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Comment by john-nujler on Why haven't we celebrated any major achievements lately? · 2020-09-15T08:21:03.730Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have a strong feeling that Stuart is right here, that is, “there are problems to solve” but it does not equal “people are pumped about it being solved”. This is to say that if clean water and cost-effective methods of sanitisation are problems in Dharawi, people living there will be happy if Bill Gates’s cheap water sanitisation project provides them with cleaner water at a lower price, but won’t be enthusiastic in a celebratory way, for they realise the commonplace-ness of having access to clean water from travelling to more developed areas in Mumbai as workers and labourers. Even if they do celebrate, it will be of the “I am happy that happened” kind. I have spoken to a lot of people from there and life to most of them is work, get exhausted, go to sleep; if a problem arises, tackle it then; and most of them resort to make shift solutions that work well for them.

That was in the context of poverty management(the ones who you say earn less than 2$ per day — note PPP in India or other poorer countries to subsist), but if you mean complete alleviation of poverty and diseases, then again I would say that we are at a stage where none of that would receive celebration of the ceremonial kind, for we know that most ailments are resolvable/preventable to a great extent, and the ones that we might resolve, which currently seem unresolvable will just be another one. I feel we really need something revolutionary, something that hasn’t entered our consciousness yet for it to mean anything to a larger group than just the suffering of select few to see a prolonged celebration. And for it to enter the realm of ritualistic and traditional celebration, it definitely has to be unforeseen.

Comment by john-nujler on Can you gain weirdness points? · 2020-07-31T07:32:16.962Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I have thought about this quite a bit in the past. I feel we already have an implicit system in place for judging modern-weird based on retro-weird. For eg. This community and its kindred communities like VCs are judged based on the level of straussian takes(retro-wierd). Same goes with the Feynman movement, where everyone who has read(or has an idea of) “Surely you’re joking” starts generously distributing weirdness points to anyone who seems even mildly eccentric. Some examples of this are people like Eric Weinstein, his petty neologisms and vacuous abbreviations, but many people seem to like it because of his weirdness. This is to say that though I am not a fan of it, such a system is already in place and most of the elite institutions(companies, colleges etc) corroborate this by selecting for people with high weirdness quotient.

To me the downside of this is clear with the rise of movements like stoicism i.e., when you try to select for weirdness, the incentive forces many to try and act weird — not sustainable. Those who get exhausted trying will revert to the crutch of normalcy like stoicism which then becomes the mainstream. You can see this with the rising levels of anxiety and depression with online content creators trying to be unique/weird. Any system that filters unproductive Jerrys(Rick and Morty ref), in this case unweird Jerrys, will inevitably face the wrath of unweird Jerry army, thus nullifying the effort.