No Free Lunch For Ethics

It turns out that if you don't know anything about the outside world, it is impossible to make moral choices in a consequentialist framework in a way that outperforms randomness. This is even if you are endowed with the ability to perfectly discern all the consequences of a given action…

Pigeon Racing: A Primer

I really struggled to make this coherent but I have given up. Let me tell you about competitive pigeon racing. First thing to know: it's a big deal. Last year a pigeon was sold for $1.9 million. In Taiwan there are hundreds of thousands of pigeon racers and the…

Sarcasm as Epistemic Play

I believe that for a group to maintain good epistemic standards it's important for everyone to constantly lie to each other. I heard a story once about a heavyweight wrestling champion who got into a car crash and then went to pick a fight with the other guy. He figured…

Where I'm at with ethics (or lack thereof)

Something like four months ago I had this weird revelation that maybe all of ethics was bunk. I've had a couple moments like this in my life and most haven't stuck; I assumed this one also wouldn't. But, well, it's been a few months and I still think maybe ethics…

Pure Console Navigation

This will be an unusually mundane post, and probably of no interest to people who don't already know some javascript and occasionally harvest data. But to those who do, it may be truly thrilling. Public service announcement: the browser console is strictly more expressive than everything in the page. It's…

Ways To Write Bad Plays

Through a series of questionable decisions I have written and directed four plays. In that time I learned a small amount about how to write good plays, and far, far more about how to write bad plays. And now I'm going to tell you how. Trap The Audience And Gradually…

Clones: An Opportunity?

What this is not: an exhortation to dig up Von Neumann and clone him What this is: an exhortation to think seriously about how to decide whether to dig up Von Neumann and clone him Having tried to clarify that I am not presently advocating for cloning, and am far…