Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: MaryCh 06 March 2017 10:49:36AM 2 points [-]

Do people study effects of drugs (that wouldn't lead to crippling or fatal outcomes) on healthy people? (Stupid question, just, the latest post on SSC, on pharmacogenomics, made me wonder about it. Could be nice to have a baseline.)

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 06 March 2017 03:05:56PM 3 points [-]

Phase I clinical trials exist for this purpose. The objective of Phase I trials is to establish safety, dosage, and side-effects of drugs in human subjects, and to observe their proposed mechanism of action if relevant.

It's rare for Phase II and III trials (which have clinically-relevant endpoints ) to be carried out on healthy subjects. Part of this is ethical considerations, but also clinical trials are extremely expensive to carry out, and there's not much payoff in learning whether your drug has some specific effect on healthy subjects.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 17 February 2017 01:50:28PM 3 points [-]

Here is some colourful language for you: Dominic Cummings makes my memetic immune system want to vomit.

Part of it is because he sets off my Malcolm-Gladwell-o-Meter, but mostly it’s because he’s trying so hard to appear more knowledgeable and well-educated than he actually is. He surrounds himself with the trappings of expertise he obviously doesn’t have. Case in point: this “paper” is clearly a blog post which he converted to PDF via MS Word because he thinks that makes it look more credible.

The effect for me is a bit like receiving an email from a Nigerian prince, asking for your help in getting millions of dollars out of the country. My response is approximately the same.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 16 December 2016 05:23:25PM 0 points [-]

How do you select (or deselect) the root set?

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 08 December 2016 05:41:58PM 0 points [-]

Have you tried Slate Star Codex?

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 08 December 2016 10:29:03PM 2 points [-]

I've had some luck in open threads on SSC for stuff I would previously have directed to LW, but it's much noisier, and is a far cry from a fully-featured discussion forum.

Comment author: NatashaRostova 05 December 2016 08:16:36PM 6 points [-]

I'm not new to this internet sphere, but new to LW. One thing I suggest is users spend less time wondering what would get people back, and more time posting interesting links. Interesting links are somewhat rare, there is lots of lame blogs and annoying quasi-philosophy discussions. Lots of the philosophy posted here is very cringeworthy.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 05 December 2016 09:24:45PM 4 points [-]

The links are a new feature since I was last here, and I can't say I'm overwhelmed by them, tbh.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 05 December 2016 11:59:49AM 14 points [-]

I haven’t posted in LW in over a year, because the ratio of interesting-discussion to parochial-weirdness had skewed way too far in the parochial-weirdness direction. There still isn’t a good substitute for LW out there, though. Now it seems there’s some renewed interest in using LW for its original purpose, so I thought I’d wander back, sheepishly raise my hand and see if anyone else is in a similar position.

I’m presumably not the only one to visit the site for the first time in ages because of new, interesting content, so it’s reasonable to assume a bunch of other former LW-users are reading this. What would it take for you to come back and start using the site again?

Comment author: SanguineEmpiricist 26 August 2015 05:06:22AM 3 points [-]

Just to be clear, when reading any of Charles Sanders Pierce i have never gotten a hint of "Charlatanism". Including Peirce among those names amounts to blasphemy.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 26 August 2015 10:06:30AM 4 points [-]

Similarly, I've read Austin's How to Do Things With Words. He's not winning any awards for his prose style, but he has a comprehensible project which he goes about in a rigorous, methodical way.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 28 July 2015 12:26:35PM *  1 point [-]

Subject: Written style and composition

Recommendation: Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, by Martha Kolln and Loretta Gray

Reason: After reading Pinker's The Sense of Style, I wanted a meatier syllabus in the mechanics of writing well. My follow-up reading was Rhetorical Grammar and Joseph Williams' Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace.

I would actually recommend reading all three. Rhetorical Grammar is the most textbook-y of the recommendations, and The Sense of Style is more like a weighty, popular book on the subject, with Ten Lessons being more of an extended exposition/workbook on (you will be unsurprised to learn) ten broad principles of clear writing. All three books have similar messages and convergent positions on the subject matter. Rhetorical Grammar wins out for being the book I imagine one would learn most from.

Comment author: Lumifer 27 July 2015 04:17:50PM 2 points [-]

LW as an incubator?

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 27 July 2015 04:34:23PM 0 points [-]

Or a host for a beautiful parasitic wasp?

Comment author: [deleted] 27 July 2015 02:42:56PM *  6 points [-]

There's been far less writings on improving rationality here on LW during the last few years. Has everything important been said about the subject, or have you just given up on trying to improve your rationality? Are there diminishing returns on improving rationality? Is it related to the fact that it's very hard to get rid off most of cognitive bias, no matter how hard you try to focus on them? Or have people moved talking about these on different forums, or in real life?

Or like Yvain said on 2014 Survey results.

It looks to me like everyone was horrendously underconfident on all the easy questions, and horrendously overconfident on all the hard questions. To give an example of how horrendous, people who were 50% sure of their answers to question 10 got it right only 13% of the time; people who were 100% sure only got it right 44% of the time. Obviously those numbers should be 50% and 100% respectively.

This builds upon results from previous surveys in which your calibration was also horrible. This is not a human universal - people who put even a small amount of training into calibration can become very well calibrated very quickly. This is a sign that most Less Wrongers continue to neglect the very basics of rationality and are incapable of judging how much evidence they have on a given issue. Veterans of the site do no better than newbies on this measure.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Open Thread, Jul. 27 - Aug 02, 2015
Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 27 July 2015 03:31:07PM 15 points [-]

LW's strongest, most dedicated writers all seem to have moved on to other projects or venues, as has the better part of its commentariat.

In some ways, this is a good thing. There is now, for example, a wider rationalist blogosphere, including interesting people who were previously put off by idiosyncrasies of Less Wrong. In other ways, it's less good; LW is no longer a focal point for this sort of material. I'm not sure if such a focal point exists any more.

View more: Next