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[LINK] Joseph Bottum on Politics as the Mindkiller

This genuinely threw me because I had no idea there was anything wrong with freedom of speech in Sweden. This because I get consistently less flak when I express controversial views among Swedish friends than when among Americans. My handful of Swedish friends appears not to be representative.

On the other hand, the same is true in Norway, Denmark and Finland and they have quite significantly less issues. Also, I realise 'everyone is happy' was poor wording. A better one would be 'everyone has agreed this is a workable compromise that it's not worth fighting over, for a value of everyone that is approx. 95% of the population'

Extreme Rationality: It's Not That Great

Most states don't allow that, but in Europe it's standard practice. I probably wouldn't bother with the bike if I couldn't.

[LINK] Joseph Bottum on Politics as the Mindkiller

This one is a rather good example of my original point tbh

All the Scandinavian countries did just this in the 60s and 70s when abortions had become a reasonably safe procedure and all of them ended up with some variant of:

No questions asked in first trimester Medical reasons in second and third trimester Induced birth and adoption if foetus is viable.

And since around 1980, there has been zero controversy on the subject, mostly because just about everyone is happy with things as they are.

Extreme Rationality: It's Not That Great

Huh.

I did the same thing and came to the exact opposite conclusion and have been commuting by two-wheeler for 15 years now.

What swayed me was:

A huge proportion of the accidents involved really excessive speed.

A similarly huge proportion happened to untrained motorcyclists.

So: If I don't speed (much) and take the time to practice regularly on a track, preferably with an instructor, I have eliminated just about all the serious accidents. In actuality I have had zero accidents outside the track, and the "accidents" on the track has been to deliberately test the limits of myself and the bike. (and on a bike designed to take slides without permanent damage)

The cash savings are higher in Europe due to taxes on fuel and vehicles and the size of the bike is more appreciated in cities that are designed in the middle ages, so the upside is larger too, but it seems that we don't have anything like the same risk tolerance.

edit: also it is possible that motorcycling is a lot safer in Europe than the US? assuming you are from the US ofc.

Don't teach people how to reach the top of a hill

I have spent quite a lot of my life writing specifications for software. If you actually want sensible results, you need to be able to get across what goal you are trying to accomplish and why, then let the programmers figure out the how. Trying to specify the actual result in detail would mean writing the software outright. The only complete and unambigous specification for a program is its source.

This seems similar somehow.

[LINK] Joseph Bottum on Politics as the Mindkiller

This may be off topic, but I have never been entirely able to accept that politics is the mind-killer. I suspect that two party politics may be killing the mind while multi-party systems are merely mind-numbing.

Where I live, we currently have 8 parties in parliament, let's call them the infra-reds, reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, indigos and violets. Currently, the blues and violets are in charge, but they need support from either the oranges or the greens and indigos in order to actually pass any laws or regulations. Last year, we had the reds, oranges and yellows in charge. (Nobody ever cares about the infra-reds because they are old-school revolutionary communists, but for some reason they usually manage to grab a seat or two.) My point is that with every decision being an obvious compromise and usually with most of the negotiations between the interesting parties out in the public media, politics is a significantly more nuanced exercise.

Open Thread: March 4 - 10

Why were you trying to gain weight and is it still a goal?

I deliberately adjust my weight up or down by ~ 10kg fairly regularly and depending on your situation, I might be able to offer some ideas.

Open Thread for February 18-24 2014

In my experience, the beneficial effects of nicotine are weak and short-lived. They appeared not to stack with caffeine and I prefer coffee to gum. I didn't experience any dependency effects, but neither have I from other drugs, so that may not be a reliable indicator. My friends look at me strange when I talk about nootropics, so none to compare with

Open Thread for February 18-24 2014

I think you might need both variants because if I were to answer such questions, the response would not necessarily be symmetrical;

  • Is it OK to turn down an explicit request by your partner if you're capable of fulfilling it but you don't want to? - Not at all
  • Is it OK for your partner to turn down your explicit request if they're capable of fulfilling it but don't want to? - Of course

(assuming reasonable requests)

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