1870
Americans Aren’t As Divided As You Think - POLITICO Magazine
Every day, America is being misled by the political parties, our political leaders and the press. We are told that the other side – whether it’s liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans – are not just wrong on the issues, but full of destructive intent. The other side is full of deplorables or white nationalists or snowflakes or, worse yet, globalists. We are assured that the other side despises American values and is intent on destroying the country as we know it. We believe all these things.

Here’s something to talk about at your Thanksgiving dinner table: None of this is true. I’m a life-long Democrat and have a resume that practically bleeds blue: a couple turns in Democratic politics, almost a decade running NPR, and degrees from Yale Law School and Haverford College. But last year, spurred by a fear that Red and Blue America were drifting irrevocably apart, I decided to venture out from my overwhelmingly Democratic neighborhood and safely Democratic life, and engage Republicans where they live, work and pray. I found an America far different from the one depicted in the press and imagined for us by politicians.
government  politics  psychology  america 
2 days ago
Man gets threats—not bug bounty—after finding DJI customer data in public view | Ars Technica
When a "final offer" contract arrived from DJI, Finisterre wrote, "no less than four lawyers told me in various ways that the agreement was not only extremely risky, but it was likely crafted in bad faith to silence anyone that signed it. It was ultimately going to cost me several thousand dollars for a lawyer that I was confident could cover all angles to put my concerns to bed and make the agreement signable." DJI stopped communicating with Finisterre after he expressed offense over the CFAA threat, and he walked away from the agreement, forfeiting the $30,000 he had been promised.
security  tech  business  china 
3 days ago
Ronald Reagan: Farewell Address to the Nation
Something that happened to me a few years ago reflects some of this. It was back in 1981, and I was attending my first big economic summit, which was held that year in Canada. The meeting place rotates among the member countries. The opening meeting was a formal dinner for the heads of government of the seven industrialized nations. Now, I sat there like the new kid in school and listened, and it was all Francois this and Helmut that. They dropped titles and spoke to one another on a first-name basis. Well, at one point I sort of leaned in and said, "My name's Ron." Well, in that same year, we began the actions we felt would ignite an economic comeback—cut taxes and regulation, started to cut spending. And soon the recovery began.

Two years later, another economic summit with pretty much the same cast. At the big opening meeting we all got together, and all of a sudden, just for a moment, I saw that everyone was just sitting there looking at me. And then one of them broke the silence. "Tell us about the American miracle," he said.

...
I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping. And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.
politics  rhetoric  america  history 
3 days ago
How American politics went batshit crazy, starting with Newt Gingrich - Axios
There are numerous reasons American politics went off the rails, but there are at least six seminal events in the past 24 years that steered us here.

1. Newt Gingrich, in the early 1990s, weaponized warfare politics in a methodical and sustained way. In tactics and rhetoric, Gingrich ushered in a good-versus-evil style that persists today.

2. Fox News, created in 1996, televised and monetized this hard-edged combat politics. This created the template for MSNBC to do the same on the left, giving both sides a place to fuel and fund rage 24/7. CNN soon went all politics, all day, making governance a show in need of drama.
...
politics  history 
4 days ago
All The Questions Tesla Has To Answer Now
So, check the timestamp and write it down: If the Y, the semi, the Roadster are in production by 2020, and the Model 3 reservation list is whittled down, I’ll eat my shoe. And yours.
cars  tech  future 
4 days ago
Tightening the Vise on Chinese Investment in U.S. Tech - MacroPolo
As our government does this, it’s worth remembering that industrial policy and protectionism aren’t the entire story of China’s success: another is the rapid and broad-based increases in government funding for higher education, 21st century infrastructure and basic research. Here, America’s recent moves may be turning away not just from China’s new example but also from our own history of economic and technological achievements.
china  politics 
6 days ago
M-16: A Bureaucratic Horror Story - The Atlantic
At about the time the m-14 was adopted as the Army’s standard, Eugene Stoner was completing his work on the AR-15. Stoner was known as one of the great figures in the special calling of small-arms design. Like some of the other outstanding American rifle designers—including John Browning, inventor of the Browning automatic rifle, who had to sell his weapons to foreign governments after rejection by the American ordnance corps—Stoner had never seen his models win easy acceptance by the Army. He was working for the Armalite Corporation when he finished developing the AR-15.
history  politics  military 
7 days ago
With U.S. Strategy on the Rocks, We Are Supporting Fresh Perspectives in Foreign Policy
Recent American history shows a clear need for a new vision and new voices, steeped in greater realism and supported by the best evidence rather than well-intentioned but idealistic hopes. The American people — and even some prominent elites — are asking questions and challenging long-held assumptions that suggest they agree that we need a new vision and fresh perspectives. And the establishment is having a difficult time telling fathers and mothers from across the country why they should send their kids and their tax dollars to our “forever wars” in the Middle East or to new conflicts in countries on the other side of the globe.
politics  strategy  future  IR 
7 days ago
Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow
"Some of those books help explain the world Musk is building, particularly Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The books are centered around the work of a visionary named Hari Seldon, who has invented a scientific method of predicting the future based on crowd behavior. He sees a 30,000-year Dark Ages waiting ahead for humankind, and creates a plan that involves sending scientific colonies to distant planets to help civilization mitigate this unavoidable cataclysm.

"Asimov certainly was influential because he was seriously paralleling Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but he applied that to a sort of modern galactic empire," Musk explains. "The lesson I drew from that is you should try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the probability of a dark age and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one.""
from instapaper
8 days ago
Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow
"The scientific method is a phrase Musk uses often when asked how he came up with an idea, solved a problem or chose to start a business. Here's how he defines it for his purposes, in mostly his own words:

1. Ask a question.

2. Gather as much evidence as possible about it.


3. Develop axioms based on the evidence, and try to assign a probability of truth to each one.

4. Draw a conclusion based on cogency in order to determine: Are these axioms correct, are they relevant, do they necessarily lead to this conclusion, and with what probability?
5. Attempt to disprove the conclusion. Seek refutation from others to further help break your conclusion.
6. If nobody can invalidate your conclusion, then you're probably right, but you're not certainly right.

"That's the scientific method," Musk concludes. "It's really helpful for figuring out the tricky things."

But most people don't use it, he says. They engage in wishful thinking. They ignore counterarguments. They form conclusions based on what others are doing and aren't doing. The reasoning that results is "It's true because I said it's true," but not because it's objectively true."
from instapaper
8 days ago
Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow
""When I was a child, there's one thing I said," Musk continues. His demeanor is stiff, yet in the sheen of his eyes and the trembling of his lips, a high tide of emotion is visible, pushing against the retaining walls. "'I never want to be alone.' That's what I would say." His voice drops to a whisper. "I don't want to be alone.""
from instapaper
8 days ago
How Big Is Texas, Compared to Other Land Masses?
The same is true in Southeast Asia. A good deal of Vietnam fits snugly alongside the stretch from Corpus Christi to Texarkana, which is a lot of miles—but you’ve got a whole second Texas to go if you want to include the Northern part of the country and Hanoi. But only the eastern edge of the state—by the time you get as far west as Austin, you’re in Cambodia. 
funny  america 
9 days ago
The Myth About NAFTA and Jobs | Foreign Affairs
First, a focus on trade balance and the performance of one sector means the United States evaluates a trade deal based not on rules but on results. A rules-based approach allows governments to focus on standards, transparency, and enforcement to keep the trading environment fair. A results-based approach, on the other hand, signals that even if trade is fair, a government will thwart competition if it is not happy with the results. This is not a defense of the U.S. economy but a surrender. Instead of telling the world that the United States is interested in the best technology and ideas from around the world, a results-based approach announces an interest in purchasing foreign products and ideas only to the extent that it can sell the same value of goods elsewhere. The United States’ ability to grow its economy would be capped not by its aspiration or appetite, but by other countries’ appetites. It can only be smart to the degree that its trading partners are smart. 
politics  policy 
9 days ago
How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met
You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes:

A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child—only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook.
A social worker whose client called her by her nickname on their second visit, because she’d shown up in his People You May Know, despite their not having exchanged contact information.
A woman whose father left her family when she was six years old—and saw his then-mistress suggested to her as a Facebook friend 40 years later.
An attorney who wrote: “I deleted Facebook after it recommended as PYMK a man who was defense counsel on one of my cases. We had only communicated through my work email, which is not connected to my Facebook, which convinced me Facebook was scanning my work email.”
tech 
9 days ago
‘New Space Age’ sets the stage for commercial spaceflight’s big year – GeekWire
For more than a decade, there’s been a debate over how “New Space” startups such as SpaceX stack up against “Old Space” veterans such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. But Stallmer says the entrepreneurial, innovation-centric approach to spaceflight is now taking hold at companies old and new.
space 
10 days ago
Magnificent libraries photographed around Europe
Reinhard Görner is a German photographer specializing in architecture and the fine arts. For the photographic series “Libraries”, he travels across Europe to capture the solemnity of the libraries of the Old Continent. From Madrid to Stuttgart, passing through Turin, he immortalises modern immaculate white interiors, monumental frescoes and the old woodwork of these places dedicated to knowledge.
architecture  books  photos 
11 days ago
How the ‘Shalane Flanagan Effect’ Works - The New York Times
The Flanagan kind of feminism — a ruthless adherence to goals — rarely makes for interesting stories in the moment. It took Flanagan from the time she turned professional, in 2004, until this year to win a major international race; years of tedium and drudgery, and robotic routine (churning her legs through 130 miles a week). She went on her first vacation in seven years of marathon training after suffering a stress fracture this spring. It’s not fun, and it’s not relatable.
culture 
12 days ago
Guns Play a Bigger Role Than You Think | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
A few days later, with the authorization of the base commander, a colonel with 30 years of service in his record, we received our M-16 assault rifles. The armory is the most secured place in base, guarded 24/7 and open only during daylight hours. After receiving our guns, my teammates and I learned almost everything about our weapons: who made them, the name of every single part, how to handle and clear gun jams, how to assemble and disassemble our weapons, how to clean them properly, and how to load and fire.
harvard  politics  policy 
13 days ago
Playing the Wrong Game | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
However, the seat thief does not indulge in your typical lecture hall distractions; instead, he plays a flight simulator version of Google Earth. The simulator itself isn’t all that exciting, and its graphics are subpar at best. Moreover, his virtual piloting skills are atrocious; he has yet to stick a single landing since he claimed the seat to my three o’clock.

Originally, I believed myself to be better than the seat thief. I paid attention in class; he didn’t. I came to class on time; he didn’t. I was a respectful student; he wasn’t. Nevertheless, as October came and went, I found myself increasingly unhappy; the lectures had largely devolved into a series of cheesy business platitudes. Meanwhile, the seat thief smiled away as he crashed his plane time after time, oblivious to the speaker’s worthless anecdotes. And that’s when it hit me: I was the time-wasting fool.
harvard  funny 
13 days ago
​The Tragedy of Selling Out | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
At Harvard, 51 percent of the Class of 2017 joined the consulting, finance, and technology industries after graduation. Yet, when the Class of 2017 was surveyed as incoming freshmen, only 20.1 percent said they planned to work in consulting, finance, or technology immediately after graduation. What happened in those four years that turned so many students towards these fields? The obvious answer is recruiting, but Harvard’s “sell-out” culture prods even the most civic-minded towards corporate America.
harvard 
13 days ago
Guns in the US: The statistics behind the violence - BBC News
The home front: So many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.
Source: Politifact.
reference  politics 
13 days ago
In the loop: Jony Ive on Apple Park and the iPhone X
Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the disappearing iPhone
apple  design  architecture 
14 days ago
Headphones, White Noise Machines Dull Construction Clamor in Apley Court | News | The Harvard Crimson
Alexander S. Koenig ’21 said the noise has become less bothersome as the semester has progressed.

“It was worse before they finished putting in the glass panels, which happened during part of September,” Koenig said. “Before that, it was much noisier. It would start at 7 a.m. every day, which was a little annoying.”
harvard  me 
14 days ago
Get the Housing Industry Out of the U.S. Tax Code - Bloomberg
In effect, mortgage interest is subsidized, meaning you end up paying a lower effective interest rate. A 3.75 percent mortgage becomes approximately a 2.8 percent mortgage, and there are a lot more houses you can afford with a 2.8 percent mortgage. That's the point. The tax code is designed to incentivize people to buy houses. Not just any houses, but bigger, more extravagant houses -- built by homebuilders. We have unintentionally designed a tax code whose intent is to drive people into debt to buy houses, making the economy more fragile. We should instead think about ways to make it more anti-fragile.
politics  policy 
14 days ago
Pope Francis: Mass Is for Lifting Hearts, Not Cellphones - The New York Times
During a general audience at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Wednesday morning, Francis chastised Catholics who use their phones during Mass.

“At some point, the priest during the Mass says, ‘Lift up your hearts,’” the pontiff said. “He does not say, ‘Lift up your cellphones to take pictures.’”
tech 
14 days ago
How to Give Mars an Atmosphere, Maybe | News | Astrobiology
It consisted of creating a “magnetic shield” to protect the planet from those high-energy solar particles. The shield structure would consist of a large dipole—a closed electric circuit powerful enough to generate an artificial magnetic field.

Simulations showed that a shield of this sort would leave Mars in the relatively protected magnetotail of the magnetic field created by the object. A potential result: an end to largescale stripping of the Martian atmosphere by the solar wind, and a significant change in climate.

“The solar sytstem is ours, let’s take it,” Green told the workshop.
space  future  science 
17 days ago
What Did China’s First Daughter Find in America? | The New Yorker
Xi Mingze—the only child of Xi Jinping, the President of China, and his wife, the celebrity soprano Peng Liyuan—crossed the podium at Adams House, the dorm that housed Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger. She had studied psychology and English and lived under an assumed name, her identity known only to a limited number of faculty and close friends—“less than ten,” according to Kenji Minemura, a correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun, who attended the commencement and wrote about Xi’s experience in America.
people  china 
17 days ago
Do Americans Expect Too Much from Health Insurance? | RAND
Consider how differently car insurance works. It is intended to protect the policyholder from significant financial risk by covering the costs if a car is damaged or stolen. However, car insurance is not expected to cover routine maintenance—doing so would increase insurance costs while providing little additional value to consumers. If each policyholder's car receives a regular oil change, and insurance fully covers this service, then insurance premiums must be increased by the cost of the oil change, plus the insurer's administrative charge. The insurer serves as middleman and is paid a potentially high fee, without reducing costs for anyone.
health  policy  politics 
18 days ago
What the New LBJ Movie Gets Right—and Wrong - POLITICO Magazine
Ever the political realist, the president had scarcely bothered even to campaign in the South that year, but he was determined to honor his wife’s brave and lonely journey by appearing alongside her at its terminus. Taking the stage, he launched into his standard stump speech. Then, he veered off script.

“Whatever your views are,” he said of the Civil Rights Act, “we have a Constitution and we have a Bill of Rights, and we have the law of the land, and two-thirds of the Democrats in the Senate voted for it and three-fourths of the Republicans. I signed it, and I am going to enforce it.”

That was the shot. It was the chaser that left reporters slack-jawed.

This “poor old State, they haven’t heard a Democratic speech in 30 years. All they ever hear at election time is ‘Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!’” Presidential assistant Jack Valenti would later describe the shock that followed as “a physical thing—surprise, awe—ears heard what they plainly could not hear, a cataclysmic wave hit everyone there with stunning irreversible force.” A Southern president had invoked the ugliest word in the American lexicon to convey the poisonous and self-defeating effect of racism.

Lyndon Johnson was a bundle of jarring contradictions. But his commitment to racial equality was profound. He was willing to spend down enormous political capital in its pursuit. And, as he often reminded those closest to him, “I do understand power, whatever else may be said about me.”

That Lyndon Johnson—crass and calculating, yet fundamentally principled; emotionally fragile, but fully in command when history called on him—is on bright display in Rob Reiner’s fine new biopic, LBJ. With its smart focus on Johnson’s unhappy tenure as vice president and the earliest days of his presidency, the film is at once a taut political drama and valuable history lesson.
politics  history  people  LBJ 
18 days ago
Finish your stuff - 250bpm
If there is one principle that should be added to the UNIX philosophy, it is:

"Finish your project."

It's the most simple, yet the most disregarded software engineering princinple I can think of.

I dare you to list three finished software projects.

Having hard time, eh?

Except for some basic UNIX tools, like grep or make, it's almost impossible to find anyting that's truly finished, not simply abandoned.
programming  productivity 
19 days ago
Happy Accidents: The Joy of Finding Books in the Wrong Places | The Paris Review
I want to be in praise of the happy accident. It wasn’t even a bookstore where I found Jean Stafford. It was a thrift store, and that’s what’s so amazing—finding books in the wrong places. When I’m finished with a book, I often like to put them on a bench of a café outside. It could just wind up in a dumpster, but somebody could find it, you know? I believe in the wrong reader, in the wrong book. We’re just bodies moving in space and just accidentally you sometimes pick something up … just because you like a book’s title, or its cover, or because it just happens to be nearby. You could stay in some guesthouse anywhere in the world, and there’s three books there, and one of them changed your life. I love to be an agent of that. You never know what’s going to happen when you leave a book someplace.
books 
19 days ago
In Defense of Empire
"Rather than Obama’s post-imperialism, in which the secretary of state appears like a lonely and wayward operator encumbered by an apathetic White House, I maintain that a tempered imperialism is now preferable.

No other power or constellation of powers is able to provide even a fraction of the global order provided by the United States. U.S. air and sea dominance preserves the peace, such as it exists, in Asia and the Greater Middle East. American military force, reasonably deployed, is what ultimately protects democracies as diverse as Poland, Israel, and Taiwan from being overrun by enemies. If America sharply retrenched its air and sea forces, while starving its land forces of adequate supplies and training, the world would be a far more anarchic place, with adverse repercussions for the American homeland."
from instapaper
19 days ago
Full text of "Robert Glover No More Mr Nice Guy"
An integrated male possesses many of the following attributes:

• He has a strong sense of self. He likes himself just as he is.
• He takes responsibility for getting his own needs met.
• He is comfortable with his masculinity and his sexuality.
• He has integrity. He does what is right, not what is expedient.
• He is a leader. He is willing to provide for and protect those he cares about.
• He is clear, direct, and expressive of his feelings.
• He can be nurturing and giving without caretaking or problem-solving.
• He knows how to set boundaries and is not afraid to work through conflict.

An integrated male doesn't strive to be perfect or gain the approval of others. Instead he accepts himself just as he is, warts and all. An integrated male accepts that he is perfectly imperfect.
guide  life 
19 days ago
Our Model – AVC
If you do the math around our goal of returning the fund with our high impact companies, you will notice that we need these companies to exit at a billion dollars or more. Exit is the important word. Getting valued at a billion or more does nothing for our model. We need these high impact companies to exit at a billion dollars or more.
tech  business  investing 
19 days ago
Why the ‘end of the startup era’ could be great for entrepreneurs | TechCrunch
How did this happen? The established companies have scaled their organizations to handle the drudge work of getting a drug through clinical trials, past FDA review (and its global counterparts) and, once cleared, into the hands of doctors and patients. This organizational structure and scale make them ill-suited to pursue novel R&D, which is where the startups shine. Startups can now orient themselves entirely toward finding breakthrough cures and not worry about commercialization. If a startup develops a novel cancer drug, or even a molecule that looks promising, Sanofi, Novartis or one of their peers will buy it.
business  future  tech 
19 days ago
John Boehner Unchained - POLITICO Magazine
Boehner is a fascinating and paradoxical figure in his own right. He was the brilliant salesman who couldn’t get his own members to buy. The back-slapping creature of K Street who never took a single earmark. The gruff chain-smoker who weeps at the mere mention of schoolchildren. The Midwestern everyman who won’t be seen in public without a clean shave and an ironed shirt. The bartender’s son who became speaker of the House.
people  politics 
19 days ago
The most obscure clubs at Harvard | Flyby
While Harvard students are often conservative with their extracurricular choices, sticking to the usual debate and finance, there are a bunch of lesser-known, quirky clubs that could seriously enrich your campus experience. We rounded up the most interesting obscure campus organizations, appealing to everyone from self-proclaimed wine moms to beekeeping wannabees (too bad there is no Harvard Pun Society).
harvard 
19 days ago
Nancy Pelosi Has Trump Right Where She Wants Him - POLITICO Magazine
Nancy Pelosi is hated; she’s a hero. She’s the Democrats’ secret weapon; she’s the Republicans’ favorite target. She’s the best vote counter to walk the halls of the Capitol in modern history and a critical force in her party’s successes; she takes more credit than many in her own party think she deserves. She may be the only person on earth who could get the 194 members of her conference some actual wins with Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of Congress, but her colleagues are already preparing to blame her for not taking back control of the House in 2018.
politics 
21 days ago
Why brands change | Johnson Banks
The first issue is boredom. After about three years, an internal team, their agencies, their advisors – everyone – has had enough, and people start to tinker. Yet, paradoxically, about two-to-three years in is precisely when a new brand has just started to seep into the public consciousness, and arguably that’s exactly when a brand should become more consistent, not less.
design  business 
21 days ago
German POWs were shocked at treatment of blacks in the south
By the time they arrived at Camp Huntsville, the German POWs were thrilled. They’d already been dazzled by travelling to the prison in luxurious Pullman cars. Both the cityscapes and the rural beauty of the United States amazed them. “From New York to Texas, you saw the whole countryside. Cars driving. Buildings lit up….I came to wonder — how did we ever think we would beat the U.S. at this war?” former POW Heino Erichsen mused decades after the war ended.
history 
21 days ago
Tech Goes to Washington – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
What Kennedy surely realized — and what Stretch, apparently, did not — is that Facebook had already effectively answered Kennedy’s question: the very act of investigating the accounts used by Russian intelligence entailed doing the sort of sleuthing that Kennedy wanted Stretch to say was possible. Facebook dived deep into an account by choice, came to understand everything about it, and then shut it down and delivered the results to Congress. It follows that Facebook could — not would, but could — do that to Senator Graham or anyone else.
politics  tech 
22 days ago
Photo Enhancement is Starting to Get Crazy
As the worlds of artificial intelligence and digital photography collide, we’re starting to see some mind-blowing technology emerge. The latest research in turning low-resolution photos into high-definition photos may drop your jaws — it’s starting to cross into the realm of sci-fi.
tech  future 
22 days ago
Erdogan's Counter-Revolution | The Weekly Standard
The president methodically undermined his prime minister, ultimately replacing him with a colorless factotum, the current prime minister Binali Yildirim (who cheerfully advocated abolishing his own position in the referendum campaign). Rather than convene a grand coalition to overcome the country's divisions, Erdogan sought to make Turks vote again, making another run at a parliament that would make the changes he wanted.
politics  IR 
23 days ago
The Silence of the Democrats - The New York Times
So when the party’s leaders tussle over this or that policy, they also need to take a step back, to see the direction the country — the West itself — is heading, and take a stand on it. This isn’t just a matter of high-minded idealism; it’s what separates great politicians from merely good ones.
politics  future 
25 days ago
Fast Facts
In fall 2017, about 50.7 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 35.6 million will be in prekindergarten through grade 8 and 15.1 million will be in grades 9 through 12. An additional 5.2 million students are expected to attend private elementary and secondary schools. The fall 2017 public school enrollment is expected to be slightly higher than the 50.6 million enrolled in fall 2016 (source).
education  reference 
25 days ago
The One Simple Way to Help Poor Kids Stay in School - POLITICO Magazine
One-on-one education and tutoring.

Instead of certified classroom teachers, this program hires tutors that include recent college grads, professionals looking to change careers and retirees. One of the advantages of relying on recent graduates, says Alan Mather, chief officer of College and Career Success for Chicago Public Schools, is that students realize “people my age can understand it.” In Chicago, says Safran, the program has about 23 applicants for every spot, a surprising number given that the tutors earn $15 an hour, plus benefits. Even with lower costs for tutors, this kind of tutoring is estimated to cost about $3,800 per student. At a larger scale, that number could go down to $2,500 per student, notes a report on the study from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Funding for tutoring, which is now being conducted in New York and Chicago, has come from nonprofits, state budgets and federal aid for schools with high numbers of low-income families.
politics  education 
25 days ago
‘This Myth About the Great and Horrible Putin’ - POLITICO Magazine
“Here, in the West, the impression that people have is that Putin runs the whole country. This is not so, at all,” says Khodorkovsky, on a rare visit to Washington from his London exile, where he now finances parts of the beleaguered liberal opposition back in Russia. “He certainly does not run Russia outside the inner beltway of Moscow. The pact that he has with those people who actually do run the various regions of the country is a rather simple one: You bring out the level of vote that I need for my purposes, and I let you do what you want to do in your region. That’s how it works, and that’s how it’s going to work in these upcoming elections.”
russia  politics  IR 
25 days ago
‘If They Don’t Like the Process, Change the Rules’ - POLITICO Magazine
As speaker, Tillis was ruthless. He started out with a review of the rules in Raleigh, stripped out many and changed others, and used the new set to turn North Carolina’s Legislature into an engine for churning out big wins guided by the Koch brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council, on whose board he sat.

Democrats complained that Tillis rammed bills through in the middle of the night with no public review, pulling state government out of alignment in a state where registration is almost evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Then there were the redistricting maps that Tillis oversaw, which have now been blocked by the Supreme Court.
politics  people  strategy 
25 days ago
Boris Diaw, the most interesting man on Earth
“Boris walks into the gym one day wearing flip-flops and holding his customary cappuccino, which was a staple for him every morning,” Griffin recalled. “It was during pre-draft workouts, so he sees the Vertec [machine] and asks what it is.

“We tell him it measures your vertical leap by determining how many of the bars you can touch. He asks what’s the highest anyone has ever gone, and we tell him Amare’ [Stoudemire] cleared the entire rack.

“Boris puts down the cappuccino, takes off his flip-flops and clears the entire rack on the first try. Then he calmly puts his flip-flops back on, picks up his cappuccino and walks away, saying, ‘That was not difficult.’”
people  sports 
25 days ago
Paul Newman’s Rolex — with a telling message from his wife — fetches record $17.8 million - The Washington Post
And though Hollywood relationships often end in headline-splashing infidelity, Newman reportedly never strayed. When asked by Playboy how someone as desirable as Newman remained faithful, he famously responded, “I have steak at home; why go out for hamburger?”
people 
26 days ago
Extract from Plato’s Republic: On That Which is Correct Politically - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
THRASYMACHUS: No, I mean like how I don’t think we should let any Thebans into Athens because they’re all criminals, and I don’t think different races should mix, but I can’t just say that because it’s politically incorrect.
funny  politics 
26 days ago
We’re a Lot Better at Gerrymandering Than We Used to Be - The Atlantic
REDMAP was a spectacular success. First, on the strength of fundraising efforts in pivotal states with changing demographics—places like Wisconsin and North Carolina that have become new swing states—Republicans overran 2010 state legislative races in backwoods districts, to the tune of nearly 700 state legislative seats, the largest increase in modern electoral history. Additionally, Republicans outspent Democrats by over $300 million in that year’s gubernatorial races, which netted them six additional gubernatorial positions, including the coveted governor’s mansions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which were all flipped from Democratic incumbents.
politics  strategy 
26 days ago
RIP John Mollo, who created the iconic costumes of Star Wars - The Verge
Born in 1931, Mollo was a military historian who authored several books on military uniforms, and eventually found work as a consultant on films such as The Charge of the Light Brigade and Barry Lyndon. When George Lucas began work on Star Wars in 1976, he approached Milena Canonero, who designed the costumes for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. However, she was already working on another project, but recommended her assistant on Barry Lyndon, John Mollo. “I met with him and he seemed very good,” Lucas recalled in The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film, “I wanted somebody that really knew armor, somebody who was more into military hardware rather than somebody who knew how to design for the stage. I wanted designs that wouldn’t stand out, which would blend in and look like they belonged there.”
starwars  media  history  people 
26 days ago
Sweden's Job-Security Councils Make Layoffs Easier - The Atlantic
The effectiveness of job-security councils could provide a lesson for the U.S., which has long struggled to get people back into the workforce after they lose their jobs, especially in places where jobs have been displaced by automation or trade. Sweden leads the OECD in helping displaced workers find new jobs—over 85 percent of such workers find new jobs within a year, primarily because of these arrangements between employers and social partners, according to a recent OECD report. The job-security councils are more effective than government-administered programs, according to the report, because they intervene immediately after a layoff, and because they have financial resources that public re-employment offices, which also exist in Sweden, can’t provide. They also encourage laid-off workers to have frequent contact with counselors, who encourage them as they seek a new job. They are available only for workers who are members of a union, which is about 70 percent of the Swedish workforce.
politics  business  policy 
29 days ago
The stunning transformation of Gal Gadot
After the petition accused the character of being "overtly sexualized," Gadot spoke out saying: "I think people take it the wrong way when I say I'm a feminist. Feminism is not about burning bras and hating men. It's about gender equality. Whoever is not a feminist is a chauvinist."
people 
4 weeks ago
Xi Jinping offers a long-term view of China’s ambition
The west needs to reflect on its own condition. Since the fall of the Soviet Union there has been little strategic direction about the idea of the west itself, and the core elements of the liberal democratic and capitalist project. Instead, the west is increasingly self-absorbed, self-satisfied and globally complacent. China is marching towards its perception of its global destiny. It has a strategy. The west has none.
china  future  politics  IR 
4 weeks ago
How the 1967 mayoral race changed Boston - The Boston Globe
Kevin H. White arrived alone on the tiny Caribbean island of Aruba for a clandestine trip in December 1966. Like his city, White faced a political crossroads.

At age 37, White had just been elected to his third term as Massachusetts secretary of state. But the post lacked the stature and political base for a man with national dreams. On long walks along Aruba’s beaches, famous for white sand and turquoise water, he decided to put his political future on the line, entering a rambunctious city preliminary election that would draw 10 candidates in all.
politics  history 
4 weeks ago
How I Socially Engineer Myself Into High Security Facilities - Motherboard
Physical penetration tester and infosec consultant on how she uses social engineering to gain access into high security facilities
psychology  security  guide 
4 weeks ago
SpaceX gets another $40.8 million in Pentagon funding for Raptor engine : spacex
The trick with the "poor bid" part though, is that there is a government mandated system by which government contractors submit their bids. This system uses a lot of variables for a company to generate a cost-risk bell curve. The leftmost point on the curve states the minimum amount of money the project will take to complete, but it has the highest risk of going over budget (basically, you have built in zero padding). On the right side of the curve is a guarantee that short of truly extraordinary circumstances, the project will complete without additional funds, however you are almost certainly paying WAY too much for this. The tip of the curve represents the sweet spot where if you assume a normal amount of problems/successes for the project, it has a high chance of success for completion without extra money being required, but at the same time padding was provided for problems.
The trick is that contractors DO use this system...but despite a requirement to use the tip of the bell, often there is pressure to nudge the bid towards one closer to the left side of the curve. The idea here being that if you under budget by several million, chances are the government will pay to finish things off since they'll have already spent a billion for things already. It might not make them happy, but hey, at least YOU got the contract and not an opponent.
Source: Worked at Raytheon and had friends in the proposals group that explained how that worked.
The problem in cost plus contracts is that there is very little incentive NOT to just slam that bid amount to the leftmost point and outright lie. It doesn't matter how overbudget you go, as long as the customer doesn't shut the project down THEY are on the hook to cover the costs. All you care about is that A) You've deprived another company of the project, and B) you still get that delicious "plus" on the end that is profit for you. Especially if you can tick off any checkboxes for extra bonus features (IE: A feature that you are not required to complete, but if you do complete
military  space  government 
4 weeks ago
Space That Never Was
The Chronicle of The Golden Age of Space Exploration.
space  photos  future  art 
4 weeks ago
Critics of the Press Would Tear Down What They Can't Replace - The Atlantic
Still, it was surreal to see pundits employed by populist news organizations that didn’t break the story characterizing it as a dark moment for the liberal mainstream media.
media 
4 weeks ago
Why doesn’t Science publish important methods info prominently? — Crooked Timber
To recap, only 9% of FB users give information about their political affiliation in a way relevant here to sampling and 54% of those do so in a way that is not meaningful to determine their political affiliation. This means that only about 4% of FB users were eligible for the study. But it’s even less than that, because the user had to log in at least “4/7 days per week”, which “removes approximately 30% of users”.
media  tech  politics 
4 weeks ago
A State-By-State Guide To Those Wonky Obamacare Payments You Keep Hearing About
Pennsylvania, for example, set off alarm bells Monday when it said that because Trump ended the repayments, it had approved additional price increases that would average more than 20 percentage points for a market whose insurance prices were otherwise holding pretty steady. But those concerns are somewhat misplaced: Increases will be added only to subsidized marketplace plans, an actuarial sleight of hand that means the additional cost will be paid by the taxpayers at large via subsidies, not the individual enrollees.
politics  health 
4 weeks ago
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