The impossible problem of due process 2024-01-16T05:18:33.415Z
Guide to rationalist interior decorating 2023-06-19T06:47:13.704Z
reflections on lockdown, two years out 2023-03-01T06:58:38.176Z
Audition to perform in Bay Secular Solstice 2022-10-18T03:10:28.112Z
Soft skills for meetups 2022-09-27T17:26:12.406Z
Dublin, Ireland – ACX Meetups Everywhere 2022 2022-09-05T13:46:48.813Z
Volunteer to host a meetup! 2022-08-21T22:43:06.468Z
Berkeley Schelling ACX meetup 2022-05-04T00:50:13.851Z
Retreat for rationality meetup organizers (apply to attend!) 2022-03-29T18:42:58.292Z
Madison Solstice Celebration 2021-12-19T20:45:05.790Z
How much Bayesian evidence from rapid antigen and PCR tests? 2021-11-24T06:54:21.265Z
Choosing a meetup venue 2021-10-13T06:23:06.956Z
Meetup advice sequence intro 2021-10-13T06:21:29.337Z
Amman, Jordan – ACX Meetups Everywhere 2021 2021-10-11T20:03:32.525Z
Bay Area Winter Solstice 2021 2021-09-07T20:11:56.648Z
Bay Solstice looking for volunteers 2021-09-06T06:45:04.697Z
Takeaways from one year of lockdown 2021-03-01T03:53:20.228Z
Intuitions about utilities 2021-02-06T00:12:44.383Z
Open & Welcome Thread – February 2021 2021-02-05T21:38:28.789Z
Reflections on the cryonics sequence 2021-02-03T01:17:13.556Z
#6: Optional additional steps 2021-02-02T23:57:01.742Z
#5: Making your cryonics arrangements official 2021-02-02T23:54:27.534Z
#4.4: The insurance underwriting process 2021-01-28T02:33:02.592Z
#4.3: Cryonics-friendly insurance agents 2021-01-27T21:13:37.488Z
#4.2: Cryonics-friendly life insurance carriers 2021-01-27T21:05:06.735Z
#4.1: Types of life insurance 2021-01-26T19:55:21.948Z
#4: Introduction to life insurance for cryonics 2021-01-22T20:58:05.529Z
Appendices to cryonics signup sequence 2021-01-22T06:40:20.700Z
#3: Choosing a cryonics provider 2021-01-20T01:47:36.839Z
#2: Neurocryopreservation vs whole-body preservation 2021-01-13T01:18:05.890Z
Cryonics signup guide #1: Overview 2021-01-06T00:25:02.927Z
Some end-of-year media recommendations 2020-12-31T20:10:17.516Z
How to get the benefits of moving without moving (babble) 2020-11-13T20:17:59.278Z
Location Discussion Takeaways 2020-11-02T21:14:24.604Z
The rationalist community's location problem 2020-09-23T18:39:26.278Z
Petrov Day Ritual: Coronavirus Edition 2020-09-23T16:41:39.856Z
Self-sacrifice is a scarce resource 2020-06-28T05:08:05.010Z
Seeking opinions on the pros and cons of various telepresence tools 2020-04-05T18:22:51.775Z
Meetups in the era of COVID-19 2020-03-15T06:24:03.318Z
How to have a happy quarantine 2020-03-15T03:42:56.085Z
How to choose a massage therapist 2020-03-01T06:53:44.608Z
Looking for books about software engineering as a field 2020-02-03T21:49:05.926Z
Bay Solstice 2019 Retrospective 2020-01-16T17:15:03.840Z
The Towel Census: A Methodology for Identifying Orphaned Objects in Your Home 2019-12-22T06:04:44.111Z
mingyuan's Shortform 2019-11-21T20:58:04.387Z
Welcome to Auckland EA/SSC Meetup Group [Edit With Your Details] 2019-09-25T02:43:17.678Z
Welcome to New Delhi SSC [Edit With Your Details] 2019-09-25T02:38:17.069Z
SSC Meetups Everywhere: Darmstadt, Germany 2019-09-19T00:53:59.600Z
Meetups as Institutions for Intellectual Progress 2019-09-17T05:23:08.004Z
If you've attended LW/SSC meetups, please take this survey! 2019-03-25T21:48:37.976Z


Comment by mingyuan on Rationality Club at UChicago · 2023-10-17T23:02:29.168Z · LW · GW

[Context: For ~4 years up until a year ago it was my job to keep track of rationalist groups around the world, also I happen to have gone to UChicago]

I don't know of any other currently active rationality groups at universities, but I recommend joining this Discord server for people who run rationality meetups. Some of the organizers in there previously ran university groups, and even those who didn't will probably have helpful advice. 

For UChicago in particular, you probably already know this but you'll need to apply for RSO status before December 1st. Without this you won't be able to even book rooms, and that's annoying because even if you successfully apply in this cycle you won't have active RSO status until the spring. If UChicago still has an EA group that's an official RSO, I recommend asking them for help with booking rooms in the meantime.

Comment by mingyuan on Related Discussion from Thomas Kwa's MIRI Research Experience · 2023-10-16T23:43:49.709Z · LW · GW

I do have some general sense here that those aren't emotionally realistic options for people with my emotional makeup.

Here's my take: From the inside, Nate feels like he is incapable of not becoming very frustrated, even angry. In a sense this is true. But this state of affairs is in fact a consequence of Nate not being subject to the same rules as everybody else.

I think I know what it's like, to an extent — I've had anger issues since I was born, and despite speaking openly about it to many people, I've never met anyone who's been able to really understand the feeling of being overwhelmed with rage (especially not as an adult). That feeling can be very hard to control. 

However, I am constantly aware that having an angry outburst is massively socially unacceptable, to the point where if I let such things happen regularly I would lose my job / my standing in the community / all my friends / everyone close to me. This creates an extremely strong incentive for me to self-regulate at least my outward reactions, even when it's really hard. But because Nate is so high-status, he is allowed to make such outbursts without being faced with losing his job, his standing in the community, or his friends. This means he is insufficiently incentivized to self-regulate, and thus has been unable to learn.

Comment by mingyuan on 12 Virtues of Rationality posters/icons · 2023-08-04T19:53:09.634Z · LW · GW

Whoops very late reply but in the pictures, the posters are actually just taped to 8.5"x10" sheets of black cardstock; after printing the virtues themselves we manually cut them all down to have 1/2" margins all around.

When we moved houses in 2019 we did frame them, using these frames that conveniently come in a 12 pack! (For the void we put a piece of black paper in the frame.)

Comment by mingyuan on Are Guitars Obsolete? · 2023-08-01T18:06:09.990Z · LW · GW

Agree! Also, my response to the sentence you quoted would be: Playing guitar and playing piano are (for many people) almost entirely separate skills, which feel very different, are learned differently, and have different cultural connotations. People are more likely to base their choice of instrument on that (and the things TAG mentioned) than on some kind of optimization for 'most versatile musical instrument'.

But also I don't disagree with the original quote :) I mean, it definitely seems true that a lot of people play the piano and guitar, fewer (but still many) play slightly less versatile things like violin and saxophone or other strummed instruments like banjo, not very many play piccolo or tuba, and almost no one plays theremin or very culturally specific instruments like bagpipes or shamisen (outside of the culture they're specific to).

Comment by mingyuan on What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain? · 2023-08-01T17:49:27.000Z · LW · GW

Good job!

Comment by mingyuan on Lack of Social Grace Is an Epistemic Virtue · 2023-07-31T22:10:19.480Z · LW · GW

The advice this post points to is probably useful for some people, but I think LessWrongers are the last people who need to be told to be less socially graceful in favor of more epistemic virtue. So much basic kindness is already lacking in the way that many rationalists interact, and it's often deeply painful to be around.

Also, I just don't really buy that there's a necessary, direct tradeoff between epistemic virtue and social grace. I am quite blunt, honest, and (I believe) epistemically virtuous, but I still generally interact in a way that endears me to people and makes them feel listened to and not attacked. (If you know me feel free to comment/agree/disagree on this statement.) I'm not saying that all of my interactions are 100% successful in this regard but I think I come across as basically kind and socially graceful without sacrificing honesty or epistemics.

Comment by mingyuan on "Building a House" Review · 2023-07-31T21:54:10.441Z · LW · GW

I love this post, you're one of my favorite bloggers

Comment by mingyuan on My "2.9 trauma limit" · 2023-07-02T20:09:02.899Z · LW · GW

A trauma is an instance where something hurts you, and you develop coping mechanisms to route around the hurt, but the coping mechanisms limit your action space, blind you to some things, and distort your thinking a bit.


You can fix your emotional problems/confusions, but it'll take awhile.

But how?

This is not a very good LW comment, but, I’m interested in talking about this with you some time if you’re up for it.

Comment by mingyuan on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-06-27T19:50:07.604Z · LW · GW

Okay I bought the specific LED lights you linked, and I have to disagree. The color temperature is nice enough, but they have a very noticeable refresh rate, such that if I wave them back and forth my eyes have trouble keeping track of them. I don't think these are any better than other LED string lights I have, and my husband thinks they're probably worse (more noticeable flicker, though perhaps comparable CRI). I would definitely not light a space with them.

That said, I'm not put out about having spent $10 on these, because they're supposedly meant for outdoor use, and I wanted our front porch to be more illuminated anyway and basically don't care about the light quality there. And the claim did seem worth testing!

Comment by mingyuan on Another medical miracle · 2023-06-26T01:22:56.859Z · LW · GW

Maybe, although the OP does say "How could something as fundamental as protein deficiency not be a standard, ordinary thing we test for?", so it sounded like it hadn't been tested at all.

But yeah now you've made me want to criticize the whole idea of normal ranges! One time I had a vitamin D deficiency that had me extremely ill for three months and even bedridden for part of that time, but clinically it was only mildly out of range, and the doctor just told me "Your vitamin D level is a bit low" – which I feel didn't sufficiently suggest that it might be the root cause of the debilitating illness I had gone to him about. In general Elizabeth and others have made me think that reference ranges are a lot more nonsense than they seem, and that they like all things in medicine are more likely to apply to ~tall white men, so I as a non-tall non-white non-man should be skeptical and pay more attention to things that are at the extremes of the reference range, even if they're not 'clinically significant'.

(That rant was not directed at you tbc, I just wanted to rant it, thanks)

Comment by mingyuan on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-06-25T22:34:16.298Z · LW · GW

This comment made me happy! Thanks for the positivity!! 💖

Comment by mingyuan on Another medical miracle · 2023-06-25T22:33:12.941Z · LW · GW

Hm, so, I definitely agree about having very little faith in the modern medical system's ability to figure out most problems. I have a lot of experience with this myself and it's rough — I'm sorry it was bad for you and I'm glad you got better!

However, I'm pretty surprised that your protein levels were never tested! When I go to a doctor in America and tell them that some new thing is mysteriously wrong with me, their first recourse is pretty much always to order blood tests, and consequently I have had my blood protein levels checked six times in the past five years as part of a standard hepatic function panel. I'm not super familiar with the medical field, but from Googling it looks like if you had a protein deficiency, that test would turn it up.

I guess maybe because of the symptoms you were presenting with, no one felt the need to check your liver function? But if that's the case I'm confused why they do it to me all the time, since one of my main problems is mysterious musculoskeletal pain. Hm.

Comment by mingyuan on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-06-22T02:54:59.454Z · LW · GW

Interesting, I'll have to get some and see what I think! I usually steer clear of battery-pack lights because of some experiences where they died almost immediately, so I wouldn't have stumbled upon them myself. I am really sensitive to light quality though, so we'll see :)

Comment by mingyuan on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-06-22T01:02:23.652Z · LW · GW

I have not worked on the Inn, but the search term for that kind of light is 'recessed channel lighting' :) 

(I guess I should mention in the post that my recommendations were rental-space-oriented; Lightcone was able to install this recessed lighting because they own the space and can do whatever they want to it, but it's too invasive for a rental.)

Comment by mingyuan on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-06-19T16:37:16.177Z · LW · GW

I'm surprised that you've omitted window treatments. Maybe they're just less of a thing that people think about in the spaces that you're documenting here?

Yeah, I'd actually have a ton more to say about making a space good as it applies to your home, but it didn't all seem relevant here — e.g. the Lightcone offices were in a WeWork with windows that didn't open. (ETA: Like I said at the top of the post, this isn't a guide to what I think is optimal; that would look pretty different.)

But totally agree with everything you said about windows! I especially love privacy film: 

Also, California (at least the Bay Area) is one of the regions that's missed the memo about window screens – maybe because there aren't many insects? But it's indeed still super annoying to not have them, so I installed my own using this size-customizable product, which was necessary because window dimensions here appear to be completely random and not at all standardized.

Thanks for all the info you added! 💖

Comment by mingyuan on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-06-19T16:36:39.458Z · LW · GW

Oh thank you, I had no idea! I just thought the article was cool but knew very little about the topic going in.

Comment by mingyuan on Optimal Clothing · 2023-06-04T23:41:22.324Z · LW · GW

Anyone claiming a particular style, brand, fabric, or article of clothing is optimal, full stop, is either lying, trying to sell you something, or confused about how optimization works

That's fair... but also I want to spread the word about my optimal dress. While it's only sold new on StitchFix, there are tons available secondhand (and usually cheaper) on Poshmark, and it comes in dozens of fabrics/patterns! (Search 'Kaileigh faux wrap dress' or just 'Kaileigh dress', in your size.)

It's obviously not actually 'optimal' but it's really comfortable and looks amazing on a lot of people. I own like fifteen in different patterns and have gifted them to four friends of different complexions and body types, and all of them love them and wear them constantly (even one who never ever wears dresses), and two of them have even gone and bought more. And as a bonus, it's also good as a maternity dress and for breastfeeding!

I just love this dress. I get so many compliments on it and I wear it almost every day. And now so do some of my friends!

Comment by mingyuan on #6: Optional additional steps · 2023-03-25T04:49:45.970Z · LW · GW

I basically haven't done any further research since I wrote this article, but my understanding was that you can fund a Cryonics Institute contract with work-provided life insurance, but it's not possible for Alcor, because Alcor has stipulations about who owns the policy. I hope that helps!

Comment by mingyuan on The Kids are Not Okay · 2023-03-09T07:05:45.416Z · LW · GW

Epistemic check: Are you going off any kind of study or anything for baby boomers "being the most narcissistic in human history", or is that just a thing that feels good to say? 

I'm extremely skeptical that parents have become more abusive in general — life in the past was terrible in all sorts of ways and I'd be surprised if people were on average nicer fifty years ago. If you know more people your age who claim to have had abusive parents than people older than you who claim the same, consider the types of alternate explanations Zvi gives above, e.g. "maybe younger people are more likely to use the concept of 'abusive'". Both of my parents definitely had abusive parents, but neither of them ever used that term to describe it. Also like, disciplining children by spanking was entirely normal where they grew up (mom in US in 60s, dad in China in 70s), but if a parent did that in the US now it would be considered abuse.

Comment by mingyuan on The Kids are Not Okay · 2023-03-08T22:41:56.780Z · LW · GW

I don't think it's that new or weird, I mean, I guess it depends what you mean by 'kids', but universities have been hotbeds of political activism since long before the internet. And I know that I had strong political 'opinions' growing up just by virtue of living in a city where 95% of the adults I encountered were liberal. My parents took me and my sister to protests against the Iraq War when I was five despite not being particularly politically involved people, and the 2011 Wisconsin protests happened when I was 14 and I and most of my friends were there (especially since school was canceled, so there wasn't much reason not to go).

Comment by mingyuan on Why did you trash the old · 2023-03-07T20:06:03.062Z · LW · GW


Comment by mingyuan on reflections on lockdown, two years out · 2023-03-07T06:10:45.125Z · LW · GW

What, lockdown? Absolutely not. Sticking around in Berkeley? I don't know, probably

Comment by mingyuan on AI: Practical Advice for the Worried · 2023-03-02T01:20:09.261Z · LW · GW

Not Zvi and not a parent but: Every kid learns about death, and it is true for every kid that they might not get to grow up. Extinction is different, but not so different (to a child's mind) from the threat of nuclear war, or even regular war, both of which many children have had to face before. I'm also not aware of concrete policies on how to explain to kids that they and everyone they love will die, but it's not like it's a new problem.

Comment by mingyuan on Fertility Rate Roundup #1 · 2023-03-01T20:25:20.964Z · LW · GW

The Chinese effort and one child policy would fall into the ‘young adult dystopia’ book section if it was fictional.

Comment by mingyuan on (Cryonics) can I be frozen before being near-death? · 2023-03-01T07:13:55.660Z · LW · GW

As resident hyperlocal cryonics sort-of-expert-I-guess, I do not recommend this; see mukashi's answer. Relatedly: The legal hurdle is that it's considered murder.

Comment by mingyuan on Covid 2/23/23: Your Best Possible Situation · 2023-02-24T03:39:05.106Z · LW · GW

Oh my god we're finally here! It's been so very long. Your posts were so important to me during the worst of the pandemic; I wouldn't know how to possibly thank you enough, and also I 100% support you stopping. Onward and upward <3

Comment by mingyuan on Buy Duplicates · 2023-02-16T18:43:18.329Z · LW · GW

I have seen this happen with one pair of shoes; not sure of the material but they disintegrated while being worn for the first time out of lockdown. But I've successfully stored (or seen stored) lots and lots of other pairs of shoes where the material has held up fine, including leather, cloth, suede, and rubber.

Comment by mingyuan on Buy Duplicates · 2023-02-16T07:29:44.699Z · LW · GW

Also if you find a clothing item you really like, it's often a good idea to buy more than one, because clothing (/shoes/etc) is more likely to go out of production than most types of things, due to Fashion. 

Comment by mingyuan on Duckbill Masks Are Great · 2023-02-07T15:22:46.913Z · LW · GW

I expect some of this is different masks, being a good fit for people with different shaped heads and different preferences

I've worn these before, but with long slippery hair they don't stay on that well and also mess up my hair like crazy

Comment by mingyuan on Vegan Nutrition Testing Project: Interim Report · 2023-01-20T18:30:53.638Z · LW · GW

I don't understand why the target subject here should be people who have never put any effort or thought into their diet. That way you don't get relevant evidence about the prevalence of iron deficiency among veg*ns, but only the almost trivial conclusion that people who don't take any care of their dietary health have some deficiencies.


It makes plenty of sense to me; I think the vast majority of people don't put any thought into what vitamins they might be deficient in. I was vegan in college for ethical reasons, and I was in the school's vegan / animal welfare club, and the entire year I was in that club I didn't hear a single mention of taking supplements to offset what we weren't getting through our diet. I had never heard about B12 or creatine supplementation until I came to the rationalist community. 

And in any case if Elizabeth is trying to study the impact that ~veganism has on micronutrient levels, then comparing [~vegans who don't take supplements] to [omnivores who don't take supplements] will give the clearest data.

Comment by mingyuan on How to eat potato chips while typing · 2023-01-03T16:37:48.735Z · LW · GW

What was hard about drinking from a can?

Comment by mingyuan on Things that can kill you quickly: What everyone should know about first aid · 2022-12-30T23:43:43.400Z · LW · GW

My understanding is that the anti-tourniquet meme is outdated, and the emergency medical response advice now is that the benefits of potentially preventing someone's death from blood loss outweigh the risk of amputation. I recall being taught in my college course in 2015 that it's fine to put on a tourniquet, just mark it with the time. And a few years ago, when my mom pulled a heavily bleeding man out of the cab of his overturned truck and wouldn't let any of the other truckers apply a tourniquet to his arm because she'd been taught that you should never apply a tourniquet, the nurse who showed up at the scene later (and applied a tourniquet) told her it would have been fine to do so. (Yes my mom is a way better person to go to in an emergency than I am, guess it's not hereditary.)

And I mean yeah, most people aren't going to successfully tourniquet anything even if they try so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But I still think it might be anti-helpful to propagate the 'don't apply tourniquets' meme.

Comment by mingyuan on Things that can kill you quickly: What everyone should know about first aid · 2022-12-28T21:47:07.955Z · LW · GW

I took an emergency medical response course in college (~40 hours, all in-person, with a mix of verbal lessons and practical exercises in each class), and the most important thing I learned was that having memorized what to do in an emergency is not sufficient to get you to actually act. [ETA: Also, to call 911 in an emergency!]

I got 100% on the written test and still remember much of it to this day, but I am an absolutely terrible person to go to in an emergency because I panic and freeze every time. I've seen this play out in myself many times over my life, not only when witnessing real falls, car accidents, and other incidents, but even in the practical exam for the course. The exam involved diagnosing and describing the treatment for instructors acting out different emergency scenarios, and while there were other contributing factors, ultimately the fact remains that I got 0% on the practical and failed the course because I had a panic attack and had to leave.

Knowing how to do chest compressions on a dummy is better than not knowing how to do that. But doing chest compressions on a dummy is extremely different from being faced with an unresponsive person, knowing that they'll die if you don't act, and knowing that even if you successfully save their life, administering CPR means a good chance of breaking some of their ribs. It's better to know how to drag someone out of a burning building than to not know, but dragging an unconscious person through a smoky inferno is going to be different than doing the same motion in a brightly-lit classroom with a conscious and cooperative partner, where there are no real stakes for messing up.

On balance I'm still glad I took the course. But I caution anyone against thinking that just studying flashcards is sufficient preparation for real-life emergencies — at the very least, take a class like Jason did, with some in-person practical components.

Comment by mingyuan on Why Are Women Hot? · 2022-12-20T07:15:00.218Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the last section because that's totally what I was going to comment while reading the rest of it! Feminine beauty standards are so deeply internalized that they don't subjectively feel like they have anything to do with men or dating — they feel closer to, like, moral truths? Or something?

Like, I'm afraid of gaining weight not because I think it would be bad for my health or make my husband stop liking me, but because I've internalized the message that being fat is an unacceptable moral failing — and I've felt this way since at least the beginning of puberty, even though I never dated anyone until I was 21, and don't date much in general or have much interest in it. My sister feels this way and she's a lesbian who has never had any interest in dating anyone in her life. I feel better and happier when I'm wearing a pretty dress and have taken good care of my skin. I like putting on makeup despite the fact that my husband actively dislikes it (as have some other men I've lived with, but at least my husband is nice about it). Why any of this? idk tbh

Comment by mingyuan on Masking to Avoid Missing Things · 2022-12-16T19:04:13.743Z · LW · GW

I'm confused, it was my impression that a lot of Chinese people, including in the West, have been masking strategically since like 2003 (the first SARS wave), i.e. wearing a mask if they are sick, or if the risk of getting sick is unusually high (e.g. a bad flu season at university). The only people I ever saw wearing masks for illness prior to 2020 were Asian (except for one very immunocompromised white friend). Honestly it seems crazy to me that the norm prior to this was just to do nothing to try to prevent illness, because being sick is both terrible in the moment and maybe/probably bad for you longterm!

I do think the trade-off differs for different people — some people, like my husband, absolutely hate every minute of wearing a mask, so it's a big cost for them; but for others, wearing a mask isn't that unpleasant, so it can be worth doing it for a few hours at a time in order to prevent future major inconvenience. 

I, like Jeff, have been masking more than usual recently, since I, like him, am running music for a Solstice this weekend. This makes sense to me because (a) I don't hate wearing a mask that much, (b) it's only for short periods, not for like a full workday in an office every day, and (c) it would be really unfortunate to not be able to be in Solstice. I've put in a ton of preparation, and while we do have contingency plans in place, me being sick would still create a burden on other people, make the performance run less smoothly, and also mean that I wouldn't get to perform, which would be sad for me.

I guess my point is, everything in life comes with trade-offs, and it's up to you how you weigh those.

Comment by mingyuan on It Takes Two Paracetamol? · 2022-12-14T01:55:19.149Z · LW · GW

I use ibuprofen almost exclusively because a source I trusted told me years ago that it was better for me longterm than acetaminophen (alas I have no idea what the source was) but I think the same principle applies. I always take one pill to start because I worry about developing tolerance / rebound headaches / kidney damage / stomach upset, and then if that doesn't seem to make a difference within 60-90 minutes, I take a second one. I find that usually I need two (i.e. the recommended dose), perhaps since I only take painkillers at all when the pain has risen beyond a certain level, but sometimes one is sufficient.

I realize this isn't actually evidence that a half-dose is at all distinguishable from placebo, but the point is, if you worry about overuse like I do (e.g. because you have a chronic condition), I see no reason to not just take one pill to start. If it alleviates your pain, then great, if not, you can take another.

Comment by mingyuan on Audition to perform in Bay Secular Solstice · 2022-12-08T22:51:25.487Z · LW · GW

Comment by mingyuan on College Admissions as a Brutal One-Shot Game · 2022-12-07T05:42:43.301Z · LW · GW

This seems wrong to me? Hard to say because it was so long ago but I imagine I spent at least 15 hours a week on homework. I went to a basically normal public high school, and while most of the work wasn't hard for me (varying between mindnumbingly easy and moderately challenging), there was just so much of it that it took a ton of time. Sure I wasn't 'working smart', and I was a perfectionist to an unreasonable level, and I cared too much about what my teachers thought of me, but I imagine none of those things are unusual for kids trying to get into good schools.

Comment by mingyuan on College Admissions as a Brutal One-Shot Game · 2022-12-07T05:37:19.014Z · LW · GW

No. I would wake up early to do homework, spend 8 to 10 hours at school (and often do homework during class), and then go home and do more homework. Looking back I got a lot more value out of my non-school activities and hobbies than I did out of doing homework, but there was just so little time for anything else. I was constantly stressed about missing deadlines and usually extremely tired. Meanwhile when my husband was in high school he did zero homework and actually did things in the world like building a house and starting a startup, which seems way better to me.

And then my top university was a miserable place where I learned nothing and didn't even make any useful connections, and just suffered for four years while my parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for it, and THEN it turned out that ~all of the jobs I've ever had, including my first job out of college, I got based on performing well on work tests, which I could absolutely still have done if I'd gone to some small liberal arts school. No one has even asked to see my resumé since 2019 and all of my work has been completely unrelated to my degree.

tl;dr school is a scam don't fucking go don't do it stay the fuck away

Comment by mingyuan on Feeling Old: Leaving your 20s in the 2020s · 2022-11-23T01:23:17.736Z · LW · GW

I feel emotional whiplash from moving out of young adulthood into regular adulthood. It feels like I was robbed of the transition between the two. I wish we could have peacefully handed the baton off to the next generation, rather than waking up one day and finding it gone.

I'm maybe five years younger than you but I feel much the same way. Before lockdown I felt like I was just beginning adulthood — I'd been out of college for less than three years and graduated pretty young, so in most workplaces or social situations I was one of the youngest people around. The social scene I emerged into after lockdown was full of people who seemed a lot younger than me, like they were everywhere, and I felt older both because those people were looking up to 'my generation' and because I was jaded as fuck. I don't feel like my best years are behind me or that I'm nearing the end of my life, but I do feel like those younger people are full of a hope and energy that feels incredibly distant to me. 

Comment by mingyuan on The Alignment Community Is Culturally Broken · 2022-11-13T20:31:07.255Z · LW · GW

[fixed link to Habryka's comment]

Comment by mingyuan on Women and Effective Altruism · 2022-11-13T18:05:24.637Z · LW · GW

One of my objections is similar to benjamincosman's — people not taking no for an answer in romantic/sexual contexts is a problem I've seen in people of all ages, races, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, social status, and points on the autism spectrum. It was a big problem at both my urban public high school and my elite private college.

Yes power differentials make it worse, yes it's more of a problem in an environment as gender-imbalanced as EA or the wider Bay Area tech scene, and yes people who are striving to be moral should hold themselves to a higher standard. But trying to use the existence of these problems as an indictment of the community proves too much — I don't know of any community of any kind that successfully avoids them.

I am not opposed to an honest discussion of the gender issues in EA or rationality or the Bay Area as a whole or whatever other scene. I'm a woman and I care about this. But this post completely fails at "Aim to explain, not persuade". It uses inflammatory rhetoric, makes sweeping generalizations like "EA/rationalism and redpill fit like yin and yang", and lumps polyamory in with the problems in an apparent attempt to score points, when polyamory is something that many people practice in a way that's healthy, happy, and consensual for all parties involved.

I also take issue with the specific line

There are also upsides [to accepting the sexual advances of men in power], as reported by CoinDesk on Caroline Ellison.

This reads to me like you're implying that Caroline only got into a position of power because she was sleeping with Sam? That's internalized misogyny if I've ever heard it. Whatever her recent actions may have been, Caroline is an extremely smart person who was a successful trader at Jane Street before ever joining Alameda. When I heard she had become CEO, that made sense to me based on her experience, intelligence, and seniority at the company.

Maybe I am just feeling frustrated about everything lately and am taking it out on you, but come on. If you want people on LessWrong to respect what you're saying, at least try to write with epistemic honesty, instead of whatever this is.

Comment by mingyuan on Audition to perform in Bay Secular Solstice · 2022-11-09T05:39:48.527Z · LW · GW

One week left to audition!

Comment by mingyuan on #4: Introduction to life insurance for cryonics · 2022-10-27T18:35:35.613Z · LW · GW

I'm glad you like the sequence! I went with a $200,000 death benefit to hopefully account for inflation.

Comment by mingyuan on Long Island, NY – ACX Meetups Everywhere 2022 · 2022-10-18T22:39:52.077Z · LW · GW

Note that the date has been changed to Thursday the 27th!

Comment by mingyuan on So, geez there's a lot of AI content these days · 2022-10-10T18:18:39.179Z · LW · GW

Logging on today, I noticed that all of the posts with this problem (today) were personal blogposts; are those treated differently? Also some of these are tagged 'ML', but that makes it through the AI filter, which.... I guess is intended behavior :/

Comment by mingyuan on So, geez there's a lot of AI content these days · 2022-10-08T18:46:02.137Z · LW · GW

Yeah this is a point that I failed to make in my own comment — it's not just that I'm not interested in AIS content / not technically up to speed, it's that seeing it is often actively extremely upsetting

Comment by mingyuan on So, geez there's a lot of AI content these days · 2022-10-07T18:07:26.975Z · LW · GW

I don't actually know how subforums are implemented on EA Forum but I was imagining like a big thing on the frontpage that's like "Do you want to see the AI stuff or the non-AI stuff?". Does this sound clunky when I write it out?... yes

Comment by mingyuan on So, geez there's a lot of AI content these days · 2022-10-07T18:02:23.217Z · LW · GW

I'm in favor of subforums — from these comments it seems to me that a significant fraction of people are coming to LW either for AI content, or for explicitly non-AI content (including some people who sometimes want one and sometimes the other); if those use cases are already so separate, it seems dumb to keep all those posts in the same stream, when most people are unhappy with that. (Yeah maybe I'm projecting because I'm personally unhappy with it, but, I am very unhappy.)

I used to be fine with the amount of AI content. Maybe a year ago I set a karma penalty on AI, and then earlier this year I increased that penalty to maximum and it still wasn't enough, so a few months ago I hid all things tagged AI, and now even that is insufficient, because there are so many AI posts and not all of them are tagged correctly. I often go to Latest and see AI-related posts, and then go tag those posts with 'AI' and refresh, but this is a frustrating experience. The whole thing has made me feel annoyed and ugh-y about using LW, even though I think there are still a lot of posts here I want to see. 

I also worry that the AI stuff — which has a semi-professionalized flavor — discourages more playful and exploratory content on the rest of the site. I miss what LW2.0 was like before this :(

Comment by mingyuan on Soft skills for meetups · 2022-09-27T18:34:40.881Z · LW · GW

And see also also Anna Salamon's How to learn soft skills, which could possibly be helpful here