Oct 112016

Quoted directly from Eliezer Yudkowsky
“For so long as the voting system works the way it does, there will always be 2 parties in American democracy, no more, no less. For reasons that include e.g. the Median Voter Theorem, the votes will always drift back to around 50/50 for each party. The Republican Party *will* be back in 2020, and Hillary seems more likely than usual to be a one-term President.
So this would be a very good time to praise the #NotAllRepublicans who were first to say #NeverTrump. The Republicans who never compromised with visible evil from the start, not for the sake of power, nor party, nor fear of Hillary Clinton. The #NeverTrumpers deserve that praise, and you *will not like* what happens in 2020 if those honorable Republicans do *not* get to be the ones to rebuild the Republican Party.
A list of refusers, including time of first break, appears here.

Oh shit. No more excuses. Seriously, someone loved the poem enough to buy the domain and host just that poem, forever. That is awesome.

Twitter reveals How God Created Animals. It is hilarious.

California passes poorly-thought-out regulations which destroy small businesses? Who’da thunk it?
Forgers can’t sell Mark Hamil’s autograph easily anymore, but now *neither can Mark Hamil*. If you sell stuff at SDCC, don’t sign it anymore. Unless you bring along a stack of paperwork.
“The law requires that any autographed item sold for more than $5 must include a certificate of authenticity including information about the dealer, where and how the item was signed, and the name and address of any third party from whom it was purchased. The law was undoubtedly aimed at shutting down forgery mills, but it was written so broadly that it will make things a lot harder for anyone dealing in autographed goods.

second-hand booksellers, some of whom carry hundreds or thousands of autographed copies of books … must either create individual certificates of authenticity for each book, or else discard thousands of dollars in inventory that is no longer salable.”

“Whether we like it or not, we all need some kind of objective standard against which to measure our work. […] most of the great art the world has ever seen came about not through a single stroke of genius but by the continual effort of a community.”

A great short piece by Yudkowsky, from the writing prompt: “Write a romantic comedy. Difficulty: both lovers are emotionally mature and have excellent communication skills.” Here’s a small taste:
“WOMAN: Is this really… dating? I captured you. I now own you. You’re my harem slave, not a, a…
MAN: We’re seated at a nice marble table waiting for a chef to cook our food. I am reasonably sure this is a date.
The WOMAN covers her face in her hands.
WOMAN: It is, isn’t it. Oh, god, I’m on a date.”

25 years ago today (Sept 24th when I posted) Nevermind was released, and saved us all from CockRock. Very few albums can be said to have spearheaded a movement that significantly altered the music ecosphere, and this was one of them. HT to awesome music.

13754380_10153636581221512_4996851253414833391_nOh snap!! (also props for correct use of “ironic”)
“This image is really ironic, actually. Because it is meant to shame the young people looking at their phones and seemingly ignoring the beautiful Rembrandt painting titled, ‘The Night Watch’, which is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
“In fact, the kids are using the museum’s fantastic free downloadable multimedia app to learn more about the artist and the painting. This photo was just one of a larger set of photos, most of which show the students engrossed in the art and its history.
“But the internet doesn’t care about the truth. Not even enough to do a small amount of searching before sharing something. It gets a small amount of information, a simple image, a snapshot in time, and it draws ridiculous conclusions, especially if it means they get to be superior and judgemental of others.
“How’s that for wisdom?”

Humans never cease to amuse. From Michael Blume:
“Snowden: Hey WaPo, I found out about this thing; you could tell people about it. Or not. Really, just do whatever you think is best.
WaPo: Hey everybody, Snowden just told us about this thing, we thought you should know.
WaPo: Hey, Pulitzer committee, remember when we told everybody about the thing? That was excellent reporting, and it served the public interest. You should give us a prize for it.
Pulitzer committee: Yeah, sure.

WaPo: Hey everybody, we really think Snowden ought to be prosecuted for telling people the thing, it was completely irresponsible of him, he should’ve kept it to himself.”

Another proposed name for those of us that spent our teens getting shoved into Gen X, are now tacked onto Millennials, and don’t really fit in either. I thought this was a good idea for 5 minutes, before I started seeing everyone claiming it, esp those outside the date-range, because they also liked Oregon Trail. /sigh. Back to the naming-board.
“Gen X individuals were already fully-formed teens or young adults when computers became mainstream, and Millennials can’t even remember a time before computers.”


Companies Can’t Legally Void the Warranty for Jailbreaking or Rooting Your Phone. This is the opposite of what I thought was the case, and it makes me a little happier about the world.

Now this… this is an idea worth trying! Start splitting all Culture War movements into High and Low, to distinguish good actors from bad. (Rabid Puppies = Low as Fuuuuuuuuuck)
“The benefits of using low vs. high:
You get to be immune to fights over naxalt etc.; if someone says “feminists are doing evil things like erasing male rape victims” you just add “low feminists, yes, they do suck indeed” and judo their categorical attack to the ground. If they respond to this category-splitting dodge with “no, all feminists” the existence of a single counterexample is enough to pwn the pathetic attempt once things have been expliticized.
Similarly, you get to use this same phenomenon to whine about nasty people who have hurt you. If you say that low feminists do bad stuff, there’s nothing I can do about it because you’ve inb4′d the naxalt and according to the rules of the internets that means you win. But there’s nothing I need to do about it because yalxalt. It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about them out there. Every ideology has its share of utterly repugnant assholes and everyone deserves a chance to whine about them without being naxalted, and everyone deserves to not have their ideas discredited by weakmanning superweapons to existence.
everyone (high) prefers everyone splitting, and by using this distinction we can force people who want to maintain credibility with us highs to split too. We can still disagree for all we want, and fight over shit, but we should be able to coordinate to try to enforce this one civilizing rule on everyone we interact with. We can now actually define something as kind of a geneva convention of culture wars in a way which should actually be win-win and in the participants’ incentives”

I have discovered a new website to take all my hours! Bad-ass Of The Week. Here’s one sample, courtesy of Charles Stross.
“Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and bang a nun. If nothing in that sentence at least marginally interests you, I have no idea why you’re visiting this website.”

How Studying Mnemonics Changed the Way I Learn
“At this point, I have explained control systems to the parts of my brain (and yours!) that actually matter for real learning. [note: yup, she did!] … I have built inside my mind a structure that directly supports further understanding of anything and everything about control systems.
If it turns out that there’s something wrong with my understanding of control systems, I’ll be able to notice because my control system will fail to behave the way it’s supposed to, and then I’ll adjust the structure.”

Warner Brothers reports own site as illegal.
“A good approach would be to white-list non-infringing sources such as warnerbros.com and amazon.com”
No, a good approach would be to repeal this clusterfuck of a law, and jail/fine/flay everyone who’s despoiling the creative commons so wantonly. ><

This review of Star Trek Beyond is soooo much more than just a review. And it puts into words why I avoid nostalgia as much as possible. Not good for mental health!!
“These memories. They are just that. Memories. They are part of me, and what I’ve enjoyed. Part of what makes me who I am. They live inside me. I can’t relive them. Making new things won’t take away the pain that this ever ended.”

A two-year-old’s solution to the trolley problem.

“Being unconditionally polite, kind, and compassionate in a society that values and finds “deeper meaning” in aloofness and cynicism is subversive and thus punk”
(seen on tumblr)

Julith VS Kerubim

We really are living in the CapitalPunk universe!
Legalist is a Silicon Valley startup […] offering “data-backed litigation financing” using algorithms to “analyze millions of court cases to source, vet, and finance commercial litigation.” It’s the latest in a series of companies that allow third parties to “invest” in the success of a lawsuit, by funding said lawsuit.”

A rationalist in the Zombie Apocalypse. Short, fun, and includes a great in-universe explanation. :)

This Is Why There Are So Many Ties In Swimming. The timing can’t be made more sensitive because then it would be more sensitive than the lane lengths are:
“In a 50 meter Olympic pool, at the current men’s world record 50m pace, a thousandth-of-a-second constitutes 2.39 millimeters of travel. FINA pool dimension regulations allow a tolerance of 3 centimeters in each lane, more than ten times that amount. Could you time swimmers to a thousandth-of-a-second? Sure, but you couldn’t guarantee the winning swimmer didn’t have a thousandth-of-a-second-shorter course to swim. (Attempting to construct a concrete pool to any tighter a tolerance is nearly impossible; the effective length of a pool can change depending on the ambient temperature, the water temperature, and even whether or not there are people in the pool itself.)”

This short story by Alexis Hunter is exactly my sort of thing!! /heartflutter

The most ridiculous patch notes from 10 years of Dwarf Fortress. :) Animal breeding is prevented if animals aren’t “willing to marry”.

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