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Ignorant Rich People vs. Capitalism

Bill Gates:

"Our priorities are tilted by marketplace imperatives," [Bill Gates] said. "The malaria vaccine in humanist terms is the biggest need. But it gets virtually no funding. But if you are working on male baldness or other things you get an order of magnitude more research funding because of the voice in the marketplace than something like malaria."

Malaria already has a great solution called DDT. Gates is upset that people aren't spending a ton of money on difficult scientific research to address a problem which doesn't directly affect their lives and is caused by governments.

We don't need a malaria vaccine, we need the governments of rich countries to stop depriving poor countries of the wonderful, cheap anti-malaria technology we already have. The West has killed millions of third world poor people. There is a genuine lack of empathy here, but Gates isn't pointing it out, he's just attacking capitalism which isn't at fault for government technology bans.

And the other side of the issue is the governments (or lack thereof) in third world countries. Why do they get malaria when we don't? Because they are poor. They have too many swamps and too little civilization. And why are they poor? Lack of capitalism. Lack of liberalism. Violence. Bad governments that don't provide law and order. Corrupt governments. Local thugs who won't being stopped by the police (and sometimes are the police).

Bill Gates ought to know about this. He's a major philanthropist. But you can't just throw money at a country full of corruption, violence and theft. Then you're just giving money to the thugs. (Or if not money, then food, medicine, etc.)

Richard Branson:

Capitalism is a system that has offered opportunities and success to millions, but it’s time it helped all people and the planet thrive. As Paul said: “When we begin to put justness on par with profits, we get the most valuable thing in the world. We get back our humanity.”

Translation:

Capitalism is a system that has offered opportunities and success to millions. But lets stop now while there are still billions of poor ppl in China, India, etc, who want opportunities and success. Fuck them, all my friends are rich enough.

Elon Musk:

Elon Musk personally cancels blogger's Tesla order after 'rude' post

What a bastard who doesn't like criticism, doesn't value customers, doesn't have the ethos of "the customer is always right", and isn't willing to treat business transactions impersonally.

Imagine if Kellogg's wouldn't sell cereal to some health food blogger who criticized their sugary cereals. That'd be ridiculous and wouldn't fit the wonderful capitalist attitude of not messing up a trade for mutual benefit over some separate issue.

Musk again:

The path to the CEO's office should not be through the CFO's office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.

There should be more than one path to the CEO's office!

Musk doesn't respect money and profit. CFOs tell you if you're making or losing money. In other words, are you wasting resources or creating more than you use? And he doesn't care about that. He pursues massive government subsidies while pushing expensive solar power.

And disrespecting the marketing department is bad too. The marketing department is the communications department. You have to communicate the value of your product to people. Making something people understand and want is important.

Musk again:

It's not as though we can keep burning coal in our power plants. Coal is a finite resource, too. We must find alternatives, and it's a better idea to find alternatives sooner then wait until we run out of coal, and in the meantime, put God knows how many trillions of tons of CO2 that used to be buried underground into the atmosphere.

We have a lot of coal left. Switching isn't just the sooner the better. Why does he refuse to consider prices? As we start getting low on coal then prices will go up and we'll switch efficiently. He wants to just switch now, never mind price. He doesn't care about economic efficiency. He doesn't understand the basics of capitalism.


Elliot Temple on October 7, 2016

Comments (35)

> Bill Gates ought to know about this.

He should know about DDT and that it's a better solution than a malaria vaccine?

I think he might. From https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_unplugged/transcript?language=en:

> So we've come up with a few new things. We've got bed nets. And bed nets are a great tool. What it means is the mother and child stay under the bed net at night, so the mosquitos that bite late at night can't get at them. And when you use indoor spraying with DDT and those nets you can cut deaths by over 50 percent. And that's happened now in a number of countries. It's great to see.

But then he goes on to say:

> But we have to be careful because malaria -- the parasite evolves and the mosquito evolves. So every tool that we've ever had in the past has eventually become ineffective. And so you end up with two choices. If you go into a country with the right tools and the right way, you do it vigorously, you can actually get a local eradication. And that's where we saw the malaria map shrinking. Or, if you go in kind of half-heartedly, for a period of time you'll reduce the disease burden, but eventually those tools will become ineffective, and the death rate will soar back up again. And the world has gone through this where it paid attention and then didn't pay attention.

Is he saying DDT+bed-nets is a bad solution at this point because no one is doing it fully enough to achieve local eradication, and before too long, the parasite will just evolve and make DDT ineffective anyway. Hmm...not sure that makes sense.

I briefly googled DDT to learn about it and see lots of controversy about whether it causes bad side-effects like cancer. I didn't dig into it so no idea whether it's good/bad science. But people think the side-effects are worse than malaria...

Anonymous at 4:45 PM on October 7, 2016 | #6750

literacy

> > Bill Gates ought to know about this.

> He should know about DDT and that it's a better solution than a malaria vaccine?

"DDT" was 3 paragraphs before "this".

you don't know how to read.

and DDT didn't become ineffective against mosquitos, it was falsely attacked by environmentalists.

after googling about DDT you don't know what it does. DDT kill mosquitos. DDT does not kill the malaria parasite like you talk about. this demonstrates some kind of basic literacy issue where you weren't able to google about something and then come away with even a very basic understanding of it, and you also came away with some made up false concepts about it.

are you interested in doing something about this underlying problem of lack of basic literacy skills? because i don't think trying to discuss other issues is a good use of time while that's going on in the background.


PS

http://industrialprogress.com/the-story-of-ddt/

curi at 6:10 PM on October 7, 2016 | #6751
> are you interested in doing something about this underlying problem of lack of basic literacy skills?

Yes. I'm new at this (thinking about philosophy, writing comments online). I was moving quickly and it introduced some mistakes. I'll try slowing down and reading/writing more carefully. Open to other suggestions.

Anonymous at 9:32 PM on October 7, 2016 | #6763
ok no problem.

one of the main things is not to give up.

people give up a lot.

people usually deny they will give up, so they don't discuss it in advance. then when they do give up they don't want to talk anymore.

one of the common problems people have is they don't ask for what they want.

e.g. they dislike criticism and lie about it and keep feeling bad about it privately. and it drives them to give up. they don't ask for less criticism, or for help with the problem (which they are ashamed of because they think it's irrational).

or they don't like certain types of questions, or some other thing that happens in discussion (like not answering certain things they said. or they don't like some topic changes). but they don't share the problem or ask for a change. they don't say what they want and get more and more frustrated.

or they don't like certain content that contradicts their beliefs, e.g. criticism of marriage, criticism of coercive parenting, or defense of capitalism and (classical) liberalism. but they try to respond how they think is rational for a while, but they are under strain and then hit a breaking point.

sometimes people don't bring up problems or ask for help because they don't think they have a good alternative. or they think what they want (or how they are reacting) is bad and they shouldn't want it (or react that way). nevertheless speaking up can work well. one can get replies like e.g. "ah i see the problem you're having. but i don't think that's a good way to address it. how about..."


------------------

one of the reasons reading is hard is schools teach people to just read the gist of stuff instead of the actual words. that's what our culture expects. this way of communicating vaguely is even more dominant for verbal communication.

school tests often feature logically-ambiguous questions and you're expected to know what the question means by guessing which meaning a test in our culture would mean.

school teachers often say ambiguous or contradictory stuff and take it really badly if you "split hairs" by saying anything about the problem, rather than just figuring out a vague approximation of what the teacher meant on your own.

parents often take clarifying questions really badly too. they often treat clarifying questions as backtalk rather than acknowledging their vague statements are vague. kids are expected to just get a general gist of what people mean, make sure it's culturally normal, and then continue on without detailed communication.

----------

i don't recommend always going slow. it can help as a learning exercise. and you can use it for important stuff. but it's valuable to be good at stuff (like reading and writing) when going normal speed, rather than being bad at them normally and then good at them when you go into a special careful mode. in order to use skills in daily life you want to be able to do them casually, quickly, without it being a big deal.

curi at 9:56 PM on October 7, 2016 | #6765
how did you find my stuff if you don't mind me asking?

curi at 9:57 PM on October 7, 2016 | #6766
> e.g. they dislike criticism and lie about it and keep feeling bad about it privately. and it drives them to give up. they don't ask for less criticism, or for help with the problem (which they are ashamed of because they think it's irrational).

I have huge hangups around criticism, they get in the way of me being active here and on FI.

The sum of it is that I expect criticism to be followed by coercion if I don't conform to the criticism. This makes responding to criticism (especially if it comes across as uncompromising) intimidating. This is a problem particularly here and with FI, as uncompromising is the standard. I agree with the standard, I'm not suggesting changing it, but it's difficult to deal with in combination with my hangups.

At a certain point I also expect people to give up on me if I don't improve enough, and just stop responding. I think this is true of at least some FI people too. I don't want to lose the opportunity to learn from FI by taking too many tries to make progress. That makes it scary, failure becomes expensive. I've been practising in lesser places because there's minimal cost of failure (so it's less scary), but that also means less potential growth.

It's reasonable to expect bad people to want to coerce you when you disagree. It's reasonable to expect bad people to get angry and lash out when you argue. That's what I've always been looking for on FI and getting tripped up by. It took me a while to recognise that.

So my best guess at the main mistake I'm making here is that I think people are bad. :(

I don't fully think that, some parts of me can think good people exist, that people like Rearden and Dagny and Galt can be real.

But there are too many other parts that I haven't integrated and defeated yet, parts that think everyone is evil and cruel. Parts that always find an explanation for how people can seem to do good things but still be evil (eg lying, manipulation,, setting a cruel trap, faking it for status). Once you start thinking people are bad, it's hard to stop.

I'm good at convincing myself that every seemingly good person I interact with is a liar.

Which is the bigger problem, that I meet new people expecting them to be bad or that I don't have a good way of identifying good people from the bad?

Both are disasters, fixing either would be a big improvement.

I think good is winning the conflict. I used to never be able to think positively of people and would respond to any sign of it with skeptical contempt. But it's becoming more common that I can actually think positively of someone.

It's taking too long. 20 years of hate and anger are hard to beat. I want good to win faster.

I think I've disassociated my judgement that people are bad from the situations in which I first made that judgement. So it's no longer tied to the specific bad things that happened, and instead is tied to people in general.

I'm going to try to criticise my idea that people are bad.

The idea is that everyone is bad, and puts up a front that breaks down occasionally. It's all part of a constant deception put out by everyone. People are always trying to pretend to be good, because they think that would get stuff from others. They're constantly frustrated by failure to get results, because no-one else is good enough to value what they do.

...

It's total nonsense. It broke down within a paragraph of making it explicit.

So it can only be true that some people are bad, and yes they try to get stuff from good people by faking goodness. If everyone was bad, they would all realise it and rob each other.

New idea that people are bad:
There are some bad people. The bad people hide. They play along, fake being safe, waiting for their moment. If I don't guard myself against everyone, the bad people slip in and will take whatever opportunity I give them.

This survives better. But results in miserable life. If I guard against everyone, I deny any possibility of interacting with good people. This seems like a bad way to live. Also, I contradict it constantly by buying things like food or medicine (it could be poison??!?1!?!?!).

So from that: 1. I can't guard against everything (I don't know of everything to guard against) and 2. bad people would have already taken the many openings I've left them if they were that common.

I need *reasonable* safeguards against bad people, that don't deny allowing interaction with new people. Eg don't loan people I don't know valuable things and don't leave myself defenceless against them. I need tests of people to allow me to detect when someone is bad, e.g analysing their philosophy, identifying it if they think theft or violence are good things, testing their claims to being good by seeing if they can defend their ideas against criticism.

(sorry this got disorganised, I'm trying to work out a bunch of inexplicit fragmented stuff here)

By the way, curi, do you log IPs here? I worry sometimes about that when posting anon.

Different Anon at 10:08 AM on November 25, 2016 | #7710
> By the way, curi, do you log IPs here? I worry sometimes about that when posting anon.

I recommend using a VPN if you're worried about IP logging.

PIA seems good: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

Anonymous at 11:00 AM on November 25, 2016 | #7711
IPs are logged. i don't normally look at them. if you're concerned about this, you should be concerned about many other websites too. the solution is PIA.

curi at 11:18 AM on November 25, 2016 | #7712
> The sum of it is that I expect criticism to be followed by coercion if I don't conform to the criticism. This makes responding to criticism (especially if it comes across as uncompromising) intimidating.

what sort of coercion? too vague.

> There are some bad people. The bad people hide. They play along, fake being safe, waiting for their moment. If I don't guard myself against everyone, the bad people slip in and will take whatever opportunity I give them.

what sort of opportunities, specifically?

i often interact with bad people. even if i know they're bad in lots of ways.

instead of worrying so much about judging people or assuming they suck, you should worry more about methods of interaction that work regardless. like critical discussion of ideas. suppose someone is out to get you. they could propose some bad ideas on purpose. but those won't survive criticism. so it'll be fine. or they could be stupid and propose bad ideas for that reason. and it doesn't even matter which it is, you don't have to know if it's malice or stupidity, you just criticize the ideas like normal. and the very same way of proceeding will work well if they are a genius and you're mistaken, too!

curi at 11:26 AM on November 25, 2016 | #7713
> By the way, curi, do you log IPs here? I worry sometimes about that when posting anon.

You can also try browser plugin VPNs if you are new to VPN. They are free.

Eg: Betternet

FF at 5:09 PM on November 25, 2016 | #7714
>> The sum of it is that I expect criticism to be followed by coercion if I don't conform to the criticism. This makes responding to criticism (especially if it comes across as uncompromising) intimidating.

>what sort of coercion? too vague.

Violence, theft, a mob "coming for me" (be it physically or online).

>> There are some bad people. The bad people hide. They play along, fake being safe, waiting for their moment. If I don't guard myself against everyone, the bad people slip in and will take whatever opportunity I give them.

> what sort of opportunities, specifically?

All of the opportunities I don't know about yet. All of the maybes. Like here someone could identify who I am, I know that I've said enough that it can be guessed, then use the hangups and fears I'm exposing to target cruelty. It seems dumb, like it's way more effort than it's worth. I can't think of why it would happen, but I don't understand well why people are cruel, it seems to happen for reasons I can't grasp yet.

That's why the problem with identifying who is bad is an issue. I think "people are dangerous" is false, some are, some aren't. But I don't have good standards for identifying *which* ones are, and throwing the idea "people are dangerous" out entirely is potentially dangerous.

> instead of worrying so much about judging people or assuming they suck, you should worry more about methods of interaction that work regardless. like critical discussion of ideas. suppose someone is out to get you. they could propose some bad ideas on purpose. but those won't survive criticism. so it'll be fine. or they could be stupid and propose bad ideas for that reason. and it doesn't even matter which it is, you don't have to know if it's malice or stupidity, you just criticize the ideas like normal. and the very same way of proceeding will work well if they are a genius and you're mistaken, too!

I agree that this is a good method. I *want* it to be the solution. But even if I try to stick to that others can bring in the problems I mentioned above (violence, theft, harassment). Even online that's not impossible. It doesn't work "regardless".

This seems like a "how safe is safe enough" sort of problem.
Like, it's possible to get hit by a car if you go outside, just by accident. You can avoid this danger a lot by avoiding busy roads, or avoid it entirely by never going outside. But then you've cut off a bunch of options in life for the sake of a *really* rare danger.

If I don't defeat the idea that people are bad and replace it with something more specific, every interaction can turn into something scary. Then critical discussion can be scary, and I make mistakes like being defensive, or just stop interacting entirely.

I just noticed the defensiveness thing is mixed up and contradictory.
Like if someone crits me, the fear is they'll then "come for me" because of that flaw. I get defensive because some part of me is actually trying to defend me. But then maybe they'll decide to "come for me" because I'm disagreeing with them. So the defensiveness fails to solve the problem anyway. I can get trapped between these. But then maybe they'll "come for me" because I'm not responding because I'm trapped. There's no good safeguard (beside never talking to anyone).

I spent years constructing this trap for my own mind :/ it sucks

An idea I came up with to try to start defeating this is:
"if everyone is this irrational then I'm fucked anyway, so I might as well try talking to people and maybe I'll find out I'm not actually fucked"

It helped, it allowed progress to be made at all. But it's a risk-taking mindset that has sometimes blinded me to real dangers.

(I feel like I'm supposed to reach some sort of conclusion here, like I've just said a bunch of stuff but haven't "finished", but I think this is another mistake that I mess up posts with, trying to reach some special conclusion, and not saying anything if I don't know how to do that

but what will go wrong if I post without some valid conclusion? maybe you get bored and don't reply, but I can come back later when I do come up with something better, I'll try to take a more conversational attitude to posting rather than trying to "finish")

Anonymous at 3:07 PM on November 26, 2016 | #7716
> IPs are logged. i don't normally look at them. if you're concerned about this, you should be concerned about many other websites too. the solution is PIA.

And as well as that, for people in the UK there are more and more reasons to get a VPN:

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/11/uk-government-confirm-move-force-isps-blocking-adult-sites.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/investigatory-powers-bill-act-snoopers-charter-browsing-history-what-does-it-mean-a7436251.html

Anonymous at 3:24 PM on November 26, 2016 | #7717
> And as well as that, for people in the UK there are more and more reasons to get a VPN:

Did you look at that person's IP? How did you come to know that he/she is from UK?

FF at 7:45 PM on November 26, 2016 | #7718
i didn't write #7717. of course i didn't look at an IP. i assume it's just someone from the UK making a comment about their country.

curi at 8:21 PM on November 26, 2016 | #7719
PIA is shit, though.

Anonymous at 2:17 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7721
> PIA is shit, though.

that's not an argument and doesn't address the experience of it working well had by me and various others here.

Anonymous at 2:22 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7722
i rarely get an internet connection with it on

Anonymous at 2:23 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7723
PIA is nothing like that for me. probably a problem on your end.

Anonymous at 2:35 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7725
betternet works better and it's free

Anonymous at 2:40 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7726
actually, it's shit as well. pages take ages to load if they load at all.

Anonymous at 2:45 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7727
it creates issues with google on top of it! it accuses me of being a robot for unusual traffic in my network. it's creating more problems than it solves so far.

Anonymous at 2:53 AM on November 27, 2016 | #7728
> i didn't write #7717. of course i didn't look at an IP. i assume it's just someone from the UK making a comment about their country.

Yeah I just thought it was worth mentioning since PIA came up. I don't know how many UK people post here.

Anonymous at 1:09 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7729
> it creates issues with google on top of it! it accuses me of being a robot for unusual traffic in my network. it's creating more problems than it solves so far.

If you switch to it after normal use for a long time, it's going to question why you're logging in from a different IP suddenly.

This is a security measure. You just need to confirm that you're actually you.

Wouldn't you want google to notice if someone else starts logging into your accounts?

Anonymous at 1:39 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7730
Have been thinking this over more.

My premise of being scared of people is like the malevolent universe premise. It's being scared that *something* may go wrong, without knowing what.

But that's always true of everything all the time. Problems are inevitable. Trying to avoid exposing myself to dangerous people "somehow" (how? without knowing who and why and how they'll do it, I can't answer that) is no different to trying to avoid upsetting the sun god by sacrificing goats or something.

I'm focusing on the problems that *might* happen, blindly and fearfully, rather than the problems I *do* have and *can* work on.

Like fixing my known life problems. Which I can do by seeking better knowledge and improving.

And if I interact with bad people and they try to coerce me, I'll have something specific so I can actually work to deal with it directly.

> instead of worrying so much about judging people or assuming they suck, you should worry more about methods of interaction that work regardless. like critical discussion of ideas. suppose someone is out to get you. they could propose some bad ideas on purpose. but those won't survive criticism. so it'll be fine. or they could be stupid and propose bad ideas for that reason. and it doesn't even matter which it is, you don't have to know if it's malice or stupidity, you just criticize the ideas like normal. and the very same way of proceeding will work well if they are a genius and you're mistaken, too!

So yeah, this is how I need to approach people. It's focused on the problems I do have (not understanding a thing I'm actually dealing with) rather than the ones I might possibly have someday somehow (the rest of infinite).

Thanks for the help.

Anonymous at 3:18 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7735
#7735
I have also been thinking about this some. The fear of criticism being used to coerce you seems to me in some respects like the fear some people have of guns.

Yes, there are bad people in the world. And bad people with guns are even more dangerous than bad people without guns.

So a bad person might use a gun to help him coerce you. It can happen.

As a result some people try to keep as far away from guns as possible, ignore them, try to get them banned, etc.

But the answer is NOT to ignore guns, or wish guns didn't exist, or cower in fear in your house because somewhere out there in the world is a bad guy with a gun.

What stops a bad guy with a gun is: A GOOD GUY WITH A GUN.

To be a good guy with a gun, you've got to get a gun. And learn how to use it from other good guys with guns. You've got to go to the range and train with the gun etc.

Meaning, the solution to bad guys with guns involves more guns, not less.

Likewise, I think the solution to bad guys who might use criticism to coerce you involves more criticism, not less. The effective way to respond to someone trying to coerce you with criticism is to be good enough at criticizing their criticism.

PAS at 3:40 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7736
>>> The sum of it is that I expect criticism to be followed by coercion if I don't conform to the criticism. This makes responding to criticism (especially if it comes across as uncompromising) intimidating.

>> what sort of coercion? too vague.

> Violence, theft, a mob "coming for me" (be it physically or online).

oh so stuff that has basically nothing to do with criticism and which won't happen...

> Like if someone crits me, the fear is they'll then "come for me" because of that flaw.

do you do self-criticism?

> This seems like a "how safe is safe enough" sort of problem.

make a try for a good life you value, whatever the risks. you might as well.

Anonymous at 11:44 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7738
> My premise of being scared of people is like the malevolent universe premise.

yes you vaguely feel people are bad and dangerous, and that living a good life (with e.g. learning via online discussions) is risky and won't work.

> I'm focusing on the problems that *might* happen, blindly and fearfully, rather than the problems I *do* have and *can* work on.

right

Anonymous at 11:46 PM on November 27, 2016 | #7739
> But the answer is NOT to ignore guns, or wish guns didn't exist, or cower in fear in your house because somewhere out there in the world is a bad guy with a gun.

I keep meeting people who thinking banning guns will help. I point out that, if guns get banned, only criminals will have guns.

It never gets much of a response. If they respond coherently at all it's with examples of legally owned weapons being used badly. School shootings seem to be a favourite example that they use.

I point out that, even if they couldn't get a weapon illegally, it's not actually that difficult for someone to work out how to make explosives or poisons, and if they're on a suicidal path to mutual destruction they wont care about the inherent risks.
(and it's getting easier to just make your own guns too, with 3d printing)

I've never had someone try to argue past that point. They don't concede either.

Anonymous at 5:53 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7744
> even if they couldn't get a weapon illegally

oops, I mean if they couldn't get it legally

Anonymous at 5:58 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7745
> I keep meeting people who thinking banning guns will help.

you keep *choosing* to meet that kind of person instead of spending more time in other contexts.

Anonymous at 6:26 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7746
>> Like if someone crits me, the fear is they'll then "come for me" because of that flaw.

>do you do self-criticism?

Yes. I spend some time every day reflecting on the day, what I've done, what I'm going to do, what I've learned. Sometimes this involves self-crit.

The occasions when I'm comfortable with criticism seem like the occasions when I self-crit. It's the occasions where I forget/don't think of the fact that I'm talking to someone else. I'm only thinking of what's being said, not who's saying it.

I don't yet have a good grasp of why the occasions where I don't get scared are different to the ones where I do. I suspect it is either different style/kind of crit that doesn't trigger my hangups, or it is the kind of subject being critted that I have less hangups around, or some part of my own context (like having a lot else on my mind), or some combination of these.

Anonymous at 7:09 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7747
Richard Feynman didn't think about who he was talking to:

> I also met Niels Bohr. His name was Nicholas Baker in those days, and he came to Los Alamos with Jim Baker, his son, whose name is really Aage Bohr. They came from Denmark, and they were very famous physicists, as you know. Even to the big shot guys, Bohr was a great god. We were at a meeting once, the first time he came, and everybody wanted to see the great Bohr. So there were a lot of people there, and we were discussing the problems of the bomb. I was back in a corner somewhere. He came and went, and all I could see of him was from between people’s heads. In the morning of the day he’s due to come next time, I get a telephone call. “Hello—Feynman?” “Yes.” “This is Jim Baker.” It’s his son. “My father and I would like to speak to you.” “Me? I’m Feynman, I’m just a—” “That’s right. Is eight o’clock OK?” So, at eight o’clock in the morning, before anybody’s awake, I go down to the place. We go into an office in the technical area and he says, “We have been thinking how we could make the bomb more efficient and we think of the following idea.” I say, “No, it’s not going to work. It’s not efficient… Blab, blab, blah.” So he says, “How about so and so?” I said, “That sounds a little bit better, but it’s got this damn fool idea in it.” This went on for about two hours, going back and forth over lots of ideas, back and forth, arguing. The great Niels kept lighting his pipe; it always went out. And he talked in a way that was un-understandable—mumble, mumble, hard to understand. His son I could understand better. “Well,” he said finally, lighting his pipe, “I guess we can call in the big shots now.” So then they called all the other guys and had a discussion with them. Then the son told me what happened. The last time he was there, Bohr said to his son, “Remember the name of that little fellow in the back over there? He’s the only guy who’s not afraid of me, and will say when I’ve got a crazy idea. So next time when we want to discuss ideas, we’re not going to be able to do it with these guys who say everything is yes, yes, Dr. Bohr. Get that guy and we’ll talk with him first.” I was always dumb in that way. I never knew who I was talking to. I was always worried about the physics. If the idea looked lousy, I said it looked lousy. If it looked good, I said it looked good. Simple proposition. I’ve always lived that way. It’s nice, it’s pleasant—if you can do it.

Anonymous at 7:28 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7749
> Likewise, I think the solution to bad guys who might use criticism to coerce you involves more criticism, not less. The effective way to respond to someone trying to coerce you with criticism is to be good enough at criticizing their criticism.

Yes.

One particular problem this solves is when I misunderstand crit as an attempt at coercion. Responding to this critically helps reveal whether I misunderstood it or not. Then even if I did understand their intent correctly, it'll be more clear. If I do reveal my misunderstanding, I find I have more options than I thought.

Also, just like pretending guns don't exist means hiding from a problem (so limiting your own life and benefiting the aggressors), so does pretending bad ideas/crits don't exist. It's letting them win by not competing.

Anonymous at 8:09 AM on November 28, 2016 | #7750

Gun bans

#7744

> I keep meeting people who thinking banning guns will help. I point out that, if guns get banned, only criminals will have guns.

Another thing to point out: The recent Ohio State attack represents the *best* *possible* anti-gun end state. The attacker used only a car and a knife, and was stopped by a cop (with a gun, of course). Is this their view of "success"? What if the cop had been further away, or the attacker a little "luckier" with his car and knife strategies?

BTW for an analysis of this event you won't see in the mainstream media: http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2016/11/ohio-state-terror-attack.html

In particular:
> 2). Obey the "No Guns" signs at your peril. I have already written extensively about all of this. I wonder how many of the victims of terrorism would have broken the rules if they knew they were to be chosen that day as victims of the Jihad? Carry everywhere...be alert...be suspicious...some people do not want to be your friend and hate you simply because you are not like them. Be ready to kill them when they come to act out those desires. Perhaps these stupid little signs will go away next year...perhaps not. We should not care.

PAS at 5:29 PM on November 30, 2016 | #7768
> Another thing to point out: The recent Ohio State attack represents the *best* *possible* anti-gun end state. The attacker used only a car and a knife, and was stopped by a cop (with a gun, of course). Is this their view of "success"? What if the cop had been further away, or the attacker a little "luckier" with his car and knife strategies?

Also the 84 people killed in Paris by a van.

So even without guns, even without someone with the determination to learn about explosives or poisons, cars and vans are readily-available tools that can be used for mass murder.

There aren't any good ways of stopping attacks like that beside shooting the driver.

Anonymous at 5:09 AM on December 1, 2016 | #7770

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)