New Dark Age: "He has described a situation in which a model cannot be falsified. Instead, the model lasts for as long as people believe in it. That is religion, not science."
The story of us: An amazing and long blog post series that sets up its own language and thinking framework to explain modern society and how to reason about it.
Japan: It's not funny anymore: One of my favorite blog posts. Despite the title, I found every piece of critique in there so exciting and fun. This post is probably the sole reason why I decided to travel to Japan twice and conviced at least a few others do the same.
Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture: "When people say they need to find themselves, often what they really mean is that they want a meaningful life….People have always had selves, but selves have not always had to carry the burden of supplying meaning to life in such a far-reaching fashion. The reason for the modern fascination with the self, then, is that the self has been made into a fundamental and powerful source of value in modern life."
Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist: "At that 2.3% growth rate, we would be using energy at a rate corresponding to the total solar input striking Earth in a little over 400 years. We would consume something comparable to the entire sun in 1400 years from now. By 2500 years, we would use energy at the rate of the entire Milky Way galaxy—100 billion stars! I think you can see the absurdity of continued energy growth. 2500 years is not that long, from a historical perspective. We know what we were doing 2500 years ago. I think I know what we’re not going to be doing 2500 years hence."
The two middle classes: "The decline of the yeomanry threatens the future of democracy as we have known it. Faced with growing assaults on their businesses, and in some cases, their communities, they have begun to fight back against many of the policies, notably climate policy, that are widely supported by the oligarchs and the clerisy."
Life is made of unfair coin flips: "Today we’re going to talk about an interesting journal article that came out two weeks ago, which presents a big idea: formally defining individuality, on a biological level, in terms of information."
You can't tell people anyting: A very vivid example of why it's difficult to communicate with people and why most of the times "doing it" is required to "explain it"
How to understand things: "I concluded that what we call 'intelligence' is as much about virtues such as honesty, integrity, and bravery, as it is about 'raw intellect’."
How to get promoted: "Can you build a successful organization that keeps the unprincipled out? No. As the company grows more successful, so does the allure. The organization starts getting constantly bombarded by world class actors who specialize in slipping past the founders’s defenses. And since at higher rungs much of the job is recruiting, the new hire becomes a Trojan horse. As soon as they’re in, they open the door to dozens of cronies who diffuse into the company. It’s like putting a drop of ink in a glass of water-- there is no undo.".