Nornagest

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Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger)

I think conflating literalism and fundamentalism here is probably a bad idea. I am not an expert in the early history of the Abrahamic religions, but it seems likely that textual literalism's gone in and out of style over the several thousand years of Abrahamic history, just as many other aspects of interpretation have.

Fundamentalism is a different story. There have been several movements purporting to return to the fundamentals of religion, but in current use the word generally refers only to the most recent crop of movements, which share certain characteristics because they share a common origin: they are reactions against modernity and against the emerging universal culture. It stands to reason that these characteristics would be new (at least in this form), because prior to them there was no modernity or universal culture to react against.

Dunbar's Function

While it's true that BMI is a rough metric and gets rougher when you're dealing with unusual proportions or body compositions, those effects are often exaggerated. An athletic male of 6 feet 6 inches (99.8th percentile) and 210 pounds, which is about what you'd find in your average pro basketball player, would score as normal weight.

Open Thread April 11 - April 17, 2016

It's hard to get players to use specific speech patterns, and harder to teach them to get it right. I've worked on a game which tried to get players to use pseudo-Elizabethan prose (in a particularly ham-handed way, granted), but in practice what happened was the people who didn't care just used natural speech, and the people that did used whatever butchered old-timey dialect they thought would be appropriate for their character. Most people didn't care.

Open Thread March 28 - April 3 , 2016

I'm a One Medical member. The single biggest draw for me is that you can get appointments the same or next day with little or no waiting time -- where my old primary care doctor was usually booked solid for two weeks or more, by which point I'd either have naturally gotten over whatever I wanted to see him for, or have been driven to an expensive urgent care clinic full of other sick people.

They don't bother with the traditional kabuki dance where a nurse ushers you in and takes your vitals and then you wait around for fifteen minutes before the actual doctor shows, either -- you see a doctor immediately about whatever you came in for, and you're usually in and out in twenty minutes. It's so much better of a workflow that I'm astonished it hasn't been more widely adopted.

That said, they don't play particularly nice with my current insurance, so do your homework.

March 2016 Media Thread

That was pretty good.

I don't really follow the Narnia fandom, but whenever I run into it I'm usually impressed by its quality. Especially considering that the movies behind it (it seems primarily to be a movie fandom, though everyone's read the books) were second-rate as popularity goes and not particularly deep or creative.

Attention! Financial scam targeting Less Wrong users

Let's not break our arms patting ourselves on the back, at least not until the data's in. At the moment we could be more, less, or equally susceptible to scamming than our demographics generally are.

It'd be interesting to see which, though.

Open Thread Feb 22 - Feb 28, 2016

For almost all subjects X, an X festival is an excuse to drink beer, hang out, and do silly X-themed stuff.

This should not be taken to mean that it has nothing to do with X, or that it adds no value toward it. What you're really getting out of it is an opportunity to meet other people who're into the subject, or at least well-disposed enough to show up to a festival advertised as such.

Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues?

Probably contrarianism talking -- both here and on RationalWiki, actually. I wouldn't take it too seriously.

Open Thread, Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2016

My guess would be that there are a lot of truck drivers and it's a very male-leaning job, so I'd expect to see it paired up with a lot of female-leaning jobs of about the same class.

Upcoming LW Changes

I'm not saying we should do away with rules. I'm saying that there needs to be leeway to handle cases outside of the (specific) rules, with more teeth behind it than "don't do it again".

Rules are helpful. A ruleset outlines what you're concerned with, and a good one nudges users toward behaving in prosocial ways. But the thing to remember is that rules, in a blog or forum context, are there to keep honest people honest. They'll never be able to deal with serious malice on their own, not without spending far more effort on writing and adjudicating them than you'll ever be able to spend, and in the worst cases they can even be used against you.

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