July 2015 Media Thread

post by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:10.920Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 49 comments

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.



Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:55.948Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Short Online Texts Thread

comment by gwern · 2015-07-02T18:29:52.930Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Everything is heritable:






comment by shminux · 2015-07-01T22:30:03.923Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Aliicorn's short stories. I like all her Social Justice AU stories.

comment by Alicorn · 2015-07-08T19:07:03.101Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

AUSJ is indexed not at that link but here.

comment by shminux · 2015-07-09T15:34:41.038Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks, fixed. Couldn't find it then.

comment by ike · 2015-07-10T02:17:22.283Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Will Our Understanding of Math Deteriorate Over Time?

(btw, the Scientific American article there looked interesting, if anyone can unpaywall it for me I'd appreciate it)

comment by [deleted] · 2015-07-03T02:41:40.793Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by advancedatheist · 2015-07-04T14:28:20.812Z · score: -9 (17 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

More atheist propaganda about how atheism organically leads to sexual fulfillment:

How Abstinence-Only Sex Education Led Me Down An Unexpected Path


So why does this work for women, but not for a lot of men? You can't blame the growing incidence of adult male virginity on christian sex-negativity, especially in places like Japan and the relentlessly secular world of Silicon Valley.

comment by gjm · 2015-07-04T23:04:09.130Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It works for some women and some men. Women write about it more because on the whole Christianity does them more harm sexually than it does men.

(But is it worth saying one more time that LW isn't a good place for extended complaints about the "growing incidence of adult male virginity"?)

comment by MrMind · 2015-07-08T07:43:51.500Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

More atheist propaganda about how atheism organically leads to sexual fulfillment:

For Christ sake, how did you even reach that conclusion? Already it's a miracle that that woman could reach sanity after having been raised in such an environment. And you call having an orgasm after a decade of abusive relation "sexual fulfillment"? And how is that related to atheism (which is not mentioned in the article), instead of, say, not insanity?

So why does this work for women, but not for a lot of men?

From a Christian fundamentalist society, where you're basically handed a sex slave when you get married, to a saner society, where you get only what you can gain for yourself, it's obvious that the jump finds many men unprepared.
In any case, it's not about religion at all, it's about emotional and sexual education, and the lack of it can be found in any society, whether religious or secular. Japan, e.g., has an egregious history of emotional repression throughout the ages. Just as in China, where they found that killing females at birth en masse might not have been such a smart idea, after all.

comment by VoiceOfRa · 2015-07-07T03:30:01.987Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So why does this work for women, but not for a lot of men?

For the same reason that when sex get's exchanged for money, it's the man paying the woman.

comment by Good_Burning_Plastic · 2015-07-05T10:56:52.989Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I guess the reason these Japanese guys are single has more to do with them being unattractive than with them being atheists.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:52.648Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Online Videos Thread

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:48.794Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fanfiction Thread

comment by ZankerH · 2015-07-03T20:00:03.339Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Significant Digits is a continuation / meta-fanfic of HPMOR, and one of the better ones at that.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-07-06T18:32:21.510Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Forging the blade by Macgeorge - a Highlander fic in two parts, >100k words in total. Talented and thorough - something I actually reread.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:45.567Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nonfiction Books Thread

comment by [deleted] · 2015-07-28T19:23:50.467Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Stalky and Co by Kipling. For those who liked Slytherining in HPMOR, it's a must-read. Actually, I was tickled imagining Quirrell commenting on The Flag of Their Country, or McGonagall on 'The United Idolaters", or Snape on Mr. King in general...

comment by Vaniver · 2015-08-18T17:16:58.091Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A delightful book, available for free here.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:41.867Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fiction Books Thread

comment by shminux · 2015-07-01T22:23:04.556Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Still reading through the Abercrombie's The First Law series. It's not a conflict between Good and Evil, it's not a conflict between Good and Good (one Orson Card would consider more interesting). It's a conflict between roughly equally "evil" people and/or groups. This holds externally, as well as internally: even the characters themselves (well, the smarter ones in the series, anyway), have no illusion about being more "objectively moral" than their opponents.

I find this pretty rare. And refreshing. Even HPMoR has a clear Good vs Evil narrative, which I dislike. Thus I've been rooting for HPMoR!Quirrell throughout the story, up until the last arc, where he holds the idiot ball and seems to be forced to take various inexplicable actions, completely out of character.

Abercrombie's portrayal of war as brutal is extremely graphic. Sort of like in Saving Private Ryan. Certainly more graphic than, say, in GoT, flaying and all. I am not normally a fan of visual violence, but the way he does it does not turn me off. Your mileage may vary.

There are several minor things I dislike about the series. One is that a few characters are visibly bent to follow the narrative, or because the author likes or dislikes them (Jezal, Shivers and Gorst come to mind). Another is that the same (uncommon) way to express a certain emotional state is repeated rather often, sort of like in Brandon Sanderson's novels, where a hard-to-perform physical action of raising just one eyebrow is a near universal way of expressing surprise or incredulity.

On the whole, I am surprised how little recognition Abercrombie gets, given the quality of his writing.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-07-02T09:00:50.894Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Don't be too hard on Quirrell, he got the Prophesy Plague.

comment by shminux · 2015-07-02T15:09:07.046Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If this is not a trope, it should be.

comment by raydora · 2015-07-02T01:15:11.988Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Within the fantasy genre, he seems well known as the current authority on the (seriously labeled, humorously adopted by him) 'grimdark' genre.

If you like that, you'll probably loveBest Served Cold and The Heroes. He's got the trappings of a debutante in The First Law, but those two books show an experienced designer at work.

There's something Tarantino-like about him, as applied to fantasy fiction. An ability to confer personality through changes in writing style is probably what truly sets him apart from other fantasy authors, though. Above all, he is able to tell when a character has no stories left to tell, and usually sets them aside in favor of a minor character from a previous fiction.

When Steven Erikson and George Martin do it, it sometimes seems arbitrary, a reminder to the reader that it's a shitty world where shitty things happen, and they are often taken out of the plot by death or worse.

It feels more (I'm not sure if the denouement of the First Law might allow this to make more sense, or reveal it to be an old impression that does not match reality- it's definitely the case in his more recent adult books) natural in Abercrombie's books, and I don't doubt that feeling is entirely deliberate. I have an impression that he's a writer that doesn't leave much to chance, artistic whim, or fits of inspiration.

comment by shminux · 2015-07-02T02:05:00.682Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Just finished The Heroes, one more book and a few stories to go in the series. Looking forward to them.

comment by gwern · 2015-07-02T18:29:33.742Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:37.823Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

comment by gwern · 2015-07-02T19:20:49.123Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Mushishi Zoku Shou: One of the best anime (2005) received its long-deserved second season in 2014. Rather than declining, the second season is better than the first.

    The basics remain the same: in a quasi-medieval Japan, biology meets dreamy folklore in the form of mushi, not quite bacteria or animals but not quite spirits either, and a wandering man solves problems relating to them. But where the first season focused more on individuals and their relationships to the mushi (and modifications by, sufferings due to, etc), season two examines a variety of relationships between humans, particularly families. Despite the episodic structure, the drama is still intelligent and moving - a son seeks to surpass his father; a man punishes himself and his daughter, a brother cannot forgive himself for a past omission; a mother sacrifices and slowly becomes the milk her baby needs; a family passes on a grim obsession through the generation at the expense of outsiders; a woman with the disastrous power to bring rain travels to villages in need, postponing getting married until the rain ceases, while another boy endures lightning strikes for the mother who does not love him; a neglected and despised son nearly kills his pseudo-family, but ultimately lets his anger disperse and can move on; a clan devotes itself to fighting an existential risk, even at the cost of its childrens' souls; a man and his wife, to live together and save each other, become time-travellers who choose to become trapped in loops; an ancient tree sacrifices all for the villagers it nurtured.

    The endings are not always happy nor predictable; some are deeply tragic ("Mud Grass" and "Tree of Eternity") or just creepy ("The Hand That Caresses the Night", "Floral Delusion", "Path of Thorns"). Very few episodes are failures (Out of the 21 episodes, I could indict only "Mirror Lake" and "Hidden Cove" as being boringly bland, and "Thread of Light" as being mediocre.) The world expands as Ginko travels to locales beyond the stereotypical thick forest of season 1, and we gain glimpses of the network of mushishi Ginko is one of (and his own notoriety in that small circle) and of the mountain lords. The plots as well enlarge and additional elements of fantasy and SF are mixed in (particularly in "Path of Thorns" again, "Fragrant Darkness", and "Lingering Crimson"), particularly Japanese folklore ("Azure Waters" implies the kappa are an exaggeration of a particular mushi infection, and "Lightning's End" refers to the raijū).

    The backgrounds are no longer quite so impressive as they were back during the original Mushishi and the animation has some visible flaws (you'll notice a lot of blank undrawn faces), but the mushi seem to benefit from CGI upgrades since 2005. The music is appropriate, and Ally Kerr supplies a very appropriate OP song.

    Easily the best new anime I've watched in 2015.

  • Barakamon: slice-of-life bildungsroman about a young-adult calligrapher rusticated for hot-headedness to a southern Japanese island (not Okinawa, feels more like one of the smaller Ryukyu Islands) where he learns Life Lessons taught to him by the locals and particularly an elementary-age girl a la Yotsuba&!. Animated in the current clean standard style, with some effort on the backgrounds. Calligraphy as the topic is a definite change of pace and earns Barakamon pluses in my book, though most of the calligraphy merely looks messy to my untutored eyes and is hard to appreciate (the exception being the hoshi/"star" calligraphy of episode 9, a black-white figure-ground inversion writing which would be gimmicky if it didn't so perfectly make the pictorial & semantic aspects mirror each other). A good watch but I find it hard to love because it's heavy-handed in showing the protagonist learning his Life Lessons and relies too heavily on the cheerful child trope.
comment by ShardPhoenix · 2015-07-05T02:06:58.112Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Rather than declining, the second season is better than the first.

I'm currently watching this and I thought it was marginally less good than the first season so far, but I'm only up to episode 6 so it may get better (especially if, as you say, new environments are explored).

comment by gwern · 2015-07-05T03:04:51.797Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure how much you'll be impressed by the rest if you weren't by episodes 1 & 6; maybe you simply had a higher opinion of season 1 than I did. Maybe you could check back in when you finish and see how your opinion changed.

comment by ShardPhoenix · 2015-07-05T04:52:54.100Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ep 1 was really good, but ep 6, while having a good concept, was hurt a lot by having everything be explained by villainous monologues, and by general illogical behaviour of the villain (even given the situation). It lacked the elegance of the best episodes. And before that was the Mirror Lake episode that you also didn't like, so maybe it's just a brief slump.

comment by adamzerner · 2015-07-02T00:48:26.315Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Inside Out. It's basically about System 1 (sort of). I thought it was fantastic. So did Eliezer:

Inside Out is the most rationalist movie ever. I can't even think of what would be the #2 runner-up.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:34.526Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

TV and Movies (Live Action) Thread

comment by gwern · 2015-07-02T18:29:07.697Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion

    A movie whose plot begs to be described in Red Pill terms: a shy over-educated young heiress finds her jimmies rustled by a bad boy alpha male Johnny (played by the still-famous Cary Grant) and, ignoring her parents, all common sense, and the beta floaters around her, elopes with him, only to discover to her dismay that she's married a man who could have come straight out of the pages of Cleckley's 1941 Mask of Sanity (the resemblance is so exact that I was surprised to see that the original novel was written in 1932 and the Suspicion screenplay ~1939) - a glib bankrupt unemployed macho gambler who steals, embezzles, and lies extravagantly without the slightest shred of remorse or shame or any care about how it might hurt others or any plan beyond the instant. The suspicion is raised by a succession of circumstances indicative of killing the protagonist by poison for her life insurance. The ending (to give away a bit of a spoiler) is that she misinterpreted them and really he did love her and he had been contemplating suicide, but now chooses to take responsibility for his actions and go to jail honorably. This ending is so laughably inconsistent with his character, and such a misstep for Hitchcock, I thought that there must be more to this ending and that I should not have been surprised that Hollywood would refuse to show Cary Grant playing a serial murderer; sure enough when I checked WP, the original novel had the right ending and Hitchcock is on record complaining about being forced to change the end. The bogus ending aside, it is well-done and a bit suspenseful (at least once they get married and the real plot; the prologue scenario being so obvious that I was bored) with some noteworthy bits like the final gorgeous sequence of Johnny ascending the stairs with the poisoned milk.

  • The Bridge over the River Kwai

    One of the great war movies; the theme of the futility & destructiveness of war can never be emphasized enough. The colonel's descent into collaborationism is all too easily understood, as is, to a lesser extent, the murderous & death-seeking behavior of the commando officer. The major flaws I would consider to be the Japanese depicted entirely too positively (the first plot arc of the colonel's resistance, while uplifting, broke a bit of suspension of disbelief because in reality he would probably have simply been executed within the day), the ending is a bit too heavy-handed (did any viewer actually need the doctor to repeat "madness!" 4 or 5 times to get the message?), and too much of the 161 minutes running time is occupied with the resistance arc and then later with the commando squad cutting its way through the jungle.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:31.273Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Music Thread

comment by gwern · 2015-07-02T17:55:12.733Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


Kantai Collection:

comment by Baughn · 2015-07-04T14:39:04.319Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Do you by any chance have those as MP3 or FLAC?

comment by gwern · 2015-07-04T16:41:04.336Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Afraid not. I convert everything to OGG and I don't have the original download link handy. You can probably find a working download link searching for the original album title & keywords 'さんぼん堂 幻想少女大戦永OriginalSoundTrack'; pay particular attention to Chinese links, they seem to last longer than English ones.

comment by spxtr · 2015-07-03T04:15:28.150Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

God is an Astronaut put out a new album recently called Helios | Erebus. Some songs hit harder than All is Violent, but it's otherwise similar. I highly recommend.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:26.529Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Podcasts Thread

comment by James_Miller · 2015-07-03T02:29:40.433Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm interviewed on the Life of Caesar Consul podcast.. I in part relate game theory and rationality to an analysis of Caesar.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:22.193Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Other Media Thread

comment by satt · 2015-07-26T23:21:23.163Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ask MetaFilter has generated a nice example of how a community builds a false memory. The linked thread starts

Okay, so... it was a TV show in the US, in the '80s or early '90s. I'm fairly certain it was a sitcom. During the intro/ opening credits, there's a bit where one character is painting a wall or a door, and another character opens the door, and the first character rolls the paint roller over the other person's face. I can see this in my mind, but I cannot for the life of me figure out the show it came from.

which kicked off a search for the US sitcom with an intro featuring that exact joke. Some commenters said they had similar memories, or even the same one, but every candidate they investigated turned out to be wrong somehow. Home Improvement? Nope, too recent and that joke wasn't used in its credits. Facts of Life? Nope, the character there did it on purpose, not by accident. And a bunch of people immediately thought of Perfect Strangers, but nobody could find that joke in any of its intros.

Months later, no one's found the answer, even with 20+ different programmes having been checked. At the same time, people have found multiple clips with the same basic joke but differing in some key detail (like a paintbrush being used, not a roller). It really looks as if the original poster misremembered one of those similar-but-different jokes, then cued other people to misremember them in the same way, and their memories all feel rock solid because they're warped recollections of something actually seen. I wonder how often this kind of thing happens on Internet forums.

(Then there's the time Ask MetaFilter tried to track down a one-liner about Molly Ringwald that was totally on American Dad, or maybe Parks & Recreation, or maybe How I Met Your Mother...)

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-07-01T21:15:18.796Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta Thread