michaelchen

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On Sleep Procrastination: Going To Bed At A Reasonable Hour

Some things I do:

  • Set my computer to automatically shutdown at certain times, such as 12:10am, 12:30am, and 1am. I chose the time of 12:10am because assignments are generally due at 11:59pm, so there's no need to stay up later. Since I'm using Windows, I can do this with Task Scheduler: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-schedule-a-windows-10-shutdown-for-a-specific-date-and-time/
  • Set an alarm on my computer at 12am to remind me that my computer is going to shut down soon. This alarm plays only when the computer is awake (i.e., when I might be using the computer).
  • On my iPad and Android, I use website blockers (1Blocker Legacy for iPad, LeechBlock in Firefox for Android) to block any sites except a handful of sites on a whitelist. I don't have any other apps like YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, etc. where I could get sucked down an infinite rabbit hole. So then all I have left to do is reading some boring PDFs of textbooks.
Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

I think this point from the Black VegFest 7 points of allyship (for the white vegan community) is reasonably straightforward:

White vegans/ARs will respect the sanctity of Black space and will not enter unless their presence is necessary. Black space is for the growth and betterment of Black people. Allyship and being accomplices begins with white people learning to respect Black space.

My understanding is that there can be spaces for only Black people to discuss, though white people can participate if necessary (presumably, if they are invited). Part of allyship is allowing for these spaces to exist.

That said, I’m still very confused by the second sentence of this quote:

There is no such thing as an equal playing field under white supremacist imperialist capitalist patriarchy. In the current system, white people have the power to usurp anything Black lives create simply by being white.

EDIT: oh okay the last one makes slightly more sense in context:

Recognize that where and how you live and work affects everything around you. There is no such thing as an equal playing field under white supremacist imperialist capitalist patriarchy . In the current system, white people have the power to usurp anything Black lives create simply by being white. White people deny loans to Black people in neighborhoods they ignore and in neighborhoods they take over. The tiny loans white people do offer Black businesses are often predatory and insufficient and still create a dependency on whiteness to be kind or agreeable. This is all Redlining. It continues today despite being made illegal in 1968. White people deny grants to us and redistribute them to large 100 year-old white organizations due to the grandfathering of a racist system that has modified its tone but not changed its actions. When the excuse is not financial stability, small white organizations who seemingly appear out of nowhere “win” resources because they knew someone white.

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

I found this post to be quite refreshing compared to the previous one criticizing Effective Altruism Munich for uninviting Robin Hanson to speak. I’m not against “cancel culture” when it’s cancelling speakers for particularly offensive statements they’ve made in the past (e.g., Robin Hanson in my opinion, but let’s not discuss Robin Hanson much further since that’s not the topic of this post). Sometimes though, cancelling happens in response to fairly innocuous statements, and it looks like that’s what ACE has done with the CARE incident.

EA Debate Championship & Lecture Series

Sure, debate may involve a lot of techniques that are counterproductive to truth-seeking, and I wouldn't want people to write on the EA Forum like it's a debate, for example. However, I think there are many places where it would help to be able to convey more convincing arguments even if being more convincing doesn't improve truth-seeking—speaking with non-EAs about EA, for example.

EA Debate Championship & Lecture Series

Are there recordings of the debates? I'd be interested in watching them.

EA for Jews - Proposal and Request for Comment

If necessary, it might be good to frame the arguments from religious texts as connecting with traditional Jewish thought, not in a way that demands a belief (or lack of belief) in the literal accuracy of the Talmud—basically what (my understanding of) Reform Judaism does. It might be good to intersperse religious arguments with secular arguments as well.

Contact with reality

Out there, though, you can meet real people, with their own rich and complex lives; you can make real friends, and be part of real relationships, communities, and institutions. You can wander cities with real history; you can hear stories about things that really happened, and tell them; you can stand under real skies, and feel the heat of a real sun. People out there are doing real science, and discovering real things. They’re barely beginning to understand the story they’re a part of, but they can understand. You can understand, too; you can be a part of that story, too. No one knows, yet, what’s going to happen.

This is beautifully written, and it helps me feel more appreciative of our world. I think I'd still prefer the experience machine in this scenario though, just due to the hedonic difference.

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