Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


How about "You're so cute when you're angry."?

"its not like he gets bonus points when he croaks for how much is in his bank account." is a valuable quote in its own right

Venerating a corpse does it no good, and vilifying it does it no harm.

(I suppose I should add a qualifier - I mean either a non-cryonically suspended legal corpse, or an information-theoretically-dead corpse. That covers the case if one were to extend "venerate" to include include maintaining-in-cryonic-suspension)

Would David Chambers have written "A P-zombie in Carcosa"?

Not necessarily: a straightforward steelmanning would re-define "anything in this world" as "anything in this world I can get by paying an appropriate price (not necessarily in money)".

Even with that restriction, the quote would still be false. In terms of things priced financially, there are lots of objects which cost more than many peoples' lifetime earnings (and good luck trying to raise those earnings by a large multiplier). In terms of things priced in terms of time or effort - there are limits on those too. If, for instance, a nonagenarian enrolled in a Ph.D. program which typically took a decade to complete - they might earn their degree, but the odds are against it.

If the only thing in favour of an idea is how wonderful the world would be if everyone followed it, it's a bad idea.

Almost entirely agreed. The one class of exceptions are cases where a single standard avoids some severe problem with a mix. "Elbonia will switch from driving on the left to driving on the right. The change will be made gradually."

More importantly, I'm disputing that it makes sense to judge by the numbers today.

It certainly isn't a perfect measure - but it seems like a decent one. I'd suggest correcting for some measure of how common the technology is. If there was something that only 10% of people have, but those 10% are getting killed at the same fraction per year as automobile drivers, I'd think it is still notable, though it wouldn't precisely meet gwern's criteria. If there were a technology which much less than 10% of the population has, then I'd be skeptical that it was unrestricted, at least in practice.

Frankly, there aren't very many technologies added over that period (besides the various flavors of electronic computation/communications/entertainment) that have that been so widely available. Microwave ovens - and I don't see many accidents from them. Perhaps home power tools? Forbes cites 37,000 emergency room visits per year from power nailers. They count another 37,000 from riding lawnmowers, but less than 100 killed.

I haven't tracked down the specific evidence - but muons are comparatively easy: They live long enough to leave tracks in particle detectors with known magnetic fields. That gives you the charge-to-mass ratio. Given that charge looks quantized (Milliken oil drop experiment and umpteen repetitions), and there are other pieces of evidence from the particle tracks of muon decay (and the electrons from that decay again leave tracks, and the angles are visible even if the neutrinos aren't) - I'd be surprised if the muon mass wasn't pretty solid.

Though if we take "efficacy" to the include the social effects (say, persuading one's co-religionists to assist after a loss that prompted the prayer), the universality looks quite plausible... Perhaps in the environment of evolutionary adaptation, hunter-gatherer bands were small enough that all prayer was effectively public, and this always applied, while private prayer might be a recent maladaptive generalization?

Load More