Trump, How To Get Rich

Comments on Donald Trump's book, How To Get Rich:

One thing I wondered is: is he a good candidate to learn philosophy or a bad one? He's smarter than most people (that's not saying much). He has lots of money and attention. He could have a ton of free time if he wanted to. He reads, he said he particularly likes biographies and mentioned reading about philosophers like Socrates. On the other hand, he's really busy with what he's doing, and he's already good at what he does. Most people could switch to philosophy without giving up anything very important.

I think the answer is: if he learned philosophy, he'd basically find himself in Gail Wynand's position. Rand covered this.

A couple days ago, an anonymous Fallible Ideas was especially impressed with Trump. I think he overestimates. Here's some of his flaws that Trump intentionally chose to share in a public book (he's hiding anything he considers a significant flaw! in fact he made a comment in the book about how people should hide their weaknesses in general.):

Trump at least somewhat believes in star signs. He's a Gemini and thinks that may help explain or determine his personality (like work ethic).

A visitor said Trump and his employees act like a family ... *having a fight*. Trump repeated that like it isn't terrible.

Trump didn't fire a bad employee for 2 years cuz he kept getting fooled by the guy's bullshit ("i'm about to get a deal done! almost there!")

Due to big mistakes, Trump used to have a net worth of more than 9 billion NEGATIVE dollars.

Trump thinks it's important to dress conventionally to please people. He talked about this a fair amount – he pays attention to it – and he said something like: don't give people extra reasons to reject you. (why would you want to deal with such bad people?)

Trump has conventional problems with diet and weight.

Trump was cowardly in the face of a friend making a huge mistake – didn't speak his mind. The disaster Trump saw coming then happened to his friend. (It was about a guy with 4 failed marriages getting a pre-nup this time. Trump is pro pre-nups in general. That was one of the many good points in the book.)

Trump doesn't like shaking hands (because germs) and wishes people would bow like in Japan instead. He shakes people's hands anyway out of fear that, if he doesn't appease them, they will dislike him. He said this clearly with an anecdote where he did it for that reason even though he had reason to be especially doubtful of the other guy's hand cleanliness at that moment. It wasn't even someone super important, just some kinda writer I think, maybe a journalist.

Trump's had significant book-mentionable issues with conventional ideas about revenge and payback. (He vaguely indicated improving somewhat and made some bland suggestions about focusing on more positive stuff when you can let problems go. He was very vague about when you can and can't just let a problem go. He told a story about spending more money on lawyers than was at stake in business to get back at people who screwed him. He didn't regret that, he presented that as a good thing. Maybe it's to teach people not to fuck him? But he didn't say that. He's not that great at explaining what he means. He tries to let examples speak for themselves way too much.)

Trump is into prestige. He likes to play golf with Bill Clinton and maintain lots of relationships with fancy people and brag about it. Trump doesn't seem to care that Clinton is a Democrat, and Trump is a Republican, and there's a big incompatibility there. No comment about that. Why would anyone want to be around Bill Clinton? What an awful guy. Fuck him. Trump with all his friends and stuff can't find anyone better than fucking Bill Clinton to play golf with? He's doing something wrong.

The book has a bunch of good stuff too (nothing GREAT or super notable though). It's a decent read, and quick. I think in general the lives of the rich and famous are really overestimated. This is just a sample of major flaws and problems Trump revealed about himself in one book containing only what he chose to reveal. This is what comes out when Trump does his best to present himself positively and seem great. That says a lot.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Zero" Calorie Lies

i tried a new drink (Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine) which was good. i saw it said both:

1) 0 calories

2) 3% fruit juice

(no i don't look for zero calorie or diet foods. i think those are dumb. but i like nectarines!)

fruit juice contains calories, so that's weird. so i looked it up:
TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS

CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER B--FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

...(b)Calorie content claims. (1) The terms "calorie free," "free of calories," "no calories," "zero calories," "without calories," "trivial source of calories," "negligible source of calories," or "dietarily insignificant source of calories" may be used on the label or in the labeling of foods, provided that:

(i) The food contains less than 5 calories per reference amount customarily consumed and per labeled serving.
4.9 calories PER SERVING (servings are usually kept small to make the amount of calories and fat seem small. like a bag of chips might be 10 servings. this drink is counted as 2 servings in a bottle). so a food with 30 calories could easily be labeled "0 calories".

and it's not even just advertising like "free of calories". they actually write the number 0 in a nutrition info chart like it's a real number. wouldn't it make more sense to put the real number in that chart? why not write 4 instead of 0 there? how is this helping anything?

our government at work.

this is stupid.

i wonder if they would have put a little more juice in the drink and made it better, but had to stop at just under 5 calories per serving for marketing. maybe the optimal amount to make the best drink would be a little more juice and 7 calories per serving. :/
(ii) As required in 101.13(e)(2), if the food meets this condition without the benefit of special processing, alteration, formulation, or reformulation to lower the caloric content, it is labeled to disclose that calories are not usually present in the food (e.g., "cider vinegar, a calorie free food").

(2) The terms "low calorie," "few calories," "contains a small amount of calories," "low source of calories," or "low in calories" may be used on the label or in labeling of foods, except meal products as defined in 101.13(l) and main dish products as defined in 101.13(m), provided that:

(i)(A) The food has a reference amount customarily consumed greater than 30 grams (g) or greater than 2 tablespoons and does not provide more than 40 calories per reference amount customarily consumed; or

(B) The food has a reference amount customarily consumed of 30 g or less or 2 tablespoons or less and does not provide more than 40 calories per reference amount customarily consumed and, except for sugar substitutes, per 50 g (for dehydrated foods that must be reconstituted before typical consumption with water or a diluent containing an insignificant amount, as defined in 101.9(f)(1), of all nutrients per reference amount customarily consumed, the per 50 g criterion refers to the "as prepared" form).
abolish the FDA!!!!!!!! it's not busy keeping us safe!!! it's busy making medicine more expensive and making up a bunch of dumb rules.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (2)

Awesome Stuff

I posted my 17th YouTube Video of me writing philosophy. Watch them!

I've been posting on Twitter. Follow me!

I've been answering questions at Ask.fm. Ask me stuff!

I've been writing a ton at the Fallible Ideas Discussion Group. Join if you value your life!

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How Much Philosophy?

I'm a philosopher. It's my #1 favorite thing. I'm happy to learn all kinds of stuff about philosophy. (BTW I didn't just naturally grow up that way, or anything like that. I changed. I chose philosophy over various other interests I already had, and many other options I could have had if I wanted.)

Some people don't want to be philosophers.

But everyone needs philosophy. If you have NO philosophy, you're fucked. You'll make tons of mistakes, suck at solving problems, suck at noticing problems, and generally be a fuck up.

Some people want philosophy for a practical purpose – learn some philosophy to be a better parent.

Learn some philosophy to stop fighting with spouse.

Learn some philosophy to understand political debates better, like liberalism vs socialism.

Those are a bit narrow. One also needs some philosophy just to have a better life in general – it helps with everything.

Why does philosophy help with everything? Because that's the name of the field which includes topics like:

- how to think well, in general, about everything

- how to learn

- generic methods of solving problems

- generic methods of identifying and understanding problems

- generic methods of truth seeking, question answering, and idea understanding


So of course you need a bunch of that, no matter what sort of life you want.

It is acceptable not to have philosophy as your #1 interest. But it needs to be an interest.

I do philosophy that is not strictly required, because I like it. Other people like it less. Partly their preferences should be improved, but partly it's OK to have different interests.

So there's a question: how much philosophy do you need? How much is enough? When can you stop?

(Another distinction worth considering: do you want to make progress in philosophy, or just learn what others already know?)

The current situation looks something like this:

- Philosophy is a pretty small field with a limited amount of productive work ever done in it, despite dating back over 2000 years. It's possible, and helpful, to be loosely familiar with most philosophy.

- Some topics, like Objectivism, liberalism, Critical Rationalism and Fallible Ideas require detailed study. This is not at all optional. If you don't do that, you're missing out, hugely.

- If you're not one of the top 100 philosophers in the world, you're not even close to good enough. Virtually everyone is super super bad at philosophy, way below the basic amount you'd want to not fuck up your life.

- Philosophy courses (and professors) at universities are very bad.

This doesn't tell you the exact answer. But it gives enough of an indication to start with: you're not there yet.

There's no need to try to understand at what point you could stop learning philosophy until you're already most of the way there. Then you'd have a lot more skill to use for figuring it out. Trying to understand it right away would basically be the general, common mistake of trying to do stuff before having skill at philosophy (aka skill at thinking).

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (3)

Major Jewish Groups Betray Jews

Stop Donating to Jewish Establishment Organizations

Summary:

Establishment Jewish organizations like ADL, AIPAC, UJA, JDC do not love Israel or Zionism, did nothing about the holocaust, sent piles of money to Russia, now fund BDS and won't do anything effective about Obama's deal to give nuclear weapons, ICBMs and $700B to Iran (the world's leading sponsor of terrorism). They wouldn't seriously stand up to FDR, won't seriously stand up to Obama now. Then they rewrite history and fundraise off their failures which "ended in dust, ashes and death", then spend the money on progressive causes. They only started being pro-Israel after Israel succeeded, and still just in name only, not seriously.

You must read the full article:

Stop Donating to Jewish Establishment Organizations

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Hacker News Hiding News About Apple

Hacker News pretends to be a social news site where the users decide which news stories reach the front page with their votes. This is a lie.

Today, Apple had its quarterly earnings call. This is interesting news, and there were a bunch of articles about it. What did I find on the Hacker News front page about it? Nothing. So I clicked through and found Apple's press release at story #95:



You can see the amount of votes, and the age, of the other stories near Apple's earnings. Apple's story was heavily penalized so that far fewer people would see it. Hacker News moderators have the attitude that penalizing stories isn't censorship, and is not that big a deal, even though it makes a large difference in what links most readers see. (Most people only ever see the top 30 stories.)

For a comparison, at the same time, here is the #10 story which had fewer up votes than Apple's earnings report, while also being older. The Apple story should have easily been in the top 10, not #95 (and if it had been on the front page longer, it'd have gotten a lot more up votes). Meanwhile all the other articles about Apple's earnings were blocked from the site (or penalized out of the top 120 that I checked).



I don't think most Hacker News readers have any idea how much the stories they see are controlled behind the scenes, rather than controlled by user voting.

(Yes, I'm aware this could have been done by a behind the scenes algorithm, rather than personally done by a human moderator. The human moderators are not shy about doing this kind of thing, but they do also have algorithms which do unexpected things such as penalize stories with a lot of discussion in comments (the rationale is to reduce debate/argument, in hopes of raising quality). And Hacker News uses flags as stealth down votes with extra weight.)

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Front Page Magazine Sampler

TIME TO CALL OBAMA AND KERRY WHAT THEY ARE: TRAITORS
Once in the Senate, Kerry flew to support the Sandinista Marxist killers in Nicaragua. Just as Iran’s leader calling for “Death to America” didn’t slow down Kerry, neither did the Sandinista cries of “Here or There, Yankees Will Die Everywhere.”
it really is this clear. Iran's president literally was at a "Death to America" (and "Death to Israel") rally a few days ago.
Obama isn’t Chamberlain. He doesn’t mean well. Kerry isn’t making honest mistakes. They negotiated ineptly with Iran because they are throwing the game. They meant for America to lose all along.
this is really hard for people to stomach, but that doesn't prevent it from being true.
Iran is also pursuing ICBMs that can strike at Europe and America. Obama’s decision to phase out the ballistic missile sanctions on Iran will make it easier for Iran to build weapons that can destroy major American cities.
the high degree of evil here – which some may find shocking and hard to conceive of – does not prevent this from being the plain truth.
Obama and Kerry have not made this deal as representatives of the United States, but as representatives of a toxic ideology that views America as the cause of all that is wrong in the world. This is not an agreement that strengthens us and keeps us safe, but an agreement that weakens us and endangers us negotiated by men who believe that a strong Iran is better than a strong America.

Their ideology is that of the screaming anti-war protester denouncing American forces and foreign policy anywhere and everywhere, whose worldview has changed little since crying, “Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh. NLF is going to win” in the streets. The only difference is that he now wears an expensive suit.

Their ideology is not America. It is not American. It is the same poisonous left-wing hatred which led Kerry to the Viet Cong, to the Sandinistas and to Assad. It is the same resentment of America that Obama carried to Cairo, Havana and Tehran. We have met the enemy and he is in the White House.
how did we come to this? poor critical thinking skills by most people is a big part of the underlying issue. people need better philosophy.

OBAMA'S IRAN NUKE DEAL LIES

negotiations on the bad Iran deal may be finished. but every time inspectors want to visit a nuclear site, that's requires another negotiation with Iran. the article provides this quote showing how the agreement is nothing like the "anytime, anywhere" inspections that were the absolutely lowest bar the US should have considered agreeing to:
If the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA cannot be verified after the implementation of the alternative arrangements agreed by Iran and the IAEA, or if the two sides are unable to reach satisfactory arrangements to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the specified locations within 14 days of the IAEA’s original request for access, Iran, in consultation with the members of the Joint Commission, would resolve the IAEA’s concerns through necessary means agreed between Iran and the IAEA. In the absence of an agreement, the members of the Joint Commission, by consensus or by a vote of 5 or more of its 8 members, would advise on the necessary means to resolve the IAEA's concerns. The process of consultation with, and any action by, the members of the Joint Commission would not exceed 7 days, and Iran would implement the necessary means within 3 additional days.
what a mess. and Iran itself has one of the votes...

OBAMA SIGNS IRAN DEAL AS ROUHANI ATTENDS A 'DEATH TO AMERICA' EVENT
While most normal countries maintain national holidays that celebrate freedom, independence and sacrifice, the mullahs [of Iran] invented a holiday that revels in an orgy of death, violence and depravity.
sacrifice, huh? sure not an Objectivist writer! :(

this article is otherwise good. it contains important details about Iran deal that I hadn't read before. the bullet point summary of Obama's Iran deal is terrible. the fine details are even worse.

CONGRESS MUST ACT ON THE CATASTROPHIC NUCLEAR DEAL

how was the Iran deal reached so suddenly? how were the disagreements resolved? the best available theory is that Obama ordered the US negotiators to cave on everything. that's why the deal is so bad for us on every issue. and it explains the removal of the regular arms embargo on Iran:
Seeing the desperation of President Obama, the shrewd Iranian leaders even brought the issue of the UN arms embargo against Iran to the negotiating table in the eleventh hour. Russia and China support the Islamic Republic because they are the major actors selling arms and sophisticated weapons to the Islamic Republic.

The UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic did not have anything to do with the nuclear talks. It was imposed on Iran by the United Nations Security Council members due to Tehran’s terrorist activities and due to the concerns brought up by many other countries with regard to Iran’s regional aggression and military activities, as well as the nation's regional hegemonic ambitions. The embargo was due to Iran’s support for militias and proxies causing instability in the region as well.

But, the ruling clerics (with the Russians and Chinese on their side) thought that they could get any concessions from the US, particularly from the weak US president. Iranian, Russian and Chinese leaders know that President Obama will do anything to avoid the collapse of the talks even if his objective and goal might lead to one of the greatest threats and mistakes in international diplomacy and deals.


DISARMING AMERICA

obama and the left have been destroying the US military. massive damage already done, more scheduled soon. seriously. read this one and see the specifics for yourself. how the US military can no longer handle two wars at once like it's supposed to be able to. due to budget cuts, the army doesn't have enough men, the Navy doesn't have enough ships, and a lot of outdated equipment is still in use. and the budget cuts are a continuing process. some important areas now have zero aircraft carrier presence part of the time.

THE IRAN FAILURE HAS MANY FATHERS
We must remember that Obama pointedly ran on the promise to “reinvigorate” American diplomacy. This trope was in fact a way to run against George Bush, whom the Dems and the media had caricatured as a “cowboy” with an itchy trigger finger, a gunslinger scornful of diplomacy and multilateralism. That charge was a lie––Bush wasted several months on diplomacy in an unsuccessful attempt to get the U.N.’s sanction for the war, even though the U.S. Congress had approved it, Hussein was in gross violation of the first Gulf War cease-fire agreement, and the U.N. already has passed 17 Security Council resolutions, all of which Hussein had violated.
Yeah! People really try to twist history around. I also remember that the Dems were in favor of the Iraq war until months after it started.
But as much as Obama is personally to blame for what will turn out to be a disastrous foreign policy mistake, the larger problem is the very notion that rational discussion, negotiation, and dickering with our enemies and rivals can replace force, rather than being an adjunct to a credible threat of force. It is based on the arrogant assumption that the enemy is a “rational actor,” as Obama’s flacks have been asserting about the mullahs, and respects life, coexistence, and peace as much as we. That this administration can believe this delusion––when the Iranians regularly chant “Death to America” and have practiced what they preach by killing Americans for 36 years––is as mystifyingly blind as the British were to Hitler’s threatening rants at the Nuremburg Party Rally a few weeks before the Munich conference, when the Fuhrer called Czechoslovakia an “irreconcilable” enemy.
When they repeatedly say they want to kill you, it's a pretty big hint they don't respect life the same way civilized Americans do. But many Americans won't listen to them or acknowledge their cultural differences.
Plato, of course, expressed the truth of interstate relations 24 centuries earlier, when he said, “In reality, every state is in a natural state of war with every other,” and “peace is only a name.”
I don't agree at all. Peace is possible. There are multiple civilized countries which now have some pretty good records of peace between themselves. Who actually thinks that USA and Australia should naturally be at war, and their peaceful relations are just a name?

Thorton then quotes Charles de Gaulle saying that "passion and self-interest" are the "root cause of armed conflict in men and nations". This is extremely anti-Objectivist and anti-(classical)-liberal.

Rational men don't have to have conflicts of interest. If they understand the right ways to interact – trade, tolerance for different ideas, voluntary non-violent interaction requiring mutual consent – then they can mutually benefit from interactions and otherwise leave each other alone.

Today, many of civilization's defenders don't understand the philosophical ideas and values that got us here. No, it wasn't Plato's idea mutual antagonism and war that created our peaceful, prosperous Western world.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)

AIPAC = Squishy Failure

AIPAC VOWS TO FIGHT IRAN DEAL ‘WITH THE ENTIRETY OF OUR INSTITUTIONAL RESOURCES’

ok so far.

FYI i quote the entire article.
AIPAC had said the day before that it needed time to study the details of the 159-page Iran nuclear agreement.
jfc. follow cruz and bibi on twitter. they explained this stuff in the morning
Until now, AIPAC has avoided confrontations with the Obama administration. The group’s initial strategy when President Barack Obama took office was to cultivate personal ties with him–for example, by electing a Chicagoan to lead the group. It refrained from opposing former Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense in 2013, despite his poor record on Israel, and in 2014 it backed away from new sanctions on Iran.

Now, however, faced with an agreement that could allow the Iranian regime to become a nuclear power by cheating or merely waiting several years until the deal expires, AIPAC has decided to lobby Congress vigorously to vote against the deal and to override an expected veto by President Obama. AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr told the conference call: “This is the moment for which AIPAC was built.”
so after a series of betrayals, they think they built up the brownie points for obama to listen? it doesn't work that way. it's only harder now. (paraphrasing The Virtue of Selfishness)
To that effect, AIPAC plans meetings in Washington later this month, and will be lobbying pro-Israel members of Congress–mostly on the Democratic side, since Republicans are expected to unite against the deal. Critics note that AIPAC missed earlier opportunities to oppose Obama’s policies on Iran, but AIPAC’s leadership carefully avoided burning political bridges so that it could reach out at a crucial time.
it doesn't work that way, idiots. read Ayn Rand and get some integrity. learn Gail Wynand's story.

they conceive of integrity as bridge-burning. they conceive of integrity-destroying enemy-sanctioning compromise as bridge-preserving. that is super fukt.

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curi vs. Obama Tweetstorm



(In my text, there should be a comma instead of, or after, "even".)

While tweeting this I noticed that @heartiste is suspended from Twitter. You can't trust sites like Twitter, ask.fm, reddit or facebook with your content.

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Terrible Iran Deal

Ted Cruz's statement:
“Today, the international community led by the United States has agreed to not only legitimize and perpetuate the Iranian nuclear program, but also to further arm and enrich the brutal theocratic regime that has oppressed the Iranian people for more than thirty years – a regime that is wrongfully holding United States citizens captive, that is sponsoring radical Islamic terrorism across the globe, and that regularly promotes the destruction of both Israel and America throughout its streets.

“Despite these facts, it seems President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal – from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Under the terms of this deal, Iran will retain all of its centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin. Rather than the most intrusive inspections regime in history that we were promised, IAEA inspectors must petition the mullahs to visit sensitive sites, and wait for two weeks for their permission. In a final, shocking concession, the United States will support lifting of the United Nations arms embargos that restrict the Iranian ballistic missile program and arms trafficking. And in return, billions of dollars of economic relief will flow to Tehran.

“Yet, in his remarks this morning, the President glossed over the truth about Iran’s world-leading state-sponsorship of terrorism that is violently destabilizing the region, and would grow more deadly should the Iranians get a nuclear bomb. He failed to mention American citizens, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Jason Rezaian, who continue to languish in Iranian prisons or Robert Levinson, who is still unaccounted for. For them, today is no ‘opportunity to move in a new direction’ as the President claimed. We owe it to our fellow Americans to elevate, not ignore, their plight, to demand their swift and unconditional release by the implacably hostile regime that holds them.

“Even by the low standards of the Joint Plan of Action, this is a staggeringly bad deal. It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.

“But thankfully, it is not a done deal. We still have an opportunity to tell the truth about what Prime Minister Netanyahu called today a ‘bad mistake of historic proportion.’

“Congress will have 60 days to review it, and the American people will have 60 days to tell their elected representatives just what they think of it. I urge all my fellow citizens to speak out and let their elected leaders know that even if President Obama won’t see it, we know the leaders of the Islamic Republic who lead crowds in chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ are not our partners in peace, and must not be put on the path to a nuclear bomb.”
This is very dangerous and scary. Today is a bad day.

After Israel is nuked, USA will be second.

Iran is not powerful. It could not do this alone. If we stood up to evil, we would win. Evil is inherently weak, because it contradicts reality. What lets evil thrive is a leader of the free world who sides with evil, and over 100,000,000 gullible fools and traitors in the USA alone.

Scott Walker, when announcing his candidacy for President, said the #1 threat to future generations is not climate change (ala Obama), it's radical Islamic terrorism. That's an OK answer, but it's not the best answer. Islamic killers wouldn't get very far without any allies within Western civilization. They have millions of apologists, advocates, sympathizers and other helpers.

We must get our own house in order. We must persuade our fellow Americans to stand firm against militant Islam, anti-semitism, and other evils. No compromise! If we stood united and proud, with clarity of purpose, we would win easily.

Edit: More info:

Statement by PM Netanyahu
While the negotiators were closing the deal in Vienna, Iran's supposedly moderate President chose to go to a rally in Tehran and at this rally, a frenzied mob burned American and Israeli flags and chanted 'Death to America, Death to Israel!'
The bottom line of this very bad deal is exactly what Iran's President Rouhani said today: 'The international community is removing the sanctions and Iran is keeping its nuclear program.'
Behind the Headlines: Agreement between Iran and P5+1

Israeli ambassador: The four major problems with the Iran deal

U.S. will help Iran stop Israeli threats to its nuclear program

Edit 2:

Additional problems I found out about later:

1) Obama's deal lets Iran make ballistic missiles immediately. It immediately changes the UN restriction on Iran's ballistic missiles from binding to non-binding, meaning Iran can ignore it. Today, there is a binding UN resolution saying Iran can't make these missiles, but Obama's deal edits that so Iran can ignore it.

2) Iran says they will keep supplying weapons to their allies including terrorists. They said this during negotiations, Obama made a deal anyway without prohibiting it.

3) Iran is actually getting $700 billion (I thought it was $150B before). The source on $700B seems to be Israel, which basically says Obama administration is lying. Well, easy call to tentatively take Israel's word for it.

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Easier to Read or Write?

When I'm tired, I sometimes find writing easier than reading. I don't want to read anything long or difficult, but I can still write a bunch.

Most people seem to find reading much easier than writing. They'll read lots of emails, books, articles or blogs, but rarely write replies. They think writing is a big burden.

The reason reading when tired can be hard for me is because I have to remember a bunch of different things they say, figure out what they mean, and put them together to understand the bigger picture. That requires loading a bunch of foreign stuff into my memory. It requires translation work to get from their ideas to ideas that make sense to me.

When I'm tired, I can read short things one at a time. I can read individual paragraphs and reply to them fine as long as they are independent and standalone. But following themes across many paragraphs is harder. It's still possible even if tired, but it's not always worth the effort (since I could just do something else now and then read it later).

When writing, it's less effort to follow themes across multiple paragraphs. Because I understand my own themes better, and I can remember my own ideas more easily – they are more suited for cheap usage by myself than other people's ideas are.

When writing, I typically focus on ideas that make sense to me and fit with my worldview. I stay mostly in my frame, my sense of life, and my world. Like I'll take someone's prompt or question, then give some of my thinking about that topic. I don't always write this way, but it's the most common.

If your mind is organized well, dealing with it should be easier than dealing with someone else's that you're less familiar with, disagree with some of the organization of, don't understand some of the organization of, and only have very limited access to. You only see little bits and pieces of other people's minds, but you can consciously interact with more of your own mind.

Why do people struggle to write? One reason is they have nothing to say – they don't have ideas. This is, largely, a lie. They have lots of ideas they suppress as not good enough, dumb, socially unacceptable, or various other reasons. Some people don't know much, but they could at least discuss what ideas they do have, and improve.

Some people are second-handed, other-people-oriented and attuned to thinking about and dealing with others. They don't see much burden there. And they are bad at dealing with themselves, alone, so they do see a burden there. These people are frequently also bad at dealing with reality.

People make mistakes, so they contain contradictions. The rest of reality doesn't. This makes people harder to deal with in a fundamental way – especially other people who come off as contradictory to you (others have a lot of contradictions that you don't share, which can be confusing to deal with).

Another issue is passivity. Reading is a more passive activity than writing. When you read, you can misunderstand everything and never notice. If you write incoherently, as part of a discussion, people will criticize – or even just ask you questions to try to make sense of it, which you would struggle to answer. It's possible to read actively with good critical thinking and error correction, but most people don't do that very well. If you're going to do something passively and fool yourself into thinking you did it well, reading works better than writing.

Big picture, if you find reading a lot easier than writing, it's a warning sign that you have a large moral flaw.

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comment (1)

Paths Forward Summary

trying to summarize Paths Forward: there should always be a way that if you’re mistaken, and someone else knows, you can find out. if no one knows a mistake, it’s hard to blame you too much, let’s not worry about that case right now. but it’d be really sad if someone does know, and they are willing to share the info, but you keep making the mistake anyway. that’s such an avoidable mistake.

this is important because of fallibility – people do make lots of mistakes (often without realizing it – any of your ideas could be mistaken and you don’t know which. none of them are safe ideas that couldn’t be mistakes, which would be infallible). so because people make mistakes a lot, a main issue in epistemology is how to find and correct mistakes. being able to be told what other people already know is a really useful way.

but there is a problem because you can’t read everything or debate with everyone or debate with every idea.
people don’t know how to deal with that. so they end up ignoring people with low social status, and ignoring ideas that sound “crazy” to them. that’s a very very bad way to handle it. it blocks off learning about any BIG mistakes – because they mostly talk to similar people and talk about ideas with only limited differences from their own.

the way to deal with ALL ideas that disagree with you is you either 1) write a refutation or, most of the time, 2) refer to a refutation already written by someone else or you. (you must take responsibility for it. if it’s wrong you don’t just blame the author, if you used it and it’s wrong, then you were wrong)

each idea only needs to be answered once by one guy, if you write it down in public. so people can work together to address all the ideas instead of just ignore a lot.

then there’s a path forward: someone can point out a mistake in what’s written down.

and also a path forward for the people who disagree with you: they can read your answer and learn why you’re right.

if there is an idea that disagrees with your thinking, that NO ONE has answered (in writing, in public) ... why not? someone ought to answer it and actually deal with the details of it, and give the opportunity for counter-arguments. if no one has done that, how do you know it’s wrong? you shouldn’t be ignoring ideas that no one refuted thoroughly, correctly, seriously.

if your ideas are unpopular so not many people help argue them, that’s not a good excuse for ignoring lots of arguments against your position. if you want to have unpopular ideas, it will take more time to check them for errors, because other people help less. you should put in that time. unpopular ideas are more risky in that way.

if your ideas are popular and something “everyone knows”, then someone really ought to have addressed every known criticism, since you have so many people to do it. if you have so many people and not a single one of them will answer an argument adequately, that’s a big problem there! if a new criticism is thought of, and you don't want to answer it, and you can't get anyone else to deal with it either, then apparently your entire large popular group of people is irrational, so having a big group doesn't really count for anything in that case (and don't even try to claim all 20 million of you are too busy).

Elliot Temple | Permalink | Comments (0)