14 thoughts on “Hey! Check This Out (2018-)

  1. I’m not sure if you guys will like the following Atlantic articles, but I think both are important for the well-being and viability of our country going forward. They touch on racism and white anxiety and anger, which I think pose an existential threat to the nation, at least if we don’t deal with them very well.

    The First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The Nationalist’s Delusion by Adam Serwer

  2. From WaPo: Here’s What Went Wrong with that Hawai’i Missile Alert, FCC Says

    This is not good:

    The Hawaii employee who sent out a false alarm warning of an incoming missile attack earlier this month said he misunderstood that a drill was underway and believed that a ballistic missile had actually been fired at the state, authorities said Tuesday.

    Officials also revealed that the errant Jan. 13 alert, which sent waves of panic across the Hawaiian islands, was not the first such mix-up for the employee. At least twice before the false alarm, he “has confused real life events and drills,” a state investigation concluded, part of a troubled work history that had “been a source of concern . . . for over 10 years” to his co-workers.

    Letting a bad employee continue to work is totally believable to me, but I would think, that with a job so critical, things would be different. To win back my confidence, I feel like the State has to reassure me that they have a reviewed the job performance of employees, and that they can and will remove employees that are not capable of doing the job. I’m not sure how that can prove to me that they’ll do this, but it’s something the better at least think about.

  3. The Goal of Disinformation

  4. This is the Hardest Video Game I’ve Seen

    Especially of the old school variety. I’ve never seen this game, never played it, but I agree with the comment.

    I laughed out loud several times while watching this.

  5. I’m guessing the game doesn’t exist. The video is just a joke right? I mean I’m sure you can play it, but it’s not a “real” game. Either way, you are right it was sort of funny.

    1. Not sure what you mean by “real” game. Do you mean a game that people could buy and play on their game consoles, a game that was coin operated? I think you could/can purchase it. I’ve seen some youtube videos of people trying to play it.

      In any event, watching the game is interesting because it dramatically reduces safe spots and the time you can take to decide or make a maneuver. It makes you realize how many of these spots there are in the typical video game–which is wholly appropriate, especially if you had to pay to play. If this where a coin operated game, there’s no way people would play it, unless you started off with fifty lives or something like that.

  6. Are we currently living in a Matrix-like simulation?

    This just seems like a modern update of the Zhuangzi anecdote about how, after dreaming about being a buttefuly, he wondered if he was a actually a butterfly dreaming it was a human.

    The video mentions religion, and I think that the simulation idea is not a bad simile representing the metaphysics relating to God and humanity. If God is the absolute upon which reality is built–that is, everything that exists depends on God. Thinking of reality as a simulation might be one model to help us understand this.

    Of course, for atheists, some intelligent life form that existed thousands if not millions of years before us would replace God. This intelligent civilization created simulation of the universe, which created other simulations, and we’re just one of them.

    What I don’t get is why Musk believes we’re doomed if civilization stops advancing. Any thoughts on that?

  7. The Geeks Who Put a Stop to Pennsylvania’s Partisan Gerrymandering is a pretty neat (somewhat accessible) explanation of how computer models of hypothetical maps prove that the contested Pennsylvania Congressional district map is gerrymandered. It’s pretty cool stuff, and I think if I could start my college education over, this is the kind of thing I would really be drawn to.

    If I could, I would ask one of the analysts about appying his metric to a geographically strange place like Hawaii, which is divided by islands, and those islands’ regions are divided by strange and differing geographic features. This guy basic tests a district for its compactness and simplicity, which makes a lot of sense in areas that are pretty flat.

    My favorite quote from the piece: ““Metrics are just evidence,” says Jacobson. “It’s always helpful to have more evidence not less.”

    This is Tim Kurkjian’s argument about advanced metrics in baseball. More evidence is better than less evidence. Kurkjian is pretty much a moderate in the baseball world when it comes to the science-vs-religion tug-o-war, but he’s careful to say more evidence comes in different forms.

    Now I’m itching to look at Hawaii’s local maps. We only have two seats in the national House of Representatives, so that districting almost doesn’t matter, and I kind of think what we have makes sense, which is basically Honolulu in one district and the rest of the state in the other.

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