Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing!


  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please use the comment trees, which I was apparently too dumb to do.
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42 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:41 PM

Wrote down the synopsis of my science fantasy novel-in-progress.

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown, the guy who discovered Eris. He's a very good popular science writer, and I really hope he writes more and regularly. It's amazing the skulduggery that can happen even in a hard science when it's humans doing it.

It's also a useful life lesson in the value of hard bloody work: do you know how he discovered Eris, Sedna, Makemake and Haumea? Not one but two surveys of large percentages of the sky, over two years (the first time) and four months (the second time). It's quite hard work looking somewhere no-one's looked before or to that depth.

I would like non-spoiler recommendations on The Hunger Games. A number of my friends liked them, but are they worth taking the time to read?

Discuss the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick,

Other Media Thread

Music: I've been getting into The Flaming Lips. Neo-psychedelia and experimental rock spanning several genres with unorthodox methods and lyrics.

Futurity is a musical by the Lisps, the band that made the song Singularity. It's about a civil war era attempt at FAI.

is a musical by the Lisps, the band that made the song "Singularity." It's about a civil war era attempt at FAI.

The link syntax there is broken. It should be:

[Futurity]( not [Futurity](

Usually we wouldn't be able to tell a link was supposed to be there at all. This time I could see it in the snippet shown in the recent comments sidebar.

Thanks. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to try doing this on my phone. It's been a pretty miserable experience.

Someone linked this somewhere on Lesswrong but I don't think it was in a Media Thread. Anyway I really liked it and it's pretty closely tied to the rationalist/skeptic idea cluster.

I saw this one on Lesswrong as well, in a comment about Hpmor!Snape. It isn't as relevant but it's about half as long and pretty funny.

This Binary Universe is a really nice electronic album. The title of this particular track sounds vaguely transhumanist to me, though I don't know how intentional that was.

I could be churlish and file creationism under "fiction", but I've been reading a metric shitload of the stuff to work on this article for RationalWiki. Which should achieve "cover" status tomorrow. Holy crap this stuff is even more insane than you thought. Did you know the Kuiper Belt is actually "the waters above" from Genesis 1:6-8? GOD SAID SO. The rest of the stuff linked from the left side of the RW page is its equal in quality.

No, still exactly as insane as I thought. (Raised YEC.)

When I came out as an atheist to my dad, he started picking up a bunch of creationist material so he could educate himself enough to argue with me. I dug through a few of the books. A quote from Marvin Lubenow was so insane I had to record it for posterity. He suggests that the death penalty is a fitting punishment for anyone who teaches evolution. It's hard to top that.

Hey, what did you think of the RW article? I was most cheered that commenters on Jerry Coyne's post about the article said that it would actually have helped them. Which is quite a good motivation to spend a week of my holiday working on it. If you can put yourself back into your way of thinking back then: how do you think you would have reacted? Would any of the responses just stopped you reading? It's consciously written for a target audience of people who've been miseducated but who will think if you lead them to ideas.

I just finished it. It's very thorough while still relatively brief. Really good.

As best as I can recall the YEC mindset, when I saw "X theory can explain Y" I read it as "they are excusing Y." But of course you can't do anything other than provide current scientific consensus on debated questions, so there's not much you can do there.

I know you have no control over the order of the list, but it's unfortunate that so many "X could be young therefore the earth could be young!" arguments are at the beginning. The standard response, that "could be" doesn't mean "is," will be brushed off by some YECs. They think along the lines, "You can't prove it's old for certain; therefore it's possible it's young; therefore I am willing to believe it's young." I think the analysis at the end about affirming the consequent should be moved to the top. That might keep a few more people reading when they get to those arguments.

The most convincing rebuttals are the ones point out demonstrably false claims, and these should be hammered home for all they're worth. The more often they show up, the more likely YEC readers are to think creationist authors are actively lying or terrible researchers than occasionally mistaken. That is, you want to trade their perception of creationists with their perception of scientists. For instance, on the question of how old major mountain ranges are, I would also throw in the age of the rockies, the himalayans, and the alps, all indisputably "major" and all of which are dated (at least in origin if not when they finished forming) much older than 5 million years.

That's all I've got. I don't know enough about most of the subjects discussed to offer any other advice.

That's absolutely fantastic and very helpful. (I'll just go do the mountains one now.) Thank you!

The greatest slam dunks, IMO, are the human history ones. CMI, AiG and ICR all accept the Ussher chronology, which has the Great Flood happening after the Great Pyramid was built and after the first Chinese emperor. But they had to put that stuff last in the list.

Yesterday was the season 2 premier of Game of Thrones on HBO, which I am a fan of (obviously..). If you haven't checked out the show or books, I highly recommend. The board game is also pretty great. (Diplomacy x Risk modulo dice).

Some new characters- Melisandre seemed more scheming than in the books. I had imagined her as more of a "True Believer" (tm). Davos Seaworth was underwhelming, but that may just be because he didn't have much of a role this ep.

I really liked the scene transitions, and not just in the way they used the comet as a unifier. The transitions also seemed to me like a play of opposites to highlight the extremes: Going from Dany in the barren heat, to Jon in the freezing snow, and going from a touching scene with Robb and his mother, straight to a confrontational scene between Joffrey and his mother really highlighted the differences.

Watched it earlier today. I thought it was a weaker episode, mostly thanks to lack of focus -- no single character got enough time in the spotlight to build much dramatic tension, which left half the characters with scenes obviously designed as setpieces and no follow-through. Fairly heavy on exposition, too. The pilot had similar problems, if I remember right; I'm starting to think that the series would be better off starting each season with a two-hour entry.

I'm looking forward to seeing what they've done with Asha aka Yara, though. Watching her play with Theon's head like a cat torturing a gopher was one of the highlights of the second book.

great show, having never read the books I think the storyline seems well thought out enough to learn from

I haven't noticed the other threads of this kind. Do we have any horror fans around here? Most movies I watch are random terrible horror films on Netflix. I go into them looking for a laugh. Very rarely, the movie is good. So I recommend The Shrine; if you go in with sufficiently low expectations it might surprise you. (If this recommendation pushes your expectations too high and you're disappointed, I apologize.) It also helps if you don't speak Polish, as apparently the actors pretending to be Polish are quite terrible and what they're saying is frequently gibberish. I couldn't tell.

Excellent horror movie about technology-induced psychosis: The Signal.

Anime & Manga Thread

Can someone explain why the thread is being downvoted? Past threads have consistently gotten 30-40 comments, and polls were pretty unanimous that we wanted to do this every month. I was surprised at that result, but it is what it is.

I've seen some unexpected (based on the last year or so of reading here) manifestations of apparent groupthink in LW voting in the last few months. Someone with access to server logs might want to check for sockpuppet voting patterns.

I suggest that "Non-Fiction Books" and "Fiction Books" be given each their own individual subthreads directly under each month's thread (in short that you needn't have a "Books" parent comment connecting the two). There's no need for them to share a parent. It makes the comments look a tiny bit more cluttered than they need to be.

This is a good point. I'll try to remember to do this next month.

people should feel comfortable posting their personal opinion without fearing a karma backlash

People shouldn't be downvoted for the fact that they like something and recommend it in this thread, but that doesn't argue for suspending any other downvoting reasons.

Well that's why it says avoid not "don't". :-P

Seriously though, what do you think better wording would be?


"Please avoid downvoting; this is a thread for sharing subjective experiences, and people should feel comfortable posting their personal opinion without fearing a karma backlash. If you disagree with a person's recommendation, please post a comment to that effect."

Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.

Edited. Thanks.

It's worth noting media is consumed in different modes. I am constantly watching BSG or buffy or stargate as I'm coding because there are these alternating phases of concentration and boring repetition so it's nice to have something I can glance at and appreciate something from. This is very different from watching for entertainment like game of thrones or justified.

Where should I put hard-to-define web 2.0 stuff? For example suggestion driven, reader-input-driven webcomics, or collaborative writing games.


Pretty sure Homestuck has gotten threads all to itself in the past. (Not that this helps, if that's not what you were talking about.)

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I'd say put it in "Other Media" with an explanation of the medium.