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Comment by omid on Open Thread, Jul. 13 - Jul. 19, 2015 · 2015-07-15T03:27:33.137Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Is it worth it to learn a second language for the cognitive benefits? I've seen a few puff pieces about how a second language can help your brain, but how solid is the research?

Comment by omid on Open Thread, Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2015 · 2015-04-20T15:58:23.378Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I want to have more focus and find it easier to do boring things.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2015 · 2015-04-20T00:54:06.977Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think I have ADHD. What should I do now?

Comment by omid on Calories per dollar vs calories per glycemic load: some notes on my diet · 2015-03-17T17:01:31.124Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could you breed crickets at home?

Comment by omid on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-06T06:30:34.995Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You said you use this for ROT13ing things. How does that work? Suppose I wanted to make a Facebook post that gave my friends the option of knowing Obama is a werewolf, but also gave them the option for them not to know this if they'd rather be surprised later.

Comment by omid on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-05T16:10:32.877Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You understood my question better than I did. Thank you.

Is the following paragraph correct?:

If I had unlimited computing power, I could search for all the inputs that return 37ecb0a3164e6422bedc0f8db82e45ec from the MD5 function. Then I could search those inputs and see which ones are meaningful sentences in English, and then make an educated guess at what the message is. But in reality, it would take too much computing power to find even a single string that returns 37ecb0a3164e6422bedc0f8db82e45ec.

Comment by omid on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-05T02:39:31.289Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

How do I make a hash? In case I'm using the wrong word, I want to encrypt a message, then put the encrypted message in a public place, then decrypt the message in a way that proves that I actually encrypted a message (I didn't just write a nonsense string and later retcon an encryption scheme that makes it meaningful).

Comment by omid on The outline of Maletopia · 2015-02-19T12:16:30.545Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Saving this so I can read it after it gets deleted.

Comment by omid on The morality of disclosing salary requirements · 2015-02-09T13:30:32.856Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If wages are too high, causing unemployment, might it be better for employers to get more advantages while hiring?

Comment by omid on Open thread, Jan. 12 - Jan. 18, 2015 · 2015-01-16T03:44:38.326Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Is there any way to block distracting software on my computer? There are a blue million apps that will block websites, but I can't find any that will stop me from playing games I've installed. Ideally, I'd like some software that lets me play my games, but only after a 10 minute wait. But I'd settle for anything now that can restrict my access to games without uninstalling them entirely.

Comment by omid on Memes and Rational Decisions · 2015-01-09T14:37:25.996Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How smart do you have to be in order to follow this advice? Are we talking two standard deviations or five?

Comment by omid on Open thread Jan. 5-11, 2015 · 2015-01-07T17:31:37.074Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is there a Chrome extension or something that will adjust displayed prices of online merchants to take into account rewards benefits? For example, if my credit card has 1% cashback, the extension could reduce the displayed price to be 1% cheaper.

Comment by omid on Open thread Jan. 5-11, 2015 · 2015-01-05T16:47:59.348Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So I signed up for a password manager, and even got a complex password. But how do I remember the password? It's a random combination of upper and lower case letters plus numbers. I suppose I could use space repition software to memorize it, but wouldn't that be insecure?

Comment by omid on Open thread, Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015 · 2015-01-04T15:17:02.704Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Longshot, but are there any transgender people here who have signed up for cryonics?

Comment by omid on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-01T03:54:01.993Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

How do you deal with people who are dominating conversations? I had a New Years party and it was basically 4 hours where either this one guy was talking or someone was talking to him.

Comment by omid on 2015 New Years Resolution Thread · 2014-12-27T16:23:40.944Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I have two resolution this year:

  1. Transition into a woman.
  2. Get a job that can pay enough that I don't have to depend on my girlfriend for housing.
Comment by omid on xkcd on the AI box experiment · 2014-11-23T14:48:28.154Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

So just to be clear: If I say "I won't give into the basalisk because Eliezer says I shouldn't", will that protect me from the basilisk? If not, what should I do?

Comment by omid on Stupid Questions (10/27/2014) · 2014-10-28T16:44:09.972Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think that's what caused my angst, I think I was worried about becoming less special because more people were reading my favorite blog.

Comment by omid on Stupid Questions (10/27/2014) · 2014-10-28T15:05:50.559Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

How do I stop being a hipster? I saw Bryan Caplan advising his readers to read Scott Alexander and my first reaction was "Oh no, a well-known blog is recommending people read my favorite little blog. Now more people will read it and I won't be as special." I know this feeling is irrational, but how can I overcome it?

Comment by omid on Open thread, Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2014 · 2014-10-27T16:11:18.401Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you, how many hours a week do you spend doing these things?

Comment by omid on Open thread, Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2014 · 2014-10-27T15:56:13.713Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

What chores do I need to learn how to do in order to keep a clean house?

Comment by omid on Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014 · 2014-09-30T03:27:44.100Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I'm having trans issues and would like to talk a trans person who has some experience coming out. Send me a PM if you can talk. Thanks.

Comment by omid on Open thread, 30 June 2014- 6 July 2014 · 2014-07-01T17:55:48.118Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

The quantified risks of gay sex post is in the early stages of development. If you are a mod and think such a post would have negative value, pianoforte611 and I would appreciate hearing your concerns before we invest our time in it. If you are not a mod but want to make some pre-emptive suggestions, those are welcome too.

Comment by omid on Personal information management · 2014-06-27T12:23:13.262Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Are you still using Zim Wiki?

Comment by omid on False Friends and Tone Policing · 2014-06-23T02:23:35.505Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That comic is unfair. Being called a blasphemer or a ratfink is not the same as getting bashed on the head with a cross. Now the artist would argue that this is a metaphor, but in that case, wouldn't breaking a cross also be metaphorical assault?

Comment by omid on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-05-31T17:40:05.940Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Meta: I've submitted four proposals, and might submit more later. I don't have time to write all these posts and I have no idea what posts people would want to read, so I'd appreciate advice, criticism, or requests.

Comment by omid on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-05-31T17:36:46.517Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fixed, thanks.

A lot of websites use a "This is not medical advice" disclaimer, enough to justify a generic template.

Comment by omid on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-05-31T17:32:13.445Z · score: 21 (21 votes) · LW · GW

Proposal: Don't fear GATTACA. A post where I explain why people are afraid of the dystopia featured in GATTACA, and why these fears are unjustified.

Comment by omid on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-05-31T17:26:29.574Z · score: 21 (23 votes) · LW · GW

Proposal: You don't need politics. In which I argue that keeping up with the news and political controversies is not a duty nor effective altruism. Intended to counteract the "Rah political activism!" message I got in school.

Comment by omid on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-05-31T17:02:40.887Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Proposal: Quantified risks of gay sex: As a bi-curious man, I have some interest in gay sex, but I'm also worried about STDs. As a nerd, I'd like to weight my subjective desire to have gay sex against the objective risks of stds. This has been surprisingly difficult.

The risks of lesbian sex doesn't need quantification because it's basically zero. The risks of straight sex have been decently-enough quantified here and here. But there's no comparable guide for gay sex.

All of the websites for gay men give vague advice like "wearing a condom is safer than not wearing a condom." Sure, but does wearing a condom make gay sex safe enough to rationally partake in, or is it like wearing a seatbelt while you're drunk driving? I'd like to write a post that told men how risky gay sex was and how much of that risk can be avoided. It would help men decide not just whether they should have gay sex, but whether they should get circumcised or insist their partners be tested.

This post could be a hazard if it exposes Less Wrong to legal risk, or if it says something boneheaded and damages the forum's credibility. So I'd probably need some help researching and editing it and I'd want to show it to whoever is in charge of these forums before I post it.

Comment by omid on Brainstorming for post topics · 2014-05-31T16:31:03.517Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

Proposal: If you're depressed, maybe your life sucks. A meta-contrarian post where I argue that you can't always "have a positive attitude" towards bad things in your life, and that fixing your life's problems might be a better strategy than learning to cope with them.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-13T15:51:04.483Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This writing style has become a cliche:

Imagine a hypothetical situation X. In situation X, you would surely agree that we ought to do Y. Surprise! We actually are living in hypothetical situation X. So we obliged to do Y.

Are there any ways to make it less obnoxious?

Comment by omid on Open Thread, May 5 - 11, 2014 · 2014-05-05T12:08:27.108Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The United States green card lottery is one of the best lotteries in the world. The payoff is huge (green cards would probably sell for six figures if they were on the market), the cost of entry is minimal ($0 and 30 minutes) and the odds of winning are low, but not astronomically low. If you meet the eligibility criterion and are even a little interested in moving to America, you should enter the lottery this October.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, April 27-May 4, 2014 · 2014-04-28T04:25:25.697Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Seth Roberts is dead .

I was considering the Shangri-La diet, but now I'm nervous.

Comment by omid on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-18T17:25:50.779Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Because of how excited I got when I received gifts in the past. For example , I cherish an expensive scarf a girlfriend gave me even though I would never have bought it for more than a few dollars myself.

Comment by omid on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-18T16:35:42.781Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm currently single so the question is hypothetical.

Comment by omid on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-18T15:08:19.237Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How would I tell my girlfriend that gifts my love language love language without looking like I'm exploiting her for free stuff.

Comment by omid on Open Thread for January 8 - 16 2014 · 2014-01-14T16:20:03.014Z · score: -6 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Despite his nickname, Gothgirl420666 is a cis male. Update his level of credibility on gender issues accordingly.

Comment by omid on January Monthly Bragging Thread · 2014-01-07T03:18:45.972Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

I've practiced the virtue of silence. I can't say much more than that without breaking the virtue.

Comment by omid on What if Strong AI is just not possible? · 2014-01-01T18:12:22.939Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

We know it's possible because we've seen evolution do it.

Comment by omid on Open thread for December 24-31, 2013 · 2013-12-24T16:25:32.274Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm requesting advice.

Comment by omid on Open thread for December 24-31, 2013 · 2013-12-24T14:25:15.944Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to talk a LWer for advice about romantic relationships. PM me if interested.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, November 8 - 14, 2013 · 2013-11-11T15:38:18.146Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

PSA: Sign up for Medfusion (or your region's equivalent) if your doctor offers it.

Yesterday I asked my doctor's nurse a question electronically. I had a symptom and I was unsure if it required a visit to the practice. The nurse responded the next day saying the symptom was benign and would go away. This saved me a copayment and a trip outside.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, November 1 - 7, 2013 · 2013-11-07T00:06:55.217Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I'm still angry with him. He did something cruel to someone weak, and he got angry with me for saying that was wrong. I wish I could delete him from my life but he works near me.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, November 1 - 7, 2013 · 2013-11-06T16:31:52.592Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

  • You got into an argument with a coworker (or someone else you see regularly). You had a bitter falling out.
  • You were required to be around them again (maybe due to work, or whatever). You make awkward small-talk but it's still clear you hate each other.
  • You continue to make awkward small talk anyway, pretending that it doesn't make you uncomfortable.
  • Your enemy reciprocates. The two of you begin to climb the intimate conversations ladder.
  • Both of you act like friends. But, at least from your end, it's not clear if you really are friends. Neither one of you has apologized, nor have you agreed to disagree, or really made any commitment to end hostility. You have no idea whether your enemy has moved on from your fight, and is ready to resume friendship; or if they're simply carrying on a charade of friendship like you.
  • Conversations with this person become really awkward, as you're not sure whether to engage the "enemy-with-whom-I-treat-like-a-friend-just-to-act-civilized" protocol or the "real friend" protocol.

Any advice? Am I the only one that's experienced this?

Comment by omid on Open Thread, October 27 - 31, 2013 · 2013-10-30T04:38:57.189Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know what a treadmill upstairs sounds like.

Comment by omid on Open Thread, October 27 - 31, 2013 · 2013-10-30T01:30:56.414Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is it rude to buy a treadmill if you live on the second floor of the apartment ?

Comment by omid on Is it immoral to have children? · 2013-10-22T15:36:29.444Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Making a child gives them ~70 QALY's. That's not a lot by efficient charity standards, but it's a lot by "helping the people closest to you" standards. If sibling needed $100K to purchase 14 QALY's, would you help them?

Comment by omid on Open Thread, October 13 - 19, 2013 · 2013-10-20T15:06:57.673Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There are 7776 words in Diceware's dictionary. Would you rather memorize 8 short words, 22 letters (a-z case insensitive), or 16 characters (a-z case sensitive, plus numerals and punctuation marks?)

Comment by omid on How to Beat Procrastination (to some degree) (if you're identical to me) · 2013-10-19T04:45:56.160Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!