845 Comments

RE #4: I strongly prefer reading via email because Substack is slow and unresponsive (scrolling down has a lag of 1-3 seconds, and as I'm writing this comment, the letters don't appear until 3 seconds after I've typed them).

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Hi Scott,

I was feeling about my thinkings today, and I felt of you. I hope you're good.

If you need to reach me, just say the word ;)

See you then!

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I just talked to someone I know who's a long time employee of the CDC (nothing COVID related). He said that the leadership was clearly clueless and that morale was low and that everyone he knew who was old enough to retire was planning to retire soon. I'd heard him gripe about work before, but never anything like this, and it was pretty depressing to hear.

Most of it sounded like regular office politics and bureaucratic nonsense, but at one point he also said "It's clearly coming from the White House". And he's a Democrat, so this isn't just Gray Man Bad either.

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I'm an Israeli, and there's a prevalent belief here that's encoded in our country's narrative - There's no other place for Jews to live since the world is rife with antisemites who hate us. Granted, this was an understandable attitude in the 40s when the country was born.

This is obviously an oversimplification that has varied over time and between different groups within the country, but you'll find it all over the place. Since the start of the war, given the massive criticism against Israel, this idea has become stronger even among the more leftist/liberal Israelis I know. In my own social circle nowadays, I barely know anyone other than myself who doesn't think that moving abroad would be problematic/dangerous due to rampant antisemitism everywhere. The claim is that the anti-Israel sentiment is just a thin facade covering a deep-seated hatred of Jews.

This view doesn't fit my model of the world at all. It seems that all minorities in all countries deal with at least some form of prejudice, and being Jewish abroad is probably no different. If I look at the USA, it's probably one of the easier minority experiences, all things considered. Moreover, in most cases where I see Israelis accuse others of antisemitism, they are really just pointing to cases of political opinions with which they disagree. I see this as just another case of Jewish exceptionalism: believing that there is something unique about us and that the world (a pretty big place!) just won't let us be. An understandable collective trauma following the holocaust, but one that I don't think is relevant today.

But this view is so widely held all around me, and actively affects people who might otherwise have chosen to move abroad, that I would like to critically investigate it. There does seem to be a rise in blatant antisemitism, although I again don't really trust the sources to distinguish between actual racism and just people who don't agree with us: https://www.adl.org/resources/press-release/adl-reports-unprecedented-rise-antisemitic-incidents-post-oct-7

I also heard from Israeli friends living in the USA that they feel unsafe since the beginning of the war, and are sometimes harassed for speaking Hebrew. So maybe there is some grain of truth to this whole belief.

I'd be happy to hear from rationalist Israelis (and anyone else) their thoughts on the subject, as well as suggestions on how to test the hypothesis that it's dangerous/unpleasant for Jews and Israelis to live outside Israel.

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For something I am writing, I'm looking for examples of poems set to music where the words have been tweaked to change the message. The example I started with was a setting of Kipling's "A Pilgrim's Way" where the refrain line has been changed from "Thy people, Lord, thy people, are good enough for me" to "The people, oh the people, are good enough for me," thus eliminating the religious reference. I disapprove of that, have been thinking of why, and am looking for more examples.

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There is also a large stream of evidence that Hamas uses civilians as human shields, and fights from among civilians while wearing civilian clothing. Between Hamas's inhuman combat doctrine, and the gigantic anti-Israel propaganda machine that wants to portray Israel as targeting civilians, I am not surprised that there is such a large stream of evidence. I still think most of it should be discounted, at least until further investigation sheds light on which parts are true and which parts are fake. Otherwise, you end up with more cases like the media frenzy from the Gaza hospital explosion in mid-October.

This is not to deny the genuine violations of protocol by soldiers on hair-trigger alert (and a few extremists out for revenge for Oct. 7). To me, the most tragic such case was when IDF soldiers shot three escaped hostages by mistake. I think that the IDF does actually investigate such cases, and not just for PR.

More evidence in general that Israel does not have a policy of targeting civilians: the order to evacuate northern Gaza, the fact that well over 99% of the Gazan population is alive even after months of fighting, and the fact that Israel has the capabilities to kill many more Gazans and it refrained from using them. There is also the fact that Israel opened Gaza's borders for humanitarian aid. Admittedly, this involved international pressure, but consider that similar pressure was exerted on Israel for more militarily important concessions like a ceasefire, and Israel refused to budge. If Israel wanted Gazan civilians to die, it could have similarly refused to budge under pressure to let food and fuel and medicine in.

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Will we get a "My California Ballot 2024" from Scott this year? I really enjoyed the previous editions.

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Setting up a new Windows laptop. Open Edge to download Chrome and Bing search says I don't need another browser. I think I'll download it anyway. Duckduckgo too.

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I have to go to a city office in person because they are being utterly non-communicative about some confusing utility bills. The website says that they are committed to giving easy access to information. Well, frankly that feels insulting given that I will probably have to walk through the rain and then wait in line to speak to a surly bureaucrat.

Naturally this got me thinking about charter cities and special economic zones. So anyway, why wasn't anyone talking about Pronomos Capital in the recent posts on charity vs capitalism? They funded Prôspera, and have a portfolio of several charter cities and SEZs. When I searched those pages for the terms "Pronomos" and "Prospera" I found no hits for the former and very little discussion of the latter.

Is this because Pronomos is not investing well and everyone already knows it? Are they getting beaten by competitors? Is there some other major problem with them?

Because if the answers are all no, then I'm surprised that there has been almost no mention of them in 1000 comments comprising 45,000 words.

Personally, I'm feeling the temptation to start advertising Pronomos to my EA friends unless and until someone talks me out of it.

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The circular path of the proposed new supercollider at CERN will be almost tangential to that of the existing one - See image of proposed route at https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00353-9

Wouldn't it make sense to make it actually tangential, so the existing one could get particles up to high speed and then route them onto the new one to boost their speed further?

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founding

Did y'all see this? https://twitter.com/ESYudkowsky/status/1754770076841226499

A cool 60% failed a basic economics question. A simple one, too. The number of things this explains is just huge.

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Oh yeah, Bluesky is open to the general public now. With Twitter kinda going to shit with all the bots everywhere and accounts getting frozen (Elon doing hard drugs doesn't help either), all the artists I follow seem to have collectively decided to evacuate to Bluesky.

Trying it out myself... well, it certainly looks like Twitter. Not sure what I expected. The whole Feeds system is very interesting though, basically giving you multiple customizable timelines. And the rules seem to be pretty lax: don't break the law, don't commit hate crimes, don't tell people to kill themselves.

I have no idea what they're trying to do with the whole decentralized protocol thing though. Are they trying to make some sort of super social media network that connects a bunch of different sites together...? Does anyone even want that?

All in all, Bluesky does seem like a decent replacement, and I do hope it succeeds. Mostly because the prospect of a moron buying a company only for its previous CEO to immediately make a competitor that bankrupts his old company is really, really funny.

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Been out of the blogging loop, but did this one announce the results of the survey predictions for '23?

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Charcuterie board planner - online beta

After you plan you get

- a shopping list

- an image made by Stable Diffusion

http://charcuterie.mooo.com/

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For everyone who responded to my previous comment re: Anime Girl Profile Picture: I carefully considered my options, then started over when I learned about Statue Profile Pictures and decided I wanted some of that energy. Opting to split the difference, I made the only rational choice and selected Centurii-chan as my avatar. (In her maximally psychotic appearance, of course.)

Carthago Delenda Est.

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I say there's no free will and I also have tips for optimizing productivity: Paradox? Not at all!

"Free will denial is almost a movement now," said Scott Galloway--the famous investor, NYU marketing professor, and frequent guest on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher--on his November 3, 2023 podcast

It is a movement. There's Sam Harris--celebrity atheist, meditation advocate, neuroscience PhD--who published Free Will in 2012, and there's Robert Sapolsky--primatologist, stress hormones expert, Stanford professor, and author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and of the bestselling, encyclopedic Behave--who has a new book, Determined: A Science of Life without Free Will, which came out in October 2023.

And there's me.

Arrayed against us is probably 95% of Americans and the vast majority of philosophers too. According to a 2020 survey of more than 1700 philosophy professors, only 11% denied free will. Daniel Dennett--another celebrity atheist--is probably the biggest defender of free will.

And yet...

Free will is an illusion.

"So what? What difference does it make?" you say. Here's why it's interesting.

Forget for the moment the potentially soporific arguments for and against free will. There is a different angle on this. I've been researching and writing up the psychological effects of denying free will on the person who denies it. Yes, that's right. You might prefer they'd spend their time curing cancer, but some scientists have conducted experiments to see how people's behavior changes when you "prime" them with a text denying free will.

These studies as a group overwhelmingly show (or seem to show) that if you "prime" experimental subjects with free will denial by having them read a deterministic argument, they are more likely--to a degree that was statistically significant--to lie, cheat, and steal in subsequent lab games or observed situations.

I can argue with you about whether or not we have free will. I'm prepared with all the arguments against and I know all the arguments for, which I'd have to rebut. Send them to me. But I'm already moving on--because it is interesting and is our future--to consider what free will denial would be like.

To read Part 2: What's it like to deny free will? Check out https://drdavedavidson.substack.com/p/i-am-mr-theres-no-free-will

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Please don't do link-only emails. It breaks reading apps and makes it much harder to read articles offline.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 7

Here's a puzzle that combines some rather boring computer programming with a cute piece of maths.

What is the following snipped of C code (edited to fix several typos - good catch, those who spotted them) for?

int f (uint x)

{

n = __builtin_ctz(x);

return (((x>>n)-1)&0x7) || (n&1);

}

(Note: the question is "what is it for?", not just "what does it return?" - there's a reason you might want this function.)

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White space is now back on my iPhone.

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I'm interested to know your opinions on the recent ruling by Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick rescinding Elon Musk's last compensation deal with Tesla. I'm particularly interested in the opinion of anyone with no particular opinion of Mr. Musk himself (if such exist).

The ruling in full can be found here (https://courts.delaware.gov/Opinions/Download.aspx?id=359340), and there are plenty of media summaries out there, but briefly, as I understand it: this compensation deal was quite unusual in that it made very high compensation contingent on achieving commensurately difficult milestones. The deal was voted on and approved by the shareholders, but a lawsuit was filed (nominally by a shareholder) shortly thereafter, challenging that the shareholders had been misled and the deal was unfair to them. This ruling rescinds this deal six years later, after all the specified milestones have been achieved. It finds that the company had described members of the company's board as independent, who were too closely affilliated with Mr. Musk to be described that way. Consequently (based on Delaware law), the deal would have to be "entirely fair", and the defendants could not meet the burden of showing this.

It's important to note that all payments were contingent on large increases to the stock price, so there was no way for shareholders to lose money on this.

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Just noticed Substack decided that new paragraphs in comments don't get spaces anymore. What a terrible decision. Especially since all these programs love to just chomp out empty spaces so you can't mitigate the damage they're doing. Change it back, idiots.

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Feb 5·edited Feb 5

I recently watched a video essay on Youtube in which it was asserted that fourth-wave (current) feminism has morphed into a binary ideology of victim and oppressor. Either you are a victim (good), or you are not-a-victim, which equals oppressor (bad). There is no middle ground, and no agency.

I found the argument compelling. It explains such phenomena as university professors wearing face-masks, long after everyone else has given up. By wearing a mask, a professor is signalling that he is a victim, and therefore not an oppressor. By this means he hopes to avoid being cancelled, which is a salient risk for all authority figures these days, particularly those who work in universities.

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Recently I've been watching Succession clips on youtube. It looks like a really well written, well acted show with a whole lot of compelling and interesting characters, and I'm considering sitting down to watch the whole series (which would involve signing up for a whole new streaming service, but not a particularly big deal).

The only thing that gives me pause is the show's politics, which are not so much opposed to mine, but incoherently spaced across a gulf of misunderstanding from mine. It's a show where everybody is a conservative, but nobody is _really_ a conservative (because the writers can't even understand that as a coherent world view)... everyone is either cynically exploiting the conservative dum-dums to make money, or else they're pretending to be conservative while secretly being a crypto-fascist who wants to be bad and do fascist things because fascism. The right side of politics seems to be treated more or less like the dark side of the force, a seductive evil influence that corrupts everyone it touches. I feel like watching this show as a rightie or even a moderate would be an incredibly frustrating experience.

Can anyone who has seen the whole show tell me if I'm right or wrong?

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RE: I recently saw someone recommend only including the first paragraph of a post in emails, then including a “go to website” link afterwards.

I like the idea. Large post load slowly to my phone. Having links would improve this so that I pay the download cost (time) only for those posts I want to read. After all, substack archives the entirety of every daily post so I can always go there to search for things I am interested in later.

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re #4

Two factors contributing to me enjoying having the entire post in my email.

1) Easier to read and load. My recent email pulls automatically to my phone and I can read it without consistent network access, eg while flying.

2) I actively enjoy having my email as a repository of the initial text. I understand this one is probably a niche preference and can be solved by, eg, wayback machine.

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Where do y'all store your old substack and newsletter emails?

I *don't* want to delete them (well, most of them); I enjoy the option of searching in a curated archive of interesting material, particularly some that I no longer have access to otherwise. But it's straddling the 17GB limit of my Gmail. Obviously, this is not what an online mailbox should be used for. But Thunderbird doesn't seem to be the tool for the job, unless the job is heating my room through overwhelming my CPU with its attempts to sync what has already been synced. In theory, I can download my email archive from GMail and throw Thunderbird at that static "mailbox", but it feels... not quite right, and besides, I want to be able to update it.

There has to be some tool for that, right?

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I wrote a piece last week that I think might be of interest to ACX readers. In it, I try to come up with a speculative definition of social status based on what others like Tyler Cowen and Rob Henderson have written. I've always found the concept of social status a bit hand-wavey and this is my attempt to make sense of it.

https://nathanielhendrix.substack.com/p/what-is-status

Feedback also very welcomed.

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I'm looking for academic papers, or books, or blogposts about basic child rearing practices somewhere in rural Africa*. For example at what age babies start to be carried on the mother's back, and when they stop. What time babies are put to bed every night, and how they are put to bed. Who can be trusted with small children. What are the disciplining practices. Etc.

Any references? The more accessible the better.

* I don't mean to imply that the answers to these questions across all of Africa are the same. I know Africa pretty well actually, well enough to say that almost anywhere I pick in rural Africa will have answers that are different from the practices in the West, and closer to answers for other places in rural Africa.

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#4 - prefer current situation - choice is good! I sometimes click through and sometimes not, even though I know there are edits.

I like that I have the full version in my inbox both for convenience (reading without the comments and the lags of substack on Chrome, or offline) and to later be able to search terms and things I remember from the posts.

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Is there a term for a non-reductionist physicalism?

The people who debate meta physics they either seems to be super reductionist (if viruses exist we can make nano bots, if brains exist we can make super human ai in 10 years, if we can simulate physics we can simulate the whole universe and we are in an finite chain of stimulated universes) or they get incredulous at these claim throw out everything and claim panpychism. I'm not seeing a middle ground term.

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Nr 4: TLDR: Substituting the text with a link would break the reason I get the emails.

The only time I read blogs through my email is when I only have satphone or SSB connection at sea, and cannot browse the web in a standard fashion. The emails that I get to my SailMail account are stripped of pictures, formatting, and reply-history, and held in a server that will drip-feed them to me over extremely slow connections (sometimes <100 b/s. One text-only email can take several minutes to download). No normal web server has the patience for clients like that, and will assume the connection has dropped long before I get the text.

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Anyone here tried “self medicating” with Ketamine for treating mild depression? Did it work for you in the long term?

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I’ve often wished I had a longitudinal study of my own political views/leanings… like a yearly survey of what I think about various things.

Does anyone know if something like this exists? I’m thinking of building some kinda thing that emails you once a year to fill out a survey…

I enjoyed this survey (https://pluralpolitics.com/) albeit a bit US-focused. If anyone has pointers or ideas or dis/encouragement I’d appreciate it! I don’t think I have the expertise on surveys and whatnot to do the non-tech parts alone.

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More writing from me that I wanted to share. For those of you who have seen my stuff and have found it too technical, these two pieces are not technical at all.

The first is essentially just musing on my experience as a 3rd year psychiatry resident:

https://polypharmacy.substack.com/p/on-being-a-3rd-year-psychiatry-resident

The second is an essay that would be most interesting to people who work in hospitals, especially on consulting services, in which I argue that rejecting consults is an important part of resident education and part of good professional practice overall (as long as you're not a dick when you do it).

https://polypharmacy.substack.com/p/consult-rejections-as-a-teaching

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https://foldedpapers.substack.com/p/my-years-as-a-feminist-on-red-pill

I recently came across a really interesting reflection on old SSC/culture war thread culture from a feminist perspective. Good read.

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My mental health is terrible. (Seriously - I've had at least a dozen temper tantrums since last October, maybe almost two dozen - despite trying to log them all, I've lost count.) Any suggestions?

(Scott, this may be something that might actually be up your alley!)

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There are too many replies to look through them all, so apologies if this (rather obvious) solution has already been suggested: You can get the best of both worlds by posting the full text in the email, but right at the start of the email you put a link to the latest version on your website.

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Re. "Would anyone be significantly inconvenienced by getting these as link-emails rather than full-post-emails?" -

I almost didn't reply, because I wouldn't be inconvenienced at all, and thus didn't care. But it occurred to me that that mean lots of people who wouldn't mind, wouldn't reply; and Scott would get a heavily biased set of answers. Which it appears he already has.

Suggestion to Scott: When you ask a question, post a comment to which everyone can answer with their reply, so the replies aren't spread all thru the comments.

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Please continue to include the whole text in your e-mails. My email client forwards it to my note-taking app and I read it there. Just including the opening paragraph would make the system worse.

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founding

Please keep full text emails. I am aware that the online version may contain corrections, and I check it when relevant, but having the full text in email is very convenient to me.

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I prefer full text emails BUT almost never go to the actual page and thus never observe the edits. Depending on frequency, I would be ok with follow up emails, but will navigate to the page if on desktop in future.

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Does anyone here have a post explaining the dopamine transporter hijacking by SSRI theory in depth for a layperson?

I always have very mild side effects when I start on SSRIs; rapidly show improvements and then get extreme agitation and restlessness side effects around 2 month mark. Tapering off and stopping medication improves symptoms. I suspect the dopamine transport to fire serotonin which takes a few weeks is leading to sudden high concentrations of serotonin around 6-8 weeks which is triggering a mild form of hypomania. The DSM criteria for mixed depression feels very rigid. But some other articles I read have a broader definition of mixed depression which includes the irritability, anxiety and restlessness I feel. My symptoms get worse late evening which I feel may be related to dopamine circadian rhythm. No bipolar family history. An example of my extreme restlessness - my Fitbit shows over 15000 steps even on days I work from home and do not leave the house for any purpose like errands or walks.

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founding

I definitely prefer full-text emails.

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Feb 5·edited Feb 5

I prefer full-text emails. I usually click through to read the latest version of the post. If I'm catching up somewhere that's not feasible (e.g., a plane), I settle for reading the original version and figure any particularly important correction will show up as a follow-up post or in an open thread.

If my methodology is flawed, perhaps breaking it with teaser-emails is a good thing.

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I started vaguely watching Critical Drinker and various other film critic Youtube channels, who have a common theme of jeering at Disney/Marvel/DC/the BBC/whoever and glorying in their misfortune.

.

These channels are pretty low status, and should be, because they're critics who add nothing, as opposed to original content creators who could output new films and stories that might enrich my life. I gain entertainment from them, but most often it's a mean spirited kind of entertainment.

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If you consider something like Dr Who, there were a lot of us who used to enjoy that programme, and who enjoyed talking about it afterwards, to the point that it formed a kind of community. Then the BBC came in and said, "Fuck you, we're taking your toys and calling you a dickhead on the way out. Oh yeah - and if you want to talk about the same stuff you used to enjoy talking about, I'm gonna make it so half the people you're talking with are fat soys or anaemic purple haired wretches and I'm gonna make sure to tell them you suck."

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So you know what, if you and all the old crowd can find a channel of people who get together just to say, "You know that guy who stole our toys? That guy sucks." - I don't care if it's not the highest form of wit, it's cathartic and it feels good. I think people like Critical Drinker are doing useful work by being the lynch pins around which these old, displaced communities can re-coalesce.

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But I'm not sure that a community built on such a negative premise can/should survive long term. It would be better if people in said community were to start creating new, original stories of their own and we could all spend our time talking and thinking more about that, and forget Disney/the BBC entirely.

.

I keep waiting for this to happen, but it doesn't seem in any hurry.

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I'm going to beat the dead horse. The Substack website on browser on phone is absolutely horrendous. What is the technical reason its so bad?

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Regarding 4: I have an automation set up that ingests and runs through text to speech all my Substack emails. I could modify it to handle what you're talking about, but I'd prefer not to, for what it's worth.

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The last Dominant Assurance Contract closes in one day. Logic Tournaments! So far all of these except for EnsureDone itself has paid out. https://ensuredone.com/projects

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Why doesn't Trump (clearly a highly money-motivated person) open some kind of franchise/chain? It could be a bar, restaurant, wings place, burger joint, whatever (a taco restaurant would be kind of hilarious). The guy spent most of the 80s and 90s trying to license his name to various products like Trump steaks, Trump University, Trump airline, etc. He's the only one that can license the actual Trump name, and it doesn't take that much expertise to open up say a TrumpBurger- he can hire restaurant experts and so on. It would have lots of eagles, flags, guns, and the Bill of Rights on the wall. Once you get to a certain scale, there are 3rd party companies that just work on expanding franchises- just listened to a podcast where the Alamo Draft House founder explained that's how they went from 5 locations to a few hundred.

He could pitch TrumpBurger to all of his following, it would probably expand very rapidly in red states and red portions of blue states. Franchising is pretty close to printing money- various small entrepreneurs would beg to buy in and open one in their town, and he has tons of small business types as fans. He could be spending his late 70s getting much, much richer. Why not do that instead of running for office again?

(Inspired by an Instagram video I saw of a MAGA acai bowl store in Southern California)

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I prefer to keep the full article in the email because I forward these emails from automatically to an IFTTT task that sends it to Pocket so I can read it later or listen to it at my leisure or when I don't have data.

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RE: "go to website" link. As someone who reads this email on desktop, I'd be fine with this change.

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I prefer getting the full post in email because my phone caches the contents of recent emails. This allows reading posts even when without cell service or when Substack is down.

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Folks,

What is the "Total deaths" (1.1 million) in this page referring to exactly? Total deaths due to any cause in this week of Jan 2024? Or total deaths from covid so far i.e. from 2029 to now? I suspect it is the latter.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home

How can I find the total number of daily deaths on average in a day now in 2024? If it is 3.6% of 1.1 million for this week, then it is 42k deaths this week from covid i.e. about 6k deaths a day from covid ?!

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Here's another math puzzle.

You have a reel-to-reel tape recorder, 15 reels with tapes on them, and one empty reel.

(here's what such a recorder looks like: https://www.google.com/search?q=reel-to-reel+tape+player&tbm=isch&source=lnms)

You can use the recorder to transfer a tape from one reel onto an empty reel (by playing or fast-forwarding), but during that process the tape winds "in the opposite direction" onto the empty reel. If you repeat that process again, the tape will end wound up the original way.

Is it possible to arrange such transfers so that at the end, every tape is on the same reel it started from, but inverted in the opposite direction?

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@Scott: The next time you ask for feedback on some issue, could you please create one thread to collect all the replies? After the 182nd top-level post about how yet another reader really, really wants to keep the email feature, it gets a bit tiring.

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Full text in email is preferred. Sometimes when I notice an error I check the updated post and see it is already fixed, but I strongly prefer the ability to read in the email. In most cases I read entirely in the email and don't open the site.

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Putting only the first paragraph in the email - well, I'm glad you asked because my initial reaction would be to be reminded of all those "you got a message! we're not going to tell you anything about it, log on to the website to check it out!" emails that I get. So I've always been rather pleased that substack gives you the whole text. I'd prefer it if serious corrections simply got sent again, but I don't know how practical substack makes that.

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Our local elections are not important. We live in a rural area and the issues are usually small potatoes, but the way we elect local officials recently became a fiasco; hopefully, this is not a sign of what's to come in our national elections this year. Read about it here: https://falsechoices.substack.com/p/local-election

Also, the question was raised on what type of human being might emerge from utopia, should we ever succeed in building one. Here is a good answer: https://falsechoices.substack.com/p/old-stories-notes-from-the-underground, amazing that it was offered over 150 years ago!

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I'm fine with first paragraph only in the mail. I usually go to the post anyway because it's a better reading experience and I know you sometimes edit the posts. The only posts I often read inside the email client are the open thread posts (If I'm only interested in the updates).

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Has anyone theorized that willpower involves actively putting your “thumb on the scale” of some probabilities in your predictive processing network, possibly through a “make-believe” like mechanism?

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re 4. i would argue this kills this nice feature of substack which is “you get your text in the mail app and get to read it”. if instead the email is just a proxy for visiting web site, then i need to perform an action, even directed by the link from the email, to quit the mail app and go to the browser. that does not often work smoothly. then, in browser i have 50 opened tabs and bringing my attention back there is not helpful for the current text and its P(read|opened in browser) which is obviously lower than P(read in email app right away). it is often hard to focus on the content, on one piece of content, etc so receiving stuff to the mailbox comes quite handy — having all the emails around the text is not the same like having one_more_tab being added to the fifty_tabs_that_i_once_found_interesting_to_read_and_never_read_just_to_close_them_all_300_days_later.

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Are there any accounts of people who've learned to lucid dream developing schizophrenia?

I often wonder about this, because if learning to lucid dream is primarily about learning when an experience is happening in the real world vs your brain's fabrication of the real world - then does this skill transfer if one develops waking hallucinations like with schizophrenia?

It sounds kinda kooky, but a part of my brain wonders if lucidity, or lucidity interventions (drugs that increase lucidity during dreams) could have a large impact on schizophrenia symptoms.

I just checked if a common drug taken with lucid dreamers (galantamine) has any effect. Results seem very mixed, with the drug affecting sub-scores but not having much of an effect of overall standardized measurements of symptom severity.

Still, galantamine is not a magic lucid dreaming pill, so I wonder if advanced lucid dreamers would have different experiences with things like schizophrenia symptoms.

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Re: 4. I forward substack emails to my Kindle. Not having the entire post in the email would suck quite a bit.

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Re: 4 btw can you please tell substack to fire their entire programmer team starting with the CTO and hire people who can write a backend that serves plain html instead of whatever they do now, that takes 5 seconds to render? And to re-render when switching to another tab and back? Just a suggestion.

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I like that the posts are automatically downloaded in email and so available offline with no pre planning required on my part.

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4. I would much rather live in error than click on a link.

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Re 4 I just love how unanimous we all are that full text in email is great. Feels rare on the internet

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4. I will be significantly inconvenienced for a few reasons. I'd probably even consider cancelling my paid subscription.

Also, I imagine some people still use RSS, did you consider how it will impact them?

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Has anyone here tried tDCS? Everything I’ve read seems to suggest it’s surprisingly safe, even when specifically searching for risks and adverse effects. Would I be an idiot to try it via the DIY route?

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4: That would stop me from cheating LeechBlock by reading your posts from my mail reader rather than my browser. Whether that's good or bad it's up to you.

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I usually read the posts through the email. I don't know why, but whenever I go to the website it's incredibly slow. Clicking on a link takes at least 5 seconds to open a new tab, + another 5 to 10 seconds where the page just freezes. The same for highlighting or copying something, etc. Scrolling on a post, again, takes around 5 to 10 seconds to show me the content where I scrolled to.

I really don't know why this is happening, I tried disabling all my plugins but it doesn't solve it. I use Firefox

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In a perfect world, the choice between "full article in e-mail" and "only the start" could be done by the subscriber, individually. Yet another way Substack sucks.

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I prefer to have the full text in my email. Then if I'm offline I can still get most of the benefit, and if I'm online I know I'll get the best experience by going to your website, especially if it's a links post where commenters are likely to have added significant insight. However I recognise that I've been reading ACX long enough to know the system, and you're disproportionately likely to get comments from such people.

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> Would anyone be significantly inconvenienced by getting these as link-emails rather than full-post-emails?

Yes. Among other things, you have already deleted your entire blog once; having an archive in my email is a nice bit of security against that.

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I prefer long reads on my kindle and use KTool to send them there. For newsletters from Substack, the best way is to setup forwarding filters. So I would no longer read ACX on my kindle if the whole post does not come in the email. I could manually send it, but the additional effort is more likely going to mean I read in email on my phone and it would get lumped into “phone time” which I am actively working to limit.

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I strongly prefer having the email in my inbox to read. I mean with Zvi's AI posts I usually end up having to go to the website after I read through it mostly, but it's not what I like.

I think we can all accept that the canonically updated version that expresses your current opinions is the website, without needing to have it be the current version in our email. Besides, think of the advantages of not being able to (slightly) bury history this way?

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>Would anyone be significantly inconvenienced by getting these as link-emails rather than full-post-emails?

Yes, given this website's jankiness, I would be absolutely inconvenienced. Sufficiently that I would stop reading, and end my (using-discount-code) subscription in response.

This website continues to suck, horribly. I only very rarely dip into the comments (reading or writing) simply because it's such a chore to deal with. If I have to deal with the mess in order to simply read your posts, I won't be reading enough of them, often enough, to justify spending any money on this anymore.

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The substack website is blocked in China, possibly other places. Obviously there are workarounds but having the post come via email is very helpful there.

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Math puzzle: everyone in the family drank exactly a whole mug of coffee with milk. Kate's mug contained 1/4th of all the milk consumed and 1/6th of all the coffee. How many members are in the family?

(not very hard, but curiously harder than it ought to be)

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I've been thinking a lot recently about memes as living organisms. Specifically, it's pretty common to hear people say memetics is just an analogy, but if so: is a human being just an analogy? What I mean is, what we call a human is the pattern that arises from the interaction between its neurons, same as a meme is the pattern that arises from the interaction of lots of human minds, so what's the difference? What makes a meme any less real and solid than you or me?

(Maybe you say: 'But humans are individuals, and they're a physical thing I can point to, unlike a meme.' But are they? If you isolate a human from other humans, and therefore the supply chains of food and water those humans form, it'll die the same as a single neuron isolated from blood vessels will; and if you point at a dead body and say "that's John" then everyone can agree that whatever John was, it's not actually contained in that particular collection of cells anymore.)

So what are everyone's thoughts about this? Also, I'm assuming that people have already gone down this rabbit hole in more depth and more coherently somewhere else, so feel free to link to wherever that place is too.

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I also prefer reading email to waiting for the site to load, but even if the site loaded instantly it'd still be slower and less satisfying. I read posts the same day they come out, so I wouldn't see changes anyway (until you announce your corrections in email later), so I wouldn't benefit from going to the site.

Also note that If for some reason someone can't read a post properly in email, they can always click over to the site, but the reverse isn't true: if the post isn't in email and the site isn't accessible there's no way to work around that. Emails are convenient as a searchable offline cache as well, for the posts I want to be able to find/refer to again.

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I much prefer reading in my email rather than on Substack. I also like having my own copy of the posts so that I don't lose access to them if I ever have to unsubscribe.

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I like reading in dark mode and clicking through to the website doesn't let me do that, so it would be a (very slight) negative to force me to do so (I can then click through to the Substack app, but haven't had great experiences there yet). To be clear, that's possibly outweighed by the improvements of me reading the edited version; I don't know substantial those changes tend to be.

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A brief rejoinder here to the entire sequence of discourse. Quick & dirty thoughts, so pardon the abrupt ending and narrative-setting link embeds. https://www.jdhaltigan.com/p/discourse-that-caught-my-attention?lli=1

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I always make it a point to visit the actual blag (gotta pump those click-through numbers!), but do occasionally get really bored and read-from-inbox on my phone. Much preferable to visiting Substack on mobile or using the dreaded Substack app. So my preference would lean towards continuing to do Whole Term Post Insurance. (Also it gives you more opportunities to the the.)

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Has anyone read a bunch of loner manifestos (e.g. the Unabomber) and written a book or blog post comparing them? I would be interested to read it. I'd like to know which manifestos are most interesting and if any of them are worth reading sections of.

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Substack is a distracting website. Being able to read your posts by email is useful to me, because it means I don't need to pull up Substack and then inevitably get sidetracked onto other pages that use up my time.

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I much prefer having a copy of the full post in my email.

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I, along with several friends, read your email newsletter. We're in a yeshiva that only allows email access, and switching the format would prevent us from reading ACX during most of the year. I appreciate the web versions, which I often find myself saving as bookmarks, but would be kind of stuck if you stopped emailing full posts.

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Please continue sending the whole post via email.

I appreciate having a full archive of all your writings in my email, just in case you ever need to delete your blog again. (I genuinely appreciated that time you accidentally mailed the entirety of SSC to all subscribers!)

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Please keep sending emails with the full text.

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Please continue to include the whole text in emails. Its so convenient to be able to read on any email connected device, even low data or async devices. The option to click through to the web version is always there, it would be a significant loss to be forced into less optionality.

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Generally use RSS and thus the website to read. Ironically today I clicked the link in the email because it popped up right when I was in Gmail anyhow.

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Re 'go to site' links: the site is often very slow to load (with hundreds of comments), so reading in email is nicer. Would it be possible to hide comments by default?

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Hey!

I read your articles via email and would appreciate if you continued sending the whole article via email. It's much more comfortable for me.

I will say that allready now, anyone for whom it is very important not to miss corrections in the article, can click on the title and go to the online version. So you will not be adding functionality, only reducing it.

Thank you!

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I strongly prefer being able to read the posts in email format vs. having to click through to the site. A few reasons:

* Being able to read the post in my email reader even when I don't have good data

* Being able to move through my newsletters quickly in one place without having to open separate tabs for each

* Cleaner & more focused in my email client (Superhuman) than on the Substack website

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https://twitter.com/IAPolls2022/status/1754163261769969745

To the extent this NBC poll is accurate, it seems like Trump has a very strong advantage in many of the most prescient issues. I can't help but feel Biden will need a dramatic improvement if he wants to win.

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I often read full ACX posts without leaving my email inbox

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Feb 5·edited Feb 5

What do you do when there are rational reasons to be depressed - suppose chronic deteriorating or even terminal disease with little if any chance of improving?

Assume the bases are covered (healthy food, exercise as possible, meditation).

Munch SSRIs and hope they work?

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I was talking to a company last week that are do vocational education mostly in South America. Since they end up talking to governments and charities anyway to raise funds for their programs (which are free for the accepted students), they were very interested in the idea of impact certificates.

Who should talk to? Who are the gurus of impact certificate projects? Outside of ACX grants, are there any interesting groups doing impact certificate projects at the moment?

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I like reading your posts in email format because it lets me avoid the extremely slow Substack web page. Also I find black text on white background easier to read. (I could use Reader mode, but it deletes section headings.)

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author

------------------MIDDLE EAST CONTAINMENT SUBTHREAD------------------

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