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Taoist tea house

You have to really want this tea.
posted by curious nu on Jan 7, 2014 - 90 comments

Digital Black-Bag Ops:

Der Spiegel reports on the NSA's "plumbers" at the Office of Tailored Access Operations, who collect and deploy exploits to infiltrate computers and even redirect shipments so they can install malware and hardware backdoors on electronics ordered by those they are targeting. Jacob Appelbaum [AKA ioerror] reports on the NSA's 'catalog', which ranges from $30 monitor cables that send back screenshots, to exploits for network security hardware from Cisco and Huawei, to backdoored BIOS code and firmware for all major hard drive manucfacturers. While some of the NSA's malware requires physical access or proximity, much of it is remotely installable over the Internet.

At the 30c3 conference in Hamburg, Appelbaum gives an in-depth talk about the NSA's Tailored Access Operations hacking activities and its 'interdiction' process, whereby computers are tampered with during shipping or as part of a 'black-bag' operation. Appelbaum, a Wikileaks affiliate who has reported on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, has been personally targeted by such operations, as have his family members.
posted by anemone of the state on Dec 30, 2013 - 201 comments

no stairway?

Q: How many miles is it to the crab nebula? How does one even figure this out? A: The cosmic distance ladder! Here's a talk by Fields medalist Terrence Tao on methods for indirect calculation of distances to astronomical objects. Here's Tao's blog post on the subject, including the slides for the talk. And here's a Wikipedia page. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Oct 22, 2012 - 17 comments

The creeper that can be exploded is not the eternal creeper

Joe Hills is a Minecraft player from Nashville, Tennessee, who's probably best known for his Let's Play videos of adventure map designer Vechs's Super Hostile maps such as Nightmare Realm and Spellbound Caves (he was also the inspiration for Vechs's "Super Docile" map, Hills of Moo, where nothing evil happens and everything is peaceful). But lately he's embarked on a new Minecraft adventure, Minecraft Morning Musings, where he sails perpetually eastward while talking about the Dao de Jing. In each episode, he reads and discusses several translations of a chapter of the Dao. Sometimes, though, things get radical.
posted by mothershock on Feb 1, 2012 - 15 comments

What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics?

What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics? A naive Quora question gets a remarkably long, thorough answer from an anonymous respondent. The answer cites, among many other things, Tim Gowers's influential essay "The Two Cultures of Mathematics," about the tension between problem-solving and theory-building. Related: Terry Tao asks "Does one have to be a genius to do maths?" (Spoiler: he says no.)
posted by escabeche on Dec 24, 2011 - 56 comments

Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching - Peter A. Merel's Interpolation
posted by MetaMonkey on Aug 29, 2011 - 44 comments

Twenty-nine Tao te Chings.

Twenty-nine Tao te Chings, a line at a time. For Sunday evening, a spare, meditative post. The Tao-te-Ching in 29 translations, line by line and side by side. I'll leave you to investigate the writings on your own; here alone are just the words to consider. Suggested: Mitchell. [more inside]
posted by Tufa on Jan 11, 2009 - 99 comments

The Abysmal

The Abysmal.
posted by hama7 on Aug 6, 2007 - 17 comments

My blog is smarter than your blog.

Alain Connes has a blog. Terry Tao also has a blog. Two Fields medalists blog on open problems, their views on mathematics, and Tomb Raider. Timothy Gowers doesn't have a blog, but does have a compendium of informal essays on topics like Why is multiplication commutative? If you prefer pictures to words: Faces of Mathematics.
posted by escabeche on Mar 10, 2007 - 15 comments

Tao Te Ching in many languages

The Tao Te Ching in dozens of languages and translations, with a lovely side-by-side comparison tool.
posted by Wolfdog on Sep 10, 2006 - 19 comments

Thoroughly Rehearsed Human Combustion

Crispin Sartwell is a cryptic and sensational man. The Chair of Humanities and Sciences at the Maryland Institute College of Art, he has translated the Tao Te Ching, published philosophy papers and books, maintained pages on hip hop, founded the American Nihilist Party (and gave a speech to young Democrats urging them to reconsider their votes for John Kerry), taught courses on conjuring and illusion, etc. etc. See also his essay on the pagan cult of mathematics and his thought experiment on music.
posted by painquale on Mar 26, 2005 - 17 comments

Tao Interpretations

(1) If you can talk about it, it ain't Tao.
If it has a name, it's just another thing.

Ron Hogan "perpetrates" his interpretation
of the Tao Te Ching, often coming nearer
its essence than stricter interpretations.

See also Jim Clatfelter's Headless Tao:
(11) The openness within a house
Provides location to reside
The open space that is my heart
Is where ten thousand things abide.

(Tread softly, for Headless Tao is on GeoCities.)

        Pooh heartily approves.
posted by Shane on Apr 7, 2004 - 34 comments

I look for easter bunny fur.

Tips on Finding Easter Eggs, containing many tactics reminiscent of the Taoist wisdom of Sun Tzu. My favorite: "Wait til' your brothers and sisters find them first, then steal them for yourself."
posted by Shane on Apr 18, 2003 - 10 comments

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