Posts

February 20, 2015

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12:07 PM | Do our languages skew toward happiness?
Eoin O'Carroll in The Christian Science Monitor: Are humans inherently happy, sad, or somewhere in between? A new study suggests that, at least when it comes to our vocabulary, we tend to look on the bright side of life. A...
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12:06 PM | Do our languages skew toward happiness?
Eoin O'Carroll in The Christian Science Monitor: Are humans inherently happy, sad, or somewhere in between? A new study suggests that, at least when it comes to our vocabulary, we tend to look on the bright side of life. A...
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11:45 AM | David Jones Peck (1826-1855): First black man to graduate from an American medical school
From Blackpast.org: He was born to John C. and Sarah Peck in Carlisle, Pennsylvania around 1826. John Peck was a prominent abolitionist and minister who founded the local African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Carlisle. Peck was also a barber...
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4:11 AM | Fundamental theories of nature aren’t allowed to hide information
Giulio Chiribella in Nautilus: Let’s play a game. You get a box with two compartments and one ball. The ball could be in either compartment with equal probability, and my job is to guess which one. Ok, it’s not the...

February 19, 2015

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6:45 PM | Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist
Before he entered politics, Yanis Varoufakis, the iconoclastic Greek finance minister at the centre of the latest eurozone standoff, wrote this searing account of European capitalism and and how the left can learn from Marx’s mistakes. Yanis Varoufakis in The...
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6:39 PM | Why Do Luna Moths Have Such Absurdly Long Tails?
Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science: You don’t need a field guide to recognise a luna moth. This large insect, found throughout the eastern half of North America, is unmistakeable. It has a fuzzy white body, red legs, feathery...
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6:13 PM | What can I do with chemlambda, which questions to ask about it?
[I continue the habit to use sometimes the drafts I write and to extract from them and process a bit those parts which may be of interest to any known or unknown fellow thinker, tinker, hacker. This is the first part, there will be a second one.] ____________________________________________________________ See also: FAQ: chemlambda in real and … Continue reading What can I do with chemlambda, which questions to ask about it? →
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4:59 PM | The Wrong Objections to the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
Longtime readers know that I’ve made a bit of an effort to help people understand, and perhaps even grow to respect, the Everett or Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (MWI) . I’ve even written papers about it. It’s a controversial … Continue reading →
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12:38 PM | Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer
Oliver Sacks in the New York Times: A month ago, I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out — a few weeks...
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12:31 PM | New Gods - Scott Atran, Simon Blackburn and Pavan Dhaliwal
No summary available for this post.
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11:58 AM | Allen, Macon Bolling (1816-1894)
From Blackpast.org: Macon Bolling Allen is believed to be the first black man in the United States who was licensed to practice law. Born Allen Macon Bolling in 1816 in Indiana, he grew up a free man. Bolling learned to...
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11:48 AM | Thursday Poem
Tennis in the Snow You looked up from your book, and apropos of nothing, asked: Did I ever tell you I played tennis once in the snow? No, I said. You didn't. Where was this? Tennis in the snow! you...
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11:33 AM | Sex redefined: The idea of two sexes is simplistic
Claire Ainsworth in Nature: As a clinical geneticist, Paul James is accustomed to discussing some of the most delicate issues with his patients. But in early 2010, he found himself having a particularly awkward conversation about sex. A 46-year-old pregnant...
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7:15 AM | The place of religion in democratic secular countries
There is a religion which oppresses women, which is enthusiastically adopted by marginalised groups, which hates democracy and which has declared the modern world to be a heresy they call “Americanism”. This religion, which is run entirely by men, demands of its adherents loyalty to a small group of clerics overseas, in a pseudostate set […]

February 18, 2015

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7:46 PM | Artificial Agora launched with the “Numberphile microbe”
The site Artificial Agora is launched. It is a moron repellant, sincere and greater than nature site. Welcome to the thing. _________________________________________________Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Artificial Agora
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6:51 PM | The Gorgeous Typeface That Drove Men Mad and Sparked a 100-Year Mystery
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan in Gizmodo: No one seemed to notice him: A dark figure who often came to stand at the edge of London's Hammersmith Bridge on nights in 1916. No one seemed to notice, either, that during his visits he...
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6:46 PM | The Math of Powerball
Ethan Siegel in Starts With A Bang: This past week, the Powerball lottery jackpot went past $500,000,000, one of the largest sums in history, where the $564.1 million jackpot wound upbeing split by three winners. In order to win, you...
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6:36 PM | Islam and the West at War
Roger Cohen in the New York Times: After a Danish movie director at a seminar on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” and a Danish Jew guarding a synagogue were shot dead in Copenhagen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of...
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6:26 PM | Tales of the gun: The AK-47
No summary available for this post.
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4:29 PM | Frans Masereel's books without words
Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set: In the 1930s, when the Nazis took power in Germany, Frans Masereel’s works were almost immediately given the “degenerate” label and banned. Masereel and his wife fled to London and then Paris. During...
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4:26 PM | When the Facts Change, Essays By Tony Judt
Dominic Sandbrook at Literary Review: The real pleasure of this book, though, comes from Judt's evisceration of other historians. He was a quite brilliant bad reviewer. Some of his targets seem a little too easy: among the pieces here is...
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4:20 PM | on duchamp, exile, and chess
Thomas Chatterton Williams at The Point: This improbable, practically monastic midlife pivot away from the demands and rewards of artistic production and toward the cerebral pleasures of this insular game both mirrored and anticipated the progression of modern art—the impulse...
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12:16 PM | Self-Regulating Coffee Drinkers?
Laura Levis in Harvard Magazine: Could genetic code determine someone’s Starbucks habit? Apparently so, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). Their data suggest that people instinctively regulate their coffee...
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12:03 PM | BEST TAP DANCE NUMBER EVER? (The Nicholas Brothers)
From the movie: STORMY WEATHER 1943 It is said that no less an authority on dance than Fred Astaire once said that this was in his opinion the best dance number ever put on film. One thing for sure, the...
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11:41 AM | Wednesday Poem
Soffly Soffly Nesta Skank . boy Marley armed & ganjaras soffly soffly his spliff a mystrical cloud thirsty as he pores into the book of nolej of wrong & rise ever so the drumthud & bass gong move us to...
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7:42 AM | Tautological Description-Relativistic Metaphysics IS The Theory Of Everything
  Modern physics is not accidentally relativistic and quantum, or in other words, Einstein-relative as well as Everett-relative (Bell-violating Everett-relativity is the very core of quantum mechanics!). Modern physics becomes ever more relativistic still today, and description relativity has revolutionized fundamental physics (see string theory dualities, Maldacena conjecture, black hole complementarity/holography, and so on). Why? Because we must take the observer’s perspective, […]

February 17, 2015

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10:50 PM | NZ Fluoridation review – Response to Micklen
I welcome open and transparent discussion here so am thankful to Dr Micklen for his response (see NZ Fluoridation review – HS Micklen responds to critique). Unfortunately he is the only author or “peer-reviewer” of Fluoride Free NZ’s report criticising the NZ Fluoridation … Continue reading →
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10:06 PM | Experiments with a little lisper tutorial
I used the excellent lambda calculus tutorial by Mayer Goldberg from the little-lisper.org for some experiments in chemlambda. There are five of them. The mentioned tutorial is the source for the lambda term which I translated into chemlambda and then used in the Ackermann function demos. The most outrageously successful is the computation of Ack(2,2) … Continue reading Experiments with a little lisper tutorial →
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3:58 PM | Art and Politics in Occupied Crimea
Dimiter Kenarov at VQR: Crimea has fascinated the Russian imagination for centuries. Once governed by the powerful and terrifying Crimean Khanate, a Turco-Mongol vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, the peninsula became part of Russia in 1783, when it was...
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3:55 PM | The Real Problem with Selma
Adolph Reed, Jr. at nonsite: Ava Du Vernay’s film Selma has generated yet another wave of mass mediated debate over cinematic representation of black Americans’ historical experience of racial injustice. The controversy’s logic is at this point familiar, nearly clichéd....
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