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Transformative Experience afterword

Posted by Ben
on 08.02.15

By conflated:

Summary:

So, as we've heard earlier, the usual way of making big decisions is simulating expected outcomes, and choosing according to a combination of probabilities of expected value, including both objective elements, and more problematic subjective elements. These subjective elements are great because you should follow the dream in your heart, ie there is something special and particular about your own personal internal view on your own future. They are problematic in the case of transformative experiences, like having a durian baby, because you can't know how you'll feel about that in the future. Therefore, to make a rational decision, you have to decide on the basis of the transformative experience, not the outcome. You should like jumping the fence, not the colour of the grass on the other side.


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Ronda Rousey

Posted by Ogged
on 08.01.15

This is a UFC crowd, right? Man, she is fun to watch.



 

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To Each His Due

Posted by Ogged
on 07.31.15

Here's The New Yorker on U2 forgetting about irony and what's even the point of piece like that? Now here's Albert Burneko on same.*

Repetitiveness generally isn't all that grave a crime in pop music. For example, literally every song the Red Hot Chili Peppers have ever recorded is just Anthony Kiedis saying "Llama gamma busy hella fizzy California" over the opening credits music from The Cosby Show, and they've been doing it for over 30 years and nobody cares. This is because the Red Hot Chili Peppers are just some goofballs turning the crank and hoping it'll spit out another "Under the Bridge," and they know it as well as we do, and hey, the world is full of people turning cranks. Much of life is crank-turning. Nobody can get mad at the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It would be like getting mad at a fry cook because his quarter-pounders always taste the same.

The problem with U2--with Bono, really, I mean c'mon, who the fuck are the rest of them anyway?--is not that their shit is repetitive, but what they are repeating (neutered khaki wussbag crap designed to make you proud of yourself for being capable of feelings) and how they are repeating it (with the pomp, grandiosity, and embarrassing self-seriousness of a 14-year-old Redditor telling you he doesn't see race, man), and to whom they are repeating it (shitdick Red Sox stans). U2 is the world's foremost creator of Oh Man, So Deep faces--furrowed brow, closed eyes, overbite--on dudes who tuck in their T-shirts. My theory is, Bono starts with the face and works backward.

Beautiful.

*Yeah, a Gawker site. I followed a shortened link and then it was too late!



 

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Big Ups To Hoopz

Posted by Ogged
on 07.30.15

This is played for laughs, but the more I think about it, the more genuinely impressive it seems. Shaq is something like 350 pounds. She's walking in heels with him on her back. She's also smiling the whole time. Maybe the crucible of sexism is even more annealing than we believed.



 

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"Their permissions are very lenient"

Posted by Apostropher
on 07.29.15

Today's gold medal for trollery is awarded for commandeering a Confederate Pride Facebook group. Sorta like taking candy from a baby, except babies devise effective defense strategies way more quickly.



 

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Father of faith

Posted by Ben
on 07.29.15

One of the few things I remember from my collegiate readings of Fear and Trembling is the line about the privacy of Abraham's experience (it is suddenly clear to me why Cavell would have written on Kierkegaard)—like, if you actually believed that god had spoken to you (and demanded such a crazy-seeming action of you), how could you communicate that to anyone else without seeming crazy? Wouldn't you seem crazy to yourself? And, one might add, if that can happen, what else might be the case? Wouldn't the ground on which you stand seem infirm? Wouldn't it all be alienating and unreal?

So what I want to know is, what are the (non-Lovecraftian, that seems like a different sort of thing) fantasy novels in which the discovery of an unseen, unimaginable world leads the protagonist to isolation, alienation, and despair, because the world no longer seems to make sense, or to acting on faith and being reviled by everyone else for his or her apparently insane actions?



 

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Guest Post - Lose Yourself

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.29.15

U. Awl writes: I just saw this at the other place and thought it would maybe be appropriate. Well, actually I have a bunch of questions for E. Messily about it, and I hoped putting it up would maybe make her want to answer them, if it hasn't been discussed yet

Are all of the gestures ASL? Are there points where she relies on lip-reading, or is it straight-up translation all the way through? How cool is the keyboard/rhythm part? (I got that one - way cool!)

Heebie's take: Speaking of E. Messily, everybody put your hands together for a warm Texas-style welcome for the Geebies new roommate! She's our foreign exchange student for the semester, except for being neither foreign, nor part of an exchange, nor a student.



 

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Legal Hell

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.29.15

Prosecuters doing their thing despite overwhelming evidence of innocence.

If anyone suggests that the fact that Mark Weiner was released this week means "the system works," I fear that I will have to punch him in the neck. Because at every single turn, the system that should have worked to consider proof of Weiner's innocence failed him.

The last time I remember us discussing this sort of thing, I think the lawyers' response was "Well, look. It's an adversarial system. You have any better ideas?" Now that I've had time to think about it, I think the answer is: I rarely have good ideas about structuring society. My lack of ideas doesn't mean this can't be improved.

But Mark Weiner's journey into legal purgatory is more than just a quirky local tale; it shows why innocent people get trapped in a system in which it is costless for prosecutors to make errors, while mistakes made by defense counsel at trial are virtually impossible to correct.

Anyway, my point is that this particular asymmetry in counsel hadn't quite crossed my mind so explicitly as a major weakness of the system.



 

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