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Comment author: dglukhov 01 February 2017 08:38:49PM *  3 points [-]

Trying to fix physical posture currently. With time, I hope to learn how to do proper form on a majority of lifts. I've found that as I've been working on this, my ability to focus has improved, and consequently I came upon the mental postures article as a sort of mental analogue to the endeavor to have good biomechanics.

I wish I had a better way of studying...whatever, without sitting. I hate sitting (even properly, with back engaged and shoulders down), I know it doesn't do me any good and, on certain days, I find I reverse all the hard work and effort I put into trying to put my body back into alignment because I sat for too long learning to code or doing work. If I could squat, I'd probably already be able to solve this problem. But I can't sit squatted without doing it wrong, I can't change my work desk, nor can I move the computer somewhere more accessible to, let's say, a kneeling position or a position where I sit on my calves instead of a seat. Perhaps I should invest in a seat big enough to let me sit cross-legged? I hope I can afford it, because I can't think of anything else.

EDIT: I think the real issue is that the task of focusing on not sitting robs me of focus to do the studying. Is there a way around this, or is multitasking my only real savior here?

Comment author: Screwtape 02 February 2017 09:09:00PM 0 points [-]

Depending on your work/study habits, I find that not sitting for very long helps me immensely. I find my posture degrades the longer I'm sitting. If I stand up and stretch or take a walk around the block every hour, my back feels much better at the end of the day.

In response to Be secretly wrong
Comment author: Benquo 09 December 2016 06:23:29PM *  1 point [-]

Claim 2: The social inhibition against making strong claims can interfere with the learning process by making people reluctant to articulate their beliefs, for reasons mostly unrelated to epistemic humility.

If you want to discuss this claim, I encourage you to do it as a reply to this comment.

In response to comment by Benquo on Be secretly wrong
Comment author: Screwtape 27 January 2017 04:55:20PM 0 points [-]

I would argue this claim understates the problem. In my experience, claims can be made at one of two levels, either strongly held or weakly held. One cannot perfectly phrase a claim such that nobody confuses one for the other, and other people tend to ignore weakly held claims.

It would be really useful to be able to say "I am moderately confident that the Purple party's policy will lead to Bad Things" and get feedback that raises or lowers my confidence in that claim. Most responses unfortunately will assume that I was more confident than I actually was. (This issue might be summarized as "Screwtape needs to spend less time on facebook.")

Something that might help lower this inhibition is an ability to retract or update on claims usefully. Technically, a blog lets you make a statement and then later edit the post or post an update, but you can't rely on people rereading the post or following your blog to see updates. This might be solved socially (a norm of checking someone still believes a claim before responding to that claim or propagating what they said?) or with technology (rss feeds and edit buttons on posts) but will probably need to be solved with a combination of the two.

Comment author: Screwtape 19 January 2017 05:56:07PM *  0 points [-]

TLDR: I discovered competing to beat future!me is more motivating than trying to avoid being beaten by past!me.

Expanded: I've been experimenting with diet/exercise since my previous habits of continual low-grade movement and snacking has become impractical. I knew I do much more intense physical activity in competition than on my own, so I tried mindhacking to think of my past self as competition. This didn't work as a generic idea, didn't work despite keeping track of what exercise (kilometers run, reps lifted, etc) I did on that day on the previous week, and wasn't helped by leaving comments to future!me on the records. (Goading from opponents in competition usually is motivating.) I think I've hit a successful approach though!

Key changes seemed to be increasing the time difference to a month, and also thinking of competing with my future self. That is, the thought "Past!me ran X kilometers, so I need to do more than X" wasn't particularly motivating, but thinking "I'm at X kilometers, but if I can do X+Y then future!me will have a much harder time beating that and I might win!" is motivating. This probably implies something useful about how my brain handles time discounting, but for the moment I'll take the success and make use of it.

Edit: Crud, this was under "latest" so I read over the year without catching it was last year. sigh

Comment author: Screwtape 23 October 2014 03:50:24PM 47 points [-]

Survey finished- erred on the side of not screwing up Yvain's numbers where possible, but I'm curious what the ideal way to mark down Religious Background for results of families that divorced over religious disagreement is. Also had a really strong desire (thwarted, but present) to put a SQL injection into the question about whether the universe is a simulation, which is a bad idea no matter what the answer turns out to be or whether I could conceivably affect the simulation. It's like a pascal's wager mixed with a Russian roulette, only the gun is fully loaded. Either I screw up the numbers, I tank the survey, or I crash the simulation. Dear brain, we were reading about akrasia just recently, were you paying attention?

Comment author: Screwtape 13 June 2014 03:22:49AM 1 point [-]

I think the most frequently used identity I have was created why a public speaking teacher commented that I was just fine acting on stage, but became very shy and nervous when I was speaking as myself. I don't recall if this was her idea or mine, but I developed a 'character' that was basically me sans said shyness. Large body language, typically spoke louder, almost a caricature of confidence. While it was originally just for speaking to large groups, it quickly got used for any conversation with people who weren't my close friends. Sometime during college, I got so accustomed to using this 'character' that I realized it wasn't exactly an act any more.

Ironically, a very useful identity was one I abandoned- in high school, I thought of myself as a prodigy, far smarter than the hopeless plebeians around me. This was probably useful, as it kept me focused on learning on my own when the class didn't move fast enough. On the other hand, as soon as I hit college, I realized this wasn't very helpful since it stopped me from asking questions, noticing that I didn't understand the material, and working usefully with the other students. I think it was very useful while I had it, but by far the most important lesson I learned in those four years was that I am not a genius. (I'm smart, but there's an order of magnitude difference from where I thought of myself and where I see myself now.)

Comment author: RobinZ 10 June 2014 11:39:12PM 0 points [-]

Also, I don't know if "Typical mind and gender identity" is the blog post that you stumbled across, but I am very glad to have read it, and especially to have read many of the comments. I think I had run into related ideas before (thank you, Internet subcultures!), but that made the idea that gender identity has a strength as well as a direction much clearer.

Comment author: Screwtape 11 June 2014 12:55:21AM 1 point [-]

A combination of that post and What universal human experiences are you missing without realizing it? actually. I would say that I am strongly typed as male, strong enough that occasionally I've been known to get annoyed at my body not being male enough. (Larger muscle groups, more body hair, darker beard, etc.) Probably influencing this are the facts that Skyler is the feminine form of my name, and that puberty was downright cruel to me. As you say, it's not common to think of being strongly or weakly identified with your own sex, rather than just a binary "fits/doesn't fit" check.

Comment author: RobinZ 10 June 2014 10:05:24PM 0 points [-]

I'm afraid I haven't been active online recently, but if you live in an area with a regular in-person meetup, those can be seriously awesome. :)

Comment author: Screwtape 10 June 2014 10:31:30PM 1 point [-]

Meatspace meetups sound like a good deal of fun, and possibly a faster route to being part of the community than commenting on articles that I think I have something to add. Downside is, I'm currently in Rochester New York, and unless I'm misusing the meetups page somehow, looks like the closest regular meetup is in Albany. That's a long bike ride. :) If anybody is in Rochester, by all means let me know!

Comment author: Screwtape 10 June 2014 04:50:41PM 7 points [-]

Skyler here, a 21 year old technology student. Born and raised in the backwoods of Vermont to ahem philosophically diverse parents, was encouraged to read pretty much every philosophical book the library had except for Ayn Rand. So naturally I gravitated towards that as soon as I became enough of a teenager, but apparently completely missed the antagonism towards non-geniuses and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I seriously disliked every objectivist I met.

About two years ago, I had a professor who introduced me to HPMoR, which I enjoyed immensely. It took me around a month to move to the sequences. They seem to have had the curious property of seeming perfectly obvious, like someone simply expressing what I already knew just in better words, and while a lot of them do fall close in broad subject to things I'd written about before, the only use I'd had for bayesian statistics prior to reading them was spam filters. (And then the author's notes pointed me to Worm, which consumed a month or two.)

A couple of weeks ago however, I encountered a post on SlateStarCodex (which I'd been reading after stumbling upon it through unrelated browsing) about trans people, and somehow around the same time got linked to Alicorn's Polyhacking article. My positions previously were similar to the authors (Thought of both transgender and polyamory as mildly wrong and not understandable) and both made a solid argument that actually changed my mind. This was not the "Oh, of course I knew that" of the sequences, but a "Huh. I thought that was wrong, but they have good points. Let me think for five minutes and see if there are any more arguments for or against I can think of now." By the end of the respective days, I had a different opinion than I previously had, and was beginning to make changes in how I conducted myself because of one of them. In addition, they both seemed like interesting people I could relate to, and a community of such people could be really fun. (As opposed to Eliezer Y.- That is, I can imagine having a conversation with these people, whereas if I was in a conversation with Eliezer Y. I would feel compelled to take notes.)

So yeah. I'm here to see how many other topics require me to change my mind, and to hopefully have cool conversations with interesting people. Any recommendations on where to start?