The Autobiography of Robert Pruett - Current Affairs
"And yet, though Robert studies hard, he continues to feel more and more hopeless. He is frequently denied access to prison courses because of disciplinary infractions. His fellow inmates are impressed with all of his new knowledge, but one of them teases him about how all the learning will 'come in handy' during 99 years of working in fields. Robert laughs, yet realizes just how sad he is to think that he literally has no opportunity to get out of his situation, that he will very likely die in prison. All the while, even as he grows mentally, physically he is stuck in a world of confinement, violence, and hopelessness."

-- The death penalty is one of those things that creates a strong dichotomy: some judicial systems have it, some do not. It also creates a strong moral dichotomy: the death penalty throws any judicial system, however fair on all other dimensions, at the bottom of the moral scale.
violence:prison  violence:drugs  usa:society 
4 days ago
The Good Society - Lane Kenworthy
"What institutions and policies are most conducive to human flourishing? The Good Society is a book of diagnoses and prescriptions for the United States and other affluent democratic nations."
5 days ago
SFI Community Event - 2017 Ulam Lectures: John Geanakoplos on Debt and its Discontents. Part 1 - YouTube
@part2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKoSwQUQvqQ

Weird bit at 11' -- "Look, GDP has never recovered [from 2009], there's a missing 1-2 trillion… we can do many things with 1-2 trillion… The Iraq War was 1-2 trillion… [blanks out]…"
5 days ago
Pourquoi l’algorithme APB mérite d’être sauvé
"Ces critères flous illustrent la contradiction de l’enseignement supérieur français : accueillir tous les bacheliers qui le souhaitent dans des facultés qui ont de plus en plus de contraintes de capacités. Dans les filières en tension, priorité est d’abord donnée aux candidats de l’académie. Cela crée des inégalités énormes, par exemple en excluant des candidats de proche banlieue des filières parisiennes les plus demandées."
6 days ago
In Defense of Difference § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
"Since only 1900, the human population has increased by a factor of four, water use by a factor of nine, carbon dioxide emissions by 17, marine-fish catch by 35, and industrial output by 40."
13 days ago
Joann Sfar : « Je suis K.-O. debout, comme toute la gauche caviar »
"Après, j’ai rejoint les Beaux-Arts de Paris. Ils ont fêté leurs 200 ans en 2016, et m’ont confié un atelier, on a le droit d’y faire des bandes dessinées ! C’est une reconnaissance, pour la BD. On a passé trente ans à se dire que Roy Lichtenstein valait mieux que Hugo Pratt, ce qui est quand même une connerie."
15 days ago
Independent work projects and senior theses
Note to self -- Remember to build a similar list one day, using the student projects from this course: https://f.briatte.org/teaching/quanti/
15 days ago
Omni Music
Pretty much everything on the label seems to sound great. Tried Eschaton and Fr.om, both excellent atmospheric drum and bass. Fr.om's excellent "Artificial Pressure" track is featured at the very end of Rez's "Swords and Daggers" mix.
15 days ago
Sideways Dictionary
"OAuth — It’s like hiring a gardener for your second home in Spain."

-- and other marvels. Via Célya.
tech  tech:security  tech:networking 
15 days ago
Conférence de Farhad KHOSROKHAVAR du 23/02/2016 à l’IRTS Nord-Pas-de-Calais on Vimeo
"Les formes de radicalisation islamistes : Qui se radicalise ? Comment ? Pour quelles raisons ? Quels rôles jouent l'idéologie, le contexte politique, la situation sociale et la religion ?
Intervenant : Farhad KHOSROKHAVAR, Sociologue et Directeur d'études à l'EHESS et du CADIS.
Cette conférence a été proposée par le collectif "Ensemble on fait quoi ?".
Pour en savoir ensembleonfaitquoi.fr."
violence:terrorism  violence:prison  religion 
20 days ago
Why You Should Probably Write Out Your Job Talk
"So my advice is to write out your job talk. This probably applies to you, although it might not. Do not read that script, do not memorize it, but do write it. And don’t worry, if all goes well, no one will ever know." -- I agree. I wrote down every word of every oral presentation I made when I was an undergrad. It taught me how to phrase an oral presentation, and helped me realise some of the subtle differences between an oral script and a written essay/memo/paper/report.
academia:profession  academia:jobsearch 
25 days ago
Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason - Public lectures and events
It is as if this talk was intended to reassure me that skipping Marx (bar a few pages from his political writings, plus the quotes in Erich Fromm) was a retrospectively smart decision -- because, I am sorry to say, Marx does sound incredibly boring.
25 days ago
globalinequality: How I lost my past
"… but still, after I adjust for all of that, I believe that some other, non-preordained, stories of 'underdevelopment' and Communism have the right to be told too. Or should we willfully destroy our memories?"
history  world:yugoslavia  econ:wealth 
29 days ago
'The Deuce' Looks at Prostitution and Pornography in Times Square's Bad Old Days - WNYC News - WNYC
The pilot is excellent. Very happy to get a new weekly dose of David Simon this semester.

@seealso Iceberg Slim, _Pimp_ – one of my favourites read last year
@seealso http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2017/09/15/550721161/pimps-porn-and-prostitution-dissecting-the-deuce
art:tv  usa:society 
29 days ago
Photek - Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (Two Swords Technique) - YouTube
Bookmarking this only to make sure that Henry will see it :-)

The B-side of the original vinyl EP is the equally remarkable "Fifth Column" masterpiece:

@listen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqbrW9EaOgs

Photek, SpringHeelJack, Goldie -- the Masters.

Because yes, from time to time, one must acknowledge his or her Masters, and when it comes to drum and bass, Photek's _Modus Operandi_, Spring Heel Jack's _Busy Curious Thirsty_ and Goldie's _Saturnz Returnz_ did all the work for me.

All of those records I found by going through the records of the municipal library of Grenoble, France, in the late 1990s. In hindsight, I believe that the wealth of music and culture that I got from there is the reason why I am proud and willing to pay (local) taxes.
4 weeks ago
RoR datasets - Irina Mirkina
"'Regions of Russia (RoR), 1990-2015' is an exhaustive database, created for research on regional development. It includes over 2000 indicators from numerous sources, representing a wide range of economic, political, and social changes in 82 Russian regions during 25 years of reforms and rebounds. Indicators, most of which have never been published in English before, cover various topics, including trade, production, population structure, labour, investment, economic growth, climate, crime rates, terrorism, education, health care, culture, banking system, insurance, services, communication, and infrastructure."
data:social-science  world:russia 
4 weeks ago
4. PARTISANS AND POPULATIONS: THE PLACE OF CIVILIANS IN WAR, ALGERIA (1954–62) - BROWER - 2017 - History and Theory - Wiley Online Library
"The article argues that the population, as constituted in military theory, needs to be understood as the partisan's partner in contributing to the normlessness of violence. This offers both a new reading of the war in Algeria and the violence suffered by civilians, as well as a correction to Schmitt's politically one-sided explanation of the problem of normlessness and modern warfare."
violence:war  history:algerian-war 
4 weeks ago
Why read books? – Synaps open-source
"Naturally, not all books are great, calling for ruthless selection. Shunning the better kind, however, amounts to depriving oneself of some the most enriching moments we can hope for in our own lifetimes."
5 weeks ago
Donald Trump Is the First White President - The Atlantic
"Trump’s legacy will be exposing the patina of decency for what it is and revealing just how much a demagogue can get away with."
usa:politics  usa:presidency 
5 weeks ago
When Correlation Is Not Causation, But Something Much More Screwy - The Atlantic
"Your typical social science graduate curriculum talks a lot about getting standard error right but on a day to day basis most of our work goes into getting the data into the proper form and this is also where most problems come from." -- Amen.

Contains a moderate amount of Judea Pearl.
stats:measurement  soc:quantification  stats:correlation  epistemology:causality 
5 weeks ago
Patashnik, E.M. and Gerber, A.S., Dowling, C.M.: Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine. (eBook and Hardcover)
"This critically important book draws on public opinion surveys, physician surveys, case studies, and political science models to explain how political incentives, polarization, and the misuse of professional authority have undermined efforts to tackle the medical evidence problem and curb wasteful spending."
medicine  usa:health-policy 
5 weeks ago
How to Change Public Opinion - Niskanen Center
"The vast majority of people have no discernable ideology and don’t even posses “true attitudes” about most political matters. Instead, they are ambivalent and have a myriad of partially independent and contradictory ideas and beliefs that co-exist comfortably with one another […] pertaining to most matters of political interest."
polisci:democracy  stats:surveys 
5 weeks ago
Cryptographic vulnerabilities in IOTA – Neha Narula – Medium
"The golden rule of cryptographic systems is 'don't roll your own crypto.' If asked, any security researcher will tell you to only use well-understood and well-tested cryptographic primitives when building a system. Cryptographic hash functions, in particular, go through years of vetting and testing before they are deemed robust enough to use in critical software. For example, the SHA-3 competition took nine years (from 2006 to 2015) to thoroughly cryptanalyze the candidates and select Keccak as the finalist.

So when we noticed that the IOTA developers had written their own hash function, it was a huge red flag. It should probably have been a huge red flag for anyone involved with IOTA."
tech:cryptography  via:henryfarrell 
5 weeks ago
Inside the Trump Bunker, With 12 Days to Go - Bloomberg
"We have three major voter suppression operations under way"
usa:politics  polisci:elections 
5 weeks ago
Engineering the public: Big data, surveillance and computational politics | Tufekci | First Monday
"Digital technologies have given rise to a new combination of big data and computational practices which allow for massive, latent data collection and sophisticated computational modeling, increasing the capacity of those with resources and access to use these tools to carry out highly effective, opaque and unaccountable campaigns of persuasion and social engineering in political, civic and commercial spheres. I examine six intertwined dynamics that pertain to the rise of computational politics: the rise of big data, the shift away from demographics to individualized targeting, the opacity and power of computational modeling, the use of persuasive behavioral science, digital media enabling dynamic real-time experimentation, and the growth of new power brokers who own the data or social media environments. I then examine the consequences of these new mechanisms on the public sphere and political campaigns."
soc:quantification  via:henryfarrell 
5 weeks ago
North Korea Is a Threat to America, but Not an Existential One | The National Interest
"…I imagine much of the overheated rhetoric coming from the Trump administration about North Korea is intended to pressure China to finally do something on the issue, rather than accurately portray the threat from Pyongyang. But this is risky threat-inflation. Scare-mongering contributes to the growing drumbeat for airstrikes against North Korea which could ignite a disastrous regional conflict, even though North Korea almost certainly does not intend to offensively strike the United States with its nuclear weapons."
nuclear-power  usa:empire  world:north-korea 
5 weeks ago
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