January 30, 2018

Fuck Mozilla and fuck the Firefox developers.

February 19, 2018

In the end, however, Perot turned out to be more right than wrong about NAFTA—and not only on economic but on political terms. Perot would not have been a good President, but would’ve scuppered NAFTA. That would’ve probably benefited the US more than any other single action in the past 30 years.

Why do poor Americans eat so unhealthfully? Because junk food is the only indulgence they can afford.

Why even a moth’s brain is smarter than an AI. Now.

The case for ending Amazon’s dominance.

What Babylon Berlin Sees in the Weimar Republic.

Capitalism and Communism which briefly resembled victor and vanquished, increasingly look more like Thelma and Louise; a tragic couple sent over the edge by forces beyond their control. Talk about burying the lead. Damn.

We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years.

February 18, 2018

Tidbits from a Pseudo-Medieval Kitchen.

The discreet terror of the American bourgeoisie.

The High Cost of Not Doing Experiments.

Learning to program is getting harder. I have no interest in being a programmer, but when I was a kid, here’s how you started programming: turn on your computer. Now it’s two days of installing libraries, troubleshooting, fixing issues, and janky workarounds to get the environment set up.

Map of the oceans if the Earth stopped spinning.

Technological innovation is not an inherent good for disabled people, especially when the focus is on cure over care.

The 13 Indicted Russians. Aye. Not some grand defeat of Trump. It’s irrelevant and distracting garbage.

Photography and the Philosophy of Time.

The War for Social Media: The Center is Trying to Diminish Diversity and Control Speech.

Three Field Studies Find Increased Rationalization When Anticipated Realities Become Current.

Easier Seen Than Done: Merely Watching Others Perform Can Foster an Illusion of Skill Acquisition.

We – and I use that term pointedly here, as I mean people like myself who are white, educated, and comparatively affluent – have been far too willing to be bought off and throw others under the bus in exchange for tangible economic benefits.

Amazon’s useless “transparency reports” won’t disclose whether they’re handing data from always-on Alexa mics to governments. Of course they are. I mean, come on.

February 17, 2018

Drug maker hikes price of 2-in-1 painkiller >2,000%—$36 drugs now $3,000.

Lift the federal ban on gun violence research.

It’s time to show the carnage of mass shootings. Yep. Close-up shots of dead kids’ bodies should be all over everything.

The Second Amendment is being turned into a suicide pact.

Blockchain Just Isn’t As Radical As You Want It To Be.

In Fiji, villages need to move due to climate change.

Lab-Grown Meat Is Coming, Whether You Like It or Not. This is in the “inevitable” category of tech progression, agreed.

Some evidence suggests that when efficacy is estimated based exclusively on unbiased high-quality trials, effects of psychotherapy could fall below the threshold for clinical relevance.

Toward a multifactorial model of expertise: beyond born versus made. What I’m very good at, I trained very little to achieve that. What I’m bad at, I can train a whole lot and not improve all that much.

For people of color, banks are shutting the door to homeownership.

Scant Evidence of Power Laws Found in Real-World Networks.

February 16, 2018

Why Ad Companies Love Google’s Ad Blocker, But Hate Apple’s Privacy Features. One of the main reasons I continue to use Apple for my main machines is that they don’t track, and don’t sell data.

Utility poles. I love old style blogs. So superior.

Why Warren Buffett is a ‘prime example’ of the failure of American capitalism.

DNA from the poop of extinct four-meter-tall birds reveals lost ecosystem. We killed Big Bird.

Church Speaks.

The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class.

Germany considers free public transport in fight to banish air pollution. Public transportation should be free everywhere.

Electronics-Recycling Innovator Faces Prison For Extending Computers’ Lives. Helping people is an easier way to go to prison these days than hurting someone, especially if you piss off corporations.

Household Products Now Rival Cars As a Source of Air Pollution.

The Principled Intelligence Hypothesis. I don’t buy her explanation, though it is worth pondering. I am also unusually smart. However, I excel at norm evasion, and I don’t give a damn about rules or norms and will break them if I find them suspect or morally untenable.

The entirely unnecessary demise of Barnes & Noble. Is everyone with an MBA evil? I was going to say a company run that poorly doesn’t deserve to live, but the non-MBAs who work for B&N did nothing wrong — however, all the execs should be in jail. And I am absolutely not joking.

Hey Microsoft, Stop Installing Apps On My PC Without Asking. This is why I do not use Windows. Well, one of the dozen reasons. MacOS does not pull this shit, and also works correctly in high-DPI and with mixed-DPI monitors (which Windows utterly fails at).

Google To Kill Off ‘View Image’ Button In Search. Thus making it useless.

February 15, 2018

The fact that the content of an email can’t be edited is one of the best things about POP3 and IMAP email standards. Yep. Saves my ass at work all the time. “Yes, you did say this a year ago, and here’s the proof. That’s why I designed it this way.”

Meth, the Forgotten Killer, Is Back. And It’s Everywhere. It never left, in reality. In areas like where I grew up, meth is fun for the whole family.

U.S. healthcare tab to keep rising, led by higher costs for drugs and services, government report says.

Gross domestic product was devised as a shorthand way of measuring the American economy in the 1930s; but it is not much good at measuring modern economies; and it is downright misleading as a basis for government policy.

The insect that painted Europe red.

We code-switch laughter.

Mass shootings are getting deadlier. And the latest ones all have something new in common: The AR-15.

It wasn’t just straightforward xenophobia or blind fear that prompted Roosevelt administration to order the incarceration of Japanese Americans. White farmers, threatened by Japanese Americans’ success in agriculture, also played a crucial role.

Poor People Deserve Better Than Food in a Box.

February 14, 2018

Arbitration as Wealth Transfer by Deepak Gupta, Lina Khan.

The permafrost bomb is ticking.

How We Got To The Point That Hollywood Is Trying To Attack The Internet Via NAFTA.

AMP for email is a terrible idea. This is equally true with the “for email” part removed.

Neoliberal bosses have something in common with child molesters. Both lack restraint in the pursuit of their own self-gratification in situations where they think they can get away with it.

Yes, sea level rise really is accelerating.

Lately I’ve been seeing more clearly one of the underlying problems with the Left, Liberals, Progressives, Democrats, or whatever blanket term you prefer for people who are not conservatives: they are, to varying degrees, unbelievable quick to explain to you why something will not work.

Why Rural Residents in the U.K. Outlive Rural Americans.

A fish that scurries along the seafloor uses the same neurons and genes that help land vertebrates walk, suggesting the blueprint for walking originated much earlier than previously thought.

We conclude that ad blocking poses a threat to the ad-supported web. Good. If the ad-supported web disappeared utterly, so be it.

February 13, 2018

The Democrats’ obvious move is to propose completely free health care for everyone, with no tax increase. Obvious if you are not a Democrat. Something something BernieBros.

Rural America’s Drinking-Water Crisis. Sparsely populated, low-income communities across the country suffer from polluted water—an injustice expected to worsen under Trump.

How Google Maps Leads Women Seeking Abortions Astray.

The use and abuse of mathematical economics.

The Problem with Firefox.

The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.

Facebook was designed to prey on the fearful and angry. Who’d have guessed.

Facebook’s Vampiric VPN Service.

What students know that experts don’t: School is all about signaling, not skill-building.

FCC report finds almost no broadband competition at 100Mbps speeds. So nice to have gigabit symmetrical fiber.

We are not going to get a decarbonized energy system by 2050. We are going to fail the climate targets, probably by a large margin, and I suspect that a warming of about 3 degrees centigrade is going to be almost inevitable.

February 12, 2018

Rise up Women! by Diane Atkinson review – Arson, arrest, escape, and the right to vote.

Mindfulness Meditation No Better Than Watching TV.

Whether or not Musk’s critics are right, they are not especially politically effective. Most people do not share the belief that a process must be morally pure before its results can be celebrated. Moral purity, strangely, is an obsession of the Left, not of the Right.

Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood.

The influence of the “shared environment”, i.e. the global environmental impact, which comes about without distinction of person, is negligibly weak in all studies – and in no event exceeds the size of a few percentage points.

In Sweeping War on Obesity, Chile Slays Tony the Tiger. New regulations, which corporate interests delayed for almost a decade, require explicit labeling and limit the marketing of sugary foods to children.

Somewhere along the way we forgot that interruptions are toxic to real work.

Everything Easy is Hard Again. Current web design and websites are horrific and bad and should be viewed by no one.

A close reading of Teen Boss, a horrifying artifact of our time.

Insider trading has been rife on Wall Street, academics conclude. One study suggests insiders profited even from the global financial crisis; another that the whole share-trading system is rigged. Shocking absolutely no one.

Why Don’t Babies Smile from Birth?

February 11, 2018

The Case for Breaking Up Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Compared to the other “visionary” writers working at the time – William Gibson, Neal Stephenson – Banks is underappreciated.

A simple, lifesaving rabies shot can cost $10,000 in America.

We live in a system that exploits most people, and while it disproportionately distributes that exploitation to marginalized groups, it doesn’t stop there. It exploits anyone it can. But liberals don’t acknowledge that.

The Brutal Life of a Sanitation Worker.

Existentialism is a Humanism.

The changes between the Obama and the Trump administrations are those of rhetoric. In practical terms, both serve the fluid elites and contribute to the same international order with the same passionate dedication.

Why Microsoft Office is a bigger productivity drain than Candy Crush Saga. Sacking admins and typists looks cheaper on paper to accounting types, but was very expensive indeed.

February 10, 2018

HTTPS is expensive security theater.

And will Google, next year, consider criticism of Google to be “not secure?”

Just 3 months in prison leads to reduced self-control, measured as increased risk taking and reduced attentional performance. This is a significant finding, as released prisoners may be less capable of living a lawful life than they were prior to their imprisonment.

If we limited artistic expression to subjects that are commonly regarded as socially respectable, we would soon be left with moralistic kitsch.

The Strange and Twisted Life of “Frankenstein.” After two hundred years, are we ready for the truth about Mary Shelley’s novel?

The problem isn’t whether people can identify fake news.

World’s tiniest 3D glasses reveal how praying mantises see the world.