1. The world's best reading app

    Download Readup to read with @jeff

    Jeff CameraVerified
    @jeff
    Scout
    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 weeks ago
      The New YorkerNick Paumgarten10/28/2131 min
      The New Yorker

      An exceptionally good read! The "how to get it" part remains a mystery, of course, as does much of pinpointing what "it" even is, but the article does a great job of exploring individual pieces of the puzzle.

      Energy is both biochemical and psychophysical, vaguely delineated, widely misunderstood, elusive as grace. You know it when you got it, and even more when you don’t.

      I also loved Picard's juxtaposition of genomics and energy flows.

      “The way of the future is understanding personalized energy flows. The last ten years of personalized medicine has been taken over by genomics. The premise is that if you can sequence it you’ll know whether you’ll get sick or stay healthy. That’s where all the money goes. It’s a lucrative hypothesis, but it’s doomed to yield incomplete answers. The genome is static. Health is so dynamic.”

      Eat right and exercise, of course; but managing the charge/discharge cycles and fitting them in to daily work and life is still a huge challenge.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted3 weeks ago

      The CDC and botched COVID testing policy: Name a more iconic duo.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted4 weeks ago

      Reading about biofuels is always so frustrating. Ending these insane subsidies should be such an easy bipartisan issue.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted1 month ago
      The New YorkerD. T. Max12/3/2135 min
      The New Yorker

      Really great article! I could swear I read about this guy back in 2013 but he's definitely not the only one who has accidentally thrown away a fortune of Bitcoin. I can't believe how long his saga has dragged on for and the amount of pushback he's received from the city.

      It's crazy to think it all might have been avoided if he wasn't worried about the embarrassment he might face if he immediately went chasing after the hard drive at the dump. The advice from the guy who bought the two pizzas with 10,000 BTC is wise and I'm glad he's apparently at peace, but his coins are gone forever. I don't know how one could move on knowing that those ones and zeros might still be recoverable.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted1 month ago
      blog.readup.comJeff Camera12/10/2122 min
      blog.readup.com

      I just finished writing another technical blog post. If you think you might be interested in a deep dive into Readup's architecture check it out!

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented1 month ago

      This is a really interesting argument with a lot of data to back it up. One of the biggest takeaways for me is how nebulous the term "affordable housing" can be. There's a world of difference between creating subsidies for apartments and deed-restricted houses vs. creating an environment where homes will be affordable at market rates and buyers can build real equity. Both could be called "affordable housing" but only the latter will result in the beneficiaries actually accruing wealth.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted1 month ago

      Some good news!

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted1 month ago

      I'm not sure I would call the headline clickbait, but the author's left arm is paralyzed from the elbow down. Not to trivialize the situation, but I have heard of people wanting to amputate their fully functioning limbs which raises all kinds of really interesting bioethical questions. I'd say this case is more straight forward from that perspective but I still could not imagine how difficult it would be to make the decision.

      Also, I have to say that none of the responses from those she told about her decision to have the amputation sat well with me, including the stranger on the Zoom call. I get that immediate validation might feel better than some of the more awkward reactions, but having such an automatically positive response seemed to undercut the gravity of the situation.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented1 month ago
      The New York Times CompanyMerve Emre11/1/1814 min
      The New York Times Company

      This seems like a really awesome project but I found the political analysis to be forced, reductive, and boring.

      The Future Library is real in that there are books being written for it and there are trees growing to fuel its creation. But its politics are imaginary.

      What politics? I just read this article and then skimmed it again. From what I can tell its politics are derived from the fact that it is located in a place and consists of things. If the political analysis can apply to any non-transient Norwegian art project made of physical materials than I feel like it's pretty pointless. It shouldn't be a sin to focus on the aesthetics of a work of art because problems exist in the world.

      THE OPTIMISM OF ART feeds off the pessimism of ecocide

      Citation needed. Good lord!

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago
      The AtlanticAnne Applebaum11/15/2144 min
      The Atlantic

      An important, eye-opening article!

      Unlike military or political alliances from other times and places, the members of this group don’t operate like a bloc, but rather like an agglomeration of companies—call it Autocracy Inc.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago

      Given the title, I think this article should have been about currency instead of wealth. Currency really is a highly abstract collective delusion whereas wealth is very real. It seems to me that the real thrust of the article is that we're all obsessed with accumulating resources throughout our lives and that we shouldn't be since we won't need resources when we're dead. I think this is seriously oversimplifying things.

      Short of being a beggar, living day-to-day off the kindness of strangers, you're going to need to accumulate some level of wealth. This isn't even a problem unique to humans. If a squirrel died with a large cache of nuts, would you shake your head and write a preachy article about how it must have never really lived? Personally I think the squirrel that starved to death because it failed to store enough nuts makes for a better cautionary tale.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted2 months ago

      Wow. I found this in the New queue with 2 reads and 0 posts. A seriously amazing read! My eyes were welling up towards the end.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago

      An enjoyable read! I get the sentiment and especially the frustration 100% but I'm definitely more pro-update. For one thing, it's generally less painful to perform gapless updates than it is to update from something that's multiple years and multiple major versions behind. Also as a developer I of course always want everyone to have auto-update turned on all the time to avoid the cost of legacy support that was outlined well in the article.

      That said, I think the biggest underlying issue was kind of buried a bit: The Oracle vendor lock-in. Even more important than update policy is staying away from licensing agreements that can put you in a situation like that. Also that Docker screenshot was all kinds of WTF. Made me really glad I've stayed away from them as well.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago
      seasonalAndrea Castillo10/31/2110 min
      seasonal

      This is indeed an article all about watermelons. Way more interesting than I was expecting!

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted2 months ago

      Great read! It's staggering how many Americans are on antidepressants. How the majority of them are prescribed also shocked me:

      And what’s puzzling is that more than 75 percent of antidepressant drugs are prescribed by a general health practitioner, not a mental health provider...

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted2 months ago
      Faithful Shepherd Catholic SchoolCS Lewis1 min
      Faithful Shepherd Catholic School

      Short but packs quite a punch. Love this!

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago

      Damn, this is a powerful read. Highly recommended.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted2 months ago
      thenewatlantis.comNicholas Carr35 min
      thenewatlantis.com

      I'm giving this a 10 because I would LOVE if someone else could please read this and tell me if there is a single original thought or idea to be found in this piece about fixing social media.

      Carr does a great job of walking us through the history of person-to-person communication and broadcast media and the article is worth the read for that alone. His analysis of the differences between the internet (and social media) and older mediums such as radio and TV are also spot on which makes the proposed fix seem not only inapplicable but nonsensical.

      That's assuming of course that shouting "Somebody do something!" even counts as a proposal for a solution. In my experience such utterances are rarely helpful in difficult situations. Saying it in the presence of a politician is really asking for trouble.

      As Carr points out, existing (fraught) legislation was passed to regulate broadcasts on limited public airwaves. The internet completely changed the equation. Everyone now has on-demand access to a limitless supply of information. For better or worse (mostly better, I think) the levees have already been breached. The only way to fix social media is to give individuals better options and encourage them to make better choices.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago
      The AtlanticVladimir Nabokov11/1/4125 min
      The Atlantic

      Wretchedness exposed at such a high resolution that the microscopic features of it are almost beautiful. Really great piece.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented2 months ago
      The AtlanticIan Bogost10/21/216 min
      The Atlantic

      I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who looks at what's going on with the commercialization of space exploration and sees some kind of dystopian nightmare. We're literally witnessing the very beginning of humanity's venture out into the final frontier and it's positively awesome.

      Likewise with the metaverse. I can't wait until I can strap on a lightweight wireless headset and run around playing Team Fortress in a real life full sized arena. Like with every other technology, it's going to be up to you to decide if and how you want to use it.

      Yeah, Facebook sucks, but if you can't stop thinking about it, writing about it, and using it, then you're just letting Zuckerberg take up space in your head rent-free before he even has the chance to build his brain implants and I can't think of anything sadder than that.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      the dream machineJackie Luo3/7/218 min
      the dream machine

      Great article! I love watching YouTube and part of the appeal is the wide array of genres and seeing how so many different independent creators choose to produce their content in various ways, and also how their production techniques evolve over the years. Getting meta about the channel itself is part of the fun.

      A couple months ago I started writing a blog post much like this one, centered on the idea of Dick Proenneke as an influencer. He built a cabin by hand in the Alaskan wilderness back in the 70's and documented everything on 8mm film (Alone in the Wilderness is title of the eventual release and I can't recommend it enough).

      It's kind of an absurd juxtaposition but there is a lot of overlap. Also some of my favorite YouTube channels are seemingly totally normal people working typical blue collar jobs who happen to have a knack for talking to a camera. It's fascinating how well it works for some people and how many other people there are who enjoy watching.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyChloe Caldwell9/3/208 min
      The New York Times Company

      A well written and delightful little vignette on how divorce can affect young children.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      The New York Times CompanyJOHN LELAND11/13/1515 min
      The New York Times Company

      Great read! I never considered how a rent-controlled apartment could become an inescapable trap the older you get. Also I'd love to read another 15 minute long article that's just an interview with Mr. Jones.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted3 months ago

      Great reporting but a seriously frustrating read. A really unfortunate case of bad user interface design resulting in lives being lost. Having to rely on touch screen controls in such a high pressure situation seems like a total nightmare, no matter how well designed the software interface may be. I abhor the use of touch controls in cars. I was happy to read that Mazda is removing touch screens from all their cars. Nice to know that I'll have at least one option if I ever have to get rid of my 13 year old car.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted3 months ago
      Mailchimp NewsletterKelly Barrett7 min
      Mailchimp Newsletter

      Damn, solo hiking injuries are no joke. Here’s to a swift recovery @kellyalysia!

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted3 months ago

      A seriously intense meditation on what makes life worth living. Can't recommend this one enough!

      The wholeness and fullness of our lives is not revealed to us alone, and is not to be achieved without help: it is a wholeness and fullness that has its origins in the judgement and affection of those whom we encounter. To live beyond the point in which their approval and love can be called upon is to live into a moral wilderness, a place of shadows and negations, compared with which even the Hades of the ancients, as the ghost of Achilles describes it in the Odyssey, is a place to be desired. And this wilderness lies before us all, if we live beyond the point where understanding, will and interpersonal relations still govern our conduct.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Hot take: The very idea of trying to unite "the left" to mobilize against "the right" is part of the problem. It doesn't matter how polite your choice of language is. If you're seeing everything though a binary lens then you're contributing to polarization.

      First, lets drop the militaristic terms like "mobilize" and "ranks." We need to end the culture war, not create a Geneva Convention for it.

      Second, I think intra-group polarization, as it's described in this article, is actually a good thing and exactly what we need. The enemy (be it "the left" or "the right") doesn't seem nearly as scary when you realize there isn't some monolithic force comprising half the population out to get you. Left vs. Right politics is a false dichotomy. I don't think we're going to get anywhere until we can move past that idea.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Lots of wisdom and solid practical advice here. This one bit struck me as odd though:

      Listen to me: Being good is a terrible handicap to making good work. Stop it right now. Just pick a few secondary categories, like good friend, or good at karaoke. Be careful, however of categories that take into account the wants and needs of other humans.

      Seems like it would be tough to be a good friend without taking into account the wants and needs of other humans. Implying that you can have it all seems to discount the sacrifice required if you really follow the advice.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Not a bad list, but I'm surprised so many from seasons eight and nine made the cut. Some favorites of mine that were missing:

      • The Stake Out
      • The Phone Message
      • The Pen
      • The Boyfriend
      • The Cheever Letters
      • The Hamptons
      • The Bris

      It's hard to say which ones I might replace, but I don't think The Little Kicks or The Gum would make my top 20.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      Attention ActivistJay Vidyarthi4 min
      Attention Activist

      A beautiful reminder of how important it is to remember!

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Really interesting framework for thinking about the kinds of behavior that an organization fosters. Minimizing "Return on Politics" seems like a great way to incentivize innovation.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Abramović is a legend. I saw her well over 10 years ago at the Guggenheim. I had never heard of her and had no idea what to expect. She was totally naked, drinking honey, and flogging herself on a stage in the center of the room. It was totally surreal and definitely not something you'd ever forget!

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      Wall Street JournalMarty Makary4 min
      Wall Street Journal

      Couldn't agree more with this piece.

      In a sample of more than 700,000 people, natural immunity was 27 times more effective than vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic infections.

      Despite this evidence, U.S. public health officials continue to dismiss natural immunity, insisting that those who have recovered from Covid must still get the vaccine.

      This is 2 + 2 = 5 shit.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Really interesting interview!

      “If people feel condescended to, how do you write a bill and take care of condescension? It’s very hard to address, which is why politics becomes sort of cut off from the normal stuff of politics. … What do you do politically? I don’t get it.”

      I'd argue that poverty and economic stagnation might be the actual root causes of a lot of these grievances, which then manifest themselves as a sort of seemingly disconnected outrage. It's what Trump and Bernie supporters have in common: A seething anger at the neoliberal economic policies of globalization that the establishment (both Republicans and Democrats) have supported unanimously for decades. Of course George Will doesn't get it!

      I'm not actually sure how I even feel about such economic policies, but I can totally understand why populism would seem appealing to someone who lost their job when the mill closed down or to someone who is saddled with student debt and facing a lack of prospects. I just think it's unreasonable to expect us all to get along when so many are being left behind economically.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago

      Based Ron Paul acid trip. I could nitpick but it's literally called "Culture Rant" and as far as rants go I'm pretty on board with most of this one.

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      QuilletteAlice Dreger9/20/217 min
      Quillette

      We rather elegantly ignored the implications for our conversation. Tea was sipped.

      A funny quip that really highlights the paternalistic nature of the policies.

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted3 months ago
      The AtlanticSaahil Desai9/16/215 min
      The Atlantic

      Although “Netflix for tacos” should absolutely not be a phrase we all have to endure in the future, I will very reluctantly acknowledge that this does seem like a good deal.

      Haha yup that’s how they get you!

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented3 months ago
      Logic MagazineGabriel Nicholas20 min
      Logic Magazine

      Really interesting read! The author paints a picture of a hard life, but I'm honestly surprised that any such "family farm" can exist at all in the US. The decentralized nature of it all means that you're competing directly with anyone else in the world, many of whom live in countries with a much lower average income and cost of living. It sounds like this family is living a unique and rewarding life. Hats off to them!

      “I’m not a rich dude,” Owen says. “I’m still living the same lifestyle — broken down cars, broken down house. The reason that I do this is the freedom to make my own choice. I don’t want to be told it’s Hawaiian shirt Friday.”

    • jeff
      Scout
      commented4 months ago

      What an awesome mitigation technique! Seems like a win for all involved, including the goats.

      Ms. Malmberg, who has a master’s degree in weed science from Colorado State University, spends most of the year traveling around the West on jobs.

      I would not have guessed that a "weed science" degree from a university in Colorado was actually about the science of weeds!

    • jeff
      Scout
      scouted4 months ago

      An important look at the reality behind some of the most pointed-to numbers.