December 21, 2018

The study – the first of its kind – pooled data from almost 400 trials looking at the impact of either medication or physical activity. It found that for those with high blood pressure, exercise seemed to be just as effective as most drugs used to treat it.

Minimum wages and the distribution of family incomes in the United States.

Cash Transfer, Knowledge Transfer.

People use less information than they think to make up their mind.

The Martian North Pole Is a ‘Winter Wonderland’ Right Now, New Photo Shows.

Is There an Optimal Diet for Humans? A study of modern hunter-gatherer groups found that they exhibit generally excellent metabolic health while consuming a wide range of diets.

This Was the Year the Robot Takeover of Service Jobs Began. Another thing that could “never happen” is happening.

There is no political order or rule of law without an enclosure. A political entity needs to have boundaries. This is why all discussions of “global citizenship or democracy without borders” are silly claptrap.

King Coal isn’t dead—he’s just been exiled from the US.

Can We Just Have Medicare for All Already?

December 20, 2018

The Real Roots of American Rage. The untold story of how anger became the dominant emotion in our politics and personal lives—and what we can do about it.

Swimming with Super Grouper. One of my favorite fish. I am a grouper groupie.

New malware pulls its instructions from code hidden in memes posted to Twitter. Good christ the future is weird.

How to Build Your Own Quantum Entanglement Experiment, Part 1 (of 2).

Windows Sandbox. Should’ve been there years ago, but this is still pretty cool.

How Much Income It Takes To Survive In Every State, Mapped.

As a final “fuck you” to its userbase, Tumblr blocked archivists just before starting the NSFW content purge.

I read 1,182 emergency room bills this year. Here’s what I learned. A $5,571 bill to sit in a waiting room, $238 eyedrops, and a $60 ibuprofen tell the story of how emergency room visits are squeezing patients.

Ambient Cruelty. The ability to ruin a stranger’s life is a feature, not a bug of consumer rating systems.

Why Are Western Elites Succumbing To Russia Conspiracy Theories?

Sleeping Rough in the Mattress Economy.

Nearly Mythical 3-Foot-Long Swamp Salamander Is Officially a Real Species.

Prestigious Science Journals Struggle to Reach Even Average Reliability.

Physically-fit women are much less likely to develop dementia. Get to lifting.

This principle of affordable universal service is under threat. This year, the White House Office of Management and Budget recommended selling the public Postal Service to a private, for-profit corporation.

Yes, Big Platforms Could Change Their Business Models.

Metformin and exercise independently improve insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of diabetes. Metformin was also recently proposed as a potential therapy to slow aging. However, recent evidence indicates that adding metformin to exercise antagonizes the exercise‐induced improvement in insulin sensitivity and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Offense archaelogy.

The appeal of Zero Waste on an individual level is clear. Late capitalism fosters a sense of helplessness in the face of systemic injustices, a yawning global wealth gap, and rapidly approaching climate catastrophe. That, in turn, gives rise to purity cults like Zero Waste that serve more to provide a sense of individual penitence than do anything about powerful systems we’ve already agreed we can’t change.

December 19, 2018

If you want to understand US agriculture, you gotta understand one thing. It’s not even about making food. It’s a real estate hustle.

Why you should care about the Nate Silver vs. Nassim Taleb Twitter war. How can two data experts disagree so much?

Images That Counter Traditional Depictions of Women. In Hannah Starkey’s photographs, women often appear alone doing ordinary activities, but these moments — which neither glorify nor objectify them — are bestowed an unmistakable emotional gravity. Love Hannah Starkey. Surprised to see her in the NYT.

The boomer humor writers warned us about all of this. Alas, I have read most of these books.

The case against billionaire philanthropy.


How computers got shockingly good at recognizing images.

Mate Choice and the Persistence of Maternal Mortality.

Job Wars.

Turning Off Facebook Location Tracking Doesn’t Stop It From Tracking Your Location. Because of course not.

The Coming Commodification of Life at Home. As internet-connected devices and appliances accumulate, one academic foresees “the monetization of every move you make.”

While Sears executives get $25 million in bonuses, laid off workers struggle during Christmastime.

False flag operations set up by private companies. Here is another sector soon to be occupied entirely by private companies: staging successful false flag operations and the subsequent suitable psyops.

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants. Internal documents show that the social network gave Microsoft, Amazon, Spotify and others far greater access to people’s data than it has disclosed. At this point, anyone still on Facebook pretty much deserves what they get.

Researchers demonstrate teleportation using on-demand photons from quantum dots.

Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century.

December 18, 2018

Boogieing to Beyoncé at a $100M wedding, Hillary plots her comeback.

CenturyLink blocked its customers’ Internet access in order to show an ad. Welcome to the future.

Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?

Neoliberalism as Structure and Ideology.

Democracy Can’t Survive Without the Welfare State.

To a man with an algorithm all things look like an advertising opportunity. Facebook’s tone-deaf response to a woman who continued to be bombarded by parenting ads after her son was stillborn highlights big tech’s bro-gramming problem.

Genetic information as self-fulfilling prophecy. DNA test results can spur relevant physiological changes, even if they’re made up.

Demography, unemployment, and automation.

The violence in Mexico isn’t just fueled by megalomaniac drug lords as depicted in shows like Narcos. Transnational capital is also responsible for the bloodshed.

The Web now belongs to Google, and that should worry us all.

NY Times Columnist Nick Kristof Led The Charge To Get Facebook To Censor Content, Now Whining That Facebook Censors His Content. Most people only want it to censor what they think is bad, not what the other person thinks is bad. I think I see a problem here….

December 17, 2018

Increasing housing density along arterial roads just reinforces inequality.

The Unbearable Conventionality of Our Tech Betters.

Not How the Internet Happened.

We’ve seen plenty of media coverage over the past few weeks of the widening chaos in France and Britain. But there’s almost no sense that those events may be connected, still less that they have anything to do with the ongoing political turmoil in the United States. This is a critical failure.

Outsourcing the blame for why you’re failing at life, to your phone, is incredibly immature and stupid.

The Impolite Pleasure of People-Watching. Only our modern era would construe just looking around you as an invasion of privacy. What the fuck.

A young star caught forming like a planet.

The language of capitalism isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous.

McKinsey, the standard-bearer for autocrats, looters and torturers.

December 16, 2018

Single-Family Zoning Is an Urban Dinosaur.

Economics: The Discipline That Refuses to Change. Behavioral economics upended the idea that humans act solely in their rational self-interest. So why do most undergrads barely learn anything about the field?

Why the Ivy League Clings to a Strategy of Diminishing Returns.

Humans weren’t designed to be rational, and we benefit hugely from our mental biases.

Besides their hostility to liberal democracy, the right-wing autocrats taking power across the world share one big thing, which often goes unrecognized in the U.S.: They all want to subordinate women.

Whenever I see a photo from the 1960s or 1970s, I am startled. It’s not the clothes. It’s not the hair. It’s the bodies. So many people were skinny.

The yellow vest protests are bringing down the center in France, and everyone wants credit. Right-wing nationalists claim French rioters are on their side. Don’t buy it.

December 15, 2018

Yellow Vests stand for and against many contradictory things, but are united in opposition to oligarchy.

Neurosurgery could spread protein linked to Alzheimer’s, study finds.

Johnson & Johnson shares plunge after report that says it knew about asbestos in its baby powder. Notice the focus is on its shares plunging.

One of Nature’s Smallest Flowering Plants Can Survive Inside of a Duck.

Narrower Skulls, Oblong Brains: How Neanderthal DNA Still Shapes Us.

Great thread about the importance of piracy.

Hubble finds far-away planet vanishing at record speed.

The Hard Truths of Trying to ‘Save’ the Rural Economy. I think agglomeration is in a sense a fake effect, and a cultural choice, not some sort of natural law.

December 14, 2018

Is a Green New Deal Possible Without a Revolution? No.

The Psychology of Memory and the 2016 Election.

How Big Oil Secretly Pushed for Trump’s Car Emission Rollbacks.

Scary warming at poles showing up at weird times, places. Scientists are seeing surprising melting in Earth’s polar regions at times they don’t expect, like winter, and in places they don’t expect, like eastern Antarctica. We should’ve called it “climate weirding” because that’s going to be the actual truth of it.

Gun deaths in America reach highest level in nearly 40 years, CDC data shows.

An Updated Theoretical Framework for Human Sexual Selection: from Ecology, Genetics, and Life History to Extended Phenotypes.

Book Notes: Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos.

Ultimate Life Hacker? Meet The Woman Who Says She’ll Do Things, Then Doesn’t Do Them.

Windows 10 Collects Activity Data Even When Tracking Is Disabled, But You Can Block It. By using MacOS or Linux. Fuck that surveillance OS.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Rescinds Nomination After Discovering The Cure Was Voted In As Cruel Prank By Popular Kids.

One more robot in a commuting zone reduces employment by about six workers.

Inside the College Union Beef Exposing Liberal America’s Elite Hypocrisy.

The bad news on human nature, in 10 findings from psychology.

December 13, 2018

It Could Be the Age of the Chicken, Geologically. With 65 billion chickens consumed each year, the signature fossil of the modern epoch may be the leftovers. What’s up? Chicken butt…fossils.

The Cloying Fantasia of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I have never seen the show, but this is a very good review.

Windows Server 2019 Includes OpenSSH. About damn time.

The Minimum Wage, EITC, and Criminal Recidivism.

A Tale of Many Cities: Industrial Networks and Urban Productivity.

Raiders of the Lost Web. If a Pulitzer-finalist 34-part series of investigative journalism can vanish from the web, anything can.

Astronomers find that dark matter dominates across cosmic time.