Link Sharing Thread - April '11

post by Alexandros · 2011-04-11T09:03:08.907Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 88 comments

Sharing interesting links via the discussion section seems to have too much overhead. I suspect we all find things that are quite interesting but don't bother to share them on LW. This is an experiment to see if a dedicated thread can work better.

88 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Alexandros · 2011-04-11T09:04:04.261Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Scientists settle centuries-old debate on perception (physorg.com)

Replies from: fubarobfusco
comment by fubarobfusco · 2011-04-11T14:46:48.822Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Here's the article in Nature. The answer is the one I expected, but not the one I would have expected had I been asked a few years ago. The question is the Molyneux problem: would a person blind from birth whose sight is restored, be able to match up seen and touched objects?

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.2795.html

Replies from: Sniffnoy
comment by Sniffnoy · 2011-04-12T01:05:18.579Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I see the actual article makes the important clarification that the objects they were tested with the second time around were new ones, so they really did make the whole connection within the week.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T12:00:21.979Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Edit: apparently people here can't detect sarcasm, so I'm changing the header.

So, I took this thread as an excuse for going thought my lists of interesting websites accumulated over the years, and make a selection of things I think will specifically interest LWers. There are still a lot of links, because I sift through large swats of information. This is a valuable recourse, don't dismiss it just because it's badly organized.

I've also tried adding some descriptions because people were complaining about that.

I recommend checking out every one of these, and spreading it out over a few weeks.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/breathmed.html (meditation is a useful habit, this is a very concrete tutorial on how to do it.)

http://www.epicsplosion.com/epicsploitation/38 (A silly thing, please contribute to make it better!)

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/ (one of the most epic stories of our time, with great characters and concepts. It's long and starts slow, so just be patient.)

http://www.ted.com/ (ideas worth spreading)

http://dresdencodak.com/ (Awesome art, and deals more directly with the singularity than any other webcomic i know of)

http://vihart.com/ (distilled nerdyness)

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/Harry_Potter_and_the_Methods_of_Rationality (Eliezers masterful rationalist fanfiction)

http://utilitarian-essays.com/ (some LW like articles)

http://thejuicemedia.com/ (Warning! Mindkiller!)(Although the political alignment probably is similar to much of LW, that's not the reason to watch these. That reason is it being a fantastic example of how art and humour can communicate serous things better than solemnity can.)

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ (random funny blog)

http://extvia.deviantart.com/gallery/ (Awesome arts that I for some reason have a strong intuition most LWers will love)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U (funny rant relevant to Joy in the merely real)

http://people.mokk.bme.hu/~daniel/rationality_quotes/rq.html (like the rationaltiy quote threads here on LW? This is a compilation of the best ones.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeJ6-gN0eB4 (If you ae rational enoguht to overcome your prejudices to wathing this, you will discover it's amazingly good art and even has antidepresant properties.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEUxlwb2uFI (WTF?!)

http://www.skytopia.com/project/fractal/mandelbulb.html (pretty pictures!)

http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=oa-story&story=dr_yes_jolonah (scary story, gives you an healthy appreciation for what might happen if you fail to win.)

http://www.kuro5hin.org/prime-intellect/mopiidx.html (good free scifi)

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1857290 (good free scifi)

http://www.raikoth.net/Stuff/story1.html (good free scifi)

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/under.htm (good free scifi)

http://www.pixelscapes.com/sailornothing/ (fiction)

http://www.xeper.org/maquino/nm/Morlindale.pdf (LotR fanfiction)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdxucpPq6Lc&feature=player_embedded (good animation about copies, reminds me about Eliezers "the simple truth")

http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.0646 (Tegmarks original Mathematical Universe paper)

http://www.nickbostrom.com/fable/dragon.html (Classic parable about death)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfRVCaA5o18&feature=player_embedded (interesting facts that are very telling about how the brain works)

http://gwynethllewelyn.net/2006/07/09/what-is-real-anyway-an-essay-by-extropia-dasilva/

http://hanson.gmu.edu/mangledworlds.html (What an explanation to the born probabilities might look like.)

http://www.000webhost.com/ (great free webhost, donate the money you'd have paid for hosting to the SIAI instead)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGFqfTCL2fs (everyone who regularly dives a car must see this)

http://www.symphonyofscience.com/videos.html (Awesome music to help you take joy in the real)

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/ (webcomic)

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9802 (webcomic)

http://unicornjelly.com/uni001.html (webcomic)

http://www.project-apollo.net/mos/index.html (webcomic)

http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00001.html (webcomic)

Replies from: erratio, Mercy, CuSithBell, cousin_it, RichardKennaway, EStokes, kurokikaze, Armok_GoB
comment by erratio · 2011-04-11T12:20:45.503Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Request that you split these up by topic. For example, I see at least half a dozen webcomics that I recognise in there mixed in with artwork, essays, Nick Bostrom and links whose URLs give me no hint at all as to what they're about.

EDIT: Thank you, that's a vast improvement

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T12:35:34.624Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I deliberately didn't try to classify them because the majority are either unclassifiable, or the only information communicated by the classification would be stereotypes that doesn't apply to the particular work. "what I like" explicitly selects for things where classifications are useless, that break boundaries between classifications and the best off many worlds.

Replies from: erratio, RichardKennaway
comment by erratio · 2011-04-11T13:10:56.232Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

ok, to make the reasons behind my request more concrete - I am very bad at reading just half an archive, watching just one TED talk, or stopping halfway through a story or video. As such, I prefer my memetic hazards to be as clearly labelled as possible.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2011-04-11T13:32:42.333Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is "unclassifiable" like "unexplainable"?

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T13:49:47.888Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some of them, some not.

comment by Mercy · 2011-04-12T17:06:47.687Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I very much like Dresden Codak as a comic, it fills the hole in my heart left by A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible, and I really like that sort of comic book science fantasy but it's a classic example of what the XKCD writer dismissed as "shouting science in the same way you'd shout Alakazam!", I'm not sure I'd pitch it for it's treatment of the singularity.

comment by CuSithBell · 2011-04-14T01:32:52.058Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeJ6-gN0eB4

I was wondering how long it would take for this to hit LW, and in what context. Also, one of the few grayed-out links in your post (i.e., in my browser history).

Heartily seconded!

Replies from: Armok_GoB, Alicorn
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-14T08:53:24.346Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You'll like another thing I'm working on. :D

Replies from: Document
comment by Alicorn · 2011-04-14T05:40:01.127Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

why is this so compelling

Replies from: Armok_GoB, CuSithBell
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-14T09:02:57.477Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because it's really really good art, great characters, great story, etc.?

Because it's in the nowadays very rare category of things that have a real plot but dosn't build it on sex/violence/grimdark?

Because it has antidepressant properties and teaches lessons that are often valuable to a rationalist?

Because it's very different from everything else you've seen, and keeps subverting your expectations?

Because you find pleasure in subverting meatspace expectations, and with this you can comfortably do it in a way that's still acceptable from other contexts?

comment by CuSithBell · 2011-04-15T20:28:49.845Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's adorable! It's happy!

And however it might rankle the physicalist majority, I think the most parsimonious explanation is that Friendship Is Magic.

comment by cousin_it · 2011-04-13T22:50:41.526Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for the link to Homestuck. It managed to amaze me more than HP:MOR. It's unbelievably awesome, as in, I cannot quite believe that something so awesome can exist on the internet.

Replies from: Cyan, Armok_GoB
comment by Cyan · 2011-04-14T01:07:48.943Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Which one is the link to Homestuck? I can't tell, and your comment makes me really want to know.

Replies from: AdeleneDawner
comment by AdeleneDawner · 2011-04-14T01:22:05.695Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This one.

Replies from: Cyan
comment by Cyan · 2011-04-14T02:32:18.740Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-13T23:25:25.936Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Exactly.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2011-04-11T14:43:12.501Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you for adding the descriptions.

comment by EStokes · 2011-04-11T14:01:04.078Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I can't second the recommendation of Homestuck enough! It does start slow, I stopped reading it the first time because I thought it was some kid's random shenanigans with a weird inventory system... Was I ever wrong!

Replies from: AdeleneDawner, Armok_GoB
comment by AdeleneDawner · 2011-04-11T14:57:15.554Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is there a point at which one can clearly say that if they don't like it by that point they probably aren't going to like it at all? I got pretty far into it - a good bit past the explanation of troll relationships - and it just never seemed to pick up for me.

Replies from: EStokes, Armok_GoB
comment by EStokes · 2011-04-11T16:58:42.628Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hmm. I don't know... It might be a lost cause (on the other hand, if you do end up liking it it'll have been worth sinking some more hours into.) I liked it by then, though.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T16:48:31.699Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The end of Hivebent might be a good point... but not really before that.

Replies from: AdeleneDawner
comment by AdeleneDawner · 2011-04-11T17:26:44.764Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What happened at the end of Hivebent that I might remember? It's been a few months since I gave up on it, and that name isn't ringing a bell, but names rarely do for me.

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T18:20:48.073Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hivebent is the part focusing entirely on the trolls, it ends with Karkat watching John grow up.

Replies from: AdeleneDawner
comment by AdeleneDawner · 2011-04-11T18:23:57.306Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's about where I was when I left off, I think. I don't remember John growing up (unless you meant the bit with the time-transporter thing and the babies) but I do remember a part that focused on the trolls and went into some depth about their society and biology and stuff.

Not worth getting back to, then, I'm going to say.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T16:49:11.733Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, this really can't be stressed enough.

comment by kurokikaze · 2011-04-11T15:49:11.445Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for these links (also, fellow DF player here :)).

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T12:40:20.502Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ok, why was this downvoted? There is no way you've actually checked out a significant number of them yet. Is someone actually down-voting just because I posted MANY links without caring about the quality of the stuff they link to?

Replies from: RichardKennaway, Risto_Saarelma, Alexandros, AdeleneDawner
comment by RichardKennaway · 2011-04-11T13:23:09.962Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is someone actually down-voting just because I posted MANY links without caring about the quality of the stuff they link to?

No shit, Sherlock!

My rule for posting links, anywhere on the web, not just here, is this: the reader must be told enough to know whether they are interested in following the link, without following the link. And please, keep it relevant to LessWrong.

Replies from: TheOtherDave, Armok_GoB
comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-04-11T13:53:14.896Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I suspect you read the OP as meaning (down-voting (just because I posted MANY links (without caring about the quality...))), whereas I suspect the OP meant ((down-voting (just because I posted MANY links) (without caring about the quality...)).

That said, I completely agree with your main point.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T13:54:06.539Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Umm, then you either never post links to anything or you have a really bad case of Double Illusion of Transparency. You can try to provide evidence for if people are more or less likely to like the link, but only in very rare cases will the probability stray even outside 10%-90% probability for most people.

Replies from: TheOtherDave
comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-04-11T14:16:29.084Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh, come on.

It's clear to me that a link with a description that lets me make even a 50%-accurate judgment, let alone a 90%-accurate judgment, of whether I'll like it is far more useful than a link with no description at all.

Do you disagree?

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T16:54:43.913Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

No, obviously not, I spend a fair amount of cognitive resources every day trying to sort through online content and am partial to norms conductive to that purpose indeed.

I just interpret "knowing without following the link" as "at least 99% sure it'll be worth it".

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2011-04-11T13:01:46.136Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

No downvotes from me, but I can imagine that someone might think that people posting long lists of basically random stuff from their browsing history they themselves found interesting without any kind of commentary on what they are about, whether there's an unifying theme to the list or why LW readers in particular might be interested in the links is not something they would like to see more of here.

comment by Alexandros · 2011-04-11T12:57:27.761Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I haven't downvoted, but I assume it is because it is overwhelming to the reader. I would second erratio's suggestion to post them separately, and add that this could happen over several months (assuming this thread idea takes off).

comment by AdeleneDawner · 2011-04-11T14:55:11.806Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Even with the descriptions, that's a pretty random list of things. I haven't even clicked any of them - there's some good stuff in the ones I recognize, but also a lot of stuff that doesn't seem to have anything to do with LW at all (Hyperbole and a half? Really? Allie's funny, sure, but if she has any rationalist tendencies I haven't noticed 'em, and her kind of humor isn't even the same general type as what seems to be popular here), so my overall impression is that you haven't done a very good job of filtering things, and the rest of the stuff probably isn't worth spending my time exploring.

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T17:00:06.714Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Huh? Hyperbole and a half has a bunch of anecdotes that illustrate interesting human behaviour, that's totally relevant to LW.

There is the possibility that people who have an actual social life already knew that things I've learnt from there since so long they don't notice it's knowledge, that's probably the source of confusion.

Replies from: Alicorn
comment by Alicorn · 2011-04-11T17:53:40.564Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can you list some things you have learned from Hyperbole and a Half? Allie's a fantastic storyteller but I don't find her especially didactically inclined.

Replies from: Armok_GoB, NancyLebovitz
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T18:22:59.845Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not any explicit, declatative facts that I can think of, more an quantitative improvent in intuition about the kind of things humans might do.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2011-04-11T18:18:25.723Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This Is Why You'll Never Be an Adult has a clue about how grandiosity can make motivation collapse.

My Boyfriend Doesn't Have Ebola... Probably is good about the difficulties of communicating qualia.

However, I think they're mostly brilliantly funny about neurotic states of mind rather than an obvious rationalist resource.

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T18:33:13.333Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

how's not being obviously rational an argument against it? Linking rationalists to somehting they might have just rejected as irrelevant otherwise and pointing out how to learn from it seems more valuable than just pointing at somewhere so obvious they'd have found it themselves eventually no matter what.

comment by Costanza · 2011-04-11T16:20:36.591Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

More than two years ago, Vladimir Nesov linked to Tim Minchin's beat poem Storm. More recently, it's been animated -- very nicely, I think.

Summary: a rationalist goes to a London dinner party and meets an astrology-spouting, truth-is-just-opinion opining girl and goes off, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the room.

Replies from: Armok_GoB
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T17:07:17.705Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I already linked this in this thread.

Replies from: Costanza
comment by Costanza · 2011-04-11T20:54:57.278Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I see now you did indeed -- my apologies.

However, if there's a mitigating factor in my defense, you did link to quite a bit of stuff (which is great), but without much description or classification (which makes the greatness hard to identify). I did search for "Storm" and "Tim Minchin" before posting this link, but I didn't find any duplicates in this thread. No intent to step on anybody's toes.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2011-04-11T14:33:36.778Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f5bcn_z0Qg

3 minute animated video with enough going on to make at least 10 movies. Maybe 100.

Replies from: Armok_GoB, AdeleneDawner, jwhendy
comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-11T17:08:26.540Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

how is this relevant to LW? I'm not saying it's not, that'd be hypocrisy, I just can't find the obvious connection that makes it more relevant than any good art.

Replies from: NancyLebovitz, Alexandros
comment by NancyLebovitz · 2011-04-11T17:47:23.739Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm using the standard of interesting-- something I think LWers are likely to like, rather than relevant.

However, I think it's plausible that working on following what's going on might improve some types of attention.

comment by Alexandros · 2011-04-11T21:16:04.938Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm quite happy if these threads to have cluster-relevant to lesswrong material rather than necessarily definition-relevant.

comment by AdeleneDawner · 2011-04-11T15:08:11.590Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I like it. Needs a minor earworm warning on the music, though.

comment by jwhendy · 2011-04-11T14:57:37.557Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wow.

comment by Alexandros · 2011-04-12T11:27:59.628Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos

Replies from: XFrequentist, David_Gerard, jsalvatier
comment by XFrequentist · 2011-04-16T21:54:03.990Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That was fascinating, and seems really relevant to self-learning. I'm sure I do this all the time ("this" meaning "Believing that I'm learning when I'm really just strengthening my confidence in my misconceptions").

Any thoughts on how to avoid/combat this? I'm open to anything from mantras to tests to chemicals.

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-04-12T19:06:41.520Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is worth going to for the text attached. It sets out an interesting phenomenon in teaching people with video.

Replies from: AdeleneDawner, SilasBarta
comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-13T17:12:34.719Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just read the text, and I didn't see why I should be less optimistic about Khan. What are these studies/tests that show students aren't really learning the science? Remember, Khan does its own tests to check that you learn the material. The relevant question is, are students learning more or less than they would through standard classroom instruction, and is this an artifact of Khan's lesser skill in science teaching specifically, or the entire enterprise of teaching science through a video? Consider that it seems to accept Khan can teach the other subjects just fine...

comment by jsalvatier · 2011-04-13T16:42:42.712Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That is fascinating. It really says something interesting about the learning process.

I am curious how far the results generalize. Is this still a serious problem with more knowledgeable students? Is it a problem with math education?

comment by Alexandros · 2011-04-11T10:48:03.771Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?

Replies from: RichardKennaway, Clippy, David_Gerard
comment by RichardKennaway · 2011-04-11T20:20:13.888Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can we tell whether the number of neurons is shrinking, or the neurons themselves are getting smaller?

comment by Clippy · 2011-04-11T17:32:48.155Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Modern humans aren't so smart.

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-04-12T19:10:03.934Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh wow. We are living in idiocracy! (And we still managed quantum physics and a technological civilisation.)

Replies from: JoshuaZ, TheOtherDave
comment by JoshuaZ · 2011-04-14T06:07:36.148Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh wow. We are living in idiocracy! (And we still managed quantum physics and a technological civilisation.)

This raises a semi-serious question: Many major advances have occurred due to people who have an intelligence that is far higher than the norm (e.g. Newton). However, many other advances seem to occur at a slow and steady pace, and many practical technologies occur from people who we wouldn't necessarily think of as intelligent but are rather extremely skilled tinkerers(e.g. Thomas Edison or John Harrison) .

So, how much slower would technological progress be if humanity never had the top 1% of the population by some reasonable intelligence metric (like say IQ)? Is there some tech level that we would never reach. Would we for example never work out Kepler's description of the solar system or never get Newtonian mechanics? I'm not sure that this question is well-defined.

I'm wondering also if this helps explain the Fermi paradox- maybe there's a lot of intelligent life out there but most of it lacks many outliers in degrees of intelligence? If so, most species will stay for extended periods of time at relatively low tech levels. This isn't as absurd as it might seem at first glance since humans spent hundreds of thousands of years with little advancement.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-04-12T20:53:47.676Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Whee!

comment by Dreaded_Anomaly · 2011-04-15T23:52:25.811Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born

The detection of such an ancient signal in language is surprising. Because words change so rapidly, many linguists think that languages cannot be traced very far back in time. The oldest language tree so far reconstructed, that of the Indo-European family, which includes English, goes back 9,000 years at most.

Quentin D. Atkinson, a biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, has shattered this time barrier, if his claim is correct, by looking not at words but at phonemes — the consonants, vowels and tones that are the simplest elements of language. Dr. Atkinson, an expert at applying mathematical methods to linguistics, has found a simple but striking pattern in some 500 languages spoken throughout the world: A language area uses fewer phonemes the farther that early humans had to travel from Africa to reach it.

Replies from: Mercy
comment by Mercy · 2011-04-21T15:59:50.898Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Language Hat has a roundup of responses.

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-04-21T11:40:18.245Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Science Of Why We Don't Believe Science - details the cognitive biases involved in the way humans deal with information. None of this will be a surprise to LW readers, but still a nice article to spread.

comment by XiXiDu · 2011-04-11T10:40:10.518Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Too Damned Quiet?, arXiv.org - Submitted on 4 Apr 2011

It is often suggested that extraterrestial life sufficiently advanced to be capable of interstellar travel or communication must be rare, since otherwise we would have seen evidence of it by now. This in turn is sometimes taken as indirect evidence for the improbability of life evolving at all in our universe. A couple of other possibilities seem worth considering. One is that life capable of evidencing itself on interstellar scales has evolved in many places but that evolutionary selection, acting on a cosmic scale, tends to extinguish species which conspicuously advertise themselves and their habitats. The other is that -- whatever the true situation -- intelligent species might reasonably worry about the possible dangers of self-advertisement and hence incline towards discretion. These possibilities are discussed here, and some counter-arguments and complicating factors are also considered.

Replies from: James_Miller
comment by James_Miller · 2011-04-11T14:58:46.950Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A Harvard string theorist disagrees

Replies from: Nornagest
comment by Nornagest · 2011-04-12T21:18:13.709Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Fermi paradox is an interesting enough subject for our purposes that I think it deserves the exposure, and I think Motl's opinion is probably close to the truth, but I'm still not really happy with this treatment of it.

The style of argument Motl employs seems to be based mainly on ridicule: he rarely seems to go much past stating a claim in such a way as to seem improbable on its face and pointing out that superficial improbability. That's absolutely not a style I want to become normalized around here, dealing as frequently as we do with topics that seem outlandish or counterintuitive, and I didn't find the content very enlightening.

comment by ata · 2011-04-18T19:59:32.769Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Today's xkcd: A timeline of major events in the next century, generated by Googling things like "in " and "will * by the year ".

(I like juxtapositions like "robots granted same rights as humans" followed shortly by "humans have domesticated robots" ... "Lord Jesus rules Earth from throne in Jerusalem" + "entire world population gay due to chemicals in the water" + "public masturbation legalized" ... "Singularity occurs" + "fishing industry collapses". (I bet...))

comment by Alicorn · 2011-04-14T01:47:38.290Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This adorable comic seems like some sort of transhumanist metaphor at the end but damned if I can explain how.

Replies from: NancyLebovitz
comment by NancyLebovitz · 2011-04-14T11:14:21.943Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That you can bring your home into your new world instead of leaving your new world to go home.

comment by lsparrish · 2011-04-11T17:24:51.050Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some bitcoin links:

comment by InquilineKea · 2011-04-12T04:58:51.916Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/03/30/how-to-get-tenure-at-a-major-research-university/

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/03/31/how-to-get-tenure-at-almost-every-other-research-university/

Pretty interesting discussion of how the criteria for tenure at top universities differ from those at others, especially since the ultra-focus top universities demand actually could be counter-thetical to scientific creativity, as shown in Simonton's "Psychology of Science" books.

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-22T17:48:04.806Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hey! Just found a link that reminded me of LW!

http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html

I just stumbled upon it and am a bit sceptical as to it's accuracy, but it's interesting and relevant enough to link I think.

comment by Mercy · 2011-04-17T21:50:50.123Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The always readable Rebecca Solnit has an article in the march issue of LMD that's relevant to Less Wrong's interests, the stuff on mental disaster kits is a nice idea, the anti-nuclear stuff is instructive in it's dishonesty: ArticleHere

This Collection of articles on medical reforms is specific to Britain, but the statistics abuse documented is common the world over, I particularly recommend the article on cancer stats.

I never really understood the fuss over cooking for engineers, but this vaguely similar idea is wonderful.

Also: Webcomics! Comics on the internet. Who doesn't enjoy Webcomics? Only the craziest of individuals that's for sure! Webcomics!

Here are some fanc pictures which don't involve webcomics

Also, I'll take this down if it doesn't work for non-members, but this forum thread is the closest thing to one of those "well we should have a bunch of crappy smug fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd jokes but for atheists instead of christians" that's actually made me laugh (by the same people who brought you this I gather). Since I've seen this sort of internet infidels stuff brought up a few times I thought people here might get a kick out of it!

comment by [deleted] · 2011-04-14T06:05:08.827Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

.

comment by jschulter · 2011-04-13T01:34:51.157Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

An interesting project, if it gets off the ground.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/benway/arc-island-a-brave-new-civilization