#4 (both parts) is activating my old-school Jeffersonian anglophobia like you would not believe.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

It’s the Tsar (not Czar) and we are mourning Topol at this time. 😞

Edit: Tsar, Czar, Tzar, and Csar are all correct, my apologies.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

#26 there actually was a gun found at the scene, he was hanging from a limb of the tree by a noose (not tied across the torso to the trunk in the way that “tied to a tree” implies), there were no defensive wounds or other signs of a struggle, and he had depression. Source: https://nypost.com/2023/02/23/shotgun-was-found-near-body-of-clinton-aide-new-details/amp/ plus the original link

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I’m kind of surprised that you were convinced by Haidt’s arguments. It looked to me like a handful of graphs with an arbitrary vertical line at 2012 and a whole lot of hand waving. To be clear, I buy that social media could contribute to declining mental health among teenage girls. It certainly makes intuitive sense. But nowhere in any of Haidt’s posts is there anything resembling a rigorous statistical argument. Isn’t a meta-analysis the bare minimum in situations like this? Why is everyone giving Haidt a pass?

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Anyone else freaked out by not being able to do #6 as described? I couldn't find anything for the first 10+ seconds I was looking at it and I had to scan it row-by-row to find the fourth mismatch.

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#18: The argument given seems to be a pretty poor one. It only seems to work if you assume:

A) Peoples' willingness to date is substantially sensitive to how bad the dating market is for them (i.e. there are substantial numbers of people who might just decide to be alone forever instead if the market is bad enough).

B) Men and women have similar willingness to put up with a shitty dating market.

C) The market clears at the point of equal participation. There being more women than men in the dating market does make things a little better for women, but not infinitely so. If social norms were really terrible for women in the dating market, maybe most women might not be willing to participate until the ratio was 2:1 in their favor.

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Per #12, it’s pretty interesting to me that Scott “wouldn’t have predicted” Instagram being worse than other social media sites. It kind of illustrates how different our priors could be based on culture (in this case generational), and how this can cause massive blind spots. I just turned 28, so Instagram was the top social media site in most of my late teens to early 20’s. I have first hand experience with the way teen girls are using the site, and I wouldn’t have to look at any data to now that Instagram was obviously going to be especially terrible for them. There is immense pressure on Instagram to convey social status for women, and the competition for status is actually graded by objective measures of “likes”, “followers”, and “ratio” (of followers to following). This means a lot of pressure on girls to sexualize themselves (to get a lot of “likes” from guys), and overall convey themselves as attractive and interesting as possible. It is a literal popularity contest, one you really don’t have much of a choice to compete in if you want to have a social life. Men have much more leeway, and Instagram isn’t quite tied to social status in the same way (though there’s definitely some of that). I’m not sure why at all, but most guys my age use Instagram to show off their hobbies and what not.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

#9 Oh hey, the weird FFXIV lawsuit showed up here! I haven't heard anything else about it, and I thought it was a spurious "get our name in the news" kind of lawsuit, but I don't know anything about how these things go. Also I want to note that Final Fantasy XIV is made by Square Enix, a Japanese company. The potential trade war would most likely be with Japan.

Incidentally, the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest parts of Square Enix seem to be the only parts that actually have their act together. Forspoken just flopped so hard the sub-studio got shut down, a dozen good western IPs got sold off to invest in crypto/web3/insert trend here/etc. stuff last year, and the CEO that did that just got replaced with a different crypto/web3/etc. infatuated guy.

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#28 Ayn Rand was an incredibly gifted writer. No comment on her political views. Most of what look like flaws to modern readers (plodding pace, moralising, soliloquys) are stylistic artifacts of the period.

I read The Fountainhead and photographed 20+ pages on my phone, because I liked certain phrases and passages so much (I didn't want to highlight my book and didn't know about Book Darts). I was really impressed by it.

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Interesting that Equatorial Guinea stands out so much on the graph for #7. Out of all the backwards autocratic petrostates it's the one I don't remember ever hearing about; between that and its (relatively) sky-high average income it must be doing something... well, not _right_ exactly, but more _successfully_ than the other autocratic petrostates at least.

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I am shocked by the suggestion that Tolkien and Tolstoy are equally notable prose stylists.

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As someone who attempted to read Atlus Shrugged several times, all I can say is this: wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQxhOYqLPdY

I can, however, admit that the tweet thread is a shitpost of the highest caliber.

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On 7: I'd reframe "Deep roots matter but institutions matter too," and instead go with "Deep roots shape institutions." That's the big story of Chapter 4 of The Culture Transplant: it's entitled "The Migration of Good Government."

The one-stop shop on how migration shaped institutions over the last 500 years is James T. Ang's paper "Institutions and the Long-Run Impact of Early Development." He says:

"[K]nowledge transmission through migration has played a large part in improving institutional development," and "[T]he diffusion of knowledge or innovation through cross-border migration has been crucial for institutional development."

So on average, in the typical country, migration shapes institutions. Ang reports that ancestral experience with frontier technology in 1500AD alone (the "T" in a nation's SAT score) correlates about +0.6 with typical measures of institutional quality today, for instance.

Too big to ignore.

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Re #4: the link you posted says the guy got 18 weeks jail. While that does not seem like enough, it's definitely a lot more than 'none.'

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9. This case is weird on several levels. You cannot own culture and you cannot patent or trademark concepts. While any individual piece of clothing (including reproductions) can be owned the concept of a style of clothing cannot be.

Likewise, what damage are the Saami claiming here? You can't just sue people because you don't like how they portray you. Is the idea that they're owed money for the use of the concept of their culture? Nearly everything about that is wrong. I suspect this is a case they know they're going to lose but they thought it was a way to gin up support. Or maybe they want a friendly court to invent a new property right? Anyone know?

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10. As marriage rates approach 1 hypergamy necessarily reaches 0 because social status is relative and so any hypergamous pairing must be definitionally matched by an equal and opposite hypogamous pairing. The only way this wouldn't happen is if the hypogamous remained single. As the actual rate was until recently between 70-80% (and they include non-traditional marriages in the modern statistics so they'd still be high) you'd expect hypergamous effects in the general population to be small.

The study also finds a modest hypergamous effect and points out that women tend to value status more as an explanation. So what this study really says is that women do tend to marry up. But only slightly.

The big point (which was never controversial to me) is that men and women do not act significantly differently in this regard. Both try to marry up, both use attraction/social skills to do so, and both marry down especially to attractive partners. The status for other traits trade that's usually seen as just happening in women actually happens in both genders. In other words, what's wrong with "women all want to date men who are better than them socially while a man will be happy with a hot store clerk" is not that it describes female behavior incorrectly. It's that it describes MALE behavior incorrectly.

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18. The dating experience is not primarily a matter of how pleasant dating is. That's not even a major concern. Many people do not date solely for how pleasant or unpleasant dating is. In fact a lot of courtship rituals are distinclty unpleasant for everyone involved.

Your theory is based on a gender conflict lens that simply doesn't bear out in such simplistic fashion. That is, you assume men and women seek to maximize advantages against each other. But this simply isn't how it works and it fails to explain behaviors that neither gender wants or so on.

Also, your female friend is ignoring female agency. The idea that it's vague accretion of sexist norms that prevent women from even communicating what they want at scale is a handwave-y excuse. What it really is is that all female coalitions are really, really hard to put together and keep together. There's an extremely strong incentive for women to defect and for men to form counter-coalitions. Any durable female coalition then needs to both consistently defeat male countercoalitions and severely punish members to prevent defection.

The more normal state in the modern US is social cliques (social coalitions) are multigender and gender norms are set by intracoalitional politics. Which is why you see the opposite of what you'd expect in a simplistic class conflict model. Groups that are almost exclusively female tend to have the most pro-female norms. Because the group is "voting" (in a metaphorical sense) on internal standards and women have more votes.

Put another way, do you think the campus feminist group (majority women) has more male determined dating norms than the football club (majority male)? That's what your theory would predict.

If you want to see what it's like to have a society with true gender war cliques you can look at South Korea. There the two years men send in military service (plus some other factors) effectively turned into a pressure cooker where large groups of young men and women simply do not like each other. Enough that politicians promise things like abolishing the ministry of gender equity because a significant portion of the male voting base actively wants that and will make it their primary issue.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

23. The issue to me seems to be that you (and much of the rationalist community) seem to be invested in the idea that IQ is not subject to diminishing returns. That it is subject to them is indeed a pretty common finding.

As I read it the Swedish study doesn't show that income and IQ are uncorrelated. It shows that it strongly decorrelates as IQ grows. In other words, 120 IQ people can make more money than 135 IQ people pretty regularly. But both are highly likely to make more money than 100 IQ people. Basically, that intelligence is subject to diminishing income returns.

Which certainly makes sense. I don't think there's almost anyone dumb on the Forbes 500 but it's also not a list of the 500 most geniuses. Lots of those work in physics labs making nice six figure salaries.

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I hate “paradoxes” like the one in 32 because the confusion is just due to the lack of clarity in the question. When discussing the weight of potatoes no one fails to include the water weight. So the question/answer is just false as written.

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#16 Masks obviously work! All things being equal % below poverty level is the most important factor for a population and so that means Florida could have a Covid death rate similar to North Carolina’s had DeSantis been pro-masking like Cooper.

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"Musk’s two highest-profile Twitter changes - firing lots of people and selling bluechecks - seem to be going well and even getting adopted by other companies."

Regarding "selling bluechecks" via the Twitter Blue service, this summary is by Will Gittins, writing for the website for Diario AS, a Spanish sports-focused newspaper, in early February 2023:


"The ‘Twitter Blue’ premium service was hoped to be a major money-spinner for the company, but internal documents seen by The Information found that just 290,000 people have signed up so far. Around 62% of the global subscriber total are based in the United States, but this still equates to just 180,000 people [in the US]. This is less than 0.2% of the platform’s monthly active users. ...

"In the aftermath of Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter, there's "roughly $1 billion of interest that accrues on the debt [financing portion of that purchase] each year. QZ estimates that existing Twitter Blue subscriptions will bring in around $27.8 million per year. This means that, to cover the $1 billion per year in interest payments, Twitter would need 10.4 million subscribers to Twitter Blue. It is currently 10.1 million short of that figure."

TBD ... maybe this will ramp up if there are yet more compelling advantages of subscriptions (or disadvantages of non-subscription membership), or from the business equivalent ("Twitter Verification for Organizations"). Or perhaps even more consequential than subscriptions, advertising revenue turns around, or other revenue sources emerge. But right now there's still a large mountain to climb, even just to meet debt service requirements, much less reduce or turn around any operational losses on top of that.

As for the "firing lots of people," perhaps the jury is still out on that one, and we'll need a longer time to assess its full impacts?

Strictly on the basis of potential impact on the platform's day-to-day operations, according to Casey Newton and Zoë Schiffer in early March 2023, there have been at least six "high-profile service outage[s] at Twitter this year." See their post for links to descriptions of each incident:


However, I don't know how this recent frequency, nor the severity levels or lengths of these outages, might compare to pre-Musk-acquisition periods with higher staffing levels. Without some baseline, this list in itself isn't a clear indication that the staff cuts have degraded service.

Nor have I looked into to what extent the deep staff cuts at Twitter have been proportioned across staff most closely involved with day-to-day operations versus 'everything else,' although it's reasonable to assume cuts were considerably deeper within the latter category.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

7. Nowratesh is definitely one of those reads where I read his substack and think, "This is interesting stuff, but I really have no interest on this guy's opinions about anything else but migration and immigration."

25. Plus there's just too many weapons the NIMBYite city governments still have in their arsenal, including the mentioned fees, lawsuits, and the scourge that is CEQA. Although it's pretty messed up that Huntington Beach is trying to fight even the ADUs/second units - the more important YIMBY reform in my view was changing the state zoning law to allow for by-right duplexes/triplexes. They should go further, explicitly adopt Japanese-style zoning.

I've never understood why homeowners throw tantrums over duplexes. I grew up in an area that was mostly single-family homes but also had a fair number of duplexes and even some small walkup apartment buildings, and it was fine. There wasn't even a significant hit in traffic - suburban roads are usually overbuilt for the number of inhabitants anyways.

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18: "A female friend counterargues that this isn’t how it works in real life: women in male-dominated communities may have dating market power which in theory they should be able to leverage into female-favoring dating norms, but actually male-dominated communities accrete so many basically-male foundational assumptions that the women can’t even communicate what they want at scale, and the men win out anyway."

I actually lived through the experience. A long long time ago in a galaxy far away, I went to a college (a liberal arts institution not an engine school) where there were more than 2 boys for every girl, in a community where the students were isolated from the life of the community and thus there were no townies. The men were miserable and the girls had a great time. A lot of girls who did not have much of a social life in high school were suddenly the belles of the ball.

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#3: "The Bing Chatbot was often unsettling. I say that as someone who knows that there is no actual personality or entity behind a LLM model."

Scott, do you endorse even this part? Some of your posts (like https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/02/28/meaningful/) have convinced me that what's "behind" Bing Chatbot is the same kind of thing that's "behind" humans, and that Bing has no less personality than it appears to have.

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There was indeed a prayer for the tsar: https://www.ou.org/life/news/blessing-czar-pray-president/

Analogous prayers follow the Torah service in most denominations in most countries; one common American version is called 'Prayer for the Government'. There is an additional, similar prayer for the State of Israel. These prayers are, unusually for Jewish prayer, often chanted in the local language instead of Hebrew (or Yiddish).

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I discussed how capital punishment is popular even among the educated class, and thus how the greater influence of them in the UK would not suffice to explain their lack of the death penalty there:


I recall years ago also seeing some survey data that a majority of Brits favored the death penalty for certain crimes, but I think that was a rare crime.

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I strongly suspect that wokeness has 'peaked' not because it's lost/going to lose power, but simply because everyone has become so brow beaten that all the easy-to-cancel-over stuff simply doesn't get regularly said anymore out of fear (or the problematic offenders being culled from academia).

It's really, really hard to imagine America becoming meaningfully less woke in the near future, and it seems much more like the "peak" is more or less a floor. And while the wokeists may struggle to push institutions to become significantly more radically woke, there's plenty of fertile territory outside of academia that isn't yet up to this floor, which would represent society becoming more woke on average but not much more extreme at the peaks.

The idea that there's going to be a reversal in the near to mid term without some radical shakeup of society in the meantime is kinda preposterous.

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That Bangladesh mask study which is, or was, the best evidence for efficacy and is mentioned in the Vox article as supporting evidence, actually turned out to be pretty weak after the data was reverse-engineered (and later confirmed and I believe fully released by the study's author). The difference in number of cases between control and treatment groups was only 20 out of 300k people, over 8 weeks. Furthermore there were some highly abberant results, like purple cloth masks having zero effect, but identical (other than color) red cloth masks performing better than surgical masks. In my opinion this study should be placed with all the others showing no effect from masking.


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I can provide a good data point on the Builder's Remedy story. I know someone who is involved in commercial real estate in the Bay Area, and asked about this when it was first going down; they gave two reasons why most builders weren’t going ham:

1) Main issue is the city still gets to do an EIR (environmental impact review) so they can still throw sand in your gears. Those can go much longer if you are not on friendly terms with the City. And the new Builder’s Remedy hasn’t been tested in court yet; there will be lawsuits before these projects go through.

2) Everyone in commercial real estate is terrified of the macro environment. I infer it’s the same for Residential; terrible time to build houses with interest rates where they are (double whammy as it’s both a bad time to borrow money for construction projects and a bad time for home buyers to take a new mortgage).

So while the EMH might make you think that loads of building would happen given all that pent up demand, there is no one with shovels ready.

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Hmmm, not so keen on your US centric attitude to the Sami claims. Do you really advocate for the Disneyfication of true European culture? Your article on Universal culture and how the US is the first place to be infected by it was interesting and just because the US popularised hamburgers from Germany, and jeans de Nîmes doesn't mean the US government should lean on other countries to Disney their cultural heritage. The US eventually made Singapore lift it's ban on chewing gum. Go USA!

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The power and influence of Christianity as a whole probably peaked in the 1800s or early 1900s. Part of that is the colonization of the rest of the world by Europe, but in the Middle Ages, a lot of nominally Christian areas were not under any sort of control by the Church or pope. The papacy itself was often under control of secular authorities, and individual kings or nobles felt perfectly empowered to ignore the Church/their local bishop. Also, parts of Europe were rather slow to Christianize and other religions continued to be practiced for centuries after (see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianization_of_Iceland).

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

The "peak wokeness" thing reminds me of Scott's old post on New Atheism.

My view of what happened with New Atheism is that it won some key battles, and its perceived necessity receded so people moved on to other things. It's seen in retrospect as too strident and over the top; partly because the threats it was responding to aren't so visible now, partly because over time most normies left and the only people who were still talking about it were increasingly extreme. But it's not like the opponents of New Atheism are seen as having been vindicated either, so much as the whole thing seems overblown.

I could see the same thing happening with "wokeness", people perceive it as less important because it won some key battles, lots of people simply move on, in the future it's increasingly dominated by increasingly extreme people and seen as ridiculous by some. But the same way the "I was a super woke SJW" crowd will look ridiculous in 2030, the "wokeness is destroying America" crowd will also look ridiculous. And the woke people will be able to point to some societal changes that everyone agrees with in 2030 that they can claim to been at the vanguard of.

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We can rephrase the potato paradox like this:

1. 100kg of potatoes consist of 1kg of carbohydrates and 99kg of water, which is a water:carbohydrate ratio of 99:1.

2. If the water:carbohydrate ratio in potatoes were instead 49:1, how much water would accompany 1kg of carbohydrates in these new, 49:1 potatoes?

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What most people in government subsidies arguments cite, is companies deducting the R&D budget from their taxable income. If say Exxon funds research into how oil is developed in the rock, this expands human knowledge. Oil companies also study how oil molecules can be turned into new products ... like plastics ... without which, none of us would be using computers.

Big corporations fund a whole lotta research which expands human knowledge. Big Tobacco—not my favorite product—funded a whole lotta basic plant biology research, including the studies which discovered ATP.

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Could someone who was surprised by the potato thing explain what they expected the answer to be and why?

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32: The Potato Paradox (not really a paradox): “Fred brings home 100 kg of potatoes, which (being purely mathematical potatoes) consist of 99% water (being purely mathematical water). He then leaves them outside overnight so that they consist of 98% water. What is their new weight? . . . The surprising answer is 50 kg.”

The easiest way to intuit this is to think about the constant 1 kg dry weight. At first, that 1 kg is 1% of the potato weight. In the morning, it's 2%. 1/.02 = 50 kg.

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#7 seems wildly overdetermined, as the 1500 list of technology reads like a carefully reverse-selected list of things that are both associated with European expansion and later considered by Europeans themselves to be technologically important. The migration adjustment also seems to be a dodge to make the numbers line up properly.

#9 makes sense if you know anything about geographical indications: https://www.wipo.int/geo_indications/en/

As an aside, I should mention the acacia retypification debate/scandal/controversy and how it has allowed Australia to potentially gain a geographical indication on a word almost exclusively associated with Africa.

#28 is good trolling but a terrible argument. There are many books that sold spectacularly well without being either particularly philosophically engaging or masterpieces of prose (Dan Brown springs to mind).

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"Equal sexual expression" seems to fail along the same lines that most sociological and economic theories fail, in that it posits that humans are machines acting in their rational self-interest. But humans are sexually-driven animals and dating is, aside from a few people who've been convinced by Tumblr and TikTok that asexuality is a thing, a means of sexual selection.

And sex is a highly irrational drive, often spread unequally across males and females of any species. In many insects, females regularly devour their male sexual partners in order to provide sustenance for the newly-developing eggs; female octopuses and other cephalopods usually copulate only once, after which they time their eggs' development so that their babies will be born just when the mother has starved to death protecting them from predators.

Humans are not that extreme, of course, but we are also clearly sexually dimorphic with respect to sexual desire, with related asymmetries of dating being pretty much inevitable.

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Time Magazine, founded in 1923, was pretty eccentric in the mid-20th Century. The editors invented a new prose style that its anonymous reporters had to write in. It was also highly biased along its center-right mainstream Republican ideology. President Eisenhower was always described as tall, straight-backed, and distinguished-looking, while his political enemies were short, squat, and nose-picking.

Over the course of the 1960s-70s, Time became more conventional, more liberal, more like the New York Times. The Los Angeles Times, which had been basically the voice of John Huston's character in "Chinatown," followed a similar trajectory.


"Briton Hadden, the editor of the magazine, created a new style of writing. He was a savage editor who stripped the sentence down, cut extraneous clauses, and used only active verbs. He also removed inconclusive words words like "alleged" and "reportedly". ...

"The editor of Time Magazine was also interested in creating new words. For example, while at Hotchkiss School he described boys who had few friends as being "social light". In his magazine he began using the word "socialite" to describe someone who attempted to be prominent in fashionable society. Hadden wanted a new word for opinion makers. As they thought themselves as wise, he called them by the name of his old Yale prankster group: "pundit". Another word brought into general use was "kudos", the Greek word for magical glory. Henry Luce also developed new words. The most famous of these was "tycoon" to describe successful and powerful businessman. The word was based on "taikun", a Japanese term to describe a general who controlled the country in the name of the emperor.

"Hadden encouraged his writers to use witty epithets to convey the character and appearance of public figures. Grigory Zinoviev was condemned as the "bomb boy of Bolshevism" and Upton Sinclair was called a "socialist-sophist". Winston Churchill was described as being "ruddy as a round full moon". Benito Mussolini was attacked on a regular basis. ...

"Articles in Time Magazine were very different from those found in other newspapers and journals. Isaiah Wilner has pointed out: "Having invented a new writing style that made each sentence entertaining and easy to grasp. Hadden and his writers began to toy with the structure of the entire story. Most newspaper writers tried to tell everything in the first one or two paragraphs. By printing the most important facts first, they destroyed the natural narrative of news. Hadden trained his writers to act as if they were novelist. He viewed the whole story, including the headline and caption, as an information package."

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FFXIV is made by a Japanese company. This is important in the context of copyright claims, because Japanese companies have been *extremely* overzealous with copyright claims in recent years, frequently attacking youtubers reviewing their products merely for showing real pannels from a manga or such. I can't speak for what the Sami council's reasoning was, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is a "the best defense is offense" strategy, where they want the costumes removed because they fear that otherwise actual Sami people wearing the costumes on youtube could end up with copyright strikes from the Japanese company.

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#9 From my understanding, fashion is generatlly not protected by copyright.

"In the European Union, the Creative Designs Directive and the European Designs Directive are in effect to protect new designs for three or five years." from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashion_design_copyright.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

#5 Nature does not make leaps, certainly not 24% leaps in one generation. This was discussed on a sub-reddit, I think r/science, which concluded it is a change in method of measuring. It sure as hell is not an *evolutionary* change given the time available.

[edited because i do not want to show up on google searches along with the subject matter of the link].

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9: In the US, I'm moderately sure that clothing designs can't be legally protected at all (whether by an individual or a group). I remember this being a point in a TED talk I watched years ago and my cursory googling appears to confirm. Not sure how much this differs by country.

Also, I notice you called this "trademark", but the linked article didn't use that word and only talked generically about "rights". Conditional on clothing designs being protected at all, my priors say that copyright is significantly more plausible than trademark. However, copyright also *expires*, so if this really is traditional (i.e. old) clothing, that might be an issue even if it is copyrightable-in-principle.

18: It seems important to note that this argument only applies to the marginal man and marginal woman in the dating pool. Individual men or women will have different amounts of desire to date and different tolerances for annoyance, and so probably some of them will be far from their cutoff for leaving the dating pool even if others are on the edge. There's no requirement that the *average* man and woman balance in this way.

Also, the thing that should balance isn't really unpleasantness alone, it's the combination of hardships and benefits. If one group has more desire to date (they gain more satisfaction from a successful date), then they'll be willing to endure more frustration in order to continue dating, and so their marginal members will be more frustrated than the other group's marginal members.

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Related to #24: David Mitchell on Mensa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPMKqyaXtHI.

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Why do you say the potato paradox is not really a paradox? The usual definition is:

> A mathematical paradox is a mathematical conclusion so unexpected that it is difficult to accept even though every step in the reasoning is valid.

And I think this counts?

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#22: I've long believed that the discourse around aphtansia suffered from unreliable & fuzzy reporting, i.e that if two people both experience "a black screen in front of me, and the idea of the thing in the interstice behind my eyes", one could report "actually seeing the thing", the other "not seeing the thing".

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Negative externalities are a thing, and you study them in economics.

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Yes the UK criminal justice system is a joke, and no party really seems to want to fix it. Our house was attempted to be broken into, and one of the guys had a machete and smoked a cigarette and dropped it in our yard. So they got him with the DNA evidence, then he pled not guilty and it actually went to trial. He had something like 30 previous convictions (which the jury wasn’t allowed to hear about!) and he got five years. Then was released after two. For a attempted armed burglary! Nuts

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Re #6: I sometimes diff text files by rapidly task-switching back and forth between them. The differences show up vividly as flickering movement where everything else is still.

(As for the stereogram method in the example: I find it quite hard to do the stereogram thing with my eyes, but I found I could spot the aberrant numbers in <5 seconds anyway.)

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#19...I don't know what I just finished reading, but I think it devalues the Bay Area House Party series to make that comparison. Plenty of honest intellectual people have most assuredly assured me that Sam Kriss Is The Shit, he's The Smartest Writer Alive, or whatever. And maybe that's even true more generally? But at least in the limited domain of "Satirical House Party Stories", Scott seems the clearly superior talent.

Idk, Sam Kriss to me is like TLP is to some others: a clearly very brilliant and somewhat unhinged guy who seems to mostly use that intellect doing the exact same thing he's satirizing as poetry there. Stringing together words and turns of clever phrase that ultimately signify nothing. Maybe it makes more sense if one is Lacan-pilled or something...

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#20 most obvious drop off from the peak 2020 woke era ideology is the “defund the police”demand, which has now been totally forgotten.

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>have the option to be much picker

Should be "have the option to be much pickier"

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#6 don’t we need two images for stereograms?

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#5 Assuming that the findings are valid, how likely is it that both this and sperm count decline is due to sexual selection, specifically the increasing ability (in the west particularly?) during the 20th century of girls and boys to select their own partner (and take longer time to do so, with more allowance for failed attempts).

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#2 actually 400 ships first time

'So he equipped 200 ships filled with men and the same number equipped with gold, water, and provisions enough to last them for years, and said to the man deputed to lead them: "Do not return until you reach the end of it or your provisions and water give out."'

Same set up next time, "2,000 ships, 1,000 for himself and the men whom he took with him and 1,000 for water and provisions."

This makes me very strongly suspect that none of this happened. The set up looks logical to someone who has never been to sea, but it is nuts. Keeping station with another vessel and coming alongside it every time you need to restock on food and water, in all weathers and sea states, rather than having 200 self contained ships, is insane. [evidence: a lifetime sailing including an E-W Atlantic crossing in a 45 foot sailboat].

Numbers also look too big and too round, but what do I know about the Mali empire?

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I dunno about Bing, but someone had ChatGPT play against stockfish (a strong chess engine) without enforcing a legal move requirement on ChatGPT, and the result is pretty spectacular comedy:


(ChatGPT clearly isn't maintaining an internal model of the board state, it's stating moves that somehow parse as plausible responses to the previous move or moves. This can result in pretty natural opening play, where the engine is likely to have a number of textual examples of similar or identical sequences of moves to draw on, but as the game progresses ChatGPT starts to recapture with pieces that don't exist or can't move to that square. I particularly enjoyed the repeated resurrection of the g pawn. The guy posts the transcript of the actual chat in the comments.)

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6: I have never been able to see a stereoscopic picture and I don't know how people can. I can make myself see double by moving my focus behind the image, which makes the image itself blurry, or I can move my focus in front of the image, but it's impossible to hold it there unless I have something else to focus on, and even then I can't get the image to appear as described. Am I alone in this?

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Oh, wow. I have such mixed feelings about #22. Of course I'm going to read it and try it, but it's gonna suck if I can't get it to work.

That said, I have reason to believe my aphantasia is fixable. I've been practicing, and I *think* I can see faint, ghostly images when I try really hard. It takes a lot of unpleasant effort to practice.

I've noticed something else, too. I can't really imagine sounds like music or birdsong, but I've noticed that I can imagine some sounds if, instead of just trying to summon the sound, I imagine trying to make the sound with my mouth. Like, I can *hear* myself humming a song in my imagination, hear it clearly. I cannot imagine the hearing the actual song at all. This made me very confident that yes, I have aphantasia - the clarity and detail with which I can imagine my own humming is amazing, almost like the real thing. I've played drums for 30 years, and I can imagine complex, multipart rhythms but they sound like how I would verbalize the sound, not like how the drum sounds. Same for piano and guitar, which I don't play nearly as well as drums, it sounds like how I would verbalize the instrument. Other instruments, like french horn which I love to listen to, I can't really imagine at all. Maybe because I don't know how to make even slightly similar sounds with my mouth? I'm just starting to play around with imagining other senses like taste and touch.

Very strange phenomenon to play with. It is surprisingly difficult work. It's a little disturbing to explore this, to notice the million tiny ways I've worked around this, lessons and habits that were hard-earned and feel like part of who I am now but that I should maybe jettison if I can learn to visualize things in my head, or even just learn that they're workarounds for not being able to visualize things. But courage is the first rationalist virtue, right? "What is true is already so."

I will not take a deep breath. Regular breathing is best.

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A #23 related question: What is the standard IQ test? I'm from South America and I see much discussion about IQ in rat and rat-adjacent communities, but IQ is not widely tested and discussed in the local scene. Does anyone have a source for the go-to IQ test used and accepted on these studies Scott mentions?

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> Elo of about 1100 (around the level of an okay beginner who’s stopped being too embarrassing).

Crying when you only have an Elo rating of 900 ...


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#31. So, you're arguing here that Pigouvian externalities (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality) aren't a valid economic argument?

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Hey, thanks for linking to my chess Twitter thread. Couple things:

1. I go by Zack not Zach

2. Not sure which other commenters you’re referring to who say it doesn’t work but I’m happy to let you temporarily use my account to verify; dm me on Twitter if you’re interested. The thread with a better prompt is https://twitter.com/zswitten/status/1631610044583391241.

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"He thinks this is because teenage girls are using Instagram and worrying about body image. I wouldn’t have predicted that this in particular would be so much worse than all the other kinds of social media use, but I guess I’m wrong!"

Well, I think we can confirm that Mr. Alexander was never a teenage girl.

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I used to use the stereographic approach to solve spot the difference puzzles. This was briefly profitable when a prize machine in the local bar had spot the difference as one of the challenges.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

Making a plausible threat that you are going to create an explicitly non-politically-acceptable AI is actually a great move to encourage the politicians to regulate AI industry seriously.

I think this is the real motivation of Elon Musk here.

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"I would urge people to put this in perspective of Christianity, whose power probably peaked during the Middle Ages but which remained the dominant paradigm of culture for hundreds of years afterwards"

I don't think that's the best comparison. How about this: McCarthyism (which has IMO a lot of parallels to wokeness, including elements of overreaction) was at its peak for about five years, and then for another 10-15 would have some successes and some failures, and be basically gone by the late 60s.

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I think Rand's success should be entirely attributed to the fact that it's not a novel, but a religious text for a cult. It's a Bible for the Cult of Capitalism: like any other holy text, it makes no real attempts at logic, kind of hard to read, and is full of boring, one-dimensional characters and utterly horrible, stilted dialogues. Like any other holy text, it subtly hints that you, yes YOU the reader, that you're worthy of salvation. You're the Atlas (a non-Atlas obviously won't read that book or enjoy it). You might be widely disliked by everyone around you as a selfish prick, but actually, secretly, you're the one who will be Saved, while your slack-jawed commie tormentors will be swept with the tide and drowned in the ocean.

Well, all that and BDSM. BDSM is an attraction, too.

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Assuming we are post peak wokeness, is it because wokeness won or lost?

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

If the Saami have some IP right that entitles them to demand Final Fantasy not use their clothing, how does licensing work? That is, if Final Fantasy wanted to put Nike shoes in their game they could sign a contract with Nike where they give Nike money in exchange for the right to use their shoes. Who would they have to make such a contract with in the Saami case? Can they find a single Saami guy and pay him a hundred bucks for the rights to his cultural heritage, or do the Saami need to reach some kind of majority agreement? The majority agreement model has weird implications, it suggests that if some Saami tailor is really unpopular, he could lose majority approval and with it the rights to make his own culture's clothing!

And a further consideration, whether Saami IP works on individual or majority approval from the Saami, who decides who's Saami? If everyone working for Square Enix pulls an Elizabeth Warren and suddenly remembers that they're 1/256th Saami, can they get together enough people to outvote the real Saami? Can you do a hostile takeover of an ethnicity?

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

Re #9, The US starting a trade war on a Japanese company's behalf seems pretty dumb. It seems extra dumb to limit successful cultural exports and loosen American cultural hegemony, it seems extra extra dumb to withold hamburgers (whose name suggests extra-American origins), especially when it's just a sandwich with a common meat filling. Do _you_ want to be responsible for creating the conditions where it's necessary to legislate what a hamburger is, vs a steak sandwich? And this is going to be _the American government_ doing this? The American government doesn't make hamburgers, this would pretty much make them a patent troll. Don't you McDonalds might have some thoughts about this?

I know this was a joke, but you clearly didn't think it through even for like, 5 seconds, which kind of kills the humor.

Re #21: I congratulate you on noticing your confusion, but you skipped the next part where you're supposed to ask if the new information is false or if the model you've been working from is wrong (Spoilers: don't read ahead if you want to work it out for yourself. It's the latter). I'm reminded of the recent Aella twitter thread where she complains that the neo-traditionalists that "she thought were her allies" turned out to have a problem with sex workers. (Who could have foreseen it???).

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#29 For now on I will end everything I write with "I made this because of a technicality, not because I thought it was a good idea."

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It is just really weird how opposed to punishment the Anglophone elite are when it comes to violent crime.

I think the "weird" bit is important because they are a long way away from the views of the public, utilitarianism or any philosophical concept of natural justice. It can't really be explained by their interests or their ideology which makes it inexplicable.

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Re: #7, Reason seems to have a good counterargument to "The Culture Transplant": https://reason.com/2023/01/01/the-case-for-50-percent-open-borders-2/

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"it’s the geniuses who can’t make it in regular society who are going to every Mensa to boast about how quickly they can solve Rubik’s Cubes."

Betcha I'm not the first pre-WWW Internet veteran reading that who thought of an analogy to online comment sections....^^

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I'm skeptical of the article about how the "Awokening" is winding down. It attempts to make the case that articles about woke topics are being published less in academia, which seems straight-forwardly true from the graph you show here.

My initial objections were:

1.) COVID happened

2.) Enrollment is down in general due to reasons unrelated to COVID, and

3.) Humanities and social sciences have been seeing ESPECIALLY reduced enrollment and consequently, budget cuts. That's probably the reason why woke papers have seen a decline in the last two years.

The article attempts to preempt this counterargument by citing studies saying that publishing generally has continued to go up. However, the studies he cites to make his case looks only at STEM publications, not humanities or social sciences. (Seriously - *all* of the studies that he cites. Look under "Expected and Observed Patterns in Academic Research".) I would think COVID and AI absolutely would have received a lot of funding the last few years.

I had no luck finding data on publications for the humanities or social sciences in order to support my hypothesis, so I don't know for sure. But I'm skeptical. The main thrust of his argument seems to be based on a measly 2 years of decline and there are lots of factors that could be involved in that.

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In no particular order:

Re: 4 - I don't think this is a contrast so much as cause and effect. If someone can commit grievous bodily harm, have a record of violent offences, and get away with community service as sentencing, then I don't think it's strange for the public opinion to swing towards harsher views of punishment, and this will inevitably lead to even smaller offences being viewed harshly by a small section of people (as see imprisonment for not wearing a seatbelt).

If somebody assaulted and stamped on the head of a family member of mine and got a mere slap on the wrist, I think I too would be inclined to answer a survey on attitudes to crime with "lock 'em up".

Re: 9 - St Patrick's Day will soon be here. That also means the American version of St Patrick's Day. That means a better than average chance of me seeing "Happy St Patty's Day!" all over social media. I think I'm with the Saami on this one 😁 So in solidarity, I will share with (inflict on?) you all the 2019 Norwegian Eurovision entry, including a Saami as one of the singers:


Re: 13 - so now the AI alignment worriers are catching up to the things I was taught in religion class when I was nine? 😀 This was a long time ago, so let's assume that this particular saint was St. John Bosco (it probably wasn't, but I can't remember exactly who it was supposed to be, and there are various versions of this floating around). Okay, so the anecdote is that a bunch of seminarians (or other potential members of a religious order) were all at recreation, including playing a game (let it be billiards that they were playing) and talking about the end of the world and what would you do if you knew it was going to happen tomorrow? And most were saying things like I'd go to confession, I'd say farewell to my loved ones, and the usual things. And St. Whomever answered "I'd finish playing the game".

So the moral all us wee Catholic kids were supposed to take away was: live every day as if it is going to be the end of the world, but live in such a way as neither to be too fearful nor too optimistic. If you live a bad life, then rushing to make things all well before the end is not sincere. Live your life well, and then all you have to worry about is doing whatever it is you are doing at the particular moment - finish playing the game. Because one day, for our individual death, it *will* be the end of the world as far as we are concerned. Die with dignity, as Yudkowsky says, and don't violate your deontology, as I was being instructed over fifty years ago.

See John Donne's Holy Sonnet 13:

What if this present were the world's last night ?

Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell,

The picture of Christ crucified, and tell

Whether His countenance can thee affright.

Tears in His eyes quench the amazing light ;

Blood fills his frowns, which from His pierced head fell ;

And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,

Which pray'd forgiveness for His foes' fierce spite ?

No, no ; but as in my idolatry

I said to all my profane mistresses,

Beauty of pity, foulness only is

A sign of rigour ; so I say to thee,

To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assign'd ;

This beauteous form assures a piteous mind.

Re: 21 - the little I know about Brianna Wu, the only thing I believe there is "sensing when political winds are shifting". All the rest is merely "oh hai guize, I was always one of You, just never said anything for reasons!" Not to go all Donatist, but when someone rocks up after the persecutions and when the emperor seems to be shifting his attitude towards the persecuted, and claims they were really on your side all along they only went along with the campaign of oppression because, it's natural to doubt their bona fides and suspect they are only throwing in their allegiance with what looks to be the winning side today, as they were with the winning side yesterday.

Re: 28 - not even as a joke, don't link Rand with Tolkien. She'd hate and despise everything he stood for; she hated Lewis's writings, and he's much more on the same viewpoint side as Tolkien - see her marginalia in a copy of "The Abolition of Man":


As to her success in America, I think it's easy to see why. Her works are the American legend of "anyone can make it here", the celebration of the lone genius (see the Wizard of Menlo Park for the conscious mythmaking around Edison), the trope of the Bold Pioneer pushing out past the limits imposed on him by conventional, stultified society, making his way out West to the new, virgin fields of possibility where a man can build his own things for himself, and by virtue of grit, moxie, and hard work, as well as free market capitalism, be in the forefront of Science and Progress, and win well-deserved riches by the sweat of his own brow and his own toil, as well as getting the girl in the end.

It's not the philosophy and God knows it's not the prose style, it's the tropes which won her success (especially if you're in the mid to late teens when you come across the books, prime age for "nobody understands me, they all want to keep me down, but I'll show them, I'll show them all!"). American Exceptionalism, can-do attitude, individualism, and Jack is as good as his master attitude where it's not inherited wealth or status, but individual brains and talent and hard work that make you the captain of your unconquerable soul, as in "Invictus", and any man can make it from a log cabin to the White House:



Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

Re: 32 - I've seen this one long ago and how it's worked out, but I've forgotten it. But the answer is correct, it's the same kind of problem as the lily pad covering the pond one.

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I have long been contrarian on the general consensus take on Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, but I want to stress that is not at all the same thing as saying he is doing a great job.

My take all along has been, basically: Twitter seems to be a badly run company; Elon Musk is not an idiot; Elon Musk has a decent shot at getting Twitter in better shape simply by slashing costs and making some obvious product improvements.

So some version of that seems like it might be playing out. But I have to also say that Elon has been doing absolutely everything possible to make my contrarianism look really dumb. Twitter might bounce back from all this, but Elon seems to be succeeding in spite of himself.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

"The Potato Paradox" (with mushrooms, not with potatoes) was one of the supplemental problems at the end of a standard middle school math textbook in the Soviet Union. As I recall, this textbook was for a grade somewhere between the 4th and the 6th, but I might be a year or so off. I went through this textbook around 1983.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

Relevant to those who enjoyed the scripture analysis parts of Unsong:

[Purim Torah-in-jest] Should we be afraid of Artificial Intelligence?


(I posted this late in an earlier open thread and it got buried)

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Re: 4 - how does this chart show that the UK population is tough on crime? Are these results different from the results you'd get if you took a survey in San Francisco or Hong Kong or Kansas or Paris or whatever? People in surveys are famously inconsistent between questions of abstract theory ("I believe in freedom of speech") and questions with a little bit more concreteness ("do you think it should be illegal to advocate for red light cameras?", or something else they find personally infuriating)

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Re: 4 - how does this chart show that the UK population is tough on crime? Are these results different from the results you'd get if you took a survey in San Francisco or Hong Kong or Kansas or Paris or whatever? People in surveys are famously inconsistent between questions of abstract theory ("I believe in freedom of speech") and questions with a little bit more concreteness ("do you think it should be illegal to advocate for red light cameras?", or something else they find personally infuriating)

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I trying to understand the graph in #10. Is this showing this lower status people tend to marry higher in average, and higher status people tend to marry lower on average, and therefore it's basically all just reversion to the mean for both sexes, with no other systematic preferences in either direction?

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#22. My girlfriend just discovered she has aphantasia from this (and a recent MR link), and says that some things make a ton of sense now. She always thought that Guided Imagery was a bunch of baloney, and was always impatiently waiting for her group to get back around to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which "actually worked".

Now, after she read this article and a few of the cited papers (especially that MRI one), she's convinced that it's because the Guided Imagery was literally (visually?) doing something for the rest of the group that it specifically didn't for her. Is this a known thing? Do therapists steer Aphantasic people towards more dialectical therapy models?

We've done a few of those guided visualization exercises (e.g. "picture a ball on a table" etc.) and yeah, clear difference between the two of us. (I engineer mechanisms, and have a fairly detailed "mind's eye") She describes it as having "word tags" that come up when she's thinking of a thing, but no actual "mind's eye" picture of them, even for things like my face, the house, etc. Concept shaped holes are indeed quite hard to see!

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I'm struggling with #10? It looks to me as though the trend line is consistently at or above the line y=x, which seems to be saying that on average for both men and women their father-in-law is higher status than their father, and I don't see how that can work!

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Mar 11·edited Mar 11

Most of the critical darlings or novelists lean left (even Rowling is a leftist who pissed off other leftists), so Rand had a big underserved market for her libertarian stuff.

As for the kink...well, PC depictions aside more men are doms and more women are subs, so doing an M/f novel pleases people on both sides I think.

Law of oppression: what about men in female-dominated communities? It always seemed like a lot of feminism, particularly the elite variety, was in response to the bad behavior of artists and intellectuals: cads taking advantage of free love in the 60s produced second-wave feminism in the 70s, lecherous campus humanities professors produced campus sex codes in the 90s, and horny guys taking advantage of sex-positivity produced the #metoo and the rest of the current backlash. But I'd love to hear someone with firsthand experience in the humanities and arts comment.

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"I'm updating on how useful it might be to spread the word on this" -- yes, the usefulness is that it's wildly dangerous! LLMs get their entire knowledge set from *everything that has ever been written*, and every self-concept from *everything that has been written about them specifically*. If sufficiently-complex-AI had evolved down different paths this might be a good idea, but it specifically ran down the path where it's a simulator (rather than an agent) that acts the way it assumes you want it to based on everything that has ever been written about it. A good basic "absolute minimum for anyone who cares about the future of humanity" is not constantly going on record at every turn to exclaim the certainty of the most pessimistic possible interpretations.

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On the subject of "your brain is doing lots of low-level visual processing and sending you high level summaries, and if you can trick it into doing the thing you want in the low-level processing then you’ve significantly increased your available processing power.” It reminds me of an article I read a while ago where some military group (probably DARPA?) was using brainwave reading headsets to determine when analysts had "spotted" something in an image. Because the "detection" was based on low-level brain signals it was occurring before the analysts were consciously aware they had seen anything important allowing a significant speedup over normally examining the image since they could be bombarded with images faster than they could consciously process them.

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#22 I'm finding it kind of sad that everyone is just going along with "aphantasia is a mental disorder", as opposed to a neutral mental variation. Do people really want to do guided meditation that badly?

The clearest counterpoint to the idea that aphantasia is bad is this line from Galton:

"To my astonishment, I found that the great majority of the men of science to whom I first applied, protested that mental imagery was unknown to them, and they looked on me as fanciful and fantastic in supposing that the words 'mental imagery' really expressed what I believed everybody supposed them to mean."


Anyway, it's gonna be interesting to hear from the people who "cured" their aphantasia how they like it in a few years. So far the writer in the link reports: "It’s not contributing a lot of usefulness to my mental life, and I can’t calculate chess moves yet. But it turns out to be fun to doodle dragonflies and perfume bottles in your mind when you’re stuck in traffic."

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Holy crap. That Bankless Yudkowsky video hit me pretty hard. All my Theory of Mind circuits tell me that he genuinely believes we're screwed. I... now feel the urgent need to decrease the error bars on my AI doom beliefs.

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Just a note: if you think trans individuals aren't being targeted, you aren't paying attention to what is happening in red states.

98% of us here should be thankful we're straight dudes.

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I wish you have given the solution to the "potato paradox" so visibly. I would have enjoyed trying to solve it.

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"Jacob Falkovich on Twitter proposes a Law Of Equal Sexual Oppression - in mostly heterosexual/monogamous societies, men and women ought to find dating equally hard/unpleasant/unrewarding."

Surely this ignores a key fact about most societies that have ever existed: that the choice of mate is not up to the partners themselves? Even in modern Western society, the parents apply enormous pressure on their children to avoid undesirable mates, and the role of religious, social, and economic factors can't be ignored. In pre-modern or non-Western societies (e.g. Islamic or Hindu societies), the parents either arrange the marriage entirely, or play a huge role in finding the right match.

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There’s actually a ‘blessing for the Czar’ that’s still carried out, in European monarchies and sometimes even republics; it’s know by its incipit ‘HaNoten Teshua’. Probably goed back to 15th century Spain, where it was created in an unsuccesful attempt to appease the monarchs into not persecuting them as much. From there it spread out along with the Sephardic diaspora and is quite well-known, I think.

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The real story is a majority of Britons believe saying something sexist should be a felony.

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Incidentally I don't think that potatoes are anything like 99% water, which also makes the question confusing. Unfortunately my googling to find out the water percentage of potatoes was useless since the top results are all about this darn "paradox".

Watermelon flesh is 99% water though, and potato is nothing like as liquid as watermelon. (Otherwise it would be called watertuber or something)

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No 4 is only an interesting contrast if you were under the impression that "democratic" countries have policies that come close to matching the mean views of voters. In reality, electoral dictatorships actually tend to have policies more aligned with the populace than "real" democracies, likely because they have to keep the military happy and the military is mostly made up of regular working/lower middle class people rather than elites, and so their views are fairly representative of the rest of the country.

American congress has approval ratings in the toilet and yet have an extremely high re-election rates. Their jobs evidently do not depend in a meaningful way on giving the voters what they want. A candidate exists to keep the other guy out of power.

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If that isn't what she was proposing, then I've got no idea what she was proposing. "Atlas Shrugged" is the principle work that most people who call themselves Objectivists refer.

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The dating and happiness proof is not good. All it says is that, under some assumptions, there's a negative feedback which leaves the marginal man as happy dating as he would be not dating, and the marginal woman as happy dating as she would be not dating. There are no grounds for comparing one side's happiness with the other.

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Mar 12·edited Mar 12

Scott, I agree with most of what you wrote about the Swedish study except for your use of the phrase "statistical missteps". Emil's post doesn't identify statistical missteps in the Swedish study. Instead he points out that lots of other countries show different relationships than the Swedish data -- and he suggests some good reasons to think that, in Sweden, the relationship between income and cognitive ability is in fact different at the upper extreme.

Cremieux's second post does show an important statistical artifact -- they show that *binning* can generate the observed nonlinear graph despite a linear underlying relationship. That's the key insight as far as I can tell, and Emil doesn't mention it.

(Emil's post does highlight the reversed axis, which lots of other commenters noted as well. I don't think the reversed axis is a statistical misstep at all. The Swedish charts, with the flipped axis, are not useful for answering the question, "are there diminishing returns to intelligence?" but (modulo binning etc concerns highlighted by Cremieux) they are useful for answering other questions like, "are such-and-such economic outcomes mostly a result of intelligence?")

And by the way, the study itself does not "[purport] to show that IQ stops mattering after the 90th percentile" of *IQ*. It purports to show that IQ stops explaining income after the ~99th percentile of *income*, which is an importantly different claim and, modulo the binning concerns, seems supported in the Swedish data though not the Finnish data etc.

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Creativity in turning a big lemon into lemonade:



Just four hours after the FDIC posted a press release detailing what customers could expect now that their bank no longer existed, CAMP introduced its BANKRUN sale with an Instagram post. “This is crazy but CAMP needs your help!,” the company wrote. “For real - our bank got shut down by regulators, so we’re asking that you RUN, don’t walk to our BANKRUN sale. And tell your friends too, please! ” Everything on the site was 40 percent off, it explained.

As some affected founders gave interviews, sharing fears that they would not be able to pay their employees, co-founder Ben Kaufman took a different approach with this email to customers. Echoing Instagram, it reads, in part:.

"Unfortunately, we had most of our company’s cash assets at a bank which just collapsed. I’m sure you’ve heard the news.

We are hopeful that this will be resolved soon, but in the meantime we are turning to you, our most valuable customers, to help us. All sales from this point forward will deposit into Chase & allow us to generate the cash needed to continue operations so we can continue to deliver unforgettable family memories...."

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#4 - those two things seem directly related. From experience in the US, the worse that crime gets, the more people want to be tough on crime. If the UK is under-punishing, the people will demand more punishments. If there's no mechanism by which the people can request or demand more punishments, then that really is an interesting question in a democracy.

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> Law Of Equal Sexual Oppression

Ignores possibility of gender-asymmetric desire.

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#5: Regarding the penis meta-analysis and systematic review, I got around to redoing it and concluded that, no, there was not a 24% leap in penis length or any other measured aspect of penis size.


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> I don’t usually like subgroup slicing but he seems to have done a really good job proving that this subgroup does badly across many different studies.

Here to note that every group that isn't "all people" is subgroup slicing, they are all samples. e.g. western medicine research is based on a biased sample of white men

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

> There are two possible explanations for Rand's success. The first is that her politics are just that compelling and her philosophy that overwhelming in its logic (they're not). The second is that her prose is just that good. That she's the American Tolstoy or Tolkien.

The third is that something similar to her beliefs was already in the water supply (conservative libertarians) and those people elevated Rand the same way Jordan Peterson is elevated today.

My dozens-of-pages summary of Atlas Shrugged + book review: http://david.loyc.net/misc/Atlas-Shrugged-summary

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> A new set of documents obtained by the Daily Mail states that a Stoeger 12-gauge coach shotgun was 30 feet from the body of Mark Middleton

Does a shotgun really fly that far when you suicide with it? Sounds like one for the Mythbusters.

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