Sinclair Chen's Shortform 2023-04-15T07:27:32.738Z
Manifold Markets community meetup 2022-12-07T03:25:42.459Z
Prediction markets meetup/coworking (hosted by Manifold Markets) 2022-07-26T00:14:53.704Z
View and bet in Manifold prediction markets on Lesswrong 2022-05-26T02:41:02.599Z


Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-09-20T00:10:05.417Z · LW · GW

As in visually looks better.
- LW font still has bad kerning on apple devices that makes it harder to read I think, and makes me tempted to add extra spaces at the end of sentences. (See this github issue)
- Agree / Disagree are reactions rather than upvotes. I do think the reversed order on EAF is weird though
- EAF's Icon set is more modern

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-09-15T17:43:52.117Z · LW · GW

Sometimes when one of my LW comments gets a lot of upvotes, I feel an urge that it's too high relative to how much I believe it and I need to "short" it

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on PSA: The community is in Berkeley/Oakland, not "the Bay Area" · 2023-09-15T00:29:40.519Z · LW · GW

My personal experience - I live in SF and used to live in Berkley / work in Oakland -

There are more "deep rationalists" in Berkeley, Oakland; but there are enough rationalists / EAs in SF to say that a rationalist community exists here. All the big AI capabilities companies are here, and their employees are smart and familiar with lesswrong. And also the non-"rationalists" in SF are way smarter than the non-"rationalists" in Berkeley / Oakland. The baseline level of ambition / energy is way higher. So if you just want to hang out with rational people or chat about deep things then I suggest coming to SF, particularly around the Hayes Valley neighborhood.

South bay sucks though. It really suffers from brain drain. I guess David Friedman (founder of anarcho capitalism) is down there and goes to / hosts ACX meetups sometimes. I consider him the only anchor of the community down there. Almost everyone else cool has left.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on How ForumMagnum builds communities of inquiry · 2023-09-14T06:35:57.131Z · LW · GW

I'm happy you analyzed the design of this site! I greedily want rationalists to discuss social media design more. Info tech is truth tech (or it can be!) and despite advances in mediums, text is king.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-09-14T05:57:13.015Z · LW · GW

EA forum has better UI than lesswrong. a bunch of little things are just subtly better. maybe I should start contributing commits hmm

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-09-05T03:44:54.000Z · LW · GW

The s-curve in prediction market calibrations displays an s-curve for the market calibration chart. this is for non-silly markets with >5 traders.


This is what it looks like at close:

this means the true probability is farther from 50% than the price makes it seem.

The calibration is better at 1/4 of the way to close:


you might think it's because markets closing near 20% are weird in some way (unclear resolution) but markets 3/4 of the way to close also show the s-curve. Go see for yourself.

The CSPI tournament also exhibited this s-curve. In that article it points out predictit does too!

I left a comment there on why I think this might be the case:  the AMM is inefficient, limited balances, people chasing higher investment returns elsewhere.

I'm curious what people think. And also curious if polymarket or the indian prediction markets also have a similar curve.


should I make a real post for this? to-do's are: look into polymarket data (surely it exists? it's blockchain) and fit a curvy formula to this.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Defunding My Mistake · 2023-09-05T02:40:54.506Z · LW · GW

I'm a fan of corporal punishment as an alternative to prison for most crimes

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-08-08T23:09:04.031Z · LW · GW

why should I ever write longform with the aim of getting to the top of LW, as opposed to the top of Hacker News? similar audiences, but HN is bigger.

I don't cite. I don't research.
I have nothing to say about AI.

my friends are on here ... but that's outclassed by discord and twitter.
people here speak in my local dialect ... but that trains bad habits.
it helps LW itself ... but if im going for impact surely large reach is the way to go?

I guess LW is uniquely about the meta stuff. Thoughts on how to think better. but I'm suspicious of meta.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-08-07T04:17:07.446Z · LW · GW

if it is superconducting, I'm excited not just for this material but of the (lost soviet?) theories outlined in the original paper - in general new physics leads to new technology and in particular it would imply other room-temp standard pressure superconductors are possible.

idk it could be the next carbon nanotubes (as in not actually useful for much at our current tech level) or it could be the next steel / (not literally, I mean in terms of increasing rate of gdp growth). like if it allows for more precise magnetic sensors that leads to further materials science innovation, or just like gets us to fusion or something.

I'm not a physicist, just a gambler, but I have a hunch that if the lk-99 stuff pans out that we're getting a lot of positive EV dice rolls in the near future.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-08-05T18:18:52.484Z · LW · GW

you and i have very different conceptions of low

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-28T07:40:42.786Z · LW · GW

anyone else super hyped about superconductors?
gdi i gotta focus on real work. in the morning

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-28T07:35:39.486Z · LW · GW

There's something meditative about reductionism.
Unlike mindfulness you go beyond sensation to the next baser, realer level of the physics
You don't, actually. It's all in your head. It's less in your eyes and fingertips. In some ways, it's easier to be wrong.

Nonetheless cuts through a lot of noise - concepts, ideologies, social influences.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-22T21:08:28.786Z · LW · GW

wheras yudkowsky called rationality as a perfect dance, where you steps land exactly right, like a marching band, or like performing a light and airy piano piece perfectly via long hours of arduous concentration to iron out all the mistakes -

and some promote a more frivolous and fun dance, playing with ideas with humor and letting your mind stretch with imagine, letting your butterflies fly -

perhaps there is something to the synthesis, to a frenetic, awkward, and janky dance. knees scraping against the world you weren't ready for. excited, ebullient, manic discovery. the crazy thoughts at 2am. the gold in the garbage. climbing trees. It is not actually more "nice" than a cool logical thought, and it is not actually more easy.

Do not be afraid of crushing your own butterflies, stronger ones will take its place!

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-18T04:46:33.078Z · LW · GW

before I transitioned, women were more likely to cross the street if i walk behind them, more likely to be cagey if I ask to hang out, less cordial overall in conversation, spoke in lower pitch. the last one is probably mimicry, and some confounders are that i was depressed at the time and semi-religious university was a very different environment than SF bay rationalists

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on A Hill of Validity in Defense of Meaning · 2023-07-17T11:44:17.518Z · LW · GW

Seems like a lot of the asserted "failure to cut reality at its joints" is about trans people before they have started transitioning or before they pass.

I nominate the term "aspiring woman" for people who are biologically male, perceived as men, but who desire to be perceived as women. (That's what I used to call myself, but people were confused why I didn't just call myself a woman, so instead I resorted to various long winded explanations, and then various inaccurate nonbinary labels that required a tumblr account or university education to understand, and people were still confused, and then I gave up and just identified as a woman.)

Much like "aspiring rationalist" the term is technically correct while still vibes-implying that you are sorta the thing you aspire to but sorta not, or not yet at least.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on A Hill of Validity in Defense of Meaning · 2023-07-17T11:07:10.776Z · LW · GW

I said, "I need the phrase 'actual women' in my expressive vocabulary to talk about the phenomenon where, if transition technology were to improve, then the people we call 'trans women' would want to make use of that technology; I need language that asymmetrically distinguishes between the original thing that already exists without having to try, and the artificial thing that's trying to imitate it to the limits of available technology".

Kelsey Piper replied, "the people getting surgery to have bodies that do 'women' more the way they want are mostly cis women [...] I don't think 'people who'd get surgery to have the ideal female body' cuts anything at the joints."

Another woman said, "'the original thing that already exists without having to try' sounds fake to me" (to the acclaim of four "+1" emoji reactions).


I would also give that second comment a +1 (though not Kelsey's). For cis women to achieve the social target of femininity requires active self modification - shaving body hair periodically, for instance. Okay, to nitpick, one could get it all lasered/electrolyzed (in which case it's just one-time self modification) or be fortunately born with buttery smooth legs. But the modal woman actively performs womanhood.  The level of effort and performance success is a matter of degree, and I think this follows a bimodal distribution with a peak of high effort lower results (trans women) and taller peak of lower effort higher results (cis women).

Perhaps we should have a different term for the target, for [that which women on average try to become or fantasize about becoming.] Trans people sorta call it "transition goals" but I think a more typical term would be the "ideal woman"? I think it's hard to pin down what the "ideal woman" is like, because everyone's personal aesthetic vision is different, and people probably bias towards everyone else having the same vision as they do. But if we look at virtual reality as glimpse at what people choose to be given the choice, then the ideal woman is a pretty girl that is overall human with the exception of cat ears and a tail, and sometimes paws but that is a little bit too experimental for me personally.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-16T02:32:35.593Z · LW · GW

The latest ACX book review of The Educated Mind is really good! (as a new lens on rationality. am more agnostic about childhood educational results though at least it sounds fun.)

- Somantic understanding is logan's Naturalism. It's your base layer that all kids start with, and you don't ignore it as you level up.
- incorporating heroes into science education is similar to an idea from Jacob Crawford that kids should be taught a history of science & industry - like what does it feel like to be the Wright brothers, tinkering on your device with no funding, defying all the academics that are saying that heavier than air flight is impossible. How did they decide on what materials, designs? If you are a kid that just wants to build model rockets you'd prefer to skip straight to the code of the universe, but I think most kids would be engaged by this.  A few kids will want to know the aerodynamics equations, but a lot more kids would want to know the human story.
- the postrats are Ironic, synthesizing the rationalist Philosophy with stories, jokes, ideals, gossip, "vibes".

fun, joy, imagination are important for lifelong learning and competence!

anyways go read the actual review

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Adversarial Priors: Not Paying People to Lie to You · 2023-07-14T21:35:35.877Z · LW · GW

Interesting. In practice I try (not that successfully) to not punish people who tell me the truth. It requires reframing insults and bad news in a positive light, which is hard.

I think in practice people don't really listen to most sales pitches, and pitches that involve something objective and verifiable do better.  Alex Hormozi talks about a method of putting metrics into advertising like "X% of our customers last month increased their revenue by Y%" - it's just literally true, can be checked, and cannot be copied by your competitors unless they are actually better than you.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-14T10:15:23.849Z · LW · GW

it is time to build.
A C C E L E R A T E*

*not the bad stuff

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-14T10:14:26.557Z · LW · GW

LWers worry too much, in general. Not talking about AI.

I mean ppl be like Yud's hat is bad for the movement. Don't name the house after a fictional bad place. Don't do that science cuz it makes the republicans stronger. Oh no nukes it's time to move to New Zealand.

Remember when Thiel was like "rationalists went from futurists to luddites in 20 years" well he was right.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on I think Michael Bailey's dismissal of my autogynephilia questions for Scott Alexander and Aella makes very little sense · 2023-07-14T10:03:20.129Z · LW · GW

I disagree strongly and think we should accelerate almost all forms of scientific progress and inquiry, even when it might find truths that are politically inconvenient. For all the parochial reasons why progress and truth are good (better models of the world, higher standards of living, more slack, all via better tech, like better medicine, even when not explicitly searching for it...).  And for those of us who believe the world is in peril, all the more reason to take on risk.

Also it is bad game-theory to give into threats, including hypothetical future threats. Respectability politics saves oppressors from having to do the work of oppressing and instead outsources it onto the oppressed group. This makes it cheaper to oppress trans people.

Also am skeptical of the strategy. If trans people don't do the science, then cis people will. Unless trans people pressure our cis allies not to, in which case the haters will do the science or make stuff up, which I think is worse.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-14T08:48:14.946Z · LW · GW

no, but it is a faster signal, and idk it feels like the right "type" of message, being a vibes based thing that does not require conscious discussion or deliberation. attention is a valuable resource! I have ever discussed weird gender thoughts with my friends, some of whom are cis women.

I think people in college treated me differently for looking queer and people in my adult life in berkeley / SF don't. hard to tell tho

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-12T12:52:26.542Z · LW · GW

Thinking about it a bit more, I have a more direct answer:

The info cis girls lack is that I am highly sexual, into girls, and am formerly a guy.
A tasteful, tactful, and succinct way to provide this information is to dress in a way that is stereotypically slutty, lesbian, and trans. I follow this aesthetic to some degree already. If I really cared I could just follow it more.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-12T12:28:39.003Z · LW · GW

Yes, this is a good description of the point I was trying to make.

It's possible I underestimate the suffering caused by being harassed since I think I don't mind the milder forms of it (like being cat-called) as much as other people maybe.  And more severe forms of harassment have not happened to me (yet?)

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-12T12:13:50.389Z · LW · GW

the story is intentionally vague to not leak personal info

but yes, I did think and continue to think that she enjoyed spending time with me.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-12T12:09:29.142Z · LW · GW

I don't think that cis women are harmless either. On one hand, women that are abusers tend to be more manipulative and isolating wheras men that are abusers tend to be more physical.  And mayyybe that's a neurotype thing that correlates with bio sex rather than hormonal gender or a cultural thing that is a product of gendered upbringing rather than gendered adult life.  And mayyybe that meaningfully affects in what scenarios one ought to be wary of cis women vs trans women.

Feels a bit like an irresponsible speculation though.

Not putting forth a strong argument here, just clarifying my position.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-12T11:49:32.160Z · LW · GW

The information they are using is that I am a woman, and therefore I am harmless because women are harmless.

(Ok, not always. Of the people that know me well, I'm sure they trust me because they witness me be a good person. Actually, I think people 80% process this subconsciously purely off vibes, like they find me funny and amicable and not creepy. )

I guess my objection is that people's priors are actually wrong. Of all the people I have ever met that to my knowledge, have abused intimate partners or strongly crossed consent boundaries in sex/romance - all three are women. (Yes, it's a bit unfair of me to refer to unverifiable claims. Also there's some bias since my close social circle is mostly women. I am saying my position is not purely ideological but empirical.)

And like, it just feels kinda weird that I appear to society metaphysically different after passing as a woman? Like people are warmer to me and don't cross the street if I'm walking behind them. It's not because I think I'm dangerous now, but because I do not think I was meaningfully more dangerous back then when I was a guy, so people's attitudes feel inaccurate.

(But I get that people are reasoning off of base rates vibing off of stereotypes so maybe it's strategic.)

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-12T10:49:00.223Z · LW · GW


(Not in the EA sense. Probably more closer to an egoist or objectivist or something like that. I did try to be vegan once and as a kid I used to dream of saving the world. I do try to orient my mostly fun-seeking life to produce big postive impact as a side effect, but mostly trying big hard things is cuz it makes mee feel good

Anyways this isn't about moral philosophy. It's about claiming that I'm NOT A BAD PERSON, GENERALLY. I definitely ABIDE BY BROADLY AGREED SOCIAL NORMS in the rationalist community. Well, except when I have good reason to think that the norms are wrong, but even then I usually follow society's norms unless I believe those are wrong, in which case I do what I BELIEVE IS RIGHT:

I hold these moral truths to be evident: that all people, though not created equal, deserve a baseline level of respect and agency, and that that bar should be held high, that I should largely listen to what people want, and not impose on them what they do not want, especially when they feel strongly. That I should say true things and not false things, such that truth is created in people's heads, and though allowances are made for humor and irony, that I speak and think in a way reflective of reality and live in a way true to what I believe. That I should maximize my fun, aliveness, pleasure, and all which my body and mind find meaningful, and avoid sorrow and pain except when that makes me stronger. and that I should likewise maximize the joy of those I love, for my friends and community, for their joy is part of my joy and their sorrow is part of my sorrow. and that I will behave with honor towards strangers, in hopes that they will behave with honor towards me, such that the greater society is not diminished but that these webs of trust grow stronger and uplift everyone within.

Though I may falter in being a fun person, or a nice person, I strive strongly to not falter in being a good person.

This post is brought to you by: someone speculating that I claim to be a bad person. You may very well dispute whether I live up to the moral code outlined above, or whether I live up to a your moral code or one you think is better. I encourage you to point out my mistakes. However, I will never claim to be a person who no longer abides by the part of the moral law necessary to cooperate with the rationalist community and broader society. I acknowledge that any community I am a part of has the right to remove me if they no longer believe that I will abide by their stated and unstated rules. I do not fear this happening, yet I strive to prevent it from happening, because I follow my own code. I declare this not out timid sense of danger, but out of a sense of self determination, to see if this community will allow me to grow the strengths that I share with it.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-12T09:41:22.786Z · LW · GW

lol no to the former

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on My Weirdest Experience · 2023-07-12T09:20:01.047Z · LW · GW

At least twice in my life, I have gotten a crush on someone, only to wake up and realize that the woman I had been pining after literally did not exist. One of the times, the dream person was quite similar to someone I knew irl (metaphorically, not visually) but the other time it was not.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-10T18:32:21.596Z · LW · GW

Perhaps uncharitable, but I'm rounding off your position to "society treats young transitioners vs old transitioners differently - and this influences their culture. There isn't a bio effect except insofar that transitioning late makes a trans woman gayer, have more masculine physical traits, and is less life timing convenient; and all those things influence how society sees and treats her."

Not unsimilar to the "typology" between bears and twinks; or among lesbians in asia, toms and dees; in that they are complicated, mostly cultural phenomena.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Lessons On How To Get Things Right On The First Try · 2023-07-10T17:55:49.816Z · LW · GW

Another lesson is doing hard things sometimes requires doing things that bend the rules or causes people to disapprove of you. In my personal experience, lesswrongers seem to worry about stuff a bit more than average, and I think the average person worries about stuff much more than is optimal.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-09T22:38:48.907Z · LW · GW

An example that comes to mind is that a few years ago, my friend (17F) was riding with me (23) on the subway from Berkeley back to San Francisco late at night, and she asked if she could stay over at my place instead of getting off at her stop so she didn't have to walk half an hour alone in the middle of the night back to her place. This struck me as a profound misunderstanding of base rates of assault by strangers, and an underestimate of the relative danger of some "some person in the rationalist community who you have seen at like 3 meetups."

Look I want people to trust me. But if I don't earn that trust it feels like they're being naiive, or devaluing my sexualness or cleverness or agency or something. I know it's strictly good for me for people to think I am good and I really shouldn't complain about it.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-09T21:47:29.519Z · LW · GW

If AGP/HSTS isn't about gendered personality traits, then what is it about? What do you think the model predicts? The input of the model is early onset vs late onset? And the output is, if not differences in temperament or libido, then ... attraction to men vs women?

I think there are very different CEOs for very different companies. Object level: if I were to be a founder, I'd want to get better at leading, inspiring, listening to people; but I'd be very strong at product and visual design (culturally fem coded???) and pretty good at building the thing (culturally male coded?). But like there is this whole concept of a "technical founder" and a lot of those shape rotators are successful.

(is product even a fem thing? if product is about understanding users, then it's about people, but if being a PM is about working with metrics than it's about math. idk maybe accomplishing hard things in the real world requires getting good at everything.)

what list of trans executives are you looking at? google is failing me and off the top of my head is just the lady that made SiriusXM (satellite radio for cars) and is trying to make a robot replica of her wife.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-09T21:11:37.036Z · LW · GW

I think the vast majority of people who use software tools are busy. Technically-inclined intelligent people value their time more highly than average.

Most of the user interactions you do in your daily life are seemless like your doorknob. You pay attention to the few things that you configure because they are fun or annoying or because you get outsized returns from configuring it - aka the person who made it did a bad job serving your needs.

Configuring something is generally something you do because it is fun, not because it is efficient. If it takes a software engineer a few hours to assemble a computer, then the opportunity cost makes it more expensive than buying the latest macbook. I say this as someone who has spent a few hundred dollars and a few hours building four custom ergonomic split keyboards. It is better than my laptop keyboard, but not like 10x better

I guess there is a bias/feature where if you build something, you value it more. But Ikea still sends you one set of instructions. Good user sovereignty is when hobbyists hack together different ikea sets or mod it with stuff from the hardware store. It would be bad for a furniture company to expected every user to do that, unless they specifically target that niche and deliver so much more value to them to make up for the smaller market.

I think a lot of people are hobbyists on something, but no rational person is a hobbyist on everything. Your users will be too busy hacking on their food (i.e. cooking) or customizing the colors and shape of their garments and won't bother to hack on your product.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Mati_Roy's Shortform · 2023-07-09T09:07:16.759Z · LW · GW

true virtual reality requires not just speakers in your ears and tv in your eyes, but also good input at the speed of thought. maybe it's just eye, face, hand, and limb tracking. but idk, i feel like headsets have still not found their mouse and keyboard. the input is so ... low bandwidth? maybe Apple will figure it out, or maybe we need to revive Xerox back from the grave

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Mati_Roy's Shortform · 2023-07-09T09:00:02.563Z · LW · GW

earbuds are just speakers in your ears. they're also way better than speakers.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Sinclair Chen's Shortform · 2023-07-09T08:57:51.120Z · LW · GW

LW posts about software tools are all yay open source, open data, decentralization, and user sovereignty! I kinda agree ... except for the last part. Settings are bad. If users can finely configure everything then they will be confused and lost.

The good kind of user sovereignty comes from simple tools that can be used to solve many problems.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on The Best Software For Every Need · 2023-07-09T02:29:47.631Z · LW · GW for project management. Also a general replacement for google docs.

Tried: Trello, Jira/Confluence, (close second)

A simple and intuitive document editor with markdown-ish shortcuts that is powerful enough to handle task  assignment & tracking, meeting notes, and wikis.

Linear is also really good. Compared to Notion is has a command palette and search is better. However, it is not as good at anything beyond task tracking, wheras Notion is good for general purpose.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-08T22:25:08.774Z · LW · GW

okay the unhinged rant I actually wanted to respond with is:

- this post is tooo looong
- I think you're crazy to not update on evidence sooner, you blame rationality but you should instead focus on how you could've done better
- yeah ok maybe I got lucky by being born later, but you read Thing of Things just like I did and you read way more stuff.
- like you, as a kid I thought gender is fake, it's like a costume, or a mass hallucination. now as a wise adult I realize ... it's only like 80% fake. but it's still plenty fake.
- it's my right to ask to be in female spaces and their right to say no
- unless asking is expensive or not possible in which case I just do whatever I want and hope to get away with it, because society needs more doers. despite having boobs, sometimes I'll use male restrooms if I think I can do it fast enough because urinals are actually better technology and lines on women's restrooms are longer.
- it's your right to "misgender" people and their right to uninvite you to things if it hurts their feelings
- sure, I guess a lot of my personality traits are more man-like. ambition, high libido. idk why cis girls are comfortable around me, I think they are wrong.  maybe this is being an "AGP male" or maybe it is being a "nonbinary person that presents mostly female."
  - which definition is better? that is a political, aesthetic, cultural question.
  - my preferred aesthetics/culture focus on the morphological freedom the most, is progress-ive, accelerationist, pro-technology, pro-freedom. I think it says that the optimal language has no gendered pronouns, titles, and that gendered nouns should be longer than their genderless counterparts; and if speaking in a suboptimal language just say whatever will actually be understood; whatever creates truth in the audience's heads.
  - but the actual answer to political/cultural/questions is usually idk it's a matter of taste do whatever it doesn't matter.

Don't focus on being opposed to rationalist culture or woke culture. Reversed stupidity isn't intelligence. Focus on being the best, and helping other people be the best. I liked the one sentence in your post about how the narrative should be about maximizing gender euphoria and minimizing gender dysphoria, and I particularly disagreed the parts about reactionaries being right and whig history being wrong. I want to hype up the progress-ive, accelerationist, pro-technology, pro-freedom political view that the more people can be the kinds of people they want to be, the better. The rest is just tradeoffs and distractions. Parts of your post sound like they agree with that, and I think focusing on that part the most is what will make you happier and the world better.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Blanchard's Dangerous Idea and the Plight of the Lucid Crossdreamer · 2023-07-08T21:42:58.084Z · LW · GW

I'm a trans woman, and am probably the most autogynephilic among the 7? trans women I've slept with.  As a highschooler (2013?) I started furiously masturbating while imagining myself in the body of a female classmate, and then I had a dream where I was a girl. I woke up in excitement and instantly formed the hypothesis that I was trans. I wasn't sure, but the thing to do with a hypothesis is to test it quickly and cheaply. So in the morning, I immediately asked my mom to take me to the mall so I could try crossdressing. She didn't take it well. I didn't end up taking HRT until 2020. I did grow my hair out and spent a lot of college in this in-between land of publicly dressing like a woman and not entirely passing.

Throughout this I was kinda agnostic about Blanchard and the "trans as kink" narrative. It explained some of my experiences but not all. Mostly I just told myself it wasn't decision relevant - I didn't need to be a "real" "girl" to wear women's clothing or take hormones. Whether I asked people to call me by a different name, or a different pronoun, or which bathroom I used - I would just decide based on my local incentives, keeping in mind what would be better for me, and just iterate. Society didn't always give me what I wanted - I was kicked out of a religious youth group in college - and though I kinda did think of myself as a victim I no longer do. It's their right to freedom of association.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Guide to rationalist interior decorating · 2023-07-01T19:23:54.283Z · LW · GW

Fun fact: according to the top comment in this ask science thread, widespread window-screen installation in the US was done for the sake of malaria eradication, to slow the spread by preventing mosquitos from getting to bed-ridden people infected by the virus. This is also how bed nets work. I have not checked this at all but it sounds true.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Question for Prediction Market people: where is the money supposed to come from? · 2023-06-13T02:36:28.363Z · LW · GW

Well, you can monetize info value in various ways - sell advertisements, subscriptions to get more data, access to superforecasters, directly sell “accuracy” (pay to increase trading volume) - if it is actually valuable. Alternatively, EA would probably continue to fund manifold if they find it valuable (like for pushing back AI timelines), but i still much prefer “valuable enough for people to pay for” as an objective target to hit.

I think fun mostly causes traders to accept higher losses than they would otherwise.

I don’t think it’s surprising that people don’t bet on profitable markets unless they actually know the market exists and they know there’s alpha in it. The whole purpose of marketing is to match users with deals they find valuable. And yet, do you think you have purchased every consumer good that would improve your life?

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Manifold Predicted the AI Extinction Statement and CAIS Wanted it Deleted · 2023-06-12T19:40:38.818Z · LW · GW

The "strongest" thing I have ever done with mod powers is to fix the misspelling of an answer in a free-response question at my friend's request. Someone at [unnamed big tech company] once asked me to delete their market about whether the company would [do a thing companies often do] because their boss told them, but I unlisted it for them and told them to resolve it N/A.

I think we have ever deleted markets, but only for breaking community guidelines. I've never done it myself.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Question for Prediction Market people: where is the money supposed to come from? · 2023-06-08T17:04:49.239Z · LW · GW

It’s not zero net value because there’s information produced, and also it’s fun. A more rational alien species that does not find risk enjoyable would have less accurate prediction markets (although without such thing as “gambling” maybe their markets are actually legal and thus more accurate.)

At manifold we haven’t really found a good way to use the information value yet. Subsidization doesn’t lead to increased activity in practice unless it makes the market among the top best trading opportunities. Pay for views has been much more effective as a “pay for information” method than subsidy. Most users are bettors rather than viewers. It’s good that we’re good at converting people, but without a long tail of lurkers we aren’t generating a lot of value from the information itself.

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Open Thread With Experimental Feature: Reactions · 2023-05-25T21:17:58.305Z · LW · GW

Ooh that flew over my head 🤯

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on You Don't Always Need Indexes · 2023-05-25T21:14:37.682Z · LW · GW

At Manifold I find myself adding indexes for smaller collections. Like, in our postgres db we have a table for mana transactions called txns that has only 1 million rows, and I recently added an index so that a particular query would take 0.6 ms instead of 400ms. This is a query that has to run anytime a user loads their feed, and even if we never100x the size of txns we shouldn't delay the feed by almost half a second.

(I am generally for rapid, hacky prototyping)

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Open Thread With Experimental Feature: Reactions · 2023-05-25T20:19:52.171Z · LW · GW

Poor icon choices:
- triangle for changed mind
- scales looks like "fair and balanced" rather than "borderline nitpick"
- support pillar ... but mostly I don't know what support means

Eh / nitpicks
- elephant for "requesting additional info" is a bit obscure.
- cactus looks a bit like a person and does not actually look pointy.
- exclamation implies "wow" more than it does importance
- does graduation cap need the hands? maybe a book for scholarship would be easier to parse?

Particularly good icon choices:
- lightbulb, key, checked, x, hits the mark,

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Open Thread With Experimental Feature: Reactions · 2023-05-25T20:06:11.448Z · LW · GW

The subtitle copy on most of these is uninformative or duplicating the title. "I saw this", "this exhibits the scout mindset", "I feel empathy towards this". Maybe remove the subtitles for most of the reactions?

Comment by Sinclair Chen (sinclair-chen) on Open Thread With Experimental Feature: Reactions · 2023-05-25T20:01:19.026Z · LW · GW

The icons are small (unavoidable), some have too many details, and the outlined ones are too thinly stroked. The lack of color makes them harder to distinguish.