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Links #95

Charlie Stross on why science fiction is a terrible guide to the future, and how billionaires and tech companies should stop trying to create those futures. “Because we invented the Torment Nexus as a cautionary tale and they took it at face value and decided to implement it for real.”

Étienne Fortier-Dubois on complexity limits of fictional worlds. Agreed that most (if not all) worldbuilding is more simplistic than the real world, and that more complexity would be quite interesting. Past a certain point, though, you get complexity overload and the reader can’t enjoy the story because of All The Things. And even before that point, I’m not sure how often it truly matters; small stages can tell compelling stories. tl;dr Diversity of complexity is good.

Alex Chan on creating a PDF as big as the universe. Now you know.

@strangestloop on things that aren’t doing the thing. A good reminder. Nothing like getting your hands dirty.

Procreate Dreams, a new(ish) animation app. Haven’t tried it, but their painting app is well made, and this one looks cool.

Aleksandra Mirosław breaking the speedclimbing world record. Wow! She makes it look so easy. This also makes me glad that normal humans don’t scrabble up walls all the time. (Though if it were normal, maybe it would feel less unsettling.)

Chris on typing fast being about latency and not throughput. Agreed. I type fairly quickly, and there’s a definite difference in feel when I’m slowed down by a touchscreen or analog. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down, to have more built-in time to think about what I’m writing, but generally I’d rather be able to type fast and then take thinking breaks when needed.

Benjamin Breen on using generative AI for historical research, to augment and not automate.

Andrew Burmon on police brutality leading to domestic violence. “Research into the private lives of cops suggests that that faith in the restraint of police officers on the job is founded at least in part on men who abuse their wives and children. And what percent of cops are domestic abusers is conspicuously quite high.”