The fundamental flaw in the Western Tradition that I come from is seeing humans, society etc through a lens of logic and principles, rather than through a lens of ecology, evolution, markets, mess.

You can see this in several key places.
(1) Absolutist political principles like "freedom", "consent" or "justice" come from seeing things through a logical lens.

The reality of all these things is messy and all the absolute versions of these are wrong.
(2) Early attempts at building AI were all based on logic. It failed.

Nowadays we're making progress by embracing the mess via Rich Sutton's "Bitter Lesson".

incompleteideas.net/IncIdeas/Bitte…
(3) Self-help is based around flawed, absolutist ideas about free will and rational agency. People in 2021 are unironically saying things like "just eat less!" as a way to lose weight and think they're smart for saying it.
(4) The century-long attack by social justice/cultural marxism/etc on Western Society is another special case of this. The attack works because post-enlightenment Western Society has this flaw right at its center to do with freedom/consent/choice/equality.
The problem isn't that these things are bad, it's that we take them as foundational rather than contingent.

E.g. "It is usually good for people to be able to choose what to do"

versus

"What people freely choose to do is good by definition"
Jonathan Haidt's "Elephant and Rider" metaphor for the human mind is the cure for this in the personal realm and this cure should radiate out into both philosophy and self-help.
Dennett, Joshua Greene etc have corrected this mistake in philosophy of mind (Dennett) and Ethics (Greene).

Many contemporary commentators like @KirkegaardEmil, @gcochran99 and @sapinker are busy correcting an absolutist view of human diversity.
What's the common theme here? It's a failure to appreciate that reality really is messy and "ecological", that nature gave us a fractal landscape rather than a geometry problem.
Of course the problem with seeing things as "messy", "complex" and "nuanced" is that it's 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 easier to get away with spouting off random BS. In geometry or algebra when you are wrong you are wrong quickly. That's not the case in politics, psychology, etc.
AI is just about the only field where I see real progress here, and it's happening because we can use computers to record and investigate the (somewhat messy) truth about how things really work. Perhaps other fields will follow in its footsteps?

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More from @RokoMijicUK

22 Jul
Pro-tip: if you're smart, it's probably not worth studying hard at university.

The benefits are small and the costs can be devastating in terms of missing out on other more important opportunities (networking, dating etc).

I got a 1st from Cambridge but it's pretty worthless.
Really, nobody cares, nobody even asks, but I missed out on a network that lasts for a lifetime partly as a result of spending too much time & effort studying.
Don't get a 3rd or a fail though. It will mark you out as deviant. Just coast through to a 2.2 or a 2.1 and make the most of the nonacademic opportunities.
Read 8 tweets
20 Jul
Yes, Critical Race Theory should be banned from schools and Universities.

At the end of the day, memes are at the top of the food chain. If you don't want to live in hell, don't let these hellish memes proselytize themselves.
What about the marketplace of ideas? I've given up on it. (Political) ideas don't form a marketplace, they form an ecology. You have to think like a biologist, think about competition for energy and resources, niches, evolution and extinction.
It's not a marketplace of ideas, it's an ecosystem of ideas.
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
I seem to remember that @spakhm had an excellent substack post on "efficient markets in self help" but I can't find it.

Does anyone remember it? Did someone else write it? Has it disappeared?
Anyway the point of the blog post (which I can't find) is that any kind of self-help that is widely known and claims to solve an important problem that many people have definitely doesn't work; if it worked, the problem wouldn't exist any more.
There can be exceptions to this if either (1) it's not widely known or (2) there's some weird exceptional reason why very few people do it.
Read 10 tweets
20 Jul
Interesting write-up of how @DeepMind 's #Alphafold2 works.

The takeaway from this is that a *lot* of human insight was required and there's a lot of highly specialized feature engineering going on here.

Why is that important?

blopig.com/blog/2021/07/a…
It's important because it shows us that @DeepMind is obviously nowhere near making any kind of general AI; they're doing good old-fashioned down-and-dirty hacks with great computational resources and a clever team.
If this paper had basically said something different like "Oh they just used a really big supertransducer on the raw data", then I would be scared.

But no, they didn't. They did a bunch of artisanal architecture engineering that's good for this specific task only.
Read 10 tweets
16 Jul
This is literally how women's brains work by the way

It sounds retarded but it really does work like this
The danger once you realize it works like this is you push it too far and become undateable but very sexy, which means you never actually settle down, which sucks.
Reposting this because it's such a succinct and accurate summary of how the human genders work and why they're fundamentally different pieces in the chess game of life:

Read 4 tweets
13 Jul
Tomas Pueyo on the #Delta Variant

This could be extremely bad.

Many people optimistically assumed that #Covid19 would evolve to become more infectious and less lethal. Unfortunately, it has become more infectious 𝘢𝘯𝘥 more lethal.

unchartedterritories.tomaspueyo.com/p/delta-varian…
The only good news here is vaccines seem to really help. Reminds me that I need to book a vaccination appointment.
Also, thanks to @akarlin88 for reminding me, @gcochran99 was on this as early as last year:

westhunt.wordpress.com/2020/03/19/evo…
Read 6 tweets

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