If it quacks like a sociopath, but also ponders its own sociopathy, it's probably just an asshole.

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Topics - Requia ☣

So I'm sure it will come to no surprise to anyone here that people are shit at recognizing bias in themselves, even when they're fairly good at recognizing it in others.  One of the more interesting things pulled up by studies of this is that people actually use different strategies to try and recognize bias in themselves than others.  For other people we tend to use naive theories of bias and so forth, for ourselves the default technique is introspection.  We use our access to our thoughts feelings plans etc to make decisions about our own biases.  This doesn't appear to work at all.

Well, I just found something really interesting digging through papers on that effect.  Apparently telling people that introspection doesn't work for recognizing self bias actually increases their ability to recognize self bias.  In fact it can outright eliminate the bias blind spot.
Ok, so the dog has an ear infection, and she needs to take her damned antibiotics so she can walk without falling over again.  Problem is, as of this morning, she's refusing to eat the hotdog I put the pills in, she just chews it up and spits the whole thing out.

Anybody have any ideas?
It's time:

On Wednesday the governor signed into law a bill that makes the Browning M1911 the official state gun.   :lulz:
RPG Ghetto / Minecraft?
March 07, 2011, 12:16:19 AM
I've been thinking about setting up a private Minecraft server, cause I get sick to death of dealing with griefers in the public one.

How many people here would be interested in joining in?
RPG Ghetto / Tucker's Kobolds and Pathfinder
February 09, 2011, 12:02:12 AM
I'll be starting high level campaign Saturday (hopefully).  I'm looking at doing a Tucker's Kobolds style mission for the opening.  One of the things from that I want to have them do is shooting crossbows through murder holes.

The catch here is that Pathfinder tends to lend itself to fairly high AC values, and most of the low level monsters have very low attack bonuses, (A kobold for example has a +3 for ranged attacks).  So the question is, how do I get low level monsters to actually hit the PCs on something other than a natural 20?
I almost forgot to tell you with all the other crap flying around.  NPR says Robert Gates has decided to slash the military budget, by cutting 47,000 personnel (he's apparently confident that we'll have won in Afghanistan by 2015 when this takes effect).  All carrier groups will stay in place, so you aren't getting that half, sorry.
RPG Ghetto / Western RPG system?
January 07, 2011, 10:34:58 AM
One of my GMs is talking about getting a group together to do a western game, and I was wondering if anybody knew a system thats either already appropriate for that, or could be adapted with minimal issues.
Unlimited hilarity is not just for Arizona anymore.

QuoteMany American citizens treat the current "Tea Party Movement" as a recent innovation, or a novel idea that will disappear in the future.  Others tie current thought patterns back to the Boston Tea Party that occurred in 1773.  Actually, the thought patterns and mindset of the Tea Party movement finds its origins in a rebellion that occurred more than 3,000 years ago.  Believe it or not, this movement was detailed in the Bible.
Literate Chaotic / Google Bookstore: A review
December 08, 2010, 03:50:54 AM
If you haven't heard yet, Google has launched its own eBook store.  I've been going through it through it today.

The store has comparable prices to Amazon and B&N, and has a variety of free public domain books in addition to the paid books.  Unlike most free books, the table of contents in the epub files are compatible with my Sony's ToC function.

Purchasing paid books was substantially more painful.  I can read by book just fine online, but in order to get it into the eReader, I had to go through a program called Adobe Digital Editions.  This thing is probably the worst piece of software I have ever used.  It lacks basic menu options like the ability to load ascm files (which is the only reason I can think of to ever use the the program) so I lost some time going through the help files to find out how to do this (you have to drag and drop the files), and I spent over an hour getting it to recognize that I had plugged my reader in.  As far as I can tell, this is the only way to get a DRM encumbered book onto a Nook or Sony reader without going through the respective company stores, so this may not really reflect on Google the way it does on Sony, B&N, and Adobe.

Also, will strip the DRM momentarily, PM for a copy of 'The Complete Works of Niccolo Machiavelli' if you want it, (not even copyright infringement, they put DRM on a public domain book).
Aneristic Illusions / What the hell?
November 03, 2010, 06:06:28 PM
From NPR:  For the first time, the department of labor is actually enforcing labor rules and going to court to have a Massey Energy coal mine to be shut down for safety violations.

Apparently I can still be surprised by politics.
Aneristic Illusions / God bless America!
November 02, 2010, 11:09:00 PM
First results are in on the election.  NPR has called Kentucky for Rand Paul, by a landslide.
RPG Ghetto / Mutants and Mastermins anyone?
October 26, 2010, 05:46:49 AM
Does anybody here play the superhero P&P Mutants and Masterminds, and would anyone be interested in playing a game on the forum?
Aneristic Illusions / Americans had spines once.
October 19, 2010, 07:22:42 AM
From a biography I'm reading:

"The legislature of Georgia, in the preceding year, had authorized the sale of four immense tracts of land, supposed to embrace twenty millions of acres, for five hundred thousand dollars, to four land companies.  It was proved that, with one exception, every member of the legislature who voted for this bill was interested in the purchase.  A more flagrant case of wholesale legislative corruption had never been known, and when the facts were exposed the whole State rose in indignation against it, elected a new legislature, annulled the sale, expunged the act from the record, and finally, by calling a convention, made expunging the act itself a part of the state constitution."
I've been digging through primary sources today, looking to build a case that the south seceded more because of the slavery issue than anything else.  I am however worried that the people publishing the articles might be cherry picking.  So if anybody would like to recommend I read some things *before* I go and make an idiot of myself the next time the topic comes up, I'd appreciate it.
Aneristic Illusions / We are all screwed.
September 15, 2010, 06:59:23 AM
Apparently New York can be added to the list of states where lying about your name and trolling on the internet is illegal.
QuoteThe Manhattan DA is alleging that Raphael used aliases to defend his father's theories and attack others (with different theories). To do this, he used internet aliases.
Norman and Raphael Golb

Well, we at Jewlicious have known about this for a long time. We didn't know who was doing it, but after I posted the review of the Scrolls show in San Diego, we were visited by "Charles Gadda" who offered a critique of the show and disagreed with my review. The weird thing is he never saw the exhibition, he just felt confident about attacking it. Soon after Gadda arrived, another new commenter, using the name "Allegro Was Right," posted an incredible essay showing similarities in language between a series of people posting on the internet, including Charles Gadda, who were all posting attacks on Dead Sea Scrolls exhibitions and praising Professor Norman Golb.

Also of note is the increasing rate the traditional media is falling apart, a blog was by far the best source of information on this.
Principia Discussion / First edition PD
September 02, 2010, 12:46:05 AM
Does anybody have the scans of the first edition Principia Discordia lying around?  23ae used to host it, but it seems to only have the first few pages now.
RPG Ghetto / In the interest of motivation...
September 01, 2010, 02:54:49 AM
The life hacks pic Cram posted had a tip that you should tell your friends about a project, in order to motivate yourself to not look like an ass by not following through.  Well I've been dragging my heels on a project so lets see if this works:

I'm working on a High fantasy P&P RPG.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Why is it
August 30, 2010, 01:08:05 AM
That every time I hear about somebody getting shot in Utah on the news, somebody from Tuscon is involved.  Can you people not contain your crazy?
Or Kill Me / You people have ruined me.
August 28, 2010, 07:46:34 AM
It used to be screaming yahoos were all I expected out of humanity, Then I met you spags and learned that there are in fact people I can have a rational discussion with (usually).  And now every time I run into some yahoo on the internet defending the torture of handicapped kids or yammering on and fucking on about the white man's burden, I remember that there are in fact rational people in the world, and yahoos are just flocking to me.

So thank you so much for giving me a tiny shred of hope in humanity you miserable spags, because the damn thing gets crushed every time I leave this forum.   :argh!:
Just yesterday I was contemplating how out of shape I'd gotten since I got a car.

Well apparently the guy behind me at the red light forgot how to use his breaks, and I am now a pedestrian, so here's to getting back in shape.

I'll post pics if I ever figure out how to get them out of my phone, as well as first hand accounts of how fucked up the insurance companies I have to deal with turn out to be.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Attn: Dok
August 22, 2010, 07:20:53 AM
If you had to choose between Tuscon and Pheonix, which would you rather see burn to the ground?
Aneristic Illusions / The competition for Harry Reid
August 19, 2010, 12:17:39 AM
I'm looking over the Harry Reid race, and it appears they went full metal crazy.  In addition to the usual withdraw from the UN and abolish the department of education nonsense, this woman wants to privatize medicare.

She wants to replace a system that has a 97% money to payout ratio with a private system that will spend 5 times as much on administration.

Oh God, her wikipedia article gets worse.  She wants to abolish the tax code,

And she started ranting about deregulating offshore drilling in the middle of of the oil spill.

If she wins I get to have this woman on CSPAN *and* I'm rid of Harry Reid.

QuoteThese Cullenists believe "[j]ust like any other religion," that there is some spirituality to be had in the Twilight series, forming rules and principles upon which to base their tenets. Their creed, say the Cullenists, includes a base set of beliefs that "Edward and the rest of the Twilight characters are real," that "[t]he Twilight series should be worshipped," and that "f you are good in life, you will be bless[ed] with eternity with the Cullens."
Techmology and Scientism / On shitting on Google.
June 24, 2010, 02:58:16 AM
Ok, I'd like to step away from the right and wrong of what Google does, and ask why Google gets shit on so much in comparison to others that do similar things.  All the major players do things like store your search info and help with censorship in China, so why does Google get shit on for that but not Microsoft of Yahoo.  Is it that Google is bigger, is it that the 'not evil' slogan tweaks people, is it that Google has a few things that are a step past what others do (like Streetview)?
A ball and a bat cost $1.10, the bat costs $1 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?

The correct answer is 5 cents, most people (as much as 87% in some studies) answer 10.
This is not a hard question though, any grade school student should be able to answer this correctly.  And most people do get the question right when the numbers are less kind to human consumption (two objects total 37 cents, one is 13 cents more than the other), presumably because it is harder to do.  No easy answers mean that it must be processed the hard way, instead of the deceptive simple solution to the ball and bat problem. 

We latch on to that easy answer too, when presented with the correct answer and the incorrect answer side by side, half of respondents still went with the 10 cent answer to the question.  An improvement over the two thirds incorrect in the control condition, but hardly resounding success at removing the bias.

There is I think, a very deep flaw in human reasoning.  Once we have that simple solution, we simply stop thinking about the problem.  And the ball and bat problem is math, it can be proved, with 100% certainty, that the easy answer is wrong.  How much more dangerous are simple and wrong solutions to complex problems, where the simple solution is not so easy to disprove, and there may be no correct answer waiting to replace it?
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) thinks he's found a work-around on the whole Miranda rights debate for U.S. citizens accused of terrorism: Strip their citizenship and ship them to Guantanamo.

Lieberman plans to introduce a bill that would amend a decades-old law aimed at yanking citizenship from U.S. citizens who fight for a foreign military.
Or Kill Me / Fuck it.
May 01, 2010, 04:12:48 AM
It has come to my attention that there are no solutions.  Even if people finally wake up and start electing politicians that will actually fix things, like I dream about in my weaker moments, there simply isn't anything left to fix.  We keep bitching about Goldman Sachs, but Goldman Sachs is merely the most successful of the fraud kings.  None of the other banks are any better.  So if you start actually *trying* to fix thing the end result is just going to be that every bank account in the country will turn out to have been empty all along.

So we can't fix it, we're dependent on the very assholes who put us in this mess.  But the best part is, sooner or later its gotta collapse.  And you know what?  Fuck the crazy prepared thread.  I'm not interested in surviving past it.  I'm going to die of laughter anyway when it finally happens.

I just hope it happens while my dad is still around to see it, so I can explain to him how he spent his life selling people retirement plans that are completely worthless.

A colleague of Bruce Ivans, who committed suicide shortly before the FBI declared him to be the anthrax bomber, thus ending the investigation, have said Ivans could not have created the amount of anthrax necessary without escaping notice, or without killing people and animals in the lab he worked in.

The government has also forbidden him from making these comments until now.
Cause if I don't make a place to put all this stuff Arizona is gonna gum up the whole board.

The latest?
PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona House on Monday voted for a provision that would require President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate if he hopes to be on the state's ballot when he runs for re-election.
Or Kill Me / Brawl Hall April 2010.
April 19, 2010, 07:30:23 PM
Quote from: The Right Reverend Nigel on April 19, 2010, 07:24:52 PM
I don't know shit about the Arizona Black Madonna, but St. Luke painted a black Madonna which was revived sometime in the medieval period I think. I will look it up and provide more info.

There's a bunch of stuff like those, but thats pretty much just Catholicism with pictures to look like different ethnicities, it's not any more noteworthy than a white Jesus.
Aneristic Illusions / This can't be true can it?
April 18, 2010, 06:13:38 PM
    The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter.
No links yet, I just got done watching the live feed.

It appears they failed at the destroying the world bit.
Discordian Recipes / Looking fir salad recipes.
March 11, 2010, 11:24:36 AM
In an effort to eat something remotely healthy that isn't steamed broccoli, I'd like to start making myself salads.

The thing is, pretty much all salad recipes I can find (except bizarre exotic things I'm not interested in) suck when you leave out tomato.,  and raw tomato tends to leave me doubled over in pain.

So, anyone here have any ideas?
Aneristic Illusions / It's all over but the show trials.
February 25, 2010, 07:55:07 AM

QuoteMs. Kagan gave examples of prohibited conduct. A lawyer would commit a crime, she said, by filing a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a terrorist group. Helping such a group petition international bodies is also a crime, she added.

Note that Ms. Kagan is not some dumb uneducated wingnut.  She is the solicitor general of the United States, appointed by a supposedly liberal president, and arguing in front of the supreme court.

So trying to provide someone accused of terrorism with a fair trial is now terrorism.

You are all doomed, I'll probably die from laughter within the week.   :horrormirth:
Propaganda Depository / Cheap(ish) sticker paper.
February 24, 2010, 12:06:28 AM

I found this while I was looking for something to do some self printed bumper stickers.  I can't afford a laser printer right now though, ( :argh!:)  so maybe you spags can do something useful with it.
Why do people believe the government when it says that unemployment is down, even though the government's own numbers show that less people have jobs?

Also, thankyou again to everyone who pointed me to the BLS when I was asking for sources.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / On Haiti
January 22, 2010, 03:47:49 AM
So, the whole no job thing means throwing money at the problem isn't an option for me, but it also means I have a lot of free time.  If anybody knows anything I can do to help in the area of Salt Lake (I'm thinking stuff like loading supplies,  handling paperwork etc) I'd appeciate knowing about it.
Aneristic Illusions / Wait What?
January 20, 2010, 10:19:48 PM

We may get some small amount of healthcare reform after all.  They really did take Mass. as a wake up call.
So in History class they told me about the third Punic War.  Where the Romans burned all of Carthage to the ground, then took everybody who survived as slaves.

Today I was browsing Wikipedia, and apparently there's still a city there.  What exactly does it take to get rid of this thing?  Hell, in WWII we burned Dresden to ground, nuked two Japanese cities, and Hitler did his damnedest to get rid of London, a=but all those are still there today.  It can be *done* there are a few ruins of cities that somehow died, I know the Mayans lost a few cities, though exactly why seems to be a bit fuzzy.  Jericho is a ruin too, but that supposedly took divine intervention. and God doesn't return my emails.

So how exactly do we get rid of it, if burning it down doesn't actually work?
Apparently when i tell people horrible things like the median income or the unemployment rate, they do not believe me.  I need sources, and it occurs to me you know this shit, but these heathens will not take the word of a Holy Man.  So where do you get your sources?
There are no stars here.

In fact, there are no stars within 30 miles of Vegas.  I looked up as I approached the city 30 miles out and realized that there were stars behind me, but none in front or above.  The light pollution coming off this city is so intense that I could see the glow from 90 miles away, I was still in Arizona (being in Arizona is, incidentlly a gut wrenching experience, I nearly vomited all over the crappy rental car in the 5 minutes I was there, I don't know how Roger does it).

But I love this place despite the lack of stars, there is money here, opulence beyond all reason, or even belief, but no class at all.  And mixed together are perhaps the funniest elements of America.  After the billboards advertising the adult mega stores in one extolling the virtues of God, and across from the giant picture of a stripper is one of Donnie and Marie Osmond, all squeaky clean.

Oh and there are churches in the strip malls.

But of course you won't see this tonight so I can't ask you all were the best (read, most fucked up) place in Vegas is, because despite staying in the nicest goddamn room I've ever been in (there are more big screen TVs in this room than in some third world countries, and the toilets have buttons on them, though I dare not press them.) the internet is broken.
Any suggestions for thinks I should download would be appreciated.
Techmology and Scientism / The dark ages are over!
December 03, 2009, 04:27:44 AM
Aneristic Illusions / why am I not suprised.
September 22, 2009, 07:36:01 PM
Not only does the new heath insurance reform bill fail to provide a public option, apparently it also requires every American to get health insurance, whether they can afford it or not.

Congratulations to those executives who will get in on the new ground floor of selling cut rate insurance that provides no actual benefit to america's poor, just so the politicians can claim everyone has health insurance.
Aneristic Illusions / I finally understand politics.
September 04, 2009, 02:15:54 AM
It is of course no secret that politicians tend to go to extremely prestigious schools.  These schools aren't easy to get into, and require even more work to succeed in, often with mandatory percentages of failing grades given out, despite only the brightest (and richest) kids in America getting into them in the first place.

Once they get out, they do not of course run for office straight away, instead they work long hours doing some kind of menial intellectual task so that they can get even more networking done.  And of course, the elections themselves, not to mention the jobs, are high stress as fuck.  So they have to be coping with stress.

Well as it turns out, your brain copes with stress using these wonderful little chemicals called glucocorticoids.  Necessary if you want to function in that kind of life.  Unfortunately, these chemicals have a nasty little side effect, namely, they kill brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that interprets and stores new information.

In other words, being a politician causes brain damage.  :horrormirth:
Quote from: Francesco SiziThere are seven windows in the head, two nostrils, two ears, two eyes and a mouth; so in the heavens there are two favorable stars, two unpropitious, two luminaries, and Mercury alone undecided and indifferent.  From which and many other similar phenomena of nature such as the seven metals, etc., which it were tedious to enumerate, we gather that the number of planets is necessarily seven.... Besides, the Jews and other ancient nations, as well modern Europeans, have adopted the division of the week into seven days, and have named from them the seven planets; now if we increase the number of planets, the whole system falls into the ground.... Moreover the satellites are invisible to the naked eye and therefore would be useless and therefore do not exist.

In response to Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons.