Weekend Reading: Dracones, Calendars, and Science 2.0

June 6, 2020 • #

🐉 Hic Sunt Dracones

Adam Elkus with a great essay on the current moment:

“Is this as bad as 1968?” is an utterly meaningless question precisely for this underlying reason. People do not invoke 1968 because of the objective similarities between 2020 and 1968. They do so because we have crossed a threshold at which basic foundations of social organization we take for granted now seem up for grabs. This is an inherently subjective determination, based on the circumstances of our present much as people in 1968 similarly judged the state of their worlds to be in flux. 1968 is an arbitrary signpost on an unfamiliar road we are driving down at breakneck speeds. You can blast “Gimme Shelter” on the car stereo for the aesthetic, but it’s not worth much more than that.

📆 Contemplating Calendars

Devon Zuegel with ideas on how to better utilize your calendar for things beyond appointments and meetings. A few ideas I’d like to commit to doing, especially with using the calendar as a recall tool for memory.

🔬 Science 2.0

Robin Hanson on experts, prestige, skepticism:

Just as our distant ancestors were too gullible (factually, if not strategically) about their sources of knowledge on the physical world around them, we today are too gullible on how much we can trust the many experts on which we rely. Oh we are quite capable of skepticism about our rivals, such as rival governments and their laws and officials. Or rival professions and their experts. Or rival suppliers within our profession. But without such rivalry, we revert to gullibility, at least regarding “our” prestigious experts who follow proper procedures.