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joined 2022 September 05 04:13:17 UTC


User ID: 435



4 followers   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 05 04:13:17 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 435


Although it should probably be turned off by default for everyone now.

You can turn off the function that converts twitter links to nitter links in your user settings.

The number of jobs that de facto require degrees is pretty high.

Largely because they're not allowed to filter by basic IQ and because degrees have become so ubiquitous that they CAN demand them.



And for bonus points:


There is definitely a worrisome idea I've played around with where at some point technology allows nigh-complete surveillance of the populace (not necessarily full control,) of every public movement, every financial transaction, and every piece of media consumed, and once the basic techs needed for this are available, whichever ideological group happens to be in power will then be impossible to remove.

So whichever ideological group happens to be in power when the proverbial 'music' stops wins that particular game of musical chairs.

I think that might at least partially explain why lefties absolutely LOSE THEIR SHIT at the idea of Trump (or any righty) ascending to the Presidency, as if somehow Trump happens to be at the helm when we hit the point of no return, they realize that they might not be able to remove him... ever... just because he happened to be the guy 'in charge' when the switch was flipped.

This assumes AI doesn't kill us all, however.

We lucked out that it wasn't the fascists who were in control, but I'd rather not have the current elites locked into power either.

Probably the best sort of outlook to have, to be honest.

Unless your job requires some kind of accreditation, there's probably no serious reason to get a 4 year degree from ANYWHERE when you could just start working in your preferred field, get paid, earn accreditation and experience right off the bat.

None of this really excuses that requiring social justice courses for those attending a public university is very much aimed at ensuring that students who graduate hold the 'correct' set of beliefs, even if those beliefs do absolutely NOTHING to enhance their job prospects, education, or value to larger society.

It partially comes down to what, exactly, you think the role of the public universities actually is. And whether they're suited for that role. I think they very much function as 'gatekeepers' for elite society, to ensure the 'right sort of people' ascend to the soft aristocracy that runs things, and thus they want to filter very heavily who is even admitted.

Again, 'voluntary,' except you don't have any way to register actual dissent, and you're paying for it anyway.

You are paying taxes, though. And some of those taxes goes directly to support the craziness.

And they are using all these funds to churn out students who will ensure that the funding continues, either because those students go on to run the bureaucracies which distribute the funding, or at least they will vote for candidates who will continue the funding over your vehement objections.

It is a pretty well-entrenched system, in that regard. You don't want to pay, but they don't care, you will be paying.

So now what?

you can go to whichever one you want

Hahaha right except there's also admissions processes that very much filter for the exact types of people they want to attend. Let us ignore affirmative action putting its thumb on the scale.

And many colleges have removed the one requirement that at least tried to be objective.

And you can get your admission rescinded if they find your behavior as a youth undesirable

So yes, its always possible to take your student loans elsewhere, but let us not pretend that there is equal bargaining power on any level, where the market is relatively frictionless.

And that leaves aside that whatever remaining value there is in the universities mostly comes from the prestige attached to the credential or, perhaps, the social connections it allows you to make, so WHICH university you go to absolutely matters.

So really, you're hiding behind the fact that the decision to attend university is 'voluntary,' while ignoring that getting into a university is influenced by factors beyond individual students' control, that their funding is usually coming out of public coffers, and they don't need your consent to revoke your admissions, scholarships, or suspend you for behavior that is neither violent nor illegal.

So perhaps the issue isn't quite what you're suggesting it is.

A reversion to holding meetings face-to-face, and relying on handwritten documents and physical stamps/seals of authenticity seems in the cards right now.

Back when DallE2 was the cutting edge, somebody suggested that the images being produced might suggest that to the Extent DallE has any 'internal experience' it probably feels roughly like the equivalent to a lucid dream to it.

Probably not true but it sticks in my head nonetheless.

There is definitely the problem (not intractable, but hard) where Google is so dominant that their name is synonymous with search and so they are everybody's default first choice, and getting everyone to switch en masse is practically impossible without some LARGE screwup by Goog itself.

Can we solve this with good old free market capitalism?

Yes, if the Government would allow the proliferation of reliable prediction markets. Kalshi is making headway, but it turns out that the government doesn't like people betting on election outcomes so they're still feeling out the boundaries for what is and is not permissible to make contracts on.

One of my slightly tin-foil-hat theories is that the government does not WANT prediction markets to proliferate because that allows people to bypass the state in some subtle ways, and making information about, e.g. legislative policy outcomes and national elections legible; thereby making it harder to influence those outcomes in desired ways. There's really no other way for me to square the fact that they're allowing the proliferation of sports betting across the country but are squeamish about allowing people to bet on national election outcomes.

Me, I would pay a decent sum for a killer app that was basically an (AI-assisted?) prediction market aggregator where I could have consistent feed of the market predictions for various events that might influence my life, then I could enter queries about stuff that I need to make decisions on and get an immediate estimate on the odds of [X] occurring and recommendations for how I can hedge the risks based on my desired outcome. Bonus points if I can set alerts based on a particularly complex set of contracts that signal, e.g., that a war is breaking out or a major disaster is occurring.

Simple example: "My birthday party is scheduled for this weekend, what are the chances that it will rain or otherwise have uncomfortable weather" and then it provides an estimate and provides me with the option to buy shares that will pay out if it rains out my party.

Now, if I were building a business that was trying to make the information environment better, I would try starting up a journalism/news company whose source of revenue was based on accurately reporting on stories before anyone else. That is, the journalists should actually be good at their jobs and confirm breaking stories before the general public hears about them, then when we buy a position in a prediction market that corresponds to our story being true, and when we publish the story, we include a link to that prediction market in the broadcast so the audience can bet against us if they don't believe it.

The main effect here is that our company only profits if we are better at detecting true events before they become common knowledge, and anyone who has better information can try to beat us at our own game. And we don't have to rely on advertisers and thus we're less susceptible to being bent towards an ideological agenda.

I think it would make people more interested in watching 'the news' if they could 'play along' and bet against us if they think we screwed up a story or that they can profit by buying in early because they trust our accuracy.

This does all tend to fall victim to the Oracle problem. That is, who do you trust to be the final arbiter of truth when there's a dispute over an outcome. And THAT is where this benevolent superintelligence of yours might need to come in. I know of no way to truly eliminate counterparty risk, although Augur came close.

16 years since that song came out and a most of those specific lyrics are still accurate.


I was laughing at how this union is just an arrested development version of the most stereotypical teenager romance for the last 70 years.

The hyper-popular prom queen marrying the football star. Granted Kelce isn't the quarterback, but if his team wins the Superbowl and he proposes to her on the 50 Yard Line it'd be almost the most cliched Americana-style union one could conceive of.

Literal rivers of happy tears will be shed by the women looking on and living vicariously through them.

High School never ends, it seems.

I don't really think of wealth as being "burned" if there are actual people spending and enjoying it.

I was talking more about 'burning' wealth as a means of keeping it from being captured. Like if your foundation has a vault full of cash, you instruct your successors to set it on fire before they let it fall into the hands of your enemies.

I DO agree that money put into the hands of ideological activists and layabouts will eventually find its way into the hands of more productive people.

And having most of the organization's endowment sitting in the stock market also seems like a form of redistribution to everyone.

Sort of, except the most immediate tangible benefits are accruing to people that aren't going to apply it towards your preferred goals. No reason to 'reward' them for failing to uphold your mission.

I think I can also take the flip side of all this too.

MORE organizations should be set up to dissolve once they either complete their goals or fail to complete those goals after a long time trying. If I set up the "Eliminate all Homelessness in [local town] Foundation" whose goal is to solve the very tangible, discrete problem of homelessness in my hometown, and there is still homelessness in that town 15 years later... I'd consider the endeavor a failure and close up shop.

Or take a Company that was set up to produce a particular product that is now completely obsolete and unneeded by the modern economy. Is it better for them to try and pivot or adapt to produce some new product to continue operating, or is it more honorable for the people operating the company to notice that the business has run its course, and it would be appropriate to wind things down and disperse the working Capital to the shareholders?

Why is the 'standard' lifecycle of a Corporation one that usually ends in a bankruptcy proceeding rather than a voluntary dissolution when it becomes clear that there's no path forward? I'm sure there's good rationales for it, I'm just curious.

That runs into the other issue of any organization ultimately becoming staffed by people whose livelihood is dependent on keeping the org going even at the cost of its intended mission.

SO, if I were a Billionaire maybe I'd take a very different track and fund a dozen or so orgs with $100 million each with the explicit goal of fixing some small and tractable issue using those funds, and have STRICT instructions that any given organization is to be dissolved and the funds dispersed at random once [Problem] is fully solved OR 25 years have passed and problem has not been solved.

Would probably have to design it so performance bonuses would be dispersed to the people operating the org if they can solve the problem quickly, since otherwise the incentive is drag things out and eat up all the funds.

One could perhaps imagine parasites gaining influence and control at the state if that's where all the wealth accumulates at the end of people's lives.

Hard to imagine, but seems like a risk.

Simple missions are also probably more resistant to change. Its harder to subvert "I want a pyramid 500 feet tall made out of concrete" than it is to subvert "I want to promote [vague term], [vague term 2], and [vague term 3]".

Haha, this gives me an idea for a foundation whose sole objective is to keep enlarging a pyramid, layer by layer, in perpetuity, with the only tricky part being managing the endowment so that it doesn't deplete too fast and allows continued investment in more pyramid-building supplies.

I've come to the conclusion that it is impossible, and that is probably ok if its impossible. Because if it is possible then that means society could eventually end up being run from the grave.

I think it just irks me that the end result is that the assets in question always end up captured by ideologues (usually left-leaning) when they could just be distributed out to some class of beneficiaries directly or throw into the market at semi-random so no one cause or entity receives all the benefit.

So the wealth isn't burned but also isn't available to be captured and 'squandered' by activists or layabouts.

Japan seems to have a handle on building long-lived, stable orgs, but that seems mostly the case of having the entire culture in which the org exists being aligned with that goal.

Europe and the middle east both benefit from stable middle eastern regimes.

As far as I know, historically speaking, the only times the region has been 'stable' was when it was ruled by a single empire. Similar to Iraq's Sunni-Shia fighting only being tamped down while Saddam was in power.

So this seems like an argument for European re-establishing the region as a colony.

Like, do you apply the same standards to the Balkans region of Europe itself? Would we benefit if control of the entire region to one of the local powers? Would Europe benefit from stable Eastern European regimes?

Why would Christians and Jews want many of the holiest sites in Christendom and Judaism occupied by Muslims?

That's not practical, because it discredits America and makes enemies of a billion Arabs.

If the Iraq war and invasion (and eventual desertion) of Afghanistan didn't achieve this, not sure why Palestine is the red line.

I don't think you've got a strong argument for why "not sending endless amounts of aid" leads to making enemies of "a billion Arabs," most of whom have zero capability to even hurt U.S. interests.

I find the whole premise actively silly, to be honest.

I've given a lot of thought to the issue of how you can set up a foundation with your name on it and expect it to stay aligned with your intentions over the course of decades. It's hard, way too many failure modes and attack surfaces you'd have to anticipate and design countermeasures for.

Even in the best case scenario, all it really takes is the last person who knew you when you were alive to die or retire and get replaced by someone who has no connection to you and no respect for your ideals, and then there's no mechanism for forcing adherence to your goals. They turn the ship in a different direction and sail on unabated.

No matter how rigorously you define your terms and how stringent you make your instructions, over time your org will be Ship-of-Theseused into something with the same name and generally the same stated purpose but controlled by actors who may be actively hostile to your desired legacy.

You can hand-pick your successors, but once you're gone there's little guarantee those successors can manage to handpick good successors without serious entropy setting in.

The example that strikes me the most is the Ford Foundation which controls a $16,000,000,000 endowment, and has the stated purpose:

To reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

But when you look at where they actually spend the money, it is pretty indistinguishable from any other standard lefty activist organization.

Underscored by this excerpt from the Wiki:

This divestiture allowed Ford Motor to become a public company. Finally, Henry Ford II resigned from his trustee's role in a surprise move in December 1976. In his resignation letter, he cited his dissatisfaction with the foundation holding on to their old programs, large staff and what he saw as anti-capitalist undertones in the foundation's work.

So yeah, the direct descendant of the guys who set up and funded the Foundation quit because it was falling afar from it's original mission and was becoming anti-capitalist using funds provided by some of the most famous Capitalists of all time.

Took less than 50 years. I can barely imagine how one could ensure your legacy lasts 200 years without losing focus... short of founding a religion with fanatical adherents. I suppose you could pay to train an LLM that will spout your values and is given an endowment of its own to ensure it has server time secured for itself in perpetuity.

The whole problem is that if your foundation controls significant wealth, that will attract all kinds of parasites and scavengers to the 'free calories' and nature will then take its course once there are none remaining to defend the bounty.

Dragon Awards are pretty good for finding decent 'popular' works.

Prometheus Award if you want things that lean libertarian.

Stupid or bad actors losing money is in fact a form of regulation, there's just nobody to pin blame on for it.

Biden trying and failing to do something, that Trump didn't even try to do has exactly the same outcome. The thing does not get done.

If you're the victim of an 'attempted' murder I think you still will have certain rational opinions about the perpetrator who tried to kill you but failed.

I just think it's odd to make the argument that it 'doesn't matter' when we've got a recent example of how much it can matter.

Which still subsumed by the point that one shouldn't worry too much about it because the factors we can control have little influence on that particular outcome.

Vaccine Mandates and penalties were one of the major flashpoints.

Biden tried imposing them nationally.


Biden had opposed the Republican-backed provision, agreeing with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that lifting the mandate was not in the best interests of the military, according to White House officials. But he ultimately accepted GOP demands in order to win passage of the legislation.


In September 2021, President of the United States Joe Biden announced his administration would be promulgating a vaccination or test mandate for all private companies with 100 or more employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on November 5, 2021.

Biden also tried to pull the student loan forgiveness card a couple times.


He used the Pandemic as the justification in that one:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which was declared to be a national emergency, the Department of Education suspended student loan repayments. In August 2022, a few weeks before President Joe Biden declared the pandemic over, the education secretary received a memorandum from the Office of the General Counsel determining that the HEROES Act “grants the Secretary authority that could be used to effectuate a program of targeted loan cancellation directed at addressing the financial harms of the COVID–19 pandemic.”

Even if I grant that Biden and Trump's approaches were similar in many ways, the ways in which they were different are pretty damn salient.