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Comment by piglet on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-08T19:00:44.762Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A good quick-and-dirty test uses the humble push-up. Periodically (every two or three days) just do as many push-ups as you can -- this will likely involve moderate discomfort on the last few -- and track the number you do over time. While there is some day to day variance, I think this is a pretty good rough proxy for general fitness and a few weeks of data would give you decent tracking of the trend, unless you are already in such good shape that marginal improvements are hard to discern.

Comment by piglet on Open Thread June 2010, Part 2 · 2010-06-10T15:35:18.348Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also, Richard Feynman's remarks on the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger are a pretty accessible overview of the kinds of dynamics that contribute to major industrial accidents. http://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/v2appf.htm

[edit: corrected, thx.]

Comment by piglet on Open Thread June 2010, Part 2 · 2010-06-07T16:01:43.986Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It depends on what you mean by "criminal"; under environmental law, there are both negligence-based (negligent discharge of pollutants to navigable waters) and strict liability (no intent requirement, such as killing of migratory birds) crimes that could apply to this spill. I don't think anyone thinks BP intended to have this kind of spill, so the interesting question from an environmental criminal law perspective is whether BP did enough to be treated as acting "knowingly" -- the relevant intent standard for environmental felonies. This is an extremely slippery concept in the law, especially given the complexity of the systems at issue here. Litigation will go on for many years on this exact point.

Comment by piglet on Attention Lurkers: Please say hi · 2010-04-21T16:56:38.308Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hi. Long-time lurker since Eliezer was posting at OB (which candidly I find far less interesting these days). I'm 37, and am a practicing lawyer with several small children; this keeps me sufficiently busy that I don't often have time to think hard enough to post here, although the discussions are usually quite interesting. Also, I'm pretty non-quantitative due to misspent undergraduate years. I view this site as place where generally I should be listening, not talking.

Comment by piglet on Rationality quotes: April 2010 · 2010-04-05T15:14:01.448Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

"Face the facts. Then act on them. It's the only mantra I know, the only doctrine I have to offer you, and it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, don't buy into centuries-old dogma and dead rhetoric. Don't give in to your conditioning or your visions or your fucked-up sense of... whatever. FACE THE FACTS. THEN act."

--- Quellcrist Falconer, speech before the assault on Millsport. (Richard Morgan, Broken Angels)