Link roundup: September 2021

Fixing Led Zeppelin with Autotune | Adam Neely (video, 17 min) – It’s common to hate on autotune, but at least some of the people who hate it are just thinking of that robotic voice effect, which is not really what autotune is.  This video applies autotuning to some classic songs, so that you can hear what it really sounds like.  The effect is fairly subtle, but you would be justified in complaining that it flattens out some of the expressiveness of the voice.  At the same time, I’m sure some listeners won’t be able to hear the difference at all, and they would be justified in being completely apathetic about it.

There are 48 regular polyhedra | Jan Misali (video, 29 min) – I’m interested in geometric oddities like this, because they’re artistic inspirations.  That said, I feel like he plays pretty fast and loose with the definitions and assumptions here.  Once he starts talking about regular apeirogons (which have infinite number of edges), it’s unclear what exactly distinguishes a regular apeirogon from a non-regular apeirogon.  (Wikipedia’s definition, “a partition of the hyperbolic line H1 (instead of the Euclidean line) into segments of length 2λ” is not too helpful either.)

I’m also wondering what’s to stop you from constructing a “regular polyhedron” consisting of an infinite number of heptagons densely packed into a sphere.  Well, you can’t make origami of it, so there’s that.

You’re Working Too Much & Enjoying Your Free Time Too Little | Skepchick – Look here, Rebecca Watson is confirming something I already want to believe.

I’m one of those people that likes to feel productive, even in leisure, and it’s particularly noticeable in contrast to my husband who doesn’t feel that way at all.  So I pursue all these hobbies that “achieve” something rather than merely pass the time, like blogging or art or activism.  But something we both recognize is that some of the lowest-energy leisure activities, such as scrolling through social media, are some of the least fulfilling.  So even while I try to go easier on myself, and let myself just enjoy my leisure, I don’t want to go so easy on myself that I just look at Facebook all the time (or other similarly unfulfilling activities).

Were the ‘Brights’ really the worst idea? | AHS+ Blog – It’s another take on a subject that I wrote about.  I think it’s a bit too positive on the brights, and well you can read what I said about it.  But I do agree with the comparison to Atheism Plus, which quite honestly suffers from the same problem.  I understand that many people hereabouts liked what Atheism Plus stood for, but I think the name largely worked to its detriment, giving an impression of someone who feels superior.  Of course, there are important differences.  “Bright” generates an impression of arrogance, but that’s not actually what the Brights were advocating.  “Atheism Plus” generates an impression of someone who feels superior, and that impression isn’t entirely accurate but neither is it inaccurate–the point was in fact to say that atheism was better with social justice mixed in.

I had been thinking of writing a retrospective on Atheism Plus, but that sounds hard.  Is that something readers would like to see, even knowing that I would not be able to do it justice?


  1. says

    I don’t think anything useful can be said about A+ anymore and seeing anything else said about it would just annoy me. Indeed, any survivors of that crew who happen across mention of A+ are pretty likely to find it bothersome or even, dast I say it? triggering.

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