What colour were the shadows? 2020-10-19T09:11:18.411Z
How do you whittle path-dependent (probabilistic) questions? 2020-05-02T08:53:41.566Z
Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform 2020-01-18T14:57:39.038Z
[Event] Meeting in Myrhorod, November 16 2019-10-06T08:45:59.527Z
Lyubarsky intro 2019-03-09T11:13:31.075Z
Have a camel! 2019-02-28T19:25:05.476Z
Describing things: parsimony, fruitfulness, and adaptability 2019-02-05T20:59:01.345Z
What observations do you as a customer would expect to matter, if your experience was 1000 times "stronger"? 2019-01-01T22:03:39.480Z


Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on The consequentialist case for social conservatism, or “Against Cultural Superstimuli” · 2021-04-16T19:02:48.347Z · LW · GW

And I don't hate you!

(And - thanks.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on The consequentialist case for social conservatism, or “Against Cultural Superstimuli” · 2021-04-16T05:21:32.935Z · LW · GW

None articulated. Imagine my surprise :)

(A relative of mine is a psychologist, but not, in my opinion, a grown-up person. They discuss their clients at home. I found, and find this excruciating. To see how this had affected my expectations of a totally different person was eye-opening.)

...still, I think now that people should tell such things to people, if they mean them.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on "Taking your environment as object" vs "Being subject to your environment" · 2021-04-16T05:13:18.941Z · LW · GW

...but not always, unfortunately.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on The consequentialist case for social conservatism, or “Against Cultural Superstimuli” · 2021-04-15T07:51:49.634Z · LW · GW

The best line here is "I don't hate you".

Seriously, it's awesome and people should tell it to each other much more easily.

(My therapist said he doesn't hate me. It was the single most liberating thing I've heard in a while.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on "Taking your environment as object" vs "Being subject to your environment" · 2021-04-13T06:49:16.174Z · LW · GW

An example. When my kid was in his second year of primary school (that's for 7-8 y.o. here in Ukraine), they played a game: kids were running in circles around chairs, and when they heard a whistle they had to sit down. But they were one chair short, and each time one kid and one chair were sent away. After three rounds my son started to get the general idea, and when they started running he went to the pile of discarded chairs and got himself one because whatever. (They disqualified him, and I stood there grinning like an idiot because heck yeah.)

But I also thought about how I would explain to him the game as a game, quite separate from everything else.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on "Taking your environment as object" vs "Being subject to your environment" · 2021-04-13T06:30:15.948Z · LW · GW

I feel like the easiest way to begin is by noticing someone's faux pa. "We don't do it here" means "we here" have collectively agreed on something else, but one can assume a role to develop some attitude to the agreed-upon thing. Be a lord and view it as yours to govern; be a word and build it through a multitude of connections; be a crook and parasitize on it; be a cook and enrich it; be a trader and "just deal with it" etc.

The trick is to remember what role it was, why you chose it, and what this says about your environment.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What are all these children doing in my ponds? · 2021-04-06T16:06:44.127Z · LW · GW

#1. It's not the money, it's the time which goes by and leaves the "you" forever alone on the roadside. #2. Having children is not aimed to support any ideology besides having children.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Asymmetric Justice · 2021-03-31T20:01:30.905Z · LW · GW

But what if A works with B and sees that B didn't go all the way they could to solve a problem? It happens all the time. CIE doesn't force A to peck B's brains out for acting badly; A is under no obligation to hand out punishment - at least if they do work together.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on How You Can Gain Self Control Without "Self-Control" · 2021-03-30T07:37:32.365Z · LW · GW

That question "What three strategies for self-control could you use if you'd like to spend more of your work time doing "deep work"?" could perhaps be framed a bit differently. I personally am distracted not just but the things I want to do instead. I find myself distracted by so many loose ends, half-planned stuff, the current Apocalypse etc.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Conspicuous saving · 2021-03-22T01:57:30.484Z · LW · GW

We Ukrainians have an anecdote which I think might be somewhat relevant here.

"Dad, they said on TV that vodka would cost more! Does that mean that you're going to cut your drinking?" "No, honey, it means you're going to cut your eating."

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Link: How to Star-Man · 2021-03-16T03:16:49.603Z · LW · GW

(please provide a brief summary.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Trapped Priors As A Basic Problem Of Rationality · 2021-03-13T07:53:10.187Z · LW · GW

...I just keep hearing "paa" even when I turn my phone away and not look at the video at all.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria? · 2021-03-10T14:43:16.503Z · LW · GW

Sounds kinda utopian even in a not-the-least-convenient-world.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria? · 2021-03-10T14:35:04.743Z · LW · GW

This is a thing I've heard unofficially from a guy in the industry, but I'm not sure how big of a problem it basically is. I mean, I think it's a big deal, but I would not care to quantify it.

In Ukraine, we have a separate branch of research institutions dedicated to agriculture, forestry, fishery etc. I mean, we've got universities where there's some science being done; the Academy, where most of it happens; and several "applied" branches like the above-mentioned Academy of Agrarian Sciences. The "applied" people are generally not well-integrated into the whole community, which is a problem in itself. One day I took part in an agrarian conference (I was looking for possible collaborations), and this guy showed me a sample of wheat they were working on. He said they have to keep producing new varieties, ever better varieties. Which means in practice that they don't actually go all out to breed superwheat, they just keep making it incrementally super.

And I just hate this - local culture? Official requirements? I mean, if only they were actually acknowledged as researchers by the overall community (heck, if they were acknowledged as researchers by their own authorities). People would be working, ridiculous expectations would be laughed at, things would be moving along!

Because when they say Lysenko had left a legacy, this is what it looks like.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria? · 2021-03-10T14:02:38.686Z · LW · GW

It's not like there's a different viable choice, is there.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on The average North Korean mathematician · 2021-03-09T15:26:19.301Z · LW · GW

Yeah, THIS is what I hate in children's books about animals. This cat is the fastest runner? That bird has the sharpest vision? The dinosaur is the tallest one ever? Who even cares? It's not like they compete with other animals we judge / have recorded to be almost as fast etc. We never get to hear about the silvers, much less the bronzes.

Annnd... This cat "can't maintain the speed for long"? Who even cares? It's not like we ever read anything about the variability of the cat's speed, the bird's sharpness of vision...and these aren't even extinct... nobody measures it. Nobody measures it, but lots of people compare their freaking favorite species like there's some kind of Platonic Zoology we're all supposed to agree on.

(At least the invertebrates are simply weird, each one in its own dimension.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform · 2021-03-06T19:06:10.419Z · LW · GW

I keep reading about "credit where credit is due". As in, some people used to do something bad / suboptimal and then stopped / began to do less of it, and so we should recognize this improvement and, well, move on. This seems not nuanced enough.

The case I'm thinking about is a Ukrainian highschool chemistry textbook so awful it advertised caustic soda as a treatment for cancer. (And other comparable horrors.) 40.000 copies were printed and sent to schools, and for five years nobody had had a problem with it. I mean, some teachers might have told their students to Not Believe, on the quiet side. But out loud, no.

Time passed. According to sanitary norms, schools have to receive new textbook editions every five years. There was a change of power, and the Ministry of education people who were in charge last time had proudly gone over to the Opposition. And suddenly, everybody was talking about caustic soda (because the Opposition pointed it out). We need better books! Corruption! The education reform is not moving in the right direction!

And we the customers are grateful for there being an Opposition. (Like, at all.) Credit where credit is due. But almost nobody mentions that this whole thing is their fault.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Suspected reason that kids usually hate vegetables · 2021-02-28T18:30:59.373Z · LW · GW

I'm from Ukraine, and it's similar here (also, parsnip, radish, beetroot and pumpkin are among the most common things). A curious variation common in the villages but not in the cities is that if you grow it, you don't buy it. This often means that people in the city get theirs starting earlier in the season.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Different kinds of language proficiency · 2021-02-27T20:29:42.851Z · LW · GW

I speak Russian, Ukrainian and English and am slowly learning German. I also have studied and forgot Tatar, Hindi and French (there was some rather twisted education planning involved.)

I feel like the languages occupy their own niches, even the forgotten ones. German feels like really elaborate English with the promise of expressing thoughts more nimbly and precisely. Tatar helped Hindi through some words of the same "Turkish" origin (I mean words like "kitap(b) - a book"), and Hindi was fascinating in its unlikeness to most anything. I still have this "standard of otherness" in my mind. French... is like knitting phonemes, it was taught to us a process more than a language. English is for building from sometimes not-intuitive blocks, and yes, there is that chasm. Russian is my tool for "fencing", "being witty", easy to use like a well-balanced knife. And Ukrainian is what I do :)

We were told, when we began studying English, that the more languages you know the more times you're human. Still, nobody said we're gonna like the end result, for some reason.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Catching the Spark · 2021-02-08T07:03:38.731Z · LW · GW

(And then fungi evolved to cope with endothermy.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Open & Welcome Thread - January 2021 · 2021-01-28T10:07:26.652Z · LW · GW

Does the feeling of having one's nails too long have a name and a place in the classification of sensations? I mean, some people find it uncomfortable to just have theirs "longer than the nail bed" (me too). It's not like our nails even start to get in the way of doing things, we just have a sensation (kind of an itch), I'd say like "holding" something with the edge of the nail and the nailbed. Is this from touch receptors detecting a different creasing of skin? It goes away when I pay deliberate attention to it.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Leaky Delegation: You are not a Commodity · 2021-01-26T21:05:03.230Z · LW · GW

I just think that people go to restaurants specifically to eat something "strange", to put themselves into a situation where one kind of has to order what's offered. It's not like one can't buy ready-made food in a shop, so restaurants aren't "the" alternative to homemade cooking. (I mean sauces, preserves, cakes all can be found in many places.) Restaurants are just an "uncommon" alternative, a plunge to be taken.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Exercise: Taboo "Should" · 2021-01-25T14:31:32.180Z · LW · GW

I kind of get behind the "self-grown produce is less fattening" - you put in work, it takes out fat. Work, in many people's minds, is "good". Also, try chewing through a free-range hen, not a chicken. Builds muscles, hen.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Everything Okay · 2021-01-24T08:50:36.833Z · LW · GW

(It seems to me that the OP was about people interacting, not just personal preferences.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on You Have About Five Words · 2021-01-11T08:10:19.979Z · LW · GW

Seems like today the size of the phone screen defines how much of the text one is willing to read (an unselected someone). It's still unclear what people do with it later and how much they retain. But reading in itself seems not so tightly limited; five-words-at-most is what I expect from billboards. But I also expect them to be more like roadsigns/reminders, not original messages (and really I would be surprised if someone treated the words as something beyond advertisement.)

Also, repeated exposure is a thing, which is often the case when one coordinates many people. And the ability of factions to work together although their "core texts" are very different.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Hammertime Day 9: Time Calibration · 2021-01-10T19:09:55.955Z · LW · GW

My worst case of planning fallacy was when I thought I'd just come back to work after the maternity leave. I did get a job, then another, and then another, but I've never actually come back.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Thoughts on Mustachianism · 2021-01-10T09:57:06.532Z · LW · GW

You know, about that garbageman thing... you most probably won't be happy, but if you are the garbage truck driver, you're going to bring happiness and be The Hero for some very sincere people below age four.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on How do you assess the quality / reliability of a scientific study? · 2021-01-09T18:58:40.660Z · LW · GW

A thing I pay attention to is how seamlessly the introduction leads to the question the authors picked. If there is a jarring break I try to imagine what kind of intro the paper needs, and then it's usually clear if I do understand enough to think about it. For example, if the actual intro is written from the ecological angle but the imagined one is zoological, and I really need to understand it, I should just ask a zoologist.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Science in a High-Dimensional World · 2021-01-09T18:01:40.255Z · LW · GW

There's a parallel need to review the actual purpose for which you are doing all of that. It can be mutable.

For example, suppose you culture some unicellular algae, and you notice the cells can be more or less rounded in the same dish. You shrug and discard the dishes with too elongated cells to keep the line pure and strong. You learn what parameters to keep constant to make it easier.

And then someone shows that in point of fact, cell shape for this group of species can vary somewhat even in culture so we have been wrong about the diversity in the wild this whole time. And you read it and hope in your heart that some very motivated people might one day deviate from the beaten path and finally find out what's going on there, despite this looking entirely unfundable.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Helpless Individuals · 2021-01-08T19:19:19.267Z · LW · GW

It's quite possible to raise money for microgrants (c. one-paycheck amount) for young scientists. From individuals. And then keep it up year in and year out. And add more subcategories (e.g., a friend of mine started with a single grant for both botanists and zoologists, then a year later there were two, and now other people started running their own and we have four.)

You can't fund big science this way, but people do pay money. You probably can't raise money for any kind of science, but it's not a general rule at the very least.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Condition-directedness · 2021-01-08T16:03:54.099Z · LW · GW

I have a friend who's kept working on environmental issues for two decades now (creating and protecting nature reserves, organizing databases of rare species finds etc.) Looking at him, it's hard to say if he is condition- or ambition-directed. He created a niche where other people come to take root and can now sketch out their own five-year plans. It's definitely different than being a teacher.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Evening drawing · 2021-01-07T14:29:11.640Z · LW · GW

We have geese and we take pictures of them, but I'd love to be able to draw them. There's so much poured volume and chiseled grace in an almost-monochrome shape. They grow - you can see the beaks getting longer in "adolescence", and they molt! Their heads sit at different angles on their necks, their stride can be purposeful or leisurely. And when there's snow on the ground and they are suddenly not the whitest thing around, their curves acquire a subtle metallic shine (at the base of the neck, at the invagination of an eye etc.).

I don't have the time, though, but geese are great.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Fourth Wave Covid Toy Modeling · 2021-01-07T07:13:11.776Z · LW · GW

Thank you, it will be interesting.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year · 2021-01-06T22:10:03.946Z · LW · GW

ChristianKI just wrote about the need to not overdo the more physically demanding tasks after isolation.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform · 2021-01-06T22:02:48.057Z · LW · GW

Pre-covid, quite a few customers seemed to want to be validated by personal communication with shop workers. (I mean e.g. customers who would tell the consultants about their wonderfully clever children instead of asking for the thing they want to buy. Or even describing the thing.) I kind of wonder how they manage now. On one hand, the shops are fighting for clientele, and on the other, they are online.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Fourth Wave Covid Toy Modeling · 2021-01-06T21:49:42.948Z · LW · GW

(yes I live in a cave where I don't think the new strain is being identified) Why does the old strain disappear? And shouldn't we expect yet another strain after very many people get infected? (Of course, it could go whichever way with it spreading faster or not.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year · 2021-01-01T15:31:26.553Z · LW · GW

(just throwing it out there) Since this is our second year with covid, maybe we can make a more informed effort to prevent other maladies to lessen the overall strain? I mean, on the individual level.

We used to have a baseline for how sick we become and when to more or less expect it (chronic or seasonal things) and/or how often Shit Happens (accidents). We might want to adjust it.

It used to be ok, to look for something for the pollen allergy in the spring or in the fall, but if one already knows one will need it later, why not buy it now? If there's a vegetable garden one is too old to tend alone, then plan around the need to invite more people to do it*.

Father Frost brought me a new toster :) I thought "oral contraceptives in bulk" were kinda not his thing. Now I think I was wrong.

*where I live this would be a sacrilege. Lots of people come greet their neighbors when the time to plant potatoes strikes again.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Luna Lovegood and the Chamber of Secrets - Part 11 · 2021-01-01T14:48:02.600Z · LW · GW

I thought this was exactly brilliant. Like the phrase "It happened long ago and not" ("Это было давно и неправда", I'd welcome a better translation; a well-known quote from an almost forgotten detective story.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Large Gains from Small Choices · 2020-12-28T20:10:47.502Z · LW · GW

(It takes me up to a year to "digest" a book. (One that I read of my own volition, to expand my world.) I would not want another thousand thoughts come so soon.)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Mary Chernyshenko's Shortform · 2020-11-15T21:38:38.058Z · LW · GW

Those brilliant guys made a plane from mud and sticks. It could not fly. It just stood there.

But even a man who could not understand a word of their language; who knew nothing of their way of life; who would never come to visit, - even such a man could see this thing out of his cockpit and know what it meant. And he would translate it, this only thing ever, into his own words and tell others.

Because the plane that never flies is a sign.

We have them polished in museums and rusting in abandoned hangars. There, we imbue them with meaning which is allowed to be personal.

...But you make one life-size model with one single possible interpretation, and suddenly it's cargo cult.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Is Success the Enemy of Freedom? (Full) · 2020-11-14T08:22:21.182Z · LW · GW

I have changed occupations thrice - from a PhD student (dropped out) to lab technician (in a different lab, for children), from LT to bookshop cashier/..., from BC to the-one-who-proofreads-articles-and-stuff in a lesser research journal. I kind of expect to switch at least once more, to a librarian or postman.

All of it revolves around the need to be home for the kid, and around hating some aspects of the job. (The lack of science; the late hours; the cold; and currently, the need to be reputation-wise.) And there was freedom in every thing I've done, although not exactly freedom to do what I wanted to do. Just - freedom to see the world. I think it should not be underestimated.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-09T08:21:23.298Z · LW · GW

Thank you. It looks even more unfeasible than I thought (given the number of species of mycorrhizal and other root-inhabiting fungi); I'll have to just explicitly assume that Y does not have an effect on X, in a given root system from the wild. At least things seem much cheaper to do now)))

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-08T17:15:52.398Z · LW · GW

So I've read Pearl's The Book of Why and although it is really well written I don't understand some things.

Say we have two variables, and variable X could 'listen' to variable Y, Y--->X. But we don't know if it is qualitative or quantitative. I would have appreciated it if the book included a case study or two on how people plot their studies around this thing.

For example, we want to know what features of an experimental system can influence the readout of our measuring equipment. Say, Y (feature) is the variety of fungi species inhabiting the root system of a plant, and X is the % of cases in which we register specific mycorrhyzal structures on slides we view through a microscope (readout). And our 'measuring equipment' is a staining/viewing procedure.

Conceivably, if there are several species of fungi present, the mycorrhizal one(s) might form fewer (or more numerous) specific structures. This would be what I mean by a quantitative effect. Also conceivably, only some species or combinations of them have this effect on X. This would be qualitative.

Measuring both Y and X is more or less impossible, since you either stain a root or try to obtain a mycorrhizal culture from it (which is expensive.)· Even if we do try out some number of combinations of fungal inoculum, who knows how it compares against the diversity in the wild.

So... does this mean that we should split Y into Y-->Y1-->X and Y-->Y2-->X... or what?

· we don't consider some stains which maybe allow both.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Observe, babble, and prune · 2020-11-07T16:22:28.785Z · LW · GW

(After reading the first half of the post) usually, I find it uncomfortable to equivocate between the topic and what is said about the topic so freely. After all, if choosing a strategically bad intermediate job ruins your whole career, then it ruins your whole career.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on Should students be allowed to give good teachers a bonus? · 2020-11-04T10:56:39.392Z · LW · GW

(shouldn't it be $150?)

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What is the right phrase for "theoretical evidence"? · 2020-11-02T08:34:09.681Z · LW · GW

Could be "framing conditions". I mean, it's one think to say "masks should help to not spread or receive viral particles", but it's another thing to say "masks can't not limit convection". Even if you are interested in the first, you have to separate it into the second and similar statements. Things should resemble pieces of an empirical model besides intuitive guesses, to be updateable.

I mean, it's fine to stick to the intuition, but it doesn't help with modifying the model.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What posts do you want written? · 2020-10-25T15:41:47.724Z · LW · GW

An overview of the common disagreements between landscape designers, interior designers etc. and their clients. (A friend of mine had to explain that she liked her windows shaded by the tree, it made the house cooler during summer.) As in, what people tend to miscommunicate, overrule, not order, repair etc.

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What colour were the shadows? · 2020-10-19T20:43:05.333Z · LW · GW

Thank you :) It was frost, we rarely get snow so early. I stood there and watched it evaporate in real time :) I didn't have a camera on me then, so the photo is recent (and taken much later in the day).

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What posts do you want written? · 2020-10-19T14:48:00.793Z · LW · GW

A review of the history of translations of Aesop's and other similar fables with the emphasis on what was added, subtracted or equivocated by the translators. Such as, did the original Fox tell himself the grapes were sour, or did he announce it to the world at large?

Comment by Mary Chernyshenko (mary-chernyshenko) on What posts do you want written? · 2020-10-19T14:39:01.701Z · LW · GW

(Body memory is great. When I worked in a shop and could not find an item by the end of the day, because my eyes refused to scan the whole depth of the shelves, I was told to close my eyes and "just take the thing". The arm remembers.)