Fascist Puppies and the Hugo Awards

If you need to know more about the people who have hijacked the Hugo Awards this year, Philip Sandifer has a backgrounder:

« In an essay entitled “Why Women’s Rights are Wrong,” [Vox Day] came out against women’s suffrage, saying, “The women of America would do well to consider whether their much-cherished gains of the right to vote, work, murder and freely fornicate are worth destroying marriage, children, civilized Western society and little girls.” He has repeatedly reiterated this basic conclusion, which, to be fair, is basically the title of his essay restated. Elsewhere, he spoke favorably of acid attacks on feminists, saying that “a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages.”

Talking about the black science fiction writer NK Jemisin, he proclaimed her to be a “half savage” and claimed that “genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens” while insisting that this didn’t mean that he didn’t think she was human – just, apparently subhuman. »


The story of your life — does it have one?

« In striving to construct a good narrative from our lives, we might end up revising our memories to make better sense of them: ultimately hindering, rather than helping, our self-understanding. We might also end up unnecessarily constrained by our past: if we’re desperately trying to create a good story from our lives, we’re more likely to continue acting in ways that “fit” with our past selves, rather than feeling free to adapt to the current situation. Seeing our lives as a story might actually be constraining our behavior and putting a certain lens on how we see the world. »

I see the world as essentially chaotic. My life has been a sequence of random events. Everything from where I live to the outline of my career has been mostly the result of my reacting to random chance. While I’ve made life plans, they haven’t been narrative plans — rather, they’ve been exercises in hedging bets against various possibilities.

If you have a life story — if you grew up wanting to be an astronaut and actually did it — then that’s great, but I don’t think that’s how the world works most of the time.

Also, as far as invented narratives go, at some point I plan to write a long article about consciousness, which I’ve come to believe is a (frequently false) narrative the brain invents as a way to reason about its own decisions. But that article will take even longer than the article about AI and existential risk, and that didn’t exactly set the Internet aflame, so I may just play video games instead…


Jar’Edo Wens

« Jar’Edo Wens is an Australian aboriginal deity, the god of “physical might” and “earthly knowledge.” He’s been name-dropped in books. Carved into rocks.

And, as of March, conclusively debunked.

There is no such figure, it turns out, in aboriginal mythology; instead, Jar’Edo Wens was a blatant prank, a bald invention, dropped into Wikipedia nine years ago by some unknown and anonymous Australian. By the time editors found Jar’Edo Wens, he had leaked off Wikipedia and onto the wider Internet. »

A Bucketful Of Budgies
Brittney Bush Bollay via Compfight