Eric often uses terms or turns-of-phrase that some people may not immediately understand. This page is a reference source for those only. This should not be confused with more general topic areas that may at first cause confusion such as the DISC, EGOs, Load-Bearing Fictions, etc.
- A Modern Contradictionary: New Words for our New World – a Twitter Moment by Eric with a vocabulary adapted to our changing world.
- Eric Weinstein Quotes
- 1 A/B Testing
- 2 Adaptive Landscape
- 3 Adaptive Valley
- 4 Adjective, Occupation, Name
- 5 Agency
- 6 Agentic Leadership
- 7 Anthropic Capitalism
- 8 Anti-Expert
- 9 Anti-Fragility
- 10 Anti-Interesting
- 11 Artificial Outelligence
- 12 Audio Samizdat
- 13 The Big 5 Personality Traits
- 14 The Big Nap
- 15 Church and Pike Commissions
- 16 Consensus
- 17 The Cosmic Spelling Bee
- 18 Critical Feeling
- 19 Deaths of Accountability
- 20 De-Potemkin
- 21 Dining a la Carte Philosophically/Politically/Ideologically
- 22 Don't screw yourself out of magic
- 23 Don't wait for the bread to rise
- 24 The Educational Complex
- 25 Efficient Frontier
- 26 Electronic Tribalism & Electronic Feudalism
- 27 Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation
- 28 Environmental Insult
- 29 Escher's Hands Drawing Hands
- 30 Evergreening
- 31 Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)
- 32 Forced Citation
- 33 Fragility of Masculinity
- 34 Game B
- 35 Gating Function
- 36 Gene Drive
- 37 Genius vs Excellence
- 38 Gini Coefficient
- 39 High Agency
- 40 Iago Media
- 41 Irrationality
- 42 It's a beautiful thing
- 43 Injutice Budget
- 44 Institutional Betrayal
- 45 Kayfabe
- 46 Knarc
- 47 Long-Form Podcasting
- 48 Litella
- 49 The Looting Party
- 50 Long Term vs Short Term Optimization
- 51 Long/short positions (nuanced positions)
- 52 Maladaptive strategies
- 53 Meaning
- 54 Message Violence
- 55 Middle Finger
- 56 Minus Epsilon
- 57 The N^2 Revolution
- 58 New Gimmick Economy
- 59 No More Heroes
- 60 Operation COINTELPRO
- 61 Oral Torah
- 62 Overton Window
- 63 Perfectly Legal
- 64 Physics Dollars
- 65 Potemkin Village
- 66 Preference Falsification
- 67 Rent-seeking Elites
- 68 Reputational Violence
- 69 Resource Capture
- 70 Riding on a technical substrate
- 71 Rough Space
- 72 Seberging
- 73 Section A of the Reserve Index
- 74 Selective Pressures
- 75 Semi-reliable Communal Sense-making
- 76 Skadoosh
- 77 Sharp Minds vs. Sharp Elbows
- 78 Speaking Fee
- 79 Split Level Argument
- 80 Steady Hands
- 81 Steel-manning
- 82 Teaching Disabilities
- 83 Terms of Service
- 84 The Twin Nuclei Problem
- 85 The Observerse
- 86 There is no secret ingredient
- 87 Thinkquisition
- 88 TIM - Technology Intelligence Media
- 89 Type I & Type II Error
- 90 Umwelt
- 91 Vampire syndrome/Vampire effect
- 92 Wu-Yang Dictionary
A/B testing (also known as bucket testing or split-run testing) is a user experience research methodology. A/B tests consist of a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. It includes application of statistical hypothesis testing or "two-sample hypothesis testing" as used in the field of statistics. A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of a single variable, typically by testing a subject's response to variant A against variant B, and determining which of the two variants is more effective. (Source)
Reference:  Discussed in the context of adding “differential diagnosis” to our educators’ toolkit so that teaching disabled educators can learn how to add to better instruct students rather than externalizations the blame for their inadequate methods onto into the students.
- Sewall Wright's theory of adaptive landscapes of fitness
- Sewall Wright's theory of adaptive landscapes of fitness
Adjective, Occupation, Name
Bandura (2009a) defined human agency as “the human capability to exert influence over one’s functioning and the course of events by one’s actions” (p. 8). “Through cognitive self-guidance, humans can visualize futures that act on the present; construct, evaluate, and modify alternative courses of action to gain valued outcomes; and override environmental influences” (p. 8). “To be an agent is to influence intentionally one’s functioning and life circumstances” (Bandura, 2008c, p. 16).
Four core properties of human agency were described in Bandura (2006b, pp. 164-165) They are (a) intentionality, (b) forethought, (c) self-reactiveness, and (d) self-reflection. Intentionality deals with the forming of intentions that “include action plans and strategies for realizing them” (Bandura, 2009a, p. 8). Source
Agentic leadership derives from the term agency. This leadership style is generally found in the business field by a person who is respected by subordinates. This person demonstrates assertiveness, competitiveness, independence, courageousness, and is masterful in achieving their task at hand.
"Anti-Expert, n: 1. A person with expert training & credentials, yet who rejects consensus/institutional positions that cannot bear scrutiny."
Anti-interesting, adj.: A subject is said to be anti-interesting if it is absolutely fascinating to the point where there is a strong market for it’s investigation but it threatens an institution capable of stifling discussion inside the Gated Institutional Narrative (GIN).
"Artificial Outelligence, n: An unintelligent computer system that evolves by hijacking the minds it dupes & outwits."
Example: The Bass designs false fish used by the mussels to better parasitize the bass.
It’s one thing to think & talk about the risks of unintelligent agents using *our* brains to outsmart ourselves. Another to see such examples in nature:
AI Can Now Self-Reproduce—Should Humans Be Worried?
Lampsilis mussels mimicking minnows
The clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe.
The Big 5 Personality Traits
Eric has referred to the Big 5 Personality Traits as a person's hedonic composition.
The Big Nap
Eric has referred to The Big Nap as the era characterized by magical thinking and extraordinary luck between the end of World War II and 2020 the emergence of COVID-19.
The Big Nap—at least in the developed free world—was essentially characterized as a run of extraordinary relative good luck and serenity (at least by the historical standards set by previous world wars, pandemics, depressions, and depressions), where the new gathering storm clouds of the Cold War threatened and menaced in the distance, but the skies directly above remained unprecedentedly clear. This created a bizarre developmental environment where the serenity of the Big Nap led to a worldwide epidemic of magical thinking among the expert and leadership classes that were raised during this time. Read More
Church and Pike Commissions
Were two parallel committees run in the US House and Senate investigating illegal activities by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA). In the 1970's
References and Links: Church Committee:
There’s no arithmetic consensus because it doesn’t require a consensus. But there is a Washington consensus. There is a climate consensus. “Consensus” is how we bully people into pretending that there’s nothing to see, move along, everyone. And so I think that in part, you should start to learn that people don’t naturally come to high levels of agreement unless something is either absolutely clear, in which case consensus isn’t present, or there’s an implied threat of violence to livelihood or self. ~Eric on Tim Ferriss
The Cosmic Spelling Bee
Bret Weinstein's term for the existential position humanity faces.
"You're over-feeling this."
Similar to critical thinking, but with emotional content. "Most of our emotions are susceptible to becoming maladaptive and because the content is not analytic thoughts they are harder to access and harder to influence." According to Jocko's philosophy, the Dichotomy of Leadership, we must remain aware of emotional balance and when to engage.
Deaths of Accountability
"What is the real end game of this? Where are we really? When people are talking about reopening back to normal, I have the feeling that almost none of this stuff makes sense. And, you know, my take on "flatten-the-curve" was that we were caught with our pants down with respect to preparedness. And so we were trying to avoid deaths of accountability, which would be triage deaths. So then, you know, the issue was that the limbo bar was so low because we didn't want people dying to show that we were completely incompetent. So everybody should stay home so that we don't have deaths due to triage, as opposed to deaths due to the Coronavirus." ~ Eric on Covid-19, on The Portal Podcast #35, with Balaji Srinivasian @ 1 hr 32 min
"What the hell is wrong, it is time for these people to resign and it is time for us to remember that we have the ability to turn over our own government. We are so unprepared as a nation, and we have been sold out for so long by our self-appointed leadership class who nobody wants, that we either remember who we are and how this game is played—I mean, this is like, this is a pre-war footing. And this can easily lead to war, the transmission mechanism is you have everybody stay indoors, because you're worried about deaths of accountability, which is, you know, I don't think they're worried about the number of deaths. I think they're worried about deaths that result from triage, and that would result in career ending action.... If we all have to stay home while they replenish our supplies, then the economy goes into recession, recession can become depression, depressions lead to armed conflict and armed conflict leads to war. That would be a transmission mechanism from these stupid masks to stop something that nobody can handle." ~ Eric on JRE #1453 @ 36 min
Depotemkin, verb: To create the missing reality that a façade was originally constructed to suggest was present.
Dining a la Carte Philosophically/Politically/Ideologically
The concept that you can take parts of different ideologies that you find beneficial without swallowing the whole group of other ideas that typically come along with that ideology.
Eric's go-to for this a "Xenophilic Restrictionist".
A xenophile is a person with intense interest/love for other cultures, this is normally paired with an open borders policy.
Restrictionist in this context is an immigration restrictionist, that is derided as a Xenophobic perspective.
Thus a "Xenophilic Restrictionist" would be viewed as an oxymoron/contradiction in terms without decoupling them from their typically associated ideologies.
Other Commentary and Links
Don't screw yourself out of magic
Don't wait for the bread to rise
"We Jews have a tradition that I wish everybody had, which is that we read one stupid story every God damn year, just to drill it into your head to make sure it's always fresh. And this is: when it's time to leave, when it's time to change, don't wait for the bread to rise. This is what I say to every Jewish person, like, you're sitting around waiting for the bread to rise, because they all know the story, which is you eat the goddamn matzah because the people who waited for the bread to rise are no longer with us; their descendants are no longer with us. And it is time to revolt. ~ Eric on JRE #1453 @ 36 min
The Educational Complex
A system of selective political, economic, and memetic pressures resulting in a cult of the teaching profession which prioritizes the careerist desires of the educators over the learning needs of the students.
The efficient frontier is the blending of all possible components into portfolios with the highest possible return and the lowest possible volatility.
Electronic Tribalism & Electronic Feudalism
Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation
Escher's Hands Drawing Hands
Eric uses this drawing as a metaphor when beginning his discussion of our Source Code.
Wiki's article will hopefully be growing with this community's influence.
The Evergreening of an institution occurs when younger employees are hired with the expectation that their views will become more moderate and tempered by the institution, and instead the institution is overtaken and radicalized by the individuals that it was hoping to exploit.
Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)
Fragility of Masculinity
Humankind has lived in Game A since we have escaped the Dunbar limit. Humankind has never seen or fully imagined Game B. People like Daniel Schmachtenberger, Jamie Wheal, and Jordan Hall speak about this process of dialogue and its risks on Rebel Wisdom. A fundamental shift from adversarial processing to opponent processing.
A genetic engineering technology that propagates a particular suite of genes throughout a population by altering that a specific allele will be transmitted to offspring from the natural 50% probability.
Genius vs Excellence
When you’re told that something is impossible, is that the end of the conversation, or does that start a second dialogue in your mind, how to get around whoever it is that’s just told you that you can’t do something? So how am I gonna get past this bouncer who told me that I can’t come into this nightclub? How am I going to start a business when my credit is terrible and I have no experience? You’re constantly looking for what is possible in a kind of MacGyverish sort of a way. And that’s your approach to the world.
The Iago Media is found on both the left and the right. They both have a narrative. When the news is narrative-aligned they report the news. When the news is counter-narrative, they either ignore it, lie, or spin.
Related Concept: Russell Conjugation
Irrationality is a feature, not a bug. It gives us the ability to Camp and decamp.
It's a beautiful thing
This originates from New York City.
Meaning: You can extract money from people who have no say in the matter.
"Institutional betrayal refers to wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon individuals dependent on that institution, including failure to prevent or respond supportively to wrongdoings by individuals (e.g. sexual assault) committed within the context of the institution. Institutional betrayal harms in at least two distinct ways: pragmatic and psychological. For instance, damage to citizens from avoidable government failure in managing covid19 is both pragmatic (illness, deaths, increased inequality, economic ruin) and psychological (leading to emotional and physical distress and thus more pragmatic harm)." 
Eric frequently uses this term and credits Dr. Freyd here
"A rigorous system would be capable of tying together an altered reality of layered falsehoods in which absolutely nothing can be assumed to be as it appears. Such a system, in continuous development for more than a century, is known to exist and now supports an intricate multi-billion dollar business empire of pure hokum. It is known to wrestling's insiders as "Kayfabe"." (E Weinstein 2011)
Knark is Swedish for very hard recreational drugs, but it's also "crank" spelled backwards with a slightly different spelling.
Led by Joe Rogan, long form podcasting is where thoughts are exchanged at length among individuals in conversation. A threat to mainstream, legacy media, those who work in and around this space are often smeared.
"Litella, v: to become politically & publicly outraged by one's own misinterpretation of the opinions of others."
The Looting Party
Episode 27, 1:46:00:
- when Bill Clinton decided that he couldn't take yet another loss to the Republican party, he was going to start experimenting with republicanism inside of the democratic party. By that point, we had two parties that more or less were two flavors of the same thing. I refer to that collective as the looting party.
Long Term vs Short Term Optimization
Long/short positions (nuanced positions)
"The meaning of my life is the progressing struggle to impart meaning to meaning." 
The analysis of message violence: "that there is certain violence that is committed theatrically as an instrument of transmission to induce preference falsification."
"The idea is to create something so horrific, beyond what is necessary to silence someone through murder and death, to communicate to others the instant necessity of beginning to falsify their preferences."
"A leveraging effect where a small amount of violence results in the maximum amount of preference falsification."
#4 Timur Kuran @ 28:50 Eric describes Saddam's Ba'ath party meetings. @ 31:45 Eric puts forth his theory.
"The point of the violence is to be so picturesque that it works its way into your mind and it won't let you go because somebody did something that was unnecessarily unthinkable; just for the purpose of torturing your brain with knowing that is what is on the other side."
#6 Jocko @ 55:03
It's the US’s Competitive Advantage. One of the things that the US still has over, let’s say, a competitor like China is that we tolerate the middle finger. it’s really important to start respecting our marginal citizens of greatest ability, and looking for the unusual personality types that are irreverent and committed enough to making things happen and really do things.
This originates from the epsilon-delta definition of a limit in mathematics.
The N^2 Revolution
This idea was shared with Eric on Dec, 07, 2017. The No Name Revolution, or N^2 Revolution, is the name Eric has given crisis we are currently facing. He proposes that our current cultural predicament was caused by our loss of Semi-Reliable Communal Sense-making. This is the sum total of the DISC, EGOs, and Load-Bearing Fictions being realized.
"...there was enough complex for us to function as a country and I think that has gone away. So I think that this (our loss of Semi-Reliable Communal Sense-making) is the parent of the crisis which I increasingly think of as, what I call it is: The No Name Revolution or the N squared revolution. We are in some sort of new regime which doesn't look like revolution we have seen before. It's much physically violent, so far. It is digitally extremely violent. And it has to do with the fact that we cannot make sense of things communally at some semi-reliable level."
- The N^2 Revolution on The Portal Clips
- Sept 2017, Eric's initial tweet about the "previously unknown form of revolution"
New Gimmick Economy
No More Heroes
The Overton Window doesn't describe everything about how politics works, but it does describe one key thing: Politicians will not support whatever policy they choose whenever they choose; rather, they will only espouse policies that they believe do not hurt their electoral chances. And the range of policy options available to a politician are shaped by ideas, social movements and shared norms and values within society.
"It's perfectly legal" – something ethically dubious may be going on.
"Perfectly Legal, adj.: Of a case where the letter of the law has been arbitraged against its spirit (see Pettifog)."
Theoretical physics practically created the modern economy:
- World Wide Web
- Nuclear Power/Weapons
- Molecular Biology
These are not simply taxpayer dollars. They began as physics dollars. ...
In politics and economics, a Potemkin village is any construction (literal or figurative) whose sole purpose is to provide an external façade to a country which is faring poorly, making people believe that the country is faring better.
Timur Kuran's theory brought forth in his book Private Truths, Public Lies.
Eric contests that the theory of Preference Falsification is Intellectual Kryptonite. "Because your theory can be accommodated within the standard theory... the problem is that it is a ready made upgrade to the existing theory in which nothing is lost but new degrees of freedom are gained; and that could have an absolutely unpredictable effect on the entire field because it is at the level of the substrate." #4 Prof. Timur Kuran @ 1:07:03
Riding on a technical substrate
"Rough Space, n: A place to think, joke & observe that is neither safe nor tolerant of abuse."
We now need rough spaces to replace safe ones.
"When [the] sport of personal reputational destruction is coordinated by members of the complex formed by institutional media, the intelligence community, the political parties, political consultants, finance, tech and the academy"
Section A of the Reserve Index
Yes, our government developed a plan for rounding up people who could contradict the GIN. There‘s a plan for a coming total collapse of confidence in our system.
Semi-reliable Communal Sense-making
There has been a breakdown in the Semi-reliable Communal Sense-making. Traditionally we used institutions to guide our collective sense-making, but this is no longer the case in the media landscape – so sense-making is no longer close to fully communal. Walter Cronkite was not always telling the truth, but what he said was a close approximation of the national consciousness and shared belief structure as a complex for the country to function upon, but this does not exist in the current media landscape – so it is no longer semi-reliable.
- The Wuxi Finger Hold
- Eric discusses Kung Fu Panda on Quora
Sharp Minds vs. Sharp Elbows
"Speaking Fee, n: 1) Asynchronous Baksheesh received once a politician has left office. 2) (Archaic) A modest honorarium for giving a speech."
Split Level Argument
Related to the "Motte-and-Bailey Doctrine".
This originates from Washington D.C.
"He has steady hands." You can count on him to do the wrong thing during an emergency to keep everyone on the inside okay Everyone on the inside is super dependent to burn all of their credibility in public
The steel man argument (or steelmanning) is the exact opposite of the straw man argument. The idea is to find the best form of the opponent's argument to test opposing opinions.
Not Learning Disabilities Differential diagnosis
Terms of Service
The Twin Nuclei Problem
There is no secret ingredient
This is a line from Eric's favorite movie, Kung Fu Panda.
"In the Inquisition, the Jews of Spain were chased by the Spanish Inquisition into, say, Turkey in the Ottoman Empire. My claim is that a lot of analytic lefties have been chased into the center right by the madness of these progressive lunatics, and that thing I'm calling "The Thinkquisition" is that people who are worried about, you know, homophobia or xenophobia, and all these things, but don't for a second sign up for the progressive, revolutionary sort of pseudo-Maoist agenda, those people are now hanging out as if they were in Turkey, even though their home, you know, was originally in the analog of Spain. The center right has become the Ottoman Empire to receive people chased out of the madness of Spain." ~Eric on The James Altucher show #472
TIM - Technology Intelligence Media
Eisenhower said: “beware of the military-industrial complex” in his final farewell address. Eric believes that this needs to be updated to be aware of what he calls TIM: technology, Intelligence, and Media.
All of our personal information is housed on the servers of a few large tech companies. The intelligence community has not been vigorously investigated for a very long time. The media is in some sort of relationship to both of those that we don't understand. The real concern is that the people who threatened the dominant “Gated Institutional Narrative”, have to beware of TIM: technology, intelligence, and media working behind the scenes in ways that we don't understand, which is the expectation post Church/Pike commissions.
I've tried to document the ways in which people have been brought down before. The last time we really cleaned house and the intelligence community was in the mid-seventies with the Church & Pike commissions. And we learned a ton about these untraceable ways that a Goliath -- which sometimes is emergent and sometimes conscious -- can take somebody down and you don't realize that the story that got written about you was planted by the government. And if that sounds crazy to you, you actually have a problem because this is fully documented. There's no conspiracy theory. It's a “conspiracy fact”. What we don't know is what happened since Church/Pike.
And this is why, for example, with the Nunes memo. (While I think it's a completely partisan stunt, it's a partisan stunt that may actually have an underlying reality as well.)
The default should be that this is the way the world normally works: that wasn't an anomaly. And if you believe that that doesn't happen anymore--absolutely--then the burden of proof is on you.
We have to imagine that fundamentally we're all vulnerable to having all of our email in a Gmail account, all of our personal interactions in our Facebook account, what we are doing with direct messages, being read by Twitter engineers. You know, I don't love James O'Keefe, but he seems to have unearthed some stuff at Twitter. We should be very, very worried.
Type I & Type II Error
(in ethology) The world as it is experienced by a particular organism.
Vampire syndrome/Vampire effect
"Sensible people who live on the internet and are saying dangerous things cannot be reflected inside of institutional media because it's an official structure."