Comment by newcom on Can we hold intellectuals to similar public standards as athletes? · 2020-10-07T11:07:14.921Z · LW · GW

I find such a social app idea really interesting. A map that tracks which public intellectuals value each others contributions (possibly even divided on subject) would be a valuable tool. I guess some initial work on this could even be done without participation of said persons, as most already identify their primary influences in their work.

Comment by newcom on When is it Wrong to Click on a Cow? · 2020-06-22T08:44:11.751Z · LW · GW

I also feel like this is pretty much the whole answer. Certain 'non-productive' hobbies are traditionally associated with higher status (music, art, etc. Especially the traditional varieties), probably because they (used to) signal that the person has sufficient free time and money to maintain the hobby, and is in touch with the high status culture surrounding it.

Comment by newcom on Transhumanist Fables · 2019-05-21T11:28:34.646Z · LW · GW

I can see how that story could be interpreted like that, but the whole concept of 'reality doesn't grade on a curve' is explored in some of the sequences.

I guess the point of not mentioning the bazooka until it is used to blow up the third house, is that reality also doesn't care wether you know its rules or not. The third pig had no idea or indication that the wolf had any capabilities above the huffing-and-puffing, but he got eaten all the same.

Maybe a fourth pig with a missile-proof house could've survived, or maybe the wolf has more tricks up it sleeves. But whatever the all-out capabilities of reality turn out to be, these are the only thing that matter on wether it'll survive.

Also: its nice that there is still some activity on these old posts. I've recently started reading all the sequences and the codex, and it feels quite sad to have these hunderds of high-quality essays with hardly any community discussion underneath.

Comment by newcom on Transhumanist Fables · 2019-05-17T13:04:30.377Z · LW · GW

Reality doesn't grade on a curve: either you pass its inflexible criteria or you don't (and risk getting eaten).

So, reality doesn't care wether you are doing better than your peers or even if you are doing your very best. Each subsequent pig built a better house than the previous one, but none could withstand reality (a wolf with a serious lung-capacity and a bazooka in this case) and they all died regardless of their effort.