My Faults My Own

…beleaguered by the same

negation and despair,

show an affirming flame.

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: April 14)

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.


Blog: Marginal Revolution | The importance of local milieus — "We find suggestive evidence that co-locating with future inventors may impact the probability of becoming an inventor. The most consistent effect is found for place of higher education; some positive effects are also evident from birthplace, whereas no consistent positive effect can be derived from individuals’ high school location."

Blog: Shtetl-Optimized | How to upper-bound the probability of something bad — an algorithmist's guideline.

Blog: The Unit of Caring | Anonymous asked: you have the most hilariously naive politics i've ever seen... — "[in conclusion...] And I think anon is wrong about whether I need to grow a backbone."




What did you learn in school today?

This post is 4 of \(\infty\) in an ongoing loose sequence of posts meandering through the ethos that Scott Alexander dubs "charity over absurdity".

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Yesterday, Kent Greenfield argued in The Atlantic that a First Amendment that protects the racists of ΣAE is a First Amendment unbefitting a modern America:

We are told the First Amendment protects the odious because we cannot trust the government to make choices about content on our behalf. That protections of speech will inevitably be overinclusive. But that this is a cost we must bear. If we start punishing speech, advocates argue, then we will slide down the slippery slope to tyranny.

If that is what the First Amendment means, then we have a problem greater than bigoted frat boys. The problem would be the First Amendment.

No one with a frontal lobe would mistake this drunken anthem for part of an uninhibited and robust


On Charlie Hebdo

First, a note: I am going to express some opinions which are not verbatim that 'the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists killed were perfect heroes in every way and deserve unblemished honor for their sacrifices in the name of liberty'. Of course, I definitely do not mean to in any way excuse, condone, or rationalize the attacks of terror perpetrated against them. If you find yourself believing that I do, it's almost certainly because I'm failing at communication, and I beg of you a little charity. The attacks were contemptible, cowardly, and could in no way be justified by anything. But let's talk for just a moment about Qui, précisément, est Charlie, and who we are, discussing it all from a distance.

It takes a certain amount of courage to, in a post-Jyllands-Posten-incident world, remain committed to printing images of Muhammad in the name of satire. But discretion is the better

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