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Halloween costume: Paperclipperer

4 Elo 21 October 2017 06:32AM

Original post: http://bearlamp.com.au/halloween-costume-paperclipperer/

Guidelines for becoming a paperclipperer for halloween.


  • Paperclips (some as a prop, make your life easier by buying some, but show effort by making your own)
  • pliers (extra pairs for extra effect)
  • metal wire (can get colourful for novelty) (Florist wire)
  • crazy hat (for character)
  • Paperclip props.  Think glasses frame, phone case, gloves, cufflinks, shoes, belt, jewellery...
  • if party going - Consider a gift that is suspiciously paperclip like.  example - paperclip coasters, paperclip vase, paperclip party-snack-bowl
  • Epic commitment - make fortune cookies with paperclips in them.  The possibilities are endless.
  • Epic: paperclip tattoo on the heart.  Slightly less epic, draw paperclips on yourself.


While at the party, use the pliers and wire to make paperclips.  When people are not watching, try to attach them to objects around the house (example, on light fittings, on the toilet paper roll, under the soap.  When people are watching you - try to give them to people to wear.  Also wear them on the edges of your clothing.

When people ask about it, offer to teach them to make paperclips.  Exclaim that it's really fun!  Be confused, bewildered or distant when you insist you can't explain why.

Remember that paperclipping is a compulsion and has no reason.  However that it's very important.  "you can stop any time" but after a few minutes you get fidgety and pull out a new pair of pliers and some wire to make some more paperclips.

Try to leave paperclips where they can be found the next day or the next week.  cutlery drawers, in the fridge, on the windowsills.  And generally around the place.  The more home made paperclips the better.

Try to get faster at making paperclips, try to encourage competitions in making paperclips.

Hints for conversation:

  • Are spiral galaxies actually just really big paperclips?
  • Have you heard the good word of our lord and saviour paperclips?
  • Would you like some paperclips in your tea?
  • How many paperclips would you sell your internal organs for?
  • Do you also dream about paperclips (best to have a dream prepared to share)


The better you are at the character, the more likely someone might try to spoil your character by getting in your way, stealing your props, taking your paperclips.  The more you are okay with it, the better.  ideas like, "that's okay, there will be more paperclips".  This is also why you might be good to have a few pairs of pliers and wire.  Also know when to quit the battles and walk away.  This whole thing is about having fun.  Have fun!

Meta: chances are that other people who also read this will not be the paperclipper for halloween.  Which means that you can do it without fear that your friends will copy.  Feel free to share pictures!

Cross posted to lesserwrong: 

Comment author: entirelyuseless 21 October 2017 01:23:06AM *  0 points [-]

So why does this positive feedback cycle start in some people, but not others?

This is his description:

  • You think about eating a meal containing carbohydrates.
  • You begin secreting insulin.
  • The insulin signals the fat cells to shut down the release of fatty acids (by inhibiting HSL) and take up more fatty acids (via LPL) from the circulation.
  • You start to get hungry, or hungrier.
  • You begin eating.
  • You secrete more insulin.
  • The carbohydrates are digested and enter the circulation as glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise.
  • You secrete still more insulin.
  • Fat from the diet is stored as triglycerides in the fat cells, as are some of the carbohydrates that are converted into fat in the liver.
  • The fat cells get fatter, and so do you.
  • The fat stays in the fat cells until the insulin level drops.

But it gets worse because over time your cells start being resistant to insulin, so in order to overcome that, you emit even more insulin, and so you get even fatter. According to him this is why people tend to get heavier as they age. And if a time comes when you can't emit enough insulin to overcome the resistance, then you get diabetes.

Two arguments he tries to make from common sense:

  1. No one expects a boy or girl to have their growth stunted from too much exercise. Instead, they will feel hungrier and eat more. In the same way when the insulin makes you get fatter, you will not stunt the fat growth by exercising. Instead, you will feel hungrier and eat more.

  2. Both eating less and exercising more make you hungrier, which makes you eat more, which makes you heavier. So the methods that people tell you to use to lose weight, cannot work. And this corresponds with how fasting diets normally work in the real world: people lose some weight, but they feel hungry all the time, so they stop, and they get the weight back.

His theoretical explanation is that carbohydrates are relatively new to humanity's diet, at least in significant quantities. So people are not as well adapted to them as to fat and protein. If you are gaining 2lbs of weight per year, that is still a very precise match of calories in to calories out, just not as precise as keeping your weight absolutely even.

But that is where the difference between people will turn out to be. Some people are lactose intolerant for similar reasons, but not everyone is. This is on account of genetic differences. In the same way some people can maintain their weight while eating carbohydrates, but most people cannot, and this would be on account of similar genetic differences. So his overall argument is that if you want to lose weight, you should eat less carbohydrates and more fat and protein. According to him, any degree of this will make you lose weight (or not gain it as fast), and make you healthier (or not get sicker as fast), and doing it more will just have more of those effects, all the way up to having no carbohydrates at all.

That's pretty clearly not true.

Here is his description of the rat experiment:

In the early 1970s, a young researcher at the University of Massachusetts named George Wade set out to study the relationship between sex hormones, weight, and appetite by removing the ovaries from rats (females, obviously) and then monitoring their subsequent weight and behavior.* The effects of the surgery were suitably dramatic: the rats would begin to eat voraciously and quickly become obese. If we didn’t know any better, we might assume from this that the removal of a rat’s ovaries makes it a glutton. The rat eats too much, the excess calories find their way to the fat tissue, and the animal becomes obese. This would confirm our preconception that overeating is responsible for obesity in humans as well. But Wade did a revealing second experiment, removing the ovaries from the rats and putting them on a strict postsurgical diet. Even if these rats were ravenously hungry after the surgery, even if they desperately wanted to be gluttons, they couldn’t satisfy their urge. In the lingo of experimental science, this second experiment controlled for overeating. The rats, postsurgery, were only allowed the same amount of food they would have eaten had they never had the surgery. What happened is not what you’d probably think. The rats got just as fat, just as quickly. But these rats were now completely sedentary. They moved only when movement was required to get food.

You are thinking of a situation where they are not allowed to eat at all. Of course nothing will get fat in that situation. However, here is another passage:

Let’s think about this for a second. If a baby rat that is genetically programmed to become obese is put on a diet from the moment it’s weaned, so it can eat no more than a lean rat would eat, if that, and can never eat as much as it would like, it responds by compromising its organs and muscles to satisfy its genetic drive to grow fat. It’s not just using the energy it would normally expend in day-to-day activity to grow fat; it’s taking the materials and the energy it would normally dedicate to building its muscles, organs, and even its brain and using that. When these obese rodents are starved to death—an experiment that fortunately not too many researchers have done—a common result reported in the literature is that the animals die with much of their fat tissue intact. In fact, they’ll often die with more body fat than lean animals have when the lean ones are eating as much as they like. As animals starve, and the same is true of humans, they consume their muscles for fuel, and that includes, eventually, the heart muscle. As adults, these obese animals are willing to compromise their organs, even their hearts and their lives, to preserve their fat.

In other words, it is not a question of getting fat without eating. The point is that the body has decided to put on fat, so that is the first thing that is done with the incoming calories. If you do not want to starve, you will have to eat more.

Think of the crowd example. OP suggests "they are overeating because they are getting fat" doesn't make sense for the crowd. But it does: "more people are coming into the room than leaving, because many of the ones coming in are insisting on staying in and not going out."

Comment author: Elo 21 October 2017 01:38:44AM 0 points [-]

Please fix the formatting. Edit: thanks

Comment author: Lumifer 20 October 2017 02:36:57PM 0 points [-]

because a person's body is taking calories and storing them in fat, instead of using them for other tissues and for energy, the person will be hungrier

So why does this positive feedback cycle start in some people, but not others?

would get fat no matter how much they ate

That's pretty clearly not true.

Comment author: Elo 20 October 2017 10:22:09PM 0 points [-]

why does this positive feedback cycle start in some people, but not others?

it may not have a specific single cause. it may have many causes. But once it starts, it keeps going. (not endorsing, just proposing a model of how)

Comment author: morganism 20 October 2017 03:21:17AM 1 point [-]

"The MILD technique works on what we call 'prospective memory' - that is, your ability to remember to do things in the future. By repeating a phrase that you will remember you're dreaming, it forms an intention in your mind that you will, in fact, remember that you are dreaming, leading to a lucid dream,"

  1. reality testing - which involves checking your environment several times a day to see whether or not you're dreaming.

  2. wake back to bed - waking up after five hours, staying awake for a short period, then going back to sleep in order to enter a REM sleep period, in which dreams are more likely to occur.

  3. MILD (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams) - which involves waking up after five hours of sleep and then developing the intention to remember that you are dreaming before returning to sleep, by repeating the phrase: "The next time I'm dreaming, I will remember that I'm dreaming." You also imagine yourself in a lucid dream.


Comment author: Elo 20 October 2017 03:26:18AM 0 points [-]

"The next time I'm dreaming, I will remember that I'm dreaming."

interesting and a valuable thing to try,

Comment author: entirelyuseless 19 October 2017 02:37:04PM 2 points [-]

"What kind of person was too busy to text back a short reply?"

"Too busy" is simply the wrong way to think about it. If you are in a certain sort of low energy mood, replying may be extremely unlikely regardless of how much time you have. And it says nothing about whether you respect the person, at all.

For a similar reason, you may be quite unwilling to "explain what's going on," either.

Comment author: Elo 19 October 2017 10:28:23PM *  0 points [-]

And it says nothing about whether you respect the person, at all.

This is more important than you make it out to be. The very emphasis is that the reasons for the failure to respond are unknown. Whatever they are, you should steelman and respect those reasons in projecting validity for the behaviour, rather than presuming bad faith or really presuming anything at all.

Comment author: Habryka 19 October 2017 09:55:52PM 0 points [-]

Yep, though I do expect this to happen at least in its basic functionality by the end of the year, though we might not be able to get full feature parity before we move over towards the new site. I would be interested in getting a list of the most important features you see for our meetup functionality.

Comment author: Elo 19 October 2017 10:24:03PM *  0 points [-]
  1. Being able to set a date and time for a meetup. (end time not desperately important)
  2. Being able to set a geographical location for meetups.
  3. When a meetup is created, local people are notified by email of the meetup. (every user has a location set)
  4. A description of the meetup (freeform text)


.5. Being able to set a recurring meetup. At the end of the last meetup the organiser is sent a link via email to "schedule the next meetup". (this avoids dead meetups staying around by opt-in reschedule.)
.6. Cohost listed, links to other listing's
.7. Import from other sites ie. Meetup, Facebook.
.8. Export to other sites - I. E. Meetup, Facebook.
.9. Photo sharing of meetups and communal photo repository.

In response to Just a photo
Comment author: Elo 19 October 2017 09:23:55PM 0 points [-]

This looks like leaves. I am not sure what I am missing.

Use concrete language to improve your communication in relationships

2 Elo 19 October 2017 03:46AM

She wasn’t respecting me. Or at least, that’s what I was telling myself.

And I was pretty upset. What kind of person was too busy to text back a short reply? I know she’s a friendly person because just a week ago we were talking daily, text, phone, whatever suited us. And now? She didn’t respect me. That’s what I was telling myself. Any person with common decency could see, what she was doing was downright rude! And she was doing it on purpose. Or at least, that’s what I was telling myself.

It was about a half a day of these critical-loop thoughts, when I realised what I was doing. I was telling myself a story. I was building a version of events that grew and morphed beyond the very concrete and specific of what was happening. The trouble with The Map and the Territory, is that “Respect” is in my map of my reality. What it “means” to not reply to my text is in my theory of mind, in my version of events. Not in the territory, not in reality.

I know I could be right about my theory of what’s going on. She could be doing this on purpose, she could be choosing to show that she does not respect me by not replying to my texts, and I often am right about these things. I have been right plenty of times in the past. But that doesn’t make me feel better. Or make it easier to communicate my problem. If she was not showing me respect, sending her an accusation would not help our communication improve.

The concept comes from Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. Better described as Non-Judgemental communication. The challenge I knew I faced was to communicate to her that I was bothered, without an accusation. Without accusing her with my own internal judgement of “she isn’t respecting me”. I knew if I fire off an attack, I will encounter walls of defence. That’s the kind of games we play when we feel attacked by others. We put up walls and fire back.

The first step of NVC is called, “observation”. I call it “concrete experience”. To pass the concrete experience test, the description of what happened needs to be specific enough to be used as instructions by a stranger. For example, there are plenty of ideas someone could have about not showing respect, if my description of the problem is, “she does not respect me”, my grandma might think she started eating before I sat down at the table. If my description is, “In the past 3 days she has not replied to any of my messages”. That’s a very concrete description of what happened. It’s also independent as an observation. It’s not clear that doing this action has caused a problem in my description of what happened. It’s just “what happened”

Notice — I didn’t say, “she never replies to my messages”. This is because “never replies” is not concrete, not specific, and sweepingly untrue. For her to never reply she would have to have my grandma’s texting ability. I definitely can’t expect progress to be made here with a sweeping accusations like “she never replies”.

What I did go with, while not perfect, is a lot better than the firing line of, “you don’t respect me”. Instead it was, “I noticed that you have not messaged me in three days. I am upset because I am telling myself that the only reason you would be doing that is because you don’t respect me, and I know that’s not true. I don’t understand what’s going on with you and I would appreciate an explanation of what’s going on.”.

It’s remarkably hard to be honest and not make an accusation. No sweeping generalisations, no lies or exaggerations, just the concretes of what is going on in my head and the concrete of what happened in the territory. It’s still okay to be telling yourself those accusations, and validate your own feelings that things are not okay — but it’s not okay to lay those accusations on someone else. We all experience telling ourselves what other people are thinking, and the reasons behind their actions, but we can’t ever really know unless we ask. And if we don’t ask, we end up with the same circumstances surrounding the cold-war, each side preparing for war, but a war built on theories in the map, not the experience in the territory.

I’m human too, that’s how I found myself half-a-day of brooding before wondering what I was doing to myself! It’s not easy to apply this method, but it has always been successful at bringing me some of that psychological relief that you need when you are looking to be understood by someone. To get this right think, “How do I describe my concrete observations of what happened?”.

Good Luck!

Cross posted to Medium: https://medium.com/@redeliot/use-concrete-language-to-improve-your-communication-in-relationships-cf1c6459d5d6

Cross posted to www.bearlamp.com.au/use-concrete-language-to-improve-your-communication-in-relationships

Also on lesserwrong: https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/RovDhfhy5jL6AQ6ve/use-concrete-language-to-improve-your-communication-in

Comment author: Elo 18 October 2017 10:18:17PM 0 points [-]

Very true. Need to work out how to incorporate this better into my life.

Comment author: ChristianKl 18 October 2017 11:01:00AM 2 points [-]

At the moment their focus is on making 2.0 fast to load and given how important page loading time is I agree with that prioritisation. I think afterwards they want to improve the commenting experience.

One critical feature that's currently missing is notifications when someone replies to one's post or comment. I could also imagine a page that allows me to see all comments on comments that I upvoted and similar ways to list comments towards which I might reply.

Currently, there's no open thread on LW 2.0 and it might be a good idea to have one.

Comment author: Elo 18 October 2017 08:37:26PM 1 point [-]

open thread, welcome thread, media thread, stupid questions thread.

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