With plant-free diets, where does one get their vitamin C? Lots of raw meat? Supplements?
Nutrition is one of those cases where perfect is the enemy of good. I mean, if you have sufficient education and enough time, go ahead, research everything, and create the perfect diet for you. But otherwise, your only choices are: using a few heuristics, or giving up. (Note that “I will research this topic later, and meanwhile I will continue eating junk food” is also a form of giving up. The “later” usually never happens.)
In the past, when I asked people what is “healthy nutrition”, there were two kinds of unhelpful advice:
a) an incredibly complicated theory, that would require me to spend a few weeks or months studying, and afterwards measuring and analyzing everything I eat and calculating how many calories and vitamins it had;
b) a list of “forbidden foods” which contained pretty much everything I could think of, except for fruits and vegetables (actually, if I remember correctly, even bananas were bad somehow; also potatoes).
It also doesn’t help that different people have contradictory theories, e.g. meat, eggs, and diary are either very important to eat, or very important to avoid. More precisely, the best form of meat is fish. Except you shouldn’t eat fish, because they are full of deadly mercury. Also, you should eat less to avoid obesity, but you need to eat enough to have enough nutrients. (It is even easier to lose weight if you exercise a lot; but if you exercise seriously, it is even more important to eat enough nutrients.) As a feedback, you should measure your BMI; except that BMI is completely misleading, because it doesn’t distinguish between fat (bad) and muscles (good).
(And if you happen to be a woman, it is even more socially important to lose weight, but at the same time getting rid of too much fat will damage your metabolism, because some female hormones need certain amounts of fat to function properly. Also, you probably don’t want to get rid of your boobs, which are mostly fat.)
Well… thanks for the helpful advice, I guess. /s
Eat plenty of vegetables.
Notice that this is one of the few things the contradictory nutrition theories all happen to agree about. Vegetables are important in both paleo and vegan diets.
I would also recommend fruit. Unlike vegetables, fruit is usually not a part of a meal… so the simple solution is to eat it between large meals.
My favorite heuristic is Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen (available also as Android app).
I agree with most of the text, however...
For [efficient market hypothesis] to be true, every trader must have access to all relevant information at all times, react instantaneously to changes and make decisions completely rationally.
...this is unnecessarily strong assumption. It is only sufficient that for every publicly traded thing there are enough traders (with enough money) who act upon the supposedly perfect information.
If the market price is balanced, a random person won’t throw it out of balance by selling a few pieces incredibly cheaply (or buying a few pieces incredibly expensively). The wiser players will buy (or sell) the few pieces, and the original price will be soon restored.
Well, it is not a “Bayesian way” to take a random controversial statement and say “the priors are 50% it’s true, and 50% it’s false”.
(That would be true only if you had zero knowledge about… anything related to the statement. Or if the knowledge would be so precisely balanced the sum of the evidence would be exactly zero.)
But the factual wrongness is only a partial answer. The other part is more difficult to articulate, but it’s something like… if someone uses “your keywords” to argue a complete nonsense, that kinda implies that you are expected to be so stupid that you would accept the nonsense as long as it is accompanied with the proper keywords… which is quite offensive.
When I bought my current place, I learned that “partial reconstruction” means last-minute changes that look pretty when you are inspecting the place, but start falling apart when you actually use it for a few months. Still, the position in the center of the city and the area in square meters remain the same; and those make about 80% of the value.
With funds, the real deal being 80% of what I was promised, would be much better than I ever got.
Speaking from my “N = 1” perspective: Yes, there is the disadvantage that if something bad happens, e.g. some idiots win the election and decide that my country leaves EU, the value of my lifetime savings could drop dramatically overnight. Same thing if there is e.g. a terrorist attack and my lifetime savings become a cloud of smoke and a heap of rubble, in even shorter time interval.
However, if the above described things do not happen, then I live in a middle of a city with job opportunities left and right (since I have moved here my commute means walking on feet), and I am a boss of what happens inside my place. New buildings growing around me increase the value of my property (it makes my place closer to even more job opportunities), while inflation reduces my mortgage payments to peanuts. The rent collected from the other place I own (where I lived previously) increases. At this very moment the rent I collect from one place (much smaller and further away from the city center) equals the mortgage payment at the other place, so this cancels out; I am looking forward to the surplus in the future.
I am not saying this is a proof that owning the place is better. As Moses said, this is a different risk profile; different advantages, different disadvantages, different probability distribution. I am just saying that from inside, for me, having invested in buying my place feels good. I do not regret not renting my place in the past instead.
In theory, the parallel-universe me could have rented the places, and invested the extra money instead. In practice, I shiver when I imagine what kind of investment the 15 years younger me would have made. Because my 15 years younger me actually had some extra money, invested them, and the money just evaporated. In my defense, it was before I ever heard about passively managed index funds. I live in a post-communist country, where people do not know how to handle having extra money, because in the past this kind of problem simply did not exist. All financial advice you can get here, is scam, regardless of the source (the bank I have money in regularly offers me “opportunities” that are obvious shit). Today I understand this; 15 years ago I didn’t. I am really happy that I bought my first place instead. This lesson may not generalize for you; but I think that investing in your place can make sense for people who are not financial experts, because the situation is relatively more legible. (Unlike with various funds, a scammer just cannot sell you a cardboard house pretending it was build from concrete; and the house you bought won’t keep changing its shape and address during the next years.)
I imagine that Susan’s position is complicated, because in the social justice framework, in most interactions she is considered the less-privileged one, and then suddenly in a few of them she becomes the more-privileged one. And in different positions, different behavior is expected. Which, I suppose, is emotionally difficult, even if intellectually the person accepts the idea of intersectionality.
If in most situations, using tears is the winning strategy, it will be difficult to avoid crying when it suddenly becomes inappropriate for reasons invisible to her System 1. (Ironically, the less racist she is, the less likely she will notice “oops, this is a non-white person talking to me, I need to react differently”.)
Here a white man would have the situation easier, because his expected reaction on Monday is the same as his expected reaction on Tuesday, so he can use one behavior consistently.
I think it also depends on what model of morality you subscribe to.
In the consequentialist framework, there is a best action in the set of your possible actions, and that’s what you should do. (Though we may argue that no person chooses the best action consistently all the time, and thus we are all bad.)
In the deontologist framework, sometimes all your possible actions either break some rule, or neglect some duty, if you get into a bad situation where the only possible way to fulfill a duty is to break a rule. (Here it is possible to turn all duties up to 11, so it becomes impossible for everyone to fulfill them.)
Seems to me that many advices or points of view can be helpful when used in a certain way, and harmful when used in a different way. The idea “I am already infinitely bad” is helpful when it removes the need to protect one’s ego, but it can also make a person stop trying to improve.
The effect is similar with the idea of “heroic responsibility”; it can help you overcome some learned helplessness, or it can make you feel guilty for all the evils in the world you are not fixing right now. Also, it can be abused by other people as an excuse for their behavior (“what do you mean by saying I hurt you by doing this and that? take some heroic responsibility for your own well-being, and stop making excuses!”).
Less directly related: Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People (how good advice about avoiding biases can be used to actually defend them), plus there is a quote I can’t find now about how “doubting you math skills and checking your homework twice” can be helpful, but “doubting your math skills so much that you won’t even attempt to do your homework” is harmful.
An intelligent and self-reflecting person will realize that luck plays an important role in their success. It’s just, if they do not expect this to be the general rule, they will feel guilty about luck playing a role in their success.
If luck does not play a role in your success, it means you remain completely within your comfort zone, and you could on average profit by doing something more difficult, where let’s say your chances to succeed are only 80%, but the potential profit is double. As a side effect, this will also provide an opportunity to learn more.
(So I am talking about two things here: The fact that the more difficult job allowed you to learn more, that is a result of your good strategy. But the fact that had enough time in the more difficult job to learn more, before a problem happened you would be unable to solve, that part was luck. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, but first you need the luck to avoid getting killed.)
This is a disturbing line of thought, and… while I think this is not a complete explanation, it feels like it explains a lot.
The word “incompetent” does a lot of heavy lifting here, though. What exactly it means in this context? Do we play motte and bailey with meanings “a complete retard, making random decisions” and “less awesome than Elon Musk”?
Because if we assume that people are complete retards, then the market selection is not strong enough to explain what keeps the lights on. (Mathematically speaking, there are much more possibilities to screw up things, than the number of companies trying to provide electric power.)
So I guess the correct interpretation is that people are sort of competent, but the selection effect allows (some of) them to achieve more than their personal competence alone would predict. A complete retards would ruin any company, but if you find people who have a 10% chance of keeping the company running… then you simply need dozens of them in dozens of companies, and some of the companies will survive. But because the situation changes, the survival dice will be rolled again later, and the person who kept the company running yesterday may fail to keep it running today.
EDIT: This interpretation also fits the “low hanging fruit” hypothesis: For simple types of companies, you can find people who have a 10% chance to keep them running. For difficult types of companies, you can only find people who have a 1% chance. But if there is enough money, enough people will try it, and some of these companies will survive, too. Their life expectancy will be much shorter, though.
It could even provide an answer to Eliezer’s post about competent elites: similarly to Peter Principle, if you are a super-competent person whose chance to keep the company running is not the usual 10%, but rather 50%, it is more profitable for you to actually try running a more complex company (where you have the 10% chance, and anyone else has 1%) instead. So it is true that more competent people end up in more complex companies, and at the same time, people end up in positions that exceed their personal competence.
Yup, similar with my child. Maybe the first time the question is motivated by actual curiosity, but the following 99 repetitions of the same question have to be motivated by something else.
Most questions I get are repetitions of something that was already asked and already answered, and the child actually remembers the answer.
Yeah, the more I know about how some things work, the more I am surprised that anything at all works.
Maybe we are so insanely productive, that even with 99% of human output wasted, the remaining 1% is enough to keep the lights on? But then, how wonderful could the world be if we could somehow use 10% of the output instead?
But more likely, it is something like the individuals believing all kinds of bullshit in far mode, but acting rather reasonable in near mode. There are all kinds of incompetence at places where incompetence does not mean immediate disaster; but when the dangers become imminent, someone will use their common sense (and perhaps work overtime) to do the right thing, and to prevent the lights from going out. Well, most of the time; because sometimes the last moment will be already too late to prevent the things from blowing up.
Or perhaps human work is mostly repetition, and you don’t need highly competent people to do the same thing they did yesterday. Only once in a while circumstances change enough that someone has to work overtime and/or things blow up.
Assumption: Most people are not truthseeking.
Therefore, a rational truthseeking person’s priors would still be that the person they are debating with is optimizing for something else, such as creating an alliance, or competing for status.
Collaborative truthseeking would then be what happens where all participants trust each other to care about truth. That not only each of them cares about truth privately, but that this value is also common knowledge.
If I believe that the other person genuinely cares about truth, then I will take their arguments more seriously, and if I am surprised, I will be more likely to ask for more info.
Many people grow up learning how to go through the motions of a skill without understanding why it works, and that makes it harder for them to use it effectively, to adapt their skill to different contexts, and to learn other similar skills.
In mathematics, you address this problem by having students solve problems with different numbers, throwing in some irrelevant numbers, etc.
In programming, you give people a small task to code.
Could this be somehow generalized? I suppose the problem is that in many situations, running an experiment would be long and costly, and the outcome would more depend on random noise.
From my perspective, this style means that although I feel pretty sure that you made a relatively simple mistake somewhere, I am unable to explain it, because the text is just too hard to work with.
I’d say this style works fine for some purposes, but “finding the truth” isn’t one of them. (The same is probably true about the continental philosophy in general.)
My guess is that you use words “value drift” to mean many other things, such as “extrapolation of your values as you learn”, “changes in priorities”, etc.
As a synthesis of points 1 and 4: it is both the incentives and you. The incentives explain why the game is so bad, but you have to ask yourself why you still keep playing it.
A researcher with more personal integrity would avoid the temptation/pressure to do sloppy science… and perhaps lose the job as a result. The sloppy science itself would remain, only done by someone else.
My point is that it is a bit suspect (granted, this is just intuitive) that so simple and distinct a 2d geometrical form as an ellipse, is actually for us humans front and center in phenomena including the movement of heavenly bodies.
Coincidentally, some complex mathematical things are also related to the movement of heavenly bodies. So I’d say humans are good both at noticing simplicity and noticing complexity.
In my view nothing describes the actual universe, but there are many possible (species-dependent) translations of the universe.
Well, here is the point where we disagree. In my view, equations for e.g. gravity or quantum physics are given by nature. Different species may use different syntax to describe them, but the freedom to do so would be quite limited.
Recall how even Kepler was originally regarding the ellipsis as way too easy and convenient a form to account for movement in space, and was considering complicated arrangements of the platonic solids :)
The fact that Kepler tried to have it one way, but it turned out to be other way, is an evidence for “the universe having its own mind about the equations”, isn’t it?
Of course an alternative explanation is that the scientists—mostly men, at least in history—unconsciously prefer shapes that remind them of boobs.
Some of what you describe (specifically when you mentioned theory of mind) seems to me like the asperger syndrome.