(OK sure, common law actually began as a culturally evolved equilibrium to prevent constant cycles of violence, not as a project, and not really aiming at justice. But justice is what we say it's about now.)

The education system is what happens when your sincere, inspired project of spreading rationality and knowledge meets bureaucracy and politics.

The legal system is what happens when your nominal project of meting out impartial justice meets bureaucracy, human bloodthirstiness, and scientific illiteracy.

- Charles Sanders Peirce, a writer I hope to really get into in my dotage.

Though this is stirring stuff while I'm young:


"Many a man has cherished for years some vague shadow of an idea, too meaningless to be positively false; he has, nevertheless, passionately loved it, made it his companion by day & by night, & has given to it his strength & his life, and in short has lived with it & for it... & then waked up some bright morning to find it gone, clean vanished & the essence of his life gone with it... who can tell how many histories of circle-squarers, metaphysicians, astrologers & whatnot, may not be told..."

Two cheering pieces of news today:

- EU ceases daylight savings time, a minor public health coup. (see sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-a )

- The British Astrological and Psychic Society is shutting down. I think I had presumed that these people and the flat-earthers and the monotheists and the polytheists would always be with us. But apparently, maybe, not.

"I was there, child, during the Switch."
"What's the Switch, grandad?"
"When captchas went from using accuracy to mark out humans, to using inaccuracy."

Bold new direction from O2, targeting the lucrative pro-drowning demographic.

(Story is overtaken by comedy if I clarify that it was vegan cheese.)

Smol tragedy: Tiny cat staring at me from the garden. Unwavering, for several minutes. I throw her some cheese, she immediately flees. How was I to know that it was not gain she sought, but love?

Norm: "Medicine has been scientific for a long time."

Contrarian: "Semmelweis couldn't get doctors to wash their damn hands between surgeries *in 1850*, & was driven insane by ostracism."

Metacontrarian: "Semmelweis was gravely net negative. His abrasiveness set back medical hand-hygiene by polarising surgeons against it."

Metameta: "Semmelweis' tragedy contributed to a softening towards oddballs bad at marketing themselves, far better for the species than one basic hygiene technique..."


"The amount of misinformation about research in my own discipline [quantum gravity] is so high that no one who doesn’t work in the field has a chance to figure out what’s going on."

(And if even they can't communicate, we're all doomed.)

The real kicker is actually directed outside the story, to us:

"If there was some amazing force outside of time
To take us back to where we were
And hang each moment up like pictures on the wall
Inside a billion tiny frames so that we could see it all, all, all"

That force is the audience, e.g. watching episodes out of sequence, e.g. writing long strange rants.

Ooo is immortalised simply because we're outside their time. It's not gone until we're gone.

But on plausible views of time (growing-block, eternalism), the value still exists: nothing subsequent can touch past value.

The heat death of the universe (the end of the last season) is bad, if it's bad, because it stops us having any more, not because it means all of this was for nothing. I find this an incredibly helpful idea.

This song, from the finale of 'Adventure Time' has a lot going on.

The first rad thing is its four-dimensionalism about value:

"It seems unforgiving when a good thing ends / But you and I will always be back then"

It's pretty common for people to retroactively deny good things were good. After a breakup, for instance. (Like Plato - "if it doesn't last forever, it wasn't real.")

Why does Nietzsche rank gunpowder above the printing press? Is he just an edgelord?

Sort of; his thing is \(\text{cranking the variance}\). Don't end suffering; lean into it, use it as a swing into rad altered states. Is this right? Probably not. (Parfit: "Though N makes normative claims most of us would strongly reject, some are not wholly sane; others depend on false beliefs. & N often disagrees with himself.")

But he's still one of the people I internally consult when imagining the future.

"Marry, and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way."
- Kierkegaard (1843)

Youth: 'Is it better to marry or not to marry?'
Socrates (c. -370): 'Whichever you do, you'll regret it.'


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