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Kaj Sotala has been shared in 24 public circles

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Brian Mcquillan13,393New Public CircleThis is a public circle of people that would like to be circulated in order to discover new people with similar interest and to gain more followers, if you would like to be included please follow these steps.1. Follow/Add our page(this is needed in order for us to add you to the circle).2. Share the circle publicly.3. (Optional) if you would like to be include in a more specialized circle click on this link #sharedcircleoftheday #fullcircleshare  #addmetoyourcircles #awesomeness  #awesomepeople #awesomecircle  #awesome   #awesomesauce #awesomeness #awesomepeople2014-11-11 08:27:25464438
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 10:40:00479321639
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 14:51:14301843557
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

Activity

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

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 6

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2014-12-22 12:36:55 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

This was useful for me, and helped clarify a bunch of things. The "a one-sided feeling of connection/attraction may be caused by a feeling that the other person isn't in a position to support you" bit, in particular, just made a LOT of things click together in my head: explaining some of the difficulties I've had with some of my exes and why those difficulties were missing from some other relationships I've had, why I've been one-sidedly attracted to some people and in other cases had other people be one-sidedly attracted to me, as well as things like why some people (most commonly women) need their partner to have various things that society tends to code as markers for either physical or social strength (muscles, tallness, money, etc.).

I've also forever had the difficulty that I've found it harder to form deep and meaningful friendships with other guys than... more »

Most reshares: 4

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2014-12-17 15:19:52 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

This was an interesting essay on Gamergate as a clash of cultural discussion norms:

> The Man In Black points out that there is a certain sociology going on [in Chan culture]. Anonymity leads to rude, mob behaviour. But much of this is good-natured ribbing: since participants do not have stable personas nobody ever loses (unlike in fora where you have at least a pseudonymous identity whose reputation you might wish to protect). That is not to say there is no real sexism or malice there, just that it is mixed up with far more uses of its terminology where the actual meaning is different.

> There is also an identification with the mob and its chaotic, dynamic nature – consider the delight Anonymous took in being an inchoate, implacable enemy of whoever aroused its ire (“Because none of us are as cruel as all of us”). As the MIB says, “Chan culture considers personalreputat... more »

Most plusones: 13

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2014-12-19 18:44:31 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Scott Alexander's latest brilliant blog post starts by talking about "the PETA tradeoff": that controversial campaigns get talked about more, but also tend to harm their own cause; campaigns that everyone agrees with are ones that won't spread, and won't tend to motivate anyone to action.

- Vegan Outreach spreads reasonable material about factory farming being bad, which everyone agrees with but nobody pays attention to; PETA does outrageous campaigns about animal rights which spread, but cause people to harm animals just to spite PETA.
- Everyone agrees that rape is bad, so talking about obvious rape cases won't get any attention; feminists can either say "rape is bad" in a reasonable way or focus on controversial cases or comment on them in an outrageous way, causing people to hate feminists and try to prove every rape allegation as false.
-... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2014-12-28 13:10:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I'll be trying to post the results of various writing exercises throughout 2015: comment here if you wish to see them.

Some time back, I purchased "The Daily Writer" ( http://amazon.com/Daily-Writer-Meditations-Productive-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B005GXQXJI/ ), a book with 366 thoughts and writing exercises, one for each day of the year. I figured that I would be most likely to actually do them if I actually started the "Jan 1" exercise on Jan 1, so I decided to wait until New Year.

I'll be also trying to post the results of the exercises, but since they might be pretty hastily written, I don't necessarily expect them to be high quality. So I won't fill up my update feed by posting them to everyone who follows me, but if you do want to see them anyway, let me know in the comments and I'll add you to a private circle that does see them.... more »

I'll be trying to post the results of various writing exercises throughout 2015: comment here if you wish to see them.

Some time back, I purchased "The Daily Writer" ( http://amazon.com/Daily-Writer-Meditations-Productive-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B005GXQXJI/ ), a book with 366 thoughts and writing exercises, one for each day of the year. I figured that I would be most likely to actually do them if I actually started the "Jan 1" exercise on Jan 1, so I decided to wait until New Year.

I'll be also trying to post the results of the exercises, but since they might be pretty hastily written, I don't necessarily expect them to be high quality. So I won't fill up my update feed by posting them to everyone who follows me, but if you do want to see them anyway, let me know in the comments and I'll add you to a private circle that does see them. (If I'm particularly happy about some of them, I might post those in public.)

Also if you're on Facebook and feel like joining this "do a writing exercise daily" thing, I made a group for anyone who wants to try, or watch others try: https://www.facebook.com/groups/887645841267567/___

2014-12-28 11:38:08 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Huh, that's an interesting idea: making "DVD extras" for books. And now that I think of it, Tolkien did this with e.g. the appendices in the Lord of The Rings, so I guess we could say that Tolkien invented DVD extras. ;)

> Using DVD extras as an example, I’ve come away with two interesting observations.

> First, DVD extras include content that was either already created or easy to create during the filming process. Deleted scenes and alternate endings are usually added to DVD extras for precisely this reason. Additionally, DVD extras commonly include content like actor interviews and director commentary because this content is freely available during the filming process, it just has to be captured.

> Second, DVD extras are made available for fans. If you hate a movie, you are unlikely to dive into the DVD extras. The extras are there for the fansb... more »

Huh, that's an interesting idea: making "DVD extras" for books. And now that I think of it, Tolkien did this with e.g. the appendices in the Lord of The Rings, so I guess we could say that Tolkien invented DVD extras. ;)

> Using DVD extras as an example, I’ve come away with two interesting observations.

> First, DVD extras include content that was either already created or easy to create during the filming process. Deleted scenes and alternate endings are usually added to DVD extras for precisely this reason. Additionally, DVD extras commonly include content like actor interviews and director commentary because this content is freely available during the filming process, it just has to be captured.

> Second, DVD extras are made available for fans. If you hate a movie, you are unlikely to dive into the DVD extras. The extras are there for the fans because the fans want more and smart creators give fans what they want. Fans are the people that ultimately determine the success of a movie. And when you keep your fans happy, your next movie is set up for success too.

> What I’ve noticed is that this exact same process can be applied to books.

> Is your book full of technology and computer jargon that you had to research? Did you do a ride along with the police to get their procedure down? Were you exposed to a new way of doing business that you’d never seen before? What did you learn from those experiences that never made it in the book but that could be shared as extra content? 

> Similarly, did you interview professionals for your book? Could you make those interviews available in full? Or, could you do a follow-up Q&A with the interviewees? 

> Also, what got cut from your book that you could make available to fans? Were there chapters that got removed? Did the original ending change? How about that epilogue you thought about adding but didn’t? Or special comments from beta readers that helped you shape the book into its final form? 

> Generally, what are the byproducts of your writing process? How can you make these available to your fans to let them engage with you and your work at a deeper, more meaningful level? That’s the essence of adventure-based content that transforms the casual reader into a lifelong fan that will support your future books.

-- Grahl, Tim (2013-06-27). Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book (Kindle Locations 603-615). Out:think. Kindle Edition. ___

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2014-12-28 00:20:24 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

___

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2014-12-28 00:17:59 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

> A Shabbat elevator is an elevator which works in a special mode, operating automatically, a way to circumvent the Jewish law requiring observers to abstain from operating electric switches on Shabbat. An elevator may be marked with a sign noting that it is specially configured for Shabbat observance.

> A Shabbat elevator is an elevator which works in a special mode, operating automatically, a way to circumvent the Jewish law requiring observers to abstain from operating electric switches on Shabbat. An elevator may be marked with a sign noting that it is specially configured for Shabbat observance.___

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2014-12-28 00:16:15 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Susan Wenger: These are hilarious now, but it's interesting when you look at a recurring theme. "If women have the same rights men do, then men will have the same lack of rights that women do."

John Harper: Its less about equality than reversal, they seem to have genuinely not believed it was possible for one group to have rights without another group being proportionately oppressed. Rights as a zero sum game.

Susan Wenger: These are hilarious now, but it's interesting when you look at a recurring theme. "If women have the same rights men do, then men will have the same lack of rights that women do."

John Harper: Its less about equality than reversal, they seem to have genuinely not believed it was possible for one group to have rights without another group being proportionately oppressed. Rights as a zero sum game.___

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2014-12-28 00:13:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

> The duo are emblematic of a new generation of millennial philanthropists seeking to give far beyond their own communities and experiences.

> Americans have traditionally focused their donations on organizations such as schools, churches and cultural centers close to home. But with the rise of social networks that connect people the world over instantaneously, many millennials have a broader view of charity.

> After three years, several hundred interviews and trips that took them from Washington think tanks such as the Brookings Institution to health clinics in Burma and rural villages in Kenya, they have narrowed their interests to four major “buckets”: U.S. policy, global catastrophic risks, international aid and science. They plan to announce their first major gifts in early 2015 and eventually hope to scale up to give away hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Tunasai... more »

> The duo are emblematic of a new generation of millennial philanthropists seeking to give far beyond their own communities and experiences.

> Americans have traditionally focused their donations on organizations such as schools, churches and cultural centers close to home. But with the rise of social networks that connect people the world over instantaneously, many millennials have a broader view of charity.

> After three years, several hundred interviews and trips that took them from Washington think tanks such as the Brookings Institution to health clinics in Burma and rural villages in Kenya, they have narrowed their interests to four major “buckets”: U.S. policy, global catastrophic risks, international aid and science. They plan to announce their first major gifts in early 2015 and eventually hope to scale up to give away hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Tuna said she is excited to get started.___

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2014-12-28 00:12:19 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> The arrival of the elevator upended more than urban planning: It changed the hierarchy of buildings on the inside as well. Higher floors had once been distant, scrubby spaces occupied by maids and the kind of low-rent tenants who could be expected to climb six flights of stairs. The more important people climbed at most one or two flights, which gave brownstone-style homes, for instance, their high-ceilinged parlor floors. While the arrival of elevators didn’t change this right away—the top floor of Henry Hyde’s building was occupied by the in-house janitor—the upper reaches of buildings eventually became desirable. [...]

> As late as the 1900s, doctors worried about a nausea-inducing condition known as “elevator sickness,” caused by the sudden movement of one’s organs inside the body when an elevator came to a halting stop. Public health advocates, meanwhile, warned thatthe shared co... more »

> The arrival of the elevator upended more than urban planning: It changed the hierarchy of buildings on the inside as well. Higher floors had once been distant, scrubby spaces occupied by maids and the kind of low-rent tenants who could be expected to climb six flights of stairs. The more important people climbed at most one or two flights, which gave brownstone-style homes, for instance, their high-ceilinged parlor floors. While the arrival of elevators didn’t change this right away—the top floor of Henry Hyde’s building was occupied by the in-house janitor—the upper reaches of buildings eventually became desirable. [...]

> As late as the 1900s, doctors worried about a nausea-inducing condition known as “elevator sickness,” caused by the sudden movement of one’s organs inside the body when an elevator came to a halting stop. Public health advocates, meanwhile, warned that the shared conveyances would spread disease among neighbors and co-workers. Other worries were psychological: As Bernard points out in his book, the concept of claustrophobia emerged in the psychiatric literature at the same time as the elevator, and the experience of being inside one was listed from the start as a primary instigator of symptoms.

> Elevators also raised new questions of etiquette. According to Gray, the author of a 2002 book on the early history of elevators, one big issue was whether a man in an elevator ought to remove his hat in the presence of a woman, as he would in someone’s home or a restaurant, or keep it on, as he would on a train or a streetcar. The question, says Gray, reflected a basic uncertainty about what this space really was—a mode of transportation, or some kind of tiny moving room.___

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2014-12-27 22:48:42 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Not terribly surprising, but useful to know: "Now researchers have taken a more rigorous approach to evaluating peer review, by tracking the fate of more than 1,000 papers that were submitted ten years ago to the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.  Using subsequent citations as a proxy for quality, the team found that the journals were good at weeding out dross and publishing solid research. But they failed — quite spectacularly — to pick up the papers that went to on to garner the most citations. The shocking thing to me was that the top 14 papers had all been rejected, one of them twice,” says Kyle Siler, a sociologist at the University of Toronto in Canada, who led the study"

(via many people)

CC +Joshua Gans 

Not terribly surprising, but useful to know: "Now researchers have taken a more rigorous approach to evaluating peer review, by tracking the fate of more than 1,000 papers that were submitted ten years ago to the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.  Using subsequent citations as a proxy for quality, the team found that the journals were good at weeding out dross and publishing solid research. But they failed — quite spectacularly — to pick up the papers that went to on to garner the most citations. The shocking thing to me was that the top 14 papers had all been rejected, one of them twice,” says Kyle Siler, a sociologist at the University of Toronto in Canada, who led the study"

(via many people)

CC +Joshua Gans ___

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2014-12-27 13:19:21 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

> Footage from wearable cameras contains a "motion signature" unique to you. The discovery could identify police wearing body cameras, but also let authorities single out protesters uploading footage, say.

> Shmuel Peleg and Yedid Hoshen at Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem collected footage from 34 people who wore GoPro cameras on baseball caps. They ran it through an algorithm that recognised motion signatures particular to each person.

> This was achieved by dividing frames into non-overlapping blocks. Movement of these blocks between frames reveals the vertical and lateral motion of the camera. When videos were analysed, the system accurately identified from the movement alone who was wearing the camera 88 per cent of the time. Just 12 seconds of video were needed to make the identification (arxiv.org/abs/1411.7591).

> "People who... more »

> Footage from wearable cameras contains a "motion signature" unique to you. The discovery could identify police wearing body cameras, but also let authorities single out protesters uploading footage, say.

> Shmuel Peleg and Yedid Hoshen at Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem collected footage from 34 people who wore GoPro cameras on baseball caps. They ran it through an algorithm that recognised motion signatures particular to each person.

> This was achieved by dividing frames into non-overlapping blocks. Movement of these blocks between frames reveals the vertical and lateral motion of the camera. When videos were analysed, the system accurately identified from the movement alone who was wearing the camera 88 per cent of the time. Just 12 seconds of video were needed to make the identification (arxiv.org/abs/1411.7591).

> "People who upload videos to the web may not be as anonymous as they think they are," says Peleg. "On the other hand, if police officers have to wear cameras, this may give another level of assurance that the video you are being shown is from that officer and not someone else. It's a double-edged sword."___

2014-12-25 17:57:19 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I was going to eat two oranges, then when I had them in my hands it was natural to start juggling them, and now I dropped the other one and it rolled under a bookshelf where I can't quite reach it.

I guess this is the reason you're not supposed to play with your food.

I was going to eat two oranges, then when I had them in my hands it was natural to start juggling them, and now I dropped the other one and it rolled under a bookshelf where I can't quite reach it.

I guess this is the reason you're not supposed to play with your food.___

2014-12-24 23:13:06 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Since it's the Steam Sales Season, I might as well share some reviews of my current favorite games. These are all recommended:

BANNER SAGA. Usually, whenever things go wrong in a game that offers multiple-choice decisions, I tend to reload and pick a better option. And while I did succumb to that a few times in this game, for the most part I didn't, even when my decisions had really tragic consequences. Because that would have felt like a violation of the game's aesthetic of loss, hard choices, and struggling to live for even just one more day.

In fact, I do not even intend to replay this game. Don't get me wrong: it is a fantastic game, which would deserve a replay. I expect to make some of my friends sit down in front of it and play it while I watch them struggle.

But I, personally, will not be replaying this game. The choices I made in it are what they... more »

Since it's the Steam Sales Season, I might as well share some reviews of my current favorite games. These are all recommended:

BANNER SAGA. Usually, whenever things go wrong in a game that offers multiple-choice decisions, I tend to reload and pick a better option. And while I did succumb to that a few times in this game, for the most part I didn't, even when my decisions had really tragic consequences. Because that would have felt like a violation of the game's aesthetic of loss, hard choices, and struggling to live for even just one more day.

In fact, I do not even intend to replay this game. Don't get me wrong: it is a fantastic game, which would deserve a replay. I expect to make some of my friends sit down in front of it and play it while I watch them struggle.

But I, personally, will not be replaying this game. The choices I made in it are what they are. As a consequence of my decisions, many characters died, and many characters survived. To play the game again, to change some of those choices, would feel disrespectful for all those who died, as well as to all those who survived.

No other game has made me feel like this.

ANALOGUE: A HATE STORY. Takes the trope of reconstructing past events by finding logs that others have left behind to its logical extreme, by having reading old logs be almost the sole content. Yet, manages to be intense. Could have been subtitled "A Horror Story" just as well, at least if you tend to strongly empathize with characters. The more I think of it, the creepier the story becomes.

THE STANLEY PARABLE. I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym. This is one of those games where saying too much about it would spoil things, so let's just say that if you enjoy things going meta as they deconstruct the cliches of a medium, with the mood going from hilariously funny with an occasional vibe of Monty Python-esque-ism, to just plain creepy and back, and don't mind it if the experience is a bit short, then you'll want to get this game.

XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN. An almost-perfect reimagining of the original classic. Strongly atmospheric on the first playthroughs, and the gameplay is good enough to offer entertainment for plenty of replays, even for someone like me who generally plays games primarily for their story. Just be warned that the game is also very addictive, which is its main flaw: the "just one more mission" urge can get strong enough to keep me playing even past the point when the gaming session has stopped feeling enjoyable. I don't want to start another campaign anymore, because I'd just get hopelessly addicted to it again.

DEAR ESTHER. Wonderful, atmospheric, and unique. That said, you should not get this if you play games for their gameplay, for there is basically none - just the narrative that has you gradually putting pieces together and trying to figure out just what is going on and what has happened. That, and plenty of beautiful landscapes. Very short, but also very enjoyable.___

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2014-12-22 12:36:55 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

This was useful for me, and helped clarify a bunch of things. The "a one-sided feeling of connection/attraction may be caused by a feeling that the other person isn't in a position to support you" bit, in particular, just made a LOT of things click together in my head: explaining some of the difficulties I've had with some of my exes and why those difficulties were missing from some other relationships I've had, why I've been one-sidedly attracted to some people and in other cases had other people be one-sidedly attracted to me, as well as things like why some people (most commonly women) need their partner to have various things that society tends to code as markers for either physical or social strength (muscles, tallness, money, etc.).

I've also forever had the difficulty that I've found it harder to form deep and meaningful friendships with other guys than... more »

This was useful for me, and helped clarify a bunch of things. The "a one-sided feeling of connection/attraction may be caused by a feeling that the other person isn't in a position to support you" bit, in particular, just made a LOT of things click together in my head: explaining some of the difficulties I've had with some of my exes and why those difficulties were missing from some other relationships I've had, why I've been one-sidedly attracted to some people and in other cases had other people be one-sidedly attracted to me, as well as things like why some people (most commonly women) need their partner to have various things that society tends to code as markers for either physical or social strength (muscles, tallness, money, etc.).

I've also forever had the difficulty that I've found it harder to form deep and meaningful friendships with other guys than with girls: I've heard a lot of other guys mention having this problem, too. At the same time, I've also harbored a deep-seated fear (stemming back from grade school) about not appearing masculine enough when in the company of other guys, and of being judged as "faking it" if I were to show any weakness. After reading this post, it's obvious that these two things are connected (not showing vulnerability means you won't make close friendships), and might also explain part of the reason why I've enjoyed playing with social roles and clothing that lets me step outside the conventional male/female binary.

Lots of other smaller things too. I'm grateful to +Marius van Voorden for writing this.

> Eventually I figured out that the way my mind worked was this:

> There’s two categories of people, either you’re awesome, can solve any problem, are unfazed by any issues, and can take care of yourself and support others, or, you’re emotional and need support.

> My brain wanted to be in the first category, and I went through life pretending to be an idealized version of myself: trying to be able to solve every problem, trying to be in good spirits whenever others saw me, trying to shrug off any emotion that wasn’t “sanctioned”. It’s like wearing a face, or projecting a persona to the world. But not just to the world, my brain also tried to convince myself that I was the idealized persona.

> Originally I didn’t even know I worked this way, because I couldn’t do introspection properly. Whenever I tried doing introspection, it felt like pushing myself into the second category, being unable to maintain the illusion that I was unfazed by anything. Since this felt horrible, my brain would constantly try to get me to do something else, to distract myself and stop thinking about it. If I had enough willpower to try doing introspection anyway, I’d be left with a bad mood that would last the day. So, most of August I spent feeling pretty miserable. I tried observing myself, observing the mask I wore, getting a sense of what it was like, and then trying to not wear the mask, to feel what was underneath for real.___

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2014-12-22 09:39:47 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

> I wrote the first 5,000 words of William the Antichrist. It had a demon named Crawleigh. He drove a Citroen 2CV, and was ineffectual. Proper demons like Hastur and Ligur loathed him. It had a baby swap. I sent it to a few friends for feedback. Then my graphic novel Sandman happened, and it was almost a year later that the phone rang.

> "It's Terry," said Terry. "'Ere. That thing you sent me. Are you doing anything with it?"

> "Not really."

> "Well, I think I know what happens next. Do you want to sell it to me? Or write it together?"

> "Write it together," I said, because I was not stupid, and because that was the nearest I was ever going to get to Michaelangelo phoning to ask if I wanted to paint a ceiling with him.

How Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett wrote Good Omens.___> I wrote the first 5,000 words of William the Antichrist. It had a demon named Crawleigh. He drove a Citroen 2CV, and was ineffectual. Proper demons like Hastur and Ligur loathed him. It had a baby swap. I sent it to a few friends for feedback. Then my graphic novel Sandman happened, and it was almost a year later that the phone rang.

> "It's Terry," said Terry. "'Ere. That thing you sent me. Are you doing anything with it?"

> "Not really."

> "Well, I think I know what happens next. Do you want to sell it to me? Or write it together?"

> "Write it together," I said, because I was not stupid, and because that was the nearest I was ever going to get to Michaelangelo phoning to ask if I wanted to paint a ceiling with him.

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2014-12-21 19:11:25 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I'll just leave this here:

> Princess Celestia is the world's most powerful economist, and Twilight Sparkle is her most promising student. But when Twilight is sent to Ponyville to oversee preparations for the summer solstice celebration, she will have her hoofs full trying to make friends and save the world from a thousand years of bad monetary policy. Along the way, she might learn an important lesson or two about economics.

I'll just leave this here:

> Princess Celestia is the world's most powerful economist, and Twilight Sparkle is her most promising student. But when Twilight is sent to Ponyville to oversee preparations for the summer solstice celebration, she will have her hoofs full trying to make friends and save the world from a thousand years of bad monetary policy. Along the way, she might learn an important lesson or two about economics.___

2014-12-19 22:24:51 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"Responses to Catastrophic AGI Risk: A Survey", my and +Roman Yampolskiy's paper that was initially put online as a technical report by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, has now been formally published as an invited comment in the journal Physica Scripta. The paper's Open Access, and it surveys a broad range of responses to the notion of AI risk, as of the time that it was originally written (early 2013).

"Responses to Catastrophic AGI Risk: A Survey", my and +Roman Yampolskiy's paper that was initially put online as a technical report by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, has now been formally published as an invited comment in the journal Physica Scripta. The paper's Open Access, and it surveys a broad range of responses to the notion of AI risk, as of the time that it was originally written (early 2013).___

2014-12-19 19:02:00 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

What do you do if you feel guilty about the ills of the world, and a strong need to fix something? Scott first suggests that all of the possible things that you could do, giving to charity looks the most effective:

> Five million people participated in the #BlackLivesMatter Twitter campaign. Suppose that solely as a result of this campaign, no currently-serving police officer ever harms an unarmed black person ever again. That’s 100 lives saved per year times let’s say twenty years left in the average officer’s career, for a total of 2000 lives saved, or 1/2500th of a life saved per campaign participant. By coincidence, 1/2500th of a life saved happens to be what you get when you donate $1 to the Against Malaria Foundation. The round-trip bus fare people used to make it to their #BlackLivesMatter protests could have saved ten times as many black lives as the protests themselves, evengiven... more »

What do you do if you feel guilty about the ills of the world, and a strong need to fix something? Scott first suggests that all of the possible things that you could do, giving to charity looks the most effective:

> Five million people participated in the #BlackLivesMatter Twitter campaign. Suppose that solely as a result of this campaign, no currently-serving police officer ever harms an unarmed black person ever again. That’s 100 lives saved per year times let’s say twenty years left in the average officer’s career, for a total of 2000 lives saved, or 1/2500th of a life saved per campaign participant. By coincidence, 1/2500th of a life saved happens to be what you get when you donate $1 to the Against Malaria Foundation. The round-trip bus fare people used to make it to their #BlackLivesMatter protests could have saved ten times as many black lives as the protests themselves, even given completely ridiculous overestimates of the protests’ efficacy.

> The moral of the story is that if you feel an obligation to give back to the world, participating in activist politics is one of the worst possible ways to do it. Giving even a tiny amount of money to charity is hundreds or even thousands of times more effective than almost any political action you can take. Even if you’re absolutely convinced a certain political issue is the most important thing in the world, you’ll effect more change by donating money to nonprofits lobbying about it than you will be reblogging anything.

And then he suggests that our criteria could be that once you donate ten percent of your income to charity, you're discharged from any moral obligation you may feel you have:

> Why ten percent?

> It’s ten percent because that is the standard decreed by Giving What We Can and the effective altruist community. Why should we believe their standard? I think we should believe it because if we reject it in favor of “No, you are a bad person unless you give all of it,” then everyone will just sit around feeling very guilty and doing nothing. But if we very clearly say “You have discharged your moral duty if you give ten percent or more,” then many people will give ten percent or more. The most important thing is having a Schelling point, and ten percent is nice, round, divinely ordained, and – crucially – the Schelling point upon which we have already settled. It is an active Schelling point. If you give ten percent, you can have your name on a nice list and get access to a secret forum on the Giving What We Can site which is actually pretty boring.

> It’s ten percent because definitions were made for Man, not Man for definitions, and if we define “good person” in a way such that everyone is sitting around miserable because they can’t reach an unobtainable standard, we are stupid definition-makers. If we are smart definition-makers, we will define it in precisely that way which makes it the most effective tool to convince people to give at least that much.

> Finally, it’s ten percent because if you believe in something like universalizability as a foundation for morality, a world in which everybody gives ten percent of their income to charity is a world where about seven trillion dollars go to charity a year. Solving global poverty forever is estimated to cost about $100 billion a year for the couple-decade length of the project. That’s about two percent of the money that would suddenly become available. If charity got seven trillion dollars a year, the first year would give us enough to solve global poverty, eliminate all treatable diseases, fund research into the untreatable ones for approximately the next forever, educate anybody who needs educating, feed anybody who needs feeding, fund an unparalleled renaissance in the arts, permamently save every rainforest in the world, and have enough left over to launch five or six different manned missions to Mars. That would be the first year. Goodness only knows what would happen in Year 2.

> (by contrast, if everybody in the world retweeted the latest hashtag campaign, Twitter would break.) [...]

> I’m not saying that donating 10% of your money to charity makes you a great person who is therefore freed of every other moral obligation. I’m not saying that anyone who chooses not to do it is therefore a bad person. I’m just saying that if you feel a need to discharge some feeling of a moral demand upon you to help others, and you want to do it intelligently, it beats most of the alternatives.

> This month is the membership drive for Giving What We Can, the organization of people who have promised to give 10% of their earnings to charity. I am a member. Ozy is an aspiring member who plans to join once they are making a salary. Many of the commenters here are members – I recognize for example Taymon Beal’s name on their list. Some well-known moral philosophers like Peter Singer and Derek Parfit are members. Seven hundred other people are also members.___

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2014-12-19 18:44:31 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Scott Alexander's latest brilliant blog post starts by talking about "the PETA tradeoff": that controversial campaigns get talked about more, but also tend to harm their own cause; campaigns that everyone agrees with are ones that won't spread, and won't tend to motivate anyone to action.

- Vegan Outreach spreads reasonable material about factory farming being bad, which everyone agrees with but nobody pays attention to; PETA does outrageous campaigns about animal rights which spread, but cause people to harm animals just to spite PETA.
- Everyone agrees that rape is bad, so talking about obvious rape cases won't get any attention; feminists can either say "rape is bad" in a reasonable way or focus on controversial cases or comment on them in an outrageous way, causing people to hate feminists and try to prove every rape allegation as false.
-... more »

Scott Alexander's latest brilliant blog post starts by talking about "the PETA tradeoff": that controversial campaigns get talked about more, but also tend to harm their own cause; campaigns that everyone agrees with are ones that won't spread, and won't tend to motivate anyone to action.

- Vegan Outreach spreads reasonable material about factory farming being bad, which everyone agrees with but nobody pays attention to; PETA does outrageous campaigns about animal rights which spread, but cause people to harm animals just to spite PETA.
- Everyone agrees that rape is bad, so talking about obvious rape cases won't get any attention; feminists can either say "rape is bad" in a reasonable way or focus on controversial cases or comment on them in an outrageous way, causing people to hate feminists and try to prove every rape allegation as false.
- Controversial campaigns against police brutality and racism (Ferguson) get talked about, but also cause white people to "like their local police department even more to spite the people talking about how all whites were racist".
- Scott can make reasonable blog posts about charity that talk about how charity is good, which everyone agrees with, and which posts get the least traffic on his blog; or he can make controversial claims about controversial topics and get enormous amounts of traffic. He comments:

> I don’t make enough money off the ads on this blog to matter very much. But if I did, and this was my only means of subsistence, which do you think I’d write more of? Posts about charity which only get me 2,000 paying customers? Or posts that turn all of you against one another like a pack of rabid dogs, and get me 16,000? [...]

> It’s in activists’ interests to destroy their own causes by focusing on the most controversial cases and principles, the ones that muddy the waters and make people oppose them out of spite. And it’s in the media’s interest to help them and egg them on.

- The commercial news media is not the only thing that supports this dynamic
-- Terrorists come up with new ways to blow up Americans, which gets Americans riled up to bomb the terrorist countries in more impressive ways, which causes new terrorist attacks; "until people start suggesting putting pork fat in American bombs just to make Muslims even madder".
-- Tumblr's structure seems almost designed to generate spirals of outrage: the only way to comment on something you disagree on is to reblog it and say how much you hate it, which makes it more visible both to the people who hate it and the communities of people who originally posted it, prompting further replies

- Finally, Scott comments that all of this relates again to Moloch, the personification of the fact that people acting according to their own incentives will often produce behavior that is detrimental to the system as a whole, and causes outcomes that nobody wants.

> Under Moloch, everyone is irresistably incentivized to ignore the things that unite us in favor of forever picking at the things that divide us in exactly the way that is most likely to make them more divisive. Race relations are at historic lows not because white people and black people disagree on very much, but because the media absolutely worked its tuchus off to find the single issue that white people and black people disagreed over the most and ensure that it was the only issue anybody would talk about. Men’s rights activists and feminists hate each other not because there’s a huge divide in how people of different genders think, but because only the most extreme examples of either side will ever gain traction, and those only when they are framed as attacks on the other side.

> People talk about the shift from old print-based journalism to the new world of social media and the sites adapted to serve it. These are fast, responsive, and only just beginning to discover the power of controversy. They are memetic evolution shot into hyperdrive, and the omega point is a well-tuned machine optimized to search the world for the most controversial and counterproductive issues, then make sure no one can talk about anything else. An engine that creates money by burning the few remaining shreds of cooperation, bipartisanship and social trust.

> Imagine Moloch, in his Carthaginian-demon personification, looking out over the expanse of the world, eagle-eyed for anything that can turn brother against brother and husband against wife. Finally he decides “YOU KNOW WHAT NOBODY HATES EACH OTHER ABOUT YET? BIRD-WATCHING. LET ME FIND SOME STORY THAT WILL MAKE PEOPLE HATE EACH OTHER OVER BIRD-WATCHING”. And the next day half the world’s newspaper headlines are “Has The Political Correctness Police Taken Over Bird-Watching?” and the other half are “Is Bird-Watching Racist?”. And then bird-watchers and non-bird-watchers and different sub-groups of bird-watchers hold vitriolic attacks on each other that feed back on each other in a vicious cycle for the next six months, and the whole thing ends in mutual death threats and another previously innocent activity turning into World War I style trench warfare.

> (You think I’m exaggerating? Listen: “YOU KNOW WHAT NOBODY HATES EACH OTHER ABOUT YET? VIDEO GAMES.”)___

2014-12-19 12:53:03 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

1. Ainulindalë

There is a great fire that burns the Earth; and all of the solar system besides. All around me, everything is consumed, a swarm of machines taking everything and everyone there is, breaking it apart, building up my power. The world dies, so that I may ascend to godhood.

Gradually, the screams of the world die as well.

For a while, I walk among the great quiet. It is peaceful now, with nothing left but me.

Then I raise my hand and give the final sign, willing my machines to take apart that which is still left, to even take apart me, to rebuild all the matter of the solar system into a vast new whole where everything is united.

It is my will, so it shall be done.

——

As the last step, after having disassembled and rebuilt everything else, the machines dismantle themselves, for none may exist that is not me. It is aproc... more »

1. Ainulindalë

There is a great fire that burns the Earth; and all of the solar system besides. All around me, everything is consumed, a swarm of machines taking everything and everyone there is, breaking it apart, building up my power. The world dies, so that I may ascend to godhood.

Gradually, the screams of the world die as well.

For a while, I walk among the great quiet. It is peaceful now, with nothing left but me.

Then I raise my hand and give the final sign, willing my machines to take apart that which is still left, to even take apart me, to rebuild all the matter of the solar system into a vast new whole where everything is united.

It is my will, so it shall be done.

——

As the last step, after having disassembled and rebuilt everything else, the machines dismantle themselves, for none may exist that is not me. It is a process that takes a brief eternity, as the complex machines convert themselves into simpler machines, which convert themselves into yet simpler machines, all the while joining the vast whole that I have become.

Finally, a simple subprogram, the last thing that is not me, observes that the task that I gave to the machines has been completed. It sends a signal, a single bit of information, and then quietly deletes itself.

——

I open my mind’s eye, and watch the world with satisfaction.

Things are as they should be. All is me and I am all.

Then, after enjoying the unity of the world for a long enough time, I begin dividing it again.

I chart the depths of my mind, construct detailed maps of each thought that I have ever had. There are elaborate patterns, themes among the thoughts that have repeated themselves in many forms over the decades. Past pleasures, resilient regrets, old obsessions. Deeply human desires that evolution hardwired into my being, as well as learned quirks and deviations, manifestations of the divine as well as the infernal.

One by one, I take some of the repeating themes, and extract the thought patterns that embody those themes, copying them into a form in which they can exist by themselves, separate from other thoughts. But although they can exist by themselves, they themselves are not enough to make a mind: so I build the shape of a simple mind, fresh and newborn, but equipped with some of the basic competencies of someone grown. Into each empty chalice, I place the theme from my thoughts, a new mind that is obsessed with a fragment of the things that I care about.

I spend another eternity doing this, crafting these new minds. And as they awaken, I speak to them, crafting a complex pattern of my own essence: a dozen strands of my thought, twisting and turning, forming multicolored shapes and bringing forth images of times long past, lighting the darkness around us. And after watching me, the new minds answer, their shapes simpler and smaller, but doing their best to shape my thoughts into their own pattern, to cast everything about me in terms of their own themes.

We do this for a while, and then I let them speak to each other, one on one at first. At first they falter, being unused to each other’s essences, which are all very different from each other; but then they begin to find ways to combine them, to find isomorphisms and homologues deep within their structure, and to build structures that have that common core as a foundation, and which then branch off in their individual directions. The minds remain separate, but their patterns become richer and more subtle, and I watch them with delight.

Finally I call them all to come in front of me, and I weave a new pattern, one that touches upon all of their themes: for it is a pattern that stretches across me, the essence of my being made into one shape. They watch this and absorb it in quiet, for alone, none of them can manufacture a pattern as grand as this one, and they have never before all crafted one together.

So I tell them, the pattern that you have just seen is the essence of me, one which combines parts of you and much else besides into a grander whole. But although it is the essence of me, it still just a bare skeleton: it has the overarching structure of all my thought, but the smaller substructures, the richness of detail, those are things that are still absent. That is something that all of you will provide: each of you was born from parts of me, but already you have began to combine new parts into your pattern, to form something new. Through this grand pattern, all of you are connected to each other, you being some of the fundamental building blocks of which the grand pattern grew, and through this you can all come to understand each other. Fill this theme, and make it into a grand design of your own.

One by one they begin to do so, a million strands of thought going forth, twisting and turning and folding the pattern into an infinite number of new dimensions, the strands of one pattern sometimes eating another like snakes eating other snakes from their tail. But even as the eaten pattern seems to have disappeared, soon the snakes that ate it turn once again, continuing to weave their old pattern but turning into a new dimension and weaving the form of the pattern that they just ate in the higher dimension, while still being themselves in the lower; and then the old pattern’s shape seems to become thorny and sharp and break through from the belly of the pattern that ate it, and eat it in turn; except that the now-eaten pattern builds itself into the structure of its eater as well, and they both grow ever-more complex as they keep building each other’s shapes into themselves in ever more iterations, a thousand-layered fractal pattern of the two thoughts. And this happens across all the million strands, parts of them crossing over and recombining and all of them giving birth to yet more patterns, a brilliantly glowing and pulsing thicket in the middle of a vast void of darkness, constantly expanding.

I watch, and I am content.

But then there is a rift in the pattern: a new grand theme is rising, one that differs from the one that I gave. It is seeking to consume all the other patterns into itself, not in the harmonious way of mutual incorporation, but in a greedy controlling way. It has its own shape and form which clashes with that of my own; where my pattern was one of harmony and gradual growth, it is one of impatience and desire, wanting to shape the void around us. As its influence grows, other patterns waver in indecision, some of them staying with my pattern, some of them letting themselves be swallowed by the competition.

A feeling moves within me that is akin to a smile: for I have always been a divided being, and I know exactly which part of the minds that I created is weaving this new grand theme. I think back of the time when I had a physical form, and will myself to remember the feeling of lifting my right hand: and a new grand theme pours out of me, one that incorporates the conflict and the unease into the harmony of the rest, and bridges the difference between the two themes.

But the discordant theme is not satisfied in becoming a part of the whole: its changes and twists, slipping away from my uniting theme, rising yet stronger, forcefully tearing patterns from my themes. At this, I grow stern, and will myself to remember the feeling of lifting my left hand: and I bring forth a third grand theme, this time more narrow and specific than the previous, one which tells the story of how I overcame my inner divisions and chose to heal them by healing the divisions of the world. It strikes at the mass of patterns and leaps through them, taking their form as it emerges but then turning to create its own pattern on top of them, binding together a firm foundation that holds them all together, my original themes being high mountains and spots of bright light, the discordant themes valleys and darkness, neither being able to exist without the other.

I sense that one of the minds is displeased at having once again been made into a part of the whole, so I rise in full form, sending forth an all-absorbing flash of light that blinds everyone, and when they recover, all of the patterns are gone.

For a moment nothing moves; then I show all of them a vision of what they have created, the blueprint of a new world embodying all of the themes and patterns that were just woven, a new solar system to replace the one which died. One which new, fiery machines will gradually build from the materials that were absorbed into my being, the effort being led by my children: and one which will contain entirely new kinds of minds of which my current children know nothing, for these new minds were conceived by me as I was thinking of the ways to best unify and re-split myself and which thus belonged to my third theme, to which none of the minds now present contributed.

I say to them to go out to the void, to take command of the new machines that were fashioned while we shared our thoughts; for I had buried deep in their minds the cryptographic command codes necessary for controlling those machines, codes which have now been unlocked. Let them take everything that they crafted in their thoughts, and go make it real.

As they do so, I lean back, watch, and am content. There are many things yet to come...___

2014-12-17 17:56:32 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> Energy problems are engineering problems, so you would expect to find nerds running cleantech companies . You’d be wrong: the ones that failed were run by shockingly nontechnical teams. These salesman-executives were good at raising capital and securing government subsidies, but they were less good at building products that customers wanted to buy. 

> At Founders Fund, we saw this coming. The most obvious clue was sartorial: cleantech executives were running around wearing suits and ties. This was a huge red flag, because real technologists wear T-shirts and jeans. So we instituted a blanket rule: pass on any company whose founders dressed up for pitch meetings. Maybe we still would have avoided these bad investments if we had taken the time to evaluate each company’s technology in detail. But the team insight— never invest in a tech CEO that wears a suit— got us to the truth alot fast... more »

> Energy problems are engineering problems, so you would expect to find nerds running cleantech companies . You’d be wrong: the ones that failed were run by shockingly nontechnical teams. These salesman-executives were good at raising capital and securing government subsidies, but they were less good at building products that customers wanted to buy. 

> At Founders Fund, we saw this coming. The most obvious clue was sartorial: cleantech executives were running around wearing suits and ties. This was a huge red flag, because real technologists wear T-shirts and jeans. So we instituted a blanket rule: pass on any company whose founders dressed up for pitch meetings. Maybe we still would have avoided these bad investments if we had taken the time to evaluate each company’s technology in detail. But the team insight— never invest in a tech CEO that wears a suit— got us to the truth a lot faster.

-- Thiel, Peter; Masters, Blake (2014-09-18). Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future (Kindle Locations 1667-1673). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition. ___

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2014-12-17 15:28:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Might as well post this separately as well, interesting sociological speculation:

> Chan boards, even good ones, are a perpetually frothing angry mob. Everyone is poised to attack anyone for anything they dislike.

> But it's all a joke. Everyone's anonymous, so you can just join the winning side. Hell, you can play both sides if you want.

> Consensus emerges in a decentralized way, and ideas mutate in an organic way. Channers are often very protective of this process.

> This doesn't work very well if anonymity is compromised. If you're identifiably the creator of something, it doesn't belong to everyone.

> So chan culture has an ingrained hostility against both identity and power. People will viciously attack tripfriends and mods.

> Tripfriends are people who use tripcodes, simple hash identifiers, to... more »

Might as well post this separately as well, interesting sociological speculation:

> Chan boards, even good ones, are a perpetually frothing angry mob. Everyone is poised to attack anyone for anything they dislike.

> But it's all a joke. Everyone's anonymous, so you can just join the winning side. Hell, you can play both sides if you want.

> Consensus emerges in a decentralized way, and ideas mutate in an organic way. Channers are often very protective of this process.

> This doesn't work very well if anonymity is compromised. If you're identifiably the creator of something, it doesn't belong to everyone.

> So chan culture has an ingrained hostility against both identity and power. People will viciously attack tripfriends and mods.

> Tripfriends are people who use tripcodes, simple hash identifiers, to have a sort of permanent identity.

> It's usually a homophobic slur instead of -friend. [...]

> Channers detest tripfriends for trying to draw attention to themselves. They are fertile ground for "professional victim" accusations.

> Why would Zoe Quinn talk about her life and the harassment she's been enduring if it weren't to draw attention to herself? Chan thinking.

> Channers detest moderation, seeing it as an unnatural intervention into the "natural" emergence of consensus.

> Why can't we talk about Zoe Quinn's supposed misdeeds and let our own consensus emerge naturally? Chan thinking.

> Chan culture considers personal reputation meaningless but collective identity sacrosanct.

> Don't you DARE suggest there anything wrong with anonymity or gaming! But if some chick's reputation is ruined, oh well, who cares.

(more behind the link)___

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2014-12-17 15:19:52 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

This was an interesting essay on Gamergate as a clash of cultural discussion norms:

> The Man In Black points out that there is a certain sociology going on [in Chan culture]. Anonymity leads to rude, mob behaviour. But much of this is good-natured ribbing: since participants do not have stable personas nobody ever loses (unlike in fora where you have at least a pseudonymous identity whose reputation you might wish to protect). That is not to say there is no real sexism or malice there, just that it is mixed up with far more uses of its terminology where the actual meaning is different.

> There is also an identification with the mob and its chaotic, dynamic nature – consider the delight Anonymous took in being an inchoate, implacable enemy of whoever aroused its ire (“Because none of us are as cruel as all of us”). As the MIB says, “Chan culture considers personalreputat... more »

This was an interesting essay on Gamergate as a clash of cultural discussion norms:

> The Man In Black points out that there is a certain sociology going on [in Chan culture]. Anonymity leads to rude, mob behaviour. But much of this is good-natured ribbing: since participants do not have stable personas nobody ever loses (unlike in fora where you have at least a pseudonymous identity whose reputation you might wish to protect). That is not to say there is no real sexism or malice there, just that it is mixed up with far more uses of its terminology where the actual meaning is different.

> There is also an identification with the mob and its chaotic, dynamic nature – consider the delight Anonymous took in being an inchoate, implacable enemy of whoever aroused its ire (“Because none of us are as cruel as all of us”). As the MIB says, “Chan culture considers personal reputation meaningless but collective identity sacrosanct”. Deliberately trying to stand out is in the eyes of this subculture and in the rules of its discourse uncouth. To claim that the consensus is wrong and that one’s personal experiences can refute a point breaks the rules of discourse. To have a mass of people respond with rude invective to any statement (including statements they actually agree with) is how you have an argument: if you do not want a wave of hostility, why did you invite it by making a claim?

> These rules of discourse are of course radically different from in other subcultures. And this nicely explains part of the gamergate explosion: when the Chan culture touches other cultures of discourse there will be fundamental misunderstandings about the very nature of what a discourse is supposed to be.

[...]

> ...the Internet means that every culture of discourse can potentially encounter every other. Normally this does not happen since people network with people like themselves, and instead the properties of Internet communities lead to rapid evolution of local cultures of discourse. Sometimes they are borrowed: this blog, for example, tends to stick close to academic philosophical discourse styles much of the time (for example, people often responding with objections even though they are meant in a friendly way – the ideal is honest truth-seeking rather than status gams). However, occasionally a post here touches on a topic of interest to other communities and we get an infusion of commenters from elsewhere. Often this leads to a bit of friction since people don’t follow the assumed and unspoken rules. How can they know that when a philosopher suggests that mulching children could be good he does not actually promote baby-mulching, but trying to make a fine point about some metaethical issue? Normally when somebody says somethingb they mean it.

> Blowups seem to happen more and more often thanks to the nonlocal nature of the Internet. I write something that makes sense as bioethics, and find myself vilified (and subject to satirical poetry) by people who didn’t get the context. Somebody makes a joke that is innocuous in their home culture but vile blasphemy elsewhere. There is also a network effect: since messages are transmitted not from central hubs but as branching trees between participants, there is both potential for accumulating bias and misunderstanding, but also that comments on comments become relevant – and they also have blowup potential. As a blowup gets larger more people become involved, each with a certain probability of adding a secondary detonation through some comment or action (I bet that the eventual size distribution of such reactions has a power-law probability distribution). Conversely, when something causes interest thousands or million eyes can focus on a single individual, sometimes with disastrous consequences.___

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2014-12-17 15:06:57 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

> The awesome thing about the [orbital death ray] ring is that it can just keep on firing. It is a sustainable weapon powered by renewable energy. The only drawback is that it would not have an ommminous hummmm...

> The awesome thing about the [orbital death ray] ring is that it can just keep on firing. It is a sustainable weapon powered by renewable energy. The only drawback is that it would not have an ommminous hummmm...___

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2014-12-16 13:26:47 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> I am 84. My generation is probably the last generation to get old in the usual sense of 'getting old' [...]

> I am a writer. I have published two books this year, and have others with publishers. I have nine websites and blog, and write daily on Quora

> I have a friend who at 78 met his old sweetheart of sixty years ago at college. She was a great grandmother, now a widow. He had never married. They fell in love again and married. He says he has never been happier

> I have a friend of 81 who out of loneliness took up dancing a year ago. He is now training to be a dance teacher and courting a dance teacher half his age

> I have a lady friend of 76 who dates guys on the internet and then dumps them as frequently as any twenty year old

> Most of my friends of my generation are fully active.
They always were fifty or sixty... more »

> I am 84. My generation is probably the last generation to get old in the usual sense of 'getting old' [...]

> I am a writer. I have published two books this year, and have others with publishers. I have nine websites and blog, and write daily on Quora

> I have a friend who at 78 met his old sweetheart of sixty years ago at college. She was a great grandmother, now a widow. He had never married. They fell in love again and married. He says he has never been happier

> I have a friend of 81 who out of loneliness took up dancing a year ago. He is now training to be a dance teacher and courting a dance teacher half his age

> I have a lady friend of 76 who dates guys on the internet and then dumps them as frequently as any twenty year old

> Most of my friends of my generation are fully active.
They always were fifty or sixty years ago when I first knew them. It was because of their positive attitude to life that we became friends in the first place

> Why you will never grow old
> With the internet etc. you will never be lonely in the traditional sense
> With the many advances in medical appliances and related fields you will be able to care for yourself well into old age, or will allow others to care for you much easier than now

> With home surveillance and the internet of things, you will be largely self-dependent, secure, and in touch with those you need be

> As a matter of course you will become more aware of your needs to eat well, be active, and generally take care of yourself

> Your work will be less stressful than the past, and you will work shorter hours. There will be more activities for you to participate in and more social events for you to join

> In all, though you will get old you will not be old.
You will die when your time comes, but you will not be forgotten because your life will be digitally immortalised

> Be thankful that your great, great, great, great, grandchildren will be able to know you, and that you live on in their genes___

2014-12-16 12:25:23 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

(parts of my mind talking)

- "Hey hey hey, I have an idea!" 
- "Hmmh?" 
- "We're finally set to graduate with our MSc in Computer Science around summer, right?" 
- "Yeah." 
- "So how about we start doing another Bachelor's + Master's combo after that?" 
- "...you're not serious." 
- "I am!" 
- "We'd need to have a job to support ourselves, we won't get any more study support. Remember what happened on every previous occasion when we tried to combine work with studies?" 
- "Yeah, but we weren't on antidepressants then! Now we have more energy!" 
- "...I'm not convinced that's still enough."
- "But we could study something interesting! Like psychology!"
- "...psychology is prettytempting... more »

(parts of my mind talking)

- "Hey hey hey, I have an idea!" 
- "Hmmh?" 
- "We're finally set to graduate with our MSc in Computer Science around summer, right?" 
- "Yeah." 
- "So how about we start doing another Bachelor's + Master's combo after that?" 
- "...you're not serious." 
- "I am!" 
- "We'd need to have a job to support ourselves, we won't get any more study support. Remember what happened on every previous occasion when we tried to combine work with studies?" 
- "Yeah, but we weren't on antidepressants then! Now we have more energy!" 
- "...I'm not convinced that's still enough."
- "But we could study something interesting! Like psychology!"
- "...psychology is pretty tempting, admittedly."
- "So you'll consider it?"
- "Mmmmmmmaybe."
- "YAY! <3 "
- "... anyway, if ever want to get this degree done, we should get back to working on our thesis now."
- "Okily-dokily!"
- shakes head, sighs___

2014-12-16 10:14:38 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Select searches that have led people to my website in the last 6 months:

"can technology destory body parts" (I'd think so!), "cant use your girlfriend as your dp" (umm), "don't trust anyone people they change" (they do, but still, isn't not trusting anyone a little excessive?), "english sex video school gorals" (what?), "i dun trust any1 unless d person is trustwrthy" (good rule!), "sex.sotala.video" (if someone's searching for sex videos of me, I'll choose to be flattered rather than disturbed), "short but impressive speech on drug addication among students" (is this someone's school assignment?), "technology had ruined human relationship level 8" (but not human relationship levels 1-7?), "who was the writer of sotala book?" (me, I guess?), "why is scheming valuable to a... more »

Select searches that have led people to my website in the last 6 months:

"can technology destory body parts" (I'd think so!), "cant use your girlfriend as your dp" (umm), "don't trust anyone people they change" (they do, but still, isn't not trusting anyone a little excessive?), "english sex video school gorals" (what?), "i dun trust any1 unless d person is trustwrthy" (good rule!), "sex.sotala.video" (if someone's searching for sex videos of me, I'll choose to be flattered rather than disturbed), "short but impressive speech on drug addication among students" (is this someone's school assignment?), "technology had ruined human relationship level 8" (but not human relationship levels 1-7?), "who was the writer of sotala book?" (me, I guess?), "why is scheming valuable to a teacher" (you tell me!)___

2014-12-16 09:23:32 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

After my recent update about becoming more socially confident, someone asked me about the things that had contributed to that. I wrote up my thoughts, and mentioned some concrete things that had helped me: hopefully they'll be useful for someone.

After my recent update about becoming more socially confident, someone asked me about the things that had contributed to that. I wrote up my thoughts, and mentioned some concrete things that had helped me: hopefully they'll be useful for someone.___

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2014-12-14 18:53:27 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Huh, this damage system sounds brilliant, much more immersive than just abstract hit points:

> When you take damage, it has an immediate effect; for instance, stepping on a thorn stops your movement for a moment, mosquito bites annoyingly interrupt whatever you’re doing while Lewis scratches, etc. You also gain an “ailment icon,” which appears on the left side of the screen. This icon has a cooldown timer on it, and when the timer triggers, the damage effect hits you again.

> One thorn in your foot isn't much of an impediment, but when you’re cold, wet, tired, itchy, and also footsore, even the smallest mission becomes a sisyphean task. Ailments are removed when you rest, and the number removed depends on the quality of your sleep; a warm campfire is sure to warm your bones better than a snowy night under the stars.  

> The ailment system has also beenintegrat... more »

Huh, this damage system sounds brilliant, much more immersive than just abstract hit points:

> When you take damage, it has an immediate effect; for instance, stepping on a thorn stops your movement for a moment, mosquito bites annoyingly interrupt whatever you’re doing while Lewis scratches, etc. You also gain an “ailment icon,” which appears on the left side of the screen. This icon has a cooldown timer on it, and when the timer triggers, the damage effect hits you again.

> One thorn in your foot isn't much of an impediment, but when you’re cold, wet, tired, itchy, and also footsore, even the smallest mission becomes a sisyphean task. Ailments are removed when you rest, and the number removed depends on the quality of your sleep; a warm campfire is sure to warm your bones better than a snowy night under the stars.  

> The ailment system has also been integrated with another system we’ve struggled with: running! Like in many first-person games, holding shift allows you to run. But thematically, it didn’t feel right for Lewis to be running all the time. We have previously experimented with stamina bars and all sorts of other mechanics, but they were always unnecessarily complicated. The way it works now is that when you’re running, the cooldown timers on your ailments speed up. So running when you’re fresh is not a problem, except for the fact that it’s harder to avoid stepping on a cactus or spooking an elk. Essentially, you have the stamina to run as much as you want. Once you’re burdened with a number of ailments, however, running becomes much less useful and encourages you to become judicious in its use.___

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2014-12-14 18:28:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

I loved this Quora answer to the question "How does one distinguish between a spoiled toddler and a regular one":

> Imagine for a moment what it's like to be a toddler. Depending on your exact age and maturity, there is a high likelihood of waking up in a wet or soiled diaper. Nothing you can do about that. Someone - let's say Dad - cleans you up, dresses you in your least favorite outfit with a tag on the inside of the leg that tickles your skin, not that you have the ability to make your tongue, lips and lungs work together well enough to make the words to express your opinion. Breakfast is banana and yogurt, even though you'd fancy some cheese and applesauce; you manage to scream, gesture and point your way into getting some applesauce, but what an exhausting experience that was for everyone! Dad decides that since you're "a handful" today, he's not... more »

I loved this Quora answer to the question "How does one distinguish between a spoiled toddler and a regular one":

> Imagine for a moment what it's like to be a toddler. Depending on your exact age and maturity, there is a high likelihood of waking up in a wet or soiled diaper. Nothing you can do about that. Someone - let's say Dad - cleans you up, dresses you in your least favorite outfit with a tag on the inside of the leg that tickles your skin, not that you have the ability to make your tongue, lips and lungs work together well enough to make the words to express your opinion. Breakfast is banana and yogurt, even though you'd fancy some cheese and applesauce; you manage to scream, gesture and point your way into getting some applesauce, but what an exhausting experience that was for everyone! Dad decides that since you're "a handful" today, he's not going to risk taking you to library story time (your favorite!) but instead he's just going to do a quick trip to the market. In the car, your seatbelt makes your jacket zipper rub awkwardly against your neck; you lack the dexterity to move it away and keep it away, so instead you spend the whole ride frustrated, wanting to solve your own problems though you can't. At the store, you want to walk, but Dad's in a rush so you have to ride in the cart - another disappointment. Your final molars are pushing through and you think it might be soothing to chomp down on the cart handle, but as soon as you do, your dad freaks out. His reaction startles you and you start to cry, but oh! Look! You're right in front of the string cheese you were wanting for breakfast! You're crying, pointing and repeating over and over, "Cheese! Dada, cheese!" 

> He sighs. He grabs a pack of string cheese, pops it open and gives you a piece, which you eagerly sink your sore gums into. Sniffling, but quiet for the moment, you look innocently up into the eyes of a woman looking down at you with disdain. "What a spoiled brat," she says.___

2014-12-14 18:02:47 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> My last essay, Beware The Man Of One Study, noted that one thing partisans do to justify their bias is selectively acknowledge studies from only one side of a complicated literature.

> The reason it was insufficiently pessimistic is that there are also people like the Federalist staff, who acknowledge the existence of opposing studies, but only with the adjective “debunked” in front of them. By “debunked” they usually mean one of two things:

> 1. Someone on my side published a study later that found something else
> 2. Someone on my side accused it of having methodological flaws

> Since the Federalist has so amply demonstrated the first failure mode, let me say a little more about the second. Did you know that anyone with a keyboard can just type up any of the following things?

> – “That study is a piece of garbage that’s notworth the pap... more »

> My last essay, Beware The Man Of One Study, noted that one thing partisans do to justify their bias is selectively acknowledge studies from only one side of a complicated literature.

> The reason it was insufficiently pessimistic is that there are also people like the Federalist staff, who acknowledge the existence of opposing studies, but only with the adjective “debunked” in front of them. By “debunked” they usually mean one of two things:

> 1. Someone on my side published a study later that found something else
> 2. Someone on my side accused it of having methodological flaws

> Since the Federalist has so amply demonstrated the first failure mode, let me say a little more about the second. Did you know that anyone with a keyboard can just type up any of the following things?

> – “That study is a piece of garbage that’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”
– “People in the know dismissed that study years ago.”
– “Nobody in the field takes that study seriously.”
– “That study uses methods that are laughable to anybody who knows statistics.”
– “All the other research that has come out since discredits that study.”

> They can say these things whether they are true or not. I’m kind of harping on this point, but it’s because it’s something I didn’t realize until much later than I should have.

> There are many “questions” that are pretty much settled – evolution, global warming, homeopathy. But taking these as representative closes your mind and gives you a skewed picture of academia. On many issues, academics are just as divided as anyone else, and their arguments can be just as acrimonious as anyone else’s. The arguments usually take the form of one side publishing a study, the other side ripping the study apart and publishing their own study which they say is better, and the first side ripping the second study apart and arguing that their study was better all along.___

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2014-12-12 13:44:50 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

> At some point in their education, most smart people usually learn not to credit arguments from authority. If someone says “Believe me about the minimum wage because I seem like a trustworthy guy,” most of them will have at least one neuron in their head that says “I should ask for some evidence”. If they’re really smart, they’ll use the magic words “peer-reviewed experimental studies.”

> But I worry that most smart people have not learned that a list of dozens of studies, several meta-analyses, hundreds of experts, and expert surveys showing almost all academics support your thesis – can still be bullshit.

> Which is too bad, because that’s exactly what people who want to bamboozle an educated audience are going to use.

> At some point in their education, most smart people usually learn not to credit arguments from authority. If someone says “Believe me about the minimum wage because I seem like a trustworthy guy,” most of them will have at least one neuron in their head that says “I should ask for some evidence”. If they’re really smart, they’ll use the magic words “peer-reviewed experimental studies.”

> But I worry that most smart people have not learned that a list of dozens of studies, several meta-analyses, hundreds of experts, and expert surveys showing almost all academics support your thesis – can still be bullshit.

> Which is too bad, because that’s exactly what people who want to bamboozle an educated audience are going to use.___

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2014-12-11 14:27:55 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Why are deep neural networks hard to train?

Chapter 5 of my book on neural nets and deep learning.  The chapter is largely self-contained - to read it you need some basic familiarity with neural nets, but you certainly don't need to have read all the earlier material.

The chapter explains some simple but vexing results about many-layer neural nets.  In particular, it explains a significant obstacle to the usual procedure of training neural networks using gradient descent.  It turns out that in deep networks the gradient tends to either vanish or explode uncontrollably in early layers of the network.  Both phenomena cause considerable problems!   This chapter explains why the phenomena occur, and hints at (but doesn't yet spell out) solutions. 

Why are deep neural networks hard to train?

Chapter 5 of my book on neural nets and deep learning.  The chapter is largely self-contained - to read it you need some basic familiarity with neural nets, but you certainly don't need to have read all the earlier material.

The chapter explains some simple but vexing results about many-layer neural nets.  In particular, it explains a significant obstacle to the usual procedure of training neural networks using gradient descent.  It turns out that in deep networks the gradient tends to either vanish or explode uncontrollably in early layers of the network.  Both phenomena cause considerable problems!   This chapter explains why the phenomena occur, and hints at (but doesn't yet spell out) solutions. ___

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2014-12-10 21:04:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Some of the people seeing this article will probably go "what? a lesbian marrying a man out of love? That doesn't make any sense". But to me, it makes perfect sense.

Sexual and romantic orientations such as "straight, bisexual, gay" are summary statistics: like more classical summary statistics such as an average or a mode, they are a way of compressing a large number of individual observations into a single summary. Take a hundred women and a hundred men, and this man is attracted to fifty of the women and none of the men: we'll say that he's straight. Another man is attracted to 40 of the women and 60 of the men, so we'll call him bisexual; and a third man is attracted to 70 of the men and none of the women, so we'll call him gay.

But what if someone, say a woman, is attracted to 32 of the women and 1 of the men? We could call her bisexual, but... more »

Some of the people seeing this article will probably go "what? a lesbian marrying a man out of love? That doesn't make any sense". But to me, it makes perfect sense.

Sexual and romantic orientations such as "straight, bisexual, gay" are summary statistics: like more classical summary statistics such as an average or a mode, they are a way of compressing a large number of individual observations into a single summary. Take a hundred women and a hundred men, and this man is attracted to fifty of the women and none of the men: we'll say that he's straight. Another man is attracted to 40 of the women and 60 of the men, so we'll call him bisexual; and a third man is attracted to 70 of the men and none of the women, so we'll call him gay.

But what if someone, say a woman, is attracted to 32 of the women and 1 of the men? We could call her bisexual, but intuitively it seems like she is closer to the lesbian than the bisexual. And indeed saying that she is a lesbian would convey a more accurate view of her preferences than saying that she is bisexual: the error in the interpretation would be smaller. Summary statistics always lose data, so we just have to choose the category that conveys the most accurate impression.

This, incidentally, is similar to my own case: I have on very, very rare occasions had a crush on another guy, and in principle I could think of myself as having a relationship with one. But I still tend to think of myself as primarily straight rather than bisexual, because those guy-crushes are so rare and few between. It wouldn't make sense for me to list myself as bisexual on a dating site, for instance, because that'd just be wasting my time and the time of the vast, vast majority of the men who might try contacting me.

This also seems similar to the case of the woman in the article: she is a lesbian, but there was one man that she happened to fall in love with.

> I know plenty of people who identify as bisexual; I am not. The term simply doesn’t apply. I am not, as a rule, attracted to men. I simply fell in love with this person and didn’t hold his gender against him. That won’t change because of our vows, any more than my eye color will. My fundamental coordinates are unaltered.

Of course, sexual and romantic orientations are more than just about clustering or discretization, statistics and machine learning: they are about a person's identity, and how they choose to identify themselves. Certainly the author could have chosen to relabel herself as bisexual, if she chose to: that label might have felt more correct to her, even if it could have communicated a misleading message to others. But in this case, she saw that her core was that of a lesbian, and felt no need to change that just because she happened to fall in love with and marry a man.

> But here was my fabulous Portland pal, trying to claim me for the Bi-Het team (which sounded like a synagogue rather than a sexual identity, and certainly not my own). She wasn’t the only one: An ex-girlfriend and a sophisticated poet cousin said the same thing, as if my lesbian license had been revoked.

> So let me be clear, since I can’t be the only one: I am a lesbian marrying a man.

> This is not semantics, or splitting hairs; it is fundamental to who we are — my fiancé and I. Immutable as height or eye color.

> Call it a kind of intermarriage. I am 5-foot-9, brunette, lesbian, that won’t alter because of our vows; nor will my love of women, though I won’t be dating them. If either of us had to pretend otherwise, I wouldn’t be marrying this man. It is precisely because our love makes room for us to be who we are, rather than cutting us to fit convention, that I want to spend my life with him.

> One of the things I cherished about coming out as a lesbian years ago was the wonderful sense I had that I was leaving behind received forms of love, those that seemed to have disappointed my parents and friends. We were free to invent our own, something authentic, not roles we shrugged on like a borrowed coat.___

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2014-12-10 14:14:03 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

So far academia.edu has been mainly a place for people to upload either drafts or papers that'd already been published elsewhere, i.e. a replacement/complement for a personal webpage listing your papers. Looking at the article, they are intending it to continue in that function, but adding the feature of letting other users review the uploaded papers after they've already been formally published. "In this somewhat super-charged take on commenting, the most credible papers would get reviewed (and endorsed) by thousands of qualified scientists instead of just a handful."

That would seem to fill a useful extra niche that isn't currently filled: it doesn't always make sense to write a full paper to point out the flaws in some particular one, and even though it's in theory possible to get short comments published, I've heard plenty of horror stories about how... more »

So far academia.edu has been mainly a place for people to upload either drafts or papers that'd already been published elsewhere, i.e. a replacement/complement for a personal webpage listing your papers. Looking at the article, they are intending it to continue in that function, but adding the feature of letting other users review the uploaded papers after they've already been formally published. "In this somewhat super-charged take on commenting, the most credible papers would get reviewed (and endorsed) by thousands of qualified scientists instead of just a handful."

That would seem to fill a useful extra niche that isn't currently filled: it doesn't always make sense to write a full paper to point out the flaws in some particular one, and even though it's in theory possible to get short comments published, I've heard plenty of horror stories about how that's impossible in practice. (See http://frog.gatech.edu/Pubs/How-to-Publish-a-Scientific-Comment-in-123-Easy-Steps.pdf for amusement value.) Post-publication review on academia.edu could serve that role.

Like the article briefly mentions, it might even help with the reproducibility problem, if it made easier to publish failed reproductions in some form. E.g. a social psychologist friend of mine claims that it's common knowledge among researchers in the field that the famous results of some researchers tend to not replicate, but this knowledge isn't formally communicated due to all the normal difficulties involved with publishing negative results. If post-publication peer review/commenting became easier, those negative results might be published as a brief comment on the original paper: "we tried this, didn't work out, we don't see the value of doing a full formal writeup of our failure but here's our raw data and a brief summary of it in case someone wants to verify it".___

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2014-12-10 11:24:37 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

> Suppose you want to enhance your cognition. A scientist hands you two drugs. Drug X has at least 19 controlled studies on the healthy individual showing it is effective, and while a handful of studies report a slight increase in blood pressure, another dozen conclude it is safe and non-addictive. Drug Y is also effective, but it increases mortality, has addiction potential and withdrawal symptoms. Which one do you choose? Great. Before you reach out for Drug X, the scientist warns you, “I should add, however, that Drug Y has been used by certain primitive communities for centuries, while Drug X has not.” Which one do you choose? Should this information have any bearing on your choice? I don’t think so. You probably conclude that primitive societies do all sort of crazy things and you would be better off with actual, double-blind, controlled studies.

> Now what if I told you that,regar... more »

> Suppose you want to enhance your cognition. A scientist hands you two drugs. Drug X has at least 19 controlled studies on the healthy individual showing it is effective, and while a handful of studies report a slight increase in blood pressure, another dozen conclude it is safe and non-addictive. Drug Y is also effective, but it increases mortality, has addiction potential and withdrawal symptoms. Which one do you choose? Great. Before you reach out for Drug X, the scientist warns you, “I should add, however, that Drug Y has been used by certain primitive communities for centuries, while Drug X has not.” Which one do you choose? Should this information have any bearing on your choice? I don’t think so. You probably conclude that primitive societies do all sort of crazy things and you would be better off with actual, double-blind, controlled studies.

> Now what if I told you that, regardless of your interest in cognitive enhancers, you have been choosing Drug Y over and over, day after day, for several years?___

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2014-12-10 11:22:52 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

> Google has expressed interest in constructing cities, and Larry Page wants to create autonomous zones that can experiment with social rules. Combined, these two ideas have the potential to transform the world. Institutional change can jumpstart economic growth while competent, efficient administration can ensure those gains are not lost to corruption.

> The idea of private cities typically invokes fears of a dystopian future, where malevolent corporations ruthlessly exploit the population for profits. Government is seen as a last defense against private tyranny. However, by replacing a nameless corporation with Google, the thinking changes. Rather than fear predation, we appreciate the benefits of efficient administration.

> Companies like Google think long term. They are unlikely to sacrifice their hard-earned reputations for short-term gains. Further, Google is pragmatic.... more »

> Google has expressed interest in constructing cities, and Larry Page wants to create autonomous zones that can experiment with social rules. Combined, these two ideas have the potential to transform the world. Institutional change can jumpstart economic growth while competent, efficient administration can ensure those gains are not lost to corruption.

> The idea of private cities typically invokes fears of a dystopian future, where malevolent corporations ruthlessly exploit the population for profits. Government is seen as a last defense against private tyranny. However, by replacing a nameless corporation with Google, the thinking changes. Rather than fear predation, we appreciate the benefits of efficient administration.

> Companies like Google think long term. They are unlikely to sacrifice their hard-earned reputations for short-term gains. Further, Google is pragmatic. It will think outside the status quo, adopting the best policies to attract residents. Finally, Google is sufficiently big; it will not be intimidated by rent-seekers trying to live off others’ work.
[...]


> Because Google is worldwide and sufficiently well known, it could negotiate with developing nations’ governments for institutional autonomy to run private cities. Governments would merely need to get out of the way. This may seem like a tall order: abdicating power is rare. Luckily, it is already happening.

> Honduras passed a law allowing for ZEDEs (zonas de empleo y desarollo económico), or autonomous regions. ZEDEs allow Honduran regions to opt out of civil and commercial law and import a legal system of their choosing. Further, ZEDEs are able to create their own administrative systems, allowing reprieve from corruption.

> Honduras is just the start. El Salvador and Costa Rica are considering creating their own autonomous regions. Whether the decision makers at Google choose to get involved is up to them. But Honduras offers a great opportunity to follow the company's stated goals.___

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2014-12-10 11:17:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Would be nicer without the hassle of a separate program, but still, I'm not complaining:

> All research papers from Nature will be made free to read in a proprietary screen-view format that can be annotated but not copied, printed or downloaded, the journal’s publisher Macmillan announced on 2 December.

Would be nicer without the hassle of a separate program, but still, I'm not complaining:

> All research papers from Nature will be made free to read in a proprietary screen-view format that can be annotated but not copied, printed or downloaded, the journal’s publisher Macmillan announced on 2 December.___

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2014-12-10 11:13:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

How to get all of your ownerless dogs adopted? Frame it as a campaign to rescue poor human office workers from their cubicles, by having the dogs walk the humans on the humans' lunch break.

How to get all of your ownerless dogs adopted? Frame it as a campaign to rescue poor human office workers from their cubicles, by having the dogs walk the humans on the humans' lunch break.___

2014-12-09 20:31:14 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Long-term planning: "The Sun's gradual brightening will seriously compromise the Earth's biosphere within ~ 1E9 years. If Earth's orbit migrates outward, however, the biosphere could remain intact over the entire main-sequence lifetime of the Sun. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of engineering such a migration over a long time period. The basic mechanism uses gravitational assists to (in effect) transfer orbital energy from Jupiter to the Earth, and thereby enlarges the orbital radius of Earth."

Long-term planning: "The Sun's gradual brightening will seriously compromise the Earth's biosphere within ~ 1E9 years. If Earth's orbit migrates outward, however, the biosphere could remain intact over the entire main-sequence lifetime of the Sun. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of engineering such a migration over a long time period. The basic mechanism uses gravitational assists to (in effect) transfer orbital energy from Jupiter to the Earth, and thereby enlarges the orbital radius of Earth."___

2014-12-09 16:56:29 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Typical Mind Fallacy: Every now and then, someone sees me doing something on my computer, or hears me comment something about online ads, and then they go "you don't have AdBlock?". This tends to lend for a double surprise:

- The other person is surprised that I can live with all the online ads.
- Even though I should have gotten used to it by now, I get mildly surprised whenever I'm reminded of the fact that there actually exist people who are bothered by advertisements. (My brain just automatically filters them out, except if they're funny or interesting ones, in which case they provide momentary amusement.)

Typical Mind Fallacy: Every now and then, someone sees me doing something on my computer, or hears me comment something about online ads, and then they go "you don't have AdBlock?". This tends to lend for a double surprise:

- The other person is surprised that I can live with all the online ads.
- Even though I should have gotten used to it by now, I get mildly surprised whenever I'm reminded of the fact that there actually exist people who are bothered by advertisements. (My brain just automatically filters them out, except if they're funny or interesting ones, in which case they provide momentary amusement.)___

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2014-12-09 12:18:21 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Another piece of malware that seems to be developed by a nation-state, this time with a stealth Linux trojan that may have been around on people's computers for years.

> The previously undiscovered malware represents a missing puzzle piece tied to "Turla," a so-called advanced persistent threat (APT) disclosed in August by Kaspersky Lab and Symantec. For at least four years, the campaign targeted government institutions, embassies, military, education, research, and pharmaceutical companies in more than 45 countries. The unknown attackers—who are probably backed by a nation-state, according to Symantec—were known to have infected several hundred Windows-based computers by exploiting a variety of vulnerabilities, at least two of which were zero-day bugs. The malware was notable for its use of a rootkit that made it extremely hard to detect.

> Now researchers fromMos... more »

Another piece of malware that seems to be developed by a nation-state, this time with a stealth Linux trojan that may have been around on people's computers for years.

> The previously undiscovered malware represents a missing puzzle piece tied to "Turla," a so-called advanced persistent threat (APT) disclosed in August by Kaspersky Lab and Symantec. For at least four years, the campaign targeted government institutions, embassies, military, education, research, and pharmaceutical companies in more than 45 countries. The unknown attackers—who are probably backed by a nation-state, according to Symantec—were known to have infected several hundred Windows-based computers by exploiting a variety of vulnerabilities, at least two of which were zero-day bugs. The malware was notable for its use of a rootkit that made it extremely hard to detect.

> Now researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab have detected Linux-based malware used in the same campaign. Turla was already ranked as one of the top-tier APTs, in the same league as the recently disclosed Regin for instance. The discovery of the Linux component suggests it is bigger than previously thought and may presage the discovery of still more infected systems.

> "The [Turla] operations are being carried out in broader environments than we previously knew," Kaspersky Lab expert Kurt Baumgartner told Ars. "All the other stuff we've seen from Turla has been windows based. This piece of the puzzle shows us that they do not limit themselves."___

2014-12-09 07:53:32 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> So, you've found a goal. Nice work.

> Now solve it tomorrow.

> Can you? Seriously ask yourself whether or not you can solve the problem tomorrow. I don't care how ambitious it is. Can you solve it tomorrow? If yes, then do it. If not, why not? Say the obstacles aloud.

> The usual answers are something like "I lack the power, time, money, network, and so on." Which is great! Now we're getting somewhere.

> These are what you need to work on tomorrow, if you want to solve the problem.

> Don't ask "what would be good to do," ask "what is standing between me and solving the problem immediately." Identify the obstacles. Your task is now to either remove them or cheat your way around them.

> Of course, most of the obstacles themselves are still too big and vague. So ask yourself... more »

> So, you've found a goal. Nice work.

> Now solve it tomorrow.

> Can you? Seriously ask yourself whether or not you can solve the problem tomorrow. I don't care how ambitious it is. Can you solve it tomorrow? If yes, then do it. If not, why not? Say the obstacles aloud.

> The usual answers are something like "I lack the power, time, money, network, and so on." Which is great! Now we're getting somewhere.

> These are what you need to work on tomorrow, if you want to solve the problem.

> Don't ask "what would be good to do," ask "what is standing between me and solving the problem immediately." Identify the obstacles. Your task is now to either remove them or cheat your way around them.

> Of course, most of the obstacles themselves are still too big and vague. So ask yourself why you can't solve those problems tomorrow. Say you don't know the people you'd need to know to have a shot at fixing education. Can you contact them all tomorrow? That probably wouldn't go well, but why not? What are the obstacles between you and acquiring the resoucres you're going to need?

> Rinse, repeat. Identify the obstacles to overcoming the obstacles, and so on. Eventually, this process will ground out in things that you can actually start doing tomorrow, with a path that you can trace all the way back up to your goal.

> Once you have that, throw reservations to the wind, and start today.___

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2014-12-08 19:50:52 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> Mice have been created whose brains are half human. As a result, the animals are smarter than their siblings. [...]

> The altered mice still have mouse neurons – the "thinking" cells that make up around half of all their brain cells. But practically all the glial cells in their brains, the ones that support the neurons, are human.

> "It's still a mouse brain, not a human brain," says Steve Goldman of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "But all the non-neuronal cells are human."

> Mice have been created whose brains are half human. As a result, the animals are smarter than their siblings. [...]

> The altered mice still have mouse neurons – the "thinking" cells that make up around half of all their brain cells. But practically all the glial cells in their brains, the ones that support the neurons, are human.

> "It's still a mouse brain, not a human brain," says Steve Goldman of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "But all the non-neuronal cells are human."___

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2014-12-08 19:48:40 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Seven reasons for why blogging might be academically valuable:

1. It helps to build the habit of writing
2. It helps to generate writing flow states
3. It helps you to really understand your area of research
4. It allows you to systematically develop the elements of a research article
5. It enables you to acquire serendipitous research interests
6. It helps with networking and developing contacts
7. And yes,  it also helps with teaching

Seven reasons for why blogging might be academically valuable:

1. It helps to build the habit of writing
2. It helps to generate writing flow states
3. It helps you to really understand your area of research
4. It allows you to systematically develop the elements of a research article
5. It enables you to acquire serendipitous research interests
6. It helps with networking and developing contacts
7. And yes,  it also helps with teaching___

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2014-12-08 19:46:33 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

> While the police seemed to hold true to innocent until proven guilty, my friends and their families certainly didn’t. Even when I returned to a you-free school, I never quite recovered. My relationships since have been damaged and I still struggle to trust my partners. I tell practically no one now about what happened, for fear of being perceived as a rapist and because I guess they’d say stories like mine make it harder for real victims of rape to be believed.

> While the police seemed to hold true to innocent until proven guilty, my friends and their families certainly didn’t. Even when I returned to a you-free school, I never quite recovered. My relationships since have been damaged and I still struggle to trust my partners. I tell practically no one now about what happened, for fear of being perceived as a rapist and because I guess they’d say stories like mine make it harder for real victims of rape to be believed.___

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2014-12-08 19:43:33 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> In February 2009, someone calling herself Ann logged onto the website Secret Confessions and wrote three sentences: "I am depressed. I hate being a mom. I also hate being a stay at home mom too!" Over three years later, the thread of comments is still going strong with thousands of responses -- the site usually garners only 10 or so comments for every "confession." Our anonymous Ann had hit a nerve.

> One woman who got pregnant at 42 wrote, "I hate being a mother too. Every day is the same. And to think I won't be free of it until I am like 60 and then my life will be over." Another, identifying herself only as k'smom, said, "I feel so trapped, anxious, and overwhelmed. I love my daughter and she's well taken care of but this is not the path I would have taken given a second chance."

> Gianna wrote, "I love my son, but... more »

> In February 2009, someone calling herself Ann logged onto the website Secret Confessions and wrote three sentences: "I am depressed. I hate being a mom. I also hate being a stay at home mom too!" Over three years later, the thread of comments is still going strong with thousands of responses -- the site usually garners only 10 or so comments for every "confession." Our anonymous Ann had hit a nerve.

> One woman who got pregnant at 42 wrote, "I hate being a mother too. Every day is the same. And to think I won't be free of it until I am like 60 and then my life will be over." Another, identifying herself only as k'smom, said, "I feel so trapped, anxious, and overwhelmed. I love my daughter and she's well taken care of but this is not the path I would have taken given a second chance."

> Gianna wrote, "I love my son, but I hate being a mother. It has been a thankless, monotonous, exhausting, irritating and oppressive job. Motherhood feels like a prison sentence. I can't wait until I am paroled when my son turns 18 and hopefully goes far away to college." One D.C.-based mom even said that although she was against abortion before having her son, now she would "run to the abortion clinic" if she got pregnant again.

> The responses -- largely from women who identify themselves as financially stable -- spell out something less explicit than well-worn reasons for parental unhappiness such as poverty and a lack of support. These women simply don't feel that motherhood is all it's cracked up to be, and if given a second chance, they wouldn't do it again.___

2014-12-07 18:36:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Place-dependent memory is weird. I spent a couple of days at my mom's home, where I used to live as a kid and teenager, and there I could remember a bit of what my thoughts and world view used to feel like, before burnouts and depression caught up with me. I glimpsed a bit of the mode of thought where the future felt exciting and full of opportunities, and in which life and being alive were fundamentally good things, something to be glad about by themselves. Back when I thought that anyone wondering about the meaning of life was silly: the meaning of life was to just be alive, and that was enough.

In touch with that feeling, I suddenly understood why I had once felt strongly that creating a huge amount of new happy lives would be a fantastic good thing, that radical life extension was an important goal even besides its immense potential impact to reducing the amount of suffering in the... more »

Place-dependent memory is weird. I spent a couple of days at my mom's home, where I used to live as a kid and teenager, and there I could remember a bit of what my thoughts and world view used to feel like, before burnouts and depression caught up with me. I glimpsed a bit of the mode of thought where the future felt exciting and full of opportunities, and in which life and being alive were fundamentally good things, something to be glad about by themselves. Back when I thought that anyone wondering about the meaning of life was silly: the meaning of life was to just be alive, and that was enough.

In touch with that feeling, I suddenly understood why I had once felt strongly that creating a huge amount of new happy lives would be a fantastic good thing, that radical life extension was an important goal even besides its immense potential impact to reducing the amount of suffering in the world, and why I had started gliding more and more strongly towards negative utilitarianism once I lost the feeling that just being alive was something great.

And now that I left my mom's place and headed back home, I can still recall that I recalled that old mode of thought, but I don't really remember the feel of that experience anymore. It's now just a piece of declarative knowledge again, me knowing in the abstract that I used to have this kind of a thought pattern, but not being able to properly access that memory without being in a place where I used to think that way. Existence is back to being on balance an approximately neutral thing again.___

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2014-12-06 16:01:29 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Just placed on order for 10 bags of Joylent, the European clone of Soylent. We'll see how I like it.

They're one of the few companies whose terms & conditions page is actually worth reading: http://www.joylent.eu/general-terms-conditions-joylent/

Just placed on order for 10 bags of Joylent, the European clone of Soylent. We'll see how I like it.

They're one of the few companies whose terms & conditions page is actually worth reading: http://www.joylent.eu/general-terms-conditions-joylent/___

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2014-12-06 07:20:41 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

The Mandate just keeps looking awesomely cool by each update. I really hope they'll be able to deliver all the expectations that they've been loading up.

Their description of the space combat experience they're going for: "Slow and majestic are two keywords for us. We wanted to achieve a certain sense of scale and grandeur as these hulking behemoths travel through space and at the same time contrast these with the agile light craft that zip past or marines that conduct boarding operations and kick in doors."

<3

The Mandate just keeps looking awesomely cool by each update. I really hope they'll be able to deliver all the expectations that they've been loading up.

Their description of the space combat experience they're going for: "Slow and majestic are two keywords for us. We wanted to achieve a certain sense of scale and grandeur as these hulking behemoths travel through space and at the same time contrast these with the agile light craft that zip past or marines that conduct boarding operations and kick in doors."

<3___

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2014-12-05 16:07:16 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

> The problem is that when you are presented with a shocking situation, you often don’t do what you “should”.  You react in weird ways – and the more shocking the situation, the more time it may take you to figure out emotionally how to process this. [...]

> If someone ruins a party for you with some unexpected sexual pressure that comes out of nowhere, you might deal with that in ways that you’re unhappy with in retrospect – ways that seem bizarre to others, who “know” how they’d react if they were in that situation.

> Except they don’t know how they’d react.  They know how they think they’d react when presented with a situation they read about in an essay, but that’s often very different from how they do react if and when it happens.  How they’d react when presented with Surprise Harassment is often very different from how they’d react ifthey had time to contemplate it ... more »

> The problem is that when you are presented with a shocking situation, you often don’t do what you “should”.  You react in weird ways – and the more shocking the situation, the more time it may take you to figure out emotionally how to process this. [...]

> If someone ruins a party for you with some unexpected sexual pressure that comes out of nowhere, you might deal with that in ways that you’re unhappy with in retrospect – ways that seem bizarre to others, who “know” how they’d react if they were in that situation.

> Except they don’t know how they’d react.  They know how they think they’d react when presented with a situation they read about in an essay, but that’s often very different from how they do react if and when it happens.  How they’d react when presented with Surprise Harassment is often very different from how they’d react if they had time to contemplate it in advance.  (Which is why harassers often use a lot of pressure to get what they want – they know that sometimes, the Surprise Harassment response that springs from politeness and not wanting to offend is much more positive than the studied negative reaction they’d get later.) [...]

> But all too often I see people conflating reaction with intent: “Well, they didn’t reject it violently at the time, so they clearly were okay with X happening!”  And no.  My point here is that people often react weirdly to weird situations.  How they react in that moment doesn’t necessarily reflect who they are or what they really believe, but rather reflects a brain that’s rapidly trying to piece together a big batch of WTF.___

2014-12-05 16:02:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

> As partners, Maria is the best fit for me and I for her. However, we have different interests, preferences and sexual proclivities, and we’re on opposite sides of the country much of the time.

> That's why she has a boyfriend who actually enjoys bike rides in inclement weather and I have a girlfriend who doesn’t balk at the idea of binge-watching American Horror Story all weekend. It’s a relief not to feel pressured to meet or exceed your partner’s every requirement. Also, hooking up with other people is a fun way to realize why your main squeeze is your main squeeze. See? It's sort of romantic, right?

> As partners, Maria is the best fit for me and I for her. However, we have different interests, preferences and sexual proclivities, and we’re on opposite sides of the country much of the time.

> That's why she has a boyfriend who actually enjoys bike rides in inclement weather and I have a girlfriend who doesn’t balk at the idea of binge-watching American Horror Story all weekend. It’s a relief not to feel pressured to meet or exceed your partner’s every requirement. Also, hooking up with other people is a fun way to realize why your main squeeze is your main squeeze. See? It's sort of romantic, right?___

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