burkaman's recent activity

  1. Comment on Download the 'Nevertheless, She Persisted' short fiction bundle for free, starting this International Women’s Day in ~books

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    This is cool, but it's weird that they don't seem to be very familiar with the origin of this phrase. This was Senator McConnell's statement, made in real life on the Senate floor, not social media.

    This is cool, but it's weird that they don't seem to be very familiar with the origin of this phrase.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren’s now-iconic statement

    fired over social media

    This was Senator McConnell's statement, made in real life on the Senate floor, not social media.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to address climate change in ~enviro

    burkaman
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Well, FDR wanted the highest tax rate for incomes over ~$350,000 (in today's dollars) to be 100%. Congress thought that was too much, and they settled on a 94% rate. So, something like that? 100%...

    Well, FDR wanted the highest tax rate for incomes over ~$350,000 (in today's dollars) to be 100%. Congress thought that was too much, and they settled on a 94% rate.

    So, something like that? 100% tax rate over $10 million or something? Of course you can talk about how rich people can disguise their income and avoid taxes, and this doesn't really address people who already have many billions in assets, but it would be a hugely consequential step that we know is possible because we've done it before.

    12 votes
  3. Comment on The term ‘oriental’ is outdated, but is it racist? in ~humanities

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    I would be very surprised to hear someone under the age of 70 use the word oriental in conversation or writing in the US. I would agree that it exoticizes an entire class of people, and implies...

    I would be very surprised to hear someone under the age of 70 use the word oriental in conversation or writing in the US. I would agree that it exoticizes an entire class of people, and implies their "race" is the most important thing about them, so I don't use it. If somebody wants to use it to describe themselves, that's probably fine, use whatever label you want.

    I don't think it is or ever was a malicious slur, but it's an unnecessary word with connotations of a time when, frankly, most people were racist. It is not really a cause for concern, though, it's simply never used. This article is the first time I've seen it discussed.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Greta Thunberg nominated for 2020 Nobel Peace Prize in ~enviro

  5. Comment on The demise of formal nights on cruises: How dress codes are tearing passengers apart in ~life

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    No you can't, but can tell a lot about someone by asking how they judge others.

    you can tell a quite a bit about a person by the way they dress

    No you can't, but can tell a lot about someone by asking how they judge others.

    8 votes
  6. Comment on The demise of formal nights on cruises: How dress codes are tearing passengers apart in ~life

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    I would call it a flourishing of dress codes. The range of acceptable clothing has increased dramatically, allowing for more creativity, more personalities, more body types, etc. It's the complete...

    the decay of dress codes

    I would call it a flourishing of dress codes. The range of acceptable clothing has increased dramatically, allowing for more creativity, more personalities, more body types, etc. It's the complete opposite of decay.

    I just don't understand how someone could consider casual/streetwear appropriate

    Why? You don't explain anywhere why you think casual clothes are inappropriate.

    Have some respect for yourself and for the institution

    I don't consider it respectful when people judge me by my attire instead of my actions.

    the least you can do is not erode the minimum standards

    Why not? I want to, they're bad standards.

    Formal wear is timeless

    No it isn't, it changes at least every century. You're witnessing such a change right now.

    reeks of sloth

    Is it lazier to wear the same black suit that everybody else is wearing to every vaguely formal occasion, or to pick something original?

    Why are you even looking at what other people are wearing at the theatre or a work meeting? Why would you care? How does it affect you in any way?

    9 votes
  7. Comment on The Open Book - An open source device for reading in ~comp

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    I didn't see anything about urgency. The premise is an open source Kindle, basically. Why not? I don't think anything like that exists yet. There are ereaders with open source firmware, but none...

    I didn't see anything about urgency. The premise is an open source Kindle, basically. Why not? I don't think anything like that exists yet. There are ereaders with open source firmware, but none with open hardware that I can find.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Why do women fake orgasms – and is it anti-feminist? We asked five women in ~life

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    The article clearly references two studies, the second of which references feminism. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-019-01510-2 https://sci-hub.tw/10.1007/s10508-019-01510-2

    The article clearly references two studies, the second of which references feminism.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-019-01510-2
    https://sci-hub.tw/10.1007/s10508-019-01510-2

    A survey of 462 heterosexual women from the UK (Mage=38.38 years) found that those who espoused anti-feminist values—that is, those high in hostile sexism—had faked significantly more orgasms over their lifetime.

    11 votes
  9. Comment on Bernie Sanders hospitalized for blocked artery, had two stents inserted; campaign events canceled until further notice in ~news

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    The study they reference is only referring to coverage on World News Tonight, a daily half-hour show. It is still worthwhile to compare Biden's 68 minutes to Sanders' 7, but it's completely wrong...

    The study they reference is only referring to coverage on World News Tonight, a daily half-hour show. It is still worthwhile to compare Biden's 68 minutes to Sanders' 7, but it's completely wrong to say "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has received only seven minutes of total coverage from ABC News in 2019."

    World News Tonight is one of ten regularly scheduled ABC News shows, almost all of which cover American politics.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on The Problem With Sugar-Daddy Science in ~science

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    This actually started as one of her tweetstorms last week that I guess she decided to develop into an article. https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1171895657872941056

    This actually started as one of her tweetstorms last week that I guess she decided to develop into an article. https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1171895657872941056

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Republicans in four states plan to scrap primaries and caucuses in ~news

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    I agree that Trump will obviously win the primary, but I don't know what should count as "significant". If Bill Weld, with absurdly low name recognition, gets ~10% in head-to-head polls, I would...

    I agree that Trump will obviously win the primary, but I don't know what should count as "significant". If Bill Weld, with absurdly low name recognition, gets ~10% in head-to-head polls, I would call that at least kind of significantish.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/us/2020_republican_presidential_nomination_trump_vs_weld-6883.html

    9 votes
  12. Comment on Andrew Yang Gets Media Cold Shoulder in ~news

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    That's a fine way to phrase it, but I don't think discussing motivation is particularly important when the results of an action are obvious to anybody. For example, if you were allergic to...

    That's a fine way to phrase it, but I don't think discussing motivation is particularly important when the results of an action are obvious to anybody. For example, if you were allergic to peanuts, and I served you a dish made with peanuts, it would be quite important for you to know my motivations. If I didn't know about your allergy, it would be reasonable to assume I didn't intend to hurt you. However, if I donate to A, but publicly claim that I don't support P, who cares? I and everyone else knew the consequences of my actions before I did it. Even if I claim in my heart of hearts I don't really want P to happen, I'm still helping. I am knowingly providing material support.

  13. Comment on Andrew Yang Gets Media Cold Shoulder in ~news

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    You are making an extremely narrow semantic argument about the definition of "support" that I don't think is useful. Claim 1: Money donated to political candidates (through campaigns or...

    You are making an extremely narrow semantic argument about the definition of "support" that I don't think is useful.

    Claim 1: Money donated to political candidates (through campaigns or organizations) helps candidates win.

    Claim 2: If a candidate wins an election, the policies they support are more likely to be implemented.

    Therefore, money donated to political candidates increases the likelihood of their policies being implemented.

    If you don't like the word "support", we can use something different. How about "financially backs", or "reluctantly supports"?

  14. Comment on Brave uncovers Google’s GDPR workaround in ~tech

  15. Comment on Andrew Yang’s plan to tackle climate change, explained in ~news

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    Departure in that it's less than other candidates? From Elizabeth Warren's plan: https://medium.com/@teamwarren/my-green-manufacturing-plan-for-america-fc0ad53ab614 I don't think fusion or molten...

    Departure in that it's less than other candidates? From Elizabeth Warren's plan:

    My plan has three elements:

    Green Apollo Program — a commitment to leading the world in developing and manufacturing the revolutionary clean energy technology the world will need, like the way we invested in innovative science to win the race to the moon. That means $400 billion in funding over the next ten years for clean energy research and development — more than ten times what we invested in the last ten years. It means the creation of a National Institutes of Clean Energy. And it means provisions to ensure that taxpayers capture some of the upside of their research investments and that our research dollars result in manufacturing in the United States, not offshore.

    Green Industrial Mobilization — a commitment to using the full power of the federal procurement process to spur innovation and create demand for American-made clean energy products, like how we mobilized our industrial base during World War II. That means a $1.5 trillion federal procurement commitment over the next ten years to purchase American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export. The United States is currently projected to spend roughly $1.5 trillion in the next ten years on defense procurement — a bloated number that’s far beyond what we need to keep ourselves safe. We should spend at least that much on purchasing American-made clean energy technology to address the climate crisis that threatens us all.

    Green Marshall Plan — a commitment to using all the tools in our diplomatic and economic arsenal to encourage other countries to purchase and deploy American-made clean energy technology. This includes a new federal office dedicated to selling American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology abroad and a $100 billion commitment to assisting countries to purchase and deploy this technology.

    https://medium.com/@teamwarren/my-green-manufacturing-plan-for-america-fc0ad53ab614

    I don't think fusion or molten salt is necessarily the wrong path, but why would government policy specify what to research? What if 4 years in, we discover a much more promising candidate for zero emissions. Can the money be easily redirected? If so, why specify in the first place? Why not just invest in research and let the researchers figure it out, or at least delegate to a council of experts to direct high level efforts?

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Wait but why: The great battle of fire and light in ~misc

    burkaman
    (edited )
    Link
    This is a very strange article. The most charitable interpretation I can think of is that it's trying to develop an intuitive model to explain human behavior that is not supposed to be completely...

    This is a very strange article. The most charitable interpretation I can think of is that it's trying to develop an intuitive model to explain human behavior that is not supposed to be completely accurate or grounded in reality. At no point did I feel like I was reading something by someone who knows more than me, and that's not a boast, I don't know very much. That's the problem.

    It seems like the author has either recently read The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind or has independently rediscovered the idea of bicameralism. This is an idea that has essentially no evidence besides "it kind of feels right", but it can't really be debunked without a complete understanding of the brain that is probably centuries away. It is not necessarily a bad thing to explore a theory like bicameralism, but it is irresponsible to do this without also presenting the "other side", i.e. actual modern neuroscience.

    Many of the ideas in here, all of which are presented without evidence, read to me like someone who learned a little about natural selection and evolutionary psychology and misunderstood both of them. That's not really a fair characterization, because the author spent three years studying this stuff, but honestly, three years just generally reading about "U.S. history, world history, evolutionary psychology, political theory, and neuroscience" is not enough to master any of them. It takes 4 years of full-time work to get an undergraduate degree in any of those subjects, and most of that time is not just spent reading. Lots of stuff in here doesn't even make intuitive sense:

    When everything is going smoothly, the software will run in the background on low-power mode.

    The background of what? I thought the "software" was all brain activity. Is the idea that animal brains don't really do anything unless they're in trouble? What does "going smoothly" even mean, I thought suffering was irrelevant.

    One species doing better almost always happens at the expense of other species doing worse.

    Really wish there were some citations because this certainly sounds wrong. We can all easily think of counterexamples. Symbiosis? The Cambrian explosion? Evolution is maybe sort of a zero-sum game in a closed system, but systems and environments change, that's the whole point.

    To genes, animal suffering is simply a useful tool—so the animal world is full of suffering.

    Why is suffering different from the other emotions discussed in here? Why would suffering be more useful than pleasure? Also, I really dislike the personification of evolution, it almost always results in a bad mental model. There is no invisible hand and there is no ideal state that evolution is naturally driving towards. When an environment changes, some species adapt better than others. That's all there is to it. I know the author doesn't literally believe there are gremlins juicing your pain receptors when they want you to do something, but I don't think it's a useful mental model.

    They had gained the superpower of reason, which gave humans the ability to solve complex problems, invent fancy new technologies, design sophisticated strategies, and make real-time adjustments to their thinking based on changes in their environment.

    Really, animals can't reason, can't invent, can't strategize? This is not a pedantic point, the question of what makes us human and what separates us from other animals is extremely controversial and definitely not as simple as "we can reason".

    by illuminating the distinction between true and false, reason made truth a core human drive.

    Strongly disagree. There is no human behavior that can't be explained by motivations besides "truth seeking".

    Humans had also gained the superpower of imagination, making them the world’s first animal that could fantasize and tell stories and dream of places they had never been.

    This cannot possibly be true. I can't believe anybody could just drop in this sentence without feeling the need to provide a mountain of citations.

    Without imagination, animals have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that animals other than themselves are full, living creatures who experience life just like they do. They can’t put themselves in another animal’s shoes.

    These two superpowers produced a third superpower—one that, above all, makes humans human: empathy.

    I'm not trying to say that animals are "just like us", or that a cute video of a dog protecting its pup is evidence of human-level consciousness, but come on. What supports this stuff?

    Up until this development, the early human mind was like all animal minds—powered by genetic will and run by ancient software, with one purpose only: genetic immortality. But this new mind was something different entirely—something running independently of the human’s survival software.

    I guess I can only hope that future chapters will somehow back this up.

    Then we get into the bicameralism stuff that I personally don't buy, but I obviously can't disprove. But I'm incredibly skeptical of the idea that our "higher order" functions like love and creativity and wisdom and whatever aren't all driven by primitive impulses at their core, just like hunger.

    7 votes
  17. Comment on Transgender and gender nonconforming people say they have been pressured to expose their genitals during TSA searches at airports in ~lgbt

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    TSA officers are only supposed to search for weapons or other dangers to the flight, not drugs. They have to report drugs if they see them, but they don't look for them.

    TSA officers are only supposed to search for weapons or other dangers to the flight, not drugs. They have to report drugs if they see them, but they don't look for them.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on This is the beginning of the end of the beef industry in ~food

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    If older people in rural areas are the only people who want real meat anymore, then the problem is solved. We don't need to literally eradicate meat-eating, it will probably stick around as long...

    If older people in rural areas are the only people who want real meat anymore, then the problem is solved. We don't need to literally eradicate meat-eating, it will probably stick around as long as we're still on this planet.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Why Drinking Water All Day Long Is Not the Best Way to Stay Hydrated in ~health

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    Ever had an allergic reaction? Gotten a headache? Been hungry even though you know you've eaten enough? Wanted ice cream even though a nutritionally superior salad is available? Not wanted to...

    Ever had an allergic reaction? Gotten a headache? Been hungry even though you know you've eaten enough? Wanted ice cream even though a nutritionally superior salad is available? Not wanted to exercise even though it's good for you? Sometimes your body is wrong.

    1 vote
  20. Comment on Apple Is Locking iPhone Batteries to Discourage Repair in ~tech

    burkaman
    Link Parent
    It's many engineers each working on a feature that seems reasonable. One team is tasked with individually IDing batteries, probably for supply chain management. If you start getting reports of...

    It's many engineers each working on a feature that seems reasonable. One team is tasked with individually IDing batteries, probably for supply chain management. If you start getting reports of batteries catching on fire in the field, now you can track those specific batteries and discover that one batch from one factory is bad, and recall only those phones. The UI team is told that counterfeit batteries are an issue, and they should use this new battery API to warn the user if they have a bad battery. We're not disabling the phone, it's just that our battery life algorithms are tailored for Apple batteries. The service operations team is asked to provide a way for techs to update the battery ID on a phone, since that's a frequent service task and it's important we keep track of the history and origin of each component in a phone.

    We're left with a situation where only the high level product team understands this "battery locking" feature until it's too late.

    10 votes