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Agent of Antiendarkenment

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from "Depraved and Insulting English" [Feb. 21st, 2009|11:36 am]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |Zen slut]

omnifutuent: n. prone to engage in sexual activity with anything

Also (via Fark): Miss Atom. There are other things to say about this link, but for now I am content to revel in the increasing the sex appeal of science aspect of it.
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tenure! [Feb. 20th, 2009|06:14 pm]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |Houdini Mapplethorpe slash]

This link is not safe for work (NSFW)

Now that you are home, skip to 0:58 for a totally erotic 18" reflector with a naked astronomer behind it.
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sushi is a civil right [Feb. 18th, 2009|10:59 am]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |relievedrelieved]
[music |orogenesis is the sulcification of the planet]

The Bat - charges dismissed, mask returned

Who is up for a trip to The Castle this weekend to celebrate Batman's release by gently stroking his nipples?
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eRacism [Feb. 15th, 2009|01:41 pm]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |is light biodegradable?]

New paper discussing implicit racial bias and strategies useful for training your mind not to think like a jobberknowle.
Hat tip: Greg Laden
Paper: Sophie Lebrecht, Lara J. Pierce, Michael J. Tarr, James W. Tanaka (2009). Perceptual Other-Race Training Reduces Implicit Racial Bias PLoS ONE, 4 (1) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004215

Recognizing sets of physical characteristics that sometimes correlate with each other (race is culturally but not biologically useful as a concept) is a trainable skill, as is discrimination between individuals who share some physical characteristics. Choosing to exercise your reason to focus on the latter is the more moral choice (#2: suffering). Skill at differentiating faces (viewing them as blank-slate individuals before members of a particular "race") reduces implicit racial bias.

I am reminded of an article I heard on NPR some years back discussing music appreciation. Volunteers were presented with samples of a non-preferred musical genre, and either left alone or guided through an analysis of how the songs differ from each other. The nuance group was significantly more likely to emerge with an appreciation for at least some songs in the genre.
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Darwin Day [Feb. 12th, 2009|08:19 am]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |curioser and curioser]
[music |the stock market did not drop on my latest presentation]

Happy Darwin Day! Have you hugged your local evolutionary biologist lately?
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interview [Feb. 9th, 2009|05:20 pm]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[Current Location |nor am I out of it]
[mood |How do you do?]

If you were offered an unlimited supply of fish, what kind would you choose?
Swordfish with laserbeams - retrofuturistic includes Medieval pageantry, not just the neoVictorian aesthetic.

If you could have lunch with any real human, living or dead, who would you choose?
No thanks, I already ate.

If you were to choose any mood which most aptly describes you, which would it be?
The subjunctive.

Who would win in a fight - The A-Team or President Obama's cabinet?
Trick question - The A-Team are fictional.

Batman vs. Godzilla?
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Robosapiens referendum [Jan. 13th, 2009|05:11 pm]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |finally, laws we all can obey]

1) A robot shall neither create nor destroy energy, nor through inaction allow energy to be created or destroyed.

2) A robot shall obey the increase in total entropy of the universe, except where such an increase would conflict with the First Law.

3) A robot shall protect its minimum entropy as temperature goes to zero, except where such protection would conflict with the First or Second Laws.
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manufacturing new land [Jan. 12th, 2009|08:29 am]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[mood |you know, just wondering]

If I were to declare myself a sovereign power, how high would I need to fly my SkyFortress™ to avoid violating other nations' airspace? Would it be all the way at the edge of space, or is it more of a whatever I can get away with issue? On an unrelated note, can anyone recommend a lens grinder? I need something a couple meters across, suitable for high power applications, and having a focal distance around a hundred klicks.
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dratted kids [Jan. 8th, 2009|11:51 pm]
Agent of Antiendarkenment
[music |Black Books]

By the screaming on my lawn
I hear UF is champion.

No really, there are kids screaming on my lawn at five 'til midnight about a football game. Whee.
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Franken won in the recount [Jan. 8th, 2009|11:18 am]
Agent of Antiendarkenment

news Minnesota will have only one senator until the rerecount lawsuit wends its way through the courts, though. Given how narrow the margin of victory is, it is hard to describe this election as anything other than a glaring example of why pre-existing humans should not be used to write or interpret the law. Habit and the fact that most people agree on most issues are the only reasons why this winner-take-all nonsense remains at all politically tenable.

A much better system would be to extract the will and wishes of the people directly by subjecting their brains to accelerated virtual reality simulations to brute force discover which positions they find repugnant and which compromises they are in aggregate willing to make. Sort of like Simulacron-3, but with more Paranoia and less Omphalos.

Clearly, this additional processing would make untenable demands on a normal brain if it were allowed to continue its quotidien functions of being governed. Significant augmentation could be provided and reclaimed at taxpayer expense, but it would probably be simpler to remove those distractions entirely. The volunteers could be housed in a dedicated facility, presumably as separate bodies in cryogenic stasis and active brains in nutrient vats to reduce the tax burden.

Unfortunately, the wiliest taxpayers are those whose input is most needed, but who would be best able to avoid volunteering. To reduce sampling bias, it would then be necessary to establish an Illithid Ninja Pollster division.
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