Friday, September 30, 2016

Peter Thiel endorses Donald Trump

No, not in a, "he's the best of a bad situation" sort of way, but in a, "Nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump, When Donald Trump asks us to make America great again, he is not suggesting a return to the past. He is running to lead us back to the bright future," sort of way. 

I have no idea how much this should lead me to invest in trump vs. discount Thiel. Probably both at least a little bit. But how much? Does Thiel know something that we don't? Or does he now just being a contrarian for its own sake?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jonathan Blow on Ethics and Video Games

I'm playing Jonathan Blow's The Witness, one of the best games ever made. After 30 years of people telling me that video games are evil, he's the only one who made me think twice about whether some of them are.
"We've engineered our way around boredom. But boredom is a healthy response to unproductive situations."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Are Sugar Highs a Myth?

Are sugar highs a myth? Experts say yes but parents say no. I've known parents to point out when their child is hyper after eating sugar as "evidence". But ignore every time their child consumes sugar and don't get a high, or are hyper without eating sugar. So I'll trust the experts on this one.

Also read about other parenting superstitions like the myth of teething pain.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Changing Positions

Hillary Clinton changed her views on gay marriage, the War in IraqMarijuana LegalizationNAFTA, and Illegal Immigrants. So when someone asks Quora why some people find Trump trustworthy or honest, I have to wonder why they think Trump is so special in this regard. (Also the top answer is good).

Of course, when our candidate does it their "views are evolving". When their candidate does it, they "flip flopped"

Monday, September 26, 2016

Is America Conscious?

Eric Schwitzgebel thinks the United States might be conscious. Apparently, the criteria mind-researchers typically give for consciousness applies quite well to the United States. We find it unbelievable because of our bias that two consciousnesses cannot be nested within each other.

Reminds me of...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Water with a Lime

A starbucks barista asked how we charge for limes when someone asks for a water with a lime.

I told them that I don't charge for the lime, because some costs sufficiently negligible that it's not worth the cost to the brand, or worth the diminished repeat visits to charge. The average Starbucks customer comes in  six times per month. Turn that six into a five because you wouldn't give them a lime, and you've just done a horrible financial disservice so your store.

This isn't the first time something like this has come up. The overarching trend among baristas is for them so feel personally taken advantage of when a customer does something that "cheats" the company out of money - like splitting a venti iced drink into two full tall iced cups. These baristas often rationalize their feelings of injustice with short time horizon calculations, without considering that the brand is the most powerful mechanism Starbucks has going for it.

CEOs understand the cost of being penny wise and pound foolish, baristas do not. I doubt this is a coincidence.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Are Sugar Highs a Myth?

Is sugary high a myth?

As father of a two year old, I have to listen to ridiculous parenting superstitions. "He's hyper, did you give him any sugar?" No, but if I had would that be evidence that a lack of sugar causes hyperactivity?

Sleep is the ultimate throwaway explanation. Sleep is the explanation for his energy whether he got a lot of sleep or very little. If he got a lot of sleep then that just gave him all the energy in the world. If he didn't get much sleep, then that's why he's so loopy and silly; he's trying to keep himself awake.

So I'm not surprised to find plenty of evidence that sugar highs are a myth.