we thought we could make a better planet by just throwing more... computation at it

and instead we need to throw more love at it

but I don't know where to buy embeddable 8-bit love processors

Ad for Computer Lib / Dream Machines in the same issue. January 1977.

"Sharp's new PC-1210 pocket computer, price $298. The main processor unit, which can run Tiny BASIC programs up to 400 bytes long, is shown being plugged into the cassette interface. A new version, the PC-1211, is due out next month; it will have a capacity of 1424 bytes of user memory."


Not much has changed in San Francisco on the startup naming front

This ad is not making the point it thinks it is making

News? Automatically delivered to my computer terminal? With such technology the world will surely become a paradise!

I remember this listing! It probably informed my own terrible BASIC adventure games circa 198x

"The room is dominated by a massive oak bed" yep that's why I thought that's how you had to write room descriptions


I don't want 1980s 8-bit microcomputing back. I don't even want the 1980s 8-bit microcomputing subculture back.

I want the future that I thought that subculture would lead to.

A world where we used technology to improve ourselves, improve our world, and share the results fairly with everyone.

And not as a battering ram to smash down other people's doors and take all their stuff.

@natecull Seems like the reason we didn't get this future is that the beacon was "improved" - i.e. the subculture changed to attract more participants at the cost of its core values, rather than the hoped-for outcome of the world changing to adopt those core values on a larger scale. Maybe inevitable given the general death of subcultures during the same time frame. benjaminrosshoffman.com/constr


<< From the sociopaths’ perspective, the geeks were inexplicably donating their time and energy to discovering a new signal to broadcast, that would attract a pool of MOPs to feed on. But the geeks were - again incomprehensibly - neither exploiting nor defending that resource. >>

Yep, the age-old conflict between sales and engineering.

@mattskala hmm, on further reading this article I see this person likes LessWrong and ....


@mattskala 'LessWrong culture' just feels.... exhausting for me to watch Like a whole bunch of alien robots doing their best to try to understand humanity but they really don't have a clue what makes it tick. They're very passionate and intelligent but if you met one on the street they might be just as likely to put you on a table and cut you open as to shake your hand.

@natecull Granted I have very little direct knowledge of LessWrong readers, but I don't like anything that goes in the direction of splitting the world into "us" and "them," and I like even less "it was written by one of them" as a reason to dismiss an article.

@natecull You're free to think as you do. I feel strongly about my own position. Here are a couple of my recent writings on the topic. ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/347 ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/344

@mattskala << My own perspective is that "ad hominem" is nearly unforgivable. It's one of the worst things you can possibly do in an argument. >>

Yeah, I think we're coming from *very* very different positions on this one.

My position is: if some stuff comes from a group of actors that you know generates a bunch of bad stuff, it's a sensible guess (without other prior knowledge) that that stuff is likely to be bad.

That's basic Bayesian reasoning,

It depends on one's priors, of course.

@natecull If you're not already familiar with David Chapman's writings on meta-rationality, you may find them interesting as an attempt at formulating what's wrong with Less Wrong-style rationalism and what could replace it. That is a separate question from how we should treat individual rationalists. meaningness.com/metablog/bonga


@mattskala Hmm. I feel like I am entirely the wrong audience for an article like this. It is probably saying something important but either it is far too subtle for me to understand or trivially obvious.

Basically I just think that rationality is not a very useful frame for approaching the world compared to, eg, kindness and empathy. I think rationality just blindly improves the efficiency of systems without checking if they cause damage. We've already got way *too much* rationality.

@mattskala (John Ralston Saul's 'Voltaire's Bastards' and 'On Equilibrium' are probably closest to where I'm coming from with this sentiment.)

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