• Easy Linux tips project – Very nice guide to setting up Linux Mint and Ubuntu systems
  • Alex de Betak’s dream home in Spain [PDF] – Absolutely stunning place.
  • Information cascade – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – "An information (or informational) cascade occurs when a person observes the actions of others and then—despite possible contradictions in his/her own private information signals—engages in the same acts. A cascade develops, then, when people “abandon their own information in favor of inferences based on earlier people’s actions”.[1] Information cascades provide an explanation for how such situations can occur, how likely they are to cascade incorrect information or actions, how such behavior may arise and desist rapidly, and how effective attempts to originate a cascade tend to be under different conditions. By explaining all of these things, the original Independent Cascade model sought to improve on previous models that were unable to explain cascades of irrational behavior, a cascade's fragility, or the short-lived nature of certain cascades."
  • Information cascade – Lesswrongwiki – An information cascade occurs when people signal that they have information about something, but actually based their judgment on other people's signals, resulting in a self-reinforcing community opinion that does not necessarily reflect reality.
  • Blockspring – A spreadsheet or Excel for web services. Also see Guestimate.


The Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad

by LimbicNutrition Shorts on March 19, 2016

The Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad:

Solid article on an important topics.


Great newsletter this week from Ribbonfarm, this time expounding on the neuropsychological underpinnings of the great populist revolt.

What both sides share with each other, but not with cognitive elites, is a fixed mindset.

A fixed mindset is about having a sense of dignity based on a fixed sense of who you are, whether based on wealth, or prowess at a type of work presumed to be of eternal significance.

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is about having a malleable, adaptive sense of identity that is subject to constant renegotiation with the universe. To some extent, this is an unearned privilege, but one perhaps more democratically distributed than other sorts of privilege.

This constant renegotiation is achieved through steady experimentation with your own life. This means skills never harden into ossified habits, or turn into hardened identities, or into anchors for patterns of social affiliation.

This also means wealth, or any other form of accumulated gains, cannot become a source of hardened identity or social affiliation.

Real experiments can surprise you with their outcomes. To experiment on yourself is to be open to changing yourself in unscripted ways. This inevitably means your social milieu is also subject to change. You may come to despise old friends, and learn to admire those you formerly despised.

This also means things you may have accumulated, be it wealth, degrees, or awards, may suddenly seem worthless to you, while things you ignored as worthless and not worth accumulating may suddenly become priceless and leave you feeling impoverished.

Fixed mindset people also have a fixed sense of their place in the society. The only sort of social mobility considered acceptable is scripted mobility that does not betray the values of “where you came from.”

This stricture is particularly strong in America. You will not be punished for starting from the wrong side of the tracks and making millions. You will, however, be punished for abandoning an interest in football for an interest in French poetry, and making new friends.

Industrial age psychology reflects these norms. As William Whyte noted in The Organization Man, psychology in the industrial age was about producing “well adjusted” individuals, not mentally healthy ones.

Being “well-adjusted” with respect to a disappearing class is a sort of insanity. At the same time, “betraying” obsolete class loyalties to adapt to new realities is sanity that makes you externally maladjusted.

One consequence of this well-adjustedness bias in industrial psychology is that you’re mostly on your own if you choose to adopt a growth mindset. Society is by definition not designed to provide support to transgressors of its own, class-segmented norms.

If you are living in an experimental way — self-learning skills for which there are no schools, making the “wrong” sorts of friends, living in the “wrong” places, and cultivating the “wrong” tastes — you are part of the cognitive elite.

There are no core textbooks, maps, or scripts for this path. You are a lifelong ongoing experiment. You may sometimes find co-conspirators for some experiments, but your default sample size is n=1. The only expert authority you can appeal to is you.

You may spend a few years in one community, move on to another, or spend some years pursuing solitary personal challenges. Experimental living can take many forms.

You may be attracted to experimental (and experiential) living communities devoted to particular kinds of exploration, but your primary loyalty will be to the deepest truths about yourself.

Quantified Self, the rationality community, hipsterdom, lifestyle design in Bali: ultimately, these are just chapter headings. Not the text, let alone the whole novel.

Some friendships may endure for a lifetime. Others may be restricted to one or the other chapter of your life. Still others may turn into enmity despite your best efforts.

Experimental living isn’t about living in San Francisco and going to Burning Man every year. Many “burners” are very colorful people but creatures of habit living highly non-experimental lives.

It isn’t even about that well-studied psychological trait (part of the Big 5) called “openness to experience” because you can be safely “open” in very risk-limited ways.

Experimental living is about being willing to pay the emotional and social costs of truly experimenting on yourself, with your entire self being open to radical reconstruction. For the rest of your life.

…crowds are good for going insane with, but regaining and maintaining your sanity is by default a solitary, lifelong struggle.

You are a being at the intersection of two worlds: one is the shared external world. The other is your private internal world, which ultimately only you can truly access.

The cognitive science of you, like any other science, is a path of accepting pain in order to discover novel truths about yourself. And like it or not, on some parts of this path you will be alone.

You will have to repeatedly overcome the fear of being an outcast, and resist the seduction of false promises of communal belonging. You will inevitably hurt others, despite your best efforts to be gentle. You will inevitably be hurt, despite your best efforts to be stoic.

If you rise to all those challenges, congrats, you will be part of the cognitive elite, and live a life under constant, unpleasant siege by the fixed-mindset world.

But I’ll guarantee you this: whatever the outcomes of your experiments, you will never regret choosing growth and change over the comforting stasis of a fixed identity.

From The Cognitive Psychology of You


Truth leakage

by Limbic on March 5, 2016

One of the links in a recent post examines US liberal’s attitude to Trump  (“Liberals look at Trump and populism, but see only their prejudices“) . The author identifies a wonderful bit of journalistic leakage from John Cassidy writing in the New Yorker:

The rest of his essay is the usual horse-race malarkey that fascinates journalists and hides the important issues that he opens with — such as this astonishing statement…

skeptical of … free trade, and military interventionism. … ending free trade, protecting Social Security, and providing basic health care.

Is Cassidy describing Trump or Sanders?

As Curtis “Mencius Moldbug” Yarvin observed in “An Open Letter to Open Minded Progressives“:

“Often, as with politician, journalists speak the truth in a fit of absent-mindedness, when their real concern is something else.

So true. I make it a sport now to pick up the accidental metadata of truth leakage from journalists. Another fun game is one suggested by Edward Snowdon…

See also:

The Murray Gell-Mann amnesia effect

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The natives are restless

by Limbic on March 5, 2016

As the political centre distorts under popular pressure from  left and right-wing populists, it is worth considering at least one factor in this story: The lies and guarded, PC speech of the elites (mostly “Bullshit” formal variety) makes political extremists look authoritative for stating obvious facts that mainstream political narratives have deemed unmentionable (although the old Overton Window is being disintermediated by the internet too, see Seth Godin’s tweetstorm via Stratechery.)

Venkatesh Rao explains it in “Be Slightly Evil“:

“We give people authority even when we don’t like them and are not afraid of them if they possess valuable information or skills.

There are many such “authority-earning” skills, but one of the most important is the ability to see reality as it really is, in minimally-deluded ways…[and] to see and convincingly frame realities in ways that turn matters of opinion into matters of fact.

Whilst elites are denying obvious problems and pandering to special interests, they are allowing skilled extremists to present themselves as the only ones who see reality as it is and therefore the only one competent to lead.

In addition, you have had 40 years of election cycles where the elites have been pandering to swing and minority voters, at the expense of the white working class. Now everyone is baffled that a nativist is wildly popular amongst, well, the natives.

Trump will fade, either the GOP establishment will engineer a pretext why he is disqualified or he will be assassinated or simply lose to Clinton, but he has unleashed political forces that will be very hard for the elites to contain. He has done a service to us all popping the bubble of PC Bullshit that makes politics so artificial and alienating. He has established that the PC over-engineered, scripted and memorised soundbite bullshit is now political liability, a badge of insincerity and duplicity.

The problem of course is that thoughtful politicians who weigh their carefully chosen words will be seen to be inauthentic bullshitters.

See more:

  • The Right struggles to understand Trump and populism – Fabius Maximus 
  • Liberals look at Trump and populism, but see only their prejudices – Fabius Maximus
  • The propagandists have won: What Fox News and the pornography revolution have in common – Salon


The Data Miner

by LimbicNutrition Shorts on March 5, 2016


*Wow, the Data Miner is an employee of tremendous value, he should be made CIO 


Watch The World Age: 1960 – 2060 (Projection)

by LimbicNutrition Shorts on March 5, 2016


“Watch The World Age: 1960 - 2060 (Projection) “ via Aron Strandberg 


Dream home

by Limbic on February 27, 2016

From http://bureaubetak.info/TMag/TMag.pdf, Alexandre de Betak’s dream home (and mine!)…




Found Photos Redux

by Limbic on February 27, 2016

Used to love this Found Photos site when it was active in the mid 2000’s

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pinkjetpack: Camera Magazine February 1970, cover by Georges…

by LimbicNutrition Shorts on February 27, 2016


Camera Magazine February 1970, cover by Georges Tourdjman.

Love the compounf eyes!