Sep 282018
 

I saw this driving in to work. I will say that it’s really disheartening that the term “geoengineering” is already starting to get baggage!

Petrov Day Shenanigans. To quote a friend: “Seattle, in the midst of confusion stemming from a technical malfunction, launched an unprovoked (pretend) nuclear strike against Oxford. This attack resulted in the senseless, fiery death of Oxford’s cake, but perhaps we can find wisdom among charred, frosting-strewn rubble”

From post:  “I think this is highly illustrative of the real point of Petrov Day, which is that we treat nukes way too lightly and make it far too easy to kill other humans even when no harm was intended on anyone’s part.”

 

Software disenchantment. “Look around: our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games, watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok?
…Google Inbox, a web app written by Google, running in Chrome browser also by Google, takes 13 seconds to open moderately-sized emails
…Modern text editors have higher latency than 42-year-old Emacs. Text editors! What can be simpler?
…Windows 95 was 30Mb. Today we have web pages heavier than that! Windows 10 is 4Gb, which is 133 times as big. But is it 133 times as superior? I mean, functionally they are basically the same.”

I know this isn’t the fault of my software developer friends, and is instead a problem with Inadequate Equilibria. But goddamn this just frustrates me soooo much. The world doesn’t have to be this way!

 

Memetic Tribes and Culture War 2.0 is long, but so worth it. A thesis that brings together everything about today’s cultural crisis and explains both its origins and effects. This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. Here’s just one small part:

“The internet pornifies our private lives, including our political views, leaving nothing to the imagination. When everything is laid bare, respect vanishes, for our proximity exposes all of our ugliness. This manifests in what psychologists call dissimilarity cascades (the more we know about someone, the less we like them) and environmental spoiling (proximity with those we don’t like spoils the environment as a whole).

Mutually exclusive memeplexes, or “mutex” memeplexes, have no distance from one another thanks to the global village. This is the proximity crisis. Good fences make good neighbors, and the power of media has flattened all social fences.”

 

SMBC with a fantastic example of “The Medium is the Message”

 

This song is really good! If you liked “This is America” you’ll probably like this. Her other stuff is also very good.

 

Why PayPal’s crackdown on ASMR creators should worry you. Oh look, FOSTA is being weaponized to enforce misogyny. Who the fuck could’ve seen THAT happening??
/veryangry
Also, fuck 8chan

Modern text “communication” is insane. “How the hell is anyone supposed to communicate and connect through this stupid world of words? Apparently we do it by saying very, very little, and by restricting what we think and share so that it fits this insanely sparse format”

 

My friend Thomas is Kickstarting a new translation of the 2nd century stoic text “The Enchiridion.”

Why for? Stoicism continues to be a popular philosophy, but the last English translation of this text is over 100 years old. This new translation will be written in modern, conversational English. This will not only be easier to understand, it will also be more accurate to the original Koine Greek.

Example given: “consider this line from lesson 40: αἱ γυναῖκες εὐθὺς ἀπὸ τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα ἐτῶν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνδρῶν κυρίαι καλοῦνται.

Previously, this has been translated this as “Women from fourteen years old are flattered by men with the title of mistress.” But this is a very inaccurate and misleading translation! “καλοῦνται” does not mean “flatter”, it means “call”, as in “calling your sheep back to their pen”. Flattering a person has a clearly different connotation than calling an animal. It almost comes across as a positive thing, which is very much not what Epictetus is trying to convey!

Thus a more accurate translation is “Women as young as fourteen are catcalled by men.” This makes much more sense to a modern reader, and is actually applicable to your life – catcalling is still an issue, even eighteen centuries later.”

Also, their final stretch goal will fund an audio book version that will be narrated by me, so there’s that

 

Country pride: what I learned growing up in rural America. All sorts of interesting in here. This is only a small piece of a very varied read:
“Owning a small bit of the countryside brought my father deep satisfaction. The state had seized some of his dad’s farmland through eminent domain in the 1960s to dig the reservoir and move water east in underground tunnels for the people of Wichita. Sometimes Dad would park his truck on the shoulder of the two-lane blacktop that ran along the lake dam and take my brother and me up the long, steep concrete steps to look at what would have been his and then our small inheritance, now literally underwater. We couldn’t use the water ourselves; it was for Wichitans to access by turning on a faucet. We thus had dug a private well right next to a giant reservoir on what once was our land. It’s an old story: pushing poor rural communities out of the way to tap natural resources for cities.”

 

People often say “Sugar is poison” or “Coconut Oil is poison” or etc, for memetic/dramatic effect. But alcohol is perhaps the only thing most people regularly consume that is *ACTUALLY* poison. So every study I’ve ever seen saying that it increases health I have dismissed as wishful thinking/pack of lies. Today I am vindicated.

That being said, I ain’t gonna stop drinking. That can be some really fun poison!

“Numerous peer-reviewed studies found evidence that people who have a drink or two a day are less likely to have heart disease than people who abstain or drink excessively.

But the new study, while noting the lower risks of heart disease from moderate drinking, as well as a dip in the diabetes rate in women, found that many other health risks offset and overwhelm the health benefits. That includes the risk of breast cancer, larynx cancer, stroke, cirrhosis, tuberculosis, interpersonal violence, self-harm and transportation accidents.

“People who report drinking in moderation tend to be very different from people who don’t drink at all. They tend to be a healthier population, they tend to exercise more, they tend to be more affluent, they tend to have more access to health care,” Brewer said.”

In case you’re wondering what the difference is between teetotalers and moderate drinkers, I’ve heard that part of it is that teetotalers include a lot of former alcoholics.

 

“Reducing China’s ocean plastic pollution by 3% would be as valuable as getting the USA all the way down to zero. Also much easier as it just involves scaling up well-understood rubbish collection methods used elsewhere.
If we cared about saving the oceans we’d focus on bringing the countries that pollute the most up to scratch rather than eeeking out the irrelevant incremental gains possible in the USA/EU.
Data source Table 1 and Data Supplement 1: science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768/tab-figures-data

 

 

This is really big for both readers and writers – Walmart and Kobo Launch Walmart eBooks, Including an Audiobook Subscription for $9.99 Wal-Mart is one of the few entities I think could actually compete with Amazon on this. Thank god. We need some competition.

 

Forward Progress! Scientists Just Successfully Reversed Ageing in Lab Grown Human Cells

 

The prison industry is fucking evil. How Florida’s Prisons and DRM Made $11.3M Worth of Prisoners’ Music Disappear

“There is no technical reason why the files can’t be transferred: the decision to prevent prisoners from keeping the music they bought at a steep markup is a purely commercial one

The Florida Department of Corrections is already earning record sums from Jpay, taking a cut every time a prisoner’s family pays to transfer money into the prisoner’s Jpay account. The music-repurchasing bonanza that will follow the Jpay switchover represents an especially lucrative windfall for the department”

 

GOOGLE scrambled to contain leaks and internal anger on Wednesday after the company’s confidential plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China was revealed. TY friends that work at Google, keep fighting the good fight :)

 

Yuppie Fishtanks: YIMBYism explained without “supply and demand”. “Most of the yuppies would probably rather live in the fishtanks. The fishtanks tend to be located downtown, near to where the yuppies work (SoMa, Embarcadero, etc.), rather than in the older residential neighborhoods. Additionally, the fishtanks are pretty and modern and new, with gyms and common space and other stuff yuppies like. Probably more attractive for the average yuppie than an aging Victorian far out in the Mission or Haight with no built-in community or on-site services.

Now if the new fishtank units catch the incoming yuppies and prevent them from invading long-time residential working-class neighborhoods, that’s good!

And if the new fishtank units lure yuppies away from long-time residential working-class neighborhoods, that’s also good!”

 

TIL the origin of the phrase “Terminate with extreme prejudice.” Funnier than I expected.

 

And finally, a reminder that things are getting better.

  4 Responses to “Link & Meme Archive 7/28/18 – 9/28/18”

  1. I like plaintext communication. No need to search for hidden clues in tone, facial expression or hand movements, the information is just there. Maybe I’m weird. :-)

    The reminder that things are getting better is nice but still 150,000 people or so die every day…

    I’ll look at the other stuff later.

    PS: The handling of the reply section when you forgot to fill out the necessary fields is.. I dunno, bad? I’d check with javascript if the form meets the requirements before sending it to the server and display an error message if it does without emptying the input fields. Just had to think of that after it ate my comment and you complained about some coding problems in this post. :-P

  2. Yay competition, but Walmart is at least as bad as Amazon.

    • The point of competition is that they’re supposed to make each other better. And they probably will, but I doubt it will be by enough to really improve things that much. We need more than two major players and a bunch of minor ones.

  3. The YIMBYism argument is still based on supply and demand, just a bit more sophisticated than assuming that all apartments are fungible. You’re still supplying a competing good, which drives down the demand (and thus price) of the original. It argues that induced demand isn’t that great, so supplying yuppy fishtanks will take more yuppies out of traditional neighborhoods than it will bring to SF.

    Although it also argues based on gentrification having real, negative effects, when the last I heard (admittedly, I haven’t looked into this much) is that it does not actually cause people to move out or have the other negative effects attributed to it.

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