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  • Showing only topics with the tag "ask.advice". Back to normal view
    1. Charity and volunteer work in a time of crisis

      Many people have plenty to do just figuring out how to protect themselves and take care of their families. Others are busier than ever with essential jobs. But at least some of us are stuck at...

      Many people have plenty to do just figuring out how to protect themselves and take care of their families. Others are busier than ever with essential jobs. But at least some of us are stuck at home and could probably be doing more to support the common effort, something besides avoiding infection and watching it happen.

      There are many to choose from, but what charities do you think are most deserving of support, and why? What are good ways to volunteer?

      Edit: LessWrong has a section of their link database devoted to work and donations

      13 votes
    2. How do you buy a car?

      How do you decide which kind of car you want? How do you prioritize what you're looking for? How do you know if you'll like it or not? Bonus points for tips on selecting a car your spouse will...
      • How do you decide which kind of car you want?

        • How do you prioritize what you're looking for?
        • How do you know if you'll like it or not?
        • Bonus points for tips on selecting a car your spouse will like as well.
      • Why do you pick new/used?

      • How do you negotiate the price of the car?

      14 votes
    3. When it's time to put your dog down?

      She is a mixed breed (more pinscher) and is perhaps 16 or 17 years old. She simply doesn't eat anymore. She went to the vet when this started and they found nothing. Gave her some appetite...

      She is a mixed breed (more pinscher) and is perhaps 16 or 17 years old.

      She simply doesn't eat anymore. She went to the vet when this started and they found nothing. Gave her some appetite injection, she would eat for two days and stop. Went again and same thing.

      I changed vets and he did blood work and everything was fine. He examined her throat with his hands because he didn't want to anesthetize a senior dog for a scan. He discovered a throat and ear infection. Treated and she started eating again, but only for a few weeks. She never gained her weight back.

      Now she is only losing weight and not eating, it's been five days since she last eat something.

      She sleeps almost all the time and is so thin and her back is so curved that when she drops her head to drink water her rear legs go up and she falls. We had to put the food and water up so she doesn't have any accidents.

      She is so frail it's breaking my heart. I'm so afraid.

      34 votes
    4. How do you convince someone of the value of egalitarianism?

      An odd question to ask, I'll admit, but I think it's worth asking. It's hard to have a public conversation today about political or politicised topics because people will pipe up and tell you that...

      An odd question to ask, I'll admit, but I think it's worth asking.

      It's hard to have a public conversation today about political or politicised topics because people will pipe up and tell you that you're crazy and your ideas are completely backwards. And the reason why people say this is often driven by conflicts between personally held values rather than the ideas themselves. As a result, these conversations usually end up with both sides arguing past eachother and no concensus is ever made; nobody is happy.

      One of the more common reasons for these arguements is typically because one party believes in egalitarianism - the belief that all people should be treated the same - and the other one does not. It's particularly strange to see given that so many countries have egalitarianism as a cornerstone to their government and laws. Yet we still see many people trying to take away rights and freedoms from certain classes of people.

      Regardless of any particular conversation, what do you think is the best way to convince someone in the value of egalitarianism? How do you convince someone that they're not part of a higher class who has power over another?

      13 votes
    5. I'm freaking out and need advice

      My mother died last month and I've been thinking of leaving my father's house ever since then. I initially thought I'd be okay with doing that, regardless of whether or not my father would object,...

      My mother died last month and I've been thinking of leaving my father's house ever since then. I initially thought I'd be okay with doing that, regardless of whether or not my father would object, but he talked with me last night saying he'd be okay if I left and now I'm FREAKING OUT.

      Background: I'm 23 and living in Houston, Texas. I have an older brother who lives in Dallas who offered to take me in, but it wouldn't be very permanent as he plans on leaving the country for a trip next year and will be gone for some time. I also have a friend from high school who offered me a room, but she lives in Seattle and was fired from her job. No one else who is close to me is able to offer me a place to stay.

      My concerns: I dropped out of college. I was planning on going back but then my mother died and that plan was put on hold, so I don't have any marketable skills (I've only ever worked in retail). I also don't have a job lined up anywhere else. I've never had to take on so many bills at one time and therefore I don't know much about budgeting.

      I'd like to leave, but where I am it's secure and comfy. Maybe it's finally time I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and start taking control of my own life, but I don't want to risk my safety and finances on a crazy idea.

      I welcome any and all advice, and thanks for reading.

      edit: changed a word

      27 votes
    6. How can I converse with my 4-year-old nephew/godson who lives in another continent?

      I am, by all definitions, a strong introvert. Communication is an issue with people that are physically close, let alone on Skype video calls. When my sister got pregnant, I claimed the godfather...

      I am, by all definitions, a strong introvert. Communication is an issue with people that are physically close, let alone on Skype video calls. When my sister got pregnant, I claimed the godfather position. She was very happy. We're not even Catholics anymore, but we come from a Catholic background and it's tradition.

      She's bringing the kid to get baptized next month. Last time he was here, 2 years+ ago, I was able to "talk" to him and we even became "friends" (he was 1-years-old, so probably forgot about me by now). I have trouble Skyping with him (and everyone else for that matter). Every once in a while my mother asks me I want to get distant from my sister, and this causes some distress. It's not like I want to create a situation. My father is a lot like me in that regard, and it doesn't really bother me that it takes a few months for him to talk to me (I'm 99% sure I'm in the spectrum, not so sure about him). He showed me his affection multiple times before, on his own way.

      I'm aware not everyone is like me, and want to be more online-present for my godson and my sister. This may seem silly to some people, but it's hard to start or keep up with a conversation. I cannot talk about any subject, and silence is preferable to conversation for the sake of conversation.

      But in this situation, I must give space to his infant world, which obviously does not include my grown-up interests. I don't know how to proceed from that understanding. I actually like the kid, we had great "conversations" when my sister last visited. But it's been really hard to keep an online presence. And I think I should.

      22 votes
    7. A PV Solar company wants to build a PV farm on our land. I am not sure what to do.

      My dad died a couple years ago and I inherited a farm in the central EU. Some of the land is farm land, some zoned residential. My plan was to rent this house out Airbnb style. The surroundings...

      My dad died a couple years ago and I inherited a farm in the central EU. Some of the land is farm land, some zoned residential. My plan was to rent this house out Airbnb style. The surroundings are very pastural. This is the appeal for “agro-tourism.” We are also very close to ski resorts.

      My farm plot is the smallest of all the neighbors, but it is dead center in the planned farm. They want a 30 year lease for our land. One neighbor has already agreed. They are offering about $2500/hectare/year.

      My neighbors are actually farmers, and to them this is a big chunk of money. Especially as they have 10+ hectares each, I only have 1.25. For me the money is less than one month’s salary and is not that appealing. Also, this is about 15% of what I expected to make off of the Airbnb which would pay for my retirement. Yes, this is a privileged position.

      1. I don’t know what questions to ask in negotiations. One thing I verified is that inflation is included, year after year. What else?
        Note: Yes I will have a lawyer look at this, but honestly this is the first thing of its kind in our area.

      2. If you were renting out a house in ski-resort/farm country, would you care if there were a bunch solar panels in the fields instead of farm land? Would you like it more, or less?
        Note: I can upload photos or video to give you an idea of the area.

      3. Will this raise or lower the value of my home for resale?

      4. Any other general thoughts?

      Thanks!

      Edit: I should add that I am super-anti CO2, so my default position is “hell yes!” But I am just trying to be pragmatic about this. Of note is that this is the first time in my life I am experiencing a bit of NIMBY-ism. Also, I am extremely thankful for this opportunity.

      15 votes
    8. Anyone have experience going to school in their 50s?

      I'm in my early 50s and have been seriously considering going to school. I have performed manual labor for most of my working career, and though I truly enjoy it, my body cannot keep up anymore. A...

      I'm in my early 50s and have been seriously considering going to school. I have performed manual labor for most of my working career, and though I truly enjoy it, my body cannot keep up anymore. A few years ago I began looking for work in an office environment, and after a a demoralizing year of submitting resumes, I landed a minimum wage job in a small customer support office inside a larger organization. The work was soul suckingly boring. I applied to other departments and received job offers, but management would not let me leave customer service because I have a way of deescalating difficult situations. I was eventually offered the customer support manager role, but I refuse to manage people. Since the company would not let me move out of customer support, I left them and took a long vacation. That is where I am at now.

      I am afraid that an educational investment will not pay out the dividends that I am hoping for. I don't have all the time in the world anymore. I guess I am looking for career / school advice, or if not advice, similar journeys.

      25 votes
    9. How do you meet people?

      I've been feeling lonely for quite a while now.. Sometimes I strike a conversation with someone seemingly randomly because I wonder who they are, what they're doing here but I always feel like I'm...

      I've been feeling lonely for quite a while now..

      Sometimes I strike a conversation with someone seemingly randomly because I wonder who they are, what they're doing here but I always feel like I'm doing something wrong, like, I shouldn't be doing this, I feel kind of.. creepy, awkward. I've only been able to do this online because in real life, I just freeze and my mind just races with stress and I just give up and just decided overtime to not attempt that and avoid it.

      So well, I'm just left wondering, how? How are you supposed to meet new people?

      32 votes
    10. I don't suppose any of y'all got some tips and tricks for restoring a flooded Miata?

      Well, it finally happened. The damn thing made it through Harvey, but the water came up way too fast and I didn't see it until it was above the bottom of the door. The car started and drove fine...

      Well, it finally happened. The damn thing made it through Harvey, but the water came up way too fast and I didn't see it until it was above the bottom of the door. The car started and drove fine until I slowed down at an intersection and the RPMs dropped and the car stalled. At that point I was high and dry but, while the car would still crank and run, I couldn't get the RPMs high enough to get into first gear without stalling. I tried for some time to get it going, but finally gave up. While I was in the car, after I got out, and after I walked back and checked on it nearly an hour later, there was a very strong smell of gasoline.

      The electrical system seems to be fine and water got nowhere near the battery.

      Thanks in advance for any tips.

      P.S. I didn't know if this should go in ~talk, ~creative, or ~hobbies, since it is really me asking for advice more than anything else.

      9 votes
    11. How would you bring together friends who still don't know each other?

      If you have friends who used to be in separate circles but are going to finally meet, how would you handle that property? Let's say, you all meet, you know each of them, but they know about each...

      If you have friends who used to be in separate circles but are going to finally meet, how would you handle that property?

      Let's say, you all meet, you know each of them, but they know about each other very vaguely. How to introduce everyone gently and keep conversations going in a non confusing way? What are the dos and don'ts there? Personal real experience of "joining" friends would be nice to read about too!

      13 votes
    12. What do I do now that I quit drinking?

      A little bit about me -- I'm in my mid-to-late-20s, male, single, recently graduated college, and I quit drinking about a year and a half ago. I never really considered myself an addict; there was...

      A little bit about me -- I'm in my mid-to-late-20s, male, single, recently graduated college, and I quit drinking about a year and a half ago. I never really considered myself an addict; there was never a point where I wanted to quit but I couldn't and it never interfered with work or school. I just woke up one day and told myself, "I don't want to do this anymore," so I just stopped.

      The problem, for me at least, is that I live in a relatively rural part of the world. There's not a lot to do here on Friday night other than go to the bars, which never really bothered me anyways because I work nights anyways and don't really like crowded scenes. Most of my free time is in front of my computer, I've recently started getting into distance running as a hobby, and I like playing board games when I can. All of this is fine except for the fact that I can't really seem to make friends in those mutual areas of interest without alcohol anymore.

      I signed up for meetup, which seems like a great way to meet new people, and I'm sure it is, in bigger cities at least. But around here, both the closest board game meetup and run club are an hour and a half away. It seems like everyone around here just wants to meet up to drink, and maybe do some other stuff along the way. (Don't get me started on making my own events here -- crowded bars already give me anxiety so organizing my own meetup with people I've never met before would be a new, special type of hell)

      I think at least part of this is compounded with the fact that since I graduated, I've had a hard time making new friends. I work a very isolating job, and teetotaling only further compounds the issue that I haven't met very many new people. It's something I've thought a lot about while searching for a partner as well -- I can't/don't want to meet people at bars, and I don't really find much use out of dating apps.

      Sorry if this is unorganized or hard to read, it's just a lot of thoughts I've had over the past year.

      edit: another part of it too is that, since I quit without the assistance of AA or any support group, I don't have any like-minded people to do things with.

      29 votes
    13. Considering going back to school

      I'm having a bit of a reckoning where I'm working a call center job, and when I like it, it's okay, and when I don't, it's a drag, but just recently my wrists have started to seriously act up and...

      I'm having a bit of a reckoning where I'm working a call center job, and when I like it, it's okay, and when I don't, it's a drag, but just recently my wrists have started to seriously act up and impact my work and life some, and my work insurance won't cover treatment. On a related note, Mom is willing to love and support bribe me back into going to school since I can go back on her insurance as long as I'm taking classes full time. Normally, I would respectfully decline because I'm prideful and petty, left school on academic probation 4 years ago after blowing off classes and am still nursing an underlying fear of failure and psychological hang-ups due to previous academic overextension. But I do have savings to fall back on, I am at a point where I can reasonably pivot, Mom will likely never let this one die, and my job causes me pain. So, what do?

      10 votes
    14. Should I go to college for computer science?

      I have an undergrad degree in polisci. I was planning on going to law school, but got rejected everywhere I applied. I am really reconsidering going to law school. Last couple years, I realized...

      I have an undergrad degree in polisci. I was planning on going to law school, but got rejected everywhere I applied. I am really reconsidering going to law school. Last couple years, I realized that I have a genuine interest in coding, and I could pursue it as a career. I learned C++ with online tutorials, and I think I am proficient at it, or at least have the potential to be much better.

      Anyway, money is tight, so I would really appreciate any input you have about a career change. Thank you!

      (If this belongs on another sub, please let me know)

      EDIT: I am in the U.S. I can move states if necessary.

      24 votes
    15. Hello everyone! Has anyone here had the experience of emigrating from your home country to a new one?

      Hi I am 23 year old and I want leave my country. I hold work visa for Canada. I am convinced that I should leave my country due to political changes happening in my country. What was it like for...

      Hi I am 23 year old and I want leave my country. I hold work visa for Canada. I am convinced that I should leave my country due to political changes happening in my country. What was it like for you? And especially how was it like when you emigrated to a country when you was adult?

      15 votes
    16. How do you make yourself appear more approachable?

      My face is slightly asymmetrical, and one side of my lip points up, so it looks like I am smirking at people. At least, this is my theory as to why people feel uncomfortable around me without...

      My face is slightly asymmetrical, and one side of my lip points up, so it looks like I am smirking at people. At least, this is my theory as to why people feel uncomfortable around me without getting to know me first. But maybe it's something else entirely, or a combination. How can I make myself more approachable / likable? My work is in a field where I need to communicate with others often.

      The idea of faking smiles and acting overly friendly pains me, but if it's the only way I'll do it.

      26 votes
    17. Anyone have or pursuing a PhD?

      Hello Tildes, I recently was accepted to my first PhD program, to one of my top choices. I am really quite excited about it. So I wanted to ask you... If you have a PhD: Are you glad you spent all...

      Hello Tildes,

      I recently was accepted to my first PhD program, to one of my top choices. I am really quite excited about it.

      So I wanted to ask you...

      If you have a PhD:

      • Are you glad you spent all that time pursuing it?
      • What does having one allow you to do that not having one would prevent you from doing?
      • Do you still maintain connections with your advisor(s) and/or fellow students?
      • Are you proud of your research?
      • Do you still look at research in that field?
      • What do you do now?

      If you pursuing a PhD, or have one and can answer these questions as your past self:

      • Do you get along with your advisor?
      • How much time do you spend looking at publications in your field?
      • Is most of your new knowledge from these publications, or do you perhaps rely on books you have not yet read?
      • How has your own funding (e.g. NSF fellowship) or lack thereof impacted what you do with your day?
      • What do you anticipate doing after you finish?
      • What (open source?) tools do you find the most useful in your work?
      • How do you balance work/life?
      • If you are/were a TA, how did you learn how to be an effective one?
      • How do you make sure you are on track with your research goals?
      • What are your biggest wins? Your biggest regrets?
      • any other things you want to talk about?

      Cheers!

      20 votes
    18. Passion, direction, inspiration : How do you rediscover it?

      I'm stuck in a rut. What do you do to get out? How do you rediscover something that inspires you? Or something that you can be passionate about? I've got a handful of "projects" on the go at all...

      I'm stuck in a rut.

      What do you do to get out? How do you rediscover something that inspires you? Or something that you can be passionate about?

      I've got a handful of "projects" on the go at all times - writing some music, getting better at the sport I play, learn a new language for work, do some "proper" research. But they all sort of sit there looking tedious on my whiteboard. I'm just not passionate about any of them really (except maybe the sport, but I'm approaching 40 so it's not like I'm on the verge of setting the world on fire with it!).

      What do you do to rediscover your inspiration? What has worked for you?

      15 votes
    19. How do you deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way?

      I'll preface this by saying that I'm a high school student, so obviously I can't be facing any real stress, but it seems real enough to me, anyway. My strategy is usually just to bury it in...

      I'll preface this by saying that I'm a high school student, so obviously I can't be facing any real stress, but it seems real enough to me, anyway. My strategy is usually just to bury it in entertainment, but I see a lot of the people around me turning to using substances like nicotine, weed, or alcohol.

      I don't think any of these are really good options, so I'd like to hear what you guys do.

      22 votes
    20. Looking for advice on mother's deteriorating mental health

      Hey, I dunno if this is an appropriate place for this, and feel free to take it down if it's too direct/off-topic or what have you. I can't post this on reddit because my mom browses reddit and it...

      Hey, I dunno if this is an appropriate place for this, and feel free to take it down if it's too direct/off-topic or what have you. I can't post this on reddit because my mom browses reddit and it would be painfully obvious.

      So, as some of you may know, Backpage was a website like craigslist that got shut down completely due to complaints/reports of trafficking. In that shutdown, many people lost their jobs, my mother being one of them. My mom received a severance pay, and had to find work. Within that same timeframe, she also broke things off with a man whom she had been dating prior for reasons I still don't know. After having to sell her house, she tried to make it on her own, but then inevitably had to come and live with me and my Dad (Whom she had divorced about 10 years prior)). At some point a year or so ago, she had a nasty fall and hit her head, concussing her. Lately, she seems to be coming unhinged.

      Her behavior started with her continually retroactively accusing my father of cheating on her ~15 years ago on several occasions based off of information she swears happened but cannot corroborate. She has, in recent memory, been known to make false claims and, when presented with proof refuting her claims, to discard said proof and continue to push her claims instead. She has tried to get me to "remember" incidents over 10 years ago where she ran across "women who were his type". On top of that, she has accused my father of going into businesses she has applied for and telling them not to hire her. My dad wants nothing more than for her to get back up on her feet and get going. I have no idea why she would believe this.

      We had another incident where my little sister went downstairs to get something to eat, and used the microwave to prepare it. My mother interjected and told Ali that she shouldn't be using the microwave because she's afraid of the radiation it gives off. My little sister politely told her that that was bullshit and that she isn't worried. My mother then grew angry, told her something along the lines of "Fine, I'm not going to care if you die then", took her phone, and sent her upstairs (We all shave our rooms upstairs and she has her space downstairs, where the guest room is). This isn't the first time she's posited a completely ridiculous and baseless claim/conspiracy/concern, however I hadn't tried to refute it before.

      I texted my Aunt and debriefed her, and she said that she was aware of my mother's mental health declining, and she wanted to help, but I guess she said something my mom didn't like, because my mom has since blocked her on her phone, severing the only means of communication between them (She's 2 states away). My mom seems to keep doing this to people; saying and believing untrue/ridiculous things and becoming increasingly angry and hateful when she is refuted or called out on it. She has severed ties with her Aunt, the sister of my deceased grandmother, who tried to tell her she was wrong after accusing my grandmother of various things she didn't do. She doesn't have any family left that she hasn't pissed off.

      The only person left in my house who she isn't angry at is me, but I am supremely bad at handling these things and would much rather retreat into my room and not come out until it's all over. My girlfriend living with me is trying to provide support as well. This morning, my mother asked me to drop her off at a homeless shelter. She has a bed, food, clothes, a shower and restroom, and WiFi here, but she feels so much that my father is the root of all of her problems that she wants to leave at any cost.

      I don't know what to do now that my mother is slowly and surely losing her goddamn mind and is driving out everyone who loves her when they don't reaffirm her insane delusions and accusations. It hurts to see my father struggling to do something, because he can't just kick out the mother of his children; he still loves the woman he married. We can't tell her she needs to seek help, because that is interpreted as an insult and calling her crazy. I've tried, again and again, to tell her that we are all here to help her and we want the best for her but she seems to discard every good thing I say and pick out the worst, even if I didn't intend any kind of negativity. She's getting to the point where she's beginning to lose her temper with me and I'm afraid that that will be the final nail in the coffin. My father tried calling some place (I believe they specialized in mentally unwell people) and asking for advice, but when he asked them to call my mother and they agreed, my mother got angry at them and accused them of "collecting evidence" for my father. It's out of their hands if she isn't harming herself or others.

      I don't really know what I expect from posting this. Maybe commiseration, maybe sympathy, or advice, but I'm going fucking insane and do not have any prior experience to help me cope with/fix this and I would really appreciate if anybody does and they're willing to share

      21 votes
    21. How do I move past nihilistic depression?

      Nothing really matters and I can't enjoy anything anymore knowing that. Games are not that fun anymore, talking to people is boring, we are basically waiting for death and I can't enjoy myself or...

      Nothing really matters and I can't enjoy anything anymore knowing that. Games are not that fun anymore, talking to people is boring, we are basically waiting for death and I can't enjoy myself or will myself to work on anything anymore... How do I move past that?

      26 votes
    22. How do you persistently work on an idea or project?

      I often try and work on projects and ideas, although I find it difficult to continue a project that takes longer than a day or two. I'm surely not the only person that experiences this. Does...

      I often try and work on projects and ideas, although I find it difficult to continue a project that takes longer than a day or two. I'm surely not the only person that experiences this. Does anyone know why this happens? How do you deal with and overcome this in your own life?

      17 votes