For point 7, the one on the right seems to have a cat ear right in the center of the picture, not to mention lines that make me see whiskers. It seems pretty obvious to me, so I'm wondering if this is a typical mind thing?
#7 it literally looks like there is a faint picture of a cat superimposed on the train on the left. I would think the selection would be practically unanimous.
For 6, the giant plane: does anyone know the name of a sci-fi novel featuring huge passenger planes that circle the Earth, never landing, refueling in mi-air? Passengers use small shuttle planes to dis/embark. It was written no later than early-80's.
27: Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders? One of these things is not like the others.
5, flying aircraft carrier: The Soviets actually did make something like this, though not nearly as big. It was done by sticking fighters on existing bombers, and it turns out that while they added weight, they also increased its lift ability. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zveno_project
16, defund the police: Doesn't this proposal rely on the fact that societally you have majority support, or at least a very significant minority? Also would those who want Chauvin punished be happy with something like community service? (Also killing someone because they didn't do the right amount of community service seems like it would cause more problems than it solves, especially for those advocating defunding the police...)
#15 Two points. To your question, my understanding is that the Czech government has been giving very generous subsidies to parents for almost 20 years now (in the range of $10,000 per child per year). Looks like it's having the intended effect. Link below.
That being said, making sense of this graph for other countries is complicated by the changes in the scale of the birth rates. Top birth rate changes from >1.96 to >1.76. Just pointing that out for others to beware.
For what it's worth, human abilities to predict adversarial examples have been known since at least 2019: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-08931-6
#18: I spent a little time in Peru and thought the food was delightful. That's all. Just felt I needed to stand up for Peru.
#27: low divorce rate ≠ good marriage rate? Without more context, it could just be an artifact of a *lower* marriage rate or a *later* time of first marriage leading to fewer opportunities for divorce.
#13: Describing Grayzone as an anti-war site is misleading. They aren't against Russia invading Ukraine - only against Ukraine defending itself. This is relevant as far as deplatforming goes. Moving from deplatforming anti-woke groups to actual anti-war groups would represent a new step in deplatforming. Moving from deplatforming anti-woke to deplatforming fake news that supports any regime, as long as it's authoritarian and brutal enough (Putin, Assad, etc.) doesn't really break any new ground.
48: So wait, you're telling me carcinization is coming for cars now, too?
Point 27: Are these the actual divorce rates? I ask this because reported divorce rates are often gross rates per thousand people. Such published rates are often used to back the claim that divorce rates have dropped significantly in the past few four or five decades, but they are based on divorces per thousand people and not divorces per thousand married people. The marriage rate has also declined, and people have to be married before they can be divorced. So, do nerdy men have a lower divorce rate because they are so uxurious or because they are less likely to marry at all?
The Vlogbrothers video I watched about #1 (the sulphur emissions from boats) pointed out that you can get similar cloud-seeding effects by misting seawater into the air, no sulphur required. Mandating that container ships offset their fuel burning by running a cloud-seeding machine seems totally reasonable, though it'd probably make the chemtrails people go even *more* insane.
32 only has a link to Eigenrobot's twitter, not to the actual experience of the priest.
There's just obviously a cat right above the train in the left image?
#32, the actual link is missing.
#30: Real median household income is survey-based and if I'm reading it correctly, is based on money income, which specifically excludes health benefits. Since an increasing share of our consumption bundle is health care (I think it's up to 18% of GDP now), a measure that backs out most of health care is always likely to far understate economic growth over time.
Another reason might be the household measure - if households get smaller over time, that will also drag this down.
A quick google indicates that this measure has lagged GDP/capita by quite a bit over time, and has freqently been negative y/y.
I'd be interested if someone knows this better but these would be my first guesses at what causes the discrepancy with GDP growth.
23. The India–Bharat thing is nonsense. It's like saying the US is considering renaming itself "'Murica."
So many things I'd like to comment on. Thank you for putting this together, always a fun read.
On #27. As a woman married to a woman, whose social circle includes heaps of nerdy men because of my work (including my dear brother, who luckily is married)
I'm only generalizing here because you have as well, which makes it fair...
The reason women don't date geeky men is not because they think they're incels, I seriously don't know a single woman that thinks to that extreme. They don't date "geeks/nerds" what you're calling "nice guys" because they're often introverted and lack social skills. This makes ✨ everything ✨ a lot harder.
The burden of maintain a healthy, genuine, friendship with them is often on my shoulders, as the woman. That gets very tiring over time.
Regarding Jaynes' book: Your interpretation of his theory, that theory of mind varies broadly between cultures so that some cultures considered supernatural or divine what we think of as just part of the human mind, resembles substantially the thesis of "The Greeks and the Irrational", by classicist Eric Dodds, which makes a similar though less broad (&, I think, better justified) argument focusing specifically on Ancient Greece. (That book can be found at https://archive.org/details/E.R.DoddsTheGreeksAndTheIrrational ; the relevant parts are chapter 1, which argues that the ancient Greeks thought unusual impulses & some strong emotions were sent by the gods; chapter 3, regarding the ancient Greek view of "madness" (μανίᾱ) & its relation to oracles & poetic inspiration; chapter 4, regarding dreams & their interpretation; & appendix 1, which argues that the ancient Dionysiac dancing rituals involved a culture-bound mental illness similar to the medieval dancing mania.) Dodds' book was written about 20 years before Jaynes published his "Origin of Consciousness", & parts of Jaynes' argument, as you summarize it, seem probably to have been based on it.
#25: Regarding lead removal, Cremieux shows that the adverse effects of lead on IQ are greatly exaggerated due to confounding here: https://www.cremieux.xyz/p/who-gets-exposed-to-lead. Accordingly, he notes: https://twitter.com/cremieuxrecueil/status/1699120079403647294 that the actual effectiveness of that charity would be lower.
21. Looking for even the pretense of objectivity in political "science" journal is like looking for a snowball in hell.
43. The post didn't age particularly well. It uncritically repeated the claim that Alexander Acosta claimed he was told to "leave [Epstein] alone." The source of this claim is Vicky Ward, a known liar.* It also repeats uncritically the claim against Alan Dershowitz, who sued his accuser and forced her to say "I now recognize I may have made a mistake in identifying Mr. Dershowitz."
Ultimately, I see nothing about the Epstein case that needs explanation beyond "rich man paid some teenage girls for sex." That's the simplest explanation and the simplest explanation is probably correct. No Mossad, no CIA, no blackmail scheme necessary.
> 4: How is crypto going for sex workers? Sex workers have limited and erratic access to normal financial infrastructure due to a combination of government harassment and corporate reputation concerns. Crypto seemed like a solution. But the increasing centralization of crypto under eg exchanges has given it limited value; the same parties who strongarmed banks into dropping sex workers can strongarm crypto exchanges, or close offramps. I’m hopeful that in ten years crypto will have gotten its act together enough to be actually decentralized in a way that avoids this failure mode.
The more fundamental issue: Crypto's UX sucks. It's very much a 'get good scrub' culture which in turn makes it hard for the average person to get into. Central exchanges will let you sign up with one click and guide you through the process. But then it's centralized. This is widely acknowledged as a problem in the industry but it doesn't seem to be attracting much funding or excitement. And the big exchanges won't fund it.
As for sex workers specifically: Anyone working on such projects is taking a large reputational hit and are subject to potential legal risk. The traditional way that you make up for this by paying for them more. That's what drugs does. But neither prostitution nor porn is hugely profitable or a large industry. So you have limited revenues and a bunch of people who need high pay to make up for the risks. You have a few companies at this intersection: OnlyFans, Mindgeek, etc. But only a few. And they're constantly tempted to increase revenues by becoming respectable like OF tried.
> 8: Related: AI art has gone from copying humans to inventing entirely new styles.
Is this new? One of the first things I did to toy around with some of the AI image generators was make a utility that generated QR codes in images. You'd have a picture of like a city or a woman with a blotchy dress or something but if you put it in front of a camera it'd detect the QR code. It was just a toy but it seems these are the same thing: the ability to embed coded information into a generated image. In this case a spiral or some text. Which, I'll point out, is not entirely new.
> 13: Unfortunately related: Anti-Ukraine-war website Grayzone says that GoFundMe has frozen their account (ie stolen all their money). They’ve been doing this for years for anti-woke sites, but anti-war sites feels like an escalation. I continue to think crypto is an important safety valve against this increasingly-used tool of control.
Not familiar with the specifics of this case. But this kind of thing is one of the reasons I support government bank accounts in addition to things like crypto. Basically something like mobile postal banking. If you have a legal right to a bank account that can transact from the government then that is probably more secure than a private institution that can kick you out for whatever reason it pleases. And if there's explicit state control this often makes it easier to combat. You could, for example, pass a law about the right to transact through these accounts and then there'd be an outcry if you were denied it.
Yes, it's not infinitely secure. But it's part of a wider strategy of introducing more ways to transact: crypto and private banking and your government account and so on. It raises the coordination costs of kicking someone out of the system entirely. And, as an added bonus, would greatly simplify the distribution of things like welfare.
> 23: India is discussing changing its name to “Bharat” (the Hindi word for India) on some level. Unconfirmed rumors about Pakistan being interested in claiming the name “India” for itself. No word yet on who would take “Pakistan”, but I hear Macedonia is looking for a new name.
Reminder to the voters of Macedonia that one of their options was literally "Better Greece." Still disappointed they didn't choose that. Macedonia mostly got in because it was a center of Russian aligned hacking, misinformation, and intelligence activity and letting it in let NATO clear them out. So they did almost literally troll their way into NATO. Might as well ride that wave.
> 29: Re…lated? Blogger/model Aella is offering aella.ai, an “AI girlfriend” based on her, as the flagship product of a company (?) that will help influencers create AI chatbot girlfriends based on themselves. I haven’t seen a lot of uptake yet - my trollish theory, which I might explain more later, is that the real killer app will be AI boyfriends (horny men want sex, horny women want attention / emotional validation; which of these can chatbots more effectively fake?)
Paid LLM texting? This is like six year old technology. The state of the art includes images, voice, and video. Mostly offered as a combination where there's a real person but, when they're not online, you can get your fix by talking to an interactive double. (There are a few purely fictional ones but they mostly seem to be less successful. Unless they have a human behind them.) Though it's mostly used for more prosaic tasks than blogging/modeling.
LLM texting or messaging is so simple people trade free bots of book characters. I've done it as a hobbyist for things like conversation practice or to work as a note taker.
If I ever get rich (ask me in 5 years) there's a ton of social science I want to do. Totally outside of academia or IRB review boards, no interest in formal publishing, just to learn shit with legit sample sizes and post on substack.
Fwiw this is already a thing in china, to the extent there are people who make a living pretending to be the AI boyfriend (although in this case it's less AI and more 'scripted dating game' but the distance isn't far)
On Epstein, I always thought the conspiracy was supposed to be that someone killed him by getting the suicide-watch interrupted and allowing him to commit suicide.
If the anti-cavity mouth bacteria outcompetes other bacteria, then shouldn’t it be spreading as the original people kiss others?
The Epstein item has three links in it, all identical. I suspect you meant to link to three different postings, since I see it's a sequence (oh, THAT'S where that comes from [j/k]) and he backs off his position in later entries.
To the actual postings: although I'm not inclined to believe Epstein was murdered, I notice that the LW writer puts a lot of weight on "The Attorney General of the US himself inspected the tapes", without noting what anyone who's heard a little bit of conspiracy theorizing about it knows, which is that the AG at the time was Bill Barr, and Bill Barr's father, Donald, has this in his WP entry:
He was headmaster of the Dalton School from 1964 to 1974. During his time as Dalton's headmaster, Barr is alleged to have had a role in hiring future financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as a math teacher despite the fact that Epstein (who graduated from high school at the age of 16 and secured a full scholarship to Cooper Union) had failed to complete his degree and was only 21 years old at the time. In 1973, Barr published Space Relations, a science fiction novel about a planet ruled by oligarchs who engage in child sex slavery. It has been noted that the plot of the novel anticipates the crimes of Epstein and his convicted and prosecuted accomplice(the list of politicians and celebrities involved in sex crimes remains hidden), Ghislaine Maxwell.
Like I say, I'm not inclined to buy the murder thing, but it's a really obvious counterpoint, and yeah, kind of a coincidence.
#34: I thought Scott Aaronson’s takedown of IIT was pretty convincing: https://scottaaronson.blog/?p=1799 and https://scottaaronson.blog/?p=1823
I have to say that I don't know much about academic fraud or the Data Colada guys, but I saw a reference to this today and frankly it, itself, pattern-matches to me to "junk science that might have been right a couple of times but now is just spraying accusations everywhere", like that business with arson investigations that (it is said) are garbage and have convicted people of murder for no good reason, or "bite analysis", or "blood spatter analysis", all of which have good cases against them.
>website Grayzone says that GoFundMe has frozen their account (ie stolen all their money)
This implies that GoFundMe kept the money, which the linked source does not claim.
Indeed, this site: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2023/9/1/gofundme-freezes-donations-for-the-grayzone-sparking-free-speech-debate states:
>The donations were ultimately refunded to the donors after The Grayzone moved the fundraising campaign to a rival crowding funding platform.
On the automatic AI video translation thing… question for my fellow commenters and I’ll need one magic wand in the ask.
Let’s say there’s a very simple table somewhere that translates buzz words back into a format you agree with. I’ll use an older example that will hopefully have less emotional. One of the linked pairs in this table is PATRIOT ACT: GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE BILL. You can imagine other examples. Anytime someone has named something for an effect you disagree with just imagine there is an entry in this table that has the “spin machine” name and your more direct, blunt name.
Would you pay for a service that scrubbed the news for you so that as you watched videos they were filtered to replace the “spin machine” name with the “direct/blunt” name. So that when a politician or a news reporter tried to say “Patriot Act” you would instead hear “Government Surveillance” bill.
This hypothetical service would also let you know when this kind of filtering event was occurring but in this way whenever you were browsing random videos the names other than the ones you would prefer, which again are just magically in a table somewhere, are swapped out.
Of course Republicans who say the election was stolen believe it. No one has ever taken serious and genuine steps to disabuse them of the claim. It was all a cacophony of "big lie" " most secure election ever" from the beginning. Which are just stupid and obviously not true. There are videos of people dumping ballots into boxes. Those are ILLEGAL votes, even if not FRAUDULENT, and once they were commingled the election should have been invalidated. The Atlanta counting situation is similar. The BOP is on the state to demonstrate its counting procedures are legitimate, not the other way around, you can't just do suspicious things and then shout "no proof" and convince anyone.
If your car can parallel park by driving sideways "crab-style", it can wedge in another car such that the previously present car can't get out unless it also has crab parking.
.26. Thanks for this. I hope everyone who is interested in consciousness clicks through and reads it. The distinction between Sentient and Conscious is important, if consciousness is to be a useful term at all.
.10. The old saying “build a better mousetrap” has reason to it.
I have read that variations on mousetraps are the most patented devices in the USA.
Re. The Goddess of Everything Else, I really want to love this story, which is so beautiful almost until the end. But then it suddenly about-faces and denies the truth it had taught. The final paragraph says, "Okay, now we're magically freed from evolutionary forces for no reason at all other than that /this is where we are now/, and you can have your utopia." Whereas in fact systems which generate complexity will never be free from evolutionary forces, and pretending that they are, will destroy the work of the Goddess of Everything Else.
As someone who has been in charge of security cameras for various buildings, you need a LOT of cameras to cover everything and even then they're unlikely to be able to see into spots like behind a parked van or whatever.
The main author of the IIT open letter offers a defense of his actions: https://psyarxiv.com/28z3y/
26. On Jaynes - the second part of the critique is much more thorough than the first one. Don't just read the first one and not bother with the rest like I was very tempted to. Revisiting the concept of consciousness as internal narrative and the Bicameral Mind, in a recent Very Bad Wizards podcast (https://verybadwizards.com/episode/episode-267-the-thickness-of-reality) David Pizarro mentioned he doesn't think in language at all, and it takes active effort to convert his thoughts into words - perhaps the Jaynesians should have some conversations with him? He hardly seems to lack "a-consciousness".
Edit: maybe it was episode 266?
#19 As someone who keeps strictly kosher, with some small exceptions, I'm generally never able to eat at a table with non-kosher food on it. This obviously has serious downsides but not much of the social alienation experienced by the Vegan Liberation Pledge takers.
Main reasons being:
- All of immediate family is also strictly kosher
- Part of community that mostly keeps kosher
How I ensure that I maintain connections with my non-kosher keeping friends? Apart from going out for drinks and movies, we just invite people over a lot and try make the food as awesome as possible.
Over the years I don't really remember anyone remaining strictly kosher for the long term without immediate family who at least keep their home kosher. So the vegan's experiences don't surprise me.
#18 - this was the only data I could find to support my hypothesis that eggplant use is correlated with cuisine quality (I made it into a silly one-pager at eggplantindex.com).
I am still unclear how crypto is supposed to help the unbanked/debanked/oppressed.
The US government has made fiat to crypto transfers visibly harder without trying very hard; the capability to cut off all manner of alternative and mainstream banking has already been abundantly demonstrated via Canadian bankers.
Seems the problem is really reining in the source of power over money, not the specific form of value.
#13. Russia presumably continues to fund them, what’s the issue?
> The safety movement is concerned that Amazon might have enough power to steamroll over Anthropic’s safety-conscious culture; this did happen with DeepMind and Google, didn’t with OpenAI and Microsoft, and my guess is Anthropic held out for a good enough deal (and had enough bargaining power) that it won’t happen there either.
The AI safety movement is to computing as bioethicists are to biology and medicine, right down to calling themselves the "safety movement".
Note: if you find the giant plane in @5 to be exciting, thrilling, scary or upsetting in a way that transcends all rationality, you probably have megalophobia/philia!
#47 how realistic is it to take this yourself without any FDA approval.
#4 Crypto has a complete solution to this, but it requires buy-in from society as a whole which is a *really* hard problem to solve. If you could pay your bills with crypto directly (just like you can often do with cash), then there would be no need to off-ramp.
I wouldn't say "crypto needs to get its act together" as much as "society at large needs to get its act together". I think many (most?) smart people recognize the problems with financial surveillance and state controlled access to money and the bad outcomes it can lead to (e.g., Canadian truckers, China locking bank accounts of people, civil forfeiture, etc.) but convincing the whole world to start accepting crypto natively for goods and services is a huge lift.
There *are* still UX issues that could be resolved, but I think people underestimate the difficulty here. While everyone is now used to passwords, for most of human history they weren't really a thing and it was incredibly difficult to get society to adjust to passwords. One could argue that we still haven't really solved it which is why there are so many alternative login systems these days (face, fingerprint, second device, email, etc.) all trying to "fix the password UX".
Crypto has a similar problem, but the stakes are much higher (all your money instead of all your photos) and if the goal is to remove financial intermediaries then you can't just rely on some third party to bail you out when you forget your password.
16: > a judge could assign a penalty like community service, and if he didn’t do it, the judge could declare him an “outlaw” and make it legal for any citizen to kill him
This is incoherent, and certainly doesn’t solve the problem. First of all, replace “judge” with “village elder” — a judge interprets laws, and without enforcement there is no law, only custom. Second, by the same token, under this system it’s “legal” for anyone to kill anyone, because again: no enforcement means no law, just custom.
Of course, we live in a culturally fractured and socially atomized society, so good luck drumming up a set of social customs from scratch that have the same kind of power over people’s minds as the cultural folkways of ninth century Icelanders.
This is truly the best that de Boer’s readers could come up with?
#8: These have existed for centuries. Example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_face#/media/File:Allisvanity.jpg
13. >crypto is an important safety valve against this increasingly-used tool of control.
As you well know it's a double edged sword. Either we decrease our ability to coordinate or we keep the ability to use this coordination for evil. And discoordination can be used for evil means just as well.
Currently, we are living in a world where an authorian state is waging a war of conquest in Europe, managing to find a way around economical sanctions in order to keep doing it. I don't think reasonable utilitarian calculation says that we need less coordination in such situation.
Also ironic, because Grayzone is, apparently, pro-Russian.
14. >this is not the sort of funding ecosystem that inspires confidence.
You mean the one that allows lobbying? Or are you saying that crypto would improve this situation somehow?
16. Meta: Why do people keep equlizing defunding the police and abolishing the police? Surely there are more and less radical approaches and the optimal situation is somewhere in between funding heavy weaponry, warrior mentality and killology trainings and having no police at all.
Half serious answer: such people should be totally canceled. Including access to banking. But damn crypto-bros are not letting this happen!
> The safety movement is concerned that Amazon might have enough power to steamroll over Anthropic’s safety-conscious culture; this did happen with DeepMind and Google
Woah wait what? I heard rumors that Safety-conscious culture at Deepmind was always at risk of being steamrolled over, but not that it already happened. Anyone have info on this? It could get pretty bad going forward if I have to make important decisions based on weak information.
#3 Regarding the Hunga Tonga eruption I very much noticed a climate effect. I live in New Zealand and the winter that followed it was noticeably wetter and more overcast than normal—it felt like the sun was never shining. In contrast this past winter, just ended, was a lot dryer, with more sunny days.
I assume this doesn't have anything to do with global warming though.
> 25: Effective Altruist Forum: The charity Pure Earth, sponsored by GiveWell, claims to have reduced the prevalence of lead in Bangladeshi turmeric from 47% to ~0%.
I spent a while being dumbfounded about where this wildly implausible claim could have come from, until I realized that this means that 47% of samples of turmeric in Bangladesh had nonnegligible amounts of lead, rather than that the average turmeric in Bangladesh was 47% lead.
I probably should have entered that prison abolitiom contest because I think you really could kind of solve it with dystopian levels of surveillance and social credit.
Basically, just have a public database to keep a records of the crimes of everyone, and a computer system that reports the most relevant ones to everyone around you, including businesses (everything's an app now). The basic aim is to replicate the small town vibe that disincentives crime there by making sure everyone around you knows what you've done. In this system we still have courts but there are no police or prisons (invest the money in surveillance to ensure 100% conviction rates), the amount of social isolation is decided democratically by the people around you. Because all records are public, associating with a known sex criminal would reflect poorly on people, incentivising even friends and family to shun the excluded. There would be a way to get your record cleared, either automatically or after a period of community service or reconciliation with the victim. All in all this seems like the most workable execution of the ideals of prison abolitionist in a large and complex society. The issue of vigilante violence could be solved by not distinguishing crimes based on their victims, murder is murder and so vigilante executioners would also be shunned, except by people who know the full context and still approve - but this is an issue for all crimes anyway. Arguably, if nobody wants to shun you for it, it shouldn't be a crime anyway - we do live in a democracy!
As I see it the main issue would be people who have already been maximally socially isolated - I'm assuming there would be food banks and shelters for murderers and rapists since this is a leftist dystopia, but its unclear to me what happens when serial offenders manage to get shunned even by those. At that point crime is their only way to make a living, presumably at some point they either starve to death, die of exposure, or get killed in a form of self defence that we deem to be socially acceptable, but either way they at least die free. Probably I would just not mention this part in the pitch to Freddie, it's still more thought out than anything else I've read.
Referring to the Big Lie does not degrade Donald Trump. It can be read both ways; the Big Lie in Trump's sense is what the "mainstream media" tells about the result of the election. Both Trump and Biden have used the term Big Lie, but they mean different things. (Trump: "The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!").
#27 funnily enough the odds of a gaming manager's marriage falling apart (52.9%) is strikingly close to the odds of losing at the roulette table with an even/odds bet (52.6%).
(27) My hypothesis is that men who struggle on the dating market divorce less because of lack of options, explaining why nerdy jobs have lower divorce rates.
I decided to check if other dating success predictors affect divorce rates, and it seems like shorter men also divorce less: https://newrepublic.com/article/119233/short-men-do-more-housework-earn-more-divorce-less
#44 “You're dead already. You just don't know it.” The Rundown 2003
And for that matter "Game over, man! Game over!" aliens 1986
8. For some reason I had to move away from the screen to see the text, but the spiral was obvious immediately. Can't see any cats though.
21. Any study that uses Mr Jerkface language can't possibly be good, as they clearly aren't even trying to be unbiased or scientific. You should consider the possibility that the study is bad in ways you just can't detect.
1. - 3. Temperatures have been completely stable in the USA for nearly two decades when measured from the actual state of the art weather station network the US gov operates, and which climatologists conspicuously refuse to use. Go here, then select "All months" and observe the perfectly flat trend which stretches back to the day the network opened:
Please try to square that with the statement that records were broken in the USA. Europe, of course, has no equivalent to this network specifically for climate purposes, which is why when you investigate "record breaking" temperatures will often be recorded in places like 50 ft behind jet engine exhausts, or from stations that mysteriously were multiple degrees hotter than one half a mile away.
And that ignores the fact that "records" here doesn't have the definition you'd expect when used by climatologists. The historical record gives strong evidence of much warmer temperatures in the past, like records of people doing farming in places where today that's impossible because it's too cold.
Climatology is ultimately just like sociology, psychology and other such sciences. This business of pretending it's better needs to end. It's not better. If anything it's worse. The only genuine climate crisis is the one in our minds.
For point 16, Freddie de Boer’s Derek Chauvin Defund Challenge, I'm quite emotionally shaken by this, on how very lightly people propose to reintroduce a punishment that was in the past considered worse then death.
I've been going trough the comments here and on de Boers' article and I'm surprised how people do not seem to recognize this for what it is. This proposal is literately bringing back 'civil death' (civiliter mortuus). A punishment so heinous that it was forbidden by the Belgian constitution (where I live), written in 1831, in the strongest way possible. Capital punishment, by comparison, was only formally forbidden by the constitution in 1996. The wording here is interesting. Art 14bis from 1996 states "Capital punishment is abolished". By contrast, in Art 18 from 1831 we can read that "The civil death is abolished, and cannot be reintroduced." In a time where capital punishment was still a common thing we found it necessary to forbid civil death in stronger terms than capital punishment is forbidden today.
It yet again seems to me that as a society we keep on forgetting the arguments used in the intellectual battles of the past thus forgetting the reasons for a obvious 'good' that we should defend.
27: Am I right in thinking that "gaming" is being used as a euphemism for casinos, and these categories are not meant to include, say, World of WarCraft, chess organizations, sports, e-sports, etc.?
Re. divorce rates. I expect divorce rates are anti correlated with income which probably goes a long way towards explaining this finding.
#27: "One thinks here of those gut-wrenching stories of women who, escaping one violent, abusive relationship, head straight for similar in the choice of their next partner." https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/the-less-desired
I find the claim that the deepmind ‘safety culture’ has been steamrolled over while the safety culture at openAI is still intact to be pretty strange. My impression is that both companies have a small committed pro safety contingent but this has a questionable effect on overall policy. OpenAI has this flashy ‘super alignment’ effort but I’m not sure this is evidence that the leadership or average employee cares very much about this (eg the notorious jan lieke tweet) or that the actual effect of the company is very beneficial to safety efforts. They are willing to advocate for safety in public but so are Google/deepmind
re 13 Grayzone, we only have their word that the ban had anything to do with their reporting, gofundme haven't commented. (They also post a lot of covid conspiracy stuff so could be a continuation of that policy). The money was also returned to donors so "(ie stolen all their money)." is inaccurate.
Grayzone have been accused to financial ties to the Russian government in the past. Blumenthal has certainly appeared on Russia today in the past. Their patreon and gofundme income isn't nearly enough to cover their costs, and they don't disclose their other sources of funding. If that were true (which for legal reasons I obviously can't speculate) then that would potentially make them subject to money laundering and foreign influence laws, which would be a more serious issue that gofundme would have legitimate reason to not want to be associated with.
#48 hyundai parking.
I invented that solution when I was 8 years old. (probably influenced by return to the future II). And the reason nobody built it since then is that its a solution in search of a problem.
It really isn't that hard to parallel park, even before cameras and radars were invented. It becomes even easier if you accept that plastic bumpers are elastic and it's ok to touch them.
Regards 48 -- the crab like dricing system isnt new-- and a version has existed since 1927! The reason this tech fails is because it is expensive to repair
The analysis seems to be pretty on point that it was too large an escalation to ever work except in a few very niche cases. The removal of yourself from a social group is only going to be a motivating threat on very specific groups, generally no more than close family. Even for those whom could force through a meat boycott in exchange for their presence, framing it as adversarial is guaranteed to engender resentment or just simple refusal to comply. 'It's my way or the highway' is one of those demands that's extremely brittle, and often ends up with everyone else leaving on mass rather than doing things your way.
29. Most AI chatbot users are women IIRC. Something like 70% of users are female?
The Vegan pledge is very interesting. A bold move from a minority to impose it's view hoping that the majority will consider the sacrifice/effort small enough to be worth for enjoying the company of the minority. This is quite different from the classic, indirect approach, where the effort is imposed through call to a legislating/regulating body (the gov) using media campaigns and lobbying.
The classic approach has often worked, but also failed. it's difficult to predict which will success and which will not, because prior are mixed and self bias strong (do you personally agree with the request or not?)
For the direct bold approach, it's easier: My personal guess is that it will always fail: the minority would need to be unusually popular for whatever reason for it to succeed, and I don't see how such a super-popular minority would not have it's cause already mainstream with much subtler push than a frontal "all or nothing", simple imitation would do the trick.
So i am not surprised at all by the outcome, but what i'd like to know is if the direct approach has worked, ever? That would be so strange it's worth a full post on ACT :-)
Now if I am right (direct approach never work), one question is how to implement brakes/checks to block as completely as possible the indirect approach: I feel this indirect approach has gone in overdrive and is the main phenomenon behind (what I consider as) a clear decrease in freedom (which, for me, also means quality of life) in western world those last 40 years...
#19. I like how the author talks about vegans having two bad options, and then tries to present the Pledge as a third option when it's very clearly exactly the same as Option 1.
In lieu of hating on vegans I'll instead hate on the concept of boycotts. It's an explicit attempt to punish someone who made a good product, for something unrelated to the product. "They make good vegan food I want to eat, but they also make other food I dislike so I'll try to kill their ability to make good vegan food."
Any impact you would make by boycotting a restaurant that serves meat can be replicated by never buying the meat dishes. If those dishes don't make money, those dishes get dropped for the ones that do. Instead everyone who would buy otherwise the vegan dishes boycott everything and now the meat dishes are the best sellers; so the vegan dishes get dropped and the restaurant transitions to more meat. So too with other products. Unless you're boycotting the direct manufacturing process, boycotts are just value destruction.
I guess there's a price reflection for stuff like political affiliation. "I like the food but the money supports this other thing so I'm not willing to pay as much for the product." So you don't buy Russian oil unless it's, like, 50% of market value, because their profits are funding their war effort and you actively don't want the war effort product.
My link of the week: https://www.secretorum.life/p/the-great-disembedding
Squarely in the tradition of cultural evolution, with a dash of "language is a virus". Loved it.
On 1 - Did this past summer break temperature records in Europe, and what does that mean exactly? The main thing I remember seeing was maps on news networks painting Europe in infernal red for, in some cases, positively pleasant temperatures. The general consensus amongst those who noticed this was that this was deliberate media alarmism.
On 7 - There is at least one blatant-like cat in the picture, and "cat pieces" above the blatant cat. These are hardly "imperceptible". Presumably others might interpret what I interpret as "cat pieces" to be blatant-like. But no matter what, this doesn't seem particularly surprising or interesting to me. Of course if you deliberately put X in your photo, machines trained to spot X will find it, and humans can find it too.
On 13 - Many people (for example, Tim Pool will mention this whenever it comes up) have noted for many years that the supposed anti-war position is targeted just as the so called anti-woke is. It is hardly an escalation of anything, you've just noticed it now.
For point 1, the linked article about sulfur quotes an additional warming of "0.1 watts per square meter" due to the new regulations. The article on the volcanic eruption quotes a similar effect - "a radiative forcing of ~0.1 W/m^2" for the volcano. It also suggests that the volcano could have injected sulfur into the atmosphere, which would (?) counterbalance the loss of sulfur emissions by us.
When the effects are roughly equal in size, how can one be considered a significant impact but the other is not significant? The impact of the volcano will surely be temporary, and the removal of sulfur presumably longer lasting, but on the scale of one year does it not seem they should have a roughly equal contribution? And that the contribution of both together would be enough to turn a hot year into a record breaking year?
To be clear, I believe the underlying trend is clearly driven by fossil fuels. Yet if we are talking about what makes one hot year hotter than other hot years, small changes like volcanic eruptions and levels of sulfur may be enough to tip the balance.
On number 1, there is a Polymarket participant with a very interesting profile:
Here's Dr. Sato's Columbia University website: https://csas.earth.columbia.edu/people/makiko-h-sato
I've known people who loved their chickens and even their turkeys, but I'm not sure anyone ever loved a chimpanzee. Folks pitied Oliver Humanzee. But I don't think it is easy to love something situated so close and yet so far from us.
I don't believe people precisely love pet snakes either. They like to look at them, as objects. I believe people love snakes, in the wild, or glimpsed in the yard. Certainly my husband loves snakes in that excited-little-boy way. And a dead snake covered with ants is a poignant sight - something about an animal that is all sinuous movement, without much else personality-wise, being stilled, is very sad.
I think response to animals is in great part aesthetic and that we ignore aesthetics at our peril, because I believe it goes very deep in our natures and that living with so much ugliness and destruction of the natural world is threatening to humanity. This view seems to be totally, orthogonally, out of sync with the current zeitgeist, of course.
I do not understand how anyone with any experience could think a "nerd" job category would be "aside from clergy"
FWIW (I'm a PhD in cognitive science doing consciousness-related research), I think the empirical "successes" of IIT tend to be misleading. The move they make is to propose an extremely complicated theory and then have the empirical prediction be something like "and this means that, when we show people pictures, we'll find activity in the visual cortex". Most people I know personally in the field secretly think that IIT is pretty pseudoscientific but don't actually say it out loud because they don't know who around them likes it
"The Election was Stolen" means different things to different people, and goes from almost certainly untrue to literally and proven to be what happened. I think the lumping of all such theories into one thing degrades the conversation immensely.
Things that definitely happened:
State governments illegally changed ballot procedures to allow more voting options, ostensibly due to covid concerns. This includes everything from reducing signature verifications (drastically reducing the number of rejected ballots), changing the timeframes for when ballots are due, and allowing alternate drop off procedures like curbside voting and drop boxes. Because Democrats were more likely to vote by mail in and other means, this likely had a significant effect in increasing Democrat votes. Note - although these new procedures did reduce our ability to determine if a vote was fraudulent, the most likely result was that more genuine votes from real people were accepted, not that most of these votes were fraud. Many Republicans are concerned that these processes made it nearly impossible to tell fraudulent votes from real ones, which I agree is a significant problem. Particularly removing signature verification requirements - that's literally meant to be the process for determining illegal mail in votes.
This was not a "Big Lie" and many courts have ruled that the changes were illegal - after the fact. They did not invalidate the election based on these voting procedure changes, which perhaps they should have done but either way would have been a major issue.
Whether there were late night dumps of votes under suspicious circumstances, or the less known/proven accusations, is a different issue. To my mind, having read lots of information on both sides, it's unresolved - or more accurately, some might be true while others are probably not. I'm very bothered by the immediate and all-consuming reaction that any such ideas are ridiculous and false even before anything was investigated. That the media clearly preferred Biden and did a lot to boost his election chances (and openly talked about the need to do so) gives me no confidence that their reporting on fraud claims are correct. I also think that the media was more than happy to conflate the worst and least likely conspiracy theories with the obviously true and proven electioneering that benefited Biden. Calling any and all such things "the Big Lie" was a very intentional piece of propaganda, and I think we should be against it on principle.
So Republicans can overwhelmingly believe that the election was "stolen" and still be potentially/likely correct that it was, even if they reject the bigger and less likely theories. It's hard to estimate (again, because the procedure changes made it impossible to determine) how many votes for Biden would have been rejected or never made if the voting procedures had stayed the same as the law in those states. Given the very close margins in some key states, it seems quite likely that these illegal procedures did swing enough votes to change the election outcome.
On 16: I'm not in favor of police defunding/abolition but this seems like a maximally bad counterargument. Derek Chauvin is a police officer who murdered someone while doing policing. If there were no police this murder would not have happened. It's literally asking "If we get rid of police, who will punish police who do bad things?"
Re #21, “a tedious forced signaling spiral about how willing you are to throw out any pretense of objectivity and fully optimize your language for propaganda.” I offer this as the premiere example: https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1342. Seriously, top that!
1. FFS. How about acknowledging that measurement technique has the largest effect on temperatures? Anyone here have an curiosity about how this pronouncement was derived? Why should we take it as an article of faith when the entire field of “climate” is rife with manipulation and confirmation bias?
As a formerly undateable nerd, I'd like to try and defend the conventional feminist take that "why do girls date Chad and not me when I'm such a nice guy" is a yellow flag.
By analogy, let's imagine that Alice and Bob have each founded separate startups. Both founders have a great idea, but they're terrible at pitching and keep getting turned down by investors. They're both certain if they could just get funding they'd make millions, but they can't seem to get a break.
Meanwhile, Charlie's AI-based block chain startup has just secured another round of funding when any idiot can see it's pure snake oil.
Alice goes and writes an angry blog post about how investors are idiots and don't know value when it's staring them in the face.
Bob is disheartened for a while, but then decides that if Charlie can do it, so can he — even if in an ideal world he wouldn't need to sell himself, in practice it's clearly something he needs to figure out. He goes away and practices public speaking, works on his pitch deck, gets a better haircut, and then eventually (not right away, because luck counts for something too) he gets his break.
It's definitely unfair that Charlie gets a free ride where Bob has to work so hard. It's maybe even a bad choice by investors (although pitching skills are important even after you get investment, so it's maybe not as stupid as it first seems). But even taking as read that the idea was still worth investing in, Bob is clearly still a better prospect than Alice – he understands that to run a company you need to work with other people, and sometimes that means working within their perspective rather than insisting on yours.
Suppose Paul Graham responds to Alice's blog post with an article "Complaining about lack of investment makes you uninvestable" that criticises how Alice felt entitled to his money. It would probably feel unfair to Alice, but I'm not sure it'd be wrong either.
I do think that socially awkward men should be treated with more compassion and pointed in the right direction. That said, I also understand why women don't offer this help – the outcome of trying to mentor someone in that position seems fairly predictable.
(I write this as a formerly undateable nerd with an Asperger's diagnosis. I agree this all sucks and I don't mean to imply that any of it is easy).
I’d really like to see Scott defend his own editorializing that “While this is a lie and is big” with actual evidence. Not looking at, or dismissing out of hand of evidence you don’t like doesn’t count.
I agree with the following, but it’s just the logical result of having the answer first (trump is bad, it’s not possible election fraud happened) and then finding the “evidence” to support it. Name calling is where you go when you’re so smug about your conclusions that you can’t conceive that anyone could possibly have a valid opinion that’s not your own. So smug that in your self righteousness you believe you have the sacred duty to make everyone stay in line.
“ it’s like insisting on calling Trump “Mr. Jerkface” every time you refer to him in a serious scientific paper. It’s not about whether he’s really a jerkface or not, it’s about dignity and avoiding a tedious forced signaling spiral about how willing you are to throw out any pretense of objectivity and fully optimize your language for propaganda.”
You could have gotten a lot of (40) on mitochondria and sex from my review of Lane's mitochondria book, he said grumpily.
> Anti-Ukraine-war website Grayzone
For what it's worth just the quick cursory search of the main page shows that it's not "anti (Ukraine war)" site, it's "(anti Ukraine) war" site to the degree that makes it impossible to ignore. Does this make this entire situation better or worse people can decide for themself, but typing it like anti-Ukraine-war pretending all terms there are on equal is clear misrepresentation.
> the cop who killed George Floyd - presumably someone they think should face consequences, and presumably someone who wouldn’t voluntarily accept those consequences if there were no police to arrest him
No sane "defund the police" proponent wants the situation when there is no police. Defund != destroy. Less money for assault weapons and armored vehicles, more training to deescalate (and more funding to the workers who are better at this comparing to the police)
For 16, the police abolitionists would reject the premise of the question. It's like asking a gay couple who does the 'wife stuff' is or a celibate person how they'd deal with unintentional pregnancy. Abolitionists usually believe that without police, society would rely more on social ties to enforce behavior. So if a cashier was given counterfeit money by someone acting erratically, they would contact that person's family or friends to come get them and pay for their item.
A lot of crime could be prevented by better safety nets or resolved through stronger social ties. One frequent example I see used by abolitionists is how people tend to react to 'crimes' committed by their friends. Like if someone I cared about was considering drunk driving home from the bar, I'd work with them to get them home safe. But if I saw a stranger stumble towards their car, I'd probably call the police because I wouldn't get personally involved. Or they'd point to how most criminals are poor and marginalized, so aiding poor, marginalized people would prevent crime.
Step 1 of their plan is "Completely reshape society" but if that works there would be no criminals to punish. This also makes most arguments with abolitionists fruitless since they're reasoning from a premise that most people don't accept. Something like the "Brock Turner Challenge" would probably be more fruitful, since it's unclear how they would discourage a privileged person with strong support systems, like Brock Turner, from committing crimes.
I'm kind of sympathetic to the abolitionists responding to this challenge, although I don't agree with them at all. I'm a big advocate of people ditching cars for bikes and buses. Sometimes people argue that my idea is unworkable because their personal commute is 80 miles on a highway and there's no way for them to give up their car. It always feels like a cop-out to say that their commute wouldn't exist in my preferred society, so they wouldn't need a car to deal with it.
The winner of the contest commented on this substack's articles about Georgism, so I agree that they're probably more interested in alternative society designing than actual police abolition. Maybe he was even inspired by the icelandic justice system post.
Kind of wish comment sections could be organized by topic, effectively having an instance of a tailored "forum" for each post.
#29 - your idea is so on point that I would be surprised if self-styled "players" aren't already using Chat GPT. I foresee that this will be such a pervasive problem that it will render the screening capability of chat/online discussion completely useless for online dating, which by extension will render online dating nearly useless, except for those who can get by on looks/status.
"A vegan reflects on the failure of the “Liberation Pledge”, an effort a few years ago where vegans would try to force change by refusing to eat at a table where meat was being served. Please stick to discussing this as social experiment instead of posting comment after comment about how much you hate vegans, I already know many of you have this opinion and you don’t need to express it every time the topic comes up."
I don't hate vegans (after all, I have one in the immediate family) but I am struggling very hard to avoid going "this was really stupid" and I'm sorry, but it was really stupid. Immediately upon reading the thing, I went "and how was this supposed to work?"
" The Liberation Pledge was a three-part public pledge to
refuse to sit at tables where animals’ bodies are being eaten, and
encourage others to do the same.
Enthusiasts of the pledge hoped it would create a cultural stigma around eating animals similar to the stigma that has developed around smoking over recent decades. That is, even while smoking is still practiced, it is prohibited by default in public and private spaces.
Before we had the Pledge, many of us felt alienated from friends and family who continued to eat animals. We were forced to choose between two options: speaking up and risking being seen as obnoxious, angry, and argumentative, or keeping the peace with painful inauthenticity, swallowing our intense discomfort at watching our loved ones eat the bodies of animals. "
Well that's okay ducks, you swallow your intense discomfort while I swallow this delicious piece of roast carcass! BLOODMOUTH CARNIST!!!!
Ahem. Apologies. But the only way this works is for isolated college students, where a bunch of them go out to eat and the Vegan makes a big fuss about eating animals and everyone rolls their eyes and agrees for the sake of peace that they'll go to the vegan place instead, or order the vegetarian option. They're not living together, they're not eating out together enough for this to be more than a momentary pain in the backside.
Now, transfer this to the family home. Ordinary family meals or even more so, the big occasions like Christmas dinner or a celebration like a birthday or anniversary. Our newly minted Vegan kicks up a fuss. Which is more likely?
(1) Out of ten people, nine decide to dump the turkey in the bin and chow down on the Brussels sprouts instead
(2) The one vegan is told by the nine others "if you don't want to sit at the dinner table, you can go eat in the kitchen or your bedroom".
Even for ordinary family meals, it'll end up with Mom cooking special vegan dish separate from the rest of the food and Vegan can eat in their bedroom or the sitting room or wherever they don't want to see family consuming animal bodies BLOODMOUTH CARNIST!!!!
Golly gosh oh my, who could foresee the Liberation Pledge crashing and burning? It mean, it was so workable and didn't inconvenience the other family members or friends at all! So reasonable and not at all preachy! "If you continue to eat meat, I'm not going to eat at the same table!" Well jeepers, what a threat, I'll immediately convert to non-BLOODMOUTH CARNIST!!!
Or you can just flounce off on your moral high horse and leave me to eat my dinner in peace. Your choice.
19. >”Please stick to discussing this as social experiment instead of posting comment after comment about how much you hate vegans, I already know many of you have this opinion and you don’t need to express it every time the topic comes up.”
Scott, I really hate going against your explicit requests to not discuss a controversial topic, but yes, we do need to express it every time the topic comes up. I’d be willing to live and let live with the “nice” vegans who make the personal choice to not eat meat but also don’t go around trying to make everyone else’s lives worse, but I don’t know why we should give a free pass to the ones who are willing to exert coercive influence in order to stop other people from enjoying animal products. My life would be *significantly* worse without the ability to go to any store or restaurant I want and order my favorite dish, and there are millions, if not billions, of people who feel the exact same way. Meat dishes are deeply ingrained into our culture. They are one of the little things that make life worth living. When someone tells me I shouldn’t eat meat, I will react the same way a Jew would react whenever someone tells them to stop eating kosher, or how a Muslim would react whenever someone tells them to stop eating halal.
#8, I am disappointed that Harry Potterland hasn't already implemented that architecture/landscaping.
Hamsters given cocaine to see whether it makes them more aggressive. It did. They had to be handled with chainmail gloves.
Majuscule told me about this.
Non-obligatory science fiction: "Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons" by Cordwainer Smith.
1961, four years before Dune-- a planet is the only source of something extremely valuable.
Also notable for having a tripwire security system-- anyone who searches on those misspelled words becomes a person of interest.
Does anyone else find that they get nauseated when they look at the AI images with spirals, letters, other embedded forms? It makes me feel queasy when I look at them; I get the queasy sense faster and more strongly than I "read" the image.
The link at 19 is interesting. My first impression is that this is the sign of a dying movement.
It sounds to me like a Christian sect refusing to eat dinner with people who haven't accepted Christ in their heart in an effort to spur conversion. There's no need for that if the country is more or less uniformly Christian; it only becomes a thing if Christianity - at least, the kind of Christianity that the participants want - is on the decline.
Obviously veganism has never been a majority, but the linked article gave me the same defensive, parochial impression of a group with shrinking influence - a group that's insular enough to have falsely believed that they held more sway than they do. The author is clearly a nice and earnest guy, but I got the impression of a horrified retreat: the demand for vegan-only tables resulted in the ostracism of the person making the demand rather than the shaming of everyone else, so mid-article the "Pledge" turns from an effort to force conversion of unbelievers to mental-health protection for the vegans. I can picture a similar discussion among the born-again ("OK, this alienates people rather than creates new Christians, but I still need a separate table where everyone says grace before a meal for my own salvation").
The map shows the rural areas as being more liberal than the cities in Japan. That's surprising to me because I had the opposite impression when I was there. The countryside seemed more socially conservative to me (I didn't really talk with people about their economic politics so I don't know about that axis). In the country you have all the old shrines and people keep the old customs, in the city people are more socially experimental. Can anyone give me more info about why I am wrong about this?
Matt Ridley has an excellent book on the evolutionary biology of sex called The Red Queen https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16176.The_Red_Queen
Regarding #19, I'm extremely unsurprised by this. Has there been any other similar form of boycott by 1) an extremely unpopular, minority opinion 2) carried out by unpopular people? What is the a priori reason for this working?
My uncharitable view is that vegans don't realize that they're unpopular and try strategies that assume that their views are popular. The post says things like “You wouldn’t sit quietly eating your vegan option while a dog or a child was being eaten, would you?” but basically no one in the general population thinks this way! I think any "normal" person could have guessed this wouldn't have worked ahead of time.
(if this comment is too vegan-hate-y feel free to delete)
Re #48, I first saw this in The Man Who Fell To Earth, if memory serves; it’s neat that it’s becoming a reality.
1) Adjustable space mirror seems like straightforward answer
4) Cash is king
7) The one on the left clearly has an ear. Also not clear to me this is "sort of working on humans".
8) Cool pictures, though I am a bit offended about how the parts that make the spiral are switching their distance. Would be more pleasing if the spiral was less notional and more physical if haphazard.
Also I cannot see the text at all when looking right at it with eyes open, but out of corner of my eye or slightly closed eyes it is crystal clear.
10) Sounds plausible.
12) Lawsuits like this should come with damages against the spurious claimants. In fact Title UIX generally was jsut a huge mistake.
13) Yeah the global financial industry and tech firms are not to be trusted. I really think these firms don't actually think about all the harm they do to themselves with some of these decisions.
14) Ditto. When I meet people in this field I openly refer to them as the Stasi.
15) I would guess some data collection/reporting change.
16) Yes because a system with a judge and people named outlaws would definitely lead to few dead minorities right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA God these people are idiots.
17) This makes obvious sense.
18) This data seems weird, though it does make sense that the people with real good food wouldn't like others' food.
19) Can I also refuse to sit at a table with people who have electronics made by little Asian children? This performative moralizing is typically stupid.
21) I mean almost all elections are "fraudulent" to some degree or other. Both parties and other actors use a variety of dirty tricks, things which no doubt directly impacts the result when the elections are so close.
For sure the 2020 election was "fraudulent" if you only focus on the question "did democrats and their allies do illegal and unethical things that directly lead to them winning the election". Of course in the broader context that similar or other distortions were happening from the other side the level of "fraudlentness" was perhaps not notable.
But people on both sides have really taken out their own argumentative foundations when they say things like "there is no appreciable voter fraud" and the like. When you say things that are transparently false as your talking points, people stop believing you even if your broader message is correct.
23) Sort of makes sense, though I also don't think people should be expected to use the new name. Lots of places are called different things than the locals call them.
24) Good twitter is cancer. The faster social media dies the better.
25 I) Awesome!
25 II) Sadly I don't actually value random strangers lives very much so I won't be giving.
26) This is the weirdo with the laughable belief that people weren't conscious before 6000 years ago? We sure he isn't a 4004 bc guy secretly?
27) Yeah checks out. Shockingly, smart people make better life decisions!
28) MegaMan was awesome. Good call.
29) Interetsing theory.
30) Well you pumped a ton of free money into the economy that encouraged people to not work and lead to TONS of wasteful non productive spending. What the fuck did you think was going to happen? Unlike the Keynesian's claims, the government issues debt to pay people to dig holes and fill them back in (or sit around on their ass) is not actually a basis for a functional economy.
32) Ok so a crazy person.
33) Yeah your options for alone time are better than ever.
35) Psychology is really still in the feeding people lead pills portion of its existence other than the pharma side. Which is overused as well.
38) uhuh. Nothing that new here. I am also often surprised by the things people think are insights.
47) The future technology my children actually need!
#16 - the Iceland solution seems to punt on the question “do we need police?” Let’s say the judge decrees that the offender has one month to complete his community service or be murdered by the citizenry, but an angry citizen decides to murder him before his one month is up. Well, now the judge decrees that the angry citizen has one month to complete community service or be murdered by another angry citizen. But the angry citizen is also murdered before his time is up. This pattern will either continue until we lose track of who can be legally murdered and dissolve into anarchy, or everyone calms down and agrees to only murder those who can legally be murdered. I assume the defund the police crowd would say the latter will happen, while others would say the former. And the stakes are so high that even the possibility of the former would push most away from supporting the defund the policers. Are there any examples of modern societies that have experimented with similar laws?
RE: 36, it honestly makes me like Vivek more. If the worst that can be said about his work is that it's a Second Chances farm for drugs that gave a fifth second chance to a drug that didn't pan out, then I don't feel like this is a strong attack vector for his opponents.
47. I hope this works out. Good dental health is so very important to overall health.
13. I am still wondering why they insist on using gofundme. Sure, network effects, but when you are accepting donations, you literally send people the link to the site, I don't think many people just go to gofundme and randomly look for projects to donate to? And gfm by themselves does no marketing? Or am I wrong? There doesn't seem to be any special sauce needed either - you literally just collect money and send it to people, it's like any online store except you don't need to worry about getting and sending the actual merchandise. It should be completely commoditized - and yet somehow gofundme, despite their known wokeness and censoriousness, manages to still attract the right, who proceed to pay them, use them, lose their campaigns and complain. What am I missing here? I understand using facebook, you can't just go to Trump Social and expect the same engagement. But what's so special with gfm?
Did Substack recently add likes? Or did Scott just enable them? I don’t remember seeing it as an option before
22: re the real challenge being getting users/customers: Yes, this is absolutely true. For something like a dating app or social network, I would say not half but 90% or more of your focus should be on this problem.
Re: Data Colada, this gem was on Twitter weeks ago:
"If she subpoenas Colada, she'll be caught and arraigned."
Prophetic perfect tense: The Biblical Hebrew "perfect" is not a past tense. Rather, it is a perfective aspect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfective_aspect "describes an action viewed as a simple whole; i.e., a unit without interior composition."
Events in the past can be seen more commonly as closed units, so perfective is often associated with the past; events in the present or future have some uncertainly and so complexity and so the imperfective is often associated with the future. But the match is not 100%, as in these examples.
English has the (im)perfective too.
* Imperfective "I was walking down the street when a pigeon landed on my head"
* Perfective: "I walked down the street when a pigeon landed on my head" makes no sense because the pigeon landing shows that we are describing a complex whole, a unit WITH interior composition."
English, however, also has past, present, and future
Is there any negative correlation between general factor of personality and things we don’t consider psychiatric conditions, like serial entrepreneurship, bodybuilding, gender identity?
"8: Related: AI art has gone from copying humans to inventing entirely new styles."
I think this is misleading. The AI isn't inventing a new style. The "style" is imposed upon it by a human using a template. It is impressive that it can manage to produce good results given the difficult constraints it is placed under but it is not "inventing an entirely new style".
#37: Poland stands out as particularly polarized (urban/rural) and this is definitely something I noticed during my recent trip there: https://denovo.substack.com/p/notes-from-poland
#47: This is a promising approach, I wrote about it more here: https://denovo.substack.com/p/stomach-ulcers-and-dental-cavities
> I haven’t seen a lot of uptake yet - my trollish theory, which I might explain more later, is that the real killer app will be AI boyfriends (horny men want sex, horny women want attention / emotional validation; which of these can chatbots more effectively fake?)
Based on what I've seen, it seems that on average men are satisfied with infinite generated boobies, while women are looking for interactive fanfic (AI boyfriends).
Example for men: https://millasofia.eth.limo/
Examples for women:
47: "...genetically modified mouth bacterium that will outcompete your normal mouth bacteria and eliminate cavities..."
Not to invite being accused of promoting an 'ism' or starting a movement but wouldn't remineralization do the same and it's better understood. When the mouth is to some point acidic(5.5?) our teeth lose minerals. This can be countered with Ph strips, food-grade calcium carbonate and an appropriate amount caution - or so I've read.
I'm sure the new science has other applications as well.
This is interesting. Reminds me of a study years back showing a divergence between country raccoons and city raccoons. City raccoons had gotten smarter as they had to negotiate a greater variety of novel challenges. Not just trees, but trees and locked trash cans etc.
#27 "...the “Nice Guy” argument and everyone agreed it was just a dog whistle for how we were actually rapists who believed we should be able to rape whoever we wanted with no consequences." Oh, come on. To take this seriously for a second, another reading of this study could be the nerdy professions have lower divorce rates *because* they have fewer partners, and/or know they'll have a harder time finding other partners after divorce.
Anecdotally, every member of the clergy I've ever gotten to know has been a huge nerd with a special interest in religion
Has anyone made their way through the responses to the Jaynes review yet? I read part 1 and started part 2, and so far it seems really unhelpful. There are a lot of assertions about research backing up Jaynes, but nothing is actually explained. There's a link to a big page with lots of articles, most of which seem to be produced by the Jaynes society or Jaynesians. This doesn't make it wrong, but it potentially falls victim to Noah Smiths' mud moat problem (https://www.noahpinion.blog/p/the-two-paper-rule). It's not really reasonable to just say, "lots of research backs us up!" and demand people read an enormous amount of content before responding. Then there's passages like "Alexander cites one article that supposedly contradicts Jaynes’s hypothesis about hemispheric interactions. However, numerous other publications support Jaynes." with no references or citations at all. What publications? What is their exact evidence?
There also seems to be quite a lot of "clearly Scott didn't read the whole book" or "this and that is clearly explained" again with little further explanation. Overall I get a similar impression as every time I try to read Marxists. If you disagree, you don't understand it or have to read more; if you think you understand it and still disagree you are wrong by definition. And it strongly pattern-matches to "closed systems" like Objectivism and, again, Marxism, which are defined based on the works of one person, with lots of effort spent interpreting one person's work rather than figuring out what's true.
Part 2 seems to have more detail, so I'm hoping it improves. There's multiple paragraphs discussing what Jaynes means by consciousness and how it's not just theory of mind, stating that Jaynes had a very precise definition, without ever giving any indication of what this definition *is* other than by referencing Jaynes's book, so I'm not quite optimistic.
2: I have looked at why geoengineering is not being done in some detail recently: http://aiimpacts.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Why-Has-Geoengineering-Been-Rejected.pdf
The short explanation is that (1) most climate scientists don't support it because of concerns about moral hazard,* so there is not much of a push to do it, especially with public funding, and (2) when people do try to do experiments with private funding,** certain environmental groups protest the specific projects, causing them to be put on hold or shut down by governments or advisory committees. Not doing experiments now makes future implementation much less likely.
I would not recommend DIY geoenginnering. Someone did try DIY ocean fertilization in 2012, in international waters off the coast of British Columbia. There was significant international backlash, his partners stopped supporting him, he was removed from his company, and forced to pay legal fees. If you do something that is ambiguously legal and looks like something a villain might do, you're likely to have a bad time. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/oct/15/pacific-iron-fertilisation-geoengineering
I expect that a good global climate strategy would involve geoenginnering as a component, and definitely support more research in this direction. But it needs widespread by-in at the national or international level to be a good idea.
*The concern is that people will not reduce carbon emissions if they think that there is an alternative. Since geoengineering is an imperfect substitute for reducing carbon emissions (ocean acidification continues, etc), geoengineering by itself would not solve climate change.
** Including from Open Phil: https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/funding
27 isn't really nerd jobs; its 9-5 stable white collar work apart from clergy, who generally have commands against divorce. the gaming/bartender jobs are often variable schedule 2nd or 3rd shift and make it hard to raise a family.
for gaming as well they have very strict attendance rates and are open 24-7, so that too. and often that is the only game in town that pays well for unskilled people so loss of a job is really rough.
48. Okay the parallel parking thing could come in handy. But the uey? Rockford could do a one step uey at highway speeds. Seems like he did it in about every third episode.
The street will find its own uses for crab cars. I expect interesting car dancing, racing, and stumts.
Re: #29, I have to *hard* agree with that statement. The real killer app will be AI boyfriends, not girlfriends. Another one that's more potent will be customizable romantic custodians. If the internet has taught me anything about sex, it's that people are secretly deeply disgusting.
Also that perfectly average people will pay real-ass money for something that can be customized into whatever it is they are specifically into.
I interviewed Adam Mastroianni a little while ago, may be of interest: https://youtu.be/M409oKluPYc
> 29: ... My trollish theory, which I might explain more later, is that the real killer app will be AI boyfriends (horny men want sex, horny women want attention / emotional validation; which of these can chatbots more effectively fake?)"
George Hotz recently argued the opposite on the Lex Fridman podcast:
> "Women are attracted to status and power, and men are attracted to youth and beauty...machines do not have any status or real power... status fundamentally is a zero-sum game, whereas youth and beauty are not. I also think that men are probably more desperate."
I would combine the two to say that horny women want attention / emotional validation from men with status and power. When women get emotional validation from low status men they generally categorize it as friendship, not romance.
The question of whether AI's can fake status effectively is interesting. I'm inclined to think this is possible, human scammers are certainly able to do it. Also, romance novels are popular with horny women, and these only offer the fantasy of a powerful high status man.
21 'This is a good study, but I’m irritated by their replacing “Trump’s claim of a stolen election” with “the big lie”'
Completely disagree. The difference between this and calling Trump or somebody else a jerk face is the jerk face is at the very best and opinion and is plainly intended to be pejorative. That the election was stolen began and will end is a lie is an objective fact. We have it in writing from Fox News that they lied, you'd have to manufacture a great deal of doubt to give any to Trump himself that he was consciously lying. It's a lie. If the people who wrote the article don't mind being in your face with all the people who believe in good faith the lies they were told, that may or may not be a politic decision but it is a fair one. Seems to me you're getting into false equivalency territory
30: I should note, I'm only looking at the first post on the page, I don't have time to read through the whole thing. If your conclusions come from the rest, please let me know.
This seems really, really false. I'll assume that real median household income is, in fact, down. OOP summarizes this (paired with high employment) as "collectively laboring far more to get less stuff". Except, real GDP (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPC1) and real GDP per capita (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA) are both up. So, we're working more, and producing more stuff, but (assuming the statement about the median is true) those gains are largely going to the top of the income distribution rather than the middle. Given that, I'm don't feel the need to check the productivity figures to see something's up here.
I'll also note that if productivity is down, that's not unprecedented. (Epistemic status, vaguely remember an econ prof saying this either in upper level macro or growth and development:) Similar effects have happened in the past when new technologies have come along. The example we discussed was computers -- for a while, people didn't really know how to make them useful, and productivity stagnated/dropped before we figured out the new paradigm and it shot up. Could be a similar thing is happening with WFH and/or AI.
On life expectancy: FRED uses World Bank figures, which indicate "the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life". The most recent figure is 2021, which is indeed about the same as 1998. But all this says is that if we were actively in a pandemic for the next hundred years, people would probably die sooner. Which like, duh. I'm not sure where these numbers (https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/life-expectancy) come from exactly (it has a link but I don't feel like clicking through right now, I'm on my phone and the number of tabs open I have finally seem to be slowing down Firefox), but they seem a lot more reasonable, and entirely disagree with OOP.
And for what it's worth, I'm happy to be living now. Maybe being a few years older would be nice, as my college experience wouldn't have been ruined by Covid and the industry I'm trying to get into would be less competitive, but you could make the same arguments for being a few years younger.
7: There's literally a pointy cat ear sticking out of the top of that train engine. You can't see it?
Regarding #30, I don't think the data does show a productivity crisis. The long-term productivity data (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/OPHNFB) shows that productivity growth is in line with long-term trends. The recent YoY declines are an artifact of a dramatic spike in productivity during the pandemic.
In other words, productivity has fallen only relative to a brief period in which it was exceptionally high. It seems to have been high during the pandemic—we're talking about an increase in *output per hour* not *total output*—because of change in the composition in the labor force during the pandemic (https://www.bls.gov/osmr/research-papers/2022/ec220010.htm), not because any group of workers' productivity actually declined.
Basically, I think the story is this: lower-productivity workers lost their jobs during the pandemic. That actually lowered total output dramatically (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPC1) but increased average output per worker. If you look at the long-term trend—if you just cover the statistical pandemic blip with your thumb—you can see that the apples-to-apples productivity of the workforce continues to increase normally.