Remember when you first discovered Tumblr and you would scroll down your dashboard until you reached the spot where you left the day before?

madeofnebulas:

inquisitivefeminist:

comparativelysuperlative:

Yeah, I remember doing that, back before I found out about…uh, what exactly is it that we competent people do instead? I’m asking for a friend.

I usually just scroll until I get bored/my dash starts having trouble loading, then go back to the top.  If there are any blogs where I really want to see every post (such as yours) I’ll check it every day.

I still haven’t grown out of this because

what if I miss something

(Source: kittiezandtittiez)

Tags: also me

I’ve been thinking about truth lately. Two things:

  1. Telling the truth is kind of a privilege. Not everyone is in the position where telling the truth is safe. Even if you are super-pro-honesty, that doesn’t go away.
  2. There’s this thing in HPMOR where Harry seems to have no idea with deceiving people without lying, but has (moral?) problems with actually not telling the truth. I’m not sure if I see the difference, from a moral/ethical perspective. People are asking you for (accurate) information and you don’t give it to them. Whether this is through deception or trough lying, doesn’t influence the fact that the person you were talking to has sub-accurate information.

Thoughts?

Tags: HPMOR Truth

Anonymous said: Probably offtopic, but could you explain what exactly the word "sentience" means? Wikipedia just defines it as "the ability to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively", but it's apparently used very differently - many people somehow don't take animals to be sentient when (many) animals pretty clearly have these abilities.

sonatagreen:

rationalist-tutor:

A lot of people don’t distinguish between sentience and sapience. Pretty much all animals are sentient (they’re able to perceive and react to stimuli, both internal and external), but only a limited number are sapient (sense of self, able to reason and draw conclusions beyond those reactions).

So when people say that animals aren’t sentient, what they actually mean is that animals aren’t sapient. And they tend to get really annoyed when you point that out to them :-)

I suspect that the theory behind using “sentience” like this is that animals lack qualia, which is a mystical noncausal property of Real People with Souls. They get annoyed when you say that animals have a subjective experience, because that’s part of a hard-reductionist worldview, and weakens the distinction between humans and other animals. (Compare elan vital.)

I do think there’s a difference between humans and most animals, or rather that there’s a difference between some animals (including humans, but also other primates, dolphins, elephants, maybe ravens, maybe octopuses…) and other animals.

Things that push species “further” on that continuum are tool use, language, sense of self, abstract thinking…

ozymandias271:

pandora is great because it tells you what traits music you like has

so I can be like “I like music with a subtle use of vocal harmony, electronica influences, extensive vamping, a clear emphasis on recording studio production. repetitive melodic phrasing, and pop-rock qualities”

and then I sound super-smart until someone asks me what those words mean

(via another-normal-anomaly)

Tags: Pandora

"Everyone wants to be Batman, but everyone should be Captain America."

Captain America Doesn’t Need To Be A Jerk To Be Interesting  (via juvjuvychan)

Who the hell wants to be Batman?

(via wrapscallion)

wrapscallion:

You’re bound to screw up sometime, and until you do, I’ll be watching… and waiting…

…To help you out, be there by your side, reassure you that I don’t hate you or think less of you, and be however hard or soft on you as you need.

BE THE HUFFLEPUFF YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

(via cyborgbutterflies)

Tags: Hufflepuff

What does rationality mean, anyway?

rationalist-tutor:

The very first thing we need to talk about is what I actually mean when I say “rational” or “rationality.” This is especially important because the way people use the word in everyday life is a bit different from the way aspiring rationalists use it. I believe that some conflicts between aspiring rationalists and people who don’t identify as such comes from this difference in meaning.

I won’t dwell too much on the everyday meaning of the word, since I’d like you to forget that when reading this blog. People often say “rational” when they want to indicate the opposite of “emotional”, which is a pet-peeve of a lot of rationalists. The few occasions I’ve seen the word used outside of a Less Wrong context, it’s often been used to judge people. Things like: “You need to stop being angry about being misgendered, that just isn’t rational." (Sure, that’s an extreme example, but it gets the point across.)

Suffice to say, aspiring rationalists such as me try to avoid using the word like that. But how do we use the word?

A lot of concepts used by aspiring rationalist of the Less Wrong variety stem from economics and cognitive psychology and “rational” isn’t much different. The way I’ll use the word on this blog differs slightly from how those disciplines use it, but there’s still significant overlap so if you end up reading a book written by an economist, you should have an idea what they’re talking about.

Rationality, in the sense that I’ll use it, consists of two related but different concepts: Epistemic Rationality and Instrumental Rationality. These can be summarized briefly as “knowing true things” and “reaching your goals.”

A longer explanation can be found below the cut:

Read More

My first post is life. I hope I didn’t screw anything up.

It might be a bit basic for some of you, but we’ll need it moving forward.

jeanpaulfarte:

in stories featuring aliens, they’re always like “on my planet this never happens!” or “in my culture, this differs from your human culture.” and that’s neat and all because i like worldbuilding and all that jazz but wouldn’t it be fun if they just. couldn’t do that?

i want a story where humans encounter an alien who frustrates them because they don’t know enough to tell them anything concrete

like humans will ask “tell us about politics in your planet!” and the alien’s all “uh… hold on it’s been a while since i took gov. um….”

"what sorts of plants grow on your planet?"

"i dunno i grew up in the suburbs. they’re like… purple? idk what you want me to say"

"tell us about the culture on your planet!"

"do you have any idea how many fucking countries are back home, i don’t even know where to begin"

"your planet is obviously much more scientifically and technologically advanced than ours. is it possible for you to enlighten us on certain matters concerning space travel, or would that be a form of interference you must avoid?"

"naw it’s cool, it’s just that, um, i’m a philosophy major"

Animorphs. You want Animorphs.

(Source: darthpaulsartre, via flashofbishiesparkles)

Tags: Animorphs

laughingmad:

bogleech:

image

Taningia danae is a big deep-sea squid with massive, manta-like fins, stubby arms, and a pair of fist-sized light organs on the end of two of its appendages.

Those are the largest light organs ever discovered, and we now know from observations of a live specimen that it actually uses them to blind deep-sea prey.

flashofbishiesparkles yxoque ozymandias271

I’m being tagged for this!

(via flashofbishiesparkles)

Tags: Tentacles

jadeneternal:

unamusedsloth:

Baby goats aka kids are for everyone.

a-spoon-is-born

jirkapoes

(Source: unamusedsloth, via flashofbishiesparkles)

Tags: Goats

bartlebyshop:

yxoque:

madeofnebulas:

It’s good to meet you, Doctor Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled….

It just bugs me that Tony Stark said “anti-electron” instead of “positron”.

Good, so I wasn’t the only one.

Basically all of the physics jargon in this movie seems to have been designed to be as “offensively” wrong as possible. It really makes it hard for me to take Tony Stark or Bruce Banner seriously.

Stop! Wait! I think I can fanwank my way out of this!

The MCU clearly isn’t our universe. Even with their “superscience” there are still things that are blatantly impossible. Their reality is just different (which is why they have an easier time making super-serums and clean energy reactors, etc.). Part of that difference is that their “science” is just slightly different from ours. This includes things like “anti-electrons.”

(Source: markoruffalo)

Tags: MCU Fanwank

superhobbitwhomerlockpotterbal:

This is the best version of Rapunzel that i have ever seen

jirkapoes

(Source: catversushuman.com, via another-normal-anomaly)

Tags: Cats Rapunzel

madeofnebulas:

It’s good to meet you, Doctor Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled….

It just bugs me that Tony Stark said “anti-electron” instead of “positron”.

Good, so I wasn’t the only one.

(Source: markoruffalo)

theivorytowercrumbles:

zoniventris:

Although I have played neither Shadow of Mordor nor Watch Dogs, I found that this was a good critique of certain trends in modern video games.

To a certain degree, this reminds me of the first time I watched a video preview of Skyrim.  I was blown away by the beautiful scenery and serene music.  Yet I was soon struck with the realization that the game would probably offer only one major way to interact with the world — by killing things.  This was reinforced by the video itself, in which the player attacks a giant peacefully herding his mammoths for no other reason than to show of the game’s combat.

There are, of course, other things you can do in the game.  Like making weapons and armor…to better kill things and fend off their attacks.  Or brewing potions…to deal more damage to opponents or heal the damage they do to you.  Or even cook meals…which you guzzle down when your stamina is low so that you can unleash even more attacks on your opponents.

In other words, even the non-combat systems of the game exist mostly to feed into the combat.  Want to make a peaceful living being a blacksmith?  Try Runescape instead.

I think Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis system is a step in the right direction to correcting the hollowness of Skyrim, which loses most of its charm after a few hours as your adventures through its static world grow more and more repetitive and meaningless.

But does it radically change how we interact with virtual worlds?  Or does it just highlight the limitations of our allowed interactions?

I’m not saying every game needs to be Dwarf Fortress, fully simulating every aspect of the world.  However, it would be nice to have a high-budget fantasy game with a dynamic world about, say, being a traveling merchant or even an adventurer whose most meaningful interactions with the world are something other than fighting and killing.

I’d love a fleshed-out traveling merchant game. Or one where you can be a healer. Or just non-combat in general. Please.

This is basically what I do with Fallout and Skyrim but you sure as hell have to dodge game mechanics and ignore most quests.

I must say I’d appreciate a game where a peaceful option was equally viable. I tried this in Skyrim, but I ended up as a worse person because I effectively became a mind-controlling bastard in order to finish quests.

But I can also understand why killing is the main focus. I believe it’s massively easier to program and balance your game around.

I should give Runescape another go.

(via allacharade)

Tags: Gaming

serenescientist:

Uh, yxoque, how close to accurate is this…?

Except for the last few pictures, this is rather accurate.
Belgium isn’t an economic, cultural, military or political powerhouse. In its early history it was forced into a kinda geo-political neutrality, which was breached by Germany (twice).
That did create a country that’s suitable for hosting and mediating between several larger and more important countries.
Belgium doesn’t get a lot of respect, and that’s cool since it doesn’t do a lot of impressive things that are worthy of international respect. But the few things it does do well don’t have a lot of status (compromise, mediation, working together…).

serenescientist:

Uh, yxoque, how close to accurate is this…?

Except for the last few pictures, this is rather accurate.

Belgium isn’t an economic, cultural, military or political powerhouse. In its early history it was forced into a kinda geo-political neutrality, which was breached by Germany (twice).

That did create a country that’s suitable for hosting and mediating between several larger and more important countries.

Belgium doesn’t get a lot of respect, and that’s cool since it doesn’t do a lot of impressive things that are worthy of international respect. But the few things it does do well don’t have a lot of status (compromise, mediation, working together…).