Elliot's Microblogging

This is a thread for me to say small things. You can comment here, but if it’s going to be a big discussion please move to a new topic (use Reply as Linked Topic).

I’m happy with Discourse so far and glad I chose it. I just set up a Global Pin intro topic to explain to new visitors about buying an account. Discourse has done a good job of having features I need, especially the paid memberships. And it allows custom plugins, so Max was able to make a small plugin to fix the one issue where Discourse really let us down: automatically giving anonymous members permission to post. I like how Discourse handles anonymous accounts; it just ought to automatically put all the anonymous accounts into a user group so that admins can manage permissions on that group. But that’s fixed now.

I also like Ghost so far for https://criticalfallibilism.com but I’ve used it less and I’m less impressed with it than with Discourse. (EDIT: Not sure why that link is showing the raw URL instead of automatically turning into the page title.)

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If you don’t communicate much with words, then what you look like could be a substantial percentage of what you communicate to someone. (Or if people don’t listen to and care about many of your words.)

MVL mentioned something I hadn’t thought about before. (his long speech starts at 2:26)

In tennis, if you lose a game, you generally don’t have to play the next day. You’re out of the tournament. But in chess, after you lose, you have to play again the next day. (In shorter and lower level tournaments, you may have to play again the same day. Playing 2-3 games a day is common, whereas the top players often only play one game per day in classical tournaments. They play more for rapid tournaments.)

Anyway, I was used to having to keep going after a loss, and didn’t really think about how some sports have less of that due to elimination tournaments. In Smash Bros. Melee, double elimination tournaments are common, so you keep playing after your first loss and stop after the second. Some players often do well after the first loss and are known for playing well in the loser’s bracket, while other players don’t handle it as well and sometimes get demoralized lose again more easily after the first loss. Some people seem motivated by the loss and want another chance at beating people, while others get demotivated.


He lowered his opinion of the government, particularly because of it’s COVID response. That makes sense.

And he helped solve the problem with his work on https://www.vaccinateca.com and https://www.vaccinatethestates.com . That makes sense too.

But it’s problematic. He’s helping prop up a bad government. Think about Atlas Shrugged and Dagny’s error. patio11 is contributing his brains to make the government and society seem more competent to other people. And he’s trying to have small groups of competent people lead large groups of incompetent people, like Dagny (and Eddie and a few others) trying to lead a railroad without enough brains working for it.

For more info about the issue, see the quote from the Atlas Shrugged introduction that I gave here.

Do you think he should have not done the vaccination-related work, or that it would have been okay to do it if he expressed some clear moral judgments/criticisms about the incompetence of the govt (as opposed to semi-hiding it behind phrases like “ambient institutional competence”), or something else?

Hard to say. It’s his life, his choices, his personal situation that I don’t know a lot about, etc. It’s problematic. He should read about the problems (e.g. read Atlas Shrugged) and think about them and make an informed judgment. I don’t think he’s done that, so that’s bad.

A secondary consequence of having a more educated opinion on the matter would be that his public discussions of the issues to 100k followers would be higher quality, more nuanced, more aware of downsides, etc.

I’m not saying everyone should shrug and withhold their brains from the world today, but I do think people should try to understand why that is worth considering, what it means, what the problems and situation are, etc.

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DD/TCS was right that children are treated badly.

But DD/TCS was wrong about how unique that is. Said it’s this one special case, the “final prejudice”. No.

Women are treated badly:


Old people are treated badly.

Black people are treated badly.

Men are treated badly in various ways. Check out some Men’s Rights Activism stuff. They have higher suicide rates, higher military enlistment rates, broadly do more dangerous jobs, go to prison more (and violence at prison remains very much not being fixed), and various other problems. And a lot of men get screwed regarding child custody, child support payments and alimony.

There’s a lot of anti-white racism now, as if more racism is the solution to some of the problems (both actual problems and confused propaganda) that other racial groups are having!?

And there was already plenty of discrimination against “white trash” and “rednecks” before wokeness and BLM.

There’s plenty of anti-Christian stuff now. Anti-semitism remains alive and well. No religious group (or atheists or agnostics) is just popular with everyone.

You know what?

Everyone is treated badly. Every group. Not all equally badly. But the treatment of like over half the population is awful and the treatment of the rest is subpar.

The world just sucks. That’s what’s going on here. DD/TCS noticed one part of that. Failed to notice the rest. Super biased.


Isn’t mistreatment of children a very big problem though? TCS choosing to focus on children was for a reason right? Even in your analysis of biggest problems you concluded that destroying the rationality of people is the most important problem.

From The Objectivist. A professor wrote this in 1967 after Rand gave a talk to around 400 people (in a room meant for 200):

It says a lot about speakers if they cancel their speech when they see a small audience. I can’t imagine Ayn Rand cancelling a talk because only 15 people showed up to hear her. It sounds like the cancellers only care about social climbing, and consider speaking to be an effort they don’t like to make, which is only worth the trouble if enough people will be impressed. Whereas Ayn Rand actually had stuff she wanted to and liked to say.


Asmongold, like many, has noticed that companies (and people) say woke stuff but they are using it as a shield and actually they’re shitty assholes. (Not that woke is very good either, but they aren’t really woke, they’re liars telling a convenient, trendy lie. And woke has some good points in it, (some of which aren’t original), which the liars do badly on.)

Paul Graham tweeted a similar point today (my bold):

One of the most dangerous trends I’ve noticed in the last decade is the increasing tendency to believe that if someone disagrees with your political opinions, they’re not merely mistaken, but evil.

This fallacy has a subtly dangerous corollary: that someone who expresses the correct political opinions is therefore good. Lots of really bad people thrive in the shadow of that principle.

Many see people or companies express (say) certain political opinions, like woke ones, and then think those people are the good guys since they say the right political opinions. But a lot of people and companies are liars.

PG also clarified what he meant:

What I meant (obviously) was that people treat one’s political views as identical with one’s character, but it would have been pedantic to phrase it that way.

asmongold on stalking and harassment in wow:

u can apparently delete your level 1 character after he blocks you, then remake it with the identical name. deleting it removes it from the block list. so you can keep spamming him with the N word without even changing names.

after doing this over and over and over, one guy eventually got a 1 day suspension as a punishment

ppl respond: you just have to deal with that b/c you’re a streamer. it’s a special case

asmongold’s reply: ask 5 girls what their experience with stalking and harassment in WoW is.

yesterday i joined a 25man raid that was like half guild members and half non-guild members like me. i witnessed extremely massive bias towards a girl who was in the guild and who talked on voice chat some with a female voice. the bias was all from guild members, not the random people who don’t know her and who didn’t talk much (the guild members did 90% of the voice chat and were in charge of the raid).

all of the bias towards the girl, that i witnessed, was positive. but when a bunch of guys are sucking up to a girl and positively biased towards her, and then feel rejected, it can easily turn negative. she’s at risk that if she offends any of the guys – including by favoring a different guy more – it may turn nasty. and there’s no obvious solution besides “don’t talk on voice chat and don’t admit to being a girl”. and voice chat is important to raids; not ever using it is a major handicap that will get you excluded from many guilds. i don’t think she has to do anything to encourage guys to beta orbit her or be suckups for them to do it. and if she does anything to directly discourage them, that’s risky. she could try to indirectly discourage them btw e.g. mentioning having a husband, but i doubt that would work much. they weren’t planning or expecting on hooking up with her irl anyway (quite possibly none of them live near her), plus affairs are possible, but guys often like to get stuff from girls (like mild flirting) that doesn’t escalate to what would be considered cheating. plus some guys just think she’s lying about the husband or boyfriend, or that if they figure out they’re soulmates she’ll leave him, or whatever.

anyway, what’s a girl to do? seriously? especially if she’s age like 12-39 and has a reasonably attractive voice.

it’s also a serious problem for young males who don’t have a deep enough voice yet. if you sound like a kid you get treated very badly by a lot of people. (this applies to female kids too and is probably worse for them even if people aren’t attracted to them.)

as it happens, i also got mildly harassed by a random guy during the raid. he was jealous that i got an item drop. he sent me multiple direct messages about how he wants and needs the item (btw, as far as i can tell, he actually just wanted any upgrade, not that specific item). he used all caps some and seemed desperate and emotionally unstable.

it’d be so much worse if i was a girl he’d been daydreaming about for weeks and had given ingame help/resources to.

btw, a few days ago i witnessed the two leaders of a different guild being openly racist against asians in both voice and text. it was targeted at some people who were considered possibly asian on account of not being responsive enough to communications, and therefore assumed to maybe not speak English well. i don’t think they’d done anything to positively identify themselves as asian. part of the theory was that people who play the Hunter class are disproportionately asian. i don’t think this theory had much connection with any facts. people are perfectly willing to make stuff up to be prejudiced about.

i said nothing about the racism and generally avoided speaking with the people. my plan was to avoid them in the future. as it happens, a couple days later i had a brief conversation with one of them where he was apologetic about his attempt to ninja loot, which he (falsely) blamed on the other leader guy who he had apparently kicked out of the guild (it was both of them together who tried to arbitrarily take loot instead of letting people roll for it). he seemed semi-reasonable so i decided to mention to him that the ninja looting was not the only issue and i hadn’t liked some other things including anti-asian racism, starting late, and delays in the middle. he responded that he must have missed the anti-asian racism. he was one of the person who said it, multiple times. i literally have a screenshot of him saying it in text b/c it sent it to a friend at the time. in the screenshot he says “ARE YOU FROM CHINA?” to someone b/c he wanted them to do something and they weren’t responding, so he decided they’re probably Chinese (and bad at English) rather than AFK. the guy who wrote that and was involved in joking about all asians speaking “asian” rather than particular languages he can’t tell the difference between … claimed he must have missed the racism incident that some other ppl did. i think he honestly doesn’t remember that he said racist stuff b/c he doesn’t categorize it as racist in his mind. since it doesn’t count, it wasn’t memorable and i must have been referring to something else – some other, real racism that he has no memory of.

It’s problematic to claim to have a husband or boyfriend if she doesn’t. Lots of people socialize on WoW, sometimes for years with the same guildmates. Lying to your buddies, and having to keep track of your lies and consistently tell the same lies for years, is a big hassle which makes the social experience worse, and which you can fail at (and if you get caught lying, some guys may be quite mad). Avoiding sharing any personal info, b/c you’re a girl who doesn’t want stalkers, is also a shitty situation compared to guys, some of whom share all kinds of stuff without much fear of harassment.

That’s kind of a hard badge. Got it by accident though…

mykl came back to his Overwatch YouTube channel after a long break (around two years). He discussed what happened at the start and end of the video, apologized a little, explained why he did it (more fans and money in Fortnite, and then he had substantial success with his esports org), etc. He didn’t just try to act like nothing happened or downplay it. A commenter noticed:

Might be one of the best “comeback” videos I’ve seen in a while, it would have been easy to comeback like nothing, blame numbers or something. But it was a sweet and short explanation of persuing another goals and acknowledged the support of this channel, good job.

SFC and DD didn’t ever acknowledge quitting TCS or what happened there, didn’t say goodbye … and now have come back without acknowledging anything happened. SFC left for over 10 years and now gives talks again and tries to pretend like she was involved with TCS the whole time.

I guess part of the issue there is that people’s standards for the amount of effort and understanding it would take to “practice TCS” are so low that they actually think AFKing for a decade is no big deal?

I think “delightful” is sarcasm.

Sarcasm is a way of fighting with the outgroup. It makes what you say less clear. The ingroup can figure it out anyway. The outgroup gets confused. (I’m partial but not full ingroup for this.)

Asmon says a 6 hour stream at full energy leaves him exhausted, and basically seems to be saying the reason he takes breaks is burnout.

He thinks the issue is that he’s introverted so talking so much is hard for him. But I think it’s just another example of how most people can only concentrate hard for ~3-4 hours a day and sustain that without burnout.

I think a lot of people don’t know that and think an 8 hour work day (presumed to be significant effort the whole time – actually working) + doing stuff after work is normal. So Asmon thinks he should be able to stream 6 hours a day at high energy and still get other stuff done. And other people will try to study for 10+ hours a day which is so much that it’s really hard to do for even a week before a test, but they think it’s just like a little longer than a work day and hell some ppl work 50 hour work weeks or even 80+ right? So studying a lot for finals should be doable and they’re always being told to study more.

I think not knowing what’s going on, and having the wrong expectations about what’s normal for available energy, hurts people.


Here’s an example story of my own of doing a social interaction a little bit wrong. In school a (maybe substitute?) teacher was taking role and when my name was called I responded with “hi” instead of “here”. Most people in the class reacted – like laughed or something. I wasn’t trying to get a reaction on purpose, did not know people would care about that minor difference, and still find it kinda weird that they did.

People talk about startups being high risk. Most fail.

People talk about venture capitalist investors (VCs) having a portfolio strategy where they invest in many startups and expect most to fail. They are trying to get a few big wins.

How much of the failure rate, I wonder, is from VCs being less helpful to some startups than others? How much is the portfolio a way for them to play favorites and not do many introductions and social favors for the people they don’t get along with well? And how much does VC social networking affect startup success?

I wonder how much VCs – high status people in the community with strong social networks – are picking winners and losers among the companies they invest in, based on biases like which founders are culturally similar to the VCs.