Nov 302013

different-body-types-olympic-athletes-howard-schatz-14Ack, didn’t realize how long I’d let this go!

Thanksgiving is a Sci-Fi story. This post is both historically accurate and epic.
“Mr. S heads to the alien settlement […] What if he could use these aliens as a tool to unite the warring bands of survivors? Break the ex-governor’s stranglehold on the region? Start rebuilding civilization? What if he could make something completely new, a merger of American ingenuity and alien technology?”

The Body Shapes Of The World’s Best Athletes Compared Side By Side

Today I’m thankful for Death Metal. :)
Normal English: “You have to mow the lawn”

Hidden Treasure – Hard drive with $7M in BitCoins is buried in a landfill. This kinda thing makes me wonder. Obviously I’m not going to go digging in a landfill… What sort of calculation did my brain do to decide “the risk, cost, and effort is not likely to be worth it”? Was it in any way a rational decision, or just laziness/contentment?

If Harry Potter Was Made By Disney. Made me smile. :)

Y’all know I love me some Scott Anderson. His letter to the FDA.
…As a doctor, I am well aware of both the importance of genetic testing in medicine and of the difficulty in getting these tests through the normal medical system
…In contrast, 23andMe has raised awareness of genetics among the general population and given them questions and concerns, usually appropriate, which they can discuss with their doctor.
… I am distressed by the likely effects of this decision on genetic research. Many of the most promising medical advances in the pipeline are based on genetics, but one major bottleneck to genetic discovery is the absence of good genomes to work with. […] 23andMe has amassed what may be the largest database of such information anywhere in the world and is making it available to researchers (with appropriate privacy protection), an amazing public service for a for-profit company. Restricting their ability to provide this service will almost certainly delay life-saving genetic discoveries.
…In contrast to these important services provided by 23andMe, your stated worries about the company are, with all due respect, somewhat bizarre.

Cookie Monster’s I Love It parody – Me Want It (But Me Wait)

the government is torturing my father until he dies … If you’re a politician who has ever voted against doctor-assisted suicide, or you would vote against it in the future, I hate your fucking guts and I would like you to die a long, horrible death.”
I hear very similar sentiments from people who work in the medical profession. A lot of end-of-life “care” is right out of horror novels/movies. And we’re letting it happen because we don’t care about the dying.

YouTube comments, acted out dramatically and with great gravitas. Awesome.

OK. Guess I’m going to buy a bidet. Only $36? To The Future!
“Medical Breakthrough: After 200 years of use by millions of people around the world and 20 years of widespread adoption in Japan, two medical researchers in the US finally checked to see if bidet-style toilets were more sanitary. What were their findings? handling your own feces with little tuffs of white paper turns out to be a bad long-term health strategy.
1.7 million Americans contract hospital acquired infections every year. Turns out 36% are urinary tract infections. US medical professional must have noticed that their Japanese counterparts only have a 5% rate of UTIs for their hospital acquired infections. Surely they connected these dots and started saving the extra 31,000 people / year dying in the US of these preventable infections? Nope. They aren’t even studying it. People don’t sue hospitals for the kinds of infections that they “give themselves” through “poor hygiene”.
Maybe a few generations from now, doctors will begin learning germ theory… or how to read medical literature from 2005… or how to notice when an entire other country just doesn’t have some problem that they do.
Here’s a quick thought experiment that can help. Imagine you had feces *anywhere* else on your body. Would you even briefly consider the solution of wiping it off with a piece of paper and going back to whatever you were doing?

Holy shit guys. Boba Fett killed Luke Skywalker’s Aunt and Uncle. Holy fucking shit.

WOAH! Vermont approves single-payer healthcare! Goes live in 2017. Are we finally going to join the rest of the developed world? I’m actually hopeful for once!

Since I first saw this I’ve been very amused by claims that god had to “dumb it down” for the pre-scientific peoples. It rewrites the genesis creation story so that it is 1) Scientifically Accurate, 2) Easily Comprehensible to Ancient Pre-Industrial Nomads, and 3) Very Poetic and Pretty Sounding. If we had something like THIS in the holy books, (“and I tell you this – light can become solid, and solid can become light”) then as we learned more about how reality really works we really WOULD be blown away. That would be pretty good evidence that something much more advanced than ancient humans had talked with our ancestors.

If you get antibiotics, take ALL of them. Don’t use antibiotic soap regularly. And support legislation to reform factory farming (80% of antibiotic use is in industrial food production, and those resistances spread).
The Post-Antibiotic Future.
“Before antibiotics, five women died out of every 1,000 who gave birth. One out of nine people who got a skin infection died, even from something as simple as a scrape or an insect bite. Three out of ten people who contracted pneumonia died from it. Ear infections caused deafness; sore throats were followed by heart failure. In a post-antibiotic era, would you mess around with power tools? Let your kid climb a tree? Have another child?”

State Rep. Uses Sledgehammer To Destroy Homeless People’s Possessions I was hoping he’d get a shank in the kidney soon (consequences – the only way to motivate change!), but it turns out he stopped after lots of public outrage. Which I guess is good. It’s a non-violent type of consequence, and violence is bad. Still… the less civilized part of me bemoans a lost opportunity.

I did laugh when I watched the Kimmel “Taking Candy” bit, but I also felt bad about it. Sam Harris on just how nasty this is.
“he can learn that his parents will lie to him for the purpose of making him miserable. He can also learn that they will find his suffering hilarious and that, at any moment, he might be shamed by those closest to him.”

This is the music they play on the other side of the singularity in Event Horizon. Wrecking Ball G-Major.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: It’s SOPA all over again, this time in secret. Yes – internet censorship, extreme copyright extension, imposition of insane pro-corporate doctrine on other countries… the works. Take particular note of the “Contact your congress person” links in the right side-bar. The EFF makes the process extremely painless.

Tetanus shots now come with adult whooping cough boosters, and I got mine two years ago, so I’m OK. Make sure you’re current too. Three months of extremely painful coughing fits sounds horrid. I’ve Got Whooping Cough. Thanks a Lot, Jenny McCarthy.

Nova on cryonics. It’s extremely preliminary, you really couldn’t get much less deep into the topic if you tried. It is only 4min after all. But it’s a reasonable portrayal without all the usual “OMG WTF?!?!” that pop media usually slings at it, and maybe it’ll expose some people to the concept who’d never heard of it before. So… I like it.

:) 20 Movie Stills Hilariously Replacing Guns With Thumbs-Ups

Dan Savage at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Paraphrasing: There are times when cheating is the lesser sin. I get letters: ‘We have small children. I do love my spouse. They are ill and dependant on me for health insurance.’ They haven’t had sex in years, and I am supposed to tell that person to get a divorce. According to the standard sex-advice. Sometimes staying married and staying sane means cheating. (he does clarify that many cheaters are pieces of shit, and this is not an excuse that applies often)
Of course it’d better if it didn’t have to be “cheating”, if the spouse could just say “I love you and value our relationship, and its OK to get sex elsewhere.” But since we live in a crappy world, sometimes cheating is the lesser wrong.

Young Singles, Seth Adam Smith’s Marriage Advice Isn’t for You
“Together, two happy people can create an even happier couple, but if you make someone else’s happiness your mission in life, you give them the power to make your life a failure.”
“See, “marriage is for others” is exactly what women have been told for centuries, and it’s done a lot of harm. “Marriage is for the family” kept women ashamed of their marriage problems and too scared to divorce their husbands. “Marriage is for children” has kept multitudes of women locked in abusive marriages “until the kids are grown.””

The paralyzing guilt of being good at math “(And then this traitorous voice in your head asks, do I not like doing math because I don’t actually like doing it, or because the patriarchy has convinced me in its horrid, insidious way that I shouldn’t, just like I’m still deep down emotionally convinced that I hate my body?) […] It feels almost like, if you can prove people wrong, then you should.”

This band is great a making a supposedly jauntly melody sound really creepy

Didn’t know 3D printing could be done with metal. *Now* we’re getting somewhere interesting… World’s First 3D Printed Metal Gun 

  3 Responses to “Link Archive 11/8/13 – 11/30/13”

  1. Scott goes by his middle name “Alexander” as a pseudonym: “Scott Alexander”. I don’t know why you called him “Scott Anderson”, but I strongly suspect it was a mistake.

  2. I don’t know him IRL, everything I know of him is from his blog and LessWrong. All the blog posts are tagged “by Scott Alexander”, so that’s what I used.
    I feel kinda weird using his personal name without knowing him personally… should I just go by Yvain?

    • Actually, from his About page:
      “I am going by Scott S Alexander, which is almost but not quite my real name. If you know my real name, please don’t use it on here.”
      So, there we go. :)

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