Alex Pareene: Airlines Can Treat You Like Garbage Because They Are an Oligopoly (Fusion)
This is the end result of decades of corporate consolidation—aided by economists and regulators and politicians from both parties—that has greatly enriched a few at the expense of workers, consumers, and citizens in general. People chose to create a world that allows what happened on that plane to happen. Direct your outrage at the policymakers, economists, and industry cartels that created this future.
unitedairlines  capitalism  america 
12 days ago
A Link to the Past: VT Randomizer
The basic idea is that all item locations in the game have their items shuffled around… so for example you never know what you’re going to find when you open a treasure chest! There are many item locations in the game beyond treasure chests, for example overworld heart pieces and NPC’s that give you items - these are all included too!
videogames 
13 days ago
Isabel Castillo: 9 Ways To Customize The WordPress AMP Plugin By Automattic
This is a list of nine ways to customize the WordPress AMP plugin by Automattic.
wordpress  webdevelopment 
13 days ago
Cloak VPN Blog: Congress, ISPs, and You
Historically, we haven’t advocated for using Cloak full-time at home. In general, we think that you should trust your home network; if you don’t, you probably have bigger fish to fry. Alas, if this resolution becomes law, there may be no alternative. We might genuinely start telling our customers “yes, you should use Cloak at home, all day, every day”. From our perspective, that day will be an unhappy day indeed.
vpn  internet  government 
26 days ago
Wiki.js
An open source, modern and powerful wiki app built on Node.js, Git and Markdown.
javascript  wiki  markdown 
4 weeks ago
Security Tips Every Signal User Should Know (The Intercept)
Here’s how to maximize the security of your most sensitive conversations — the ones that could be misinterpreted by an employer; be of interest to snooping governments; or allow a hacker to steal your identity.
privacy  security 
4 weeks ago
Adam Pasick: The magic that makes Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists so damn good (Quartz)
The main ingredient in Discover Weekly, it turns out, is other people. Spotify begins by looking at the 2 billion or so playlists created by its users—each one a reflection of some music fan’s tastes and sensibilities. Those human selections and groupings of songs form the core of Discover Weekly’s recommendations.
music  spotify  software 
4 weeks ago
Katy DeCorah: What I learned after working remote for 1 year
Don’t do house chores during work hours (because you’ll never remember to fold the laundry). Don’t do work hours during downtime (because you’ll never stop working).
remotework  wfh  work 
5 weeks ago
Katy DeCorah: What I learned after working remotely for 2 years

I have entered my terrific twos of working remotely. Working from yoga pants. Working from couch. Working from over the sink as I eat leftovers. The glamour. The rolling out of bed. The “I’m going to wake up early and walk, lol jk.”
remotework  wfh  work 
5 weeks ago
User Role Editor
With User Role Editor WordPress plugin you can change user role (except Administrator) capabilities easy, with a few clicks. Just turn on check boxes of capabilities you wish to add to the selected role and click “Update” button to save your changes. That’s done. Add new roles and customize its capabilities according to your needs, from scratch of as a copy of other existing role.
_wordpress-plugins 
5 weeks ago
Gianluca Gimini: Velocipedia
Back in 2009 I began pestering friends and random strangers. I would walk up to them with a pen and a sheet of paper asking that they immediately draw me a men’s bicycle, by heart. Soon I found out that when confronted with this odd request most people have a very hard time remembering exactly how a bike is made. Some did get close, some actually nailed it perfectly, but most ended up drawing something that was pretty far off from a regular men’s bicycle.
design  art  psychology 
5 weeks ago
Rebecca Solnit: City of Women (New Yorker)
I can’t imagine how I might have conceived of myself and my possibili­ties if, in my formative years, I had moved through a city where most things were named after women and many or most of the monuments were of powerful, successful, honored women.
gender  culture  patriarchy  nyc 
6 weeks ago
Joe Soss: Food Stamp Fables (Jacobin)
What also makes O’Connor’s article so troubling is that he wraps the usual scurrilous myths about SNAP in a veneer of health promotion — a framing that’s sure to win over some left-leaning readers who’d otherwise recoil at the usual trumped-up claims about food stamps. Yet in the end, O’Connor’s health paternalism doesn’t just run aground morally, but empirically: the study provides no evidence that SNAP encourages soda purchasing, and no evidence that SNAP funds (as opposed to personal funds) were used to buy soft drinks.

O’Connor writes a lot about sugar, and not much about social policy. So perhaps his main target here is the sugar industry. If so, he has thrown millions of food-insecure Americans — most of whom work or have significant disabilities — under the bus to advance his agenda.

Just as political attacks on social protections are on the rise, the article panders to the worst stereotypes of “welfare,” ignoring the SNAP program’s many successes. In the process, it tells people who imagine the worst about food stamps that they’ve been right all along. Facts be damned.
capitalism  poverty  politics  food 
6 weeks ago
Saving SSH keys in macOS Sierra keychain
How to fix Sierra not remembering SSH keys.
As described in detail on https://openradar.appspot.com/27348363, macOS/OS X till Yosemite used to remember SSH keys added by command ssh-add -K <key>.

Unfortunately this way no longer works and command ssh-add -K in macOS Sierra no longer saves SSH keys in OS's keychain. As Apple Developer stated: "That’s expected. We re-aligned our behavior with the mainstream OpenSSH in this area."
mac  ssh  osx 
8 weeks ago
Email Lab
Starter project for designing and testing HTML email templates
email  webdevelopment 
8 weeks ago
Erica Chenoweth: It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance (The Guardian)
The United States has a rich history with effective uses of nonviolent resistance. It’s time to become familiar with it.
activism  government  politics  trump 
10 weeks ago
Mic.com: An imam gave a moving sermon at JFK. Everyone feeling worn out by Trump needs to read it.
All throughout human history, there have been people who have been trying to establish a beloved community somewhere on the planet earth. And always where there've been people who try to establish a beloved community, there have also been people who oppose them.
politics  trump 
10 weeks ago
Paypal — Switching my default payment method
How to fix this problem that makes no sense.
11 weeks ago
Reggie Ugwu: How Electronic Music Made by Neo-Nazis Soundtracks the Alt-Right (Buzzfeed)
Fashwave is championed on the same forums that gave voice to the so-called alt-right movement that aggressively supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, including the Daily Stormer, The Right Stuff, and the National Policy Institute. It’s the intuitive musical expression of that movement’s less self-serious, more sardonic tone, and has roots in the online imageboards, video games, and sci-fi propagated among young, white racists on the outer perimeters of the internet. Just as the alt-right surprised mainstream observers this year by effectively organizing to advance its political vision, it has now set its sights on remaking culture, consolidating around and promoting a music scene it can call its own.
nazis  music 
january 2017
Messy Nessy Chic: The Inexplicably Fascinating Secret World of Thomasson
“Thomasson: noun \ to-ma-son \ a preserved architectural relic which serves no purpose”. We’ve all come across an example at one time or another– probably didn’t give it too much thought and surely had no idea these random urban oddities actually had a name, let alone an entire movement dedicated to observing them as conceptual art. That’s right, art. People have written books about Thomasson, formed street observation societies to find them (notably in Japan) and even identified a classification system of categories for them.
architecture 
january 2017
Jennifer Weiner: Try a New Year’s Revolution
If you still want to make changes, understand that you are where you are not because you’re weak or you’re flawed, but because you’ve adapted to an environment that encourages you to drive instead of bike or walk, to watch TV instead of doing anything else. It’s a lot for three hours a week of gym time to counteract, Professor Wharton says. His suggestion is to go big. Don’t just swap half-and-half for skim milk, or take the stairs. Reorder your life to reflect your values and your priorities instead of just tinkering at the margins.
health  politics 
january 2017
Cliston Brown: Dear Democrats: Nobody Cares About Your Feelings
We are taught in school—to our everlasting disadvantage—that our elected officials, regardless of where they stand on various issues, are rational public servants who can be reasoned with. If we make enough polite phone calls, write enough letters, hold enough rallies, our voice will be heard. Nobody believes in this idealized version of our government other than progressives. (Conservatives are much more clear-eyed, and that’s why they win so often.)
politics 
january 2017
GitHub Help: Generating an SSH key
Since I forget how to do this or have problems every six months or so, and these instructions are concise and correct and always work.
git  development 
january 2017
Ta-Nehisi Coates: My President Was Black (The Atlantic)
A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next.
history  america  obama  politics 
january 2017
Jeremy D. Larson: The Year in Blame (Hazlitt)
We all have the ability to blame others. It comes natural, feels powerful and cathartic, and is essential to a society that seeks to dismantle oppressive systems and those who oversee them. If we can do this, then we can all take part in the radical act of blaming ourselves for this year and the years to come. Give it currency. Rate, like, and subscribe to culpability to help reverse the flow of democracy.
psychology  politics  america 
december 2016
David Chiu: The Forgotten Precursor to iTunes (Pitchfork)
You would go into a listening booth and peruse 3,000 popular songs dating as far back as the ’50s before purchasing individual singles (each priced from 75 cents to $1.50) for your own custom mixtape up to 90 minutes long, made in just five to ten minutes.



The music industry was fearful that the service would cannibalize album sales at a time when illegal home-taping reportedly accounted for $1.5 billion in revenue losses. But Garvin says there was evidence of much more business to be had from people who weren’t ready to shell out $20 for an album but would pay a dollar for a single; the iTunes Store, particularly when paired with the iPod, proved this.
musicindustry 
december 2016
Jeremy Bushnell: Class Actions (Real Life Magazine)
Studies suggest that, like the RateMyProfessors rankings, student evaluations too reveal predictable patterns of gender bias (and likely biases regarding race, age, and sexual orientation as well), and yet it’s mandatory for instructors to submit to their assessment. Student evaluations are deeply embedded in the body of educational institutions both logistically and ideologically — so much so that one can’t even begin to critique them without seeming like one is trying to defraud students somehow, deny them an oversight that feels somehow to be “rightfully” theirs. Even as I write this I feel the need to perform within the ideological space they inscribe: I want to showcase their deliciously quantifiable numbers, the ones that prove that I’m a good instructor, or at least above average. These numbers are available to the system; they help me to keep my job.

It’s going to be hard, over the next four years, to have a conversation about gender bias in student evaluations or about the conditions of part-time contingent faculty or about doing the hard work of making the tools of a liberal education more accessible to marginalized populations. It’s going to be hard, because it’s hard to have difficult conversations when it feels like you’re under assault; it’s hard to look critically at your colleagues when it feels like it’s time to lock arms against the oafish villains roaring at you.
education  internet  politics  labor 
december 2016
Jeremy Gordon: How Anthony Fantano, aka The Needle Drop, Became Today’s Most Successful Music Critic (SPIN)
Fantano is not unaware of his detractors, who range from viewers who think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about to fellow critics who think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The things that make him a successful vlogger—his speed, his unpretentious humor, his willingness to review everything regardless of his genre fluency, his refusal to assume a deep understanding of an artist’s politics or feelings—are at odds with traditional print and online criticism. He brought up an interaction with a Pitchfork writer who eagerly introduced himself at South by Southwest. The writer told Fantano he was only joking when he previously wrote on Twitter, “Anthony Fantano makes me want to quit my job.” Every music writer we spoke to is at least aware of Fantano’s work—some of them find it dumb, and at any rate, don’t want to talk about it on the record. It doesn’t bother Fantano too much, but it does bother him. “It obviously took time and took a lot of effort,” he says of his work. “I would at least like to be treated with the same amount of legitimacy. That’s all.”
music  criticism  internet 
december 2016
Vajra Chandrasekera: ‘Binti’ by Nnedi Okorafor (Strange Horizons)
A brilliant piece of literary criticism for a novelette I loved and am looking forward to the next installment of.
As a metaphor for acculturation into empire, this works almost too well. You can walk in the halls of empire, yes, as long as you're willing to accept invasive alien tentacles into your mind, to put alien needs above your own, to allow yourself to be instrumentalized.
literature  criticism  writing  culture  race  scifi 
december 2016
Isha Aran: Disney’s Moana is a powerful movie starring a brown girl—but I still have issues with it (Fusion)
A fully culturally authentic film requires having people of that culture at the helm; and that's not what Disney's done.
film  movies  culture  race 
december 2016
Moira Weigel: Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy (The Guardian)
By making fun of professors who spoke in language that most people considered incomprehensible (“The Lesbian Phallus”), wealthy Ivy League graduates could pose as anti-elite. By mocking courses on writers such as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, they made a racial appeal to white people who felt as if they were losing their country. As the 1990s wore on, because multiculturalism was associated with globalisation – the force that was taking away so many jobs traditionally held by white working-class people – attacking it allowed conservatives to displace responsibility for the hardship that many of their constituents were facing. It was not the slashing of social services, lowered taxes, union busting or outsourcing that was the cause of their problems. It was those foreign “others”.
politics  trump  america  language 
december 2016
Ruth Whippman: Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment (NY Times)
This is a kind of neo-liberalism of the emotions, in which happiness is seen not as a response to our circumstances but as a result of our own individual mental effort, a reward for the deserving. The problem is not your sky-high rent or meager paycheck, your cheating spouse or unfair boss or teetering pile of dirty dishes. The problem is you.
It is, of course, easier and cheaper to blame the individual for thinking the wrong thoughts than it is to tackle the thorny causes of his unhappiness. So we give inner-city schoolchildren mindfulness classes rather than engage with education inequality, and instruct exhausted office workers in mindful breathing rather than giving them paid vacation or better health care benefits.
philosophy  stress 
december 2016
Shush
Shush is a utility app for Mac OS X to quickly mute and unmute your microphone using a hotkey.
osx  mac  software 
november 2016
Are.na
‘A platform for collaborative research.’
On Are.na, you organically combine images, links, files and texts into collections (we call them channels). Use it collaboratively, publicly or privately. Once you get the hang of it, its dead-simple to use for just about any idea. Think of it as a connected archive of human knowledge.
research 
november 2016
Jeremy D. Larson: The Rewarded Patience and Solitude of The Lemon of Pink (Vinyl Me Please)
Our Album of the Month for November is the Books' The Lemon of Pink. In these original liner notes, Jeremy D. Larson writes about the transformative patience the record brings to bear on listeners, who are rewarded for unpacking its multitude of charms.
music 
november 2016
Admin Columns
Customize admin columns, including inline editing, sorting, and custom fields.
wordpress 
november 2016
The Serious Eats Doughnut Style Guide
What the different types of donuts are.
food 
november 2016
Reframe.js
Reframe.js is a javascript plugin that makes unresponsive elements responsive.
javascript 
november 2016
Jeremy Gordon: Is Everything Wrestling? (NY Times)
When everything becomes a story, the value of concrete truth seems diminished. There’s too much going on in the world to dive this deep into something as frivolous as entertainment, you might say. Worse still, you can begin to treat politics — the hammer and forge of our national reality — as a similar form of “show.” Sure, seeking out entertainment is a perfectly human impulse; it feels joyless to sharpen yourself into a hypervigilant instrument, ever ready to poke a hole in these swelling mythologies; we all know those people, who are no fun. But when we feel ourselves becoming too consumed with mastering the language of whatever unreality is currently holding our gaze, it might not hurt to consider the overarching forces subtly directing our attention and prepare ourselves to step back if we’re not comfortable with benefiting less than they do.
entertainment  politics 
november 2016
fronx: Underestimate your Programming Abilities
Doing work that doesn’t exceed your ability has traditionally been the exception for software developers. We are so used to the feeling that we can do everything, anything, but unfortunately only relatively poorly and with low predictability, that it takes conscious effort to focus on doing what you know how to do. Especially if there isn’t a lot of continuity in the type of work that you do, it can be hard to recognize that even though you are fairly certain about a technical solution you’ve chosen, you don’t know enough about it for it to qualify as a Safe Bet. In fact, most of the work programmers do lives somewhere on the spectrum between those categories. If you want others to rely on you, it is better to underestimate your abilities and overestimate risks than to go in a direction that actually involves more uncertainty than you can justify.
programming 
november 2016
Nameshouts
Learn how to pronounce names correctly.
names  language 
november 2016
Mack Hagood: The Real Problem is Not Misinformation (Culture Digitally)
If Trump’s rallies operated according to affective dynamics, should we assume that online spaces work differently? Trump supporters did not vote for him because they were misinformed online—rather, they consumed and circulated misinformation because they loved Trump, because it was an enormously pleasurable thing to do, and because they imagined (correctly) that it drove the educated classes crazy. Like the rest of us, they deployed their abilities to reason and select information in accord with their affective investments, worldview, and sense of self. For better and for worse, digital technologies are rechanneling and amplifying these aspects of human nature that we all recognize, but have a difficult time integrating into our “infocentric” research models.
election  information  internet 
november 2016
Vajra Chandrasekera: Which This Margin Is Too Small To Contain
Some thoughts on "diversity" in sf/f and discovering that I'm apparently a "writer of colour" and all that. I never actually use these words myself, whether to refer to either myself or anybody else. Though at the same time I don't object to their use to refer to myself or anybody else either. It's complicated.



If essentialism is the pernicious idea that categories are more real than people, strategic essentialisms are a rhetorical technique when you’re aware that the essentialism in question is bullshit but you temporarily accept being identified with a category in order to achieve something, even if that something is just making a point. There are all sorts of good, practical reasons to collectivize identity in this way, but I think it works best when it’s goal-oriented and time-bound. Because when it’s not, then it can also mean just signing up to be reduced to a category for somebody else’s convenience.
literature  race 
november 2016
Store Pages
Curated directory of the best store pages
internet  design 
november 2016
Rellax
Vanilla Javascript parallax library.
javascript 
november 2016
Ryan Alexander Diduck: Red Bull’s Sour Notes
Reaching the unreachables is what RBMA is all about. It’s worrying. Especially when you consider what’s in the stuff.
marketing  food  music 
november 2016
Nnedi Okorafor: The Key
It was due to a stupid thing done in a fit of panic that Fwadausi Bello altered her life forever.
writing  literature  fiction 
november 2016
Zaina Arafat: Dear Students: A Letter from Your Muslim American Teacher (VICE)
All the things I should've told my students about being a Muslim and a woman and an American.
muslim  history  america  race  religion  trump 
november 2016
PassSource
Create custom passes for Apple Wallet (formerly Passbook).
ios  iphone 
november 2016
Jeremy Larson: Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart” Is the Perfect Karaoke Song (Pitchfork)
People who say karaoke is art are both precious and wrong. Karaoke is a sport. It involves turning art into a very fun and loud game.
karaoke  music 
november 2016
Fronx: Can gender be adapted to our needs?
We all participate in the propagation of gendered ideas in one way or another. Even ignoring your assigned gender and being an eclectic mix of traits that you don’t see as gendered can serve as a point of reference to people around you. Every aspect of a person can serve as a source of inspiration for others that helps unlock a part of themselves they weren’t aware of before, or it can serve as an example of what they are not. Every instance of identification is also an instance of a meme reproducing.
gender  sex  evolution  society 
november 2016
Listen to This: Jacques Dudon — Lumiéres Audibles, 1995
"In his 'photosonic' process, Dudon shines light through a series of semi-transparent, rotating discs that slow and modify the light waves’ frequencies; the resulting waveforms are picked up by photoelectric (solar-power) cells connected to standard analog amplifiers."
mp3blogs  music  history  audio  sound 
october 2016
Jane Hu: Shirley Jackson’s Disappearing Act (The New Republic)
Underrated for most of her life, the author of "The Lottery" is at last experiencing a revival.
biography  literature 
october 2016
CSS-Tricks: Add Spaces to Dock in OS X
Do this as many times as you want spaces:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'
osx 
september 2016
Playlist Machinery
Apps for creating and organizing Spotify playlists.
september 2016
Scott Eden: Bobby Shmurda: His Surreal Saga and Exclusive Jailhouse Interview (GQ)
One minute he was a hip-hop sensation starting a viral dance craze, the Shmoney Dance, and rhyming about guns and drugs and murder. The next he was locked up, indicted on a slew of charges involving… guns and drugs and murder. The government’s case against Bobby Shmurda, now heading to trial, raises all kinds of nagging questions, but none more troubling than this: Does the justice system fundamentally misunderstand the world of rap?
music  hiphop  race  musicindustry 
august 2016
Kristi Coulter: Enjoli
Is it really that hard, being a First World woman? Is it really so tough to have the career and the spouse and the pets and the herb garden and the core strengthening and the oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this makeup and the face injections and the Uber driver who might possibly be a rapist? Is it so hard to work ten hours for your rightful 77% of a salary, walk home past a drunk who invites you to suck his cock, and turn on the TV to hear the men who run this country talk about protecting you from abortion regret by forcing you to grow children inside your body?
alcohol  america  women 
august 2016
Kate Crawford: Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem
Histories of discrimination can live on in digital platforms, and if they go unquestioned, they become part of the logic of everyday algorithmic systems.
race  technology 
july 2016
Erica Joy: Processing
Though many black folks joke about it, there is no such thing as “calling in black.” To call in black would be a radical act of self care, were it available to most black people. On the day after we have watched yet another black body be destroyed by modern day slave patrols, it would be helpful for us to be able to take a day away to process. To grieve. To hurt. To be angry. To try to once again come to grips with the fact that many people in this country, especially those in power, consider us disposable at best.
race  black  work 
july 2016
Jeremy Larson: Who Was the Baby on Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?”
As with many famous samples, this coo has a storied history in pop music. The same baby has crawled its way onto several songs, from the Rascals’ “Look Around” (1969), to Prince’s “Delirious” (1982), to TNGHT’s “Bugg’n” (2012). It’s like the Wilhelm Scream of baby samples, and it even mirrors the cadence of that famed cinematic sound effect. But even the identity of the Wilhelm Screamer is known (it’s actor Sheb Wooley). Who made this baby coo? Where is this person now?
music 
july 2016
Malcolm Harris: ‘Pokémon Go’ and the Persistent Myth of Stranger Danger
For as long as we’ve had kids on the Internet, we’ve worried about adults with bad intentions luring them into an in-person meeting.



The truth is that all available data sets indicate that young Americans are increasingly safe from accidental and intentional victimization alike. The people who are most likely to violate children are known to them: Acquaintances, peers, and, yes, parents. Strangers only commit 1 to 10 percent of child abuse. Almost no one wants to harm children, and the ones who do tend to target kids close to them.
children  pokemon 
july 2016
Gita Jackson: The Gift of Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go probably isn't going to change the world or anything, but for the brief period of time it is in the cultural zeitgeist, it is changing my small part of it. It is a reason to leave the hovel I call home. It is a reason to go places I haven't been before. It’s a reason to see all those friends I love and miss so much. Because of Pokémon Go, I have been able to meet and pet a lot of cute dogs and if nothing else, I am grateful for that. I texted my friend, Fontaine, about this game and told her that I’m so happy to finally have my Pokémon adventure. She called the game a dream come true — and it is. It’s a childhood dream fulfilled, it’s a rope to lift you out of that hole, it’s a small joy in a world of great terrors, and I cherish the ability to see the world with fresh eyes.
pokemon  videogames  depression 
july 2016
Libby Nelson and Javier Zarracina: Why LaCroix sparkling water is suddenly everywhere (Vox)
In the 1990s, LaCroix was the favorite drink of Midwestern moms. How did it get so cool?
food  culture 
july 2016
Ursula K. Le Guin: A Rant About "Technology"
Technology is the active human interface with the material world.
science  technology  culture  anthropology  scifi 
july 2016
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Near Certainty of Anti-Police Violence
By ignoring illegitimate policing, America has also failed to address the danger this illegitimacy poses to those who must do the policing.
police  america  history  racism 
july 2016
Colin Stokes: “Frog and Toad”: An Amphibious Celebration of Same-Sex Love (The New Yorker)
Colin Stokes on Arnold Lobel, his Frog and Toad illustrated children’s series, and its lessons about friendship and acceptance.
sexuality  gay  literature 
june 2016
Vijay Sharma: Aligning Text Smartly in CSS
How to make a short block of text center-aligned but left-aligned when it's longer.

Use `text-align: center` on the container and `display: inline-block` on the text container.
webdesign  css 
may 2016
Ronald A. Klain: Zika is coming, but we’re far from ready (Washington Post)
It is not a question of whether babies will be born in the United States with Zika-related microcephaly — it is a question of when and how many. For years to come, these children will be a visible, human reminder of the cost of absurd wrangling in Washington, of preventable suffering, of a failure of our political system to respond to the threat that infectious diseases pose.



These are not random lightning strikes or a string of global bad luck. This growing threat is a result of human activity: human populations encroaching on, and having greater interaction with, habitats where animals spread these viruses; humans living more densely in cities where sickness spreads rapidly; humans traveling globally with increasing reach and speed; humans changing our climate and bringing disease-spreading insects to places where they have not lived previously. From now on, dangerous epidemics are going to be a regular fact of life. We can no longer accept surprise as an excuse for a response that is slow out of the gate.
history  disease  america  politics  government 
may 2016
Jordan Kisner: The Dark Art of Mastering Music (Pitchfork)
The mastering engineers I spoke to for this story kept using the same phrase when describing their job: “to make the song competitive in the marketplace.” That is, making the music sound better in audio quality—clearer, louder, more vibrant—than anything else out there. Traditionally, the “marketplace” has been radio, where a well-mastered song hits that sweet spot where you feel immersed in the music but not battered by it. If your song is poorly mastered, the logic goes, people won’t want to buy your album. Worse yet, they might switch stations. And now, the marketplace also includes online streaming, which has raised the popularity of listening to music on headphones or portable devices with lousy speakers—platforms that require their own kind of mastering.
music  audio 
may 2016
Dylan Matthews: The TSA is a waste of money that doesn't save lives and might actually cost them (Vox)
The TSA is hard to evaluate largely because it's attempting to solve a non-problem. Despite some very notable cases, airplane hijackings and bombings are quite rare. There aren't that many attempts, and there are even fewer successes.
security  america 
may 2016
Brief Raptures (Ask MetaFilter)
I enjoy spending time in temporarily deserted places that usually bustle during daylight hours. Examples include San Francisco during Burning Man weekend, Penn Station at 2pm on Christmas day, almost everywhere in the US on Easter Sunday, the Financial District in Boston on Saturdays and Sundays, many major European cities during August.
culture  travel 
may 2016
TransWhat?
Transgender is an umbrella word that is used to describe a very large and diverse group of people. "Transgender" can refer to transsexual people; to genderqueer and gender-variant people; to crossdressers; even to feminine men who still call themselves men, and masculine women who still call themselves women.

If someone says "I am a woman," or "I am a man," or "I am ____," please take that person seriously. Our cultural framework tends to tell us that their bodies may contradict their statements — that there's no way you could be a guy with XX chromosomes, or a genderless person with an obvious beard. But the trans person is the one who's right, and the simplistic framework is the model that's wrong. Gender is not dependent on physical appearances, or on the word of doctors, friends, family. The individuals are the ones who get to assert their own identity.
trans  gender  sex 
may 2016
Julie Pagano: On Making Mistakes
A very common initial reaction is to be defensive. You probably didn’t mean to make a mistake or cause harm. Unfortunately, you did whether you meant to or not. It’s ok to feel defensive – it’s an incredibly human response. However, it’s usually one you want to keep to yourself (and maybe a few close friends). Responding defensively is an intentional act that defends your mistake instead of admitting fault. It can do additional harm and is unlikely to improve the situation. Take a little time to sit with any feelings of defensiveness.
feminism 
may 2016
Julie Pagano: 101 Off Limits
I keep saying that impromptu, unwanted feminism 101 discussions are exhausting and not a good use of my resources. Then people ask what I mean by 101, so I’m starting to make a list.
feminism  race 
may 2016
Julia Pagano: Bad Ally Quiz
Below is a list of common issues in the ever popular internet quiz style to help you determine if yourself or someone else might be a bad ally.
internet  culture  feminism 
may 2016
Mandy Brown: Bots
In every case, these AIs are designed to seamlessly take care of things for you: to answer questions, schedule meetings, provide directions, refill the milk in the fridge, and so on. So in addition to frightening ramifications for privacy and information discovery, they also reinforce gendered stereotypes about women as servants. The neutral politeness that infects them all furthers that convention: women should be utilitarian, performing their duties on command without fuss or flourish. This is a vile, harmful, and dreadfully boring fantasy; not the least because there is so much extraordinary art around AI that both deconstructs and subverts these stereotypes. It takes a massive failure of imagination to commit yourself to building an artificial intelligence and then name it “Amy.”
gender  technology 
may 2016
Anna Maria Barry-Jester: How MSG Got A Bad Rap: Flawed Science And Xenophobia (FiveThirtyEight)
That MSG isn’t the poison we’ve made it out to be has been well-established. News stories are written regularly about the lack of evidence tying MSG to negative health effects. (Read here and here, for example. Or here, here, here, here and here.) Still, Yelp reviews of Chinese restaurants tell tales of racing hearts, sleepless nights and tingling limbs from dishes “laden with MSG.” Even when the science is clear, it takes a lot to overwrite a stigma, especially when that stigma is about more than just food.
food  health  science  race 
may 2016
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