- jeffcommented2 days ago
I have mixed feelings about this. Definitely a worthwhile read and something that is good to at least be peripherally informed about. I think it's generally good to apply public pressure to governments to treat their citizens (or in this case migrant workers) better but certainly no country has anything even close to absolute moral authority.
- jeffscouted2 weeks ago
An incredible story about a truly remarkable individual.
According to other mathematicians, Zhang is working on his incomplete result for the Landau-Siegel zeros conjecture. “If he succeeds, it would be much more dramatic,” Peter Sarnak said.
This article was written in 2015 and Zhang just published a mysterious paper on the topic a few weeks ago: Number theorist may have proposed a solution to the Landau-Siegel zeros conjecture
- jeffscouted4 weeks ago
Great reporting! This is some scary stuff.
So much stranger than fiction. I am kind of curious what the pillows feel like.
- jeffcommented1 month ago
Dark is an understatement!
A disturbing glimpse into the insane internal politics of the documentary film industry. The levels of ignorance and cowardice on display by industry professionals is sickening, as is the complete lack of respect that the filmmakers who are protesting the documentary have for the viewer.
This might sound like an overreaction but I'd encourage everyone to listen to Sam Harris's interview with Meg Smacker for more context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rec9wVWa1IA
- Update (10/19/2022):
Happy to see that she set up a gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-unredacted-jihad-rehab
- Update (10/19/2022):
Super interesting read!
- jeffcommented2 months ago
Seems like pretty solid advice in this context!
One of the most horrifying diseases on the planet.
A corner of the internet that I was thankfully unaware of.
Interesting article about an industry and part of the country I knew nothing about.
I read this as a sort of act of intellectual masochism. I think that transhumanists like Kurzweil are largely totally off-base but many of them are smart, accomplished people and there are parts of the conversation that are interesting.
This piece is also interesting for its alarmist nature and age (published in 2000). Molecular electronics did not take over the world but we did just experience a pandemic that might have originated from a lab. Still, I don't think the fear-mongering is warranted and it seems to me that many people who excel at computer science fail to appreciate the extent to which our brains are distinct from computers.
One of the best articles I've ever read. Delightfully paradoxical in the sense that the author so convincingly portrays himself as a total fraud with such exceptional writing that obviously proves otherwise. But perhaps I've just been duped as well. Can't recommend this one enough!
I've got mixed feelings about this but it's an important conversation and a very worthwhile read.
Great writeup, though I wish there were some details about how they actually stole the Bitcoin. Wild story either way. Just watched a Razzlekhan music video and it was somehow even worse than I had imagined.
This will be a super interesting case to watch. I'm a big fan of the First Amendment but it seems conceivable that Fox News might have crossed the line with this one.
Vegas’s regional transportation agency recently rejected a popular light-rail proposal, citing the ever-distant promise of autonomous vehicles to relieve congestion...
Incredibly disappointing and frustrating to read. It goes to show that marketing BS can have real-world negative consequences far beyond investors' wallets.
I've got a crossover which is probably the most boring vehicle there is but having a six speed manual makes it a blast to drive. I'll definitely be mourning the loss of the stick shift. Electric cars at least have the snappy throttle response that you get with a manual transmission, but it's still not anywhere near as fun with only two pedals.
I've got mixed feelings about this. It's good to read that the SEC has acknowledged that Bitcoin is a commodity. I'd like to see continued innovation in the crypto space but at the same time I fail to see how many (maybe most?) other tokens aren't clearly securities.
- jeffcommented4 months ago
I really appreciate that the author is proposing actual concrete solutions instead of just complaining about the status quo but I don't understand the repeated conflation of Apple and the EU.
Apple is a private company and can (and should be able to) do whatever they want with the App Store. Making any of these changes shouldn't require the EU's (or any other government body's) permission or mandate. I'm in favor of all the suggested changes but strongly opposed to any government involvement.
Additionally, I think the threat of persuasive design as presented by the author is overblown. First off, you can in fact just leave. I believe that stating the obvious falsehood that you can't and making people feel helpless is counter-productive to the author's cause. Similarly it's entirely possible to continue using apps like Instagram and TikTok in a healthy manner merely by exerting self-control.
Persuasive and manipulative design isn't limited to big tech companies. The EU and other nanny states can try all they want to cover the world in bubble wrap but there will always be sharp corners that people need to learn to look out for.
I worry that coddling people, teaching them that they are powerless to simply look away from the feed, only serves to make us less resilient. We're all cursed with a natural impulse for instant gratification that we must learn to overcome. Take a look at the war on drugs and ask yourself if simply putting up barriers will stop people from getting what they want.
- jeffscouted4 months ago
Interesting look at what's going on behind the scenes. I always avoid all these strange brands, but then again maybe I'm a sucker for over-paying for a label. I'm sure that's true in some cases at least.
One thing I'm definitely willing to pay a premium for is consistency and that's getting harder to find not only just on Amazon but even on some name-brand sites (looking at you nike.com). When I need a new pair of jeans it saves so much time to just grab a pair of 513's in my size instead of wading through a marketplace of random crap.
Dobbs also grants that contraception, etc., may be integral to a broader historical right — to privacy or autonomy. But abortion is not, says Dobbs, because it takes fetal life. Why is this doctrinally relevant? The idea, developed here, may be that privacy and autonomy guard a sphere over which the individual is sovereign, and which ends where harm to others begins: These rights cover acts that directly affect no one else, or just consenting adults (with one ultimately irrelevant exception). But abortion directly harms a non-consenting party — or rather, it’s rational, and so permissible, for states to think so.
A worthwhile read that explains why the Dobbs decision might not lead to a cascade of other privacy-based decisions being overturned. We should probably start writing down some of these unwritten rights at any rate.
The electoral beatings will continue until morale improves.
A seriously sad state of affairs all around, indeed.
I'd vote for Oprah.
This was published back in early 2013 in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting and I think it's a very worthwhile read. I strongly agree with Harris's point of view. I want to live in a place where responsible adults are allowed to do dangerous things like buy alcohol, drive cars, fly planes, build swimming pools, take drugs, and own guns (maybe not all at once!). So while I'm strongly opposed to bans, I do support much more stringent regulation in the forms of licensing, registration, (re-)certification, training, increased liability, and the like.
Wearing a mask may still give some people a sense of security, but they could breathe more easily if they’d face the facts.
Every now and then I'll still see someone wearing a mask while walking alone outside. I'm all for people doing whatever they want but I think by now, with the benefit of hindsight, we should all be able to agree that mask mandates don't do anything to stop the spread of this virus.
A real life horror story. I almost never say this but this really is one of those articles that everyone should read. Really incredible journalism and writing. The levels of dysfunction and despair inflicted on those who lived in the Chicago Housing Authority projects is truly unimaginable.
“You get desensitized by what goes on here every day,” the Janitor says. “It’s animalism over here—that’s the prevailing life condition of the people. Animalism—where you worry about those who are stronger and you care nothing about those who are weaker.”
“When I first came here, I used to feel so sorry for the children that I almost would cry,” the Janitor says, “just to know the terror they see. But they’re so animalistic in their own right, in the games they play—I see little kids throwing bricks and bottles at each other, and this is their game. Now I get mad—’Goddamn these little bastards.'”
- jeffcommented7 months ago
Just as hypocritical priests can doom a religion, experts doing politics in the guise of scientific rationality actually undermine it.
This whole piece is absolutely brilliant. I wish more people took the time to consider this point of view rather than just blaming big tech and social media for the mess we find ourselves in.
- jeffcommented7 months ago
Great read! Solid analysis and I appreciate that the author actually took the time to spell out some thoughtful potential solutions instead of just harping on the problems.
I like most of the suggestions but I think increasing the age restriction for online services would be a huge mistake. I think congress made the right call setting the age at 13. That's how old I was when I built my first computer. If you ban kids from legitimate social media sites you're effectively just forcing them over to places like 4chan.
I also think our institutions bear at least as much responsibility for the erosion of trust as do social media services and viral mechanics.
If we do not make major changes soon, then our institutions, our political system, and our society may collapse during the next major war, pandemic, financial meltdown, or constitutional crisis.
The last major US war was Iraq which we were led into by the outright lies told to us by the Bush administration. Our public health leaders lied to us from the very start of the pandemic and conspired to suppress dissenting opinions and research into the origins of the virus. In the last financial meltdown the federal government bailed out the largest financial institutions which were responsible for the crisis in the first place while leaving individual homeowners out to dry.
In short, our institutions are and always have been kind of a shit show. They may be better than many alternatives and I do think they're salvageable but let's not pretend people on social media are just freaking out about imaginary monsters that aren't rooted in at least some truth.
Honestly with all the lies and injustices that we've been exposed to recently in rapid, high-definition, viral succession I'm surprised that things aren't even more chaotic. I'm also optimistic that the proliferation of social media is making it more difficult for corrupt cops, politicians, public officials, and business leaders to get away with their crimes and coverups.