Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Reading Feed (January 2015)


Blog: Thing of Things | An Introduction to Neurodiversity -- In which Ozy explains, like, three things I hadn't understood about the concept of neurodiversity.

Blog: Unequally Yoked | Holy Fools Against the Mini-Maxers -- Leah: "If you're never tricked into giving an addict pain meds, you're too distrustful of your patients."


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Think Tank Bias in Political Donations -- Where (and how much) employees of the top-ten political think-tanks donate to political causes.

Useful Things: The Killer Contract -- an open-source, plain-language document by Andy Clarke, meant as a template for freelance web developers, to make sure they get paid by their customers.


Less Wrong: Swimmer963 | The Importance of Sidekicks -- Miranda on sidekicks, dragons, and nonhero destinies.

News (World): Fighting Poverty and HIV With Soap Operas -- a TV drama popular in Africa has the express purpose of social engineering -- and seems to produce non-negligible effects in behaviors.

Blog: Nurse Cthulhu is Swimming | The team I leave behind -- Miranda's thoughts on leaving her nursing team in Ottawa.


Wut: Parachuting Beavers Into Idaho's Wilderness? Yes, It Really Happened

Blog: Thing of Things | Fedoras of OKCupid -- Ozy on whether it's okay to mock virgin brony neckbearded Redditors living in their mothers' basements who also wear fedoras.

Neat Things: Greenhouse (Chrome Extension) -- Adds tooltips to government officials' names on webpages, to let you know who they're funded by.

Gov: Big Block of Cheese Day Is Back, and It's Feta Than Ever -- Big. Block. Of. Cheese.

Editorial: Why I Hope Congress Never Watches Blackhat


Blogger-Ed: Ben Wellington (@I Quant NY) | Mapping New York's Noisiest Neighborhoods -- published at The New Yorker

Blog: Frederik deBoer | boy, this Selma vs. Boyhood debate is going to blow

Blog: Frederik deBoer | it’s good for me to feel this kind of revulsion

Blog: Frederik deBoer | Winograd’s dilemma -- barriers to natural-language translateion

Editorial: Eddie Huang | Bamboo-Ceiling TV -- "The network tried to turn my memoir into a cornstarch sitcom and me into a mascot for America. I hated that."


Blog: Unequally Yoked | How Small a Promise Can a Vocation Be? -- Leah, as often, is writing about a religious topic that's clearly applicable to those of us seeking the secular good life.

Humor: New Yorker | Let's Get Drinks

Poetry: Dave Kellett | You are Not Alone in This

Blogger-Ed: Leah Libresco (@Unequally Yoked) | Learning to Linger in Leisure Spaces -- at Ethika Politika

NYT: To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This


Blog: Slate Star Codex | Chronic Psychitis -- on the depression / inflammation thing going around

Long-form: The Atlantic | The Overprotected Kid -- on children's play


Quora: What are some practical applications of number theory?


Quora: How do doctors actually know that getting a flu shot is effective and not dangerous for the body? -- cw: discussion of science

Blog: Terry Tao | Probabilistic models and heuristics for the primes -- cw: math

Blog: Interfaces of the Word | The Dead Know No Privilege -- re: Leelah Alcorn, cw: quotation from an indelicate commentary on suicide


Quora: What are Quora's best answers of 2014? -- so many fantastic answers -- 364 of them, to be exact.

Blog: Things of Interest | Easter is a coding horror -- But Sam managed to solve it, because they're awesome!

Blog: Thing of Things | Why Orson Scott Card Should Keep His Job -- I agree.

Quora: What does it feel like to be a prison guard? -- long answer, definitely worth reading

Pretty Things: What Color Is It? -- time in colors!

Blog: Ben Kurtovic | Obfuscating "Hello world!" -- Not just an obfuscated program, but an easy-to-follow how-to that leaves you thinking you could very easily make your own!

Blog: Slate Star Codex | Book Review: What's Wrong with the World, Chesterton -- interesting review of what's by all accounts an interesting (at least) book

(Apparently not) News: HuffPo | Charles Koch Wants To Change America's Criminal Justice System / CNN | David Koch is pro-choice, supports gay rights; just not Democrats -- that is, in ways that are more equitable to the poor and otherwise structurally disadvantaged. This has been your monthly reminder that not everyone who disagrees with you politically is Actually Evil.

News: Arrests plummet 66% with NYPD in virtual work stoppage -- "The Post obtained the numbers hours after revealing that cops were turning a blind eye to some minor crimes and making arrests only 'when they have to'..."; you really can't make this stuff up.

Blog: Brain Pickings | Carl Sagan’s Reading List -- Again, I've oly read two, one a repeat. Man, I'm bad at this.

Blog: Brain Pickings | Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read -- I have read...exactly two of these books, and not in full. Feel free to buy me any of them for a birthday, and I promise you I'll actually read it. (They're also all public-domain, and Tyson kindly provides links to free ebooks, so...none of us have any excuse.)