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Comment author: WingedViper 31 October 2014 03:04:27PM 24 points [-]

Done. Though I feel guilty about skipping a few of the more involved questions.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 29 April 2014 09:37:05PM *  18 points [-]

The "hugs" and "no touching" symbols were visually similar -- a red and a blue circle, overlapping in one case, not overlapping in another case -- maybe some people made a honest mistake. It would be better next time to make visually more different symbols; for example completely different colors, or even a picture of hedgehog for "no touching". I hope that would improve the situation.

By the way, I was somewhat concerned to see the mixed signals of some people wearing both "hugs" and "no touching" symbols; but I wasn't sure whether there was a real damage in doing so, or if I was just making a mountain out of a molehill. Yeah, I received explanations of what that was supposed to mean -- "usually hugs, but always ask first" and "hugs, but no other forms of touching" specifically -- but I still think it would be better to have the "no touching" symbols mean "no touching, ever" only. I get it that people want to express their own message creatively, but by re-using symbols which are supposed to mean something else you dilute the signals used by other people. Just take a pen and use words. Also, "I am a special snowflake, talk to me to find out what I want" should be the default assumption for people who don't wear any of the symbols; not a combination of them. The symbols are social shortcuts designed to overcome the trivial inconvenience of having to ask. They are a useful tool, if used correctly, so please don't break it.

Comment author: WingedViper 30 April 2014 12:16:46PM 6 points [-]

I overlooked a "no hug" sign myself, even though I'm an organiser and had a part in choosing them. I agree that they need to be more visually distinct and we will improve that next time.

Comment author: WingedViper 11 March 2014 10:18:20PM 1 point [-]

As spaced repetition and flashcards are a technique and tool respectively it is (to me) obvious that they are useful for certain kinds of circumstances. Flashcards really are useful only when you want to associate 2 things to each other (for example a word and its translation) and might not be the best way to build an organized knowledge of a subject. Because of that I wouldn't use them for that purpose in any case.

Thank you for pointing out an area where they fail, that was useful information.

A question to the community: Do you really believe as much in spaced repetition/Anki as the post suggests?

Comment author: WingedViper 06 March 2014 08:37:07PM 1 point [-]

There are a lot of good suggestions in the comments already. I'd like to emphasize immersion (films, audio books etc.) and especially lots of practice talking (!). Try to find as many possible ways to increase your talking time in the target language. E.g. by talking over skype, seeking out a local Hebrew club or whatever.

Also I'd like to point to http://www.fluentin3months.com/ because Benny (the blogger) has a lot of good tips for language learning.

Comment author: Creutzer 23 February 2014 11:27:41AM 5 points [-]

"ze/zir/zirself" is an artificial gender-neutral third person singular pronoun.

Comment author: WingedViper 23 February 2014 11:30:48AM *  1 point [-]

Thanks for clearing that up. That was my guess, I was just confused that it suddenly popped up without me ever having heard about it. Is it popular/well-known? When I googled it, there were no hits for an explanation.

Comment author: WingedViper 23 February 2014 10:36:37AM 1 point [-]

I have a (kind of) meta question: What's up with the "zir" and "zirself" in the text? I've never heard/read that word before and from context I'd infer that it should be "their" and "themselves". Would you clear that up?

Comment author: buybuydandavis 15 February 2014 06:35:35PM *  2 points [-]

I'm more interested to know if you "say" or "hear" the words in your head as you read.

Thought you made a great distinction there, but I think maybe you missed it.

"Saying" is not the same as "hearing", and in the subvocalization business, people don't ordinarily make that distinction. I think I hear, but don't say, when reading.

One way I tried to test this was by humming while reading. If I were saying, I'd expect that to interfere with reading, while hearing would not. Tried the same while literally biting my tongue.

Reading felt the same to me with either intervention.

Comment author: WingedViper 17 February 2014 08:37:00PM 1 point [-]

I don't think it was meant as a distinction but as a description of a mental process that might not be exactly the same for everyone. So the dichotomy is between say/hear on the one side and not say/hear on the other.

Comment author: WingedViper 17 February 2014 02:35:03PM 0 points [-]

For posts I use the vote as an indication of what the LW-consensus of this post is. So if the title is not that promising and the score is low I often don't read it. If I do read it though, I try to account for the "bias" of the up-/ downvote and make an effort to find an independent evaluation. So I don't really think it's an issue.

In response to On saving the world
Comment author: Stabilizer 31 January 2014 12:53:00AM 24 points [-]

I wasn't trying to get pats on the head, I was appealing to the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. Were we all on the same page, here? This was the creator. He was infinitely virtuous, and he had told us what to do.

I know exactly what you're talking about. I quickly realized as a kid that grown-ups get quite worried if you start taking the religion too seriously.

Comment author: WingedViper 31 January 2014 02:30:37PM 22 points [-]

The more stories I hear of other LessWrongers' life stories (and taking my own into consideration) the more I realise how one of our defining traits is our inability and/or unwillingness to compartmentalize on important ideas.

In response to On saving the world
Comment author: Swimmer963 31 January 2014 01:00:02AM 23 points [-]

If everybody was cowed by the simple fact that they can't succeed, then that one-in-a-million person who can succeed would never take their shot. So I was sure as hell going to take mine. But if the chance that one person can save the world is one in a million, then there had better be a million people trying.

I want to upvote about twenty times for this phrase alone. I suspect that your psychology was very different than mine; I think I crave stability and predictability a lot more. One of the reasons that "saving the world" always seemed like an impossible thing to do, like something that didn't even count as a coherent goal, was that I didn't know where to start or even what the ending would look like. That becomes a lot more tractable if you're one of a million people trying to solve a problem, and a lot less scary.

However, idealism still scares me. I remember being a kid and reading about communism and thinking that it really ought to work. I remember thinking that if I'd been a young adult back before communism, I would have bet my time and effort on it working. And...it turned out not to work. Since I probably wasn't any smarter than the people who tried to make communism work, how could I have any better of a chance at coming up with something valuable? Better to focus on small things, one at a time, and rely on the fact that however convoluted and mess-up society is, it muddles along and hasn't self-destructed yet. And not risk ending up doing something really awful that would result in lots of people dying.

Of course, that relies on a belief that society, which has muddled along so far, will continue to do so. There've been enough changes in the past few decades and centuries that you can make a good case for this not being true.

Comment author: WingedViper 31 January 2014 02:28:44PM 0 points [-]

I have to disagree a bit on the communism part. One of the ways that it went wrong, that it ended in Totalitarianism, was due to how it was implemented and foreseeable to a certain extent. All it really tells us is that we have to take human nature into account when designing a society for humans, not that we shouldn't try out powerful ideas.

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