*arbitrage* [noun] merriam-webster.com/dictionary

1 : the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets in order to profit from price discrepancies

2 : the purchase of the stock of a takeover target especially with a view to selling it profitably to the raider


Arbitrage is a *really* interesting word, it's meaning is actually quite specific and yet that meaning embodies an aspect of the , which has no noun.

So I'll coin one…


> Yoshida Kenko circa 1300: "If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone."


When you are engaged in a struggle against an opponent who cheats, lies, and is otherwise morally broken, adopting the same methods to fight back doesn't mean you win.

First? You still might not win. After all, they have more practice at it.

But worst of all? Whether you succeed or fail, it means you've become like them…

> A Random Distribution of Wealth. masswerk.at/misc/wealth/2.html

Fascinating. And, while this isn't evidence or proof, it definitely follows the idea that most wealthy people got that way via luck instead of talent.

In the real world some people are more talented than others – it's certainly not *all* luck. But I do think there are far more equally (or even greater) talented people who never got the breaks afforded to their more wealthy peers.

More on this: It's important to understand that *all* ideologies are incompatible with both and .

First, even ideologies built around logic include illogical points followers of that ideology *must* accept.

Second (and related to the first), due to the there are no ideologies which may be implemented in the real world without unexpected second-order consequences. Realistically, they just cannot work as described and tend to get hijacked by bad actors.

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Note to the wise: When you are talking to a rationalist, slogans do not an argument make.

The funniest thing about RationalWiki? The fact it follows the 80/20 rule such that 80% of it is documenting and describing ways people are irrational or the ways they attempt to overcome rationalist objections to complete BS.

> RationalWiki. rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Pag

> Scarred Consumption. federalreserve.gov/econres/ifd

> "We show that prior lifetime experiences can “scar” consumers. Consumers who have lived through times of high unemployment exhibit persistent pessimism about their future financial situation and spend significantly less, controlling for the standard life-cycle consumption factors, even though their actual future income is uncorrelated with past experiences … scarred consumers build up more wealth."

Today I Learned ( ) about 'Chesterton’s Fence'.

> Chesterton’s Fence: A Lesson in Second Order Thinking. A core component of making great decisions is understanding the rationale behind previous decisions. If we don’t understand how we got “here,” we run the risk of making things much worse. fs.blog/chestertons-fence/

If someone cannot be honest about themselves, their prejudices, and their intentions – why should it come as a surprise they cannot be honest about history, culture, and the stain of colonialism as well?

> The collapse of complex software. nolanlawson.com/2022/06/09/the

> "Architects are brought in to 'fix' the system. They might wheel out a big whiteboard showing a lot of boxes and arrows pointing at other boxes, and inevitably, their solution is… to add more boxes and arrows. Nobody can subtract from the system; everyone just adds."

Today's hot take: Conspiratorial thinking is the memetic version of biological cancer. The parallels around its spread and its effects on the body politic are astounding.

The sad part? Conspiratorial thinking isn't restricted to low-information people wearing red hats. You see it everywhere now, because it has metastasized.


> legalized gangs. Murder rates plummeted. A stunningly successful experiment has the potential to upend the mainstream US approach to deviance. vox.com/future-perfect/2019/3/

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> A study gave cash and therapy to men at risk of criminal behavior. 10 years later, the results are in. Liberia found a stunningly effective way to reduce violent crimes. Now the US is trying a similar experiment. vox.com/future-perfect/2314140

Today I Learned ( ) about 'Parasocial Interaction'. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasoci

Tl:DR – this is basically a handy tag for the relationship between people who are famous and their fans. But there's a whole fucking iceberg under that neat little description…

I believe in:

* Rationalism

* Realism

* Occam's Razor

* The scientific method

Separately I believe the requires us to increase overall happiness by:

* Showing compassion, even for those we dislike

* Rejecting racism, fascism and authoritarianism in all forms

* Reducing inequality in all forms

* Letting people make their own mistakes/face their own consequences

And I believe the latter list takes precedence over the former. Life is not simply a 'Trolley problem."

> Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention? Mass shooters overwhelmingly fit a certain profile, say Jillian Peterson and James Densley, which means it’s possible to ID and treat them before they commit violence. politico.com/news/magazine/202

On the one hand? Great! Let's identify mass murderers before they commit a crime.

On the other hand? OK, we identified them. Now what? Seriously, what do we do next?


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