October 2020 Favorites

21 min read

Things I enjoyed in October 2020

The untested truths spun by different interests continue to churn and accumulate … No one is invalidated, but nobody is right. Not even natural selection can take place here. The world is being engulfed in ‘truth.’ And this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, 2001

Videos

Science & Knowledge

Productivity

History & Culture

Cinema & Film

Politics

Humor

TV Shows

Movies

Music

Podcasts

DUST

  • CHRYSALIS – The third season of DUST (Trailer) is a 14 episode long brilliant sci-fi story about a replicator AI that goes on a revenge tour through the galaxy for the destruction of humanity. 🤩

The Joe Rogan Experience

The Portal

New Discourses

New Discourses is a new political podcast by James Lindsay I discovered this month.

  • Biden Is Not The Room 55:00 – A one-hour long, extremely interesting monologue by James Lindsay, the scientist behind the Grievance studies affair, on why he will vote for Donald Trump, even though he is not happy he has to. 🤩

Bret Weinstein | DarkHorse Podcast

Science Salon

TRIGGERnometry

The Art of Manliness

On Being with Krista Tippett

Quillette Podcast

Conversations With Coleman

Indubio

Books

Articles

Inspiration

Stuff & Things

  • Apple Music – I switched from Spotify to Apple Music this month. Spotify censored and de-platformed a small German podcast I’m listening to out of ideological reasons (they dared to interview an author who wrote a book about gender-transition in children). As Apple Music has 10 Million more songs, lyrics, a nicer app, and the same price, the decision to switch was not hard for me. But the migration of my playlists was stressful because I needed to speed up, as Spotify closed the APIs this month. I got out before the lock-in.
  • Apple Podcasts – My new default Podcast app. I ask myself why I never considered using it before. It syncs across my devices, looks nice, and doesn’t censor content.
  • Browser Threat Test – Test your browser for the vulnerability of Fingerprinting and other things.
  • Raindrop.io – A powerful bookmark manager
  • YiNote – A cool browser extension that allows making notes on YouTube videos and export these later including a screenshot, time code, and notes in various formats.
  • Our World in Data – A fantastic website with scientific data and over 3000 charts on hundreds of topics.
  • Drafts – A nice app I started using for quickly adding text on the go (via Apple Watch or iPhone) and later convert it to a permanent note in Obsidian.
  • New Discourses – Pursuing the light of objective truth in subjective darkness. I discovered this fantastic website, founded by James Lindsay.

People

  • Dr. Bradley L. Garrett – A social geographer, explorer, and photographer based at University College Dublin in Ireland.
  • Colin Wright – Evolutionary biologist, who left academia because he couldn’t any longer study without harassment by activists. He is now Managing Editor at Quillette.
  • Gad Saad – A Professor, Evolutionary Psychologist, Author and host of the podcast The Saad Truth. He is a Jew from Lebanon who had to flee the country and he lives now in Canada. His new book The Parasitic Mind exposes bad ideas that threaten freedom, reason, and liberalism in the West.
  • James Lindsay – American author, mathematician, and political commentator. He has written 6 books and is the founder of New Discourses. He is the person behind the Grievance studies affair, that exposed the corruption of the Social Sciences in academia. He fights totalitarian ideologies every day on Twitter.

Quotes

The game Metal Gear Solid 2 predicted nearly 20 years ago quite accurately the world we live in. A world where no truth exists, just My Truth and Your Truth instead of The Truth.

I’ve seen many wrong statements retweeted by the people I follow on social media that the only explanations are filter bubbles, groupthink, and the laziness of finding out the truth.

The untested truths spun by different interests continue to churn and accumulate … No one is invalidated, but nobody is right. Not even natural selection can take place here. The world is being engulfed in ‘truth.’ And this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, 2001

Elon Musk summarised on Joe Rogan’s podcast, that governments, thinking they can just lock down the economy for unlimited time and solve the resulting crisis by printing money, won’t work:

So, this notion that you can just sort of send out checks to everybody and things will be fine is not true. Obviously. There are some people that have this absurd view that the economy is like some magic horn of plenty. Like it just makes stuff. There is just a magic horn of plenty and the goods and services, they just come from this magic horn of plenty, and then if somebody has more stuff it’s because they took more from this magic horn of plenty. Now let me just break it to you, the fools out there. If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff. […] You can’t just legislate money and solve these things. If you don’t make stuff, there is no stuff. Obviously.


Thomas Sowell summarises what was already predicted in early 2020 by a few people: That the upcoming election will be used to start race riots for political reasons.

Racism is not dead. But it is on life-support, kept alive mainly the people who use it for an excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful enough to torn out as a voting block on election day.

Thomas Sowell

The freedoms … guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.

Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169 (1972)

Jason Fried on the Illusion of Agreement. Be precise in your communication and don’t assume two sides have the same understanding of an issue.

Next time you’re discussing something with someone — inside or outside your organization — and you find the outcome contingent upon a relative term or phrase, be sure to clarify it. If they say expedited, you say we need it tomorrow morning, October 3. Expedited is relative, and overnight can be too depending on where someone’s shipping something from, what time zone they’re in, etc. Get concrete, get it in writing, and get complete clarity. Slam the door shut on interpretation, and open the door to assuredness.


Remember the lesson: ‘An idea or fact is not worth more merely because it is easily available to you’.

Charles Munger

Retired Navy Admiral and former Navy SEAL William McRaven in one of my favorite commencement speeches about the importance of little things.

If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you’ll have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact, that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.


Colin Wright about the sad truth that ideology prevents scientific progress in a lot of scientific areas.

But it seems clear to me that academia now is not as it was advertised a decade ago when I started down this path. It is no longer a refuge for outspoken, free-thinking intellectuals. Instead, it seems one must now choose between living a zipper-lipped life as an academic scientist or living a life as a fulfilled intellectual. Currently, one cannot do both.


Thomas Sowell about the simple truth that a society can’t survive if the beliefs of people diverge too far from the truth.

There is only so much divergence between prevailing theories and intractable reality that a society can survive. Yet theories of equality are unlikely to be re-examined—or examined the first time—when they provide a foundation for the heady feeling of being morally superior to a benighted ‘society.’

Thomas Sowell, Quest for Cosmic Justice

Arlie Hochschild suggested an idea I read in similar kind last month in John Glubb and Avoiding the Fate of Empires by Leo Nicoletto: That obligatory civil service could be a solution to political division and help the unity of a country. It would bring people in contact with different people in other regions of a country, and teach respect.

It’s not only a contempt that really bothers me now whenever I hear it or see it, and that is buried to some degree, but there’s a kind of reluctance to reach out. It’s as if, on the left, there’s a lot of good political will, but it’s gotten curled up onto itself and become a kind of a self-monitoring program, Oh, you said this wrong or that wrong, instead of reaching out to build coalitions — because we’re a big country. Not everyone’s like us; not everyone’s like them. What we need are sturdy coalitions. And I think labor unions — when the labor movement was much larger, there was a way that people of different colors and classes got together. When you had a compulsory draft, people of different colors and classes got together in a natural way. […] Public schools have done this. But we’re down on those crossover, connective institutions. I think we need to build another one. I would like to see a civil service, one year required of everyone. […] Yeah, of everyone, and you go to a different region and get to know people — first of all, get to know how to treat people respectfully and listen actively and be immediate. Everybody should learn those skills. And then go across to see if we can rebuild that connective tissue. […] I’m sure people have said to you, and I get into this conversation myself, this critique that there are all kinds of groups of people, including people of color, who have long felt like strangers in their own land in this country.


Reading without processing the ideas is fruitless to Arthur Schopenhauer, as reading already takes over a huge amount of the work which is thinking.

When we read, another person thinks for us: we merely repeat his mental process. […] This is the case with many learned persons: they have read themselves stupid.

Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

For I believe a good king is from the outset and by necessity a philosopher, and the philosopher is from the outset a kingly person.

Musonius Rufus, Lectures, 8.33.32

The best way to avenge yourself is to not be like that.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.6

The vaccine should be tested on politicians first. If they survive, the vaccine is safe. If they don’t then the country is safe.

Monika Wisniewska