Venkatesh Rao Profile picture
16 Oct, 4 tweets, 1 min read
I’m slowly sidling into the albedo alteration camp
Artificial clouds like control burns. Before we turn into Venus and all that’s left of us is some phosphine farts.
Funny how we’re inching closer to simply rolling the dice on the natural stability band of earth. I don’t think we’ll end up in runaway global warming a la Venus, but I suspect it will only take a far smaller thermal hiccup to wipe most life out.
Planetary homeostasis might well self-correct to lovely weather somehow in a couple of centuries, but that doesn’t mean most life can endure the transient spike.

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More from @vgr

17 Oct
Basketball fans: why has 3-point shooting taken over? I’m guessing it’s not that the skill levels went up but that something made it a more valuable skill to cultivate? What?
This is so going into my files as “getting inside the opponents OODA loop” examples file
It’s kinda lovely. Clean examples of shift in real-life dominant strategies are rare.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
“I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning.” — William Faulkner

Inspired ot not, I’ve been averaging a few thousand words a week across 2-3 channels (ribbonfarm being the constant one) pretty much nonstop for 13 years. 🤔
2007-09: ribbonfarm only
2009-12 (I think): ribbonfarm, Be Slightly Evil, Quora, Tempo on the side
2012-14: ribbonfarm, Forbes
2015-19: ribbonfarm, breaking smart
2019-20: ribbonfarm, breaking smart, art of gig
The word budget ranged from ~300 phoned-in words on 1 channel on low weeks to a peak of probably 15k words in a single week.

The distribution was very variable. Having multiple channels in multiple styles kinda suits my temperament.
Read 6 tweets
16 Oct
Your title ≠ Your job ≠ Your work ≠ What you do ≠ Who you are 😖

Kegan’s slippery career slope

1. I am my title
2. I am my job, I have a title
3. I am my work, I have a job with a title
4. I am what I do, I have work to do in a job with a title
5. I am, I have doings
Boyd’s “be somebody or do something” is a 4-5 leap. You can’t do something effectively until you stop being your doings. It’s a form of outcome attachment. Especially when the outcome is your own survival (do or die). To really have a doing you have to let go outcome attachment.
In general I find the Kegan model to be of limited use due to the linearity of progression (I like the greater expressivity of branching divergence) but it’s a good model for careers because they’re also a linear-progress context. Ladders work on pyramids.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct

Now at the useless-shit stage of my day.

Monk would win almost all tournaments except for actual magical cases tournament which Dirk Gently would win.
Slightly expanded. The generator lays it out slightly weirdly. The numbers are matches-ups, not seed rankings.
Oh wait, it does show the seeds too inside the boxes. Yep.
Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
Is there something like a Coase for democratic politics? Firm/market/law/transaction costs/social costs?

Not school civics. More like Fukuyama’s stuff or Selectorate Theory, but institutional.

I’m thinking parties, media, mobs as first-order. Maybe firms and demagogues too.
Public choice theory feels more analogous to regular or behavioral economics than coasean though. 🤔

It offers analytical insights but doesn’t seem to suggest a natural and satisfying ontology. Something you could use in a toy-world simulation for eg.
Hmm. Maybe a direct analogy would work

Firm = party

Market = media

Law = Overton window/pc norms etc

Social costs = fake news, disinformation that distorts media the way social costs distort prices

Transaction costs = cost of actually forming an opinion on an issue.
Read 8 tweets
14 Oct
maybe I should start a ribbonfarm subscription box 🤔

box 1:

Unique 3d printed crapject designed and printed by me

Fuzzy photo of Jupiter

3oz of my garam masala

hand-drawn 2x2

IKEA Allen wrench

1 used book from shelf

hand-written tweet
This might actually work as a 1-time joke. Or once a year gag box.
Suddenly I’m seriously considering this
Read 4 tweets

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