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    Australia, where "Left" is Centre

    I filled out ABC's Vote Compass to see where I sit on the political spectrum. No surprises for me, personally, but I was somewhat surprised to see where the major parties were placed on the grid: https://votecompass.abc.net.au/ I agree with the position of the parties in the chart. The ALP...
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    DIY Automation

    For years I've wanted to dive into building little devices with Arduino, but I've never gotten around to it. In the meantime, however, I've done a few IT projects that have automated various things. Moving ones and zeroes around is not nearly as cool when you aren't using them to move a robot...
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    The Design of Everything

    A couple of years ago I was gifted some books from my wishlist, recommended by Jeff Atwood, one of the guys who made Stack Overflow, a very effective Q&A website for programmers. At the time, I wanted to learn more about how to make good user interfaces for apps, but the books turned out to be...
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    The religious right wing, in a nutshell

    Nutshell? Sorry, I meant gangbang. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/hungarian-mep-resigns-breaking-covid-rules-gay-orgy-brussels-2020-12?r=US&IR=T
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    Heritability vs Heredity

    Wiki article if you need a primer (or need to get to sleep in a hurry): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability I suspect it's common for people to conflate heritability and heredity (inheritance). Heredity is the passing on of traits via genes. (This is the easy one that everyone...
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    Natural Harmony of Interests

    While introducing key concepts of Libertarianism, David Boaz claims that people have a natural harmony of interests: https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/key-concepts-libertarianism Boaz claims that that the market "makes many of us change our plans", but history shows that people...
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    Something Something Entropy

    I'm looking for a name for a phenomenon. Whenever systems are first made/set up, they often start off working well and then slowly settle into a state of decay. e.g. - an office space that starts off clean, tidy and organised but gradually becomes dusty, cluttered and disorganised. - a car...
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    Formula 1 Turbo Engines - The Golden Era [Full Documentary] QFy0ezTOLZs I'm not even an automotive enthusiast yet I find this fascinating.
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    Automation and future human occupations

    http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21700758-will-smarter-machines-cause-mass-unemployment-automation-and-anxiety Which occupations and industries do you predict will grow in the near future in response to the accelerating rate of automation? (Assuming we don't reach the...
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    Are people the best judges of their own interests?

    To paraphrase Chomsky: people vote against their best interests because they don't know what their best interests are, and because society's elites tell people what their interests are via propaganda. Is this an accurate description?
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    Government Coffers

    coffer noun plural noun: coffers 1. a strongbox or small chest for holding valuables. 2. a decorative sunken panel in a ceiling. 3. A popular buzzword among political pundits (in Australia at least) As far as I understand it, money received by the government is effectively annihilated, and...
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    Powerful personal experiences vs. skepticism

    A skeptical observer cannot accept extraordinary claims based only upon anecdotal evidence. Humans are subject to cognitive bias and are therefore unreliable; the skeptic must weigh the probability of the claim being true vs the probably that the claimant has fallen victim to cognitive bias. Of...
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    The Explanatory Impotence of Goddidit

    One often hears some variation of the following argument from theists: 1. Atheists cannot explain X. 2. My religion says that God did X, therefore my religion is better at explaining the universe than science. 3. Therefore my religion is true. (where X is some natural phenomenon). The...
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    Earth Temperature Timeline

    A Timeline of Earth's average Temperature Since the Last Ice Age Glaciation http://xkcd.com/1732 This does an excellent job of putting the climate change into context, particularly the correlation between unusually-rapid climate change and industrialisation.
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    Natural Harmony of Interests

    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/key-concepts-libertarianism Is this true? If so, then how are existing conflicts of interest caused by the government, as Boaz claims? If not, then what are some existing conflicts that inevitably exist regardless of the influence of government?
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    Tax reform and other debacles in Australian politics

    Since their election in 2013, the Liberal Party of Australia has abolished two taxes: 1. The Mineral Resource Rent Tax, colloquially known as the Mining tax. This was a Georgist tax, based on the principle that miners should pay for the value of the non-renewable resources that they are taking...
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    Terror Threat Warning System

    The Australian government has recently released a new terror alert system: The US used to use the quasi-military HSAS system, which was a blatant attempt to scare the shit out of people after 9-11. Governments, especially conservative governments, rely heavily on fearmongering to gain...
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    Good Countries

    An Introduction to the concept of 'good' country as Simon Anholt has defined it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X7fZoDs9KU The Good Country Index http://www.goodcountry.org/overall Leaders for individual categories Category Leader Overall Ireland Science and Technology United...
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    What technology will a driverless car need in order to operate on existing roads?

    People drive vehicles on a very wide variety of roads today. Some roads are well-maintained, well-mapped and are relatively easy for cars to handle. Other roads are literally in a war zone and look the part. But people can drive vehicles on all of them. What will it take to allow a vehicle to do...
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