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Is my backyard in San Francisco utopia?

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.
Oscar Wilde

A friend recently asked, “Do you believe in utopia?” My short answer is yes, but the devil is in the details. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ll share my amateur opinions here. As we build the future, a clear vision can be our blueprint.

The experience machine

Nozick asks us to imagine a machine that could give us whatever desirable or pleasurable experiences we could want. …


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It’s tough to understand all the numbers on COVID developments. I made a Colab notebook to try to answer the question “are things getting better or worse?”


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“Why didn’t anyone tell me this before??” This is my feeling about most of the content in this list when I first encountered it. I’ve aggregated it here roughly in order of impact.

1. Become a rationalist and effective altruist

2. Better mental health

3. Learn to communicate

About

Ben Mann

Software engineer, tinkerer, aspiring mad scientist

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