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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The Phone

You're a lieutenant colonel in a secure bunker buried in a secret location in the USSR. You are the night shift commander of the Soviet missile defense system. It's September 1983, so your government's stated policy is "launch on warning".

You have five warnings on your screen.

Each is tagged as an American Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile, carrying three nuclear warheads of 500 kilotons each. Beyond a glimmer of a doubt, your job is to immediately escalate the matter to missile command. They will launch a counterattack, which might -- just might -- stop the second wave of American missiles before they ravage your homeland.

There are only five missiles, not the hundreds you'd expect. Five missiles will kill millions -- cities -- but not even close to everyone. The Americans could do so much more, and they've only launched five.

But if you don't pick up the phone to

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