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Comment author: gwern 03 June 2017 07:24:12PM *  9 points [-]

Personally, I don't think that the military helps. The claim is implausible as personality traits are pretty stubborn things. Anecdotes are definitely confounded as militaries these days can be selective (literally administering IQ tests), and young men who enlist will mature as a simple matter of time. Military-style boot camps are one of the juvenile justice interventions we can say don't work well or maybe at all ("Preventing future offending of delinquents and offenders: what have we learned from experiments and meta-analyses?", Mackenzie & Farrington 2015) despite being aimed at the 'youngsters' who ought to most benefit from not being 'fuckups' and being aimed much more explicitly at that goal with a lower bar of success. And the natural experiments I know of like the Vietnam War draft lottery show permanent large harms to income from being drafted (most famously, Angrist 1990), which is certainly not what one would expect from a magical organization which turns fuckup civilians into reliable soldiers and explains why super-competent soldiers have such difficulty comporting in & reintegrating into a civilian life of tragic incompetence everywhere.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 18 July 2017 12:55:58AM 0 points [-]

An actual military has life-and-death work. This might even be more important than consent.

A military-style "boot camp" for delinquents is a cargo cult by comparison.

Comment author: Jiro 20 April 2017 06:55:02PM 2 points [-]

Response to old post:

Appears to be an urban legend.

Summary: Checking Google Books shows lots of references to pink for girls/blue for boys, and no references to the opposite, going back to the 19th century.

Note: Wikipedia links to this article, but summarizes it in a way which makes it sound much weaker than it really is.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 April 2017 05:00:46PM 0 points [-]

Thanks. I hope that someone gets around to actually looking at the clothes and/or paintings.

Comment author: Viliam 26 April 2017 11:33:43AM 0 points [-]

Could a possible solution be to teach new teachers?

How far is a person who "knows X" from a person who "can teach X"? I imagine that being able to teach X has essentially two requirements: First, understand X deeply -- which is what we want to achieve anyway. Second, general teaching skills, independent on X -- these could be taught as a separate package; which could already be interesting for people who teach. And what you need then, is a written material containing all known things that should be considered when teaching X, and a short lesson explaining the details of it.

The plan could be approximately this:

1) We already have lessons for X, for Y, for Z -- what CFAR offers to participants already.

2) Make lessons for teaching in general -- and offer them to participants, too, because that is a separately valuable product.

3) Make lessons on "how to teach X" etc., each of them requiring lessons for "X" and for "general teaching" as prerequisites. These will be for volunteers wanting to help CFAR. After the lessons, have the volunteers teach X to some random audience (for a huge discount or even for free). If the volunteer does it well, let them teach X at CFAR workshops; first with some supervision and feedback, later alone.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 April 2017 06:09:38AM 0 points [-]

There's a difference between "knowing X" and having X be a default behavior. There's also a difference between knowing X and being able to teach it to people who think differently than oneself or have different preconceptions.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 January 2017 07:37:05AM 0 points [-]

Might nicotine be doing a little mental good for people who aren't schizophrenics?

Comment author: math 24 January 2017 03:49:10AM *  2 points [-]

Impact on free trade / protectionism

Um, aren't these things only interesting to the extent they're causal to more general economic effects?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 January 2017 07:31:36AM 0 points [-]

I'm concerned about Trump's potential effect on the economy. Effects on employment and pay are also worth evaluating.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 26 December 2016 02:44:13PM 0 points [-]

Thanks-- I had fun reading it, and it's definitely more exuberant than most utopias.

I wasn't crazy about the sandworm challenge for getting to be politically influential-- wouldn't it make more sense to work one's way up by being influential in smaller groups?

Probably too much for this story, but there'd also be basic research going on and changing things.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 December 2016 03:22:50PM 4 points [-]

A couple of minor points: I knew someone who was moderately disabled, lived alone, and had cats. Instead of chasing her cats down and wrestling them into cat carriers, she clicker-trained them to get into their carriers themselves. She was obviously smarter and stronger than Einstein.

As for Slavic pessimism, I'm inclined to think that an AI which attempts to self-improve is at grave risk of breaking itself.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 December 2016 08:12:24AM 3 points [-]

Possibly of interest: The Second Brain-- it's about the neurology of the digestive tract. It's harder than I thoughf for a body to manage having meat-digesting stomach acid in the middle of an organ. The author suggests that a lot of digestive problems are actually neurological rather than something wrong with specific organs.

It's from 1998, but I don't know of more recent books on the subject.

Comment author: Lumifer 21 December 2016 04:06:14PM 1 point [-]

My first intuitive reaction would be to interpret "the 1900s" as early XX century. I would not expect, say, the 80s and the 90s to be part of "the 1900s".

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 21 December 2016 04:24:02PM 0 points [-]

I wonder if that reaction can be avoided by saying something like "all the 1900s".

Comment author: arundelo 21 December 2016 03:11:29AM *  2 points [-]

Perfectly clear, and probably in most contexts less likely to elicit off-by-one errors. The only confusing things I can see are:

  • Maybe someone might think you just meant the first decade of the 1900s?
  • Similarly, is "the 2000s" a century or a decade or a millennium? (This and the previous problem are solved by using e.g., "19xx", but that's probably only clear in written language.)
  • This style (it seems to me) is more common with older stuff (e.g., the 1800s and 1700s), so someone might do a double-take at "the 1900s", thinking it sounds longer ago than it is.
  • There's also the thing of how the twentieth century is, if we're being pedantic, not the years 1900 through 1999, but the years 1901 through 2000.
Comment author: NancyLebovitz 21 December 2016 08:13:53AM 0 points [-]

The person who was confused was so used to "the nth century" that "the xx00s" didn't register as the same thing.

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