Elliot's Microblogging

Objectivists and libertarians are wrong to draw such a strong distinction between the actions of big corporations and government actions. There is a big distinction in economic theory but, as they often say, we live in a mixed society. We have crony capitalism. We have government interference in the economy and varying degrees of entanglement between the government and most or all large corporations. That blurs the distinction a ton!

Long article with many interesting things starting with prison gang structure. One point is about how people at the top often do not have enviable positions (another example is Gail Wynand).

Tangentially, after reading the article I saw the author’s Twitter bio says “Pursuing Anarcho-Capitalism via Marxist-Leninist methods”. So on the one hand that’s rather different than me, but on the other hand I overlap significantly with him on dislike and disrespect towards the current elites, mainstream, social hierarchy and power structures. Here’s one of his tweets:

I posted this comment on the article:

Hi. I just found you today and read this article. I’m an Objectivist (and happy to answer questions or criticisms, which I don’t think most other current Objectivists would do – I don’t get along with them either). I didn’t know you were a Marxist until I got to the end and read your Twitter bio. So on the one hand are beliefs are very different, but on the other hand I think we overlap quite a bit on disliking the current rulers, power structures, social hierarchies, etc. Perhaps being a disillusioned outsider or not matters more than left or right. I write philosophy https://criticalfallibilism.com

I know something about the mainstream being bad that you might potentially not already know, so I thought I’d tell you. In three words: science is broken. It’s not just how much the government controls grants and universities. It’s not just the replication crisis or “publish or perish”. It’s not just that a massive expansion of the number of scientists has flooded science with uncreative people who are bad at it (just like has been happening to every other scholarly pursuit – similarly on Substack you are competing for attention with vast numbers of people who don’t have anything novel or important to say, but nevertheless are flooding the public with their writing because they want attention personally and they anti-socially don’t care about the overall social problem of how people’s attention can find good ideas).

To give an example, I used to think that our food was broadly safe to eat. I had trust in science to have studied things like food additives and determined that they were safe. Now, having looked into it more, I’ve concluded that many things are horribly under-studied including e.g. milk homogenization, artificial sweeteners and food dyes/colorings. And industry has a recurring strategy of replacing problematic ingredients with unstudied ingredients. Another example is sunscreen – chemical sunscreens (as opposed to mineral), in short, have only been studied at doses below the recommended dose, and are probably a bad idea to use (especially for young children). But that doesn’t stop everyone from believing science has proven they’re safe and effective. There are many mundane scientific issues that aren’t particularly controversial, and are important to our lives, but just don’t ever get properly studied. It’s like that throughout. There’s no competent leadership organizing scientists and scientific experiments, yet for all sorts of understudied things we are constantly told to listen to the scientists and told that a particular conclusion has been reached by science (the people saying this are broadly incapable of reading scientific papers and just trust the media. also making scientific papers difficult to read is part of the game). It’s difficult to deal with because, while pretty much everything has a few contrarians opposing it, the contrarians generally don’t know what they’re talking about and are often wrong too.

Kulak’s twitter contains problematic stuff about the US empire being murderous, about Ukranian warcrimes against russia, about Ukranian nazis, and about the jewish lobby. I think he partly likes Trump and hates government schools, propaganda, indoctrination and state power.

Have you written and posted about this anywhere? If not, maybe you can do a summary of sort in a future podcast?

I wrote a long post about RTS and RPG games. (It took 2.5 hours.)

My gamer friend works at Frost Giant so there’s some hope of being listened to :) I wouldn’t have tried with a random company.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Creating & Editing Video, Audio & Animation

I made a paragraph tree out of sentence trees.

5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Creating & Editing Video, Audio & Animation

Tip: it’s “try to” not “try and”.

To some significant extent, a company is a group of people who are expected and assumed to be extremely biased in favor of the company. It’s a sort of in-group system.

In terms of public presentation, a company is not a loose association of people who retain their own conflicting views. There’s strong pressure not to say anything negative about your company.

Huge companies do have a lot of low level, low skill employees who aren’t controlled or incentivized well (they can easily get a similar job elsewhere). Some of them say negative things on social media. They occasional get fired for it.

More important, professional and highly paid employees don’t do this as much. You don’t see many Amazon tech workers flaming Amazon in public, but you do see complaints from warehouse workers and delivery drivers.

Having your low level employees hate you enough to say so in public (or sometimes directly to customers while they are on the job) is actually really bad, and is something companies seem to inadequately care about. But it’s hard to tell how much they don’t care vs. how much they’re incompetent. I think they ought to look at some of the companies who get along with their employees better – like (without research) I think Costco, Apple (retail store workers) and Trader Joe’s – and copy more of what those companies are doing (including hiring away some managers from those companies).

I think treating low level workers poorly is related to having poor customer service (treating low paying customers poorly). I don’t just mean because the low level workers do the customer service and they do a worse job if they’re disgruntled. I’m thinking of the attitude of the people in high positions at the company to not care about how they treat large numbers of people who are each individually not very important. That attitude applies both to low skill workers and to customers.

1 Like

7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Crypto Currency Fraud

I tried to search for YouTube videos where people use MindNode to do something else, so MindNode isn’t the focus. I actually made one of those Yesterday. MindNode was just a tool I used to for doing trees.

I found none. I found plenty of reviews, tutorials and similar – videos about MindNode. But I found no videos with MindNode but about something else.

In general, I find there’s a shortage of videos of people doing real work. Like there are tons of videos teaching you how to use Final Cut but few showing someone sitting down for an hour to do real work (rather than an example meant for teaching) with Final Cut. I was happy to find this one yesterday Editing a Trailer LIVE! - YouTube

I make this kind of video that I think is missing. I have hours of me writing essays, replying to forum posts, and other real activities (not demonstrations; stuff I’d actually do anyway, basically the same way, even if I wasn’t filming). But I haven’t seen much interest or positive response.

This type of video does exist a ton for gaming. It’s easy to find people filming their gameplay and sharing it. That’s primarily available as livestreams. On YouTube, you get more game reviews, play session highlights, Let’s Plays (which usually involve doing a performance for an audience), tips, etc.

But apart from video games it seems pretty rare. I don’t know where to get it. I want to see people doing real stuff and ignoring the camera, but reality TV is fake. And if you search e.g. “cooking” on YouTube you’ll find tons of stuff trying to teach you or show off – stuff meant for an audience – rather than just someone turning on a camera while doing regular cooking like they would with no camera. It’s the same for tons of subjects. Anyone know where to find more real activities footage?

I think when trying to learn to do something, it’s best to look at a mix of stuff meant to teach you and real examples of skilled people doing it (for real, not a staged demonstration).

Sports is another thing where you can get videos of people doing the activity for real. But only for the actual games. Getting video of a baseball team practicing is harder.

I tried searching for building a house with some keywords like “raw footage” or “livestream”. I found people building virtual houses in computers and some time lapses. Time lapses are OK and I’m glad they exist, and some show a meaningful amount of detail (of the actual work activities) instead of just being from a distance. But they’re so sped up it’s hard to learn details of doing the activity from watching. Plus the ones I saw were actually highlights in addition to time lapse, rather than just putting a camera in one place and showing everything recorded. Example. And I have no idea how many hours of work or days of time it took (and even if I knew those summary statistics, I wouldn’t be able to tell them from the timelapse and wouldn’t get an intuitive sense of how slow the real process is). I think the belief is that hours of footage instead of 10 minutes would be boring – unless it’s video games which people livestream for hours and hours no problem (they also will stream some other things like D&D sessions or board games so you can see it real time unedited).

People do stuff differently when in teacher mode (or showoff mode or otherwise putting on a show for an audience) than when they do the work normally. So the teaching material tends to be incomplete and leave some stuff out.

I think one reason people dislike raw footage is it’s harder to understand when you don’t have a teacher explaining what’s going on. And yeah if you only have raw footage, with no teaching stuff, that sucks. So I guess it makes bad introductory material and is more suitable for people who already know some stuff, so that’d lower the popularity a lot.

One of the big picture results is it’s harder for underprivileged people to learn about and break into new industries (or for anyone to change industries, or for children to figure out what industry they’d enjoy). It advantages people with family and friends in an industry so they can get exposure to it that isn’t available on YouTube.

Somewhat related, it’s hard to find good reviews (text or video) for most stuff. A ton of reviews are just like “here’s one; here are some features it has that make it sound good; here’s our affiliate link. ok here’s the next one, and some reasons to buy it, and an affiliate link”. and google doesn’t care and just fills up its search results with that crap. Finding thoughtful reviews that use conceptual reasoning is harder. Partly it’s because those reviews are harder to do than just naming facts or features for each product. But why aren’t the good reviews floating the the top more and being popular and therefore easier to find?

Anyway, does anyone know how to find more real, raw footage for stuff besides games? Anyone have ideas on why there is low demand for it? Like why you haven’t watched much raw footage of me doing philosophy work?

Stephen Wolfram does something like this:

1 Like

Cool, thanks, I’ll watch some of this.

I went to one of the first videos and saw it only had ~500 views. So then I checked a recent one and … also ~500 views. And that’s for a tech CEO who’s name is fairly well known and on a 60k sub channel. So apparently this stuff is very unpopular.

I started watching one and immediately saw something worthwhile:

You can apparently, very easily, get a random tree diagram with 40 nodes (or another number). That seems like something I might be able to use somehow. I should check what other tree diagram features they have.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Caffeine, Drugs, Food Additives

Some of the resources our society has for blind people to read books are horrible.

I called NLS to enquire about the process of reading a protected book from archive.org. They had absolutely no clue, and sent me back to the Internet Archive for information, who originally referred me to NLS. So, as this circle was closed, I tried to call the manufacturers of the Victor Reader, which is one of the most popular book reader devices. Though the original FAQ says that protected books can be read using the Victor Reader Stream, it has two versions, the first one from the years when protected books were not available from Archive.org. I wasn’t going to drop a few hundred Dollars to find out that it didn’t work. When I called Humanware, the manufacturer of the Victor Reader, likewise, they didn’t have a clue about Archive.org, and they asked me to call the National Library Service. See above.

Disabled people have to get a special decryption key from the government and then the protected books can’t be accessed on iOS, Android, Mac, PC or Linux – only on expensive specialized hardware from companies like Victor Reader who apparently don’t know how anything works and don’t have any customer service to help disabled people successfully read books.

The reason it’s so much trouble to read these books is DRM.

Here’s an example of a book:

It has “encrypted daisy” download for print-disabled users. That’s the thing which is so much trouble to use even if you sign up with the U.S. government, prove your disability to them, and get a decryption key. (I don’t know if access is possible at all if you aren’t American.)

By contrast, sighted users can make a free account and get a 1 hour or 14 day free library loan and then read the book in a visual viewer on the website (or, for 14 day loans, they can also download encrypted copies that load in Adobe Digital Editions on mainstream computers or devices with any encryption stuff automatically handled by Adobe so the process is user friendly).

Some non-intellectual things that make it harder to think well and learn effectively:

  • drugs (including alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, pot, all drugs claimed/intended to be brain-affecting, mood affecting, psychiatrically helpful, etc.)
  • undersleeping, disrupted sleep, insomnia
  • burnout, routinely trying to fit too much into your schedule
  • dating or living with someone abusive
  • having a lot of stress, drama and disasters routinely instead of a calmer life where it’s easier to make plans and have some predictability
  • ongoing trouble affording rent/food/utilities, financial instability
  • diets with a significant calorie deficit

E.g. if you’re trying to lose a pound a week with a diet, that’s around a 500 calorie per day deficit. That will fuck you up. If you don’t cheat on that diet (most people cheat), you’re starving yourself, it will be super painful, and you shouldn’t be surprised to become moody, anxious, depressed, etc. ( Minnesota Starvation Experiment - Wikipedia )

What’s a reasonable maximum limit on the amount of calories to cut if you want to cut calories? I don’t know exactly. Maybe 10% of what you need to eat to break even.

Note that I don’t think the “calories in, calories out” model is very accurate (also people can’t count the calories they eat as accurately as they believe).

On a related note, my understanding is that the diet industry lobbied to change what BMIs are labelled “healthy”, “overweight”, “obese”, etc. So now some research shows better health outcomes for “overweight” than “healthy”. So if you think you’re overweight, you might just be being lied to and also have seen too many airbrushed instagram pics and skinny TV stars. ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Instagramreality/ )

I think most people would be better off if they avoided the following for the first half of their day:

  • videos, tv, movies, podcasts, entertainment
  • social media
  • news, politics
  • video games
  • EDIT: maybe music too

This is meant for when you have significant control over your schedule. If you have a regular school or work schedule, then it applies to weekends. On days where you spend 8 hours on work/school, you could take the part of the day that is your own (the other 8 hours) and use these guidelines for the first half of those 8 hours (e.g. 1 hour in the morning plus 3 hours after work).

Tip: For health reasons, I suspect over 50% of what you drink should be plain water.

I think that this you say this because you think people are smartest right after they wake up, so if they do the stuff you mention in the first half of their day, then they are wasting their brain power. I recall you’ve written elsewhere that you do your hardest work immediately after waking up.

I think that you think this will be true for almost everyone who is not on caffeine. Am I right?