Jul 29

Up a poll


This is a false narrative of the polls as they were taken, as the election occurred, and how people reacted to it. It’s just as much bunk as both the lay and expert interpretation of the polls generally were during with the election.

This commenter is much more perspicacious about what really occurred and the issues involved.

Another relatively-undiscussed factor is that the polls and all the reporting about them affect how people vote — and if they do so or not.

No matter how much analysis or calculus you throw at that sort of problem, it won’t get you close to an answer.

The narrative that the polls were not wrong is used by Clinton supporters to show (somehow) that she “really” won or should have or something — I don’t really understand it. What I linked to is just a more subtle version of this and just as much garbage as the rest.

Jul 29

My most

Today I was thinking about the intersection of controversiality and correctness of opinions that I hold.

After sifting through, I think the opinion that is both most repugnant to the most people and the most likely to be correct is this one: that most objections — especially objections from women — against sex work and against sex robots is that this disapproval is not expressed for any moral reason, even if that’s the stated one. And it’s not about protecting other women, or about trafficking or any of those cosmetic reasons.

As far as I can tell, it’s anger about competition. About possible better competition.

You can tell by the absolute fury both ideas evoke — said fury that is expressly not brought about by actual human slavery or murder. Or even actual rape.

So that is my most controversial opinion that I think is most likely (about 80% in my estimation) to be the right take.

Get your angry faces out!

Jul 29

SCRUMbags unite

Yes! But to be fair, engineer girls are often much like their male peers….

Jul 28

Not some whale

The problem with the simplest conceptions and refutations of free will is that if determinism is true, then free will is pretty much false.

And if free will is based on quantum randomness etc. then that really isn’t free will. It’s just stochastic happenstance.

Perhaps we should turn it around and examine the very loaded words and ideas themselves of “free will.”

Jul 27


The amount that math is actually used in any job vs. how very much it’s stressed in school is hugely disparate.

Judging by what teachers say, 99% of jobs use calculus 80% of the day, when in reality less than 10% of jobs make much use of math at all, and then it’s typically only simple arithmetic. It’s mostly scientists who use any higher math in a serious way, and even then it’s restricted to tiny areas necessary to perform their work.

It’s important for most people to jump over the seemingly-endless useless math hurdles to achieve other goals, but as far as actually being necessary?


Jul 27

The benefits of demonization

In a way, I am glad many of my family and peers liked to remind me early and often that I’d be a failure, and that I was essentially innately terrible.

Without that, I never would’ve had the impetus to escape Lake City, to do the wild and wonderful things I’ve done in my life, and I never would’ve been successful beyond even the remotest imaginings of my teenage mind.

So thank you, people, for treating me like utter trash. Tuns out this detritus floats in your cesspool, crystallizes in the dry air into something strong and unyielding, then blows away in the zephyr to a much better place.

Jul 27


After some hassling, some folks from AT&T finally came out to bury the fiber that they’d run through our yard for their fiber-to-the-door service. It was previously just exposed on the ground as the install is separate from the bury.

The service itself has been great, by the way, especially as compared to the merged Time Warner and Cox — now called “Spectrum” — which went down 20+ times a day and did so for weeks on weeks. Hence, why we switched.

But I wanted to observe that several of the workers who did the bury had prison tattoos.

Good on AT&T for hiring ex-cons. I was glad to see that.

Being convicted of a crime doesn’t mean that you should never have a job again. Not sure how we ever got to that state as a society.

Oh wait, yes I do: under capitalism, producing superfluous people is kind of part of how it functions.

Jul 26


It’s unsurprising that nearly all the greatest scientists and mathematicians — Shannon, Einstein, Noether, Curie, etc. — took a deep interest in the arts and humanities.

Unlike most STEM folks, the truly great thinkers did not shun but rather embraced the “soft” subjects that are seen as unworthy and terrible by the typically STEM-infected.

Claude Shannon loved poetry; Einstein thought this; Emmy Noether loved dancing; Curie followed the works of actors, directors and choreographers.

There’s always been something of a separation of the arenas and I agree with Snow that the humanities types should learn some science and math (at least concepts), but it’s only been relatively recently that the STEM types have declared the humanities utterly unworthy of study with no possible lessons to be imparted there.

Of course the revenge is that the best scientists and thinkers are usually those who are well-versed in or at least interested in many different fields.

Nobel laureates were significantly more likely to engage in arts and crafts avocations than Royal Society and National Academy of Science members, who were in turn significantly more likely than Sigma Xi members and the U.S. public.

This does not surprise me in the least. If you can only think about one thing, you cannot think about much.