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Kaj Sotala has been shared in 23 public circles

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Angie Rocio50To be added to my Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Plus, Comment and Reshare this post° in PUBLIC 2014-06-17 17:20:394483310CC G+
Angie Rocio40This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)Thanks!2014-06-15 08:09:44448209CC G+
Dina Tika0Here is a group of Active Engagers, Circle Sharers, Awesome Plus Oners, and Cool People on Google Plus!   Circle Sharing is an awesome way to increase your followers and active engagers on your profile. Some of my favorite people that I've met here on Google + through Circle Sharing.    Want to be in the next Circle of Awesomeness? Follow the Steps Below!  ☛ Add the circle ☛ Share in the Public ☛ Plus 1 the Post. ☛ Comment. 2014-06-10 05:53:52479001CC G+
Krzysztof Skomra4,828New circle 201404031. Plus this post2. Leave a comment (introduce yourself, if you’d like)3. Add this circle to your circles4. Add yourself to the circle5. Share this circle publicly to your stream1. Dodaj Plus dla postu 2. Zostaw komentarz (przedstaw ślad po sobie, jeśli chcesz) 3. Dodaj ten krąg do swoich kręgów 4. Dodaj się do kręgu 5. Poleć ten krąg publicznie do strumienia #techlover   #photographers   #bloggers   #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circles   #share   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #sharemycircles  #sharemycircle   #iwillfollow   #followback   #followers#cardphoto   #circle #circles #publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare#sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #AwesomeCircle #addcircle #addpeople #circlemeup 2014-04-03 21:55:02501349CC G+
Aleksander Adamczyk0New circle 201404031. Dodaj Plus dla postu 2. Zostaw komentarz (przedstaw ślad po sobie, jeśli chcesz) 3. Dodaj ten krąg do swoich kręgów 4. Dodaj się do kręgu 5. Poleć ten krąg publicznie do strumienia EN.1. Plus this post2. Leave a comment (introduce yourself, if you’d like)3. Add this circle to your circles4. Add yourself to the circle5. Share this circle publicly to your stream#techlover   #photographers   #bloggers   #circle   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circles   #share   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #sharemycircles  #sharemycircle   #iwillfollow   #followback   #followers#cardphoto   #circle #circles #publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing#sharedcircles #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare#sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles#AwesomeCircle #addcircle #addpeople #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery  2014-04-03 21:29:32501011CC G+
Timo Kiviluoma9,935A full circle of MEN from FINLAND! Crazy but true. We Finns are artistic, witty and bit shy - you need to add this circle and fin us! #circleshare   #circles   #finland   #men   #sharedcircles  2014-04-03 13:07:45132014CC G+
Timo Kiviluoma6,945MEN FROM FINLAND. A very dedicated circle of men, all from Finland. Strange, isn't it? Anyway, add these witty and generous gentlemen and find the true character of Finland. .-) #finland   #men   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #sharedcircle   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Circles 2014-01-08 14:25:32131165CC G+
Timo Kiviluoma5,304KOKONAINEN PIIRILLINEN SUOMALAISIA MIEHIÄGoogleplussaa sanotaan aavekaupungiksi. Tottahan tuuli humisee tyhjässä saluunassa, jos et ole lisännyt piireihisi sinua kiinnostavia ihmisiä.Tässä piirissä on noin 130 suomalaista miestä. Fiksua, taiteellista ja hauskojakin ovat. Osa postaa suomeksi, osa englanniksi. Sinuna antaisin heille mahdollisuuden. :-)ELI HYVÄ IHMINEN LISÄÄ TÄMÄ PIIRI ITSELLESI! (ja jaa eteenpäin...) #piirit   #sharedcircles   #suomipiiri   #suomi  2013-10-30 18:06:22131115CC G+
Max Huijgen41,136Europe calling: the old giant wakes up and calls on its peeps! A new circle of Europeans as I promised long ago to connect the people who responded and share them. See for the first shared circle this post https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/PDUi13o9dB1The original post was shared 225 times. You can find it here:https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/CdhmHGbYjgiPart 2 is still open and can be found here:https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/NDAhG4fP2a7If you didn´t do so already, post there and as long as I have spots free, I will circle you as I want to see my streams come alive during European hours.There was a shared feeling that it would be great to get some attention from G+ for Europe with official hangouts from the community managers during European times, feature roll-outs from Google no longer restricted to the US, having some central point to share European circles and last but not least the desire to have hangouts without having to burn the midnight oil. To help solve this and get Europeans together on the same page I created +Europeans on G+  It already has multiple managers out of the community and that initiative recently span off +European Photo  but feel to offer a bit of your time for this community project. Circle the page if you didn´t already do so. We need more peeps from all over Europe to participate and enjoy G+I hope these posts can do the rounds through Europe and gets us firmly on the G+ map. So even if you´re not European yourself, but sympathize with the initiatives to form a community here, help spread the word and share it.And don´t forget: we all love the other continents and most of us have circles which encompass the whole world. So it´s not against others, but pro us :)2013-03-15 15:05:14291532076CC G+
Andrey Mashnich51,420Круг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Circle of people, with active life position in Google+#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother   #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedpubliccircles #circlesharing #publiccircle2013-01-23 10:40:00479331639CC G+
J. M. Weber812I don't always share circles, but when I do I put some thought into creating them.This is a circle with some of the most interesting people I have in my circles. There are a few rules I follow when selecting:- Only people (no pages or communities)- No NSFW content, not overly political- You can expect these people to engage / be active on G+- Not more than 30 people. Sorry if you're not in it, maybe you will be next time.My goal is to share a circle than can be added without second thoughts. In my experience, adding a circle with up to a few hundred profiles will likely mess up your circles so bad it's rarely worth adding them.I hope this circle will be of use to some of you. Recommendations are always welcome.2012-12-15 01:36:3730403CC G+
Jaana Nyström431,855Finnish active people and Pages circle:Suomalaisia postaavia piiri Marraskuu 2012UUTTA:  Piiriläisten päivittäisiä postauksia!http://publiccircles.appspot.com/dailycircle/jaana_nystr_m-finnisch_circle/2012-11-22* * *Kävin läpi omia piirejäni sekä useita eri sivustoja:http://www.circlecount.com/fi/http://www.googleplussuomi.com/mybestfriends/?googleid=101780786123023132934http://www.googleplussuomi.com/Lisäsin sellaiset jotka ovat postanneet julkisesti, varsinkin kahden viime viikon aikana.Postauskieli vaihtelee suomesta englantiin.Tallentakaa koko piiri uutena ja napsikaa sitten pois porukkaa joiden sisältö ei teitä kiinnosta. Tai valikoikaa! :-)Hauskoja hetkiä näiden aktiivisten Plussaajien parissa:  Vinkatkaa lisää profiileja kommenteissa, väsähdin parin tunnin setvimisen jälkeen.Saa jakaa, mielellään kiitos.Katsele piiriläisiä Circlecount.com:issa:http://www.circlecount.com/fi/sharedcircle/?id=z120f1eoezn1t5lms22celljpvm0wvzfs #Piiri   #Suomi   #Gplussa  2012-11-23 07:52:26111451737CC G+
John Ward4,989This is a circle I have set up for people who enjoy Science Fiction or Fantasy. If you'd like to be added to the circle, please let me know in the comments. Also, make sure you guys add the circle as well; so you can see other people's recommendations on the subject. Feel free to re-share this post. #circlesharesunday  2012-06-24 22:05:395014938CC G+
Max Huijgen24,852Europe calling: the old giant wakes up and calls on its peeps! Part IIAccording to the latest figures 426.9 million Europeans now use the InternetThere is a is feeling that it would be great to get some attention from G+ for Europe with official hangouts from the community managers during European times, feature roll-outs from Google no longer restricted to the US, and last but not least the desire to have hangouts and interaction without having to burn the midnight oil. To help solve this and get Europeans together on the same page I created +Europeans on G+  It already has four managers out of the community but feel to offer a bit of your time if you want to contribute. Circle the page if you didn´t already do so. I also organized a "I will circle you" project. If people commented that they came from Europe I would circle them instead of the other way. The intention was to share this circle back to the community and the first circle of 500 went out. You can find them here https://plus.google.com/112352920206354603958/posts/PDUi13o9dB1Now as promised it´s time for round 2: 300 people and a few European pages. Some very well known, some relatively unknown, but all certified active posters from Europe who will spice up your streams during European hours.Check them out and please share the circle as the intention is to get much more Europeans united!if you were left out while you signed up: my excuses as it´s a tedious job to manage all these circles. I checked all but I am only human :)2012-06-01 14:51:14301893957CC G+
Kevin Medeiros3,101Yeah yeah, this is a huge circle to share. These guys and girls are a bunch of geeks. Geeks of what type you might ask? Well, of all sorts..you'll just have to find out. I've gone through and weeded out some of the inactive users myself in order to stay under the 500 person limit. These guys make up a big portion of my stream and never fail to keep me informed about awesome shit.You may also be asking why I didn't sort them out into sub-geek categories? The answer to that is because I'm not your damn secretary :-)Just check'em out :)2012-05-26 19:20:2947711714CC G+
Peter Edenist1,213Final share of this circle for #scififans for some time. This has been one of the oldest circles I have curated and I wouldn't remove one person from here !Plus 1 if you want in! #projectslowboat #scifi #scifisunday #scifichat #sciencefiction #scienceeveryday #scienceisawesome2012-04-22 14:47:445007414CC G+
Mike Clancy3,739I promised to reshare this sci-fi fans circle if I got a lot of new subscribers and I did ... over 100! As before, if you are not already listed in in this circle, but would like to be, please just +1 this post. If you are already in the circle and would like it to grow, please just share. That is all..2012-04-06 13:37:293196322CC G+
Mike Clancy3,675Ok, here's the new and improved sci-fi interests circle. Non-posters have been removed. As before, if you are not already listed in in this circle, but would like to be, please just +1 this post. If you are already in the circle and would like it to grow, please just share. That is all.2012-04-05 13:39:1521813834CC G+
Mike Clancy3,583My sci-fi fan circle ... +1 if you want to be added, share if you already are.2012-04-04 17:18:421343113CC G+
Kevin Medeiros2,549This is my circle of geeks. Definitely an active circle that share geeky shit that "others" may not understand, but you do, right?Circle them if you want instant fun. Seriously..I weed out the lame ones all the time..be prepared for the onslaught of awesome when you add this circle!2012-03-23 21:02:4544913919CC G+
Mike Clancy2,938Final edition of my sci-fi circle for now ... +1 and share if you want to be added to future releases2012-03-20 02:15:081335212CC G+
Mike Clancy1,885My select group of true Sci-Fi fans. If you think you should be added to it, just +12012-03-05 00:31:231514217CC G+
Jaana Nyström35,188#suomi #piiri #Finncircle Lauantain iloksi:Enemmän suomalaisia virtaan!Tämä piiri sisältää niin vanhoja kettuja kuin uusia tulokkaitakin.Kerään koko ajan lisää kotimaista settiä, käykäähän kommentoimassa postauksia niin tiedän lisätä uusia.Te joilla ei vielä ole profiili hyvässä hapessa, lukaiskaa tämä:http://googleplussa.blogspot.com/2012/01/google-kayton-aloitus-profiilivinkit.html2012-03-03 12:32:55186216CC G+

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

2
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 13

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2014-07-30 22:09:27 (13 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)

> A world without predators certainly sounds extreme, and it is. But British philosopher David Pearce can't imagine a future in which animals continue to be trapped in the never-ending cycle of blind Darwinian processes. It's up to us, he argues, to put our brains, our technologies, and our sense of compassion to good use, and do something about it. It's part of his overarching Hedonistic Imperative, a far-sighted "abolitionist project" set with the goal of achieving nothing less than the elimination of all suffering on the planet. And by all suffering, he means all suffering.

> No doubt, when I think about the state of our species and our planet tens of thousands of years from now, it's hard for me to accept the notion that nature and all that's within it remains the same while we venture out into the next state of our existence. Ignoring the plight of other... more »

Most reshares: 12

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2014-08-05 10:51:11 (0 comments, 12 reshares, 37 +1s)

Most plusones: 37

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2014-08-05 10:51:11 (0 comments, 12 reshares, 37 +1s)

Latest 50 posts

2014-08-18 14:48:57 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)

So the one-week break with social media worked well enough, and surfacing for a few days to post accumulated links did also. Time to go for a new policy: social media activity is only allowed for me on weekends (UTC+3). I'll go with a somewhat less strict policy this time, though: "liking", commenting, and posting in general is still prohibited, but responding to event invites and private messages is fine. As always, please help me stick to this policy and react if I violate it! Thanks. :)

So the one-week break with social media worked well enough, and surfacing for a few days to post accumulated links did also. Time to go for a new policy: social media activity is only allowed for me on weekends (UTC+3). I'll go with a somewhat less strict policy this time, though: "liking", commenting, and posting in general is still prohibited, but responding to event invites and private messages is fine. As always, please help me stick to this policy and react if I violate it! Thanks. :)___

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2014-08-18 09:20:00 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)

"You're right when you say we all come out of high school thinking we're going to save the world. And sometimes we do. And sometimes--"

"--sometimes we don't. So you don't think about saving the world. You think about saving just one person. Because sometimes, that's enough."

"All I know is that we have to try. That's what life is. We try. We push back against the darkness, just a little."

"You're right when you say we all come out of high school thinking we're going to save the world. And sometimes we do. And sometimes--"

"--sometimes we don't. So you don't think about saving the world. You think about saving just one person. Because sometimes, that's enough."

"All I know is that we have to try. That's what life is. We try. We push back against the darkness, just a little."___

2014-08-17 19:38:20 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)

"when theoretical computer scientists try to solve real-world problems" -- +Joel Rybicki 

> We introduce and examine the Holiday Gathering Problem which models the difficulty that couples have when trying to decide with which parents should they sp end the holiday. Our goal is to schedule the family gatherings so that the parents that will be happy, i.e. all their children will be home simultaneously for the holiday festivities, while minimizing the number of consecutive holidays in which parents are not happy.

> The holiday gathering problem is closely related to several classical p roblems in computer science, such as the dining philosophers problem on a general graph and periodic scheduling, and has applications in scheduling of transmissions made by cellular radios. We also show interesting connections between periodic scheduling, coloring, and universal prefix... more »

"when theoretical computer scientists try to solve real-world problems" -- +Joel Rybicki 

> We introduce and examine the Holiday Gathering Problem which models the difficulty that couples have when trying to decide with which parents should they sp end the holiday. Our goal is to schedule the family gatherings so that the parents that will be happy, i.e. all their children will be home simultaneously for the holiday festivities, while minimizing the number of consecutive holidays in which parents are not happy.

> The holiday gathering problem is closely related to several classical p roblems in computer science, such as the dining philosophers problem on a general graph and periodic scheduling, and has applications in scheduling of transmissions made by cellular radios. We also show interesting connections between periodic scheduling, coloring, and universal prefix free encodings.___

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2014-08-17 18:22:42 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 5 +1s)

> ...humans don’t owe society anything. We were here first.

> If my patient, the one with the brain damage, were back in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, in a nice tribe with Dunbar’s number of people, there would be no problem.

> Maybe his cognitive problems would make him a slightly less proficient hunter than someone else, but whatever, he could always gather.

> Maybe his emotional control problems would give him a little bit of a handicap in tribal politics, but he wouldn’t get arrested for making a scene, he wouldn’t get fired for not sucking up to his boss enough, he wouldn’t be forced to live in a tiny apartment with people he didn’t necessarily like who were constantly getting on his nerves. He might get in a fight and end up with a spear through his gut, but in that case his problems would be over anyway.

> Otherwisehe could ju... more »

> ...humans don’t owe society anything. We were here first.

> If my patient, the one with the brain damage, were back in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, in a nice tribe with Dunbar’s number of people, there would be no problem.

> Maybe his cognitive problems would make him a slightly less proficient hunter than someone else, but whatever, he could always gather.

> Maybe his emotional control problems would give him a little bit of a handicap in tribal politics, but he wouldn’t get arrested for making a scene, he wouldn’t get fired for not sucking up to his boss enough, he wouldn’t be forced to live in a tiny apartment with people he didn’t necessarily like who were constantly getting on his nerves. He might get in a fight and end up with a spear through his gut, but in that case his problems would be over anyway.

> Otherwise he could just hang out and live in a cave and gather roots and berries and maybe hunt buffalo and participate in the appropriate tribal bonding rituals like everyone else.

> But society came and paved over the place where all the roots and berry plants grew and killed the buffalo and dynamited the caves and declared the tribal bonding rituals Problematic. This increased productivity by about a zillion times, so most people ended up better off. The only ones who didn’t were the ones who for some reason couldn’t participate in it.

> (if you’re one of those people who sees red every time someone mentions evolution or cavemen, imagine him as a dockworker a hundred years ago, or a peasant farmer a thousand)

> Society got where it is by systematically destroying everything that could have supported him and replacing it with things that required skills he didn’t have. Of course it owes him when he suddenly can’t support himself. Think of it as the ultimate use of eminent domain; a power beyond your control has seized everything in the world, it had some good economic reasons for doing so, but it at least owes you compensation!

> This is also the basis of my support for a basic income guarantee. Imagine an employment waterline, gradually rising through higher and higher levels of competence. In the distant past, maybe you could be pretty dumb, have no emotional continence at all, and still live a pretty happy life. As the waterline rises, the skills necessary to support yourself comfortably become higher and higher. Right now most people in the US who can’t get college degrees – which are really hard to get! – are just barely hanging on, and that is absolutely a new development. Soon enough even some of the college-educated won’t be very useful to the system. And so on, until everyone is a burden.

> (people talk as if the only possible use of information about the determinants of intelligence is to tell low-IQ people they are bad. Maybe they’ve never felt the desperate need to reassure someone “No, it is not your fault that everything is going wrong for you, everything was rigged against you from the beginning.”)

> By the time I am a burden – it’s possible that I am already, just because I can convince the system to give me money doesn’t mean the system is right to do so, but I expect I certainly will be one before I die – I would like there to be in place a crystal-clear understanding that we were here first and society doesn’t get to make us obsolete without owing us something in return.

> After that, we will have to predicate our self-worth on something other than being able to “contribute” in the classical sense of the term. Don’t get me wrong, I think contributing something is a valuable goal, and one it’s important to enforce to prevent free-loaders. But it’s a valuable goal at the margins, some people are already heading for the tails, and pretty soon we’ll all be stuck there.___

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2014-08-17 18:19:15 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)

> I’m lucky.  My depression comes in waves, wherein I emerge periodically to experience some very wonderful times, and I can carry that happiness back to the dark bits.  Others aren’t so blessed, and drown.

> That’s why I believe people should have the right to take their own lives.  This belief is summed up in this wonderful Superman comic, wherein Superman says to a suicidal woman on a ledge, “If you honestly believe, in your heart of hearts, you will never have another happy day, then step out into the air.”  Depression leaches all the joy from life, leaves you consistently miserable, and if you’re going to spend the next twenty years in joyless penance, I endorse that escape.

> But.

> Let us not pretend that escape doesn’t have splash damage.

> Because Robin Williams’ wife is suffering right now, and his children aresuffering, and his ... more »

> I’m lucky.  My depression comes in waves, wherein I emerge periodically to experience some very wonderful times, and I can carry that happiness back to the dark bits.  Others aren’t so blessed, and drown.

> That’s why I believe people should have the right to take their own lives.  This belief is summed up in this wonderful Superman comic, wherein Superman says to a suicidal woman on a ledge, “If you honestly believe, in your heart of hearts, you will never have another happy day, then step out into the air.”  Depression leaches all the joy from life, leaves you consistently miserable, and if you’re going to spend the next twenty years in joyless penance, I endorse that escape.

> But.

> Let us not pretend that escape doesn’t have splash damage.

> Because Robin Williams’ wife is suffering right now, and his children are suffering, and his young daughter will doubtlessly look at that final Instagram he posted of her and him together and wonder, eternally, if there was something she could have done.  By killing himself, he’s condemned them to a lifetime of pain.

> And I think that’s one of the evilest tricks of depression: it lists all the people you love and convinces you, one by one, that they’d all be better off without you.  Except this is usually a huge lie.  I’ve talked to the survivors of suicidal lovers, and not a one of them felt happy that their loved one had offed himself.  They may have understood, they may have even endorsed it, but they all had a great loss in their life.  That death ripped a hole in them that will never fully heal.  Particularly if it came by surprise, which – because we treat suicide as though it’s the greatest and most shameful of evils – it usually does.

> Your exit may be painless for you, but it will hurt the people you love.  Count on that.

> The problem, I think, is that in American society, “Selfishness” is the biggest sin.  You’re not allowed to be greedy, unless it’s for money.  The idea that you might harm someone willingly is seen as a monstrous act, the unforgivable thing, and so people are falling all over themselves to say that Robin Williams did nothing selfish.

> He did, a little.  He looked at the future, saw nothing good anywhere down the road, and decided to opt out.  And like Superman, if there was truly never going to be one more good day for Robin, well, I support that.  It’s a harsh equation, but there comes a point when the personal pain he’d endure would supersede the needs of his family – and if that’s the case, I think he should have the ability to opt out, just like any other terminally ill patient.

> But what I do hope was that Robin was being honest with himself in his last moments.  I hope he wasn’t going, “Well, they’ll be better off without me” and doing that fucked-up fandango where he convinces himself they’ll not just be better off without him, but actually happy.  Because I’ve been there.  I did that myself when I opened up that bottle of sleeping pills, and I survived by accident, and man, years later I am well aware of how fucked up my entire family would have been if they’d found me dead in my bedroom.  They would have been the farthest thing from happy.

> It’s a balance: Is your pain so bad that it’s worth hurting others to escape it?  And, like all pain, it’s impossible to say how bad it is for someone else.  You have to make your own decisions.  Maybe it was that bad for Robin, maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know.

> But let’s not pretend it’s not selfish.  It is.  A little.  And the best I can ask of you serious depressives is to look at it honestly, to understand the hurt you’re going to dispense on your way out, and honestly weigh whether you can live – or not-live – with that injury.___

2014-08-17 17:53:49 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)

> We now have a theory in hand that explains how subpersonal brain events (for instance, those that specify action goals and assemble suitable motor commands) can become the contents of the conscious self. When certain processing stages are elevated to the level of conscious experience and bound into the self-model active in your brain, they become available for all your mental capacities. Now you experience them as your own thoughts, decisions, or urges to act—as properties that belong to you, the person as a whole. It is also clear why these events popping up in the conscious self necessarily appear spontaneous and uncaused. They are the first link in the chain to cross the border from unconscious to conscious brain processes; you have the impression that they appeared in your mind “out of the blue,” so to speak. The unconscious precursor is invisible, but the link exists. (Recently, this hasbeen ... more »

> We now have a theory in hand that explains how subpersonal brain events (for instance, those that specify action goals and assemble suitable motor commands) can become the contents of the conscious self. When certain processing stages are elevated to the level of conscious experience and bound into the self-model active in your brain, they become available for all your mental capacities. Now you experience them as your own thoughts, decisions, or urges to act—as properties that belong to you, the person as a whole. It is also clear why these events popping up in the conscious self necessarily appear spontaneous and uncaused. They are the first link in the chain to cross the border from unconscious to conscious brain processes; you have the impression that they appeared in your mind “out of the blue,” so to speak. The unconscious precursor is invisible, but the link exists. (Recently, this has been shown for the conscious veto, as when you interrupt an intentional action at the last instant.)13 But in fact the conscious experience of intention is just a sliver of a complicated process in the brain. And since this fact does not appear to us, we have the robust experience of being able to spontaneously initiate causal chains from the mental into the physical realm. This is the appearance of an agent.

Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (p. 127). Basic Books. Kindle Edition. ___

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2014-08-17 10:22:13 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)

Physical world problems.

Physical world problems.___

2014-08-17 10:11:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)

A review of current computational models of consciousness.

> [Models of consciousness] are largely found to fall into five categories based on the fundamental issue that their developers have selected as being most central to consciousness: a global workspace, information integration, an internal self-model, higher-level representations, or attention mechanisms. For each of these five categories, an overview of past work is given, a representative example is presented in some detail to illustrate the approach, and comments are provided on the contributions and limitations of the methodology. Three conclusions are offered about the state of the field based on this review: (1) computational modeling has become an effective and accepted methodology for the scientific study of consciousness, (2) existing computational models have successfully captured a number of neurobiological, cognitive, and... more »

A review of current computational models of consciousness.

> [Models of consciousness] are largely found to fall into five categories based on the fundamental issue that their developers have selected as being most central to consciousness: a global workspace, information integration, an internal self-model, higher-level representations, or attention mechanisms. For each of these five categories, an overview of past work is given, a representative example is presented in some detail to illustrate the approach, and comments are provided on the contributions and limitations of the methodology. Three conclusions are offered about the state of the field based on this review: (1) computational modeling has become an effective and accepted methodology for the scientific study of consciousness, (2) existing computational models have successfully captured a number of neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral correlates of conscious information processing as machine simulations, and (3) no existing approach to artificial consciousness has presented a compelling demonstration of phenomenal machine consciousness, or even clear evidence that artificial phenomenal consciousness will eventually be possible.___

2014-08-17 09:56:32 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)

Good point:

> Many assume that the only alternative to a dichotomy is a continuum, in which all differences are differences of degree and all boundaries are arbitrary, or culturally determined. This ignores conceptual spaces that have many discontinuities. Examples are the space of possible designs and the space of requirements for designs, i.e. “niche-space” (Sloman 2000). Biological changes, being based on molecular structures, are inherently discontinuous. Many of the changes that might be made to a system (by evolution or learning or self-modification) are discontinuous; some examples are: duplicating a structure, adding a new connection between existing structures, replacing a component with another, extending a plan or adding a new control mechanism.

I also like the paper's categorization of cognitive systems, from simple reactive systems, to systems that havedel... more »

Good point:

> Many assume that the only alternative to a dichotomy is a continuum, in which all differences are differences of degree and all boundaries are arbitrary, or culturally determined. This ignores conceptual spaces that have many discontinuities. Examples are the space of possible designs and the space of requirements for designs, i.e. “niche-space” (Sloman 2000). Biological changes, being based on molecular structures, are inherently discontinuous. Many of the changes that might be made to a system (by evolution or learning or self-modification) are discontinuous; some examples are: duplicating a structure, adding a new connection between existing structures, replacing a component with another, extending a plan or adding a new control mechanism.

I also like the paper's categorization of cognitive systems, from simple reactive systems, to systems that have deliberative mechanisms such as planning and reasoning, to systems that contain planning and reasoning mechanisms for regulating and monitoring the lower-level planning and reasoning systems. This kind of a categorization, with conscious thought playing a role in the highest-level self-regulation, seems obvious in retrospect, but I hadn't thought of it in quite those terms before.

> 5.5 Pressures for self-knowledge, self-evaluation and self-control

> A deliberative system can easily get stuck in loops or repeat the same unsuccessful attempt to solve a sub-problem (one of the causes of stupidity in early symbolic AI programs with sophisticated reasoning mechanisms). One way to prevent this is to have a parallel subsystem monitoring and evaluating the deliberative processes. If it detects something bad happening, then it may be able to interrupt and re-direct the processing. We call this metamanagement following (Beaudoin 1994). (Compare Minsky on “B brains” and “C brains” in (Minsky 1987).) It is sometimes called “reflection” by others though with slightly different connotations. It seems to be rare in biological organisms and probably evolved very late. This could have resulted from duplication and then diversification of alarm mechanisms, depicted crudely in figure 7. As with deliberative and reactive mechanisms, there are many varieties of meta-management. An interesting early example in AI is described in (Sussman 1975). Psychological research on “executive functions” (e.g. (Barkley 1997)) presupposes something like meta-management, often not clearly distinguished from deliberation.

> Self monitoring can include categorisation, evaluation, and (partial) control of internal processes, not just measurement. The richest versions of this evolved very recently, and may be restricted to humans, though there are certain kinds of self-awareness in other primates (Hauser 2001).

> Absence of meta-management can lead to “stupid” reasoning and decision making both in AI systems, and in brain-damaged or immature humans, though this may sometimes be mis-diagnosed as due to lack of emotional mechanisms, as in (Damasio 1994). Both the weaknesses of early AI programs with powerful deliberative capabilities and some effects of brain damage in humans that leave “intelligence” as measured in IQ tests intact, indicate the need for a distinction between deliberative and meta-management mechanisms. Both will be needed in machines with human-like consciousness.

> 5.6 Access to intermediate perceptual data

> In addition to monitoring of central problem-solving and planning processes there could be monitoring of intermediate stages in perceptual processes or action processes, requiring additional arrows going from within the perception and action towers to the top layer in figure 7. Examples would be the ability to attend to fine details of one’s perceptual experience instead of only noticing things perceived in the environment; and the ability to attend to fine details of actions one is performing, such as using proprioceptive information to attend to when exactly one bends or straightens one’s knees while walking. The former ability is useful in learning to draw pictures of things, and latter helps the development of various motor skills, for instance noticing which ways of performing actions tend to be stressful and therefore avoiding them – a problem familiar to many athletes and musicians. All of these processes, consistent with VFM, would need to be replicated in a machine with human-like consciousness.

> 5.7 Yet more perceptual and motor “windows”

> We conjecture that, as indicated in figure 7, central meta-management led to opportunities for evolution of additional layers in “multi-window” perceptual and action systems: e.g., social perception (seeing someone as sad or happy or puzzled), and stylised social action (e.g. courtly bows, social modulation of speech production). This would be analogous to genetically (and developmentally) determined architectural mechanisms for multi-level perception of speech, with dedicated mechanisms for phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic processing.

> In particular, the categories that an agent’s meta-management system finds useful for describing and evaluating its own mental states might also be useful when applied to others. (The reverse can also occur.) In summary:

> Other knowledge from self-knowledge: The representational capabilities that evolved for dealing with self-categorisation can also be used for othercategorisation, and vice-versa. Perceptual mechanisms may have evolved recently to use these representational capabilities in percepts. Example: seeing someone else as happy, or angry, seeing the duck-rabbit in figure 1 as looking left or right.

> Additional requirements for coping with a fast moving environment and multiple motives (Beaudoin 1994) and for fitting into a society of cognitively capable agents, provide evolutionary pressure for further complexity in the architecture, e.g.:

> * ‘interrupt filters’ for resource-limited attention mechanisms, 
> * more or less global ‘alarm mechanisms’ for dealing with important and urgent problems and opportunities, when there is no time to deliberate about them, 
> * a socially influenced store of personalities/personae, i.e. modes of control in the higher levels of the system.___

2014-08-17 09:39:49 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)

> When encountering a new idea or text, I often engage in a practice I call "encitation". In order to more thoroughly understand and ingrain a text's intellectual content, I try (temporarily) to view all other ideas and arguments through its lens. This is why when I was reading Whipping Girl I was citing it left and right, just as when I was reading Killing Rage I quoted it incessantly. To understand structuralism, I embraced the structuralist theory and viewed all things in structuralist terms; to understand functionalism, or Marxism, or Freudianism, or performativity, I did the same. Of course, every framework is incomplete and emphasizes certain things to the exclusion of observing others; so viewing the world entirely from within any single framework distorts your perception of reality. The point of the exercise is not to embrace the framework per se, it's to roleplay the embracing... more »

> When encountering a new idea or text, I often engage in a practice I call "encitation". In order to more thoroughly understand and ingrain a text's intellectual content, I try (temporarily) to view all other ideas and arguments through its lens. This is why when I was reading Whipping Girl I was citing it left and right, just as when I was reading Killing Rage I quoted it incessantly. To understand structuralism, I embraced the structuralist theory and viewed all things in structuralist terms; to understand functionalism, or Marxism, or Freudianism, or performativity, I did the same. Of course, every framework is incomplete and emphasizes certain things to the exclusion of observing others; so viewing the world entirely from within any single framework distorts your perception of reality. The point of the exercise is not to embrace the framework per se, it's to roleplay the embracing of it. The point of this roleplay is to come to understand the emphases and limitations of the framework— not abstractly but specifically. This is especially important for trying to understand frameworks you disagree with. When we disagree with things, the instinct is to discount everything they say. But it's intellectually dishonest to refuse to understand why you disagree. And it's counterproductive, since you cannot debunk the theory nor convince people to change their minds without knowing and addressing where they're coming from.

> I engage in encitation not only for anthropological or philosophical ideas, I also do it for mathematical ideas. By trying to view all of mathematics through a particular idea or framework, you come to understand both what it's good at and what it cannot handle. That's one of the things I really love about the way Jason Eisner teaches NLP and declarative methods. While it's brutal to give people a framework (like PCFGs or SAT solving) and then ask them to solve a problem just barely outside of what that framework can handle, it gives you a deep understanding of exactly where and why the framework fails. This is the sort of knowledge you usually have to go out into industry and beat your head against for a while before you see it. But certain fields, like anthropology and writing, do try to teach encitation as a practice for improving oneself. I wonder how much of Jason's technique comes from his background in psychology. Regardless, this practice is one which should, imo, be used (and taught explicitly) more often in mathematics and computer science. A lot of the arguing over OO vs FP would go away if people did this. Instead, we only teach people hybridized approaches, and they fail to internalize the core philosophical goals of notions like objects, functions, types, and so on. These philosophical goals can be at odds, and even irreconcilable, but that does not make one or the other "wrong". The problem with teaching only hybridized approaches is that this irreconcilability means necessarily compromising on the full philosophical commitment to these goals. Without understanding the full philosophical goals of these different approaches, we cannot accurately discuss why sometimes one philosophy is more expedient or practical than another, and yet why that philosophy is not universally superior to others.

> The thing to watch out for, whether engaging in the roleplay of encitation or giving citations for actual work, is when you start reciting quotes and texts like catechisms. Once things become a reflexive response, that's a sign that you are no longer thinking. Mantras may be good for meditation, but they are not good critical praxis. This is, no doubt, what Aoife is referring to when she castigates playing Serano says. This is also why it's so dangerous to engage with standardized narratives. The more people engage in recitations of The Narrative, the more it becomes conventionalized and stripped of whatever humanity it may once have had. Moreover, reiterating The Narrative to everyone you meet is the surest way to drive off anyone who doesn't believe in that narrative, or who believes the content but disagrees with the message. Even if I was "born this way", saying so doesn't make it any more true or any more acceptable to those who who would like Jesus to save me from myself. More to the point, saying so places undue emphasis on one very tiny aspect of the whole. I'd much rather convince people of the violent nature of gender enculturation, and get them to recognize the psychological damage that abuse causes, than get them to believe that transgender has a natal origin.

> As time goes on, we ask different questions. Consequently, we end up discarding old theories and embracing new ones when the old theory cannot handle our new questions. In our tireless pursuit of the "truth", educators are often reticent to teach defunct theories because we "know" they are "wrong". The new theory is "superior" in being able to address our new questions, but we often lose track of the crucial insights of the old theory along the way. For this reason, it's often important to revive old theories in order to re-highlight those insights and to refocus on old questions which may have become relevant once more. In a way, this revitalization is similar to encitation: the goal is not to say that the old theory is "right", the goal is to understand what the theory is saying and why it's important to say those things.

> But again, one must be careful. When new theories arise, practitioners of the immediately-old theory often try to derail the asking of new questions by overemphasizing the questions which gave rise to the preceding theory. This attempt to keep moribund theories on life support often fuels generational divides: the new theoreticians cannot admit to any positives of the old theory lest they undermine their own work, while the old theoreticians feel like they must defend their work against the unrelenting tide lest it be lost forever.___

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2014-08-17 09:36:59 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

Prior to the 1970s, color photography was hard to come by. This photo of Einstein below have been “colorized” to visualize what the world that we only know as black and white looked like back then...

More at the Source: http://www.inspire52.com/colored-old-photos/

Prior to the 1970s, color photography was hard to come by. This photo of Einstein below have been “colorized” to visualize what the world that we only know as black and white looked like back then...

More at the Source: http://www.inspire52.com/colored-old-photos/___

2014-08-09 17:45:48 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)

Time to use social enforcement to reduce my social media activity again: taking a one-week break from Facebook and Google Plus. If you see me post, comment, like, read your private message, or otherwise do anything on either social media before August 16th (UTC+3), please hit me with a stick and otherwise act as disapproving as possible. Thank you!

Time to use social enforcement to reduce my social media activity again: taking a one-week break from Facebook and Google Plus. If you see me post, comment, like, read your private message, or otherwise do anything on either social media before August 16th (UTC+3), please hit me with a stick and otherwise act as disapproving as possible. Thank you!___

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2014-08-09 17:34:00 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)

"This is pretty much exactly what effective battle armor DOES NOT look like. Seriously? This has to be a new record in dumb." -- +Rick 隼 Falkvinge 

(from Appleseed Alpha)

"This is pretty much exactly what effective battle armor DOES NOT look like. Seriously? This has to be a new record in dumb." -- +Rick 隼 Falkvinge 

(from Appleseed Alpha)___

2014-08-09 10:33:25 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)

> There is a consensus among many leading figures in the consciousness community that at least one of the central functions of phenomenal experience is making information “globally available” to an organism. Bernard Baars’s global-workspace metaphor has a functional aspect: Put simply, this theory says that conscious information is that subset of active information in the brain that requires monitoring because it’s not clear which of your mental capacities you will need to access this information next. Will you need to direct focal attention at it? Will you need to form a concept of it, to think about it, to report it to other human beings? Will you need to make a flexible behavioral response—one that you have selected and weighed against alternatives? Will you need to link this information to episodic memory, perhaps in order to compare it with things you have seen or heard before? Part ofBaars’s i... more »

> There is a consensus among many leading figures in the consciousness community that at least one of the central functions of phenomenal experience is making information “globally available” to an organism. Bernard Baars’s global-workspace metaphor has a functional aspect: Put simply, this theory says that conscious information is that subset of active information in the brain that requires monitoring because it’s not clear which of your mental capacities you will need to access this information next. Will you need to direct focal attention at it? Will you need to form a concept of it, to think about it, to report it to other human beings? Will you need to make a flexible behavioral response—one that you have selected and weighed against alternatives? Will you need to link this information to episodic memory, perhaps in order to compare it with things you have seen or heard before? Part of Baars’s idea is that you become conscious of something only when you don’t know which of the tools in your mental toolbox you’ll have to use next.

> Note that when you learn a difficult task for the first time, such as tying your shoes or riding a bicycle, your practicing is always conscious. It requires attention, and it takes up many of your resources. Yet as soon as you’ve mastered tying your shoes or riding a bicycle, you forget all about the learning process—to the point that it becomes difficult to teach the skill to your children. It quickly sinks below the threshold of awareness and becomes a fast and efficient subroutine. But whenever the system is confronted with a novel or challenging stimulus, its global workspace is activated and represented in consciousness. This is also the point when you become aware of the process.

> Of course, a much more differentiated theory is needed, because there are degrees of availability. Some things in life, such as the ineffable shade of Green No. 25, are available for attention, say, but not for memory or conceptual thought. Other things are available for selective motor control but are accessed so quickly you don’t really attend to them: If 100-yard sprinters were to wait until they consciously heard the starter’s shot, they would already have lost the race; fortunately, their body hears it before they do. There are many degrees of conscious experience, and the closer science looks, the more blurry the border between conscious and unconscious processing becomes. But the general notion of global availability allows us to tell a convincing story about the evolution of consciousness. Here is my part of the story: Consciousness is a new kind of organ.

> Biological organisms evolved two different kinds of organs. One kind, such as the liver or the heart, forms part of an organism’s “hardware.” Organs of this type are permanently realized. Then there are “virtual organs”—feelings (courage, anger, desire) and the phenomenal experience of seeing colored objects or hearing music or having a certain episodic memory. The immune response, which is realized only when needed, is another example of a virtual organ: For a certain time, it creates special causal properties, has a certain function, and does a job for the organism. When the job is done, it disappears. Virtual organs are like physical organs in that they fulfill a specific function; they are coherent assemblies of functional properties that allow you to do new things. Though part of a behavioral repertoire on the macro level of observable traits, they can also be seen as composed of billions of concerted micro-events—immune cells or neurons firing away. Unlike a liver or a heart, they are realized transiently. What we subjectively experience are the processes brought about by the ongoing activity of one or many of such virtual organs.

> Our virtual organs make information globally available to us, allowing us to access new facts and sometimes entirely new forms of knowledge. Take as an example the fact that you are holding this book in your hands right now. The phenomenal book (i.e., the conscious book-experience) and the phenomenal hands (i.e., the conscious experience of certain parts of a bodily self) are examples of currently active virtual organs. The neural correlates in your brain work for you as object emulators, internally simulating the book you are holding, without your being aware of the fact. The same is true of the conscious hand-experience, which is part of the bodily subject emulator. The brain is also making other facts available to you: the fact that this book exists, that it has certain invariant surface properties, a certain weight, and so on. As soon as all this information about the existence and properties of the book becomes conscious, it is available for the guidance of attention, for further cognitive processing, for flexible behavior.

> Now we can begin to see what the central evolutionary function of consciousness must have been: It makes classes of facts globally available for an organism and thereby allows it to attend to them, to think about them, and to react to them in a flexible manner that automatically takes the overall context into account. Only if a world appears to you in the first place can you begin to grasp the fact that an outside reality exists. This is the necessary precondition for discovering the fact that you exist as well. Only if you have a consciousness tunnel can you realize that you are part of this reality and are present in it right now.

> Moreover, as soon as this global stage—the consciousness tunnel—has been stabilized, many other types of virtual organs can be generated and begin their dance in your nervous system. Consciousness is an inherently biological phenomenon, and the tunnel is what holds it all together. Within the tunnel, the choreography of your subjective life begins to unfold. You can experience conscious emotions and thereby discover that you have certain goals and needs. You can apprehend yourself as a thinker of thoughts. You can discover that there are other people—other agents—in the environment and learn about your relationship to them; unless a certain type of conscious experience makes this fact globally available to you, you cannot cooperate with them, selectively imitate them, or learn from them in other ways. If you are smart, you may even begin to control their behavior by controlling their conscious states. If you successfully deceive them—if, say, you manage to install a false belief in their minds—then you have activated a virtual organ in another brain.

> Phenomenal states are neurocomputational organs that make survival-relevant information globally available within a window of presence. They let you become aware of new facts within a unified psychological moment. Clearly, being able to use all the tools in your mental toolbox to react to new classes of facts must have been a major adaptive advantage. Every new virtual organ, every new sensory experience, every new conscious thought had a metabolic price; it was costly to activate them, if only for a couple of seconds or minutes at a time. But since they paid for themselves in terms of additional glucose, and in terms of security, survival, and procreation, they spread across populations and sustain themselves to this day. They allowed us to discriminate between what we can eat and what we can’t, to search for and detect novel sources of food, to plan our attack on our prey. They allowed us to read other people’s minds and cooperate more efficiently with our fellow hunters. Finally, they allowed us to learn from past experience.

-- Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (p. 58). Basic Books. Kindle Edition. ___

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2014-08-07 11:35:20 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)

> If you’re rooting for Israel, you might have seen videos of rocket launches by Hamas adjacent to Shifa Hospital. Alternatively, if you’re pro-Palestinian, you might have seen the following report on an alleged IDF sniper who admitted on Instagram to murdering 13 Gazan children.

> While war rages on the ground in Gaza and across Israeli skies, there’s an all-out information war unraveling in social networked spaces.

> Israelis and their proponents are likely to see IDF videos such as this one detailing arms and tunnels found within mosques passed around in their social media feeds, while Palestinian groups are likely to pass around images displaying the sheer destruction caused by IDF forces to Gazan mosques. One side sees videos of rockets intercepted in the Tel-Aviv skies, and other sees the lethal aftermath of a missile attack on a Gazan neighborhood.

> The betterwe ge... more »

"We need to be more thoughtful about adding and maintaining bridges across information silos online. In the Twitter example above, Ha’aretz is clearly positioned well in the network to make important impact on both sides, yet due to that, Ha’aretz also struggles to find its core audience, hence secure enough budget to operate and grow. "___> If you’re rooting for Israel, you might have seen videos of rocket launches by Hamas adjacent to Shifa Hospital. Alternatively, if you’re pro-Palestinian, you might have seen the following report on an alleged IDF sniper who admitted on Instagram to murdering 13 Gazan children.

> While war rages on the ground in Gaza and across Israeli skies, there’s an all-out information war unraveling in social networked spaces.

> Israelis and their proponents are likely to see IDF videos such as this one detailing arms and tunnels found within mosques passed around in their social media feeds, while Palestinian groups are likely to pass around images displaying the sheer destruction caused by IDF forces to Gazan mosques. One side sees videos of rockets intercepted in the Tel-Aviv skies, and other sees the lethal aftermath of a missile attack on a Gazan neighborhood.

> The better we get at modeling user preferences, the more accurately we construct recommendation engines that fully capture user attention. In a way, we are building personalized propaganda engines that feeds users content which makes them feel good and throws away the uncomfortable bits. [...]

> As we construct our online profiles based on what we already know, what we’re interested in, and what we’re recommended, social networks are perfectly designed to reinforce our existing beliefs. Personalized spaces, optimized for engagement, prioritize content that is likely to generate more traffic; the more we click, share, like, the higher engagement tracked on the service. [...]

> The graph below represents Twitter accounts responding to a different incident at the UNWRA school in Beit Hanoun between July 25th and 30th. [...] On the right, a clearly “pro-Palestinian” group of activists (in green) as well as a variety of media outlets and journalists (in gray). The gray cluster of bloggers, journalists and international media entities is closely connected with the group of pro-Palestinian activists, which means that information is much more likely to spread amongst the two. This structural characteristic of the graph reinforces general Israeli sentiment regarding international media bias. [...]

> Alternatively, on the other side we encounter the “pro-Israeli” groups, including media outlets, Israeli public personas, and various American zionists (light blue), as well as American conservatives and Tea Party members (dark blue). [...]

> There’s a clear difference in frame when we compare one side of the graph to the other. None of the information shared is false per se, yet users make deliberate choices about what they choose to amplify. This is a representation of their values, and the values of their connections.

> Messages passed along in one side of the graph will never reach the other.

2014-08-06 17:43:37 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

I was only wearing boxers and nothing else, then I also put on socks and started sweating.

#itmightbehotinhere

I was only wearing boxers and nothing else, then I also put on socks and started sweating.

#itmightbehotinhere___

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2014-08-06 15:11:51 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 8 +1s)

I think I shared the article mentioning the "only 45% of scientific papers are cited" claim, too:

> The reference accompanying these figures leads us to Bauerlein et al. (2010) and their commentary we started out with in The Chronicle of Higher Education, ‘We must stop the avalanche of low-quality research’. This is obviously a secondary source, but even more worrisome, it is a paper that does not have any references at all. There is, however, enough information in the text to make it possible, with some creative searching, to make a fairly good guess at where the authors got the 45 percent figure from: a news article in Science (Hamilton, 1990), based on calculations from papers published between 1981 and 1985. In other words, Rajasekaran is using somewhat old figures to illustrate the miserable state of affairs in 2012.

> The main problem with the 45 percentfig... more »

I think I shared the article mentioning the "only 45% of scientific papers are cited" claim, too:

> The reference accompanying these figures leads us to Bauerlein et al. (2010) and their commentary we started out with in The Chronicle of Higher Education, ‘We must stop the avalanche of low-quality research’. This is obviously a secondary source, but even more worrisome, it is a paper that does not have any references at all. There is, however, enough information in the text to make it possible, with some creative searching, to make a fairly good guess at where the authors got the 45 percent figure from: a news article in Science (Hamilton, 1990), based on calculations from papers published between 1981 and 1985. In other words, Rajasekaran is using somewhat old figures to illustrate the miserable state of affairs in 2012.

> The main problem with the 45 percent figure is not that we have to work hard in order to find out where it comes from, nor that it is old and rather irrelevant for the situation in 2012. We have in fact stumbled across yet another academic urban legend. The calculations behind the figure were based on a very heterogeneous composition of publications, including editorials, meeting abstracts, obituaries, notes, and letters, that is, types of works that are rarely cited, and for very good reasons (Pendlebury, 1991). A few years later, Eugene Garfield (1998), the founding father of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), wrote ‘I can only groan when I see errors perpetuated year after year’, pointing to the fact that Hamilton’s ‘misguided reports on uncitedness have unduly influenced many scholars and policy makers ever since’. Lariviere et al. (2009) state the claim ‘that most articles are never cited [is] a common lore that comes back periodically in the literature’ (p. 858), and their conclusions about uncited publications are in fact directly opposite to what Rajasekaran wrote 3 years later. Lariviere et al.’s data show that most scientific articles are in fact cited, and that rates of ‘citedness’ are not dropping at all, but are steadily increasing. 

This article's interesting throughout, abstract:

> Many of the messages presented in respectable scientific publications are, in fact, based on various forms of rumors. Some of these rumors appear so frequently, and in such complex, colorful, and entertaining ways that we can think of them as academic urban legends. The explanation for this phenomenon is usually that authors have lazily, sloppily, or fraudulently employed sources, and peer reviewers and editors have not discovered these weaknesses in the manuscripts during evaluation. To illustrate this phenomenon, I draw upon a remarkable case in which a decimal point error appears to have misled millions into believing that spinach is a good nutritional source of iron. Through this example, I demonstrate how an academic urban legend can be conceived and born, and can continue to grow and reproduce within academia and beyond.

(via +Aurora Tulilaulu)___

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2014-08-06 15:05:31 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)

!!!

> XCOM: The Board Game is a cooperative board game of global defense for one to four players. As unknown alien invaders press their attack against the earth, you and up to three friends serve as the department heads of XCOM, an elite, international military organization. You must destroy UFOs, research alien technology, complete critical missions, and find some way to prevent the collapse of human civilization. You are humanity's last hope.

!!!

> XCOM: The Board Game is a cooperative board game of global defense for one to four players. As unknown alien invaders press their attack against the earth, you and up to three friends serve as the department heads of XCOM, an elite, international military organization. You must destroy UFOs, research alien technology, complete critical missions, and find some way to prevent the collapse of human civilization. You are humanity's last hope.___

2014-08-05 18:36:13 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

Snowpiercer. <3 At first I was feeling a bit iffy and thinking stuff like, "this feels a little implausible", but then there was a Scene that sold the movie for me and I was like "screw plausibility, this is Art". The rest was a bit uneven, but didn't disappoint.

Snowpiercer. <3 At first I was feeling a bit iffy and thinking stuff like, "this feels a little implausible", but then there was a Scene that sold the movie for me and I was like "screw plausibility, this is Art". The rest was a bit uneven, but didn't disappoint.___

2014-08-05 18:35:40 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)

For some reason, the thought of walking into a store selling women's clothing and looking for a new dress felt intimidating. Which, of course, was why I had to do it, even though I wouldn't have bothered otherwise. #ComfortZoneExpansion

For some reason, the thought of walking into a store selling women's clothing and looking for a new dress felt intimidating. Which, of course, was why I had to do it, even though I wouldn't have bothered otherwise. #ComfortZoneExpansion___

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2014-08-05 10:51:11 (0 comments, 12 reshares, 37 +1s)

___

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2014-08-04 15:59:59 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)

Clever: "Pickpockets tend to hang out near ‘beware of pickpockets’ signs, because the first thing people do when they read it is check they still have their valuables, helpfully giving away where they are."

Clever: "Pickpockets tend to hang out near ‘beware of pickpockets’ signs, because the first thing people do when they read it is check they still have their valuables, helpfully giving away where they are."___

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2014-08-04 10:26:16 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)

> I lost my virginity on my wedding night, with my husband, just as I had promised that day when I was 10 years old. I stood in the hotel bathroom beforehand, wearing my white lingerie, thinking, "I made it. I'm a good Christian." There was no chorus of angels, no shining light from Heaven. It was just me and my husband in a dark room, fumbling with a condom and a bottle of lube for the first time.

> Sex hurt. I knew it would. Everyone told me it would be uncomfortable the first time. What they didn't tell me is that I would be back in the bathroom afterward, crying quietly for reasons I didn't yet comprehend. They didn't tell me that I'd be on my honeymoon, crying again, because sex felt dirty and wrong and sinful even though I was married and it was supposed to be okay now.
 
> When we got home, I couldn't look anyone in the eye. Everyone... more »

> I lost my virginity on my wedding night, with my husband, just as I had promised that day when I was 10 years old. I stood in the hotel bathroom beforehand, wearing my white lingerie, thinking, "I made it. I'm a good Christian." There was no chorus of angels, no shining light from Heaven. It was just me and my husband in a dark room, fumbling with a condom and a bottle of lube for the first time.

> Sex hurt. I knew it would. Everyone told me it would be uncomfortable the first time. What they didn't tell me is that I would be back in the bathroom afterward, crying quietly for reasons I didn't yet comprehend. They didn't tell me that I'd be on my honeymoon, crying again, because sex felt dirty and wrong and sinful even though I was married and it was supposed to be okay now.
 
> When we got home, I couldn't look anyone in the eye. Everyone knew my virginity was gone. My parents, my church, my friends, my co-workers. They all knew I was soiled and tarnished. I wasn't special anymore. My virginity had become such an essential part of my personality that I didn't know who I was without it.
 
> It didn't get better. I avoided undressing in front of my husband. I tried not to kiss him too often or too amorously so I wouldn't lead him on. I dreaded bedtime. Maybe he'd want to have sex.

> When he did, I obliged. I wanted nothing more than to make him happy because I loved him so much and because I'd been taught it was my duty to fulfill his needs. But I hated sex. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep because I wanted to like it, because it wasn't fair. I had done everything right. I took the pledge and stayed true to it. Where was the blessed marriage I was promised?
 
> I let it go on this way for almost two years before I broke down. I just couldn't do it anymore. I told my husband everything. My feminist husband was horrified that I'd let him touch me when I didn't want him to. He made me promise I'd never do anything I didn't want to do ever again. We stopped having sex. He encouraged me to see a therapist and I did. It was the first step on a long journey to healing.
 
> Ten-year-old girls want to believe in fairy tales. Take this pledge and God will love you so much and be so proud of you, they told me. If you wait to have sex until marriage, God will bring you a wonderful Christian husband and you'll get married and live happily ever after, they said. Waiting didn't give me a happily ever after. Instead, it controlled my identity for over a decade, landed me in therapy, and left me a stranger in my own skin. I was so completely ashamed of my body and my sexuality that it made having sex a demoralizing experience.
 
> I don't go to church anymore, nor am I religious. As I started to heal, I realized that I couldn't figure out how to be both religious and sexual at the same time. I chose sex. Every single day is a battle to remember that my body belongs to me and not to the church of my childhood. I have to constantly remind myself that a pledge I took when I was only 10 doesn't define who I am today. When I have sex with my husband, I make sure it's because I have a sexual need and not because I feel I'm required to fulfill his desires.
 
> I'm now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality. If I could go back, I would not wait. I would have sex with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I wouldn't go to hell for it. We would have gotten married at a more appropriate age and I would have kept my sexuality to myself.___

2014-08-03 20:11:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)

"Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes." - Elon Musk

"Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes." - Elon Musk___

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2014-08-03 19:27:18 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)

> Most of us learned long ago not to run executable files from sketchy USB sticks. But old-fashioned USB hygiene can’t stop this newer flavor of infection: Even if users are aware of the potential for attacks, ensuring that their USB’s firmware hasn’t been tampered with is nearly impossible. The devices don’t have a restriction known as “code-signing,” a countermeasure that would make sure any new code added to the device has the unforgeable cryptographic signature of its manufacturer. There’s not even any trusted USB firmware to compare the code against.

> The element of Nohl and Lell’s research that elevates it above the average theoretical threat is the notion that the infection can travel both from computer to USB and vice versa. Any time a USB stick is plugged into a computer, its firmware could be reprogrammed by malware on that PC, with no easy way for the USBdevice’s owner ... more »

> Most of us learned long ago not to run executable files from sketchy USB sticks. But old-fashioned USB hygiene can’t stop this newer flavor of infection: Even if users are aware of the potential for attacks, ensuring that their USB’s firmware hasn’t been tampered with is nearly impossible. The devices don’t have a restriction known as “code-signing,” a countermeasure that would make sure any new code added to the device has the unforgeable cryptographic signature of its manufacturer. There’s not even any trusted USB firmware to compare the code against.

> The element of Nohl and Lell’s research that elevates it above the average theoretical threat is the notion that the infection can travel both from computer to USB and vice versa. Any time a USB stick is plugged into a computer, its firmware could be reprogrammed by malware on that PC, with no easy way for the USB device’s owner to detect it. And likewise, any USB device could silently infect a user’s computer. “It goes both ways,” Nohl says. “Nobody can trust anybody.” [...]

> The short-term solution to BadUSB isn’t a technical patch so much as a fundamental change in how we use USB gadgets. To avoid the attack, all you have to do is not connect your USB device to computers you don’t own or don’t have good reason to trust—and don’t plug untrusted USB devices into your own computer. But Nohl admits that makes the convenient slices of storage we all carry in our pockets, among many other devices, significantly less useful. “In this new way of thinking, you can’t trust a USB just because its storage doesn’t contain a virus. Trust must come from the fact that no one malicious has ever touched it,” says Nohl. “You have to consider a USB infected and throw it away as soon as it touches a non-trusted computer. And that’s incompatible with how we use USB devices right now.”___

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2014-08-02 17:14:05 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)

> The first time I caught one of my kids playing with their genitals, I said nothing. I was momentarily paralyzed with indecision. One thing I knew for a fact I did not want to do was to shout, “No!” or “Stop!” What good could that possibly do? Sure, I would be spared the awkwardness of catching my child playing with her genitals on the living room floor, but what kind of lesson is that? To fear or ignore your own vagina?

> I thought about it for two days, and of course she gave me a second chance to react.

> “Sweetie, we don’t play with our vulvas in the living room,” I said. Which sounded ridiculous and strange, but nonetheless true. Why is everything with little kids “we” statements? “It’s okay to touch your vulva, but people are private, and it’s a private thing. The only places where you should touch your vulva are in the bathroom or in yourbedroom. If you want to... more »

> The first time I caught one of my kids playing with their genitals, I said nothing. I was momentarily paralyzed with indecision. One thing I knew for a fact I did not want to do was to shout, “No!” or “Stop!” What good could that possibly do? Sure, I would be spared the awkwardness of catching my child playing with her genitals on the living room floor, but what kind of lesson is that? To fear or ignore your own vagina?

> I thought about it for two days, and of course she gave me a second chance to react.

> “Sweetie, we don’t play with our vulvas in the living room,” I said. Which sounded ridiculous and strange, but nonetheless true. Why is everything with little kids “we” statements? “It’s okay to touch your vulva, but people are private, and it’s a private thing. The only places where you should touch your vulva are in the bathroom or in your bedroom. If you want to play with your vulva, please go to the bedroom.”

> She smiled and did, without question, because compartmentalizing where you do perform activities makes sense to little kids.

> “We don’t eat in the bathroom, and we don’t play with our vulvas in the living room,” became the new mantra. And yes, eventually it became, “We don’t touch our vulvas at the table.”

> I’m what some people call “sex positive.” That doesn’t mean I talk with my four year olds about how great sex is and how good it feels. It means I don’t pretend it’s something other than it is. [...]

> lying to your kids about sex helps nobody. Telling them that sex is “only between mommies and daddies” is a lie that leads to confused, hormone charged teenagers. Telling them that sex is “only something that happens when two people love each other very much” is a lie that causes hormone charged teenagers to confuse “love” with “lust,” or “obsession.” It leads to leaps of logic like, “If I have sex with them, we must be in love.” Or worse- “If I love them, I have to have sex with them.” And how many teenage tragedies are based on that misconception?

> The truth is human beings, almost universally, like sex. It feels good. I’s supposed to feel good. If it didn’t, the human race would die out. The truth is sex isn’t special and magical just because it’s sex. The truth is you can have spectacular sex with strangers who’s names you don’t even know. The truth is that just because you can, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

> And that’s what sex positive parenting really is. Not telling kids lies about sex to keep them from behaviors we don’t think are healthy. It’s telling them the truth, the whole truth, and letting it sink in so they can make their own good choices.

> It’s telling them that sex is good, but it’s dangerous if you’re not careful. It’s teaching them to require their partners to use condoms, to buy their own condoms if they’re planning on having sex. It’s teaching them that while sex feels good, they can feel good on their own too. (Just not at the table.) That while sex combined with love is often the best sex- transcendent sex- that grows the bond of love and builds a closeness that is almost impossible to find otherwise, sex isn’t always like that- even with people you love. That sex can lead to pregnancy and disease, even with protection, so engaging in it is a commitment to deal with any consequences.

> It’s telling them they’re not wrong, or sinful, or bad, if they have sexual feelings. Or even if they have sex. It’s teaching them that sex happens, whether people always make good choices or not. And it’s giving them the tools to ensure that when they’re ready, they’re smart and cautious and conscientious.___

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2014-08-01 11:14:55 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)

The philosopher John Danaher has a nice discussion about the argument for advanced AIs being possibly dangerous, as discussed in Bostrom's Superintelligence book.

> To set things up, we need to briefly recap the salient aspects of Bostrom’s doomsday argument. As we saw the last day, that argument consists of two steps. The first step looks at the implications that can be drawn from three theses: (i) the first mover thesis, which claims that the first superintelligence in the world could obtain a decisive advantage over all other intelligences; (ii) the orthogonality thesis, which claims that there is no necessary connection between high intelligence and benevolence; and (iii) the instrumental convergence thesis, which argues that a superintelligence, no matter what its final goals, would have an instrumental reason to pursue certain sub-goals that are inimical to human interests,s... more »

Bostrom on Superintelligence (4): Malignant Failure Modes
( Series Index ) This is the fourth post of my series on Nick Bostrom’s recent book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies . In the previous post , I started my discussion of Bostrom’s argument for an AI doomsday scenario. Today, I continue this disc...___The philosopher John Danaher has a nice discussion about the argument for advanced AIs being possibly dangerous, as discussed in Bostrom's Superintelligence book.

> To set things up, we need to briefly recap the salient aspects of Bostrom’s doomsday argument. As we saw the last day, that argument consists of two steps. The first step looks at the implications that can be drawn from three theses: (i) the first mover thesis, which claims that the first superintelligence in the world could obtain a decisive advantage over all other intelligences; (ii) the orthogonality thesis, which claims that there is no necessary connection between high intelligence and benevolence; and (iii) the instrumental convergence thesis, which argues that a superintelligence, no matter what its final goals, would have an instrumental reason to pursue certain sub-goals that are inimical to human interests, specifically the goal of unrestricted resource acquisition. The second step of the argument merely adds that humans are either made of resources or reliant on resources that the first superintelligence could use in the pursuit of its final goals. This leads to the conclusion that the first superintelligence could pose a profound existential threat to human beings.

> There are two obvious criticisms of this argument. The first — which we dealt with the last day — is that careful safety testing of an AI could ensure that it poses no existential threat. Bostrom rejects this on the grounds that superintelligent AIs could take “treacherous turns”. The second — which we’ll deal with below — argues that we can avoid the existential threat by simply programming the AI to pursue benevolent, non-existentially threatening goals.

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2014-07-31 12:49:31 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)

A lone robot, hitchhiking its way through Canada. :3

> I am hitchBOT — a robot from Port Credit, Ontario.

> This summer I will be traveling across Canada, from coast-to-coast. I am hoping to make new friends, have interesting conversations, and see new places along the way. As you may have guessed robots cannot get driver’s licences yet, so I’ll be hitchhiking my entire way. I have been planning my trip with the help of my big family of researchers in Toronto. I will be making my way from the east coast to the west coast starting in July.

> As I love meeting people and hearing stories, I invite you to follow my journey and share your hitchhiking stories with me as well. If you see me by the side of the road, pick me up and help me make my way across the country!

A lone robot, hitchhiking its way through Canada. :3

> I am hitchBOT — a robot from Port Credit, Ontario.

> This summer I will be traveling across Canada, from coast-to-coast. I am hoping to make new friends, have interesting conversations, and see new places along the way. As you may have guessed robots cannot get driver’s licences yet, so I’ll be hitchhiking my entire way. I have been planning my trip with the help of my big family of researchers in Toronto. I will be making my way from the east coast to the west coast starting in July.

> As I love meeting people and hearing stories, I invite you to follow my journey and share your hitchhiking stories with me as well. If you see me by the side of the road, pick me up and help me make my way across the country!___

2014-07-31 09:35:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)

> Now when I engage with feminists I am read as being a woman, and my words are received very differently now than before. The lack of alienation is liberating, but at the same time I feel disattached from my history of involvement with feminism. Now, if I argue for the inclusion of men in the discourse on rape culture, I am seen as making this argument from a female positionality; as such, women are far more likely to listen to me, but it feels as though (on this topic in particular) they are less likely to hear what I am saying. As a woman, when I assert that men are often victims of sexual violence and that rape culture has a doubly silencing effect on men since —due to masculine-centrism and homophobia— this violence attacks their gender and sexual identities in addition to the personal, physical, and psychic violation, my words are not received with the same authority as when I uttered thosesel... more »

> Now when I engage with feminists I am read as being a woman, and my words are received very differently now than before. The lack of alienation is liberating, but at the same time I feel disattached from my history of involvement with feminism. Now, if I argue for the inclusion of men in the discourse on rape culture, I am seen as making this argument from a female positionality; as such, women are far more likely to listen to me, but it feels as though (on this topic in particular) they are less likely to hear what I am saying. As a woman, when I assert that men are often victims of sexual violence and that rape culture has a doubly silencing effect on men since —due to masculine-centrism and homophobia— this violence attacks their gender and sexual identities in addition to the personal, physical, and psychic violation, my words are not received with the same authority as when I uttered those self-same words fifteen years ago. These days it's taken as a position statement, as philosophy, as theory, not as the gritty dirt of reality.

> Moreover, these days I do not feel like I can legitimately invoke my personal history in order to receive that authority. The idea of doing so reeks of entitlement and disingenuity. While I do not feel like I would be co-opting the experiences of male survivors, claiming to have any access to male experience now feels deeply inauthentic. All of this despite having experienced the very same things as many men do. My abuser was a woman, and like men who were abused by women, people tried to gaslight me into calling it "getting lucky" instead of calling it rape. Despite having no interest in adopting a male persona, if my history became known it would incur (additional) emasculating, homophobic, and transphobic abuse. The only way to avoid that abuse was to actively position myself as a straight masculine man full of machismo and bravado. Thus, I could either deny myself by masking over my history or I could deny myself by masking over my identity; a devil's choice if ever there was one. Being a queer feminine woman, this devil's choice becomes a twisted form of psychological torture, as the masking identity is the antithesis of who I am, and is moreover an identity I find repugnant; to actively adopt this grotesquery requires I must dehumanize myself, dissociating from everything that gives me nourishment and willfully engaging in degrading acts. While most male survivors of sexual violence are not queer feminine women, those men I have talked to still experienced the devil's choice as psychological torture and for very similar reasons of being forced to actively deny their own identities in order to project an identity they find repulsive. Despite sharing these experiences with cis men and not having had the experiences typical of cis women who've endured sexual violence, I no longer feel like I can authentically access these experiences to speak to the trauma that men endure. At the same time, while it does now feel authentic to frame my history as the sexual abuse of a girl by another girl (for we were both underage), I know that this authenticity does not afford any legitimacy outside of discussing my own experiences. Before, I was silenced by having my experiences excluded from the discourse on rape culture; now, even when listened to, I am silenced by not having a discourse to which my experiences can contribute.

> Once again I point out that none of the major details of my identity nor of my history have changed. Who I was at the time of my abuse is no different today than it was a year and a half ago before I transitioned. No new details have come to light. I have not altered my interpretation of that past. In short, nothing has changed. And yet, it seems, everything has changed. As I tweeted yesterday, "even having had clarity for so long, doesn't really seem to help. Clinging to old narratives can become disingenuous." And now I wrestle with that disingenuity, seeking to construct a new narrative to make coherent the detritus of my life. Learning how to position myself as I walk the same paths through the same queer communities I've inhabited all my life. Learning how to vocalize a troubled history I've openly discussed for decades. Learning, somehow, to become the person I have always been, because suddenly nothing has changed.___

2014-07-31 09:30:57 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

> Someone asked recently whether it's bad to seek "signs" of being trans from the past, and why or why not. This question is one which deserves to be more widely circulated. Within trans circles a fair number of people have an understanding of the situation and it's complexity, but it's something I think non-trans circles should also be aware of— especially given the recent publicity surrounding trans lives.

> The problems are twofold:

> A lot of people look for signs because they're seeking some sort of validation. The problem here is that you end up misinterpreting and overanalyzing your own life in search of that validation. It's not that the past cannot provide validation for your present, it's just missing the point. What we want (more often than not) is acceptance of who we are now and recognition for our current experience.T... more »

> Someone asked recently whether it's bad to seek "signs" of being trans from the past, and why or why not. This question is one which deserves to be more widely circulated. Within trans circles a fair number of people have an understanding of the situation and it's complexity, but it's something I think non-trans circles should also be aware of— especially given the recent publicity surrounding trans lives.

> The problems are twofold:

> A lot of people look for signs because they're seeking some sort of validation. The problem here is that you end up misinterpreting and overanalyzing your own life in search of that validation. It's not that the past cannot provide validation for your present, it's just missing the point. What we want (more often than not) is acceptance of who we are now and recognition for our current experience. There's more to current identities, pains, and experiences than the past that gave rise to them, so validation can come from sources other than the past. Moreover, it's all too easy for people to "validate" your past while simultaneously invalidating your present, so validation from the past is not stable. Altogether, none of this is trans-specific: it's a general problem with seeking retrospective validation; and it also applies to people who've suffered abuse, experience mental illness, have changed careers, etc.

> The second problem is that, in overanalyzing our pasts in search of validation, we all too often end up reinscribing "standard" trans narratives. If our pasts do not fit the "standard" narrative then we will not find the validation we seek, thus we will call our current understanding even further into question, and this sense of invalidation will only make us feel worse. If our pasts only partially fit the "standard" narrative then, in search of validation, we will highlight those memories and background the others; thus denying ourselves the full actualization of our personal history, and invalidating at least in part who we are. And if our pasts (somehow) completely fit the "standard" narrative then, in holding that history up as "proof" of our legitimacy, we end up marginalizing and invalidating everyone with different narratives. Again, this isn't a trans-specific problem (cf., "standard" narratives of gay lives or depression prior to, say, the 1970s.); though it's especially problematic for trans people because of the dearth of public awareness that our narrative tapestries are as rich and varied as cis narrative tapestries.

> There's nothing wrong with seeking support for your current self from your past memories. Doing so is, imo, crucial in coming to understand, respect, and take pride in our selves. The problems of retrospection are all in the mindset with which it is pursued. We shouldn't rely on "born this way" narratives in order to justify the fact that, however we were born, we are here now and in virtue of our presence alone are worthy of respect and validation.___

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2014-07-31 08:38:13 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)

This is probably the biggest reason why I ultimately decided to get out of politics: the fact that I enjoy and embrace discussing hypothetical taboos. If I'd be too much in the public eye, I'd no doubt soon get countless of angry bloggers on my back, taking everything that I happened to say in some online conversation and twisting it out of all proportion. And not only would I need to censor myself for the sake of myself, I would also need to consider the impact that anything I said would have on my party mates. No thanks. I'll rather stick to discussing these issues somewhere where, although I might still become the target of an online witch hunt, at least nobody has a political incentive to whip one up.

> Two miners are trapped underground by an explosion. They could be saved, but it would cost a million dollars. That million could be spent on saving the lives of thousands of... more »

This is probably the biggest reason why I ultimately decided to get out of politics: the fact that I enjoy and embrace discussing hypothetical taboos. If I'd be too much in the public eye, I'd no doubt soon get countless of angry bloggers on my back, taking everything that I happened to say in some online conversation and twisting it out of all proportion. And not only would I need to censor myself for the sake of myself, I would also need to consider the impact that anything I said would have on my party mates. No thanks. I'll rather stick to discussing these issues somewhere where, although I might still become the target of an online witch hunt, at least nobody has a political incentive to whip one up.

> Two miners are trapped underground by an explosion. They could be saved, but it would cost a million dollars. That million could be spent on saving the lives of thousands of starving people. Could it ever be morally right to abandon the miners to their fate and spend the money on saving the thousands? Most of us would say no. Would you? Or do you think it is wrong even to raise such questions?

> These dilemmas are uncomfortable. It is the business of moral philosophers to face up to the discomfort and teach their students to do the same. A friend, a professor of moral philosophy, told me he received hate-mail when he raised the hypothetical case of the miners. He also told me there are certain thought experiments that divide his students down the middle. Some students are capable of temporarily accepting a noxious hypothetical, to explore where it might lead. Others are so blinded by emotion that they cannot even contemplate the hypothetical. They simply stop up their ears and refuse to join the discussion.

> “We all agree it isn’t true that some human races are genetically superior to others in intelligence. But let’s for a moment suspend disbelief and consider the consequences if it were true. Would it ever be right to discriminate in job hiring? Etcetera.” My friend sometimes poses this very question, and he tells me that about half the students are willing to entertain the hypothetical counterfactual and rationally discuss the consequences. The other half respond emotionally to the hypothetical, are too revolted to proceed and simply opt out of the conversation. [...]

> There are those whose love of reason allows them to enter such disagreeable hypothetical worlds and see where the discussion might lead. And there are those whose emotions prevent them from going anywhere near the conversation. Some of these will vilify and hurl vicious insults at anybody who is prepared to discuss such matters. Some will pursue active witch-hunts against moral philosophers for daring to consider obnoxious hypothetical thought experiments.___

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2014-07-30 22:09:27 (13 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)

> A world without predators certainly sounds extreme, and it is. But British philosopher David Pearce can't imagine a future in which animals continue to be trapped in the never-ending cycle of blind Darwinian processes. It's up to us, he argues, to put our brains, our technologies, and our sense of compassion to good use, and do something about it. It's part of his overarching Hedonistic Imperative, a far-sighted "abolitionist project" set with the goal of achieving nothing less than the elimination of all suffering on the planet. And by all suffering, he means all suffering.

> No doubt, when I think about the state of our species and our planet tens of thousands of years from now, it's hard for me to accept the notion that nature and all that's within it remains the same while we venture out into the next state of our existence. Ignoring the plight of other... more »

> A world without predators certainly sounds extreme, and it is. But British philosopher David Pearce can't imagine a future in which animals continue to be trapped in the never-ending cycle of blind Darwinian processes. It's up to us, he argues, to put our brains, our technologies, and our sense of compassion to good use, and do something about it. It's part of his overarching Hedonistic Imperative, a far-sighted "abolitionist project" set with the goal of achieving nothing less than the elimination of all suffering on the planet. And by all suffering, he means all suffering.

> No doubt, when I think about the state of our species and our planet tens of thousands of years from now, it's hard for me to accept the notion that nature and all that's within it remains the same while we venture out into the next state of our existence. Ignoring the plight of other animals seems both selfish and irresponsible, particularly if we have the means to do something about it; the suggestion that we should consciously and compassionately reboot the Earth's biosphere is as futuristic a proposition as it gets — but one we should contemplate very seriously.___

2014-07-30 21:42:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

Interesting speculation in the comments of the "Meditations on Moloch" article I linked to before: that although many fundamentalist religious groups with high birthrates are having large numbers of their children leave the movement in adulthood, that may only be true in the short term. In the long term, that process is selecting for the kinds of personalities who will stay within the movement, and as per standard evolutionary theory, may eventually drastically cut down on the amount of people abandoning the movement while maintaining the high birthrate. Some of cited evidence is the claim that the retention rate of the Amish has gone up over time and their numbers have expanded; Athrelon comments:

> Note Amish retention rates improved dramatically over the 20th century despite virtually no attempt to water it down to make it more attractive. Retention rates for new religious... more »

Interesting speculation in the comments of the "Meditations on Moloch" article I linked to before: that although many fundamentalist religious groups with high birthrates are having large numbers of their children leave the movement in adulthood, that may only be true in the short term. In the long term, that process is selecting for the kinds of personalities who will stay within the movement, and as per standard evolutionary theory, may eventually drastically cut down on the amount of people abandoning the movement while maintaining the high birthrate. Some of cited evidence is the claim that the retention rate of the Amish has gone up over time and their numbers have expanded; Athrelon comments:

> Note Amish retention rates improved dramatically over the 20th century despite virtually no attempt to water it down to make it more attractive. Retention rates for new religious movements seem terrible in general but some combination of selection pressure, increasing sense of venerability, and differential breeding has made the Amish very much more successful than you would have expected in 1900.

And +gwern branwen:

> I’m also interested in the extent to which you actually can outmeme a religion. We know that religious beliefs seem to be predicted by various personality and cognitive dispositions detectible in early childhood, even (I’ve done some posts on LW about some of that research); we know that religious beliefs and related dispositions are as heritable in the twin studies as anything else and so highly likely have some genetic base; we know personality traits likewise; there’s some interesting speculation about subpopulations systematically differing in personality, which in the case of the Amish ( http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/inferring-an-aq/ ) starts to look suspiciously genetic, and inasmuch as the Amish have exploded from <1000 founders to somewhere upwards of a million last I checked and still growing fast, they clearly are not in a situation where all their excess growth is being bled off by memetic predation.

> So we have all the pieces for selection towards durability of religious subpopulations: genes to personality/cognition to religious inclination to specific religion to excess reproduction (and relative sterility of those bled off to the general population) to higher inclusive fitness to spreading in the population/gene pool.___

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2014-07-30 16:14:06 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)

> Consider assertions that men as a group must be taught “not to rape,” or that to accord the presumption of innocence to a man accused of sexual violence against a woman or girl is to be complicit in “rape culture.” Consider that last year, when an Ohio University student made a rape complaint after getting caught on video engaging in a drunken public sex act, she was championed by campus activists and at least one prominent feminist blogger — but a grand jury declined to hand down charges after reviewing the video of the incident and evidence that both students were inebriated.

> Consider that a prominent British feminist writer, Laurie Penny, decries the notion that feminists should avoid such generalizations as “men oppress women”; in her view, all men are steeped in a woman-hating culture and “even the sweetest, gentlest man” benefits from women’s oppression.Consider, too, that... more »

> Consider assertions that men as a group must be taught “not to rape,” or that to accord the presumption of innocence to a man accused of sexual violence against a woman or girl is to be complicit in “rape culture.” Consider that last year, when an Ohio University student made a rape complaint after getting caught on video engaging in a drunken public sex act, she was championed by campus activists and at least one prominent feminist blogger — but a grand jury declined to hand down charges after reviewing the video of the incident and evidence that both students were inebriated.

> Consider that a prominent British feminist writer, Laurie Penny, decries the notion that feminists should avoid such generalizations as “men oppress women”; in her view, all men are steeped in a woman-hating culture and “even the sweetest, gentlest man” benefits from women’s oppression. Consider, too, that an extended quote from Penny’s column was reposted by a mainstream reproductive-rights group and shared by nearly 84,000 Tumblr users in six months.

> Sure, some Women Against Feminism claims are caricatures based on fringe views — for instance, that feminism mandates hairy armpits, or that feminists regard all heterosexual intercourse as rape. On the other hand, the charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists — but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.___

2014-07-30 14:58:54 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 10 +1s)

Long post that's hard to summarize in a way that would do justice to it, but suffice to say that it's an important read for anyone who's interested in the long-term future of humanity.

(Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies!)

Long post that's hard to summarize in a way that would do justice to it, but suffice to say that it's an important read for anyone who's interested in the long-term future of humanity.

(Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies!)___

2014-07-30 14:14:57 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

GAHHHH THE HEAT.

Maybe I should just move to the North Pole for a few months.

GAHHHH THE HEAT.

Maybe I should just move to the North Pole for a few months.___

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2014-07-29 13:05:32 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 3 +1s)

> Officially open for business on Monday, the new 3D Printing Store sells more than 200 on-demand, 3D-printed products. Customers choose a specific product, such as jewelry, home items, toys, games, electronic accessories, and mobile phone cases. As the products are printed on the fly, the customer essentially become the designer as well.

> Using design templates, buyers create their items, such as pendants, earrings, and necklaces. The products can be customized by material, size, style, and color, and further personalized with text and images. After putting a personal touch on a product, customers can preview it in 3D and rotate the preview to see the item at all angles.

> 3D printing has taken off by expanding the types of objects that can be printed, including earbuds, chess sets, and ping pong balls. Beyond nicknacks, 3D printing has found a medical niche, including... more »

> Officially open for business on Monday, the new 3D Printing Store sells more than 200 on-demand, 3D-printed products. Customers choose a specific product, such as jewelry, home items, toys, games, electronic accessories, and mobile phone cases. As the products are printed on the fly, the customer essentially become the designer as well.

> Using design templates, buyers create their items, such as pendants, earrings, and necklaces. The products can be customized by material, size, style, and color, and further personalized with text and images. After putting a personal touch on a product, customers can preview it in 3D and rotate the preview to see the item at all angles.

> 3D printing has taken off by expanding the types of objects that can be printed, including earbuds, chess sets, and ping pong balls. Beyond nicknacks, 3D printing has found a medical niche, including helping surgeons successfully remove a young boy's tumor by first creating a 3D-printed replica of that tumor.

> 3D printers can be purchased, but the market is still nascent. Amazon's new store brings 3D printing closer to consumers without requiring the money or knowledge to do it themselves.___

2014-07-29 06:49:40 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

Interesting: the difference between being on SSRIs and not seems to pretty much be the difference between being sleep deprived or not. When on the meds and s-deprived, my emotional state is similar to what it frequently was when not on the meds but rested. (When on the meds and rested, I feel better than basically ever without them.)

Interesting: the difference between being on SSRIs and not seems to pretty much be the difference between being sleep deprived or not. When on the meds and s-deprived, my emotional state is similar to what it frequently was when not on the meds but rested. (When on the meds and rested, I feel better than basically ever without them.)___

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2014-07-28 15:54:57 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)

Business as usual at last weekend's Ropecon: Daenerys Targaryen teaching a baby dragon to fly.

Business as usual at last weekend's Ropecon: Daenerys Targaryen teaching a baby dragon to fly.___

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2014-07-28 14:38:22 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)

> Some will say that anyone dumb enough to send nudes of themselves to their lovers deserves what they get. To me, that’s along the lines of saying “You should have known not to dress like that, going to that club!” when someone gets raped. Yes, if one never sexts or sends naughty pictures then one can avoid this, but I think that’s a way of suppressing a quote-unquote “shameful” act.

> If someone recorded all your arguments over the phone when you were breaking up and then released your crying breakdowns as a podcast, I’m pretty sure the response wouldn’t be, “Well, then stay off the phone.” If after a bad breakup, someone wrote a humor piece published in the local paper on how foolish you looked when you had an orgasm, the answer would not be, “Well, don’t have sex.”

> The truth is that we as society deem certain activities acceptable (and thusworthy of protection), an... more »

> Some will say that anyone dumb enough to send nudes of themselves to their lovers deserves what they get. To me, that’s along the lines of saying “You should have known not to dress like that, going to that club!” when someone gets raped. Yes, if one never sexts or sends naughty pictures then one can avoid this, but I think that’s a way of suppressing a quote-unquote “shameful” act.

> If someone recorded all your arguments over the phone when you were breaking up and then released your crying breakdowns as a podcast, I’m pretty sure the response wouldn’t be, “Well, then stay off the phone.” If after a bad breakup, someone wrote a humor piece published in the local paper on how foolish you looked when you had an orgasm, the answer would not be, “Well, don’t have sex.”

> The truth is that we as society deem certain activities acceptable (and thus worthy of protection), and put other activities in the “You knew you were doing something shameful, so really, you deserved that, didn’t you?” And fuck that noise.

> Yeah, I’ll say it: there’s nothing wrong with sending naughty photos to willing recipients. (“Willing” being the key word, here.  Don’t Anthony Weiner yourself.) In relationships the naughty text is often a form of foreplay, like dressing up in lingerie, a way to ensure your partner is ravenous for you when they walk through the door.  Or, in long-distance relationships, a way of bridging the loss of physical intimacy that happens when you’re in separate states.

> And whether you think it’s wise or not, pretty much everyone does it.  (I was once told by an ex-Genius Bar employee that yeah, pretty much every person dating has a naughty selfie or two hanging about, so they had to be super-careful when checking someone’s phone.)  It’s a super-common activity, something that we may not like to admit happens, but does.  A lot.

> If you’re not comfortable with that, I support your unwillingness to participate.  But when you shift to shaming and going, “Well, you knew the risk!” I hear you basically saying, “To avoid all risk of pregnancy or STDs, don’t fuck anyone ever.  Otherwise, well… you knew the risks!”___

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2014-07-27 05:27:34 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)

<3

<3___

2014-07-25 07:30:29 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)

> The `Car extends Vehicle` or `Duck extends Bird` type of tutorial obscures more than it illuminates. In good OO programming, we don’t make class hierarchies in order to satisfy our inner Linnaeus. We make class hierarchies in order to simplify the code by allowing different parts of it to be changed independently of each other, and to eliminate duplication (which comes to the same thing). Without any context as to what the code needs to accomplish, you can’t make a judgment about whether a particular design decision is good or bad.

> The problem with examples like `Duck extends Bird` is that it gives you no understanding of the kind of considerations you need to think about in order to decide whether the design decisions discussed above are good or bad.

> In fact, it actively sabotages that understanding.

> You can’t add code to ducks.

> Youcan’t... more »

> The `Car extends Vehicle` or `Duck extends Bird` type of tutorial obscures more than it illuminates. In good OO programming, we don’t make class hierarchies in order to satisfy our inner Linnaeus. We make class hierarchies in order to simplify the code by allowing different parts of it to be changed independently of each other, and to eliminate duplication (which comes to the same thing). Without any context as to what the code needs to accomplish, you can’t make a judgment about whether a particular design decision is good or bad.

> The problem with examples like `Duck extends Bird` is that it gives you no understanding of the kind of considerations you need to think about in order to decide whether the design decisions discussed above are good or bad.

> In fact, it actively sabotages that understanding.

> You can’t add code to ducks.

> You can’t refactor ducks.

> Ducks don’t implement protocols.

> You can’t create a new species in order to separate some concerns (e.g. file I/O and word splitting).

> You can’t fake the ability to turn a duck into a penguin by moving its duckness into an animal of some other species that can be replaced at runtime.

> You can’t indirect the creation of ducks through a factory that produces birds of several species, and even if you could, the analogy doesn’t help at all in understanding why the analogous thing might be a good idea in an actual program.

> Penguins don’t implement the “fly” method that can be found in birds.

> Whether you consider ducks to be birds or simply chordates does not affect the internal complexity of ducks.

> And you don’t go around causing things to fly without knowing what kind of bird they are. (Ducks themselves decide when they want to fly, and they certainly seem to know they’re ducks and not vultures.)

> So, although some people claim that such analogies “make it easier to grok what polymorphism is about”, I disagree. It’s misleading; it obscures the relevant while confusing people with the irrelevant. ___

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2014-07-25 05:54:17 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 7 +1s)

“Who gave you the right to control my life?”

“You've got it the wrong way round. You gave the right to control your life away. You're the one who chose to ignore the way the world works.”

“Who gave you the right to control my life?”

“You've got it the wrong way round. You gave the right to control your life away. You're the one who chose to ignore the way the world works.”___

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2014-07-22 12:09:14 (9 comments, 4 reshares, 34 +1s)

Grocery store close to where the Ropecon role-playing convention will be held, advertising the fact that it'll be open throughout the event.

Grocery store close to where the Ropecon role-playing convention will be held, advertising the fact that it'll be open throughout the event.___

2014-07-20 19:11:07 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)

> ... there is no perfectly benevolent, rational, and unified world controller who simply implements what has been discovered to be the best option. Any abstract point about "what should be done" must be embodied in the form of a concrete message, which is entered into the arena of rhetorical and political reality. There it will be ignored, misunderstood, distorted, or appropriated for various conflicting purposes; it will bounce around like a pinball, causing actions and reactions, ushering in a cascade of consequences, the upshot of which need bear no straightforward relationship to the intentions of the original sender.

-- Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

> ... there is no perfectly benevolent, rational, and unified world controller who simply implements what has been discovered to be the best option. Any abstract point about "what should be done" must be embodied in the form of a concrete message, which is entered into the arena of rhetorical and political reality. There it will be ignored, misunderstood, distorted, or appropriated for various conflicting purposes; it will bounce around like a pinball, causing actions and reactions, ushering in a cascade of consequences, the upshot of which need bear no straightforward relationship to the intentions of the original sender.

-- Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies___

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2014-07-20 18:57:57 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 10 +1s)

Videogame storytelling doesn't have to be expository dialogue.

Videogame storytelling doesn't have to be expository dialogue.___

2014-07-20 18:51:17 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)

> The first things I actually collected were airplanes and stars, as a teenager. Well, information about airplanes and stars. I’d been doing it for several years before I realized what was so addictive about it. It wasn’t bragging rights based on being able to identify planes from pictures and constellations in the sky. Collecting is a way of tokenizing an open, unstructured domain in the form of an evolving vocabulary. It is a process that allows you to structure your understanding while you’re learning.

> Collecting is the essence of autodidact learning, since it requires nothing more than the set of things in a domain already encountered and an improvised scheme for organizing them in memory (and where there are physical things being collected, in reality). [...]

> By the time my enthusiasm for airplanes leveled off sometime in the 10th grade, I knew the entirehisto... more »

> The first things I actually collected were airplanes and stars, as a teenager. Well, information about airplanes and stars. I’d been doing it for several years before I realized what was so addictive about it. It wasn’t bragging rights based on being able to identify planes from pictures and constellations in the sky. Collecting is a way of tokenizing an open, unstructured domain in the form of an evolving vocabulary. It is a process that allows you to structure your understanding while you’re learning.

> Collecting is the essence of autodidact learning, since it requires nothing more than the set of things in a domain already encountered and an improvised scheme for organizing them in memory (and where there are physical things being collected, in reality). [...]

> By the time my enthusiasm for airplanes leveled off sometime in the 10th grade, I knew the entire history of the twentieth century through the lens of the airplanes that were used to fight its wars. I became unpredictably good at history trivia in ways actual trivia buffs couldn’t grok, thanks to airplanes. I understood the structure of the global economy through the lens of commercial flight.

> I still visit airplane museums every chance I get, but now it’s more nostalgia than active interest. I’ve learned everything I wanted to through the lens of airplanes.

> Something similar happened with my interest in astronomy. By the time I was done, I knew my way around the sky and had learned about the history of the universe from Big Bang to Big Crunch about as well as a 14-year-old could expect to. I knew why the Sun was yellow, why Betelgeuse was red, where to find star clusters and nebulae, why Saturn had rings, and a great many other things that could be understood without calculus or advanced physics. Through metaphoric mappings, I began to form speculative ideas about the rise and fall of cities and empires. Astronomy became a way to look at other things. [...]

> I didn’t understand the archetypal hobby of stamp collecting though, till I became interested in world history, a subject that, while not in conflict with physics, is sufficiently removed from it that physics is not a particularly useful way to structure understanding. After reading a couple of fat world history books in high school, I finally understood what might draw people to stamps, matchbooks and other cultural tokens: they allow you to organize your understanding of culture and history in ways that follow the contours of your own thoughts, rather than those of professional historians.___

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2014-07-20 18:08:08 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)

This sounds like a useful model:

> The four-sides model (also known as communication square or four-ears model) is a communication model by Friedemann Schulz von Thun. According to this model every message has four facets[1] though not the same emphasis might be put on each. The four sides of the message are fact, self-revealing, relationship, and appeal.

This sounds like a useful model:

> The four-sides model (also known as communication square or four-ears model) is a communication model by Friedemann Schulz von Thun. According to this model every message has four facets[1] though not the same emphasis might be put on each. The four sides of the message are fact, self-revealing, relationship, and appeal.___

2014-07-20 18:04:32 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)

"The camel has two humps" article, claiming to have found a test that could reliably distinguish people who can't learn to program from people who could, got circulated a lot at one point. Here's a partial retraction from the author, admitting that while the test does have predictive power, it was way overstated in the original article.

> Just to be clear: I do not believe that Dehnadi discovered an aptitude test for programming, as I claimed in 2006. Nor do I believe in programming sheep and non-programming goats. On the other hand, neither do I believe that further investigation showed that he’d found nothing of substance, as I implied in 2008.

"The camel has two humps" article, claiming to have found a test that could reliably distinguish people who can't learn to program from people who could, got circulated a lot at one point. Here's a partial retraction from the author, admitting that while the test does have predictive power, it was way overstated in the original article.

> Just to be clear: I do not believe that Dehnadi discovered an aptitude test for programming, as I claimed in 2006. Nor do I believe in programming sheep and non-programming goats. On the other hand, neither do I believe that further investigation showed that he’d found nothing of substance, as I implied in 2008.___

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2014-07-20 17:58:34 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)

> The Millennial King is a setting and character created by /tg/ in a thread asking why there were no good necromancers. The consensus was that, in the strictest sense, necromancy was not inherently evil (depending on the setting); the evil-ness comes from messing around with corpses and binding souls without permission. People bandied around ideas for good things that necromancers could do, like use his horde of skeletons for farming and construction, and using the resulting good-will to encourage people to allow him to use their bodies after they die; things went from there, and before long, people were writing about a city-state overseen by a grandfatherly lich who looks out for his subjects with his undead legions.

> The Millennial King is a setting and character created by /tg/ in a thread asking why there were no good necromancers. The consensus was that, in the strictest sense, necromancy was not inherently evil (depending on the setting); the evil-ness comes from messing around with corpses and binding souls without permission. People bandied around ideas for good things that necromancers could do, like use his horde of skeletons for farming and construction, and using the resulting good-will to encourage people to allow him to use their bodies after they die; things went from there, and before long, people were writing about a city-state overseen by a grandfatherly lich who looks out for his subjects with his undead legions.___

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