Deep Space Network presents reliability questions - Science Mag
For most of its life, the network, run by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, has been metronomic in its reliability. Its three sites, spaced 120° apart around the globe, all have a 70-meter dish built in the 1960s or '70s, and several newer, 34-meter dishes, which can be arrayed together to match the larger dishes' downlink performance. The network allows continuous contact with spacecraft anywhere in the solar system—or beyond it, as in the case of Voyager 1, which officially entered interstellar space in 2013. Currently, 35 missions rely on the DSN.

Ironically, the glitches this past December and January largely stemmed from problems with the network's newest 34-meter antenna, DSS-35, in Canberra, which began operating in 2014, NASA says. Rain and dust compromised an instrument that helps aim it, several other pointing components overheated, and contaminants leaked into a cryogenic refrigerator used to cool an amplifier. NASA says these problems have mostly been fixed, and the Canberra station's reliability will increase when its next 34-meter antenna, DSS-36, begins operating on 1 October.
science  space  future 
9 hours ago
FDR and Al Smith - Politico
Smith would go on to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1928, becoming the first Catholic to lead a major party’s national ticket. He persuaded Roosevelt to run for governor to replace him, a significant concession for a Tammany man raised to regard elite reformers as natural enemies. Smith lost to Republican Herbert Hoover in a landslide, although he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the nation’s largest cities. Roosevelt held on to win a slim victory in the race for governor that year, setting the stage for his White House run in 1932.
politics  history  strategy 
10 hours ago
Opinion | We’re Measuring the Economy All Wrong - The New York Times
The whole point of statistics is to describe reality. When a statistic no longer does so, it’s time to find a new one — not to come up with a convoluted rationale that tries to twist reality to fit the statistic.
politics  economics  policy 
5 days ago
Bernie Sanders’s biggest challenge for 2020: showing he can be president - Vox
That didn’t matter so much when Sanders was an insurgent critic of the Democratic Party; it matters a lot more now that he is one of the leading Democrats for 2020. A president who can’t hear reasonable criticism of his plans as information that can help him improve them is a president whose agenda will quickly collapse beneath its own contradictions and errors.
5 days ago
The controversy over Bernie Sanders’s proposed Stop BEZOS Act, explained - Vox
The implicit presumption of Sanders’s proposal is that paying a low-wage worker an extra dollar would result in a dollar less of benefits usage and thus a dollar less of tax burden. Therefore, it would make sense for companies to respond to the bill by paying up.

But in the real world, the programs in question are structured to mostly ensure that $1 in extra earnings does not reduce your benefits by a full dollar. After all, if benefits were fully crowded out, then the programs would massively disincentive working.

This is a sort of a boring technical point, but it’s important: While raising the minimum wage would force employers to pay their low-wage workers more, under the Stop BEZOS Act it would still be cheaper to pay the tax than to hand out raises.
politics  policy  legislation 
7 days ago
Republicans brace for Democrats' investigation spree after the midterm elections - Axios
Here are some of the probes it predicts:

President Trump’s tax returns
Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution's emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
Trump's dealings with Russia, including the president's preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
James Comey's firing
Trump's firing of U.S. attorneys
Trump's proposed transgender ban for the military
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's business dealings
White House staff's personal email use
Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago
Jared Kushner's ethics law compliance
Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors
The travel ban
Family separation policy
Hurricane response in Puerto Rico
Election security and hacking attempts
White House security clearances
9 days ago
Savage Industries EDC ONE
Designed by Adam Savage, this bag looks really good.
products  productivity  clothing 
10 days ago
John F. Kennedy: Labor Day Speech of Senator John F. Kennedy, Cadillac Square, Detroit, MI
I spent 1 month in West Virginia in the primary, and I saw all through the coalfields men waiting at 45 years of age for a job they will never get because automation has thrown them out of work, and yet this administration has not even recognized the problem, which may be the most serious domestic problem which our country will face in the next 10 years. We don't want to have machines throwing men out of work. We want machines that will help men live a better life. [Applause.]
rhetoric  politics  history 
13 days ago
Sandberg vs. Dorsey: Two tech executives bring different approaches to congressional hearings - The Washington Post
As a former senior adviser in the Clinton administration, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is a familiar face on Capitol Hill. She’s also a household name, thanks to her feminist bestseller “Lean In” and the women’s groups that spun out of it, sparking talk that she might one day run for public office. Throughout the hearing, Sandberg frequently thanked the lawmakers.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, on the other hand, is less publicly known. He described himself in the hearings as a man of few words. He rarely visited Washington until recently and didn’t cultivate relationships with lawmakers because he believed tech could solve its own problems, according to current and former executives. His social orbit consists of celebrities and tech leaders, including rapper Kanye West and prominent investor Vinod Khosla.
politics  tech  strategy 
13 days ago
Paul Graham on why he doesn’t like seeing college-age and younger founders | TechCrunch
Graham also repeats another point that we’ve heard him make in the past, which is that determination is far more important than intelligence when it comes to becoming a successful startup founder. Take away determination bit by bit, and you have “this ineffectual but brilliant person,” says Graham. But subtract out intelligence bit by bit and “eventually you get to some guy who owns a bunch of taxi medallions but he’s still rich. Or [who has] a trash hauling business, or something like that. You can take away a lot of smart.”
tech  business 
14 days ago
Venezuela’s Road to Disaster Is Littered With Chinese Cash – Foreign Policy
There’s no surer way for China to lose goodwill worldwide than to provide large amounts of ruinous lending that pushes developing countries to financial ruin. Sri Lanka has seen widespread protests and riots over Chinese debt. Meanwhile, Beijing has been leaning on the Venezuelan opposition not to default on the existing debts. All this is already having reputational costs for China. Having witnessed the consequences of Beijing’s lending in Venezuela, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, other potential borrowers seem to have cooled on the possibility of borrowing from Beijing — or at least to be more discerning of the risks.
politics  IR  china 
16 days ago
don’t ask what DSA is, ask what DSA does - Fredrik de Boer
I am really not concerned with those questions about what DSA is, right now. I am much more interested in what DSA does. What’s needed now is action, or more precisely, activism. The order of the day is to build the movement. And from my limited vantage, DSA has done a good job of getting involved – in picketing, in leafleting, in protesting, in showing up. And that’s the mark of a real organization, the kind that can contribute to a campaign to take real power. I can only speak with confidence about New York, but here DSA is everywhere. I go to a lot of lefty political events in the city, and there’s always a DSA contingent, whether it’s housing or labor or health care. That matters. The work matters. I will always think that theory matters, and I will not stop saying that people need to spend more time doing the reading and having the conversations about what our ultimate goal is. But work comes first. I heard some DSA folks – I want to say from New Orleans – had an action where they fixed people’s broken taillights for free. This has a whole host of connections to policing and race, as getting pulled over for something as trivial as a broken taillight can turn tragic for black people. But even before getting to that larger resonance, that’s activists in the community performing a simple and direct service for members of that community. That’s exactly what DSA should be up to. I think they’re really doing it. Not that they’d care for my praise.
17 days ago
Travelling to Find Out « LRB blog
Around the same time, Michel Foucault – more leather than winceyette – visited Ruhollah Khomeini outside Paris, and went to Tehran twice. Foucault, who was fascinated by the extreme gay lifestyle he found in San Francisco, had also written for the Corriere della Sera defending the imams in the name of ‘spiritual revolution’. This inspiring revolt or holy war of the oppressed, he believed, would be an innovative resistance, an alternative to Marxism, creating a new society out of identities shattered by domination. It was new. But as Naipaul discovered, there was very little spirituality about this power grab by the ayatollahs. Soon they were hanging homosexuals from cranes; women had to wear the chador. Even in Pakistan women covered up before they went out, and no one in my family had been veiled before. One of my female cousins revered Khomeini – ‘the voice of God’ – as an example of purity and selfless devotion. He was everything a good man should be. But she also took me aside and begged me to help her children escape to the West. Pakistan was impossible for the young; everyone who could was sending their money out of the country, and, when possible, sending their children out after it, preferably to the hated but also loved United States or, failing that, to Canada. ‘We want to leave this country but all doors are shut for us,’ my cousin wrote to me. ‘Do not know how to get out of here.’
19 days ago
How Anti-Semitism’s True Origin Makes It Invisible To The Left – The Forward
For in a key sense, regular racism — against blacks and Latinos, for example — is the opposite of anti-Semitism. While both ultimately derive from xenophobia, regular racism comes from white people believing they are superior to people of color. But the hatred of Jews stems from the belief that Jews are a cabal with supernatural powers; in other words, it stems from the models of thought that produce conspiracy theories. Where the white racist regards blacks as inferior, the anti-Semite imagines that Jews have preternatural power to afflict humankind.
20 days ago
Respect, trust and partnership - Ted Oseus - Facebook
1.India. India's nuclear tests put it outside the non-proliferation regime. A real partnership was only possible if we ended the ostracism. So the United States showed respect and built trust by pursuing a civil-nuclear initiative with India.

2. Indonesia. Indonesian special forces committed atrocities during the Suharto regime, so we didn't engage them. A real partnership was only possible if we ended the ostracism. We showed respect and built trust with Indonesia by reengaging with the special forces, while respecting international human rights norms.

3. Vietnam. The war left massive scars. A real partnership was only possible if we dealt honestly with the past. We showed respect and built trust with Vietnam by pursuing fullest possible accounting of those lost, removing unexploded ordnance, and cleaning up dioxin. And with Tom Malinowski's leadership, we were honest and respectful about even our most profound differences over human rights.
politics  people 
20 days ago
The Man Who Wrote the Book That Terrifies the NFL - The Ringer
Mark Leibovich spent years digging under the skin of Washington, D.C.’s power brokers. When he turned his attention to the world of pro football for a new book, he found an awfully familiar set of characters.
politics  football  sports  media  funny 
21 days ago
Speak My Language: The New England Patriots’ Erhardt-Perkins Offensive System « Grantland
The theory here is that no matter the formation, there is an outside receiver, an inside receiver, and a middle receiver, and each will be responsible for running his designated route. For the quarterback, this means the play can be run repeatedly, from different formations and with different personnel, all while his read stays effectively the same. Once receivers understand each concept, they only have to know at which position they’re lined up. The personnel and formation might cause the defense to respond differently, but for New England those changes only affect which side Brady prefers or which receiver he expects to be open. This conceptual approach is how the Patriots are able to run the same basic plays, whether spreading the field with four or five receivers or using multiple tight ends and running backs.
football  strategy 
21 days ago
Why filing taxes isn’t easy - Politico
Why would lawmakers want to stop the IRS from simplifying tax filing? Here’s a clue: H&R Block has spent $3.4 million lobbying the current Congress, and Intuit—the maker of TurboTax—has pitched in an additional $3.1 million. They and their employees also have contributed more than $500,000 this cycle to congressional candidates, political action committees, and parties.

And tax politics make strange bedfellows. Fighting alongside H&R Block and Intuit are anti-tax activist groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. H&R Block and Intuit love taxes—that’s how they make their money. Grover Norquist wants to cut taxes wherever possible. But on this issue, their interests are aligned. H&R Block and Intuit want to make it difficult for you to file on your own. The anti-tax activists think that if taxpaying is too easy, voters will be less likely to resist the federal government’s growth. Both want to make it as painful as possible for you to do your taxes yourself.
politics  legislation 
22 days ago
Crispr Can Speed Up Nature—and Change How We Grow Food | WIRED
What makes the de novo approach so intriguing is that it takes advantage of all the accumulated botanical “wisdom” of a wild plant. Over tens of thousands of years of evolution, a wild species acquires traits of hardiness and resilience, such as resistance to disease and stress. Domestication eliminated some of those traits. Since those resistance traits typically involve a suite of genes, Peres says, they would be extremely difficult to introduce into domesticated tomatoes, via Crispr or any other technology. And the approach can exploit other extreme traits. Peres wants to “domesticate” a wild species from the Galapagos, which can tolerate extreme environmental conditions such as high salinity and drought—traits that might enhance food security in a future with enormous climate fluctuations.

Rising temperatures. Changing growing seasons. A rising global population. The environmental toll of herbicide overuse. What if gene editing, for example, could favor disease-­resistance genes that would reduce pesticide use?  Lippman asks. “That’s not just feeding the world, that’s protecting the planet.”
food  science  future 
23 days ago
Grad discovers algorithms in justice system don’t always compute – Harvard Gazette
Priscilla Guo. The graduating senior and special concentrator in technology, policy, and society just wrapped up her thesis on machine learning algorithms in the criminal justice system. She learned that in 49 of the 50 states, predictive algorithms are used in bail, pretrial and sentencing hearings. In addition to focusing on the crime itself, these algorithms use characteristics like background, hometown, and family environment as predictive factors in rulings.

“The judge receives it directly, and there’s no opportunity for the defendant to say, ‘Hey, this is not a score that reflects who I am,’” says Guo. “Even worse, there’s no consistency. Each state has either developed their own algorithm, or they’ve contracted out to a corporation, which means the defendant can’t see what’s in it because it’s the company’s proprietary software.”

Enter technological due process. Guo suggests that all defendants should receive notice that these algorithms are being used, should be informed of their own score, and should be able to challenge the data on either side of the equation.
23 days ago
Opinion | How to Get the Most Out of College - The New York Times
My interest isn’t which types of programs at which kinds of institutions yield the surest employment and highest salaries. That information is already out there and always changing. I also worry that it casts college as purely vocational and plants the false notion that, at the age of 18, you know yourself well enough to plot out the entirety of your professional life.

My focus is on optimal ways to socialize, to prioritize, to pick up skills integral to any career and to open up exciting opportunities both en route to a degree and after you’ve acquired it. Not nearly enough of the roughly 20 million Americans who are beginning or resuming college over the coming weeks pause, in their trepidation and exhilaration, to think about that.
Regardless of major, there are skills to insist on acquiring because they transcend any particular career. Communication — clear writing, cogent speaking — is one of them, and many different courses can hone it.

Another of those skills, frequently overlooked, is storytelling. It’s different from communication: a next step. Every successful pitch for a new policy, new product or new company is essentially a story, with a shape and logic intended to stir its audience. So is every successful job interview. The best moment in a workplace meeting belongs to the colleague who tells the best story. So take a course in Greek mythology, British literature, political rhetoric or anything else that exposes you to the structure of narrative and the art of persuasion.

I asked Mitchell scholars if there was a department or discipline that they wished they had paid more heed. Science majors mentioned humanities. Humanities majors mentioned computer science and statistics. In retrospect, if not in real time, intellectually curious people appreciate and want the benefits of balance. So incorporate it, to some degree, in your college years.
college  education  guide 
23 days ago
John McCain spent his life serving the dignity of his fellow man - The Washington Post
“Stop,” McCain shouted to the driver. “Nyet!” the driver replied. Repeating, “Stop, damn it, stop!” he pulled at the door handle as if he were going to slide the door open and jump from the van. I reached over and held his arm as tightly as I could until we were well past the trouble. He gave me a look I’ve never forgotten and didn’t speak to me the rest of the night.
politics  people  history 
23 days ago
Opinion | Russ Feingold: John McCain Was a Committed Leader. He Was Also Really Fun. - The New York Times
One time, during a long, lonely debate before we had nearly enough votes, we sat together on the Senate floor and commented about how our colleagues in each of our parties weren’t speaking to us much anymore. I said, “Yeah, and now you’re going to become president and leave me here alone.” John replied, “No, no. You’ll be in the cabinet.” He paused and then, with a grin, said, “But just not as secretary of defense.”
politics  history  people 
23 days ago
NYTimes Smarter Living: How to ask for help and actually get it
In other words, people want to help you. But you have to ask.
So how do you ask? According to Ms. Grant, there are four crucial steps.
First, make sure the person you want to ask realizes you need help. Thanks to a phenomenon called inattentional blindness, we’re programmed to have the ability to take in and process only so much information, ignoring the rest.
This means that even if you think it’s clear you need help, it’s entirely possible that the people who can help you don’t have any idea you need assistance. In some cases, this can even impact your ability to perceive that you need help — all the more reason to get comfortable with asking.
Second, and the other side of that coin, make clear that the person you want to ask understands your desire for help — in other words, you have to ask. Otherwise your potential helper might fall victim to audience inhibition, or the fear of “looking foolish in front of other people,” which can prevent people from offering help because they doubt their own intuition that you need help, according to Ms. Grant.
Third, be specific with your request and make sure your helper knows why you’re specifically asking him or her and not someone else (or worse, asking a group). This will make them feel invested in your success and actually want to help, rather than feeling obligated to help, which can deter them from helping in the first place.
Last, make sure the person you’re asking has the time and resources to help. We’re all busy, sure, but you probably don’t want to ask for help from the co-worker who’s juggling five different projects, moving apartments and prepping for a vacation.
life  guide  business 
23 days ago
NYTimes Smarter Living: 5 more cheap(ish) things that could disproportionately improve your life
For years I was against the idea of paper planners. I thought they were cumbersome, wasteful and, in the age of Google Calendar, simply unnecessary. The pinnacle of redundancy.

Friends, I was so, so truly wrong.
products  productivity 
23 days ago
Interview with Patrick McGinnis, coiner of F.O.B.O. - NYTimes Smarter Living
Earlier this summer we talked about F.O.B.O. — the Fear of Better Options — and how it can sometimes lead us to paralysis when we’re trying to make a decision.
To refresh, F.O.B.O. gives a name to that spiral we fall into when we obsessively research every possible option when faced with a decision, fearing we’ll miss out on the “best” one. It can lead to indecision (duh), regret and even lower levels of happiness. One of the solutions I threw out was finding the Mostly Fine Decision — the outcome you’d be fine with, even if it’s not the absolute best possible outcome.
Hundreds of readers emailed and tweeted saying they recognized their own behavior, but one reader email in particular caught my attention: a note from Patrick McGinnis.
As it happens, Mr. McGinnis coined the term F.O.B.O. — along with its undoubtedly more ubiquitous cousin, F.O.M.O. — in 2003 when he was a student at Harvard Business School. So this week I’ve asked Mr. McGinnis, now an investor, author and host of the podcast “F.O.M.O. Sapiens,” to spill his secrets about F.O.B.O. (and what he’s feeling it about right now).
productivity  life 
23 days ago
Squared Away - A history of the businesses of Harvard Square | Harvard Political Review Red Line
If the Square’s businesses look different than they did several decades ago, perhaps another reason is that the people patronizing them are different. Over the past several decades, the economic makeup of Cambridge residents has changed dramatically, particularly in Harvard Square. One driver of this change is the demise of rent control, which was abolished in 1994 via a statewide ballot referendum. In the ensuing decade, the value of the city’s housing stock skyrocketed by $1.8 billion, and it has only continued to rise since then.

The more housing costs rise, the more affluent residents have to be to live here. “The demographics of Cambridge have changed pretty radically since rent control ended in 1994,” Devereux said. “So that has taken away a lot of middle class and left us with sort of two ends of the barbell in terms of who our residents are.” Devereux’s claim is backed up by Census data which shows that, while the poverty rate in Cambridge has remained largely unchanged, median household income ballooned from $47,979 in 2000 to $83,122 in 2016, well outpacing inflation.
politics  history  harvard 
25 days ago
Tales of the Superhuman: Why You Should Never Doubt Deshaun Watson | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
He'd have school and practice Thursday. School and a game Friday. Rest on Saturday. Go to church on Sunday and then head right back to the courthouse for more tedious, time-consuming grunt work. His job was to print and organize paperwork that went to the clerk's office. He was at the courthouse so often that Fuller gave him his own key.

And all along—through the tests, state records, keeping the lights on at home—Watson never uttered a word to his coaches at Gainesville High. Bruce Miller, the team's head coach, had no clue.

"Didn't know a thing about it," Miller says. "It's almost like nothing surprises me anymore about him. I mean, he's just got something about him that makes him care. He'd do anything for anybody."

The math was simple to Watson. His mother was a single parent, so he needed to work.

After his family was awarded a home through Habitat for Humanity, Watson returned the favor by building homes for others too. Those close to Watson never remember him asking for a dime. In college, his celebrity exploding, he stayed the same. Back home one summer, he asked Waldrip for a job that'd get him outside, and Waldrip, who's in real estate, told him he could work with his painting crew.

Temperatures reached triple digits. Watson didn't care.

"No complaints. No nothing," Waldrip recalls. "He didn't ask for any handouts. He was just that type of person. Man, what a work ethic. ... Some people have heart. I don't know if you're born with it or it sometimes comes in somewhere. Some people just have that determination, that spirit to be successful no matter what the circumstances are.

"He just has that. He's just special."
people  football  sports 
25 days ago
God, Trump and the meaning of morality - The Washington Post
He was at the end of his sermon. If he was going to say anything about Trump, or presidents, or politicians, or how having a Christian character was important for the leader of the United States, now was the time. His Bible was open. He was preaching without notes.

He looked out at all the faces of people who felt threatened and despised in a changing America, who thought Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were sent by Satan to destroy them, and that Donald Trump was sent by God to protect them, and who could always count on Clay Crum to remind them of what they all believed to be the true meaning of Jesus Christ — that he died to forgive all of their sins, to save them from death and secure their salvation in a place that was 15,000 miles wide, full of gardens, appliances, and a floor of stars.

Not now, he decided. Not yet. He closed his Bible. He had one last thing to say to them before the sermon was over.

“Let us pray.”

“Amen,” someone in the congregation said.
people  america  politics 
25 days ago
Trust Us: Politicians Keep Most Of Their Promises | FiveThirtyEight
Political scientists have been studying the question of campaign promises for almost 50 years, and the results are remarkably consistent. Most of the literature suggests that presidents make at least a “good faith” effort to keep an average of about two-thirds of their campaign promises; the exact numbers differ from study to study, depending on how the authors define what counts as a campaign promise and what it means to keep it.
25 days ago
The Real Story of the Fake Story of One of Europe’s Most Charismatic CEOs
Research on the spread of false news shows that the students were using communication techniques that, decades earlier, academics had discovered as drivers of this phenomenon. Readers are more likely to distribute vivid stories that inspire emotion — such as fear (polluted rivers), disgust (child labor), and surprise or delight (32-hour workweek) — than stories that are flatly recounted. Furthermore, language such as “Berden reported a chemical spill” is much less effective than “Berden dumped highly toxic, cancer-causing chemicals into the river bordering our city park.” The students used this understanding to encourage the spread of their news.
politics  media 
26 days ago
Democratic socialists are conquering the left. But do they believe in democracy? - The Washington Post
Although traditions are neither monolithic nor unchangeable, democratic socialism and social democracy have worked very differently.

Social democracy’s strength is its realism and the optimism that can come from believing it is possible to create a better world incrementally. This led social democrats during the late 19th and much of the 20th century to be champions of democracy as well as the welfare state, Keynesianism and other policies that tamed capitalism and undergirded the most peaceful and prosperous period in Western history. Today its proponents are politicians like former vice president Joe Biden and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). The weakness is that social democracy can lose its long-term vision and forget that capitalism has economic, social and political downsides. Successful political movements offer inspiring visions of the future, not merely more of the status quo.

Democratic socialism’s strengths are its idealism and the activism generated by intense dissatisfaction with the status quo. Its proponents today are people like Ocasio-Cortez and New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar, who told Jacobin in a recent interview, “There’s no question that we have to expand and comprehensively fund the social safety net, but if we do that without altering the more basic structures that disempower people and keep them in wage slavery, we’re never going to see long-term social change.” Democratic socialism’s weaknesses lie, as Bernstein charged more than a century ago, in the abstractness of its vision and its lack of pragmatism. The movement has never made clear what socialism actually means or how it will be achieved. In addition, its idealism has often led to puritanism and a tendency to denigrate those, even on the left, who disagree . In addition, disbelieving that capitalism can be improved has led democratic socialists to disparage reforms.
philosophy  history  economics  politics 
26 days ago
The Total Beginner's Guide to Game AI - Artificial Intelligence - GameDev.net
This article will introduce you to a range of introductory concepts used in artificial intelligence for games (or ‘Game AI’ for short) so that you can understand what tools are available for approaching your AI problems, how they work together, and how you might start to implement them in the language or engine of your choice.
games  reference  dev  guide 
27 days ago
sparing a thought for Suharto – Fredrik deBoer
The point is not at all to somehow take it easier on the United States, imperialism, or white supremacy writ large. The point is that when you reduce all of history to the study of white misbehavior you write people of color out of history entirely. There is a certain kind of white person for whom anti-imperialist discourse appeals because it appears to present a world where only white people matter. All of history flows only from white decisions; the world is made only by white hands. Sure, this is all couched in criticism, its ostensible aim to tear down the structure of white supremacy. But one way or the other, you’re left with a world where white people control everything, rule everything, do everything. You can see how that would be quietly comforting to a white person even if they maintain an explicit denunciation of whiteness.

Japan was an imperial power. Of course it was not the same as European imperialism. Of course it was not as destructive as American imperialism. But it was imperialism all the same, and if we honor the memory of the Chinese and Korean and other victims of that imperialism we would do well not to pretend that the crimes of imperial Japan lead only back to white actors. To do so doesn’t just disrespect the memory of those victims, it posits the people of east Asia as somehow existing outside of the flow of meaningful history, as though the wars and atrocities that occur under any other flags than those of the west are some junior varsity version of real events. Like so much else in the current era of white liberalism, it is a type of critique that in its condescension flatters those people who it ostensibly means to denounce.
politics  history 
27 days ago
Do not weep for your dead: how to mourn as the Stoics did | Aeon Essays
The Stoics trace their lineage to Zeno of Citium, who founded a philosophical school in Athens about 300 years before the birth of Christ. Along with Seneca, the Stoics are mostly known today by the works of Epictetus, an emancipated slave, and the Roman philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius. Central to their worldview was the need to distinguish between what we can and cannot control, and waste no time worrying about the latter. In other words, we should conform our thoughts and behaviour to Mother Nature’s ineluctable course, which the Stoics believed was a major part of what it is to be good or virtuous. Among other things, they took this to entail that it is simply wrong to grieve after the death of a loved one.
philosophy  stoics 
27 days ago
Does $60,000 make you middle-class or wealthy on Planet Earth? - The Washington Post
Today, the middle class totals about 3.7 billion people, Kharas says, or 48 percent of the world’s population. An additional 190 million (2.5 percent) comprise the mega-rich. Together, the two groups make up a majority of humanity in 2018, a shift with wide-reaching consequences for the global economy — and potential implications for the happiness of millions of people.
28 days ago
The Hypnotizing Chants of Champion Livestock Auctioneers | The New Yorker
The history of American folk art is rife with vernacular traditions that began as chores, but, when perfected, became sublime expressions, worthy of spectacle and celebration: rodeo competitions, quilting contests, and so on. Herzog called auctioneering “the last poetry possible, the poetry of capitalism,” and, indeed, watching the auctioneers rattle off cattle prices with such singular aplomb feels like evidence that even the most mercenary activities can sometimes become beautiful.
america  culture  photos 
28 days ago
Sunsama | Daily Workflow Planner
Sunsama organizes all the work you need to do each day in one place. It's like Trello + Google Calendar.
productivity  apps  products 
28 days ago
“Socialism” vs. “capitalism”: what left and right get wrong about the debate - Vox
I disagree with Elizabeth Warren on a slew of policy particulars — on the minimum wage, single-payer health care, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example — but I think her recent affirmation of the progressive power of capitalist dynamism gets the bigger picture basically right:

I am a capitalist. ... I believe in markets. What I don’t believe in is theft, what I don’t believe in is cheating. That’s where the difference is. I love what markets can do, I love what functioning economies can do. They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity. But only fair markets, markets with rules. Markets without rules is about the rich take it all, it’s about the powerful get all of it. And that’s what’s gone wrong in America.
She’s right. We need markets to make us richer. But we also need them to make all of us richer, and that’s not just about making sure that we’re indemnified against the risks of wrecking-ball competition. It’s also about making sure the basic rules of the game aren’t rigged to favor people who already won, locking the rest of us into a lower tier of possibility. Warren is a free-market social democrat in the Nordic mold. Her vision is a far cry from the anti-capitalist agenda of the Ocasia-Cortez and the DSA.

Now, the problem isn’t exactly “markets without rules.” The problem is that markets are defined by an incomprehensible jumble of regulatory kludges — an accumulation of individually reasonable but cumulatively stifling technocratic fixes — that strangle economic freedom for ordinary people, allowing the powerful to capture the economy by writing and selectively enforcing the rules to their advantage.

Warren pretty clearly gets this too. For example, she led the charge to deregulate the over-the-counter sale of hearing aids, against the objections of state-licensed audiologists and incumbent medical device manufacturers, promoting market competition that raises the quality and reduces the cost of a critical life-enhancing technology.

Ocasio-Cortez should take a page from Warren and learn to love markets. As should Republicans, who might come to grasp the appeal of combining sturdier safety nets with freer, fairer markets.
politics  policy 
29 days ago
Why ESPN Picked Joe Tessitore to Rebuild Its Relationship With the NFL - The Ringer
Tessitore, his former partner Todd Blackledge says, is one of the most rigorous preparers in the business. Tessitore wakes up at 5:45 every morning. He prays. Then he edifies himself with a philosophical tract by René Descartes or a piece of longform journalism. “Being a great broadcaster is just being a great writer who just happens to speak what he’s writing in his head,” he says. Tessitore watches little TV news and thinks politics is “the biggest con job ever put forth on America.”

When Tessitore finds himself creatively stifled—when Real Tess is not finding his full expression on the screen—he consults a gallery of influential figures. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin for riffing. Tony Bennett and the journalist Gay Talese (a Tessitore pal) for craftsmanship.
sports  media  people 
4 weeks ago
JT Daniels, the Next Great USC Trojans QB, Shouldn’t Even Be in College - The Ringer
His goal at USC isn’t to win a Heisman or a national championship, although both of those things would be nice. It’s merely to improve every day.
4 weeks ago
How Oklahoma City Was Born in a Day
Some settlers stopped just across the border, claiming the first open land they could find. Most, however, raced deeper into the territory. The country was rough, and the settlers’ wagons weren’t designed for it; they hit dry creek beds or buffalo wallows and busted apart. The drivers flew out, got up, limped on. Before long, the prairie was covered with wrecks. Spooked horses threw their riders. At least one man fell and broke his neck. Other horses died of exhaustion. One settler fired his gun to speed up his horse but accidentally shot and killed another settler. It was absolute chaos, an explosion of humans. Actually, it was like a reverse explosion: tens of thousands of people who had been scattered across the globe, who had never had any reason to think they might be connected in any way, were suddenly thrown together in a dense core in the middle of America.
history  america  politics 
4 weeks ago
Opinion | Susan Rice: President Trump, the Autocrats’ Best Friend - The New York Times
Defenders of this administration’s foreign policy love to tout the much-improved American relationship with Saudi Arabia, several Gulf countries and Israel, drawing a sharp contrast with the Obama era. It’s no wonder these countries love President Trump, because unlike under his predecessors, the United States has rolled over and played dead while they do whatever they please. Not exactly the stuff of leadership.
IR  politics 
4 weeks ago
Mumbo sauce: The flavor of Washington ‘that isn’t the president and the politics’ - The Washington Post
“It’s definitely a part of the subculture,” Jones, 34, says. “It’s the D.C. that isn’t the president and the politics.”

It’s the Washington that exists in hole-in-the-wall joints owned by Chinese and Korean immigrants who long ago learned how to cater to a mostly African American clientele, down to a condiment. It’s the Washington that if you didn’t know where to look, you might never see.

The allure of mumbo sauce (also known as mambo sauce) is not just its flavor, which falls somewhere between barbecue and sweet-and-sour sauce. It’s the sense of identity it carries. It tells of roots in a city where many people just blow through. Among the African Americans who live in the District, more than 60 percent were born here, according to census estimates. Among whites, that figure is less than 15 percent.
food  dc 
4 weeks ago
Bryce Harper’s homerun win, 10-year old Mikiyah Wilson’s murder and D.C.’s contradictions - The Washington Post
Lewis, the son of one of D.C.’s most notorious drug kingpins, a man whose name he shares, has spent his adulthood trying to help the same city that his father hurt. He has worked toward finding jobs for adults released from prison, helping troubled youth find productive paths and highlighting artists and other influencers in the city’s African American community.

And while doing that work, time and again, he has watched friends fall from bullets, young people go to jail for those shootings and the city quickly move on.
“I think the gentrified Washington, they don’t have any idea who started it and what it started from,” Lewis said. He compared it to Mumbo sauce, which D.C. locals grew up pouring on fried food bought at carryouts. “Now you’ll find it at The Hamilton or one of these newer establishments.”

Lewis said he doesn’t care about getting credit for those words, and anyone who has seen his work in the streets, knows that his efforts are rarely about him.

But Lewis does think people should know what that phrase is about — and at its core, it is about why the entire city should care that a 10-year-old girl heading to get ice cream was shot and killed.
4 weeks ago
How to Kill a Presidential Scandal – Foreign Policy
The parallels to Trump-Russia don’t end there. In Iran-Contra, the independent counsel investigating the scandal, Lawrence Walsh, was a deadly serious Brahmin lawyer with a sterling Republican pedigree; he nevertheless faced withering criticism from members of his own party, just as special counsel Robert Mueller has as he investigates Trump and his circle. Congressional Republicans attacked Walsh’s team for its purported partisan bias, clamoring for the resignation of key investigators, and  railed against the probe’s purported waste and corruption. They even demanded that an investigation be opened into Walsh’s (spurious) improprieties.

Walsh’s team was “a hotbed of Democratic activist lawyers,” thundered Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, repeatedly, during the yearslong probe. In Walsh’s own account, Dole was a key figure in undermining public trust in the special counsel’s office and in thwarting its activities. Today, Trump cronies such as Reps. Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan play a similar role.
But the investigation’s real deathblow came on Christmas Eve, 1992, when Bush pardoned five officials connected to the affair, including Robert McFarlane, another Reagan-era national security advisor. Most shocking of all, however, was Bush’s pardon of Reagan-era Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, whose trial had not even begun yet. Walsh believed Weinberger had withheld key, incriminating notes to investigators for years that showed that administration officials—including, potentially, Reagan himself—knowingly broke the law, and thus forestalled impeachment hearings.
politics  history 
4 weeks ago
Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act, explained - Vox
Combining its large sample with demographic information, Civis is able to model support for these different ideas down to the congressional district level and finds that, astoundingly, codetermination polls well in literally every single House district. Looking state by state, it commands 58 percent support in Wyoming and is more popular than that everywhere else.

It’s likely a big reason for this is cost. Most progressive ideas tend to be either cheap, but therefore small-bore and a little weird, or bold and clear but expensive, in a country that remains averse to taxation. Warren’s corporate accountability initiatives would have huge economic implications but zero budgetary cost. At a time of low levels of public trust in institutions, Warren’s proposals don’t ask anyone to have faith that government officials are going to make good use of resources.
politics  election2020  policy 
4 weeks ago
Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents – Foreign Policy
Although they used some of the same coding, the interim system and the main covert communication platform used in China at this time were supposed to be clearly separated. In theory, if the interim system were discovered or turned over to Chinese intelligence, people using the main system would still be protected—and there would be no way to trace the communication back to the CIA. But the CIA’s interim system contained a technical error: It connected back architecturally to the CIA’s main covert communications platform. When the compromise was suspected, the FBI and NSA both ran “penetration tests” to determine the security of the interim system. They found that cyber experts with access to the interim system could also access the broader covert communications system the agency was using to interact with its vetted sources, according to the former officials.

In the words of one of the former officials, the CIA had “fucked up the firewall” between the two systems.
china  IR 
4 weeks ago
Bribes, Backdoor Deals, and Pay to Play: How Bad Rosé Took Over | Bon Appetit
I’m over the shitty rosé, and hope you are too. But what makes a rosé good? My real rosé manifesto insists that real rosé is made for the sake of making rosé. Real rosé starts with grapes from vineyards destined for pink wine. The grapes are picked at ripeness, sorted, and sent to the winery, where they are treated with as much care as any other grapes. The native yeasts or select local strains turn the sugar in the grapes into a wine that speaks of a place. Real rosé speaks of a farm-based craft from centuries of tradition and is purpose-driven.

As a sommelier and buyer, I have always leaned toward grower wines (you may have heard of grower Champagne before). Ask your sommelier or retailer for grower rosé that speaks of a sense of place and tradition, an honest wine.
food  guide 
4 weeks ago
An Underappreciated Key to College Success: Sleep - The New York Times
• Go to bed and get up every day at approximately the same time, weekends included.

• Create a relaxing bedroom setting and follow a consistent bedtime routine.

• Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine and any medication with stimulant effects at least three hours before bedtime.

• Don’t stay up late to cram for an exam or finish homework. If your outside activities are too time-consuming, try to cut back on those that are expendable.

• If possible, keep all electronics — computer, TV, cellphone, etc. — outside the bedroom, and avoid using them just before bedtime.

• Don’t go to bed hungry, but avoid eating a big meal before bed.

• Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime. Instead, do a calming activity like light reading or meditation.
• Keep the bedroom quiet, dark and cool for sleeping. If outside light or noise is disturbing, consider using light-blocking shades or a white noise machine.
college  harvard  life  guide 
4 weeks ago
Opinion | The Debt-Shaming of Stacey Abrams - The New York Times
Then there’s Kemp, Abrams’s opponent, a multimillionaire who is being sued for allegedly failing to repay a $500,000 loan used to buy supplies for an agricultural company he invested in. It says something about the racial and class politics of owing money that Republicans nevertheless feel safe attacking Abrams for her debt, most of which she accrued putting herself through school and helping to care for family members in crisis.

It remains to be seen whether voters will recognize the double standard. Mitchell is convinced that attacks on candidates for their financial troubles will prove counterproductive, since many Americans find shouldering their debt a challenge. “When folks raise this as a moral issue, it’s actually enraging” to most people, he said.
4 weeks ago
Midwest Democrats' answer to Trump: White, conventional and boring - POLITICO
Democrats across the Midwest are opting for a conventional cast of technocrats and long-time public officials in the party's first response to Donald Trump’s 2016 victories — a rebuttal of sorts to the party's lunge leftward in the run-up to 2020.

It began with the governor’s race in Ohio in May, when Democratic voters picked Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over the leftist firebrand Dennis Kucinich. Later, a businessman and former state Senate leader won primary contests in Iowa and Michigan, respectively.

And in Minnesota and Wisconsin on Tuesday, Democrats pinned their prospects on Tim Walz, a six-term congressman from Minnesota, and Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s 66-year-old state education superintendent in those states' gubernatorial contests.
politics  election2020 
4 weeks ago
The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You – Personal Growth – Medium
Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

According to Pascal, we fear the silence of existence, we dread boredom and instead choose aimless distraction, and we can’t help but run from the problems of our emotions into the false comforts of the mind.

The issue at the root, essentially, is that we never learn the art of solitude.
4 weeks ago
Who is Beto O'Rourke - Texas Democratic Senate Candidate Challenging Ted Cruz
On most mornings Beto O’Rourke is up by around 6 a.m., ready to go for a run. “We’ve gone on trips with him before. There’s not a lot of hanging out. It’s all, ‘Let’s go check this out’ and ‘Let’s go here.’ There’s constant, constant movement,” says Raymond Telles, a longtime friend of O’Rourke’s. “For a lot of us, a Sunday afternoon sitting on the couch is pretty inviting. I don’t know that he could do that. I certainly have never seen him do it.”

On one of the few Sundays O’Rourke has taken off this year, Easter Sunday, he took his family camping. On another Sunday this summer he was far from his family, inside a ballroom in Fort Worth talking to a group of Democratic women running for office throughout the state.

“I just want to be myself to the degree I can,” he told the group. “Sometimes there’s a downside to that. I have promised my family, my team, that we’re going to stop dropping the f-bombs.” Two minutes later he dropped the f-bomb.

O’Rourke is far from scripted. He doesn’t use notes when he delivers a speech. A large portion of his campaign has been accessible unvarnished via Facebook’s livestreaming service. His communications director, Chris Evans, is almost always trailing him with an iPhone, ready to go live. O’Rourke has been streamed getting a haircut, doing his laundry, and talking to his wife. “Sometimes I share too much, or I’m sharing the wrong way,” he told the group that morning. “I’ll kick myself. But I’ll take that over scripted and polished.”
people  electionStrategy  politics 
4 weeks ago
MagicScroll Web Reader: pagination for every webpage - The Next Web
The MagicScroll Web Reader turns every page on the web into a MagicScroll book.

Its unique scrolling system lets you scroll web pages without moving them, making it easier to read long articles without being distracted.

It's simple and easy and free to use.

After install you'll see a small book icon in the chrome toolbar. Visit a page you want to read and click the icon to transform it into a MagicScroll book.
apps  google 
5 weeks ago
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