Gene recombination and the shame of never having had sex in the back seat of a car: a visual representation

A response to “Reframing the evolutionary benefit of sex”, which explains the evolutionary role of sex as something something E[dx * (1 + dX)] = E[dX] + E[dX²] something something variance! Which I’m sure would have been very interesting and enlightening if I had been paying closer attention. I’ve been thinking of sex quite differently: not in terms of an abstract concept like “variance”, but in terms of concrete ideas like “improvements” and “suckiness”.

I used to be a Christian, and as a software developer I had a novel intuition against evolution that I never heard anyone else express. I…


My Dad won’t get a vaccine because, he says, the vaccine has killed over 3,000 people. He says he knows this because of information on Fox News, the CDC web site and “interviews with doctors”. I asked which show interviewed these doctors; he didn’t answer. I asked him why, if this were the case, the news is only reporting 6 blood clots and not 3,000 deaths. He mumbled something about George Soros owning all media except right-wing media.

So I drafted the following message, on behalf of his two sons to his father.

Fresh Covid-19 graves in Manaus, Brazil, April 2020

Dad, here’s something Brian and I would…


Dear SeekTruth SpeakTruth:

I just want to say something, because you think that you used to be one of those flat-earth guys. I know you honestly think you were one of them, but when looked at your old YouTube videos, I could tell immediately that you weren’t. Let me explain.

For a long time I spoke with people calling themselves skeptics/sceptics of climate change. Eventually I went on to write an article series called “Climate Science Denial Explained”.

Now, I’m not a psychologist, I’m just a guy who learned some things that I would like to share. …


About two weeks ago I left this comment on a blog critical of Molten Salt Reactors and other designs. So far the author has not published the comment, so I’m plopping it down here for future reference.

While Part 8 gives some good information that LFTR proponents ought to know more about, I spotted it being used in an anti-nuclear article called “13 Examples of TED talks nuclear neoliberalism” by some guy pretending, or possibly believing, that a sodium-cooled fast-breeder reactor is pretty much the same thing as a thermal-spectrum molten salt reactor, so that if a research program for…


How to reduce your electricity bills with a $20 power meter

Today, humans use more energy than ever before, with the primary energy supply now exceeding twenty trillion watts — that’s about three thousand watts for every man, woman and child on Earth, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, averaged across everywhere from the poverty-stricken plains of Sudan to the wealthiest suburbs of Los Angeles. A lot of this energy escapes from power plants, transmission lines and vehicle engines as waste heat, but whenever we reduce the electricity we use, we also reduce the amount of waste heat in the energy production process.

We’ve been encouraged to reduce our…


Union types, generics, JSX, type system loopholes and more!

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

This quick tour of TypeScript is mainly for people who have some experience with JavaScript.

I’ll explain a few surprising facts about JavaScript, too, in case you only studied something vaguely similar, like Java or C#. If you’d like to know how to set up a TypeScript project, see my previous article.

TypeScript is based on JavaScript. The TypeScript compiler (or other tools based on it, like ts-node or ts-jest) translates TypeScript into normal JavaScript simply by stripping out all the type information.

Alongside that process, type checking is performed in order to discover type errors — mistakes you’ve made…


A thorough guide for beginners making web apps with React

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

In all my years as a developer, I’ve never encountered a wilderness as overwhelming as The JavaScript World. It’s a world of bewildering complexity, where making a very simple project seems to require installing numerous tools, editing several text files that connect all those tools together, and running a bunch of terminal commands.

There are some tools that try to hide the complexity from you, with varying degrees of success. But as long as those tools don’t have universal adoption, they just seem to me like even more things you have to learn on top of everything else.

For me…


Whether scientists actually think humans cause global warming

Why study the consensus? Because in a world full of people trying to manipulate your beliefs, it’s the only way to tell what scientists really think.

Climate science is an enormous field with thousands of scientists publishing research, not all of which agrees. It’s complicated enough that anyone with an agenda can mislead, large enough that anyone with a bias can find a couple of papers supporting their position, and nuanced enough that it won’t be fully settled for many years. …


A Detailed Primer with Typescript & React

In all my years as a developer I’ve never encountered a wilderness as overwhelming as The JavaScript World. It’s a world of bewildering complexity, where making a very simple project seems to require installing numerous tools, editing several text files that connect all those tools together, and running a bunch of terminal commands. There are some tools that try to hide the complexity from you, with varying degrees of success — but as long as those tools don’t have universal adoption, these tools just seem to me like even more things you have to learn on top of everything else.

David Piepgrass

Fighting for a better world and against dark epistemology.

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