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German EA landing page

26 Aug 2015

There is now a German translation of the EA landing page. It lives at www.effektiver-altruismus.de. Share it with all your German friends!

LessWrong Community Weekend 2015

29 Jun 2015

[Kinda sappy and emotional in parts. Being posted sort of a long time after the event. Not totally happy with the way this post turned out, but, you know, better finished and mediocre than perfect and imaginary, or something. Epistemic state: I deleted a lot of “as far as I can tell”s. Just pretend like every sentence ends with those words, and please do tell me if I’m wrong about anything.]

I attended this year’s European LessWrong Community Weekend. The initial draft of this post began thus:

This is the event report I did not want to write and you do not want to read.

I decided I didn’t like this approach. During the Weekend, people always said, “make it your own.” So let’s do that instead.

This is a collection of things I learned while I was in Berlin.

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LaTeX

Created: 02 Jun 2015

Modified: 13 Mar 2016

I have helped typeset three theses and many shorter documents in LaTeX and I realized that I find myself googling the same things over and over again. Therefore I decided to collect all the problems I have solved so far on this page. At the bottom there is a list of unsolved problems. The reader is invited to give me advice in the comments.

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Observations

27 May 2015

Observations:

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How not to design a watch

17 May 2015

[This gets kinda rant-y. Don’t worry though, it’s not about the Watch.]

I found it irritating that I had to adjust the time on my wristwatch twice every year because of DST, so I bought a radio controlled watch that would do this automatically, and it’s working fantastically: Now I don’t even notice when DST starts or ends. Except when I stop and ask myself why I’m feeling so tired all of a sudden – but that’s beside the point. Here’s the thing:

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Experience Poverty

19 Apr 2015

Reaching the goal is not an action

29 Mar 2015

[This was difficult to write in a way that makes sense to someone who doesn’t live inside my brain and I don’t know if I succeeded. I’d be curious to know if this makes any sense at all to anyone who is not me.]

Nate Soares writes

When I have a big problem that I want solved, I have found that there is one simple process which tends to work. It goes like this:

  1. Move towards the goal.

What I’m about to write is kind of part of what his post is about, but it adds a layer of framing that has allowed me to feel virtually no anxiety about the future for almost a week now, which is extremely unusual for me. I wanted to share my thoughts in case anyone finds them useful.

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I have an excellent awkwardness memory

22 Mar 2015

People always tell me not to worry so much about seeming awkward in social situations. Like, “oh, nobody is ever going to remember you being weird or stuttery or that time where you didn’t know what to say, or said something wrong, or mispronounced something. They’re all just as caught up with thinking about their own awkwardness that they don’t even notice you’re being weird as well.”

And then I think, that makes sense, because I do spend a lot of time worrying about how I myself come across. And it’s good to keep in mind that other people probably do the same, because I tend to forget that other people are human as well and have emotions and issues themselves. (I think this is like a reverse typical mind fallacy. Does that already exist? If it doesn’t, we could call it the atypical mind fallacy.)

But when I think about it more, I realize that I am exceedingly good at detecting when other people might feel awkward – or, rather, when other people are in situations where I would feel awkward. And I always remember that. You know, that time when you were asked something by the teacher and you didn’t know the answer and looked really shameful and started blushing furiously and tried to force some words out, but you just didn’t know which ones and you were probably thinking, “Fuck, I should know this!” Or that time you were talking to a person at a party and you heard something wrong and replied something weird; chances are, I’ll obsess about your situations just as much as I would if it’d been me in the situation. And I’ll spend hours thinking what could you have done differently to avoid this?

So now I’m wondering: Is this whole “nobody notices/remembers how awkward you are”-thing all a big lie that therapists tell to calm me down, or do I just have an especially good awkwardness memory?