Idea to explore – a comittee of selves

While thinking of this quote from Mencken

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money

I’m thinking that more accurately describes the self and it’s conflicting desires – almost as well as the elephant/rider description.

Why there are no aliens in Area 51

I had the random thought today about the Joe Rogan interview with the author of a CIA assassin book who posited that neither Area 51, nor the Roswell incident involved extraterrestrial life at all. Instead it was absolutely horrible (and criminal) US government conduct.

This seems to make the most sense – why would the government cover up something that would give it more money and power? That sort of thing usually gets pushed front and center. Shameful government actions on the other hand get covered up and pushed way back…

Insight and adage from Joe Rogan

From this interview – in a discussion about an astronaut who went full bore conspiracy theorist about UFOs

You go where the love is

The point being that here was this lonely old man, and a bunch of conspiracy theorist more or less “adopted” him, and showed him friendship, companionship and affection. In turn, he probably told them the most interesting stories, then emphasized other parts of others, and slowly went off the deep end as he lent this his authority.

Actually that makes you want to question famous members of all subcultures…

Chinese culture is well suited for modern America

I was watching this blogging heads video about the Asian experience in America (it’s better than that description) – and the guest said something to the effect – “Chinese culture has prioritized test preparation for over 1,000 years” – referencing China’s long tradition of civil service exams. The actual number mentioned was dedicating 20% of family income to test preparation.

That puts Chinese culture on the commanding heights of modern “meritocracy” with it’s prioritization of symbolic analysis and abstractions – and very poorly suited for everything else. David Friedman made a similar connection in his “Legal Systems Very Different from Ours” book.

The January SSC Atlanta Meetup – Science Fiction and Insider Trading

We had out January meetup at the usual spot – topics included

  • Jeffrey Epstein (again)
  • Science Fiction – always good
  • Our general “meh” to The Lessons of History by Will and Arial Durant
  • Virginia Gun laws
  • My theory that Epstein – and maybe a lot of hedge funds in general are just covers for insider trading. Also – I think a lot of machine learning is a cover for unethically obtained information – I did not elaborate enough on that theory
  • Ant society as an aspirational goal – and Game B

I think next time we will try to have a short (1-3), pre-defined list of topics hashed out to better use time (I think we spent a lot of time defining a topic before we actually discussed it).

Reference links:

  • The Gig Economy – the excellent short story that spawned our HP Lovecraft/Sci – Fi Discussion
  • Kettlebells (me) and deadlifts (BJ)- side note – why is so little of the rationalist community devoted to physical self-improvement? It’s not zero by any means, but physhical health (and it’s related effects on the mind) seem to be a solvable optimization problem – that we are not working on in relation to it’s importance. In the words of Jack Lalanne (lived to a healthy 96) – Life is an athletic event.