Hacker News is a forum for tech entrepreneurs, generally curious and tech-inclined people, and, out of necessity and as a result of time, a lot of idiots. Here is a thread where the community seems to demonstrate a lot of ignorance about whether you can just Paypal foreigners for work. Has the culture of business regulation gotten so dysfunctional that people don't even know if they can ask for help?
It turns out that being locked away from the world is worst for those just building their relationship to it. It's possible the virus isn't doing as much damage as causing one in four young adults to contemplate suicide. Something has been deeply broken about America for some time, and I think this is as clear an indication we might ever get that things aren't getting better. Not yet, at least.
Another entry in "modern social media is a monkey's paw made of neural nets, and we cannot safely build AIs at even the lowest level of sophistication": fake news might be able to take down the local power grid. It's worth clarifying that this is the stupidest, least optimized usage of large scale social manipulation.
When a world leader seized nearly total power, and diverted his nation away from the track everyone thought they were on, you might be curious about why. Doing so without meaningful popular support (or opposition) makes it more curious. What better evidence of a Great Man driven history, where individual quirks can drive humanity much more than fundamental factors? And yet this example, Xi Jinping, actually strongly believes he has essentially discovered Asimov's Psychohistory, and that the broad sweeps of history are in fact decided by lawful development of predictable actions. So really, who knows.
We need a better discussion about a lot of things, but when it comes to the insanity this perpetual lockdown has induced, and the human path through it, I think we would all do better to start with this video about time loop movies. I'm actually quite fond of time loop movies as well as Patrick H Willems, the creator of that video, but given the sheer volume of references to his ongoing quarantine-related talk show, it might be a hard thing to share. Just roll with it, it's supposed to have plenty of fun moments, and I think they explained everything they need to.
I think a lot of people want a justification when I say things like, just because it seems impossible for other options to exist doesn't mean I've actually enumerated them. Perhaps the best object lesson we can use here, aside from the fact that all of the complicated ways we think about things being completely non-obvious before someone said them, is this description of all regular polyhedra. There are more than you think, and almost no level of preparation will help you think of all that many more. But it's good to get in the habit of trying to just list all possibilities, and judge them separately. Sometimes the rejection process helps, sometimes it doesn't, so make space before you judge thing and after. Basic stuff.
Cardiff Garcia, professional reporter for NPR, curious about a big story that was disputed by some third parties, but the original publication stood by it, and had massive international implications. It's been a while, and we don't seem to know any more than we used to, but I have to ask, isn't it a reporter's job to keep with this? Can I venmo him some money to actually find the answer? The replies have a couple other examples of things worth following up on too. Maybe we should create an institution that actually does that.