Disgust correlates with political leanings

Higher sensitivity to disgust correlated with being right wing. Interesting theory. Sample size is only 50 though https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0025552

When you can't solve a problem, consider injecting new information

I used to come across linear algebra problems in math class that seemed impossible to solve. Consider trying to find the value of x, y, and z given this set of two equations:

4x + 3y + z = 8
x + y = 2

If I plug this into Wolfram Alpha, all it can tell me is "y = 4 - x". That doesn't solve for x, y, and z like we want. The problem is intractable.

Something is wrong with the Internet

When I was younger I believed in the Internet. I believed the Internet was a brave place, where knowledge and culture was disseminated freely. I saw it as a place where you could tap into unparalleled knowledge and improve yourself.

How do you successfully tell someone about Christianity?

I want to explain a theory about how to successfully share the good news. First I'll talk generally about what I've heard from people I know about their experience with the church. Then I'll talk about three of my Christian friends's experiences in their churches growing up. I'll talk about how the good news was shared with me, and then I'll tie it back to my new theory of how to share the good news ethically and successfully.

Before I talk about my life, I should share the Parable of the Sower (explanation here):

Applying biblical advice to others

I love the feeling of reading a great Bible passage and having that chilling realization that I've still got so much to learn in life. It's called being "convicted". I associate it with positive feelings by now, since I know that if I follow the train of thought, and make some changes in my life, I'll feel so much better later.

Dishonest Debater

I am a dishonest debater.

I remember being around 7 years old and arguing with my brother. Some adult had told us in the past not to run when crossing the road, and I agreed. My brother, a little older and a little more rebellious, still wanted to run across the road. One day, he did, and I confronted him.

"Don't run across the road" I (proudly) stated.

"Why not?" he (reasonably) asked.

Gun Control Arguments & Research (draft)

Now that I live in the USA, I've had a lot more arguments about gun control. They rarely go anywhere, since there's a gulf in values between left and right wing thinkers on this issue. I want to use this post as a staging ground to collect the common arguments on gun control from both sides, and point out research which validates or contradicts the various arguments.

To summarize my current position:

Wordpress automatic updates

I maintain a couple of wordpress sites, and I rarely want to spend time keeping them up to date. I use this permissions script https://www.devinhoward.ca/technology/2014/mar/wordpress-permissions-script though, which disallows Wordpress's normal auto-update mechanism. This vastly increases the security, which is worth it, but I need another way to auto-update.

So I use this script, along with the excellent command line tool wp-cli: https://wp-cli.org

To be good, do what is good for your heart

I have a theory about how to be a good Christian. As with all my ideas, I worry that I've missed something, so please think critically about what I'm writing. But so far I've had success and haven't found this theory to be contradictory to my other knowledge of God and the Bible.

A long time ago, Moses et al summarized right living by publishing the Ten Commandments. Then Israel went on and built a lot more law, most of which is also attributed to Moses - hence the "Law of Moses".

Then a long time later, Jesus came and summarized the law in two commandments:

How to have productive meetings, part 1

At some point in my life, I started going to meetings, and slowly started gathering good and bad experiences. Also, for some reason, during university I actually studied how to have productive meetings, and I’ve kept a few tidbits of wisdom from that course.

I hold this truth to be self evident: most meetings are a waste of time.

But there’s a corollary: it’s also hard to identify which of your meetings are a waste of time, and why. It’s hard to predict in advance whether a meeting will be productive.

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