ciphergoth: (Default)
2018-12-18 06:42 pm

Joining the Tumblr diaspora

I've neglected Dreamwidth, but with the Tumblr diaspora it's emerging as a good place to be - adding it to the rotation of sites I check! *waves*
ciphergoth: (Default)
2015-04-26 12:15 pm

Snoozing TODOs

I manage my personal TODO list with Zendone, while at work I use Google Inbox. For the most part, Zendone is the more sophisticated and capable tool, but there's one thing Inbox has that I dearly miss from Zendone: a snooze button. In Inbox I send an email, then I snooze the conversation for a few days. If I don't get a reply, I can decide what to do when the conversation pops back into my inbox.

In Zendone, I can set dates on items, but it treats them like deadlines. Snooze is the opposite of a deadline: it's not the latest it needs to be done by, it's the earliest it can be done by. What I need is for them to be invisible until their date comes up.

Does anything apart from Inbox support snoozing items?

Update: Zendone say the feature is coming in version 2.0, which has been in the works for a year now.
ciphergoth: (Default)
2015-04-18 05:32 pm

Let's start calling it paternalism.

I’m not one of those who think that paternalism is always wrong. I’m OK with laws that require the use of seat belts, for example; people aren’t too good at weighing up small unavailable risks, the cost of wearing a seat belt is pretty small for nearly everyone, and the rule saves a large number of lives for a fairly small cost in liberty. But I’d like to start calling it what it is; it’s a statement that we know better what is good for people than they do.

Prostitutes prefer it if their clients aren’t arrested. So if you’re going to advocate the “Swedish Model” in the interests of those currently working as prostitutes, please be upfront that what you’re calling for is paternalism. Don’t advocate this model if you’re not prepared to say, in terms, that you think you know what is good for those working as prostitutes better than they do.
ciphergoth: (Default)
2014-10-04 08:58 am

Social media choices

LiveJournal vs Dreamwidth vs Google Plus - go!
ciphergoth: (Default)
2013-10-01 08:28 pm

Device dilemmas

It's time I bought one or more new small glowing rectangles. All of mine are ancient; my contract expires in less than a fortnight and I just got a bonus at work.  I'm definitely going to stick with Android devices. But apart from that, I'm totally at sea on what to buy or how many! Your advice gratefully received.

I use them to:
  • check Twitter, Facebook and RSS
  • look things up online
  • read books (that rectangle doesn't currently glow)
  • read PDFs of scientific papers, books etc
  • make voice memos
  • look at maps
  • make journey plans
  • check bus arrival times
  • occasionally take photos
  • from time to time even make and receive voice calls.
I'd like to use them also to make Skype calls.

One thing I can't work out is whether to buy one device or two. What fits comfortably in a pocket is too small for reading PDFs and smaller than I'd like for many of the other jobs. But with my current collection of ageing devices, I've found setting up a WiFi hotspot every time I want to get one of the other devices online on the move is a right pain; it's slow and cumbersome, and you have to remember to turn it off or you're wondering why your Internet is so slow when you get home, or why it's not working on the Tube platform.  I don't really want the expense of two SIM cards and contracts to go with them if I can help it either!

If such a thing existed, I'd almost be tempted by a 7" phone, but it wouldn't fit in my pocket at all, and though my bag is with me everywhere it's often too far away to have my phone in.  I just tried some PDFs on my slightly broken Galaxy Note 1, and the maths PDF is fine but the philosophy one is awful, very hard to read - in part simply due to the double spacing.

For the price of, say, the Galaxy Note 3, I could get something like a top-of-the-range Nexus 7 and a smaller but fairly high-spec phone.

What should I buy? Thanks!
ciphergoth: (Default)
2013-01-04 01:00 pm

Legal templates

I'm changing my cryonics life insurance provider, and it seems I need a new "absolute trust" document. My IFA has found a lawyer who will draw me one up for £250.

The thing that bugs me is that the last two people who needed them paid £250 each, and the next person who needs one will also pay £250, but the only change is crossing out some names and writing in others. There's nothing in there that tailors it to my personal circumstances or anything like that. But I need their imprimateur if the life insurance company are to accept it, and they charge a lot for that.

Is there a way I can pay a once-off fee to get the proper legal stamp of approval on a template document, which I and other people can then fill in the blanks on and use, with no further charges?
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-11-26 05:17 pm

Mounting a TV to the wall

I bought this wall bracket for this TV. I want to attach it to a brick wall. I'm a bit disturbed by how close together the top and bottom wall fixings are - it seems like it will work hard to pull the top fixings out of the wall. I find myself wanting to somehow attach vertical strips of metal with holes in to the bracket at either end making an H shape, and use the holes at the top and bottom of each strip to attach to the wall. Is this a crazy idea? Where online can I get such a strip of metal, and how would I go about it? Or should I just rawlplug it into the brick wall and not worry about it?
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-07-14 08:33 am

Going to the Bay Area in FIVE DAYS - who should I meet?

I board my flight on Thursday! I'll be at the CfAR minicamp for the first week, then I have a week in the Bay Area, from Sunday 29 July to Sunday 5 August. Do you want to meet up? Do you know someone I should meet? Is there something I should go to in that time? What are your transatlantic travel top tips? Thanks!
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-07-11 01:57 pm


A comment on this post reminds me that I meant to say something about this and never did. I made this post about the Old Testament God a few months ago. It was a copy of a comment from an ongoing discussion between a current believer in the Jewish religion and various former believers. In context, therefore, the focus on problems with Judaism specifically made lots of sense. However, when I yanked it out of context and posted it here, it sounded like something very different, and set lots of people's antisemitism alarms off. It was a mistake for me not to see what a difference taking it out of context would make and I apologise!
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-06-30 10:15 am

Pills puzzle

The following puzzle appears on Futility Closet:

My doctor wants to establish a dosage for a new drug, so he gives me a bottle of 48 pills and tells me to take them throughout the month of June. I can take as many or as few as I like on any given day, so long as I take at least 1 pill each day. Show that there’s a sequence of consecutive days during which I take exactly 11 pills.

You can click through that link for their solution. Here's what I want to know. Spoilers )
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-04-21 08:46 am

Going to the Bay Area in three months!

In the afternoon of Thursday 19th July, I'll be boarding a plane that will ultimately take me to SFO airport. I'll be attending the Center for Modern Rationality minicamp, then staying in the Bay Area with the marvellous [personal profile] shevek for at least some of the time until my flight back in the afternoon of Sunday 5th August. EEEEEEEEEE!

Three days after I return to the UK, I leave for BiCon. I'll be spending two of those days in the office. So I'm going to have to have everything totally lined up for BiCon before I go!

  • Renew passport
  • Sort out forms for the visa waiver program
  • Book post-flight hotel
  • Travel insurance
  • Order a credit card
  • Book for BiCon
  • Plan what I'm wearing for BiCon - find it all now
  • Book hair dye, haircut, leg wax, eyebrow threading appointments before trip
  • Add hold luggage to my flights - do I need to do anything here? Email says "Baggage is 1PC + 7Kg (Hand Baggage)" but Delta's page on checked baggage seems to indicate I get one free 23kg bag...
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-02-21 01:26 pm

Rant I wrote in IM

I never post, so here's a rant written in IM I want to preserve. Edited somewhat.

here's how it seems to me
there's an argument for the singularity that goes like this
"A, B, C, D, and E all seem likely"
"E says that A + B + C + D = Singularity"
and then people say "No, the singularity is rubbish"
and we say "do you disagree with A, B, C, D, or E?"
and they say "You're all a bunch of wild-eyed dreamers"
and we say "Err, so is that C you disagree with?"
and they say "It's religion for geeks, man!"
and we say "Err, but..."
and ... they just DON'T FUCKING ENGAGE AT ALL.
That's why I keep pointing at
it takes the contrapositive, and says "If not singularity, then either ¬A or ¬B or ¬C or ¬D or ¬E"
No-one said "oh wait, you forgot F"
but none of ¬A or ¬B or ¬C or ¬D or ¬E got a lot of support.

I am willing to accept that this misrepresents singularity critics horribly - you certainly don't all call us names for example! But I hope the broad form of my frustration is clear and if I'm confused I hope it makes it easier for you to clear up my confusion :-)
ciphergoth: (Default)
2012-02-11 08:36 am


My Valentinr - ciphergoth

I ignored all these because I hadn't set one up. Now I have one, I'm worried about all the ones I missed. What if they've all sent me mutual love notes, and I never receive them because I didn't click at the time? I encourage you all to re-link to your Valentinr entries this weekend to be on the safe side :-)
ciphergoth: (Default)
2011-10-24 07:22 pm

Phone buying advice

The time is coming for [ profile] lovelybug to get a new Android mobile phone. My feeling is that it should be at least the same resolution as my HTC Desire (ie 480x800), and should be able to be a USB host - ie it should be possible to connect things like digital cameras to it and copy off the photos. Apart from that the most important consideration is cost, though a better battery life would be nice.

Any recommendations? Should we get a phone with a contract, or buy the phone separately and get eg this £10/month deal from 3?


Update: damn, very sorry to hear the USB host thing isn't going to work :-(
ciphergoth: (Default)
2011-10-21 01:22 pm


As many of you know, I'm part of a website whose purpose is to discuss how to think and make decisions more rationally; we also meet face-to-face. Leaving aside the specific characteristics of that website and group, what's your immediate reaction to the whole idea of a group for discussing how to be more rational?

(edited to make clear that it's at least in part how the idea makes you feel that I'm interested in!)
ciphergoth: (Default)
2011-10-17 11:15 am

What will happen to the newspapers?

Newspapers everywhere are finding it progressively harder to make any money, and their future is in doubt. Lots of people have opinions on what should happen next, or what newspapers should do. I'm interested in a different question here - leaving aside all normative discussion of what we might like or not like, what do people think is actually going to happen?
ciphergoth: (Default)
2011-10-06 08:24 am

Do men make the first move?

Reading this fascinating comment thread on Greta Christina's blog:
What counts as “the first move”?
Fair question. I would say “the first overt, unambiguous, verbal move.” I.e., asking someone out, or otherwise making a move that can’t be interpreted as anything other than a move, and that requires an overt response. (The point being that if you toss your hair at someone and they ignore you, you can save face and pretend you weren’t making a first move — but if you say, “Would you like to go out with me?”, that’s not possible, and you have to accept the possibility and indeed the likelihood of overt rejection.)
The stories told there seem somewhat American, even when they're from the pansexual, BDSM Bay Area. How does it work in our community, when a man and a woman hook up?
ciphergoth: (Default)
2011-09-15 04:56 pm

(no subject)

You have reached the in-progress mark of this story,
which is still being written.

Signing up for fanfiction dot net will enable you to add an email Story Alert,
or see the profile page (where it says "Less Wrong" at the top)
for fan-maintained RSS feed, Twitter feed, iPhone app, Facebook page,
and other means of being notified when the story updates.

Please don't forget to tell your friends,
tweet, blog, favorite, like, etc. this story,
without which you yourself would not have heard of it.

And for much more to feed your hungry mind,
the profile page is your friend.

Unless you are eighteen hours past your bedtime,
in which case GO TO SLEEP.

-- from then last page of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality