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Comment author: 18239018038528017428 31 May 2017 04:36:04AM 3 points [-]

Someone who writes a multi-thousand-word recruitment tract for his pseudo-cult and then absolutely fails to address criticisms with anything more substantial than "noted, bro, don't worry bro, I didn't really mean it as stated, just trust me dude" is definitely incompetent.

Evil? "Evil" in the way that Qiaochu meant it doesn't exist. But Duncan is evil in the same way that other turds of the Berkeley rationalist community (see: Diego Caleiro) are evil. He's just a holistically bad person who naturally ends up making other people's lives worse.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 04 June 2017 04:56:29PM 0 points [-]

I want to know why you consider Diego Caleiro is evil.

Comment author: lmm 11 January 2015 12:41:28AM 2 points [-]

By the same principle, learn Dvorak before getting the ergonomic keyboard.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 16 March 2017 11:36:03AM 0 points [-]

If you are a Linux user, learn Colemak instead of Dvorak. It's available in almost every distribution (and probably easy to install on Windows as well, but I rarely use Windows). It's both more ergonomic than Dvorak and is much closer to QWERTY, which means it's easier to learn and you retain most of your keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl+Z/X/C/V etc).

Comment author: taryneast 08 January 2015 12:48:16AM 3 points [-]

Other solutions: 1) write your name on the mug 2) clean and hide your mug in your desk drawer when you leave 3) buy a mug for everyone

An alternative to 3 that doesn't leave you out of pocket would be to say "this is my mug that I bought, it's nice isn't it - if you like it so much, why don't you give me $X for it (which is how much I paid) and I'll buy another one for me."

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 16 March 2017 11:33:39AM 0 points [-]

Alan Turing chained his mug to battery pipes so people wouldn't steal it.

Comment author: Vaniver 12 June 2016 11:04:20PM *  2 points [-]

MinibearRex did this a while back, and the Rationality Reading Group recently finished RAZ. I weakly suspect that we're better off doing this with something besides the Sequences, like Superintelligence or Good and Real or so on.

(But if you want to do Sequence reposts, go ahead.)

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 16 June 2016 02:43:13AM 1 point [-]

Rationality Reading Group was mostly dead, which is very sad (although many thanks to Gram_Stone for doing it anyway!). Mainly, I guess, because it wasn't promoted and advertized in any way.

Comment author: MarkusRamikin 01 April 2015 08:56:54AM *  6 points [-]

For reasons, I suggest that Bayesian Judo doesn't make EY look good to people who aren't already cheering for his team, and maybe it wasn't wise to include it.

More generally, the book feels a bit... neutered. Things like, for example, changing "if you go ahead and mess around with Wulky's teenage daughter" to "if you go ahead and insult Wulky". The first is concrete, evocative, and therefore strong, while the latter is fuzzy and weak. Though my impression may be skewed just because I remember the original examples so well.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 01 May 2016 10:02:02PM 2 points [-]

My opinion: remove Bayesian Judo and add Whining-Based Communities. Seriously, Whining-Based Communities is the most powerful article I've ever read on LW, it symbolizes what rationality is about most of all. The point of rationality is achieving your goals despite cognitive biases, signaling, self-delusion, mysterious answers etc. It's very easy to brainwash yourself into thinking that you are “doing a good job”. It's very hard to put extra effort into actually doing what is the most effective, because it might go against your habits, self-image, intuitions, convictions etc.

Comment author: Viliam 06 April 2016 01:11:18PM 1 point [-]

I would guess that the real problem here is the fear of not choosing correctly. (Which ironically leads to choosing even worse.) Fear indeed is the mind-killer, or at least a motivation-killer for mental tasks.

I imagine that a possible approach could be to limit the time when you are making the choice. For example, on Sunday you would decide what are you going to do the following week, and precommit that you will not change your decision during the week. Then, during the week it would be obvious what to do. And if you remember something else, just write it into a diary and review it on the next Sunday.

The idea is that you would only commit to the direction of your work, not the amount of the work you want to do. If you feel tired, take a rest. Don't push yourself into anything. It's just, don't longer ask yourself "Haskell or type theory", because you have already answered that for the whole week.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 06 April 2016 05:58:09PM 0 points [-]

I think you are absolutely spot on. Fear is a key to many failures of human behavior, and I want to think more about that.

Interestingly, many time management systems like Zen to Done and Do It Tomorrow do set up a form of commitments for a day or for a week. ZTD has:

3) plan. Habit: set MITs [Most Important Tasks] for week, day. Each week, list the Big Rocks that you want to accomplish, and schedule them first. Each day, create a list of 1-3 MITs (basically your Big Rocks for the day) and be sure to accomplish them. Do your MITs early in the day to get them out of the way and to ensure that they get done.

Do It Tomorrow has a concept of a closed list in contrast to a todo-list. Every time you go to sleep you compile a list of tasks for tomorrow that you absolutely definitely gonna do. It's realistic to expect yourself to not succeed at too many things, so your closed list might contain only one task. But the fact is, you do only things on the closed list, and not add anything on top of it.

The idea of setting up a commitment for a day, or a commitment for a week, sounds sorta like applying the concept of Pomodoro for a larger time frame. During Pomodoro you aren't allowed to not do the task at hand (which implies you aren't allowed being distracted), and here you aren't allowed to not do what you already planned for a week.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 05 April 2016 03:09:23PM 0 points [-]

V'z cebonoyl ercrngvat jung ZeZvaq unir nyernql fnvq va bgure jbeqf, ohg V jnag gb guebj vg bhg naljnl, ng yrnfg nf n cenpgvpny rkrepvfr. V haqrefgbbq va lbhe ivqrb gung lbh vzcyl gung qvssrerag gvzr znantrzrag flfgrzf ner tbbq sbe qvssrerag checbfrf, urapr nohfr bs cebqhpgvivgl flfgrzf. Juvyr V guvax r.t. cbzbqbeb pna or nohfrq, vg'f irel irefngvyr naq Fnyyl pbhyq fbyir gur wbo-frrxvat ceboyrz hfvat cbzbqbeb, fb gur ceboyrz vf abg jvgu juvpu rknpg cebqhpgvivgl flfgrz lbh'er hfvat.

Vafgrnq, V guvax vg obvyf qbja gb uvtu rkcrpgngvbaf. Guvf vf n jryy-xabja cbvag, naq znal crbcyr ernyvmr gurl unir haernyvfgvpnyyl uvtu rkcrpgngvbaf naq gung qrzbgvingrf gurz, ohg gurl pna'g svk vg. N sevraq bs zvar fnvq fur jnf n irel tbbq fjvzzre n srj lrnef ntb, ohg fur qbrfa'g jnag gb fjvz ng nyy, orpnhfr vs fur qbrf, fur'yy qb vg cbbeyl, pbzcnerq gb gur crnx fur bapr unq. Fur nyernql rkcrevrapr uhtr qrzbgvingvba nsgre n genhzn, jura fur fgnegrq fjvzzvat ntnva ohg cresbezrq zhpu jbefr. Fur haqrefgnaqf gung vg'f whfg haernfbanoyr qrznaq sebz barfrys, naq fur fubhyq fjvz sbe ure bja cyrnfher, ohg fur'f fgvyy qrzbgvingrq.

Nyyra Pnee va uvf obbx Gur Bayl Jnl gb Fgbc Fzbxvat Creznaragyl erpnyyf n fgbel. Gurer jnf n terng tbysre Urael Ybatuhefg, jub jnf nqberq ol tbys snaf. Jura ur dhvg tbysvat, ur jebgr: “V pnaabg gryy lbh gur hggre wbl bs gur zna jub unf svanyyl tvira hc tbys”. Jura Pnee, nivq tbysre uvzfrys, ernq guvf ur pbhyqa'g oryvrir uvf rlrf. Gung jnf n oynfcurzl! Ubj pna lbh fnl gung nobhg n tnzr lbh qribgrq lbhe yvsr gb?

Ur gura ernyvmrq gung Urael oerngurq jvgu eryvrs orpnhfr jura lbh cynl tbys sbe gur svefg gvzr, lbh znxr zvfgnxrf nyy gur gvzr, ohg lbh qba'g pner, vg'f sha, lbh unir n tbbq gvzr. Ohg jura lbh orpbzr n cebsrffvbany, lbh tebj va fxvyy zber naq zber, lbh fgneg gb rkcrpg lbhefrys gb cresbez cresrpgyl. Naq vs lbh znxr n zvfgnxr, lbh pna'g sbetvir lbhefrys, orpnhfr vg znxrf lbh n znffvir ybfre. Gur fgerff bs jung vf fhccbfrq gb or n sha npgvivgl orpbzrf haornenoyr.

V guvax Obo'f zvfgnxr vf gung ur envfrq gur fgnxrf naq fgnegrq rkcrpgvat uvzfrys gb yrnea Trezna rnfvyl, naq vs vg qbrfa'g eha synjyrffyl, gura ur'f n ybfre.

Comment author: Elo 27 March 2016 05:49:03AM 8 points [-]

Meta: I like this initiative to try a new style of post.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 05 April 2016 02:43:09PM 1 point [-]

Exactly. It's like how classrooms are supposed to work. I'm much more motivated to engage with this post, then those that simply state a certain truth. If an article simply explains a certain mechanism, I'll read it, say “yeah, that makes sense, I agree with this”, close an article and completely forget about its contents. It's like article wasn't effective at all, even though it's technically correct.

I think this post's style combines 2 things: gamification and the fact that you can't learn math without doing exercises. Gamification because it's like solving a logical puzzle, it's fun, and it's also not too hard so that I give up immediately, and not too easy, so that I actually spend some time thinking. And the exercises, well there's a reason why Khan Academy or simply doing exercises in textbooks is crucial to understand math, and it's the same here, I work back and forth, trying to figure out the answer, it helps understanding the idea better and remember it for longer.

I think there's probably a very deep problem with the Web, having to do with how people procrastinate and devote time/effort/flow to things. It may be that internet articles are super-ineffective and will always be, at least in a certain form. When you are on the Web, and you use your browser, you have lots of tabs open simultaneously, your "workspace" is cluttered. Facebook messages there, several interesting articles here. And the computer itself, even if it's a laptop, it's not something you can easily manipulate in the same way you can a book.

So when you read some interesting article, you usually aren't in a state of flow. And even if you are in a flow, you aren't in the mood that says "I'm doing something serious and I should put much intellectual effort into it". Therefore reading a book online is infeasible, but reading some short engaging and humorous article is. When I say infeasible I mean most of the time when we are behind the computer screen, we're in the context, where we don't feel like or don't expect ourselves to concentrate heavily and not distract ourselves.

So articles optimize for clickbaity headlines, easy read, shortness. They adjust to lack of concentration and unwillingness to actively work on the reader's part. And then you read an article, find it interesting and insightful, and its contents are completely washed out from your brain 5 minutes later. Even if the article contained actually valuable knowledge and was technically correct.

There's a deeper thing going. First, recognition is not recall: just because you go "O! I know that! This makes total sense!" doesn't mean you gonna actually remember it. Second, people are very good at pattern-matching. So good, actually, that when they gain new information, they jump to conclusions and think "Your thing X is like the thing Y that I already know or heard of". The moment they prematurely equate two different phenomena based on superficial similarity, they stop paying attention and thinking, because they think they already understood it.

Suppose there is an article with condensed, yet correct and without omissions, information, for example a self-help advice. And there's an equivalent book with the same self-help advice, but it's verbose, long-winded and not necessarily easy to read. I suspect that on average the book will be more effective, not simply because of length or other properties, but mainly because people read books in certain contexts and moods, where they expect to put effort and concentration, where they expect themselves to be in a state of flow. If that is true, maybe we should rethink the whole writing and reading articles on the Web business.

Comment author: Lumifer 29 March 2016 03:57:03PM 3 points [-]

Well, kinda. As this thread (among other things) makes clear, managing time and managing motivation are different things. Technically speaking, calling managing your motivation "time management" is a misuse of the term.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 05 April 2016 02:03:39PM 1 point [-]

Is “time management” even a meaningful term? You can't manage time after all, it just flows. You can manage your focus and your actions and spend them more effectively, given allotted time. Mark Forster in a productivity book Do It Tomorrow says that we should call it “attention management” instead. It sounds like a stupid argument about semantics, but there's a point.

Most of the time I'm not that demotivated that I only want to binge watch TV series. Most of the time I feel like I want to do something productive. But there are multitude of things that “I could be doing” in my mind at the same time. I could continue polishing my Haskell skills, or maybe I should go back to theory and revise my knowledge of algorithms, or maybe I should go back to theoretical computer science and fix the holes in my understanding of complexity, computation, type theory and what not, or maybe I should go to StackOverflow and answer someone's question, or maybe I should practice how to use Emacs more efficiently, or maybe I should start writing a video game to improve practical programming skills, or...

Instead of doing any of those things, and it's obvious I can only do one thing at a time, I spend all day browsing StackOverflow, Facebook, MIRI's website, checking email and RSS.

What I should do instead is take one and only one task, turn on my pomodoro and spend 50 minutes doing nothing else than that.

Comment author: Jacobian 04 February 2016 05:44:49PM *  1 point [-]

I get what you're saying.

My approach is that I'm a blog writer and not a dating consultant. My main goal is for my readers to enjoy what they are reading even if the topic isn't at the top of their interests. People who know nothing at all about soccer (like Scott Alexander) and certainly don't work in soccer development seemed to enjoy the Tails of Great Soccer Players series.

I see your comment as actually encouraging my style: people who care about the advice will dig a bit to isolate the tips, people who don't care about it will spend a fun 5 minutes and have a few chuckles. Do you think the writing would be better if it was more structured (i.e. adding an intro and conclusion with a clear list of tips)?

P.S. The day I start writing listicles, take me behind the shed a put a bullet in me.

Comment author: Mirzhan_Irkegulov 06 February 2016 04:52:36PM 1 point [-]

My main goal is for my readers to enjoy what they are reading even if the topic isn't at the top of their interests.

Is it correct to say that your explicit goal is to create entertainment/“porn”? Do you optimize for entertainment more than you optimize for other forms of utility?

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