The mess in AU politics is just that: deplorable, unserious. The 2 big Parties pursued politics, signalling rather than principles, so voters denied them bicameral power to govern by fiat. But they ignore calls for consistency, prudence, accountability & have only dug-in deeper.

Will “Models Run the World”? To the extent this is about more than software structures — any algorithm implies a model — it’s exaggerated. Most *forecasts* are just not that strong. When were you last pleasantly suprised by an Amazon book recommendation?::

Until about 3 million years ago, camels were confined to their continent of origin... North America 🐫

‘“Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police,” [Mr Trump] continued. “Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!”’

Go tell the Spartans... “The 19th AU and 6th NZ were to hold the [Thermopylae] passes as long as possible, allowing the other units to withdraw. The Germans... met fierce resistance...& sustained considerable casualties. The Allies held out the entire day;”

Long, interesting report about the evolution of theory, from one side of the (venemous) dispute over the Cretaceous “asteroid impact” and alternative extinctions::

A reply to @joel_olbrich on the “QWERTY” effect. Apologies to Joel.I don’t know (yet) how to make replies public. BEGINS
English language keyboards have a letter-layout begining QWERTY... apparently because this order facilitated the mechanical operation of early typewriters. There was no linguistic logic in the design: there seem to be several layouts that would be easier to learn and faster to use. But the early manufacturers standardised, by default, on the QWERTY layout and it became universal. No typewriter having a different layout would sell because users had accommodated to the idiosyncrasy of QWERTY. The “QWERTY Effect” is, by analogy, any structure, however idiosyncratic, that has been entrenched by use. But, on reflection, the “Twitter effect” is not due so much to its QWERTY-ness but to the natural monopoly effect of network scale economies. First movers in many network spaces (railways, airlines, telephone networks, Twitter) who secure large scale quickly can often block new entrants simply because the scale of investments needed to compete against the reach of their established network is too large for new entrants (who have no customers, at first) to justify.

Introducing myself. I am a Twitter refugee (maybe) where my handle is the same as here. I archive my own Twitter timeline here ( A quick glance will show you what I’m up to. My professional expertise is/was economic history and administration of trade and trade agreements. I have an economist’s view of the world although my academic qualifications are in law, philosophy and literature. I follow people/stuff like @tylercowan, @samirvama, @sixthtone, @patrickcollison, @catotrade I’ve recorded and am annotating Byron’s comic epic “Don Juan” (funny, touching, outrageous but neglected): see @madbaddangerous on Twitter. I would be better at piano and photography if I hadn’t waited until my mid-60s to take them up. I’m trying to create a portfolio at I like Opera a lot more than Metal.

A would-be refugee (?) from Twitter. Interested in myself, mainly. Also rationality, liberality and... lots of ‘isms’.

QOTO Mastodon

Welcome to the QOTO instance

QOTO: Question Others, Teach Others

A Mastodon instance for scholars in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and all yearning to learn.

A free speech space. No censorship here.
We do not silence or block any instances.

Unique Features
  • Inline math Latex support - Use \ ( and \ ) for inline LaTeX, and \ [ and \ ] for display mode.
  • 65,535 character limit for toots (usually 500)
  • 65,535 character limit for profile bio (usually 160)
  • Full text searches - usually you can only search hashtags and usernames
  • Halcyon / Twitter clone front-end - Want the interface to look exactly like the Twitter interface? After you signed up just go here to login:
  • PeerTube - We host our own PeerTube server with open registration for up to 100MB, but all of our active users get unlimited quotas. Sign up here:
  • Professionally hosted with nightly backups
  • light modern theme with full width columns (not fixed)
  • Several extra themes - including mastodon default and mastodon default with full width columns (not fixed)

Message to New Members

Welcome to the Qoto Mastodon instance, its like twitter but better!

Please don't hesitate to Direct Message me or tag me in Toots (what we call tweets here) if you have any questions or even if you just want to chat.

If you are new to Mastodon you may want to check out this official getting started guide:

We are a free speech, no censorship zone. Feel free to talk about whatever you want, say whatever you want, as long as it is legal you wont ever get banned from the server. With that said we do have a few rules: No spam, and no using multiple accounts to circumvent personal bans.

This server isnt a typical mastodon server either. I have personally modified the code on this server to give it several unique features you wont find on other servers.

If you are new to Mastodon here is some useful info.

First off, if your coming from Twitter and you'd prefer an interface that looks exactly like twitter, then just go here and login with your Qoto credential: No need to create an account there, your account on this server will work just fine. Just enter your username in the following format @[username] so for me it would be @freemo But personally I think our default skin here is way better.

Basically Mastodon is a decentralized twitter. That means anyone can run a server (like Qoto) that people can sign up to and use just like twitter. The unique part is how the servers talk to each other.

If you want to tag someone on the same server as you then you can just do @user however if you want to specify someone on a different server you can do @user@server. If someone follows you or mentions you on any server on the internet you'll get notified right here. So my full tag is

So now a bit about the timelines, there are three (unlike twitter there is just one): Home, Local, Federated.

The Home timeline is just like what you'd expect on twitter, that is, everyone you are following.

The local timeline is any post made by anyone on your local server.

The federated timeline is what is cool. It combines the timeline of everyone on the server into one. This way you can see the posts of everyone that is followed by anyone on the server (assuming the post is public). So this timeline is a close representation of everyone on the internet who has Mastadon (though not really). Moreover we have a bot here that goes around and federates with everyone it can find, so our Federated Feed is rather robust covering thousands of instances.

Only other thing that is unique is listed vs unlisted posts. You have normal privacy settings like on twitter but you also can set a post to be listed or unlisted. If it is listed it acts just as i described. If it is unlisted then it acts just as a normal tweet would but it doesnt show up on local or federated timelines anywhere.

Also this goes without saying, but don't be racist, sexist, hateful, and don't harass people. Its a pretty shitty thing to do, don't be shitty!

The following is the list of QOTO administrators/moderators.
Note: The account listed as the administrator is NOT an actively monitored account. It was selected so as not to show favoritism among our moderator group, we are a democracy and even our administrators and moderators are held to the same high standards of decency as the rest of the community.

***We will never advertise on QOTO or sell your information to third-parties***