Elliot's Microblogging

Pannenkoek put a lot of thought and effort into Super Mario 64 (SM64). Then other people, like Bismuth (the linked video creator), put a lot of effort into understanding it. They studied what he did and learned how it worked.

People are not treating CF in a similar way – they aren’t studying it like Bismuth studying Pannenkoek’s SM64 knowledge.

Old idea: When in doubt, stick to convention. It takes lots of knowledge to do better.

Newer idea: ~Everyone is so bad at thinking. People are so eager to think they’re clever, sophisticated, skilled, knowledgeable, etc., when they are not very good.

Conclusion from the two ideas together: ~Everyone is better off sticking to convention for nearly everything.

Example of bad way of not doing convention:

Firefox + Video Speed controller, and also VLC, turn off audio entirely at 4.1x speed. Seems like 4x is the limit :/

Safari + Accelerate can still play audio above 8x, however the audio quality seems bad at just 4x. I think it’s using a different speed up algorithm that doesn’t work well at high speeds. It’s sorta echoey or like some audio is overlapping some other audio. Not sure exactly. But I couldn’t listen to Asmongold at 4x with Accelerate, then i put the same video in FF+VSC and i could follow the words significantly better.

on ios, Speed Up Player has 4 different audio speed algorithms available in settings and has a max speed of 5x. i’ve had issues with the app like it sometimes loses your place when you leave and come back.

Twitter is actually the worst social media. Facebook is evil and anti-intellectual but there are useful groups on there. Twitter hardly has any positive value on the whole damn platform and it attracts fake intellectuals, political fights and internet mobs.

On a positive note, Gen Z is pretty anti-Twitter (and not big on Facebook either).

Meanwhile, forums and email lists lost to reddit … and reddit is now trying to be tiktok instead of embracing their niche.

There’s something really problematic about how much people prefer memes, gifs and art over written sentences. I guess I’ve heard many times before stuff like that, statistically, most people don’t read many books if any. And I’ve heard about high schools failing to teach literacy well, poor standardized test scores, etc. But I don’t think I have it concretized well. I have issues dealing with people who are bad at reading and writing, but I’m pretty sheltered in who I actually communicate with. Although I read bad writing samples all the time online (mostly from self-selected, non-representative people who are well above average at writing), I don’t have a good enough intuitive grasp of how regular people are worse and uncomfortable with written English (I don’t think the situation is better for other languages).

I found another channel with Elon Musk debunking/skepticism. First video I watched seemed pretty good:

I looked into this today after patio11 promoted a pro-Musk article:

I thought the article was really bad and unconvincing. I then looked at several pro-Musk thunderf00t debunkings, which I also found broadly unconvincing. In some cases they appeared to be pointing out lists of minor errors (some correct and some incorrect) that didn’t actually change thunderf00t’s anti-Musk conclusion. But they basically had no introduction, no conclusion, no “what does this mean?”, no higher level analysis, just getting lost in biased details where they are trying to poke any holes they can in thunderf00t’s side. (One guy was better and basically concluded that he thought thunderf00t’s numbers were a bit off but were still good enough to correctly debunk the thing he was trying to refute, which was off by significantly more than thunderf00t’s numbers.)

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Yeah. It used basic math and made straightforward arguments. Easy to follow video.

I’ve been pretty skeptical of Musk in general for a while. His lies about the “self-driving” capacity of his Tesla vehicles are actually dangerous. If he’s willing to lie about a serious business like automobiles, it fits that he would lie about other stuff too. I can’t imagine relying on his judgment for interplanetary travel! I wonder how much better, if at all, the other space-related efforts are (like from Bezos or whoever). I haven’t investigated them.

ppl won’t say things to me like that they think some other thinker or writer is good

they just afk and read/watch others

if they said someone was good i’d have questions like: i disagree with him about major issues. suppose i’m right and he’s wrong. what is the most reasonable series of actions i could do which concludes with him changing his mind?

they would have no answer and have to concede the guy they like is irrational, likely wrong, closed to debate, and blocking criticism.

it’s not exactly complicated logic. it doesn’t take a bunch of study to get the point.
they could talk thru and consider this despite being beginners.

they don’t want to face what this means about the world and about ppl they like – and about themselves.

they simply don’t want to engage with that sort of Paths Forward thinking and take it seriously

broadly i can’t get anyway to discuss the state of the world. i talked about it some on YouTube live streaming a while back, like about Musk and Bezos. you can look at a few basic facts about them, including their choice of women, the schools they went to, and a few things they told the press, and reach some major, negative conclusions. ppl are sometimes like “yeah” about particular points but don’t want to look at the world overall in an organized way using reasoning like that.

Around 64min, Lenderman gives a rule of thumb for chess that I’d never heard of before but it makes sense.

If you think for a while about a move (e.g. 10min) and you still aren’t sure, you should try to go with the move you thought about originally. What would you have done if you had to move in 5 seconds? What was the first move that looked good to you before you analyzed the position in detail? That is what your gut/intuition favored. Your gut/intuition is right ~90% of the time, especially if you’re an experienced player, so you need to put some trust in it.

Although I’ve written some negative posts about Elon Musk recently – which I stand by – he does have some good traits. He says some stupid things but also some good things. For example he argued with the “Executive Director for the UN World Food Programme” today on Twitter.

Musk, responding to a news headline saying 2% of his wealth would solve world hunger:

If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.

This reminded me of my belief that Aubrey de Grey should actually write out a detailed budget of how SENS would spend the billions of dollars he keeps asking for. I suspect AdG can’t convince Musk, Bezos and others to do a huge donation because he doesn’t actually have a good enough plan.

The Director replied saying headline was inaccurate but $6B would do tons of good and he still wants Musk to donate. Musk replies:

Please publish your current & proposed spending in detail so people can see exactly where money goes.

Sunlight is a wonderful thing.

Director replies refusing to do that without admitting he’s refusing:

.@elonmusk Instead of tweets, allow me to show you. We can meet anywhere—Earth or space—but I suggest in the field where you can see @WFP’s people, processes and yes, technology, at work. I will bring the plan, and open books.

Musk also asked this and got no response:

What happened here? UN officials 'force children to perform oral sex for food' in warzones | World | News | Express.co.uk

(That article is even worse than the headline makes it sound.)

Fame, social status and wealth doesn’t get you Paths Forward. (Nor does a news article mean anyone answers an issue.) Elon Musk can’t get meaningful responses from a UN director who is asking for billions of dollars from Musk.


I recognized that I was wrong about something.

A bureaucrat insisting that stacked containers are an eyesore, causing freight to pile up because trucks are stuck sitting on empty containers, thus causing a cascading failure that destroys supply lines and brings down the economy. That certainly sounds like something that was in an early draft of Atlas Shrugged but got crossed out as too preposterous for anyone to take seriously.

When I first read this, I thought the blogger likes Ayn Rand and has read Atlas Shrugged.

On further thought, he could pretty easily have written this without reading the book and/or while disliking Rand. The book has enough of a reputation and he may have read someone else saying something similar before. I think I’ve occasionally seen people outside my community say it, though I don’t remember any particular examples.

I’ve made this kind of comment before myself. But he might not have meant it in all the ways I do. Often my point is about defending Atlas Shrugged, which is a much more realistic book than critics give it credit for. But the blogger’s focus could easily have been on attacking the law; it might not have even occurred to him that he was implying basically that the stuff in the final version of Atlas Shrugged is more realistic than reality. (The government in the book makes laws that are less bad than real laws, not unrealistically bad, so the book’s portrayal of bad government is realistic not unrealistic.)

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Wordpress design is awful

Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.

You can get (email) notifications for new blog posts. That’s good. And you can get notifications for new comments on a particular post. That’s useful sometimes.

You cannot get new notifications for comments on any post, which is a useful option for low traffic blogs that you like.

You cannot get new notifications for comments that directly reply to you (or are nested under any post you wrote), either in general or in a particular thread.

There’s also no obvious way to sign up for notifications without posting a comment (I don’t know if there is a way or not).

writing unclearly baits ppl to ask you for stuff, like clarifications, which makes them seem weak and needy. i think it’s a widespread not-just-accidental tactic. partly people are bad at writing but partly there’s an incentive and manipulation there.

A little similar to some stuff I’ve said about being able to zoom your perspective in and out. It works well with idea trees: you should be able to see and think about the same issue at different levels of detail, and you can connect this to collapsing parts of trees, and to paying attention higher or lower in the tree (higher is lower level of detail). It’s important to be flexible instead of being stuck in one mode.


There are lots of these videos of people hatefully quitting over a loudspeaker.

Many companies don’t seem to think being hated – by customers and employees both – matters. And then the public blames “capitalism”.

Being that stupid and incompetent is bad for profits. Capitalism is helping some by at least giving them an incentive (money) to do better. Some companies do better, like Costco, and are successful. Under socialism, a lot of bosses have no clear downsides for being shitty to the people under them.

Capitalism is not an automatic or full solution but it isn’t the problem here and helps some since being hated is actually bad for profit. This video is one of the many consequences. The consequences are not always immediate or obvious, especially when the government helps prevent competition (hello Comcast and health insurers), but there are consequences.

Related, Blizzard had so much good will with gamers and has been destroying it for years and they are still making money but 1) they could be making way more money if e.g. WoW subs were up instead of down 2) they are running their business into the ground and strongly, repeatedly alienating a lot of their biggest fans and promoters (who loved them enough to give third and fourth chances but many are now too fed up). This is not even close to how to make the most money over time and most of the bad things were bad for short term profit too.

Re Costco treating employees better and having a lot more employee loyalty and low turnover (and also being liked by its customers) … that came up recently when I was discussing with someone whether Bezos actually did a great job with Amazon or not. Like how much did Bezos earn his fortune? Was he actually a good leader of the company? In some ways probably yes. But tons of Amazon’s employees hate them and they have been burning a huge amount of good will from customers with the fake reviews, mislabelled Chinese knockoffs, etc. So one of my first thoughts about what I’d do as Amazon CEO was look into what Costco is doing so that its employees like it. Hire a bunch of managers from Costco and fix the problem where their warehouse workers and drivers hate you. That’s seriously important to the value of the business. (My knowledge of Costco is mostly be reputation. If I was really CEO I’d have to research them in way more detail first and also look at other companies. But the point is to find some companies that are able to get along with their employees while also being financially successful and copy that. Even if there is some flaw in the Costco example I’m confident that’s a thing which really does exist and Amazon is doing something seriously wrong that’s bad for business.)

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A while ago I read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology which I liked.

I recently read 48 Grimm’s Fairytales. I believe what I’m reading is based on early versions of the stories before the Grimm brothers added a bunch of changes. I stopped cuz they were getting kinda repetitive.

I’m now reading 1001 Arabian Nights. It’s a very long edition which I doubt I’ll finish.

Enduring stories provide an interesting perspective on what people are like and how they think. Some of the traits in the stories are similar to some of the traits I observe in people today. The stories help explain and illustrate some of people’s flaws (merits too). Maybe one day I’ll actually read some Bible or Koran or some Eastern books along those lines.

People think they’ve changed so much from these stories. And they have changed in some ways. Our world is less violent and superstitious. But people are still rash, angry, and have violent urges. They suppress that stuff more in a lot of circumstances but not all circumstances. They disapprove of it more in a lot of circumstances but not all. The main point is I think a lot of how people got more civilized is by suppressing some really bad behavior more than changing how they actually think and feel for their initial reactions. Also people seem less rash today but they still have rash initial reactions/thoughts/feelings, they just suppress those some and usually don’t do major actions immediately. Often they still do what they initially wanted, just later with some intellectual reasoning to justify it, but the reasoning was to rationalize the bias they had right away.

So far (3/4 through round 2) I don’t like these broadcasts as much as the St. Louis Chess broadcasts because they go into less depth about individual games. It’s a larger tournament but I’d prefer if they’d focus on the top boards or best games more instead of trying to cover every game some. I’m hoping they may focus more in later rounds when there are clear contenders to win the tournament, and therefore some key games.

Also, I like the St. Louis segments where the two main broadcasters go to Maurice Ashley who has been using a strong chess engine to find the right moves while off camera, and he goes over some of the right answers in interesting positions. The chess.com broadcast is making little use of computer analysis to reveal correct answers to some of the hard positions.

Also, St. Louis has better roles. Yasser Seirawan (despite being older, wiser, highly experienced) plays the role of the more naive person who wants to try things out. He asks some of the questions viewers would have and is the most relatable for viewers. Then Alejandro Ramirez or Ashley can act as his foil and give criticism of some of his experiments.

On the chess.com broadcasts, Anna Muzychuk is doing both roles: she’s the primary person analyzing good lines and giving answers about what works or not, and she’s the primary person experimenting with moves that might be bad, trying things out, asking questions, etc. She’s the more active person who talks the most and also does the most chess moves and has the most chess knowledge, while Stuart Conquest isn’t contributing as much.

It’s pretty standard on two-person broadcasts to have one person who is more social and one who is more of the expert. People use these roles on purpose even when they could play a different roll. E.g. I remember a different chess broadcast where a woman kept doing the social stuff but then when a guy left temporarily she immediately switched into acting more like a chess expert until he got back. So doing the more social side was an intentional choice/role, probably because she was better at it than the men, not because of lack of chess ability by her (I do think the men were stronger chess players, but she was plenty strong – far far stronger than the audience including me, and capable of playing an effective chess expert role).

Similarly, on Starcarft broadcasts, Tasteless intentionally plays dumber than he is and acts like more of a viewer representative and social/fun guy, while Artosis plays the expert role. The roles are intentional and help organize who says what kinds of things. Tasteless helps support Artosis’ expert reputation and tries to avoid challenging or undermining it. Tasteless will sometimes ask questions for Artosis to answer, even though he knows the answer and could answer it himself. Artosis is somewhat more of a smart expert than Tasteless, but they play it up and have some division of labor. (Possibly, over the years, they actually became more different due to playing different roles on broadcasts. Tasteless had less incentive to keep studying expert stuff, and more incentive to learn how to do his role well, e.g. getting better at making jokes, filling dead air time, or understanding and remembering to speak to the perspective of audience members who don’t know a lot about the game.)

I currently have 5 articles scheduled to post on the CF site. They will continue to be on Thursday and Sunday mornings for now.

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There’s something bad and unrealistic about this article. Why does Reisman think Fox is or should be good? They’re just shitty. Any network could improve. Why focus on Fox improving? Why not ignore Fox and seek progress elsewhere? I think Reisman overestimates Fox.

lol I was reviewing old exploratory writing to find something to edit and I found an 865 word paragraph.

That’s so long it’s funny, but then I read read the beginning to see what it was about:

structuring [knowledge] as many small parts with connections

I laughed at the irony.

(I knew the paragraph was way too long when I first wrote it. I just figured I could split it up during editing later. Sometimes I have ideas flowing and just write them down quickly without getting to an automatized paragraph break. Usually I separate out paragraphs while writing automatically but the automatic rules don’t cover every case. So it’d take some attention away from writing my ideas down to split the paragraph using conscious thought about how to handle it. In that case, it’s often better to do that conscious attention later instead of letting it distract from the topic I’m writing about.)