ok but seriously the idea that ALL notifications on your smartphone come through with roughly equal priority and zero context, and that we are expected to manage dozens or hundreds of potentially critical but mostly unimportant pocket buzzes a day is fucking untenable

So, there's this concept of "implicit feudalism" in online communities. Essentially, the vast majority of online communities - from old-school forums, to facebook groups, to large platforms like Twitter and Facebook themselves, even to fediverse instances - they're all run as dictatorships by default. It's built into the software - you'll have a top admin who has full, unconstrained power, they might delegate mods who have some limited powers, and anyone else has to listen to what these dictators and lords tell them. We talk about "federating" here in the fediverse, but each individual community - as far as I'm aware of - is a little dictatorship. A federation of dictatorships is not a free society, anymore than the UN, an international body composed of "liberal democracies" and authoritarian regimes is truly democratic. We need a way to start governing online communities through actual forms of democracy.


@anomaly this is illegally good i'm sorry to inform you you're under arrest

western gpus: look like theyre scraped off the sack of megatron in the fucking bayformers movies

Kahan's clincher:

"To live well—or just to live—individuals (including scientists) must accept much more [decision-relevant science] than they can ever hope to make sense of on their own."

Please rid yourself of this notion that you can somehow evaluate the science behind cancer or AIDS, behind climate change or nuclear power. That all we need is "critical thinking" or "media studies" to protect us from extremism, radicalization, false medicine, incorrect thinking.

"Will you carefully read and evaluate all the studies that inform your physician’s recommendation? If those studies refer, as they inevitably will, to previous ones the methods of which aren’t reproduced in those papers, will you read those, too? … will you enroll in a professional training program to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills? … will you redo the experiments—*all* of them…"

"Of course not. Because by the time you did those things, you’d be dead."

This notion, that you or I can evaluate the medical claims, is toxic. #DanKahan brilliantly illustrates this papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf:

"You learn next week that you have an endocrinological deficit that can be effectively treated but only if you submit to a regimen of daily medications. You certainly will do enough research to satisfy yourself—to satisfy any reasonable person in your situation—that this recommendation is sound before you undertake such treatment. But what will you do?" (cont.)

I'm a programmer. Most of my waking thinking moments are spent ironing out in excruciating detail how to actually do something that was easy to say in words. I combat "Shit's Easy Syndrome" every day (steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2009/).

None of these factions can construct a real convincing argument against its opponent. Viral beliefs, like real viruses, evolve under intense pressure—their inventors poured all their energy, creativity, and intellect in making these beliefs immune to easy argumentation.

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