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.
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.
How do you select (or deselect) the root set?
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.
The links are a new feature since I was last here, and I can’t say I’m overwhelmed by them, tbh.
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?
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.
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.
Or a host for a beautiful parasitic wasp?
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.
Not that much of a rags-to-riches story, I’m afraid. My parents both have working class backgrounds, and neither went to university, but my upbringing would probably get coded as lower-middle class. I had one attempt at university already, fifteen years ago, but dropped out after one year of an Astrophysics degree. Also my jobs for those six years were mid-range software dev/tech professional tybe jobs. It’s not like I’ve been shovelling coal or anything.
Some of the things I was thinking about class in relation to that comment were on this sort of topic. I dropped out of my first degree in part because I was a feckless 19-year-old who didn’t know any better, but also in part because I didn’t have any academic role models and all the education I’d received up until that point had lulled me into a false sense of security. On a fundamental level, I didn’t know how to study at a university, and there wasn’t anyone in a position to show me how.
Your talking about class-based memetic toxicity rang some bells along these lines. Education has a bunch of “soft skills” that parents can pass on to their kids, and presumably stuff like relationships, money management, interpersonal conflict resolution, etc. have similar sets of soft skills which you simply won’t learn unless they’re in your environment.
Also, this is going to sound like a bit of a non-sequitur, but I’d been thinking about Game of Thrones, and what feudal lords must look like to serfs. If you’re well-fed, well-groomed and well-educated in a malnourished, dirty and illiterate world, you’re not only going to look like a qualitatively superior sort of person to Pete the Peon, but you will operationally outperform him in a number of ways. I wonder to what extent this sort of pattern is prevalent in contemporary Western class systems.
I finished the part-time Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Maths I’ve been working on in my spare time for the past six years, alongside a full-time job. I got the result of my (particularly brutal, touch-and-go) final exam this afternoon, and have landed first-class honours. I’ll be quitting my job in September and starting a full-time Masters in Computational Statistics and Machine Learning.
For the country data example, every instance of a country name is prepended with a small icon (for development purposes this is currently an obnoxious red X, but I plan to replace this with a neutral-coloured globe or something), and the name itself is wrapped in some custom style (currently boldface, but could be anything). Clicking on the icon places a container with the relevant data on the page, offset to the same location as the icon, (giving the illusion of the icon “expanding” to show the data). Clicking on the icon again, or away from the container, removes it.
In terms of extensibility, all the data is in a local JSON file, and the format of the data container is an HTML template that might eventually live in the same file. I’m also planning on having local image assets (maps and flags). This could all be swapped out for anything, or even obtained from a web service.
I’m playing around with writing a Chrome extension that identifies countries of the world in the browser and marks them up with expandable, at-a-glance summary data for that country, like GDP per capita, composite index scores (HDI, MPI, etc.), literacy rate, principal exports and so on. I find myself regularly looking this up on Wikipedia anyway, and figured I’d remove the inconvenience of doing so.
This example probably isn’t that useful for everyone, but it got me wondering what other sets of things could be marked up in the browser in this way. Another example that occurred to me was legislature voting records, where a similar plugin would provide easy visibility of how elected representatives voted on legislation. Again, not useful for everyone, but I could imagine political junkies getting some use out of it.
Such a set of mark-uppable entities would have to be either identifiable by format (like an ISBN) where the data could be fetched from a remote source, or a finite list of a few hundred items (like countries), where the data could be stored locally. What kinds of things would you like this sort of visibility on in the browser? Is there a set of entities you find yourself tiresomely looking up data for over and over again?
(Partly inspired by the Dictionary of Numbers)
Much of what we teach teenagers about human biology is very recently-acquired knowledge, historically speaking. Modern knowledge about the circulatory system, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, vitamin deficiencies, etc. is very far away from the 13th Century, but has practical implications that can still be implemented, like “train your troops at altitude and give your sailors citrus fruit”.
A lot of contemporary ideas about workflows and division of labour are fairly recent developments as well, (there were no assembly lines in the 13th Century), but have been internalised by citizens of the 21st Century.
Who should I talk to in a group? I have a bunch of existing “social senses” for navigating this, but they’re not very reliable. If a clear You-Should-Talk-To-This-Person sense went off whenever I encountered someone appropriate, that would be nice.
I’ve read The Design of Everyday Things. You don’t need to read The Psychology of..., as it’s the same book, renamed for marketing reasons.
Completely off-topic, but do you have a policy for when you emphasise with italics and when you emphasise with bold?
I don’t know how common this is, but with a dual-monitor setup I tend to have one in landscape and one in portrait. The portrait monitor is good for things like documents, or other “long” windows like log files and barfy terminal output. The landscape monitor is good for everything that’s designed to operate in that aspect ratio (like web stuff).
More generally, there’s usually something I’m reading and something I’m working on, and I’ll read from one monitor, while working on whatever is in the other.
At work I make use of four Gnome workspaces: one which has distracting things like email and project management gubbins; one active work-dev workspace; one self-development-dev workspace; and one where I stick all the applications and terminals that I don’t actively need to look at, but won’t run minimised/headlessly for one reason or another.