In the Cells of the Eggplant is an introduction to meta-rationality: ways of using rational systems more effectively by examining their relationships with their surrounds.
You may care about meta-rationality if you want to level up your work in science, engineering, or other fields that make use of formal systems.
All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
Blaise Pascal, Pensées.
Kind of a weird journey.
You May Finally Use JSHint for Evil.
Real experts know what they don’t know and we should value it.
A small but real part of the problem is that reputational incentives to appear qualified and knowledgeable drive experts to overstate their certainty. One way to counter this tendency is to ask better questions, and that usually means questions about the nature of the evidence and what it allows. We can also change the way that we relate to experts, not just listening to the loudest and most confident voices, but to those with a track record of only claiming as far as the evidence will take them, and a willingness to say ‘I don’t know.’
The enterprise of philanthropy does well out of doing good.
Because of their own business backgrounds, billionaires and their foundations insist on cost-benefit calculations, metrics-based accountability and a return on investment for those initiatives they support. Yet there is little transparency or system of governance through which they themselves can be held accountable.
The Leprechauns of Software Engineering.
The software profession has a problem, widely recognized but which nobody seems willing to do much about. You can think of this problem as a variant of the well known “telephone game”, where some trivial rumor is repeated from one person to the next until it has become distorted beyond recognition and blown up out of all proportion.
Unfortunately, the objects of this telephone game are generally considered cornerstone truths of the discipline, to the point that their acceptance now hinders further progress.
The night that saved the king.
When Juan Carlos abdicated the Spanish throne in June 2014, we looked back on the night which defined his reign – and the conspiracy theories which continue to circulate about it 33 years later.
The Urban Legend of the 10X Developer.
You’ll often hear folks claim that it’s well-researched that some developers are ten times (or twenty-seven times! Or more!) as productive as the median developer. They often refer these gifted folks as “10x developers.”
The “well-researched” part is garbage. Completely wrong. There are some studies and they’re terrible.
Our cosmic horizon is both unreachable and closer than ever.
The cosmic horizon defining our observable universe is a hard limit. We can’t see beyond it, and unless our understanding of the structure of reality changes drastically, we can be confident we never will. The expansion of the cosmos is speeding up; anything beyond our horizon now will be carried away from us faster and faster, and its light will never be able to catch up. While we might never be able to say with certainty what lies beyond that border, what all the theories have in common is that our observable universe is part of a much, much larger space.
Relevant: The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack.