Alex N


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Alex N30

point taken, but I think those activities are not exactly the  same. You need to create a whole new movie for me to keep watching - you cannot create it once and have me watch it for two years straight. It's a one time thing. Ditto the rest of your examples. They're naturally limited in time. 

By the way that's exactly why shows in place of movies. Much lower expense on each episode plus addiction equals airtime and income. Movies are not made to be addictive, but shows are.

Whereas social media and games don't have this problem. Contemporary games are endless, create once and run forever - until a better one comes along. 

Alex N70
  1. Games, like social media sites, are literally designed to be addictive. That's their primary evolutionary pressure, to be addictive. When you're playing one game, you're not playing its competitors. It's a strictly limited pie (24h) that game makers compete for a larger piece of. 
  2. In games, everything is much (much!) easier than in reality. How much effort do you have to spend to get decent at something like Mortal Combat? Compared to being a decent RL UFC competitor? Have you completed a rally race IRL? Do you know, and have overcome the fear of a real life or death situation? Games condition for easy rewards.
  3. Socialization in games does exist, but is way off normal. You may be interacting with a 40 year old dude thinking he's a 12 year old and vice versa. That it is possible shows how unreal the social part of gaming is.
Alex N10

I had always been very pro-vaccination. Both me and my kid were fully vaccinated on the standard schedule. The situation around COVID vaccines prompted me to think critically about vaccines in general for the first time.

In absence of vaccines, how many serious diseases a human body was supposed to have seen throughout its life? Probably one or two, then you'd mostly be dead.

With our usual vaccination schedule, we now routinely prime our immune system against twelve diseases, if I'm not mistaken. Plus now COVID. As an engineer, I would be extremely worried if I did something like this to a legacy system. Yet we seem to only look at each vaccine in isolation and short term, and approve based on absence of visible side effects.

Take the difficulty in tracing side effects of COVID vaccines. For all the attention, good information is very hard to find, because it is genuinely difficult to produce. Now imagine same level of difficulty, plus no attention - because when was the last time anybody worried about side effects of a flu shot? 

And that is before we mention politics, mandates, and trust in institutions.

For context, I did take the original COVID vaccine. 

Alex N40

if the top flat of the door were a bit inclined, then raising the center of gravity could eventually tip the bottle over. And those doors rarely are really leveled. But sticky surfaces was my first guess. 

Alex N200

Please allow me to be very angry.

You can toggle your mask on and off as required. Meanwhile my 5 year old is required to wear a mask for 8 hours a day. Every working day. 

Anybody can get a vaccine if they want to. Meanwhile, a lot of people have to chose between getting a vaccine they do not want or losing their jobs. Mandates for kids are coming, scratch that - happening already.

Just because government mandates coincided with your personal choices does not mean that life returned to normal. We're very far from normal.


Alex N

Alex N110

"safer mutual interdependence" - I challenge the "safer" part. As we have observed throughout the pandemic, an interdependent system fails easily. Multiple single points of failure exist, and since reliability isn't the goal - economy is - fixing them has proven near impossible. 

Self-reliance is much less efficient, hence disappearing, but more robust. If major shocks happened more often, we'd see more of it.

Alex N10

giving away free donuts as an incentive to vaccinate against covid specifically, well... do all marketing people go to hell?

On using water for lawns. Having moved from a megapolis to suburbs (and caring not at all about how my backyard looks, I'd rather have it paved over), lawns are essential for the general health of the environment, and watering them is essential to keeping them alive in a painfully obvious way.

You let lawns die, you get mud. Mud gets shifted to the road, where it dries and becomes sand and dust. Sand and dust get lifted by cars and cover everything. If you want to see this in action - visit St Petersburg in Russia, where they parked on all of their lawns and killed them, and now everything is covered in 1/8" of sand. 

Once your lawn is dead, it takes much more water to rebuild than it would take to maintain. 

Alex N100

"if I'm causing harm through my work I would like to know about it". Here is: sites that earn from ads effectively fight not for your attention, but your screen time. And your screen time is limited to 24h a day, minus such unwanted distractions as sleep, eating, etc. 

And that's the whole pie, it's not extendable. When Facebook wins an hour of your screen time, Twitter looses it. There is no win-win.

So the sites use every and all tech to keep you glued to the screen (and to their site). That's why we have video previews now. That's why catchy (and misleading) titles. That's why we're fed outrage. That's why news are negative. That's why a lot of things that are bad on the Net.

And the problem is, once one site figures up something, others have to adopt it, too, because the pie is limited. Or they'll lose. 

Subscription based services, on the other hand, don't have to care how much time you spend with them - as long as you keep the subscription. They don't have to be evil to survive.

Alex N20

"The mathematical analysis is simple: Player 2 should always accept" - that is incorrect. As the game is defined, players are equal. Player Two wields the obvious veto power by not accepting a proposal he doesn't like. Player One has a no less effective veto power by not advancing a proposal he doesn't like in the first place. Players communicate about the proposals before the match, which effectively turns it into a infinitely repeated game. 

Asymmetry only arises if there is no prior communication. Only in that case Player One has an advantage, even if we ignore any "feelings", play rationally, and not allow taking future rounds into consideration (i.e. only play once). 

Alex N20

"Deaths lag tests, but are on track to rise proportionally to the rise in tests".

At the height of the first wave we had 32,787 cases and 2,231 deaths (all 7-day averaged). That's CFR=0.068

Now (11/19/20) we have 164,996 cases and 1,266 deaths (same averaging). That's CFR=0.007.

Notice a whole extra "0" in CFR. Yes, x10 reduction.

Technically - very technically - deaths are indeed rising proportionally. But that's a technicality that is not relevant to anyone.

MA did strict lockdowns. MA is 3rd in the nation - still - on deaths per million. Maybe we should stop confusing how bitter a pill is with how effective the medicine is?


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