And now a story definitely not from rationality camp

After nearly a week of Less Wrong retreat updates, I realize some of you may want a palate cleanser. You’re in luck. My friend Tristyn, who blogs at Eschatological Psychosis, has been posting excerpts from her senior essay and soliciting comment. Her thesis was on Father John of Kronstadt, and I enjoyed reading her paper, but I did kind of wish that her whole paper had been on the role of holy fools in the Russian Orthodox once I read this section. And now you, too, can feel my longing.  Reading … [Read more...]

Chatting with Eve Tushnet

I did an interview with Eve Tushnet (a fellow Patheos blogger and a friend from college debate) over at Catholic Lane.  Now that I'm reading it, it's a little embarrassing how many times Eve had to use brackets to translate a gesture or noise I was making into, y'know, words. (Meanwhile, at rationality camp, I was trying to help someone correct an error in a math question by saying "No, no, you need to throw up a [holds up forearms, perfectly parallel and makes a clicking noise] which, shoc … [Read more...]

Markets in Everything!

At Bayes Camp, we aren't just doing estimating exercises in class.  At the beginning of camp, the organizers told us that we could start prediction markets in anything we liked.  A staff member would estimate initial odds that a proposition was true or false, and we could add subsequent predictions.  You gained or lost points proportional to how much your prediction was more accurate than the one right before yours (full explanation at the bottom of the post).The markets started pretty quo … [Read more...]

In which my housemate writes a diss track

My housemate, Alexander, relyricized the union standard "The Ballad of Joe Hill" as a slam on Pepco, the energy company that's leaving us to languish in the dark.  DCist has picked it up, and has put out a call for local bands to submit covers.  The full lyrics are at the link, but there's a preview below.  And I promise to update you if any musicians answer the call. I dreamed I saw Pepco last night Driving down my street. “Thank God!” said I, “Our power’s down.” “It never died,” said he... … [Read more...]

Cheer up! It’s a Dungeons and Discourses inspired musical

I hope you're all already familiar with Dresden Codak's Dungeons and Discourse and Advanced Dungeons and Discourse, which basically make philosophy jokes in a DnD setting.  (These two comics are the source of the above image).It turns out that Scott, the guy whose post I was recommending in "The (Epistemic) Floor is Made of Lava," wrote up a plot and songs for a philosophy based DnD campaign.  It reminds me strongly of The Phantom Tollbooth. That means his players are facing down Ho … [Read more...]

Today’s Big Controversy

All week, I've been looking forward to today, but I was mindful that it might be contentious and provoke rancor among my friends.  But, ultimately, truth is more important than partisanship, so, come what may, I want to wish you all a very happy Tau Day!As you may remember from math class, pi is approximately 3.14159 and, every year, on March 14th, math geeks tend to celebrate.  Pi is what you get when you divide a circle's circumference (the length around the outside) by the diameter ( … [Read more...]

“It is an honour I dream not of”

I have a somewhat lengthy post lined up for tomorrow, so, for today, just an amusing story.  A group of my friends are playing Dungeons and Dragons, and recently fessed up that I feature in the backstory of one of the villainous characters.  One of my friends is playing as a pyromaniac fallen paladin (in DnD, a Paladin is a lawful good character class that are holy knights, consecrated to a particular god in the DnD pantheon).But why is he a fallen paladin?  Well, apparently, my friends used … [Read more...]