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Yonatan Zunger
141,940 followers -
Writer and Engineer. I helped build this network, long ago...
Writer and Engineer. I helped build this network, long ago...

141,940 followers
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How do you reintegrate people who have participated in mass violence into society? We don't often think about this, but our past successes, and failures, to do so have defined our world profoundly.

I wrote this as a follow-up to a side comment I made in a tweet thread this morning about ICE's child seizure policy. (https://twitter.com/yonatanzunger/status/1007296192378597382) I decided to dive more deeply into it, because it's something most people don't know much about the history of, and it's important.
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I've got a thread going on over on Twitter about how it's come out that ICE has taken over 7,000 children from their parents this past year — and 1,475 of them are missing and unaccounted for.

In case you're wondering: it's mostly legal, and the aspects which aren't, it's pretty much a guarantee that nobody can be held legally accountable for.

The thread involves some law, some history, and some estimates of what they mean when they talk about the future of this program. It is not full of cheerful good news.
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Roman coin production produced lead pollution - and that left traces in the Greenland ice pack clear enough for us to read out Roman economic history.

This is not the sort of scientific result I ever expected to see from an ice core.

Via +A.V. Flox
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Another wonderful bit of history. (also h/t +Valdis Klētnieks )
Why are so many bridges green?

"Bridges all across the country are painted the same shade of Statue-of-Liberty green. It's a tradition that started right here in Oregon: meet ODOT Green."
...
"And it’s McCullough’s color that reigns supreme today: Technically, the paint is 'federal standard 595 color 24272,' but nobody calls it that. From New Hampshire to Washington and even Canada, uncoated steel structures are painted ODOT Green."
[ODOT = Oregon Dept of Transportation]
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On December 1st, 1941, Pan Am flight 6039 set off from San Francisco, California, to Auckland, New Zealand. It followed a typical route for the day: SFO to LAX, LAX to Honolulu, Honolulu to Kiribati, Kiribati to Fiji, Fiji to New Caledonia, New Caledonia to Auckland, and prepared for its return journey.

Except that just as they departed New Caledonia for the way home, they received a radio message: PEARL HARBOUR ATTACKED. IMPLEMENT PLAN A.

"Plan A" would take them on an unprecedented route, returning home not via Honolulu, but via Australia, Indonesia (then the Dutch East Indies), Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Pakistan (then British India), Bahrain, Sudan, the DRC (then simply the Congo), Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and finally, on January 6th, 1942, by radioing a very surprised tower operator at La Guardia airport, as the first passenger aircraft to ever circumnavigate the globe.

The story is simply amazing — and hair-raising, as it involved the seaplane doing a great many things that it was never, under any circumstances, intended to do.

(For those wondering: The precise outgoing route was SFO-LAX-HNL-CIS-SUV-NOU-AUK. On the way back, they flew from NOU to Gladstone, Queensland; Darwin, NT; a Dutch military base in Surabaya, Dutch East Indies (no IATA code that I can find); Trincomalee, Ceylon; Karachi, British India; Bahrain; Khartoum, Sudan; Leopoldville, Congo; Natal, Brazil; Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and finally New York. (NOU-GLT-DRW-Surabaya-TRR-KHI-BAH-KRT-FIH-NAT-POS-LGA-holy crap)
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On May Day, I would like to argue for a radical proposition: that people, and their work, have value, and this value goes far beyond what people receive in wages.

Today is doubly special for me in this way: it's both International Labor Day, and it's the first birthday of the company I joined nine months ago, Humu, whose purpose is to make work better for people. While I can't yet talk about all of the details of what we do, we can say a bit more today, and that's linked from the post below.
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Some well-placed words.
A Little Message to Young Men Who Identify as "Incel"

Twenty years ago I could have been one of you, only I still had my pride. I certainly wasn't going to plow a fucking van into a bunch of women because I couldn't get laid (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-van/toronto-van-attack-suspect-expected-in-court-on-tuesday-idUSKBN1HV1AY). As such, I'm about to lay some harsh fucking truth on you: if you're truly involuntarily celibate, you deserve it.

It's not that hard to find a willing partner. I'm a fat fucking geek who writes about swashbuckling soprano catgirls, and I managed to find partners. Christ, I've been married for thirteen fucking years. What the hell is your excuse?

Don't want to date? Go to one of Nevada's legal brothels. Go to Amsterdam. Go to Austria. Go to Australia. Go somewhere where adult sex workers can ply their trade without fear of state violence and get your itch scratched by a professional.

Oh, right. It doesn't "count" if you had to pay for it because you can't brag about it to your macho buddies. So don't brag about it. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, remember?

Oh, but you have a moral objection to hiring a sex worker? You're concerned about human trafficking? That's commendable, but what's stopping you from approaching women and talking to them like a functioning human being? You think you're ugly?

Guess what, asshole. You're right. You are ugly. However, it isn't the sort of ugly you can fix at the gym or by seeing a dermatologist or a plastic surgery.

Your kind of ugly comes from within. It ain't your looks; it's your personality, mindset, and beliefs. You've forgotten, or never learned, that women are people and that other people do not exist for your benefit.

This is exactly what people mean when they talk about "rape culture".

You believe that you deserve love and attention from women you find attractive. You aren't willing or able to challenge your shallow, manufactured notions of what makes a woman attractive. Nor are you willing to fix your own flaws and make yourself attractive to the sort of women whose esteem you crave. You certainly aren't willing to broaden your horizons and consider other young men who are as lonely and skin-hungry as yourselves as potential partners, because you're afraid of what Chad will think.

Instead, you wallow in your self-pity with dick in hand, fantasizing about "incel revolutions" and "beta uprisings". Here's the thing. You aren't betas. Betas, in your bullshit imaginary social system, work directly under alphas and do the thankless work of keeping civilization running.

You aren't doing that work. You aren't betas. You aren't even omegas. You're nothing but overgrown children with no experience of true adversity. You probably never learned how to handle rejection because your parents forgot how to say 'no' before they finished doing a half-assed job of toilet-training you.

You haven't accepted that the world doesn't revolve around you. You haven't internalized the reality of the utter irrelevance of your feelings to the rest of the human race. And before one of you shitfountains decide to get cute and say "a cat is fine too," your cat probably doesn't give a damn about your feelings either.

Look at yourselves in a goddamn mirror. You're the author of your own misery, and are doing everything in your power to avoid the truth that you're the only one who can fix your life. Instead, you've been taking "red pills" full of snake oil, reading and listening to the shit the alt-right has been selling you via the "manosphere".

You're too fucking ignorant and naive to realize that these assholes don't give a single little fucking shit about you. To them, you're nothing but a bunch of useful idiots, and you will be discarded the second you cease to be useful -- just like your gay Nazi hero Milo was.

Get off the internet, turn off the video games, go outside, and get some sun. Try talking to other human beings in person. Try learning how to make and keep friends. Learn how to be a decent human being and make a life for yourself where your happiness doesn't depend on whether somebody else is helping you get your rocks off.
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A few months ago, I shared a link to a video which used lighthouses around a lake to prove an interesting fact about the number π. Now there's a follow-up video, proving an even stranger fact about it: the "Wallis product," that

(2/1) * (2/3) * (4/3) * (4/5) * (6/5) * (6/7) * ... = π / 2

Here each even number appears in two successive numerators, and each odd number in two successive denominators.

Unlike the previous video, this video involves them coming up with a brand-new proof — and maybe surprisingly, this proof is easier than the last one. (It does involve more algebra and less geometry, though) In fact, not only is it easier than the last one, but it actually proves an even stronger result: that for any number f between 0 and 1, the product of (k-f)/k for every nonzero integer k is equal to (sin πf)/(πf). The "Wallis product" above is just the special case of that for f=1/2.

(Previous post: https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/DvmX2KhrD2r)
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