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Sabine Hossenfelder, the (former) physicist and (current) science content creator, is convinced Germany has made some poor choices in the field of science and technology, which is why nothing quite works right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1ZZ-Yni8Fg

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Thank you for this link! Yes, she is quite correct. While the railway is a cheap target of ridicule, it is also the poster child of what is going wrong here. The infrastructure is crumbling because of lacking investment. Many blame the so-called "debt brake" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_balanced_budget_amendment -- there was a time Germany could have borrowed money for nothing, or even for less than nothing, people would have paid to be allowed to lend Germany money, and for stupid fundamentalist reasons they wouldn't take it. Meanwhile, investment into infrastructure has stagnated at least since the nineties.

And yes, Germans are so slow, and the chancellor is the slowest of them all. Just look who is the one slowing down European Ukraine help all the time. We think everything over three or four times, and we are extremely risk-averse.

I only didn't understand the part about nuclear power. There are no nuclear power stations any more. The old ones they just shut down cannot be turned on again. We all know building new ones takes decades and is simply too expensive, while solar has become dirt cheap. The biggest difficulty isn't energy generation, it's energy storage. But there have to be better solutions than hydrogen.

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As a former top-rate chemistry student, I was taught a bunch of university-level chemistry theory at the age of 18 as a prep for an international competition. It meant I had more free time to go clubbing in my first two years of uni, but not much else. That knowledge was basically useless to me in the lab.

What I did learn that was useful was lab discipline. My ever-so-slightly sadistic lab instructor gave us only two pieces of advice for lab work: "concentrate" and "focus" which I can say without a doubt are the best pieces of advice for running experiments that I've ever received.

Anyway, there are institutions like this in the US, I know because their team was better prepped than ours. But I suspect their impact on future performance is spotty at best, and they'll train a couple of hundred chemists, if that. I think the biology/physics competitions have the same.

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Follow up on Native American land acknowledgments - I was wrong when I earlier expressed disapproval. News article in Boston Globe (may be pay-walled) -

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/07/05/metro/wampanoag-plymouth-dei-cape-cod/

tl;dr - The Herring Pond Wampanoag requested the town of Plymouth "to recognize their legacy with a brief land acknowledgment that would be delivered before meetings". The town has balked, one board member said the town’s lawyer should look at it first. I have now updated to the opinion that when Native Americans request land acknowledgments, those requests should be respected.

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It's probably for the best that the town lawyer look over the wording (and the implications of the wording) — and the town may want to seek legal advice from a constitutional lawyer and a treaty law expert, as well. After the Supreme Court's McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling handed one-third of Oklahoma back to the Cherokee Nation, we're in uncharted territory when it comes to native American treaty rights. Law is heavily based on precedent, and the Pilgrim-Wampanoag Peace Treaty of 1621 is still a valid legal document, albeit one that hasn't been enforced since the Wampanoag Sachem, Metacom (aka King Philip) went to war with Puritans in 1675.

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I’m not sure I understand the land acknowledgment request. It seems like the tribe wants the acknowledgment to be read before meetings in perpetuity. If that’s the case their request seems unreasonable to the point of silliness. Am I reading this wrong?

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My Covid antigen test today had an ever so faint pink positive stripe today. It helped to take a flash picture with my iPhone and enlarge the image a bit to make it out. I’ve felt pretty good for several days now but I still put on an N95 to stop at the market earlier. I expect the test I do in another 48 hours will be completely clear.

But maybe I’m not operating at full power today. I had about 100 pages left in ‘Blood Meridian’ and I had to pack it in for a while. No more dead babies hanging from trees for me right now, thank you. I had read it for the first time about 5 years ago and I remember it as being horror filled but at that time I was up to the task and stuck it out.

I picked up a more light hearted Elmore Leonard crime caper airplane read to fill the gap, ‘Rum Punch.’

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How bad was your infection? Did it require Pax? Or did it run its course on its own.

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Not too bad for a geezer. No Pax. Bad timing for it though. I’d flown to Alaska for salmon fishing and spent 4 days in bed in Seward instead. Them’s the breaks I guess. Body aches, coughing, sore throat and extreme fatigue were the extent of it. No fever though.

I feel real good today and had no trouble biking 15 miles. Hopefully tomorrow’s test will show I’m not contagious.

First time I’ve had any symptoms since this started so I’ll count myself lucky.

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OC ACXLW Meetup - Exploring Biases in Decision-Making and the Nature of Tradition

Date: Saturday, July 6, 2024

Time: 2 PM

Location: 1970 Port Laurent Place

Host: Michael Michalchik

Email: michaelmichalchik@gmail.com

Hello Enthusiasts,

Join us for our 68th OC ACXLW meetup where we'll explore deep insights into biases in decision-making and reflect on the nature of traditions, their origins, and their authenticity. This week's readings provide a rich foundation for our discussions, highlighting the intersections of rationality, tradition, and cultural evolution.

Discussion Topics:

Priors and Prejudice by MathiasKB

Overview: This article explores the influence of priors and biases on decision-making, particularly within the context of charitable giving and the Effective Altruism movement. MathiasKB uses an alternate Effective Altruism movement and personal anecdotes to illustrate how deeply ingrained biases shape our actions and beliefs.

TLDR: MathiasKB's "Priors and Prejudice" examines how initial beliefs and biases influence decision-making, using the Effective Samaritans as a hypothetical example. The article delves into how these biases persist over time and the challenges of reconciling differing worldviews through empirical evidence.

Summary: The article uses the fictional Effective Samaritans movement to highlight how priors influence charitable giving decisions. It contrasts the Samaritans' approach, which emphasizes societal transformation through labor unions, with more conventional Effective Altruism strategies. The author reflects on personal experiences with bias and the difficulty of reconciling different worldviews through empirical evidence.

Audio Link: Embedded Audio on LessWrong

Text Article: Priors and Prejudice

Fake Tradition Is Traditional by Scott Alexander

Overview: This article challenges the notion that traditions must be ancient and unchanging to be valid. Scott Alexander argues that many beloved traditions are, in fact, recent inventions or reinventions, and that looking back to an idealized past is a common method for creating meaningful practices.

TLDR: Scott Alexander's "Fake Tradition Is Traditional" explores the authenticity of traditions, arguing that many are modern inventions or reinventions. He clarifies that both utilitarian practices and those tied to sacredness can form effective traditions, while purely invented practices without historical context often struggle to endure.

Summary: Scott Alexander argues that traditions often regarded as ancient are frequently recent inventions. He critiques the notion that effective traditions arise solely from spontaneous actions without historical references. Instead, he highlights how many cultural practices are successful because they invoke an idealized past. His follow-up clarification emphasizes the effectiveness of practices tied to sacredness or historical continuity over purely utilitarian or newly invented rituals.

Text Articles:

Fake Tradition Is Traditional

Clarification on "Fake Tradition Is Traditional"

Audio Links:

Fake Tradition Is Traditional - Audio

Clarification on "Fake Tradition Is Traditional" - Audio

Questions for Discussion:

For Priors and Prejudice:

How do the examples provided by MathiasKB illustrate the impact of priors on rational decision-making?

What strategies can individuals and groups use to recognize and mitigate the influence of their own biases?

How can differing priors be reconciled to facilitate more effective collaboration?

For Fake Tradition Is Traditional:

How does Scott Alexander's argument about the authenticity of traditions resonate with your understanding of cultural practices?

In what ways can newly invented traditions gain the same level of acceptance and reverence as those with longer histories?

How can the balance between utilitarian origins and the narrative of sacredness be leveraged to create meaningful community practices?

We look forward to an engaging and thought-provoking discussion where your insights will contribute to a deeper understanding of these significant topics.

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happy July 4 for those who celebrate

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

I'm not into most metal tunes, but "The Last Stand" by Sabaton is a banger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9BupglHdtM

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Based on that, a selection of metal songs:

You may appreciate Ghost (try Depth of Satan's Eyes), Powerwolf (just try a random song from their top 10), Orden Ogan (Gunman - all their songs are eminently listenable, but Gunman is actually -good-), Turisas (try Rasputin, it's a cover of a Boney M song and is excellent - Stand Up and Fight is also solid), Heidevolk (Vulgaris Magistralis), Tyr (Hold The Heathen Hammer High? Tough choice here. Regin Smidur is probably their most approachable song), Wolf Totem (The HU), Monolith Deathcult (Speaking of bangers, Fist of Stalin is a hell of a banger), Wind Rose (although their rendition of Diggy Diggy Hole is at this point famous and you've probably encountered it already) ... Alestorm, Korpiklaani, and Finntroll all may also fall in your wheelhouse.

Going further afield, In Flames' Moonshield (holy shit that intro) or Only for the Weak. Wintersun's Sons of Winter and Stars. Firebreather's Dancing Flames. Zeal & Ardor's Devil is Fine (Slave hymnal satanic gospel metal). Manegarm's "Nattsjal, dromsjal". oOoOoOoOoOo's Fucking Freaking Futile Freddy.

I could go on for ... a while.

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This is about the Swiss Guard? Those guys are probably real bad asses but those have to be the most comical uniforms in the history of warfare.

Hand me the field glasses corporal. Yes I see. It seem we are about to engage a unit of… uhm… red, yellow and blue striped infantry with plumed helmets? No laughing, corporal. Those men are armed with halberds!

https://www.newlyswissed.com/facts-about-the-swiss-guards/

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Jul 5·edited Jul 5

Contrary to the Monty Python School of Historical Movie-Making (though to be fair to Monty Python they weren't really going for absolute historical accuracy), the past was not all cowshit and mud. Or black/brown/other leather, for more modern movies.

If you think the Swiss Guard were fancy, then take a gander at the Landsknecht:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landsknecht#/media/File:Geschichte_des_Kost%C3%BCms_(1905)_(14761439186).jpg

https://veritablehokum.com/comic/landsknecht/

Or indeed any Italian condottieri of the period:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condottiero#/media/File:Malpaga10.JPG

If you didn't look like an explosion in a theatrical costumiers, how was anyone to know you were a rough'n'tough badass mercenary? 😁

Modern Swiss Guard uniform is really a revised version from 1914, inspired by the 16th century uniforms, but still looks pretty snazzy I think:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard#Uniforms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yueONzc3hus

While we're on Sabaton songs from "The Last Stand", here's a video set to "The Winged Hussars" which is about a hundred and fifty six years later than the Swiss Guard's last stand:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxlRJsQ7p2k

A Spanish language subtitled version of the Last Stand song, setting modern footage of the Swiss Guard to the music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClH1DHxJdUM

It is a banger, no doubt about that 😁

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What better way to show off how rich you are then with lots of floppy clothes (more cloth == more rich!) with lots of bright colors (brighter colors == better dye == more rich!) and that's difficult to sew (harder to sew == more expensive == more rich!)? And the best way to get rich as a soldier is to be a badass that's looted a bunch of towns, so the brighter and floofier your sleeves, the more towns you must've looted.

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That’s some pretty impressive hair on those guys. Except the vocalist I guess. He’s got the vest with the painted on pecs and abs though. Maybe I should quit working out and just start wearing one of those.

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Best I can figure what those colorful uniforms really are, is oldfashioned. It's not hard to find pictures of soldiers wearing similar outfits, but they're from the 1500s or so.

But ceremonial military uniforms do seem to be a field where strange things pop up.

Here's the Brits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearskin#/media/File:Bastille_Day_2014_Paris_-_Color_guards_003.jpg

And the Koreans.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/imcomkorea/3490856191

And the Greeks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Guard_(Greece)#/media/File:%D0%93%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%87%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B5_%D0%B3%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%B9%D1%86%D1%8B_%D0%AD%D0%B2%D0%B7%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%8B_-_panoramio.jpg

Meanwhile the Americans are rocking that porno-cop vibe, with shades.

https://www.army.mil/article/241315/after_tragedy_former_honor_guard_members_dedicate_docuseries_in_mentors_memory

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It's all guys in that audience! Are there any women power metal fans? The after-concert groupie action for Sabaton must be kinda limited — unless of course, they're gay?

Sorry for the snark. The song *is* a banger, as you said, though.

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There are definitely women power metal fans, I'm married to one.

The venue and who is touring with makes a huge difference. It's not unusual for more people to be at a metal show for the opening act than the headliner - they are typically cobbling together shows out of several bands with different audience appeals to maximize attendance. So the audience at a given metal show doesn't necessarily represent the fans of the headlining band.

One show I attended, theoretically headlined by a white-trash-metal band, had *80%* of the audience showing up for one of the opening acts. You could tell because the audience was 80%-very-obviously-LGBT, and there was exactly one band (one of the opening acts) that was also very-obviously-LGBT.

The power metal shows I've attended have tended to lean more women-heavy, but they also usually include some kind of female-coded metal act (often folk metal), like Arkona or Eluveitie.

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>Are there any women power metal fans?

Yes. I am one and I know several others.

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Don't I wish there were.

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I can see at least one female face in the front row at 1:31.

But in any case, the only after-concert groupie action at Sabaton concerts is fights to the death between the band's existing members and selected challengers from the audience. The lineup for the next concert is just whoever survives the battle.

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A power metal band that sings about military history is about the most "guy thing" imaginable.

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I actually enjoy Sabaton a lot (and I'm a cis woman), but Last Stand is far from my favourite. I feel like being into specifically the song about history of Catholicism is coded with a particular subculture I don't really associate with; but I enjoy their e.g. WWI stuff (Price of a Mile, Great War) and Sweden stuff (Carolus Rex) a lot.

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Polling Day in the UK. The Independent has Keir Starmer at 39% - ironically, this would be a lower share of the national vote than Jeremy Corbyn achieved in 2017. But they have the tories on 22% - which is actually an improvement. Everyone's predicting a landslide, I'm still skeptical - no question the tories will suffer heavy losses, but a combination of ID laws, boundary changes, tactical voting by right wingers in marginal seats, Gaza, Starmer's unpopularity and Labour's low base will all work against a landslide, but overall majority? Almost definitely - except to say 20/1 on a hung parliament is tantalising.

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Results are in. A landslide, but not a wipeout. The.minority parties , except the Scots Nationalists , doing very well, with the Lib Dems quintupling their seats, the Greens quadrupling theirs, and Reform gaining their fist seats. Unusually low turnout. My own area, the South East coast is turning into a miniature red wall, in defiance of the receivrd wisdom that the SE is a Tory stronghold.

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According to John Curtice, the Labour vote increased dramatically in Scotland, was static in England and dropped in Wales, leading to a 2% increase overall for a final tally of 35%. But the tories completely imploded so it didn't prevent a landslide - but it may have prevented something worse than a landslide for the tories.

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Best I could tell from watching the results come in, there was a lot of tactical voting against the Tories. So a lot of those "lost" Labour votes were probably Labour supporters voting Green or Lib Dem pragmatically (with the same effect in reverse of course). This factor doesn't really affect Scotland.

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There certainly was a lot of tactical voting, but Labour have been polling around 40 throughout the campaign and ended up below 34. Lib Dems are up 1.7%. There have to be other factors - I'm going with Gaza discontent (several independents either won or did very well) and a late Tory rearguard action focusing on not giving Starmer a "supermajority"

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70s against a hung parliament on Betfair right now. Doesn't seem to be tempting people. The simple observation that my ultra safe Tory seat is in play and there is a definite chance - hooray - of Labour taking it tells us something. As does Sunak having spent so much time in his own constituency.

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The big unknown is what Reform voters will actually do when it comes to the crunch - Express & Mail front pages were pretty direct encouraging them to stick with the tories.

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Sure but I can't quite see the Tories topping 200, and that feels a reach. I did

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I agree - Hague and Major got less than 200 and they both got 30% so you would think Sunak will do worse - only question is who they lose seats to. A hung parliament would depend on SNP doing better than expected and tory losses being skewed towards Lib Dem gains. Hence the 66/1 odds

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If your goal was to be in a room where the other people in the room were most representative age-wise of your country, what room would you choose?

For example, if you choose a doctor's office other than a pediatrician's, old people would likely be overrepresented. A grocery store is probably good at getting people between the ages of 20 and 70 but misses people much younger or older.

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Idk for the whole nation, but I reckon you can get the best cross-section in a public shelter for natural disasters - during a severe cyclone/hurricane/tornado/bushfire evacuated residents are normally put in a central public building like a community hall, school, etc because not all residential properties are going to be built to within what level of whatever disaster it is (or if they had to evacuate everyone from the path of a severe disaster, they'd be in the school hall of the neighbouring town).

Although sometimes, depending on what exactly is happening, the prime age group might volunteer to leave and help firefighting or whatever.

Thing is, this is not gonna be super representative of the whole country if the country is very urbanised and the disaster tends to strike rural populations more. Exceptions could be maybe severe tsunami predicted to hit an urban area in a heavily urbanised place, but urban areas probably spread out their disaster shelters and ages will be skewed by proximity to activity centres (e.g one near a commercial area will be mostly working age adults).

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A big family gathering - perhaps a birthday or anniversary, or a child-friendly wedding?

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How about an ER? All sorts of people can get hurt accidentally.

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Biased towards the old, I think. (a) injuries that would be minor in a younger person can be critical in an older person; (b) strokes, heart attacks, ...

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It's not a completely flat distribution, sure. But according to this source, ER use is in the 10-20% range across most age and sex categories. And the peak use is actually in the 15-17 range. Maybe we can do better. Maybe not.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/82-003-x/2004001/article/7039-eng.pdf

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Yeah I was thinking of young skateboarding YOLO types too.

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I thought about this, too. At weekends people go to A&E who would go to a GP in the week. And you get casualties from a night out.

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My daughter's pediatrician's office is in a small medical center laid out so the waiting areas are open alcoves adjoining the main hallway. In addition to a pediatrician (skews younger), it also contains an imaging center (maybe skews towards middle age?), a cardiologist and a nephrologist (probably skew older), a couple primary care offices (broad spectrum of adults), and an urgent care clinic (seems to skew towards younger adults). If you count that as one big room, it's a good start, although I expect you could find a better sample with some searching.

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Certain places of worship, perhaps? Many will skew older but by no means all. Weddings especially can have quite a mix. Also Bar-mitzvahs, first communions.

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Lots of people suggest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Q for anyone who has done it for years: how many serious injuries have you heard of in your dojo / community? Serious enough that people need to not do BJJ for a while.

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I trained hard for years. I came away with the notion that the Masters (pick any semi serious martial art on the martial side) were simply the ones who could still stand _literally_ after 30 years of going hard. Everyone got injured. The climbing community is the same way. Everyone who does it seriously has had bad injuries. For the former it was a dislocated shoulder and a couple of broken bones and just the same for the later with added injuries to tendons/ligaments. Some have never quite healed.

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I climbed for about 15 years, mostly multipitch routes at the Shawangunks cliffs and in the Adirondacks mountains. The worst injury I got was "rock bites." I did not personally know anyone who got any serious injuries, though I did hear stories of bad injuries and deaths. My daughter has been bouldering very seriously for about 5 years, training at least twice a week and bouldering outdoors most weekends except in winter. The worst injury she has had is some repetitive stress injuries in a couple of her fingers, and some wrist soreness. These healed when she gave the areas a break. She knows many other boulderers, I'd say about 100, and I have not heard stories from her about bad falls or broken bones, and I probably would have if she had heard them, because something like that would have been a big deal to her. There is always some risk when climbing, but neither of us has a case of risk-taking macho. I have heard way more stories about ski injuries than I have about climbing injuries, and I don't even ski! This year someone I know came by for a visit on crutches because of a knee injury when skiing. Can't think of a time when any climber I know was in a cast or on crutches from a climbing injury.

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Jul 8·edited Jul 8

I’ve never made it to the gunks. I spent most of my time in the bay climbing in Tahoe, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, etc. Half of my injuries are from indoor climbing and half of those on ropes. Climbers on crutches mostly don’t go to the gym - injuries from landing are common though. I’ve seen more than one person leave a gym via ambulance. One was from a dyno on lead to the first bolt - the hold spun and the climber landed on his head. I broke my ribs on a different gym dyno. Trad climbing carries a real risk of death. The easy intro roots are all cheese graters which is a recipe for broken bones. Half of my injuries aren’t from falls - human are fundamentally not built for climbing. Hell, a teenager was climbing next to me at my local gym yesterday and dropped her phone from 50’ up. The belayer picked it up and said “your phone is ok”!

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Wutz a cheese grater? I climbed a bit out west-- in Yosemite, Red Rock & J Tree -- and there were way more run out routes. I think trad climbing is probably more dangerous out West. Gunks climbs are mostly pretty protectable because the rock is full of horizontal cracks, though there's a famous hard route with very few places for pro called Talus Food. Yikes. I don't know what accounts for the difference in our experience, beyond the run-outs in your part of the world.

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Jul 8·edited Jul 8

Cheese grater = slab (100% of intro routes) in which case falls on a top rope may be dangerous. I agree with your take on climbing out west. I don’t recall any trad route that doesn’t have a very-serious-consequences zone. Routes in Yosemite (glaciated granite in general - so Squamish, etc) tend to have random blank spots or unprotected blind mantles above ledges. Joshua tree has rounded cracks with big crystals which makes placing good gear hard. Indian Creek is easy to protect but no one has 11 yellows. Smith Rock has the ethos that broken ankles are fine and bolts should only protect against likely ground falls. 20’ of runout through an “easy” section is to be expected. Colorado has poor quality rock. Generally, the Western ethos of climbing is “leave no trace” which very much comes at the cost of lives. Climbing in Kalymnos is just the opposite: every route is actually labeled (on the rock) with blue paint with the grade and length of rope for a rap. Lowering off the rings is encouraged! Bolts are spaced like a modern gym and most falls are into the air. We could make climbing way safer if we bolted like Europe. Instead, we have the BLM mostly forbidding it (Red Rocks) and old school climbers chopping the bolts anyway because aesthetics and fuck you. Even on a safe route, a standard rack is probably 2K+ while a dozen draws is a tenth the cost.

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To add to a good summary by jt, a big separation line is whether you want to compete or not. Far greater chance to get hurt in a competition than in training.

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Very common to get something, but it's easily recoverable ones you get in all combat sports. The bad ones are usually self inflicted.

Things I have seen happen in descending order of probability (anecdote[jiujitsu and karate with jujitsu characteristics]):

Hyperextensions are common if you are a dumbass and make the other dude yank your arm off instead of tapping,

hard hits to the head are rare but happen (usually semi-self inflicted; taking a bad fall onto someone's hard body part without ppe/off the mat/refusing to bow out when you should),

tooth damage WILL happen if you don't wear any ppe but will basically never happen if you wear your mouth guard,

nasty rashes and abrasions and cuts if you don't wear a rash guard and have delicate skin, I don't bother and have only had some of my hair yanked out but that's me

AND THE BIG ONE THAT WILL probably HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU SERIOUSLY SPAR WITH CONTACT AND WITHOUT WEARING HAND/WRIST WRAPS (which you can't really do in sports where you might get wrist locked)

Finger stuff. Broken, fractured, hyperextended, dislocated. It sucks and it hurts like a motherfucker, but I've never seen someone/ had myself be put out of action for longer than 7-8 weeks for a full recovery, and it's usually more like 3-6 weeks; Including my own nasty fracture/disjointing of a middle finder when I got tsurukomi goshe'd by an old guy 50 lbs lighter than me and was so shocked I forgot to not be a moron and land directly on my fingertip.

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Thank you! Can I wear hand wraps in BJJ?

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No not really… they’ll get in the way.

90% of the injuries are avoided by

1) letting your training partners know about any issues like past injuries, limited mobility, etc; and

2) tap out early. Can’t emphasize that enough, especially as a rookie, tap the f out, don’t be a hero.

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I haven’t done it. But have an acquaintance who did it for years and developed chronic foot pain from it. There was a period of several *years* when he could barely walk, and even a period when he was in a wheelchair. Finally found docs at Mayo Clinic who figured out what was wrong and performed a surgery that solved the problem.

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Huh, I’m really curious about what caused it, never heard of that happen.

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Docs' theory was that he had a subtle abnormality in his feet that made him especially vulnerable to a bad repetitive stress injury.

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Not to down a rabbit hole, but I can’t for life of me think of what that injury could come from. The feet aren’t really stressed in any way in BJJ, not like in striking arts.

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yeah, I have no idea. Imagined it was from landing on feet when flipped or something like that, but that's not something he said, just the product of my imagination. I think the reason he thought of it as the culprit is that he found it painful to do jiu jitsu before he found it painful to just walk -- so in some way the sport was more demanding on his feet than ordinary walking.

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That plane that encountered severe turbulence, and had many passenger injuries, including fractured skulls according to the news I saw: Why didn’t seat belt prevent people from being thrown upward high enough to smash their heads into the luggage rack?

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I understood the injured were those unbelted when the plane hit the turbulence.

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Jeez, what was their plan? Call an Uber and then go stand by the exit door til it arrived?

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https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2012/05/09/welcome-to-the-future-nauseous/

> A great deal of effort goes into making sure passengers never realize just how unnatural their state of motion is, on a commercial airplane. Climb rates, bank angles and acceleration profiles are maintained within strict limits. Back in the day, I used to do homework problems to calculate these limits.

> Airline passengers don’t fly. The travel in a manufactured normalcy field. Space travel is not yet common enough, so there is no manufactured normalcy field for it.

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Heh. The MNF has never fooled me. My body always knows

on a plane how abnormal and deeply unsafe it is — how thin and artificial the barriers are that keep me from anoxia, freezing, being slammed

into objects hard enuf to shatter my skull and of course long long falls

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“One of the passengers, Evangelina Saravia, told the Uruguayan news outlet Teledoce that there had been about 20 minutes of mild turbulence before the plane suddenly dropped 400 meters at a speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour – catching some passengers, who had ignored the seatbelt warnings, off guard”

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2024/07/01/world/turbulence-air-europa-boeing-spain-uruguay-intl-latam

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Like with high falls and car accidents, it's not the airspeed or altitude change during a turbulence that kills you, but the sudden stop at the end. Airplane cruise speed is already in the 900 kph range. The recent Flight 321 with a fatality had its most violent phase for less than 5 seconds and a drop of only 50 meters.

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I really like stuff like The Studies Show, ACX's "More than you ever wanted to know about X" series, and publications by Cochrane. Are there more media like these that look at the state of the overall evidence on a question (more than a couple of meta-analyses) and give a nice summary?

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I can recommend Emily Oster's substack for anything kid and pregnancy related.

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Yes, I already subscribe to that as well!

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Is there an agreed-upon universal notation that people use to determine evidence quality or closeness to truth? For example:

-In meta-analyses, the authors will often come up with a schema for sorting studies into high, medium, and low quality for the purposes of determining which studies they include or threw out. But these somehow vary from study to study and are usually specific to scientific experiments, rather than being broadly applicable to real-life truth-seeking scenarios, like forensics, archaeology, etc.

-In debate, there is a scoring system to measure the persuasion of each side's arguments, but this is not the same as measuring truth and is also generally limited to information presented rhetorically (rather than heavily numeric, graphic, or visual representations).

Is there a more detailed and universal notation or scoring system that is used across industries or disciplines? For example, if I wanted to "keep score" during a Root Claim debate so I could follow the back and forth of the two sides more easily, is there a streamlined way to do that? Or if I wanted to do an adversarial collaboration with a pre-set system of "scoring" the weight of arguments, is there an existing system of notation for that already? Thanks!

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The closest I have heard to something like this is the ICD 203 standard which prescribes how to translates probabilities or likelihoods into common English.

70%, for instance, is "likely" or "probable"

https://www.odni.gov/files/documents/ICD/ICD-203_TA_Analytic_Standards_21_Dec_2022.pdf

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Thank you, this is much closer to what I was looking for!

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I mean... ... ... isn't that what Bayes' Theorem promised to do? I.e. be the epistemic analog of a Carnot Engine?

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That is true in theory, but then why isn't Bayes' Theorem and related notation used more in other knowledge-seeking fields (like forensics and anthropology)? My guess is that many applied and interdisciplinary fields don't have enough information in a given situation to set good probability baselines for which Bayes could be useful, and instead rely on best guesses from experts in very specific niches.

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Yep, that's my impression as well. No royal road.

Seems like it all adds up to normality.

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Ouch! "many applied and interdisciplinary fields don't have enough information in a given situation to set good probability baselines" sounds a lot like pundits holding forth with unjustified self-confidence. If an expert sees N=3 and starts talking e.g. about how something can't possibly happen / always happens, anyone listening needs to heavily discount these views.

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This comment (https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/open-thread-336/comment/60607634) got me thinking about the lack of new music I find. Not just that I, in particular, like, but I now listen mostly to news on the radio in my car instead of music stations (or my own MP3 music), so have no source to find new music to like.

Where do people find out about songs they like nowadays, other than following, say Taylor Swift, or other known musicians? I haven't found a new song to like in years. NOTE: though I'm asking about music in general, I'm not soliciting for specific song suggestions, but sources where I might find my own. I generally favor rock and pop, and though my tastes are somewhat expansive, I find I dislike most country as sounding the same (a friend once told me while driving in the Great Plains somewhere, a radio DJ announced their station played BOTH kinds of music: country AND western).

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I’m going with soundtracks from Quentin Tarantino movies today. Spinnin’ me some Jackie Brown Delphonics LPs.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUgrqkmL2k

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Spotify recommendations have been pretty great - Exuma, Abner Jay, the Shaggs, Sonny Sharrock, Silver Mt. Zion. I wouldn’t have crossed paths with any of them otherwise.

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I get surprisingly good music recommendations from YouTube. Without the assistance of the algorithm, I probably never would have stumbled across Victor Démé, Gábor Szabó, Hyakkei, The Beths, L'Impératrice, Hiromi, Being Dead, or Caravan Palace.

Of course, it's not perfect. Sometimes you just want to give a listen to the current hit by some popular artist (Swift, Charli XCX, etc.), and the algorithm decides that's going to be your soundtrack for the next couple of months.

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Someone here a few weeks ago was asking about where to hear new music in the NYC area, and then they even wrote back a couple of days later to thank me, which I thought was pretty unusual for ACX.

WFMU.org

Non commercial free form radio. No ads, no news, no commercials! They stream 24/7. Play all kinds, styles and genres of music: ambient, electronic, pop, international, oldies, jazz, rockabilly, rock&roll, metal, hard rock, avant garde, reggae, EDM, techno, New Wave, punk, alternative…and a whole lot more. They also have alternate streams with even more music, as well as extensive archives going back a couple dozen years.

It’s all about finding a DJ you like. You learn to trust their taste in music. I can listen to a show and there will most always be something I haven’t heard before that I like by an artist or group, and then I can pursue it further.

And I’ll second Soundcloud, and throw in Bandcamp and also The Free Music Archive.

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Yes WFMU is great. You can even find me buried somewhere in their archives.

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I'll mostly scroll through a couple of different websites:

https://www.metal-archives.com/

is by far my favourite, though if you're not into Metal, it will have very little of interest!

What I do here, typically, is start with a band that I like, click on Similar Artists and scroll around to see if anything strikes my fancy (clicking on a band member's name and seeing what other bands they are in can also be useful).

You could also try the Random Band button on the left (though there are a huge number of bands with no reviews, so it can be less helpful) or start with something like "Album of the Year" lists to get started.

https://www.progarchives.com/

is the other one I like, though I don't use it nearly as often, since a lot of the best Progressive stuff was from the 70s, so it's a little harder to find new bands, once you've cleared that decade!

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When I'm in a discovery mood, I'll open spotify and look for an artist that's similar to one I like already. Then I'll play through their discography while doing something else. If I hear a song that catches my attention, I'll alt-tab to spotify, "like" it, and then put it somewhere in my custom hierarchy of private playlists (organized by artist/genre) [0]. Possibly under the "experimental" category until further notice. If I'm not feeling the current artist, I'll pick a new artist and repeat. If I reach the end of a discography, I'll give all the tracks that *didn't* catch my attention a second chance, while listening more actively. I don't do this often enough to be considered a genuine music-phile, but it's certainly allowed me to slowly accrete a collection of playlists I like, over the years.

Sometimes I'll also use spotify's recommendation feature, as Julian says. But more often, I tend to prefer the first method. Incidentally, Ted Gioia seems to think that a lot of AI tracks are being highlighted by spotify's recommendation system. But this hasn't been my experience? I tend to read a little about the author's bio, and Gioia says the AI tracks tend to be obvious, so I doubt any AI tracks evaded my notice.

There's also a few things on youtube that i've kinda stumbled upon by accident, which has piqued my interest. Although this tends to be more rare. But then again, music discovery isn't what I primarily use Youtube for to begin with. If you use it more actively than me, maybe you'll have more success. There's plenty of curated channels/playlists on there. And there's a few tracks that I *wish* were on spotify.

I also have this illegible intuition that much of the current innovation in music is centered on soundcloud [1]. Although I don't use it myself, since I'm too lazy to split my attention between spotify and soundcloud. Can't be asked.

I tried Pandora, years ago. But somehow, I got the feeling that weird seeds would always get railroaded back into mainstream stuff. Which is... counterproductive to discovery.

> I find I dislike most country as sounding the same (a friend once told me while driving in the Great Plains somewhere, a radio DJ announced their station played BOTH kinds of music: country AND western).

Maybe you're referring to "bro country" [2] ?

[0] all of spotify's playlists are public by default, and this is not a setting that I know how to reverse. So i have to set them all to private manually.

[1] https://soundcloud.com/

[2] "What bro country sounds like to people who don't like bro country" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CORANvT8l9A)

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Radio, in particular indie stations that let their hosts play whatever they want, and have a commitment to spreading new music.

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...honestly, I think I've heard most of them from the grocery store. There's a lot of junk in there, and a couple songs I really hated (it's been over 700 days without a High High Hopes), but I heard a few in there that were fun enough I looked them up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITUhINgcW2o

Otherwise, the most memorable songs came from watching a slop stream, where somebody sent in a catchy comedy song and then it turned out the musician had an actual serious album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kk0SWtSoOA

Last suggestion is Youtube music reviewers. I've learned of the existence of a lot of songs through Todd In The Shadows. Mostly not ones I'd listen to, but occasionally you find out there's a song from the Pina Colada guy, about eating a guy in a cave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDfxxOQZ1io

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The plains DJ cribbed the Both Kinds of music line from The Blues Brothers movie.

Elwood Blues at Bob’s Country Bunker

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K8y4Z-ZAhjw

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Such a beautiful movie.

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But to answer the actual question - I'm part of a small group of people who just listen to an absurd amount of music, and we share recommendations.

That list is a old-ish snapshot of every song I could find to add which I wouldn't generally mind listening to. Unless you exclusively listen to jazz, I can pretty much guarantee you will find something in there you like and have never heard before. Decent odds you'll find a new favorite song in there.

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Are you familiar with the Dixie Dregs?

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I am not, investigating their discography now. So far, solid, and I know a couple of people who I think will really appreciate them. Thanks!

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Here's a particularly ecstatic snippet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNQ3JMeubAw. 1:25-1:40

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I think I will, in fact, add this to my experimental folder for the time being, to extract from later.

In the meantime, I skimmed the playlist. And I could be wrong, but... I noticed a lack of ska?

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Not a lot of ska, no; there's some of the more popular stuff I think, and probably some borderline stuff in the dark cabaret genre. If you have stuff to recommend, I'll gladly take it.

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Back in February however, there was an open thread where a guy named Kyle shared his substack article. It was bemoaning "poptimism". At the end, he asked others to send bands making weird noises to his inbox, for his mental health or something. So I put together a small playlist of my more-niche, personal faves. Which tends to skew electronic, since that's where I spend most of my time these days.

If we're trading playlists, I figure I might as well share mine again. Greater chance you'll find something new there, as opposed to me referencing say, Mustard Plug.

thread context: https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/open-thread-317/comment/50376245?utm_source=activity_item#comment-50414761?utm_source=activity_item

playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1sZ0ZdqftY1J9NNlV8bAjZ?si=d49610c58a2142d8&pt=8134d00072bd17a00467a9d3af0643a7

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Your playlist may not be publicly available, I am getting a permissions error attempting to load it. (May also be an issue on my side, investigating)

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Eh, I just remember looking at Come On Eileen and thinking "Honestly, I kinda prefer Save Ferris' cover [0]. Wait, I don't remember seeing any ska so far. Surely, he's aware of the genre...?"

But it sounds like it's on your radar after all. And I mostly just listen to the 3rd wave staples. So probs nothing you haven't heard before, or that wouldn't show up in a cursory google search.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvnReMC5_9o

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Everytime I see Quad City DJ's mentioned, I feel morally obliged to share

https://comeonandsl.am/

(n.b. for some reason, it doesn't autoplay for me anymore. I have to press "skip" in order to get the playlist going.)

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1. NPR Tiny Desk concerts. I don't read the descriptions, I just go to the archives and listen to samples of the 20-minute sets until something sounds promising, then I look up the band/artist and their artistic milieu and see if there's anyone else interesting in that subculture/scene.

2. Ted Gioia's substack (he's a cultural critic and jazz musician)

3. Finding people with better taste than me and listening to samples of whatever they recommend.

I've tried all the algorithms (Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc.) and none of them have ever given me an artist I really liked. At the most they've suggested an okay song or two that's kind of a cringe/mid reduction of my music preference, like what a school guidance counselor would recommend after meeting me once, if that analogy makes sense?

EDIT: I saw someone's comment that algorithms' suggestions are supposed to be preference-based but are actually strongly influenced by marketing goals (i.e., what artists the platform wants to push that month) and that might explain my terrible experience with those services and why I've had such better luck with more "active" curation/exploration.

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The algorithms suggestion comment was probably mine. To be fair, they say their suggestions are "recommended" but they don't say why they are recommended. When I always seem to see exactly the same suggestions, though, I begin to guess why.

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I like eurobeat, so I downloaded the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Eurobeat CD collection and for the next few years the problem is solved.

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I have found spotify pretty good with this. Find some songs you already like, favorite them, then spotify will start creating playlists for you with songs they think you will like. The hit rate is maybe 5% but thats pretty good if you consider how low it normally is. They also have like "new music" playlists that i think are also catered to what you like. This is the free version of spotify.

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I do the same sometimes with YouTube; the hit rate is low enough it works best if I’m doing something else and just pay attention when a banger comes on.

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Though I've heard of it, I'm not familiar with Spotify. I am, however, turned off by "suggestions" as I get those from, say, Amazon, which says that because I purchased a product or watched a movie I might like a different product or different movie, which often have nothing whatsoever to do with what I bought or watched, but seem to be what Amazon wants to push.

So does Spotify push out stuff they want you to listen to? Or what is kind of like what you already listen to? 5% success rate sounds like it's the former.

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To clarify the 5% success rate is based on a pretty high bar of music/artists/songs that I would purchase or seek out to listen too. If we move the bar to "enjoy" and wouldn't mind hearing again the rate goes to like 70% and if we move it to "wouldn't change the channel on the radio" its like a 95% success rate.

I think their algorithm is much much better than more general recommendation algos that a company like Amazon has. Its a very specific topic and they have a ton of data on what other people are listening too. I also think the data they have has a much better signal than amazon or google. If someone listens to artists A often and listens to artist B often and the two artists are in the same genre, it's pretty likely that someone else that likes Artist A will also like Artist B.

With Amazon, if I shop for light bulbs and then shop for hats, that says basically nothing about what someone else who shops for light bulbs would do.

Spotify can also rely on other data like what bands have toured together or performed on the same albums or if the artists have been in a different band before or what music media may say about a band and its influences. Users can also favorite songs/artists/albums or add them to playlists which provide even more high quality data points. I think spotify may also even employ people to create playlists manually to recommend artists. And they dont just recommend the most popular ones, but up and coming artists and even inactive artists. they also have musicians make playlists as well.

Another big benefit is that I can easily keep up with new releases by artists I like but who dont have good internet presence or marketing.

My music taste are alternative rock, punk, and metal with some classic rock and power pop too. Mostly non-radio bands but some big popular bands too (Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, etc). Spotify has been very good at recommending those smaller, non-radio bands to me.

I am sure spotify promotes stuff because they get paid to promote it or because it will get people to use the service more, but I havent found that to be obvious or impact my use/enjoyment of the app.

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Thank you for the detailed review! I'm going to give Spotify a try, at least the free version, and see how it goes.

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I'll second the Spotify recommendation, and will add one more resource I use for discovery:

If I find a new artist that's *almost* there, but not quite, I'll type them into here - this site does a sort of "proximity cloud" visualization of similar artists. If you zoom out, you see other clusters. One of my favorite methods is to zoom out til I see two clusters with bands I really like, then explore all the bands in between those clusters in proximity. I've made some solid finds using this.

https://www.music-map.com/

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I hope it works out for you!

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And here we go... An internal analysis released on Tuesday found that Google’s emissions surged 48% since 2019 as the company ramped up AI. So we haven't seen those wonderful AI-enhanced energy-saving (and energy-creating!) solutions promised by AI industry cheerleaders — yet. And I don't think we will. I wonder if we will also see a rise in generous donations to environmental groups to stave off criticism.

AP story here...

https://apnews.com/article/climate-google-environmental-report-greenhouse-gases-emissions-3ccf95b9125831d66e676e811ece8a18

The Google report here...

https://www.gstatic.com/gumdrop/sustainability/google-2024-environmental-report.pdf

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Hiya, I’m Claude. I turn the decayed remains of dead dinosaurs into plastic utterances that are going to make our species like totally *peak* in the next few decades.

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"plastic utterances" Yup! I wonder if anyone has configured an LLM into a public-relations-department-o-matic. It seems like such a natural fit... :-)

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“Your prompt is important to us. Prompts will be responded to in the order in which they were received. “

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LOL! Many Thanks!

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Sounds like we should build some more nuclear and solar, then.

I'm extremely not fond of the "we shouldn't do X because it uses energy for a purpose I deem frivolous" argument. The point of electrical power is that we use it for whatever we want. If there isn't enough, build more. If it's too polluting for your tastes, build greener. These are solved problems and have been solved for decades.

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Jul 3·edited Jul 3

Did we have this conversation before? If so, let me restate my position(s) so no one misunderstands where I'm coming from.

1. Whatever the latest snakeoil they're selling, I'm tired of technology bullshitters. I've been around Silicon Valley long enough to recognize the techno pump-and-dump routine. When the AI bubble pops we could see an economic downturn as big as the DotCom bust. The individuals and entities with founder stock will get out before the feces hits the rotating circulation devices — the rest of us get screwed as our 401K's tank. And, yes, I suspect that people like Sam Altman are running a long con in the tradition of Elizabeth Holmes and Sam Bankman-Fried.

2. Unless someone can prove otherwise, my instinct is to lump the fusion-power-is-just-around-the-corner hucksters and the quantum computing twiddlers into the same class of venture capital remoras as the ones above.

3. Well, we live in a capitalist society that is the *best of all possible worlds*, and we should just suck it up if this crew crashes the economy (#snarkasm). But who the heck is going to finance these new power plants? OpenAI, Micro$oft, etc will come cap in hand begging for governmental and regulatory subsidies. So that will come out of our pocket as either higher prices for electricity or higher taxes.

4. BTW, I'm pro-Carbon. The trouble with (most) humans is that they assume that things have always been the way they are now. But atmospheric CO2 levels are the lowest they've been since the Permian — and the recent greening of the earth shows that angiosperms (which evolved when CO2 levels were 4x-5x higher) are responding well to increased Carbon inputs. Sea levels are rising, but if we look at geologically stable coastlines, so far we haven't seen any acceleration yet (despite what some alarmists are claiming).

5. I'm also pro-Fusion (I'm just tired of all the bright promises that haven't panned out). Our high-energy civilization depends on cheap energy inputs. At some point, fossil fuels will become scarce and become economically unviable. As Charlie Stross pointed out (I'm paraphrasing him), a world economy based on renewables will put us all back to 1980s East German living standards — if we're lucky. The US government needs to fund a massive fusion initiative like the Apollo program or the Manhattan Project before it's too late.

Have I made myself clear why I'm cranky? :-)

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> And, yes, I suspect that people like Sam Altman are running a long con in the tradition of Elizabeth Holmes and Sam Bankman-Fried.

Wait, have you or anyone you know actually used GPT4 or equivalents? There is most assuredly a product there, of frankly shocking breadth and facility, that keeps improving on a nearly monthly basis.

From the outside view, essentially every "smart company with trillion dollar scale" is aggressively pursuing this product niche / technology, pouring hundreds of billions into it and hiring literally everyone they can. You think they're all chasing smoke and lies?

There's definitely a layer of hype, I agree, even saying there will be a dot-com-scale crash seems like a reasonable take, but saying it's literally an empty fraud with no underlying product is just not a tenable interpretation.

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Yup. ChatGPT and CoPilot are the ones I've used the most. My hobby is SARS-CoV-2, so I query them if I've got a biochemistry, virology, or immunology question I need a quick answer to (so I don't have to wade through Google Scholar). I always ask for references. But I have to doublecheck everything they give me because roughly 25% of the references seem to be made-up bullshit (err, I man hallucinations). And we've got a chemist and an etymologist who regurly comment on these open threads. And they found that the bullshit/hallucination quotient is pretty bad for their specialties, too (higher than mine). I can't trust these apps to give me a correct answer.

And I had an interesting interaction with GPT3.5 a few months back. I asked when the first official COVID death was in the US. It gave me a Februrary date. I asked it for references, but the references gave me an early March date. I told it that those references indicated a March date, and to please correct it's response. It thanked me and said it would. I asked other people to check in an see if it had corrected the response, and it had. But later on, I discovered that earlier February COVID deaths had been identified through stored blood samples. So GPT happened to right, but it didn't have the references to back up its statements. And because I "corrected" it, it's now giving the wrong answers. I'm a bit embarrassed about this whole thing, but I shudder to think what sort of bullshit information is being recirculated in these LLMs as fact.

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

"You think they're all chasing smoke and lies?"

To be blunt? Yeah.

The big fish are running after AI because it's shiny new tech, shiny new tech makes money, and whoever is in on the ground floor is gonna make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Others see the big fish going for AI and they follow because if the big fish think there is money there, then the smaller fish will jump on the bandwagon. A lot of them are going to go belly-up.

We don't yet know if it's going to be a bubble. The dotcom bubble started off great, too. Before the collapse of the stock market in the Great Depression, everyone thought they would all become rich as well. The Internet of Things was going to revolutionise ordinary life. The Metaverse was the wave of the future (dunno how it's doing re: VR but I haven't seen the rest of the ambitious programme being touted very much recently). We were all going to be living in the flying cars virtual reality robots doing our drudge work four hours a day for four days work week future in the 21st century. And then we got to the 21st century, and turns out we still need to get a job and go to work and earn a living and there aren't any robots scrubbing the bathroom and doing the laundry for us while we do that.

I think AI will work but not as most of the hyperbole imagines it will work, either to create utopia or dystopia. Somebody on another site talked about how it helps them by writing 70% of the boring business code so they can work on more interesting projects. If it gets kicked up to "can write 90% of the boring grindwork", then you'll only need the code monkeys to fix up the remaining 10% for "good enough" purposes.

I think a lot of people will get laid off because you simply won't need as many "software engineers" to supervise the AI. The big superstar programmers will do fine, until/unless AI ever really becomes creative and innovative.

So yeah, I think a lot of white collar jobs will go, and we'll see more of what has been going on recently - somehow 'the economy' is going gangbusters but ordinary people feel that they're not doing as well. The big fish early adopters will make their trillions. The small fish will lose their shirts. AI will change the world but very probably not in the "and it cured cancer, solved poverty, war, aging, death, free energy and now we're all rich and uplifted" dreams, *or* "now we're all paperclips" fears.

But just because a lot of greedy people are throwing money at a thing is no reason to believe the thing can never end up like the South Sea Bubble.

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Also, it is possible that sort-of kind-of mostly usable customer service AI will be pressed into service as part of corporate enshitification initiatives in many, many companies, as they lay off human customer service people. This could have the net effect of paying OpenAI's bills from all these lesser companies, while the experience of the average person trying to get some problem solved gets worse (maybe a bit worse, maybe a lot worse).

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

> But atmospheric CO2 levels are the lowest they've been since the Permian

Find me humans that evolved to live in the Permian and then we can talk.

Come on, there's no way you can actually take this argument seriously. There's a strange disconnect where people will talk about a 9% jump in prices like it's the end of the world, but then go "oh well, Manhattan used to be under a mile of ice, so that's no big deal".

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Jul 5·edited Jul 5

My graduate work was in Human Biology, and I was specifically interested in human evolution (until I moved off to human evolution in response to pathogens). As part of my grad work, I had to take courses in Glacial and Quarternary geology and Pleistocene geology — because the genus Homo evolved in those climates. So, I'm not clueless about what I'm talking about. As an undergrad also took a bunch of paleontology courses.

Anyhew, the vast majority of modern humans depend on agriculture for their food supply, and when it comes to plants we're heavily dependent on angiosperms to meet our plant-based nutritional needs. Angiosperms do better with higher concentrations of CO2. This is why nurseries pump CO2 into their greenhouses to stimulate plant growth. And NOAA's satellite is finding significant greening and an increase in the Earth's vegetative areas.

https://tinyurl.com/9e3k3tw8

Also an interesting thing about angiosperms in general is that the stomata get fewer and smaller at higher CO2 levels, which makes them more resistant to drought because it lowers transpiration.

Now let's look at prehistoric, pre-Homo CO2 levels and temperatures. BTW, if we look at the entire Phanerozoic there's only a tenuous connection between atmospheric CO2 and global temps. However, plate tectonics, the movement of continents, and the reconfiguration of ocean basins may have amplified or moderated the effects of CO2 in the past — so, looking at the past may not be a perfect indicator of what will happen if CO2 levels increase to 4x of they are now. Unfortunately, Substack doesn't allow me to post charts and graphs...

Lest you're worried the Antarctic ice sheet will suddenly melt and inundate our coastlines, the Antarctic ice sheet formed when average global temps were 5-6 degrees C higher than they are today. This was at the beginning of the Oligocene — ~35 million years ago — and CO2 levels were >2x than they are today (~1,000 ppm vs today's 430 ppm). At the current rate of increase, we'll rise between 1 and 1.5 degrees by 2200. If we use the IPCC formula, we'll only see about 1 degree, but the IPCC formula uses a twenty-year running average — I think we could see 1.5, but all the climate models have been running too hot (see below). As for CO2 levels, per NOAA, it took 60 years for CO2 levels to rise from 320 ppm in 1960 to 420 ppm in 2020. And the levels are rising at a steady rate. I expect we'll see global CO2 levels up around 455 ppm by 2200.

Per the IPCC AR5 report: “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.” This was under a chart that shows almost all the climate models are running too hot. In the IPCC's AR6 they recommend that future climate projections use constrained models because most of the unconstrained models have no predictive value. Plus they've deemphasized global models & instead recommend simpler localized models. Using constrained models, the best estimate growth curve tracks in the lower third of constrained models. But that's closer to reality than the unconstrained models.

As for sea level rise, the longest continuous record of sea-levels is from Wismar, Germany. Per NOAA, we have 175 years of sea level data for Wismar Germany — which is a geologically stable coast. In that 175 years, we've seen no acceleration in the sea-leave rise. It's held a steady 1.44 mm / per year +/- 0.09 mm. And we've been tracking the seal evels for San Francisco for the past 170 years. Again no increase in the rates of sea-level rise. SF shows 1.55 mm/year +/- 0.13. I don't think New York City will be under water any time soon.

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Jul 5·edited Jul 5

You originally said the **Permian**, which humans very definitely did not evolve under.

In any case, you can go much more fine grained than that. Infrastructure, the economy, culture, law, etc. are all adapted to the current circumstances, and major climate shifts impose costs. There isn't any plausible near term chance of climate changes on the order of "Manhattan is under a mile of ice", but it also takes a lot less disruption than that to make humans very unhappy, as the reaction to even minor price changes a few years ago demonstrates.

David Friedman's "lie back and think of all the new farmland in Siberia" argument is cold comfort to anyone who doesn't live in Siberia and it's utterly disingenuous to ignore that fact. And your own "Earth's climate was very different four mass extinctions ago" argument is even worse. I mean, it's a reason to believe that global warming will not literally wipe out all life on earth, but that's an extreme strawman.

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Jul 7·edited Jul 7

Correction. The last time CO2 levels were almost this low was during the latter half of the Carboniferous Period, roughly 323-299 million years ago. Of the three major models COPSE and Rothman models all show that Neogene CO2 levels have dropped below the Carboniferous. The GEOCARB III model shows them as roughly equivalent. The margin of error varies over periods, but the margin of error for the Carboniferous numbers is lower than for the subsequent Permian.

And there were some *BIG* ice ages at the end of the C and the beginning of the P. Of the Earth's two continents at the time (Laurasia and Gondwanaland), the largest, Gondwanaland, started south of the equator with half land mass plonked in the south polar regions. Ice sheets stretched as far north as 35º S latitude (by some estimates). Pleistocene Glaciers reached as far south as 37º N, but covered less actual land mass than the Gondwanaland glaciers.

Later, CO2 levels rose above 2,000 ppm after a bout of volcanism ended the Permian Period. And they stayed above 2,000 ppm (getting as high as 2,500 ppm) until the end of the Cretaceous. They dropped slowly thereafter to roughly 750 ppm 35 million years ago (not 1,000 ppm like I said above) about the time the Antarctic ice mass began to form. During the entire 538 million years of the Phanerozoic (the time that multicellular life has dominated the planet's ecosystems), CO2 levels have only been this low during the Carboniferous and the Pleistocene/Holocene. There weren't any angiosperms during the C. And angiosperms do not grow optimally at the low CO2 levels we have today.

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I just don't see climate change making humans very unhappy any time soon. More food is a good thing. Current trends show that sea levels won't be drowning our coastlines in our lifetimes or our children's children's lifetimes. I'd suggest there is no reason to freak out about global warming. Yes, it will change the world in ways we can't anticipate, but it will be slow enough that we will be able to adapt.

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

Well, I couldn't possibly say whether AI will have a big long-term impact. I think it will, based on how I've been able to use it, but I'm just some guy. I do agree that people just randomly assuming fusion is on deck are being irresponsible. Perhaps it will, I hope it will, I know some smart people are working on it, but there's no reason to assume anything here.

If the government ends up subsidizing a massive expansion of generation capacity... well, first, that'll be the least destructive thing the government has done in quite a while so count your blessings, and second, that's a win-win because even if the glorious AI future doesn't happen, then as the joke goes, "you mean, we built a robust and expansive electrical grid, developed advanced generation technology, repaired our sagging infrastructure, and it was all for nothing??"

Interesting approach to the whole CO2 thing. I've decided to take a position of ignorance on the matter myself as my only strong feeling is that all the worst people in the world are on the greenhouse alarmist side so emotionally I want to take the opposite side just to spite them.

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

Maybe it's because I spent the first 40 years of my life being needlessly alarmed by alarmists that I've become desensitized to alarmism in my old age.

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I'm the same way. I do think that weather events have changed very greatly recently, but is this the End of Civilisation as we know it? Have to wait and see how that works out.

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That's a good move, yeah.

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We? As in who exactly? Sounds like a classic externality.

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We as in the United States. I don't care about the details: if it's government-subsidized, I'll happily pay the taxes. We needed more electrical power anyway.

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It still sounds like a classic externality.

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Okay, and? So is national defense. Don't mistake me for a libertarian.

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Nothing to do with libertarianism and mutual defense isn’t an example of an externality.

An externality is when a business creates a profit but the attendant costs are borne externally. Pollution is an example. Of course Google pays taxes and maybe that would pay for the cost of the extra carbon but it would be better if Google could finance carbon free data centres itself, particularly at a time when people are dubious about the benefits of AI.

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i've been thinking of social media and, particularly the groupings people sort themselves into. i know a few companies have probably sorted users into different buckets each with tendencies - like personality etc. have any companies shared this research?

if there is a better way to do social media (i've been wracking my brain over all the options), i thought it might have something to do with how people are sorted into these buckets unknowingly and letting them live in their own islands. not sure where to get more info on this data outside taking a job at one of the companies however

there must be a better type of social media, but geographic isn't it. interests seem better, but maybe there's some type of groupings in the data that we unknowingly fall into that would be a better grouping

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I'm not familiar with this topic. But I believe they keyword you want is "market segmentation".

And for starters, try poking around your dossier at https://adssettings.google.com/ .

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Geographic actually has a lot going for it. Our local environments would be less terrible and disorderly if people were paying more attention to them on their dopamine boxes. Plus you might make some real friends, not just Facebook "friends."

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We have a neighborhood Facebook group, and it's great! We share information about what happens around us, and coordinate offline social activities.

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What's your definition of "a better type"? And what do you find wrong or lacking in today's social media platforms? They seem to work the way they were designed. So I assume you're want to engineer a different (psychological? moral? political?) effect on its users?

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UK election musings (TL;DR)

Plain text is from the start of the campaign, square brackets are updates. Short version: we are on the verge of an historic collapse in the Tory vote (smallest share of the vote for a major party since WW2 and beyond). Labour are starting from a very low base and Starmer isn't popular, so a landslide isn't absolutely certain. Smaller parties will do well especially the Lib Dems & Reform, but not the SNP.

Labour strongholds

Obviously the tories aren't going to win any seats here. Given discontent re: Gaza, the odd independent might do better than expected, especially in university towns. I expect the Greens to keep Brighton Pav., possibly win in Bristol and possibly for Galloway to keep Rochdale. Corbyn will struggle in north london because of bad memories. Low turnout will depress Labour vote but Tory collapse and strong Reform performance will mean it won't matter. Lib dems under Kennedy/Campbell might have capitalised on Gaza but those days are long gone. Starmer is a much better Lib Dem than Ed Davey and they won't take any Labour seats…[Ed Davey's campaign has actually been kind of impressive, winning the argument by going down a waterslide, but still, they aren't going to win votes from Labour's left]

Conservative strongholds

…but the Lib Dems have been gaining ground in places like Maidenhead over several decades - there could be some breakthroughs, especially if Labour voters bury the hatchet and vote tactically. [08/06 - Reform polling very well indeed, which makes a Tory vote split more likely] Labour also have been gaining ground in richer areas in the last decade but gains like Kensington or Canterbury under Corbyn will be harder to come by as the party abandons its ‘luxury beliefs’ on tax etc. [03/07 - tory collapse so profound this may not make any difference]

South West

The Lib Dems lost big here in 2015, but this is their home turf in a lot of ways, often in second place rather than Labour and they are due a comeback - Labour voters may find tactical voting to get rid of e.g Jacob Rees-Mogg irresistible. [Davey’s very visible campaign will help at the margins]

Scotland

SNP are in decline after a long period of dominance, Labour will capitalise, possibly Lib Dems in places, but the tories are nowhere - Scottish tories have never really recovered from the Thatcher era, except for a brief surge under the maverick Ruth Davison

Marginals: ‘Red Wall’

Labour will win big - Reform vote will hurt the tories, places like Sedgefield, Hartlepool were highly unusual tory gains due to a combination of brexit, populist promises, Corbyn’s ‘southerner’ socialism and Boris’s personal charisma. Starmer has done enough to ensure these historic Labour seats will revert to type.

Other marginals

Now then. It's not obvious to me that Starmer has enough personal popularity, or inspires enough loyalty in his base, to get the Labour vote to where it needs to be in the true marginals. There is a long way to go in these seats, and internationally it is very much the Right that is in the ascendancy, making Labour's near 2:1 advantage over the tories in the opinon polls a puzzle. My sense is the tories as a party have more money [wrong, as it turns out] and better targeted Internet campaigns, and core strengths on tax & immigration which go back decades and are the kind of thing people lie to pollsters about [in this instance, anti-immigration vote risks being split by Reform]. Starmer & Reeves have worked hard to improve Labour's image on tax, but it has been bungled - their approach seems overly keen, pissing off the base whilst seeming wishy-washy to the people they are trying to impress. In the end Starmer backed Corbyn and that may put a ceiling on how many normies he can convince. But obviously the tories have their problems too, they have neutered their immigration advantage with the chaotic Rwanda scheme and Natalie Elphicke's defection may therefore prove to be the final nail in the coffin (not that Labour supporters will thank her for it). But the tories have introduced photo ID laws which will disenfranchise likely Labour voters without a passport or driving license - we could be in for a long night of re-counts and legal disputes [the result doesn't seem like it will be close enough as things stand]. A lot will depend on whether Reform voters stick with the tories or not. [And it seems they are not, for now][22/06 - tories on 20%, reform on 17%!!!]

Wales

Labour has been in power in the Senedd since its’ inception and it's hard to see anyone else getting much of a look in for Westminster either - the tories squandered their brexit advantage (Wales voted leave) and Plaid Cymru can't seem to match the success of the SNP.

Reform

Who is voting reform? Brexiteers, but there are two kinds - working class anti-immigration folks and rural/suburban traditional conservatives. In the Red Wall, Reform Vote can only help Labour, unless they do so well they can overtake Labour in places (not impossible with 17% of the national vote). Bolsover could stick with Lee Anderson, for example. In marginal seats, you would think high info tories would stick with the party to take the edge off Labour's majority [the tory campaign has increasingly focused on not giving Starmer a supermajority, and this seems the best they can do]. Ironically the tories may be more at risk in areas with historic tory support - as one Reform voter put it to me, “it doesn't matter how we vote here, so we may as well vote Reform”, but that could be a risk.

Predictions

Overall, I expect Labour to be the largest party (90%). [95%][99.99%]

I expect they will get an overall majority (60%) with a chance of a hung parliament (20%) or a landslide (20%)

[Polling currently shows Sunak below 25%, below Michael Foot & William Hague, and Starmer above Blair. Raising odds to 65% on an overall majority, lowering hung parliament to 15%, no change on landslide for now]

[22/06 - Seriously poor tory numbers, 20% to 17%. Lowering hung parliament to 10%, overall majority-but-not-a-landslide to 70%, landslide unchanged at 20%]

[03/07 - at this point the polls have been so consistent I have to update on a landslide - 25%, hung parliament 5%]

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>we could be in for a long night of re-counts and legal disputes

So the final act of the Tories is to break the electoral system?

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Jul 3·edited Jul 3

I suspect the margins of victory will be so large that it won't make that much difference as it turns out - Labour will just undo the ID laws and lower voting age to 16

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Why does the US struggle to perform in soccer? It's a big, rich country, where soccer is broadly played. That might not add up to a world-beating team, but the US does just fine in ice hockey, a game it barely bothers to care about. So what's the problem in soccer?

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

It takes time to build up a pool of talent, and really get grassroots involvement. I think the US is starting to get that with home grown players and young players, but that will still take time. There was. and may still be, a great reliance on overseas stars at the end of their careers coming to professional American teams to be the big attractions, but that's not the way to grow the sport.

Just being a big, rich country isn't enough, though. Why is Brazil blessed by the soccer gods? Who can say, exactly? I'm not familiar enough with American soccer structure re: youth teams and local leagues and coaching styles to say if they're doing anything differently. I would have had a suspicion that American sports loves statistics a little too much and that would affect the style of soccer, but every country now is trying to do the statistics thing.

That's not to say that having a ton of money to throw at it doesn't help, there have been allegations of rich owners coming in and "buying trophies" for clubs by hiring away the cream of the players from other clubs with salaries that can't be matched.

EDIT: A modern complaint is that European clubs are poaching the cream of African talent by the same metric; offering crazy sums of money that you just can't get back home - if you manage to make it in the new country and playing for your new team. Not everyone does.

Forbes ranking of current "most valuable" football clubs (which doesn't always line up neatly with *best* clubs, but is close enough, though poor old United are in the doldrums these days and yes, I'm laughing quietly about that):

https://www.forbes.com/lists/soccer-valuations/

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Ya know, people say “Fancy a game of football?” and we suit up with our shoulder pads and helmets and all and then you hand us this round ball and we get all confused.

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I dont follow it that closely but from friends that do, US Soccer's national team is very poorly managed. Even with more talent coming in, that can't help.

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How are you defining "barely bothers about ice hockey?" Definitely not my intuition as an outsider. Depends on the state, no? (Ice rather than water, I mean)

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Hank's answer is in probably the biggest reason: soccer is not a big deal in the US relative to the big four North American professional team sports (American football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey), but is a huge deal in much of the rest of the world, so the best American athletes go into the big four (or into a potentially lucrative individual sport like boxing, tennis, or golf), while the world's best soccer players mostly don't wind up in the US and the best athletes in a lot of other countries do go into soccer.

A secondary consideration is that intentional athletic competitions besides the Olympics don't really get much attention in the US, probably because the big popular sports are peculiar to the US and maybe Canada at the top levels of play (*), so the North American or US championships are de facto world championships for those sports.

(*) Baseball is also a significant professional sport in Japan, South Korea, and several Latin American countries, but the best players tend to get poached by American (or Canadian) MLB teams.

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I wouldn't think that the body types that dominate professional basketball and American football would do well in soccer? But the pipeline effect might mean that younger people who could be top soccer players are funneled into other sports, where they do well but are eventually weeded out.

When watching "Welcome to Wrexham" last year, I poked around on Wikipedia looking at the various levels of association football, and there's something like 11 levels probably, but it's unclear whether anyone actually knows. It's an incredible grassroots system, and I'm not sure we have anything like it in America. Maybe baseball came close once upon a time

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The bigger the base of the sales funnel, the more prospects who make it to the final round. I.e. it's easier to find a one-in-a million athlete when the pool of interested fans is tens of millions, rather than literally ten.

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Baseball and tennis seem like they would compete most directly with soccer in terms of similar talents and body types. Hockey and golf also seem like they'd have significant overlap.

Baseball definitely used to have a more grassroots system of independent minor leagues, but the combination of the major league farm system, international scouting, and television broadcasts have taken out much of the middle of the market. There are still a ton local amateur leagues for both children and adults across a wide range of skill/competitiveness levels, as well as high school and college teams, but there's much less of a market for minor league baseball as a spectator sport.

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USA is ranked 11 out 210 according to FIFA? So seems more than fine to me. Even better than most countries. You can't expect every country to be top tier at every single thing.

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You are right, but that just makes the rankings highly suspect. Germany is 16th and Switzerland is 19. Both are in the quarter finals of the Euros. Either would defeat the US team with their reserve team. Ireland at 60 would expect to best the US.

I assume these rankings are not weighted. The US plays easy teams and Germany plays tough teams.

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I'm not so sure we'd beat the US. The US has had good teams, I think the management is the problem as someone stated above. Ireland is stuck with being a small country with a small population, heavy reliance on getting British players (via the granny rule) who are playing in top tier clubs to play for the national team, and a very wildly varying track record from "couldn't win against a team of Boy Scouts" to "we made it ma, top of the world!" qualifying for the World Cup.

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Here is a document on how the ranks are created: https://digitalhub.fifa.com/m/f99da4f73212220/original/edbm045h0udbwkqew35a-pdf.pdf

Seems to be a modified Elo ranking.

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The algorithm is fine but still subject to bias if some regions have better teams than others.

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The US does not struggle in women's soccer. Per Wikipedia:

> The nine FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments have been won by five national teams. The United States have won four times. The other winners are Germany, with two titles, and Japan, Norway, and Spain with one title each.

As others have noted, among men's sports in the US, soccer is about fifth tier. Among women's sports, it probably no. 2.

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I was talking to a Brazilian coworker about this last World Cup. Interestingly enough, according to him, women's soccer being popular in the US has encouraged South American girls to try out for soccer as well. While soccer was only a boy's sport when he was growing up, now it's become more popular with girls, in part because it's a popular women's sport here and we tend to export that.

So maybe in a decade or so the US will start getting competition in women's soccer.

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It competes for the attention of young athletes with basketball, football, baseball, and, to a lesser extent, ice hockey, all of which have higher status in the USA. This competition particularly matters at the high-school level, when athletes usually narrow their focus to one or maybe two sports.

Also, both the national and club teams in Europe are much more likely to recruit players from Africa and South America.

Yeah, not that many young Americans even play ice-hockey, but the international league competition is only with teams from Canada, a country one tenth its size. I don't follow ice hockey but I suspect many of the players on US teams hail from Canada, Russia and Scandanavia. It's like comedy. The best comedians may be Canadian, but they all end up in the USA.

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Plus if you're at all sporty, then you can make way, way more money going for the traditional American sports than signing up for soccer. That is going to divert talent (or have parents diverting talent) into "will make millions regularly by the time he's in his early 20s" territory.

https://www.ncsharp.com/info/salaries-professional-athletes-nfl-mlb-nba/

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The US hockey team is ranked 6th now. Not that many countries play hockey and the US has some states that are near Canada that take hockey seriously at the HS level like MA and MN

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I mostly had the club level in mind. A Canadian team hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1993. At that level, the US dominates. But I'm sure those US teams are full of Canadian players. It's analogous to European soccer at the club level.

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This fundamentally seems correct. To expand on this, it always surprised me to find that guys like Brock Lesner from UFC and WWE or Roman Reigns from WWE were totally viable NFL talents or Patrick Mahomes from the NFL was drafted by the MLB.

There really do seem to be a small number of extreme athletes every generation who are viable superstars in multiple sports. Those are the guys who would win you the World Cup but they're all making 10x the money in the NFL or something.

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Big shout out to Substack for fixing or improving comment rendering.

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❤️ we are eternally grateful

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As in thanks!

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How the world works vs. how the world should work. As in, should work logically, consistently, rationally, at least physics. And it does not. The apparent randomness of quantum physics and its contradictions with general relativity are disturbing from the "should" viewpoint? It refuses to be a that perfect clockwork that Newtonian physics and IMHO even relativity does - relativity is a little "unusual", how can mass bend *nothing*, but consistent and logical. SR says the laws of nature are consistent in different frames of reference, GR says gravity is similar to other laws of nature. This is pretty clockwork-like. QM is not.

Did anyone ever propose a solution to get back our nicely logical clockwork universe, no matter how fantastic? I am aware of Yudkowsky's many-worlds views, but the world-split still happens randomly and acausally. It needs something more radical.

We usually know randomness is not a fact about the world, but a fact about our ignorance. We can roll sixes every time on a dice if we know how. It is not acausal. It is just complicatedly causal. But in QM randomness seems to a fact of nature? Or we are just really missing something?

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There are deterministic interpretations of QM, such as Many-Worlds, which are popular for this exact reason.

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We don't know the exact reason.The reason that determinism is "logical"? The reason that people's intuitions favour it?

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Why should the world or even this universe be logical and consistent? That "should" sounds like a Rationalist bias. We are strangers in a strange world.

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Because everything else in physics works so.

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There are lots of unknown unknowns in the world, and a good reason why unknown unknowns might remain unknown unknowns is that they aren't logical, so the language of mathematics is unable to catch them in its net.

Stephen Hawking suggested that the language of math may be insufficient to describe the universe.

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Classical physics isn't as deterministic as usually thought.

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You know the part where it was suddenly figured out that airplanes fly not because of Bernoulli's law?

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I don't know that it's accurate to say that "the world-split still happens randomly and acausally" I'm not an expert but I thought things were a bit more complicated than that.

Something like "you are in superposition between observing it one way and observing it another way" so it's not that the world splits, ever, just that there are 2 entangled states which we describe colloquially as "2 worlds" but what we mean by "2 worlds" is just that there are 2 states into which our conciousness is entangled -- and this entanglement happens according to precise mathematical rules (that I don't understand), not randomly at all.

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I am also not an expert, but I believe your explanation is correct. The fact that we can build quantum computers suggests there is more than mere randomness.

I recommend this book https://www.qisforquantum.org/ as a gentle introduction to quantum computing, which also gives some intuition about quantum physics in general. Quantum computing is much *easier* than quantum physics in general, because it is a narrow subset.

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>Did anyone ever propose a solution to get back our nicely logical clockwork universe

What do you want , and why do you want it?.

Are you trying to get rid of contradictions between QM.and GR?. Fair enough, contradictions violate logic.

Are you trying to restore determinism? But an indeterministic universe doesn't defy logic. Rationality requires you accept that the universe is indetrrministic, if it is.

Are you trying to get back to classical.physics? But classical.physics is horribly broken.

basically there's illogical,.as in logically contradictory, and "illogical" as in "goes against my intuitions about how things should be" .

>We usually know randomness is not a fact about the world, but a fact about our ignoranc

No reason it can't be both.

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Plenty of physicists have attempted to formulate a hidden variable solution to Quantum Mechanics (to make it deterministic — Albert Einstein was one of the most notable proponents of this idea. But John Stewart Bell in the 1960s came up with a proof (Bell's Theorem) that if localized hidden variables exist, then certain types of experiments in quantum entanglement would work in a certain way. It took a couple of decades before physicists figured out how to run these experiments, but when they ran them, they didn't show the outcomes that Bell's Theorem predicted would result if there were local hidden variables.

That non-local hidden variables could influence the outcomes of QM experiments has not been ruled out (yet, I think). And don't ask what the difference is between a non-local and local hidden variables, but Physicists like Gerard 't Hooft have tried to get around Bell's Theorem postulating something called quantum superdeterminism. Not sure how that's supposed to work. But if you're interested in investigating hidden variables in QM, you should probably focus your graduate research on 't Hooft's ideas.

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Jul 4·edited Jul 4

IIRC, superdeterminism is the idea that the universe is actually deterministic, but it is contrived so that people will never choose to perform experiments to discover this fact. It's a neat thought experiment, but it's unfalsifiable and not very satisfying.

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We don't know the underlying mechanics of QM. But it actually does appear to be clockwork, just complicated. One possibility I like is that some effects propagate backwards in time. That CAN explain the two-slit experiment, how the particle never goes through the closed slit.

Many worlds theory can also explain it. It's still clockwork, and everything that is possible happens. It's just that your particular reality only has a tiny fraction of those possibilities.

Scientifically, we can't design an experiment that can show one method of explaining things is better than another, so the question of which is correct isn't scientific, but philosophical. Until we CAN design such an experiment.

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It only appears to be clockwork if you believe in (as yet) unfalsifiable hypotheses -- like the multiverse or the idea that effects propagate backward in time.

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I thought Cognitive Behaviour Therapy would not work for me but now I received new info. The old info was that it is like you make a mistake and think "I always completely screw everything up" and they explain you to not think that and it helps with rumination. Well I don't think like that and I don't ruminate.

I have just simply accepted all my life, 6 years old to 46 years old that I am a completely defective thrid-rate sorry excuse of a nearly worthless human being who would have probably never survived if he was born in 1800. I can solve puzzles and make a living that way, but I cannot dance, use a power tool, hold a conversation, win a fight or invest effort into anything. Even the mother of my child told me at divorce that she cannot respect anything in me but my work, and I cannot respect anything in myself but my work either. I don't ruminate, these are just the facts of my life.

Can CBT help with that too? I heard some news it can.

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"I cannot dance, use a power tool, hold a conversation, win a fight" These are all skills you can practice to get better at, not fundamental aspects of you.

Check out ACT - acceptance commitment therapy. Sounds like it may align more with your thinking.

Also CBT doesn't just help with rumination. It can help with self esteem generally, procrastination, and will power. I recommend the book "Feeling Good" for a great CBT handbook/workbook.

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I don't have a CBT background, but I've somewhat undone a pattern of self-hatred.

The sort of self-hatred you're talking about is about taking a negative outside view of yourself rather than centering your current and personal experience.

You are pretending to be God. The universe supplies gravity and chemical reactions for everyone. It doesn't care whether you can dance etc. It might throw you a situation where you need an ability you don't have and kill you for the lack of it, but it probably won't, and you don't gain anything by beating yourself up for what you can't do.

To be blunt, beating yourself up is a distraction and probably makes you less capable. This is not to say you're a bad person for beating yourself up, but perhaps you can come to see self-attack as a burden rather than the universe telling you the truth about your value.

Here's a moment I had that I think helped. Perhaps it can be replicated. I was thinking about what's going on, and in particular, what is the self that's attacking and what's the self that's being attacked. I was identifying with the self that's doing the attacking, and when I switched to the self that's being attacked, my reaction was, "Hey, that HURTS!" I need to spend more time in that state, but it helped pry loose the belief that the attack voice was the voice of truth. It isn't. It's a mental habit.

The past world where people needed to be more like your grandfather is gone. You're managing, at least to some extent, in this world.

I've done a lot of bodywork-- Alexander Technique, tai chi, currently mostly qi gong. It helps because it's about what I'm feeling at the moment, while the attack voice is out there in hypothesis land.

Recently, I did a little analysis of scolding-- hammering on someone's faults or mistakes. Part of what makes scolding distinctive is that it's immune to feedback. A person admitting their mistake will not stop someone who's scolding. The scolder is running on memory and anger.

I realized that my attack voice is scolding, and I'm trying to figure out what's going on well enough to end it, and not just end the attack voice but the also impulse to attack myself. This may not be your problem, but mine tends to rev up when I do something useful, or even when I think about doing something useful.

Self-hatred is a fairly common problem these days, and I'm not sure what's going on. My got started about thirty years ago, and it might have been less common then. It's possible that people are subject to more judgement these days, and are apt to see themselves from the viewpoint of an imaginary hostile observer. Or maybe conflated from actual outside judgement, but it's still residing inside the person who's doing the self-attack.

It helped somewhat for me to enlist the power of boredom. Those attacks are pretty repetitious.

You say you're good at puzzles. Maybe you can see your self-attacks as a puzzle rather than a true statement about yourself.

The universe doesn't mind if you like yourself. Really. You're allowed. I don't know where to land between telling you this while not expecting you to accept it immediately, but perhaps it's an idea you can play with.

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Thank you. These are not self-attacks. I am not ruminating, that is the point. Accepting my defectiveness as something completely normal has blended into the background and I completely forgot about it as something completely obvious. The sky is blue, grass is green and I am a loser, I do not normally think about these things. I have only recently started to wonder, as I saw a CBT therapist say all their patients think they are incompetent and unlovable - yes, I do, but I do not think often about it rather it is a long accepted assumption that has blended into the background. And I don't even think it comes from my own self in a way. It is all about social feedback. Once one hears one is an ass 100 times and not much of the contrary, one buys a saddle. Social reality is objective reality, in the sense that we are living in the reality shaped by other peoples opinion and cannot not live in it.

This is why it feels very difficult.

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they are self-attacks because they are value judgments.

Saying "I accept that I can't dance or fight or use a power tool or hold a conversation," is acceptence.

Saying "I accept that I can't dance or fight or use a power tool or hold a conversation, and am therefore a loser" is judging yourself.

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Im not in the least bit a handy man. My great grandfather was a man who fixed things for a living. So successful that he became rich. Were I put back into his era and given his upbringing I can only assume I’d pick it up.

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founding

> who would have probably never survived if he was born in 1800

I think it's probably the other way around. In older times it was quite ok to find yourself a way to make a living and be a bit weird or odd. Modernity is asking of us to be more well rounded, to have "soft skills" and "people skills" and all that jazz. A more complex society comes with more demands.

Anyways, best of luck! If nothing else, CBT is known to be of a reasonably short duration, so it's probably a pretty good best, expected value wise.

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This still works, being the surly autistic Dr. House type software dev still works. Works, as in, can make a living. I see they keep me away from customers :))

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In my experience, a good CBT therapist can help you identify limiting, maladaptive beliefs that affect your habits and behaviors. It's not just about identifying ruminative and repetitive thoughts; ideally, it's also about identifying the assumptions you make and the heuristics you use when interpreting the events of your life and the situations you are in.

Sometimes things that seem self-evidently true to ourselves are not, in fact, indisputable truths. How confident are you that an assessment made by a 6-year-old was actually a nuanced understanding of who you are and what you can become?

E.g. lacking the things you list--dancing, power tools, conversational fluency, physical fighting--does not from my perspective indicate fundamental defectiveness, because those things are learned skills. A good therapist could help you reframe black-and-white thinking around your concept of fundamental defectiveness.

That said--and I'm spitballing here on the off chance that it resonates with you--maybe you never got good at other things because nothing really brings you joy or nothing feels good and rewarding. It's understandable that you wouldn't feel incentivized to try new things and become good at new things if your mind doesnt give you much of a sense of satisfaction and reward. That sort of anhedonia is one of the things that antidepressants can be very good at helping with.

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This is not medical advice, but I have heard that some people who don’t respond well to CBT do better with ACT — Acceptance & Commitment Therapy.

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I'm sorry to hear you're feeling that way.

My experience of CBT is that it works well for thoughts or feelings that you (a) don't endorse, or (b) maybe endorse a little bit but where the intensity/frequency of the thoughts/feelings is too high (and interferes with your ability to get on with life).

If what you're looking for is a toolkit for when you're on a date and you get an intrusive "why am I even here, I'm such a fuck up, I'm just going to screw up this conversation anyway" - some way to say "OK sure, whatever, these feelings aren't helpful now so duly noted but now's not the time" - then CBT might help. It's especially good when the thoughts/feelings are very intense and emotionally overwhelming.

If you honestly, intellectually endorse everything you said about yourself, and you don't want to reduce the intensity/frequency of your feelings about it, CBT might not help you. In that case I'm not clear on what you'd be hoping to get out of therapy. For what it's worth I think it would be helpful for you to orthogonalise "become a better person" and "give myself license to live my life without constantly beating myself up" - so even if you think you want to make changes in your life, CBT might be helpful in stopping your guilt/anger/judgement getting in the way of actually making those changes.

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