Venkatesh Rao Profile picture
17 Nov, 4 tweets, 1 min read
When you don’t solve problems they just go away, which is kinda a nice feature of the universe
This is my thread of true facts
The true facts will continue until morale improves
Once you personally achieve moral clarity around what you think is, a revolution will naturally follow establishing what personally think ought to be. You can safely a major version number like 3.0 to X and declare that X 3.0 will embody your moral wisdom.

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More from @vgr

20 Nov
What Trump is up to is some true 4th world shit. Worse than third world because when first worlds fall, they fall below third world levels. ribbonfarm.com/2019/04/08/wei… Image
In 2016 he just looked like many third world politicians. But the salting-of-the-earth type of vandalism he’s attempting now out of sheer rage is not something I’ve seen in even the worst third world politics.
Talking to my mom in India in 2016, I explained “he’s like Lalu Yadav” (archetypal modern Indian populist, CM of the state I grew up in through much of my childhood; eventually went to prison for corruption). Now I have to say: Lalu looks more civilized en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalu_Pras…
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
Feeling unreasonably cheerful because I’ve made a tiny start towards starting a personal space program 😎
The first step is admitting you have a space program
Rocketry is easily the hardest subfield of aerospace engineering and one I don’t know much about. So I feel a bit guilty when someone says something like “ha ha so you’re an actual rocket scientist!”

I feel like responding, “no, I specialize in somewhat easier stuff”
Read 6 tweets
17 Nov
bluecheck invasion ruining substack a bit 😬
I have more hope for the platform than for Medium or Patreon (that's why I'm on it). It has less of a top-down cultural feel, and little to no cross-talk/cross-flow across newsletters, which is a good thing. Sacrifices content-network effect for diversity.
Basically the bias-variance tradeoff writ large. An aggregator platform will either have a large bias or a large variance. So far, unlike Medium or patreon (or livejournal or tumblr or what have you) substack is heading towards higher variance. x
Read 40 tweets
17 Nov
Anyone actually enjoy the zoom-conference circuit? I’ve pretty much entirely avoided it. I’ve realized that to the limited extent I enjoy conferences at all, it’s 100% about getting to travel to places I want to visit. Take that out and it’s just feels like work to me.
The one thing I enjoyed was a very lowkey set of maker-skill demos hosted by a local repair cafe.
Looking back on a couple of decades of conferences, the memorable things I actually remember are the local side trips.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
There’s an episode of Star Trek: Voyager (S5E1, “Night”) where they’re crossing a vast void with no stars visible because black clouds shroud starlight. The crew is going crazy. Then stuff happens, but it’s the set up that interests me: featureless darkness as a psychic stressor.
It’s a nice allegory for why a dark age might be stressful even if things are otherwise fine. The lack of macro patterns makes microstructure of life start to empty of meaning and purpose. The Voyager doesn’t need visible stars to navigate but the crew needs them for sanity.
Ancient cultures made up constellation maps and astrology out of otherwise mostly useless night sky landmarks to create macro patterns I suspect. Limited navigation and calendars needs don’t explain the overfitting of mythologies to the skies.
Read 17 tweets
17 Nov
I’m getting good enough at spotting very precise tropes now so I spoil tv shows for myself. 😖
The one that inspired this tweet: a passenger left alone in a car while driver goes into a store will discover a secret in the glove compartment. It’s not really a trope but a shot clue: if they show the left behind person rather than follow the other character there’s a reason.
An annoying one: in a detective show, a recognizable character actor showing up in an early scene in a minor role with unnecessary lines is probably the murderer. You don’t need to know the plot to guess that they wouldn’t use a speaking role established actor as an extra.
Read 4 tweets

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