Activity from empath

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Another Toothpick
so what is a cop supposed to do when someone points a handgun at him at close range?

Not shoot the person? I mean is this a fucking serious question? Like the cop had no other choice.


So this is kinda where I get off the knee-jerk anti-cop bus. If a guy draws down on you, you shoot them. I don't think there's a reasonable expectation that they have to have a conversation with a guy with a gun pointed at you.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2014
So do you propose that police in the US adopt a training policy that if someone points a gun at you, you shoot them? Is that really what you want?

Do you seriously propose that officers let people shoot them? What do you want them to do? I'm 100% behind the idea that cops escalate unnecessarily all the time, but the point at which someone is threatening to murder you in the immediate future is at maximum escalation already. (I don't have an opinion... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:02 AM on December 24, 2014
This is one of those threads where I don't even think I'm living on the same planet as other posters. The contortions people are willing to go through to make an inconvenient case fit their own preconceptions are jaw dropping.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:45 PM on December 24, 2014

"So, yes, this is Bride of Frankenstein with Christmas characters."
The name is 'low budget'
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 1:25 PM on December 24, 2014

Baseball cards: a cultural history
Seems weird to ignore the impact of Magic the gathering. It more or less single handedly collapsed the baseball card market. All it took was another asset for the market to invest in and baseball cards evaporated.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 6:04 AM on December 24, 2014

That was three years ago. No one knows when the film will be released.
Supposedly its done filming and in 'post-production'.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:24 AM on December 23, 2014

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
There's a slippery slope argument to be made against this sort of thing, but I don't think the slope needs to be that slippery. I think some reasonable threshold for sentience and intelligence could be set that could grant certain rights to dolphins and chimps that doesn't apply to, say cats or gerbils.

The problem i really see with it is how do you know what a non-communicative sentient being wants or deserves. I think it's actually a similar sort of problem as people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:59 PM on December 21, 2014
I think on some level, in order to obtain what we consider now to be human rights, you need to be able to fight for them and advocate for them yourself. I don't think any group has ever been handed their rights, it's always been a struggle. The fact that animals (and children) can't and won't ever be able to take their rights by force is going to limit how far this sort of thing will go.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:22 PM on December 21, 2014
Most actual human beings on earth today don't have what most of us on this website would consider to be human rights, I think.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:51 PM on December 21, 2014

In the arms of a stranger
Man, the writing in that article is a disaster, I couldn't make heads or tails of who did what to whom.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:49 PM on December 21, 2014

Why does it matter that you're female?
Reddit is embarrassing, and I finally just killed my account there. I don't care about the 'good' subreddits any more. I'm not going to contribute to the bottom line of a completely irresponsible corporate citizen any more. Until they purge the MRA and white supremacy subreddits that are a cancer infecting the rest of the site, I'm not coming back.

I don't have much hope that they will.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 6:26 PM on December 19, 2014

((n - (r - 1)) ÷ n) × w
This is essentially a list of albums that were popular the last time that rock criticism was relevant to anyone, maybe 1998?
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 3:11 PM on December 17, 2014
For people saying that this is a list of popular albums. It's not. There are plenty of hip-hop, dance and country albums that sold more albums than the ones on this list. These lists reflect the tastes of middle class white dudes, only.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 6:24 PM on December 17, 2014

Jackie chan gets hurt. A lot.
The problems with Hobbit are pretty baffling given how well he did action comedy in one of his first movies.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 5:58 AM on December 17, 2014
I wonder how much of the difference is down to how screenplays get written in Hong Kong vs Hollywood.

Hollywood is very much about Story and Character, and screenplays don't tend to be written or directed by someone who is, (and I say this not to denigrate) essentially a stuntman first and an actor second.

For Jackie chan, the fight scene is the whole reason the movie exists. The characters are in the movie solely to bring depth to the fight... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 10:05 AM on December 17, 2014

U.S. and Cuba to Start Talks on Normalizing Relations
This thread is just embarrassing. It's just knee jerk anti-Americanism, and I though metafilter was more thoughtful than that.

Secondly, what are the new travel rules and when can I visit?
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2014
Yeah, but expect that number to explode once the travel restrictions are lifted. Havana will look like Cancun or Vegas in a dozen years.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2014

The snow's coming down
It's not that he buried vocals. What happened was that producers learned how to use equalizers to fill the entire frequency range of the mix while allowing all the instruments to take up their own space. What you have to do, then, is treat the voice like an instrument, so you filter out the frequencies that step on, say, the horns. The voice sounds thinner, but the whole piece, if done properly sounds more whole, as if the band is singing in unison. It gives you goosebumps if done properly,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2014

Sealioning Explained by The Last Psychiatrist and Louie
Sorry, but the guy that wrote this article is a sexist, racist toolbag.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:46 AM on December 17, 2014

Everyone is poised to attack anyone. But it's all a joke.
Kotaku In Action is currently trying to get Valve in trouble with the EU trade commission for refusing to sell a new mass murder simulator. I don't know that there is much more to say about it, other than that they are total fucking idiots.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 10:01 AM on December 16, 2014
I liked this article as it seems to be the only sane way forward that doesn't involve both sides eternally locked in burning everything to the ground.

The sane way forward is to go about your life as if gamer gate doesn't exist, and wait for it to inevitably burn out. And it will, because it's full of mostly idiots.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2014
Their daily pageviews have declined by 75% since october. It's all over but the crying at this point. And the finger-pointing and blaming, probably.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2014
There’s no such thing as sexism against men. That's because sexism is prejudice + power. Men are the dominant gender with power in society.

I think that minority and oppressed groups can hold prejudiced beliefs against more powerful groups, but that it's less important as a social issue, since without power, there's very little harm they can do, and so should be a lower priority if you care about these sorts of things.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 12:59 PM on December 16, 2014
There's a thread on SubredditDrama right now about the latest Reddit misogynistic and racist outrage.

You know what, I'm done with reddit. Just deleted my account.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 2:29 PM on December 16, 2014

A dark reimagining of a Hollywood list
7. THE MUNCHKIN

This movie was already made.

posted to MetaFilter by empath at 12:12 PM on December 16, 2014
Lord of the Rings Episode IV: Dances With Wargs.

A ranger, exiled to the land of Mordor, befriends a tribe of Orcs and Goblins, making him enemy #1 to the newly installed protectorate of Gondor.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 2:03 PM on December 16, 2014

Pilots of Instagram:
2014 was officially the year of semi-organized harassment campaigns by entitled internet shit-heads.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 1:25 PM on December 16, 2014

The Hollywood Franchise: Now with 100% More Yawning Abyss!
I would go see 52 marvel movies a year with absolutely no shame.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 10:17 AM on December 16, 2014
In 2016, we can also look forward to a reboot of the Bush vs Clinton franchise.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 11:23 AM on December 16, 2014

"How can they possibly believe this shit?"
Embourgeoisement

It's not difficult, but it's definitely pretentious.

But here are two books which suggest the beginnings of a nuanced perspective on Christmas in American culture.

Okay, pop quiz, what two books? Because I'll be damned if I can figure out what he's talking about. This reads like a book review that got turned into a more general essay, and he forgot to take the book review part of it out.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:29 AM on December 16, 2014
And also extremely unclear what the fuck it has to do with santa claus.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:33 AM on December 16, 2014

Deliver Us
I think an Old Testament story from the perspective of the other Canaanite groups in the near east would be interesting. Nobody has ever told Goliath's story.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:15 PM on December 15, 2014
I kinda like the idea of Moses as an Egyptian partisan of Akhenaten, the Pharoah that introduced monotheism to egypt, and was then wiped from their historical records after his death. As the theory goes, Moses is either exiled or abandoned his post in the administration and puts together a group of semitic slaves and die-hard Egyptian Aten worshippers and creates a syncretic religion between Aten and the volcano god Yahweh before leading them away from Egypt (or perhaps they were exiled for... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:58 AM on December 16, 2014

Pilot-wave theory “seems to me so natural and simple..."
If the whole Boltzmann Brain thing is true, then realism and locality and everything else are just figments of your imagination. Or my imagination. Or somebody's imagination.

A belief in Boltmann's brains is logically incoherent because its based on knowledge which you would not be able to trust, were it true.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:43 AM on December 15, 2014
Even if that were the case (what is your argument that it is?), that wouldn't make it logically incoherent, it would simply make it impossible to know that it were true.

A belief in boltzmann's brains is a belief that you are a brain that spontaneously popped into existence and your memories and so on are mere illusions and that you spin apart in a moment. Which is to say that you know absolutely nothing about the world, including all the laws of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:51 AM on December 15, 2014
Perhaps, given a complex set of memories and concepts, the highest entropy such network is the one that is actually reflective of reality.

No, the whole point of the concept is that it it is not. If the math behind boltzmann brains is correct, it is almost unfathomably more likely that a random accumulation of particles would put itself in the exact state that your brain is in right now, than that the entire universe exists, but if the math behind it... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:49 AM on December 15, 2014
I don't think you understand what a b-brain is, frankly. The 'rest of the universe' in a b-brain universe is an endless, unchanging, indistinguishable sea of particles at maximum entropy. There is nothing else out there. There's no past or future because the past is indistinguishable from the future in such a universe. Concepts like 'long ago' don't make sense. The whole point of the concept is that for any sort of ordered universe to exist that is beyond the b-brain, it has to be lower... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 10:22 AM on December 15, 2014
That actually makes a lot of sense. If a universe fluctuates into existence, evolves humans, and then disappears, how likely is it that something as incredibly specific as a human B-brain fluctuates into existence and isn't related somehow to the remnants of that universe?

It's far more likely that such a universe never happened, than it is that a brain fluctuated into existence all by its lonesome. And I know you'll say that given an infinite amount... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 11:54 AM on December 15, 2014
I think he's mostly talking about the development of new theories to explain the experiments we already have.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 5:52 PM on December 15, 2014
Svihohum: You really need to read about what you're talking about. The whole point of a b-brain is that there is no body attached to it. And no past, and no future. It's just a temporary collection of particles in the configuration of a brain which will disappate in moments. It's the minimal configuration necessary to produce something which in the moment is experiencing all the sensations that you are right now.

You might believe that's absurd, and indeed it is. The... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 7:08 PM on December 15, 2014

Snap, Crackle and Pop!
I think if it's primarily a cafe (ie, a coffee shop), then having boxed breakfast cereal as the food accompaniment isn't the worst idea in the world. I wouldn't mind sitting in a Starbucks with a nice latte and a big bowl full of fruity pebbles or something. We have a cereal bar at work, and I use it all the time (but the price is much more reasonable $1 a bowl).
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 1:23 PM on December 15, 2014

CIA Torture Report Released
Cheney's new standard for America. Anything short of 9/11 is a-ok.

Destroying a country, murdering innocents. Rape, torture. All of it justified because apparently it's not as bad as 9/11.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:32 AM on December 15, 2014
Btw, infuriatingly, the white house spokesman used the same bullshit when defending the drone program:

Q Okay. You have repeatedly talked about moral authority. So can you explain how the President believes that it’s un-American to use these techniques but it was okay to ramp up the drone policy and basically thousands of people around the world, innocent civilians were killed. What’s the moral equivalency there? How do you have moral authority when innocent... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:53 AM on December 15, 2014
Poll: Most say CIA interrogation tactics provided reliable intel

The fact that polls can reliably produce results wherein people believe demonstrably untrue things makes me lose hope for democracy.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 1:13 PM on December 15, 2014

Heien vs. North Carolina
It's like the knights pre-Crusades: a bunch of thugs hired to protect you but when there are no real enemies? Hey, they have to fuck with someone; it's what they do. And you're the one in front of them.

It's essentially a peace-time standing army serving no purpose at all. Without the war on some drugs, what do we need this many cops and prisons for? Tear down the whole fucking institution and start again.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:39 AM on December 15, 2014
Really?

Yes, we need 1.1 million law enforcement officers to prevent 1 hostage taking a year.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:57 AM on December 15, 2014

Running empires requires lots of meetings
I was actually going to use an askme question on this, but this seems like a good thread to ask in: I was looking for books about 'small stories' in 'big worlds', which is to say books with epic fantasy/sci-fi world-building, but telling personal stories about small people rather than stories about kings and heroes. I guess Discworld is like that, but I'm sure there are more.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 8:39 AM on December 15, 2014
Have you read Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead yet?

No, but it sounds fantastic.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:27 AM on December 15, 2014

LOST CAUSE: Dems, It’s Time to Dump Dixie
I've never seen anything major on the net roll out without problems.

I work for a big tech company and the only reason that you don't hear about every product roll-out being a huge disaster is that big tech companies don't announce them until they know they're mostly working, and even then, they often quietly roll them out to small groups first. If anyone here proposed announcing a product of that scale here and betting the company on it, they'd be laughed out of the room.
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:21 AM on December 15, 2014
You win not having to use the federal site. :) Though it works for many people the ongoing problems with it remain an issue for many as well. I'm computer literate but I'm going to end up having to do this over the phone, which is not my preference.

Using the federal site literally made my girlfriend cry. And she already had insurance and wanted to check out other options.

Health Sherpa was a fucking life... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 9:24 AM on December 15, 2014

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