Technological stagnation: Why I came around

I can't point to the episode(s) or post(s), but I believe both on his blog and on his podcast Conversations with Tyler, Tyler has expressed the idea that we may be currently coming out of the stagnation of stuff in the Real World driven by stuff like SpaceX, CRISPR, mRNA, etc.

100 Tips for a Better Life

69. When you ask people, “What’s your favorite book / movie / band?” and they stumble, ask them instead what book / movie / band they’re currently enjoying most. They’ll almost always have one and be able to talk about it.


I can't imagine narrowing the dimensions of my preferences in such a way that one single piece of media can become my "favorite" so I'm never sure what to think when someone else seems to have done so.

100 Tips for a Better Life

The downside of getting used to multiple monitors this is that I now find it impossible to get anything done on a laptop.  There's a constant low level background irritation when I find myself confined to one tiny screen.

There's diminishing returns of course, but I've found 3 monitors to be the best for me.  One portrait and two landscape.

100 Tips for a Better Life

Possibly, it depends on the individual cop.  However, I think the idea is that if you haven't done anything wrong and you don't answer any questions you're in a better position than if you have done something wrong and the chance that you say something that sounds incriminating and/or the cop is not questioning in good faith.

In other words, the consequences of seeming suspicious with no evidence against you are much better for you than the consequences of saying the wrong thing.

100 Tips for a Better Life

By far the most common context in which anyone I know has interacted with the cops is when filing police reports for damaged or stolen property


USA resident here that lives in a more rural-esque area:

I can't say I know anyone who has talked to the cops to file a report. Every interactions that I can think of between people I know and the cops has been in situations wherein they could incriminate themselves. Traffic stops and the like.

100 Tips for a Better Life

I'd recommend AutoIT instead of AHK.  Not that AutoIT is a great language, but it's a better language than AHK, using more standard language constructs.

Notes on Good Temper

I agree with you.

However, in case my last comment wasn't clear on the subject: I do not think anger is required to punch the bully. I'm not sure anger is required in any circumstance and I'm sure anger has negative consequences no matter the reason for it.

Notes on Good Temper

Yes, I agree that anger serves that purpose and I think a person should be aware of that. However,

  1. You have to balance that against the times wherein anger causes negative outcomes.  It it really that often that most people in modern societies have to scare off others from not doing further injustices to them or their group to offset the negative outcomes sourced in anger? I can't think of one time I've been angry and felt like it was a useful way to use my emotional resources.
  2. Is anger the only way to signal your reliability to your group and to scare off those who would do further injustices to you? Probably not. For one, I don't think feeling angry is the only way to achieve the desired signaling. You can just...choose to respond in a way to signal you're not to be messed with or whatever is appropriate. When signaling is required, there's multiple non-angry options available to the good-tempered. Biting sarcasm. The air of the unflappable cool person who handles their shit. Just flat out pretending to be angry!

Despite being a friendly person that people generally like (I think!), I'm a fairly solitary individual (by choice!) (I hope!). In my experience it's been 95% situations wherein I do not need to signal to any group that I'm a reliable member and those who would be on the receiving end of my anger if I had any are people I'll never see again.  

Usually it's something like the most recent situation I was in wherein I think people would have expected me to react with anger...

There was a young man and woman having a huge screaming fight outside a 4-plex apartment building my parents own.  It'd been going on for like 15 minutes so I went over there and told them to keep it quiet and please leave the property.  They both got very belligerent with me, and I felt nothing approaching anger. Just amusement evidenced by a smirk.  That guy in particular didn't like the smirk.

I'll never see those people again. But, if I was going to, or if there were people around to make a mental note about whether I'm a reliable group member, they'd have just seen the guy whom they couldn't get a rise out of.

There's been maybe 5 instances in the past 15 years similar to that wherein a person or small group of strangers that I'll never see again and who were directing their anger at me specifically while I was by myself or with my wife.  There's been one time in the same time period wherein it was prudent to think about signaling to others that I was a reliable group member.

I'm just not so sure that anger is actually more useful than harmful.

Notes on Good Temper

As one often accused of good temper, I'm always amused by the fact that it often makes people angrier when you don't get (as) angry as they think you should. (And, of course, this amusement makes the situation worse)

What I sometimes find overlooked in discussions about whether you should or should not get angry is whether your anger is constructive.  Some people seem to thrash and wail and accomplish nothing to address the source of their anger, and others who calmly address the problem.

I do not find credible the claim that anger is a necessary prerequisite to address (some) wrongs.  It may be for some, but I think motivation-to-address-injustice is not inextricably linked to anger. Of course, as someone who seems to be naturally good tempered, this belief is self-serving...

Is Stupidity Expanding? Some Hypotheses.

I think it's plausible that many or most people today barely skate by on literacy and algebra when they're in school and it all almost immediately fades away to the bare minimum they require to survive once they're out of school.  Note that Mauro was talking about what civilization required out of people, not what they were capable of doing.

I also think it's plausible that while you didn't need to read, write, and algebraize at some point in the past, you regularly needed other mental skills like...how to track animals or when to plant corn or whatever the heck you need to survive when there isn't our modern civilization supporting you (obviously I'm suckling on the teat of modern civilization because I don't know wtf).

Note that I'm not actually claiming that either of these are true, only that I can see "how the mental part can be true".

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