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Heiko Ludwig
Gay sysadmin, humanist, geek, roleplayer, gamer
Gay sysadmin, humanist, geek, roleplayer, gamer

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Some Lego Bricks were hurt in the making of this video

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Thank you, +David Cameron Staples, for sharing and commenting on this article. 
"It also lacks the thing that makes fidget spinners so satisfying: Heft. As I was walking to the office today I saw a guy playing with one and asked him about it a little. It was his co-worker's, he was waiting around on a job and he finds it pretty fun as an idle distraction. He told me, "It saves my boredom." He then let me take it for a whirl (I'm sorry) and well, it isn't the act of spinning it that makes it feel good, it's that it has a solid weight in your hand. As you flick it, the outer ring glides against the bearings. It's soothing. It's something to do without doing anything. While spinners get a lot of flack for being a glorified toy or more proof that millennials don't have an attention span or whatever, tooling around with one of those things sure beats what I normally do when I feel fidgety: Tear the shit out of my cuticles and reflect on my most embarrassing memories."
(My bolding.)

Gita gets it. The authors of the app very clearly do not.

Also: I would like to remind the world that fidget spinners were originally designed for autists and people with AD(H)D. They're not meant to have a point beyond being soothing: the weight and the feeling of angular momentum humming away is the point of them. And in the place of the final sentence of that quote, try "... when I feel fidgety: be distracted by every sound and movement around me so that at best I can't concentrate and at worst I'm fighting off a meltdown or panic attack, or else reflect obsessively on my most embarrassing memories until I'm contemplating self-harm over something I did when I was eight."

Gamifying fidget spinners is the latest ne plus ultra of "put down the keyboard and get out in the sunshine before you do something even more stupid."

You know what's especially awesome about the fidget spinner craze, while I'm on the subject? It's that people like me can actually get our hands on these devices – which were, remember, designed for our benefit – just in time for them to be banned everywhere because some (bored, neurotypical) kid threw one at another kid and hit him in the eye that one time. It's that perfect edge case between something being normal enough to be available, and pathological enough to be a moral panic. Get one in the momentary overlap!

See also this piece about ableism and the pathologising of autistic traits:

"This is important. Really important, so read this next sentence twice: Something that was considered entirely pathological and in dire need of correction when done by disabled people is now perfectly acceptable because it is being done by non-disabled people. This should make you stop and think, especially if you are someone who works with, educates, or researches people with diagnoses like autism."
(Bolding in the original.)

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Shane decided to train a neural network to generate new paint colors, complete with appropriate names. The results are possibly the greatest work of artificial intelligence I've seen to date.

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Ask a neural net to name D&D spells and you get Wrathful Hound, Barking Sphere, and… Farming: 

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There's hope still for +Google+! Looks like we're being heard. Here's what Google's engineering manager for G+ +Leo Deegan had to say here

Specifically, he says they're hearing us loud and clear regarding spam, and it's a #1 issue that they need to get on top of.

G+ not dead yet.
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