Figures! 2018-02-13T21:43:27.424Z


Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on March link roundup · 2018-04-21T09:04:26.485Z · LW · GW

If we don't have media threads anymore, let's just post links in comments to your posts? with a separate thread for"DiscussinGwern" ))

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Remembering school math fondly · 2018-04-10T14:02:45.980Z · LW · GW

"Mathematics practically applied to the useful and fine arts" by Baron Charles Dupin is a neat one, it shows some application.

(but the math teachers in our school were all sworn to the idea that we should do it because we just should:)

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Is Rhetoric Worth Learning? · 2018-04-09T08:57:39.934Z · LW · GW

Also, remember *Captain Brassbound's Conversion*? Lady Cicely was my Rhetorics Ideal for a while...

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Is Rhetoric Worth Learning? · 2018-04-09T08:40:30.208Z · LW · GW

I think rhetorics can be "friendly" and "adversarial", and the two things require different skills (and of course there is "art".)

**About friendly rhetorics:**

at the meetings of our team for bioconservation, being the "scribe" meant you have fewer chances to put in your own five cents, and kind of more desire for others' clarity of thought:) so in practice it meant mutual training:

  • asking people to clarify;
  • tracking who said what (we sent out write-ups afterwards and naturally people got upset if their position was misrepresented);
  • sometimes reminding everybody we need A Conclusion;
  • preparing tea (it is better for the voice than speaking "drily", it's *not* beer (which not everybody likes or can afford), it means you can stuck the kettle into someone's cold hands and so make them welcome without a hitch in the discussion, & the making of it can be used for a break from That One Topic which nobody agrees upon);
  • speaking shortly. I still remember the time when we couldn't decide how best to chart a pigsty (being built somewhere on protected land), and I said "there's a GPS", and there was blessed silence :)

**For adversarial rhetorics,** the one thing that helps most is letting 'em know you come prepared - it means they will waste resources on weighing their own arguments against your possible answers; so:

  • decide what you want to say beforehand and have all references either learnt or written down;
  • if possible, BYOS - bring [copies of] your original sources (law print-outs, etc), earmarked and highlighted;
  • if you can help it, don't enter arguments you expect to lose, if this means setting a dangerous precedent or a hit to your image;
  • do not get off topic, do not be less than polite (which is harder when you have limited time and need shortcuts - informality can hurt, and it will be easily used against you);
  • citing precise figures is good - there's a "but the numbers speak for themselves" feel about them, and if you are wrong about them, you will have maid "a noble mistake", unless, well, it was obviously not noble;
  • study the other side's sources closely;
  • if you work with journalists, demand reading the piece before publication and check, at least, all names in it (srsly).

I notice that I'm thinking about "friendly rhetorics" as having two sides, and "adversarial rhetorics" as having three - you, your opponent. and the observers; I am merely used to this setting, but it doesn't mean it can't be the other way round.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Global insect declines: Why aren't we all dead yet? · 2018-04-03T14:50:26.552Z · LW · GW

Not an expert; I think a better question would be not "why aren't we dying" but "what we can actually see if...". We're not dying on "this" scale due to very many reasons. Here's just some thoughts I had, all "weak hypotheses".

So, maybe:

1) we need better studies, and simply cannot say anything from "undifferentiated insect biomass" (seriously, what part of it was pollinators, what part - predators, etc?)

2) due to some weird thing, most of the effect is happening in the sea, not on land (how much organic matter is washed out now, and how it compares to 50 years before?)

3) it's not extinction we should be looking out for, but rapid evolution of other organisms that are going to occupy the freed niches (since the one rule of biology says "it will be consumed" :); an especially interesting problem here is evolution of communities, not of species. Think drier plains & Artemisia, Atriplex, etc -based herbaceous layer instead of the usual "full-blooded Poaceae-Fabaceae seesaw"? Dunno when desertification will catch up, but if Ambrosia is going to be typical of the new coenoses, pollinators are gonna sell out.

(that's just off the top of my head)

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Science like a chef · 2018-02-14T15:28:21.059Z · LW · GW

cough quality of ingredients cough :)

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on A Proper Scoring Rule for Confidence Intervals · 2018-02-14T15:17:18.676Z · LW · GW

Thank you for providing an example!

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Hufflepuff Cynicism · 2018-02-14T14:19:19.475Z · LW · GW

And sometimes, it's about money.


Me: "There was a patch of forest here."

Internal voice: "There are other places, some of them defendable."

Me: "They burned it down."

IV: "Yeah, but you don't get to see the success stories. You know there are success stories."

Me: "The ground's still hot."

IV: "And that's what will certainly happen to those other places if you don't survey them first."

Me: "It's about money."

IV: "...okay, let's go get a life."

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Hammers and Nails · 2018-02-05T09:20:40.443Z · LW · GW

My favourite trick is "noticing when I am not actually upset/angry/tired with someone or something". I started doing it before I learned about LW - back then I called it "don't fall down before you're hit" in my head. For example, I come to visit a friend who has a young child, and have to sit outside for half an hour before she picks her phone - but the weather is fine, and I notice I'm not actually annoyed by having to wait.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Paper Trauma · 2018-02-04T20:57:58.974Z · LW · GW

Also, I feel like people should snowclone "X is not a special snowflake" more. "My textbook is not a special snowflake [and I may buy a better one]" (it really sticks if you have to offload a hundred such textbooks), "my pen is not a special snowflake [and I can write with it, dammit]", "my notes are not special snowflakes [and don't have to be perfect or legible]". Just imagine things being manufactured , as in there being hundreds of thousands of them.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Paper Trauma · 2018-02-04T20:22:19.172Z · LW · GW

...although whenever I carry some equipment beyond just paper and pen (ruler, compass, eraser, or worse - a binder), reaching for paper is more of a chore. I need to trick myself into "oh that's Emergencies Stuff, I don't need it, I'm just being responsible".

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Paper Trauma · 2018-02-04T20:15:39.762Z · LW · GW

Then don't use a giant open pad on your desk! Keep smallish heaps of almost-scraps that are perfectly nibbleable in strategic locations. My Mom's Telephone Table was a compact breathing nightmare, but it worked for her.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Paper Trauma · 2018-02-04T20:09:20.590Z · LW · GW

I think that if a person is at all inclined to collect things, paper is essential. (Although I draw the line at carrying a pencil - it's more trustworthy than a pen when it's raining or something, but I never got the trick of keeping my pencils sharp). It actually works just fine for long-term memory, too :)

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Magic Brain Juice · 2018-01-28T12:30:14.876Z · LW · GW

I think there should be another side. Surely, under this model, falling out of a habit should be hard?

I very easily fell out of habit of doing 2-hours-long yoga-style exercises every two days after doing it for about seven years or more (parents' idea). What is more, I wasn't doing it alone, so sometimes it was easier to begin because someone else already had. I remember just being fed up with it.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Fashionable or Fundamental Thought in Communities · 2018-01-19T12:50:09.102Z · LW · GW

Or maybe no "The Book"s have been written on these things that people no longer talk about.

In that case, sooner or later there will be The Book, and we'll be talking about it again.

Or maybe biases started separately and got concerted later, akrasia started as a hydra with many heads and then just got propagated into many unnamed things nobody here is going to rigorously refute or support with a study.

In that case, the unnamed things might segregate into more natural categories (or maybe they already have and it is simply false that akrasia doesn't get talked about).

Or maybe new people came who were never told the reason why the earlier discussions should be interesting.

In that case, I expect biases to come out of fashion after a while.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Babble · 2018-01-11T15:48:49.774Z · LW · GW

That's an odd definition of poetry. It seems, at least to me, that people want it to make sense, maybe whimsical, unapologetic, comfy, soaring, blunt or some other specific kind of sense, which is hardly a filter that maximizes "rational thought", but - pure rhyme and meter? Seriously?

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on The Loudest Alarm Is Probably False · 2018-01-04T11:10:10.912Z · LW · GW

Now the next big question is, what to count as reliable reassurance...

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Happiness Is a Chore · 2017-12-25T19:29:18.473Z · LW · GW

Realistically? How many times do you expect to reach euphoria in the time that is left you? I agree with the "mild feeling" POV - and I would not kill for a rose.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Improvement Without Superstition · 2017-12-23T20:30:09.624Z · LW · GW

Although I don't think all of your heuristics apply to all situations. Sometimes an action might not be necessary, or even the best of non-necessary, to be seen as reasonable, if it generates desire to go further.

For example, my child is learning to write, read, speak clearly, type, find places on maps and do arithmetics. I know they'll teach him that in school, and that he will have to practice during various lessons, so from my point of view his skills are going to just improve on their own, and there's no real hurry to make it happen. I still think it's useful to support his own efforts in making "weather forecasts" (using official websites for information), because he gets to do some visible work and it's actually fun.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Improvement Without Superstition · 2017-12-23T20:03:57.475Z · LW · GW

In some labs, they say that some people just cause machines to stop functioning without doing anything to the machines, and one should avoid their company. (I don't mean you - it's what a relative of mine was believed to do some thirty years back.) Superstition? Perhaps. Or perhaps these "agents of evil" distract those who are working and they make mistakes? Anyway, it is hard to separate office beliefs into superstitions proper and multidimensional duct tape.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on The Darwin Results · 2017-11-27T13:33:13.741Z · LW · GW

but how did the three programs identify each other?

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Communities you might join thread · 2017-11-25T16:44:08.015Z · LW · GW

"long horizon" can be people checking the same thing year after year... like demography studies, calibration tracking, or (in my case) re-sampling the same pool of herbarium roots for mycorrhiza counts (it can be found there even after the plant is dried, but nobody knows how much of it is lost.) Do you think that, for example, 10-years-long projects and 12-y-l ones will have different problems? Do you think that people should start long-term projects after their children grow to a certain age?

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Hogwarts House Primaries · 2017-11-25T16:14:16.426Z · LW · GW

Would you say that the Last Psychiatrist is a Slytherin Primary, then?

Comment by kulya-botaniki on [deleted post] 2017-11-25T10:49:12.606Z

But if so, how are you different from a bot?

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on The Archipelago Model of Community Standards · 2017-11-22T21:16:20.392Z · LW · GW

Communities are crutches - we need them for reasons, and that's why they don't just fall to pieces. You could talk to people who already are doing this. Some of them, at least, will say that they don't like watchers (non-participants). And then how will you observe the thing you wanted to?

Comment by kulya-botaniki on [deleted post] 2017-11-22T20:59:07.263Z

I take it you don't have kids, do you.

Comment by Куля Ботаніки (kulya-botaniki) on Hogwarts House Primaries · 2017-11-21T13:14:27.797Z · LW · GW

For me, i just seem like a burned everything according to this system, except perhaps not a burned Slytherin