Monday, July 18th, 2022

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"U.K. braces for record temperatures as ‘heat apocalypse’ hits Europe"

Having endured similarly historic heat last year in a region also known for not always having AC, my heart goes out to those in the UK. Stay cool. Stay hydrated.

7/18/2022 7:16 am | | Tags: climate change, united kingdom

" wants to take on Google"

I'm always interested in search engines, and anything that might compete with Google. I did a few test searches on and found the results acceptable, but nothing spectacular. Granted, I didn't delve into the developer focused search queries that the site is currently tuned for. I'll be giving it a bit more exploration.

7/18/2022 7:28 am | | Tags: search, startup, google

Thread - 20 'Razors' for use in decision making

(I really need to write the code that brings in a full Twitter thread to the site...)

7/18/2022 7:54 am | | Tags: logic, thinking

"Wealth Is a Strong Predictor of Whether an Individual Pursues a Creative Profession" (2019)

Those from households with an annual income of $1 million are 10 times more likely to become artists than those from families with a $100,000 income

A sweeping survey of 160 years of U.S. demographic data suggests individuals from wealthy families are more likely to pursue careers in creative fields than those from lower-income households.

It isn't altogether surprising to see, though I don't think I would have guessed a 10x difference. I'm also curious how this trend compares with other countries to see how much of it is also the comparative lack of economic safety nets in the US.

7/18/2022 8:02 am | | Tags: art, economics, wealth gap

I just lept up out of my chair as I thought I heard someone coming through the front door. Which should 100% not be happening as my wife and I are home. As I burst around the corner I realize what I heard was my 130 lb dog, Elwood, laying down against it, which caused enough movement to make it sound like it had 'whoompfed' close again. My heart has not slowed down yet.

7/18/2022 8:07 am | | Tags: illusion, big dog life

I think I used to know this. But being reminded of it, especially with James Webb giving us amazing images of the depths of space makes it all the more mind blowing.

7/18/2022 8:10 am | | Tags: star trek, space, astronomy

"How Urban Legend Destroyed the Ball Pit"

Not just about the ball pit, but also a bit of an overview of history for playgrounds as a whole. Having heard about the awfulness of ball pits, I just assumed it was the truth and that my childhood had been riddled with germs that I could have avoided.

The playground (as we know it, anyway) is actually a relatively recent invention. For centuries, adaptable children developed cultures all their own within the surroundings available to them. For kids living in urban areas worldwide, the de facto place to congregate was in the streets and alleys of their towns and villages. But the end of the 19th century brought with it the introduction of the automobile, which all but overtook the spaces kids once held sacred. It quickly became evident just how much carnage twisted metal could wreak on the human body when propelled forward with enough force. Parents, who up until this point mostly had a laissez-faire approach to their children’s whereabouts, began advocating cites for kid-friendly spaces to convene outside of increasingly dangerous streets.

7/18/2022 9:12 am | | Tags: urban design, childhood, germs, urban legend

Seen around online in multiple places. I am not sure on the original author unfortunately. But as I go through and do a rewatch of Strange New Things, I felt compelled to share it and archive it here.

  • X-Men is about civil rights. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get X-Men.
  • Black Panther is about civil rights. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get Black Panther.
  • Captain America literally fought nazis. He is the embodiment of fighting the alt-right. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get Captain America.
  • The Empire in Star Wars is fascist. The Rebel alliance are Anti-Fascist. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get Star Wars.
  • Doctor Who was about an alien fighting for all of humanity in spite of totalitarian regimes. If you don't get that, you don't get Doctor Who.
  • The Punisher isn’t meant to be a role model for police or armed forces. So much so that the writers of The Punisher made him actively speak out against it in a comic. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get The Punisher.
  • Deadpool is queer. He’s pansexual. Fact. If you didn’t get that you didn’t get Deadpool.
  • Star Trek is about equality for all genders, races and sexualities. As early as the mid-60s it was taking a pro-choice stance and defending women’s right to choose. One of its clearest themes is accepting different cultures and appearances and working together for peace. (It’s also anti-capitalist and pro-vegan). If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get Star Trek.
  • Superman and Wonder Woman (and a whole host of other superheroes) are immigrants. The stance of those comics is pro-immigration and pro-equality and acceptance. If you didn’t get that, you didn’t get Superman or Wonder Woman.
  • Stan Lee said, “Racism and bigotry are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.” If you’re bigoted or racist, you didn’t get any of the characters Stan Lee created.
  • The stories we grew up with all taught us to value other people and cultures and to treasure the differences between us. Only villains were xenophobic, or sexist, or racist, or totalitarian. I can’t understand how anyone can have missed that.
  • If you’re upset that there’s a black Spider-Man, or a black Captain America, or a female Thor, or that Ms. Marvel is Muslim, or that Captain Marvel was pro-feminism or any of the other things right-wing “fans” say is “stealing their childhood” - you never got it in the first place. The things you claim are now “pandering to the lefties” were never on your side, to begin with.

If you consider yourself a fan of these things, but you still think the LGBTQ+ community is too “in your face”, or have a problem with Black Lives Matter, or want to “take the country back from immigrants”, then you’re not really a fan at all.

Geek culture isn’t suddenly left-wing... it has been for decades. You just grew up to be intolerant. You became the villain in the stories you used to love.

7/18/2022 9:21 am | | Tags: culture, geek culture

2% of Iceland is now covered in Forest

Forests and bushes now cover over 2% of Iceland, Vísir reports. That number may not seem like much, but since 1990, the surface area covered by forest or shrubs in Iceland has increased more than six times over – from 7,000 hectares to 45,000. In 20 years, the number is expected to be 2.6%.

For comparison, as of 2016, 36% of the US is covered by forests according to this report from the USDA.

7/18/2022 9:42 am | | Tags: forestry, trees

MMAcevedo (Mnemonic Map/Acevedo)

A short fiction written as if it were a Wikipedia-style entry about the first successful transhumanist upload. It is an excellent read, and I suspect that it provides a good introduction to the concepts of transhumanist fiction. Even though I'm familiar, seeing it written like this definitely brought new ideas and thoughts to mind for me.

I was pointed to this story by 'Crimes against Transhumanity' on Charles Stross' blog. His post is a bit of a thought exercise and examination on the inherent shortfalls of our legal (and general political) system in a transhumanist world.

7/18/2022 10:27 am | | Tags: transhumanism, scifi, dystopia, technology, philosophy

“I want to be rich” means

  1. you want to get rid of the alarm clock

  2. you want to leisurely spend time with people you love

  3. you want to stop worrying about the rent or whether you can buy healthy food

  4. you want to be able to help

  5. you want to do more of what you love

7/18/2022 2:48 pm | | Tags: philosophy, wealth, money

"Gavin Newsom plants flag on climate, spurring 2024 chatter"

It will genuinely be a shock if he does anything BUT run against Biden in 2024.

7/18/2022 2:54 pm | | Tags: us politics, california, democrats

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Ep. 1.4 - "Memento Mori"

Hemmer: (To a visibly nervous Uhura) I'm giving you high marks on your assessment today. You impressed me after all."

Uhura: Assuming that will still matter... thank you.

Hemmer: Humans waste so much life worrying about death. The Aenar believe the end only comes once you have fulfilled your purpose and provide meaning.

Uhura: I like that. So what was your purpose?

Hemmer: To fix what is broken.

Uhura: You can throw in teaching. Maybe even being inspiring. A little.

Hemmer: (laughs) And you? What do you feel is the purpose of your life's path.

Uhura: I really don't know.

I love this interchange so much. As they are awaiting a stunt which is much more likely to kill them than for them to survive. It speaks to me on a hugely philosophical level and is the scene which unequivocally made me love Hemmer as a character.

7/18/2022 6:41 pm | | Tags: star trek

7/18/2022 9:08 pm | | Tags: olympics, womens sports, us soccer

A thought I had after my brief detour into transhumanism this morning:

One aspect of the Crypto boom and the power consumption spike it caused is likely, a precursor to a similar boom if AI ever really takes off. Consider what will happen if the world ever sees capable AI able to handle tasks humans have traditionally done. How many businesses would flock to AWS or to snag GPUs to run their own machines if they could replace paying humans.

7/18/2022 9:16 pm | | Tags: transhumanism, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence
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