How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts? 2021-07-15T15:11:30.531Z


Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: pharmaceutical chemist · 2021-07-24T01:11:12.584Z · EA · GW

Could you tell me more about how you decided what you wanted to do at age 14? 
I'm 18 and I still have very little clue :D 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Narration: We are in triage every second of every day · 2021-07-24T01:00:04.935Z · EA · GW

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what this is. I'm new here :D Could you explain?

It seems like this is the description of the podcast, which is someone reading out another post somewhere on the forum? 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts? · 2021-07-24T00:56:00.800Z · EA · GW

I like the examples in the guide! Thank you for sharing that with me :-) 
I do say things that he mentioned like males/females instead of men/women or 'a high probability of' instead of 'probably'. 

I'll start working on that!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-22T14:36:16.855Z · EA · GW

That's a really cool interest :D What have you done so far to measure how design and marketing can influence people into thinking something has authority?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts? · 2021-07-22T14:34:40.756Z · EA · GW

It sounds like you're saying that you add examples and avoid using big, vague words where possible? Is that correct? :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-21T22:45:17.732Z · EA · GW

I like your quick cuts and funny style :D I watched the video about how individuals have personal responsibility for climate change. 

What is the inspiration behind your style? How do you have such clean audio? :O

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-21T22:42:23.747Z · EA · GW

Very impressed by your website :-) What did you use to make it? What is the 'artistic motivation' behind creating a mostly realistic investment firm website?

As you say, I personally don't like labels too much. But that doesn't mean you can't learn here :-) Wish you the best with your growth! 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-21T22:36:53.829Z · EA · GW

I've never interacted with the Less Wrong community :D Any tips on ways to be engaged there?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts? · 2021-07-16T00:28:19.449Z · EA · GW

Thank you for taking the time to respond :-) When you posted this, it actually made me go back over the examples I was thinking of and I realised there could be different interpretations instead of just the one where the other person was frowning upon me asking the question. Perhaps, it was just that they didn't know of the answer and were uncertain in what i was asking

The example was actually in a podcast recording where I was interviewing an entrepreneur about leadership, so you can listen to the snippet of the conversation if you want :D

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts? · 2021-07-15T15:14:05.036Z · EA · GW

I ask because I like to think about the HOW of how things are done. I think it's a strength of mine (feels like play to me, but like work to others). 

But whenever I ask others about their opinion on HOW to do X / tell others that I want to do X more efficiently, they say something like: "There aren't any tricks." / "There aren't any shortcuts." / "You just have to put in the work." 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Undergraduate Making Life-Altering Choices While Sober, Please Advise · 2021-07-10T21:34:18.374Z · EA · GW

Hi @LumpyProletariat :-) 

I'm a student from Canada. I'm also unsure what to do with my life in the long run. And I also struggle to commit to jobs I'm not excited about / don't have formal work experience.

But I'm just entering my first year of university next year + I haven't faced nearly as many challenges as you have growing up. So these are just some reflections on simple actionables that have worked for me. But feel free to let me know if they don't work for you 


  1. I won't let myself make important decisions while depressed. Over the pandemic, I've had depressive phases more. A few months ago, it was really challenging. I'd suddenly lose motivation towards whatever goals I was pursuing during those phases. But, I realised how SO many thoughts (positive and negative) just came and go - it was so volatile! It was kind of like I was riding a train and looking out a window to see different things passing by. So I visualise that train window and lots of thoughts passing by to remind myself: "This too shall pass." It makes me less likely to deviate from long-term plans and make rash decisions while I'm depressed/anxious/in any extreme mood.
  2.  I don't like rigid, long-term plans or rigid commitments in general. For example,  I don't enjoy having rigid periods or time blocks where I have to focus on studying for one course, then move on at a specified time. (It seems like you mentioned that too, when you said you like focusing on one thing for some longer time.) That's why I like checklists. Checklists were the first tool that kind of let me focus on the simple, everyday tasks that were kind of mundane but I just NEEDED to get done. And they were the start of a lot more organisation in my life as I added other 'systems' to organise myself. Would it help you to try a checklist at THE simplest level ?Ie. just write down ONE task you have to accomplish in a day and try to get it done by the end of the day.  IF that works for you, maybe you can try two tasks a week later? And maybe three tasks a few weeks later? And so on. Maybe that might help power through boring schoolwork?
  3. I say the above because it seems like you're exploring different career paths and aren't decided on one yet. And as you said, a university degree would be useful in giving you optionality -  to try out and explore more paths than you could without a university degree. Those are just my thoughts on why it might make sense to stick to university (especially since you're already a little ways through). Does spending another year at university seem like a long time to you? I felt that way when thinking about taking a gap year - that I would spend an ENTIRE year doing who knows what??? But I guess I realised that one year is not a long time in a 80 year life. That personally helped me make that decision to do something I wasn't ready to at first.
  4. I find learning for myself fun and learning for others boring. Even while learning the exact same thing! For example, I was reviewing some physics in my textbook over the summer. I could skip over all the boring parts with as little effort as possible and then dive deeper into parts I found interesting. I like to think of it as making studying a game for myself. If I hit this milestone, I get reward X. Ex: If I finish this problem set, I get to watch a TED talk about climate change just because I find that interesting! I also enjoy people over textbooks, so I go out of my way to have conversations with teachers whenever possible. Even during the virtual pandemic, for example, a good way to get started would be to ask at least 1 question / class. It doesn't even have to be about the courses! I started a chemistry class by asking my teacher: "How do we learn to accept the things we don't want to accept?" once and he started talking about how he wanted to be a soccer player growing up :D
  5. I've also been looking for a BIG change recently :/ Just felt like the pandemic lockdowns in Canada were the same forever. One thing that's helped me is making more time for things I enjoy. Not only does this help with mental health, but it also makes me more skilled! Maybe that's uniquely my situation, though, because I really enjoy just RANDOMLY learning stuff. Ex: reading a book on negotiation, reading an article about psychological biases, whatever. Those small things help me better prepare for the big change and be more satisfied while I work towards that big change. In terms of the BIG change, I haven't yet had luck. I've been trying to get a job so I can experience something new. But I'll keep at it and hope the big change happens one day. I hope you also have that experience of looking back one day and seeing that you've found the big change you're looking for! 

Let me know if there are any other ways I can help you :-) Feel free to DM me!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-10T17:33:57.960Z · EA · GW

Hi there!
I'm a student from Toronto, Canada and I'm really excited about identifying and solving neglected issues! So far in my journey, I've been researching issues at the intersection of business and the environment. For example, asking entrepreneurs HOW they do what they do on my podcast. Or researching the root causes of different barriers to carbon capture technology.

Still, I don't really know what to commit to in the long run. I'm thinking that I might take a gap year next year just to try out different careers. That's how I found EA's work - and it seemed like exactly my community of people focusing more on HOW to do something than just doing something :D 

I hope to learn anything actionable from more people here :-)


Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-09T21:45:03.966Z · EA · GW

I think areas that might lead to higher impact might be areas where Canada is uniquely strong in climate solutions :-) Instead of advocating for a general party, maybe you might consider volunteering with or donating to a specific government-based climate solution yourself?

  • For example, could you find government institutes focused on protecting Canada's especially large tundra forests. Did you know that the Canadian Boreal Forest is the second largest forest on Earth?
  • As another example, Canada has the third-largest freshwater reserves in the world. But eutrophication, industrial intensification, and (as I suprisingly learned) even wildfires can affect water quality. I'm sure there are government institutes out there that work on protecting water quality!
  • One last example: Canada is a world leader in carbon capture technology. This is a relatively neglected green technology that the IPCC acknowledges will be needed at much greater levels in the future. And the Alberta government is one of the most active developers of this technology in the world. With some digging, you could identify which politicians are most supportive of funding experimental technologies like this and see how you can support them!

Anyways, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the general premise! Does it make sense for you to support specific government initiatives that are helpful instead of hoping to vote in the green party in general?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-09T21:30:31.620Z · EA · GW

I also recommend this ProPublica Report!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Open Thread: July 2021 · 2021-07-09T21:29:47.261Z · EA · GW

Hi Brendon :-) 

I'm also really curious about climate change and identifying neglected problems! (Ex: plant fewer trees, better monitor how much CO2 those trees absorb)

I'm kinda just a student though :D I'm from Toronto and I always found myself wondering HOW to act on my desire to impact neglected climate issues. Did you ever feel that way in your career? (I ask because most musicians/writers aren't extremely active with climate change, so you maybe were in a niche community too?)