Shanghai Building to be Demolished

Philosophy

August 11th, 2020

In Philosophy

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What I’m working on

I’ve been reading some political books. I’m taking a one year break from doing much writing on technology. I’ll come back to technology later, but right now I’m thinking I will write something about politics.

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Books I’ve read this year:

Reading Lolita In Tehran, by Azar Nafisi

The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment, by Barbara Ehrenreich

Iran: A Modern History, by Abbas Amanat

Surviving Autocracy, Masha Gessen

Mr Putin, Fiona Hill and Clifford Gabby

Power Politics, Arundhati Roy

The Struggle To Save ...

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August 3rd, 2020

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His job was to beat children. That’s all the government required of him.

Sometimes Europeans understand the USA better than Americans do. Frustrating to read:

Mr. Cobb was a giant, round man without much of a neck. “Bend over the chair,” he said. Then he took the wooden paddle from the wall. He swatted me on the butt three times at full blow. I teared up – out of pain and shame. After that, he signed a form stating, “corporal punishment, three times.” As always, he had left the door to his office open. ...

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July 22nd, 2020

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If every form of therapy has roughly similar outcomes, what unifies them all?

Interesting:

Begrudgingly, I kept going back to what Alan Kazdin, a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University, said in 2009 in a widely cited paper: “It is remarkable that after decades of psychotherapy research we cannot provide an evidence-based explanation for how or why even our most well-studied interventions produce change.”

To complicate matters, numerous studies over the past few decades have reached what seems a counterintuitive conclusion: that all psychotherapies have roughly equal effects. This is known as ...

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July 22nd, 2020

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Everybody wants a war, but few actually sign up

Interesting:

Following a massive pro-war rally in Baku, the Azerbaijani authorities have detained more than 70 people including several political opposition activists and journalists.

…Five PFPA members who were at the rally were detained, and two other members were detained before the rally began, the party reported. Another member who was at the rally has not been located since. There has been no indication, though, that any of the PFPA activists were involved in any of the clashes with police or breaking ...

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July 22nd, 2020

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Vladimir Putin imprisons those who don’t play by his rules

When he first took power, in 1999, Putin surprised people by offering lucrative jobs to some of the most troublesome regional leaders. If they accepted the jobs, then they were okay. They were playing by Putin’s new rules. But if they continued to defend the rights of their region, then they would face arrest or death.

Interesting:

Russian news media reported that 50,000 or more people had joined a rally in the capital of Khabarovsk Krai, a sprawling territory nearly 4,000 miles ...

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July 22nd, 2020

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Mutual support for all groups seeking their rights?

Should disenfranchised groups hold each other back, or lift each other up? Interesting that the feminists were angry about black men getting the vote:

Dworkin theorized that some women embraced antifeminism, in one form or a combination, as a means of self-preservation in the face of male oppression. “Feminists, from a base of powerlessness, want to destroy that power,” she said. “Right-wing women, from a base of powerlessness, the same base, accommodate to that power because quite simply they see no ...

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July 21st, 2020

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Kushner is an example of bad leadership

This feels like the kind of story that I have tried to tell about leaders who undermine the organization they are supposed to be leading:

This is basically Kushner’s modus operandi, and it’s painfully familiar to me because he was my boss when I was the editor in chief of the New York Observer, which he had bought when he was 25. (I’ve written before about what he was like as a businessman.) One of the more memorable instances of this ...

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June 3rd, 2020

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The third temptation of Christ

This is good writing:

And yet it is still worth saying that the Christian faith does not condone the wanton destruction of human life or the presumption of God’s blessing by any earthly power. At the heart of the faith is servitude, not domination; Mr. Trump, hoisting the Bible aloft like a scepter, clearly has other plans.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus Christ is tempted by Satan three times, and the final temptation is this: dominion over “all the kingdoms of ...

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June 3rd, 2020

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Crucial facts about lesbian culture (if you only watch Killing Eve)

If you were to get all of your facts about lesbian culture from the show Kiling Eve you would have to conclude that:

1.) Lesbians spend 99.999% of their time longing for each other and 0.001% of their time kissing.

2.) Instead of sex, they stab each other. Or shoot each other. Inflicting fatal injuries and then walking away without bothering to call for medical help is how they suggest “Maybe we’re moving too fast?”

3.) A lot can ...

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June 3rd, 2020

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The police are not police, they are counter-protesters

Interesting:

Instead, the police seem clearly to be treating protesters — members of the public — as adversaries. As Mara Gay writes at the New York Times, “an army of public servants entrusted to protect Americans treated them as an enemy instead.”

This seems to be happening not despite the fact that the protests are about police brutality, but because of it. Previous research shows that police are more likely to use force against protesters when the subject of the protest is ...

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June 3rd, 2020

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Overly aggressive police enforcement contributes to unrest

Interesting:

The arguments for these attacks are always about control. In the eyes of authorities, crowds, just by virtue of being a large mass of human bodies, require wrangling, even if, like Saturday in Los Angeles, those bodies are not doing anything wrong. Donald Trump didn’t say only those crowds that present dangers will be redirected; he said “any difficulty” requires control. And the “non-lethal” resources officers use to control crowds are actually pretty fucking lethal, especially when used at the ...

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May 27th, 2020

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Maybe DNA is like precompiled software, but where is the compiler?

Interesting:

In two new papers, Jose argues that DNA is just the ingredient list, not the set of instructions used to build and maintain a living organism. The instructions, he says, are much more complicated, and they’re stored in the molecules that regulate a cell’s DNA and other functioning systems.

Jose outlined a new theoretical framework for heredity, which was developed through 20 years of research on genetics and epigenetics, in peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of the ...

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May 20th, 2020

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Disease can cause a society to become xenophobic

Interesting:

A report issued this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York tracked voting in 60 German cities, from 1925 to 1933, to see if there was a relationship between support for extremist political parties and the local death rate during the 1918 influenza epidemic. It found that

Influenza deaths of 1918 are correlated with an increase in the share of votes won by right-wing extremists, such as the National Socialist Workers Party (aka the Nazi Party), in the crucial ...

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May 20th, 2020

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Germany is not a Covid-19 success story

Germany has done worse than many seem to think. Having said that, what if the reference was to Poland, or Hungary? Those countries have almost completely avoided Covid-19. So it is foolish for this writer to suggest that the West has failed during this crisis. It’s just some Western countries that have done badly. Jacinda Arden has done brilliantly as the leader of New Zealand.

Instead, we get coverage of how well Angela Merkel speaks, all while studiously ignoring the horrific ...

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May 20th, 2020

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Rock history: the musicians being stolen from have often not only been black, but queer as well

Interesting:

It was during a 1966 concert in Paris when Little Richard, drenched in sweat, told a mostly white audience, “I’m ready, ready, ready teddy, I’m ready, ready, ready teddy!” He took off his soaked shirt and the men and women pleaded for it as he swung it over his head like a helicopter, carefully considering who he would bless with his dripping D.N.A.

For those in the audience, it must have been fantastical to see, and a deeply erotic thing to ...

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May 20th, 2020

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Blogs allow us to feel the tremors of approaching cultural events long before their vibrations are recorded on any seismograph

This is stated as a joke about how this woman tracks LGBQT culture, but it is in fact a great statement about the way blogs work for all cultural trends.

Blogs offer us a unique sensitivity to tremors in the culture

Shortly after Frozen 2 came out but before I saw it, a friend asked me if I thought they had given Elsa a female love interest, as it has been rumored they might. “No,” I said with complete confidence. “If ...

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May 20th, 2020

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Elon Musk is stupid

In my book I complained about our modern tendency to build cults around around tech leaders. Articles like this are useful to remind us how flawed they are.

Interesting:

Still, there were warning signs. As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, “I am the alpha in this relationship.” I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious. He had grown ...

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May 13th, 2020

In Philosophy

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His Girl Friday

My favorite movie ever is His Girl Friday.

Russel owns the part so well it is interesting that no one thought she could handle the role:

Russell had been, as she put it, “Everyone’s fifteenth choice” for the role of Hildy in the film. Before her being cast, Howard Hawks had asked Katharine Hepburn, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, Jean Arthur, Margaret Sullavan, and Ginger Rogers if they would like to play the brash, fast-talking reporter in his film. All of them ...

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May 12th, 2020

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What is emotional labor?

Over the weekend a friend of mine went on a date with a guy who didn’t make much of an effort. She did most of the talking and asked a lot of the questions, so they could learn about each other. Later on she was telling me about it and I said “You did all the emotional labor, and he did none.” My friend hadn’t heard the phrase “emotional labor” before and asked me to send her some articles about ...
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May 12th, 2020

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Trump accuses TV host of murder

It takes a few years of increasing chaos before this is simply accepted as our new normal:

Source

May 5th, 2020

In Philosophy

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And so the virus becomes just one more front in the culture war

Merely being angry and yelling does not mean one side is correct:

In the coronavirus edition of the culture wars, critics of the government’s slow, muddled response to the pandemic – who may overlap with the remainers of old – are cast as gleeful about Britain’s horrifying death toll, since it presents an opportunity to bash both the Conservatives and the conceits of exceptionalism. Complaints that coverage of Boris Johnson’s own illness overshadowed a nightmarish week of deaths and national suffering ...

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May 5th, 2020

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When your boss constantly attacks your spouse

I don’t understand this marriage.

Source

May 5th, 2020

In Philosophy

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How much should our best professionals sacrifice in order to help us survive the coronavirus?

A well-designed political system does not allow the political system to oppress the best professionals this way. Very sad:

Fauci has enjoyed 80 percent approval in the polls and the Brad Pitt treatment on “Saturday Night Live.” But what happens if, as now seems the case, Trump tries to make him a fall guy for the woeful response to the virus?

Trump’s Sunday night remark wasn’t an aberration: Last week in the Oval Office, Trump said: “You go back and you take ...

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May 5th, 2020

In Philosophy

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Covid-19 had reached France by late December

This changes the history of the epidemic. Interesting:

The discovery came after French doctors retested samples taken on Dec. 27 from a patient initially diagnosed with pneumonia at a hospital near Paris. That was days before Chinese authorities first reported the previously unknown ailment to the World Health Organization; weeks before the Chinese acknowledged that human to human transmission was even possible; and more than a month before the disease was first officially acknowledged to have emerged in France.

Source

May 5th, 2020

In Philosophy

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Why was my weblog offline for 6 months?

For a few years I was a fan of the Rackspace cloud, because of the simplicity of setup. I’ve now changed my mind. The Rackspace offering is too limited to work as a cloud service and it is too expensive when compared to dedicated hardware. So for instance, the harddrive filled up on my server. The Rackspace Cloud has a fairly rigid limit of 40 gigs on the hardrive. The MySQL database was giving constant errors as it ran out ...

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May 4th, 2020

In Philosophy

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Why does the New York Times leave pause words in quotes from Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez?

All human beings use pause words such as “uh” and “um” and “er” and “like” and “hey” and “mmmm”. The New York Times routinely edits these out of any quotes they attribute to a politician. But they made the decision to include “like” in quotes from AOC:

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues are, for the most part, farther removed from the virus’s daily toll, which has only heightened the alienation she felt when she arrived on Capitol Hill last year. “I have, like, ...

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October 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The low-level and constant harassment of assuming people want to talk to you

Invasive, overly personal, aggressive, boundary testing. Unfortunate:

I’m 58 years old. For the most part I look 58 years old. I’m physically disabled. Yesterday I was at Costco and got a hotdog when I was done shopping. I sat at the first table to eat, and parked my cart at the end of the table. A guy about the size, shape, and age of Trump came up and asked if he could sit at my table. It wasn’t busy but ...

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October 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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26 year olds no longer live with their spouse

Interesting:

Source

October 2nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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The modern day reinvention of monarchy

Interesting:

When you think of monarchy, you might think of an inbred Habsburg – the family’s distinctive jaw, how generations of rulers crippled by a variety of diseases due to their tendency to marry within the immediate family. But for Sean and other members of the subreddit, monarchism is not merely about having a supreme ruler and an inherited throne. Most members of the community deplore authoritarian regimes. They aren’t simply searching for order via a supreme leader, but a return ...

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October 2nd, 2019

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400 metres from the end of the eight-mile annual fitness test

I’m strongly pro-metrics and would be happy to see everyone adopt it, but if a magazine decides to use the old British system, that is their choice. But why oh why do the editors allow the two systems to be mixed in one sentence?

Hoole, of 1 Rifles, was carrying 25kg (55lb) of equipment when he collapsed 400 metres from the end of the eight-mile annual fitness test course on 19 July 2016.

On the main topic, why doesn’t the military ...

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September 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Fun is what I do to you

This is grim, but good:

Fun is what I do to you. You can tell because I am laughing. (I have noticed that you are not laughing.) You must consider that this is all in good fun, good harmless fun, as popping a balloon or stealing someone’s bag lunch or knocking over someone’s drink or holding down a girl until she is terrified she cannot breathe. A cheerful and salutary incident in which nothing of value was harmed or lost, when ...

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September 12th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Can anyone defend Pewdiepie at this point?

This is true:

1. pewdiepie gets called a nazi because his anti-semitic and racist jokes have attracted a following of mostly reactionaries

2. to prove the libs wrong and own them he decides to donate $50,000 to the ADL

3. recieves so much backlash from his now exclusively reactionary fanbase that he cancels the donation

i literally can’t see a single reason why you would defend this guy anymore

Source

September 12th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Roulhac Toledano and my mom

My mom did not get credit for co-writing the Coty book, but ask Roulhac nowadays and she tells everyone that my mom co-wrote the Coty book.

This type of relationship, between the charming impresario and the quiet writer type apparently repeats generation after generation. I feel like I saw this scene with my own eyes. In some ways, I did. In particular, the way Roulhac would be feeling low and defeated, but then cheer up when my mom arrived to save ...

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September 9th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Zack Beauchamp on this illiberal moment

The West has been admired for its liberalism for 2,500 years, and yet at no time during those 2,500 years was its liberalism the dominant force in Western politics. It has always been under attack, and every implementation of it has been deeply flawed.

Keep that in mind when reading Vox’s concern about this illiberal moment:

On the right, the anti-liberals locate the root of the problem in liberalism’s social doctrines, its emphasis on secularism and individual rights. In their ...

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September 9th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Some relationships mean more to us than to them

So universal:

A man I used to love came to stay at my flat three months ago. What ensued was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever put myself through.

We’d had a fling three years ago. But that fling was re-flung one or two more times after the first fling ended. I fell in love. I usually preface that sentence with “stupidly,” but I know it didn’t feel stupid at the time. Those feelings, it would appear, were not ...

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September 9th, 2019

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Lonely people everywhere

Interesting:

When I first moved to London, my new flatmates and I held a housewarming party. I invited everyone I knew in the city. But the morning after, I totted up the number of guests of mine that had shown up: two. Thankfully, my other flatmates’ had more than made up the numbers with their own friends. I prayed that they hadn’t noticed the marked absence of a crowd of my friends.

Darkness collides with hilarity in this show and that’s ...

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September 9th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Taylor Swift understands how to handle an angry public

Damn, this is very good advice:

Swift says she stopped trying to explain herself, even though she “definitely” could have. As she worked on Reputation, she was also writing “a think-piece a day that I knew I would never publish: the stuff I would say, and the different facets of the situation that nobody knew”. If she could exonerate herself, why didn’t she? She leans forward. “Here’s why,” she says conspiratorially. “Because when people are in a hate frenzy and they ...

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September 8th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why put this much energy into trying to save one member of a community?

It is frustrating that there are so many good people trying to get into tech, and not being able to, while considerable allowance if given to some other people. For an old reference from 15 years ago, see this bit about Dave Winer.

A more recent example: John De Goes and the FP community

This post is a collection of links about John De Goes that show some clear patterns of behavior:

De Goes defending white supremacists and misogynists.

De Goes attacking critics and ...

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September 8th, 2019

In Philosophy

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tangled_girl asks the best question

Regarding the turmoil in the Scala community, with some super racists getting banned from a conference for their HBD views (human bio diversity, the super racist lingo that the mass murderer in El Paso mentioned in his manifesto (allegedly Patrick Crusius)) tangled_girl asks the question I myself often wonder:

genuine question: if speaking up your mind so far has cost you your friends, your employer, your professional reputation, the regard of your colleagues, your local support network, and even the gratitude ...

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September 5th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Friends with benefits

Interesting:

Source

September 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Everything about British politics is amazing right now

Every single day brings some once-in-a-century event, either to amuse or horrify. I’m curious, has any Prime Minister in history ever before lost their first vote?

And there is this:

There is some debate over whether all this – the prorogation, the expulsions – is a series of improvised moves born of panic or, on the contrary, a cunning plan. Within that question is a related one: is the PM’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, an evil genius or what Marina Hyde calls ...

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August 31st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Straight pride event full of alt-right neo fascists

Interesting:

Hugo later addressed the crowd and asked for Trump supporters to raise their hands, which most did. He declared the president’s re-election would be a “shoo-in”.

Hugo criticized the Boston mayor: “Mayor Marty Walsh said there would only be 20 people here today. Look around. Not only is he intolerant, but he can’t count.”

Despite denying being anti-LGBTQ, the organization allowed several people to the mic to complain about “LGBTQ curriculums in public schools” and children being gay. People clad in Maga ...

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August 31st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Laws meant to protect children are now used against them

The against child pornography was clearly meant to protect children. It’s sad to see the law twisted this way:

The decision, which upheld a decision from a lower Maryland appeals court, means other minors who engage in sexting could face similar legal repercussions.

Amidst spreading criticism, one expert told the Guardian it was “a ridiculous reading of the statute” concerned.

The ruling, by a 6-1 majority among the judges on the Maryland court of appeals, said: “We refuse to read into the statute ...

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August 31st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Dominic Cummings is scum

Why get the police involved?. This man is scum, and he likes to throw his power around.

The demands for inquiries into the sacking last Thursday of Sonia Khan, the 27-year-old Treasury special adviser, came amid heightened tension at Westminster over Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks.

… Cummings is understood to have concluded that Khan had been dishonest about her recent contacts with her ex-boss, the anti-no deal former chancellor Philip Hammond, and one of his ex-aides – accusations ...

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August 31st, 2019

In Philosophy

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I finally saw a liar, a manipulator, and a coward

An interesting article, about an affair:

Did Nicola ever think about his wife? Nicola said she found it “pretty easy” not to think about her. “This sounds horrible, but my feelings towards her were a very weird mix of envy and pity,” she said. “I was so envious that she’d got there first, that she got to have him come home to her. Then pity because she didn’t know, and that made me feel sorry for her in a way.”

Asked if ...

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August 31st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Fragile men are an epidemic

Interesting:

The most remarkable thing about most of these men and their Fabergé-egg-like egos is they’re often the first to gripe about the ills of “political correctness.”

Take Mr. Stephens, a conservative columnist who has railed against “safe spaces,” saying in a 2017 commencement address at Hampden-Sydney College that worrying about hurting other’s feelings might lead to stifling all speech: “If we want to accommodate the sensitivities of our fellow students, shouldn’t that accommodation extend not only to what we say around ...

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August 30th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Bret Stephens shows himself to be fragile to an extreme degree

An article mentioned that bedbugs had been discovered in the New York Times building. Dave Karp posted a short attempt at humor, as a tweet, suggesting Bret Stephens was the real bedbug.

This is a horrifying response, and a mark against the legitimacy of The New York Times:

Dave Karp responded:

Another response:

This situation is out of control, for sure. Dave Karp throws out a tweet and Stephen replies with a column in the NYT? And the editors allowed this?

Source

August 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Do we need AI? Can we use old technologies?

Before we get to the AI utopia, where life is supposed to be good because we finally have AI, there are dozens of common life occurrences where I am waiting to see old technology finally come into widespread use:

My mom and I went to Earth Cafe yesterday, on the corner of 97th and Broadway (Manhattan). I love the place, but some of the tables are woefully uneven. Why don’t outdoor cafe tables come with shock absorbers that automatically balance ...

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August 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The most New Zealand story ever

Funny:

Source

August 23rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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I wonder about Amazon’s algorithm

Um, what?

Source

August 20th, 2019

In Philosophy

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A bisexual does not change sexuality when they go from a man to a woman, or vice versa

Interesting:

As news of the couple’s breakup churned through the news cycle, so did photos of Cyrus kissing another woman, Kaitlynn Carter. Straight people on social media were critical of their spending time together, saying that it seems wrong to go on a vacation and flaunt it in an ex’s face immediately after breaking up, and that Cyrus was being “slutty” and “inconsiderate.” On the other hand, queer women came out in droves to celebrate having Cyrus “back,” glad that she ...

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August 20th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The goal of an oligarch is to rival the power of the state

I saw this on Tumblr:

If you have $10 million then you can buy everything in life that you might find pleasant. You can own 3 houses and a bunch of cool cars and you can send all of your children to good private schools. If you want more than $10 million, then you are no longer seeking money, you are seeking power. $20 million, $100 million, $1 billion — the extra money doesn’t let you get nicer things for you ...

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August 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

4 Comments

If you want to go dancing in New York City, consider Silvana

First I’ll recount the events, then I’ll offer an opinion about what they mean.

——————————-

My friend K, from Germany, had her birthday on Saturday. She was turning 40 and she, with help from friends, planned several events for the day.

Several of K’s friends flew over from Germany to join us, and our dear friend Sonya, with complete secrecy, flew in from Michigan, and then surprised K, and K ended up crying she was so happy to see Sonya.

I ...

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August 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Good government means expert have the power to put their expertise to use

Interesting:

As you flick through the New European, you eventually leave Brexit behind for something that would have been unthinkable before 2016: the “Eurofile” section, a weekly paean to Europe and its glories. Another section makes for an equally odd sight in a British newspaper: pages of articles by academics, under the heading “Expertise”.

Expertise matters to remainists. They don’t merely admire it – that admiration is an important part of how they define themselves. “A lot of remainers are proud to ...

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August 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The classical HN analysis: axiomatically derived from premises that seem intuitively true but are empirically false

This sums it up:

tptacek :

I worry that this is the classical HN analysis: axiomatically derived from premises that seem intuitively true but are empirically false.

Actually true of much of the tech world, a deep and abiding distrust of experience; an unwillingness to confront those moments when lived reality contradicts theory, a willingness to take the side of theory and insist that reality must be wrong.

Source

August 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

8 Comments

Why does he want to throw his reputation away?

You have to be inhumanly insensitive to try to minimize these murders by comparing them to things such as the flu. We assign moral weight to murder, we don’t assign moral weight to the flu. If I have to explain why, then there is something wrong with you.

Source

August 1st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Your shame will destroy this planet

Greta Thunberg is awesome and I wish more people were just like her. But personal shame can not save the planet from destruction. Feeling shame will not stop the coal companies from poisoning the air and water. There is no reason why people should feel embarrassed about the fact that they have a biological body that needs to consume resources so as to enjoy life. Limiting the damage done by corporations requires anger, courage and careful thought, but never any ...

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July 31st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department, is destroying or hiding documents about the Nakba

Interesting

Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Waschitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for ...

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July 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Many of my Stackoverflow questions have been marked as duplicates even though they were not

I’ve written before about troubles on Stackoverflow

This is interesting:

That was when something became crystal clear: my coworkers hadn’t become monsters, they were still the kind and caring people I thought they were. The monster in this case is not one person, it was created when lots of people, even with great intentions, publicly disagreed with you at the same time. Even kind feedback can come off as caustic and mean when there is a mob of people behind it. No ...

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July 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The Trump administration is racist

I’ve realized I’ve never said this before on this blog, and I want to be on the record for saying what is extremely obvious to anyone who can see. This has nothing to do with immigration:

We should all be afraid, because the government is increasingly seizing USA citizens and holding them without charges, for the sole purpose of spreading terror and intimidating the public. This is a government that wants to normalize authoritarian practices with vulnerable groups so that eventually ...

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July 28th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The subjectivity of Margaret Mead’s love life surely gave her objectivity when examining the foreign

While ending her second marriage and starting an affair with a new man she writes detailed letters to the woman she is in love with explaining her theories of anthropology. Mead was apparently lucky to be in the orbit of Fanz Boas, who put together a scene that sounds like the exemplar of the metaphor “hot house” :

A living room in Grantwood, N.J., has a good claim to being the birthplace, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, of ...

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July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Many of the great prehistoric monuments were built at the same time, including in Greece

Everything about this is amazing:

Although the current archaeological investigations on Dhaskalio have been going on for the past four years, it’s only more detailed examination of the resultant data over the past 12 months that has revealed the true scale of the complex, and the transport logistics and construction work associated with it.

But the remarkable nature of the site does fit into a much more widely dispersed series of monumental construction traditions from western Europe and the Middle East.

Intriguingly, it ...

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July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Americans increasingly hate each other

I’ve previously mentioned that my mom has resigned from the Environmental Commission. See Blanche Krubner resigns from the Jackson Township Environmental Commission. She served for 46 years, from 1973 to 2019.

It was difficult for her to resign. She has many happy memories of working with good people to keep central New Jersey a safe and happy place to live. She protected the drinking water, so we can drink from the faucet without having to worry about pollutants.

In the ...

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July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Some natural predator must have died out because the ticks in New Jersey are out of control

I grew up in New Jersey in the 1970s and 1980s. Myself and my younger brother played outside, every evening after school, and all day on weekends. On Saturday mornings we would disappear into the woods and play games there till it was dark. When I was 10 years old it was common for us to gather up our friends and initiate a game like Capture The Flag. We were in the woods for 12 hours straight. If we heard ...

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July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Robert McNamara tracked every statistic he could, except the happiness of the Vietnamese people

When I wrote When companies make a fetish of being data driven they reward a passive aggressive style I made the point that leaders often gather up huge amounts of information, but they focus on the wrong type of information. For instance:

Google seems like an example of how a “data driven” company can go off the rails. I’m not sure what their meetings are like, but I know that in interviews the management at Google talks about their focus on ...

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July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Your life will be enriched in countless ways if you host parties

This is a good question, and I think the correct answer is “Don’t waste time on dating apps”:

Your general advice about the pursuit of love always resonates: Build a life alone that you love; hold onto your belief that love exists even when it makes you feel vulnerable and uncool; if you meet someone you think you like but they’re tepid or not fully invested, go ahead and tell them to fuck off. I now read this and think, ...

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July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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You can’t nice your way out of getting trolled

This is good:

Source

July 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Predators typically cannot put into words what their real motivation is, as they do not know it

I’m sad to say that during my life I’ve had at least two encounters with different kinds of predators, one male and one female. Every time I asked them what they really wanted, they had a different reason. I think they invent reasons, on the spot, when someone asks. Their real motivation is a non-rational thing that is difficult to put into words. The Greeks have the word “alogos” which can be translated “inexpressible” and which covers predators. Maybe they ...

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July 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Do you get Coldplay? Like, really get Coldplay?

This is the opening scene of my novel, How The Young Anna Barnev Established Her Career As A Graphic Designer

—————

Spring of 2010

When they were sixteen years old, Mera traveled down to Atlanta to spend a week visiting her friend Anna. Greeting each other at the door, they both experienced the mild shock of seeing one another after many months apart. Mera could see that Anna had done something about her uneven eyebrows, while Anna could see that Mera was now ...

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July 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

This woman murdered her husband, and she got away with it

I passed through Madrid, New Mexico in the year 2008. It’s a tiny town in the middle of mountains and desert. People go there when they want to get away from civilization. It attracts more than its fair share of eccentrics, people who don’t fit into the normal world of corporate life or regular careers.

There was one main bar. If you went to that bar, most nights, an older woman came in. She was probably in her 50s or 60s. ...

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July 22nd, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Appreciating the wisdom of Clay Shirky’s comments regarding the early Web and how it would end

When the Web first emerged in the mid 1990s, people were astonished at the reality that their existed a “long tail” full of more revenue potential than the “fat body”. Amazon proved this early on. At the time, a large Barnes and Noble might sell 130,000 unique items, but Amazon was getting the majority of its revenue from the millions of items that were not among its 130,000 best selling items.

When we speak of what made the early Web ...

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July 22nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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This miserable way is taken by sorry souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise

Interesting:

In Dante’s Inferno, the moral cowards are not granted admission to Hell; they are consigned to the vestibule, where they are doomed to follow a rushing banner that is blown about by the wind. When Dante asks his guide, Virgil, who they are, he explains:

This miserable way is taken by sorry souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise.

They now commingle with the coward angels, the company of those who were not rebels nor faithful to their God, ...

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July 22nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Censorship in Iran

Interesting:

Censorship comes along with traces of governments ALWAYS!

In many contries allover the world, governments tend to block their citizens to access some certain domains/ips across the internet. Some say “It’s there to keep culture and moral healthy!”. They block pornographies and so. Even in US we can find certain domains which are blocked and cannot be accessed like those which contain CP or wild anti-humanism contents.

But in Iran (and most other countries) that’s not the case!

They block many things. We ...

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July 21st, 2019

In Philosophy

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There must be a universe where we made it work right

I often think like this about the romances in my life, the permutations, the which would have been better. Interesting:

In one universe, we wake up next to each other every day for 50 years. In another, we don’t know heartbreak or the ripping pain from crying all night. We call each other every night, and you send me flowers. I see you in everything except real life but we’re content. This may be my favorite universe. In the fourth universe, the miles between ...

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July 21st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Anaxagoras realized that the moon was a rock, not a God, and the public banished him

Interesting:

Anaxagoras also wrestled with the origins and formation of the moon, a mystery that still challenges scientists today. The philosopher proposed that the moon was a big rock which the early Earth had flung into space. This concept anticipated a scenario for the moon’s origin that physicist George Darwin, son of Charles Darwin, would propose 23 centuries later. Known as the fission hypothesis, Darwin’s idea was that the moon began as a chunk of Earth and was hurled into space ...

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July 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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You know you’re getting older when…

You know you’re getting older when you can remember what it was like to have thoughtful, intelligent Republican friends. No member of the younger generation can relate to the experience.

Source

July 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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An unusually stupid political metaphor

Jesse Watters of Fox News cheated on his wife, via an affair with a 25 year old associate producer, which was eventually discovered by the wife. Last year they finalized the divorce.

Yesterday he went on Fox News and said we should love America the way we love our wife:

“If you love something, you don’t radically transform it,” he told Fox Friend Steve Doocy. “Like your wife. She doesn’t make you love ballet. She doesn’t make you grow your ...

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July 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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DNA tests prove his father was not his father, and his grandfather was not his grandfather

As DNA becomes more common, people are finding big surprises about who their real parents were. In this case, a researcher finds out that his mom had a brief affair with a neighbor, who turned out to be his real dad, and his mom’s nominal father was not, in fact, her father. That is a lot of lying about parentage in just 2 generations.

Identifying my biological father was a key first step in overcoming my sense of being untethered. ...

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July 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world

Trump is correct. AOC and others come from a country where the current government is “a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world”.

Source

July 12th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The centrists versus the progressives

Interesting:

As Ocasio-Cortez notes, Pelosi’s attacks aren’t taking place in a bubble; they’re taking place in a media environment where the rightwing have put a target on the Squad’s back. On Tuesday night, for example, Fox host Tucker Carlson launched a racist attack against Omar that could arguably be seen as an incitement to violence against the congresswoman. “[Omar] has undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people,” Carlson told his 3 million viewers. “That should worry you, and ...

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July 12th, 2019

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This is what a confident woman looks like

Interesting:

While a man who has never, knowingly uttered a modest statement about his vanishingly small talents squats in the White House, Rapinoe’s victory utterance triggered howls of protest from Donald Trump’s supporters. “Obnoxious”; “rude”; “egotistical”. On it went. The you-go-girl end of American positive thinking was never, actually, intended to unleash the female ego in this way but rather to act as a piece of marketing designed to remind people – women in this case – that there are no ...

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July 12th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The prisons we chose to live inside are based on fantasies we promote even when they hurt us

Interesting:

The main thing that changed between 2004 and 2019 is that a lot of hidden pain became unignorable.

In What Do We Need Men For?, Carroll writes that since her encounter with Trump in 1995 or 1996, “I’ve never had sex with anybody ever again.” Mr. Right, Right Now came out in 2004, nearly a decade later.

Read in this light, Mr. Right, Right Now is not only exhausting, it is heartbreaking. All this effort, all this labor, all this single-minded focus ...

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July 11th, 2019

In Philosophy

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How does an author know when they are done with a series?

Interesting:

Eva Chen In your two series, [To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Summer I Turned Pretty,] who do you think are the most underrated characters?

Jenny Han Oh, whoa! No one’s ever asked me that!

Eva Chen I am a good interviewer.

Jenny Han It’s hard to say, because I feel like all the characters are very appreciated, and everyone has their own favorites.

Eva Chen Okay, so let’s go the other way. If you had to play favorites —

Jenny Han So my personal favorite characters? From ...

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July 5th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Learn another language

I am trying to learn Polish, so I resonate with this:

Aside from the stupidity of this view, which seems to assume that all international travel and immigration to and from the UK will cease as soon as the Brexit drawbridge goes up, there is also the fact that having another language is never useless. As a Welsh speaker I have encountered a fair amount of linguistic ignorance: people saying that Welsh is pointless because it is a minority language that ...

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July 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Moderation on Hacker News

On a thread about Thomas Jefferson, my comment got flagged by “dang” who is the moderator. I was trying to remind people that Jefferson was a rapist.

I was responding to this fellow, who felt we were too critical of historical figures:

As a side note, his home town, Charlottesville, canceled the holiday celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday[0][1]. It seems to me that our society is too focused on condemning historical persons for their flaws than celebrating them for their noteworthy deeds.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jul/2/charlottesville-drops-thomas-jeffersons-birthday-h/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/03/as-trump-predicted-charlottesville-cancels-thomas-jeffersons-birthday/

...

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July 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Neanderthals were smart, used glue to build good tools

Interesting:

The beeswax compounds, along with diterpenes from a scraper and a flake from Grotta di Sant’Agostino, showed signs that the resin had been heated. The Sant’Agostino samples contained compounds derived from methanol, which is usually given off by heated wood. That’s a perfect fit with what we know about working with resin. It tends to dry and harden when it’s exposed to air, so the Neanderthals at Grotta del Fossellone and Grotta di Sant’Agostino would have needed to heat it ...

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July 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Watching Euphoria

Trying to fall asleep, I decided I’d try to watch Euphoria, a new show on HBO. There are 3 episodes so far, and I watched them all. The first episode is not great, it feels like its from the 1990s but trying to pretend it is current. I wasn’t won over till the 3rd episode, when the show starts to live up to its own idea about itself. The acting deserves applause:

Hunter Schafer as Jules Vaughn is really outstanding.

Barbie ...

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June 30th, 2019

In Philosophy

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An ugly claim by Fram that he would not be misracing a black person by calling them the n-word, only being racist

I often wonder why these kinds of people become so self-destructive. I suspect that this is a mild kind of burnout. When you find yourself defending the use of the n-word, it’s time to take a break and maybe find a new hobby.

Much of that blame fell, perhaps predictably, on a woman and a transgender editor. In 2017, a fledgling Wikipedian accused Fram of monitoring her activity on the site to such an extent that felt like harassment. The editor, ...

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June 29th, 2019

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When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious’

More interviews like this please:

AOC From there I learned that hope is not something that you have. Hope is something that you create, with your actions. Hope is something you have to manifest into the world, and once one person has hope, it can be contagious. Other people start acting in a way that has more hope.

I remember the first day I was school-striking outside the Swedish parliament, I felt so alone. But I was hopeful GT Yeah. I know ...

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June 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Um, err, uh, I guess this isn’t a terrible review?

I love Kathryn Bertoni to pieces. She was an editor on my last book. She completely re-wrote entire scenes of the book. She is more like a co-author than an editor. And she just wrote a review of the book on Amazon.com. And she, uh, gave it 4 stars instead of 5? So let’s give her points for honesty, right? Here is what she wrote:

I am one of the credited editors of this, Lawrence’s second, book. It was a privilege ...

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June 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Reasons to learn Arabic

I don’t know Arabic, but I love reading how different languages handle things. This jumps out at me:

3. The writing system

The Arabic writing system is exotic looking but easy to learn, which is a rare combination. The language uses a straightforward alphabet, but because letters change their shape depending on what their neighbors are it is quite impenetrable to the uninitiated.

For exmaple, here are some “words” consisting of a single letter repeated three times:

ككك تتت ععع ممم

6. The Feminine Plural Formal ...

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June 28th, 2019

In Philosophy

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British politics was ruined by the democratic election of party leadership

Kenneth Clarke clearly understands politics in a deep way. He is philosophical. If were to claim he read Edmund Burke and Jeremy Bentham and reached his own conclusions, I’d believe him. I love this article:

Regarding the promises made by Johnson and Hunt in the Conservative leadership election, Clarke said both Labour and the Tories had been pushed towards more fringe views than those of their MPs after altered rules involving party members electing leaders.

He said: “Both parties were doomed, in ...

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June 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

7 Comments

How I recovered from Lyme Disease: I fasted for two weeks, no food, just water

I was bit by a tick and I got sick. No doctor could figure out what was wrong. I tested negative for Lyme. I took antibiotics (Biaxin, aka clarithromycin) and 3 months later I was fine. I stopped taking antibiotics. Within 2 months I was sick again. I took Biaxin for 6 months. I felt great. I stopped antibiotics. Within 2 months I was sick again. I took Biaxin for a year. I felt great. I stopped taking antibiotics. ...

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June 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The rightward shift in left parties since the 1960s

All the Western nations have been shifting to the right since the mid 1960s. I plan to write more about this later. I’ll post this as an example, in this case, the rightward shift among the Labour party in Britain.

The former Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell failed in his attempt to implement Crosland’s message by abolishing Clause IV of the Labour Party’s constitution, which pledged it to the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange. But Gaitskell’s ...

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June 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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We should emphasize the obvious: Boris Johnson will be the worst Prime Minister in history

Out of fear that there is someone, somewhere, who doesn’t yet understand this, we should emphasize that Boris Johnson will be a disaster for the United Kingdom. Interesting and worrisome:

There is room for debate about whether he is a scoundrel or mere rogue, but not much about his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth. Nonetheless, even before the Conservative national membership cheers him in as our prime minister – denied the option of Nigel Farage, whom some polls ...

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June 21st, 2019

In Philosophy

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British politics has gotten itself into an unusually bad spot

What’s happening in Britain is unusual, and we should note how unusual it is. The Fixed Term law suggests that the Tories can sack Theresa May and appoint her successor, without asking the public to weigh in. 150,000 Tory members, mostly older and wealthy, will choose the next Prime Minister. I’m unclear why the Queen would agree to this. Are they even asking the Queen?

The Tory members mostly support Boris Johnson, who will clearly be the most incompetent Prime ...

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June 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Climate change has been under discussion for a century

Interesting:

Anthropogenic climate change is usually portrayed as a recent discovery, with a genealogy that extends no further backwards than Charles Keeling sampling atmospheric gases from his station near the summit of Mauna Loa in the 1960s, or, at the very most, Svante Arrhenius’s legendary 1896 paper on carbon emissions and the planetary greenhouse. In fact, the deleterious climatic consequences of economic growth, especially the influence of deforestation and plantation agriculture on atmospheric moisture levels, were widely noted, and often exaggerated, ...

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June 17th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The Grace Hopper division of Fullstack Academy helps create some amazing programmers

Last year I joined a team that was building software for Avis Rental Car. We already had a team, at an external company, that was working on the backend API. I needed to build a team that could work on the frontend code for Android and iPhone phones. So I hired one of the best known frontend programmers in New York City. He met with us a few times, chatted about the project, went home, made a start on the ...

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June 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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An interview with Kelly O’Donnel, theater director

(This interview also appears in the book How The Young Anna Barnev Established Her Career As A Graphic Designer)

Kelly O’Donnel is one of the co-founders of the Flux Theater Ensemble in New York City.

The following interview was conducted on January 18th, 2019.

Krubner: I’ve done a lot of these interviews, as part of a larger project, and I’m so excited to talk to you. I’ll start off with some personal questions, because even though I’ve sort of known you a ...

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June 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Life in San Francisco in 2019

This is part of the history of our era:

Source

June 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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A mother regrets her career choices

an excerpt from How The Young Anna Barnev Established Her Career As A Graphic Designer:

——————————-

On the lucky side of things, Anna now had several commercial design gigs: an ice cream store that wanted a font that looked frosty, a financial startup that wanted a logo that looked reliable to the point of stolid, opening credit fonts for a documentary about the spirituality of an aboriginal group of Guatemala.

On the less lucky side of things, each of these gigs paid poorly, ...

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June 11th, 2019

In Philosophy

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In a bad situation, where do young people find advice?

I wonder how common this is, where people find themselves in bad situations, and don’t have a local friend to ask, so they turn to an online community for support and advice?

Source

June 10th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Is television harmful to us?

Are children spending too much time on their phones? One response I hear is “The same concerns were raised about television, but we all grew up watching television, and we turned out just fine.”

But is that true? Did we turn out just fine? Let’s say the children born around 1960 were the first children to ever be raised with television, this cohort went on to become:

1.) the first generation in USA history to see lower real male wages than previous ...

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June 10th, 2019

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Social norms and cell phones

Interesting:

A small part of the celebration was focussed on the younger ice hockey teams, including the Finnish under-18 women’s team, who came third in their world champsionship this year. Each player’s name and number was called out, and one by one the girls walked out onto the stage, to applause from the audience.

I kid you not, more than half, and maybe as many as three quarters, of the girls were *on their phones* as they walked on stage, and stayed on them for the entire ...

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June 10th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The new authoritarians: a blend of Orwell and Huxley, cruelty and entertainment

This is true:

We are living with a new kind of regime that didn’t exist in Orwell’s time. It combines hard nationalism—the diversion of frustration and cynicism into xenophobia and hatred—with soft distraction and confusion: a blend of Orwell and Huxley, cruelty and entertainment. The state of mind that the Party enforces through terror in 1984, where truth becomes so unstable that it ceases to exist, we now induce in ourselves. Totalitarian propaganda unifies control over all information, until reality is ...

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June 7th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Bringing up your own pain endlessly is emotionally fraught work

The recent revival of progressive movements, after 50 years of dormancy, have also revived the reality of the progressive movement having fractures. The one that I knew nothing about, until this last year, was the fracture within the LGBQT community; in particular, the conflict between lesbians and transexuals. This is a subject I’m still learning about.

Interesting:

honestly we need to stop engaging in good faith with people who have no respect for the suffering that lesbians have historically gone through/are ...

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June 7th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why are women still pleading for their humanity?

Interesting:

Why are women still pleading for their humanity over everything tbh. Saying women will die if we outlaw abortions doesnt matter to the men in charge because that’s not their priority. They literally see women as incubators doing their duty, as subhuman or different and less important than men, etc. How are you going to appeal to humanity when they dont see you as fully human and deserving of the same autonomy and rights? How are you going to appeal ...

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June 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The end of the union of conservatives and libertarians

I once ran a libertarian blog, but I am happy to see a split between libertarians and conservatives, because not having religious and moral conservatives speak up in defense of their values leaves too much of the culture exposed to the idea that consumption in the marketplace is a moral choice equal to any other.

As I said at the top of this piece, the debates over libertarians and conservatives, Sohrab Ahmari and David French, are really about a very ...

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June 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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USA journalism failed to describe the rise in violence in Central America

At one point in my life I followed news in Central America closely. And at one time, this used to be easy, because there was more mainstream coverage of it. When Reagan was President, there was a lot of focus on the Sandanistas, which incidentally meant there were a lot of journalists in Central America, writing about it.

Apparently, things have gotten bad in Guatemala and El Salvador in recent years. I knew nothing of this, till this year. Now ...

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June 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Taking care of one’s parents

I’m taking care of my mom. My grandparents are from Eastern Europe, but my parents were born in the USA. We are Americanized, in most ways. Still, I am taking care of my mom.

Here is an immigrant take on the subject:

My husband and I never really discussed the fact that I’d be supporting my parents. It was just a given. I never hid anything. I was open about the fact that my parents had no money. They speak ...

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June 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Queer advice that works for straights too

Seems like straights should also keep this in mind:

When I was 18, I engaged in a intensely unpleasant threesome with two of my classmates and learned two things about myself because of how it went wrong. I’m not okay being ignored for extended time during play and I will not play with someone who’s not willing to give me aftercare. Now, anytime I get with someone new, I ask myself “is this someone I trust with my body, feelings, ...

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June 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Nils Meyer: there are advantages to containers, but fairly easy to get wrong

Here is a comment that Nils Meyer on LinkedIn, in response to something I said. I can agree that I would see some use to Docker/Kubernetes in a non-virtual world, the irony is that I’ve only seen Docker/Kubernetes used in virtual setups.

I would agree that using packer and treating the VM like a container (or rather a pod in Kubernetes Parlance) is the easier approach. It’s also somewhat bizarre that a tarball of multiple tarballs and shell scripts concatenated ...

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June 5th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Rainbow Rowell didn’t set out to write YA

Interesting:

But such nebulous (and, frankly, elitist) labels are not useful in explaining Rowell’s appeal. Her voice is welcoming and inclusive; she’s primarily interested in interpersonal relationships, but she’s also strongly influenced by genre writing and fan fiction, and has been vocal in her admiration for YA mega-franchises like the Harry Potter and Twilight books — both of which had a pronounced influence on Carry On.

Rowell’s success is indicative of the changes mainstream young adult fiction has undergone in the past ...

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June 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why not have more non-white female security guards?

There is truth in this:

though Karine Jean-Pierre had both the reaction time and the situation-defusing skills of the Dora Milaje, she NEVER should have had to put herself in that situation.

and:

I’m all for Karine Okoye Jean-Pierre but the first emotion I felt was terror. That nut job got too close too fast and security didn’t do shit for a long ass time.

and:

I love me some Karrine Jean-Pierre. She does not think of herself; she steps up to protect her sister ...

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June 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Socrates says that Trump is unhappy

A reminder:

First, he describes how a tyrannical man develops from a democratic household. The democratic man is torn between tyrannical passions and oligarchic discipline, and ends up in the middle ground: valuing all desires, both good and bad. The tyrant will be tempted in the same way as the democrat, but without an upbringing in discipline or moderation to restrain him. Therefore, his most base desires and wildest passions overwhelm him, and he becomes driven by lust, using force and ...

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June 2nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Pretty Much Screwed, by Jenna McCarthy

I just got done reading “Pretty Much Screwed” a novel by Jenna McCarthy, a novel set in Florida during the period 2010 to 2015. It is interesting to read this novel right after I read Eliza Kennedy’s novel “I Take You” (read my review of I Take You). The central characters could hardly be more different. Lily Wilder, from I Take You, is sexually adventurous and full of controversial opinions. By contrast, Charlotte Crawford, the main character of Pretty Much ...

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June 1st, 2019

In Philosophy

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I Take You, by Eliza Kennedy

I recently read “I Take You” by Eliza Kennedy. There are many strengths to this novel. Sadly, there are also some real weaknesses.

(I also recently reviewed Jenna McCarthy’s book, Pretty Much Screwed, which makes for an interesting contrast.)

In my own writing, I lean heavily on dialogue, so I liked that aspect of the book. Many novels use dialogue as a bit of garnish on top of the real meal, but this book uses dialogue as the main course. And ...

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June 1st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Blanche Krubner resigns from the Jackson Township Environmental Commission

You might recall some of the drama of my mom’s reappointment in 2009, which I’ve linked to before. When the Republicans gained power, they were anxious to push my mom out:

The issue surrounding Krubner came to the attention of the public several weeks ago when Reina did not reappoint the longtime Jackson resident and former teacher to the environmental commission or to the Planning Board.

The mayor said at the time, “Like all other towns, things have to change, and we ...

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May 30th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Drama inside a fandom

Interesting:

Then the girl with the Destiel shirt was being villainized all over the place. I felt bad for this poor girl (little did I know I’d soon take her place). She has something she likes. It got noticed. Lots of people feel the same way. [Just to be clear, I neither ‘ship’ Destiel or Wincest nor am I homophobic – it seems you are one of those three in this fandom]. She got called all kinds of ...

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May 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Is it bad to be a serial killer?

Remarkable how comfortable some people are referencing the love of Villanelle as an aspirational relationship goal, without regard to her profession.

Source

May 27th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Moby did not apologize

Moby wrote a book and said he dated Natalie Portman when she was 18 and he was 33. She then responded and said no way, he was just an older creepy dude and she was polite to him. Now he has “apologized” but he does not actually retract the claim that they dated:

Source

May 27th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

The winners of globalization will now fight it out in the political sphere

Interesting:

First it was the left, now it’s the turn of the right to fade from the French political landscape. We have a new faultline: one that separates “progressives” from “populists”. This realignment is no accident, but the result of the political world catching up with real changes in society. The traditional left-right divide is giving way to one that reflects a fundamental class conflict that will define the west in the 21st century: the working classes whose livelihoods have been ...

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May 25th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Single women are happier

It takes a lot of religion to keep people from seeing this:

We may have suspected it already, but now the science backs it up: unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers, according to a leading expert in happiness.

Speaking at the Hay festival on Saturday, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, said the latest evidence showed ...

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May 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Anna Barnev, examples for the book cover, design by Leah McCloskey

My new book is out! Check out “How The Young Anna Barnev Established Her Career As A Graphic Designer“.

In chronological order, starting in January of 2019, these were the designs that Leah McCloskey came up, to try to capture the spirit of the Anna Barnev story.

Here was the first batch, which she sent to me on January 14th, 2019:

Of these, I liked the hand drawn version of Anna, because she looks confident, and I thought it was important to have ...

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May 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Whatever happened to This Chick Digs Chicks?

I previously linked to a blog on Tumblr called this-chick-digs-chicks. The woman behind that blog wrote a lot on the subject of an appropriate relationship between transexuals and lesbians. Others called her a terf, but she made good points about the need to have a movement of those whose lifetime experience was that of being a woman. Almost everything I’ve read on the subject I learned either from her or from the stuff she linked to.

But now it looks ...

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May 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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YouTube is the ultimate reality TV

Somehow modern reality TV reminds me a bit of the explosion fake religious leaders that happened during the English Civil War. In 1649 the English people were acting without precedent — there had never been a political revolution in which peasants rose up and executed a king. The public could only understand it in religious terms, surely this cataclysm must mean that the Second Coming was near? And then more and more people began coming forward who claimed to be ...

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May 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Nicholas Sparks helps oversee a homophobic school

Given the kind of emotionally manipulative and retrograde fiction that he writes, this isn’t a huge surprise:

And now for a bit of news as predictable as his novels: Per an extensive report from The Daily Beast, prolific heteronormative romance bro Nicholas Sparks- who also co-founded and runs the Epiphany School of Global Studies in North Carolina – is currently embroiled in a legal battle for an alleged pattern of discriminatory behavior that took place in his school. If you feel ...

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May 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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No longer the best and the brightest

It’s often said that Gordon Liddy was a symptom. He was not the illness himself. He was a minor character. But the fact that he was tolerated at all teaches us something about the kinds of people who were attracted to President Nixon.

Likewise:

Louise Linton, Baroness of the United States Treasury and Hermés scarf owner, was recently profiled by Los Angeles Magazine. You might ask: Why is the Treasury secretary’s wife being profiled by a magazine for retired sit-com stars? ...

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May 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Jeff Franklin accussed of misogyny and creating a toxic work environment

Interesting:

THR obtained a copy of the sworn declaration, intended to support Behar’s attempt to have Franklin’s lawsuit thrown out. It reveals that Warner Bros. first received a complaint about the Full House creator back in 2016, well before the allegations against Weinstein were made public. The studio launched an investigation into “Franklin’s handling of pregnancy-related requests for time off for doctor appointments as well as concerns about equal treatment for male and female writers for the show.” Though Franklin received ...

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May 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Peaceful and safe

Interesting:

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May 13th, 2019

In Philosophy

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What does it mean for a young person to become an adult in 2019?

There is truth here:

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May 13th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why doesn’t lasciviousness hurt Trump?

For any other President, this photo would have ended their Presidency:

It is gross to see a married man flirting with a younger woman so openly. But this photo did not hurt Trump, and likewise, when he was caught on tape bragging about assaulting women, it did not hurt him. I am curious why he is so utterly insulated. There is roughly 40% of the country that is willing to follow him no matter what. There is absolutely nothing he can ...

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May 13th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The lust to blame on Tumblr

A lot of modern politics is being shaped by little moments such as this:

“oh man, remember how john green has a This Machine Kills Fascists sticker on his laptop despite never in his life even thinking about doing anything subversive ”

I’m so over the dumb shit with this cursed dead-end site. He and his brother provide free educational videos contradicting white-washed/cis male-washed history and science. He has always listened to reasonable critique on his work and apologized for anything he ...

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May 12th, 2019

In Philosophy

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they aren’t your fictional ships and they aren’t you representation quota

Well said:

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May 12th, 2019

In Philosophy

2 Comments

Why is Meghan McCain famous?

Meghan McCain is the daughter of John McCain, the great war hero. One thing that bothers me, intensely, is when someone tries to claim someone else’s greatness as their own. I’m curious what has Meghan McCain done that justifies her national reputation? Being the daughter of John McCain is not, itself, a qualification.

This is interesting:

McCain’s response to this polite, reasonable, question was to go on an outraged and borderline incomprehensible tirade in which, in between splutters, she continued ...

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May 11th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Trump is bad at golf

Amazing that this is so important, and yet it is:

Well, this story isn’t in the book but it’s wild. While Trump was meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, a club championship was held at Trump International, the course Trump built near Mar-a-Lago in Florida. So later on, Trump’s back on the course there with the Secret Service and the SWAT team guys and all that stuff. And he sees Ted Virtue, who was involved in the financing of the ...

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May 1st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Battle Of Winterfell

I just watched this while falling asleep last night. While I agree that the battle could have been shorter, I also feel that every single episode of Game Of Thrones could be shorter. I’m constantly stunned about the amount of extra footage that any competent film editor would normally remove, but which somehow makes it into this show. Is this done to pad the time? Is the goal to stretch the show out as long as possible, because it is ...

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April 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

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High heels

Interesting:

Brennan circles around the shoes from all angles, and her brief chapters add up to a kaleidoscopic view of feminine public existence, both wide-ranging and thoughtful. She describes the high heel shoes she wore for her own job at the United Nations, and she describes falling down stairs in the course of doing her job while wearing them. There’s another short chapter about the tall tale that expensive high heels don’t hurt, only cheap ones do, so if you’re in ...

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April 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

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She has some lovers along the way

A comment from a friend regarding some fiction I wrote. This is the nicest thing that anyone has ever said about my writing. I can’t even imagine a comment that would make me happier than this one:

That’s about it. Really, Lawrence, I think it is very strong. There is a lot of humor and a lot of great discussion about art and the building of a career outside the “mainstream” process. I love how her various lovers ...

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April 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why explain dialogue?

From my friend Kat:

First, just an overall note about what irritates me in terms of some writers’ dialogue – it bothers me when writers write a scene with a certain tone and then also explain that tone through exposition. So, for example a character says something sarcastically and then the author explains that they said it sarcastically

I feel exactly the same way. Every one else who reads my novels gives me the opposite advice, and I thought perhaps I was ...

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April 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Men gawking at the gym

This is from the year 2005:

At first, I couldn’t figure out why there were so many old geezers on the Stairmasters, or why everyone else in the gym was clustered down at the other end. About a minute into my workout, it became obvious. The fitness center is directly opposite the swimming pool, separated by a pane of glass. Olympic synchronized swimmers on one side, old geezers on the other.

As far as they were concerned, it was like being at ...

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April 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The rise of sincerity as a progressive answer to the alt-right

Interesting:

Wholesome circa 1998 was the ’50s. Wholesome was father knows best. Wholesome was a mother vacuuming in pearls and high heels.

And for most of the ’90s and the ’00s, “wholesome” and “pure” were nearly synonymous with sexual chastity, with wholesome family values and evangelical Christian purity. Girls would put on purity rings at purity balls, which were a “wholesome event” for fathers “bringing up daughters to live in purity and in truth.” Daughters would pledge to remain virgins until marriage, ...

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April 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The rising importance of fanfiction

Interesting:

The Archive of Our Own has had a fundamental role in altering the way we think about fanfiction

That empowered attitude arising among fans who built and used AO3 would coincide with a sea change in the way we think about fanfiction.

The creation of the AO3 in 2009 happened parallel to the rise of social media. This was a highly significant coincidence for fandom. AO3 was formed as an independent, fully non-corporatized community just when the internet was dividing into venture ...

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April 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Another fanfic doing well

Almost any story about fanfiction doing well makes me happy. Although, I wonder why the stories tend to lead to bland movies? Is that because of the young demographic?

In 2013, a 25-year-old named Anna Todd self-published her work of serialized fan fiction on Wattpad. It blew up almost instantaneously and reached over one billion reads. After became a success largely for its steamy scenes, which drew comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey—and because its male lead, Hardin Scott, was stylized ...

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April 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Women are tough

Here is an odd article from the Russian press. It seems to be saying that Western feminism is wrong because women are actually very tough:

There’s a railroad in Siberia that my grandmother and other Soviet women built. Married twice and twice divorced, she was always so busy at work that she didn’t have time for her own children. At the age of 17, her daughter, my mother, moved from a small city in the north and went to Russia’s ...

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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There was this logo on a red bus, saying our money should remain in the UK — that’s why I voted for Remain

This is a priceless story:

The day after the Brexit referendum in 2016, I went to Romford. I was keen to talk to people in one of the highest Leave-voting constituencies.

In a pub on South Street, I chatted to an elderly lady who was sitting at a table next to her two sons. Both had voted for Leave. She had voted Remain. Why? I asked her.

“There was this logo on a red bus, saying our money should remain in the UK. ...

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Brienne and Daenerys

I love this:

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The difference between conspiracy theories and conspiracism is the first tries to explain an event, whereas the second simply invents events

Suppose you believe in an evil force, such as Satan or Communism of aliens from another planet. You believe this evil force wants to take over the planet and destroy the entire human race. And you believe that I am loyal to this evil force. Is there any reason why you should then respect my right to vote? If my side wins the election, is there any reason you should feel the election was valid?

Promoting conspiracies about the rising ...

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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What if we kiss in your Paris apartment after I stab you in the stomach?

I admit, I really like this show. I don’t allow myself much time to watch television shows, but I will make time to watch this one.

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The cat named Brexit

Very good:

Some have responded with humour. Nathalie Loiseau, France’s Europe minister, said recently that if she had one, she would call her cat Brexit: “It wakes me up miaowing because it wants to go out. When I open the door, its sits there, undecided. Then it looks daggers at me when I put it out.”

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why can’t all books be like this, I started thinking midway through, just 280 pages of pure human relationship?

Interesting:

Even if we can’t picture them, the characters are wildly, freakishly attuned to every sensation they experience, surveilling their emotional and physical reactions and analyzing the gestures and comments of everyone they encounter.

In fact, there is so little external physical description that when it comes along it functions as a mental speed bump, drawing attention to the artifice. The spell of the book is broken, temporarily, as if Rooney has remembered to insert some description of rain “silver as loose ...

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Bad writing in Game of Thrones

Funny and true:

There are sentences we hear in our lives that stick with us and grow deep, strong roots in our souls. We remember these idioms because they are poetic and resonant, disturbing and brilliant. They become mantras, guiding lights. We seek these phrases in times of joy or need. I myself hold onto one of these sentences: a beautiful sequence of words that has rattled around my brain since 2015 when “Mother’s Mercy,” the season five finale of Game ...

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April 14th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Curse words in Scientific American?

The world is getting more and more informal, but I’m still surprised that Scientific American allowed this use of “fucked”:

Beyond that, the historiography of science in the 60s and 70s centered on distinctions between the “internal” history of science, or the internal logic of scientific ideas and their disembodied development over time, and the “external” history of science, or the grubby social and institutional contexts in which serene natural philosophers built on the work of their predecessors. What fucked Kuhn ...

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April 11th, 2019

In Philosophy

3 Comments

Abuse on Wikipedia

Interesting:

In countries where it is more dangerous for L.G.B.T. individuals to be open about their identities, harassment on Wikipedia can be particularly virulent. Once, an administrator on a Wikipedia page blocked an editor simply because that person’s username suggested that the editor could be gay, said Rachel Wexelbaum, a Wikipedian who works to improve L.G.B.T. content on the website. Eventually, she said, Wikimedia’s Trust and Safety Team got involved, and the administrator was blocked for those actions.

In some spaces, the ...

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April 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Abusive people know they are abusive

Back in 2001 I had a friend who needed to hear this, and I told her, many times, but she did not listen to me. She kept writing long letters to the guy who abused her, hoping he would understand what he had done. My feeling is he always understood, he did not need anything explained.

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April 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The sexualization of Brexit

Apparently this is a real quote? If so, I’m horrified.

As far back as last year, Boris Johnson was casting himself as the man “to put some lead in the collective pencil”.

Whatever happened to Britain? For centuries it was regarded as one of the sanest places on Earth. It will be a long time before anyone regards it that way again.

All of this makes me sick:

Happily, not one of them feels miscast in this hypersexualised action hero role. “How ...

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April 1st, 2019

In Philosophy

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The big shift in USA politics

I’m glad this is happening, but I wonder why this is happening now? My parents were heartbroken when the nation began to shift to the right after 1968, and I’ve been waiting my whole life to see something like this:

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March 30th, 2019

In Philosophy

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For the generation born in the 1960s, the American dream has undeniably vanished

Interesting:

The declining prospects of America’s working class are widely discussed and hotly debated these days, from the anthems of Bruce Springsteen to the “deaths of despair” research of Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton.

A recent paper from the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute explores this downhill trend for less-educated men and women by comparing life outcomes of two cohorts born 20 years apart. It shows that for the more recent generation, the American dream has undeniably vanished.

“The Lost Ones: ...

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March 29th, 2019

In Philosophy

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It’s astonishing that a Democratic backbencher could get this much attention and get so famous at the beginning of her first term

So true:

The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump analyzed Fox News segments between January 1 and February 15 of this year, comparing the number of segments mentioning AOC to those focusing on at least one of the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates. It turns out she got more coverage on Fox than any candidate save one, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also a right-wing boogeyman. Ocasio-Cortez got significantly more Fox News coverage than fellow democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.

It’s astonishing that a Democratic ...

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March 28th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Groups is the thing that all social networks need

If there is anything that would cause danah boyd to “Just say no” it is probably collapsing contexts. And that is something that Google+ got right:

Google plus had circles

… so unlike with twitter I didn’t have to spam everyone to reach those two followers who’d actually care about that topic.

Example: I could add Norwegians I knew to my “Norwegians” circle so I could share links to Norwegian pages only to people I knew could read Norwegian.

Facebook has this as groups, ...

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March 27th, 2019

In Philosophy

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No p-value can reveal the plausibility, presence, truth, or importance of an association or effect

I don’t understand why this started, 100 years ago, why it lasted as long as it did, or why right now it is coming to an end. I’m pleased to see this nonsense end, but I’m very curious why it happened at all. I suppose this was an expression of some aspect of the class war during the 20th Century, the rising importance of a certain group of professionals?

Scientists should stop using the term ‘statistically significant’ in their research, ...

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March 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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A new “fandom is broken” article and the ensuing avalanche of responses is only the latest iteration of a familiar cycle

Two comparisons occur to me:

1.) to the extent that fanfic suggests the amateurs who can undermine the power of the professionals, there is an echo here for the criticisms that journalists made, over and over again, when the blogosphere existed, during the period from 1999 to 2008. That conversation when the blogosphere was destroyed by Facebook and Twitter.

2.) to the extent that gender is a factor in the hysteria of the reaction against fanfic, there is some overlap between ...

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March 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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South Korea has gone crazy because 552 refugees

So very disappointing:

It is easy to be disappointed at this response coming from a liberal administration, one that was born out of the heroic monthslong protests that resulted in the impeachment and removal of the deeply corrupt and authoritarian President Park Geun-hye. Yet polling reveals the dispiriting reason why the Moon administration is at least partially pandering to anti-refugee sentiments: The issue potentially poses the greatest threat to the administration’s stability yet, as it strikes at the foundation of its ...

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March 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Does reality exist?

The problem in this paragraph is the use of “we”:

Morris, who calls his philosophy “investigative realism,” writes, “I feel very strongly that, even though the world is unutterably insane, there is this idea—perhaps a hope—that we can reach outside of the insanity and find truth, find the world, find ourselves.” Kuhn, for all his faults, goaded Morris into writing a brilliant work of investigative realism. For that, if for nothing else, he, and we, should thank Kuhn.

If we replace ...

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March 23rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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The ongoing Young Adult wars are about power—about who has traditionally wielded power in publishing, and how that balance is shifting

The subject that is very much at the forefront of my mind nowadays:

The YA book world has gone through a few high-profile controversies in the past few months involving authors who pulled their books shortly before publication after a group of angry bloggers accused them of racism. Each cancellation sparked a slew of hot takes, but this New Yorker piece from Katy Waldman is by far the most nuanced and careful one I’ve seen:

The ongoing Y.A. wars are about power—about ...

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March 23rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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These people are bent out of shape by their hidden selves

I’ll have to track down whatever her best book was and read it:

These people are bent out of shape by their hidden selves. There is something of another contemporary, Henry Green, in Johnson’s invigorating harshness. As Elsie passes on her way to school, Parsons ‘gave her a sidelong glance, sniffing up the hairs in his nose. Sidey little runt, he thought.’ Elsie, abruptly adolescent, is in love with her art teacher, Miss Chavasse, who is having complicated thoughts about her ...

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March 20th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Parents unthinking use of social media

Parents who embarrass their kids is a phenomena as old as time, but doing so on social media means a larger audience, and the possibility the incidents will remain public forever. Parents should really think twice about this.

There, for anyone to see on her public Facebook account, were all of the embarrassing moments from my childhood: The letter I wrote to the tooth fairy when I was five years old, pictures of me crying when I was a toddler, and ...

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March 20th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Almost readable Greek

As sometimes with the Russian alphabet (and for similar reasons) I can sometimes almost read a Greek word, and it always surprises me. Here is an alphabet that is clearly different from Latin, yet so tantalizingly close to Latin that I can almost read it.

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March 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Misogynist morons misogynize Captain Marvel

Interesting:

In February, as Captain Marvel’s first pre-release screenings were held for press, the movie became the subject of several negative user reviews posted to the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes by people who hadn’t even seen it, blasting Larson’s performance and trashing the movie itself. Although, to call their assessments “reviews” is generous, as they primarily complained about Larson for being sexist against men, expressing anger that seemed to stem from Larson being vocal about the lack of diversity in ...

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March 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Senator Martha McSally talks about her sexual assault in the military

Interesting:

Sen. Martha McSally, the first female Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat, said Wednesday that she was sexually assaulted by a superior officer, and later, when she tried to talk about it to military officials, she “felt like the system was raping me all over again.”

The Arizona Republican, a 26-year military veteran, made the disclosure at a Senate hearing on the military’s efforts to prevent sexual assaults and improve the response when they occur. Lawmakers also heard from ...

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March 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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While describing their “unruly” intellectual style, Israeli scientists often employed an emotional “language of fire” in contrast with German cold cognition

Interesting:

Cultural misunderstandings like this are growing as campuses internationalize. In recent interviews with scientists at Harvard, M.I.T., Boston University and other institutions, I found that respondents embrace diversity in their workplaces but also raise concerns about puzzling behaviors of their international students. They say that cultural diversity in research settings is crucial but point out that some international students are “too obedient” or “hard working yet lacking in originality.” Without training in cultural sensitivity, they are often surprised and occasionally ...

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March 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible

Interesting:

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible, ”Albert Einstein famously once said. These days, however, it is far from being a matter of consensus that the universe is comprehensible, or even that it is unique. Fundamental physics is facing a crisis, related to two popular concepts that are frequently invoked, summarized tellingly by the buzzwords “multiverse” and “uglyverse.”

…With the advent of the multiverse, this has changed: As unlikely as a coincidence may appear, in the ...

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March 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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What makes for a heartthrob?

Interesting:

When Beverly Hills 90210 first aired in 1990, producers miscalculated. They thought Brandon Walsh was going to be our heartthrob. It was an easy mistake to make: Jason Priestley had eyes like the sea, capped with a gossamer mane you just wanted to reach up and push back. The problem wasn’t Priestley. It was Brandon.

Brandon Walsh plays basketball and might have to be home early to study for his trig final. He had a paper route back in Minnesota, where ...

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March 15th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Strict churches are strong?

Interesting:

Jennifer, a young mother and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in northern Virginia, is honest about the challenges of being Mormon in America today. “It’s not an easy gig,” she says. It’s not just the expectation that you will adhere to strict religious standards when it comes to dating and sex. Or the 10 percent tithing requirement. The prohibition on caffeine or alcohol. It’s the time, she says. “My husband and I teach Sunday school ...

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March 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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The second shift that women work

Interesting:

Source

March 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

No Comments

A safe space is exclusive

Interesting:

unpopular opinion: safe spaces have to exclude some people to be safe spaces because otherwise those the people in that space need to hide from can literally just enter at any time. An all inclusive liberal “safe space” isn’t safe at all

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February 28th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Gendered on-ramps are important to get women into software development

A year ago I wrote “Why are women being pushed away from the tech industry?” Women made up 35% of all software developers in 1990, but are only 26% of all software developers now. Women are getting pushed out of the tech industry. There are lots of articles explaining why, and I link to some of them in that earlier essay.

But why did women’s participation in software development peak at the end of the 1980s? I know at least ...

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February 23rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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She says, nobody had to teach me how to be kind

Interesting:

“Women, teach your sons to be better!” but why? but why? nobody had to teach me how to be kind, i learned it naturally, i learned it easily. i watched and listened and took turns and sat pretty. i don’t understand. what could i teach them better than they could learn just from breathing? why is it my job to curb my brother’s anger when i’ve got my own well stewing and bubbling? why do i have to reign in ...

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February 23rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Are you near New York City?

If you live near New York City, then I would like to get to know you better. Once a month I host a gathering. This used to be exclusively a tech event, but lately I have opened it up to the artists that I know. This is very informal. You might have seen my earlier post about one of the dinner parties I threw last summer?

Contact me if you are interested.

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February 22nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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Online conversations are undermined by anonymous communication

A long sad goodbye to one thread on Reddit:

But instead it was always that the the thread was “dominated by” or “only had” or “was an echo chamber for” homophobic transphobic alt-right neo-Nazis, which always grew into the claim that the subreddit was dominated by homophobic etc neo-Nazis, which always grew into the claim that the SSC community was dominated by homophobic etc neo-Nazis, which always grew into the claim that I personally was a homophobic etc neo-Nazi of them ...

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February 22nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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The new Conservatism includes tax subsidies for big corporations

When I was younger the Conservatives in the USA had a rhetoric of “small government” and they were nominally anti-subsidy. In reality, the government grew under Republican governments, and no government questioned the many billions of subsidies given to the farm sector. Still, there was a rhetoric that suggested subsides are bad. I don’t see any trace of that rhetoric anymore. It is worth noting how much it has vanished, given that it was important to Republicans for several decades. ...

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February 21st, 2019

In Philosophy

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When to use Tumblr instead of Twitter?

First of all, it looks like Tumblr creates a copy of a post when a blogger decides to reblog it, but how can this be allowed under the GDPR? Here is a case where it looks like the original blogger deleted a post, but the post still exists where it was reblogged. Does anyone know the legal implications? How does the original blogger say “I want all of my material erased from this website.”?

The original post was reblogged here, ...

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February 21st, 2019

In Philosophy

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Any comparison of a standard of living over time is blurry

I wrote this as a comment on Hacker News.

It’s also worth examining if our typical ways of measuring inflation (in the USA, the Consumer Price Index, or CPI) is an accurate guide to the real costs of raising children. The CPI currently takes into account a very diverse range of goods, including canoes and guns and lamps and kitchen wares and music and coffee grinders. The CPI tries to avoid the assumption that some purchases are more important than ...

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February 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

3 Comments

Don’t waste your life on Twitter

The energy that goes into writing tweets is also energy that could instead go into works of lasting value. I’ve noticed that with all of my favorite writers, the moment when they turn to Twitter seems to be a moment when their production of high quality books/essays seems to go into decline. One of my favorite economists had a 10 year streak when he was absolutely on fire, then he started tweeting on Twitter, and his production of books and ...

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February 16th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Seeing Romeo and Juliet for the very first time

Interesting:

oh! I have to tell you guys a great story one of my professors told me. So he has a friend who is involved in these Shakespeare outreach programs where they try to bring Shakespeare and live theatre to poor and underprivileged groups and teach them about English literature and performing arts and such. On one of their tours they stopped at a young offenders institute for women and they put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet for a ...

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February 6th, 2019

In Philosophy

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USA schools are child jails

Interesting:

I have a saying when my peers compare themselves to the Zuckerbergs and Gates and Musks of the world: How many hundreds of thousands of dollars did your parents spend on your education? Because you have to realize that is who you are competing with. I went to a VERY RURAL high school. We had 3 math classes that everyone went through… none of them college level. My math class decided it was funny to rip up the floor tiles and ...

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January 24th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why are young people interested in computer science?

The New York Times shows this graph, which shows a dramatic decline in the number of students interested in computer science, followed by a dramatic uptick. I find it frustrating that the article focuses on the uptick, without making any comment on the decline. The article says that enrollment in CS majors has doubled since 2013, but it doesn’t mention that it was only in 2014 that enrollment got back to the level of 2002. That’s a 12 year lull, ...

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January 20th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Actor autonomy when disagreeing with showrunner

It’s an interesting idea, how much autonomy the actor should have, in relation to the showrunner:

it makes me think back to bering and wells. the femslash ship that was captained by the two actresses themselves. and how the showrunner dug his heels in, not wanting them to be in a relationship, but the actresses played all their scenes romantically despite it. and to this day it holds semi-canon ship status. because the actors made sure to show (and say ...

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January 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Why Tumblr survives

This is actually an important post, with a message that the rest of the tech community would be wise to listen to:

What the experiment demonstrates is that I will put up with all of that just to use a site that shows me posts that I asked for in chronological order.

and this:

the key function of this site is not asking me for my real name/phone number and not using my contact list/other apps to find people/let people find me.

Source

January 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Should children ever be considered transexual?

Interesting:

In response:

This young man is in the SAME situation as Jazz Jennings. No puberty = no sexual maturation. No sexual maturation = no genital development and libido.

PLUS hormones and puberty blockers that cause genital atrophy, libido loss, urination problems etc.

But HOW FUCKING STUPID are parents like this?? The goal was stopping puberty from ever happening and now they act surprised that their son is basically dead down there. Fucking idiots.

And also:

This is what I meant when I said trans ...

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January 18th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Hopepunk is Camus

Alexandra Rowland has more to say about her word “hopepunk”. This definition is nearly identical to Camus’s “Myth Of Sisyphus”:

The work is never finished. The work will never be finished. There will never be a nice, comfortable utopia where we can rest on our laurels and sip strawberry daiquiris by the pool and trust that now things are Fine and we can all relax. Utopia is not a stable system. It doesn’t last. The best we can hope for is ...

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January 17th, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

When will the era of CyberPunk end?

People complaining about is the first sign of something ending.

Interesting:

This was science fiction perfectly tuned for the Reagan-Thatcher era. Its connection with punk music and subcultures is, of course, contingent. (Who knows what might have happened if Bethke decided to call his story Techno-Hipster.) Yet the clichéd punk imperative to “Do It Yourself” is in fact perfect for a kind of fiction whose ethos is that you have to survive in a world where unstoppable megacorporations control every aspect ...

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January 13th, 2019

In Philosophy

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To protect children, don’t send report cards home on a Friday

Apparently child abuse spikes when report cards are sent home, but the effect is especially strong if the report cards go home on Friday:

While talking to a pediatrician and fellow early-childhood researcher, Dr. Melissa Bright heard something that stopped her in her tracks: Child abuse spikes after report cards come out.

Bright, a research scientist in the University of Florida’s Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, couldn’t find any studies to back up what doctors have long observed. ...

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January 11th, 2019

In Philosophy

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It will consume it

English is a flexible language. Perhaps it is too flexible?

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as “the smoke alarm … telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it.”

Source

January 4th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb accidentally argues against 4 year school degrees

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has an excellent essay about why science works to advance the human race, and how to structure a research program for maximum benefit. However, it is also the strongest argument I’ve ever seen for ending 4 year school degrees. Consider this bit:

1) Convexity is easier to attain than knowledge (in the technical jargon, the “long-gamma” property): As we saw in Figure 2, under some level of uncertainty, we benefit more from improving the payoff function than from ...

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January 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

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What queers these heteros be

I’ve been watching the HBO production of My Brilliant Friend. I love it. I think the acting is great, the direction is great, the recreation of the past is great, the tension is constant. Everything about this is great. But I saw this Lesbian review on Jezebel, and I laughed because it seems so true. The two women are often in these situations, staring at one another, close together, bonded by some deed or secret, and its possible to imagine ...

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January 3rd, 2019

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Argument about attraction and sexuality and trans

Interesting:

Source

January 2nd, 2019

In Philosophy

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The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk

A good article at Vox, of obvious interest to me:

“The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk,” declared Alexandra Rowland, a Massachusetts writer, in a two-sentence Tumblr post in July 2017. “Pass it on.”

…When pressed by other Tumblr users to expand on her two-sentence Tumblr post that coined the term, Rowland elaborated on what she meant by “hopepunk,” touching on themes present in both her own psyche and in the spirit of resistance and political agitation all around her:

Hopepunk says that genuinely ...

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December 29th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Everyone has a gender identity now

Interesting:

One of my butch friends is a “They” now. A couple years ago we went to pride and I remember her specifically saying she’s happy to be a butch woman and she likes her breasts. I don’t know what has changed since then but I think the queer stuff has gotten really outrageous. She used to be a happy butch and now she doesn’t feel comfortable calling herself a woman. It seems crazy that women over 30 years old will ...

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December 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The rom-coms lie

An interesting comment over at Jezebel:

When I was single, I remember talking politics with some guy I’d met at a party. He tried to call me out for something, and I sternly nailed him back with facts and data. I sincerely thought he was a jerk because of the way he smugly raised his objections to my argument and rolled his eyes. I walked away.

For the remainder of the night, this guy would not leave me alone. He had to ...

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December 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Motivations of Trump

I’m not sure this is correctly stated, but it is interesting:

Some of this may reflect personal values: Putin, bin Salman and other strongmen are just Trump’s kind of people. But it’s hard to escape the suspicion that Moola — financial payoffs to Trump personally via the Trump Organization — plays an important role. After all, unlike leaders of democracies, dictators and absolute monarchs can direct lots of cash to Trump properties and offer the Trump family investment opportunities without having ...

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December 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The Democrats should offer Trump a full pardon

Two points which I think are obvious:

1.) The USA should have never gotten into the ridiculous situation where its President is being blackmailed by a foreign power.

2.) However, once we ended up in this sad scenario, it seems to me important that the political system offer the President a full pardon, both so the blackmailers lose their power, and also the President can safely resign.

Source

December 24th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Text don’t tweet

Web 2.0 lasted from 2002 to 2008 and it will be remembered as the peak of the fun times on the Web. It was killed when Twitter and Facebook became popular in 2008. But it wasn’t till 2016 that we began to see how awful things could get. This is part of our learning process:

And maybe the things you don’t even need to whisper should be whispered. I’ve been slowly trying, as much as one can who works on ...

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December 22nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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The first task of the writer is to establish trust

Interesting:

The difference between a book that grabs you from the beginning vs. one that you’re on the fence about tossing out the window is winning your trust. It’s why it’s “easier” to read books by authors you already know, or fanfic where you’re familiar with the characters. Winning the reader’s trust as quickly as possible should be your first goal as a writer when you’re going back and editing your first draft. This can be accomplished by things like: speaking ...

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December 22nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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She or they?

Interesting:

at work today i was training with my coworker and our supervisor had a pic of her and her gf on her desk–coworker asked who “he” was, honest mistake as gf is butch. supervisor laughed it off and said it was a pic of her and her girlfriend, and very explicitly used “she” to refer to gf. and then my coworker, who is Queer, kept asking questions about the supervisor’s gf but using “they” like “what do they do” and ...

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December 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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A planet/exo-planet was discovered that is almost 5% of the way to Alpha Centauri

Interesting story.

So this object is a bit more than 11 billion miles from the sun?

And Alpha Centauri is 4.2 light years away, which is 24,635,923,200,000 miles?

So this object is roughly 0.046% of the way to the next star?

Assuming that the Alpha Centauri system reaches out to us as much as our system reaches out to Alpha Centauri, I am surprised that the two systems reach out to each other as much as they do.

Almost 10% of the distance between the ...

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December 13th, 2018

In Philosophy

2 Comments

Yair Lapid: What does it say about us that Israel has become the only democracy in the world in which Jews don’t have freedom of religion?

I don’t follow politics in Israel, but my mom does. I did not realize how bad things had gotten, till she pointed me to this article, about the arrest of a rabbi who committed the crime of marrying a couple in a Conservative way, rather than in an Orthodox way.

Haiyun said he was shocked by his detention and said Israel was becoming an Orthodox theocracy.

“Iran is here already. I am not an offender, not a murderer, not a criminal,” ...

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December 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Why are beds so poorly designed for sex?

People do a lot of important things in beds, but one of the most important is have sex.

(Please note, nothing I say in this essay is meant to be a criticism of other locations for sex. If you’re into forest groves, mountain tops, office desks, bar bathrooms, or the kitchen floor, please know that you are valid and I support you.)

First of all, beds are too small for sex, even if you limit yourself to just two people. These ...

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December 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Will the tech industry ever have AI that can recognize porn?

Tumblr has decided to delete all porn. They are going after images that are clearly not porn:

I’m curious if Tumblr is using AI, or if they are using humans to delete these images? If AI, why is the AI always so terrible? Why does the tech industry talk about breakthroughs in AI, yet actual use of AI tends to be absurd? This story would be a bit more familiar if the deleting is being done by humans, especially if the ...

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November 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The people for Brexit are children who failed to grow up

Interesting:

That’s what a seven-decade period of general peace and collective prosperity does for you. It makes you think it’s normal, rather than a hard-won, fragile rarity in history. It makes most people complacent, and turns a small but unfortunately influential number into the kind of adolescent romantics who think you can smash up everything in the house and stick two fingers up to Mummy and Daddy because, no matter what you do, they will always be there to make it ...

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November 29th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Shame is the opposite of art

A woman writes to an advice columnist. The woman says she has wasted her life. The response is very good:

Shame is the opposite of art. When you live inside of your shame, everything you see is inadequate and embarrassing. A lifetime of traveling and having adventures and not being tethered to long-term commitments looks empty and pathetic and foolish, through the lens of shame. You haven’t found a partner. Your face is aging. Your body will only grow weaker. ...

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November 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Jenna Marbles follows after a Bob Ross painting tutorial

Funny!

Source

November 22nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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LGBQ loneliness

Specifically “L”, though I suspect every category of LGBQ suffers its own special kind of isolation. Interesting:

I hate how the queerio community acts like being a lesbian means “UwU I love girls and every gorl is soft n precious and we wear matching flannels and both SLAY together!!! Wow being a lesbian is so cute and fun OwO.” When in reality, being an actual lesbian means growing up hating a part of yourself you cannot change, worrying that you come ...

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November 22nd, 2018

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Hillary Clinton keeps making the same mistakes

This woman is a mess. For 30 years she’s been pushing the idea that we should accept what the right-wing says, at face value, and try to give into their demands, in the hopes that if we give the right-wing what they want, then they won’t be so angry anymore. It’s difficult to understand how she can continue to make the same mistake, over and over and over again.

Except immigration is not stirring up right-wing populist fury, rather, right-wing populist ...

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November 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Social media fights of the 1600s

I recently read “The World Turned Upside Down” and I was surprised by the parallels:

https://www.amazon.com/World-Turned-Upside-Down-Revolution/dp/0140137327/

During the English revolt, the censorship of the press was suspended, and people could publish anything. And they did. And the number of inaccuracies spread rapidly.

It became common to argue that England had once enjoyed a rough democracy during the Anglo Saxon days, even though there is no evidence of that.

It became common to argue that studying the Bible was unimportant, compared to the importance of ...

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November 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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It’s crazy how far people will go to protect the status quo

I see a comment on this page that starts with “It’s crazy how far people will go to protect the status quo.” I agree with the sentiment. It is true when we talk about personal relationships, or personal friends, or defending professional colleagues. It’s also true in politics. And sometimes those overlap:

As has been widely reported this week, Marcia Fudge, currently the Democratic representative of Ohio’s 11th district, was one of the letter writers. “Lance Mason is a good man ...

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November 19th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Girls mature faster?

Interesting:

Source

November 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Fast story telling: non-boring or plothole?

I have a rule that when I write books the books should be 60,000 words or less, because I want people to be able to read my books in a single day. Because of this, I sometimes move fast and skip over things. I rely on the intelligence of my reader to guess at the gaps. I suppose some people hate this? I’m intrigued by the preferences suggested here:

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November 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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What can we expect from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

I donated $400 to the campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That is the most that I have ever donated to any political campaign. What can we expect from her, while she is in Congress? During the next 2 years, I suspect the answer is “nothing.” The Democrats don’t have much power. And she faces at least two great difficulties:

1.) governing is a complex skill which takes 10 years to learn and she is a complete novice

2.) soon she will have to ...

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November 14th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Fired Up, the movie

I just saw Fired Up! the movie. Some of the dialogue is very much an inspiration for the kind of comedy writing I want to do. In particular, repeating this 3 times:

Angela: What?

Nick: What?

3 times? That seems excessive, but it works in the movie.

Shawn: What to the panthers have that you don’t have?

Sylvia: Skills.

Bianca: Athletics-isms?

Caryl: Kick-ass cheers.

Sylvia: Laser hair removals?

Angela: Big ass titties!

Bianca: Hm?

Sylvia: What?

Angela: Well, I’m just sayin’.

Shawn: CONFIDENCE! They’re cocky-ass holes! Like Nick, he’s the cockiest ass ...

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November 12th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Another look at Lost In Translation

I liked this movie and I liked this review:

Returning to the movie, I feared that this relationship, too, might be diminished by time: both the length of time that has passed since the movie’s release and the moment of time in which I watch, weighted with a hyper-vigilant attention to all that can go wrong between older, more powerful men and younger, less powerful women. But Bob’s interest in a woman 20 years his junior strikes me as even ...

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November 12th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Simon Wren Lewis: I began writing my blog mainlymacro because of my anger at austerity

Interesting:

I began writing my blog mainlymacro because of my anger at austerity, and the fact that the view of the majority of macroeconomists that it was a bad idea was largely ignored by the media. When the media did talk to economists, they tended to be from the financial sector. Financial sector economists are biased in two directions: they tend to be right wing and they tend to talk up the importance of a capricious financial market and their own ...

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November 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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He also criticizes the use of execution to punish theft, saying thieves might as well murder whom they rob, to remove witnesses, if the punishment is going to be the same

It is interesting, if a bit sad, to realize how common it is for some intellectuals to speak out against the injustices of the age, while having no power to stop those injustices. The injustices continue for another several centuries. This was written in 1516:

The first discussions with Raphael allow him to discuss some of the modern ills affecting Europe such as the tendency of kings to start wars and the subsequent loss of money on fruitless endeavours. He also ...

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November 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Sylvia Plath’s tragedy

Interesting:

“Being born a woman is an awful tragedy. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording —all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to ...

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November 6th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Who paid for the Glorious Revolution?

Interesting:

“People who used the epithet revealed how narrow and myopic was their perspective, for obviously ‘Glorious Revolution’ could apply only to England, not to Scotland or Ireland” 2. But is this entirely true? As noted above, the English Parliament took pains to portray the bloodless coup in England as passing on the crown post abdication. But this argument could not be used in Ireland. The war that raged from 1689 to 1690 was called in the Irish language Cogadh an ...

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November 5th, 2018

In Philosophy

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danah boyd comments on the methods of modern media manipulators

danah boyd is always good and this is one of her best:

Accusations of anti-conservative bias are not evaluated through evidence because reality doesn’t matter to them. This is what makes this stunt so effective. News organizations and tech companies have no way to “prove” their innocence. What makes conspiratorial messages work is how they pervert evidence. The simplest technique is to conflate correlation and causation. Conspiracy makers point to the data that suggests that both journalists and Silicon Valley engineers ...

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November 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Even when Larry Summers claims to have an epiphany, he’s just reconfirming what he already believed

This starts out well, and then goes down hill. Larry Summers and his wife did a drive across rural America, and Larry Summers feels he learned something important by visiting these rural backwaters. Likewise, when I was younger I spent 2 years of my life hitchhiking all over the USA, so visiting these rural backwaters was a formative experience for me.

Larry Summers starts out sounding like he learned something new, but in the end he concludes that the Democrats ...

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November 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The contradictions between wellness and corporate profits

Interesting:

But here’s the truly wonderful thing about neoliberalism—as it turns us all into paranoid, jealous schemers, it offers to sell us bromides to ameliorate the very bad feelings of self-doubt and alienation it conjures in our dark nights of the soul. Neoliberalism has not only given us crippling anxiety, but also its apparent remedy. It is no coincidence that as we become more nervous, “wellness” and “self-care” have become mainstream industries. Over the last few decades, workplaces have become ever ...

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November 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

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CIA hacked because too many people were using an informal channel

The real question is, why was it easier to use the informal channel? What about the formal methods of communication were difficult?

The CIA does appear to have lucked out when it comes to Russia. The Intelligence Agency ring fences its Russian activities and the report states that intel chiefs were quick to harden up its Russian communications channel at the first sign of trouble.

But the rest of the agency had become too reliant on the system, which was originally ...

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November 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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A story about forced marriage, of young women who grew up in the USA

Parts of this are outright illegal, and then other parts should be illegal but are frustratingly legal. Sad to think about these sisters (off-topic, but on the same theme, check out the Turkish film Mustang):

In 8th grade, our class took a field trip to tour the high school. No one wore uniforms, like we did in middle school! I could even wear my skinny jeans there. Yep, as strict as my mom was, she did buy me skinny jeans that ...

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November 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Guy rejected by girl, acts pathetic

This guy is pathetic:

Source

November 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Don’t say sorry

Posting some Tumblr links so I can remember where I saw this stuff:

Source

November 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Queer is the new gay

LGBTQ language has been changing, in interesting ways. Much of the debate, and the problems arising, come from the difficulties of including transexuals into conversations about gay and lesbian issues. Especially problematic are when people born as men declare themselves to be women and want to have sex with women, declaring themselves to be male lesbians — this seems to raise a serious challenge to LGBQT alliances. The issues seem to get the most discussion on Tumblr.

So for instance:

I ...

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November 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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When your little brother is alt-right

A sad/funny story about dealing with a brother who is alt-right, written by a sister who is not alt-right:

the cool thing about having an idiot alt right supporting brother is when he gets mad over dumb shit my sister and i go “It’s concerning how such a small thing triggers such a strong reaction from you.” in the family groupchat and he’ll see the word “trigger” in relation to him and go fucking nuclear

the downside about having such a dipshit ...

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November 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Changing norms in USA political debates

Interesting:

Meanwhile, his supporters say they believe his line that he’s not responsible for extreme rhetoric in politics or a sense of division in American life. A new Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 80 percent of Republicans agree with Trump’s recent claim that the national media has done more to divide than unite the country since Trump took office.

Trump himself has refused to take any responsibility for his language, particularly at rallies where crowds jeer immigrants, Democrats, and other Trump dissenters. ...

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November 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Unicode Egyptian Hieroglyphs are sometimes censored?

Interesting to me because I’ve been writing fiction about Unicode:

Source

October 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Cognitive decline in ones 20s from the stress of running a startup?

Interesting if true:

I experienced severe cognitive decline in my 20s from the stress of running a startup.

The most alarming part was the loss of vocabulary. I was an avid reader and couldn’t call to mind fairly simple multi-syllablic words.

It took 5 years of bumming around in the mountains to heal the damage.

Source

October 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Depression can strike anyone, even the strong, even the healthy, even the young

After my dad died, in 2007, I was a zombie for a year. Taking Paxil helped. I identify with stories such as this. A beautiful story that everyone should read:

I lost my grandaddy to throat cancer. Lost my grandma to heart disease. Lost my best friend Geracy to the streets. He got stabbed to death in 2004, when we came back home for the summer.

I’m not saying that for sympathy. Everybody goes through darkness. I’m just saying that I kept ...

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October 19th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Trump praises a politician who beat up a journalist

Worrisome and alarming. Under this President social norms that help with the functioning of a healthy society are being violated on a constant basis:

Trump’s comments “mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil,” added the New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

Trump fondly reminisced about the physical assault that occurred on 24 May last year when Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, asked Gianforte a question about healthcare policy ...

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October 19th, 2018

In Philosophy

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I really liked Elizabeth Warren until she proved she is a complete idiot

So sad!

Imagine an 8 year old comes home from school crying and says “Mom, there is a bully at school, he called me fat!”

What happens next? Does the mom then say “No, honey, you are within statistically normal ranges. We can print out some charts from the World Healthy Organization. You know what you should do to get back at that bully? Next time he teases you, take your charts and attempt to demonstrate that your body weight is ...

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October 13th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The beautiful work you will never see because it won’t ever exist

Hazel Cills, making a point I’ve thought about often, the work that does not exist because of the oppression of women:

For every woman who comes forward, I imagine a second version of her, one who could freely pursue the art she wanted, claim the space she desired, without worrying that a man would come along and render her disposable. I’d much rather read stories on these women, who made news for the lives they lived than the ways in which ...

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October 13th, 2018

In Philosophy

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An authoritarian party that is waiting to take power

From Paul Krugman, very interesting:

About that conspiracy theorizing: It began in the first moments of Kavanaugh’s testimony, when he attributed his problems to “a calculated and orchestrated political hit” motivated by people seeking “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” This was a completely false, hysterical accusation, and making it should in itself have disqualified Kavanaugh for the court.

But Donald Trump quickly made it much worse, attributing protests against Kavanaugh to George Soros and declaring, falsely (and with no evidence), ...

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October 7th, 2018

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Susan Kare invented the modern world

Some inspiration for a story I’m writing:

Source

October 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Trevor Noah does not know how to handle Anna Kendrick being on someone’s list

Some girls says her boyfriend wants to sleep with Anna Kendrick. I think I’m a bit surprised that Trevor Noah doesn’t know how to handle this moment. I’m also impressed with Anna Kendrick for being so ready to roll with it. I think I assumed that a professional comedian like Trevor Noah would handle awkward moments like this at least as well as Anna Kendrick.

Source

October 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Account suspended without any cause given?

Tumblr or Blogger are fine if you are 19 and posting cat pictures. But if you are building a professional audience? A reminder that it can be terrible to rely on a free blogging service for professional use:

But earlier this month, when I published a new article, Blogger prompted me to post it on Google+, and I did. A few hours later I discovered that my Google+ account had been suspended for violating terms of service, but I got ...

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October 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Lock her up?

Worrisome:

Source

October 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

The old German middle class feels itself losing out to the hipsters

It is worrisome, that globalization has produced so much anger. Clearly, one can not build a global ecconomy, without first building global institutions.

A very good article on right-wing rage in Germany:

The success of the right-wing populists has a lot to do with changes that have occurred in Western societies, where a new class of disadvantaged has developed out of the erstwhile economic and political center – a new class which unabashedly took to the streets next to neo-Nazis in ...

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October 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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The police in East Germany still don’t know what their job is in a liberal state

It’s a bit depressing to see Germany struggling with a neo-fascist movement, and the police unclear about what their role is:

Let’s first look at the police, who, just as they did in Lichtenhagen in 1992, stood by helplessly – and hopefully not in quiet acceptance – unable to prevent the worst excesses. Twice in just a few days, the Saxony police showed that they have no clear idea as to what, exactly, their job entails in a democracy. The first ...

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October 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Teaching immigrants about sex in Germany

One of the many difficult issues that immigrants face in Germany, is that native Germans grow up with excellent sex education, whereas the immigrants often come from countries where there is no sex education:

This article is from Die Zeit:

My experience thus far shows that the sooner young men attend a sex education course, the better are the chances to prevent the kind of group dynamic where sexual posturing combined with alcohol results in sexual assault. Sitting on colorful chairs ...

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October 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Consider a birdcage

An interesting metaphor for the limits that women face:

Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at that one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere. Furthermore, ...

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September 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Incel is a sickness like anorexia and bulima, you can not cure it by feeding it

A woman doesn’t cure anorexia by losing weight, and an incel does not cure being an incel by having sex. Both are a kind of mental illness. With anorexia, the rage is directed inward, and among the incel, the rage is directed outward, as this disgusting story make clear:

Source

September 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The role of elite schools in maintaining elite power from one generation to the next

Interesting article:

Elite schools spend a considerable amount of time and resources projecting a positive public image. Their image is necessary for legitimizing the elite status that they enjoy and all the advantages that come along with that status. Silence is necessary to maintain this image. All the not-so-good parts must remain hidden to continue being viewed as the best of the best.

This positive image obfuscates the real purpose of elite schools: From their inception, the core function of elite schools ...

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September 19th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The difference between women’s tennis and men’s tennis, and how it effects Serena Williams

My friend Kathryn sent me this in an email, and I thought it made a good point, so with her permission I post it here:

I watched the Women’s final on TV and have been reading and listening to the commentaries. I feel a little of both sides on this – I think Serena behaved badly and ultimately she needed to keep her cool and she didn’t. I also think the official overused his power unnecessarily and inserted himself ...

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August 26th, 2018

In Philosophy

2 Comments

What’s wrong with Hacker News

I often post comments on Hacker News. Over the years I’ve become increasingly frustrated with how the community works. I’ve been thinking about why, and I think it comes down to this:

1.) I want to read the comments by highly experienced people, reflecting the wisdom gained over the years. I’ve been doing tech work for 20 years now, and I’m especially interested in comments from peers.

2.) the audience at Hacker News skews young, and the comments are given prominence ...

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August 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

How fasting helps the immune system

Interesting:

Some of the most promising recent science has come out of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. In 2014, researchers there found that a three-day fast involving less than 200 calories per day could help revitalize the immune system on a cellular level.

Reporting their findings in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the study authors observed that when cells went without standard fuel from regular meals, the body switched to survival mode and ...

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August 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

2 Comments

Has the Internet destroyed our ability to read?

I first read Hadrian’s Memoirs when I was 14 and I loved it. I was a serious intellectual back then. I re-read it in my 20s and I still loved it. But I recently re-read and I was disappointed at how slow it is.

I don’t blame the Internet, I just think I’m older and I tend to skim more often than before.

So this is an interesting alternative view

Wolf resolved to allot a set period every day to reread ...

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August 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

LiveJournal and SomethingAwful helped shape the toxic culture of today’s Internet

Interesting:

As a teenager in the early 2000s, I was a member of a large, passionate, and loosely affiliated community of Harry Potter lovers (known, like other, similar communities, as a fandom), mostly gathered on LiveJournal. We discussed the books and characters; we wrote fanfiction and long diatribes about the movie adaptations; and we formed friendships and relationships with one another from behind our keyboards.

One particularly memorable community member was a poster named MsScribe. MsScribe was, like most of us, just ...

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August 2nd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

The best thing about Real Housewives is it shows older women doing stuff

Interesting:

I am a huge reality TV watcher. I’m a huge Bravo fan, and really the idea of putting these women on a reality TV show came from feeling like I used up a lot of my own life in Luckiest Girl Alive, and I was kind of out of gas, and I didn’t know where to turn for inspiration.

The premiere of the 13th season [of Real Housewives of Orange County] was last night, and I’m looking at Vicki Gunvalson, and ...

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July 31st, 2018

In Philosophy

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The mistake of treating a culture as a static thing

A good comment by jacobwilliamroy:

“My impression as to your cheap labour was soon disillusioned when I saw your people at work. No doubt they are lowly paid, but the return is equally so; to see your men at work made me feel that you are a very satisfied and easy-going race who reckon time is no object. When I spoke to some managers they informed me that it was impossible to change the habits of a national heritage.”

This excerpt appears ...

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July 29th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How did writing begin?

Interesting:

The direct antecedent of the Mesopotamian script was a recording device consisting of clay tokens of multiple shapes (Schmandt-Besserat 1996). The artifacts, mostly of geometric forms such as cones, spheres, disks, cylinders and ovoids, are recovered in archaeological sites dating 8000–3000 BC (Fig. 1). The tokens, used as counters to keep track of goods, were the earliest code—a system of signs for transmitting information. Each token shape was semantic, referring to a particular unit of merchandise. For example, a cone ...

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July 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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College students have given up on the humanities

Back when the USA was a middle-class country, lots of people chose to go to college and get a degree that would allow them to teach in the public schools. Huge numbers of women did this. For a long stretch, the only requirement to teach in K-12 schools was a college degree, and the specialty did not matter much. Since 2008, for the first time in history, some states cut back on the number of K-12 teachers they were employing, ...

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July 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to get perfect eyebrows

I’m doing research for a bit of fiction I’m writing. The main character has uneven eyebrows. So I’m reading this advice:

Gel isn’t just for people with already-thick brows. Martin suggests starting with it as a baseline: “You want to see how big your brows can get naturally,” he explains. This will give you a better idea of how much you need to fake it till you make it. Brush in the direction your hair grows. Usually, that means you’ll ...

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July 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to make the economy grow faster

I’m with the radicals here. I suspect that government intervention doesn’t seem to help economic growth, because the various Western governments have not attempted political and social revolutions since 1945. If a nation has a particular growth rate, and you’d like to double that growth rate, you need to make very radical changes. Among the more obvious things Western nations could do would look at the various constraints that keep women from fulfilling their potential. We have half the ...

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July 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Social media witch burning

This is exactly the kind of mindset that used to get women burned at the stake:

But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than ...

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July 26th, 2018

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Why do women drop out of co-ed sports?

Interesting:

So why do men play in co-ed leagues at all, if they don’t want to play with women? This question was best crystallized for me recently by standup comedian Hannah Gadsby, who in her Netflix special Nanette calls out misogyny by posing a question: “If you hate what you desire, do you know what that is?” She then graciously answers her own question: “Fucking tense.”

Quinn quit playing after three seasons of playing in an “open gender” basketball league (where both ...

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July 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Terrible wage growth for writers

The first 70 years of the 20th Century saw big wage gains for almost all groups. But since then, things have gone downhill, and the era of the Internet has been an especial disaster. Writers have never been well paid, but their activity is a social and political necessity. At some point the government will have to subsidize this. This is the wrong way to handle an essential service:

My second internship was a much better experience, and I think ...

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July 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Sports are the original reality TV

Interesting:

This is what came to my mind when Josephine Livingstone argued Thursday in the New Republic that women’s media is a scam. I won’t belabor the validity of Livingtone’s argument here because, for one, it was nothing that wasn’t said to me more than a decade ago when a copy editor saw me bring an issue of InStyle to the newsroom and told me, “You read that advertorial garbage?” What struck me as curious wasn’t whether or not women’s media ...

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July 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Edward Tufte should be furious

Kerning! For god’s sake, kerning!

From Qz.com “American cheese is no longer the most popular cheese in America”. There is no space between “90” and “%” so it reads like they belong together.

Source

July 15th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Yeats updated for 2018

Yeats

The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Source

July 11th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to stop Brett Kavanaugh: threaten to expand the Supreme Court to 11 members

Brett Kavanaugh sounds like a really bad dude. If he made it onto the Supreme Court, he would take the USA in a terrible direction. How should the Democrats stop his nomination? Since they lack power right now, they need to make use of power they will have in the future. They need to credibly threaten to end the independence of the Supreme Court, the next time they hold the majority in Congress, and hold the Presidency.

This is known ...

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July 11th, 2018

In Philosophy

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You back up, you back up, you back up, eventually you’re against a wall

Those on the offense are complaining that the other side is trying to defend itself. This is like the abusive husband who hits his wife and then asks “Why’d you make me hit you? I can’t take any more of this!”

The one thing protesters and customers seemed to share was a fervent want to express their beliefs – as well as a frustration with the political moment that sparked the Red Hen incident in the first place.

“What happened ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Maybe there was no Neolithic Revolution? Maybe agriculture goes back 45,000 years?

Absolutely amazing if true:

It all started about 45,000 years ago. At that point, people began burning down vegetation to make room for plant resources and homes. Over millennia, the simple practice of burning back forest evolved. People mixed specialized soils for growing plants; they drained swamps for agriculture; they domesticated animals like chickens; and they farmed yam, taro, sweet potato, chili pepper, black pepper, mango, and bananas.

École française d’Extrême-Orient archaeologist Damian Evans, a co-author on the Nature paper, said that ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Web trolls take over Ukip?

Given their intensity online, an interesting fact about right-wing web trolls is how little they have so far managed to do on their own. Without help from state actors such as Russia, it would seem they are incapable of getting anything done in the real world. If they are able to take over Ukip, that would be a first sign that they are able to accomplish something in the real world. So far, web trolls with hundreds of thousands of ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

These are the kinds of practical arrangements working women make the world over – the novelty here is that it is a prime minister who is making them

Imagine a world where it seems normal for a world leader to go on maternity leave:

She nearly doubled the Labour vote, wrangled herself into office with a complex multiparty coalition, and just passed a social democratic budget. Polls have held. The most recent gives her party and one coalition partner, the Greens, enough votes to govern between them. Her personal approval rating is a thumping 76%.

To understand why is to look beyond policy and into her representation of it. What ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

President Trump is very popular

In normal times, it is normal for a President to be popular when the economy is good. President Bush 2001-2009 was very popular while the economy was good. So was President Clinton and President Reagan. At the top of every business cycle, there will be a few years when the public is happy, and credit often goes to the President, even if the President did very little to create the current prosperity.

So if Trump was a normal President, it ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The guns keep blazing

Heartbreaking stories of mass murder:

Yesterday, Jarrod Ramos allegedly murdered five journalists at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Maryland. Ramos had sent countless threats to the paper, after one journalist reported on his harassment of a former classmate. The woman went through what she called a “year-long nightmare” of intimidation and threats before Ramos was convicted of misdemeanour harassment. Ramos was apparently furious that the Capital Gazette wrote about him as if he’d done something wrong.

Of 95 mass shootings ...

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June 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How does the tyrant rule? In a word, badly.

Shakespeare’s view of tyrants. Interesting:

The tyrant’s triumph is based on lies and fraudulent promises braided around the violent elimination of rivals. The cunning strategy that brings him to the throne hardly constitutes a vision for the realm; nor has he assembled counselors who can help him formulate one. He can count—for the moment, at least—on the acquiescence of such suggestible officials as the London mayor and frightened clerks like the scribe. But the new ruler possesses neither administrative ability nor ...

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June 24th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The great mystery of bureaucracies

Interesting:

See, things have changed since I went to college in the ’80s. Everything has gotten much more intense. You have to do much more now to get into a top school like Yale or West Point, and you have to start a lot earlier. We didn’t begin thinking about college until we were juniors, and maybe we each did a couple of extracurriculars. But I know what it’s like for you guys now. It’s an endless series of hoops that ...

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June 23rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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My recipe for pasta with scallops and shrimp

I also posted this in my post about the dinner party last night, but I thought I would also make it a standalone post, in case anyone wants to ask specifically about this dish.

Some people asked me for the recipe for the pasta and seafood dish that I made. I post the recipe here:

For the dinner I made last night I used 2 pounds of scallops and 1 pound of shrimp.

In a frying pan, melt butter with some salt and ...

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June 23rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Everyone was amazing and you’re awesome

A big thanks to all of the lovely and amazing people who came to my dinner party last night.

Some people asked me for the recipe for the pasta and seafood dish that I made. I post the recipe here:

For the dinner I made last night I used 2 pounds of scallops and 1 pound of shrimp.

In a frying pan, melt butter with some salt and pepper, then throw in the scallops, blast them at high heat for a ...

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June 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Everyone knew that slavery was evil

This is well said:

Whenever anyone mentions the historical atrocity of chattel slavery, white people will emerge from the dark crevices of humanity to gnaw away at the assertion like roaches on a discarded Cheeto. They will explain how most white people didn’t own slaves. They will offer a convoluted explanation about the Confederacy and Southern heritage. They will introduce the concept of “presentism”—the idea that we shouldn’t judge the actions of people in the past using modern-day standards—as if the ...

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June 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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We must sin if we wish to grow

Interesting:

Over the last couple of years, for reasons I’d rather not disclose, I have learnt a thing or two about how rehabs work. An alcoholic or an ice-user, for example, will be asked to examine what it was that first got her hooked. In my case it was Molly’s monologue, the music of it, but I’ve since realised that there was something else in that passage, implied in Molly’s words, that I found deeply attractive. And that was Joyce’s attitude ...

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June 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Wealthy and bitter about divorce?

This is sort of like the high-brow, well educated version of incel rants:

In virtually all states it is more profitable to have children with multiple partners than to have multiple children with the same co-parent. Residents of most states can enjoy a higher spending power by collecting child support after a one-night sexual encounter than by working at the median wage for a college graduate.

I have never met a woman who would prefer to raise children alone. Every woman ...

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June 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Changing one’s name after marriage

It’s the personal marriage stories that interest me. For instance, this:

I’m annoyed at how much of an Issue this is becoming for me. As a lady, I’m not sure whether to take my partner’s last name or not when we finally do the official knot-tying thing. Do I keep mine because I know I won’t have kids, and I kind of want to keep my dad’s last name alive as long as I am? Do I take his because Tradition ...

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June 12th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to Finally Beat Procrastination

This podcast was good

Procrastination. We’ve all done it and we tell ourselves we’ll never do it again. So we come up with an elaborate time management system to get us on track only to find ourselves continuing to put things off. While some procrastination can be mildly infuriating, chronic procrastination can be financially, professionally, and personally devastating — overdue bills result in calls from collection agencies, late reports result in getting fired, and undone chores turn your house into a ...

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June 11th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Now she misses the idiot from Texas

Source

June 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Caitlin Moran embarrasses her daughters

Funny:

“Why do you keep writing books with lots of sex in?” they ask me, as a new release pops up on the schedules. “Why do you keep writing books that start with a teenage girl masturbating, and then go on to describe having sex with a man whose penis is too big, and a subsequent urinary tract infection that feels like the battered genitals ‘are like a castle under siege – with panicking princesses with pointy hats getting jammed in ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

The most successful entrepreneurs start in their 40s

Interesting:

`Among the 2.7 million founders in their dataset, the average age of a company’s founder at the time of founding was 41.9 years.

However, that analysis included all kinds of firms, from tech companies to nail salons to restaurants. The researchers were chiefly interested in high-growth new ventures—the kinds that can transform the economy—and understanding whether the Silicon Valley mythology was true. So they limited their dataset to include only technology companies, and further winnowed that down to the fastest-growing 0.1 ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs changed his views

Interesting story. I recall Little Green Footballs as a blog of right-wing extremists, but apparently the owner of the site evolved. Conversion stories are so rare, I consider them automatically interesting:

JH: They’re not even controversial, Charles. Along the way, and correct me if I’m wrong because I was an outsider looking in, it seems the tipping point came in 2007 when you had this epic flame war with Pamela Geller, who remains one of the country’s biggest bigots to this ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Joy Reid and why we need multiple Web archives

Interesting:

Most of those dates are pretty early in web archiving times, when the Internet Archive was the only archive commonly available, and many (all?) of the mementos in other web archives were surely originally crawled by the Internet Archive, even if on a contract basis (e.g., for the Library of Congress). Nonetheless, with multiple copies geographically and administratively dispersed throughout the globe, an adversary would have had to hack multiple web archives and alter their contents (cf. lockss.org), ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Linkrot and Joy Reid

Linkrot has been a major part of the Joy Reid story, though not many people have commented on that aspect. Shelley Powers brings up this aspect of the story:

Weblogs were less like the Washington Post and more like Facebook or Twitter of the time: a stream of conciousness, separated into timestamped chunks. Every once in a while we’d carefully research and write longer pieces (still called “long reads”, even today), but for the most part, we tossed up whatever ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Burnout is universal but the right kind of sleep, food, and exercise can help

Depression can end your career, end your marriage, and end your life. But long before most people find themselves facing a serious depression, they typically pass through an earlier stage, more mild and more subtle. What if we could all catch ourselves at that earlier stage?

I’m talking about burnout. Perhaps we can think of it as the mildest form of depression, or a mid-point between true mental health and outright depression. How do we identify something so subtle? Specific ...

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June 2nd, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

More bad behavior in the gaming world

So sad that this continues to happen. Seriously, what is wrong with these guys? Why are they so negative? Do they realize that they have to option to demonstrate some leadership and raise everyone up to a positive place?

After Annemunition posted the video, one of the players who’d given her gallons of shit tried to apologize. In a sense. “I am extremely sorry for the way you feel, ” he wrote in a tweet from an account that’s since ...

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May 31st, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Identity in the Alogos

Interesting:

If our particles have no identity, how can we?

If the elements are all identical with each other, then it seems like the only measurable identity you could attach to sets of elements is cardinality, right?

Reviving the a notion of “monad” from Leibniz from the 1600s, as a thought experiment:

Imagine beings that exist outside of time and space, in a space that is without dimension. These creatures initially lack cardinality or identity. They are “lazy” in the computing sense, they ...

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May 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Shelley Powers comments regarding Joy Reid

Shelley Powers site has been online since 1996. As such, she knows a bit about having a voice that changes over the years. As such, she is very much worth reading, regarding the changing voice of Joy Reid:

I’ll have more to say in a later piece on what it means to be a writer putting yourself online, especially over the years. For now, I think that the Daily Beast has an accurate read on what’s happened.

I’ve had considerable pushback on ...

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May 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

The importance of blogs

Since 2008, I’ve been sad about the death of the blogosphere, and the way things moved to Twitter and died there. Paul Krugman posts this reminder about the importance of blogs:

An aside: the way this discussion is taking place marks a kind of new frontier in the mechanics of scientific communication – and, I think, an unfortunate one. Once upon a time economic debate took place in the pages of refereed journals, but that stopped being true at least 30 ...

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May 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Does economics matter?

Interesting:

Rightist politics also become more comprehensible once we recognise that economics doesn’t matter. The strongest case for austerity and immigration controls is that these have nothing to do with economics. Like Brexit, they are instead attempts to assert that governments have control over social affairs. Their supporters just don’t care about their economic consequences because other things matter more: sovereignty and an assurance that the government is on top of things.

Brexiters talking about economics are like dogs walking on their ...

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May 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Leimgruber reviews my book

I like this review, posted to Amazon:

—————————

A well written, highly amusing, and cathartic read for anyone who has survived or is facing similar ridiculous/toxic workplace situations or relationships.

The author, Lawrence, brings you right into the trenches along with him as he slogs through challenge after challenge determined to do his best to prevent impending fiasco. Fortunately, its not his first rodeo, so he keeps a life-line on his sanity through the co-author, Natalie; and so the book is ...

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May 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

The failure of the ÜberSeeles

Regarding the rise of current populist movements and their craving for charismatic leaders Übermensch is the wrong word for what we are seeing, because Übermensch is basically a secular term, and so it misses the primitive religious feelings and primal mysticism that animates current populist movements. ÜberSeele is a better term: over-soul, the soul beyond. It’s important to have a term with some mystical connotation.

I apologize that most of my examples come from the Western tradition. I’ve studied ...

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May 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

After 1968 France and the USA went in different directions

I had no idea the history was so opposite:

In this new context, the salaries of executives and engineers rose structurally faster than the low and medium-range salaries in the 1950s-1960s and at first, nobody seemed to be worried. A minimum wage had been created in 1950, but it was almost never re-valued thereafter, with the result that there was a wide gap in comparison with the evolution of the average wage. Society had never been so patriarchal; in the 1980s, ...

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