has been crushed by a buffalo.
In Harry Potter, places like Hogwarts are hidden from unwelcome eyes with a number of protective enchantments. One of these enchantments makes the building unplottable, and so — apparently — incapable of being plotted on a map.
This may seem impossible, and when we think through it carefully we’ll see that it basically is. A coherent notion of unplottability cannot not say anything about what I can and can’t draw on a piece of paper. Witches and wizards might, however, try to stop people from learning the location of Hogwarts from that piece of paper — the information can be encoded, but it may be possible with magic to prevent it from being transmitted.
But ultimately this won’t be enough to prevent us from using maps to find Hogwarts. Unplottability is a scam that doesn’t really work.
I don’t really know why all of a sudden I’m so cut up about @Horse_ebooks not being real. (Yes, in this context a spambot algorithm is real while a person isn’t.) When I first read Dan Sinker’s Eulogy for a horse I thought it was a bit over-dramatic, but then I started talking about the whole affair with other people and their grief seeped into me or something and now I’m actually pretty upset about a spambot account on Twitter turning out to be something other than a spambot.
On September 3, Shanley Kane wrote a fantastic piece on the “predictable litany of false martyrdom, victim-blaming, self-involved demands for ‘education’, endless derailing techniques paraded as ‘logic’, disingenuous bewilderment, unjustifiable confidence, and totally unexamined privilege” experienced by women who write about sexism in tech.
And what did she get in response? Nothing less than a predictable litany of false martyrdom, victim-blaming, self-involved demands for “education”, endless derailing techniques paraded as “logic”, disingenuous bewilderment, unjustifiable confidence, and totally unexamined privilege.
I picked out some of the tweets that, while apparently sincere attempts to disagree with Shanley, most clearly made her point for her.
Last week, Thought Catalog published an essay—ostensibly about a woman’s relationship with her boyfriend—that was full of anti-trans sentiments. A number of excellent replies were written, some also published on Thought Catalog, and we all hoped something had been learned. But today Thought Catalog pushed out an article by Jim Goad that was transphobic, racist, sexist, and pretty much exactly what you’d expect from one of the worst people on the internet.
The kicker is that this is Goad’s sixth piece for Thought Catalog. This is a problem.
Santa Barbara is full of Serious People with Serious Problems. If they aren’t heroically defending the city’s Mediterranean architecture, or battling against City Council’s perpetual War on Cars, they are fretting about the lack of civility shown by today’s youths and marvelling at the impudence of the homeless population’s continued existence.
Santa Barbara Bullshit treats all these concerns with the deadly earnestness they deserve.
Much is made in Harry Potter about “the Trace”, the charm on underage witches and wizards that is used by the Ministry to detect illegal spellwork. The problem is that there is no such thing.
I am delighted to announce the launch of The Daily Nonsense, the only campus publication at UCSB with any moral compass at all. Upon learning of our existence, a group of campus Republicans went back in time and started something called “The Daily Nexus” in an attempt to undermine our credibility. Support the Nonsense and recognize the Nexus for the cabal of hacks they are!
(Please direct all complaints to our social media intern.)
Santa Barbara-based Lucidity Festival has a problem with cultural appropriation. Unfortunately, the organizers don’t seem to have a firm grasp on what ‘cultural appropriation’ means, and so they don’t see what the big deal is or why they should make changes to their festival.
Until Deathly Hallows, we all thought Expelliarmus was just a nifty spell that causes people to drop their wands and sometimes knocks them over (which is why we had all those Tower Truthers saying that Dumbledore wasn’t dead). But then it turns out that it’s totally bonkers. Apparently disarming someone actually transfers their wand’s loyalty to you.
This is totally bonkers because everybody disarms everybody at some point. So to figure out whose wand is whose and what really happened, let’s catalog every instance of disarming ever!
Include two lines in the
<head> of a plain HTML file—the kind produced by pandoc or by most Markdown-to-HTML converters—and gain nifty features like keyboard shortcuts, section folding, and color scheme switching:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://baruffio.com/reading.js/stylesheets/reading.css">
The Berkeley chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is “a group of students, faculty, and community members working together at the University of California, Berkeley, in solidarity with the struggle of the indigenous Palestinian people against apartheid and occupation.”
In July of 2012, I redesigned their website, http://calsjp.org, making it more accessible (especially for mobile devices) and more maintainable.
Codeless Language Modules (CLMs) are plugins for TextWrangler and BBEdit that add syntax highlighting, code folding, and other capabilities for languages not natively supported by these programs.
Fountain is a plain-text syntax for writing screenplays. (The Fountain syntax is similar to that of Markdown, a general-purpose syntax.) Fountain files are designed to be very readable, but they can be easily converted to other formats (like PDF and FDX) using Fountain-compatible applications.
Modern Philosophy is a free textbook created by Walter Ott. It combines public-domain primary sources with supplementary material and study questions. Everything not in the public domain is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
This modified version of the text is written in Markdown. Markdown is a plain-text syntax that allows for easy conversion to other file formats. Using pandoc, Modern Philosophy can be easily converted to HTML, PDF, EPUB, and many other formats.
This version of Modern Philosophy is kept in a public repository on GitHub.
A hip new version of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist thought experiment. Maybe a little more realistic. But probably no more convincing.
A super sad story about Bernard Williams and utilitarianism. The moral is that you really just shouldn’t bother visiting your friend in the hospital.