dot points of thoughts I had around this.

  1. I like this idea

  2. When I listen to very high power or smart people debate, what I’m looking for is to absorb their knowledge.

    1. Tacit and semantic.
  3. Instead, as the debate heats up, I feel myself being draw into one of the sides.

    1. I spend more time thinking about my bias than the points being made.
    2. I’m not sure what I’m picking up from heated debate is as valuable as it could be.
  4. If the interlocutors are not already close friends, perhaps having them complete a quick bonding exercise to gain trust?

    1. I image playing on the same team in a video game or solving a physical problem together.
    2. Really let them settle into a vibe of being friends. Let them understand what it feels like to work with this new person toward a common goal.
Comment by keltan on jacquesthibs's Shortform · 2024-05-10T07:10:05.955Z · LW · GW

Big fan of Cal’s work. He’s certainly someone who is pushing the front lines in the fight against acrasia. I’m currently reading “how to win at college”. It’s a super information dense package. Feels a bit like rationality from a-z, if it were specifically for college students trying to succeed.

Why did you decide to share this quote? I feel like I’m missing some key context that could aid my understanding.

Comment by keltan on Dyslucksia · 2024-05-10T06:53:34.283Z · LW · GW

Is it not normal to sub vocalise?

Could people react to this comment with a Tick if they do, and a cross if they don’t?

Comment by keltan on Dyslucksia · 2024-05-10T06:50:42.493Z · LW · GW

I was diagnosed as a kid. I went through a. lot. of. therapy. Lots of special classes and making two thumbs up then pushing your knuckles together to make a bed that spells bed. That all helped a lot. But three things helped to the point where I hardly think about it these days.

  1. Minecraft PVP servers. You need to be able to effectively communicate with your team and taunt the enemy. And you need to be able to do it while someone is running at you with a sword.

  2. Fighting with Antivax people as a teenager on Facebook. The biggest slip up someone could make in a Facebook argument was mixing up “you’re” and “your”

  3. Talking to girls I liked who could actually spell things correctly. I got very good at rapidly googling how to spell words as I was typing a response.

Comment by keltan on some thoughts on LessOnline · 2024-05-09T12:14:58.959Z · LW · GW

That’s a great idea, Thank you!

And here it is:

Comment by keltan on some thoughts on LessOnline · 2024-05-09T06:06:22.084Z · LW · GW

“Whiteboards everywhere” and my non-ironic favourite band are debuting songs!!!

But, I’m only a year old rationalist and I live in Australia on a uni student budget. Still… I’m considering flying out. It would be pretty incredible to run some abstract improv workshops with other truth seeking nerds. I think I need to sit down and calculate.

Is this the type of event that a first year rationalist could attend and get value from/be welcome at? What is the likelihood that it will run again next year? Is there a prediction market for that?

Edit: There is now.

Comment by keltan on Observations on Teaching for Four Weeks · 2024-05-09T05:37:15.909Z · LW · GW

That’s a great question! I’ve been teaching arts classes for a youth charity for 5 years now. Ages range from 5-18. I myself am 23.

I’d say this has happened twice? I’m counting a one off lesson with some 16-18 year olds a few years ago. And a series of weeks in which I had extremely little control over some 8-10 year olds. In that case I was able to control individuals if they had my full attention. But would ‘lose’ them when I focused on the next kid.

Your question caused me to think of why these things may have happened. Though I’m curious to hear what you think before I spill my guts.

Comment by keltan on Observations on Teaching for Four Weeks · 2024-05-08T22:20:33.964Z · LW · GW

The moment that I dread as a teacher and that has happened to me a few times. Is when the students realise that your authority is totally made up. I guess this is why we don’t teach philosophy in schools. I have never figured out a way to recover from this blunder. If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it.

Comment by keltan on Observations on Teaching for Four Weeks · 2024-05-08T22:16:24.289Z · LW · GW

Related to your principals comment. I can’t speak too much about the situation. Though am close with a former principal of a mid sized rural town. A real tricky job, and they knew that taking it on. It happened to be a town that (if I understand correctly) our government was sending a lot of refugees to. This resulted in a school where a large minority couldn’t speak English. In top of that, it’s a rural school. Notorious for horrible shit. Anyway, this principal made a small slip up and publicly apologised in a video. It then went locally viral and the state wide news picked it up. This principle was dragged through the mud for half a year. They couldn’t go to the grocery store or walk down the street. The news just kept going. I live pretty far away from them, but people know I know them. I had people come up and give condolences because of how harsh the treatment had been in the media.

I’m not sure how much this adds to the discussion. But I hope it helps to update someone’s model. A principle is a public figure with power over a tiny domain. They are sometimes attacked in the same way as a politician, but without the defences that politicians have.

Comment by keltan on Decaeneus's Shortform · 2024-05-07T21:33:00.864Z · LW · GW

Teacher here, can confirm.

Comment by keltan on What are some triggers that prompt you to do a Fermi estimate, or to pull up a spreadsheet and make a simple/rough quantitative model? · 2024-05-06T11:59:24.050Z · LW · GW

While an odd answer, it is true for me that music helps to install rational thinking. I think I’ve done maybe 3 fermi estimates in my day to day after making and listening to this song.

The Fermi Estimate Jig - LessWrong Inspired

Having it stuck in my head has been effective for me. I hope it works for others.

Comment by keltan on Increasing IQ is trivial · 2024-05-04T08:32:54.718Z · LW · GW

Very quick google search. But something like this link for the “targeted NIR interference therapy”?

Comment by keltan on Duct Tape security · 2024-04-26T23:08:03.951Z · LW · GW

Duct-tape fixes are common in the wake of anything that goes publicly wrong. When people get hurt, they demand change, and they pressure whoever is in charge to give it to them. But implementing a proper fix is generally more complicated (since you have to perform a root cause analysis), less visible (therefore not earning the leader any social credit), or just plain unnecessary (if the risk was already priced in). So the incentives are in favor of quickly slapping something together that superficially appears to be a solution, without regards for whether it makes sense.

Wow, I kinda already knew this. But it had never been said so clearly and brought to the front of my mind in this way. It perfectly describes the strategies YouTube has used through its various apocalypses.

Comment by keltan on The Importance of Saying "Oops" · 2024-04-26T08:53:01.295Z · LW · GW

I rewrote this as lyrics and fed it into Udio for 5 hours until it gave me this. I think music helps internalize rationalist skills.

Comment by keltan on LessWrong's (first) album: I Have Been A Good Bing · 2024-04-26T03:12:08.207Z · LW · GW

I agree! I’ve been writing then generating my own LW inspired songs now.

I wish it was common for LW posts to have accompanying songs now.