Comment by Suryc11 on Attempted Telekinesis · 2015-02-18T19:37:46.211Z · LW · GW

Good comment; I've noticed this myself. Fyi, in case you didn't know and might be interested, Nate Soares has written a few blog posts on this exact topic: Self-signaling the ability to do what you want and Productivity through self-loyalty.

Comment by Suryc11 on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-29T21:26:09.651Z · LW · GW

Took the survey! Some very interesting questions; I look forward to the analysis.

Comment by Suryc11 on False Friends and Tone Policing · 2014-06-26T13:22:42.143Z · LW · GW

Ah, okay. That makes sense, thanks.

Comment by Suryc11 on False Friends and Tone Policing · 2014-06-25T20:07:15.288Z · LW · GW

Hm, I'm confused. I agree that at least part of the disagreement was over Arthur's willingness to lie for his cause, but how is that not captured by Viliam_Bur's post?

Lying for a cause or otherwise playing "dirty" to win for your cause, as Arthur seemed to be advocating, seems to straightforwardly line up with Viliam_Bur's theory about "Nice Greens", "Nasty Greens", "Nice Blues" and "Nasty Blues"; specifically, in this theory, Arthur would be a "Nasty" player on the side of progress/civilization/neoliberalism-ish/etc. and Yvain would be a "Nice" player on the same side.

I guess I'm not sure what you mean by tone?

Comment by Suryc11 on False Friends and Tone Policing · 2014-06-24T19:58:38.906Z · LW · GW

Relevant SMBC. It illustrates my political theory that in every political conflict that seems to be between Greens and Blues, there are actually four sides of the conflict, let's call the "Nice Greens", "Nasty Greens", "Nice Blues" and "Nasty Blues". And there is more than one line of conflict.

Officially, "Nice Greens" + "Nasty Greens" and "Nice Blues" + "Nasty Blues" should be the only existing coalitions. But there is also the value of niceness, which somehow connects "Nice Greens" and "Nice Blues", and puts them into often unconscious opposition against the "Nasty Greens" and "Nasty Blues". Being nasty is a personality trait... for a "Nasty Green" it is often easier to become a "Nasty Blue" (different slogans, but generally the same behavior) than a "Nice Green" (different everyday behavior both among the enemies and the allies).

Yup, and that is almost exactly what (at least part of) the relatively recent disagreement between Yvain and Arthur Chu was about. See and

Comment by Suryc11 on Bragging Thread, June 2014 · 2014-06-11T02:03:31.977Z · LW · GW


I compete in powerlifting, so the programs I've done--since starting to lift seriously/intentionally--are focused around that, especially recently. A quick summary (let me know if you have questions or want more details!):

  • My own linear progression program that employed a split and emphasized heavy compounds
  • Smolov (2 cycles)
  • Sheiko/Cube Kingpin (both were only done for a few weeks)
  • GZCL Method (current)

Of all of those, I saw the most squat gains by far from Smolov. The hype is well-deserved. Just started GZCL and I can tell that it's approximately as good, just more sustainable, i.e., not a competition peaking program.

Some advice that you probably already know, but just in case: record your squat to know exactly what your form looks like to pinpoint weaknesses/sticking points and to make sure you're hitting depth, weightlifting shoes do help, logging/journaling your workouts is huge (probably one of the most obviously "rational" things to do in weightlifting), and of course, get enough food and sleep.

Comment by Suryc11 on Bragging Thread, June 2014 · 2014-06-10T02:27:47.049Z · LW · GW

I squatted 400 lbs at a bodyweight of 154 lbs!

I've been doing squats for around 7 months now, and been lifting seriously for slightly over a year total.

Comment by Suryc11 on Against Open Threads · 2014-05-31T02:49:17.058Z · LW · GW

I think the barrier to posting a comment in the Open Threads is higher than posting a post in discussion

I think you may have meant this instead: the barrier to posting a post in discussion is higher than posting a comment in the Open Threads.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open Thread, April 27-May 4, 2014 · 2014-04-30T16:54:46.348Z · LW · GW

Agreed, that's a great way of putting it.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open Thread, April 27-May 4, 2014 · 2014-04-30T16:49:41.945Z · LW · GW

I agree, though to be fair the author himself seems to use malicious and fallacious to describe a privilege framework.

First, I am arguing that no one’s participation in public discourse should be denigrated by appeal to essential features of their identity. If we, as leftists, want to be unashamedly critical of discourse—as we should be—we should do so with reference to structures of power, such as heterosexual hegemony, rather than with reference to essential identities, such as the ‘straightness’ of particular individuals.


Second, I am arguing that to situate ideology in identity can not only be malicious, but also fallacious. If a self-identified queer person were to have written “How Gay Pride Backfires”, the privilege framework would collapse as an explanans, as it would no longer be able to appeal to the heterosexual privilege of the author to explain the danger of the argument. Importantly, however, in this alternative scenario, the queerness of the author would not render the article any less ideological and detrimental to the interests of sexual minorities.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open Thread, April 27-May 4, 2014 · 2014-04-30T03:29:58.629Z · LW · GW

This is a really great take on why use of privilege-based critique in (often leftist) public discourse is flawed:

(Tl;dr: it's both malicious, because it resorts to using essential features of interlocutors against them--ie, quasi-ad hominems--and fallacious, because it fails to explain why the un(der)-privileged can offer arguments that work against their own interests.)

Comment by Suryc11 on Optimal Exercise · 2014-03-13T23:33:42.336Z · LW · GW

Re the growth mindset, exactly! It's really quite gratifying to be able to literally quantify how much you've become a "better" version of yourself through your direct efforts.

I just think it's unfortunate that the rational component and the weightlifter component of self-identity are often not found together, when both can learn so much from each other. (Plus, of course, it's kinda contrarian-ly cool being both a nerd and a gym rat.)

Nice to see a fellow powerlifter here! My first meet was just last month and it was an amazing experience. By the way, those are impressive stats, especially for 6 months.

Comment by Suryc11 on In favour of terseness · 2014-03-12T14:40:33.045Z · LW · GW

I find this bit incredibly confusing:

If "you" is your conscious brain, then clearly you do affect your decisions for if this were not the case you would not have evolved a conscious brain in the first place.

I pattern-match this to attributing agency to evolution?

Also, there is an obvious distinction between your deciding an action freely and affecting a decision (second and third sentences).

I appreciate the example, but I think the terseness here significantly lowers the informational value.

Comment by Suryc11 on Optimal Exercise · 2014-03-12T14:31:16.835Z · LW · GW

Anecdotal support for exercising:

Exercise (specifically weightlifting) has been the single most valuable lifestyle change I've implemented. It's drastically improved my confidence and self-esteem, instilled in my self-identity usually beneficial characteristics like "able to persevere through hardship for some goal," and greatly increased my social status.

Highly, highly recommend it.

(Cred: meet conditions 375/245/425 @ 140 lbs.)

Comment by Suryc11 on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-25T04:09:46.715Z · LW · GW

Took the survey. Very interesting questions overall, especially the site-wide Prisoner's Dilemma.

I'd like to note that I was very confused by the (vague and similar) CFAR questions regarding the possibility of people changing, but I'm assuming that was intentional and look forward to an explanation.

Comment by Suryc11 on 2013 Census/Survey: call for changes and additions · 2013-11-07T18:46:40.420Z · LW · GW

(I ctrl-F'ed this but couldn't find anything similar.)

Could you add a question or questions along these lines:

In a typical week, approximately how many minutes do you spend in moderately vigorous physical activity (at least as strenuous as brisk walking)?

If you lift weights, what is your (non-estimated) one rep max for bench press? Squat? Deadlift? Overhead press?

Comment by Suryc11 on Supplementing memory with experience sampling · 2013-10-31T06:18:15.168Z · LW · GW

This is really, really cool.

Is there a similar iPhone app to TagTime? I can't seem to find one.

Or even some app that randomly notifies me to record my happiness level, etc.?

Comment by Suryc11 on Open Thread, October 13 - 19, 2013 · 2013-10-18T01:38:22.084Z · LW · GW

Sources, please?

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-10-11T01:26:48.825Z · LW · GW


Yes, definitely. I frequently use Evernote to save online references (one of my notebooks is actually named "(Intellectual) References" and has stuff like academic articles that I later want to refer to) because the ability to tag, comment, and later search these web clips makes bookmarks seem completely useless. I also use Evernote for journaling purposes and as a way to improve exam studying.

Before an exam, I go through my handwritten notes and other class materials and compile a summary in Evernote. This ensures that I have a record of the most important things from my classes (some of which I would otherwise forget), as well as makes studying for a cumulative test easy.

Sorry for the long answer, but yes, I still find Evernote awesome.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open Thread, October 7 - October 12, 2013 · 2013-10-08T01:17:42.783Z · LW · GW

Seconding Evernote for managing both citations and information in general.

The ability to tag content is indispensable, and combined with a powerful search, Evernote becomes an external hard drive for your brain.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is one of those things that becomes progressively more useful the more you use it and invest in it (e.g., clip anything of interest, tag religiously).

Comment by Suryc11 on October Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-10-07T18:02:17.105Z · LW · GW

Thank you!

Hm, interesting. Are you currently weightlifting? What's your routine like?

I'm not an expert or anything, but I have done quite a bit of research on weightlifting-type stuff, so I can offer some advice if you wish.

Comment by Suryc11 on October Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-10-07T07:01:56.973Z · LW · GW

At a bodyweight of 145 pounds, I deadlifted 350, squatted 305, benched 225, and overhead pressed 145 pounds!

I now also frequently receive compliments on my clothing style and muscles/physical appearance.

Not that brag-worthy, perhaps, but still feels good after a tough break-up a few months ago.

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-10-07T06:21:24.445Z · LW · GW

This is fairly late, but better late than never.

I stopped using this system several weeks ago. It proved to be more effort than it was worth, at least in the context of frequent college assignments and meetings. Since very few of the things that I needed to get done were "assigned" through email, the very cool ability to forward emails to one's Evernote address to automatically convert them to notes did not see much use.

I've since transitioned to a very simple (physical) calendar and planner system, combined with flagging emails which need further attention.

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-15T02:54:18.350Z · LW · GW

Hm, I think the "!Daily" sub-tag under the ".When" tag is meant for things like that, i.e., things you're trying to do every day.

Two problems with that, though:

What about repeating tasks that aren't daily? One solution might be to just create another appropriate sub-tag, say, "7-Weekly".

Another problem is that this implementation doesn't really have tasks "automatically come up." You still have to put in the motivation to look through your to-dos; the system just makes it easier by ordering them by several filters, most critically by when you want them done (i.e., the ".When" context tag).

And will do!

Comment by Suryc11 on Biases of Intuitive and Logical Thinkers · 2013-08-14T01:02:36.436Z · LW · GW

Interesting article, but do you have any empirical evidence that people's thinking styles can be divided so neatly into intuitive vs. logical?

On its face, you seem to be taking this thinking style distinction for granted.

Reflecting on this some more, is an intuitive thinker synonymous with one who primarily uses System 1 style thinking and a logical thinker synonymous with one who primarily uses System 2 style thinking? If so, it'd clarify things quite a bit (for me at least) if you made that clear in your post.

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-13T22:14:31.527Z · LW · GW

Will do!

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-13T05:19:24.174Z · LW · GW

So far, not too intense, which is why I'm a little hesitant to fully recommend it. I'll have better information once the school year starts.

I like it right now not so much because it helps me be that much more productive, but primarily because it is a very natural extension to the way I already use Evernote. Evernote becomes better the more you do with it and the more you put into it, so a productivity/to-do system that allows me to make use of Evernote's features (tagging, searching, etc.) is great.

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-12T17:27:55.044Z · LW · GW

Yay! I don't want to wax too positive about it this early on, but I really do feel like it will continue to work wonders for me, especially during the school year.

Comment by Suryc11 on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-12T05:49:14.672Z · LW · GW

I implemented the Secret Weapon--a productivity system that combines Evernote and GTD--and have been making use of it quite effectively. I also have kept up on my recently started gratitude journal.

In other news, Evernote is simply awesome.

Comment by Suryc11 on Leveling up... · 2013-07-31T18:48:57.065Z · LW · GW

What kinds of gymnastics skills?

Just bodyweight exercises like muscle-ups?

Comment by Suryc11 on Leveling up... · 2013-07-30T16:51:06.023Z · LW · GW

Same here. This feeling is especially prevalent for me in weightlifting--my strength/dexterity/stamina attribute is increasing! Too many RPGs played as a kid.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-24T13:32:23.145Z · LW · GW

Right. I should have specified that No Contact, the way I'm using it and have seen it used, doesn't only involve no contact; like you said, No Attention may be a better way to put it.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-23T18:30:24.051Z · LW · GW

Thanks! I actually hadn't thought of it in terms of self-hacking, but that's a really appropriate term for what I've been trying to do.

And I suppose the former. I don't think it's quite possible to fully move on unless I really have no feelings (either positive or negative) about my ex. I drew an analogy between breaking up and withdrawal, and I think it sort of holds here; if there are still feelings lingering, it makes it so much harder to resist the temptation to "relapse," in a similar way to how it's harder to prevent relapsing if one hasn't addressed the underlying triggers/causes of an addiction.

I think part of the reason why No Contact is so effective is that it removes all temptations, in the same way that it's much easier to stay committed to a diet if the foods you're trying to avoid simply aren't in your presence (related to lukeprog's Good News of Situationist Psychology post).

Another intriguing quasi-LW-related aspect of No Contact is that it can be likened to spending a chunk of willpower all at once in the beginning so that you later won't have to expend (more, if aggregated) willpower constantly to, say, not check up on what your ex is up to. It's an investment for your future self.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-23T05:07:57.409Z · LW · GW

I posted this comment on how to optimally (in the vast majority of situations) handle a break-up.

Since the parent thread was massively downvoted and my comment itself received relatively positive feedback, I thought it may be beneficial to post a link to the comment here.

Also, I'd like to note that LW massively helped me in getting through my break-up. It seems like a sort of trivial/silly situation to talk about on LW, but (at least for me previously) it's tough to understand just how painful heartbreak can be until it actually happens to you. If it were not for concepts like the Outside View or distinguishing between System 1 and System 2 thinking, I'd be in a worse place than I currently am; so, thank you.

Comment by Suryc11 on Applied Bayes' Theorem: Calculating the probability that she's over me. Could somebody check my work? TT_TT · 2013-07-19T13:12:36.051Z · LW · GW

I just recently went through a break-up (SO broke up with me, it was a long-term relationship).

To be frank, this is not at all what you should be doing (i.e., doing a Bayesian calculation re the probability that she's over you, or calling her and analyzing why she hasn't called back), regardless of whether your goal is to get back together with her or to move on as quickly as possible.

The best possible piece of advice I could give you is to start a reflection document. Document your feelings, your emotions, everything. It will help, I promise. What also helps is to write down every single negative you can think of about your relationship/ex. (You will be tempted to idealize the relationship/ex, and writing down negatives that you may have looked past while in the relationship will help you.)

Standard break-up advice: do not contact her under any circumstances (No Contact), remove anything that reminds you of her (includes things like unfriending ex on FB), go to the gym (or engage in other activities that'll keep you busy), and talk to friends and family.

Think of a break-up as going through withdrawal: every time you break No Contact, you're relapsing and making it much harder for your brain to get used to being without her. Another way to think about it is that your break-up is a wound, and each time you break No Contact, you're ripping up the forming scab and peeking under it. No Contact is also ideal for getting back together with her (distance makes the heart grow fonder, etc.), if you truly still want that .

Take the Outside View. Lots of people have gone through break-ups thinking that they'll feel crappy forever and then are fine just a few months later. Time really does help.

If you're anything like me, going through a break-up will really make explicit the disconnect between your reptilian, System 1 self and your more deliberative/rational System 2 self.

One final piece of advice: closure does not help in the vast majority of cases. Often, a desire for closure is just your subconscious justifying a desire to talk to her again.

EDIT: If it helps at all, given that it was a 3-year relationship and that the break-up seems pretty recent, she's probably not over you. She may be trying to maintain distance to avoid feeling guilty and confused, and so that she won't feel tempted to second-guess her decision. Also, usually the dumper has been considering this for a while, so even if you feel like she doesn't care or isn't hurting, it may just be that she started the grieving/moving on process earlier than you did (for some insight into how many dumpers think:

Comment by Suryc11 on For Happiness, Keep a Gratitude Journal · 2013-07-16T13:39:40.542Z · LW · GW

I was broken up with recently, and keeping a reflection document has proven tremendously helpful (in dealing with my emotions, feelings, etc.).

That motivated me to start journaling, and this post will likely motivate me to continue journaling, so thank you!

Comment by Suryc11 on New HPMOR Article(s) · 2013-07-04T17:36:51.450Z · LW · GW

This was my thought process as well last night.

Comment by Suryc11 on July 2013 Media Thread · 2013-07-02T21:19:11.687Z · LW · GW

I was going to post something similar!

If you haven't yet jumped onto the GoT bandwagon, you should consider doing so. As a data point, I did not want to get into A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones mainly because so many people were into it (I know, silly; another reason was that I have high expectations for fiction that will take up much of my time), so if that describes you, I highly recommend giving it a shot.

Comment by Suryc11 on An attempt at a short no-prerequisite test for programming inclination · 2013-06-30T02:13:33.551Z · LW · GW

I think you're referring to the test mentioned here.

Comment by Suryc11 on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-23T16:34:17.959Z · LW · GW

Exactly. I actually first thought Mr. Money Mustache was almost a crackpot, but I think he has a good point here. His advice on making frugality a habit and part of your identity, combined with the points from this paper on how to get the most happiness for the buck and our knowledge of the hedonic threadmill/adaptation, strikes me as very instrumentally rational, despite how unconventional it seems at first glance (very munchkin-esque actually).

At the same time, it seems so right that I'm a little suspicious, although maybe that's a result of a status quo bias or the incorrigible consumerist part of my mind finding it unbelievable that I wouldn't be happier with a few more gadgets and more money.

Comment by Suryc11 on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-23T04:42:00.911Z · LW · GW

Having just discovered Mr. Money Mustache's blog, I would be interested on discussion concerning early retirement.

I did read your comment that the lifestyle this blogger advocates is unrealistic for many people, but it seems that he has a good counterargument w/r/t hedonic adaptation--i.e., we may think that living frugally will make us unhappier, but in fact, it likely will not, and vice versa--and preferences changing over time.

Comment by Suryc11 on Open Thread, April 15-30, 2013 · 2013-04-29T01:08:10.752Z · LW · GW

I came across this post on Quora and it strikes me as very plausible. The summary is essentially this: "Become the type of person who can achieve the things you want to achieve." What's your (considered) opinion?

Also, this seems relevant to the post I linked, but I'm not sure exactly how.

Comment by Suryc11 on [LINK] NYT Article about Existential Risk from AI · 2013-01-28T18:14:06.038Z · LW · GW

The comments are somewhat disappointing: not very charitable readings of the article and no real attempt to speak to the thrust of the argument.

Also, the oft repeated phrase--w/r/t the risks of technology--that we face "losing our humanity" desperately needs to be taboo-ed.

Comment by Suryc11 on Map and territory visual presentation · 2013-01-18T05:51:36.639Z · LW · GW

This is really well done. I don't know the background(s) of your students, but there are some relatively technical terms that you don't fully define (e.g., signalling, updating) but perhaps you'll do so in the course of the presentation.

Other than a minor typo on one of the slides ("people's'"), great visual presentation.

ETA: Just saw that this is for a game theory class, so nevermind about the terms.

Comment by Suryc11 on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-24T07:04:39.192Z · LW · GW

I'm disappointed by EY's response so far in this thread, particularly here. The content of the post above in itself did not significantly dismay me, but upon reading what appeared to be a serious lack of any rigorous updating on the part of EY to--what I and many LWers seemed to have thought were--valid concerns, my motivation to donate to the SI has substantially decreased.

I had originally planned to donate around $100 (starving college student) to the SI by the start of the new year, but this is now in question. (This is not an attempt at some sort of blackmail, just a frank response by someone who reads LW precisely to sift through material largely unencumbered by mainstream non-epistemic factors.) This is not to say that I will not donate at all, just that the warm fuzzies I would have received on donating are now compromised, and that I will have to purchase warm fuzzies elsewhere--instead of utilons and fuzzies all at once through the SI.

Comment by Suryc11 on Gun Control: How would we know? · 2012-12-21T09:18:58.272Z · LW · GW

Here's a report by the National Research Council of the National Academies (specifically, the Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms). It is a rigorous report that extensively discusses the issues with demonstrating a causal connection (or lack thereof)--between level of gun control and innocents killed--and generally refrains from making particular policy prescriptions.

Comment by Suryc11 on Caring about what happens after you die · 2012-12-19T05:52:33.642Z · LW · GW

Good point. I think the main similarity derives from a specific understanding/definition of harm that holds that harming another is acting counter to another's preferences, in some sense. In that way then, it's similar to (the OP's trouble in getting his interlocutors to understand) preferences being sustained after one's death.

Comment by Suryc11 on Caring about what happens after you die · 2012-12-18T22:03:29.125Z · LW · GW

This seems isomorphic to the mainstream debate, in academic philosophy, over whether one can be harmed by things happening after one's death; in other words, precisely how do one's preferences (for certain states of affairs) after one's death work?


"Third, what is the case for and the case against the harm thesis, the claim that death can harm the individual who dies, and the posthumous harm thesis, according to which events that occur after an individual dies can still harm that individual?"

Comment by Suryc11 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps, part 2 · 2012-12-10T17:46:50.645Z · LW · GW

Live practice, as RomeoStevens mentioned, was definitely on my list of things to do to improve interviewing skills. Your advice about seeking out direct training programs was something I did not even consider, so thank you! That would indeed seem very helpful.

Comment by Suryc11 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps, part 2 · 2012-12-09T02:59:12.275Z · LW · GW

I'm not sure if this is a procedural knowledge gap, but I figure it's close--and instrumentally important--enough to warrant some mention here. Basically, I've never really had to formally interview (whether for a job, or something similar), and I'm sure there are some things I should know that I currently do not. There are plenty of sites that purport to offer this information, but often they are neither as precise/specific nor as extensive as I'd like--given this community's focus and high standards, I think we can do better.

Any tips to maximize the chances of winning an interview? Anecdotes are welcome, from either end of the interview process.