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orbat

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hubskier for: 3653 days

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    I imagine sending probes to investigate neighbouring star systems would be exciting the first dozen or so times, but then there's ever-increasing costs and time-frames, while the public interest wanes and scientists see diminishing returns. At some point, funding for the project stops, and so do the probes.

Although I'd note that this assumes similar economic systems and motives to us 20th century humans

orbat  ·  131 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fungi on Mars?

Finding rudimentary life on Mars would be terrible news – it'd mean the Great Filter is ahead of us, and judging by how thoroughly we've screwed the pooch with climate I'm pretty sure I know what that Filter is.

I think the answer to Fermi's Paradox is simply that intelligent life tends to destroy itself in one way or another. Nukes didn't quite do it for us but climate change might.

Ah, the US: the best legal system money can buy. It's honestly astonishing something like this can happen in a nominally 1st world country

orbat  ·  163 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

    Wonder why the GOP only can resonate with morons these days

They've gone far enough to the authoritarian side that they're hitting what these studies reference. This snippet from one says it best:

    Right-wing ideologies offer well-structured and ordered views about society that preserve traditional societal conventions and norms (e.g., Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003). Such ideological belief systems are particularly attractive to individuals who are strongly motivated to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity in preference for simplicity and predictability (Jost et al., 2003; Roets & Van Hiel, 2011). Theoretically, individuals with lower mental abilities should be attracted by right-wing social-cultural ideologies because they minimize complexity and increase perceived control (Heaven, Ciarrochi, & Leeson, 2011; Stankov, 2009). Conversely, individuals with greater cognitive skills are better positioned to understand changing and dynamic societal contexts, which should facilitate open-minded, relatively left-leaning attitudes (Deary et al., 2008a; Heaven et al., 2011; McCourt, Bouchard, Lykken, Tellegen, & Keyes, 1999). Lower cognitive abilities therefore draw people to strategies and ideologies that emphasize what is presently known and considered acceptable to make sense and impose order over their environment. Resistance to social change and the preservation of the status quo regarding societal traditions—key principles underpinning right-wing social-cultural ideologies—should be particularly appealing to those wishing to avoid uncertainty and threat.

    Indeed, the empirical literature reveals negative relations between cognitive abilities and right-wing social-cultural attitudes, including right-wing authoritarian (e.g., Keiller, 2010; McCourt et al., 1999), socially conservative (e.g., Stankov, 2009; Van Hiel et al., 2010), and religious attitudes (e.g., Zuckerman, Silberman, & Hall, 2013).

orbat  ·  173 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is that ship still stuck?

Oh dear it's worse than I thought. At this point I'm fairly sure he was serious

orbat  ·  173 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is that ship still stuck?

I honestly can't tell if that was a joke or if he's actually being serious. My initial reaction was that it had to be a joke, but then I realized that he's some random dudebro podcast influencer so there's a very good chance he thinks he's outsmarted experts

orbat  ·  217 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

"All of the World's", and then proceeds to list a bunch of US-centric metrics. I especially enjoyed how military spending was divided into US, the US's current boogeyman du jour and source of all things evil China, and then "other". Not that China doesn't get up to heinous shit, but it's ridiculous how much US media has started pushing the narrative that China is now The Enemy™ and how it's bled over into people's opinions. I've seen Americans on various forums claim that China is the biggest threat to "US democracy", which is an absolute fucking joke to begin with.

orbat  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Donald Trump spends time in jail or prison

    Metaculus is not a market with financial incentives, but a reputation-based prediction aggregator. It gave Trump a 30% or less chance of reelection since summer 2018.

Do they track accuracy, and not like individual people like the leaderboard they have, but as in how good is the "market" at predicting stuff in aggregate?

orbat  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The day Facebook was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer

Galapagos – being a remote smattering of volcanic islands in the middle of nowhere – at least has plenty of redeeming features like being a remote smattering of islands in the middle of nowhere, and it's something I'd personally want to experience.

Windows seems more like the creepy uncle of operating systems. Everybody knows about the scandals, has probably been personally subjected to abuse (like you with your mouse), nobody really likes them much less actually wants to have anything to do with them, but you're sort of expected to get along because that's just how things work and you don't have much choice. Every Christmas you grit your teeth and pour another glass of wine, carry on.

A friend of mine who's also an old-timey IT nerd does all his Serious Computer Stuff™ on macOS or Linux but has a Windows setup for gaming, and he jokes about the fact that with Windows, reinstalling the OS is pretty much "Tuesday". And here's me with my current setup which is based on a backup image that I've been using for almost 10 years old now; while I've obviously updated the OS and hardware (but not too often…) along the years, I'm not sure I've ever had to do an actual reinstall in OS X / macOS. This despite the fact that the disk image has absolutely archaeological accumulations of cruft in it that I'm honestly a bit astonished that some combination of obscure config files I've modified over the aeons to do god knows what to who knows what hasn't triggered enough edge cases to make the OS just give up and die. I mean, parts of this image have been with me since before Apple moved to Intel hardware which was like in 1875

orbat  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The day Facebook was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer

Honestly the Apple walled garden that everybody has been going on about for quite a while hasn't really been all that walled. I moved away from Windows to Linux in the late 90's (Slackware!), then later on to OS X, and I've been coding for about 30 years now, so it's not that all I use my computer for is Facebook and porn. On my computer I get an operating system that allows me to use the exact same stuff I would on the Linux side (well, in the terminal anyhow) but is otherwise much less of a pain in the ass than any version of Windows I've had to use in the past years. Sure, the OS & hardware has had its problems and it's honestly been getting worse, but never have I felt like the OS or Apple have prevented me from doing something or limited me.

My days of using Gentoo and a tiling window manager with painstakingly crafted custom configuration and constant tweaking are way behind me. Now I just want my computer to stay the fuck out of my way and not piss me off unduly much, I don't really care all that much about the price, but I need a lot of the UNIX-y under-the-hood stuff too. Not too many options out there, really. Every time I'm forced to use eg. Windows it just amazes me what an absolute garbage fire of an OS it still is (and god fucking help you if you need to deal with Windows servers or workstation AD/LDAP/whatever setups), and not just because it's unfamiliar but because shit breaks constantly, configuration is hard to get to, the update mechanism is downright sadistic, usability in most applications (consumer or not) is often questionable at best, yada yada yaa.

With my phone it's the same deal. I used Android (or Maemo, or Meego, etc.) for years and eventually my "fucking Android" exclamations turned into an in-joke with my friends. iOS I simply just don't have to curse at as much, it stays out of my way and does what I need; and I honestly don't need much. Phone's 5 years old and I only switched the last time because the previous one got so borked that it wasn't worth fixing.

While I think the direction with eg the M1 (which is apparently really locked down) is terrible, putting a fucking touch bar on pro-line laptops was fantastically stupid, and combining iOS and macOS development isn't going to lead to solutions that'll keep me happy, I simply don't get what the issue is that people have with Apple products.

orbat  ·  235 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Reserve Protocol

    my experience on Twitter is heavily weighted towards seeing posts by other founders and venture capitalists. By and large, these folks are well-meaning, highly intelligent, and deeply competent in their understanding of markets.

Emphasis mine.

Anyone who thinks startup dudebros and VCs are "deeply competent in their understanding of markets" clearly hasn't been paying attention. Case in point, the entirety of the crypto "industry", Uber, that co-working company (whatchamacallit), etc etc.

These "oh shit, Tether is a scam" posts have been regularly popping up for the past N years now and anybody with half a clue already knows that. Unfortunately crypto enthusiasts, startup dudebros and VCs aren't "deeply competent" at much of anything so Tether just keeps on chugging.

orbat  ·  254 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Lab-Leak Hypothesis

Don't be disingenuous, talking about the origins of the virus was never racist, it was just that at one point this particular conspiracy theory was mainly touted by racists, like the article notes

orbat  ·  315 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Capitalism Will Ruin the Earth By 2050, Scientists Say

No: by 2050 the harm will be irreparable and unreversible, according to this article.

Unless we get our shit together more or less yesterday we'll still be looking at an existential crisis down the line since climate effects don't just magically stop on a dime. There's exactly 0% chance of that happening, it'd require way too much sacrifice from all of us who are used to a very comfortable life, and there's too much money riding on fucking things up.

I honestly thought this was a parody article based on the headline.

We've crossed the parody horizon long ago and fallen into some sort of infinitely dense bullshit singularity

orbat  ·  334 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So hubski, how are things going?

Thank you, I appreciate the thought

orbat  ·  335 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Republican senator says ‘democracy isn’t the objective’ of US system

    Not saying anything bad about you at all, but I think this is a perfect example of a really common logical fallacy that we on the lefter side of things tend to make. Lots of us (more often than not, myself included) that anybody on the conservative side of things is simply conservative due to lack of information.

It's not necessarily a fallacy in many cases, though. Conservatism and especially authoritarianism appeal to people who don't have the capacity to deal with any sort of complexity. It's been proven time and time again that right-wing authoritarians seem to have lower general intelligence.

- Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact

    Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

- Cognitive ability, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation: a five-year longitudinal study amongst adolescents

    We report longitudinal data in which we assessed the relationships between intelligence and support for two constructs that shape ideological frameworks, namely, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO). Participants (N = 375) were assessed in Grade 7 and again in Grade 12. Verbal and numerical ability were assessed when students entered high school in Grade 7. RWA and SDO were assessed before school graduation in Grade 12. After controlling for the possible confounding effects of personality and religious values in Grade 12, RWA was predicted by low g (β = -.16) and low verbal intelligence (β = -.18). SDO was predicted by low verbal intelligence only (β = -.13). These results are discussed with reference to the role of verbal intelligence in predicting support for such ideological frameworks and some comments are offered regarding the cognitive distinctions between RWA and SDO.

- Conservatism and cognitive ability

    Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.

- Does Lower Cognitive Ability Predict Greater Prejudice?

    Right-wing ideologies offer well-structured and ordered views about society that preserve traditional societal conventions and norms (e.g., Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003). Such ideological belief systems are particularly attractive to individuals who are strongly motivated to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity in preference for simplicity and predictability (Jost et al., 2003; Roets & Van Hiel, 2011). Theoretically, individuals with lower mental abilities should be attracted by right-wing social-cultural ideologies because they minimize complexity and increase perceived control (Heaven, Ciarrochi, & Leeson, 2011; Stankov, 2009). Conversely, individuals with greater cognitive skills are better positioned to understand changing and dynamic societal contexts, which should facilitate open-minded, relatively left-leaning attitudes (Deary et al., 2008a; Heaven et al., 2011; McCourt, Bouchard, Lykken, Tellegen, & Keyes, 1999). Lower cognitive abilities therefore draw people to strategies and ideologies that emphasize what is presently known and considered acceptable to make sense and impose order over their environment. Resistance to social change and the preservation of the status quo regarding societal traditions—key principles underpinning right-wing social-cultural ideologies—should be particularly appealing to those wishing to avoid uncertainty and threat.

    Indeed, the empirical literature reveals negative relations between cognitive abilities and right-wing social-cultural attitudes, including right-wing authoritarian (e.g., Keiller, 2010; McCourt et al., 1999), socially conservative (e.g., Stankov, 2009; Van Hiel et al., 2010), and religious attitudes (e.g., Zuckerman, Silberman, & Hall, 2013).

- Cognitive ability and authoritarianism: Understanding support for Trump and Clinton

    With Donald Trump the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee for the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, speculations of why Trump resonates with many Americans are widespread-as are suppositionsof whether, independent of party identification, people might vote for Hillary Clinton. The present study, using a sample of American adults (n=406), investigated whether two ideological beliefs, namely, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) uniquely predicted Trump supportand voting intentions for Clinton. Cognitive ability as a predictor of RWA and SDO was also tested. Path analyses, controlling for political party identification,revealed that higher RWA and SDO uniquely predicted more favorable attitudes of Trump, greater intentions to vote for Trump, and lower intentions to vote for Clinton. Lower cognitive ability predicted greater RWA and SDO and indirectly predicted more favorable Trump attitudes, greater intentions to vote for Trump and lower intentionsto vote for Clinton.

- Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism

    In Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification). In Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts. In Study 3, time pressure increased participants’ endorsement of conservative terms. In Study 4, participants considering political terms in a cursory manner endorsed conservative terms more than those asked to cogitate; an indicator of effortful thought (recognition memory) partially mediated the relationship between processing effort and conservatism. Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases.
orbat  ·  335 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So hubski, how are things going?

Honestly, I'm this close to suicide. It's been a terrible 10 months, and the trajectory isn't for the better.

My wife left me after finding someone better. My friends all evaporated after I got depressed, even my closest ones. Surprising health problems popped up. Can't concentrate so work's going to shit (and I own part of the company so that's a problem).

It's been 3 months since I last got hugged. 2 weeks since I last spoke to someone who wasn't a cashier or the like.

I get comfort from the thought that if things are still as shit as they are after about a year or so, I can just kill myself. I'm tired.

orbat  ·  342 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The data scientist exposing US white supremacists: 'This is how you fight Nazis'

I wouldn't say this out loud anywhere, but allowing the extreme right to continue to exist is going to prove to be a deadly mistake. Mark my fucking words, we're going to be hoping that Antifa was anywhere near as prevalent as reich-wingers claim they are.

These people want to kill us, and they can't be reasoned with. Political violence may turn out to be the only available option, before these fucks actually take over and start mass murdering anyone they don't agree with

Also have absolutely zero need for one of those and I'm pretty convinced I can't live without one

orbat  ·  408 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Collapse of civilisation is the most likely outcome"

Hence "as we know it".

Let's face it, the change wouldn't be pretty

I just assumed they have some sort of syndication deal with their source sites that the sources feel covers the loss in income from not getting "direct" eyeballs