The Name of This Blog is Alpha Gamma

When I started “Learning All The Things”, the original name of this blog, I thought it would be a place where I took notes in public about things I was reading.

That happened sometimes, but in the end, I decided that almost anything I was going to summarize would have a better summary somewhere else. Take the cognitive science of happiness: I read a few books on this and was excited to make my notes public, but then found that other people had read even more books and taken better notes.

The Internet has enough redundant content, so I decided to write more things that, as far as I knew, no one else had ever written. This meant that “Learning All The Things” was no longer the right name.

So why “Alpha Gamma”?

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I Declare Crocker’s Rules

Meant to do this awhile back, but since my two readers haven’t been especially active in the comments, the delay wound up not mattering.


These are the rules. An excerpt:

Declaring yourself to be operating by “Crocker’s Rules” means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you. 

Crocker’s Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind – if you’re offended, it’s your fault.  Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor.  (Which, in point of fact, they would be.  One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone’s afraid to tell you you’re wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)  


When I gave the first draft of this post to a friend—at which point it was a long essay—he respected the Rules and gave me a frank review.

“Why is this so long?” he said. “Who is supposed to care about this?”

It hurt to hear those words. But it hurt him even more to say them. Giving feedback is hard. Giving unsolicited feedback is really, really hard. So from now on, all feedback anyone chooses to give me is officially solicited feedback.


Thanks to my friend’s honesty, that’s the end of this post. Much appreciated, Leandro!