June 2016 Media Thread

post by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:29:48.237Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 45 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 · 2016-06-01T10:30:55.883Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Short Online Texts Thread

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:17:12.316Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Everything is heritable:








comment by CellBioGuy · 2016-06-02T17:46:41.316Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?", Jonas & Kording 2016 (Very amusing followup to "Can a biologist fix a radio?")

This is perfect. Absolutely utterly perfect. It's geared towards neuroscientists looking at neural stuff but I was struck by the similarity to the yeast gene deletion collection and all our microarray datasets...

comment by [deleted] · 2016-06-05T03:59:57.955Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Gwern, is this your whole thing about 'everything is heritable'?:www.vicbiostat.org.au/heritability-opera-and-ice-falcon-thoughts-causation-and-causes-variation-some-aspect-disease

comment by gwern · 2016-06-05T16:16:49.747Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A seminar isn't a paper, so I really couldn't say. But if he's picking on twins, then I say 'meh' - the GCTA estimates for liability-threshold stuff compared to their twin estimates look about the same as the GCTA estimates for continuous traits compared to their twin estimates.

comment by Strangeattractor · 2016-06-21T16:18:05.872Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've been reading a lot about the UK's referendum about whether to stay in the European Union. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was undecided for months, but finally decided to vote in favour of Brexit.

All of his articles about the referendum have been good. Here is the one where he reveals his decision.

Brexit vote is about the supremacy of Parliament and nothing else: Why I am voting to leave the EU http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/12/brexit-vote-is-about-the-supremacy-of-parliament-and-nothing-els/

On Twitter, he is @AmbroseEP https://twitter.com/AmbroseEP/

Here are links some of his earlier articles.

Crippled EU is no longer the 'anarcho-imperial monster' we once feared http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/12116429/Crippled-EU-is-no-longer-the-anarcho-imperial-monster-we-once-feared.html?sf20270117=1

Wise Men warn on dangerous delusions of Brexit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10887991/Wise-Men-warn-on-dangerous-delusions-of-Brexit.html

Brexit threat looms over Britain's election and Europe's fate http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/11587901/Brexit-threat-looms-over-Britains-election-and-Europes-fate.html

Britain's Brexit tantrum grates in a brittle world but the die is cast http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/12098176/Britains-Brexit-tantrum-grates-in-a-brittle-world-but-the-die-is-cast.html

comment by [deleted] · 2016-06-02T10:15:43.907Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(Have not read it. Possibly of interest to some people here). An investigation of teachers' beliefs of students' algebra development. M. J. Nathan, K. R. Koedinger. Cognition and instruction, v. 18, n. 2 (2000), pp. 209-237.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:51.955Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Online Videos Thread

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:47.973Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fanfiction Thread

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:17:48.094Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Significant Digits (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: sequel intended to conclude the story; more action-focused with a literary bent, and much less didactic/"author tract" and Harry-focused than MoR. Highly recommended for anyone who liked MoR.)
comment by OrphanWilde · 2016-06-01T17:59:16.445Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The ending is kind of unsatisfactory, though, as a result of relatively poor plot pacing; it feels like the author got bored.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:42.737Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nonfiction Books Thread

comment by Daniel_Burfoot · 2016-06-01T15:45:21.641Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Masters of Doom is an entertaining, well-written, and insightful story about John Carmack, John Romero, and the other founds of id Software, the makers of Doom and Quake.

The relationship between Carmack and Romero is a good case study of the perils and potentials of founder personality dynamics. Their company was very successful while the two remained together, and failed quickly after their relationship fell apart. The cause of the breakup seems to be 1) Romero lost discipline and focus after their initial big success and 2) Carmack didn't have sufficient appreciation for Romero's contributions, which were in the nebulous realms of design and marketing. One crucial component of their collaboration was that Romero, to a greater degree than anyone else including Carmack himself, was enormously enthusiastic and optimistic about the world-changing potential of Carmack's engineering work. There are a lot of parallels to the Jobs/Wozniak story about Apple's founding.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-06-18T12:38:28.648Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Lucien Laubier, Does oasis au fond does mers, 1986. In Russian translation - Люсьен Лобье, Оазисьі на дне океана, 1990. Great short book about ecosystems forming on the ocean floor due to chemotrophic bacteria. Probably quite dated by now, but I would still recommend it for illustrations, clarity and frequent mentions of alternative hypotheses, whether they were proved, disproved, or something else. Would be of particular interest for fans of Peter Watts's underwater sci-fi.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2016-06-02T17:54:43.858Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oxygen: A Four Billion Year History.

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10089.html http://www.amazon.com/Oxygen-Billion-History-Science-Essentials/dp/0691168369/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Very detailed walk through the apparent history of photosynthesis (non-oxygen-producing and oxygen-producing) over the history of Earth with a strong emphasis on the very large unknowns about its timing, the geochemical and biological consequences thereof, and the significance of oxygen-producing photosynthesis in particular (not just allowing multicellular creatures with lots of energy but also long before there was even any oxygen in the air allowing for much higher levels of biomass due to removing chemical limiting factors on biomass production by nonoxygenic photosynthesis).

The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities


Still reading it. For once a reasoned analysis of living and intelligent systems in the universe, given what we know and most importantly what we don't know.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-06-18T13:31:35.119Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Lucien Laubier, Des oasis au fond does mers, 1986. In Russian translation - Люсьен Лобье, Оазисьі на дне океана, 1990. Great short book about ecosystems forming on the ocean floor due to chemotrophic bacteria. Probably quite dated by now, but I would still recommend it for illustrations, clarity and frequent mentions of alternative hypotheses, whether they were proved, disproved, or something else. Would be of particular interest for fans of Peter Watts's underwater sci-fi.

(Misposted it the first time, sorry)

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:17:27.780Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
comment by WalterL · 2016-06-01T16:52:05.097Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In Spite Of The Gods, By Edward Luce


This is a really good read. The author goes into what's up with modern India. Lots of interviews, its basically a description of all of the things he's seen in his reporting on India. In particular, he focuses on the damage that is done by the myth of India as this uniquely spiritual land. For me, as a dude from America, where we use a two party system, the chapters on how politics works in the largest democracy in the world (and how it interacts with the caste system) was really interesting.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:38.725Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fiction Books Thread

comment by [deleted] · 2016-06-03T18:30:45.564Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The horror of the heights by Arthur Conan Doyle (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Horror_of_the_Heights). A story with predators living 40k feet in the air. I am going to recommend it to a kid who is wants to specialize in chemistry and to strengthen his English reading skills. It's such an...adorable example of early horror:)

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:17:41.048Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:35.161Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:18:12.870Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Short Peace (anthology; mostly good, with the fire story notable for its animation, and the final short film an engaging exploration of near-future warfare using networked soldier squads assisted by drones and robotic suits)
  • Death Parade (expansion of Death Billiards, as an episodic series; stories remain a bit heavily focused on suicide and murder, but while the dark background story arc ultimately ends in a whimper, the main story arc ends in a very emotionally satisfying way)
comment by ShardPhoenix · 2016-06-05T00:50:00.396Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Death Parade

I watched the first episode of this, but found it too torture-porn-y. Is it all like that?

comment by gwern · 2016-06-05T16:17:33.240Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No. I think that most of the episodes don't reuse the organ thing.

comment by Viliam · 2016-06-06T08:39:38.571Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

They use psychological torture instead.

comment by gwern · 2016-06-06T18:54:11.269Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yep, much better.

comment by Viliam · 2016-06-02T08:40:50.080Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Death Parade is great! Except episode 2 which feels very repetitive, because it mostly is a repetition of episode 1, with added observations from a new character that will become important in the series. If you get bored by episode 2 just as I did, the important information is that the remaining episodes are just as good as the first one, so don't give up.

comment by gwern · 2016-06-02T14:46:03.259Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What I liked about episode 2 was that I was certain I understood what was going on in episode 1, but then Decim disagreed with me; making matters worse, when I googled discussions of episode 1 to see what I missed, I found that everyone else agreed with Decim. Then I watched episode 2 and learned I was right all along. :) It's not often an anime surprises me like that.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:31.473Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

TV and Movies (Live Action) Thread

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:18:22.951Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Father Goose (peculiar Cary Grant WWII comedy-drama; it's unusual to see Grant cast as a misanthropic drunkard and the movie can't quite decide whether to be deadly serious or comedic, but most of the comedic beats are highly predictable)
comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:26.615Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Games Thread

comment by Lumifer · 2016-06-06T01:20:15.306Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Overwatch: Blizzard (Warcraft, Diablo) does an FPS. Specifically, it's a clone of Team Fortress, multiplayer only, where you participate in a 6 vs 6 team match around a more a less standard set of objectives (no deathmatch, though). There are a lot of classes with unique abilities and you can freely switch classes throughout the game. All classes and abilities are available from the start, the only unlockable things are cosmetics (skins, sprays, etc.)

The game is moderately fast and relies on tactical positioning and finding counters to the opponents' team (that's why you change classes in the middle of the game). Teamwork is quite important, but if you're playing in a pug, well, that works in the usual way :-/

Recommended if you play FPSes.

ETA: Recommendation confirmed by Elon Musk :-D

comment by ShardPhoenix · 2016-06-05T00:54:06.226Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've only played about 12 hours, but the Total War: Warhammer crossover is very enjoyable so far. It's the first Total War game I've played since Medieval 1, but it still feels familiar enough while introducing interesting new elements and atmosphere via the Warhammer fantasy setting. On the downside, some of the UI elements are a bit fiddly or obscure, and there are a lot of features to take in when you're first getting started.

For those unfamiliar:

Warhammer = Pretty standard late-medieval fantasy setting with humans, dwarfs, elves (not in this first release), undead, etc, but with more grimdark/heavy metal, and a touch of steampunk.

Total War = Strategy games where you alternate between building and moving armies around on a turn-based strategic map, and playing real-time tactical battles that are unusually realistic and slow-paced compared to the typical hyperactive RTS.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:21.621Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Music Thread

comment by gwern · 2016-06-01T17:18:29.129Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)




comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:18.394Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Podcasts Thread

comment by niceguyanon · 2016-06-09T14:41:51.164Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Recently listened to Joe's Rogan's Podcast with Sam Harris as guest. He talks a little about his views on AI safety, nothing controversial, he takes it seriously.

One particular thing that stood out was that he didn't really seem to know about tDCS at all, which really surprised me as I would think this is totally up his alley. https://xkcd.com/1053/

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:15.386Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Other Media Thread

comment by PipFoweraker · 2016-06-01T19:25:43.879Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Today's SMBC will drag a smile out of many people here if thy haven't read it already.

comment by Viliam · 2016-06-02T08:45:32.540Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also see this one and this one.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:30:02.009Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta Thread

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2016-06-01T10:32:59.796Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Note that a new "Games" subthread has been added.

comment by morganism · 2016-06-02T21:40:26.221Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Amazon now has a charitable contribution shopping feature, and you can donate to MIRI

Yes, I understand that I must always start at smile.amazon.com to support Machine Intelligence Research Institute. Why is there a separate URL? The AmazonSmile program offers customers a new benefit, making a donation to your favorite charity. We're able to provide this benefit to you when you choose to start your shopping at smile.amazon.com in part because we expect AmazonSmile to grow primarily through word of mouth instead of paid advertising—and this enables us to fund donations to our customers’ favorite organizations.