Interesting Reads

KingRoyal
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Interesting Reads

Postby KingRoyal » Wed Jan 24, 2024 12:40 pm

ITT post articles that are interesting reads that don't quite fit somewhere else

Penn Jillette Wants to Talk It All Out

The brobdingnagian thing people are surprised in this interview is that he's completely written off libertarianism, for which he was a vocal advocate for most of his career.

Many times when I identified as Libertarian, people said to me, “It’s just rich white guys that don’t want to be told what to do,” and I had a zillion answers to that — and now that seems 100 percent accurate.


Though, really, it conforms to a lot of other interviews he's done and a lot of the media and acts he's put on over the years. He's always been fairly skeptical, and routinely would hold and express views on topics like vaccines that ran 180 to what I would see a lot of liberatians say.

But really even this interview demonstrates how critical a thinker he is and how he's willing to change his mind and analyze. His views on Israel-Palestine are considerably level headed, much more than what I encounter from a lot of people on the issue
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Friday
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Friday » Wed Jan 24, 2024 2:18 pm

I don’t know why, but I’m just going to tell you how stupid I am. I’m good friends with Karen Russell, Bill Russell’s daughter, who’s a Harvard lawyer. Her father was a superstar in basketball, and she is my age-ish, she’s in her 60s. She talks about touring with her father as a basketball star and not being able to eat in restaurants and not being able to stay in hotels. She’s telling me this — she’s saying this to a man who’s 68 years old and has lived in the United States and supposedly knows how to read — and my jaw drops.


I'm glad he told this to us, because oh man do I see this shit all the time. For some reason, people just do not get it that this shit is real.

Cops are another good example.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Mongrel » Wed Jan 24, 2024 5:26 pm

It's interesting to see it as a rich white guy coming to terms with privilege, but there's enough sporadic mentions of things that without spelling it out indicate he hasn't always been fully privileged and maybe that's helped him keep his mind open.

Whereas if he'd been rich from birth, it's far more likely that he'd be be writing OpEds in the NYT or something, rather than giving a very meaningful and thoughtful interview to Cracked.

It's also nice to see Cracked doing high-quality journalism again. As bizarre as that switch was, it certainly wasn't unwelcome.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Thad » Wed Jan 24, 2024 5:43 pm

It also gives some insight into his defense of capitalism -- it's not really capital he's defending (at least in this interview) as such; he's using "capitalism", like a lot of folks do, as a general term for buying and selling things.

His story about his father paying fair values for coins is maybe a little obvious but it's instructive. Aside from it just being the ethical thing to do, it's good business. If someone's willing to take $200 for a coin collection that's worth $1000, you could rip him off and make $800, but you're putting your reputation on the line. You make a habit of doing that and sooner or later people are going to find out and that will be the end of your business. That ain't worth $800.

Rational self-interest is a thing, but it requires, you know, rationality. It requires perspective and long-term thinking, which don't come easily to shareholder-driven companies.

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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Mongrel » Wed Jan 24, 2024 7:08 pm

Thad wrote:His story about his father paying fair values for coins is maybe a little obvious but it's instructive. Aside from it just being the ethical thing to do, it's good business. If someone's willing to take $200 for a coin collection that's worth $1000, you could rip him off and make $800, but you're putting your reputation on the line. You make a habit of doing that and sooner or later people are going to find out and that will be the end of your business. That ain't worth $800.

And as also noted in the article, it's not just avoiding a bad reputation, it's accruing a positive one that absolutely brought in more business.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby KingRoyal » Wed Feb 07, 2024 1:07 pm

How Godzilla Minus One Pulled Off Its Oscar-Nominated VFX for Less Than $15 Million

Interview with Takashi Yamazaki on how they pulled off an Oscar nomination on a fraction of a budget than brobdingnagier Hollywood films. While VFX exploitation is also a problem in Japan, he emphasizes that the costs can be kept down by not crunching creatives and by letting a director make and commit to shot choices, rather than lengthy and complicated VFX rounds.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 19, 2024 10:40 am

The 2023 Hugo Awards: A Report on Censorship and Exclusion

So okay more problems with the Hugos. In this case, last year's Worldcon was in China, and a bunch of award-eligible stuff got disqualified. It's not clear at this point if there was direct pressure from the Chinese government or if a bunch of American and Canadian convention runners just preemptively disqualified stuff they thought the Chinese government would want them to disqualify, but either way it's a shitshow and, much like the Vox Day tampering a few years back, they're going to have to address this if they want the Hugos to stay credible.

There have been a number of stories about this in the mainstream press, as well as posts by people like John Scalzi, but the report by Chris M. Barkley and Jason Sanford is the primary source for what went down; it's a bit of a longer read but if you read one article about this story it should be that one.

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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Büge » Mon Feb 19, 2024 2:27 pm

It seemed like, based on what I've read, that the awards council were self-censoring. Like, they'd trawled nominees' social media for anything that they thought the Chinse government would condemn.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 19, 2024 4:54 pm

I would at least assume that the Chinese censors would know the difference between Tibet and Nepal.

That doesn't necessarily mean that they never gave the organizers a talking-to, but there's also no evidence as yet that they did.


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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby KingRoyal » Thu Jun 06, 2024 11:16 am

A Traffic Engineer Hits Back at His Profession

Wes Marshall, doing an interview for his book Killed by a Traffic Engineer, talks about how prioritizing vehicle speed leads to more deadly outcomes for people outside of a vehicle. He's the latest traffic engineer to start talking about how the profession is getting people killed

Transportation is different. Take the idea of having a “forgiving” road. If you make a mistake and go off the roadway, we don’t want you to die. But at the same time, if we build a more forgiving road that’s wider than the minimum standard, people could change how they behave and start driving faster. That could change the safety outcomes.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Friday » Thu Jun 06, 2024 2:27 pm

That reminds me of safety standards that have to be based around human behavior rather than what is actually safe.

Airlines have a policy where kids under 2 can ride for free, without a seat, as a "lap seat".

Obviously this is bad and the kids are wayyyyy more likely to die in the event of a crash. So they got rid of it and made people buy an extra seat for the kids so they'd have a seatbelt.

This caused people on a budget to drive instead, since they couldn't afford the cost of the extra seat. Stats indicate that for every child you save by putting them in an airplane seatbelt, you lose 12? (can't remember the exact number, but yeah) for causing the parents who couldn't afford the seat to drive across three states and get into a car accident.

The CDC eventually did the same shit with mask requirements. The initial mask requirements were good, but people hated doing them so they didn't mask at all. So they relaxed the rules, which is worse, but got more people to comply with the relaxed rules, and overall saved more lives. Or at least that was the intention behind the relaxed rules.
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby KingRoyal » Fri Jun 07, 2024 12:54 pm

Wallace Shawn on Gaza: “The Anger of the Palestinians Cannot Be Ended by Killing Their Children”

The broad outlines of the terrible history of the Jewish people over the centuries is relatively well-known to many of us. But unfortunately, many members of the show business community are not very aware of the tragic history of the Palestinian people. And yet the fact is that in my own lifetime (I was born in 1943) the Palestinian people have been expelled from their land and subjected to unceasing and unjustifiable torment, including a brutal occupation and, in Gaza, a regime in which an entire population has been placed on a starvation diet.


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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby KingRoyal » Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:15 am

Decades later, John Romero looks back at the birth of the first-person shooter

To Romero, the nostalgia sets a certain player expectation for a boomer shooter, but then, "I have a surprise because I have this 30 years of design language improvement that I can put into a retro look and surprise people... that's what gets people excited—they get the surprise of some modern design but in a package that feels like it's from 1995," he said.
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Thad
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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 24, 2024 12:27 pm

Yeah, not speaking of Romero's work in particular or even the FPS genre as such, but the most exciting thing about the Evercade has been trying out all these indie NES and Genesis games and finding they're really good, in exactly that kind of way where they look, sound, and feel like old games but are built with the benefit of decades of hindsight and design iteration.

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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 05, 2024 2:43 pm

Rolling Stone has what's probably the most thorough article anybody's ever written about Steve Ditko, based on interviews with his family. Evanier has a couple of notes but says even he learned some things he didn't know.

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Re: Interesting Reads

Postby Thad » Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:46 pm

PySkyWiFi: completely free, unbelievably stupid wi-fi on long-haul flights

tl;dr he noticed that he could access his SkyMiles account without paying for the in-flight wifi and set up a program to use the name field on his account to tunnel general HTTP traffic.

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