3 days Ago

Links and Notes for May 7th, 2021

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

Table of Contents

1 week Ago

Don’t believe your eyes

Published by marco on in Technology

“A lie goes around the world three times before the truth has got its pants on.[1]
Mark Twain

Mirriad is a real company with a realtime tool that allows editors to place content into video streams. This tool can be used for anything (e.g. covering up a mustache that an actor has for another movie, as they did for Henry Cavill in a Superman movie), but their demonstration video shows how they’re selling this tool: as a way of injecting advertising and product placement in existing content.

The short video Mirriad... [More] (Vimeo)

Abby Martin and Eugene Puryear on AFRICOM

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

Abby Martin of the Empire Files interviews the incredibly well-informed Eugene Puryear on AFRICOM and U.S. interests on the continent of Africa.

A Guide to US Empire in Africa: Neocolonial Order & AFRICOM by Empire Files (YouTube)

At 15:00:

Eugene: They did not want Lumumba […] the country starts to break apart. […the Belgians] tracked down Lumumba, they captured him, and then they executed him. And they then instituted a regime that was maybe one of the most brutal, kleptocratic, resource-extraction regimes in the history of the 20th century. […]

“The role of the U.S.... [More]”

2 weeks Ago

Thoughts about Chomsky’s thoughts

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The article “Marx’s Old Mole is Right Beneath the Surface” by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian (Boston Review) is one in a long series of interviews of Noam Chomsky by David Barsamian over the years. I found it kind of interesting as a jumping-off point for some thoughts of my own.

January 6th

Chomsky comes down very strong on characterizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6th as a coup.

“First of all, it was explicitly an attempt at a coup. They were trying to overthrow the elected government: that’s a coup. As for those who... [More]”

Links and Notes for April 30th, 2021

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

“Open letter” demands end to UK pandemic restrictions as official figures confirm COVID-19... [More] by Julie Hyland (WSWS)

Earthli now uses the UTF8 encoding 🍾

Published by marco on in earthli.com

Earthli started out in 1997 on an Apache 1.2.x server running on a Windows desktop in my office cubicle in New York. I set it up at the time with PHP 2.x and MySQL 3.x.

History

The default encoding at the time was to use the latin1 character set, which mapped to Windows-1252 and roughly corresponds to ANSI, which is somewhat standardized, but is platform-dependent for some characters (hence the moniker).

Over the years, I migrated to PHP 3.x, then 4.x. The migration to 5.x was a lot of work... [More]

Jane McAlevey: Union Wizard

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The podcast Behind the News, 4/15/21 by Doug Henwood (Apple Podcasts) includes two interviews. The first half is an interview with Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht about Sanders’s legacy (which was OK), but the interview with Jane McAlevey about “why the union lost to Amazon in Bessemer” was absolutely top-notch.

McAlevey discusses in no uncertain terms how obvious it was that the union was going to lose the vote against Amazon in Bessemer:

  • They didn’t have the votes; they either knew it or they were even more incompetent than... [More]

How much is too much Fentanyl?

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The article The Movie Follows the Script by James Howard Kunstler (ClusterFuck Nation) included the following about George Floyd’s intoxication level.

“The trouble is what’s not in the indelible picture: Mr. Floyd’s prodigious ingestion of the world’s hardest narcotic, fentanyl, at a level likely to cause death, plus methedrine, plus THC, on top of a 90-percent blockage of a coronary artery, and other cardiopathies, and Covid-19, all according to the official medical examiner.”

I’d already read this claim a few times and had heard... [More]

Google’s Age Verification Data-Collection Strategy

Published by marco on in Technology

I recently followed a link to a video on YouTube that was supposed to demonstrate the madness of Japanese wrestler Jun Kasai. I was unable to view the video because it was age-restricted and I had not yet verified my age for my Google account.[1]

Google helpfully offered a couple of ways of rectifying this issue.

 Google's Age-verification Options

That escalated quickly.

I want to ask incredulously “do people really scan their driver’s license and send it to completely unanswerable company like Google?” or “hey scan and send... [More]

3 weeks Ago

Assigning Disparaging Identities as a Social-media Weapon

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

Back in November, I listened to this Joe Rogan interview with Tim Dillon and Alex Jones. Tim Dillon is pretty funny. Joe’s going on about taking a UFO to Alpha Centauri and the evolution of humanity and Dillon interrupts him to say “I’m not even allowed to go to an Applebee’s, Joe. … I live in California. I’m barely allowed to leave my house.” … later he says, quite poignantly, “I think we should be humans as long as we can.”

Joe Rogan Experience #1555 − Alex Jones & Tim Dillon by Joe Rogan (YouTube)

Very near the end of this 3:10:00 show, Joe wraps things... [More]

Links and Notes for April 23rd, 2021

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Communicating the potential benefits and harms of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (University of Cambridge)

“The... [More]”

Fuck around and find out in Asia

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

Since the Biden Administration took the reins, America’s foreign policy has stayed just as confusing as under Trump (or Obama or Bush…) but is arguably more strident and belligerent.

I write “Biden Administration” because am reluctant to characterize anything that happens as having sprung from the mind of Biden. His few appearances and utterances have not inspired any confidence that he’s deciding anything more complex than which kind of fruit he wants for breakfast. On the other hand, the... [More]

CSS and HTML Toolbox 2021

Published by marco on in Programming

Over the last four months, I’ve been collecting interesting HTML/CSS techniques and ideas.

  1. I’m planning a bit of a make-over of the earthli style and stylesheets to replace some older cruft with more modern, simpler implementations.
  2. I’m planning a new curriculum for the JavaScript class I’ll be teaching again this coming winter.

For both of these goals, I’m focusing on leveraging as much of the power of the browser—especially CSS/HTML—as possible without getting mired in too much... [More]

1 month Ago

Configuring and using Jetbrains Rider ...021.1.1 and Visual Studio 2019 16.9.4

Published by marco on in Programming

Visual Studio with ReSharper has been my main development tool for many, many years. I first started using it in 2008 or 2009.

Over the last several years, I’ve used many other IDEs, like Visual Studio Code for documentation, advanced search, and JavaScript/TypeScript or PHPStorm for PHP, Android Studio for Java/Android, XCode for Swift/iOS, or WebStorm for TypeScript/JavaScript.

JetBrains Rider came on the scene several years ago and was not, at first, a viable alternative, but it has gotten... [More]

Arsène Lupin, gentleman-cambrioleur ...ice Leblanc (1907; fr) (read in 2021)

Published by marco on in Books

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Links and Notes for April 16th, 2021

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Governments are constitutionally permitted to provide ‘vaccine passports’ – some may... [More] by Kevin Cope and Alexander Stremitzer

On Pissing Contests

Published by marco on in Miscellaneous

I read an article called on Matt Taibbi, Gogol, and Cancel Culture by Evgenia Kovda (Immigrants as a Weapon), which I’d gotten to because it’s actually Yasha Levine’s SubStack and his wife is sharing it with him. She wrote about Matt Taibbi,

“Makes one think about all this cancel culture outrage that you’re manically producing these days. You constantly write about how dangerous this new wave of censorship is to art and culture and speech and self-expression, and how stifling it is. But Gogol — your literary hero — proves the... [More]”

John Oliver vs. Tucker Carlson

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

John Oliver addresses the menace of Tucker Carlson in the video. It’s a pretty cheap takedown in that the charges of white supremacism are fraught and Oliver relies nearly exclusively on older clips (some from the 90s, for God’s sake). Carlson is on TV every night of the week. Did you have to reach back to the 90s to find sufficiently incriminating material?

I’m surprised the Oliver didn’t point out that Carlson’s “concentrating” face resembles a constipated weasel.

Tucker Carlson by Last Week Tonight (YouTube)

John Oliver, once again,... [More]

Joe Biden’s first press conference

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I watched this on the Katie Halper podcast, but Taibbi and Halper’s MST2000-like chatter didn’t really add anything (this time). You can probably find the real thing on C-SPAN or something, but the time-marks I made line up with this version, so I’m using that as a reference.

Biden's First Press Conference by Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi (YouTube)

14:00
Start of a looooong immigration discussion, but he’s mostly reading. The questions are prepared. The reporters have been pre-selected. He keeps checking his notes to see where he is in the list.
28:30
Let’s go... [More]

The persistence of genocide

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

Is China Committing Genocide? Behind the US Government’s Propaganda Campaign by Dan Cohen (MintPress News)

Is China Committing Genocide? Behind The US Government’s Propaganda Campaign by Dan Cohen (YouTube)

“Meanwhile, Zenz’s study accusing China of forced sterilizations didn’t contain any proof of coercion. The Grayzone showed how “Zenz consistently framed the expansion of public healthcare services in Xinjiang as evidence of a genocide in the making.” Characterizing expanded access to birth control as genocide is what the Christian Right does. So it makes perfect sense that Zenz – an evangelical... [More]”

Apple vs. Russia

Published by marco on in Technology

Apple bent its rules for Russia—and other countries will take note by Lily Hay Newman (Ars Technica)

“Questions remain about whether Russia’s end goal is to completely isolate and disconnect its Internet from the wider world or whether the government prefers a hybrid network. But from the Kremlin’s perspective, the opportunity to promote certain apps on iOS is a boon either way.

“Apple could have simply allowed Russia to pre-install whatever apps it wanted on iOS devices, but the company also could have taken a radical... [More]”

Is COVID-19 really over in the west?

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

Biden recently informed the nation that things would be back to normal by July 4th—as if the virus cares.

Biden peddles national self-delusion on pandemic anniversary by Patrick Martin (WSWS)

“The language of collective loss, suffering and sacrifice, however, ignored the brutal fact that one section of American society, the super-rich, has lost nothing at all from 12 months of the worst pandemic in a century.

“While 527,000 Americans died, the billionaires increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion. While the economy... [More]”

Matt Stoller on Useful Idiots: Tech Revenue Model and Taiwan

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This is a Useful Idiots interview with the always interesting and provactive Matt Stoller. It’s the second part of an interview with that began in New Useful Idiots: Ted Cruz, Penis Mishaps, and Matt Stoller on Big Tech Monopoly (Audio Also). I’ve highlighted and partially transcribed the bits I found interesting. The Substack page has more transcription (but it’s also only partial).

Substack Only Episode of Useful Idiots: Guest Matt Stoller asks, 'Is the Left Interested in National Defense?' Plus, Matt and Katie Discuss Mr. Biden's Wild Stair Ride by Useful Idiots (YouTube)

At 03:00, Stoller talks about how we need to turn our tech giants back into platforms instead of purveyors of... [More]

Carl Zha on the Chinese Summit (Behind the Headlines)

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I’d never heard of Carl Zha before, but he was entertaining and informative on U.S.-China relations. This is a 1-hour interview about various China-related topics.

Video: US Escalates New Cold War as Diplomatic Gloves Come Off, with Carl Zha by Behind the Headlines (YouTube)

I am not kidding. The U.S. lectured China at their latest summit with this gem:

“A confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings and constantly seek to improve. And that is the secret sauce of America.”

I wouldn’t even have known how to respond to that. The Idiocracy is fully bloomed.

The Chinese diplomat... [More]

Boogaloo = Boogie Man

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The article Meet the Censored: Live Streamers by Matt Taibbi (SubStack) includes a description of what the Boogaloos are like when you actually bother to cover them and ask them what they stand for (instead of just triggering on CNN’s description of them).

“According to Fischer, the Twitter announcement didn’t exactly make sense, because the protesters in Ohio were more of a libertarian ilk, and, as Farina and Chariton discovered in the Virginia crowd, not so clearly aligned with Trump as Twitter and other media... [More]”

Muddling through the misinformation

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

The article CDC study finds c. 78% of people hospitalized for COVID were overweight or obese by Mark Crispin Miller contains the following text and the link below it.

“A study from the CDC, reported by CNBC, and yet it slipped right down the memory hole, despite—or because of—the further light it sheds on the entire COVID narrative, which has millions of slim, healthy people tightly masked and terrified of human contact.”

The article he linked, CDC study finds about 78% of people hospitalized for Covid were... [More] by Berkeley Lovelace Jr. (CNBC)

Reporting on the democrats

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

Something happened with this video. It’s still on YouTube, but Lee Camp has redacted it from his own web site. I’d originally watched it at MOC #67 − The Truth About DSA & AOC (w/ Eric London) (LeeCamp.Com), but that link is dead now. Episode #67 is conspicuously absent from the listings on that site. I’m a bit taken aback that Camp took the video down without explanation.

MOC #67 − The Truth About DSA & AOC (w/ Eric London) by Lee Camp (YouTube)

Eric London is much better in this interview than in print, but he cannot help but purity-test everyone. He mentions Jacobin... [More]

Drosten and Osterholm in Einklang

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

Coronavirus-Update #82: Die Lage ist ernst by NDR Ratgeber (YouTube)

Drosten’s pissed. I’ve heard “irreführende” about 90 times now. He thinks there are two options: let it rip and collapse the health system or go back into lockdown (“der Holzhammer”) … Germany doesn’t seem capable of doing anything in between.

He said “private Kontakte” are definitely where infections are coming from now. It’s no longer true that “wir wissen einfach nicht wovon die Infectionen kommen…”

At 37:30, he said

“Bei keinem diesen Viren gibt es eine “Dauerwelle”. Der Begriff “der... [More]”

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2021.3

Published by marco on in Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of around 1600 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood and. let’s be honest, level of intoxication. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

The Man in the High... [More]

Links and Notes for April 9th, 2021

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for the week ending on the date in the title, enriching the raw data from Instapaper Likes and Twitter. They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts. YMMV.

[1] Emphases are added, unless otherwise noted.
[2] Annotations are only lightly edited.

COVID-19

Coronavirus-Update #82: Die Lage ist ernst by NDR Ratgeber (YouTube)

Drosten’s pissed. I’ve heard “irreführende” about 90 times now. He thinks there are two... [More]