Advocating for Shades of Censorship

Facebook and Twitter, (as well as many many other online platforms) censor their content. The legality of this is pretty clear as they are private platforms, the ethics of this are interesting and sticky, touch on if they claim to be a common carrier. Even as a common carrier, we have president, legal and emotional, for censorship that applies to specific mediums like the restriction of Telemarketing.

Hard Problems In Homelessness

Assume for a minute, that there was unlimited free housing in rural Montana. Anyone who wanted could sign up, and get a very simple modest house in the middle of a rural area, power and water included. How many of the current homeless would go for it? My guess is not many, and quite rationally so: it's actually a pretty bad deal. By going out to the middle of nowhere you lose access to all sorts of other civil services (health, education, etc) the people you care about (friends and family), and any number of white/grey/black markets.

2018 Hugo Nomination Reviews

I usually try to read listen to audio books of all of the Hugo Nominees every year. This year it was slow going as I had some new and very attention grabbing people in my life, and as few of the books really grabbed me. Every single nominee is from an author I am well acquainted with, and 2 or 3 of them (depending on how you count) are sequels. None of them were really all that gripping, and none opened up a brand new perspective.

The Myth of the 7% Rate of Return

Let it be foretold: you wil receive 7% ROI annually

The commonly held myth of the middle class that an investment should return about 7% per year on average. This is the conventional wisdom, and largely based on the fact that the american stock market has averaged out to this number over a long period1.

Getting an affordable MRI (without a doctor's help)

How much should a shoulder MRI cost anyway?
For reasons that I'll talk about below, my wife needed an MRI quickly, and the orthopedic surgeon she saw was pretty much unwilling to write a referral for one.

I set out to see what I could do, and started by trying to figure out how much a shoulder MRI would cost in the united states if we just didn't use our insurance at all. My wife's initial guess was $7,000. My guess was $2,000 - $3,000 . Both of us think of medical pricing as quite opaque and somewhat random.

Buddhist Monk's Rules

I'm really interested in the classic philosophical question "how should we live". We all already have a set of answers to that implanted in our heads, though for most of us those answers are invisible, assumed to be "normal". Often the answers to these questions that we have, those given to us by our culture and our own conclusions are confused and at odds with themselves. Their relative invisibility makes them even harder to work with.

Aboriginal Dreamtime and Demographic Empowerment

demographic selection

The Australian aborigines refer to a specific state of altered consciousness as “the dreamtime”. The dreamtime has little to do with dreaming, it is a totally wakeful state of consciousness, where the person in the dreamtime becomes the archetype of all of their ancestors performing an action. For instance, if Fred the hunter were hunting, and entered the dreamtime, he would stop being “Fred” and become purely “the hunter”, a composite of spirit of all his ancestors and decedents hunting. A key thing here is that in the dreamtime he is not “a hunter”, but he is “the hunter”.

2017 Hugo Nominee Reviews

Some opinions on the Hugo Nominees:
Trashy Sci-fi can be fun when your in the mood, but I'm always in the mood for good sci-fi. Most years I try to read most, or all, of the Hugo nominees when they come out. It's often a rewarding process. 2015 and 2016 both felt like kind of weak years to me... but 2017 has been absolutely amazing.

Since I'm having a little writers block with my school-work I thought I would try to write something light to break it... so I'm going to share some of my rave reviews. So here are my picks in order:

16 Ways to Make Your Vote Count In CA

There's more going on this election season than the presidential election. As usual California voters will be asked to sort through the dizzying array of public policy choices and many of the propositions have the potential to swing on the votes of a few voters. (as opposed to the federal election, where California is solid, dark blue).
So Deepa (A first time voter in this country) & Harry spent some time to talk out the propositions, do a little cursory research, and share opinions... Which you can find below:

Harvesting Predictability

The difficulty of predicting things is, like many human endeavors, intuitively viewed with a competitive model. We only really give credit to people for forecasting when their abilities exceed our own, and at higher levels when they exceed the best that humanity can martial. Few are impressed by 100% accurate predictions of eclipses now that orbital mechanics is well understood, but once this was thought to be wisdom bordering on magic. The edge of predictability, which is in reach of some people, but not others is where it can be harvested for value.


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