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.


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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."


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Blog:

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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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