Tuesday assorted links


4. To get to the other side.

This is why we need a YUUUUge Wall - and the armadillos will pay for it.

After all, they aren't sending us their best wildlife. They are sending the ones that carry leprosy.

5. With all the hype, how could it not be? They are still useful, and getting cheaper.

They are barely useful. I do think they will be someday, mainly for people with at least a bit of a DIY bent. It will probably never be more efficient to use 3D printing compared to mass manufacture.

5) Would have been a great, and counter-cultural, article in 2013. That was when hype was genuine, and appliance type production for the home was seriously suggested. That was the year Stratasys acquired MakerBot, and Bre Pettis made the rounds saying silly things.

I was anti-home-3d in 2013, because the "home production" of cheap plastic crap really didn't make sense. In 2016 this criticism is too late, because the hype to criticize is long gone. Deceased. Dead parrot.

Now, if you want to write a good story, describing the arc of 3d, you should talk about what happened between 2013 and now, the pull-back at MakerBot and the restructuring, the shift in focus from "every home" to people who self-identify as "makers" and "hobbyists." Then, I think you see some new growth, and some positive developments. The first and foremost is that 3d printers of this type have gotten very cheap. Entry price is around $400 now. People are using them to interesting, rewarding, obscure, and nerdy projects.

The second thing though is that the maker/hobby market is about continual process improvement, and there are many people who do want to get to "home appliance" someday. They might. If you are not a maker or a hobbyist you can wait, if you don't want to wait, you can pick up a printer.

20 Best Cheap 3D Printers Under $500 / $1000

Half-decent printers never materialized. The article mentions people printing dishes and automobile parts. We can't. What can I print that I normally buy? Can I print a pen, a comb, a toothbrush, soft juggling balls, a nice case for my phone, a screen protector, a USB adaptor? No. It's like offering a document printer that worked by squeezing paint out of a tube.

Those aren't the expectations you'd have for a printer, had you spent 30 minutes on https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/

This does look pretty good though, doesn't it? http://imgur.com/6DXr2cJ


What do you make with your 3D Printer ?

Less now, we went through a cycle making all the toys the kids wanted, and their friends. Some replacement fence caps. Bits for Arduino projects.

If you need hobby bits and pieces, that would be the dividing line, IMO.

Although the low-end machines produced pretty crappy stuff, I think another reason for their gimmick status was those spools of plastic wire you'd have to buy for them. If those were cheap or you could recycle old objects back into new ones, they might have been more fun. It's like back when color photography was really expensive, you'd be kind of afraid to click the shutter unless you were really sure you wanted to take the shot.

Microcenter has 1kg spools of PLA for $15, which is pretty cheap. Just watch out for printers that require chipped spools from the manufacturer.

Wow, that is cheap. Maybe I should look for the machines on eBay. I'll bet there's plenty of them out there.

I'm using 3D printed parts on parts going to space. If you don't know how to print parts that are useful, it is because you don't understand the options

Not a lot of households need to send things into space, though.

I print design concepts in an hour for $50 that used to take a week and cost me $1000 to prototype. Like most great inventions, the utility is seen among the producers/professionals first and then adopted by the mass market as it improves and gets cheaper.

If you are designing something new and need to go through multiple versions, services like Shapeways are impractical. They take a couple of weeks to deliver, and the prices are so high you could buy a home printer for less than four or five runs of a large piece would cost.

Compared to any manufactured piece of plastic, home printer output is crap. Compared to what I could build with hand tools in a reasonable amount of time, it's a miracle.

I'd heard somewhere that the original statement about Mussolini was ironic (i.e., the trains didn't run on time). I'd love to have that verified, or debunked.

Re the Armadillo, I suggest the quote attributed to John Hightower, the 80's era Texas Ag Commissioner (and sort of a redneck Bernie Sanders). When defending his non-centrist views and positions, he said something like "The only thing in the middle of the road is yellow lines and dead armadillos."

BTW, if you want to know why there are ~$500 printers and ~$2500 printers that do the same thing, the first group is for hobbyists, the second is for schools. The extra $2000 is to navigate school purchases and to provide more than on-line forum support.

4. "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."

I was thinking "Red neck filet mignon on the hoof."

2. Are there mirrors in plastic surgeons' offices? Actual mirrors rather than fake mirrors? Plastic surgery simply to make someone more attractive (as opposed to correcting burn scars, birth defects, etc.) is the most self-absorbed, colossal waste of money ever. And it doesn't work - ugly is ugly no matter how fat the lips or flat the stomach! Both the plastic surgeons and the patients should be ashamed of themselves. Mormons should know better.

Maybe it's my age, but it depends on the surgery to me. Except for reconstructive surgery, I've rarely seen facial surgery work. But there are other procedures that seem to work quite well.

Well, take a look at photos of Paris Hilton when in high school and today. SOMETHING happened. Chelsea Clinton, too - the camera is way more her friend than it useta be. The whole article was interesting to me, though there was a certain breathless newness to it: has this guy never heard of the sexual attitudes seen in USSR and in Germany after WWII, or in Paraguay after the Chaco War?

I'm anti-plastic surgery, But I have to admit that lots of women I know in their 50s and 60s are getting great results with blepharoplasty. It really makes 'em twinkle.

"Both the plastic surgeons and the patients should be ashamed of themselves."

Someone's gotta pay those med school bills.

"Mormons should know better."

Clearly the biggest pathology in Mormonism is too much plastic surgery.

1. I can't wait in 15 years to hear commentators and writers on Twitter bemoan the plight of the noble milking classes.

4. "Texas Caesar crosses the Rubicon."

No, they will be complaining about the milk production subsidies and the tons of milk turned to cheese being dumped at sea in secret because the cheese warehouses are full.

Milk consumption is on the decline with multiple groups trying to figure out how to get people consume milk instead of paying more for flavored sugar water, not so much to improve health, but to sell the excess dairy by creating a market demand based on the health food glow.

I loved the cheap subsidized milk at school in the 50s and 60s, especially the whole milk with added chocolate and sugar. That plus a Hostess Twinkie or the Hostess chocolate sponge cake cream sandwich, which was cheaper than the lunch made with government surplus canned meat and veggies and surplus pasta and surplus cheese.

That Reagan and his backers advocate "supply side economics" when that was the aggressive farm policy of the US for more than a century before, leading repeatedly to too much supply with too little demand, leading to government stepping in to sop up excess supply, is pretty amazing to me. Reagan was all aboutgetting government policies in place to increase supply to excess, but never about creating demand.

In fact, the methods of increasing supply are implicitly designed to decrease demand.

Robots will never be milk drinkers, so robots will never buy the milk they produce.

Unless government pays robots to buy milk and then build ever more warehouses to store ever more cheese for the government.

4. "Armadillos check flood water levels before traversing submerged road, unlike humans"

Or, "Why did the armadillo cross the road?"

2. I worry I am doing my sons a disservice by not raising them Mormon.

Atheist here who's semi-seriously wondered the same thing.

Even a crazy belief system that provides some sense of purpose and meaning seems a better route through life than nihilism. Perhaps I just maintain an underlying faith that I will get to go to Philosophers' Heaven by facing The Truth.

I went from a Richard Dawkins-like atheist to one who thinks Christianity is important, perhaps integral, to a free society and market.

Everywhere Christianity has died,mig has been replaced with family dysfunction and increased statism.

Re: #5, before I clicked I assumed this concerned printing houses; which, by the way, I predict will be bigger than geodesic domes.

# 4 :" In non-zoning , we Trust ."


2. This doesn't surprise me. Having grown up Mormon myself (I'm now atheist), boys and men were a lot more likely to drop off out of activities and eventually drop off out of the Church into inactivity in general than women. That was at all ages, too. All that said, I'm a bit skeptical of this:

“At BYU, a lot of Mormons my age don’t consider oral sex to be sex,” said Wheelwright.

I don't buy it, having known people who went to BYU in the past couple years while being practicing Mormons. That feels more like a "I don't do it but I've heard of it" rumor that grew.

Which is not to say that young Mormons aren't engaging in sexual activity, because they are and have been in my experience. But I highly, highly doubt that it's become some common opinion that oral sex is okay - especially when the leadership generally considered anything beyond kissing unchaste.

As an outsider, it seem a little surprising that such a lopsided sex ratio doesn't tend to keep more young men in the flock even if they might have wandered away otherwise. On the other hand, I guess the problem with having a lot of devout Mormon women to choose from is that no matter which one you pick, you still end with a devout Mormon woman. Sounds like kind of a tough deal if you're not committed to the faith:


No matter how lopsided, you still only get one. Now if they'd just go back to polygamy -- problem solved! The legal case is complicated and unsettled. For a few years Utah's anti-polygamy was struck down, but an appeals court brought it back. A key part of the appeals decision was that the Utah AG has said his office will only prosecute when there's some other crime in addition to polygamy.


The article mentions they've lowered the mission age from 19 to 18 and that seems to be helping maintain more boys/men in the religion. Article proposed that waiting until 19 caused many men to get jobs and move away which was not good for retention.

Mormon theology is actually, from a sheer professional metaphysical point of view, at least as sophisticated as an average Caltech PDE class is sophisticated - right or wrong, you have to respect the effort. Sure 999 out of 1000 of the students in Caltech PDE classes and BYU theology classes will only succeed in understanding that which was often understood before, but God bless them for trying to do better (and who among us can say that the unknown one or more in a thousand did not succeed more than we can understand). That being said, you can read Dante a thousand times and remain atheist, you can read Aquinas ten thousand times and remain atheist, but you cannot even once pray to God with a completely sincere heart and a confirmed love for the friends you have made in this world and remain an atheist. Cor ad Cor loquitur. I love my little atheist friends but they are all, even the ones who are nicer and smarter than me and who loyally think of me as their little Christian friend, uselessly kidding themselves.

kidding themselves? based on what objective evidence?

Li Zhi, thanks for reading my comments. The most competent objective philosopher I am familiar with is Karl Popper, in his autobiography he has a beautiful passage about how the physicists of the future - this is an objective prediction on his part - will always (the word always is key here) find that the more they discover the more there remains still to be discovered. Anyway, one of the differences between Mormon and non-Mormon Christian theology is that, for the Mormons, God is not omnipotent. So, as a starting point for where someone might want to go if one wants to know if there is an objective truthful reason for not spending one's life as an atheist, one might try to consider whether Popper's objective view and the Mormons' not completely subjective view could possibly coincide. Another starting point might be to look back on as many of one's own past experiences as possible, and carefully compare them with the past experiences of one's closest friend in this world, whoever that might be (Cor ad Cor loquitur): and, after this intellectual exercise, try to objectively understand in what sense you and the best friend (one of whom is necessarily not going to be the most successful person on the planet) failed or succeeded in bringing into this world "the passion of science and the precision of poetry" (a quote often attributed to Vladimir Nabokov - a person who was nowhere near the best Russian writer of his lifetime, and nowhere near the best lepidopterist of his lifetime, but objectively viewed, the best by far Russian writer of the lepidopterists of his day and by an even greater degree the best lepidopterist of the Russian writers of his day - but a quote which , probably, based on the different contexts in which he said that phrase again and again, was no more than a cherished and unattributed expression first spoken by his beloved father, and as such an expression that he deeply enjoyed slyly repeating - Cor ad Cor loquitur again!). If your question related to travel advice, I would recommend a visit to Lourdes, Fatima, the Rue du Bac, or the Solanus Casey shrine in Michigan. God does not , as far as I know, descend to the level of providing on command repeatable experimental results for scholars and academics and journalists, or even for ordinary people who, like Snoopy and late night television hosts, take great pride in their ordinariness, but God does show undeniable compassionate power again and again in objective ways, in specific and ordinary ways. The useless self-kidding of atheists I referred to was not their atheism but their opportunity cost in not looking with a little more effort to see whether that compassionate power objectively exists, or doesn't.

4) Jesus this is harder than I thought

#3 Waiting to hear Keynesian bloggers comment. Don't all rush in at once!

#4...I'm gonna follow that chicken till I figure out why it's doing this?

What the article on Mormons describes is real, and I think it gets some of the causes right. One possible cause that is unmentioned is that young Mormon men are more likely to leave Utah for career reasons, while single girls want to stay close to family and thus stick around. The LDS singles congregation where I live (quite far from Utah) is much more balanced gender-wise. A lot of the guys are from UT/ID, and are here to work; the girls tend to be local kids.

#2 - “In a religion where women are already unnecessary to the essential structure of the church, having a gender imbalance where you have too many women just compounds that effect.”

And yet men are already leaving the church more than women are. I think the reason women want to stay in the church is because it is so "patriarchal" and focused on marriage and families. Change that focus even a little and men will leave much more, and at some tipping point women will also leave at increasing rates.

In traditional, patriarchal christianity, judaism, or mormonism women are held back, and there are only a few leadership positions for men. I wonder if men leave because they don't like being ordered around and controlled by other men without having much of an authoritative say in their faith/lives. Women on the other hand are told they must be submissive followers. Because they have been prepped to go along with whatever the leaders say, they perhaps don't struggle as much with being bossed around. After all, that's what these good religious women are supposed to do, right? And, because of that programming, there is very little that they feel they can do about it.

There are lots of leadership positions in Mormonism because it's a lay ministry. Any Mormon man who is active in the church is going to have as many opportunities for leadership positions as he can handle (more, even).

Lay positions answer to those who are in higher authority. They are positions with limited power that must still submit to higher leadership. Men in these conservative strands of religion are still in "follower" mode. They are allowed leadership within specific boundaries and theological constraints. Those who don't/can't stay in those boundaries either leave or get disciplined/shunned/disfellowshipped.

I am saying that the environment is only appealing to some men, not the broadest swath of men.

Virtually every organization that appeals more heavily to men than women (the military, sports teams), operates along hierarchical lines.

Right. Hierarchical lines which are attainable through merit and hard work, in general. There are ways to progress through the line. In religious groups, it doesn't work that way. There are a few at the top with everyone else underneath. You only get to the top through attending seminary and being viewed as closer to God in some way. And that judgement is highly subjective, ephemeral, and made by the few at the top and their whims.

2. I wonder why writers think it enhances their credibility to include the obligatory disclaimer about how wonderful the sexual revolution and gender equality are. It just identifies the writer as a stereotypical thinker with nothing original to say, an impression confirmed by the first third of the article, which is all I could get through before boredom set in.

Seriously, no.
If you've ever used a MakerBot, it is pretty easy to see why. The material is not terribly durable (subject to shear failures along the grain lines). More importantly, it's ugly and boring looking.
I don't want dishes made out of makerbot plastic, I want something beautiful.

I'm sure that there will be a role for 3D printing in the economy, but having a household printer to make plastic forks is so not it. At this point 3D printing is basically a novelty for most people, but it does have industrial and engineering uses in prototyping parts.

'but it does have industrial and engineering uses in prototyping parts'

Not only prototyping, as noted by this Belgium company - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialise_NV

#4. The baby armadillo was unaware of the danger posed by the approaching Crest White Strip.

From the link 6 - 'Massive infrastructure repairs have set off an epidemic of unpunctuality, which could ultimately cost Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube his job.'

Strangely enough, in Germany, 'Instandhaltung' is actually considered a fairly good reason for present delays, to minimize future problems.

Strangely enough, it seems as if the English edition of Handelsblatt is completely ignorant of this. Or at least the author of the article hasn't driven around any German city in the last few years, seemingly unaware of the at least 5 year old joke that all of Germany is a Baustelle (contstruction site).

And oddly enough, on the 7pm SWR1 news broadcast, the Green/CDU government of BW is calling for increased rail subsidies from the Bundesland for the building of further rail infrastructure.

The reverse of #2 is why a culture of letting yourself go has taken root among San Francisco women

I thought this Musk fella was supposed to be a bright one.
We're AI in someone else's game. Our AI is going to kill us. Direct democracy is the way to go.
How's any of that smart?

"In breaking news, an armadillo has successfully crossed a street. After the break, a panel of evolutionary biologists discuss the implications. Stay tuned."

Pretty predictable joke. Only way to go though.

4. "Another hapless armadillo about to be intercepted by yet another falling 2x8 plank" (the photographer gets a Pulitzer nomination for being there to catch the shot, even if s/he snapped the shutter a moment early).


Cruelly trapped as the ball in a sadistic life-sized game of pong, the armadillo would driven to an exhaustion so extreme it would eventually and ironically die of thirst.

6) The most on-time trains I have ever seen were in Israel.

It's true that German trains aren't that punctual (anymore), but because there is a train from anywhere to anywhere every hour, you just catch the next train if you miss a connection. No big deal, just take something to read.

New dating site in Israel matches Orthodox gay men with Orthodox Lesbian women, so they can have a traditional Jewish household and raise children. So far, 37 men and 7 Lesbians are signed up. Maybe some of the surplus women in the U.S. might be interested.


2. Any article about modern-day sex that doesn't mention, up front, the facts that have changed since before the sexual revolution and then claims/implies the changes in pre/extra marital sex are cyclic isn't to be taken seriously.
Effective Birth Control which gives the woman virtually complete control over her ability to prevent pregnancy.
Almost perfect ability to prove paternity.
Female participation in the (compensated) workforce.
Medical advances leading to fairly effective in vitro fertilization with anonymous (and widely available) sperm, this included insurance coverage/subsidization of same.
Legal changes forcing (or should I say enforcing?) child support from both parents (especially father).
Widespread availability of childcare as well as broad-based governmental and commercial support system which allows a single parent to "do it all" (although not as effectively as a two parent home).
It's not politically correct to point out that reproduction is a fundamental variable in any (stable) culture/civilization/society, and that task falls more onto the shoulders of the females amongst us. You can have sex without reproduction (but not for more than about 7 decades), and you can have reproduction without sex (but not very efficiently), but separating sex and reproduction is delusional (as is separating sex from entertainment, for that matter). Or implying that extramarital sex is rare/uncommon among some religious sect or another (those which aren't almost exclusively self-selecting (ie cults)).

Comments for this post are closed