A place for new ideas to settle.

03 December 2015

Wednesday Links -- 2 December 2015

Here are some of the things that I've found interesting this week. There's a variety of articles about urban planning, which I did not actually plan. Daesh (nee ISIS) is stupid, and they're looking for a doomsday substance that's completely imaginary. And did you know that in the late 1970s, some environmentalist hippie types argued that we should ARM the whales... with nuclear weapons?

(h/t David Brin) America's top inventor is Lowell Wood, who just recently beat out Thomas Edison for most patents filed.

This is a good illustration of a male privilege. Nobody thought women mattered enough to consider their ergonomics, until very recently. It's not at the level of disability access, but I can imagine that it would have been frustrating as hell. The Forgotten Feminist Architects Who Changed the Face of London

Oregon hippies were extreme: Greenwar-Oregon’s campaign to save the whales, 1977-1978

Not only is "Daesh" the Arabic acronym for ISIS, but it can mean "bigot," which is why the organization is threatening to behead anyone who uses it. Their frustration is our gain! Even better, intentionally mispronounce it as "Douche"! Words matter in ‘ISIS’ war, so use ‘Daesh’

Always nice when libertarians try to blow the whistle on the conservative puppeteering of their movement: Pavlovian Politics or How Conservatives Make Libertarians Salivate

Jonathan Haidt argues that the "Yale Problem"‒that is, students seemingly unable to tolerate disagreement‒has roots in the way high schools set expectations for discussion. I don't know that I'm convinced, but there's certainly something to be said about improving education towards a more dialectical-ish model rather than trying to sweep disagreement under the ideological rug: The Yale Problem Begins in High School

Because it really needs to be said: Anti-Syrian Muslim Refugee Rhetoric Mirrors Calls to Reject Jews During Nazi Era

Three articles, two Vox and one Atlantic, about the relationship between land use and social life. Be still my heart! How Friendships Change in Adulthood, How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult, and Married, with roommates: why my wife and I choose to live in a group house

Speaking of Daesh idiocy, they're merely the latest terrorist group chasing the "red mercury" dragon. Allegedly it can make a conventional bomb with the destructive yield of a thermonuclear device... problem is, there's no such thing as red mercury. It gets better when you read about all the weird superstitions floating around. Then it gets worse when you read about how it's still getting people killed (not by militants) in Africa. The Doomsday Scam

I need to look more into Stoicism, but it seems like a pretty useful philosophy of life, and it's nice that modern scientists and philosophers are refining it based on what we know about cognitive psychology and so on. Here's a good example of why it might be useful: What Would a Stoic Do? I met a sophist, and it didn’t go well

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