shaunkoh + ifttt   3230

Ontario makes it illegal to protest outside and near abortion clinics - Canada : worldnews
- Ontario and Canada in general value "peaceful living" more than Free Speech. We are NOT AMERICA, there is a massive difference. Anyone that thinks free speech in public places obviously doesn't have to deal with hate speech directed at them. I am gay, I am glad that this country doesn't let nut job Christians tell me I'm going to hell in public. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE PEACEFULLY. Taking away someone's right to harass others is a fair trade off, what mentally harms someone more? Not being able to spew hate or not being able to be avoid being told they're a piece of shit in public. Too much value is placed on free speech, when total free speech is actually more harmful than a bit of silenced free speech. Honestly, who is hurt more? The people who are against abortions, or the people getting the abortions being told they're garbage? Which is worse? Enough of this anti-SJW rhetoric too. People deserve to live in peace, I don't deserve to be told I'm a sinning pile of crap by people I have done absolutely nothing wrong to. But people romanticize freedom of speech and claim "slippery slopes", when in reality we are just trying to let people live their god damn lives in peace. It's easy to hold free speech dearly when it isn't a detriment to your life, free speech is a scary thing to me, if total free speech were allowed, I would like to be able to physically assault the people who harass me, defense should be allowed. People kill themselves over being told they're garbage, people don't kill themselves because they can't stand on a street corner and yell bullshit at others. Stop romanticizing free speech, it never was and isn't a part of Canadian values, freedom to a peaceful life has and always will be. Sometimes you godda silence the jerks so others can have decent lives, nobody is gonna convince me that limiting hate speech and protests like this negatively affects those who wish to protest, the ends justify the means. Westboro Baptist church members aren't up at night worrying about why they can't tell me I'm a piece of shit, but I certainly would be up at night worrying about being harassed and ostracized if these types of laws did not exist. Enough is enough, stop giving opinions on things you do not understand.
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21 days ago by shaunkoh
Indian village run by teenage girls offers hope for a life free from abuse | Global development | The Guardian
- Each afternoon the men of Thennamadevi leave their village and head for the surrounding fields, many carrying bottles of high-strength home-brewed alcohol. Hours later they stagger back home through the paddy fields of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. Thennamadevi is racked by alcoholism. Most of its 150 male inhabitants participate in ruinous daily drinking sessions. Around 90 women with families in the village have been widowed. The youngest husband to die was 21. However, over the past six months something remarkable has happened to break the cycle of squalor and despair: the teenage daughters of the drunken men have taken over the running of the place. And it’s working. A self-titled “young girls’ club” has fixed the street lights, completed a health audit of the village and ensured that mobile clinics visit Thennamadevi. A library is being built where well-thumbed books promote the virtues of learning and independence. The phenomenon of teenage female self-help has made aid agencies and politicians across the state sit up and take notice. In the communal building, beneath the glow of a single lightbulb, the girls assembled earlier this month for a debate on further improvements. A petition urging better transport links – no buses pass near the village – has been drafted to be put to the local council.
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23 days ago by shaunkoh
The Senate Was Touched by Greatness Today: In Praise of Jeff Flake - Lawfare
- In the wake of Flake's speech, some #NeverTrump conservatives are lamenting that he did not decide to stay and fight. I appreciate their point. But to me the salient fact is that neither Flake nor Corker felt able to be true to themselves without taking the step of not having to face Republican voters again. We can regret that fact, but as political analysts we must appreciate its reality. We must appreciate that sometimes one has to manufacture the conditions in which one is free to speak the truth. And I will not hide my admiration for those who take that step.
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23 days ago by shaunkoh
India Warily Eyes AI - MIT Technology Review
- This is a familiar pattern in history: every technological stride forward has meant that the same amount of work can be done by fewer people. “Whenever there’s a revolution, there’s a worry about fewer jobs. It happened with the Industrial Revolution as well,” says Ravi Kumar, at Infosys. “The reality is, though, that there’s more consumption,” he adds. That eventually increases the need for new kinds of labor. At the moment, he says, enterprises spend 65 to 70 percent of their IT budgets “just to keep the lights on”—to pay for infrastructure and routine support. If that money is undammed, it may well pour into new—and as yet unimagined—streams of revenue and employment: “It would mean a much bigger canvas for us.” But even if he is right, there is a tension between the long arc of these revolutions and the far shorter one of human lives. In the near term, people will lose their livelihoods. Sunil Kumar is still without a job. In June, he filed a petition for wrongful dismissal with the office of the labor commissioner, a state body that resolves industrial disputes and enforces labor laws. Once, when he checked on its progress, an official advised him that his fight was likely to be a lengthy one, and now he suspects nothing will come of it. “Whatever confidence I had, I’m losing it,” he says. When he reads his newspapers, he stops just short of the business pages, which frustrate him. “There will be companies saying many things: ‘We’re hiring this many people, there are many opportunities.’ The CEOs keep saying it. I stopped reading all this,” he says. He knows he ought to start looking for a new job, but he hasn’t been able to pull himself together; it is as if his dismissal had stymied life itself. “I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything,” he says. “It’s very difficult now.”
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23 days ago by shaunkoh
As Automation Eliminates Jobs, Tech Entrepreneurs Join Basic Income Movement : NPR
- "The reality is that work has changed. Forty percent of jobs are now contingent, meaning they're part-time, independent contractors, Uber drivers," he says. And he says that shift has already left middle-class Americans economically insecure. A recent study by the Federal Reserve found that 46 percent of Americans surveyed didn't have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense. That feeling of insecurity is evident in this tumultuous presidential election.
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24 days ago by shaunkoh
Female homicide rate dropped after Craigslist launched its erotic services platform – ThinkProgress
- Law enforcement hoped that closing the site would reduce trafficking, but it didn’t help Monroe. When she told her pimp SFRedbook was gone, he shrugged. Then he told her that she would just have to work outdoors from then on. “When they closed down Redbook, they pushed me to the street,” Monroe told ThinkProgress. “We had a set limit we had to make a day, which was more people, cheaper dates, and if you didn’t bring that home, it was ugly.” Monroe, who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy reasons, had been working through Redbook in hotel rooms almost without incident, but working outdoors was much less safe. “I got raped and robbed a couple of times,” she said. “You’re in people’s cars, which means nobody can hear you if you get robbed or beaten up.” ... Monroe is no longer working on the street. While the police were more interested in arresting her than helping her, she connected with SWOP Sacramento. The organization helped her leave her pimp. She has two daughters and is currently working at the post office. But she still vividly remembers how much less safe she became when Redbook shut down. The approach to sex work, Monroe argued, should be more like the approach to heroin addiction. “They tried everything they could to stop the heroin epidemic, but they couldn’t,” she said. “So why not pass out clean needles?”
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25 days ago by shaunkoh
SafeButler (YC S17) is hiring employee #2 to modernize insurance | Hacker News
Is there a credible mint-for-insurance alternative in the US / SG now?
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25 days ago by shaunkoh
New Zealand's new prime minister called capitalism a "blatant failure", before citing levels of homelessness and low wages as evidence that "the market has failed" her country's poor. : worldnews
- I'm a New Zealander and she's right about homelessness. The housing market has gone insane over the last ten years. The national news touts us as the most unaffordable housing in the world. Rents are rising constantly. In Auckland city, there's hundreds of people sleeping in the street outside the city mission every night of the year. Almost every local park has people sleeping in cars every night. I hope Adern can back up this rhetoric and really make inroads here.
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25 days ago by shaunkoh
In China’s Coal Capital, Xi Jinping’s Dream Remains Elusive - The New York Times
- In an agenda-setting report at a Communist Party congress in Beijing this past week, Mr. Xi, who also leads the party, held out a new dream of a China that would become cleaner, more prosperous and fairer in sharing the benefits of its increasing wealth. This vision of a brighter future is aimed at fixing social ills created by three decades of often-breakneck growth: polluted skies and waters, deep-rooted corruption and growing inequalities. To succeed, Mr. Xi’s China dream must take root in rural and rust-belt backwaters like Datong, where many of China’s almost 1.4 billion people still live. But to hear locals in this former capital of China’s coal industry tell it, the bustling scenes of construction mask a stark disconnect between Mr. Xi’s bright promises and their hardscrabble reality. While China’s overall economy has clocked dazzling growth rates, workers and farmers here say their lives have not improved nearly as quickly, if at all. Despite Mr. Xi’s promises of a cleaner and more responsive government, they complain that local officials still ignore them, or run roughshod over their lives. Most important, they said, Mr. Xi’s China dream had yet to deliver what they needed most: better jobs, improved health care and affordable housing. In interviews here, the same refrain was often repeated: “Xi Jinping is good, but. ...” “Xi Jinping is a good president, but his policies aren’t implemented here,” said Hu Wenxiang, who lives in Ronghuazao, a village in a rural part of Datong.
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26 days ago by shaunkoh
The Great Decoupling: An Interview with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
Sobering read. - “Our one confident prediction is that digital technologies will bring the world into an era of more wealth and abundance and less drudgery and toil. But there’s no guarantee that everyone will share in the bounty, and that leaves many people justifiably apprehensive. The outcome—shared prosperity or increasing inequality—will be determined not by technologies but by the choices we make as individuals, organizations, and societies. If we fumble that future—if we build economies and societies that exclude many people from the cycle of prosperity—shame on us. Technological progress is an extraordinarily powerful force, but it’s not destiny. It won’t lift us into utopia or carry us into an unwanted future. The power to do that rests with us human beings. Technologies are merely our tools.” The Great Decoupling: An Interview with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
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26 days ago by shaunkoh
Soonish: Zach and Kelly Weinersmith on 10 technologies that will change everything - The Verge
This one made me pause - You were talking about how you came across all these digressions in the course of research. Is there one that’s your favorite? KW: So, when we were writing a robot-related chapter, we came across this story where an undergrad for her honors thesis wanted to see how much people trust robots. So she tried to see if she could get a robot to be given permission to enter permission to enter the building by people who lived in that dorm. There was no reason why anybody should be letting anyone in the dorms. They recently had bomb threats and it’s Harvard, so it’s common for tourists to try to sneak in and they had been warned in many instances, don’t let anybody in. So the student made it look like this robot was moving on its own but she was actually sitting somewhere and hiding and remote-controlling and she had it ask for permission to get in. Groups of people were more likely to let it in, but the thing was, if the robot was carrying cookies — not even very good cookies, just crummy grocery store cookies— people were very likely to let it in, like three times more likely. It’s probably because they thought, this is Boston, somebody is starting up a company where robots deliver cookies. But still, the robot could have been carrying a bomb and nobody checked to confirm.
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26 days ago by shaunkoh
Robert Scoble and Me – Quinn Norton – Medium
Oh my god. Read the whole thing, especially the end. - I talked to a lot of people after the weekend. Every time the question was raised of what I should do about Scoble assaulting me, I flashed back to another friend, K, who I’d known long before I got into this world. I got to know her when she married a friend of mine. She was a warmhearted and energetic person. But after one fateful party, she told her new husband that she was sexually assaulted. He threw her assaulter off a mailing list we were all on, and then quit as the list administrator. It blew up into a local scandal, and people demanded to know who the victim was. We tried to hide her identity, but her name got posted to the list. Once she was outed as a victim, the hate mail, the barrage of nasty questions, the endless accusations took, such a toll on her. Eventually, she took her own life. She’d just never been able to put it all back together after that. ... The demonization of either rapists or victims is what makes the subject unapproachable, and doesn’t let anyone intercede to get abusive people the help they need, much less the victims. Men aren’t wild predators, but sometimes the broken ones can do very bad things. Sometimes, even if rarely, broken women do bad things to men. So the people who care for, love, or need these broken people cover for them. They destroy the people that seem the most likely to destroy their loved ones: the victims. Ultimately, this neglect destroys their loved ones, too. I’ve watched this toxic dynamic play out in my life and others since I was a child. This is the first reason I became a fan of restorative justice. Not because I am some kind of soft-on-crime libtard, but because I’d rather less people got assaulted and raped in the future, and restorative justice prevents more terrible things from happening. But restorative justice is hard, for everyone, not just the aggressor and victim. It requires admitting and discussing painful issues, and looking for ways to make things whole, by the community, not just the people directly involved. This has to happen even when things can never be whole again.
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28 days ago by shaunkoh
In the moving Netflix documentary One of Us, 3 ex-Hasidic Jews struggle with secular life - Vox
Anyone want to watch this together when it comes out? - If you haven’t left an oppressive religious community, peeking inside one may seem novel, a curious poking of your nose into a weird upside-down world where everything mainstream culture takes for granted is swapped out for some alternate reality. If you have left such a community, though, stories of others who’ve also found their way out induce a mix of panic and relief. Critics try to stay neutral, but I can’t pretend One of Us didn’t sock me in the solar plexus; the documentary about three young people trying to make their way outside of Hasidic Judaism is laden with a familiar sadness and longing.
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28 days ago by shaunkoh
Twitter
- “I do feel bad for men with all the witch hunt stuff going on. Imagine being unsure if you could trust members of the opposite sex and worrying that anything you do could be misconstrued as sexual and second guessing your own complicity in OH FUCK WAIT YOU GUYS”
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4 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Metrorail vs. Uber: Travel Time and Cost | Hacker News
How common are cases like this? Are there structural remedies for this? - Stagecoach engaged in unethical practices - Going into towns and putting free / low cost buses each side of the local ones until they destroyed the local service. At that point they would raise prices and reduce frequency.
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4 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Top chef in Singapore Andre Chiang is the latest restaurateur to hand back Michelin stars | South China Morning Post
- He did not give a specific reason for his decision but suggested he wanted more time to work on other projects. “I want to go back to where I started, I want to go back to cooking, have a balanced life and cook happily,” he wrote.
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5 weeks ago by shaunkoh
RIP The Broccoli Tree
- For the past few years, Patrik Svedberg has been taking photos of a beautiful Swedish tree he dubbed The Broccoli Tree. In a short time, the tree gained a healthy following on Instagram, becoming both a tourist attraction and an online celebrity of sorts. (I posted about tree two years ago.) Yesterday, Svedberg posted a sad update: someone had vandalized the tree by sawing through one of the limbs.
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5 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Trump proposes ‘IQ tests’ faceoff with Tillerson after secretary of state calls him a ‘moron’ - The Washington Post
So can I - In an interview with Forbes magazine published Tuesday, Trump fired a shot at Tillerson over the “moron” revelation, first reported by NBC News and confirmed by several other news organizations, including The Washington Post. “I think it's fake news,” Trump said, “but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”
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5 weeks ago by shaunkoh
How a network of citizen-spies foiled Nazi plots to exterminate Jews in 1930s L.A. - LA Times
Wow. I've never heard of this before. - Lewis’ recruits did not know there would be another world war. And they certainly did not know a Holocaust would occur in Europe. But once they had infiltrated the groups, they understood that they had to take the Nazi threat seriously. They repeatedly heard fellow Americans talk candidly about wanting to overthrow the government and kill every Jewish man, woman and child. Lewis’ operatives were all Christian, save for one Jew. They regarded their mission as an American one. Their intention was to gather sufficient evidence of illegal activities by the groups, then turn it over to the appropriate government agencies, after which Lewis planned to return to practicing law. What Lewis did not anticipate is that local authorities would prove indifferent to — or supportive of — the Nazis and fascists. Within weeks of going undercover, Lewis’ network of spies discovered a plot to wrest control of armories in San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego — part of a larger plan to take over local governments and carry out a mass execution of Jews. Lewis immediately informed L.A. Police Chief James Edgar “Two-Gun” Davis of the Nazi scheme to seize weapons and, as Lewis warned in a memo later, to “foster a fascist form of government in the United States.” Lewis was shocked when Davis interrupted him to defend Hitler. The police chief, he noted in the memo, told him: “Germans could not compete economically with the Jews in Germany and had been forced to take the action they did.” The greatest danger the city faced, Davis insisted, was not from Nazis but from communists living in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights. As far as Davis was concerned, every communist was a Jew and every Jew a communist.
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5 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Sesame Street’s Traumatic Experiences helps kids cope with trauma - Vox
- As part of its ongoing community development program, the beloved kids’ show has launched an online teaching program, “Traumatic Experiences,” that teaches kids — and adults — how to express emotion and release tension after experiencing or witnessing trauma. The series includes videos that offer constructive ways for kids to handle “big feelings,” a therapy term for bursts of emotion that can seem impossible to deal with. Each of the Sesame Street characters deal with their emotional responses to trauma differently — a structured set of different reactions that’s all about modeling coping strategies for kids. For example, here’s the Count teaching Cookie Monster to do breathing exercises to calm down — as only the Count can:
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5 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Jack Dorsey's two years as Twitter's CEO have not saved the company - Recode
- One blow to morale occurred during one of the company’s executive retreats in January 2016, a meeting of Twitter’s top 100 executives in San Francisco for a day of meetings and presentations. Dorsey gave everyone a book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” by Carol Dweck, who also had given a TED talk titled, “The power of believing that you can improve.” But as the day wrapped up and Twitter’s executives awaited dinner at a downtown tavern near San Francisco’s Union Square, news broke that the company’s head of product, Kevin Weil, was headed to rival Instagram. (Weil, who was at the dinner, left once he saw the news got out.) Sources say the move blindsided many inside the company, including Dorsey.
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Review: Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Option B,” deals with her husband’s death through an intimate guide to grief — Quartz
Do you have a button? - Sandberg cites a series of famous experiments looking at stress. People were asked to perform tasks which require concentration while simultaneously being blasted with random bursts of loud noises. Naturally, the participants’ heart rates, blood pressure, and sweat increased. They started to make mistakes. But then, when some of those people were offered a button that would let them stop the noises, they relaxed. The amazing thing about the experiment? They didn’t actually press the button. “When people are in pain, they need a button,” Sandberg says. Friends, families, communities, and workplaces have to step up and find a way to be that button.
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Hoarder Barbie trashes her Dream House / Boing Boing
- All of the furniture in this scene came from Barbie. They are first masked in a spray paint base and then hand painted with acrylic. Orignally, they would have been pink and purple. The sofa is covered in flocking, and the floor is stained popsicle sticks. Finally, I hand-made each book, of which there are over 2000. That took a couple of full days each week for a few months to complete. Dust jackets and book cover images were found online, re-sized in an editing program, and printed out on sticker paper, at roughly "1 x 2". They were then cut apart and wrapped around individual pieces of foam core.
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The Pixel market share chart Google probably won't be showing at its event today - Recode
Why hasn’t the Google Pixel captured more market share? These numbers are shockingly low. - An average 0.7 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers used the Pixel in the three month period ending in August, according to data from measurement company comScore. For context: Apple’s iPhone is used by 45.5 percent of subscribers, and Samsung phones — the dominant company using Google Android to power its devices — represents 29.5 percent of U.S. subscriber share. More broadly, 53 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers use Android phones.
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Here's How YouTube Is Spreading Conspiracy Theories About The Vegas Shooting
How does fantastic journalism like this live under the same roof as cat gif listicles? Not just a pithy question — is there a structural incentive that enables it to thrive, a single visionary editor embedded within a financially successful patron company?
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The Secrets Of Writing Smart, Long-form Articles That Go Absolutely Viral | The future of business
When everyone else zigged, they zagged. - “We took a bet that long but really thorough, really high-quality articles would not only be acceptable to certain people but would be a really fresh, standout thing in a current world of really short list articles. And that smart people would start reading it, and would keep reading it and get to the end. Then they’d want to share it, even more than if it were a great short article.”
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The London Underground thinks it can sell travelers' attention and wifi data for £322m / Boing Boing
What is the value of our privacy, really? - Since late 2016, the Transport for London has been running a pilot scheme, providing wifi to passengers while logging and retaining all the wifi traffic coming in and out of its access points, compiling a massive dossier on every tube-rider who had wifi turned on for their devices, whether or not they ever accessed the wifi service. In a document obtained under a Freedom of Information request, TfL plans to make £322m "over the next eight years by being able to quantify asset value based on the number of eyeballs/impressions and dynamically trade advertising space." A TfL spokesperson also refused to rule out selling "aggregated customer data to third parties." While the UK has some good data protection laws thanks to the EU, it also inherited the EU's train-sized loophole, which is that companies that collect customer data can do anything they want with it, so long as they "de-identify" it first -- though the EU Directive does not establish what it means to de-identify a data-set, nor do many computer scientists believe that this is possible (with very good reason).
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
IMF Head Foresees the End of Banking and the Triumph of Cryptocurrency - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world
What would a future where cryptocurrency is dominant look like? - Christine Lagarde–a Paris native who has held her position at the IMF since 2011–says the only substantial problems with existing cryptocurrency are fixable over time. In the long run, the technology itself can replace national monies, conventional financial intermediation, and even "puts a question mark on the fractional banking model we know today." In a lecture that chastised her colleagues for failing to embrace the future, she warned that "Not so long ago, some experts argued that personal computers would never be adopted, and that tablets would only be used as expensive coffee trays. So I think it may not be wise to dismiss virtual currencies."
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6 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars | US news | The Guardian
Sigh. - There is nothing she would rather do than teach. But after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable. She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch, several years ago, when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction. “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?” she said. “And it wasn’t that bad.” The wry but weary-sounding middle-aged woman, who lives in a large US city and asked to remain anonymous to protect her reputation, is an adjunct instructor, meaning she is not a full-time faculty member at any one institution and strings together a living by teaching individual courses, in her case at multiple colleges. “I feel committed to being the person who’s there to help millennials, the next generation, go on to become critical thinkers,” she said. “And I’m really good at it, and I really like it. And it’s heartbreaking to me it doesn’t pay what I feel it should.” Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness. A quarter of part-time college academics (many of whom are adjuncts, though it’s not uncommon for adjuncts to work 40 hours a week or more) are said to be enrolled in public assistance programs such as Medicaid.
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7 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Crazy Smart: When A Rocker Designs A Mars Lander : NPR
- But then something happened. As Steltzner tells it, he was on his way home from playing music at a club one night when he became fascinated with the stars, especially the constellation of Orion. "The fact that it was in a different place in the sky at night when I returned home from playing a gig, than it had been when I'd driven out to the gig," he said. "And I had only some vague recollection from my high school time that something was moving with respect to something else, but that was it." As crazy as it sounds, that experience was enough to motivate him to take a physics course at the local community college. That did it. He was hooked. The fog of sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifted. He had to know all about the laws that govern the universe. The rocker wound up with a doctoral degree in engineering physics. "I was totally turned on by this idea of understanding my world," Steltzner said. "Engineering gave me an opportunity to be gainfully employed [and] really understanding my world with these laws and equations that governed it."
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8 weeks ago by shaunkoh
I’m Daryl Davis, A Black Musician here to Discuss my Reasons For Befriending Numerous KKK Members And Other White Supremacists, KLAN WE TALK? : IAmA
- People make the mistake of forming anti-racist groups that are rendered ineffective from the start because ONLY invite those who share their beliefs to their meetings. * Provide a safe neutral meeting place. * Learn as much as you can about the ideology of a racist or perceived racist in your area. * Invite that person to meet with your group. *VERY IMPORTANT - LISTEN to that person. What is his/her primary concern? Place yourself in their shoes. What would you do to address their concern if it were you? * As questions, but keep calm in the face of their loud, boisterous posture if that is on display, don't combat it with the same *While you are actively learning about someone else, realize that you are passively teaching them about yourself. Be honest and respectful to them, regardless of how offensive you may find them. You can let them know your disagreement but not in an offensive manner. * Don't be afraid to invite someone with a different opinion to your table. If everyone in your group agrees with one another and you shun those who don't agree, how will anything ever change? You are doing nothing more than preaching to the choir. *When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting, they are talking. They may be yelling and screaming and pounding their fist on the table in disagreement to drive home their point, but at least they are talking. It is when the talking ceases, that the ground becomes fertile for violence. So, KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING.
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8 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Survey: Canadians are increasingly denying science, climate and vaccines / Boing Boing
- 43% of Canadians believe "science is a matter of opinion," 47% think the science of global warming is "unclear"; 24% of Canadian millennials are anti-vaxxers, all according to a Leger survey of 1,514 Canadians.
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8 weeks ago by shaunkoh
'Siri, I'm depressed': Apple wants iPhone assistant to become a personal therapist
- Apple is preparing Siri to become iPhone customers’ virtual therapist, according to the International Business Times. The tech company is ideally seeking someone with a psychology background and programming capabilities, according to a job posting from April. “People have serious conversations with Siri,” the description reads. “People talk to Siri about all kinds of things, including when they’re having a stressful day or have something serious on their mind...They turn to Siri in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life.”
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8 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Cow catching snowflakes with her tongue : likeus
- Hi there. Studied envs and learned about animal agriculture. This is a male veal calf (females are raised to be milk cows). Not trying to start drama or crush anyones' pleasure watching this gif, but the production of veal calves is one of the most vile things humans do in animal agriculture. This calf's mother was forcibly impregnated so she would produce milk (she will be impregnated every 9-12 months of her life). Within a week of giving birth, this calf was then taken from the mother and placed in this stall. It will remain in this stall for the entirety of its short life. The only time it will leave is on its way to slaughter. This is so its muscle development is retarded, producing more tender meat for consumption. Ive never visited one of these operations, but Ive been told that they're filled with calves crying out for their mothers for weeks on end. Glad this one got to play in the snow!
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8 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The Most Important Apple Executive You’ve Never Heard Of
Can't believe I didn't see this last year. - Qualcomm, then as now the biggest designer of phone chips, made the expensive decision to scrap development of its 32-bit chips and put all its resources into catching up. Handset companies all “wanted the shiny new thing,” says Ryan Smith, the editor-in-chief of AnandTech, a website that publishes exhaustive reviews of semiconductor designs. “The A7 really turned the world upside down.” Srouji can’t restrain a smile when recalling competitors’ reactions to Apple’s 64-bit surprise. “When we pick something,” he says, “it’s because we think there’s a problem that nobody can do, or there is some idea that’s so unique and differentiating that the best way to do it is you have to do it yourself.”
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9 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The inside story of 'brain' of the iPhone X: the A11 Bionic chip
Remarkable work. Also, warning – autoplay videos suck. - Over the course of a decade, Apple’s made remarkable progress in silicon, going from a 65-nanometer process to, now, 10, and from roughly 100 million transistors to 4.31 billion. Even Srouji marvels at the feat. “Doing this year over year and pushing complexity to the limit... I believe we have a world-class team.”
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9 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete
- First, all they’ve done is make a fancy vending machine. That’s great. Vending machines are a real thing, and maybe there’s a market for better ones. But better vending machines are still just vending machines. Second, what kind of sociopaths are these people that they want to put mom-and-pop corner stores and bodegas out of business? Local family-owned stores are what make for great neighborhoods. They’re good people running good businesses that people love. Good startup ideas are things that replace products or services that people hate. Taxis suck, for example. That’s why ride sharing services are so popular and successful. Bodegas and corner stores are great. Third, as Helen Rosner argues in this thread, they’ve got a crummy business model. Fuck these guys.
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9 weeks ago by shaunkoh
reddit.com: over 18?
- The symbol for division (÷) is just a blank fraction with dots replacing the numbers. I learned this about a week ago and i'm still wondering how I never noticed.
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9 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Life After the Storm: Children Who Survived Katrina Offer Lessons - The New York Times
- In the years after Katrina, a pair of sociologists, Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek, made regular trips to New Orleans, interviewing hundreds of people who had been hit hard and tracking their lives over time, checking in repeatedly. After seven years, the pair identified a rough pattern among displaced children: some had not regained their footing, losing years of schooling and later sinking into unemployment; others adapted, even thrived; and there was a third group, of young people in an uncertain holding pattern, keeping themselves upright but unsteadily, managing lingering effects, like depression or anxiety. Those in the first group tended to have few resources to start with, and lost them all. “It’s a cumulative vulnerability, in which for instance the family struggled before the storm, then could not get out, and the child lost the fragile supports he or she had,” said Dr. Fothergill, a professor at the University of Vermont. Dr. Peek, a professor at the University of Colorado, said that those children who adapted fastest typically had family and networks with resources that held together through Katrina, or acquired strong allies along the way: teachers, pastors, shelter workers who fought for help on the child’s behalf. The third group – “fluctuating equilibrium,” the sociologists called it – usually had lost virtually everything but had one solid anchor: a mother, a father, a teacher, an older sibling.
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9 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Redefine statistical significance | Hacker News
- >For a wide range of common statistical tests, transitioning from a P value threshold of α = 0.05 to α = 0.005 while maintaining 80% power would require an increase in sample sizes of about 70%. This proposal is a great pragmatic step forward. Like they say in the paper, it doesn't solve all problems, but it would be an improvement with reasonable cost and tremendous benefits. >Such an increase means that fewer studies can be conducted using current experimental designs and budgets. But Fig. 2 shows the benefit: false positive rates would typically fall by factors greater than two. Hence, considerable resources would be saved by not performing future studies based on false premises.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Why WeWork Thinks It's Worth $20 Billion | WIRED
Anyone familiar with WeWork in real life? This piece is positively glowing. - “Nothing about this environment is accidental. “When people walk through our doors, they say, ‘There’s something about the energy here,” says Dina Berrada, a product manager for community operations. An Amazon alumna, she looks after the systems and tools the company uses to operate and grow its products. One of Berrada’s teams is building the software tools that allow community managers at each location to create those seamless experiences. So, when a member walks into a WeWork, a community manager may get an alert to wish them happy birthday. Berrada mentions a newly launched feature that allows community managers to keep notes on members’ preferences. So, if a member mentions a whiskey she likes, she may find a bottle on her desk if she has reason to celebrate.” This Is Why WeWork Thinks It's Worth $20 Billion | Backchannel via Instapaper
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
What the Hell Is an Initial Coin Offering? - MIT Technology Review
- Some people think ICOs could lead to new, exotic ways of building a company. If a cloud storage outfit like Filecoin were to suddenly skyrocket in popularity, for example, it would enrich anyone who holds or mines the token, rather than a set group of the company’s executives and employees. This would be a “decentralized” enterprise, says Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy group focused on policy issues surrounding blockchain technology. Someone has to build the blockchain, issue the tokens, and maintain some software, though. So to kickstart a new operation, entrepreneurs can pre-allocate tokens for themselves and their developers. And they can use ICOs to sell tokens to people interested in using the new service when it launches, or in speculating as to the future value of the service. If the value of the tokens goes up, everybody wins. With all the hype around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, demand has been extremely high for some of the tokens hitting the market lately. A small sampling of the projects that have raised millions via ICOs recently includes a Web browser aimed at eliminating intermediaries in digital advertising, a decentralized prediction market, and a blockchain-based marketplace for insurers and insurance brokers.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Automation May Be Creating Jobs—in Retail, at Least - MIT Technology Review
Hunch. These fulfilment jobs, whilst very real, are merely placeholders – the role of item picker is ripe for automation too. - But according to a new analysis by the Progressive Policy Institute, those figures miss the point. If you actually include all the fulfillment-center jobs that e-tail has created, which wouldn't have otherwise needed to exist, the figure rises from 126,000 to 400,000, far outweighing physical-store losses. And those fulfillment-center jobs also pay on average 31 percent more than brick-and-mortar store jobs would in the same county. The Wall Street Journal has a nice piece based on the new report, which tries to get to the bottom of a thorny question: if e-commerce firms like Amazon have made their employees more productive through use of automation, how come they've also increased the total number of retail jobs and even managed to pay people better? Here's its best stab: E-commerce doesn’t simply sell the same product as a store at a lower price. It enables customers to peruse a vast array of products and select precisely the one they want and have it delivered in a day or two, saving the time, cost, and inconvenience of visiting multiple stores ... E-commerce results in people consuming more retail services, once you adjust for this improved quality, than in the pre-online era.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
A Nobel Peace Prize winner is standing idly by as her country moves closer to genocide - Vox
Horrific. - A report issued by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in February of this year revealed the extent of the brutality experienced by the Rohingya in the aftermath of the fall 2016 crackdown. In 204 interviews with Rohingya refugees, details emerged about mass gang rapes and indiscriminate killings — including of children. Of 101 women interviewed, more than half had been raped. The army, according to refugee reports, deliberately set fire to homes, schools, and buildings, sometimes forcing members of the community into the burning structures. Especially revolting were the accounts of children – including an eight-month old, a five-year-old and a six-year-old – who were slaughtered with knives. One mother recounted how her five-year-old daughter was trying to protect her from rape when a man “took out a long knife and killed her by slitting her throat.” In another case, an eight-month-old baby was reportedly killed while his mother was gang-raped by five security officers.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Into the Black: A Short Fiction Contest With a Big Prize
EXCITING! Shall we do a little brainstorming salon again? - The future of work has never seemed so uncertain. Automation is knocking on the door and already too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, unable to meet their monthly expenses and unable to envision a different fate for themselves. The Economic Security Project is looking for new, bold ways to bring all Americans into a place of economic stability; out of the red and into the black. To do this, we are launching a short story contest like no other — one that uses speculative fiction as a tool to imagine a future of economic security and rewards the winner with financial stability of their own. What might a world look like where all of our most basic needs are met? In 5,000 words or less, we want you to explore the impacts of a basic income on individual lives and on society at large. To be clear, we are not expecting you to draft economic policy, but hope to ignite debate around new economies with stories that offer nuanced critique and evidence of impact. Writers may want to address how this economic policy could shift relationships of power, or if economic liberation is even possible without first addressing racial and gender justice. Writers may consider universality (i.e., whether this benefit applies to everyone), investigate the community impact, and even give this economic idea a new name. The most compelling story will change hearts and minds, and ultimately the life of the author; the grand prize winner will receive a basic income of $12,000 over the next year.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Obama Foundation Fellowship
I'm not quite sure I'm there yet — but this may interest many of you! - At a tipping point in their work Successful applicants have already demonstrated meaningful impact in their communities, gaining recognition among their peers for their contributions. Now, they stand at a breakthrough moment in their careers. They’re poised to use the Fellowship to significantly advance their work, perhaps by launching new platforms, expanding to broader audiences, or taking their work to a national or global stage. If you’ve already gained global recognition for your work or if your civic innovation work has just begun, you may not be the ideal candidate for this program. Talented, but not connected We are committed to expanding the circle of opportunity to include new and varied voices. Thus we have a strong preference for civic innovators who are not currently connected to the networks and resources they need to advance their work. If you’re not sure whether you fit this description, feel free to apply — and make sure to articulate how the resources of the Fellowship would uniquely impact your work.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The Tiny Country that Feeds the World | MetaFilter
Fucking audacious. (Pardon the language) - "The global average yield of potatoes per acre is about nine tons. Van den Borne's fields reliably produce more than 20. That copious output is made all the more remarkable by the other side of the balance sheet: inputs. Almost two decades ago, the Dutch made a national commitment to sustainable agriculture under the rallying cry "Twice as much food using half as many resources."
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Successful and Schizophrenic - The New York Times
Amazing piece. Read the whole thing. - THIRTY years ago, I was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia. My prognosis was “grave”: I would never live independently, hold a job, find a loving partner, get married. My home would be a board-and-care facility, my days spent watching TV in a day room with other people debilitated by mental illness. I would work at menial jobs when my symptoms were quiet. Following my last psychiatric hospitalization at the age of 28, I was encouraged by a doctor to work as a cashier making change. If I could handle that, I was told, we would reassess my ability to hold a more demanding position, perhaps even something full-time. Then I made a decision. I would write the narrative of my life. Today I am a chaired professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. I have an adjunct appointment in the department of psychiatry at the medical school of the University of California, San Diego, and am on the faculty of the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The MacArthur Foundation gave me a genius grant.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
We chose cochlear implants for our infant son against our community's beliefs. : IAmA
- It's a bit of "we don't need to be fixed". It's also that they fear that technology will wipe out the future need for ASL. My BIL is still against CIs but once we made amends he actually considered hearing aids. He's not a candidate for either though. My MIL ended up getting a hearing aid after not wearing one for 20 years. She did it for my son, which I love. The internal piece is meant to last decades but if it fails then it would need to be replaced. The external piece( processor) is replaced about every 5 years. He would get the latest version.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Is a single Elephant's skin cell bigger than a human's skin cell? : askscience
Cancer as an adaptation that selects against energy dissipation? What a morbid but fascinating hypothesis. - No, while cells can come in various sizes there's something called the Square-Cube law that basically means that the larger an object becomes, its volume grows faster than its surface area. This might sound obvious but because cells have to traffic things into and out of their surfaces in order to process nutrients, the ability to transport becomes a limiting factor as the cells can no longer uptake fuel and get rid of waste fast enough. Bacterial cells are tiny and lack sophisticated transport mechanisms within their cell, they tend to stay small because a lot of their molecular transportation is passive in some way. Eukaryotic cells get around this by having organelles, so they have become more efficient at utilizing resources and as a result, can be bigger. However, eukaryotic cells in general also have an upper limit to size. You might notice that this is the reason why some organelles and cells will become wrinkled heavily (like mitochondria, or even organs like the brain) and that's to increase their surface area to volume ratio. Elephants get around this limitation by simply just having more cells. ... To add to this, you would think that, if any cell has a given probability of becoming cancerous, the larger the animal is, the more likely it would be to get cancer. However, this is empirically false. It's called Peto's Paradox. No one is quite sure why that happens, but some interesting hypotheses I've seen is that whale tumors grow their own tumors and die; and that cancer is an adaptation that selects against energy dissipation, i.e. it's not a disease per se but more like the sickle cell mutation: disadvantageous in general but protective in areas with malaria.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers - The New York Times
- But for some, “hustle” is just a euphemism for extreme workaholism. Gary Vaynerchuk, a.k.a. Gary Vee, an entrepreneur and angel investor who has 1.5 million Twitter followers and a string of best-selling books with titles like “Crush It!,” tells his acolytes they should be working 18 hours a day. Every day. No vacations, no going on dates, no watching TV. “If you want bling bling, if you want to buy the jets?” he asks in one of his motivational speeches. “Work. That’s how you get it.” Mr. Vaynerchuk is also a judge on Apple’s “Planet of the Apps,” a reality show where app developers compete to win funding from a venture capital firm. A recent promo depicted a contestant alongside this quotation: “I rarely get to see my kids. That’s a risk you have to take.” The show’s promotional tweet added: “For the ultimate reward, he’ll put everything on the line.” Good grief. The guy is developing an app that lets you visualize how a coffee table from a catalog might look in your living room. I suppose that’s cool, but is it really more important than seeing your kids? Is the chance to raise some venture-capital funding really “the ultimate reward”? (Apple pulled the promo after a wave of critical comments on Twitter.)
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Missing volunteer pulled from Cypress Creek - Houston Chronicle
- Alonso Guillen was a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which temporarily lifted the threat of deportation for immigrants brought to the U.S. before they were 16, family members said. His father is a lawful permanent, but his mother is still in the application process for legal status. Reached at her home in Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the border from Eagle Pass, Rita Ruiz de Guillen, 62, said she is heartbroken. "I've lost a great son, you have no idea," she said, weeping softly. "I'm asking God to give me strength." She said she hoped U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials would take pity and grant her a humanitarian visa so that she could come to Houston and bury her son, but she was turned back at the border. "When we are with God, there are no borders," she said. "Man made borders on this earth."
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The expert who helped write the mental disorders manual explains why Trump doesn’t have one - The Verge
- And you think that even if he did “officially” have it, it wouldn’t make a difference. This argument that NPD should disqualify Trump from presidency doesn’t make sense. First, he doesn’t have it. And even if he did, so what? Narcissism is very common in political leaders, celebrities, doctors, lawyers, and professors, but it’s not a disqualifying criteria for governing. Even if people have mental disorders, that doesn’t mean they can’t be great leaders. We don’t want that idea. Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill both had very severe mental disorders and were among the best leaders. The decision to keep someone as a leader should be based not on psychiatric name-calling but rather on the person’s behaviors and adherence to the Constitution and confidence as a leader. He should be impeached of his behavior and because he’s a terrible president, not because he supposedly has a mental illness.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Weaponizing ridicule | MetaFilter
- The military seems to me, though, like one of the worst institutions to deploy ridicule as a weapon. There's a reason that it's artists and women and teenagers who are the most devastating deployers of ridicule: Ridicule works best when it's the weak undermining the strong. Somehow I don't think that NATO generals making fun of the Admiral Kuznetsov or drawing Putin in drag would've worked out the way he might've hoped.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Where will artificial general intelligence come from? | Hacker News
- The basic argument was that people are comically inadequate at writing complex code. You can't write the code to detect a cat in an image and the correct thing to do is to give up, write down an objective that measures the desiderata and pay with compute to search a function space for solutions. In the same vain, the idea of writing an AGI and all of its cognitive machinery is preposterous and the correct thing to do is to give up, think about the objective and search the program space for solutions. Unfortunately, the mindset of decomposition by function (see Brooks ref), which has worked so well for us in so many areas of scientific inquiry, is just about the most misleading mindset when it comes to AGI.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
We Can’t Stop Checking the News Either. Welcome to the New FOMO | WIRED
- “We scroll through our Twitter feeds, not seeking anything specific, just monitoring them so we don’t miss out on anything important,” says Shyam Sundar, a communications researcher at Pennsylvania State University. This impulse could stem from the chemical hits our brains receive with each news hit, but it could also derive from a primitive behavioral instinct—surveillance gratification-seeking, or the urge that drove our cave-dwelling ancestors to poke their heads out and check for predators.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Python Data Science Handbook | Hacker News
Anyone doing a Python Data Science book club? - We're using this book for a "book club" at work. Doing 1 chapter every 2 weeks. Chapter 1 covers Jupyter, 2 covers numpy, 3 pandas, 4 matplotlib, and 5 machine learning. We just made it through the first 4 chapters and it lays a good foundation for those libraries. I suspect chapter 5 is the meatiest and most interesting chapter, which covers scikit-learn and machine learning techniques. It is a long chapter so we will spend a month on it. I recommend combining this book with McKinney's Pandas book[1] and the author's excellent YouTube presentations at PyCon and PyData. Start with "Statistics for Hackers"[2] by Jake VanderPlas and then look for his others. [1]: http://ift.tt/2ee6Q0X [2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq9DzN6mvYA
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now - The New York Times
One of the most humbling pieces I've read recently. Absolutely must read. - Yet the biggest difference between their two experiences is in the opportunities they created. A manager learned that Ms. Evans was taking computer classes while she was working as a janitor and asked her to teach some other employees how to use spreadsheet software to track inventory. When she eventually finished her college degree in 1987, she was promoted to a professional-track job in information technology. Less than a decade later, Ms. Evans was chief technology officer of the whole company, and she has had a long career since as a senior executive at other top companies. Ms. Ramos sees the only advancement possibility as becoming a team leader keeping tabs on a few other janitors, which pays an extra 50 cents an hour. They both spent a lot of time cleaning floors. The difference is, for Ms. Ramos, that work is also a ceiling.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence - The New York Times
- I propose three rules for artificial intelligence systems that are inspired by, yet develop further, the “three laws of robotics” that the writer Isaac Asimov introduced in 1942: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except when such orders would conflict with the previous law; and a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the previous two laws. These three laws are elegant but ambiguous: What, exactly, constitutes harm when it comes to A.I.? I suggest a more concrete basis for avoiding A.I. harm, based on three rules of my own.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Why Apple and Intel don’t want to see the conflict minerals rule rolled back - The Washington Post
- But in a surprising move, several major companies say they will not abandon the standard even if the law is gutted. While corporations normally cheer in unison when regulations are cut, this controversial rule has prompted a different reaction. That is because something interesting has happened since the law took effect: Companies say the conflict minerals law has created an expectation both inside their corporate headquarters and among consumers that their products will be “conflict-free.” They do not want to back away from that now. But they worry their efforts will be undermined without the law to support them. “We do this because it’s the right thing to do,” Apple said in a statement about its conflict minerals compliance. The tech giant said it plans to keep those protections “regardless of whether or not the law requires it.” Apple said it is pleading its case behind the scenes to White House and SEC officials. Intel said it, too, was committed to “responsible sourcing of minerals” regardless of regulatory changes. “We do actually believe in doing the right thing,” Intel spokesman William Moss said.
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10 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Fox News Poll: Voters' mood sours, 56 percent say Trump tearing country apart | Fox News
- Many will find this jarring: When asked who poses a greater threat to the United States, nearly as many say the media (40 percent) as say white supremacists (47 percent). Another nine percent say that the threat is “the same.” Most Trump voters (75 percent) say the news media are the bigger threat. Most Hillary Clinton backers (80 percent) say white supremacists.
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11 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Game of Thrones season 7: each character's strategy, ranked by political science - Vox
I love pop culture used as a lens to understand the real world. More please!
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11 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Hurricane Harvey and the Urgency of Flood Prevention Tactics - CityLab
- How quickly we seem to be lapsing back into the careless, won’t-happen-here attitude that turned Katrina, a storm that was only mid-sized at landfall, into a lethal catastrophe. After that ordeal, vigilance was declared a civic responsibility. Katrina had shamed government leadership at several levels, not just in the Bush White House, and we citizens bore a good bit of responsibility ourselves. Achieving “resilience”—a favorite buzzword of various foundations that came down here after Katrina to save us from ourselves—has become a call to arms, albeit a sometimes vague and empty one. But after a dozen years and billions of dollars spent shoring up New Orleans’s flood defenses, we are not resilient. Get with it, New Orleans. And the same scolding can be extended to the Texas officials who failed to work out coordinated messaging on evacuation.
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11 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Joe Biden Addresses Charlottesville and Its Aftermath - The Atlantic
<3 - The greatness of America is that—not always at first, and sometimes at enormous pain and cost—we have always met Lincoln’s challenge to embrace the “better angels of our nature.” Our history is proof of what King said—the long arc of history does “bend towards justice.” A week after Charlottesville, in Boston, we saw the truth of America: Those with the courage to oppose hate far outnumber those who promote it.
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11 weeks ago by shaunkoh
The US is good at responding to flood damage. We’re terrible at mitigating it. - Vox
- We’re good at disaster response. We’re terrible at disaster mitigation. The irony of the situation is that the federal government pours billions into repairs for houses that are probably going to flood again, said Moore and Larson. The United States spends about $300 billion responding to natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. In contrast, we only spend about $600 million on mitigation — improving buildings so they won’t flood when the next storm comes. This is despite the fact that mitigation has a 4-1 payback, Larson said. The problem is that people often don’t want to spend money up front to protect their house or business, and then get caught up in a cycle of rebuilding.
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11 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Subscribe to read
Provocative. - Comment: "Your article reminds me that we put a man on the moon before we thought of putting wheels on suitcases."
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12 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Walk this way | The Outline
- Walking is an activity through which the haves are separated from the have-nots. There are the walkers of leisure and the walkers of necessity, who walk to survive, because there is no other way for them to move. All across the world people walk. They walk in cities not designed for those without means. They walk not as a hobby, or to keep fit, or to save the environment, or to think. They walk out of necessity. While walkers of leisure may strive to escape humanity, “indentured” walkers seek it out; for trade, for food, for communication, for life. The essayist Edward Abbey once described walking as “... the only form of transportation in which a man proceeds erect — like a man — on his own legs," forgetting that the walker of necessity is often slumped, tired, searching for satisfaction at the destination, rather than from the act of walking itself. In much of the world, this walking for survival remains something of a national pastime, with the people who need it most often ill-served by the hand of the state. In Botswana's barren Tuli Block game reserve, I watched workers hitchhike from the side of the road after work, surrounded by a wilderness of lions, elephants, hyenas, and leopards. Across the border in South Africa, I witnessed how a lack of infrastructure makes the process of walking uniquely dangerous. The same scene played on repeat in villages dotted all over the country; groups of men, women and children wandering the roads day and night, often without any source of light save for the headlights of the cars speeding by as darkness fell. The lack of streetlights, crosswalks, and sidewalks make the very process of walking hazardous, with pedestrians accounting for a large proportion of road deaths in the country. This situation is acknowledged by alcohol labeling that sometimes features a unique warning: “Don’t Drink and Walk on the Road, You May Be Killed.”
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12 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Defenders finds a powerful scene in Luke Cage explaining white privilege to Iron Fist - Polygon
A remarkable scene in an otherwise ok tv show. Absolutely got my attention. - [SPOILERS] “I know privilege when I see it,” Cage tells Rand after a heated debate about rights and wrongs. “You may think that you earned your strength, but you had power the day you were born. Before the dragons, before the chi ... you have the ability to change the world without getting anyone hurt.” When Rand responds that Madame Gao and her assassin collective won’t be stopped that way, Cage reminds him that by enacting war on those who have nowhere else to turn isn’t the answer either. “I’d think twice about trying to use that thing on people who were trying to feed their families,” Cage says, referring to Rand’s powerful, glowing fist. It’s the first of many scenes in which Cage and Rand are at odds, but it does a good job of showcasing the two worlds the heroes come from. Rand, born into the wealthy, New York elite, and Cage, a longtime resident of Harlem, may have grown up a few miles apart, but had very different lives.
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12 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart - The New York Times
Economist friends - how should one interpret this graph? - The message is straightforward. Only a few decades ago, the middle class and the poor weren’t just receiving healthy raises. Their take-home pay was rising even more rapidly, in percentage terms, than the pay of the rich. The post-inflation, after-tax raises that were typical for the middle class during the pre-1980 period — about 2 percent a year — translate into rapid gains in living standards. At that rate, a household’s income almost doubles every 34 years. (The economists used 34-year windows to stay consistent with their original chart, which covered 1980 through 2014.) In recent decades, by contrast, only very affluent families — those in roughly the top 1/40th of the income distribution — have received such large raises. Yes, the upper-middle class has done better than the middle class or the poor, but the huge gaps are between the super-rich and everyone else. The basic problem is that most families used to receive something approaching their fair share of economic growth, and they don’t anymore.
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12 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Alleged Boston Antifa Thanks Hillary Clinton, Democrats for Their Support as They Burn American Flag
We just don't have the tools to deal with this: verifiying every emerging article in our networks —especially ones that speak to our existing bias and fears, validating whatever narrative we're primed to receive. I've got work to do. - Liam Stack @liamstack Guy fired from BuzzFeed for plagiarism based a whole antifa story on a Twitter account he didn't try to verify
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12 weeks ago by shaunkoh
Dick Gregory, 84, Dies; Found Humor in the Civil Rights Struggle - The New York Times
Boy, what a life. Read the whole thing. It's a reminder that a live fully lived can have a life of its own in so many other hearts and minds that follow. - Mr. Gregory was a breakthrough performer in his appeal to whites — a crossover star, in contrast to veteran black comedians like Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley and Slappy White, whose earthy, pungent humor was mainly confined to black clubs on the so-called chitlin circuit. Though he clearly seethed over the repression of blacks, he resorted to neither scoldings nor lectures when playing big-time rooms like the Hungry I in San Francisco or the Village Gate in New York. Rather, he won audiences over with wry observations about the country’s racial chasm. He would plant himself on a stool, the picture of insouciance in a three-button suit and dark tie, dragging slowly on a cigarette, which he used as a punctuation mark. From that perch he would bid America to look in the mirror, and to laugh at itself. “Segregation is not all bad,” he would say. “Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?” Or: “You know the definition of a Southern moderate? That’s a cat that’ll lynch you from a low tree.” Or: “I heard we’ve got lots of black astronauts. Saving them for the first spaceflight to the sun.” Some lines became classics, like the one about a restaurant waitress in the segregated South who told him, “We don’t serve colored people here,” to which Mr. Gregory replied: “That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Just bring me a whole fried chicken.” Lunch-counter sit-ins, central to the early civil rights protests, did not always work out as planned. “I sat in at a lunch counter for nine months,” he said. “When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.”
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12 weeks ago by shaunkoh
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