Before I get to the link roundup, I’d like to mention an update I’ve made to an old post. It was about an optical illusion you could make with origami, and now I’ve added nicer diagrams so that you can actually follow along and make it yourself.
IS SONIC 2 ABOUT CAPITALISM??!? (H Bomberguy video) – Ignore the title, this is a retrospective on gaming webcomics, especially the comic Control-Alt-Delete. Hey, I’ve been into webcomics for a long time, I remember when people loved to hate CAD. I think part of the reason was that webcomics were a new medium to most people, and we weren’t used to the fact that of course lots of webcomics are bad, and so what? But the other major reason was that CAD was extremely popular. I think it was easier to treat the author and his fans as having irrationally bad taste, instead of really examining what CAD said about gamer culture at large.
Sunday Sermon: Buddhism Sucks, Too – The treatment of Buddhism by anglophone atheist communities has always been problematic. Buddhism is incredibly diverse, and has had a very long history across a very large part of the world, but atheists tend to flatten it into nothing but a philosophical and peace-loving counterpoint to western religions. Marcus Ranum has the right idea by not even attempting to summarize Buddhism as a whole; instead he discusses how Tibetan Buddhists don’t live up to the image.
I’ve often thought that atheist attitudes towards Buddhism are the consequence of a movement that has systematically left out Asian Americans. Or maybe it’s the other way around?
The Two Cultures, as per C. P. Snow – The “two cultures” refer to scientific intellectuals, and literary intellectuals. The idea comes from an influential lecture by C. P. Snow in 1959 which argued that the two cultures don’t talk enough, and this is a barrier to solving the world’s problems. The problem with this idea isn’t so much that it’s outright wrong, it’s more like a gross oversimplification based on sweeping stereotypes and endless anecdotes. I’m also appalled by the quality of Snow’s anecdotes, such as that famous one saying that knowing the 2nd Law of thermodynamics is as important as reading Shakespeare. Neither of those things is as important as Snow thinks it is.
Metachirality? (video, also see second part) – Vi Hart talks about symmetry transformations, and how these transformations can themselves be symmetrical or asymmetrical. This is covering the same topics that I discuss in my origami symmetry series. I think Vi Hart’s explanation is a bit hard to follow, but you could say the same of my series, no one said this was easy. Fun fact: Vi Hart has published academic papers on origami, this one being an important work on the mathematics of curved creases.
Rewatching To Catch A Predator: Rape Culture Makes Accurate Predictions – Crip Dyke talks about how rapists are seen as monsters, to the extent that it becomes hard to see ordinary humans as rapists. So for instance, predators have trouble seeing that what they are doing is wrong, because there’s too much conflict with their self-image as decent human beings. I would add that victims often have the same problem, and that’s why a lot of victims blame themselves at first.
This is America (music video, cn: gun violence) – Well, that image is going to stick with me.