All of Raemon's Comments + Replies

[ACX Linkpost] Prospectus on Próspera

I am fairly excited about this, even though I think it's likelihood of working out is low. 

Some folk on Astral Codex Ten are noting some previous failed attempts at things kinda-like-this. But, a) this seems to have a fairly different starting goal that other weird projects in this reference class, b) well, the normal odds for a startup succeeding is less than 10%, so the fact that we've tried this less than 10 times and it hasn't worked out yet isn't much to update on. I think trying things that look superficially similar to this is a big source of expected value.

Raemon's Shortform

Nod. "positive vs disagreement citation" is an important angle I wasn't thinking about.

Against "Context-Free Integrity"

I think I mostly have a deep disagreement with Ben here, which is important but not urgent to resolve and would take a bunch of time. (I think I might separately have different deep disagreements with you, but I haven't evaluated that)

Against "Context-Free Integrity"

(I have some disagreements with this. I think there's a virtue Ben is pointing at (and which Zvi and others are pointing at), which is important, but I don't think we have the luxury of living in the world where you get to execute that virtue without also worrying about the failure modes Richard is worried about)

2Richard_Ngo1dWhether I agree with this point or not depends on whether you're using Ben's framing of the costs and benefits, or the framing I intended [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/4thPHxgBCvteQjLv6/against-context-free-integrity?commentId=m7LdSefeMwhGuhmfT#KzBjzDGCuMYCiowyk] ; I can't tell.
2Ruby1d+1
deluks917's Shortform

On the flipside: WTF Star Trek? 

Raemon's Shortform

At any given time, is there anything especially wrong about using citation count (weighted by the weightings of other paper's citation count) as a rough proxy for "what are the most important papers, and/or best authors, weighted?"

My sense is the thing that's bad about this is that it creates an easy goodhart metric. I can imagine worlds where it's already so thoroughly goodharted that it doesn't signal anything anymore. If that's the case, can you get around that by grounding it out in some number of trusted authors, and purging obviously fraudulent autho... (read more)

4jimrandomh1dIt depends what you mean by "rough proxy", and whether you're applying it to scientific papers (where Goodhart has been out in force for decades, so a one-time check is off the table) or to LessWrong posts (where citation-count has never been something people cared about). Most things have zero citations, and this is indeed a negative quality signal. But after you get to stuff that's cited at all, citation count is mainly determined by the type and SEO of a paper, rather than its quality. Eg this paper [https://fliptomato.wordpress.com/2007/03/19/medical-researcher-discovers-integration-gets-75-citations/] . Citations also don't distinguish building upon something from criticizing it. That's much worse in the Goodhart arena than the one-time arena, but still pretty bad in the one-shot case.
1Zac Hatfield Dodds1dImportant for what? Best for what? In a given (sub)field, the highest-cited papers tend to be those which introduced or substantially improved on a key idea/result/concept; so they're important in that sense. If you're looking for the best introduction though that will often be a textbook, and there might be important caveats or limitations in a later and less-cited paper. I've also had a problem where a few highly cited papers propose $approach, many papers apply or puport to extend it, and then eventually someone does a well-powered study checking whether $approach actually works. Either way that's an important paper, but they tend to be under-cited either because either the results are "obvious" (and usually a small effect) or the field of $approach studies shrinks considerably. It's an extremely goodhartable metric but perhaps the best we have for papers; for authors I tend to ask "does this person have good taste in problems (important+tractable), and are their methods appropriate to the task?".
Specializing in Problems We Don't Understand

Curated.

I think the problem this post grapples with is essentially one of the core rationality problems. Or, one of the core reasons I think it might be useful to have "rationality" as a field.

The particular set of suggestions and exercises here seemed a) plausibly quite useful (although I haven't really tried them), b) pointed towards a useful generator of how to think more about how to develop as "the sort of person who can solve general confusing problems."

"Taking your environment as object" vs "Being subject to your environment"

I don't actually know what the grammatical rules say, but "take environment as object" is the phrase I've heard used in local culture over the past few years.

8habryka4dYeah, the current phrase feels confusing to me. If a human takes something else as a subject that... feels like it has some different connotations. In my mind the two opposing phrases are "being subject to" (passive) and "taking as object" (active).
What Multipolar Failure Looks Like, and Robust Agent-Agnostic Processes (RAAPs)

Curated. I appreciated this post for a combination of:

  • laying out several concrete stories about how AI could lead to human extinction
  • layout out a frame for how think about those stories (while acknowledging other frames one could apply to the story)
  • linking to a variety of research, with more thoughts what sort of further research might be helpful.

I also wanted to highlight this section:

Finally, should also mention that I agree with Tom Dietterich’s view (dietterich2019robust) that we should make AI safer to society by learning from high-reliability organiz

... (read more)
Covid 4/9: Another Vaccine Passport Objection
Raemon7dModerator Comment5

(Frontpaged despite not normally frontpaging covid posts)

Monastery and Throne

Something my wife last month: "Is this how you think about politics all the time? No wonder you're depressed."

I'm not quite sure that the "this" is in that sentence. You think about politics all the time how?

1AnthonyC7dYeah, I totally left that part out. I don't remember the specific situation, but it had to do with starting from a base assumption of factors like institutional inadequacy meaning I expect lots of seriously suboptimal decisions that lead to bad results that no one wanted, and public figures often being incompetent at their supposed jobs because they're picked by selection criteria force them to optimize for something way different from the supposed job requirements, and everyone just constantly talking past each other without even trying to really understand the other side (either due to ignorance, lack of interest, or various forms of group identity signaling). For context, on an individual level, she's vastly better than me at intuiting what other people are thinking and how they're likely to act. And she does understand the social psychology of groups of people very well. She just doesn't instinctively consider politics in terms of the dynamics and evolution of systems. Also note: after years of grappling with ideas like that, I've gotten much closer to not always being depressed by this kind of thing, or seeing it as an inescapable trap (and trying, whenever possible, to focus on the side of "Wow, look what we managed to accomplish anyway!"). But it definitely had that effect on me for a long time.
Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021

Oh, huh. I'll merge the comments from the other one into this one.

2Raemon8dI have now done so.
Another (outer) alignment failure story

There's a lot of intellectual meat in this story that's interesting. But, my first comment was: "I'm finding myself surprisingly impressed about some aesthetic/stylistic choices here, which I'm surprised I haven't seen before in AI Takeoff Fiction."

In normal english phrasing across multiple paragraphs, there's a sort of rise-and-fall of tension. You establish a minor conflict, confusion, or an open loop of curiosity, and then something happens that resolves it a bit. This isn't just about the content of 'what happens', but also what sort of phrasing one us... (read more)

Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021

I do definitely agree proper footnotes would be good for the default editor. I'm not sure whether we'll get to it any time soon because we continue to have a lot of competing priorities. But meanwhile my recommendation is to do footnotes they way they were done in this post (i.e. as comments that you can create hover-links to)

Don't Sell Your Soul

I think part of the lesson here is ‘don’t casually sell vaguely defined things that are generally understood to be some kind of big deal’

2TurnTrout9dI still don't fully agree with OP but I do agree that I should weight this heuristic more.
Don't Sell Your Soul

So there's a specific thing of "the immortal part of you that goes to heaven", which is just false. 

But I think plenty of people draw a mind/soul/body, where the mind/soul distinction is pointing at a cluster that's sort of like:

  • System 1 (as opposed to System 2)
  • strongly felt emotions
  • the core of your being – the things that make you distinctly you, vs the parts of your algorithm that any ol' person could easily implement (i.e. design by committee, paint by numbers). your central identity.

When one says "that artistic piece has soul" or "they poured thei... (read more)

2DanielFilan9dFWIW I'm pretty sure people have historically used words that get translated to 'soul' and not believed that it was immortal or went to heaven. I don't have time to read this at the moment but I guess this [https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/] SEP article is relevant.
Don't Sell Your Soul

You're currently using the WYSIWYG editor, where you format links by selecting the text (causing a menu of formatting options to appear) and then choosing the 'link' option.

In your user settings, you can switch to the Markdown editor, where normal Markdown formatting rules apply.

1benjamincosman10dThanks!
Don't Sell Your Soul

I actually started this essay thinking "eh, I don't think this matters too much", but by the end of it I was just like "yeah, this checks out."

I think "Don't casually make contracts you don't intent to keep" is just pretty cruxy for me. This is a key piece of being a trustworthy person who can coordinate in complex, novel domains. There might be a price where there is worth it to do it as a joke, but $10 is way too low. 

Suppose instead that the acquaintance approached me with a piece of paper that says "I, TurnTrout, give [acquaintance] ownership over

... (read more)
2TurnTrout10dI agree that the contracts part was important, and I share this crux. I should have noted that. I did purposefully modify my hypothetical so that I wasn't becoming less trustworthy by signing my acquaintance's piece of paper. I meant something more like the desperate "oh no my soul was so important, I'm going to pay $10k, $20k, whatever it takes to get it back!"; I should have clarified that in my original comment.
Risk Budgets vs. Basic Decision Theory

I think gjm made some good points. 

But I also want to note that having a budget is most important for coordination. I think this is what microcovid was originally designed for – you have a bunch of roommates, or people in a quaranbubble, and you want to agree on how you interact with the world. Giving everyone a budget is easier than a more complicated set of rules. 

If you're living on your own or with one person (i.e. close friend or romantic partner) who's easy to stay in sync with, then it's less important, unless you find it helpful for your own thinking.

Risk Budgets vs. Basic Decision Theory

Mod note: I frontpaged this (despite a policy not usually frontpaging covid content) because I think "how to think about microcovids" is actually fairly confusing and it could use some more dedicated discussion, and because I think that translates a bit into general thinking outside the domain of covid.

Affordances

Welp, today I learned. ("It originated in psychology" feels consistent with my previous beliefs, but I didn't know about all this history of it)

Raemon's Shortform

This isn’t intended at all to replace comments. The idea here is giving people accordance to do lower effort ‘pseudo comments’ that are somewhere in between an upvote / downvote and a comment, so that people who find it too effortful to write a comment can express some feedback.

Hypothesis is that this gets you more total feedback.

1Dagon13dI was mostly reacting to "I'd previously talked about how it would be neat if LW reacts specifically gave people affordance to think subtler epistemically-useful thoughts. ", and failed my own first rule of evaluation: "compared to what?". As something with more variations than karma/votes, and less distracting/lower hurdle than comments, I can see reacts as filling a niche. I'd kind of lean toward more like tagging and less like 5-10 variations on a vote.
Raemon's Shortform

Theory that Jimrandomh was talking about the other day, which I'm curious about:

Before social media, if you were a nerd on the internet, the way to get interaction and status was via message boards / forums. You'd post a thing, and get responses from other people who were filtered for being somewhat smart and confident enough to respond with a text comment.

Nowadays, generally most people post things on social media and then get much more quickly rewarded via reacts, based on a) a process that is more emotional than routed-through-verbal-centers, and b) you... (read more)

2Viliam13dThere is a trade-off: would you prefer higher-quality feedback with great chance of no feedback at all, or a greater probability of feedback which will most likely be lower-quality? Maybe this is a problem with social media: sometimes we get a lot of feedback, and sometimes we get high-quality feedback, and it kinda makes us expect that it should be possible to get lots of high-quality feedback constantly. But that is not possible, so people are dissatisfied.
1Dagon13dI don't participate in a very wide swath of social media, so this may vary beyond FB and the like. But from what I can tell, reacts do exactly the opposite of what you say - they're pure mood affiliation, with far less incentive nor opportunity for subtlety or epistemically-useful feedback than comments have. The LW reacts you've discussed in the past (not like/laugh/cry/etc, but updated/good-data/clear-modeling or whatnot) probably DO give some opportunity, but can never be as subtle or clear as a comment. I wonder if something like Slack's custom-reacts (any user can upload an icon and label it for use as a react) would be a good way to get both precision and ease. Or perhaps just a flag for "meta-comment", which lets people write arbitrary text that's a comment on the impact or style or whatnot, leaving non-flagged comments as object-level comments about the topic of the post or parent.
Affordances

When I google "affordances", I mainly get results about UX design and human-computer interaction. This makes sense: a big part of designing products (be they software or hardware) is about making sure the user has all the right affordances. If you design a new kitchen implement which requires a pumping action, you want the user to immediately have a "pumping action" affordance when they see it.

Possibly relevant history: the word affordance AFAICT comes from the book "The Design of Everyday Things." The Design of Everyday things was actually originally goin... (read more)

5abramdemski12dWikipedia gives a pretty different history [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance], according to which the term comes originally from psychology, not design.
The Meaning Crisis

Ah, yeah. That is meant to be your time zone. (It’s at 12pm PT)

2juliawise14doh right, about the public speaking / communication type skills.
How do we prepare for final crunch time?

Curated.

I found this a surprisingly obvious set of strategic considerations (and meta-considerations), that for some reason I'd never seen anyone actually attempt to tackle before.

I found the notion of practicing "no cost too large" periods quite interesting. I'm somewhat intimidated by the prospect of trying it out, but it does seem like a good idea.

How do we prepare for final crunch time?
Raemon15d25Ω11

Seems true, but also didn't seem to be what this post was about?

Raemon's Shortform

They’re the biology department, who disagree about whether the primary force underlying ecosystems is life/death/growth/decay.

Raemon's Shortform

The latest magic set has… possibly the subtlest, weirdest take on the Magic color wheel so far. The 5 factions are each a different college within a magical university, each an enemy-color-pair.

The most obvious reference here is Harry Potter. And in Harry Potter, the houses map (relatively) neatly to various magic colors, or color pairs.

Slytherin is basically canonical MTG Black. Gryffindor is basically Red. Ravenclaw is basically blue. Hufflepuff sort of green/white. There are differences between Hogwarts houses and Magic colors, but they are aspiring to ... (read more)

1Measure16dWhat about Black/Green?
Logan Strohl on exercise norms

I think Logan's Defense of Shame was mostly unrelated to the the book, FYI. (Or at least, it's a FB comment that's basically them just saying "I think Shame is a valuable part of you, here's why, and here's how." It might overlap with the book but I'm guessing Logan's take is fairly different). 

4ryan_b16dI strongly agree with the claim, even if we differ on the motivations. I cultivate a sense of shame myself. Come to think of it, I also deploy my sense of shame with respect to exercise. Following on Rob's questions, it could probably be considered private.
Eli's shortform feed

Not spending $30,000 makes sense, but my impression from car shopping last year was that trying to get a good car for less than $7k was fairly hard. (I get the ‘willingness to eat the cost’ price point of $1k, but wanted to highlight that the next price point up was more like 10k than 30k.)

Depending on your experimentation goals, you might want to rent a a car rather than buy.

Open & Welcome Thread – March 2021

You should be able to paste youtube links into the default editor and it'll automatically work. I'm not sure about the markdown editor.

Some Complaint-Action Gaps

On one hand, I don't actually find it that alarming that the talk/action ratio is skewed. Talk is way cheaper than action, so it's not surprising there's more of it. 

The question is more like "how much of an 'action bandwidth gap' is there – how much serious action could people be doing that they aren't already spending resources on? Of the people who can tractably allocate their time on 'real action', are the things they are currently working on more or less important than these other things?"

I also think when you sit down to brainstorm "okay, what s... (read more)

Thirty-three randomly selected bioethics papers

Curated. 

I think LessWrong has had a recurring theme of "bioethics sucks." I very much liked the sanity check of "what, is the thing that people are vaguely saying sucks exactly?"

I appreciated the methodology of grabbing a bunch of random papers, to get a sense of the breadth of the field. I also liked the followup of checking what the field was like a decade+ ago. I think that doing a bunch of research gruntwork is still underrewarded at LessWrong and part of the reason I'm curating this is to "subsidize" that a bit.

Meanwhile, it seemed from the comm... (read more)

What are some beautiful, rationalist artworks?

Do you think he is being rationalist at this particular moment? (I don't actually remember his arc very clearly)

1NunoSempere20d
2Alex_Altair21dIt would be hard to say, because he's outside the entire paradigm of being an agent.
Raemon's Shortform

I think I don't feel too bad about "hey, looks like we just disagree in some fundamental way here I'm not interested in trying to resolve, sorry". It might be rude in some circles but I think I'm willing to bite the bullet on "it's pretty necessary for that to be an okay-move to pull on LW and in rationalist spaces."

I think "we disagree in a fundamental way" isn't quite accurate, and there's a better version that's something like "I think we're thinking in pretty different frames/paradigms and I don't think it makes sense to bridge that disconnect."

A thing... (read more)

Raemon's Shortform

As for asking people if they have the skill,

I actually was not expecting the process to be "ask if they have the skill", I was expecting the sequence to be:

  1. get into an argument
  2. notice it feels stuck
  3. notice that your conversation partner seems stuck in a system
  4. make some effort to convey that you're trying to talk about a different system
  5. say (some version of) "hey man, it looks like you don't have the 'step outside your current frame' skill, and I don't think the argument is worth having until you do."

(well, that's probably an unproductive way to go about it, ... (read more)

4Viliam21dMaybe a more diplomatic way could be: "hey man, for the sake of thought experiment, could we for a moment consider this thing from a different frame?" They may agree or refuse, but probably won't feel offended.
2G Gordon Worley III21dSomething about this feels like what I used to do but don't do now, and I realized what it is. If they're stuck I don't see it as their problem, I see it as my problem that I can't find a way to take my thing and make it sensible to them within their system, or at least find an entry point, since all systems are brittle and you just have to find the right thread to pull if you want to untangle it so they can move towards seeing things in ways beyond what their current worldview permits. But maybe my response looks the same if I can't figure it out and/or don't feel like putting in the energy to do that, which is some version of "hey, looks like we just disagree in some fundamental way here I'm not interested in trying to resolve, sorry", which I regret is kinda rude still and wish I could find a way to be less rude about.
Raemon's Shortform

Sometimes the subject of Kegan Levels comes up and it actually matters a) that a developmental framework called "kegan levels" exists and is meaningful, b) that it applies somehow to The Situation You're In.

But, almost always when it comes up in my circles, the thing under discussion is something like "does a person have the ability to take their systems as object, move between frames, etc." And AFAICT this doesn't really need to invoke developmental frameworks at all. You can just ask if a person has a the "move between frames" skill.*

This still suffers a... (read more)

2Richard_Kennaway20dKegan levels lend themselves to being used like one of those irregular verbs, like "I am strong minded, you are stubborn, he is a pig-headed fool." "I am Kegan level 5, you are stuck on Kegan level 4, and all those dreadful normies and muggles around us are Kegan 3 or worse."
2Viliam21dSeems to me that the main problem with linear systems where you put yourself at the top (because, who doesn't?), is that the only choice it gives everyone else is either to be the same as you, or to be inferior. Disagreeing with the system probably makes one inferior, too. Feels a bit ironic, if this is considered to be a pinnacle of emotional development... But of course now I am constructing a frame where I am at the top and those people who like the Kegan scale are silly, so... I guess this is simply what humans do: invent classifications that put them on the top. ;) And it doesn't even mean that those frames are wrong; if there is a way to put people on a linear scale, then technically, someone has to be on the top. And if the scale is related to understanding, then your understanding of the scale itself probably should correlate with your position on it. So, yes, it is better to not talk about the system itself, and just tell people where specifically they made a mistake.
2G Gordon Worley III22dThe original formulation definitely mixes in a bunch of stuff along with it, the systems as object thing is meant to be characteric, but it's not all of the expected stuff. Most people don't push the hard version that taking systems as object is not just characteric but causally important (I say this even though I do push this version of the theory). It is actually kinda rude to psychologize other people, especially if you miss the mark, and especially especially if you hit the mark and they don't like it, so it's probably best to just keep your assessment of their Kegan level to yourself unless it's explicitly relevant since bringing it up will probably work against you even if in a high-trust environment it wouldn't (and you are unlikely to be in a high-trust enough environment for it to work even if you think you are). As for asking people if they have the skill, I don't expect that to work since it's easy to delude yourself that you do because you can imagine doing it or can do it in an intellectual way, which is better than not being able to do it at all but is also not the real deal and will fall apart the moment anything overloads global memory or otherwise overtaxes the brain.
How You Can Gain Self Control Without "Self-Control"

FYI, I'd have found it helpful to have formally stated "Ty is a real person, but not their real name." I found myself fairly confused about whether he was real and assumed he probably wasn't.

4spencerg21dGood point! I actually had that as a footnote in the original post, but accidentally didn't port it over when I constructed the article here. Thanks for the feedback.
Canada Covid Update: thinking out loud

Minor mod note: removed the "🇨🇦" from the title. It was cute, and I probably wouldn't mind it as a one-time-thing but vaguely worried about the site sliding towards colorful cacophany. :P

Respectfully disagree: I don't think enforcing something like this help towards facilitating personal blogposts on lesswrong. I think a better alternative is to create some formal styling guide and implement a formatter that strips emojis etc from the title string when posts are promoted to frontpage (or even in the "recent posts" list if you guys want that); otherwise I don't think limiting editorial choices by the author helps the case of building community blogs.

Jean Monnet: The Guerilla Bureaucrat

Curated.

This post's main points seemed surprisingly simple, and probably I already knew them, but a) it happened to be exactly what I needed to hear yesterday, and b) I don't think it's really been covered on LessWrong before. The "practicality" mindset here was an important aspect of coordination that I hadn't been consciously considering.

I did find a few things about this post somewhat dissatisfying. The post only gives a partial history of many important events, and jumps back and forth between them. I struggled a bit to figure out "wait, how old was Mo... (read more)

7Martin Sustrik1moThanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, the article is mess partly because the events back then were a mess and the entire topic seems to be under-researched. For example, I don't think there's any kind of official narrative for the early history of the EU. Popular understanding, I think, is that WWII was followed by the postwar boom. The entire dark period of 1945-1950 kind of went down the memory hole. (But I'm from the Ostblok, so maybe kids in the West were taught more about it.) Anyway, I've added couple of links at the end of the article, but again, the events back then were complex and confusing, the resources are in multiple languages etc.
Trapped Priors As A Basic Problem Of Rationality

Curated.

I... mostly just really like that this is one of the few posts in a while that seemed to make a credible advance at, you know, straightforwardly advancing the art of rationality. (Okay okay, Catching the Spark also counted.  And... okay okay I can actually list a number of posts that engage directly with this. But, I feel like it's not as common as I'd ideally like, or at least less direct. I liked that this post focused on it first-and-foremost, and established the context in which this was explicitly a rationality problem)

I particularly like... (read more)

1Gerald Monroe1moYou could certainly make an argument that every major 'ism' and religion is just a trapped prior. Racism, sexism, ageism - all of them, a person generates a conclusion, perhaps supplied by others, that negative traits about members of a particular class are true. And it could be that these negative traits are more prevalent in the class. But they then generalize where they interpret during any meeting of a member of that class that the negative trait is in fact true. It's also because the real world evidence is complicated.If you believe a member of a class is dumb as a rule, you can always pick some dumb behaviors or dismiss something smart they say as "too intellectual" or "is just reading the material he memorized". As an example, early in Obama's term he gave a town hall where at least on video, the man on the fly appeared to answer each question with answers that were generally correct answers for each subject. Yet conservative relatives of mine somehow saw this as evidence as to how incompetent/too academic whatever this politician was. If you believe that poor people are lazy it's a similar thing. Or that homeless beggars are all faking it - oh look they have new shoes, must be lying.
7TurnTrout1moI too got the sense that this post was plausibly Important for the art of rationality. It seems to me to have the Sequences quality of quickly obsoleting itself (“oh, duh, this is obviously correct now“) and I now have a crisp handle for this kind of mental bug. i think that having that kind of handle is quite important.
"Objective vs Social Reality" vs "Simulacra 1/3"

I guess I'm not confident that saying "simulacrum level 3" even reliably implies all these things. I also expect people to be using it somewhat sloppily. 

(I haven't tracked your usage in particular. Obviously in your Simulacrum Level 3 as Stag Hunt Strategy post, you're trying to make a bunch of technical points where I think using a precise Jargon Term was appropriate. I'm more responding to people just offhandedly referring to SL3/4 when they aren't even making that precise a point)

I think I might call SL3 "Honest Social Reality" and SL4 is "Manipul... (read more)

Eli's shortform feed

This is still a bit superficial/goodharty, but I think "number of layers of hierarchy" is at least one thing to look at. (Maybe find pairs of companies that output comparable products that you're somehow able to measure the inputs and outputs of, and see if layers of management correlate with cost disease)

"Objective vs Social Reality" vs "Simulacra 1/3"

In a somewhat-more-recent-post, Benquo suggests some possible alternate names, although notes that they still aren't overwhelmingly great. This describes level 1 as "objective", which I think makes subtly-more-sense than "object-level", despite sharing a word-root.

Another way to think about it, is that in levels 1 and 3, speech patterns are authentically part of our subjectivity. Just as babies are confused if you show them something that violates their object permanence assumptions, and a good rationalist is more confused by falsehood than by truth, peopl

... (read more)
Politics is way too meta

A cruxy thing for me is "Is the current regime of journalism representative of all eras of journalism?". Was there a time when journalism was more in touch with object-level reality, even if it was still largely or primarily about social reality?

On one hand, I can think of examples of yellow journalism and other social-reality-oriented writing from Awhile Ago. On other hand, the current news cycle seems much worse than the new cycle from 50 years ago. I have stories in my head about how the first TV broadcast presidential debate shifted the focus from "who... (read more)

Paul Graham's The Refragmentation argues that mainstream media 50 years ago in the US was a rare and fragile historical anomaly.

Load More