Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Linkee-poo hits Wednesday

Apple is being held ransom because of hacks of their Apple ID accounts. Good time to reset the password. (Grokked from Dan)

The art of pre-suasion. Or how you don't realize you're being manipulated. Note, works for marketing and politics (and oddly enough, writing). I got 78%.

"The silicon-based cells that make up a solar panel have a theoretical efficiency limit of 29 percent, but so far that number has proven elusive. Practical efficiency rates in the low-20-percent range have been considered very good for commercial solar panels. But researchers… have built a solar cell with a photo conversion rate of 26.3 percent, breaking the previous record of 25.6 percent." Zing. And the clincher, "… the company will continue to work with NEDO to bring the levelized cost of solar cells down to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour by 2030." (Grokked from John)

Why am I progressive? Reason number #3, I'm all for reducing government spending. But I know how to actually do that. "A full-day preschool program with all this staff doesn’t come cheap. For a typically developing child, it’s $252 a week. For a child with special needs who requires more staffing, it’s $387… And 90 percent of the families in this neighborhood need financial help. Many pay based on what they can afford. But research shows the return on that investment is high. Every $1 spent on early education returns $13 in savings down the road." So, not only do we help kids, help parents, help the neighborhoods they live in, create jobs, and improve the lives of those around us (and, incidentally, our own lives as those kids eventually enter the workforce), we save a shitload of money. But, this is spending money upfront, which conservatives don't want to do even though it costs them more in the long run and generates misery all around.

Just like yesterday's story about treating people with opioid addiction. It's significantly cheaper to help them get off opioids with treatment programs (that aren't 300-500% overbooked) and community economic intervention (which often curbs drug use) that paying out half a million to replace someone's heart valve (and that's not the only expensive complications from drug use). It helps people live "better" lives, it helps them be self-reliant, and it costs significantly less.

"But farmers need to get their crops in, and they expect to be able to go on fixing, tuning and modifying their (John Deere) tractors as they've done since tractors were invented, and so they are turning to the Ukrainian black market." Don't worry, I'm sure EULAs will be hitting the car market soon. So we're all going to need to know how to hack our own equipment. (Grokked from John)

Why Mussolini's fascism is a more apt simile for Trump's (advisors) version. And there's a healthy dose of crow in their for all us progressives. (Grokked from Sheila)

"After the president issued a budget last week slashing and burning environmental, labor and educational programs, the guy responsible for the thing, Mick Mulvaney, contended those financial massacres are the heart’s desire of the 'steelworker in Ohio, the coal-mining family in West Virginia, the mother of two in Detroit.'" Turns out he was completely wrong about that. And people are now telling him exactly that. To bad, Micky, but it was a self-inflicted wound. Unfortunately for the rest of us, that wasn't the real reason for cutting off funds to many of those programs. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

The Trump Budget explained in a video. Yep. Good if you're the military, sucks if you're below middle income. Notice how many blocks are transferred to the Pentagon come from programs that help the poor, elderly, and disenfranchised people. Much of what is being cut I use daily, I know people who are dependent on those programs, and gosh darn it I'd like to see medical and basic research continue (even at the reduced levels they are currently), because that means life and progress in the future. Cutting such programs may save a few pennies, but they'll cost us significant fractions of the GDP in the future. Don't believe it? Okay how about this article that highlights other programs being cut and the benefit we all get from them. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (Grokked from Sheila)

In politics, there are lots of forms of currency. The most potent is reputation. And, yes, you spend it like any other currency. The current president is squandering his. And some people are trying to tell him to knock it off. Because at some point, our lives may depend on it. (Grokked from John)

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