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Death Positive Movement 2020-12-11T18:29:13.879Z

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Comment by lejuletre on Thoughts on Ad Blocking · 2021-05-07T17:23:37.885Z · LW · GW

I would use an adblocker that compromised by only blocking ads (and "you're supposed to be seeing an ad here :(" notifications) that move and/or cover text. I said this in a comment on the last post, but I wasn't kidding when I said ads make some websites truly unusable (or slow them down to that point). Just last night I was using Chrome with no adblocker (I usually use Firefox with ublock origin), and citationmachine.net/ was so slow and cluttered that I ended up switching back to Firefox to make my single citation and copy it back to my document in Chrome. 

citationmachine.net in Chrome with no adblocker; there are 4 ad slots visible including 1 video. All of the ads are moving and the actual content of the website is below all of the ads. 
The same website in Firefox with ublock origin. There is a large blank space where ads would normally go, so I still have to scroll down to the content, but nothing is covering said content.

I would be happy with an adblocker that froze these moving ads and removed the "Ace hardware" ad which is covering the content as well as the HBO Max video (which plays sound). The CVS/Paypal ad is duplicated in this screenshot, but as the ads refresh they are usually not duplicated.

If all ads looked like ads on slatestarcodex used to, I would be fine with them. I've bought things from facebook ads before and I don't mind being shown content I'm likely to buy (and I find facebook's strategy of disguising its ads like posts to be misleading, but minimally disruptive). But I cannot navigate around an internet that shows 4+ ads on any page I visit. It's excessive.

Comment by lejuletre on Why I Work on Ads · 2021-05-04T03:25:19.468Z · LW · GW

I see a lot of disagreement about whether ads are "manipulative" or not, and I generally agree with OP's example in another comment about a contra dance. I have also organized various clubs and activities before, and I don't really think "ads you see when using a website" and "ads you see when glancing at your university's activities wall" are all that different, ethically speaking. 

I think the "manipulation" aspect has far more to do with the content of an ad than where it's placed. Concerns of this sort are ones I would level at someone who works in marketing, not someone who works for Google. The most salient example I can think of are beauty product ads, which play a major role in perpetuating toxic beauty standards (even if they're not guilt-tripping you personally into buying more makeup to fix your face wrinkles). But again, I don't think this is something the people working for AdSense have control over (unless they do?).

My concerns about ads for someone who works for Google (or any other software or browser company), would be concerns (as OP mentions) about ads making websites unusable, especially on mobile. This includes things like YouTube increasing the number of ads you have to watch before a video starts* as well as pop-up ads and automatic videos that play on articles. If your job involves figuring out how to incorporate ads into the browsing experience without making them break or stall, that's helpful as far as I'm concerned.

There is probably also something to be said for the harm caused by Google's monopoly on the AdSense system, but I don't know enough about tech or internet management to comment on it beyond my vague suspicions. 

*ACrackedPot below also mentions the use of ads as a punishment to punish free-version users into paying for a subscription, and while I wouldn't call this "unethical" or insidious the way that makeup ads are, I think it's a dick move. 

Comment by lejuletre on [Letter] Advice for High School #1 · 2021-04-20T17:38:07.647Z · LW · GW

Yeah I agree, I think you can get pretty far with educating yourself while having read maaaybe 1 or 2 of the 4+ books listed in the post, unless you find that that is something that really interests you. Of course reading nonfiction is a gr8 way to educate yourself (though you have to be careful, because a lot of published nonfiction has lower epistemic standards than would be ideal), but again, that nonfiction doesn't have to be about the flaws of the education system unless you really care about learning about the flaws of the education system.

sincerely, someone who reads a lot about the flaws in the education system

Comment by lejuletre on Seven Years of Spaced Repetition Software in the Classroom · 2021-03-08T18:42:26.311Z · LW · GW

Is this the post you're thinking of ?

Comment by lejuletre on Seven Years of Spaced Repetition Software in the Classroom · 2021-03-05T17:06:31.794Z · LW · GW

Do you think that instinctive drive to listen to experts "talk shop" applies to apathetic students, though? I worry that the chance to listen to "experts" (native speakers) chat at the front of the room would be too easily taken as a chance to tune out and relax (especially since what they're getting from the experience is more metadata about how a conversation in the target language works than any particular language content itself). I'm not sure how the "authenticity" rule applies either, for the same reason. I don't see how "We instinctively want to be able to talk like the experts do so we can blend in with them" would apply to a student with no desire to become an expert/fluent speaker. Do you think these are relevant questions, or do you think that the benefit of such a expert-expert interaction to highly motivated students would outweigh the uselessness to unmotivated ones?

My instinct for expert self-talk in foreign language instruction is just normal talking to oneself; "thinking aloud," as it were. I'm not sure the best way to demonstrate that to the class, since I think the most authentic scenario would be to put them in an immersive environment so they can figure it out. But if we had ready access to immersive environments then foreign language classrooms would be in much better shape.

WRT 2, yes, pronunciation is something that was never explicitly taught in my high school language experience, and I think it would help students build confidence in their speaking. I haven't yet figured out the best way to do this without teaching them IPA, but it's definitely something I want to incorporate. Even if they can get the vowel system down (ignoring tricky consonants like trilled R's and unaspirated T's) I think many students would be in a better boat than they are now.

Comment by lejuletre on Seven Years of Spaced Repetition Software in the Classroom · 2021-03-05T00:15:25.843Z · LW · GW

Hello ! I am Jaime who recognized your username on ACX and requested you publish this retrospective. Thank you so much for this; I found it very insightful and very helpful for my research.

I'm currently writing my thesis on spaced repetition in foreign language classrooms, and am planning to become a secondary school French teacher. The curriculum I'm writing integrates spaced repetition into the material reviewed on a given day, without using flashcards, and was heavily inspired by the model in this post. I have no idea if it'll work, but at the very least part of my thesis is creating a bunch of lesson plans, so I figure the worst possible outcome here is that I was wrong about everything but at least I made up some fun activities along the way.

I've suspected for awhile that one problem with school is that they try to get you to learn too much information, so it's nice to hear from an experienced teacher that I'm probably thinking along the right track.

Your commentary on apprenticeship is interesting; I remember learning French in middle and high school that I was deeply impacted by the few times where another French teacher would come chat with my teacher, in French. It was a rare opportunity to witness a fluent conversation in real time. Something I want to prioritize in my French classroom is bringing in guest speakers. I've previously assumed that the primary goal would be the evangelize practical applications of French (which I'm very aware are limited; but you can see how this sort of thing would be very relevant in a Spanish or Mandarin classroom). Maybe a secondary or even primary goal would be the opportunity for students to watch in real time a fluent French conversation, and lacking the spontaneity I witnessed between French teachers as a 7th grader, myself and the guest speaker could make a specific effort to use relevant and known vocabulary. I'm not sure of other ways that apprenticeship-style teaching could be incorporated into a foreign language classroom, but I'm very interested in researching further.

Comment by lejuletre on Avoid Contentious Terms · 2021-02-24T04:20:50.169Z · LW · GW

I agree with the overarching sentiment of this post, especially as a tool for making one's writing more inviting to "new people," as it were. I do disagree with the avoidance of the word consent specifically. For one thing, I do remember reading the Tickling post and feeling like it was "somewhat detached from the broader conversation," but I also feel like normalizing using consent to refer to mundane, non-sexual, non-violent situations is a good thing. I suppose it's a personal opinion whether this expansion of the usage of consent is a good thing or not, but I feel like it's a bit less politicized compared to all of your other examples that it's worth considering on its own. 

Comment by lejuletre on Best way to write a bicolor article on Less Wrong? · 2021-02-22T21:06:23.322Z · LW · GW

My first thought (just upon reading the title) was to use the green hyperlink as one color, but that sounds clunkier than using bold or italics, so I'm not sure it's the best way to go. I would find the bicolor notation very helpful, fwiw, but I'm not colorblind and I don't use a screen reader, so I have no input there (and no idea how a screen reader would process a hyperlink).

Comment by lejuletre on How do you optimize productivity with respect to your menstrual cycle? · 2021-02-10T03:19:28.924Z · LW · GW

I have generalized anxiety disorder, and in many ways the "panic attacks" i experienced on sprinctec were basically like my typical anxiety attacks, only more intense, so yeah in general i would say that's something I'm more predisposed to.

I'm really not sure how "prone" i am to depression personally, since while I have experienced it to varying degrees throughout my life, it was always as a sort of side effect of other issues in my life and never The issue on its own. However, i have a genetic history of it, so I'm definitely predisposed to it in that sense.

Comment by lejuletre on How do you optimize productivity with respect to your menstrual cycle? · 2021-02-07T23:45:18.356Z · LW · GW

This is something I would love to collect more data on. Everything here is anecdotal and speculative.

The first pill I tried was Sprintec, a combination estradiol and norgestimate, and it caused at least 3x/week panic attacks for the entire 5 months I was on it. I would say do not recommend, but with any birth control YMMV.

Now I am taking Larissia, which is a small-dose estradiol and levonorgestrel combination. I think it has made me slightly more depressive (with slightly decreased productivity as a consequence), but it is FAR preferable to Sprintec and marginally preferable to no-pill.

Off the pill, I find my productivity above-average for about 1 week after my period (I have a very regular 28 day cycle), and frustratingly low for the other 3 weeks (especially the week I am actually on my period). While on the pill, I never get the high of that one post-period week, but I also don't suffer the low before and during my period.

The reason I start Larissia is because I took a levonorgestrel emergency contraception (specifically Aftera), and I was expecting to spend the next few hours bedridden with nausea, but I actually found my mood lightened and my productivity increased, roughly to the level of my non-pill post-period high. Of course, this was just one time, and the Aftera tablet is 1.5 mg of hormone where Larissia is .02 mg. I'm considering switching to the slightly higher .05 mg levo-estra combination to see if I can alleviate some of my current depressiveness.

Hope this is helpful! Definitely a question I've wondered myself, and it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Comment by lejuletre on Great minds might not think alike · 2020-12-26T20:37:14.842Z · LW · GW

This is a very good post! I've found David MacIver to be a very effective translator for emotional processing, if that's something you're interested in.

Comment by lejuletre on New Bucket Brigade UI · 2020-12-26T00:30:52.543Z · LW · GW

FWIW, I'm a big fan of the color !

Comment by lejuletre on Secular Solstice 2020 · 2020-12-21T02:10:55.141Z · LW · GW

I love this so much!!! This is my favorite solstice song, and an excellent way to share it.

Comment by lejuletre on Gauging the conscious experience of LessWrong · 2020-12-20T21:05:11.850Z · LW · GW

All of this is super interesting to me! Especially where we differ.

I can't really imagine a stubbed toe, the feeling of walking across carpet, grabbing a cabbage with my hand, but I can vividly imagine a drop of water running down my chest or a spider crawling across it. (Lower resolution is easier to fake?)

I can imagine all of these extremely vividly. Even multiple different types of carpets, and walking on carpets in different shoes. Could you imagine the feeling of lying on a carpet without a shirt on (ie the feeling of a carpet on your torso) ? What about a spider crawling across your hand ?

I am very jealous of your ability to ignore your thoughts and track north. I am terrible with directions, navigating familiar places only by landmarks. 

Not to get too speculative, but you mention doing mathematical proofs, which I've never done in my life. Even learning syntax for linguistics (expressed as binary branching trees) was very difficult for me. I'm studying French literature and anything to do with words comes very easily to me. I wonder if there's any tangible overlap between brain function and fields of interest.

Comment by lejuletre on Gauging the conscious experience of LessWrong · 2020-12-20T20:54:20.653Z · LW · GW

I have never understood what music teachers mean when they say things like this. I'm not a professional musician by any means, but in the before-times I was usually in 1-3 choirs at my university. One of the conductors would describe sounds as "round" or "purple" and then everyone would nod as if they agreed...but I was always utterly lost. I swear they're making it up, but maybe I'm even less of a synesthete than the average non-synesthete.

I also think there's some degree of consistency. If I was forced to imagine a "purple" sound I would probably imagine something medium-loud, orchestral, and "full;" something regal, because that's what I associate with the color purple. But simply played a music sample and asked what "color" it is, and I would probably be making things up. Synesthesia is usually thought of as an unintentional or automatic association. People can often come up with colors to associate with letters when asked, but for non-synesthetes it's more of an intellectual exercise than a particular fact about a letter.

Comment by lejuletre on Gauging the conscious experience of LessWrong · 2020-12-20T20:49:12.054Z · LW · GW

I am autistic, which I think contributes to my memory and my sensory imagination, and have anxiety and OCD* which makes it functionally impossible to stop all thoughts on command.

WRT sensory imagination, I've thought before that I can imagine the texture of almost any surface just by looking at this, which I imagine is a combination of a strong sensory memory (autism) and a large "texture bank" to draw from. My taste/smell imagination is weaker than my other senses probably because I use it less frequently.

I can do the thing where you can think in other people's voices. When I've been listening to an audiobook my internal monologue often shifts into the voice of the narrator for a few hours at time, though I can switch into it at which. Interestingly, though, I find this much harder to do with people I'm close to. My inner monologue can carry itself out in the voice of Eneasz Brodski (narrator of the HPMOR podcast) with no issue, but I can barely replicate my girlfriend's voice at all. 

I have one or two entire movies memorized (The Incredibles and the Princess Bride, and bits and pieces of others) and I can "watch" these in my head if I really focus, though the audio is about 95% accurate and the visuals are closer to 70%. 

*Diagnosed, though I'm not entirely sure it's accurate.

Comment by lejuletre on Opposite attractions · 2020-12-19T23:11:49.996Z · LW · GW

Thanks for this ! For various reasons I often get a bit obsessive about tending towards one side of a pattern in situations like these; I can end up feeling like I'm "betraying" my identity or my tribe if I enjoy something which is generally opposite from what I normally enjoy. The examples about Bob and spending time with one's partner particularly stuck out to me. This is a really useful way for me to reframe how I think about things like this ! 

Comment by lejuletre on Hard work is irritating · 2020-12-17T19:52:46.647Z · LW · GW

Can second the effectiveness of Pomodoros, but I usually need to keep doing them the whole time I plan to work. Usually I plan to do 3 pomodoros at a time, with a long break between the 3. I also use a site blocker which prevents me from impulsively opening youtube or pinterest. the add-on I use allows me to pause it for set intervals, which overlap neatly with pomodoro breaks.

Comment by lejuletre on To listen well, get curious · 2020-12-13T04:19:44.419Z · LW · GW

About an hour ago I was thinking about how I need to work on my internal curiosity drive when it comes to other people, especially my roommate, since a lot of our conversations do end up feeling "disfluent and adversarial," as you said. I think part of this definite can be chalked up to my (unfair) assumption that they don't care about solving their problems, since I have a much lower level of comfort tolerance than they do, and a much stronger problem solving sense (and admittedly, fewer health issues in my way). 

This post is an excellent place for me to get started!

Comment by lejuletre on Death Positive Movement · 2020-12-12T00:30:10.284Z · LW · GW

Even if people can die at age 90 in exactly the way they want, have their remains taken care of exactly how they want, and be assured that their decaying body won't negatively impact the environment, their death is still bad.

Would you say that a 90 year old who feels that they are ready to die is suicidal? Is being ready for death the same as wanting to die? I can definitely see how the DPM could lead to restructuring of resources which may be counterproductive. But I think that is only the case if full immortality is in fact achievable. Do you think that it is? If not, it seems to me that cultivating a healthy reconciliation with death is a worthwhile goal as long as freak accidents can end still lives. 

Also, 5 and 6 definitely seem like liberal posturing, but I think they're entirely necessary. Especially with regards to religious traditions, I don't think it's unreasonable to specifically state that respecting the religious traditions of the dead are important, especially if the dead person in question is a member of a minority religion.

The impact of the funeral industry on the environment is also not negligible. The first duckduckgo result for "environmental impact of burials" was this article, which says that

According to the Berkeley Planning Journal, conventional burials in the U.S. use 30 million pounds of hardwood, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, 104,272 tons of steel, and 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete for burial vaults and caskets. The sheer amount of materials used is staggering.

The amount of wood needed to create caskets is equivalent to 4 million square acres of forest, which contains enough trees to sequester 65 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. The amount of wood used in casket making can supply the wood needed to build over 90,000 homes. 

Many members of the DPM favor natural burial (put the body directly in the ground), but since this is far from the status quo, and since the status quo is itself harmful, I think addressing this concern is not entirely signalling. 

I hope I'm not misinterpreting you! Let me know if you have any further thoughts. Your points are very interesting.

Comment by lejuletre on Unexplored modes of language · 2020-12-11T02:22:47.459Z · LW · GW

There is a documentary about conlanging (I believe available through Amazon Prime Video) that interviews a couple who made a hand-holding language for themselves. It's unclear how extensive it is, but they use it to communicate covertly in situations where they don't have the chance to duck away for a moment to confer. 

The conlang toki pona has been converted into emojis, which is easy since it only has 122 words (or so). 

"drumming/tapping, received by ears or touch" sounds a lot like morse code, though I presume you mean whole words rather than letter-by-letter (which, while fast, is still slower than spoken English).

Comment by lejuletre on White Sphere Hypothesis · 2020-12-09T21:01:44.180Z · LW · GW

To me it seems intuitive that you wouldn't be able to form cogent thoughts, especially not in language. An interesting question to me is what would happen if you did receive stimulus of some kind. Say, a small red die appears in the bottom of the sphere. How much "random" stimulus of this variety would it take to stimulus consciousness? Would the stimulus have to be nonrandom in order to provoke any patterns of thinking?

Comment by lejuletre on Pain is not the unit of Effort · 2020-11-24T21:26:36.156Z · LW · GW

As someone with a various cocktail of (admittedly well-managed) mental illnesses, I actually find this post very helpful! I've often observed a lack of correlation between the pain someone is enduring and their overall productiveness/life enjoyment/etc. I think this is a really useful way to address that the reason this doesn't correlate is because there really isn't a correlation. 

I wonder if you have any thoughts on better units of effort to use instead (either convoluted ones to ponder or Quick Tricks that could be quickly implemented into one's mental framework) ?

Comment by lejuletre on Brigaded Rounds · 2020-11-17T16:17:45.143Z · LW · GW

Is there a typo in the screenshot "...continue with calibration if you just want to sing along..."?

I haven't looked at the actual program, so this may have been fixed already. Either way, thanks for putting this together !!

Comment by lejuletre on How should one deal with life threatening infections or air planes? · 2020-10-29T16:51:50.936Z · LW · GW

Whatever your risk mitigation strategies may be, to me the goal of living 1000, 10,000 or 1,000,000 years is only worth it if they are fulfilling. I would rather live another 10 fulfilling years than another 100 disatisfying ones. The same may not be true for you. 

As another comment said, the effects of low exercise and social interaction may be worse than the benefit of 0% COVID risk. Expanding on that, physiological risks aside, getting consumed by your own fear and avoidance is another way of not fully living your life while you have it, and as a 24 year old, you have statistically so much left. (This table says a 24 year old male has an expected 53 years of life remaining. That is more than 2x the amount of life you've lived so far, even if it pales compared to 1,000,000).

Nonetheless, as someone with OCD, anxiety, and an omnipresent fear of death (my own and that of loved ones), I would suggest counterbalancing your safety measures with the fulfillment rule of thumb. I evaluate my own safety rituals by asking myself "is this increasing my enjoyment of life, or only lowering my fear?" The answer won't be the same every time, and might not be the same for the same activity twice. Levels of fear and paranoia vary day-to-day. But this is how I take care of my brain while also trying to squeeze as much as I can out of the 100+ years I will consider myself very lucky to have.

Comment by lejuletre on Secular Solstice Online (Americas) · 2020-10-28T23:41:05.052Z · LW · GW

Who is organizing this ? Ie if i wanted to read something, who should I contact?

Comment by lejuletre on How useful would it be to have high quality audio recordings of rationality writings? · 2020-10-18T21:37:36.553Z · LW · GW

There is a slatestarcodex podacst which I am a big fan of: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slate-star-codex-podcast/id1295289140
I would love more audio recordings; the audiobook of HPMOR is how I got into rationality in the first place, and not having to be sitting at my computer or on my phone to consume the content.

Comment by lejuletre on "Can you keep this confidential? How do you know?" · 2020-07-22T23:26:42.623Z · LW · GW

i haven't read all of the comments so idk if someone mentioned this further down, but there was a whole tumblr ordeal with this a few weeks back, and the conclusion that made the most sense to me was "don't share information about someone that could make them the victim of a hate crime," even if you think you know that the person you're about to disclose to would be a safe person. You don't know who that person in turn is going to share with.

i struggle with the topic of this post a Lot, and the tumblr rule of thumb has been helpful for me.

Comment by lejuletre on Should we stop using the term 'Rationalist'? · 2020-05-29T16:31:49.831Z · LW · GW

I generally using "rationalist" as a short-hand catchall among people who will already know what i'm talking about, ie with my girlfriend or with ppl in ratsphere tumblr. i would never introduce myself to someone outside of the community that way, so maybe i'm also not the target audience for your question.

however, i feel like the minority of people who would self-identify as a "rationalist" to someone decidedly outgroup (hasn't heard of LessWrong/EY, isn't interested in EA, consequentialism, etc) is a different problem where the term itself isn't inherently the problem. people would probably be equally weirded out if you described yourself as a "utilitarian" or "effective altruist" just bc describing ourselves by our philosophies is not super common in the world-at-large.

i do really like the term aspirationalist tho. is it pronounced like aspir-rationalist or aspiration-alist ?

Comment by lejuletre on Boston Solstice 2019 Retrospective · 2019-12-17T20:53:38.677Z · LW · GW

i had so much fun !! this was my first solstice and it was a really gr8 experience. i would've killed for sheet music (hymnal style) tho i know plenty of the songs probably dont have sheet music available. all in all a really gr8 event that i hope ill be able to make next year. also, ill be at the downtown amherst contra on jan 15 :D