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curi's Microblogging

This is a thread for me to post stuff that's smaller than a blog post. You can reply and discuss here but don't start your own topics here. You can do that in Open Discussion or at any relevant post.

Elliot Temple on September 13, 2020

Messages (49)

Yesterday i read 8% of The Case Against Education

it argues the value from edu is at least 1/3 signaling and the author suspects >50%, mb 80%

he says 3 types of signaling: intelligence, conscientiousness, and conformity

IQ tests only cover the first, so not good enough

employers want diligent workers who are team players and put up with boredom

he says if someone makes it thru school it signals at least: good in 1 trait + ok in other 2

he’s an academic. Bryan Caplan. kinda libertarian but non-Austrian economist. flawed guy. friends and colleagues with Robin Hanson.

he says other professors have disagreed with him a fair amount re edu but not minded. he hasn’t been attacked as a heretic.

i believe that was his experience. i think he’s treated differently due to his social status and he gets away with stuff, and most ppl, including academics, can’t get away with it.

curi at 12:42 PM on September 13, 2020 | #18007 | reply | quote

A lot of people are bothered by some things I do in conversations. They try to be tolerant and charitable, and avoid derailing the discussion, by trying to ignore it. But this makes things worse when it's something I do on purpose instead of an occasional accident. What happens is I keep doing it (because it's not something I'm making an imperfect effort to avoid doing) and then their patience and tolerance wears thin. They get fed up with it. They assumed it was bad and that I knew it was bad and only did it by mistake. They never considered giving reasons they think it's bad and discussing it rationally. And now that they've run out of patience, it's too late to discuss it (because they don't have the patience for that).

So people sabotage discussions while trying to be helpful/tolerant/etc. To get along with me/FI better, they need to say things they don't like and talk about the disagreement. If they aren't comfortable doing this the first time, that's fine, they can do it the third time, that way there's a recurring pattern but it's still before they run out of patience. (If they're an impatient person they might run out of patience on the first, second or third incident. That's hard to deal with. But better people might have enough patience for 5-10 incidents, so then discussing it after the third will work well.)

curi at 1:08 PM on September 20, 2020 | #18084 | reply | quote

Less Wrong type people and some others are really into public prediction markets where you bet on what will happen in the future. This rewards people with better foresight and provides better forecasts about what will happen than some other approaches like asking an expert. Predictions are about concrete events in concrete timeframes – e.g. who wins an election – so the bet can be resolved with winners and losers.


Because prediction markets don't involve explanations. Debate only has a secondary role (market participants may have debates to try to learn more) in the same way that e.g. books and news have a secondary role (participants might get info from books). The prediction market system doesn't involve people answering each other's arguments. If you disagree with someone, you bet against them. Explaining why at all is optional. And actually explaining your reasoning can be discouraged: the more people agree with you, the less profit you'll make for your bets. (It depends somewhat. If you place your entire bet on an issue and then explain what you think, it won't affect your profit, or could even lead to selling early before the issue is resolved and doing better. If, unrealistically, your opinion of this matter is unrelated to your opinions on future bets, then there's ~no downside.)

They're trying to sidestep the issue of actually discussing what reasoning makes sense and what criticisms refute what, just as they do with induction and assigning probabilities to arguments.

curi at 2:14 PM on September 24, 2020 | #18118 | reply | quote

I've enabled beeps every 15min on my apple watch. it's the Chimes feature under Accessibility in Settings on the watch.

i've used the mac break reminder app Time Out. i just tried it again but i find it often shows up when i'm in the middle of something and it doesn't know about the breaks i take on my own initiative. the watch beeps are much less intrusive while still providing some reminder. i also enabled the watch notification for not having 1 minute of standing (really walking arm motion) during the hour so far (in activity settings in watch app on iphone).

the chimes are at 00, 15, 30, 45 and the stand reminder is at 50.

i'm also trying some posture exercises like https://builtwithscience.com/posture-workout-routine/

there are break reminder apps for apple watch. i'll probably try some of those and try wearing my watch more consistently.

curi at 11:50 AM on September 25, 2020 | #18127 | reply | quote


The unsourced quote (I'm guessing ancient greek) just says adults and children are different. It doesn't match BD's claim about the specifics of adulthood like restraint or decorum. Educated people routinely fail at basic logic and reading comprehension type stuff. BD has actually written a bunch of good articles and still screws this up.

curi at 10:11 AM on September 30, 2020 | #18175 | reply | quote


The quite is from The Bible:


IME when I was a Christian this verse was quoted fairly often. It was commonly used as a bludgeon for social conformity. One of the differences between adults and children is that children conform less. One of the things you're supposed to "put away" when you become an adult is rebelliousness / non-conformity. It was not stated quite this way. "Decorum" would be a more normal way to describe it. But social conformity was a clear and common application of the verse.

So perhaps Bret isn't responding to the literal words in the verse but its common / practical application.

Andy Dufresne at 10:25 AM on September 30, 2020 | #18176 | reply | quote

From Dec 2019 on the FI Discord:


> Shadow Starshine: Curi strikes me as someone who everyone in the world could disagree with and he'd still think he was right

I thanked him for the compliment.

> Shadow Starshine: I mean, I don't think that's a compliment, but I can't stop you from taking it as one

curi at 9:29 PM on October 1, 2020 | #18209 | reply | quote

curi at 10:29 AM on October 2, 2020 | #18213 | reply | quote

#18213 i don’t understand just assuming the laws are reasonable and signing 7.3k/mo lease to start biz without researching how it works first

it explains voting dem tho. ppl have no idea what the laws are or what’s going on, and assume everything is reasonable

if they’ll sign a lease like that based on that assumption, they’ll certainly vote on it, which is a much smaller deal than the lease

curi at 1:05 PM on October 2, 2020 | #18214 | reply | quote

#18213 especially of note to me where these 2 parts:

> The Planning Department, like always, ***required him to notify neighbors of the plan and allowed any one of them within 150 feet to object.*** Neighbors learned about the project in late February and had until mid-April to complain. And someone did complain, triggering a hearing at the Planning Commission, which can take 12 weeks to schedule. That’s many months of rent flushed away because one neighbor doesn’t like what’s allowed by the city.

> In Yu’s case, ***the complaining neighbor was a competing ice cream shop.*** It doesn’t take a genius to see why that shop might gripe, but nevertheless Yu had to hire a lawyer and wait until the hearing on June 11 to do any more work on his shop.

i read the entire article and it doesnt seem like the other ice cream shop even needed a reason to complain, it just forces Yu to not do any work for like 3 months while has has to pay 21k on his lease.

internetrules at 1:22 PM on October 2, 2020 | #18215 | reply | quote

Walk Away Campaign is about people leaving the Democratic party and telling their stories. https://www.facebook.com/groups/OFFICIALWalkAwayCampaign

curi at 1:39 PM on October 2, 2020 | #18216 | reply | quote


Someone hung out with antifa to find out about them. Says one of their major tactics is middle-level violence, so that it's really hard to ignore and do nothing, but it's too mild to shoot them. A lot of defensive reactions are polarized as either too strong or too weak to deal with antifa's actions. They do that on purpose. Their goal is more about creating propaganda than actually achieving objections like damaging buildings. They want to get police to either stand down or overreact (as perceived by public that is misled by media).

They said it's like repeatedly pushing someone on the shoulder. If he ignores you, he's weak and bullied. If he punches you, lots of people will see it as an overreaction, especially if they are judging quickly with low info instead of spending a bunch of time finding out what happened and considering it.

curi at 11:29 AM on October 5, 2020 | #18233 | reply | quote


Asmongold watches All Gas no Brakes talking with Proud Boys and others about politics. What a shitshow. People on both sides are mostly idiotic.

curi at 4:40 PM on October 5, 2020 | #18239 | reply | quote


There are more graphs then a conclusion:

> I hope this information gives you some perspective on what we're dealing with today. The conditions our ancestors dealt with daily were much harsher than even the worst of Covid-19.

This is stupid. You can't look at the harm from COVID *while people take major precautions* to conclude that COVID isn't very dangerous. If we stopped taking those precautions, the death rate would be way higher.

curi at 10:56 AM on October 8, 2020 | #18255 | reply | quote


Baldur's Gate 3 review from UEG. Summary: tons of great stuff, detail, gameplay options, doesn't seem woke/SJW, quests that aren't cookie cutter. Two main flaws. First, it's early access currently and buggy. And the main problem is lack of help/guidance. It lacks some info about D&D rules so you can figure out how stuff works. It lacks enough tooltips. He says he probably would have quit if he didn't have D&D experts in his stream chat answering his questions. Basically the game needs a manual with all the info about how stuff works, like like BG 1 and 2 had long ago, but it doesn't have anything like that, at all. Hopefully they'll add stuff like that by release in addition to bug fixing.

I'm playing Hades currently. I plan to try BG3 in the future but maybe after the official release. I'm not in a rush to deal with bugs and to experience stuff that'll be improved later. I do plan to avoid spoilers for BG3. I'm not going to watch streams of people playing it.

curi at 1:17 PM on October 8, 2020 | #18256 | reply | quote


> James O’Keefe DEBUNKS Joe Rogan criticism, challenges him to go on JRE to discuss Veritas methods!

I like O’Keefe. He makes a lot of good points. Rogan is OK sometimes but lame here.

Sadly, though, sending them tips about how Google is shadowbanning webpages that link to Veritas videos got me ignored with no response. Not even like a "thanks that's good info but there are a lot of big problems and we're going to focus on even worse things" (i made that up. it seems like maybe the reason they didn't reply to me. but maybe not. who knows. if that was the reason it'd be reasonable but they should have sent me a one paragraph explanation. they have the budget for a response that's a little more personalized than a form letter, but i didn't even get a form letter. now i won't be sending them my next tip, and nor will various people i know, so they're actually losing out.) But awful customer service on their tips email address is normal, not worse than what most other companies are like. And Veritas is really good at some other stuff.

curi at 1:28 PM on October 8, 2020 | #18257 | reply | quote


Nice video on the influence of Twitch and live streaming in popular culture. Includes a section about how chess gained a bunch of popularity when xqc started playing it and then interacted with Hikaru, a grandmaster, who had a small stream, and now has a large stream and TSM sponsorship. I've been watching chess stuff recently and have seen some Hikaru on Twitch.

curi at 12:36 PM on October 9, 2020 | #18266 | reply | quote

What Working At Stripe Has Been Like by patio11

> Working at Stripe has caused an interesting change in my relationship to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. One way is that the domain name sometimes opens doors that the username did not. (That doesn’t feel great to me, to be honest, but is a useful observation about life, particularly to folks who are early in their careers.) I know a lot more venture capitalists, executives, etc than I did a few years ago, and am treated as a more serious professional than I was despite no obvious corresponding change in skill in the intervening time.

This comment on social status hierarchy behavior was the most notable part of the article to me.

I'm skeptical of the value of working with that kind of person even if you get the opportunity. patio11 puts up with it.

curi at 9:09 PM on October 11, 2020 | #18292 | reply | quote


> If you can ever imagine yourself saying something unpopular, restriction on speech should bother you. If your long-term plan is just to read the room and always tell people what they want to hear it’s less of a problem. Recalling insane post-9/11 decade think former is important.

This is horribly wrong. Even if you're a total conformist, restrictions on unpopular speech are very bad for you. Why? Because they make society worse. They mean less production of material goods, worse science, etc., which all affects you. And they suppress better leadership of what you conform to. They mean the ideas you're parroting are dumber because other people were prevented from improving them. The fact that you personally wouldn't have used the opportunity to take a leadership role doesn't mean the suppression of leaders doesn't matter to you.

curi at 1:43 PM on October 15, 2020 | #18315 | reply | quote


I think he's asked something about the line between cyber bullying and joking around. I didn't hear the whole question. He said it's hard to draw the line.

Regardless of what the question actually was, I have a comment:

The system should look like this:

You don't draw a specific line.

You have a big gray area.

Once the bully/joking gets into the gray area, a warning may be issued by an authority figure. (A warning from the victim is also possible but that can be problematic sometimes. People can be overly touchy or can potentially use warning others as a bullying weapon.) In general, a warning should only be issued if the alleged victim actually wants the warning issued and wants help.

Once a warning is issued, the bullies/jokers must stay out of the gray area. They have to be more careful stick to the white area with that person (or with everyone if it becomes a pattern where they keep finding new people to bully/joke-with and keep getting warnings).

The alleged bullies do not get in significant trouble for going into the gray area. They only get in trouble for going into the black area or for continuing in the gray area after being warned.

Warnings can be fairly topic limited in case both parties want to keep having other interactions. But they can also be "just leave Joe the hell alone" style when Joe prefers that.

So instead of drawing the line between joking and bullying, or acceptable and unacceptable behavior, you draw two lines. One is a conservative "definitely should be fine" line. It doesn't need to be super accurate. Ballpark is OK. The other is a "definitely not OK" line which is chosen to be hard to accidentally cross – clearly bad stuff. The middle is the gray area. These two lines are easier to draw and the procedure with one warning (for people who did gray area stuff but *no black area stuff*) allows some deescalation.

curi at 9:27 PM on October 15, 2020 | #18340 | reply | quote


> In the 1940s, we got our industrial base humming again by cranking out armaments.

patio11 recommended anti-mortgages article, which I was enjoying so far, with what appears to be the broken window fallacy (it's a bit vague).

A little later he further suggested that he's a broken window type:

> The postwar productivity story is really a story about winning the Cold War by showing off whiz-bang gadgets. [...] And there was a boom in communications gadgetry.[4] This Cold War competition paid a peace dividend by subsidizing the development of electronics that had useful civilian applications.

curi at 10:00 PM on October 16, 2020 | #18343 | reply | quote


What the hell is wrong with the world? And with the NYT?

curi at 10:02 PM on October 16, 2020 | #18344 | reply | quote

The best female chess player ever didn't like female-only chess competitions.


> Polgár is the only woman to have won a game against a reigning world number one player, and has defeated eleven current or former world champions in either rapid or classical chess

and with my emphasis:

> Polgár was born on 23 July 1976 in Budapest, to a Hungarian Jewish family.[11] Polgár and her two older sisters, Grandmaster Susan and International Master Sofia, were part of an *educational experiment carried out by their father*, László Polgár, in an attempt to prove that children could make exceptional achievements if trained in a specialist subject from a very early age.[12] *"Geniuses are made, not born,"* was László's thesis. He and his wife Klára educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject.[13] László also taught his three daughters the international language Esperanto. *They received resistance from Hungarian authorities as home-schooling was not a "socialist" approach.* They also received criticism at the time from some western commentators for depriving the sisters of a normal childhood.

> Traditionally, chess had been a male-dominated activity, and women were often seen as weaker players, thus advancing the idea of a Women's World Champion.[14] However, from the beginning, *László was against the idea that his daughters had to participate in female-only events. "Women are able to achieve results similar, in fields of intellectual activities, to that of men," he wrote. "Chess is a form of intellectual activity, so this applies to chess. Accordingly, we reject any kind of discrimination in this respect."[15] This put the Polgárs in conflict with the Hungarian Chess Federation of the day, whose policy was for women to play in women-only tournaments. Polgár's older sister, Susan, first fought the bureaucracy by playing in men's tournaments and refusing to play in women's tournaments. In 1985, when she was a 15-year-old International Master, Susan said that it was due to this conflict that she had not been awarded the Grandmaster title despite having made the norm eleven times.[16]*

You only need 3 norms to become a Grandmaster, not 11. (A norm means a good result in a chess tournament.)

> Judit was asked about playing against boys instead of in the girls' section of tournaments: "These other girls are not serious about chess... I practice five or six hours a day, but they get distracted by cooking and work around the house."[44]


This page says the requirements for chess titles. There are female versions of titles with lower requirements than the regular titles. A woman's grand master title (GM is the top title) is easier to get than a regular International Master title (second best title). They explicitly, in writing, have lower standard's for women.

And what's the excuse? Women can think! Chess is not a game of muscles.

> Grandmaster Judit Polgár, in keeping with her policy of playing only open competitions, never took a women's title.[12]

I've been watching some female only chess tournaments (because they have good commentary available). People talk about how many of the women are inspired by Polgar. But apparently none of them try to act like Polgar and stick to open tournaments and avoid female-exclusive titles. The female players are noticeably worse than the male players I watched recently (and have lower ratings; ratings are not gender based and are presumably reasonably accurate). There are many male players who are better than the females in the female-only tournaments and who aren't getting as much attention, praise, prize money, etc.

curi at 10:30 PM on October 16, 2020 | #18345 | reply | quote


The 1619 project has bad scholarship. It's egregious and includes things like ignorant critical letters from groups of experts and also stealth editing text then denying having ever said the prior text.

The way they ignore people with credentials is a hint that getting credentials like that isn't worthwhile and doesn't actually solve the problem of getting people to listen to your arguments.

curi at 11:11 AM on October 17, 2020 | #18347 | reply | quote


> Curious why retail sales are through the roof?

> A University of Chicago study found that 76% of workers received more from claiming unemployment insurance under CARES act than they would have gotten in wage compensation, with the median worker receiving at least 45% more.

Paying people a lot for not working. About as bad as the government policies in *Atlas Shrugged*.

curi at 1:02 PM on October 18, 2020 | #18350 | reply | quote


> The Royal Navy has been testing Jet Suit assault teams to determine if the Iron Man-like suits could be used to rapidly swarm and board ships. U.S. Special Operations Command is also evaluating a jetpack that can reach speeds of more than 200 mph.

That's some cool jetpack technology in the video (and overly dramatic, loud music trying to tell you what to think/feel).

curi at 1:03 PM on October 18, 2020 | #18351 | reply | quote


Interesting video about YouTube and getting views. One thing it says is that YouTube started disconnecting subscriptions from video recommendations and watch time went way up. In other words, the average user would rather watch some stuff the YT algorithm finds than watch all the videos from the channels they clicked subscribe on. But how do you build an audience, and what does an audience mean, if your subscribers don't see your videos? I use YouTube the other way myself: I mostly watch videos from some channels I subscribe to and I put effort into seeing the titles of all their new videos so I don't miss any that I want to watch, and I don't often click around and watch algorithm recommendations. I used to do this using email notifications but YT disabled that feature so now regularly I go click the bell and skim through my recent notifications. I prune which channels I have notifications enabled for so that there aren't too many, but most users never prune like that (I also have pruned Twitter follows, email subscriptions, etc., whereas most people never prune those either and then find they have way too many and it's a cluttered mess).

curi at 1:18 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18357 | reply | quote

#18357 When I like a video I often go look at all the videos made by the same channel. I think most people *not* doing that is one of the thing that limits the growth of my channel.

curi at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18358 | reply | quote

#18358 FYI, if you want to find out about my videos on YT, you have to not only subscribe to my YT channel but click the bell icon and change it to "All". That's the real subscribe button. If you just hit subscribe YT treats it as a vague suggestion that maybe you like my videos a bit more than other videos.

curi at 1:23 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18359 | reply | quote


If you want to learn rationality and critical thinking stuff, get enough sleep. Maybe track your sleep.

Over the last 231 days I've averaged 7.77 hours of sleep. This is an overestimate because I record the time when I go to bed and when I wake up. I usually fall asleep quickly so it's reasonably close. But it also doesn't count my naps, which are just over 20 minutes a day on average (zero on most days). Including naps puts my average sleep to 8.1 hrs/day, or around 8 hours a day (probably slightly less) given time to fall asleep.

Sleeping enough makes a difference to thinking quality in my experience and in some scientific studies (I haven't checked how good they are).

I noticeably sleep longer when I get particularly mentally tired, e.g. from reading or writing a lot more than normal. (I don't wake up to an alarm.)

On a somewhat related note, I do most of my writing in the morning when I'm least mentally tired. You may benefit from doing intellectual stuff early in the day. If you're "not a morning person", you may benefit from sleeping more and questioning the causes for that. I don't know that everyone should necessarily do thinking in the morning but it's worth not just trying but actually putting some effort into seeing if it can work for you despite some initial difficulties. I think it can work well for the majority of people.

Related to that, if you work a regular job and also want to learn things, consider moving your sleep cycle so that you can do some learning/reading/writing time *before* work when you aren't yet tired from work. This won't work for as many people because most people make their sleep patterns match other people. They don't want to go to bed early and miss out on activities with friends or family. And how society in general sleeps is also relevant. (Which is a huge problem for polyphasic sleep, even if it would actually work well, which I'm kinda skeptical of anyway. I mean the type where you sleep a short amount many times per day on a rigid schedule. I'm skeptical of that. I think sleeping twice a day, which is "poly" in some sense, is totally reasonable. I'm not sure about an even split like 4 hours twice a day. Maybe that can work well but I don't know. But I think a main sleep like 5-7 hours and a secondary sleep like 1-3 hours can be a good pattern to get into. It often clashes a bit with society and other people though. But it can help provide you with two times per day that you're mentally fresh instead of one. I've done it sometimes and found it works pretty well.)

curi at 1:40 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18360 | reply | quote

#18360 Useful post. Thanks.

I ran across an article that talks about countries exploiting gray areas in conflicts with other countries:

> *Hybrid warfare* is an emerging, but ill-defined notion in conflict studies. It refers to the use of unconventional methods as part of a multi-domain warfighting approach. These methods aim to disrupt and disable an opponent’s actions without engaging in open hostilities.

> Related to hybrid warfare, the term *political warfare* commonly refers to power being employed to achieve national objectives in a way that falls short of physical conflict.

> Such warfare is conducted in the “grey zone” of conflict, meaning operations may not clearly cross the threshold of war. That might be due to the ambiguity of international law, ambiguity of actions and attribution, or because the impact of the activities does not justify a response.

> [Australia's] increasing connectivity and reliance on information technology is a vulnerability that is being targeted by two key threats: cyber attacks, and the subversion of our democratic institutions and social cohesion. Both are recognised challenges to our national security.

> These are “hybrid threats” as they may be employed as part of a broader campaign – including political, criminal and economic activities. And because they feature the ambiguity associated with the grey zone, they are well suited to achieve political outcomes without resorting to traditional conflict.

Also related to the idea of "gray areas" is what you wrote about antifa in #18233:

> ... one of [antifa's] major tactics is middle-level violence, so that it's really hard to ignore and do nothing, but it's too mild to shoot them.

Anonymous at 5:25 PM on October 19, 2020 | #18362 | reply | quote

That's 2234 words/day average. The majority of the freewrites related to Critical Fallibilism (CF) planning and goals. My average over 262 days is 2100 words/day.

I partly want to do more, partly think this is pretty good, and partly think this is really high. patio11 has talked about writing 200k words/year. That's enough for two books a year, which is high. I've looked at word counts authors write per day and lots of them are like 500 or something else with 3 digits. And I think most of them take weekends off. 2.1k words/day (average over every day, not work days) is 766k/year which is way more.

I think a lot of people put more editing into their first drafts. patio11's word count includes tweets. Only some of it is edited much. Actually he counts quite a bit of stuff that I don't. My word count broadly excludes discussion replies because I wanted to write more stuff independent of other people, so I tracked that (it's also easier to track if I don't include e.g. curi comments or FI emails).

Part of why I think I could do more is that I don't spend all day writing. Generally it's more like 2-4 hours/day. And that's not pure writing. I'll mix in some computer use, some of which can be relevant/inspiring, and some of which isn't but having a break can help and sometimes I pause what I'm doing and go back to writing in the middle; if it's not too distracting then it sorta gives me some time to think (I also do the sitting quietly and thinking without distractions thing sometimes, but certainly not all the time). Watching some easy YouTube video and pausing in the middle when I have a thought to write down is a little like thinking while showering (which I've had a lot of success at) but kinda weirder because YT is more distracting than showering, but it still works for me sometimes because I often don't get too caught up in it. I'm pretty good at shutting things out (even without pausing them) to focus my attention on philosophy. I do it sometimes when reading books (audio, visual or both; computer-paced or self-paced both). I'll start thinking about something else and then have to go back a ways in the book when I start reading again.

The amount of time per day I concentrate is way more than most people, though. And I need to save some mental energy to do other stuff like reading and tutoring. Sometimes I get really mentally exhausted early in the day and then it can be hard to find stuff to do and to avoid being bored.

Lots of people work more slowly than I do, which lowers energy use per time, but doesn’t necessarily lower energy use per productive output (throughput). I think it generally *raises* energy used for throughput, in the same way that reading more slowly uses more energy per word than moderate speed reading, even though it uses less energy per time. However, speed reading near max speed is less efficient energy use than at a more moderate speed, and if you read fast enough you can even spend more energy per word than reading slowly. I think my lowest energy per word read is using Voice Dream Reader at around 500 wpm.

I do lots of things fast which, even if less tiring per stuff done, is more tiring per time, so I have surplus time sometimes and minimal energy left to go with it. Besides speed reading and writing quickly, I watch YouTube at around 2.8x speed lately, sometimes over 3x, and I also speed TV and podcasts up. This actually makes accents a significant problem btw. Watching Goldratt at over 2x is challenging. My ability to hear words at really high speeds requires people to speak in ways that sound clear and normal to me. That’s part of why I like Voice Dream Reader (VDR): the computer voice is super consistent about how it pronounces things and I’m really used to it. Similarly, I lose a lot of speed listening to Graphic Audio (GA) because the background noise, including music, is sometimes too loud which makes it harder to catch all the words. I think people listening at 1x are able to catch the words fine despite the noise, so the company doesn’t see a design problem here. But I only use GA for rereads because I won’t slow it down enough that I can catch every word (that’s too slow and I’d rather not use at all than go that slowly). Audio books in general cost speed due to a less consistent and familiar voice than TTS (text to speech like VDR does), and audio books with multiple readers are harder and cost more speed. Sometimes this problem is pretty mild (lots of audio book readers are good at speaking clearly, which is part of their job) but sometimes it’s significant. Plus audio books don’t sync their audio to the text to let you copy/paste quotes, reread a section visually, or read with ears and eyes simultaneously (as VDR allows). Also audio books are read slowly enough that playing them at 3x is still below VDR’s 700 wpm cap, and a fair amount of software has a 3x playback limit or worse. 3x audio books can actually pretty easily be under 500 wpm.

Anyway, I often read while exercising or cooking, which further reduces my breaks compared to what many other people do. It’s hard to know how much more I could do, but empirically I find I’m often fairly near the border of getting overly tired (sometimes I go over the border, and there are recognizable warning signs when close). But what one can do depends on methods, attitude, ideas, etc. Maybe there’s a better approach that would enable getting more done. Maybe things could be done more efficiently or I could be more energetic or something. One approach is to nap regularly since sleep is the most refreshing type of rest. I’ve found napping helpful sometimes but also had difficulty being able to fall asleep during the day, even when quite mentally tired.

I find some types of philosophy activities easier than others but have limited availability of the easier ones. E.g. answering questions or critically analyzing/replying to writing is generally easier than writing stuff alone. Discussion tends to be easy. But *productive* discussion, *good* questions and writing *worth critically analyzing* are in inadequate supply. Activity types can merge into each other, too. E.g. critically analyzing Popper writing could easily turn into writing a long article explaining CF, and then it’d be harder. What’s generally easier is making lots of small comments on specific parts (fairly low complexity) rather than writing a long, single thing (higher complexity; more internal connections).

There’s a severe lack of philosophy podcasts, YouTube videos, books, forums, etc. that are worthwhile. Most people don’t run into this problem because they still haven’t read e.g. much Popper and Rand. But if one actually makes forward progress regularly it’s pretty easy to go through the best authors/creators and want more. Philosophy work quality is *not a bell curve*. You don’t find philosophers becoming gradually more numerous as you gradually lower the minimum quality. Or maybe it’s a bell curve where only outliers are above the “competent and worth reading” mark. Anyway good work is sparse. There’s plenty of bad work and then a handful of people are way better. There are big jumps that seem kinda discontinuous and there isn’t much medium work. That’s my impression. This makes it harder to spend a lot of time on philosophy because there’s hard pioneering activities but not enough gradations of easier stuff available and not enough initiative and innovation by other people to benefit from. And lots of the lower quality philosophy stuff is confusing, hard to understand, verbose, full of obscure references, pretentious, etc., which makes it harder to get any value out of it without putting in tons of effort. And a lot of the easier, simplified stuff is related to the confusing stuff and it tries to simplify it but this doesn’t work all that well because the main problem is the ideas being a mess rather than it actually being a presentation problem.

curi at 12:53 PM on October 20, 2020 | #18366 | reply | quote

> https://medium.com/@byrnehobart/the-30-year-mortgage-is-an-intrinsically-toxic-product-200c901746a

>> In the 1940s, we got our industrial base humming again by cranking out armaments.

> patio11 recommended anti-mortgages article, which I was enjoying so far, with what appears to be the broken window fallacy (it's a bit vague).

> A little later he further suggested that he's a broken window type:

>> The postwar productivity story is really a story about winning the Cold War by showing off whiz-bang gadgets. [...] And there was a boom in communications gadgetry.[4] This Cold War competition paid a peace dividend by subsidizing the development of electronics that had useful civilian applications.

Later in the article (which I'm still enjoying a fair amount of):

> From a macroprudential perspective, a better policy would be to distribute cash directly to poor people who *don’t* have large mortgage debts, since they’d spend it right away and help boost consumption.

Keynesian nonsense that is refuted. Keynesians as a group *have not responded to, and will not respond to*, Hazlitt's refutation (even though Hazlitt is decently famous, and is a representative of the views and arguments of a major, active school of thought (Austrians), who still answer questions and provide clarifications and followup arguments, so they can't use excuses like not responding to every single obscure critic or to dead ideas). They also haven't answered various other Austrian criticisms of Keynesianism.

curi at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2020 | #18367 | reply | quote

#18367 He's also in favor of printing money to damage our currency on purpose:

> But we can fantasize a bit. A real solution to the distortive effects of our current mortgage system would be pretty radical. On the other hand, it’s already quite radical for the US to have pseudo-nationalized two multi-trillion dollar financial institutions, and to use them to subsidize speculation. So really it’s a choice between the radicalism we know (and dislike) and the sort we don’t. A rough outline of how we could go about unwinding the GSEs: distribute the treasury’s stock (perhaps the treasury could “mutualize” the GSEs and distribute shares to agency debt owners), immediately declare that future GSE debt will not be backed by the US government — create rules for treasury disbursements that explicitly block this, and prepare to print dollars. Eliminating the GSE guarantee means eliminating cheap long-term mortgages, which would reduce housing prices. While that’s what we want on average (i.e. to say that housing is artificially expensive is to say that it should be cheaper), the direct economic effect would be painful. To counteract it, the treasury could print additional dollars and buy safe assets or just distribute cash to taxpayers, targeting steady growth in nominal GDP. This would result in near-term disruption to consumers, deflation in real estate prices, and inflation in everything else.

> In other words, it would look exactly like the playbook that every other country with a real estate bubble uses: once the bubble pops, devalue the currency to maintain real growth. The only difference is that in this case, the bubble-popping is done manually, so the stimulus spending can be lined up in advance. Plenty of other countries had bubbles that ultimately ended up driven by real estate: Spain and Ireland in the 2000s; Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the 90s, Japan in the 80s. In every case, devaluation has ultimately been the best choice.

It's weird how non-Austrian economist types like this can be actually good at some stuff while also having terrible nonsense ideas like this.

It's normal to have a mix of knowledge and error in general, in the big picture. But it's more unusual to believe a bunch of *known* errors, which are refuted in lots of books, and which have repeatedly gotten bad results. Yet that's typical in economics. But some of the people who do that remain somewhat competent at some other aspects of the field.

And then the last footnote, with bold added by me:

> I like arguments about which liabilities the US government should or shouldn’t put on their balance sheet. There’s a strong case that **since treasuries are denominated in dollars, and we have printing presses, they’re not debt at all**; they’re just some kind of warrant where you trade equity now for more equity in the future. But Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the implicit housing subsidy of the GSEs are real, not nominal, liabilities. You can print dollars, but you can’t print healthcare. So arguably all of them *should* be on the Fed’s balance sheet.


curi at 3:10 PM on October 20, 2020 | #18368 | reply | quote

> https://twitter.com/PhilWMagness/status/1317487371630379009

> The 1619 project has bad scholarship. It's egregious and includes things like ignorant critical letters from groups of experts and also stealth editing text then denying having ever said the prior text.

> The way they ignore people with credentials is a hint that getting credentials like that isn't worthwhile and doesn't actually solve the problem of getting people to listen to your arguments.

Different people with credentials have different opinions. For example, DD supports the MWI but many other physicists don't. So credentials are often not very useful for finding the truth on controversial topics.

oh my god it's turpentine at 1:29 PM on October 21, 2020 | #18376 | reply | quote

#18376 I think turpentine's point is a tangent, but it is not labeled as such. curi was saying that credentials don't "solve the problem of getting people to listen to your arguments". turpentine's reply says that credentials don't solve a different problem: the problem of being very useful for finding the truth on controversial topics.

Alisa at 8:01 PM on October 21, 2020 | #18380 | reply | quote

This channel has a bunch of good videos about using Keynote (Apple's slides/presentations app), including using it for animation.


curi at 3:15 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18387 | reply | quote

curi at 3:35 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18388 | reply | quote


How To Charge For Design—Value Based Pricing @ 30:52:

> If you say it, you're selling. If they say it, you're closing. So, if you ask questions, there's a strong probability that they're saying it.


Alisa at 4:38 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18389 | reply | quote

around 51min in Hourly Billing Is Nuts— Stop Trading Time For Money, Stark says to do value pricing u have to get past gatekeepers to talk to ppl *whose money it is* who can answer *why* questions, who are pretty far up the food chain. and right b4 that he said value pricing works best for high risk high stakes projects, and it's broadly better to work with bigger companies because there's more value involved there.

curi at 5:14 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18391 | reply | quote

#18391 Stark gives 10% of the value to the customer as a rough approach to pricing. E.g. if you can raise their profits by $1,000,000 then you can charge $100,000. A major reason for the 90% discount is *risk*. You can't guarantee that outcome. If they wanted a guarantee of $1 mil increased profits, you'd charge around $1 mil for that. If it's guaranteed, you'd charge almost all the upside.

Sometimes you can guarantee some smaller, measurable outcomes, which you've repeatedly delivered in the past, and clients like that because they help indicate a lower risk of delivering the big, overall result.


I think there's some insight here but also some error. He's inadequately talking about competition and supply and demand, which I talked with Anonymous about at http://curi.us/1906-elliots-thoughts-on-pricing#18390

curi at 5:20 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18392 | reply | quote

#18392 Stark had some good pricing ideas I hadn't heard before about 3 tiered pricing options he gives clients. The example is 10k/22k/50k. I think the ballpark of the type of work is using programming to make businesses more money.

So he explains the three tiers.

Top tier is high attention. He takes over most of the work. The client doesn't do much. Their people are involved fairly minimally. He controls the project and gets it done. He hires more people, buys more tools, etc., as needed.

Middle tier is collaboration. The client gets some stuff done, he gets some stuff done.

Bottom tier is more DIY (do it yourself). The client does most of the work. He does some planning and advising. He's controlling the project much less, putting less attention into it, and responsible for less.

curi at 5:24 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18394 | reply | quote

#18388 How To Price Projects (Hourly, Project, Value Based): Panel Discussion is another good video from Chris Do.

I think some of his other videos, e.g. the TED talk and the Ikigai one are a lot worse. They are kinda self-helpy and normal. They don't show his practical, concrete business skill, which, so far, I've particularly see re pricing and pre-sales discussions with potential clients.

curi at 8:13 PM on October 22, 2020 | #18417 | reply | quote

My settings for Video Speed Controller extension in Chrome (also available for Firefox). I have gradually increased the speed of my G hotkey over time and I most often use G speed. Sometimes I lower the speed if someone talks fast or has an accent, and then the lower speed often gets remembered for later videos so I'll hit G again to get back to normal. I just bumped G up to 3x and added a new hotkey for 2.5x.

Hotkeys are chosen to avoid keys that do something on YouTube.

curi at 12:37 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18438 | reply | quote

#18438 I only have larger time jumps (30s and 4min) set up because players usually have a small jump already bound to arrow keys, e.g. arrows do 5s at YT. YT also has 10s jumps on J and L (with play/pause in the middle of that on K) which I don't use by habit. I do use arrows, and my 30s and 4m hotkeys a lot and that's intuitive/autopilot for me now and really useful IMO.

In VLC (my main video/audio player for downloaded files) I have 4 jumps set:

left and right arrows: 10s

arrows + cmd: 1min

arrows + shift: 5min

arrows + opt: 3s

This is really useful too IMO. I use 10s, 1m, 5m a lot and 3s occasionally. 10s is really 5s or less of real time since I'm playing stuff at 2x or more. The problem with 3s is sometimes after you rewind videos won't play correct for a few seconds, so sometimes you have to rewind further anyway. It has to do with keyframes and video encoding and stuff and depends on the video.

I also improved some other vlc hotkeys, e.g. I used F for fullscreen with no modifiers. Setting up good hotkeys in frequently used apps is worthwhile – it saves time/effort in the long run. Lots of hotkeys are fine and you can just learn the defaults but some are worth modifying.

curi at 12:45 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18440 | reply | quote


> FAQ: “How do I get better at writing?”

> Me: Write a million words.

> Follow up: “Hah but seriously.”

> Me: Start with 20,000 words. Everyone gets to that 50 times in their first million.

> Follow up: “No seriously.”

> Me: Nobody expects 10 Quick Tips To Play Violin At Carnegie Hall.

Many people seem to want to get good at philosophy fast, or to already be good at it.

I think I'm well past 10 million words written, which is 1400/day for 20 years. Are you a faster learner than me? 10x faster or more?

Similarly, read a lot including ET, AR, DD, KP, EG (Eli Goldratt).

curi at 1:04 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18443 | reply | quote


> Which is a huge problem for polyphasic sleep, even if it would actually work well, which I'm kinda skeptical of anyway. I mean the type where you sleep a short amount many times per day on a rigid schedule. I'm skeptical of that. I think sleeping twice a day, which is "poly" in some sense, is totally reasonable. I'm not sure about an even split like 4 hours twice a day. Maybe that can work well but I don't know. But I think a main sleep like 5-7 hours and a secondary sleep like 1-3 hours can be a good pattern to get into. It often clashes a bit with society and other people though. But it can help provide you with two times per day that you're mentally fresh instead of one. I've done it sometimes and found it works pretty well.

I've researched polyphasic sleep a few times and know a guy who's done 6x20min for like 6 months. The popular idea of polyphasic sleep is focused around strategic napping to avoid periods of deep sleep because those cycles take a long time and don't *seem* to be necessary. So you only get REM sleep (which is approx 20min per cycle). AFAIK there aren't any well documented, easily detectable, and detrimental health effects, and ppl certainly seem to function okay. but I don't imagine there are many ppl to study, and I'm not aware of good studies on stuff like the impact on long-term memory formation.

One problem most ppl run in to (as the guy I reference did) is that the 6x20 and similar patterns are really fragile. e.g. if you have ~any alcohol then you can enter in to deep sleep instead of waking from the nap. stuff like cannabis and caffeine is out too. if you end up in deep sleep then you potentially have to re-adjust from nearly scratch. It's so fragile because the naps are optimised for maximum wake-time -- no buffer. there are some newer variants that have e.g. 8-9x 20 min naps throughout the day, but instead of a strict "every 3.5hrs" schedule it's like "9 naps a day with a maximum gap of 6hrs once". ppl opt for that for obvious reasons like social stuff or work, etc, but also because it's a more resilient pattern.

There are significant issues with adopting the pattern too. Some patterns are easier than others (e.g. 4x 20 min naps + 1x 3hr core sleep), but on the whole the adoption process includes an extended period of sleep deprivation. essentially you force your body into learning how to power-nap instead of going in to a normal sleep cycle. The worst case I've heard is like a 2-week period where days 3-10 are like you're a zombie. Through the period you set alarms to match the schedule and lie down & get up when you're supposed to (even if you don't sleep). I tried this about 10 years ago and got like 48 hours in before I fell asleep and didn't wake up to the alarm. that means back to square zero so I figured it wasn't worth the effort.

I've heard a bi-phasic pattern like 2x 4hour core sleeps is how homo-sapiens slept historically -- up to the invention of reliable and safe lighting at night, which I think was only a few centuries ago. It sort of makes sense for earlier societies b/c the cost of lighting at night was higher. so they went to sleep closer to dusk and woke at dawn, but would wake for an hour or two in the middle of the night. it was only after we could stay up to like 10pm more easily and commonly that we starting sleeping in one contiguous block. This sounds plausible but I really don't know if it's legit. I would guess tribal societies would have been common enough into modern history that we should have somewhat decent documentation of their sleeping habits tho.

Max at 6:46 PM on October 23, 2020 | #18453 | reply | quote

Brandon Sanderson writes:

> Generally, I can count on 8-10k words a week of solid writing.

Editing is separate (not counted there).

curi at 5:10 PM on October 24, 2020 | #18477 | reply | quote

Comic from Jonathan Starks' Newsletter. The context is he does *value based pricing* for freelance/consulting projects with businesses instead of hourly pricing with a time estimate. He says hourly billing is bad and tries to teach others to do value pricing.

curi at 12:03 PM on October 25, 2020 | #18494 | reply | quote

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