Smorgasbord (Aug 2018)

Chain-linked fences

Noahpinion gives three examples of proto-rationalist movements from three different places in three different periods. Someone ought to make a rationalist genealogy one of these days.

A Rationalist Tumblr classic: Ragged Jack Scarlet gives a binary model of why communities have heroes and grunts: because some people follow the idealised values of the community and some people are just there for the company. Precursor discussions to this divide include Geeks, MOPs, and Sociopaths and the classic Gervais Principle.

Something’s afoot in the Bay Area Rationalist community and people are going nuts. Granted, the last post was written two months ago but I haven’t seen any sort of comprehensive response from Bay Area rationalists.

A hilarious and Kafkaesque story about a Forgotten Employee, written in the early 00’s.

And for my last link for today, a 5-page post-mortem of the 2011 Portal 2 ARG from Gamasutra.

Wild Machine Guns

A way to break out of the whole “all stories are human stories” thinking in writing: roleplay an alien writer with blue-orange morality [WARNING: TVTropes]. E.g., an alien averse to resolution? An alien for whom love and conflict are one and the same? Someone whose ideaspace boundaries are inherently different due to a difference in biology and evolutionary history?

Can you craft heroes for propaganda purposes? (One of my classes mentioned how Americans erected statues of a local academic, nonviolent propagandist in every town in Country X, major or minor, so that they can set up bases with minimal conflict. Wasn’t enough, it turns out.)

Leadership in almost every human group requires strong precommitment skills. People follow certainty and consistency, even to the point of discarding new and contradicting evidence. This may or may not eventually doom us all.

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