Everything everybody else has said resonates with me as well, but there's one thing nobody has really hit on yet, so I'll talk about that.

While I have no visual imagination, I have a fairly rich auditory one. While thinking up an example, the McDonalds jingle that goes " ba da bop ba baaaa, I'm loving it" played in my head. I can recall it at will, and pitch shift it as I want. I make no claim of having perfect pitch, but I do have decent relative pitch. 

My internal voice has internally repeated nearly every sentence I have ever read or written, unless I deliberately shut it off. I can recall voices and sounds, and I think it helps me identify accents and languages. This doesn't make me a perfect mimic, but I have yet to mistake an Aussie for a Kiwi , which apparently happens.

Movies definitely affect my reading of books, but I usually don't mind these changes. I'm never going to read Samwise in a voice that isn't Sean Astin's, and that's fine by me. My reading speed is average. And in a good book, I will often stop and reread particularly pleasing prose, which is generally (but not necessarily) alliterative. The pleasing effect can either be in hearing the sounds play out, in my head, or in the way it would feel to say the sounds. So while visual readers may enjoy a book for the color of the roses, I am often doing similarly, by admiring the susurrations of those same roses. This may be related to ASMR in some way.

My Journey to the Dark Side

From hivewired:

Pasek’s Doom is the name for induced internal conflict between hemispheres, named for Maia Pasek, whose death Ziz blames on suicide caused by hemisphere conflict. Supposedly after inducing a hemisphere split and finding out they were good male left brain and neutral female right brain, the right brain despairingly committed suicide and killed them both after being woken up enough to act in the world. 

And I just realized I quoted OP's source. I seriously got lost reading all of this. But It sounds like taking own headspace drama too seriously is about right.

Why has nuclear power been a flop?

And so, it came as a surprise to me to learn recently that such an alternative has been available to us since World War II, but not pursued because it lacked weapons applications.

Victor Stenger, 2012


It feels perverse, to me, that thorium has been an available option since WW2, and was ignored because it was NOT good for making weapons; and now it is cited that embracing thorium increases the risk of nuclear proliferation.


Hey, this was a great write-up! Quite comprehensive, and definitely showcases more of the functionality than I normally use. 

Another useful trick is that you can increment and decrement numbers. In normal mode, making sure your cursor is on the same line and before or on the chosen number, press ctrl a to increase by one, or ctrl x decrease by one. You can combine this with a prefix (just like above with jumping lines), so 56 ctrl a will increase the next number on that line by 56. This is most useful with integers, not so great with decimals.

Edit: formatting.

How much can surgical masks help with wildfire smoke?

Just to put some numbers on this, we can assume that burning wood has plenty of particles in the 0.2-0.3 micron range, which is commonly regarded as "the most penetrating particle size".

N95 masks meet the standard that they filter out 95% of these particles.

In the following study, the better of the surgical masks that was studied allowed 25% of the 0.3 micron particles through, which matches the 1/5th effectiveness you mentioned.

On p16 of this EPA handout, they absolutely do mention the hand-holding logic of having a false sense of security. But they also address the possibility that the mask can make breathing more difficult, contribute to heat stress, and that these masks:

do not filter out harmful irritant gases, such as acrolein or formaldehyde, or other toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide

They also specifically state:

Masks can also be used in conjunction with other methods of exposure reduction, including staying indoors, reducing activity, and using HEPA air cleaners to reduce overall smoke exposure.

So I think the serious answers to your final questions are: it would help by 25%, I sure as hell would, and maybe?

In Defense of Politics

Just about a year ago, Assange was arrested, and is no longer at the embassy.

Jesus Made Me Rational (An Introduction)

In case you care about editing/publishing, a couple spelling corrections:

"If the universe was, **at** this person claimed, made by rationality", probably should be "as".

"Thomas Acquinas" should be "Aquinas".

Now for an actual comment: how unshakeable are we talking here? Are you saying that you don't believe there is any amount of evidence that can sway you? Or just that you are extremely confident in the truth claims of your religious belief, and wish to test that confidence with a vigorous battery of discussion?

Act of Charity

Just a few possibilities (These are U.S. examples, because that's what I know):

  • Throwing away mail from a previous tenant - Fines up to $250,000 and 5 years in prison. (
  • Jaywalking - Municipal rules vary, but not hard to enforce if a cop sees you doing it.
  • Did you ever possess a marker while under the age of 18? Hopefully you were not in Oklahoma (
  • Driving too fast or slow - Rules seem to vary, as does enforcement, but both of these can get you pulled over.
  • Illegal sex practices - Unless you are married and doing it missionary-style with intent to make babies, it is possible you are violating a sodomy law, or perhaps an obscenity statute. These are obviously difficult to enforce if you care about privacy.
  • Until fairly recently, all public performances of the Happy Birthday song violated copyright.
  • File sharing has gotten many people in trouble, over the years.
  • Taking a Rx medication that was not specifically provided for you.
  • Gambling of any kind has been banned, though there have been exceptions over the years.
  • Public urination.
  • Logging into a wifi network without explicit permission - Federal ( and State laws ( apply to this one.
  • That Federal law, by the way, is vague enough to get you in trouble for making a facebook page placeholder for you boss (though there's more to it than just that, this is the law he ended up pleading guilty for violating.

Even if you have never personally violated any of those, "not doing anything wrong" is no defense against a motivated law enforcement official. The sheer volume of statutes, laws, and precedents basically puts all citizens in the position that they are probably violating SOME law all the time. There's a not-very-good book with the title Three Felonies A Day that tried to argue the title as the thesis, but really ended up as a case study for examples like that Shkreli guy. The only real defense seems to be don't stick out.

The Art of the Overbet

Fact check: it appears it was Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, who gambled $5000, won $27,000, and paid the fuel bill. Wiki pointed to this Huffpo article:

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