Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (516)

Measurement Omission Disagreement

I consider measurement omission a narrow aspect of a broader issue. Objectivism, on the other hand, presents measurement omission as a huge, broad principle. There's a disagreement there.

When looking at stuff, we always must choose which attributes to pay attention to, because there are infinitely many attributes which are possible to look at. (This idea partly comes from Karl Popper.) We have to find ways to omit or condense some stuff or we'll have too much information to handle. Like Peikoff's principle of the crow, we can only deal with so much at once. So we use techniques like integrating, condensing, omitting, and providing references (like footnotes and links).

Regarding infinite attributes, let's look at a table. A table has infinitely many attributes you can define and could pay attention to. Most of them are dumb and irrelevant. Examples: the number of specks of dust on the table, the number of specks of dust with weight in a certain range, the number of specs of dust with color in a certain range. And just by varying the start and end of those ranges, you can get infinitely many attributes you could measure.

The way we choose to pay attention to some attributes in life, and not others, is not especially about measurement. Some attributes aren't measurements. I think some attributes aren't quantifiable in principle. Some attributes may be quantifiable in the future, but we don't know how to quantify them today. For example, do you feel inspired when looking at a painting? We don't know how to measure inspiration or what units to quantify it in.

Deciding which attributes are relevant to what you're doing requires judgement. While many cases are pretty easy to judge, some cases are more borderline and tricky. How do you judge well? I'm not going to try to explain that right now, I just want to say I don't think omitting measurements answers it overall (the measurement omission stuff definitely does help with some cases).


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fallible Ideas Newsletter

I'm creating a Fallible Ideas Newsletter. Sign up to be emailed periodic news related to my philosophy work, as well as interesting ideas and links. You can expect 2-4 emails per month.

Click here to signup.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comment (1)

My iOS Content Now Available For Computers

I made four philosophy apps for iOS. The material was an iOS exclusive, but you can now buy it for your computer. It's 4 essays and 3 keynote slide presentations from the following apps:

  • Psychiatry
  • Why Philosophy?
  • Don't Fight
  • Basic Observations

Buy on Gumroad

I especially recommend the essay about mental illness (how it's a myth, what's actually going on) for anyone who hasn't read it.

It's in pdf and txt format, so you don't need a slide viewer. There's no DRM (copy protection) because that stuff is a hassle for the user. I want you to easily put this on any of your devices, convert it to a different format you prefer, whatever. But please don't steal from me by sending it to others. If you'd like to share the ideas with someone, please link them to buy their own copy.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hard To Help

Over 99% of people create tons of their own problems.

Helping these people is ineffective. If they are helped to solve one problem, they'll just use the free time/energy/etc to create a new problem.


Over 99% of people are very passive.

Helping these people is ineffective. You can hand them solutions and then they sit there passively. Solving problems requires action.


Over 99% of people are very bad at understanding explanations.

Helping these people is ineffective. You can tell them solutions and they don't understand what you say. And they don't know how to (and/or don't want to) use conversation to find out.


Over 99% of people have a bad sense of life.

Helping these people is ineffective. You can offer them a better life and they don't want it.


In general, adults don't have bad lives by misfortune or accident. They have a life that fits them. It's on purpose. It's what they want.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (8)

Trump Videos

Justin made a great Trump video: Our Best Days Are Yet to Come

I liked it so I made a Trump video too: Make Detroit Great Again

My goal was to combine Trump speaking about inner cities with illustrative video footage. That helps make the meaning of terms like "ruined cities" more real to people.

It took two days and around 75 elements in Final Cut Pro X. It's not all that difficult to make a video. You just do one thing at a time. Eventually you have a bunch of stuff. I recommend it. My timeline looks like this:

Whose video is better? Tell us the in comments below...


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (4)

Implementing Ideas

with startups people say the idea is worthless. there's only value in executing on an idea. making an actual business is the hard part. ideas are a dime a dozen.

in philosophy i think ideas have large value.

one difference is i mean fleshed out ideas. the worthless startup ideas are super vague and lacking detail. one of the reasons they lack value is when you try to build the company you have to figure out the 99% of the idea you left out initially.

what is the implementation of philosophy ideas, anyway? what do you do with them to add value?

you can work out the conclusions a principle leads to. but people won't be persuaded without understanding it themselves. and a list of conclusions is too inflexible and too hard to use if you don't understand the reasoning for them.

you can't do someone else's learning for them. they have to learn it. you can make some material to help an idea be easier to learn. you can organize it, add examples, answer common questions and criticisms, etc. i already do some of that.

if someone learns an idea well enough it's easy to use it in their life. the people who "know" or "agree with" an idea, but struggle to implement it, only know and agree with it by some low, inadequate standards. with a startup, implementing the business is a huge part of it. but with an idea, knowing it properly is 99% of the work.

if someone half-knows an idea, you could help them implement it early, or help them learn the rest. i think learning the rest is the way to go. it's the same principle as powering up until stuff is easy, then acting. implementing ideas when they are hard to implement is early action when you'd be better off powering up more. only doing powering up and easy things is way more efficient. doing hard things is hard and consumes tons of resources (time, attention, energy, effort, sometimes help from helpful people, sometimes money, etc). this connects to the powering up from squirrel morality.

backing up, let's list some meanings of implementing philosophy ideas:

  • learn them yourself
  • learn them for someone else
  • use them in your life
  • get them to be used in someone else's life
  • teach someone to use them in their life
  • work out the details of the ideas
  • be a politician or something and apply them to decisions for a country
  • figure out how to persuade yourself of the ideas, not just know what the ideas are, and do it
  • figure out how to persuade others of the ideas and do it
  • figure out how to persuade others to learn the ideas and do it
  • change your culture
  • change all cultures

i think a good idea, including the details of how it works, why all known rival ideas are mistaken, answers to known criticisms, etc, is a great value. that includes information about why it matters and what problems it solves, so people can see the importance and value.

that's enough.

if someone learned it, they'd be able to use it and benefit a ton. and it already says why they should learn it, why alternatives are worse, etc.

lots of people still won't learn ideas in that scenario. why? because they are irrational. they hate learning and change. they don't respond well to logical reasoning about what's best. they get emotional and defensive. all kinds of crap.

does an idea have to also deal with someone's irrationalities in order to have value? i don't think so, though it'd sure be valuable if it did.

another issue is people have to apply ideas to their lives. this is easy if you know enough and aren't irrationally sabotaging things, but it's not zero. so it's a sense in which the idea is incomplete. a good idea will basically have instructions for how to adjust your actions to a different details, but you still have to think some to do it. it's like "some assembly required" furniture. which certainly does have value even though you have to screw in a few screws yourself.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

EU Taxing Apple Retroactively

The European Union is trying to shakedown Apple for $14.5 billion dollars. It's awful. There's lots of complaints to make. I thought of a more obscure issue I think is interesting and important:

Steping back, what's going on overall? Some people want to charge higher taxes in Europe.

Normally tax increases work like this:

First you pass a law to increase taxes. Then the law goes into effect at a later date (giving companies time to prepare for it). Companies frequently raise their prices to pay for the new taxes. So the government screws customers and blames companies in the pursuit of unearned money to spend.

Let's suppose Apple will pay whatever the taxes are, but they'll raise their prices accordingly. I don't know if that's exactly how Apple wants to handle it, but it could be.

When new taxes are announced first, and then charged second, then Apple can set prices accordingly.

But Apple can't raise their prices for past sales.

Yet, here the government is trying to raise the taxes on past sales! That's really unfair. Demands for taxes after a sale, instead of before, prevent Apple from setting prices how they want to to deal with the taxes.

Apple may be thinking: "if only we'd known you wanted more taxes, we could have dealt with it, no problem, with higher prices to pay for them. but you didn't tell us until after the sales already happened and now we haven't charged enough money to pay these taxes. it's too late. fuck this!"

(Yes I know taxes are still problematic in various ways even if you have the opportunity to raise prices to pay them.)


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Super-Secret Handshake of the Black Community

The Super-Secret Handshake of the Black Community

the article opens by saying stuff i'd agree is how this normally works. it says:

Trump is finding out that there is a super-secret club handshake in the black community. And the only white people who have been provided that code are white liberal progressive socialists.

so: blacks won't listen to reasonable white republicans, only racist leftists offering them a free lunch (at taxpayer expense. which is never actually delivered. the dems have not actually treated the black community well, they just promise to).

however i don't think this applies to Trump because he's saying different things than Republicans normally do.

i don't think Trump is finding this out. i think he knows and what he's doing will work well anyway.

Trump is calling the Democrats racist – which they are – and explaining how they've been screwing over blacks for the last 60 years – which they have. democrats are the ones who have overseen the inner cities and chosen the policies that have failed so badly.

democrats are also straightforwardly racist in that they seek to make race matter in society and policy, e.g. with affirmative action, rather than pursuing race-blind policies. democrats are the party that categorizes people into groups (blacks, women, etc) and then tries to treat each group differently. (which i think really sucks).

many republicans respond with "i'm not racist, i have a black friend" or other lines that are equally shitty. so they don't get anywhere with the black vote.

Trump is appealing to the reasonable black people. there is a vocal minority of black people who are totally anti-white racist, hardcore leftists, and will not listen to any republican including trump. they include the people inciting or participating in violence. but you know what? the majority of black people are decent Americans who do not want violence in their communities and don't hate whites or cops. republicans have done a bad job of speaking to them, and some republicans have actually been appeasing the loud extremists like the democrats do (but without winning any BLM votes away from the dems). trump's message can appeal to e.g. non-BLM black voters.

it's a similar story with hispanics. the democrats pander to hispanics with lies and break their promises. a lot of stupid republicans then try to pander back by being e.g. pro-amnesty. a vocal minority of hispanics voters really want amnesty. but you know what? a lot of hispanics came here because they wanted to live in America, not in Mexico. a lot of blacks and hispanics don't want a ton of unskilled immigrants, legal or illegal, to compete for jobs with. lots of hispanics who came to the US are not loyal to their original countries and don't actually particularly care about helping other strangers from that country move to America. Trump's message can appeal to the hispanics who came here because they like America and prefer it to stay roughly how it is.

What amazes me is that here we have someone challenging the failed progressive policies of the inner city and his sincerity is questioned? Why has no one EVER questioned the sincerity of the Democrats who have run the inner cities of America for decades?

yeah. this is a major theme of David Horowitz.

btw he may be the source of Trump saying a lot of this stuff. in my understanding one of Trump's main speechwriters is a long time horowitz friend and fan.

the article brings up Soros. that is another major Horowitz theme. Soros is a really bad guy who is behind a lot of stuff. this book is really important:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003R4Z2N6/

Unless you have the super-secret handshake code, you cannot talk about black on black shootings and murders.

and yet Trump is doing it. sure a lot of the media may yell and scream about it, and a vocal minority of leftists may insult the hell out of Trump for it (which they were going to do anyway). but so what? i think Trump's strategy is working just fine. lots of quieter and more reasonable people are listening.

the people who only hear CNN's summary of what Trump said probably won't be persuaded because it's so distorted. by the people who listen to an actual Trump speech may well see he's got a point.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (2)

Philosophy

Anonymous asked a few questions:

What exactly is Philosophy?

there are lots of ideas in the world. it's confusing. people divide them up. math. chemistry. biology. economics. sports. poker. philosophy. we'll call these different fields.

philosophy is a really big group of ideas. it's not very specific.

the most important area of philosophy is about ideas. how do you get ideas? which ideas are good or bad? why? how do you find the truth? how do you find and deal with mistakes? how do you know an idea doesn't have any mistakes? how do you learn? what is learning? which ideas should you have?

this stuff is sometimes called other names like "critical thinking", "reason", "logic", "epistemology".

when i say "philosophy" this is the main stuff i usually have in mind. stuff about thinking well, dealing with ideas well. that's really important to every single field.

want to play poker well? you better have the right ideas about which hands to fold or not. want to be a good chemist? you better have the right ideas about how chemicals react, lab procedures, etc. want to be good at sports? you better have good ideas about how to train effectively and some good strategies to use in the game.

in each case there are a lot of ideas out there. some are good. some suck. there's lots of bad ideas about how to do stuff. it's pretty easy to go wrong.

ideas are the most important thing in the world. they determine how well you do at everything. so philosophy – which has ideas about dealing with ideas well – is the most important field.

there are other parts of philosophy. they include:

moral philosophy – another super important part of philosophy. what's a good life? what should people do in their lives? what are good goals and values? what's right or wrong? should you be honest? why? what are bad ways to treat people? like don't murder them, but also more subtle stuff like don't be an asshole. but it depends on the situation and can be complicated.

moral philosophy comes down to choices. every action you take in your life, you had a choice about which action to take. you could have done something else. moral philosophy guides you about what to choose to do.

ontology – ideas about existence. like: is reality an illusion? and where did the universe come from? you may noticed sometimes fields get mixed up together a bit. like where the universe came from is also a physics question. labeling fields is just to try to keep things organized, but it's not that big a deal and doesn't have to be perfect, just useful.

philosophy of science – how does science work to get good ideas? how do scientists learn? it's a lot of the same stuff about dealing with ideas. but science is really important so it's worth some extra attention.

political philosophy – when people argue the current issues they call it politics. but when they try to talk about principles about how a country should be set up, how to organize society, etc, it's political philosophy. political philosophy looks at the big picture of politics. it's pretty necessary to understand this before you can deal with regular politics well, but most people who try to debate politics don't have much of a clue about it. this has some overlap with economics.

And should I learn philosophy?

yes.

you need to deal with ideas and choices in life.

if you deal with ideas badly, you will have a bad life.

everyone has a philosophy. everyone deals with ideas one way or another. the question is: do you put effort into getting philosophy right and judging for yourself which philosophy you want to follow? otherwise you'll just have a contradictory mix of things you heard here and there and didn't think about very carefully. (the argument in this paragraph is from Ayn Rand.)

How do I learn it?

there's lots of stuff about philosophy.

and lots of it disagrees with other stuff. there's tons of ongoing debates where people disagree.

you should look around at a wide variety of philosophy stuff and see what you think makes sense. you can find books, blog posts, youtube videos, discussion forums, etc

most people who look around choose lots of the wrong philosophy. it's easy to make mistakes.

what can you do about that? write your ideas down in public and listen to criticism from anyone. so if you're mistaken, and someone knows why you're mistaken, and can explain it in a way that you'll understand, and is willing to help, then you can find out. that helps a lot. most people won't do that.

you should include FI (Fallible Ideas) people in the "anyone" who can offer comments on your ideas. if you want other perspectives you can look around or ask us about them.

FI emails are public and have links on yahoo's website. anyone can read it. the link to an email can be shared just like any other website. people have to sign up and use email software to reply though. another way to share your ideas is make a public blog and turn on comments.

if you look into some non-FI philosophy you can talk about it here and get our perspective.

for learning FI philosophy you should do a mix of:

if you have a problem reading a book – any problem – stop reading and ask about it. bored? confused? something seems false? want more details on some part? discuss it. don't just give up or try to push forward and finish the whole book.

people can suggest answers or ways to get answers.

the more stuff you do alone, the more mistakes you can make that no one could tell you. and lots of it could be wasted time. you could make a mistake then build on it.

even if everything is going well, discuss frequently. read something and think you understand it? cool, but write down what you think it's saying anyway. you might have it wrong. you might have half of it right but missed half.

lots of times people think they understand stuff but claim they have nothing to say. they don't understand it. if you're learning much you will have stuff to say. you can write ideas you learned you think are good. you can write questions you don't know the answer to yet. you can write additional ideas you have. you can make an example to illustrate an idea. you can say a counter-argument and why the counter-argument is wrong. and more.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Passivity

Reasons people are passive:

  • People are destructive, especially self-destructive. Not doing much limits the destruction.
  • People don't know what to do.
  • People don't want to make the wrong choices, try not to choose.
  • People don't want to be responsible for choosing stuff.

People broadly don't want to live. They don't want to do things, make choices, decide what happens – and maybe make mistakes and be responsible for some non-ideal outcomes. That's what life is. Acting and choosing. People don't like that. Passivity is their attempt to approximate death. It's their attempt to limit their lives.

Passivity is a choice and they're responsible for the consequences. There's no way to stop living besides actually dying. But being passive helps them minimize what actions they've clearly taken and what decisions they are clearly responsible for.

Like if I suggest we go to McDonalds and you say "OK" and then you have a bad time, you'll have an easier time lying to yourself that it isn't your fault. Your choice to say OK will seem different to you than leading the way. It's still your fucking life. You're still deciding what to do with your time. But you'd rather have someone else to (falsely) blame for your suffering than suffer less. So you avoid the sorts of situations where you'd be clearly responsible for problems. You avoid leading and being first and wait around for someone to tell you what to do, or even just make suggestions you can obey.


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Writing For Audiences

Writing is impossible with no context.

Writing requires some kind of purpose or goal. That's part of the context.

Writing requires some concept of an audience. Who will read it? That's part of the context.

Does your audience speak English? That's important. If you are writing for people who speak English, that's an audience.

Is your audience people who are alive today, have internet access, and know how to read English? That affects writing decisions.

Are you focused on people reading your essay in the next 3 months? The next 3 years? The next 30 years? These are different audiences.

Are you writing stuff that you think is good? You're part of the audience.


Writers usually try to write for multiple different people at the same time. Not one-size-fits-all. That'd be too hard. But they aim for one-size-fits-many.

You can pick a single person, like yourself, and write primarily for that audience. But then whenever you write something you think would confuse most people, you change it. Whenever you think something would be a problem for lots of readers, you change it. This removes most of the quirks from your writing and makes it one-size-fits-many.

Some ways to try to please multiple people in the audience at the same time are messier. It can be a mess because audience members have contradictory ideas. How do you appeal to both sides of a disagreement?

It's generally best to take sides in disagreements that are important to what you're saying.

People often try to be neutral about controversies so they don't alienate either side.


Writing is communication.

Writing is always done in the context of some problem.

Having an idea of the problem(s) you're trying to solve helps you write better.

Because writing communicates, there's always an audience (person(s) receiving the communication) involved.

Even if the audience is only the writer.

Even if the writer never rereads what they write, and then deletes it, they communicates with themselves while they write it.

So the audience is always involved in the problem(s) writing addresses.

Generically, action always happens in context and tries to address some problems. And specifically writing involves an audience.


There are many ways to write the same idea.

Which way to write something depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Different ways have different advantages and disadvantages.

Which way to write it depends on the audience. Which way will be clearest to them? Which way will mislead them about something?

Without thinking about your audience, it's hard to make good choices about what to include in your writing. There's always more that could be said about a topic. You can't include it all.

Writing is always selective. The writer selects which stuff to include out of the infinity of possible ideas to write about.

When arguing a point, a writer decides which arguments to include and which not to mention. You can't mention every possible argument on a topic.

Some writers don't give their audience much thought.

They write for conventional people by default. But they don't realize they're doing that.

How do they decide which way to write something? By what seems normal to them.

People often write carelessly and haphazardly. That's another option.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

curi Writes Statements

People are really complex.

Sometimes people are really stupid, cruel, mean, nasty, petty.

Sometimes people are heroic, productive, logical, innovative.

Most people are mixed.

People will be stupid about one issue and smart about another issue.

Most working people are more productive at work than outside of work.

People are individuals. No one is typical about everything. Everyone has some
"quirks".

Intolerance of unconventional ideas and behaviors can affect everyone. Everyone does/thinks some stuff that many people would punish as deviance.

Presenting as mostly normal usually, but not always, gets people to forgive a few quirks.

In very short online interactions, most ways of presenting as mostly normal don't work. People don't hear that you have a normal accent, don't see you make normal facial expressions, don't see your normal clothes, don't know your location, haven't come to the same physical location as you, and more.

There's social pressures that push people to be polite. Most of them work better in person than online.


Approximately no one is looking to learn philosophy.

People getting philosophy degrees are looking to get philosophy degrees, they aren't looking to actually learn philosophy. They often also want some other things like to join a subculture.

If philosophy degree students cared much about learning philosophy they would read and discuss more philosophers on their own. They'd want to be familiar with more philosophers than their classes focus on. This would be visible at discussion forums for Rand, Popper and others.

If philosophy degree students cared much about learning philosophy, some of them would have substantial success at learning philosophy. This would be visible. There would be more skilled philosophers writing great stuff.

The vast majority of people are very passive.

People don't usually look for much of anything. They usually follow, obey, conform. Most people put a lot of effort into doing what they are "supposed to".

Many people think statements like these (about passivity) don't apply to them. They think to themselves that they are the exception. But most of them aren't exceptions, they're passive too.

Learning philosophy requires initiative, persistence and wanting to.

Learning philosophy requires being willing to think unpopular thoughts and do unconventional actions.

It works way better to see unusual ideas in a neutral or positive way, not as a downside or tradeoff.

Making progress in philosophy has the same requirements mentioned for learning it.

This isn't a complete list of requirements.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beamdog Fraud

Beamdog sells computer games like Balder's Gate Enhanced Edition. They advertise features like multiplayer. Multiplayer didn't work on any platform for over 3 years after the game was released. It still doesn't work on the Mac App Store version which they stopped supporting indefinitely. When I wanted the update that finally came out recently, customer support told me to buy another copy of the game on a different platform.

Beamdog also violated my reasonable expectations by not releasing the new expansion pack on the Mac App Store. If i wanted to play the expansion I'd have to buy the base game again on another platform then buy it there. Or wait god only knows how long (3 more years?).

Multiplayer has been unplayable due to game-breaking bugs like being very very laggy, items frequently duplicating, and sometimes being prevented from saving or resting. Also it crashes often. Overall it has not been in a usable state. Beamdog has known this and left it broken from release for over 3 years while advertising the multiplayer feature to prospective customers the whole time. This is fraud.

They said the next update would fix multiplayer. It's finally here. I haven't tested multiplayer with it yet, but there are reports multiplayer still doesn't work.


I bought the game again on Steam, and installed it, it wouldn't run. At all. Customer support replies once per day and wastes your time. They blame my computer for being too old. It's a modern retina iMac. The game has very low system requirements like 1ghz and 512mb ram. I have 4ghz and 32gb ram. What does support say? They say their own website lies to prospective purchasers about the system requirements, the real system requirements are higher. What are the real system requirements? They didn't say. Nevertheless this is an old game and my system is easily good enough. But after telling them my system specs they just reply telling me I need to give them more system specs (but they didn't say which ones). My 10 year old plastic macbook – that was low end when I bought it – could easily run their game. Yet they think somehow my high end iMac has such bad specs it prevents the game from running at all? Bullshit waste of time. And why don't they just ask for a crash log that includes my specs in it? Or actually give instructions for giving them whichever specs they want? Just asking for specs and then blaming people for not including whichever particular ones you wanted is ridiculous (and then demanding more specs and still not saying which you want).

I even deleted my Mac App Store version, deleted all the related files from my computer, deleted the steam version, and reinstalled the steam version to get it nice and clean. Still wouldn't run.

I knew customer support would never help so I bought the game, again, directly from Beamdog, and got a refund from Steam.

Their own version is also broken. When you're downloading it, it shows the patch notes from a couple years ago. They didn't update the installer. After downloading it, it doesn't run. You run their launcher, click "launch", and no game opens. (Fortunately I managed to troubleshoot it myself using advice from other players on the forums. It runs now. Unfortunately it has some new anti-features like they screwed up the way the game map works and there's no option for the old behavior.)


To summarize:

The Mac App Store version is unsupported indefinitely. No refunds. Fuck you. Beamdog blames Apple but they can't seem to get things to work on other platforms either:

The Steam version for Mac doesn't run on a fresh install.

The Beamdog version, from their website with their own installer ... also don't run on a fresh install.

A major feature they advertise, multiplayer, was broken on release and was left broken for over 3 years on all platforms, and may still be broken on all platforms. This is fraud. Want to play with your friends? Buy the game again away from the Mac App Store and they're advertising it works, though reddit suggests otherwise. Can I have steam keys at no cost to you? No, fuck off. (They have a general policy of giving out free steam keys to people who buy the game on their website. They could easily solve this Mac App Store problem at no cost to themselves. They don't want to. They are choosing to have bad customer service after defrauding customers with false advertising. They really seem to think telling people to pay for the game a second time is the best way to handle things.)

The system requirements they list on their website are a lie according to their own customer service.

The system requirements for the game are being increased to get the new patch, according to their own customer service. Anyone who doesn't meet the increased requirements will never be able to play multiplayer. Too bad, you can't have what you paid for.

I really wanted to like Beamdog because they have worked to restore and enhance some of my favorite computer games. But I can't do it. They defraud customers and have really awful customer service. Fuck Beamdog.


Beamdog is also, non-coincidentally, a social justice warrior company. They hire leftwing activists to put transgender characters into their games and rewrite the personalities of existing characters like Safana. At least she got fired after causing a bunch of bad press.

But why would you hire someone for an Enhanced Edition who thinks the original games are bad and need changing? Why not hire a fan who loves the games? Because the company leadership is trendy leftists too. This isn't some accident. Their bad values range from social justice to fraud, awful customer service, and broken game features.

Breitbart has a nice article:

Not only is it grossly out of character for Minsc, it’s a little bit of the Internet’s ugliness that quite simply didn’t need to be there. Where the transgender character is an expression of the developer’s intentions toward inclusion, Minsc’s dig is designed to exclude people with whom Beamdog disagrees. It’s trite, it’s catty, and it makes Beamdog’s other in-game statements come off as posturing rather than sincere.

Beamdog CEO Trent Oster ridiculously calls all the criticism "ridiculous" and expressed sadness that anyone has different values than he does. Read the whole article.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Speed Reading is a Core Life Skill

speed reading is a necessary skill for any serious attempt at a good life. like touch typing.

speed reading skills include:

  • rapid serial visual presentation
  • listening to sped up audio, including with text-to-speech
  • effective skimming and searching
  • speed reading paper books (optional for most people, who can get ebooks of most stuff they read)
  • being able to keep up. being able to understand and retain what you read at higher speeds

(yeah there's a couple exceptions like blind people. not many.)

reading is a huge part of learning. if you read twice as fast then you can read twice as much stuff. then you can learn way more.

if you don't learn this stuff, you're basically just going to have a worse life. you'll spend more time per book. you'll lose time. not learning to read fast is basically just throwing away part of your life (unless you don't read much, which is a different way of throwing your life away).

another skill any reasonable person trying to have a good life would learn is how to use google search well. lots of people suck at finding stuff with google (like they choose search terms poorly and misjudge which search results to click on) and don't realize it and don't do anything to get better. another common way people use google badly is they search the wrong thing and then start clicking links instead of recognizing the got the wrong results and doing a new search immediately.


Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (10)