Reality is not a simulation, and you do have to care about other people
The alt-right's intellectual firepower comes in part from a Thiel-funded Silicon Valley think-tank that has promoted the idea that reality is a simulation run by ultra-powerful computers from the future. After all, if reality's a simulation, why bother worrying about homelessness?
The best article about the Machine Intelligence Research Institute is "Come With Us If You Want to Live," which nails through live reporting exactly how nihilistic the rationality fetish can get.
But the whole notion is sophomoric stonerism. Computers don't have access to a higher reality: "Empirically, increasing computational power will not necessarily transform the water of computer games into the wine of a full-fledged simulated world."
Google Maps changes how you look at the world
Current mapping technologies distort our wayfinding instincts out of their natural balance between "egocentric" (process-oriented) and "allocentric" (context-oriented) navigational modes.
- A very good, very thorough—almost too thorough?—profile of Bill Hader by Tad Friend. Updated 1w ago
- The true reality of confronting white supremacy, as learned in South Africa: “It means white people giving things up.”
- Patricia Lockwood explains the internet of your mind.
- Our championship match is decided in the Tournament of Books, with news of a Rooster surprise debuting this summer. Updated Mar 31, 2017
- In Thursday's action, Reyhan Harmanci sets up a colossal final.
- The Zombie round opens with Buzzfeed's Isaac Fitzgerald reading The Nix and The Underground Railroad.
- "Will Putin expose the failings of American democracy or will he inadvertently expose the strength of American democracy?" Updated Mar 3, 2017
- Wilbur Ross just wanted to make some money in ethically gray areas (that should've prevented him from taking office).
- Jeff Sessions's spokeswoman can't help but continue to lie.
- Trump's assault on the environment begins with American headwaters. Updated Mar 1, 2017
- Don't just blame the oil companies for destroying the oceans—blame sushi restaurants.
- Nothing escapes the deepest trenches of the ocean floor. Not light, not nutrients, not pollutants.