Digest, 4/29/2023: Nerds on the Warpath
the eighty-ninth digest post
This Week’s Posts
Monday, April 24th - It's Good to Just Be Honest About What You Care About
Part of the problem with Twitter discourse is that the people who are most invested in the service find it necessary to pretend otherwise.
Wednesday, April 26th - What Regression to the Mean Does and Doesn’t… Mean
A note on sports analytics and a misunderstood concept.
Thursday, April 27th - Perhaps a Wave Has Crested
Maybe public condemnation has lost some of its bite. Time will tell.
Friday, April 28th - Do We Have a Responsibility to Deal with the Worst Elements of Our Own Coalitions? (subscriber only)
It’s a good question!
From the Archives
Song of the Week
and I'd like to eat her breasts and know God…
Non-Garbage Online Reading
A good entry in the “taking something intentionally too seriously,” here’s a Straussian reading on Lana del Rey.
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco, 1980
Sprawling, intricate, lovingly crafted, The Name of the Rose is an incredibly rare thing: a book that’s both relentlessly academic and compulsively readable, a meditation on theology and the impermanence of language that has nevertheless sold like the page-turning thriller that lies in its heart. Endlessly inventive, the Sherlock-and-Watson dynamic at its core perfectly structures both the book’s compelling pop mystery and its many heady digressions into debates about obscurities of Christianity, memory, and the word. The abbey portrayed is an immensely cozy, strangely attractive place. You will be tempted to skip some of the long sections of theological debate, but don’t; they’re an essential part of the mystery at the heart of the book, the abbey, and its strange library.
Comment of the Week
My "thing" for the past decade has been making sure fairly specific forested areas, mainly in northern ontario, aren't destroyed. I no longer associate with anything that even resembles an activist group. I'm 100% certain that they are a net negative to the cause at this point. I've seen first hand how we've given up huge wins over incredibly unimportant, purely theoretical and ideological points of disagreement. These people literally prefer a total loss over a 90% win that includes a small concession.
Luckily my career has provided other avenues to tackle the problem. It means I work within a capitalist framework (shocking, I know...) and interact with mining and forestry companies (utterly unforgivable). It involves working with normal people who don't base their identity on the issue. I obviously don't need to state how much more effective it's been. - Turing Complete Me