“Furs had always figured importantly in the European luxury trades; beaver in particular was highly prized for both its soft, deep pelt and its alleged medicinal properties. As Adriaen van der Donck would explain midway through the seventeenth century, beaver oil cured rheumatism, toothaches, stomachaches, poor vision, and dizziness; beaver testicles, rubbed on the forehead or dried and dissolved in water, made effective antidote to drowsiness and idiocy.”
- Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin G Burrows and Mike Wallace
Second European in New York
“One year after Verrazzano’s brief visit, Esteban Gomez, a black Portuguese pilot who had sailed with Magellan, ventured a fair distance up the Hudson (which he called Deer River) before concluding that it didn’t lead to China.”
— Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G Burrows and Mike Wallace
*does laundry but like in a punk way*
*does laundry but in a musical theatre way*
*does musical theatre but in a punk way*
*does punk but in a musical theatre way*
*does musical theater but in a laundry way*
this is my favorite post
i can’t not re blog this
OK but someone do punk in a laundry way.
When I was young, I took it at face value when people would complain about affirmative action or talk about “states rights”. I thought these were legitimate issues they were concerned with, honestly pursuing fairness and justice. It was only when I started talking to people who made these kinds of statements, dug into their beliefs, that I discovered that beneath the veil what they really didn’t like was black people, and specifically black people having things.
The rise of Trump has only made this veil thinner and more porous. Now whenever I hear someone complaining about affirmative action or talking states rights or “thugs” or “reverse racism” or objecting to taking a knee or what have you, what I really hear is someone saying the n-word over and over. Because that’s what’s really going on.
I went off about this a bit on Twitter a few days ago, but just to make the argument without the constraint of breaking it into 140 character chunks, as it’s both important and unlikely to fit through the rapidly narrowing window of “stuff that makes it into NAB” (halfway through the TERFs essay, then one more - most of the editing is already done, so it’ll be fairly fast after that, though there’s still a few things that could go wrong - it’ll be out in 2017 if it kills me, and then Eruditorum 7 in the first half of 2018).
It’s increasingly clear that the most damaging legacy of Yudkowsky is that the popularization of his ideas (in part driven by people like Bostrom and Musk) has focused popular understanding of the dangers of AI on remote apocalyptic scenarios in a way that actively distracts from actually existent AI risk. The effects of, for instance, AI content moderation on social networks on discourse or of facial recognition that can’t handle black people are overlooked because they’re not the paperclip optimizer or Roko’s Basilisk. And these are real issues that are already happening and already dangerous. As algorithms and big data become bigger and bigger parts of decision making, the racial and sexual biases that are consistently baked into AIs by well-intentioned programmers with insufficient awareness of the limitations of their perspective are going to become bigger and more damaging. We’re already at a point where things happen like an AI used to predict recidivism rates being disproportionately likely to wrongly predict black prisoners as reoffenders and white prisoners as safe. The point where we get a massive AI-driven revival of redlining practices in housing is basically imminent if not already happening unnoticed.
In the face of this, general theories of “AI friendliness” become painfully visible as an attempt to substitute an actual problem with one so hypothetical that literally zero progress has been made on the question “so what does this mean in terms of actual coding?” And what’s horrifyingly revealing about the LessWrong crowd is that by and large they don’t even seem to recognize racial and sexual bias in AI as an aspect of “friendliness” that’s actually on the table right now. Which, I mean, it’s hard to call that a surprise when you remember that neoreaction spawned out of basically the same pool of thought, or that Yudkowsky’s sugar daddy is Peter Thiel, whose company Palantir is a military AI contractor that I basically guarantee you gives somewhere between zero and negative fucks about the racial bias of its products.
But basically, if your notion of how to approach the problem of AI risks substitutes actual harm being done right now for entirely hypothetical framings of the problem despite the fact that the actual harm is clearly a specific instance of your general problem that demands immediate solutions, go fuck yourself sideways with a server rack.
imagine the Sixth Doctor accidentally wandering into a pride parade and of course everyone is super complimentary of his outfit and he’s like. MY PEOPLE. I HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE.
(and then peri (or whoever) is like ummm doctor you know this is a GAY PRIDE parade right and he’s like EXACTLY.)
At its root, left wing antisemitism hates Jews for being flawed survivors instead of perfect corpses.
“The market is a good example of evolution in action; the try-everything-and-see-what-works approach. This might provide a perfectly morally satisfactory resource-management system so long as there was absolutely no question of any sentient creature ever being treated purely as one of those resources. The market, for all its (profoundly inelegant) complexities, remains a crude and essentially blind system, and is—without the sort of drastic amendments liable to cripple the economic efficacy which is its greatest claimed asset—intrinsically incapable of distinguishing between simple non-use of matter resulting from processal superfluity and the acute, prolonged and wide-spread suffering of conscious beings.”
- Iain M. Banks, source: Celebrating the Revolutionary Optimism of Iain M. Banks | Tor.com
In 1989, George Bush gave a speech about crack. During the speech he pulled out a bag of crack and said “this bag was seized right across the street from the White House in Lafayette park.”
Turns out, his speech writers had the idea to pull out a prop during his speech and in order to make it believable they had the DEA plant crack on this random 18 year old black kid. They lured him there. He didn’t even know where the White House or Lafayette park was. When he got there, they arrested them.
The plot was discovered by a journalist.
And then Gary Webb killed himself after he revealed that the CIA let crack infiltrate black communities through drug cartels making deals with the CIA. His wife left him and his career was ruined for exposing the drug war as a war against people of color.
There’s a really well done movie called Kill the Messenger (x) I suggest everyone should watch. It was done in partnership with his family and details the events from beginning to end.
This isn’t because Burger King is nicer in Denmark. It’s the law, and the US is actually the only so-called “developed” country that doesn’t mandate jobs provide a minimum amount of paid vacation, sick leave, or both.
kinda debunks that claim that they can’t afford to pay their workers those sort of wages and still make a profit
Its corporate greed, plain and simple.
It is the same in Sweden. It is so funny every time an american company opens up offices here and then tries to do it the american way and all the unions go “I don’t think so”.
They refused to sign on to the union deals that govern such things as pay/pension and vacation in Sweden. Most of our rights are not mandated by law (we don’t have a minimum wage for example) but are made in voluntary agreements between the unions and the companies.
But they refused, saying that they had never negotiated with any unions anywhere else in the world and weren’t planning to do it in Sweden either.
Of course a lot of people thought it was useless fighting against an international giant, but Handels (the store worker’s union) said that they could not budge, because that might mean that the whole Swedish model might crumble. So they went on strike in the three stores that the company had opened so far.
Cue a shitstorm from the press, and from right wing politicians. But the members were all for it, and other unions started doing sympathy actions. The teamsters refused to deliver goods to their stores, the financial unions blockaded all economical transactions regarding Toys ‘r Us and the strike got strong international support as well, especially in the US.
In the end, Toys ‘r Us caved in, signed the union deal, and thus their employees got the same treatment as Swedish store workers everywhere.
The right to be treated as bloody human beings and not disposable cogs in a machine.
And now you know why unions have been systematically dismantled in the US. Because they get shit done.
T H I S
I wish we still had powerful unions
Anya Elizaveta Rosenfield, born March 28th, 2017
Templeton smashed the door inward with a flick of his hand and a spark of magic. Simultaneously, Crowler motioned with her arms like two blades crossing over a throat, raising the ignition point of the gunpowder in the room.
The door slammed to ground in a cloud of dust to an applause of gun clicks.
The two agents rushed in like a tidal wave.
David Byrne’s Joan of Arc musical was a suprisingly straightforward retelling of the story that hewed pretty closely to the French contemporary version of the narrative. I expected a lot more critical a take; rather than nakedly presenting the French cause as right and the British as oppressive occupiers, they could have gone into the ways in which the Hundred Years’ War was kind of a big pissing contest between successive kings at massive cost of life, and how the Norman/English territories in France were taken away from the British in the first place. Instead we get British bad, French good (though the French king is shown to sacrifice Joan for political expediency).
Also the Church is portrayed in a strangely uncritical way. Instead of going into how they could be seen as collaborators with the British who burned Joan at the stake for political reasons, they portray the Church and the bishop who oversaw Joan’s trial as an essentially tragic figure trying to do what’s right. Considering as soon as the French were in ascendency again and the English driven out of France, the Church was quick to give in to political pressure and (postumously) nullify the charges against Joan, it seems like their callow opportunism could have been dug into a lot more.
Also, no interrogation at all of whether or not Joan was really crazy or actually talking to saints; the play plays pretty straight with her visions, and the French believe her the British and the Church don’t. She seems to never question it, even when she’s signing a confession that she lied under coercion. It’s kind of weird, especially given modern understandings of psychology.
All in all, even as the characters are dressed in modern leathers and singing rock, and despite a banner at the front of the stage before the show began that read “She was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless she persisted”, it felt like Byrne wasn’t interested in bringing any modern analysis of the events or politics (much less directly comparing them to any modern events ala Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). Which feels like a bewilderingly huge missed opportunity.
Otherwise, the performances and music were top notch, and I liked most of Byrnes new compositions (even if some of the early music felt a little samey). The music especially picked up during the trial and interrogation, where I think Byrne really found the story compelling.
Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work is making me want to blog again.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Thousands of years ago, somebody looked at a flock of sheep and went, “well, they aren’t cold.”
It’s so much better than that.
So once upon a time, goats and sheep were essentially the same animal, and all of them had hair. Now, you can do some stuff with hair, but you can’t do a lot, so mostly sheep/goats were kept for meat and milk.
Except then a mutation showed up, and some of the sheep/goats had WOOL instead. And someone realized that 1. you could spin that shit, and 2. then you could WEAVE that shit, and 3. IT GREW BACK.
Generations of selective breeding ensued. Two visibly discrete species emerged, one primarily for meat and milk, and the other primarily for wool. They also have different behavioural characteristics, because independence was not helpful in a sheep, so it was bred out of them. Sheep remain one of the few non-draft animals that we farm even though they are not delicious.
The most similar part of sheep and goats that remains today is their skeleton. On an archaeological dig, you find THOUSANDS of bones and bone fragments that can only be identified as “sheep/goat”. It’s incredibly frustrating, but also kind of hilarious after you’ve spent enough time in the sun.
ANYWAY, human beings have always been smart and surprisingly good at changing nature because they want a sweater.
The entire knitting community needs to hear this.
Oh man I’m so glad I can add this to my arsenal of responses to people who say all GMOs are made of poison.
Oh my god so THAT’S why the Chinese word for goat and sheep are the same word, they used to be the same species. Despite being Chinese I’ve been confused over this for years. Thank you so much.
Sheep are just mutant goats
Hey it’s Puddles the clown of Puddles Pity Party! I saw him play live once, he’s fantastic.
- If Steven can heal with his spit, he’d have a moral obligation to spend the rest of his life in a hospital, drooling
- Who names their children Sour Cream and Onion? (Yes, I know Vidalia is a kind of onion, but at least it sounds like a name.) Also, Yellow Tail?
- Beach City’s restaurants seem to consist of a pizza place, a french fry place, and a doughnut place. I really hope Steven is eating healthier at home.
- It sure seems like Greg isn’t eating healthy, considering he lives in a van. It’s good at least Steven got to live somewhere with an actual kitchen.
- Steven and Connie’s relationship is more stable and mature than any middle school relationship in the history of the world.