@bartleby I think the question the article invites is: (a) does it matter if you believe in god? (b) why? (c) does it matter if other people believe in god? (d) why?

I don't think there's right answers to those questions, but how you answer those questions may define your tribe.

Obviously I have to apply this to myself, narcissist-style. The proposed underlying motivation for both New Atheism and social justice is hamartiology: the subfield of theology dealing with the study of how sin enters the universe.

I always found New Atheism tedious and uninteresting. And honestly I've never felt engaged by social justice either. I... don't care that much about how sin enters the universe. I don't think I believe in sin. I don't think its source is an indictment. Eh.

This analysis of New Atheism – it's rise and fall – is interesting contemporary anthropology: slatestarcodex.com/2019/10/30/

Spoiler: the theory is that the New Atheists directed their energy towards Social Justice (the atheist remainers hate social justice, which is why they remained, which incorrectly creates the opposite impression of the original alignment).

There's nothing super notable here, except the term "hedonistic sustainability" which I want to file away for future use...


And metamodernism leaves the question: useful for _what_? How do we decide what to select? Metamodernism only tells us to pick and choose according to some utility that metamodernism cannot itself define.

This emptied-out philosophy is the postmodern curse that I do not believe metamodernism is able to address.

This metamodernism feels a bit like a utilitarian intellectualism. It doesn't matter what is right, only what is useful. There is no claim of truth, but now that we are all steeped in postmodernism it's no longer necessary to emphasize the doubt. Instead it's a project to construct something out of this doubt.

It feels a little like the TED Talk version of intellectualism. Life hacks as a philosophy.

Metamodern is maybe a combination of doubt along the lines of postmodernism, but applied to intellectual approaches themselves. Thus it fuses modernism and postmodernism and whatever else.

They started the podcast talking about the idea: "all models are incorrect, but some are useful." And it feels like that's the underlying theory of metamodernism, as presented.

Postmodernism is mostly skeptical. Ezra Klein went as far as to say that postmodernism's purpose was to seed doubt.

The thing everyone is familiar with is the idea of multiple narratives. Some read that as relativism, I think it's a bit more modest, just making explicit what is obvious but conveniently ignored: everything is viewed by people from individual and diverse perspectives, and action (including intellectual action) follows from those perspectives.

I think the shift goes something like:

Pre-modernist thought was hierarchical, intellectual authority matched other existing hierarchies (e.g., religious authority).

Modernism depersonalized that knowledge, creating intellectual institutions instead of intellectual thought following external institutions. Modernism emphasizing big ideas, big narratives, all-encompassing theories. Marxism strikes me as very modern.

Listening to this interview (that has bad permalinks): megaphone.link/VMP7092874875 "A mind-bending, reality-warping conversation with John Higgs"

An interesting part is talking about the development of modernism to postmodernism to "metamodernism" – the last not a term I've heard before, and Higgs may be coining it.

In an effort to get a shit chaser I couldn't help myself but read local news comments. I found this gem:

"What is needed is more carbon in the atmosphere to feed more plant growth and consume more water which in turn provides more oxygen and a better climate. Satellite data proves we now have more trees than ever but can use even more. They thrive on carbon so keep burning those fossil fuels or nature will burn more trees to get it."

I read some Reddit comments on the firing of an SNL cast member for recent racist remarks: old.reddit.com/r/news/comments

The thread is reasonable. People make distinctions between different levels of behavior. There is some disagreement, but consistent reasonable responses.

I feel so disoriented. What is happening to society?

Installing a new project I had to use autoconf. I realized it had been years since I've typed "./configure". Sometimes the world gets better without me noticing.

@tastytentacles This evaluation helped clarify it a lot for me: github.com/google/open-locatio

I think the important ones are:
- Define an area instead of a point
- Include some sense of precision
- Possibly shorten codes when defining something in the same area or country

But I'm guessing the reason that is making people try new methods is that lat/long hasn't stuck. It may be hubris that something else will.

"We propose that you can measure how user-facing a program or language is by measuring how much of its time it spends or worries about doing IO. That is, after all, the medium through which anyone who is not a program’s author (of which there may be many) will interact with the program. The time spent doing IO can be on the command line, via a GUI, over a network, or wherever; but to be a serious contender for user-facing programs, a language has to make IO be easy."


@jwinnie Not at all – the point is that there's no universal spectrum that applies to all these political identities. If you can convince enough people of a value system you can create a new political identity from scratch.

The outcomes of that value system might align with another value system. For instance, I think technocratic and liberal are closely aligned, with "progressive" maybe being the loose term to encompass both. But the reasons and emotional resonances are still distinct.

@jwinnie Well this part is easy! This isn't about a rational value system, this is about the emotional cues that resonate.

What is progress? It matters a lot to me, because if you convince me that something is progress then I'll get excited about it.

And maybe that's something important: we're open to arguments about how we should apply our values. But if (for instance) you try to convince me that a particular group is the oppressed or the oppressor, I can agree and yet am unmoved.

@jwinnie Is there anything wrong with having a lot of them? Except that you need some critical mass that is able to construct and reinforce these ideas among themselves.

I suspect people have a dominant perspective, and the secondary perspective is much much weaker. So you only get as many dichotomies as there are distinct intellectual and cultural political groups.

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