Determinism may be an
example of something you can’t fully believe, else you may not act or think
through the perceived options and resign yourself to fatalism. Perhaps we are
condemned to have to entertain our illusion of free will in some way.
Maybe the dissonance of ‘determinism
for everyone else’ but ‘free-will for yourself’ is the sanest choice.
1.As debate on any topic continues over time, somebody
willblame the bankers
2.As debate on any topic continues over time, somebody
willslander Richard Dawkins
3.The first two-thirds of any debate is spent ad-homming
and strawmanning before finally understanding each other’s points; the last
third is spent coming to the realisation that intuitions are inexplicable and
that people’s values are subjective, arbitrary and mutually irreconcilable
4.If you want to make a devastating philosophical
critique of their argument, there’s an SMBC for it; if you want to make a
trivial, pseudo-profound observation there’s a TED Talk for it.
5.If a phrase is attributed to Einstein, Gandhi or
Russell on the internet, they didn’t say it.
6.In a democracy, on every political issue there’s a
popular answer and it’s nearly always wrong.
a change.org petition calling for it, don't do it
(The Petition Heuristic)
8.There is zero chance of getting people to respond to the
content of your argument rather than its perceived emotional tone.
9.If you can’t talk about quantum physics while
referring to a PDE, shut up
10.As debate on left-right politics continues over time,
somebody will voice the sentiment "Everyone's equal! And if you can’t see
it then you’re a subhuman piece of shit and I’m so much better than you!”
Law of left-wing, anti-Tory discourse)
11.Every nationality thinks they
alone invented humour, war, compromise and cuisine.
12.The only certainties of life are conflict, competition, disagreement and
Three laws of discovery
1.Arnold’s law Discoveries
are rarely attributed to the correct person
(Of course Arnold’s law is self-referential)
2.Berry’s law Nothing
is ever discovered for the first time
by the observation that the sequence of antecedents under law 1 seems endless)
of importance has been said before by someone
In politics people’s strength of opinion often
goes untempered by their ignorance of the topic in a way they wouldn’t dream of
in most other subjects.
argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who
points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have
done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who
errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error
Political labels oversimplify and encourage
tribalism, bristlingly proud identities, attachment and conformity.
Avoid tribalistic affiliation; aim to be
neutral, floating and to decide issue-by-issue. The merit of the argument is
all that matters.
Modern society doesn’t mean majoritarianism.
representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he
betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion”
We get the politicians we deserve, sampled
from ourselves, flaws and all. (We want better? ‘Educate our masters’ –Disraeli)
Due to the subjectivity of individuals’ values
and the corresponding utility functions, when clashes of interests occur they
are settled by an equilibrium which minimises disruption from all relevant
groups, rather than from some shared universal moral objectivism.
understand human conduct until we grasp that societies are collections of
individuals seeking their own self interest”
is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we
expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address
ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to
them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”
The unique shading and composition of our subjective
are products of the indoctrination of upbringing, past emotional experiences
and cultural environment, rendering them often inert to cognitive argument/debate.
You can’t please everyone.
Something is only worth what someone else is willing
to pay for it.
Wages and effort aren’t linear; collectivism
alters motivations, responsibility and introduces disincentives to production.
“Do you think
that the person taking care of the pigs is going to stay up all night watching
the Soviets’ sow have the Soviets’ pigs? The answer is no.”
“Man will become
better when you show him what he is like”
Balancing market forces and central government
is an optimisation problem; views should merely be based on evidence, with
government deciding which values to
Greed can be good; it is a driving force in
innovation and increasing productivity, ultimately benefitting everyone. Productivity
is a dispassionate optimisation problem.
Communism assumes the homogeneity of values,
interests and benevolence; anyone still with hope for communism has clearly never
lived in a shared house.
“Not to be a
radical at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of
want of head.”