imperialismus's recent activity

  1. Comment on History of dunking culture's transformation into the alt right, the reputation of Tumblr in ~tech

    imperialismus
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    Ok. Probably correct, and not really unique to Tumblr. When Tumblr first started out, there were far fewer teenagers, or people pretending to be teenagers, or teenagers pretending to be dumber...

    Ok. Probably correct, and not really unique to Tumblr. When Tumblr first started out, there were far fewer teenagers, or people pretending to be teenagers, or teenagers pretending to be dumber teenagers than they actually are...

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What is a class in Python? in ~comp

    imperialismus
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    Just search for any basic explanation of object-oriented programming. Basically, a class is a prototype (a kind of recipe) for an object, and an object is a collection of state and related behavior.

    Just search for any basic explanation of object-oriented programming. Basically, a class is a prototype (a kind of recipe) for an object, and an object is a collection of state and related behavior.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Synesthesia in ~science

    imperialismus
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    I think low-grade synaesthesia is very common, and might even be the norm, while full-blown synaesthesia may be as rare as the cited four percent. My main reason for thinking that is the...

    I think low-grade synaesthesia is very common, and might even be the norm, while full-blown synaesthesia may be as rare as the cited four percent. My main reason for thinking that is the bouba/kiki effect, where non-synesthetic individuals show a very strong preference (around 90%) for pairing a certain shape with a certain sequence of sounds, even though the word is entirely imaginary. It is kind of a mantra in linguistics that word-idea relationships are arbitrary; and most probably are, because of historical sound change, but still, there seem to be certain associations even beyond onomatopoeia that exist between concepts and sounds almost universally.

    I don't consider myself to have synaesthesia - I don't have any particular consistent association between sounds and colors, or graphemes and colors, or tastes and sounds, or anything like that. But I remember in an art history class, we were talking about Wassily Kandinsky's paintings based on Modest Mussorgsky's music - Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite of music that was itself inspired by a set of paintings - and I had a strong sense of wrongness: Kandinsky's paintings were somehow either too round or too angular for the music. I think that's an example of the same sound-shape symbolism as the bouba/kiki effect - and an example of everyday low-grade synaesthesia.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on History of dunking culture's transformation into the alt right, the reputation of Tumblr in ~tech

    imperialismus
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Got a summary of what she says about "old tumblr"? Because I'm not sure I have the patience to sit through an hour of this, but I happen to be intimately familiar with the early days of tumblr.

    Got a summary of what she says about "old tumblr"? Because I'm not sure I have the patience to sit through an hour of this, but I happen to be intimately familiar with the early days of tumblr.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    imperialismus
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    Currently reading the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It's amazing to me that Cornwell managed to write a series about King Arthur in which Arthur is genuinely the least interesting character.

    Currently reading the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It's amazing to me that Cornwell managed to write a series about King Arthur in which Arthur is genuinely the least interesting character.

  6. Comment on Users are losing out against Big Sur’s sealed System in ~tech

    imperialismus
    Link Parent
    Actually I have and struggled to find out how to turn it off...

    Actually I have and struggled to find out how to turn it off...

  7. Comment on NASA needs to rename the James Webb Space Telescope in ~space

    imperialismus
    Link Parent
    Yeah, okay, I understand what you mean. I happen to be a person who is overly fond of foundational work (like Gödel, Russell, Turing, Church, Hilbert and Einstein) but I understand it is not the...

    Also, when I say not relevant I don't mean not foundational or not impressive, I just mean that it's not super relevant to the day-to-day.

    Yeah, okay, I understand what you mean. I happen to be a person who is overly fond of foundational work (like Gödel, Russell, Turing, Church, Hilbert and Einstein) but I understand it is not the kind of stuff one encounters in the day-to-day.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on TIL: Coldplay's *Talk* is a direct reference to Kraftwerk's *Computer Love* in ~music

    imperialismus
    Link Parent
    I've always loved this song because my Dad is a big fan of Coldplay, while I find them interminably boring, but Kraftwerk is more my speed... This song is a good compromise. Maybe check out this...

    I've always loved this song because my Dad is a big fan of Coldplay, while I find them interminably boring, but Kraftwerk is more my speed... This song is a good compromise. Maybe check out this mashup.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Users are losing out against Big Sur’s sealed System in ~tech

    imperialismus
    Link Parent
    At least it isn't Windows updates... Fuck me but I feel like I'm postponing an update the day after I did a massive update.

    At least it isn't Windows updates... Fuck me but I feel like I'm postponing an update the day after I did a massive update.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on NASA needs to rename the James Webb Space Telescope in ~space

    imperialismus
    Link Parent
    There are surely other names that are just as valid. However, I'm not sure I agree that Noether is not super related to astrophysics. I am no astrophysicist, but as I understand it, Noether's...

    There are surely other names that are just as valid. However, I'm not sure I agree that Noether is not super related to astrophysics. I am no astrophysicist, but as I understand it, Noether's theorem resolved the apparent paradox that Einstein's general relativity appeared to violate conservation of energy (the theorem fundamentally relates symmetries to conservation laws). There is a reason Einstein was so impressed by her: her work was directly related to his own, and I'm not sure anyone could claim that Einstein is not relevant to astrophysics.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on NASA needs to rename the James Webb Space Telescope in ~space

    imperialismus
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    I don't disagree with the article's main thrust, but surely there is a better name out there than Harriet Tubman. Impressive though she was, she had nothing to do with astrophysics, and it would...

    I don't disagree with the article's main thrust, but surely there is a better name out there than Harriet Tubman. Impressive though she was, she had nothing to do with astrophysics, and it would be an insult to all the disadvantaged people who have worked in that field to suggest that a space telescope could only be named for a person outside that field, because none other is worthy.

    If I were to suggest a name, I would suggest Emmy Noether, whom none other than Albert Einstein called the greatest woman mathematician who ever lived. The theorem which bears her name, Noether's theorem, is absolutely fundamental to modern physics. She's a tragically underappreciated giant in the field of physics, and surely a space telescope should be named for a scientist with relevant credentials.

    19 votes
  12. Comment on An ephemeral artwork made with thousands of footsteps in the snow has captured attention near Finland's capital of Helsinki in ~arts

    imperialismus
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    Temporal land art is fucking cool. It reminds me of the rather more permanent Spiral Jetty, which was submerged in a lake for an extended period of its existence. To me, there's something special...

    Temporal land art is fucking cool. It reminds me of the rather more permanent Spiral Jetty, which was submerged in a lake for an extended period of its existence. To me, there's something special about a work that is made on a large scale, but designed to be impermanent. It's like some kind of pure art echo: a kind of defiant shout into the void of entropy.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on Will American ideas tear France apart? Some of its leaders think so. in ~misc

    imperialismus
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    I'm neither French nor American, so I should step carefully here. That said, I think we can probably find some kind of middle ground here. Surely, racism exists in France, and should be addressed,...
    • Exemplary

    I'm neither French nor American, so I should step carefully here. That said, I think we can probably find some kind of middle ground here. Surely, racism exists in France, and should be addressed, but just as surely, an American framework of race should not be indiscriminately applied because the situation is different. France needs to understand its own racism in terms of French racism, not American race relations which may or may not apply to France.

    In a context I'm more familiar with personally, I've been frustrated by people trying to interpret ethnic conflicts between peoples that would all be coded as "white" by North Americans in terms of North American race theories. It just doesn't work. America's racism is not everyone's racism. That is not an attempt to deny that racism exists in other countries, merely a plea to respond to ethnic and racial tensions in terms of the actual factors involved, not based on some kind of idealized theory that is clearly rooted in the history of one specific foreign country.

    I don't know enough about French racism to say how well it accords with North American race theories. And denying that an entirely American perspective is appropriate to interrogate racism in different countries with different kinds of racism and a different history is certainly not a valid excuse to deny that racism exists at all or that something should be done about it. That said, I can sympathize with the general notion that one cannot wholesale and uncritically import a foreign discourse into a different society. I suspect many of those who are railing against American woke culture are not genuinely concerned about lack of nuance and simply oppose any attempt, however nuanced, to talk about racism. That shouldn't prevent us from finding something better, though.

    13 votes
  14. Comment on What does "performative" mean? in ~humanities

    imperialismus
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    Let me just mention that Judith Butler has a specific theory of gender in mind, but there is a wider philosophical idea of performative utterances, i.e., speech acts. A speech act is roughly one...

    Let me just mention that Judith Butler has a specific theory of gender in mind, but there is a wider philosophical idea of performative utterances, i.e., speech acts. A speech act is roughly one that makes itself come true, e.g. "I assert that you are a murderer!" is, in and of itself, an assertion that the interlocutor is a murderer; "I do" or "I now declare you husband and wife" in the context of a marriage ceremony is a statement which brings about the assent to marriage, i.e. it's a kind of ritual speech that performs the act of entering into marriage or formally recognizing such a marriage.

    This is probably not what Judith Butler had in mind, but they are examples of what philosophers of language would call performative speech.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on How do we combat mass global misinformation? How about making the internet a little harder to use in ~tech

    imperialismus
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    On the flipside, an easy-to-use and easy-to-search internet has also contributed to the greatest democratization of knowledge in human history. Making the web harder to search isn't going to...

    On the flipside, an easy-to-use and easy-to-search internet has also contributed to the greatest democratization of knowledge in human history.

    Making the web harder to search isn't going to magically teach people critical thinking skills. It will, however, put up a lot of artificial barriers that we've just barely torn down in the past couple of decades and good riddance to them.

    I don't know the precise solution to a complex problem like fake news and conspiracy theories, but it's not forcing people to spend ten times as much time to find information. Because people are lazy, and information is ubiquitous; it's quality information that's scarce. The sort of people who get into antivaxx conspiracy theories are not going to think, "oh, Google is down, I guess I will go to the university library and ask a researcher to help me locate peer-reviewed articles on vaccines." They'll simply grab whatever information is available that confirms their existing worldview. On the other hand, people who are willing to go to an effort to verify information will at best be inconvenienced, at worst, will simply settle for "good enough" rather than "good" because even a critical thinker only has a limited amount of time and effort available for any given research task.

    19 votes
  16. Comment on Amazon unveils a proposed design for "The Helix", the second phase of its Arlington, Virginia headquarters in ~design

    imperialismus
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    Somehow this reminds me of Dave Eggers' The Circle.

    Somehow this reminds me of Dave Eggers' The Circle.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Why I still Lisp (and you should too!) in ~comp

    imperialismus
    Link Parent
    It's never seemed like the right tool for the job. What I admire about Lisp is its simplicity - but that means for a quick script I'd rather grab something more "batteries included". For a more...

    It's never seemed like the right tool for the job. What I admire about Lisp is its simplicity - but that means for a quick script I'd rather grab something more "batteries included". For a more complex program, I find the lack of syntax hard to read (head swimming in parentheses after a while), and I am a convert to static typing at least when it comes to bigger codebases.

    There are Lisps that add more features, including optional typing and large standard libraries, but I find them to be bloated which takes away from the elegance and simplicity which I consider to be the chief advantage of a Lisp in the first place.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Why I still Lisp (and you should too!) in ~comp

    imperialismus
    (edited )
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    SICP is my favorite programming textbook, but I never reach for Lisp when I actually want to program something. To me, it's a great teaching tool, but not my favorite tool for any practical...

    SICP is my favorite programming textbook, but I never reach for Lisp when I actually want to program something. To me, it's a great teaching tool, but not my favorite tool for any practical purpose.

    Also, implementing a Lisp is a great exercise - I've done it several times.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on SOPHIE has died in ~music

    imperialismus
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    Damn. Never heard of her, but RIP. I remember once I smoked hash and this girl convinced me to climb the fire escape to the roof of my apartment building, and it was actually a really pretty view,...

    Damn. Never heard of her, but RIP. I remember once I smoked hash and this girl convinced me to climb the fire escape to the roof of my apartment building, and it was actually a really pretty view, but also, the risk of falling onto my death was very real.

    So, can't say I ever heard hear music, but I respect her adventurous spirit.

    6 votes