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“My father was a different person when he came home from...

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“My father was a different person when he came home from Vietnam.  He drank a lot.  He was never around.  So everything I learned about being a man, I learned from my grandfather, Daniel O’Connell Renehan.  He also grew up without parents.  When he was two years old, his mother died while cooking soup.  The cauldron fell on her.  So my grandfather spent his childhood in an orphanage.  He never went to school, but he educated himself.  He was a voracious reader.  Eventually he became the treasurer of a bank on Park Avenue.  He was in his late fifties when I was born.  But he treated me like his son.  We’d watch Notre Dame Football together.  We’d go on long walks.  We’d sit on an old covered swing for hours and he’d tell me stories about Irish kings.  I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.  My mother did her best, but she was always at work, and there were too many wrong roads to take.  So I’ve lived my life by his example.  Being a father has always been the most important thing to me.  I’ve got four kids of my own now.  All of them turned out great, and one of them is named Daniel.”

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samuel
2 days ago
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Yeesh what a way to go.
The Haight in San Francisco
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“The first time I tried it was in junior year of college.  I...

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“The first time I tried it was in junior year of college.  I bought it from some guy in the library.  I was in acting school, and there was so much pressure put on our senior year showcase.  The pill gave me so much energy.  I remember making a seven-page spreadsheet of all the agents in New York, including their address, specialty, and preferred method of contact.  Adderall gave me an ‘in’ to caring.    It’s so hard to be an actor in New York.  You have to want it so badly.  But I’d always struggled with depression and lack of motivation.  I thought I’d finally found the solution.  I just went to the psychiatrist and told them I needed a prescription.  It was so easy to get.  It went from every week, to every other day, to every day.  I built my life around it.  It got to the point where I’d never leave the house or coffee shop.  I wasn’t even getting real work done.  I was just doing random shit.  I’d write songs, tinker with my website, and send random messages to people I hardly knew.  I wasn’t sleeping.  I hardly ate.  And the moment I stopped taking the pill, I’d feel disgusting.  I was destroying my body.  But the thing about Adderall is,  if you don’t tell anyone, nobody really knows.  From the outside it just looks like you’re motivated and working hard.  But you’re horribly addicted.  You look like you.  But it’s not really you.”

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satadru
15 days ago
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1. The addiction profile of the amphetamines in Adderall is basically equivalent to that of "meth"(amphetamine.)

2. The dosages in prescribed amphetamines are orders of magnitude smaller than that from using street versions of the same. (Crystal Meth/Ice/etc.)

3. Stimulants like Adderall (and also methamphetamine which can also be prescribed for ADHD refractory to other stimulants) are FIRST LINE for ADHD. Nothing has been shown to work better. Nothing. Non-stimulant drugs for ADHD such as atomoxetine which have a different mechanism of action (and aren't necessarily addictive) just don't appear to work as well.

4. If someone who is bipolar starts taking stimulants, they could be shifted over into mania... so it is important to consult with a psychiatrist if you're having depressive symptoms to make sure you're put on the right medication, where for instance a mood stabilizer might be more appropriate.

5. This shouldn't be construed as medical advice. Go see a doctor who will take you on as a patient if you have more questions about this stuff.
New York, NY
samuel
16 days ago
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Lessons from adderall.
The Haight in San Francisco
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Live Briefing: New Congress Updates: Nancy Pelosi Calls Indictment of Sitting President an ‘Open Discussion’

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The 116th Congress is gaveled into order at noon, with Democrats in charge of the House and an election to choose the next speaker decided by 2 p.m.

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samuel
16 days ago
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"We respect people for what they can do, not judge them for what they cannot do.”
The Haight in San Francisco
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A Programmer’s Introduction to Mathematics

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For the last four years I’ve been working on a book for programmers who want to learn mathematics. It’s finally done, and you can buy it today.

The website for the book is pimbook.org, which has purchase links—paperback and ebook—and a preview of the first pages. You can see more snippets later in the book on the Amazon listing’s “Look Inside” feature.

If you’re a programmer who wants to learn math, this book is written specifically for you! Why? Because programming and math are naturally complementary, and programmers have a leg up in learning math. Many of the underlying modes of thought in mathematics are present in programming, or are otherwise easy to explain by analogies and contrasts to familiar concepts in software. I leverage that in the book so that you can internalize the insights quickly, and appreciate the nuance more deeply than most books can allow. This book is a bridge from the world of programming to the world of math from the mathematician’s perspective. As far as I know, no other book provides this.

Programs make math more interesting and applicable than otherwise. Typical math writers often hold computation and algorithms at a healthy distance. Not us. We embrace computation as a prize and a principle worth fighting for. Each chapter of the book culminates in an exciting program that applies the mathematical insights from the chapter to an interesting application. The applications include cryptographic schemes, machine learning, drawing hyperbolic tessellations, and a Nobel-prize winning algorithm from economics.

The exercises of the book also push you beyond the book itself. There’s so much math out there that you can’t learn it from a single book. Perspectives and elaborations are spread throughout books, papers, blog posts, wikis, lecture notes, math magazines, and your own scratch paper. This book will prepare you to read a variety of sources by introducing you to the standard language of math, and also push you to engage with those resources.

Finally, this book includes a healthy dose of culture. Quotes and passages from the writings of famous mathematicians, contextual explanations of cultural attitudes, and a light dose of history will provide a peek into why mathematics is the way it is today, and why at times it can seem so confounding to an outsider. Through all this, I will show what progress means for math, what attitudes and patterns will help you along the way, and how to stay sane.

Of course, I couldn’t have written the book without the encouragement and support of you, my readers. Thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting me all these years.

Order the book today! I can’t wait to hear what you think 🙂



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samuel
25 days ago
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Starting reading this book and it's excellent. Worth the $20 if you're looking to pick up math and proofs. Covers polynomials, calculus, linear algebra, and sets/groups.
The Haight in San Francisco
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The upheaval around massive financial, political and technological changes could get worse

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Rarely has the world witnessed so much unsettling change so fast in so many nations for so many reasons.

  • A torrential decade has unleashed massive financial, political and technological crises, crises of trust, truth and untethered populations.
  • People are irate and balkanized, and provocateurs, itching to make them more so, keep stirring the pot.

Why it matters: Never in recent memory has the danger of some imminent, undefined catastrophe felt so genuinely palpable.


The big picture: It's important to step back and think deeply about the currents running through this moment of history — and what could come next.

I chose among the most disturbing and conspicuous dynamics of the period — the extreme anger all around (most recently in France and Brazil), and, everywhere, the urge to create "others" in society.

My guide was "The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War," Yale historian Joanne Freeman's exploration of the last time Americans were so divided — the decisive three decades leading up to the war that tore the U.S. apart.

The bad news: If there is a lesson in these years, it is that our circumstances can get worse. It was a time of extreme, polarized U.S. politics, strange and vicious conspiracy theories, and cutthroat media that amplified all the noise.

  • Eventually, the Civil War closed in, even though “no one at the time thought it was inevitable. People were trying to protect their interests without blowing up the whole thing,” Freeman told me.
  • When people worry about the divided country, that’s what they are really asking: Whether that 19th century past is in store for us — a new national conflagration, the result of never having figured out how to reconcile our differences. Are we mere tribes, seeking advantage and to hell with the other guy?
“I’m not saying we are marching into civil war. But you can see the power that conspiracy theories can have and how people can be swept into them.”
Joanne Freeman

The book's title refers to an 1856 letter written by abolitionist John Turner Sargent, calling the floor of Congress "that field of blood."

  • From around 1830 on, Congress was a practice ground for the Civil War — "a den of braggarts and brawlers, a place of sectional conflict waged by sectional champions," Freeman writes. Representatives regularly punched, knifed, threatened — and once shot and killed each other.
  • This was not seen as unusual — because the U.S. was an extraordinarily violent place. Voters demanded such displays of loyalty to conviction. "Nothing but denunciation and defiance seem to be tolerated by the masses," a former Northern congressman wrote. If you failed to be angry enough, you could be summarily voted out.
  • They were fighting less for a moral cause than their section of the country — their tribe, in today's parlance. They felt their region's honor at stake.

Ultimately, as we know, the impulse was not honor or gallantry, but slavery. At the same time the British Empire abolished slavery (1833), there were auction blocks and slave pens right in D.C. Shackled slave gangs were marched along the capital's streets.

  • In 1865, an unambiguous conclusion to the war was the only way to break the fever.
  • Freeman says rightly that she's produced a window to what can happen when people become trapped in their own polarized politics and "can't see their way out."
  • "As violent and strife-ridden as the nation and its politics continued to be, a new day was at hand."


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samuel
35 days ago
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I don't buy that we're on a path to civil war. If sides aren't geographic, then there are no sides.
The Haight in San Francisco
bcomnes
35 days ago
CORRECT,There is no geographic home to those who would start the shooting. Everyone is commingled. I'd also say that the the actual number of people fantasizing on eliminationist action against opponents is 98% of from the extreme Right side of the spectrum. The Left side (AntiFa et al) is puny by comparison. I worry more about general mass shootings which are singular in location and limited to what one ammosexual is capable of pulling off.
WorldMaker
35 days ago
I've referred to it as a Cold Civil War before. It feels unlikely to get Hot, but very likely to get weirder. It's full of Crises and Mind Games and weird Propaganda-filled Space Races. That said, sides in the US are partly geographic, if you consider it largely City versus Rural, with the Suburbs cruel border zones between whose "allegiances" are often socioeconomic. There are Roman Empire parallels and it wouldn't be surprising if some cities try for more autonomy versus their states if this gets much worse.
gmuslera
35 days ago
Reality is different. A civil war with weapons and geographic sides? Information spreading is not so much geographic but technological, like in communities in social networks (in the open or in the dark web). And weapons are more economic and social opinions than traditional ones. Whatever happens may be labeled as civil war, but won't be similar to the past ones.
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Our dying planet can’t scream, but people can

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Th Extinction Rebellion is climate change in your face.
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samuel
51 days ago
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The Haight in San Francisco
betajames
53 days ago
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Michigan
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