, Modified: 2016-04-02
Here’s a list of what I’ve read/listened to/watched the past month.
(*) means particularly interesting, and (h) are links to personal highlights.
Check out my new blog Philosophocle, which I’m updating it twice per week. We’re currently in the middle of a Creativist vs. Uniformist debate…
- Agenty Duck
- Favorite emotions. Answers to “What is your favorite emotion, and what’s an example of something that has made you feel that way?” The emotions that people want are a lot more variegated than just happiness.
- (*) When your left arm becomes chicken: “Imagine three peasant men who are hopelessly in love with a princess who will never return their affections, and each of them is fully aware that she’s unattainable.”
- The first, an “aesthete”, changes what he loves (his values) from the princess to someone who is attainable.
- The second, the “Knight of Faith”, keeps believing that he can win the love of the princess, despite its high unlikelihood.
- The third, the “Knight of Infinite Resignation”, realizes that his love (value) cannot be satisfied, but keeps on loving the princess anyway. Allegorically, the rationalist is the “Knight of Infinite Resignation”.
- On finishing projects, see also Malcolm’s post on starting books. To build habits, focus first on the “minimal effective action” (MEA).
- Malcolm Ocean
- Focus on starting books: Many people make a goal to read n books in a year. But “finishing books” may just be a proxy for what you actually want, e.g., reading books, so may not be the best thing to measure. Ex. for me personally it makes me want to get stuck trudging through books I started but didn’t like, and disincentivizes starting new books—the opposite of what I want.
- Don’t get distracted and crash: The key difference between talking on the phone and talking to a passenger while driving is not how distracting it is, but that the passenger has situational awareness and shared intent/aligned interests. This applies not just to driving—when you’re working, are the people around you hurting you (e.g. being a voice on the phone) or helping you (e.g. having your interests in mind)?
- Put a Number on It! (Jacob Falkovich’s blog on data science and applying it to life).
- (*) Nice guys: “Nice guys” here refers to what’s often the target of feminist scorn. (h) Links followed from this:
- (*) Dating, with a bit of data science. Main takeaway: be unique, be specific. (Not one of those shallow articles that attempts to reduce dating to statistics…)
- Keep your identity small (Paul Graham) (h) because if something is part of your identity, it’s hard to argue rationally about it.
- Slate Star Codex
- Nate Soares
- The three dubious virtues
- (*) Desperation
- Defiance See also the Replacing Guilt series People often make fun of “desperation” in the sense of caring very much about something. Nate Soares argues that it’s good to “get desperate” about something. A good litmus test is, “is there something you would go all out for?”
Our culture has strong social stigmas against people who really unabashedly care about something…
The stereotypical stigma against “nerds” seems rooted at least partially in a stigma against caring too much…
Caring hard is vulnerable. If you care hard about something, then it becomes possible to lose something very important to you. Worse, everyone around you might think that you’re putting your caring into thewrong thing, and see you as one of the naive blind idealist sheeple, and curl their lips at you.
- Confidence all the way up
- Timothy Chu’s new blog
- Debatable: Debate team was all about rapid-fire speech to hit as many points as possible. But then there was a change orthogonal to that…
- (*) K-poparazzi: (1) Korean pop stars give a “fantasy” of being chaste and pure but available. (2) What happens when paparazzi is imported to Korea?
- Hard Knock Life: The creaking in wooden houses may be the mating calls of death watch beetles.
- Rationally Speaking: A podcast on rationality that I’ve newly found. A few ones I liked:
- Reply All
- 55 The Line: What happens when Mormons start asking questions about founder Joseph Smith’s history.
- 58 Earth Pony: On Carl Diggler, a successful election forecaster.
- Review the Future
- The Truth (Radio drama)
- This American Life
- TED Radio Hour
- 99% Invisible
- Machine learning and AI
- Short stories
- Science fiction club reading
- A Mother’s Arms by Sarina Dorie, in Science Fiction and Fantasy, 3/2016