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Cyclical reasoning

An interactive introduction to fourier transforms
posted to MetaFilter by cichlid ceilidh at 6:06 AM on January 11, 2019 (38 comments)

Rejoice Greatly indeed

Trinidadian soprano Jeanine DeBique performs 'Rejoice greatly' from Messiah (SLYT) People are gagging over her ability to accurately and gorgeously render the challenging coloratura of this piece at near breakneck speed, with such warmth and expression. Her slow sections are equally beautiful. At the 2:25 mark, her use of straight tone is devastating. DeBique is in a class by herself.
posted to MetaFilter by I_Love_Bananas at 3:25 AM on December 14, 2018 (34 comments)

A triumphant plutocracy has enslaved the vast body of our people"

The Menace of Enormous Fortunes Income inequality, 1906.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:14 PM on August 25, 2018 (15 comments)

Greatest Story Ever Told, Greatest Trick Ever Pulled

Authority - "We construct authority. How we construct it is among the most important social, ethical, and technological problems we face."
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 4:36 AM on July 7, 2018 (19 comments)

a specter is haunting the employment market ...

Why Democrats Should Embrace a Federal Jobs Guarantee
To explore the possibility of Democrats’ running on a guaranteed-job plan, we asked the respected data analytics firm Civis Analytics to not only poll guaranteed jobs, but poll it in the way that would be most likely to gain opposition from voters. They asked respondents: “Democrats in congress are proposing a bill which would guarantee a job to every American adult, with the government providing jobs for people who can’t find employment in the private sector. This would be paid for by a 5 percent income tax increase on those making over $200,000 per year. Would you be for or against this policy?”
"52 percent in support, 29 percent opposed, and the rest don’t know."
posted to MetaFilter by the man of twists and turns at 9:34 PM on March 23, 2018 (92 comments)

How can I get better at solving NYT crossword puzzles?

I've been trying to improve my crossword game for a few months now, and I feel like I've hit a rut. I can usually solve the Wednesday puzzles, but beyond that, I have a lot of trouble getting through them. Are there any strategies for improving my crossword skills? I solve them either on the NYT website of their crossword app, if that makes any difference. Thanks!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Fister Roboto at 1:27 PM on November 30, 2017 (19 comments)

the most important part of learning is actually forgetting

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning - "A new idea called the 'information bottleneck' is helping to explain the puzzling success of today's artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn."
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 12:34 AM on October 7, 2017 (53 comments)

We are here to keep watch, not to keep.

When Things Go Missing is a wonderful essay on the habit and art of losing things. But it's more than just about a misplaced set of keys or a lost wallet (or even a truck). In this New Yorker piece, Kathryn Schulz lures us in with a lighthearted take on the everyday annoyance of misplaced objects (and practical tips to find them!), then invites us to ponder the cognitive process behind the lost-and-the-found. But then she surprises us by stepping candidly from there into more personal and touching territory. At the end, when losses threaten to erase all hope, she ends the essay with two powerful paragraphs that gives meaning to it all.
posted to MetaFilter by storybored at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2017 (28 comments)

How I Wrote Arrival

After I was done with my rant, the Dans stared at me wide-eyed and said, “All that needs to be in the script. In fact, you can replace most of these little beats with that rant.” And they were right. So I cleaned up my own rant and made it Louise’s in the script, to the colonel trying to understand her reasoning.
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer writes about the process of adapting Ted Chiang's novella "Story of your Life" into the screenplay for Arrival.
posted to MetaFilter by Sokka shot first at 12:14 PM on November 15, 2016 (44 comments)

Apply yourself to supply your wealth

The Universal Right to Capital Income - "If a universal basic income is to be legitimate, it cannot be financed by taxing Jill to pay Jack. That is why it should be funded not from taxation, but from returns on capital." (via)
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 12:12 AM on November 4, 2016 (54 comments)

Don't Be Afraid Of The Art Of Noise

The new orchestra will achieve the most complex and novel aural emotions not by incorporating a succession of life-imitating noises but by manipulating fantastic juxtapositions of these varied tones and rhythms. Therefore an instrument will have to offer the possibility of tone changes and varying degrees of amplification.
In 1984, inspired by concepts outlined in The Art Of Noises, a 1913 Futurist manifesto by Luigi Russolo [HTML version, PDF pamphlet version] and new music technology , a musician, a audio engineer, a programmer, a producer, and a music journalist came together to form one of the most influential music collectives of all time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present for you, a definitive look at the Art Of Noise.
posted to MetaFilter by hippybear at 8:12 PM on January 10, 2012 (66 comments)

ID this book: Napoleonic Wars, tame goat

Can you identify this 1800s (?) Eastern/Central European novel based on the half-remembered description of an unintentionally hilarious sex scene?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Ideal Impulse at 7:29 PM on August 26, 2016 (3 comments)

Your Call: A young black man's education

Mychal Denzel Smith, author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, discusses his new book: "We have to be willing to let go of the things that we think that we like about ourselves because if they are things that deny others access to respect and dignity and humanity, then they're not things worth having. So we have to be willing to let go." (MDS: previously)
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 12:34 AM on August 25, 2016 (2 comments)

The AIDS Activist and the Banker

Peter Staley was a 24 year-old banker at J.P. Morgan when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985. His brother, Jes, worked there as well. In a Q&A with Fortune, they discuss how their paths diverged,
posted to MetaFilter by roomthreeseventeen at 6:40 AM on July 24, 2016 (8 comments)

How to buy a car in the U.S.S.R.

It was a bit harder than you might think....
Ronald Reagan told the joke:
a guy in a Soviet country is told he has a 10 year wait for a car.
This man laid down the money, and the fellow in charge said to him:
Come back in 10 years and get your car.
The man answered: Morning or afternoon?
And the fellow behind the counter said: Ten years from now, what difference does it make?
And he said: Well, the plumber is coming in the morning.
posted to MetaFilter by shockingbluamp at 5:13 PM on July 22, 2016 (21 comments)

It's not secular stagnation; it's financialization.

Elizabeth Warren has a great idea for making Tax Day less painful - "She's taking on TurboTax and other predatory companies."
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 1:49 AM on April 18, 2016 (233 comments)

What's changed and changing about (American) politics?

The three party system - "There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons."
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 12:21 AM on March 4, 2016 (77 comments)

“I just need to be me now, because I’ve had enough.”

What is actually going on with men, right now? What are they afraid of and unwilling to talk about? How do the inner lives of men affect women, other men, our culture? We see men struggling to define themselves at a time when gender definitions are expanding. We see men dealing, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not, with the weight of their power. And we learn that what it means to be a modern man is just like everything else: complex, messy, and always changing. Medium presents: The Men Issue
posted to MetaFilter by triggerfinger at 5:43 PM on December 9, 2015 (111 comments)

Boolosian logic

The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever goes like this:
Three gods A, B, and C are called, in some order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks truly, False always speaks falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is a completely random matter. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-no questions; each question must be put to exactly one god. The gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language, in which the words for “yes” and “no” are “da” and “ja,” in some order. You do not know which word means which.

posted to MetaFilter by the man of twists and turns at 9:53 PM on November 8, 2015 (59 comments)

Patent Data Visualization

PatentsView is a new patent data visualization platform from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The PatentsView beta search tool allows members of the public to interact with nearly 40 years of data on patenting activity in the United States. Users can explore technological, regional, and individual-level patent trends via search filters with multiple viewing options. The database links inventors, their organizations, locations, and overall patenting activity using enhanced 1976-2014 data from public USPTO bulk data files.
posted to MetaFilter by jedicus at 5:12 PM on September 20, 2015 (5 comments)


Books that have really worked for me in recent memory: Vladimir Nabokov's stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. All of these were totally obsessive experiences for me, and I'm not sure why. What should I read next to be similarly engrossed?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by there will be glitter at 9:25 AM on June 18, 2015 (47 comments)

2015 Nebula Award Winners

The 2015 Nebula Award Winners have been announced.
posted to MetaFilter by Hactar at 9:18 AM on June 8, 2015 (64 comments)

Dealing with the transition to the information age

BIG and BOT Policy Proposals (transcript) - "Many of our current economic policies originated during times of scarcity. But now, says investor Albert Wenger, we live in an era of 'digital abundance', when creating new products costs virtually nothing. To adapt to the resulting economic upheavals, we won't need just more tech, says Wenger, but some strong policies. Here he explores two: basic income guarantee and the right to be represented by a bot."
posted to MetaFilter by kliuless at 11:55 PM on January 23, 2015 (14 comments)

Future so bright

Yes, yes—We live in the Gibsonian tomorrow, the grim meathook future, the ever-weirder cyberpunk dystopia. But it won't be that way forever. Well, it might get weirder. But good-weird. To that end, the latest anthology from The Sockdolager, You Gotta Wear Shades, contains an astonishing seven tales of brighter futures. Because we happen to think things are in fact gonna get better.

posted to MetaFilter by the man of twists and turns at 7:29 PM on January 1, 2015 (25 comments)

20 Best New Beers of 2014

"Here’s an understatement for you: 2014 was a great year for beer. Seriously, it’s hard to put into words just how awesome American craft beer was this year. IPAs got sessionable, then they got fresh-hopped, breweries collaborated like hip hop moguls, older (let’s call them classic?) breweries reinvented themselves with ambitious experiments while young breweries helped push the envelope of style and taste…there were hundreds, probably thousands of new beers hitting the shelves and taps all year long, challenging our palates and expectations day after day. It’s an exciting time to be alive."
posted to MetaFilter by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:57 PM on December 14, 2014 (111 comments)

Examples of amazing but still accessible writing?

I'm not a smart man. But I do enjoy well written things. But well written books, poems, articles or whatever sometimes seem to be to hard to get into. Anyhow I would love to have examples of what people find to be amazing, creative and perhaps unique in the form of the written word. I don't care if it is famous or not. The best of the best of accessible yet amazingly written works. Thanks!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tarvuz at 9:03 PM on October 3, 2014 (45 comments)

"distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car"

"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.

Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.

posted to MetaFilter by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:02 AM on September 20, 2014 (29 comments)

Moon Hooch

NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video)
posted to MetaFilter by flex at 5:30 PM on July 10, 2014 (41 comments)

"Everyone On Wall Street Is A Dick."

The two-day Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) graduate showcase at NYU was a madhouse, with some 100 projects on view, ranging from groundbreaking innovations to timely trinkets. But the most talked about project by far was Peiqi Su's "Penis Wall" - an array of 81 robotic phalli that rise and fall in response to the stock market. Official Vimeo account for the project - Thesis presentation - in depth How-it-was-made production blog. (Slightly NSFW if your work doesn't like white, plastic, abstract dicks.)
posted to MetaFilter by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on May 23, 2014 (14 comments)

The Quest for Randomness

Can you ever be reasonably sure that something is random, in the same sense you can be reasonably sure something is not random (for example, because it consists of endless nines)? Even if a sequence looked random, how could you ever rule out the possibility that it had a hidden deterministic pattern? And what exactly do we mean by “random,” anyway?
posted to MetaFilter by empath at 12:22 AM on April 24, 2014 (48 comments)

A Rather Extraordinary Piano Recital

La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano [2 3 4 5] is unlike anything you've heard before or will ever hear again. The notes are different from what you're used to, but what Young uses them for is... well. (If you don't have five hours to spend on a piano recital, may I suggest giving the first 4-5 minutes of disc three a go? It starts off briskly, builds to a scintillating pattern after a minute, and then, just before the three minute mark, the piano begins to roar.)
posted to MetaFilter by Rory Marinich at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2013 (32 comments)


Money by Robert Wechsler
posted to MetaFilter by Blazecock Pileon at 1:13 PM on October 19, 2013 (13 comments)

When I stop listening, I have a hard time believing I just heard it.

Katra Turana is the most delightfully baffling band I know. Sometimes they sound like a calypso band gone mad. Sometimes they sound like a tornado slamming into a string quartet. Sometimes they're catchy and heartwarming. Sometimes they're sparse and sinister. Or they're annoying in grandiose ways. And sometimes they blossom into something that's vulnerable, lush, and devastatingly beautiful. I know next to nothing about them. They confound me. I hope you find them as wondrous and as special as I do.
posted to MetaFilter by Rory Marinich at 6:21 PM on April 20, 2013 (25 comments)

iPhone Recording Options

I have a need to record phone conversations that occur on an iPhone. What are my options?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by cjorgensen at 7:57 AM on March 22, 2013 (5 comments)

The Dreams Of Big Data

Does Big Data Mean The Demise Of The Expert - And Intuition? - "Data-driven decisions are poised to augment or overrule human judgment." What Is Big Data?
posted to MetaFilter by the man of twists and turns at 8:12 AM on March 21, 2013 (73 comments)

50% of students are below average, right?

What approaches might be effective for motivating an underachieving U.S. high school student?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Anonymous at 2:58 PM on October 17, 2012 (22 comments)

Orbital, 23 years after Chime

They were a couple of blokes from a small city in in England who started out messing around with instruments. Paul played the guitar and drums, and Phil the saxophone, but both were interested in electronic music by the likes of Kraftwerk. Phil also liked hip-hop, and Paul got into acid house in the late 1980s. One afternoon, Paul slapped together a happy little song based on a sample from a now-forgotten instrumental cover version of some pop hit, and called the little ditty Chime. Even before it was pressed on vinyl, DJs were asking for it, and Orbital was born.
posted to MetaFilter by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM on August 12, 2012 (64 comments)

Catnip: Egress to Oblivion? [Classroom Drug Educational Film]

"There are approximately 250 species of catnip and this figure doesn't include hybrids. But all of these substances have one thing in common. The active ingredient, nepetalactone cycloalkane." (slyt)
posted to MetaFilter by RobotHero at 8:16 AM on June 29, 2012 (48 comments)

Life After Death

"The best way I can describe our predicament to someone outside our culture is to call up the sensation of orgasm. You lose control of your destiny, and you are grateful for the loss. Time dissolves. Nothing that came before matters. You lose all sense of consequences and would sacrifice anything to safeguard the moment. Then, just seconds later, the blighted past and an uncertain future rush back in to drown you." Michael Harris writes in Walrus Magazine about coming of age in the long shadow of the AIDS epidemic. via utne.
posted to MetaFilter by jquinby at 5:48 PM on December 2, 2011 (14 comments)

Occupy George

Occupy George is an attempt to convey the current wealth distribution of the United States by using dollar bills as a medium. But is it legal?
posted to MetaFilter by falameufilho at 6:59 AM on October 17, 2011 (84 comments)

Every one a little lawyer.

“Watching the video I thought that it was wise of Major League Baseball to combine this sort of sentimental moment with mass speculative litigation. It kept brand values strong. I felt strangely grateful that I could have a moment to remember that afternoon. Surprised by the evidence of both copyright violation and father-daughter affection.” —Paul Ford, “Nanolaw with Daughter”
posted to MetaFilter by kipmanley at 9:43 PM on May 15, 2011 (26 comments)

Bohemian Rhapsody on Ukulele

Bohemian Rhapsody on Ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro [via NPR | 3QD]
posted to MetaFilter by peacay at 3:13 AM on January 28, 2011 (33 comments)

Alice's Restaurant

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant; that's just the name of the song, and that's why I call the song Alice's Restaurant.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 10:32 PM on November 24, 2010 (164 comments)


It is the central, most eyecatching feature of the modern Oval Office. But for over a year, abandoned by a captain said to be harsh and venereal, it drifted slowly, its huge frame creaking, locked in ice, in the land of endless night.
posted to MetaFilter by felix at 9:56 AM on January 27, 2009 (123 comments)

Ievan Polkka

The Ievan Polkka ("Eva's Polka"), as sung by the Finnish quartet Loituma (lyrics). Suddenly, in a flash (previously) of brilliance, youtube is inundated with lots and lots of remixes. Most contain Bleach girl Orihime Inoue spinning a leek (now lovingly known as Leek Girl). Others teach you how to dance, play piano, and, of course, sing. But don't forget Rick!
posted to MetaFilter by zonem at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2008 (23 comments)

What should I do with my life?

"If I make enough money now, I can quit and do what I really love later." "If I just think hard enough, I'll finally figure out what I want to do with my life." "I know people in this career path lose their souls, but I'll be different." "What if I try a new career, and it turns out I don't like it?" Po Bronson tackles some of the thoughts that keep people from pursuing a career they would really love. The article (one-page version) is based on his New York Times bestseller, What Should I Do With My Life? The writing is several years old, but the question seems to spring eternal.
posted to MetaFilter by vytae at 9:45 AM on June 26, 2008 (195 comments)
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