"Tpmfail: a timing attack that can extract keys from secure computing chips in 4-20 minutes" boingboing.net/2019/11/14/desc

I'm not like super into keeping up on all these different kinds of attacks, but for once these timing attacks strike me as something that works on a cinematic hacking timescale. You can actually imagine someone breaking in, setting up this attack, and seeing a progress bar that the protagonist anxiously watches while other events transpire.

Obviously I have to apply this to myself, narcissist-style. The proposed underlying motivation for both New Atheism and social justice is hamartiology: the subfield of theology dealing with the study of how sin enters the universe.

I always found New Atheism tedious and uninteresting. And honestly I've never felt engaged by social justice either. I... don't care that much about how sin enters the universe. I don't think I believe in sin. I don't think its source is an indictment. Eh.

This analysis of New Atheism – it's rise and fall – is interesting contemporary anthropology: slatestarcodex.com/2019/10/30/

Spoiler: the theory is that the New Atheists directed their energy towards Social Justice (the atheist remainers hate social justice, which is why they remained, which incorrectly creates the opposite impression of the original alignment).

There's nothing super notable here, except the term "hedonistic sustainability" which I want to file away for future use...


And metamodernism leaves the question: useful for _what_? How do we decide what to select? Metamodernism only tells us to pick and choose according to some utility that metamodernism cannot itself define.

This emptied-out philosophy is the postmodern curse that I do not believe metamodernism is able to address.

This metamodernism feels a bit like a utilitarian intellectualism. It doesn't matter what is right, only what is useful. There is no claim of truth, but now that we are all steeped in postmodernism it's no longer necessary to emphasize the doubt. Instead it's a project to construct something out of this doubt.

It feels a little like the TED Talk version of intellectualism. Life hacks as a philosophy.

Metamodern is maybe a combination of doubt along the lines of postmodernism, but applied to intellectual approaches themselves. Thus it fuses modernism and postmodernism and whatever else.

They started the podcast talking about the idea: "all models are incorrect, but some are useful." And it feels like that's the underlying theory of metamodernism, as presented.

Postmodernism is mostly skeptical. Ezra Klein went as far as to say that postmodernism's purpose was to seed doubt.

The thing everyone is familiar with is the idea of multiple narratives. Some read that as relativism, I think it's a bit more modest, just making explicit what is obvious but conveniently ignored: everything is viewed by people from individual and diverse perspectives, and action (including intellectual action) follows from those perspectives.

I think the shift goes something like:

Pre-modernist thought was hierarchical, intellectual authority matched other existing hierarchies (e.g., religious authority).

Modernism depersonalized that knowledge, creating intellectual institutions instead of intellectual thought following external institutions. Modernism emphasizing big ideas, big narratives, all-encompassing theories. Marxism strikes me as very modern.

Listening to this interview (that has bad permalinks): megaphone.link/VMP7092874875 "A mind-bending, reality-warping conversation with John Higgs"

An interesting part is talking about the development of modernism to postmodernism to "metamodernism" – the last not a term I've heard before, and Higgs may be coining it.

In an effort to get a shit chaser I couldn't help myself but read local news comments. I found this gem:

"What is needed is more carbon in the atmosphere to feed more plant growth and consume more water which in turn provides more oxygen and a better climate. Satellite data proves we now have more trees than ever but can use even more. They thrive on carbon so keep burning those fossil fuels or nature will burn more trees to get it."

I read some Reddit comments on the firing of an SNL cast member for recent racist remarks: old.reddit.com/r/news/comments

The thread is reasonable. People make distinctions between different levels of behavior. There is some disagreement, but consistent reasonable responses.

I feel so disoriented. What is happening to society?

Installing a new project I had to use autoconf. I realized it had been years since I've typed "./configure". Sometimes the world gets better without me noticing.

"We propose that you can measure how user-facing a program or language is by measuring how much of its time it spends or worries about doing IO. That is, after all, the medium through which anyone who is not a program’s author (of which there may be many) will interact with the program. The time spent doing IO can be on the command line, via a GUI, over a network, or wherever; but to be a serious contender for user-facing programs, a language has to make IO be easy."


I wrote a super non-timely blog post on political alignments: (link: ianbicking.org/blog/2019/07/kl) ianbicking.org/blog/2019/07/k… – somehow I feel bad writing about politics, but no current events are mentioned!

I've read a few hypothesis, but I still don't quite get what's happening with the dryness in the horn of Africa and Kenya. The band of green across Africa is so consistent, despite topographical barriers. (South Sudan is greener than I'd realized.)

Why are all woodworking shows about building stuff for your tools, and tools to help you build that specific stuff?

But then generally, it makes me wonder what the most meta tool is? That is, a tool whose sole purpose is to build another tool? (x however many levels)

I feel like little remote-controlled cars with cameras would really add to the model train experience... something to let you experience it at scale.

I guess the same is true for my own yard, though it's hard to navigate it like a mouse... the terrain is difficult. But maybe even a large vehicle is ok so long as the camera is front and low.

I am in an npm hell of create-react-app's making.

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