Overwatch Beginner's Guide

Character tier list by importance of aiming and mouse skill. This is a rough guide to who will be easier to play for the majority of players:

Bottom: Mercy, Reinhardt, Torbjorn, Symmetra
Low: Lucio, Winston, Bastion
Medium: Junkrat, Reaper, D.Va
High: Mei, Zenyatta, Roadhog, Zarya
Higher: Pharah, Hanzo, Tracer, Genji
All About Aim: Widowmaker, Soldier 76, McCree

What heroes to start with:

Which heroes to try first depends on the map. There's 3 situations. On 9 maps you can be either offense or defense. The other 3 maps (nepal, ilios, lijiang tower) are King of the Hill where it's a symmetric fight.

Defense: Try Torbjorn first because his turret aims by itself and he can be really strong for a new player. Build his turret towards the back where it'll fight once the enemy team comes in and attacks, but they won't be able to kill it easily from a distance. Putting it around a corner the enemy team will come through can work well. Then try Symmetra, Bastion and Junkrat who are also defensive specialists that you can be effective with quickly without amazing aim.

Offense: Try Winston on teams with another tank (it's too much pressure on you if you're a solo tank). More advanced characters to try later on are Zarya (with another tank) or Pharah.

King of the Hill: Try Winston then Reaper to shoot people at close range. Zarya works here too if you've gotten comfortable with her already.

Every map: Try Lucio and Mercy on teams with another healer (as solo healer it's too much pressure on you until you get used to playing them). Lucio is preferred on King of the Hill maps and Mercy on other maps, but both are fine. Roadhog is reasonably easy to use, but at first try to have another tank on the team so you aren't under the pressure of doing all the tanking alone.

Focus on learning a small number of characters. These are suggested characters to try out. Try them and see which ones you like more and less. Then pick some to focus on. Don't play them all. If you focus on a few characters you will be able to get good with them faster. 3-5 would be a good number of characters. Try to pick one character for each type of map so you always have someone good to use. Picking one character from each of the in-game labels (Offense, Defense, Support, Tank) would be reasonable, too. You could even start with only 1-2 characters if you're careful to pick flexible characters.

Starter tips:

Duplicate heroes can be a problem: don't use a third copy of any hero on your team. Never use two Symmetras. Don't use 2 snipers (hanzo and widow are both snipers). Initially, avoid doubles of any hero except Mercy, Lucio, Zenyatta, Winston, Roadhog, Torbjorn.

All teams need to have a healer and a tank. Symmetra is a "support" but not a healer. D.Va is not really a tank and cannot be your only tank. Having two tanks is recommended unless your tank is Reinhardt in which case one tank is fine (D.Va can count as one of your two tanks). Having two healers is generally recommended but they're the least popular so you'll frequently only have one. Zenyatta heals less than Mercy and Lucio, so Zenyatta doesn't work as well as a solo healer. Note that some characters can reduce the pressure on the healer(s), especially Soldier 76 and Symmetra, and also anyone with a self-heal ability.

Don't use Torbjorn, Symmetra, Bastion, or Junkrat on offense or king of the hill.

Don't use a sniper on king of the hill maps. Don't use snipers on offense at first. The way people start with snipers is you find a spot in back and then wait for someone to come in view for you to snipe, and that only works on defense. However, as you improve, both sniper characters can actually be pretty mobile and work on offense too.

If you want a high damage hero with good range, try Pharah. Her rockets do area of effect damage, so your aim doesn't have to be as exact as some of the other long range heroes. However she's harder to use effectively than the starter heroes I suggested above. If you play Pharah, don't fly around all the time. The majority of the time, Pharah should stay on the ground and play like a normal hero. Use your jetpack to fly at key moments when the enemy is under pressure. Flying generally makes it so the entire enemy team can shoot at you, so you will die fast if the enemies aren't already really busy in a brawl with the rest of your team.

Set your mouse sensitivity in controls before you play. You want to get a good setting and then get used to it. Each time you change it you have to relearn some of your mouse skill. Here's how to get started: spin your character's view around in a full circle. So put your crosshairs on something then move your mouse sideways so you spin until you see the crosshairs on the same thing again. You can measure the mouse movement distance for this and it's called inches/360. Set it so that it's around 80% of the width of your mouse pad. In regular gameplay you want to be able to spin around half way (180 degrees) to see behind you. This will make a 180 take a little less than half your mousepad so you can still do a 180 even if your mouse is a little off center. (If you have a small mousepad, you may also want to consider getting a larger one meant for gamers.) This will make your mouse slower than a lot of people are used to, but will improve your ability to aim.

Reinhardt is pretty easy to control, but he's very central to the team. Playing him puts pressure on you similar to being a solo tank even if you have another tank on the team. Wait to try Reinhardt until you have a reasonable understanding of what's going on in the game. And when you play Reinhardt please don't use your charge ability to leave your team behind and suicide into the enemy team.

Symmetra is bad when defending the last area of the map before you lose. At that point, your teleporter won't do much. Change heroes after a death when you're defending the last area. Also when playing Symmetra you need to focus on staying alive. Your big goal is to get a teleporter up before your first death.

With Roadhog, after you hook someone you should hold down left click to shoot them in the head as soon as possible, and then hit Quick Melee for an extra 30 damage immediately after shooting.

Soldier 76 has good range but doesn't do his best work in close up brawls. He does best on high ground near some cover, a bit towards the back. At longer ranges do burst fire with his gun (if you just hold it down constantly the bullets start scattering a lot and losing accuracy, but if you shoot around 4-5 shots at a time and then stop shooting for a moment then he can maintain great accuracy at long range). Soldier 76's bullets hit instantly with no travel time. He's a pretty difficult hero to use because his damage really depends on how well you aim.

Some people think McCree is a flanker who fights at short range. This is incorrect. McCree's gun has perfect accuracy and hits instantly at any range, so he's actually one of the best long range shooters. He's also good at close range duels too thanks to his flashbang. McCree is hard to play because really amazing aim makes a huge difference. If you do try him, please stay grouped with your team most of the time.

Zarya is best on offense for taking capture points or pushing the payload to the final end point. The reason is Graviton Surge is a great ultimate ability for getting a team wipe. On Hanamura, Volskaya and Anubis the offense can win the game by winning only two team fights. Two good Graviton Surges can win the game! Graviton Surge excels at winning a teamfight to make progress at the tough spots where you might otherwise get stuck.

The key to playing Winston is to hang back and then jump in when your team fights. Never jump in alone or you'll just die to their whole team. And don't hang out in the middle towards the front of your team. With your short range you won't accomplish much, and with your big size people will shoot you. Winston has to either commit hard to a fight (which needs to be at the same time your team fights) or else don't fight at all. Winston is either in or out. (After fighting for a while, if your team is losing or you're running out of health, then it's fine to use your jump ability to run away.)

Lucio's speed and healing auras don't stack if you have 2 lucios. If both lucios are alive in the same place, one should use healing and the other use speed.

Play extra defensively when you are Mercy and have resurrection ready. You can even stop healing sometimes to stay safe around a corner if a big fight is happening and you need to make sure you live long enough to resurrect everyone.

Lucio's Sound Barrier and Mercy's Resurrect both benefit a ton from your team grouping up. Talk to them! Use the 'Z' hotkey to announce your ultimate is ready and use the Group Up communication too.

If people on your team die, try to regroup in a safe, conservative position. Don't just run in and die once the fight turns against your team too much. While waiting around to regroup, use that time to talk to your team!

Don't flank when you're new. Just stay with your team. Flanking is an advanced tactic which will hurt your team if it isn't done right. Just make sure to pick heroes that are good in the team instead of flanking heroes (tracer, genji, reaper). The flanking heroes can play with their team more normally on the King of the Hill maps, but avoid them on offense and defense for your first 100 levels or longer.

If you're the only healer or tank, switching heroes can screw your team over. Either don't switch that game or, if you want to switch, type a chat message telling your team that you're switching and someone else needs to switch too in order to take over healing or tanking for you. If you switch heroes in a way that messes up your team setup without communicating with your team, you are screwing your team over.

Try not to switch heroes when your ultimate is at 75% or more charge. It's most efficient to switch after a death with your ultimate at 25% or less charge.

On characters with slower attacks like pharah and mccree, shoot each shot individually, don't hold down left click.

V is a bad default hotkey for Quick Melee. Change it to F (easier to reach) and/or a mouse button.

Put the Effects and Model Detail graphics settings to Low. This removes some clutter so it's easier to see what's going on. For the other settings, just make sure you get plenty of frame rate (if you ever drop under 70 fps that's pretty bad).

If you play Widowmaker, go to the controls settings for her specific character and set the zoom scoped sensitivity to exactly 0 (zero). In short that makes your mouse act normally so you don't have to learn two different ways of using your mouse.

Set your crosshair color to green so it's easier to see. I also recommend setting the Short Crosshair option for all characters. You should keep Bloom enabled initially to see how it works, but then disable it for everyone except Soldier 76. Bloom makes your crosshairs expand, in order to show when your character's gun is less accurate. (Some guns are less accurate after you shoot multiple times in a row).

If you're missing lots of shots, definitely stay away from the final two tiers of characters on the aiming difficulty list. And don't play Zenyatta either because if you aren't hitting many shots with him then he's clearly inferior to Lucio and Mercy.

Feel free to try any character if you want for a game or two and see how it goes.

With any character, if it's really not working, just switch to another character mid game. You can try them again another time with different allies and opponents.

Some of these tips won't apply to you if you've already got great aim from playing another shooter like Counterstrike or Team Fortress for many years. The game also changes if you have a group of 6 good players who know each other, plan out strategies in advance, specialize with specific heroes for their team, talk on voice chat, and work as an organized team.

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The Beginning of Infinity Criticism

Does anyone know of written criticism of the quantum physics David Deutsch presents in his book The Beginning of Infinity? Or of the philosophy?

Does anyone know qualified people who disagree and are willing to debate the matter? Debate would be in public, in text, unmoderated, unstructured, no time or length limits, permanently archived.

If no and no, does anyone see a big problem where people deny the truth of Deutsch's positions but won't respond to his books or debate the issue in a serious way?

Note: I'm not summarizing or quoting the ideas because I don't want people try to argue with a summary or excerpt. Please don't read wikipedia and then start arguing.

PS I have the same questions regarding Atlas Shrugged and generally regarding Rand, Mises, Szasz, Godwin and Popper.

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Moderators Suck

Someone posted fearfully to the philosophy stack exchange: http://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/34452/are-great-philosophers-resting-sometimes-from-study
I know it's a funny question but I wanted to post it and I hope they don't close it.
I pointed out that mods terrorizing users is a problem. Shouldn't they change something? Unpredictably blocking people from asking questions is noticed and bothers potential participants.

A mod promptly deleted my question as "trolling" and said it was unreasonable. No details or arguments. (I posted it in the "meta" section for asking questions about the site, not in the regular section.)

Meanwhile my philosophy question about how to deal with non sequiturs was blocked. So was my question seeking quality criticism of Objectivism. And some other guy's question about how to be a philosopher. And my question about what philosophy questions people should ask and don't. What a stupid site.

Edit: My post asking what is trolling (since my post was deleted for trolling) was also deleted without answering. (Again asked in the appropriate meta section for questions about the site, not on the main site.)

Edit 2: Related thought:

ppl fake being patient and reasonable initially. then then they get fed up and get really nasty. this is way worse than if they'd just be mildly nasty the whole time consistently, instead of giving a fake first impression to set the tone wrong

Edit 3: I received a 7 day ban because
I get that you like Ayn Rand and Karl Popper... but that doesn't make any and every question about them fit here. I've tried discussing it with you, but you don't seem to want to hear it...
and something about replying to people in comments (mostly I replied to him, the moderator, who kept arguing with me in comments...) which is bad because they hate discussion.

one of the notable things about the ban, in my view, is that i'm banned for nothing in particular. the moderator was unwilling to point to any specific thing and say it was a bannable offense, and yet i'm banned.

Edit 4: After discussing with the moderator:

- there are no written criteria for bans in public
- he's unable to correctly answer simple questions like whether or not there are written criteria for bans in public
- he thinks banning people who don't follow the site ethos guidelines stuff (how much? what degree of disobedience gets a ban?) is objective and clear criteria that everyone should find clear without it needing to be stated
- they ban with no warning that a ban may be incoming

Edit 5: Meanwhile on the physics stack exchange someone decided to inform me that I don't know David Deutsch personally (I do) after flaming _The Beginning of Infinity_ without reading it b/c it's popular.

The lack of online discussion places that aren't completely awful is a big problem. There's FI and that's about it.

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From The Censored Pile

The Philosophy Stack Exchange features aggressive, arbitrary moderation and is hostile to discussion. The below is some of my deleted content. (One good thing about the site is at least you can still access your own writing after they delete it):

Utilitarianism doesn't make sense. What Utilitarians should do is change their mind.

They want to promote the greatest good to the greatest number, or something like that. But how do you calculate how much good any given thing is in order to make decisions? Utilitarianism doesn't offer a viable way to calculate this, so utilitarianism doesn't actually give any clear indication about which actions to take or not take.

Instead the way utilitarianism works is people want to take some action (first) and then (second) make vague appeals to it being good for lots of people.

Also, people aren't all equal. The programmers who worked on the iPhone matter more than some guy serving burgers. They make a bigger difference in the world and help way more people. They are better at thinking and learning and problem solving. They're more logical and rational. They're on average more moral people who'd be easier to cooperate productively with. Take your pick of criteria and iPhone programmers will tend to beat burger servers.

(There are many breeds of Utilitarianism. If you pick one and ask a question providing some detailed claims about how it works, then I could comment on those specific claims. I think you'd want to submit this as a new question on the site. If I don't see it you can email me [email protected] with a link to it.)

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The Bachelor Discussion

This point contains some spoilers for The Bachelor, season 14, from 2010.

i am watching the bachelor
cuz i like the show unreal
which is a scripted show about making a (fake made up) reality tv show like the bachelor
it has some interesting info about how much ppl suck and in what ways
shows lots of lies
this season one of the girls fucked a cameraman or other staff dude
he got fired and she got kicked off
well idk if fucked. mb just made out. they were vague
on bachelor or unreal?
the convo where she got kicked off was really awkward cuz of his communication style (the host dude did it)
he wouldn't just directly say stuff
it was all such defensive indirect language
stuff like we don't see how you can continue
and we take this very seriously
something interesting was
they were driving to some date and he was saying in vocieover how he really wanted to get to know her better and can't wait
he could just stop the car and talk to her now. or talk while driving
they put way more effort into things like doing activities, going places, than into actually talking
this is intentional
dating would be way cheaper if ppl just like talked to each other
and easier in like practical way
but then they’d have to like talk to each other
the show format
the rose ceremony
he names girls
but he doesn't give reasons
and he doesn't name rejects. only keepers
the rejects are just implied
the lack of reasons lets audience have more fantasies
make up what's going on
how they like it
he's on date with a divorcee right now
she said lots of ppl don't realize they have expectations about marriage
i think that's true
they just figure they will get married and it will be like how marriage is
and they want and expect all kinds of stuff
but they don't realize they are expecting stuff. they just assume it's the default
but u can take 2 conventional normal ppl and their defaults still won't match up that well
he said one of his expectations in marriage is his wife has his back 100%. like, even if he's wrong, i take it.
they drink a lot of wine
it's expected, not rly optional. would be costly not to
a girl just said she may not act or seem insecure, but she's prolly the most insecure girl there
yet somehow most of the audience didn't hear her say "i am a liar", and she doesn't think of herself as asying that
now a girl basically said her idea of what marriage should be like is the fun and excitement and energy of courtship and just don't have that die down
that's so like predictable – and predictably doesn't work
ppl plan that then don't
@ giving reasons - also they often don’t have good reasons, or wouldn’t want to admit their reasons
yeah it's way easier to pick ppl by race, age and beauty when u aren't expected to explain anything
the notes they get about dates are cryptic and always very short
“i saw ur boobs, and they have stretch marks”
overall there isn't much communication
ali is like gushing about how great jake is cuz they were walking down street and passed flower shop and he bought her flowers
they are fucking thrilled with everything he does for them
it's required. if she didn't like the flowers it pretty much signals pick a different girl
u listen to taylor swift
not much
one of her songs had lyrics about pretending to be the kind of girl he likes in the beginning of the relationship
i get music on ppl's streams i don't pick
>Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
the whole verse is:

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You're the king baby I'm your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
"Oh my God, who is she?"
I get drunk on jealousy
But you'll come back each time you leave
'Cause darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream
the guy is trying to reassure every girl and tell them he's into them
to keep his options open
there was a single mom iwth a 7yo
he went on a solo date with her and met her kid and acted super nice
and kept her at that time. then got rid of her a little later
pretty transparent IMO. but ppl don't look at it that way. they see that he was like totally cool with the kid and nice to her, but then it just didn't work out later for some other unnamed reason
she also said don't kiss her until she wins show, no other girls left.
such a play for attention
and he bends over backwards to say he respects that and pretend it's about values
oh hey they got [person] as a guest script writer
talking about REALLY knowing someone
instead of any substance u just throw in superlatives
i'm completely into gia "right now" while on solo date with her
he loves the fact that she's smiling
gia's family is grilling him with tough questions like how he'll treat her as wife – answer: always have her back. family pleased! good answer!
mom takes him aside
u fallen for 4 girls?
but gia is so amazing and so different
mom agrees: she really is!
gia to mom: he does the same stuff with the other girls that he does with me
mom: ur a special person
i think he loves u
ali's mom was super duper impressed with jake cuz he said that inner beauty is mostimportant (tho obv physical beauty is important too)
such a cliche bromide
omg he said one of the things our culture demands everyone say
what a great guy!!
tenley is so relived, and it means so much to her, that jake is totally different than her ex husband cuz he makes his own decisions and wants to be a team (note those 2 things kinda contradict)
(in addition to being so cliche that i bet she thot her first husband wanted to be a team too)
so literally not a idfference
tenley did a dance for him.
1) dance part of courtship
was like a ballet-y kinda thing with some choreography
not sure what to call it. not like club. at actual dance room kinda thing
and the voice overs are saying like
how she felt confident and adored and good about the dance specifically b/c of his facial expressions while she danced
and that what facial expressions he had during dance dominated her experience and opinion of it
tenley's dad taskes jake aside to their den (big emphasis on setting and setup b4 any talking)
and asks if he's a good guy or not
and jake says he was raised to do the right thing
and he said tenley would bring a lot of joy into their home
and that was about it
falllling in love with vienna is scrary cuz it's "so real"

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How To Get Unstuck

i wrote this for an FI email. it's important and will apply to pretty much anyone reading this, not just the person i was speaking to:

how do you get started when you don't want to think/learn, and you're bad at thinking/learning? both of those get in the way of learning to want to think or learning to think better.

so what's the solution?

it depends on your situation.

you have to find some good things in your personal circumstances and use them. there's no generic solution. there has to be something good in your life to use as a starting point to build on. you have to find some things in your life to use as leverage.

hypothetically, let's say you really truly valued freedom. then you could find some things you like which contradict freedom and use the genuine really high valuing of freedom to drop the stuff that you find contradicts it. if you valued freedom enough, maybe it could inspire some intellectual honesty to allow for dropping (instead of rationalizing) some anti-freedom ideas.

i expect any real things that would work for you would involve some more parochial details of your life, and some more concrete and simple stuff, not an abstract philosophy theme. and it'd be a bunch of little things instead of one big one.

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Interests in Problems or Topics

people wanting to get back to the "main" topic they're interested in is a really common mistake i've noticed.

people are interested in X. X leads to Y which leads to Z. people are much less interested in Z than X, even though pursuing Z is the way to pursue X.

this is really broken. it gets in the way of making progress. it gets in the way of truth-seeking wherever it leads. it gets in the way of interdisciplinary learning. it means people want to learn only as long as the learning stays within certain boundaries.

here's one of my explanations of what's going on:

people want to work in particular fields rather than solve particular problems.

if your focus is purely on solving a problem (X), you'd be interested in whatever helps accomplish that goal.

but suppose instead your focus is on "i like woodworking. i want to work with wood". then you won't be interested in philosophy related to learning which could help with woodworking. cuz you want to do woodworking, not philosophy.

if your focus was on solving a really hard woodworking problem, then it'd lead you to philosophy and you'd be interested in philosophy because it helps with your problem.

i think a lot of people care more about what kind of activity they are doing – e.g. woodworking not philosophy – than they care about problem solving.

people have interests in topics (e.g. woodworking, dance, psychology, literature, architecture, programming, chemistry, politics) rather than having problem-directed interests.

another reason people lose interest is:

the more steps there are, and the more complicated the project gets, and the more tangents it follows ... then the more it's a big, longterm project. and they don't expect to successfully complete big, longterm projects. so what's the point?

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Dancing Sucks

our culture puts a huge amount of effort into teaching kids to dance. it's part of some static memes. dancing is related to sex and courtship. dancing is also related to emotions. and dancing is related to having "fun" and being unserious (and thoughtless).

dancing is all over TV. it's taught to kids at very young ages. it's also officially part of school curriculums.

for preschool in california there's a bunch of goals for what they want kids to do like:

1.1 Move in a variety of directed ways.
1.2 Imitate the movements shown.

this one stood out to me:
2.3 Respond spontaneously to different types of music and rhythms.
this whole thing is planned, and the kid is required to learn to do it in a way his teachers approve of. it's not spontaneous, it's controlled by teachers. the people writing this document are lying scum.

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Good People

Where are all the smart, rational people interested in intellectual discussion?

Can anyone find some somewhere besides FI?

Or is the world just kinda full of fools?

Reply in the comments below.

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Simple Communication

i was watching McIntyre playing heroes of the storm with Wiz. (i've linked to the relevant timestamp.) Wiz is Korean and has limited English fluency. McIntyre answered a question from chat about how he talks with Wiz. McIntyre explained roughly:

wiz can understand certain important words well. but if i use full sentences, then wiz has a hard time with the words in between the key words. so it's easier for him if i just say more like bullet points or key words, not proper sentences.

this is wise :)

mcintyre gave an example. he says the sentence "hey wiz, can you come help me do top?" is hard for Wiz to understand. but if he just says "help top" then wiz understands.

after that i listened to him playing and talking a bit. so not intentional examples to answer the question, just talking.
one of McIntyre's sentences was "clone clone clone clone clone". this was much clearer than if he'd said, "hey wiz please clone me now so we can fight them".

another thing McIntyre said was, "care for boss". not, "hey please scout out the boss to make sure they don't do it cuz that would be bad for us"

this one may seem strange b/c "care for boss" is not normal english and would confuse a non-gamer b/c of the way the word "care" is used. it's gamer lingo that wiz would know but some native speakers might not. ppl say "care" to mean "be careful" and similar. Wiz understands it's a warning about a danger. and the danger is boss. and he knows what "boss" means – the threat of the enemy team doing the boss (an in-game concept).

i like this. it's good, simple communication. people should do this more when talking with native speakers, too. especially if they want to discuss philosophy (which is hard to communicate about)!

if people would pretend their discussion partners are non-native speakers with limited English vocabulary, i think a lot of intellectual discussions would go better. try it out!

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Mac Mail Bug

Today I found a bug in Apple's Mail program for Mac.

Select an email. Flag it with the yellow flag. Then give it an orange flag to change the flag color. Then click another email to unselect it.

The flag will display with a green color for about half a second. It fixes itself quickly.

I wonder if it's somehow using two colors at once and they mix to get green, or what. And I wonder why it fixes itself after that amount of time. Seems pretty strange. Software is hard!

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Alex Epstein's Pinnacle

Alex Epstein sent out a Center for Industrial Progress newsletter today. Unfortunately there's no web version of the newsletter to link to. When trying to spread ideas online and market them, it's important to have links people can share. I consider this careless and/or incompetent.

One reason this sucks is I can't quote part of the newsletter and give a link for anyone who wants to read the rest. If I just quote the important parts, most of my audience won't have access to the rest.

Epstein says, in full:

I’m testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday at 9:30 am ET. You can view it live here.

Here’s more info about the hearing, which is called Examining the Role of Environmental Policies on Access to Energy and Economic Opportunity.

I will have five minutes to speak, followed by questions from Senators. Note that several of the Senators expected to be present, including Senators Whitehouse and Markey, are not only anti-fossil fuel but anti-free speech, calling for the criminal prosecution of those who challenge climate catastrophism.

I can promise you I will bring a case for energy freedom, including fossil fuel freedom, that has never been heard in a Congressional hearing. I very much hope that the Senators do their best--or their worst--to see how it holds up to scrutiny.

Please spread the word. And if you watch it, let me know what you think.

The anti-free speech link goes to an article which does not mention Whitehouse or Markey by name (it does name and discuss lots of other people). That's really bad and unreasonable of Epstein. He's making a major accusation, and giving a source, except the source doesn't say anything about the accused.

Big picture, Epstein is happy and sharing his success with his newsletter audience. He's reached a pinnacle. This is a high point for him. He wants to be influential. He wants to do activities like testify to the senate. No doubt he hopes in retrospect this will look small, and that he'll surpass it, but today it's big for him. He's achieving his goals!

And Epstein is, for those who don't know, an Objectivist. He used to work for the Ayn Rand Institute. Objectivist organizations write puff pieces for Epstein.

So: Epstein's big achievement consists of the privilege of speaking for five minutes to people who think he should be in jail for speaking his message.

(Or at least Epstein believes the jail thing. I didn't research it beyond seeing that his source was bogus.)

I think Ayn Rand would have mocked Epstein for this. Epstein is proud to participate in (what he himself believes is) a farce where anti-free speech people pretend to discuss and think. He's helping them pretend to be rational while knowing they aren't really listening (and, worse, they'll sit there wanting to use force against him, rather than merely tuning him out).

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (6)

Cold Hands

A question was posted to FI about having unpleasantly cold hands when walking to the car in the morning to go to work. Here are some thoughts about how to think about problem solving in a TCS way. With approaches like these, all problems are soluble and no one need ever suffer.

people bothered by cold hands imagine alternatives like warm hands. they have had warm hands. they know of summer and gloves and heaters.

if the laws of physics didn't allow for other temperatures, most people wouldn't be sad about their cold hands. they couldn't imagine any different, so they wouldn't see a problem.

suppose they were somehow bothered by cold hands that were IMPOSSIBLE to change. a rational person would then go "well i can't change my hand temperature, but i can change my attitude to it." they'd focus their problem solving on their interpretation so the cold feels neutral or good to them.

suppose i had an issue with cold hands in the real world. i don't wanna go to my car to go to work b/c my hands will be too cold. i don't own any gloves or hand warmers. ( http://www.amazon.com/HotHands-Hand-Warmers/dp/B00PX20LO0 )

i also don't want to miss work.

i had bad foresight.

what do i do?

i come up with a plan for how to proceed from here that sounds good to me. it will involve getting gloves (maybe 2 pairs to layer) and HotHands, and perhaps some other things (like a warmer jacket, or a car with a stronger heater, or a portable heater that can be used in a car).

if i really don't wanna have cold hands, i'll call in sick, get the solutions, and go to work tomorrow.

or maybe i'll decide i don't wanna miss work and i can deal with cold hands one more time, given that i'll make sure it doesn't happen again.

i won't want the impossible like that i had better foresight in the past. i'll focus on productive ways forward and come up with a plan that i have no criticisms of. my poor foresight in the past isn't a criticism of my plan since no plan can change it. the poor past foresight could be used to criticize plans that don't correct it. repeating that mistake would be bad. but plans which deal with stuff well going forward won't necessarily have any criticism of them.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (16)