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Comment author: witzvo 27 October 2014 05:07:42AM *  1 point [-]

Interesting. Something's a bit odd, though. If the events are rare, then it's hard to know what the correlations are with any precision. If the events are common, then, yes, we should be able to see the anti-correlation, but this would be a really bad sign -- there'd be no reason to think that the disastrous event where both co-occur isn't right around the corner.

ETA: I exaggerate a bit. There'd be no reason if the independence model was true. If, in reality, there was some circumstance specially protecting us somehow the situation wouldn't have to be dire.

Comment author: Lumifer 06 August 2014 03:28:05PM 2 points [-]
Comment author: witzvo 07 August 2014 02:06:58AM 1 point [-]

That's a pretty cool histogram in figure 2.

Comment author: gwern 03 August 2014 08:51:06PM 1 point [-]
Comment author: witzvo 03 August 2014 10:43:16PM *  1 point [-]

Thanks! Lest it confuse anyone else, please note that that review is all about effects of tDCS on the cerebellum and not a review of tDCS on the cerebrum or other brain structures. The cerebelar tDCS itself seems to have many effects including cerebellar motor cortical inhibition, gait adaptation, motor behaviour, and cognition (learning, language, memory, attention), though.

Here's a general review of the effect of tDCS on language

""" Despite their heterogeneities, the studies we reviewed collect- ively show that tDCS can improve language performance in healthy subjects and in patients with aphasia ( fi gure 4). Although relatively transient, the improvement can be remark- able: Monti and colleagues 52 found an improvement of approxi- mately 30% and Holland and Crinion 63 report a gain of approximately 25% in speech performance in aphasic patients. Intriguingly, no report described negative results in aphasic patients. """


Interestingly, there's limited evidence that it can be effective for patients suffering from autism too. E.g. case study finding 40% reduction in abnormal behavior for a severe case and improved language learning for minimally verbal children with autism.

Comment author: niceguyanon 29 July 2014 03:31:58PM 7 points [-]

A quick search for tDCS did not turn up any major discussion newer than 2012 on LW. tDCS devices are now sub $100. Its safety track record seems to be intact. I bought one. There are places to discuss tDCS like on subreddits but I'd like to restart the conversation here with you rationalists.

Recently Radiolab did a piece about it

Comment author: witzvo 03 August 2014 08:11:47PM 1 point [-]

This seems really interesting. I'd like to learn more about it. So far I'm frustrated with the quality of information I've found. Here's a PMC search and a review behind a firewall.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 01 July 2014 04:26:14PM 1 point [-]

One Inconvenient Application of Utiliarism:

Given a class of chores which provide benefit but are disliked to perform by most people (and cannot be dealt away with). Also assume that these chores can be performed by most people. Further take another class of tasks that can be performed by a subset of the population only and comes with less displeasure. Also add some neutral tasks.

An set of example task could be dealing with garbage, solving complex math problems and child care.

How should you assign the tasks from these classes to people?

It appears that those people who can perform the more pleasurable tasks should do so while the other should perform the unwanted tasks and the remaining neutral tasks are performed equally.

For me this seems kind of unfair. It places the lesser able people potentially at the less pleasurable end. Moral judgements may vary - but this question at least requires some discussion.

What do you think?

Comment author: witzvo 01 July 2014 05:37:23PM 2 points [-]

Yootling is one good approach to the problem.

Comment author: witzvo 28 June 2014 08:49:53AM *  3 points [-]

[LINK] Givewell discusses the progress of their thinking about the merits of funding efforts to ameliorate global existential risks.

Comment author: witzvo 26 June 2014 10:29:20PM 1 point [-]

create community norms whereby the the amount social praise you get is proportional to the strength of your case for the impact of your action is.

Agreed. We need more thinking/work on this. "Thumbs up" for example, don't seem to cut it because some things are so easy to like, whether they actually have real impact or not that they are not at all proportional to merit.

Comment author: witzvo 09 June 2014 05:20:44AM 2 points [-]


Comment author: wadavis 22 May 2014 03:01:23PM *  2 points [-]

Spend some time deciding if decisiveness is a virtue. Dwell on it until you've convinced yourself that decisiveness is good, and have come to terms that you are not decisive. Around here it may be tempting to label decisiveness as rash and to rationalize your behavior, or not worth the work of changing, if so return to step one and reaffirm that you think it is good to be decisive. Now step outside your comfort zone and practice being decisive, practice at the restaurant, at work, doing chores. Have reminders to practice, set your desktop or phone background to "Be Decisive" in plain text (or whatever suits your esthetic tastes). Pick a role model who takes decisive action. Now after following these steps, you have practiced making decisions and following through on them, you have decided that to make a choice and not dwelling on it is a virtue, Now you can update your image of yourself as a decisive person. From there it should be self sustaining.

Comment author: witzvo 24 May 2014 04:56:39AM *  1 point [-]

Whoa. Fascinating! Thanks! I really like the idea of this approach. I'm, ironically, not sure I'm decisive enough to decide that decisiveness is a virtue, but this is worth thinking about. Where should I go to read more about the general idea that if I can decide that something is a virtue and practice acting in accord with that virtue that I can change myself?

Thinking about it just for a minute, I realize that I need a heuristic for when it's smart to be decisive and when it's smart to be more circumspect. I don't want to become a rash person. If I can convince myself that the heuristic is reliable enough, then hopefully I can convince myself to put it into practice like you say. I don't know if this means I'm falling into the rationalization trap that you mentioned or not, though. I don't think so; it would be a mistake to be decisive for decisiveness sake.

I can spend some time thinking more about role-models in this regard and maybe ask them when they decide to decide versus decide to contemplate, themselves. In particular, I think my role-models would not spend time on a decision if they knew that making either decision, now, was preferable to not making a decision until later.

Heuristic 1a: If making either decision now is preferable to making the decision later, make the decision promptly (flip coins if necessary).

In the particular case that prompted my original post, my current heuristics said it was a situation worth thinking about -- the options had significant consequences both good and bad. On the other hand, agonizing over the decision wouldn't get me anywhere and I knew what the consequences would be in a general sense -- I just didn't want to accept that I was responsible for the problems that I could expect to follow either decision, I wanted something more perfect. That's another situation my role-models would not fall prey to. Somehow they have the stomach to accept this and get on with things when there's no alternative....

Goal: I will be a person with the self-respect to stomach responsibility for the bad consequences of good decisions.

Heuristic 1b: When you pretty-much know what the consequences will be of all the options and they're all unavoidably problematic to around the same degree (multiply the importance of the decision by the error in the degree to define "around"), force yourself to pick one right away so you can put the decision-making behind you.

Am I on the right track? I'm not totally sure about how important it is to be decision-making behind yourself.

Comment author: Vaniver 22 May 2014 05:30:48PM *  3 points [-]

The square brackets are greedy. What you want to do is this:

\[Link\]: [Why do people persist in believing things that just aren't true?](http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/mariakonnikova/2014/05/why-do-people-persist-in-believing-things-that-just-arent-true.html?utm_source=www&utm_medium=tw&utm_campaign=20140519&mobify=0)

which looks like:

[Link]: Why do people persist in believing things that just aren't true?

Comment author: witzvo 24 May 2014 04:10:19AM 2 points [-]

fixed. Thanks.

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