Polarity, Jordan Peterson, Genocide, Rationalism, Apple Watch

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The Magnetic Poles May Flip

Alanna Mitchell | Undark | 26th January 2018

Magnetic North is an accident of our times. It could as well be South. “The poles have changed places hundreds of times, most recently 780,000 years ago. Sometimes, the poles try to reverse positions but then snap back into place, in what is called an excursion. The last time was about 40,000 years ago. We also know that when they flip next time, the consequences for the electrical infrastructure that runs modern civilization will be dire. The question is when that will happen” (1,270 words)

An Interview with Jordan Peterson

Andrew Kelman | Quilette | 27th January 2018

Interesting, if contentious, throughout. Direct on human values, shifty on religious values. Still, worth reading to observe an intelligent mind attempt a convergence between reasonable conservative opinion and unreasonable alt-right prejudice. “It isn’t only that you have freedom of speech. There is a responsibility that goes along with that, to speak truthfully. And so there is a deep idea in the West that spoken truth shapes the world in such a manner that that shaping is good” (7,200 words)

Mass Murder Is an Intimate Affair

Jackie Mansky | Smithsonian | 26th January 2018

When genocide happens, it happens among people who were previously neighbours, and neighbours who got on reasonably well, at least until they were turned against one another. “We tend to talk about genocide as something that calls for dehumanization. We think of it as a process where you have to detach yourself from the victims, to distance yourself from them as much as you can, and to create a system of detachment. The reality of mass murder is far more intimate” (1,500 words)

A Less Wrong Crypto Autopsy

Scott Alexander | Less Wrong | 28th January 2018

Does it pay off to be a rationalist? It could do, in a cash sense, but you have to put your money where your mind is. In 2010-2011 Less Wrong voices advised buying ten bitcoins for $10, on the grounds that they would eventually be worth nothing or $100,000. Excellent advice, but few admit to having followed it. “The problem wasn’t that we failed at the epistemic task of identifying it as an opportunity. The problem was that not too many people converted that into action” (1,150 words)

Apple Watch As Bridge To The Future

Neil Cybart | Above Avalon | 23rd January 2018

“Something has changed inside Apple stores. On a recent trip it was difficult to get up close to the Apple Watch tables. People were looking at and buying various models. It brought back memories of the early hoopla trying out iPad for the first time. Two years ago, the lack of crowds around the Apple Watch tables led people to wonder if the Apple Watch was a misfire. Yet Apple Watch likely outsold Amazon Echo during the holidays despite Apple Watch selling for nearly 10x more money” (2,100 words)

Video of the day Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

What to expect:

Doesn’t get moving until six minutes in, but for the next 27 minutes it will break your heart (33’54”)

Thought for the day

We are never so generous as when giving advice
François de La Rochefoucauld

Podcast of the day Music And The Brain | BBC Radio 3

Psychologist Adam Ockelford tries to explain why everybody likes music, and how music work on the brain

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