Interesting Stuff 07/11/2017

Judge Alex Kozinski’s Dissenting Opinion (line 569): “All too many of the other great tragedies of history— Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few—were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. See Kleinfeld Dissent at 5997-99. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.


The consolidation of the internet:

Referral source of traffic to top web publishers


Game theory as a dark art: “Your garden-variety evils act against your values. Your better class of evil, like Voldemort and the folk-tale version of Satan, use your greed to trick you into acting against your own values, then grab away the promised reward at the last moment. But even demons and dark wizards can only do this once or twice before most victims wise up and decide that taking their advice is a bad idea. Game theory can force you to betray your deepest principles for no lasting benefit again and again, and still leave you convinced that your behavior was rational.”


Wait but Why’s on the presidential debate:

Clinton: I’ll let Michelle Obama do the talking here. She said, “When someone talks about that time when your husband held a Taco Bell employee down by the neck in the restaurant’s utilities closet and had intercourse with her, you go high.” Also, you insulted a Muslim war hero’s parents and said a Latino judge was inherently biased and mocked a disabled reporter and said Obama was foreign.

Trump: The first three, sure. But you’re the one who said Obama was foreign. Also, Michelle Obama has openly said you’re the worst ever. Also, you cheated to beat Bernie Sanders. Also, you deleted 33,000 emails you sneaky fuck. And when I’m Führer, I’m hiring a special prosecutor to come after you.”


On the advent of eugenics. The timelines are unjustifiably optimistic. Still worth reading.

“A report from Germany in 2014, for instance, found it was possible to distinguish fairly accurately, from a polygenic DNA score alone, between a person with type 1 diabetes and a person without it. While the scores aren’t perfectly accurate, consider how they might influence a prospective parent. On average, children of a man with type 1 diabetes have a one in 17 chance of developing the ailment. Picking the best of several embryos made in an IVF clinic, even with an error-prone predictor, could lower the odds.”


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