TheJach.com

Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Tao Te Ching Reflections, 56 through 81 (end)

(I'm really bad at this. I guess it's just not high on my priority since I've read it so many times, but rereading is essential. I still have trouble living the parts I have accepted..)

56

Those who know don't talk.
Those who talk don't know.


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Have some physics! Impulse

In the interest of posting something I'm going to mostly copy a comment here that I made on a forum. :)

To set up some context: why do buses have big, foam-padded seats instead of seatbelts? The answer is that foam-padded seats provide the same function as a seatbelt, but without the risk of strangling a kid or breaking one of their bones. Buses rarely tip over (though there are some (and I may be going to hell for suggesting) humorous videos on youtube of such incidents), and it still seems better to let the kids fall to the roof than get hung by a seatbelt (possibly from their necks!!).

Anyway, what is it about seat belts and foam seats that make them desirable?

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...In which I reveal my inability to rap.

(Edit: Wow, lots of downloads on this. I shyly hope they're mostly bots, I'm really stage shy and my voice is no good! And a few places are off in this and it needs a re-record...) My commute to work gives me lots of car time to sing songs in my head and rhyme stuff for fun, so I come up with raps, some of which I even bother to post on my Deviant Art page.

My latest excuse for a rap is slower than my usual "material", which was a change in pace. I'm also talking somewhat quietly over the beat (for which I'm making a fair use claim) from Eminem's leaked "Difficult", instead of just doing it a cappella. I uploaded my recording here.

Anyway, the subject matter is to go donate! http://singinst.org/tallinn-evans_challenge And for every dollar you donate before the 20th, it will be matched thanks to two donors Jaan Tallinn, a founder of Skype and Ambient Sound Investments, and Edwin Evans, CEO of the mobile applications startup Quinly. To see others announce their donations, check out: http://lesswrong.com/lw/3gy/tallinnevans_125000_singularity_challenge/. Oh, and here are my lyrics:

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Don't ask, don't tell: don't really care

Now all the media is finally settling over the DADT situation, it's time to hop on the "so what?" bandwagon, and in places attack it altogether.

When gays are allowed to marry, and legally call it marriage to reap all the legal benefits thereof (such as taxes), that will be a day where a small step toward further equality is taken. When they can adopt kids as easily as married husband and wife, that will be another day of equality. From a perspective of individual "fairness", I'm willing to call the DADT repeal useful, though, and a minute step for fulfillment of contract, because now openly (or found-out) gay soldiers can get their crack-money scholarships and veterans benefits and so on.

My views are similar to those expressed in the linked post. I have no problem with gays serving in the military, I have a problem with serving in the military, and I have to wonder at the intelligence of anyone who chooses to do so, especially these days. No, I take that last bit back, there are plenty of rational reasons to join, depending on your own ethics, personality, and definition of winning. Some may want power (becoming a general's a great way to become President), some may want to kill, some may want the benefits like a free college education they use to lure new recruits in, some may just like playing with big toys. I hope there aren't many who believe they're defending the country from invasion or something, others might believe it's God's will, perhaps they hate Middle Easterners (or just Brown People, and Mexico's next), they might not know why the hell they're fighting but just keep doing it like so many others do with their crappy day-jobs, and will latch on to any of these reasons when presented to them as an excuse.

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Happy New Year! And New Books

New year's resolution: double my post count from last year. Prior to this post, I'm at a mere 123,416 words written on this blog. My eventual goal is a million, it better not take me 10 years! Though to be fair that's not including everything I write at other places, but still.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to receive six books off my Amazon Wish List for Christmas! I have so much to read. Here they are:


  1. Let Over Lambda

  2. Kushiel's Dart

  3. The Book of Five Rings

  4. Land of Lisp

  5. Reading in the Brain

  6. The Moral Animal



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