Aug 23

Bishop Allen. Great show!

Bishop Allen. Great show!

Aug 20

(Source: popsonnet, via cjelli)

Aug 18

(Source: ms-dos5, via thelastelectrician)

Aug 17


Aug 16

“The fact is, I don’t think SF can be really utopian. I mean utopia presupposes a pretty static, unchanging, and rather tyrannical world. You know: ‘I know the best way to live, and I’m going to tell you how to do it, and if you dare do anything else…’” — Samuel R. Delany, interviewed in 1986, “On Triton and other matters” (via notesonresistance)

(via mermaidbones)

The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears

There are already entities with vastly greater than human intelligence working on the problem of augmenting their own intelligence. A great many, in fact. We call them corporations. And while we may have a variety of thoughts about them, not one has achieved transcendence.

Let’s focus on as a very particular example: The Intel Corporation. Intel is my favorite example because it uses the collective brainpower of tens of thousands of humans and probably millions of CPU cores to.. design better CPUs! (And also to create better software for designing CPUs.) Those better CPUs will run the better software to make the better next generation of CPUs. Yet that feedback loop has not led to a hard takeoff scenario. It has helped drive Moore’s Law, which is impressive enough. But the time period for doublings seems to have remained roughly constant. Again, let’s not underestimate how awesome that is. But it’s not a sudden transcendence scenario.

—Ramez Naam

(Source: antipope.org)

Aug 15


Aug 14

“Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.” — Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police | TIME

“Yes, some cyclists may ride on the sidewalk to annoy the universe. Many more no doubt do so because they find sharing the road with cars to be exceedingly dangerous.” — Tired of Cyclists Riding on the Sidewalk? Build More Bike Lanes (via thisiscitylab)

Aug 13

Robin Williams: Depression and the Fisher King


The Fisher King is an amazing movie that I’ve seen dozens of times. It’s also one in which Robin Williams portrayed a completely unrealistic person with schizophrenia. I don’t mean to criticize him here: The problems are in the writing and the directing more so than the portrayal. 

Then why do I bring it up? Because Parry, the character he played, tells us something about what people are struggling with in the aftermath of Robin Williams’s death. Parry’s illness is caused by a brutal, but simple narrative event; his symptoms are exacerbated by simple event and solved by a simple event. At the end he seems to be cured by an act of self-sacrifice symbolized in another character handing him a cup.

We’ve been told by the media to think about mental disorders as plot devices, obvious narrative arcs, things with simple causes and simple solutions. They aren’t. Someone can seem to have everything, yet be miserable. Someone can have access to the best treatment, but still fall to suicide. 

Sometimes the media tells us mental disorders are hopeless, but that’s not true either. We have treatments that work pretty well for many things. At the same time, for some people those treatments are not enough, or work much more slowly than one would hope.

Some of the people around you are having trouble, and some of them make it through each day with a force of will you would never suspect. We are not fiction, and our problems are often complicated and rarely solved by plot twists. If you can support someone who is struggling one day at a time, please do.