"Clear communication is difficult... I am only sometimes good at it, but a major piece of what makes me sometimes good at it is described below in concrete and straightforward terms."

"Ruling Out Everything Else" by Duncan_Sabien on Less Wrong lesswrong.com/posts/57sq9qA3wu

I've been trying to write something with my thoughts about COVID-19 safety policies (mainly inspired by the the debates I witnessed around the policies for fan conventions I'm attending this year, but applicable more broadly) but it always just feels like a disjointed collection of thoughts on disparate issues.

US politics 

Watching the reaction to ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturning and I'll say I'm cautiously pessimistic about the ramifications. Also watching what comes of Justice Thomas's concurrence re other major decisions that may be reconsidered.

Next step would be of course to campaign against restrictive state laws prohibiting esp. provisions prohibiting travel to other states for abortions (or federal legislation preventing this?).

"Internet 'algospeak' is changing our language in real time, from 'nip nops' to ‘le dollar bean'" by Taylor Lorenz in the Washington Post washingtonpost.com/technology/

To be fair, Orac does acknowledge the possibility as part of a comment: "I suppose it’s theoretically possible to be provaccine but antimandate, but I’m struggling to recall the last time that I’ve encountered one." Which is basically the same as how I feel.

Show thread

It's not because I agree with that libertarian sort of position, but rather because I think there needs to be a genuine political debate informed by the science, not a scientific debate in a political arena.

Also, it means one side can claim to be "pro-science" and advocate for particular policies under that banner, while portraying other policies as "anti-science," even though the disagreement is (or ought to be) a political one.

Same thing happens with climate change.

Show thread

"How to identify most antivaxxers with a simple question" by Orac in Respectful Insolence respectfulinsolence.com/2022/0

Good post but the header image (with a person holding a sign reading, "I'm not Anti-Vaccine; I'm anti-Mandate") bothers me, because I genuinely wish the position of, "Vaccines are generally good and you should get them unless you have a medical condition that precludes it, but they shouldn't be mandated," was more prominent.

"My first impressions of web3" by Moxie Marlinspike moxie.org/2022/01/07/web3-firs

"People don’t want to run their own servers, and never will." I think this is a fundamental principle to keep in mind when trying to create decentralized systems on the Internet.

I previously expressed annoyance at the fact that Linktree, a site for creating a Web page with links to other sites, exists as a commercial service ( qoto.org/@collectedoverspread/ ) but I recognize that this is just that principle at work. Still, it still bothers me how even simple things are now being placed on other people's servers because of this.

Targeted advertising based on online behavior doesn’t just hurt privacy. It also contributes to a range of other harms. eff.org/deeplinks/2022/03/ban-

"You really couldn't ask for a better encapsulation of the NFT bezzle: buy an NFT to 'flex' and 'show off you can afford to pay that much.' Ignore the intrinsic value or satisfaction of the underlying work. You're doing this for 'clout.'"

"Right-Clicker-Mentality" by Cory Doctorow pluralistic.net/2021/11/08/tin

Science can inform public policy but it doesn't determine it.

The Twitter account for is suspended but it seems like they're still minting tokens under the original contract: 0x7EE256bdEe18870320666bB61dD3c33C64025c78 on the Polygon PoS chain ( polygonscan.com/address/0x7EE2 )

(Confirmed this contract address through this archived tweet: web.archive.org/web/2021031004 )

Latest transaction at time of writing is 0x71a221241e0bfe242c20213a0da30a0314ce0f57e0d9e06b4e3982fa67e2754a ( polygonscan.com/tx/0x71a221241 )

Sender is 0xFc336c125085F20958d4caa62963e2C693242D43 which appears to be the same address that originally created the contract.

I wanted to write something about the cryptoart ("NFT") craze but I feel like there isn't much I can say that hasn't been said a dozen times already.

"As a society, we're carving out exceptions to a general standard of representativeness—choosing specific places where we remind each other that it's not allowed. The vast majority of the time, representativeness is not only rampant, it goes completely unnoticed... And it's drowning us."

"It’s Not What It Looks Like: Or, How The Representativeness Heuristic Is Ruining Every Fucking Thing" by Duncan Sabien medium.com/@ThingMaker/its-not

Conformity is a necessary evil in society, and often there is a debate between a side that does not recognize its necessity and another that does not recognize its evil.

I made this quip on my old Mastodon account (now defunct) but I think it's important enough to repeat (pending a longer blog post expanding on this idea).

The incident involving a certain food item at a certain event that took place two weeks ago is a prime example of the "PETA Principle" (as illustrated in slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/ ) in action: Controversial issues, those that can get many people on different sides involved, get talked about the most, as opposed to issues where people mostly agree. The incident was right on the edge of acceptability with some crucial factual disputes, making this whole thing ripe for arguments.

Facebook is deleting the face recognition-enabling faceprints of over 1 billion users worldwide. This is a testament to all the hard work activists have done to push back against this invasive technology.


"Lies, Damned Lies, and Fabricated Options" by Duncan_Sabien on Less Wrong lesswrong.com/posts/gNodQGNoPD

On "fabricated options," a type of wishful thinking which imagines choices without undesirable side effects or tradeoffs

In most cases I can bite my tongue because many of the specific proposals/campaigns are reasonable efforts at addressing inequity, but this sort of "rhetorical confusion" makes it difficult for me personally to fully participate in a lot of social-justice movements today.

Show thread
Show more
Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.

An inclusive free speech instance.
All cultures and opinions welcome.
Explicit hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.
We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.