Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit | snikeris's comments login

Perhaps in a casino taking a rake. But if you're playing w/ friends? The good times make it positive sum. Even in a casino, the players can be getting enough utility / enjoyment out of the game that it's positive sum.

Yes you are right but “pros” are playing with rake typically.

In a way you can consider poker 0 sum or positive sum depending on the utility you derive from the enjoyment of gambling. But that should also factor in the negative utility from gamblers that lose

the sum here is the sum of wins or losses across all players. for you to win, someone else has to lose. in an economy everyone can be a winner.

Possessing the GG variant of COMT rs4680 gene might explain this. Conversely, AA types might get overstimulated and irritable.

This makes me so tempted to get one of those whole genome tests. I had issues with anxiety from age 20 to 38. I was a regular drinker of coffee between the age 20 to 38. About a month after quitting I was finally able to yawn properly like I remember I was able to when I was young. Coffee overstimulates me I figure.

You’re missing out on the phytochemicals that contribute to the positive effects of drinking tea or coffee. You’re getting all the bad (and good) of chronic caffeine stimulation, with none of the plant medicine benefits that tea and coffee drinkers receive.

> If i could have a good filter which really can control my internet usage without giving away my privacy that would be awesome.

This is the domain of your conscience. It notifies you when your actions and values lack alignment.

Aren’t we faced with the same fundamental mystery of human insight? Where does it come from?

We have systematized these pursuits. Even before modern science, language could be used to crudely pool together individual trial and error as a huge force multiplier.

Some tribes have a drug with sophisticated preparation steps from multiple plants and they claim the plants spoke to them about their ability. Carrots were pencil thin woody roots, almonds were fatal, bananas were half rock hard seeds, rice was just another grass, wolves were skittish and bare their teeth at humans. How did ancient humans see potential in them?

I would imagine that a lot of wild plants that we regard as not particularly edible can look much more enticing when that's basically your only choice of food.

As far as wolves, it's still an open question as to how much they "self-domesticated" before humans noticed and started working from the other end. Seeing how human encampments would produce delicious food scraps in refuse (and still do, just ask any black bear!), it stands to reason that some animals would try to cash in on that opportunity. Then you have a selection process whereby the ones that are too skittish would not even bother, and the ones that are too aggressive would be chased away or worse.

The book "Guns Germs and Steel" has some good answers to that question.

I’ve often wondered how the heck did people invent soap? What made them think mix ashes and fat together and use the result to make stuff cleaner? (And that’s ignoring the fact that at a molecular level, soap is pretty amazing in and of itself.)

roasting meat, fat dripping in the ashes. At some point someone wondered the next day "hm, that's funny"

Trial and error?

Bingo. We only know which mushrooms that are tasty or give us a fun time because a lot of people died finding out.

There's also cheating : isn't coffee bean edibility observed from goats? essentially outsourced trial and error is a thing too.

Which is exactly what we do with lab mice.

Not only that. A lot of mushrooms can be eaten in small doses but will cause things like stomach upset well before death. I'd bet we as a species would quickly test mushrooms this way without dieing.

At some period in our evolution, it gave us pre-dispositions to certain tastes. Like our fondness for sweet & salty is universal.

> That's one way to think of it. But you also can just say: the only way to have equal care is to raise the standard of all care to the quality of high end care. That's worth trying to achieve even if it's not logically perfect. Most things in life aren't but trying to get there is still a "reasonable goal". It's just about priorities.

This is a good example of the common liberal fallacy of Utopianism.

Im not familiar with the concept. Is Utopianism the phenomenon of focusing on an a goal, without considering the cost of achieving it, and critically considering what it would realistically look like when they are achieved.

Ya that’s about right.

Utopianism is the quest to attain or implement an ideal society.

Hunger is anchored to our circadian rhythm which nearly coincides with the clock. So we tend to be hungry around the same time each day.

My thinking on this subject is based on this criteria:

How do you measure success of an organism? Another way of putting it is how do you measure the fitness of an individual to its environment?

The only thing that makes sense to me is by counting the offspring, or even better grand-offspring. Raising many offspring that are, in turn, able to raise many offspring, is proof of fitness.

Similarly, on a larger scale, we can measure the success of a group of organisms by their birth rate. A declining birthrate is a sign that the group is no longer flourishing. Each generation is able to squeeze fewer and fewer copies of their genes through the barrier that separates one from the next. The barrier is comprised of the environment and the challenges of life that we are all faced with. The more copies of genes that make it through this barrier, the more successful the originals were at facing modernity.

From this standpoint, it is clear that the dominant cultures of the world are in decline. They are tautologically doomed to fail because producing people is success, and they are not doing it well enough.

If you want to know what the future will look like, look to the sub-cultures that are still producing many children. Children are the future.

By that measure (number of organisms) prokaryotes are the future.


(as to birthrates, cursory googling suggests they have birthrates from on the order of 10e30 individuals per year to on the order of 10e30 individuals per week)

Indeed. These organisms are thriving in their niche.

How many children ought we produce on average?

In terms of desirability, undefined: this generation decides how many children they wish to produce; the next generation gets to decide, having seen the available inputs, how they'll allocate their resources.

In terms of necessity, 0 is an obvious lower bound. An upper bound is difficult to state, but given the low (in vivo anyway) litter size, 32 might be appropriate? Roughly: from 0 to more than 10 but less than 100? (0 to more than 16 but less than 64?)

Was this diagnosis from your employer or colleagues?

I think it popped up on an assessment, or maybe my manager quickly tuned it. Either way, the organization was very keen to identify and help grow through such stuff.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact