n+1: Austin At Large
Cass Sunstein: How Do We Know What’s Moral?
On the trolley problem and exotic ethics thought experiments.
Maciej Cegłowski: Our Comrade The Electron
“Here is a video of a cat playing the theremin. You see the instrument has a vertical antenna that controls pitch. As the cat moves its paws closer to the antenna, or bites it, the sound gets higher. There’s also a horizontal coil, which the cat has elected not to use, that controls volume.”
Ada Palmer: How History Can Be Used in Fiction: <i>The Borgias</i> vs. <i>Borgia: Faith and Fear</i>
“Why are you sighing?” one asked, noticing that I’d laid back and deflated rather gloomily. I answered: “She’s not of sufficiently high social status to have domesticated rabbits in Northern Europe in that century. But I guess it’s not fair to press a point since the research on that hasn’t been published yet.” [via]
The great Medieval water myth
“The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: <em>it’s not true.</em>” [via]
Ubu Roulette
Wikipedia: Ship’s cat
NYT: Can You Live on the Minimum Wage?
I’ve tried, and the answer is no.
NYT: Spain, Land of 10 P.M. Dinners, Asks if It’s Time to Reset Clock
The world should change its schedule, not Spain.
Online Coins of the Roman Empire
The MONIAC Computer
“The MONIAC was approximately 2 m high, 1.2 m wide and almost 1 m deep, and consisted of a series of transparent plastic tanks and pipes which were fastened to a wooden board. Each tank represented some aspect of the UK national economy and the flow of money around the economy was illustrated by coloured water.” [via]
A few lines about the lines around Austin
“Go down the street and try something else.”
LARB: Atmosphere for Lovers and Thieves: Leos Carax’s “Mauvais sang”
“I don’t advocate accepting any gibberish from artists because we assume they are deeper than we are, but too much time has been expended wondering what Carax’s films mean.”
Jacobin: In the Name of Love
“By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL [Do What You Love] distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obligations to all who labor, whether or not they love it. It is the secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.”
The New Inquiry: Dead and Going to Die
“When I came upon the image of Powell above in a series of recently colorized Civil War photographs, I was immediately captivated by its apparent modernity.”

These links are also cross-posted to, along with a number of nerdy links not of general interest.

see also