Shanghai Building to be Demolished

Philosophy

August 12th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

An incredibly sad day

I lived in Charlottesville, Virginia for most of the stretch from 2000 to 2009. Most of the my friends still live there. I’ve reached out to all of them hoping they are safe. It’s been a rough day for all of them. One was on the Downtown Mall and saw the Nazi terrorist when he drove his car into the crowd, murdering one person and injuring a dozen more. Another friend started the day at Church, praying for peace, then ...

Read More Source

August 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Another reason I like working at small startups

Some days it is great to go to the office and talk things over, in person, with my co-workers. Other days it is important that I can be alone, focused on the computer code, the algorithm, talking to no one. On these days, it is best if I work from home.

What is the correct balance of working from home versus working from the office? It varies.

How much do medium-sized, and large-sized, corporations allow variance in attitudes towards working ...

Read More Source

August 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The simplicity of Japanese grammar

This looks great. I’ll buy this soon.

Source

August 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Modern dating problems

A list of dating problems that nobody had 25 years ago. Some of these were stupid but I liked these 3:

1. Accidentally swiping left on “the one”. Your mom has probably never experienced that moment of intense regret after an unintentional slip of the finger on a photo of a guy who may or may not be Zac Efron’s secret clone. (She’s probably never accidentally matched with a total creep either, and eternally wondered whether he saw her before she ...

Read More Source

August 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to find the worst people in your company

Al Capone stole, bribed, tortured and killed, but was sent to prison for tax evasion. Likewise, sexual harrassement might be a clue that teaches you something about a person — they might be engaging in other criminal behavior. This is interesting:

Organizations that understand the Al Capone theory of sexual harassment have an advantage: they know that reports or rumors of sexual misconduct are a sign they need to investigate for other incidents of misconduct, sexual or otherwise. Sometimes sexual misconduct ...

Read More Source

August 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Creativity, Psychopathology, and Emotion Processing: A Liberal Response Bias for Remembering Negative Information is Associated with Higher Creativity

Interesting:

The results of the study found that self-reported high creative achievement levels and better performance on divergent thinking tasks (indicators of a creative individual) were associated with greater sensitivity to positive words and a more liberal response bias for negative words (which indicates an even greater sensitivity to negative words). So in conclusion, more creative individuals were shown to be more sensitive to positive information and especially sensitive to negative information in comparison to less creative individuals. These results indicate ...

Read More Source

August 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to greet people? Handshakes versus hugs versus kisses

A long and interesting bit about gendered professional etiquette in the USA. It is curious that this should seem so hard in the USA. In Europe there is a cacophony of rules regarding kissing — in Poland they kiss twice, in France they kiss three times, in Germany people just shake hands, and everyone feels the culture of California, which encourages hugging — yet Europe seems to have muddled through to some rough consensus about how people should great ...

Read More Source

August 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

USA feminists who went to the Soviet Union

Interesting:

Julia L. Mickenberg: But the particular appeal to women is something that nobody had talked about. And the fact that all these things that were happening right after the revolution that put women on equal footing with men were something that American women—particularly American women who were interested in everything from equal rights to better employment job opportunities to more relationships based on women being on equal footing with men in relationships—were interested in. Right after the revolution, within the first ...

Read More Source

August 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The end of the era of free-market rhetoric

All of the Western nations began to shift to the right during the mid 1960s, and they’ve been shifting further and further to the right ever since. But perhaps that trend has come to an end? With the rise of Trump, and Labour again having a real Leftist for a leader, there are fewer voices arguing for free markets.

In the early years of the 21st century, the inevitability of an ever more competitive, deregulated, internationally orientated market economy, to ...

Read More Source

August 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

First desire as a betrayal

Dan Savage, talking about our first desires. Interesting:

I think that a certain sex negativity is hard-wired into the human experience. When you’re told about sex before puberty you’re just appalled: Why would anyone do such a thing? And along comes puberty and the thing that you swore when you were 7 years old you would never do, ’cause that’s so gross, and before long, you’re drafted into this army that you never wanted to serve in. And I think that ...

Read More Source

August 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Peer review is strong

The title of this essay is “the collapse of peer review” which is a bit of an exaggeration. In the moder era, peer review is very strong.

I would argue the opposite, we live in a world where specialization continues to advance, and that specialization should open the door to polyglot behavior in creating new knowledge. There needs to be more space for researchers to publish half-done research. Personal blogs can be good for this. There needs to be a ...

Read More Source

August 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

PACZKI or PĄCZKI?

I’m struggling to learn Polish. I love this story:

This weekend my family was doing a bookstore event related to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. One of the movie’s characters, Jacob Kowalski, dreams of becoming a baker, and arrives to a bank appointment with a suitcase full of Polish confections, including pączki, a sort of Polish jelly donut. My wife wanted to serve these at the event.

The little tail on the ą in pączki is a diacritical mark called ...

Read More Source

July 14th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

An absolute regression for women in the public eye

Interesting:

This does not get round the central point of what Cooper was saying, though. She was talking about the misogyny that is aimed at women of all political persuasions. She did not, she said, want to see the severed head of Theresa May carried at demonstrations. The linking of social media abuse to actual violence is pertinent, and after the murder of Jo Cox, it’s all too real.

The online surveillance of women’s images alongside the silencing of their voices is ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Venture Capitalist resigns after confessing to be creep and being accused of assault

I have to think that men who do this well don’t realize how lucky they are, and they don’t realize how much they are throwing something very important. They were trusted and admired, and they threw that away. And they had the power to do good, and yet they decided to perpetuate many of the problems that the industry has been suffering for several decades.

Dave has done a lot for many founders, and people (including me) are grateful for ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

A joke versus physical assault

Thinking about this more, this is really something. A joke provokes nation wide outrage, but actually beating up a woman and kicking her merely brings shrugs.

Our attitude toward Depp’s two crimes — a documented history of abuse that’s met with a shrug on one side, and a tasteless joke about assassination met with mass outrage on the other — mimics our larger cultural attitude toward domestic violence. We generally don’t consider violence against women to be a big deal until ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Woman very hurt by her son’s tattoo

Interesting, as a document recording very strong emotions over something I would think of as minor:

She says, “Tell him how you feel.”

But I can’t. For a start, I know I’m being completely unreasonable. This level of grief is absurd. He’s not dying, he hasn’t killed anyone, he hasn’t volunteered to fight on behalf of a military dictatorship. But I feel as though a knife is twisting in my guts.

I get angry with myself. This is nothing but snobbery, I think ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Word2Vec Evaluating Embeddings: Analogical Reasoning

The math in this article is difficult for me, but after reading it a few times I think I get the gist of how Word2Vec works:

Evaluating Embeddings: Analogical Reasoning

Embeddings are useful for a wide variety of prediction tasks in NLP. Short of training a full-blown part-of-speech model or named-entity model, one simple way to evaluate embeddings is to directly use them to predict syntactic and semantic relationships like king is to queen as father is to ?. This is ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Meritocracy hasn’t helped Britain

Interesting:

Decades later, he expressed dismay that Tony Blair had adopted meritocracy as a defining philosophy of the New Labour project, writing in the Guardian: “It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.”

In 2017, meritocracy is still central to political conceptions of fairness and social justice. While ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Is a declining birth rate a bad thing?

My mom’s mom’s mom (my great grandmother) had 16 children, mostly during the late 1800s. Nowadays women have fewer children. Is this a bad thing? I know a great many women who did not want to have kids but were pressured into it. At the same time, the government could do more to get money to those women who want to have more kids. I can’t see how the downward trend is worrisome, except where it represents a woman who ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

An honest novel about the fantasy life of a shy introvert

Interesting:

The novel’s “plot” goes like this: wryly observant, unconventional Selin has a deep, abiding crush on Ivan, her email pen pal and partner in philosophical and linguistic ruminations. He seems not uninterested, either: they meet in class, they write long emails soliloquizing about their own concerns, and they walk around Cambridge, and walk, and talk. He introduces her to beer, which she doesn’t like at all. Though she grows to love him deeply, he never seduces her—not at Harvard and ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Kara Brown is leaving Jezebel

I also write to try to put meaning into my experiences, and to be paid to do so sounds wonderful. This sounds like a charmed life:

Like many obnoxious teenagers who will go on to procrastinate through English degrees in college, I suffered a heavy Albert Camus phase in high school after reading The Stranger. During times of upheaval and significantly less traumatic change in my life, I find myself returning to the pattern of thought found in his work. Most ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Women in tech in the early days of tech

My mom studied computer programming during the 1970s and her professor was female. And women getting advanced degree in computer science peaked in the USA in the late 1980s. So I’m under the impression that the industry was more open to women in its early days than it is now, especially relative to other professions such as medicine (almost 50% of new doctors are female in the USA).

Interesting:

What was it like being on campus with so few other women ...

Read More Source

July 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

President Trump is having a negative effect on children

Worrisome:

BuzzFeed has an extensively reported piece on more than 50 incidents across the country of children and teens from kindergarten through 12th grade hurling racist invective at their classmates of color—an occurrence not unique to the Trump era but increased because of it—as reported by school districts to ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project. In each of those incidents, Trump’s name was invoked, whether in the context of how his presidency will change the circumstance of the student of color—“You’re going ...

Read More Source

July 2nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

We ate at Khe Yo and we loved it

It’s an unusual place. The food is from Laos. It’s an Asian cuisine, but a bit different. We loved it.

Source

July 2nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The backlash against gay rights

Interesting:

The problem with many Christians in politics is that they seem to be interested only in sex: gay sex, adulterous sex, sex that results in unwanted pregnancy. If they could spend even a proportion of their time thinking about anything else in the Bible – crops, markets, usury, justice, fish – they’d be so much easier to live with.

In our own parliament, however much we might abhor the self-satisfied bigotry of the DUP, we’re far more exercised about the ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Far right extremists show a surprising degree of international cooperation

Considering how much hate was directed at the Poles during the debate over Brexit, it is a bit odd that a Polish nationalist would come to Britain to work in harmony with other right wing extremists, who, in theory, hate his guts. But apparently they hate other people (muslims, non-whites, women) even more, so they work together in harmony.

Międlar was accused last year of calling Jews a “cancer” that had “swept Poland” during an address to a rally in ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The politics of Bruce Springsteen

What sort of insane right-wing extremist do you need to be that when you listen to Bruce Springsteen sing about the working class, you decide that he is anti-American?

Like so many baby boomers drifting along as the culture has moved further and further Left in recent decades, Springsteen has become more and more liberal. The tough yet sensitive poet who played the rock and roll clubs of Asbury Park in the 1960s and 1970s, sleeping with women and dealing with ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Defending people whom you dislike

Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Grace is the face of death

Interesting:

The people actually approaching death used more positive terms and fewer negative ones to describe their emotions than those imagining the experience. In the blog posts—all from real people who eventually died from their disease—emotions grew more positive as death approached. It’s not a perfect study—people with unspeakable regrets or fears may be less inclined to publicly chronicle their final days than those who do not. But there are a few reasons why death may be more terrifying as a ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What we think of as pirates is a reality that last maybe 20 years

When thinking of pirates, most people will think of movies like Pirates Of The Caribbean or Black Sails, which portray the Atlantic during the early 1700s. But the world has always had pirates, and even in the early modern period, pirates were a varied experience.

One reason piracy was often an act or a phase, and not a way of life, was simply because humans have not evolved to live on the sea. The sea is a hostile place, offering ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Letting women speak

What does it mean that this kind of thing is still happening?

So at this point, after seeing very clearly that she was not going to be given space to speak and in fact having her own theories described to the audience by the moderator, I am in full outrage. My body is actually beginning to shake. The sexism is beyond blatant. It is happening on stage and NO ONE, not a single other physicist or panelist is stepping in to ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

When a leader says “I hope you can do this”

This level of dishonesty puts a strain on the liberal checks and balances of USA politics:

James Comey’s testimony before the Senate on June 8 hinged on one key phrase: “I hope you can let this go.” According to the former FBI director, US president Donald Trump used these words to request that he back off a federal investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Comey interpreted this as a directive, while Trump’s defenders argue that the president was simply expressing ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Punishments for Labour MPs who keep supporting the Remain cause

It seems likely that Labour, being inclusive, will emerge as the party of Remain. But for now, they can not be too obvious about it.

The amendment attracted the support of 101 MPs across different parties, including 49 Labour politicians who defied the leadership. It called for the government not to leave the EU without a deal, to guarantee a parliamentary vote on the final outcome of negotiations, to set in place transitional arrangements, and to “set out proposals to ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Thought leaders are stupid

I love this comment:

I was recently at a conference run by a progressive political think tank. I was surprised and confused by the way some of the speakers discussed AI, “innovation”, entrepreneurship, and technology.

They basically all repeated a number of the same points.

1. AI will be amazing, and will utterly decimate jobs in the future, though it was never clear whether they understood AI technologies or even the economics of automation.

2. Everyone should be trying to become an entrepreneur. ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The frailty of the British Conservative government

It is odd to watch things shake out over the last year. David Cameron called for the Brexit vote, then opposed it, then lost, then resigned. May became Prime Minister and saw Labour fall into disarray. Thinking she had a strong hand she called snap elections. She lost her majority. Desperate to stay in power she seeks a deal with the DUP, whose conservative views on abortion are detested by most political parties. This brings a strong response from the ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The destructive nostalgia for a world without red tape

It’s wonderful to have efficient systems that keep process to the minimum necessary to ensure one’s goals. But much of modern talk about “red tape” is simply nostalgia for a time with less process, even when lack of process lead to outcomes that were unfair:

But red tape is also used to mean the regulation of companies, which may lead to unhelpful confusion. “Red tape is indeed used as a catch-all phrase in a sometimes unthinking manner,” agrees Gillian Tett, ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Another dead Nobel Peace Prize winner

The lack of domestic and international rage is worrisome:

Beijing’s position is clear: China has no dissidents and Liu Xiaobo is a criminal. His offence was to co-author and gather signatures for a landmark call for reforms, though he did not initiate it and was seized before it was released. Though Charter 08 mostly called for the Communist party to uphold commitments made in its own constitution it was a coherent and forthright challenge to the party’s rule, calling for peaceful ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Police kill 17 year old when they try to shoot a dog

Another case where the police seem far too casual about using guns even when civilians are near:

Genevie Escobar, a 17-year-old best friend of Garcia-Muro, said he was at a friend’s house during the incident. She said she struggled to understand why police decided to fire at the dog.

“Why couldn’t they tase the dog? Why did they have to shoot him?” said Escobar, Barron’s daughter. “The cops should have handled this in a totally different way.”

Garcia-Muro was looking forward to graduating ...

Read More Source

June 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What does it mean to have a President who engages in such open gender based stereotyping?

Worrisome:

On the phone with Ireland’s newly elected prime minister, Caitriona Perry caught his eye, among the Irish press corp standing by. “We have all this beautiful Irish press. Where are you from?” said the president from his seat in the oval office, pointing at Perry, Washington correspondent for Ireland’s RTE. Curling his finger with a beckoning look, he told Perry to “come on over” to his desk, and asked where she’s from. She answered respectfully, if meekly. Then, in ...

Read More Source

June 6th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The difference between societies that collapse under the weight of stupid citizens versus those who transcend them are the makeup of the non-stupid

Funny and interesting:

Law 4: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

We underestimate the stupid, and we do so at our own peril. This brings us to the fifth and final law:

Law 5: A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

And its corollary:

A stupid person ...

Read More Source

June 6th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The Atlas of Lie Groups

Interesting:

Adams is is the leader of a cutting-edge mathematical research project called the Atlas of Lie Groups and Representations. Lie groups are named after Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie (rhymes with “free,” not “fry”), who studied these crucial mathematical objects. Lie groups are used to map the inner machinery of multidimensional symmetrical objects, and they’re important because symmetry underpins far-flung mathematical concepts, from a third-grade number line to many-dimensional string theory. The Atlas project is a bona fide atlas of these ...

Read More Source

June 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

In the USA, women in their 30s are having more kids than women in their 20s

The Baby Boom peaked in 1958. This was also the peak year of teen pregnancy in the USA. Young birth hit its all time peak that year, at a rate above anything known in the 1800s or early 1900s. Since then, women have been having children at older and older ages. And now this:

That’s according to the Associated Press, reporting on some preliminary new stats from the CDC which says that in 2016, it was 103 births per 100,000 ...

Read More Source

June 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The sheer phoniness of Prime Minister May

Interesting:

Then the camera shows a middle-aged woman at a desk, sipping coffee and reading a paper. She is glimpsed from an oblique angle. Her face isn’t clear but the viewer knows her name. She is the most famous politician in the country, and the message is obvious: while you start your day she is already hard at work, safeguarding the future – strong and stable.

The woman in the video is Angela Merkel and the film is a highly effective advertisement ...

Read More Source

June 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How does Facebook undermine the open web?

Interesting:

I’ve made exceptions a handful of times over the years, but as a general rule I refuse to link to anything on Facebook either, for the same reasons as Dave. Last week I linked to screenshots of a Facebook post to avoid linking to the original. The original post by Marc Haynes was public, which I know because I do not have a Facebook account, but here’s what it looks like for me without being a Facebook user — a ...

Read More Source

June 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The odd politics and self-inflicted injuries of Labour

Interesting:

Each of Labour’s winners prevailed because they had established sufficient credibility with the country to make Tory attacks seem wild and silly. They put their credibility into the service of a narrative of national renewal that resonated with a critical mass of the electorate. Attlee’s compelling pitch – “now let’s win the peace” – was about building a Britain worthy of the collective sacrifices made in wartime. Wilson, updating what it meant to be on the left of the spectrum ...

Read More Source

June 5th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Australia is complacent

Interesting:

Success bred complacency. The old policymaker’s adage has been proved anew: “Good times make bad policy.”

By late Howard years, ambition and rigour were lost and spending grew wanton.

Budget night came to resemble “Christmas night in the pirates’ cave” in the words of the former Treasury budget examiner Stephen Anthony, as the government lavished handouts and tax cuts in the forlorn hope that it could win the people’s gratitude.

The former Treasury secretary Ken Henry, who served Keating and Costello, ...

Read More Source

June 2nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The new kind of society writing is done by oneself, about oneself

This is an interesting example of our changing mores.

Did she wear many different looks?

Yes, she did. A Missoni turban was involved in “the perfect pool look for me to greet my guests in”; later, she wore a custom Cucculelli Shaheen emblazoned with “secret symbols, the constellations of our two astrological signs colliding together, our initials, and the date of our wedding night embroidered into it,” a customized lace robe for the after-wedding brunch, a Naeem Khan cape that was “an ...

Read More Source

June 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

A suicide letter posted to Github

Very sad:

There is a lot here to talk about, but I will start with something trivial: that he made two commits to the repo.

In the second commit, he adds a photo:

https://github.com/yeukhon/suicide/commit/eddf98b9f3f4676b114680326314d98d8a395a0f

I feel like some day sociologists and historians will write of this era, and I hope details like this are remembered. It says something about how fully we live technological lives now, that a person might make multiple commits to a suicide note.

In fact, he might have made many commits ...

Read More Source

June 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

There is no tax bill in Congress

I think the complete lack of knowing any facts is the part that history teachers will have difficulty explaining to children:

Perhaps the most telling thing President Trump said in his rambling justification of his decision to pull out of the Paris accords on climate change wasn’t about climate change at all. It was, rather, about the speedy advance of his administration’s tax bill in the United States Congress.

-@POTUS: “Our tax bill is moving along in Congress and I believe ...

Read More Source

May 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Get out if you don’t like free speech!

This guy just murdered two people. Apparently that’s okay, because his right to free speech gives him the right to kill people.

As Christian walked into the courtroom he yelled out: “Free speech or die, Portland! You got no safe place. This is America. Get out if you don’t like free speech!

Standing behind glass partitions in the defendant’s area, he continued: “Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom. Death to Antifa! You call ...

Read More Source

May 30th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The Book Of Joan sounds good

I’ve put this on my list of things to read: (this also makes me want to reread Dune).

Herbert’s hero, as emperor of Dune, was a godlike figure with uncanny abilities who embodied both immense capacity for destruction and a chance for renewal, if only he could overcome the temptations inherent in his powers. Although de Men in some ways exemplifies the same struggle, Joan must confront the implications of her powers as well, a reminder that our ecosystems ...

Read More Source

May 30th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Cop jails black woman for passing him while driving

Sad that this still happens in the year 2017:

The incident, which took place May 20, began when Ponder found herself traveling behind a dangerous driver. Acting as any responsible driver would, Ponder signaled, maneuvered around the driver and continued traveling to her destination.

The driver—who had abruptly stopped several times, drifted in and out of lanes, and accelerated suddenly with no provocation, according to Ponder’s attorney, Lee Merritt—turned out to be Crews’ 14-year-old daughter.

Merritt explained what happened next in a Facebook ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Angry man wears a Make America Great Again hat

It is curious how many people wearing hats that say “Make America Great Again” seem to assume that making America great again means establishing a society where they can do whatever the hell they way.

The apparently entitled man took an aisle seat three rows ahead of her and refused to let anyone sit next to him, she said.

In video taken by Zimmerman, the man is seen with his hands folded behind his head and his feet propped up ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

British humor in the face of tragedy

This is some daring humor, in the face of tragic loss:

The next day, Mariah Carey had posted a picture of Martyn in a Mariah Carey T-shirt, accompanied by a devastated quote about the death of a member of her fandom. His brother’s response was one of those jokes that makes you gasp and laugh at the same time: “I was a little dubious about Martyn’s recent bold social media move,” he deadpanned. “But it worked.”

God, the sheer balls of that. ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

There is rhetoric in my writing

I’m reading some of Precious Nonsense by Stephen Booth.

One thing that really jumps out at me is the discussion of this sentence:

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

This sentence has a comma exactly where I would put it, but I know my friend, editor and co-author Natalie Sidner would remove that comma. Why?

The comma is here to indicate ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Also possibly interesting: the accumulation of so much potential and the absolute crushing of it

I’ve added this to my list to read. Interesting:

Watchful, bookish Cat and reckless, alluring Marlena have plenty of literary and pop cultural antecedents, but Buntin, through closely observed detail, makes these two her own. Their attachment is full of lovely teenage-girl things — cherry lip gloss, cut-up T-shirts, hearts drawn on the back of a hand, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks songs, tossed-off but unforgotten intimacies: “She scrapes a set of fingernails against my kneecap, a small circle that opens ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

A heartless book?

This review sounds scathing, although I’m actually interested in reading the book now, because the reviewer concedes it manages to stay stylish despite its flaws:

Here it is again. The voice. The single white woman in New York figuring out her s- – - and drinking too much wine voice. Confessional, casual, brash, tell-it-like-it-is, flawed-yet-familiar, ostentatiously relatable.

Sometimes I feel like we’ve all made some blood pact to call this voice original and brave 20 years since it’s been either. In fact, ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Writing as the answer to life’s problems

This is something I’ll have to think about more:

As most narratives require, soon comes the fall: Levy finds that the things she holds dear to her are not as sturdy as they seemed. Most significant, however, was learning how much you can miss when you think of writing and its process as your ultimate savior: “My job is to interpret, and to communicate my interpretation persuasively to other people,” she writes. “The idea that in life, unlike in writing, the ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The frailty of modern marriage

Interesting:

Jo Piazza’s recent book How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage follows the Eat Pray Love method to the letter, and is animated by the author’s intense anxiety about “failing” at marriage. Piazza is a longtime travel writer, formerly at the helm of Yahoo’s travel vertical, which had her working 80-hour weeks and racking up air miles. The setting for this, her fifth book, reads ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Humans used a paint shop in Ethiopia for 4,500 years

Amazing. This must have been a huge society to support such an active paint shop, especially at the peak. We know that, during the last 2,000 years, migrant societies of Asia often numbered in the millions, but they had the advantage of horses and goats and bison. Without domesticated animals, a migrant society was probably smaller, but perhaps there might have been a few 100,000s in the area of this paint shop when it was at its peak.

45,000 years ago, ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Jupiter is complicated

Interesting:

While Jupiter’s iconic red storm, stripes and girth may loom large in the skies and in our minds, surprisingly little is known about it. Among the many questions Juno set out to answer: Does the gas giant have a solid metal core? Does it have any structure beneath its banded atmosphere, or are its depths well-mixed? How much water lies within its body? And what powers its auroras and its magnetic field?

Now, data from just the first two passes ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

A need for safety keeps the poor near poverty

I think we already knew this;

I’ve written before about how inequality perpetuates itself through differences in confidence: people from rich backgrounds have the chutzpah to blag good jobs for which they are unqualified, whilst those from poorer backgrounds have confidence knocked out of them. However, a new paper by David Chivers suggests there’s another mechanism which can have the same effect – differences in aspirations.

He shows that people who are just above the poverty line are scared to take risks ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What forces exist to promote mutual respect and tolerance?

Interesting:

Organizations and leaders. Organizations like white supremacist clubs and their leaders make deliberate attempts to persuade outsiders to join their beliefs. Leaders make concerted and intelligent attempts to craft messages that will appeal to potential followers, deliberately cultivating the themes of hate and racism that they advocate. Young people are recruited at the street level into groups and clubs that convey hateful symbols and rhetoric. Political entrepreneurs take advantage of the persuasive power of mobilization efforts based on divisiveness ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Talking with my right-wing friends

I know a couple who are fairly right-wing. I like them dearly. They are important to me. They call themselves libertarian. They did not vote for Trump, though their parents and siblings voted for Trump.

I try to avoid talking politics with them, but on the rare occasion when politics comes up, the thing that strikes me most is this: they never ask me what I think, instead, they tell me what I think.

I’m not sure what their ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The strong Grandmother Hypothesis

I was never a hunter, but when I was 20 I loved to explore forests. I’d go into the forest for days, and explore areas where I thought other folks had not been in a while. I was mostly on the east coast of the USA so I did not have to worry too much about bears. When I was out West I had some close calls with bobcats, but I was lucky.

Young men typically go on adventures into ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Very unpleasant people who want a racial or religious war

I’m sick that people write such disgusting things:. And for every person who says something that disgusting in public, there must be a 1,000 who think something similar in private.

The newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins became the subject of a police review after the Manchester bombing on Monday, as questions were raised about the limits the press can go to when reporting the fallout from terrorist attacks.

Hopkins, who is employed by the Mail Online and LBC, was reported to the ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Kennedy barely knew his Inaugural Address

I’m watching Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. I guess it’s been many years since the last time I saw it. I love the text of this speech. And I love studying great rhetoric.

But now, watching it again, I’m astonished at how hesitant he is. He keeps looking down at his notes. Yet it’s a short speech. He could have easily memorized it. I would have memorized it. How often do you get sworn in as President of the USA? Anyone ...

Read More Source

May 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The context that controls the reading of the Gettysburg Address

“Impregnated during a wild spree” wouldn’t sound correct, but “Conceived in Liberty” can be read that way. The context matters

This seems like an extreme dip into deconstructionism, but I think it can be a lot of fun to remember how slippery words are. The same phrase evokes different images for different people. The title of the work is “Precious Nonsense” which can only be accurate if all text is nonsense, since all text is slippery in the same way, unless ...

Read More Source

May 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The rising appeal of religiously motivated punishments

A similar movement is spreading across the USA, where politicians are looking to see how much anti-gay hatred they can create. It’s seems to be a worldwide movement, effecting all of the religions, that these punishments are becoming more popular. Perhaps the curious thing is why politicians feel that the strictest and most narrow interpretations of traditional beliefs might now be the most popular? There have been centuries when homosexuality was treated as a minor sin, and other centuries ...

Read More Source

May 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The trolls are more common than ever on Hacker News

Someone reasonable asked:

Should someone pay me for not having slaves and not being able to profit from exploiting them because I am a century or two late and missed the good old time when it was not yet an unacceptable practice?

And, in the year 2017, someone wrote:

If you legally acquired them, then yes. The British experience ending slavery was far more humane than the US one.

That is already surprising, but then I wrote this, and I was promptly downvoted:

You ...

Read More Source

May 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Pro-tip: it’s not a great idea to be incredibly sensitive about how someone asks a question

Someone is a bit sensitive:

Source

May 2nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Bad ideas end with a sudden cascade

Interesting:

If one person convinces a second, says Blackford, then a third person will be far more likely to agree with the majority view. This effect exponentially increases with each person who agrees with the others. “We soon have a sociological effect whereby everyone knows that, say, a certain movie is very good or very bad, even though everyone might have ‘known’ the exact opposite if only a few early voices had been different,” says Blackford.

The cascade effect can help explain ...

Read More Source

April 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Social purity in 1903

What an interesting image:

Now we’ve established that if you, like “A Childless Wife,” have chosen to be child-free, you are empty of soul, selfish and controlled by your basest desires. It is also likely that you are suffering an inflated sense of your value to this world. A Childless Wife also had a rather long whinge about the likelihood that she would die during delivery. She was staunchly against dying. And yes, maternal death would have been a concern ...

Read More Source

April 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

English is not Latin

This has always been an idiotic rule:

There is a traditional view, first set forth by the 17th-century poet and dramatist John Dryden, that it is incorrect to put a preposition at the end of a sentence, as in where do you come from? or she’s not a writer I’ve ever come across. The rule was formulated on the basis that, since in Latin a preposition cannot come after the word it governs or is linked with, the same should be ...

Read More Source

April 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

See something, say something, watch the authorities overreact

This is the result of trying to find policies that force various agencies to act on auto-pilot:

Long story short: A dad returning from Mexico with his 3-year-old daughter was briefly detained on suspicion that he was engaged in sex trafficking. (And not to pile on, but it was a United flight.) Despite papa having her passport, his passport, and a notarized letter from the mom saying that she gave them her permission to travel, the authorities felt compelled to ...

Read More Source

April 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Jennifer Jason Leigh talks about Quentin Tarantino

This is a really interesting comment about Hollywood:

What accounts for this comeback you’ve had (1)? Was it a change of management or just good fortune?

I am well over 40. I feel like the door was closed, and I had made my peace with it and I was fine. I worried a little bit about money. “Am I going to work again … Maybe I’ll go more into writing.” But I’m very happy being a mom. I just thought I had ...

Read More Source

April 15th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Gender ideals in sports in Germany before the Nazis

Interesting:

He completed his Ph.D. in 1925, and the following year he dashed to global fame, competing in seventy-six races, achieving four national records, three world records, and beating two reigning Olympic champions. His racing style was brash and incautious, reckless even, relying on his blistering pace on the home straight to seal victory. It mirrored his combative personality; his on-track success was accompanied by stories of frequent confrontations with coaches, teammates, opponents, and the stuffed blazers who ran German athletics ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Anti-gay human rights abuse in Chechnya

Really awful:

At least once a day, Adam’s captors attached metal clamps to his fingers and toes. One of the men then cranked a handle on a machine to which the clamps were linked with wires, and sent powerful electric shocks through his body. If he managed not to scream, others would join in, beating him with wooden sticks or metal rods.

As they tortured him, the men shouted verbal abuse at him for being gay, and demanded to know the names ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Jack London was his own lawyer and he won

Interesting:

Jack London advocated a different revolution, a Socialist one. The various books, articles, and speeches referred to as his Socialist writings, though now little read in the United States, sold well when first published and have been avidly read all over the world. The Iron Heel, for instance, sold over 50,000 copies in hardback, and Wikipedia lists translations of the novel into thirty-two languages (including Esperanto). According to Alex Kershaw (in his Jack London: A Life), the novel “was…passed ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

English adventurers in the Black Sea just before the First Crusade

This is sort of a precursor to the Crusades, with less of a goal, and more random adventuring:

This sequence of events appears to underlie all four of the sources mentioned above and is moreover supported by contemporary Byzantine sources too, as Jonathan Shepard has convincingly argued.(2) As to the date of this emigration of disgruntled Anglo-Saxon lords and their followers, Christine Fell makes a good case for it having taken place in the mid- to late 1070s, after the death ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Sweden is a nation of introverts

Interesting:

“Swedish culture isn’t exactly known for its extroversion and mingling,” says Sophia Skinbjerg, a 25-year-old Australian-Danish marketeer, who is based in Stockholm. “Connections, whether personal or professional, are often fostered from a very young age. So as a foreign person, it’s very difficult to break through and establish your own network quickly.” Risk avoidance With one of the highest standards of living in the world and a booming start-up scene, Sweden has attracted growing numbers of expats and economic migrants in recent years, ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

When were women active in politics

Measured by how many women testified before Congress, it seems women’s political mobilization peaked in the mid 20th Century:

First, far from retreating from public life in the post-suffrage and postwar decades, women and their organizations were out in force. Working through mass membership federations, to which Theda Skocpol has called our attention, women testified collectively on a wide range of issues including but not limited to foreign policy, affordable housing, children’s well-being, military readiness, public education, tax policy, and immigration. ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The alt-right has always been part of the USA political scene

Interesting:

American historians’ relationship to conservatism itself has a troubled history. Even after Ronald Reagan’s electoral-college landslide in 1980, we paid little attention to the right: The central narrative of America’s political development was still believed to be the rise of the liberal state. But as Newt Gingrich’s right-wing revolutionaries prepared to take over the House of Representatives in 1994, the scholar Alan Brinkley published an essay called “The Problem of American Conservatism” in The American Historical Review. American conservatism, ...

Read More Source

April 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The decline of the public intellectual

Interesting:

If you were a certain sort of ideas-oriented young person coming of age in the 20th century, it was very likely you would give yourself a label and join some movement. You’d call yourself a Marxist, a neoconservative, a Freudian, an existentialist or a New Deal liberal.

There would be certain sacred writers who would explain the world to you — from Jung to Camus, Dewey or Chesterton. There’d probably be a small magazine where the doctrines of your sect ...

Read More Source

April 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Manhood in the age of Trump

Interesting:

For some decades now, since I was a child, I’ve heard people talking about how our understanding of gender would need to change, and how men would need to reinterpret what it needs to be a man. But apparently, open mindedness on this issue is easier for men when they know their wages will be going up for some decades. In the USA, men were tolerant of the surge of women into the workforce during the 1930s and 1940s. In ...

Read More Source

April 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Britain in south east Africa in 550 AD

Amazing to think that British merchants reached Tanzania in the mid 500s. If there was still so much trade going on, why did the economy collapse to completely?

Tanzania? A small number of beads have been found on the East African coast at Dar es Salaam and Kisiju, Tanzania, which have been considered to be early Anglo-Saxon in origin by a number of researchers, including Richard Hodges and Barbara Green, as was discussed in a previous post. Given their likely origin, ...

Read More Source

April 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Octopus can kill dolphins even after the dolphin has swallowed them

Interesting:

Essentially, the octopuses’ tentacles keep fighting, blocking the dolphins’ airways, even after most of their bodies have been swallowed. It’s a terrifying way to die, but Sprogis and the researchers observe that octopuses must be such valuable prey that they are worth it. Over seven years of observation, she and her team watched 33 dolphins “handling” octopuses in ways that made them meal-ready. Typically, the encounter would start with the dolphin biting the octopus’ head off, followed by tossing the ...

Read More Source

April 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The Vikings raided Africa and then took slaves back to Ireland

One of the great puzzles of history is why a particular region might suddenly become active and attack another region. Why was Scandinavia not a factor during Roman times but then suddenly a volcano that spewed attacks outward like a volcano throwing out lava? Why did the Vikings suddenly come onto the scene? What had they been doing previously? Why did they attack Africa, rather than the other way around? Why has there never been a time when Sub-Saharan Africa ...

Read More Source

April 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Korzybski on linguistic relativism

Interesting:

Sapir/Whorf contemporary Alfred Korzybski was independently developing his theory of general semantics, which was aimed at using language’s influence on thinking to maximize human cognitive abilities. Korzybski’s thinking was influenced by logical philosophy such as Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.[72] Although Korzybski was not aware of Sapir and Whorf’s writings, the movement was followed by Whorf-admirer Chase, who fused Whorf’s interest in cultural-linguistic variation with Korzybski’s programme in his popular work “The Tyranny of Words”. S. ...

Read More Source

April 7th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Maybe naked mole rats are simply very good at fighting off cancer?

If a tumor is only a dozen cells, scientists would have difficulty finding it. Previously, researchers thought naked mole rats could not get cancer. Then they found one who got cancer but then healed. What if naked mole rats do get cancer at a normal rate, but their immune system is good about destroying all tumors before scientists can detect them? Interesting:

Dr. Delaney and her colleagues have studied lesions on naked mole rats for more than a decade, but it ...

Read More Source

April 7th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Mojica was overcome, and found himself with tears in his eyes

Interesting:

But every time Mojica and his colleagues repeated the experiment, the same pattern—30 or so bases that appeared over and over again, separated by lengths of seemingly unrelated DNA—reappeared. Reading journal articles in the library, Mojica learned that a Japanese group had noticed something similar in the genome of E. coli a few years before. Despite the fact that the repetitions did not seem to be connected to H. mediterranei’s predilection for salt, he put a chapter on them at ...

Read More Source

April 7th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The alternative media on the right

Interesting:

“The long, lucrative right-wing grift is blowing up in the world’s face”: “Because there was a lot of money in it for various hucksters and moguls and authors and politicians, the conservative movement spent decades building up an entire sector of the economy dedicated to scaring and lying to older white men. For millions of members of that demographic, this parallel media dedicated to lying to them has totally supplanted the ‘mainstream’ media. Now they, and we, are at the ...

Read More Source

April 6th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Clean decimals are limited to primes of your base

Interesting:

Floating Point Math

Your language isn’t broken, it’s doing floating point math. Computers can only natively store integers, so they need some way of representing decimal numbers. This representation comes with some degree of inaccuracy. That’s why, more often than not, .1 + .2 != .3.

Why does this happen?

It’s actually pretty simple. When you have a base 10 system (like ours), it can only express fractions that use a prime factor of the base. The prime factors of 10 are ...

Read More Source

April 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Have I been shadowbanned from Hacker News?

Very strange. Check out this page on Hacker News.

None of my comments are appearing there. I wonder if I have been banned? I can’t imagine why this would happen. I believe I offer good comments that move a conversation forward.

The article asks this question:

Why do developers who could work anywhere flock to the most expensive cities?

To which I responded:

(Please forgive the side-story, I believe this comment eventually forms a cohesive story.)

Once upon a time I had ...

Read More Source

April 2nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Language is the only homeland

The only homeland. This strikes me as the only way forward for Europe, and perhaps the world, though I realize there are some groups, such as African-Americans in the USA, who might strongly disagree, as they use the language of the oppressors. But maybe if we can interpret the words broadly enough, then the idea fits everyone? Beyoncé recently sang:

My daddy Alabama, momma Louisiana You mix that negro with that Creole, make a Texas bama

So where is her homeland? What ...

Read More Source

March 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Another blow to the indie Web: the Deck ad network closes down

So sad:

LONG STRANGE TRIP

We started The Deck in 2006 and for the first couple years it struggled. By 2008, it was an OK business and by 2009, it was a pretty good business. From then through 2013, The Deck was going along just fine.

THINGS WORK, UNTIL THEY DON’T

Things change. In 2014, display advertisers started concentrating on large, walled, social networks. The indie “blogosphere” was disappearing. Mobile impressions, which produce significantly fewer clicks and engagements, began to really dominate the market. ...

Read More Source

March 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The rise of neo queerbaiting

The actress, who is contractually obligated to defend the storyline that the corporation decides to advance, offers a diplomatic answer regarding her character’s possible romance with a man, versus her answer regarding her character’s possible romance with a woman:

Also

Source

March 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How long can sha-1 crypto survive?

Interesting:

SHA1 was meant to be a replacement for MD5. MD5 has an output space of only 128-bits, where as SHA1 has an output space of 160-bits. SHA1 is also designed differently than MD5, and is meant to not suffer the same sort of weaknesses or attacks that MD5 faces. However, over time, cryptographers have been able to severely attack SHA1, and as a result, they’ve all been warning us to get off SHA1, and move to SHA2. It should ...

Read More Source

March 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

After 121 years of terrible journalism, the DailyMail is finding ways to be worse

When every article you publish is terrible, it takes something unique to stand out from the debris and make people say “That is much worse than usual“.

The meeting presented a new low for the newspaper, its perpetually disappointed proprietor and its lickspittle columnist: as if it weren’t bad enough that women held high office and didn’t have the grace to think the same about things, they were also each in possession of not one but two legs. Who knows where ...

Read More Source

March 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

It’s absolutely true because I read it in the Daily Mail

Good lord, this song is good:

Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Complexity emerges when a system has transitions that demand a different kind of math

Interesting:

When we observe the largest scale behaviors of a system, we simplify the mathematical description of the system because there are fewer distinguishable states, and only a limited set of possible behaviors. This also means that systems that look different on a microscopic scale may not look different at the macroscopic scale, and their mathematical descriptions become the same.

An important example of this arose in the study of phase transitions using the new mathematics of renormalization group. The transition ...

Read More Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Did sleep paralysis start the Salem Witch Trials?

Interesting:

Sleep paralysis researchers Brian Sharpless and Karl Dograhmji have collected 118 different terms from around the world that describe sleep paralysis-like experiences: Germans have terms for hexendrücken – witch pressing – and alpdrücken – elf pressing. Norwegian folktales include svartalfar – evil elves that shoot people with paralysing arrows before perching on their chests. The Japanese have a term, kanashibari, in reference to being magically bound by invisible metal. In parts of Switzerland people speak of tchutch-muton, an evil ...

Read More Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Will we live in a society where everyone needs an advanced college degree?

It’s amazing that this was written back in 1903, when less than 4% of the population had a college degree:

Human nature is once for all so childish that every reality becomes a sham somewhere, and in the minds of Presidents and Trustees the Ph.D. degree is in point of fact already looked upon as a mere advertising resource, a manner of throwing dust in the Public’s eyes. “No instructor who is not a Doctor” has become a maxim in the ...

Read More Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Do researchers have momentum?

Interesting:

Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Kids make people hate each other

It’s funny, but it’s also serious, how many relationships go downhill once a couple has kids.

How Not to Hate Your Husband is a book for messy reality, but I can’t shake my frustration that its twin, written for men, isn’t out there somewhere: How to Keep Your Wife From Hating You After Kids. I’m disappointed that on top of doing far more housework and childcare than men, it also falls on women to patiently and strategically negotiate the terms ...

Read More Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The endless jargon wears me down

Microcanonical distribution? I find myself thinking I need to read something else before I read this. But then I find an article that is suppose to be more basic, and that too has jargon that makes me think I need to read something still more basic. I wonder where the starting point is?

Every time I try to get through an essay like this (almost every day) I find myself worn out dealing with the endless jargon:

Source

March 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Facebook activated my dormant account and it won’t let me deactivate it

I am angry. I will walk you through the steps of what has happened. Here is the historical background:

1.) In late 2008, I signed up for Facebook.

2.) In early 2012 I deactivated my account.

3.) On March 14th, 2017, Facebook suddenly reactivated my account. I received this email:

I have done nothing to reactivate my account. I do not want an account on Facebook. I have been happy to live without Facebook for the last 5 years. The ...

Read More Source

March 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What happens when there is no agreement on the sources of facts?

Interesting:

But what happens when political participants step out of bounds and violate shared norms? Is it the press’s role to defend those norms, to push back, or merely to report on what has happened?

It’s a dilemma. For one thing, no clear line separates legitimate subjects of political dispute from what is off limits or out of bounds. As circumstances change, those lines shift and warp at the margins. Collective values are always in flux. Things that were subject of dispute ...

Read More Source

March 25th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Government says: Don’t Be Afraid to Racially Profile Your Friends, Neighbors and Coworkers

Worrisome:

Peterson opened his remarks with an anecdote about the San Bernardino shooters, who you’ll recall were a married couple. He noted that a neighbor failed to call the cops on the pair before the shooting, despite seeing them in their garage doing something murky. She feared being thought of as “racist,” Peterson said.

Peterson described this as an example of “political correctness run amok.” He encouraged us not to let a distaste for treating people differently based on their race ...

Read More Source

March 21st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why does anyone bother?

Interesting:

How Not to Hate Your Husband came about because Dunn and her husband Tom had fallen into a deep rut of arguments and resentment about their household distribution of labour. Tom, despite good intentions and a warm personality, left almost all of the household management and childcare to Dunn, and her resentment became explosive. (Sound familiar?) Their six-year-old daughter, Sylvie, was often witness to their conflicts, and Dunn began to worry about the negative impact that this repetitive dynamic ...

Read More Source

March 20th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Maybe you should write fan fiction

This is great:

You know when professional writers say, “We’re not writing fan fiction”? My immediate reaction is almost always – well, maybe you should be.

Maybe you should be the fan writer who spends a lovingly long time getting into characters’ heads and making sure they’re internally consistent? Who cares more about interactions and dynamics than pulling the rug out from under audiences’ feet.

Maybe you should be the fan writer who chooses to show characters in love even ...

Read More Source

March 20th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Telling your family that you’ve been laid off

This was from a fiction workshop I was part of. This was my effort.

Jeffery and Anthony pulled up to the curb in front of the house. Jeffery looked out the house, but he did not move.

Anthony, who was in the driver’s seat, watched his friend for a long moment, and then said, “You’ve got to tell them.”

There was no reaction from Jeffery. Perhaps he had not heard.

“You’ve got to tell them,” repeated Anthony.

Jeffery took a ...

Read More Source

March 18th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The age of religion never ended

This does not strike me as new:

All this adds up to a depressing picture for those of us who aren’t ready to live in a post-truth world. Facts, it seems, are toothless. Trying to refute a bold, memorable lie with a fiddly set of facts can often serve to reinforce the myth. Important truths are often stale and dull, and it is easy to manufacture new, more engaging claims. And giving people more facts can backfire, as those facts provoke ...

Read More Source

March 17th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Life in the country

This person asserts we should leave the big cities and go where life is easy:

The “horribly stacked life” card is, in my experience, most often played by people trying to get by in the overly competitive environments of large cities. I know a lot of people don’t like to hear it, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere trying to work and live in a major city, do yourself a ...

Read More Source

March 17th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Authoritarianism: certain constellations of personality traits seem to travel together

It’s interesting that certain constellations of personality traits seem to travel together, even in different cultures, and in different centuries. The cult-of-personality goes with the authoritarianism, which goes with the desire to delegitimate all criticism, which goes with particular ideas about sex, and the relations between men and women. So again, in 2017, we see the revival of the same united set of personality attributes that are described from the 1930s:

His vainglorious sexual boasting (‘They say I’ve got the most ...

Read More Source

March 17th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The quiet damage of gaming addiction

Very interesting:

It is not always clear when gaming is the refuge of the trapped and when it is the trap. Ashley, aged 37, is certain that gaming is not the source of his problems. He played video games in his youth, but not obsessively; like other teenagers he made plenty of time for football and skateboarding. The games took on a different cast in his 20s, when he spent time abroad teaching English: he played heavily as a way to ...

Read More Source

March 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Computer programming is now treated as a career for the young

I wish I knew why this was. Unlike other white collar professions, computer programming is treated more like being an athlete, something that becomes increasingly untenable after the age of 40.

The problem is that our industry, unlike every other single industry except acting and modeling (and note neither are known for “intelligence”) worship at the altar of youth. I don’t know the number of people I’ve encountered who tell me that by being older, my experience is worthless since all ...

Read More Source

March 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Compare and despair

Interesting:

When we scroll through our feed we want to see something that’s either aspirational or motivating. We go on Instagram to escape from our problems or worries and to upload the best parts of our lives so that when we look back on our feed we think, “Wow, what a great few months I’ve had.” I guess it’s like looking back at our own gratitude list and I love social media for that, for allowing us to curate a ...

Read More Source

March 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Dealing with long-term illness

Interesting:

My experience of feeling unwell for years before I got a diagnosis turned out to be typical. According to aarda, it takes an average of nearly five years (and five doctors) for a sufferer to be given a diagnosis. Patients can end up consulting different specialists for different symptoms: a dermatologist, an endocrinologist, an immunologist, a neurologist, a rheumatologist. A lot of people with autoimmune diseases would like to see the establishment of clinical autoimmune centers, where a single doctor ...

Read More Source

March 14th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to discover one’s voice as a writer

I also like this:

So I went back and was looking at some of your clips and thought, oh man, I remember these pieces, just not that you had written them. And what I think is interesting about that book is how much I can see how your voice and your style has changed. You can see the trajectory. When you look at that book—and that book is very much a product of where you were at then and the pieces ...

Read More Source

March 14th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Nobody ever gets everything they want

I like this:

Yeah, or like… Now that I’m through the other end of the grief, I’m really happy with my life, and I’m really grateful for a lot of things that came out of that—like the humbling that losing most everything that mattered in a deep way, except for my friendships and my writing and my family. I think I have much less of the delusion of control now than I used to, and I’m grateful for that. I ...

Read More Source

March 14th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Downvoted on Hacker News

I’ve been following Hacker News for 8 years now, and over the last 2 or 3 years I’ve noticed the commenters there have become more political and right-wing. I try not to post comments there, but when I do, more and more, I find myself getting downvoted for saying things that are obviously true. So, for instance, recently the actor Shia Labeouf had an art project to promote the anti-Trump message “He will not divide us” and some right-wingers were ...

Read More Source

March 12th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Having black children

One woman’s account:

My half-black son was born Sept 5th, here in Kansas City, while those protests raged across the state. Because the AA communities in StL and KC are so intertwined I actually am friends with one of Micheal Brown’s cousins, and not thru my husband.

I have been with my husband since 2009, and experienced firsthand racism and bigotry with him and without him, but I never lost that thread of stupid-suburbanite optimism until I was 37 weeks pregnant ...

Read More Source

March 9th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Google’s Featured Snippets are often drawn from fringe sites peddling crazy ideas

Interesting:

Google needs to invest in human experts who can judge what type of queries should produce a direct answer like this, Shulman said. “Or, at least in this case, not send an algorithm in search of an answer that isn’t simply ‘There is no evidence any American president has been a member of the Klan.’ It’d be great if instead of highlighting a bogus answer, it provided links to accessible, peer-reviewed scholarship.”

…What about a system that thinks Barack Obama is ...

Read More Source

March 9th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Truman was racist

Interesting:

Even his reverential biographer, Merle Miller, admitted in the Truman biography “Plain Speaking” that later in life “privately Mr. Truman always said ‘nigger’; at least he always did when I talked to him.” He also often privately referred to Jews as “kikes.”

Truman’s racism and anti-Semitism may surprise many Americans because he has been sanctified in recent years by hagiographic biographers such as David McCullough and by Democrats and Republicans who admire his leadership during the Cold War. As the country ...

Read More Source

March 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Health care is complicated

Funny opening:

President Trump, long at the forefront of intellectual discovery, last week came up with a major finding: Health-care reform is hard. “Unbelievably complex,” in fact.

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” the president said.

Actually, we all knew. That’s why Republicans’ successor plan to Obamacare, “repeal and replace,” became repeal and delay. That’s why House Republicans kept their draft legislation under guard in a secret, GOP-only “reading room” in the Capitol, so copies wouldn’t leak. That’s why ...

Read More Source

March 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Academic romance

Interesting:

Philosophy has long had a reputation as a work environment inhospitable to women, even though there have certainly been significant improvements on this front over the past few years. Did you face gender-specific obstacles as a woman trying to make a career in a male-dominated discipline?

Well of course in those days every discipline was inhospitable to women. There was only one tenured woman in the whole of Harvard when I arrived there, the classicist Emily Vermeule, and she was ...

Read More Source

March 6th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The distance is commonly very great between actual performances and speculative possibility

Interesting:

The distance is commonly very great between actual performances and speculative possibility, It is natural to suppose that as much as has been done today may be done tomorrow: but on the morrow some difficulty emerges, or some external impediment obstructs. Indolence, interruption, business, and pleasure, all take their turns of retardation; and every long work is lengthened by a thousand causes that can, and ten thousand that cannot, be recounted. Perhaps no extensive and multifarious performance was ever effected ...

Read More Source

March 3rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The economics of intentional communities

Interesting:

But even with the best organisational acumen, intentional communities are often heavily criticised for the backward progress they tend to symbolise. Bronson Alcott (the father of Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women) was characterised by the essayist Thomas Carlyle as a ‘man bent on saving the world by a return to acorns’. In 1843, Alcott founded Fruitlands, an experimental community in Harvard, Massachusetts. An agrarian commune influenced by transcendentalist thought, and built on renouncing the ‘civilised’ world, Fruitlands ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Has there ever been so great a gulf in USA politics?

One thing that seems unique about the current moment in USA politics is how decent most of the national Democrats are, and how loathsome the national Republicans are. I don’t think there’s ever been a time where one party was so full of honest and decent people, while the other party was so devoid of any.

This bit with Gabby Giffords is the extreme case:

According to the Washington Post, Louis Gohmert [R-Texas] released a statement earlier this week clarifying his decision ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Can you imagine having 2 duplexes in New York and not throwing a party every night?

I would throw a party every night, if I had that much space in New York. These two were definitely depressed.

After my success in Blue Denim I expected to be working again immediately, since my agent could now get me into most producers’ offices. I auditioned for every upcoming Broadway show, but to my great disappointment, I wasn’t cast in any of them. I longed to be given a chance to play high-strung, defiant young women. Instead I would appear ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

We never escape loneliness

This is wonderfully written:

Her son had recently died, and she said she did not know what to do now. She had so much time on her hands, she was so bored and weary and sorrowful that she was ready to die. She had brought him up with loving care and intelligence, and he had gone to one of the best schools and to college. She had not spoiled him, though he had had everything that was necessary. She had ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The increasingly forgotten class war of the 40s and 50s

What a bizarre thing to write:

Not surprisingly given McAdam’s long history in the social movements research field, McAdam and Kloos argue that social movements are commonly relevant to electoral and party politics; they suggest that the period of relatively high consensus around the moderate middle (1940s and 1950s) was exceptional precisely because of the absence of powerful social movements during these decades. But during more typical periods, national electoral politics are influenced by both political parties and diffuse social movements; ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Madeleine Davies talks to Jessa Crispin

Interesting:

Why do you think so many current self-proclaimed feminists feel the need to distance themselves from the second wave definition of feminism and, even more so, second wave radicals like Andrea Dworkin or Catharine McKinnon?

Once assimilation became a possibility—and I feel like this happens with pretty much every marginalized group that’s fighting for equality—once assimilation becomes a possibility, you kind of abandon your principles because it’s much easier to just enter the system than destroy it. The more radical thinkers ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Dangerous extensions to copyright

Interesting:

One dangerous idea that rightsholders continue to push for is a “notice and staydown” system. This sounds like a minor edit to notice and takedown, but in reality it would amount to mandatory filtering of the Internet for the purpose of policing copyright. Last summer we noted many of the general reasons why this idea is both dangerous and impractical. In our most recent comments, we focus more specifically on the direct threat such a system would pose to the ...

Read More Source

March 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Kellyanne Conway puts her feet on the couch while she’s wearing shoes

This seems like the pose of a child. I am not sure how to understand this level of informality at the White House:

Source

February 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

American politics has gotten really weird

What used to be the paranoid fringe is now elected to leadership positions in the government:

Source

February 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The dictatorship of the myths of intelligence

This essay is too long, but there are some bits that are good. Interesting:

Plato’s novel idea fell on the eager ears of the intellectuals, including those of his pupil Aristotle. Aristotle was always the more practical, taxonomic kind of thinker. He took the notion of the primacy of reason and used it to establish what he believed was a natural social hierarchy. In his book The Politics, he explains: ‘[T]hat some should rule and others be ruled is a ...

Read More Source

February 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Twitter’s lack of context keeps me away

The lack of context is exactly what keeps me away from Twitter. I want more context, not less.

Last week I had coffee with Hunter Walk who said he deleted his Twitter data and now auto-deletes Tweets regularly, so it becomes a transient outlet instead of permanent. As an experiment I downloaded my entire archive and randomly started poking through it. Without context, without the situation at hand, I wanted to punch the avatar of myself that came across in ...

Read More Source

February 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

It’s not self-care if someone else is doing your hair

This is obviously wrong, but it is a great reminder of the other issues involved:

It’s not self-care if someone else is doing your hair.

Obviously it is self-care. But right, there is someone there who also has needs.

Source

February 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Bad Wikipedia pages: French Romance Novels

I get used to information being found in Wikipedia, so I am surprised when I find a page an anemic as this:

You would expect them to list thousands of books, instead of 2 dozen. They don’t have the one I’m looking for, from the 1700s.

Source

February 20th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Women without kids

I used to think that Vox was the most boring site on the Web, but lately I’ve been reading the site often.

This is from Sweden:

“I am an archaeologist,” I told the gynecologist with the relative calm of someone answering an emotionally loaded question with a rehearsed response. “I don’t know if I’ll be living in a country where abortion will be available to me should I become pregnant.”

This was no exaggeration. I still lived in Sweden, where I ...

Read More Source

February 20th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Anyone know how to say that in German?

Interesting:

That morning, my boyfriend had to go to work, but a decision on what to do had to be made quickly. So he stuffed a wad of Euros into my hand and put me on a train to the Netherlands, the closest neighboring country where the pill can be bought over the counter.

The need for women to cross borders, and spend beyond their budget, just to receive reproductive health care is nothing new. Northern Ireland—which, let’s not forget, is in ...

Read More Source

February 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

It’s never too late to become a computer programmer

Interesting:

BECOME A SOFTWARE DEVELOPER AT 35

Aimee Morgan, a former Stanford University Libraries archivist, enrolled in an online course to learn Python programming language at the age of 35. She fell in love with programming so much that she decided to start Hackbright Academy, a coding boot camp that teaches software development to women. Her skills led her to become a software engineer on the backend team at Flixster (an American community where users watch and rate movies, this company ...

Read More Source

February 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The drift of the Republican party

Interesting:

The drift of the Republican party from being liberal to illiberal, from being secular to Christian, from being environmentally aware to climate change deniers, from supporting minorities to attacking ‘welfare queens’, did not happen all at once but has been a steady process. Of course there were key moments in that process, such as Nixon’s ‘southern strategy’, Reagan’s adoption of tax cuts for the rich that would ‘pay for themselves’ and neoliberalism more generally, to the Tea Party most recently. ...

Read More Source

February 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Reasons to have beer with smart people

Funny:

This seems a good moment to revisit “He seems like he’d be a good guy to have a beer with,” the shorthand explanation for the rank anti-intellectualism that put George W. Bush in the White House 17 years ago and later flowered, in our somehow even dumber present, into “Uh actually stupid idiots are good” and made Donald Trump, a boiled bologna condom stuffed with Viagra, the most powerful person in the world. … Dolts are not good for having a beer ...

Read More Source

February 15th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Insane work schedules and coffee

Interesting:

From nappy:

Balzac drove himself relentlessly as a writer, motivated by enormous literary ambition as well as a never-ending string of creditors and endless cups of coffee; as Herbert J. Hunt has written, he engaged in “orgies of work punctuated by orgies of relaxation and pleasure.” When Balzac was working, his working schedule was brutal: He ate a light dinner at 6:00 P.M., then went to bed. At 1:00 A.M. he rose and sat down at his writing table for ...

Read More Source

February 14th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What is this woman thinking?

I love this photo, taken by my friend Natalie Sidner. I love the mystery of the situation. I find myself wondering what has this woman so intrigued.

Source

February 11th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Dan Nainan’s passive aggressive act

The worrisome thing is how aggressive Nainan behaves, even though he claims he is not being aggressive. His need to lie is enough to put everyone else on guard. The fact that he lies about his age, claiming to be 35 when he is 55, suggests he is fundamentally dishonest.

I just received the initial deposit for a corporate show in Dubai that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. The show pays $8000, yes, that’s right, EIGHT THOUSAND US ...

Read More Source

February 11th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The end of sexual ambiguity

The era of trying to define one’s sexuality in exact terms is surely a temporary outcome of contemporary political struggles? Interesting:

All five of Edward and Minnie Benson’s adult offspring distinguished themselves in public life. Arthur Benson served as the master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University, wrote the lyrics to Edward Elgar’s hymn “Land of Hope and Glory,” and was entrusted with the delicate task of co-editing Queen Victoria’s letters for publication. His brother Fred was a best-selling writer, well ...

Read More Source

February 11th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The world would be a better place if Nicholas Sparks had never been born

I’d be embarrassed if I made a living off of fictional dead women. But I do get how a young teen could find these stories intensely moving.

The skin tones don’t even match up! How could you possibly be upset by that? Of course, it gave Landon the opportunity to reveal himself as a “good guy.” It probably wasn’t great for my emotional and sexual development to believe that some asshole teen boy might come around and be nice ...

Read More Source

February 10th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Immigration in the USA

The main benefit of the rule of law is suppose to be an absence of arbitrary enforcement, but that is not what is happening now:

“Almost everyone is a deportation priority,” William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told me of the guidelines, which are a strict departure from the Obama administration’s stated focus on removing criminals, undocumented immigrants in the country less than two years, and individuals caught while crossing the border. Trump’s order, by comparison, includes a ...

Read More Source

February 9th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The purity test

“He also shamefully ignored the interests of African Americans and interned Japanese Americans during WWII.”

This sounds exactly like a purity test based on race, so these 2 paragraphs make no coherent sense together:

The reformist left was a big tent. It included people who thought of themselves as communists and socialist as well as moderate left-of-center Democrats. What united them was a devotion to pragmatic reform; there were no purity tests, no totalizing calls for revolution, as was common among ...

Read More Source

February 9th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The confidence, or overconfidence, of the rich

Interesting:

Many of us, though, wouldn’t even have tried the hurdle. If I’d had Ms Sands otherwise decent CV, I’d have looked at that job spec and ruled myself out as unqualified. Ms Sands, obviously, did not.

In this, she’s following many others. Tristram Hunt has become head of the V&A despite no experience of curating or of running large organizations. David Cameron wanted to become PM because he thought he’d be “rather good” at it – a judgment which now looks ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to message on Tinder

Interesting:

Before I met my current girlfriend, I decided to master Tinder. I know Tinder is not a game. I didn’t necessarily want to win Tinder, but I did want to be good at it. And the reason was simple: I was terrible at dating. And the reason for that was simple, too: at the age when everyone else was learning how to date, I was extremely closeted.

I came out at the very end of college, and I struggled. I didn’t ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz to head Vogue Arabia

Interesting:

So it’s no surprise that she’d already appeared in New York’s fashion-on-the-streets Look Book section prior to this profile (there, she copped to loving Jessica Simpson’s lip gloss). The writer, Larocca, describes meeting Abdulaziz in front of Barneys New York in 2004: She was well dressed but normally so for the neighborhood, an uptown woman out for a stroll in expensive but quiet versions of things: a Prada T-shirt, Miu Miu shoes, an Hermès bag. I was scouting for a photo ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The strength of conservative grassroots

Interesting:

I grew up in the far-right evangelical conservative (Christofascist) movement; specifically, I was homeschooled and my parents were part of a subculture called Quiverfull, whose aim is to outbreed everyone for Jesus. I spent my teen years being a political activist. I was taught by every pastor I encountered that it was our job as Christians to outbreed the secularists (anyone not a far-right evangelical Protestant) and take over the government through sheer numbers. I was part of TeenPact, Generation ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Gayzing

Funny:

This year, like many years before it, we as a human race have continued evolving, getting ever-so-much-closer to a utopia in which everybody is gay. 2016 was a banner year for Coming Out, in which a multitude of folks all across the fame spectrum proudly declared their allegiance to my favorite lifestyle choice and Kristen Stewart publicly admitted that she had a girlfriend. (Kristen Stewart was on last year’s list though, not this year’s, because she has been coming out ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Charles Erwin Wilson hated research?

I am puzzled by this Wilson character, who seems to hate research:

The term dynamic programming was originally used in the 1940s by Richard Bellman to describe the process of solving problems where one needs to find the best decisions one after another. By 1953, he refined this to the modern meaning, referring specifically to nesting smaller decision problems inside larger decisions,[15] and the field was thereafter recognized by the IEEE as a systems analysis and engineering topic. Bellman’s contribution is ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The end of reassuring stories

Interesting:

The final story, which continues on both the left and right, is that Trump and his team are inexperienced buffoons who will quickly make fools of themselves, and will be brought to heel by the checks and balances of the US constitutional system. Its too early to tell, but the signs so far do not look good. Take the holocaust statement. According to this story, leaving out any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism from the Holocaust Day statement was perhaps ...

Read More Source

February 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

India is run by criminals

There was the old saying, in places like Italy, “When the state is weak, the mafia takes over.” This is now happening in India, with the formal endorsement of the electoral system. Very worrisome:

Sadly, this is not a book about some small, shady corner of Indian politics: 34% of the members of parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha (lower house) have criminal charges filed against them; and the figure is rising (see chart). Some of the raps are peccadillos, such ...

Read More Source

February 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Syrian family deported

Nothing ever changes. No matter how many books get written about fascism, the same kinds of people keep voting for it (in particular, those with doctors, lawyers and engineers, who seem to reliably back authoritarian governments on the assumption that the authoritarian government won’t come after them).

Source

February 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

End of the neoliberal consensus

Interesting:

For a few decades we thought the end of history had arrived and political battles in most OECD countries were between centre-right and centre-left parties arguing in a narrow political spectrum, but largely agreeing on issues such as free trade, the benefits of immigration, the need for flexible efficient markets, and the positive role of global finance. This consensus was reinforced by international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and OECD, and the Davos political and business elite.

In ...

Read More Source

January 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Bibi Bourelly – “Sally”

It’s the right attitude for everyone trying to keep our fighting spirits and remember the good people.

Source

January 30th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What will happen to the USA?

It’s hard to know how we bounce back from here.

Source

January 29th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Imagine two countries

Imagine these two countries:

In the first, the government has a tradition of due process and liberal rights for most adults, all adults have right to vote, and elections are free and fair, yet the country has been stripped of all of its labor unions.

In the second, the government is authoritarian, there are no free elections, but the people have managed to organize a vast labor union, noted for its militancy and enjoying great popular support.

What happens next?

We know ...

Read More Source

January 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The kind of testimonial that a social media site should dream of

Back in 1968 Joan Didion wrote an essay about why she left New York. Maybe that was the first of the “Why I am leaving the city” genre. Or maybe the genre existed earlier, but she is certainly the most famous representative. These essays are typically written by women between the ages of 27 and 40 who have decided it’s time to stop partying and start having children.

In our more recent era, over the last 20 years, there has ...

Read More Source

January 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Children are scientists

Interesting:

There is a theory in psychology called the theory theory. It’s a theory about theories. While this might sound obvious, the theory theory leads to counterintuitive conclusions. A quarter-century ago, psychologists began to point out important links between the development of scientific theories and how everyday thinking, including children’s thinking, works. According to theory theorists, a child learns by constructing a theory of the world and testing it against experience. In this sense, children are little scientists – they ...

Read More Source

January 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Actually understanding the problem you face is better than vague statistics about the problem

This is a very long metaphor about bad business reasoning versus situational awareness, but I like the point being made:

The battle of Thermopylae (the tale of the three hundred) and the clash between the Greeks and the mighty army of Xerxes has echoed throughout history as a lesson in the force multiplier effect of landscape. Themistocles devised a strategy whereby the Athenian navy would block the straits of Artemisium forcing the Persians along the coastal road into the narrow ...

Read More Source

January 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Tribal indentity in politics is stronger than people realize

This bit is interesting:

It is little appreciated how much liberal democracy depends on strong parties, and a revitalized, re-understood liberalism adequate to the moment will have to overcome a traditional distaste for partisan politics.

…I suggested in my previous essay that “voting patterns didn’t change enough between 2012 and 2016 to justify big claims about new national moods or about Trump’s distinctive appeal. I believe the consequences of this election will be deeply abnormal. But the voting behavior that brought ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Birtherism from Melania

Sad:

If the past is any indication, Melania is no passive victim. Recently a 2011 interview with Melania on the Joy Behar Show went viral on Twitter. In the interview, Melania defends her husband’s adamant commitment to the birther conspiracy born of the Tea Party—his belief that President Obama is not an American citizen, that he was born in Kenya and that his Hawaii-issued birth certificate was, in fact, a forgery. “Do you want to see President Obama’s birth certificate or ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Is this appropriate for a psychologist?

Very worrisome that this would come from a psychologist who works with families:

Dathan Paterno, a school board member in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, called the marchers “vagina screechers,” as the Chicago Tribune reports, part of a string of good tweets about women:

The tweet read: “Most of these vagina screechers didn’t vote, but they mean business. Riiiiiiiight. What a farce.” The remark followed a few other provocative posts last week about the march, including one that referred to it ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

A bias that never fades is best thought of as a religious conviction

I’ve largely given up having conversations with people on the political right, mostly on the same grounds that I no longer try to debate religion with people. We all must take certain assumptions about reality as a starting point for our understanding of the world, and if someone’s most fundamental assumptions are sufficiently different from mine, we simply don’t have enough common ground to have a meaningful conversation. If someone believes that Jesus is their personal Savior, I won’t try ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Jason Brennan has no respect for ignorant voters

Interesting and funny:

I think this illustrates what gets Lehmann’s goat. Perhaps Lehmann views the right to vote as a kind of honorific. And she’s right that it is. In most modern societies, people use the right to vote as a kind of public affirmation of who matters and who doesn’t. We load suffrage with all sorts of expressive value. Getting the right to vote is like getting a gold star and a pat on the back. Being denied suffrage is ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The sun is much bigger than the planets

This is a great story about the moment when we humans first learned that the planets were small, and the sun was very big:

Gassendi’s most important observation was made when Mercury passed in front of the sun on November 7, 1631. Only Mercury and Venus can be observed from the earth during their solar transit. Similar passages took place in the months of May and November, around the 7th and the 9th of the month. For Mercury, one could expect ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Who supports a policy can sometimes tell you whether you should support it

This is good:

I’m prompted to say this by the fact that at least one decent Leaver thinks May’s Brexit strategy is wrong. Pete North calls it “unhinged lunacy” and a “clueless gamble.”

Some of us, though, had an inkling of this months ago. This wasn’t because we had greater powers of foresight. Instead, what strengthened my antipathy to Brexit was simply that many of the people who supported it were racists and charlatans. Of course, not all Leavers were by any ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Where does reality come from?

Interesting:

The best-known and most thoroughgoing exponent of active mechanisms was Gottfried Leibniz. Convinced that the closed mechanical systems described by Boyle and Newton could not explain motion or change, Leibniz posited a vis viva, a living or vital force. It was a “principle underlying all material events.” Instead of impenetrable, indivisible, insentient atoms, Leibniz proposed that the fundamental units of matter were a species of metaphysical points, with, as Riskin remarks, “something vital” about them.17 These were the monads, elementary ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Stanislav Datskovskiy: Employers much prefer that workers be fungible, rather than maximally productive

I’ve linked this before, but it is worth linking again:

Where Lisp Fails: at Turning People into Fungible Cogs.

A favorite conundrum of many Lisp aficionados is why the language appears to languish in disuse. Talk of cultural problems, “the library question” (which usually boils down to nonsensical circular reasoning), too many parentheses, and other absurdities simply dances around the blindingly obvious explanation – one which is able to make sense not only of the obscurity of Lisp, but of ...

Read More Source

January 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

God, computers, and complexity theory

How do we measure complexity? Is Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem just another way of stating Turing’s Halting Problem? A very interesting combination of ideas:

For Leibniz, a law must be expressed by a simple equation. An equation that is forte composée is meaningless. There is always one loitering about. This kind of theoretical criterion does not apply to individual cases. We are trying to understand what it means to say there is a law governing these points. That does not mean we ...

Read More Source

January 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Security at the White House

Funny and also pathetic:

Source

January 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Six days with a new President

Worrisome:

As of this very moment—and this is an incomplete list—the Trump administration has ordered a freeze on most federal hiring, reinstated the Global Gag Rule, helped kick off an Obamacare repeal, invented a universe of “alternative facts,” moved forward on the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines, manifested a voter fraud crisis and promised a “major investigation” into it, appeared to plagiarize a Batman villain, prepared an order that would enact “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in U.S. ...

Read More Source

January 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

1962 was not 1955

I disagree with this:

Once upon a time, way back in the middle of the twentieth century, America was all about tomorrow. Consider the Jetsons, which premiered in 1962, just a few years after the launch of Sputnik opened the Space Age. Matt Novak positions the television cartoon within the golden age of American Futurism: “The Jetsons” was the distillation of every Space Age promise Americans could muster,” he says. “It had everything our hearts could desire: jetpacks, flying cars, ...

Read More Source

January 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Constance Wu goes after Casey Affleck

It’s interesting how often this is happening now, with people in Hollywood calling out other people in Hollywood:

In a series of tweets (that she has not deleted, by the way) she sounded off on allegations that the actor sexually harassed and physically intimidated women several years ago, writing:

Men who sexually harass women 4 OSCAR! Bc good acting performance matters more than humanity, human integrity! Bc poor kid rly needs the help! Boys! BUY ur way out of trouble by settling ...

Read More Source

January 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Hollywood gives a lot of second chances to certain stars

Worrisome:

Affleck’s turn has already garnered rave reviews, as well as magazine profiles that are usually reserved for Oscar favorites. A few of these stories—like October’s Variety cover story on Affleck—feature an aberrant footnote. Nearly 2,000 words into the profile, there’s a brief mention of sexual harassment. Asked to comment on two sexual-harassment suits (here and here) that were brought against him by women who worked on I’m Still Here, Affleck responds, “People say whatever they want. Sometimes it doesn’t matter ...

Read More Source

January 18th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Olympia Snowe speaks about the Senate

From 2012. Interesting:

Some people were surprised by my conclusion, yet I have spoken on the floor of the Senate for years about the dysfunction and political polarization in the institution. Simply put, the Senate is not living up to what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

During the Federal Convention of 1787, James Madison wrote in his Notes of Debates that “the use of the Senate is to consist in its proceedings with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom, ...

Read More Source

January 14th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

President Tyler has grand-children who are still alive

Interesting:

Consider: He conceived so many kids and kept making babies for so long that two of his grandchildren are still alive. You read that right: two grandchildren of a man born in 1790, a few weeks after George Washington gave America’s inaugural state of the union address, a guy whose dad roomed with Thomas Jefferson at William and Mary, has two living grandchildren. No greats. Grandchildren.

Here’s how that works:

Tyler had eight children with his first wife, Letitia Christian.

A mere six ...

Read More Source

January 10th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The advantage of centralized government

I saw this interesting bit on Hacker News: by bhups:

The United States is a federation of self-governing states within which there are open borders and free trade…just like the European Union. The United States has a population of 320 million people, while the EU has a population of a similar order of magnitude: around 500 million. To many voters, the idea of enacting broad social welfare programs in the United States sounds just as infeasible as enacting similar programs ...

Read More Source

January 10th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to solve the problem of gerrymandering

All of the problems with gerrymandering can be solved by eliminating districts and holding all elections at the national level.

As a thought experiment, assume a society that is ruled by a legislature of 29 people. Each year, society votes and elects a single individual, who then serves for 29 years. One person elected per year for 29 years gives you a legislature of 29 people. If all local, city, and regional voting districts are abolished (the districts still exist, but ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The zeta function

If only all of math could be taught with essays as beautifully done as this one:

This builds up to an explanation of the Riemann Hypothesis

Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Publish only mode as the cure for burnout

This is an interesting idea:

So, instead, I decided to fix the root of the problem. I realized that I was letting too many people into my world, not delegating enough, and needed help maintaining my projects. I didn’t want to lose what I valued most about my position within our community—being able to influence the world I cared so much about.

So, I unfollowed everyone on Twitter. Every single person. I stopped paying attention to tech trends and reading hacker ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The collision of modern dating and traditional Islam

Interesting:

But Leyla would never allow anyone to dictate to her about whether she can wear tight jeans or high heels. And she does not want to feel ashamed for having had sex outside of marriage. Leyla dated a second man for two years and shared her past with him. But, she says, he treated her less respectfully with time, was often jealous and tried to stop her from going out with her friends. When Leyla finally broke it off ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

An anti-natalist quote from Schopenhauer

Interesting.

The conviction that the world, and therefore man too, is something which really ought not to exist is in fact calculated to instil in us indulgence towards one another: for what can be expected of beings placed in such a situation as we are? From this point of view one might indeed consider that the appropriate form of address between man and man ought to be, not monsieur, sir, but fellow sufferer, compagnon de misères. However strange this may sound ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Crazy times in Western democracies

Interesting:

The year that has passed dealt three tremendous shocks to Britain’s parliamentary system. Taken together, they constitute a quiet revolution: potentially the most significant recasting of how Britain is governed since the coming of universal suffrage. Understanding how this has happened, why it matters and what should be done about it is essential, if we are not to sleepwalk into new and potentially more dangerous forms of government in the year ahead.

The first great shock was Brexit, which struck the ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Gender confusion and abuse

This is a tough story to read:

When I was three years old, I saw my father break my mother’s ribcage. I also saw my baby sister being born. As she herself grew, Emily became everything I wasn’t- pretty, good at making friends, she just fit in so well as I struggled with interactions outside my home. I was very shy. I didn’t “click” well with other children and would prefer to spend hours or days by myself, making elaborate stories ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Conflict between mother and daughter

Such a sad story. This young woman died later that night of suicide.

According to a recording of that nearly five-minute call, a copy of which was obtained by KyCIR, an angry McMillen alternately screams at Gynnya and talks to the 911 operator, while the girl periodically cries out in the background.

“You dumb-ass whore, you gonna spend the rest of your goddamn 2½ years in a goddamn insane asylum with the rest of the retarded kids,” McMillen is heard ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The new political religion

I like his metaphor comparing this to a religion:

Sean Illing

Tell me why you decided to end your show. You say the show was a kind of experiment to see if it was possible to call it straight and tell the truth to a (mostly) conservative audience. Why did your experiment fail?

John Ziegler There are a lot of reasons why it failed, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was the election of Donald Trump. The part of this equation your ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why was stagnation so normal?

A bit of history has me wondering, once again, why stagnation was so normal for the last 200,000 years.

Davis and Stocker are interested not in the ruination of the palace, however, but in its beginnings. For several hundred years before the palace was built, the region was dominated by the Minoans, whose sophisticated civilization arose on Crete, with skilled artisans and craftsmen who traded widely in the Aegean, Mediterranean and beyond. By contrast, the people of mainland Greece, a ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

An aggressive, unpopular government

For the sake of stability and the rule of law, I see a need for governments to survive, despite being unpopular. But in those cases, the individual politicians need to be protected from voter anger, since the only benefit of allowing governance by the unpopular is so they can push through their laws their own constituents would hate.

To me, it seems like the worst of all possible forms of government to have rule-by-unpopular-minority combined with every-politician-is-vulnerable-and-afraid.

Which is what ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The nostalgia of the Star Wars saga

I think this is true of all the Star Wars movies, there is an avoidance of anything that resembles “science” or “technology” instead it’s all mysticism. It is a fantasy story that just happens to be set in space.

To explain: David Edelstein notes that the movie “it rehashes the plots of about a thousand World War II and/or Western films in which a brave squadron — a Magnificent Seven, a Dirty Dozen, a Force Five — prepares to sacrifice ...

Read More Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Where is there misogyny on Hacker News?

I’ll save this in case I’m ever asked this question again. lacampbell’s rant (apparently by Lewis Campbell) basically amounts to “I want kids but I don’t want to pay for them”. Astounding that this kind of ranting still goes on:

Source

January 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The injustice of the market

Interesting: Compare with Hayek’s Law, Legislation

and Liberty volume 2, pp. 73-74

It has been argued persuasively that people will tolerate major inequalities of the material positions only if they believe that the different individuals get on the whole what they deserve, that they did in fact support the market order only because (and so long as) they thought that the differences of remuneration corresponded roughly to differences of merit, and that in consequence the maintenance of a free society presupposes the ...

Read More Source

January 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The One Book religions

A friend wrote to ask me how I thought circumstances effected religious belief. I wrote this response.

—————————–

A fascinating fact is how much human religion was shaped by the lack of the printing press. Judaism, Islam, Christianity. These religions all arose after writing had been invented, but before the printing press. These are all One Book religions — the whole religion exists in a single book. In hindsight, it’s incredible how important this was. Before the printing press, there are ...

Read More Source

January 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Flashback to 2006: Stefan Esser quits the PHP security team

I think I linked to this many years ago, but the original blog post seems to have disappeared and now it only exists in the Wayback Machine, so I’ll link to it again:

Last night I finally retired from the PHP Security Response Team, that was initially my idea a few years ago.

The reasons for this are many, but the most important one is that I have realised that any attempt to improve the security of PHP from the inside ...

Read More Source

January 1st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Things I worry about

I thought this was a parody, but then I went to Twitter and I looked and it turns Trump actually wrote this.

He will be President of the United States in 3 weeks. This is simply incredible.

The election of Trump will be remembered as the worst self-inflicted disaster in history.

Source

December 30th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Jia Tolentino talks to Rebecca Traister

Interesting:

Jezebel: Your book starts with a big first line.“I always hated it when my heroines got married,” you write. You talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder, and how as soon as you look at the book cover for The First Four Years, you know her story is over now: she’s a mommy, she’s a wife. There’s Jo March, who suddenly phones it in, gets married and opens a school for boys; there’s Anne Shirley, who passes the narrative to her daughter.

I’m ...

Read More Source

December 30th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Madeleine Davies is angry

Interesting:

It’s strange that until recently, domestic literature is seen as dull and boring compared to tales of male adventure, especially when a woman’s life, beginning to end, is filled with violence. We’re born, we learn to be afraid, learn to be looked at, learn to be quiet, we bleed, we give birth, we age, we’re forgotten, and then we die. So much of what we encounter—marriage, raising children—is meant to hold us painfully still. Those who don’t offer gratitude for ...

Read More Source

December 29th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

We have learned something crucial about how humans learn

The biggest disappointment regarding the Internet is surely that there has been no increase in the rate of discoveries. If you’d asked me in the 1980s, I would have guessed that a world wide network of information would increase the speed of scientific breakthroughs. I would still have said the same thing in the late 1990s.

From the point of view of intellectuals, the Internet seems like Utopia: so much information!

How could such an incredible resource fail to help ...

Read More Source

December 29th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Gatekeeper moms

This is an interesting German magazine that I just discovered:

“The affected woman desperately attempts to be the most important person to the child and outdoes the father because she perceives him to be a threat,” says Leipold. These mothers, therefore, put the parenting bar so high that the father is bound to fail.

This behavior arises because of entrenched traditional roles where household duties are unequally distributed. These roles are so deeply embedded in the subconscious that they are hard to ...

Read More Source

December 29th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Zakiya Acey: We need to be able to get what we need in a way that we can actually consume it

The student learns nothing when the student is a consumer. Learning means maturing. Learning means becoming the change that one wants to see.

Interesting, but problematic:

Acey, who insists that Karega’s posts were more anti-Zionist than anti-Semitic, thinks professors often hide their racial biases. “But they’ll vote in a way that does not benefit the students,” he says. “Like, the way the courses are set up. You know, we’re paying for a service. We’re paying for our attendance here. We need ...

Read More Source

December 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The weakness of the technocrats

I like this, but it is not an original point. The same point was made about Kerensky:

Trump called Mexicans rapists and demanded a ban on Muslims entering the country. Clinton countered with plans for a “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship,” including measures to “fix the family visa backlog,” to “end the three- and 10-year bars,” and have “targeted” immigration enforcement.

Trump bragged about grabbing women by the “pussy.” Clinton planned to address “issues that affect ...

Read More Source

December 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The last romantic battle

Interesting bit from 1914:

A century later, it’s easy to dismiss all the remembrances and tributes as being overly sentimental and maudlin. What’s often forgotten, however, is what the temporary peace represented in the larger scheme of things. There’s a very good reason why a truce never happened again in this war and in subsequent wars — and much of it had to do with the changing nature of military strategy, the changing role of soldiers and how they engaged with ...

Read More Source

December 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Rising expectations versus Trump

This is well said:

This year is not the worst ever. Steven Pinker has argued, in his 2011 book “The Better Angels of Our Nature” and elsewhere, that the world is actually growing less violent with time. What hurts so badly right now, I think, is this sense of unexpected retrenchment—the fear that decades of incremental progress will be rapidly eradicated by an empty-headed demagogue who appears to be doing everything on a whim. Perhaps 2016 feels so terrible partly because ...

Read More Source

December 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Scientists on gender versus objectivity

Interesting:

Both male and female scientists felt that female scientists (light bars) were more objective, intelligent, etc. than male ones (dark bars), although the differences were larger when it was female scientists making the ratings.

Source

December 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Intelligence is a trade-off

Funny, and I also think this is true:

The Argument From Wooly Definitions

The concept of “general intelligence” in AI is famously slippery. Depending on the context, it can mean human-like reasoning ability, or skill at AI design, or the ability to understand and model human behavior, or proficiency with language, or the capacity to make correct predictions about the future.

What I find particularly suspect is the idea that “intelligence” is like CPU speed, in that any sufficiently smart entity can emulate ...

Read More Source

December 25th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The insanity of utopian thinking about Artificial Intelligence

Interesting:

Since I’m being critical of AI alarmism, it’s only fair that I put my own cards on the table.

I think our understanding of the mind is in the same position that alchemy was in in the seventeenth century.

Alchemists get a bad rap. We think of them as mystics who did not do a lot of experimental work. Modern research has revealed that they were far more diligent bench chemists than we gave them credit for.

In many cases they used modern ...

Read More Source

December 25th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Charles Dickens reports on poverty in 1856

Interesting:

Economists might also wince just a bit… Dickens writes: “I know that the unreasonable disciples of a reasonable school, demented disciples who push arithmetic and political economy beyond all bounds of sense (not to speak of such a weakness as humanity), and hold them to be all-sufficient for every case, can easily prove that such things ought to be, and that no man has any business to mind them. Without disparaging those indispensable sciences in their sanity, I utterly renounce ...

Read More Source

December 24th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Adam Smith on the division of labor

Interesting:

In some cases the state of the society necessarily places the greater part of individuals in such situations as naturally form in them, without any attention of government, almost all the abilities and virtues which that state requires, or perhaps can admit of. In other cases the state of the society does not place the part of individuals in such situations, and some attention of government is necessary in order to prevent the almost entire corruption and degeneracy of the ...

Read More Source

December 22nd, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

But as writer qua writer

It’s an interesting personal quirk that I understand entirely the need of skill when giving a talk, but I’ve always discounted the skill of writing qua writing. This is Menken reviewing Fitzgerald:

What gives the story distinction is something quite different from the management of the action or the handling of the characters; it is the charm and beauty of the writing. In Fitzgerald’s first days it seemed almost unimaginable that he would ever show such qualities. His writing then was ...

Read More Source

December 20th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Management theory is increasingly obsolete

I love the analogy to the Catholic Church before the Reformation:

The similarities between medieval Christianity and the world of management theory may not be obvious, but seek and ye shall find. Management theorists sanctify capitalism in much the same way that clergymen of yore sanctified feudalism. Business schools are the cathedrals of capitalism. Consultants are its travelling friars. Just as the clergy in the Middle Ages spoke in Latin to give their words an air of authority, management theorists ...

Read More Source

December 20th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Paul Krugman: American democracy is very much on the edge

Paul Krugman on how democracy might end in America:

Consider what just happened in North Carolina. The voters made a clear choice, electing a Democratic governor. The Republican legislature didn’t openly overturn the result — not this time, anyway — but it effectively stripped the governor’s office of power, ensuring that the will of the voters wouldn’t actually matter.

Combine this sort of thing with continuing efforts to disenfranchise or at least discourage voting by minority groups, and you have the potential ...

Read More Source

December 20th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

One family’s struggle with unemployment

This is a sad story:

I fret that I’m setting a bad example for my kids. I’m afraid that they see me as a cautionary tale, not a role model. When I talk to them, I try to emphasize the importance of hard work and being careful with money. I hope this is the side of me that gets through to them, not the man on his computer, endlessly clicking through applications, unable to muster up the courage to even tell ...

Read More Source

December 17th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Tracy Chou on discrimination in tech

This is an interesting essay, from Tracy Chou:

To be fair, no one is being intentionally sexist or rude (okay, some people may be, but they’re a known entity). The problem is that people are inadvertently being sexist or reaffirming sexist stereotypes. The problem is in the subtle, unspoken biases conveyed in tone of voice, brief hesitations, careless exclamations.

I don’t want to cast overarching generalizations over my gender, but for the sake of argument, females in engineering tend to have less ...

Read More Source

December 16th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The legacy of Obama

This article is interesting:

In the last two years, however, Obama has assumed his historic role with admirable eloquence and moral seriousness, in part, one suspects, because he accepted the fact that his presidency would not be transformative, and that he could, at best, be a bulwark against the racist furies that it unleashed; a civilized counterpoint to the vengeful white noise of the red states. As Régis Debray famously argued, “revolution revolutionizes the counter-revolution,” and so it has been with ...

Read More Source

December 16th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

President Lyndon Johnson on race relations

This is an interesting story:

That’s the context of one of the most famous statements on race ever attributed to President Johnson, an off-the-cuff observation he made to a young staffer, Bill Moyers, after encountering a display of blatant racism during a political visit to the South. Moyers tells it in the first person:

We were in Tennessee. During the motorcade, he spotted some ugly racial epithets scrawled on signs. Late that night in the hotel, when the local dignitaries had finished ...

Read More Source

December 16th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

What happens if linkrot takes away John Rogers?

I’m thinking about Trump and thinking again how funny this old quote is:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

What happens when John Rogers dies and this disappears?

And what happens, generally, ...

Read More Source

December 14th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Noah Smith offers 1930s Spain as an example for the USA today

Interesting:

This means that if the U.S. had a civil war along currently existing left-right lines – i.e., Republican voters vs. Democratic voters – the right would win. It would probably win more quickly and decisively than the Spanish right won. This is not just because of military sympathies and gun ownership, of course. The American right has a population advantage among men, who are more likely to fight in war than women. It also has greater organization, being mostly unified ...

Read More Source

December 14th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

What does astrology teach us about President Trump?

This is good:

Tr

ump was born under a lunar eclipse. An eclipse is disruptive to the cycle of light and dark. It blocks energy. Like putting your thumb over the bottle of soda and shaking it: an eruption is inevitable. Moon energy is also emotional. Trump is the embodiment of erratic emotional energy spraying out from the pressure valve of conscious control. Honey-boo-boo on three cans of Mountain Dew has better control of her emotional presence than our ...

Read More Source

December 14th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The saddest thing in the world is realizing that some people won’t ever change

I really laughed when I saw this one.

Source

December 10th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Sneering at the white working class

This article is interesting:

I’m not here to get into a fight with Krugman, but come on. Sure, the right-wing media fans the flames of this stuff, but is there really any question that liberal city folks tend to sneer at rural working-class folks? I’m not even talking about stuff like abortion and guns and gay marriage, where we disagree over major points of policy. I’m talking about lifestyle. Krugman talks about fast food, and that’s a decent example. Working-class folks ...

Read More Source

December 10th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Shelley Powers on gender and tech, and also some of my reflections on how the blogosphere operated at its peak

I’m gathering notes for a book. Below are some quotes Shelley Powers wrote about women in tech. You will perhaps recall that I quoted Powers often in my essay “RSS has been damaged by in-fighting among those who advocate for it”

I notice that her essays from 2003/2007 have suffered quite a bit of link rot. Many of the essays that she linked to are now gone. If there is an argument for RINA to replace the Internet, it is surely ...

Read More Source

December 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Kathryn Jezer-Morton shares the national disaster with her kids

This is both funny and sort of sad and also true:

There is a part of me that wants my kids to feel, at least in some relatively painless and abstract way, that the world is fucked.

I know that denying my kids presents won’t raise their consciousness; they’re three and six. A cheerful pile of gifts is not analogous with the sewer drain into which so many of my hopes for progress and assumptions about cultural cohesion have disappeared. But I ...

Read More Source

December 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Hacking online dating

I got a laugh out of this article:

In the same vein of thinking, I thought I’d make a small checklist of my own. As enticing as emails from IWantToTasteYou and DroopyEyzzzz69 are, I may need to heed Amy’s advice and change my approach.

Following are a few items from my checklist:

1. How do you feel about whiskey? 2. Are you allergic to cats? 3. Have you ever seen Human Centipede? 4. What are your thoughts on Archer? 5. Boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs? 6. Do you ...

Read More Source

December 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

What is politics?

I am astonished at how naive this is:

Political conflicts cause harm here. The values of Hacker News are intellectual curiosity and thoughtful conversation. Those things are lost when political emotions seize control. Our values are fragile—they’re like plants that get forgotten, then trampled and scorched in combat. HN is a garden, politics is war by other means, and war and gardening don’t mix.

Worse, these harsher patterns can spread through the rest of the culture, threatening the community as ...

Read More Source

December 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Hacker News commenters ranting about gender

This thread has some darkly reactionary comments:

As the stereotypical white-cis-male-scientist, this sort of statement has always bugged me. I was pushed from science at every turn- multiple teachers said I would be no good, wasn’t allowed to take advanced courses in HS, was seen as a wannabe by friends and peers, but at every step I also saw a concerted effort to get women and minorities into my field of choice (physics). Support groups, gender or race only clubs (never ...

Read More Source

December 7th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Matrix multiplication example

I love this

Source

December 7th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Beautiful poses for those with ugly politics

This is so good:

In Italy under Benito Mussolini, virility was reified and the “projection of the martial male body” became the personification the powerful and colonial state. Written onto that body are a series of myths about heroics, potency, and victory, as a model of masculine behavior, it was untouched by an (ostensibly immoral) social permissiveness. As a stand-in for security and normalcy, the martial male body masquerades as nature, as many have pointed out it substitutes “normalized” for historic ...

Read More Source

December 6th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Sampling versus Provenance

Why not record everyone’s name? Why not list everyone you sample from?

At the time of this writing, I haven’t heard a word from Arctander, or the curator, or the photo editor. The gallery responded only to one reporter, with one paragraph. The only person who has responded to my emails has been Hilton Als, who apologized (maintaining my fandom effortlessly), and asked how he could help.

He can’t, really. Because Arctander splattered paint over our image, it’s “good enough” to ...

Read More Source

December 6th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

There are no facts?

This is where we are right now:

Scottie Hughes is most famous as a Trump surrogate who got frequently trashed on live TV by anti-Trump Republican Ana Navarro. Hughes is still making the rounds defending Trump now that he has become our president-elect. The latest insane Trumpism she’s spewing word vomit on is his assertion that “millions voted illegally” in the election.

On Wednesday, Hughes appeared on The Diane Rehm Show, where she argued about the nature of facts: facts are now ...

Read More Source

December 4th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Did the Stoics want us to be happy?

Interesting:

In order to develop this further we might consider a popular critical image of Stoicism: a Stoic is someone who is powerless in the real world and so pretends that his or her happiness is something completely internal and within their own control. Got no money? Easy, just say that money is unnecessary for a good life and the problem is solved. According to a long line of modern critics of Stoicism from Hegel onwards, the Stoic is someone who ...

Read More Source

November 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

A fictional Thanksgiving

I went to a writer’s workshop where we we were given the following scenario: I live in 2 story house and I sleep upstairs. I invite people over for Thanksgiving Dinner. After dinner I say goodbye to people and go to sleep. I wake up middle night and go downstairs. 5 people, heavily armed with guns, are in a Mexican standoff.

We were given 10 minutes to write. I couldn’t think of anything original so I went with a riff that ...

Read More Source

November 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

If Sanders had been the candidate

If Sanders had been the candidate, it wouldn’t be so easy for people like Tim Duy to write essays like this:

That sense of hopelessness would be justifiably acute in rural areas. Economic development is hard work in the best of circumstances; across the sparsely populated vastness of rural America, it is virtually impossible. The victories are – and will continue to be – few and far between.

The tough reality of economic development is that it will always be easier to ...

Read More Source

November 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Sima Qian: The remorse I felt at the prospect of leaving the achievement dearest my heart incomplete

This is an impressive dedication to one’s art:

In surrendering alive Li Ling destroyed the reputation of his family. When I followed by submitting to the “silkworm chamber ” I became a second laughingstock. Oh, such shame! This is not something I could ever bring myself to recount to an ordinary person.… A man dies only once. His death may be a matter weighty as Mount Tai or light as a feather. It all depends on the reason for which ...

Read More Source

November 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

We could build a progressive movement that makes life better for everyone

Interesting. But these assertions can not be reconciled, they contradict:

One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich. Class migrants (white-collar professionals born to blue-collar families) report that “professional people were generally suspect” and that managers are college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job,” said Alfred Lubrano in Limbo. Barbara Ehrenreich recalled ...

Read More Source

November 26th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Secrecy is contagious

Interesting:

Imagine the scenario: you’re a security officer working at Los Alamos. You know that spheres are weapon parts. You walk into a technical area, and you see spheres all around! Is that an ashtray, or it is a model of a plutonium pit? Anxiety mounts — does the ashtray go into a safe at the end of the day, or does it stay out on the desk? (Has someone been tapping their cigarettes out into the pit model?)

All of this ...

Read More Source

November 26th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Devin Faraci Steps Down as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death

Interesting:

All of this is hugely disappointing, because Faraci has always presented himself as a feminist and has written extensively about female representation in pop culture, the dearth of female directors, etc. We’ve even quoted him and his work here at TMS. So, to know that he is also someone who may have allegedly committed an assault like the one described in the tweet above is hugely disappointing, because actions like this always feel worse when they come from people you ...

Read More Source

November 25th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Emily Witt talks about the non-conformist marriage

Interesting:

In the book, you also write about your friends getting married but trying to divest themselves of the traditional patriarchal signifiers of marriage. This is such an “educated person” trend in marriage, the idea that a couple is going to engage in this really traditional institution in an untraditional way…

It’s a whole generational thing, to not be conformists.

You seem very wary of the claim that you can sever the institution from its history.

A lot of people will probably criticize ...

Read More Source

November 25th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

How Paula Scher remains productive

Interesting:

What is your biggest challenge as a designer? Not to repeat. I’ve been designing for over 40 years now, so the question becomes how to approach something with a new point of view. How am I not jaded?

Do you have any productivity tricks? I have a productivity trick that I didn’t know I had until I heard about it on a radio program. NPR did this interview with experts about boredom. iPhones and other forms of digital media were disrupting boredom, because ...

Read More Source

November 25th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The bird with 4 sexes

Interesting:

Every summer for more than 25 years, Gonser and his wife, Elaina Tuttle, had made the trip to this field station in the Adirondack Mountains — a 45-minute boat ride from the nearest road. Now, as he moored his boat to the shaky wooden dock, he heard a familiar and short song that sounded like ‘oh-sweet-Canada’. The whistle was from a white-throated sparrow calling hopefully for a mate.

What he didn’t hear was the voice or laughter of his wife. For ...

Read More Source

November 23rd, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Doping at the Olympics

This is sad, but the opposite is also very interesting: 25 athletes took performance enhancing drugs and failed to win at the Olympics. That says a lot about the limits of such drugs. They don’t ensure victory.

More than 75 athletes from those two Olympics have been found, upon further scrutiny, to be guilty of doping violations. The majority are from Russia and other Eastern European countries. At least 40 of them won medals. Disciplinary proceedings are continuing against other ...

Read More Source

November 22nd, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

An interview with Emily Witt

This is an interesting article:

There’s this book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts, and it’s about search data and it argues that men prefer visuals and women prefer stories. I do think that men tend to be more visual but visuals work on women. Visuals work on me, I just didn’t want them to. I experienced getting turned on by something like that with panic and anxiety. When I let myself recognize that it was happening, that it was me by ...

Read More Source

November 18th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why didn’t Lindsey Graham ever marry?

The article doesn’t raise the issue of Graham being gay. In the year 2016, that is what everyone reading will think of first.

Speaking of marriage, Graham writes: “I haven’t been lucky that way. But I have a family.”

“I have Darline, and her family. She’s married and the mother of two, and a respected professional, who runs the public information office of the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation,” he writes. “I’m as proud of her as my parents would have ...

Read More Source

November 18th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

How Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne fell apart

It’s always a bit sad when a great artistic team can’t get along with each other:

For more than a few comic-book readers, it doesn’t get much better than the run writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne shared on Uncanny X-Men at Marvel in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The nearly four years they spent together chronicling the adventures of the Children of the Atom produced some of the most beloved Marvel Comics stories of all time, including “The ...

Read More Source

November 18th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Larry Summers has a new attitude about the phrase “political correctness”

Larry Summers lost his job at Harvard because some people felt some of his remarks were sexist. At that time he complained about “political correctness”. I am cheered to see him come round on this issue:

I have made no secret over the years of my conviction that the sensitivities of individuals or members of various group should not be permitted to chill free speech on college campuses. I have the scars to show for speaking out against overdoing the idea ...

Read More Source

November 18th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The hate machine

The rule “Don’t feed the trolls” has to be balanced by the occasional moment when journalists go on the record to record the hate they receive.

Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

When the government is weak, people turn to the Mafia

Or the public turns to fascists such as Mussolini. Interesting:

References to a criminal group resembling the ’Ndrangheta first appear in the late 19th century. But it was not until 1955 that a derivative of the name appeared in print – and even then with a slightly different spelling – when the Calabrian writer Corrado Alvaro tried to explain the mindset of the inhabitants of his poverty-stricken birthplace. His fellow Calabrians, he wrote in Corriere della Sera, were helpless in the ...

Read More Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The consent of the governed

from the Declaration of Independence.

I hate Thomas Jefferson for several reasons. Not just because he is a rapist pedophile, although that doesn’t win him much admiration, does it? I also hate him because of his intellectual laziness and incoherence. Consider these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure ...

Read More Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Lady Parts reacts to the election

One of the many reactions from the artistic community, of what I assume will soon be a mass movement:

The sensation I felt as the electoral map started bleeding red Tuesday night was deeply familiar to me. It was that sickening, unshakable sensation that begins somewhere behind your navel, subtly shifting your center of gravity as it prepares your body to fight, fly, or freeze. It was the sensation that pools heavily in your core, forcing the air from your lungs ...

Read More Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Poland’s tragic rejection of the West

Very sad to see Poland fall so low, but I suppose the USA has also fallen just as low:

Law and Justice’s particular resentments, above all its virulent anti-Communism in the absence of actual Communists, may be distinctly Polish. But in its revolt against European liberalism, the party stands at the forefront of a growing movement. The one unifying feature of Western democracies today is the rise of nativist, nationalist parties. All of them tap a deep and thickening vein of ...

Read More Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Your headscarf isn’t allowed anymore

It is worrisome that this can happen in the USA in 2016:

“Quit overreacting, it’s just politics,” crow the Trump sympathizers (because truly, anyone who says that, even if they didn’t vote for him, is a Trump sympathizer). Tell that to the Muslim high school teacher who received a note from a student suggesting she hang herself with her headscarf.

“Your headscarf isn’t allowed anymore,” read a flag-adorned note addressed to Mairah Teli, a 24-year-old language arts teacher in Georgia. “Why don’t ...

Read More Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Lady Chatterley’s Lover as a weapon against censorship in the USA

Interesting:

In 1954, when Grove Press was still in its infancy, Mark Schorer, the distinguished literary scholar and professor of English at Berkeley, wrote to me suggesting that we publish an unexpurgated edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. D. H. Lawrence’s last major work had long been banned in England and put on the “proscribed” list by the United States Post Office Department. Now, Professor Schorer, whom I had never met in person, had placed the Lady on our doorstep. Here she ...

Read More Source

November 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The performance aspects of men announcing they voted for Clinton

Interesting:

In the waning moments of the presidential election, my co-workers and I have noticed a certain trend: self-identified liberal men who are desperate to perform political awareness. They are eager to tell you that they voted for Hillary Clinton, while subsequently outlining all of the reasons why voting for her was a Herculean task in which they miraculously overcame themselves. Their endorsements of Clinton aren’t necessarily endorsements, but rather an acknowledgment that voting for Donald Trump is unconscionable.

It’s a kind ...

Read More Source

November 12th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Angela Merkel reacts to the election

How incredibly weird that Germany is now the last defender of the West. I suppose this is when it can pay back its moral debt.

Much like her initial response to the Brexit vote — urging calm and expressing the intent to work for a close relationship with Britain no matter what — Ms. Merkel’s reaction to the election of Mr. Trump was deft.

On a fateful date when Germans are usually preoccupied with remembering Kristallnacht — the Nazis’ pogroms against ...

Read More Source

November 12th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Harry Reid reacts to the election

He writes:

“I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics. Hispanic Americans who fear their families will be torn apart, African Americans being heckled on the street, Muslim Americans afraid to wear a headscarf, gay and lesbian couples having slurs hurled at them and feeling afraid to walk down the street holding hands. American children waking ...

Read More Source

November 11th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Jean Paul Sartre, Troubled Sleep, Donald Trump

I look forward to moving past the shock, but never the outrage. I am pleased to think that the outrage is just getting started. What I mean by that is something like the feeling expressed by Jean Paul Sartre, in his novel Troubled Sleep, about World War II.

In the novel, Germany invades France, but the French soldiers don’t truly understand that they are at war.

The Germans destroy village after village, but the French soldiers don’t truly understand that they are ...

Read More Source

November 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Alex Pareene reacts to the election

He writes:

Blame white people. Blame white men in particular, but reserve plenty of blame for white women. Blame old people, too. Blame rich people, as always. Blame the public at large for Donald fucking Trump getting more votes than Donald Duck. Democracy enacts the will of the public; this is what the public wants.

Blame the Founders for enshrining white supremacy in our constitution and making it nearly impossible to fully expunge. Blame a political system that advantages rural areas at ...

Read More Source

November 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Kelly Stout writes about the election

She writes:

The Clinton campaign itself responded to Trump’s historic hatred with an ad that featured young girls listening to Trump’s words as they inspected themselves in the mirror. The ad’s implicit promise was that a vote for Hillary Clinton might unsay Trump’s words and deliver us a nation in which little girls can get dressed for school without ever having heard Donald Trump’s voice in the other room saying, “A person who’s flat-chested—it’s very hard to be a ‘10.’” Your ...

Read More Source

November 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Rich Juzwiak on the election

He writes:

I started getting mocked for being gay in the second grade, before I even knew what “gay” was. To cope, I learned the power in selective listening. We need to rely upon the world to tell us about ourselves, and yet as early as 8 or 9, I knew I had to temper my credulity. And no matter how much hurt I might have felt when I was derided, I knew they were wrong. The wrongness of hating ...

Read More Source

November 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Clover Hope reacts to the election

She writes:

Last night, the hidden factions of white supremacy fully emerged, though we know they were never really hidden. You could call Donald Trump’s win a shock, but that’s also another lie. The blinding red map last night that looks so much like blood, and feels so much like a relapse, is simply the reality of existence. Did you need to see it?

Overwhelmingly, white people voted to preserve whiteness. Fifty-eight percent of white Americans, according to CNN’s exit polls, voted ...

Read More Source

November 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Krugman reacts to the election

He writes:

First of all, it’s always important to remember that elections determine who has the power, not who has the truth. The stunning upset doesn’t mean that the alt-right is correct to view nonwhites as inferior, that voodoo economics works, whatever. And you have to hold to the truth as best you see it, even if it suffers political defeat.

That said, does it make sense on a personal level to keep struggling after this kind of blow? Why not give ...

Read More Source

November 6th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Please finish this paragraph

This is from an article about “The 15 Coolest Neighborhoods In The World”. What strikes me is how international the definition of “cool” currently is. How many neighborhoods could we write this paragraph for?

_____ is a hothouse of alternative culture and creativity. A young population have flocked to the area in recent years, leading to an upsurge in cool and quirky shopping, eating, drinking and partying venues. This neighborhood is renowned for its vintage shopping scene. A must-visit is ________, ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Boring and failed attempts to produce a story about something strange and new

Interesting:

Later in 2012, Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall told Empire Online that an (unnamed) HBO executive producer would lean over him and egg him on to include more full-frontal nudity, and that he “represents the perv side of the audience.” In 2014, True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto told BuzzFeed that there’s a “clear mandate in pay-cable for a certain level of nudity.”

As it turns out, SNL wasn’t all that far off.

Even setting aside HBO’s proclivity for more nudity at ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The sacrifices of dancers

Interesting:

At 35, Alexandra has only recently come to a realization that most of us are forced to reckon with much, much earlier: “You can try to do everything right and it still may not work.” Though she spends many of her days in an office, she says she’s not an office person. Learning to communicate verbally has been a challenge. “I didn’t realize how introverted I was. I had been so used to emoting silently and physically.” Nonetheless, she is ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why we need more queer stories

Interesting:

The plot of As I Descended both hinges on the characters’ queerness and transcends it—there’s nothing about the book that would be inaccessible to a straight reader, but same-sex romance is an inextricable part of its plot. In a literary environment where LGBTQ representation is still catching up from centuries of erasure, it’s refreshing to see a queer protagonist like Maria, not a stereotype nor a trope but a deeply flawed, complicated person battling conflicting desires. When Maria gives in ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Criticizing sexism in Hollywood

There is clearly new energy in the movement to give women equal standing in professional fields. I wonder why this energy runs so strong in some decades and disappears in others? It was running white hot in the 1970s, then faded in the 80s and 90s, and now its back. An example of our times:

In an open letter titled “You’ll Never Work In This Town Again,” published on her husband Ashton Kutcher’s website A Plus – underwritten by Chicken Soup ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Hiding gender politics in games

Games can have invisible politics, and the fact that the politics are hidden in the mechanics of the game makes the message much more powerful than if it were overt. Consider that these words are more controversial than the game they comment on, and you’ll realize the political power of games:

In an article headlined “How RimWorld’s Code Defines Strict Gender Roles” writer and academic Claudia Lo dug into RimWorld’s code and found that “there are no bisexual men, only ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The death of the crow

Linda Guzynski tells a story about a crow, who eventually dies. She offers this bit of astrological wisdom:

Sometimes we come to an astrologer to be told when the next great dollop of goodness is going to come our way. I am guilty of looking longingly at my chart, calculating the next ease from the “benifics” and scorning the heavier transits from the “malefics”. I do know that this life is not about being effortlessly served bon-bons of our whimsy, ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

When corporations try to use copyright law to silence their critics

Interesting:

But as Audrey Alford found out, actors can’t even sound the alarm about it.

Alford, co-founder of the New York-based Ivy Theatre Company, first saw the casting call for a Nick Jonas summer tour video partially quoted in an actor friend’s Facebook post in May. The job description, which had been posted on Actors Access, requested “stunning female models,” “the kind of girls Nick Jonas would have a crush on,” as in, “mainly Caucasian,” with possible, “ethnic flare, like Indian ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

What progressives should say to people who want to vote for Jill Stein and the Green party

The correct way to deal with folks who want to vote 3rd party is to talk about amending the Constitution so that America can have 3rd parties, like other Western nations. There is clearly a large group in the USA who would prefer to have a parliamentary system as is common in Europe.

This is potentially a good idea, so it is curious that it doesn’t get more discussion. Perhaps we all know the right-wing will oppose any amendment to ...

Read More Source

November 5th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The New York Times reacts to sessesion

This is from 1861:

Among the many voices raised in Europe over the disaster of secession, amid the groans of sorrow, cries of indignation and tones of sympathy which reach us from many lands beyond the sea, there is one neither loud nor mocking, but which, like the endless monotone in the poet’s description of the uproar in hell, is more tormenting than all the other sounds combined. We mean that complacent “We told you so” of the friends of the ...

Read More Source

November 1st, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

In the Alogos, the algotrons have an identity function

Very interesting:

The reasoning behind the idea comes from several earlier discoveries by physicists, such as a 2006 paper by Shinsei Ryu and Tadashi Takayanagi showing a connection between entanglement and the geometry of spacetime. Building on that work, in 2013 Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind found that if two black holes became entangled, they would create a wormhole—a shortcut in spacetime predicted by general relativity. This discovery (nicknamed ER=EPR, after physicists’ shorthand for wormholes and entanglement) and others like it ...

Read More Source

November 1st, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Failures at adulting

I can relate to the feeling of not having real adult stuff, though my parents and family were never a reference point for me. Rather, I went the other way: my parents moved out of New York, to live in the suburbs, I moved out of the suburbs to move to New York. I have never struggled “to find relevance in a slew of anachronistic cultural detritus” but rather was happy to invest new cultural expressions. But I didn’t exceed ...

Read More Source

October 31st, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Voter fraud in Iowa

I am having trouble thinking of the last time another Western nation had a vote with this much irony.

An Iowa woman arrested on charges she voted twice for Donald Trump attempted to explain her behavior by stating that “the polls are rigged,” according to Iowa Public Radio.

…Vote fraud is extraordinarily rare, despite Trump’s repeated claims during the campaign; a comprehensive study found 31 fraudulent votes in one billion cast. And when it does happen, basic safeguards identify the ...

Read More Source

October 30th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

I like echo chambers

It’s rare for people to argue in good faith on the Internet, which is why I think people look for walled gardens, where they can talk to people who agree with them.

You know what I’ve decided? That I like so called echo chambers, like Jez, and I’ll admit it. The reason I say this is that no one argues in good faith. I love hearing differing opinions and sharing mine but Jesus fucking Christ everything is a damn gotcha ...

Read More Source

October 29th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Being judged incapable of producing your own work BURNS

So true!. This happened to me in 4th grade. My teacher asked a question about the coast of Africa. I answered the question, then added that South America had split off from Africa, and, according to the theory of plate tectonics, all of the continents had belonged to the super continent Pangea, which began to break up about 180 million years ago… My teacher then cut me off with an abrupt “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ...

Read More Source

October 29th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Democracy is a colossal swindle

From Mencken. The parts of this paragraph that arise from direct observation are very good. The parts that don’t arise from direct observation are very bad.

I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: ...

Read More Source

October 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

It sets a trap like a spider building a web, or a witch casting a spell

Starbird Astrology is using her skills to decipher Hillary Clinton. I think this description of a Scorpio sums up Clinton very well:

Hillary’s Sun, Venus and Mercury are in Scorpio, also a feminine sign. Mars the warrior is the traditional ruler of Aries and Scorpio. Unlike his Aries’ direct and naive persona, the Scorpio soldier requires different tactics. Scorpio is a nocturnal sign and charging rashly forward in the dark is not wise; you might fall off a cliff or ...

Read More Source

October 28th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

She had not asked such questions before

Such a tragic waste of resources, especially the brilliance of these minds:

For example, while studying the epidemiology of HIV and tuberculosis, one of us (T.O.) realized that many people with these infectious diseases in urban areas also have non-infectious conditions, including hypertension and obesity. Hardly anyone was examining how and why, or investigating strategies for integrated prevention and management. Her proposals to research these topics were not well received by peer reviewers, who commented that she had not asked such ...

Read More Source

October 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why are Americans so good at sports and so bad at math?

Interesting:

Yet my children’s experience of school in America is in some ways as indifferent as their swimming classes are good, for the country’s elementary schools seem strangely averse to teaching children much stuff. According to the OECD’s latest international education rankings, American children are rated average at reading, below average at science, and poor at maths, at which they rank 27th out of 34 developed countries. At 15, children in Massachusetts, where education standards are higher than in most states, ...

Read More Source

October 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Until 1896, not a single Election Day passed in the United States without someone getting killed at the polls

Interesting:

Most Americans have forgotten how rough our elections used to be. But early in the republic, political violence was the norm, not the exception. “Until 1896, not a single Election Day passed in the United States without someone getting killed at the polls,” historian Jill Lepore writes in the New Yorker.

The most notable period of election-related violence came during Reconstruction, the Northern effort to rebuild the South after the Civil War and empower black citizens. The postwar attempt by black ...

Read More Source

October 27th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

When The Nas looked out his window and wrote what he saw

Nobody knows what caused the crime in the USA from 1963 to 1993. Nobody knows why it ended. It’s is the most important cultural event of the last 60 years, waiting to be explained. One lens we can use to talk about it is Hip Hop. And New York played a special role in that crime wave, and any explanation needs to tell a special story about New York. And those who were there at the time, and looked out ...

Read More Source

October 20th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

This was the war witnessed by Thucydides

So true! Thucydides has very few equals.

Thebes and Plataea were separated by only seven miles. That is barely a shadow on the frontier of the greater ancient empires. Even the fabled Sicilian campaign, whose distance robbed Athens of her empire, was only half as far away as Caesar wandered from Rome, and only a fourth of the distance Han warriors traveled from their capitals at Chang’an or Luoyang to the farthest frontier of their empire.

A bit less than three hundred ...

Read More Source

October 18th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

In 2024 Michelle Obama will become our second female President

I think this is obvious, but it is still worth saying. And I believe she will be a good President.

Source

October 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The odd rhetoric for expressing outrage, in the Republican party

Interesting:

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, used a written statement of displeasure with Trump to identify himself as “the father of three daughters.” This was apparently a wellspring of his pique, which didn’t rise to the level of actually rescinding his endorsement of Trump. Would a fourth daughter have done the trick? A fifth?

“As a husband and father” was how Mike Pence, who has a son and two daughters, commenced his own short-lived reprimand of Trump. Jeb Bush tweeted that ...

Read More Source

October 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

The stagnation in the USA

All 4 of my grandparents were born overseas. They arrived in the USA in the 1920s. They would be surprised by the recent stagnation. Interesting:

When progress is the norm, it feeds on itself. People can trust that their own sacrifices will usually pay off. They can endure hard times without becoming cynical and can be generous toward others.

Now, imagine a different reality: one in which your family — or whole community — had known scant progress for decades.

You couldn’t tell ...

Read More Source

October 13th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Chimamanda Adichie talks about Beyonce

Interesting:

Her type of feminism is not mine, as it is the kind that, at the same time, gives quite a lot of space to the necessity of men. I think men are lovely, but I don’t think that women should relate everything they do to men. Did he hurt me? Do I forgive him? Did he put a ring on my finger? We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men. Put a group of women together and the ...

Read More Source

October 10th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Anti-Chinese sentiment in New York City in 2016

This is a surprising story, in New York City of all places! And in the year 2016!

An editor at the NY Times used Twitter to recount an extremely disturbing incident that unfolded in Manhattan today. Or it just sums up what America has turned into, a depressing cauldron of resentment and ignorance. Michael Luo tweeted, “Well dressed woman on Upper East Side, annoyed by our stroller, yells: “Go back to China…go back to your f—ing country.” #thisis2016.”

Then he continued, “I ...

Read More Source

October 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

California history foreshadows modern politics

Interesting:

Who are the Golden State thinkers who have helped build a sophisticated case for the proudly unsophisticated presidential candidate? In the northern half of the state, there’s Victor Davis Hanson, the celebrated Hoover Institution classicist who has favorably described Trump as a “D-11 bulldozer blade” against a bankrupt Acela establishment, and Ron Unz, an idiosyncratic Bay Area political activist and entrepreneur who publishes the Unz Review, a Trump-friendly, highbrow online journal with a devoted following.

Curtis Yarvin, the software developer ...

Read More Source

October 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Ross Douthat describes post liberal thought

Interesting:

The liberal system’s weak spots did not go away. It delivered peace and order and prosperity, but it attenuated pre-liberal forces – tribal, familial, religious — that speak more deeply than consumer capitalism to basic human needs: the craving for honor, the yearning for community, the desire for metaphysical hope.

Those needs endured, muted but not eliminated by greater social equality and rising G.D.P. Nonetheless the liberal consensus seemed impressively resilient, even in the midst of elite misgovernment. 9/11 did ...

Read More Source

October 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Samuel Beckett looks miserable with success

Interesting

He remains hectically, miserably busy. ‘Forgive delay in answering yours of Jan 18,’ he writes to Alan Schneider in February 1966. ‘Have been up to my eyes since Xmas. Preparing and shooting here film of Play, then London for Eh Joe with Jack and a record and poetry reading with same. Back now finishing film and rehearsing new show at Odéon. Play, Come & Go, Pinget’s Hypothèse and two Ionesco shorts — Délire à Deux & La Lacune.’ When he’s ...

Read More Source

October 9th, 2016

In Philosophy

No Comments

Distrust the other

This is a rather pure expression of the bias that comments can not be trusted unless they come from someone who looks just like us.

Source