Dec 072016
 

I’ve always been pro-Gentrification (or at least, not anti-Gentrification), and couldn’t quite understand why anyone wouldn’t be. This post has finally explained it in a way that *makes sense* (hooray for opposing perspectives!). Mad props to commenter Dirdle for bringing this article to my attention. I am updating my thinking somewhat… tho it’s still very hard to feel sympathy of people who are awful assholes.

“Even though gentrification is clearly and unambiguously for the greater good, and a net benefit to society, it causes concentrated pain on a small collection of people. Further, as a side effect, it chooses a subset of those people, the subset that suffers the most already, and heaps even more suffering onto them to get it out of the way of normal people who just want to live in the Mission (analogy: take part in nerd culture).”

And yeah… this reads like apologetics for assholes, and that there’s no reason anyone *has to* be an asshole, social skills can be learned if you try. IRL I certainly have little patience for assholery, and I don’t ever try to defend it.

For me tho, this wasn’t about trying to defend assholes, in so much as it was explaining why gentrification is bad. It drew an analogy that I could understand. The whole “the rest of the world is hostile and horrible, and this is my one safe place, and now I’m losing it because the world judges me as *not good enough*” resonated with me. That I was finally able to understand that was enlightening enough that I was OK with handwaving the actual analogy and pretending for a little while that they have little control over their general levels of assholeness.

More than anything else, I thought back to my own online communities in high school, which kept me going thru the shit years. And I remembered the terror when my local ISP went down for three days and I was cut off from them entirely, and I realized my entire world depended on some flimsy circuit boards that could be crushed any moment. That was the feeling this article brought up, and drew a direct line from that to gentrification.

 

Hey Google… when I have to use an ad-blocker to disable your “features,” you’re turning into MicroSoft. I shouldn’t need third party software to revert yours to functionality. >.< It’s not that I’m against Google putting in new features, but the fact that Explore is obnoxious and intrusive, and cannot be turned off is awful.

 

Immigration Can Increase The Amount Your Country Is Like Itself. Ouch-note: “Liberals are so stubborn about moving to big cities in blue states that it was a pretty major factor in this election: if liberals all stayed where we were born, Hillary might have won.”
(to clarify, the post is in favor of moving to friendly territory, this is a tongue-in-cheek observation)

 

“Can I do something RIGHT NOW to make the Trump presidency less awful, without getting off my butt or spending any money?”
MAYBE!
Trump has an online survey asking what he should focus on in his first 100 days. There are some options that are much less destructive than others. If enough people vote “Highly Important” for the least destructive ones, and “Not Important” for the most destructive ones, there is a chance he’ll neglect the most awful goals in favor of the less awful ones.
Of course this depends on him actually taking the results of an online poll seriously (and on enough sane people answering to influence the results), but that’s the crazy thing about Trump. You never know what crazy shit he’s gonna take seriously!
(Also, don’t just vote “Not Important” for all, that has the same effect as not voting at all. You gotta actually rank them to direct focus toward less bad options.)
IMPORTANT – do NOT let this replace *actual* doing of stuff and donating of money. This is literally the least anyone can possibly do, please don’t stop at the literal least.

 

If you need to smile today – 24 Pics That Prove ‘Ken M’ Is The Greatest Troll On The Internet. He makes the dread Comments Section fun! :)

 

“A girl dying of cancer wanted to use cryonic preservation to have a chance at being revived in the future. While supported by her mother the father disagreed; in a recent high court ruling, the judge found that she could be cryopreserved.”
The link is to an analysis article, because it’s less emotionally harrowing. In its first paragraph it links back to the BBC news article, which makes me want to cry and cheer at once. I can’t imagine the terror of not having legal bodily autonomy to the point that a parent could simply decide they want to kill me and that almost being OK!! Well, yes I can actually, which is why this was so awful to read. Some people are so freakin evil. :(

Wut?? Trump got more votes from people of color than Romney did. “The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people.”

 

As always, David Wong kills it. How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind
“If you don’t live in one of these small towns, you can’t understand the hopelessness.”

 

“our brains are incredibly powerful organs, but their native architecture doesn’t care about high-minded ideals like Truth. They’re designed to work tirelessly and efficiently in our self-interest. So if a brain anticipates that it will be rewarded for adopting a particular belief, it’s perfectly happy to do so, and doesn’t much care where the reward comes from

“If we could arrange for our peers to judge us solely for the accuracy of our beliefs, then we’d have no incentive to believe anything but the truth.
In other words, we do need to teach rationality and critical thinking skills — not just to ourselves, but to everyone at once.”

 

Holy crap, awesome!! I dunno if I’m biased, but seriously, why are all the best shows animated? I have a hard time bothering with live-action tv anymore.

 

If you haven’t gotten your HPV vaccine yet, this is your reminder. The startling rise in oral cancer in men, and what it says about our changing sexual habits. Also a reminder to cure cancer, but that one’s less personally-actionable.

 

The dinosaurs spot the first hints of an asteroid on the horizon… 3D Printing Is Going to Turn the Miniatures Gaming Market Into a War Zone

 

 

Casual Love
“We have a mythology surrounding romantic love that says it’s a special, rare feeling, reserved for just a few people in your whole life… and that falling in love is A MAJOR LIFE EVENT, about which SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
If we can agree that our bodies are not inherently dangerous, can’t we do the same for our hearts?
I suggest we take a page from the casual sex book here. Let’s lift some of the weighty grandiosity off the shoulders of love, and allow it to be what it is: a sweet, ephemeral, exciting feeling to experience and share.
[…]
The big advantage for the lover is that falling in love will feel less scary, life-threatening, and crazy-making. As long as love is theoretically reserved for people whom you want to date and possibly marry, falling in love will be confusing and dramatic. If we interpret this particular set of feelings and thoughts as an epic, life-changing event, we’ll have no choice but to get really, really attached to our beloved. We’ll throw a lot of expectations at them…
[…]
The big advantage for the beloved is that being loved will feel less like an attack, and more like a gift. The little-discussed fact is that it’s super uncomfortable to be loved when the feeling is not mutual. So uncomfortable, in fact, that many of us would rather act like callous, cold-hearted assholes than be in the same room as the person who loves us.[…]But that’s not an aversion to love, or to the lover; it’s the attachment and expectation being hurled in our direction with such intensity.”

 

Awesomeness by amazing friends!

 

Unsong Change Log
PATCH 5776.11 IS NOW COMPLETE. WORK HAS BEGUN ON PATCH 5777.0. HERE IS A FINAL CHANGELOG FOR PATCH 5776.11:
1. HUMANS NO LONGER DEPLETE WILLPOWER WHEN ENGAGING IN DIFFICULT TASKS; GLUCOSE NO LONGER NECESSARY TO REPLENISH IT.
2. ROCKETS CAN NOW LAND ON PLATFORMS AND BE REUSED IF NEEDED.
3. USER FFUKUYAMA COMPLAINS THAT THE POLITICAL SYSTEM HAS BECOME BORING. IN ORDER TO MAKE THINGS MORE INTERESTING, FIRST WORLD COUNTRIES WILL OCCASIONALLY FLIRT WITH FAR-RIGHT NATIONALISM.
4. UK NO LONGER CONSIDERED PART OF EUROPE FOR PURPOSE OF ECONOMIC BONUSES.
5. VOLKSWAGENS NOW REPORT CORRECT GAS MILEAGE STATISTICS.
(more at link)…
(probably funnier if you read Unsong, but still good!)

 

From Lambdaphagy on tumblr, quoting Murray:
“The broadest goal is a society in which people throughout the functional range of intelligence can find, and feel they have found, a valued place for themselves. For “valued place,” I will give you a pragmatic definition: you occupy a valued place if other people would miss you if you were gone. The fact that you would be missed means that you were valued. Both the quality and quantity of valued places are important. A beloved spouse is that someone who would “miss you” in the widest and most intense way. But to have many different people who would miss you, in many different parts of your life and at many levels of intensity, is also a hallmark of a person whose “place” is well and thoroughly valued. One way of thinking about policy options is to ask whether they aid or obstruct this goal of creating valued places.
It used to be a lot easier than it is now.”

Nov 222016
 

img_20161117_230102978I’ve kinda adopted Starbucks as my make-shift office. Last week, we got the first snow of the season, and Starbucks played Christmas Carols all day. :) <3

Today, it’s snowing again, and we have carols again! Squeeeeee!

Some grinchy friends complained about Thanksgiving being absorbed by Christmas. Apparently they don’t understand about The Holiday Season. I will clarify for them now–

Thanksgiving is basically just Christmas Lite. It’s a warm-up. It’s the pre-season of Christmas. If your Xmas Tree isn’t up for Thanksgiving, you’re doing it wrong. (“Just one calorie of Xmas. Not Xmas enough.”)

Hooray for the Holidays!!

(oh, quick carol hack for anyone who hates the super-Jesus-y carols as much as I do – get both the HP Lovecraft Historical Society’s Solstice Carol albums. They are so much fun, and now I have much better lyrics in my head to take the place of all the Jesus-y ones when those come on. :) )

Nov 172016
 

toafI have this personal theory about Thamiel, from Unsong.

Note – I apologize if this has already been discussed in comments at some point. I read all comments on a chapter when I first read the chapter, but I don’t have the time/ability to keep up with all the discussion as it develops. I am eternally grateful to the commenters who link back to developed fan-theories in newer comments, they’re super helpful!

Anyway. Thamiel was once a necessary and positive force within creation. An aspect of the divine. Thamiel was Justice.

“You convince God to save Sodom. And what do you get? A city full of Sodomites. The scum of the earth. Worms and maggots infesting the world. And now they’ll never stop, because you showed them they’ll never face punishment for their crimes.”

Justice is a vital force in the real world. A world without Justice would be far more terrible than what we have. Thamiel’s purpose was to make sure that Justice was served. That evil was punished, and deterrents preserved. But Thamiel was not created with proper limitations. Justice is the only thing he cares for, and he wants endlessly increasing amounts of it.

What’s an effective way to increase the amount of Justice he gets to mete out? Cause more people to sin. The more that you can incentivize people to do wrong, the more souls you get to inflict “Justice” upon after death. So, in a perverse attempt to maximize the total volume of Justice handed out, Thamiel does his best to create the conditions that result in the greatest amount of people damning themselves. A horrific world of endless violence and despair. All in the service of what we would agree is a good principle. We want a Just World, but not Maximum Justice Inflicted. Much like we want enough paperclips to fulfill our needs, but not Maximum Paperclip Mass.

I’m not saying that Thamiel is an admonition to humanity to work harder on the AI Value Alignment problem, because not EVERYTHING has to be about AI. It could totally be a coincidence. After all, Some Things Are Coincidences Some Of The Time.

I’m kinda hoping that the second, withered head of Thamiel is later revealed to be the counter-balance that was supposed to keep this desire for Unbounded Justice in check, which was flawed in some way, and now vainly tries to protest with the minuscule scraps of energy it can muster. But that’s pure speculation/hopefulness on my part. Can’t wait for more Unsong!!

Nov 072016
 

do-yodaStarting today I’m self-employed for the rest of the year. I’ve written about 80,000 words over the past 14 months, and I’m giving myself Nov and Dec to finish this up, which will be about another 40,000 words. That means 5,000 words a week, or approximately 1,000 words a day. From what I hear, that is entirely doable.

So now the big test – do I have the self-discipline to do this thang? Or will I end up sleeping all day, playing video games, and drinking a lot of alcohol? By the end of December I’ll know if I’m the kind of person who could, theoretically, do this for realsies. Or if it will forever be a hobby I indulge on the side, while doing something like accounting full time to actually pay the bills. I mean, obvs I have to go back to a real job during the years-long process of getting a publisher and having the book put onto physical paper. But as a proof of concept, the next two months mean a lot.

Not off to the best start – I am suffering from a cold, and spent the first half of my day at the doctor and pharmacy. Just means I have to work harder to make up for this over the coming days. :) Here we go!

Oct 122016
 

space_planet_light_82977_2560x1080I love finding opinions that differ from mine in interesting ways. Here are two.

Re my distaste for Genghis Khan, a friend replied:

“Status: terminally monogamous. Ironically, it was my girlfriend that first showed me this song a few days ago. I honestly just tuned out the lyrics as silly when I heard the name Genghis Khan, but I just googled them. It’s sort of sad, and I’m totally going to be projecting now, because it’s a lot like what my first relationship was like (many moons ago before I’d ever heard the term “polyamorous”).

Anyway, the lyrics: the guy feels jealous and possessive and hates himself for it. And that pretty well describes how I saw myself during that first relationship. Now, I sort of bristle when I see situations where a philosophy that lives mostly in the frontal lobe is being given dominance over emotions that live all over our brains. For me, that philosophy was “love is not possession” and it’s a hard argument to beat (and really not one you’d want to beat). But you also can’t argue with emotions. The idea of my then-girlfriend being with -her- girlfriend hurt terribly. Was it “right”? No, love is not possession. Did my emotions care whether or not it was right to feel that? No, they didn’t. “And I don’t have the right / To ask where you go at night / But the waves hit my head / To think someone’s in your bed”

What should I have done in that situation? I should have left before we hurt each other more. But neither of us had scraped together enough self-esteem to end it until an ugly ending. The non-judgmental thing would have been, “I need this, but you can’t give it to me. That hurts, but we should part as friends.” So now having been forced to read the lyrics to this silly song… ( ;P ) It makes me a little sad for a guy that is beating himself up because he thinks he’s the “I’m a bad person” flavor of “wrong”. It reminds me that we’re all pretty fucked up in the head and a relationship is about finding somebody compatibly fucked up and working on making room for each other’s fuckedupitude. If one person is poly and the other person isn’t, nobody is wrong. There just isn’t room for a relationship there. Which isn’t what I think the song is saying. I think the guy is mad at himself for feeling the way he does.”

 

Re the poem “air and light and time and space“, which I loved, a different friend said:

“I’ve seen this poem several times, and honestly it’s always confused me why people see this as such a positive message. I’ve never seen it as something nice to hear, and I think I’m finally able to articulate why. I think most creators see this and see inspiration to not make excuses to get their ideas out. I read the hyperbole in the second half as a sort of “some people are creative, and some people just aren’t, no matter what sort of preparation they make for themselves.” This seems to discourage people who don’t see themselves as creative to try being creative, ’cause they just “don’t have it,” and I really, really dislike this attitude.

I feel like I went through my whole life thinking I wasn’t creative until a few years ago when I did exactly what the spirit of the first half of the poem was describing, in that I set aside some space, time, and money to do the thing I was interested in doing, and it ended up being a really great experience. I also doubt it would’ve been good had I not prepared at all, due to the scope of what I was trying to accomplish. This poem seems to doubt the ability of people who – like me – are only occasionally struck by the need to make something new and interesting, but that creative process is still meaningful to them.

At any rate, I think it’s cool if you draw inspiration from this, and I hope my rambling doesn’t rob you of that. I felt like I had some insight when seeing this for the 4th time or so, and I just needed to get it out. Maybe other people share this experience when reading this poem and might appreciate seeing their opinion corroborated on some level or something.”

 

Cheers guys!

Oct 112016
 

14444609_1023189497793238_8003052628749934835_o
Quoted directly from Eliezer Yudkowsky
“For so long as the voting system works the way it does, there will always be 2 parties in American democracy, no more, no less. For reasons that include e.g. the Median Voter Theorem, the votes will always drift back to around 50/50 for each party. The Republican Party *will* be back in 2020, and Hillary seems more likely than usual to be a one-term President.
So this would be a very good time to praise the #NotAllRepublicans who were first to say #NeverTrump. The Republicans who never compromised with visible evil from the start, not for the sake of power, nor party, nor fear of Hillary Clinton. The #NeverTrumpers deserve that praise, and you *will not like* what happens in 2020 if those honorable Republicans do *not* get to be the ones to rebuild the Republican Party.
A list of refusers, including time of first break, appears here.

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

Twitter reveals How God Created Animals. It is hilarious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

VAGINAS ARE MYTHS, WHISPERED QUIETLY IN SECRET AMONG ONLY THE BRAVEST OF MEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Julith VS Kerubim

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 082016
 

13895232_1363555407006280_7036367322075833613_n15 Stats That Show Americans Are Drowning in ‘Stuff’ “Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items”
!! Based on survey results finding average of 10 min a day looking for misplaced items. Seems unreasonably high to me, likely people are overestimating how long they spend looking for stuff on a daily basis, cuz it’s so frustrating it seems like a long time. I can’t imagine anyone would blow 10 min a day looking for things for more than a week or two before altering their lifestyle to fix that!
Still, this article confirms my personal prejudices, so I choose to share it!

Donald Trump quotes make a lot more sense when you imagine Zapp Brannigan saying them…

Two more things about The Great Wall:

First, MovieBob puts into words pretty much all my thoughts. As ususal, he is a voice of sanity. :)

Second, a few days later the Chinese director of this Chinese movie said it’s not racist. I dunno tho, that’s exactly what you’d *expect* a racist to say.

Y’all saw that Trump asked, three times in one hour, why we don’t just use nukes, since we have them, right?

UNNECESSARIAT:
“In 2011, economist Guy Standing coined the term “precariat” to refer to workers whose jobs were insecure, underpaid, and mobile, who had to engage in substantial “work for labor” to remain employed, whose survival could, at any time, be compromised by employers (who, for instance held their visas) and who therefore could do nothing to improve their lot.
… from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that.
…The bottom line, repeated just below the surface of every speech, is this: those people are in the way, and its all their fault. The world of self-driving cars and global outsourcing doesn’t want or need them. Someday it won’t want you either. They can either self-rescue with unicorns and rainbows or they can sell us their land and wait for death in an apartment somewhere. You’ll get there too.”

What This Feminist Sees in Harley Quinn
“I’ll come out and say it, she is my favorite female comic book character. Not because I admire her, but because I understand her.
She’s every negative female stereotype you can think of and then some. But there’s more to good storytelling than characters who are good role models.
She wants to live for fun and mischief and sex without responsibilities. She wants to screw a charismatic badboy (literally) without getting screwed by him (figuratively), and she refuses to accept that life doesn’t work that way.
No one’s halfheartedly dressing up the things she does for Joker as some kind of progressive, liberated forwardness like Catwoman’s ill-advised flirtations. She’s a comic book version of someone we’ve all met, of self-destructive feelings we’re all capable of. Her weaknesses and lunacy aren’t implanted in her to make her conveniently rescueable and compliant with a nonsensical plot. They’re lifelike. Human.
And that is what is missing from the majority of women in today’s fiction, far more than strength, intelligence, and independence:
Honesty. Thought. Depth.
That is how we will know when we’ve achieved equality in fiction. Not only by the number of female characters or even by what they do but by why they do it.”

Western civilization is taking over the globe. … Given a choice, young people choose Western consumerism, gender norms, and entertainment. Anti-Western governments from Beijing to Tehran know this this to be true: Without draconian censorship and social regulation, “Westoxification” will win.
A big part of the West’s strength, I hasten to add, is its openness to awesomeness. When it encounters competing cultures, it gleefully identifies competitors’ best traits – then adopts them as its own. By the time Western culture commands the globe, it will have appropriated the best features of Asian and Islamic culture. Even its nominal detractors will be Westernized in all but name. Picture how contemporary Christian fundamentalists’ consumerism and gender roles would have horrified Luther or Calvin. Western civ is a good winner. It doesn’t demand total surrender. It doesn’t make fans of competing cultures formally recant their errors. It just tempts them in a hundred different ways until they tacitly convert.

Scott Alexander rebuts withboth Chinese people and traditional Americans assimilating into universal culture in order to share a common ground – with this being invisible to people who are already assimilated into universal culture, to whom it just looks “normal”. […] the incorrect model of “foreign cultures being Westernized” casts Western culture as the aggressor, whereas the model of “every culture is being universalized” finds Western culture to be as much a victim as anywhere else.

My friends are quite talented. :) “Pokemon Go Yellow”: A Coldplay Parody by JessoLaurus Rex

Photographer Visits Famous Landmarks, Faces The Wrong Direction. Great pics!

Huh. The Green Party supports Homeopathy as an official plank of their platform(!). And they have a sizable enough anti-vax wing that Jill Stein felt she had to pander to them with circuitous hemming about the “medical-industrial establishment” when asked about vaccines, even though she has a doctorate from Harvard Medical!

“like Friedrich Nietzsche said: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not start trying to capture monsters.” (Or something like that.)” – AV. Club

Oof. Right in the gut. :( I Am A Transwoman. I Am In The Closet. I Am Not Coming Out.
“I am a girl who has been through a lot of shit and who has grown into symbiosis with her boy suit. But what else I know is that my point is my fucking point. Do I even want to convince someone who will only listen to me when they find out I’m a girl?
Do I have to out myself to be treated like a person worth listening to? To stop my cis classmates laughing at someone who’s reckoned with the boundaries and the dimensions of masculinity and femininity in ways they never had to? Do I need their permission to speak?

I hate that the only effective response I can give to “boys are shit” is “well I’m not a boy.” I feel like I am selling out the boy in baseball pajamas that sat with me on the bed while I tried to figure out which one I was supposed to be, and the boys who I have met and loved from inside my boy suit—who believed they were talking to a boy. I feel like I am burning the history of the naked body that sits on the floor of my shower. ”

My basic problem with Trolley Problems. Sacred Values Are How Ethical Injunctions Feel From The Inside
“A perfectly rational being, of course, would have no need for ethical injunctions. But we’re monkeys with pretensions. We’re self-interested and prone to rationalization. If we say “it’s okay to torture people in very extreme cases that are never going to happen”, then you can talk yourself into thinking that this is a very extreme case, even though the actual reason you want to torture the guy is that he’s a horrible person and you want to see him suffer, and next thing you know you’re the U S Government.”

We built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews. Here’s what happened. (quoting FoF) – I hate clickbaity titles, but in this case the fact that the title describes an experiment but not its result is an opportunity to try predicting the outcome before reading about it.
also, fun lines from article: “programming is like sex — one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life.”
“you might want to do what any reasonable person would do in the face of an existential or moral quandary, i.e. fit the data to a curve.”

Fight the power! Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York

Holy crap, this deleted scene in ZooTopia would have been *amazing*!!

“the Hall of Presidents … as a representation of how America understands itself and its history, is absolutely correct. … the national mythos rests in the hands of a publicly traded corporation.
[…] We live in the capitalpunk AU.”
(also: “They say American copyright terms keep getting extended under pressure from Disney who wants to keep hold of all their founding properties, I almost wonder if it wouldn’t be less of a corruption of the civic system to just carve out special protections for Disney in recognition of their distinct role in America.”)

Powerful stuff.
“9. When I turned twenty-one, I could go to the clubs. Get dressed up, wear a coat to hide the outfit, pile into a car with friends, roll down the windows in the summer, sure, blare the music, sing along, roll the windows up when a car or truck pulled up alongside and shouted threats, hope they don’t follow, drive to the club, look around before parking to make sure no-one is staking out the street or parking lot, hide anything valuable in the car, lock it, walk to the club. Wait in the line to get in, all laughter and flirting and nervous grins and nervous shuffling and happy nervous everything, be grateful for the door-minder who was watching the sidewalk, pay, walk in.
Walk in.
Walk, strut, ease on in, breathe, breathe deep and happy and smell the smoke and beer and sweat and none of that matters because here, here no-one waits to catch you in the act of being gay.
Put vigilance down.
Put vigilance down, and dance.
[…]
14. The shooter went to a place of refuge, of joy, of celebration. He went to a place where queers go when we are told we are too queer to be seen anywhere else. He went to the place where all the shoving and flaunting of queer would have been hidden away from him.
[…]
I cannot stop anyone from murdering anyone else. I don’t have that power. But I am … done. I am done with letting the jokes and remarks slide by. I cannot continue to passively agree that I am a punchline, a threat, a bogeyman, a cautionary tale. I just, … I am done.
I can’t stop the Orlando murders, or any other murders of queers.
But I am done being complicit.”
(and yes, I dislike the use of the term “microaggression” here, but whatevs, it’s just a word and this essay is awesome)

Spoilery: The Quicksilver scene from X-men:Apocalypse. It is awesome! And only available on Facebook, for some reason?

On Taste. “it is a good idea not to develop taste in anything where developing taste will cost you more money. For instance, I would strongly advise against developing taste in chocolate. […] You should absolutely not develop taste about anything that is necessary for your life.”

I half suspect this is the most epic trolling of all time. “In line with our expectations, P [for “Psychoticism”] (positively related to tough-mindedness and authoritarianism) is associated with social conservatism and conservative military attitudes.”
You know where this is going, right? Spoilers below, I’d read the article if I were you cuz it’s short and sweet, but if you’d rather just get to the monkey:
“The authors regret that there is an error in the published version […]The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed.”

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Fandom is Broken. “Back in high school I had a great religion teacher. He used to have us bring in quotes from pop culture that could be applied to religion because he wanted us to understand how pervasive religion was to people a thousand years ago, as pervasive as music or movies are to us today. He believed that the future would see people no longer killing each other over interpretations of God but over bands…
I think he was on the right track when it comes to the way pop culture has replaced other things that used to give us meaning, but I don’t think he could have ever guessed it would be comic book characters and Ghostbusters that would motivate the 21st century’s holy popcult warriors.”

Jun 012016
 

Star Wars Princess Bride quotesFandom is Broken. “Back in high school I had a great religion teacher. He used to have us bring in quotes from pop culture that could be applied to religion because he wanted us to understand how pervasive religion was to people a thousand years ago, as pervasive as music or movies are to us today. He believed that the future would see people no longer killing each other over interpretations of God but over bands…
I think he was on the right track when it comes to the way pop culture has replaced other things that used to give us meaning, but I don’t think he could have ever guessed it would be comic book characters and Ghostbusters that would motivate the 21st century’s holy popcult warriors.”

Why Modern Fight Scenes Put You To Sleep

I hope this sort of thing gets more traction. I love fictional violence, but violence is very rarely about the *actual violence*. case in point: aside from the awful choreography, why else did last season’s Dorne fight scene suck so much?

Yesterday I learned that most people don’t feel any pain when drinking carbonated beverages! WTF? I thought drinking fizzy drinks was like using habaneros or other super-spicy things in your food – it was a thing crazy people did because they liked pain. How much of my life has been a lie?? (no actual link)

Latest round in the ongoing court case between Google and Oracle goes to Google! Yaaaay!
The reason for the fight explained:

“Google wanted people who wrote programs in the popular programming language Java to be able to reuse their code in Android apps. To do that, Google had to ensure that Java code written for other purposes ran exactly the same on Android. But negotiations with the company behind Java, Sun Microsystems (which was later acquired by Oracle), broke down, so Google decided to create its own version of Java from scratch.

Google’s version of Java didn’t reuse any code from Oracle’s version. But to ensure compatibility, Google’s version used functions with the same names and functionality.

This practice was widely viewed as legal within the software world at the time Google did it, but Oracle sued, arguing that this was copyright infringement.
[…] a landmark 1995 ruling in which an appeals court held that the software company Borland had not infringed copyright when it created a spreadsheet program whose menus were organized in the same way as the menus in the more popular spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3.

The court held that the order of Lotus 1-2-3 menu items was an uncopyrightable “method of operation.” And it concluded that giving Lotus exclusive ownership over its menu structure would harm the public”

Oh shit. This is incredible. But trigger warnings for sexual violence.

Star Trek + Nine Inch Nails = Closer

How to Take ‘Political Correctness’ Away From Donald Trump
“A Martian following election coverage via GoGo in-flight WIFI would never know that Trump’s pledge to revenge-kill family members of terrorists—a war crime—violated more important Earth-taboos than his calling a campaign rival “a pussy.” Watching CBS or NBC or ABC, the Martian would likewise conclude that Trump calling Ted Cruz “a pussy” was worse than calling Mexican migrants rapists. Only the former comment was censored.
[…]
And Trump benefits from their dearth of discernment. It frees him from the burden of carefully deciding which taboos ought to be challenged and which safeguard life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Instead of careful critiques, he rants off-the-cuff, knowing that the bad press will look basically the same regardless of whether he attacks Rosie O’Donnell or the taboo against torture. His supporters are as inclined as the press to treat every utterance as an undifferentiated instance of political correctness”

Google’s AI is writing eerie post-modern poetry (when given a starting and ending sentence and told to fill in the gaps)

I *had* always wondered why there was no AmericaPox the Europeans contracted! Now I know.

Adidas to make shoes in Germany again – but using robots. There is no more unethical treatment of laborers.

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist
If you want to maximize addictiveness, all tech designers need to do is link a user’s action (like pulling a lever) with a variable reward. You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward (a match, a prize!) or nothing. Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable. But here’s the unfortunate truth — several billion people have a slot machine their pocket:
When we pull our phone out of our pocket, we’re playing a slot machine to see what notifications we got.
When we pull to refresh our email, we’re playing a slot machine to see what new email we got.
(etc)

And here I had no idea Subaru’s are loved by lesbians!
“For their first Subaru ads, Mulryan/Nash hired women to portray lesbian couples. But the ads didn’t get good reactions from lesbian audiences.

What worked were winks and nudges. One ad campaign showed Subaru cars that had license plates that said “Xena LVR” (a reference to Xena: Warrior Princess, a TV show whose female protagonists seemed to be lovers) or “P-TOWN” (a moniker for Provincetown, Massachusetts, a popular LGBT vacation spot). Many ads had taglines with double meanings. “Get Out. And Stay Out” could refer to exploring the outdoors in a Subaru—or coming out as gay. “It’s Not a Choice. It’s the Way We’re Built” could refer to all Subarus coming with all-wheel-drive—or LGBT identity.
[…]
The delight among niche audience groups in “uncoding” the hints in Subaru ads surprised the marketing team—and in the case of its gay-friendly ads, so did straight audiences’ ignorance. While gay and lesbian consumers loved the shout outs in the license plates, straight people would only notice features like a bike rack.”

Also – oh, right. I remember the early 90s. Damn, that feels like a long time ago.

“the attitude of most businesses toward LGBT advertising was: “Why would you do something like that? You’d be known as a gay company.”
In the 1990s, Poux worked at Mulryan/Nash, an agency that specialized in the gay market. Early in his career, he made cold calls to ask companies for their business. “All the rules of marketing went out the window at this fear” of marketing to gays and lesbians, he says. “People would choke up on the phone. It was tough.” ”

The Tingler strikes again :)

LOL! Every fight anime ever!


If UNO Was an Anime

Bizarre situation in which I find Glenn Beck saying things rationally and self-consistently. Did he recover from the crazy or something?

“I sat there looking around and heard things like:
1) Facebook has a very liberal workforce. Has Facebook considered diversity in their hiring practice? The country is 2% Mormon. Maybe Facebook’s company should better reflect that reality.
2) Maybe Facebook should consider a six-month training program to help their biased and liberal workforce understand and respect conservative opinions and values.
3) We need to see strong and specific steps to right this wrong.

It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges.

I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ Who am I? […]
What happened to us? When did we become them?”

I didn’t even know we were supposed to wash reusable bags! If you factor in the environmental impact of washing a bag after each use, is it actually better at all?
“97 percent of consumers don’t regularly wash their bags, according to a report from the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University. Their researchers swabbed 84 bags for bacteria, and the findings were outright nasty: coliform bacteria in half, E. coli in 12 percent.
When San Francisco banned plastic bags, the number of E. coli infections spiked. Even worse, the number of foodborne-illness deaths rose a whopping 46 percent in the three months after the bag ban began.”

Oh god I hate them all so much. >< FOX ‘STOLE’ A GAME CLIP, USED IT IN FAMILY GUY & DMCA’D THE ORIGINAL
“It’s most likely that this is just another example of YouTube’s Content ID system automatically taking down a video without regard to actual copyright ownership and fair use. As soon as FOX broadcast that Family Guy episode, their robots started taking down any footage that appeared to be reposted from the show — and in this case they took down the footage they stole from an independent creator,” Lyon says. (sign the petition from TakeDownAbuse.orghttps://www.takedownabuse.org/familyguy/ )

It begins! :) Uber tests self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

 

Fantastic essay on The Iliad.

“The puzzle the Iliad poses in the persons of Achilles and Hector is, How do we train selfish men to be violent killers, and then convince them not to fight each other, but to die for their nation?

The answer is clever. […] the Iliad invented self-interested, libertarian, civic virtue.

They should fight, the Iliad argues (though not directly), because life is overrated. Life is an endless cycle of flailing about helplessly in a universe that doesn’t care. Life is being the plaything of the gods. The best thing for you, personally, is to win glory for yourself; that’s more valuable than more of this life stuff. It doesn’t last anyway.

This was a very interesting pivot point in the history of the West. […] The obvious choice was for Homer to say that a man should fight for his people because he loves them and he loves his family and wants to defend them. The obvious choice would be to say civilization should be based on morality.

Homer didn’t do that. He said civilization should be based on selfishness.

And that’s when Western civilization was created.

Selfish civic virtue was eventually diluted by morality, but the West still honors selfishness and individuality more than other civilizations. This is a large part of why the West has been so successful.”

I’d heard of aphantasia* before, but this article really brought a lot of it home. The “Twenty most common questions I get” was especially interesting. I’m still not sure I can imagine what this must be like.
(*unable to visualize things in one’s mind)

Tingle Trolley Problem
“Benedict Cumberbatch legitimately looks like he’s never jumped before.” GIF of pre-CGI superhero jumps

My life will not be complete until I have participated in the running of the balls.

MIKA’s “Grace Kelly” song is delightful!

Why the FDA’s new e-cigarette regulations are a gift to Big Tobacco (and could actually harm public health)
“The most significant part of the FDA’s rule is a requirement for government approval […] this means that just about all e-cigs must go through a new approval process if they are to continue to be sold. This is a costly process — an estimated $1 million or more per product — and must be done for each and every model, flavor, etc. For tobacco giants such as Reynolds and Altria, this is no big deal. For smaller e-cig makers, however, these rules could be the kiss of death. […] the e-cig market will shrink, and Big Tobacco will be in a better position to dominate what’s left. A vibrant competitive market will be replaced with a cartel, much like the one we see in the cigarette market.”

Snowden is the president we need, but not, it seems, the president we deserve. :(
“As someone who works in the intelligence community, you’ve given up a lot to do this work. You’ve happily committed yourself to tyrannical restrictions. You voluntarily undergo polygraphs; you tell the government everything about your life. You waive a lot of rights because you believe the fundamental goodness of your mission justifies the sacrifice of even the sacred. It’s a just cause.
And when you’re confronted with evidence — not in an edge case, not in a peculiarity, but as a core consequence of the program — that the government is subverting the Constitution and violating the ideals you so fervently believe in, you have to make a decision. When you see that the program or policy is inconsistent with the oaths and obligations that you’ve sworn to your society and yourself, then that oath and that obligation cannot be reconciled with the program. To which do you owe a greater loyalty?

Perhaps today’s culture wars can be viewed largely as the continuing clash of America’s earliest settlers in the 17th century. Kinda feels like humans are simply a substrate that a larger process (a “civilization”) runs on.
“If America is best explained as a Puritan-Quaker culture locked in a death-match with a Cavalier-Borderer culture, with all of the appeals to freedom and equality and order and justice being just so many epiphenomena – well, I’m not sure what to do with that information. Push it under the rug?”

‘Star Trek’ Lawsuit: The Debate Over Klingon Language Heats Up
Oh ho! When I was a young geek, an online-friend related a story of how he got lost while visiting Russia, and cursed in Klingon on the bus. A fellow Klingon-speaker asked him what was wrong, and though he spoke no Russian, and the Russian dude spoke no English, they communicated very well in Klingon and he was soon back on his proper way.
“This argument is absurd since a language is only useful if it can be used to communicate with people, and there are no Klingons with whom to communicate,” stated a plaintiffs’ brief

Now, with 250,000 copies of a Klingon dictionary said to have been sold, Klingon language certification programs being offered, the Microsoft search engine Bing presenting English-to-Klingon translations, one Swedish couple performing their marriage vows in Klingon, foreign governments providing official statements in Klingon and so on, the Language Creation Society is holding up Klingon as having freed the “bounds of its textual chains.”

no court has ever addressed the issue of whether a constructed spoken language is entitled to copyright protection.

The best explanation for the 10 Commandments yet! Head Canon accepted. :)
“I PERFORM SERVER MAINTENANCE ON SATURDAYS. THIS MEANS LOWER CAPACITY. SO PLEASE AVOID HIGH-LOAD ACTIVITIES LIKE BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS, AGRICULTURAL WORK, AND ELECTRICITY USE DURING THAT TIME. SO YES. THAT IS A LAW.”

Neurons Gone Wild. Expanding on Society of Mind – this post proposes that neurons compete for biological resources by being useful to the organism, and are “motivated” to be productive, likening the brain to an economy.
“agency isn’t intrinsic to a system, but rather something we ascribe to it. It’s a way of describing a system at the level of abstraction that includes goals, obstacles, motivations, etc. If you look too closely (at a sufficiently low level of abstraction), the agency might seem to disappear. A plant, for example, is ‘merely’ growing its stem according to the concentration of auxin, just like we (humans) are often ‘merely’ acting on our drives and instincts. But zoom back out, and once again it will be productive to describe the system at the agent-level of abstraction. Thus explanatory power, not free will, is the hallmark of agency.

agency is a fundamental property of the brain. Not only is agency the function of the brain — and thus it’s very reason for existence — but it’s also built into the brain’s fabric and architecture. Because even neurons have agency, in the form of (metabolic) selfishness, higher-order brain systems don’t need to create agency ‘from scratch’ out of mindless robotic slaves. They inherit agency pretty much for free.
The brain is thus uniquely hospitable to agents, who can be said to take root and grow in the brain quite readily.
There’s actually a more general principle here, namely, that rich substrates are more fertile, more conducive to growth. […] Computers, though technically capable of supporting agency, aren’t particularly hospitable to it. The brain, in contrast, is already teeming with agency (in the form of billions of selfish neurons), and is thus uniquely fertile.”

Non-Places destroy cities.
“Non-Places are areas of the city where nothing happens. If we look at the Traditional City, we see that it is mostly Places. […]To the degree that we can eliminate cars, the Traditional City can become almost 100% places.

A pedestrian street is a Place. When it becomes dominated by cars — to the point where a person is not comfortable walking down the middle of the street — it becomes a Non-Place.

Green Space was invented to make our other Non-Places less horrible. It basically doesn’t exist in the Traditional City. The Traditional City doesn’t need Green Space because it doesn’t suck to begin with. There is no problem we are trying to solve through the introduction of acres of mowed lawns.

It is difficult to explain, to someone who has never experienced it, that the Traditional City is actually a very quiet, lovely sort of place — even the largest Traditional Cities, with the Tokyo population well over 30 million. […] The residential university campus is about the closest experience most Americans have to a no-car urban place.”

Just in case you need another reason not use KU (Kindle Unlimited) (except for the one-month free trial to read a dozen Chuck Tingle shorts) Much of the money goes to scammers, and Amazon doesn’t care.

Life Is Pain. The numb are the lucky ones. What It’s Like to ‘Wake Up’ From Autism After Magnetic Stimulation. “I’d fantasized about really understanding other people’s emotional world. I imagined a world of sweetness and light — emotions I’d been missing all my life. But when it happened, the reality showed me what a fool I’d been. Now, I could look at a person and sense all their emotions. And most were downers. […] I realized that I’d deluded myself all this time. The world is not a wonderful, happy place. ”
His recollection of working for KISS and Pink Floyd on the road is fascinating as well. I can’t recommend this article enough.

 

As I’ve been watching this gash in my hand heal over the past few weeks I keep thinking “Holy crap. I am made out of a vast amount of biological nano-bots!” And none of them have any idea I exist (which I realize is crazy anthropomorphizing, but I can’t help thinking it). I, likewise, have no way to directly control them. And yet here we are. WTF, reality? (again, no link)

I linked this in an earlier post, but – “almost no pop celebrities write their own hits. Too much is on the line for that, and being a global celebrity is a full-time job. It would be like Will Smith writing the next Independence Day.”

Smashmouth’s Allstar, but everyone’s playing at slightly different tempos. Actually not stressful, and sorta weirdly hypnotic.

The best succinct explanation of culture I’ve seen yet. Includes the first coherent explanation of what “cultural appropriation” is that I’ve ever seen! (in an interesting twist, one of the examples explaining cultural appropriation argues that the “Fake Gamer Girl” trope is basically a complaint of cultural appropriation) This is long, yes. But extremely worth it.

A small taste –
“… So imagine you’re an evangelical Christian. All the people you like are also evangelical Christians. Most of your social life happens at church. Most of your good memories involve things like Sunday school and Easter celebrations, and even your bittersweet memories are things like your pastor speaking at your parents’ funeral. Most of your hopes and dreams involve marrying someone and having kids and then sharing similarly good times with them. When you try to hang out with people who aren’t evangelical Christians, they seem to think really differently than you do, and not at all in a good way. A lot of your happiest intellectual experiences involve geeking out over different Bible verses and the minutiae of different Christian denominations.
Then somebody points out to you that God probably doesn’t exist. And even if He does, it’s probably in some vague and complicated way, and not the way that means that the Thrice-Reformed Meta-Baptist Church and only the Thrice-Reformed Meta-Baptist Church has the correct interpretation of the Bible and everyone else is wrong.
On the one hand, their argument might be convincing. On the other, you are pretty sure that if everyone agreed on this, your culture would be destroyed.”

For fans, this is basically a “yeah, I remember that, soooo good!” video. :) For people who haven’t seen it yet, consider it a teaser, and another endorsement to check it out. Note that *MAJOR* spoilers appear at 4:08 and are rife thereafter, so stop before then if you’re not familiar!

The Philosophy of Rick and Morty

Reddit’s warrant canary is gone. Odds are very high that they have been served a national security letter.

I’ll just leave this here…

does it move

May 082016
 

More Brienne liveblogging Tingle poundings. :) Her post is public, so you can probably search it in Facebook if you want, and keep up with them as she reads the rest and liveblogs them.

Brienne 1

Brienne 2

Brienne 3

Brienne 4

Brienne 5

Brienne 6

Brienne 7