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: April 2)

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: Don't Worry About the Vase | On Automoderation -- Zvi concretizes much the the vague disease I was feeling around Automoderation, despite it being an eminently plausible approach to its design specification.


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Blog: JeffTK | Slack tool: predict -- Note that Jeff's implementation is of a market mechanism that's not budget-balanced, and rewards marginal improvements of the "last price", rather than marginal improvements of the "current best price". I suspect that these design decisions have the net effect of denoising the signal of predicter quality.

Blog: Schneier on Security | New Gmail Phishing Scam -- "The article is right; this is frighteningly good."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The Baffling Politics

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Meaning in the Darkness

This is part 3 of a multi-part sequence on celebrating the middle of winter. [part 1] [part 2]


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For some people, the story of Christmas brings light to the darkness of winter. The reminder of a savior, born in the most humble circumstance -- whose sacrifice would, forty years later, save all mankind from our sins -- is an inspiration to generosity and a source of wonder. For me, it hasn't been that for quite some time.

I don't have any particular problem with other people using the Christ-story to build a holiday which is wonderful for them, but it's not the right thing for me. The innocent child, the prince of peace, lying in a manger has never reduced me to tears -- the story feels a bit, to me, like arbitrary words which translate to "Now it is Christmas; be happy!" And yes, Christmas is a happy

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A Circle of Light

This is part 2 of a multi-part post on celebrating the middle of winter. [part 1] [part 3]


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Last weekend, I and a few friends traveled to New York to attend a winter solstice celebration. Ray Arnold, who ran the event, did a brief writeup, but I figure I'd put forward (1) my perspective and (2) my thoughts on the event.

What actually happened? Well, it looked a lot like a church service -- some people told some stories and we sang lots of songs together. But the story that pulled us together wasn't "Once upon a time, a virgin gave birth to the son of God in a manger."; ours went something like this: (I'm paraphrasing from Ray's masterful telling at the event itself; alternatively, you can read some of his own words)

Once upon a time, winter was death. The world got cold and harsh, and if

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