the second part of life
bit contrarian, but the point about acquired tastes having an inherently higher barrier to entry & there needing to be some kind of social pressure to try them is good.
Type into browser to automatically prompt network login. Very useful when a borrowed machine isn’t playing nicely.
3 days ago
The New Evolution Deniers - Quillette
Trust Quillette, the home of rigorous intellectually-honest discourse, to interpret
"A very small number of people are mistaken about the reality of the sexual (extremely near) binary"
"Rather more people on the left have different views of how sex & gender affect persons and outcomes and on whether this is biologically inevitable or socially constructed."
"The social justice Left denies evolution".
Good work lads.
When I reflect on my initial reasons over a decade ago for choosing a career as an academic scientist, it was largely due to the inspiration I felt from outspoken public intellectuals like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Stephen Fry, and the late Christopher Hitchens, who led by example and followed reason wherever it took them. At the time, it seemed to me that a career as an academic scientist would be the most intellectually satisfying profession imaginable. It would allow me to dive deep into questions at the frontier of human knowledge, teach and train students to think critically, and pass on the virtues of boldly engaging with unreason in the search for truth to a new generation.
this person literally got into science to tell other people they're wrong. Good grief. I can't believe this shit was linked on 3 quarks daily.
alt-libs  smh 
5 days ago
Dwight Garner’s favourite quotations, in conversation with each other
Nice to know there's a proper name for something I've been practicing for years.
7 days ago
Fascistic Beasts and Why You Shouldn't Fight Them
While I don’t trust Graham not to take the least charitable reading of anything J.K. Rowling puts out, he’s spot-on on the political confusions that arise when trying to discuss racism via a fictional world that literally has one race objectively biologically superior to another
film  politics 
11 days ago
A 20-Year-Old Is Helping John McAfee's 2020 Campaign Team By Teaching Him How To Shitpost About Anime
She said that she doesn't have the same politics as McAfee — she identifies as a communist — but is excited about the work.
kill me
internet  politics? 
12 days ago
This is U.S. politics. Are you triggered? - The Washington Post
Good piece, but I would note that the "liberal tears" mug is a direct reaction to the "male tears" mugs beloved of (twitter) feminists circa 2011-2016. And isn't the kind of gleeful twitter dunking weird/left twitter (including Elizabeth Bruenig) loves also an example of the triggering style?
media  ploitics  rhetoric 
13 days ago
A Collector of Math and Physics Surprises
Tadashi has this special kind of generalist genius, the most attractive kind to me.
14 days ago
The godfather of fake news - BBC News
Somehow quite satisfying that the literal source of a whole trance of fake news is a liberal put out of work by the collapse in construction following the great recession.
politics  media 
15 days ago
Do You Have Concerns about Plan S? Then You Must be an Irresponsible, Privileged, Conspiratorial Hypocrite - The Scholarly Kitchen
A complex argument is taken to twitter where it turns into name-calling and aspersion-casting. Shocking, imo.

[Follow up: several commenters on this article accuse the author of using the same tactics of hyperbole, casting aspersion, accusing others of privilege &c. that he accuses others of here. "Every argument on the internet net is about how you're not allowed to argue on the internet" indeed.]
publishing  academia 
15 days ago
The Magic of Helen DeWitt | The Nation
Fast track to the top of the wish-list.
19 days ago
webshit weekly
Hackernews is initially dismissive of any Linux distribution that is not the one they're already using, but angry strident posts emerge, reminding us that GUI themes are the most important field of computer science research
they’re not wrong though
19 days ago
TaxPayers’ Alliance concedes it launched smears against Brexit whistleblower | Politics | The Guardian
The days of calling your lobbying operation something incredibly dull like “The Adam Smith Institute” to pass as a think tank are over lads. Might as well go with the “poors deserve to be poor” rebrand and capture popular support from the home countries.
4 weeks ago
Gentle reminder: you are a goddamn adult | The Outline
There is something terribly cloying about 90+% of "self care" speak
wellness  lol 
4 weeks ago
webshit weekly
Some strangers on the internet promise to send you a computer one day, if you'll just give them thousands of dollars now. Hackernews enjoys pretending there are technical advantages to the promised computers, but the real reason everyone is abuzz is much simpler: someone other than Apple has finally envisioned a computer with rounded corners.
4 weeks ago
Architects attack UK government's new commission for beautiful buildings
Utterly baffling that anybody would think a commission led by Roger Scruton could ever appear slightly impartial. How could this commission ever be anything other than a mouthpiece for Scruton's (rather out-of-step) opinions on aesthetics?

"ludicrous curmudgeon" is not hyperbole
5 weeks ago
Mystery Math Whiz and Novelist Advance Permutation Problem
Being Quanta this is obviously much better than the other articles tgat have appeared so far. Something not conveyed, and I think difficult to convey, is how most mathematicians would view this as essentially ‘recreational’, unlike Quanta’s usual fare.
maths  internet 
5 weeks ago
The Bannon-Frum Munk Debate: What Really Happened - The Atlantic
I gave a platform to a'll never guess what happened next!
5 weeks ago
Charles Seife on Twitter
Happy to explain. I'm a journalism prof interested in, among other things, misinformation. On July 11, I was running a program to monitor a fake news site to see if I could figure out what was responsible for spreading its falsehoods. In this particular case, you were. 1/
5 weeks ago
Post Malone is the perfect pop star for this American moment. That’s not a compliment. - The Washington Post
Post Malone is a Halloween rental, a removable platinum grill, a Cubic Zirconium proposal on the jumbo screen of a last-place team.
for a brief moment there was the palpable fear of being stampeded to death at a Post Malone concert (which, of course, requires the deceased to be buried in a racecar-shaped coffin wrapped in the Rockstar Energy drink logo).
On “Over Now,” he compared sex to body bags in a way that makes you wonder whether his entire sum of carnal knowledge comes from Pornhub.
Post Malone’s problem isn’t that he’s a bad person or even completely untalented. It’s that he stands for nothing at all.
Who allowed this happen? What hole in the system allowed this greasy discarded barbecue wrapper to prosper? A fake pale king sitting on a tinfoil throne. Return to sender.
"embittered middle-aged used-to-be-a-cool-guy music critic" is an easy position to mock, might as well lean into it. fucking lmao
music  hatchet-jobs  lmao 
5 weeks ago
America’s Political Tribes, 2018 - POLITICO Magazine
Pretty lol, but this might be better described as the 6 archetypes of Online Americans, a tiny fringe of Americans on the whole
5 weeks ago
Why William Sitwell’s vegan mockery is not a sackable offence | Zoe Williams | Opinion | The Guardian
It is not a threat of violence, unless we’re going to take every email at face value, every x as a kiss, call a lifeguard every time anyone says they’re drowning. It is not bigotry against a discriminated group
But nobody's saying it's a threat or bigotry against a discriminated group.
It is actually much more important than whether or not a magazine changes editor: if you can’t distinguish, intuitively and without reference to rules, between casual nob-endery and problematic hate speech, or even if you can, and you treat them both the same way for mischievous reasons, you leave yourself incapacitated in the face of either.
I can and am discriminating between them. He's a nob. Why do so many ostensibly left-wing Guardian writers spend their time these days writing apologia for nobs?
food  free-speech 
5 weeks ago
The secret intellectual history of mathematics | Aeon Essays
Mostly agree, but it needs to be said that most of the great ideas maths has injected into history have come about as pure coincidence.
Take this, for example:
Rather, what attracts them, in the words of The Mathematics Lover’s Companion (2017) by the graph theorist Ed Scheinerman, are ‘joyful, beautiful’ theorems and proofs, which they arrive at through the sweat of intellectual play. Akin to the best poems, they contain truths about the world perfectly expressed.
The fist sentence is completely true, but the second sentence isn't. Theorems ARE akin to poems in certain ways (mainly aesthetic) but they don't "contain truths about the world, perfectly expressed": it's truths about the world of mathematics they capture. And despite its "unreasonable effectiveness", that world is not the real world. Pure mathematics is the only discipline whose map is exactly its territory.
maths  intellectual-history  aeon 
5 weeks ago
What's the Most Influential Book of the Past 20 Years? - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Don't be put off by Steve P. at the top, there's some interesting stuff in here.
books  academia 
6 weeks ago
For sale: one deserted village left behind in rush to New Zealand's cities | World news | The Guardian
This seems like a pretty god deal tbh. Would crowdfund with my friends except all the rich friends are norms (even more than me).
6 weeks ago
Daniel Soar · Sokal 2.0 · LRB 25 October 2018
I think the joke’s on them: the only way they could get away with what they did was obediently to produce exactly the kind of work that the field requires. It makes sense to say, after this, that cultural studies are crazy only if you already believed that they were crazy, that their very method and premise are dangerous and wrong. And, clearly, this is what a lot of influential people believe.
This could have made more of the weaknesses of the peer-review process in general in dealing with bad-faith submissions and of the journal system as a whole which creates certain bad incentives, but on the whole it's a good take.
I think "the hoaxers had to become passable critical theorists to publish in critical theory journals" is pretty correct. the question it raises, and which the hoaxers will back to, is: what does it say about critical theory that amateurs could publish in the field within a year? Admittedly two of the three have a background in the academic humanities and they're clearly no slouches at writing, so "amateurs" might not be quite right, but they certainly aren't domain experts. It's implausible that a trio of biologists could start publishing papers in journals in high-energy physics or algebraic geometry, say, with a year's notice. But is the same true of analytic philosophy, or early modern history? I'm not so sure. Does that mean thos efields are worthless? i don't think so, and I'd bet the hoaxers don't think so either. But It's "grievance studies" (their term) they've chosen to focus on. Funny that.
sokal-2-electric-boogaloo  lrb 
6 weeks ago
every A Nightmare on Elm Street movie, ranked
freddie deBoer on films is pretty entertaining and not an ass. good imo
6 weeks ago
This would have saved me easily >10 hours during my PhD, maybe >20. Heck damn it
maths  latex 
6 weeks ago
Universities: Is free speech under threat? - BBC News
Aside from being barely literate, this is surprisingly balanced
free-speech  media  bbc 
6 weeks ago
An anonymous 4chan post could help solve a 25-year-old math mystery - The Verge
I think I should be a 'maths journalist' or whatever the profession is because every time something like this happes I'm sure I could do a better job of reporting on it than what appears.
maths  internet 
6 weeks ago
The peer review industry: implausible and outrageous – TheTLS
I'm not an expert on this--I work on academic books, not journals--but in my view a responsible publisher ought to:

a) make the point that there is still a need for publishers, but not the traditional need. Distribution is easy: curating content and maintaining access and metadata is hard; it's not at all obvious that academics can do this better themselves than dedicated organisations
b) actually devote significant resource to innovating in this direction and offering the services academics say they want rather than the services publishers say academics want
c) do the above efficiently and price products fairly
d) make a clear distinction between themselves and big commercial publishers, and refuse to endorse/support their unethical practices out of industry solidarity
publishing  academia 
7 weeks ago
What duelling can teach us about taking offence | Aeon Essays
Such stories help to explain why Voltaire turns up so frequently in today’s debates over offensive speech

Pretty sure the reason Voltaire crops up so much is people using his quip about "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend &c." to defend shitty speech they agree with tbh
free-speech  history  aeon 
7 weeks ago
David Davis’s chief of staff calls hospitalised child a “pathetic cretin” for… some reason
Seems pretty clear Jackson was referring to the dad, who does seem a bit cretinous. Using sick kids to make a political point, even the ‘right’ one, still bad imo. Incredible Jackson didn’t consider it would be used this way though. Probably a bit dim.
brexit  twitter 
7 weeks ago
We have FOMOMG - do you? - BBC News
turns out not all language is equal, nip this in the fucking bud
7 weeks ago
UK political groups spied on by undercover police – the list | UK news | The Guardian
fucking hell, the police infiltrated literally hundreds of anarchist and left wing groups (and environmental & animal rights groups) but only 3 far-right outfits
8 weeks ago
Israel fines New Zealand women $18,000 for urging Lorde concert boycott | Music | The Guardian
The Israaeli state boggles me. Even if they were morally justified in their actions over Gaza (I don't think they are), how could they possibly think suing a pair of NZ teenagers for writing a letter would sway international opinion in their direction? And if they did think it would, why didn't they just sue Lorde?
8 weeks ago
Mastodon's 2 Year Anniversary - Official Mastodon Blog
In the end, Mastodon out-survived and Google+, a multi-million dollar project.
Followed directly by Josef's cluckers tweet, nice
8 weeks ago
J.K. Rowling Criticized for Nagini's Racist Role in 'Fantastic Beasts'
Annoying though Rowling’s habit of woke-retconning is, I find the people writing these articles just as irritating. It’s like they’re so wedded to Harry Potter they won’t rest until it’s a perfect piece of media that they can indulge their childish love for without feeling problematic. Just grow up instead lads. Just stop writing about Harry Potter.
media  representation 
8 weeks ago
Google is shutting down Google+ following massive data exposure
The company finally admitted that Google+ never received the broad adoption or engagement with users that it had hoped for -- according to a blog post, 90 percent of Google+ user sessions last for less than five seconds.
Five seconds, that's gotta sting
9 weeks ago
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