119 karmaJoined Nov 2015



    Strong agree with Nathan. This is a completely valid use of an anonymous account. I'm glad that you shared. I hope that the answers and support offered here will help you on your path.

    Good work. One disagreement:

    I assume that if this PPE was developed, it would “catch on”, in the sense that governments would stockpile sufficient quantities and/or commercial producers would be prepared to scale up production sufficiently quickly for this PPE to be effective in a pandemic.

    It's very optimistic to assume governments would behave so competently and rationally.

    In a more detailed version of the plan it would be good to see strategies for promoting and lobbying.

    Upvoted: you're pointing to an important tension (truth-telling vs inclusiveness).

    However I don't believe this requires the movement to split. There are more and less skilful ways to tell the truth and there are more and less skilful ways to be inclusive.

    Both are important to our mission. We can continue to improve at both.

    We can't simply aim to maximise one or the other, though. E.g. Even if someone valued truth-telling above all else, a lack of inclusiveness would keep the movement small, controversial and marginalised.

    This post with its comments is a valuable discussion.

    The post on its own with its lack of cautions and provisos is potentially harmful to many readers, and high upvotes may lead readers to trust it too much. Strong downvote for these reasons.

    I wouldn't want anyone to have the impression that Kathy wasn't given extensive support, or that she wasn't offered appropriate help. She definitely was, repeatedly and over a long period of time.

    Could more effective help have been given? I honestly don't know, but it was well beyond my ability and capacity at the time.

    It was a painful and heartbreaking situation. I think that's as much as I can say publicly.

    For the record, I knew Kathy for several years, initially through a local Less Wrong community, and considered her a friend for some time. I endorse Scott's assessment, but I'll emphasise that I think she believed the accusations she made.

    Relevant to this post: Many people tried to help Kathy, from 3 groups that I'm aware of. People gave a lot of time and energy. Speaking for myself and what I observed in our local community, I believe we prioritised helping her over protecting our community and over our own wellbeing.

    In the end things went poorly on all three, for the community, other individuals and especially for Kathy. But it wasn't for lack of caring.

    If something similar happened today, we would have much more support, through the EA community health team. (I was more involved in LW at the time, and wasn't aware of support available through EA. The team might not have existed yet in a formal capacity.)

    I don't take Kathy's letter at face value. However I'm glad to see Julia's comment confirming that Kathy's accusations were investigated (I would expect no less) and in one case acted upon.

    As for the analytical vs emotional – it's hard to express my emotions around this in written words. And especially hard to do so without saying more than I think is appropriate.

    (This is the first public comment I've made on this subject. I only make it because it's understandably still an issue of concern, and few people have much context for it.)

    Perhaps these posts could start with a note on "assumed context", similar to the "epistemic status" notes.

    (A downside might be if it discourages someone from reading a post that they actually would have got value from, even if they didn't understand everything. So the choice of wording would be important.)

    It's worth noting that being outside in sunshine gives much more intense light exposure than any mainstream SAD treatment. (My personal experience is that it can give a large boost in alertness, and probably helps my sleep significantly. But I'm in Sydney – I can't speak for northern Europe or Canada.)

    5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, which is a precursor to melatonin. I imagine that this would have a much slower and less predictable effect, less suitable for helping to go to sleep in a particular time range.

    I share the concerns about possible overuse of melatonin, though I've found out helpful at times. I try to adjust light exposure (morning and night) as a higher priority than melatonin.

    I may also go back to using low dose melatonin, though, as it's been helpful in the past and may be needed in modern technological society.

    My favourite is Ten Percent Happier – it's very accessible and it has a lot of meditations and teachings by Joseph Goldstein, who also appears in the lectures in Waking Up. I've also found some value from Sam Harris's meditations, especially the early ones he released long before the app. Ten Percent Happier don't have the free option AFAIK, but they do have an 8-part free intro. And they have significant discounts at times through the year.

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