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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 17:20:394483311
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 08:09:44448119
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 05:53:52479001
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 21:55:02501349
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 21:29:32501011
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 13:07:45132014
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 14:25:32131165
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 18:06:22131115
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 15:05:14291532076
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 10:40:00479331639
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 01:36:3730403
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 07:52:26111451737
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 22:05:395014938
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 14:51:14301893957
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 19:20:2947711714
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 14:47:445007414
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 13:37:293196322
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 13:39:1521813834
Mike Clancy3,583My sci-fi fan circle ... +1 if you want to be added, share if you already are.2012-04-04 17:18:421343113
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 21:02:4544913918
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 02:15:081335212
Mike Clancy1,885My select group of true Sci-Fi fans. If you think you should be added to it, just +12012-03-05 00:31:231514217
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 12:32:55186216

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 8

2014-09-20 16:40:52 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I'd like to improve my neuroanatomy skills to the point that, when I read a neuroscience text filled with references to different parts of the brain, I could actually tell them apart and visualize their locations relative to each other. What's the best way of doing that? I find it difficult to try to learn a 3D structure from 2D maps.

Most reshares: 4

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2014-10-04 09:59:48 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Inspiring, and good advice too.

Most plusones: 12

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2014-10-04 09:59:48 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Inspiring, and good advice too.

Latest 50 posts

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2014-10-19 17:02:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

> The thing about fundamentals is that they seem like one fact, but actually they unpack all sorts of other vital information about you that are also necessary to your functioning.  There are some people for whom really trivial stuff is a core fundamental to them – “You have to call if you’re going to come home late.”  For most people that’s a nice-to-have as opposed to an I’m-leaving-if-you-don’t-do-that-without-asking, so it seems silly to just contemplate walking out if someone forgets to call a time or two.

> But wrapped in that single fact are all sorts of other assumptions that people who want to be with you intimately should probably get – “I worry about things,” “I’m big on protocol,” “Unknowns will drive me crazier than any known fact,” “I drift towards worst-case scenarios.”

> The thing that differentials these core fundamentalsfrom a one-time lesson is that expl... more »

> The thing about fundamentals is that they seem like one fact, but actually they unpack all sorts of other vital information about you that are also necessary to your functioning.  There are some people for whom really trivial stuff is a core fundamental to them – “You have to call if you’re going to come home late.”  For most people that’s a nice-to-have as opposed to an I’m-leaving-if-you-don’t-do-that-without-asking, so it seems silly to just contemplate walking out if someone forgets to call a time or two.

> But wrapped in that single fact are all sorts of other assumptions that people who want to be with you intimately should probably get – “I worry about things,” “I’m big on protocol,” “Unknowns will drive me crazier than any known fact,” “I drift towards worst-case scenarios.”

> The thing that differentials these core fundamentals from a one-time lesson is that explaining them to people often means all the cascading lessons that stem from that core value don’t get learned.  If you have someone who goes, “Oh, right.  Okay, I’ll call,” and marks that off, there’s a really good chance they haven’t understood the other things that will drive you nuts – like how you worry, like how you require a certain politeness in your lovers, like how leaving you in the dark will drive you batshit – and because they don’t comprehend all the ramifications they will accidentally step on your worst fears time and time again. You may be in for months of your lover stepping on your nuts with stiletto heels and going, “Oh, crap, kinda forgot you had those.”

> Whereas it’s not a guarantee – nothing is – but if one of your core values is “Call when you’re running late,” and the guy calls without being told to, you’ve got a far better chance of having someone who’s synced with you on a really critical level.

> And yeah.  It’s totally fucking tough to figure out what your core values are, as opposed to just a thing that can be hammered out in discussion.  Because these dealbreakers vary for everyone.  It’s all fine and well to say “If you’re dating me, you have to realize my kids come first,” but there’s plenty of parents for whom that doesn’t apply at all.  It’s all fine and well to assume that core value of “If we’re monogamous, you have to be faithful to me,” but for many people that actually reads as “You have to not get caught.”  (Heck, there’s plenty of people for whom fidelity and their children aren’t core values at all.)

> Unfortunately, that means you have to date around enough to understand which aspects of partner-ignorance can be worked out with a little education, and which things are the sign that whoah, this means we’re not really suited for each other.

> And to repeat: if someone rejects you, that means you’re not suited for that one person.  Which sucks, it really does.  But there are thousands of other people in your city, each with different personalities, and with luck you’ll find someone for whom your natural instincts don’t clash with their fundamental needs… and their instincts line up with yours.___

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2014-10-19 16:40:42 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> Yet this is not unique advice in dating.  There’s all the gags: “Don’t ever fart!”  “Dress up super-nice!”  “Clean up your apartment!”  “Get your small talk good and polished!”  “Stick to noncontroversial topics!”

> Yet I, the Tyler Durden of the dating universe, tell you not to do any of that stuff.

> The goal of dating is to find out who is compatible with you, as quickly as possible.  Obscuring your central personality traits will get you to date the wrong people for longer – possibly up to and including a hideously dysfunctional marriage – but what it will not get you is someone who is actually good for you.  And you’ll waste months, years, maybe even decades, with someone who doesn’t actually like you but instead has generated affection for this papier-mache facade you have so carefully constructed.

> But that facadeis not you.

> I say, sho... more »

> Yet this is not unique advice in dating.  There’s all the gags: “Don’t ever fart!”  “Dress up super-nice!”  “Clean up your apartment!”  “Get your small talk good and polished!”  “Stick to noncontroversial topics!”

> Yet I, the Tyler Durden of the dating universe, tell you not to do any of that stuff.

> The goal of dating is to find out who is compatible with you, as quickly as possible.  Obscuring your central personality traits will get you to date the wrong people for longer – possibly up to and including a hideously dysfunctional marriage – but what it will not get you is someone who is actually good for you.  And you’ll waste months, years, maybe even decades, with someone who doesn’t actually like you but instead has generated affection for this papier-mache facade you have so carefully constructed.

> But that facade is not you.

> I say, show up to dates dressed nicely, but nicely for you.  If you’re only gonna wear T-shirts to fine dining, well, your date oughtta know that right away.  If you don’t brush your teeth on a regular basis, that’s fucking icktacular, but again – better to find a woman who’s okay with halitosis than to chew gum for a few weeks and then slowly have her realize your raw-onion-chomping habit is a dealbreaker.  If you’re a strident libertarian, don’t downplay that – it’s gonna come out!  Discuss the all-soothing balm of the free market!

> And yes.  Many dates will be disasters.  This is not a failure, but a feature: you have successfully discovered that this person is not for you.  Many people will not be for you.  You need to get in, and get out.

> Which seems insane, but dating is a lot like trying on clothes in the store.  You don’t put on a pair of too-tight jeans and go, “Well, if I suck in my gut all the time and ignore the tingling in my legs and try not to look at the unflattering things these jeans do to my ass, maybe this will be the perfect fit!” and then wear the jeans for three days straight, trying not to get lasagna stains on them just in case you need to return them, really trying out these terrible terrible jeans before you walk away.

> The reason you don’t do that is because a) this would be a hideously uncomfortable way to live, and b) using this “Let’s drag this out as long as possible” approach would take you about four months of trying on jeans before you found a right pair.

> No, man.  Dating is about experimentation.  Most dates don’t work out!  So the solution to a failed date is not to present some artificial front to extend the life of a terrible date, but to find more dates.___

2014-10-19 15:31:18 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Well, I chuckled.

Well, I chuckled.___

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2014-10-19 15:31:02 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Blinn's Law: "As graphics pioneer James Blinn first pointed out, in animation, rendering time remains constant, even as computers get faster. An artist gets accustomed to waiting a certain number of hours for an image to render, so as hardware improves, instead of using it to save time, he employs it to render more complex graphics. This is why rendering time at Pixar has remained essentially constant over the past fifteen years. "

Applies to many other things, too, of course.

Blinn's Law: "As graphics pioneer James Blinn first pointed out, in animation, rendering time remains constant, even as computers get faster. An artist gets accustomed to waiting a certain number of hours for an image to render, so as hardware improves, instead of using it to save time, he employs it to render more complex graphics. This is why rendering time at Pixar has remained essentially constant over the past fifteen years. "

Applies to many other things, too, of course.___

2014-10-19 14:51:01 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

A thought that struck me was that we might be happier if we didn't know each our own, or each other's, exact ages.

Comparing ourselves to others is one of the things that makes us less happy, and age-based comparisons start from a very early age: "my child learned to walk at 10 months, when did yours?" By the time we're adults, we're constantly reminded of our own age and that of others by yearly birthdays, which easily causes mental comparisons: "I'm 28, how much have my friends achieved by that age? Oh no I'm almost 30 already and I don't feel like I've achieved much, do I still have the time to become anything significant?" I think that I would personally be happier if I didn't know what my age was.

Of course, even if we didn't know our exact age, we would still be able to tell a person's rough age from their... more »

A thought that struck me was that we might be happier if we didn't know each our own, or each other's, exact ages.

Comparing ourselves to others is one of the things that makes us less happy, and age-based comparisons start from a very early age: "my child learned to walk at 10 months, when did yours?" By the time we're adults, we're constantly reminded of our own age and that of others by yearly birthdays, which easily causes mental comparisons: "I'm 28, how much have my friends achieved by that age? Oh no I'm almost 30 already and I don't feel like I've achieved much, do I still have the time to become anything significant?" I think that I would personally be happier if I didn't know what my age was.

Of course, even if we didn't know our exact age, we would still be able to tell a person's rough age from their appearance. But such estimates would be a lot fuzzier, especially since we didn't have information about exact ages that would help us calibrate our estimate-age-from-looks skill. We would know that some people were older than us, and that some people were younger than us, but there would be a broad range of people for whom we couldn't tell, and mostly we would live in a feeling of timelessness, without needing to experience stress about having reached some arbitrary numerical threshold, better able to treat people by their maturity rather than the amount of days since they drew their first breath.

(I also tend towards thinking that we would be happier if we didn't know the exact time of the day or the exact day of the week, though of course this would be require a radical reorganization of modern society.)___

2014-10-18 13:04:45 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Lots of videogame kickstarters offer stretch goals at linear intervals: e.g. an extra $10,000 and they'll add extra feature 1, $10,000 on top of that and they'll add extra feature 2, and so on. But that has always seemed really risky to me: the amount of effort required for balancing and debugging several interacting components is the kind of thing that ought to grow at a superlinear rate. Am I wrong about that, is there a lot of slack built into the average stretch goal, or are the people running campaigns promising things they know they may be unable to deliver?

Lots of videogame kickstarters offer stretch goals at linear intervals: e.g. an extra $10,000 and they'll add extra feature 1, $10,000 on top of that and they'll add extra feature 2, and so on. But that has always seemed really risky to me: the amount of effort required for balancing and debugging several interacting components is the kind of thing that ought to grow at a superlinear rate. Am I wrong about that, is there a lot of slack built into the average stretch goal, or are the people running campaigns promising things they know they may be unable to deliver?___

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2014-10-18 08:52:59 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Brilliant.

Brilliant.___

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2014-10-18 05:36:25 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I tried out their Tonal Recall demo ( http://moonlight-press.com//TonalRecall/TonalRecall.html ) and was impressed. I've never studied music or understood anything about reading notes before, but playing this, it didn't take me long before I started associating the different tones with the notes. I hope they get funded, but their current number of pledges doesn't look too good.

I tried out their Tonal Recall demo ( http://moonlight-press.com//TonalRecall/TonalRecall.html ) and was impressed. I've never studied music or understood anything about reading notes before, but playing this, it didn't take me long before I started associating the different tones with the notes. I hope they get funded, but their current number of pledges doesn't look too good.___

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2014-10-18 05:22:15 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

> Through the summer of 2014, Compassion’s Investigation Unit operated undercover in 16 separate rabbit farms throughout Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland and Cyprus. What they found was appalling. [...]

> Time and again, our team found unspeakable welfare conditions, the most barren environments imaginable, and hotbeds for disease, dependent on the routine use of antibiotics just to keep animals alive.

> The video footage and some of the images from the investigation may shock you, but this only goes to highlight why we need to act.

> Please take the time to sign the petition. Call on the European Parliament and all 28 European Agriculture Ministers to demand legislation to end the use of cages in rabbit farming.

> Through the summer of 2014, Compassion’s Investigation Unit operated undercover in 16 separate rabbit farms throughout Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland and Cyprus. What they found was appalling. [...]

> Time and again, our team found unspeakable welfare conditions, the most barren environments imaginable, and hotbeds for disease, dependent on the routine use of antibiotics just to keep animals alive.

> The video footage and some of the images from the investigation may shock you, but this only goes to highlight why we need to act.

> Please take the time to sign the petition. Call on the European Parliament and all 28 European Agriculture Ministers to demand legislation to end the use of cages in rabbit farming.___

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2014-10-18 04:25:37 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> A recent study in Psychological Science suggests that unusual experiences have a social cost, in that they alienate us from our peers. “Extraordinary experiences are both different from and better than the experiences that most other people have,” the authors note, “and being both alien and enviable is an unlikely recipe for popularity.”

> To test this hypothesis, the researchers treated a group of university students to a movie screening. The 68 participants each reported to the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory and were broken into groups of four. One person from each group was sent to a cubicle to watch an interesting video of a talented street magician performing tricks for an appreciative crowd. The other three were assigned to watch a mundane clip of a low-budget cartoon. Everyone was told whether they were assigned to watch the boring video or the interesting one.
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> A recent study in Psychological Science suggests that unusual experiences have a social cost, in that they alienate us from our peers. “Extraordinary experiences are both different from and better than the experiences that most other people have,” the authors note, “and being both alien and enviable is an unlikely recipe for popularity.”

> To test this hypothesis, the researchers treated a group of university students to a movie screening. The 68 participants each reported to the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory and were broken into groups of four. One person from each group was sent to a cubicle to watch an interesting video of a talented street magician performing tricks for an appreciative crowd. The other three were assigned to watch a mundane clip of a low-budget cartoon. Everyone was told whether they were assigned to watch the boring video or the interesting one.

> Afterward, each foursome was led to a room and told, to quote Coffee Talk, to “talk amongst yourselves.” The researcher left the room, and he returned five minutes later.

> He gave the subjects another survey, this one consisting of two questions: “How do you feel right now?” on the same 100-point scale, as well as “How did you feel during the interaction that took place?” on a scale of 100 between “excluded” and “included.”

> Surprisingly, people who watched the “extraordinary” video felt worse than those who watched the “ordinary” one by about 10 points. They also felt more excluded by 30 points on average.

> “Conversations thrive on ordinary topics,” Gus Cooney, a Harvard Ph.D. student and the study’s lead author, told me. “The guy who had the extraordinary experience had a harder time fitting in.”

> So why, then, would we ever choose to go sky-diving or Icelandic volcano-spelunking? Why would anyone pursue unusual encounters if banal ones make for better chit-chat? The authors performed another experiment in which they asked a new group of participants to picture themselves going through the two different conditions—watching either the magician video or the cartoon one and then talking with others. They were asked to score how they thought they would feel during the conversation.

> “Participants expected an extraordinary experience to leave them feeling better than an ordinary experience at all points in time,” the authors wrote. In other words, we think seeing or doing amazing things will make us feel better than people who haven't; it actually makes us feel worse.

> The authors speculate that this might be because the joy from an unusual experience fades quickly, but the sting of not fitting in because we didn’t share an experience with our peers—even a crappy one—lingers. [...]

> So how does this jive with past research showing that we should spend our money on experiences, not things? It doesn’t exactly mean that we shouldn’t seek novelty. Cooney suggests the study should just encourage “people to look before they leap. When we're choosing what experiences we have, [this shows] we're only thinking about the benefits, not the social costs.”

> The study could also be read not as a criticism of adventures, but as a defense of celebrating the mundane.

> The findings are echoed in another recent Psychological Science study that found that sharing experiences—even with a complete stranger—makes people rate those experiences as more intense than people who underwent them alone. In that experiment, students reported liking a square of 70-percent dark chocolate more when they ate it at the same time as another study participant. They said the chocolate was more “flavorful” than those who ate it alone. This holds for negative experiences, too: Those who ate a square of 90-percent dark chocolate—shown in pre-tests to be unpleasant—rated it as less tasty when they ate it at the same time as someone else.

> "When people think of shared experience, what usually comes to mind is being with close others, such as friends or family, and talking with them," study author Erica Boothby said in a statement. "We don't realize the extent to which we are influenced by people around us."

> Together, the studies show why people bond over first-date horror stories or awkward middle-school memories. Or why, upon returning from a great vacation, we’re often more likely to dish to friends about the inept tour guide or inedible hotel breakfast, rather than the mesmerizing sights. In social interactions, people aim for relatability, not impressiveness. More important than having undergone something, it seems, is having someone understand.___

2014-10-18 04:18:22 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

"Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them."

Thiel, Peter; Masters, Blake (2014-09-18). Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future (Kindle Locations 36-38). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

"Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them."

Thiel, Peter; Masters, Blake (2014-09-18). Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future (Kindle Locations 36-38). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.___

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2014-10-18 04:14:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Oooh!

> The Well Played Journal is a forum for in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game. It is a reviewed journal open to submissions that will be released on a regular basis with high-quality essays.

> Contributors are encouraged to analyze sequences in a game in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how the various components of a game can come together to create a fulfilling playing experience unique to this medium. Through contributors, the journal will provide a variety of perspectives on the value of games.

> The goal of the journal is to continue developing and defining a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Video games are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis. By inviting contributors to look closely... more »

Oooh!

> The Well Played Journal is a forum for in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game. It is a reviewed journal open to submissions that will be released on a regular basis with high-quality essays.

> Contributors are encouraged to analyze sequences in a game in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how the various components of a game can come together to create a fulfilling playing experience unique to this medium. Through contributors, the journal will provide a variety of perspectives on the value of games.

> The goal of the journal is to continue developing and defining a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Video games are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis. By inviting contributors to look closely at video games and the experience of playing them, we hope to expand the discussion, and show how games are well played in a variety of ways.___

2014-10-12 11:41:39 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

The Internet Age: I'm about to eat some bananas. Then I remember seeing a claim on the 'net that there's a better way to peel bananas, so I start off by Googling it, getting a video of the right way to do it, and then peeling my bananas more efficiently than ever before.

Thank you, Interwebs.

The Internet Age: I'm about to eat some bananas. Then I remember seeing a claim on the 'net that there's a better way to peel bananas, so I start off by Googling it, getting a video of the right way to do it, and then peeling my bananas more efficiently than ever before.

Thank you, Interwebs.___

2014-10-12 05:34:27 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> Differences among children in educational achievement are highly heritable from the early school years until the end of compulsory education at age 16, when UK students are assessed nationwide with standard achievement tests [General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)]. Genetic research has shown that intelligence makes a major contribution to the heritability of educational achievement. However, we show that other broad domains of behavior such as personality and psychopathology also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores. These results underline the importance of genetics in educational achievement and its correlates. The results also support the trend in education toward personalized learning.

> Differences among children in educational achievement are highly heritable from the early school years until the end of compulsory education at age 16, when UK students are assessed nationwide with standard achievement tests [General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)]. Genetic research has shown that intelligence makes a major contribution to the heritability of educational achievement. However, we show that other broad domains of behavior such as personality and psychopathology also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores. These results underline the importance of genetics in educational achievement and its correlates. The results also support the trend in education toward personalized learning.___

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2014-10-12 04:59:18 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

What It’s Like to Carry Your Nobel Prize through Airport Security

> It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

> “They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’
> I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’
> They said, ‘What’s in the box?’
> I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.
> So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’
> I said, ‘gold.’
> And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’
> ‘The King of Sweden.’

What It’s Like to Carry Your Nobel Prize through Airport Security

> It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

> “They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’
> I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’
> They said, ‘What’s in the box?’
> I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.
> So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’
> I said, ‘gold.’
> And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’
> ‘The King of Sweden.’___

2014-10-11 16:51:31 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I notice that sometimes when I'm meeting new people, I feel a little uncomfortable mentioning that I study computer science, because of the stereotype about CS majors being socially clueless nerds who spend all their time with computers but having no understanding of real life or the softer sciences. Not that I'd want to hide my major from people forever, but I just wouldn't like it to be their first impression of me.

I notice that sometimes when I'm meeting new people, I feel a little uncomfortable mentioning that I study computer science, because of the stereotype about CS majors being socially clueless nerds who spend all their time with computers but having no understanding of real life or the softer sciences. Not that I'd want to hide my major from people forever, but I just wouldn't like it to be their first impression of me.___

2014-10-11 13:24:43 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Steam tries to recommend the game "Sakura Spirit" to me. I look at the reviews:

"I like boobs. You like boobs. We are here for boobs.
Oh, there's something like a story too, but that's not the main attraction."

"boobs. 10/10"

"Need somthing new to fap to but don't want to accually watch porn or see hentai?
Well this is the game for you!
Girls with Big BOOBIES and fox ears.
The story is good too!"

So yeah, boobs that have fox ears might be an interesting sight but I don't think I want to pay 10 euros for that, thank you.

Steam tries to recommend the game "Sakura Spirit" to me. I look at the reviews:

"I like boobs. You like boobs. We are here for boobs.
Oh, there's something like a story too, but that's not the main attraction."

"boobs. 10/10"

"Need somthing new to fap to but don't want to accually watch porn or see hentai?
Well this is the game for you!
Girls with Big BOOBIES and fox ears.
The story is good too!"

So yeah, boobs that have fox ears might be an interesting sight but I don't think I want to pay 10 euros for that, thank you.___

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2014-10-11 11:20:00 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

> For a modern reader of the column’s 1950s and ’60s archives, it’s hard not to be horrified by the complete and utter awfulness of many of the husbands – both their behaviours, as reported by their wives, and their own responses to counselling. Perhaps more shocking still are the counsellor’s responses. No matter how bad it got, the counsellor always managed to find a way to blame the woman for the couple’s problems.

> In March 1957, in the case of ‘Josh’ and ‘Elsa’, Elsa reported that Josh hit her after he came home late from an office party. In the course of her description of their relationship, Elsa tells the counsellor that when their daughter Sally was born: ‘Josh showed plainly his disappointment that the baby wasn’t a boy.’ ‘When the baby and I came home,’ she added, ‘I stayed in bed and let him prepare his own breakfast. He was outraged and yelledso furiously all the neighbours... more »

> For a modern reader of the column’s 1950s and ’60s archives, it’s hard not to be horrified by the complete and utter awfulness of many of the husbands – both their behaviours, as reported by their wives, and their own responses to counselling. Perhaps more shocking still are the counsellor’s responses. No matter how bad it got, the counsellor always managed to find a way to blame the woman for the couple’s problems.

> In March 1957, in the case of ‘Josh’ and ‘Elsa’, Elsa reported that Josh hit her after he came home late from an office party. In the course of her description of their relationship, Elsa tells the counsellor that when their daughter Sally was born: ‘Josh showed plainly his disappointment that the baby wasn’t a boy.’ ‘When the baby and I came home,’ she added, ‘I stayed in bed and let him prepare his own breakfast. He was outraged and yelled so furiously all the neighbours heard him.’ Elsa told the counsellor that she was absolutely miserable in her marriage: ‘When [Josh] abuses me in the presence of our children, when he humiliates me before the neighbours, I want to curl up and die. There is an ache deep in my chest, in my heart. I feel physically sick.’

> The counsellor wrote that Elsa was ‘jolted and shocked when I told her she was partly at fault’. This wife needed to be convinced out of her own self-righteous understanding of the situation, the counsellor argued. ‘If she wanted a serene family life, she would have to learn to give Josh what he wanted from their marriage and thereby help him control his temper.’___

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2014-10-11 11:05:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> I think this is what creates the aspects of feminism and social justice(*) that are so deeply resented. Things like “it’s not my job to educate you!” and responding to questions with anger (leading to the perception that even asking questions is treading risky waters) are commonly aspects of SJ and feminism that actively make people like the movements less…and simultaneously, they’re reactions I have so much sympathy towards.

> Let’s oversimplify a bit, and presume that the only question that feminism seeks to answer is whether or not women and men are equal.  So you, New Feminist, get involved in feminism (for the purposes of this exercise, and because I’ve already slightly oversimplified, please assume you’re female). You start identifying as a feminist, and as a result start having conversations/arguments/discussions about whether or not men and women are equal. In thestart, you’re fr... more »

> I think this is what creates the aspects of feminism and social justice(*) that are so deeply resented. Things like “it’s not my job to educate you!” and responding to questions with anger (leading to the perception that even asking questions is treading risky waters) are commonly aspects of SJ and feminism that actively make people like the movements less…and simultaneously, they’re reactions I have so much sympathy towards.

> Let’s oversimplify a bit, and presume that the only question that feminism seeks to answer is whether or not women and men are equal.  So you, New Feminist, get involved in feminism (for the purposes of this exercise, and because I’ve already slightly oversimplified, please assume you’re female). You start identifying as a feminist, and as a result start having conversations/arguments/discussions about whether or not men and women are equal. In the start, you’re fresh-faced and you care a ton about this new concept, and so you devote a ton of time to discussing. You have the emotional energy to remain chipper in the face of very angry opponents, and you’re delighted when people concede even minor parts of discussions. Even though just a small number of people you discuss with are amenable to feminism, it’s easy to be caught up in the energy. You spend a fair amount of time reading up on discussion tactics and common arguments and counterarguments.

> Timeskip. It’s two years later. You’re still fielding the same questions. Both because societies rarely change on the order of months and because there happen to be a lot of people who like arguing about gender, your conversations about feminism usually start with a variant of “but women and men just aren’t equal, right?” and…it’s exhausting. You’ve gotten so accustomed to the number of objections to feminism that you can mentally categorize them, because the themes repeat. It’s really hard to get excited or happy at all when someone moves very slightly in the direction of your position, because now you’re painfully aware how many people haven’t at all. But also, you’re female, and it’s not as though you feel you can walk away. You want men and women to be equal, dammit, and when they’re not, you’re adversely impacted and you know it.

> Furthermore, though you started out eager and willing to have long discussions of equality and calmly walk through each and every of your opponents points, you’ve realized that it’s mentally exhausting for you. Lots of the time, you do that and then…nothing. No visible change. And a few times, you’ve done this and then been badly burned…your words were used as representative of all that was wrong with feminism, or quoted out of context, or the person you were corresponding with explained that they weren’t actually interested in changing their mind, just wanted anti-feminist ammo. So, you’ve got some pretty awful priors for anyone who starts a conversation about feminism with you. I’d fathom that this is a similar phenomenon to what happens in helping professions, where those on the edge of burning out have a more negative perception of those they help than the average bystander. (Maslach, 2003)

> And…now you’ve known for a long while that men and women ought to be equal. So you’re not getting to have the conversations that come to mind as the next step. You haven’t gotten to discuss what that would mean in terms of military service, or how to handle equality when reproduction and bodily autonomy and reproductive coercion intersect with the fact that only half the population can actually bear children. And you can’t have those conversations, because as far as you can tell, every time you start them, some bystander explains that they’re just not sure that men and women ought to be equal.

> [At this point it seems necessary to point out that this hasn't happened to me for feminism but sure as hell did happen with atheism.]

> I haven’t really been able to come up with an overarching solution to this. I have a lot of sympathy for people who have been badly burned by asking a sincere question, only to be lashed out at, told they need to go educate themselves. Asking a local expert seems a heck of a lot easier than attempting to locate an explanation, sifting through better and worse ones, and not knowing which explanation of a position or term is most accurate or representative. Simultaneously I have such sympathy for people trapped in the dynamic I describe above.

> I have no idea how to reconcile these.

> A first step perhaps, is to acknowledge that for most people, repeatedly having intro-level discussions is exhausting and eventually unpleasant. That some spaces exist specifically to cater towards people who have taken a set of common assumptions for granted and want to have conversations that go to the edge of where those assumptions take them. That having those spaces can be an extremely important coping mechanism. That perhaps, when you and I and everyone else get caught up in causes and ideas we want to promote, we also find or create spaces that won’t regularly have new people asking old questions.___

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2014-10-11 11:00:06 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

"But until very recently, they had another option.  Even after the death of the old aristocracy, there was a pretty guaranteed way to live a low-key life of the mind; you could join academia.  It’s only quite recently that academia as a whole was so difficult and Darwinian to try to break into.  James Watson was a mediocre college student until he read What is Life, got excited, and decided to go to grad school in Indiana to work on it.  Today he wouldn’t stand a chance against students who had spent undergrad getting good grades, working with the right mentors, and generally jumping through the right hoops.  Academia is now a rat race like any other, and if you want that career, you have to apply your nose firmly to the grindstone and not spend too much time looking around.

I think the basic income folks are fundamentally reacting to this shift, this closing of the last sanctuaryof arist... more »

"But until very recently, they had another option.  Even after the death of the old aristocracy, there was a pretty guaranteed way to live a low-key life of the mind; you could join academia.  It’s only quite recently that academia as a whole was so difficult and Darwinian to try to break into.  James Watson was a mediocre college student until he read What is Life, got excited, and decided to go to grad school in Indiana to work on it.  Today he wouldn’t stand a chance against students who had spent undergrad getting good grades, working with the right mentors, and generally jumping through the right hoops.  Academia is now a rat race like any other, and if you want that career, you have to apply your nose firmly to the grindstone and not spend too much time looking around.

I think the basic income folks are fundamentally reacting to this shift, this closing of the last sanctuary of aristocratic intellectual freedom."___

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2014-10-11 10:59:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Two different people have now linked me to this campaign. I take it as evidence of having successfully made cat ears into a part of my personal brand.

(These are a little too expensive for me, though.)

Two different people have now linked me to this campaign. I take it as evidence of having successfully made cat ears into a part of my personal brand.

(These are a little too expensive for me, though.)___

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2014-10-11 10:50:22 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Stuart makes a case for why we should appreciate the wastefulness of the food system: it makes us more resilient. http://theconversation.com/blessed-are-the-wastrels-for-their-surplus-could-save-the-earth-32227

Stuart makes a case for why we should appreciate the wastefulness of the food system: it makes us more resilient. http://theconversation.com/blessed-are-the-wastrels-for-their-surplus-could-save-the-earth-32227___

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2014-10-11 10:49:21 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I have a brain these days!

Pictures behind the link.

I have a brain these days!

Pictures behind the link.___

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2014-10-05 19:43:50 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

The distorted room was named after ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames, who invented the optical illusion in 1934. The floor, ceiling and side walls of the room are trapezoidal in shape but when viewed from a specific fixed point it appears to be rectangular.

Source: http://ri-science.tumblr.com/post/98724467257/the-ames-room-the-distorted-room-was-named-after

The distorted room was named after ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames, who invented the optical illusion in 1934. The floor, ceiling and side walls of the room are trapezoidal in shape but when viewed from a specific fixed point it appears to be rectangular.

Source: http://ri-science.tumblr.com/post/98724467257/the-ames-room-the-distorted-room-was-named-after___

2014-10-05 19:31:02 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> I confess that there was a period in my life, after I first plunged into matters spiritual, when I became a nuisance in this respect. Wherever I went, no matter how superficial the exchange, I gazed into the eyes of everyone I met as though they were my long-lost lover. No doubt, many people found this more than a bit creepy. Others considered it a stark provocation. But it also precipitated exchanges with complete strangers that were fascinating. With some regularity people of both sexes seemed to become bewitched by me on the basis of a single conversation. Had I been peddling some consoling philosophy and been eager to gather students, I suspect that I could have made a proper mess of things. I definitely glimpsed the path that many spiritual imposters have taken throughout history.

> Interestingly, when one functions in this mode, one quickly recognizes all the other people who are... more »

> I confess that there was a period in my life, after I first plunged into matters spiritual, when I became a nuisance in this respect. Wherever I went, no matter how superficial the exchange, I gazed into the eyes of everyone I met as though they were my long-lost lover. No doubt, many people found this more than a bit creepy. Others considered it a stark provocation. But it also precipitated exchanges with complete strangers that were fascinating. With some regularity people of both sexes seemed to become bewitched by me on the basis of a single conversation. Had I been peddling some consoling philosophy and been eager to gather students, I suspect that I could have made a proper mess of things. I definitely glimpsed the path that many spiritual imposters have taken throughout history.

> Interestingly, when one functions in this mode, one quickly recognizes all the other people who are playing the same game. I had many encounters wherein I would meet the eyes of a person across the room, and suddenly we were playing War of the Warlocks: two strangers holding each other’s gaze well past the point that our primate genes or cultural conditioning would ordinarily countenance. Play this game long enough and you begin to have some very strange encounters.

-- Harris, Sam (2014-09-09). Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Kindle Locations 2211-2219). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition. ___

2014-10-05 10:24:37 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

... I have actually started thinking stuff like "I can't go out like this, these clothes don't make for a cohesive outfit".

... I have actually started thinking stuff like "I can't go out like this, these clothes don't make for a cohesive outfit".___

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2014-10-04 16:58:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Applies to other communities, too:

> In the past, some people have suggested that we “gamify” effective altruism some more, and create points for doing altruistic-y things, like donating our money or volunteering our time. I think this could be a good idea, but rather than seeing individual scores, I’d much rather see a collective team score for EA. We’d compete as a group to beat our past group selves (make March better than February, for example) rather than compete amongst ourselves as individuals.

> There are several problems with the individual competition model, but the biggest problem is the most fundamental – effective altruism is not (and shouldn’t be) a competition. Rather, we are a team. A community. We all have one common goal.

> I know some effective altruists who see EAs like Holden Karnofsky or what not do incredible things, and feel alittle bit ... more »

Applies to other communities, too:

> In the past, some people have suggested that we “gamify” effective altruism some more, and create points for doing altruistic-y things, like donating our money or volunteering our time. I think this could be a good idea, but rather than seeing individual scores, I’d much rather see a collective team score for EA. We’d compete as a group to beat our past group selves (make March better than February, for example) rather than compete amongst ourselves as individuals.

> There are several problems with the individual competition model, but the biggest problem is the most fundamental – effective altruism is not (and shouldn’t be) a competition. Rather, we are a team. A community. We all have one common goal.

> I know some effective altruists who see EAs like Holden Karnofsky or what not do incredible things, and feel a little bit of resentment at themselves and others; feeling inadequate that they can’t make such a large difference. This is an important feeling for generating a desire to improve, and keeping a growth mindset in the face of this could lead to great things for you. However, it’s even more important not to let this get you into depression, simply because Holden’s success is also your success.

> All effective altruists care about is making sure that the world is a better place. It doesn’t matter who is doing the better-ing. If Holden, Bill Gates, and Dustin Moskovitz each have 1 billion EA points and you only have five, you should be celebrating the fact that the EA community is collectively at 3 billion and five EA points and that you’re helping. You shouldn’t feel bad that you’re not doing as well.___

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2014-10-04 16:06:19 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> She spoke with [disabled men] about their motivations and experiences of [buying] sex, and found that for many of the men, it was as much about demonstrating their independence as it was about the sex. For Harjit, a 23-year-old student whose parents had moved into his university residence to care for him, making secret arrangements was as much an accomplishment as the sex itself. “From the excitable way such stories were told, it appeared that a lot of the ‘buzz’ … was as much from exercising agency, autonomy, control and independence as it was about experiencing sexual fulfillment, pleasure, and satisfaction,” wrote Liddiard.

> Other men simply wanted to have an experience they believed they wouldn’t have otherwise. “I wish I could go out and meet someone, but it’s not that easy,” one man complained. “I can’t go into a nightclub and easily pull, although I have incertain circumstances... more »

> She spoke with [disabled men] about their motivations and experiences of [buying] sex, and found that for many of the men, it was as much about demonstrating their independence as it was about the sex. For Harjit, a 23-year-old student whose parents had moved into his university residence to care for him, making secret arrangements was as much an accomplishment as the sex itself. “From the excitable way such stories were told, it appeared that a lot of the ‘buzz’ … was as much from exercising agency, autonomy, control and independence as it was about experiencing sexual fulfillment, pleasure, and satisfaction,” wrote Liddiard.

> Other men simply wanted to have an experience they believed they wouldn’t have otherwise. “I wish I could go out and meet someone, but it’s not that easy,” one man complained. “I can’t go into a nightclub and easily pull, although I have in certain circumstances, but I can’t do it easily,” said another. Mark, a 35-year-old Liddiard interviewed in person, said that his experience with a sex worker was the only time he’d ever felt “sexiness.”

> For many of these men, paying for sex provided, for the first time, the chance to experience touch that wasn’t medical or therapeutic. “Men in this study strongly expressed that the commercial context was integral towards learning even the most ‘rudimentary’ of experiences, such as sensuous and erotic touch,” wrote Liddiard. 

> Abram, 35, told her over Skype:

> > I’d never even been kissed before [long pause] ... I think the first thought was how wet her lips were. It was new and I tried to get my lip action going a bit as well. I was able to just experiment, really.

> Graham, 52, recalled:

> > It was the first time I realized a woman’s body was warm, with no clothes on, naked, she was warm and that was a shock to me.

> Other men said that paying for sex helped prepare them for “real” romantic relationships. They saw their experiences with sex workers as “a productive step towards (later) gaining a fulfilling, mutual and reciprocal (non-commercial) intimate relationship.”

> “I think we definitely need to change the way we think about sex work,” Liddiard told me over the phone. “Our assumptions are that disabled men desperately need sex, but their reasons for paying for sex were varied and were rooted in their experiences of disability.”

> All of the men in the study, though, saw paying for sex as a temporary fix. “Many men said to me that, although sex work did important things for them, they were actually quite dissatisfied or unfulfilled after,” Liddiard said. “Men would say, it was great to lose my virginity, but I really want a relationship. How do I express myself sexually without paying for it?” That’s a question money can’t answer.___

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2014-10-04 14:49:21 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

> The world faces many problems, but some are bigger than others, some are more neglected, some are easier to solve and some are in more need of your skills. All these things matter when you come to select a cause to work on to make the world a better place. On this page, we outline what causes are, why they’re helpful and how to identify which are most high-potential. We also offer some ideas about which might be best.

> In summary:

> * A cause is a major social problem you can contribute to solving, or a major opportunity to make the world a better place.
> * Causes are useful if you aim to make a difference with your career. This is because they help to narrow down your possible careers, whilst still being broad enough to ensure you won’t commit to an area that becomes obsolete. However, they’re less important at the start of your career, when you’re morefocused... more »

> The world faces many problems, but some are bigger than others, some are more neglected, some are easier to solve and some are in more need of your skills. All these things matter when you come to select a cause to work on to make the world a better place. On this page, we outline what causes are, why they’re helpful and how to identify which are most high-potential. We also offer some ideas about which might be best.

> In summary:

> * A cause is a major social problem you can contribute to solving, or a major opportunity to make the world a better place.
> * Causes are useful if you aim to make a difference with your career. This is because they help to narrow down your possible careers, whilst still being broad enough to ensure you won’t commit to an area that becomes obsolete. However, they’re less important at the start of your career, when you’re more focused on building career capital than immediate impact.
> * We present two tools for comparing causes — a qualitative framework and cost-effectiveness analysis. We recommend both.
> * Currently, some of the most promising causes are international development, global catastrophic risks, policy-advocacy, scientific research, promoting effective altruism, improving decision making and global priorities research.___

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2014-10-04 14:46:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> “There was a time when people thought of psychopaths as this sort of unique group of individuals — as in, there were normal people, and there were psychopaths,” said Georgetown University psychologist Abigail Marsh. “But now we’re finding that psychopathic traits work the same as other mental-illness symptoms. So with psychopathy, like almost anything else, people will have more or fewer of those traits, and so you have people at one end and most people in the middle.” Marsh calls this the “caring continuum,” and its existence, she said, “begs the question: What’s at the other end of the curve?”

> New research she just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests an answer: If the dark, scary end of the caring continuum is inhabited by psychopaths, way down at the other end is a group of what she calls “anti-psychopaths” —ultra-do-gooders who are ex... more »

> “There was a time when people thought of psychopaths as this sort of unique group of individuals — as in, there were normal people, and there were psychopaths,” said Georgetown University psychologist Abigail Marsh. “But now we’re finding that psychopathic traits work the same as other mental-illness symptoms. So with psychopathy, like almost anything else, people will have more or fewer of those traits, and so you have people at one end and most people in the middle.” Marsh calls this the “caring continuum,” and its existence, she said, “begs the question: What’s at the other end of the curve?”

> New research she just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests an answer: If the dark, scary end of the caring continuum is inhabited by psychopaths, way down at the other end is a group of what she calls “anti-psychopaths” — ultra-do-gooders who are extraordinarily compassionate, prosocial, and empathetic.___

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2014-10-04 14:44:54 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, led the translation of Firefox into Fulah, which is spoken by 20m people from Senegal to Nigeria. “Crash” became hookii (a cow falling over but not dying); “timeout” became a honaama (your fish has got away). “Aspect ratio” became jeendondiral, a rebuke from elders when a fishing net is wrongly woven. In Malawi’s Chichewa language, which has 10m speakers, “cached pages” became mfutso wa tsamba, or bits of leftover food. The windowless houses of the 440,000 speakers of Zapotec, a family of indigenous languages in Mexico, meant that computer “windows” became “eyes”.

> The world speaks nearly 7,000 languages. Mali, with a population of 15m, has 13 national languages and 40-60 smaller ones, depending on where the border between language and dialect is drawn. Firefox is available in 90 languages, which serve almost all of the 40% ofthe global population alr... more »

> Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, led the translation of Firefox into Fulah, which is spoken by 20m people from Senegal to Nigeria. “Crash” became hookii (a cow falling over but not dying); “timeout” became a honaama (your fish has got away). “Aspect ratio” became jeendondiral, a rebuke from elders when a fishing net is wrongly woven. In Malawi’s Chichewa language, which has 10m speakers, “cached pages” became mfutso wa tsamba, or bits of leftover food. The windowless houses of the 440,000 speakers of Zapotec, a family of indigenous languages in Mexico, meant that computer “windows” became “eyes”.

> The world speaks nearly 7,000 languages. Mali, with a population of 15m, has 13 national languages and 40-60 smaller ones, depending on where the border between language and dialect is drawn. Firefox is available in 90 languages, which serve almost all of the 40% of the global population already online. Apple’s most recent computer OS offers 33 languages out of the box, and the new iPhone, 35. Google offers 150, including dialects (and some spurious ones such as “Pirate”). But some languages spoken by millions are excluded, including Tibetan (3m-4m speakers) and Bambara (10m, including those for whom it is a second tongue). Bringing the rest of the world online is not just a technical challenge, but a linguistic one.

> As a non-profit, Mozilla can put effort into languages that offer no prospect of a quick return. Songhai and Fulah, recently made available in Firefox, are spoken mainly by poor, illiterate herders and farmers in the Sahel, who do not have smartphones. But when such people eventually get online, they will benefit more if they can do so in their own tongues.___

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2014-10-04 14:42:38 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> We went back to our hotel, and this time we took a taxi. Terry was silently furious: with himself, mostly, I suspect, and with the world that had not told him that the distance from the bookshop to the radio station was much further than it had looked on our itinerary. He sat in the back of the cab beside me white with anger, a non-directional ball of fury. I said something, hoping to placate him. Perhaps I said that, ah well, it had all worked out in the end, and it hadn’t been the end of the world, and suggested it was time to not be angry any more.

> Terry looked at me. He said: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.” I thought of the driven way that Terry wrote, and of the way that he drove the rest of us with him, and I knew that he was right.

> There is a fury to Terry Pratchett’s writing: it’s the fury that wasthe engin... more »

> We went back to our hotel, and this time we took a taxi. Terry was silently furious: with himself, mostly, I suspect, and with the world that had not told him that the distance from the bookshop to the radio station was much further than it had looked on our itinerary. He sat in the back of the cab beside me white with anger, a non-directional ball of fury. I said something, hoping to placate him. Perhaps I said that, ah well, it had all worked out in the end, and it hadn’t been the end of the world, and suggested it was time to not be angry any more.

> Terry looked at me. He said: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.” I thought of the driven way that Terry wrote, and of the way that he drove the rest of us with him, and I knew that he was right.

> There is a fury to Terry Pratchett’s writing: it’s the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld. It’s also the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11-plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think serious is the opposite of funny; anger at his early American publishers who could not bring his books out successfully.

> The anger is always there, an engine that drives. By the time Terry learned he had a rare, early onset form of Alzheimer’s, the targets of his fury changed: he was angry with his brain and his genetics and, more than these, furious at a country that would not permit him (or others in a similarly intolerable situation) to choose the manner and the time of their passing.

> And that anger, it seems to me, is about Terry’s underlying sense of what is fair and what is not. It is that sense of fairness that underlies Terry’s work and his writing, and it’s what drove him from school to journalism to the press office of the SouthWestern Electricity Board to the position of being one of the best-loved and bestselling writers in the world.___

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2014-10-04 14:31:15 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

> The practice of tailoring a political message to a particular group is commonplace, of course. But the climate activist community has broadly failed to understand just how differently conservatives and liberals see the world on certain issues, and, as a result, just how radically different messages targeting conservatives should look. [...]

> In a study they published in Psychological Science in 2013, Willer and a colleague, the Stanford social psychologist Matthew Feinberg, tested the effectiveness of framing environmental issues in a way that takes into account conservatives’ moral foundations. After completing a questionnaire that included items about their political beliefs, respondents were asked to read one of three excerpts. The unfortunate control group “read an apolitical message on the history of neckties.” For the other two groups, though, what followed was an op-ed-likeblock... more »

> The practice of tailoring a political message to a particular group is commonplace, of course. But the climate activist community has broadly failed to understand just how differently conservatives and liberals see the world on certain issues, and, as a result, just how radically different messages targeting conservatives should look. [...]

> In a study they published in Psychological Science in 2013, Willer and a colleague, the Stanford social psychologist Matthew Feinberg, tested the effectiveness of framing environmental issues in a way that takes into account conservatives’ moral foundations. After completing a questionnaire that included items about their political beliefs, respondents were asked to read one of three excerpts. The unfortunate control group “read an apolitical message on the history of neckties.” For the other two groups, though, what followed was an op-ed-like block of text designed to stoke either “care/harm” (innocents suffering) or “purity/sanctity” (disgust) concerns — one excerpt “described the harm and destruction humans are causing to their environment and emphasized how important it is for people to care about and protect the environment,” while the other touched on “how polluted and contaminated the environment has become and how important it is for people to clean and purify the environment.”

> Afterwards, respondents were gauged on their pro-environmental attitudes and belief in global warming. In the care/harm group, there was a sizable gap between liberals and conservatives on both measures. In the disgust group, however, there was no statistically significant difference in general environmental attitudes, and the gap on belief in global warming had been cut significantly. [...]

> Another promising route that researchers are exploring involves the concept of “system justification.” Put simply, system justification arises from the deep-seated psychological need for humans to feel like the broad systems they are a part of are working correctly. It doesn’t feel good to know you attend a broken school or inhabit a deeply corrupt country — or that your planet’s entire ecology may be on the brink of collapse. [...]

> She and two colleagues looked into the connection between system justification and environmental beliefs for a series of studies published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2009. They found that, among an undergraduate sample at least, there was a strong correlation between system justification (as measured by reactions to items like “In general, the American political system operates as it should”) and denial of environmental problems.

> In a follow-up study designed to test whether this relationship was causal or simply correlational, students read a rather vanilla statement about how researchers have been tracking, with interest, changes to the environment. Some of the students also read two extra sentences: “Being pro-environmental allows us to protect and preserve the American way of life. It is patriotic to conserve the country’s natural resources.” This final bit was designed specifically to “reframe[e] pro-environmental change as consistent with system preservation” by emphasizing not a threat to a beleaguered system, but rather an opportunity to help protect an established, robust one.

> After reading the passage, students rated their agreement with ten statements about whether and to what extent they planned on engaging in pro-environmental activities, and were asked if they would like to sign various pro-environmental petitions. In the control condition, those who felt a stronger urge to justify the system expressed weaker pro-environmental intentions and signed fewer petitions. In the experimental group, though, the researchers effectively defused the effects of system justification: there was no difference in attitudes and numbers of petition signed between strong and weak system justifiers.

> So how would this translate to a real-world message? “What you need to do is put the system first,” said Feygina. “Instead of saying, ‘Let’s deal with climate change, let’s be pro-environmental, let’s protect the oceans,’ what you need to do is come in and say, ‘If we want to preserve our system, if we want to be patriotic, if we want our children to have the life that we have, then we have to take these actions that allow us to maintain those things that we care about.’” The starting point can’t be about averting catastrophe, in other words — it has to be about pride in the current system and the need to maintain it. [...]

> Still, it’s not as though shifts in framing can undo decades of culture-war battles. Willer was realistic in describing the limitations of grafting language from moral foundations theory and system justification onto climate-change messages. “It’s unlikely that such a short, small framing intervention would have a long, sustained effect — that’s very unlikely,” said Willer. “The idea, we hope, is that application of these techniques in a longer-term more committed campaign would be effective and would stick.”

> Another challenge, though, is that many of the messages that do seem to work for liberals — at least “work” in the sense of helping to build communities, organize marches, and so on — are ones that conservatives will likely find extremely off-putting. Climate activists often stamp their feet, perplexed as to how dire talk of ecologies collapsing and cities getting flooded don’t reach conservatives even as they assist in fund-raising and in activating liberals. “Oftentimes people decide on how they’re going to build their [message] based on intuition — they say ‘Oh, this is how humans works,’” said Feygina.

> But that intuition is often flawed. If climate activists are serious about doing anything other than preaching to the choir, they’re going to have to understand that messages that feel righteous and work on liberals may not have universal appeal. To a liberal, the system isn’t working and innocent people will suffer as a result — these are blazingly obvious points. But conservatives have blazingly obvious points of their own: The system works and we need to protect it, and it’s important not to let pure things be defiled.___

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2014-10-04 14:16:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Kun kerran päätän mennä metsään meditoimaan, niin sitähän ei yksi sade pysäytä. / Pictures of my favorite meditation spot (even if it's raining, damnit).

Kun kerran päätän mennä metsään meditoimaan, niin sitähän ei yksi sade pysäytä. / Pictures of my favorite meditation spot (even if it's raining, damnit).___

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2014-10-04 12:32:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Research finds that the effect of casual sex on your well-being is... positive if you like casual sex, and possibly negative if you don't. Which is kind of a "duh" on one hand, but it's always nice to see findings that recognize that people actually differ from each other and that lifestyles aren't a one-size-fits-all thing.

Research finds that the effect of casual sex on your well-being is... positive if you like casual sex, and possibly negative if you don't. Which is kind of a "duh" on one hand, but it's always nice to see findings that recognize that people actually differ from each other and that lifestyles aren't a one-size-fits-all thing.___

2014-10-04 12:04:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

"...while I have science and arts graduates in front of me please don’t make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid and damaging idea. You don’t have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things. If you need proof  - Twain, Douglas Adams, Vonnegut, McEwan, Sagan and Shakespeare, Dickens for a start. You don’t need to be superstitious to be a poet. You don’t need to hate GM technology to care about the beauty of the planet. You don’t have to claim a soul to promote compassion. Science is not a body of knowledge nor a belief system, it’s just a term which describes human kinds’ incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome! The arts and sciences need to work together to improve how knowledge is communicated." -- Tim Minchin

"...while I have science and arts graduates in front of me please don’t make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid and damaging idea. You don’t have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things. If you need proof  - Twain, Douglas Adams, Vonnegut, McEwan, Sagan and Shakespeare, Dickens for a start. You don’t need to be superstitious to be a poet. You don’t need to hate GM technology to care about the beauty of the planet. You don’t have to claim a soul to promote compassion. Science is not a body of knowledge nor a belief system, it’s just a term which describes human kinds’ incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome! The arts and sciences need to work together to improve how knowledge is communicated." -- Tim Minchin___

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2014-10-04 09:59:48 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Inspiring, and good advice too.

Inspiring, and good advice too.___

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2014-10-04 09:38:34 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

A game about writing fiction, where you explore dead worlds and write stories about them in response to different prompts, or just as freeform.

I once read an article suggesting that computer games could be a great get-to-know-each-other activity to play on a first date, if you could just find a suitable game. Now this won't everyone's cup of tea, but if the people in question are even a bit creatively inclined, a collaborative playthrough ("let's alternate writing answers to the prompts and try to come up with a consistent story") of Elegy seems like an awesome way to get to know someone a bit.

A game about writing fiction, where you explore dead worlds and write stories about them in response to different prompts, or just as freeform.

I once read an article suggesting that computer games could be a great get-to-know-each-other activity to play on a first date, if you could just find a suitable game. Now this won't everyone's cup of tea, but if the people in question are even a bit creatively inclined, a collaborative playthrough ("let's alternate writing answers to the prompts and try to come up with a consistent story") of Elegy seems like an awesome way to get to know someone a bit.___

2014-10-04 07:56:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Dear Sigmund Freud: ever since I saw the Best of Both Worlds episode of Star Trek TNG around age six or so, the Borg have been a recurring element in my dreams. My recollection of this night's dream is rather vague, but it involved a dead Borg lying in a corner of Enterprise-D's bridge, Captain Picard being convinced of Borg drones having no individuality, and Q turning him back into a partial drone to prove him wrong. How would you interpret this?

Dear Sigmund Freud: ever since I saw the Best of Both Worlds episode of Star Trek TNG around age six or so, the Borg have been a recurring element in my dreams. My recollection of this night's dream is rather vague, but it involved a dead Borg lying in a corner of Enterprise-D's bridge, Captain Picard being convinced of Borg drones having no individuality, and Q turning him back into a partial drone to prove him wrong. How would you interpret this?___

2014-09-28 05:06:51 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

From a draft of something that I'm writing: "humans are sometimes capable of communicating with each other [citation needed]"

From a draft of something that I'm writing: "humans are sometimes capable of communicating with each other [citation needed]"___

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2014-09-28 05:06:23 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

"How much damage can a 6 year-old possibly do? An analysis of the cost of raising a child like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes"

"How much damage can a 6 year-old possibly do? An analysis of the cost of raising a child like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes"___

2014-09-26 09:20:37 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I wrote up some of my thoughts on why I feel that effective altruism is the most exciting cause in the world.

> Growing up, it felt like the message I got from society was: one person just can't do much. The problems in the world are huge and structural, and naive reformers will eventually just become disillusioned and burn out. We can try to make small efforts in our personal lives, but they're tiny and won't scale.

> Effective altruism says that this doesn't need to be true! Yes, some of the problems are huge and structural, but that doesn't mean that individuals can't have a big impact. The average person working in an ordinary job can potentially save several lives a year, just by donating a measly 10% of his income and doing literally nothing else altruistic! That would already be amazing by itself.

> But it doesn't end there.

I wrote up some of my thoughts on why I feel that effective altruism is the most exciting cause in the world.

> Growing up, it felt like the message I got from society was: one person just can't do much. The problems in the world are huge and structural, and naive reformers will eventually just become disillusioned and burn out. We can try to make small efforts in our personal lives, but they're tiny and won't scale.

> Effective altruism says that this doesn't need to be true! Yes, some of the problems are huge and structural, but that doesn't mean that individuals can't have a big impact. The average person working in an ordinary job can potentially save several lives a year, just by donating a measly 10% of his income and doing literally nothing else altruistic! That would already be amazing by itself.

> But it doesn't end there.___

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2014-09-25 15:31:18 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Hamekuvia, ja avautumista siitä, miten kaikkien pitäisi voida pitää haluamiaan vaatteita sukupuolesta riippumatta.

[Pictures of me in a skirt! (Which I mistakenly called a dress before, because I fail at English.) Also, in Finnish, a rant about gender roles that make it harder for people to wear whatever they feel is comfortable, and a comment about how I want to help get rid of the said roles.]

Hamekuvia, ja avautumista siitä, miten kaikkien pitäisi voida pitää haluamiaan vaatteita sukupuolesta riippumatta.

[Pictures of me in a skirt! (Which I mistakenly called a dress before, because I fail at English.) Also, in Finnish, a rant about gender roles that make it harder for people to wear whatever they feel is comfortable, and a comment about how I want to help get rid of the said roles.]___

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2014-09-22 11:36:17 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Kirjoittelin vähän söpöydestä ja siitä, miksi koen sen niin positiivisena asiana.

[new rule: I'm allowed to post links to stuff that I've written even on weekdays. The post is about cuteness, and why I find it positive. Unfortunately in Finnish only. Brief English summary: cuteness, to me, implies playfulness, cheerfulness, and warmth, and a group where it's okay to be cute means a group where it's okay to show emotions and vulnerability. That's why I tend to signal cuteness, because I want people to be free to show emotions and vulnerability.]

Kirjoittelin vähän söpöydestä ja siitä, miksi koen sen niin positiivisena asiana.

[new rule: I'm allowed to post links to stuff that I've written even on weekdays. The post is about cuteness, and why I find it positive. Unfortunately in Finnish only. Brief English summary: cuteness, to me, implies playfulness, cheerfulness, and warmth, and a group where it's okay to be cute means a group where it's okay to show emotions and vulnerability. That's why I tend to signal cuteness, because I want people to be free to show emotions and vulnerability.]___

2014-09-21 18:19:30 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

The charity evaluation organization GiveWell focuses on proven, cost-effective health interventions in third-world countries and recommends that people donate to those. A frequent objection to this goes along the lines of: “Why should I put all my money into fighting malaria, ignoring other important problems? Isn’t it unethical to ignore the other essential needs?” Their response:

> We believe this objection commits the common fallacy of viewing the developed-world donor as the only person who can improve things for the beneficiaries. One term for taking this mentality too far is “Whites in Shining Armor” – often, in the media and in nonprofits’ communications, global poverty is presented as a simple fight between local problems and developed-world heroes. The problem is that as outsiders, we often have very poor understanding of the true dynamics behind overseas problems –and by attempti... more »

The charity evaluation organization GiveWell focuses on proven, cost-effective health interventions in third-world countries and recommends that people donate to those. A frequent objection to this goes along the lines of: “Why should I put all my money into fighting malaria, ignoring other important problems? Isn’t it unethical to ignore the other essential needs?” Their response:

> We believe this objection commits the common fallacy of viewing the developed-world donor as the only person who can improve things for the beneficiaries. One term for taking this mentality too far is “Whites in Shining Armor” – often, in the media and in nonprofits’ communications, global poverty is presented as a simple fight between local problems and developed-world heroes. The problem is that as outsiders, we often have very poor understanding of the true dynamics behind overseas problems – and by attempting to solve problems that we understand poorly, we can make things worse.

> We fundamentally believe that progress on most problems must be locally driven. So we seek to improve people’s abilities to make progress on their own, rather than taking personal responsibility for each of their challenges. How can we best accomplish this? [...]

> It comes down to acknowledging that as funders, we will always be outsiders, so we should focus on helping with what we’re good at helping with and leave the rest up to locals.

> Here I think an analogy to helping friends and family is somewhat illustrative. I try to help my friends and family in domains that I’m relatively knowledgeable about (for example, computer issues) and I tend not to put much effort into helping in other areas I’m not so knowledgeable about (for example, picking clothes) even if the latter are more important issues for them. I know I appreciate when my friends and family deal with me this way, and I don’t appreciate people who are determined to help me in domains that they don’t understand very well (even if these domains are very important to me).

> We believe that the track record of outside aid points to health and nutrition as the areas that developed-world outsiders understand best and are best-positioned to help with.

> It’s not that we think global health and nutrition are the only important, or even the most important, problems in the developing world. It’s that we’re trying to focus on what we can do well, and thus maximally empower people to make locally-driven progress on other fronts.___

2014-09-21 10:45:06 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Some people waste their money on drugs and alcohol.

Me, I'm struggling with myself over whether to purchase an expensive brain model as an impulse buy.

Some people waste their money on drugs and alcohol.

Me, I'm struggling with myself over whether to purchase an expensive brain model as an impulse buy.___

2014-09-20 16:40:52 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I'd like to improve my neuroanatomy skills to the point that, when I read a neuroscience text filled with references to different parts of the brain, I could actually tell them apart and visualize their locations relative to each other. What's the best way of doing that? I find it difficult to try to learn a 3D structure from 2D maps.

I'd like to improve my neuroanatomy skills to the point that, when I read a neuroscience text filled with references to different parts of the brain, I could actually tell them apart and visualize their locations relative to each other. What's the best way of doing that? I find it difficult to try to learn a 3D structure from 2D maps.___

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2014-09-20 12:43:41 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

> ...a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction - on religion.

> Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.

> It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

> The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.

>  It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required tobring ab... more »

> ...a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction - on religion.

> Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.

> It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

> The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.

>  It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required to bring about practical changes which could have an immediate effect, such as providing millions of the world’s poorest people with cleaner forms of fuel.

> It comes as Pope Francis finalises a widely anticipated papal encyclical on the environment, throwing the full weight of the Catholic Church behind efforts to limit climate change.___

2014-09-20 12:30:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Seventh day of being sick at home and not getting to see anyone.

Surprisingly, still not going insane - thank you, Internet. And at least I have an excuse to order a pizza.

Seventh day of being sick at home and not getting to see anyone.

Surprisingly, still not going insane - thank you, Internet. And at least I have an excuse to order a pizza.___

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2014-09-20 09:26:25 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

People try mailing a number of unpackaged items through the US Postal Service, record the results. Some of my favorites:

> Football. Days to delivery, 6. Male postal carrier was talkative and asked recipient about the scores of various current games. Carrier noted that mail must be wrapped.

> Pair of new, expensive tennis shoes. Strapped together with duct tape. Days to delivery, 7. When shoes were picked up at station, laces were tied tightly together with difficult-to-remove knot. Clerk noted that mail must be wrapped. [...]

> Helium balloon. The balloon was attached to a weight. The address was written on the balloon with magic marker; no postage was affixed. Our operative argued strongly that he should be charged a negative postage and refunded the postal fees, because the transport airplane would actually be lighter as a result of our postal item. This line of... more »

People try mailing a number of unpackaged items through the US Postal Service, record the results. Some of my favorites:

> Football. Days to delivery, 6. Male postal carrier was talkative and asked recipient about the scores of various current games. Carrier noted that mail must be wrapped.

> Pair of new, expensive tennis shoes. Strapped together with duct tape. Days to delivery, 7. When shoes were picked up at station, laces were tied tightly together with difficult-to-remove knot. Clerk noted that mail must be wrapped. [...]

> Helium balloon. The balloon was attached to a weight. The address was written on the balloon with magic marker; no postage was affixed. Our operative argued strongly that he should be charged a negative postage and refunded the postal fees, because the transport airplane would actually be lighter as a result of our postal item. This line of reasoning merely received a laugh from the clerk. The balloon was refused; reasons given: transportation of helium, not wrapped. [...]

> Box of sand. Packaged in transparent plastic box to be visible to postal employees. Sent to give an impression of potentially hiding something. The plastic box had obviously been opened before delivery and then securely taped shut again. Delivery without comment at doorstep, 7 days. [...]

> Deer tibia. Our mailing specialist received many strange looks from both postal clerks and members of the public in line when he picked it up at the station, 9 days. The clerk put on rubber gloves before handling the bone, inquired if our researcher were a "cultist," and commented that mail must be wrapped. ___

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