Theory of crapification
What Surowiecki is talking about is that consumers are engaging in a long-overdue and largely futile backlash against the crapification of almost everything. I’m not a car buyer, but I understand some high-end brands like the Lexus and Prius have stayed true to their consumer promises. But the trend overwhelmingly is the reverse. Let’s give some examples:

Consumer white goods. Washing machines, dishwashers, and stoves all used to be good for forty years absent a leak-induced short or other unusual mishap. Now you are lucky to get ten. I have a little no-name brand gas stove that the astonishingly capable cleaning woman I had when I moved in pronounced to be good. It is. I’m sure you can’t find an inexpensive gas stove that comes close these days. Similarly, in the days when I was more flush and a tenant destroyed an Electrolux, I bought another good (but not as good) vacuum cleaner, a Miele. The engine crapped out in eight years, one beyond the warranty. And remember, I live in a
19 days ago
Blob Defintion
The term “The Blob” as this commentator uses it, was originated by Obama official Ben Rhodes in an article in the New York Times magazine:

Here’s how [New York Times writer David] Samuels describes Rhodes’ basic foreign policy worldview:

He referred to the American foreign-policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East… [His passion] derived from his own sense of the urgency of radically reorienting American policy in the Middle East in order to make the prospect of American involvement in the region’s future wars a lot less likely. [The New York Times Magazine]

Whatever good has come from the Obama administration on foreign policy — and it must be admitted that it could have been much worse — it comes from this attitude. The fundamental attribute of “the Blob” really is a sort of amoral incompetence, where constant bloody and catastrophic failure has virtually zero impact on elite thinking. (And that’s leaving aside the leaking of classified documents to get laid, drunkenly lambasting the president to a journalist, the inept handling of the nuclear arsenal, and so on.)

I would guess “The Blob” is an hommage to the eopnymous movie, The Blob:

The Blob is an amorphous, gelatinous alien entity that was brought to planet Earth trapped inside a meteorite. Nothing is known about its origins, the natural habits of the species, or how common they are in the universe. This creature has no definite shape or size, being able to change its form at will.

Replace “trapped inside a meteorite” with “a degree from Harvard or Yale”….
19 days ago
Norsk film har druknet Geiranger og revet Oslo i fillebiter. Men hva blir det neste? Her er 11 forslag.
march 2019
Using Emacs to work with R
A simple yet efficient way to work with R consists in writing R code with your favorite text editor and sending it to the R console. This allows to build efficient R code in an incremental fashion. A good editor might even provide syntax highlighting, parenthesis matching, and a way to send a selected portion of code to R
emacs  R 
january 2019
How to Find Hidden Cameras and Spy Bugs (The Professional Way) - Sentel Tech Security
How to Find Hidden Cameras and Spy Bugs (The Professional Way) is an in depth guide on how to find and identify hidden cameras, GPS trackers, and secret audio bugs. The guide uses techniques that anyone can use, along with some low cost detectors that will find most any covert bug
privacy  security 
january 2019
Practical Racket macros
racket  scheme 
january 2019
Very special effects
This is my first detailed post in a series comparing first-generation Champions (1982-1985 publications) and GURPS: Supers (1989). The blog has received some new readers who are invested in the issue, so (i) welcome!! and (ii) let's try for extra civility, learning-curves, and no-blood-no-foul, all around. The topic today: how rules-in-text relate to what's imagined-and-said-and-heard…
Champions  RPG 
december 2018
Political Apology of a Lingerie Model
In the middle of this summer, I was booked to shoot for a new lingerie brand. The rate was on the low side (about 60% of industry standard pay per hour), but I’m a fresh college grad reluctant to turn down good money, so I agreed. The day before the shoot, the casting director contacted me and said that they couldn’t pay me, but would be able to offer trade. (Instead of money, would I accept compensation in bras?) That really doesn’t cut it, but I conceded. I had already committed, and didn’t want to develop a reputation as difficult or flaky that would injure me in the long run. Plus, she emphasized that the founders didn’t have two pennies to rub together, and as the editor of a magazine run entirely on volunteer labor, I sympathize with the underfunded. They couldn’t pay for a makeup artist, so I would do my own makeup beforehand. I brought my own jeans. I would be in and out in two hours. When I got there, I was stunned to find that they had rented an enormous, beautiful studio for
december 2018
The language of capitalism isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous
A new book argues that words like “innovation” are doing more than telling you who to avoid at parties.
december 2018
Ubuntu NVIDIA Optimus setup - Install bumblebee and nvidia drivers
Here's a simple Ubuntu nVIDIA Optimus setup tutorial for 16.04 and above, that works. Step by step guide to install Ubuntu nVIDIA drivers and Bumblebee.
Optimus  Nvidia  Linux 
december 2018
The 1-hour workday
When I was an assistant professor, I felt constantly overwhelmed. I had classes to teach, relationships with new colleagues to navigate, a lab group to assemble, and an infant at home—not to mention research to conduct and papers to publish. To get ahead, I took on any opportunities that were offered, including membership on various editorial boards and professional committees. Despite working like a madman, my productivity as measured by paper output was meager. I simply could not find time in my day for undistracted writing. And when I did find the time after an extended stretch away from writing, the warm-up period to get back into the paper was often long, further slowing my progress. ![Figure][1]</img> ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT NEUBECKER > “I wake up early, make an espresso, and write until I'm spent.” At first I thought that this kind of frustration was routine for academic researchers. But as the years passed, I noticed a few senior colleagues who published with impressive regularity
science  writing 
november 2018
Thread by @BlackSocialists: "Let’s dissect the term and/or concept of “white privilege” and how it has been mistakenly used over the last few years by Liberals, Conserva […]"
Thread by @BlackSocialists: "Let’s dissect the term and/or concept of “white privilege” and how it has been mistakenly used over the last few, Conservatives, and confused Leftists drawn into misinformation and propaganda (once and for all). You might […]"
august 2018
How to Fall Asleep in 120 Seconds
This sleep technique helped WWII fighter pilots relax and unwind on the battlefield.
august 2018
FreeBSD Desktop – Part 1 – Simplified Boot
This is the first post in the FreeBSD Desktop series. The default FreeBSD boot process is quite verbose with a lot of debugging information along with kernel messages. We may divide that boot process into several 'screens' or stages. First thing You see is the 'BIOS' screen of the computer manufacturer. Second thing is the…
june 2018
Personlig Utenlandsstipend
ndes inn vedlegg utover dette. Søknaden og alle vedlegg skal skrives på norsk eller engelsk.
june 2018
Documents you must provide
You need to provide the original documents.
june 2018
Delta Xi
Powersaving for 6th gen Lenovo
Linux  FreeBSD 
june 2018
Permaculture in Cold Climates
Speaking of evolutionary chokepoints, I’ve been thinking about “the jackpot,” William Gibson’s premise for The Peripheral:

Droughts, water shortages, crop failures, honeybees gone like they almost were now, collapse of other keystone species, every last alpha predator gone, antibiotics doing even less than they already did, diseases that were never quite the one big pandemic but big enough to be historic events in themselves. And all of it around people: how people were, how many of them there were, how they’d changed things just by being there.

Gibson describes his thinking on “the jackpot” in an interview:

[GIBSON:] Our cultural model of the apocalypse is of a sudden event. That’s our cultural model of every apocalypse. The most likely apocalypse of my childhood would have been mutually assured destruction between the US and the Soviet Union, which actually almost occurred. We now know it almost happened a number of times. We were a hair’s breadth from the world ending. Nobody celebrates those dates, but I wish they would. The “day the world was saved” dates.

I think that’s something so basic about our culture – the idea of the abrupt apocalypse. We don’t even think about it. Something that kills 80 percent of the existing human population over 40 years – we don’t know how to react to that. We don’t know how to react to mass extinction events. But the passenger pigeons had their apocalypse. It took a long time – we had to eat them all.

If it’s not a sudden event, then it’s either completely out of our control — or potentially within the possibility of our control. That changes the way we look at the possibility of an event like that.

So if it’s slower, you could look at it and say, “There’s nothing we can do about that — these are vast systemic changes.” [But on the other hand] if it’s slower you could say, “It’s not like it’s gonna happen tomorrow, maybe we can get our sh*t together and do something about this.”

What I like about work like Falk’s is that it comes under the heading of “get our sh*t together.” Such work might not “save the world” — whatever that means — but it may well save a remnant of the world.
june 2018
What is the Bezzle?
This is the Water Cooler where the Bezzle is explained by Lambert Strether:

During the Mini-Fundraiser, one contributor asked for the definition of the Bezzle. Via Ed Harrison, “This comes from Chapter VIII of Galbraith’s classic volume, The Great Crash 1929“:

“In many ways the effect of the crash on embezzlement was more significant than on suicide. To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. (This is a period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled, oddly enough, feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.) At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in – or more precisely not in – the country’s business and banks. This inventory – it should perhaps be called the bezzle – amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars. It also varies in size with the business cycle. In good times people are relaxed, trusting, and money is plentiful. But even though money is plentiful, there are always many people who need more. Under these circumstances the rate of embezzlement grows, the rate of discovery falls off, and the bezzle increases rapidly. In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks.”

Now, I intepret The Bezzle broadly; I’d put Theranos in that category, for example: There was indeed a net increase of “psychic wealth” — and not just psyhic! — in the interim between Holmes beginning her scam and the revelations of her chicanery. The progression from hubris to nemesis, interestingly, also has a “time parameter.”
jargon  economics 
june 2018
Where does firefox get the “default” applications for opening files from?
By default, the Firefox (33.0) on my FreeBSD 11.0-CURRENT has the default application for opening PDF files set to Inkscape. Firefox does remember my previous choice, evince, in the “What should Fi...
FreeBSD  Linux 
june 2018
How to manage Word styles like a pro
Stop avoiding Word styles. Instead, learn how to manage them, so you can put them to work for you.
may 2018
Stop saying ‘privacy,’ start saying ‘data protection’
Let’s do away with the most meaningless word in tech.
privacy  data  protection 
may 2018
A Faster Horse?
No one has been more lionized for his contempt for focus groups than Steve Jobs.
focus  group  design  horse 
may 2018
Cepstral - Download Personal Text to Speech Software for Free
Cepstral personal software download area. Download and test drive Cepstral text to speech voices for free.
Voices  LInux 
may 2018
Changing console resolution in FreeBSD 10 with vt(4)
Since FreeBSD 10 you can choose between the traditional sc(4) console and the newer vt(4) terminal console driver. While the latter is needed to have a working suspend / resume on Intel hardware newer than Ivy Bridge, it lacks the ability to use...
march 2018
Doctoral thesis (requirements)
PhD candidates’ faculty or department will cover the cost of printing a specific number of thesis copies. You can also order extra copies for private use in the same order, and these will be charged at the internal price without VAT.
february 2018
PhD dinner and conferral ceremony
It is your choice whether to organize a PhD dinner. The cost of a PhD dinner must be met by you, however part of the cost is tax deductible.
PhD  UiO 
february 2018
Thesis requirements
The thesis shall be an independent, scientific work that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic level and method.
PhD  UiO 
february 2018
Ripster Guide: Cleaning Keyboards
Post with 84592 views. Shared by ripster.
february 2018
Shell Command Language
Includes stuff about parameter expansion (which is better than nothing)
FreeBSD  zsh  Linux  shell 
february 2018
Knocking Down a Steel Man: How to Argue Better
"The beginning of thought is in disagreement - not only with others but also with ourselves." - Eric Hoffer You know when someone makes an argument, and you know you can get away with making it seem like they made a much worse one, so you attack that argument for points? That’s strawmanning. Lots of us…
arguing  discourse 
february 2018
Windows ALT codes
All the codes for typing symbols via ALT
february 2018
Use this Harvard Law checklist to prepare for any negotiation
Be prepared, and understand your strengths and weaknesses.
january 2018
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