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curi's Microblogging

This is a thread for me to post stuff that's smaller than a blog post. You can reply and discuss here but don't start your own topics here. You can do that in Open Discussion or at any relevant post.

Elliot Temple on September 13, 2020

Messages (212)

Yesterday i read 8% of The Case Against Education

it argues the value from edu is at least 1/3 signaling and the author suspects >50%, mb 80%

he says 3 types of signaling: intelligence, conscientiousness, and conformity

IQ tests only cover the first, so not good enough

employers want diligent workers who are team players and put up with boredom

he says if someone makes it thru school it signals at least: good in 1 trait + ok in other 2

he’s an academic. Bryan Caplan. kinda libertarian but non-Austrian economist. flawed guy. friends and colleagues with Robin Hanson.

he says other professors have disagreed with him a fair amount re edu but not minded. he hasn’t been attacked as a heretic.

i believe that was his experience. i think he’s treated differently due to his social status and he gets away with stuff, and most ppl, including academics, can’t get away with it.

curi at 12:42 PM on September 13, 2020 | #18007 | reply | quote

A lot of people are bothered by some things I do in conversations. They try to be tolerant and charitable, and avoid derailing the discussion, by trying to ignore it. But this makes things worse when it's something I do on purpose instead of an occasional accident. What happens is I keep doing it (because it's not something I'm making an imperfect effort to avoid doing) and then their patience and tolerance wears thin. They get fed up with it. They assumed it was bad and that I knew it was bad and only did it by mistake. They never considered giving reasons they think it's bad and discussing it rationally. And now that they've run out of patience, it's too late to discuss it (because they don't have the patience for that).

So people sabotage discussions while trying to be helpful/tolerant/etc. To get along with me/FI better, they need to say things they don't like and talk about the disagreement. If they aren't comfortable doing this the first time, that's fine, they can do it the third time, that way there's a recurring pattern but it's still before they run out of patience. (If they're an impatient person they might run out of patience on the first, second or third incident. That's hard to deal with. But better people might have enough patience for 5-10 incidents, so then discussing it after the third will work well.)

curi at 1:08 PM on September 20, 2020 | #18084 | reply | quote

Less Wrong type people and some others are really into public prediction markets where you bet on what will happen in the future. This rewards people with better foresight and provides better forecasts about what will happen than some other approaches like asking an expert. Predictions are about concrete events in concrete timeframes – e.g. who wins an election – so the bet can be resolved with winners and losers.


Because prediction markets don't involve explanations. Debate only has a secondary role (market participants may have debates to try to learn more) in the same way that e.g. books and news have a secondary role (participants might get info from books). The prediction market system doesn't involve people answering each other's arguments. If you disagree with someone, you bet against them. Explaining why at all is optional. And actually explaining your reasoning can be discouraged: the more people agree with you, the less profit you'll make for your bets. (It depends somewhat. If you place your entire bet on an issue and then explain what you think, it won't affect your profit, or could even lead to selling early before the issue is resolved and doing better. If, unrealistically, your opinion of this matter is unrelated to your opinions on future bets, then there's ~no downside.)

They're trying to sidestep the issue of actually discussing what reasoning makes sense and what criticisms refute what, just as they do with induction and assigning probabilities to arguments.

curi at 2:14 PM on September 24, 2020 | #18118 | reply | quote

I've enabled beeps every 15min on my apple watch. it's the Chimes feature under Accessibility in Settings on the watch.

i've used the mac break reminder app Time Out. i just tried it again but i find it often shows up when i'm in the middle of something and it doesn't know about the breaks i take on my own initiative. the watch beeps are much less intrusive while still providing some reminder. i also enabled the watch notification for not having 1 minute of standing (really walking arm motion) during the hour so far (in activity settings in watch app on iphone).

the chimes are at 00, 15, 30, 45 and the stand reminder is at 50.

i'm also trying some posture exercises like https://builtwithscience.com/posture-workout-routine/

there are break reminder apps for apple watch. i'll probably try some of those and try wearing my watch more consistently.

curi at 11:50 AM on September 25, 2020 | #18127 | reply | quote


The unsourced quote (I'm guessing ancient greek) just says adults and children are different. It doesn't match BD's claim about the specifics of adulthood like restraint or decorum. Educated people routinely fail at basic logic and reading comprehension type stuff. BD has actually written a bunch of good articles and still screws this up.

curi at 10:11 AM on September 30, 2020 | #18175 | reply | quote


The quite is from The Bible:


IME when I was a Christian this verse was quoted fairly often. It was commonly used as a bludgeon for social conformity. One of the differences between adults and children is that children conform less. One of the things you're supposed to "put away" when you become an adult is rebelliousness / non-conformity. It was not stated quite this way. "Decorum" would be a more normal way to describe it. But social conformity was a clear and common application of the verse.

So perhaps Bret isn't responding to the literal words in the verse but its common / practical application.

Andy Dufresne at 10:25 AM on September 30, 2020 | #18176 | reply | quote

From Dec 2019 on the FI Discord:


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

I thanked him for the compliment.

> Shadow Starshine: I mean, I don't think that's a compliment, but I can't stop you from taking it as one

curi at 9:29 PM on October 1, 2020 | #18209 | reply | quote

curi at 10:29 AM on October 2, 2020 | #18213 | reply | quote

#18213 i don’t understand just assuming the laws are reasonable and signing 7.3k/mo lease to start biz without researching how it works first

it explains voting dem tho. ppl have no idea what the laws are or what’s going on, and assume everything is reasonable

if they’ll sign a lease like that based on that assumption, they’ll certainly vote on it, which is a much smaller deal than the lease

curi at 1:05 PM on October 2, 2020 | #18214 | reply | quote

#18213 especially of note to me where these 2 parts:

> The Planning Department, like always, ***required him to notify neighbors of the plan and allowed any one of them within 150 feet to object.*** Neighbors learned about the project in late February and had until mid-April to complain. And someone did complain, triggering a hearing at the Planning Commission, which can take 12 weeks to schedule. That’s many months of rent flushed away because one neighbor doesn’t like what’s allowed by the city.

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

i read the entire article and it doesnt seem like the other ice cream shop even needed a reason to complain, it just forces Yu to not do any work for like 3 months while has has to pay 21k on his lease.

internetrules at 1:22 PM on October 2, 2020 | #18215 | reply | quote

Walk Away Campaign is about people leaving the Democratic party and telling their stories. https://www.facebook.com/groups/OFFICIALWalkAwayCampaign

curi at 1:39 PM on October 2, 2020 | #18216 | reply | quote


Someone hung out with antifa to find out about them. Says one of their major tactics is middle-level violence, so that it's really hard to ignore and do nothing, but it's too mild to shoot them. A lot of defensive reactions are polarized as either too strong or too weak to deal with antifa's actions. They do that on purpose. Their goal is more about creating propaganda than actually achieving objections like damaging buildings. They want to get police to either stand down or overreact (as perceived by public that is misled by media).

They said it's like repeatedly pushing someone on the shoulder. If he ignores you, he's weak and bullied. If he punches you, lots of people will see it as an overreaction, especially if they are judging quickly with low info instead of spending a bunch of time finding out what happened and considering it.

curi at 11:29 AM on October 5, 2020 | #18233 | reply | quote


Asmongold watches All Gas no Brakes talking with Proud Boys and others about politics. What a shitshow. People on both sides are mostly idiotic.

curi at 4:40 PM on October 5, 2020 | #18239 | reply | quote


There are more graphs then a conclusion:

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

This is stupid. You can't look at the harm from COVID *while people take major precautions* to conclude that COVID isn't very dangerous. If we stopped taking those precautions, the death rate would be way higher.

curi at 10:56 AM on October 8, 2020 | #18255 | reply | quote


Baldur's Gate 3 review from UEG. Summary: tons of great stuff, detail, gameplay options, doesn't seem woke/SJW, quests that aren't cookie cutter. Two main flaws. First, it's early access currently and buggy. And the main problem is lack of help/guidance. It lacks some info about D&D rules so you can figure out how stuff works. It lacks enough tooltips. He says he probably would have quit if he didn't have D&D experts in his stream chat answering his questions. Basically the game needs a manual with all the info about how stuff works, like like BG 1 and 2 had long ago, but it doesn't have anything like that, at all. Hopefully they'll add stuff like that by release in addition to bug fixing.

I'm playing Hades currently. I plan to try BG3 in the future but maybe after the official release. I'm not in a rush to deal with bugs and to experience stuff that'll be improved later. I do plan to avoid spoilers for BG3. I'm not going to watch streams of people playing it.

curi at 1:17 PM on October 8, 2020 | #18256 | reply | quote


> James O’Keefe DEBUNKS Joe Rogan criticism, challenges him to go on JRE to discuss Veritas methods!

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

Sadly, though, sending them tips about how Google is shadowbanning webpages that link to Veritas videos got me ignored with no response. Not even like a "thanks that's good info but there are a lot of big problems and we're going to focus on even worse things" (i made that up. it seems like maybe the reason they didn't reply to me. but maybe not. who knows. if that was the reason it'd be reasonable but they should have sent me a one paragraph explanation. they have the budget for a response that's a little more personalized than a form letter, but i didn't even get a form letter. now i won't be sending them my next tip, and nor will various people i know, so they're actually losing out.) But awful customer service on their tips email address is normal, not worse than what most other companies are like. And Veritas is really good at some other stuff.

curi at 1:28 PM on October 8, 2020 | #18257 | reply | quote


Nice video on the influence of Twitch and live streaming in popular culture. Includes a section about how chess gained a bunch of popularity when xqc started playing it and then interacted with Hikaru, a grandmaster, who had a small stream, and now has a large stream and TSM sponsorship. I've been watching chess stuff recently and have seen some Hikaru on Twitch.

curi at 12:36 PM on October 9, 2020 | #18266 | reply | quote

What Working At Stripe Has Been Like by patio11

> Working at Stripe has caused an interesting change in my relationship to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. One way is that the domain name sometimes opens doors that the username did not. (That doesn’t feel great to me, to be honest, but is a useful observation about life, particularly to folks who are early in their careers.) I know a lot more venture capitalists, executives, etc than I did a few years ago, and am treated as a more serious professional than I was despite no obvious corresponding change in skill in the intervening time.

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

I'm skeptical of the value of working with that kind of person even if you get the opportunity. patio11 puts up with it.

curi at 9:09 PM on October 11, 2020 | #18292 | reply | quote


> If you can ever imagine yourself saying something unpopular, restriction on speech should bother you. If your long-term plan is just to read the room and always tell people what they want to hear it’s less of a problem. Recalling insane post-9/11 decade think former is important.

This is horribly wrong. Even if you're a total conformist, restrictions on unpopular speech are very bad for you. Why? Because they make society worse. They mean less production of material goods, worse science, etc., which all affects you. And they suppress better leadership of what you conform to. They mean the ideas you're parroting are dumber because other people were prevented from improving them. The fact that you personally wouldn't have used the opportunity to take a leadership role doesn't mean the suppression of leaders doesn't matter to you.

curi at 1:43 PM on October 15, 2020 | #18315 | reply | quote


I think he's asked something about the line between cyber bullying and joking around. I didn't hear the whole question. He said it's hard to draw the line.

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

The system should look like this:

You don't draw a specific line.

You have a big gray area.

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

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

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

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

So instead of drawing the line between joking and bullying, or acceptable and unacceptable behavior, you draw two lines. One is a conservative "definitely should be fine" line. It doesn't need to be super accurate. Ballpark is OK. The other is a "definitely not OK" line which is chosen to be hard to accidentally cross – clearly bad stuff. The middle is the gray area. These two lines are easier to draw and the procedure with one warning (for people who did gray area stuff but *no black area stuff*) allows some deescalation.

curi at 9:27 PM on October 15, 2020 | #18340 | reply | quote


> In the 1940s, we got our industrial base humming again by cranking out armaments.

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

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

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

curi at 10:00 PM on October 16, 2020 | #18343 | reply | quote


What the hell is wrong with the world? And with the NYT?

curi at 10:02 PM on October 16, 2020 | #18344 | reply | quote

The best female chess player ever didn't like female-only chess competitions.


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

and with my emphasis:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I've been watching some female only chess tournaments (because they have good commentary available). People talk about how many of the women are inspired by Polgar. But apparently none of them try to act like Polgar and stick to open tournaments and avoid female-exclusive titles. The female players are noticeably worse than the male players I watched recently (and have lower ratings; ratings are not gender based and are presumably reasonably accurate). There are many male players who are better than the females in the female-only tournaments and who aren't getting as much attention, praise, prize money, etc.

curi at 10:30 PM on October 16, 2020 | #18345 | reply | quote


The 1619 project has bad scholarship. It's egregious and includes things like ignorant critical letters from groups of experts and also stealth editing text then denying having ever said the prior text.

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

curi at 11:11 AM on October 17, 2020 | #18347 | reply | quote


> Curious why retail sales are through the roof?

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

Paying people a lot for not working. About as bad as the government policies in *Atlas Shrugged*.

curi at 1:02 PM on October 18, 2020 | #18350 | reply | quote


> The Royal Navy has been testing Jet Suit assault teams to determine if the Iron Man-like suits could be used to rapidly swarm and board ships. U.S. Special Operations Command is also evaluating a jetpack that can reach speeds of more than 200 mph.

That's some cool jetpack technology in the video (and overly dramatic, loud music trying to tell you what to think/feel).

curi at 1:03 PM on October 18, 2020 | #18351 | reply | quote


Interesting video about YouTube and getting views. One thing it says is that YouTube started disconnecting subscriptions from video recommendations and watch time went way up. In other words, the average user would rather watch some stuff the YT algorithm finds than watch all the videos from the channels they clicked subscribe on. But how do you build an audience, and what does an audience mean, if your subscribers don't see your videos? I use YouTube the other way myself: I mostly watch videos from some channels I subscribe to and I put effort into seeing the titles of all their new videos so I don't miss any that I want to watch, and I don't often click around and watch algorithm recommendations. I used to do this using email notifications but YT disabled that feature so now regularly I go click the bell and skim through my recent notifications. I prune which channels I have notifications enabled for so that there aren't too many, but most users never prune like that (I also have pruned Twitter follows, email subscriptions, etc., whereas most people never prune those either and then find they have way too many and it's a cluttered mess).

curi at 1:18 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18357 | reply | quote

#18357 When I like a video I often go look at all the videos made by the same channel. I think most people *not* doing that is one of the thing that limits the growth of my channel.

curi at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18358 | reply | quote

#18358 FYI, if you want to find out about my videos on YT, you have to not only subscribe to my YT channel but click the bell icon and change it to "All". That's the real subscribe button. If you just hit subscribe YT treats it as a vague suggestion that maybe you like my videos a bit more than other videos.

curi at 1:23 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18359 | reply | quote


If you want to learn rationality and critical thinking stuff, get enough sleep. Maybe track your sleep.

Over the last 231 days I've averaged 7.77 hours of sleep. This is an overestimate because I record the time when I go to bed and when I wake up. I usually fall asleep quickly so it's reasonably close. But it also doesn't count my naps, which are just over 20 minutes a day on average (zero on most days). Including naps puts my average sleep to 8.1 hrs/day, or around 8 hours a day (probably slightly less) given time to fall asleep.

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

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

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

Related to that, if you work a regular job and also want to learn things, consider moving your sleep cycle so that you can do some learning/reading/writing time *before* work when you aren't yet tired from work. This won't work for as many people because most people make their sleep patterns match other people. They don't want to go to bed early and miss out on activities with friends or family. And how society in general sleeps is also relevant. (Which is a huge problem for polyphasic sleep, even if it would actually work well, which I'm kinda skeptical of anyway. I mean the type where you sleep a short amount many times per day on a rigid schedule. I'm skeptical of that. I think sleeping twice a day, which is "poly" in some sense, is totally reasonable. I'm not sure about an even split like 4 hours twice a day. Maybe that can work well but I don't know. But I think a main sleep like 5-7 hours and a secondary sleep like 1-3 hours can be a good pattern to get into. It often clashes a bit with society and other people though. But it can help provide you with two times per day that you're mentally fresh instead of one. I've done it sometimes and found it works pretty well.)

curi at 1:40 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18360 | reply | quote

#18360 Useful post. Thanks.

I ran across an article that talks about countries exploiting gray areas in conflicts with other countries:

> *Hybrid warfare* is an emerging, but ill-defined notion in conflict studies. It refers to the use of unconventional methods as part of a multi-domain warfighting approach. These methods aim to disrupt and disable an opponent’s actions without engaging in open hostilities.

> Related to hybrid warfare, the term *political warfare* commonly refers to power being employed to achieve national objectives in a way that falls short of physical conflict.

> Such warfare is conducted in the “grey zone” of conflict, meaning operations may not clearly cross the threshold of war. That might be due to the ambiguity of international law, ambiguity of actions and attribution, or because the impact of the activities does not justify a response.

> [Australia's] increasing connectivity and reliance on information technology is a vulnerability that is being targeted by two key threats: cyber attacks, and the subversion of our democratic institutions and social cohesion. Both are recognised challenges to our national security.

> These are “hybrid threats” as they may be employed as part of a broader campaign – including political, criminal and economic activities. And because they feature the ambiguity associated with the grey zone, they are well suited to achieve political outcomes without resorting to traditional conflict.

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

> ... one of [antifa's] major tactics is middle-level violence, so that it's really hard to ignore and do nothing, but it's too mild to shoot them.

Anonymous at 5:25 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18362 | reply | quote

That's 2234 words/day average. The majority of the freewrites related to Critical Fallibilism (CF) planning and goals. My average over 262 days is 2100 words/day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s a severe lack of philosophy podcasts, YouTube videos, books, forums, etc. that are worthwhile. Most people don’t run into this problem because they still haven’t read e.g. much Popper and Rand. But if one actually makes forward progress regularly it’s pretty easy to go through the best authors/creators and want more. Philosophy work quality is *not a bell curve*. You don’t find philosophers becoming gradually more numerous as you gradually lower the minimum quality. Or maybe it’s a bell curve where only outliers are above the “competent and worth reading” mark. Anyway good work is sparse. There’s plenty of bad work and then a handful of people are way better. There are big jumps that seem kinda discontinuous and there isn’t much medium work. That’s my impression. This makes it harder to spend a lot of time on philosophy because there’s hard pioneering activities but not enough gradations of easier stuff available and not enough initiative and innovation by other people to benefit from. And lots of the lower quality philosophy stuff is confusing, hard to understand, verbose, full of obscure references, pretentious, etc., which makes it harder to get any value out of it without putting in tons of effort. And a lot of the easier, simplified stuff is related to the confusing stuff and it tries to simplify it but this doesn’t work all that well because the main problem is the ideas being a mess rather than it actually being a presentation problem.

curi at 12:53 PM on October 20, 2020 | #18366 | reply | quote

> https://medium.com/@byrnehobart/the-30-year-mortgage-is-an-intrinsically-toxic-product-200c901746a

>> In the 1940s, we got our industrial base humming again by cranking out armaments.

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

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

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

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

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

Keynesian nonsense that is refuted. Keynesians as a group *have not responded to, and will not respond to*, Hazlitt's refutation (even though Hazlitt is decently famous, and is a representative of the views and arguments of a major, active school of thought (Austrians), who still answer questions and provide clarifications and followup arguments, so they can't use excuses like not responding to every single obscure critic or to dead ideas). They also haven't answered various other Austrian criticisms of Keynesianism.

curi at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2020 | #18367 | reply | quote

#18367 He's also in favor of printing money to damage our currency on purpose:

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

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

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

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

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

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


curi at 3:10 PM on October 20, 2020 | #18368 | reply | quote

> https://twitter.com/PhilWMagness/status/1317487371630379009

> The 1619 project has bad scholarship. It's egregious and includes things like ignorant critical letters from groups of experts and also stealth editing text then denying having ever said the prior text.

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

Different people with credentials have different opinions. For example, DD supports the MWI but many other physicists don't. So credentials are often not very useful for finding the truth on controversial topics.

oh my god it's turpentine at 1:29 PM on October 21, 2020 | #18376 | reply | quote

#18376 I think turpentine's point is a tangent, but it is not labeled as such. curi was saying that credentials don't "solve the problem of getting people to listen to your arguments". turpentine's reply says that credentials don't solve a different problem: the problem of being very useful for finding the truth on controversial topics.

Alisa at 8:01 PM on October 21, 2020 | #18380 | reply | quote

This channel has a bunch of good videos about using Keynote (Apple's slides/presentations app), including using it for animation.


curi at 3:15 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18387 | reply | quote

curi at 3:35 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18388 | reply | quote


How To Charge For Design—Value Based Pricing @ 30:52:

> If you say it, you're selling. If they say it, you're closing. So, if you ask questions, there's a strong probability that they're saying it.


Alisa at 4:38 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18389 | reply | quote

around 51min in Hourly Billing Is Nuts— Stop Trading Time For Money, Stark says to do value pricing u have to get past gatekeepers to talk to ppl *whose money it is* who can answer *why* questions, who are pretty far up the food chain. and right b4 that he said value pricing works best for high risk high stakes projects, and it's broadly better to work with bigger companies because there's more value involved there.

curi at 5:14 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18391 | reply | quote

#18391 Stark gives 10% of the value to the customer as a rough approach to pricing. E.g. if you can raise their profits by $1,000,000 then you can charge $100,000. A major reason for the 90% discount is *risk*. You can't guarantee that outcome. If they wanted a guarantee of $1 mil increased profits, you'd charge around $1 mil for that. If it's guaranteed, you'd charge almost all the upside.

Sometimes you can guarantee some smaller, measurable outcomes, which you've repeatedly delivered in the past, and clients like that because they help indicate a lower risk of delivering the big, overall result.


I think there's some insight here but also some error. He's inadequately talking about competition and supply and demand, which I talked with Anonymous about at http://curi.us/1906-elliots-thoughts-on-pricing#18390

curi at 5:20 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18392 | reply | quote

#18392 Stark had some good pricing ideas I hadn't heard before about 3 tiered pricing options he gives clients. The example is 10k/22k/50k. I think the ballpark of the type of work is using programming to make businesses more money.

So he explains the three tiers.

Top tier is high attention. He takes over most of the work. The client doesn't do much. Their people are involved fairly minimally. He controls the project and gets it done. He hires more people, buys more tools, etc., as needed.

Middle tier is collaboration. The client gets some stuff done, he gets some stuff done.

Bottom tier is more DIY (do it yourself). The client does most of the work. He does some planning and advising. He's controlling the project much less, putting less attention into it, and responsible for less.

curi at 5:24 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18394 | reply | quote

#18388 How To Price Projects (Hourly, Project, Value Based): Panel Discussion is another good video from Chris Do.

I think some of his other videos, e.g. the TED talk and the Ikigai one are a lot worse. They are kinda self-helpy and normal. They don't show his practical, concrete business skill, which, so far, I've particularly see re pricing and pre-sales discussions with potential clients.

curi at 8:13 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18417 | reply | quote

My settings for Video Speed Controller extension in Chrome (also available for Firefox). I have gradually increased the speed of my G hotkey over time and I most often use G speed. Sometimes I lower the speed if someone talks fast or has an accent, and then the lower speed often gets remembered for later videos so I'll hit G again to get back to normal. I just bumped G up to 3x and added a new hotkey for 2.5x.

Hotkeys are chosen to avoid keys that do something on YouTube.

curi at 12:37 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18438 | reply | quote

#18438 I only have larger time jumps (30s and 4min) set up because players usually have a small jump already bound to arrow keys, e.g. arrows do 5s at YT. YT also has 10s jumps on J and L (with play/pause in the middle of that on K) which I don't use by habit. I do use arrows, and my 30s and 4m hotkeys a lot and that's intuitive/autopilot for me now and really useful IMO.

In VLC (my main video/audio player for downloaded files) I have 4 jumps set:

left and right arrows: 10s

arrows + cmd: 1min

arrows + shift: 5min

arrows + opt: 3s

This is really useful too IMO. I use 10s, 1m, 5m a lot and 3s occasionally. 10s is really 5s or less of real time since I'm playing stuff at 2x or more. The problem with 3s is sometimes after you rewind videos won't play correct for a few seconds, so sometimes you have to rewind further anyway. It has to do with keyframes and video encoding and stuff and depends on the video.

I also improved some other vlc hotkeys, e.g. I used F for fullscreen with no modifiers. Setting up good hotkeys in frequently used apps is worthwhile – it saves time/effort in the long run. Lots of hotkeys are fine and you can just learn the defaults but some are worth modifying.

curi at 12:45 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18440 | reply | quote


> FAQ: “How do I get better at writing?”

> Me: Write a million words.

> Follow up: “Hah but seriously.”

> Me: Start with 20,000 words. Everyone gets to that 50 times in their first million.

> Follow up: “No seriously.”

> Me: Nobody expects 10 Quick Tips To Play Violin At Carnegie Hall.

Many people seem to want to get good at philosophy fast, or to already be good at it.

I think I'm well past 10 million words written, which is 1400/day for 20 years. Are you a faster learner than me? 10x faster or more?

Similarly, read a lot including ET, AR, DD, KP, EG (Eli Goldratt).

curi at 1:04 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18443 | reply | quote


> Which is a huge problem for polyphasic sleep, even if it would actually work well, which I'm kinda skeptical of anyway. I mean the type where you sleep a short amount many times per day on a rigid schedule. I'm skeptical of that. I think sleeping twice a day, which is "poly" in some sense, is totally reasonable. I'm not sure about an even split like 4 hours twice a day. Maybe that can work well but I don't know. But I think a main sleep like 5-7 hours and a secondary sleep like 1-3 hours can be a good pattern to get into. It often clashes a bit with society and other people though. But it can help provide you with two times per day that you're mentally fresh instead of one. I've done it sometimes and found it works pretty well.

I've researched polyphasic sleep a few times and know a guy who's done 6x20min for like 6 months. The popular idea of polyphasic sleep is focused around strategic napping to avoid periods of deep sleep because those cycles take a long time and don't *seem* to be necessary. So you only get REM sleep (which is approx 20min per cycle). AFAIK there aren't any well documented, easily detectable, and detrimental health effects, and ppl certainly seem to function okay. but I don't imagine there are many ppl to study, and I'm not aware of good studies on stuff like the impact on long-term memory formation.

One problem most ppl run in to (as the guy I reference did) is that the 6x20 and similar patterns are really fragile. e.g. if you have ~any alcohol then you can enter in to deep sleep instead of waking from the nap. stuff like cannabis and caffeine is out too. if you end up in deep sleep then you potentially have to re-adjust from nearly scratch. It's so fragile because the naps are optimised for maximum wake-time -- no buffer. there are some newer variants that have e.g. 8-9x 20 min naps throughout the day, but instead of a strict "every 3.5hrs" schedule it's like "9 naps a day with a maximum gap of 6hrs once". ppl opt for that for obvious reasons like social stuff or work, etc, but also because it's a more resilient pattern.

There are significant issues with adopting the pattern too. Some patterns are easier than others (e.g. 4x 20 min naps + 1x 3hr core sleep), but on the whole the adoption process includes an extended period of sleep deprivation. essentially you force your body into learning how to power-nap instead of going in to a normal sleep cycle. The worst case I've heard is like a 2-week period where days 3-10 are like you're a zombie. Through the period you set alarms to match the schedule and lie down & get up when you're supposed to (even if you don't sleep). I tried this about 10 years ago and got like 48 hours in before I fell asleep and didn't wake up to the alarm. that means back to square zero so I figured it wasn't worth the effort.

I've heard a bi-phasic pattern like 2x 4hour core sleeps is how homo-sapiens slept historically -- up to the invention of reliable and safe lighting at night, which I think was only a few centuries ago. It sort of makes sense for earlier societies b/c the cost of lighting at night was higher. so they went to sleep closer to dusk and woke at dawn, but would wake for an hour or two in the middle of the night. it was only after we could stay up to like 10pm more easily and commonly that we starting sleeping in one contiguous block. This sounds plausible but I really don't know if it's legit. I would guess tribal societies would have been common enough into modern history that we should have somewhat decent documentation of their sleeping habits tho.

Max at 6:46 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18453 | reply | quote

Brandon Sanderson writes:

> Generally, I can count on 8-10k words a week of solid writing.

Editing is separate (not counted there).

curi at 5:10 PM on October 24, 2020 | #18477 | reply | quote

Comic from Jonathan Starks' Newsletter. The context is he does *value based pricing* for freelance/consulting projects with businesses instead of hourly pricing with a time estimate. He says hourly billing is bad and tries to teach others to do value pricing.

curi at 12:03 PM on October 25, 2020 | #18494 | reply | quote


Another good @patio11 thread. And it has FI relevance: FI currently mostly deals with early adopters who put significant effort into looking around for philosophy/CR/Oism/rationality stuff. Better marketing and wider reach would mean having more people see it who are less the right type of person.

curi at 1:20 PM on October 28, 2020 | #18518 | reply | quote

gmail is fucking awful.

if you rename an imap folder in Mail (and presumably in many other ways), gmail will edit your mail rules involving the folder.

they won't fix them, nor will they disabled them. instead they will put them into a mixed state. they just remove the "move to that folder" part and leave the rest.

so if you have a rule that says:

if X then skip inbox and move to folder Y

and then you rename folder Y

gmail simply edits the rule to a rule you never made "if X then skip the inbox" and then you just never see your email anywhere.

what the actual fuck

curi at 5:23 PM on October 30, 2020 | #18544 | reply | quote

People should check sources on quotes before spreading them. Don't just grab quotes off random sites and trust them. nikluk wrote (then deleted the post apparently, but it's in my RSS reader):

That Burke "quote" is fairly well known to be fake. E.g.:


curi at 2:26 PM on November 4, 2020 | #18568 | reply | quote


Agreed. It was sloppy and bad practice from my part to post before checking. Deleted the post when I found out I posted fake quotation - but I should make sure to check first and post second, not post first and check second. Will put in more effort into this.

n at 2:45 PM on November 4, 2020 | #18569 | reply | quote

Video: Why Money didn't make me happy (as a millionaire)

Some decent points, particularly about ways people may treat you poorly and social dynamics.

curi at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2020 | #18570 | reply | quote


patio11 has an interesting perspective on capitalism. largely pro-capitalism but no austrian econ points. his comments connect more with the capitalism haters than actually knowing econ does. he has more shared premises with them than thinking like an economist does.

(it is possible that patio11 knows econ but doesn't say so. but my best guess, from little info, is basically no, he doesn't actually know much econ.)

curi at 1:02 PM on November 6, 2020 | #18573 | reply | quote

#18585 Note the BBC article is 2016 and Atlantic is 2013. I doubt they would publish that info right now.

curi at 3:06 PM on November 8, 2020 | #18586 | reply | quote


This is a book about the battle of Athens, in which WW2 veterans fought against local government trying to rig elections:


oh my god it's turpentine at 12:24 AM on November 9, 2020 | #18592 | reply | quote

People think they correct for media bias. People know about make up hair dye and boob jobs. But those still impress people. They don’t correct for those adequately.

curi at 10:44 AM on November 13, 2020 | #18632 | reply | quote

Election Fraud

Just looked into the Benford's Law election fraud claims. The election fraud in some cities is large and blatant. Turns out I already knew about Benford's Law from other contexts, just without knowing the name of it. It's used to help catch e.g. tax cheats, and covid numbers follow Benford's law.

The law is pretty simple. It just says if you have a bunch of naturally occurring numbers, then the most common first digit will be 1, the second most common will be 2, and 9 is the least common. It gives specific proportions for how common each starting digit is that are normal. You can also use it for later digits. There are caveats but it works well in a lot of contexts.




You can see in the articles that

- Trump votes follow Benford's Law

- Votes for other non-Biden candidates follow Benford's Law

- Votes for Biden in some locations follow Benford's Law

- Votes for Biden in some specific locations do NOT follow Benford's Law – not even close

Not following Benford's law means e.g. that more numbers start with 3 than 1.

curi at 11:41 AM on November 13, 2020 | #18634 | reply | quote

#18634 Stand-up Maths (Matt Parker) [did a video on elections and fraud and Benford's law](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etx0k1nLn78

). He particularly looked at Chicago but explains things generally.

Benford's law is problematic for detecting voter fraud. The biggest reason IMO is that Benford's law needs values across multiple orders of magnitude, and the way electorates are broken up doesn't conform to that.

Here's a simple case to show how it can be problematic:

A city of 1m ppl has 1000 districts of 1000 ppl each. An election is being held and there are two dominantly popular candidates. Each district will typically vote within a 40/60 to 60/40 split. The overwhelmingly typical leading digit in the counts reported will be 4, 5, or 6; violating Benford's law.

In the example Matt Parker picked, the average district size in Chicago is ~500 so in the data there were lots of results with a leading digit of 2, 3, and 4.

Max at 11:55 AM on November 13, 2020 | #18635 | reply | quote

#18635 Watched most of it. Guy is a propagandist. He says the numbers shouldn't follow Benford's law in a case and totally ignores and doesn't try to explain that the non-Biden numbers *do* follow it.

And if what he's saying is accurate and explains the issues (he only seems to have looked into one city, not made any attempt to reach a general conclusion), then a rebuttal shouldn't be hard. Show results for Trump and others that violate Benford's law in a similar way to Biden's violations but in other locations. Show that the examples where Trump and minor party candidates follow Benfords' law (and Biden in some other locations) were cherrypicked. Does such a rebuttal exist? He appears to not know of one and have no curiosity. He's simply ignoring major parts of the argument such as the *comparison* of Biden votes violating the law in some places and following it elsewhere, while other candidates follow the law in all cases presented, including in places where this guy suggests they *shouldn't* like Chicago, yet somehow they do, and he doesn't even seem to notice.

Yes, tight distributions on vote total in areas are an issue to take into account but this guy is not truth seeking.

If anyone actually did some convincing investigation and determine there's no problem here, I'd be interested. If no one has done that, or it's not readily findable, then that itself says a lot about e.g. the disinterest in truth-seeking or decent quality rebuttal from the Biden camp or neutral people *or*, in the alternative, it would say something about the actual fraud that took place (either they don't care to argue their points *or*, more plausibly if none of them argue this stuff reasonably well, it's because they can't).

Did you look at and consider the issues yourself before posting? E.g.:


That doesn't fit Benford's law *or* a normal distribution.

curi at 12:14 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18636 | reply | quote

> He says the numbers shouldn't follow Benford's law in a case and totally ignores and doesn't try to explain that the non-Biden numbers *do* follow it.

He does explain some non-Biden numbers, but takes a detour through other fraud stuff in the middle. e.g. at 14:25 he shows these graphs

That's regarding the distribution of the last 2 digits. It's not benford's law but is an anomaly. The next 'slide' is:

Apparently ~400 of the districts got between 10 and 19 votes.

> Show results for Trump and others that violate Benford's law in a similar way to Biden's violations but in other locations.

IDK what are sensible limits for similarity, but here's some quick histograms for florida (note: this is based on per-county data so it is across several orders of magnitudes. nonetheless shows non-benford-compliant results) - and code

I'm doing some more now.

> Did you look at and consider the issues yourself before posting?

Some. I looked at

- https://lenbilen.com/2020/11/07/benfords-law-and-the-2020-election-a-limerick-on-fraud/

- https://github.com/cjph8914/2020_benfords

- and skimmed a bit of other articles, I didn't look too deeply b/c the methods were fairly simple. I did skim for anyone answering the criticisms in the standup maths video, tho.

The lenbilen link says early on:

> This is a map of the extent to which Dominion voting machines software is presently used. When votes are tallied it produces results that are not credible according to statistical science.

But his only evidence of 'not credible according to statistical science' is the results compared to benford's law and he doesn't explain more. I wasn't impressed with any of their maths (and I've read the articles now)

Max at 1:45 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18638 | reply | quote

#18638 Any reasonable person should be concerned re the benford's law stuff and should find your YT link inadequate to convince them that everything is fine. Do you disagree?

curi at 1:53 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18639 | reply | quote

> #18638 Any reasonable person should be concerned re the benford's law stuff and should find your YT link inadequate to convince them that everything is fine. Do you disagree?

Maybe. I've got a reasonable amount of bg knowledge and not sure what other ppl would have.

IMO a better thing to look at would be digit frequency in the raw numbers in submission of counts excluding the first digit. That should be essentially random.

> Any reasonable person should be concerned re the benford's law stuff

Initially, yeah.

> should find your YT link inadequate to convince them that everything is fine

Also yeah.

But I also think the YT link criticises the method ppl have been using, and reasonable ppl shouldn't be convinced by the graphs either.


I made some more graphs:

You can access big versions of any of those via links in the same directory, e.g.:




These are - again - on a county basis.


It's on a county basis b/c I can dynamically pull that from NYT (code for that particularly)

Anonymous at 2:41 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18640 | reply | quote

#18636 I think Chicago is a particularly bad place to focus on. I found the raw stats by ward and precinct and you can sort of see what's going on just by looking at the numbers. Note the precincts are mostly >200 and <1000 votes.

I scrolled through and took some screenshots,

data links:

search data exports page: https://chicagoelections.gov/en/election-results.asp?election=251&race=11 (search for presidential election)

exported data direct dl: https://chicagoelections.gov/en/data-export.asp?election=251&race=11&ward=&precinct=

Max at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18641 | reply | quote

> IMO a better thing to look at would be digit frequency in the raw numbers in submission of counts excluding the first digit. That should be essentially random.

No, Benford's law has applications to digits beyond the first one.

> But I also think the YT link criticises the method ppl have been using, and reasonable ppl shouldn't be convinced by the graphs either.

It blatantly fails to address some of the main arguments. It's responding to a partial straw man. And it focuses on one point – Chicago – and does even that way too incompletely to reach any conclusions. So it's a bad video.

Reasonable people who don't know a lot about this should see the graphs (+ short summary of what they mean), be concerned, see the YT video, and remain concerned. The YT video is a bad thing (a propaganda piece to suppress legitimate concerns without addressing them) while the original articles are, while imperfect, basically reasonable productive things that raise concerns worth raising.

The biggest point ignored by the video, which I think lay people should be able to understand, is there are examples of Benford's law applying to the votes non-biden candidates got, including in Chicago. therefore it seems like it does work. so you can see a pattern that seems to work and then some exceptions for biden votes. a rebuttal of the form "benford's law doesn't apply here" fails to even try to explain the cases where it appears to work. it's basically straw manning the other side as if they had said "we have theoretical reasons we think benford's law should apply here" and that's all they had. but that's not true. they also looked at the data and saw it usually worked.

And your code seems broken. i looked at one chart and found 3 bars missing:


i'm also unclear on what your conclusion is supposed to be. taking an overall glance at your charts, it looks like benford's law is a decent, partial fit in general for this stuff, overall not irrelevant (they're more like Benford's than like e.g. normal distributions or all digits equal). also i would prefer if the main image was legible at full size.

curi at 3:08 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18642 | reply | quote

> I think Chicago is a particularly bad place to focus on.

Yeah that was part of the cherrypicking of the vid u linked!

Anonymous at 3:35 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18643 | reply | quote

WRT Milwaukee -- I got the equivalent data for 2016 and compared it to 2020:

2020 code

2016 code

> And it focuses on one point – Chicago – and does even that way too incompletely to reach any conclusions. So it's a bad video.

Sure, but the articles focusing on benford's law are bad too. They're not truth seeking either. The authors are over-eager. The violation of benford's law was *worse* in Milwaukee in 2016 than it was in 2020, but how many of them bothered to check past results? I didn't see any historical analysis.

One thing that's a PITA is that there's a lot of time-overhead to getting results; like the formats are inconsistent and I don't know of a good index of official data.

> basically reasonable productive things that raise concerns worth raising.

I dunno about that. I think the authors are overreaching. They don't know enough about stats.

> And your code seems broken. i looked at one chart and found 3 bars missing:

> https://files.fish.xk.io/benfords-2020/b-out-wyoming.png

In those cases the data is 0 -- it's low res because it's at the county level (not ward/precinct)

> i'm also unclear on what your conclusion is supposed to be.

Benford's law isn't a good reason to be suspicious of fraud in the cases I've seen. I think it's basically a distraction and there are better things to focus on.

That said, I've only become that convinced during this conversation. I was more neutral towards it before.

> it looks like benford's law is a decent, partial fit in general for this stuff

It's a rule of thumb, it doesn't tell you when to apply it and when to not. Someone needs a lot of extra knowledge to know when it works, when it looks like it works but it was just luck, and when it's broken.

Max at 4:26 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18644 | reply | quote

Maybe one thing to note, I am like slightly triggered for some reason. Mb criticism of the video. Feels a bit odd b/c I agree ppl should be concerned about the integrity of the election.

#18643 It was also in 2/3 links in curi's OP on the matter, and in the 3rd link it was on the github page (which was the first link in the post). It's a bad example to use when arguing that electoral fraud took place based on benfords law. (b/c the precincts are of fairly uniform size and almost exclusively under 1000 voters)

Max at 4:37 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18645 | reply | quote


Max wrote:

> Benford's law is problematic for detecting voter fraud. The biggest reason IMO is that Benford's law needs values across multiple orders of magnitude, and the way electorates are broken up doesn't conform to that.

One thing you could do to help deal with the multiple orders of magnitude issue is use Benford's law in another base. In binary, a dataset that covers ~1 order of magnitude in decimal, e.g. roughly from 100 to 1000, would cover ~3 orders of magnitude in binary: 128–256, 256–512, 512–1024.

In binary, the first digit is always 1 (except for the number 0). So, to find variations for Benford's law, we have to look at the second digit (or later).

Let's look at the Benford's law probabilities for the first two digits of a number written in binary. Let x be a number in a list of numbers that follows Benford's law. If x has only one digit in binary, i.e., if x is 1₂, then consider x to be 1.0₂, and ignore the "binary point", so that the first two digits of x are 1 and 0. Then the probability that the binary representation of x begins with 10₂ is equal to log₂[11₂] – log₂[10₂] = log₂[3] – log₂[2] ≈ 58.5%. The only other possibility for the first two binary digits of x is 11₂, which occurs with a probability of around 41.5%.

This is similar to how you find the Benford's law probabilities for the first digit of numbers written in decimal. For example, the probability of the first digit being 1 is equal to log₁₀[2] – log₁₀[1] ≈ 30.1%, and the probability of the first digit being 2 is equal to log₁₀[3] – log₁₀[2] ≈ 17.6%.

Alisa at 6:35 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18647 | reply | quote

> I got the equivalent data for 2016 and compared it to 2020

The standard claim is that they've been frauding for a long time, not that fraud is new in 2020 (though the amount seems to have gone up some due to Trump hatred).

Anonymous at 7:01 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18649 | reply | quote

> Sure, but the articles focusing on benford's law are bad too. They're not truth seeking either. The authors are over-eager.

Over-eager? Biased? Some of them, sure. But those are minor flaws. The thing they're doing is basically good and compatible with truth-seeking. They are explaining a problem. Their point is reasonable. It's productive to raise it.

The YT video is not symmetric. You're seeing both as low quality and biased or something, so they seem the same to you. Or you see both as "could be improved with more info; incomplete". But one is a productive discussion contribution and one isn't.

From nothing (or like default context), pointing out a problem and providing partial, initial analysis is good.

The YT video has a different context. It's a reply. It's supposed to be a criticism/rebuttal/refutation. But it's inadequate for that. But it doesn't say "this is a partial start on a criticism that maybe someone could expand on". It instead acts like it's actually refuting stuff that it's not refuting. That's just wrong.

curi at 7:05 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18650 | reply | quote

> Benford's law isn't a good reason to be suspicious of fraud in the cases I've seen. I think it's basically a distraction and there are better things to focus on.

Why are you concluding that? You haven't addressed how Benford's law appears to work in many cases, which seems to contradict your general "inapplicable" attitude.

Anonymous at 7:09 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18651 | reply | quote

> You're seeing both as low quality and biased or something, so they seem the same to you. Or you see both as "could be improved with more info; incomplete".

If he saw them as both bad, why would he have linked that video?

Anonymous at 7:43 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18652 | reply | quote


> From nothing (or like default context), pointing out a problem and providing partial, initial analysis is good.

> The YT video has a different context. It's a reply. It's supposed to be a criticism/rebuttal/refutation. But it's inadequate for that. But it doesn't say "this is a partial start on a criticism that maybe someone could expand on". It instead acts like it's actually refuting stuff that it's not refuting. That's just wrong.

Yeah okay. I need to think on this a bit. I guess commonly ppl might talk about 'burden of proof' or something like that here.

Freethinking: let's say Matt Parker made lots of videos on election numbers. He had a track record of looking at results and finding interesting things in the data as talking points. He might find some odd results and use it as a way to explain/talk about Benfords law. On the whole his video could almost be something like that (some content wouldn't match). That situation would be *substantively different* to the current situation.

If someone wanted to criticize *that hypothetical version* of Matt's video then they would need to explain *why* he had done something wrong or misinterpreted data or whatever. (Maybe they could offer a class-criticism but it's not really relevant to consider here.) The person offering the criticism isn't just offering an interpretation of the data, they have to go further to explain why the alt interpretation isn't correct. They can't be dismissive and leave things incomplete; in that case the criticism is incomplete so the original idea would be unrefuted.

What about a similar situation (like the original linked posts), one that's more specifically motivated?

Aside: The motivation is okay; after all motivation existed in the other scenario, too, though bias might creep in more easily w/ strong motivations.

A situation like curi's linked posts is one where ppl are pointing out potential anomalies. There's some issues in that it's not always perfectly auditable (e.g. by downloading the raw data and making graphs yourself), but in general pointing out issues is okay and good. Whether they're mistaken or not is beside the point atm; the act of finding some stuff, doing work on the idea, and putting something forward is a good thing in general.

Instead of Matt making his video as part of a general trend (like a long-running series on numbers in elections), he's deliberately made a video *now* because the issue is topical. He's making the video in response to ppl who are making these claims. (I presume he's not intending to reply to those ppl directly, more like pre-emptively raising the topic with his own viewers.) Epistemically, though, it's a reply.

That means Matt needs to not only put forward an interpretation, but also a more details refutation of alt interpretations. That means being more rigorous and explaining in more detail. He could still do a class-wide refutation, though picking a place like Chicago would be bad for that for reasons explored in above comments. For that sort of goal he should pick a situation that 'lines up less' than chicago. He can always mention chicago at some point (and similar distributions where the chunk-size interacts with the first-digit frequency).

If every situation that he can find is like that then he can explain and then list all the places he checked that worked similarly. This is exhaustive so mb checking everything is over the top, but if there's a general underlying pattern that explains it, then he should consider more than one case.

He should also be more clear when talking about Benford's law applying and not applying. Like just b/c there's a reason to expect some anomalous distribution doesn't mean a) fraud isn't happening, and b) that there isn't *also* anomalous data in the benford-law-distribution. However, he can point out that in such a case much more advanced stats are necessary like looking into std deviation and variance and maybe comparing to models or doing regression analysis or whatever techniques would be necessary.

But he's not doing that, so it's at best lazy and at worst an attempt to *bully with one's intellect*; i.e. manipulate people via social dynamics and self-projections of expertise/authority/etc.

If he continued the criticism to a conclusion then he might not be wrong, but he hasn't, so there's no reason to believe he's right. (Note: not that this is necessarily an excuse to ignore the stuff he brought up, but he didn't do a good job of the criticism and so there's no reason (insofar as his reply is concerned) to take his criticism seriously as it stands)

I think that makes sense.

Max at 8:17 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18654 | reply | quote

>> You're seeing both as low quality and biased or something, so they seem the same to you. Or you see both as "could be improved with more info; incomplete".

> If he saw them as both bad, why would he have linked that video?

I had almost the same thought about the 2 links I posted in this discord msg earlier today: https://discord.com/channels/304082867384745994/304082867384745994/776859058766217276

Two msgs later I start with "It's definitely biased, ...". Why did I link stuff I don't endorse? They weren't that difficult to find. Justin didn't ask for them. I knew there would be issues. Was it just like anti-Apple sentiment? Over-helpfulness? IDK yet. But it did bother me that I linked low quality stuff; that I was ready to admit at the time was low quality.

Notably: I didn't mention any of those caveats when I posted the links.

The Matt Parker video is a bit different. I had issues with some of it but thought the maths stuff was informative enough to be worth watching. I thought it was higher quality than the links in discord. Would it have been okay if I'd mentioned reservations when I posted the link? It might have been better, but it still would have had issues. Those issues probably would have been easier to see, though.

I think curi is right about how I saw the YT video when I came back to this topic ~30+ min ago. But I think Anon is right about how I saw the YT video when I posted it.

Max at 8:30 PM on November 13, 2020 | #18655 | reply | quote


People sabotage discussions.

curi at 10:34 PM on November 16, 2020 | #18697 | reply | quote

Newt Gingrich on Twitter

> Why does no one in the media remember this exchange in the first debate between Chris Wallace and Vice President Biden: “final question for you...will you pledge not to declare victory until the election is independently certified?

> Vice President Biden: “Yes.”

> Broken promise

Also Biden's slogan "Build Back Better" is just a copy of MAGA? After complaining extensively about MAGA, including because MAGA suggests things aren't already great which BBB does too.

curi at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2020 | #18700 | reply | quote


This is an important rebuttal. stucchio is right. Reality is opinionated in some ways. Some psychological ideas are wrong and asserting they are facts of human nature (which I don't think is true) can't improve their performance in e.g. various betting games.

I have major issues with "cognitive biases" but claiming they are not biases because they are mere facts is really confused. Claiming they're not biases because lots of viewpoints are exist is similar to the relativism-type claim that science is just one viewpoint (and that which viewpoint makes sense or works for each person is relative to his religion, race, gender, culture, whatever).

curi at 7:52 PM on November 20, 2020 | #18767 | reply | quote


> After complaining extensively about MAGA, including because MAGA suggests things aren't already great which BBB does too.

huh i thought the main complaint was that america was never great.

i looked up "america is already great" and "america was never great" and got anti trump posts from the "already great" and "never great" sides.

Anonymous at 12:07 PM on November 22, 2020 | #18814 | reply | quote

> https://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/365

> People sabotage discussions.


Davies never concedes a point he just keeps on bring up new points for why the bridge should fail.

if he just talked about 1 point to conclusion, then if he was right he doesnt need to bring up any other point, the bridge has failed!

if he was wrong, then he will never find out, and he could be wrong to about all of his new points, but he never gives enough time for a back and forth. he kind of has some hit-and-run arguments, he gives 1 criticism, doesnt give attention to the response, then gives another criticism of another part of the bridge.

davies tactics seems like they might be effective at messing with someone's reputation without answering any of their points. at the end maybe he could even add something like: **if you cant see the problem with your bridge after all of my arguments, then it is you who are lost**. this last point could work at attacking the reader of this discussion as well, cuz it is saying that there is something wrong if you are not able to see the problem with the bridge, so if the reader cant see the problem, they are also wrong!

i have only read 4 paragraphs so far. i have liked it!

> It's likely that the employment relationship will end, either by Davies firing Isambard or Isambard quitting, after even one episode of this script. If not the first time, it will happen after the second or third repetition.

i could imagine roark quitting easily in this situation. maybe he would ask which person is building the bridge, he said something like that once with one of his buildings.

> I've seen it happen many times, both as a participant and an uninvolved observer, and I think it's quite familiar to anyone who has worked in a technical discipline.

that seems sad. i dont have conscious recollection of seeing something like that.

internetrules at 12:29 PM on November 22, 2020 | #18815 | reply | quote

> Davies never concedes a point he just keeps on bring up new points for why the bridge should fail.

> if he just talked about 1 point to conclusion, then if he was right he doesnt need to bring up any other point, the bridge has failed!

> if he was wrong, then he will never find out, and he could be wrong to about all of his new points, but he never gives enough time for a back and forth. he kind of has some hit-and-run arguments, he gives 1 criticism, doesnt give attention to the response, then gives another criticism of another part of the bridge.


curi at 2:26 PM on November 22, 2020 | #18819 | reply | quote

got leather iPhone 12 mini case. volume and lock buttons feel nice. silencer toggle is kinda hard to use

it's deep enough to protect camera bump

pretty tight fit but if u push on the camera bump it's easier to get phone out

leather feels pretty nice. i think good choice over silicone (only $10 more but i wasn't sure which material i'd prefer)

phone with no case sticks to magnetic holders but only kinda weakly

not strong enough

and the phone is slippery. fell out of my pocket several times (no harm done)

mini+case is still smaller (including width) than iPhone X (my previous phone) with no case (i used sometimes with case, sometimes without)

i got an apple case b/c i wanted one that works correctly with magsafe. i expect cheap ones like that to exist later but not at launch. i looked at some 12 mini cases on amazon that didn't even try to support magsafe, and some had reviews saying things like the camera bump was the wrong size/location...

curi at 1:49 PM on November 23, 2020 | #18828 | reply | quote

I tweeted:

.@patio11 Fund idea: We buy controlling interests in companies, increase their prices, and otherwise leave them alone.

curi at 1:54 PM on November 23, 2020 | #18829 | reply | quote

Lately there's been a lot of attention to media lying and fake news. Many people seem to think it's new. I grant some things have gotten worse than they were 20 years ago. There are some negative trends right now. But the basic problem is old.

*The Fountainhead* (1943) by Ayn Rand:

> He [Roark] was asked for a statement, and he received a group of reporters in his office. He spoke without anger. He said: “I can’t tell anyone anything about my building. If I prepared a hash of words to stuff into other people’s brains, it would be an insult to them and to me. But I am glad you came here. I do have something to say. I want to ask every man who is interested in this to go and see the building, to look at it and then to use the words of his own mind, if he cares to speak.”


>The *Banner* printed the interview as follows: “Mr. Roark, who seems to be a publicity hound, received reporters with an air of swaggering insolence and stated that the public mind was hash. He did not choose to talk, but he seemed well aware of the advertising angles in the situation. All he cared about, he explained, was to have his building seen by as many people as possible.”

Most current MSM lying is no worse than this (fictional account).

curi at 5:03 PM on November 26, 2020 | #18864 | reply | quote

#18864 Things were not as good 20 years ago as many people seem to think. The modern internet has revealed a lot of lying and problems that were more hidden when the MSM had more of a monopoly on communication.

But there were some real differences. E.g. in 1996 the NYT published a (well-reasoned) attack on recycling (in their magazine rather than newspaper). I think that means they must have been less partisan at the time. A ton of readers sent in hate mail in response, so it's not like the NYT was just following the trend of the time period. Recycling was already quite trendy by then.


curi at 5:07 PM on November 26, 2020 | #18865 | reply | quote


[7:53 PM] S. Emiya: "There is an obvious solution to the widespread inferiority of American public schools: Give every parent a voucher worth the amount of money the local public school district spends per pupil, and let that parent use that voucher to send their child to the school of their choice."

Is that an obvious solution? Curious to hear what the smart people here think

[8:05 PM] curi: the article is dumb. it said catholic schools are also failing horribly but presented it as them working comparatively better

[8:06 PM] curi: biased author

[8:06 PM] curi: yes their stats are a lot better ... but still DISASTER

[8:13 PM] S. Emiya: why do you think the numbers are so terrible? is there an obvious solution to the problem?

[8:18 PM] curi: b/c more than half of 8th graders should be able to read competently

[8:18 PM] curi: oh maybe u meant what is the cause, not why do i think it's bad?

[8:18 PM] S. Emiya: yeah, why if we are spending so much are they scoring so low?

[8:19 PM] curi: well the amount of money isn't the issue. it's what teachers do. which is coerce children and be petty authorities.

[8:19 PM] curi: there are many different problems but one of the deepest themes is teachers try to tell children what to think instead of helping children think for themselves

[8:20 PM] curi: another huge issue is GROUP learning where ppl are pushed to keep up (or slow down) to the avg, so you have tons of ppl rushing thru stuff, getting lost, and then never getting a break to figure it out ... or bored as hell

[8:20 PM] curi: most ppl don't want to be there

[8:21 PM] curi: make it good enough kids show up voluntarily and it'll start working better

[8:21 PM] curi: the authorities don't respect the children's values and preferences enuf to think "child hates it" means the teacher/rules/textbook/etc is bad

[8:22 PM] curi: teachers unions are also making things much worse by protecting some of the worst teachers from being fired. they try to make ppl keep their jobs based on seniority not merit

curi at 8:24 PM on November 26, 2020 | #18871 | reply | quote

> Lately there's been a lot of attention to media lying and fake news. Many people seem to think it's new. I grant some things have gotten worse than they were 20 years ago. There are some negative trends right now. But the basic problem is old.

IIRC Rand recommended Allen Drury's “Capable of Honor” on this subject. I haven’t read it but intend to at some point (I have it in my Voice Dream app).

Anonymous at 12:57 AM on November 27, 2020 | #18873 | reply | quote

#18865 Twenty years ago the media cooperated with the government in censoring TV shows for drug content. See "Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America" by Szasz, Chapter 7.

oh my god it's turpentine at 1:42 AM on November 27, 2020 | #18875 | reply | quote


lots of cultures are much less honest than ours. and too many in our culture on the left are “ends justifies means” utopians who think the ppl blocking utopia are evil so cheating is OK to implement the revolution and save the world

curi at 12:59 PM on November 29, 2020 | #18893 | reply | quote

Paul Krugman wanted to be a central planning authority with special philosopher king wisdom:


He just kinda admitted it and doesn't see the problem.

curi at 1:34 PM on November 29, 2020 | #18895 | reply | quote


> Crypto enthusiasts would probably suggest me to disagree with them on this, and I actually do not at all:

> The financial system is in part of broader systems of state control. Seriously attacking it at scale would be treated indistinguishably from "kinetic" war.

Return to the gold standard! (Not a full solution.)

> "So is the state going to seriously come after crypto people then?"

> While they flatter themselves into thinking they materially challenge the government, following their own logic pretty closely, if this were actually true their conferences would attract precision munitions.

curi at 1:38 PM on November 29, 2020 | #18896 | reply | quote

curi at 11:23 PM on December 1, 2020 | #18926 | reply | quote

Arizona State Legislature Holds Public Hearing on 2020 Election

I watched this 11 hour video (at 3x to 3.5x speed and skipped parts at the start and end, but i saw all the witnesses testify and got the gist of the opening and closing remarks). it's good if you want to understand election fraud with examples from witnesses and see a bit about the political process. i noticed they generally do a good job of asking different, useful and short questions, and they clearly take notes so they can ask about something from 10min ago.

now i've started watching: Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani, Witnesses Testify at Michigan House Oversight Committee

curi at 9:11 PM on December 2, 2020 | #18940 | reply | quote

#18940 I finished the Michigan one and also watched all of:

Trump Legal Team Presents CLEAR Evidence of Fraud Before Georgia Senate Committee 12/3/20

If you care about politics and hold political opinions, you should take a look and see for yourself. It's fun to stay out of it but don't be a low info person who is judging others and thinks they know which side is right.

curi at 2:02 AM on December 4, 2020 | #18954 | reply | quote

> It's fun to stay out of it but

I meant *fine* to stay out of it

curi at 12:20 PM on December 4, 2020 | #18956 | reply | quote

I watched a few episodes of the reality TV show *Teen Mom 2*. It's full of *overreaching*. They're so overwhelmed by their lives. I think all five of them had a break up with their kid's father, though some are getting back together. Lots of them have awful, unhelpful and poor parents. Besides parenting, they try to finish high school, date or have a social life (if not getting back together with the father), and do to college, and/or get a job. Some of them are doing work+school+parenting at once. Just one of those would be reasonably hard. Two is a lot! Three is overwhelming!

Teen moms is an extreme example but lots of people get involved in major life projects before they are ready. Sometimes that's just a bad choice, but often they're under external pressure to do some big things sooner rather than later which makes it harder to choose (there are factors to consider other than whether it'll be hard and later would be more convenient).

Lots of typical results people have are similar. E.g. consider 30yo having a second (or more) kid with a husband who isn't super helpful with parenting. That's a lot! Two kids is way harder than one. And some women doing that work part or full time, too.

And people fight with their bf/gf/partner/spouse. That's common on the Teen Mom show and also common with everyone else, regardless of age, race, religion, wealth, etc.

The Teen Mom show people are a bit lower class / trashy. Not extremely but some. The result is they fight in different ways than a lot of middle class people are used to. So it can look bad and like something that isn't part of your life. Lower class people are more direct, open and honest when saying negative stuff. Their idea of how much they have to escalate, or how strong a statement they have to say, in order to be listened to and get attention for the problem, is higher. A lot of middle class people pretend everything is great all the time and then if someone hints at a problem that might be enough to get attention for it, and actually saying there's a problem is rude. But the lower class people often have to really emphasize problems or no one cares. Middle class people fight in more passive aggressive and indirect ways. Some middle class people yell and curse at each other but it's less common and some of them never do that. But that doesn't mean the middle class people are doing better or that their fights are less harmful or upsetting. This particular aspect of lower class culture doesn't mean they are worse people. I think a lot of middle class people feel superior but their own type of chronic fighting isn't better.

curi at 3:52 PM on December 26, 2020 | #19248 | reply | quote

Upper Echelon Gaming tweets:

> Mobile game sponsors are insane.

> Offer -> I deny it.

> Higher offer -> I deny and say "I simply cannot accept, it does not fit the channel."

> Higher offer -> "No, it does not fit, I would lose credibility"

> Higher offer -> ".... what don't you understand right now...."

curi at 11:38 AM on December 29, 2020 | #19300 | reply | quote


Nintendo and other game companies have hired private investigators to surveil and intimidate *video game modders*.

curi at 3:30 PM on December 29, 2020 | #19305 | reply | quote

FI draws lines between formal/informal, serious/unserious and some similar issues in ways that are atypical and confuse people. There are standard bundles of multiple related things. But we'll e.g. be simultaneously be informal in one way (e.g. writing style) but serious in another way (e.g. critical thinking) and it violates people's expectations because they expect informal writing always to be bundled with no serious criticism.

curi at 5:38 PM on December 30, 2020 | #19320 | reply | quote

great patio11 thread on heroic action and saving ppl from dying of covid:


curi at 2:11 PM on January 3, 2021 | #19353 | reply | quote

patio11 gives COVID vaccination policy suggestions:


curi at 2:22 PM on January 3, 2021 | #19355 | reply | quote


> do you hold any opinions, on factual matters of practical importance, that most everyone around you sharply disagrees with? Opinions that those who you respect consider ignorant, naïve, imprudent, and well outside your sphere of expertise? Opinions that, nevertheless, you simply continue to hold, because you’ve learned that, *unless and until* someone shows you the light, you can no more will yourself to change what you think about the matter than change your blood type?


> I try to have as few such opinions as possible.

Scott Aaronson is deeply conformist.

Anonymous at 3:34 PM on January 3, 2021 | #19356 | reply | quote


>> Last year, as a PhD student in Social Psychology, I declined to continue engaging in a data manipulation tactic called p-hacking. In retaliation, my then-PhD adviser unilaterally— and unlawfully— removed me from the program. This is my rebuttal: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Lm__vaFYWrg3lhnooMz2lRLwv680n7yjLci0eASIobk/edit

> What happens when a Ph.D. student discovered research misconduct? She gets sacked, not much else.

It was "social justice research".

curi at 9:19 PM on January 3, 2021 | #19359 | reply | quote

patio11 likes and demos Descript. We've used it to help create the recent stream highlight videos:


curi at 4:41 PM on January 4, 2021 | #19361 | reply | quote

I'm 150 emails behind, mostly curi.us notifications. I plan to catch up at some point, possibly on stream. Too busy atm.

curi at 4:43 PM on January 4, 2021 | #19363 | reply | quote

Thunderf00t video: Tesla's Secret Plan To Disrupt Airlines: BUSTED!!

My questions: Who is fooled by Elon Musk, how and why?

curi at 6:17 PM on January 7, 2021 | #19403 | reply | quote

Encrypted Messaging Apps

You can message me on Telegram @curi42:


I got Signal too, but don't see how to let anyone message me without giving out my phone number, which I don't want to do. Also, it won't let me add any friends unless I give it access to my contacts.

BTW, Telegram defaulted to giving out lots of info or permissions to everybody. Phone number was contacts only I think, but I changed that to nobody. It allowed calls from everybody, which I changed to contacts only.

Telegram accounts auto-delete if you don't log in for a while. Default is 6 months. Max allowed is 12 months. Can't pick never. Since I don't plan to use the app regularly, they might just delete my account after a while, which is kinda dumb.

curi at 11:51 AM on January 9, 2021 | #19456 | reply | quote

Some of the most classical liberal/Objectivist/libertarian comments I've ever seen from patio11. Discussing politicians *using guns* to prevent administering coronavirus vaccines. patio11 insists in some detail that bringing up guns is appropriate and relevant, and that current policies are killing people:


curi at 9:20 PM on January 10, 2021 | #19492 | reply | quote


> The wild duality of the Internet economy, which has more addressable niches than conceivable and where platforms have powers we would have thought unlikely for governments.

> (That sounds like a subtweet this week, but this genie won't go back in the bottle during our lifetimes.)

From a thread. patio11 hints that he's opposed to big tech deplatforming.

curi at 6:01 PM on January 11, 2021 | #19520 | reply | quote

i want a world where 1) either i can use a platform ~freely (only dealing with small, clearly written limits) OR they warn me in advance about having other rules. 2) there exist options for everything major (social media, online payments, web hosting, etc.) which are tolerant or friendly towards all major beliefs, so with minor exceptions everyone has some options they can use. (so whatever you believe, you can find some companies to work with)

i think we don't live in that world. i've seen lots of evidence.

curi at 8:49 PM on January 11, 2021 | #19526 | reply | quote


>> Podcasts rife with misinformation remain on social platforms like Apple and Google as extremists exploit a loophole left after the tech companies cracked down on other mediums.

> Absolutely incredible that we're culturally converging on "you can't say things that aren't true" after literally every other era of human history is a lesson in why not to do that

*I like free speech, but we have to stop harmful misinformation or disinformation!* Said the dishonest would-be tyrants.

curi at 12:59 PM on January 18, 2021 | #19629 | reply | quote

Moldbug story about working at depressing corporate job in a near-future woke dystopia:


curi at 11:45 AM on January 21, 2021 | #19703 | reply | quote

More Jonathan Stark retainer info. It's an example sales page he used:


curi at 2:35 PM on January 22, 2021 | #19712 | reply | quote

#19712 Good advertising copy. I like how he says:

> Participation is extremely limited.

Makes the point that it's an exclusive benefit available to only a few. If you don't get him on retainer, your competitor might.

Anonymous at 9:31 PM on January 22, 2021 | #19714 | reply | quote

I quite enjoyed reading The Powers of the Earth by Travis Corcoran. It's *libertarian sci-fi*. I'm going to read book 2 next. I think it's a two book series but I haven't checked much b/c I don't want to run into spoilers.

I found the book when Alan retweeted aTwitter thread by the author, which I liked enough to try his book: https://twitter.com/MorlockP/status/1303047090399055875

The author is a catholic anarcho-capitalist and Heinlein fan. The book is partially inspired by Heinlein's *The Moon is a Harsh Mistress*. The story involves a moon colony with freedom and an Earth dominated by awful, authoritarian governments that wants to tax the moon to subsidize their own problems.

It's different than reading old sci-fi b/c the author is very attuned to modern politics and puts in stuff I'd never read in a Heinlein book about e.g. identity politics, social justice, wokeness, and other crap that fits perspectives i read on twitter *today*. (His books came out in 2018 and 2019). I looked at his twitter and he retweets and follows some of the same people (or same types of ppl) that I was already familiar with. IMO he's good at writing lines for leftist characters (though I think many people, who are less clued in to the world situation, would find some of it too unrealistic).

He is or was a software engineer (he's been doing some homesteading on 50 acres in new hampshire for the last ~decade, and writes, so idk if he still codes or not). He's familiar with Less Wrong rationalist culture. The book includes an AGI which may or may not be a danger, similar to LW's fears about AGIs. There are some mentions of Bayesian evidence, rationality and priors type stuff, and cognitive biases. The book also has a lot of good stuff about social climbing bureaucrats playing the office politics game.

It's a real novel first and foremost, not a way to share ideas in the form of a novel. Like how Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead are novels, while Time Will Run Back or Goldratt's fictional books are more just ways to share ideas.

curi at 3:25 PM on January 23, 2021 | #19719 | reply | quote

#19719 Oops, wrong twitter link. The right one is:


It begins:

> There's a bunch of different black pills that members of my tribe and adjacent tribes are tempted to take.

> One is "the game is all over, the commies won."

> Friend, censoring dissident voices, building walls, and lying about everything is not what winning looks like.

After around 40 tweets in that thread he mentions his books.

curi at 3:28 PM on January 23, 2021 | #19720 | reply | quote


> 12/

> Violation of state law, I believe.

> The lawsuits are going to continue for YEARS.

Travis Corcoran is fighting with his neighbor. He expects to continue serious legal fighting for YEARS. That is *really bad*.

He has 50 acres and likes homesteading stuff ... but apparently lives right by the property line near a neighbor who he fights with. He didn't find a good situation to be left alone and leave others alone.

He's an anarcho-capitalist but I see no pushback on Twitter about his use of government coercion against a person who is just building a barn on his own property (in violation of government laws that maybe shouldn't exist – there's literally a scene in *The Powers of the Earth* that hints that those particular laws shouldn't exist). He has a point, but 1) fighting with neighbors is really bad 2) serious anarchists should have some doubts and some pushback instead of purely siding with him in his aggressive lobbying for the government to take his side.

It's gross and show he's running his life badly, even if it may not be violating his anarchist principles.

curi at 10:12 PM on January 23, 2021 | #19722 | reply | quote


I don't know anything about Travis nor this situation beyond what's in the twitter post. But it matches a pattern I saw in political activists. If I'm right, this isn't about finding a good situation to be left alone. It's about not actually, fully wanting to be left alone.

Some people make a hobby out of complaining about being put upon. Which is not to say that any (or all) of their complaints are invalid, just that they'd rather complain than fix the problem.

One of his tweets gives an $8k estimate for a lawsuit. That's enough to thoroughly gravel the affected section of driveway or rent a backhoe to dig and put in a culvert. Maybe both. Anyone who buys a 50 acre ranch should know about gravel and culverts as effective ways to deal with water runoff and prevent muddy, rutted driving surfaces. Even in absence of a nearby structure gravel and culverts often make sense.

He may think he shouldn't have to deal with the water runoff. Maybe he's right or maybe not (I don't know). But he's dealing with the water runoff now...by going to his other neighbors and complaining (in person, for hours, during COVID) as well as going to court and complaining. I'd guess (but don't know) he also complains at town meetings and any social events he goes to. He's spending lots of time and money to complain in various ways. Which have been ineffective and probably will be, by his own estimation, for YEARS.

Why would somebody do ineffective high cost things when effective and well known solutions exist at less cost?

The best explanation I have is that part of him likes being in a position to complain. Complaining is kind of a hobby for him. So he's going to milk this opportunity for as long as he can, rather than just eliminate the problem and move on with his life.

Andy Dufresne at 9:19 AM on January 24, 2021 | #19729 | reply | quote

#19729 Yeah. I think he goes looking for trouble some, while pretending he isn't:





Should he be able to joke about shooting politicians? Yes.

Is it horrible that the government came and confiscated all his guns over that blog post? Yes.

Is that a good battle to pick? Was it worth it? No.

Violence is a big deal. Better to be really unambiguously proper about it instead of publicly joking around about it, in writing, while also being an oppressed dissident. He knows the govt is awful and overreaches and then he unnecessarily gives them an excuse anyway.

Did he learn a lesson and try to focus on living his own life after that? Nah he's involving the government in fights with his neighbor. When the govt inspectors come back to look around because of the court case he initiated, and then spot a gun (or a building code violation by Travis Corcoran, or something "suspicious" to investigate), and start fucking him ... it will be partially his own fault. He is handing the govt more excuses to be involved in his life which may very well lead to him getting oppressed more (in various ways, e.g. they might wrongly and unreasonably order him to pay his neighbor's legal costs, which should be seen as a real risk by someone who so vigorously distrusts and hates the govt, thinks tons of govt agents corrupt and dishonest career social climbers, etc).

I think my own behavior is different. I post offensive stuff and allow others to post it. But it's not about doing something violent or breaking a law. It's more about offensive ideas and sometimes offensively debating with ppl who joined my forum or offensively criticizing the ideas of public figures.

curi at 1:55 PM on January 24, 2021 | #19732 | reply | quote

#19732 btw i found out about that info about the govt raid and violent joke before the neighbor fight and due to Travis Corcoran himself. he brought it up on his own Amazon page, in a list of quotes apparently about his book, that normally would only include praise:


> How is Travis Corcoran still a free man?

> -- The Daily Kos

I googled it. (btw it's not 100% an accurate quote. it should have some square brackets but it's basically accurate.)

besides being negative, it also isn't about his book and predates the book by ~7 years.

There are two more quotes about the book where he brags about fighting with people and being disliked:

> I'm sure this can be justified as your lovely American free speech and not hate speech or malicious communication, and yes, I'm sure Corcoran has a perfect right to say it and all that shit. Guess what? I have a perfect right not to like it, and a right to not be associated with the nutter who spews it.

> -- Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan, Iron Man Extremis, The Authority

> Stupid, ill-advised, and, frankly, immoral

> -- Radley Balko, former Huffington Post senior writer

curi at 2:01 PM on January 24, 2021 | #19734 | reply | quote

#19719 I read book 2 Causes of Separation. I liked it too.

It's a 2 book main series (at least for now – it's reasonably complete but there's room to add more). But he's also written two short stories in the same world. i plan to get them. if you look at his author page on amazon you can find stuff.

he also did a short story called Firefly Season 2 (Time Traders Book 1) which seems to be related to the Firefly TV show. naming it that seems sketchy since i don't think he got the rights. but it looks like the story isn't in the Firefly world nor is it claiming to be the equivalent of Firefly season 2. instead, there is a plot involving a in-world Firefly season 2 which someone is trying to acquire with time (or universe?) travel and sell. i think. something like that. i skimmed some amazon reviews to try to figure it out. it's only 26 pages so i guess i'll read it.

curi at 5:08 PM on January 29, 2021 | #19798 | reply | quote


omfg the bid/ask spread on GME

and i read somewhere that 56% of robinhood accounts have at least one share of GME. a lot of people are involved in this.

curi at 5:34 PM on January 29, 2021 | #19800 | reply | quote

curi at 11:45 AM on February 2, 2021 | #19834 | reply | quote


> I quite enjoyed reading The Powers of the Earth by Travis Corcoran. It's *libertarian sci-fi*. I'm going to read book 2 next. I think it's a two book series but I haven't checked much b/c I don't want to run into spoilers.


> It's different than reading old sci-fi b/c the author is very attuned to modern politics and puts in stuff I'd never read in a Heinlein book about e.g. identity politics, social justice, wokeness, and other crap that fits perspectives i read on twitter *today*. (His books came out in 2018 and 2019). I looked at his twitter and he retweets and follows some of the same people (or same types of ppl) that I was already familiar with. IMO he's good at writing lines for leftist characters (though I think many people, who are less clued in to the world situation, would find some of it too unrealistic).

mild spoilers:

I enjoyed book 1 and have started on book 2.

I liked that the author has a strong appreciation of capitalism, liberty, initiative, technological progress, and other good stuff.

I found various details about the left-wing political culture plausible. For example, using disabled soldiers on the battlefield and having to deal with them complaining about unnecessarily being put in harm's way (!) on the one hand and not being given enough opportunities for promotion on the other seems like something that fits within present trends (while being objectively absurd). Another detail that seemed (sadly) plausible was an apparently general restriction on technological development (by BSR or whatever). There also appears to be universal basic income. There was also some good detail on the attitude of the left wing people from earth and how they want to plan and control everything, even down to what type of stores can be next to what.

Downsides are that I found many of the characters a bit flat and underdeveloped. And this is a bit of a personal quirk but I generally find something kinda weird and immersion-breaking about uplifted animals (I know it's a common genre trope, but it just seems kind of weird to me).

I noticed some reviews didn't like where he put the break point between books 1 and 2. I didn't have a problem with that.

I read some libertarian sci-fi years ago (some L. Neil Smith novels and other stuff). I remember liking it at the time but don't think I would like lots of it now. I have some vague positive recollection of this novel though, might be worth checking out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kings_of_the_High_Frontier#

A Mysterious Reader at 5:13 PM on February 3, 2021 | #19849 | reply | quote

I updated my iMac to MacOS Big Sur. I've run into one problem so far:

I went to YouTube with, as usual, Chrome + Video Speed Controller. I got frequent hangs (video+audio stop, or video stops but audio keeps playing). They were always fixable by skipping forward or back 5 seconds.


*Firefox + Video Speed Controller works great.*

Safari + Dynamo also works, but Dynamo only has a few hotkeys. VSC has more features:

Dynamo just has Slower (.1), Faster (.1), and default speed hotkeys. That's it.

curi at 2:41 PM on February 6, 2021 | #19878 | reply | quote

I dislike how Veritas ambushes people with IRL visits on camera. I think it's off-topic for their actual mission, mean, and unproductive.


curi at 12:21 PM on February 9, 2021 | #19911 | reply | quote

#19911 That link is just one example. They've done it a bunch of times. They started a year or two ago IIRC and it's been reasonably frequent since then. I think a while back they didn't do it at all.

They do one other thing a bunch besides their main whistleblower journalism and the ambushes. It's covering legal stuff they're involved in, especially retractions when media outlets have to take back lies about Veritas. I think the 2min "retracto" vids with music are low content but the basic idea of communicating successes at getting retractions of lies is good. Sometimes they do more in-depth 10-15min videos covering retractions or legal stuff and I like those.

curi at 12:24 PM on February 9, 2021 | #19912 | reply | quote

People often don't say their goals. I see this all the time when they ask stuff at FI.


curi at 11:02 AM on February 13, 2021 | #19981 | reply | quote

i made an FI Learning basecamp project:


i think it’s worth a try, esp b4 new website is made.

curi at 11:45 AM on February 13, 2021 | #19983 | reply | quote

#19983 I posted more on Basecamp today. I talked about the benefits and downsides of sharing online.

curi at 12:32 PM on February 16, 2021 | #19992 | reply | quote

A reasonably interesting pov someone shared about how they became an anti-open-debate leftist:


curi at 7:15 PM on February 19, 2021 | #20006 | reply | quote

I'm concerned about USD monetary inflation.


curi at 1:03 PM on February 22, 2021 | #20015 | reply | quote

Bismuth spends 6 hours per 1 minute of video produced!


curi at 5:15 PM on February 23, 2021 | #20022 | reply | quote

Thunderf00t debunkd SpaceX and Elon Musk. The biggest topic covered is whether SpaceX can put stuff in orbit for way cheaper than others. They claim to but can't.


part 2


curi at 1:38 PM on February 24, 2021 | #20027 | reply | quote


Interesting claim. Makes sense historically that most books would have just had a little text on the cover when book publishing was newer. And I agree you get a lot of info about that book from its cover. A cover could be misleading but if so the publisher screwed up, and that's their fault not yours. Just like the abstract of a paper could be misleading, but that would be the author's fault.

curi at 10:08 AM on February 25, 2021 | #20034 | reply | quote


Dog trainer reports:

- 7/10 clients, on first contact seeking her help, think they're already great at the basics. They want to jump straight into their idea of some more advanced problem they think they're having.

- 0/10 clients have the basics figured out.

What sort of basics? E.g. the dog can understand and respond to a voice command. Lots of people think their dog can do that when, actually, it can't. They fool themselves by using gestures, facial expressions, and more.

How can you tell if your dog understands your words? Walk 3 feet away, face away from the dog, say a command. People think they have problems with complicated, advanced parts of dog training but they can't yet do that.


As I've been talking about for a while re philosophy, the main reason people fail at intermediate or advanced stuff is b/c they can't do the basics. People are impatient, dishonest or various other things, avoid mastering the basics, and get stuck indefinitely. It happens with learning and with projects in general. It applies to e.g. dog training, not just philosophical stuff.

curi at 12:50 PM on February 25, 2021 | #20037 | reply | quote

#20037 The tiktok video description, minus hashtags, is:

> Basics are everything and repeating something the dog doesn’t understand 47x doesn’t help

It's a short video (like everything on tiktok). Watch it if you care about what I'm saying.

PS On Mac or PC, you can speed up tiktok videos and skip forward or back using a browser extension like Firefox (or Chrome) + Video Speed Controller or Safari + Accelerate.

curi at 12:54 PM on February 25, 2021 | #20038 | reply | quote

curi at 1:05 PM on February 25, 2021 | #20039 | reply | quote

Most people are less of an Internet Person than they present themselves as when communicating online. This causes trouble when they fail to integrate internet-based learning like FI into their lives and they're hiding and misleading re lots of the causality.

curi at 2:54 PM on February 25, 2021 | #20042 | reply | quote


James Randi says he made some rules restricting applying for his million dollar prize paranormal powers prize

you had to have some media coverage somewhere somewhat recognizable and at least one academic on your side

reminds me of my minor limits for applying for my open, public debate offer

curi at 4:48 PM on February 25, 2021 | #20044 | reply | quote

Nice article on reverse engineering a bit of GTA5 code and fixing two lines that were causes 7min load times when it should have been 2min.

somehow GTA makes tons of money but the makers never bothered to fix a lot of their players having 5+ min load times for online mode. and the fix was tiny if anyone had bothered to look.


curi at 4:58 PM on February 28, 2021 | #20064 | reply | quote


> BREAKING: Trump confirms he requested 10,000 National Guard troops for Jan 6 to defend the city. Says Capitol officials under Pelosi refused.

I saw this before brought up by a congressmen. Now Trump confirms it. This really clashes with the Dem/MSM narrative.

curi at 10:42 AM on March 1, 2021 | #20067 | reply | quote


interesting article on lambda school, including how it helps people with social class differences so they can get coding jobs better

curi at 10:43 AM on March 1, 2021 | #20068 | reply | quote

A significant part of our society is getting really openly hostile to discussion.


A million likes for a guy saying he isn't running for office so he shouldn't need any reasons for his political beliefs – but he still wants to have them instead of being neutral.

These people are hostile to straw men (that they aren't just making up out of thin air) like everyone has a duty to debate with random people.

If they were being honest, Paths Forward would satisfy them. I'd say:

1. They should have reasons in their own mind, which is separate from debating. (Some people mix up debating with knowing what you're talking about. Not all.) They should understand their own positions themselves instead of just listening to propaganda with no idea about what it means.

That's pretty standard. And here's the unique PF idea:

2. They should know of someone who does debate, who they respect and endorse. They should be able to say something like: "I don't debate but Joe wrote down the arguments here..." So if you disagree, go argue with Joe.

Not everyone has to spend time on debate. Most people don't need to. But your side should have some people who do debate. And before you think your side is any good, you should be able to name those people and look at some of their stuff and judge that it's actually good. And you should see for yourself that the debaters on your side actually debate and answer stuff. So if you meet me and I'm like "I can't get anyone on your side to debate and I can't find any answers to argument X that anyone on your side has written anywhere" you should be like "huh! that's odd. i will look into that and care, or refer you to someone else who i know will look into it and care!" that's what decent, reasonable people should be like. if their side is not addressing the other side, they should either stop being on that side or look into it.

ppl have stuff so disorganized they can't even tell what is being answered, by who, where, etc.

and when i try to organize it, i basically can't get anyone on the other side to debate me or dispute anything or answer questions/criticisms/issues, for a wide variety of things like econ, politics, animal welfare, epistemology, etc. i know that most right wing ppl are awful about Paths Forward too – that's not just a flaw of people i disagree with. the political left is significantly more hostile to trying to discuss or debate than the political right is, though.

curi at 2:26 PM on March 1, 2021 | #20070 | reply | quote

#20068 Good quote by Allred from that article:

> There are no welders in Congress. If there were, we would have Title IV for trucking school. Why can’t you get a Pell grant to become a trucker? Why only university? That’s because the people who make the laws, and decide what ought to happen to the rest of America, all went to Georgetown or Yale. If you look at Congress, it's literally something like 90% of the people come from six schools. It's not an exaggeration to say it’s aristocratic; the Supreme Court even more so, they’re like from two schools. The people making the laws are not making laws for themselves, they’re making laws for everybody else thinking that they [the lawmakers] live the optimal path, and that everybody ought to do the same. And that's just not true.

Anonymous at 6:18 PM on March 1, 2021 | #20073 | reply | quote

Many schools are demanding lots of access to your computer (basically full remote control) for online/remote exams.

This is unsafe. They can read or damage all your stuff.

What should you do about it? There are two reasonable options:

1. Create a non-admin user account that you only use for exams.

2. Install a separate copy of your operating system on a different disk, different disk partition, or in a VM. Use it only for exams. (More secure but harder.)

You should **never** give your school control over your regular user account on your computer.

curi at 4:20 PM on March 2, 2021 | #20085 | reply | quote

#20085 AWS has exams for certifying your knowledge of their services. You can do these exams online using proctoring software called Pearson Vue, which also demands basically remote control of your computer. You should use similar caution when doing online AWS exams.

oh my god it's turpentine at 2:01 AM on March 3, 2021 | #20087 | reply | quote

The world ain't all civilized.


Even in the U.S. we've had tons of violent BLM and antifa related riots and corrupt criminals just stole the presidency using massive voter fraud.

curi at 12:13 PM on March 4, 2021 | #20093 | reply | quote

It's disturbing what sort of propaganda the NYT is putting out:


> Some of the frustrations voiced by Hispanic Republican men are stoked by misinformation, including conspiracy theories claiming that the “deep state” took over during the Trump administration and a belief that Black Lives Matter protests caused widespread violence.

curi at 10:17 AM on March 6, 2021 | #20112 | reply | quote

David Horowitz responds:


> The ambulance driver I knew for the Black Panther health clinic is paralyzed from the neck down,, the result of a failed execution by Panther killer Flores Forbes who is now the head of strategic planning for Columbia University. See the preface to my book Radical Son.

curi at 10:21 AM on March 6, 2021 | #20113 | reply | quote

#20112 JFC NYT. *The Post Millenial* responded:

> The fact that BLM rallies have on many occasions turned extremely violent is beyond dispute. As a conservative count, 25 people have died in 2020 during protest actions, but the number is probably much more, considering that 19 people died in Minneapolis alone in the two weeks following the George Floyd protests.

> The number of people injured, including officers of the law injured in the line of duty, is far greater than the number of dead, and also should not be ignored. For example, six officers were badly injured in just one 24 hour period of the Seattle riots in 2020.

Anonymous at 9:46 PM on March 6, 2021 | #20115 | reply | quote

#20115 Typo: That should be "Millennial", not "Millenial".

Anonymous at 9:47 PM on March 6, 2021 | #20116 | reply | quote

Merit and popularity are very separate things. People have a massive bias about assuming stuff gets what it deserves. Examples:



Tiny channels with lots of high quality, scripted, edited explanations about speedrun related glitches in popular video games.

Meanwhile Summoning Salt has a million subscribers. Why? I like him but he isn't clearly better.

Summoning Salt is more popular due to marketing, networking and/or a different sort of merit. I don't know what marketing or networking he's done besides him mentioning having interactions with speedrunners and IIRC he got a lot of early viewers due to getting attention from popular people like a mario speedrunner who watched a Summoning Salt video on stream.

Summoning Salt focuses on *narratives*, including *people and their journeys*, and people like narratives and people more than they like understanding how games work.

But when people assume Summoning Salt is more popular due to merit, they don't have in mind the merit of appealing to what people want like narratives. They have in mind merit like explaining things better or higher video production qualities. But he doesn't. Tiny, obscure channels have similar merit of that type. Also Summoning Salt can put a lot of time into his videos *now* that he's successful, so he will sometimes have an advantage in terms of doing more research or more polished special effects, but by his own admission he did way less research and got some stuff wrong in the past while gaining a lot of popularity anyway.

curi at 1:03 PM on March 7, 2021 | #20117 | reply | quote

#20117 Why did pannenkoek get popular? 4 million views on SM64 - Watch for Rolling Rocks - 0.5x A Presses (Commentated) which stressed him out too much to make more videos on that channel.

It wasn't merit. Yes he had merit. Merit often helps compared to not having it. His video has good production value and explanations. But so do tons of other videos that are not popular.

Most people never see the thousands of similar quality videos that aren't popular at all. In general, by definition, most people don't see what isn't popular... And most people don't go looking for unpopular or obscure stuff and do any kinda comparison of that to what they normally see.

pannenkoek got lucky that the concept of a "half A press" was baiting and triggering to people and caused controversy, and also that the parallel universes stuff stood out to people. those things weren't objectively superior to other aspects of games; they just happen to be good at getting attention in our culture. (i don't think he did it on purpose and this stuff is hard to predict. there are lots of things that sound like they could go viral, and some of those do but most don't.)

was it even the first video to talk about half A presses and SM64 parallel universes? i don't know. there's often a lot of luck involved. there could easily be other videos that explained it and didn't get attention. details of social mannerisms of the presenter, and luck, and which popular people see and share it, can make a huge difference.

curi at 1:10 PM on March 7, 2021 | #20118 | reply | quote

I read some of *The Parasitic Mind* by Gad Saad. It's reasonably OK but I don't like it and won't continue. It's too shallow. He medicalizes non-medical issues, thinks genes influence lots of stuff, is into evo psych, psych studies and inductivism. Talks about mind viruses. Attacks consequentialists in an unintellectual way (characterizes them as having certain positions that don't follow from consequentialism's definition or core claims, without really explaining – just treats them like an enemy tribe and assumes they have certain dumb beliefs).

He's into freedom and free speech, anti-SJWs, anti-postmodernism, pro-Trump, some stuff like that.

curi at 5:22 PM on March 11, 2021 | #20154 | reply | quote

Behind the scenes: wow to quickly make a music tiktok with a bunch of parts:


curi at 10:13 PM on March 11, 2021 | #20156 | reply | quote

#20156 wow -> how

curi at 10:14 PM on March 11, 2021 | #20157 | reply | quote

smart phones and social media are phase 2 of eternal September. (phase 1 was AOL )

curi at 2:29 PM on March 13, 2021 | #20165 | reply | quote

govt daycare subsidies (like many others) favor the wealthy elite:


curi at 1:55 PM on March 15, 2021 | #20183 | reply | quote

Great letter from Ted Cruz about politicization and petty behavior of the military. Worrying events.


I would like to link a blog post or other permalink on a Ted Cruz website but don't know where to find one. I found a news article that links the tweet and https://www.tedcruz.org isn't recently updated. There's something screwy about sharing a letter like this as two images on twitter that don't even allow copy/paste of the text.

curi at 7:30 PM on March 15, 2021 | #20192 | reply | quote

Gad Saad, *The Parasitic Mind*:

> The quest for truth should always supersede one’s ego-defensive desire to be proven right. This is not an easy task because for most people it is difficult to admit to being wrong. This is precisely why science is so liberating. It offers a framework for auto-correction because scientific knowledge is always provisional. An accepted scientific fact today might be refuted tomorrow. As such, the scientific method engenders epistemic humility. I grew up in a household where this quality was sorely lacking. Several members of my family are classic know-it-alls who seldom exhibit any deference to someone who might possess greater knowledge or wisdom on a given topic. They know more about the heart than the cardiologist, more about teeth than the dentist, more about mathematics than the mathematician, and more about academia than the academic. Also, they were seldom, if ever, willing to admit to being wrong. When it came to epistemic humility, they were not reincarnations of Socrates. I was always deeply troubled by this family dynamic for I viewed their epistemic grandiosity as a deep affront to the truth. A personal anecdote that took place more than two decades ago perfectly captures this reality.

> A family member remarked to me that the Ancient Greeks were anti-Semitic Christians to which I gently retorted that they were not Christians. The individual in question insisted that of course they were Christians. At that point, I explained that the time period in question was labelled “BC” in reference to its being “before Christ” (prior to Christianity). Once it was clear to this person that my position was unassailable, what do you think he did? Did he grant me the courtesy of admitting that he was wrong? I have recounted this tale on a few occasions and asked people to guess what his reaction was. No one has successfully cracked that mystery yet. When all hope that he might be proven correct was extinguished, he looked me in the eyes and stated with a straight face, “Yes, I said that they were not Christians, and you said that they were. So I am right.” Of course, we both knew that this was a grotesque lie but in his narcissistic and delusional bubble, his perfect record of superior knowledge remained intact.

Sad story about an important problem about people dealing very badly with being wrong.

curi at 12:11 AM on March 16, 2021 | #20196 | reply | quote

Feelings and thoughts are different things.

Commonly, "I think X" is a way to claim X, while "I feel X" isn't. E.g. if I say "I think rats are scary", that's a claim about the nature of rats. Whereas if I say "I feel scared by rats", then I'm talking about me rather than making an objective claim about rats.

But people often use "feel" as a synonym for "think", or are dishonest about thoughts vs. feelings, which confuses matters. E.g. they say "I feel that rats are scary." which is confusing because "rats are scary" is a thought not a feeling. "I feel" is clearer if followed by an emotion word like "happy" rather than by a thought.

curi at 3:51 PM on March 16, 2021 | #20201 | reply | quote



Canadian man arrested and put in jail for referring to his child as "she" (who was considered female at birth, and who he believes to have female DNA). Consider, for context, that insulting your kids is legal. Parents can do all sorts of very mean stuff and jail wouldn't be considered.

The man was violating a court order saying certain actions would be considered family violence. But the court order controlling his speech is worrying. We live in a society where we don't court order people not to say UFOs exist, and yelling at your children is broadly legal. Parents are broadly legally allowed to indoctrinate their kids with all kinds of awful crap and to be awful.

Children are being selective protected from anti-trans parents, but children get much less protection for other issues, e.g. people are not being put in jail for not accepting their kid as gay and conversion therapy camps still exist (in USA, not sure about in Canada). Parents are allowed a huge amount of control over their children but there's this one weird exception which isn't actually about helping children generally. Courts also support parents who do very invasive, abusive interventions regarding "autism", which is so much worse than the anti-trans intervention of saying rude comments using gendered pronouns. Part of why this guy got in trouble was that the mother was supportive of the gender transition, so it may be more about supporting her against the dad than actually about what the kid wants.

Also, police were sent to a YouTubers home for interviewing the man and then refusing to delete the video.

curi at 1:36 PM on March 18, 2021 | #20212 | reply | quote

#20212 Police went to the YouTuber's home because there was a court ordered publication ban.

curi at 1:50 PM on March 18, 2021 | #20213 | reply | quote


I think some of the complaints about Amazon are important and there are real problems there (some other complaints are just anti-capitalism, and the good and bad complaints get mixed together).

I don't think people like Reisman should promote Bezos as a great businessman who earned it all by serving customers. There are issues with that narrative, e.g. that he has friends in high places, including government, and that he's now bought a newspaper that publishes propaganda (that sure isn't pro-capitalist).

curi at 1:06 PM on March 19, 2021 | #20218 | reply | quote

I enjoyed this detailed critical commentary on the planned paid level boost feature for wow classic TBC.


curi at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2021 | #20221 | reply | quote

#20212 looks like it was way more about the guy fighting with the court and violating a gag order than about pronoun usage.


> Justice Michael Tammen said the father, known as C.D., has continually breached court orders banning him from revealing the identities of his child, his former wife, and medical professionals engaged in his child’s transgender treatment.

> Tammen said the continued violations undermine confidence in the justice system and that he believes if C.D. were released to await his hearing, he would continue to breach the publication bans and anonymity orders.

Also as is typical with cases like this (or e.g. court orders to send a child to school), it went to court b/c the two parents disagreed with each other and escalated.

Lauren Southern, like many right wing news articles about this, thinks it's all about speech codes, government attacks on freedom, pronouns and the wisdom or folly of gender transitions:


but it looks like it's actually more about how ppl who fight with courts and judges get fukt. that's old news that doesn't depend much on the topic.

lots of right wing ppl, like Southern (who tries to present herself as neutral), want to use this as an opportunity for a tribalist rant about how awful gender transitions are.

curi at 5:00 PM on March 20, 2021 | #20232 | reply | quote


> lots of right wing ppl, like Southern (who tries to present herself as neutral), want to use this as an opportunity for a tribalist rant about how awful gender transitions are.

one of Southern's points is that gender transitions cause irreversible harm/side effects, so just should never be done to minors.

but that doesn't actually take the other side (the pro-gender-transition side) seriously. their argument is that going through the wrong puberty causes irreversible harm/side effects. like, if a transgender man (assigned female at birth) goes through puberty & develops breasts, or if a transgender woman (assigned male at birth) goes through puberty and develops a deep voice and an Adam's apple, then those would both be irreversible harms too (if we assume that the pro-transgender side is right, and that the transgender people really *are* the gender that they believe they are).

the issue can't just be settled by saying we should avoid things that cause irreversible harm, since both courses of action could be causing irreversible harm.

Anonymous at 5:08 PM on March 20, 2021 | #20233 | reply | quote

There are real problems with the current leftwing pro-transgender ideas. They have tried to silence a lot of the arguments against them as hate speech, using both cancel culture & hate speech laws in countries that have those. They have been cancelling & stopping actual academic discussions & research as well, not just cancelling people for blog posts, videos, etc. This makes it difficult to even talk about the issue - you can't disagree with them in any way at all without risking being "cancelled".

Another thing that makes it difficult to talk about is that *both* sides are really bad, and that people are so tribalist. If you saying anything disagreeing with the pro-transgender side, you are interpreted as just fully agreeing with the anti-transgender side in a bunch of different ways.

So it's hard to say anything at all. Even if you are really, really careful with your words and only say things that you believe are accurate, people will hear & remember you as having said & agreed with things that you *did not say*.

It's hard to say anything at all without sounding like you are agreeing with & endorsing a bunch of *really really bad* ideas since both sides are so bad, and people will interpret you as agreeing with one of the sides.

This isn't just a problem with the pro/anti transgender debate. This is an ongoing problem with a bunch of stuff.

Same Anon as 20233 at 5:55 PM on March 20, 2021 | #20234 | reply | quote

girls get more death threats than guys get


curi at 1:39 PM on March 21, 2021 | #20235 | reply | quote

Investigation Clears Goldman Sachs of Apple Card Gender Bias

>> While we found no fair lending violations, our inquiry stands as a reminder of disparities in access to credit that continue nearly 50 years after the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This is one part of a broader discussion we must have about equal credit access.

She's saying: Our wild goose chase (that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars) should remind us all that the thing we couldn't find is a continuing problem.

curi at 10:31 AM on March 23, 2021 | #20246 | reply | quote

You can use Bitcoin when dealing with Tesla, but you will get very unfavorable terms (hint: don't do it; use dollars):


curi at 12:20 PM on March 25, 2021 | #20267 | reply | quote

another disturbing replication crisis paper. this time in econ.



> Researchers make hundreds of decisions about data collection, preparation, and analysis in their research. We use a many‐analysts approach to measure the extent and impact of these decisions. Two published causal empirical results are replicated by seven replicators each. We find large differences in data preparation and analysis decisions, many of which would not likely be reported in a publication. No two replicators reported the same sample size. Statistical significance varied across replications, and for one of the studies the effect's sign varied as well. The standard deviation of estimates across replications was 3–4 times the mean reported standard error.

curi at 10:26 AM on March 28, 2021 | #20279 | reply | quote

#20279 The inability of different researchers to replicate data has some connections to poor mastery and autopilots. For one thing, I bet some of the researchers couldn't replicate their own findings. If they forgot what they did, got the same written info they get in a trial like this, and then did it again, I think they'd be likely to get different results. Or in other words, if you cloned them and had each clone do it, I think they're likely to get different results (exact clone of them as an adult with their mind, not growing a fresh clone from their genes).

And this is partly related to how inconsistent people are at e.g. doing math. You can give someone the same math problem on two different days and get two different answers if he doesn't remember working on it before. Sometimes people approach the same math problem with a significantly different method. This can happen when their math skills are about the same (haven't learned or forgotten much since last time).

Part of mastery of a subject to enable building other stuff on top of that skill is getting to the point you're pretty consistent. If it's a 50% chance you judge something good, and 50% you judge it's bad, then your judgment is not developed yet. If it's 90/10 you still aren't done learning about it. That's still rather inconsistent.

curi at 10:37 AM on March 28, 2021 | #20281 | reply | quote

advice i gave on Basecamp

how about you set an alarm to go off every 30min when you're at home, and when it goes off you think about what you're doing and what you want to be doing instead of just doing defaults by habit.

for some people, it works better to tie it to events. like every time you have a meal or use the bathroom, that triggers you to think about what you're doing, what your goals are, what you want to be doing in the next few hours, etc., instead of just doing defaults.

curi at 11:55 AM on March 29, 2021 | #20287 | reply | quote

more basecamp advice

some ppl try to write articles or essays when it's really hard for them, big struggle, takes a long time, emotionally draining, etc. and the results usually aren't very good. so it uses up a lot of resources to do the activity, and it's kinda overwhelming and often fails at goals like readers understanding your point.

it's better to work your way up by learning smaller, easier things, and then actually start your blog (or substack or whatever) when writing 1000 word articles isn't that hard for you. you can write tweets, write IMs, learn some grammar, read a lot, explain ideas verbally, and lots of other things before doing a 1k word essay, depending on what's easier or appealing or useful to you.

curi at 12:59 PM on March 29, 2021 | #20295 | reply | quote

i can write things alone, daily, and not show anyone. so i can write with no feedback or discussion. so i can e.g. make a youtube channel and continue it regardless of whether anyone ever watches it, let alone replies.

i cannot, however, do major things for the sake of others and then keep doing them without feedback. e.g. scripting the videos would be really different than what i'd do if no other people existed, so that doesn't work for me without substantial rewards.

curi at 6:18 PM on March 30, 2021 | #20310 | reply | quote

i wrote this on discord almost a year ago:

i suspect around (very roughly) age 2 is when people give up on the world making sense and lower their standards of knowledge. they start putting up with confusion and not knowing if they're right or not. that becomes normal. why? because their parents and other ppl boss them around. and the issue isn't mainly that they are told what to do (not free, not in control of their lives) but that the orders are confusing. parents demand little kids do stuff but then the kid doesn't understand what the parent said and wants. so the kid asks clarifying questions. hundreds of them. but parents don't like to answer those so the kid eventually gives up and tries to act on orders/requests/expectations that he doesn't understand.

curi at 1:13 PM on April 4, 2021 | #20330 | reply | quote

Answering Doubting Thomas from Basecamp:

> How do guys deal with the fact that a lot of people one cares about are hopeless?

Having high confidence that you and someone *are not equals* (and you're superior) is generally bad for having a personal relationship with them.

Keeping in mind **relevance** helps. You can be superior *as a scientist* and still get along with your family. It's fine if people have specialties. And you can hang out and watch TV with your e.g. brother without him needing to learn the science stuff that you know. And meanwhile you don't know as much about his career, e.g. being an electrician or makeup artist.

Logic and rationality can be (approximately) separated from morality. If you don't think you're significantly morally superior, and they know you don't, it helps give them something. People don't like being worse or outclassed at everything.

If you're better than people at reasoning, you're still typically going to lose the majority of arguments with them about their specialities, e.g. their profession. Their greater experience with the topic can more than make up for your skill advantage.

If you got such a huge lead at reasoning that you were outclassing people at their own profession, despite having little experience at it, that's harder to deal with. Hopefully by that point, they'd respect you and be proud of you, which could make it OK. That'd be easier for them if you had public recognition like awards and millions of fans. Whereas if you think you're way way way smarter than them but the world in general disagrees, then it's harder for them to accept and be OK with your apparent arrogance.

curi at 2:24 PM on April 4, 2021 | #20331 | reply | quote

If you want things from people that they can actually provide, successfully, then it can work. They can do something good or right when interacting with you, that you respect instead of refuting. If you want them to change and you don't like or appreciate them as they are, then it generally won't work out.

curi at 2:32 PM on April 4, 2021 | #20332 | reply | quote

Howard Roark gets along with Mike (the constructor worker) among others.

Being good at stuff has lots of advantages re getting along with people. You can avoid lots of misunderstandings or petty fights.

And if you're more self-sufficient, independent and successful, you're in a better position not to ask much of people, not to pressure them, and even to be generous with them. If you're independently happy, and not reliant on controlling other people around you to try to make reality more to your liking, it's easier to have good relationships with people.

Lots of trouble with friends happens due to being needy, emotional, memey or insecure. But if your life is going great, then their imperfections shouldn't threaten or scare you. And if you're more confident, then you can avoid getting defensive when people judge you negatively, dislike something about you, disagree with you, etc.

If you develop some really intellectual interests that your friends and relatives don't have, and you're desperately lonely, that can lead to a lot of trouble because you want your friends and relatives to be something they're not and solve your loneliness problem. But if your intellectual interests are satisfied elsewhere, then it doesn't need to be a source of conflict with your friends and relatives.

It also helps to respect other people as independent entities with their own lives. And to internalize fallibilism and that disagreements are part of life and good ways to dealing with disagreement. In general, the fights between "rational" people and their families are more about the "rational" person being intolerant of disagreement than about the more conventional, normal people being intolerant. That's an avoidable error.

As with all progress, some things get easier but you'll also run into new, solvable problems.

curi at 3:10 PM on April 4, 2021 | #20333 | reply | quote

some things i said in a discussion the other guy deleted

Negative emotions are one of the largest causes of content errors, including logical errors and bias.

I think you believe the other people need to get better at

1. logic

2. separating their words from their emotions

Whereas, I think they're having emotional issues which are connected to the content (just setting aside emotions is not a solution) and which are causing them to be worse at logic. And I think the same thing is happening with you. I don't think you have your emotions cleanly separated from what you think and say.


This conversation is getting a bit hard to follow. I think more organization would help. Would you be interested in making a tree for it? Like I did with gigahurt. See:




Making trees is actually one of the things I was going to suggest you could do to improve conversations with people. So it'd have a dual purpose. It'd be useful to this conversation and the technique could also be used to help with the problem this conversation is about.

If you organized a discussion with someone with a tree, it'd help them follow what was being said and understand you better. People often fail at project management and organization issues, which can lead to what appear to be logical errors, not listening or low effort. Making a tree can help them with that weakness re managing complexity and can help guide them. It can also help make things friendlier by showing (rather than telling) them that you're putting in a good faith effort to understand what they're saying. And it can make it more of a team effort to add nodes to the tree and create a thing together, rather than having an ephemeral war of words. Trees can also help with the problem of people jumping around between topics, which is sometimes more about bad organizational skills than bad faith.

Sometimes people will decline to have a conversation involving a tree even though you're willing to do all the diagramming work. In that case, it may be useful information that that isn't a conversation you should have, or you should only have it with really limited expectations.

curi at 12:24 PM on April 6, 2021 | #20347 | reply | quote

Giving people Boosts (like upvotes/likes/favorites) on Basecamp concerns me. I don't want to be a teacher giving out gold stars. It's a lot less of an issue for other people who don't have a leadership/authority role. Power imbalances in your favor make giving out praise more dangerous.

It leads to problems like if I give out an upvote to 3 things, and then not the next one, people feel like they did it wrong this time or it's bad or something. But maybe it's fine. If I have to give out an upvote every time it's fine ... ugh I don't want to be in that situation. And the more you do that, the worse it gets. If you give out the 4th upvote in a row, now the pattern of upvoting all the decent ones is stronger.

People like encouragement but it's really important that they don't rely on it.

Any kind of inconsistency in encouragement can get noticed. That's for an individual (I upvote 3 things then not the 4th) and also between individuals (I upvote Joe's first thing but not Sue's first thing).

Maybe I need to avoid giving feedback unless I explain what it is and means in words, and it's OK if there's a larger barrier to entry there.

curi at 11:52 AM on April 7, 2021 | #20356 | reply | quote

#20360 oh that's ambiguous huh. i meant "i read..." not a command that you should read it.

curi at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2021 | #20364 | reply | quote

I'm thinking maybe I don't want to do the obligation of a subscription forum where I'm expected to provide stuff regularly. But I think I do want a paywall to improve quality. So I'm thinking maybe a one time price to buy an account. Like $100 for an account or $500 for access to a semi-private forum and chatroom (only people who pay can see it, and people are requested not to share stuff to the open internet – it's not true privacy since anyone can buy access). If the private forum price sounds high just don't buy it.

I was also thinking about selling discussions. Could be something like: 2 week max, $1000 (or way more for same thing privately). This has incentives that might work well for me. People tend to drop or evade discussions. With a flat fee, if they do that I get paid well for my time. If they talk a lot, then I don't get paid as much for my time, but I get a discussion where someone actually talked much... The time limit is necessary to cap my effort, put a limit on my obligation, and to avoid people evading and then trying to continue next month.

Thoughts, reactions?

curi at 11:36 AM on April 11, 2021 | #20367 | reply | quote


> I'm thinking maybe a one time price to buy an account. Like $100 for an account or $500 for access to a semi-private forum and chatroom (only people who pay can see it, and people are requested not to share stuff to the open internet – it's not true privacy since anyone can buy access).

Sounds basically fine. You'd probably need to have super specific rules about what stuff will get an account revoked, since people will be paying for the account not the content they got while the account was active.

> I was also thinking about selling discussions. Could be something like: 2 week max, $1000 (or way more for same thing privately). This has incentives that might work well for me.

I remember an offer of something kinda like that earlier, with few takers. IIRC the previous offer was by the response/post instead of a flat rate for all the discussion within a time period, so the incentives were different. But I think the target market was similar.

I think you'd have to advertise it often and specifically to get takers. Like, advertise it when people post on a topic you're not interested in enough to discuss unless paid. If you think they'd benefit from the discussion if they paid you, you could say so in response to their post, so maybe they'd agree and buy. I doubt many or any people (including me) will notice on their own when they'd benefit from buying a discussion.

Two problems: This (advertising) is, itself, work you may not want to do. And, if you do it, I'd guess most people will interpret it socially and anti-capitalistically (something like: you're either hopelessly arrogant or needy and greedy).

Andy Dufresne at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2021 | #20369 | reply | quote

#20367 I don't like lifetime subscriptions in general. The service provider could go away or decide to stop providing the service or get bought out by someone else who decides not to honor the lifetime subscription. I'd rather pay month by month or annually.

Anonymous at 11:47 PM on April 11, 2021 | #20371 | reply | quote

#20369 in general, i think if i have to suggest that a conversation about a topic would be good, then the person doesn't have enough initiative/motor to make it good. i don't wanna drag them along and make it good for them (if i wanted to do something more like that, i'd prefer a more impersonal, group format like an article or lecture which is more suited to dealing with people who aren't doing much).

or put a different way: it's hard for me to suggest a conversation would be good b/c it depends on what the person will put into it. TONS of conversations would be good if the person put a lot into it. the bottleneck is more about their motor than the topic.

curi at 9:54 AM on April 12, 2021 | #20373 | reply | quote

> You'd probably need to have super specific rules about what stuff will get an account revoked

no i don't. it's very simple. my decisions are final. the end. don't like it, don't sign up.

i will not refund ppl who get banned early b/c part of the point of the price is to keep trolls out. refunding ppl who misbehave would defeat part of the purpose of a paywall.

i might give a refund in some cases at my own discretion, but ppl should not count on it.

curi at 9:57 AM on April 12, 2021 | #20374 | reply | quote


> Really fascinating set of maps: all the skyscrapers located in Asia, North America, and Europe, down to the regional level where applicable.

> 80% of all skyscrapers in the world are located in Asia. Shenzhen alone has well over double the amount of skyscrapers as Europe.

I would have guessed more than 26 skyscrapers in SF and didn't know it had under 10% the amount in NYC. Maybe the issue is they require ~50 stories for a building to count, and there are a lot of buildings I view as skyscrapers that don't get included on the map.

Shenzen and Hong Kong are both over 500!

curi at 7:23 PM on April 17, 2021 | #20396 | reply | quote

Elon Musk is BS. Thunderf00t has lots of good vids debunking his crap, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgUIzyn0hZY

curi at 12:43 PM on April 20, 2021 | #20409 | reply | quote

curi at 1:12 PM on April 20, 2021 | #20410 | reply | quote

Horowitz Freedom Center has a project exposing the most racist universities:


curi at 2:05 PM on April 20, 2021 | #20411 | reply | quote

Interesting book summary about stagnation of American progress. has some good bullet point summary of progress in major areas of life and rough timeframe:


basically progress was great from 1870-1940, good to 1970, and bad since then except in a few things like computers.

author of book thinks slow progress is fine and wants bigger govt. author or summary disagrees and thinks we should get faster progress going again.

curi at 2:37 PM on April 20, 2021 | #20412 | reply | quote


> Jared Diamond’s claim that agriculture was “the worst mistake in the history of the human race”

wait wtf? i had no idea Diamond was *that* bad. i think DD didn't know either, hence no mention in BoI.

i had to google for a source. it's a 1987 article by Diamond:


skimmed. looks like Crawford wasn't exaggerating or misquoting.

curi at 5:04 PM on April 20, 2021 | #20413 | reply | quote

I liked reading excerpts from Carnegie's autobiography:


curi at 5:54 PM on April 20, 2021 | #20415 | reply | quote


curi at 7:11 PM on April 27, 2021 | #20478 | reply | quote

Tons of people decide their political positions by not knowing anything:


curi at 12:07 PM on April 29, 2021 | #20491 | reply | quote

Chris Do has some notable skills re talking with clients:


curi at 10:34 AM on May 11, 2021 | #20551 | reply | quote

the blog post has the text stucchio apparently quoted without using quote marks, and links to an earlier article:


> Can You Criticize Science (or Do Science) Without Looking Like an Obsessive? Maybe Not.

> We need to normalize the pursuit of accuracy as a good-intentioned piece of the scientific puzzle.

Haven't read yet but looks worth a read. Looks Paths Forward related.

curi at 1:29 PM on May 12, 2021 | #20557 | reply | quote

People sometimes think I'm anti-social and mean. And they connect those. They think anti-social is extra mean or something.

But socialization teaches people to be mean. It's kinda conflicting to assume I'm mean in socially normal ways that I don't actually say while also picking up on an anti-social vibe.

curi at 12:56 PM on May 15, 2021 | #20566 | reply | quote

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