Progress Report: Mar 1st, 2013

8,000 words into either Ch. 88, or Ch. 88-89, depending on whether I decide to agglomerate or divide them.  Almost done with those two chapters which do not form a complete arc and no you do not want me to just post them, trust me on this.

The new website of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute is up at

Metamed is a medical startup by some highly rational friends of mine:  Instead of just having “evidence-based medicine” in journals they will provide you with actual evidence-based healthcare.  If you have a sufficiently serious problem and can afford their service, they will (a) put someone on reading the relevant research literature who understands real statistics and can tell whether the paper is trustworthy (yes, a lot of the p-values out there are complete garbage); and (b) refer you to a cooperative doctor in their network who can carry out the therapies they find.  This is a new service and it has to interact with the existing medical system, so they are currently expensive, starting at $5,000 for a research report.  (Keeping in mind that a basic report involves a lot of work by people who are good with math and computers.)  This seems well worth it if you can afford it:  There are amazing things out there, in the scientific literature, that most doctors have never heard of – and Metamed will find them for you and find you a doctor who can implement them.  (The startup was partially inspired by the case of a woman who had her fingertip chopped off, was told by the hospital that she was screwed, and then read through an awful lot of literature on her own until she found someone working on an advanced regenerative therapy that let her actually grow the fingertip back.  Basically, Metamed will find this sort of thing for you if it exists, and you would be surprised how often it does.)

If you know somebody who’s sick and can afford it – especially if the standard healthcare system has failed them, and they want their next step to be better science instead of ‘alternative medicine’ – please do refer them to Metamed immediately.  We can’t all have nice things like this someday unless somebody pays for it while it’s still new and expensive.

On the lighter side, I recommend the recursive fanfic “Friendship is Optimal: Caelum est Conterrens” (Heaven Is Terrifying).  This is the first and only effective horror novel I have ever read, since unlike Lovecraft, it contains things I actually find scary.  You may or may not need to first read My Little Pony: Friendship is Optimal.  I would recommend reading FiO first to get acquainted with the Optimalverse, but Caelum est Conterrens was written by a much more experienced fanfic writer and you might consider moving onto Conterrens directly if Optimal isn’t doing it for you.  Also, you have no idea how hard it is not to write my own take on the Optimalverse, which is something I’m not doing so I can put all my available writing energies into Methods.  I want relationship credit for this.

The next Progress Report will be posted on April 1st, 2013 at 10PM Pacific Time.