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GCU Dancer on the Midway
Paul Wright's blog
Recent Entries 
black holes – Why is information indestructible? – Physics Stack Exchange
Top answer has a nice model using coloured squares and cellular automata rules.
(tags: physics black-holes universe entropy)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
The Unit of Caring on cultural appropriation
Or “should white people do yoga/dance blues?”
(tags: dancing culture blues appropriation racism)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down? – The Globe and Mail
We’re doomed! Interesting for this bit: “It takes office workers an average of 25 minutes to get back on task after an interruption, he notes, while workers who are habitually interrupted by e-mail become likelier to “self-interrupt” with little procrastination breaks”. That’s true of me: if I’m constantly getting interrupted I give up and procastinate in anticipation of the next interruption.
(tags: technology culture psychology smartphones facebook work)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Simulating Religion: A Christian takes stock of Silicon Valley’s rationalist community by Alexi Sargeant
A Christian takes stock of Silicon Valley’s rationalist community
(tags: lesswrong rationalism eliezer-yudkowsky Christianity philosophy transhumanism)
How evolutionary biology makes everyone an existentialist | Aeon Essays
“Each variant of human desire is ‘natural’, not in the sense of being required, but only of being made possible by nature. And it is in what nature makes possible, not in what it necessitates, that we should look for the answer to the question about what we should be or do.”
(tags: philosophy ethics existentialism evolution biology)
Notes from the Intelpocalypse [LWN.net]
A good, reasonably technical, summary of the Spectre and Meltdown attacks.
(tags: cpu hardware spectre meltdown security intel)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Recommendations please: Is there more to Belief than Credence above a certain threshold? : askphilosophy
Apparently, the thesis that this is all there is to belief is known as the Lockean thesis and is regarded as wrong. Some interesting references to dig into.
(tags: philosophy epistemology belief)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Buddhism Is More ‘Western’ Than You Think – NYTimes.com
Argues that incomprehensible gnomic sayings are a Western stereotype of what Eastern philosophy is.
(tags: meditation buddhism philosophy paradox)
Inspiring Philosophy and the Laws of Logic: Part 1 – UseOfReason
What could apologists be talking about when they speak of “the laws of logic”? (This is usually part of an argument that God is needed for there to be such laws). Discusses various different logics, what Godel really proved, and a bunch of other stuff.
(tags: philosophy mathematics logic presuppositionalism apologetics godel)
Thin Pinstriped Line: The business of Remembering
Veteran and civil servant “Sir Humphrey” on poppies: “I have grown increasingly concerned at the manner in which manufactured outrage focuses on any organisation or individual that challenges the Poppy status quo, by not wearing one. If you are wearing one only because everyone else is wearing one, then perhaps it is time to ask whether the Poppy has become a victim of its own success.</p>

As we move into the world where we are over a century on from the events of WW1, perhaps the time has come to ask if it is time to evolve the service of Remembrance, and perhaps do it differently. I do feel that the need to remember is always appropriate, but that the means by which a simple silence has become a business and outrage outlet to sell papers is increasingly distasteful. “
(tags: war remembrance poppy politics media)


Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
What every systems programmer should know about lockless concurrency
“Seasoned programmers are familiar with concurrency building blocks like mutexes, semaphores, and condition variables. But what makes them work? How do we write concurrent code when we can’t use them, like when we’re working below the operating system in an embedded environment, or when we can’t block due to hard time constraints? And since your system transforms your code into things you didn’t write, running in orders you never asked for, how do multithreaded programs work at all? Concurrency—especially
on modern hardware—is a complicated and unintuitive topic, but let’s try to cover some fundamentals.”
(tags: concurrency programming mutex)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Ghostwatch: the Halloween hoax that changed the language of television
Via fanf, an article on the BBC’s Halloween mockmentary which many people took to be real.
(tags: tv television ghosts halloween paranormal)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.

I’ve updated the little script I wrote to keep track of which comments are new on LJ and Dreamwidth (LJ now does this automatically in its default style, DW doesn’t, by the looks of it). Thanks to various people for telling me it was broken for HTTPS sites, which LJ and DW both default to these days.

Userscripts.org is long dead, so I’m now hosting it on my site.


Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
12th Oct 2017, 12:13 am - Link blog: brexit, olaf, may, story
A very British dream | Richard Seymour on Patreon
“Problem number one for the Conservatives is that they no longer have any idea how to administer capitalism. No viable long-term growth strategy avails. They can’t address the financial sector without hurting their allies in the City. They can’t address the crisis of productivity and investment without more state intervention than they’re willing to accept. They can’t address the housing crisis or the precarious debt-driven economy without harming the interests of home owners. They can’t build new support in the rustbelts on an anti-immigrant basis, without sacrificing affluent swing voters and particularly ethnic minority voters in big cities and marginals.”
(tags: Politics conservatives may brexit)
We Don’t Do That Here
A neutral-sounding way to inform someone that they’ve crossed a line.
(tags: community morality)
A Bluer Shade of White Chapter 1, a frozen fanfic | FanFiction
Do you want to build a self-modifying snowman?
(tags: Singularity fiction story frozen olaf)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
The Coming Software Apocalypse – The Atlantic
A couple of “make everything better” approaches: visual modelling, and mathematical verifiability.
(tags: code software complexity programming)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
How Booking.com manipulates you
It strikes me that someone could write a userscript or browser extension to make the site usable.
(tags: analysis design algorithms booking.com dark-patterns)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Gas Pump Skimmers – learn.sparkfun.com
Skimmers which are attached to petrol pumps internally and then use Bluetooth to get the recorded card details out to the bad guys: finally, the killer app!
(tags: Bluetooth hardware crime skimmer credit)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Doomsday prepping for less crazy folk
It’s not all guns and gold.
(tags: planning emergency survival)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
C++Now 2017: Niko Matsakis “Rust: Hack Without Fear!” – YouTube
Rust for C++ people (of which I’m not actually one, but it might be interesting anyway).
(tags: rust language programming)
You Are the Product
John Lanchester reviews 3 books on Facebook and Google, and comes to the conclusion that Facebook does things because it can, without considering whether it should.
(tags: facebook advertising psychology Internet zuckerberg google)
The Three Waves of Discworld – An approximation of alertness
“So I’ve been thinking for a while about the Discworld books, and how they can be divided up into three rough thematic phases; not based around the focal characters, but rather what the story is about.”
(tags: discworld terry-pratchett books fantasy)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
I’ve got questions about the Rainbow Cinematic Universe | Den of Geek
A critique of the problems with the world building in Rainbow. “Rod, Jane and Freddy seem to live everywhere and nowhere all at once, a bit like God or The Littlest Hobo.”
(tags: funny rainbow television)
Children of Magenta – YouTube
1997 presentation about the levels of flight deck automation and how to keep out of trouble. Interesting stuff about trusting the automation too far, and how trying to keep it updated when the situation changes is worse than going more manual.
(tags: automation aircraft safety flying)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
The Most Common Error in Coverage of the Google Memo – The Atlantic
TL;DR: it wasn’t anti-diversity. Via @sonyaellenmann.
(tags: google sexism politics social-justice diversity)
The Google Memo: What Does the Research Say About Gender Differences? | HeterodoxAcademy.org
“1. Gender differences in math/science ability, achievement, and performance are small or nil…
2. Gender differences in interest and enjoyment of math, coding, and highly “systemizing” activities are large. …
3. Culture and context matter, in complicated ways. Some gender differences have decreased over time as women have achieved greater equality, showing that these differences are responsive to changes in culture and environment. But the cross-national findings sometimes show “paradoxical” effects: progress toward gender equality in rights and opportunities sometimes leads to larger gender differences in some traits and career choices. Nonetheless, it seems that actions taken today by parents, teachers, politicians, and designers of tech products may increase the likelihood that girls will grow up to pursue careers in tech, and this is true whether or not biology plays a role in producing any particular population difference.”
(tags: feminism google diversity psychology gender politics)
Suzanne Sadedin’s answer to What do scientists think about the biological claims made in the anti-diversity document written by a Google employee in August 2017? – Quora
Dr Sadedin’s is the best rebuttal to the Google memo that I’ve seen (as the rest just call it bad without rebutting it).
(tags: science google gender sexism psychology)
How To Add A Security Key To Your Gmail (Tech Solidarity)
2FA without the SMS/phone number backup (which can be hacked by social engineering your mobile phone network provider).
(tags: email google 2fa authentication security)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
How work changed to make us all passionate quitters | Aeon Essays
Alleges that neoliberalism encourages employees to see themselves as the CEO of “Me, Inc”, always looking for tasks that’ll help them get their next job. Interesting final section about the modern obsession with “passion”.
(tags: capitalism business work economics career)
Troy Hunt: Introducing 306 Million Freely Downloadable Pwned Passwords
A service where you can check the clear text (if you trust the site owner) or hash of passwords to see whether they’ve leaked in any of the site hacks over the years.
(tags: security passwords api)
Operation Luigi: How I hacked my friend without her noticing
Funny stream of consciousness thing about hacking a friend (with permission). Time to enable 2FA on your stuff, people.
(tags: hacking phishing funny email authentication passwords)
Steve Dutch: Conservative Cranks and Liberal Meta-Cranks
What are the differences between cranks on both sides? Conservative ones are generally stupid, liberal ones are clever rationalisers.
(tags: politics cranks conservative liberal)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Becoming Atheist: Humanism and the Secular West | Reviews in History
Russel Blackford reviews a book about the social history of atheism in the 20th Century in the West, looking especially at the gender differences in how interviewees expressed their reasons for leaving religion.
(tags: atheism history gender russell-blackford)
The Evolution of Trust
Interactive exploration of repeated Prisoner’s dilemma type games, where you can play with payoffs and strategies.
(tags: trust game mathematics maths)
Broadpwn: Remotely Compromising Android and iOS via a Bug in Broadcom’s Wi-Fi Chipsets | Exodus Intelligence
Broadcom kicking it old school: “In order to facilitate patching, an extensive thunk table is used in RAM, and calls are made into that table at specific points during execution. Should a bug fix be issued, the thunk table could be changed to redirect to the newer code.”
(tags: android wifi broadcom broadpwn security)
Circles Sines and Signals – Introduction
Some nice graphics introducing the Discrete Fourier Transform.
(tags: learning fourier-transform signal dsp)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
24th Jul 2017, 12:13 am - Link blog: underground, tube, london
the hidden dungeons of TfL
Not so much dungeons as rooms full of equipment.
(tags: tube london underground)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
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