Discover more from Handwaving Freakoutery
HWFO Housekeeping and Reading List October 2023
If you have things to say and can't say them in your social circles, read this
I was recently published in the November / December edition of RECOIL Magazine, which is always fun.
It was a reprint of this article, with some editorial changes to make it fit print media better:
I’m recording a podcast with Stephanie Lepp today, also about gun statistics, for a new project she’s in the process of launching. Keep an eye out for that if you’re so inclined.
My son’s soccer team is undefeated and my daughter’s been doing Kinemaster animations on her tablet about a video game we’re playing together called Pikmin. This was fun:
This publication is and will always remain free to read, and any money earned through Substack subscriptions or Patreon will be dutifully spent on the author’s alcohol fund. Anyone who contributes to said alcohol fund will gain access to our private Slack server to discuss HWFO topics with other HWFO readers (and me) outside the public eye. Around 200 people are yammering away in there right now, and some of the article topics are born from these discussions. I’ll post an updated access link in a few days, as subscriber only content. If you’re a Patreon supporter you can gain access too, just email me.
Here’s a sample of the things we’re talking about on the Slack.
Brian Chau (author of From the New World on Substack and host of a podcast on which I appeared recently) did a spot on Jim Rutt about machine learning which was quite good.
Here’s Brian’s Substack:
One of the coolest things I’ve ever read in the American Journal of Physics is a density graph of every possible thing.
Here’s the graph:
The implication of this curiously direct analysis seems to be proof that the universe itself is in fact a black hole.
New research in the Journal of Pediatrics indicates that the overall decline in mental health of youth is related to a reduction in independent and unsupervised play time.
Folks in India are killing themselves to avoid being blackmailed by creditors through instant loan apps that harvest their nude photos and blackmail them with them.
New trials of bionic brain controlled prosthetic limbs are up to 80% effective.
FTX were such naïve dorks they literally indexed their fraud subroutines in their software so anyone with their GitHub access could see it.
A recent study from the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance found that uglier fund managers outperform prettier fund managers by 2%.
Support for a particular policy from the middle class has virtually no effect on whether that policy will be adopted, but support from people who earn over $170k per year doubles the probability a policy will be adopted.
Gurwinder is always a great read and I encourage everyone who has time to subscribe. Here he has a short, great post on how to not get brain-locked by “overchoice” in your daily life.
Astral Codex Ten does a good job of impartially summarizing the current state of the “Let’s pause AI development so we don’t destroy humanity” debate. Cynically, I think the debate is a moot point because the Chinese aren’t going to pause, but that’s me.
Wired retracted this article about how Google alters search queries to steer you into buying stuff, which makes me wonder if it wasn’t too true to print.
Climate scientists are finally going back to look at how trees make clouds. This was one of the biggest gaping holes in IPCC AR5 when I reviewed it years ago.
This article is not new material to anyone familiar with Freddie DeBoer (I’m a fan) but it is interesting that he, a pretty devout Marxist leftist, is being featured in the Free Press.
For what it’s worth, I see Freddie associating with The Free Press as a continuing indicator that I was right about the political axis evolving to purely a woke-antiwoke dichotomy back in early 2021, here:
A recent study in Med Hypotheses indicates that solar flare cycles correlate with mental health.
Another one in Med Hypotheses is even weirder, a study in how people’s personalities change when they get heart transplants.
This is a good, short video explaining how airlines shifted their profit centers away from actually flying airplanes and towards credit cards and flyer miles:
This is just a snapshot of the hundreds of discussions we have going on per month on the private Slack channel. If you want in, subscribe to the substack or support the publication on Patreon and I’ll send you an invite link.