Elliot's Microblogging

I forget whether I’ve said this before, but FWIW I was vaccinated with both doses of the COVID vaccine a while ago. I recommend getting vaccinated.


Some of these points are pretty good in isolation, but I think there’s a big disconnect between learning them as short blurbs and actually using them in life. I don’t think that disconnect is adequately appreciated. I think people don’t do much to practice and create good habits/automatizations for points like the Twitter thread lists. Instead, I think the points get used primarily in explicit arguments, or as rationality tips, which isn’t very effective.

Also they’re generally too shallow. Like I can read it and imagine a good meaning but there isn’t much depth of explanation about how to interpret it or why it’s true. A lot of them appeal to pre-existing intuitions and conclusions people have.

I added a “Words Edited” column to my day tracking spreadsheet. I think I should have done that a while ago.

(There’s other stuff that isn’t visible, such as reading and sleep.)

(Image text is a little blurry but click it and it gets clearer.)

I continue to read @patio11 regularly. For example I liked this:

I also liked the thread he linked to and discussed:


Let’s start with something interesting, what companies are paying.
FF pays $100 per illustration (v low)
Paizo pays $150 per character (v low)
DnD pays $500 per character
MtG pays $1k-3k per card
Artifact paid $2k per card
Hearthstone pays $1.5k per
Riot $3k-10k

Most companies are unfortunately closer to Paizo and FF, as provided by @SHelmigh’s blog https://suzannehelmigh.artstation.com/blog These rates are very low, paying 3x-10x less than individuals who just want their character drawn.

Individuals pay $300-$1500 to get their D&D character drawn. Compared to that, my CF course seems kinda cheap. Anyone with the disposable income to buy some custom art could buy it. And anyone who likes it could easily get a larger amount of value from it than from the art.

There are indeed a lot of people making $100k+ per year that play DnD, or are furries, or both, and will pay an artist that they like $1000 to draw/paint their character, even if that artist doesn’t do official DnD/MtG/etc art. They have expendable income.

That’s ~100m households [in the USA] making $100k+.

Also regarding how much work goes into a drawing:

Aim for no more than 6 hours for a full body lines + flat colored , 15 hours for a fully painted character.

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The global shipping system is highly efficient - but that means there is rarely overcapacity anywhere, so a bottleneck in one spot is ‘almost’ a bottleneck everywhere else.

He thinks balanced plants are efficient :frowning: He is a CEO, presents himself like an expert here, knows some things in the field, but doesn’t know one of Goldratt’s main points.

Don’t know if he’s right about global shipping. Somewhat skeptical actually. If it’s actually balanced capacity that means there were ongoing problems all the time before covid, just not as bad. Those could have existed without the general public knowing, but I don’t think this guy knows how to spot them or judge, and actually my impression is that he believes things were working smoothly pre-COVID.

First video I watched at 4x speed. I jumped straight up from 3.5x, which I’ve been using a lot recently, and it wasn’t even hard.

The video talks about a huge online content creator which spreads total lies about things like microwaving an ear of corn to get popcorn, a shoe cleaning method that doesn’t work (they switched in a different pair of clean shoes – with the shoe size visibly different – to fake the results) or bleaching strawberries. They also lied about melting gummibears and applying hot caramel.

It reminds me of a BoI idea about stories that aren’t constrained by facts. From memory, if you talk about a real thing, it’s harder to tailor the story to what your audience wants to hear. But if you talk about a goblin, you can make up its characteristics to suit your audience. This gives lies and made up crap an advantage at spreading. They have disadvantages too but I think this advantage matters.

The YT channel seems to be using lying to make up more viral, entertaining things. Like they can make their 5min DIY projects more exciting when they aren’t true.

(I wonder how much they use bots and fake subscribers though. The view numbers of some of the awful videos were only a few million, which seems maybe low for their claimed subscriber numbers. Or maybe they are good at getting people to subscribe initially but a lot of their viewers stop watching later.)

Oh and the reason UEG is talking about them? They are claiming one of his videos violated their copyright (they didn’t specify a video or timestamp, and they don’t make video game content, and their content is awful stuff he wouldn’t want to use, so uhhhhh…)

omg bleaching strawberries

There are ships carrying Australian coal to China that have been sitting in-port for a year waiting to be unloaded (China is not v happy with Australia so it’s a power-thing / bargaining-chip) – it’s just started happening b/c of China’s power supply issues. So in those sort of cases there must be some excess capacity. But stuff like the Ever Given getting stuck (and the flow-on effects) mb points to a different meaning of efficiency, more like $/throughput or $/latency.

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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