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Comment by remizidae on Public selves · 2021-01-18T23:58:21.085Z · LW · GW

I think this post is conflating two categories of facts about myself that I might want to conceal: the weird and the disreputable. 

Example: if I only listen to 18th-century Japanese music, that's weird but not disreputable. If I'm addicted to phenibut, that's weird and disreputable. (There are also "normal" facts that are disreputable, such as "I'm depressed.") OP's example of "personal problems" would fall into the disreputable and potentially weird category.

A person's answer to the "should I be openly weird" question might not dictate their answer to the "should I be open about disreputable things" question. It can be quite dangerous to be open about disreputable things about yourself; those facts could end up destroying your relationships, ending business opportunities or getting you fired or arrested. Yes, ideally we would be in environments where we could trust our friends to keep private information private, but, people being people, you should not expect ever to be in such an ideal environment. Don't tell a friend about your personal problems unless you have accepted that everyone in that group will come to know them.

Comment by remizidae on In Defense of Twitter's Decision to Ban Trump · 2021-01-11T18:19:51.532Z · LW · GW

Re #2: you’re conflating the First Amendment and free speech. The First Amendment is one particular legal instantation of the idea of free speech, applicable in limited circumstances in one country. Establishing that there is no First Amendment problem does not establish that there is no free speech problem. And although I agree that there are important differences between government censorship and censorship by private actors, the classical liberal argument for free speech supplies reasons why even private censorship is harmful. You need to engage with these pro-free-speech arguments and explain why they don’t apply here.

Comment by remizidae on Thoughts on Mustachianism · 2021-01-11T14:33:04.106Z · LW · GW

>Suppose that you earn $4M over the course of your career, and want to spend $2M on yourself over the course of your life.

There's also a difference between MMM and EAers over how long to work. A Mustachian might earn $1M, retire, and donate any funds they happen to have over what they need. The EA person might work for decades longer, make $4M and donate $3M. So there could be very big differences in total amount donated even if the Mustachian and EA person spend the same amount on themselves. 

(Average lifetime income is in the range of $1M, is beside the point, but I couldn't resist looking it up.)


 

Comment by remizidae on Thoughts on Mustachianism · 2021-01-09T13:05:16.768Z · LW · GW

Thanks for these thoughts, they resonated with me as an ambivalent Mustachian.

The tension between Mustachianism and effective altruism might be relevant to some on this site. You CAN both save aggressively and give to charity, especially at a high income. But you cannot make both your #1 priority: you have to choose. MMM himself seems to have chosen saving first, and giving to charity after financial independence (he advocates on the blog for effective charities, which I admire). This is my strategy as well on the principle of saving yourself before others. But the really committed EA people seem to choose charity first, with perhaps an emergency fund or retirement savings but nowhere near the level of savings that MMM would advise. Perhaps these people are more confident about their future earning power or prioritize themselves less. Or maybe it’s a difference in attitudes to work in that some MMM folk seem desperate to get out of the workplace.

Comment by remizidae on COVID-19: home stretch and fourth wave Q&A · 2021-01-07T13:46:03.176Z · LW · GW

I tried a hard lockdown in March-June with no friends, no restaurants, no travel, limited shopping, and it certainly was not a "trivial" loss. Our lifestyle and our sanity matters. I could feasibly lock down for a month or two, but I have no faith in my ability to accurately assess when that month would matter.

Where I'm coming out here is that it is not going to be feasible for most people to either lock down hard or intentionally get COVID. It's not a comfortable conclusion, because we as humans like to pretend we are in control, but aside from the extreme I-will-never-leave-my-apartment outliers, who are never going to be more than a small minority of the population, we are not in control of whether or when we get Covid.

Comment by remizidae on COVID-19: home stretch and fourth wave Q&A · 2021-01-07T05:46:30.790Z · LW · GW

I’m having trouble thinking of a feasible and ethical way to get Covid intentionally. Don’t think the hospital would take kindly to a random person showing up and wanting to hang out in the Covid ward. I could increase my level of risk by going to unmasked protests or illegal parties or wherever crowds are, but if I got infected doing that, seems like in the time period between infection and test there would be a significant chance of infecting someone else, and I’m not sure that’s ethical. (Not sure it’s unethical either, given that others who engage in high risk activities have chosen the risk voluntarily, but it’s enough to give me qualms.)

Comment by remizidae on A Healthy News Diet · 2021-01-03T01:02:40.664Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the recommendation for Library Genesis. I found 4/10 of the books I searched for on there, so not as good as my local library, but it eliminates having to wait.

I'd encourage people, though, to avoid reading books on a smart phone if possible. Reading on the one device that is most likely to distract you from reading seems like a failure-prone plan. I use a Kindle for ebooks, and it's old and slow enough that I am not tempted to do anything but read on it. 

Comment by remizidae on Where are the post-COVID complainers? · 2020-12-29T20:39:15.728Z · LW · GW

Jeez, California is really trying to drive people away, huh? I’m sorry you have to live there.

Comment by remizidae on Where are the post-COVID complainers? · 2020-12-29T00:40:16.106Z · LW · GW

Yes! I kind of suspected you might be in a strict-lockdown bubble and overgeneralizing from that. BTW, you can’t legally see a single friend?!

Comment by remizidae on Where are the post-COVID complainers? · 2020-12-28T20:57:12.925Z · LW · GW

I think people who are immune are often either 1) risk-averse enough not to change their behavior or 2) responding by changing their own choices rather than pushing for changes to government restrictions.  I think your surprise is coming from over-estimating the extent to which people's behavior is driven by government rules.

The difference between my behavior currently and my probable behavior post-vaccine or post-infection would be almost entirely about changing self-imposed restrictions. I could already legally eat in restaurants outdoors, work in restaurants, go to outdoor bars, see my friends in groups of <25, shop, go to the gym, get my hair cut, or travel by plane. To the extent I don't do those things, it's my choice, not a restriction imposed by the government. (The only thing I cannot legally do that I would like to do is eat in restaurants indoors, and I expect that restriction to be lifted in a few weeks anyway. And if I really cared about eating indoors, I could just drive to the next county/state.)

Comment by remizidae on We desperately need to talk more about human challenge trials. · 2020-12-19T21:55:51.862Z · LW · GW

I strongly disagree with this idea that only a few vaccine experts should be debating the topic. Aside from a few basic technical concepts, the basic question here is ethical. Everyone can judge ethical questions. And if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that medical ethics questions are too important to be left to the experts.

Comment by remizidae on [Expired] 20,000 Free $50 Charity Gift Cards · 2020-12-12T03:20:59.213Z · LW · GW

I found it, but the page would not allow me to select it.

Comment by remizidae on [Expired] 20,000 Free $50 Charity Gift Cards · 2020-12-11T20:27:52.341Z · LW · GW

I did this, but they are not allowing donations to any of the top-ranked charities I searched for (Give Directly, Malaria Consortium, Against Malaria). 

Comment by remizidae on How a billionaire could spend their money to help the disadvantaged: 7 ideas from the top of my head · 2020-12-04T17:41:27.138Z · LW · GW

Re #6: why don’t people have people they can talk to about depression?

I’d like to hear more about this. Is it because people want to talk to someone about mental health but don’t have a person to talk to? Or they do have a person but don’t want to talk?

Personally I find myself keeping quiet about a lot of the important things in my life, because either 1) it’s bad and I don’t want to look bad or have the information get around, or 2) it’s good and I don’t want to brag, especially if my friend is doing less well.

Comment by remizidae on Evading Mind Control · 2020-11-25T15:57:37.582Z · LW · GW

>You cannot discover new knowledge for humanity by reading a book written by a human.

But you can discover new knowledge for yourself. Unless you think you've already read enough that you know all human knowledge. This is why rationalists so often get accused of reinventing the wheel—because if you aren't well-read, you can't tell the difference between a genuinely new idea or insight and an old one. And you may come up with a good idea but be unaware of all the downsides that other people have pointed out in books.

Maybe some people need this advice. But most people read dramatically too few books, and in particular too few books from before the 21st century.

Comment by remizidae on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-24T16:19:04.684Z · LW · GW

Have you considered the harm to physical and mental health associated with unemployment?

Comment by remizidae on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-24T16:18:14.906Z · LW · GW

Of course, for every person who spends their volunteering or gardening, there will be ten people who spend their time getting high, binge-drinking, watching TV, or playing videogames.

>getting themselves fit and healthy (exercise time +cooking healthy food time)

What is with this idea that you can't be fit and healthy and have a job? A hour for exercise per day is plenty, half an hour for cooking. It's not at all difficult to do that and have a job too. 

Comment by remizidae on Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things · 2020-11-24T16:14:10.248Z · LW · GW

Outdoor dining in a tent has a lot more ventilation than being inside. But less ventilation than being fully outdoors. So I see your point, but it's about harm reduction. If you make people choose between being outside and unsheltered on a December evening and being inside, most of us will choose inside, so the tent, while probably more risky than fully outdoors, reduces the risk.

Comment by remizidae on Straight-edge Warning Against Physical Intimacy · 2020-11-24T15:22:22.692Z · LW · GW

It would be an unusual partner who would agree to no physical intimacy (possibly including kissing and hugging) for two weeks so that OP can "reflect on the relationship." That sends a strong signal that you're about to get dumped. 

Comment by remizidae on Straight-edge Warning Against Physical Intimacy · 2020-11-23T21:59:05.265Z · LW · GW

The big failure mode I see with physical intimacy is people rushing into major commitments (kids, marriage, moving in together) in the first two years of a relationship, when they’re still in the tempestuous, exciting, misleading phase of being “in love.” The solution is to be slower to commit.

I am not sure you can avoid the cognition-distorting effects of these hormones by avoiding physical intimacy. It’s very possible to be in love without any physical contact.

Comment by remizidae on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-22T20:43:45.012Z · LW · GW

I appreciate this question—good to see someone willing to go against the hyperscrupulous LW consensus. I think many people want the vaccine because of a vague idea that it will accelerate the time at which things are back to normal. Most people have suffered more from the indirect effects of the pandemic (job losses, business closures, stress, isolation) than from COVID itself.

Comment by remizidae on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-22T20:41:21.062Z · LW · GW

This vaccine has been approved much more quickly, and in an environment of much higher political pressure, than most. That is a reason to be more cautious about it than one might be about, say, the flu or pertussis vaccines.

Comment by remizidae on Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine? · 2020-11-22T20:40:37.377Z · LW · GW

Whether you think there is evidence of "lasting" negative health consequences is going to depend on what you interpret as "lasting." There is lots of evidence SOME people still have symptoms a few months after infection. 

Comment by remizidae on What would a world of widespread statistical numeracy look like? · 2020-11-18T17:24:51.514Z · LW · GW

More nuclear power. Less hysteria over child sex abuse. More lenient crime policy.

In general, people would worry less about very-unlikely attention-grabbing events, which I expect would lead them to take more risks. 

Comment by remizidae on What Belongs in my Glossary? · 2020-11-02T23:20:39.606Z · LW · GW

Very Serious People/Doom Patrol.

Comment by remizidae on Non Polemic: How do you personally deal with "irrational" people? · 2020-11-02T15:41:55.907Z · LW · GW

Maybe it would help if you realized that most people most of the time are not interested in being explicitly rational. They’re focused on something else: often they’re focused on building relationships, or getting a task done, or enjoying themselves. Maybe you could try focusing on those things too, especially the relationship-building bit, instead of choosing between “tearing apart” or ignoring what they say.

Also, I don’t know how old you are, but I’ve noticed that the people I interact with have gotten more congenial over time. As a child/teen/college student, many of my interactions were with nonchosen family or classmates. Now most of my interactions are with chosen family, friends, or workmates filtered to be more like me.

Oh, and since you mention being annoyed by “experts” on the radio, maybe...don’t listen to the radio or other media. You probably don’t need to do that, you’re not getting any relationship-building benefits out of it, and it’s annoying you.

Comment by remizidae on Trick-or-treating in Covid Times · 2020-10-31T02:00:48.021Z · LW · GW

And...this is the first time you’re noticing that government lockdown rules make absolutely no sense?

Of course they don’t! Which is why we all should make our own decisions. I know from your other posts that you are being much, much, much more risk-averse than simply following the law would require. Other people are being less risk-averse than following the law would require. Both can be rational, because each of us has different circumstances, values, and risk preferences. Don’t expect the government to be your guide.

Comment by remizidae on How should one deal with life threatening infections or air planes? · 2020-10-29T14:14:23.927Z · LW · GW

I’m really sorry you’re living like this. You’re not the only one, and I think Covid will do long-term harm to people’s mental health and physical fitness for the few people who take extreme precautions.

I second the point that you need to consider the costs of your extreme behavior. Including the costs to your parents and to your long-term relationships with them and other family. “It’s risky” is not a reason not to do something. “The costs exceed the benefits” is a reason not to do something.

Comment by remizidae on Should we use qualifiers in speech? · 2020-10-23T14:06:41.495Z · LW · GW

Know your audience. Does your audience generally read carefully and parse statements precisely? The message you send to LWers or to a group of lawyers might be different from the message you send to people who are less highly verbal or only patient enough to listen to the first few words.

If you've been told you come off as arrogant, which I expect is true for a lot of people here, more qualifiers can mitigate that. 

Comment by remizidae on Stupid Questions October 2020 · 2020-10-22T23:29:48.805Z · LW · GW

>If you were looking to maximize happiness points across the world, for example, you would gain more points helping those members in need. 

Wouldn't that only be true if we thought LW readers are the most needy across the world, or perhaps most easily helped? 

Comment by remizidae on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T17:56:23.161Z · LW · GW

I'm not an expert because I don't live there, but my understanding is California's initial stay-at-home order was exceptionally strict, and indoor social gatherings are STILL banned, with outdoor gatherings subject to tight rules. Indoor restaurant dining is also banned in some places, and masks outdoors are required. My guess would be that California is in the top three states, possibly the top one, as far as strictness goes.

https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/

Comment by remizidae on Stupid Questions October 2020 · 2020-10-22T13:53:16.573Z · LW · GW

Why would they? Considering that LW readers are mostly rich Americans, they don't seem particularly needy. 

Comment by remizidae on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T00:19:31.680Z · LW · GW

I'd like to hear discussion of which COVID-related metrics are most useful for making personal risk decisions. Daily new cases per capita? Death rates? Test positivity rate? R0? Obviously, the right risk tradeoff will vary with a person's location (not to mention circumstances, values, etc.) so it would be very useful to have a better understanding of how to measure how bad the pandemic is in my area.

And I hope people from California or NYC will keep in mind that their governments are much, much stricter than most in the U.S.

Comment by remizidae on Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition · 2020-10-22T00:14:36.267Z · LW · GW

FYI, the Facebook link doesn't work. You might need to make the event public.

Comment by remizidae on On Slack - Having room to be excited · 2020-10-12T17:24:35.538Z · LW · GW

Thanks OP! I love your posts. However, I was not convinced by this point: "the default state of the world is that your life lacks Slack." The post explains why OP's mindset drives him away from Slack, but it doesn't really explain why this would be true for most people, and it does not ring true for me. I don't really have evidence for this, but I would assume that most people have the capacity to have an unproductive day or week, take time off work, or waste money. When you think about how many hours the average person spends each day on TV or aimless interneting, it doesn't really seem consistent with imagining most people's lives as full of nonstop stressed productivity.

Comment by remizidae on [deleted post] 2020-10-12T16:31:23.310Z

By hubris, you seem to mean "optimistic assumptions." And I could make a similar post about the optimistic assumptions behind renting: the same assumptions about property rights and availability of insurance apply. And by renting, you are predicting that your landlord will not kick you out, stop maintaining the place, or raise rent to a point where you cannot afford it. Or that if they do, you will be able to find another affordable apartment in the area.

Comment by remizidae on Philosophy of Therapy · 2020-10-11T18:54:53.504Z · LW · GW

What I was expecting from the first paragraph was a discussion of whether therapy works. I think people should know that when it's been studied, there's little evidence that talk therapy works better than getting support from a friend, family member, or other trusted person. A person with a credential, some insight, and an empathetic manner is not clearly better to talk to than a person with some insight, an empathetic manner, and no credential. And it's important to remember that therapy comes with significant costs in money and risk. Anyone who gets involved with the psychiatric system should be aware of the substantial risk of overmedication and medication side effects, as well as smaller but still real risks of involuntary medication and institutionalization.

To address some common objections:

1) But therapy worked for me!

Response: Maybe. But anytime a person invests substantial time and money into a given strategy, there is a risk that their assessment of the results of that strategy will be affected by confirmation bias, sunk cost bias, and cognitive dissonance. 

Also the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy: I was depressed, then I went to therapy for six months, now I'm not depressed. Great, but most cases of depression resolve after six months, with or without treatment. How do you know what would have happened if you had tried some other strategy, or nothing at all, for six months?

2) But I don't want to/can't get a friend to listen to my problems for an hour+ a week, and a therapist will.

Response: Are you sure you need to talk about your problems for that long that often? Or is that just what the psychiatric establishment has taught us is standard? 

Experiment for yourself, by all means, but my experience has been that a very brief conversation, coming at the right moment, can be incredibly therapeutic. Or an in-depth conversation every few months. Or support from a friend along with all the other self-help strategies that commonly work for mental/emotional problems. 

3) If you tried therapy, you would see how great it is. Therefore, you must not have tried it, so I will dismiss your opinion.

Response: This is a dumb ad hominem, but it seems to come up every time I make this point, so I will address it. I've done a LOT of therapy, with a lot of different people, for a range of different problems, and it never worked. Put very little weight on this, of course, it's very possible that it didn't work for me but will work for you. I only bring up myself to foreclose the ad hominem.

Conclusion: if you're considering therapy, be aware of the costs and benefits. And know that it's not your only option, and it is one of the more costly options out there.

Comment by remizidae on COVID Strategy 101 · 2020-10-06T02:19:30.164Z · LW · GW

I’d like to respond to a small piece of this: if a large fraction of the population is naturally immune, how are superspreader events possible?

This is not surprising. It’s possible both that a large fraction of the population is immune, and that occasional events happen to include no or very few naturally immune people—just as flipping a fair coin will sometimes result in an unusual HHHHHHHHHH sequence. If superspreader events were the norm, they would be some evidence against natural immunity—but people mostly seem to cite the same few superspreader events, suggesting that very few social gatherings are superspreader scenarios.

Comment by remizidae on [deleted post] 2020-09-26T16:15:10.425Z

I think what OP is getting at here is that personal growth often involves some pretty dramatic changes in personality and lifestyle. An example would be someone who started out polyamorous and became monogamous, or vice versa. People might decide to have kids or more kids when they thought they didn't want them. Religious beliefs change, so do career plans and income levels. Or big life changes, such as having kids or changing jobs, might cause personality changes. 

Even changes that seem positive often end relationships. For example, people who quit drinking or doing drugs often see their relationship end. And most people who undergo weight-loss surgery will see their relationship end, according to what I've read. It seems odd—isn't losing weight or overcoming an addiction good?—, but the thing is, when you change one big foundational aspect of your life, other aspects of your life tend to change as well in ways that neither you nor your partner may have predicted. Maybe the person who lost weight is suddenly a social butterfly, when previously he was happy staying home most of the time. Or maybe the person who quit drinking has more clarity about her life and now wants to quit a well-paying job for something more meaningful. 

>What part of your personal growth do you expect you would need to sacrifice to maintain a marriage and/or a family?

This is the wrong question to ask, because we cannot plan out our personal growth trajectory in advance. I expect some of the changes I've listed seem like they will never happen to you or aren't relevant to you, but the thing is, when making a lifelong commitment, things will come up that you never would have predicted. Where my opinion differs from OP is that I think it's possible for people to stay married through these big life changes and end up better off than if they had divorced or never married. But...I'm not sure. 

Comment by remizidae on [deleted post] 2020-09-25T19:45:47.714Z

You make two very different points here, and I think the point about marriage might have better been its own post.

That said, I'm in violent agreement that entrepreneurial types tend to overestimate the extent to which other people are enterpreneurial. Or assume that non-entrepreneurs are just stupid or conformist. Being an entrepreneur requires a very high tolerance for risk and unpredictability, and not everyone has that. Personally I'm very happy knowing exactly what my next paycheck will be and knowing it is very unlikely I will lose my job. I take the limited downside risk, even though it does mean my upside is limited, e.g., I am unlikely ever to be a billionaire.

There is a possibility that SOME people who are currently held back by poverty might become entrepreneurships if given an extra $1000/month. That's not convincing as the sole argument for UBI, but then I've never seen that framed as the sole argument for UBI.

Comment by remizidae on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-09-23T20:58:07.061Z · LW · GW

It seems like you're making a lot of assumptions about this community. 

—They want to live in group houses

—They don't want to drive or own a car

—They don't want to live in places with cold weather

—They don't want to live in places with Confederate flags or lenient gun laws

You probably know this community a lot better than I do, but to what extent are these known facts vs. assumptions? Would it be worth doing some surveying to verify them? 

It's possible that some of what you observe, e.g. people living in group houses and not driving, is a function of circumstance and cost of living rather than people's true preferences. 

Comment by remizidae on EA Relationship Status · 2020-09-19T14:02:52.224Z · LW · GW

This is pure speculation, but is there a geographic skew towards CA Bay Area, and if so, how do Bay Area marriage rates compare to the rest of US?

Comment by remizidae on EA Relationship Status · 2020-09-19T14:02:01.052Z · LW · GW

The gender imbalance would only matter if EAs are reluctant to marry outside the group—is that the speculation here?

Comment by remizidae on ‘Ugh fields’, or why you can’t even bear to think about that task (Rob Wiblin) · 2020-09-14T23:00:01.954Z · LW · GW

I guess I've had bad luck on this, because ugh fields tend to come up for me around talking to strangers on the phone, and I have to do that most days with my job! And yet, not to brag, but I do it, and I'm glad I can make myself do it.

Comment by remizidae on ‘Ugh fields’, or why you can’t even bear to think about that task (Rob Wiblin) · 2020-09-14T22:58:22.329Z · LW · GW

>I would agree that mentioning to a manager that you're finding something aversive is basically fine as long as you're more looking for support than reassignment.

I agree with this. Managers can do some productivity/performance coaching and find ways to help employees, although as an employee I wouldn't want to be the one who required the MOST help, unless I was brand new. And "help me find a way to work around this problem" is going to come off a lot better than "please reassign this because I don't wanna."

Comment by remizidae on ‘Ugh fields’, or why you can’t even bear to think about that task (Rob Wiblin) · 2020-09-14T22:56:14.803Z · LW · GW

EDIT: wrote this before reading someone else's comment, we don't disagree as much as I thought!

>Maybe they don't talk to you about their ugh fields? If they are doing a good job I am confident they will talk to someone else about it, or perform substantially worse if they don't have anyone to talk to about them.

I think you are right about this, and no, it's not a job with narrowly defined responsibilities. I don't disagree that very successful people can have "ugh fields," but in my mind talking about psychological problems is something you would do with a friend, family member, mentor, or therapist, not with a boss. Like other people have said, if the discussion is framed as "help me find a way to work around this," it might be okay to bring up. But I wouldn't go to my boss and ask to get out of a task because I procrastinated so long I developed a psychological aversion to it! And it puts the boss in a pretty bad position too, because if the thing has to get done they then have to get someone else to do it. It's probably going to take the new person longer to do it than it would have for Person 1 to just finish it, and then the boss has to explain to the client why it's late. And the next time there's an important assignment, that boss is going to wonder whether they can trust you with it or whether you'll just get halfway through and then abandon it.

Having to find a way to get yourself to do things that feel aversive to you seems to me to be a vital life skill. Some things that have helped me with "ugh fields" are the 'eat the frog' technique, i.e. do the aversive thing before anything else, doing the task with another person to keep me honest, and using artificial motivation-boosting tools like energizing music or lots of caffeine.

Comment by remizidae on In 1 year and 5 years what do you see as "the normal" world. · 2020-09-13T14:29:41.119Z · LW · GW

I've been teleworking too, and I see some of the advantages you're talking about. I sit through a lot of boring meetings, and they're much less stressful now that I can be invisible and avoid the pressure of having to look professional—and with wireless headphones, I can walk around and do stuff.


Thing is, though, so much of work is about relationships and resolving conflict, and the way humans are built is that relationships just don't work as well when you're not face-to-face. I think we've all noticed this with internet interactions--people will say shit to you that they would never say if they were face to face, and conflicts get worse and less courteous (even with people you know in person, taking it online harms the relationship). And if you're at all interested in friendships or romantic relationships or mentorships formed at work, that's just not going to happen if you never meet people in person. I feel sorry for the new people who have joined our organization recently and have to work with people they've never met.


So I guess where I come out is, I'm glad I have the ability to telework as needed or perhaps a fixed one or two days a week, but I would not keep a job that was 100% telework, and I hope the future involves most people coming into the office most days.

Comment by remizidae on ‘Ugh fields’, or why you can’t even bear to think about that task (Rob Wiblin) · 2020-09-13T14:04:40.929Z · LW · GW

Are you a manager or are you just speculating? I imagine different fields are different, but it has been my experience that people I manage are able to get things done without a lot of handholding, and while they probably have some “ugh fields” as I do too, they don’t let that stop them from getting the job done. Reassigning things constantly would have a big cost to the organization.

Would probably reassign something due to psychological aversion as a one-time thing, if a trusted senior person asked me to, but not for a new person. My advice to employees would be to be very hesitant about coming to management with a complaint that you can’t/don’t want to do a core part of your job.

Comment by remizidae on In 1 year and 5 years what do you see as "the normal" world. · 2020-09-12T21:34:27.793Z · LW · GW

My employer is definitely considering allowing more people to telework, now that we see it can be done. So I expect a shift in that direction, although many people really prefer being in the office, so I expect very few companies to go to 100% telework for everyone.

Comment by remizidae on In 1 year and 5 years what do you see as "the normal" world. · 2020-09-12T21:32:13.924Z · LW · GW

I think that a minority of people will decrease their in-person interactions, even after covid is no longer a big problem, for years, decades, or the rest of their lives. Although this group will be a minority (similar to the number of people who are currently still maintaining strict quarantine), they will be influential because they are highly educated and because shut-ins have more time to express opinions online. I expect this to have a negative impact on society in several ways: fewer high-quality social interactions, more mental illness, fewer real-world sexual and romantic relationships, decreased level of courtesy, higher obesity rates, less connection to local communities and less awareness of facts in the real world.