Prestige Is Cancer

Prestige is basically cancer. In an ideal world it wouldn’t exist.

If some thing/entity/institution is good, then it’s good, and there’s reasons its good. And if you’re gonna rely on it in some way (like trust the accuracy of its reporting, or the quality of its scholarship, or whatever) it should be because its actually good in the relevant respects to whatever you’re relying on it for.

Prestige is a kind of institutional social status. Its definitely not based on stuff being good. In fact, there’s frequently an inverse relationship in our society atm between whether something is prestigious and whether its good.

Prestige allows things to be respected despite the fact that they’re bad. It causes people to give horrid institutions (like modern academia) the benefit of the doubt when it is not deserved. And most alarmingly, it allows disagreement to be delegitimized because the source of the disagreement is not sufficiently prestigious.

That’s actually the worst aspect of prestige. It’s a gatekeeper over what ideas get taken seriously and what people get taken seriously. And to get taken seriously in many fields, you have to endure the mind-destroying torture of years of getting the social and intellectual approval of others who will hate you if they find out you have certain ideas. So prestige basically helps establish and perpetuate closed guilds of bad ideas in fields vital for the functioning of society.

For this reason, prestige is a societal weak point. If people are judging stuff according to prestige and not reason, it allows sinister irrational people to capture the prestigious institutions in order to implement their agenda. This is literally what happened to the West and why it’s being destroyed now. The cult of prestige has been a disaster for Western civilization.

Prestige is also the handmaiden of second-handedness. People allow their standards and judgment to be corrupted so they can get approval from prestigious institutions & prestigious people. They choose careers that are more prestigious according to their parents/spouse’s/society’s standards over other stuff.

Beat Saber Tips

Bear Saber is a VR rhythm game with lightsabers. I’ve played it some casually and wrote up a few tips that might help others who want to play.

General tips:

Slow down in practice mode!

Lower the speed on a level in practice mode until you can get Full Combo. Raise the speed in 5% increments. This approach is beneficial whether you’re a total newbie or trying to clear an expert level at 200% speed.

One concrete way slowing down helps is by making it easier to see what the cause of you missing some particular sequence is.

Speed up in practice mode!

Though it may sound counterintuitive, sometimes speeding up the level some can help your gameplay. Dealing with the level at a faster speed can be beneficial in various ways. You might learn to deal with the level at a faster speed which will then make slower speeds seem easier. You might do more efficient/economical swings out of necessity and have that carry over to you doing slower runs of the level. It’s definitely something worth trying.

Adjust the room settings

Beat Saber lets you configure the room settings in Settings -> Room Adjust. This lets you do stuff like set the VR “floor” higher, which may make low-flying blocks easier to hit, especially if you have problems bending down quickly.

Try different controller grips.

Play around with different grip styles and see if one seems better. Note that if you’re trying a different grip, even if it’s overall better, you’ll suck at it the first time you use it. You have to give it a real trial in order to judge it.

If you’re struggling with a particular part:

Focus on one color at a time.

Try focusing on one color of blocks and putting the other on mental “autopilot” if you can. It makes sense to focus on the blocks you’re having troubling with. For example, if you keep missing the red blocks (or more red than blue) on some sequence, try to hit the blue blocks without paying much attention to them. Instead, focus your visual/mental attention on the red blocks as completely as you can, and try to get those perfect.

Use practice mode to go over a particular section.

Use the practice mode and go over that particular block sequence until you master it. If you mess up the sequence pretty regularly, I recommend doing the sequence perfectly at least five times before trying the full level again.

You can combine slowing down and going over a particular section in practice mode. E.g. you could try down the final section of a level only at 75% speed.

Applying some of the advice above with an example technique issue.

Suppose you have a 4 block sequence. First a red down, then a blue down, then a red up, then a blue up. The red and blue blocks are spaced just ever so slightly apart in rapid succession.

In that situation, if you are messing up the sequence, the issue might be that you are swinging your red and blue sabers at the same time instead of waiting a tiny bit between the red and blue blocks.

You might not even realize this is an issue unless you slow down the level enough to figure out what the problem is.

If that particular block sequence is not right at the beginning, it would be inefficient to keep starting the level again just to play through that part. It is much better to start at that specific sequence in practice mode.

You can try a different, tighter grip. It may give you the extra control necessary to time your saber movements more precisely.

You can try just focusing on the red blocks in the sequence and hitting those every time 5 times in a row, and then doing the same with the blue blocks, and then seeing if you can do both. This process can be easier if you turn on No Fail mode.

For this specific problem, you can also try holding the sabers at different lengths from your body (e.g. red saber further away, since red comes first) and see if that physical change helps.

The Failure of the “New Economics” Chapter 2 Mindmaps

Some MindMaps made in MindNode of my interpretation of the content of chapter 2 of Henry Hazlitt’s “The Failure of the ‘New Economics'”.

My organization is based around what I thought made sense — I don’t follow Hazlitt’s organization of the chapter strictly. Any errors in interpretation are of course my own.

Hazlitt does some big picture criticisms of Keynes PDF

Keynes on Involuntary Unemployment PDF

Keynes vs. “the classical theory” PDF

Keynes wants to disprove that the most frequent cause of unemployment is excessive wage rates PDF