Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Reading Feed (November 2015)


Blog: Giving Gladly | An Embarrassment of Riches -- "[W]ere these all to be pushed aside and asked to wait while I saved my soul by two hours' work at baking bread?"

Blog: Interfaces of the Word | You can't administer your way to justice

Events: Slate Star Codex | New England Meetup and Presentation Schedule -- including Yale (tonight), MIT, and Harvard.

Blog: Money Stuff | Unicorn Fears and Stopping Stops -- What passes for humor in the financial sector; Tinder publishes (what is technically) an...interesting prospectus ahead of its IPO.


Blog: Thing of Things | Mandatory [X] Studies Classes Is An Astonishingly Counterproductive Strategy -- Title says it all; Ozy Frantz's credentials should make everyone sit up and listen.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Paris Terrorists Use Double ROT-13 Encryption -- That is, no encryption at all. These attacks should not be invoked to justify encryption controls in the interests of "security", and that's my 2¢.

Comic: xkcd | DNA

Politics: WaPo | Ben Carson’s campaign made a U.S. map and put a bunch of states in the wrong place -- also happy Geography Awareness Week, brought to you by National Geographic.


Neat: 2 Kinds of People -- Just excellent design.

Satire: The Onion | Desperate Obama Just Wants To Know Who To Give Weapons To In Order To Stop ISIS -- also The Onion | GOP Warns Refugees Likely To Be Driven To Terrorism By Way America Would Treat Them

Comic: PHD Comics | That Thing


Blog: Interfaces of the Word | But who's counting? -- A brief history of Western intervention in the Middle East.


Vox: Why John Kerry and the French president are calling ISIS "Daesh" -- ...and you should (probably), too.

Blog: Thing of Things | Reducing Vulnerability to Emotions -- Important reading.

Blog: Otium | Metformin, Fasting, and Exercise -- does starving (some forms of) cancer work? (Maybe yes.)

Blog: Interfaces of the Word | What goes on in English departments -- Written by a recently-graduated English PhD student.

Short: WaPo | Democrats continue the wi-fi wars at the Des Moines debate Network: 13MillionNewJobs / No password. The Democratic Party is the party of inclusion and we believe in expanding access and economic opportunity for all.


FiveThirtyEight: Mainline Protestant Churches Are Warmer To Potential Members If They’re White -- When Leah Libresco discusses religion, she uses numbers.

Blog: Overcoming Bias | Hive Mind -- In case anyone had forgotten, Robin Hanson is actually an economist for his day job, and by the light of the full moon, he sometimes writes like it.

Blog: Interfaces of the Word | This fight will move to the statehouses

Vox: Dylan Matthews: David Geffen's $100M gift to UCLA is philanthropy at its absolute worst -- I agree on most of the claims, though I'm not entirely convinced that the societal effect of Geffen's donation is actually negative against the counterfactual that he leaves the money in his bank account instead.

Comic: SMBC | The Labor Force


Blog: Interfaces of the Word | Don't play into the conservative frame! -- w/r/t Yale, Mizzou.

Short: Silicon Valley Shack in Palo Alto Lists for Nearly $2 Million

Blog: Schneier on Security | Betting Ticket Forged Based on Selfie -- Protip: don't take a selfie that includes the barcode of your receipt. sim. airplane tickets.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Testing the Usability of PGP Encryption Tools -- Bruce concludes "I have recently come to the conclusion that e-mail is fundamentally unsecurable.", which is... really great.


Blog: Rejecting the gender binary: a vector-space operation -- This is one of the most-interesting applied math projects I've ever seen. h/t Slate Star Codex.