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In response to Just a photo
Comment author: polymathwannabe 20 October 2017 01:51:42PM 1 point [-]

Upon first viewing, my brain wanted to think that the empty space in the middle was the "solid thing" and that the area corresponding to the leaves was "empty."

Last night I had a similar experience while organizing my new apartment. I kept walking past this open door, and my brain kept misinterpreting the space within the frame as the "door" even though it was already open and what I was seeing was actually the wall beyond.

Comment author: MaryCh 20 October 2017 02:33:11PM 0 points [-]

That's because it should have been the door, dammit.

...But really, this pictureis pretty "straightforward" as they go. No other interpretation, really. Why did it tease you and me but not Elo?..

In response to comment by Elo on Just a photo
Comment author: gjm 19 October 2017 09:45:41PM 0 points [-]

When I look at it, the very first thing I see is the sharply-delineated fuzzy region at the left. It looks as if it is something rather than (as it were) mere blurriness in the gaps between other things. There isn't any specific wrong thing my brain wants to think of the image as showing, but when I first looked at it it took something like half a second to figure out what I was looking at.

I'm not sure I'd call it almost like an optical illusion, though.

In response to comment by gjm on Just a photo
Comment author: MaryCh 20 October 2017 04:29:15AM 0 points [-]

well, the first time I saw an ameboid star, and then very shortly I saw an invasive (where I live) oak's sapling. I'd say it's not an OI, it just makes you search for the focus of the image. The classic example Lumifer links to is something where you might not even think of looking for the other image; and of course, there should be ambiguity things nearer to crystal clear end of spectrum.

Just a photo

0 MaryCh 19 October 2017 06:48PM

Would you say the picture below (by A. S. Shevchenko) is almost like an optical illusion?

Have you seen any pictures or sights that fooled your brain for a moment but that you wouldn't call optical illusions, and if yes, what is the salient difference?

Adjust for the middleman.

1 MaryCh 18 October 2017 02:40PM

This post is from the point of view of the middleman standing between the grand future he doesn't understand and the general public whose money he's hunting. We have a certain degree of power over what to offer to the customer, and our biases and pet horses are going to contribute a lot to what theoreticians infer about "the actual public"'s tastes. Just how a lot it is, I cannot say, & there's probably tons of literature on this anyway, so take this as a personal anecdote.

Nine months as a teacher of botany (worst gripes here) showed me a glimpse of how teachers/administration view the field they teach. A year in a shop - what managers think of books we sell. The scientific community here in my country grumbles that there's too little non-fiction produced, without actually looking into why it's not being distributed; but really, it's small wonder. Broadest advice - if your sufficiently weird goals depend on the cooperation of a network of people, especially if they are an established profession with which you haven't had a cause to interact closely except as a customer, you might want to ask what they think of your enterprise. Because they aren't going to see it your way. Next thing, is to accept it.

continue reading »
Comment author: IlyaShpitser 15 October 2017 11:09:06PM *  0 points [-]

Consider creating detailed records of lifestyle differences between you and your sister. Perhaps keep a diary (in effect creating a longitudinal dataset for folks to look at later).

There is an enormous interest in disentangling lifestyle choices from genetics for all sorts of health and nutrition questions.

Thank you for considering this, I think this could be very valuable.

Comment author: MaryCh 16 October 2017 06:18:37AM 0 points [-]

I think she will be open to it. Here's hope. People usually don't get it, how having a twin makes you feel you live an experiment - same clothes or different clothes (but people say different things to you when they see you in them - "why?"), same favourite poems and different ones (so weird, really). Always thought it a shame, to have so much material go to waste.

Comment author: MaryCh 15 October 2017 11:09:19AM 1 point [-]

Warning: please don't read if you are triggered by a discussion of post-mortem analysis (might come up in the comments).

I want to have my body donated to science, well, afterwards, and to convince my twin sister to organize the same thing; there's probably a dearth of comparative post-mortem studies of adult (aged) human twins. However, my husband said he wouldn't do it. I don't want to argue with him about something we both hope won't be an issue for many years to come, so, in pure scientific interest:

what would you think it would be interesting to study in such a setting?

Sorry if I offended you, it wasn't my intention. Just can't ask this on facebook, my Mom would eat me alive.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 10 October 2017 09:56:31PM 0 points [-]

I didn't mean this to be about what is 'required' but how the environment overall is perceived to be. When I discussed this with my boys (who also have different environments - school, friends, at home - I left the specific environment open too. I talked more like how they see 'the world' around them.

Comment author: MaryCh 11 October 2017 05:55:54AM 0 points [-]

Makes sense. Although I would still think my environment is mostly direct and mostly easygoing:)

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 October 2017 02:08:29AM 0 points [-]

Other Media Thread

Comment author: MaryCh 10 October 2017 06:40:17PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 07 October 2017 09:25:04PM *  0 points [-]

In which Different World do you live?

The SSC article Different Worlds discussed how different people perceive the (same) world to be quite different places. Let's find out whether that is also the case for the limited LW population.

My prediction (based on the follow-up SSC post is that the

This poll is based on a poll I conducted with my four boys (ages 6 to 13) after reading the SSC article. I found it quite surprising how different even such a presumably homogeneous group perceives their environment.

This poll is structured into two parts:

1) The first part is about your environment; how you see the people in the world around you. 2) The second part asks the same questions about you; how you see yourself.

Please consider taking a break between both parts and cover your answers from the first part.

Part 1:

How much action do you perceive in your environment?

calm/silent active/loud

How mindful is your environment?

unfriendly friendly

How smart are people in your environment on average?

dumb intelligent

How good are people in general?

evil good

How does your environment deal with minorities and human and behavioral variety?

racist/enforce conformity embrace variety

How much are people together or do things together?

prefer solitude/isolated sociable/gregarious

How are decisions in your environment typically made?

objective/rational emotional/intuitive

With how much force are things typically done in your environment? How careful are communications?

rude/abrasive/direct soft/easygoing

How are things organised in your environment?

ad-hoc/spontaneous structured/planned

How does your environment deal with risks?

cautious/shy courageous/brave



Pause here




Part 2:

How active are you?

calm/silent active/loud

How mindful in your communication are you?

unfriendly friendly

How smart are you?

dumb intelligent

How good are you?

evil good

How do you deal with minorities and human and behavioral variety?

racist/enforce conformity embrace variety

How much do you prefer to do things with others?

prefer solitude/isolated sociable/gregarious

How do you make decisions?

objective/rational emotional/intuitive

With how much force do you act and communicate?

rude/abrasive/direct soft/easygoing

How organised are you?

ad-hoc/spontaneous structured/planned

How do you deal with risks?

cautious/shy courageous/brave


When I did my evaluation I considered counting each point as roughly 1/2 standard deviation from the mean. I'm pretty sure I didn't stick to it though.

Differences to the poll I did with my children:

  • That poll had a numeric scale from -5 to +5 which I decided was not suitable for the LW poll format.
  • That poll was done with all of them together, so they heard each others answers.
  • I skipped the intelligence and benevolence questions for self rating explaining that a) talking about ones intelligence is often problematic and b) that everyone is the here of their own story.

I didn't change the order or direction of the questions. I think the choice of questions leaves something to be improved - I came up with them in a train ride with the boys.


Comment author: MaryCh 10 October 2017 05:53:32AM 1 point [-]

What if my job requires a direct easygoing attitude to people coming in to our shop?

Comment author: Elo 17 September 2017 07:52:15PM 1 point [-]

Without explaining - the demographic is useful to know.

I think it's good to ask the question - if the question yielded x results what would we do with that information?

For gender specifically non-binary gender is about 10x more common on lesswrong than in the American population. That's worth knowing.

In response to comment by Elo on 2017 LessWrong Survey
Comment author: MaryCh 18 September 2017 07:50:38PM 0 points [-]

But why is it worth knowing?

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