אגרגטור הזנה

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Science is Unsettled

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - לפני 29 דקות 28 שניות


Hovertext:
I wonder if there are time-reversed civilizations where everything gets more and more orderly, but then you get crushed.

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הזמנה: הצביעו לאלבומי ושירי השנה של 2016!

עונג שבת - לפני 4 שעות 56 דקות
גבירותיי! וכל מי שהוא לא גבירותיי! יש לי רק שאלה אחת בשבילכם, רק שאלה קטנה, תמימה, באמת, ממש פשוטה, קחו רק שלוש שניות לחשוב על זה: איזו מוזיקה הכי עשתה לכם את זה השנה? א־הא! כבר הבנתם את הבעיה, נכון? איזו שאלה נכלולית. לכאורה, מה הבעיה? בסך הכל שאלתי אתכם איזו מוזיקה הכי אהבתם ב־2016, […]

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Better Family

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ש', 12/03/2016 - 17:24


Hovertext:
But seriously, if you know anyone who could deliver that, I still have a few days to live.

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עונג שבת: מוכנים לנס

עונג שבת - ו', 12/02/2016 - 20:32
ביום שלישי אתיישב מול המיקרופון באולפן של רדיו הקצה ואנסה להגיש את החלק הראשון (מתוך שניים) של שירי השנה שלי. כבר שבוע אני יושב מול המחשב ומנסה להחליט מה להכניס ומה לא להכניס לרשימה הזו, שככל שהיא הולכת ותופחת אני מבין יותר בבירור שני דברים: הראשון הוא שמוזיקלית, השנה הזו הייתה לא פחות ממטורפת, במובן […]

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Law of Social Media

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ו', 12/02/2016 - 18:20


Hovertext:
The other way to solve this paradox is to note that barbers don't shave people anymore.

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God plushies exist! We only made 1,000 of these, so buy soon if you want one!

 

US State Names

XKCD - ו', 12/02/2016 - 07:00
Technically DC isn't a state, but no one is too pedantic about it because they don't want to disturb the snakes.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Class and Media

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ה', 12/01/2016 - 17:41


Hovertext:
Before you write me an email asking 'what about the middle class,' please understand that I want this comic to still be relevant in 50 years.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Black Swan

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ד', 11/30/2016 - 18:14


Hovertext:
Too soon?

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Wednesday Book Reviews!

 

A Cartoon History of the Universe (book 2) (Gonick) I decided I’m gonna plow through these. This one was as good as the first, but with the same (in my opinion) tendency to sometimes rely entirely on myth for parts of the story. To Gonick’s credit, he tends to point out when he does this, but to me it makes the stories less enjoyable, insofar as they’re presented as history. Still, quite good, and I feel like I’m learning a lot from his art style.

The Hidden Life of Trees (Wohlleben) I really enjoyed this book. Wohlleben works in forest management, and has written a wonderful book on all the weird ways in which trees adapt to their environments and communicate with each other (using chemical signals, electric signals, etc.). It contains a ton of strange info - for example, apparently some bug-infested trees will chemically signal parasitoids to come eat the bugs that are harming the tree. The author also claims that old trees are more disease resistant because they can communicate with each other about what pathogens have entered the area. Wohlleben occasionally gets a little sappy and mystical about forestry, but all of his serious claims are either backed by scientific evidence or have a disclaimer that they’re just something he suspects is true.

The Utopia of Rules (Graeber) Dammit, Graeber. Every time I wanted to hate this book, he had something really insightful to say. This is my second time reading a Graeber collection, and this one is very similar. There are big, interesting, sweeping thoughts about how humanity and society work. I kinda like this - it’s a sort of throwback to the way people sometimes wrote in the 19th century, trying to grandly analyze The Whole Thing. On the other hand, as with those writers, Graeber often makes statements that are simply wrong.

For instance, he has a whole theory on why superhero comics are the most popular. It comes from an anthropological perspective, which is interesting, but completely neglects the fact that (as any comics dork can tell you) non-Superhero comic genres basically got killed off in the mid-50s by the Comics Code Authority. It’s possible the theory could be salvaged, but it’d have to bear the weight of that weird turn in history. And yet… he’s got so much insight, you find yourself wanting his advice then wanting to scream at him. It’s like a conversation with a brilliant polymath who doesn’t quite have every little fact straight, but who nevertheless is absolutely delightful.

One particular bit really stuck with me: Graeber described the idea that in modern life, people have ideas but then don’t pursue them because they find something vaguely similar on Google. This is obvious, but Graeber’s theory is that this effect may hold back progress more than we think. I’ve certainly observed other cartoonists doing this, whereas my personal rule is to never check google after I have an idea. It’s a waste of time, and it benefits no. A bit later (see next week’s book reviews) I happened to read Tom Standage’s book on the telegraph, in which an important occurrence was that Samuel Morse had no clue other people had tried and failed to make a long distance telegraph. I can’t help but wondering if our incredible connectivity today has more subtle negative consequences than we typically consider.

The Man Who Knew Infinity (Kanigel) A great biography of Ramanujan, with the one caveat (for the potential buyer) that, well… from the perspective of storytelling, Ramanujan’s life just wasn’t that exciting. Of course, as a mathematician (in ways I’m sure I don’t understand) he was one of the most incredible in history. But, perhaps for that reason, his life consists of a lot of sitting around, having abstruse discussions, and making poor dietary choices. It’s a very good biography, but it can’t help but feel a bit tedious here and there, when describing minor flaps between Ramanujan and his relatives, for instance. This sort of thing is made doubly tiresome by the fact that it seems we often don’t actually know the full nature of this or that disagreement, because Ramanujan is treated almost like a God by those who knew him. Still, quite good, and if you want to know about Ramanujan, this is probably the book!

Demerit: Kanigel repeats an incorrect etymology of the word “posh” in which it purportedly is a sea acronym for Port Outward Starboard Home. This is known to be false.

Apple Spectrum

XKCD - ד', 11/30/2016 - 07:00
If I were trapped on a desert island, and could have an unlimited supply of any one type of apple, I'd be like, "How did this situation happen?"

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Greatest Possible Superhero

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ג', 11/29/2016 - 17:59


Hovertext:
I too am creeped out by the facemask.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Scariest Possibility

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ב', 11/28/2016 - 18:02


Hovertext:
The good news, Billy, is that people who intuit these theories are paid lots of money, so they'll never ever stop!

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Baby Post

XKCD - ב', 11/28/2016 - 07:00
[bzzzt] "REMEMBER TO CHECK IN FOR YOUR FLIGHT TO LONDON." "My wha-" [bzzzt] "YOUR UBER WILL ARRIVE IN FOUR MINUTES."

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Ethical Conundrums

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - א', 11/27/2016 - 18:09


Hovertext:
I'm just gonna say, I'm really happy with how the inking on the sun came out.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Games for Humans

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ש', 11/26/2016 - 17:49


Hovertext:
BEEP BEEP BEEP

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עונג שבת: רק דבר אחד ופסקול לסופ״ש

עונג שבת - ו', 11/25/2016 - 23:35
יש ימי שישי עמוסים שבהם פשוט אי אפשר למצוא את כמות השעות המספקת (והלא־קטנה) לכתיבת עונג שבת ראוי, ואני מעדיף לא להעלות עונג שבת מאשר להעלות עונג שבת לא ראוי. אז היום – רק הודעה אחת חשובה וכמה פסקולים מומלצים לשבת. אני יודע שסיפרתי לכם כבר מלא פעמים, אבל אני מוכרח לעדכן אתכם שהחל מחצות […]

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Unappreciated

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ו', 11/25/2016 - 17:30


Hovertext:
I mean, technically we're only using the top half of the adjunct. Why do we have to pay for the whole thing?

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XKCDE

XKCD - ו', 11/25/2016 - 07:00
4. They unplug the root machine but the thousands of leaf VMs scatter in the wind and start spinning up new instances wherever they land

Clothing now available for Maitreya body.

Canimal's Blog - ה', 11/24/2016 - 20:06

All Clothing now available for Maitreya's Lara body.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Meat-Race

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ה', 11/24/2016 - 17:39


Hovertext:
Okay, quick, let's switch them all to kale so we can claim they're grass-fed.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Eat My Body

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ד', 11/23/2016 - 17:43


Hovertext:
You know what? We are NO LONGER best friends.

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Wednesday Book Reviews!

 

The Cartoon History of the Universe (volume 1) (Gonick)

I vaguely remember reading this as a kid, but I picked it up again on a friend’s suggestion and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s really not so much a history of the world as a bit of illustrated info on a bunch of really interesting points in time. The one strike against it is that it’s often, well, a bit wrong. Some of this is because it’s simply out of date, but (for example) at one point he mentions the infamous Aquatic Ape hypothesis, and it wasn’t (I don’t think!) as a joke.

Born on the Fourth of July (Kovick)

One of the great Vietnam memoirs, which I hadn’t yet read. This book is a bit more dreamlike than some of the others, dealing not just with war stories, but with his attempt to adjust back to society afterward despite an injury that leaves him paraplegic. In a sense, that makes this book a bit more unique (and perhaps timely) than a lot of other Vietnam memoirs, in that it’s really more about what war does to you *after* you get home.

The Attention Merchants (Wu)

This is A+ non-fiction. This book is a history of the idea that you can sell attention for money, using content as merely the attractor of the attention. Wu traces the whole history of this concept from early newspaper sales tactics, through war propaganda techniques, on through Google, Facebook, and so forth. One thing I really appreciate is that Wu isn’t explicitly arguing that the paradigm of attention sales is a bad one - he’s asking us to deal with what it means. I wish everyone in tech would take a peek at this book.

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