Honestly pretty disgusted with the state of the modern LW community but it's marginally better than other non-blogs so I'm still here. Sort of.

It should be possible to easily find me from the username I use here, though not vice versa, for interview reasons.


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Your personal blog tags this as terminal but not shell, which also exists. You may wish to merge those tags.

Why Boston?

That doesn't follow. The sun belt became habitable because it got easier to fix, but that wasn't asymmetric in difficulty, just asymmetric in relevance; the difference between 'pretty easy' and 'very easy' matters much less than the difference between 'really hard' and 'a little bit hard'.

Why Boston?

the cost and convenience of cooling relative to heating has changed massively as technology has improved

Not really, no. That's the point: the problems retain their natural relative difficulty. The complexity suggests certain properties about the relative situation, and those properties have remained true.

Why Boston?

Why are you still hung up on the utterly irrelevant question of whether it is practical to install a fireplace? No one but you has claimed that matters.

Why Boston?

Cost and convenience are almost entirely determined by simplicity. The fact that a fireplace is much simpler than an AC is directly causally linked to the lower cost in money and inconvenience of fixing the respective problems they address. Whether you actually use a fireplace is immaterial.

Why Boston?

What that primarily means, probably, is that you are not tasty to mosquitoes. This is an axis along which people differ but not the one you probably meant.

Why Boston?

Fireplaces are thousands of years old, because they are very simple. The most complex part is arranging air flow to not choke the room with smoke, and even that was present in prehistory. You can explain every aspect of their operation to a five year old, and if they're a bright five year old, you won't even have to repeat yourself later.

Air conditioners are less than two centuries old, because they are very complex mechanisms. No comparably-effective simpler technology exists, especially not for humid places. Many intelligent adults have some difficulty understanding their operation. (In hot, dry places adobe, for heat capacity, and windcatchers for active cooling, are pretty good low-tech tools, though still discovered well after the fireplace, definitely not explainable to a five year old, and maybe 20% as good as AC at best.)

Creating heat is so simple you can and will do it by accident. Moving heat is a difficult, precision operation. This has obvious practical consequences for the comparative difficulty of the problems; it's much easier to fix 'too cold' than 'too hot'.

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