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Re: group size and expertise, the life strategy I feel most drawn to as a response follows this argument:

It takes approximately all the effort to be the best at something. By the pareto principle, it takes a meaningfully trivial amount of effort to be reasonably good at something. You can thus become reasonably good at several things. When you are reasonably good at several things, you in yourself form a cross-disciplinary team of those competences, with VERY GOOD intra-team communication. By combinatorial explosion, given enough distinct competences overall, it's fairly easy to become the only one in the world who is reasonably good at a particular set of them.

In this framework, the focus then shifts from putting all the effort into developing a single skill, to choosing distinct skills that have a good balance of synergies vs. nonobvious pairings (ie., some skills so naturally go together that having both don't add much to your useful uniqueness, which is one thing to optimise for here).

Half-baked commentary:

There's something here that reminds me of your -day monks. Like, the 1-day monks stay in large bubbles where they can easily zoom from one 1-day problem to the next, whereas the 10'000-day monks drill down into a secluded nook where they're free fo focus on their chosen 10'000-day problem. And as here, it's good to visit a place where you can get enough perspective to choose an interesting nook to settle down in.

My intuition is that the difference between monks and regulars is that monks have a narrower magnitude range. Like, a 10k monk would avoid wasting focus on too many 1- and 10-day problems - compare the stereotype of the aloof genius' ineptitude at dealing with the 0.01-day problems of everyday life - whereas people outside the monastery trade that focus on the problem class for a wider versatility.

My two cents - their first principles sound seasonably sound, but the conclusions they draw from them are sometimes questionable. There were several times reading it that I almost sputtered in disbelief, thinking "dammit, that's not how it works!" Now, some of these I can accept as simplifying things for the sake of argument, others I cannot. (Sadly, I didn't keep notes of them. In retrospect I guess I should have.)

At times I felt the authors were somewhat condescending, too, especially when it concerned stretching. I got the impression that strength was the only measure of success they accepted, and any exercise form that contributes to other goals - like stretching to promote limberness - are therefore worthless.

The nature of Alderson lines, as described, means that every system is a frontier system.

I also wonder if there are any ethically motivated vegetarians who refuse to eat animals but don't have a philosophical objection to eating human flesh (perhaps considering it a symmetric kind of justice).

I have no ethical qualms about eating humans, no. Assuming it is freely given, of course (animal flesh fails ethically on that point; interspecies communication is simply not good enough to convey consent).

Other classes of objection do apply, though - having been a vegetarian for seven years or so, could my digestive system handle flesh without being upset? What about pathogens - they're bound to migrate more readily when predator and prey are the same species; will it be worth the risk? I think not.