nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-08-07 11:53 am

Bioweapons are enough harder than they sound that we shouldn't worry

At last! A reassuring link!

https://eukaryotewritesblog.com/…/…/30/book-review-barriers/
It turns out that doing biology is really hard. There's a lot of tacit knowledge involved. Knowledge that might only be in one person's head that they haven't documented. And there are probably issues related to highly specific equipment.

This piece is funny, at least if you like tales of human purpose frustrated by an uncooperative universe.

It cites Overly honest methods.

Link thanks to https://www.gwern.net/newsletter/2017/07
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-08-06 11:11 am

Everyone loses because of fat stigma. Maybe especially Democrats.

The usual discussion of stigma against fat people is about what it costs them, and that's reasonable because it costs them a lot.

However, there's another side-- what stigma against fat people costs everyone. I've read a lot from women who put off their ambitions for both work and love until they lose weight, which may never happen. It wouldn't surprise me if the same pattern (starting at higher fat %s) occurs for men, it's just that I haven't heard about it.

How much accomplishment and love haven't happened because of people who don't try until they think their bodies would be approved of? And they aren't hallucinating the prejudice-- how many fat people get turned down just because they're fat?

So, to Trump, because everything seems to get related to Trump. Unless I'm missing something, Republicans are more willing to accept fat candidates than Democrats are. Is it possible that Democrats are throwing away more talent than they can afford to? (I'm not extremely sure of the premise here-- let me know about if there are fat Democratic politicians which would contradict my theory.)
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-08-06 10:44 am

Prosecutorial Withholding of Evidence, and Adding Someone to Trials to Speak for the Truth

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/magazine/she-was-convicted-of-killing-her-mother-prosecutors-withheld-the-evidence-that-would-have-freed-her.html?smid=fb-share

In addition to the specific case, the article has a history of prosecutors withholding evidence and the laws related to that. It's been very bad, but recently, some prosecutors have been supporting broad disclosure, a requirement that *all* the evidence be shared.

I'm not convinced that this will be enough, though it seems like a good idea.

I think great deal of the problem is the adversarial approach to trials. It seems unlikely that Americans will give up the prosecutor vs. defense system, so I propose adding a third person to trials who's not allied with either side-- their job is to repeatedly address the question of whether the arguments make sense.

Zande Myrande wrote up a beginning of a trial which includes a third advocate-- this may make the idea clearer.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-08-06 10:19 am

Planning to do more on DW

I've mostly been on facebook and Slate Star Codex, but I've been thinking I've been neglecting DW/LJ. It's not just nostalgia-- neither FB nor SSC are especially searchable, though SSC is somewhat better. I think the approach is to download the whole history in a massive blob, and then search it. I should probably ask for details.

Considering how popular they are, being unsearchable may be something a lot of people want a lot of the time, but I find that I'd like to refer back to what I've said now and then. This means getting better about tagging things, too.

Facebook is evil for many reasons, but a big one is that it sort of implies reliable contact between people, but it makes contact very unreliable.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-06-30 04:27 pm

Being anti-Israel is not the same thing as being pro-Palestinian

This has been posted and re-posted on facebook. I haven't seen a link back to the author.

*****

Credited to a friend of a friend: Hiba Bint Zeinab, who is Palestinian-Lebanese (borrowed from said friend with permission)

"I'm at the point where I can't see how focus on the Israel Palestine question re: Chicago Dyke March is anything other than derailment.

I'd also like to say that perception that pro-Palestine sentiment here is being silenced *as a general trend* very much does not sit well with me because I believe the silencing to be happening the other way around, and think this is in fact a longstanding destructive feature of discourse surrounding the Palestinian cause. Also, I believe most of those engaging in defense of a pro-Palestinian liberation stance right now mean well but do not understand how much its framing decenters actual Palestinian welfare.

I will elaborate on both counts. I'm agitated from all sides about this and I can't do brevity so bear with me I guess.

First, the derailment. It's of particularly troubling sort because it falls into a larger pattern of whataboutism where what *should be* a case of clearcut antisemitism cannot ever be identified and unilaterally condemned by the left without also being hashed and rehashed in exculpatory ways "because Israel."

This is ESPECIALLY troubling when:

- There is a persistent phenomenon that's almost like a lefty inversion of the concept Israeli exceptionalism. Like a reverse- exceptionalism, whereby discussion of Israel's transgressions are held to singular standards of scrutiny to the exception of other nations/populations with comparable and/or far more deplorable histories and actions and crises. And in that I am including all the unspeakable injustice and destruction the larger MENA region has wrought to Palestinians, and how accountability seems no concern there, in part *because* of eternal return to obsessive, unilateral focus on Israel as the central Palestinian issue.

Read more... )
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-06-22 01:06 pm

Slightly outdated buttons

Before Balticon, I cleared out a lot of button slogans that I didn't think were selling well enough.*

So I've got about a thousand buttons that I have no obvious use for. They're generally in good condition and they're sorted by slogan.

I could just throw them out, but does anyone have any better ideas?

Would anyone like to pick up the buttons? I'm in South Philadelphia. Or I could mail them. I'm estimating the postage at $50 to $100, paid in advance. I'll come up with something more exact if anyone is interested.

*Removing "Free Hugs" was an error. I'll be putting it back in the trays.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-06-04 11:05 am

Finding an android phone if you have access to another device

Useful information from John Tangent:

https://www.google.com/android/find?u=0

If the link failed goto https://accounts.google.com and look for the Device Manager. You can make it ring no matter the setting, lock and even erase it.

And from Kirin Wagle:

iOS devices do include a standard feature that emits a beeping sound when you go to Find My iPhone and clap the "play a sound" button. They also report their last known position when the battery dies.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-06-02 04:02 pm

15-year minimun sentence for teen sexting passes House!

http://reason.com/blog/2017/05/31/house-overwhelmingly-supports-bill-subje

This is monstrous-- 15 year *minimum* for teenagers involved in sexting. "Involved" includes encouraging another teen to sext. The picture doesn't even have to be sent.

Name of bill: "Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017"

Here's the roll call list in case you have a Representative you'd like to praise or punish.

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll284.xml

Please call your Senators about this.

You are, of course, under no obligation to read comments at the link, but I'm an occasional comment reader at Reason, and this is the first time I've seen them turn against Republicans in general.

I have phoned my Senators. Both phone lines were open. If you need contact information for your Senators, here it is.

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Reason is the nearest thing to a major news organization which has covered the story. Should you have a habit of hating on libertarians, please remember this-- there's so much going wrong that one point of view and one bunch of activists isn't enough to keep it covered.

The other two sites with stories about the anti-sexting bill were
Unicorn Booty (gay) and The Ring of Fire Network (progressive).
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-05-10 10:32 am

Employees who spread misery by excessive rule enforcement

http://www.metafilter.com/166811/Vigilantes-at-work-examining-the-frequency-of-Dark-Knight-employees

They are the Dark Knights of the office: lone vigilantes who police the workplace, ever watchful for heinous crimes that cannot go unpunished. Woe to those who step out of line and return from break two minutes late, leave food in the office fridge too long and fail to refill the photocopier...Researchers [Katy DeCelles and Karl Aquino] in Canada asked 2,000 people in the US if they had come across workplace vigilantes, meaning those who took it upon themselves to dob in their colleagues for breaches of company policy, or what they deemed to be egregious moral violations. 58% had, and on average, respondents recalled four work colleagues over the course of their career who fitted the description. (From The Guardian, ). You can read the original paper here.


Here's what I noticed: That sort of enforcement is a very strong drive for the people who do it.

Office vigilantes *might* get fired, but management apparently doesn't use the problem to motivate looking at whether some of the rules don't make sense.

It's been a while since I've read The No Asshole Rule (a book about why management should never tolerate workplace bullies) but if this sort of bullying wasn't included, it should have been.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-23 11:41 am

Those old typos

If you see a typo in one of your years' old posts, do you feel compelled to correct it?
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-11 12:48 pm

Galaxy Cluster Gas Creates Hole in Microwave Background

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170410.html



This seems like an unmanageable science fiction premise-- it's quite possible that aliens living in the hole in the microwave background wouldn't be able to learn as much about the early history of the universe. This should matter for something, but what?

Also, is there any way to automatically enlarge the images from apod_rss?
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-10 04:43 am

List of feeds to DW

https://www.dreamwidth.org/feeds/list

It took me a little time to figure out how to add xkcd to my reading list, so this resource might not be obvious for everyone else.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-06 12:05 pm

A place to post your dreamwidth name so contacts from livejournal can find you

https://2017revival.dreamwidth.org/2102.html

I was torn. "Friends" leads to emotional issues. "Readers" is the DW term. "So people from livejournal can find you" might be vaguely threatening. So "contacts".

Anyway, I think the link is to a very helpful project.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-06 07:37 am

5K grants for personal projects-- application deadline is April 12

This is a private person who's willing to fund 3 projects that sound interesting to her-- 5K each.
If you have a 5Kish project that you can't get off your mind, you might want to take a look.

https://medium.com/@nayafia/5-000-no-strings-attached-9e7b95d33e50

I’d like to fund something that’s personally meaningful to you, whether that’s moving to the city of your dreams, building a better mousetrap, or bringing strangers together.

I’ll also prioritize projects where:
Funding isn’t readily available for this kind of project
You have a unique take on the project, or your backstory is interesting
Impact extends beyond the life of your project (ex. new program vs. one-time event)
Timeline is shorter (ex. 2 months) vs. longer (ex. one year)

Get creative! I’m open to suggestions. While your project should have a sense of beginning and end, I’ll gladly fund exploratory periods like sabbaticals or research.

I’m also happy to consider proposals like an extracurricular class or moving expenses, if they’re a major obstacle standing in between you and your dreams.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-04 06:29 pm

Augustinian evil in Lord of the Rings

https://mapsburgh.tumblr.com/post/151687211976/frodo-didnt-fail

This is really excellent-- it compares Manichaean evil (evil is a force) with Augustinian evil (evil is the absence of good) and demonstates that the plot of LOTR-- and especially the climax at the Cracks of Doom are solidly consistent with the idea that victory comes from doing the right thing, even when it seems completely impractical.

Link found here. Sherwood Smith is doing a reread of LOTR.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-04-04 01:45 pm

If you know me on livejournal, what is your name at dreamwidth?

The subject line pretty much covers it.

If you haven't heard, livejournal has imposed a new and possibly sketchy terms of service on its users, and more people are leaving lj and heading to dw.

I'm not sure it makes sense to post my request at dw as well as lj, but I'm not sure it doesn't, so I'm cross-posting.

I'm very grateful that the original lj had open-source software so that it's possible to mirror a livejouranl (including the old posts) at dw.
nancylebov: blue moon (Default)
2017-03-26 06:26 pm

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato comfort food

I've come up with a non-dairy comfort food.

1 medium butternut squash
4 medium small sweet potatoes
1 medium onion and a shallot
1/2 pound bacon
4 assorted somewhat hot peppers and a little hot sauce
garlic (Auntie Arwen's dried garlic mix)
salt
some maple syrup, maybe a couple of tablespoons

I steamed the squash (20 minutes). I found that the skin was edible, which was convenient-- some people don't like the texture, but it's a pain to remove the skin. (Second thought, maybe it's worth the trouble to pick the skin out.)

Microwaved the potatoes.

Fried the bacon, then fried the chopped peppers and onions in the bacon grease.

Mashed the squash, potatoes, bacon, peppers, and onions together. That was when I decided it needed more heat and salt, and added a little hot sauce and the maple syrup.

This is pretty comforting as it is, but would be more comforting without the hot peppers. My original plan included collard greens, but I don't think they were necessary.

The hot peppers (one light orange and wrinkly, one good-sized dark green and with an oval cross section, a smaller dark green pepper which wasn't quit as oval, and a medium-sized dark red spherical pepper) were from a mixed bag from Whole Foods. They had an interesting variety ot flavors, but I'm not sure what to do with them-- I'm not bad at improvised cooking but they were beyond my level of subtlety.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-02-23 11:03 am

Red and blue should *not* be political!

Richard Stallman ordered a button from me-- the top half had blue writing on white which said BLUE LIES MATTER*, the bottom half had black writing on yellow "Prosecute Perjury", and the whole thing had a red ring around the edge to make it more eye-catching.

What could possibly go wrong?

He wore it to Boskone, and several people saw it as being about lies from Democrats.

I considered redoing it with "Prosecute Police Perjury". However, most police lies aren't in court and therefore aren't committing perjury.

Please discuss this at DW/LJ, not on Facebook.


*read it carefully, there's a gotcha
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-02-21 01:11 pm

A new movie about Daryl Davis, a black man who converts KKK members

Daryl Davis is a black man who befriends KKK members, starting from a premise of trying to understand how people can hate him without knowing him, and also meeting people where they are.

He's got about 30 KKK robes which were given to him by people who left the KKK.

There's been a book by him for a while, but now there's a movie, available on the PBS site until 2/28.

Do *not* watch it at Film Lush, they're scammers.

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/videos/accidental-courtesy/
nancylebov: (green leaves)
2017-01-01 06:15 pm

Me and livejournal and dreamwidth

I'm currently planning to maintain two parallel blogs, posting from DW to LJ.

The interesting question is how to handle my presence in both-- reading habits (some of the more prolific posters are in both DW and LJ, and I don't want to unsubscribe from them at one site and then have to keep track if they change where they are) and commenting (comment where there are already comments or what?).

I'm planning on maintaining paid accounts at both because I want to be able to edit my comments easily. Like so many people, I don't seem to see typos until after I hit send. I was nervous about saying that I value editing LJ comments more than I dislike letting the Russian owners of LJ get a few dollars a year (I assume that most of the fee is for maintaining the site), but then I decided that I might as well tell the truth and see what happens.