Russia has blocked Rumble by xoenix in censorship

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This is confusing me, because Britbongistan blocks I go to Rumble to watch the RT channel, to (partly) get around the Britbong block of the Russian channel, yet the Russians don't get to see the RT channel in Russia? Really?

Why is the left pro war now? by 211 in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Trump is a real estate tycoon. He is bound to hate war because buildings get knocked down.

Also, seeing him with his son, I suspect that he might hate war because young men get killed.

Even Stephen Hawking visited Jeffrey Epstein's Island? In his wheelchair? ~ Jeffrey Epstein Network Map (Ver. 17).jpg by In-the-clouds in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Jeffrey Epstein knew how to do his thing. Invite a mix of respectable people and targets. Then the targets will think that they are rubbing shoulders with respectable people (and getting a little extra too!) without realising that they are targets.

It is like how the New York Time builds credibility with truthful reporting, so that they have credibility to burn on pushing carefully selected lies.

Redditors discover TDS by xoenix in MeanwhileOnReddit

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I scrolled a long way and I think that thread is worse than you say. No-one is explicit about the terrible things that Trump is going to do in his second term. Sure, he didn't do them in his first term, but it is shaping up that he will do things too terrible to mention. Not just too terrible to mention, so far beyond too terrible to mention that nobody even dare notice that we are maintaining strict silence about horrors too terrible for the mind of man.

Trump's S-4 Filing for the merger of his media company has a very funny section under "Risks Related to our Chairman President Donald J. Trump" by ActuallyNot in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I found this, on page 115, about "Free Software", very interesting

TMTG must comply with licenses related to the use of free, publicly-available software incorporated in Truth Social products; failure to do so could cause the loss of the ability to use such software which could in turn adversely affect TMTG’s revenues and results of operations.

In October 2021, Software Freedom Conservancy policy fellow Bradley M. Kuhn accused TMTG of violating the licensing agreement for the free, publicly available software platform, Mastodon. Although any entity can use the code from Mastodon, according to the licensing agreement (AGPLv3), each user of the software must receive “an opportunity to receive the entire Corresponding Source for the website based on that code.” Early users of Truth Social, Kuhn alleged, did not receive the source code.

On October 26, 2021, Mastodon sent a letter requesting that the Truth Social source code be made publicly available in compliance with the license. TMTG has since taken action to resolve this issue by publishing its source code.

TMTG may face similar risks in the future, and failure to comply with such licenses could cause the loss of the ability to use such software, which could in turn adversely affect TMTG’s revenues and results of operations.

Washington Supreme Court Rules That Bar Exam No Longer A Requirement To Practice Law, Cites Impact On “Marginalized Groups” by xoenix in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I would also like "Published but not enforced" for the FDA. I would love to have information on drugs that wasn't funded by drug companies. And I would love to be able to ignore it if it got corrupted somehow.

Washington Supreme Court Rules That Bar Exam No Longer A Requirement To Practice Law, Cites Impact On “Marginalized Groups” by xoenix in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

When they work out how to get good doctors for themselves, while letting bad doctors mistreatment ordinary people, and not get caught.

Washington Supreme Court Rules That Bar Exam No Longer A Requirement To Practice Law, Cites Impact On “Marginalized Groups” by xoenix in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This is open to the objection that a free system depends on creating and sharing knowledge of which lawyers are competent. But knowledge is a public good, so it tends to be under produced by free market systems. You hope to find a competent lawyer for your own case, but are disappointed to find that lawyer ratings are hard to come by. Here are three alternatives:

Status Quo: Government attempts to checks who is competent with a bar exam and a disciplinary tribunal for lawyers. The results are not just published they are enforced. If you have an official black mark against your name, you are forbidden from practicing.

Information Only: Government attempts to checks who is competent with a bar exam and a disciplinary tribunal for lawyers. The results are merely published, not enforced. If you don't trust the Government, you can still chose to be represented by a lawyer with a Government black mark against the name.

Taxation funds competing certification authorities: The Government funds Bar-A, Bar-B, Bar-C. That results in inefficient duplication. It offers the public weak protection. A lawyer who fails the Bar-A exam can still pass the Bar-B exam and get to practise. On the other hand, the Bar council is no longer a power honey pot attracting wasps. If Bar-A abuses its authority, the public will lose confidence and trust Bar-B.

There are untested alternatives in the space between raw government power leading to abuse and market mechanisms under producing public goods.

About what percentage of people do you think, in your opinion, aren't stupid? by Mcheetah in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The ordinary meaning of intelligence is about joining the dots: when X happens again, you remember that X happened before, ten years ago, and have the wit to notice the similarities and differences between this time and last time.

Intelligence tests are tests of quick-witted puzzle solving. Does an IQ test involve getting the subject to memorize something, then coming back a year later to see it they still remember? No, it is all done in half a day; no long term memory required.

So why do IQ tests and the ordinary meaning of intelligence line up, when you need long term memory to be intelligent in the ordinary sense? I think it is partly coincidence; among the humans of today, good long term memory and quick-witted puzzle solving ability are strongly correlated. And partly about brain health. A healthy brain does both puzzling solving and remembering. Testing puzzle solving tells the tester about brain health, which tells the tester about memory.

You are noticing the correlation breaking down. My guess is that peoples memories have got worse. They respond to each news story as it comes, solving the puzzle of what they are supposed to learn from the story as presented on the day. But failing to remember earlier stories, presented differently. Maybe memory is worse due to lack of use. People just look stuff up. And if Wikipedia has been edited, they don't remember the old page, and don't notice the change.

Macron says Ukraine must reclaim Crimea to achieve peace. by Dune1032 in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Macron is the new Napoleon III

The Crimean War was fought from October 1853 to February 1856

Historian Norman Rich argues that the war was not an accident, but was sought out by the determination of the British and French not to allow Russia an honourable retreat. Both insisted on a military victory to enhance their prestige in European affairs when a non-violent peaceful political solution was available. The war then wrecked the Concert of Europe, which had long kept the peace.

Inconceivable! by Musky in memes

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Democracy is a rich wolf buying the Daily Baa and the Wool Times and filling them full of lamb and mutton recipes until the sheep vote to sacrifice themselves so that wolves can eat the protein they need and deserve, because Wolf Lives Matter!

Why is American politics typically led by very physically unwell old people? by [deleted] in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Under first past the post voting systems you basically have a choice of two candidates. If both are physically unwell old people, that is what you get, however you vote.

Raising the minimum wage.... Is that good for workers? by In-the-clouds in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

"Minimum wage" is not the kind of thing that you can raise or lower. It is a restriction. The government makes it tighter or looser.

Will making the restriction tighter work through the economy to the benefit of some, at the expense of others? Probably. Who? Whom?

The sneaky language of raise rather than tighten is enough to warn you that the restriction is negative sum.

What is preventing you from switching to one of the thousands of versions of Linux? by [deleted] in SaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

I'm happy with FreeBSD.

SHould we re-legalize slavery? by alexstein in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

We already did

13th abolished it.

16th brought it back.

Meat should have warning labels like cigarette packets, say scientists by [deleted] in NotTheOnion

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 2 fun5 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

UK has dietary information, complete with red patches that I use to help me find the good stuff. Trying to avoid reduced fat versions? Check for the red fat warning. I'll do the same will meat warning labels, seeking them out to avoid soy.

Never Google by [deleted] in Internet

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If most college degrees are useless why do people keep going to school? by zherka in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It is not a repeat purchase. Alfred gets his college degree. Ten years later he regrets, but this isn't about him returning to college for another one, this is about Boris, ten years his junior, making the same double mistake.

Double mistake? The obvious mistake is going to college. The unobvious mistake is not checking how it worked out for people ten years older. Boris could in theory have asked Alfred. But Alfred didn't check with some-one older, and neither did Boris.

Would checking with some-one older even work? College enrollments have been rising. 50 years ago only about 4% of people went to university, and a degree really meant something. Checking with older people tells you about a world now gone.

Thought about why the US is encouraging the massive border crossings by hfxB0oyA in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Immigrants are the people who said "I'm not staying to fix my country, I'm moving on." They move to the US and say "Yes, moving on is sound strategy." Then the war starts and they are invited to fight and die for the US. But they have already learned that moving on is the right strategy.

This was posted on mainstream Reddit 15 years ago and got >500 upvotes. How times have changed... by Orangutan in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I used to think that America's electronic voting machines were insecure because people didn't realize that security holes could be used for electoral fraud. But the reddit post shows that even fifteen years ago, people realised that dangers of insecure software.

That has changed my mind. I now think that America's electronic voting machines were insecure because people did realize that security holes could be used for electoral fraud.

The Reason They Are Coming For Russell Brand by [deleted] in pics

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford

Drunk raccoons with taste for ale are breaking into homes on the p*ss across UK by [deleted] in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I was going to go on a rant about raccoons living in North America, not the UK. But the article turns out to be a decent piece about raccoons as an invasive species. Real problem in German due to escapes from fur farming. Not yet established in the wild in the UK, but...

Why the Russo-Ukraine War gives me hope for the future (long post) by Islamofascist in debatealtright

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

We will have to wait and see how drone warfare works out. My guess for the next stage goes something like this:

The infantry man doesn't carry a rifle because infantry fight each other at ranges of two or three miles. Fly your drone out ahead of you, two or three miles. Spot the enemy infantry man flying his drone. Relay his position back to your artillery. You kill your enemy with a 155 mm shell, not a 5.56 mm bullet.

Do drones engage in dog fights with each other? Does an infantry man juggle several drones? Are there wheeled/tracked drones that go to look in trenches and bunkers?

On a different tack, what happens with decoys? Currently, if you try to stock pile ammunition, the pile gets spotted and attacked. OK, but tents are cheap, what if you put up a thousand tents, spread about. Perhaps with covered walkways. Which tent actually contains the ammunition? The enemy could use up a lot of suicide drones attacking every tent.

Maybe I've phrased the previous paragraph badly. Currently one puts camouflage netting over genuine assets, with the intention that the camouflage netting gets mistaken for trees, not camouflage netting. That is getting tricky, drones are getting too close and seeing that it is just netting. But if you go to town, with lots and lots of camouflage netting (perhaps covering nothing, perhaps covering inflatable tanks copied from the deception operations before D-day (the netting just has to conceal the tank/self-propelled-artillery well enough to conceal that it is an inflatable)) , it is sufficient that the drones don't get to see through it and see which nets cover genuine assets.

I foresee a lot of tactical innovation before things settle. Maybe that is a repeat of WWI. 1914 to 1918 saw a lot of tactical innovation as the British invented the tank and learned that you needed to use tanks in mass formations. Meanwhile the Germans invented Storm Troopers using infiltration tactics; lightly manned positions are vulnerable to infiltration, well manned positions suffer too many casualties from artillery barrages.

The importance of drones will lead to the importance of electronic warfare. Will there be an electronic equivalent of the machine gun, to slaughter drones just like the machine gun slaughtered conventional infantry attacks? I would guess at a few early successes for electro-magnetic pulse weapons leading to great victories in the wake of all the enemy drones falling out of the sky. Then disaster as the enemy re-equips with EMP hardened drones.

Ten killed in private jet crash north of Moscow - Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin 'on passenger list' by neolib in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Wagner group was messing with French colonial possessions in Africa, so I'm getting Rainbow Warrior flash backs.

Health care is a human right! by TitsAndWhiskey in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

But they don't make the full $990 as profit, because they have to share the money with the politicians who pass the laws that keep the prices up. It is a state-planned, social-profit system.

Question: What do you hate the most about modern society? by Mcheetah in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Democracy. The ancient Athenian thing, with the elite meeting up to give speeches, debate, and vote, made sense for small a city-state. Our version of democracy is very different.

Universal suffrage! Every-one gets a vote. One each. Combine those who are busy and not paying attention to politics and those who are stupid and not understanding politics. Together they form a solid majority. So what happens to power? Who is in charge?

Mass media! The elections come round and people vote the way that the mass media tell them to. It isn't always a direct instruction. Push the stories that make people vote for candidate A. Ignore the stories that would make people vote for candidate B if they knew. That also tells people to vote for candidate A. It is the owners of the mass media who have the power. Or do they? What if there are competing news channels? People with the leisure and inclination to read and compare multiple news sources can play off the different channels against each other and reclaim their power.

Two problems. I've already covered the first problem, universal suffrage. The people with the leisure and inclination to read and compare multiple news sources are a small minority. They have no power in a system of universal and equal suffrage. The second problem is consolidated financial capitalism. Rich men can borrow money from banks to buy up the competing news sources and establish a unified national agenda. No-one escapes the thought control. Modern democracy is just plutocracy with extra steps.

Grandfather Of Teen Killed During Burglary Says AR-15 Made Fight ‘Unfair by Antonnyy8 in Entertainment

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Good catch!

Know the warning signs of white supremacy by Chipit in memes

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Missing the key warning signs of dangerously extreme white supremacy

  1. Thinking Clarence Thomas is the best Supreme Court Justice

  2. Preferring Thomas Sowell to Paul Krugman

If humans lived to an average of 200 years, would we live our lives differently? by JerkChicken in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There are many variations. I think that the interesting one says 200 = 70 + 130 and says that the 130 extra years get slotted in between thirty years old and forty years old. So you reach 30 and ageing slows down fourteen fold. We might even change how we count birthdays: 27, 28, 29, 30, 30a, 30b, ,,, 30L, 30m, 31, 31a, 31b, ... 40, 41, 42

Think about what we mean by meritocracy. We say that we pick the best man for the job, but that is obviously bogus, we don't know how well they do the job until after they have done it. We actually guess who will be the best man for the job, pick them, and hope that we were right.

The two rival ways of guessing are (academics and examinations = credentials) or (apprentice ship and working your way up)

Currently we have big organisations with many layers. It would take too long to have people work their way up the organisation. If we used apprenticeship as the basis of meritocracy it would really be a gerontocracy. So we go with faster acting and less accurate systems of credentials. Which work less well over time and people learn to game the system.

But if people lived to be 200, apprenticeship becomes more viable. Yes, you are 120 by the time you become chairman of the board, but you still have 80 good years left in you to lead the organisation.

Elephants' giant, hot testicles could stop them getting cancer by [deleted] in TIL

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I thought that elephants had exactly six sets of teeth. They wear them down chewing vegetation, then the next set comes through. After the sixth set they cannot eat and die quickly. That gives them a fixed expiry date, unlike humans who keep going until cancer gets them.

The obvious experiment is to give elephants dentures to see if it gives them post-expiry date cancer.

I want this t-shirt! by BISH in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

You can still get it in the Scunthorpe Walmart.

Oregon House Bill for insurance coverage of transitioning but deliberately excludes detransitioning by weavilsatemyface in GenderCritical

[–]Alan_Crowe 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I accept that one can surgically transition from being a man into being a mutilated man, and that if one regrets this one can have further surgery to go from mutilated man to hideously mutilated man.

But is it really helpful to call this "detransition", pay for it, and promote the idea that the initial mistake can be undone?

Christopher Hitchens looks like a moron in hindsight. Christcuck civil codes have been replaced with something worse, atheistic license. by [deleted] in STUPIDITY

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Round about 2'50" he frames the issue as an immediate personal challenge: if religion was debunked would you change your ways? Would you abandon the morality that you grew up with.

The civilisational challenge is intergenerational. Would you be able to bring up your young children to be moral? You've probably made a good start, and the surrounding culture is still on side. What about your grandchildren? Looking here twenty years ahead to when your children start their own families. Will the morality that you grew up with be grandad's old fashioned stuff. Looking ahead to after your death, your grandchildren may admonish their children: that is immoral, great-grandad would be turning in his grave! Will that stick? Will it work as well as "that is immoral, God will punish you."?

At 3'38" Hitchens asks "How can we build a just city?" Presumably, not in a day. His position needs to think intergenerationally.

One curiosity is that he gives his speech to an audience of nice, well meaning, people. His "would you abandon morallity?" question works for his audience. Would it work as well if Hitchens did a Johnny Cash and gave his talk at Folsom Prison? "Would you abandon morallity?" "Sir, I already did, that is why I am in prison.".

I think that Hitchens suffers from the typical mind fallacy. Mr A knows his own mind, and thinks that everybody is like him. He imagines a utopia, and it might even be a good one, contingent on every-one being like him. But they are not.

i don't fucking get these shootings bro by theendofhope in RealIncels

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Totally insane people take the Gun Free Schools Act as a message from God about where you are supposed to go on your shooting spree. Of course you go where the victims have been disarmed to help you get a high score!

Sane people, slightly mad people, moderately insane people, none of them get it. They all confuse words and deeds. It is the normie way. So pass a law, called Gun Free Schools Act and normies have normal peoples reactions "I'm so glad that schools are free of guns."

Meanwhile totally insane people really love that they are special and the rules don't apply to them. A Gun Free School is a no shooting back school. You are supposed to do your shooting spree there, it is in the name of the law, the No Shooting Back At School Act.

European financial regulators are fuming at "incompetent" US counterparts over SVB. For 15 years they attended "long and boring meetings" where everyone promised to do exactly the opposite of what the US just did when crisis struck. by Chipit in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

That is very illuminating. It reminds me of the pre-COVID planning for what to do about a respiratory virus. All the carefully worked out plans were based on the idea that life had to go on. COVID? not dangerous enough; do nothing. But then governments all round the world decided that drastic action was required.

It reminds me more of the admission of Greece to the Euro. An important part of the founding treaties was the question of what to do if a country defaulted on its debt. The answer emphasized moral hazard. If EU bailouts were permitted then lots of defaults would follow. So the rule was: no bailouts. Then Greece went bust and got bailed out.

Now there is a sense that it was German banks, that had lent to Greece, that got bailed out. Ordinary Greeks? Not so much. But maybe the US is only copying the EU in having rules against bail outs that get ignored.

The British Medical Journal is about to be cancelled - Urges US transgender medicine to adopt evidence-based footing, particularly in child care. At odds with Democratic Party and President Biden push to widen accessibility of surgical and medical interventions. by ClassroomPast6178 in TumblrInAction

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'd steel man William_World like this:

I don't care if science says that it helps kids, because science is like soylent green; its made of people.

Science done by angels out ranks human intuition about what is weird and gross.

Human intuition about what is weird and gross out ranks science done by humans.

Money for medical research is scarce. We should use good judgment here. Halt gender medicine, because it is weird and gross. Halt research on gender medicine because there are more promising topics to research. For example: post viral syndromes. They are in the news because of Long COVID, but there have always been problems with people failing to regain their stamina after a viral infection. It gets called ME/CFS and there is enough new knowledge about the immune system to make interesting research possible. Other possible research targets are heart disease. Arteries clogged with fat because of diet in the non-obese is pretty much a dead hypothesis. Arteries clogged with fat because of inflammation due to immune system problems is ripe for research.

"America can't collapse. We're as powerful, as ancient Rome." -Homer Simpson by BISH in funny

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

A truly Byzantine cope!

Christian school that embraced the LGBTQ community is forced to close its doors by hfxB0oyA in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

What is GWGB?

Found the subreddit

Still no idea.

FBI Director Chris Wray says COVID-19 virus likely came from a lab leak in China by [deleted] in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.

Notice what wasn't said: Chinese funded! He is careful not to mention where the money actually came from.

Spanish rail's costly blunder: New trains too large for tunnels by [deleted] in Europe

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

So much history! Making sure that your train will fit in your tunnel is a very well known problem.

Ambulance calls for cardiac incidents have significantly increased in Scotland by [deleted] in Europe

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

More like Buckfast and IrnBru.

All the violence in the media/entertainment is NOT good for us and is 'feeding the beast' so to speak. Watch Tomorrowland to fully understand what's going on here. The Time Traveler guy was right but his plan backfired sadly. by [deleted] in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I fell down a rabbit hole, trying to discover the message of the Tomorrowland movie, without having to watch all one and three quarter hours, and without having to pay for it. Movie Shortens, reviews, trailers; the story seems to go like this:

There's this place, Tomorrow Land. Earth in the future? Some-where else in this universe? In a little bubble universe budded off from our universe? The story in a little incoherent, but this doesn't matter.

They have a viewer, that lets them view Earth's future. Earth's future is bad. Bad due to human action and inaction. So they send messages to today's Earth about Earth's grim future. That is supposed to encourage people to do the right things and thus change the future for the better.

Mysteriously, things keep getting worse. The cinema goer may infer that the gadget in the film, that the people in the movie think is sending a warning message, is actually doing something else. It is demoralizing and subverting the recipients in the movie. They work less hard to make a good future.

As the future revealed in the gadget that sees the future gets worse, the people in Tomorrow Land get desperate, sending ever more urgent warnings. Unaware they they are actually sending self-fulfilling prophecies in a tightening cycle of doom.

This leads to a second ambiguity in the movie. Is there a super-natural element in which the message gives people bad beliefs which directly affect reality? Is it supposed to be naturalistic, with the message giving people bad beliefs which leads to foolish behaviour which in turn affects reality. Do beliefs always have to be mediated through actions to affect reality? Yes, and it is important to stick to this "chain" aspect of casual chains. But the movie has doom shrinking to just 90 days away, which is rather supernatural That is flaw in the movie. I'll put the flaw down to "That it how it is done in Hollywood.".

I think core message of the movie is: There is an ambiguity between messages that warn and messages that demoralize and become self-fulfilling prophecies of the thing they warn against.

Example: A violent movie, such as Roller Ball, that the writers intended as a warning against "bread and circuses", (especially as a warning against the "circus" becoming ever more degrading and violent) ends up as part of the spectacle. It becomes the path to even worse spectacles, The writers wanted us to turn back from that path, not to hasten us along it :-(

Example: We need to be careful with technology, nuclear power plants can blow up, industrialization will concrete over nature. So England responds to Global Warming by failing to build nuclear power plants and by banning on shore windfarms (to protect rural England). By being too careful, we get too many problems to juggle and drop some. Being too care about technology makes us careless :-(

When Descartes Challenged Fermat (and Lost) by Alan_Crowe in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This video is long, forty-seven minutes, but totally worth it. There is some history. The historical mathematics is given in full, and you can see how Fermat kinda, nearly, maybe invented calculus before Newton and Leibniz. What adds to the fun is that the video fully describes Descartes approach first. It is ingenious and pretty cool, which sets the stage for the final showdown...

The term "Transwoman", do you use it? by Kai_Decadence in GenderCritical

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think that the terms transman and transwoman are the wrong way round.

Think about a boy who has a difficult puberty and resents turning into a man. He takes pills, wears a dress, and explains this by saying that he is a woman trapped in a man's body. Right way round terminology would call him a transman.

Think about a girl who has a difficult puberty and resents turning into a woman. She takes testosterone, tries to grow a beard, and explains that she is man trapped in a woman's body. If we swap the words back to how they should have been, she is a transwoman.

Get the words the right way round and I'm happy to say that a transwoman is a woman. Stick to the currently popular usage and I'd rather not use the words transman and transwoman at all.

Y'all ever think school shootings are secretly and deliberately encouraged so that they can ban them guns? by LynchTheGroomers in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There is a federal law that encourages violent lunatics to target schools. It is

Any-one who goes insane and gets it into their head to go on a shooting rampage has two questions to answer

1) Where can I attack that people will not shoot back? This is America, there are guns every-where. Tricky.

2) Should I even be doing this? Am I going mad and contemplating doing something wicked?

The Gun-Free School Act answers both questions. Answer 1: Go to a school. There are no school shooting ranges any more. No-one at a school has a gun, so no-one will shoot back. Answer 2: Go to a school. Shooting the children is socially approved. You can tell because the Government has disarmed the teachers specifically to help you.

The interesting thing is that ordinary normal people have zero capacity for understanding the thought processes of the insane. Ordinary people try to work out if the Gun-Free Schools Act is effective at telling violent lunatics "No! Not the school!". And ordinary people get it completely wrong,

I think it is the same problem that stops ordinary people from writing computer programs. They type in their program. They expect the computer to read the program, get the intent behind it, and "do the right thing". When that doesn't happen they are surprised and stuck. The computer follows the instructions, as written, including the typos, as a sequence of atomized steps to be followed, Monkey Paw style, without having to make sense. That completely deskills ordinary people. Their theory of mind only works for people like themselves.

I don't think that politicians are ordinary people in that sense. Politicians know that different people will interpret their words in different ways. Talking to two audiences, using one speech, is part of the art of politics. So politicians understand full well that ordinary people will understand the Gun-Free School Act as an attempt to protect children. And that violent lunatics will understand it as an endorsement of school shootings. And politicians will get to take away the guns and rule absolutely.

Most people who don’t believe miracles are possible haven’t critically analyzed arguments against miracles or bothered to look unbiasedly at the evidence for them. by [deleted] in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Much of the skepticism about miracles comes from getting burned by how flaky people are. One starts off thinking that people lie for advantage, and you can protect yourself by watching for scams. Gradually you realize that some people are only loosely attached to reality. They believe things (and try to persuade you of them) and act upon those beliefs, and are astonished when it turns out badly because it was wrong and their belief unreasonable.

How to write an Eulerian fluid simulator with 200 lines of code. by Alan_Crowe in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The video starts by explaining that Eulerian contrasts with Lagrangian.

Eulerian is when you have a grid, with velocity values at grid points. Then it gets into using a staggered grid, with velocity values at the midpoint of each cell wall.

Lagrangian is when you have particles, lots of particles, and interaction between them, and this video isn't about that.

The video plunges into the details. I'm guessing that it is only first order accurate, which keeps things simple. And the language is JavaScript which is widely available.

Why would gay people support Ts when the entire ideology contradicts homosexuality? by jacques1102 in TumblrInAction

[–]Alan_Crowe 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Sex and Gender are like Mass and Weight. Technically different, but much the same on the surface of planet Earth.

"We met on Reddit! These are our engagement photos." by neolib in MeanwhileOnReddit

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I like the bear with the tartan paws.

Any Idea why? by Oyveygoyim in funny

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

You don't have to buy something just because everyone else is.

Rene Girard would like to explain his theory to you

Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. We desire what others desire because we imitate their desires

Alternative to reddit? by TimothyMcFuck in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was Drunk Again, And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Early Friday Morning. by [deleted] in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I wonder how this plays internationally.

I think of Iranian women fighting for an American style democracy. They have an image of the kind of people who will make up the new ruling elite. Maybe wise, kind men who happen to be ruggedly handsome :-)

Then they notice the kind of people that make up the actual American ruling elite. Do they really want an American style democracy? Perhaps they get cold feet. Perhaps they get some insight into why fellow Iranians are willing to fight to prevent Iran getting an American style democracy.

Is there anything interesting to do on the internet anymore? by sneako in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

“If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”- Victoria Nuland on January 27th, 2022. by zyxzevn in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If Russia wanted it switched off, well, they already succeeded because it was switched off.

Russia had the option of switching it back on. That gave them leverage over Germany: drop the sanctions and the gas starts flowing again.

America has cancelled Russia's option. A rather valuable option.

You're trapped in the most recent video game you've played. What game are you stuck in and how screwed are you? by Choclate1893Pepsi in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

The closed I've been to playing a video game is

Too stupid to solve the puzzles, so very screwed :-(

FUN FACT: the ladies all love tractors by chickenz in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This reminds me of The Worzels song "Combine Harvester"

It’s 11pm. I’m watching a Netflix show about Jeffrey Dahmer eating a persons heart. My question is… what would I be watching at this time and of what nature would it be if this was 1972? by Bridgeheadprod in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Back in 1972, if you wanted content like this: (Michael Penn giving an introduction to linear algebra: What is a group?)

well, you would have to say up until 2am to catch the Open University broadcast.

Today you have much more choice. Choose wisely!

Where do you think the use of Artificial Intelligence will lead us? by Zapped in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

People like to talk about an AI recursively improving itself.

Here is an example of the idea: you write an optimizing compiler for the C computer programming language. You write it in C. Then you compile it with an existing C compiler, such as gcc. Now you have an executable for C. You recompile some of your application programs, and they run faster. That is nice, but your optimizing compiler is slow. So you get it to compile itself. Now it runs faster :-)

The usual ideas about how to write an optimizing compiler are such that if you repeat the process you get no further gains. One alternative idea is that the optimizing compiler searches for optimizations, and it does it the same way that a chess playing program does, with one eye on the clock, so that it abandons the search if it is taking too long. If you follow up this idea, there is a chance that after the first round of self application, the search runs faster, and gets deeper into the search tree, finding new optimizations. Using the compiler to recompile the compiler gives you several rounds of improvement.

This works mysteriously badly. You get tiny improvements that peter out. In 2022 we have no idea how to get recursive self-improvement to take off. Today it is limited to being technobabble for science fiction. But I don't think that we even know where to look for ideas about how to get recursive self-improvement to take off; I don't think that anything will have changed in twenty years time.

I don't have any feel for the far future. I just think that we are heading for a rough patch, where AI's cause disaster by being stupid in surprising new ways. More accurately: humans cause disaster by over-estimating AI and thinking that their is intelligence is more general and more able to cope with the unexpected than it really is.

The latest excitement is doing statistical learning on a large corpus. That is a great way to get excellent results on the central examples in the training data, (the commuter is basically copying humans). But we gravitate towards seeing this as the computer thinking its way through the problem, rather than it having "seen it before" in the sense that it is interpolating the training data. We set ourselves up to to believe that the computer can extrapolate from the training data to overcome new challenges. We know from playing with polynomials that the usual story is that interpolation works just fine, and extrapolation is a disaster. But we ignore that and over estimate the computer.

One further pattern in human behavior is that we love to talk in absolutes: this is possible, that is impossible. John McCarthy noticed that we turn this into an implicit belief that if something is possible, then it should be reasonably easy. I think that doesn't apply to artificial intelligence. We are heading towards a situation in which creating artificial intelligence proves to be too hard for humans in the next say one hundred years, but we cope by pretending and lying and believing our own lies. We put stupid AI's in charge of important things and suffer for because of it. And the underlying error is about dividing into two teams, team NO says AI is impossible, team YES says we've managed to create it. But that division, into YES or NO erases NOT-YET. We forget to guard against AI that looks clever to us, but is actually faking it and is doomed to screw up big time.

Where do you think the use of Artificial Intelligence will lead us? by Zapped in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There's a lot of people in love with AI. They see more intelligence than is actually there. There is a long history of this, starting with people being taken in by Weizenbaum's Eliza.

The danger I see, looking twenty years out, is that AI will be given serious responsibilities that it is not ready for, with tragic consequences.

I think this is baked into our approach. We eyeball the output and tinker. Did the AI convince us, humans in 2022, that it was intelligent? Not entirely. So we tinker some more, optimizing AI for convincing humans that it is intelligent. Is it really intelligent? That is a tough question.

We can see a pattern in human behavior. Here are two examples.

We gravitate towards having the computer write poetry. We know that we look for meaning in obscure poems and congratulate ourselves for finding it. So we know that we are setting ourselves up to find meaning in a computer's poems that isn't there. But we do it anyway, and think that the computer is a poet.

We create a computer psychotherapist and gravitate towards having the computer do non-directive therapy. We know that this involves encouraging the patient to find their own solutions. So we know that we are setting ourselves up to credit the computer with a solution provided by a human. But we do it anyway, and think that people being fooled by Eliza is a computer passing the Turing test.

The most urgent project in "AI safety" is accepting that humans exhibit this weird behavior and developing methods to avoid tricking ourselves into believing in the intelligence of stupid computers.

When Did Progressive Elites Turn against Democracy? Michael Doran and John Fonte appear on Gatekeeper with Israeli historian Gadi Taub to discuss Dr. Fonte’s book Sovereignty or Submission. by Chipit in books

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Google translate from the Hebrew

John Ponte was the first to notice that an international progressive class targeted not only the nation-state, but also democracy itself. And he does this with the manipulative use of the idea of "human rights". The first buds were seen at the Durban Conference, and it was no coincidence that the Jewish nation-state was one of the first targets. Since then, this elite - they called it mobile - has entrenched itself in international organizations that seek to appropriate the sovereignty of the nation states.

Judge blocked prosecutors from keeping pedophile behind bars until his sentencing hearing. He then killed his ex-girlfriend and police shot him down in a hail of bullets after a car chase. by Chipit in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Blakney was charged last year with second-degree sexual assault of a child for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old. He pled guilty to the charge last month and was freed on bail by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Borowski who denied prosecutors motion to keep him in jail.

I thought "bail" was strictly about pre-trial detention, yet the accused had already plead guilty. There is no problem with post-trial detention of the guilty. That is what the trial is supposed to lead up to.

"The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you." -Soren Kierkegaard. by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Kierkegaard had somewhat contradicting ideas when it comes to truth.

Is the problem that he only had one word for two different concepts?

When he speaks of getting caught by truth, perhaps he has in mind universal and uncomfortable truths. For example, the second law of thermodynamics. You might be an engineer with dreams of building a heat engine that is 90% efficient. You learn the truth :-( With realistic temperature differences you are never going to break 40% efficiency. And maybe that costs you your job because your boss still wants you to design a 90% efficient engine and gets angry when you tell him that it is impossible. The same cast of mind that lets you design a heat engine at all, makes you unable to escape the logic of thermodynamic limit. You are as much caught by the truth as the catcher of it.

But people have their own personal truths. I cannot handle chili heat wave Doritos. If I buy them at all, I eat them greedily and get fat. But that might not be your truth. Enjoy them if you can. Is my truth an "objective truth"? My bathroom scales quantify my weight gain in kilograms; it doesn't get much more objective than that. But one still feels that this truth is too bound to an individual, too contingent, to count as Truth with a capital T. Perhaps Kierkegaard talks of ones own truth in a religious context. What does Mr A believe? Does that inspire Mr B as much? More? Not at all? It is bad to embark on a pilgrimage and give up half way through. It is important for the person planning the journey to know the depth of their own faith. But this too is bound to an individual and not truth with a capital T.

If we did not have the word "truth", but sometimes talked of "the will of the universe" and other times talked of "first person knowledge", might certain contradictions just vanish?

"We cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week": WHO warns on rise in COVID fatalities by [deleted] in Coronavirus

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Global population is around seven billion 7000000000.

Life expectancy is traditionally seventy years, 70.

Dividing, we expect about a hundred million deaths every year. With fifty weeks a year, that is two million a week.

Which makes me wonder. Is 15000 a week just badge engineering. Old people are seldom said to die "of old age". There is a straw that breaks the camels back and ends up on the death certificate. It doesn't require much to gin up 15000 COVID deaths from two million, don't say "just old" deaths.

Death Row murderer suffered 'hours of pain' in 'longest execution in US history' by [deleted] in news

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Alcohol (ethanol) would do. It would need a intravenous infusion bag full of the stuff, a syringe full wouldn't do it. But it would work, and every execution would send a useful public health message to young men about binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.

Lebanese Man who robbed bank to get his own money back hailed national hero by Drewski in WorldNews

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Man who robbed bank to get "his own" money back ...

That is not how fractional reserve banking works. Suppose the reserve ration is 20%. You deposit $100 with the bank. Then it is entitled to lend out $80 of newly created money, while still recording your bank balance as $100.

In the ideal case, the $80 is paid back with interest, say $10. Then you withdraw your $100. That leaves the banker with $10 of revenue.

But the money lent out might be lost. Suppose the borrower becomes bankrupt and the bank only recovers $40. You try to withdraw your $100, but the bank only has $60. The bank itself becomes bankrupt. You discover that technically you lent the bank your $100. Now you are a creditor of the bankrupt bank and can expect to eventually recover 60 cents on the dollar.

People say "As safe as money in the bank" implying that money in the bank is safe. This has always been a lie, intended to conceal the fact that you making a loan to the bank, which you risk losing if the bank fails.

Now-a-days retail bank deposits are covered by government guarantees. Some of your money is covered, but only to the extent that you are relying on the government to remain solvent, not the bank. That doesn't help in Lebanon.

Kissing numbers: Surprises in Dimension Four by [deleted] in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

An interesting article. And a little frustrating. The upper bounds are hard. How do we know that you cannot fit 25 balls around a ball in 4 dimensional space? That is the tricky side of the proof, best left to professional mathematicians. How do we know that you can fit 24 balls around a ball in 4 dimensional space? Well, the article could give locations for the centers of the balls and readers could use Pythagoras' theorem to check the distances.

In two dimensions, the center ball is at the origin, (0,0) and the six surrounding balls are at (1,0), (1/2, √3/2), (-1/2, √3/2), (1/2, -√3/2), (-1/2, √3/2). Since it is past my bed time, I'm not going to check that I've got that right.

The article says how to do it in 3D dimensions: use an icosahedron. That doesn't sound right, an icosahedron has twenty faces. Perhaps they mean dodecahedron, the one with twelve faces? No, they were right with icosahedron, because it has twelve corners, top, bottom and two rings of five. I could come up with the coordinates in three or four hours :-)

But four dimensions? They give a drawing of a four cell in the article. But it is a two dimensional drawing of a four dimensional shape, so just the four dimensional shape projected to create an incomprehensible mess of lines.

Wait, I think gives the game away

8 vertices obtained by permuting the integer coordinates:

(±1, 0, 0, 0)

and 16 vertices with half-integer coordinates of the form:

(±1/2, ±1/2, ±1/2, ±1/2)

I'll have to think about that tomorrow.

"The more silent you get, the more you hear." (unknown) by [deleted] in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Ask awkward questions. Listen to the awkward silence.

Gun control for dummies by [deleted] in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Needs a corrupt politician with no gun in either panel, and a corrupt cop, protecting the corrupt politician, with a gun in both panels.

How many friends do you think yelgy and yabbit have, combined? by [deleted] in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

That is cruel. They have each other*, so at least one.

  • provided they are different people.

This happened 53 years ago today by [deleted] in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't think that Apollo 1 went as well as you remember.

Trans men living the stunning and brave life by jet199 in neovaginadisasters

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The female to male operation is enormously complicated. I remember a case when the woman suffered damage to her legs. How did that happen? Well, the operation took six hours, and that means that you have to be careful about loss of circulation and tissue damage, just from being anesthetized for that long. It is such a super-major surgery that problems are inevitable.

Why does this hippie make sense? by Canbot in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

She didn't mention how extremely long and thin the time sausage is. 2000000000 seconds long, 1.5 nanosecond wide, 0.75 nanoseconds deep, 2 nanoseconds tall.

The Biggest Lie of WWII? The Myth of the Norden Bombsight by Alan_Crowe in propaganda

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The video spends about ten minutes telling the technological backstory. I was more struck by the second half of the video, which talks about the myth making and the propaganda. It resonated with today's media environment, where truth doesn't have to be censored because the mainstream media can ignore it, push their own story hard, and win by repetition and volume.

Recommendation: Learn statistics by [deleted] in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Learning statistics is hard.

It is probably worth learning some computer programing first. Then you can write code to generate synthetic data. And more code to analyze it. For example, generate some data from a distribution with a known mean. Average your data to estimate the mean. Notice that your average still wobbles about a bit, less than the data, less still if you generate lots of synthetic data points.

When your statistics book starts talking about the variance of an estimator, you've already seen it when you played with your short computer programs. The text book author is talking about the way the average still wobbles a bit, even with lots of data. But you've seen what he is on about, so it is easier to understand.

Michael Moore Calls for Full Repeal of Second Amendment -- 'You Don’t Need a Gun' by StillLessons in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Once gun rights go, they are not coming back. So Michael Moore needs to be arguing "You don't need a gun, your children don't need a gun, your grandchildren don't need a gun,..." re-iterating his basic claim into an uncertain future.

Do governments go bad and massacre their citizens? Since governments never give gun rights back, you need to be confident about your government far into the future, not just today.

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” - Arthur Schopenhauer by Optimus85 in quotes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

A falsehood gets treated differently. First, it is ridiculed. Second, conservatives oppose it weakly for a decade. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Why I left the left : The egalitarian, pro-worker left is gone and it’s not coming back. by question-the-garlic in whatever

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This made me go back to 2013 and reread Exiting the vampire castle, the controversial lament by Mark Fisher.

The older piece turned out to be very British, with a lengthy section on how the left disliked Russel Brand because he was working class. The way it is supposed to work in Britbongistan is that upper class socialists rescue working class oiks from their false consciousness, in a class version of the Mighty Whitey trope.

The older piece has a recurring theme

We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other.

as though capitalists had somehow managed to contrive wokeness as a defense of capitalism.

Megan Murphy has a different take

Meetings were often held hostage by narcissists who wished to make everything about their various afflictions and ‘trauma’, and who were willing to tear the group apart, seemingly just to test their power.

that the left are doing this to themselves.

I like to eavesdrop on alt-right websites. I think that the vibe evoked by the sight of the left eating itself is a kind of terrified astonishment. There is a little bit of delight at the misfortunes of ideological enemies, but with an undercurrent of fear. What if this is what humans are really like? We are human too, perhaps it will be our turn next.

should we lower the drinking age? by yelgy in AskSaidIt

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I feel pretty conflicted.

On the one hand, I'm tee-total and look back on my drinking with regret. That is weird because I was never a problem drinker. I got involved with a Buddhist sect, stopped drinking for religious reasons and then noticed that drinking alcohol was stupid and always had been.

On the other hand, prohibition was tried and failed. It failed in practice. I think that prohibiting private vices also fails in theory. We might say that the seller of alcohol is the criminal and the buyer of alcohol is the victim, but we must remember the difference between vice and crime. The victim of a crime goes to the police to complain. And if the policeman takes a bribe from the perpetrator to ignore the crime, the victim complains harder. The "victim" of a vice colludes with the perpetrator to hide the "crime" from the police and if a vigorous and nosy policeman accepts a bribe to ignore the infraction, the victim is annoyed at the cost, but keeps quiet and plays along.

On the gripping hand, why did I drink alcohol? Because of late capitalism! If businesses make a profit selling something, they will advertise it. They will buy product placements if that is permitted. But if the something is a bad rather than a good nothing changes. There is no money to be made not selling something, so there is no anti-advertising, warning stupid young people (earlier me) against faith in what the TV shows me.

So I want to reframe the whole discussion. We would like young people to be free. Free to drink. Free to stay sober. But freedom is not available in our current framing. Either we have bossy laws, restricting freedom. Or we are hypnotized by late capitalist advertising and get drunk, without realizing that we didn't chose it ourselves.

Prohibiting public vices is very different from prohibiting private vices. The police don't have to pry and intrude. They just patrol public spaces as usual, prosecuting vices that are in their faces. If somebody does the same thing privately, and get found out, the police just shrug. Doing it in private is allowed.

We could declare that advertising alcohol is a public vice and prohibit that. Private advertising, if it exists at all, has a small reach; we just don't care about it. We might go a little further and change the first amendment so that glamorizing alcohol in mass media can be forbidden. Then lower the drinking age to 16 so that it is only a child-protection measure.

We don't have the police prying into peoples private lives, because nothing private is being forbidden. Young people who don't want to drink aren't being priggishly obedient to bossy law. Young people who don't want to drink do get pushed to do so by peer pressure, but that is a lot less pressure than having advertising, culture, and your brainwashed peers ganging up on you.

It would be a trade-off. More personal freedom, less commercial freedom. But over-all, a good trade.

Kids just can't act natural by Canbot in Blueeyes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

At least she has a cool niece, she should be content with that.

Researchers found out that sugar is more addictive than opioid drugs such as cocaine, and that there can be withdrawal symptoms such as depression and behavioural problems when people try cutting out sugar completely. by [deleted] in Drugs

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The article needs to be illustrated with a cartoon rat complaining about his disappointment

I was really looking forward to trying cocaine, because humans really love it. What a let down. Sure it is nice, but like sugar is nice. Nothing special. I don't think that humans are a good primate model for the urgent health issues faced by rat-kind.

The end of Roe vs Wade will remake the sexual revolution by jet199 in OpinionPieces

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The article underplays the role of federalism. The states that are fully on board with the sexual revolution will permit abortion and nothing will change internally. The states that were split, with many resisting the sexual revolution will have that split move up the political agenda. Some of them will outlaw abortion and then stick to their prohibition.

Yes, that will remake the sexual revolution, in those states. States that were reluctant. Interesting times indeed, but most Americans will be watching the action from a fuck-as-usual state.

Keep Spreading Truth by Rastafoo in memes

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

TIL :-(

That is disturbing.

Bloomberg columnist explains why gun control research is worthless. "These glaring methodological flaws are not specific to gun control research; they are typical of how the academic publishing industry responds to demands from political partisans for scientific evidence that does not exist." by Chipit in science

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

There is something interesting going on around penalties. We could pass gun control laws that were recommendations, with no penalties for breaking them. We take it for granted that that would be silly; of course there have to be penalties. Serious penalties, such as long jail sentences.

The phrase "hired gun" has both a literal meaning and a metaphorical meaning. Metaphorically, we call a scientist a "hired gun" when he rigs his research to ensure the it reaches the conclusion that his funder is paying for. That is wrong. In a different world that might be penalties for doing that; serious penalties, with bad scientists going to jail. Curiously, we take it for granted that "science control" works on an honour system. No matter how dishonourable a scientists research conduct, he never gets punished for it.

More curious still, we take it for granted that the quality of scientific research remains high. Sure, there monetary rewards for being a hired gun, and no penalties for this form of corruption, yet we take it for granted that penalties are not necessary for people who create fake research. Simultaneously, we take it for granted that there are penalties for breaking the laws that got passed based on that fake research.

My guess is that scientists still have status, left over from the nineteenth century, when scientists were gentlemen amateurs.

Teilhard de Chardin and his relation with executive-secretary of UNESCO Julian Huxley. Evolution and Darwinism. (X-post from s/Jesuits) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

But egregores are, if they exist, psychic or supernatural, not computer bits and not cultures.

My ontology is limited; I admit no psychic entities, nor any supernatural ones. So just reductionist, mechanistic, materialism? Err, there is a problem. The kinetic theory of gases explains pressure as due to molecules rushing about, bumping into things. That explains gas pressure, but does it explain it away? If you want to design a steam engine, you need to do your design calculations in terms of the concept of pressure. Trajectories of molecules have way too much irrelevant detail. So macroscopic thermodynamic properties, such as pressure and temperature, have micro-foundations. They are both justified by their micro-foundations and undermined by them. I think of them as second tier real. We know that they are not the ultimate reality, and we also know that they are real enough for many of our purposes. Can you help me out here with the official philosophical jargon for this?

Pressing on, I accept that egregores are traditionally understood as psychic or supernatural. That makes me sad. Since I reject the psychic and the supernatural, I believe that that traditional understanding wastes a good word by yoking it to the supernatural, which doesn't actually exist. So I want to re-use the word egregore to denote an aspect of culture that is second tier real.

I see culture as very complicated. To get any insight into what is going on requires an expanded vocabulary, so that subtle differences can be picked apart. For example, this business is just a business, with employees who work there. That business is a egregore and has followers.

To flesh this out, think about agency problems. Business A needs to purchase an X. Business B quotes high for supplying an X, while business C quotes low. Fred works for Business A and rigs the requirements for the X so that Business A buys from Business B. Expensive. Very profitable for Business B. Then Fred resigns from Business A and gets a shiny new job with Business B. A quid pro quo? Corruption? Did Fred just use Business A's money to purchase a sinecure at Business B?

This is the usual situation in business. The business employs people who are individuals with individual agency and who play the game to their personal advantage. The usual situation, but not the only situation. Sometimes a business has a company culture that commands loyalty. If Business A had a culture that molded Fred into being a company man, he would have accepted the cheaper quote from Business C, boosting the profits of Business A and continued to work there.

I want to say: in the first case, it is just a business. In the second case, there is an egregore, and Fred is one of the egregores followers. But the second situation lasts thirty years or sixty years (some number of years); the egregore gets old and dies. Then the business is just an ordinary business and, in time it gets looted and fails.

So, I'm just not seeing it, and certainly not seeing it above culture.

I'm happy to agree to that, not above culture. My controversial stance is that culture is very complicated. Sometimes the individual people have agency, and culture is just shrug lots of details of people interacting; the kind of thing Neumann and Morgenstern talk about. Other times, there is weird stuff going on, with people surrendering their agency and being part of a collective. Call it an egregore. Maybe that is a poor choice of name, but the underlying concept needs a name. Any suggestions?

I don't think you can say humans have co-evolved along side Christianity.

Fair enough. I was over-specific there. But I still think there is something interesting going on. Think about early humans leading lives dominated by tribal warfare. There is jockeying for position going on within each tribe. Suppose the battle with the neighboring tribe is a draw. Each tribesman is hoping to survive the battle to return to his village to shag the widow of one of the fallen. But too much of that cynical lack of solidarity and the tribe loses the battle. All the men are slaughtered in the rout. A conquering hero from the other tribe makes off with both men's widows.

If the tribal warfare is brutal enough, the mountain of skulls high enough, and the river of blood deep enough, group selection actually works. Humans evolve to surrender their agency to the collective, fighting bravely in the front line of battle. I speculate that there is an evolved biological basis to people surrendering their agency and becoming followers of an egregore.

Teilhard de Chardin and his relation with executive-secretary of UNESCO Julian Huxley. Evolution and Darwinism. (X-post from s/Jesuits) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Thank you for that forthright comment. I found it clarifying.

The idea of the Noosphere is important, but I understand it as a mechanistic, materialist phenomenon. For example, once you network computers, you run the risk of your computer network supporting a worm or even a virus. Ultimately a computer virus is just bits, but if humans want to understand why their network has slowed down, then the humans are going to have to take a zoomed-out, approximate view, that sees the computer virus as an organism that is reproducing.

And something similar happens when you "network" humans, letting them exchange and store data with books and pamphlets. The humans end up supporting cults and religions. Ultimately, these ideas can be viewed from a reductionist perspective; they are just marks on paper. But that perspective has too much detail for humans to understand why, for example, their son has run away to join the Moonies. One has to take a zoomed-out, approximate view, in which a cult is enough like an organism for the analogy to help us understand how it "grows".

So I want to talk about this stuff. But I should steer clear of the word "Noosphere" and avoid linking what I want to talk about with Teilhard de Chardin, because, well, you put the reason why bluntly: "He had bad ideas."

Teilhard de Chardin and his relation with executive-secretary of UNESCO Julian Huxley. Evolution and Darwinism. (X-post from s/Jesuits) by HibikiBlack in conspiracy

[–]Alan_Crowe 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Teilhard also posited the emergence of a new realm on earth in addition to the lithosphere (rocks), the atmosphere (the air), the hydrosphere (the oceans) and biosphere (life forms); he called it the noosphere—the interconnected realm of the human mind.

The biosphere is populated. We most notice the charismatic mega fauna: lions, bears, gorillas, humans. But what creatures populate the Noosphere? I suspect Teilhard was content with humans poking their heads into Noosphere and finding that they were the only occupants.

I think it makes more sense to see the Noosphere as having a native population of creatures of pure information. The closest existing name that we might use for such creatures is "Egregores". Yes, humans have a foot in both realms; both being mammals in the biosphere and participating in the Noosphere, but they have difficulty maintaining their individuality. Humans who participate in the Noosphere are often consumed by it. Those who work for IBM become IBMers. Many companies mold their employees, to the extent that the top managers are company men, sacrificing themselves for the company, as though the company were the organism and the men merely body parts. Religions are striking examples of egregores. Perhaps it is better to say that the religious doctrine is the egregore. The churches are important, but at the end of the day they are just buildings.

The most interesting part is the symbiosis between the egregores and the humans. We notice that human fertility has fallen with the decline of the Christian religion. Viewing Christianity as an egregore, we notice that it needs humans to give it an organic substrate. But humans have co-evolved with Christianity. Humans need it to help them reproduce. Without it, they are content with recreational sex and their numbers decline. Poison the Noosphere to kill the egregore and you deprive the mammals of their symbiote and kill them too.

14 year non-rule-breaking user of Reddit, now a shadow banned refugee, with my subreddits banned, and my comments manipulated by Administrators (this is wide spread!) by SoCo in Introductions

[–]Alan_Crowe 16 insightful - 4 fun16 insightful - 3 fun17 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

Congratulations on escaping Reddit.

Is this just disingenuous virtue signaling, or does she actually believe the ideology she preaches? by CleverFoolOfEarth in SocialJusticeInAction

[–]Alan_Crowe 3 insightful - 4 fun3 insightful - 3 fun4 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

She is over complicating it. My edit

I think that Will Smith shoul- wait. Maybe I don't need to have an opinion on a publicity stunt. Maybe I should just shut up.

Shorter, crisper, better :-)

Without calculus, can we prove sin x = x - x³/3! + x⁵/5! -...? by Alan_Crowe in Mathematics

[–]Alan_Crowe[S] 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

This video does amazing things with involutes, working in an "applied maths"/"19th Century non-rigorous style".

Vaccine Fanaticism Fuels Vaccine Skepticism ⋆ Kulldorf, Battarchaya by Jackalope in politics

[–]Alan_Crowe 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

A good article, but it left me with a melancholy feeling that reminded me of Andrew Gelman's famous article

Gelman is talking about the replication crisis in psychology. It happened slowly at first, then suddenly. Some were left behind when the metaphorical wind changed.

Something of the same slowly at first, then suddenly, has happened with, err, what exactly? The article has its own take on the problem

With a life-saving vaccine during a major pandemic, one would expect more vaccine enthusiasm, but instead, it collapsed. What happened?

My take is that medicine has been getting more and more corrupt. Slowly at first, then suddenly, with aducanumab and then messenger RNA vaccines. The new messenger RNA vaccines have fallen well short of traditional standards of safety and efficiency. But there is money to be made, so they were first approved, and then mandated.

The authors, Jayanta Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, have found themselves left behind in the old world, where public health was the domain of boring policy wonks. Don't pay much, but it is honest work. So they end on an uncynical note, untainted by Public Choice Theory

Trust in vaccines can only be regained through honest, open dialogue, science-based policies, public education, long-term thinking, a strengthened vaccine safety monitoring system, and voluntary vaccinations. That is, it should return to the traditional principles of public health.

What happened to the incentives? If the incentives favour further deviations from the traditional principles of public health, then that is what we will get. Which is distinct from what we should get. I claim that my cynical take on how the world really works is more realistic.