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It's actually a simple solution.

Have a flamewar detector similar to HN, and then for that thread and those users, have it look like the other people in the thread respond "Ok, I'm sorry." Obviously randomized using machine learning so that people will think that it's a real apology. Everyone on the thread will think the other person apologized and will simply move on. Or, if they respond, no one except the writer will see the responses.


Moloch does require people willing to sacrifice some values or externalities in exchange for individual benefit. At scale, there's always people willing-to or forced-to or unknowingly doing that. But the examples you write about are mostly related to "individual contributions". You don't need all individual contributions to be like that. You only need some, and scale. And then, the more pressure we have in a system, the lower the bar becomes for individuals to be willing to sacrifice certain things. I don't believe what you say points at any real contradiction.

That being said, I do not necessarily agree with Scott about the conclusion that we really can't coordinate unless some super-AI "helps us destroy Moloch".


> Then how come that not a single country has yet developed a method for storing their nuclear waste safely and permanently?

They have. Finland has built a disposal site: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_re...

The US built the Yucca Mountain, but then Congress blocked its useage. This was done due to political posturing not technical concerns. Burying it in an area with no groundwater is a foolproof method of disposal short of hyperbolic scenarios involving societal collapse followed by a future people digging in an area with no resources for an inexplicable reason. Yucca mountain is not in a geologically active area, do the concern about earthquakes is moot.

> How sure can we be there are no other fault lines waiting to be found? How sure can we be earthquakes won't cause problems in 100 years, or 500 or 5000 years? The Yucca Mountain repository is supposed to last 10000 years. How do we know it will?

After 10,000 years the uranium is no more radioactive than it was when it was dug out of the ground. And when Yucca mountain is filled the entrances are blocked by meters of concrete - even if canisters are somehow get compromised the uranium still needs to magically get through several meters of rock and concrete to get out into the environment.

It is a solved problem, but politicians have decided not to use the solution. In the US that is, Europe has it's dig in Finland continuing as planned.


Joe Rogan had an excellent podcast up on this which is well worth your time to listen to IMO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtNW3I1FZ5o

What you have is a significant portion of people with c-ptsd due to the abuses western cultures' political experimentation has created who believe western culture was a mistake and tearing everything down it stands for is a lofty moral goal.

These people are angry, and IMO, they have a right to be angry; they've been through some terrible, terrible things. They believe, strongly, that engaging in pyschological warfare and using tactics to build cults or go get orgs to "go woke" that eventually culminate in killing people is a reasonable method of running what can be defined at this point as an insurgency.

I think it is manditory reading for people to read books like The body keeps the Score by Van Der Kolk if they want to really understand this movement and how these people have been marinated in bad situations. I think it is important to give them opportunities and show them patience in their recovery and to allow them to decide what their culture should be going forward.

Their tactics and logic do not stand up to scientific riguer but are complex enough to entrap the normal minimally educated individual and get them into an emotional trap; Much like the Seattle CHAZ\CHOP, the correct way to manage this is as an emotional discussion. Eventually the movement will hit a political peak, the emotions will die down, and an unruly minority is left over.

I think it is incredibly important for us to not ignore this minority, but to recognize, especially after reading that book, that these people exist and need to be given opportunities and space to decide for themselves what they want their culture to be.

We need to set strong boundaires of pride in western culture and its accomplishments, but not engage in debates about how western culture needs to be torn down or we need to self-harm as an act of solidarity. We need to not engage in political discource and when they do come, give them acts of virtue signalling which are a fascade. Over time, the emotions will dissipate and the healing can begin.

Western people are learning and we need, I think, to learn to pay for our mistakes a little better instead of ignoring people as detritus from failed systems.


Sorry, I was talking about the ratios used to govern how much each state gets in the House of Representatives. IE the formula for 1 state shouldn't be X people per 1 representative and another shouldn't be Y people per representative. They should both be the same. The Census can be used to readjust that every 10 years.

I totally believe in forgiveness.

But I think you miss the point. This guy's entire job was promote the public image when, among other things, selling to the military. And he wasn't rank and file. He was near the top.

He won't have trouble finding a job that doesn't involve giving a bad image to a military contractor.


Do you have a reference for 2? Thanks.

The problem is there isn't a culturally agreeable calculus to know when someone is trustworthy, and that the "punishment" here is one of withdrawing from relations through the free exercise of relations. The main intervention you can do is to tell people to stop exercising their freedom of association.

> That goes for most actions too: Even if you murdered someone 30 years ago, if you served your time and reformed, you ought to be able to have a normal life now.

If a person molested one child 30 years, should a label of "sex offender" follow them as they attempt to regain their life as a youth educator? Should they never ever ever be allowed near children again?


Without giving the country and statistic your rhetoric is meaningless. We know nothing about the state of your healthcare, the excess deaths, or how long the restrictions were lifted.

I think Gaelic has finally fallen below the necessary threshold for survival; all that remains is for the last native speakers to age out of the population.

There are a couple of languages that have or are going through this process on mainland Europe, including Occitan, Bavarian, and Franconian. The creation of the modern nation state and globalization have been very hard on non-major languages.


Because a kilogram is still just "grams"; the relation between kilo-, milli-, etc. is linear. Metric units allow you translate, for example, 1 liter to milliliters in just one jump. And it's not like there are that many prefixes to remember.

Do we need every language in use to survive in an everyday setting?

Latin is dead, and yet it still permeates much of the world in some form or another.

It's important that we document and keep a good record of the language, the culture it accompanies and any other relevant context; I think this is obvious to most people. But to force people who don't naturally want to learn the language to do so for sentimental reasons doesn't sound like the way to preserve it as a source of joy.


Scottish Gaelic has been proclaimed dying for as long as I remember. Despite my name being Gaelic (I am Scottish), the amount of "public" (tax) money that has been poured into the language by our devolved government (>£28 million/year) is appauling. The phase "that which is falling should also be pushed" comes to mind.

Damn straight. Never pay the Dangeld.

To be fair, in the language section I point out this is explicitly not using the language of apology (for some of the reasons you bring up), but is instead a more neutral admission of mistake.

So, now that's interesting. In this video, the third stage is "fear", whereas in the "standard model" it's "depression"... It's similar, but it's not the same.

This, and similar comparisons, miss the economic damage an uncontrolled outbreak has. "Letting it run it's course" will result in large portions of the workforce being unavailable at the same time for months, and permanently reducing the workforce due to excess deaths and likely decreasing the long-term health and capability due to insufficient medical care of severe cases.

It's not a choice of doing nothing and having a stable economy at the cost of increased human suffering, it's a choice between severe economic damage because of lockdown measures and severe economic damage because of human suffering, healthcare costs and workforce capability reduction.


I see people complaining that he was canceled, but if it takes three and a half decades to get canceled, then I'm not sure I see the problem. If I were to write an article about how I think that women ought not to serve in the military, or any such similar drivel, then I would probably perish naturally before any punishment arrived.

Are folks here anticipating that they themselves will get canceled for their old sexist writings, or is there something else here?


This note represents a rare misstep by Dijkstra: the pigeonhole principle actually is a special and important principle worthy of a special name of its own. For example:

1. When you formulate the pigeonhole principle in propositional logic, its resolution proofs are exponentially large. Since modern SAT solvers are basically very fancy propositional resolution provers, this gives you a nice way to find hard instances for them. It also makes the question of when propositional proof systems can be more succinct than one another is also a fundamental question in complexity theory.

2. It also arises in geometry: a compactness for metric spaces is essentially the statement that the pigeonhole principle applies to the space.

I don't have a unified perspective of these two facts, but either one of them is really striking. As a result I'm okay with giving the pigeonhole principle its own natural language name.


Makes bit more sense now than I read originally. But I guess I have lot more questions now than before i came to read. Will have check more on this

> is willing to group everybody involved in protests into the 'left'

Both sides are doing this. People who have long opposed police brutality while holding conservative or libertarianish political views are effectively being silenced on social media, and even the BLM movement itself is pushing controversial ideas like slavery reparations, that are distantly related at best to the extremely concerning situation wrt. criminal justice and policing in the U.S.


This is now my twentieth year of 'Linux on the Desktop'. Prior to that I spent 10 years with 'UNIX on the Desktop'.

I've never had a year of 'Windows on the Desktop' or 'MacOS on the Desktop.'

Just lucky, I guess.


> Everyone recognizes that URL. It would be more suspect to download PuTTY from anywhere else.

that that to everyone who downloaded from putty.org


Mathematicians clearly label their conjectures, but this was phrased as a statement. Surely you are not suggesting that mathematicians go around publishing their guesses with language indistinguishable from their knowledge.

Strictly speaking, as you suggest, it wouldn't be wrong to write, "I thought about it, and although I don't have any reason to believe it, the notion that women don't form groups for the sake of comradeship settled in to my mind, and with a gust of wind, floated from there to this paper." However nobody would ever write that! Passing off guesses as knowledge only works as a career if you try to dress up your guesses as knowledge, for example by phrasing them in a way that makes it sound like they're already commonly known.


> people out there genuinely have minds and mindsets that are different from your own

This is true and important (and I'd add that if it doesn't make you uncomfortable... either you haven't taken in the full depth of it, or your mindset is very different from my own).

At the same time, though, there's already research that shows mindsets can be at primed by language, stories, even sensory experience. It's unlikely that people can be remote controlled, but it does appear they can be manipulated and have their mindset moved at least marginally by as minor an intervention as holding a warm drink, and I don't think anyone has a good idea of how far that can go for a large scale long-term information environment efforts.


It's the same reason that news media is so enraging.

You might want to give that line of reasoning some additional critical thinking. Because there appears to be a big assumption in that statement. One that might sound all but certain to you, but might not be.

What I can tell you is this: I happen to have first hand experience from a country that initially took some of the most draconian of measures when the virus surfaced. All with the usual explanations as for why all that was absolutely necessary.

Then, after some time, the local ruler needed to secure a reelection he had already planned before the virus spread. All of a sudden, it was like there was no virus anymore. Of course there was, but the topic was practically taboo while the elections where going on. Now that the elections are over, and said ruler has galvanized his position for the foreseeable future, the virus has returned and the number of infections grown. No surprise that stronger measures came back too. But that's not the interesting part.

What is interesting, is that during the elections none of the doom scenarios that almost every country around the globe has used to justify/explain their measures (whatever those might be), happened. There is a good chance that a lot of bad news was suppressed and covered up. If only to ensure the election would not be forcefully shut down. But there are only so many mysteriously dead people and failing hospitals that even a government with absolute power and no accountability can cover up.

The point here is this: that despite all the rhetoric about why all those draconian measure were so much necessary, when they were (practically all) temporarily lifted for political reasons, the world did not stop turning and neither did any systems collapse. In fact, in many/most aspects the country managed to temporarily recover more/faster than other countries in the region. That was, of course, until the election was over, and the virus "returned".

I am not saying that any of the measures are wrong or that they didn't help prevent deaths. But what I am saying is that maybe the "reasoning" regarding what will happen without them isn't as much established fact as many people like to believe.


This culture of "never forget, no excuses, no forgiveness" is part of why the US has so many people in prison. Suppose someone commits an armed robbery. They should be arrested, certainly, for many reasons. But after they have been tried, punished, and served their sentence, should they be permanently exiled from society? Should they never be able to find employment for the rest of their life? No, because that doesn't help anyone and just creates more crime. This person is probably rich enough to retire, but most people are not - they need a job, or else they'll get evicted and wind up homeless. "You can never work again" isn't that much better than America's history of insanely vindictive prison sentences.

Love this collection! I'm the creator of https://zach.dev

Thanks a lot for putting it in on this list!


Yes, people keep mixing up cause and effect when talking about this.

It’s true that bad government responses can exacerbate things (as the US seems intent on proving), but the pandemic was going to inflict serious economic damage anywhere it reached the uncontrolled state like now exists in the US.

The only way to have prevented that was to act early and competently, which many countries have successfully done. But once you’ve crossed that threshold, demanding people risk serious illness and death for the sake of the economy isn’t going to get you very far in correcting things.


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