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Nomad8y10

I'm vaguely worried by the way 'elementalistic' structure and 'non-elementalistic' structure are separated in part A. It seems to have the connotation (I'm not sure if it was intended or not) that the elementalistic structures are better and the non-elementalistic structures are arbitrary. However, there's a reason why science - especially physics - have increasingly moved over towarda mathematical points of view and the sorts of language you've included under non-elementalistic. They really are better at describing the natural world: e.g. you lose out on key concepts if you insist on completely dividing 'space' and 'time' rather than appreciating the way they interact. This sort of feeds into part (B). He describes languages as being similar or non-similar to the world and our nervous system, but the truth is that once you move beyond the ancestral environment the world is very different to our nervous system. To choose in favour of the languages similar to the nervous system over those similar to the world is ultimately to choose in favour of our own biases.

Nomad8y70

John Green on human inability to instinctively appreciate large numbers and broad events:

My current number one goal in life is to someday be as excited about something as Cheez Doodles Guy is about Cheez Doodles. But its a weird facet of human brains that some thins cause that joyful excitement and others don't. Like today, the World Health Organisation announced that maternal death over the last twenty-five years has fallen 44% worldwide. This is amazing news (arguably even better news than discovering Cheez Doodles in Antarctica) and yet while I am encouraged by this news I am not Cheez-Doodles-Guy-excited about it, which is so weird; humans are so weird!

Nomad8y20

There are people who really do enjoy woodworking. I can't picture a utopia where no one ever whittles.

That really expresses something I've been mulling over to myself for a while: that failed utopias in fiction, or at least a large class of such, only appear to work because they lack certain types of people. The Culture, ironically, has no transhumanists, people who look at the Minds and say, "I want to be one of those." Certain agrarian return-to-nature fantasies lack people like me, who couldn't psychologically survive outside of a city and who derive literally no pleasure from so-called 'beautiful dioramas'. And of course, any utopia I would try to write probably would fall into the same trap, most likely because I wouldn't include people who want to whittle.

Nomad8y30

So I guess the real lesson is "figuring out which ideas are true is hard."

The alt-text of this xkcd comic.

Nomad8y60

To me, that sounds suspiciously like "The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long and no longer than the power by which he is able to compel that obligation." It's gilded up so it sounds better, but that's how it was in practice.

Nomad9y70

That quote reminds me of this, so much.

Nomad9y10

And just to be clear, the narrative being put forth above -- that everyone claiming to be poor is secretly rich -- is once more not something that anyone actually believes. Offer anyone saying it the chance to live in the public housing projects or trailer parks where these secretly rich welfare queens dwell and all you'll see is a cloud of dust and a tiny silhouette sprinting off into the horizon. But you don't need the majority to actually believe it, only to "believe" it.

Cracked pointing out the danger of belief in belief.

Nomad9y20

Any context? (e.g. what the suggestion is)

Nomad9y20

Summary: The superheroes of Worm regularly fight against existential threats called Endbringers, and have to work together with villains (some of whom are neo-nazis) to do it. They've been able to set up rules to ensure the villains can co-operate (no arrests, no using villains as bait, everyone gets medical attention afterwards), without which the Endbringers would win. However, the linked chapter explains that they've failed to extend this to post-fight celebrations, since the public won't accept any form of moral equivalence. Since the public will protest if villains are honoured for their sacrifices, and the villains riot if heroes are honoured but villains are not, no-one gets honoured.

Nomad10y880

I've now got this horrifying idea that this has been Quirrell's plan all along: to escape from HPMOR to the real world by tempting you to simulate him until he takes over your mind.

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