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Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 22 April 2014 10:38:10PM *  0 points [-]

Interestingly I can sit and work on the PC almost the whole day with no problem (I do shift positions a lot and have breaks, move around). But I can't read a book for a comparable time-span without getting neck and shoulder ache. And that despite changing positions a lot more. Reading while standing, while sitting, which laying in all kinds of ways. Does anybody have an idea why?

Comment author: Vaniver 23 April 2014 12:54:52AM 0 points [-]

Do you have a bookstand, or do you hold the book up?

You could compare by, say, holding up your monitor while using the computer. (Not actually recommended, for obvious reasons.)

Comment author: iceman 22 April 2014 11:20:42PM 0 points [-]

I am moving in the other direction. I currently have two screens and am going back to a single big one. There doesn't seem to be great support for whether two monitors make us more productive. (That said, measuring pixels is also probably not really looking at what's really important here.)

I will once again plug the Kinesis Advantage keyboards; I've used them for over seven years now. I previously had really bad RSI and it's now rare that I get any pain in my wrists at all.

Comment author: Vaniver 23 April 2014 12:44:37AM 0 points [-]

That said, measuring pixels is also probably not really looking at what's really important here.

Pixels seems to almost definitely be the right measure, here- basically, you want to have N windows open with enough information in all of them. For most tasks, N is greater than 2, but once you have enough windows extra space is just wasted. (One of my former labmates had four monitors, which generally had Matlab open in one window, the docs in another, his system monitor in a third, and nothing in the fourth- so he probably would have been fine with two monitors most of the time- but he did sometimes do something involved enough that he needed all four. For someone working on code where lots of different things all matter, having lots of monitors seems useful.)

Comment author: ChristianKl 22 April 2014 10:35:03PM 1 point [-]

The only advice I feel qualified to give is this one. Having two screens is immensely better.

Why two screens instead of one really big one?

Comment author: Vaniver 23 April 2014 12:42:59AM *  0 points [-]

I have one monitor aligned horizontally and another aligned vertically, and I feel this works better than one large monitor or a monitor that swivels between the two alignments. I think part of this is because with two monitors, it's possible to rotate them relative to each other (ideally, I think, you would want a spherical / parabolic / hyperbolic monitor and this helps approximate that), but it might be that if I had hotkey shortcuts to easily throw windows where I wanted them on a single large monitor (like xmonad) I would be able to get most of the benefit.

In response to Schelling Day 2.0
Comment author: Vaniver 20 April 2014 08:34:38PM *  2 points [-]

The Austin Schelling Day celebration was small- four of us eating dinner together and then sitting around a table, watching the sun set through the windows as we shared.

I felt it worked very well for its intended purpose, of bringing us closer together and helping people talk about things they otherwise wouldn't talk about. The attendees were the most regular attendees to the normal meetups, so I don't think it helped broaden the connections of the group much.

For our location, we met at majus's home; he's a software engineer near the end of his career, and his house is as nice as you would expect from that. I'm a graduate student, and so my apartment, where we host game nights, is also as nice as you would expect (that is to say, it isn't). I felt that having the location upgrade did make for a better experience.

It went much longer than I expected; I had estimated maybe an hour for dinner, and then about 53n+15 minutes for the celebration. Dinner went more like an hour and a half (but part of that was we arrived a bit late, and then food needed another 20-30 minutes to be finished), and then we spent a bit less than 3 hours on the celebration itself- which translates to ~45 minutes of talking per person!

Part of this was that I put no effort into enforcing time limits, and I think the other part was that people felt that with a small group they could take as long as they wanted. With 4 people, the "there should be at most 2-3 reactions to each person's sharing" rule sort of turned into "everyone reacts to each person's sharing," and there seemed to be several instances of a person taking 2-4 minutes to share, then a 1 minute response, then a 30-60 second response to that response, then another response, response to that response, then the last response, a response to that, and then we moved on.

I made the mistake of washing the raspberries perhaps a little too vigorously, and they mostly disintegrated / looked terrible, but still tasted alright. I was expecting the snacks which didn't make it into the bowl to get eaten also- but, as it turns out, three 'scoops' of snacks per person (we added snacks of multiple types if it crossed multiple categories) turned out to be roughly the right amount at the end.

Comment author: roryokane 18 April 2014 01:26:11AM *  12 points [-]

“If only there were irrational people somewhere, insidiously believing stupid things, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and mock them. But the line dividing rationality and irrationality cuts through the mind of every human being. And who is willing to mock a piece of his own mind?”

(With apologies to Solzhenitsyn).

– Said Achmiz, in a comment on Slate Star Codex’s post “The Cowpox of Doubt”

Comment author: Vaniver 18 April 2014 04:04:42PM 1 point [-]

The original quotation on LW.

Comment author: Vulture 16 April 2014 07:56:11PM *  0 points [-]

Interesting. Did there seem to be any pedagogical benefit to having relatively easy access to research-level experts, though?

Comment author: Vaniver 16 April 2014 08:53:27PM *  2 points [-]

I mean, it's easier to get research positions with those professors, and those are learning experiences, but the students generally get very little out of it during the actual class.

Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 16 April 2014 12:44:42AM *  2 points [-]

parenting is about convincing other humans that you are a good parent

What if you convince everyone that you're a good parent while poisoning your child?

And everyone else can believe you're dead and you can still be alive. In fact sometimes in order to live you have to convince everyone you're dead.

Comment author: Vaniver 16 April 2014 03:11:21AM -1 points [-]

What if you convince everyone that you're a good parent while poisoning your child?

Then you are a successful Christian Scientist, say. Those are all descriptive claims, not normative ones.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 15 April 2014 10:26:04PM 3 points [-]

This made me realize I don't really have to finish reading Worms.

Thanks, I guess I owe you a few dozen hours of my life.

Comment author: Vaniver 15 April 2014 11:10:52PM 1 point [-]

You're welcome!

Comment author: aisarka 15 April 2014 04:24:47AM 3 points [-]

Does anyone know where the most recent version of the welcome thread is? I searched and searched for keywords like "welcome" and "introduction" / "introduce". Do you not use welcome threads anymore?

Comment author: Vaniver 15 April 2014 04:38:46PM 0 points [-]

The wiki has a page on Special Threads which tries to point to the most recent of various threads. According to that, this is the most recent introduction thread.

Comment author: Zaq 14 April 2014 08:57:55PM *  0 points [-]

Suppose my decision algorithm for the "both boxes are transparent" case is to take only box B if and only if it is empty, and to take both boxes if and only if box B has a million dollars in it. How does Omega respond? No matter how it handles box B, it's implied prediction will be wrong.

Perhaps just as slippery, what if my algorithm is to take only box B if and only if it contains a million dollars, and to take both boxes if and only if box B is empty? In this case, anything Omega predicts will be accurate, so what prediction does it make?

Come to think of it, I could implement the second algorithm (and maybe the first) if a million dollars weighs enough compared to the boxes. Suppose my decision algorithm outputs: "Grab box B and test it's weight, and maybe shake it a bit. If it clearly has a million dollars in it, take only box B. Otherwise, take both boxes." If that's my algorithm, then I don't think the problem actually tells us what Omega predicts, and thus what outcome I'm getting.

Comment author: Vaniver 14 April 2014 09:11:40PM 0 points [-]

In the first case, Omega does not offer you the deal, and you receive $0, proving that it is possible to do worse than a two-boxer.

In the second case, you are placed into a superposition of taking one box and both boxes, receiving the appropriate reward in each.

In the third case, you are counted as 'selecting' both boxes, since it's hard to convince Omega that grabbing a box doesn't count as selecting it.

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