New article: the colour of the inhuman world
Also, some considerable work on the articles pages. All my articles are markdown files, and lots of features went unparsed when they get rendered as HTML. But now, we have linkable headings, a table of contents, a properly working footnotes feature, and the ability to see the ideology and summary at the top of each page. Very pleasing.
Now publishing the front-end changes---a little more dramatic. Most obvious would be a crude darkmode, with a toggle button at the bottom left. Lots here to be unhappy with, particularly the flicker on some page transitions. But it works well enough for viewing the site at night. Colourscheme changed slightly to better accommodate.
Also a scroll to top button at the bottom right---particularly useful when reading the articles!
The gossip trap: How civilization came to be and how social media is ending it. Interesting enough exploration of our 'silent years'---the huge gap between modern physiology and modern civilisation. The thesis: when society is small enough for each of us to know each other, society is organised through social pressure. When we exceed that, natural social hierarchy breaks down and we are forced to use other tools (i.e. civilisation). 'Gossip' is posed as a constraint on innovation. The outro suggests that social media has brought back the 'gossip trap'.
It is not clear precisely to me how this is entirely a bad thing, although the author things so:
The gossip trap is our first Eldritch Mother, the Garrulous Gorgon With a Thousand Heads, The Beast Made Only of Sound.
I'd be more likely to agree that this modern form of the gossip trap is a bad thing, and point to the loneliness epidemic, the hydraulic trap and the amusement trap as examples. But I'm inclined to suspect the gossip trap facilitated not by social media but by actual connections to people brings many benefits we are quick to dismiss or ignore.
Pop-ideas to think about when considering improving science.