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Leo Campos
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Stupido politico
Sounds like a good Potter spell no?

The underlying question, and one which I bump into daily is "why isn't good evidence more effective in resolving political debates? For instance, why doesn't the mounting proof that climate change is a real threat persuade more skeptics?" And so on.

I have a friend who astounded me once. He was doing something or other at work (I do not quite remember what, but it was complex and technical). Someone else came in and pointed to him his process could be improved with a few changes. Without batting an eyelid, upon being shown the better way of doing it, he changed his ways and never went back.

If this does not sound too impressive, then I have not described the scene well enough. But just think, especially in the things that you do that are complex and technical, how many would humbly accept a different way of doing things? Even if we could accept that the other way was simpler, cleaner, more efficient, it is one thing to know that, and another to change to the new way.

Most of us, me included, have to be dragged into a new way. I know a certain way of doing databases. Someone else does it a different way. If we both get to the same end result, who cares right? 

While databases are of little import in the big scheme of things, even in the small scheme of things if I am honest, this kinda of "old dog no new tricks" approach can have pretty disastrous consequences when you are dealing with city-wide, statewide, nationwide decisions. 

Rather than sticking to what you know, being able to accept that what you know is incomplete (at best) and possibly haphazard, requires humility - the true kind, not the negative kind. Or, as the author of the article quotes it, "Individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values."

i would suggest it is a hallmark of intelligence. 

"Defining values" is just another way of saying ego. And ego is a whole heap o' trouble, or to paraphrase Clouseau, "My ego in the wrong hands could be a lethal weapon."

p.s. +Gabriel Fitzpatrick.
There’s a simple theory underlying much of American politics. It sits hopefully at the base of almost every speech, every op-ed, every article, and every panel discussion. It courses through the...
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Actually you have to posit a group of people who actually care....easier to find ten honest men in Sodom (women don't count, of course).
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Winter Soldier

+Adam Campbell and I caught Winter Soldier last night. A quick, no-spoiler review. 

As we have come to expect this is a no-hold-barred production, with massive FXs, tight fight scenes, and overall a very polished presentation. Some of the shaky camera stuff during fights is mildly annoying, but seems to be the mandatory thing these days...

The story itself was interesting, though nothing at the level of Dark Knight (will anything ever be that good again?). Just exciting, romping action.

A couple of things I really liked: one was seeing why Capt. America is a "weapon". I do not think this was as clear in the first movies with him, but damn! He is a one-man Army. It was cool to see how devastating the man can be. Super soldier serum was not just steroids, which took a wimp and made him strong. No - it made him super human: endurance, speed, strength. All there.

But what makes the captain The Captain is something that the serum just could not give - he has a sort of reluctant, lead-from-the-front leadership style which works well. He knows what to do, but would rather work as a team rather than a solo act (like Iron Man or Spidey), and he has know-how that other people naturally turn to him for solutions. 

As +Adam Campbell  mentioned after the show, this movie shows how such a man can become the respected leader of a ton of A-type super freaks and do it well. 

The second interesting development is the Black Widow. I know we all think the lady is hawt, and she is, but I think the hotness is disguising some damn fine acting by Scarlett Johansson. Seriously.

The Black Widow character is complicated. Really, really complicated. It takes some serious acting chops to pull that off. I mean she is a top operative, and yet is basically untrusted by all her own people. Her skill in deception means that no one who knows her can trust her, which is her "super power", but it is also something that makes it impossible for her to be close to anyone, and probably leads to loneliness, to say the least. 

The other character that I can think of which would be of equal pathos is Elektra. Lucky for us they are treating The Widow better, giving Johansson the chance to get some primo screen time which actually require, you know, acting skill, not just action skill.

She has to show vulnerability and yet pull herself back from the edge (the best scene for this was in the Avengers movie when she faced Loki and he psychoanalyzed her making her cry, only to find out he was played. Watch it again, that's some good acting there). 

As a question - I wonder how they will tie this movie with the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series? (Which I am enjoying BTW).

Overall this is another great Marvel movie. Neither of us caught any Easter eggs this time. I am sure they were there but we did not notice it. 

Oh - and stay for the credits...All. The. Way. Just sayin'....

+Ralph Uy, +Henry A. Otero,
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Coffee!
In much need of coffee today. How much? I am in so much need that I left the house forgetting to bring my coffee thermos...why? Because I am sleepy and need coffee...oh how quickly the wheel of samsara turns!

In lieu of coffee (I refuse to drink the junk in the office) I have tea and look at charts about coffee...and get to giggle at the word "compendious" - mostly because I am a giggler when tired, finding most things amusing. But the other part of it that charts are cool.

As a plus I had no idea there were this many ways of making coffee...I mean isn't it just "boil water, stir in beans"? 
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Oooh geeky enough for you +Søren Siim Nielsen

Great stuff - I have driven by the Naval Observatory many times, one time I should stop and check out the time...hah!
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Procrastinate by 50ms
Take your time...don't rush to read the article :)

tl;dr: delaying by a split second leads to better decision making. 

QUOTE: "Postponing the onset of the decision process by as little as 50 to 100 milliseconds enables the brain to focus attention on the most relevant information and block out irrelevant distractors," 
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I count to 10 in 5 ms gaps.
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Have them in circles
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http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/where-ataris-e-t-ranks-among-video-game-flops/

Any flops you played? I thought I remembered Psychonauts being well received?
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I wasn't born yet so I can't really comment on Pac-Man and ET. I do remember seeing a documentary mentioning the ET game being total garbage though.

The other games on the list seem to have their fans, but they're not many. I know Shenmue fans are very vocal about getting a squeal, but a game that size would probably cost too much to make and it wouldn't sell that well. I don't think they would even do it justice if they made it a smaller indie game either so it's basically screwed.

I believe Beyond Good and Evil is getting a squeal soon or it might have gotten cancelled. I know they showed a trailer a while ago, but I'm sure a bunch of corporate suits didn't like it. I'm sure they think it has to have big boobs, guns, swords, and some unnecessary online mode that can be monetized. 

Psychonauts had Tim Schafer and Double Fine making it so there was a lot of hype. I think this one fell victim to coming out in the wrong time period. If it would have came out a few years earlier it probably would have sold better. Lots of big games came out that year and I think it came out during the WW2 shooter craze.

I also see a lot of these companies throw new IP's out to die all the time. How are you going to invest money into a new IP and not market the game? There are some great games that come out, but have zero marketing and then they wonder why only hardcore fan boys/girls who read forums buy it.

Okami was a fun game, but Capcom is terrible at marketing new IP's like I mentioned above. You know they don't give a crap when they use a image from a gaming site to make the cover and forget to take out the water mark.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2008/04/gam_okamiignwatermark2.jpg
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hahaha This is pretty much exactly how it goes these days. 
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Drinking
When and where i grew up there were no laws about drinking and driving. Later I lived in places with zero tolerance. Of course alcohol impairs performance - why else drink?

But I do get a little miffed with the Puritanical attitude around here that has zero social tolerance for a drink at lunch. I just don't get it. I do know of companies where if you are seen (and snitched on) drinking during regular business hours you can be fired. 

On the clock means abstinence. Why? Oh well, don't care. 

But the little calculator below is kinda handy....
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Two species
The link might appeal to the musings of +T. Pascal et al.

There is a scene from the Hitchhiker's where Dent learns to speak "bird" - it turns out that is a terrible mistake: "He learned to communicate with birds and discovered that their conversation was fantastically boring. It was all to do with wind speed, wingspans, power-to-weight ratios and a fair bit about berries. Unfortunately, he discovered, once you have learned birdspeak you quickly come to realize that the air is full of it the whole time, just inane bird chatter. There is no getting away from it."

For those of you awake on Monday morning, and hoping to shock your brain back into Sunday afternoon, you could always spend your time wioth Nagel trying to think like a bat: http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/ahyvarin/teaching/niseminar4/Nagel_WhatIsItLikeToBeABat.pdf
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I like the ending. Most of the middle is a bit of the sappy "Winnie the Pooh" style that I reject of Taoism.
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Sharing
I think this is a good article so I am sharing here...not sure, thogh, because I have not read it. So if you read it let me know - and share with your friends 'k?

QUOTE: "A widespread assumption is that the more content is liked or shared, the more engaging it must be, the more willing people are to devote their attention to it. However, the data doesn't back that up. We looked at 10,000 socially-shared articles and found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content."
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haha
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Introduction
“There is no one today who does not see the uselessness and injustice of collecting taxes from the toiling masses to enrich idle officials; or the senselessness of inflicting punishments on weak or depraved persons in the shape of transportation from one place to another, or of imprisonment in a fortress where, living in security and indolence, they only become weaker and more depraved; or the worse than useless and injustice, the positive insanity and barbarity of preparations for war and of wars, causing devastation and ruin, and having no kind of justification.” (Leo Tolstoy)
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I am a compulsive Epicurean (not a hedonist). I have not felt, loved, and played enough, nor experienced enough saudades. I have not answered all my emails from friends and family, and might not be able to. I am looking forward to telling my grandchildren all the stories my grandparents told me about their grandparents.