Stan Lee obituary: The genius of the superhero creator - BBC News
"Every time I go to a comic book convention, at least one fan will ask me, 'What is the greatest superpower of all?' I always say that luck is the greatest superpower, because if you have good luck then everything goes your way."
comic  comics  media  inspiration  luck  genius  success  excelsior 
AI Hub  |  AI Hub  |  Google Cloud
Google Cloud’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hub is a catalog of plug-and-play AI components, including end-to-end AI pipelines and out-of-the-box algorithms. AI Hub provides enterprise-grade sharing capabilities for organizations to privately host their AI content as well as to foster reuse and collaboration on everything AI. Users can also access unique Google Cloud AI and Google AI technologies that can be easily deployed for experimentation but also all the way to production on Google Cloud and on hybrid infrastructures.
ai  google  code  software  development  research  science  algorithm  algorithms 
2 days ago
Why Religion? | MetaFilter
"Religion often frames suffering as punishment. A family tragedy taught me otherwise."
religion  family  life 
2 days ago
Discover Art & Artists | The Art Institute of Chicago
Explore thousands of artworks in the museum’s wide-ranging collection—from our world-renowned icons to lesser-known gems from every corner of the globe—as well as our books, writings, reference materials, and other resources.
art  artists  history  online  image  images  design  chicago 
2 days ago
Amazon's Gender-Biased Algorithm Is Not Alone - Bloomberg
Amazon’s recruiting engine went to great lengths to identify and weed out women. A women’s college in the education section of a resume was an automatic demerit. By contrast, the presence of typically male vocabulary, such as “executed,” was a point in favor. These are just two examples of how computers can sift through data to find proxies for the qualities that they want to seek or avoid. What seems like offhand, irrelevant information correlates to things like gender, race, and class. And like it or not, gender, race, and class are very important in how our world works, so their signals are very strong. This allows computers to discriminate without their creators intentionally doing so.

What makes Amazon unusual is that it actually did its due diligence, discovered the troubling bias and decided against using the algorithm.
algorithm  algorithms  sexism  racism  bias  amazon  job  jobs  research  computers 
2 days ago
High School English in the United States from 1899-1919 or so | MetaFilter
"A List of Books for Home Reading of High-School Pupils" was published in 1912 by the National Council of Teachers of English, a group that formed the year before and still makes recommendations to teachers today. Forerunners to the NCTE list include the NEA's report on college entrance requirements (1899), Franklin T. Baker's "Bibliography of Children's Reading" (1908), and the Newark Free Public Library's popular list of "A Thousand of the Best Novels" (1904-1919). But many NCTE members would also help shape a thorough recommendation for the "Reorganization of English in Secondary Schools" (1917) and contribute to The English Journal, issues of which from 1911-1922 are free online.
history  usa  reading  english  lit  literature  education  school  schools  teaching  highschool 
3 days ago
Captain America voted.
from twitter
7 days ago
'Canada is the most multicultural country in the world' - BBC News
Syed Najam Hassan is 42 years old and lives in Alberta, Canada.

He set up his first free public library on his front lawn in Calgary three months ago.

Today there are libraries in seven different locations in Alberta with hundreds of people visiting each one each day.

Syed's aim: "To bring different cultures together" inspired by their love of reading.
canada  world  library  book  books  inspiration  inspiring  culture 
7 days ago
7 Signs that indicate you have become a corporate slave - Careerizma
1. You sleep less than an average of 6 hours every night.

2. Part of your daily routine involves turning the floor lights on, when you arrive, and off, when you leave.

3. You have never attended your daughter’s dance recital.

4. You can’t remember the last time you had a day off, let alone a vacation with your family.

5. You are constantly anxious about your performance, or rather the way it is perceived by your manager.

6. You feel you cannot talk to your manager, your HR or your colleagues about your grievances.

7. ­­Your work-life balance has taken a nose dive.
work  job  corporate  corporation  corporations  life  list  lists  economy  economics  parecon  markets 
7 days ago
"I think it's hard for people to come to terms with their own mortality" | MetaFilter
Timothy Caulfield is the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, Professor & Research Director at the University of Alberta. He is also fascinated by pseudoscientific celebrity health advice, specifically how it's based on bad science, and on that topic, published the book Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? (Goodreads). He also uses his humour, quick wit and science knowledge to investigate trendy diets, ancient therapies, wellness and anti-aging products to separate science fact from fiction in a series called A User’s Guide to Cheating Death (YT, trailer). He's into his second season of six episodes each, streaming for free from Vision TV for folks in Canada, and all 12 episodes are available on Netflix, too.
argument  books  health  reference  death  life  skepticism 
9 days ago
Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web | Technology | The Guardian
First, it is technically more difficult to build a decentralised web because everything isn’t in one place. Then there’s getting people to use it. “Right now humanity lives at Facebook,” says Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation. A killer app, a thing that everyone wants, could help here – but there isn’t one yet. Though that is neither surprising nor a failure given how early it still is, adds Baker. Many of the apps that do exist are clunky and difficult to use; user experience needs to improve.

The DWeb movement also needs to focus on its true advantages – the things centralised systems can’t do, says Juan Benet, founder of Protocol Labs. And one of those is speed. Because of the way the DWeb works differently from the current web, it should intrinsically be faster, but there is a long way to go on that, he says.

There are also big issues about governance that need to be ironed out, says Primavera De Filippi, who studies the legal and organisational challenges of decentralised technologies at the National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. How does the decentralised web all come together when no one is in charge? And how do you make sure things don’t just become centralised again, the system repeating itself, particularly when there are companies that want to make money?

How big online companies push back also remains to be seen. “There are going to be a lot of forces for the status quo,” says Kahle. The DWeb is new and burgeoning, but it also isn’t inevitable.
conference  decentralized  democracy  freedom  future  inspiration  internet  parecon  tech  technology  video  videos  web  web2.0 
10 days ago
Decentralized Web Summit 2018: Global Visions / Working Code
The Internet Archive's Decentralized Web Summit is dedicated to creating the web we want [and the web we deserve]. We are convening those who want to build a web that...

Remembers. Forgets. That’s safe. That cares about people. That’s a marketplace. That’s a public square. That learns. That’s magical. That’s fun. A web with many winners. A web that’s locked open for good.
web  web2.0  future  inspiration  tech  technology  freedom  democracy  parecon  decentralized  conference  video  videos  internet 
10 days ago
The Great Filter—the most important question in history
You don’t need 10,000,000 alien civilizations to have us tripping over old warp cores and wrappers from Phaser Burger. You just need one. For any of the “maybe they’re just quiet” objections to work, it would require that every single civilization that developed, regardless of the conditions in which it developed, would independently and uniformly determine that they would be quiet homebodies. No one, not a single Klingon Musk or Darth Bezos could ever get the idea of venturing out to colonize or launching self replicating probes. That answer seems much, much less likely than what the evidence suggests: There is no one out there.

Really, when you put the Great Filter together with Fermi’s question, there seem to be only two possible outcomes.

Answer One: Intelligent life is a fluke.

Maybe life is much more rare, much more unlikely, than our theories would suggest. All the substances required to create life seem common enough, and there are all those planets. But maybe there’s a step we don’t understand. Or maybe life is common, but it’s the development of complex life that’s rare. Maybe if we get out there, will find that our galaxy is really the Slimy Way, filled with planets overrun with the simplest forms of life, and nothing else. Or maybe it’s intelligence. Or technology — a lot of creatures on Earth, on both land and sea, seem to have reached the simple tool-using stage, but maybe getting from pointy stick to pointy stick with stone attached is just much, much harder than it looks. We don’t know which step, but one of the steps between “having a planet that appears suitable for life” and “having a technological civilization” may be a near impossible move.

This, by the way, is the Good Answer. The answer you should really, really hope is true. This is the answer that says “Yes, there is a Great Filter that stands in the way of developing a technological civilization, but we have passed that filter. The universe—the lonely, empty universe—is at our feet!”

Answer Two: Intelligent life is a disaster.

This the less good answer. The answer that says “Yes, there is a Great Filter out there … and it’s in our future.” What’s particularly bad about this is that everything would suggest that it’s in our immediate future. Because given not too much longer to hang around, this little group of monkeys is likely to escape and start being the sort of interstellar pest who would build a McDonald’s franchise on someone else’s moon … if there was anyone else.

Here’s what makes this excessively worrisome: We have no reason to think that developing intelligent life is all that hard. After all, in the one example we know of it all worked out. We know that in our Solar System, there are three planets that are at least somewhat “Earth like” and somewhat near the habitable zone. Of those, one developed life. That one went on to pass every other proposed bottleneck of the Filter theory. So as far as we can tell … it’s not that hard.

Answer two says that sure, intelligence may be as common as sand, but holding onto a technological civilization isn’t just hard, it’s essentially impossible. There are very good reasons to believe this is the correct answer.
future  research  science  space  life  history  humanity  questions  tech  technology  intelligence 
10 days ago
A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley - The New York Times
Tim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, said earlier this year that he would not let his nephew join social networks. Bill Gates banned cellphones until his children were teenagers, and Melinda Gates wrote that she wished they had waited even longer. Steve Jobs would not let his young children near iPads.

But in the last year, a fleet of high-profile Silicon Valley defectors have been sounding alarms in increasingly dire terms about what these gadgets do to the human brain. Suddenly rank-and-file Silicon Valley workers are obsessed. No-tech homes are cropping up across the region. Nannies are being asked to sign no-phone contracts.

Those who have exposed their children to screens try to talk them out of addiction by explaining how the tech works.
kids  children  tech  technology  apple  iphone  parenting  siliconvalley 
10 days ago
CAP API | Caselaw Access Project
The Caselaw Access Project API, also known as CAPAPI, serves all official US court cases published in books from 1658 to 2018. The collection includes over six million cases scanned from the Harvard Law Library shelves.
data  database  law  legal  api  reference  code  history  court  software 
12 days ago
1984+6 | MetaFilter
1990 was a 1970s television series depicting a then future UK under dystopian state control following an economic collapse.
tv  television  future  media  vision  economy  economics 
12 days ago
Time Traveler by Merriam-Webster: Search Words by First Known Use Date
When was a word first used in print? You may be surprised! Enter a date below to see the words first recorded on that year.
word  words  history  time  dictionary  english  language  search  online 
14 days ago
Babel: active code in Org-mode
Babel is Org-mode's ability to execute source code within Org-mode documents.
orgmode  emacs  programming  code  reference  useful  inspiration  tech  technology  software  literate 
14 days ago
Stars seize Iranian imagination | News | Al Jazeera
People in the southern Iranian town of Saadat Shahr make sure not to miss Friday prayers.
astronomy  world  iran  arabic  inspiration  science  inspiring 
14 days ago
The Dirty Secret of the Global Plan to Avert Climate Disaster | WIRED
When asked how we should read the results of any integrated assessment model, controversial as they are, McGlynn sighs. “The most important of the IPCC’s projections is that we’re screwed unless we can figure out how to take CO2 out of the atmosphere, because we haven’t acted fast enough,” she says. “I think that’s the most important part of the story.”

Still, negative emissions are not mentioned in the Paris Climate Agreement or a part of formal international climate negotiations. As Peters and Geden recently pointed out, no country mentions BECCS in its official plan to cut emissions in line with Paris’s 2°C goal, and only a dozen mention carbon capture and storage. Politicians are decidedly not crafting elaborate BECCS plans, with supply chains spanning continents and carbon accounting spanning decades. So even if negative emissions of any kind turns out to be feasible technically and economically, it’s hard to see how we can achieve it on a global scale in a scant 13 or even three years, as some scenarios require.

Looking at BECCS and direct air capture as case studies, it’s particularly clear that there’s only so fast you can act, and that modelers, engineers, politicians, and the rest of us must face up to the necessity of negative emissions together.
climate  climatechange  climatecrisis  research  science  chemistry  world 
16 days ago
New Power | The indispensable guide to navigating the 21st century
The world seems chaotic. Polls failed to predict that Trump would win. Airbnb is worth more than Hilton. #MeToo is taking down powerful, previously untouchable heads of industry. But when you step back from the chaos, you can notice there’s an underlying force at work: “new power.”

By understanding new power you can reshape the world around you. The future is a battle for mobilization. Those who flourish will be those best able to channel participatory energy — for the good, the bad, and the trivial. And this battle will have big implications for people, organizations, and for the world at large.
future  activism  hope  inspiration  inspiring  power  crowdsourcing  protest  change 
16 days ago
Inside the Secret Meme Lab Designed to Propel #NeverAgain Beyond the March | Vanity Fair
“It’s funny,” Dylan Baierlein told me. “If you came to one of our meetings and watched us and listened to us, you would think that, like, nothing is getting done! But the craziest thing is, amidst this chaos of nonsense, somehow, we are getting it all done in our own way. I don’t know why it works, I don’t know how it works—but it does. And it’s incredible.”
psychology  activism  media  socialmedia  guns  government  policy  protest 
16 days ago
What If We Could Weaponize Empathy?
One of my favorite insights on the subject of online community is from Tom Chick:

Here is something I've never articulated because I thought, perhaps naively, it was understood:

The priority for participating on this forum is not the quality of the content. I ultimately don't care how smart or funny or observant you are. Those are plusses, but they're never prerequisites. The priority is on how you treat each other. I expect spats, arguments, occasional insults, and even inevitable grudges. We've all done that. But in the end, I expect you to act like a group of friends who care about each other, no matter how dumb some of us might be, no matter what political opinions some of us hold, no matter what games some of us like or dislike. This community is small enough, intimate enough, that I feel it's a reasonable expectation.
indymedia  inspiration  facebook  online  internet  forum  community  gamification  idea  ideas  todo 
18 days ago
Oh, the Horror! Polish Horror Movies under Communism | Article | Culture.pl
The attempts of Polish filmmakers to learn the genre of horror are not limited to these films. There was also Andrzej Żuławski’s The Devil, which was banned by censors. There were the films Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby and The Fearless Vampire Killers by Roman Polański – filmed, it is true, in the West, but they became true masterpieces of the genre. Marek Piestrak, director of The Wolf, tried later to return to horror films. In 1990, he made The Return of the Wolf (which proved to be not as interesting) and three years earlier – Curse of Snakes Valley, an adventure movie with horror movie elements. However, Lokis, The Wolf, and The Phantom became iconic examples of Polish filmmaking under the communist regime. Different, but somewhat similar in style, these films gave food for thought and were free from clichés of the genre, which favourably distinguishes them from many western examples of the genre. But most of all, they portrayed real horror.
poland  polish  movie  movies  horror  film  films  history  media 
21 days ago
In Jair Bolsonaro’s New Brazil, Far-Right Evangelical Billionaire Edir Macedo’s Media Empire Is Being Exploited to Investigate Journalists — Including The Intercept
But it’s one thing for Macedo to use his massive wealth and media empire to elect a fascist. It’s another entirely for him to exploit and abuse those media outlets to intimidate, investigate, and threaten journalists for the crime of reporting on Bolsonaro and his media outlets. That conduct is a serious threat to a free press: it is virtually impossible to freely report on Bolsonaro if one knows that Macedo’s infinite wealth and powerful outlets will be used to smear not only the journalists responsible but their family members as well.

Macedo and his machine can spend as much money as they want, and use their megaphone as loudly as they want, to defame and lie and distort. That will, at least according to their own claimed plans, happen yet again on Sunday night. But the Intercept will nonetheless maintain its steadfast commitment to independent, intrepid journalism, which most certainly includes, now more than ever, aggressive and critical scrutiny of Jair Bolsonaro and the billionaire bishop trying to empower him.
brazil  media  politics  journalism  rightwing  fascism  racism  empire  money  power  religion 
23 days ago
New York witches place hex on Brett Kavanaugh - BBC News
The occult turned partisan on Saturday as a coven of New York witches placed a hex on US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
supremecourt  activism  newyork  religion  usa  protest 
24 days ago
Opinion | No, A.I. Won’t Solve the Fake News Problem - The New York Times
Existing A.I. systems that have been built to comprehend news accounts are extremely limited. Such a system might be able to look at the passage from the WND article and answer a question whose answer is given directly and explicitly in the story (e.g., “Does the Boy Scouts organization accept people who identify as gay and lesbian?”). But such systems rarely go much further, lacking a robust mechanism for drawing inferences or a way of connecting to a body of broader knowledge. As Eduardo Ariño de la Rubia, a data scientist at Facebook, told us, for now “A.I. cannot fundamentally tell what’s true or false — this is a skill much better suited to humans.”

To get to where Mr. Zuckerberg wants to go will require the development of a fundamentally new A.I. paradigm, one in which the goal is not to detect statistical trends but to uncover ideas and the relations between them. Only then will such promises about A.I. become reality, rather than science fiction.
ai  news  media  journalism  facebook  tech  technology  machinelearning  deeplearning 
24 days ago
Guy-Blache: The untold story of first female film director - BBC News
Hollywood actress Jodie Foster has narrated a documentary paying tribute to Alice Guy-Blache who is credited with being the world’s first female film director.

Blache made her first movie in 1896 and was subsequently involved in the production of some 1,000 films from shorts to features.
movie  movies  women  feminism  history  media  film  films 
24 days ago
Ultimate Writer: an Open Digital Typewriter
TL;DR: A digital typewriter based on a Raspberry Pi and an E-Ink screen. The code/build instructions are available on GitHub.
raspberrypi  writing  tech  technology  hardware  useful  write  github 
24 days ago
A Former Obama Operative Built a New Anti-Republican Attack Machine - Bloomberg
John Burton hopes an army of dirt diggers can deliver an October surprise for Democrats.
democrats  research  activism  politics  republican  republicans  democracy  usa  election  elections 
24 days ago
Citizen Strong
Since February 2018, we’ve been busy scouring the records of elected officials all over America. Led by alumni of the Obama 08 campaign’s research team and harnessing the energy of almost 18,000 volunteers, we’re tipping the balance in nearly 30 Congressional races and over 70 legislative races in key states.
election  elections  research  voting  politics  usa 
24 days ago
Data For Progress
Data for Progress is the think tank for the future of progressivism. Our goal is to to show how a progressive agenda can win nationwide.

We provide research, polling on left issues and analysis to support activists and advocacy groups, challenging conventional wisdoms about the American public that lack empirical support.

We are a multidisciplinary group of experts using state of the art data science techniques to support progressive activists and causes.
bigdata  progressive  politics  activism  data  datascience  research  left  liberal 
25 days ago
Haskell Programming - Home
Think learning Haskell is difficult?
It doesn't have to be.

Welcome to a new way to learn Haskell.

Perhaps you are coming to this book frustrated by previous attempts to learn Haskell.
Perhaps you have only the faintest notion of what Haskell is.
Perhaps you were just looking for the 18 billionth* monad tutorial, certain that this time around you will understand monads once and for all.

Whatever your situation - it is our goal to make Haskell as clear, painless, and practical as we can, no matter what prior experiences you're bringing to the table.
programming  code  software  haskell  book  books  learning  education  functional 
25 days ago
A strong libido and bored by monogamy: the truth about women and sex | Life and style | The Guardian
“Overfamiliarisation with a partner and desexualisation kills women’s libido. We used to think it’s only men who became sexually bored after marriage; turns out that’s not true. It’s when women get married that it’s detrimental to their libido.”
sex  marriage  women  men  life  gender  lifestyle 
4 weeks ago
Supreme Court plunges dagger deep into the heart of climate fight—as Antarctica stares down collapse
In a welcome basket yesterday, the majority of the Supreme Court rebuffed an appeal of its newest member Brett Kavanaugh’s ruling yesterday, back when he was on the D.C. Circuit court. They cavalierly passed on hearing an appeal of a rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama, that regulates hydrofluorocarbons, a potent greenhouse gas. The Trump administration had withdrawn the rule to “rewrite” it—in other words, they’ll do absolutely nothing about a greenhouse gas that is responsible for the warming of the southern ocean.

This insanely dangerous move by the nation’s highest court follows a dire report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday, warning that the world has exactly 12 years to stop 45% of carbon dioxide emissions and just 32 years to reach zero emissions. That unfathomable requirement of rapid decarbonization presents our last opportunity to prevent cataclysmic effects of climate change—by keeping temperature rise limited to 1.5°C—and even then, it may not work. The consortium of the world’s top climate scientists warned governmental leaders that the Paris Accord is nowhere near enough to prevent a civilization-ending apocalypse.
supremecourt  environment  globalwarming  chemistry  deathheat  climatechange  climatecrisis  climate  republican  republicans  gop  court 
4 weeks ago
On September 23, 2018, I gave a presentation about Sinclair and Tribune at Third Unitarian Church, Chicago. The au…
from twitter
4 weeks ago
I wrote and edited an entire high school quizbowl tournament -- the 1995 Autumn Classic. All 10 packets from…
from twitter
6 weeks ago
Untitled (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxt-wHbD640&app=desktop)
Eleven years ago yesterday, I was waiting in a line at an hearing when I made my national television debut:
from twitter
7 weeks ago
SZCZ.org: My 25th Veganniversary
Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of adhering to a vegan diet. I've written a blog post to mark the occasion:
from twitter
8 weeks ago
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