Boehner: Trump has been a 'complete disaster' - POLITICO
>> “I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,” Boehner said. “I don’t want to be president. I drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes. I golf. I cut my own grass. I iron my own clothes. And I’m not willing to give all that up to be president.” <<

Sounds sensible to me (apart from the smoke cigarettes bit which is surprising). Hitchhikers Guide scenario - those who *want* to be President should be prevented from being President. Small hut on planet with rain (and cats to feed).
notes 
19 hours ago
Theresa May’s toughest (televised) moment yet – POLITICO
"Corbyn, a vegetarian north London peace activist who accidentally became the leader of the opposition, doesn’t strike the public as an opportunist who will say and do anything to get into Number 10. Indeed, if that was the case, he might stand a better chance."

Hilarious - echos of George Orwell and his Sandal wearing vegetarians. One wonders if this might be a good election to actually lose (but with a vote share higher than Blair's and Milliband's)
notes 
3 days ago
Internet Atlas maps the physical internet to enhance security
"Professor of Computer Sciences Paul Barford, Ph.D. candidate Ramakrishnan (Ram) Durairajan and colleagues have developed Internet Atlas, the first detailed map of the internet’s structure worldwide."

The Cloud = Other people's computers, fibre optic cables, line amplifiers and generators.
Closed 
11 days ago
How to make the perfect bagels | Life and style | The Guardian
"Bagels need boiling – Reinhart writes that a "number of bagel companies now skip the boiling (really, more like poaching) and use steam-injected ovens, but this produces a kind of a hybrid bagel/French-bread texture". Boiling sets the crust, so it will remain hard and chewy, but too long a boiling time (2-3 minutes on each side from Joseph, but 1-2 minutes from Roden) will make the crust too hard, and stop the inside from expanding as it should."

Next challenge. Visit to Brick Lane Beigel Shop on soon as well.
notes 
11 days ago
We overanalyze Trump. He is what he appears to be. - Vox
"But what if there’s nothing to understand? What if there’s no there there? What if our attempts to explain Trump have failed not because we haven’t hit on the right one, but because we are, theory-of-mind-wise, overinterpreting the text?"

So impulsive 70 year old with no long term plan. What could possibly go wrong?
notes 
13 days ago
Rejection Letter - Charlie's Diary
"This is a really serious case of stable doors being bolted a week too late; the UK historically prioritized offensive internet operations far above defense and resilience, and we're paying the price."

CESG now part of National Cyber Security Centre
notes 
13 days ago
Trump is dangerous. But he's not Nixon — yet - Vox
"I saw in Trump's tweeting and in his statements the peculiarity that I had heard on the Nixon tapes of a man who, though by all standards has succeeded in the game of life, comes to the most powerful position in the world thinking he's a victim."

Timothy Natfali, ex-director of the Nixon presidential library
notes 
13 days ago
Lost Generation: The Relay Computers – Creatures of Thought
"He believed he could greatly improve the efficiency of Telegrafverket’s operations by building an automatic switching system entirely of relays: a matrix of relays sitting at each intersection in a lattice of metal bars which connected to the phone lines. It would be faster, more reliable, and easier to maintain than the sliding and rotating contacts then used."
Closed 
16 days ago
Behind Comey’s firing: An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia - POLITICO
"Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told him he was making a big mistake — and Trump seemed "taken aback," according to a person familiar with the call. "
notes 
17 days ago
Former presidents walk fine line in Trump’s America - POLITICO
>> “He doesn’t know much,” Clinton said in late December. “One thing he does know is how to get angry white men to vote for him.” <<

Seems to be general these days. Chill everyone
notes 
17 days ago
Jeff Varasano's NY Pizza Recipe
"It's all in the crust. My dough is
just water, salt, flour and yeast. I use no dough conditioners,
sugars, oils, malts, corn meal, flavorings or anything else. These
violate the "Vera Pizza Napoletana" rules and I doubt that
Patsy's or any great brick oven place uses these things. I've
only recently begun to measure the actual "baker's percents"
of the ingredients. Use this awesome spreadsheet
to help you. The sheet allows you to track your experiments.
Here's a basic set of ratios. The truth is that a lot of these
recipes look the same and that you can vary these ingredients by
several percentage points and it's not going to make a huge
difference. You really have to learn the technique, which I'm going
to explain in as much detail as I can, and then go by feel. Really, I
just measure the water and salt and the rest is pretty flexible. The
amount of flour is really, "add until it feels right." The
amount of Sourdough starter can range from 3% to 20% and not affect
the end product all that much."
bread 
18 days ago
The Physicist Who Sees Crime Networks – Backchannel
"Mizuno was surprised to find that companies behave rather like people. Like the urban myth of there being six degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and any other actor, Mizuno found that 80% of the world’s firms could be connected to any other business via six customers or suppliers. For example, Elpitiya Plantations, a producer of fine teas in Sri Lanka, is linked to financial behemoth Western Union by hopping from a hotel chain to a fertilizer company to food giant Nestlé to bargain US retailer Dollar General."

networks and algorithms
notes 
19 days ago
Baking SOS: How to solve 10 common bread problems by Luis Troyano | BBC Good Food
"If you want a really great crust, try making your bread in a casserole pot with the lid on. That creates an airtight environment. Take your biggest casserole pot, get it hot in the oven, then put your shaped dough in there. It can be quite tricky to get in there, so I shape my dough on a loose bottomed tart tin lined with paper then lower it into the pot using string. Bake it in the pot for about 35-40 minutes and you’ll end up with as close to a bakery loaf as you can achieve at home."

Try this one! Sourdough could have been over-proved
bread 
20 days ago
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked | Technology | The Guardian
Is using an analytics company a conspiracy? Need to think this one through. People have always used all resources when campaigning.
notes 
20 days ago
Lessons in Bread Baking: Oops! I forgot the salt - Bread Experience
"Salt serves a number of purposes in bread. It stabilizes the gluten structure which creates a better dough and adds flavor. It also slows down the fermentation process by dehydrating the yeast and bacteria. Technically, salt is an optional ingredient; however, if you’re going to omit it, you should use cold temperatures to slow down the fermentation process or reduce the rising times."

Forgot the salt on my sourdough so cut it in and kneeded a bit more. See what happens when it bakes
bread 
20 days ago
Review: Brexit, by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley | THE Books
"According to the BBC, the ratio of Leave to Remain campaign spending was £16.4 million pounds to £15.1 million. That is a ratio of 52:48, almost identical to the ratio of the votes cast, but if the authors of this book are aware of this, they do not say."
notes 
22 days ago
Sent to Prison by a Software Program’s Secret Algorithms - The New York Times
"...He may have been thinking about the case of a Wisconsin man, Eric L. Loomis, who was sentenced to six years in prison based in part on a private company’s proprietary software. Mr. Loomis says his right to due process was violated by a judge’s consideration of a report generated by the software’s secret algorithm, one Mr. Loomis was unable to inspect or challenge."

Algorithms that make decisions should be available for inspection. Via Techmeme.
Closed 
25 days ago
Microsoft's Tuesday event: what to expect from its Chromebook response - The Verge
"Recently, Microsoft started hiding its touch-friendly mobile versions of Office in the Windows Store. While mobile devices can still search for them, if you’re a tablet or regular PC user then they’ve simply vanished from the Windows Store search. These apps are Universal Windows apps, and were supposed to be the future of Office and a demonstration of how powerful Microsoft’s Windows 10 apps could be."

Taken a little out of context, via techmeme. Article about modified Windows 10 and cheap clients as competitor to Chromebooks in US.
Closed 
25 days ago
Major apps abandoning Apple Watch, including Google Maps, Amazon & eBay [u]
"In the last few weeks, the latest update for Google Maps on iOS ditched support for the Apple Watch. Its removal was not mentioned in the release notes, and Google has not indicated whether support for watchOS will be reinstated."
Closed 
25 days ago
Interview with Byron Westbrook | RHYTHMPLEX
"I am largely dealing with positioning and size of sounds as dynamic elements. If only one speaker is sounding from the center of the room, that can appear to be lower in dynamic scale, whereas if it shifts from that point to two extremes of the room, appearing to expand, that in turn expands that sound to a dominant position of scale and intensity. I do a lot of this shifting of sounds, but it happens very slowly, and (hopefully) imperceptibly enough that it should communicate more of a feel than the thought “the sound just went from mono to stereo” or whatnot. Another technique is to use two speakers playing the same sound slightly out of pitch or out of phase to position it in a place other than where the speakers are positioned. Height is another factor a well. I have these small speakers that I built which can be easily positioned on small ledges, and at every performance, they end up being configured differently. It’s also worth noting that I don’t use matched speakers/enclosures and different ones emphasize different frequencies. In general though, thinking about dynamic of sound in a room in terms of an x/y/z axis really opens up compositional/improvisational possibilities."

Infinte Sustain geezer on methodology
sonics 
25 days ago
My coffeehouse nightmare.
"There is a golden rule, long cherished by restaurateurs, for determining whether a business is viable. Rent should take up no more than 25 percent of your revenue, another 25 percent should go toward payroll, and 35 percent should go toward the product. The remaining 15 percent is what you take home. There's an even more elegant version of that rule: Make your rent in four days to be profitable, a week to break even. If you haven't hit the latter mark in a month, close."

Hipster arithmetic
notes 
26 days ago
VS Ramachandran: The Sherlock Holmes of Neuroscience  
"Poverty forces you to be "ingenious" and resourceful early on in your career plus the history of science tells us the importance of simplicity. The minute you start using fancy technology, there are so many steps from the raw data to the conclusion that there is plenty of scope for unintended massaging of the data. Methodology is important but your research should be concept driven – not methodology driven. Lastly, using sophisticated techniques (especially if computers are involved) lulls you into a false sense of thinking you have done something “scientific". The use of hi-tech is – to quote Peter Medawar – seen, unfortunately, as a sign of intellectual manhood."
notes 
6 weeks ago
If Chinese Were Phonetic - The New Yorker
"With a phonetic writing system like an alphabet or a syllabary, you need only learn a few dozen symbols and you can read most everything printed in a newspaper. With Chinese characters, you have to learn three thousand. And writing is even more difficult than reading; when you can’t use pronunciation as an aid to spelling, you have to rely on pure memorization. The cognitive demands are so great that even highly educated Chinese speakers regularly forget how to write characters they haven’t used recently."

But then on the upside, reading is (I gather) independent of the spoken language. Handy in a huge polyglot country. Via HN
notes. 
7 weeks ago
Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence | Ubuntu Insights
"I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS."

Good heavens. I've just checked the date on the post really carefully, and checked that the sky is not actually falling.
linux 
7 weeks ago
The Real Story of Reagan’s 11th Commandment - POLITICO Magazine
"Fast forward to 2017. The Republicans have become the party of dysfunction. They inherited the Southern conservatives who abandoned the Democrats, and are now as deeply split as the Democrats ever were—even as they hold the presidency, the Congress, and a majority of the nation’s state governments."
notes 
7 weeks ago
Why Japan's Rail Workers Can't Stop Pointing at Things - Atlas Obscura
"Train conductors, drivers and station staff play an important role in the safe and efficient operation of the lines; a key aspect of which is the variety of physical gestures and vocal calls that they perform while undertaking their duties. While these might strike visitors as silly, the movements and shouts are a Japanese-innovated industrial safety method known as pointing-and-calling; a system that reduces workplace errors by up to 85 percent."

Pointing and calling for maths?
learning 
7 weeks ago
The art of the denial - Vox
"About 100 people were slotted to come to the conference from Africa — from filmmakers to government officials, from Guinea to Ethiopia to South Africa. But all of their visas to come to the US for business travel were rejected. Every. Single. One."

So the centre of gravity of the 'development' industry moves out of the US. The UK needs international contacts at present, and the UK civil service has a lot of experience with scrutiny of visa applications...
notes 
8 weeks ago
Democrats aim to take out Cruz in 2018 - POLITICO
"The affable O’Rourke cuts a unique profile in the House. He recently spent two days in a car with Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) driving from Texas to D.C. after a snowstorm. The two livestreamed the entire ride and took questions from constituents along the way."

Sounds like a way to reach younger voters. Transcript of some of the questions could be fun
notes 
8 weeks ago
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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 
9 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
10 weeks 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 
11 weeks 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 
11 weeks 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 
11 weeks 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 
february 2017
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 
february 2017
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?
february 2017
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 
february 2017
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 
february 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
january 2017
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 
december 2016
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 
december 2016
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 
december 2016
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 
december 2016
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 
december 2016
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.
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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
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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."
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december 2016
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