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User ID: 787

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slavery as an institution was dismantled/ended throughout peaceful steps everywhere in the world but the US

There were other exceptions, including brief but serious backsliding time and again, but for the most part it took no major wars.

But how much of the war in the US was because abolitionists were more violent, and how much was because slavers were more powerful? In many parts of the world, the first peaceful step toward abolition was that the British Navy asked you how many pieces you would like to be in. Then, where slavery survived on ongoing trade (slavery in most of the Americas had become dependent on an order of magnitude higher imports; mass slavery in most of Africa was being funded by the exports), ending the trade left the institution unviable. But in the US slave states they were "producing" (forgive that I can't think of a word that's ugly enough here) their own new slaves, and slavery was still going strong for generations after international slave trading had been prohibited. The Union turned out to have military superiority over the Confederacy, but not so obviously as e.g. the Royal Navy vs Dahomey, so "just confront the slavers and await the inevitable negotiated victory" wasn't an option in the US. Less capacity for hypothetical violence means having to use more of that capacity for actual violence.

Even in parts of the US where slavery was ended via peaceful steps, look at the cost. Compensated emancipation was used in many countries, but only for DC in the USA; Lincoln couldn't even convince Delaware to do the same. If it had been used for the whole country, the price would have been a majority of a year's GDP. Gradual emancipation worked in most of the Northern States, but with that mechanism the awful price was paid by the slaves; e.g. Pennsylvania freed future children of slaves in 1780, but the last slaves there weren't freed until the legislature "rushed" the process to its end in 1847.

OP's wording seems to imply that "130 IQ person" and "120 IQ person" are referring to time-invariant concepts. Hence "reads books throughout" (ongoing) instead of "read books" (past tense, appropriate for someone tested as an adult) or "then reads" (future, for someone tested as a child). @TheDag can correct me, but in context it seemed that the intent of the question was "I wonder how much extreme environments could change the intelligence of someone who would have been 130 IQ in a typical environment", not "I wonder whether the higher scorer on an intelligence test would score higher on an intelligence test". Basic Gricean Maxims, isn't that? If you find a statement seemly implying something trivial or nonsensical, look for alternative possible interpretations.

Even in the boring homogeneous environments we study, IQ changes as you age, with only something like r=.66 between adult and child IQs IIRC. So it wouldn't be completely surprising if the "130 IQ person" (scored 130 on a children's test before being handed over to the wolves for some reason) turned out to be a 119 IQ person after growing up, even assuming the wolves had no effect!

He had full knowledge of the consequences of his actions and he still decided that killing was okay to achieve his political goals.

His actions didn't achieve his political goals. Considering the backlash too, the net consequences of his actions might have been a negative for his political goals.

Undertaking actions contrary to your goals (even for sociopaths whose goals don't include "fewer bombing victims") is only rational if there was reason to expect the exact opposite result instead and failure is just bad luck. And yet "murdering people is bad PR" should have been an easily foreseen consequence; it was not an unpredictable outcome.

Well, that was the one quality I was referring to. And it's hard to fault him for less successful attempts to improve the country ... although if I had to pick one ticking time bomb I'd say it's a bit damning that his terms in office were (due to Congress as much as him, to be fair) when US fiscal policy stopped being "borrowing has been an indispensable tool during major wars and the Great Depression, so it's important to stay prepared by getting ahead of our debt burden the rest of the time" and transitioned to the more modern "haha T-bill printer go brrrr".

Reagan was ridiculous and he totally failed in the long run.

When I was a child, Reagan calling out the Soviet Union was ridiculous "cowboy diplomacy", anti-Communism was the hateful thing we read about in "The Crucible", the Berlin Wall had been helping imprison East Germans for a generation and a half, half of Europe was behind the Iron Curtain, the world had 60K nuclear warheads ready to obliterate half of humanity 45 minutes after someone got angry enough (or 45 minutes after a simple mistake, depending), anti-missile systems were "reckless Star Wars schemes", and tankies were still trying to get away with "both sides" false equivalences.

When I was a young adult, there was no Soviet Union, declassification was revealing more historical Communist spies and atrocities than we'd imagined, there was no Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall was a street party, the superpowers were dismantling thousands of warheads a year and no longer had the rest on a hair trigger, tactical missile defense was saving lives and theater missile defense was starting to make intercepts, and (at least for the next couple decades) it seemed like we'd seen the last of tankies.

In the long run maybe we're all dead anyway, but that was an unexpected reprieve for a couple generations at least.

Two weeks' time, but there were nearly half a million Poles fighting, and since the German invasion of Poland was a couple weeks earlier I'd bet approximately 0% of the anti-Soviet fighters were Nazis or Nazi-sympathetic.

I’m saying that constantly referring to them as “the invaders” instead of The Russians is performative.

No; it's precise. Most Russians, even considered by nationality, have not invaded Ukraine, and something like a third will admit to pollers that they don't even support the invasion. There's little reason, when concerned with the armies who have invaded Ukraine, to use a less precise term for them. When considering Russians by ethnicity the distinction becomes even more important: many have been among the victims of the invasion. It might be an understandable accident to lump them together with their killers when speaking imprecisely, but why would anyone ever want to do so on purpose?

their “resistance” to Russia’s invasion is going to lose them their nation, not keep it.

That's not how game theory works.

Do you think that, if they'd allowed their capital city to be taken by the columns of invading tanks, that would have allowed them to keep their nation? Don't you think that's quite gullible? Putin made no such promises, and it's not even safe to trust agreements he does make.

Zelensky’s adventure

This word choice is performative nonsense. Nobody thinks that shooting back at the people sending bombs and missiles and tanks and soldiers to try and conquer you is an "adventure".

It's weird that you assign so much agency to the Ukrainians here, and yet I haven't seen you assign any to the invaders. Since your concern for the Ukranian men isn't feigned, surely you agree that the choice to invade was an atrocity, right? Even the most ardent honest pacifists will agree that starting a war is more evil than fighting back instead of surrendering.

generation of lost men

Ukraine has had those before. If we assume for your sake that the low death estimates there are correct and the high death estimates of the current war are correct, the war has to get about 30 times more deadly before the death toll of opposing Russia exceeds the death toll of being controlled by Russia.

God damned serial killers just because we think conquest is cooler than road building.

Well, conquest is parallel killing, not serial killing, so naturally there's less current resistance to it.

More seriously: although it's unfair to say that conquest is no more pro-social than serial killing, because conquest at least implies you have a social circle that includes enough people to form a cohesive army rather than one that might just include yourself ... they at least share the nature of "can be both morally and selfishly opposed by anyone outside that social circle", no? Alexander "the Great" is instead "gujastak", "accursed", in Zoroastrian literature; he was "the evil-minded (badgumān) tyrant who killed our ancestors one by one" to the first Sasanid. The more successful you are as a conqueror, the lower the ratio is of people who benefitted to people who were conquered.

On the other hand, it'd be easier to dismiss conquest as completely useless if history had a better track record of nations being able to combine and unify when necessary without it. Wiki's list of proposed state mergers is pretty short (even considering it doesn't have anything before 1300AD? really??), and if you then omit the failed mergers, the failed-shortly-afterward mergers, the barely-a-treaty "mergers", and the pseudo-voluntary mergers backed by threats of violence, it gets even shorter.

Did Chomsky write this specifically about universities? Looking at the summary of Manufacturing Consent (written as an MIT professor, co-authored with a U. Penn. professor), you can see all sorts of complaints about profit, advertising, anti-communism ... "government and corporate news sources" is probably the closest category to "universities" but it sure doesn't sound like they had their employers specifically in mind.

I've seen complaints about this before. Let's see ... Moldbug had:

If anyone is in an obvious position to manufacture consent, it is (as Walter Lippmann openly proposed) first the journalists themselves, and next the universities which they regard as authoritative. Yet, strangely, the leftist has no interest whatsoever in this security hole. This can only be because it is already plugged with his worm. The complaint of the Chomskian, in other words, always occurs when the other team is impudent enough to try to manufacture a bit of its own consent.

I may never be a huge Chomsky fan, but I haven't read the primary sources and I wouldn't trust Moldbug as a charitable paraphraser; I'd definitely like to know if I fell for a misrepresentation.

constantly referring to Russians as “invaders” like some sort of marvel movie speech

Are you suggesting they're not invaders? "One who invades", and all that? Surely if an accurate description of actions makes them sound like Marvel villainy, the way to correct that is "don't take villainous actions", not "hope they won't be described accurately".

It’s a ridiculous, nationally suicidal vanity project

"Resist invasions by foreign armies" is almost definitional to being a nation. Don't do that and you're just prey.

by a former television actor

Do you really not understand that it's not inherently ridiculous for a former television actor to stand up to Russia? This is even more obviously reaching than your sartorial complaints.

Heh; I was thinking of SBF specifically too, but I didn't feel like I understand amphetamine side effects well enough to make the connection precise with any confidence. Wildly hypothesizing, though, there is a strong vibe of "gaining INT points by trading away WIS" that would explain why the drugs' users suddenly feel super cunning when coming up with ideas like "we can make even more profit from trading in a volatile market if we swipe a bunch of bank customers' money temporarily" or "we can conquer even more territory if we start a second front against an ally". On top of the gross and grosser immorality, I wonder if something along the lines of "I'm so tactically skilled I don't need any strategic caution" was actually an explicit rationalization in both cases.

My apologies! I was reading through the transcript in between working on something else, but even so I'm not sure how I got that mixed up. I went back to the audio to make sure the voice-to-text hadn't flubbed a word but I didn't even think to make sure I hadn't flubbed the attribution.

I'd agree that your alternative course of action would have been a much better idea, at least because acknowledging the importance of subtext and escalating away from plausible deniability gradually is a good way to communicate "if I were your boyfriend I probably wouldn't do anything to suddenly embarrass you". I also sympathize with anyone who feels so uncomfortable about delivering rejection that they'll avoid a person they've recently had to reject. But...

pretending to remain friends with her, when she knows you want more, which is not sustainable


This sounds so much like a pot-shot Scott Alexander thought was embarrassing enough to delete:

They always use this phrasing like "Man, I thought he liked me as a person and enjoyed spending time with me. But then he said he wanted to date me! What a dirty rotten liar!" It sounds for all the world like not only are there two ladders, but that women can't even conceive of the idea of having a single ladder where liking someone and wanting to date them are correlated."

I thought that was a productive post overall because "just ask for dates in socially-recognized venues or via friends-of-friends" was a useful takeaway for some people, but if his overgeneralization actually applies to some women, then "don't reject suitors specifically because they were attracted to your personality first" might have been even more useful.

The problem isn't any of the individual drugs, which you look at some of the drugs that used to be amphetamines were used by the German high command. It isn't the drugs themselves are causing these massive decays of public spaces. It's this bottom 1% of lowest impulse control, lowest degree ability, lowest functionality human beings.

I'm sadly in favor of drug legalization as the lesser of two evils, but was this really the best example @Hoffmeister25 could to come up with? Poor-impulse-control drug users haven't brought nearly as much damage upon San Franciscans as poor-impulse-control Nazis brought upon Germans.

Sorry for the digression from your excellent comment, but:

I fantasize about breaking the windows of the cars that frequently block my driveway.

Are they there long enough to call 311 (or whatever the equivalent is in your city)? Towing companies will generally be happy to drag a car away at the owner's expense if you can get the cops to first send out someone from parking enforcement and sign off that it's blocking a right-of-way, at which point even if the owner gets to the car before the tow truck does there's at least a fine to pay.

The system still has a bit of an anarcho-tyranny vibe to it - with a civil judgement the best way to enforce payment is a lien saying "pay up first or you can't sell your car", whereas cops (or landlords after some prep work) can say "pay up first or you can't drive your car"? - but it's safer than vandalism and better than seething.

I have no idea what goes on in Musk companies internally, but something happens quick. SpaceX just spent 4.5 months turning a failed test launch pad from a shredded bomb crater into steel backed by a thousands-of-gallons-per-second deluge system, then tested the result against thousands of tons of thrust. They're now stuck waiting on the Fish & Wildlife Service (internal review deadline, coincidentally 4.5 months, assuming no goverment shutdown) to determine whether water will hurt fish.

(Obviously I'm expressing the latter task in an oversimplified fashion, I admit, but no more so than I'm doing with the former.)

Not only it doesn't refuse to tell you the error - with 2 screens in my car there is not a single place, submenu or whatever where I can read the code, let alone the description of the error. You the user are unworthy of even knowing what is wrong with your property.

Not to excuse the atrocious incapacity of your screens, but your car should also have an OBD2 port, right? For $20 you can plug in a handheld reader (or bluetooth dongle to use your phone as the reader) and see what internal code triggered the light.

Often what I'll find is that the numbers look fine but the modeling is garbage. Either they didn't control for an obvious confounder, or they did control for an obvious mediator ... or at best they did try to control for the right thing but they couldn't do it well enough so they just published a wildly overstated conclusion anyway. "Past parachute use is associated with increased risk of future skydiving death, even when controlling for present altitude!"


And yeah, the selection bias here hurts. More surprising conclusions are less likely to be reached justifiably (surprising->surprisal even makes that a tautology!), yet less surprising conclusions aren't news (again...), so the news ought to include unjustified conclusions disproportionately.

Exercise has one slim benefit that I sometimes see mentioned: if you put on muscle that way, the resting metabolism of muscle is higher than that of fat, so the fat loss doesn't stop the second the exercise does; you also get a "free" hundred calories a day per pound of muscle you can maintain.

But for me the biggest benefit is one I've never seen discussed: for some reason my body doesn't seem to "fight me" against exercising the way it does against dieting. If I burn 500 calories on the treadmill one day then I've burned 500 calories and that's done; even the immediate feeling of tiredness quickly goes away and I feel more rather than less energetic over the long term. But cutting 500 calories of food in one day leaves me somewhere between "ravenous" and "awful lethargy". I can't seem to lose much weight via dietary portions (rather than via the easy choices: no liquid calories, avoid sugar, etc) without using a calorie counter app to try to carefully thread the needle between "not eating less" and "my brain feels like it's starving".

There are different levels of "high" in "high-trust society". There's the level where you can leave a stack of firewood, a cash box, and a "$5 per bundle" sign by a road, and trust that when you get back the accounting will all match up because nobody would steal. And then there's the second level, where you trust that if the accounting doesn't match up it's okay, because you know the person who took more than a mutually agreed transaction allowed really needed the excess that badly.

That first level of trust is the one where there are no crooks, the one you need enough of to keep civilization from falling apart, because society needs far more voluntary positive-sum transactions than it can afford to perfectly guard.

The second level might be a beautiful place to live, but I'm not convinced "anybody engaging in a transaction might be expected to become an unexpected charity donor" is even an improvement over a welfare state that spreads those costs around. The deadweight loss of an N% tax isn't as bad as the deadweight loss of an M% chance of a (100N/M)% tax with no greater benefits.

I'd strongly second the New Super Mario Bros series, but with the warning that it's easy for players to get in each others' way, so you always want at least one of the (up to 4!) players to be both skilled enough to compensate for this and patient enough to put up with it. If not? Penny Arcade called the multiplayer "Divorce Mode". I could play with my kids for years before they could play with just each other without fighting over who messed up whom.

Is it worth skipping Trine 1? My youngest kid loves that one, but her siblings don't, so she rarely gets to play. Is Trine 2 enough of an upgrade that non fans of the first might enjoy it?

To an outside this seems absolutely insane.

It seems insane from the inside, too. I'm told you basically need a whole history course to figure out how we got to this weird place where "firing someone for refusing to do their job" and "employees agreeing to go on a 'wildcat' strike without The Union's approval" are both illegal.

I haven't taken that history course myself, so best I can do is quote from some old discussions I read online, without endorsing their accuracy:

Back in the day when labor struggles involved a lot more militancy, US unions very much did want workers to join, and sometimes their militant arms would clash as the organizations fought over members. And over other things, like some being (alleged) “company unions” that did not represent the interests of the workers.

So the US govt passed a ‘one union per industry; employers may only bargain with that one union’ union-unifying law to prevent [in?]fighting between the North Side Steelworkers Union and the South Side Steelworkers Union.

This had the side effect of massively empowering the resulting megacorporate-unions. So the US govt passed some laws limiting union bargaining power - in different ways, like making it illegal for the mega-unions to strike so much. Unsurprisingly, these laws had unintended consequences and overshot, so the government passed some more laws to empower unions in different ways again. Along the way, war rationing and wage controls and employer-provided healthcare-default happened, upsetting the bargaining positions some more, and guess what the US government did? That’s right, passed some federal regulations to fix it!

(This did not fix it.)

Or, with a handful of references:

Under the Wagner Act of 1935 (NLRA) ...

An employee cannot, for instance, join a competing union or negotiate separately from the union.


...striking employees are cannot legally be fired. Even if they are permanently replaced during the strike (which is greatly restricted and doesn’t get rid of the union), they must go to the top of the list to be taken back on when the strike is over.


  • Strikers/picketers are allowed to trespass on employer property, and employers are barred from seeking legal redress against this. Under the Norris-La Guardia Act of 1932 (Anti-Injunction Act).
  • In non-right-to-work states, unions can demand that all employees must join or pay “agency fees” to the union as a condition of employment. “Right-to-work” means they can’t do that, which was left to the states as a compromise, as part of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Employers are barred under the Norris-La Guardia Act from requiring the reciprocal: not joining a union as a condition of employment.
  • Under U.S. v. Enmons (1973), union violence is exempt from the Hobbs Act of 1934 (Anti-Racketeering Act), prohibiting the obstruction of interstate commerce by robbery or extortion.

You can't eat market cap, especially not of companies where the stock price is based heavily on public confidence in predicted growth. If he tried to sell so heavily, specifically to bail out another of his companies failing, expect most of that price to evaporate.

He'd still be fine, sure, a decabillionaire instead of a centibillionaire [edit: hectobillionaire] at worst, but it's not what he thought he was signing up for.