Wiki Contributions


Guzey substantially retracted this a year later. I think it would be great to publish both together as a case study of self-experimentation, but would be against publishing this on its own. 

Get minimum possible sustainable amount of sleep -> get enough sleep to have maximum energy during the day

Sleep makes me angry. I mean, why on Earth do I have to spend hours every day lying around unconscious?????????

In 2019, trying to learn about the science behind sleep I read Why We Sleep and got so angry at it for being essentially pseudoscience that I spent >100 hours debunking it. In 2020, I slept 4 h/day for 2 weeks and shown that this didn’t make me dumber (not recommended, it was terrible). In 2022, I published Theses on Sleep, with points like “Experiencing sleepiness is normal and does not necessarily imply that you are undersleeping. Never being sleepy means you are probably sleeping too much.”

What I changed my mind about

1. There’s no good medical reason to sleep more than the minimum you can sustain.

Not this one! Fight me.

2. I can sleep 4h/day, so 6h/day must be easy.

It turns out that sleeping 6h/day is hard… I have to track sleep & adjust for every party I go to, deadline, travel; worry about sleepiness during boring meetings/tasks; etc.

3. It’s fine to sometimes be sleepy.

I tried Adderall and it made me more awake than ever before. I noticed that this made me want to do stuff more, pay more attention, be more intentional, think quicker, have more ideas, and remember more. Conversely, I started to notice that being sleepy has the exact opposite effect.

Therefore, I realized that it’s very important to be as awake as possible and that my model of sleepiness where you can be “awake”, “sleepy” and “asleep” is dumb.

4. I don’t have another 10h/week to spend being dead.

Come on 2022 Alexey, you definitely lose >10h/week to just random bullshit. Ahem, CS:GO.

5. Many impressive people sleep 5-6h (Elon, Napoleon, Thatcher), so I can too.

Sure. And many others (Bezos, Zuck, Isaak Freeman) sleep 7-8h.

What I do now

  1. I default to sleeping 2300-0600. I do my best to always wake up at the same time because I wake up 10-15m before the alarm if I do this for several days in a row.
  2. I don’t worry about sleeping 3-4h occasionally. I’m actually writing this at 4am after <3 hours of sleep. But I avoid doing this often because it messes up my schedule.

I am still fascinated by how people are so sure they are right on this issue, in opposite directions

5 posts in 5 hours is way too many. People will be much more generous if you space things out or put them on shortform. I've never discussed this with anyone else, but if I was going to make up a number it would be no more than two posts per month unless they're getting fantastic karma, and and avoid having two posts above the fold at the same time.  

My sink is way emptier when my todo list item is "do a single dish" than "do all the dishes"

I tragically linked to the wrong place, you can find the form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/14pMLroudQ961GHvhl8UpC15nCW9bWdSrEOMpcwwEY4I/edit

I'm really surprised to hear you say this (ignoring update since I'm focusing on a different aspect). My sense was you didn't think much of most social norms, and I would have predicted you'd see being gay in the 1950s as admirable independence from stupid social conventions. 

In the next post I’ll do a wider but shallower review of other instances of EA being hurt by a lack of epistemic immune system. I already have a long list, but it’s not too late for you to share your examples


I wrote this two months ago, and people could fairly be asking “so where is it then?”. I especially worry that I broke something of a promise to vegan advocacy that they were a transitory step in criticizing something larger.

When I published this, I had a lot of the planned next post already written. A few things happened that slowed me down, but the bigger problem is that the laundry list post never felt right. It was always covering too much, too fast. For the time being I’ve been publishing targeted criticisms bit by by on EAForum quick takes (as well as some non-public stuff). I haven’t cross-posted to LessWrong because I didn’t want my LW wall overrun with deeply in the weeds criticism of EA. But if you are interested, or just want to verify I haven’t dropped the topic, you can check out my quick takes and posts on EAF.

It's good for EA orgs to pay well

Data point (not RCTs, more vulnerable to placebo):

  • Theanine before bed -> wake up fewer times over night (previously a big problem for me, now pretty minor, theanine is only one reason of several)
  • Theanine before stressful appointments -> noticeably more chill at appointments (but not as good as Halcion)
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