Architecting 2018-08-28T15:00:53.297Z
How vs. What of Rationality 2018-08-15T15:42:31.500Z
Logic! - Rational Ottawa Meetup 2018-08-02T17:42:10.337Z


Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on What books are for: a response to "Why books don't work." · 2021-04-26T14:23:49.045Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the link! :)

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on What books are for: a response to "Why books don't work." · 2021-04-23T15:39:34.896Z · LW · GW

I agree that books both transmit knowledge (à la light switch) and help that knowledge to take up space in your salience landscape. I don't think it's fair to argue that Matuschak is implying an only-light-switch model. When discussing metacognition, they focus on understanding rather than knowledge. Some of their metacognitive strategies that enable understanding are about making connections between pieces of knowledge (light switches, in your model).

To put words in someone else’s mouth, I think Matuschak would say that, for the purpose of conveying information, it would be much more efficient to read a very short summary than to read an entire book.

Maybe. But what Matuschak does say is that information/knowledge would be better conveyed and understanding made simpler if ideas of knowledge conveyance and understanding were baked into the medium. Matuschak doesn't suggest that a very short summary is that medium.

Matuschak asks:

How might we design mediums in which “readers” naturally form rich associations between the ideas being presented? How might we design mediums which “readers” naturally engage creatively with the material? How might we design mediums in which “readers” naturally contend with competing interpretations? If we pile together enough of these questions we’re left with: how might we design mediums in which “reading” is the same as “understanding”?

That's not a light switch.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on Logan Strohl on exercise norms · 2021-04-07T20:17:55.043Z · LW · GW

I agree with shopping around. It took me a couple of decades of bouncing off of long distance running until I found a jiujitsu dojo full of engineers. All of a sudden, "exercise" was fun.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on Logan Strohl on exercise norms · 2021-04-07T20:13:36.642Z · LW · GW

Yes. But I'm not sure that I have the expertise to recognize the expertise of all of the different specialists. I need to tap into some network that has already credibly sorted the experts. The expertise of the package deal may be more legible?

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on Canada Covid Update: thinking out loud · 2021-03-23T18:36:04.054Z · LW · GW

The border is largely closed with allowances for pass-through to Alaska.

In practice, I agree. With the US right there, there was no way we could be Australia.

EDIT: Canada Border Services Agency has a fairly straightforward webform to determine eligeability to enter.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on The 10,000-Hour Rule is a myth · 2021-02-04T16:03:34.035Z · LW · GW

Yes, this is what I meant.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on The 10,000-Hour Rule is a myth · 2021-02-02T16:41:28.745Z · LW · GW

Reducing dimensionality is the most useful cooking advice I have received. I now use a four factor model: salt, sweet, spice (heat), sour.

  • Is it salty enough? If no, add salt, soy sauce, or fish sauce; or reduce.
  • Is it sweet enough? If no, add sugar, jagery, maple syrup or caramelized onions.

The essentialism is to assign characteristics to ingredients (e.g. Tomatoes are sour.)

I learned this model from some south Indians, this model may be common in that culture. I'm not sure.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on The Best Visualizations on Every Subject · 2020-12-22T15:49:52.600Z · LW · GW

The version of Dataclysm that I read had red font in addition to black font, and I found it was quite striking as a way to do emphasis. When I started writing my personal journal, I adopted red and black felt-tipped pens because I enjoyed the font colours from the book.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on No standard metric for CFAR workshops? · 2018-09-06T18:50:17.656Z · LW · GW

Do you have suggestions for where to acquire either of the tests mentioned? Are there expected differences in results if the tests are administered by laypeople rather than experienced practitioners?

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on A Rationalist's Guide to... · 2018-08-09T19:33:08.812Z · LW · GW

Having a group of rationalists to talk to in person has been invaluable to me this year. It's helping me emerge from depression, overcome impostor syndrome, and find my project. The previous sentence reads like the battles have been won, but they are being fought constantly.

Check this list of upcoming meetups:

Right now is a really good time to start or join meatspace communities.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on EA Tourism: London, Blackpool and Prague · 2018-08-09T19:26:05.227Z · LW · GW

My partner and I recently traveled to the Bay area from Canada for a wedding. While we were there we were able to attend the San Francisco and Berkeley Lesswrong meetups and stay with some lovely EAs at the Berkeley REACH. Having an in with locals made the trip a lot more valuable than simply taking in the sights in ways that are easy to imagine and hard to describe.

I heartily second your recommendation to look up the existing community on your travels.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on A Rationalist's Guide to... · 2018-08-09T14:50:53.370Z · LW · GW

This also interests me. Some of my hopes for the Ottawa Rationality Dojo are that we can assemble people who are interested in skill development, and that we can build curricula that are useful to similar groups. I'm not convinced that I'm the kind of person who could follow these curricula alone or with an online community, so I'm trying to build it locally.

One major concern that I have with trying to build a curriculum for instrumental rationality is that the art must have a purpose beyond itself. I believe that it is for this reason that CFAR has realigned itself from teaching instrumental rationality to teaching instrumental rationality for AI alignment.

At the upcoming local SSC meetups, I will be asking "For what purpose do you intend to develop the art?" If I get answers, I'll post them to LW.

Comment by Stefan De Young (stefan-de-young) on An Exercise in Applied Rationality: A New Apartment · 2018-07-09T20:55:57.507Z · LW · GW

I've recently moved into a new place as well, and am thinking a lot about how I want to arrange the space to support my habits. My plan is to unpack and set things up as quickly as possible just using intuition for where things should go, so that I can start to learn the spots around the apartment that rub up against me in a negative way. Then I can try to tackle each of those problem areas more deliberately.

For example, we have a big island with shelving and stools that did have a natural place in the centre of the kitchen in our last two apartments, but our current place is more narrow and long. If we put it adjacent to the kitchen, it'll block at least half of the doorway to the living room. We're just going to go for it to see how it feels. Will it reduce my desire to go to the kitchen if it's blocked off? Will it create a satisfying divider so that the kitchen and the living room feel like more distinct spaces? Would it be better as a worktable in my partner's workshop? We won't know until we run the cheap experiment of setting it up!