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"Place yourself outside this!"

- grisly Wodehousian way of saying "bon appetit"

Spotted: "This premise is being watched".

I see what you did there, oddly philosophical sign.

“The law regarding the distinction between extortion and settling a legal claim is very unsettled—it’s not well defined”


(That piece is revealing when it describes Muller as a "virulent anti-Stalinist". Virulent?

I hope I'm remembered as something half that good.)

This worries me ("SCIENCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN POLITICAL"). It's a motte-and-bailey move.

The trivial claim is that scientists and scientific institutions grow in a political context, are used for political ends, and are very often slightly subverted by social pressures and prejudices.

The exciting claim is that science has no special status, that it's just disguised politics, can be safely ignored or treated as having one epistemic vote, with sociology, theology (...)

"There is a darkness descending on and through the digital and our Centre is a beacon of light..."

"There has never been a better time to be a Whig historian."

New Twitter ad is extremely ripe for parody:

(She shuffles along the street not looking where she's going, reads 100 nonevents in the lives of charmless celebs, retweets a nasty callout of an already-sacked fool, is tricked by foreign bots into hating her domestic political enemies even more, and gets stressed by the old bad stream of unrepresentative, nocebo headlines.


Lots of statistical skulduggery around, regarding the threshold income for 'poverty' and the resulting trend. But we can sidestep binary gerrymandering entirely by plotting the distribution over time. Max Roser:

"Scientists have discovered a revolutionary treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?"

(it's getting enough sleep)

(Unintended irony: because of the frustration, strain, and acute sense of human deficiency it bestows!

Like sitting through "Ring des Nibelungen" or waiting 6 hours in A&E.)

"if you don’t learn to code you’re missing one of the great cultural experiences of our time."
- attrbd Minsky

RIP John Bogle (1929 – 2019), a highly effective class warrior:

"Vanguard has directly saved investors a total of $175 billion in fees... saved investors $140 billion in trading costs that would have provided nothing of value; saved outside investors $200 billion by forcing competitors to lower their fees to compete. Half a trillion dollars that would have gone to Wall Street motherfuckers for no good reason has instead gone to Joe and Jane Average investors & retirees"

"Webcam tape" is a successful meme. Good for it!

But, prima facie, most people should be more concerned about their microphones - and this meme is rare. Obviously loads of software fixes (up to killing the device driver), but reversible hardware would be better.

How about: "insert a dummy plug into the mic jack to prevent sound from being picked up by the internal mic. create a dummy plug by cutting off the unneeded portion of an old microphone plug" (Still software-mediated though.)

Here's a flawed starter method: take all books made into films.

Get \(a =\) average of these books' scores, \(b =\) average of those films' scores, \(c =\) average of the young-adult subset books' scores, and \(d =\) the average of the young-adult subset films' scores.

\(b/a\) is the general book-to-film conversion loss.
\(d/c - b/a\) is the specific young adult conversion loss.

(This doesn't decompose the book-status and commercial-pressure effects, you'd need natural experiments for that.)

You could measure the arbitrary status boost given to books by comparing the critical reception of novels to films made of them.

(The Young Adult thing is the starkest drop, I bet.)

Similarly "book porn" and people with "book lover" serving as an identity. Fetishising the surface.

It's a mistake to mood-affiliate with all the different kinds of reading equally. What is it?: Closer contact with reality? An escape from it? Challenge? Validation? Duty? Dodging duty? Obediently working your way through a Canon? Rebelling against what your local authorities say?

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

Use \( and \) for inline LaTeX, and \[ and \] for display mode.