Assorted links

by on January 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Fun Twitter source of German words.

2. Not safe for work uses of Google Glass.

3. “Cataluña tiene un superávit de 4.000 millones.

4. The true power of the Blockchain?

5. Update on The Orange County Register.

6. Too negative, too polemic, and too unreasonable, but if you wish to read an argument that Jane Austen was not in fact a game theorist, here goes.

Brandon January 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm

#6–too polemical, sure, but the point remains that recent forays by “hard” social scientists into philosophy and literature succeed, for the most part, by a) ignoring entirely the vast literature on a particular topic, b) publishing via people that either don’t know the literature (other “hard” social science journals) or don’t care (popular presses). For the economists out there about to tell humanities people their latest finding about Smith, Hume, or whatever–trust us, we already know.

Thor January 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Reading Alan Sokal’s book on the infamous hoax, and on the use of science by (especially) French poststructuralists, made me aware that if anything infelicitous, mendacious and ridiculous use of the sciences is worse “on the other side.” There is no empirical warrant for claims, no implicit or explicit philosophy of science done, no citations, and lots of inventing of slogans and formulae.

ummm January 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm

infamous maybe to the .0001% of the population that know or care (that would include all Wikipedia editors though)

Marc Roston January 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm

#2: Seems like a whole lot of men risk finding out why there’s a t.v. in the bedroom of “he sees what she sees”!

Brett January 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

2. I thought this was an obvious application of the device. It should make for much easier amateur pornography making.

Brett January 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

-To add

In fact, if for some reason I ever ended up shooting a pornographic film, I want to something like that. Three views: “our view”, “male gaze”, “female gaze”.

Axa January 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm

#2: Mirrors do the same and have no memory =)

Jonathan January 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm

#6: Not tough enough on Chwe IMO. Having spent several courses at dinner parties explaining why Austen wasn’t a game theorist, if I just had this link we could have turned the dinner conversation to something more interesting.

David Wright January 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

The German word twitter feed is fun, but not entirely trustworthy. For example, “Sitzpinkler” is not “German for wimp”. That would be “Schwaechling” (weakling) or “Feigling” (coward) or, more colloquially, “Weichei” (soft-boiled egg). “Sitzpinkler” (guy who sits down to pee) and “Warmduscher” (guy who takes warm showers) are funny and common expressions ostensibly connotating “wimp” but, quite unlink “wimp”, almost always used with tongue firmly in cheek. There are a few other exaggerated claims of equivalence in the feed.

Das January 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

It is correct enough. And since the words are mostly pretty advanced anyone who would use them would also know the language well enough to evaluate the words’ tongue-in-cheek-ness…
This feed is entertaining even for native speakers!

Willitts January 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

“Warm” is the word they use for homosexual men, a.k.a. Schwuler.

One of my favorite German words is:

Verschwindigkeitsbegrenzungshild = speed limit sign

arne.b January 21, 2014 at 3:34 am

You must not know many Germans — and if those really use “warm” the way you mention, you know very strange ones. All I know use “warm” to mean “warm”, as in “not cold”.

And sorry to tell you, your favorite German word is not a German word at all. It is so far off that google does not even know how to auto-correct it (btw: speed->Geschwindigkeit, limit->Begrenzung, sign->Schild, what is so spectacular about this?)

Marian Kechlibar January 21, 2014 at 5:25 am

Actually, “verschwinden” means “to disappear”, so the word would be quite funny, something like “Disappearance limit sign”.

“Schwule(r)” really means gay, though. Die Schwulbar is gay bar. You can also say “Tunte”, but this is really offensive.

Willitts January 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Ugh, mea culpa.

Yes, I meant geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungschild. It has been 20 years since I spoke the language regularly, and I often get the prefixes mixed up. I didnt know ‘verschwinden’ meant invisible, and given the speeds on the Autobahn, that might be appropriate. :)

Im sure there are easier ways to say common things in German as there is in English. The quality of German I always found amusing is the way they string together nouns into one word. English typically splices specific nouns with no more than two words.

@Arne: I used to think ‘gay’ meant happy. I must not have known many Americans. There a lot of regional terms in German as there is in English. I frequently heard ‘warm’ used by actual Germans for ‘gay.’ Since I can think of a dozen English terms/phrases for ‘gay’ off the top of my head, why do you doubt that Germans do the same? I only brought it up at all because David brought up ‘warmduscher’ and it is common in English to describe gays as weak (even though they aren’t)

Marian Kechlibar January 21, 2014 at 5:27 am

One more comment, “Geschwindigkeitlimit” is quite a long word, and usually substituted with “Tempolimit”. At least I always heard / read the latter in everyday use.

Bob January 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm

#3 explains Spanish politics in a nutshell: Spain is full of ‘caciques’, political barons who use their influence to buy votes. Think Joe Lieberman, times a thousand. Telling people anything that even resembles the truth is unimportant: The objective is just to build little regional fiefdoms. A nobility without titles.

Being independent isn’t really the objective: at that point, there’s nowhere to hide. It’s far more convenient, however, to do whatever is possible to separate your region from everywhere else, and then blame it all on ‘the other’. Different ideology, but the same kind of rhetoric you could hear from leaders in central American dictatorships for decades.

David Khoo January 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

#4 — “What fools these mortals be”

Anything that a decentralized ledger like Bitcoin can do, a centralized system can do faster and cheaper. Bitcoin requires that nodes crunch through complex cryptographic computations for the simplest transactions and consumes immense amounts of computing power and electrical energy to keep its blockchain secure. Therefore, Bitcoin’s entire value rests in decentralization.

Decentralization has no value. Ultimately, all value comes from armed force. You only own your house, the clothes you are wearing or even your person because there are armed men who will kill those who disagree. Decentralization makes it impossible for these armed men to enforce your property rights. Cryptography is not a replacement for armed force — all the cryptography in the world cannot stop someone with a gun seizing the Bitcoin servers or forcing you to reveal your private keys. Even DPR who ran Silk Road understood this — he hired armed thugs to beat the keys out of people who disrupted SR before killing them and their roommates.

Bitcoin is ultimately a tool for illegal financial activity. It inevitably wastes massively more resources for any legitimate purpose than a centralized alternative. Those who claim that it allows financial innovation unshackled by regulations (i.e. illegal financial activity) would do well to reflect why those regulations exist in the first place, especially in light of the Great Recession. I divide Bitcoin’s advocates into two camps: 1. The savvy individuals who understand the above, know full well they are criminals and value Bitcoin as a tool for enabling criminal activity, and 2. Naive antiauthoritarians who imagine they are striking a blow for freedom (they’re not — freedom only emerges from armed authority). Either way, Bitcoin is evil.

Todd Fletcher January 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm

The fact that a fascist pig like you hates Bitcoin is reason enough to love it.

DK January 21, 2014 at 3:05 am

+1. I don’t care about Bitcoin but that post is very obviously fascist.

Marian Kechlibar January 21, 2014 at 5:59 am

Centralized systems are inherently unsafe against abuse from their own masters.

When it comes to currency, there is a huge uninterrupted historical record of failed centralized currencies, the vast majority of them sunk by imprudent actions of the decision makers, and this long list grows by an example or two every year.
From Sumeria to 2014, people who regulate money still commit the some kind of errors, mostly from greed and lust for power.

So much for the “cheaper” argument. As for “faster”, well, how long do bank transfers take? Quite long, actually, even in the same bank, much less than technologically possible.

Nate January 26, 2014 at 12:47 am

Obvious troll is obvious.

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