skybrian's recent activity

  1. Comment on Tour of the sacred library in ~arts

    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I’m not sure how far you got, but how it was made is explained after you get to the end. (After “fin”.) (I’m not into art analysis either.)

    I’m not sure how far you got, but how it was made is explained after you get to the end. (After “fin”.)

    (I’m not into art analysis either.)

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Tour of the sacred library in ~arts

    skybrian
    Link
    I won’t give it away, but you might want to consider where the pictures came from while reading this.

    I won’t give it away, but you might want to consider where the pictures came from while reading this.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Why relativism is the worst idea ever in ~humanities

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Sure, for example, scientists don't know or care much about learning exactly how Newton thought about physics, including things like the awkwardness of his original mathematics and any mistakes he...

    Sure, for example, scientists don't know or care much about learning exactly how Newton thought about physics, including things like the awkwardness of his original mathematics and any mistakes he might have made. The potted history we learn is very simplified, and we learn the modern version of the math, including all improvements made since then. Modern authors try to explain things as well as they can in modern language, using modern examples. But there is still something we call Newtonian physics that doesn't include relativity, because it's useful.

    Historians of science would be more interested in the old stuff.

    So I sometimes wonder why there aren't modernized versions of ancient philosophical arguments with the stuff that's obviously mistaken (we know now) removed, and rewritten in plain language. Why isn't there a modern version of Aristotelian thought, if it's still useful to know? The conversation should be about what philosophers believe now, not historical arguments.

    I guess the Stanford encyclopedia would be the closest to that.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of July 26 in ~health.coronavirus

    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    Google delays return to office, mandates vaccines The email is here.

    Google delays return to office, mandates vaccines

    In an email sent to Google’s more than 130,000 employees worldwide, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is now aiming to have most of its workforce back to its offices beginning Oct. 18 instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1.

    The decision also affects tens of thousands of contractors who Google intends to continue to pay while access to its campuses remains limited.

    “This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it,” Pichai wrote.

    And Pichai disclosed that once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have to be vaccinated. The requirement will be first imposed at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters and other U.S. offices, before being extended to the more than 40 other countries where Google operates.

    The email is here.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of July 26 in ~health.coronavirus

    skybrian
    Link
    From Twitter: [...]

    From Twitter:

    You’ve probably seen reports from Israel on low vaccine effectiveness in this wave. Is it because of Delta? Waning immunity? We think the reason is mostly that we got the denominator wrong.

    [...]

    This “wave” started from cities with high vaccination rate and couldn’t “find” unvaccined adults at risk. The denominator we need to use until mid-July is >95% vaccination rate and not the country’s average.

  6. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of July 26 in ~health.coronavirus

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    That doesn't seem quite right? According to this article, "breakthrough" just means they test positive? They might not have any symptoms. That's concerning for transmission, but I'm not sure it...

    That doesn't seem quite right? According to this article, "breakthrough" just means they test positive? They might not have any symptoms.

    Vaccine "breakthrough cases" are instances in which a person received a positive COVID-19 test result at least 14 days after the final dose of any COVID-19 vaccine series. This definition includes everything from asymptomatic infections to cases that result in hospitalization and death.

    That's concerning for transmission, but I'm not sure it necessarily means they have enough viral load to transmit? PCR tests are very sensitive.

    It would be interesting to know what the percentages are actually having symptoms, but I think "having symptoms" is rather fuzzy and not tracked very well.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Walmart to pay 100% of college tuition and books for associates in ~finance

    skybrian
    Link
    Caveats according to this article: US employees only Only at certain colleges. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It might make sense to offer free college to everyone, but only at certain...

    Caveats according to this article:

    • US employees only
    • Only at certain colleges.

    Employees can choose from a variety of institutions, including: Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver and Pathstream — complementing its existing "academic partners": Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University and Voxy EnGen.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It might make sense to offer free college to everyone, but only at certain schools that keep the costs down.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of July 26 in ~health.coronavirus

    skybrian
    Link
    CDC urges vaccinated people in covid hot spots to resume wearing masks indoors [...] [...]

    CDC urges vaccinated people in covid hot spots to resume wearing masks indoors

    The agency advised that people who live in high-transmission communities wear masks in indoor public spaces, even if they’ve been vaccinated. It also recommended that vaccinated people with vulnerable household members, including young children and those who are immunocompromised, wear masks indoors in public spaces.

    The agency also called for universal masking for teachers, staff members and students in schools, regardless of their vaccination status. The CDC continues to recommend that students return to in-person learning in the fall.

    [...]

    New data suggests that people who are vaccinated and have breakthrough infections from the delta variant may have as much viral load as a person who is unvaccinated, which suggests they may be able to spread it to others, Walensky said. Such transmission did not happen in any significant way with earlier versions of the virus.

    [...]

    In addition to the masking changes, the agency also now says that fully vaccinated people should get tested if they have any covid-19 symptoms or if they were recently exposed to someone who had a suspected or confirmed infection. Fully vaccinated Americans also should isolate if they test positive for the coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms, it said.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on The fall of Minecraft's 2b2t in ~games

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Thanks for summarizing! I don’t usually watch YouTube videos for this sort of thing.

    Thanks for summarizing! I don’t usually watch YouTube videos for this sort of thing.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Amazon’s mission: Getting a ‘key’ to your apartment building in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    No security is always more convenient if you can get away with it. We have a bush in front of our porch that at least hides the packages, making it a bit less obvious. Also, security cameras after...

    No security is always more convenient if you can get away with it.

    We have a bush in front of our porch that at least hides the packages, making it a bit less obvious. Also, security cameras after a package was stolen several years ago. I’m not sure they are worth it, but my wife likes them and maintains them.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Amazon’s mission: Getting a ‘key’ to your apartment building in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Post offices do have a solution for this: the post office box.

    Post offices do have a solution for this: the post office box.

  12. Comment on Amazon’s mission: Getting a ‘key’ to your apartment building in ~tech

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    Amazon also has a locker service where packages are delivered to lockers at local businesses, such as grocery stores. But we’ve never used it because getting packages on the doorstep is more...

    Amazon also has a locker service where packages are delivered to lockers at local businesses, such as grocery stores. But we’ve never used it because getting packages on the doorstep is more convenient, though less secure.

    It seems like the common doors on apartment buildings aren’t all that secure during the day; tailgating is pretty easy unless people are specifically trained not to do it. It’s more of a speed bump, but is still better than not doing it.

    The risk of an unlock device could be minimized by putting it on a separate network and only enabling it during delivery hours.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on US railroads should be nationalized in ~enviro

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    it looks like people were worried about American Airline’s pension fund. I don’t know what the result was, but underfunded pensions are a problem all over, including many city and state...

    it looks like people were worried about American Airline’s pension fund. I don’t know what the result was, but underfunded pensions are a problem all over, including many city and state governments. It seems it’s too easy for management to make promises that someone else will need to pay long after both they and the workers aren’t working there anymore.

    I’m generally in favor of 401k plans and similar retirement accounts, which are also better for people who switch jobs a lot and don’t result in these problems. And Social Security of course. (And UBI?)

  14. Comment on US railroads should be nationalized in ~enviro

    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    This is an odd argument because airlines tend to do things that result in worse customer service in pursuit of better efficiency. They are also buying more fuel efficient planes and trying harder...

    This is an odd argument because airlines tend to do things that result in worse customer service in pursuit of better efficiency. They are also buying more fuel efficient planes and trying harder to fly full planes (pandemic measures aside).

    There's no particular reason that making air travel more efficient should make customers any happier.

    Also, in normal times airlines don't get bailed out, I don't think?

    I agree it would be nicer if prices included all taxes, but it's also pretty eye-opening just how much money goes to taxes. State sales tax on rental cars in New York is 20% for example, and total fees were 28% for me.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of July 26 in ~health.coronavirus

    skybrian
    Link
    From a Twitter update by Bob Wachter, the chair of UCSF department of medicine:

    From a Twitter update by Bob Wachter, the chair of UCSF department of medicine:

    How much virus is around? Since early in the pandemic, I’ve used a piece of data available @UCSF (not publicly) to estimate the chances that a person who feels well in SF is carrying the virus. It’s our “asymptomatic test positivity rate” [...] That fraction was as low as about 0.1% in early June [...] Today, it’s 2.14%! So now that asymptomatic person has a ~1-in-50 chance of being positive.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on US railroads should be nationalized in ~enviro

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    According to the article, much of this is due to increased taxes and fuel costs, which seems independent of deregulation. But it's good that airlines mostly don't make money, right? Prices would...

    According to the article, much of this is due to increased taxes and fuel costs, which seems independent of deregulation. But it's good that airlines mostly don't make money, right? Prices would be higher.

    (On the other hand, from a climate change perspective, higher prices are good because they discourage air travel. We should have more carbon taxes.)

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Anger Management in ~humanities

    skybrian
    Link
    From the article: [...]

    From the article:

    When your anger won’t play well with the anger of others—when it turns down invitations to surface, and persists despite the absence of company—you frequently find yourself on the receiving end of attempts at anger management. Sometimes these conversations can be settled by the introduction of new information or the correction of a misperception, but when those strategies fail, they often devolve into a pure emotional tug-of-war in which you hear that your anger is unproductive; that it’s time to move on; that we are ultimately on the same team. Or, alternatively—for this, too, is “anger management,” though it isn’t usually called that—you hear that if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention; that unless you’re with us, you’re against us.

    [...]

    There is something very puzzling in the impulse to resist both forms of anger management. Why don’t I hear the calm-downers as trying to dispel my bitter, vengeful fog; and why don’t I experience the call to anger as directing my moral sense to truths about injustice? How can the question of whether anger is a form of ethical insight—a moral sense—or a corruption of moral vision—a vengeful fog—depend on whether one is currently angry?! This is the puzzle of anger management.

    2 votes