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GCU Dancer on the Midway
Paul Wright's blog
Recent Entries 
25th Aug 2020, 09:29 pm - Welcome to my blog
I'm Paul Wright, a software engineer based in Cambridge, England. You can now find my public blog on my own site: http://www.noctua.org.uk/blog/. I'll be crossposting from there to LJ but you'll only be able to comment on my site. See you over there.
10th Jan 2016, 01:13 am - Link blog: aliens, probe, anal, ufo
Aliens and Anal Probes – Jason Colavito
“Why it is that aliens want to probe our butts; or, more specifically, when exactly did people start claiming that aliens gave them anal probes? This may seem to be a silly question, but silly questions often end up revealing hidden layers and secrets. In this case, asking the uncomfortable question of why aliens are so interested in anal orifices reveals a fascinating story about the dark side of the alien abduction media industry and its effects on those who participate in it.”
(tags: aliens ufo anal probe)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
27th Dec 2015, 01:13 am - Link blog: date, lyrics, rape, song
Baby It’s Cold Outside
It’s not actually a song describing date rape (although it could be performed that way, I guess). ““Hey what’s in this drink” was a stock joke at the time, and the punchline was invariably that there’s actually pretty much nothing in the drink, not even a significant amount of alcohol. “
(tags: song lyrics date rape)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace. – The Washington Post
Open plan offices are still terrible. Is there anyone in Cambridge (UK) who isn’t using them, I wonder?
(tags: work office noise concentration)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Mindfulness: What Is Mindfulness? | Thing of Things
Ozy gives a good introduction to mindfulness.
(tags: mindfulness meditation psychology therapy)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Just why can’t we atheists see that religious belief is reasonable? Some religious answers
“Why do we atheists reject religious belief, and consider it irrational? Here is a survey of some of the explanations that have been offered by the religious. They’re not good. “
(tags: atheism religion philosophy stephen-law belief rationality)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
ISIS Is Just One of a Full-Blown Global Jihadist Insurgency – The Daily Beast
“By failing to name the ideology and isolate it from everyday Islam, we deprive these reforming voices of a lexicon, a language to deploy against those who are attempting to silence their progressive efforts within their own communities. We prevent a conversation around ending Islamism’s appeal while also reforming traditional Islam. If it has “nothing to do with Islam,” there is nothing to discuss within Islamic communities. In this way, we surrender the debate to the extremists, who meanwhile are discussing Islam with impunity.”
(tags: islam islamism religion terrorism jihad isis isil)
What We Can Learn from the Paris Attacks (Without Ignoring the Elephant in the Room)
Yep, this is more or less what I think.
(tags: paris terrorism islam islamism religion politics)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Locked doors, headaches, and intellectual need | Affording Play
You’re more likely to understand what a key is for if you’ve already encountered a locked door.
(tags: education psychology programming learning)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Don’t Feed the Beast – the Great Tech Recruiter Infestation | mockyblog
A fun rant against tech recruiters in the UK, who are apparently a bunch of wide-boys (or spivs, to use the old fashioned term). I haven’t used one for over ten years, so I don’t know how accurate it is, but HN’s discussion on it had some people saying it rings true.
(tags: recruiters jobs technology work)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs | Strike! Magazine
Whatever happened to our promised leisure time, and why do so many people get paid to do nothing useful?
(tags: capitalism politics work jobs economics)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
policyskeptic: What really went wrong at Addenbrooke’s
A botched IT project is responsible for the fall in the quality of Cambridge’s famous teaching hospital, by the looks of it.
(tags: addenbrookes hospital health management politics IT cambridge)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Cheeky Nando’s, or, what went wrong? | Idiot Joy Showland
Top bants of the apocalypse.
(tags: nandos apocalypse post-apocalyptic bants funny)
Real Life First Person Shooter (Chatroulette version) – YouTube
British film company put together a live action first person shooter and invited people on Chatroulette to play. The “making of” video linked at the end explains how they did it.
(tags: chatroulette shooter first-person live games)
Work Hard, Live Well — Life Learning — Medium
“So it is with deep sadness that I observe the current culture of intensity in the tech industry. My intellectual conclusion is that these companies are both destroying the personal lives of their employees and getting nothing in return. A candidate recently deciding between Asana and another fast growing company told me that the other team starts their dinners at 830pm to encourage people to stay late (he’s starting here in a few weeks). I also hear young developers frequently brag about “48 hour” coding sprints. This kind of attitude not only hurts young workers who are willing to “step up” to the expectation, but facilitates ageism and sexism by indirectly discriminating against people who cannot maintain that kind of schedule.”
(tags: work productivity rest crunch overtime)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic
American identity politics and the attempt to curtail academic freedom with talk of triggers and microaggressions and all that jazz. “You might call this impulse vindictive protectiveness.” (Via Mefi, where the mods deleted a posting someone made linking to this, disappointingly: Mefi’s mods seem to have crossed the ID politics event horizon recently)
(tags: ptsd trigger psychology university america academia microagression.)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
I spent a weekend at Google talking with nerds about charity. I came away … worried. – Vox
Apparently the Effective Altruism movement is no longer all about mosquito nets and is now rather more excited about the coming Singularity and whether the machines will be friendly. Arguments for giving money to MIRI and similar organisations (instead of buying mosquito nets) rely on correctly estimating tiny probabilities, though.
(tags: altruism charity x-risk artificial-intelligence miri nick-bostrom effective-altruism)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
17th Jul 2015, 12:13 am - Link blog: bible, literature, history
ladysisyphus: So You Want To Read The Bible
ladysisyphus on Bible translations, and why you probably shouldn’t just try to read it cover to cover.
(tags: bible religion literature history)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
ISIS and the Lonely Young American – The New York Times
The NYT has a story about radical Muslims attempting to convert an American Christian and convince her to travel to join them in Syria, all done via the Internet, mainly Twitter and Skype.
(tags: isis islam internet twitter religion radicalisation)
Start-up Costs: ‘Silicon Valley,’ ‘Halt and Catch Fire,’ and How Microserfdom Ate the World «
It’s 20 years since “Microserfs” was published. Here’s an article looking at the changing portrayals of the tech industry in fiction, from Microserf’s optimism to a more cynical view today.
(tags: microserfs douglas-coupland technology silicon-valley programming)
A Quite Long Review of Edward Feser’s Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide | Thing of Things
Ozy reads Edward Feser so you don’t have to.
(tags: aquinas thomist edward-feser metaphysics teleology causality)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Stephen Law: ‘Skeptical Theism and the Pandora’s Box Question’ – YouTube
Stephen Law did a half hour talk on the sceptical theist response to the Problem of Evil (“you can’t know that God doesn’t have good reasons for allowing some apparently gratuitous evils merely because you can’t think of such reasons”), and how adopting such a response leads to more general scepticism about just about everything (the Pandora’s Box objection, as he calls it).
(tags: theodicy theology religion philosophy problem-of-evil stephen-law epistemology)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland. – The Washington Post
“Whenever I want to be cheered up about the future of my adopted country, I turn to American pundits. The air here might be deadly, the water undrinkable, the Internet patchy and the culture strangled, but I can always be reassured that China is beating America at something, whether it’s clean energy, high-speed rail, education or even the military. Over the past decade, American audiences have become accustomed to lectures about China, like a schoolboy whose mother compares him with an overachieving classmate.”
(tags: china america politics)
Ken MacLeod – Socialism and transhumanism
“The challenge for humanists and liberals in the face of a transhuman future is daunting: to replace the socialist project — or to revive it. Without something like it to underpin a sense of common human identity and common human interest, people will divide on the basis of other identities. Many on the left, of course, have found in identity politics a replacement for the universalism of their past. But identity can also be seized on by the far right. It can feed a resentful indifference to the plight of others that comes from having one’s own plight disregarded.”
(tags: socialism politics transhumanism ken-macleod identity-politics humanism)

Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
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