Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest 7/19/18

Latest Hardcore History “Supernova in the East I” – Every episode of Hardcore History is a must-listen for me (though I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t gone back and purchased the old ones to listen to). This episode chronicles the lead-up to WWII in Japan. Dan Carlin goes over how the Japanese government co-opted its cultural history to make its citizens extreme (“just like us, only more so” is how Carlin put it I believe). Japan industrialized and caught up to the first world powers in a very short time, and the fervent zeal of its citizens is why. That cultural indoctrination is why some Japanese soldiers were still fighting as if WWII never ended up to the 1970s. (271 min.)

Tyler Cowen interviews Vitalik Buterin – Must-listen; self-explanatory. (52 min.) Transcript here (8,550 words)

Scott Alexander on fundamental value differences – “But ‘remember, liberals and conservatives have fundamental value differences, so they are two tribes that can’t coexist’ is the wrong message. ‘Remember, everyone has weak and malleable value differences with everyone else, and maybe a few more fundamental ones though it’s hard to tell, and neither type necessarily line up with tribes at all, so they had damn better learn to coexist,’ is more like it.” In other words, most fundamental value differences aren’t actually so. (3,300 words)

“Are ethical asymmetries from property rights?” – KatjaGrace lists interesting ethical asymmetries that we have and proposes that they arose from our conception of property rights (at least that was my interpretation). However, I think that gets the causality backwards. Instead, I think we first had the conception of “do no evil.” From there, our ethical asymmetries and our conception of property rights arose. (800 words)

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