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Glad to see this channel here. I highly recommend their videos on grabby aliens for those unfamiliar with the concept. 

Good post. I was exposed to very similar advice a few years ago and tried to put it into practice when my partner's father died soon after. During her long periods of grief she'd occasionally apologize for dragging me into this, and I'd simply reassure her that pain is the right thing to feel and that I'd be with her as she let grief take its course. I cringe at the thought of giving advice.

This generally gets at a cbt/mindfulness/stoicism truth. You can't stop pain, you can only change your relationship to it. When you stub your toe, no amount of rationalization is going to make your nerves stop reporting damage. All you can do is breathe and wait it out. Wrestling with the feeling will just aggravate it and add anxiety to the pain. Giving advice implies there's a way around a pain, which there usually isn't, and unintentionally implies it's the person's fault for suffering.

We all know this, but it bears repeating that empathy is hard. Nobody likes seeing a loved one suffer, and dwelling on it doesn't make it easier. It's ok to hurt too.

The only reasonable debate at this point seems to me to be exponential vs superexponential.

When somebody tells you to buy into the S&p 500 what's their reasoning? After a century or two of reliable exponential growth the most conservative prediction is for that trend to continue (barring existential catastrophe). We are in our second or third century of dramatic recursive technology improvement. AI is clearly a part of this virtuous cycle, so the safest money looks like it'd be on radical change.

I appreciate the perspectives of the Gary Marcuses of the world, but I've noticed they tend more towards storytelling ("Chinese room, doesn't know what it's saying"). The near-term singularity crowd tends to point at thirty different graphs of exponential curves and shrug. This is of course an overgeneralization (there are plenty of statistically-grounded arguments against short horizons), but it's hard to argue we're in an S curve when the rate of change is still accelerating. Harder still to argue that AI isn't/won't get spooky when it writes better than most Americans and is about to pass the coffee test.

Forgive my hypocrisy, but I'll do a bit of storytelling myself. As a music ed major, I was taught by nearly every one of my professors to make knowledge transfers and to teach my students to transfer. Research on exercise science, psychology, film criticism, the experience of stubbing a toe; all of it can be used to teach music better if you know how to extract the useful information. To me this act of transfer is the boson of wisdom. If palm-e can use its internal model of a bag of chips to grab it for you out of the cabinet... Google doesn't seem to be out of line to claim palm is transferring knowledge. The Chinese room argument seems to be well and truly dead.

I agree wholeheartedly. Dissemination of a technology doesn't seem to primarily be limited by the capacity of the hardware, but rather by willingness of people to adopt it. Saying the tech is getting better doesn't prove the tech is solving a salient problem. And I don't see managers and employees being thrilled about strapping on a headset for every meeting. As a simple heuristic, I (somebody who's logged many hours on my oculus) do not want to meet in the metaverse, for the reasons you state here.

I'll go even further though; videoconferencing is overrated compared with phone calls. For socializing, sure it's nice to see peoples' faces. But when you're just trying to exchange information, a phone call suffices. As a teacher I never see the faces of people who I'm working with on fundraising... sometimes never even hear their voice if we just exchange emails. If you ran a double-blind experiment with a thousand participants to compare how much information was being conveyed with a video call vs a phone call, sure you might find a smidgen of difference. But I'd wager the effect would be an order of magnitude smaller than if you just gave everyone a cup of coffee before the meeting.