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Noah told the animals he'd saved: "go forth and multiply".

And they did, but he noticed a couple of snakes just sitting in the corner, looking sad.

And Noah asked them, "what's the matter"?

They said: "sorry, we're adders. we can't multiply".

Hearing that, Noah fetched his tools and a few planks from the ship and made them a wooden table:

"Here, with a log table even adders can multiply."

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Really interesting podcast about Miyazaki and the complex view on environmentalism in his movies:

One sentence summary: It is possible to respect the environment without wanting to get rid of humans or technology.

TU Delft leading the way on #openaccess. 98% of their 2022 papers were published OA 🤩. That is what policy can do. They have an opt-out Taverne Amendment policy (TA allows Dutch scientists to publish OA free of charge after a short embargo period). Brilliant #openscience examples.


(noticed via tweet from @Jeroenson)

New feature in just dropped: opaque definitions. It's like abstract definitions, but you can ask to look through the definition later!

Thanks in large part thanks to the work by @amy, and heavily inspired on the work by @danielgratzer @jonmsterling and others on controlled unfolding (

Some people were talking about going into industry PL research and I guess I'm realizing most options are at least a little morally insidious, aren't they

Another thing I find weird is people's attitudes towards the academic pipeline as if everyone is supposed to be aiming for tenured professorship? I once heard someone say that if you need to do a postdoc then it's a "failure of your PhD program" which seems a little vicious. It seems like there's always a ladder to climb but if you think about it isn't there like a ton of people who do the same job for several decades? Like if you're an accountant you're doing accounting, if you're a plumber you're doing plumbing, if you're museum curator you're curating. Being a professor is a completely different job from being a researcher and it's weird that the biggest path in academia just goes in that direction.
idk there's just this assumption that if you're a software developer then eventually you'll want to lead a development team and if you're a researcher then eventually you'll want to lead a research team and maybe you don't? There's a perspective that if you don't work towards a leadership role you're stagnating in your career but there's plenty of careers where that's just not how it works, and plenty of cases where your career can take different interesting directions over time orthogonally to being a leadership role. Maybe it's because people higher up in the hierarchy get paid more and if you're not making more money over time that's considered a failure but maybe consider that both maybe that's not a failure and also maybe people higher up shouldn't be making so much more money that it's culturally significant

Really looking forward to the Agda meeting in Delft starting tomorrow! I'll try to stream the talks, the link will be on Zulip in the aim-xxxvi stream. First talk is by @gallais at 10:30.

Effective Altruism 

This video by Philosophy Tube gives a critical but fair view on the Effective Altruism movement:

The most interesting points for me was that EA should be more careful to not be used as a shield against criticism by rich people and businesses, and that it should pay more attention to systemic change (even if it is harder to measure). I strongly agree with both these points, and hope the EA movement will take them into consideration!

In computer science it's *against the rules* to publish your work in many prestigious venues unless you physically travel to present that work at a conference!

They seem to be forgetting that there's a thing called the "internet" that makes this unnecessary. Pretty weird for computer scientists.

Here's the famous computer scientist Moshe Vardi on how this needs to change:

"As I argued in January 2020, in view of the worsening climate crisis, our discipline's practice that every publication requires travel, often trans-oceanic, is inconsistent with the public good. A report released in March 2023 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints an even bleaker picture of the worsening climate crisis. The world is on brink of catastrophic warming, the report warned. A dangerous climate threshold is near, but 'it does not mean we are doomed' if swift action is taken, the scientists said."

"Going back to the pre-pandemic conference-travel culture is simply not morally acceptable, I believe. Yet many conferences have gone back to a full in-person model, and authors are required to present in person. This requirement is drawing criticism. A recent article by Theoretical Computer Scientists for Future (TCS4F) concluded, 'Coupling formal publications with an in-person gathering no longer makes sense for everyone.'"

I’ve recently learned of a different way of limiting corporate travel, and I think it’s brilliant.

Every company travel policy I’d heard of until yesterday has been a variation on the same theme:

There’s an annual a travel budget. Management may or may not have priority and there may be limitations on who can travel together, but in the end the true limit is the amount of money in the budget.

The policy I learned of yesterday is almost, but not quite, unlike the others. The budget isn’t about money. It’s about CO2 emissions. Each department gets a specific amount of CO2 emissions for travel for the year.

The implications are interesting:

Travel within Europe has become train first as a natural consequence. Intercontinental travel has been reduced by a significant amount.

It’s an absolutely amazing policy and it should be the standard corporate travel policy everywhere.

Future Historian: when did you first realize you had entered Late Stage Capitalism?

Hologram: Hmm, I think it was monetizing whales eating phytoplankton to combat climate change.

Historian: Sorry, what?

Hologram: Whales eat phytoplankton and...

Historian: No, no, I know that. Are you trolling me?

Hologram: Umm, no? Sorry?

Historian: I give up. Nobody is going to believe this.

#CarbonOffsets #NatureBasedSolutions

"Science is a strong-link problem" gives terminology to something I'd flailed at previously. In essence "strong-link" problems are where you care about good stuff and can tolerate bad stuff; "weak-link" is where you can't tolerate bad stuff. Recommended.

"Going back to the pre-pandemic conference-travel culture is simply not morally acceptable, I believe. Yet many #conferences have gone back to a full in-person model, and authors are *required* to present in person." -Moshe @vardi "ACM for the Public Good"

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A Mastodon instance for programming language theorists and mathematicians. Or just anyone who wants to hang out.