My Faults My Own

One's ponens is another's tollens.

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

Reading Feed (last update: August 6)

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 | What I’ve been reading


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Blog: Yonatan Zunger @ Medium | So, about this Googler’s manifesto. — "Until about a week ago, you would have heard very little from me publicly about this, because my job would have been to deal with it internally, and confidentiality rules would have prevented me from saying much in public... [S]ince I’m no longer on the inside, and have no confidential information about any of this, the thing which I would have posted internally I’ll instead say right here, because it’s relevant not just to Google, but to everyone else in tech."

Blog: Overcoming Bias

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Parental Leave

note: Discussion of heterosexual, two-parent, biological family structures is not meant to imply that there aren't other valid and prevalent ways of raising children, because there are. I'm just focusing on mother-and-father families for the moment, as the plurality case. Single-parent families, and adoptive families, especially ones with two fathers, are a whole different matter.

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Today (a few days ago) from the NYT's Upshot column: When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire.

In Chile, a law requires employers to provide working mothers with child care. One result? Women are paid less.

In Spain, a policy to give parents of young children the right to work part-time has led to a decline in full-time, stable jobs available to all women -- even those who are not mothers.

Elsewhere in Europe, generous maternity leaves have meant that women are much less likely than men to become managers or achieve other high-powered positions at work.

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Coda On (Male) Feminists

A hundred and fifty years ago, Charles Eliot, then President of Harvard College and now namesake of my house, delivered my favorite speech in the history of academia,[begins on page 29] from which I'll quote twice today, mostly because I'm too lazy to write my own poetry this week:


It were a bitter mockery to suggest that any subject whatsoever should be taught less than it is now in American colleges. ... It will be generations before the best of American institutions of education will get growth enough to bear pruning.

The endless controversies whether language, philosophy, mathematics, or science supply the best mental training, whether general education should be chiefly literary or chiefly scientific, have no practical lessons for us today. This University recognizes no real antagonism between literature and science, and consents to no such narrow alternatives as "mathematics or classics", "science or metaphysics". We would have them

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Why So Few Male Feminists?

content warning: unrepentant naïveté, use and interrogation of the word "feminism" by a cishet white male, statistical mention of rape, sexual/domestic violence, and abuse

content note: in parts, speaking only to people who have the privilege of choosing, intentionally and with lightness, how they engage with issues of social justice. (more in a previous post)


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Ozy Frantz[read this] is one of those bloggers who has significantly and dramatically changed the way I think -- and in this respect shares a reference class with Leah Libresco and Eliezer Yudkowsky. Though I've only been reading Ozy since they started Thing of Things last November, they're very quickly stepping into position as Possibly My Favorite Blogger Right Now. A perfect example of why is their recently re-run post, Thing of Things | Who Cares About Men's Rights?:

I do.

I care about every boy that was ever called a fag or

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November 14 Bucket o' Links: "Science, B****es!" Edition

If you find yourself enjoying these weekly linkwraps, seek help from your doctor you might be interested in the so-called "Reading Feed" I've been updating for two weeks now. Basically, instead of spamming Facebook with everything I read, like, and see fit to re-link, I keep one running list of the things I think it's worth the time to have read.

I don't quite manage to update every day, but it's been running for 12.35 milliSpirits[?] so far, so maybe I'll be able to keep it up into the future. Maybe not. Anyway, it's more of a reject pile for Bucket o' Links than anything else, but if you want more of stuff like this, check it out?

NB: I'll roll the URL blog.rossry.net/reading/ to always point to the current month, with previous months separated off into their own pages, e.g. blog.rossry.net/

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A Comet Landing, and a Misplaced Media Firestorm

We landed on a comet!

'Philae? Is Everything OK?' / 'I landed! I'm on a comet! I'm OK and I'm on a comet.'

XKCD live-comic'd the event, and if you missed that, you can view the unofficial replay compiled at xkcd1446.org. Current status, xkcd's depiction notwithstanding: ESA: "Our Lander's Asleep" (ESA blog).


We, the interested public, now turn to one of the most crucial questions surrounding the historic landing: What was astrophysicist Matt Taylor wearing when Philae landed?

No, wait. That's nowhere on the list of crucial questions. Those are things like:

Maybe it's too early to say how the data are comparing to those from the Rosetta orbiter, but could you give us an overview with how the [Philae] lander data are going to compare with those we've been able to collect from the orbiter?

(If you didn't watch the video, Taylor's

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October 31 Bucket o' Links: "Links, Explosions, and People Talking" Edition

Welp, Friday post goes out on Sunday NO shut up it's still saturday is that how this daylight savings thing works HRMPH. (It's not.)

Anyway, I'm in the middle of writing some stuff about a topic that's almost certainly going to end up being controversial, and I've decided to publish some of it, and I'll get around to doing the part where I actually say things later. Anyway, that's a work in progress; here's a finished linkwrap!

First, meta of metas, if you like my takes on (some subset of) the week, maybe also check out other people's linkwraps that have come out in the last day or so:

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October 17: Bucket o' Links, "Back on the Wagon" Edition

Well, I said I was going to do this as a regular thing, and then did only two before stopping. So here's an attempt to un-stop. It's a day late, but that's better than never, right?

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According to a Harvard FAS report (as reported in the Crimson), there are now more students at Harvard studying "Engineering and Applied Sciences" than "Arts and Humanities". But fear not that we're losing our liberal-arts soul; there are still half again as many students in NatSci than SEAS, and more students studying Social Sciences than SEAS and NatSci put together.

Graph shows decreasing numbers of concentrators in 'Social Science' and 'Arts and Humanities', and increasing numbers in 'Science' and 'SEAS' over the past nine academic years. 'Special concentrations' is also graphed, but remains vey close to 0 throughout.

personal disclosure: As a student jointly in Computer Science and Math, I'm counted as one tally-mark each in SEAS and NatSci, over my strenuous objections that "the science of computation" is as much an 'applied' science as is "the science of arithmetic". But that's a topic for another day.

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One of the

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