Jul 31, 2023Liked by Nat Eliason

2. Omnivore

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So good. Always a red flag when people base their identities around a singular belief (especially when that thing is new, trendy, and has a financial incentive)...

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Great reminder to avoid the hype bubble

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Love the title, and the content is spot on. Another example is Solana (SOL). Expertly hyped, disastrously implemented.

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Well put! When’s your book going to be done?

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How about those who believe that global climate is going into the toilet and is trying to convince others? An exception or does this also fit your theory? Or are you only talking about those making monetary investments?

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> Vegan and carnivore diets need much more social validation than, well, I don’t have a name for “eating normally” because it’s not something people tie their identity to.

A lot of vegans online call the idea that animal products should be included in one's diet "carnism", and from what I hear at least some people do seem to tie their identity to it somewhat (e.g, obsession with bacon) such that they love to debate vegans even when not prompted to. "Carnism" refers to the beliefs themselves though rather than the diet and does not work well to contrast with "carnivore diet", but in the system of "vegan diet", "vegetarian diet", "pescetarian diet", "carnivore diet", etc, I think "omnivore diet" describes this type of diet pretty well.

I can think of quite a lot of other words to use to contrast "normal". Electric cars vs ICE, autistic vs allistic, autistic/adhd/bipolar/etc vs neurotypical, gay vs straight, transgender vs cisgender, Free Open Source Software vs Properitary software vs Software as a Service, cryptocurrency vs fiat vs gold standard vs bimetallism, Christianity/Islam/<insert other religion names here> vs atheism/agnosticism, Capitalism vs "Corporatism" vs Communism vs "State Capitalism"… I can't think of many things where the "normal" way of doing things hasn't been named by somebody.

Maybe the idea that you should work by getting a job from someone else rather than starting your own business? I don't know of a singular name to describe either of those ideas, though.

I'm very confident in my vegetarian beliefs (killing is bad), and a lot less confident in veganism (I really don't have any strong reason to oppose eggs for example, as long as they are not from a commercial factory farm), but because veganism is popular enough that it is easy to explain and because most commonly available animal products have other reasons to avoid them (factory farming, climate change), I ended up going on a vegan diet anyways. It also helps a lot that vegan alternatives are really, really good at this point, such that by going on a vegan diet I'm not really missing anything at all except for occasional inconvenience when looking for a restaurant. I personally had a lot more cognitive dissonance and more need for justifying myself before going vegan than after.

> Perhaps if you can explain your beliefs with a name, you haven’t thought about them very hard.

Years ago, I had a dream, to take the volunteer philosophy of Free Open Source Software, Wikipedia, and other internet communities, and found some micronation to apply this same concept to the real world. The idea was, that the root reason people need to charge money for things, is rent and property taxes. If there were no property taxes, the idea was, then people would be able to grow food for free, and with free food and land be able to make all the other things for free, too, ideally with as much automation as possible for maximum efficiency. Since it would be hard to convince everyone of this, the implementation would be to create this as a micronation.

I tried to tie this idea into "communism", since it sounded similar enough. This was a very bad idea. To non-communists, "communism" is associated with a lot of authoritarian systems I totally oppose, like that of the USSR, and for communists... at least on Reddit, they are apparently so censor happy that over time I ended up being banned from most related left-wing political subreddits I spent any significant amount of time in because they didn't like some idea or other of mine. Because it means so many things to so many people, that word is useless. "Capitalism" is pretty badly-defined too, meaning different things for different people. Communism contrasts "Real Communism" to "State Capitalism" (USSR); Capitalism contrasts "Real Capitalism" to "Corporatism".

I often try to tie my ideas to existing ideas, to hopefully explain them easier. But in many cases, especially this one, it does not help much and may even make things harder to explain.

My newer, fully capitalism-compatible idea with no political intervention needed whatsoever is to work on enabling lots of automation to increase GDP to such a ludicrously high level that it is trivial to give any random homeless person on the street enough resources to live a good life, as a voluntary donation. One could create a fully automated company, or perhaps holding company for shares in other fully automated companies, that is so ludicrously productive with so little input needed, that it would be easy to give one a small amount of shares in it that could allow them to live entirely off of dividends. Given enough productivity, perhaps this could allow a charity to give people in need just enough shares in this company that they can live comfortably, without the need for UBI, government ownership of the means of production, or any other non-voluntary, government-compelled intervention.

I know of no existing name to prescribe to this newer idea at all. The fact that a lot of my weird ideas have no existing movement to them, or don't quite fit in the most similar existing movement, is part of why I keep thinking I should start writing about them on Substack. This would not only allow them to stand on their own, where criticisms could be about flaws in the ideas themselves rather than related but different ideas, but more importantly probably make for some interesting and unique content that I could write a very large amount on (I also have a lot of uncommon ideas in other areas, like my preference for squarer aspect ratios in monitors). Even if any given idea is not very good, it at least might be entertaining, and if not well thought out enough could perhaps evolve into something better over time.

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