Comment by memoridem on 2013 Survey Results · 2014-01-29T13:52:01.427Z · LW · GW

I'm not under the impression that doctors are less likely to be atheistic/rationalistic/high-Openness/etc. than the general population

Not much more likely either it seems. Doctors are a very diverse population, probably not many generalizations you can make about rationalism on that front.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-29T06:12:09.790Z · LW · GW

Reminders1, reminders2, body weight exercises, cardio, weight management.

Comment by memoridem on Are you a virtue ethicist at heart? · 2014-01-28T06:21:42.211Z · LW · GW

If only a small minority of people are consequentialists by default, then coldly calculated actions that have good consequences would more likely be a sign of callous character than a finely tuned moral compass, which in turn could lead to bad consequences in other situations. People might not be as irrational judging these example situations as it seems.

Comment by memoridem on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-28T03:06:26.066Z · LW · GW

You could try doing something that gives immediate feedback for sloppiness, like simple math problems for example. You might gain some generalizable insight like that speed affects sloppiness. Since you already practice meditation, it should be easier to become aware of the specific failure modes that contribute to sloppiness, which doesn't seem to be a well defined thing in itself.

Comment by memoridem on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-28T02:46:30.574Z · LW · GW

I think for most people who ask this question, the range of fitting jobs is much wider than they think. You learn to like what you become good at.

If I were to pick a career right now, I'd just take a long list of reasonably complex jobs and remove any that contain an obvious obstacle like a skill requirement I'm unlikely to improve at. Then from what is left, I'd narrow the choice by some other criteria than perceived fit, income and future employment prospects for example and then pick one of them either by some additional criteria or randomly. I'm confident I'd learn to like almost any job chosen this way.

If you make money you can do whatever you like in the future even if you chose your job poorly in the first place. So please don't choose to become an English major.

Comment by memoridem on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-28T02:12:15.134Z · LW · GW

I think this feeling arises from social norms feeling unnatural to you. This feeling should be expected if your interests are relevant to this site, since people are not trying to be rational by default.

The difference between a pathetic misfit and and an admirable eccentric is their level of awesomeness. If you become good enough at anything relevant to other people, you don't have to live through their social expectations. Conform to the norms or rise above them.

Note that I think most social norms are nice to have, but this doesn't mean there aren't enough of the kind that make me feel alienated. It could be that the feeling of alienation is a necessary side effect of some beneficial cognitive change, in which case I'd try to cherish the feeling. I've found that rising to a leadership position diminishes the feeling significantly, however.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-28T01:15:04.607Z · LW · GW

Glad to hear I could be of help.

There's no reason why you shouldn't apply this to your other exercises too if you want to progress faster and less painfully. You might want to experiment with the number of sets to see what works best for you or vary the figure simply to make things a bit less monotonic. It's still nice to have "challenge days" every once in a while to see how awesomely many repetitions you can do at once.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-28T00:39:52.936Z · LW · GW

Wow. That's some heroic effort you're going through.

Can't you use that treadmill time to read, watch or listen to something? Or meditate, you referred to buddhism in our other discussion.

If you haven't done so already, you could automate things further via a smartphone or a computer. There's software for almost any purpose. For example, my smartphone does my exercise plans for me and keeps track of progress and adjusts the plans accordingly, reminds me when to exercise and when to eat, reminds me to weigh myself in the morning and draws a prediction graph of my weight based on the last 7 day measurements and calculates how many extra calories have gone in or out based on the progress.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-28T00:12:46.536Z · LW · GW

I get the high only from strenuous exercise that lasts about an hour or more, like soccer for example. Half hour runs or weight lifting do not have such an effect, and I don't find the reward worth the pain in those activities which means I do them in a more reasonable pace.

This suggests you might have to reach a certain level of fitness to be able to strain yourself enough to get the high and this level varies between activities and people. There are activities like swimming that don't give me the high at all no matter how hard I try, but oddly enough swimming is my favorite form of exercise.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-27T05:59:08.972Z · LW · GW

Have you you tried doing shorter sets like 5x10 push ups with a minute of rest in between for example? You'll get much more push ups done this way, will progress faster and experience less burn. Try adding 1-2 push ups to those five sets every time you do push ups. If you reach failure point at any time, you're doing too many of them. Doing them every day might get counterproductive at some point, your muscles need rest to grow stronger. If you're already in pain when you're starting, you haven't recovered from the previous exercise.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-27T05:31:53.744Z · LW · GW

If it hurts consider that you might be doing something wrong. If it's just the burning sensation, although this sensation is usually followed by a rewarding endorphin rush, consider that you might not have to strain yourself that much to get the most important benefits from the exercise. I exercise regularly, make progress, and it almost never hurts. If you do bodyweight exercises for example, you don't have to exercise to the point of failure to make progress, in fact that might even slow your recovery.

Comment by memoridem on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-27T05:16:40.012Z · LW · GW

To motivate yourself further, imagine yourself as the granpa of steel you're going to become if you do the right thing.

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-26T07:20:37.961Z · LW · GW

I meant only that I am alive, and I see no reason that death is preferable at this point.

This could easily describe my preferences as well. Perhaps we just have different thresholds for logging out.

But the suffering caused by aging and disease is separate from any definition of death.

I fully agree with this distinction, but it doesn't matter much to my preferences. I think permanent cessation of consciousness is bad. Some things in life are worse though, and could override this preference. Outcomes that we value don't have to be directly experienced, and death is no exception. For example I don't have to experience pain to want to avoid it. In addition living is instrumental to most of my goals.

It has some novelty, but I see no need to prolong it indefinitely.

I'm not bored yet. I can't imagine how I could be. I wouldn't choose immortality without the option of death however for various reasons. My ability to make long term plans will increase with technology. I might have million year plans, but can't imagine what they could be. Imagination is a very limited tool.

I'm not sure I understand what your point is.

You seemed to think we exist for our genes. This is simply wrong. Evolution explains how we came to be, not what for. Cryopreserving some of your cells in a jar or backing up your sequenced genome in the cloud might maximize your genetic fitness but would feel strangely unsatisfying, don't you think?

Comment by memoridem on Cynical About Cynicism · 2014-01-26T06:51:49.414Z · LW · GW

People usually ask questions to clarify some confusion. I don't know what yours is, but thought the article might be helpful since it elucidates this subject. Have you read it?

Organisms obviously don't directly optimize their genetic fitness. Deep Blue obviously doesn't directly optimize winning chess. If you want to economically predict their actions however, finding something they seem to optimize works as a rough model. This is easy if you know the process that made them. It's the nature of a rough model you can poke holes to it by finding exceptions, but this doesn't make the model useless.

Tim might be making a stronger claim than this. If that's the case I probably don't agree with it.

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-25T23:46:54.121Z · LW · GW

Doesn't this apply to any system where power is tilted and the high status members have ideologies? Should we call them all religions?

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-25T23:34:03.639Z · LW · GW

I'm alive. It is my default state.

Stop eating. Let's see how default it is.

They have zero to do with one another and should not be combined in this discussion.

If that's how you want to have your definitions, I can live with that.

Please give me an example of a long term goal that would require 10 Billion years? How about 1 Billion? 1 Million?

No need for that. Just always have plans for tomorrow.

It does affect me quite a bit to know why my instincts and drives exist. Maybe it does nothing for you. Okay. That is interesting.

Why/how they exist and what for are different things. Conflating the two leads just to confusion in this case, because the what for doesn't exist.

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-25T23:14:45.240Z · LW · GW

I find the dogmatic-ish acceptance of certain ideas around here reminds me of religion

Did you actually look at the statistics? Whatever dogma you're seeing isn't there. It's more likely you're thinking some people you've had discussions with here are more representative of LW than they actually are.

Comment by memoridem on Cynical About Cynicism · 2014-01-25T23:07:34.967Z · LW · GW

Does it matter really? From my perspective Tim proposes an economical tool for thinking about a system's goals, but probably won't lead to much insight and will cause bias compared to more labor intensive methods.

I think this post could clear most of your confusion about the connection between your genes and your goals.

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-25T22:08:17.461Z · LW · GW

Are you sure you didn't think you were replying to someone else? You made a lot of false assumptions about my mindstate.

I'd suggest death is a harmless alternative

So what has made you decide to live so far?

Also, I notice you are conflating non-healthyness and mortality

I combined two situations because I thought that would be more acceptable to you. That doesn't mean I'm conflating them. I do think there are good deaths and bad immortalities.

Most arguments for which exact lifespan is better would seem arbitrary to me.

If I couldn't think of any interesting long term goals, I would have to agree. If that's not how you mean it, then I don't understand what you mean by arbitrary.

Though it is also your intuition, and intuition generally, that opposes (and fears?) death so intensely

It's a value, and yes it's programmed by the blind idiot god called evolution, but my core values don't go away if I just think about them hard enough and why should they?

This death-avoidance intuition exists so that we will be best equipped as vehicles for the replicators we carry. That is all is was designed for

Why exactly does it matter why the value is there? It wasn't designed for anything or by anything. It just is, and the genes were just selected for and thus they are. Genes have goals no more than they can plan and even if they did I have no reason to privilege them. Evolution is an unplanned process not optimizing anything in particular, how could it possibly glitch and why should I care?

"stay alive at any cost" thinking

Not my thinking.

Can you imagine any scenario, say, a billion years into your life, when you might opt for permanently switching off your consciousness

Any situation where my future could be expected to be net negative. Of course I can't imagine such a scenario specificly, as I can't reliably imagine what life is like even 20 years from now, so the extra years add nothing to the scenario. I can think of several situations that would make me end my life right now or a few years from now.

Comment by memoridem on Cynical About Cynicism · 2014-01-25T07:05:05.756Z · LW · GW

What about religious people who take vows of celibacy?

Consider that many of them probably fail and some of them probably take the vow after having children. Those who don't are so rare you might want to consider them defective from the perspective of propagation of genes. People have genetically inherited diseases too.

I think people care more about self-preservation than reproduction

It's reasonable to assume that the value of self-preservation declines with age and the number of children. Self-preservation in most instances seems to be instrumental to reproduction.

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-25T06:42:34.904Z · LW · GW

If everyone was immortal and healthy by default, do you think it would even occur to you suggest death as a harmless alternative?

If someone tried to convince you that a 50 year lifespan is better than what we have now, what would be your reaction? Don't you find it interesting that your intuitions support a very narrow optimum that just happens to be what you already have?

Do you argue that "death is just the end of your conscious experience" in the case of anyone who dies prematurely? Try to imagine actual deaths in real life and their outcomes.

Have you read this fable by Bostrom?

Comment by memoridem on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-24T19:02:23.185Z · LW · GW

In the mornings I sometimes take a few caffeine pills after the alarm and continue sleeping until I wake up spontaneously when the effect peaks. Another way that works for me to increase morning alertness is to time some bright lamps to turn on an hour or so before wake up time.

Comment by memoridem on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-24T18:23:25.084Z · LW · GW

I hadn't considered trying to counteract the nervousness induced by stimulants. I'll have to look into various relaxation techniques.

You can do this pharmacologically too, with beta blockers for example. Consider asking your doctor about it.

Have you tried caffeine naps i.e. take a caffeine pill then start taking a nap? The caffeine absorbs while you sleep so when you wake up you could be more alert right away. This could also prevent oversleeping.

Comment by memoridem on Dark Arts of Rationality · 2014-01-24T06:24:55.552Z · LW · GW

You could argue the opposite: if you expose yourself indiscriminately to people who don't share your values, they'll have a better chance to change them. I think I operate under this assumption. Most people wear some kinds of masks in various situations, and I think some people who insist they shouldn't just lack basic skills in deception and lie detection. I'm not implying people are more malicious than some people expect, I'm implying deception is generally thought of as a lesser evil than some people think.

If we talk about really hacking your preferences on some deep level, I agree with the danger of unintentionally becoming someone else.

Comment by memoridem on 2013 Survey Results · 2014-01-23T19:43:02.013Z · LW · GW

Isn't there anything you already know but wouldn't like to forget? SRS is for keeping your precious memory storage, not necessarily for learning new stuff. There are probably a lot of things that wouldn't even cross your mind to google if they were erased by time. Googling could also waste time compared to storing memories if you have to do it often enough (roughly 5 minutes in your lifetime per fact).

What other skills work nicely with spaced repetition?

In my experience anything you can write into brief flashcards. Some simple facts can work as handles for broader concepts once you've learned them. You could even record triggers for episodic memories that are important to you.

Comment by memoridem on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-23T19:20:35.227Z · LW · GW

That made the picture a lot clearer, thanks. Makes those income figures relevant to me seem a lot less enviable.

Comment by memoridem on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-23T19:11:23.056Z · LW · GW

I see, my bad. It's easy to lose the context by reading recent comments.

Comment by memoridem on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-23T11:24:35.693Z · LW · GW

Have you tried any drugs to fall asleep faster when using stimulants in the evening?

Comment by memoridem on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-23T11:20:15.232Z · LW · GW

Pharmacokinetics (half-life and other variables) of drugs and their different delivery methods are public knowledge, there are individual differences in metabolism of course.

When it comes to designing drugs there are quite a few things that are done in the delivery mechanism of the drug that can effect half-life.

For most drugs the elimination half-life is so long that a faster route of administration makes minor difference. For caffeine for example it's about 4.5 hours. You can shorten the absorption from < 1 hour to seconds but that probably won't matter much in this case.

You can make the absorption slower in a way that makes a difference however, for example there are several timed release versions of methylphenidate.

Comment by memoridem on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-23T10:50:46.076Z · LW · GW

There are individual differences in metabolism rates of all drugs, so you might want to try some in the 3-5 hour range to see how they affect you. If tolerance worries you consider cycling some drugs or taking days off.

Nicotine could increase the clearance of caffeine as much as 50 %, you could use this to your advantage.

Consider raising your alertness nonpharmacologically, like exercise or cold showers for example. Consider working in an upright position.

In the other comment you said you have problems with sleep. There are several options to improve that side too, so that you might tolerate the stimulants better. This of course makes no sense if the problem doesn't lie in your waking hours. Melatonin you can probably get OTC. The nervousness induced by stimulants could also be dampened in several ways.

Comment by memoridem on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-23T10:26:00.949Z · LW · GW

Could you be a bit more specific about the positive effect?

Comment by memoridem on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-23T10:12:20.400Z · LW · GW

Pure signal? Some people actually like their jobs, and perhaps the extra income too.

ETA: are people expected to work extra hours for free in the US?

Comment by memoridem on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-23T10:06:22.623Z · LW · GW

It's not just exploitation by elders in medicine though. Many young doctors work ridiculous hours by choice, and their more reasonable colleagues suffer as a consequence.

It's terrible that the expertise of doctors should make them fully acknowledge the dangers of sleep deprivation for example, yet some of them wilfully ignore the facts.

Comment by memoridem on Would Your Real Preferences Please Stand Up? · 2014-01-23T04:57:45.867Z · LW · GW

A disorder would be a description of what the person is reporting, since you can't scan their brain to establish the diagnosis. An important problem with this approach is that we don't know whether there's an impaired processing of the social necessity called self, or whether the person just perceives or describes normal processing differently, or whether they label a different process with the word self than people normally do.

Comment by memoridem on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-23T04:28:09.368Z · LW · GW

You can migitate the problem by making the investment gradually.