My Faults My Own

One's ponens is another's tollens.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and else­wise a recently-graduated student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: August 10)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Rigged elections for me but not for thee -- "Numerous arguments insist that money buys elections and campaign finance reform is imperative. That’s not exactly my view, with Trump himself now being Exhibit A on the other side of the issue, but please try to be consistent. A lot of you believe that elections are (were?) rigged! (Hey, psst…when can we go back to them being rigged again? Asking for a friend!)

Blog: Thing of Things | Against Steelmanning -- "That form of steelmanning is actively harmful to epistemic charity and to careful thought. Instead of understanding that people believe things differently from you,

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Those Emails

If you hadn't heard: A group that was almost certainly Russian military intelligence stole almost 20,000 emails from the DNC and Wikileaks published them on Saturday. Personally, I doubt that there's anything in them, but---

---what's that?---

---they're literally the smoking gun of a plot to steal the nomination for Hillary Cl---

---no, no, I'm certain that they're not---

---um---

---okay, okay, I'll take a look and see what's there. Here we go.

attention conservation notice: This post is long. Like, 7000 words long. If you just want to skip to the executive summary at the end, I won't blame you. There, I go over the material that I cover below with convenient links back to the relevant section, if at any point you want to go back

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I can't support the Green platform

In a conversation with an acquaintance about the political ethics of voting for Jill Stein, I realized that I had very little idea what the Green Party stood for. (Um...the environment?) So I spent a few hours today reading the Green Party platform. I can't say it was an exciting experience, but now at least I feel like I have some sense of what it means to be Green. I liked a good deal of what I read, but in the end, there were a few things that I just couldn't stomach.

note: At no point in this post am I going to discuss the political ethics of voting for a third-party candidate, in general, in a first-past-the-post race. If you want to read about that sort of thing, you're in the wrong place; this is a post unpacking what the Green Party specifically does and does not

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Review: Anathem

If you're looking for a short verdict on Anathem, you've come to the wrong place I thought it was excellent, and if you're the sort of person who reads this blog, you're highly likely to enjoy it, too. For reference, I enjoyed it significantly more than Snow Crash, the only other Stephenson I've read, which I would peg at "good, but not excellent".

Proper review follows.


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It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that at one stage in my life, my favorite book was Ender's Game. This is, as I understand it, downright conventional for intellectually gifted children of a particular age, if not actually a rite of passage. As Orson Scott Card writes in the foreword to the 1991 edition of Game:

[A] woman who worked as a guidance counselor for gifted children reported that she had only picked up Ender’s Game to read it

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Provide for the Common Defense

What you did was done in our name, at our request. We cannot bear your physical wounds, or psychological scars, but we can bear the moral responsibility with you. Your transgressions in war, they are our transgressions, too. We confess this together, and seek forgiveness together.


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Let's talk about what happened yesterday in the Senate. No, not that filibuster; the 85-13 vote on the National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA re-authorizes $602B of military spending for the 2017 fiscal year. But it also includes an amendment (added in committee by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), chair of the Armed Services Committee, and supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)) which expands the Selective Service registration requirement to women.

Meanwhile, in the House, something incomprehensible happened:

During the House Armed Services Committee review of this year’s defense-funding bill late last month, California Republican Duncan Hunter introduced an amendment

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[Meta] My Faults My Own is now (happily) hosted by Digital Ocean

discount code: If you sign up for Digital Ocean with my referral link, you get $10 of credit and I get $25 of credit after you've spent your first $25. This link should be good indefinitely, and I'm getting no compensation for this review.


Amongst all of the large transitions happening in my life about now, I found it necessary to move my blog server from "some borrowed machine on the Harvard network" to a real-adult location, like "the cloud". After asking a few friends for recommendations, I decided to rent server time from Digital Ocean, at least as a stopgap measure until the end of the summer, when I'd be able to pick out my own internet plan.

I'm glad to report that I couldn't be happier with DO's service. Spinning up a new virtual server and migrating Faults to it was probably the easiest piece of system

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Where is Ross?

current location: Watertown, MA

I'm moving around a fair bit this summer, so here's a quick rundown of where/when I'll be places.

  • May 26 – June 18, I'll be living in Watertown, MA and working in Cambridge, doing research in market design at the CMSA.
  • June 18 – June 24, I'll be vacationing in Las Vegas, NV with friends.
  • June 24 – June 28, I'll be visiting my girlfriend in Phoenix, AZ.
  • June 28 – July 2, I'll be in Dallas, TX to watch my brother and father compete at US Fencing Summer Nationals. (I'm neither competing nor reffing, for the first time in more than five years...)
  • July 2 – July 6, I'll be visiting friends in New York, NY.
  • July 6 – August 7, I'll be back in Watertown, MA / Boston, MA and working at the CMSA.
  • August 7 – August 14, I'll be with my family
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Thou then wert our parent, the nurse of our soul... (A thank-you post)


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To my parents, in whose footsteps I couldn't be prouder to follow.

To my grandmother and late grandfather, who have been working for this moment for the past fifty years.

To my grandmother, who sewed my dance costumes.

To Lucian, the first friend I met here, without whom I would not have found the path I did. I'm so glad we're doing this next thing together.

To Christina, without whom I would not have survived with sense of humor intact. Thank you, friend.

To Ava, who was always there to lend an ear and set my heart true. You're still a klutz and a derp.

To Julia, who could be counted on to be in the audience whenever her blockmates were sweating under the lights. I can't say in words how much I appreciated it.

To Miriam, the stalwart rock of our blocking group.

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