April 20, 2018

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe. People are about to find out that the larger biosphere they think doesn’t matter, matters. Even a lot of liberals are convinced it’s irrelevant.

The latest trend for tech interviews: Days of unpaid homework.

What is data privacy? The term implies that if a company collects data about you, it should somehow protect that data. But I don’t think that’s the issue. I think the problem is that it collects data about you period. We shouldn’t let them do that.

A Marriage Used to Prevent Deportation. Not Anymore.

Sexual Harassment Was Rampant at Coachella 2018.

Game theory, Larry Samuelson and one of the most widespread myths in economics.

Dual-Venomed Assassin Bugs Store Their Chemical Arms Separately.

Economic Growth from Octavian to Obama.

Don’t expect Apple to combine macOS and iOS anytime soon. That would mean I could no longer use MacOS so good on Tim Cook for not killing anything useful of Apple’s right away.

Déjà Poo All Over Again. The EPA is considering a controversial process to deal with sewage overflows. Again.

Don’t act so incredulous, White America: You are the Starbucks manager.

Single Mother Hogging 2 Jobs.

Palantir Knows Everything About You. Palantir makes Facebook look like small potatoes.

April 19, 2018

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. The Three Perfumes, 1912.

Science hinted that cancer patients could take less of a $148,000-a-year drug. Its maker tripled the price of a pill.

Perpetuating the Cycle of Poverty.

Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

The best I can say about Barbara Bush is that, unlike her son George W., she never made decisions that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people dying.

The Ancient Walled Gardens Designed to Nurture a Single Citrus Tree.

The typical Amazon worker made less than $30,000 in 2017.

Study proposes link between formation of supercontinents, strength of ocean tides.

We Need To Do A Better Job Of Imagining Aliens.

The Quest for the next Billion-Dollar Color.

Inside Russian Women’s Fight For Their Lives. Domestic violence was already an epidemic in Russia—then came last year’s legislation further decriminalizing abuse.

In 1968, the Supreme Court gutted the Fourth Amendment, certain that it would all work out in the end. It didn’t.

Restaurant noise levels are climbing. Here’s how to fight back. I will never understand the loud restaurant trend. A friend and I once were in a restaurant where we were literally shouting to one another to be heard, and couldn’t. Poor design, and I never return to those restaurants.

April 18, 2018

Apple’s New Design Ethos: Making Gadgets Easy To Sell, Hard To Use.

Shortcomings of regression analysis.

Taste of a decade: the 1830s.

Women Who Watched “The X-Files” Pursued More Careers In STEM. Doesn’t help that photo of Gillian Anderson is so Photoshopped that she doesn’t even look human.

San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble.The city’s building code does not protect its people from earthquakes nearly as much as you might think.

Young People More Likely To Shift Toward Supporting Abortion Rights, Poll Finds.

Abortion is not a holocaust, and feminism is not about convenience.

Someone’s Making Handmaid’s Tale-Inspired Lingerie Which Seems Like a Very Bad Idea Indeed. There have been worse ideas, but I am hard-pressed to think of them.

One of the solar system’s early planets didn’t survive, but its diamonds are now on Earth.

Mary Tyler Moore was the first woman on a sitcom to wear pants. And people tell me art and entertainment doesn’t matter and is irrelevant.

The earliest use of the F-word discovered.

Law Enforcement Has Quietly Backed Anti-Protest Bills in at Least 8 States Since Trump’s Election.

Gotta Keep Baby Formula Behind the Counter. Yet he can’t seem to connect this with all the economic fictions and claptrap he posts.

April 17, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg Does Not Like Personal Privacy. And that’s a bit of an understatement.

Why Do Fantasy Novels Have So Much Food?

Seven Days of Heroin. This is what an epidemic looks like. Pulitzer Prize winner.

Friendship’s Dark Side: ‘We Need a Common Enemy.’

AT&T and cable lobby are terrified of a California net neutrality bill.

The looming student loan default crisis is worse than we thought.

April 16, 2018

Barbara Ehrenreich: Why I’m Giving Up on Preventative Care.

Individuals with low-muscle mass have a higher risk of death than others with a similar body mass index. Moreover, differences in muscle mass explain the “obesity paradox,” the counter-intuitive finding that that being overweight or obese can reduce risk of death.

A Reprise for a 19th-Century Language Based on Music.

The US workforce is the most productive, best educated in history and unemployment is at an all-time low, but wages are stagnant.

Have you noticed how poor people are bankrupting the government? Neither have we.

April 15, 2018

Why is millennial humor so weird?

Metro area populations surge as rural America shrinks.

Performing a Vanilla Self: Respectability Politics, Social Class, and the Digital World.

Climate change: Boundary between humid East, dry West shifts 140 miles.

Yes, You Should Delete Facebook.

Can We Please Stop Talking About Generations as if They Are a Thing? The problem is that generations are a thing, it’s just that scientists do as they often do — define something in a way that no one else ever defines it, then declare it does not exist.

Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day.

April 14, 2018

How convict labour increased inequality.

We scorned addicts when they were black. It is different now that they are white.

How Will Automation Affect Different U.S. Cities?

In Racine County, neatly maintained homes and dream houses are being designated ‘blighted’ to make way for Foxconn.

If Democrats Listened to Their Voters, They’d Be Moving Left.

Majority of Americans—Including 74% of Democrats—Now Support Single-Payer. Something something BernieBros.

Zillow Launches Home-Flipping Program in Phoenix and Las Vegas. Well, that is a good sign. Like financial crises? Just wait a bit.

Students are being prepared for jobs that no longer exist.

High male sexual investment as a driver of extinction in fossil ostracods.

Why Are Grad Students Depressed? Grad school, especially in N. America, takes way too long. Should be 2-4 years at most, not 5-12.

A physical constant’s value shouldn’t depend on how you measure it.

Whether group selection is an important evolutionary force, or not, is a highly controversial question in evolutionary science. A substantial proportion of evolutionary scientists still think that it is not.

Colleges Recruit at Richer, Whiter High Schools. Colleges tout their commitment to diversity, but their recruitment practices tell a different story. “Diversity” is just branding; colleges are like bank robbers: they go where the money is.

April 13, 2018

There Are Apparently Zero Scientifically-Proven Benefits to Open Plan Offices. Executives who implement open plan offices are behaving like climate-change deniers and anti-vaxxers. Benefits are spreadsheet appearances and control/power. Profit isn’t the top motive to most people/businesses, contrary to popular belief.

You know something has an infinite mean (or variance) from Monte Carlo simulations when different runs give different results.

Ideology Is a Choice. This is not well-supported by the science. Sounds nice, but is (mostly) false.

If Western Europe finds it so difficult even to confront something as straightforward as FGM, it seems unlikely it will ever be able to defend some of its subtler values in the years ahead…. Agreed. However, I disagree with a lot of the piece linked — but do concur that Europe is in for a rough road ahead due to excessive migration.

Slow-Motion Ocean: Atlantic’s Circulation Is Weakest in 1,600 Years.

Peterson appears to have read widely, which is to say: not deeply. Many academic bullshit merchants have done queasy work jamming thinly understood Big Concepts into stocking-stuffer books, but never have they tried to force Charles Darwin, Carl Jung, Jesus Christ, Goethe, Dante, Erich Neumann, Yeats, and literally hundreds of others into a fucking Huffington Post listicle. That might be one of the best sentences ever written.

How the Far Right Feeds on Male Insecurity.

If progressive political parties had pursued a bolder agenda in the face of widening inequality and deepening economic anxiety, perhaps the rise of right-wing, nativist political movements might have been averted. So why didn’t they?

If you want disabled people to contribute you have to let them. If you want to disabled people to live, you have to support them.

Chap. 11 Bankruptcies Spike 63% from Year Ago.

April 12, 2018

The share of Americans age 25-29 living with parents is the highest in 75 years. It is a very different world now than when I graduated high school in 1994. People tell me it isn’t, but it very much is.

I am a historian of sex work and I can categorically tell you that no attempt to abolish either the selling or buying of sex in the whole of human history has been effective. Not one.

It’s not fine to be fat. Celebrating obesity is irresponsible. No one should be bullied for their weight or food choices, but ‘fat pride’ promotes dangerous weight levels.

FTC Says ‘Warranty Void If Removed’ Stickers Are Bullshit, Warns Manufacturers They’re Breaking the Law.

Why Does “=” Mean Assignment?

Westworld‘s meta storytelling is what makes it so thematically rich and narratively engaging. Yep. It takes the show from “ok” to great. (And 90% of reviewers miss that it’s even happening.)

A Vocabulary for the Almost-Disappeared.

The Civil War Isn’t Over. 150 years after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Americans are still fighting over the great issues at the heart of the conflict.

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t know how Facebook works. Unfortunately neither does anyone in Congress.

Facebook collects data on non-Facebook users. If they want to delete it they have to sign up.

April 11, 2018

In Small-Town America, the Public Housing Crisis Nobody’s Talking About.

Federal Budget Deficit Projected to Soar to Over $1 Trillion in 2020. Re-written more accurate headline: Government Owes Itself $1 Trillion. Fortunately, Owns Printing Press.

The New Paranoia. Democrats have always prided themselves on being a voice of political sanity. So why has Trump’s election turned the left into a breeding ground for conspiracy theories?

If Everything Is a Russia Bombshell, Nothing Is.

Remember: Capital is capital; it is not your friend. Conservatives are learning this the hard way, and those on the left shouldn’t forget it, even when companies happen to decide the best bet is the morally correct one.

Irreproducible astronomy.

Censorship machines are coming: It’s time for the free software community to discover its political clout. Already here, just getting worse.

Amazon spent nearly $23 billion on R&D last year — more than any other U.S. company. Yep. Hate them or love them, they are heavy on R&D, and it shows.

Here’s why tech companies abuse our data: because we let them.

More Evidence Against Learning Styles.