LIVnks. - englebright.co.uk
Enough Good Content here to keep you busy for days
links  internet 
15 hours ago
THE MODAL ÆTHER
The one major regret I now have about the delay caused by my timidity is that in the dozen-or-so years that have passed since the first draughts of this essay were circulated David Lewis has died. Readers familiar with the literature will immediately recognise Lewis as the most important single creator of the Augean stables I am reporting on, and as the writer most likely to wish to maintain them intact as a World Heritage Site. It is true that I thought his ideas terrible, but he defended them with personal integrity and without malice: I enjoyed his company, and am sorry that he is not around to reply.
lol
maths  philosophy  lol 
4 days ago
A Man Deliberately Infected With HIV By Daryll Rowe Has Been Denied Damages Because He Shouted At A Tory Politician
Okay fine, let me put my Scott Alexander hat on for a moment. Yes, that this particular loophole has stopped this guy from receiving compensation is an outrage. Yes, even more, that he was arrested and convicted for shouting at a Tory politician is an outrage. But this is still a shitty misleading headline.

Although politics is about power, I do actually think there's value for the left in promoting standards of journalistic integrity, simply because the media is an organ of power and journalistic impropriety is much more easily wielded to benefit the few than the many.
buzzfeed  justice  media 
5 days ago
Who’s Afraid of Bari Weiss? | National Review
The reason the Left was especially rattled by its Weissophobia this week is that in her new column she did two extremely scary things. One is that she found a really cool name to unite a group of thought outlaws the Left wants to silence.

tears emoji
In another tweet, Feinberg wrote sarcastically, “This mild criticism of a thought i shared with a large audience on a public platform is an affront to the first amendment.”

Weiss’s subjects, thinkers such as Shapiro, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Eric Weinstein, and Christina Hoff Sommers, aren’t exactly barred by the mainstream media, but the activist Left is furious at all of them and doing its best to marginalize them, disrupting their speaking appearances and denouncing them every time they appear in the big-name media outlets.

tired: getting owned
wired: self-owning
inspired: seeing someone else get owned then replicating their behaviour so the own retroactively applies to you too
media  politics 
11 days ago
The Kanye West Prestige Theory
Exploring a theory that Kanye West is attempting to pull off an Andy Kaufman-inspired performance art piece.

If this is true it’s even dumber than what actually appears to be happening.
politics  music 
17 days ago
Meet Robin Hanson, opponent of ‘sex inequality’
shocked that a prominent Rationalist misapplies his map
19 days ago
Why is sarcasm so difficult to detect in texts and emails?
I think it would be really exciting to be a professional linguist these days
language 
25 days ago
The last man who knew everything
Not sure if I hate myself enough to read about this guy.
books 
25 days ago
Questions and speculation on learning and cohomology, Version 2 | Joshua Tan
The list of topics here is baffling. It's always so hard for me to tell whether these big associations between topics expresses a kind of ambitious genius or just wishful thinking.
maths  ai 
4 weeks ago
An Apology for the Internet — From the People Who Built It
Kyanka: It’s important to have rules and to follow through on them. When I started my forum Something Awful, one of my first priorities was to create a very detailed, comprehensive list spelling out what is allowed and what is not allowed. The problem with Twitter is they never defined themselves. They’re trying to put up the false pretense that they’re banning the alt-right, but it’s just a metrics game. They don’t have anyone who can direct the community and communicate with the community, so they’re just revving their tires in the sand. They’re a bunch of math nerds who probably haven’t left their own business in years, so they have no idea how to actually speak to females or people with other viewpoints without going to wikiHow. They’ve got no future unless they can go to the person who is currently teaching Mark Zuckerberg how to be a human being.
Owned by the Something Awful lad. lol.
tech  internet 
5 weeks ago
Consciousness is a mathematical pattern: Max Tegmark at TEDxCambridge 2014 - YouTube
"the Universe is a mathematical pattern"

"consciousness is a mathematical pattern"

"my system for making grand unfalsifiable claims is a mathematical pattern"
neuroscience  maths 
5 weeks ago
The First Hour I Believed | Slate Star Codex
When people say about MIRI "sure, it might be far-fetched but I'm glad some people at least are thinking about AI safety" I want to point out that the things they're actually thinking about are batshit speculations about gods and multiverses.
I mean, I get it, this stuff is fun. It's not serious science though.
simulationism 
5 weeks ago
The Scientific Paper is Obsolete
a cultivated difficulty of character added to an intrinsic sense of loneliness, isolation, and uniqueness

S. Wolfram is E. Yudkowsky if Yudkowsky actually were as intelligent and accomplished as he thinks.

[and Wolfram himself is such a gigantic ass that every article about his products and achievements ends up getting digressing on what an ass he is.]
science  publishing  tech  wolfram 
5 weeks ago
Why Mark Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook | WIRED
I deleted facebook on New Year's Day 2017. I miss it. Or rather, I don't miss it -- as a service it's okay and as a company it might be the very worst on earth -- but I miss the function it serves. It's the one social network I confidently expect almost everybody I interact with to use, and I have missed out on things I'd like to know about by not having it. I don't really think the latest scandal will change anything, I think we're fucked as a culture. The privacy concerns aren't going to make many people quit; they aren't even what made me quit. But now I have quit it seems impossible to rejoin. It's one thing to be a frog in slowly boiling water, another to dive headfirst into the frothing pot.
tech 
6 weeks ago
The fall of Milo Yiannopoulos
I ask him to imagine he has a child with cancer. He can’t do it. “Cancer, yeah,” he says, “Cancer is curable,” because he doesn’t understand cancer. “Feminism,” he ponders, “you could be the walking dead your whole life.” He doesn’t understand feminism, either.
politics  internet 
6 weeks ago
EMS newsletter March 2018
From the interview with Ragni Piene:
Q. I have always claimed that those who suffer most from the lack of women in mathematics are male mathematicians, most of whom would gladly exchange many of their male colleagues for women. But I gather it is not the concern for male mathematicians that motivates you.

A. Women mathematicians suffer from the imbalance more than male mathematicians.

Q. But I guess we can agree that the imbalance is due to the choice of women who elect not to become mathematicians not primarily because of the imbalance but because they do not really care that much for mathematics. And one should not force women to become mathematicians if they do not take the initiative themselves.

A. This is your opinion. I think that more women could have “liked to become mathematicians”. Real role models have been missing.

Gee I wonder what this interviewer's opinion is?
maths  feminism 
6 weeks ago
Short Cuts · Colourisation | Tom Crewe
Some of my nights out are better documented than whole wars.
photography  lrb 
7 weeks ago
Ezra Klein: Editor-in-Chief | Sam Harris
Ezra Klein, very very civilly of course, suggests that Sam Harris might be wrong on 'race science'.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/27/15695060/sam-harris-charles-murray-race-iq-forbidden-knowledge-podcast-bell-curve

Sam Harris responds by publishing their private email correspondence.
It doesn't go very well.
NOTE (3/28/18)

Judging from the response to this post on social media, my decision to publish these emails appears to have backfired. I was relying on readers to follow the plot and notice Ezra’s evasiveness and gaslighting (e.g. his denial of misrepresentations and slurs that are in the very article he published). Many people seem to have judged from his politeness that Ezra was the one behaving honestly and ethically. This is frustrating, to say the least.
lol  popcorn.gif 
7 weeks ago
What In God’s Name Happened To Ricky Gervais? | Brendan James
It’s true that people online, and I’m sure some offline, are currently offended by an extended and belabored stretch of his new standup where he mocks Caitlyn Jenner, gratuitously refers to her old identity, and does a bit about how he’s decided to “transition” to being a chimp. Whether or not you subscribe to the idea that comedy should categorically never “punch down” (I don’t), we can all agree that this material is objectively for idiots and people over fifty who think it’s daring and brave to flout “political correctness.”
comedy  the-baffler 
7 weeks ago
When campus “free speech” is a marketing ploy.
A couple of years ago I read an article in a marketing magazine about the infamous Protein World "beach body ready" campaign, looked at from a pure marketing industry PoV. It predicted that as it become the norm for brands to position themselves as inclusive (and in some cases, embarrassingly woke), the natural marketing move would be to negative campaigns that seek to capitalise on an anti-PC backlash by explicitly excluding some people. Protein World was the bleeding the trend, they said. I think we are seeing this play out in some parts of popular culture as well, particularly with the popularity of the alt-right among edgy teens, although since the internet has made popular culture no longer a monolith, the effect is thankfully contained to some groups.
Anyway, U. Chicago seems very much that.
politics  academia 
8 weeks ago
Some applications of Thue's Lemma
It turns out Thue's method for proving fermat's theorem of primes representable as the sum of two squares actually works just as well for primes of the form p = x^2 + Dy^2.
maths 
8 weeks ago
Outselling the Bible « LRB blog
Meanwhile, his defence of traditional family values, individualism and free speech, accompanied by diatribes against ‘identity politics’, ‘radical left ideologues’ and ‘postmodern neo-Marxism’ have made him a favourite on the right, bridging the distance between Breitbart and the Spectator.
"bridging the distance between Breitbart and the Spectator"—that's good.
lrb  alt-libs  jordan-peterson 
9 weeks ago
Meet the campaign connecting affluent techies with progressive candidates around the country - The Verge
Good article contains great mini-article about ESR. Shame they didn't link to "A natural contemplates game".
“ESR is a talentless hack whose reputation is entirely built on self promotion and being in the right place at the right time. His attempts to define the culture that gave him everything he has have been repugnant,” says Matthew Garrett, a security engineer at Google who donated to the Great Slate. “So am I enthusiastic about performatively associating these things together in a way that also says fuck you to his political views? Yes, yes I am.”
lol
tech  politics  esr  lol 
10 weeks ago
Am I autistic? An intellectual autobiography | Karl Friston
It's easy to hate people who are clearly just intellectually leagues above you, but that hate is curiously dispelled for me here by his accompanying childhood illustrations. He's not better because he's more naturally talented (although obviously he is); he also worked obsessively on things and earned his knowledge.
genius 
10 weeks ago
At the end of everything, hold on to anything. - englebright.co.uk
Night in the Woods is certainly my game of the year, and I think that would still be true even if I did play more than 2-4 games a year. That probably can't be separated from the fact that I, too, really like the cut of Scott Benson's jib, but still I think there's a lot to get out of this game even if you aren't a leftist who can't make up their mind whether they prefer deep earnestness or spiky, ironic takes.

Adam is totally right about the little details being spot-on:
my favourite example of this being the name "Trans4rm" for the youth group—I could not have come up with a better fake church youth group name if I tried

One of my favourite things in reading is when you come across a little detail like this that perfectly matches your own experience. There's no a priori reason I can think of why in games this only happens with the kinds of things that get derisively termed 'interactive fiction', but the fact that it does only seem to occur there pretty well explains why these games are the only ones I have any real interest in playing any more.

Anyway, I expect I'll be replaying this game too, because
a) Gotta get that Angus time, and
b) When we were smashing lightbulbs, not once did I hit the cans Gregg kept chucking at me, he got me in the face every dang time.
gaming 
11 weeks ago
Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Reveal Parkland Students’ Astroturfing?
This is a good article, and this
then-Internet celebrity Baked Alaska
is a good burn.

(Pet peeve though: why does anybody who considers themselves "into computers" use "grok" jut to mean "understand". I understand that "grok" is meant to mean something deeper; that's not how you're using it though.)
politics 
11 weeks ago
Have you got the f**k over Harry Potter yet? | Daily Mash
Easy stuff, but still funny.
Whatever people say, the Harry Potter series awakened in you a passion for:

A) Reading

B) Reading Harry Potter
lol  harry-potter  daily-mash 
11 weeks ago
Chris Mullin · Short Cuts · LRB 8 March 2018
I read A Very British Coup over Christmas and it's unpleasantly believable.
lrb  politics 
12 weeks ago
Unenlightened thinking: Steven Pinker’s embarrassing new book is a feeble sermon for rattled liberals
Pinker stipulates that the Enlightenment, by definition, is intrinsically liberal. Modern tyrannies must therefore be products of counter-Enlightenment ideologies – Romanticism, nationalism and the like. Enabling liberals to avoid asking difficult questions about why their values are in retreat, this is a popular view.
The purpose of Pinker’s laborious graphs and figures is to reassure his audience that they are on “the right side of history”.

I've always wondered why I instinctively dislike Pinker's writing, and I think this is why: he always sounds a little self-satisfied to me, completely confident his own view of the world is correct.
liberalism  new-statesman 
12 weeks ago
Red Winter | The Comics Journal
Think I'm going to try to get into more comics, but how do I refer to the general genre of comics I like—Maus, Isabel Greenberg's stuff, whatever this is—without the condescension of "graphic novels"?
comics  via:engles 
12 weeks ago
Inigo Thomas · At the Ladbroke Arms · LRB 22 February 2018
Jacob Rees-Mogg isn’t a fascist, and Mosley liked the European idea – so long as it was white. Yet it is a peculiarity of both men that they should be members of the elite, yet popular among people who think the rest of that class or caste contemptible, and whose hatred for any establishment defines their politics.
politics  lrb 
12 weeks ago
Martin Crane’s hideous chair was the true star of Frasier
More fodder for the “Here’s why ‘Friends’ is actually bad” thinkpiece nobody asked me to write.
tv 
12 weeks ago
The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation
https://maliciousaireport.com/

1. No contributors from MIRI I see...

2. Since I do worry a lot about AI, and since this looks like a sane approach by writers whose style doesn't make me want to punch their entire existence (looking at you, Big Yud), I'll probably make a good-faith attempt to read it.

3. Dang that's a well-designed report.
ai 
12 weeks ago
Shannon Matthews: The unravelling of the truth - BBC News
I'm sure there's a rich seam of interesting things to say about the Shannon Matthews case and how its causes and the media responses intersect with class in Britain, particularly when contrasted with the Madeleine McCann case. Something like the 'Octomom and the Market in Babies' essay in Mark Greif's book. That's a book I would read.

The actual books about Shannon Matthews look like this though, which sort of proves the point: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shannon-Matthews-Betrayed-Rose-Martin/dp/1844548627
society  class  bbc 
february 2018
Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand | News | The Guardian
Everyone is always saying these days that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Everyone is always saying it, in my view, because it’s obviously true. [...] Those who are saved, in the end, will be those who can afford the premium of salvation.

yep :(
tech  society 
february 2018
The punk rock internet – how DIY ​​rebels ​are working to ​replace the tech giants
Assisted by around £100,000 in crowdfunding, they started work on a new kind of social network, called Heartbeat, whose users would hold on to their data, and communicate privately. Since then, they have launched an app [...] purchased by about 14,000 people

I hesitate to complain--I think Aral’s heart is in the right place--but I think this would be a better article if it focused on, e.g., Mastodon than ind.ie. I’d argue that Eugen building a million+ user social network in his bedroom is more punk rock than a company that appears to spend most of its money on shiny design and flying to TEDx.
internet 
february 2018
Trust our institutions. - englebright.co.uk
It is somewhat interesting that the elite came to be unable (at least in theory) to wield unquestioned power over the majority of the population at around about the same time that the majority of people came to trust so heavily in these abstract institutions (instead of just accepting that challenging those institutions was above their ability, even in theory). It probably is just that both are a result of mass communication, literacy and emancipation becoming available for all, rather than there being some conspiracyish explanation for the rise of the press as another way for the elite to exert its power (which it is, of course, but that's emergent rather than planned).
society 
february 2018
Real-life Sci-Fi world 11: Kalgash, a planet in permanent daytime (from Asimov’s Nightfall) | PLANETPLANET
I have no idea why I didn't become a planet-scientist, this shit looks like incredible fun
space 
february 2018
Why Are There So Few Women Mathematicians? - The Atlantic
Duchin recalls a conference she attended as a second-year graduate student where mathematicians were ‘objectively’ rating colleagues. “The game of the evening involved naming two people, and everyone had to say who was better. That’s a particularly crass example,” she says, but it illustrates the pervasive belief in the field that there’s an objective way to measure who is a “good” mathematician. “If that’s your ideological commitment, then of course you’re going to discount implicit bias.”
“A lot of editorial boards have one woman, and not a lot have two. One can be a token, but the move from one to two could be huge,” says Duchin.
maths  feminism  academia 
february 2018
Title length
Nice when the data supports a heuristic: if your title's long, you might be a) fudging because you have nothing to say; b) working in an incredibly niche area that requires many adjectives to even describe what you're doing. Both of these are self-owns.
publishing  academia 
february 2018
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