5 months Ago

An American Cultural Revolution

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist − I’m a conspiracy analyst.”
Gore Vidal

On this episode of Useless Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper, they interviewed Mark Crispin Miller, a professor at NYU who’s teaches media literacy, where he teaches students to examine what the facts are before calling something a “conspiracy” or accepting “unimpeachable truth”.

Stimulus Checks, Larry Summers, plus Mark Crispin Miller on Academic Freedom (YouTube)

The NDAA

Before the interview, at about 9:00 in, Matt and Katie discuss Bernie’s filibuster of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).

Matt... [More]

Books read in 2020

Published by marco on in Books

This year’s list of books and reviews and notes got a little bit out of hand (last year also did). As I’ve done in other years, I’ve included my notes and review of each book in this article as well as linked a separate article which includes the same notes and review, as well as citations and rough notes. So, this article weighs in at about 87 pages.

I only hit 21 titles this years, but many of them were meaty tomes, one in German and one in French. A lot of public-policy books this year,... [More]

The Divide: American Injustice in the ...p by Matt Taibbi (2014; read in 2020)

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 January 1st, 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 They are intentionally succinct, else they’d be articles and probably end up in the gigantic backlog of unpublished drafts.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

Vaccines, Vaccines, Vaccines – Why Doesn’t Everyone Have One or Two? by Dean Baker (CEPR)

“By comparison, close... [More]”

Im Westen nichts Neues by Erich Maria Remarque (1929; read in 2020)

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]

Bullet Points and Punch Lines by Lee Camp (2020; read in 2020)

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]

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934; read in 2020)

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]

The Last Man by Mary Shelley (1826; read in 2020)

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]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.13

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.

Santa Claus is Comin’... [More]

Apple’s aggressive notifications

Published by marco on in Design

Both MacOS and iOS have system-wide notifications that use a red badge to indicate burning topics that need to be addressed.

On MacOS, the “Software Update” system-preferences panel has had a red badge on it since Apple released Big Sur was released six weeks ago. There is no way to turn off this badge without installing the upgrade. When they released a patch for my current version, the badge did not change, so I had no idea I had an update pending.

Similarly, iOS uses the red badge to... [More]

Links and Notes for December 25th, 2020

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 World’s Greatest by Anna DeForest (The Paris Review)

“In makeshift ICUs, patients were dying of unwitnessed self-extubation,... [More]”

Links and Notes for December 18th, 2020

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

Could COVID delirium bring on dementia? by Carrie Arnold (Nature)

A set of simple steps, such as ensuring a family... [More]”

The Return of Postage-stamp-sized Videos

Published by marco on in Design

A friend sent me a link to a video on Instagram. I don’t have an Instagram account, but was able to watch the video anyway. I watched it on a desktop browser. It looked like this:

It looks like I’m previewing a device UI using the developer tools, but I’m not. Instagram on the desktop looks like two phones next to each other, centered in the ample horizontal space. The video takes up only a third of the “phone” in which it’s displayed. Each of the “more posts” at the bottom has more area... [More]

Matt Christman (Chapo Trap House) on Useful Idiots

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I had only heard of Chapo Trap House (and listened to part of a podcast once), but had never heard of Matt Christman (one of the founders), until I got an extensive introduction in the video interview below. He seems like a pretty intelligent guy with lots of interesting ideas and analysis.

Matt Christman and MSNBC’s Petty War on Sanders (YouTube)

The following is a partial transcript that includes the bits I found the most insightful.

Matt Christman: What it does is it makes the Democratic elites feel less bad about being elites. And that’s all... [More]”

Radio vs. Sound Waves

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

I played Kahoot[1] the other day with the family. The quizzes are pretty wide-ranging and pretty decent fun, especially for a mix of ages. One of the quizzes concerned sound and electromagnetic waves and I tried to explain why one of the answers was incorrect “in the moment”, as it were. Concerned that my explanation had engendered rather than answered questions, I take another crack at it below.

Radio vs. Sound Waves

I was thinking again about how you didn’t seem to convinced by my fumbling... [More]

Scifi and Fantasy Recommendations (for a younger reader)

Published by marco on in Books

I recently learned that a young reader I know is a fan of The City of Ember (Wikipedia), which is a science-fiction novel “[…] about Ember, a post-apocalyptic underground city threatened by aging infrastructure and corruption.” I heard she’d received the The People of Sparks (Wikipedia) as a gift and was intrigued to learn that she was reading books deemed “science fiction”.

I dug back through my own lists of recent years to find the following recommendations for (more or less) age- and reading-level appropriate... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.12

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 Alienist: Angel of... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2020.11

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 Americans S06... [More]

The TacX App in 2020

Published by marco on in Sports

I wrote the following about a year ago when I first got my TacX. I have struck out the items that no longer apply.


The TacX App is a joke. It barely does what it needs to do.

  • It doesn’t remember your login for more than a few days Now it remembers the login, but randomly shows the log in page with a loading circle on it between some screens, looking very much like it’s going to log out and then catching itself just before it does and proceeding to the next screen. It’s like watching a... [More]

Links and Notes for December 11th, 2020

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

Stop Saying Lockdown Is ‘Not That Hard’ by Bonnie Kristian (Reason)

It’s not that hard is true of hand washing. It’s... [More]”

Links and Notes for December 4th, 2020

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

What we can learn from contact tracing an entire province by John Timmer (Ars Technica)

“[…] once efficient contact... [More]”

Dragging him down

Published by marco on in Quotes

“As soon as a man does something admirable, the entire universe conspires to see that he never does it again.”
The Art of Fiction No. 210 by Goethe (via Samuel R. Delany)

6 months Ago

Links and Notes for November 27th, 2020

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for this week, 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.

Finance & Economy

The Krugman Boom: Don’t Bank on It by Dean Baker (CEPR)

“In many ways this is great news. People will save hundreds of hours a year on... [More]”

Strava is a movement now?

Published by marco on in Sports

Strava recently published new Community Standards. It’s mostly fine, filled with the standard entreaties to avoid “hate speech” (even though that’s a legal term that has a different meaning every country they have users in) and singing paeans about being nice to each other.

Strava also declares its right to terminate the account of anyone they consider to have transgressed against what seem like deliberately vaguely defined rules.

They probably think they’re being precise when they write,

“Hate... [More]”

Achievements in Word Games

Published by marco on in Fun

Queen Bee

Since COVID-19 has put me into 100% home office for a while[1], I’ve been doing the Spelling Bee at lunch with Kath instead of shooting the shit with work colleagues at Encodo.

As the link outlines, the Spelling Bee has an achievement called Queen Bee—where you have to guess every single one of the words that the author thinks are words (and bite back curses at his utterly mysterious omissions)—which we’ve only achieved twice.

 Queen Bee 2020-11-21

 Queen Bee Answers 2020-11-21

We’ve gotten within a word or two several times,... [More]

Links and Notes for November 20th, 2020

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for this week, 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.


Why do so many cases go to the Supreme Court?

Because the plaintiffs have endless time and money, dragging things out with appeal... [More]

Links and Notes for November 13th, 2020

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for this week, 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.


With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story by Matt Taibbi (SubStack)

“Obviously, Fox is not much better, in terms of... [More]”

Processing the Information Firehose

Published by marco on in Miscellaneous

The following article explains how I personally organize, consume, and produce information.

Writing Process

I get information from carefully selected sources, combining more narrowly defined streams without the help of an algorithm—or at least not a single one. I defer reading, viewing, and listening—preferring to determine the order that I consume content rather than letting fate decide.

I will sometimes read or watch something immediately—and even then, only if it’s short—but... [More]

Links and Notes for November 6th, 2020

Published by marco on in Notes

Below are links to articles, highlighted passages[1], and occasional annotations[2] for this week, 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.


Of Size and Scale by Morris Berman

“America, too, will (I believe) have its own secessionist breakup, probably within two or three decades, or even... [More]”

7 months Ago

Be honest about what the Democrats are (part II)

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I’ve collected a few notes from the last few months that I haven’t published in other articles. Clearing things out before the civil war makes it all irrelevant.

I published the first of these notes in Be honest about what the Democrats are. The following notes aren’t all directly related, but there’s a thread if you’re willing to look for it.

Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti from The Hill

I’ve only recently been introduced to this pairing and I quite like them. They were more recently... [More]