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Streamlined derailments and counteridea reeducation


User ID: 1118



1 follower   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 10 21:39:37 UTC


Streamlined derailments and counteridea reeducation


User ID: 1118

Given that medical marijuana is significantly more legalized than recreational marijuana, shouldn't one expect that the users of marijuana would have higher all cause mortality - because at least some of them would have medical conditions for which one can get medical marijuana prescription? That, of course, if we're talking about habitual users.

Also, the latter study compares "ever users" with "nonusers" - I don't think there's a serious basis to claim that using marijuana once in your life could kill you. If these results are real (which is not guaranteed, one study can be anything) I'd rather take it as a proxy for class, wealth, culture or something like that. It'd require extremely strong proof to make the idea that once-a-lifetime use of marijuana in high school raises your all-cause mortality 14% and your cardiovascular mortality 3x acceptable. It's much more plausible for me that we've got another reverse causality here. That of course if we assume these results are real and not just bad stats or wholesale fake, which is not that rare anymore.

The wiki link suggests that Allende had a bad economy due to Nixon meddling

Whenever a socialist economy fails (and they always do) it's always due to the western meddling. I don't think I remember any single case where it wasn't named as a cause.

Who cares about SAT scores? So, a score designed to predict academic success is correlated with academic success. I guess good job to whoever designed it. But when we get out of the class and into the real life, who cares about SAT scores? I don't think anybody does.

Something like "there is insufficient evidence to support or refute a statistical association between self-reported cannabis use and all-cause mortality" translated to human language means "no data points towards using of cannabis killing you". It could be that cannabis is killing you in some subtle and devious way, but so it would be with cucumbers and wearing shoes. Most people aren't afraid of eating cucumbers and wearing shoes because we could discover some weird way it's bad for you in the future. Same approach, I think, is warranted for cannabis, and that what 0 means here, and whether it's 0 or 0.0000001 is in practice of little importance, and there's no reason to demand from cannabis peddlers more rigor in distinguishing those than we demand from cucumber peddlers. As a side note: watermelons are deadly, at least in some countries - i.e. in Russia every year several people die from ingesting watermelons, as a result of bad agricultural safety controls, widespread tendencies of buying them from random providers, e.g. selling them off a truck in season, and virtual impossibility of checking if anything is wrong with it before eating.

Also, a "low non-zero number" may not be in any way more accurate than zero, but yes, psychologically it looks like "somebody did the job of calculating it" - even if the number if completely random and none of its digits is trustworthy. It's described in the "Peter principle" I think - the meeting set to 1pm is understood as "after lunch sometime" but 1:14pm is understood as "he's not wasting even a minute, and we shouldn't either!" But is that precision actually real? If they have data that suggests there may be anywhere from 0 to 100 deaths a year from cause X, and there's no way to make it more precise, then saying "it's 54.36" is kinda lying - there's nothing in the data that makes any of these digits mean anything. It looks precise but it's actually fake.

companies can go for long periods without CEOs. losing coders would be a disaster for a company like Meta or Google

Losing all coders - sure. Losing one coder - nope. Of course if you compare one Elon Musk to the collective intellectual capacity of all programmers in Meta or Google combined, he's likely lose, as would any single human. But that's hardly a fair comparison.

but management can be done by many people and is a more inclusive skill

Management can be done poorly by many people. Doing it well is a skill not unlike any other skill, and probably less frequent than the ability to write Python scripts.

They are both smart, but a top coder wins out in the IQ game compared to a top manager.

What's "the IQ game" and by which rules is it played?

I think you misunderstand what happened with Pakistan. It's an opposite of bribing - instead of giving Ukrainians American weapons, Americans made Pakistanis send them theirs. Also, if US workers can be busy producing Teslas but Pakistanis can deal with weapons for Ukraine, I don't see why it's such a bad deal for Americans. If it was cheaper to produce those things in Pakistan before the war, why it's not cheaper now? I mean, sure, the Tesla factory probably can produce them too, but they'd rather produce Teslas, I think?

He had some modest success at furthering free speech, but I don't think it was worth billions.

Let's assume you don't think it was worth billions, but Musk did. Who do you think is a better expert on relative worth of Musk's billions vs increase in free speech - you or Musk, the owner of the billions?

He has certainly gained lots of attention but most of it was negative

Why do you think it's bad for him? From what we can observe on Twitter, Musk loves to pick a fight.

And I think he would've been much better off if he just never bought Twitter

Obviously Musk disagrees (otherwise he wouldn't buy Twitter), but that's not the point. The point is why it is "dumb". I still don't see any basis for this - you may disagree about what Musk goals should be, but I think you must allow him to choose his own goals, even is you disapprove of them, and this disapproval should not count as him being "dumb".

Nothing "modern" about artillery shell production.

So, you are saying the West does not have any manufacturing capacity to produce something what doesn't even require any modern technology? This is a very sharp contradiction with everything I can observe, where the West is producing a lot of things right now. Of course, there's an obvious solution to this contradiction - the capacity of the Western economy and manufacturing power vastly exceeds the necessary one to produce any number of shells. But nobody wants to direct all that capacity to producing shells for Ukraine, because that would mean withdrawing the capacity from other products, and consequent troubles in the areas of economy that currently use that capacity. US does not want to be on WW2 war economy footing just because Ukraine needs shells. I think it is much more plausible explanation than your suggestion that there's no way to produce more than 100k shells by 2025 in the US. There is, but the US does not want to do it, because any politician that would propose it would be thrown out in the next election, or maybe recalled even before that.

Modern world industrial production and logistical capacity is at least by magnitude higher than during WW2 time, all these things can be ordered online

Wait, so you are claiming the West can't produce any sizeable amount of shells, but all the necessary components for producing any sizeable amount of shells can be easily "ordered online" and deployed in 20 days? Are you not noticing how you are contradicting yourself? I don't even need to argue with you - you are doing it for me!

This is not even slight exaggeration of things that were routinely done in the past.

This wasn't a) routine b) building from empty field c) done in 20 days. The very article you are quoting states that the preparations begun in 1940 and the production started to increase in 1942. And that was building on existing industrial base - nobody evacuated the factories into empty fields, they were evacuated to existing industrial and population centers.

That's awfully vague. You can apply it to almost any person - any person doing something would fail at some aspect of that, and once they did, you could say they are "dumb" for "overestimating themselves". This kind of definition does not seem to have a lot of selective power - if it can happen to anyone, then what's the point of using it, we could just say "anyone".

You are free to do so, but it's by no means an obvious decision. I would say a person managing a huge complex enterprise - successfully - may be considered as intelligent as a topologist, who couldn't manage a lemonade stand. It is true that the nature of their achievement is different, but I see no obvious reason why we should prefer one to another.

"Smart" is such a misleading word. There's no linear "smartness" scale, at least not for anything useful. Yes, you can use measures like IQ, but they are mostly useless for anything but very vague correlations. One can routinely win Math Olympiads and behave in most idiotic ways in other regards. A lot of very strong mathematicians dabble in super-weird beliefs, example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_chronology_(Fomenko) A lot of Physics PhD could say and do stupidest things and make stupidest decisions in life and business. One can be universally dumb, but I don't think it's useful to say one is universally smartest about everything. Being smart about business s one thing, and about topology is all another.

one of the dumbest, in burning billions on Twitter

Why do you think it's dumb? I define "dumb" as having a goal, perform an action that is supposed to achieve the goal, but actually does not, in an obvious way, and likely to place one further from the goal than it was before the action, and that result has been easily predictable and pre-destined before the action was taken. Is your definition different? If not, then which goal do you think Musk had and which action was "dumb"?

US and whole NATO are unable to supply Ukraine with such basic stuff as artillery shells - after 20 months

"Unable"? The shells would be there in 24 hours if the order was given by Biden to get them there. If something different happens, it's not the lack of ability, it's the lack of willingness to do that.

For comparison, in the time of world wars, 20 days would be enough to begin mass production of ammunition, starting from empty field.

I'd like to see a proof of any factory producing anything reminding modern artillery ammunition created from an empty field in 20 days. I also assume the metal, chemicals, machinery, trained workers and supply lines for both incoming materials and the product will have to come from the empty field in the same 20 days?

I think endorsement has very little to do with it. Kim has something to sell, and Russia is desperate to buy. And it's pretty much the same Soviet weapons, so there's no need for any training or adjustments. Nobody cares about NK "endorsing" anything, but putting another stockpile of Soviet weapons on the board is something that only logical to happen. And no US "warnings" of course could do anything. China could stop it if they wanted to but why would they?

Augusto Pinochet, still retains a surprising amount of supporters, mostly for his role in restoring the Chilean economy

Why is it surprising? If he did good job with the economy, the fact that he also had to hurt some commies is not exactly disqualifying - especially knowing what the commies themselves routinely do to their opponents. And we can talk all we want about democracy in our (still, relatively) safe and rich Western countries, but when the choice is commies and starving vs. non-democratic ruler but not starving, it's not exactly the surprise if some people choose the latter. I mean, yes, I (in my rich and safe Western country) think democracy would be better, but I am not sure such option was actually even on the table. So I would not be surprised at all.

I am not a Dutchman (not that there's anything wrong with that ;), neither I am a native English speaker, so I make such mistakes regularly, especially when I tweak the phrase several times before posting and forget to re-read the whole thing and see if it still sounds like a coherent and correct phrase. I do know about that rule, in fact, by a weird coincidence, I was reading an article about it just yesterday (even though I knew it before that), but of course that means nothing. I sometimes make such mistakes even in my native language. I appreciate you pointing it out, which reminds me of the necessity of paying more attention.

I would argue we already did step back to religious social technology. Only the religion is kinda weird - it's God-less (unless you consider Gaia to be a god?) and doesn't have any defined scripture (at least not yet), but it does require human sacrifice of sorts. It's a cruel religion because there's no way to save oneself, really, and the state of sin is perpetual and unavoidable, but it's also hierarchical - some people are much more sinful than the others. It borrows some from Calvinism by declaring the sinfulness of the individual is predetermined before he is born, but the good works can somehow alleviate (even though never remove) the stain of sin. It also does not declare the Man can transcend its limitations and become something bigger - only become slightly less harmful (though always still harmful in so many ways) to everything around him. It's not an optimistic religion - in fact, being an optimist is one of the signs of a sinner and an heretic, if you say "things aren't as bad as it seems" you can be pretty sure you're on the list for the next stoning. But that's what we've got.

However, the more sensible view is that there are cases where a lack of US intervention will still result in a shitshow, but nonetheless likely to be a less bad shitshow on the whole, e.g. the Vietnam War or the Iraq War.

It's not at all clear that the shitshow sans the US would be actually less. I mean, sure, not opposing the USSR (and China) communist takeover over the globe would be cheaper near-term. But do you think USSR taking over the whole Asia, South America and Africa would be less of the shit show than now? Of course, all these commit regimes would come crashing down as they did in Eastern Europe, but with the West looking the other way and pretending the commies don't exist or don't matter - could it have happened 50 years later? Could it cause much more blood (remember Budapest 1956 and Prague 1968?) and death? I think pre-supposing the answer to that is the same fallacy as saying "US meddling is the root of all evil", only in different words.

With Iraq, again looking into it in context, no US meddling means Iraq taking over Kuwait, and then expanding its operations further, and likely getting into a hot war with Israel using whatever WMDs they had. I'm not sure that'd be less of a shitshow, especially given that Israel does have nukes, and doesn't have any strategic depth, which means if seriously threatened... use your imagination. Not saying Iraq would be strong enough to get as far as to threaten Israel's existence as such - but if they get lucky and get this far, who'd stop things going there? Remember, US is not meddling anymore, which means they would neither prevent any shit from happening by force nor by promise of their protection (or its withdrawal). The world of "not meddling" would be much more dangerous and shaky, I am afraid. When there's no police, there would be shootouts. I suspect that'd be much bigger shitshow.

In Europe, it has been a very successful method indeed. However, as you noted, in the US not many cities have centers that work that way. Maybe some East-Coast ones like Boston would be, but most won't I'm afraid.

Atlas Obscura

Very interesting site, of which somehow I never heard before. Thank you!

With sufficiently good AI art, it won't be possible to tell the difference.

It's not the point. I'm pretty sure there are copies of famous paintings that are so good only the topmost experts using advanced methods of analysis, including radiocarbon dating, spectroscopy and other exciting geek stuff, can tell the different. Yet, as soon as it is known it's not the original, its value becomes a minuscule part of the original. I'm sure it's reasonably cheap to order a copy of any famous painting that would look like the original to a casual observer. If somebody does that and pretends it's the real thing, they'd be laughed at. In fact, among the real connoisseurs, nobody would likely even dare to do something so low-class as to exhibit a copy. Either you own the real thing, or you own nothing.

I understand, of course, that the comparison is not exact, and in a way the comparison is kinda offensive to art collectors, for which I apologize. But the point is that the history of an item matters, or at least it matters to some people. Some people would be fine with a fake. But there always would be those that aren't. And among those, the value of the real thing would not crater - it would, in fact, raise greatly, comparable to the danger and the exclusivity of owning it.

there'll be no incentive to create or look for new kiddie porn.

Oh there still will be. People would exchange "organic" cp images, just because it's the "real thing". Yes, it'd be dangerous - so what, it's dangerous now, it doesn't stop them. If somebody's brain is broken in this particular way, it's what they'd do.

I got to about the middle (about when the vampires show up) and there are certainly some signs of fatigue showing. I decided to take a break from it, and try to come back in a month or two and see if it goes better. I do like the worldbuilding aspects, though some jokes become a bit too forced, I mean I probably heard all the jokes about programmers and geeks that are possible already, I want something new already.

But the first Laundry ones I'd definitely recommend to somebody like me. Also, it's nice to have some British point of view on the world, having been reading so many American ones lately.

Reading arguments for both sides, I kinda see the merit of both, and yet I can't see either of them winning and I am fine not knowing which of them is true - in fact, I prefer it as an open question. In general, I am completely fine with literature leaving questions open and undecidable - you are not nearly omniscient in the real world, nobody promised you'd be in the imaginary one either.

Sometimes I wonder how it would feel to have the same attitude about the political scissor questions. Hadn't managed to achieve this yet though.

I find generalizations of the form "group X is stupid because it doesn't do Y exactly in a way I'd like people to do Y" more a failure of imagination and evidence of the narrow-mindedness than anything else. Maybe they don't have something like Three Body, or maybe they do - but making an impression on the whole culture by such a narrow measure sounds pointless.

they commonly come across as substantially and consistently dumber than other ESLs.

When I cooperated with Japanese people at my work (was some years ago) I (eventually) found out several of them did not speak English, and the English emails they regularly sent me are a product of an automatic translation. That explained a lot actually. It would be nice if they told me about it upfront, but I understand it may be harder for them to admit something like that. But none of those people were dumb - or dumber than any other very smart people I worked with, despite the occasional communication problems. Maybe if you understood Japanese you'd have a different impression?

On the other hand, if I would evaluate people by the content I find on the social media, I'd be forced to conclude that the vast majority of humanity are complete utter morons. I don't think it's actually true though, I think it's just how the social media works, unfortunately.