Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform 2020-01-18T14:57:39.038Z · score: 3 (1 votes)
[Event] Meeting in Myrhorod, November 16 2019-10-06T08:45:59.527Z · score: 3 (1 votes)
Lyubarsky intro 2019-03-09T11:13:31.075Z · score: 6 (4 votes)
Have a camel! 2019-02-28T19:25:05.476Z · score: 12 (7 votes)
Describing things: parsimony, fruitfulness, and adaptability 2019-02-05T20:59:01.345Z · score: 1 (1 votes)
What observations do you as a customer would expect to matter, if your experience was 1000 times "stronger"? 2019-01-01T22:03:39.480Z · score: 4 (2 votes)


Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Go F*** Someone · 2020-01-19T12:57:12.859Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also, when a person who has been building his or her career becomes "staying at home", the person doesn't just lose standing among peers and colleagues. He or she loses peers and colleagues, at all. It is one thing to be known as "someone who is no longer staying at work until nine", but it's quite a different thing to just not be known anymore. It makes you... lonely.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform · 2020-01-18T14:57:39.249Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The unshareable evidence.

I have a friend, a fellow biologist. A much more focused person, in terms of "gotta do this today", with lower barriers for action (e.g., I help her with simple English, but she is the one to tutor kids in it, and so on.) I have known her for about ten years.

And over time, I learned that her cousin died at seventeen. It was the time when atypical pneumonia was around, and he died in a hospital a week after he fell ill with typical symptoms, but his certificate had another kind of pneumonia in it. Officially, there was no AP in the area. And his death changed the familial structure so that it is still unbalanced, in a way, years later. Her sister has recently lost half a finger, after an accident with a saw, when there was a good chance of saving it. Both her children (one 14, the other 3 years old) usually get horrifying allergic swellings and fever from even the common bugs, and then only slowly get better. In the city region where she lives, there is one neurologist for ten thousand people, and she can't get an appointment. I keep hearing about such things when I visit her.

Her kids are unvaccinated.

We have talked about it, and she said all the usual things about vaccines causing autism, and the mercury, and the questionable quality etc. The Kitchen Argument uniting people all over the world.

Of course, the link between vaccines and autism was disproved, but this means that somebody did take it seriously. It's not one woman's struggle or suspicions, its The Statistics. You can discuss it much like weather - you're being polite! It gives me an ugly feeling, that a friend of mine should hide behind common and expected and false - she knows it's false - lore because she knows the script and to know that it was I who forced her to it. I and people like me gave her this shield.

But the pneumonia, the finger and the swellings, the life which she builds her thoughts around, never get mentioned. We've had the same education, we both know this has no relation to the narrow question of having some shots, but - there's shareable evidence, and then there's unshareable evidence. And in this setting, people don't have to update on evidence, even when they exchange some of it. With obvious goodwill all around.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Go F*** Someone · 2020-01-18T12:15:48.516Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW
  1. "Wow, new words."
  2. Would that mean that married people are losers, from the discussed point of view, for the simple reason of having married at all, nevermind whom?
  3. You're kind of saying that the only way to not be lonely is to have lover(s). Is it cultural? I mean, I have a female friend with whom I meet as regularly as our kids' health permits us. She is the only person outside my family and relatives who does give a damn about me (enough for a phone call, for an informal invitation etc.) When I think about being lonely (and it happens to married people), I usually think that I should call her or get myself a dog, at last. Not a lover. That seems more about "bored" than "lonely".
Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open & Welcome Thread - January 2020 · 2020-01-11T09:07:27.410Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sometimes it seems to me that old-ish reference books (on not too-hard science) age into cinematographic world-building. For example, there are some good volumes on the vegetation structure of European forests c. 1950-s. As botanic material, they are dated: the woods have burnt, grown, got paved, incorporated alien species etc., and the current methods of describe vegetation are more demanding.

Yet as simple pictures of the state of the world, grainy and washed out in places, they are good enough.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on On Doing the Improbable · 2020-01-01T19:05:05.556Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

...and there's a difference between "didn't do it, things remained as they were (when otherwise they would be better)" and "didn't do it and suddenly all was lost (when otherwise it would not be)". People do improbable things of the latter kind. I expect that quite a few cancer remissions that do happen are actually improbable, if only because the treatment requires lots of money.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Moloch Hasn’t Won · 2019-12-29T19:22:08.264Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Oh you firstwolder, you. Scott is so right somewhere.

(and how do you know that "Most communities do get most people to pitch in"?)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Propagating Facts into Aesthetics · 2019-12-29T16:51:17.600Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In my experience, forests might be scary or safe. Uplifting or tiring (e.g., when there's a lot of light falling mosaically which makes it harder to distinguish shape and colour, or simply if the terrain is difficult). Trashed or robust, etc. And a scary, trashed, tiring forest might take your breath away all for an accident of the sun.

What I mean, when you have seen enough of something, your aesthetics go places you never meant them to. You begin to avoid calling it "beautiful" or "ugly", you just want more of it because you know it.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How asexuality became an identity · 2019-12-25T22:03:14.332Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Reproduction will become a dreary task? Undertaken only with monomaniacal determination or a clear utilitarian gain? Have you ever tried to put a teething child to sleep?..

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Karate Kid and Realistic Expectations for Disagreement Resolution · 2019-12-21T09:03:32.248Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

About the idea inoculation bit. It doesn't even require an idiot or two to be the first to explain an idea. (Although maybe I'm thinking about a different thing.)

It so happens that in the course of biology instruction in highschool and college where I live, the tradition is to open several courses with the same topic. Specifically, The Structure of the Cell. (Another motif, for botanists, is The General Life Cycle of Plants. I'm sure other specialties have their own Foundations.) And it's an important topic, but after the third time you just feel... dumber... when the teacher begins to talk about it. As if you try to find something new and exciting or in any case something to think about, and there's nothing there.

I would say it is the "keeping the abstraction level constant" that does it. I felt like I've got to actively work to avoid stupor and a desire to "just see it die in peace".

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Approval Extraction Advertised as Production · 2019-12-21T08:34:38.398Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

yes, the one.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Approval Extraction Advertised as Production · 2019-12-18T18:48:44.919Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(seems like HC's post is the most "meta" part of the discussion. Could we maybe talk about it, instead? That thing where in the world with AI, the concepts of a job and job satisfaction will undergo terrible change?)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open & Welcome Thread - December 2019 · 2019-12-18T11:50:44.715Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Sometimes it seems to me that LW is too ready to build for the ages. The best heuristics, the best textbooks, the best meetup practices. Either there should be mandatory time thresholds for re-evaluations, or we should maybe relax about this. (Except for the Boring Advice Repository, perhaps.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Who are some people you met that were the most extreme on some axis? · 2019-12-17T20:25:49.833Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I know a guy whom I would call "most long-game".

Right now it seems not much of a difference (although 15 years ago he did stand out as the level head among my acquaintances). He has been working in the same lab for almost 20 years now, since highschool. Curating an ongoing series of translations for 11 yr or so - both his own and those by more suitable specialists. Collecting earlier editions (once, a single-volume survivor which he got to be reprinted and circulated). Cooking new things, occasionally.

The downside is that damned concrete mixer living peacefully in the middle of our backyard.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is Rationalist Self-Improvement Real? · 2019-12-14T11:49:32.969Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why are we even talking about this?

If we are rationalists, should not the second thing to do be "ask our not-rationalist close people how they view us, and whether this changed around time T when we started doing things R?" (Yes, their answers will be influenced by sheer unpurified "life", but much of that "life" also work on us.) And before we ask them, the actual first thing to do would be to look at our other acquaintances and try to remember them around the time T, to see how they changed.

I don't think this will work, beyond giving an impression of much noise. But since this won't work, everything more complicated is even less trustworthy.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is there a scientific method? Physics, Biology and Beyond · 2019-12-06T18:32:26.351Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that it is sloppy of journalists. I just have not read any such piece in a while and so I have to ask - are they wrong, about the violating? Most of the time? It might be a gross oversimplification, but is it untrue?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is there a scientific method? Physics, Biology and Beyond · 2019-12-05T21:32:43.867Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But don't people who say "this violates..." already know this? "This violates" in biology is a biology-styled violation, in physics it is physics-styled, etc. When a physicist begins to ponder a biological problem, he often starts with heavy assumptions, but biologists don't tell him he's wrong to do it. (Even when they itch to say it, it's still not polite.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is Clickbait Destroying Our General Intelligence? · 2019-12-05T21:06:36.645Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(a minor point. Feral children might not "exist", in a way. My zoological friends say it is quite possible that someone takes out an unfit child, or even just a mouth too many, to the forest and leaves it there. It is possible that a predator finds it and doesn't eat at once - predators can play with food. And it is possible that the child is found again before it dies. (Perhaps even without the predator part.) But it's no more than that.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How do you assess the quality / reliability of a scientific study? · 2019-12-02T17:23:45.957Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(a minor thing - I used to have a separate MSWord file with a table for "techniques". Some people prefer Excel and so on, but I find that Word helps me keep it laconic. The columns were: Species; Purpose; Fixation/Storage; Treatment; and Reference (with a hyperlink). Within Treatment I just highlighted specific terms. Very easy to see something out of the ordinary.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is daily caffeine consumption beneficial to productivity? · 2019-12-01T21:13:12.594Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I drink coffee once in about two to three months. It increases my productivity for about three hours, once it kicks in, and ruins my next day and a half (especially the night). It's probably different for people who keep a pool of caffeine in them, I think.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Scope Insensitivity Judo · 2019-12-01T11:10:22.269Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think habit formation is a chain of pretty-low-stakes situations that result in high-stakes losses or wins, over time. How would you treat that?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Act of Charity · 2019-11-29T17:54:55.165Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I prefer to give money (and effort) to people whom I know and know what they do. What they do might not be very efficient, but there are not many people who work on it at all; for reasons we have no power to change ourselves, building long-term infrastructure is not feasible. But losing this process now will be a worse throwback than having it taper out. So I have no problem with temporary measures, if it is all I can do.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is daily caffeine consumption beneficial to productivity? · 2019-11-29T17:16:20.451Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Over what timescale? Weeks, months, years, decades?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Mental Mountains · 2019-11-27T11:15:57.979Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems related to how we view additivity. One stone is a stone, twenty stones are a heap and usually "matter" as a heap - separate valley. One tactless relative is a tactless relative, five of them are family history of no tact. And we know that stones, even lonely, usually only appear so - there's got to be the heap somewhere. I can imagine a GW critic counting on a fortress of anti-GW evidence which he hasn't found in finite time.

Interesting what makes us go looking for it, in any case, be it a good heap of stones or a bad one.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What's the largest sunk cost you let go? · 2019-11-25T18:39:30.752Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Most culinary preferences of my youth, since marrying.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Writing That Provokes Comments · 2019-11-24T13:12:59.486Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder how much time one needs to recognize a higher-value comment irl. I mean, we could try each choose a post and come to the meetup to talk specifically about them. (Maybe not warn one another what it would be.) And then post the distillated hive-comments as responses... ...I also find it useful, but hard, to exit 'editorial mode' when commenting. Editorial-like comments are quick and mostly shallower than epistolary-like ones. It helps to imagine that you are actually mailing a letter to someone you give a damn about (and Lewis Carroll, of course, has advice on how to answer letters - )

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How I do research · 2019-11-21T17:56:34.383Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But this is not the actual test, is it? I mean, it's all good and well and lets you generate ideas and discard obviously unfortunate ones before - something that slays or upholds. (I know nothing about AI research apart from the fact that it is a thing.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Impossible moral problems and moral authority · 2019-11-18T13:49:41.476Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But it is not important. If it were important, you wouldn't think about it as "what do I want". For example, if you want "world peace" and you have two ways to achieve it, and you can't choose because both are so great, it means either that you have no dice or there is a reason why both would fail.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-17T17:45:22.532Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How do you determine your "tiredness backlog"? When I am lack sleep, it seems that I have been so for decades (school days etc.), but obviously there's a limit to how much I can get back. (And the official stance on parenthood here is "oh you knew what you were getting into", so... hopeless, really.) And it is really easy to imagine that backlog small or large, there's no measure.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Curse Of The Counterfactual · 2019-11-14T16:33:22.944Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not directly related to the specific question above, but as I do have a twin I do know that there's nothing to be done that I won't be able to regret. We envy each other and we both know it... and so 'shoulds' don't work just because they never have.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Curse Of The Counterfactual · 2019-11-13T19:20:27.554Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But doesn't it make you feel a bit deader? I mean, it's much easier to think "I wish he loved me more" when "he" is dead and can't "love you less" once again? That's how I came to just not paying moral attention to my father. I don't want to keep thinking "but I guess he just... didn't".

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Integrity and accountability are core parts of rationality · 2019-08-24T17:55:59.673Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(Kind of brought to mind The Godfather, which happens to be the book my husband had me read to explain the familial dynamics in the household. What can I say, it works. At least until people start going senile.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Doing your good deed for the day · 2019-08-19T15:15:47.492Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if being a "professional" environmentalist would not level this effect (in this particular setting), because once you start identifying something as A Job, it stops being quite so much a part of You. Or, rather, it becomes a different part.

Similarly, do people who routinely help at soup kitchens get desensitized to helping-poor-people-derived warm fuzzies?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Keeping Beliefs Cruxy · 2019-07-29T18:12:13.494Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(hard to measure the length of a disagreement that you cannot voice, or you cannot voice anymore; which persists for years or decades and never gets anywhere except "I'm younger, I'll get to dance on his grave".)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Welcome to Kyiv SlateStarCodex · 2019-07-27T07:05:59.719Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I hope you received my reply. No, not yet, and not next week (I will be out of Kyiv). But you can ask Artem, he might like to.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-24T06:43:55.831Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could be. But it is still only shoes... and sending them to two different customers might drown any difference in cost.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-21T08:11:12.356Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Still seems kind of inefficient, though :(

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-20T21:03:36.074Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Kind of stupid question, actually. I Googled up clothes for one-armed children (tried knitting, didn't go as planned, thought I'd donate it), and there were much fewer search results than I'd expected. Is it because one-armed people just have their clothes re-sewn from ordinary stuff, or what? Or are there different key words for it?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on So You've Changed Your Mind · 2019-07-13T20:05:45.445Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But what about the case when you suddenly find yourself in a position where you exactly have to change your self-image to be with your spouse and children? Like "I should not care about X, because it takes too much time, even though it has defined me for years"? I mean, this is not insurmountable, it just seems the logical next question.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Why America Prefers a Weak and Peaceful Europe · 2019-07-05T17:25:43.317Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Which Europe?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Competence Myth · 2019-07-02T15:49:04.011Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I... find that I have worked within a rather narrow range of "things' complexity", and don't know what occurs outside of it.

The people I were thinking about were: a professor of genetics; a professor of zoology; an inspector of environment protection service; a museum guide; the manager of my bookshop; a leader of NGO for nature conservation (the man specializes in GIS); a highschool biology teacher; an ornithologist (specializes in waterfowl colonies).

I also excluded a family of zookeepers which specializes in wild fowl rehab (mostly) because they work outside "the system" and so don't have to conform so much. I excluded my former Head of Department because, frankly, he excels in research but is not too great at not scaring other people (= doesn't conform within "the system"). I excluded a great chemistry teacher who works with advanced students because he joined our current education reform (writes documents for it) and in this way tries to change "the system". Because I think these people fail at some meta-level. I don't mean that they should change or "just stop", but I would call them martyrs before I call them competent.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Competence Myth · 2019-07-01T14:36:07.733Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have met wonderfully competent people. They usually work for averagely incompetent organisations, and what they do is, I think, satisfy the requirements of their managers and bring value to the world - they are just very good at compartmentilizing.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Do children lose 'childlike curiosity?' Why? · 2019-06-30T05:17:27.695Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Where I live, adults traditionally worry their almost-grown children will be too curious if left unattended. It's not that people lose curiosity by when highschool ends (although they might), it's more like they have learned enough about the general structure of reality and choose what they want. I think.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Some Ways Coordination is Hard · 2019-06-28T18:20:28.776Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There's got to be a name for a "stag hunt,which if successful requires reminding people that a stag has been gained". Seems like the average rabbit doesn't have this problem.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Reason isn't magic · 2019-06-24T19:47:47.591Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't quite understand. Perhaps "reasoning" got it worse than "tradition" did. Then people learned what was wrong. And now they still insist on doing it not according to "tradition"? How is it different at all from setting up a new tradition and not bothering anymore?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-22T14:18:49.822Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-15T09:08:10.487Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Ticks" is a diverse group, but I agree they are strange. Like the occasional males in parthenogenetic species? I mean, why do it?..

And my own favorite, if we are permitted to name large groups (can't say "taxa" here) will be, of course, Fungi Imperfecti. I know it's a cop out, though, in many senses relative to the OP.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-13T05:42:48.524Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Asked an entomologist about "comparably weird invertebrates"; his version includes parasitic crustaceans, Strepsiptera, echinococci, Myxozoa, and Ascidiidae.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-12T10:51:17.128Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Given how little we know about even such a small subset as... insects... I would say that "weirdness" of some invertebrates is not yet a thing. We might come to appreciate it in the future, but not soon.

In tiny spheres of melted snow Around the tips of mosses, Where creatures dream, and freeze, and thaw, And never count their losses;

In deepest oceans' private wells, Where life still crawls about, Defying water's crushing spells Within just as without, -

Wherever people have cared to look, They saw, and cheered, and cursed The fighting claw, the winning hook, The glorious eggshell burst.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What are the open problems in Human Rationality? · 2019-06-03T17:34:16.748Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps information hygiene. There are a lot of information sources which might be called parasitic. Suppose we have some "process" that allows us to somehow find ourselves where we had steered, truth-wise among other things. Biology says "it will be eaten, possibly gradually".

I mean, in the natural way ofthings, the first outsiders to acknowledge rationality as a thing will be those who will swallow the practitioners. Until it happens, we may consider it to be nascent.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Lonelinesses · 2019-06-01T21:06:49.484Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(in a way, I think about my twin as a strange gift, like if I died right now there would still be someone who would both know what I would say in a situation and what I would mean by it. Immortality today :) imperfect, of course.)