- # 93542 pts - Scout: SEnkeyThe Dispatch | Scott Lincicome | 9/22/20 | 14 min3 reads3 comments9.0The DispatchScott Lincicome|9/22/20|14 min3 reads9.0jeff1 day ago
Great read! Worth it alone just for all the graphs and data. I've heard lots of complaints from populists on both the left and the right recently about the "libertarians in DC" who are controlling the economy. This article does a great job of highlighting why that's such a laughable concept.
One thing everyone can agree on is that the overall growing complexity is a problem, right? Irrespective of any specific political agenda it's just plain wrong to have so many laws that everyone is a criminal and a tax code that no one person can understand.
- AOTD on 9/23/20 - Scout: billjeff1 day ago
I think there's a lot more nuance to be had here. I pay for my email now (FastMail, huge fan) but it's pretty awesome that anyone can get an account for free. Same goes for Google, YouTube and many other ad-supported services that provide access to an incredible wealth of knowledge at no upfront cost.
Would it be less evil to ban ads and require a credit card and monthly payments for such services, denying access to those who can't afford it or don't have access to credit? The whole idea of "free is evil" has a weird sort of extremely online, insular tech privilege vibe to it if you ask me.
- # 72850 pts - Scout: chrissetianajeff4 days ago
A classic! I started doing web development a little over 10 years ago and reading this now makes me slightly nostalgic for the jQuery era.
Even though I try to keep everything to a minimum I'm sure the author would be appalled at the number of scripts, stylesheets and fonts Readup injects into the page. I have to say though, this site does look much better in reader mode!
- AOTD on 9/19/20 - Scout: Pegeenjeff6 days ago
Thoroughly enjoyable read! I'll stick with meals for months or years, but like many in the article I make slight adjustments to keep things interesting while still reaping the benefits of the repetition. Switching up condiments and seasonings can really change the taste of a dish without having to learn a new recipe or significantly alter the regular shopping list. I've also found that just toggling between two different options every other day works great, too.
- AOTD on 9/16/20 - Scout: Ruchita_GanurkarSlate | Joe Morgan | 12/6/18 | 6 min41 reads17 comments7.8SlateJoe Morgan|12/6/18|6 min41 reads7.8jeff1 week ago
I was ready to completely disagree with this article based on the headline but I think it's actually dead on. Syntax might be the least important aspect of programming but I've seen quite a few online courses that focus on it almost exclusively, probably because it's the easiest thing to test. It makes total sense that helping kids take things apart, learn how they work and put them back together is a better approach. Once they've got that down they can apply it to the more abstract and frustrating version that is programming!
- # 119444 pts - Scout: jeffPOLITICO | Jennifer Oldham | 9/13/20 | 18 minPOLITICOJennifer Oldham|9/13/20|18 min1 read9.0jeff1 week ago
The owner of a gun-themed restaurant called Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle...
Can't make this stuff up! Seriously though, her turnout and fundraising seem pretty impressive. I can totally see the Covid backlash vote being a big thing.
- # 77766 pts - Scout: jeff
A bit of a silver lining!
And a “psychology of abundance” doesn’t easily return after a trauma, according to Ian Bell, a consumer researcher with Euromonitor International.
Makes me think of how the great depression left its mark on the generations that lived through it. I've also read though that there wasn't nearly as much of an effect after the 1918 pandemic. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
- # 391471 pts - Scout: deephdave
This is a really excellent reminder of just how prone we are to pessimism as a default perspective. There's the concept of a reality check but an optimism check might be just as important and in some cases might even be the same thing.
- AOTD on 9/11/20 - Scout: AlexaBookforum | 14 min13 reads8 comments10Bookforum14 min13 reads10
I really enjoyed reading this but in the same way that I can really enjoy reading the works of pessimist philosophers. The opening paragraphs certainly reinforce the idea that at least some of us on the outside are at least partially responsible for our hurtling into a dark future.
Instagram, cut off from a steady supply of vacations and parties and other covetable experiences, had grown unsettlingly boring, its inhabitants increasingly unkempt and wild-eyed, each one like the sole surviving astronaut from a doomed space-colonization mission, broadcasting deranged missives about yoga and cooking projects into an uncaring void.
Well that's one way to look at it. I prefer Kaitlyn Tiffany's take from her excellent article earlier this year:
Without a steady stream of brunch photos, beach-vacation selfies, and horribly loud concert footage in which the singer is not even recognizable, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have mutated into hyper-intimate scrapbooks of days spent cooped up inside.
“What makes people heroic and what makes them feel members of a community?” One answer, even though it sounds silly, is posting. You have a moral responsibility to post. I want to see you, even if I didn’t really think so before.
So to me the author of this piece comes off as a bit of a dour edgelord but I still think he makes some great observations. This might be my favorite:
What the Twittering Machine offers is not death, precisely, but oblivion—an escape from consciousness into numb atemporality, a trance-like “dead zone” of indistinguishably urgent stimulus.
This rings true to me and I feel like it goes hand-in-hand with the rise of benzodiazepines, both prescription and recreational. It's a weird thing to crave a drug that doesn't really get you high in the traditional sense but instead just numbs you to reality.
- AOTD on 9/10/20 - Scout: SEnkeyMedical Xpress | Science X staff | 6/29/20 | 6 min13 reads6 comments9.6Medical XpressScience X staff|6/29/20|6 min13 reads9.6
Super interesting stuff! I'm now self-conscious about my micro-movements. Seven millimeters per second of head movement sounds like a lot. I hope the Norwegian Championships of Standstill catches on and goes international. I'd be curious to see how far some people can push it.
- AOTD on 9/8/20 - Scout: normanbae
I'm a fan of tipping. I love dining out and the waiter has a huge impact on the overall experience. It's nice to be able to show a little extra gratitude for exceptional service. It's not a huge surprise to me that restaurants who did away with tipping had trouble retaining waitstaff. As far as alternatives go, the profit-sharing model at Zazie seemed pretty interesting.
- AOTD on 9/7/20 - Scout: bartadamleypalladium magazine | Ryan Khurana | 7/5/19 | 18 min7 reads3 comments10palladium magazineRyan Khurana|7/5/19|18 min7 reads10
Wish I could give this an 11! I like Yang and Musk but the general AI hype lunacy has to be called out for what it is. I love coming across an author that really gets it.
- AOTD on 9/6/20 - Scout: Ruchita_Ganurkar
I'm totally on board with the author's emphasis on the importance of looking inward first and foremost. Identifying and managing the internal triggers is key.
I don't consider myself to be too easily distracted but I'll notice the impulse sometimes when programming. Really hard problems can of course be tough to get started on but a lot of times the novelty will provide the motivation. For me the worst is the medium difficulty ones. They're not terribly interesting but also not so easy that I can just write it out in one shot so I have to psyche myself up to type out a suboptimal solution that I know I'm just going to have to refactor 15 minutes later. It's about as fun as doing taxes but I've found that the timeboxing technique suggested by the author can definitely help break through it.
- AOTD on 9/5/20 - Scout: deephdave
- # 31536 pts - Scout: jeffNPR.org | Natalie Escobar | 8/27/20 | 13 min2 reads1 comment-NPR.orgNatalie Escobar|8/27/20|13 min2 reads-
So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
I mean, she's got a point. The default state in nature is survival of the fittest but I've never heard anyone describe that as a particularly equitable arrangement.
In all seriousness, the author of this book is trolling, right?
- # 25858 pts - Scout: jefflesswrong.com | 10 min2 reads1 comment9.0lesswrong.com10 min2 reads9.0
Interesting analysis and comparison between for-profit and non-profit organizations. At first glance the title seems pretty Ayn Randian but it seems to me that the author is sort of making a roundabout argument for government-provided services instead of privately-provided non-profit services. Or perhaps he would instead argue primarily for redistribution of wealth to ensure universal access to resources from for-profit companies. I'd be curious to see how governmental organizations would fit in to the comparison.
- AOTD on 9/3/20 - Scout: jlcipriani
Excellent! This makes me wish I had a wider array of wildlife on my property. It's always fun watching the occasional critters that pass through or choose to stay for a while.
- # 33131 pts - Scout: jeffYaleNews | 8/26/20 | 3 min2 reads1 comment9.0YaleNews8/26/20|3 min2 reads9.0
Very interesting stuff. I wonder what kinds of evolutionary pressures could explain different types of immune responses between men and women.
- # 24567 pts - Scout: jbuchanaPercolately | Koh Mochizuki | 8/28/20 | 7 min3 reads4 comments8.5PercolatelyKoh Mochizuki|8/28/20|7 min3 reads8.5
This kid is going to find his way on to 4chan one day if he hasn't already. I have no idea what kind of boundaries I'd be setting for my kids if I had any, but once they're teenagers effective moderation seems like it would fast become an unwinnable strategy. I agree with some of the comments that suggested that an open dialog about his behaviors and view of women was key. Obfuscation and punishment seem like a recipe for recidivism.
- # 178167 pts - Scout: jeffHuffPost Highline | Aswad Thomas | 8/24/20 | 5 min11 reads2 comments10HuffPost HighlineAswad Thomas|8/24/20|5 min11 reads10
I can't imagine having this man's capacity for forgiveness and understanding. All the more reason to listen to what he has to say.
- AOTD on 8/30/20 - Scout: bartadamleyThe New York Times Company | Leah Sottile | 8/19/20 | 39 min7 reads4 comments10The New York Times CompanyLeah Sottile|8/19/20|39 min7 reads10
Great article and a very worthwhile read especially if, like me, you're not totally up to speed with this particular branch of craziness. I've read a few short articles about the Boogaloo movement but hadn't even heard of many of the specific examples of recent domestic terrorism. The Steven Carrillo story is particularly disturbing.
- AOTD on 8/29/20 - Scout: deephdave
Excellent observations! The number of deaths due to hospital errors is staggering. I thought for sure that had to be an error but it checks out. The points about driving distractions were spot on, too. Turning off the radio when lost is a total reflex that you don't even have to think about.
- # 21587 pts - Scout: jeffjeff4 weeks ago
Really interesting look into how NYC real estate is used as a financial instrument by wealthy international buyers. Both as a store of value and to launder money. I feel like this has to have a huge effect on the city's ability to bounce back from the pandemic. Will prices ever come down if so many owners don't even care whether their property is vacant or not?
- # 184146 pts - Scout: billjeff4 weeks ago
Everything about this is more Wes Anderson than anything Wes Anderson has ever produced. Absolute 10. Amazing article.
- # 24864 pts - Scout: deephdave
- AOTD on 8/28/20 - Scout: deephdave
Total blast from the past! I remember ringtones but I had no idea the market was ever so big. I don't think I ever bought one but I do remember making my own from MP3 files and loading them on to my feature phone using some weird proprietary software and cable. Like the author describes, it was definitely a short-lived curiosity.
- Smithsonian | Gilbert King | 8/16/11 | 10 minSmithsonianGilbert King|8/16/11|10 min1 read9.0
A bittersweet story. Steinmetz was the originator of the oft told parable of the value of knowledge that's used to explain costs that seem disproportionate to the effort required, e.g. "$1,000 to replace a bolt. $1 for the bolt and $999 to know where it goes." I'm glad he was able to achieve some personal happiness with his adopted family.
- -0 pts - Scout: SEnkey
Excellent article! It's one thing to make a good argument but another thing all together to explain a legitimate disconnect between reality and rhetoric. I feel like this article achieves the latter. I think the Iraq war especially was completely unjustifiable but unfortunately there's no undo button so we need to be realistic about managing the aftermath.
- AOTD on 8/20/20 - Scout: nomvulave
Damn, this was a great article. I was curious about the history of ASMR but the way the author explored the connections to human psychology and culture was way more interesting than I was expecting. The distinction between first and second-order pleasures was something I had never really considered before.
ASMR doesn't really do much for me. Some of the sounds are pleasant enough but as a misophoniac I cannot believe that anyone would every willingly seek out the sounds of someone chewing. Totally horrifying, but to each their own!
- AOTD on 8/19/20 - Scout: KapteinB
Damn, this is a bleak outlook. I'd hate to see Firefox turn in to a shell of its former self like Opera. This article was very helpful for understanding the differences between the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation and how they fit together. I remember being totally shocked when I first learned how much Google was paying to be the default search provider in Firefox. I hope they can figure out a more sustainable business model.
Super interesting study showing how dogs evolved a specific muscle to produce eyebrow movements that make them appear more human-like. The importance of having a white sclera was also quite eye-opening.
- AOTD on 8/16/20 - Scout: ManieroUnHerd | 8/9/20 | 9 min35 reads15 comments9.2UnHerd8/9/20|9 min35 reads9.2
Some very interesting insights into Swedish culture and how it impacted their government's response to the Coronavirus. My only nitpick is that the author seems very confused about libertarianism.
In particular, the Swedish example helps to correct a philosophical error that dominates the Covid-19 debate in the UK and the US: that if you are resistant to draconian policies to counter the pandemic, you must be a die-hard libertarian— at best, devoted to individual freedom over the common good, at worst, straightforwardly selfish.
This is just wrong. Libertarians aren't devoted to individual freedom over the common good, they reject subjugation of the individual for the common good. The fact that njuta, allemansrätt and lagom are not laws but shared cultural norms that are practiced voluntarily makes them pretty libertarian in nature. And yes, we could certainly use more of all three of them in the US!
- # 40714 pts - Scout: jeff
I think everyone should at least be aware of this information now that Kamala Harris is the vice presidential nominee. Biden rightfully catches a lot of flak for the 1994 crime bill that he helped write, but to me there's something uniquely disturbing about a prosecutor that digs his or her heels in on wrongful convictions.
- AOTD on 8/13/20 - Scout: SEnkeyForty percent of people with coronavirus infections have no symptoms. Might they be the key to ending the pandemic?washingtonpost | Ariana Eunjung Cha | 8/8/20 | 13 min15 reads8 comments8.7washingtonpostAriana Eunjung Cha|8/8/20|13 min15 reads8.7
I think it's a bit disconcerting that even the good news is due more to us misunderstanding the virus (not so novel, high asymptomatic spread is good, masks protect the wearer) rather than some new medical breakthrough. I know this is just the process of scientific research playing out but damn does it feel frustratingly slow under the circumstances of a public health emergency. Still better than more bad news!
- AOTD on 8/12/20 - Scout: Alexa
Good read even if you're not in to TikTok. The article reminded me of Natalie Wynn's description of "trickle-up linguistics."
I guess I should explain that American slang works according to what we might call a trickle-up model of linguistics: all the new words are invented by the most marginalized gay and trans people of color, then those words trickle up to straight black people and white gays, and then finally white cishets start using them.
- PhillyVoice | 8/7/17 | 5 minPhillyVoice8/7/17|5 min1 read9.0
I can confirm that rabbits are taking over the Jersey Shore. I started seeing them in my yard and all over the neighborhood this year. I don't mind them at all but I could see how they'd be annoying if you were growing food or flowers. The thought of endless "Hey, I saw a rabbit." phone calls to authorities is hilarious. The Rabbit Outbreak is a great article that explores what a unique place rabbits hold in our culture: beloved pet, wild animal, nuisance and food all at once.
Edit: Ha, just noticed this article was from 2017! Guess it took them a few years to spread up north.
- AOTD on 8/7/20 - Scout: chronotope
Obsoleting thickets of middlemen is always a good thing!
Something's not quite adding up for me though.
Microtargeting is supposed to help advertisers reach the right people, but advertisers converted more new customers using the contextual approach.
How is this not the only thing that matters to advertisers? I feel like we're not getting the full picture here. If contextual advertising netted similar, or slightly sub-par results compared to microtracking but was GDPR-compliant then I could understand why it might work in the Netherlands but not the US. But if contextual converts higher than microtargeting then why wouldn't US advertisers already be demanding it? This makes it sound like they prioritize supporting an invasive ad model over converting new users which makes no sense to me. I also found it strange that the NYT and Condé Nast experiments cited toward the end were with publisher-provided microtracking instead of contextual advertising.
- AOTD on 8/8/20 - Scout: ragnarkar
Classic article! Here's a solution using PostgreSQL to mix things up. Two nice features of doing it this way are that you can add any number of params in the VALUES clause and the divisor and word literals are only each specified once in the expression. No magic numbers, variables or statements. I love SQL!
SELECT array_to_string( array_agg(word), '', number::text ) FROM generate_series( 1, 100 ) AS number LEFT JOIN ( VALUES (3, 'Fizz'), (5, 'Buzz') ) AS param ( divisor, word ) ON number % divisor = 0 GROUP BY number ORDER BY number;
- AOTD on 8/4/20 - Scout: Ruchita_GanurkarPocket | 24 min5 reads3 comments1024 min5 reads10
Well-written, well-reasoned article. It's interesting that the author seems to be arguing for a more liberal view on the methodology of science (keeping an open mind as to how science is practiced) and a more conservative view on what theories should be tested (looking to build off discoveries of the past versus focusing on discontinuity and incommensurability). Makes a lot of sense to me!
Also love the little digs here and there:
When viewed as an ensemble of pseudo-statements, words that resemble statements but have no proper meaning, of the kind recurrent for instance in the way Neil de Grasse Tyson mocks philosophy...
Thus, when Weinberg and Hawking state that philosophy is useless, they are actually stating their adhesion to a particular philosophy of science.
In principle, there's nothing wrong with that; but the problem is that it is not a very good philosophy of science.
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