Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Reading Feed (August 2016)


Long: The Burning Desire for Hot Chicken -- Some of the most beautiful prose about food I've read, ever.


Blog: Schneier on Security | Apple Patents Collecting Biometric Information Based on Unauthorized Device Use -- "The obvious application is taking a copy of the fingerprint and photo of someone using as stolen smartphone."


Blog: The Unit of Caring | Safe spaces and competing access needs -- "These people both need safe spaces. One needs a safe space to practice their traditions without people interrupting to say 'none of this is true’, and the other one needs a space to say 'none of this is true!’ and 'I can’t believe I agreed with this nonsense!’ and 'wow look at these double-blind prayer tests!’ What’s disruptive for one person is healing and important and necessary to another."


Long: Vox | Think the world is on fire? Obama’s national security adviser says things are better than ever. -- "This results in a foreign policy focused — to a degree most people don’t appreciate — on protecting this system from threats. The long view causes them to focus on addressing long-term threats to the system’s stability, like climate change or a nuclear Iran. But the flip side is that they’re more wary about trying to solve immediate crises, like the Syrian civil war."


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Rigged elections for me but not for thee -- "Numerous arguments insist that money buys elections and campaign finance reform is imperative. That’s not exactly my view, with Trump himself now being Exhibit A on the other side of the issue, but please try to be consistent. A lot of you believe that elections are (were?) rigged! (Hey, psst…when can we go back to them being rigged again? Asking for a friend!)

Blog: Thing of Things | Against Steelmanning -- "That form of steelmanning is actively harmful to epistemic charity and to careful thought. Instead of understanding that people believe things differently from you, you’re transforming everyone into stupider versions of yourself that don’t notice the implications of their own beliefs. In fact, this kind of steelmanning is a form of strawmanning."

Blog: Popehat | Lawsplainer: No, Donald Trump's "Second Amendment" Comment Isn't Criminal

Blog: Zeldman | Speaking Most Clearly When Not Speaking at All

Blog: Popehat | Why Openness About Mental Illness is Worth The Effort And Discomfort


Long: New Yorker | Requiem for a Dream: A profile of Aaron Swartz -- h/t Tyler Cowen.

Blog: Thing of Things | Everyday Feminism Is Bad At Feminist Theory Again

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Is there negative rent in Puerto Rico? -- Betteridge violation alert.

Blog: JeffTK | Earning to Give (transcript)


Blog: I’m a neoliberal. Maybe you are too -- h/t Tyler Cowen.

Video: Late Show Fencing Challenge: Stephen Colbert vs. Ibtihaj Muhammad -- spoiler: Ibtihaj beats Stephen 5-0, and he has no idea how it happened.

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Does Pretrial Detention Reduce or Increase Crime? -- File under "inconvenient economic questions".


Blog: Malcolm.O | Use Reference Incidents to Clarify Communication of Experience

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Copyright Protectionism -- "The argument that copyright encourages innovation is simply a pretense for protectionism."

Blog: Schneier on Security | Frequent Password Changes is a Bad Security Idea


Comic: This is Not Fine -- "The Second Coming" for a millenial generation.

Long: How Silicon Valley helps spread the same sterile aesthetic across the world -- h/t Matt Levine, file under "One's dystopia is the other's shining city on a hill."

pdf: Delegation of Representation 8/2/16, Missouri Public Defender's Office -- "Pursuant to §600.042.5 and as Director of the Missouri State Public Defender System tasked with carrying out the State's obligation to ensure that poor people who face incarceration are afforded competent counsel in their defense, I hereby appoint you, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Bar No. 29603 [and governor of Missouri], to enter your appearance as counsel of record in the attached case."

Blog: Ghost | Scheduling your posts for future publication -- This is very. exciting. news. Next step: scheduling the obligatory cross-post-to-Facebook...


Blog: Marginal Revolution | A Skeptical View of the NSF -- "We are not against any role for the NSF, however, but instead suggest that funds would be better spent on replication, public-use datasets and “far-out”, high-risk research. We also suggest other funding mechanisms such as prizes." See also Marginal Revolution | Why is there so little analysis of NSF economics grant-making?

Blog: Marginal Revolution |
Do Democratic equity fund managers beat their Republican counterparts?
-- No, except from December 2008 to September 2009.

Blog: Money Stuff | Tamed Banks and Unequal Markets -- "The best case that this change might be permanent is just that, by making banking boring, the new rules will bore all the creative geniuses out of banking."


Blog: Interfaces of the Word | An atheist of a certain kind -- I rolled my eyes at first, expecting this post to mostly be about how "atheist, but not the militant kind" had gotten too mainstream for Freddie, but it turned into a thoughtful post that makes an important point.

Blog: Agenty Duck | Bodyspace -- "It’s well past time for us to stop saying 'irl' when we talk about the part of the world that our bodies occupy. Same for 'in person'." Agree.

Neat: Megaprocessor -- a 10m long processor built out of discrete transistors, and wired up with LEDs. Check out the video of the thing running!


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Inconvenient questions -- cw: American electoral politics. But excellent, important questions, regardless.

Blog: Thing of Things | ‘Autism Cure’ Is Poorly Specified

Neat: What is the roundest country? -- Answer: Sierra Leone. See also The rectangularness of countries, where Egypt tops the list. Also, today I learned that Norway owns two islands near Antarctica, for some reason. h/t Matt Levine at root.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Hacking the Vote -- "If a foreign country attacked US critical infrastructure, we would respond as a nation against the threat. But if that attack falls along political lines, the response is more complicated. It shouldn't be. This is a national security threat against our democracy, and needs to be treated as such."