June 2015 Media Thread

post by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:02.378Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 50 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 · 2015-06-01T20:27:14.277Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Other Media Thread

comment by moonshadow · 2015-06-16T12:41:56.136Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Ava's demon is a somewhat experimental piece of web media, somewhere between webcomic and slideshow, that updates relatively slowly and I keep rediscovering and splurging on every couple of months. It doesn't get enough love and really should be more widely known. An incredibly pretty dystopia, with rather well thought through characters.
comment by MrMind · 2015-06-17T07:57:00.502Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Pretty cute, so far. It's not even a comic, every page seems like a little painting.

comment by beoShaffer · 2015-06-04T04:10:08.104Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Whateley Academy is a superhero shared universe with strong world building, multiple quasi-rasionalist characters, and many characters who are irrational in ways that are sympathetic and believable rather than because they're holding the idiot ball. It is also chock full of witty dialog and big on queer characters, in particular many of the characters (including most of the protagonists) are some mixture of trans in the normal sense, intersex, or undergoing changes to there sexual characteristics as a side effect of their origin. I've gotten the impression that it is pretty similar to both Worm and Tales of the MU but don't know enough about those series to confirm this. -ETA also all the trigger warnings, seriously all of them.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-14T14:29:40.444Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

because I have yet to parse these into content types, I'm posting this here:

the wiki article on the socratic method


happpier human


google books

jay z moment of clarity

that hard work beats talent motivational video

a sports science article about knowing the difference between unhelpful and unhelpful positive emotions

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:54.101Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Short Online Texts Thread

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:15:10.895Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Everything is heritable:









comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2015-06-02T10:41:30.579Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can I ask how you choose the articles and papers above? What sources do you check regularly which give you what you read, or how else do you find them?

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-02T00:41:34.090Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Reading the "Late Night Thoughts on Reading Scientology" article is like looking into a mirror. It's almost painful.

Why does my bedroom contain 343 books? (I counted just now.) Some of them I know and love, but many are on topics I have only mild interest in, contain only mediocre writing, and will probably never be read beyond the introduction – and this after throwing out half my collection once a year or so when I move.

Why does my hard drive contain thousands more books as PDFs, and my Kindle several hundred? Why do I have a hundred news feeds inundating me with thousands of blog posts, videos, and news stories a week, when only ten or so feeds really excite me? Why have I bookmarked hundreds of essays online in my “interesting, but I’ll get to this later” folder?

Why do I have ten or fifteen different hobbies I occasionally fantasize about pursuing, when one or two would be plenty to provide a social outlet and fill my idle hours? Why do I have a list of more than a hundred projects that would be “good to do some day”, none of which I’ve completed?

comment by gwern · 2015-06-02T02:47:12.026Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's definitely a common error in explore vs exploit. I've consciously tried to finish things and go through books/papers or admit it's just not going to happen & delete them. (Painful, because it's so similar to admitting failure. 'No, I'm not going to work through that category theory textbook if I haven't in the past 7 years. No, I'm probably not going to learn Prolog if I've had that text + source sitting around for 5 years.' Even though they would all be good to know or read...)

Why do I have a hundred news feeds inundating me with thousands of blog posts, videos, and news stories a week, when only ten or so feeds really excite me?

Rereading, I have to object to this one.

Books, essays, and hobbies are consistent. If you enjoy your first few classes of fencing, you'll enjoy the rest. Very few books will be wretched for the first few chapters and then abruptly become fantastic. And so, going through my book backlog, if I throw out the worst or most off-topic ones, I have lost little, and I have restored focus to my collection, avoiding distractions, and coming to terms with the limits of my ambition or interests.

But with news feeds, heterogeneity is the norm; I don't have hundreds of news feeds of which only 10 are good, I have hundreds of news feeds among which are randomly distributed 10 good items today. At best, a particular news feed may have a higher probability of spitting out something I will benefit from that day, but if I delete all but the 10 best news feeds, I'll wind up deleting many or most of the good future items. Reading LW or Reddit or HN does help, but I still wind up finding far too many interesting and relevant things only through having a few hundred RSS feeds.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-06-02T14:45:23.445Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I, for one, only put a book on a shelf once I've read it and lend out books from my collection on a regular basis...

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-06-02T14:53:37.914Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Overkill: An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?"

Dear gods how I have seen this in practice, in family and colleagues...

This is also at least partially behind a growing distrust of the medical profession and medical science. When something works against your interests while claiming to work for your interests, trust fails.

comment by Lumifer · 2015-06-02T17:13:16.272Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Scott Adams has a very... explicit blog post on the topic.

comment by Gunnar_Zarncke · 2015-06-02T11:26:38.503Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I very much appreciate your regular and variegated list. I have to take care to not spend too much time on it and consciously select only those I expect to actually act on. In this case I sunk some time in the Programming Epigrams and devoted most time to read the meta-analysis of heritability. To the latter I propose some intro link: How to calculate heritability. Note that I do not agree with your conclusions here (I wonder whether I should comment there or here).

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-21T04:26:43.552Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:49.466Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Online Videos Thread

comment by wadavis · 2015-06-05T13:11:37.046Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This Video Will Make You Angry by CGP Grey is a great discussion on the meme-ic virility of controversial arguments.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-01T21:26:18.710Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

https://youtu.be/GYQrNfSmQ0M Professor Stuart Russell - The Long-Term Future of (Artificial) Intelligence (May 22, 2015)
https://youtu.be/EX1CIVVkWdE ICLR 2015 Invited Talk: David Silver (Google DeepMind) "Deep Reinforcement Learning" (May 22, 2015)

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:14:31.501Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

On the same topic, some interesting robotics/deep-learning crossover:

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-23T06:03:02.881Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:44.449Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fanfiction Thread

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-04T16:35:38.621Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Montreuil prison study a Less Miserables fic in which M. Madeleine (Jean Valejean's name when he lived in Montreuil) and Inspector Javert decide to see what effect prison has on 'good men' (as in, not criminals).

comment by Cariyaga · 2015-06-02T05:36:47.869Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Pokémon: The Origin of Species, by daystar721. I'm sure it's been suggested before (I only checked back through until January of this year), but it is an exceptionally interesting work of rationalist fiction in my mind; I've always been interested in Pokémon, so it's great to see something with a rationalist bent to it.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:40.660Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nonfiction Books Thread

comment by richard_reitz · 2015-06-01T22:14:05.045Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Introductory discrete math textbook (pdf) courtesy of MIT. I prefer it to Rosen, which is currently recommended in the MIRI research guide, although I think there exist students who would do better with Rosen's book.

(How to tell which book you should choose? Well, since this one is Creative Commons, and therefore free, I'd try this one. If you find it's not saying enough words per theorem, try Rosen. If you think it's saying too many words per theorem, try these lecture notes. A recommendation to LW's list of best textbooks is forthcoming, which will contain a complete discussion.)

An earlier version of the book corresponds to these videos lectures, which I find to be excellent, as far as lectures go.

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:15:39.830Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:36.301Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fiction Books Thread

comment by Baughn · 2015-06-03T22:35:53.578Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Log Horizon

If you liked the anime, you will likely find that this is better. If you felt that the anime was flawed, you may well find that the book is not, or not in the same way.

The story is slow, with a great deal of explanations and musings, especially in the beginning; it's trying to paint an entire world, and that shows. It is the sort of thing that is very difficult to adapt to an animated format. The book, however, was well worth the read.

Only the first volume is out yet, the second to come in July.

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:15:34.270Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-04T11:25:51.243Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

My husband translated some verses by Houseman into Ukrainian (biocherv.livejournal.com, tag Гаусман), just because he is loved by me and one other LW-reader:)

Edit: Houseman is loved by me and the LW-reader.

comment by Baughn · 2015-06-03T22:33:12.847Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

nostalgebraist has started work on a new novel, The Northern Caves. It's off to a slow start, but looks interesting so far.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:31.950Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

comment by CellBioGuy · 2015-06-07T04:41:37.673Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not a media report or recommendation, just an observation on the reactions to two particular pieces of fiction. Spoilers ahoy for Gravity and Interstellar if anybody cares.

The reactions by popular science commentators to two films, Gravity and Interstellar, fascinate me. Not their interpretations of artistic merit (oh god how arguments between the two sets of fans get out of hand), but what they chose to criticize in a nitpicky way.

When Gravity came out, Neil Tyson and other scientific commentators were extraordinarily fast to start complaining about stretched-through-the-breaking-point orbital mechanics, lack of cooling undergarments, relative velocities being too low, etc. Such commentary dominated their discussion of the film.

When Interstellar came out, it was beloved by many of the same commentators, praising it's portrayal of general relativistic physics. But this movie contained almost exactly the same errors as Gravity multiplied in scale by more orders of magnitude than I can figure out - once they get through the wormhole they lose any and all sense of scale and energy and size and logic-in-spacecraft-design.

I have been trying to figure out why there was such a large difference in nitpicking reactions. The only reason I can think of that makes any sense is that it was an implicit reaction to the fact that Interstellar explicitly mythologized space as the grand destiny of humanity, while Gravity was 'merely' a drama-in-space treating space as a place you go to do things you can't do on earth which will kill you horribly when things go wrong, without any implicit mythologization. One was just a movie that happened to be in space and use space as an evocative metaphor for human events, while the other was explicitly a 'rah rah humans rah rah progress rah rah the grand destiny of mankind' pep rally mythologizing space and interstellar expansion to a massive degree.

What does this say?

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:28:22.022Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (romantic-comedy, heavier on the comedy; runs through the standard shoujo tropes like an extraordinarily dense love-interest and a school 'prince' and crossdressing, but is saved from mediocrity by giving ample time to the other characters, and its quasi-meta device of the love-interest himself being a shoujo mangaka which allows subversion of and commenting on the cliches in question. In particular, protagonist Sakura Chiyo is a great character: ridiculously cute designs and faces (good since as protagonist you'll be seeing a lot of her), new seiyuu Ari Ozawa turns in possibly the best sarcastic narrator since Haruhi's Kyon, and Sakura reminds us that it is possible to be kind and feminine without being dumb or a doormat.)
comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:27.047Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

TV and Movies (Live Action) Thread

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2015-06-02T07:56:08.544Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ex Machina. A story about AI that was about as realistic as is reasonable to expect from a Hollywood movie, made by people with an actual clue about the subject matter.

comment by MarkusRamikin · 2017-01-24T12:25:42.702Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Finally got around to it, and it's great. The ending was exactly what it should be.

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:28:29.308Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  • _Pumping Iron_ (1977 propaganda-documentary about American bodybuilders; it follows a young Arnold Schwarzenegger last competition and some rivals. It's interesting to watch Schwarzenegger before he became really famous, the insouciance with which he treats everyone & basks in admiration & blows off any slightly onerous obligations like his father's funeral and calculating choices sabotaging his rivals & self-promoting, as he prepares to jump ship to an acting career, his only apparent qualification the volume of his muscles. (I should note that the Wikipedia article for PI notes that it's a bit controversial whether or not the funeral thing happened, but nevertheless, Schwarzenegger is clearly trying to build an image.) I'm not familiar with bodybuilders but they come off during the competition as freakish: so muscular that they often pass into the repulsive and I stared fascinated at the flexing meat on display. Of course, PI is a very successful puff piece aimed at glamorizing bodybuilding - doesn't go anywhere near any questions of health issues or the steroid abuse although everyone is of course juicing like crazy, or into any details about how bodybuilders can get so large or what motivates them to do this, aside from one interview segment touching on childhood bullying, which had an almost Charles Atlas vibe.)
comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:23.490Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Music Thread

comment by spxtr · 2015-06-02T05:12:34.088Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Peste Noire - La Chaise-Dyable. French black metal.

comment by gwern · 2015-06-01T22:14:44.238Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


Kantai Collection:

comment by Cariyaga · 2015-06-02T04:43:00.085Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I quite enjoyed that Kantai song; thanks for the recommendation! Haven't listened to the others yet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy them. Touhou music is generally quite good.

comment by moonshadow · 2015-06-12T15:17:48.487Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Got introduced to Noize MC (sic) - Russian rap / hip hop. Not even always political. Sometimes they sing in English. Their music videos can be pretty trippy.

Edit: You didn't save; all your folders are empty; I see you're panicking but not even CTRL+ALT+DEL will save you now

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:19.573Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Podcasts Thread

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-02T16:35:00.481Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Antidote Podcast a podcast with two fellow experimental music enthusiasts that discuss and review music releases.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-01T20:27:10.210Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Meta Thread

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-14T14:28:12.983Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by TheAncientGeek · 2015-06-10T18:37:37.546Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Steam radio thread

Big Problems with Helen Keen.

A comic look at cryonics, transhumanism and intelligence explosions.


comment by ArisKatsaris · 2015-06-14T14:48:25.156Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Please read the rules of the thread. In particular: "Use the "Other Media" thread if you believe the piece of media you want to discuss doesn't fit under any of the established categories."