Links Roundup

Name of the Year is going on now, down to the Sweet Sixteen. Current status:
- Bulltron Regional is a powerhouse. Looks like Salami Blessing might edge out Miracle Crimes (fair enough) but Mosthigh Thankgod might take a fall too, which is surprising. Jimbob Ghostkeeper is a pretty good name though. I would send any of these to the final four; pity only one can make it.
- Fruithandler and Dragonwagon regions are less exciting. “Megha” is far enough from “Mega” that Dr. Megha Panda is not quite as great as our other two amazing animal names. I guess I’d go with “Delicious Peters” over “Chardonnay Beaver” but in both cases I am snickering like a 12 year old.
- Chrotchtangle Regional has my two favorites: Dr. Narwhals Mating and Dr. Taekwondo Byrd. Mating is still my pick for the overall winner, and is sailing past Beau Titsworth, but Byrd is in trouble.
Get your votes in!

I should probably gather supplies for when an earthquake hits, and this seems a decent guide.

Peter Norvig’s Pytudes - I thought “I should do some of these”, because fluency, esp with Pandas and python plotting, would be really nice to build. However, they’re not about that. However however, they are pretty cool. I expect I would have spent a lot of time on these if I were in college or something.

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cav, opens up about panic attacks and anxiety. Respect. And “everyone is going through something” should probably be a constant motto in the back of everyone’s head.

Janelle Shane is still one of my favorite bloggers. Here she collects a bunch of “neural networks beating the system” examples.

This takedown of Chick-fil-A is mayyybe a culture wars guilty pleasure, but I loved the writing:
“The air smelled fried.”
“David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice-president of restaurant experience, told BuzzFeed that he strives for a “pit crew efficiency, but where you feel like you just got hugged in the process.” That contradiction, industrial but claustral, is at the heart of the new restaurant—and of Chick-fil-A’s entire brand.”
“Most restaurants take pains to distance themselves from the brutalities of the slaughterhouse; Chick-fil-A invites us to go along with the Cows’ Schadenfreude.”
“Homogeneous food is comfort food, and chains know that their primary appeal is palliative.”

A mostly… interesting?… take on consciousness, AI, and “being human”: it’s mostly about being wrong all the time. I don’t know if this is factually accurate (or indeed, if it’s pinned down enough to even be falsifiable), but it’s a kinda cool literary look at our minds. Helpful reminders: 1. we *are* wrong most of the time, 2. we’re more like a city than a computer, 3. “The only reason I can think of to build [self-conscious] machines is to employ more shrinks.”
Helpful reminder that could have been added: strong AI does not necessarily mean “thinking just like humans do.”

Could I do a links post without linking to a Slate Star Codex? Probably, but not this time. Recommendations vs. Guidelines - or, if that title is still as opaque to you as it is to me, consider it “recommendations vs. decision (and action) trees.” I want decision/action trees for everything in my life. I want to know not only “what is the best toothpaste,” but “what’s the decision tree for toothpastes.” The Wirecutter/The Sweethome are good at this, and sometimes I find a good guide elsewhere (like this for depression.) I should start keeping a folder of these or something.

(btw my current toothpaste decision tree is: “do you get canker sores? if so, then find a no-SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) toothpaste, like some of the Jason or Sensodyne ones - but make sure it’s still got fluoride. SLS is actually bad for canker sores, but fluoride is good for your teeth, and only tinfoil-hat types think fluoride is bad. If you don’t get canker sores, any fluoride toothpaste is fine. Colgate Total at one point had an extra active anti-gingivitis ingredient that my dentist said was good, but who knows, they might all have that now.” Ideally I would also have links attached to this decision tree! But I don’t; and maybe that is why people don’t do this, because writing up-to-date well-researched decision trees is hard.)


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