"Spending even a few minutes on public social media can expose us to dozens of people we know little about, talking about things we know little about. In such a public place, any individual's reputation, perspectives, and history are difficult to ascertain, and therefore their words must be taken at face value. Coupled with an almost complete lack of standards for participation in the community and a high degree of variance in knowledge among participants, and the environment naturally skews toward conflict and tribalism." -- https://nickpunt.com/blog/deescalating-social-media/

"A true rules is the wielder of names. By names she cuts the world as she pleases, and she cuts herself into greater forms still. She is not shaped by the world, but instead becomes the shaper" -- the character Zoss in the webcomic Kill Six Billion Demons, https://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/wielder-of-names-5-95/

" mc32 7 hours ago

unvote [–]

Historically speaking, when the world was small towns and rural, “surveillance” was a fact of life. Everyone knew someone who knew someone else.

The big difference is that surveillance was localized and didn’t follow the person.

If someone did a crime or did something against local mores and got ostracized they could skip town and settle somewhere else to begin anew. Now, of course being the new person in a new place you were under scrutiny, but as long as you followed local practices your old peccadilloes or even crimes didn’t follow you.


wongarsu 6 hours ago

unvote [–]

Not only did this locality allow people to recover from past mistakes, it also limited the power of any one actor. As soon as a town loses faith in a ruler (or other large actor) that ruler loses the ability to locate more radical dissidents in that town. That's how revolutions are possible.

With total surveillance any revolution movement can be efficiently destroyed before it gains any momentum. That removes an important check on any government's (or corporation's) power.


" -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23651050

"You can't tell people anything" -- http://habitatchronicles.com/2004/04/you-cant-tell-people-anything/

"Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company," he said. "Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time...Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps." -- https://www.wired.com/2013/09/ev-williams-xoxo/

"The framework I’d propose is this: If you want to build high-performance systems, focus first on reducing performance variance (reducing the gap between the fastest and slowest runs of the same code), and only look at average latency once variance is at an acceptable level." -- [1]

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through." -- Ira Glass

"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law

"I think we keep collectively forgetting this isn't the kind of comic where ancient undead elves give powerful magic boons to the hero, it's a comic where a girl loses her hair clip and a zombie spends 50+ chapters trying to get it back to her." -- zbeeblebrox

"An academic reactor or reactor plant almost always has the following basic characteristics: (1) It is simple. (2) It is small. (3) It is cheap. (4) It is light. (5) It can be built very quickly. (6) It is very flexible in purpose ("omnibus reactor"). (7) Very little develop- ment is required. It will use mostly “off-the-shelf” components. (8) The reactor is in the study phase. It is not being built now." -- http://ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/Rickover.pdf Admiral Hyman Rickover

"While in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is."

"The trick in investing is just to sit there and watch pitch after pitch go by and wait for the one right in your sweet spot. And if people are yelling, 'Swing, you bum!,' ignore them." -- Warren Buffett (in "Becoming Warren Buffett")

"Deny, deny, deny — even if the truth is obvious" -- Oleg Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general, https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000006188102/what-is-pizzagate.html via https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/science/putin-russia-disinformation-health-coronavirus.html

"The unnerving thing about running a company is watching all of your personal flaws accidentally become codified in the culture of the organization and come to life three years later as actions of employees you've never really spoken to" -- Austen Allred

"Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after will seem inadequate." - Michael Leavitt, former HHS Secretary under President George W. Bush

"Mathematics is a process of staring hard enough with enough perseverance at the fog of muddle and confusion to eventually break through to improved clarity. I’m happy when I can admit, at least to myself, that my thinking is muddled, and I try to overcome the embarrassment that I might reveal ignorance or confusion. Over the years, this has helped me develop clarity in some things, but I remain muddled in many others." --  William Thurston, Fields-medal winning mathematician

"Know your goal, know what just happened, know what to do next" -- Jeff Brown

"Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight." -- Bill Gates

"You can’t hold someone accountable for critical information if you use a passive communication method to transmit it." -- Drew Steadman

"...effective executives start with their time, not their tasks..." -- Walter H. Gmelch, Beyond Stress to Effective Management (1982), via [2]

"If you're going through hell, keep going" -- Winston Churchill

W. V. Quine summed up a popular opinion among mathematical logicians by referring to second-order logic as “set theory in sheep’s clothing”." -- Resnik (1988: 75) via https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-higher-order/#SetTheoSheeClot

"The duty of the general is to ride by the ranks on horseback, show himself to those in danger, praise the brave, threaten the cowardly, encourage the lazy, fill up gaps, transpose a company if necessary, bring aid to wearied, anticipate the crisis, the hour, and the outcome." - Onasander

"You have to make a choice. Either everyone gets to spy, or no one gets to spy. You can't have 'We get to spy, you don't.' That's not the way the tech works," -- Bruce Schneier

 "The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it." -- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations, vol. 1, 

"People will take your idea and make it theirs if you don’t publish them (e-mail should suffice). It’s worse when they move up the corporate ladder on the basis of your idea." -- egberts1

"The amount of work to know anything in meatspace with any certainty is huge. And this is why everyone trusts their favourite anecdotes: the alternative is not getting anything done." -- l0b0

"...ask “How can this be better?” instead of “What do you think [of my work]?” Invite collaboration, not criticism, and you’ll get more useful feedback — and create better work..." -- https://twitter.com/BobPritchett/status/1216582233567318017

"...95% of the workforce is there just to collect their checks and they will do everything in their power to protect that privilege." -- bitxbit

"Do not fear large companies. They are inefficient and not necessarily well guided in their decision making processes. " -- rnernento

"Providing a service sucks way more than having a product if you value your work-life balance." -- jklinger410

"No one checks anything. Everyone just assumes everyone else is doing their job and doing it properly. Even if checking things is part of someone else's job, it's usually done half-assed. Actually verifying the important stuff (and sometimes the less-important stuff) opens up a world of potential where your business discovers all kinds of missed opportunities, incorrect work, etc." -- turc1656

"Most people are bad at math. And most people are also financially illiterate. Which by extension makes a huge majority of people really, really terrible at personal finance and financial planning (for themselves or their business). This also applies to a lot of smart and successful people." -- turc1656

"Every organizational structure that human beings create yields towards tyranny/abuse over time. Doesn't matter what you are talking about - government, business, anything. Over time nearly everything somehow seems to become these oligopolistic style structures where there are a few hugely powerful entities and then everyone else." -- turc1656

"Related to the previous point, far more things follow the pareto distribution than I could have imagined. In fact it seems to apply to anything that either has any creative aspect to it at all or to non-creative endeavors if they have any sort of scalability to them. There's a small group of people that are so insanely efficient and productive that it's almost impossible to comprehend. For example, I used to work with a guy who was working full time with me and started his own side business which was an online SaaS? that he paid someone to create for him after he wrote up all the requirements and he did all the testing. While this was going on he also spent every free second trading cryptocurrencies and made a small fortune doing that. When the product was ready he launched it and manually sought out retail (end consumer) clients one by one via things like Discord chat rooms where he would pump his software that was tailored to individuals. He spoke to literally thousands and thousands of people and convinced them to sign up. Then he had a recurring monthly revenue which dwarfed his (already high) salary so he quit to pursue it. He continued to get clients and now has north of 15,000, most manually acquired. He's working on launching a sister product now. It baffles me how he can even do like half of what he does." -- turc1656

"In business, managers are very hesitant to grant permission but much more likely to grant forgiveness for not following procedure. So in many cases it is usually better to just do whatever it is you think is best for the business and try to improves things however you can if the rules are (or will) prevent you. The personal boost here is also that your manager also thinks your plate is fully loaded with whatever it is they've already assigned to you. Then you shock them with this big thing you've also been working on and they're shocked you were able to take that on. Win/win." -- turc1656

"Rational thinking is computationally intractable." -- me

"Useful writing tells people something true and important that they didn't already know, and tells them as unequivocally as possible." -- http://paulgraham.com/useful.html

"People keep forging shackles and never pause to ask if the manacles might fit their wrists, as well." -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22416121