Some Complaint-Action Gaps

[This was previously a shortform post]

Sometimes I scroll social media (because I am yet weak) and I see rationalists raising Concerns about various news topics and current events. I am bothered by what appears to be a high ratio of (raising awareness) : (taking action).

To better articulate this, here is a list of some of the concerns I hear a lot lately. Each issue has a sublist of potential actions, starting with the least useful. I’m definitely interested in hearing better ideas too.

  • Our institutions are losing trustworthiness and competence

  • Freedom of speech is under attack! Gatekeepers! Reality czar! The Narrative!

    • Take traditional political action

    • Less twitter, more substack

    • Research and post about the economics and logistics of running your own servers.

    • Experiment with ring signatures?

  • Social media is harming mental health, undermining individual & group epistemics, and enabling horrible actions in meatspace

    • Complain about it on social media in between dunking on your outgroup.

    • Await humanity’s inexorable slide down the fitness gradients toward memetic collapse.

    • Promote more group activities in your group house. Establish device-free zones.

    • Coordinate to stigmatize doomscrolling, hate-reading, and contempt addiction. While we’re at it, let’s stigmatize using Twitter at all.

  • Large, free, liquid prediction markets cannot exist, supposedly due to the global influence of burdensome US trading regulations.

    • Traditional political action

    • Pay a competent YouTuber to make a really good explanatory video (series) about prediction markets.

    • Write a postmortem on Augur to help similar endeavors in the future avoid the same pitfalls

    • Research and post about why prediction markets haven’t gotten big even where regulation is looser

    • Start up a competitor to Kalshi, and launch before they do

  • Ongoing Uighur atrocity

    • Share an article about it once in a while

    • Take traditional political action, push for substantial international response

    • Make fewer purchases from companies that profit from the abuse of Uighurs


  1. See Vitalik Buterin: Credible Neutrality, Legitimacy, Change The Incentives, Change The World ↩︎