- AOTD on 4/14/21 - Scout: jramey1971It Bears Mentioning | John McWhorter | 4/12/21 | 34 min8 reads8 comments7.8It Bears MentioningJohn McWhorter|4/12/21|34 min8 reads7.8
This is going to push a lot of people's buttons. I was going to say something about "all voices deserving to be heard" but I don't think I actually believe that. If you're trolling, being insincere, or even just not putting in the effort, you don't deserve anything.
I don't think there's any way to accuse McWhorter of any of those things. His writing comes across as incredibly honest and heartfelt. I think the fact that he's going against the grain with such consideration makes this a piece deserving of everyone's attention, regardless of whether or not you agree with him or reach any of the same conclusions.
- # 321466 pts - Scout: kellyalysia
First off: fun read. I like the CPU clock speed simulation thought experiment. But this statement really surprised me:
There is nothing in philosophy or science, no postulates, theories or laws, that would predict the emergence of this experience we call consciousness. Natural laws do not call for its existence, and it certainly does not seem to offer us any evolutionary advantages.
How are humans anything other than the picture of evolutionary success? Isn't the yardstick basically who's getting eaten by whom? We seem to be doing pretty well in that department and I don't know why that success couldn't be attributed to what seems to be the main difference between us and other animals: (advanced) consciousness.
- # 461022 pts - Scout: JessicaThe New York Times Company | VIVIAN WANG, Joy Dong | 4/2/21 | 7 min11 reads12 comments9.9The New York Times CompanyVIVIAN WANG, Joy Dong|4/2/21|7 min11 reads9.9
- AOTD on 4/2/21 - Scout: jeffjeff2 weeks ago
What if just by thinking there's an emergency we've managed to create a real emergency?
This is the best article I've read on the current political culture in the US. Can't recommend it enough. The criticisms of extremism at both ends of the political spectrum are totally spot-on.
- AOTD on 3/27/21 - Scout: Michaelvds
- # 27531 pts - Scout: justinzealand
Excellent article! The author does a great job exploring the different perspectives on a complex and controversial issue. One of my favorite takeaways is that it has been scientifically proven that those who do not believe in free will are more likely to be assholes. That certainly aligns with my prior assessment of Sam Harris! Seriously though, even though I disagree with him for the most part on this issue I do totally agree with this:
“We need,” Harris told me, “to know what are the levers we can pull as a society to encourage people to be the best version of themselves they can be.”
I just think it's kind of absurd how sure he is of himself and his beliefs on the topic:
True, if we were put in exactly the same situation again, then 100 times out of 100 we would make the same decision, “just like rewinding a movie and playing it again.”
I'm pretty sure some physicists would take issue with that. The whole pure determinism perspective seems to show a severe lack of appreciation for the complexity of the brain and how little we understand about consciousness.
- # 117294 pts - Scout: thorgalle
- AOTD on 3/22/21 - Scout: Pegeen
- AOTD on 3/20/21 - Scout: chronotope
I've read several articles recently that describe how hard it is to earn any money at all on Substack since you have to start writing for free in order to build a following. It made sense that those who already had a huge audience before joining Substack would be the most successful but I wasn't aware that Substack was also paying some writers directly.
It's a pretty smart strategy in an evil genius sort of way. Not being transparent about who is a staff writer and who isn't really doesn't sit well. Beyond even that though, the whole newsletter grind seems like a pretty miserable model since it relies on a constant stream of fresh content. You should get paid every time someone reads something you wrote and you should be free to publish your content anywhere you choose.
- AOTD on 3/23/21 - Scout: jeffGQ | Doug Bock Clark | 7/23/18 | 54 min8 reads5 comments9.3GQDoug Bock Clark|7/23/18|54 min8 reads9.3
- AOTD on 4/20/21 - Scout: monstertuck
Wow. This article is incredibly bleak but I couldn't take my eyes off the screen once I started reading. Terms like "police state" and "Orwellian" are thrown around a lot but the accounts described in this article really do read like something right out of 1984. Western China sounds a lot like North Korea.
- AOTD on 3/14/21 - Scout: SEnkey
This article goes deep with a really interesting history of political parties in America. Highly recommended!
It's encouraging to be reminded that these organizations don't last forever. I wouldn't mourn the loss of either of the current major parties. I think we can do a lot better.
- AOTD on 3/8/21 - Scout: DellwoodBarker
- -0 pts - Scout: jeffatodorov.me | 3/7/21 | 6 min2 reads1 comment9.0atodorov.me3/7/21|6 min2 reads9.0
It's really great that people are thinking/writing/talking about this. I think one of the biggest issues with the Web Monetization API is that the compensation metric (time on page) is far too crude. I also think needing to get preemptive buy-in from both content consumers and producers is a big reason why it and similar solutions like Flattr haven't taken off.
With the upcoming Readup subscriptions we're going to be offering consumers not only a better compensation experience (choose your own price and read anywhere on the web, Readup takes care of sorting out the writer identification and subscription distribution based on your reading automatically) but also additional premium features (better, distraction-free reading experience, reader-only comments section, follow your favorite readers and writers, etc.). It's an even simpler proposition for the content producers: We reach out to them to send them the money they've been earning on Readup and help them increase their engagement on the platform!
- AOTD on 2/25/21 - Scout: bill
Super interesting spectrum of comments on this one already! I thought the article was pretty hilarious, but I feel like that's a little easier to achieve when you're being hyper-cynical. I'm a fan of that style of writing in general though, or at least I'm not usually turned off by it.
I never had a LinkedIn account and kind of prided myself on that but I created one about a week ago because @thorgalle told me I had to. I think the only way to really lose is to give too much of a shit about a site like LinkedIn either way; by assigning too much value to it or thinking you're special for abstaining from it.
- # 39621 pts - Scout: thorgalleTechCrunch | Anthony Ha | 10/22/19 | 2 min13 reads8 comments8.0TechCrunchAnthony Ha|10/22/19|2 min13 reads8.0
I was going to say "Of course, this is how it should work everywhere! (minus the unknown clap factor)", but that's only because I was thinking about Readup's concept of time spent reading an article to completion. The Medium model is one of "interaction time" plus additional factors. Makes sense if you want to support reading comics and cartoons as they point out but they don't even seem to factor in the concept of article completion. They even seem to imply that skimming a long article counts towards their "reading time" metric.
All that said, it's still a huge step up from just looking at claps! The bigger issue is that Medium is just another publisher with a walled garden of hard-paywalled content (writers do not get paid for freely-available articles). Publishing on the web has been federated since day one. That's what the web is. We need a monetization model that fits that federated structure. That's what Readup is going to be.
- AOTD on 2/27/21 - Scout: jeff
- # 37539 pts - Scout: jeffPsychiatric Times | 5 min2 reads1 comment10Psychiatric Times5 min2 reads10
This is such an awesome study! Really goes to show how the results of the original study could be misconstrued to demonstrate the dangers of drugs instead of the devastating effects of being trapped in a miserable environment.
When inhabiting a “rat park,” they remarkably preferred the plain water. Even when they did imbibe from the drug-filled bottle, they did so intermittently, not obsessively, and never overdosed. A social community beat the power of drugs.
- AOTD on 2/20/21 - Scout: jeff
I've spent hours listening to Hart speak in various talks and interviews over the years and I think his message is an eminently important one. I only wish this interview was longer but I'd still encourage everyone to read it, consider what he has to say and hopefully continue to read more and dig even deeper.
- AOTD on 2/17/21 - Scout: Pegeen
- # 29725 pts - Scout: AlexaThe Guardian | 2/2/21 | 15 min9 reads3 comments8.7The Guardian2/2/21|15 min9 reads8.7
- AOTD on 2/14/21 - Scout: chronotopeMarker | Courtney Rubin | 2/3/21 | 30 min14 reads5 comments9.8MarkerCourtney Rubin|2/3/21|30 min14 reads9.8
- # 32439 pts - Scout: jeff
Yet, despite the widespread recognition that Marxism has been discredited by history, Marxist categories and ways of thinking maintain their hold and inhibit fresh thinking.
I struggle to understand this as anything other than impatience with the rate of progress of social justice. Such impatience is of course totally understandable but thinking that there's a shortcut to be had in replacing capitalism with some other economic system seems to me to be totally confused.
I just finished listening to a two hour long interview with Ira Glasser, the former director of the ACLU, and found it to be incredibly inspiring; particularly the amount of progress achieved in his lifetime and his long view of the fight for justice as a multigenerational relay race that never ends.
- AOTD on 2/12/21 - Scout: chronotope
I'm going to take a stab at addressing the searing rage I felt while reading this piece. I'm sure the author is correct that some people were angry because they were made to feel insecure in their "micro-identities", but I've got a different take. I've had conversations before about how capitalism has somehow come to mean something other than the economic system, but the author is literally talking about it in an academic sense here, so I feel like it's appropriate to assume we're using the dictionary definition.
I feel like the author's attacks on capitalism are actually an attack on individuality. I think they have it completely backwards. Capitalism is not doing anything to us. Rather, capitalism is allowing us to be unburdened by traditional restrictions on our individual identity. Like everything, this comes with a cost. It's a struggle to find oneself, but it's preferable to all the alternatives that I can think of.
In other words, capitalism must give us things to make sense of the world because capitalism has taken all our inherent internalized senses of self and community away.
What is this "inherent internalized senses of self and community"? I'd argue it's a code phrase for domination. The domination of strict gender roles and limited opportunities for mobility in primitive societies, the domination of a single religion and the church in theocracies, the domination of the political party and the state in socialist countries, the domination of homogenous ethnicity and traditional culture in ethnostates. We all know about the paradox of choice. It can be easier to have an immutable identity assigned to you at birth, but it's not worth it in exchange for an "internalized sense of self and community."
As for the author's proposed alternative to capitalism:
“A successful contemporary politics has stakes in defining the rhythmic flow between schizophrenic and identificatory impulses,” he writes. “Hopefully, alternative rhythms can challenge, or at least syncopate, the accelerating rhythm of late capitalism.”
If this sounds like the "start of a good solution" to you... well I'm not going to accuse you of being mentally ill, because I do agree that stringent diagnoses and stigmatization are terrible things (seriously that half of the article was a solid 10), but I will say it shows a disturbing lack of knowledge about economics and history, particularly about the tens of millions of human lives that have been lost in the past century to misguided attempts at establishing alternatives to capitalism.
- # 35628 pts - Scout: jeffNPR.org | Jonathan Lambert | 4/22/19 | 7 minNPR.orgJonathan Lambert|4/22/19|7 min1 read9.0
Interesting article and study! I've seen ads before on YouTube showing the unboxing and cooking of meal kits and it always seemed so wasteful to imagine such small portions being packaged up and shipped from who knows how far away.
"We really want to have people to think beyond just what their automatic gut reaction" is in terms of whether a product is good or bad for the environment, Miller says.
Wise words! Always important.
- AOTD on 2/9/21 - Scout: SEnkeyAxios | Jonathan Swan,Zachary Basu | 19 min23 reads9 comments9.2AxiosJonathan Swan,Zachary Basu|19 min23 reads9.2
Extremely entertaining to read. The Patrick Byrne details might have been my favorite part.
It's like the craziest episode of The West Wing ever! I've been watching the series for the first time recently and it seems so quaint compared to what we've witnessed over the past four years. It's an unusual case of a TV show being unbelievable because the stories seem too normal and mundane.
- # 191165 pts - Scout: jeff
I'm not as pessimistic as the author. I still think we can handle the post-truth, but the analysis is spot on and filled with many interesting observations.
Since so much of the human environment is man-made by dint, for example, of technological endeavor, we witness a kind of loop of self-actualization driving human history. As Erving Goffman put it in 1974 in Frame Analysis, “Society takes up and freezes into itself the conceptions we have of it.”
Love thinking about cultural loops.
- # 40914 pts - Scout: thorgalle
First off, got to credit the author for taking the time to share an unglamorous reality of his business and also for making what I think is the right call about notifying his customers of every recurring charge. That said, putting the blame on Stripe is a bad call in my opinion.
I don't know how or why, but Stripe Checkout - which I use - doesn't seem to do this by default. INSANE!
We all make mistakes so I don't want it to sound like I'm shaming him, but it's 100% his fault for not taking the time to familiarize himself with the payments platform he choose. The Stripe email options are not hidden by any means and the "how or why" of the default behavior doesn't matter as long as it's properly documented which it most certainly is. Many companies will choose to send such billing emails from their own system so it doesn't strike me as an insane default at all.
- # 25089 pts - Scout: jeffWall Street Journal | Julia-Ambra Verlaine and Gunjan Banerji | Photographs by Kayana Szymczak for The Wall Street Journal | 9 min5 reads2 comments8.0Wall Street JournalJulia-Ambra Verlaine and Gunjan Banerji | Photographs by Kayana Szymczak for The Wall Street Journal|9 min5 reads8.0
- AOTD on 1/26/21 - Scout: JessicaThe Sun Magazine | 41 min10 reads7 comments10The Sun Magazine41 min10 reads10
- AOTD on 1/24/21 - Scout: DellwoodBarkerMedium | Barry Davret | 8/20/20 | 6 min37 reads15 comments9.7MediumBarry Davret|8/20/20|6 min37 reads9.7
- AOTD on 1/23/21 - Scout: deephdave
I think this is a really good article, but when I'm reading a piece like this I find myself wondering and maybe even worrying about how much life imitates art vs. the other way around. I feel like articles like this must at least have a reinforcing effect and might even be a bit indulgent but maybe that's just me projecting. Either way definitely worth a read!
- -0 pts - Scout: kellyalysiaThe Guardian | 9/10/20 | 19 min7 reads2 comments8.8The Guardian9/10/20|19 min7 reads8.8
Great read! Also extremely relevant to Readup:
Instead, as they skimmed the internet in that state of constant distraction that we all recognise, they were carried away with their emotions and their partisanship. The good news is that simply pausing for a moment to reflect was all it took to filter out a lot of the misinformation. It doesn’t take much; we can all do it. All we need to do is acquire the habit of stopping to think.
You've got to have good brakes when you're moving at the speed of light!
- -0 pts - Scout: ctwardy
- -0 pts - Scout: jeffSquare, Inc.’s Federal Comment Letter Regarding FinCEN’s Proposed Rulemaking on Requirements for Certain Transactions Involving Convertible Virtual Currency or Digital Assetssquareup.com | 29 minsquareup.com29 min1 read9.0jeff3 months ago
Super interesting read if you're into Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies (or retail banking regulation). I fully support Square's position but I think their mother/daughter gifting analogy is a little shaky.
For example, under this Proposal — if a Square customer’s mother gifts her daughter $4,000 in physical cash and the daughter deposits those funds in a bank, the bank would have no obligation to collect information on the customer’s mother. Under the Proposal, if this same transaction were completed in cryptocurrency, the bank would have to reach beyond its customer relationship and intrude upon the mother’s private information in order for the daughter to successfully deposit and freely access her gift.
If Square is acting as the custodian of the daughter's cryptocurrency wallet, wouldn't a closer analogy have the mother attempting to go to the daughter's bank and anonymously deposit the $4,000 into her daughter's account? I'm pretty sure that wouldn't fly.