MSRayne

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How To Write Quickly While Maintaining Epistemic Rigor

I have a lot of thoughts about a lot of things but my post history reveals that I'm like you and a lot like the people this post is geared towards; I don't share my thoughts because I never have much of an idea how to back them up. Worse though, I can't even follow this post's advice, as I mostly have no idea how I come up with any of the things I do, either; I've never bothered to pay attention to the process. :/

The Future: Where are the Colors and the Sports?

The same thing that drove you to write yours.

The Future: Where are the Colors and the Sports?

You might want to check out the Orion's Arm Universe Project, https://www.orionsarm.com/ - it's a science fiction world set ten thousand years in the future which has been collaboratively developed (anyone can join) for over twenty years now, and it's much more diverse than typical "everything is chrome in the future" visions. (In fact "Diversity!!!" is literally their motto.) This simplifying trend is not universal; I think it is really just an example of people being too lazy to think carefully about what would realistically actually happen in a future scenario.

I'm really glad you pointed out the stuff about sports though - I agree with some of the other commenters that for the most part, in the physical world, the sports that currently exist are a waste of resources, but the concept of sport in general is extremely valuable and I would like to see a wide variety of VR sports become popular once full-body VR is a thing. I'd even be interested in engaging in VR version of actual violent warfare, since it wouldn't actually harm anybody in that context - but perhaps I'm unusual in that respect.

Also note, solarpunk tends to be highly colorful, but that's a rather new development of the past few years (and one much closer to my own aesthetic than most "future" stuff).

The Future: Where are the Colors and the Sports?

This is absurd. There is nothing wrong with competitiveness, and the majority of people who play competitive video games are not suffering from it. Sure, there's always griefers who win at all costs and enjoy humiliating weaker players, but nobody wants to play with people like that.

There is a joy in striving against an equal opponent that cannot be found in anything purely cooperative, and which is not intrinsically harmful in the slightest. In fact, the urge to seek social status, which you denigrate as something horrible, is probably the only reason humans intensely care about anything other than survival and reproduction in the first place.

There's also nothing wrong with "primal urges". They are not intrinsically destructive - they are only destructive if indulged in the physical world. I often envision future VR sports, or even warfare, where people experience intense "physical" competition in a virtual world, perhaps even including artificial pain sensations etc, but then return to their bodies and are safe and sound. I think it would be fun. Note also that sex is a primal urge, and it too can be dangerous due to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies - are you against it too?

What are some good pieces on civilizational decay / civilizational collapse / weakening of societal fabric?

I got a lot out of reading Peter Turchin's "Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall", and I'm going to read more of his works soon. He makes elegant mathematical arguments about the intertwining effects of population, technology, and social cohesion on growth and collapse of societies.

Training Better Rationalists?

I'm very interested, but only if I don't have to pay for it, since I have literally no money. I've been thinking of learning Mandarin.

How much do variations in diet quality determine individual productivity?

Not to be that guy, but the idea of someone being a rationalist but not a vegan astounds me. You do know animals are sentient, right?

Brief thoughts on inefficient writing systems

The inability to avoid exact phonetic representations would actually be beneficial, imo, because a fluent writer of IPA could then represent their native accent exactly, and a fluent reader could recognize that accent and imagine the author's voice more accurately while reading. It would be useless for deaf people, though - but all written language reforms are, unfortunately.

Brief thoughts on inefficient writing systems

You're making the mistake of thinking that writing is about adequate communication. It's not, or not only. It's also about signalling that you had enough slack / wealth to waste tons of your educational time and effort learning arbitrary rules, and thus that you are probably 1. somewhat disciplined 2. somewhat well-educated and 3. part of the elite, or at least not a total prole. This is how complex writing systems have survived so long.

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