Thursday assorted links


#1 Affordable yes. And that would be about their only advantage until they get sideswiped by a semi on the way to a new hookup in Sacramento.

#3 Be my guest. Just like industrial metals the more they invest the higher the value of my collection of rare pepes and the more derivatives of them.

#5 After he destroyed Gawker I erected a small framed photo of him in my office. Doing God's work that man...

"#5 After he destroyed Gawker I erected a small framed photo of him in my office. Doing God's work that man..."

Gawker was a blight on human society.

That being said, I think they raised some interesting points with their article about Jeffery Epstein. I wonder what Steven Pinker was doing on that guy's plane and why Tyler didn't ask him about it.
Does Jeffery Epstein also having a self-driving bang bus?

du hasst mich.

Peter Thiel funds and profits from corporate and government surveillance of US citizens. Strange that a supposed "libertarian" has such totalitarian, authoritarian tendencies.

"...funds and profits from corporate and government surveillance of US citizens."

Funds his company. Other companies and the government may choose what to do with the information they receive from Palantir...if any.

"Profits"....."Palantir has never reported a profit, and in 2018 Morgan Stanley valued the company at $6 billion." (

$6 billion seems awfully low for a Dr. Evil type just saying....

$6 billion is awfully cheap to sell out the Constitution and the rights of American citizens. just saying ....

Knowing folks w/n the company, its clients, and govt its mostly vaporware for most of how it is applied. Its much more benign and insignificant than what is publicly acknowledged. You can tell by how many folks left the company, the desperate across the board raises to retain works, and majors like Walmart and others have dropped contracts,

#1 Are we reinventing RVs?

...Reinventing the perception. They used to be cheap dwellings for people that James Carville really disliked and have always been associated with a certain class and income level.

But something happened 20-30 years ago. Wages went flat while inflation and costs to break into the middle-class as well as attend university went up. Fixing the wage growth and university cost is too difficult so it's much easier to reinvent the perception of the RV/mobile home into the E-WiFi-Network-of-things-fantasy or "Tiny Home" fantasy or Go-on-an-adventure at 36 fantasy because the actual owning of property is out of reach.

It's called helping people fake it until they never make it.

....Btw I forgot to mention that the people involved in helping to reinvent the RV for initial-cohort millennials are-makin-da-big-bucks and just sold their house in Pacific Palisades to move to Sanibel Island.

"It's called helping people fake it until they never make it."

Why would it be faking it? Living in a nice RV is probably better and more cost effective than renting an $800 per month in southern California. It's a logical adaptation to the crazy cost of housing in some parts of the country.

Somewhat tongue in cheek there but I'm trying to get the point across that in the USA the most reliable methodology historically to break into the middle class (and stay there) has been acquiring property and owning or starting a business. A nice RV might be more cost effective sure, but it is not a long term solution (as the article suggests), is more precarious and higher risk, and is it the highest and best use for those resources which could be put to much more efficient use albeit likely not in California...which is a different story entirely.

The article is a piece of lifestyle marketing which - for me - is the definition of "faking it." For Pete's sake one of the sentences in that article describes a piece of your home being "detachable" and made in you'd still need to own property in order for that concept to be truly effective. It's the "downgrade your lifestyle" marketing that gets to me, and although unscientific my theory is that it does encourage poor financial decision making by some people.

Fair enough.

#2: I understand that Copenhagen is the "official, standard" interpretation we teach to school children but are there very many actual physicists who actually believe in it? According to polling my physics grad student friends and one survey I saw of Nobel Prize winners it's very much a minority position among physicists.

Physicist here: sadly, although I think most would say they 'don't actually believe it' the Copenhagen interpretation is probably the only one most physicists know. It's basically the 'shut up and calculate' interpretation. No one should be writing papers based on it (except for history papers). It's an Everettian world (or at least an Everettian theory).

Honestly, most physicists don't consider it an interesting question. Or at least, not a *professionally* interesting question.

The problem is that all of the interpretations are set up in such a way as to give the same actual predictions as the Copenhagen interpretation. So there aren't any experiments you could do to distinguish between the Copenhagen interpretation and the New Shiny Interpretation That's Totally Better Than The Copenhagen interpretation. Lacking such an experiment, it's pretty easy to draw a line between the theory and the story you tell yourself about the theory.

In principle, a new interpretation could be useful if it made it much easier to do the calculations, or shed light on some interesting experiments that had been neglected before. But 1) I already know multiple ways of doing the calculations 2) philosophical distinctions are surprisingly hard to turn into physical insights, and 3) where exactly does Evil Spock figure into the calculation of which arm of the interferometer gets the photon?

David Deutsch cares!

Max Tegmark thinks the Many Worlds Interpretation will be shown to be true by experiment by 2035 based on what he said on the BBC documentary about Hugh Everett a few years ago.

Wow, that would be really exciting if true.

I'm always slightly annoyed how little traction MWI seems to get in popular scifi. Just once I'd like to see someone travels back in time a year and think he knows the outcome of the Super Bowl, only to discover the team that won in his first worldline doesn't even make the playoffs in the new one he experiences.

This is why they are different "interpretations" rather that different theories. But, the interpretations are conceptual frameworks with their own properties of parsimony, consistency, and compatibility. They lead one to extend the theories in different directions and connect to the rest of physics in different ways.

I happen to find it very interesting, though utterly unrelated to anything I get paid to do :(

The Copenhagen interpretation is the closest any interpretation gets to "shut up and calculate". Which is what all physicists, have to do regardless of their metaphysical stance (and regardless of the bogus claims to having no metaphysical stance).

>In Los Angeles alone, it is estimated that 15,000 people are already living in their cars

.... which (1) is absolutely horrifying if true, and really should not be used as a throwaway line in your otherwise upbeat "Hey I'm really tuned in to the future!" article, and (2) seems to be regarded by the author as supporting evidence that this zillion-dollar technology is going to take off.

If this driveable home had a porta-potty, would he say "Thousands of people in San Francisco already poop on the streets every day!" ?

Hard to say.

Remarkable journalism all around.

Tyler views the world through Marxist glasses. Not that he supports Communism but his worldview basically comes down to two points, item #1 from the links ties in with this, his book "Average is Over" is exhibit "A".

1. The capitalist system as is can be expected to deliever collapsing standards of living to the majority of people in the future

2. The capitalist system is unreformable, any attempt at any kind of reform will backfire.

Tyler's writings strongly indicate he believes both of these things.

Homelessness is a fact of life in Trump's America. Expensive housing, rising healthcare premiums, and the loss of good paying middle class jobs is the price of keeping Trump in office. Not to mention the sky rocketing cost of goods from the tariffs and oil now at $80/bbl from tearing up the Iran deal and a national debt crisis that will make all future Americans debt slaves. These are all direct consequences of Trump. More debt, more poverty.

More like Jerry Brown's California wrt to homelessness. Smooth move though, trying to link uniquely dysfunctional California policy-making to distant Republicans.

Trump's disastrous policies are making all Americans poorer. Higher prices at the pump, here we go!

Janet Yellen and the rest of the Fed's board of governors have been worried about low oil prices for years. They're happy to see them go up because that means that all the unprofitable shale oil players might be able to pay off their bank loans.

Expensive housing, rising healthcare premiums, and the loss of good paying middle class jobs is the price of keeping Trump in office

I'm curious, do you actually believe any of those trends began or got significantly worse after Trump was elected or took office?

You have to hold it until Starbucks opens in the morning.

It is actually a new question for city managers, whether public park restrooms should be open all night. I say yes, even if that does bring a few more disturbance calls, and a bit more clean up.

Lower the price for being a vagrant. What could possibly go wrong?

What, you want public defecation as a public cost?

You might be a libertarian.

Keeping public park rest rooms open late at night will be a magnet for more crime (drugs, prostitution, etc.) and vagrancy because few public parks will be able to provide security (which is even more necessary at night). Vagrants should be harassed at every opportunity and driven away.

That's just where we started.

Of course there is a trade off between the complexity of managing midnight bathrooms, and the problem of people with no place to go.

1. Redefining failure: Living in one's car no longer an indication of failure, of the person doing it or the economy causing it. I'm impressed with the way creative people can redefine what nobody thought needed redefining. "Inflation" for instance.

5. Redefining oneself: Thiel has raised it to an art form. I prefer the shy Thiel when he first began doing interviews and making public speeches. Sure, he was guarded back then, but one couldn't predict what he might say. Today, he appears unguarded but what he says is highly predictable.

You'll have plenty of time for typing up blog comments, rayward, WHEN YOU'RE LIVIN' IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!

Matt Foley: fictional character from SNL, a motivational speaker who is abrasive, clumsy, and down on his luck, who warns that one could end up like him: "35 years old, eating a steady diet of government cheese, thrice divorced, and living in a van down by the river!" We are who we relate too.

2: Seems like, after years of physicalism seeming by far the most likely hypothesis, consciousness being "special" might actually be back on the table. Who knows how tractable the full situation is, but the exciting part of these contradictions and counterintuitive results is they may gesture (at a very confusing, subtle level, and pending a lot of work) at some of what might be going on in this strange universe.

I wish there was a transcript of the Thiel interview. Two hours is too long.

You didn't miss anything.

Thiel is washed up at this point. Girardian metaphysics was interesting 15 years ago but now sounds like try-hard intellectual oneupsmanship. He should move to New Zealand and give up his US passport.

1. All the cool people will undoubtedly love Camper Van 2.0 even more than 1.0
2. Yes and no. On second thought, maybe?

That was my thought on #1. They're called RV's. They've been around for decades. Just because it drives itself doesn't mean it's going to be any more fun to live in than the current version. But I guess writing it that way isn't going to get your article linked on MR, we are.

Imagine Jeffery Epstein if he had a self-driving bang-bus like on Brazzers.

Cracker did have a few good tunes, but I'm not sure I'd go that far.

2. It's not inconsistent if you accept my most recent highly speculative theory that I just made up the other day, which is that the past is indeterminate. In other words, just as there are multiple possible futures, there are multiple possible pasts. Or in other words, that there are multiple versions of the past all of which are true.

It's not really your theory, you just stumbled on to postmodernism, circa 1978 or so.

the mujahideen rise! It's a craven theory full of bulwark and scallywag. The juice is running the gimcracks are laughing at the calendars and the hangings are in full force. To Kinokinuya! The only safe spot in the here and now you twisted catalpa juggerbug, nasty and shit. Putin is a wandering eye! But Kavanaugh is the dog from homeward bound! Get it through your heads; this is nothing new! It is purely conservative understanding of reality based television.

So what you're saying is that Kavanaugh and Ford are both correct, they just inhabit different true pasts?

That memories are evolutionary is no song's surprise. Do we not have different interpretations of Christina's World? Gender diphmorphism is no joke, I'm telling you. Neither is sexual assault, seriously. A doorknob rattles, man. You ain't gonna laugh right. You ain't gonna poop ok. Let's just say perversion of justice is another note of sexual cannibalism -- here is a high risk of low fitness for males due to pre-copulatory cannibalism, which led to male selection of larger females for two reasons: higher fecundity and lower rates of cannibalism.

Exactly. Kavanaugh was both at that party and not at that party.
The past is always Schrodinger's Box.

Though being serious, it's probably more reasonable to say that the effect is limited to quantum level phenomena, just like Schrodinger's Cat. We're probably never going to observe any divergent histories big enough to be observable to modern humans. Though modern politics sometimes makes us feel like that.

5. I'm trying, but I just got to education and brainwashing, and no.

Call me "dispositionally autonomous" if you must, but I heard professors far left of me, and had a perfect ability say "what a screwball" quietly to myself, while passing their classes.

Rubin's idea that libertarians are free thinkers was a lower grade groaner. They might be, but only before they find and become enmeshed in a libertarian orthodoxy.

In a way I predicted what came next. Thiel is now talking about people who think they are freethinkers but are actually enmeshed in an orthodoxy..

and I'm thinking of all the Libertarians who have pat answers on how to improve schools or healthcare or anything else.

Maybe the freethinkers are the people *not* carrying around a playbook? Let alone the same more/less government knee jerk for all problems.

And now they're doing a mutual admiration society, about what freethinkers they are, while they agree on everything, totally oblivious to their own orthodoxy.

I'm out at 29:52.

I listened to the first 30 minutes. It all seems pretty unremarkable for this type of interview. I think you are just far more hide bound than you think you realize and you can't easily tolerate views that don't align with your own. Which is true of everyone to some degree of course.

I am a political independent who picks items off for the right and left menu when it comes to politics.

I trust people who are "reliably" one thing or another a lot less, if you know what I mean.

"if you know what I mean."

Not really. JWatts' point stands.

That's funny. We're talking about people locked in an orthodoxy, and you don't know what I mean by people who are "reliably" one thing or another.

"who picks items off for the right and left menu when it comes to politics"

Just like libertarians!

When you start to think that a tax or regulation might be the right solution to a problem, you might have reached the post-libertarian arc of your metamorphosis.

And that might be why official Libertarians stay such a minority party. Most people evolve out.

+1. Interview was a groaner the whole way through. I don't have to agree with Thiel but at least enlighten me with something new, funny, thought-provoking or insightful. Then again "funny" is one of the last traits I would expect find in Thiel. He should just buy a ranch in Montana and live out his big gay lifestyle there. That was a joke, you immature children. Learn to laugh some time.

You don't really want to be a free thinker. Free thinkers are lonely and without political allies or friends. Free thinkers offend everyone.

Free thinkers may not do well among ideologues, but I think they do fine with normal folks.

Normal people don't mind a little flexibility.

this problem has been solved


(sorry --- #2)

the NYT cannot stop using passive gerunds. The declaration of independence has laying, organizing and abolishing. In reference to George, there is pressing and fatiguing, raising and refusing (Standing, cutting, imposing, depriving, transporting, abolishing, suspending) need I go on? Lincoln has testing and resting and Living (twice). and yes, remaining.....He did not say dedicating but instead, and dedicated.

#1, a mid-size house encloses over 10,000 cubic feet; a mid-size car, about 115. A small motorhome is still under 1,000 cubic feet. A class A motorhome can be the size of a bus, but these have similarly huge price tags.

So, vehicles (even big ones) tend to be far smaller than houses, for (somewhat) obvious reasons.

From a financial PoV, they're also costly to buy, costly to maintain, and depreciate rapidly.

Of course, it's possible to live in one. But few people choose to do so and, for most, "self-driving" seems unlikely to change the major reasons why: they're expensive, and not all that comfortable. And, yes, you'll still have to stow all the dishes and anything else that might slide around and get broken before moving it (regardless of whether it's driving itself or not).

Perhaps it's more likely one might live in a 53-foot semi-trailer, or a modified shipping container, and just call a trucking company when you want to move?

(And a few SF novels have envisioned vertical "trailer parks" in which privately-owned pods are positioned into rented spaces in a high-rise structure. Which seem to combine the bad parts of living in a trailer park (you don't own the land and costly to move and have little or no protection against rent increases) with the added costs of a high-rise.)

So, why can't I live in an autonomous flying dodecacopter home?

1. I have lived on a house, I have lived in a boat, I have lived in motorhomes ranging from Volkswagen camper vans upwards.

Driving is not actually the difficult part about living in a van or motorhome. Wake me when the automated van knows how to go to the RV black water dump site and handle it all without me.

And if it doesn't have a toilet, it is just another self driving car.

Whatever happened to "capsule hotels?"

They still strike me as the most efficient way to provide the population with safe and secure lodging.

Maybe they are too efficient for the American psyche.

#2 They haven't become worse. There are more crackpots and more outlets willing to give them a forum.
Debunked by Motl. He has debunked all of them so far.

Here was his conclusion:
" People who still try to prove an inconsistency of quantum mechanics in 2018 are cretins."

#4. Carson agreed with Smith on an issue. He didn't praise him.

Smith is a thin-skinned echo chamber denizen who blocked me on Twitter for pointing out that his hero FDR put people in concentration camps.

I have no idea, was that a useful comment in context?

My dad was a kid when Japanese in his neighborhood grass to report to the Santa Anita race track. He remembered it and those times. It was very much of those times.

But what were you saying, that we can't have social security because America of the late 30s and early 40s feared the Empire of Japan?

s/grass/were asked/

Stupid voice AI

#2 - Haven't taken physics in a while, but isn't the original single box supposed to be sealed even at the quantum level? If any information escapes then the box is 'open'. So it seems to me that if A & B can communicate with any probability > random guessing, then they're in the same virtual box - the communication unites the boxes. So if at some point in the proof they're assumed to be in different boxes, they've screwed up their proof.

This has the same issues as motor homes and mobile homes, which is that you own the thing which depreciates, and must rent the thing (land) which depreciates.

In beach communities here in Souther California, we already have this, where some people live in RVs, and park them on side streets, enjoying the beach ambience.
But the cities growing increasingly restrictive about where this can happen as land owning residents resent all the curb space being taken by RVs.

This isn't a solution to anything, it is a symptom of an increasingly feudal society.

If only. Much maligned feudal society was about the best they could come up with at that level of technology. At least there was no such thing as homelessness and in exchange for watching the baron's sheep and hoeing his turnips he was obligated to keep the Huns from kidnapping your wife and removing your head.

Of course this was after the baron and your wife enjoyed a prima nocte.


The elites hate democracy, especially when it collides with their social engineering plans. The will insist on foisting some massive high-rise double dense housing development on the locals while they are firmly ensconced in their aparthied whitey-burbs. The resulting enhambre will no doubt be topped off with multitudes imported from sh*thole countries while these hypocrites enjoy their weekend getaways in the Hamptons, Nantucket, or a sweet little ranchette in Montana. We need to oil up the guillotines and get the tar and feather crews organized. Whatever we vote for, they will try and undo. They hate democracy - they want a dictatorship of the elite.

#4: Isn't the story here: "Liberal economist accepts conservative position, conservative agrees"?

In this interview and others, Thiel's vague support for Trump's tariffs are unsatisfactory. He says a lot of words, but never answers the question of why he thinks the trade war is a good idea.

#2- Almost certainly not. They've just restated the measurement problem in a new, more information-theoretic, language. The only benefit of this paper is that it might cause a few a more physicists to sit up and take note of the measurement problem, without just wishing it away.

Without explaining what is meant by the maddeningly obscure "using his knowledge of quantum theory" the article communicates nothing to the general public. Indeed, I have not read any description for the general public of the paradoxes and mysteries of quantum physics that does not at some key point in the narrative blithely retreat into maddening obscurity -- you can depend upon it. The articles always leave me feeling like the rube in a three card monte scam. It may be that the nature of the paradoxes and mysteries is beyond the reach of the general public. If so, science journalists should stop writing about them -- to pretend that they are explaining the inexplicable is a kind of fraud. But if the mysteries and paradoxes of quantum physics are not inexplicable to the general public, it's inexplicable why no one in the explaining business seems to be capable of explaining them. I am not asking for solutions to the mysteries and paradoxes, which I gather do not exist -- that much at least the articles do communicate. I'd be happy to know why the phenomena are considered mysterious or paradoxical.

The journalist who knows enough to explain his subject is rare indeed.

Thiel is a rare Trumpet that sounds ok, somewhat convincing.

Sour notes to me. Borderline cacophony.

1. So basically a fancied-up version of a small RV or trailer, except self-driving? It sounds like it wouldn't be attractive for the same reason that most folks don't want to live in a tiny house or studio apartment. Of course, you could upscale it to a full-sized self-driving RV - but then you lose the environmental advantages, and now have issues of parking space and so forth.

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