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I have a story in the Castle of Horror Anthology #4 dropping October 13th. Preorder here:

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Hey since this is blowing up let me remind all of you that I literally wrote a book on this & related subjects.

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Random link from the archives: "The Modern Class of Gonzo Blockbusters - YouTube" originally posted Tue Sep 1 19:36:37 EDT 2020

Random link from the archives: "The Traveling Salesman Problem Is Not NP-complete" originally posted Fri Jun 9 12:42:02 EDT 2017

A Few Rules

The person who tells the most compelling story wins.

Something can be factually true but contextually nonsense.

Tell people what they want to hear and you can be wrong indefinitely without penalty.

Woodrow Wilson said government "is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton."

Behavior is hard to fix.

"Logic is an invention of man and may be ignored by the universe," historian Will Durant.

Being good at something doesn’t promise rewards.

The world is governed by probability, but people think in black and white ... because it’s easier.

Henry Luce: "Show me a man who thinks he’s objective and I’ll show you a man who’s deceiving himself."

People learn when they’re surprised.

Most fields have only a few laws.

The only thing worse than thinking everyone who disagrees with you is wrong is the opposite: being persuaded by the advice of those who need or want something you don’t.

Simple explanations are appealing even when they’re wrong.

Self-interest is the most powerful force in the world. (For good and bad.)

History is deep.

Don’t expect balance from very talented people.

Progress happens too slowly to notice, setbacks happen too fast to ignore.

It is way easier to spot other people’s mistakes than your own.

Reputations have momentum in both directions.

History is driven by surprising events, forecasting is driven by predictable ones.

-- Morgan Housel

(Abridged, see source for full version.)

#aphorisms #heuristics #MorganHousel

Progress happens too slowly to notice, setbacks happen too fast to ignore.

I'm not sold that all progress is compounding, though certainly most is.

Setbacks however do tend to be sudden, especially the ones most noticed.

This leads to the notion of technical debt or complexity costs, which accrue with time though don't manifest until exposed by some trigger.

These are a particular subset of probabalistic events, involving risk, but aggregated over time rather than across space or among a population. Traditional risk-pooling mechanisms are far more geared to the last two, as are our risk metrics. And utterly unsuited to the first.

Your personal risk of dying in an auto accident or meteor impact migght be roughly similar. Civilisation's risk of dying in an aautomobile impact is ludicrously low. These are not the same risks, though they are often expressed as if they were.

This same dichotomy exists amongst any number of global catastrophic or existential risks.

Technical debt also incurs a model risk in which the nature and costs of an event aare poorly understood or communicated. They are not, in other words, a compelling story.


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Random link from the archives: "Trope Talk: Planet Of Hats - YouTube" originally posted Sun Nov 26 14:11:20 EST 2017

Update: I've tried out a bunch of solutions and unfortunately Roam is the only one that offers real block-level transclusion that isn't a messy hack. I've decided to continue paying for Roam but also pay for Obsidian in the hopes that they (or some other non-hosted or self-hosted solution) manage to figure it out.

For a short example of block-level transclusion in action see here

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I don't know if I've recommended Roam Research here before, it's a mental organizing tool for research that works well for my brain. They just took $9M in funding so I fully expect them to either not be around in 5 years or to make some compromises that make them fully unacceptable for me to use in 5 years. I am old enough to know that there is no middle ground. So I now retract any recommendations I had previously made.

This page includes many self hosted alternatives:

Random link from the archives: "The Good Room – Frank Chimero" originally posted Fri Feb 16 11:47:40 EST 2018

Random link from the archives: "The Forth Methodology of Charles Moore by Jeff Fox 12/09/01" originally posted Mon Nov 12 18:55:15 EST 2018

Random link from the archives: "Transformations on Applicative Concurrent Computations" originally posted Thu Feb 6 10:56:37 EST 2020

Random link from the archives: "Creative Computing Magazine (May 1979) Volume 05 Number 05 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive" originally posted Sat Dec 7 14:48:04 EST 2019

Random link from the archives: "Inside the Business of Body Brokering in the United States - Pacific Standard" originally posted Mon Nov 13 12:51:08 EST 2017

Random link from the archives: "Lucio Fulci Sampler - The Italian Cult Master - Gore Highlights & Career Interviews - YouTube" originally posted Mon Aug 24 18:49:23 EDT 2020

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Eldritch Café

Une instance se voulant accueillante pour les personnes queers, féministes et anarchistes ainsi que pour leurs sympathisant·e·s. Nous sommes principalement francophones, mais vous êtes les bienvenu·e·s quelle que soit votre langue.

A welcoming instance for queer, feminist and anarchist people as well as their sympathizers. We are mainly French-speaking people, but you are welcome whatever your language might be.