How do I make predictions about the future to make sense of what to do with my life? 2024-02-22T11:22:50.583Z
Berkeley Capture the Flag 2022-12-18T00:37:26.076Z
Berkeley Schelling ACX meetup 2022-05-04T00:50:13.851Z
Applied Rationality Meetup 2022-03-24T07:40:00.940Z
EA Career Workshop (Berkeley, 3/19) 2022-03-17T06:50:05.797Z
Brian Christian AI Alignment Lecture 2022-02-27T18:13:33.449Z
EA Picnic on UC Berkeley Campus 2022-02-10T05:47:20.384Z
Bay Area Rationalist Field Day 2021-12-15T19:57:01.410Z
Open Thread: What are you working on? (October) 2021-10-13T01:42:13.135Z
What's your personal TAP setup? 2021-07-29T22:38:27.533Z
How do you solicit feedback effectively? 2021-04-30T00:16:07.211Z
How do you deal with decision paralysis? 2021-04-13T06:01:10.274Z
How do you build resilient personal systems? 2021-01-25T09:56:42.445Z
Raj Thimmiah's Shortform 2021-01-16T03:45:08.312Z
How can you find the best information out of all information? 2020-06-03T06:40:57.501Z


Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on The “mind-body vicious cycle” model of RSI & back pain · 2023-10-31T18:22:17.992Z · LW · GW

I'm not sure if you know this but you replied to @Luke Stebbing about his RSI with your story like 2-3 years ago on the EA discover server - I read your story and it cured my RSI! Thank you so much!

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2023-04-25T14:49:19.152Z · LW · GW

We're not currently far enough in for us to be able to manage other people contributing directly but if that changes I'll let you know

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2023-04-24T15:31:34.177Z · LW · GW

I'm looking for people to pair program with with me and my friend on a SuperMemo clone (software that Anki is based on). It has a feature called incremental reading that we'd like to create a modern implementation of. 

Neither of us have a ton of programming experience; we're making ok progress but would do much better with pairing with someone more experienced than us. 

I can pay around 30$/hr but can't do much better than that unfortunately. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2022-11-20T23:56:12.418Z · LW · GW

How long should I wait from cold inception to travel (back home)? I have 2 things I'm optimizing for:

a. apparently traveling with sinus issues on a plane is exceptionally painful

b. I don't want to infect other people

I don't have a good model of how quick I should expect to recover/when I'm reasonably non-infectious.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2022-11-08T22:23:11.585Z · LW · GW

Does anyone have an actual example of applying Bayes theorem in real life? Never bothered learning it because its actual application has never been clear to me

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2022-08-07T16:25:37.614Z · LW · GW

Are there any modern competitors to metamed? Have a health issue, very willing to spend money to fix it. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Berkeley Schelling ACX meetup · 2022-05-07T15:45:06.416Z · LW · GW

For those wondering if they should come and if anyone is going to show up: there are way more people RSVP'd on the facebook event

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on EA Picnic on UC Berkeley Campus · 2022-02-12T01:31:13.985Z · LW · GW

This event was originally listed as being on Feb 12th. It is not on Feb 12th! It's on the 19th! Please don't come on the 12th, no one will be there. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-12-26T02:25:57.287Z · LW · GW

There are a fair few:

-I want to make software to enable me to use more of Ray Dalio's Principles

-I want to organize a rat dojo in SF

-possibly try to do EA outreach in SF

-want to get better at programming and do something around a SuperMemo clone though I'm not sure what exactly yet

-I want to figure out what the highest impact things I want to work on are (this should probably be highest priority)

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-12-21T17:54:26.706Z · LW · GW

What are good fictions for an inaction bias? When I have an idea or thing I want to work on, I tend to think too much about outcomes and even if it does seem like there's a decent chance of success, I don't even try because I then know how daunting the thing will be.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Dear Self; We Need To Talk About Social Media · 2021-12-21T17:44:27.976Z · LW · GW

Yeah, that's the exact way I've started thinking about it. Too much coercion can cause desynchronization. I'm hoping improving my ability to watch my mind will improve this. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Bay Area Rationalist Field Day · 2021-12-18T20:08:47.803Z · LW · GW

We’re on the far east side of memorial glade

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Dear Self; We Need To Talk About Social Media · 2021-12-18T06:25:03.931Z · LW · GW

FocusMe can be helpful.  When I was using it more though, I did have the issue that I blocked distractions that I was addicted to because the work I was doing wasn't fulfilling enough, which I ignored and tried to fix by blocking more distractions. I'll probably try it again now that I'm better at internal retrospection. 

For anyone trying now for the first time though, I'd definitely be careful of this failure mode.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-12-18T06:05:51.389Z · LW · GW

Does anyone know a good explanation of dopamine/psychological arousal? Recently made the connection that me craving novelty/wanting high psychological arousal levels reduces focus/leads to overthinking and difficulty actually doing normal work that I'd normally enjoy doing. I'd like a better model of my brain with this in mind that I can work around.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-12-12T16:48:24.966Z · LW · GW

In case anyone is interested, Piotr Wozniak, the man that invented spaced repetition, is on voice chat on the SuperMemo server!

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-11-14T14:34:17.940Z · LW · GW

I have some music I really like but I don't want to over listen to them for fear of enjoying them less. Does anyone know research on how to min/max listening vs. long-term novelty?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-11-09T07:10:40.251Z · LW · GW

For anyone that's gone through super forecasting material, have you been able to make it pragmatically useful day to day?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-11-08T19:25:08.122Z · LW · GW

How do you compare the utility of ongoing skill acquisition vs. working on projects?

I'm trying to prioritize what I work on in the day by utility and this is easy for projects but I'm struggling to figure out where skill acquisition things should go, especially open ended ones without a finite end like using SuperMemo

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-11-05T06:53:21.917Z · LW · GW

Does anyone have a means they use for tracking how long things take vs. predictions to use for future outside view calculations?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-11-03T20:26:01.770Z · LW · GW

What’s the least expensive way to acquire a copy of HPMOR as a gift for a friend? Same for Unsong too though lower priority

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-10-13T06:37:34.431Z · LW · GW

I have a hunch that task switching is lowering my productivity some amount but I'm not sure because there are multiple possible sources:
-might be coworking around friends who might be talking
-might be reading and task switching to phone
-might be doing some work, need to ask friend a question on discord and then getting distracted (even if I really am asking/discussing thing with them)

How could I test just how bad it is for productivity and optimize it over time?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Open Thread: What are you working on? (October) · 2021-10-13T02:00:17.472Z · LW · GW

I'm working on a project to implement some fraction of Ray Dalio's Principles in app form. 

Part 1: be able to access principles on my apple watch. I have this working. I have principles I can edit on computer and run on apple watch. I'm mainly using them for morning/night routines. 

I'm trying to, each night, write down the mistakes I made during the day and spend a yoda timer fixing as many of them as I can by writing new programs and updating existing programs. The issue I've run into is that I've been kind of bad at actually remembering to run them. I need to start using TAPs more reliably to go from situation -> opening principle

I think after I figure this out I'll try to figure out a triaging system for mistakes I record each day, to sort them into categories to see what repeat/urgent issues I have and such

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-10-10T02:52:22.200Z · LW · GW

Does anyone have experience doing rationality adjacent hackathons? I’m thinking of hosting one in the Berkeley area aimed at trying to make cool rationality tools. I’m interested on input for what kinds of an event people would want or if people have relevant experience and suggestions!

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-10-05T22:54:24.490Z · LW · GW

I think it'd be cool if there was a way to browse projects/side-projects rat adjacent people are working on. It'd be nice to see what kinds of things people are interested but it'd likely lower the barrier to finding interesting things to work on with other people.

I'm curious if such a thing already exists or if anyone would actually possibly use it if it did exist

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Open & Welcome Thread October 2021 · 2021-10-05T15:57:49.090Z · LW · GW

Yes, this. I don't remember what the application required but I got in and I don't have an especially cool use case

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on The LessWrong Team is now Lightcone Infrastructure, come work with us! · 2021-10-04T17:02:16.157Z · LW · GW

Asking for a friend of mine, would you be willing to hire/manage visa stuff for people that are interested in working at lightcone but live abroad?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Common knowledge about Leverage Research 1.0 · 2021-10-03T19:22:31.821Z · LW · GW

Do you have a link to more info on how they do goal factoring/what software they were using?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-09-29T23:17:16.990Z · LW · GW

yeah I'm gonna try more of this. hard part is just getting myself to go outside but that's getting easier as I do it more

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-09-29T23:16:11.542Z · LW · GW

I'm working on some rationality-adjacent apple watch apps aimed at:

-making it easier to capture mistakes you make throughout the day

-when you notice a trigger, to have an easier way to access reference material/actions that would be more updateable over time than normal TAPs

-capturing data of what you're doing throughout the day with experience sampling methods

I'm interested in:

-mentors that know swift: I've been hacking together code so far and while this kind of works, this isn't the best approach. Having someone I can ask questions would speed up a lot of my efforts

-collaborators that know swift or are interested in learning it: if you're not sure how interested you are, feel free to schedule a call and we can discuss the project more

Hopefully soon-ish I'll make a post with more detail on the project. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-29T17:35:58.796Z · LW · GW

you might want to try which is made by long-term SuperMemo users to be an easier alternative to SM. Unfortunately I think they're in the midst of a redesign though so they may not be accepting more registrations

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-29T17:34:10.686Z · LW · GW

If you want to try it again, I'd be happy to teach you (and anyone else interested!). It took me like 5+ months on my own to even start incremental reading because I couldn't figure out the documentation. I've found with 1-1 teaching though that in ~1-2 hours I can get people to being able to do ok IR.

Also: For people interested in either Anki or SM (or just learning/SRS in general), I recommend joining the discord server

There's an anki discord server but the SuperMemo one tends to be more active/more interesting discussion

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-09-28T18:22:43.302Z · LW · GW

I'll try this. Need to find some addicting audiobooks, would make it pretty trivial to spend much of morning outside.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-09-28T02:38:41.407Z · LW · GW

For health reasons, my sleep is consistently bad. I can still get around 2-3 hours of work done in the morning and another 2-3 in the evening but I have a lot of time where I'm just tired and don't want to do anything too intellectually stimulating. 

Any recommendations on good filler activities?

I just moved to Berkeley so fairly often I can go to a meetup of some sort in the evening. But the mornings are harder to fill.  When I get myself to, walking around  works fairly well (I'm finding it a lot harder now than when I was in Japan since in Japan I just didn't buy food in advance so I'd have to go outside around 11 am).  This isn't really enough alone to cover the 3-4 hours between doing work and taking my nap though. 

Activities that I've considered:

-reading: if I get hooked on the right book, this definitely works. I'm struggling to start reading books though.

-video games: these would likely work but I'm nervous about getting addicted and not getting anything done

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-08-31T14:31:13.721Z · LW · GW

Does anyone else struggle with rejection sensitivity dysphoria (common in people that have ADHD)? It's gotten better for me over time as I understand myself better but it's still a big problem and I'm not sure how to go about dealing with it

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-08-31T04:59:45.249Z · LW · GW

Just found a discord group:

and a facebook group:

that were created right after the ACX meetup

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-08-31T04:29:48.539Z · LW · GW

Where are SF/Berkeley area events usually coordinated? (going to hopefully be living in the area)

I tried to look for a facebook group but didn't have too much luck

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-08-29T16:58:55.056Z · LW · GW

Has anyone considered a way of using a variation of an electrolarynx + voice to text to enable some method of using voice to text without needing to actually speak out loud?

(I know electrolarynxes produce noise but I get the impression some variation could be much quieter than normal speech and still work)

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on The Death of Behavioral Economics · 2021-08-27T18:28:11.252Z · LW · GW

I would also be interested in an explanation of how the replication crisis effects the sequences and willing to put in 10$ to givewell

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Berkeley, CA – ACX Meetups Everywhere 2021 · 2021-08-26T19:09:51.261Z · LW · GW

For those that don’t know, according to Scott’s email on ACX meetups he should be attending!

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-08-26T06:25:53.536Z · LW · GW

For people that have read Ray Dalio's Principles: how did you apply the book to reality?

Specifically, how did you write out principles and actually check and iterate on them over time?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-08-20T00:13:46.111Z · LW · GW

Any suggestions on decent online universities? I've decided to move back to the US from abroad without finishing my degree but my parents still want me to get some sort of degree for long-term employability (ruling out bootcamps unless I can make a really convincing argument). 

I'm trying to optimize for:
-not too time consuming: I want to spend most of my time on side-projects of my own interest
-not too expensive: don't want to burn money
-marginally useful/interesting: will be less hard to complete if it feels actually useful was suggested to me and is likely what I'd do as a baseline option. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on What's your personal TAP setup? · 2021-07-30T01:25:23.980Z · LW · GW

Thanks, this is helpful. From this I have an idea of what I'll try

  • I have a journal template I'm going to start using today
  • will add a daily recurring section of TAPs I want to implement and pay attention to (maybe to be added to each Sunday?)
  • for long-term TAPs, I'll try a coda SRS template (I use SuperMemo normally but can't use it for this since the algorithm is too good and on 3rd rep I've seen cards get to like 2 month intervals. wouldn't work well for checking on my TAPs)

I'll report back next Sunday how it goes.


How many TAPs do you currently have?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Bragging Thread February 2015 · 2021-07-11T22:39:51.567Z · LW · GW

What breathing techniques do you use?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-06-19T11:19:30.871Z · LW · GW

I'm 65% moving back to us in a month or two but haven't lived there in like 5 years so am not sure what to expect nor where I'd like to go.

I'm mainly optimizing for friend-making/having/meeting (IRL) though I'm not sure how much I care about that since I haven't had much chance to do that for the last few years. though also trees and stuff are nice too

I'm not really sure how to choose between cities in terms of satisfying this. vaguely seems like SF would be cool and have many cool people that would be nice to meet but is also expensive

Any recommendations on figuring out where to stay?

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-05-30T11:40:09.309Z · LW · GW

I've thought about that but my main concern is: I'll probably move back at some point. I'm not particularly benefitting from living here except for the inertia of already being here and having an apartment. 

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-05-30T11:39:11.587Z · LW · GW

I could have made more friends at college but I made a decision I somewhat regret now: took only classes where I could just do them online instead of having to go live. The first semester or two where I was showing up in person, did have some luck making friends. Because of the virus, there aren't many (if any) events being held at uni I can attend to meet people so I'd basically have to wait for next semester I think. 

I also sort of suffer from the issue that I kind of want friends that are interesting. I don't hate just hanging out with people but at some level if it feels empty of value it eats at me. This is part of why I'm interested in going to the US: seems like it'd be easier to find rationalists/interesting people to hang out with rather than limited subset of english speakers around.

In a more general vein, what are your plans for the future? You list many important considerations for your present situation, but without much focus on how they'll affect you later.

I'm interested in something amongst: (helping people do) effective learning, UI/UX design, entrepreneurship, working on cool projects. I don't really think any of these benefit at all from being in Japan now that I think about it, I have only 1 friend that somewhat overlaps with these interests. Looking back, when I lived in Korea and had friends that had similar-ish productivity interests I did find the environment really valuable. 

The main cost is then having to re-apply to university and either having to actually go through with it or finding some alternative to live off of before having to actually enter again. This is what sort of scares me, am really not big on uni, have plenty of other things I'd want to spend my time on.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-05-28T23:00:36.747Z · LW · GW

How important are real social networks? I'm debating on moving back to the US from Japan pro's and cons being:


-university is easy
-is cheap
-have nice apartment and setup
-corona situation is way better than in the US
-health care is cheap and good

-very few friends (can probably change this next semester. can maybe change it this semester if I make a real effort to go to meetups. But will be hard, since is hard in general here to make friends and I'm not currently studying towards native level Japanese)


-can probably make many friends
-can talk to many more people

-would need to re-apply to university
-university is expensive
-moving will be expensive
-apartment expensive depending on where I go
-healthcare not cheap nor good
-corona stuff not good

It all really comes down to: is it worth it to have more friends IRL? When I had more friends in the past and did coworking or just hanging out it was a lot of fun and I kind of miss that. It feels like the answer is thus yes even when a bunch of other things look like they'd suck.

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Raj Thimmiah's Shortform · 2021-04-27T11:00:06.795Z · LW · GW

Do any of you have systems you've used to test out which diet you find best for yourself?

I'm also curious: how did you manage confounders such as life changes/sleep and other things

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on On Sleep Procrastination: Going To Bed At A Reasonable Hour · 2021-04-27T10:58:42.395Z · LW · GW

you might find exercise 3 useful if your issue is sleep procrastination. I had to slowly block alllllll kinds of things incrementally till I stopped screwing up my sleep

Comment by Raj Thimmiah (raj-thimmiah) on Is there software for goal factoring? · 2021-04-27T10:34:17.295Z · LW · GW

Are you still using it now or did you find a better solution?