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Good! I'm pleased to see an example of LW going meta on itself in this vein.

As an extension, note that there's a well-established pattern by which people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to attract (and be attracted to) people with Borderline Personality Disorder. An evocative line from The Last Psychiatrist:

The narcissist creates an identity, then tries to force everyone else to buy into it. The borderline waits to meet someone, and then constructs a personality suitable to that person....

The narcissist thrives with the borderline because she provides for him the validation that he is, in fact, the lead; the borderline thrives with the narcissist because he defines her. And, as she will tell you every single time, without fail: "you don't know him like I do." Everyone else judges his behavior; but the borderline is judging his version of himself that she has accepted."

I'd invite folks to consider what it would look like if a few "intellectual narcissists" attracted a following of "intellectual borderlines," in particular what the individuals' personalities would look like in Near, and what the memetics of that community would look like.

I am learning HTML/JS and frontend development more generally, initially using Bootstrap as my tutor. I'm starting with a generic familiarity with Natlab/Python but no prior web dev experience.

In fact, Einstein was pretty politically active and influential, largely as a socialist, pacifist, and mild Zionist.

Thank you for your work, Aureliem.

This is true; however keeping a website running is still very, very cheap compared to almost anything else the government does, including functions that are continuing as usual during the shutdown.

If web apps are too high maintenance, that does not explain the shutdown of government Twitters (example:, which went to the extra effort of posting that "we won't be tweeting 'cause shutdown.") I note with amusement however that the Health and Human Services Twitter is alive and well and tweeting about the ACA.

I suspect the TV show may end up reducing, if not the scope, at least the emotional empact of the harmful fallout of her anti-slavery actions. Pop culture tends not to play well with values dissonance. It is known., the person who is low status because of not doing the useless status-enhancing thing, are going to try to expropriate status from the high-status useless people? Let me know how that goes!

The question is how correlated signalling is with actually valuable activities. Healthy societies have institutions that try to correlate social rewards with pro-social behavior; capitalism and academia are both examples of institutions that try to tie value-creation with changes in social status. However, no linkage is perfect and all signalling behaviors can be hacked to some degree. So you end up with an academia where grant-finagling and publication, in at least some fields, are largely divorced from producing meritorious work. Likewise PUA is an attempt to hack both social-skills modules and cultural rules that award status based on behavioral traits. Much of the inefficiencies around healthcare can be seen as an attempt to hack the current regulations and payment systems rather than address the preventing and curing of disease that the systems were intended to incentivize.

Yet despite this, some institutions succeed fairly well at making the linkage stick. Capitalism seems to have done it pretty well, although it certainly does fray at the edges. Informal reputation-tracking works pretty well in maintaining small-group prosociality, at least compared to anonymity. In fact examine pretty much anywhere where useful work gets done, and you'll see mechanisms to tie status-seeking to virtue and productivity (however defined).

Where possible, when people notice the divergence between signalling and the "true purpose" of institutions, they tend to optimize for signalling. The health of a culture or institution, and the value of a signalling norm, is how well they can tie selfish signalling interests with the goals (prosocial or otherwise) of the institution.

Note: it's helpful to actually have a shared notion of what-should-be-valued and an intuition that some institutions and customs are preferable than others; else it's not even possible to have that conversation.

Thank you for trying to impart useful, compounding knowledge, even when selling opium is almost certainly more lucrative in a middle-class neighborhood.

Then why is it that this difference, out of the many dimensions of differences that form up humankind, and the multitude of interest-group formation patterns that could have been generated, is the one that gets so much attention? It would be bizarre if an unbiased deliberation process systematically decides that one unremarkable axis (gender) is the one difference that should be discussed at great length and with very vigorous champions, while ignoring all of the other axes of diversity of human minds.

Now it is possible for one unremarkable axis to become overwhelmingly dominant in coalition formation, but that would involve some fairly unpleasant implications about the truth-seekiness and utilitarian consequences of this sort of thinking.

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