Monthly Archives: June 2016

Book Review: The Aeneid

I was going to write a review of The Aeneid for Goodreads, but it would get rejected eventually since it’s not about the book itself but just a few lines about my copy’s previous owners. Reviews are highly patrolled there, more so than on Amazon, so it’s bringing owls to Athens to post this there.

Whole chapters, with perhaps one or two lines excepted, are entirely highlighted. It took some time and concentration for me to not be distracted, not necessarily from the yellow highlighting ink, but from trying to figure out what kind of frame of mind one would have to be in to bother doing something like that.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 15

Authors Respond to Brexit on Twitter – I am shocked—shocked—that rich elitists would sympathize with soulless bureaucracies.

Fit for a King singer faces backlash for comments on race – AKA: People are oversensitive sissies.

Aristotle’s 2400 Year Old Tomb Found at Stagira – Found next to Plato’s Cave. Anyone? Yes? No? I’ll see myself out…

Covens vs. Coders: How Witchcraft Apps are Pissing Off Real Witches – “Real” witches…

The 24 Hour Read In Is Here! – Do these authors know e-books, amazon.com, and gutenberg.org exist? Libraries should just be public access computer centers at this point.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis – How have I not heard of these videos before?

The Empathy Industry – I’m okay with this as long as they give women prosthetic phalluses that “work” at very inopportune times.

This South American country has decriminalized all drugs for 40 years

Shifty merchants with 251 secret words for trade – “It looks like classic myth-repetition of the usual Eskimo-words-for-snow sort.”

Economists show that boys who grow up around books earn significantly more money as adults – Most economists are great at making connections with spurious logic. This seems like an example.

Doctor’s Plan for Full-Body Transplants Raises Doubts Even in Daring China – This is also suspicious.

It Took Centuries, But We Now Know the Size of the Universe – “We” are suspicious of this, too.

The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife – Totally suspicious, AKA: it’s just wishful thinking.

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There Is No Hippo

Azure Ides-Grey posted a video about the hippopotamus dilemma. I commented:

A philosophy professor of mine came up with a similar dilemma. His solution, which I liked, was to demonstrate that 100% of the room’s capacity was taken up with non-hippopotamus objects: in this video’s case, it would be mostly air, with some books, shelves, chairs, people, a camera, dust. If a hippo was there, it would be readily apparent to the senses (this solution works well if the room isn’t huge and doesn’t have any unusual hiding places).

You could be a schmoe and propose the hippo really is there, but it’s actually invisible. But then it’s not a hippo. A hippo falls under the “visible” category. Plus invisible hippos have no bearing on real life. If an invisible hippo exists, there’s more pressing things to seek out after the shock of that discovery wears off.

Sometimes I think 90% of philosophy is navigating linguistic and cultural ambiguities while sometimes addressing actual philosophical issues.

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Someone at the the excellent resource EffectiveUI wonders if two unrelated things are related to each other:

Does being out in tech matter? This is a question I asked myself last week when I was preparing to be on a panel at the Google offices in Boulder, Colorado to speak to LGBTQ youth about careers in the tech industry and being out at work. Coming out is a continuous process rather than a one-time event, but I’ve grown accustomed to the ease with which I can do it now. In fact, when I started interviewing for positions a few years ago I made a point of coming out during the job interview process. I had decided I’d rather expose any discomfort from the start and use it as a tool to gauge company culture. At EffectiveUI, I have the luxury of not having to think about the privilege of being a queer woman in tech.

Someone in tech can prefer any kind of sandwich they like to, and to any degree. Potential team members who don’t care for ham sandwiches will pre-select themselves out of the dev team that really really wants them to prefer ham sandwiches over others. Candidates will simply seek another team that likes steak and cheese with just as much intensity, or a team that doesn’t bother with the preference at all and just focuses on making widgets as proposed.

It really works itself out, but persistence will breed exodus, or worse yet, pushback. Don’t be surprised when it comes.

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Discover the Monoculture

This commercial is a prime target for diversity bed-wetters—the actress is blonde and blue-eyed, even. Why hasn’t this been nailed to the wall?

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Addendum to Epistemology Post

There were a few extra things I had written for Ed’s Radix Fidem project that I edited out because it seemed to veer a little too much off course. It was regarding the ineffectiveness of the two logics when used outside of their scope.

Have you ever seen network systems diagram, or mobile application workflow, or even those corkboards on crime dramas that demonstrate the relationship between POIs (persons of interest), evidence, dates, etc.*? That those aids are needed is a further clue about the effectiveness of logic only in small, hyper-contextual situations. Those diagrams use sight (sense data) to bypass the need to recall and sort through all the bits of information. A visual representation frees the mind to “sense” relationships without having to actually think through it.

Similarly, consider symbolic logic notation. Logicians use the rules of inference and symbols to reduce the complexity of large logical problems. One could literally “think through” the entire problem—freestyle, if you will—correctly, but symbolizing it allows the logician to perform the proof thinking on a level that requires less mental energy.

* Real-life investigators use software for that sort of thing. Interesting.

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Photo: Strawberry Way Street Mural


Under construction. The brown building in the background is the USX Tower.

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The Epistemology of Belief

I made a contribution to Ed’s Radix Fidem project, and he published it as a guest post. You can read it all here, but a sample is below.

There was a lot of back and forth and deleting while I was writing it. It’s a slippery topic. Honestly, with English as my first language—hence, the genera; direction in which my thoughts are oriented—doesn’t make exposition of this subject easy at all. While I don’t think what I wrote is necessarily inaccurate, I certainly didn’t nail it down the way I wanted to.

Faith, and how humans “come to” faith lies, ultimately. beyond human comprehension. The workings of the metaphysical domain are conducted on a level humanity is not able to fully understand–though, obviously, we are able to experience in some manner while living in our fallen condition, in our current, physical, domain. Much like how we react to an object of beauty or wonder, it’s perhaps best described as an experience (a continuum of experiences, really) and not a series of objects apprehended with our material reasoning toolkit.

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The Asian Squat

After hearing so much about the Asian squat lately online, by happenstance, I tried it. I was partially able to hold it, but it was right after a workout, so I’m using that as an excuse.

I’m able to do pistol squats well, so I thought the Squat would be easy to do. I guess it’s more about balance than anything.

I imagine it’s harder for European ethnicities to pull the Squat off, since they may carry more upper-body bulk, especially the guys. It’s easier for me since lean toward the ectomorphic side, so I have a slighter upper build.

If I were a certain way, I’d say this video was racist and ableist, possibly sexist (I have no idea what equipment the person with the mic is working with). Leave suggestions in the comments for what I should do for #reparations. Maybe mansplain to an Asian female how to drive well? I’m open to anything.

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Was the jQuery Blog Hacked?

Below are some screens from a post on the jQuery blog, that I received in my RSS reader. Looks like they were hacked, but the post has been taken down. Interesting.

EDIT: Google search results for “jquery hacked” lists the hacked blog post as the fifth search result (yours truly comes in as the ninth result). Weird how that got listed so high, but Google’s results logarithm is as mysterious to me as their hiring process. If only there were a website where I could “search” for information like that…



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