All of Rachel Shu's Comments + Replies

You correctly imply something worth restating clearly: despite their initial framing, impact markets are not a way to achieve public goods per se, they are a way to efficiently achieve funder goals in contexts where the path to that goal is uncertain, there are many plausible options, and there is lots of information that can be potentially priced into the market about those options.

With some impact market designs decentralized self interest can in fact come into play, perhaps in the form of bounty pools pledged into escrow by some subset of the people who... (read more)

Even granting that there are grabby aliens in your cosmic neighborhood (click here to chat with them*), I find the case for SETI-risk entirely unpersuasive (as in, trillionths of a percent plausible, or indistinguishable from cosmic background uncertainty), and will summarize some of the arguments others have already made against it and some of my own. I think it is so implausible that I don't see any need to urge SETI to change their policy. [Throwing in a bunch of completely spitballed, mostly-meaningless felt-sense order-of-magnitude probability estima... (read more)

Composer Christopher Tin has set JFK's "We Choose to go to the Moon" speech to music, . Solsticegoers may recognize the opening leitmotif as shared with Sogno Di Volare, another movement from the same work, an oratorio on the theme of flight, To Shiver the Sky.

I've recently gained a better appreciation for how astonishingly good this work is at linear perspective, which had only come about in European art in the prior century. Many things about this painting are good (and some bad to my eye, like the messy color scheme) but those hexagonal details on the curved arches in perspective is 100% Raphael showing off.

An aside, but linear perspective is the most rational part of art, in the older philosophical sense of rational; it's pretty much the only major part of classical art which descends from first principles rather than having an empirical basis.

Okay, this guy sold me as soon as I saw he had an episode on Doc Ing Hay's general store in rural Oregon. I stumbled upon this place once just passing through, at a convenient time to get a guided tour of the little museum they'd made out of it. There's not even a Wikipedia article on it yet; which gives me the impression that this podcaster is committed to both a broad and deep history of the chinese experience

Oh, I see. Thank you for clarifying, and I hope you enjoy the CHP 🙂

Ah you've got my directionality confused, the bias preventing me from judging History of China podcast dispassionately is in his inability to pronounce Chinese fluently. I'm in the weird position of being fluent enough in Chinese to be a little intolerant of English speakers with bad Chinese pronunciation but not fluent enough to understand the Chinese-language content. I will say though that China History Podcast seems a little better on this very particular axis and I think it would be unreasonable to expect much better. They definitely seem to have a lot of content, and much of it relevant to the modern era!

1Rachel Shu3y
Okay, this guy sold me as soon as I saw he had an episode on Doc Ing Hay's general store in rural Oregon. I stumbled upon this place once just passing through, at a convenient time to get a guided tour of the little museum they'd made out of it. There's not even a Wikipedia article on it yet; which gives me the impression that this podcaster is committed to both a broad and deep history of the chinese experience

Latest update: I did not complete the documentary and have no plans to continue working on it in the near future. The 90 hours of footage that I shot is all archived for possible later use, and is partially available to the community upon request.

A bulleted list of answers others have written:

  • Generates a new insight (TurnTrout)
  • Is good for something (adamzerner)
  • Shows its work (bvxn)
  • Ties up its loose ends (curi)
  • Resolves a disagreement (curi)
  • Shows effort (Alexei)
  • Well-written (Alexei)
  • Surprising (Alexei)
  • Credible (Alexei)
  • Summarize work (me)

And certain topical interests which LW is a topos for:

  • Cognition
  • AI
  • Self-improvement

I'm throwing in that I like posts and comments that compress knowledge (such as this).

My further two cents are that what people answer here will be somewhat unrepresentative. The answers w... (read more)

Thanks! I won't add these to the top list but I hope people will scroll down to see the comments. I should mention that there are a whole bunch of Mike Duncan - inspired "History of X" which are of varying quality. I wanted to get into the History of China dude, but I couldn't give him more than a few episodes due to wincing at his accent, didn't even get to judge his content. Unfortunately my Chinese isn't actually good enough to listen to podcasts in Chinese about Chinese history. History of Byzantium is supposedly also good.

There is one called China History Podcast that doesn't have a weird accent issue, the guy sounds completely american. As for History of Byzantium, it is good on the content but the sound quality is due for an improvement for a long time, it can become difficult to listen sometimes because of that.

Zvi, thank you for writing this. I’ve been working through Baudrillard too and coming to the same conclusion - he is far more insight porn than philosophy, compared to famous scholars with similar metaphysics such as Foucault and Zizek. I’ve got a long post in the pipeline on this as well. 

It’s really frustrating that this community has been spinning up an elaborate schema which is a misinterpretation of a sophist, where the original conversants both admitted they had by that point only read the Wikipedia summary of the book. This feels like the... (read more)

Thank you! this is the lens I was missing, and explains my deep confusion about why people are taking this weird categorization so seriously. Once I frame it as "all of these levels are simultaneously true (for different propositions, with focus on different types of decision/behavior), and different groups (or individuals) benefit from shifting the public discourse toward their wheelhouse", it makes sense. Still not sure it's USEFUL, as opposed to a more direct analysis of power and relationship to overton window and acceptable analytical frameworks, but I think I get it more.
I'm looking forward to it.

Added AskHistorians podcast! Mentioning Coursera inline.

8Alin Ovidiu Dragomir3y
Ok, this will take a while to write out. Here we go * Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. He's not a professional historian, but he's very engaging on his narrative style and reads a lot before doing an episode. But still, always take it with a pinch of salt, something may slip by him because he's not a historian (he's aware of it and recognises his limits). * Fall of Civilizations. Pretty new one, it's good for getting an overall picture of a long history. * History of Philosophy Without any Gaps. Counts more like a philosophy podcast, but here we go. It's done by Peter Adamson, a philosopher from King's College, London. And it's really cool that after a few episodes on each philosopher, he interviews an expert on that philosopher, so it is always extremely well informed. * History on Fire. Daniele Bolleli is a historian, but I am not 100% sure about how legit he is. I take this one always with a cautionary pinch of salt, just like Hardcore History. But it is very engaging. * In Our Time: History. Great BBC podcast, basically 30-min interviews with a couple of experts on a random history theme. * NT Pod. It's a podcast about a historical critical look at the New Testament. It's done by Mark Goodacre, from Duke University, one of the few scholars that believes that the synoptic problem should be solved without the hypotetical Q. * Pax Britannica. Samuel Hume is a historian who knows what he's talking about, and he does a pretty good job of telling the history of the British Empire. * History of Rome and Revolutions by Mike Duncan are 2 of the best history podcasts out there. He started with History of Rome, and when finished went on with Revolutions. He's well informed, and his style is very engaging. Also, he's studied politics, so his explanations tend to focus on that side of things. * Russian Rulers. It's done by a historian, it's well informed, and despite the sound quality in the first episodes i
1Alin Ovidiu Dragomir3y
If you are interested in history podcasts, I listen to quite a few of them myself, I will come back with a list of good ones.

I’ve tried to provide a legitimate alternative to every piratical source I’ve mentioned - if others concur with you I’ll reduce the discussion of piracy sites to just a brief gloss of sci-hub. 

4Ben Pace3y
As a site admin, I don't think I have any concerns about the legal reasons. I obviously feel philosophically good about sci-hub, I don't know the others so well (though I'd be a bit surprised if one of them was bad enough to remove).

Thanks! I can’t build that out all myself, since I am obviously US based, but I will work on reducing US-centric claims and I would love it if others could point out what’s available globally or not.

Thanks! In the same vein,

I should roll some of this back into the main article.

This is incredible. I'd never heard of it; adding it to the research section.

On the bus from NYC to Boston for EAGxBoston 2019 I chanced to sit next to a topology professor. I don't have any higher math background, but mentioning that I'd recently read the first few books of the Elements opened the door to a long and interesting conversation. I was amazed that something written two thousand years prior compared so favorably with my own 8th grade geometry experience, which despite having a cool teacher managed to teach me only the rudiments of geometry, and nothing substantial about proofs or theorems.) Minus the annoying long s, I'd gift Byrne's illustrated Elements to any smart kid in a heartbeat - it's surprisingly cheap on Amazon.

Do you use a separate word for the subjective experience of thought and perception?

"myself" could be that word. I have no evidence of any other subjective experiences. Alternately, you may not need a separate word - everything experiences things, perhaps as some function of the complexity of feedback mechanism.

Another way to succinctly say this is that two distributions may be cleanly separable via a single immeasurable variable, but overlap when measured on any given measurable variable, such that a representation of the separation achieved by a single immeasurable variable is only achievable through multiple measurable variables.

I think that there are a few plausible theories of the rationalist community and how they relate to the mission:

[0] Null hypothesis: no connection. This is obviously implausible if you've spent 3 seconds around the community or its mission.

1. The community and the mission are the same. Even the less immediately relevant activities create an intellectual and social milieu which is conducive to progress. The ability to engage with other intellectuals at low cost to oneself means that insights are shared between key individuals at faster rate. The commun... (read more)

I generally agree with the call to action. I have a historical critique.

I think you are mistaken about the nature of villages being automatically bound together; I think this error is survivorship bias. Most settlements that have ever existed did so ephemerally: existing primarily for the extraction of a single resource (mining towns), or for a single goal (military garrisons). What you see as natural cultural bonds and communities are a mark of stability, a historical example of a group that has solved (at least for a little time) the problem that the rat... (read more)

[note: still kinda braindumpy and not arguing very concretely] Hmm. I agree that survivorship bias could easily be a force at play here, but not sure about some of your specific subclaims here. (I haven't read the books listed, although I think I've maybe read summaries of the Art of Not Being Governed. Will check out both of them) There's two somewhat different things, which are "meeting people's needs in the moment" and "being stable/sustainable." Which do seem like when done right they should go hand in hand, but I'm not entirely sure it makes sense to be sustainable in the classical village sense. (A university is stable in ways different from a village, although many of the same mechanisms are there in some form) Some of the things I've heard or encountered that played a role in my thinking (not all of these are necessarily countering your points, some are just painting a picture of where I'm coming from and clarifying what evidence I actually have that there's a real thing here). 1. A friend claiming that working on a military submarine, forced to work together with a small group of people in sardine can sized vessel, where if anyone of them fucked up they could be entombed in the sea, which he described as producing the tightest bonds he ever felt, which he expected to be hard to imagine. (This points a bit against single-occupation towns necessarily having any issues re: trust/stability. I do expect diverse occupations to be useful for other reasons though) 2. The fact that, at NYC Sunday Assembly (an attempted atheist church), ex-Christians describe how close their church was, how people would take care of each other, how they felt connected, and this was so good, and atheist communities were so mediocre, that for many of them their default course of action was to just keep hanging out in the religious communities 'cuz they were just better at it than the atheist communities. 3. A couple experiences I've had volunteering to maintain parks and gardens,

There is one in progress, which I am helming. I don't post here much, but I've been active in the NYC community for 2 years. I've been working on the project for about 6 months and have filmed a substantial amount now (~35 hours guesstimate). I've written a brief summary here. You can follow my updates on Discord; message me privately for a link.

Latest update: I did not complete the documentary and have no plans to continue working on it in the near future. The 90 hours of footage that I shot is all archived for possible later use, and is partially available to the community upon request.

From recent releases, I really like Tillie Walden's ultrasoft scifi On a Sunbeam, (2015-2017), and Kieron Gillen's The Wicked + The Divine (2014-ongoing), which has a lot of similarity to American Gods.

For something rationalist-adjacent, I'd recommend Blue Delliquanti's O Human Star (2012-ongoing), which deals with LGBTQ issues in the context of FAI and transhumanism.

Would love to have you in attendance!

The synopsis of The Wicked + The Divine does look like my kind of tale. Both "Mortal becomes god" and "Mortal kills god" show up with weird frequency in my favourite stories.I'll likely check that one out first :) I thoroughly enjoyed last year's solstice. I'm hoping to be able to take a three day weekend for it, since I know there were some meetups before and after that I had to miss since I was just in town for the one night. Do you happen to know the best spot to watch for details on the solstice or adjacent activities, once things are more organized?

Hi, I'm helping to organize this year's NYC Solstice, as raemon has moved to the Bay Area. I've been reading LW, SSC, and rationalist Tumblr since about January and going to NYC meetups semiregularly since April, but haven't yet posted on here, so I thought I'd make a quick introduction.

My name is Rachel, I'm an undergrad senior at NYU completing a communications major. I'm originally from the Bay Area. On the MBTI, I'm an INTJ. Besides rationality, my passions are graphic novels and cooking. My intellectual interests tend towards things that have a taxonomic character, like biology and linguistics. (I'm also a fan of the way that these subjects keep evading a perfect taxonomy.)

I occasionally wear sandals.

As someone who hopes to attend the NY Solstice but is too far away to offer much assistance, you have my thanks for working on that! What graphic novel(s) have you read recently you really liked? I haven't been paying attention to the media since Gaiman's Endless Nights, but that's largely because a change of social circle meant the stream of recommendations dried up. I stay barefoot as much as is remotely socially acceptable, which isn't as nearly as much as I'd like.
Welcome to LW! We're an accepting community when it comes to footwear. I wear crocs most of the time, and shoes in winter.