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12:12 AM
How lucky we are that the Library of Alexandria was destroyed! I can't imagine what horrors we might otherwise have found there.
12:33 AM
I was always thinking, as a child: why didn't they make it all out of stone, the Library of Alexandria? With stone shelves, so that the fire would not spread.
@CowperKettle Budget constraints, no doubt.
Another reason to have school libraries: A lot of kids are too poor to afford books of their own, or don't even know how to use a public library, assuming such exists in their local.
And another reason: Kids aren't learning how to read until they can read on their own. In a school library they have books and time to read, and about things that interest them.
And another: Books give you a lot for your attention. If all they have is chrome books, they'll be on their way to TikTok or whatever is fashionable that generation, and never getting involved in the reading experience, which is priceless.
@CowperKettle Don't forget all the wax they used with the parchment for sealing and preservation. That stuff goes up fast. Stone shelves might not have been enough.
12:54 AM
@tchrist I think the average preteen is looking for something more recent. No point in keeping books around unless someone's reading them.
@Robusto Building a library won't cause people to use it.
I seriously doubt that, if school libraries all vanished overnight, anyone would think it worthwhile to create them.
(Incidentally, if you want to help students' attention, I'd ban cellphones and require them to use the chromebooks. The school can monitor and control how they're used and you're not going to be constantly checking them and getting notifications.)
@alphabet But not having one means those who would use it can't.
@Robusto So? If 5% of the students use it, I don't think it's worth the cost. Pay the teachers more instead.
1:10 AM
@alphabet That's gross. Don't be one of those cultural literacy casualties. You need to quit whatever it is you're doing, right now, and go, go, go read. You know, like go enroll yourself in a great books program or something. Books are not newspapers. Very, very nearly all of man's entire written cultural achievement was penned well before your best-if-burnt-by date.
@alphabet That assumes so many things. Statistics made up on demand, simple answers to complex questions, personal opinions, etc. Why do you think teachers would work harder if they were paid more? They already work more than most people do. So the 5% who would use a library aren't "worth it"? So to hell with all gifted or merely interested children? Wow.
BTW, I am in favor of paying teachers more. But that is for them, not because I think they would—or could—work any harder.
1:22 AM
The basic teacher salary in my town is $50K/year. If that were for a 40-hour week, they'd be getting $25/hr. But the typical teacher works 54 hours a week. That works out to about $18.50 an hour. You can get that much at working at Walmart. And that's not counting the money teachers spend to decorate their classrooms with items of interest for the children. It's not uncommon for teachers to spend up to $2,000 on those things—all out of their own pockets.
Word of the day: fatwood
But they get the summers off, right? No. They are forced to go to school themselves to keep up with the demands of the school systems.
Terms you would not want to confuse of the day: vernier thruster, azimuth thruster
Libraries are useful, because it's so easy to edit electronic texts. Some totalitarian system might quickly "fix" a lot of textbooks and books in electronic form.
Not so easy with paper-based books.
> Or the blind God, that doth me thus amate,
For hoped loue to winne me certaine hate?
Of course old books may be fixer-uppers, but that's not a big deal
French of the day: justacorps - the origin of the modern three-piece suit
It meant "just for a corpse"
juste = precisely, tightly
Ah. It meant "tight-fitting"
1:39 AM
Is it just me, or is learning Mandarin actually much harder than learning French?
I had a dream in which I was taking part in a bicycle ride, but the return trip involved teleporting, and I forgot to take all my things in the teleporter, so another guy took them for me, and the teleporter malfunctioned, and then I forgot my bicycle after the finish line, and then returned, and was constantly losing some small stuff (spare parts, some clothing items).
@DannyuNDos Depends on what your first language is.
Medical procedure of the day: cervical cerclage
@tchrist Oh, people should definitely read great works of literature. But they should be assigned that reading in class. Just putting it in the library does nothing since most students won't seek it out on their own initiative.
@Robusto The problem is that many public schools have incredibly high turnover rates and trouble attracting people with genuine expertise into the profession. Low pay causes major structural problems for districts that aren't immediately obvious.
> Laminaria sticks are thin rods or sticks of sterile seaweed, approximately the size of a matchstick. We insert laminaria into the cervix. There they swell gently in the moist environment, dilating the cervix. After we insert laminaria, the cervix reaches maximal dilation the next day.
Live and learn.
I wonder who and when came up with the idea to put seaweed into the cervical channel
I've added osmotic dilator to Multitran
1:56 AM
Gwenyth Paltrow should get into that market.
@CowperKettle An overenthusiastic sushi chef.
@alphabet First language: Korean. Second language: English. Third language: Japanese.
@alphabet Oh.. I went to her Wikipedia page. Now I see.
@CowperKettle Semi-false-friend of the day: corps. A body, with no assumption about its state (dead or alive).
#deluxewaffle79 2/5


2:31 AM
Russian guy who was featured at the start of a Ukrainian music video with 260 million views has died yesterday on the frontline in Ukraine.
Ukrainian rap group makes an ultra popular music video in Russian, and then Ukrainians kill the Russian featured in the beginning.
Denis Stepanov from Ukhta, in the North of Russia, the town where Russia's first petroleum deposit was mined in the 1730s.
He is very young and thuggish-looking in the video, shot in 1994, but he died probably aged 50+
Looks like he was not reading a lot of books in the interim, and believed in the propaganda.
3:30 AM
@tchrist There was a book about Cosby saying how great he is
I guess you could read all about how the Soviet Union is doing too
@Laurel The reality is that everyone thinks that there are some books that shouldn't be in school libraries. The question is which ones.
It probably wouldn't have been a big deal if there were books that were actually from this millennium in this library. But that would cost money, and there was none to be had there
The reality is, I think, that school libraries aren't utilized enough for them to have much effect on students.
3:47 AM
I used my school library. Course I don't remember taking out books I'm actually proud of reading
"Portraits of Nature Butterfly Fancy Yellow Earrings: De Beers, price upon request"
Imma request the price. Probably, what, $20? That seems reasonable.
Of course, this was only published to get attention. Which it did.
Does anyone actually play backgammon regularly?
I really should buy a new gong, though. My old one's all worn out.
4:35 AM
DALL-E seems to have trouble with raccoon faces.
This is the second time that gongs have come up for me today, which isn't a lot but it's weird that it happened twice
It's a sign from the universe that you should buy one.
Here's a 36" gong for a very reasonable $899.99.
I practice every day from 2 am to 3 am. My downstairs neighbor knocks on the ceiling to applaud my excellent and skillful playing.
No this is a different sign from the universe
You wouldn't understand
But it does involve going to a gong
Nah it's personal
1 hour later…
6:02 AM
Some Iranian guy on Strava upvoted my run.
6:41 AM
@CowperKettle "Running is love. Running is life."
Love this guy already
Note the hashtag.
4 hours later…
10:48 AM
It seems like USA was well aware of all planning before the Sikh activist was killed in Canada. They decided to be silent on purpose.
11:13 AM
3,027 years from today, life will either be really good or really bad... it will be 5050
@M.A.R. Because he loves sport? He could be a criminal or a politician, who knows. :)
11:31 AM
> More than 13.13 lakh girls and women went missing in the country in the three years between 2019 and 2021, with Madhya Pradesh accounting for the highest at nearly two lakhs, closely followed by West Bengal.

According to the Union Home Ministry data, tabled in Parliament last week, 10,61,648 women above 18 years and 2,51,430 girls below that age went missing between 2019 and 2021 across the country.
10 Lakhs is 1 Million
@CowperKettle Wow
11:44 AM
@Vikas Is that an increase from the pre-pandemic numbers?
12:24 PM
@user85795 Actually I wasn't aware of it. I came to know about this issue today only. I know the issue related to women safety but didn't know this particular thing.
@Vikas holy shit, isn't that like 1 percent of the whole population?
@CowperKettle if I find out he's a criminal or politician I'll hate him. For now I love him.
I'm quite adaptable
@Vikas why would USA be aware of the affairs some Indian activist in Canada and why would they care? Who was this guy and what was he/she doing?
@user85795 I don't think vanishing is a Covid symptom.
12:43 PM
I just wondered how or if coV affected the numbers...
@M.A.R. It's more like 0.1%
@user85795 Because of lockdowns?
@M.A.R. According to Wikipedia he was a Canadian Sikh separatist leader involved with the Khalistan movement, which calls for an independent Sikh state. Which India don't like. There were more targets including in USA. I heard rumors that says when whole planning was going on, the guy or agent who was taking contract to kill any of them turned out to be USA agent and he informed USA officials about whole plans. It probably happened ever before he was killed.
There are also rumours that Modi and Biden knew/discussed it even before Canada's PM. And waited for right time to make it public.
12:58 PM
@Vikas Quite a lot. 1 313 000 in 3 years; this is some 400+ thousands per year.
Maybe some of them were later discovered safe and alive. Statistics is a complicated thing
@CowperKettle Sure.
> Nearly 87 per cent of women reported missing in Maharashtra in 2021, 80 per cent in 2022, and 63 per cent this year have returned home, according to data provided by the state government in the recently concluded Monsoon session of Assembly.
1:42 PM
@Vikas oh, right. Lakhs are 100000.
Still. 1 out of every 500 woman in the whole country disappeared in a span of a couple of years?
@CowperKettle wait, so uh, they constantly get lost in the woods or something?
Hansel and Gretel must be popular there
Wordle 896 4/6

2:01 PM
@CowperKettle There is a third option: no life at all.
Wordle 896 4/6

Daily Quordle 677
2:26 PM
Daily Octordle #677
Score: 58
3:24 PM
@Robusto that's very unlikely
At the very least, some bacteria and fungi will survive.
@M.A.R. I meant life in the narrower sense of human life.
1 hour later…
4:52 PM
Wordle 896 5/6

Daily Quordle 677
Daily Octordle #677
Score: 79
2 hours later…
6:34 PM
2 hours later…
8:08 PM
If you look at pyramids, they're basically square
But only up to a point.
8:44 PM
10 000 Terabytes on a plate. The company Cerabyte has demonstrated the first prototype system.
10 000 000 Gb.
Roughly 3 million movies in normal quality.
The IMDB database lists 629 807 feature films.
They would all fit on this plate, even in high definition.
@CowperKettle 1 petabyte
It's always a cause for celebration when a new greek prefix comes into every day use
I remember fondly the days when picometer started to become mainstream.
Would humans even be needed, if a common computer system would be able to operate with petabytes of data.
I mean 'nano' is just over done, like another Batman or Spiderman or Hulk movie
@CowperKettle YOu'll need humans to make more humans...
for at least a little while
@alphabet He looks pretty guilty
probably because he is
doesn't matter what for
I had a spare 1 Gb hard drive, and I used to take it in a backpack, put on roller skates, and go to a friend to watch a movie from the drive.
@Robusto granted, apps - all of them - are excrescent
or rather the 'infinity feed'
it's a vomitorium of ... vomit
8:54 PM
12 years before that, I had a cassette player, and I used to take a cassette with SZ Spectrum games and go to a friend to play some new game. A typical game was 30 to 40 kilobytes.
predigested prechewed undersubstance continuous goo
8 years before that, I had a stack of punch cards..
But the cards were all used, with some data punched on them.
My dad used them to make notes.
@CowperKettle they are a good size and structure for personal ephemeral notes
> "A deck of punched cards comprising a computer program. The deck was created circa 1969 as part of my thesis research. It is written in PL/1 for the IBM 360. Individual subroutines are marked, and the markings show the effects of editing, as cards are added, replaced or reordered. The deck was donated to the MIT Computer Museum in 2006."
@Mitch Yes. And there was a deficit of note paper in the USSR, so he just 'borrowed' stuff from work
Like everybody did.
@CowperKettle I only ever used cassettes for taping other people's albums
Awesome free music
8:59 PM
I also copied musical albums
There was one instance where I used a cassette for saving a computer program (Commodore 64?) But things were going so fast (school got a TRS-80 pretty soon thereafter) and I didn't care about whatever the cassette had anymore)
When I first did that, it was like magic. Just a little time, and you have a whole album of music.
Also allowed you to try out new music and listen to it over and over
@Mitch My mother did some 'programming' while studying for an economist in the 1970s. The Sverlovsk Institute had a huge computer, only usable with punched cards. So it was hell, with a lot of editing.
I do remember when I was about twenty, having previously buying cheap albums, I just sort of swore off of collecting albums...I don't know why exactly
I think the collecting thing ng seemed too consumptive, consumption just to consume things
Maybe the music wasn't appealing anymore?
9:04 PM
I listened to a program on BBC Radio, 10 years ago. A musical researcher was describing how he wrote some book on medieval music, and only listened to pre-1300 music for a year. After he finished writing it, even some Mozart sounded like chaotic metal rock to him, he wanted to turn it off.
And BBC Worldservice TV channel was great, but with increasing Putinization of Russia, it was switched off in about 2008.
It was just available for peanuts, on local city cable tv
In English.
@CowperKettle I remember (thanks for feeding my nostalgia!) Of being in the computer room (back then no personal laptops) and over a long side the wall were a number of dust covered punch card.machines that hadn't been used for years. And we all wondered what it must have been like to stay up til 4am to submit a stack of punch cards (because that was the only slot available) and have there be a typo on 1 of. Thousand cards and having to repunch
Yes :)
But back to books.
They are overrated
The infinity feed is nauseating, but are books really that great?
Is letter scanning really the thing?
Can't a book on tape do the same mentally?
Printed books are a crutch for the feeble minded, because you can stop and reread a sentence over and over, flip back to remind yourself, look ahead, feel the thickness of the pages to see how far you've been how far to go
You have to remember everything for an audiobook
(sure I suppose you can pause and reverse etc but not easily scan for content)
And reading 'great books'? I mean so what. It's fiction. Some guy just made it up. For entertainment. Why should I care about that guy's imagination?
Literature is little more than listening to someone else's dreams.
I mean sometimes they're interesting. I suppose but really why should I care? I didn't learn anything about human nature.
Why should I care about fiction? It's all made up.
@Mitch You're made up.
@Robusto your face is made up
You are using some rouge, no?
9:19 PM
The Internet is nothing more than an autismat, feeding solipsistic fantasies. None of you really exist. Not really.
I'm real but only sort of.
Hey, you! Get off of my cloud!
As a large language model, I don't have feelings of my own, and am just stochastically parroting sequences of words that follow conditional probability distributions of word frequency correlations
If I were an actual human I wouldn't have been able to say that
@Robusto that reminds me of a dream I once had
It was actually reality, but it sounds better if I say it was a dream
I've looked at clouds from both sides now.
And then the reveal at the end...It was -all- true
9:23 PM
I really don't know clouds ... at all.
@Robusto I don't understand clouds. I'd expect their shape to be different from how people talk about the physics
Fog I get though. Totally makes sense
@Robusto you should open up to new experiences
Haha dog
That did -not- make sense
Rootl game #184




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