‏بوكيبلينكي on Twitter: "There's a scene in Player of Games where Jurgeh plays an interesting game: to speak continuously at someone, subverting their conversational… https://t.co/AqsKo7ybyO"
I am 100% certain that a lot of the awkwardness in my social interactions derives from my habit of frequently pausing in conversation to think before rendering a reply, and either failing to give the appropriate cues to accompany this pause, or simply pausing for thought way longer than people think is natural.
tweet-threads-that-should-be-blog-posts  neurotypicality  communication  speech 
20 hours ago
Blockstack: A New Internet for Decentralized Applications
Still wrapping my head around this but I strongly suspect that this model does not actually solve the problems that it purports to solve & will not scale to true applications (as opposed to just storage); or, if they do somehow manage to contort this into a peer-to-peer application platform, the blockchain will prove unnecessary or marginal to the design. Still worth reading for the decentralized storage design, which appears to be a small advance over FileCoin.
redecentralize  blockchains  probably-snake-oil  but-i-repeat-myself 
4 days ago
The fight to make bad jobs better - Vox
At about 6:25 there's an interesting mention of the fact that one culprit is algorithmic worker scheduling that does not incorporate shift stability as part of its objective function.
labor  economics  business 
8 days ago
The Great American Single-Family Home Problem - The New York Times
Even though the Haskell Street project required no alterations to Berkeley’s zoning code, it took the developer two years and as many lawsuits to get approval. He plans to start building next year. The odyssey has become a case study in how California dug itself into a vast housing shortage — a downside, in part, of a thriving economy — and why the State Legislature is taking power from local governments to solve it.
urbanism  housing  real-estate  california  bay-area 
11 days ago
The Craft Sequence: (Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, Full Fathom Five, Last First Snow, Four Roads Cross), by Max Gladstone (@Kindle)
Finished 2017-11-30. Recommended.

Law is magic, literally. Unusually original, brisk and sharply written, and reflective of 21st-century concerns, without being crudely allegorical. I found this thoroughly enjoyable, although not (yet) quite sublime in the way that I hope for the very best fantastic fiction to be. My relatively minor complaints are:

(1) You can see the big bang climax coming in each one of these books; they each finish with a similar-feeling magic confrontation in much the same way that most superhero movies conclude in a giant fight with a gigantic beam of light firing out of the sky. You will probably enjoy these climaxes, but you will not be terribly surprised by them.

(2) The rules and limits of magic never feel clear enough to prevent the reader from suspecting that some new deus ex machina twist of magic is going to pop up from out of nowhere to save the protagonists from their predicament. This is rather odd, given that the author has literally constructed role playing games set in this universe. To be clear, it would be terrible for the universe to feel completely mechanistic, for the rules to be laid out in crudely expository form, or for the reader to hear the proverbial dice rolling in the background. However, other authors have managed to achieve a more authentic sense of peril and less arbitrariness without falling into these traps, and to be honest I'm not exactly sure why. (Actually arbitrariness, and its resultant deflation of dramatic tension, is just a very common pitfall of fantasy fiction in general and the so-called New Weird more specifically, which is to some extent an inevitable hazard of these genres' embrace of mystery and the sublime, and the New Weird's stylistic mannerism of densely packaged, vivid, novel imagery.)

Still these are minor complaints. You will rarely read fiction this well crafted (oh snap, see what I did there?!!!).

Lastly there is some debate in Gladstone's fan base about the proper reading order. The two most common suggestions are either publication order or chronological order. I will offer my own opinion, which is that neither is right. Instead, read in publication order, but skip Full Fathom Five until you've read the rest. Gladstone has not actually constructed a five-book series, as the recent publication of the sixth book (not included in this collection) makes clear. Rather, so far, he has written three dyads:

a. The story of Tara Abernathy and Alt Coulumb (Three Parts Dead, Four Roads Cross)
b. The story of Temoc, Caleb, and Dresediel Lex (Two Serpents Rise, Last First Snow)
c. The story of Kai Pohala (Full Fathom Five, The Ruin of Angels)

The thing about (c) is that it is relatively decoupled, whereas the other two dyads are threaded through each other somewhat more (although each novel still functions as a standalone entity). Reading in my suggested order preserves the narrative force of publication order, which produces a number of important effects that would be lost in chronological order --- for example, the dread you feel while reading Last First Snow, as you know some of the terrible things that Temoc will witness, and do --- but elides the distracting interlude between Two Serpents Rise and Last First Snow. Thus, read in this order:

1. Three Parts Dead
2. Two Serpents Rise
3. Last First Snow
4. Four Roads Cross
5. Full Fathom Five
6. The Ruin of Angels

(I haven't read (6) yet myself, but probably will, eventually.)
booklog  finished:2017  fiction  fantasy-fiction 
11 days ago
DNA Shows New York Has ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’ Rats - The Atlantic
Manhattan has two genetically distinguishable groups of rats: the uptown rats and the downtown rats, separated by the geographic barrier that is midtown. It’s not that midtown is rat-free—such a notion is inconceivable—but the commercial district lacks the household trash (aka food) and backyards (aka shelter) that rats like. Since rats tend to move only a few blocks in their lifetimes, the uptown rats and downtown rats don’t mix much.

When the researchers drilled down even deeper, they found that different neighborhoods have their own distinct rats. “If you gave us a rat, we could tell whether it came from the West Village or the East Village,” says Combs. “They’re actually unique little rat neighbors.” And the boundaries of rat neighborhoods can fit surprisingly well with human ones.
biology  animal-behavior  genetics  new-york-city  culture  urbanism  via:twitter 
13 days ago
I just don’t want to be a software developer anymore
it’s not really “passion” they are looking for, but people who are merely willing to endure long hours. They aren’t really looking for the person who spends a few hours on the weekend on an open-source project, they are looking for the person who comes home from work and spends all night on it.
technology-industry  career 
14 days ago
Uber-Waymo case: Dramatic turn as judge says Uber lawyers withheld evidence - San Francisco Chronicle
The two companies have already engaged in months of discovery and depositions. But over Thanksgiving weekend, the U.S. Attorney sent additional evidence to Alsup, who had previously referred the case there for possible criminal investigation. That evidence, a heavily redacted letter from lawyers for Uber’s former manager of global intelligence, Richard Jacobs, took front and center stage during Tuesday’s hearing.

“We’re going to have to put the trial off,” Alsup said. “If even half of what’s in that letter is true, it would be a huge injustice to force Waymo to go to trial and not be able to prove the things said in that letter.

“To my mind, my court order said stuff like that had to be produced. It was withheld from me. Morrison Foerster (a law firm representing Uber) and the rest of the Uber lawyers withheld evidence, (despite) a direct order to produce stuff like that.”

One would think $11B in venture funding would buy a competent team of lawyers?

Jacobs confirmed that Uber offered training on how to "impede, obstruct or influence" ongoing legal investigations. Tactics included use of attorney-client privilege on written documents, and encrypted, ephemeral communications.

This sounds bad, but may be fine. "Obstruct" is a loaded term; you really do want all high-level staff at your company to know, however, how to handle legally delicate matters without leaving a legally discoverable paper trail, even if you're not doing anything illegal, because opposing counsel will be doing everything they can to deceive a jury of ill-informed laypeople. Remember what happened to Tim Lindholm in Oracle v. Google: a single sentence from a draft email that he never sent was twisted by opposing counsel into evidence of wrongdoing that never happened.

Using these techniques to cover over outright illegal behavior, or a criminal investigation, is a totally different matter, of course. And not disclosing the existence of such channels to a judge --- ha.
uber  law 
14 days ago
Negative Results in Empirical Soft Eng - Journal Special Issue
I am dubious of most of these due to the toy nature of most tasks used in studies but worth the bookmark.
software-engineering  research  negative-results 
19 days ago
Blockchains don’t scale. Not today, at least. But there’s hope.
Duh. It is amazing that this is not more widely discussed in the cc world.
cryptocurrency  distributed-systems 
20 days ago
Uber Discloses Data Breach, Kept Secret for a Year, Affecting 57 Million Accounts - The New York Times
Uber acquiesced to the demands, and then went further. The company tracked down the hackers and pushed them to sign nondisclosure agreements, according to the people familiar with the matter. To further conceal the damage, Uber executives also made it appear as if the payout had been part of a “bug bounty” — a common practice among technology companies in which they pay hackers to attack their software to test for soft spots.
security  uber  ethics  lol-what-am-i-saying 
20 days ago
Uber Concealed Cyberattack That Exposed 57 Million People’s Data - Bloomberg
What kind of CSO thinks that giving the people who breached your systems $100K to delete their copies of your customer data is a sound tactic? How in blazes was Sullivan expecting to verify that they had done what they were paid to do?
security  uber  ethics  lol-what-am-i-saying 
21 days ago
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