MetaFilter posts by homunculus.
Displaying 1 through 50. Subscribe: RSS feed for this tag

Marginalia Search is "an independent DIY search engine that focuses on non-commercial content, and attempts to show you sites you perhaps weren't aware of." Clive Thompson describes Marginalia (also known as Edge Crawler and Astrolabe) as "a search engine with a fascinating design — rather than give you exactly what you’re looking for, it tries to surprise you... By up-ranking web sites that are text-heavy, and downranking ones that are highly visual, loaded with modern web cruft, and SEO-optimized. The upshot, as the creator suggests, is that you wind up with a lot of weird results very different from the usual fare coughed up by Google or Bing or even DuckDuckGo.... Call it 'serendipity engineering.'"
posted on Mar-9-22 at 4:44 PM

Is Steeping Your Balls the Future of Male Birth Control? A new male contraception prototype called COSO Contraception could provide a form of long-acting reversible birth control for men. German design graduate Rebecca Weiss won a James Dyson Award for conceiving the device, which uses ultrasound waves to temporarily halt sperm regeneration.
posted on Sep-22-21 at 10:02 PM

Winter Solstice: Inhale the Darkness. Nina MacLaughlin, author of Wake, Siren, here introduces Part One of her latest column for The Paris Review: "On moving into winter, on the dark getting darker, on swans and hawks and spiders, on the great cosmic tug. The first of a four-part series I’m writing for the @parisreview about the Winter Solstice. Part One asks: what’s death in a world of stories?"
posted on Dec-18-20 at 1:18 PM

New study on LGBTQ kinksters reveals BDSM's healing capabilities. NSFW reporter Ana Valens writes: "The age-old claim that 'BDSM is abuse!' has haunted online social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter for years, much to kinksters’ dismay. But that argument now has one less leg to stand on. A new study reveals the myriad positive experiences LGBTQ people have within queer kink spaces and recommends therapists become more 'kink-aware' ..."
posted on Dec-13-20 at 2:11 PM

What is LitRPG and why does it exist? When MMOs become fantasy novels, stats and all. As Wikipedia puts it: "LitRPG, short for Literary Role Playing Game, is a literary genre combining the conventions of computer RPGs with science-fiction and fantasy novels... [I]n LitRPG, games or game-like challenges form an essential part of the story, and visible RPG statistics... are a significant part of the reading experience... Typically, the main character in a LitRPG novel is consciously interacting with the game or game-like world and attempting to progress within it." Below the fold is a bit about the few LitRPG stories I've read part or all of so far: Azarinth Healer, Delve, Skyclad, Vainqueur The Dragon and The Wandering Inn.
posted on Dec-12-20 at 10:00 AM

In 2020, Disinformation Broke The US: Lies about science, civil rights, and the vote itself have turned Americans against one another. "Disinformation and its fallout have defined 2020, the year of the infodemic. Month after month, self-serving social media companies have let corrosive manipulators out for dollars, votes, and clicks vie for attention, no matter the damage..."
posted on Dec-9-20 at 7:01 PM

"Binge Watching" is a sci-fi short film by Nigerian-British filmmaker Nosa Igbinedion which was recently screened on DUST (previously). "In the near future, a woman comes across a VR film where she will experience a tense encounter with a pair of policemen… through the eyes of a black man." (possible trigger warning as it depicts an assault from the victim's POV.)
posted on Jun-6-20 at 3:52 PM

The Man Who Thought Too Fast: "Frank Ramsey—a philosopher, economist, and mathematician—was one of the greatest minds of the last century. Have we caught up with him yet?" Anthony Gottlieb writes for the New Yorker about Frank Ramsey, the philosophical phenom who died at age 26, and the new and first full biography of him, “Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers” by Cheryl Misak.
posted on May-1-20 at 7:47 AM

How Living With Baboons Prepared Me for Living Through High School. "The world of mean girls and cliques was a startling change from working alongside my primatologist parents. Fortunately, I’d learned a bit about navigating vicious social structures."
posted on Dec-5-19 at 8:50 AM

The climate crisis has sparked a Siberian mammoth tusk gold rush. "The Arctic permafrost is thawing, revealing millions of buried mammoth skeletons. But the rush for mammoth ivory could put elephants in danger all over again."
posted on Nov-25-19 at 11:52 AM

The Final Five Percent. "If traumatic brain injuries can impact the parts of the brain responsible for personality, judgment, and impulse control, maybe injury should be a mitigating factor in criminal trials — but one neuroscientist discovers that assigning crime a biological basis creates more issues than it solves."
posted on Oct-30-19 at 1:56 PM

Tremble. "An abstract dining room is the setting for Scottish Ballet’s largest film yet. Tremble stars 26 Scottish Ballet dancers and has been co-choreographed and directed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple [of Jess and Morgs Films], set to Anna Meredith’s brassy track ‘Nautilus’ [previously]."
posted on Oct-15-19 at 3:15 PM

Who Speaks for Crazy Horse? "Is the Crazy Horse Memorial, in South Dakota, a tribute to the Lakota warrior, or the strangest and crassest historical irony in a region, and a nation, that is full of them? ... The world’s largest monument is decades in the making and more than a little controversial." [Previously, Via]
posted on Sep-22-19 at 4:58 PM

Breaking: Something Bad Is Happening in Virginia [Updated]. "To commemorate the quadricentennial anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in America, we imagined what it would be like to cover that late August day when the first slave ship landed on the shores of the place now known as Hampton, Va."
posted on Aug-23-19 at 8:10 AM

The secret language of trees (animation.) "Learn how trees are able to communicate with each other through a vast root system and symbiotic fungi, called mycorrhizae: Most of the forest lives in the shadow of the giants that make up the highest canopy. These are the oldest trees, with hundreds of children and grandchildren. They check in with their neighbors, share food, supplies and wisdom gained over their lives, all while rooted in place. How do they do this? Camille Defrenne and Suzanne Simard explore the vast root system and intricate communication of trees."
posted on Jul-13-19 at 9:15 AM

The Philosophical Origins of Patriarchy. This is an excellent piece by Christia Mercer (@christiamercer8): "Ancient intellectual greats like Plato, Hippocrates, and Aristotle laid the foundations on which centuries of sexism were built. Although these Greek authors did not invent sexism, their writings contained ideas and arguments that were used to rationalize a particularly virulent form of misogyny. Once these ancient trend-setters devised arguments for female subjugation in the name of a divine good, it became self-confirming in the sense that women were taken to be naturally inferior to men, treated differently from birth, and trained to subjugate themselves, which itself further supported views about female imperfection and the disempowerment that entailed..."
posted on Jul-9-19 at 11:18 AM

The Vivid Inner Worlds Of Animals. "'An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.' That's from philosopher Martin Buber. If you've ever looked into a dog's eyes, you've seen it. There's something there, whether happy or sad or worried — all part of that something that appears to be consciousness and emotion. Despite groans of anthropomorphism, a growing number of scientists and writers say it's not your imagination. Animals have a far deeper internal life than we've known."
posted on Jul-7-19 at 12:50 PM

The mindfulness conspiracy. "It is sold as a force that can help us cope with the ravages of capitalism, but with its inward focus, mindful meditation may be the enemy of activism." This is an excellent piece by Ronald Purser (@McMindfulness, previously) on the co-option and commodification of mindfulness meditation. It's adapted from his book, McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality. [Via @RubaAlHassani]
posted on Jun-30-19 at 12:55 PM

Stonehenge Skyscape. "For thousands of years people have made the pilgrimage to Stonehenge to gaze in wonder at the interplay with the monument of the sun, moon and stars, but from Friday a virtual version of the looming sky above the circle will be available to people from around the world. A live feed from a camera close to the stones has been set up – appropriately enough on the summer solstice – to allow people to tune in to the monument whenever they want. After dark, the live feed is replaced by a computer-generated image of the night sky as it would be at the moment a viewer clicks on the link to the website." [Via]
posted on Jun-21-19 at 8:58 PM

What Lyra did next. "An exclusive extract from Philip Pullman’s new novel The Secret Commonwealth: Twenty-year-old Lyra has to flee Oxford by boat for the third time in her life, this time in the company of the old gyptian Giorgio Brabandt. As they sail towards the safety of the Fens, they hear a zeppelin approaching …" The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two will be published on 3 October 2019.
posted on Jun-19-19 at 6:48 AM

The Side View is about "the knowledge and intuition we use to navigate the world. It’s about how our minds meet the world, but it’s also about how our minds, when trained in the right way, change how we perceive what’s around us and within us. In other words, The Side View is about how we become skillful perceivers and doers, people who know, in the moment, the right details to attend to and the right actions to take. But The Side View isn’t just about expertise or getting more efficient at things; it’s about learning how to deepen our engagement with a complex world..."
posted on Jun-15-19 at 9:12 AM

The Indian Law That Helps Build Walls: The Supreme Court’s legal abuse of Native Americans set the stage for America’s poor treatment of many of its vulnerable populations. Penn Law assistant professor Maggie Blackhawk (@MaggieBlackhawk): "We are long overdue to confront the abuses of Native Americans and the failure of American colonialism. At the very least, no government should be able to cite the violent detention and oppression of Native Americans as justification for harming other vulnerable populations. The court should overturn the plenary power doctrine; the Indian Wars should serve as precedent for nothing." [Via]
posted on May-28-19 at 10:12 AM

What lies beneath: Robert Macfarlane travels 'Underland.' "From prehistoric cave paintings to buried nuclear waste, underground spaces record how humans have lived. To explore Underland means voyaging into the deep past – and raises urgent questions about our planet’s future." This is a brilliant essay by Robert Macfarlane on the themes of his book Underland.
posted on May-18-19 at 6:46 PM

Virtual Angkor is "a groundbreaking collaboration between Virtual History Specialists, Archaeologists and Historians designed to bring the Cambodian metropolis of Angkor to life. Built for the classroom, it has been created to take students into a 3D world and to use this simulation to ask questions about Angkor’s place in larger networks of trade and diplomacy, its experience with climate variability and the structure of power and kingship that underpinned the city." [Via]
posted on May-17-19 at 6:06 PM

The Dramatic Story of How Denver Decriminalized Magic Mushrooms. "With a little help from Joe Rogan and the youth vote, the almost unthinkable happened—and set the stage for reform nationwide." On May 7th Denver voters voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, but right now many people seem to be confused about what that actually means. Meanwhile, activists in California are also hoping to decriminalize shrooms in 2020.
posted on May-15-19 at 6:55 PM

On Stoicism and Sustainability: How can stoicism be used to solve/tackle the problems of climate change? Kai Whiting (@KaiWhiting), a researcher and lecturer in sustainability and Stoicism based at the University of Lisbon, writes on resource use and the practical application of Stoic philosophy, emphasizing its oft-neglected Cosmopolitanism: "given that the ancient Stoics directly connected the good life with living in accordance with the four virtues... Stoicism can certainly do more than support a quest for self-development. In my opinion, it can guide us into a green transition... I believe that Stoicism offers a practical framework that helps you make decisions which bring you closer to the good (and greener) life instead of moving you further from it."
posted on May-10-19 at 2:00 PM

When America Was Female: Uncle Sam's older, classier sister Columbia fell out of favor after women got the vote. Maybe it's time to bring her back. Columbia is the feminine historic personification of the United States of America, and was prevalent throughout America until the 1920s. The figure was recently portrayed by Laura Bell Bundy on American Gods.
posted on Apr-29-19 at 4:52 PM

See the world’s oldest trees by starlight. "Beth Moon slept under ancient baobabs and waited out the clouds to photograph Earth’s arboreal beauty at night." Catherine Zuckerman (@CatherineZDC) writes about the photography of Beth Moon (previously) for National Geographic.
posted on Apr-28-19 at 1:30 PM

Making Kin with the Machines. Last year, MIT Media Lab's Journal of Design and Science (JoDS) had an essay competition for pieces responding to Media Lab director Joichi Ito's essay Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto. The essays "explore machine intelligence in light of diverse ecosystems in nature and its relationship to humanity." This piece, which brings Indigenous epistemologies to bear on the AI question, was one of the winners. [Via]
posted on Apr-26-19 at 10:30 AM

Polly Higgins, lawyer who fought for recognition of 'ecocide', dies aged 50. Campaigner and barrister attempted to create a law to criminalise ecological damage. "Polly Higgins, one of the most inspiring figures in the green movement, has died aged 50. Higgins, a British barrister, led a decade-long campaign for 'ecocide' to be recognised as a crime against humanity. She sold her house and gave up a high-paying job so she could dedicate herself to attempting to create a law that would make corporate executives and government ministers criminally liable for the damage they do to ecosystems..." Higgins died yesterday of cancer. [Via]
posted on Apr-22-19 at 1:25 PM

Led willingly by Fate: Peter Adamson considers how to combat parochialism in philosophy. "Philosophy has a problem. It is an academic field that is strikingly non-diverse, at a time when universities and their students are increasingly concerned with diversity..." This is an excellent and engaging essay by Peter Adamson (@HistPhilosophy, previously) on the need to engage with non-Western philosophy and thought.
posted on Apr-21-19 at 11:55 AM

How A.S.M.R. Became a Sensation. "The brain-tingling feeling was a hard-to-describe psychological oddity. Until, suddenly, it was a YouTube phenomenon."
posted on Apr-6-19 at 8:04 PM

Animated Antiquity: Cartoon Representations of Greece, Rome and Beyond by Chiara Sulprizio. "I have been a big animation fan since I was a teenager, and I am also interested in the reception of Greco-Roman culture in the modern age. I figured I would merge these two interests and that is pretty much how this project was born. I want to trace and explore the many manifestations of ancient Greece and Rome in the realm of cartoons and animation, since the inception of the medium in the late 1800s to the present day."
posted on Mar-20-19 at 11:20 AM

The marginalia of Jeanne de Montbaston in The Romance of the Rose. This is an illuminating piece of scholarship by historian Sara Öberg Strådal on the overlooked imagery in 14th century marginalia, in this case in the medieval French poem Le Roman de la Rose (written circa 1230 and 1275, BnF fr. 25526) by artist Jeanne de Montbaston (possibly nsfw, via.)
posted on Mar-17-19 at 12:55 PM

Socrates in love: how the ideas of Aspasia of Miletus are at the root of Western philosophy. Armand D'Angour (@ArmandDAngour): "Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge? New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus. I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato)."
posted on Mar-13-19 at 1:48 PM

How the Far Right Perverts Ancient History—And Why It Matters. Author and historian Myke Cole (@MykeCole) writes in the Daily Beast (formerly behind a paywall) on the political right-wing appropriation of classical antiquity: "It may seem silly to argue about the interpretation of events that unfolded thousands of years ago. But those ideas are having life-and-death consequences in America today."
posted on Mar-11-19 at 2:40 PM

Chimpanzees Are Going Through a Tragic Loss: By fragmenting forests and killing off individuals, humans are stopping the flow of ideas among our closest relatives. "Imagine that an alien species landed on Earth and, through their mere presence, those aliens caused our art to vanish, our music to homogenize, and our technological know-how to disappear. That is effectively what humans have been doing to our closest relatives—chimpanzees."
posted on Mar-7-19 at 8:36 PM

The Missing Apex of Maslow’s Hierarchy: Maslow never got around to publishing the final tier of his pyramid: self-transcendence. American psychologist Abraham Maslow's (1908 – 1970) theory of the Hierarchy of Needs, a model of human motivation represented as a pyramid with self-actualization at the top, is fairly well known. Less well known is that in his later years, Maslow added another level which supplanted self-actualization at the apex: self-transcendence. "Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the cosmos."
posted on Feb-28-19 at 10:40 PM

How a Movie Helped Fuel a Viola da Gamba Revival. "The 1991 film Tous les Matins du Monde ('All the World's Mornings') influenced a renaissance of the viola da gamba. The viol virtuoso Jordi Savall is touring his music for the film[,] which gave the Baroque instrument its big-screen moment." Based on the book of the same name, the film is a dramatization of the apprenticeship of royal court musician and viol player Marin Marais to the reclusive 17th century viol master Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe.
posted on Feb-26-19 at 3:42 PM

The foundation of Western philosophy is probably rooted in psychedelics. "In the 1960s, intellectuals such as Aldous Huxley were fascinated by the effects of LSD, but today most professors are far too worried about respectability and tenure to investigate psychedelics themselves. Which is somewhat ironic, given that the field of Western philosophy has a huge debt to psychedelics, according to Peter Sjöstedt-H, a philosoph[er] who has written a book on the philosophical significance of drugs. In fact, one of Plato’s most-cited theories may have been a direct result of hallucinogenics."
posted on Feb-22-19 at 7:42 PM

True Facts: The Lemur. A fascinating and informative new short documentary on lemurs by natural historian Ze Frank.
posted on Feb-21-19 at 4:30 PM

How to Escape Pseudo-Events in America: The Lessons of Covington. "In an era defined by virality, is there any way to stop a non-story from becoming a real one? What the Covington saga reveals about our media landscape."
posted on Feb-20-19 at 4:20 PM

Hidden women of history: Enheduanna, princess, priestess and the world’s first known author. "The world’s first known author is widely considered to be Enheduanna, a woman who lived in the 23rd century BCE in ancient Mesopotamia (approximately 2285 – 2250 BCE). Enheduanna is a remarkable figure: an ancient 'triple threat', she was a princess and a priestess as well as a writer and poet." [Via]
posted on Feb-15-19 at 10:55 AM

Against mourning: It takes a lifetime of preparation to grieve as the Stoics did – without weeping and wailing, but with a heart full of love. Brian D. Earp on Stoicism in practice: "Stoics can ‘afford’ to grieve as little as possible – that is, as little as Nature will allow – because they have spent their lives training in philosophy. And that means: ridding themselves of false beliefs, learning how to face the inevitable, and carefully matching their desires with the will of Zeus. So, when the worst things happen, when a child, friend or spouse is struck down in an unplanned hour, the Stoics’ muted response will reflect their hard-won preparation, not a lack of prior love or affection..."
posted on Feb-10-19 at 1:49 PM

Our Increasingly Fascist Public Discourse. Jason Stanley: “Though 'fascism' generally evokes images of jack-booted thugs and mass rallies, fascist movements first politicize language. And, judging by the arguments and vocabulary now regularly used by mainstream politicians and thinkers in the US and Europe, their strategy is bearing fruit.”
posted on Jan-27-19 at 12:04 PM

I Needed A Hysterectomy At Age 31. Doctors Fought Me Every Step Of The Way. Ace Ratcliff describes six years of unnecessary pain, suffering and medical bills in pursuit of a hysterectomy. "I ran into roadblocks from the start. Doctors refused to take me seriously when I requested a surgical hysterectomy... And nothing I said could change my doctors’ minds, not the stories about my frequently dislocating hips, my mom’s complicated pregnancies or the increased rate of miscarriage and preterm labor for EDS patients."
posted on Jan-21-19 at 4:01 PM

The clampdown on opioid prescriptions is hurting pain patients. "A report released last month by Human Rights Watch paints a cautionary and at times harrowing picture of what pain patients are experiencing today. Because of well-intended efforts to address the overdose crisis, many doctors are severely limiting opioid prescriptions. Patients who rely on opioid analgesics are being forcibly weaned off the medication or seeing their prescriptions significantly reduced. Other patients are unable to find doctors willing to treat them at all."
posted on Jan-20-19 at 2:32 PM

Deconstructing Mindfulness: Embracing a Complex Simplicity. "There’s been a marked increase in studies of mindfulness and meditation in recent years. I’m worried that many of today’s researchers may think they know what they’re doing. ... [I]t makes all the sense in the world that we deconstruct mindfulness, by which I mean that we understand it to have a history, a 'side view.' It’s not a given or an absolute. It comes from somewhere. Mindfulness has been constructed."
posted on Jan-19-19 at 11:20 AM

Sad by design. "While classical melancholy was defined by isolation and introspection, today’s tristesse plays out amidst busy social media interactions. Geert Lovink on ‘technological sadness’ – the default mental state of the online billions."
posted on Jan-17-19 at 6:10 PM

Merger is a new short film "about the future of work, from cult director/designer Keiichi Matsuda (HYPER-REALITY). Set against the backdrop of AI-run corporations, a tele-operator finds herself caught between virtual and physical reality, human and machine. As she fights for her economic survival, she finds herself immersed in the cult of productivity, in search of the ultimate interface." [Via]
posted on Jan-16-19 at 11:45 AM

next page »