I'm never quite cynical *enough*. The only part of the report I didn't anticipate was their putting machine learning in there. In retrospect: of course they did, how could they have passed up that opportunity?
The UFO report certainly tried to be as vague as possible, in order to allow people to continue believing what they like.

My reading was “Yeah, we haven’t got anything, but if you give us LOTS more money, it’s imaginable that we’ll find something.”

My most recent piece has a section on UFO beliefs.

As with religions, political ideologies, and (pet peeve) rationalism, the problem is not that they are false, but that they are motivated by the same underlying emotional stance, which is mostly harmful. meaningness.com/eternalist-sys…

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More from @Meaningness

11 Jun
🚂 Steam locomotive under construction. Brand new, not a restoration! Nevada Railroad Museum, Carson City. A must for engineering geeks in the region Image
🚂 This one is a restoration and it’s stunning ImageImage
🚂 A Victorian tech giant: Baldwin was the world’s biggest maker of steam locomotives. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_L… Image
Read 7 tweets
22 May
🎙࿇ @joffe_p on tantric Buddhist sex (“karmamudra”). He and his teacher Dr Nida Chenagtsang have been the first to teach this openly, after centuries of Tibetans making a big fuss about how secret it is, for dumb political reasons. Hooray!

@joffe_p ࿇ Tantric sex is one approach to tantric energy practice (“tsa lung”). For dumb political reasons, the Tibetan mainstream narrowed tsa lung to a single system, the Six Yogas, rigidly applied. The Six Yogas are good mostly only for teenage boys.
@joffe_p ࿇ A much broader range of energy practices survived on the margins of Tibet, where the oppressive monastic hegemony of Lhasa barely reached.

Historical research within Tibetan texts turns up many more, and there are similar practices in Shaivism, Taoism, and elsewhere.
Read 7 tweets
20 May
My pinned tweet is about that. You can read the comic essay it links as a deadly serious exploration of the deep structure of wicked problems:
.@vgr’s essay ends with what I’ve called “wizardry.” When you understand the inseparability of pattern and nebulosity, you can weave the flow of energy around and beneath islands of interpretability. Your effective action will appear incomprehensible. breakingsmart.substack.com/p/good-people-… Image
@vgr I’ve made this point in the context of Buddhist ethics… vividness.live/emptiness-form… Image
Read 6 tweets
20 May
If you have the capacity for it, you should be less moral. Not more immoral, not more self-interested, but less confined by fixed ideas of goodness.

Essay from @vgr resonates with my writing on ethics, although in somewhat different conceptual framework.

@vgr Morality suffices to navigate well-defined ethical domains. It fails, and may be worse than useless, when facing “wicked problems”—nebulous ones, in my terminology.

“Being a good person” is the essence of the culture war. Y’all should stop that. It’s profoundly destructive.
@vgr Strong analogy: both ethics and technical rationality fail in the face of nebulosity.

In both cases, one should *not* revert to immorality or irrationality. metarationality.com/nebulosity
Read 8 tweets
15 May
Going through the gigantic _Meaningness_ draft and removing numerous sections that are currently just notes and which, realistically, I will never get time to write.
Most are “archaeology of meaningness,” i.e. histories of where current popular bad attitudes came from.

These are illuminating, but it takes an enormous amount of research to do a good job, and SUPPOSEDLY there are academics whose actual responsibility this is.
Quantum woo is dire stuff, but it’s partly the fault of the original quantum physicists, who were infested with German Romantic Idealism and Hindu monism:
Read 4 tweets
12 May
🎙 Ian A. Baker on Buddhist energy practices.

A must if you are into this esoteric topic! He doesn’t explain them at all—he assumes knowledge of them.

This is at the meta level: discussing principles, purposes, and especially context.

Buddhist practices were profoundly shaped by pre-modern social and cultural contexts that no longer exist. "Buddhist modernism" adapts accordingly.

That process has barely begun for the energy practices. Much work required!

The Tibetan energy practices ("tsa lung," tummo) were adapted from a non-monastic Indian context to Tibetan monasticism, which is the reverse of what's needed in modernity.

Ian Baker's tales of his adventures seeking non-monastic survivals are... vivid vividness.live/sutra-tantra-a…
Read 4 tweets

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