The failure of the Republican health care bill reveals a party unready to govern - Vox
"This is a party that has forgotten how to do the slow, arduous work of governing. Perhaps it’s worse than that. This is a party, in many ways, that has built its majority upon a contempt for the compromises, quarter-loaves, and tough trade-offs that governing entails."
notes 
3 days ago
IBM is ending its decades-old remote work policy — Quartz
"At IBM, which has embraced remote work for decades, a relatively large proportion of employees work outside of central hubs. As early as the 1980s, the company had installed “remote terminals” in several employees’ homes. And by 2009, when remote work was still, for most, a novelty, 40% of IBM’s 386,000 global employees already worked at home (the company noted that it had reduced its office space by 78 million square feet and saved about $100 million in the US annually as a result)."

How the mighty have fallen. A company that sells remote working services...
notes 
5 days ago
Berlin strikes back against Trump claim that Germany owes ‘vast sums’ to NATO, US – POLITICO
“A sensible security policy is not just buying tanks, driving defense spending to insane heights and escalating the arms race,” he said. “A reasonable policy means crisis-prevention, stabilization of weak states, economic development and the fight against hunger, climate change and water scarcity.”

Sigmar Gabriel has the right idea I think. Talking is cheaper.
notes 
8 days ago
How to fix Obamacare with this one weird trick - POLITICO
"The under 26 provision has contributed to one of Obamacare’s biggest flaws: Not enough young, healthy people have signed up for coverage in the law's insurance marketplaces, or exchanges."

Any insurance based system for paying for health care has to fiddle the premiums some how as we all need high levels of health care eventually (What I call the Kurt Cobain principle). Only way to fund health care is to do it through tax somehow so we all contribute consistently and not at a level that depends on individual risk.
notes 
8 days ago
Brian Moriarty | Lectures & Presentations | Who Buried Paul?
"Who Buried Paul? was first presented at the San Jose Convention Center on St. Patrick’s Day 1999, as a featured lecture of the Game Developers Conference."

Could this be the first alt-truth exhibit? Via HN
notes 
9 days ago
>I'm shocked at how antisocial it is. Did I really believe this stuff? I did. A... | Hacker News
"What I saw that most changed my mind? I was expecting a world of nefarious villains, but what I found was nothing but a bunch of weak anit-patterns and emergent behaviours. The world didn't suck because illuminati super-villains were oppressing the sheeple, it sucked for the same reason parks get trashed. Garbage accumulates and nobody bothers to pick it up."

Nice analogy. It isn't a conspiracy, just neglect. HN discussion on cyberpunk manifesto.
notes 
9 days ago
Review: In ‘Spider Network,’ an Intriguing Tale of Complicity - The New York Times
"At bottom, the Libor scandal was not very complicated at all. Libor was calculated daily based on submissions made by relatively low-level bank employees with modest oversight by the banks, the private association collecting the data and the regulators. The value of banks’ trading positions in derivatives and other Libor-influenced securities could be tremendously affected by even relatively small changes in the financial benchmark. The result was a mad scramble by market participants to influence the submissions in the hope of moving Libor in a direction favorable to their holdings."

Just ordered the book. Good example of small decisions taken at low level blowing up through network effects.
notes 
9 days ago
Moving Deliveroo from a Monolith to a Distributed System
"Beech is lead engineer at Deliveroo which was founded in 2013. They started with a typical Ruby on Rails monolith using PostgreSQL and Redis for data storage and handled the growth in business by using larger and larger databases. One year ago, they were running about 20 servers on Heroku. Currently, they are running a few hundred servers which is the largest application ever deployed on Heroku, at peek using 1800 cores and 3 TB of memory. They have grown from 10 engineers in 2015, to about 100 in 2017, working on a main codebase of 600,000 significant lines of code."

So until recently, all your junk food orders could be searched for and patterns of location found.
notes 
9 days ago
Humans weren’t designed to be rational, and we benefit hugely from our mental biases — Quartz
>> " "But even if we were able to live life according to such detailed calculations, doing so would put us at a massive disadvantage. This is because we live in a world of deep uncertainty, under which neat logic simply isn’t a good guide." " <<

Black Swan 2.0
notes  learning 
9 days ago
The New Party of No - The New York Times
>> "In a 2014 Pew survey, 82 percent of people who identified as “consistently liberal” said they liked politicians who were willing to make compromises; just 32 percent of “consistently conservative” respondents agreed." <<
notes 
10 days ago
Wherever Trump goes, his gang of aides stays close by - POLITICO
"The large number of senior officials present, at all times, is a major contrast with past administrations — and it speaks to the defensive crouch that has become necessary for top aides in a White House defined by rival factions and power centers."

Delegation?
notes 
11 days ago
Structure - The New Yorker
"All I had to do was put them in order. What order? An essential part of my office furniture in those years was a standard sheet of plywood—thirty-two square feet—on two sawhorses. I strewed the cards face up on the plywood. The anchored segments would be easy to arrange, but the free-floating ones would make the piece. I didn’t stare at those cards for two weeks, but I kept an eye on them all afternoon."

Hipster table!
cards 
13 days ago
Laugh all you like, says Oliver Burkeman, index cards are pretty cool | Life and style | The Guardian
"As each thought occurs, he records it. Then, for hours, he rearranges the cards, grouping similar ideas together until a structure begins to emerge, seemingly independent of his will."
card 
13 days ago
Mr. Trash Wheel | Baltimore Waterfront
"Trash comes from people who throw garbage on the ground instead of putting it in a trash can or recycling bin. When it rains, water carries this garbage off streets and into storm drains, which flow unfiltered into neighborhood streams. These streams carry the trash into the Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay."

Sort of a surface skimmer
notes 
23 days ago
kde4 - How do I remove launchers from the KDE panel? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange
At least on my KDE4 desktop I can remove a launcher like this: right-click on the right-most side of the panel and select Unlock Widgets in the popup menu right-click again on the right-most side of the panel and select Panel Settings now displayed in the popup-menu move mouse on the desired launcher icon and click on the X in its popup to remove the launcher you can also click and drag it elsewhere if you want to right-click on the right-most side of the panel and select Lock Widgets in the popup menu to prevent accidental panel changes
linux 
23 days ago
The Accidental Arrival of the Cubicle – Robin Powered – Medium
"In the 1960’s, the U.S. tax code made one small, but important, change. Businesses could now depreciate their office furniture over seven years — much faster than the 39.5 year rate for physical office walls. Under this system, companies could recover costs much more quickly on furniture. Furniture became considerably cheaper than construction when it came to creating an office."

The genesis of the open plan office
notes 
23 days ago
Future life expectancy in 35 industrialised countries: projections with a Bayesian model ensemble - The Lancet
"Notable among poor-performing countries is the USA, whose life expectancy at birth is already lower than most other high-income countries, and is projected to fall further behind such that its 2030 life expectancy at birth might be similar to the Czech Republic for men, and Croatia and Mexico for women. The USA has the highest child and maternal mortality, homicide rate, and body-mass index of any high-income country, and was the first of high-income countries to experience a halt or possibly reversal of increase in height in adulthood, which is associated with higher longevity.20, 21, 28, 29, 30 The USA is also the only country in the OECD without universal health coverage, and has the largest share of unmet health-care needs due to financial costs.25 Not only does the USA have high and rising health inequalities, but also life expectancy has stagnated or even declined in some population subgroups.1, 2 Therefore, the poor recent and projected US performance is at least partly due to high and inequitable mortality from chronic diseases and violence, and insufficient and inequitable health care."

Watch out for anyone suggesting ideas from the US about healthcare here!
notes 
4 weeks ago
The fallacy of Trump’s “send in the Feds” fix for Chicago - Vox
"Chicago is also far from the most violent city in America. An analysis by the Trace put Chicago’s murder rate at 27.9 per 100,000 residents. Many other cities, particularly in the Midwest and Rust Belt, fared worse, including St. Louis (59.3), Baltimore (51.2), and Detroit (45.2)."

Birmingham UK is 5.7 per 100k and is considered bad. Uk average around 2.4 per 100K
notes 
4 weeks ago
Trump’s nominees gripe the White House isn’t protecting them - POLITICO
“We're reaching a point where nominees like Perdue are concerned. Potential ambassadors and judges are wondering how are you going to handle my confirmation? Very few people at that level don’t have skeletons in their closet so you [need to] get confirmations done lickety-split.”

Where do these skeletons come from? Is it not possible to have a modest and effective career and a stable home life in the US any more?
4 weeks ago
Talk of tech innovation is bullsh*t. Shut up and get the work done – says Linus Torvalds • The Register
>> "The innovation the industry talks about so much is bullshit," he said. "Anybody can innovate. Don't do this big 'think different'... screw that. It's meaningless. Ninety-nine per cent of it is get the work done." <<

>> "All that hype is not where the real work is," said Torvalds. "The real work is in the details." <<


Torvalds nails it again. Just do stuff. Details matter.
notes  linux 
5 weeks ago
WATERGATE FIGURE ANTHONY ULASEWICZ DIES - The Washington Post
"Mr. Ulasewicz later lived in Upstate New York, working on his memoirs and at one point tending chickens named Dean, Haldeman and Ehrlichman."

Excellent. His book has been ordered.
notes 
5 weeks ago
I trained myself to be less busy — and it dramatically improved my life - Vox
"I started with a simple value: being outside. I am a regular exerciser, but I was losing touch with being outside and moving my body through space. I began walking more, that’s all. It was not a hard change to make — I just park a little farther from work and hoof it a bit more, or I go for a nice stroll during lunch. It would not be an overstatement to say that an additional 40 minutes a day of walking just two or three times a week has changed me in a profound way. Walking provides time to think, to be energized by nature, and to feel less frenzied. Quite dramatically, I am much less of a robot and much more of a human being."

This works for me; a day when I am not out of the house for a few hours feels somehow wrong.
notes 
8 weeks ago
Prospects for the American press under Trump, part two - PressThink
"This is a crisis with many overlapping and deep-seated causes, not just a problem but what scholars call a wicked problem— a mess. You don’t “solve” messes, you approach them with humility and respect for their beastliness. Trying things you know won’t “fix” it can teach you more about the problem’s wickedness. That’s progress. Realizing that no one is an expert in the problem helps, because it means that good ideas can come from anywhere."

Wicked problems. Is that a way of looking at the political process by which different forces resolve to define an approach or strategy?
notes 
9 weeks ago
Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again - POLITICO Magazine
"If Trump’s idea of a news conference is to spank the press, if his lieutenants believe the press needs shutting down, if his chief of staff wants to speculate about moving the White House press scrum off the premises, perhaps reporters ought to take the hint and prepare to cover his administration on their own terms. Instead of relying exclusively on the traditional skills of political reporting, the carriers of press cards ought to start thinking of covering Trump’s Washington like a war zone, where conflict follows conflict, where the fog prevents the collection of reliable information directly from the combatants, where the assignment is a matter of life or death."

I like Jack Shaffer. Still miss HST and what he would make of this.
notes 
9 weeks ago
One Thing – Rands in Repose
"The perceived velocity achieved by being busy is a lie. Velocity is a vector. It is a combination of speed and a given direction provided by strategy. The rapid completion of small tasks might give you speed, but it is a well-defined direction that will give you efficiency, value, and impact. Who cares how quickly you are getting work done if it’s not the right work?"

More marking and feedback. Less rootling around for The Perfect Handout.
notes  learning 
10 weeks ago
Paris Review - Robert Caro, The Art of Biography No. 5
"And I had had a similar flash about Lyndon Johnson. It was the Senate, it wasn’t the presidency. He made the Senate work. For a century before him, the Senate was the same dysfunctional mess it is today. He’s majority leader for six years, the Senate works, it creates its own bills. He leaves, and the day he leaves it goes back to the way it was. And it’s stayed that way until this day. Only he, in the modern era, could make the Senate work. So he, like Moses, had found some new form of political power, and it was ­national, not urban power."

I still hope the fifth volume gets finished this year...
notes 
10 weeks ago
The End Of Coder Influence | Zed A. Shaw
"But, I remembered that after countless blog posts about how terrible of a person I am and how terrible my books are, I still end up helping millions of people a year and still have the same sales."

The 'hard way' books are good. Might do a maths the hard way using the templates.
linux  notes 
10 weeks ago
Addicted to Your iPhone? You’re Not Alone - The Atlantic
"Harris is the closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience. As the co‑founder of Time Well Spent, an advocacy group, he is trying to bring moral integrity to software design: essentially, to persuade the tech world to help us disengage more easily from its devices."
notes 
10 weeks ago
How I Got My Attention Back
“Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love.”

Simone Weil. That police photo. This quote.
notes 
10 weeks ago
Sir Ivan's resignation sign of greater Whitehall strain - BBC News
"Concern is growing among some high-ranking officials that ministers don't understand or won't admit the scale of the task they're facing."

What can *possibly* go wrong?
notes 
11 weeks ago
The whole philosophy community is mourning Derek Parfit. Here's why he mattered. - Vox
"When I believed [that personal identity is what matters], I seemed imprisoned in myself. My life seemed like a glass tunnel, through which I was moving faster every year, and at the end of which there was darkness. When I changed my view, the walls of my glass tunnel disappeared. I now live in the open air. There is still a difference between my life and the lives of other people. But the difference is less. Other people are closer. I am less concerned about the rest of my own life, and more concerned about the lives of others."

Derek Parfitt
notes 
11 weeks ago
Why this conservative radio host quit after Trump's victory - Vox
"Now, no matter how insane or crazy a belief is, you can find a media outlet that will affirm it for you. So the pressure to feed the crazies is immense in this media environment. What this means is that talk radio hosts are now gravitating toward their audiences rather than audiences gravitating to hosts. If a host refuses to do this, the audience disappears."

Critical Thinking everyone
notes 
11 weeks ago
Class Breaks - Schneier on Security
"In a sense, class breaks are not a new concept in risk management. It's the difference between home burglaries and fires, which happen occasionally to different houses in a neighborhood over the course of the year, and floods and earthquakes, which either happen to everyone in the neighborhood or no one. Insurance companies can handle both types of risk, but they are inherently different. The increasing computerization of everything is moving us from a burglary/fire risk model to a flood/earthquake model, which a given threat either affects everyone in town or doesn't happen at all."
notes 
11 weeks ago
Why bad ideas refuse to die | Steven Poole | Science | The Guardian
"Actually, it’s a lot more than five centuries regressed. Contrary to what we often hear, people didn’t think the Earth was flat right up until Columbus sailed to the Americas. In ancient Greece, the philosophers Pythagoras and Parmenides had already recognised that the Earth was spherical. Aristotle pointed out that you could see some stars in Egypt and Cyprus that were not visible at more northerly latitudes, and also that the Earth casts a curved shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse. The Earth, he concluded with impeccable logic, must be round."

And anyone who watched a ship sail from harbour would witness the sail disappearing over the horizon...
notes 
12 weeks ago
Remembering Roger Faulkner: UNIX Champion - The New Stack
“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
linux 
12 weeks ago
What the ‘Godfather of Populism’ Thinks of Donald Trump - POLITICO Magazine
"Forty years before 2016’s “populist” president-elect stumped the country in his personal Boeing 757, Harris made his own quixotic bid for the presidency, crisscrossing the country in a borrowed Winnebago ahead of the 1976 Democratic primaries. At times wearing a cowboy hat atop his unruly head of dark hair, evoking a lumpen Johnny Cash, Harris financed his campaign with yard sales, house parties and picnics, and stayed overnight in ordinary voters’ homes in exchange for IOUs for a night in the White House, should he be elected."

Sounds like how to do it
notes 
12 weeks ago
What’s really bugging Trump about Obama - POLITICO
“even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.”

Obama - can't we have him back? UN General Secretary or something?
notes 
12 weeks ago
Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny - The New Yorker
"The problem of managing powerful systems that lack human values is exemplified by “the paperclip maximizer,” a scenario that the Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom raised in 2003. If you told an omnicompetent A.I. to manufacture as many paper clips as possible, and gave it no other directives, it could mine all of Earth’s resources to make paper clips, including the atoms in our bodies—assuming it didn’t just kill us outright, to make sure that we didn’t stop it from making more paper clips."

Note: Find out about Bostrom
notes 
12 weeks ago
Inside Evan Spiegel's very private Snapchat Story - Recode
>> "I often talk with people about the conflicts between technology companies and content companies," Spiegel said during a conference keynote two years ago. "One of the biggest issues is that technology companies view movies, music and television as information. Directors, producers, musicians and actors view them as feelings, as expression.

"Not to be searched, sorted and viewed — but experienced." <<

Seems to have that sorted out.
notes 
12 weeks ago
Forgive me, techies, but here are the seven reasons why Silicon Valley likes Trump - Recode
>> "Yeah, he’s good at giving the people what they want, for sure. “We’ll get right on that!” “We’ll fix that!” “My guy will call your guy!” It is probably a relief from the smarty-pants Obama people who actually raised reasonable objections and wanted to debate the issues." <<
notes 
12 weeks ago
TLSTraveller's tales: on Patrick Leigh Fermor's letters – James Campbell
"In 1956, Ann Fleming wrote to Evelyn Waugh that “Paddy was invited for lunch and arrived with five cabin trunks, parcels of books and the manuscript of his unfinished work on Greece [Mani] strapped in a bursting attaché case”."

That's the way to do it. The writer sings for his supper.
notes 
december 2016
Christmas special: Survey research, network sampling, and Charles Dickens' coincidences - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
"In traditional survey research we have been spoiled. If you work with atomistic data structures, a small sample looks like a little bit of the population. But a small sample of a network doesn’t look like the whole. For example, if you take a network and randomly sample some nodes, and then look at the network of all the edges connecting these nodes, you’ll get something much more sparse than the original. For example, suppose Alice knows Bob who knows Cassie who knows Damien, but Alice does not happen to know Damien directly. If only Alice and Damien are selected, they will appear to be disconnected because the missing links are not in the sample."
notes  statistics 
december 2016
The Binoculars of Jah | Colin Grant | Granta Magazine
"I’d been going to the island (mostly on my own) since I was nineteen; but when I mentioned my intention to go and find Bunny, my siblings and mother were filled with dread. They were rattled by tales of the Windrush Generation of emigrants, who had been retiring to the island only to be met with violence, muggings and sometimes worse. Increasingly, my family believed you went home to die – and not of natural causes."

If true, this is really sad.
notes 
december 2016
Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People
>> "As I mentioned earlier, the most effective way we've found to get interesting behavior out of the AIs we actually build is by pouring data into them.

This creates a dynamic that is socially harmful. We're on the point of introducing Orwellian microphones into everybody's house. All that data is going to be centralized and used to train neural networks that will then become better at listening to what we want to do.

But if you think that the road to AI goes down this pathway, you want to maximize the amount of data being collected, and in as raw a form as possible.

It reinforces the idea that we have to retain as much data, and conduct as much surveillance as possible." <<
notes 
december 2016
Why the white working class feels like they’ve lost it all, according to a political scientist - Vox
"One is that the media has a voracious appetite for controversy. It's the most extreme voices that dominate headlines because they are the most extreme and unusual and so they get more air time. Then there's also the campaign finance problem in the US. We only support politicians when they raise enough issues that are polarizing to make people fear that they not get their way. If there's agreement, people aren't scared and so not enough money is raised."

That need for differentiation/distinction and inability to have consensus that adjusts.
notes 
december 2016
The Hazards of Going on Autopilot - The New Yorker
>> "The more the pilots’ thoughts had drifted—which the researchers affirmed increased the more automated the flight was—the more errors they made. In most cases, they could detect that something had gone wrong, but they didn’t respond as they should have, by cross-checking other instruments, diagnosing the problem, and planning for the consequences. “We’re asking human beings to do something for which human beings are just not well suited,” Casner said. “Sit and stare.”" <<

Self driving cars anyone?
notes 
december 2016
Term-time holiday case heading to Supreme Court - BBC News
"The evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil's chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances - vindicating our strong stance on attendance."

Peer reviewed? Seriously what evidence? Otherwise every child with a serious illness would need a funded catch up package including one to one coaching which would be very expensive
notes 
december 2016
Labour MP Jamie Reed quitting Parliament - BBC News
>> "Mr Reed voted for renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system earlier this year, calling Mr Corbyn's opposition to nuclear weapons "juvenile" and "narcissistic"." <<

Perhaps Mr Reed can explain the precise strategic advantage to the UK of hosting a nuclear weapon system that the UK government can't actually use without the cooperation of the USA? Exactly what do we gain in exchange for the billions it costs us to *lease* these things? Perhaps some aircraft that are actually flown by the RAF on our aircraft carriers might be more of a deterrent?
notes 
december 2016
Keith Ellison’s one-man march - POLITICO
"When I told him that his rhetoric on Farrakhan and Trump sounds similar, he smiled and sat up in his chair. “I’ll tell you this: They’re charismatic speakers speaking to people’s pain. Blaming other people is an old trick” — equating the leading black nationalist’s call to arms with a Trump rage-fest that fired up white nationalists."

Eric wins again
notes 
december 2016
My Priorities for the Next Four Years - Schneier on Security
"The election was so close that I've come to see the result as a bad roll of the dice. A few minor tweaks here and there -- a more enthusiastic Sanders endorsement, one fewer of Comey's announcements, slightly less Russian involvement -- and the country would be preparing for a Clinton presidency and discussing a very different social narrative. That alternative narrative would stress business as usual, and continue to obscure the deep social problems in our society. Those problems won't go away on their own, and in this alternative future they would continue to fester under the surface, getting steadily worse. This election exposed those problems for everyone to see."
notes 
december 2016
How A Rust Belt Native and Silicon Valley Technologist Is Re-Thinking American Manufacturing – Initialized Capital – Medium
"So I moved here. I sold CloubFab to a manufacturer in Minnesota and had some time to do my own thing. I went to China and researched all of their industry in Shenzhen. I looked at injection molding. 3D printing. Basically all of these new technologies, and talked to the people who were working in the factories."

What is manufacturing in 21st century? Can't we just sketch something and click the button?
notes 
december 2016
Divisions deepen inside Trump Tower - POLITICO
"Trump, a businessman-turned-politician, has long encouraged competition among factions within his organizations, creating a pressure-cooker environment where almost every decision resulted in a winner and a loser. In the end, one side would be vanquished and another would take its place, and the cycle would repeat."

This is NOT how governments work
notes 
december 2016
A surprising number of great composers were fond of the bottle – but can you hear it?
"The other day I was reading a review of a new life of Liszt by Oliver Hilmes that reveals ‘hair-raising episodes of drunkenness’ in his later years. For some reason these were left out of the three-volume biography by Alan Walker, who admitted that the composer drank a bottle of cognac a day (and sometimes two bottles of wine) but didn’t think he was an alcoholic."

I wonder what Mr Walker's idea of the consumption profile of an actual alcoholic is.
notes 
december 2016
politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Betting on will Boris Johnson still be Foreign Secretary of the 1st of January 2018
"I think despite the events of the summer when Michael Gove’s transformation into the lovechild of Frank Underwood and Niccolò Machiavelli fatally damaged Boris Johnson’s chances of suceeding David Cameron, Boris still wants to be Prime Minister."

I may need a new keyboard as a result of the images invoked by this post.
notes 
december 2016
Word of the Year 2016 is... | Oxford Dictionaries
"After much discussion, debate, and research, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’."

God help us. Not only the content but the form (an hyphenated compound actually gets to be a *word* these days).
notes 
december 2016
Paris Review - Martin Amis, The Art of Fiction No. 151
"A throb or a glimmer, an act of recognition on the writer’s part. At this stage the writer thinks, Here is something I can write a novel about. In the absence of that recognition I don’t know what one would do. It may be that nothing about this idea—or glimmer, or throb—appeals to you other than the fact that it’s your destiny, that it’s your next book. You may even be secretly appalled or awed or turned off by the idea, but it goes beyond that. You’re just reassured that there is another novel for you to write. The idea can be incredibly thin—a situation, a character in a certain place at a certain time."
notes 
december 2016
‘It’s Like a Powder Keg That’s Going to Explode’ - POLITICO Magazine
>> “Before everything went crazy I was producing 1,000 words a day and I was usually done with my 1,000 words by around 11 or 11:30,” Eisen said. “That’s still the case, but now it’s 11:30 at night.” <<

1000 words a day before *noon* is some going.
notes 
december 2016
Why cities need to fight Uber and give people a real transport choice | Evgeny Morozov | Opinion | The Guardian
"Cities that cosy up to Uber, however, risk becoming too dependent on its data streams. Why accept Uber’s role as a data intermediary? Instead of letting the company hoover up extensive details about who is going where and when, cities should find a way to get this data on their own. Only then should the likes of Uber be allowed to step in and build a service on top of them."

Or cities could just follow the example of Prague and say 'here are the roads we can afford to build and maintain without damaging our historical core, if you want to spend an hour or so each day in a traffic jam, bring your car, otherwise use the trains and trams'
notes 
december 2016
What It Was Like to Work With Einstein, Feynman, Oppenheimer, Pauli, and Bohr?
"One was [J.B.S.] Haldane, the biologist who wrote excellent popular books. He was also a man of very wide interests. The people in Cambridge whom I got to know personally—Hardy and Littlewood and Besicovitch—were all great mathematicians. The joke was they spent most of their time playing billiards. Besicovitch had a wonderful billiard table. I was very lucky because my father had bought a billiard table when I was a child. So I immediately fit into this coterie in Cambridge. If I wanted to talk to the big mathematicians, I would just start playing billiards and then the conversation would turn to mathematics."
notes  science 
december 2016
The Setup / Charles Berret
"And as a purely practical matter, I try to use free/open-source software and formats just because I can be reasonably certain that these will still be supported in ten or twenty years. I'm done migrating my work out of proprietary platforms. There's also an argument to be made for the environmental responsibility of using low-spec computers, low-overhead software, and basic file formats."

Seems sound as well
linux 
december 2016
Sustainable Authorship in Plain Text using Pandoc and Markdown | Programming Historian
"Instead of following this tutorial in a mechanical way, we recommend you strive to understand the solutions offered here as a methodology, which may need to be tailored further to fit your environment and workflow."

Seems sound
linux 
december 2016
How I Wrote Arrival (and What I Learned Doing It) - The Talkhouse
"For those who haven’t seen a trailer or read the short story: When 12 alien vessels land in different locations around the world, the U.S. military brings in a pair of civilian scientists to help establish first contact. Louise Banks, a linguist, and Ian Donnelly, a theoretical physicist, are tasked with a unique challenge: The alien life forms (named heptapods, after their number of limbs) do not speak any form of recognizable language. We can’t understand them and, perhaps, they can’t understand us. So at first all the international teams at their respective landing sites collaborate to figure out why these beings parked on our planet, but our global relationships crumble as each country discovers how easy it is to misinterpret—or misteach—language with a true foreigner."

Just bought the book
notes 
december 2016
Buttery Smooth Emacs
"GNU Emacs is an old-school C program emulating a 1980s Symbolics Lisp Machine emulating an old-fashioned Motif-style Xt toolkit emulating a 1970s text terminal emulating a 1960s teletype."

One of the core developers
linux 
november 2016
How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’ - The New York Times
>> "Mr. Mounk’s interest in the topic began rather unusually. In 2014, he published a book, “Stranger in My Own Country.” It started as a memoir of his experiences growing up as a Jew in Germany, but became a broader investigation of how contemporary European nations were struggling to construct new, multicultural national identities." <<

Ordering a copy...
notes 
november 2016
Senate Republicans can save the country — and their party — from Trump - Vox
"This, then, is where Trump’s presidency begins: with a closely divided Senate, a supermajority of senators who refused to back his candidacy, and a super-super-majority who harbor grave doubts about his fitness to serve. Assuming Democratic unity, it will only take three Republican defections on any given issue or nomination to create an anti-Trump majority in the chamber. Republicans would be wise to use the narrowness of their majority to curb the incoming president’s worst instincts."

So will the President play to the gallery in the knowledge that the houses won't allow anything outrageous to pass?
notes 
november 2016
Bach and the musical Möbius strip | plus.maths.org
Glide symmetry with a twist (the old ones are the best)
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november 2016
Trump win churns U.S.-Mexico water talks - POLITICO
"Moreover, hydrologists now realize that the period in the early 20th century when the Colorado River's water supply was divvied up was unusually wet. And as temperatures rise and climate change shrinks the winter snow pack that feeds the Colorado, the river is likely to carry even less water in the future." -- Politico

"Events, dear boy, events." -- Harold McMillan
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november 2016
stunlaw: The Author Signal: Nietzsche’s Typewriter and Medium Theory
>> "One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”... “You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts” (Carr 2008)." <<
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november 2016
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” | McLuhan Galaxy
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us” John Culkin SJ often attributed to Marshall McLuhan
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november 2016
The firm that starts work at 9.06am - BBC News
"And at the end of the day everyone has to leave the office at 6pm sharp because staff aren't allowed to work into the evening."

He gets it
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november 2016
Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency - The New Yorker
"Obama’s insistence on hope felt more willed than audacious. It spoke to the civic duty he felt to prevent despair not only among the young people in the West Wing but also among countless Americans across the country."

Perhaps he has read Eric Hoffer - fear and despair is the soil in which extremism grows.
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november 2016
An ancient Buddhist strategy for overcoming paralyzing fear - Vox
>> "On a more practical level, Brother Phap Dung recommends that people stop reading the news if it feeds fear. “Go take refuge in nature, and find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive and in despair,” he says. “This is the medicine.”

We can and should focus on more tangible needs of the people around us than probable Trump doom. “Your friend may be somebody who is being discriminated against,” says Dung. “You can only be there to offer them kindness if you are stable. You cannot help them if you are filled with hate and fear. What people need is your non-fear.”" <<
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november 2016
R.W. Johnson · Trump: Some Numbers · LRB 14 November 2016
"Another telling figure. On average in 1965 an American CEO earned 20 times what a worker did. By 2013, on average, the number was 296 times. Marx foresaw ever greater concentrations of capital accompanied by the pauperisation of the working class."

Interesting but I'm having issues with Trump and Marx in the same article.
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november 2016
There Is No Prospect Of Irish Unity : The Pensive Quill
"Well I can’t. I do remember that when I was at the Donegal border in 1971 we shot a Volunteer in the legs for stealing a tenner after an armed robbery so that was something that was completely unacceptable – any sort of personal gain and it is shocking. It shocks me that a lot of people in Belfast in particular seem to have benefited materially and have become very, very rich on the back of the struggle however they did it and I think that’s an absolute disgrace."

Fucking hell. Raw. Via the ever amazing Slugger O'Toole
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november 2016
Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker - The New Yorker
"He was a bohemian with a cushion whose first purchases in London were an Olivetti typewriter and a blue raincoat at Burberry."

Taste
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november 2016
Advice from Leonard Cohen — Artist Reformation
"Ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in."
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november 2016
Leonard Cohen Dead at 82 - Rolling Stone
"And if you can sense this resilience or sense this capacity to continue, it means a lot more at this age than it did when I was 30, when I took it for granted."

RIP Leonard
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november 2016
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