Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 01 Oct 2019, 21:19

You know, as far as socialists go, Freddie DeBoer has some pretty damn good insights into human nature.

https://fredrikdeboer.com/2019/10/01/th ... t-so-good/

Freddie could be a centrist liberal with a conscience if he just thought a bit more carefully about what his insights into human nature imply for economic systems based on sharing.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JD » 04 Oct 2019, 10:58

About the USSR's Lunik-3 mission, which was the first probe to ever photograph the far side of the moon, and the crazy engineering that went into it - for example, there were no digital cameras at the time, which meant that photos had to be taken on film, then processed in a sealed, automated photo-developing machine, then scanned and essentially faxed back to Earth. And maybe strangest of all, they relied on captured US spy technology for part of the setup.

https://www.damninteresting.com/faxes-f ... -far-side/
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Hugh Akston » 04 Oct 2019, 13:25

For nicole and Rachel: Stephen King Is Quietly Enthralled By "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
There are more King novels that quote the poem than I have had occasion to read: The Dome, The Stand, and who knows how many written and unwritten. Prufrock is an unerring presence in King’s books, a reminder that—although this famous horror writer is the scribe of nightmares—he’s also enamored of small lives, of small characters. And by small I don’t mean “unimportant,” just real.

Whether he’s bringing the dead back to life, wielding massive transparent domes or tussling with more than one psycho killers, King always keeps his finger on that pulse: humanity, the smallest issues that can become the biggest horrors.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JD » 04 Oct 2019, 15:07

Here's something pretty wild. Take a look at this Google Map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Calif ... 17.9859038
Looks pretty ordinary, right? Streets, parks.

Now switch to satellite view: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Calif ... 17.9859038

What's the story?
In 1958, a Czech-born sociology professor named Nat Mendelsohn purchased 82,000 acres of land in the Mojave Desert, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, and founded the optimistically named California City. Intended to eventually rival LA in importance, California City was just one of the countless master-planned communities that sprouted up across the state in the post-World War II boom years. But unlike Irvine or Mission Viejo, California City never took off.
https://www.wired.com/story/california- ... s-gallery/

(There is a small populated area down here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Calif ... 17.9859038)
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Painboy » 10 Oct 2019, 22:54

Cash/Consent: The war on sex work

This was a good article on sex work, by a sex worker, and the problems of trying to write legislation for it. It's also a personal account of what it's like to work in the industry and how there isn't an easy narrative that categorizes it.
Had I done my first naked job as a 19-year-old in 2019 Louisiana, rather than where I was in 2000, I would have been considered a victim of trafficking. As it was, my experience easily fell within the TVPA’s definitions of “coercion” or “fraud,” which the Office on Trafficking in Persons says include “psychological manipulation” and “false promises regarding . . . love.”

Like all laws, the new trafficking statutes were formed by compromise and competing intentions. Laws do not develop their full meaning until they are used, and even after a law passes, advocates and state actors have the power to shape it. Following a century of racist anti-prostitution laws, the post-2000 anti-trafficking laws have been used by both lawmakers and social institutions to define all sex work as trafficking. The passage, use, and subsequent meaning of these laws have been pushed and shaped by far-right lawmakers, lobbyists, charity workers, and members of the now lucrative rescue industry, with the tacit—and sometimes not so tacit—goal of delegitimizing and criminalizing everyone who trades sex. FOSTA, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, signed into law in April 2018, is only the most visible recent iteration. Increased criminalization has resulted in declining labor conditions for people who trade sex. It has inhibited our ability to speak openly about these conditions. And it has made it harder for us to process our experiences—of coercion and exploitation, solidarity, love, and strength—in our own words, or even at all.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JD » 11 Oct 2019, 13:18

Found at Reason, an article about studies that show that, as a society becomes larger richer, its per-capita use of materials can actually drop, and in some cases can even drop in absolute terms: https://reason.com/2019/10/09/the-econo ... nd-energy/
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Hugh Akston » 16 Oct 2019, 12:03

Articles that confirm my biases are the best kind: How science has shifted our sense of identity
I want to suggest that many of the worst chapters of this history result from scientism: the ideology that science is the only valid way to understand the world and solve social problems. Where science has often expanded and liberated our sense of self, scientism has constrained it.
“Methods of scientific precision must be introduced into all educational work, to carry everywhere good sense and light,” wrote the French psychologist Alfred Binet in 1907 (English translation published in 1914 (ref. 2)). A decade earlier, Binet and Théodore Simon developed a series of tests for French schoolchildren to measure what they called ‘mental age’. If a child’s mental age was less than her chronological age, she could receive extra help to catch up. The German psychologist William Stern took the ratio of mental to chronological age, giving what he called the IQ and, theoretically, making it comparable across groups. Meanwhile, Charles Spearman, a British statistician and eugenicist of the Galton school, found a correlation between a child’s performance on different tests. To explain the correlations, he theorized an innate, fixed, underlying quality he called ‘g’, for ‘general intelligence’. Then the American psychologist Henry Goddard, with the eugenicist Charles Davenport whispering in his ear, claimed that low IQ was a simple Mendelian trait. Thus, step by scientistic step, IQ was converted from a measure of a given child’s past performance to a predictor of any child’s future performance.
Even in strictly scientific terms, ‘you’ are more than the contents of your chromosomes. The human body contains at least as many non-human cells (mostly bacteria, archaea and fungi) as human ones6. Tens of thousands of microbial species crowd and jostle over and through the body, with profound effects on digestion, complexion, disease resistance, vision and mood. Without them, you don’t feel like you; in fact, you aren’t really you. The biological self has been reframed as a cluster of communities, all in communication with each other.
Since the Enlightenment, we have tended to define human identity and worth in terms of the values of science itself, as if it alone could tell us who we are. That is an odd and blinkered notion. In the face of colonialism, slavery, opioid epidemics, environmental degradation and climate change, the idea that Western science and technology are the only reliable sources of self-knowledge is no longer tenable. This isn’t to lay all human misery at science’s feet — far from it. The problem is scientism. Defining the self only in biological terms tends to obscure other forms of identity, such as one’s labour or social role. Maybe the answer to Huxley’s ‘question of questions’ isn’t a number, after all.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Somali pirates are beholden to their hostages in a way that the USG is not." ~Dangerman

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 16 Oct 2019, 12:39

Hugh Akston wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:03
In the face of colonialism, slavery, opioid epidemics, environmental degradation and climate change, the idea that Western science and technology are the only reliable sources of self-knowledge is no longer tenable.
It's still better than anything else you got.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Oct 2019, 14:06

Warren wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:39
Hugh Akston wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:03
In the face of colonialism, slavery, opioid epidemics, environmental degradation and climate change, the idea that Western science and technology are the only reliable sources of self-knowledge is no longer tenable.
It's still better than anything else you got.
It's better for answering the questions science can answer. Not so good for questions it can't.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 16 Oct 2019, 14:07

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 14:06
Warren wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:39
Hugh Akston wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:03
In the face of colonialism, slavery, opioid epidemics, environmental degradation and climate change, the idea that Western science and technology are the only reliable sources of self-knowledge is no longer tenable.
It's still better than anything else you got.
It's better for answering the questions science can answer. Not so good for questions it can't.
True. But nothing else can answer those questions either.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Oct 2019, 14:15

Warren wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 14:07
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 14:06
Warren wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:39
Hugh Akston wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 12:03
In the face of colonialism, slavery, opioid epidemics, environmental degradation and climate change, the idea that Western science and technology are the only reliable sources of self-knowledge is no longer tenable.
It's still better than anything else you got.
It's better for answering the questions science can answer. Not so good for questions it can't.
True. But nothing else can answer those questions either.
Well, nothing else can answer those questions with the same confidence because they do not admit of knowledge in the same way empirical questions can, but literature and the arts and philosophy can all provide important insights into the human condition and, as a result, improve self knowledge. Knowing, for example, the weaknesses of a moral argument or recognizing what is common to the human experience in a novel provides knowledge of what it is to be a human being in the world we find ourselves in, and that's hardly insignificant.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JD » 16 Oct 2019, 15:49

A pretty good, optimistic article on discussing politics and ethics across group lines in a civil manner. There's a certain amount that comes across as "duh" to libertarians ("In a study of 12,000 libertarians, Graham found that libertarian responses to the MFQ differ more from either liberals or conservatives than liberals and conservatives’ answers differ from each other") and a small amount of "the great liberal savior goes to the benighted hinterlands and is pleasantly surprised to discover that these toothless hillbillies are reasonable folk even if they do own guns and think abortion is wrong", but these are minor flaws.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story ... ate-228111
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Oct 2019, 16:24

JD wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 15:49
A pretty good, optimistic article on discussing politics and ethics across group lines in a civil manner. There's a certain amount that comes across as "duh" to libertarians ("In a study of 12,000 libertarians, Graham found that libertarian responses to the MFQ differ more from either liberals or conservatives than liberals and conservatives’ answers differ from each other") and a small amount of "the great liberal savior goes to the benighted hinterlands and is pleasantly surprised to discover that these toothless hillbillies are reasonable folk even if they do own guns and think abortion is wrong", but these are minor flaws.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story ... ate-228111
I had to laugh when he said how hard it was for him to find a job "teaching ethics in the South" with only a law degree. I can also think of any number of lawyers who would have said "I'll take the A, flunk that guy."

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 16 Oct 2019, 17:14

JD wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 15:49
A pretty good, optimistic article on discussing politics and ethics across group lines in a civil manner. There's a certain amount that comes across as "duh" to libertarians ("In a study of 12,000 libertarians, Graham found that libertarian responses to the MFQ differ more from either liberals or conservatives than liberals and conservatives’ answers differ from each other") and a small amount of "the great liberal savior goes to the benighted hinterlands and is pleasantly surprised to discover that these toothless hillbillies are reasonable folk even if they do own guns and think abortion is wrong", but these are minor flaws.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story ... ate-228111
If Americans are serious about reducing polarization, they’re going to have to start doing some careful listening, because what Jackson is saying has very little to do with what we say he’s saying.
Fucking eh. Pretty much my frustration with every non-libertarian I've argued with.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 16 Oct 2019, 17:23

Have Democrats been careful to say that they’re pro-choice but anti-abortion? At the same time, have Republicans been careful to acknowledge that women are alive and that if one is pro-life, he or she must therefore also be pro-woman?
Bwah? Nice try Lefty McBluerson
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 16 Oct 2019, 17:25

But teachers aren’t in the classroom to proselytize and changing minds isn’t the point of an experience like this course.
Annnnd I'm out. No fucking way this guy was teaching ethics at Harvard the past five years.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 16 Oct 2019, 17:35

Warren wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 17:25
But teachers aren’t in the classroom to proselytize and changing minds isn’t the point of an experience like this course.
Annnnd I'm out. No fucking way this guy was teaching ethics at Harvard the past five years.
Maybe he was teaching at Harvard's extension school.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JD » 21 Oct 2019, 15:02

ProPublica skews pretty hard left, but this is a good article about exactly how scummy TurboTax is: https://www.propublica.org/article/insi ... s-for-free
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 21 Oct 2019, 15:13

JD wrote:
21 Oct 2019, 15:02
ProPublica skews pretty hard left, but this is a good article about exactly how scummy TurboTax is: https://www.propublica.org/article/insi ... s-for-free
tl;dr
“We empower our customers to take control of their financial lives, which includes being in charge of their own tax preparation,” he said, adding that a “government-run pre-filled tax preparation system that makes the tax collector (who is also the investigator, auditor and enforcer) the tax preparer is fraught with conflicts of interest.”
However self interested the speaker is, he has a point there.

I was basically forced to use TT's highest level last year to deal with my crypto.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Andrew » 02 Nov 2019, 21:43

Andrew wrote:
20 May 2018, 10:39
The Gig Economy

Warning: pretty damn long, and if you only read the first 20% or so (especially the twitter screenshots), you'll have the very wrong idea about it.
Zero HP Lovecraft has a new long piece: God-Shaped Hole.

Even more Lovecraft, Borges, Land, Baudrillard, McLuhan, etc. This one includes a labyrinth of links to other short pieces (stories, essays, fake news stories, real news stories, etc.) similar to how DFW would use footnotes.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 07 Nov 2019, 17:47

Man serving life sentence is hospitalized, his heart stops, then he is revived. He is arguing that he was briefly dead and hence had finished a life sentence.

https://amp.desmoinesregister.com/amp/2517110001

Can't blame him for trying.

Depending on how we define brain death, it's arguable that quite a few inmates have already completed life sentences.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Mo » 07 Nov 2019, 17:57

I agree with this hot take. The Mona Lisa sucks.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/arts ... -ios-share
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Highway » 07 Nov 2019, 18:12

Mo wrote:
07 Nov 2019, 17:57
I agree with this hot take. The Mona Lisa sucks.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/arts ... -ios-share
I've never been to France, never seen the Mona Lisa, and I would agree. It sounds like a thoroughly dreadful experience, and maybe the complete antithesis of an art exhibition. Free the Louvre for the multitudes of other wonderful artworks that are there by moving the Mona Lisa!
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JasonL » 07 Nov 2019, 18:55

Concur I did it right after the renovation I think. It sucked, though it has gravitas because it's the Mona Lisa. I saw Starry Night at MOMA too. Much less fanfare, was cool to see but also suffered from saturation.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Jadagul » 07 Nov 2019, 18:56

I'm glad I saw the Mona Lisa. I don't remember it being especially crowded. It didn't blow me away from what I remember, but it's also hard to come to it in any vaguely neutral way.

It can be very good and still feel extremely overhyped.

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