57 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2022
    1. Either way, our world is witnessing a grand experiment that’s now underway: China and the West, facing very similar societal problems, have now, thanks to Wang Huning, embarked on radically different approaches to addressing them.

      Experiments with similar starting conditions. Visible results. Either way this turns out, we will learn from it.

  2. Feb 2022
    1. As a tumultuous 2020 roiled American politics, Chinese people began turning to Wang’s America Against America for answers. And when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, the book flew off the shelves.

      Effect of the 2021 US Capitol attack in China -- seeing it as emblematic of the west's societal problems.

    1. empathize with the person to whom you’re speaking

      That should be done for any type of communication. How does the "curse of knowledge" relate to this specifically?

    2. How exactly did this go wrong?

      You have a different political belief than the one who you're supposed to write the speech for. This isn't related to knowing or not knowing something?

    1. We’re actively looking for the learning guide of the future.

      Has something changed since 2018?

    2. with inline discussion with other learners

      Ha, web annotations to the rescue!

    3. You don’t need to read a whole link to get the main point, you want to curate little bits and pieces of open resources: 30 seconds of this podcast, a minute and a half from this youtube video, just these 4 paragraphs from this article.

      Then why not summarize these important content fragments into a single post learners should read?

      I disagree somewhat with only curating parts of content or endless remixing of content. The value of reading original sources is that you form opinions and see connections yourself -- learning instead of memorising.

    1. Cicero had reigned supreme as the model and arbiter of good speech in Europe. Characteristically, Cicero’s sentences unfold slowly, building steam through a series of subordinate clauses toward a central idea.

      Meaning this speaking style is mostly meant to overwhelm and persuade you, not permit to make your own conclusions from the presented facts?

    2. Anyone who has ever glanced at a facsimile edition of even the most canonical writers of the English language—say Milton or Shakespeare—will be familiar with the wilder gardens of early modern usage.

      English vocabularly standardized more gradually than other languages -- with larger differences between writings.

    1. your optimal city is where you have the best chances of finding your tribe

      You can also find your "tribe" on the internet -- many people (including me) find that much easier than in real life. You have many more opportunities for connections and can drop things that don't work.

      Maybe the author's point is more about the serendipity of being in an environment with people of your interests?

    2. If you still live in the same city you grew up in, you should probably move.

      I'd be wary of making general statements like that. For me, moving not just cities but countries has been the best thing I ever did -- but to get away from a comfortable environment, not into one as the article describes here.

    1. A Pareto improvement occurs when a change in allocation harms no one and helps at least one person

      We should only do changes like this. Innovation instead of looting.

    2. when an economy has its resources and goods allocated to the maximum level of efficiency

      What exactly is "good allocated to the maximum level of efficiency" supposed to mean? We're always producing new wealth that can be applied somewhere.

    1. According to Freeman, this is why games (in spite of their undeniable successes) have yet to achieve the same widespread market penetration as movies or television - because the emotional complexity of gaming is not up to the standard set by more conventional entertainment media.

      A prediction from 2003 why video games are less successful than movies or TV. I wonder what's the popular sentiment on this today.

    1. Today, K.e.coffman is a solid member of English Wikipedia’s editorial elite—No. 734 out of 121,000, as of this writing.

      This article is the story of one insanely dedicated Wikipedia editor. There are 733 at least more.

    2. “My editing style tends to be bold.”

      The most honest way to edit or write.

    3. In a long spree of edits, Coffman cleans up the two articles.

      I wonder if she investigated who put the false information there. IMHO it was most likely an oversight of someone who missed the clarifying sentence in the book rather than malice.

    1. Obsidian doesn't make connections for me. More importantly, it doesn't do all the really important stuff brains do — it doesn't breathe for me, it doesn't regulate my temperature, it doesn't interpret things I see, it doesn't feel. Calling a notetaking app a "second brain" abstracts away all the essential parts of being human that don't count as "objective" "thought."
    1. from similar indexing and discovery services

      I assume the following is a direct comparison to https://scholar.google.com/

  3. Jan 2022
    1. We wouldn’t have hilarious coffee drinking robot commercials without it!

      I wonder what the author is referring to here.

    1. levelised costs well below lithium batteries

      "levelised costs" -- Is this system more expensive initially than installing lithium batteries?

    1. you still can’t say anything in casual conversation except “I read the book,”

      Related to this, I think being proud of "read books" (or worse, counting them) and bringing that up in conversations is pure signalling. Books are not just there to be consumed.

      Great essay on making knowledge your own: https://sive.rs/dq

    2. % that I understand and retain

      I don't think understanding can be clearly captured with a percentage. That assumes each author is a genius and you only learn from a book exactly what the author meant.

      With the best books, I often find that's not the case -- for me they serve as inspiration for my own thinking, and some aspects are much more interesting than others. I don't need to comprehend every idea the author meant if I got what's important to me.

    3. and the 1-2 sentences people usually say to introduce the book

      I find that I increasingly skip introductionary sentences written by other people, or what's on the book cover. The book should stand on it's own, if you want actual understanding and not copying of opinion.

    4. Read reviews/discussions of the book (ideally including author replies), but not the book: 2 hours of time investment, 25% understanding/retention.

      This means copying the reviewers opinion of the book instead of forming your own. Of course that's faster, but IMHO you cannot call it "understanding of the book". You're reading a different "book" written by the reviewer.

    5. only 12-15% understanding/retention

      I think the gap between thoughtful, slow reading and quick reading is much larger. Assuming of course that slow reading means thinking about the sentences, probably highlighting passages and scribbling a few notes.

      Doesn't apply to every book of course, and depends on the aspect of understanding you want (your own thoughts or what the author meant).

    1. as the country progressively embraced a more neoliberal capitalist economic model

      Why did they do that? Any good source here?

    2. the radical autonomy of the modern “consumer.”

      Or the modern self-employed producer, which we see more and more of (gig work, internet creators etc). You generally have more choice today in your form of employment. It is not just about consuming.

    3. “For our generation, children aren’t a necessity…Now we can live without any burdens. So why not invest our spiritual and economic resources on our own lives?”

      Indeed. Being forced to have children out of material necessity is no good basis for societal growth.

    4. This “commodification, in many ways, corrupts society and leads to a number of serious social problems.”


    5. a “younger generation [that] is ignorant of traditional Western values” and actively rejects its cultural inheritance

      What is he referring to here?

    6. nihilistic individualism

      How do those concepts fit thogether? Individualism means valuing yourself -- so there you are valuing something. Does it mean not caring about larger institutions then?

    7. But while Americans can, he says, perceive that they are faced with “intricate social and cultural problems,” they “tend to think of them as scientific and technological problems” to be solved separately.

      Yes, because we rarely make progress in other aspects. For technological problems there's a clear solution that people will buy if it works. Deliberate sociological change you may have to force, which is never a good basis.

    8. “Since 1949, we have criticized the core values of the classical and modern structures, but have not paid enough attention to shaping our own core values.” Therefore: “we must create core values.” Ideally, he concluded, “We must combine the flexibility of [China’s] traditional values with the modern spirit [both Western and Marxist].”

      At a glance, a sensible proposal. Western nations too spend a lot of time criticizing instead of reforming their core values.

    9. In the brutally cutthroat world of CCP factional politics

      Are China's politics cutthroat? As an ignorant western person it appears their government is always acting in unison, much more so than in the US for example. Definetely worth reading more on.

    10. Officially referred to as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Common Prosperity” campaign, this transformation is proceeding along two parallel lines: a vast regulatory crackdown roiling the private sector economy and a broader moralistic effort to reengineer Chinese culture from the top down. But why is this “profound transformation” happening? And why now? Most analysis has focused on one man: Xi and his seemingly endless personal obsession with political control. The overlooked answer, however, is that this is indeed the culmination of decades of thinking and planning by a very powerful man—but that man is not Xi Jinping.

      What a great introduction to the article.

    1. that more data would be needed to assess whether it is significant

      Exactly. He effectively created his algorithm on the training data set, and can't independently verify the results.

      Notably, the words used in the game are meant to be guessed by humans -- so using an optimal strategy that considers every english word should perform fairly well.

    2. The player accesses a no-frills page, with no fee, registration or advertising

      I think the explosive social growth comes from this simplicity. You are not told how well you did or get to try multiple examples. The only way to find that out is to share the product.

      Probably an unintentional effect, but a powerful one.

    1. The usual neural pathways for representing numbers lead to dead ends. And this, perhaps, is why people are afraid of big numbers.

      Not just "why we are afraid of big numbers", also why we do not intuitely understand exponentials (as referenced earlier in the article). Exponentials appear in nature, but humans rarely had to deal with them until a few thousand years ago.

    2. For approximate reckoning we use a ‘mental number line,’ which evolved long ago and which we likely share with other animals. But for exact computation we use numerical symbols, which evolved recently and which, being language-dependent, are unique to humans.

      The core of this hypothesis: Approximating things (e.g. numbers) is an innately human instinct, while precise computation using abstract symbols evolved only recently. In nature there's rarely a large difference between 1.0 and 1.1.

      It's applied to the big number problem in the next paragraph.

    3. Indeed, one could define science as reason’s attempt to compensate for our inability to perceive big numbers.

      Or very small numbers, like understanding how atoms work in order to synthesize stronger materials. Or in general, attempting to understand things that are outside our direct field of view and intuitive understanding.

      I like the author's argument. Reasoning about big numbers is reasoning about what we don't know -- the first step of getting to know it.

    4. But how can we determine, in a finite amount of time, whether something will go on endlessly?
    5. Nondeterministic Polynomial-Time.

      Meaning, you can come up with a solution to an NP problem in polynomic time (something represented by an exponential), if you take the optimal choice every time there is a choice (non-deterministic). Which is the same as verifying that a given solution is correct, by just following it's steps.

    6. physicist Albert Bartlett asserted "the greatest shortcoming of the human race" to be "our inability to understand the exponential function."
    7. Had he chosen easy-to-write 1’s rather than curvaceous 9’s, his number could have been millions of times bigger.

      It's about finding the best representation of big numbers, not thinking of them.

    1. Email is a place where that need gets met for many readers and therefore a place for us to experiment.

      Interestingly, I enjoy reading the articles more when I stumble upon them browsing their home page, rather than through a newsletter subscription. There's something to exploring vs. consuming.

      But it makes sense that they want to optimise for newsletter subscribers.

    2. some people we’ve interviewed in brand research told us that The Atlantic is “absolutely a conservative” institution, while for other people it is“definitely a liberal” one

      That's the best feedback you can get if you want to be truly independent.

    1. A presidential-campaign field organizer in a caucus state told me she can’t get low-income workers to commit to coming to meetings or rallies, let alone a time-consuming caucus, because they don’t know their schedules in advance.
    2. our every minute should be “captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily.”

      A similar read on the topic: https://www.oliverburkeman.com/time

    3. Sundays are no longer a day of forced noncommerce—everything’s open—or nonproductivity.

      That's not neccesarily the ideal for all people. But it should at least be a choice what to do with our time.

    4. To make the most efficient use of their scant time at home, some parents have resorted to using the same enterprise software that organizes their office lives

      It's coming full circle: The software that made companies more efficient and demands more of employee's attention now also solves the problems it created in their personal lives. Everyone is trying to "be more efficient", whatever that means.

    5. The personalization of time may seem like a petty concern, and indeed some people consider it liberating to set their own hours or spend their “free” time reaching for the brass ring. But the consequences could be debilitating for the U.S. in the same way they once were for the U.S.S.R. A calendar is more than the organization of days and months. It’s the blueprint for a shared life.

      What a well-written intro!

    6. Managers were supposed

      I wonder what it took to bribe Managers into assigning you the color you wanted.

    7. since production never stopped

      But production per day must have slowed down since you always had less people working at once. It's an interesting way to increase utilization of industrial equipment -- you don't have to increase capacity, but can use the same things longer. Assuming you rotated 2 rest days within 7 day weeks that would mean you need 2/7 = 28% less workplaces for people (maybe ore smelters for example), which could be significant.