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Small-Scale Question Sunday for January 28, 2024

Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?

This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.

Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.

Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

What the fuck was this responding to:

Yo Shavit @yonashav 7h
Replying to @rharang

We very intentionally are not sharing it widely yet - the hope is that a mini public demo kicks a social response into gear

I can't see the tweet it's replying to. Yonadav Shavit is "Head of Preparedness" at OpenAI.

Surely just about actual use access to Sora, right?

Per your request: sorry, afaik we don't have the ability to move posts from one thread to another.

I also haven’t seen the original tweet. But I’m assuming that it’s about Sora, and that “social response” means “gathering a diverse group of creatives, policymakers, stakeholders, and experts to ensure that Sora can be used widely, safely, and equitably”. Or something. And thus continues the entanglement of governments with megacorps who control the AI that becomes increasingly entangled with everyday life.

Apologies for the paranoia; it just can’t help but leak out every time a new advance like this is made. We need another Emad Mostaque, a better one.

I think this would be more "people need to freak out about this and have it widely disseminated that this is now possible and generate some antibodies" than directly about the explicit concrete program you're imagining.

Though that will probably also happen, if it's not already, and that is almost certainly somewhere on this guy's mind, and all insiders to this generally, to greater or lesser degrees, whether in favor of it or hoping to stave it off.

If you want to read some more particular entanglement directly into that tweet, there'd be good odds on "yet" being mostly understood to mean "before the election".

Your view regarding memetic antibodies is far more reasonable than my initial knee-jerk take; I repudiate my original comment (since although I don’t doubt that it’s happening in parallel, that’s not the correct reading of the tweet posted).

What kinds of penalties are on the table for Netanyahu's corruption trials?

What the hell does PMC mean? HBD was easy enough to google but no idea what this PMC thing is and I've seen it in multiple threads now.

Professional managerial class. It's a modification to the classical Marxist split between capital and workers. Where the Marxist viewed society as split between those who lived because they owned productive capital, and those who lived by selling their labor; the modern view includes the pmc as a powerful class because of the existence and prominence of public capital. The pmc are those who are able to direct capital to their benefit, even though they are nominally selling their labor.

Professional Managerial Class.

professional–managerial class, usually

Does anyone know what actually happened to the MyPostingCareer forum? I reckon it used to have a certain level of notoriety, complete with a long entry in Rationalwiki. I remember visiting it in 2017-18, the members were usually of an anti-anti-Trump viewpoint, and their arguments appeared to be sound.

Huh, I just looked in the mod log, and saw that one user is still an admin, but has had all his/her comments removed.

No idea what that means. Does that mean that we're able to ask to have our comments mass purged, should we wish? I'm not a huge fan of removing content, as occasionally it's worth linking to or looking at old things, though its value goes way down after a week or something.

Edit: removed username of the person in question

Jesus, you scared me. Was about to ask the mods to get in touch with her and wish her well from me in whatever situation caused her to bail out from here.

She enabled private mode (you can do it in your profile settings), which means you cannot view her commenting / posting history, or search her comments by username, but the comments themselves are still there.

Mods will whack you for purging comments, but from what I understand private mode is allowed.

Unfortunately I don't think that's the case. The moderation log shows @ZorbaTHut removed all her content and now her username has been updated. I don't know what happened, but it seems like it is pretty serious. Hopefully she's okay.

Yeah, when I'd put that first, there was no private mode in place, and the name hadn't been updated.

I hope whatever's going on is nothing serious.

Oh damn...

I'm not a fan of purging history either, but if she went this far, it might be appropriate to ammend the username in your original comment as well.

I'm peeved at purging history, since it's already muddying the last month's quality contributions.

For a user as prolific as she was, I don't know who you expect to fool other than new, clueless people. For everyone else it's only a matter of time until they notice who it was, and an annoyance until they do, if they see this thread.

Good point.

Does anyone know how to do exact string search in theMotte's search function? Quotes don't seem to work.

Does the Motte website support something like saving drafts of comments? For example, say I start writing a comment on my phone, and then it turns into a longer response/post so I want to shift over to my computer.

I guess you could just post a comment and edit later but if it's a top-level post on the culture war thread for example, I don't want to post something unfinished so that I can finish it elsewhere on another device. It's not a big deal because I can just save the post elsewhere and get it that way but I was wondering if such a feature is available.

Use a note taking software that's always synced between your devices.

Kind of out of nowhere but I would appreciate good examples of such software. I recently got into uhhhhh creative writing exercises and syncing is definitely an issue, I spend a lot of time without access to my battlestation and a google doc is not very convenient (typing on a phone isn't either tbh but that's a separate issue). Bonus points if the sync is not tied to a goog account.

I use Standard Notes

Nice, simple, private. They don't have access to the contents of your notes.

...I don't know why but seeing private text software advertised by a picture of a vault with a massive


on the lid cracked me the fuck up. God, 4chan is not good for my brain.

Appreciate it, will try in the evening. The free tier seems to have all I need so if the mobile UI is decent I'll just straight migrate.

I don't think so? You could always do things like copy and paste and email it to yourself etc.

Question/proposal for the mods. The Vault is a wonderful resource, but it's a shame it hasn't been updated in over a year. I'd like to volunteer to populate it with some more recent content.

The reddit entries are here. I should get back into reviewing and converting them, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to have more people doing it.

Does anyone have a book recommendation about the history of policing in the United States? Looking for something that covers post American Revolution to modern day.

Let’s say there was an “anonymous mode” box on your profile. While checked, any comments or posts you made would be reassigned to a single, anonymous account. Mods would still be able to see who wrote it, and you would be held to the usual rules, but other users could not.

  1. Would you use this feature?
  2. Would it make you less likely to delete/overwrite old comments?
  3. Am I overlooking an obvious way for bad actors to exploit this?

I don't see myself using it too much, Mainly because I am not too paranoid of getting doxxed or "fingerprinted" by AI. I think I've made that sufficiently difficult by having almost no writing under my real name that intersects with the motte in any way whatsoever and having a sex/profession/location/ethnicity profile that literally tens of thousands of others also share.

  1. Rarely.
  2. Probably.
  3. Possibly but seems unlikely.

No, and I'd rather it weren't a thing. I'd expect it would be a net negative: some people would use it unnecessarily, and being able to recognize individuals seems essential to maintaining a community well.

If I remember correctly, alts are allowed with mod permission? So people can already say things with ~anonymity, but with a mild barrier?

Your assumption is correct. We recognize legitimate uses for alts, though back when that was proposed, I asked @ZorbaTHut if there was any way to make any approved way to make an alt without informing them (I wasn't a mod then), and I don't recall if he came down on it. I mean, just make one, we can't stop you, new accounts receive extensive scrutiny.

We do detect alts, especially the people who don't take kindly to their bullshit being shown the door, and in some pretty clever ways, but I'm not at liberty to disclose the details.

i imagine a lot of people would the feature a lot if it actually magically guaranteed anonymity against all possible threat models, but it doesn't. I feel like people here are already very resistant to the desire to not say things that'll get a negative response, but care about anonymity for other reasons like not wanting to get their racism posts linked to their real job and things like that.

What would be the rules around use of personal information? People here frequently cite personal experiences, would the mods be piercing the veil and assigning discipline to accounts that lie?

Who says any personal experiences cited here are true?

Lie might be the wrong word. I don't care if they're true, but it seems like a violation for them to inconsistent but concealed in a way that can't be called out.

Like if I put on anon mode and started doing some "As A Woman" bit, that should be bannable.

IMO, any argument premised on the speaker's personal identity should be bannable regardless.

Dafuq? Quite a few of our best AAQCs involved people using their personal identity and knowledge to provide valuable context lost to the rest of us.

You're not going to win that one. Even 4channers often divulge personal details in their greentexts.

"Premised on" is an important qualifier in my post. People should feel free to cite personal knowledge and experience, but if their argument rises or falls based on that personal knowledge or experience being true, I think they are failing to make a real argument. If their argument boils down to "trust me bro, I know what I'm talking about" it's not contributing to the discussion.

I sometimes mention that I am a lawyer, and I am, but I don't expect anyone here to give me special trust or deference on legal topics because of it. I don't expect anyone to even believe me when I say I'm a lawyer. My arguments need to be independently supportable via evidence and reason, not purported credentials or lived experience.

So, any time someone cites personal experiences or opinions it should be bannable? How far does that extend? Does citing one's profession? One's nationality? That seems kinda unworkable.

Any time someone makes an argument premised on (i.e. an argument that rises or falls based on) personal experiences or opinions being true, they should be warned or banned for doing so. People need to make arguments that other people can engage with. Claiming epistemic privilege based on identity, credentials, lived experiences, etc. is antithetical to this. It's the fallacy of appeal to authority.

How do you define premised in a useful way?

It's tough to draw the line between "argument premised on a personal experience," and "argument that uses an anecdotal story to illustrate a theory."

I also find that people sharing their personal experiences can help me to understand their arguments even if I still disagree. Many times I've seen arguments about marriage, gender-war stuff, dating; and inevitably one of my interlocutors tells me something about themselves and I say OH NOW IT MAKES SENSE. I hear people forwarding theories about how marriage is terrible and women are awful blood-sucking harpies, and then they start talking about their wives and I remember how blessed I am. I hear people talking about how awful modern women are to date, and I realize I need to check my pretty-privilege and whatnot. It is useful to have that knowledge, it helps to bridge the gaps.

One obvious edge case I'd like to point out is how the mod handles any punishment meted out. We usually post public bans or warnings, and that would presumably reflect in the real account. Not an unsurmountable problem, and anyway I hope people wouldn't make such comments in the first place even with an additional level of pseudonymity.

I want to eventually get some grasp on feminism as a whole. While I can find pro-feminist writings and arguments easily, I find myself unable to find anti-feminist arguments of a suitable quality.

Therefore, I'm asking for recommendations on anti-feminist arguments, books, etc. Ideally, these should be as evidenced, charitable, nuanced, etc. as one would expect from the older SlateStarCodex posts. They don't have to be perfect, but I'm going to be less engaged with someone trying to tell me the feminists are all stupid or evil or some combination of the two.

Try Catharine Beecher or other anti-suffragists. To sum up, she considered the lack of women's suffrage a feature. Just like the legislature is separate from the administration and the courts, so too the power of the ballot box should be restricted to a subset of the society.

Parties and voters are shaped by partisanship. If party A supports restrictions on smoking, then party B will oppose restrictions on smoking, just because it's the opposite position. Voters that love smoking will gradually adopt other positions of party B. Both parties will naturally drift further apart on the issue, one trying to ban smoking, one trying to get rid of all restrictions.

When women can't vote, this doesn't mean they aren't involved in politics. They can influence their men both individually and in organized groups, and because they aren't influenced by partisanship, they form a massive moderating influence that counteracts the forces that push the parties apart. "I don't care if you smoke on the porch or in your study, but I don't like when you smoke in the dining room or in the bedroom" is something the wives of both party A supporters and party B supported can say.

If I am not mistaken, anti-suffragists considered the prohibition, its failure and subsequent repeal a direct consequence of universal suffrage.

Karen Straughn aka GirlWritesWhat has some good antifeminist videos on youtube, but they often lean into rhetoric so might not be what you are after. Her older stuff was pretty good anyway.

What's feminism to you?

There's rather a gap, for instance, between arguing that women are already adequately represented in the workplace, and arguing that a woman's place is in the kitchen, to use employment as an example (but similar contrasts could be done elsewhere).

Some possible arguments you might see:

The sexual revolution is harmful to women (see Louise Perry).

The pay gap is mostly due to their own choices—choosing lower paying jobs, fewer hours, less distasteful jobs, having lower ambition/competitiveness on average, etc.

More egalitarian countries have larger gender segregation, hence lack of women in an area does not equal discrimination.

In practice, we focus on careers over motherhood, resulting in women passing their fertility window, before they realize that they're out of time.

We're already inclined to care more about women than men (see, e.g. Richard Hanania on women's tears and the marketplace of ideas, though I'm not sure to what extent he meets your nuanced/charitable thresholds), so focusing on them further doesn't help.

Male norms in the workplace are more productive, even if less welcoming to women, so we should try to endorse male norms.

In practice, feminists are not sympathetic to men, or see things in too zero-sum a manner.

Divorce/alimony/child support are unfair.

A majority of those in college are women, already.

There are far more female-only spaces than vice-versa.

Women live longer, are healthier, are less likely to commit suicide, etc. so the attention should lie elsewhere.

Presumption of guilt in sexual harassment cases is unwise.

Marriage is good.

TFR's too low.

Women voting is bad (maybe because they value sounding nice over good policy, or something)

There are more important things than independence and self-sufficiency.

Gender norms match innate tendencies.

Women are physically weaker, and more likely to quit/become pregnant, so it makes sense capitalistically for employers to prefer male workers.

I don't endorse all of these, I think some are probably contradictory, and I'm sure there are more arguments out there, but these sorts of things are worth being aware of. As I said, what you mean by feminism is relevant. It's of course possible to be a feminist in one respect, but not another.

Sorry for the lack of actual recommendations. I suppose there were a few Scott posts that were somewhat anti-feminist (at least, as it actually exists in practice).

The Garbage Generation is an antifeminist book available for free here.

Have you seen /u/TheTinMenBlog's posts on reddit? I don't think he considers himself an antifeminist though and they might be a bit too shallow (in the neutral sense of that not being their primary purpose) for what you are looking for. The studies he cites in them are probably of interest however.

I will provide you with a low-effort post, waving vaguely in some direction, as I lack the resources within myself to build a more coherent argument. First, I would start from the defense of the patriarchy, since I find feminism not well-defined, basically more a multi-layer motte and bailey construction. I think it is safe to say that the patriarchy is the Nemesis of all feminists and no feminist supports patriarchy. First I define patriarchy (following Wikipedia) as

Patriarchy is a social system in which men are the primary authority figures in the areas of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property.

Some possible arguments in favor of patriarchy:

  1. Evolutionary argument - basically all known societies, starting from the most primitive ones share the patriarchy as a founding order. Evidence for matriarchal societies is very scarce, and if there was such evidence it would be very well known. Thus, there must be something to the patriarchy so that it allowed for the proliferation of the civilization.

  2. People are emotionally skewed against men due to women-are-wonderful effect. Thus, the society in general views men as worse and women as better then they are in reality. Because of this bias, we need to be very careful when considering the feminist agenda trying to ascribe to men all the worst qualities like selfishness, violence, greed and lack of morals.

  3. Great variability of men - Feminism has a tendency to narrow the masculinity to the set of controversial traits of violence, selfishness, greed etc. (toxic masculinity). Looking at the historical records and greater men variability hypothesis one can conclude, that this set of traits was only characteristic to the very narrow group of men. Men were also: farmers, artisans, poets, saints, pacifists, socialists, martyrs, hermits, merchants, monks, singers, dancers, philosophers, dreamers and librarians. There is no single trait that men share, although there are some tendencies. There is no essence of man that makes him less valuable or more socially suspicious then woman.

  4. Great creativity of men - one can trace almost all works of art, all scientific breakthroughs, all architectural feats, all architectural miracles to men and their work. These creations benefit all of mankind and men who were freed from the pains of child-bearing and rearing by the patriarchy, have been proven by the millennia of civilization to be able to raise the standard of living for everyone.

  5. Evolutionary bottleneck - Men went through a tighter evolutionary bottleneck then women and developed some traits that make them better at cooperation. Thus, they are able to build complex organizations and engage in large-scale enterprises. Without these traits modern societies would cease to exist.

Ok, so these are five exemplary arguments, approximately from the least subjective to the most subjective, or from the most evidence-based to the least-evidence based. I also personally think that men are more loyal, generous and less cruel then women in certain circumstances, but it is extremely hard to find any papers that would paint men in better light then women. I run multiple queries in multiple search engines and had hard time finding barely anything, (I encourage to do this as a simple exercise) which shows how strong are prejudices against men (see 2.). But this is my subjective musing, so I end here.

I also personally think that men are more loyal, generous and less cruel then women in certain circumstances, but it is extremely hard to find any papers that would paint men in better light then women.

What convinced you that the issue was the papers were being suppressed instead of a lack of evidence for your belief?

Not OP, but personal experience as a scientist has thoroughly convinced me that the great majority of science is done with a consistent bias in favor of center-to-far left mainstream beliefs (depending on the field). I've been told multiple times by older scientist that if I want to write a paper with a conclusion that goes against modern progressive sensibilities(I don't even mean deliberately, just that the data turned out that way), I will need to bring better evidence and will be scrutinized much more closely than the opposite. And worse, the main difference between scientists was the emphasis - a minority sees this as a regrettable reality, a majority is neutrally pragmatic, and a second much more influential minority outright sees this as a good thing. Of course biological differences between men and women would be a bad thing and we should be careful to even insinuate the possibility!

In short, my personal experiences with men. Many times different men in my life have helped me despite having no personal interest and me being an underdog and having nothing to offer them in exchange. They pulled me out of dire straits many times. I recall one story with a father of my friend borrowing me a car for a couple days, fully fueled and asking me to take care of myself. This story brings me to tears almost immediately, even now. My father died quite young, and my mother took all the money I should have inherited and spent it all lavishly on herself. So this is deeply personal and heavily based on my experience, but as I emphasized, this is what I have observed in my life and probably least important part of my post. I have met also selfish, cruel men, and there is a lot of them, but in general men are great, really great. Thus, I will defend patriarchy to my last breath.

And I don't think that papers are being suppressed, not at all. This is just women-are-wonderful effect. People want to know how women are great and so these papers are well known. I don't think that papers are suppressed, they are just difficult to find. And I don't have energy and patience to find them today. I also don't base all my beliefs on reading scientific papers, I'm far from rationalist philosophy.

Books :

Old Books :

  • The Manipulated Man - Esther Vilar
  • The Legal Subjection of Men - Ernest Belfort Bax

Documentary: The Red Pill

Reddit: Haven’t been there in a long time, but /r/mensrights was always decent. They have a huge FAQ with references, more books, etc. Though I must admit, they don't like feminism over there. Neither do I . I think feminism is intellectually very shallow, relying more on people's general goodwill towards women, as well as on accusations of sexism against critics, than on a coherent model on how the world actually works.

I'm asking for recommendations on anti-feminist arguments

Haven’t been there in a long time, but /r/mensrights was always decent.

I'd describe the position of /r/mensrights as "the publicly stated doctrine of feminism should be applied, not the de facto version which gives new rents and social license to women only". For example, I recall many posts about how society stigmatizes men for emotionality and liking children, and that a fair society should treat men just like women in this regard. Also many blank slatist posts implying women commit sexual violence just as much as men, and that society just ignores female rape. So MRAs aren't rejecting feminism as an ideology; they're embracing its rhetorical frame.

A true anti-feminist position should reject the premise that men and women be treated the same, legally or culturally.

I don’t think the law should be tailored to every group’s capabilities and sensibilities. One law for the tall, one law for the women, one law for the red-haired, one for the stupid… . Waste of time. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. This does not require a belief in the blank state.

one law for the red-haired

The only law they need is the law of iron, fire, and pain.

Purge the gingers!

(Having some fun this morning, that's all)

Have any of you successfully appealed a Reddit permaban? Any advice for how to word the appeal?

Reddit doesn't require email verification is how I'd advise you.

On the other site, a lot of people have successfully appealed permabans. I don't really remember anything about wording, just 'try again several times with some spacing'.

edit: that's about account permanent suspensions. If you mean on subreddits, I don't think there's much point

Why acknowledge their power? Flex yours instead by ban evading.

From the whole or the site or a given sub? If a given sub, I would recommend shrugging and moving on. Whether right or wrong, being permabanned means the mods really, really do not like you. They're probably not going to be impartial and if they do unban you, it's probably temporary. There is no need to be that invested in continued participation where you're not wanted.

If the whole site, just make a new account. I don't even know how you get permabanned from the whole site, but a forced restart is probably good for security and anonymity purposes anyway.

I got permabanned from the whole site for quoting a 4chan greentext that used the word faggot while making a shitpost, granted after I’d been tempbanned for disagreeing with securesignals before we moved.

Wait, reddit temp-banned you for disagreeing with securesignals?

Yes. I argued that the evidence doesn’t support Holocaust denial, not that it was physically impossible or unconscionable.

Does anyone know how old is Jim of Jims blog infamy is?

This is a fine "small question."

Even though I think the world would be a better place with him dead and he goes against basically everything I value I am begrudgingly astounded and impressed by the sheer volume of vitriol in his heart to be able to keep posting pure hate for 4+ decades.

This is unkind, unnecessarily antagonistic, and inflammatory. If it's exaggeration, then it's not plainspoken. If it is plainspoken, then it is too heated. You can say that you vehemently disagree with someone without all the rhetorical sneering.

And if this were your first rodeo, I'd leave it at that.... but in the last five months you've drawn four warnings and two tempbans for unnecessary antagonism. This time you're banned for a week.

It only takes 25 years to have posted since the 90s.

What's your opinion of the rules on this forum and do you think your quoted remarks are good to go, with no particular citation?

Even though I think the world would be a better place with him dead and he goes against basically everything I value I am begrudgingly astounded and impressed by the sheer volume of vitriol in his heart to be able to keep posting pure hate for 4+ decades.

Does anybody here subscribe to Asterisk (the magazine)? Have you gotten issue 5 delivered yet, and if so how long ago?

No question too simple or too silly.

You asked for it!

Is there a reputable website where I can bet money on the outcome of the 2024 presidential election? Google is being surprisingly unhelpful here for some reason.

Manifold Markets uses "play money", but it can be traded with other users for real money on the down low.

Thanks, first one IP blocked me but the others worked.

In the continued worsening of Middle East tensions, three American soldiers were killed by an Iran-backed militia in Jordan.

If you asked me whether the United States had troops in Jordan, I probably would have said yes because I assume we have troops pretty much everywhere. But still, did you know that we had troops in Jordan?

Not just that, US is occupying parts of Syria and that military instalation is on Syrian border. Military famously lied to Trump about troops being in Syria so he wouldn't order a withdrawal.

This article just gets funnier every year, and yet it has been over a decade since it was written.

The Bush-Obama era designation of entire nations as free-fire zones where international law does not apply is turning out to be a disaster for the world at large.

Invested, regretted: Buyer's remorse, grass greener.

Invested, happy: Hit the jackpot, backed a winner, struck gold.

Declined, regretted: Sour grapes, grass greener, missed out, missed the boat.

Declined, happy: Dodged a bullet.

Can someone fill out the blanks with other sayings or terms?

Edit: Which ones I'm including here is entirely arbitrary, and as a non-native speaker of the English tongue you can ignore my selection as that of an ignorant barbarian.

Declined, happy: saw the writing on the wall, jumped ship at the right time

I think "sour grapes" is more like "declined, regretted, doubled down." You're doubling down on the decision you regret by claiming you wouldn't have been happy if you'd done things differently, the grapes would have been sour anyway.

Similarly, for "invested, regretted, doubled down" you could use the term "throwing good money after bad" or "sunk cost fallacy."

For declined, regretted I would add "missed out" or "missed the boat".

Invested, happy: hit the jackpot, backed a winner are good ones.

Invested, happy:

I can only think of luck related sayings like hit the jackpot, struck gold, full house, come up trumps, backed a winner etc

Everything's coming up roses.

Laughing all the way to the bank, golden ticket, got in at the ground floor.

Declined, happy: Dodged a bullet

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

Declined, happy: ‘lucky escape’, I guess? In general your examples are cope terms, though, and almost by definition if your decision is vindicated you don’t need to cope.

Does anyone know of a sci-fi anthology series like The Outer Limits (1995-2002 TV Series)? There is something about this series that I don't seem to find in shows that are recommend as similar. The things I like most about the show are:

  1. It felt connected to real-life psychology concepts (like the unconscious mind)
  2. The future uses of technology mostly seem plausible
  3. Twist endings
  4. Most episodes felt like there was a meta level moral commentary on human nature.

The closest show I've found is Black Mirror.

Definitely check out Electric Dreams, a Black Mirror styled (but I think superior) anthology series based on the short stories by Philip K. Dick. The plots are way more insane than Black Mirror (only PKD can come up with such crazy setups, really), but what I like most about Electric Dreams compared with Black Mirror is that BM episodes are about a given technology-related idea and it's implications, while ED has a crazy, multi-layered sci-fi setup in every episode, but ultimately the point and climax of every episode is a very human decision or insight by the main character that pushes the sci-fi stuff to the background. In other words, every BM episode is a one-trick pony addressing an interesting sci-fi premise, but ED episodes start with an interesting sci-fi premise but end with making a point on a universalist human condition topic.

To give an example, one episode is about the wife of the main character giving them a virtual world vacation as a birthday present. The virtual world is built from the main character's subconscious, and in the virtual world, their wife (that gave them the present) is dead. As the main character starts getting confused about which world is actually real, either the initial world or the virtual reality one, they have to choose whether the world in which their wife is alive and they are happy is more real to them, or whether it is instead the world in which their wife is dead and they are depressed is the one that feels more real. (I'm using "them" for the main character because their genders are different in the two worlds). So while there's an initial crazy sci-fi setup, the episode is ultimately about does being sad or being happy seem more "true" and "real" to the main character. And this is one of the more straightforward episodes. Not all of them are top-notch, but the ones that are good are truly good. Heartily recommended.

The Twilight Zone? It doesn't hit 2 very well but I'd say 1 3 and 4 are at least close in many episodes.

Do you have any recommendations on which series is best (1959-1964, 1985-1989, 2002-2003, 2019-2020)?

Are there any episodes that you felt stood out above the rest?

The original is the best but 1980s version might have more like the 90s Outer Limits.

In checking on something, I saw there's a 60s era Outer Limits so you might see if there are any writers in common and start with those episodes.

If not, The Invaders might be a twilight zone episode that would give you a nice taste of the show while fitting well within your list.

I looked through and downloaded IMDB's top rated original (1959-1964) TZ episodes a while ago. I ended up with 9 episodes from S1, 8 from S2, 9 from S3 and 4 from S5. There's lots of other selected Twilight Zone episodes lists out there to browse, they're all roughly in agreement. If you're not bothered about filtering the best of the best you can't go far wrong by starting at the start as that's where the benchmark that justified the additional series and reboots was created.

I don't know about the '80s and '00s reboots but I'd avoid Jordan Peele's 2019 reboot, it's more concerned with moral commentary on $current_year American culture war than it is the human condition.

Like Atelier says TZ is lacking in the sci-fi aspect compared to The Outer Limits. You could try 2017's Phillip K Dick's Electric Dreams but I haven't seen any of those. TZ is a bit dated and unsophisticated compared to modern counterparts like Black Mirror but like OG Star Trek it's classic television that stands the test of time.

The Twilight Zone has some episodes that are absolute classics of the genre (and written by some of the best SF authors), the best approach would probably to try and google one of the lists that notes great episodes and go from there.

For follow-up you can watch SFDebris episodes on the content.

In case you didn't know The Outer Limits is basically TZ's younger brother.

The Motte automatically converts Twitter/X links into Nitter links, right?

Nitter is dead, and its replicas will die in less than 30 days.

Nitter currently relies on the mass generation of guest accounts, a weird anonymous form of account that was only supported by old versions of the Twitter app. Creation of them was totally disabled today, so every nitter instance will be dead in under 30 days (when they expire). Scrapers apparently also relied on this, as every public nitter instance was being hammered by scrapers earlier. Instances will probably shut down quite soon unless someone finds another way to create tens of thousands of accounts in an automated fashion for free.

(Note: This is a per-account setting, in the "Content" section.)

I don't think I opted out of the automatic nitter conversion when I created account, entirely possible I did.

Man this sucks, Twitter’s logged-out is probably the worst of any social media, even including Instagram and TikTok.

Insta has actually gotten much better recently. Yes, it still pesters you with account creation links, but lets you click through and load more images. I'd say Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok are the unholy trinity. And maybe Facebook itself as well, but thankfully people stopped posting Facebook links.

Saw this link going around Twitter/X:

OTTAWA: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (the “CCF”) is thrilled that Justice Mosley of the Federal Court of Canada has accepted the CCF’s arguments that the invocation of the Emergencies Act in response to the Freedom Convoy protests was unreasonable and violated the Charter rights to expression and security against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The government has indicated that it will appeal, so this isn't final. Regardless: what are the actual effects of such a finding? Will the government have to pay any penalty? Can people whose bank accounts were frozen sue the government? Will it cause a significant loss of political capital for Trudeau and his government? Or is it just a slap on the wrist with no real consequences?

Will it cause a significant loss of political capital for Trudeau and his government?

No, political capital in favor of Trudeau is at very very low point right now, it's quite likely the people who still support Trudeau right now are not moderates and the lawfulness of the invocation is unlikely to be a concern to them.

It might be a bit more uncomfortable for the NDP, which supported the invocation, although the swing NDP voter is more likely someone who hesitated between NDP and Liberals than NDP and anything else, so unlikely to have much sympathy for the Conservative/"alt-right"-coded truckers either.

It might be a bit more uncomfortable for the NDP, which supported the invocation, although the swing NDP voter is more likely someone who hesitated between NDP and Liberals than NDP and anything else, so unlikely to have much sympathy for the Conservative/"alt-right"-coded truckers either.

The NDP's political capital is also low ATM due to their current prop-up-Trudeau-until-we-have-enough-money-to-fight-an-election policy -- but the trad-hippy-antivax types are still well within their wheelhouse, and I could imagine this resurfacing pushing them towards the Greens or something. (the decision to appeal does not seem like a political winner for this reason, as it doesn't seem like the kind of trial one wants going on in the runup to an election; not sure if it is just stubbornness or there are some deeper implications that I'm not aware of)

I think the deeper implication that makes it worth appealing for Trudeau is that being rebuked by the court does affect the real reason the act was invoked. Considering what kind of person I believe Trudeau is and his internationalist allies' goals are, I think the point was mostly the chilling effect. If the point was to end the blockades, police departments have testified that they had plans to do just that that did not require the invocation of the Emergencies Measure Act or doing anything as unprecedented as going after donators. And the rebuke can give some heart to those that will at some point in the future consider dissidence that maybe the system is not yet entirely captured after all.

At least for this court case, the only thing that's been ordered so far is costs for Gircys and Cornell, the two challengers who had standing (because their cards and bank accounts were frozen), but not the public interest challengers or those who had less direct or less clear harm. Even for the Gircys and Cornell, the judge said he "will not award them costs for the preliminary steps in these proceedings which I considered to be often misguided or for the preparation of the largely irrelevant memorandum of fact and law that was filed".

Canada's equivalent to qualified, executive, and professional qualified immunity is complicated, but I would be very surprised if anyone was found personally liable -- I don't have a great understanding, but 'presume good faith' seems common and a complete block against one-offs like this.

It'll be a little embarrassing for Trudeau, but they're more likely to appeal to challenge the framework where the Emergency Powers Act only can be applied in limited circumstances. Neither are real consequences, especially since this ruling is only as-applied, and the application was so tremendously fact-specific.

So, what are you reading?

Still on The Master and his Emissary, slow progress. This book has a way of making one reflect on things he's heard or seen in the past.

The right temporal region appears to be essential for the integration of two seemingly unrelated concepts into a meaningful metaphoric expression. Fascinatingly, however, cliched metaphorical or non-literal expressions are dealt with in the left hemisphere...

I recall George Orwell's (I think?) quip that people were forgetting how to make their own metaphors, and were just using ones that don't have any relation in themselves to the topic at hand or to each other.

Edit: There's a good book thread in the Fun Thread.

Blindsight, because people have been mentioning it here and other boards a lot lately. So far (20%) I think I mostly like it, but am having trouble imagining a lot of the descriptions, especially of the ship and the planet thing they're observing.

Finally listened to MacBeth and the associated lecture from the "Late Works of Shakespeare" course I was working my way through. It was the last one, but I couldn't do the Scottish accents in the audio collection on youtube i was working off of. I've imbibed Macbeth in written form in high school, and three separate live performances (including a table read done entirely in the voices of Simpsons characters. I picked up on so many new things this time around. There's a reason the classics are the classics.

I'm still working my way through The Good Soldier Svejk. I'm finding it very relaxing.

I just finished Project Hail Mary and it was excellent. A fun sci fi novel. I had worries at the beginning because "man wakes up on a spaceship with amnesia" isn't typcially a genere I enjoy, but the book really works.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms in English. Sixty pages in, it’s a royal pain to keep track of the names. I wonder if something like Game of Thrones is equally daunting in Mandarin. Would the names be represented by some approximation of meaning or phonetically?

Phonetically, such that we get "Daenerys Targaryen 丹妮莉丝·坦格利安 (Dān nī lì sī·tǎn gé lì’ān)"
But the article talks about how the translation uses some classical and literary Chinese for flavor.

You could try watching 3 Kingdoms from 2010 or other adaptations? Putting a unique face, costume and demeanor to a character helped me a lot.

You could try watching 3 Kingdoms from 2010 or other adaptations? Putting a unique face, costume and demeanor to a character helped me a lot.

A Chinese friend of mine recommended the graphic novels she read in Singapore in the 90s as the best english adaptation.

Matthew B. Crawford's Why We Drive and The World Beyond Your Head.

Why We Drive is a vitalist paean to driving (and motorcycling), specifically the kind that involves risk and skill. It's also a rant against self-driving cars, glowing rectangles, and checking out of the real world.

I didn't hate it, but given its title, I expected "Why we road trip", "Why we go for a drive to clear our heads", "Why we explore that highway we've never been down", etc. Instead, it was more like "Why we speed", "Why we do donuts in the parking lot", "Why we tinker with gearhead shit".

Specifically with the gearhead stuff, the book did not do a good enough job of selling it to me. I fully believe it's part of why Crawford drives, but gearhead shit is not at all on the radar for me, or the vast, vast majority of people I know. The rare one or two that could MacGyver a timing belt out of pantyhose (or even know what a timing belt is) tend to be either the children of auto repair professionals, or else very deep in some automotive subculture already. That just makes the "We" in "Why We Drive" way more exclusive than it needs to be.

Partway through The World Beyond Your Head, which I'm already liking much better. It's so far a more general case of the topics surrounding attention in WWD. Probably should have read this one first.

I wonder what Crawford would make of the fact that I'm listening to it over a shitty TTS voice reader while: driving, making dinner, eating, playing video games, cleaning my apartment, swiping notifications away, only hitting pause when something else demands the vocal-processing-modeling part of my brain, such that I can no longer concentrate on the book in the background.

Postville: a clash of cultures in heartland America

Anyone has any experience taking dopamine precursors like L-Tyrosine or Mucuna Pruriens ?

I've tried DL-Phenylalanine alone and didn't get much of an effect at 500mg.

However, when taken before Kanna it did seem to give a small mood + focus boost to the Kanna effects. Kanna itself upregulates VMAT-2, which causes more monoamines (including dopamine) to be released. Kanna also does many other things, so it is hard to exactly say what mechanism caused the subjective effects.

I've also tried Oroxylin A which has a Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor component. This felt much stronger than the dopamine precursor. I would say it felt somewhat like caffeine, but more noticeable and clean. It also synergized well with Kanna and enhanced the mood + focus effects.

I've had really mixed results with Kanna and I've used it less than 10 times. These combinational anecdotes may just be a coincidence. Sometimes I barely notice the Kanna and then when I take the same dose again the mood and focus boost is much more noticeable.

I tried Dopa Mucuna a couple times. It seemed to up energy and motivation a little bit, but gave me a headache, so it sits in my medicine cabinet waiting for me to try it again for idk reasons.

Sure, I've taken NALT. It works well, just follow the dosing guidelines and don't take too much.

I've mostly used it as pre-workout or to counteract the comedown from ADHD medication. It works for both purposes but better as pre-workout.

I've found l-theanine to be great for my stimulant comedowns, and you can have it through green tea. Highly recommend, Ritalin is awful without it, I take them together to deal with the palpitations, and then later when it's wearing off.

Seconding this. l-theanine is well known and valued amongst enjoyers of stimulants. It's a soft pillow for your inevitable crash.

Yeah, almost all ADHD meds are pretty miserable without matcha or something similar.

  1. Why does English uses Latin adjectives for so many nouns? It it to sound smart or because it's fundamentally bad at making adjectives as a language?
  2. Where can I find a list of them paired with their nouns?

For example, there's doggy bags and catty behavior and foxy ladies, but everything else is canine and feline and vulpine. Everyting about the sea is marine, everything about the birth is natal, everything about the king is regal or royal, everything about a son is filial, everything about a god is divine.

It feels like another of these upper-class word games, like the collective nouns for animals. "Hawhaw, hearty illness, you say! No, only a meal can be hearty, real hearts are cardiac!"

Bad writers, and especially scientific, political and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, sub-aqueous and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon opposite numbers...

I imagine this is some kind of long-standing remnant of the fact that the British royals used to exclusively speak French rather than English.

Because William the Bastard crossed the Channel and became William the Conqueror, then he gave land to all his friends so most of the English Upper class became French speakers. They were all Normans, ie French speaking Vikings. So English got an enormous new vocabulary spoken by it's new rulers and the language adopted the new upper class' words. Same reason why cows (Germanic root) provide beef (French/Latin root). The commoner natives raised cattle to produce meat the noble French speakers ate.

This is very common in Turkish. Language substrate of old Turkic, blended with a lot of Persian (anything literary), Arabic (anything religious), French (anything modern pre-1960s), English (anything modern post-1960s). There are usually multiple ways to say the same thing from each language and it gives the sentence a different vibe.

Latin was primarily associated with religion, diplomacy and academia, and only with aristocrats indirectly.

Large chunks of any language, including English, are really only used by a very small subgroup of speakers. This is especially true in an age before mass literacy. When intellectuals needed new poetic / technical terms, they would have reached for the language that they were used to using and would be easily understood by their correspondents abroad. I doubt they would have cared about excluding peasants, who were not literate and could not possibly be mistaken for one of them.

I think that class traps and an excess focus on manners became much more relevant as Britain got richer and the boundaries between the classes became more porous.