There was a year or two in high school when I was aware of ad blocking browser extensions but did not install them. Today, I can’t even imagine the experience of browsing the internet with ads everywhere. Or, for instance, sitting through youtube ads waiting to skip them. Sometimes a friend, coworker, or family member … Continue reading What’s the Catch?
Let me start from the beginning. The younger you are, the easier it is for you to learn things, in an evolutionary psychology sense. The name for this ease and desire to learn things is “curiosity,” and children are very curious. Toddlers will put things in their mouths, out of curiosity, because their mouths are … Continue reading What is Autism?
I have the impression that narratives in Santa movies are cynical. Intentionally or not, almost all of these movies are premised on the attempt to “demystify” Santa. That is, they simultaneously attempt to justify that Santa’s existence is logical, while also implying that it’s not. These stories generally fall into one of three categories: Santa … Continue reading On Santa Movies
I’ve been considering the simplification of language. There is an interesting angle of self-censorship culture-enforced newspeak, but that is not where I’m going with this. I am thinking more about each person’s individual inner dialogue. If how we speak influences how we think, then dumbing down language dumbs down our thought. This is a problem … Continue reading On Dumbing Down
There are two realms of morality. There are two types of wrongdoings: crimes and sins. A crime is a civic wrongdoing. A sin is a religious wrongdoing. The difference is twofold. First, the selection: some wrongs are classed as the former, and others the ladder. Second, the arbitration: how the wrong is punished. Crimes are … Continue reading Crimes vs Sins
This is the first in a series I'm calling The Great Stagnation, a concept I took from Peter Thiel. Thiel argues that the rate of technological progress in the western world has stagnated. This post is reacting to a book by Scott Adams, Loserthink, which wasn't very good. One particularly dumb chapter is called, "The Golden … Continue reading Scott Adam’s Golden Age Fallacy
In high school, my school bus would drive by a short stone wall lined with graffiti. The graffiti was amateur enough that it was obviously done by the students of the high school (as opposed to most graffiti you see which looks like it was done by gangs). One day, the graffiti was painted over. … Continue reading Keep the graffiti
My blog is adjacent to some "mental models" blogs. Some of the mental models they discuss are elementary concepts (what confirmation bias is, what first principles are, what tribalism is, what a reductio ad absurdum is). My blog assumes you already know those. Some of the mental models they discuss are, in my opinion, wrong. … Continue reading Pop-psychology “smart” aphorisms that are actually BS (or IMO annoying)
Morality is perhaps the most philosophically difficult part of Sam Harris’s worldview. He argues against moral relativism, in favor of objective morality. This objective morality is based on maximizing "wellbeing for all conscious creatures." I doubt this article will change people's minds. It is much easier to do that in conversation where you can instantly react … Continue reading Morality (Sam Harris is Wrong, part 7 and conclusion)
This article was written by a different author than usual. It is a contribution from the editor. Something that has been mentioned previously on this blog is how culture is influenced by natural selection. A society’s culture acts much in the same way as a species’ genome, as they are both products of and determining … Continue reading Choosing Who to Love: How the West Beat a Game Theory Trap While China Embraced It