curi blog discussion http://curi.us/comments/recent Explanations for the curious en-us Thoughts about attempting something great Alisa Alisa Discussion
Here's why: I guess that solving problems is fun, and the bigger the challenge, the more fun. By not setting a big challenge for myself, I'm leaving a lot of fun on the table.

curi's [squirrel morality essay](http://curi.us/1169-morality) argues that achieving any of a wide array of serious goals requires, first of all, maximizing core aspects of rationality and power:

> Take any pattern of atoms, and make the goal to spread it across the universe, and what we'll need to do is maximize human power first, and then when we're ready, spread it in a stable, reliable, risk-free way...
> So for any goal like that, we should ignore the goal and focus on human power. We need to enable ourselves first. And we need to learn how to accomplish the goal, and avoid mistakes, so knowledge and error correction come in there...
> So, if the basis of morality is squirrels, or bison, or crystals, and we think carefully enough about what to do, then what we'd end up with is almost exactly the same morality that people believe in today: we'd first value human happiness, freedom, science, progress, peace, wealth, and so on. The only difference would be one extra step, much later in time, where we'd fill most of the universe with squirrels or bison or whatever.

So what ambitious goal should I set for myself? I don't know yet. Getting closer to figuring that out seems like it might be a fun challenge in itself.]]>
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:16:56 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18381 http://curi.us/comments/show/18381
Alisa curi's Microblogging Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:01:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18380 http://curi.us/comments/show/18380 San Francisco Officials Let People Sue over Racist 911 Calls Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019)
> Fed up with white people calling 911 about people of color selling water bottles, barbecuing or otherwise going about their lives, San Francisco leaders unanimously approved hate crime legislation giving the targets of those calls the ability to sue the caller.
> The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday on the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, also known as the CAREN legislation. It’s a nod to a popular meme using the name “Karen” to describe an entitled white woman whose actions stem from her privilege, such as using police to target people of color.

I suspected satire for a moment, so I searched Bing for [san francisco caren act], where I discovered two things:

1. The CAREN Act is [real](https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/20/caren-act-san-francisco-racist-911-calls)
2. Even Bing is getting on the "anti-racism" bandwagon

My Bing search yielded this result box above all the normal blue links, including a creepy image of two hands shaking in a way that looks like a heart:

> What is unconscious or implicit bias?
> It is a preference for or against a person or group that one is not aware of having, but nevertheless is communicated through statements, actions, or assumptions.
> Learn more about anti-racism on Bing

American Renaissance continues:

> Other places have moved to make placing racist 911 calls a hate crime. California’s governor recently signed a measure making the crime a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and a fine. New York approved legislation allowing the victims of racist 911 calls to sue.
> The San Francisco legislation gives people the right to sue a 911 caller in civil court, and supporters hope it will make some think twice before turning to police. The discrimination need not be only racial; it can also be due to the person’s sex, age, religion, disability, gender identity, weight or height.

... but not their political beliefs.

> The legislation does not spell out the standards needed to sue. But it notes that qualifying calls are those that caused the person to feel harassed or embarrassed; damaged the person’s reputation or business prospects; or forced the person from an area where they had a lawful right to be.

This is so fucked.]]>
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 02:57:37 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18379 http://curi.us/comments/show/18379
Twitter bans user for saying “only females get cervical cancer” Alisa Deplatforming and Fraud
> Twitter is now accused of banning users over tweets that are stating biological facts. An account that stated “only females get cervical cancer” ended up getting banned. Apparently the tweet was violating Twitter’s “rules against hateful conduct.”]]>
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 02:28:26 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18378 http://curi.us/comments/show/18378
Discord starts shutting down communities for “misinformation” Alisa Deplatforming and Fraud
> Conversations within closed, non-public groups are no longer safe from censorship.
> After public-facing social media platforms have aggressively censored what they deem to be misinformation throughout 2020, community chat app Discord is now starting to follow in their footsteps and implementing similar crackdowns, even for private chat communities.
> Ice Age Farmer, a community which its owner says was dedicated to “gardening, preps, seed saving, canning, alternative construction & greenhouses channels,” has been purged from Discord “for the spread of misinformation.”]]>
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 02:25:22 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18377 http://curi.us/comments/show/18377
oh my god it's turpentine curi's Microblogging
> The 1619 project has bad scholarship. It's egregious and includes things like ignorant critical letters from groups of experts and also stealth editing text then denying having ever said the prior text.

> The way they ignore people with credentials is a hint that getting credentials like that isn't worthwhile and doesn't actually solve the problem of getting people to listen to your arguments.

Different people with credentials have different opinions. For example, DD supports the MWI but many other physicists don't. So credentials are often not very useful for finding the truth on controversial topics.]]>
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 20:29:27 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18376 http://curi.us/comments/show/18376
curi Asimov Foundations Review Wed, 21 Oct 2020 18:31:00 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18375 http://curi.us/comments/show/18375 curi Open Discussion 2 (2019)
> One of the biggest questions in the world with the most grossly insufficient amount of brainsweat applied to it:

> Are we experiencing unprecedented levels of institutional failure or unprecedented levels of transparency into prevailing competence levels?

I think patio11 asks a good question. Anyone got answers?]]>
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 18:16:43 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18374 http://curi.us/comments/show/18374
Anonymous Gaming Discussion Wed, 21 Oct 2020 16:54:01 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18373 http://curi.us/comments/show/18373 Tobii Eye Tracker Anonymous Gaming Discussion
The Tobii Eye Tracker 5 is a head and eye tracker. It sits in front of your monitor and uses an IR camera to track your head and direction of your gaze and streams this info to your computer.

One of the uses for this product is esports training. You can record your gaze during your games and, afterwards, review where you were looking at different times:

> ANALYZE YOUR GAMEPLAY THROUGH YOUR EYES
In League of Legends, visual attention is the #1 difference between Challenger and Bronze. Become a better player by identifying areas of improvement based on your visual attention in-game – using metrics such as tunnel vision, awareness, and focus, to perfect your play.

I don't know if their specific LoL claim is true, but it makes sense that skillfully deploying visual attention would be helpful.]]>
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 16:53:04 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18372 http://curi.us/comments/show/18372
curi another pickup line. not that you need one
> The U.K. is introducing lockdown color codes where if they decide to code an area a certain color, people from different households can no longer meet.

> France is introducing a "social bubble" which means each person gets to designate six (6) individuals who are part of his social bubble, and these are the only people he's legally allowed to be around.

> But they haven't introduced these things yet.

Scary level of lockdown control that govts want.]]>
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 04:28:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18371 http://curi.us/comments/show/18371
What's Working During Lockdown – Chase Amante Anonymous another pickup line. not that you need one
> He is getting TWICE as many numbers from women he approaches now than he has for years!

Chase says he predicted this a few months back. He calls it a pickup bonanza. He urges his readers to go out and meet girls during these times, despite how weird everything seems.

At the end, Chase brings up an interesting wrinkle about the proposed "social bubbles" in France and the U.K.:

> Some countries (like France and the U.K.) are talking about preventing their citizens from meeting new people in the very near future.
> The U.K. is introducing lockdown color codes where if they decide to code an area a certain color, people from different households can no longer meet.
> France is introducing a "social bubble" which means each person gets to designate six (6) individuals who are part of his social bubble, and these are the only people he's legally allowed to be around.
> But they haven't introduced these things yet.
> You can still get out there, enjoy this BONANZA of lonely, pent up women... and lock the best one down as your "lockdown girlfriend" before they tell you you can't meet new people anymore.

Clever turn of phrase there: "lock down the best one as your 'lockdown girlfriend'".

Chase is good at turning problems into opportunities and finding angles that will appeal to his readers. He also includes some plugs for his own material. I'm guessing that this mix of advice, encouragement, and advertising is effective marketing for his business.

† A section of the 2020-10-19 Girls Chase email newsletter, copy/pasted to pastebin since I can't find the text on the web.]]>
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 02:00:58 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18369 http://curi.us/comments/show/18369
curi curi's Microblogging
> But we can fantasize a bit. A real solution to the distortive effects of our current mortgage system would be pretty radical. On the other hand, it’s already quite radical for the US to have pseudo-nationalized two multi-trillion dollar financial institutions, and to use them to subsidize speculation. So really it’s a choice between the radicalism we know (and dislike) and the sort we don’t. A rough outline of how we could go about unwinding the GSEs: distribute the treasury’s stock (perhaps the treasury could “mutualize” the GSEs and distribute shares to agency debt owners), immediately declare that future GSE debt will not be backed by the US government — create rules for treasury disbursements that explicitly block this, and prepare to print dollars. Eliminating the GSE guarantee means eliminating cheap long-term mortgages, which would reduce housing prices. While that’s what we want on average (i.e. to say that housing is artificially expensive is to say that it should be cheaper), the direct economic effect would be painful. To counteract it, the treasury could print additional dollars and buy safe assets or just distribute cash to taxpayers, targeting steady growth in nominal GDP. This would result in near-term disruption to consumers, deflation in real estate prices, and inflation in everything else.

> In other words, it would look exactly like the playbook that every other country with a real estate bubble uses: once the bubble pops, devalue the currency to maintain real growth. The only difference is that in this case, the bubble-popping is done manually, so the stimulus spending can be lined up in advance. Plenty of other countries had bubbles that ultimately ended up driven by real estate: Spain and Ireland in the 2000s; Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the 90s, Japan in the 80s. In every case, devaluation has ultimately been the best choice.

It's weird how non-Austrian economist types like this can be actually good at some stuff while also having terrible nonsense ideas like this.

It's normal to have a mix of knowledge and error in general, in the big picture. But it's more unusual to believe a bunch of *known* errors, which are refuted in lots of books, and which have repeatedly gotten bad results. Yet that's typical in economics. But some of the people who do that remain somewhat competent at some other aspects of the field.

And then the last footnote, with bold added by me:

> I like arguments about which liabilities the US government should or shouldn’t put on their balance sheet. There’s a strong case that **since treasuries are denominated in dollars, and we have printing presses, they’re not debt at all**; they’re just some kind of warrant where you trade equity now for more equity in the future. But Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the implicit housing subsidy of the GSEs are real, not nominal, liabilities. You can print dollars, but you can’t print healthcare. So arguably all of them *should* be on the Fed’s balance sheet.

:(]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 22:10:43 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18368 http://curi.us/comments/show/18368
curi curi's Microblogging
>> In the 1940s, we got our industrial base humming again by cranking out armaments.

> patio11 recommended anti-mortgages article, which I was enjoying so far, with what appears to be the broken window fallacy (it's a bit vague).

> A little later he further suggested that he's a broken window type:

>> The postwar productivity story is really a story about winning the Cold War by showing off whiz-bang gadgets. [...] And there was a boom in communications gadgetry.[4] This Cold War competition paid a peace dividend by subsidizing the development of electronics that had useful civilian applications.

Later in the article (which I'm still enjoying a fair amount of):

> From a macroprudential perspective, a better policy would be to distribute cash directly to poor people who *don’t* have large mortgage debts, since they’d spend it right away and help boost consumption.

Keynesian nonsense that is [refuted](https://mises.org/library/failure-new-economics-0). Keynesians as a group *have not responded to, and will not respond to*, Hazlitt's refutation (even though Hazlitt is decently famous, and is a representative of the views and arguments of a major, active school of thought (Austrians), who still answer questions and provide clarifications and followup arguments, so they can't use excuses like not responding to every single obscure critic or to dead ideas). They also haven't answered various other Austrian criticisms of Keynesianism.]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 21:38:38 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18367 http://curi.us/comments/show/18367
curi curi's Microblogging
That's 2234 words/day average. The majority of the freewrites related to Critical Fallibilism (CF) planning and goals. My average over 262 days is 2100 words/day.

I partly want to do more, partly think this is pretty good, and partly think this is really high. patio11 has talked about writing 200k words/year. That's enough for two books a year, which is high. I've looked at word counts authors write per day and lots of them are like 500 or something else with 3 digits. And I think most of them take weekends off. 2.1k words/day (average over every day, not work days) is 766k/year which is way more.

I think a lot of people put more editing into their first drafts. patio11's word count includes tweets. Only some of it is edited much. Actually he counts quite a bit of stuff that I don't. My word count broadly excludes discussion replies because I wanted to write more stuff independent of other people, so I tracked that (it's also easier to track if I don't include e.g. curi comments or FI emails).

Part of why I think I could do more is that I don't spend all day writing. Generally it's more like 2-4 hours/day. And that's not pure writing. I'll mix in some computer use, some of which can be relevant/inspiring, and some of which isn't but having a break can help and sometimes I pause what I'm doing and go back to writing in the middle; if it's not too distracting then it sorta gives me some time to think (I also do the sitting quietly and thinking without distractions thing sometimes, but certainly not all the time). Watching some easy YouTube video and pausing in the middle when I have a thought to write down is a little like thinking while showering (which I've had a lot of success at) but kinda weirder because YT is more distracting than showering, but it still works for me sometimes because I often don't get too caught up in it. I'm pretty good at shutting things out (even without pausing them) to focus my attention on philosophy. I do it sometimes when reading books (audio, visual or both; computer-paced or self-paced both). I'll start thinking about something else and then have to go back a ways in the book when I start reading again.

The amount of time per day I concentrate is way more than most people, though. And I need to save some mental energy to do other stuff like reading and tutoring. Sometimes I get really mentally exhausted early in the day and then it can be hard to find stuff to do and to avoid being bored.

Lots of people work more slowly than I do, which lowers energy use per time, but doesn’t necessarily lower energy use per productive output (throughput). I think it generally *raises* energy used for throughput, in the same way that reading more slowly uses more energy per word than moderate speed reading, even though it uses less energy per time. However, speed reading near max speed is less efficient energy use than at a more moderate speed, and if you read fast enough you can even spend more energy per word than reading slowly. I think my lowest energy per word read is using Voice Dream Reader at around 500 wpm.

I do lots of things fast which, even if less tiring per stuff done, is more tiring per time, so I have surplus time sometimes and minimal energy left to go with it. Besides speed reading and writing quickly, I watch YouTube at around 2.8x speed lately, sometimes over 3x, and I also speed TV and podcasts up. This actually makes accents a significant problem btw. Watching Goldratt at over 2x is challenging. My ability to hear words at really high speeds requires people to speak in ways that sound clear and normal to me. That’s part of why I like Voice Dream Reader (VDR): the computer voice is super consistent about how it pronounces things and I’m really used to it. Similarly, I lose a lot of speed listening to Graphic Audio (GA) because the background noise, including music, is sometimes too loud which makes it harder to catch all the words. I think people listening at 1x are able to catch the words fine despite the noise, so the company doesn’t see a design problem here. But I only use GA for rereads because I won’t slow it down enough that I can catch every word (that’s too slow and I’d rather not use at all than go that slowly). Audio books in general cost speed due to a less consistent and familiar voice than TTS (text to speech like VDR does), and audio books with multiple readers are harder and cost more speed. Sometimes this problem is pretty mild (lots of audio book readers are good at speaking clearly, which is part of their job) but sometimes it’s significant. Plus audio books don’t sync their audio to the text to let you copy/paste quotes, reread a section visually, or read with ears and eyes simultaneously (as VDR allows). Also audio books are read slowly enough that playing them at 3x is still below VDR’s 700 wpm cap, and a fair amount of software has a 3x playback limit or worse. 3x audio books can actually pretty easily be under 500 wpm.

Anyway, I often read while exercising or cooking, which further reduces my breaks compared to what many other people do. It’s hard to know how much more I could do, but empirically I find I’m often fairly near the border of getting overly tired (sometimes I go over the border, and there are recognizable warning signs when close). But what one can do depends on methods, attitude, ideas, etc. Maybe there’s a better approach that would enable getting more done. Maybe things could be done more efficiently or I could be more energetic or something. One approach is to nap regularly since sleep is the most refreshing type of rest. I’ve found napping helpful sometimes but also had difficulty being able to fall asleep during the day, even when quite mentally tired.

I find some types of philosophy activities easier than others but have limited availability of the easier ones. E.g. answering questions or critically analyzing/replying to writing is generally easier than writing stuff alone. Discussion tends to be easy. But *productive* discussion, *good* questions and writing *worth critically analyzing* are in inadequate supply. Activity types can merge into each other, too. E.g. critically analyzing Popper writing could easily turn into writing a long article explaining CF, and then it’d be harder. What’s generally easier is making lots of small comments on specific parts (fairly low complexity) rather than writing a long, single thing (higher complexity; more internal connections).

There’s a severe lack of philosophy podcasts, YouTube videos, books, forums, etc. that are worthwhile. Most people don’t run into this problem because they still haven’t read e.g. much Popper and Rand. But if one actually makes forward progress regularly it’s pretty easy to go through the best authors/creators and want more. Philosophy work quality is *not a bell curve*. You don’t find philosophers becoming gradually more numerous as you gradually lower the minimum quality. Or maybe it’s a bell curve where only outliers are above the “competent and worth reading” mark. Anyway good work is sparse. There’s plenty of bad work and then a handful of people are way better. There are big jumps that seem kinda discontinuous and there isn’t much medium work. That’s my impression. This makes it harder to spend a lot of time on philosophy because there’s hard pioneering activities but not enough gradations of easier stuff available and not enough initiative and innovation by other people to benefit from. And lots of the lower quality philosophy stuff is confusing, hard to understand, verbose, full of obscure references, pretentious, etc., which makes it harder to get any value out of it without putting in tons of effort. And a lot of the easier, simplified stuff is related to the confusing stuff and it tries to simplify it but this doesn’t work all that well because the main problem is the ideas being a mess rather than it actually being a presentation problem.]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 19:53:06 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18366 http://curi.us/comments/show/18366
Some thoughts on good/bad error msgs. I think they're important. I found a surprise overlap with *helping the best ppl or helping the masses* Max Max Microblogging
* are error messages a good way to organise issues? (e.g. in software dev).
* they have an important role: they guide ppl who know less (than the developers, or other community members, etc).
* if error msgs were a bad way to organise issues then there must be a better alternative system. what would such a system be like relatively speaking?
- it would put more burden on the ppl affected by errors b/c it's harder to know/learn how to report and solve the errors
- it would mean responsibility for the quality of error reporting would be shifted towards the shoulders of newbies
- such an alternative system would treat the relevant (preventable!) errors less seriously

* why could that be good?
- it'd mean there was a higher bar for engaging with top tier ppl
- it filters out ppl who are not able to understand the problem at least enough to figure out how to begin to deal with it
- if the best ppl don't know how to prevent relevant errors then isn't it better for them to focus on solving those problems rather than helping ppl who aren't as valuable?

* why could it be bad?
- higher bar to error correction -> less error correction
- easy to discourage ppl and end up reinforcing static memes / driving ppl away
- if the best ppl didn't know how to prevent the relevant errors then they end up working on the problem anyway; makes sense that there's an equilibrium here; after all, ppl are voluntarily participating on both sides.

relevant to:
- helping the best ppl or helping the masses
- error msgs and ~responsibility of senior members
- there is no one constant set of behaviours that makes sense WRT helping the best ppl vs masses, what matters is context. is it a good time to help one or the other? if lots of ppl have really bad ideas then it's probably worth helping the best ppl -- so we can find a good soln to that problem. conversely, if we don't have any great ppl at that time, or are otherwise short of *great* opportunities, then there's more utility helping the masses. there needs to be fertiliser for future generations, but also nourishment for current ppl in their prime. those *great* opportunities can be vicarious, ofc. Man's first journey to the Moon was a journey shared by a Nation.
- there's a big question raised by this: how should we react to *learning* of a great opportunity?

Finishing up: what happens if someone goes to an effort to make error msgs as good as possible?
- organisation gets better b/c the error messages are better suited to the associated errors
- it gets easier for ppl to help with / do error correction b/c the msgs/explanations match the contextually best ideas more closely and are more reliable to reason about.
- exponential/geometric increase in effectiveness of relevant key ppl -- their time can be better allocated, delegation gets easier, etc
- mutually beneficial for all parties. (note: this relies on the ability to improve error msgs and the right ~economic context to make it the easy choice. OTH I think that's reasonably common. most non-optimum situations don't hurt much and can be easily controlled via the 2nd-derivative (~acceleration). if there's a bit too much work on good error msgs then you can just reduce the hours per week by 10%; it can be gentle without much harm. the harm I mention here is wasted resources in a generic sense.)

## clarifying stuff

I didn't put a huge amount of thought into particular word choices because they felt difficult and I didn't want to ruin the flow. Here are some clarifications:

- *responsibility* as in *~responsibility of senior members*: i don't mean anything like an obligation, but if there was a clear moral decision then it'd line up with that.
- *2nd-derivative (~acceleration)*: controlling the rate-of-rate-of-change is useful if you want to control the outcomes of some (simple enough) system, and acceleration is a reasonably common way of talking about that.]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:37:58 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18365 http://curi.us/comments/show/18365
Project Veritas on Google playing god Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud
> Google Program Manager: Google "Trying to Play God" via "Drivers of Algorithms" In 2020 Election]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 04:34:28 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18364 http://curi.us/comments/show/18364
Anonymous Politics Discussion
> Politics are over in America. Political maneuvering will go on, of course, but the old civics-class view of American political life was based on a set of assumptions that are no longer operative.
> America was once far more homogenous than she is today. But the passing of the 1965 Immigration Act and the political and social revolution of the New Left changed the country demographically and culturally. The old America of regional cultures was about as diverse a polity as could be while remaining stable. America, with her Anglo-Saxon political heritage, was a country with a considerable reserve of “social capital” and public trust. It was understood that a loss at election time was not an existential crisis (the election of 1860 notwithstanding). Politics were not zero sum.
> That is no longer true. And this means the old politics, which had been hollowed out over a period of decades, are largely a thing of the past.
> Politics no longer are concerned with mere policy—which can be bargained over within a procedural framework that once included shared cultural assumptions. Now politicians debate the most fundamental moral and social issues of society and culture, including the legitimacy of the American polity as such, the value of human life, even the definitions of gender, sex, and marriage. Tax policy and healthcare policy are the sorts of things that can conceivably be worked out in committee. Fundamental disagreements over the foundational elements of civilization cannot.

I like his point about the necessity of shared cultural assumptions for a well-functioning political system.]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 00:35:49 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18363 http://curi.us/comments/show/18363
Anonymous curi's Microblogging
I ran across an [article](https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-hybrid-warfare-and-what-is-meant-by-the-grey-zone-118841) that talks about countries exploiting gray areas in conflicts with other countries:

> *Hybrid warfare* is an emerging, but ill-defined notion in conflict studies. It refers to the use of unconventional methods as part of a multi-domain warfighting approach. These methods aim to disrupt and disable an opponent’s actions without engaging in open hostilities.
> Related to hybrid warfare, the term *political warfare* commonly refers to power being employed to achieve national objectives in a way that falls short of physical conflict.
> Such warfare is conducted in the “grey zone” of conflict, meaning operations may not clearly cross the threshold of war. That might be due to the ambiguity of international law, ambiguity of actions and attribution, or because the impact of the activities does not justify a response.
> [Australia's] increasing connectivity and reliance on information technology is a vulnerability that is being targeted by two key threats: cyber attacks, and the subversion of our democratic institutions and social cohesion. Both are recognised challenges to our national security.
> These are “hybrid threats” as they may be employed as part of a broader campaign – including political, criminal and economic activities. And because they feature the ambiguity associated with the grey zone, they are well suited to achieve political outcomes without resorting to traditional conflict.

Also related to the idea of "gray areas" is what you wrote about antifa in #18233:

> ... one of [antifa's] major tactics is middle-level violence, so that it's really hard to ignore and do nothing, but it's too mild to shoot them.]]>
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 00:25:18 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18362 http://curi.us/comments/show/18362
curi Physics Discussion Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:52:28 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18361 http://curi.us/comments/show/18361 Sleep curi curi's Microblogging
Over the last 231 days I've averaged 7.77 hours of sleep. This is an overestimate because I record the time when I go to bed and when I wake up. I usually fall asleep quickly so it's reasonably close. But it also doesn't count my naps, which are just over 20 minutes a day on average (zero on most days). Including naps puts my average sleep to 8.1 hrs/day, or around 8 hours a day (probably slightly less) given time to fall asleep.

Sleeping enough makes a difference to thinking quality in my experience and in some scientific studies (I haven't checked how good they are).

I noticeably sleep longer when I get particularly mentally tired, e.g. from reading or writing a lot more than normal. (I don't wake up to an alarm.)

On a somewhat related note, I do most of my writing in the morning when I'm least mentally tired. You may benefit from doing intellectual stuff early in the day. If you're "not a morning person", you may benefit from sleeping more and questioning the causes for that. I don't know that everyone should necessarily do thinking in the morning but it's worth not just trying but actually putting some effort into seeing if it can work for you despite some initial difficulties. I think it can work well for the majority of people.

Related to that, if you work a regular job and also want to learn things, consider moving your sleep cycle so that you can do some learning/reading/writing time *before* work when you aren't yet tired from work. This won't work for as many people because most people make their sleep patterns match other people. They don't want to go to bed early and miss out on activities with friends or family. And how society in general sleeps is also relevant. (Which is a huge problem for polyphasic sleep, even if it would actually work well, which I'm kinda skeptical of anyway. I mean the type where you sleep a short amount many times per day on a rigid schedule. I'm skeptical of that. I think sleeping twice a day, which is "poly" in some sense, is totally reasonable. I'm not sure about an even split like 4 hours twice a day. Maybe that can work well but I don't know. But I think a main sleep like 5-7 hours and a secondary sleep like 1-3 hours can be a good pattern to get into. It often clashes a bit with society and other people though. But it can help provide you with two times per day that you're mentally fresh instead of one. I've done it sometimes and found it works pretty well.)]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:40:24 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18360 http://curi.us/comments/show/18360
curi curi's Microblogging
![](https://curi.us/img/LfK21b7o4GHnFYk-315x180.png)]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:23:21 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18359 http://curi.us/comments/show/18359
curi curi's Microblogging Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:19:16 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18358 http://curi.us/comments/show/18358 curi curi's Microblogging
Interesting video about YouTube and getting views. One thing it says is that YouTube started disconnecting subscriptions from video recommendations and watch time went way up. In other words, the average user would rather watch some stuff the YT algorithm finds than watch all the videos from the channels they clicked subscribe on. But how do you build an audience, and what does an audience mean, if your subscribers don't see your videos? I use YouTube the other way myself: I mostly watch videos from some channels I subscribe to and I put effort into seeing the titles of all their new videos so I don't miss any that I want to watch, and I don't often click around and watch algorithm recommendations. I used to do this using email notifications but YT disabled that feature so now regularly I go click the bell and skim through my recent notifications. I prune which channels I have notifications enabled for so that there aren't too many, but most users never prune like that (I also have pruned Twitter follows, email subscriptions, etc., whereas most people never prune those either and then find they have way too many and it's a cluttered mess).]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:18:07 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18357 http://curi.us/comments/show/18357
curi Deplatforming and Fraud
> Dude has a Nobel Prize. And he’s not allowed to speak at a conference on a field he helped invent.

> Because Covid.

> Cancel culture’s come a long way, baby.

The guy is a computational biologist, who was going to give a non-covid-related talk, but elsewhere questioned the cost/benefit ratio of some anti-covid policies.]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 18:18:48 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18356 http://curi.us/comments/show/18356
Youtube Video on why Gravity is not a Force Anonymous Physics Discussion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRr1kaXKBsU - 17.5 min]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 17:54:54 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18355 http://curi.us/comments/show/18355
jordancurve Open Discussion 2 (2019)
When P(hit) = 1/2, the new code gives the same result as the old code for 10 players. For another test, I manually checked the results for 5 players with P(hit) = 1/3. For reference, here's the output:

> shots: P(shots) # blue-shirt hits / # blue shirts
> 00000: 32/243 0/2
> 00001: 16/243 1/2
> 00010: 16/243 1/1
> 00011: 8/243 1/1
> 10000: 16/243 0/1
> 10001: 8/243 1/1
>
> Number of players: 5
> Probability of a player hitting his shot: 1/3
> Number of scenarios in which at least one player put on a blue shirt: 6
> Total probability of one of those scenarios occurring: 32/81
> Probability that the blue-shirted player who stepped forward in one of those scenarios hit his shot:
> 5/12 (approx 0.4166666666666667)

With a little experimenting, I found that, in the 10-player case, the value of P(hit) that gives an overall 50% chance of a blue-shirt hit is in the interval 0.35375322085 ± 5 × 10⁻¹¹. The program uses exact rational arithmetic (except for the value labeled "approx" in the output), so there are no rounding errors.]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 03:31:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18354 http://curi.us/comments/show/18354
curi Politics Discussion
> I was voting for Biden but this changed my mind to Trump

It's a black guy talking primarily about racial issues. 12min]]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 20:54:36 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18353 http://curi.us/comments/show/18353
curi Deplatforming and Fraud
Tim mentions that google search blacklisted his YT channel (1.15 million subs) a while ago.

I tried searching timcast and tim pool and google wouldn't show his YT channel. The searches worked on duck duck go.]]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 20:50:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18352 http://curi.us/comments/show/18352
curi curi's Microblogging
> The Royal Navy has been testing Jet Suit assault teams to determine if the Iron Man-like suits could be used to rapidly swarm and board ships. U.S. Special Operations Command is also evaluating a jetpack that can reach speeds of more than 200 mph.

That's some cool jetpack technology in the video (and overly dramatic, loud music trying to tell you what to think/feel).]]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 20:03:50 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18351 http://curi.us/comments/show/18351
curi curi's Microblogging
> Curious why retail sales are through the roof?

> A University of Chicago study found that 76% of workers received more from claiming unemployment insurance under CARES act than they would have gotten in wage compensation, with the median worker receiving at least 45% more.

Paying people a lot for not working. About as bad as the government policies in *Atlas Shrugged*.]]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 20:02:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18350 http://curi.us/comments/show/18350
Initial answers to some conflicts of interest questions (TM#49) Max Max Microblogging
Can all these be resolved?

> - We both want the same diamond.
> - We both want the same computer.
> - We both want to marry the same woman.
> - We both want the same slot on the manned mission to the moon.
> - We both want to be President (of the same country).
> - We both want to be the top commander of the army.
> - I want to speak my mind but you don’t like what I have to say and would prefer I shut up.
> - I want to kiss you but you don’t want to kiss me.
> - I sell printers and you sell printers and we’re competing for customers.

## principle

Conflicts of interest (CoIs) seem to exist sometimes. When considering rational ppl or trying-to-be-rational ppl, those conflicts don't actually exist--they're illusions which can be resolved. They look like conflicts because we're ignoring the bigger picture. Ppl involved in the CoI shouldn't want to 'win' via a system which use force to get an outcome. They should want a system that's fair and works generally. A system with universality.

Systems which use force or unwritten rules are not preferable to free-market situations b/c they have adverse consequences outside of one's control (e.g. violence, 'winners' being decided by something like physical attractiveness or social status, etc). They outcomes -- when decided with alternative systems -- are worse for ppl involved. Reasons include: bad distribution of resources, outcomes being based on perceived problems that a person can't solve (e.g. not handsome enough), harm being done (e.g. violence), etc.

## We both want the same diamond.

Expansion of situation: we are both in a shop buying an engagement ring for our respective soon-to-be fiancées, and want the same diamond (diamond-A).

1. The initial 'solution' is that the shop sells diamond-A to whomever asks for it first. Person-A gets it. This is okay because both ppl can agree to a first-come-first-serve model (which is typical and expected).

2. Maybe person-B *really* wants the diamond. They can offer to buy it from person-A. This is okay because it's consensual trade where both ppl are better off.

3. Say person-A says they want to buy it but hasn't paid, but person-B has the cash now. The shop could work on a first-come-first-serve basis where the transaction is the important moment (who can pay first), so person-B gets it. this is an agreeable system.

4. Maybe there is another diamond (diamond-B) that one of the ppl is happy with, so person-A gets diamond-A, person-B gets diamond-B.

in each case an alternative system of distribution (based on attractive looks, or social status, or bribes, or whatever) is not preferable -- it's a worse society to live in.

## We both want the same computer.

Say it's a rare old computer so there's only one of them and it's not fungible. We can agree on a system which is fair, like an auction, and proceed on that basis.

## We both want to marry the same woman.

She should choose who she wants to be with (if either of us). We shouldn't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with us (that would be bad for both me and her). We should both want her to be able to consider both of us. If I had an advantage (e.g. knew her earlier) and tried to stop her meeting you b/c I thought she'd prefer you, then it means I have to keep that effort up WRT you and any one else she might meet. So eventually I'd need to be coercive or forceful to do that. Hurting the person you want to marry is a shit thing to do (and a bad way to live long term), so I shouldn't want to prevent her evaluating other potential partners. I should actually be in favour of that because it means problems are apparent sooner rather than later. Living in a relationship where big problems *will* occur and that can't be resolved (e.g. she changes her mind about wanting to marry me) is bad for me, so if there will be problems I should want to know about them as soon as possible.

## We both want the same slot on the manned mission to the moon.

Say there are 3 crew slots and 2 crew members have been decided and are better candidates than us (at least for those slots, like the other crew have skills we don't).

### notes on alternatives to free-market / merit based judgement

- We shouldn't want to be chosen if that would jeopardise the mission -- it being successful is more important. we can agree that the most qualified person should be chosen, or the person otherwise chosen s.t. the mission has the greatest chance of success. Maybe we're equally qualified, though.
- We don't want a system where one of us is harmed (e.g. I hurt your family to keep you out of the mission). If I wanted that it could mean my family (or me) is hurt, which I don't want.
- We don't want the mission to be jeopardised for political reasons (or other parochial stuff), so we should be in favour of a selection criteria which is publicly and politically defensible (and just).
- We don't want a system where one of us is prevented from doing stuff in the future like other moon missions.
- We don't want a system where NASA (or whomever) regrets their decision (e.g. because it was made via nepotism or whatever).
- We don't want a system where we hate each-other because that could mean we can't be on the same future mission or otherwise end up excluded from other stuff.

### solutions?

- We can agree on a system based on merit
- We can agree on a system where NASA maintain a suitable body of astronauts (like a minimum number of astronauts kept in reserve), so some rotation is necessary (maybe one of us went on the last mission so the other should go on this one)
-- We can also agree on a system which takes into account future rotations, e.g. flip a coin and one of us goes on this one, and the other goes on the next mission
- We can agree on a system that doesn't bias one of us for external reasons like social status (if that happened, all missions would be worse off and have a lower chance of success)

operating under these sorts of systems is preferable to winning the slot under a different system. if it was some different system then how could we be confident that our crew is the best crew possible?

## We both want to be President (of the same country).

Note: curi and I sort of started discussing this at the end of *Tutoring Max #49*.

We should both be in favour of a good system for selecting a president. We can agree on important features such a system should have, like not favouring one of us. We should want a system where the victory conditions are clear and compatible with our values. We should want a system where we could lose b/c it's possible the other person is a better choice regardless of what we believe.

The conflict only exists when we have bad, irrational systems for choosing a president. If the system is bad then we can both agree changing the system is more important (and subsequently find a system which satisfies both our goals).

If there are other candidates, we should prefer those candidates who will institute a better system to those who won't. If there are perverse mechanics in the selection system (e.g. like those in first-past-the-post when you have 2 similar candidates running s.t. it *decreases* the chance of a favourable outcome) then we should both be in favour of cooperating to maximise the chance of one of us winning over bad candidates. We can find such a system.

We could also run a pre-election or something to decide which of us runs in the main election (similar to primaries in USA).

## mid exercise reflection

I worry that I'm missing something. Are these adequate answers? Do any of the apparent conflicts persist after what I've written?

I think these are hard problems to write about -- in some ways -- b/c there are always unknown and unspecified details which could be chosen to make the situation a 'nightmare situation' (as curi put it in TM#49).

Going to have a think and maybe come back to this later.]]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 04:25:35 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18349 http://curi.us/comments/show/18349
How to tweet an image that won't be cropped or clipped Tweeter Open Discussion 2 (2019)
To check, I [tweeted](https://twitter.com/ElliotTempleBot/status/1317655928368410625?s=20) an image of that size, containing only text. Then, on iPad, MacOS Safari, MacOS Brave, and iPhone, I viewed that tweet as part of the feed on the account's profile page, without clicking on it directly to enlarge it. I could see the entire image each time.

This tip may not always work. Twitter is known to treat some images differently depending on their contents. And maybe Twitter will change their image processing algorithm. But the tip works for now.]]>
Sun, 18 Oct 2020 02:50:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18348 http://curi.us/comments/show/18348
curi curi's Microblogging
The 1619 project has bad scholarship. It's egregious and includes things like ignorant critical letters from groups of experts and also stealth editing text then denying having ever said the prior text.

The way they ignore people with credentials is a hint that getting credentials like that isn't worthwhile and doesn't actually solve the problem of getting people to listen to your arguments.]]>
Sat, 17 Oct 2020 18:11:27 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18347 http://curi.us/comments/show/18347
Anne B Fallible Ideas Learning Plan
http://justinmallone.com/2020/10/some-thoughts-on-my-experience-taking-leonard-peikoffs-grammar-course/

> I am paying more attention, on an automated basis, to various issues like parallelism, subject-verb agreement, and the use of appropriate clauses/phrases when writing.
>
> I’m catching more errors than I used to in my own writing and in other people’s writing.

I often think this kind of thing too. But I don’t have evidence that I’m paying more attention to X or catching more of Y kind of error, I just have intuition. Can we assume our intuition is right on this kind of thing or is there a good way to verify it?]]>
Sat, 17 Oct 2020 10:44:20 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18346 http://curi.us/comments/show/18346
curi curi's Microblogging
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judit_Polg%C3%A1r

> Polgár is the only woman to have won a game against a reigning world number one player, and has defeated eleven current or former world champions in either rapid or classical chess

and with my emphasis:

> Polgár was born on 23 July 1976 in Budapest, to a Hungarian Jewish family.[11] Polgár and her two older sisters, Grandmaster Susan and International Master Sofia, were part of an *educational experiment carried out by their father*, László Polgár, in an attempt to prove that children could make exceptional achievements if trained in a specialist subject from a very early age.[12] *"Geniuses are made, not born,"* was László's thesis. He and his wife Klára educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject.[13] László also taught his three daughters the international language Esperanto. *They received resistance from Hungarian authorities as home-schooling was not a "socialist" approach.* They also received criticism at the time from some western commentators for depriving the sisters of a normal childhood.

> Traditionally, chess had been a male-dominated activity, and women were often seen as weaker players, thus advancing the idea of a Women's World Champion.[14] However, from the beginning, *László was against the idea that his daughters had to participate in female-only events. "Women are able to achieve results similar, in fields of intellectual activities, to that of men," he wrote. "Chess is a form of intellectual activity, so this applies to chess. Accordingly, we reject any kind of discrimination in this respect."[15] This put the Polgárs in conflict with the Hungarian Chess Federation of the day, whose policy was for women to play in women-only tournaments. Polgár's older sister, Susan, first fought the bureaucracy by playing in men's tournaments and refusing to play in women's tournaments. In 1985, when she was a 15-year-old International Master, Susan said that it was due to this conflict that she had not been awarded the Grandmaster title despite having made the norm eleven times.[16]*

You only need 3 norms to become a Grandmaster, not 11. (A norm means a good result in a chess tournament.)

> Judit was asked about playing against boys instead of in the girls' section of tournaments: "These other girls are not serious about chess... I practice five or six hours a day, but they get distracted by cooking and work around the house."[44]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIDE_titles

This page says the requirements for chess titles. There are female versions of titles with lower requirements than the regular titles. A woman's grand master title (GM is the top title) is easier to get than a regular International Master title (second best title). They explicitly, in writing, have lower standard's for women.

And what's the excuse? Women can think! Chess is not a game of muscles.

> Grandmaster Judit Polgár, in keeping with her policy of playing only open competitions, never took a women's title.[12]

I've been watching some female only chess tournaments (because they have good commentary available). People talk about how many of the women are inspired by Polgar. But apparently none of them try to act like Polgar and stick to open tournaments and avoid female-exclusive titles. The female players are noticeably worse than the male players I watched recently (and have lower ratings; ratings are not gender based and are presumably reasonably accurate). There are many male players who are better than the females in the female-only tournaments and who aren't getting as much attention, praise, prize money, etc.]]>
Sat, 17 Oct 2020 05:30:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18345 http://curi.us/comments/show/18345
curi curi's Microblogging
![](https://curi.us/img/vgCMKgbn2F8rrTx-1193x813.png)

What the hell is wrong with the world? And with the NYT?]]>
Sat, 17 Oct 2020 05:02:04 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18344 http://curi.us/comments/show/18344
curi curi's Microblogging
> In the 1940s, we got our industrial base humming again by cranking out armaments.

patio11 recommended anti-mortgages article, which I was enjoying so far, with what appears to be the broken window fallacy (it's a bit vague).

A little later he further suggested that he's a broken window type:

> The postwar productivity story is really a story about winning the Cold War by showing off whiz-bang gadgets. [...] And there was a boom in communications gadgetry.[4] This Cold War competition paid a peace dividend by subsidizing the development of electronics that had useful civilian applications.]]>
Sat, 17 Oct 2020 05:00:15 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18343 http://curi.us/comments/show/18343
jordancurve Open Discussion 2 (2019)
Similar to Anon's analysis, my program prints out all the cases with at least one blue shirt, and it counts the number of hits by blue-shirt players and the number of blue shirts in each case:

> shots : # blue-shirt hits / # blue shirts
> 0000000000: 0/7
> 0000000001: 1/7
> 0000000010: 1/6
> [...]
> 1111100011: 1/1
> 1111110000: 0/1
> 1111110001: 1/1

And at the end it prints this:

> number of scenarios in which at least one player put on a blue shirt: 476
> Probability that the blue-shirted player who stepped forward hit his shot:
> 129427/199920 (approx 0.6473939575830332)

The puzzle is originally by Joshua B. Miller. Here's the source: https://twitter.com/jben0/status/979243195623092225?s=20]]>
Sat, 17 Oct 2020 04:39:30 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18342 http://curi.us/comments/show/18342
curi curi's Microblogging
I think he's asked something about the line between cyber bullying and joking around. I didn't hear the whole question. He said it's hard to draw the line.

Regardless of what the question actually was, I have a comment:

The system should look like this:

You don't draw a specific line.

You have a big gray area.

Once the bully/joking gets into the gray area, a warning may be issued by an authority figure. (A warning from the victim is also possible but that can be problematic sometimes. People can be overly touchy or can potentially use warning others as a bullying weapon.) In general, a warning should only be issued if the alleged victim actually wants the warning issued and wants help.

Once a warning is issued, the bullies/jokers must stay out of the gray area. They have to be more careful stick to the white area with that person (or with everyone if it becomes a pattern where they keep finding new people to bully/joke-with and keep getting warnings).

The alleged bullies do not get in significant trouble for going into the gray area. They only get in trouble for going into the black area or for continuing in the gray area after being warned.

Warnings can be fairly topic limited in case both parties want to keep having other interactions. But they can also be "just leave Joe the hell alone" style when Joe prefers that.

So instead of drawing the line between joking and bullying, or acceptable and unacceptable behavior, you draw two lines. One is a conservative "definitely should be fine" line. It doesn't need to be super accurate. Ballpark is OK. The other is a "definitely not OK" line which is chosen to be hard to accidentally cross – clearly bad stuff. The middle is the gray area. These two lines are easier to draw and the procedure with one warning (for people who did gray area stuff but *no black area stuff*) allows some deescalation.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 04:27:19 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18340 http://curi.us/comments/show/18340
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:59:11 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18339 http://curi.us/comments/show/18339 curi Max Microblogging
- We both want the same diamond.
- We both want the same computer.
- We both want to marry the same woman.
- We both want the same slot on the manned mission to the moon.
- We both want to be President (of the same country).
- We both want to be the top commander of the army.
- I want to speak my mind but you don’t like what I have to say and would prefer I shut up.
- I want to kiss you but you don’t want to kiss me.
- I sell printers and you sell printers and we’re competing for customers.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:58:58 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18338 http://curi.us/comments/show/18338
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:43:57 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18337 http://curi.us/comments/show/18337 Anonymous Max Microblogging
> Can you come up with some other scenarios, besides competing job applicants, with some sort of apparent conflict of interest?

* one banana tree but two hungry people (and not enough bananas)
* multiple candidates running in the same election
* rich guy in a suit walking past drowning person (I'm not sure about this one)
* limited edition consumer goods
* competing for entry into a tournament (like the tetris world cup where the top 50 ppl go through)
* two kids who want particular gifts but their parents don't have enough money for both gifts]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:43:12 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18336 http://curi.us/comments/show/18336
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:39:15 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18335 http://curi.us/comments/show/18335 curi Max Microblogging Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:37:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18334 http://curi.us/comments/show/18334 Max Max Microblogging
> #18331 I don’t think the “rational” qualifier is required anymore than the sometimes-used “long term interests” qualifier. It’s in people’s best interests to be rational and to consider their long term interests not merely the short term.

Yeah okay. The next thing I started thinking about was whether there was a conflict of interests between ppl who try to be rational but aren't perfect.

I'm not sure bringing systems in to the discussion is necessary to make the main point. Like: if you pursue rational choices then there aren't any deal-breaking conflicts you have with anyone else who pursues rational choices. That seems fairly self-evident.

> The liberal claims re harmony of interests don’t rely on unlimited knowledge. They are not like “if men knew everything, there’d be harmony”. They are about avoiding conflict now. Understanding why you shouldn’t hate competitors for a job is achievable today given currently available knowledge.

Hmm, maybe systems are necessary to bring in to it. Like if two people are pursuing rational choices but think there's a conflict, then there needs to be some rules by which they evaluate the situation. The system is like the equilibrium everyone can agree on, and since there's only one: it's special.

I'm not sure I'm properly understanding it, though.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:36:16 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18333 http://curi.us/comments/show/18333
curi Max Microblogging
The liberal claims re harmony of interests don’t rely on unlimited knowledge. They are not like “if men knew everything, there’d be harmony”. They are about avoiding conflict now. Understanding why you shouldn’t hate competitors for a job is achievable today given currently available knowledge.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:29:52 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18332 http://curi.us/comments/show/18332
Max Max Microblogging
I'm worried there's like a tautology / circular reasoning b/c of the 'rational men' thing. Wouldn't rational men always agree on things (eventually) anyway? So the system doesn't have anything to do with the lack of conflict. But people often aren't rational, so doesn't that mean there might be a system which is better than capitalism?

self-commentary: saying *people aren't rational -> there could be something better than capitalism* is circular b/c the idea of something being better than capitalism was the reason for saying ppl aren't rational.

(note: I'm not really sure this is circular but I'm getting too hung up on it)]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:29:38 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18331 http://curi.us/comments/show/18331
Max Max Microblogging
> Another reason is that if we were all kings it would be like having a billion city states, which would suck b/c we'd end up like subsisting.

I forgot to mention: the other option with all of us being kings is basically capitalism/freedom/property-rights/etc, anyway.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:14:49 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18330 http://curi.us/comments/show/18330
curi Max Microblogging
And if Bob is to be King, how will he achieve it? A violent revolution in which he might perish or be betrayed by one of his lieutenants who wishes to be King himself?

And if Bob is already King, how does he stay in power? Secret police? Dictators often die. It’s a risky job. And if one has the skill/luck/capability to win the contest for dictator, why not put those same energies into a business instead? Bob could have been better off as a billionaire than a dictator. In general, even when crime pays, it pays less than the market rate for all the work/skill/risk it takes. Because it’s easier to make a profit when you collaborate with people than when you fight with them. It’s easier to profit when other people’s actions are helping you and making you more successful than when their actions are working against you and subtracting from your success.

And being a violent dictator or criminal leader requires rationalizing that to yourself and thus alienates you from reason and good ideas.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:12:54 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18329 http://curi.us/comments/show/18329
Max Max Microblogging
>> I agree with: a world with short term good outcomes from a bad system is worse than a world with a good system.

> I doubt that any of the general purpose systems like "bribery" or "favors" for assigning jobs actually would offer Bob all the jobs he wants. They might well fail to give Bob this particular job. They might well not only deny Bob this job but make it much harder for him to find an alternative one.

> But those are generic, principled systems, even if the principles suck. What about a biased system? What about a system where Bob is in charge of everything? Would *that* be in Bob's interests? Should people want to be a king?

I think it's rational to want systems which can be agreed upon by everyone. Sort of like a 'lowest common denominator'. I don't think rational people want a system that's unfair--like Bob being in charge of everything.

I don't think people should want to be a king. One reason is that if I wanted to be a king, and was willing to do necessary things to achieve that, then I should expect other people to do so too. That just ends in violence, etc. Another reason is that if we were all kings it would be like having a billion city states, which would suck b/c we'd end up like subsisting.

There are reasons based on principles too, like being a king means using force to get your way, which is bad. But not everyone agrees on those. I think people more generally agree on practical stuff like 'if we all did that we'd all have nothing'. That's why I chose to write the two practical reasons.

>> Do you think there are any other methods by which jobs could be handed out? Does Joe having better ideas count as another method?

> I don't know a better system than capitalism/freedom/property-rights/etc.

I guess *all* other systems have to be better or worse than that. There's no orthogonal direction. I'm unsure if there are things to consider other than what we already did: stuff that looks like a conflict but isn't (e.g. Joe's ideas), and alternate systems for distributing jobs.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:12:04 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18328 http://curi.us/comments/show/18328
curi Max Microblogging
Yes but having better ideas is also in Joe’s interest. The problem here is that good ideas are hard to come by and people aren’t perfect, not that Joe prefers bad idea. So it’s not a conflict of interest. I also commented on this in #18324 which I don’t think you saw yet.

>> But that system would make everyone much worse off [...]

> I agree for lots of these possibilities. Systems that use violence to enforce rules on this sort of thing would be bad.

>> People commonly have mutual interest that something is decided by a certain method which has good traits like being fair, free or rights-respecting. That a particular outcome goes against me doesn’t mean it’s in my interest to change the system itself. With capitalist hiring, I’m much better off applying for some other jobs than living in a society without a capitalist economy.

> * this sounds like approximately: principles trump circumstance
> * * it's better to be working within a good system than profiting in the short term from a bad system, even if a circumstantial outcome is superficially less good for you.

How would Joe profit from a bad system?

If the system is e.g. you use bribes to get a job, then maybe he'd get this particular job (or maybe Candice or Dillon would get it, who knows). But he'd certainly run into the problem of "someone beat me out for the job I wanted" in a bribery-based system.

It's the same with a system of favors and friendships. It's hard for Bob to know he's the best connected applicant this time, even if he knows he has a stronger social network than Alice. And even if he would have gotten this job under that system, he'd miss out on others. It wouldn't solve the problem of Bob not getting every job he applies for.

Bob, if he's bitter, may not understand the purpose of having job applications. Why have more than one person apply for a job opening that available only to one person? The point is to try to use some objective tests to find a good candidate. If Bob doesn't want that to happen, then he's giving up on earning jobs by merit as a lifestyle. And he's imagining a world where, what, only one person is allowed to apply for each job? What's that even mean? The King just tells you what job you can have? Or first come first serve?

> I agree with: a world with short term good outcomes from a bad system is worse than a world with a good system.

I doubt that any of the general purpose systems like "bribery" or "favors" for assigning jobs actually would offer Bob all the jobs he wants. They might well fail to give Bob this particular job. They might well not only deny Bob this job but make it much harder for him to find an alternative one.

But those are generic, principled systems, even if the principles suck. What about a biased system? What about a system where Bob is in charge of everything? Would *that* be in Bob's interests? Should people want to be a king?


> Do you think there are any other methods by which jobs could be handed out? Does Joe having better ideas count as another method?

I don't know a better system than capitalism/freedom/property-rights/etc.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 03:00:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18327 http://curi.us/comments/show/18327
Max Max Microblogging
> If Joe is bad at hiring, that may be bad for me. I may get a worse result. But it's bad for him too. This isn't a conflict between me and Joe. He's trying to deal with life and hiring well. If he's doing it poorly, that's due to ignorance, lack of skill, etc., not due to what benefits Joe and what benefits me being in conflict.

Okay, I see how this answers the idea that Joe's ideas have something to do with a conflict of interests. It'd be in both your interests for Joe to be better at hiring if he was bad at it. But Joe can't magically get better. So Joe just is what he is in that role. It's better he make a free choice than be coerced or something. So any alternative system that coerces him is worse, and in any system where he has a free choice he'd act roughly the same anyway.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:58:25 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18326 http://curi.us/comments/show/18326
Max Max Microblogging
> It’s in both job seeker’s interests that jobs are given out according to the capitalist system where the business owner or his proxy decides who to hire. If he hires Alice, there’s no way Bob could have that job other than if a different system were in place. But that system would make everyone much worse off including Bob because it’d involve limitations on freedom, government meddling in the economy, pointing guns at people to get jobs from them, or something else bad.

Re particularly:

> If he hires Alice, there’s no way Bob could have that job other than if a different system were in place.

One way Bob could have the job is if Joe had better ideas -- in the case Joe has mistakes in his thinking. That seems like it'd be compatible with the same system. If we're presuming Joe is rational, isn't that a somewhat high bar? I'm not sure everyone could measure up to it.

> But that system would make everyone much worse off [...]

I agree for lots of these possibilities. Systems that use violence to enforce rules on this sort of thing would be bad.

> People commonly have mutual interest that something is decided by a certain method which has good traits like being fair, free or rights-respecting. That a particular outcome goes against me doesn’t mean it’s in my interest to change the system itself. With capitalist hiring, I’m much better off applying for some other jobs than living in a society without a capitalist economy.

* this sounds like approximately: principles trump circumstance
* * it's better to be working within a good system than profiting in the short term from a bad system, even if a circumstantial outcome is superficially less good for you.

I agree with: a world with short term good outcomes from a bad system is worse than a world with a good system.

Do you think there are any other methods by which jobs could be handed out? Does Joe having better ideas count as another method?]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:53:00 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18325 http://curi.us/comments/show/18325
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:44:49 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18324 http://curi.us/comments/show/18324 curi Max Microblogging
People commonly have mutual interest that something is decided by a certain method which has good traits like being fair, free or rights-respecting. That a particular outcome goes against me doesn’t mean it’s in my interest to change the system itself. With capitalist hiring, I’m much better off applying for some other jobs than living in a society without a capitalist economy.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:42:35 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18323 http://curi.us/comments/show/18323
Max Max Microblogging
> It's important to think about scenarios in reality. Say the business owner, Joe, wants to interview both Alice and Bob, and then wants to hire Alice not Bob.

This sounds like a situation where, if Bob knew Joe's thoughts, he shouldn't want the job. If Joe's already made up their mind, wouldn't that be a reason for Bob to spend efforts on other opportunities?

> In what scenario does Bob get the job? What series of events? What exactly does Bob want to be different (or or in the recent past) and by what means would that change be achieved?

Bob get's the job if Joe changes their mind, or Alice finds another job (or otherwise withdraws).

Joe might change his mind if s/he finds out something bad about Alice, or if it turns out Joe's idea of Alice was wrong. There could be lots of ways that happens, but it's not something that can be relied upon. Joe might also learn something new about Bob.

Generally it seems like either Joe or Alice would need to change their mind or learn something new for things to end up with Bob getting the job.

Bob wants Joe's opinion to change (the opinion that Alice is the better one to hire). Bob could do a really good interview and persuade Joe -- or something like the above could happen.

I guess something unexpected could happen too (like Alice getting hit by a bus) but I don't think Bob wants that so it seems pointless to expand on.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:41:52 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18322 http://curi.us/comments/show/18322
curi Max Microblogging
In what scenario does Bob get the job? What series of events? What exactly does Bob want to be different (or or in the recent past) and by what means would that change be achieved?]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:33:39 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18321 http://curi.us/comments/show/18321
(Tutoring Max #49) There are no conflicts of interest between rational men. Max Max Microblogging
Topic: There are no conflicts of interest between rational men.

----

## rough brainstorming

idea seems to be
- if people want to do good / make progress / improve something
- then that has to be compatible with objective reality
- reality is such that we can't choose the right path to make progress
- rational people will focus on a goal (which is not doing harm to someone particularly)
- and the method to get that goal has to be compatible with objective reality

... (idea feels unclear so I'm swapping brainstorming topic)

'possible' solutions
- violence
- compromise
- 'winner' pays 'loser'?
- auction -> one person no longer wants the job?

----

What is the scenario, what is the conflict, and why is it not fixable?

## scenario

Alice and Bob both want a particular job. They are both suitable applicants. There's only one job, so at most only one of Alice,Bob can get the job.

## conflict

Alice/Bob are competing for a scarce resource. They might think that their life would be worse if they didn't get the job.

## fixableness

There are ways to fix it by introducing e.g. another position like the first, but is it fixable without introducing stuff?
Alice/Bob could talk and one could persuade the other it'd be better not to have it.

Fixableness has a time constraint -- knowing a solution might be available in the future doesn't help the problem now.

So for it to be 'fixable' we'd need a solution that generally applies to all situations like this, and we need to be able to apply the solution right away.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:31:10 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18320 http://curi.us/comments/show/18320
TechLead: Why "senior software engineer" isn't worth it Coder Open Discussion 2 (2019)
> Welcome back, TechLead here. Now before we get started today, I have a few quick announcements I wanted to make just some logistics to take care of. And that is that I just needed to remind you all that I am an ex-Google, ex-Facebook, multimillionaire tech lead. So with that taken care of and out of the way we can actually get started today. And I wanted to talk about senior software engineering. I actually get a lot of questions from people who want to figure out how to become a senior software engineer. And sometimes they get into a company, they feel like they're under-leveled, and they want to get into as high level as possible. And especially from my perspective, as somebody who's actually climbed this whole career ladder to staff software engineer, that's about E6/L6 level at Facebook or Google. At FAANG, this is in the top say 10 to 15% of software engineers at these top tier tech companies. It's a pretty difficult thing to do. It takes probably 10 to 15 years for most people to actually achieve this level.

Maybe it takes 10-15 years after you enter the industry to get to L6 if you stay at the same company, but I've heard it typically happens faster if you change companies. Often, the best way to get a raise or a promotion is to go to work for a different company. Later, you can switch back to your original company, provided you left on good terms, and keep your raise/promotion.

> And so I wanted to give you my thoughts on this, the pros and cons of this, and then potentially alternate paths in your life that may be more rewarding.
> [snip sponsored message]
> Now, one thing to understand is that software engineers, and this may be you, are some of the most prideful and arrogant people on the planet. And so therefore, they always believe that they deserve more, and they always want to go to that next higher level. The thing is, there tends to be a lot of title inflation at a lot of smaller companies. So startups tend to over-inflate petals as a means of a non monetary reward for their employees. And in fact, at many startups there's no title below senior software engineer, and then there's senior senior software engineer and senior senior staff software engineer as well. So therefore, I see many so called senior software engineers applying into Google or Facebook. And then they seem to get dismayed that they're only being considered for an intern role.

Yeah. It's not uncommon for people who were managers elsewhere to become individual contributors (non-managers) at FAANGs.

> So that's the first thing to realize. Everybody's always going after more status, more prestige, but at some point, you may reach a point where the rewards aren't going to be worth the effort that you have to put in, right? You may reach a point of diminishing returns. And what I'm trying to get at is that this point of diminishing returns, you may reach it, as soon as you've entered a company, right? By the time you get into, say entry level at Google or Facebook, you're pretty much at that point of diminishing returns. And you may not need to work much harder after that.
> You know, when I was working as a staff software engineer, there was an uncomfortable level of expectations on me, it felt like I was just in the spotlight 24/7, and all eyes were always on me watching my next move, what was I going to do? How was I going to handle a project and I was expected to stay on top of everything. And all of the projects status updates from everybody on my team, even from areas which I didn't have much interest in, I still needed to make sure that I would stay informed on that and make sure that these other engineers on my team who they wanted to call themselves senior software engineers, but they were actually operating at an intern level, I still had to make sure that they would get their work done. And so I would just be busy all the time, often with mundane menial tasks, like maybe understanding how logging works for some feature project that we're working on, making sure to clear some technical roadblocks for my team by reading up on some technical wiki on some internal company webpage, or having to schedule meetings with people who didn't really want to talk to me just to make sure that we could all work together.
> And as a project lead, while you may be expected to be on call, most of the time, if there's a crash that happens at night, you know, you kind of want to be there, know what's going on, be ready to respond. The next morning, you have to know all about the crash, what happened, know all about the major issues that are happening in the projects, read up on all the emails. And this could just be a lot of load on you, maybe in the evening, you want to watch two Netflix movies back to back and you can only watch one.
> Whereas when you compare this lifestyle to that of a entry level L3/E3 software engineer just a basic software engineer. Like these software engineers get to just cruise. You just do the work you've been assigned, sit back, relax, take your two hour lunch breaks, you really only have to put in say four hours of work a day maybe even less is okay, surf reddit sometimes. And when you go home at night, and then there's a production bug crash, well, you can just continue watching your Netflix movies because somebody else is going to take care of it. You're not on the hook here. And so that sounds like a pretty nice life to me. And really what's pushing these people further is ego or pride/arrogance.
> But you have to remember that once you reach, say at the highest level in the video game, for instance, you kind of lose all motivation after that. And so once you get to, say, senior software engineer or staff software engineer, then the race, the hustle to that next level starts all over again. And then at some point, you're just going to think this this is just too much work
> For me, in retrospect, I would say that the staff software engineer level which is around L6, it's it's a little bit too much. It's a little bit too much responsibility and a little bit too tiring. The sweet spot is around L5, senior level. And that's the level where you have a decent amount of autonomy and respect from the peers around you. And yet not too much overbearing responsibility and commitment from outside of your standard 9-5 hours. And I would say there's no real rush to get there, you can kind of take your time and enjoy the progression at each level. And in a sense, L3 level, entry level is kind of the best, because you can really just cruise, take your time.
> And what I would really recommend, if you're looking for more money, for more prestige, for instance, is maybe just start a side hustle on the side. Right, so instead of putting all of your effort into just the company and trying to uplevel in that career, in an area where other people are going to make the decision, whether you get promoted or not, you can kind of take things into your own control by starting a side hustle, where you get to decide how far you're going to advance in this other business that you're working on.
> Because the thing is that for senior software engineers, oftentimes they're using their own personal time in the evenings, on the weekends, to figure out how to find the new initiatives. You know, I'd always be spending my personal time digging through the company code base, or looking around the internet for open source projects, where I can come up with ideas for new initiatives. And imagine if I just took all of that time that would put into these other areas, and put it into my own side hustle during that time, I could probably have built up another business on the side right there. Not to mention, oftentimes, when you're working at the company, it can be difficult to find the proper project for the proper impact that you're looking at to take you to that next promotion level. Like for example, when I was working at Facebook, Facebook itself is a very mature product. So it can be difficult to find areas that you can improve on. All of the performance optimizations, network optimizations, or low hanging fruit for project ideas, features, most of them are already in there. And then anything else that's left it can be hairy, complex features that span whole areas that could take weeks or months to really put in. And the thing is, the higher level you go, the bigger project that is you need to find. You can no longer just create little features or buttons. Most of that work is for, say, L3/L4 level software engineers. And by the time you're senior, you really need to start taking on these bigger, meatier architectural type of projects that span multiple features and pages, and maybe across multiple teams. And that could involve a lot of work that you may not necessarily enjoy, like harassing other people, hassling other team members, trying to dig up information from people, maybe refactoring some terrible piece of code that's really ancient.

Seems like a good description of the kind of extra responsibility that comes with L6+.

> And you want to keep in mind that other levels may be important for people within the company in order to distinguish themselves. From outside the company, people just see that you're working at some company, some big brand name, right? Like you work at Qualcomm, Intel, Facebook, Google, whatever. And the level or the role, or the team is really almost something secondary, right? Like, if I see somebody coming from Microsoft, that's just ex-Microsoft. Not to mention, I've also found that at higher levels, you become more of a target. And this was especially true at Facebook, where people on other teams, they look to you and they try to come after you to harass you, to figure out ways to take you down, because it's going to make themselves look a little bit better if they're able to take down a senior member of some other team.

I hadn't thought of the fact that being higher level could make you sort of a target. Makes sense, though.

> I found myself having to deal with more conflict between my team and other teams, especially in technical discussions where I would have to beat the representative speaking on behalf of my team, because nobody else was going to do that. So overall, at least the way I see things is that there's definitely value to working at the company. But most of that value can be had simply by gaining access into the company walls.

Good point.

> And you don't necessarily have to climb that career ladder all the way up. Because simply by being there, you're able to gain access to the excellent health insurance that the company provides. And health insurance is a big thing in the US, at least. And then after that, maybe the company offers you life insurance, maternity benefits, or paternity benefits, right? You could just have a bunch of kids and just take a bunch of time off after that, right, and just keep having kids and taking time off. And that could just be a really great lifestyle in and of itself.
> When you compare the lifestyle differences of say an entry level software engineer, and then a senior engineer, well, everybody's pretty much doing the same stuff, right? People are going to the same local bars, same restaurants, people are living in the same areas and shopping at the same supermarkets, going to the same company parties, using the same internal tools, the same company issued laptops and hardware. And maybe the only difference is that senior software engineers are driving a Tesla because, hey, they need to maintain their status, whereas you get to drive a Honda Civic. And maybe they're ordering a steak for dinner takeout which comes back home cold and soggy whereas you're ordering like a pizza and some custom hamburgers. And the thing is neither case nobody can really comfortably afford a house at least not in a tech hub like, say, Silicon Valley where houses start at say 1.5 to 2 million just for something basic and a decent School District.
> In order for that type of money, you know, a lot these people they have to be like startup founders or start up some side business to really get to a comfortable level like that, I would say, or maybe like a double income family or something like that, which is why I advocate a side hustle. Like a basic side hustle can easily start bringing in pretty decent income, especially you can start taking off tax write offs as well, and it can take you into to say, L5/L6/L7 territory quite quickly. And then you use that employment as a way to provide for your basic lifestyle, your health insurance, your social status, maybe your network, your friends, your work colleagues, and then that resume building and career building.
> [snip sponsored message].
> So that'll do it for me, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on climbing the career ladder and at what point do you think we reached diminishing returns, where the additional gains and, say, monetary reward or respect from our peers just isn't going to be worth the additional required time, effort and responsibilities, that additional stress that comes with the role? If you liked the video, please give a like and subscribe. Really appreciate that and I'll see you in the next one. Thanks, bye.

Good message, well-delivered. I'd summarize it like this: get to L4 or L5 (I've heard that Google, at least, doesn't allow people to stay at L3 forever) and coast. You'll enjoy your at-work and off-work hours more. The main benefits of your job are income, insurance, stability, and potentially name brand recognition if you apply to work somewhere else. You get all those benefits, except for the higher income levels, just from being employed as a tech worker for the company, regardless of your level. If you want extra income, start your own project on the side.

How much extra money do you make by advancing in level? Here are typical total annual compensation amounts for L3 through L6 at Google in the SF Bay Area, according to [levels.fyi](http://levels.fyi):

- [L3: $192,000](https://www.levels.fyi/company/Google/salaries/Software-Engineer/L3/San-Francisco-Bay-Area/)
- [L4: $267,000](https://www.levels.fyi/company/Google/salaries/Software-Engineer/L4/San-Francisco-Bay-Area/)
- [L5: $351,000](https://www.levels.fyi/company/Google/salaries/Software-Engineer/L5/San-Francisco-Bay-Area/)
- [L6: $501,000](https://www.levels.fyi/company/Google/salaries/Software-Engineer/L6/San-Francisco-Bay-Area/)

The total compensation increases by 30-40% at each level above L3.

Going from L5 to L6 increases your total annual compensation by $150,000. It might be hard, or stressful, to build and run a side hustle that pays that much. Still, one nice thing about a side hustle is, if you don't like it, you can wind it down. Advancing in level at a tech company, in contrast, is like a ratchet. You generally can't go back down a level. Once you've gone up, you have to keep performing at that level.

One important issue TechLead didn't mention is that [tech companies lean heavily to the political left](https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/10/06/almost-95-percent-of-silicon-valley-donations-have-gone-to-joe-biden/), and the higher your level, the greater the expectation is that you will actively promote a left-wing view on matters such as diversity, inclusion, equity, transgender activism, and multiculturalism. The lower your level, the easier it is to fly under the radar and keep silent.]]>
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 01:51:28 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18319 http://curi.us/comments/show/18319
Alan Alan Discussion Thu, 15 Oct 2020 21:26:58 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18318 http://curi.us/comments/show/18318 curi Deplatforming and Fraud Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:49:13 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18317 http://curi.us/comments/show/18317 curi Deplatforming and Fraud
![](https://curi.us/img/7p2VoHbBmabuaXA-1171x971.png)

A little cut off cuz twitter is bad at displaying images that crop poorly (and meanwhile makes people use them a ton due to lack of alternatives). You can click through and view the images individually but they're pretty readable this way.

@stucchio comments:

> These are the people who claim to fairly evaluate the suppression of stories about Biden abusing his power to help his crack addict son.]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:48:02 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18316 http://curi.us/comments/show/18316
curi curi's Microblogging
> If you can ever imagine yourself saying something unpopular, restriction on speech should bother you. If your long-term plan is just to read the room and always tell people what they want to hear it’s less of a problem. Recalling insane post-9/11 decade think former is important.

This is horribly wrong. Even if you're a total conformist, restrictions on unpopular speech are very bad for you. Why? Because they make society worse. They mean less production of material goods, worse science, etc., which all affects you. And they suppress better leadership of what you conform to. They mean the ideas you're parroting are dumber because other people were prevented from improving them. The fact that you personally wouldn't have used the opportunity to take a leadership role doesn't mean the suppression of leaders doesn't matter to you.]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:43:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18315 http://curi.us/comments/show/18315
curi Alan Discussion
Good book review. Do you recommend reading it for any particular reason? I think I get the main ideas from your summary and I'm already reasonably familiar with them. Does reading the whole book add a lot more?]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:39:37 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18314 http://curi.us/comments/show/18314
Progress exposed to criticism Anne B Fallible Ideas Learning Plan
Does "what progress has been exposed to criticism successfully" mean that if we want to claim that we've made progress in a particular area, we should state evidence that we've made progress and ask for criticism of our conclusion that we've made that progress? If not, what does it mean?]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:06:08 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18313 http://curi.us/comments/show/18313
curi What To Read
> The Space Trilogy: "Islands in the Sky", "Earthlight", "The Sands of Mars"

Islands in the Sky comes first and was my least favorite. It's fine. It's about a trip to space. The other two stood out more. Sands of Mars is about a sci-fi author taking a trip to Mars when the colony there is pretty young (it's a business trip so he can write about space and Mars better). Earthlight takes place on the Moon and I don't want to spoil anything.

I'm half through Clarke's *Rendezvous with Rama* which I'm enjoying. It has some sequels.

There's nothing super special about these books. They're just pretty good. But this is on a scale where I think most books are pretty bad. I'm happy to find books without major flaws causing me trouble. There's some similarity to Heinlein. A significant part of the point of the books is to consider what spaceships, space colonies and other planets would be like. The plots are on the weak side, which is fine, but I think if you put the same plot in a different setting (e.g. fantasy) it wouldn't make a good book. I don't know if anyone writes similar books now where people going into outer space is the main point.]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 18:15:07 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18312 http://curi.us/comments/show/18312
Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019)
With 4 players:

TTTH and TTTT. 50%

With 5 players:

TTTHH 1
TTTHT 1
TTTTT 0
TTTTH .5
HTTTH 1
HTTTT 0

3.5/6]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 07:30:29 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18311 http://curi.us/comments/show/18311
jordancurve Open Discussion 2 (2019) Thu, 15 Oct 2020 03:24:47 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18310 http://curi.us/comments/show/18310 Probability riddle jordancurve Open Discussion 2 (2019)
- Put on a red shirt if the 3 players to the left of you each hit their shot
- Put on a blue shirt if the 3 players to the left of you each missed their shot
- Put on a grey shirt otherwise

If no one puts on a blue shirt, have everyone shoot again. Repeat until at least one player puts on a blue shirt.

Now choose a player with a blue shirt at random and ask him to step forward. What is the probability that his shot was successful? Round your answer to two decimal places.

I would be interested to see who answers this correctly. Since commenting here may influence others, you may submit your answer at this [Google form](https://forms.gle/FKAmvgnUnhLeKNEu6). No email address is required, but you may include your FI handle in your answer for credit. I may share your answer along with your handle in a follow-up comment discussing the solution.

(Note: this puzzle is not original to me.)]]>
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 03:11:56 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18309 http://curi.us/comments/show/18309
Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019) Wed, 14 Oct 2020 05:14:23 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18308 http://curi.us/comments/show/18308 Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019)
> "The phrase begging the question originated in the 16th century as a mistranslation of the Latin petitio principii, which in turn was a mistranslation of the Greek for "assuming the conclusion"." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question
> "Assuming the conclusion" is a very good name. Use that.

+1]]>
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 02:22:57 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18307 http://curi.us/comments/show/18307
curi Apple Discussion
I think I'm getting a 12 mini.

iphone pro has a 3rd camera lens and lidar. seems targeted at photographers or people who want the extra large size.]]>
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 18:52:10 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18306 http://curi.us/comments/show/18306
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> I think goals, whether high-level or not, are directly related to the reasons you would give when asked why you did something. For example, if you reply that you did something "because it's fair", that implies that being fair is one of your goals. Someone could take your answers and ask "why" again. If this continues, the result seems to me somewhat like a hierarchy of goals.

I might be able to learn about my high-level goals by asking why I have some of my current non-high-level goals. Maybe I'll discover contradictions among my existing goals, and/or maybe I'll learn some things about what my high-level goals are or should be.

## Non-high-level goal: get enough sleep.

Why do I want to get enough sleep? Because getting enough sleep helps me function better when I'm awake. It makes it easier for me to get more value out of my waking hours.

Getting enough sleep isn't usually a big problem for me. I go to sleep when I get sleepy, wake up without an alarm, and take naps when I feel like it. Getting enough sleep isn't currently a bottleneck for me. That doesn't mean I can just let my sleep go all to hell and stop caring about getting enough sleep. If I did that, then sleep might become a bottleneck. I have to take enough care that that doesn't happen. But currently, getting enough sleep happens pretty much on autopilot for me.

So why do I want to function better when I'm awake? This is harder to answer. I don't really know why. I guess I could stop here and treat *wanting to function better when I'm awake* as a given for now.

Some related topics I could consider:

- Are there things I could do that would help me function just as well on less sleep?
- If I just start sleeping fewer hours per night, would those extra waking hours compensate for the reduced function?

I'm open to learning about those topics. I don't know enough to rule them out as potentially promising avenues to investigate. But for now I think I'll just stick with my current approach to sleeping.

## Non-high-level goal: have enough free time.

Why do I want to have enough free time? I think of free time as being kind of like disposable income. Free time is time that I can do whatever I want with. I don't have any obligations to anyone else about what I do in my free time. For example, I don't need to work during my free time, because I get enough money from the time I already spend working. I'm not sure if I should count the time I spend each day writing FI posts as free time or not. I guess not, because I don't just do whatever I want during that time. My thinking on this is kind of fuzzy.

I still don't know why I want to have enough free time. I guess I'll leave it as a given for now.

## Non-high-level goal: make enough money to have a middle-class Western lifestyle.

We could discuss how much money is *enough*, but to start with, I think what I stated is a reasonably close approximation of what I'm aiming for. But why that much? Why not higher? Why not lower? Those are tough questions for me to answer. I guess I'll leave it as a given for now.]]>
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 03:14:52 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18305 http://curi.us/comments/show/18305
Anonymous Using Commas
> So the norm is commas. The big emphasis is dashes. The other direction, the least emphasis is parentheses.

> [Speaking of parentheses] Now those marks, those two round marks, tell the reader in effect, this idea is very very loosely connected to what I'm saying. It's really off the point, it's barely connected, just enough to make it into the sentence.

So according to LP, parentheses have the least emphasis and most strongly indicate that the comment is tangential to the rest of what the sentence is talking about.

I think I read this ET quote:

> Commas often go around optional or inessential parts of sentences, including non-restrictive modifiers. They're sorta like a weaker or milder version of parentheses.

... as speaking to some attribute of parentheses other than the degree to which they indicate something is a tangent or side comment.

Earlier I said:

> I interpret ET as saying that commas are "weaker" in terms of setting things aside.

But what does "in terms of setting things aside" actually mean?

Setting things aside grammatically - as in, separating some section from the core grammar of the sentence?

Setting things aside as being tangents?

Setting things aside as particularly important?

"in terms of setting things aside" is quite vague, and I think I was confused about what I exactly meant, and had 2 or maybe even 3 things in mind at the same time, and so that was a huge mess. So I think that particular conceptual vagueness was the primary cause of my error.

If I read the part of your quote regarding commas being "a weaker or milder version of parentheses" as indicating that commas are weaker than parentheses *in terms of indicating that something is a tangent/side-issue*, then your quote and what Peikoff says above are totally compatible.

I initially brought up LP talking about the relative emphasis indicated by different marks. But the amount of emphasis or weight that some punctuation marks indicate is a *different attribute* than the degree to which punctuation marks indicate that something is a tangent. I think not separating out the different attributes of things is part of where I was getting lost.

I withdraw my claim that there is a contradiction here. Thanks for your help.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 21:33:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18304 http://curi.us/comments/show/18304
internetrules internetrules Microblogging
> ctrl+tab or alt+tab?

i meant alt+tab]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 21:18:46 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18303 http://curi.us/comments/show/18303
curi Using Commas Mon, 12 Oct 2020 20:56:27 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18302 http://curi.us/comments/show/18302 Justin Mallone Using Commas
I thought about the issue some more, and wrote something about it, but I didn't find what I wrote particularly helpful or illuminating (was worth trying anyways. Writing stuff down often helps and makes stuff clearer).]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 20:43:00 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18301 http://curi.us/comments/show/18301
curi Using Commas Mon, 12 Oct 2020 18:13:43 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18300 http://curi.us/comments/show/18300 Justin Mallone Using Commas
http://justinmallone.com/2020/10/leonard-peikoff-grammar-course-lecture-6-notes/

http://justinmallone.com/2020/10/leonard-peikoff-grammar-course-homework-6/

There is a lot of overlap with what Elliot says. Peikoff likes to give more names to lots of individual cases, whereas Elliot groups them into bigger overarching themes, but there is broad agreement between LP and ET as to substance.

One point of disagreement i noticed was:

http://justinmallone.com/2020/10/leonard-peikoff-grammar-course-lecture-6-notes/#Alternatives_to_Commas_for_Parenthetical_Remarks

> Peikoff says greatest emphasis to side remark is given by dashes, least by parentheses, and middle amount of emphasis is commas.


whereas ET says above:

> Commas often go around optional or inessential parts of sentences, including non-restrictive modifiers. They're sorta like a weaker or milder version of parentheses.

I interpret ET as saying that commas are "weaker" in terms of setting things aside.

So LP says dashes > commas > parens, but I read ET as implying that parens > commas.

I found something online which says:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/dashes-parentheses-and-commas

> In general, you can think of parentheses, commas, and dashes as a continuum of marks. Parentheses are the quiet whisper of an aside, commas are the conversational voice of a friend walking by your desk, and dashes are the yowl of a pirate dashing into a fray.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:26:44 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18299 http://curi.us/comments/show/18299
Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019)
> With lightning speed, the Associated Press adopts Democrats' language on SCOTUS: adding members is now "depoliticizing" the court, only "critics" refer to it as "packing."
> [image of the following [AP story quote](http://archive.is/tbIxB):]
>> Bullock said that if Coney Barrett was confirmed, he would be open to measures to depoliticize the court, including adding judges to the bench, a practice critics have dubbed packing the courts.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:59:19 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18298 http://curi.us/comments/show/18298
Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019)
Awful.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:47:17 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18296 http://curi.us/comments/show/18296
Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud
Seems to follow the video fairly closely.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:45:04 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18295 http://curi.us/comments/show/18295
Anonymous Open Discussion 2 (2019)
> “A pioneer devoted to equality.”
> That was The Washington Post’s headline about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
> But when Justice Antonin Scalia died, the headline was, “Supreme Court conservative dismayed liberals.”
> When the founder of ISIS was killed, the headline was: “Austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies.”
> But when President Donald Trump’s brother died, the headline was, “younger brother of President Trump who filed lawsuit against niece, dies.”

Article has more good examples.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:42:47 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18294 http://curi.us/comments/show/18294
Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud
John Stossel’s video on the impact of forest management on CA’s wildfire situation was censored by Facebook for being misleading. The “fact check” misquotes Stossel’s video badly, and two of the people the fact checker listed as reviewers admitted they never even watched Stossel’s video!]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 05:36:19 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18293 http://curi.us/comments/show/18293
curi curi's Microblogging
> Working at Stripe has caused an interesting change in my relationship to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. One way is that the domain name sometimes opens doors that the username did not. (That doesn’t feel great to me, to be honest, but is a useful observation about life, particularly to folks who are early in their careers.) I know a lot more venture capitalists, executives, etc than I did a few years ago, and am treated as a more serious professional than I was despite no obvious corresponding change in skill in the intervening time.

This comment on social status hierarchy behavior was the most notable part of the article to me.

I'm skeptical of the value of working with that kind of person even if you get the opportunity. patio11 puts up with it.]]>
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 04:09:41 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18292 http://curi.us/comments/show/18292
Max internetrules Microblogging
I sometimes accidentally ctrl+x -- I either ctrl+v it somewhere else, or ctrl+z to undo the deletion (but whatever you cut usually stays on the clipboard, so you can still paste it).

I don't use ctrl+x much. Mostly to move stuff between documents.

> ctrl + e

In chrome (browser I'm using atm) it goes to the search bar with 'Search Google:' already up there (so I couldn't type a new url, just a search query). ctrl+k does the same thing.

> ctrl + tab cycles windows

ctrl+tab or alt+tab? ctrl+tab usually cycles tabs for me (and alt+tab does windows). on Windows 10 win+tab will bring up the multi-desktop interface which looks a bit like expose on Mac.

> if i forget to add my name in the "author" section i can just write a followup message saying that the last message was me and i forgot to sign it.

I think Alisa mentioned to me that changing the workflow you use when filling out a comment helped her. (It's helped me too, since.) I usually double click the author field first to bring up past names and select 'Max'. Building that habit has helped a lot.]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 22:02:33 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18291 http://curi.us/comments/show/18291
internetrules internetrules Microblogging Sun, 11 Oct 2020 21:55:35 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18290 http://curi.us/comments/show/18290 Anonymous internetrules Microblogging
yeah. i dont like ctrl x cuz im worried i could end up acidentally deleting things. for small messages like this tho it would probably be worth using it if it is relevant. if i somehow delete this message or your quote no big deal.

> I use ctrl+page-up/down to move between tabs in browsers a lot (next/prev tab). ctrl+l to go to the URL bar, too. Those might be good ones if you do a decent amount of browsing.

for me ctrl + tab cycles windows and ctrl + e goes to search bar. i should use both more.]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 21:50:21 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18289 http://curi.us/comments/show/18289
Max Max Microblogging
There are caveats, though. Increasing the accessibility of some previously professionalised thing (e.g. arbitrage) can result in more people do it--and at lower volumes. But, in those cases, the professionalisation is just moving from the person doing the thing to programmer(s) maintaining the feature.]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 21:48:05 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18288 http://curi.us/comments/show/18288
Max internetrules Microblogging
They're good ones to start with.

I use ctrl+page-up/down to move between tabs in browsers a lot (next/prev tab). ctrl+l to go to the URL bar, too. Those might be good ones if you do a decent amount of browsing.

> ok lets see how much time i will save in a year

Reminds me of this: https://xkcd.com/1205/]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 21:41:25 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18287 http://curi.us/comments/show/18287
curi internetrules Microblogging
This is similar to writing reusable code the third time you do the same thing.

Three times is a rough indicator of a pattern. If you have a pattern of entering a command, then a shortcut is good. If there's no pattern (like use it once or twice ever) then learning a shortcut isn't worth the effort.

Also, in general with lots of stuff, slowing down and doing it the right way early on is worthwhile. Then you form good habits. You don't wanna form a habit of doing something the wrong way or the inefficient way.

If you're not sure how much you'll use something, or you're not sure what the best way is, then you can try stuff. But when you recognize you'll use it a bunch and figure out what the best way is, then you immediately wanna start doing the best way and making that your habit.]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 21:38:54 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18286 http://curi.us/comments/show/18286
internetrules internetrules Microblogging
currently its like every few months il spend some time trying to learn some shortcuts but then i stop trying to find shortcuts.

i think i should spend some more time learning shortcuts.

i think they save the time you end up spending on learning them

when i do something and it seems kinda slow, or maybe i do it all the time, then i think i should try to learn a shortcut for it

if i do thing A every day, and thing A takes 10 seconds without shortcuts, but 5 seconds with shortcuts. and it takes 60 seconds to learn the shortcut, then it will take 13 days to start saving time from learning the shortcut (5 x 13 = 65 which is over 60)

ok lets see how much time i will save in a year

5 x 365 = 1825 -60 = 1765. 1765 seconds to minutes 29.41667 minutes! i would save half an hour in a year from spending 1 minute of learning!]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 21:34:43 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18285 http://curi.us/comments/show/18285
curi internetrules Microblogging Sun, 11 Oct 2020 20:38:05 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18284 http://curi.us/comments/show/18284 internetrules internetrules Microblogging
if i forget to add my name in the "author" section i can just write a followup message saying that the last message was me and i forgot to sign it.

it does not seem like there is anything to worry about with this rule.]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 20:34:10 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18283 http://curi.us/comments/show/18283
Alisa Alisa Discussion Sun, 11 Oct 2020 17:36:13 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18282 http://curi.us/comments/show/18282 Anonymous Alisa Discussion
Will you consider it now?]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 09:15:36 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18281 http://curi.us/comments/show/18281
curi Max Microblogging
https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1315157487633354753

> Lots of cryptocurrency projects think that there is a way for any part of their ecosystem to be done by non-professionals in the long-run and they are all fools.

> Miners, devs, promoters, capital, etc, will all be professionalized.]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 07:50:41 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18280 http://curi.us/comments/show/18280
Alisa Alisa Discussion Sun, 11 Oct 2020 05:55:08 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18279 http://curi.us/comments/show/18279 Anonymous Alisa Discussion
why not?]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 04:29:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18278 http://curi.us/comments/show/18278
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> "... To me, there's only one form of human depravity-the man without a purpose."]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 00:18:34 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18277 http://curi.us/comments/show/18277
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> It was days later, when they were alone, walking through the woods on the shore of the river, that she asked: "Francisco, what's the most depraved type of human being?"
> "The man without a purpose."

I think Francisco was talking about a purpose *in life* or what I referred to in #18268 as a "high-level goal".]]>
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 00:14:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18276 http://curi.us/comments/show/18276
Alisa Alisa Discussion
Part of this might involve relaxing my standards about what's acceptable for posting. There may be some time-consuming things I do that are good to be *able* to do when necessary, but maybe I don't need to do them for all posts. Or maybe I should just get faster at everything related to posting.

Another idea is to get better at being able to post without editing. The sentences should come out at an acceptable quality level the first time.

This post took me about 3 minutes to write.]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 23:57:13 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18275 http://curi.us/comments/show/18275
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> Do you think that there are downsides with having more disposable income than one would need (upper-class lifestyle)?

No.

> I am asking because all the things you listed in #18270:
>> live in a nice, low-crime area, have a better-than-average healthcare plan, buy nice computers/tablets/phones, and take a few vacations per year, all while building up a reasonable amount of savings
> could be significantly better with an above middle-class lifestyle goal.

I don't see how an above-middle-class lifestyle would let me get a significantly better phone or tablet than my iPhone and iPad, but I can see how the rest of the things I listed could be significantly improved.

> I guess that I don’t understand why, if you have a lifestyle goal, you would chose to settle at middle-class level. It sound like you are not even attempting greatness. I guess I’m wondering if that is the case (not attempting greatness), and in that case why.
> Maybe I am misunderstanding something. I’m trying to figure out what if that is the case.

I don't think you're misunderstanding. I was not attempting greatness, and I don't think I've written much that would give the impression that I was. I don't think I had thought much about the reasons for that at the time I wrote the comment you asked about.]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 22:53:30 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18274 http://curi.us/comments/show/18274
Anonymous Alisa Discussion
I am asking because all the things you listed in #18270:
> live in a nice, low-crime area, have a better-than-average healthcare plan, buy nice computers/tablets/phones, and take a few vacations per year, all while building up a reasonable amount of savings
could be significantly better with an above middle-class lifestyle goal.

I guess that I don’t understand why, if you have a lifestyle goal, you would chose to settle at middle-class level. It sound like you are not even attempting greatness. I guess I’m wondering if that is the case (not attempting greatness), and in that case why.
Maybe I am misunderstanding something. I’m trying to figure out what if that is the case.]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 22:31:41 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18273 http://curi.us/comments/show/18273
Alisa Alisa Discussion Sat, 10 Oct 2020 18:41:00 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18272 http://curi.us/comments/show/18272 Anonymous Alisa Discussion > By saying "middle-class", I think I was *trying to rule out* a lower-class lifestyle, which I associated with a lack of disposable income, and *an upper-class lifestyle, which I associated with having more disposable income than I would need to live the kind of life I want.*

Why were you trying to rule out this (highlighted part)?]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 18:07:27 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18271 http://curi.us/comments/show/18271
Alisa Alisa Discussion
>> - making enough money to have a middle-class Western lifestyle

> Why do you say “*middle-class* Western lifestyle”?

I'll take the question as asking "Why *did* you say ..." Therefore, I'll try to remember what I was thinking at the time I wrote the text you quoted, and I'll try not to clarify my thinking much beyond what it was at the time.

By saying "middle-class", I think I was trying to rule out a lower-class lifestyle, which I associated with a lack of disposable income, and an upper-class lifestyle, which I associated with having more disposable income than I would need to live the kind of life I want. I think I was vaguely envisioning things like being able to live in a nice, low-crime area, have a better-than-average healthcare plan, buy nice computers/tablets/phones, and take a few vacations per year, all while building up a reasonable amount of savings.]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 15:45:48 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18270 http://curi.us/comments/show/18270
Anonymous Alisa Discussion
Why do you say “*middle-class* Western lifestyle”?]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 13:09:25 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18269 http://curi.us/comments/show/18269
Alisa Alisa Discussion
>>>> I don't know my goals or my bottlenecks, so I would have to get lucky for any given action of mine to advance me towards my goals or address my bottlenecks.
> I read this as a general statement.
>> I have gained a lot of value by "acting aimlessly" on FI
> Here the topic jumps to lack of goals *at FI*.

I didn't intend to change the topic. Maybe I'm using the term *goal* incorrectly. In both cases, I was talking about *high-level goals* and the bottlenecks that limit my progress towards them. The way I understand bottlenecks, they only make sense with reference to high-level goals. (As Jonah says in *The Goal*, "an hour saved at a non-bottleneck is a mirage.".)

Some examples of what I have in mind by "high-level goals" are the life goals of Goldratt and Rand that I quoted in #18260. Other examples include:

- The idea that the mission of the GOP should be to ["preserve the American way of life"](https://americanmind.org/features/preserving-the-american-way-of-life/).
- The idea that the goal of a company is to make money ("So this is the goal: To make money by increasing net profit, while simultaneously increasing return on investment, and simultaneously increasing cash flow." – [Goldratt, *The Goal*](https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/390862-so-this-is-the-goal-to-make-money-by-increasing)).

I think goals, whether high-level or not, are directly related to the reasons you would give when asked why you did something. For example, if you reply that you did something "because it's fair", that implies that being fair is one of your goals. Someone could take your answers and ask "why" again. If this continues, the result seems to me somewhat like a hierarchy of goals.

> Do you have other goals that you do know?

Yes. I have non-high-level goals such as the "smaller goals" I listed in #18259 ("posting daily, spending more time on FI, and finishing the YESNO "check your understanding" questions"). Some of my other non-high-level goals include:

- making enough money to have a middle-class Western lifestyle
- having enough free time
- getting enough sleep]]>
Sat, 10 Oct 2020 01:11:20 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18268 http://curi.us/comments/show/18268
Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud
[Twitter hides all search results for the “Obamagate” hashtag](https://reclaimthenet.org/twitter-hides-obamagate-hashtag-search-results/), *Reclaim the Net* (2020-10-08):

> Twitter is hiding hashtag search results related to “Obamagate” – a common reference to the FBI’s secret surveillance of the Trump campaign under the Obama administration in 2016.
> The Obamagate story has topped the news cycle several times over the last few years. It was pushed to the forefront again this week after President Trump ordered the declassification of all documents pertaining to the Russia collusion allegations that triggered the FBI investigation into his campaign. Vice President Mike Pence also brought up the topic of the FBI spying on the Trump campaign during Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.
> Data from Twitter hashtags analysis website hashtags.org estimates that the #obamagate hashtag is being used thousands of times per hour.]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 20:40:12 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18267 http://curi.us/comments/show/18267
curi curi's Microblogging
Nice video on the influence of Twitch and live streaming in popular culture. Includes a section about how chess gained a bunch of popularity when xqc started playing it and then interacted with Hikaru, a grandmaster, who had a small stream, and now has a large stream and TSM sponsorship. I've been watching chess stuff recently and have seen some Hikaru on Twitch.]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 19:36:04 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18266 http://curi.us/comments/show/18266
curi Alisa Discussion
I read this as a general statement.

> I have gained a lot of value by "acting aimlessly" on FI

Here the topic jumps to lack of goals *at FI*.

Do you have other goals that you do know?]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 18:44:04 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18265 http://curi.us/comments/show/18265
curi Discussion Points of View and Mutual Benefit Fri, 09 Oct 2020 18:16:42 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18264 http://curi.us/comments/show/18264 Anonymous Politics Discussion
> A WIRED analysis finds roughly 95 percent of contributions by employees of six big tech firms have gone to [Biden/Harris].]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 17:59:27 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18263 http://curi.us/comments/show/18263
Anonymous Discussion Points of View and Mutual Benefit
I think you've built a great community and have had to deal with many problems that most communities don't take seriously. Problems like the individual context of people and how they have to use their own judgment when applying general ideas, or share more contextual details to get more specific advice and help.

You've built a place for anonymity and pseudonymuty for people to be respected and valued as a right rather than a place that pressures people to go by their irl name (at a time when people are being cancelled, but also feel pressure in many communities not to be anonymous because anonymity is considered to bring out the worst in people or lead to low commitment. These things might be true but you've decided to find ways to deal with them while still offering people the option to be anonymous.)

My message gets more and more unclear and vague as I keep writing, but i think my point is that you've chosen to address difficult and important problems that many people just accept as unchangeable or don't even realize matter because they focus on other problems. I'm realizing how many of your ideas link together and just how consistent you've been for decades and I respect that even though I personally struggle to apply it well to my own life and grow as a person.

This was meant to be an appreciative, honest, non fear based message but it turned into something else. I have fear sending it but I think holding back isn't good for me or for the FI community, so I'm willing to send this even though I'm conflicted. Thanks for all the generous work that you do and I hope that I can fix my mistakes one by one and make my life better in a way that I value and also in a way that would make you proud in the long-term.]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 11:54:17 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18262 http://curi.us/comments/show/18262
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
> "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
> "I don't much care where—" said Alice.
> "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
> "—so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
> "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 03:46:29 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18261 http://curi.us/comments/show/18261
life goals of top thinkers Alisa Alisa Discussion
> Ayn Rand was asked "What is your purpose in life?" at the end of the book Ayn Rand Answers. Her answer:
> "My purpose is to enjoy my life in a rational way: to use my mind to the greatest extent possible; to pursue, admire, and support human greatness; to make all my choices rationally; to expand my knowledge constantly. That's a pretty ambitious program, and I've achieved most of it."

[Eliyahu Goldratt](https://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/7/prweb8637418.htm):

> The life work of Goldratt ... was “to teach the world to think.”

In Atlas Shrugged, Francisco ["could always name the purpose of his every random moment"](http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy1412/2009290777-s.html). It would make sense that knowing his larger goals helped him with that.]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 03:42:57 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18260 http://curi.us/comments/show/18260
goals Alisa Alisa Discussion
> Then shouldn't you stop acting aimlessly and try to figure out what your goals and bottlenecks are? Isn't finding that out your first bottleneck on progress?

Yes, I suppose so.

I have gained a lot of value by "acting aimlessly" on FI, compared to what my life would be like if I hadn't participated here at all. But I have also given up a lot of value compared to what I could have achieved by acting more purposefully here. I remind myself of someone wandering aimlessly above a gold mine, picking up tiny flecks here and there, when, if they acted with purpose, they could mine deep veins of gold and become rich.

I do have smaller goals (e.g., posting daily, spending more time on FI, and finishing the YESNO "check your understanding" questions), but those goals are mostly chosen by intuition, as opposed to being chosen by a process of reason in light of larger goals. I think figuring out my larger goals is what curi was talking about.

One reason knowing my goals is important is that I can't take effective action towards my goals unless I know what they are. Also, knowing my goals is a prerequisite for figuring out what my bottlenecks are, which is another prerequisite for taking effective action towards my goals.

Some actions I could take towards figuring out my goals:

- brainstorm (e.g., freewrite about) goals and, later, criticize what I come up with
- investigate the goals of top thinkers
- look into different goal setting methodologies
- look for and read/watch FI material on figuring out goals

I may need to learn other stuff (e.g., how to be more honest) before I can figure out what my goals are. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 03:41:47 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18259 http://curi.us/comments/show/18259
British banks banning dissidents Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud
> Western dissident sphere should no longer take having a bank account for granted (joining Uber, Airbnb, PayPal, donation platforms, web services, etc).

That tweet quotes the following [tweet by @MarkACollett ](https://twitter.com/MarkACollett/status/1313911873688023041):

> Today I was informed by my bank, HSBC, that they will no longer provide me with banking services. @thisislaurat faced the same situation last week when Santander closed her account. This is clearly a coordinated effort to silence those who speak out against demographic change.

@MarkACollett [describes himself on Twitter](https://twitter.com/MarkACollett) as:

> British political activist and the author of The Fall of Western Man. http://thefallofwesternman.com]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 03:07:48 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18258 http://curi.us/comments/show/18258
curi curi's Microblogging
> James O’Keefe DEBUNKS Joe Rogan criticism, challenges him to go on JRE to discuss Veritas methods!

I like O’Keefe. He makes a lot of good points. Rogan is OK sometimes but lame here.

Sadly, though, sending them tips about how Google is shadowbanning webpages that link to Veritas videos got me ignored with no response. Not even like a "thanks that's good info but there are a lot of big problems and we're going to focus on even worse things" (i made that up. it seems like maybe the reason they didn't reply to me. but maybe not. who knows. if that was the reason it'd be reasonable but they should have sent me a one paragraph explanation. they have the budget for a response that's a little more personalized than a form letter, but i didn't even get a form letter. now i won't be sending them my next tip, and nor will various people i know, so they're actually losing out.) But awful customer service on their tips email address is normal, not worse than what most other companies are like. And Veritas is really good at some other stuff.]]>
Thu, 08 Oct 2020 20:28:48 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18257 http://curi.us/comments/show/18257
curi curi's Microblogging
Baldur's Gate 3 review from UEG. Summary: tons of great stuff, detail, gameplay options, doesn't seem woke/SJW, quests that aren't cookie cutter. Two main flaws. First, it's early access currently and buggy. And the main problem is lack of help/guidance. It lacks some info about D&D rules so you can figure out how stuff works. It lacks enough tooltips. He says he probably would have quit if he didn't have D&D experts in his stream chat answering his questions. Basically the game needs a manual with all the info about how stuff works, like like BG 1 and 2 had long ago, but it doesn't have anything like that, at all. Hopefully they'll add stuff like that by release in addition to bug fixing.

I'm playing Hades currently. I plan to try BG3 in the future but maybe after the official release. I'm not in a rush to deal with bugs and to experience stuff that'll be improved later. I do plan to avoid spoilers for BG3. I'm not going to watch streams of people playing it.]]>
Thu, 08 Oct 2020 20:17:34 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18256 http://curi.us/comments/show/18256
curi curi's Microblogging
![](https://curi.us/img/pr7d7aZofbFZw8p-610x400.png)

There are more graphs then a conclusion:

> I hope this information gives you some perspective on what we're dealing with today. The conditions our ancestors dealt with daily were much harsher than even the worst of Covid-19.

This is stupid. You can't look at the harm from COVID *while people take major precautions* to conclude that COVID isn't very dangerous. If we stopped taking those precautions, the death rate would be way higher.]]>
Thu, 08 Oct 2020 17:56:27 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18255 http://curi.us/comments/show/18255
Alisa Deplatforming and Fraud
For reaching conclusions on my own, I generally don't use methods that I know how to explain in words. I tend to just go by intuition. The conclusion you asked about is no exception.]]>
Thu, 08 Oct 2020 03:21:23 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18254 http://curi.us/comments/show/18254
curi Alisa Discussion Thu, 08 Oct 2020 03:21:01 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18253 http://curi.us/comments/show/18253 Alisa Alisa Discussion
> I don't think that making errors like this and being corrected on them is addressing your bottlenecks.

I agree. I don't know my goals or my bottlenecks, so I would have to get lucky for any given action of mine to advance me towards my goals or address my bottlenecks.]]>
Thu, 08 Oct 2020 03:17:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18252 http://curi.us/comments/show/18252
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> If you read the question then look it up, then say "cuz i looked it up", then you are giving info that was inaccurate not merely at the time you made your original statement, and not merely at the time the question was written, but also at the time you read the question.
> The present tense is meant to apply to when the question is communicated, not a later time after you react to the question and change the situation.

The particular form of the present tense used in the question, "Why do you think X?" is the *present indefinite*. According to [Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_present), one of the main uses of the present continuous is:

> [... w]ith stative verbs in senses that do not use progressive aspect..., to refer to a present or general state, whether temporary, permanent or habitual;
> You are happy.
> I know what to do.
> A child needs its mother.
> I love you.

My understanding of that is that one of the main uses of the present indefinite is to refer to a permanent or habitual state rather than to a particular point in time. Therefore, I think the interpretation of questions that use the present indefinite is context-dependent. Here are a few examples:

- Suppose someone asks me (using the present indefinite), "Why are you so happy?". They could be wondering why I am so happy *at the moment they asked the question* or why I am so happy *in general*.

- Suppose I say, "Trump 2020!", and someone asks, "Why do you think it would be good for Trump to win?". They might want to know why I think that at the time they asked the question, or they might want to know why I think that in general. In the latter case, they might well regard a good answer as one that gives my best reasons for thinking that it would be good for Trump to win.

- "What is your net worth?": If asked out of context, I think an answer to this question should generally be true as of *the time the answer is given*, which is not necessarily the time the question was asked. For instance, if I wait a week before answering and win the lottery during that week, I could -- and should -- state a higher net worth than I would have otherwise. However, if the question were a follow-up to a related statement that I had made previously, such as "I am rich", then I think the question should be understood as asking about my wealth at the time I stated that I was rich.

- "Are you a fugitive from justice?": This is question 11(d) on [Form 4473](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_4473), which is typically filled out when purchasing a firearm in the U.S. I think one's answer is expected to be true at the time one submits the form.

Wikipedia continues:

> [The present indefinite] contrasts with the present progressive (present continuous), which is used to refer to something taking place at the present moment: I am walking now; He is writing a letter at the moment.

Suppose someone asks, using the present continuous, "Why are you marching?". That question unambiguously refers to the marching going on at the time the question was asked.

If the question had been posed in the present indefinite, e.g., "Why do you march?", then I think the answer wouldn't necessarily be expected to apply to any particular point in time.]]>
Thu, 08 Oct 2020 03:15:58 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18251 http://curi.us/comments/show/18251
Anonymous Analyzing How Culture Manipulates You by Pulling Your Puppet Strings
https://blog.ulysses.app/author/rebekka/

> Rebekka graduated in communication science and sociology and serves as Ulysses’ communications allrounder. Passionate about books and literature herself, she was drawn by the company’s vision of the perfect writing tool.]]>
Wed, 07 Oct 2020 19:13:23 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18250 http://curi.us/comments/show/18250
Anonymous Analyzing How Culture Manipulates You by Pulling Your Puppet Strings
The Honeit bio at that same link has been updated. I don't know why it was changed. It seems more reality focused now than it was previously.]]>
Wed, 07 Oct 2020 09:41:44 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18249 http://curi.us/comments/show/18249
Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud Wed, 07 Oct 2020 01:13:13 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18248 http://curi.us/comments/show/18248 curi Alisa Discussion
The present tense is meant to apply to when the question is communicated, not a later time after you react to the question and change the situation.

I don't think that making errors like this and being corrected on them is addressing your bottlenecks.]]>
Wed, 07 Oct 2020 01:10:33 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18247 http://curi.us/comments/show/18247
Alisa Deplatforming and Fraud
> Mr. Delzer, the proprietor of a secondhand store in Nashville called Defunct Books, has a different view. “If Amazon executives are so proud of their moral high ground, they should issue memos about which books they are banning instead of keeping sellers and readers in the dark,” he said.

1. Whether it "rekt" Amazon, as Anon wrote in #15443. I questioned this in #15444.

2. Whether it is a "self-contained argument", as Anon wrote in #15445. I argued against this in #15812 and #16575 + #16576.]]>
Wed, 07 Oct 2020 00:49:06 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18246 http://curi.us/comments/show/18246
Alisa Alisa Discussion
For example, suppose I were to state that Sacramento is the capitol of California. If someone were to ask me, "Why do you think that?", I might look it up in an encyclopedia or some official state of California web page and give that info as my reason. My original reason might have been that I vaguely remember it from somewhere, but I understand the question as asking for the best possible answer I can give *now*.

I can see how that kind of answer would be unhelpful when the person is looking for info about what I was thinking at the time I made the original statement.]]>
Wed, 07 Oct 2020 00:32:33 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18245 http://curi.us/comments/show/18245
curi Alisa Discussion Tue, 06 Oct 2020 22:17:21 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18244 http://curi.us/comments/show/18244 oh my god it's turpentine Deplatforming and Fraud
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y8PTRouF5o]]>
Tue, 06 Oct 2020 06:27:03 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18243 http://curi.us/comments/show/18243
Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud Tue, 06 Oct 2020 06:01:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18242 http://curi.us/comments/show/18242 Alisa Alisa Discussion
> # Inanimate Facts
> Facts don't do anything by themselves. If you observe something, that doesn't tell you what's true. It's not an argument. Facts are inactive and passive. Facts don't speak, point, hint, argue, agree, disagree, or do anything.]]>
Tue, 06 Oct 2020 02:57:24 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18241 http://curi.us/comments/show/18241
Alisa Deplatforming and Fraud Tue, 06 Oct 2020 02:30:36 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18240 http://curi.us/comments/show/18240 curi curi's Microblogging
Asmongold watches All Gas no Brakes talking with Proud Boys and others about politics. What a shitshow. People on both sides are mostly idiotic.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 23:40:41 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18239 http://curi.us/comments/show/18239
Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom? - You currently pay for other people's health care due to stuff like free climbing and getting drunk, and (if you're not a free climber or heavy drinker) get no benefit.
- Letting people try experimental medical stuff is like free climbing and getting drunk, except it benefits you in that it speeds up finding a good vaccine or treatment to the virus.

That might not convince everyone, but I think it's a reasonable argument. I think the main people who wouldn't be convinced are the ones who don't agree that allowing more experimental stuff would speed up finding a good vaccine or treatment.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 23:38:08 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18238 http://curi.us/comments/show/18238
curi Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom? Mon, 05 Oct 2020 23:26:39 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18237 http://curi.us/comments/show/18237 Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom? > It's hard to do that in a situation where ~everyone has health plans that will have to pay for their self-inflicted injuries. Our society isn't set up for people to be able to take on medical risks and pay for the consequences.

That's true. It's also true for free climbing, reckless driving, excessive drinking, etc.

There's already quite a lot of potential moral hazard in the health plan system, including for things that are widely regarded as more fun/desirable than trying an untested vaccine or treatment.

Moral hazard in health plans tends to be somewhat well mitigated by most people pretty strongly not wanting to get hurt. I think having to pay (or not) for treatment if they do get hurt is a relatively minor concern. People that don't care much about getting hurt also tend to not care much about being unable to pay if they do.

I think a bigger problem than payment to worry about is people not understanding how dangerous the untested medical stuff actually is. People know free climbing, reckless driving, etc. are super dangerous mostly because of repeated cultural messages. There's less of that cultural messaging about untested medical stuff, cuz it's mostly just not allowed.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 23:15:48 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18236 http://curi.us/comments/show/18236
Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom? > I have seen no indication that Reisman (or Horowitz or Coulter) knows much about the virus from a medical pov.

I agree. But I don't know how much of their thinking that the virus is not very dangerous is medical.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 22:57:26 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18235 http://curi.us/comments/show/18235
curi Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom?
I have seen no indication that Reisman (or Horowitz or Coulter) knows much about the virus from a medical pov. By contrast there exist indications that I do know something about these things, like the full text of this page including comments: http://curi.us/2304-the-ccp-coronavirus I actually read a textbook on viruses and a bunch of scholarly articles at the start of the pandemic.

> (1) Suspend FDA regulations on vaccines or treatments for the virus, in order to allow trying all sorts of things on anyone voluntarily willing to try them without the usual timelines and quotas. Some of these would end up killing or injuring people.

It's hard to do that in a situation where ~everyone has health plans that will have to pay for their self-inflicted injuries. Our society isn't set up for people to be able to take on medical risks and pay for the consequences.

Our society also isn't set up for "price gouging" to work well. Besides some laws, the problems there are more subtle and more about social customs, but I think they're significant and would need some solutions instead of just ignoring them.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 21:01:45 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18234 http://curi.us/comments/show/18234
curi curi's Microblogging
Someone hung out with antifa to find out about them. Says one of their major tactics is middle-level violence, so that it's really hard to ignore and do nothing, but it's too mild to shoot them. A lot of defensive reactions are polarized as either too strong or too weak to deal with antifa's actions. They do that on purpose. Their goal is more about creating propaganda than actually achieving objections like damaging buildings. They want to get police to either stand down or overreact (as perceived by public that is misled by media).

They said it's like repeatedly pushing someone on the shoulder. If he ignores you, he's weak and bullied. If he punches you, lots of people will see it as an overreaction, especially if they are judging quickly with low info instead of spending a bunch of time finding out what happened and considering it.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 18:29:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18233 http://curi.us/comments/show/18233
EG recommends book by Scheinkopf _Thinking for a Change: Putting the TOC Thinking Processes to Use_ GISTE Eliyahu Goldratt Discussion
_Thinking for a Change: Putting the TOC Thinking Processes to Use_, by Lisa J. Scheinkopf

https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Change-Processes-Constraints-Management/dp/1574441019]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 11:52:35 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18232 http://curi.us/comments/show/18232
Postmortem: thinking I understood something when I didn't Alisa Alisa Discussion
In #18159, I wrote:

> Assertion: The man went into the store.
> Reasoning: The man was just in front of the store, but he's not there now, there are no cars nearby, and I see the store door closing.

As curi pointed out in #18163, my "Reasoning:" line wasn't reasoning; it was just a list of facts. I guess I thought I understood reasoning better than I actually did.

In #18159, I wrote:

> reasoning explains why it makes sense to accept or reject an idea.

As best I can recollect, when I wrote #18159, I was thinking of reasoning as *whatever info would convince someone of something*. I felt that if I told someone that the man had gone into the store, and they asked why I thought that, and I said the stuff in the "Reasoning:" line to them, they would understand and be convinced, assuming they believed my observations to be accurate. From that, I concluded that the stuff in my "Reasoning:" line was actually reasoning.

I now think, as I understand curi to have written in #18163, that a crucial part of reasoning is an *explanation* of how to arrive at a conclusion, and my list of facts did not contain an explanation. (I had used the word "explains" in my own definition of what reasoning was (see above), but I think I was thinking of the term more colloquially, in the way that someone might say, "Ah, that explains it", in response to a newly-learned fact.)

One thing I did right in #18159 was to give examples of my thinking. That made it easier for others to see my mistake. I should give examples more often.

Some postmortems of mine that are closely related to the mistake described in this one:

- [Postmortem: thinking I understood a term that I didn't](https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/fallible-ideas/VYpRwJLiGKY/W4NfL1pxAgAJ) (2020-06-23)
- [Postmortem: a third mistake with clauses](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/_yDGK0Oumj4/WfVahhquAgAJ) (2020-08-01)

After re-reading those postmortems and thinking about this one, I've concluded that I don't know how to tell whether I understand a term well enough to use it. I just go by intuition.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 04:23:10 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18231 http://curi.us/comments/show/18231
Max Max Microblogging Mon, 05 Oct 2020 01:55:00 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18230 http://curi.us/comments/show/18230 Max Learning Updates Thread
I reflect a bit about curi and my conversation in curi.us/2380. I have some updates on speedrunning SSOL (WR dropping, new route maybe). I started using lifetick to better manage my goals, though not sure how it'll go.]]>
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 01:34:52 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18229 http://curi.us/comments/show/18229
Anonymous Politics Discussion
> Most people in politics are, whether they know it or not, much more comfortable with failing conventionally than risking the social stigma of behaving unconventionally. They [most of the Members of Parliament that *Vote Leave* dealt with] did not mind losing so much as being embarrassed, as standing out from the crowd.]]>
Sun, 04 Oct 2020 02:56:05 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18228 http://curi.us/comments/show/18228
Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom? > BTW "not a large threat to life" takes a number of distinct forms I've seen:

I left out a big one, which is:

We know that Hydroxychloroquine / Vitamin D / Inhaled steroids / etc. works for most people if they get it, so even if it was a threat before it's not now. (Overestimated treatment effectiveness)]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 23:02:33 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18227 http://curi.us/comments/show/18227
Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom?
Ya. A couple of things I have considered that could be done in the direction of both freedom and pandemic control:

(1) Suspend FDA regulations on vaccines or treatments for the virus, in order to allow trying all sorts of things on anyone voluntarily willing to try them without the usual timelines and quotas. Some of these would end up killing or injuring people. Most would be worthless, even snake-oil. There should be clear warnings to that effect from both the government and providers. Most people would (rightly) be skeptical of trying the new stuff, especially during the early days. But out of all the failures, something useful would likely emerge much quicker than even the current “warp speed” program promises. For some people, like dentists or respiratory therapists, the risk of Corona itself is so high and hard to avoid that trying something new and risky could be worth it. As data accumulated, more people could try it according to their personal situation and risk preferences. There wouldn’t be the question “When will there be a vaccine available?” There would be one available now. But instead the question would be “When do I think the risks of the vaccine are less to me than the risks of Coronavirus itself?” I think that’s much better.

(2) Not only allow but encourage price discovery ("gouging") in medical, sanitization, and personal protective equipment, in order to massively stimulate production of things like N95 masks. We already know very well how to make technology that will give people, individually, pretty effective protection. People just don’t understand economics and are blinded by envy about others making “windfall profits” or having unequal distribution of such equipment compared to their need. As a result, we took the exact opposite strategy (putting price caps, condemning “gougers”, and rationing such supplies to favored recipients). So no one’s really incentivized to solve the problem, we *still* don’t have the right equipment available to most people, and we waste time arguing over whether inferior substitutes (like cloth masks) are better than nothing.]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 22:15:42 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18226 http://curi.us/comments/show/18226
Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom?
I think the number of people who actually, honestly have the following high level position is very low:

(0) Coronavirus is really dangerous. It's a large threat to life. But the government shouldn't do much about it because freedom.

What I see instead is mostly people with one of two main high level positions:

(1) Coronavirus is really dangerous. It's a large threat to life. So the government should take major actions to stop it from spreading.

(2) Coronavirus is not a large threat to life like people are claiming. So the government shouldn't do much about it, also because freedom.

The people who are stridently against lockdowns, travel restrictions, business closures, group size limits, and mask mandates "cuz freedom" also tend to be ones that given a choice don't stay home, do take unnecessary trips, do go to gyms, do gather in groups, and don't wear masks. I don't think that's a coincidence.

What we have, mainly, is a disagreement about how big a threat Coronavirus is. Freedom is mainly being used as a tool to advance one side's view in that disagreement.

BTW "not a large threat to life" takes a number of distinct forms I've seen:

~1%, or whatever the Coronavirus death rate actually is, isn't a lot. Most of us will live. (Low value on life)

Not knowing what the death rate actually is / what it means. (Willful ignorance)

Believing the reported death rates are extremely inflated for political reasons. (Conspiracy Theories)

Bad thinking about cause of death. Example: https://thenewamerican.com/cdc-fewer-than-10-000-americans-have-died-from-covid-19-alone/

Because it's a virus, the people who die will be determined by God's will just like other natural causes. (Religion)

We can't change the number of people who will die from it very much no matter what we do. We can only delay the inevitable. So it's not a threat, it just is what it is. (Inevitability)]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 21:45:05 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18225 http://curi.us/comments/show/18225
Andy Dufresne Alisa Discussion >> IOW it seems to me that Alisa's response was to a hypothetical of what she could have done rather than curi's question about what she actually did.
>
> I agree with the first part of this sentence, but I disagree with AD's characterization of curi's question. curi's question used the verb "do", which is in the present tense. If the question were about what I thought at the time I posted the list of facts in #18159, it would have used a form of the past tense, such as "What did you think ..."

gp.

One possible explanation for curi's use of the present tense is that at the time curi wrote the question, Alisa had not indicated any change of mind. So "do" and "did" would be the same answer.

But I'm not at all confident in that explanation and I don't have an alternate.]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 20:48:08 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18224 http://curi.us/comments/show/18224
Andy Dufresne Alisa Discussion Regarding:
>> It's not reasoning.

Alisa wrote:
> I took it as a statement.

I agree, it is a statement.

> I believe that when curi has a question, he generally asks it in the form of a question.

I agree with this too. Curi did end his post with a question:
>> Why do you think those facts add up to the man going into the store?

That was context for:
>> It's not reasoning.

In one sense, I think curi's whole post can be read as a multi-sentence question.]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 20:40:54 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18223 http://curi.us/comments/show/18223
Andy Dufresne Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom? > I’d like to add an important additional point to the argument against the government’s policy of massive violation of individual freedom to combat the Corona virus.]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2020 20:02:02 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18222 http://curi.us/comments/show/18222 curi Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom?
https://archive.vn/EaSHp

https://web.archive.org/web/20201003053204/http://georgereismansblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/answer-to-elliot-temple.html]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 05:33:32 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18221 http://curi.us/comments/show/18221
curi Are Government Coronavirus Policies Awful Attacks on Freedom?
http://georgereismansblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/answer-to-elliot-temple.html

and same text at:

https://twitter.com/GGReisman/status/1312253150716334080

I [replied](https://twitter.com/curi42/status/1312259664352960514):

> I'm against inflationary "stimulus" packages which I don't regard as health policy. Govt health policy has been inept. But I don't regard having some govt health policy as inherently unreasonable in our (flawed) society. & I doubt ineffective handouts r preventing much starvation]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 05:15:39 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18220 http://curi.us/comments/show/18220
AP recommends reporters stop using the term “riot” Anonymous Deplatforming and Fraud
> The AP Stylebook, often regarded as the go-to resource for learning about the accepted norms of English-language media, is now attempting to change the definition of the word “riot.”
> Acknowledging the dictionary meaning of the word, which is “wild or violent disturbance of the peace,” AP suggests that the word can’t be used for “stigmatizing” the groups that are protesting for the sake of “racial justice.”]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 04:20:01 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18219 http://curi.us/comments/show/18219
Sep 12 – Oct 2 Alisa Alisa Learning Updates Thread
> I want to spend more time posting to FI.
> From 2020-07-07 through 2020-10-02, I averaged slightly over 30 (estimated) minutes per day writing FI posts (computed with the AVERAGE function in the Google Sheet where I track my time). Since 2020-09-11, I've been using a clock to track my time most days. My average amount of time per day spent writing FI posts as measured by the clock is 22 minutes. *I intend to spend at least 30 minutes per day writing FI posts as measured by the clock.*
> Note: The total amount of time I spend on FI is more than what's counted above, because I keep up with FI list, the curi.us comments, and the FI newsletter.

Having failed at my free-writing goal (again, see #17993), I added an easier goal to [my learning plan](https://hg.sr.ht/~petrogradphilosopher/fi/raw/lp.md) for now:

> Every day, my goal is to free-write for 1 minute.

Once I have that under my belt, I intend to go back to the previous free-writing plan.

In #17993, I stated a goal of following up on messages from the past. I have since added those messages to [my learning plan](https://hg.sr.ht/~petrogradphilosopher/fi/raw/lp.md) and [replied to one by qqbb](http://curi.us/comments/show/18143).

My goals of posting to FI daily and keeping my posting error rate low by writing postmortems have been going OK.]]>
Sat, 03 Oct 2020 03:18:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18218 http://curi.us/comments/show/18218
curi Eliyahu Goldratt Discussion
Article claiming Critical Chain lost popularity and explaining why.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 22:47:40 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18217 http://curi.us/comments/show/18217
curi curi's Microblogging Fri, 02 Oct 2020 20:39:58 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18216 http://curi.us/comments/show/18216 internetrules curi's Microblogging
> The Planning Department, like always, ***required him to notify neighbors of the plan and allowed any one of them within 150 feet to object.*** Neighbors learned about the project in late February and had until mid-April to complain. And someone did complain, triggering a hearing at the Planning Commission, which can take 12 weeks to schedule. That’s many months of rent flushed away because one neighbor doesn’t like what’s allowed by the city.

> In Yu’s case, ***the complaining neighbor was a competing ice cream shop.*** It doesn’t take a genius to see why that shop might gripe, but nevertheless Yu had to hire a lawyer and wait until the hearing on June 11 to do any more work on his shop.

i read the entire article and it doesnt seem like the other ice cream shop even needed a reason to complain, it just forces Yu to not do any work for like 3 months while has has to pay 21k on his lease.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 20:22:25 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18215 http://curi.us/comments/show/18215
curi curi's Microblogging
it explains voting dem tho. ppl have no idea what the laws are or what’s going on, and assume everything is reasonable

if they’ll sign a lease like that based on that assumption, they’ll certainly vote on it, which is a much smaller deal than the lease]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 20:05:53 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18214 http://curi.us/comments/show/18214
curi curi's Microblogging
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/heatherknight/article/Bid-to-open-S-F-ice-cream-shop-turns-into-a-15614815.php]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 17:29:25 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18213 http://curi.us/comments/show/18213
Ann Coulter article: “ Is Chris Wallace a White Supremacist?” Anonymous Politics Discussion
> After four months of looting, arson, window breaking, vandalism, intimidation, physical assaults, stabbings and shootings by Black Lives Matter and antifa, the first thing on the media’s mind is … getting Trump to condemn “white supremacists”!
> It would be as if, on the morning after Pearl Harbor, the League of Nations demanded that FDR condemn American aggression in the Pacific.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 15:33:42 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18212 http://curi.us/comments/show/18212
sept 12-30 curi n Learning Updates Thread ["The Goal"](https://amzn.to/33ncgCM) by Eli Goldratt
["It's Not Luck"](https://amzn.to/36tCYLM) by Eli Goldratt
["Isn't It Obvious"](https://amzn.to/2SjRXQo) by Eli Goldratt

I started listening to:
["Radical Son"](https://amzn.to/3l05LLY) by David Horowitz

Continuing Simply Scheme. Progress OK.
Started learning Ruby. Progress OK.
Worked on ~3 decision trees.
1 blogpost.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 09:16:07 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18211 http://curi.us/comments/show/18211
curi Politics Discussion
Rucka does Objectivist criticism of Ted Cruz. Some decent points.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 05:15:22 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18210 http://curi.us/comments/show/18210
curi curi's Microblogging
https://discordapp.com/channels/304082867384745994/647276416857276426/659154283274698782

> Shadow Starshine: Curi strikes me as someone who everyone in the world could disagree with and he'd still think he was right

I thanked him for the compliment.

> Shadow Starshine: I mean, I don't think that's a compliment, but I can't stop you from taking it as one]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 04:29:01 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18209 http://curi.us/comments/show/18209
Alisa Alisa Discussion
> such as "What did you think ..."

Correction: I meant to write "Why did you think ...".]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 04:25:11 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18208 http://curi.us/comments/show/18208
Alisa Alisa Discussion
Andy Dufresne (AD) quoted curi's sentence from #18163:

> It's not reasoning.

AD continued:

> I think this means curi was interested in why Alisa thought the list of facts was reasoning, and labeled them reasoning, when they clearly (to curi) weren't.

If AD's analysis of what "It's not reasoning" means is correct, then good for AD for seeing it. I don't see it, though. I took it as a statement. I believe that when curi has a question, he generally asks it in the form of a question.

> Getting Alisa's reasoning for the conclusion was not curi's main point. The main point was that Alisa thought a list of facts was reasoning, which seems like a significant problem, and Alisa still hasn't addressed that.

I am planning to write a postmortem on that. I replied to curi's #18171 first because, as a meta-comment about the discussion, I saw it as having priority.

> Then in #18170 Alisa quoted:

>> Why do you think those facts add up to the man going into the store?

>Then Alisa described how she *could* reason from the facts to the conclusion using YESNO. It was pretty clear she was not describing how she actually *did* reason from the facts to the conclusion.

Yes.

> IOW it seems to me that Alisa's response was to a hypothetical of what she could have done rather than curi's question about what she actually did.

I agree with the first part of this sentence, but I disagree with AD's characterization of curi's question. curi's question used the verb "do", which is in the present tense. If the question were about what I thought at the time I posted the list of facts in #18159, it would have used a form of the past tense, such as "What did you think ..."

I agree with the rest of AD's comment.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 04:18:42 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18207 http://curi.us/comments/show/18207
curi Max Microblogging
https://youtu.be/BDwiP4lsC_4

and

https://youtu.be/1J6ECV9L11g]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 04:05:59 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18206 http://curi.us/comments/show/18206
Max Max Microblogging
Yeah, I'm content to do that. It's not clear it's a counter example (and even if it were there are lots of issues/unknowns still)]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:49:51 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18205 http://curi.us/comments/show/18205
Max Max Microblogging
Agreed

> If humans evolved permanent breasts after memes, that'd be more complicated. Does Lindybeige claim or address that?

I can't find a reference to dates more specific than ~last 2.5 million years (the Pleistocene). If he did mention a more specific date I don't recall it and can't find it via some quick searches.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:48:26 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18204 http://curi.us/comments/show/18204
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:48:16 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18203 http://curi.us/comments/show/18203 curi Max Microblogging
Did humans get permanent breasts then or later (after intelligence)? I'm not clear on the claim/story yet.

Anyway, later, humans become human/intelligent. Then they have memes. And memes start taking over control of lots of stuff including sexual preferences, courtship behaviors, etc. Memes evolve faster than genes and have access to better control over adult humans – ideas are in a better position to effect behavior than protein design at ~birth is.

If humans evolved permanent breasts before memes, there's no real issue, right?

If humans evolved permanent breasts after memes, that'd be more complicated. Does Lindybeige claim or address that?]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:43:03 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18202 http://curi.us/comments/show/18202
curi Max Microblogging
It's useful to think through what sorts of genetic effects on thoughts are important and why.

E.g. being tall correlates with the thought "I like basketball" or "I want to be in the NBA" at age 25.

Genes did not evolve to have knowledge of basketball or the NBA. Height genes are just about height.

The causality here is cultural. Culture reacts to (partially) genetically controlled traits like height.

Similarly, culture has some reactions to e.g. hair and eye color, which genes have substantial control over (barring bleach, dye, colored contacts, etc).]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:38:48 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18201 http://curi.us/comments/show/18201
Max Max Microblogging
The idea of ~flipping is roughly:

- animals are attracted to symbols like swollen breasts / butt, particular inflammations, temporary colouring, etc.
- animals (all but humans) don't have breasts when they don't need them. They only grow them when necessary, and they're not swollen at other times
- modern women have ~swollen breasts *all* the time (there's some difference between lactating/not lactating but it's minor compared to other animals)
-- maintaining breasts costs resources, there's an evolutionary reason not to do it
- the male reaction to swollen breasts is to *not* be attracted b/c it means the female isn't fertile (this is true in other animals)
- human males around the time women developed permanent breasts had this reaction too (along with other things like fatter -> good -> more resources / better chance of children surviving)
- one evolutionary reaction could have been to like fix the 'pattern' for what males found attractive (e.g. breasts -> good now, fatter -> still good)
- but the *simplest* change necessary is just a binary 'not' - i.e. things that weren't attractive now are, and things that were attractive aren't
-- admittedly (thinking about it now) why didn't humans die out because malnourished women were selected over non-malnourished?
- so males had this gene flipped by evolution and breasts were attractive now

This sounds like a way genes had (and have) a significant role in thoughts.

Possible criticism: this is just an idea we get when we're young and some people change it, some don't, but it doesn't mean genes have a *substantial* role in affecting thoughts, just that like this one inborn(?) idea is different.

I marked inborn with a (?) because I'm not sure I'm using it right.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:37:12 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18200 http://curi.us/comments/show/18200
Max Max Microblogging
> What sort of effect or influence do you have in mind, via what causal mechanisms?

I'm not sure about the causal mechanism, just that this is *an* effect and it's argued that it happened via evolution at the gene-level.

I think I might have some counterexample to the idea that genes don't play a significant role in thoughts. It's part of a bigger idea, though. I'll try and outline relevant parts of the video.

(I've bolded the key phrases)

- Lindybeige has a **theory on why women have breasts**
- He **explains why other theories aren't sufficient** (e.g. there's one idea that women have breasts to signal fertility, etc, and that theory compares humans to other animals like primates; this is refuted b/c other species have no *permanent* signs of fertility)
- There's a bit about the **EEA (Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness) and evolutionary context** / selection pressures / social dynamics at the time (social dynamics here means like 'dynamics of hunter gatherer society')
- There's a (conjectured) **chain of reasoning and events** he goes through in early (modern) homo sapien development involving **secret menstruation and how sexes would 'react' for evolutionary advantage**
- part of that conjecture is **male reaction to sexual signals ~flipping** to avoid being unattracted to fertile women
- and this eventually ends with women having permanent breasts

It's that second to last part about male reaction ~flipping that I think might be a counter example.

The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWkOvakd9Mo

The reason I think it's a counter example is that this would be a way genes significantly changed thoughts. (assuming ideas like 'she's attractive' and 'she's not attractive' fit the bill for what we're considering.)]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:27:36 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18199 http://curi.us/comments/show/18199
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:19:38 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18198 http://curi.us/comments/show/18198 curi Max Microblogging
What did you think I thought and what's the difference?]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:17:38 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18197 http://curi.us/comments/show/18197
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:17:12 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18196 http://curi.us/comments/show/18196 curi Max Microblogging
If he specifically tries to cause a specific result, and puts a bunch of creativity and scientific study into figuring out what changes will cause it, then he might manage to cause it. If he can predict the environment and what'll happen evolutionarily, he might figure out what to do to the gene pool to get a specific feature to be present 100 generations later that wouldn't be present otherwise.

Does biological evolution put that kind of major design effort into controlling high level human ideas like whether someone is an inductivist? No. It doesn't even have knowledge of those things (like induction), let alone knowledge of the whole future memetic selection pressures and evolution of ideas and creation of layers of abstraction and so on that'll happen from ages 0-25. To cause being an inductivist at age 25 would require not only knowledge of inductivist (as expressed in an appropriate framework that makes sense in our present day culture), it'd also require knowledge about that whole childhood and education process and how to manipulate and control it.

How could genes do all that? And even if they theoretically could, there were no selection pressures to cause them to do it in general. You can pick tons of ideas – like that painting is better than sculpture, or that math tests should ban calculators, or that Uber should be allowed into cities immediately despite complaints by taxi drivers – and it makes no sense that genetic evolution would have set things up to control that. Maybe you could try to come up with a few special cases and an explanation of a causal mechanism, but the standard thing is no causation like this.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:14:12 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18195 http://curi.us/comments/show/18195
Max Max Microblogging
for clarity: so you think it is possible we have ideas encoded in genes that are given to ~everyone during prenatal development (or shortly after birth, w/e)?

the idea that the *initial ideas* in the brain don't have any long term significance on our thoughts (and genes can give us some initial ideas) is a stronger and different position than I thought you had.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:12:56 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18194 http://curi.us/comments/show/18194
curi Max Microblogging
Consider a gene pool of, say, wild dogs. Using nanobots, you tinker with it. You sterilize or kill some dogs, or manufacture others, or whatever. You don't make huge changes. You just change the initial conditions. Then you leave the dogs alone for 100 generations.

Do you expect the tinkering to change the end results much? In general I don't. The selection pressures of the environment will control the results. E.g. if you make the dogs have more fur on average, but it's a warm climate, then I think they'll end up with less fur anyway.

Similarly, I don't think the initial ideas in the brain matter a lot. Make sense?

Another pov is you can build ruby on C or java foundations and have the same language. Once you add a few layers of abstraction over the initial functions/APIs/whatever, then the details of them end up not mattering (unless e.g. they were really broken or manage to cause ongoing performance issues).]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:06:38 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18193 http://curi.us/comments/show/18193
Max Max Microblogging
The dotpoints above are in this hierarchy:

- 1
- 1.1
- 1.1.1
- 2
- 2.1
- 2.2
- 2.3]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:04:06 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18192 http://curi.us/comments/show/18192
Max Max Microblogging
>> I think at this point it's up to me to come up with some other causal mechanism?

> That's an option.

I have a few ideas for casual mechanisms:

* genes encode some ideas which are 'given' to us early in life
* so there could be flow on effects
* this isn't really a _direct_ influence on thoughts, though.
* or maybe: ideas have different classes of components e.g. like ideas about 'relationships between people' are one of those possible components. if there are optimisations the brain has that directly relate to some phenotype (like volume of that brain-part) then the weighting between generation of idea-components could differ thus ppl with certain genes are more likely to think of certain stuff.
* note, after I wrote "ideas have different classes of components" I strongly questioned why I wrote that, I don't think I have a good reason. I think that is reflected in the following 2 points:
* but we don't know anything about these idea-component things
* so this 'causal mechanism' just kicking the can down the road by introducing another unknown casual relationship as part of this explanation

So I don't think I have any good ideas for casual mechanisms.

I don't think I could convince myself that genes have a direct influence over our thoughts. But I can't convince myself they *don't*, either. I can convince myself that I shouldn't believe they do.

I'm open to other ways to move the conversation forward if you have ideas.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:03:12 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18191 http://curi.us/comments/show/18191
curi Max Microblogging
A question version at around the same length is:

> Are you saying reactions are core to understanding personality, like the only way we can inspect personality is via its effect on our reactions?]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 03:01:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18190 http://curi.us/comments/show/18190
curi Max Microblogging
> Don't we have a (rudimentary) explanation for hormones affecting thoughts, though? I know--personally--I think different things when in different moods (at least I think that's the case).

(you may want to grab more text/context to also revise)]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 02:59:34 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18189 http://curi.us/comments/show/18189
Max Max Microblogging
> Often you should check if they agree instead of assuming you got it right.

I think I was trying to do that with:

>> It feels like you're implying reactions are core to understanding personality, like the only way we can inspect personality is via its effect on our reactions.

If that wasn't clear, is there a good way to do it better? I could explicitly say "to check I have this right, are you implying ... ?". That feels cumbersome though.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 02:58:21 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18188 http://curi.us/comments/show/18188
curi Max Microblogging Fri, 02 Oct 2020 02:48:19 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18187 http://curi.us/comments/show/18187 Postmortem on hormones-mood link Max Max Microblogging
>>> Are you linking hormones to moods? You bring up something about hormones affecting thoughts but then the next sentence doesn't mention hormones.

>> Yes. I think most ppl presume a super tight relationship between them. That doesn't seem right--thinking about it now.

>> *Some* effect might be there, but that's like a transition between levels of emergence, and probably means I don't have a point here.

>> Going to drop this angle for the moment.

> Do you think your made an error? If so how'd that happen?

### postmortem

I implied mood and hormones were linked. I didn't explicitly mention it.

When curi pointed out I linked them I realised that I was presuming an intimiate relationship and that I didn't have a good explanation for it.

There's a ~common idea that they're intimately linked. I think, in general, it's a good way for ppl to avoid taking responsibility for their reactions to stuff. e.g. women a more irritable on their period and so they shouldn't be held to as high standards / ppl should be more forgiving of them getting upset / etc. This is roughly called a 'mood cycle', which is explicitly linked to hormonal cycles of the same length (I've heard 28 days for women and 33 days for men).

When curi pointed out my linking hormones and moods I thought about the common idea and questioned it. I didn't question it when I first used it though. Why didn't I question it?

Intuition: In general when we're thinking about something particular there are ideas that are 'in the front' of our mind and other ideas 'in the back' of our mind. We are actively engaging with the 'front' ideas, but not the 'back' ideas. (Maybe the 'back' ideas could be called background knowledge but that term feels like it describes a slightly different thing.) To question an idea it needs to come to the 'front'. It's sort of like a module of code: we interact with the API but we don't interact with the internal logic. When ideas are at the 'front' we're looking at the internal logic and API, but at the 'back' we're only looking at the API. We use shortcuts to know how ideas at the 'back' interact with stuff.

So by that intuition: I had the hormones->mood link in the back of my mind and didn't think about the internal logic until curi brought it to the 'front' by pointing it out.

I'm a bit worried that this is just a long winded way of saying something like 'lazy thinking', but it feels like there's probably more to it, so I'm okay with it for the moment.

One of the ways I could avoid this is by categorizing old 'background' ideas (like the hormones-mood link) as stuff I need to reconsider before using. In some ways it doesn't matter much if I get ~lots better at thinking WRT 'front' ideas, but keep using bad ideas as foundations without questioning them. So I need to make a habit about questioning ideas I use as a foundation if I haven't considered them since improving my thinking. There are practical limits on this, like lots of my preexisting ideas are fine (or at least fit-for-purpose at the time) and reconsidering them consistently would be significant overhead. If I'm using ideas as part of my reasoning, though, that's a good reason to reconsider them, at least briefly.]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 01:55:15 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18186 http://curi.us/comments/show/18186
Max Max Microblogging
>>> I think how one responds to heat, cold or hormones is part of what one's personality is. But they aren't controlling your reactions. The reactions are your choice based on your ideas.

>> It feels like you're implying reactions are core to understanding personality, like the only way we can inspect personality is via its effect on our reactions.

>> I can explain why I thought the implication was there if you want.

> Yes I'm curious.

I think this was what I was thinking:

- response to stuff like heat is a part of one's personality
- the stimulus doesn't control your reactions
- reactions are choices based on one's ideas
- so there's a chain like: stimulus -> physiological signals -> interpretation (ideas) -> meaning (ideas) -> choice of behaviour (ideas) -> response/reactions
- personality is included in this chain only via the links that have `(ideas)`
- we can't see the ideas, but we can see the response/reactions (the outcome)
- (premise) to understand someone's personality we need things we can study / think about
- the reactions and stimulus the only parts of that we can easily agree on without like inference/explanation
- stimulus doesn't tell us about personality
- reactions and response do, though
- so reactions are key to understanding personality]]>
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 01:33:19 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18185 http://curi.us/comments/show/18185
curi Ending Aging
https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/cCK2F4MqnBPfqczQu/the-case-for-life-extension-advocacy-foundation]]>
Thu, 01 Oct 2020 23:02:31 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18184 http://curi.us/comments/show/18184
curi Politics Discussion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev_If2HCuaQ]]>
Thu, 01 Oct 2020 22:38:20 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18183 http://curi.us/comments/show/18183
Trump Biden debate 1 summary curi Politics Discussion Thu, 01 Oct 2020 21:58:01 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18182 http://curi.us/comments/show/18182 sept 12-30 curi curi Learning Updates Thread
Progress is OK. No big breakthrough. Not stuck.

In Oct, I plan to do more CF and Goldratt stuff, and to mostly avoid 2020 US election politics.

(Do not try to copy the style, length, format, etc., of my updates.)]]>
Thu, 01 Oct 2020 18:15:38 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18181 http://curi.us/comments/show/18181
My understanding of the situation Andy Dufresne Alisa Discussion
> It's not reasoning.

I think this means curi was interested in why Alisa thought the list of facts was reasoning, and labeled them reasoning, when they clearly (to curi) weren't.

Getting Alisa's reasoning for the conclusion was not curi's main point. The main point was that Alisa thought a list of facts was reasoning, which seems like a significant problem, and Alisa still hasn't addressed that.

But even regarding the non-main issue of Alisa's reasoning, something about Alisa's response seems off.

Starting back at #18163 I thought curi did have a question about how Alisa reasoned from the facts to the conclusion.

Then in #18170 Alisa quoted:
> Why do you think those facts add up to the man going into the store?

Then Alisa described how she *could* reason from the facts to the conclusion using YESNO. It was pretty clear she was not describing how she actually *did* reason from the facts to the conclusion.

IOW it seems to me that Alisa's response was to a hypothetical of what she could have done rather than curi's question about what she actually did.

Maybe Alisa doesn't know how she actually reasoned from the facts to the conclusion. Which is, if not fine, at least common. It's common for people to reach conclusions by intuition and then not explicitly know how they reached them.

But if I'm right, it'd be good to at least recognize what's going on. Alisa isn't actually using YESNO decision charts for this type of conclusion. She can fit the conclusion to the YESNO model after the fact but in real time she's doing something different.]]>
Thu, 01 Oct 2020 16:19:28 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18180 http://curi.us/comments/show/18180
September 11-30 Anne B Anne B Learning Updates Thread
Analysis: Several times, I started to write an analysis of a passage but didn’t finish it. I’m doubting that the kind of analysis I was doing was good enough and/or that it was useful to me to do it. Or maybe there’s something else going on. I still have a goal of being able to analyze text better, but I’m thinking about other ways to accomplish this.

Grammar: There wasn’t anything else in September that I wanted to post about grammar. I did read a lot of what Justin and others were posting about grammar, and sometimes answered them.

Technology: I looked up how to do things, some of which I’d looked up before and forgotten, and I solved problems that came up in my apps. I spent over eight hours on this, which is more than usual for me.

FI Content: I watched and took notes on the curi videos Tutoring Max #40, #41, #42, #43, #44, Tutoring InternetRules #15, and the curi podcast Rationalism and Convention.

Reading: I spent 3-5 hours per week reading.

Bigger Picture: I’m happy with my coding work. I think I’m learning. I’d like to have another good project in addition to that so that I can switch to it when I’m tired of coding. I want to think of projects that would help me get better at reading. But I also don’t want to pressure myself to take on more than is comfortable for me, so I might also just stick with the coding.]]>
Thu, 01 Oct 2020 15:43:02 +0000 http://curi.us/comments/show/18179 http://curi.us/comments/show/18179