Comment by Xom on Boring Advice Repository · 2013-03-11T22:03:53.725Z · LW · GW

While you're at it, you might as well practice getting up, getting dressed, making the bed, starting the kettle (or whatever you would do for breakfast), etc.

(Disclaimer: I haven't done this; I've only read about doing it.)

Comment by Xom on SotW: Avoid Motivated Cognition · 2012-06-04T17:11:57.197Z · LW · GW

On the other hand, LW!Hermione failed to reproduce this experiment

I'm not sure how wide of an audience this post is targeting, but the !-notation feels gratuitous here. How about:

On the other hand, Hermione (LW user) failed to reproduce this experiment

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes February 2012 · 2012-02-01T22:31:39.798Z · LW · GW

This is sort of what I say to remind myself that having read some of something isn't a sufficient reason to finish it.

I pasted it into Google just now and found this article quoting it in a similar context.

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes February 2012 · 2012-02-01T21:26:06.314Z · LW · GW

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife - chopping off what's incomplete and saying: "Now, it's complete because it's ended here."

~ Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib, Irulan, Herbert elder

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes February 2012 · 2012-02-01T21:23:05.484Z · LW · GW

Sometimes, you can spend an expensive five hours hunting on the web for data that a research librarian could retrieve from a reference book in minutes.

~ Pat Wagner

Comment by Xom on Drawing Workshop in NYC: Gauging Interest · 2012-01-25T18:20:03.826Z · LW · GW

Wait a while for me to plan the event

This answers what I meant, thanks.

Comment by Xom on Drawing Workshop in NYC: Gauging Interest · 2012-01-25T02:33:57.622Z · LW · GW

Would anyone be interested?

Yes. But what's the next step?

Comment by Xom on POSITION: Design and Write Rationality Curriculum · 2012-01-19T23:34:29.949Z · LW · GW

Please talk to David McRaney ( to see if he'd be interested. His recent book, while far from comprehensive, has become the first place I look whenever I want to reference an accessible explanation of a particular cognitive bias.

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes December 2011 · 2011-11-30T22:42:13.400Z · LW · GW

I read this as concerning organization instead of capacity.

relevant: Your inner Google

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes December 2011 · 2011-11-30T22:27:11.402Z · LW · GW

Perhaps you are beginning to see how essential a part of reading it is to be perplexed and know it. Wonder is the beginning of wisdom in learning from books as well as from nature.

~ Mortimer J. Adler, How to Read a Book

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes December 2011 · 2011-11-30T22:26:52.735Z · LW · GW

Every Sauron considers himself a Boromir.

~ Mencius Moldbug

Comment by Xom on OPERA Confirms: Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light · 2011-11-18T13:27:10.153Z · LW · GW


Comment by Xom on List of potential cognitive enhancement methods · 2011-11-13T06:30:14.140Z · LW · GW

Piotr Woźniak doesn't seem to think lucid dreaming is worth pursuing.

Though speaking from my personal experience, it's pretty fun, and for that you don't have to be good at it; my control was pretty limited (flying is easy).

Comment by Xom on The promise of connected science · 2011-11-13T06:09:21.415Z · LW · GW

This feels like it should be a separate post to me.

Comment by Xom on No Basic AI Drives · 2011-11-12T06:49:17.179Z · LW · GW

"FAI" here generally means "Friendly AGI", which would make "FAI is harder than AGI" trivially true.

Perhaps you meant one of the following more interesting propositions:

  • "(The sub-problem of) AGI is harder than (the sub-problem of) Friendliness."
  • "AGI is sufficiently hard relative to Friendliness, such that by the time AGI is solved, Friendliness is unlikely to have been solved."

(Assuming even the sub-problem of Friendliness still has prerequisite part or all of AGI, the latter proposition implies "Friendliness isn't so easy relative to AGI such that progress on Friendliness will lag insignificantly behind progress on AGI.")

Comment by Xom on Attempt to explain Bayes without much maths, please review · 2011-11-07T22:13:51.695Z · LW · GW

This is (morbidly) fascinating, please keep at it.

Comment by Xom on Q&A with new Executive Director of Singularity Institute · 2011-11-07T05:54:56.456Z · LW · GW

What is your information diet like? (I mean other than when you engage in focused learning.) Do you regulate it, or do you just let it happen naturally?

By that I mean things like:

  • Do you have a reading schedule (e.g. X hours daily)?
  • Do you follow the news, or try to avoid information with a short shelf-life?
  • Do you significantly limit yourself with certain materials (e.g. fun stuff) to focus on higher priorities?
  • In the end, what is the makeup of the diet?
  • Etc.

Inspired by this question (Eliezer's answer).

Comment by Xom on Scholarship: How to Do It Efficiently · 2011-11-06T23:35:48.542Z · LW · GW

I couldn't find a better place for this, but today I learned this tip:

A book's table of contents shows you its structure, but don't forget to skim the index too, to get a second look at how its content is distributed.

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-02T13:09:05.956Z · LW · GW


Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-01T20:14:06.021Z · LW · GW

In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations.

~ Orwell

Comment by Xom on Better Disagreement · 2011-10-25T01:44:04.703Z · LW · GW

The DH tier seems to correspond to an upper-bound on the effectiveness of an argument of that tier.

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes October 2011 · 2011-10-22T21:00:32.043Z · LW · GW

Comment by Xom on [SEQ RERUN] The Modesty Argument · 2011-10-12T01:40:12.144Z · LW · GW

People affected by Charles Bonnet syndrome, according to Wikipedia, are often sane and able to distinguish their hallucinations as hallucinations.

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-02T17:35:51.285Z · LW · GW

A certain amount of knowledge you can indeed with average faculties acquire so as to retain; nor need you regret the hours you spend on much that is forgotten, for the shadow of lost knowledge at least protects you from many illusions.

~ William Johnson Cory

Comment by Xom on Leveling IRL · 2011-08-10T01:03:19.599Z · LW · GW

It took me FOREVER to find from this page. Is there a way you can edit a link into the OP?

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes August 2011 · 2011-08-03T02:50:00.199Z · LW · GW

Time affluence is like a wonder drug. It eliminates stress. It increases happiness. It helps you engage the world and increases the chance that you'll stumble into something interesting.

~ Cal Newport

Comment by Xom on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T20:58:24.412Z · LW · GW

Opinions are like sex, you should change your positions if it feels wrong

~ garcia1000, Witchhunt game