Showing posts from 2024

Responding to Conundrum, Again

This is a response to a video and blog post by Conundrum. I will insert blocks of text from his blog post and respond to them. He opens with: A response to videos by BlitheringGenius, where he to argues that reproduction is the only source of value and that those who do not reproduce are losers. I show major cracks in the foundation of his argument, which make it crumble to dust. Sounds exciting. Let’s see if it lives up to the hype. He is responding to the videos: Reproduction | Masturbation The Zen of Being an Entropy Tube I have offered a voice discussion/debate to Conundrum, but he has rejected it. Yes, I claim that reproduction is the biological purpose of life, and the ultimate source of value. Psychology is downstream from biology. Psychological desires get their normativity from emotions, and emotions are an evolved mechanism, which was selected to generate adaptive behavior. We can trace back all values to biology. Wi

What is Wokism?

“Wokism” or “wokeness” is often used as a label for leftist identity politics. “Becoming woke” is analogous to “taking the red pill” or “seeing through the matrix”. It implies that we exist within an oppressive system, which is hidden from most people. The “unwoke” do not see the oppression, because they have internalized it. The “woke” have become aware of the oppressive system, and are now fighting against it by awakening others. This narrative pattern is common among ideologies. An ideology claims that the status quo is oppressive, and that the oppression is hidden behind a grand deception. The ideology exposes the deception and reveals the hidden truth. If enough people become “woke”, then the system will collapse, and a utopia will emerge. There are different flavors of wokism, but all situate evil in whites, men, Western civilization, or some combination of those three. The term “woke” and its derivatives “wokism” and “wokeness” are often used ironically and pe

Goodhart’s Law and Emotions

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. — Marilyn Strathern Goodhart’s law is an important principle about using a measure to drive action. Imagine a city that is trying to reduce crime. The mayor tells the police chief to “Get the crime rate down!”. But what is the crime rate? It is a statistical metric of crimes per capita. The police measure the crime rate by making reports about crimes. Knowing that his job is on the line, the police chief tells his officers to go easy on crime reports. “Don’t file a report unless it is serious.” he tells them. So, the crime rate (as measured) goes down, while the actual number of crimes goes up, because criminals learn that they are less likely to be punished, and citizens learn that there is no point calling the police over minor crimes. Eventually, word gets back to the mayor, and he fires the police chief. He hires a new police chief, and gives him a different instruction. “I want to see more arrest