23 Jul 01:34

Meeting Mr. Harris

by Randal Milholland

Comic for 7-22-2021

The post Meeting Mr. Harris appeared first on Something Positive.

22 Jul 13:31

junkfoodcinemas:DUNE Trailer #2


DUNE Trailer #2

22 Jul 07:09

Comic for July 22, 2021

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
22 Jul 14:35

Comic for 2021.07.22

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
23 Jul 07:14

Comic: Digiman

by Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho)
New Comic: Digiman
24 Jul 01:59

The Shirk Report – Volume 640

by twistedsifter



The Sifter is back on Instagram after a 10-year hiatus. Check it out? https://www.instagram.com/twistedsifter/


Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Digg, Kottke, WITI, Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com



The differences are many but they are both amazing
Finally a reason to post this clip
An iconic photo from the Bezos space launch
If they get to go to space we at least get to make memes | And opine
Thanks, I absolutely hate it
Don’t leave me
Fast thinking driver puts out car on fire
This is the fire extinguisher at the NASA Kennedy Space Center
Check out these specialized scissors for cutting wrapping paper
Consider yourself warned
I’m not even mad, that’s amazing
The universal feline stretch
The zoom on lenses today is crazy
This moth doesn’t even look real
Ditto for this dude
Story time!
Go that way!
Until next week



Adam Ondra Is the World’s Most Accomplished Climber. He May Not Win an Olympic Medal
Reflections as the Internet Archive turns 25
Signs of Life on Mars? NASA’s Perseverance Rover Begins the Hunt
Every Book Lover Should Fear This Graph
The Day the Good Internet Died
What antivaxx posts on Facebook really look like
‘We Don’t Need Another Michelangelo’: In Italy, It’s Robots’ Turn to Sculpt
Japan’s Oldest Surviving Cookbook Ryori Monogatari (1643)
One of the biggest myths about EVs is busted in new study
What Will Happen to My Music Library When Spotify Dies?















stay outside bugs tweet The Shirk Report – Volume 640


22 Jul 20:48

Latest Dune trailer gives us our best look yet at Denis Villeneuve’s epic film

by Jennifer Ouellette

It seems like we've been waiting forever for the much-anticipated release of filmmaker Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic science fiction novel Dune. The movie was originally slated for a November 2020 release before moving to December, but the winter surge of COVID-19 ultimately crushed those hopes. It was rescheduled to October 1, 2021, then bumped yet again to October 22. That date still holds (fingers crossed!), and Warner Bros. just released a new three-minute trailer showcasing tons of new footage from the film.

As we've reported previously (here and here), Herbert's Dune is set in the distant future and follows the fortunes of various noble houses in what amounts to a feudal interstellar society. Much of the action takes place on the planet Arrakis, where the economy is driven largely by a rare, life-extending drug called melange ("the spice"). Melange also conveys a kind of prescience and makes faster-than-light travel practical. There's betrayal, a prophecy concerning a messianic figure, giant sandworms, and battle upon battle, as protagonist Paul Atreides (a duke's son) contends with rival House Harkonnen and strives to defeat the forces of Shaddam IV, Emperor of the Known Universe.

When Dune was first published, The Chicago Tribune called it "one of the monuments of modern science fiction." Astronomers have used the names of fictional planets in Dune to identify various topographical features on Saturn's moon Titan. Herbert wrote five sequels, and the franchise also includes board games, computer games, and numerous prequels and sequels written by his son Brian Herbert with the help of Kevin J. Anderson.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

24 Jul 11:35

Not so surprising surprise

by Scandinavia and the World
Not so surprising surprise

Not so surprising surprise

View Comic!

23 Jul 06:52

Girl Genius for Friday, July 23, 2021

The Girl Genius comic for Friday, July 23, 2021 has been posted.
23 Jul 20:13

Links For July

by Scott Alexander

[Remember, I haven’t independently verified each link. On average, commenters will end up spotting evidence that around two or three of the links in each links post are wrong or misleading. I correct these as I see them, and will highlight important corrections later, but I can’t guarantee I will have caught them all by the time you read this.]

1: Previous research had suggested that you might be able to treat depression by using Botox to literally paralyze the facial muscles that make you frown. Two teams recently did meta-analyses of the research and came to different conclusions. Or rather, they came to the same conclusion - it has a really really big effect size - but they interpreted it differently: one team says it must be super great, another team said something must be wrong with the studies. Now the second team has responded to the first, in an article called (wait for it) Claims About The Effect Of Botulinum Toxin On Depression Should Raise Some Eyebrows.

2: Poll, seen here: surprisingly many Brits want a permanent lockdown regardless of COVID:


If any commenters here would describe themselves as in this group, I’m interested to hear your reasoning. [Edit/update from commenters: as with all polls, this changes a lot depending on how you frame the question]

3: A long Twitter thread giving a great explanation of some of the issues in psychotherapy research. One of the most important is that it’s really hard to give placebo psychotherapy, so most experimenters don’t bother and just compare to people on the “wait list” for their treatment, but this isn’t an adequate control and you really do have to give placebo psychotherapy for your study to get good results.

4: GPT-3 writes an Ace Attorney case, self-recommending:

5: This month in etymology: did you know that some linguists believe that “heathen” (which originally had an adjective form “heathenic”) comes from the word “ethnic” (in the same ethnic=foreign sense as “ethnic food”)? But it might also have just been a person who lived on a heath.

6: Congratulations to SSC/ACX reader and commenter Tom Chivers, who recently won a British Science Journalist of the Year award. My own encounter with Tom was that he once wrote a book about the rationalist community, and asked to informally talk to me and my at-the-time girlfriend. My girlfriend was trying to decide whether or not she was ready to have children, so she got one of those robot babies that they use in school health classes to teach you how hard having an infant is. And she didn’t want to leave it alone or it would start crying and grade her as unready to be a mother. So she took it to the interview, and obviously Tom noticed it, and we had the fun task of convincing him that we were normal people who just happened to be carrying a robot baby around, for reasons that were totally unrelated to us being in something that we were trying to make clear to him was NOT a robot cult. He was very understanding and didn’t dwell on it too much in his book, which was very gracious of him. Anyway, you can read his science reporting here.

7: If you liked the recent post on polygenically-selected babies, you might also like Steve Hsu’s summary of recent research, plus this panel discussion with a group of experts (including Dr. Smigrodzki, father of the first polygenically-selected child).

8: This month in Chinese propaganda (courtesy of Xinhua News’ Twitter account)

9: Dominic Cummings, formerly a top adviser to the British government, now has a Substack (…Domstack?) where he talks about the UK coronavirus response and his many other opinions. The “Ask Me Anything” threads are a particular gem - it’s hard for me to think of other examples of people with experience of the top levels of power being so accessible and willing to talk about it with randos.

10: RIP antivirus pioneer John McAfee, who died of an apparent prison suicide, two years after publicly announcing that he would never commit suicide in prison and that if it looked like he did then he’d been murdered, and was so concerned about this that he even got a tattoo to this effect. He will be remembered for his software, his larger-than-life lifestyle, and every time I think of this tweet:

11: Finally, a politician is listening to my pleas to center de-college-ization as an important issue. Joe Kent, a Republican running for Washington’s 3rd congressional district, has said that “the government must open jobs to those with non-traditional educational backgrounds” and pledged that:

When elected, I will introduce legislation that will require every government job listing to only require a college degree if it is technically necessary - for example, mathematics, engineering, geology, etc - and consider alternative workforce experience wherever applicable. Further, I will set aside one third of the jobs on my congressional staff for those who do not have a traditional educational background, and one-third for those from the district. And I will advocate for my fellow representatives in Congress to do the same.

Good luck, Mr. Kent! (though as usual he is still terrible in other ways)

12: The Topologist’s Map Of The World (source):

#maps from Maps on the Web

13: One of the best parts of writing my lockdown effectiveness post was learning about Corona Game, an educational game where you try to set COVID policy for the Czech Republic. It recently went viral on Hacker News, and there were lots of great comments about it, including some from the authors. Related: Matt Shapiro (who comments here as PoliMath) adds to the discussion of costs and benefits of COVID lockdowns.

14: Shinigami Eyes is a browser add-on which highlights users on social media and comments sections who have a history of either pro-transgender or anti-transgender comments (it learns from user reports, but it must have a big userbase because friends who use it say it’s pretty accurate about lots of people). A small step toward our filtered future - though of course the real fun starts once we have augmented-reality goggles and can give red vs. green auras to people you meet on the street based on their past comments about trans issues. Actually, no, the real killer app will be glasses that can make people look either more or less physically attractive based on how closely they share your political views.

15: From the subreddit: children born pre-term have notably worse health and lower IQ than those born after a full pregnancy. There are lots of ways to prevent pre-term birth, including progesterone therapy and literally just sewing the cervix shut. So why don’t we do these more often, asks a writer who realistically probably does not himself have a cervix. Some really great comments, including this one by an OB/GYN who explains the current thinking around this topic (progesterone doesn’t work, cervical sewing has too many risks to be done as a universal prophylaxis).

16: Seen here, presented without comment:


17: David Friedman: no, Adam Smith didn’t share all of your modern progressive opinions. Probably people are just getting him confused with someone who did, like Jesus.

18: Related: H.P. Lovecraft on Hayek

19: Holden Karnofsky, co-founder of GiveWell and CEO of the Open Philanthropy Project, now has a blog, Cold Takes, on “futurism, macrohistory, applied epistemology and ethics, [and] sometimes sports”. Getting to hear from Holden is always a privilege, usually one reserved for people at effective altruism organizations or conferences, and it’s exciting to see he’ll be sharing his thoughts more widely.

20: This Twitter thread on delegitimation of the high school bully argues that school bullies have faded from the public consciousness compared to their heyday in the late 20th century, and that’s because awareness campaigns / zero tolerance policies worked, and that’s partly because even school officials used to treat bullies as pretty cool and basically in the right, and we managed to successfully recast them as really bad. Interested to hear if this matches others’ experience. I am constantly mystified by which awareness campaigns work extraordinarily well (eg drunk driving, maybe bullying?) vs. fail (eg premarital sex, drugs, etc)

21: Probably inspired by the recent assassination of the Haitian president, there’s been some interesting recent discussion on divergence between Haiti and the Dominican Republic - same GDP per capita until ~1960, but now Dominican Republic is about 8x higher. Start with Noah Smith here, then Tyler Cowen here, then Lurking_Chronicler_2 here. One reason people find this question so interesting is that it feels like it should be possible to pinpoint the difference to policy-like-variables alone - since Haiti and the DR were doing so similarly for so long, it doesn’t seem like culture or genetics should play a role. I’m not sure this is really that airtight - one of Noah’s commenters points out that even when Haiti and DR had identical GDPperCs, DR life expectancy was ten years longer, so maybe there are hidden depths. It’s tempting to attribute all of Haiti’s terrible second-half-of-the-20th-century to the Duvaliers, but it’s still a minor mystery why DR has done so much better than the rest of Latin America. Tyler Cowen offhandedly mentions really good use of special economic zones. I’d like to learn more about that - some of the people who are always talking about Shenzhen and Dubai should write about it sometime.

22: Claim: cave paintings used a primitive sort of animation, and some of them take on movie-like qualities by firelight.

23: Like everyone else, I read the Buzzfeed piece claiming that the Michigan governor kidnapping plot was, let’s say, “helped along” by the FBI an inappropriate amount. I came out of it thinking that these were some pretty scary dudes who were the type of people who might kidnap governors, but that it seemed possible they would never have gotten around to starting any particular governor-kidnapping operation if not for FBI entrapment. I’m not sure what to think about that - as a liberal, I want to protect the norm of not punishing people for crimes unless they definitely actually came up with the plan to commit them themselves. But I have trouble feeling as outraged as I’d like to about a plan to get potential-governor-kidnappers off the streets faster by convincing them to commit to an actual governor-kidnapping on some specific date that the FBI can arrest them for. And I think about things like how many people get their bikes stolen in the Bay Area, and how police never do anything about it, and how one of the proposals is to plant honeypot bikes in easily-watchable areas and arrest the people who steal them until maybe eventually San Franciscans get the message that bike-stealing can have negative consequences - and this has a lot to recommend it over just letting bikes get stolen (or governors get kidnapped) every so often. Anyway, my favorite part of the article was reading about how much all the governor-kidnapper militia people cared about making sure nobody thought they were racist, even while they were plotting domestic terrorism. This definitely feels like a metaphor for life.


25: How Asia Works (reviewed here) argued that agricultural land reform (ie redistributing land from large landholders to peasants) was an important part of the industrializing process that helped East Asia become First World. While reviewing it, I wondered if pushing land distribution might be an effective altruist intervention. Now the organized EA movement (in the form of the increasingly prominent Rethink Priorities group) has published an analysis of it as a cause area. I interpret their conclusion as being that it’s not entirely clear that smaller farms produce more, and although it’s possible that they do, land redistribution is so politically intractable that it probably isn’t worth focusing on this too hard unless an unexpected opportunity comes up.

26: What should we make of Amazon’s payment acceptance team advertising a job opening for a “Digital Currency And Blockchain Product Lead”?

27: Seen on nostalgebraist’s Tumblr:

Among the many great little stories in Jonathan Rose’s book The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, one that has always stuck in my mind concerns a guy who read the Bible on his own, with dedication but without any external guidance.

On the basis of the other books he’d read, he assumed the Bible was a chronological narrative in which each section happened after the previous one.  So when he got to the gospels, he assumed that they actually happened sequentially: that Jesus was in a sort of Groundhog Day time loop in which he experienced slightly different versions of the same set of events four different times, dying at the end of each version.  (I guess it would make sense that final loop was John, which is significantly different from the other three.)

23 Jul 04:44

[ASAP] Atomically Precise Dinuclear Site Active toward Electrocatalytic CO2 Reduction

by Tao Ding, Xiaokang Liu, Zhinan Tao, Tianyang Liu, Tao Chen, Wei Zhang, Xinyi Shen, Dong Liu, Sicong Wang, Beibei Pang, Dan Wu, Linlin Cao, Lan Wang, Tong Liu, Yafei Li, Hongting Sheng, Manzhou Zhu, and Tao Yao

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c05754
23 Jul 08:33

Chapter 81: Page 24

Very generous.
23 Jul 07:48

Girl Genius for Friday, July 23, 2021

The Girl Genius comic for Friday, July 23, 2021 has been posted.
22 Jul 07:09

Comic for July 22, 2021

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
22 Jul 18:36

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Wow!

by tech@thehiveworks.com

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

This comic is only pessimistic if you are a human.

Today's News:
22 Jul 22:58

In Memory of her father, Frank McLaughlin

by Scott Lord on Silent Film
I gave Donna a sympathy card on her father’s passing away which reads Nothing Loved Is Ever Lost. She had a doctor’s appointment today after which we went to lunch in an unfamiliar suburb. During a walk before going home we found a museum devoted to the American Revolutionary War. It was the house of a soldier that died during the first shots of the Revolutionary. The garden was fairly beautiful and there are outdoor guided tours during the week- in fact the house itself looks empty, so we gained as much as anyone would. Donna’s father was the prinicpal of Pleasant Point High School in New Jersey and she likes anything to do with the American Revolution here in Boston and near Harvard University. The church library where she worked before Co-Vid 19 in fact had a window to an adjoing graveyard where John Hancock, John Adams, Paul Revere and James Otis were buried. Since her father passed way this week, the musuem after hours provided a meditaive place for seenity that combines with the curiousity which life itself affords, ie. the wonder of prayer. In that way the afternoon, despite being a romantic date, was spent in the memory of her father.
The above is a photo of Donna's father from the Point Pleasant Beach Highschool year book from when Donna was attending highschool at nearby Tom's River High School, North, both on the New Jersey Shore.
22 Jul 19:16

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Wow!

by tech@thehiveworks.com

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

This comic is only pessimistic if you are a human.

Today's News:
23 Jul 05:21

Comic for 2021.07.23

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
23 Jul 07:15

Comic for July 23, 2021

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
23 Jul 14:32

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Origins

by tech@thehiveworks.com

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Relative dick moves have of course been possible since RNA world.

Today's News:
23 Jul 10:20

Comic: Digiman

by Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho)
New Comic: Digiman
24 Jul 02:01

Dual USB-C

Small devices use two-prong USB-AC, but there's also a three-prong version with a USB-B plug as the ground.
24 Jul 07:08

Comic for July 24, 2021

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
24 Jul 03:46

Dual USB-C

Small devices use two-prong USB-AC, but there's also a three-prong version with a USB-B plug as the ground.
24 Jul 05:12

Comic for 2021.07.24

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic