comics, face

Methods of rationality

Last couple weeks I ended up seeing one particular piece of fanfiction mentioned in three different places (LJ friendslist, tv tropes, hatrack.com forums), so I'm guessing it's the new sensation that's taking Internet by storm.

Thankfully it's a really really good one, so let me add my own recommendation to the bunch: "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" by Less Wrong (Eliezer Yudkowsky)

The only known AU fic in which Harry systematically tries to figure out the logic behind magic.
The only known AU in which Voldemort was intelligent enough to Collapse )
Also the only known fic in existence in which Voldemort ends up Collapse ), without it being a crackfic!

A warning though: Harry Potter is a horrible and arrogant little jerk in this fic, not the sweet and humble kid of canon -- to me it only makes those few moments of sweetness that remain (e.g. his annoyance at having Hermione's genius not recognized by her parents) all the more potent. But even so: if you can't tolerate jerk protagonists, the fic may not be to your liking at all.
Politics, European Union

World Cup predictor.

I've discovered the perfect predictor for the knock-out stage of the FIFA world cup.

A>B>C with:
Group A supports same-sex marriage.
Group B offers civil unions, registered partnerships or some other kind of recognition to same-sex couples.
Group C offers no recognition to same-sex couples at all, atleast not on a national level.

So...
GROUP A: Netherlands, Spain, Portugal
GROUP B: Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, England
GROUP C: South Korea, United States, Ghana, Slovakia, Chile, Paraguay, Japan

A defeats B or C: (Netherlands-Brazil, Netherlands-Uruguay, Spain-Germany, Netherlands-Slovakia, Spain-Paraguay)
B defeats C: (Uruguay-S.Korea, Brazil-Chile, Argentina-Mexico, Uruguay-Ghana)

When (A) faces (A) or (B) faces (B), earliest recognition means victory.

So Spain (SSM since 2005) defeated Portugal (SSM since 2010) and Germany (registered partnerships since 2001) defeated England (civil partnerships since 2005) and Argentina (unregistered cohabitation since 2008)

---

This gives us the world cup winner: Netherland (SSM since 2001) rather than Spain (SSM since 2005).

It also proves beyond a doubt that the God of Soccer supports same-sex marriage.
Politics, European Union

(no subject)

Well here's one of the indirect results of the icelandic volcano's eruption. Since my brother's flight was delayed we had the time for yet another bad fight this weekend which finally brought me to realize that I've had enough with his bullshit justifications of his intentional parasitism. I'm done with him as he's hopefully done with me. I will be taking steps to avoid having to see or talk to him ever again.

Unfortunately as he has my phone number I doubt it'll be the last time I hear him.
Politics, European Union

A diagram

A diagram I made a week or two ago, to help clarify some of my political thinking:


Collapse )

It's getting late, ended up writing up only about one third of what I planned. Will complete this in a future post, with possibly one more diagram.
Politics, European Union

Two events of great political significance tomorrow

Two important decisions tomorrow: First, the Czech Supreme Court has to decide whether the Treaty of Lisbon is consistent with their constitution. If their decision is negative, I'm guessing the European project will be stalled for a decade or so -- both in its enlargement and in its integration (widening and deepening).

The second is the referendum on the state of Maine in the United States regarding same-sex marriage. It has the best chances of affirming SSM from any of the referendums that have taken place so far -- and it'll be a first for the USA if the people of Maine so maintain SSM.

Here's hoping.
Politics, European Union

Dreaming mythology and zombies

Had a dream last night, about a war between zombies and the leftovers of humanity. It also included some gender-related commentary: the chief defender of humanity was Wonder Woman, and the battle started turning in favour of humanity when a friend/mentor of hers (at the cost of her own disappearance and possible death) summoned Goddess Athena via a portal. Athena subsequently took charge of the war and routed the zombies, but there was simultaneous commentary that some few of the "boys" had defected, because they couldn't tolerate both the leaders of the war being female.

My point of view alternated between being a reader (I remember figuring out like a reader that in this alternate universe Batman never existed, and Superman did exist but he seems to have been originally a villain and so was generally mistrusted and thus incapable of leadership) and a participant (being instructed how to distinguish between zombies and simply "angry people" :-) Some details I'm also forgetting. I'm pretty sure there were some other deities in there, some in the opposite side. Hecate on the side of the zombies? I don't really remember much more.