Comment by pimgd on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 · 2017-06-28T14:27:39.141Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ethereum is working on proof of stake, which boils down to "I believe that this future is what really happened, and to guarantee so, here's $1000 that you may destroy if it's not true."

Key quote for me:

"in PoW, we are working directly with the laws of physics. In PoS, we are able to design the protocol in such a way that it has the precise properties that we want - in short, we can optimize the laws of physics in our favor. The "hidden trapdoor" that gives us (3) is the change in the security model, specifically the introduction of weak subjectivity."

Comment by pimgd on Concrete Ways You Can Help Make the Community Better · 2017-06-19T12:03:01.872Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, true.

I'm not sure you understood my other point, though - using the statistics for the ssc survey might contain a bias because see reasons above.

Comment by pimgd on Instrumental Rationality 1: Starting Advice · 2017-06-19T10:27:21.532Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

One piece of obvious advice I've heard a lot is that you should exercise more.

I have a lot of ... probably weak ... counterarguments to this. They seem to be rationalizations; e.g. "I don't want to do this because ...".

For example, I'll list a few.

  • Why should I exercise if I'm already at a good weight?
  • Why should I exercise if my daily life (programming) does not require significant physical skill?
  • Why should I exercise if I already go on a short (15 min) daily walk - is more really needed?
  • I don't want to feel tired, so exercising doesn't feel rewarding to me at all
  • Exercising takes up time, I'd rather not spend this time exercising
  • If you live a longer life because of exercising, how do you know you're not running a red queen's race (you have to stay fit lest you get a heart attack 6 months later because it's old and you die anyway)

Rather than looking for cutting edge ideas to be more productive, I'm rather looking for a cutting edge idea as to why obvious advice would work / be given.

Possibly I should make a reddit account and post on changemyview or something. I just don't see why I should exercise at the moment given that I have the weight I want and the fitness to do what I need to do and don't have any health issues related to fitness (dental issues, but that's a separate point and due to a filling that seems have been placed improperly).

Then again, I sometimes feel as if I'm one-eyed, saying "I understand how having two eyes would be better, but is it really necessary? Operating is hard, it costs money, it takes time, I'd have to go to the hospital, it'd be a huge thing, and I can already see right now, so I don't see why you'd want two eyes. Yeah, okay, the redundancy would be nice, that you're not blinded if your one eye gets dirty or develops issues, but is all the hassle really worth a second eye?" And I'd feel that the answer that would convince me is actually seeing out of two eyes and realizing that hey, you can sort of see in 3D now and estimate distance and you get depth perception and a wider field of vision and it's easier to read or skim text and blah blah blah blah - but you wouldn't know that, because you only have one eye.

What's the two-eyed benefit of exercising?

Comment by pimgd on Concrete Ways You Can Help Make the Community Better · 2017-06-19T10:10:17.861Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I stopped commenting on slatestarcodex because they disabled anonymous accounts and I didn't feel like signing up because the comments weren't that important for me anyway, plus there's enough comments down there already that there's too much noise to communicate anything.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, June. 12 - June. 18, 2017 · 2017-06-13T13:44:47.130Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And the second options feels like: "omg, we can't take any criticism; we have become a cult just like some people have always accused us!".

You mean "the second option is disabled". which would leave upvote or ignore.

Comment by pimgd on Destroying the Utility Monster—An Alternative Formation of Utility · 2017-06-09T09:25:41.097Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does it "not happen" or does it "unhappen" or does it "get fixed"?

Comment by pimgd on Destroying the Utility Monster—An Alternative Formation of Utility · 2017-06-08T14:38:10.331Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe your utility system works, but I don't feel like it matches our world.

Plus, what does the "negation" of an event even mean? If someone that I care about dies, I feel sad. If they then come back, I don't feel not-sad, rather I'd be pretty disturbed (and of course happy) because what the hell just happened.

That is to say, if you stab me, but then use a magic wand to make it go away, I don't go back to normal, I become really scared of you instead.

You could say that "negating" an event turns it into "it never happened". But then I don't know what it means or how you could steer actions with it. You can't "negate" events that already happened, so, best you can do with the model is "yeah, I guess we shouldn't have done that"?

Comment by pimgd on Bet or update: fixing the will-to-wager assumption · 2017-06-08T14:28:09.766Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How about no, because I prefer my stability and I don't want to track random bets on stuff I don't care about?

Apply marginal utility and a 50/50 coin with the opportunity to bet a dollar, and you've got 50% chance to, say, gain 9.9998 points and 50% chance to lose 10 points. Why bother playing?

The only reasons to play are is if an option is discounted (4x payout for heads and 1.5x payout on tails on a fair coin), if you don't care about the winnings but about playing the game itself, or if there's a threshold to reach (e.g. if I had 200 dollars then I could do payoff something else which would avoid the deferred interest from coming into play, saving me 1000 dollars, so I would take a 60% chance to lose 100 dollars because those extra 100 dollars are worth not 100 but 1000 to me).

Plus there's always epsilon - "the coin falls on its side" or other variations.

Comment by Pimgd on [deleted post] 2017-05-29T10:45:23.273Z

I don't know if I'm neutral (no, because I have an account here for a while now), but I wouldn't have the same confidence to swing that bet out of there like you do. The post in and of itself is not convincing enough for me to say that your idea won't work, but it certainly makes me go "hmm, well, he might have a point there".


  • "Normal" people don't need to explicitly write out all the rules for their housing with regards to social rules.
  • But here there's a large list of rules and activitities and all that with the goal of getting group housing to work properly.
  • Also, here's some examples of the group of people that you want to source your participants from having low social skills.
  • By the way, if you set up a ton of rules then it usually won't work.
  • Thus, there's a pretty big chance that the rules will not work out and that the social skills of the participants will be too low to have the group housing work.

I am not convinced that this is the truth.

However, if I read in a year from now that this is what happened, I would not be surprised.

Basically what I'm saying is I can see 1 or 2 people leaving due to drama despite the rules if you try this, with a chance greater than, I dunno, 10%?

Comment by pimgd on Working with multiple problems at once · 2017-05-12T12:43:47.174Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I take methylphenidate but that's because I have ADD.

Comment by pimgd on Working with multiple problems at once · 2017-05-11T15:12:39.128Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Can you un-metaphor this for me? I don't get what you're talking about.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Apr. 17 - Apr. 23, 2017 · 2017-04-20T14:56:11.456Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm inclined to believe this because it fits with pretty much all the scenarios I have seen it used.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Apr. 17 - Apr. 23, 2017 · 2017-04-20T14:52:55.567Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am not sure I see or understand the issue that playing with your food is dangerous or anything. Maybe if you start catapulting it or juggling it, but sorting or stacking or making shapes doesn't seem dangerous to me.

I'm also not convinced that people will spit in my food if I play with it -

Hang on, if I write it down like that it just doesn't make any sense at all; First I receive my food and then I play with it, how are they gonna spit in it? Do they watch me and then spit in my desert? Or do they just start spitting in everyone's food (why?! It's not payback if you do it to everyone) pre-emptively?

I can see another version of your first point: Playing with food is for people who are preparing food only, so if you want to play with your food, come help with preparation next time.

Except if I started to make shapes and sorting the alphabet soup spagetti I'd be ladled out of the kitchen for sure.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Apr. 17 - Apr. 23, 2017 · 2017-04-20T14:44:25.432Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This seems to make sense.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Apr. 17 - Apr. 23, 2017 · 2017-04-20T10:50:16.630Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What's Chesterton's Fence for "Don't play with your food"?

I did some thinking and googling and found that...

  • The food might get cold
  • The food might go places it shouldn't go, making things dirty (or you might get dirty hands by playing with your food and then things get dirty that way)
  • It's disrespectful to the chef (table manners)
  • It's annoying to the other people who are eating so please just stop
  • Touching the food might not be very hygienic

What reasons am I missing? If you're eating food that doesn't go cold on your own, is playing with your food bad?

Comment by pimgd on What are you surprised people don't just buy? · 2017-02-15T20:43:08.460Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Paper.... cups?

Comment by pimgd on Is Willpower a Finite Resource, or a Myth? · 2017-02-14T17:04:37.665Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The important parts, for me:

Research subjects who believe in ego depletion (that willpower is a limited resource) show diminishing self-control over the course of an experiment, while people who don’t believe in ego depletion are steady throughout. What’s more, when subjects are manipulated into believing in ego depletion through subtly biased questionnaires at the outset of a study, their performance suffers as well.

Seeing willpower as a muscle-like force does seem to match up with some limited examples, such as resisting cravings, and the analogy is reinforced by social expectations stretching back to Victorian moralizing. But these ideas also have a pernicious effect, distracting us from more accurate ways of understanding human psychology and even detracting from our efforts toward meaningful self-control. The best way forward may be to let go of “willpower” altogether.


Okay so I'm halfway through the article, right, and I get the feeling that this author has a point. Maybe "Willpower" as a term is too broad.

But then I think about Akrasia and how adjusting your situation so that you do not need to expend willpower to take actions which help advance long term goals is helpful for discussing things. And these are... seemlingly in conflict, but both true.

... So is this community using the same definition of willpower as the author?

The author describes his version of willpower as "finite and exhaustible", as something books say you can increase, and the modern definition of willpower, "the capacity for immediate self-control".

I think that adjusting a situation so that you don't need to restrain yourself on a daily basis is a good strategy. One of the reasons for that is that restraining yourself uses resources. The author seems to say that there is no such resource to consume, there is no willpower. Or, more specifically, if you believe that there is such a resource, then there is, and if you don't believe that there is such a resource, then there isn't.

... Then the author concludes that since willpower can only hold you back, humanity as a species should let go of the whole idea. Sure, we'll lose a term to describe this ... "thing", but the advantages will be all the greater.

I'm left confused, though.

Say you erase the idea of willpower from the general population. People still lapse in self-control, but muuuuch less than they do right now. How would you go about explaining your friend (who is having more trouble with self-control than others) that, you know, maybe if he did his groceries shopping earlier in the day, he wouldn't be so hungry during the groceries shopping and thus would be making less impulse buys? Without the concept of willpower, lest you unleash that demon on civilization.

(That's a poor argument though, because I'm saying "but wait, even if everyone is better off, what about this one guy")

Maybe a stronger version; how do you explain to people that forcing everything is bad? That you shouldn't put yourself through life in a way where you have to fight yourself every step of the way?

I think my POV on this is "if what you're saying is true, then yes, we should scrap it. Before we do that, though, I have this one thing I'm worried about..."

Comment by pimgd on What are you surprised people don't just buy? · 2017-02-14T10:27:49.142Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Are we talking about getting friends to help you for pizza or about a professional moving service? $20 seems cheap for movers but seems to be about the price for a couple pizzas.

Comment by pimgd on What are you surprised people don't just buy? · 2017-02-14T10:26:42.389Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You can use the water and soap you used to clean the plate for flushing out the first layer of crap out of the pan. Put the pan into the sink, then wash your plate. The water will end up in the pan. Your plate will most likely not be all that greasy compared to the pan.

Comment by pimgd on What are you surprised people don't just buy? · 2017-02-14T09:01:36.171Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And their reply was....?

Comment by pimgd on What are you surprised people don't just buy? · 2017-02-14T08:59:12.962Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

... I dunno. Plates are easy to wash. There's a push to get rid of plastic plates and all that because it's a waste that's not necessary if you just used regular stoneware plates...

Plus I don't know what kind of disposable dinnerware you're looking at but here in the Netherlands we mostly have these shitty flimsy plastic plates, if you were to put a hot meatball on that it just might burn a hole through the plate. If you're living on your own, how hard is it to wash a plate?

Comment by pimgd on What are you surprised people pay for instead of doing themselves? · 2017-02-13T14:13:57.952Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

To what question are you responding? If we go by the title, you are surprised by people who pay for vetting cats?

Comment by pimgd on Stupid Questions February 2017 · 2017-02-10T13:54:49.280Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How does a rational actor resolve the emperor's clothes?

Story link:

Specifically, insert ourselves into every step of the process.

1) You're the emperor. Two tailors come to you saying they can make you a suit that cannot be seen by those that are stupid and/or unfit for their current position.

Answer to this, I think, is: You don't believe this magical stuff, see it for the scam that it is and tell them to bugger off.

2) You as the emperor, somehow agree to this. They take your measurements and start weaving, then start demanding all sorts of resources (cloth and silks).

Answer to this is probably: You give them this, because as the story goes, you really want fancy clothes. ... Besides, if you say no, they'll say they can't make clothes without cloth. Now what? It's not an unreasonable request. Maybe you can complain about the quantities, ask for an itemized invoice, but, eh.

3) You've sent your minister, which you trust dearly, has been at your side for years, real standup guy, and he says they're making the most beautiful clothing. You've sent another official, and he says it's absolutely magnificent. You go and visit in person, and they point at empty looms, whilst saying "see, aren't these the most beautiful clothes ever?" Your guards stay silent.

So here's one of the places where I'm interested in the answer, because this is the point of personal doubt as the emperor. You can either, as in the story, say "Oh yes, such wonderful clothes!" and internally go "oh crap am I unfit", or I think you could go "What clothes are you talking about, those are empty looms!" But the evidence you have is, there's 2 people who you don't know that are saying "the clothes exist and they have a property that if you cannot see them you are dumb and/or unfit", and there's 2 people who you really really trust that are saying "look at these fine fine clothes, they really do exist".

My answer in this case would be to station the guards in the room, leave the room with the ministers, and ask them individually "Okay, now let's be honest. Did you really see those clothes?" If any of them say no, I'd have the "tailors" executed. But if they both say yes and start expressing worry for me and all that then I don't know what to believe.

4) You're a citizen of the country. The emperor is having a parade to showcase his new clothes! They're supposedly magical clothes, which cannot be seen by those who are unfit and/or dumb. It's a bit chilly. Everyone's talking about the fancy clothes, and when the emperor comes around the corner, you can see him: He's naked, but otherwise fine. Behind him are several noblemen, pretending to hold the drape of the clothes. Your friend looks at you and says, "Look, aren't those the most fancy clothes?"

This case too, is hard for me. I mean, it depends on your standing in society for how much you stand to lose, but in a medieval society, if you're a farmhand? I'd say "but he's naked!". Farmhands aren't particularily clever (I might be misguided), but they haven't got a whole lot to lose. But if you're a craftsman, somehow who has a shop? Yeah, that'd be a big reputation hit, if the whole town thought you were unfit to make the things you make.

My question, for each case - what's the rational belief to hold? The main beliefs you can hold that I can see are "The clothes do not exist, but everyone is faking it, and it should stop", "The clothes do not exist, but everyone is faking it, and I should fake it too" and "I am unfit and/or dumb and I better fake seeing those clothes lest I lose my station".

My other question - As the emperor, you could go all science on the clothes. "I can see the clothes just fine, but why do they not cast shadows?" "These clothes are very light", in fact, when weighed, they don't weigh anything, they don't create shadows, they let heat through, they don't hold water (it seeps straight through as if the clothes weren't there)... That'd be one way to quickly gather evidence. I'd also express worry - if someone can't see the clothes, won't they see me naked?

Anyway, my other question - how would you gather extra evidence as a citizen?

Comment by pimgd on Stupidity as a mental illness · 2017-02-10T10:37:21.654Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Disclaimer: I have autism. I sometimes worry that despite functioning pretty well in society, some day, people will say "hey, these people have problems integrating with society sometimes! We should cure all the autisms!" and I'll be forcibly "cured" and have my personality (autism is a way of thinking, sometimes, so I think that this counts as part of someone's personality) altered against my will.

Compare with the deaf people, which is BOTH a culture and a disability. Same thing goes on here. I believe that a way should be found to prevent people from being born deaf/with autism (preferrably via curing in the womb, not via abortion, but if people want to abort because their unborn child is deaf/has autism I think they should be allowed to do that because it places a higher burden on the parents). I don't believe you should forcibly (or via social pressure) intervene in people who, for their entire lives, have been deaf/have autism in order to cure them. You should make the means available to them, but it's their decision.

Comment by pimgd on Stupidity as a mental illness · 2017-02-10T10:16:09.890Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

So, on one hand, I agree that it would be better if people were smarter on average.

On the other hand, you're using a lot of scary labels. ... Actually, after reflecting a bit, "Stupidity is a mental illness" is the only scary label. But it is a REALLY SCARY label. As in, my overton window is probably shifted, I dunno, 2 or 3 or 4 standard deviations in your direction, compared to the average person. I know about nootropics (at the very least, that they exist). And I'm sort of familiar with this community. And I still got scared reading this.

One of the issues is is that it takes something which has previously enjoyed somewhat protected status (intelligence), and puts it on a same level of importance as ... ... I don't have an example. Weird.

I know a lot of people who are stupid in one way or another. I would hate to see "treatment" forced onto them because they're not as smart as we'd like. I get the feeling that not speaking up now means being next on the list - "when they came for X I didn't speak up because I wasn't X, when they came for Y I didn't speak up because I wasn't Y, and when they came for me there was no-one else to speak up for me".

I don't know what constitutes "stupid" for you. Is it people with, say, an IQ of 70, where their intelligence impairs them on a daily basis? Or is it people who are capable of holding down a job, but live paycheck to paycheck and vote in elections based on very questionable grounds (I don't have proper examples for you)?

I think that because there is no definition of "stupid people" provided, this becomes scary. You're targeting a population group, which was previously okay, but now they're no longer okay, and this feels like you're trying to invoke "look at these people, they need to be fixed", and maybe I'm shaping some of that feeling myself, but I don't see the underlying tone of doing good. This isn't helping others, this is helping yourself. Maybe everyone benefits. But this essay reads as something that helps just you.

In short.

Promoting research into intelligence boosting drugs: Yay

Destigmatizing stupidity into favoring intelligence: Yay

Classifying stupidity as a mental illness, forcing things like the American health system onto people who are already missing one of the success factors in life: Nay.


And I don't think mental illness is seen as something positive either. People with mental illnesses are dangerous, not fit for society, scary, should be kept someplace safe... I think that's the sentiment you'll get if you ask the average person (maybe they're stupid too? I don't know). Now, I don't mean to say these traits apply to people who are stupid, I mean to say that people on average think these traits apply to people with a mental illness, and that as a result, you don't want to be mentally ill, and reclassifying people who are stupid as mentally ill won't go over well. Even only because people won't actually say they can't see the emperor's clothes, lest they lose their job.

Honestly, I think if you want to go this way, you'd be better off trying to develop things that people can use for their kids. They'll buy organic foods "because it's more healthy", so they might also buy intelligence boosters for their kids so they can go to a prestige university and do great in life.

And you don't want to classify stupidity as a mental illness. You want it to be seen as a physical injury. You go to the hospital, they fix you, you're better. No shrink visits, no endless talks, no getting locked up in an internment facility.

Comment by pimgd on Yes, politics can make us stupid. But there’s an important exception to that rule. · 2017-02-02T11:42:10.575Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting part of the article, for me:

“Partisans with weak math skills were 25 percentage points likelier to get the answer right when it fit their ideology,” Ezra Klein explained in a profile of Kahan’s work. “Partisans with strong math skills were 45 percentage points likelier to get the answer right when it fit their ideology. The smarter the person is, the dumber politics can make them.”

Comment by pimgd on How often do you check this forum? · 2017-02-01T15:11:16.986Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by pimgd on Infinite Summations: A Rationality Litmus Test · 2017-01-26T11:59:44.806Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Personally, I encountered this in the wild. My brother asked me "do you know what the series 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + and so on sums up to?" "Well," I said, "That sums up to infinity."

"No, it's -1/12!", he exclaims. I exclaimed that this was bullshit - there are only positive numbers in the series, there are only additions in the series, and since adding positive numbers together produces a positive number, the "negative a twelfth" result is just plain wrong.

We had a bit of an argument after that, after which he said "yes, you're right, but when you sum them up ALL AT ONCE then you get negative a twelfth". And I accepted that, because, well, summing them up all at once is a different operation than repeated addition, so then you might get some different result. I didn't study complicated maths, I don't know what happens when you wrap things with complicated functions, and I'm willing to concede that there exists some fancy way of wrapping repeated addition in a mathematical construct so that you can get a negative result.

So this post comes along, and yes. You take a fancy mathematical function and apply it over the repeated addition, just as expected.

Comment by pimgd on Planning the Enemy's Retreat · 2017-01-12T16:35:01.050Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I get the feeling that if you told Jenny all this they'd get angry at you at some point of your explanation. It feels kinda manipulative. I don't get this "manipulative" feeling from the example. The end result seems good, though.

Comment by pimgd on Wikipedia usage survey results · 2017-01-11T13:02:11.172Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Stackexchange (or Q&A sites in general) is also a popular hit for me, but that might just be google profiling me.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-16T09:08:16.624Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I did not read the link.

But I also think that drugging myself like that for this is not OK.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-14T12:57:50.531Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, and I can probably include that in the automation. I already have a list of my own records, but updating it is a pain and as a result I tend to just head over to storage. Reducing the workload to keep the list updated should resolve some of those troubles as well.

Comment by Pimgd on [deleted post] 2016-12-14T09:22:05.591Z

But Jacob had not touched a child. He had contacted whom he thought was a 10-year-old girl in a chat room and made plans to meet up with her. When he arrived, he discovered he had been corresponding with an undercover police officer, and was arrested for luring a minor.

The title of the article contradicts the content. Therefore, this is crap journalism.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-14T09:13:36.851Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The task itself is annoying because everything takes too long. Because it's a game, you have to walk over to storage and you have to walk over to auction and basically when you see something for cheap in the auction, answering the question "how much of that do I have already" takes 30 seconds. Then to get back to the auction and the listing you were looking at takes probably another 15 seconds. This makes the whole process feel like bleh because, well, it's...

It's like using a slow and unresponsive website.

Here's a link to a youtube video which explains how to use the auction - I don't know of its quality, but point of interest is the gold/black list of stuff and the blue grid on the right. The gold/black list is the auction interface, the blue grid is your inventory. There's another box somewhere else in that room he's standing in, that's your storage. It contains another blue-grid style inventory.

The sizes of items in the grid layout can change with updates (sometimes intended, sometimes unintended). The icons for items in the grid can change with updates (most of them unintended and thus undocumented). And lastly, I'm not sure bots are allowed. I know external information tools are allowed, like things that read game chat and filter it for you or read the game's message log to display a map of waypoints, but I don't think the actual input is allowed to be done by botting.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-14T09:00:20.242Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Because automating the clicking is pretty hard and subject to needing maintenance every time the game updates (which is about every 2 months or so)... and automating the "what do I need" part is easy and can probably be done in 2-3 hours.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-13T15:35:20.393Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I could convert it into a daily 5 minute task, or a weekly 30 minute task. This leads to some overhead, though. Most of the work is identifying how much I need of what - making 2 stacks instead of 8 just means I have to click a bit less.

... So I had an idea just now, there's the ability to get a html table of all my items - I could probably parse this with some tool, which could help me with doing the work. I'd still have to do all the clicking, but some of the stock taking could be automated like that, and this could help me with structuring and organizing the task as such that it's less uncertain.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-13T10:33:29.583Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I have this but different!

It's not dirty - it's static electricity for me. Worked at a place that had carpet, and I had to work with poorly grounded cameras. Got zapped EVERY SINGLE DARN TIME.

Now I tend to pull my sleeve over my hand before touching something.

... You could try wearing gloves (there's fingerless gloves, if you get some thin ones, they can be for comfy winter use).

You could try chaining various events - e.g. "when do your hands need to be clean?" and then everything that is "eh" dirty is okay to handle for that time. So, grab the pen, do the journaling, make some tea, do this, do that, etc etc etc, then wash your hands, then start making dinner.

You don't actually need clean hands until you start preparing food, so to say.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-13T10:26:53.448Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am NOT going to drug myself into forming a habit. This is a ~25 euro/hour, 1 hour per week side hobby, which I could miss without any problems. ... Maybe that's the wrong counterargument but I feel it's too dangerous for the rewards involved. (I wouldn't try smoking if you gave me money because I hear from people that it's hard to quit.)

The public commitment thing is something I use myself from time to time, and I can make use of it - I will make use of it a bit more (I even used this post as a sort of public commitment) but the whole idea of a "real money game" is already pretty weird to my co-workers (They're more comfortable with the explanation "It's a casino styled like an mmo and I make money via arbitrage over the chips") so it's kind of hard to weave into the conversation. But I can talk about it with family or someone - not like I have to discuss it in detail with them, more like a casual mention. Worth trying, at least.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-13T10:20:37.153Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think I could try this. I had thought of this solution myself, but ... I don't know why I dismissed it. Maybe because I hadn't done the proper thinking in regards to how much time there is being having to restock, so there was no period to schedule it for (so the objection was "It's unschedulable" which is no longer true).

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-13T10:17:13.010Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I have tried this. I find that neither task (the watching of the series AND the work) gets done properly. I miss half the jokes or only get them half and end up half-smiling rather than laughing... and I'm constantly busy with switching contexts. Listening to music on the other hand works fine, which is what I'm doing now. The music turns the boring task into something okay-ish (I'd rather be doing a full-time fun activity like playing some game, though once I started I don't mind because I'm enjoying the music).

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Dec. 12 - Dec. 18, 2016 · 2016-12-12T13:12:10.787Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How do you prevent or stop the creation of an "ugh field"?


There's a game I play which uses real money - Entropia Universe. In this game, I am a trader - though most of my activity is reselling resources (stackable items). I buy large stacks of various resources, and then split these up into smaller stacks which are more affordable for the regular buyer. I then list these smaller stacks on the in-game auction.

There is an app for this game. Using this app, I can see which stacks have sold and how much I have left of each item. The app also also me to place bids on auction items (such as large stacks with which I resupply my stock), and the app allows me to list stacks on auction.

The only thing I can't do in the app is split a larger stack into smaller stacks. Thus, I have to login to the game on my PC, go to my inventory, and perform the menial task of looking at what items I have and which items I need to split up. I have to do this about once every 20 days, give or take 5. I could put some effort into increasing my stockpile, increasing the time that goes between moments at which I have to login, but this is hard, since if there is a shortage, I can't stockpile all resources equally high and I have to make a tradeoff between restocking as soon I'm out of 1 resource or restocking once I'm out of multiple resources (decreasing my earnings in between due to selling less). So 20 days plusminus 5 is about the best I can do there.

I find that logging into the app is a bit of a bother, since it is boring work, but it pays reasonably well (5 minutes a day of time which I can plop down in any segment - such as during lunch break or when waiting for something). And if I don't do it, well, I can do it the next day.

But logging into the game on my PC is turning into a hassle for me. I keep postponing it, since there is no actual need to login and split stacks until I am running out of stacks to sell of a certain resource. When I do login, there is naturally lots of work to do - it can take up to 45 minutes to do all the things I have to do (take stock of inventory, make a list of stuff I need to buy, announce buy offer in trade chat, split stacks off the stuff I already have, make trades with the people who are willing to sell me the stuff I need, buy stacks off auction if nobody is willing to sell to me, make stacks out of the stuff people sold me, check if I did everything properly - then, log out of the game on the PC, login on the mobile app, and clear the notification list there so I don't double list something).

And I'm starting to notice that I find the IDEA of having to do this work more annoying than the actual work itself. The actual work itself is quite simple, there's no heavy lifting involved, just some clicking. I put on some music during that work, and it's quite pleasant. But the idea of "ugh, I have to remember to login tonight because I'm almost running out of X" frustrates me. It also doesn't help that I sometimes forget and have to make the choice to do it now (where now means stop watching the series you're watching right now, log in, do the work, log out, go to bed because it's bedtime) or postpone it until tomorrow.


I spend 5 minutes a day making money via a phone app. After about 2 to 4 weeks, I have to do a task which takes 45 minutes on my PC at home to enable the ability to make money via the phone app. The phone app task feels easy, but the idea of having to do the 45-minute task at home is a burden. The actual work in the 45 minute task is pretty light.


How do I prevent a task which I have to do on a irregular basis in my leisure time from becoming an ugh field?

I'd like to keep doing the actual tasks - I earn about 2 to 3 euro in those 5 minutes a day. The 45 minute task itself doesn't earn me anything directly, but good performance (such as paying attention to the trade chat and spotting a deal) does improve how much I can get with the 5 minute daily work on my phone. Suggesting I drop the whole thing together IS an idea, but I feel I'm making an adequate trade of time for money with these tasks.

I also can't automate the task, mostly because modding the game is not allowed and because there's quite a bit of thinking involved which makes the whole thing non-trivial. Plus the game has to communicate with the servers before it will let you make another change (such as creating a new stack of x units and reducing another stack by x units), so even if the clicking was automated I'd still have to sit there.

Comment by pimgd on This one equation may be the root of intelligence · 2016-12-12T11:16:27.305Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Namely? Bayes? (TBH I wouldn't expect bayes because that'd be wrong, I think - you can have "dumb" intelligence based on reinforcement learning)

Comment by pimgd on Unspeakable conversations · 2016-12-07T15:40:08.338Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The link doesn't seem to work. It just links to this page.

Comment by pimgd on Downvotes temporarily disabled · 2016-12-02T13:34:14.201Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Even though I have less than a 100 karma I still think this is a good idea.

Comment by pimgd on Can anyone be rational and not vegan? · 2016-11-24T13:37:54.052Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know if it is being counted as vegan, now that you ask. But in the link I saw it being given as a counterargument, and the reply was "it's too expensive right now" instead of "you're right but that's not being vegan".

To me, though, veganism is about "not eating meat". (I am not a vegan though) That's what the whole movement seems to be about. But then again I didn't check in a dictionary, so maybe it means something different. Google gives me "a person who does not eat or use animal products." for "Vegan", which I guess means that vatgrown meat is vegan because it didn't include animals (large animals) in the process.

... What doesn't help is that the word seems, well - "vegetarian" -> something to do with vegetation -> eater of PLANTS - like a word that means "does not eat meat". Not "does not eat animals". I suppose someone with more time on their hands might tell you that vegetation means "that which does not move" or something like that, and thus vegetation doesn't mean plants but "non-movables" e.g. "not animals".

So I don't know. Depends on your definition of "vegan".

Comment by pimgd on Can anyone be rational and not vegan? · 2016-11-24T09:13:49.513Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I feel like growing meat is a better solution because you can get rid of most of the problems with regards to inefficiencies, without losing things like eating meat (which is tasty).

Comment by pimgd on Major Life Course Change: Making Politics Less Irrational · 2016-11-11T20:04:22.010Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that I am making a lot of assumptions about what other people think, but I am basing these off the voting that the community seems to apply to Gleb's posts, and the comments that he seems to receive.

Comment by pimgd on Major Life Course Change: Making Politics Less Irrational · 2016-11-11T14:07:06.498Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Gleb has been getting responses like this from the very beginning; thousands upon thousands of words have been spilled on the subject. What makes you think your latest 600 are going to change his mind?

Because it's new to me ...? ... hmmm no, not "new"...

Because it's recent. Gleb has been posting more crap than usual lately (or the rest of the content has gotten less ... the content to "Gleb crap" ratio has been going down), and I wanted to counter that.

As for effectiveness, I'll admit I didn't try to be very persuasive (in that I didn't think about "what would make him think that he's doing something wrong"). I seem to have gone for a deconstructive approach - perhaps trying to understand why he does as he does because perhaps I'm missing something.

... and I kinda hope to start a discourse with him.

Though it was more out of emotions than logical thought.


  • Because I think it has become more relevant recently
  • Because I felt I could try to understand the situation better by writing such a comment
  • Because I hope to start a dialogue in order to convince Gleb
Comment by pimgd on Major Life Course Change: Making Politics Less Irrational · 2016-11-11T09:25:33.874Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Good for you that you're doing this.

But... as has been said before... not everyone (and I mean "only 0-15%") seems to like (or even care!) about your posts.

I don't mean to say that you should stop posting here all together (for that we have bans, if need be), but... maybe you should stop posting about InIn here? We're not your target audience. Some people here (I myself included) disagree with your methods (like those endorsements by other organizations that turn out to be fake).

If you observe your recent interactions with LessWrong, would you say they are positive interactions? Maybe so, I don't know how you view yourself. But all I'm seeing is disinterested folk. People who do not care about you. My view is perhaps distorted, but what doesn't help are the shills - people who post on your posts with generic but praise giving commentary, which you accept with thanks. But then it turns out they're part of your organization, or that you pay them. And not in a "this guy lives in my street, I paid him to paint my windowframes" - more of a "I pay this guy to promote my ideas". That sort of thing adds a generic excuse for any positive reactions you may get - "That person might only be saying that because they're a shill".

Keeping this reputation in mind, you think that it is a good idea to go ahead and ask for money from those disinterested folk? Why?

Here's my take on the idea. This is probably wrong because I am not you, but I'm going to say it anyway in the hope some parts of it match and you realize that if different people come to a different viewpoint with the same information then someone is either missing evidence or has made a mistake.

You're partially stuck in a bubble that is your own organization. You saw the elections and the media surrounding it and experienced a disconnect. You feel your goal is to help society in general, and you think that building a platform and spreading the word will help. After some reflection you've come to realize that this whole platform idea doesn't work, and that if you'll want to convince others, you'll probably have to go and convince them in person. But... that's going to take a lot of time, and thus you'll need money. So you'll make a single post outlining your thoughts and just link everywhere where it's a relevant thing.

There is nothing wrong with this plan of action at first sight. Take the last part - "make a single post, then link it everywhere in the hope of support". Great idea! Except if you do this repeatedly, without giving something back, whilst taking actions that cost reputation... you start to elicit responses like this. Responses that say "please stop".

Please stop asking for support here.

Please stop posting about InIn here.

You're probably a somewhat clever fellow, so you can probably contribute to a discussion just fine. So I don't think it would help if people were to block you (if that's even possible? ... It's probably possible, with a userscript if need be). But the posting of crap should stop.

Post some interesting articles. That voting thing was interesting, perhaps the calculations were off (?) but it sparked an interesting discussion. "I was on a radio show"/"I was on tv"/"InIn has ..." is not interesting.

This is not a kind post, but I believe it to be true and necessary. I don't know whether I crossed any social boundaries, but this is how I feel.

Comment by pimgd on Open thread, Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2016 · 2016-11-04T09:41:43.839Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There won't be any duality between rationality and whatever emotional value you have now. It's just going to be rationality and it's going to feel great. Every moment of the day, the most logical action. Each 'snapshot'. No need to discipline your actions.

This sounds like taking drugs and turning into a logically optimal robot.

... That sounds like a worse life than what I have now.

I think we should stop this thread. I'm not connecting with this idea of yours and I can't think of anything you could say to convince me otherwise (hmmh TODO rethink that)... so when you try to convince me you're just tripping flags instead.

For instance.

The curiosity from seeing other human-intelligence races is because I like imagining "what-if" - in media such as writing and animation series I'm enthralled by worldbuilding. Combined, they create some interesting questions that serve as a mirror for our current society.


At some point, you can recognize how you were conditioned to believe those things. You might even think that this curiosity or belief is superior to others. In contrary to some random person in some town in Texas for example. It also becomes socially validated as it's probably popular in the intersubjective reality of Lesswrong and other communities like Reddit.

And you have a better set of beliefs? I actually enjoy such worldbuilding exercises. I enjoy seeing other worlds like that. There have been series that seemed boring at first, but then started to contain more worldbuilding and organizing - and I enjoy those from the comfort of my room. I don't have a list somewhere that I show off to get validation. I don't tell others that I'm reading such and such book - mostly because I think it wouldn't interest them. I read them for my own enjoyment. I did this before coming to reddit and before coming to LessWrong. I think you're wrong about this point.

Well. You have to figure out why you have this need for validation, as it was something which was conditioned to you through your experiences in life.

It's on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Everyone needs some amount of validation. And I don't need a whole lot of validation.

I've been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD - I don't want to use them as a shield in these discussions, because that doesn't help anyone - but perhaps it allows me to explain that I don't seem to have a need for validation all that much. I don't care as much what other people think of my clothing. I do refuse to wear things with stupid texts on them, but that's because I'm not a billboard. I don't care about the things society seems to be interested in like celebrities or fashion or cars or whatever kind of crap - it tends to not be socially acceptable to just sit in your room and play games all day, but I do it anyway because that's what I think is fun. Going outside is boring and cold.

What I'm having issues with is not a lack of validation by others, but a lack of validation by myself. I see myself playing a ton of games and reading a lot and watching a lot and then I think to myself "is that what I'd want to do the rest of my life" and I think "no, because I want to contribute something myself too".

And this manifests itself as doing things like making a mod for a game, or helping to fix a bug in an open source game, or creating a tool for others to support their gameplay or creation of their mods... I like doing that. And yes, you get some kind of validation from that.


I write this because I'm angry and disappointed (although those feelings aren't all that appropriate for the situation). I don't think it's worth it to live a life where you take the most logical action all the time (and that's probably because I'm using a different word for logic than you are). Maybe that inner child you're talking about is having a temper tantrum. Even if that's true, it seems to be pretty pissed off at the moment and doesn't want to do all the things you said.

I don't think living a life of just consumerism is all that great either. So I'm gonna keep looking for another path that doesn't disturb my inner child, but doesn't seem all that boring either. I have multiple aspects, and I gotta work with all of them. Forcing them to act differently takes a lot of energy, is not a pleasant experience, and can end up with unwanted results.