Outside Plato's Cave #2

Published 03/06/2020


1/ Virtue is what you don’t show

Aeneas and his family fleeing Troy - Agostino Carracci

I strongly recommend this cool chapter of Skin in the Game about Virtue.

It is immoral to be in opposition of the market system and not live (like the Unabomber) in a hut isolated from it

But there is worse:

It is even more, much more immoral to claim virtue without fully living with its direct consequences

As we saw with the interventionistas, a certain class of theoretical people can despise the details of reality, and completely so. If you believe that you are right in theory, you can completely ignore the real world –and vice versa. And you don’t really care how your ideas affect others because your ideas make you belong to some virtuous status that is impervious to how it affects others.

Kids with rich parents talk about “white privilege” at such privileged colleges as Amherst –but in one instance, one of them could not answer D’Souza’s simple and logical suggestion: why don’t you go to the registrar’s office and give your privileged spot to a minority student who was next in line?

Hence the principle:

If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life


If your private actions do not generalize then you cannot have general ideas

The more costly, the more virtuous the act — particularly if it costs you your reputation. When integrity conflicts with reputation, go with integrity.

Editor’s note : More and more today we are seeing people promoting virtue without Skin in the Game (think about the fact that the inventor of the so called “white privilege” is an extremely rich lady.)

2/ “But is he lucky ?” - Napoleon before choosing a new general

Oil painting "Stream of luck" Painting by Olga Nikanchikova ...

Stream of luck - Olga Nikanchikova

This good article by MIT explains why luck plays a huge role in Life, especially in financial success.

So if not talent, what other factor causes this skewed wealth distribution? “Our simulation clearly shows that such a factor is just pure luck,” say Pluchino and co.

The team shows this by ranking individuals according to the number of lucky and unlucky events they experience throughout their 40-year careers. “It is evident that the most successful individuals are also the luckiest ones,” they say. “And the less successful individuals are also the unluckiest ones.”

Editors’ note : Full paper - arxiv.org/abs/1802.07068 : Talent vs. Luck: The Role of Randomness in Success and Failure

3/ Was the Covid-19 lockdown really efficient ?

Peste de Marseille (1720) — Wikipédia

The 1720 Plague at the French port of Marseille - Michel Serre

Such a good blog post by J.B Handley arguing that Covid-19 lockdown is a total lunacy. After reading this I guarantee you that the media brainwashing on that question will not feel the same.

Knowing what we know today about COVID-19’s Infection Fatality Rate, asymmetric impact by age and medical condition, non-transmissibility by asymptomatic people and in outdoor settings, near-zero fatality rate for children, and the basic understanding of viruses through Farr’s law, locking down society was a bone-headed policy decision so devastating to society that historians may judge it as the all-time worst decision ever made. Worse, as these clear facts have become available, many policy-makers haven’t shifted their positions, despite the fact that every hour under any stage of lockdown has a domino-effect of devastation to society.

Editor’s note : Lockdown also creates dramatic consequences such as 150 000 cancers undetected every month in the US, economic devastation, atrocious rise in domestic violence, etc.

4/ Random food for thought

  1. Read about the Barnum effect.

    The Barnum effect, also called the Forer effect, or less commonly, the Barnum-Forer effect, is a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them, that are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, aura reading, and some types of personality tests.

  2. Read about the Brandolini’s law.

Brandolini's law, also known as the bullshit asymmetry principle, is an internet adage which emphasizes the difficulty of debunking bullshit:"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

Editor’s note : You will see Brandolini’s law everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

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