Could someone please start a bright home lighting company? 2019-11-26T19:20:04.622Z
[link] "Paper strips" memory technique 2018-10-06T12:11:35.248Z
Moral frameworks and the Harris/Klein debate 2018-05-03T09:49:03.626Z
[LINK] How to increase conscientiousness 2013-10-04T15:26:16.002Z
[LINK] Why Your Customers Would Be Happier If You Charged More 2012-09-21T20:10:39.525Z
Heading off a near-term AGI arms race 2012-08-22T14:23:58.382Z
How to enjoy being wrong 2011-07-27T05:48:01.005Z


Comment by lincolnquirk on How much does it cost to design an app? · 2021-01-20T18:25:06.135Z · LW · GW

This is a hard question and software people will typically not want to be pinned-down on specifics without consulting with you extensively, because the depth of requirements for software projects vary dramatically. You're asking for very little functionality (which is great!) but the bulk of costs of software construction are not in the core functionality, they are in polish, bug-fixing and edge-case handling, which you included in your requirements ("simple, secure, and easy to use") but would need to be a lot more specific about, in order to get a result you'd be happy with. It's really hard to give these kinds of estimates without those conversations.

  1. To just satisfy the requirements, I could imagine doing the non-payment-processing version very cheaply using Typeform or another "survey builder" for the UI, and a simple backend that just pulls the results out of Typeform and sends notifications. I could imagine throwing a prototype for this together in a few days of time for someone like me (so less than a few thousand $) but it would probably not work well, be reliable, etc. at that level of polish. Also, few freelance developers of quality will take on a project like this at that price point, because they have "seen it all before" and know that the edge cases and polish are likely going to result in a 10x cost inflation at a minimum.

  2. Payment processing increases the cost a bunch because it adds new requirements for security, ease of understanding & debuggability, etc. You can often outsource the actual UI for it to e.g. Stripe Checkout though so it may not make a huge impact.

  3. I don't think you've given enough information to answer "what would be the best way to go about it?" For example it sounds like you need software help, but you might also need graphic design help, product design/UX help, etc. For software help I know that freelance developers will bid on your projects on various sites (I'm not familiar with which sites are currently considered reputable and I haven't done this myself so I don't know how hard it is to figure out which bidders are any good). But it's unlikely you'll produce a "simple, secure and easy to use" product without getting help in other domains as well. It is sometimes possible to convince people to work with you for free if they like your idea (and you).

Comment by lincolnquirk on The impact merge · 2021-01-13T14:30:36.045Z · LW · GW

Strong upvoted, because this post made me realize I myself am doing this "merge" and it seems like a useful distinction to draw that I haven't been thinking about enough!

The biggest fear I have about pushing too hard towards purchasing these things separately is addressed in your post: I agree that "your efforts to do good will be cut off from the energy the accomplishment desire provides — a deprivation that could be costly, especially given that cases like Bob’s above only make a difference to Bob’s attitudes, not his actions."

In some sense, I'd guess that a pretty sizable % of this community is attracted by the idea that one could do big things while also doing good things. Certainly that is a strong undercurrent in a lot of Eliezer's writing. And if we push too hard back against that, there might be something of value lost. So I guess I agree with the post and am similarly mystified by what to do about it :)

Comment by lincolnquirk on What currents of thought on LessWrong do you want to see distilled? · 2021-01-11T19:56:03.475Z · LW · GW

I have a sense that we could collate thought and interest on "how to live better at home". Setting up super-bright lighting, tips for finding friends, partners & raising kids, cohousing & coparenting, choosing places to move to en masse: it's about your existence at the place you spend most of your time, and co-existence with people you love so much that you live with them.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Gears vs Behavior · 2020-12-04T20:53:09.144Z · LW · GW

Looking back, this seems to have been quite influential on my communication in the past year. I find myself summoning a mental image of the first diagram very frequently, and using the phrase "gears-level understanding" much more often. Nominated.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Teacher's Password: The LessWrong Mystery Hunt Team · 2020-12-04T01:30:56.590Z · LW · GW

Oh exciting! I’ll probably join for this!

Comment by lincolnquirk on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-22T18:24:16.523Z · LW · GW

if I am interpreting Zolmeister correctly, i think you are misunderstanding their point and/or are talking past each other.

If I get paid $100 to write software for a company, that company may earn far more than $100 from the software I write; the company then resells the software, creating a ton of wealth. The wealth creation happens through the work, not the macroeconomic details of how I spend the $100. Those macroeconomic details are the “coincidence” of which GP speaks.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-13T16:37:44.997Z · LW · GW

I don't have Personal enabled under Latest and thus I don't see the personal blog posts under "Latest". But I do see them under "Recent Discussion", maybe that is what ShardPhoenix is referring to? (In fact this is how I arrived here)

Comment by lincolnquirk on Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from? · 2020-11-04T12:11:57.467Z · LW · GW

I asked just the title of this post to someone near me, who first laughed and said “ha ha not possible,” and when I said “no, really”, they came back with “community”. I asked for more details and it went something like this:

Community is the everyday practice of negotiating a positive outcome with people who aren’t just like you. When you do this regularly with people around you, you learn that they are people and that they have your back. Think churches, block parties, school boards. When community is our primary source of human interaction, we build this muscle of cooperation-by-default because that’s the social expectation, and because successful cooperation has positive feedback cycles that produce immediate returns.

We suck at this today: our communities are online, national and personalized. There’s no longer a forcing function to be nice to / learn to communicate with our neighbors.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Why indoor lighting is hard to get right and how to fix it · 2020-10-28T17:57:42.333Z · LW · GW

See also Ben Kuhn: and me: (both of these are from about a year ago)

My update since my blog post is that I have a Yuji "high bay" luminaire, which I had linked to from my blog post but not tried last year. Now I can confirm that it is pretty bright, good color spectrum and easy to use -- I place it on top of a bookshelf facing towards the corner.

Comment by lincolnquirk on What is your electronic drawing set up? · 2020-10-14T10:50:01.339Z · LW · GW

I know you said android, but I use an iPad Pro and am quite happy with it. The biggest thing affecting drawing performance is pad-to-screen latency, and Apple has actual experts that have spent a lot of time on that problem at the OS and hardware level - I don’t think android is well set up to achieve anything similar because of OS/hardware disintegration.

Comment by lincolnquirk on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-10-06T11:45:04.110Z · LW · GW

Huh, interesting. I'd like to hear more about your plans & vision, but I've put my interest in the spreadsheet.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Rationality and Climate Change · 2020-10-06T00:45:59.150Z · LW · GW

Regarding one’s ability to effect social change: It seems like the standard arguments about small-probability, high-impact paths apply. I think a lot of STEM types tend to default to shy away from policy change, not because of comparative advantage (which would often be a good reason) but because of some blind spot in the way technologists talk about how to get things done in society. I think for historical reasons (the way the rationality community has grown) we tend to be biased towards technical solutions and away from policy ones.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Rationality and Climate Change · 2020-10-05T12:13:59.013Z · LW · GW

My position is similar to that of 80000 hours: it seems like a super high impact cause, vying for the top with AI risk, pandemic risk, global poverty, and maybe 1 or 2 others. But is far more widely recognized and worked-on than those other causes. Enough so that it doesn’t seem like the marginal thing I can do is interesting compared to other problems I could work on.

My models for how to work on it if I did decide to work on it: 1) technology - we should have technology that solves the problem if widely enough deployed. I think we are basically there with nuclear and solar PV+energy storage, so I would probably only spend 10% or so of time getting up to speed on the technology before focusing on

  1. Policy - we need to convince people to deploy the technology. This seems bigger and harder than the technology one, because of two reasons: a) society’s nuclear blind spot and b) the short-term interests of oil companies and the like who are powerful opposition to any policy which would hurt them in the short run regardless of long term societal outcome.

I don’t have a clear policy agenda but it seems like some combination of carbon tax, investment in PV, and nuclear is the right way to go. I currently would expect that work on the nuclear blind spot would be the most leveraged thing. The reason we have a blind spot seems to be the work of environmentalists from the 70s. As long as we could get them to flip, that could propagate through society in a useful way.

Comment by lincolnquirk on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-09-30T18:49:47.184Z · LW · GW

Oh great! I realize a lot of different people might have different ideas about what the vision is. Could you spend a few sentences distilling what exactly excites you about the idea?

Comment by lincolnquirk on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-09-24T18:25:47.254Z · LW · GW

Ok, I've thought a lot about this but I don't have a strong pitch to make yet.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Cost of living seems really important in the long run! High cost of living eats up lifestyle slack really quickly, which constrains the sorts of occupations that one can have while being part of the community.
  • That said, there is a pretty substantial tradeoff between optimizing a place for the community (essentially relying on your social life being in-community members), and optimizing it for the surroundings. e.g., if you pick a place for low cost-of-living, you might expect nearly all your friends to be people who live in your community. Whereas if you pick a big city, you are probably picking it because you expect a rich social life outside the community.
  • As Vaniver wrote, it makes sense to pick places which are well suited to create a pocket neighborhood. Living in the same city as your friends is good, but living 2 doors down from them is way more awesome!
  • I know people talk about the weather as being important, but I am not fully sold on that needing to be a constraint. Humans are adaptable and most people should be able to adjust to bad seasonal weather pretty quickly. Seasonal mood disorders are a real thing though, and if we did go to a place with bad weather, I would definitely want to invest as a community into infrastructure that can help with this. I also am not willing to accept bad air quality in exchange for more temperate weather - e.g., when I lived in Senegal, the weather was gorgeous but the air quality was terrible. (That said, in the US there aren't many places with really bad air quality.)

One weird idea I am considering is the monastery life: explicitly try excluding the outside world, optimize the space only for the gated community, and see how it works. It's just an experiment, but if people are interested, let me know. (Inspiration from Neal Stephenson's Anathem :) )

Comment by lincolnquirk on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-09-24T18:13:30.086Z · LW · GW

This seems absolutely right to me. I've been noodling on ideas in this space for a long time and it definitely seems like the right end-state for living long term is more like an archipelago / cluster than the group houses we usually see. I also don't know how to find places that are well suited to this sort of development.

But even without the support of a town, it should be possible, with enough planning/thoughtfulness, to purchase (over time) a high % of the properties within a given city block or cul-de-sac or apartment building or whatever. To me, this just seems like a chicken-and-egg coordination problem -- there are so many plausible cul-de-sacs you could buy, none will be perfect but any could work if there was already momentum, but there's not yet. (Also, most people are impatient and don't have the lifestyle slack to wait 2-5 years for a place to open up in their desired pocket neighborhood)

Comment by lincolnquirk on Open & Welcome Thread - September 2020 · 2020-09-17T16:34:19.644Z · LW · GW

Have you read ? Curious what you think. (Disclosure: I started the company that Ben works for, which does not have hard eng problems but does have a high potential for social impact)

Comment by lincolnquirk on A Scalable Urban Design and the Single Building City · 2020-07-27T02:04:29.477Z · LW · GW

Nice post. I’m excited - is there a place where people who want to work on this sort of thing / live there can coordinate?

Comment by lincolnquirk on If you are signed up for cryonics with life insurance, how much life insurance did you get and over what term? · 2020-07-22T12:22:56.441Z · LW · GW

$100k and $250k are standardized life insurance amounts which over-fund CI by a lot. I can get a $100k 10-year term life at $11/mo and a $250k one for $15/mo. I currently get $100k life insurance through my company so I just did that. Smaller than $100k doesn’t seem worth thinking about.

I do expect to pay out of pocket once I have saved enough money for the cost not to matter, because I want to stop dealing with the logistics of proof of insurance.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Maximizing impact at startup with high EA potential? · 2020-06-12T11:45:49.548Z · LW · GW

(Context: I’m an EA aligned startup founder. I wish my employees asked questions like this :) )

First and foremost, grow into a great employee and team member. This may sound self-serving, but it’s not: I think the employees who are individually great end up in thought leadership roles — I trust them more and thus give them a lot more leeway, and then those employees can start making their own decisions and expand the scope of what we do.

I suspect that what makes employees great is different in different companies, but there are certainly likely to be similarities: cultural resonance, individual effectiveness, and communication/cooperation skills.

Second, start thinking long term but be impatient in the short term. If you really like this company and want to grow within it, and think it can support you in your growth, then your marginal impact per hour of work is likely to increase by at least an order of magnitude over the next several years. There are lots of things you can do to accelerate this trend, and you should take those opportunities — but I tend to think that trust-building takes time. Try to avoid being marginalized, and make sure your work is seen. But (at least over the first few months to a couple years) you should avoid making many short-term tradeoffs which will delay the point where you reach maximum marginal impact in the long term.

Leadership training is highly underrated. If you’ve never done management/leadership training, you can get a lot from online resources (e.g. Manager Tools podcast and such); beyond that I think there’s still a lot of gains to be had from courses, individual coaches, etc.

Do weekly or monthly reviews where you step back and check whether things are on track for your career or personal impact. Share your goals with your manager and get them to buy into what you’re trying to achieve.

Stay away from stuff that will antagonize your company in the short term (“NDA chicken”, distractions from their short term goals for you during work hours). If recruiting / getting recruiting advice is an important part of your role, it should become obvious soon, at which point it will make sense to use 80k / job postings/ whatever.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Is a near-term, self-sustaining Mars colony impossible? · 2020-06-04T12:32:13.323Z · LW · GW

There’s a thing where entrepreneurs are optimistic. Sometimes ridiculously so. This is because entrepreneurship requires a lot of optimism to think that what you’re doing can work. But that optimism can lead you astray and cause you to work on things that are too hard.

Jess and Robin will never be entrepreneurs. They aren’t optimistic enough. But Elon may be over-optimistic. The sheer scope of the project makes it hard to guess accurately what the difficulties are going to be without getting pretty far into trying it and seeing where you get stuck.

And I’m just thinking about getting a Mars colony at all. I do think “self-sustaining” is a ridiculously high bar, much higher than simply having some people living on Mars. But how important is “self-sustaining” as a short-term goal? — if the colony works at all, there will be a path where the amount of Earth resources required to sustain it shrinks over time due to market forces.

Comment by lincolnquirk on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-16T23:42:19.133Z · LW · GW

Big if true!

Going to shower right now and try this (I needed a shower anyway). Will report back...

Edit: post shower, my feet feel tingly a little bit. My methodology was to rub my feet five times firmly with a wash cloth at the beginning and end of my shower. I do feel good about life right now, we’ll see how long that lasts. Results inconclusive.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Could someone please start a bright home lighting company? · 2020-05-13T10:48:45.637Z · LW · GW

Hey wow, neat company and I’m glad you posted about it here!

Unfortunately, I get the sense that your product is up in the Coelux range of pricing, because you don’t list the price. I think a lot of people here are going to immediately dismiss it as an option given that we can’t easily figure out how much it costs.

Your marketing is also aimed at businesses instead of homes. Especially given that my post was about home lighting, do you have anything you can share about home applications of your product?

(BTW, I remember reading an article in the 90s from a tech mag - like Wired or something - about, although I had no idea what you did, but the notable thing that stuck in my brain from that article was “why on earth would anyone name a company after a horrifically addictive drug?” I’d be curious if you know what article I’m talking about and whether you have a link to it!)

Comment by lincolnquirk on Why anything that can be for-profit, should be · 2020-04-29T21:20:05.705Z · LW · GW

Thank you for writing this! I've been harping on something along this axis for a long time to anyone who will listen to me. Now I have something to link them to, which explains this much better than I ever did :)

Comment by lincolnquirk on [deleted post] 2020-03-25T11:33:56.347Z

I understand that - if you’re facing down someone else who’s armed you should obviously just comply. I’m mainly expecting this strategy would work against e.g. unarmed looters. Do you not think it would?

Comment by lincolnquirk on Adding Up To Normality · 2020-03-25T11:30:33.488Z · LW · GW

I’ve seen this advice / philosophical point a few times (and I mostly agree with it), but I don’t feel like I have a complete understanding of it. Specifically, when does this not apply?

For instance, coronavirus: to me, this doesn’t “add up to normality” and I’m trying to sort out how it’s an exception. As soon as we heard about the coronavirus, the correct action was to take prep advice seriously and go prepare; and governments moved far too slowly on updating their recommendations; etc. Life after coronavirus is super different than life before. If you were reciting “it all adds up to normality” while reading about corona, you’d probably miss some important opportunities to take quick action.

My guess is that the rule is not supposed to apply to coronavirus (perhaps it’s too object-level?) but I don’t exactly understand why not.

Comment by lincolnquirk on [deleted post] 2020-03-23T13:27:34.760Z

It seems like a big part of the value of a gun might be the ability to wave it around and say "I have a gun". So, as an alternative strategy, have you considered buying a prop gun and practicing the words in a mirror?

Comment by lincolnquirk on What I'm doing to fight Coronavirus · 2020-03-09T21:31:25.487Z · LW · GW

Nice! I hadn’t heard of your product till now, and I immediately bought it upon seeing this post & your website. I hope it works :P

Comment by lincolnquirk on [deleted post] 2020-03-08T14:16:13.039Z

If you can effectively “stay home” and socially isolate yourself, your particular living situation (how many housemates you have and their likelihood of bringing the virus to you) seems to swamp all other variables.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-28T17:29:17.529Z · LW · GW

Ok, masks are the thing I am looking for advice for in the US. I do not know where to get them -- I checked Amazon and they're sold out, and my local drugstore doesn't seem to stock them at all (or are also sold out). Various advice online suggests that only n95 masks will be effective. Is that true? Talk to me more about the masks.

Comment by lincolnquirk on How does electricity work literally? · 2020-02-24T16:07:28.392Z · LW · GW

I can give some partial answers based on my own models:

AC is used for transmission because transformers are ubiquitous and incredibly valuable at all stages of transmission, and transformers work using AC (you need a changing electrical field to generate a changing magnetic field). Transformers allow you to convert the voltage and isolate circuits. Isolation is important for safety, and voltage conversion is important to achieve the cross purposes of safety and efficiency. High voltage allows you to transfer more energy with fewer losses, but is far more dangerous to work with. This gets to your resistance question -- resistance / heat generation are related to the amount of current and the thickness of the material. To transfer a given amount of energy, higher voltage means less current needed for the same wire, which means less heat losses.

Why 50Hz (or 60 in the US)? As far as I know, this is largely arbitrary. I do know that subtle differences in the frequency are used for signaling grid load. has a lot of info though!

As for metering, I have no idea how current meters (ammeters/watt meters) work, but I am pretty sure no net electrons are entering or leaving e.g. your house or your appliance. Electrons in a circuit should be conserved, they're just the means of transfer of energy.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Go F*** Someone · 2020-01-19T22:17:19.390Z · LW · GW

I really enjoyed this post. The analogy of capital vs. labor really hit home in particular, I realized that’s exactly how I’ve been implicitly treating dating, so I think this post is likely to change my behavior in the future. Thanks for writing it.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Dominic Cummings: "we’re hiring data scientists, project managers, policy experts, assorted weirdos" · 2020-01-03T14:50:10.191Z · LW · GW

Ok, so I guess Americans might use “prep school” here.

Comment by lincolnquirk on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-19T18:53:37.331Z · LW · GW

What aspects of CFAR's strategy would you be most embarrassed by if they were generally known? :P

Comment by lincolnquirk on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-19T18:46:21.359Z · LW · GW

Ok, I'll bite. Why should CFAR exist? Rationality training is not so obviously useful that an entire org needs to exist to support it; especially now that you've iterated so heavily on the curriculum, why not dissolve CFAR and merge back into (e.g.) MIRI and just reuse the work to train new MIRI staff?

even more true if CFAR is effective recruitment for MIRI, but merging back in would allow you to separately optimize for that.

Comment by lincolnquirk on One Million Dollars · 2019-12-19T14:46:57.701Z · LW · GW

Congrats Jeff! That's an incredible milestone. I have the comical image of you as Doctor Evil right now.

Comment by lincolnquirk on How common is it for one entity to have a 3+ year technological lead on its nearest competitor? · 2019-11-17T22:03:05.778Z · LW · GW

Google immediately jumps to mind. The search result quality combined with the infrastructural investment required to execute on copying Google seems like it would take even an entity with no budget constraints more than 3 years, and that’s just search; Google also has maps, email, etc. Does your question assume any budget constraints? (I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine for a few weeks and the results are obviously substantially worse than Google. And DDG has been trying pretty hard for over a decade, but with less than unlimited resources but still a lot.)

Comment by lincolnquirk on What Programming Language Characteristics Would Allow Provably Safe AI? · 2019-08-29T03:13:50.466Z · LW · GW

I think the programming language could be key to a self-improving AI being able to prove that the new implementation achieves the same goals as the old one, as well as us humans being able to prove that the AI is going to do what we expect.

To me it seems like memory safety is price of entry but I expect the eventual language will end up needing to be quite friendly to static analysis and theorem proving. That probably means very restricted side effects and mutation, as well as statically checkable memory and compute limits. Possibly also taking hardware unreliability into account, although I have no idea how to do that.

The language should be easy to write code in — if it’s too hard to write the code, you’re going to be out-competed by unfriendly AI projects — but also easy to write and prove fancy types/static assertions/contracts, because humans are going to be needing to prove a lot of stuff about code in this language and it seems like the proofs should also be in the code. My current vision would be some combination of Coq, Rust and Liquid Haskell.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Clothing For Men · 2019-01-17T23:35:04.909Z · LW · GW

This is great! I've bookmarked it. I really appreciate that you listed brands -- that will be a generator of lots of useful fashion ideas.

Uniqlo has been my clothing go-to for years now (I probably have bought 20+ t-shirts from them, all my jeans for the last few years, all my underwear, and even a few jackets and such), so I second that recommendation, especially for skinnier men.

I would additionally recommend people go shopping in person at thrift stores. Thrift stores are a good way to get a taste of styles or brands that you're not sure will fit into your wardrobe -- if you take a risk on a piece of clothing and it ends up not working out, at a thrift store you're usually only out $15 or so. (Though it's worth noting that most expensive clothing stores have at least a 30 day return policy, usually quite a bit more than that.)

Comment by lincolnquirk on Clothing For Men · 2019-01-17T23:25:58.409Z · LW · GW

I would also add shoes -- in the US, I see men wearing a variety of shoe types:

  • Fashion sneakers instead of athletic sneakers
  • boat shoes
  • brown leather shoes (though black is essential for formal occasions, it comes off as too formal for me most of the time). For this I also think a brown belt is important to go with it.
Comment by lincolnquirk on Moral frameworks and the Harris/Klein debate · 2018-05-09T10:42:21.075Z · LW · GW

Ezra seemed to be arguing both at the social-shaming level (implying things like "you are doing something normatively wrong by giving Murray airtime") and at the epistemic level (saying "your science is probably factually wrong because of these biases"). The mixture of those levels muddles the argument.

In particular, it signaled to me that the epistemic-level argument was weak -- if Ezra would have been able to get away with arguing exclusively from the epistemic level, he would have (because, in my view, such arguments are more convincing), so choosing not to do so suggests weakness on that front.

(Why do I think this? I came away from the debate podcast frustrated with Ezra. Sam was being insistent about arguing exclusively on the epistemic level. Ezra was having none of it. After thinking about it for a long time, I came to the summary I wrote above, which I felt was more favorable / more of a steelman to Ezra than my initial impression from the debate.)

So, at least to convince me, if Ezra wanted to make the points you are suggesting he make, then he should have stuck to debating Sam on epistemic grounds and avoiding all normative implications.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Moral frameworks and the Harris/Klein debate · 2018-05-09T10:28:07.992Z · LW · GW

Thanks. This is a useful distinction, and I'm not sure yet what it means for my understanding of the arguments, but I'll have to process it and hopefully update my thinking on this matter.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Ways to improve LessWrong · 2014-09-15T01:36:47.519Z · LW · GW

For the same reason the site exists, which is to spread rationality. This seems like the default position.

If you disagree, I think it should be because you think "spreading rationality" is not the goal (perhaps LW exists as a place for a certain group of people to hang out?) or that the current size is optimal or too large for its purpose (which seems quite unlikely).

Comment by lincolnquirk on Bragging Thread, August 2014 · 2014-08-12T03:46:03.165Z · LW · GW

Not quite ready to announce publicly. Will pm you though.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Bragging Thread, August 2014 · 2014-08-03T20:31:49.843Z · LW · GW

My startup recently closed an incredibly important deal, and had amazing growth in July, and important people are interested in investing. Proud to have gotten this far. Excited to see what's next. A bit overworked but it feels kinda good.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Total Utility is Illusionary · 2014-06-15T04:18:48.831Z · LW · GW

It's not obvious that you've gained anything here. We can reduce to total utilitarianism -- just assume that everyone's utility is zero at the decision point. You still have the repugnant conclusion issue where you're trying to decide whether to create more people or not based on summing utilities across populations.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Bragging Thread, June 2014 · 2014-06-08T23:28:59.818Z · LW · GW

Congratulations! I'm generally willing to answer questions from people who are self-teaching CS - I'm sure you have plenty of people in your world who are similarly willing. But just in case, feel free to contact me.

Comment by lincolnquirk on Bragging Thread, June 2014 · 2014-06-08T23:03:06.540Z · LW · GW

I met an awesome girl who was single that I really liked, and followed the classic steps (1- be attractive; 2- don't be unattractive) correctly, and she liked me too!

I realize this sounds kind of trivial (especially since I've dated several attractive people in the past), but the reason it seems like an accomplishment worth bragging about was that I have never previously had a self-conception as an attractive person. I could always explain why others chose to date/sleep with me without needing to believe that I was actually attractive. But I have worked for several years on increasing my attractiveness (gym, social confidence, body language, posture, conversation skills, haircuts) and I am now starting to believe it, a little bit. Also I'm older, that probably helps too.

Comment by lincolnquirk on [Meta] The Decline of Discussion: Now With Charts! · 2014-06-05T17:23:40.718Z · LW · GW

I once posted to Main (

Afterwards, I felt bad about it somehow - like I had done something wrong or unappreciated -- despite having a substantially positive karma balance on that post. I think the reason was that almost all the top-level comments were neutral or negative and there was not much encouraging discussion, and I think the post might have been moved to Discussion - it was certainly not promoted.

It's actually interesting to go back and look at that because I now realize that that was a reasonably successful post and probably should have encouraged me further. Instead it did not. I wonder if something similar has happened to others.

Comment by lincolnquirk on How to Beat Procrastination (to some degree) (if you're identical to me) · 2014-05-07T05:45:20.132Z · LW · GW

If you have a habit of checking other sites, LeechBlock is enough of an impediment that it breaks you out of your habit.