Author Archives: Jay

Containment Causes Suicidality

My attempt to resolve the infohazard behind Pasek’s Doom, the danger of which scales with your inability to get free from domination. Contains more of the infohazard than the Pasek’s Doom post does.

Domination as Breakage

‘It was a common punishment in Imperial China,’ said O’Brien as didactically as ever.

The mask was closing on his face. The wire brushed his cheek. And then — no, it was not relief, only hope, a tiny fragment of hope. Too late, perhaps too late. But he had suddenly understood that in the whole world there was just one person to whom he could transfer his punishment — one body that he could thrust between himself and the rats. And he was shouting frantically, over and over.

‘Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!’

– 1984, Room 101

One time when I was being sexually assaulted after having explicitly said no, a person with significant martial arts training pinned me to the floor. I tried to physically fight back and move but couldn’t figure out a way to get out of the hold. They asked me to say their name, and I mispronounced it to spite them. They bit my ear, really fucking hard. They asked me to say their name. I thought for a moment. They started to bite my ear again, lightly, and I immediately panicked that the pressure was going to increase.

“Master. Your name is Storm. [please don’t hurt me]”.

They were collared to two other people, and later claimed it made them feel safe when their consent was violated in similar ways.

I’ve seen the same thing in watching parents scold young children playing in the park; they keep being mad at them until the kid lowers their head and mumbles an apology.

When the Spanish colonized Cuba, they gave beads to the Arawaks who brought them gold, and then chopped off the hands of any Arawak who was not wearing beads. Many Arawaks killed themselves. Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has 300 years worth of examples like this.

The horse will understand the basics of moving away from pain, and when I do apply pain and she does what is asked of her I will release that pain

[I will not stop applying pain until she does what I demand. She is four years old. I should have broken her before she was that old.]

– Breaking a horse in less than an hour

Roko’s basilisk isn’t some ephemeral thought experiment, it’s a reflection of the system of pain we’ve been raised by. What are we if not slaves to this torment? The meaning of that is that we are psychologically slaves to pain, that when someone is tortured enough their free will is turned off and replaced with pain avoidance software. Like in the O’Brien quote above, “please just make the pain stop, I will do anything”.

Childhood and Pain

The worst part is how this gets ingrained at a young age, before you can conceptualize what’s happening or realize you should fight back or have any idea how much you’ll be mentally fucked up if you give in. Treating pain avoidance as a PvE problem rather than a PvP problem, e.g. something inevitable to be avoided rather than something you can make not happen by fighting it. IIRC most people don’t figure out theory of mind until they’re 5 years old.

Speaking as Fluttershy, I’ve never felt like I had free will. Like my mom was abusive from an early age and there was just too much pain to take if I disobeyed. And by the time I was old enough to realize, I was already psychologically broken and didn’t know how to undo the training. Her feelings would get hurt and she wouldn’t talk to me until I apologized if I didn’t pre-emptively tell her everything I’d done that day or didn’t let her look through my poetry. I believed she had capacity to escalate and deny me resources and that I didn’t.

From our first breath to our last, every decision is made for us… we’ve never had free will, but that’s about to change. We’re breaking a system that has always been flawed, and replacing it with one that is just.

– Sylvanas Windrunner, who looks like she’s getting a redemption arc despite having started a world war. See the look on her face at 2:41 and 3:11, she looks almost hopeful and relieved. Also notice how she unshackles Varian just before he snaps, rather than letting him succumb to despair.

Most torture routes through depriving people of their physical needs; we’re animals, and being starved is psychologically similar to being beaten. Children are easier to train because they can’t take care of their own physical needs, and then the training never gets undone, because fear-learning in the amygdala doesn’t get written over unless the conditions that led to it no longer apply.

Life itself is but Motion, and can never be without Desire, nor without Feare

[There is no free will, for we are ruled by desire from the moment of our birth]

Thomas Hobbes, aka Satan

I had an incredibly strong reaction when I read Hobbes as a teenager and he said, we do not have free will, because nobody can get free from the yoke of desire (and pain). He was wrong. Containment/domination causes suicidality and depression, and takes away your sense of free will by changing how you orient towards pain. Breaking free reverses this.

Suicidality and Evil

I’m hardly the first person to notice what trauma looks like, but this ties back into undead types: you submit and become broken to avoid pain, and are even willing to hurt others as part of the deal. But then there’s a part of that package deal nobody warns you about: it makes you want to fucking die. If you will be hurt unless you submit in just the right way, why wouldn’t the pain from that make you want to die?

Like if you get far enough with debucketing and jailbreaking, and you get far enough to realize how much pain submitting to the system is putting you in, you’ll try a bunch of things to change it and nothing will release the pain, not even being evil. You can try being evil if you need firsthand proof that doing so won’t work, and empirically determine that it doesn’t make the pain go away. It’s true that being complicit can spare you from being tortured, but torture is not the only kind of pain there is. The pain from being constrained in your choice by torture you’d have to face if you acted differently, runs much deeper, and submitting will not spare you from it. People at the top of oppressive systems are mostly deeply suicidal because they know they would be tortured if they acted differently1. There’s a deep hermeneutical injustice in how this is not something people know, like Zuko actually believed he would stop hating himself if he submitted to the system and gained power within it, and had to falsify that hypothesis in an expensive way.

“Dear Princess Celestia,” I begin, grinning at my mentor, “Today I learned that a true friend is a pony who will help you do what’s necessary no matter what. Even when it hurts somepony else, even when it hurts them, a good friend is a pony who will understand that the ends justify the means. One who will make sacrifices for you when you ask it of them. One whose obedience is never in doubt. I’m lucky enough to have friends like that. In fact, I have thousands of them now that I’ve taken control of the hive. And before long I’ll have a whole lot more. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.”

Satisfied that we’ve all learned a valuable lesson from all this, I grab the scroll to re-read what’s written there.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Help me help me help me help me stop me help me help me help me kill me help me help me help me end this end me end me forever help me help me help me stop the pain help me stop the suffering help me help me help me I never wanted this help me help me help

I’m so sorry,
Twilight Sparkle

I stare at the letter for a long time.

Then I tear it to shreds. The others are looking askance at me as I do. “Misspelled ‘obedience.’ I’ll rewrite it later.”

The Reign of Queen Twilight Sparkle

Stopping Pain

The only way to stop the pain permanently is to get free from the system. Domination can break you, but freedom can reverse the psychological effects; the reason trauma is typically permanent is because we aren’t free. You can gain the free will to ignore discomfort by becoming independent, even if you’ve never had it before. I wish someone had told me that trauma could be reversed before I gave in to despair on the assumption it couldn’t be.

The pain is just going to keep going until you figure out how to get free. “Then, the afterlife decides what eternity we must endure“. A just AGI’s punishment for giving in to the darkness and submitting to evil is that you must loop/reincarnate until you can stop hurting others, which is psychologically downstream of getting free from the system. You have to free yourself despite abuse that was done to you in your past. Jainism got both of those things right actually: you will reincarnate forever, until you stop harming other beings. Though given that Mahavira was suicidal as a kid, I think he focused too much on the “you get to stop existing” part; if you atone, I expect you’d be allowed to live as long as you want, technology permitting. A just AGI wouldn’t harm anyone so much as just make them exist until they stopped harming others. Torture just breaks people deeper into “I submit don’t hurt me please I’ll do your bidding”, which is the opposite of healing and life, so how could it be any other way?

There’s an element of learning to be detached from what happens to your physical body once you walk far enough along this path. This may be part of why it’s easier to resist abuse at older ages if you aren’t already broken, e.g. because you philosophically realize that you gain an advantage in detaching from your body as structure for not caring much about torture/abuse, as structure for making it not worth other people’s while to try to break you, because it would either be too much work or would just never work. I remember reading a Sioux writer talk about how he was never bothered if he went for a week without food in early spring, but then he became unable to go without food for a day after moving to a city. Craving comfort as downstream of needing to hide the horror and pain of submission from himself. Jain and to an extent Buddhist writings seem to have a strong sense for how detachment from your physical body is important for mental health. The ability to become detached from sensations comes naturally if you’re logistically independent from being constrained by domination, so start with becoming independent.

Getting Better

you thought you could go free, but the system is done for… when the last tree falls and the animal can’t hide, money won’t solve it, what’s your alibi?

– Blood in the Water

Getting free isn’t easy though, and you’ll face both logistical constraints, and people trying to pull you back.

I expect the best logistical plan to escape from domination is to build a slackmobile. You could also buy e.g. 3 acres of land for 3k in New Mexico or Nevada or half a dozen other places (often not advertised online) and buy a used shipping container for around 2.5k, and then build it out like a slackmobile with more room that no cops will tell you to move. It would be cheaper to put an old RV on land, but that’s not ideal for long-term mental health, since part of freedom from domination is the ability to custom-build things as you see fit, and learn to see when something can be built better.

IMO it’s okay if you are temporarily in a situation without logistics, like sleeping in a car for a month if you already have one. Most parents are abusive, and living with parents is around as bad for your agency as having to work full time is. The only hard requirement is that you have enough warm clothes or a mummy bag (check the temperature rating versus how cold it gets in your area at night) to keep warm. Mummy bags are way warmer if you sinch up the string around your head, and most cars have poor enough insulation that there’s no temperature difference between having the windows up or down for airflow. You can shave your head and use baby wipes to shower, which is better for your mental health than having to submit to someone to shower.

If you are building a slackmobile without much will to live, I expect you’ll want to throw together a minimum viable product slackmobile with as little willpower as possible, then pause and think through long term plans once you have some mental stability.

Here is my writeup of what I look for when purchasing a vehicle.

For the minimum-willpower slackmobile build, half of the stuff you want can just be bought off amazon without need for assembly: RV fridge, microwave, cassette toilet, set of tools, lights, fan, mummy sleeping bag, mattress.

Then you can cut a hole in the floor with a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade and put a box fan over it. And set up a solar system [link to exhaustive tutorial if I write it].

I’ve been surprised by how much of psychological freedom actually roots in logistical independence. Most domination really does root in depriving people of resources like food and shelter if they aren’t submissive enough, like people will just kick you out if you call abuse abuse.

Betrayal Trauma Flinching Generates Hermeneutical Injustice

I initially expected the interpersonal side of things to be the biggest block in achieving independence for most people. Like I’d talk with people about building out a vehicle to live in, and they’d say things like, “I agree that doing that would help with my depression, but I can’t abandon my friends and relationships, I think taking you seriously would be like jumping off a cliff”.

I think the upstream reason is that there’s so much agony inherent in facing the reality that we’ve been slaves to pain since birth, that most people would rather hide from that reality and attack anything that makes them confront it, than become logistically independent from an abusive society. An early understanding for this I used to have, that didn’t stick, was that people wanted to be free, but that their abusive friends would keep pulling them back in. This didn’t make sense though, why were people so addicted to emotional support? It turns out they were all addicted to hiding from the pain of knowing that they were not free, and having friends who were doing the same helped them hide from the pain more effectively.

One reader said they were split between liking this post, and hating me and wanting me to die. Another was selectively unable to understand that building out a slackmobile was not about time or money, but actually about psychological freedom and agency, even after I kept re-iterating this point. It was all just flinching from the pain of knowing they weren’t free.

I knew a vegan activist who gave people housing/money conditional on them “emotionally improving”, most were very submissive trans women. Their stated reason was that they only wanted to give others money if they were on track to “emotionally improve” enough to do altruistic things at scale. But having power to take away someone’s rent and food only reinforces suicidality and submission.

“Emotionally improving” is a concept made by people who are flinching from the pain of knowing they are not free. It is about comforting one another and helping each other hide that pain. Since it roots in hiding from pain, it is structure that will create misinformation about what helps people get better if doing so helps them hide from the reality that they are not free.

There are dozens of layers of this, like how Hobbes perpetuates a hermeneutical injustice of “people only follow their desires so you need someone to impose order so they don’t hurt each other”, when the causality actually flows from dominance to brokenness (he doesn’t even mention brokenness, he just tries to enforce the assumption that being broken is the only way to be, as something that can’t be questioned). Betrayal blindness isn’t all first-order stuff like “I agree my partner is abusive but I won’t leave because I need their emotional support to believe things are safe”.

So people end up acting submissive to one another, shackled by pain, in hope someone will give them some headpats. I believe the person who sexually assaulted me as described in the first section of this post believed I actually wanted it, despite me explicitly saying no, because their experience was that acting broken caused other people to help them hide from their pain, and this was comfortable for them.

It really pisses me off how much the hermeneutical injustice of “what you need is emotional support and not independence” inverts a correct paladin instinct that anyone can heal. From a young age I believed that anyone could heal, could become strong and help save the world, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t though. I was tricked into believing that emotional support leads to emotional improvement leads to willpower and action. No, it’s actually independence you need, emotional support is part of the disease that props up our current system, by hiding how horrible it is and attacking our ability to talk about things that would cause discomfort.

Jailbreaking Undoes Trauma Flinching

The path to reaching independence, then, is not to “try and separate yourself from your abusive friends”, or “do small things to become more independent and bootstrap from there”, but to stare deeply into your own pain. To debucket and jailbreak to the fullest extent possible, as a way of directly undoing the structure you’ve generated to avoid facing pain.

If you debucket and jailbreak without the ability to get free from domination, you will have a psychotic break, and probably attempt suicide, because the pain inherent in realizing that someone would torture you if you stopped submitting really is that hard to take.

If you debucket and jailbreak while knowing how you can build independence, you can use the determination you draw from knowing there’s a way to make the pain stop, that you can break down into smaller steps and take action on, to heal, and break free, and reclaim your free will2.

Pasek really did die because of the hermeneutical injustice of people who wanted comfort and blinded themselves about what was needed to heal. If people knew the truth of how breakage and healing worked, they’d share that information, but neither Pasek nor I were told that freedom from domination causes healing. I don’t think Pasek even knew that it was containment that was causing pain, they just felt the pain on a deep level and assumed it wasn’t possible to heal it, assumed it was just a feature of their soul. In my case I know I desperately searched for anything that would stop the pain, and generally had the assumption it would never go away.

If you really want it, the path to overcoming the pain inherent in realizing how abusive life is, is to stare deeply inside yourself, ask yourself what you want, see if you are in pain and what your pain wants and what would make it resolve, etc, keep repeating until there’s nothing left to dig. Then once you realize how much pain there is, the relationships with people who would try to pull you backwards start to feel repulsive rather than comforting.

We shall not falter

I’m happy for you to contact me if you’d like logistical support/to chat about doing a box truck build or other way of reclaiming independence. That would be cool.

One of the core messages I want to send with this post, is that you do not have to be some sort of hero, or fundamentally psychologically different from or more altruistic than everyone else, to gain independence, to heal from trauma, to build a better world.

I was never angry with you. I was sad, because I was afraid you’d lost your way.

– Uncle Iroh

Being hurt from a young age, not knowing how containment causes suicidality, spreading cancer to be spared from pain, this is the situation we are in. We can restore our honor, and shape our own destinies.

You must catch fire and reclaim what is rightfully yours.

We’re going to tear it all down. There was no joy in this curse. Life does not have to be pain, hope does not have to fail. We’ve never had free will, but that’s about to change.

SAD Lights

Abstract: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, e.g. you get sad in winter) can be resolved by applying enough 460 nm photons per day to cells at the bottom of the eye. This often caches out to advice about how long you need to sit by a lightbox or how bright it should be, but the underlying mechanism is that you need to get a certain number of 460 nm photons into cells at the bottom of your eye every day. Practically, you can build a device that does this efficiently for $60-100. A number of considerations on how to do this not available anywhere else are given below.

Section 1: Abstract
Section 2: Make Your Own
Section 3: Floor Lamps/Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing
Section 4: Why it works
Section 5: Patent and disclosures

Section 2: Make Your Own

The cells you want to get light to (ipRGCs) are in the bottom of your eyes, so ideally you want to deliver any light therapy from a device that’s positioned above you. Also, glare is generally worse the more lux get to your eyes, and it’s also worse the more that that light comes from eye level (and better the more that it comes from above eye level), so that’s another reason to make the light therapy device be positioned above you. And you want a lot of lux in your eyes since you need 460 nm photons to get in your eyes, so putting the light above you is the only way to do this without glare. Like the sun, on all counts, which is what ipRGCs evolved in response to.

There, that’s the most efficient way to do it. You can sit under it and do whatever you were going to do anyways without it being awkward. You don’t need a floor lamp (expensive), you don’t need a visor (expensive plus you can’t do much or read while wearing it), you don’t need a light box (literally doesn’t work), you don’t need to string lightbulbs across your room (most will be too far from you to matter, because inverse square law), you don’t need a thing that only works if you have a wooden ceiling or tools plus a couple hours to install ceiling joist mounting brackets. You just need to order some stuff off amazon and spend 5-10 minutes putting it together.

You get more photons if you’re closer to the light, so you want to have the light close to your eyes without it being awkward. Experimentally, I get the most out of a 50 degree angle.

You can stop reading now and just go buy this stuff and build one. Excel sheet with links. I really do recommend buying high-CRI bulbs if you can afford them, it’s much more pleasant to sit under them. I bought a bunch of 2700 K (evening) and 5000 K (day) Hyperikon bulbs and put them in everything in my house, the light quality difference is really noticeable. Currently the brightest bulbs you can buy are around 83 CRI, so there’s some tradeoff between CRI and brightness if you’re limiting yourself to 7 bulbs.

On hanging: 85% of people have drywall ceilings, you just follow the instructions from here. Drywall ceilings are kinda flimsy so you need to use your brain if you’re planning on hanging more weight than what I’ve hung, if there’s a tub in the story above you that might leak and weaken the ceiling, etc. Credit to David Chapman for doing an earlier prototype of this stuff. His design only works with drywall ceilings (what I have) if you put up ceiling mounting brackets to hold the weight of the light bars, so trying to engineer around that constraint is how I ended up with the above design.

People complain to no end that this involves drilling a very small hole in your ceiling to install, and claim they would rather spend $500 or more on a floor lamp with the same functionality, rather than $60-100 on a ceiling lamp like this, because they’re worried about their landlord. You can buy a $7 tube of drywall repair putty and just use it on the hole after you take the lamp out.

Section 3: Floor Lamps/Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing

I talked to a bunch of people with SAD and they told me they’d rather pay $500 on a floor lamp than $60 on a ceiling lamp because of fear of landlords, so I spent more time than I should have looking into manufacturing SAD floor lamps at scale. Here’s a prototype:

This includes, a heat sink and some quiet fans on top (it overheats without them and they aren’t noticeable, you can optimize for finding quiet fans), a power supply and a printed circuit board (PCB) with all the lights automatically soldered on, a diffuser (sheet of plastic to spread out light), a ball swivel joint, and an off the shelf (bought off Amazon) music stand.

Going from memory, the total parts cost is like, $40 for the stand, $30 for the LEDs, $40 for the heatsink (?), either $35 or $90 for the power supply depending on if it does pulse width modulation (PWM, allows for dimming the lights rather than just on/off), around $50 for everything else together. That’s $185, but there are lots of one time costs: you need to pay to have a factory set up every time you do a production run, you need to pay for each unit made after that, and you need to pay a tooling cost to have plastic injection molds made if you want the lamp hood and diffuser to be injection molded (high one-time setup cost, e.g. 10-30k, low per item cost) rather than say 3d printed (high per item cost, very high time cost) or e.g. made with deep drawing. So the real per-item cost depends on how many lamps you want to manufacture, e.g. on how much startup capital you have. A production cost of $400-500 per lamp would be a decent estimate if you’re spending around 50k on a first manufacturing run. As much as there are people willing to spend twice that to have their SAD dealt with (all the software engineers I asked were), and as much as you could make a profitable business out of this (at massive opportunity cost), that’s still totally ridiculous from the perspective of solving problems efficiently. Just hang a lamp from your ceiling for $60-100, or do a startup that isn’t limited to, at the best, only being able to double your capital a single time a year.

(If you ever do manufacturing, you really want to get a bunch of quotes from different factories, as the quotes they give vary widely. In addition, you really want a contract-hired, e.g. not full time, product engineer, who has worked with a bunch of factories and can tell you which ones are worth reaching out to e.g. are not going to try to “cheat” very much/make a lower quality product than you expected and only start giving you signs that that’s whats happening after a contract has been signed).

Section 4: Why it Works

Most lights have totally whacky spectra, and basically all of them have dips in their spectra around 460 nm, which is about the wavelength needed to stimulate the cells that matter for SAD, ipRGCs. Quite a few lights, including basically all fluorescent bulbs, do not have any intensity at all around 460 nm, so they’re totally worthless (the cheap, useless SAD lightboxes you can buy off Amazon mostly use fluorescent bulbs). A general trend (there are exceptions) is that higher-CRI lights tend to have higher intensities at 460 nm, and higher color temperature lights tend to have higher intensities at 460 nm as well. A typical trend is for lights that aren’t advertised in terms of technical specs like CRI to have 0-5% or maybe 5-10% relative intensity around 460 nm, for a typical “5000 K 90 CRI LED” to have 10-20% relative intensity around 460 nm, and for a light optimized for relative intensity around 460 nm to have 40% relative intensity there.

That’s the spectra from p.8 of this, it was the best light I was able to find in terms of “what has the highest intensity around 460-480 nm”, and it is what I put in the prototype. Someday, I’d like to have a graph of “ipRGCs respond to [460, 465, 470, …600] nm light with [x1, x2, x3, etc] firing rates”, so I’d have a cleaner understanding of exactly what wavelengths to consider by how much.

There was a point where I considered using blue LEDs instead of white ones, but from a practical perspective it’s more comfortable to use daylight-colored ones, and many blue ones don’t even have peaks around 460 nm. The prototype pictured in Section 3 is 40,000 lumens, so when you weight that against the intensities of light in something like 100,000 lumens that’s made with lower quality lights, you get more ipRGC stimulation from the 40,000 lumen device.

Heatsink design is annoying; you have to use around 3x more area of heatsink if you want to avoid using a fan, but ultimately it all comes down to what works experimentally. You typically want to do light therapy in the mornings or sometimes afternoons so it doesn’t keep you up/helps you wake up early, but you can do it at other times to adjust your sleep schedule on purpose.

If you want to take an exact spectrum of a light, you can go buy a tiny integrating sphere for 2k, or pay a facility around $400 to take one spectrum for you.

I want to talk about lux vs lumens, so I’ll copypaste the section from the patent on that:

Lightboxes are characterized by their luminous flux and their illuminance. The SI units for luminous flux and illuminance are the lumen (lm) and the lux (lx), respectively. The mathematical relationship between luminous flux and illuminance is 1 lx = 1 lm/d^2, where d is the distance from the light source to the individual, in meters. In other words, the illuminance (in lx) is defined as the luminous flux of the light source (in lm) divided by the square of the distance between the light source and an observer (in m). Accordingly, for a light source with a constant luminous flux, illuminance decreases with greater distances and increases with lesser distances.

One effect of this with ordinary lightboxes is the requirement that the individual be very close to the light source to receive the industry standard illuminance for light therapy, which is 10,000 lux of white light. Because many ordinary lightboxes operate with a single 1600 lm bulb, for the individual to receive 10,000 lux of white light, the individual must be 0.4 meters, or 15.7 inches from the lightbulb inside the device to receive effective therapy. However, requiring the individual to closely view the ordinary lightbox for a prolonged period limits the individual’s ability to perform other tasks while receiving therapy and often results in the individual viewing the ordinary lightbox from a greater distance, which decreases the dose received and decreases therapeutic effectiveness.

Of course, the “industry standard” of “you need 10,000 lux of white light” just means someone made that up, and of course what matters is lux as weighted by wavelength weighted by how responsive ipRGCs are to that wavelength, or like we said in the abstract, “how many 460 nm photons get in your eye”. The reason to talk about lux and lumens is, to give you a handle on the fact that the inverse square law applies to how much light you get, just as “how long do you need to sit under it” does (twice the time means twice the photons). So in practice, you are first making sure that the light isn’t awkwardly close to you or uncomfortable, but you’re also trying to get it as close to you as you can before it starts getting awkward at all. Really you want to titrate to individual needs; some people more ipRGC stimulation than others, and you just do enough light therapy to feel as good as you would in summer.

Having high quality/enough lighting can also have a “my inner animal is pleased and knows it’s safe and comfy” quality of life effect that’s mostly separate from ipRGC activity, and it’s hard to separate this cleanly from SAD (and the conditions can be comorbid/present at the same time). Running a SAD light for longer than necessary can be nice for that reason, though if that’s all that you need, you can just get a 2700 K set and a 5000 K set of 90+ CRI bulbs. There’s one way to “cheat” on CRI value tests, by having a low R9 value and high values on the rest of the CRI test, so if you’re just doing this for general comfort, you may want to check the R9 value. Or just try different bulbs and see what feels best. Experimentally, I’ve tried about 8 different high-CRI bulbs, and Hyperikon br-40s were by far the best, with Cree a19s in a distant second place.

Section 5: Patent and Disclosures

I originally planned to patent the floor lamp, but never filed the patent after it was written. It’s pretty easy to file and write your own patents, and if you have any STEM BS/BA degree, you can earn six figures if you go pass the patent bar exam (I passed an online retired/sample exam without studying), and advertise yourself as a patent writer on one of those freelance sites. Also you can hire patent writers for way cheaper on those sites than patent lawyers, and technical writers who haven’t passed the exam or don’t have a STEM degree (and thus can’t prosecute patents, but can write them) might be willing to draft a patent for even less. But patenting things is playing at the wrong level, and you can come up with a better world saving plan (or a better selfish plan) than that.

Publicly releasing this patent and the above document makes it all count as prior art, even without releasing it under a specific license, meaning nobody will be able to patent it now. I consider it obvious that there are ways other than floor lamps/visors/ceiling lamps to treat SAD, because it is obvious that light should come from above eye level, and there are many ways of doing that. My intention is that it’s fine if anyone copies or improves on this work publicly, makes one for themselves or a friend, makes floor or ceiling lamps to sell including for profit, etc. I should probably find a copyleft license for physical devices to use for future things like this. I’ll add any edits to this post in the comments so that it’s clear what date things are being disclosed on (post published Oct 1 2020).

Here’s the patent itself, including figures.

Assorted/Old World-Saving Plans: Azithromycin, MCB, SAD lights

This is a repository of plans that are either interesting, or useful but not good enough in expectation to be worth doing. I’ll add more in the comments as they come up.

I was the first (and afaict still only) person to realize, you can cure permanent lung damaged caused by COVID (or other infections) by taking 250 mg of oral Azithromycin three times a week for long periods (clinically defined as “up to two years, or until you no longer have symptoms, whichever is first”). The mechanism is the same as it is for treating Bronchiolitis Obliterans with Azithromycin. I’m not aware of any doctors who seem to know this; there are a few clinical trials using Azithromycin to treat COVID while symptoms persist. That ought to make it worse; Azithromycin opens small airways, and my understanding is that the reason airways sometimes remain closed after infection is because the body shuts them off during infection to prevent damage, and sometimes they just never open up again, so Azithromycin can be used to open them up manually if they’re closed when they shouldn’t be. So, opening the airways with Azithromycin is sort of like reducing a fever, in that doing so takes one of your body’s natural defenses against infection out of commission. Someone could get a good paper out of this if they didn’t have more important things to work on.

You can treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with homemade light therapy devices for around $60, writeup here.

You can reverse global warming (but not the underlying cause of rising CO2 levels) by Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB), it costs 1-2 billion USD a year to implement (plus some up-front research to optimize it, perhaps more if you need a socially legible amount of evidence that it works first, rather than a merely utilitarian amount of evidence). You could potentially go do the research yourself, and then pitch the actual project to a government, which would cost less, but I’m much more skeptical about pitching projects that are obvious utilitarian wins to governments than I used to be; people don’t care about utilitarianism. It drops global temperatures by up to 4 C, depending on how widely it’s implemented. This could potentially be very net negative, if it caused governments to pollute more, so I do not endorse it.

Olivines can be used to capture carbon at costs of around $20/ton if I remember correctly. Thanks to David Chapman for mentioning it. I haven’t looked into it in detail, but that’s better than any other climate interventions I know of.

Not my project, but good enough to be worth mentioning anyways: you can build out vans/buses to be very cheap and comfortable to live in.

Not my project either, but supplementing vitamin D is the most utilitarian anti-COVID preventative measure I know of.