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As we all know, it is impossible to tile the plane with regular pentagons. However, suppose you were willing to use slightly non-regular pentagons (with different alterations on each tile) so that it *appears* to be a regular tiling. Is there any easy method to figure out how to do this and what the minimum maximum deviation from regular you would need is?

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Guy with a high-end products/leather consulting/reviews business is named Tanner... Tanner Leatherstein. Now, is that nominative determinism or just a clever nom-de-plum for marketing purposes?

Either way, funny enough to mention. https://www.tannerleatherstein.com/about

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This open thread is at the point where things start to wind down, so I’m just going to throw out a joke:

It’s late at night and a man is getting ready to go to bed when he hears a knock on his door. He opens it and looks down to see a snail.

“Yes,” it says. “I’d like to talk to you about buying some magazine subscriptions.” Furious at being disturbed, the man rears back, kicks the snail as hard as he can, and storms off to bed.

Two years later there comes another knock. The man answers and again he finds the snail, who looks up at him and says, “What the f*ck was that all about?”

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https://interessant3.substack.com/ Three Interesting Things Once a Week. Pretty simple.

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I see a motte-and-bailey fallacy in every argument I *hear* that has someone say something like "Our personalities are determined by a combination of both nature/genetics and nurture/environment".

Obviously, that statement is true: both genetics and environment shape our personalities. But when people say it, there's something else going on.

The emphatic statement is: "it is a combination! We say this in iconoclastic opposition to the FOOLS who believe it to be either/or!", and the context is usually in "response" to some scientist who just showed that there is a genetic component to [homosexuality/obesity/what have you] (and who probably worked their fingers to the bone in order to do so).

But the scientist fully accepts that, aggregated across many people, it is a combination, and their little gene is one factor - so why on *earth* would people be so emphatic about this very obvious fact?

The truth is that their interest is in believing a different statement: "environment plays a larger role than genetics" - that statement is their bailey. They won't say it out loud, because it'd mean they'd have to define "larger". But they believe it, and they like believing it. It allows them to pour scorn on lots of things they don't like, things which have changed the environment of people growing up. They can use this to promote their preferred solutions to problems, without engaging with the question of how much impact their solutions would have.

When they say stuff that comes from their bailey, if you say "but genetics plays a significant part in that problem, and we may want to consider anatomy-level solutions to it, for example one study found that-", they will say "Ah but do you not see, people are this way due to a COMBINATION of genetics and environment!", and then that's it - if you reply back, no matter how quantitative you are, they will be taking you to disagree with their facile motte.

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Give me an example of a person who wrote an autobiography that no one cared about or bought.

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What does the expression "For a cool [amount of money]" mean?

I've heard it many times in my life, but have never understood what "For a cool" added to such statements.

I found this definition online, but is it right?

12. ADJECTIVE [ADJECTIVE noun]

You can use cool to emphasize that an amount or figure is very large, especially when it has been obtained easily.

[informal, emphasis]

Columbia recently re-signed the band for a cool $30 million.

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Does anyone else ever make it a point to click-through Substack emails to new posts, so that supported bloggers get better "engagement" numbers on email blasts? Or is that not how such things work anymore?

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Someone pseudonymous is booting up a blog on the mindset of privacy concerns at https://psyvacy.substack.com/ - are there any others adjacent to this topic out there?

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If India managed to maintain it's caste system largely unchanged for thousands of years, why did the caste system in the Southern United States so rapidly collapse?

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I'm continuing my 2 year hobby of memorising a monthly poem. I'm still looking for recommendations, under the loose criteria of having a rhyme scheme, being at least somewhat significant culturally, and shorter than ~50 lines. What are poems that have resonated with you? In particular I am also looking for poems dealing with grief and loss.

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I'm over 70 and one of the things that occasionally bugs me is that my motivation for doing anything has gone (not that I need to do much, but I really enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishing something). I understand that testosterone is not the answer; ideas?

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lots of discourse on direct action strategies of protesters, including splashing tomato soup on van gogh paintings and pouring milk on the floor of a grocery store. i think its a great example of coupling "we die in a climate crisis" with "you dont get to enjoy art anymore because we are dying".

my model of change is that

1. first people get upset at you because they are being inconvenienced, ie you dont get to enjoy art, your favorite highway was blocked off and now you're late to work

2. weeks later they know protestors are just a fact of life, and now its the government's fault they havent gotten off their asses and done something about it

i myself have done some disruptions, and jail is pretty traumatizing, but i'd say if you measured my successes by way of the Unit of Caring (the us dollar) i provided 5 million usd of value.

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There were some comments below about TDS. Doesn't TDS basically mean that DT is "living in your head rent free", preventing you from thinking clearly?

If so, isn't that DT's *fault*, considering much of DT's political strategy was to nettle and discombobulate his opponents and detractors like a professional boxer? Isn't the TDS epidemic, then, a very good reason for disliking DT? (I also dislike the lab or bat whatever it was that started Covid.)

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What do people think of recall elections and other ways to make governments more (temporally) responsive to the popular will without destabilising politics? I.e. to avoid the situation where a deeply unpopular government still has a de-jure mandate from a few years ago when people liked them more.

In the real world, a number of countries allow recalls to happen if a petition passes a certain threshold proportion of the electorate. This can either apply to individual politicians or the government as a whole, depending on the country. While these are rarely triggered and even more rarely succeed, perhaps a good horse runs even at the shadow of a whip.

For political systems not that different from ours, despite the fact I just made them up, how about the westminster system except with annual recall elections (triggering a general election if they succeed) that drop in threshold every year since the last GE. So it takes 90% popular opposition in the first year, 50% in the 5th year and 10% in the 9th. A new government gets a few years to win public confidence but is kicked out faster if the public get fed up with it.

Or one like westminster but where there are no general elections. Elections are instead spread out across time, with each MP being elected once every 5 years (kind of like midterms but moreso). An average of 5 constituencies would need to hold an election per fortnight for this to work in the UK. Thus a government that suddenly became less popular would see its majority slowly eroded until the opposition could force through a VoNC.

This question is apropos of no particular political developments that might be taking place right now, or anything.

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Hyperdiffusion is called pseudoscience three times just in the intro of its wiki page. Seems ungenerous as there are respectable people who say the Olmecs were influenced by Asian sources: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2741354

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Is anyone living their life in a significantly differently manner as a direct result of AI risk fears? (Excluding those who are working directly on AI Safety). It seems that the main problem in acting on beliefs of elevated risk is uncertainty in outcomes and timelines. For instance, deciding not to save for retirement seems like a bad idea if you think there is even a (say) 20% chance that AGI is not invented by the time you hit the age of 60. Working a high-paying, high-stress job for a decade in order to retire early and enjoy yourself seems like it would only be a good idea if AGI is at least 20 years away. Curious how others think about this topic.

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Are speeches/sermons/lectures/concerts/performances a human universal? I.e. one person or a small group of people do some act, a larger group of people watch without participating. I can't find this in the Wikipedia list of human universals, so I thought I ask here. On one hand, it feels very modern to me with the clear distinction between the person acting and the observers. One the other hand, it seems very natural. If anyone has read some interesting anthropology or history on the subject, please share and I'll be grateful.

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Do people in Berkeley know about the history of the Morrell Airship? In 1908, a guy named Morrell built a (hilariously phallic) 450-foot dirigible roughly where MLK Park is today. After two spectacular failures, in which miraculously no one was killed, he lost his investors. A worthwhile watch just for the photos of a flying bratwurst the size of a city block:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR-yQ4TObJ8

"I came to Berkeley to build my ship for trial purposes, to train my crew and demonstrate to the world that my theory is right."

I've only been to Berkeley once, but I feel like it's some sort of natural attractor for people who might make this statement.

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Why don't states that have run out of lethal injection drugs just kill death row inmates via nitrogen? Or, any other similar gas that replaces oxygen. Nitrogen's lethal, it's very widely available (i.e. can't be blocked by the EU), and death is supposed to be fairly painless. It seems like a nobrainer- instead, I see states casting around for weird alternate ways to execute inmates. Why not gas? In fact, why did states go the lethal injectable drugs route at all? Gas seems very easy and much cheaper

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Imagine that you are trying to get as many people as possible to fill out a survey, and you have a few rewards (discrete) that you can give out as you see fit. What's the game theory approach to optimize the # of people who fill out the survey?

There are ~140 people total in the pool and the time frame for completion is ~2 weeks

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Thoughts on semaglutide and pancreatic cancer risk ? I believe it is generally accepted that inflammation is associated with increased cancer risk and this drug does show increased incidence of pancreatitis. I know the clinical studies on semaglutide did not show increased cancer risk, but they're relatively short-term and pancreatic cancer is usually only detected in later stages after a tumor has been growing for years.

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Hey Trebuchet, I noticed you commented on Zvi's Balsa FAQ and someone replied, then it disappeared before I could read the reply. Did you delete it, or...?

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What is the one thing that has given you the largest productivity boost?

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The great colonoscopy debate.

https://youtu.be/WqmbqoDGYt4

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One of the most useful books I read, back in the early 2000’s, was “Raising Your Spirited Child.” My 2nd child was particularly sensitive (with her, we learned that Target sold socks without seams, because seams bothered her so much, and many other kids too, apparently!) The book validated how each kid was different and it’s okay to respect their innate temperaments and unique selves. We also had a wonderful pediatrician who said kids with her temperament usually did really well in school because they have so much tenacity and focus. This kid loves to get A’s and is now in grad school. So there’s that.

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My brother and his wife are soon going to have a child. I don't have any experience with children (and frankly, not much with young parents either). Are there things that you shoud do/should not do? Things that are very appreciated, things that are taboo? For example, I can imagine that unless they specifically ask for it, sending resources on pedagogy or childcare could be seen as weird/annoying/bad/obnoxious.

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Has Deiseach reviewed the end of Rings of Power yet?

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I just started a substack! It's called "Eat Shit and Prosper"—gonna be talking a lot about the gut microbiome and its connection to psychiatric/neurodegenerative diseases, but also more general stuff about microbial ecology.

https://stephenskolnick.substack.com/p/welcome-to-the-jungle

Some practical advice for staying healthy in an increasingly adversarial world, with a lil dose of pontification on who's really driving the bus (hint: you are the bus).

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Erstwhile friend-of-the-blog Michael Shellenberger appears to have gone all-in on "solar/wind bad, oil/gas good" on his Twitter account:

https://twitter.com/ShellenbergerMD/status/1581730315852136448

It's not worth my effort to respond to his Gish Gallop of talking points, but maybe somebody he will listen to could take a crack at it.

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why does this have 95 calories, when the macros seem to add up to much less? https://www.michelobultra.com/products/beers/michelob-ultra

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Why have batteries beat out hydrogen as the go-to form of energy storage for renewables, whether in cars or for the grid? I would naively imagine that a lot of the infrastructure built for natural gas could be used/expanded to transport hydrogen, making it possible to produce hydrogen in places where renewable sources are cheap and bounteous, and then ship the hydrogen via pipes, rail, etc. to other places, just as we have done for many (most?) of our energy needs for over a century with oil and gas. I assume there are reasons for why batteries seem to be winning out thus far, but what information I am able to find with a few Google searches is either contradictory or unenlightening. Probably I just don't know enough about it to even know how to effectively search on this topic.

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Upcoming unconferences in Prospera, the charter city on the beautiful Caribbean island of Roatan:

Prospera Edtech Summit, October 28-30, 2022: https://infinitafund.com/edtech2022

Prospera Fintech Summit, November 18-20, 2022: https://infinitafund.com/fintech2022

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I’ve been reading lots of books about outer space with my kids (N.B.: if you’re wondering whether you want to have kids, it’s worth it just to read books about outer space with them). One of the things they’re super interested in are the gas giants in our solar system.

Can any experts out there explain what the hell is up with, like, Jupiter? It really has no solid substance on it? If you had a super powered space suit and entered Jupiter’s atmosphere, would you just keep falling through it until you hit the core and then just bob around? How is there a center of gravity without solid matter? I’m having trouble wrapping my head around it.

In the same vein: my boys love to talk about what it’d be like to visit each planet and the various moons. Does anyone know any place to find a good description of what that would be like? The closest I ever found was a fun XKCD description of what would happen if you tried to fly a plane on each planet (https://what-if.xkcd.com/30/), but that’s a frustratingly limited scenario.

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Is there any evidence that the anti-police movement in the U.S. has damaged the mental health of police or raised their suicide rate?

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I'm an Economics undergrad, due to graduate in a bit more than half a year or so. I have two questions, one about productivity, one about entering CS. (Unfortunately, I don't have people around me who can really answer these in detail-apologies if these aren't relevant for this place.)

1. I'm relatively happy with myself as far as it goes (I've figured out how to be consistently happy for multiple months, exercise etc is providing me with a higher energy budget) but it turns out that I'm really bad at working hard. I was able to 'coast' through school, and college is also not very hard, so there hasn't been a reason for me not to procrastinate. My limit on intense focus-unless I'm programming, and thus 'playing'-seems to be around 2-3 hours a day, and that mostly on very good days. Is there a way to raise that? (I've had good success with installing habits like exercise by basically making myself do it consistently for a month or so, and then using the momentum from that to keep doing it. is there an analog for increasing perseverance?)

I ask this because it really seems like this is now the blocker on me being able to do things-my current algorithm of 'do <thing> until it's interesting, then stop' isn't really working out. (Also makes it hard to start new projects which potentially could have been fun but aren't, since I think they'd be boring and never start them.)

2. While I like Economics (yes, really-I suspect it's done a fair share in making me smarter, by installing the reflex to look for problems if nothing else...) my original thing has always been CS. I don't have a CS degree though, and don't really have tangible projects, since I was mostly pulled by my curiosity when I was younger. (So I know parts of Haskell and Prolog, but barely have the equivalent of an IRC client coded...I think my laziness w.r.t. projects just stems from a lack of inherent curiosity for them though, I suspect I'd be fine in an environment that provides external structure and insentives.)

So, if I don't have a CS degree, what do I do to be hired? bootcamps? work on some actual projects? randomly email people? prep for interviews? some superset/subset of all these?

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Hi Friends,

My third book, Losing My Religions, has been published. It covers several topics I think will be of interest to you, and I quote Scott in it for the main philosophy chapter.

The e-book files are available for free, as I hope the book can be as helpful as possible to as many people who want to read it.

You can get the files and read the early reviews at: https://www.losingmyreligions.net/

Take care!

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Any parents here have resources for early childhood education that actually seemed to work? A lot of things give me an extreme eyebrow raise although most of what I see from Montessori types seem practical as far as making him feel confident and competent. Is anything else out there? Is Montessori real? Son is going to be one in a few months and want to see if we can be more deliberate. Parents only please unless you also happen to be a working expert.

Edit: thanks for all the suggestions. Also as a point of clarity I am not proposing to raise my son in a Soviet style elite training program more like “hey this actually helped my kid learn to read.” My main goal is of course to give him the tools to build a happy and successful life not quiz him on the relative abundance of deuterium until the light goes out of his smile.

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Okay, let me lead with the fact that I’m not about to kill myself.

That said, over the years, I occasionally have been mildly suicidal, so as a general rule I don’t keep any means in my house if I don’t have to. That said, some things you need to be a functional adult (knives for example), so for such things I usually do research on why they would be a terrible way to kill oneself.

This has been a pretty effective strategy over the years that has kept me from having to worry too much about my suicide risk.

Now I’m Type 1 diabetic, and I have insulin on me all the time. Having accidentally been severely hypoglycemic to the point of almost passing out before, it seems like a pretty effective and painless way to go. So, I need help figuring out why it would be bad means, since I’m coming up blank (standard stuff about suicide=bad isn’t helpful here, and insulin also mitigates an alarming number of those arguments).

Thanks

-Mystik

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Oct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022

For the second (and final) time, I want to signal boost excellent work being done by Phil Magness and co-authors. They try and expose left leaning academics who are tarring champions of markets and liberty like Mises. The left leaning academics use academically and intellectually dishonest techniques which readers of this blog would be no strangers to, given Scott's personal history with the NYT, but I was still surprised that even academics are being so dishonest in peer reviewed work.

Misrepresenting Mises: Quotation Editing and a Rejection of Peer Review at Cambridge University Press

https://econjwatch.org/articles/misrepresenting-mises-quotation-editing-and-a-rejection-of-peer-review-at-cambridge-university-press

Darity, Camara, and MacLean on William H. Hutt

https://econjwatch.org/articles/darity-camara-and-maclean-on-william-h-hutt

The intellectual dishonesty they expose is stunning to me.

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People who've read the Biodeterminist's Guide to Parenting might know that licorice is bad for you. This post explains how: https://denovo.substack.com/p/licorice-sucks

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Is there a good theory on why people disagree on politics? Sometimes they can be reduced to fundamental value differences or disagreements on well defined predictions, but those are the rare cases.

Few suggestions of my own:

1. People get random influences over life that form their political opinions, so their politics draw something like a normal distribution. More realistically, stuff like social circles, environments and feedback loops would also have significant influence.

2. Or maybe it's the other way around - stuff that 99% of the people agree on won't become controversial topics, so the ones that people argue about are the ones that people naturally tend to have very different opinions of.

Neither of them feel completely satisfactory though. Does anyone have better ideas? Or maybe this is a well-researched topic already?

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I've seen some comments here to the effect that wokeness is ruining movies, and I wonder, granting that I'm an infrequent move-watcher.

Let's start with 90% of everything is crud. (Theodore Sturgeon's answer to generalized attacks on science fiction. Commonly misquoted as 90% of everything is crap. For those who came in late, science fiction used to be deeply unrespectable, and while there are still some holding to that view, things have changed quite a bit.)

So, if 90% of everything is crud-- and let's make it 95% of everything because production has gotten easier-- it follows that 95% of woke movies are crud. Furthermore, sequels are generally inferior to originals.

I just saw Everything Everywhere All at Once, a pretty woke movie, and while I'm not going to say it was the best ever, I'd say it's a solidly good movie. Engaging and varied. Embraces a comic book aesthetic with a big cuddly hug, sometimes rather subtly with slightly exaggerated acting. Some of humor is funny. (I'm a tough audience.)

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I'm going to be in a board of a local private primary school my daughter is enrolled to. The official powers are quite vaguely defined, but I suspect a lot could be done than is usually expected. The school is quite open minded, has its own research group to dictate the style and content of the education.

I know this is a very context dependent etc., But does anyone has any ideas what (not) to do? Any pointers to e.g. interesting posts/blogs/ideas of some people from this or related community?

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The math department at the University of Florida is hiring for a tenure-track assistant professor position in the area of probability (broadly interpreted): https://www.mathjobs.org/jobs/list/20597

I am the chair of the search committee, and a fellow ACX reader. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have (my email is in the job advertisement).

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My mom is in France now living with a french family for 4 months already, in a small village, but her family understandably got tired and asked her to find another place till the end of month. She can't drive so going anywhere was problem, she doesn't speak the language and her English is very basic.

Can anyone help with finding another family in France? Or some other safer than Ukraine place till summer, to spend winter and spring there?

She has some permit to be in France till December and it can be prolonged after that.

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Maybe this is a naive question but is there some (semi-) formalized/structured way to figure out which technologies one should focus on to optimize value as an employee. I am currently finishing a CS Bachelor's and feel that I should specialize consciously, alas I have no process. Any input is welcome.

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On the reader surveys the average income of readers(with jobs, not students etc.) always comes out crazy high, ~200k (!?) I think, and you quite often see people mentioning in the comments that they're a millionaire or have some prestigious sounding job.

Is this really accurate? If you're in the demographic that enjoys reading this kind of blog, can you then reasonable expect to have a well above average income?

I certainly don't. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that does about how they ended up in that position, did they plan for it, did it happen organically, their career trajectory, whether they attribute it to any specific qualities they have, general advice etc.

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Which Russians fleeing military service are entitled to refugee status? I've written my assessment here: https://willingandable.substack.com/p/which-russians-fleeing-military-service

Most posts on refugee law are either hastily written, lightly researched posts to keep up with what's trending on Twitter, or are posted many months after interest has passed. At Willing and Able, I’m aiming for the Goldilocks zone of fresh, topical takes on refugee law and politics, backed up by research and several days of reflection and accessible to non-lawyers. Please feel free to send me related questions that you'd like me to answer, and subscribe if you'd like to receive new posts. Thanks!

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I've started a "finance in India" substack called Boring Money that I hope to make paid someday. Finance writing in India that humans can actually understand is pretty much non-existent and I hope to fill that gap. I'm heavily inspired by Matt Levine, so you might find me trying to "ape" him -- but it's just me trying to find my own voice.

Got some good feedback until now. Here's the latest post: https://boringmoney.substack.com/p/adani-really-likes-loans

No one in India has a sustainably paid newsletter at the moment so I'm pretty pumped about this. Please do share feedback!

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Are these Trump insurrection hearings, as they seem to an outsider briefly watching the TV coverage, a carefully choreographed ham-acted exercise in Democrat propaganda, timed to start just before the mid-term elections? I guess the answer would range, depending on one's outlook, between "No, the timing is pure coincidence" to "No **** sherlock"!

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Oct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022

I'm writing the sixth comment of this Open Thread despite living in Eastern Time (it's 3am for me) because I am stressing over my homework.

Here's an interesting fact about myself: I've been extensively writing down my dreams since late 2016. Today marks 6 years minus 4 days since the first dream I ever recorded (on 10/21/2016). I have been sort-of-but-not-really-wanting to write a fanfic of it with some kind of coherent storyline. Also, although the dreams themselves seem to occur at random days, a cursory analysis I recently did (manually counting the number of dreams I had in each quarter) finds that there were two periods where I had unusually frequent dreams: Oct 2016 - early/mid 2017, and early 2020 - early 2021. (The second period is almost certainly due to earlier-COVID19-pandemic isolation effects; I'm not so sure about what caused the first period.)

Please reply to this comment to ask me any and all questions about my dreams.

(EDIT: fixed numbering)

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another dating ad: Lily, 25, English/history high school teacher from Australia looking for a long-term male partner over 26, preferably an engineer. reach out at lilyreadsyouremail @ gmail

for more details, go here https://twitter.com/RichardHanania/status/1425626838991204354

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Oct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022

This strikes me as the perfect opportunity for some self-promotion. I'd apologize, but that would add hypocrisy to shamelessness.

On Substack, I have one post recommending some great piece of fiction on the internet. Lung's Last Ship in Suzhou deserves attention infinitely more than I do.

Other than that, I have two articles rambling on current geopolitics, in French. I'm not certain they're particularly insightful, but you know... that stuff is fascinating. Anyway.

What's to come : I should soon have the time to write a piece violently criticizing an article I read the other day, tying in Aristotle with a reactionary worldview. I swear, these liberals, sometimes...

The name of the article's Liberalism vs the Aristotelian Universe, by the way. Doesn't even try to hide his partisanship, disgusting.

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I am exploring (very early stages) a remote mental health startup concept. If you might be interested in brainstorming or joining the team, send a note to protopiacone at gmail. Expertise in online technologies as well as therapy/counseling is welcome.

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Can a human power a toaster? Answer: Some can, barely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4O5voOCqAQ

Although I'm not sure what their message is (maybe "Consume less energy. Eat your bread untoasted."), this demonstration is pretty impressive.

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deletedOct 17, 2022·edited Oct 17, 2022
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