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Comment author: MaryCh 03 April 2017 05:48:08PM *  2 points [-]

Translating a novel (really, a collection of essays) about WWII massacres of Jews in Kyiv & the rise of neo-nazism in post-Soviet republics (and much in between). It will take me a few months, probably, since this is a side job.

Overall impression: the past is easier to deal with, because it is too horrible. Imagine 10^5 deaths. Although I unfortunately know the place where it happened, & he includes personal stories (more like tidbits), so the suspension of disbelief takes some effort to maintain. But the 'present' part - a series of the author's open letters to mass-media and various officials about pogroms and suchlike that went unpunished - is hard: he keeps saying the same over and over. (Literally. And his style is heavy on the reader.) After a while the eye glazes over & notices only that the dates and the addresses change, but the content doesn't, except for the growing list of people who had not answered.

Just had not answered.

Now this is - easy to imagine.

Maybe this isn't odd, but I had thought it would be the other way around.

Comment author: MaryCh 14 May 2017 11:12:22AM 0 points [-]

From the book, on 'The Doctors' plot' of 1953:

Among the listed people who provided medical help to the party and state leaders, there was an abrupt addition - V. V. Zakusov, professor of pharmacology. He didn't take part directly in the leaders' treatment - he was at first only called in for an opinion, and given to sign the conclusion about the prescriptions that the 'doctors-murderers' had issued to hasten their patients' death. Vasili Vasilyevitch Zakusov took the feather and, well aware of what lied ahead, wrote this: "The best doctors in the world will sign such prescriptions." In that moment he stopped being an expert and became a suspect. In jail, even after tortures, he didn't withdraw his conclusion.

Comment author: Dagon 25 April 2017 06:52:21PM 0 points [-]

Did you intend your headline to be a link? I don't know what you're responding to.

Comment author: MaryCh 26 April 2017 05:57:07AM 0 points [-]

No... I'll re-format it.

I just thought how in usual life, having something happen once supports its being rare more than having something happen never does.

Comment author: MaryCh 25 April 2017 09:10:34AM *  1 point [-]

Never ever, once, sometimes...

One problem I have with that post on generalizing from one example is that it somehow presupposes that the conclusions I draw from observing an isolated occurrence are somehow 'idle'. It's not for nothing that I think a man kicking a soda machine 'aggressive'. I might not even think it, unless I am asked; but I will certainly be wary of leaving my kid in his presence. I know what my kid's capable of - soda machines have nothing on him, and I don't want there to be any reason whatsoever to suppose he might be kicked. So yes, my labeling the angry man 'aggressive' is just a way to make a mental note in fine print.

...and so these are the kinds of statements that I expect to see on LW, but not in RL except as a joke.

Comment author: ChristianKl 21 April 2017 04:47:05PM 0 points [-]


I think most of the LW audience doesn't know the abbreviation. I would guess "physical therapy" but it took some thinking.

As I see the subject, anatomy research is extremely underfunded. Universities want to fund research that could produce results that they can resell to big pharma and big pharma has mostly no use for anatomy.

Physical therapy actually has a use for anatomy and therefore their textbooks cover it.

Comment author: MaryCh 21 April 2017 05:05:46PM *  0 points [-]

Sorry, I meant 'Physical Training' - will edit it now. Of course, your point still stands.

Edited to add: Gavin Francis's 'Adventures in Human Being' is another great book on the subject.

Comment author: MaryCh 21 April 2017 04:03:23PM *  0 points [-]

Just a note for future reference. I am reading an anatomy textbook for students specializing in physical training (future coach's and highschool teachers) and loving it. It is simple, has great imagery without that many images (the section on the muscles that ordinarily tug the thigh inwards but can also help rotate it inwards or outwards makes such a vivid picture, and the one on changes in athletes' diaphragms being more developed and better at keeping their abdominal organs from sliding and putting a load onto the chest cavity when the body is upside down just makes sense).

And I wouldn't have expected the book to be so 'serious', and now I wonder, again, if I am missing out on cheap and solid sources by not looking into applied studies...

April '17 I Care About Thread

4 MaryCh 18 April 2017 02:08PM

As an experiment, here's a thread for people to post about things they care about. Specifically, for things that are possible to contribute to, in some way, and preferably, to invite others to join.

Mine is buying and donating highschool textbooks to schools in the 'grey zone' of Ukraine (where the war kinda isn't fought, but few people would be surprised if it started.) I don't deliver them myself, though.

What's yours?

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 April 2017 04:40:01PM 0 points [-]

Nonfiction Books Thread

Comment author: MaryCh 12 April 2017 09:28:06AM 0 points [-]

Our Face from Fish to Man (pdf warning) a book that will soon be a century old, but still 1) well-illustrated, 2) inspiring (at least, inspiring wonder). I would love to read a modern anatomist's reflection on it.

Comment author: MaryCh 07 April 2017 03:35:29PM 4 points [-]

I'm thinking on writing a post on doing 'lazy altruism', meaning 'something having a somewhat lasting effect that costs the actor only a small inconvenience, and is not specifically calculated to do the most amount of good - only the most amount per this exact effort."

Not sure I'm not too lazy to expand on it, though.

Comment author: MaryCh 05 April 2017 06:12:15PM *  0 points [-]

In some situations my thinking becomes much more structured, I throw out the syntax and the remaining words come in very clear hierarchy and kind of seem to echo shortly. It lasts, perhaps, less than a second.

Examples: "snake - nonvenomous (snake, snake) - dead, where's the head, somebody struck it with something, probably a stick, curse them, ought to collect it, where's vodka"; "snake - viper (viper, viper) - back off, where's camera, damn, it's gone, ought to GPS the place"; "orchid - Epipactis (...pactis) - why not something rarer, again this weed".

Has it been like that for you?

Comment author: Raemon 04 April 2017 10:22:37PM 3 points [-]

This actually doesn't seem like the same thing to me.

I think it's fine to recruit people for projects. (if sdr meant to be implying that that was not okay, I'd disagree with that). The problem is systematically recruiting newcomers in a way that pressures them into doing things that aren't actually in their interest.

One thing I like about LW and EA is that it's fairly common for people say "IF you care about X and Y, then maybe you should consider doing Z", instead of "Do Z."

I actually think we do a decent, if imperfect, job of pointing to object-level-things to do. If you care about animals, donate to the Humane League or other Animal Charity Evaluator recommendations. If you care about animals and want to dedicate serious time to it, volunteer for one of those organizations. (These might not be the same things you think are most valuable, but if that's the case, then you can argue specifically with those recommendations or advocate for why you think your causes are most promising - there's a lot of that going on)

Comment author: MaryCh 05 April 2017 05:07:40AM 2 points [-]

Then maybe we need a 'Things I care about' thread:)

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