Or, everyone, please, for the love of God, shut the fuck up.

Screen capture from Philosopher Armin van Buuren’s Blah Blah Blah Video

People who complain about political correctness want to be able to say whatever horrific shit they feel compelled to say without consequence. People who complain about political correctness are angry and confused by an escalating proliferation of rules that exceeds their capacity for integration.

Both of these things may be…


Or, Why I Love Fiction and It Has Given Me So Much

Dream from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman

I spend most of my time trying to simulate belief systems in silico with arbitrary mathematical precision. But, Gaiman’s work articulates how the pieces fit together with greater clarity than formula, algorithm, and computers-as-instruments allow. I’ve never met him. Nevertheless, he’s my mentor.

There is this really insidious modern idea…


Complex Adaptive Systems Are Bigger Than Your Brain.

In her September 9th, 1990 column for Parade Magazine, Marilyn vos Savant answered a question posed by reader Charles F. Whitaker,

Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is a car, behind the others, goats.[1] You pick a door, say #1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say #3, which has a goat. He says to you, “Do you want to pick door #2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice of doors?

The prompt rephrased a statistical puzzle now called the Monte Hall Problem, first crafted by Steve Selvin (1975a; 1975b). The correct answer is, “yes, you should switch” — in…


When someone says, “debate me,” they’re not querying for supporting evidence.

When someone says, “debate me,” they’re seeking confirmation of the stereotype they associate with you.

When someone says, “debate me,” they do so subconsciously knowing nothing you could offer threatens their beliefs.

When someone says, “debate me,” they’re making…


Free Speech versus Reality Distortion

(Photo: InfoWars / MGN Online)

Facebook and Twitter are not government entities. Censorship in the form of banning is not an infringement of free speech rights. But, it does attenuate signal strength which — conditioned upon expressed beliefs or observable traits — invites systemic and opaque censorship. By default, this deserves strong opposition.

Banning Alex…


Not sure whose image this is. I found it: here.

What follows is conjecture informed by my dissertation, A Computational Model of Belief System Expression and Discovery In American Democracy. (Hopefully, I’ll finish this by summer). It’s given me some good insights into the election. …


The Adults Need to Grow The Fuck Up

National Walkout Day Organized by Students

Teenagers are good at delineating right and wrong. They may often react poorly, but most subsequently, at least privately, recognize their misbehavior with greater ease than adults.

Why?

They haven’t accreted decades worth of sophisticated rationalizations and justifications to fluff up their egos. They haven’t curated satisfying repositories of prejudices…


Probably because the svg uses a pattern referenced via a fragment URI whose definition comes after the reference in a style. A mouthful, yes. I’ll try to submit a patch but I’m desperately low on time right now.

Example

This is how it renders in PDF after pandoc uses rsvg-convert

The hackety-fix


But, Speculative Behavior Partially-Transmuted It Into One

I angrily posted this tweet a few weeks back on here and on facebook, where I saw friends busily investing money they didn’t have into crypto. It was pretty wild experience. …


A Proposal For Percolating Blocks (cc: Jack Dorsey)

Close the Gate

Twitter can be and often is a great space. But, it suffers from trolls and provocateurs. Both groups exploit our social cognition and the structure of interactions on twitter. You can’t fix the former problem technologically; the latter problem begs for a patch. …

John Bjorn Nelson

Computational Social Scientist Ph.D. Candidate. Wannabe cultural hacker. Expert Bikeshedder.

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