4chan (etc) is where you go to roleplay as an evil person.

(Except sometimes the pretending spills onto people who aren't playing. And, though I'm a great believer in the human ability to see and not believe, do and not endorse, I wonder if some of them forget it was pretend.)

What served this role before? Is 4chan a displacement of real malice, real crime, and so actually good?

"Functions served by false models:

(1) A starting point in a series of models of increasing realism.

(2) Suggestive line for alternate explanations.

(3) New predictive tests or new refinements of an established model.

(4) Template to “factor out” obvious effects, to detect phenomena otherwise masked.

(5) Template for estimating the magnitude of parameters that are not included in the model.

(6) Simpler arena for questions about complex models, which also appear in this simpler case.


"Models are stupid, and we need more of them... The precise specification of parts and relationships is what defines a scientific question and separates
it from wishy-washy pseudotheory that is unfalsifiable and distracting... The linear model is so obviously wrong yet so useful that the mathematical anthropologist Richard McElreath has dubbed it “the geocentric model of applied statistics.”"



Cyberpunk way of describing a flat:

- Organics exchange (soup dispenser and toilet)
- Water exchange (sink and shower)
- Air exchange (window)
- Heat exchange (radiator / aircon)
- Information exchange (terminal)
- Electron source

(Point is to compare this aesthetic to what philosophy does: defamiliarisation as a way of noticing tacitly accepted things. Here, it's that among the necessities of life, we don't pipe in food. Probably for good reasons, but still.)

"How can we help you with your workplace mental health concerns?"

"By making the mental health workshops optional."

"Mate I was so wasted last night"
"I am like addicted to coffee srsly"

"A good idea will draw overly-optimistic entrepreneurs to it like moths to a flame: all get immolated but the one with the dumb luck to kiss the flame at the perfect instant. (How many payment startup were there before Paypal? How many social networks before Facebook? How many search engines before Google?) How can you catch a falling knife?"

- gwern

"not in the way people usually used the word" - imagined, not just dreamed - gets me every time

"Ordinary men had dreamed it up and put it together, building towers on rafts in swamps and across the frozen spines of mountains. They’d cursed and, worse, used logarithms. They’d waded through rivers and trigonometry. They hadn’t dreamed, in the way people usually used the word, but they’d imagined a different world, and bent metal around it. And out of all the sweat and swearing and mathematics had come this... thing, dropping words across the world as softly as starlight."

- Terry Pratchett

The annoying, clumsy stats package I have to use for my current course was originally developed by a world-class statistician, John Nelder.

A good sign, that the cutting edge of 50 years ago is so bad.

The best cricketer ever is 6.5 standard deviations above the mean Test cricketer, and 5 above his nearest rival. Has this **any** precedent?

Maybe: Shakespeare above Jonson, Marlowe, Kyd.


We call physiotherapists "physios" but not psychotherapists...

Very different things which all wear the word "review":

1. Flat statement of facts about the work.
2. Statement of the reviewer's emotional reactions to the work.
3. Actual critical attention. How it works, how it doesn't, how it relates to other works.

Good reviews can involve all three; but most newspaper reviews are nothing but (1) and most online user reviews are nothing but (2).

(I have been impressed with how much of (3) or (1+2+3) there is on Goodreads, but it's still one in twenty.)

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A Mastodon instance for maths people. The kind of people who make \(\pi z^2 \times a\) jokes.

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