Yesterday

Talking ‘bout the poor

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This episode of Chapo was a discussion with Liz and Matt Bruenig about population-control policies on both sides of the aisle in America. Liz, in particular, was quite eloquent and biting in her criticism of elite hatred of the poor.

Child FACTS Credit feat. The Bruenigs | | Episode 498 FULL by Chapo Trap House (YouTube)

At 37:00, they discussed how both parties sought to avoid “encouraging fertility among the bottom quintile”, ending with a proper critique of what’s wrong with Bill Gates running the world for us.

Liz Bruenig: All of this talk about what would happen in terms of... [More]”

Two Days Ago

Vetting information sources

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This is an interesting discussion by Eleanor Goldfield and Lee Camp on their Common Censored podcast. It ranges across different topics, but the part I found the most interesting was about vetting information sources.

They did a good job of citing a Grayzone article by Ben Norton that got to the bottom of a concerted misinformation campaign about the purported Chinese genocide, for which evidence is vanishingly scarce, despite the opposite appearance in the mainstream press. But then Goldfield... [More]

Links and Notes for February 19, 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 They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts.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

The dominance of the UK variant of the coronavirus threatens a massive surge in cases in the... [More] by Benjamin Mateus (WSWS)

3 days Ago

Section 230C1/C2: A debate on continuing utility

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This is an informative and interesting debate between Eric Goldman and Eugene Volokh about whether section 230C has outlived its usefulness. That is: is the protection for corporations and platforms sacrosanct no matter their size, power, and reach? Or do we have a problem when a small handful of companies control the channels of broad communication made available to people today?

Does the Government Have the Right to Control Content Moderation Decisions? by UCLA School of Law (YouTube)

I’ve included a transcript of the closing arguments, starting at 53:45.

Eugene made a sort of pre-closing... [More]

5 days Ago

The Science of Free Will and Behavior

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

The podcast episode 134 | Robert Sapolsky on Why We Behave the Way We Do by Sean Carroll (Wondery) was a really interesting introduction/look at the science of free will as described in far greater detail in his book Behave (which I have not yet read).

 Robert M. Sapolsky's BehaveI’ve included a partial transcript of the parts that I found the most interesting. The following comes from the end of the episode, where they both did an excellent job of summarizing the preceding discussion’s points as well as pointing out logical conclusions for e.g.... [More]

Chapo Trap House mourns the death of the King of Twitter

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This episode is ostensibly about what social media is like in the yawning absence of Donald Trump on Twitter. It’s not just that, but those parts are pretty funny. I include a partial transcript after the video—mostly of Matt Christman (whose voice I recognize and whose comments are the pithiest). He has an excellent and moving rant at just over 45 minutes in that is amazingly eloquent considering he did it extemporaneously.

PermabannedPresident45 | Episode 488 FULL by Chapo Trap House (YouTube)

The episode’s cold open has them rewriting the famous Tears in... [More] (Wikipedia)

A fair trial of J.K. Rowling

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I found this 90-minute analysis of J.K. Rowling’s participation in the trans-gender discussion to be fair and enlightening. I hadn’t paid the years-long online battle much attention and figured there was a lot of deliberately elided context as well as exaggeration and straw-manning involved. While there is that aspect, there isn’t just that aspect.

J.K. Rowling by ContraPoints (YouTube)

One nice example is from about 27:00 into the video. She addresses the disingenuousness of just “stating facts”. She asks the important question... [More]

A matter of degree

Published by marco on in Quotes

“Everyone is self-centered; the radius differs.”

Unbreakable / Unverwüstlich

Published by marco on in Quotes

“There’s this famous story about Sonny Barger, the old Hells Angel who woke up from a coma after a motorcycle accident. And the nurse said to him, “Well, I hope you’ve learned your lesson, Mr. Barger.” He said, “Yes, I did.” And she said, “What’s that?” He said, “I can do anything and survive.””
From a Daily Show interview by Doug Henwood

1 week Ago

Jimmy Dore on tightening of the “liberal” censorship noose

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This is excellent coverage of CNN literally saying that Congress should force tech companies to shut down their competition because “there are YouTubers with a larger audience than daytime CNN” and that cannot stand.

CNN Panel’s OUTRAGEOUS Call To Shut Down YouTube News by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

He starts with old footage of Noam Chomsky teaching his students that standing up for freedom of speech means nothing if you’re only willing to defend speech with which you agree. If you’re for censorship of opposing views, then you’re not for freedom of speech—in any way.

They... [More]

A breakdown of programming languages used in a week

Published by marco on in Programming

In one recent week, I realized I’d been working in many different areas and on many different projects, so I took an inventory.

For one project, I reconfigured a program with Delphi Pascal, using Delphi 7 (it’s a very old, legacy solution) to run on my local machine instead of in a VM that had swollen to 120GB. For that project, I also used SQL on SQL Server, running in a Docker container that I’d configured with YAML. The solution has several products, among which you can switch, so I wrote a ... [More]

Links and Notes for February 12th, 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

Why You Should Take Any Vaccine by Zeynep Tufekci (Insight)

“Here’s the other real and current problem. We don’t have... [More]”

How to ask the Internet

Published by marco on in Quotes

“This is a well-known internet phenomenon: The best way to get the right answer is not to ask a question, but to confidently assert the wrong answer.”

2 weeks Ago

Beating Bufferbloat

Published by marco on in Technology

The article 2021 Prediction #4: WiFi 6 is a bust (for now) as Bufferbloat returns thanks to ISP greed by Robert X. Cringely takes up a topic that he’s written about quite a bit over the last decade: bufferbloat. This symptom of a bad connection shows up as excessive buffering and excessive latency when streaming video (or a lot of data). Basically, the connection will continually fail and restart until it stops altogether as the router gets all snarled up. The following definition is from Wikipedia, which has even... [More]

Links and Notes for February 5th, 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

Dr. Michael Osterholm warns of massive spring surge of coronavirus in the US

““The surge that... [More]”

3 weeks Ago

Pushy Apps

Published by marco on in Design

These are just two examples of the inundation of UX frustration on any given day.

TacX

TacX asks every time I start the app whether it can use my personal data for a feature that I never use.

 TacX Requests Data

The language is not only supremely awkward but inspired in its use and non-use of punctuation (why ellipses rather than etc.?)

“To use live opponents, we will need to share some of your personal data, such as but not limited to you name, profile, picture, speed, watt/kg, what workout you’re doing,…... [More]”

Links and Notes for January 29th, 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

Post about listening to scientists by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Facebook)

“Dr. Fauci and all of the virologists and epidemiologists... [More]”

1 month Ago

A Crisis of Confidence in Leadership

Published by marco on in Finance & Economy

The video below is an interesting and worthwhile financial, political, and COVID analysis that includes both Europe and the U.S.

If There’s No Fear of Inflation, Why is GOP Against More Stimulus? – Rana Foroohar and Mark Blyth (YouTube)

At 17:54, Rana Foroohar spoke about the difficulty of doing anything big because any of the people with enough free time and energy to actually move the needle on how our society works in any significant way have been conveniently captured in it because they are heavily invested in it. They would have to literally put a decent dent in their (relatively) ample... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2021.1

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.

Mr. Robot S04 (2020)... [More]

Chapo on Bush and Trump at Jacobin

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

This is an interesting discussion featuring Jen Pan and Ariella Thornhill of Jacobin and Felix Biederman of Chapo Trap House. I enjoyed the free-ranging nature and insight, but found the end, starting at 1h30 or so to be the most insightful—where they discuss concrete lines leading from Bush’s policies to Trump’s—with a partial transcription below.

George W. Bush Amnesia w/ Felix Biederman of Chapo Trap House by Jacobin Show (YouTube)

This is a partial transcript starting at about 1h30.

Jen Pan: There is no Trump without Bush. […] For example, people always talk about... [More]”

Links and Notes for January 22nd, 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

The New Strain: How Bad Is It? by Brendan Foht and Ari Schulman (The new Atlantis)

“New Covid spreads much more aggressively. That could mean the... [More]”

Jaocobin Interviews Slavoj Žižek

Published by marco on in Philosophy

Just one day later: another interview with Slavoj Žižek; another wonderful, intelligent, open, wide-ranging, and funny/friendly interview. It’s about 140 minutes long. Ariella Thornhill and Nando Vila did a great job, with Ariella in particular “translating” some of Slavoj’s more convoluted formulations with aplomb and accuracy.

Slavoj Zizek on Biden, Race, and What It Will Take to Stop the Pandemic by Jacobin: Ariella Thornhill & Nando Vila (YouTube)

 

Žižek: Did we notice how the fight against racism is usually in the liberal center, reformulated in the terms of tolerance, which I think is already an... [More]”

Jonathan Pie on Acting Gay

Published by marco on in Fun

Jonathan Pie nails it, with nary a superfluous word.

Acting Gay! by Jonathan Pie (YouTube)

Partial transcription of the 4.5-minute video.

“If this is about authenticity and not about wokeness—which I don’t believe for a second, by the way—if it is about authenticity…would Russell T. Davis cast a gay person in a straight role?

“I’m not being contrarian. I’m not. An actor’s job is to imagine being in the shoes of someone who has a different lived experience to their own. Suggesting that an actor can’t authentically pretend... [More]

Chris Hedges explains American desperation on Jimmy Dore

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

Chris Hedges delivers powerful analysis in this 45-minute interview on the Jimmy Dore Show.[1]

America Has The Tinder To IGNITE Social Uprising − Chris Hedges by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

The following is an especially powerful, off-the-cuff explanation for the core problem in America: a nearly unacknowledged problem of inequality that actively disparages the poor and the disadvantaged. 50 years ago, it was open season on anyone non-white. It still is, though less (or expressed less directly, if not less effectively).[2]

But they’re now joined by poor whites, who the elites happily send... [More]

Red Scare Interviews Slavoj Žižek

Published by marco on in Philosophy

This is a wonderful, intelligent, open, wide-ranging, and funny/friendly interview. It’s about 100 minutes long.

The Pervert's Guide to Podcasting w/ Slavoj Zizek by Red Scare Podcast (YouTube)

Anyone who disparages Žižek doesn’t listen to him or doesn’t understand him or misunderstands him or deliberately misunderstands him or is incapable of understanding him. He has no pretense; he’s honest. He’s brilliant, he’s well-read, and he draws often-brilliant connections between philosophies, modern media, history, and current events. His insight is always interesting.... [More]

Choosing Authors by Identity

Published by marco on in Philosophy

The article Shakespeare Matters (And Always Will) by Scott H. Greenfield (Simple Justice) discusses the idiotic-sounding question of whether it’s OK to read books written by people without considering their identities. That is, the books should stand on their own. We can, of course, consider whether we’ve historically ignored some good books because of racism—and dig these books back up. But there is no reason to discard existing books because they were written by white people (i.e. “switching the signs on the drinking fountains”).... [More]

The backstory about Colonel Sanders no-one wanted to hear

Published by marco on in Fun

This is a real thing. That is the Mario Lopez of “Saved by the Bell” fame. This is not even tongue-in-cheek. This seems entirely irony-free.

A Recipe for Seduction | Premieres December 13th | Presented by Kentucky Fried Chicken | Lifetime (YouTube)

Deep Fakes are overkill for our tiny brains

Published by marco on in Technology

Cheyenne 9’s Coverage of the Official White House Address by Sassy Justice (YouTube)

Just in case you think you can spot a deep-fake video from a mile away, the gentlemen that brought you South Park made a new Sassy Justice video. They do us the favor of making it pretty clear that this never happened; others will not be so generous. On the surface, it’s just a joke video, but the implications are grave. If Sassy Justice can make this video, what’s stopping a much-better funded news organization from making a “Trump/Biden calls staffer the c-word, caught on tape” video?

The SMBC... [More]

Waiting it out

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

People’s behavior vis á vis COVID-19 at this point—ten months after the onset of the virus—is like when an action movie’s hero is in the swamp with a straw in his mouth, sucking a barely adequate supply of air through it, while his pursuers are still somewhere up there, looking for him.[1]

Were they still within earshot? Would they hear him if he just came up quickly for a good, solid breath? Were they completely gone? Was he suffering underwater for nothing? They’re not still around, right?... [More]

Software without Process

Published by marco on in Programming

 A software product with undocumented or poorly documented commits and a patchy issue-tracker is akin to a shipping pallet with 100 boxes haphazardly stacked on it, all wrapped up in shipping cellophane. You can see some of the labels and some of them you can’t and some of the boxes definitely don’t even have labels at all.

 If it looks like the pallet to the right, then you already know you can’t ship it. That’s an obvious train-wreck of a project that’s going to blow up in everyone’s face. But... [More]