JustinCEO Topic

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Silent Spring

On second thought and on reviewing the prior Gaslighting discussion some more, i think that taking this approach might be repeating some previous mistakes, so I’m back to not being sure what to do.

there are no links, which makes it hard for anyone else to comment on the actual content, if they think you missed context, if they agree with your summaries, etc.

if there had been links in the outline thing you posted, i would have clicked them to go and check things. it would be a lot of work for me to go find the posts you are talking about and cross reference them with what you say. if you want other people’s feedback on your analysis, i would recommend links.

Gaslighting discussion (split from: Justin’s Miscellaneous Posts).

I think I’m not avoiding higher levels of the discussion tree so much as I’m not really sure what they even are in this anonymous’s conception, even at a very very rough, general level. Would “what is a reasonable plan for you to do next” be in the discussion tree, or was that just a general meta question being raised? Does a discussion tree always potentially include a bunch of standard meta questions, but they’re normally “invisible” (like all the zeros after the decimal in a whole number) unless you need to bring them into the discussion? I think my idea of what a discussion tree is is more bound to the specifics of a particular discussion.

For now, unless I’m asked to stop, I’ll plan on continuing to post my thoughts about problems I’m having approaching this discussion.

Good suggestion, thanks.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Silent Spring

In light of the helpful criticism above, I thought I could at least add links to this bit that I already wrote, even if I don’t write any more:

Point of Disagreement: Clarity of DisplayLink Discussion (minor disagreements, possibly a tangent).

  • Context: I criticized another poster’s post as not engaging with mine.
  • Post, JustinCEO: i felt like i was pretty clear about the importance of DisplayLink in my analysis of potential product purchase. mentioned it by name a few times.
    • Post, Elliot Temple: You were not clear originally or in your followup. You have not explained what DisplayLink is or why it matters. And you did not emphasize it or compare it to any alternatives. In your second post you linked to info about it as a “btw” not at something emphasized, and the info you linked is terrible as a relevant summary, so I still have no idea what DisplayLink is, why it matters, or how it fits into this discussion.
      • Comment: I think the thought I had was that I made it clear that it was an important criteria to me, and so therefore I didn’t need to go into these other details. But assuming that I wanted/expected substantive engagement with my post, which I did, I would need to explain these things.
      • Question: Was I unclear? Did I fail to explain what DisplayLink is or why it matters? Did I fail to emphasize it or fail to compare it to alternatives?
        • Post, JustinCEO (Original Post in thread): My iMac is performing badly. I have a MacBook Air which performs way way better. I’d like to use the MacBook Air as my primary computer until I replace my iMac, which might not happen for as long as a year depending on what I decide to replace it with. I’m used to having multiple monitors and want that setup. However, the MacBook Air only supports 1 external display natively. You can use DisplayLink adapters to support extra displays. I have 3 external monitors I’d like to use with MacBook Air. So I’d need a DisplayLink adapter that supports 2 adapters + use my MacBook Air’s native 1 monitor out support in order to support 3 monitors.
          • Comment: I introduced the name of DisplayLink and implied that it was a solution to the MacBook AIr’s lack of support for more than 1 native display externally, but did not explain how it works, or why it was important, or emphasize it, or compare it to alternatives.
        • Post, JustinCEO (follow-up referred to by Elliot): Keep in mind a key aspect for me is the support for DisplayLink for outputting to multiple monitors despite lack of sufficient native ports on my current machine. It’s not just a bare USB 3.0 hub. I agree that at that price point, absent DisplayLink, I’d be looking into TBolt hubs over USB hubs (tho the really nice TBolt hubs - CalDigit mb? - actually go for more IIRC)
          • Comment: I did not explain how it works or compare it to alternatives. I do think that, here at least, I did at least give a strong indication of why it matters and give it some emphasis. Particularly the part “a key aspect for me is the support for DisplayLink for outputting to multiple monitors despite lack of sufficient native ports on my current machine”.
  • Conclusion: Mostly concede Elliot’s points, but maintain minor, tentative disagreement about whether my followup addressed why DisplayLink matters and gave it emphasis.

This sounds annoying. I often have periods where I’m just sort of snacking over a period of time - some yogurt, nuts and berries, cheese and celery - and I think that wouldn’t mesh well with the meal feature as you describe it here, since I’d end up with a super long meal.

I made a mental connection between the video in the link and this quote How to Think Like a Roman Emperor. The context is the masses enjoying gladiatorial games but Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (a Stoic) disliking them (bold added, italics in original):

Marcus came to loathe all such public events, but he was obliged to attend them at the insistence of his friends and advisors. He seems to have found unnecessary bloodshed vicious and barbaric. Indeed, as emperor, Marcus began to impose many restrictions on the cruelty of the games. He insisted that the gladiators before him use blunted weapons so that they would be fighting like athletes, without any risk to their lives. The thrill of the chariot races was likewise about bloodlust, as horses and charioteers were frequently maimed or killed in this dangerous sport. Marcus tried to see beyond the excitement of the crowd. He adopted a more philosophical attitude to the events unfolding before his eyes, asking himself, Is this really what people consider fun?

For Stoics, feelings of pleasure in themselves are neither good nor bad. Rather, whether our state of mind is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, depends on the things we take enjoyment in. Marcus compares Roman society to the idle pageantry of a procession, where people seem distracted by trivialities, but he reminds himself that he must take his place in it with good grace. Nevertheless, a man’s worth can be measured by the things upon which he sets his heart.5 Enjoying the suffering of others is bad. Taking pleasure in watching men risk death or serious injury would therefore be considered a vice by the Stoics. In contrast, enjoying seeing people flourish is good. You might think that’s obvious; however, we can be blinded by pleasure to its consequences for both others and ourselves. Marcus had been taught by his Stoic tutors to examine the sources and consequences of pleasure very closely. He was therefore able, to some extent, to see beyond the prejudices of his own culture. We should likewise learn to enjoy things that are good for us and others, not things that are bad for us. Indeed, there’s a type of inner gratification that comes from living consistently in accord with our deepest values, which can make ordinary pleasures feel superficial by comparison. Marcus has that in mind when he repeatedly tells himself that the goal of his life is not pleasure but action.

There is lots of social encouragement to find certain things pleasurable, and rather than examining the sources and consequences of pleasure, people take whatever they pick up from society as a given. This is the case even when their pleasure contradicts apparently obvious things like “Enjoying the suffering of others is bad.” (To give a different example besides Roman games and messed up sex stuff: I found it weird that people would laugh so hard at those “funny home videos” shows when the videos seemed to portray people being injured, especially when children were the ones suffering. What’s funny about that?).

Continuing the discussion from Project: Part 0: Considering major life choices:

I agree. I wrote some posts in a values clarification exercise on my microblog recently and the upshot was that I lacked a clear answer to “What’s ultimately the most important thing in life to you?”, which was troubling. I have some values, to be clear, but there’s not a clear hierarchy. It’s a bit of a muddle. I suspect this is very common.

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I also have the impression that this is a common thing. I’d guess most people pursue what makes them happy, but they don’t really understand why it makes them happy. A lot of people seem to think that what makes them happy is in-born or something like that, which could explain why they don’t care to understand it more deeply.

My ideas on my purpose are not very clear. They’re a subject I intend to explore and seriously consider more (possibly as the next part of my meta-project, once I finish part 0). Currently my thoughts on it are roughly “build cool stuff” (which I don’t have a less vague explanation of yet), “survive” (or perhaps “continue not dying”) and “understand reality”.

Continuing the discussion from MC studies more grammar (Peikoff course):

I went through Peikoff’s grammar course before and posted my notes and homework here. Thought you might find this useful.

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Continuing the discussion from What Kind of World Do We Live In?:

Based on the video, it sounded like the other person wasn’t understanding what was being asked and was falling back to a a generic response rather than admitting they didn’t understand the question. People can be really really bad at dealing with questions involving numbers on the fly.

I think the idea that the other person was falling back on a generic response sounds plausible. That makes me think of some other things that could be going on with the other person.

First, they might just be trying to avoid what they perceive to be a potential conflict. Sometimes people get upset when they get feedback and the manager might have perceived the back and forth discussion as the beginning of a negative escalation in the conversation. If the manager thought that they were upsetting the person in the video then they might have just wanted to end the discussion without resolution rather than get their employee upset with them.

Second, the other person might be pretty insecure, especially about their communication and managerial abilities. The generic responses could be coming from a feeling of imposter syndrome. They would rather just end discussion than show any of what they perceive as flaws in their competence as a manager.

Elliot’s recent articles on peer review (such as this one) got me thinking about an issue I came across once. I briefly reviewed submissions for publication for a journal at my law school once. I don’t remember all the details, but I remember us having to review a submission and give it some kind of score or rating regarding whether it should be published in the journal. The thing is, the submissions weren’t blind, and we were told explicitly to take into account the prestige of the author/the school they were affiliated with in determining our score. I found an old article from around the time I was in law school that talks about non-blind review and raises some concerns. I remember thinking even at the time that taking prestige into account seemed profoundly unmeritocratic and biased, that that the submissions should be blind. Here is a quote from the article:

Effectively, most student-run journals use a single-blind review method to decide*
whether to publish manuscripts that they receive. 1 Authors of submissions do not know the name of the article editor(s) who make(s) an initial decision about their submissions. However, the articles editors who read submissions to student run law journals almost always know the identity of the authors whose submissions they evaluate.’ Many authors submit cover letters or C.V.s along with manuscripts when they submit to student edited law journals, and student editors routinely review these documents side-by-side with manuscripts.’ 3 In this article, I term the practice of student jownals in reviewing manuscripts without masking the author’s identity as “non-blind review.”

Non-Blind Review and Bias
Despite its prevalence, the practice of non-blind review at student edited law journals causes several harms. Research suggests that non-blind review of journal submissions makes it harder for women and non-U.S. scholars to publish, leads to prestige bias that hurts younger scholars, and undermines the perceived fairness of the submission review process among authors. Non-blind review may also reduce readers’ confidence in the reliability of the journal.

It then goes on to discuss specific categories of potential bias.

Minor grammar issue:

Philosophy has an especially high amount of controversy – or in other words, it’s a field that people are especially bad at approaching objectively. Whereas they can approach math and the hard sciences more objectively.

I believe that “Whereas” is acting as a subordinating conjunction here. Therefore, the subordinate clause should not be on its own in a separate sentence. I suggest the following rewrite:

Philosophy has an especially high amount of controversy. In other words, it’s a field that people are especially bad at approaching objectively, whereas they can approach math and the hard sciences more objectively.

Continuing the discussion from Small Help Requests:

I was looking at your Peikoff course notes and found an error in your old blog on this page:

This error shows in Chrome and Firefox.

Thanks :slight_smile:
I’ve edited the page and just left the PDF link for now.
I turned my old blog into a static site cuz I didn’t want to update multiple sites anymore and the tool I used apparently broke some stuff. If you happen to see any other errors, feel free to let me know.

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In this video, Elliot describes “The Dropout” as being overly sympathetic to Holmes. I only have watched some of the first episode, but even from that, the amount of sympathy was striking. I went back to Elliot’s video to see if he’d commented on that, since I had forgotten if he, and sure enough, he did.

The main example of sympathy I noticed was that they go out of their way to portray her as an awkward nerdy girl. They show her failing at athletics when young, listening to music alone in her room and dancing awkwardly, and getting made fun of by a mean girl clique when she’s trying to take her studies seriously when spending time in China. My interpretation is that they want to portray her as smart in order to frame things as a tragedy - actually smart girl makes bad life choices. Another example of sympathy is they show her dad crying after he loses his job at Enron. I think they want to show her as having some sort of reasonable motive for being money-focused. I also think the writers may believe that people won’t want to watch a show that’s just about a terrible person being terrible.

They could have gone in an entirely different direction. They could have portrayed her as an intellectual mediocrity who lusts after money and power, and started with scenes showing her lying, being deceptive, manipulating people, but instead they gave us a sympathetic origin story first.

BTW I looked to see if I could find anything quickly about her intelligence and came across this article based on an interview with a psychiatrist who knew her (note: he wasn’t her psychiatrist, just a psychiatrist*):

3. When Asked Scientific Questions, Holmes Talked About Her Famous Ancestors

Fuisz has a dim view of her business and technical skills and views her as a con artist. As he said, “First of all, [Theranos’s] business makes no sense. Medical testing is not a profitable business and Theranos is selling tests at below-market prices. Also, the girl has no scientific education. She is not very intelligent. She is more con than substance. She was interested in ‘How do you con people?’ Not ‘How do you win with substance?’”

Fuisz argued that when questions were raised about her technical knowledge or business acumen she changed the subject to her illustrious ancestors. As he told me

With her family’s background – [her great, great grandfather, Christian R. Holmes, was a surgeon who had Cincinnati General Hospital named after him and married the daughter of Charles Fleischmann who founded the yeast company and was her great, great, great grandfather] – why is she so insecure? That family background was part of the con. She would be introduced and when questions were asked about her scientific knowledge or business acumen, these family members would be brought up.

Holmes’s con job clearly worked on [Donald L. Lucas, a very influential venture capitalist who helped her out]. As he said in the Berkeley interview

She had no background in business, and so it’s quite presumptuous for somebody to say, “I’m going to be president of the company.” But there’s an important distinction. That’s what I felt when I [first] met her. After spending a lot more time with her, I learned her great-grandfather was an entrepreneur and started Fleischmann’s – packaged yeast. It was very successful. So that was one side, that’s the entrepreneur side, but she was in the medical side. Ah! It turns out later, the hospital very near where they lived is named after her great uncle who was involved with medicine. So she came by both of the two talents necessary here, one medicine and the other entrepreneurship, quite naturally. You could just see it the way she handles things, the way she thinks.