latest hackernews complaint (-)
I was looking at an old submission of mine, on research showing that stretching before exercise doesn't reduce injuries.
The responses broke down into three major camps:
- the title is highly misleading for (reasons)
- this is obvious, old news
- this is obviously wrong and stupid
Everyone agreed it was bad, but no one reason was consistent with anyone else's reason.
(3) I think despairing over Being Right On The Internet because it's such a bad faith, disingenuous swamp of high effort trolling, concedes that ground to worst actors. And... they GAIN from that. They gain a constituency. They win.
And the breakthrough on climate, and with the parkland kids, has been on fearlessly calling people out on their bullshit. People forget that that works, that that is needed.
It's also a problem I have with liberals and leftwing friends who are skeptical of the authority of truth and science because it's always invoked by shitheads.
(1) it IS always invoked by shitheads (2) they (the shitheads) are dumb and wrong for reasons that are tedious and take hours of quote-replying to sort through, where you get so deep in bullshit that the only constant is that people keep losing track of what their own arguments are because of their own short attention spans.
I think centrists need to understand that (1) respectful two way conversation isn't a success state in and of itself if it's not leading to a step two where they are building something and making progress on it. (2) Arguments being refuted because some of them are wrong and others are right *is* a success state.
The idea that there really is such a thing as truth, and that therefore some arguments are wrong and others right isn't "partisanship." It's a necessary premise for progress.
I remember a video that was "gee, a Democrat and a Republican have a respectful conversation! Why can't everyone do this?!"
It was a video of John McCain and Dick Durbin arguing over the effect of Bush tax cuts.
Nothing changed. Nobody changed their mind. They didn't really drill down deep or learn anything from each other. They didn't reach a compromise. They didn't decide that one of them was right and they didn't have a breakthrough that allowed a bill to pass.
But that was "success".
Newspapers and online content generally putting up paywalls is very instructive. Doesn't matter that there's a massive audience. A massive unmet need, swarms of people ready and willing to voraciously consume content.
A whole world of culture, commentary, interest. It's just walked away from, since there's no money to extract.
It makes you wonder how many other unmet needs have been walked away from or unmet because they couldn't be monetized.
Until a week ago, I was an ordinary person - well, SORT OF ordinary, considering that I couldn't stand to be in the same room as more than 2 people at a time, I only wanted very specific clothes, & I hadn't found a bed I could sleep on for more than 4 hours at a time.
Now a multinational think tank is working with four factories to design me the perfect bed, clothes, house - because the world will explode if I don't relax.
This is, sadly, not very relaxing of a thought.
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'Media Synthesis' (-)
Feels like a really unnecessary buzzword.
It strikes me as coming from the same internet spaces that make unnecessary gaming terms and acronyms like 'RNG' and 'DLC' and 'procedural generation.' Which describe things that already have words, and, if you have experience around people who use those terms, are never used in a nuanced way. Sometimes vocabulary helps add meaning, but this is a case where it makes things dumber.
reminder that the whole "paperclip optimization" problem (the idea that an AI could/would destroy humanity if you told it to optimize for something because it would become the most optimal path) is actually... already there. they're called companies. it's all called capitalism. it's destroying the environment and exploiting humanity to optimize for money for shareholders.
Bitcoin bros (-)
There has to be a term for what this is, but I guess I'm just gonna call it Internet Brain. It's the scatterbrained quality you find in gamergate, Q-anon, pizzagate, and twitter reply guys.
Just a total inability to communicate except in a blizzard of half formed thoughts, youtube vids, articles and thought fragments that take forever to unpack and make sense of. In this case taking three months!
Its just registering with me that we're in a world where this is a Kind Of Person.
Bitcoin bros (-)
The thing that really stood out to me (other than the huge gross red flag of not being able to communicate on Skype without screaming) was this:
>Over the next several weeks, Curry sent a stream of information about how cryptocurrencies work: links, articles, YouTube videos. He introduced her to Bjorn Bjercke, the blockchain developer who said there was no blockchain.
>It took McAdam three months to go through it all, but questions were starting to form.
Bitcoin bros (-)
This article is about a lot of things, but I want to focus on the "bitcoin enthusiast" guy. Like every bad stereotype you could imagine.
He wants to warn an investor in a scam coin that it's a scam coin. That's cool! Nice.
>Reluctantly, she agreed to a conversation on Skype.
Not bad necessarily, but couldn't email work?
>he told McAdam bluntly that it was a scam - "the biggest scam in the [expletive] world".
Uh, do you have to talk like that? (and good god look at the image)
I have to zoom in on one argument that apparently has two pieces to it which, even if you grant that they are valid, have no logical connection whatsoever, but are treated as if they are reinforcing.
It goes from an issue of windmills being poorly sited to a 'realization' that renewables will never work.
But... what does a poorly sited wind project have to do with intermittency? Are intermittent sources of energy more likely to be sited in natural habitats? Is that the argument?
Abben rhymes with cabin.
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