A Keltner List for Relationships

“Consider each question and answer truthfully with a simple yes or no response:

  1. Does your partner make you a better person, and do you do the same for them?
  2. Are you and your partner both comfortable with sharing feelings, relying on each other, being close, and able to avoid worrying about the other person leaving?
  3. Do you and your partner accept each other for who you are, without trying to change each other?
  4. When disagreements arise, do you and your partner communicate respectfully and without contempt or negativity?
  5. Do you and your partner share decision-making, power and influence in the relationship?
  6. Is your partner your best friend, and are you theirs?
  7. Do you and your partner think more in terms of “we” and “us,” rather than “you” and “I”?
  8. Would you and your partner trust each other with the passwords to social media and bank accounts?
  9. Do you and your partner have good opinions of each other – without having an overinflated positive view?
  10. Do your close friends, as well as your partner’s, think you have a great relationship that will stand the test of time?
  11. Is your relationship free of red flags like cheating, jealousy and controlling behavior?
  12. Do you and your partner share the same values when it comes to politics, religion, the importance of marriage, the desire to have kids (or not) and how to parent?
  13. Are you and your partner willing to sacrifice your own needs, desires and goals for each other (without being a doormat)?
  14. Do you and your partner both have agreeable and emotionally stable personalities?
  15. Are you and your partner sexually compatible?

h/t The Conversation.

Why “The Culture” Wins

“Now consider Banks’s scenario. Consider the process that is generating modern hypercultures, and imagine it continuing for another three or four hundred years. The first consequence is that the culture will become entirely defunctionalized. Banks imagines a scenario in which all of the endemic problems of human society have been given essentially technological solutions (in much the same way that drones have solved the problem of criminal justice). Most importantly, he imagines that the fundamental problem of scarcity has been solved, and so there is no longer any obligation for anyone to work (although, of course, people remain free to do so if they wish). All important decisions are made by a benevolent technocracy of AIs (or the “Minds”).

And so what is left for humanity (or, more accurately, humanoids)? At the individual level, Banks imagines a life very much like the one described by Bernard Suits in The Grasshopper – everything becomes a game, and thus at some level, non-serious. But where Banks went further than Suits was in thinking about the social consequences. What happens when culture becomes freed from all functional constraints? It seems clear that, in the interplanetary competition that develops, the culture that emerges will be the most virulent, or the most contagious. In other words, “the Culture” will simply be that which is best at reproducing itself, by appealing to the sensibilities and tastes of humanoid life-forms…

…Human beings have spent much of their lives lamenting “the curse of Adam,” and yet work provides most people with their primary sense of meaning and achievement in life. So what happens when work disappears, turning everything into a hobby? A hobby is fun. Many people spend a great deal of time trying to escape work, so they can spend more time on their hobbies. But while they may be fun, hobbies are also at some level always frivolous. They cannot give meaning to a life, precisely because they are optional. You could just stop doing it, and nothing would change, it would make no difference, which is to say, it wouldn’t matter.”

—Joseph Heath, “Why the Culture Wins: An Appreciation of Iain M. Banks.” Sci Phi Journal. November 12, 2017.

Artificial Intelligence May Have Cracked Freaky 600-Year-Old [Voynich] Manuscript

“The first step was to figure out the language of the ciphered text…the AI analyzed the Voynich gibberish, concluding with a high rate of certainty that the text was written in encoded Hebrew…

For the second step, the researchers entertained a hypothesis proposed by previous researchers—that the script was created with alphagrams…Armed with the knowledge that text was originally coded from Hebrew, the researchers devised an algorithm that could take these anagrams and create real Hebrew words…

For the final step, the researchers deciperhered the opening phrase of the manuscript…

https://gizmodo.com/artificial-intelligence-may-have-cracked-freaky-600-yea-1822519232

Amazon Health – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

“At the same time, the U.S. healthcare system is inextricably tied up with the post-World War 2 order; indeed, the entire reason employers are so important to the system is because of World War 2 regulations that instituted price controls on wages, incentivizing employers to use benefits as a means of attracting workers (this was further enshrined by making healthcare benefits tax-exempt)…

…My expectation, then, is not that the Internet methodically disrupts industry after industry in some sort of chronological order, but rather that the entire edifice lasts far longer than technologists think, only to one day collapse far quicker than anyone expected.

The ultimate winners of this shakeout, then, are not only companies that are building businesses predicated on the Internet, but just as importantly, are willing and able to build those businesses with the patience that will be necessary to wait for the old order to collapse, particularly if that collapse happens years or decades after the underlying business models are rotten.

There is no more patient company than Amazon.”

—Ben Thompson, “Amazon Health.” Stratechery.com. January 31, 2018.

Movie Posters Collection – Harry Ransom Center Digital Collections

The Ransom Center’s movie poster collection consists of an estimated 10,000 posters and spans the entire history of film from the silent era to the present day. All sizes of American film posters are represented: Window Cards (14″ x 22″), Inserts (14″ x 36″), Half Sheets (22″ x 28″), One Sheets (27″ x 41″), Three Sheets (41″ x 81″), Six Sheets (81″ x81″), and 24 Sheets (i.e.: billboards, 9′ x 20.5′).

Harry Ransom Center — Movie Poster Collection

Thirty Days, 30 Albums: How I Fell in Love With The Fall | Music | The Guardian

“I decided it was time to educate myself. I would immerse myself in Smith’s Wonderful and Frightening World in the most total way I could – by listening only to the Fall, one album a day, in release order, and nothing else … for an entire month. I wanted to hear them develop and change, and try and get some sense of what the fuss was about. After all this is a band people are obsessed with. I suspected it might drive me mad. What I hadn’t expected is the extent to which I, too, would get obsessed. Far from getting sick of them, by the middle of the month the Fall were all I could talk about, read about, practically think about. I almost certainly bored everyone who knows me to tears.”

—Marc Burrows, “Thirty Days, 30 Albums: How I Fell in Love With The Fall.” The Guardian. December 31, 2014.

R.I.P. Mark E. Smith.