Shitposts Weekly (2018/10/13)

Medium articles neither rare nor well-done for the week ending 13 October 2018.

How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence: An asshole who’s had everything handed to them on a silver platter claims to have One Weird Trick™ for success: reading hard books, for which this article is One Weird Trick™ for absorbing. Long story short: take notes; read these things in short, digestible chunks; and look unfamiliar words and concepts up. Short story long: this shitpost.

Focus on productivity, not efficiency: A webshit talks about productivity over efficiency. A history lesson is shared; specifically, how Henry Ford invented the assembly line. A productivity-focused model of computer engineering is shared; this model is almost indistinguishable from a well-trained assembly crew, only ideas are assembled and not vehicles.

Explained Simply: How DeepMind taught AI to play video games: An engineer tries to ELI5 DeepMind. It’s probably still too complex for an actual five-year-old, but whatever; ring me when I can put DeepMind on a desktop computer to produce a competent opponent in the strategy game du jour. Until then, projects like DeepMind are just showing off what Big Data™ can do.

Why the Founder of Headspace Wakes Up at 5 a.m.: A professional shitposter thinks a Buddhist webshit’s personal habits are somehow noteworthy. Successful people come from all walks of life, but they generally don’t succeed due to personal habits like meditation. They succeed with a lot of effort and no small amount of luck.

How to Stop Sabotaging Your Sleep: A writer has One Weird Trick™ for fixing sleep problems, which includes pseudoscientific ‘use night mode which eliminates blues’ garbage. Most of the rest of the advice here is actually fairly sensible, but once again for those in the back: Blue light is not a driver of insomnia, using ‘night mode’ to eliminate blue light will not help with that. (Also, install black-out curtains instead of a sleep mask if you can; it’s less distracting.)

Meet the Startup That Thinks DNA Can Predict Your Best Diet: A writer looks at a startup which claims to be able to tailor diet to genetics. I am highly skeptical, in part because most diet-related startups are founded by idiots who don’t actually know what they’re doing. I’m having a hard time seeing how this one is any different, since experts are left out of the loop…again.

How to Get Rich and Never Die Trying: A journalist looks at the various attempts to lengthen the human lifespan. As none of these seem to be focused on lengthening the most productive years of our lives, I’m extremely skeptical that we’ll actually figure anything out. Eliminating age-related disease won’t magically make 35-year-olds able to perform the same feats a 25-year-old can.

The Case for Genetically Engineering Ethical Humans: A writer tries to up-sell eugenics under a different guise. Along the way, he promotes the ‘individual choices’ myth of climate change (only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the pollution responsible for climate change, fun fact). The solution to this, of course, is trying to engineer a more ethical human. This belies the fact that the very idea is unethical and requires unethical behaviour.

Giving up on the American Dream: A journalist writes about a successful first-generation American. The insistence that there is an ‘American Dream’ redolent throughout this article is breathtaking, since the whole concept was a lie drummed up in the 1950s as a tool of repression. Success, according to this lie, is owning your home, having a nuclear family of 2.4 kids, a stay-at-home wife, and a dog, all while the husband earns a living wage on a single income. Notice how neatly this strangles independence of thought.

Bitcoin Bodice Rippers Are Romance’s Most Sizzling New Subgenre: I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Some deranged individual has decided that what the world really wants is cryptocurrency drama meeting romance. Pardon me while I go wash out my brain…

Can Silicon Valley ‘Do Good’?: A writer asks a stupid question, then tip-toes around the monumental arrogance engendered by a founder of PayPal to arrive at the real issue. Silicon Valley, and tech firms situated elsewhere which model themselves after SV firms, have an unbelievable capacity to do good, but the vast majority of them are too busy insisting on technological solutions to what are fundamentally allocation-based problems to notice that they are, in fact, part of the problem. (Given that an overwhelming majority of these businesses are powered by coddled white men…)

Rare articles which are well-done.

How Erectile Dysfunction Pills Hooked Younger Guys: A writer looks at two biotech firms due to their advertising being directed at millenials. Lack of confidence in the bedroom is probably a much more significant cause for these men than anything else, and the lack of sex clinics in the US is probably the main driver here.

I Made 14 Times Less Than My Co-Host on Morning Joe: A reporter reports on sexism in her workplace.

Slavery and the Origins of the American Police State: A writer takes a look at colonialism in the early United States.

Confessions of a Fake News Writer: A writer pens a tell-all about their involvement in ‘fake news’.

The Gaslighting of American Women: A writer talks about the experience of women in a country which hates them.


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