And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekend Linkee-poo is too dumb to give up, to stubborn to change

The end of competence porn in SF. (Grokked from someone, sorry, lost the link)

Dr. Doyle with the mad-libs version of the elevator pitch. As she says, it's crazy, but it works.

Catherine Schaff-Stump interviews Will Alexander. Catherine does some great author interviews, I'm pointing this one out because they cover some interesting topics.

Okay, so you've gone beyond the standing desk and made a treadmill desk. Bully for you. How about connecting the treadmill into a feedback loop that determines your internet bandwidth? Ah, you didn't think about THAT, did you Grasshopper. (Pointed to by Dan)

Photos of the human drama at county fairs.

"Noting that he must at least own a computer, know how to use it, and possess the basic skills required to publish his thoughts on numerous websites and forums, internet users said DaemonX—the username of a person who posts dozens of inane and delusional comments online every day—is presumably a stable member of society." Oh, Onion, how I love you. (Grokked from

A short history of hacking and the Hacker's Ethic. Not sure I agree in totality with this article, but interesting none the less. (Grokked from

"There's nothing quite like the… taste of Maine lobster. And fishermen off the state's rocky coastline have been catching more and more of the tasty crustacean over the past five years… But that surging supply has overwhelmed Maine's limited marketing and processing capabilities and driven down the prices paid to lobstermen." Having been there last year, I can tell you the oversupply hasn't affected the price the end-user is paying (so someone is making money).

Can an AI pass the entrance exam to Tokyo University? Some interesting things on how far AIs actually are. Note, still just trying to get answering questions correct. (Grokked from

"Microsoft’s stock is surging, up 8% in pre-market on the news that Steve Ballmer will be vacating the CEO role within the next year." That's gonna leave a mark. (Pointed to by John)

In case the line about how the NSA "only" collects metadata and that's not offensive at all still rings true to you, this is what you can learn from the metadata. And that's just a reporter and a college professor. Real "spooks" know how to glean a lot more.

Where the wild things (whale sharks) are.

You know how some people (mostly conservatives of the paranoid type) claim that Pres. Obama is using all these dirty tricks and spying to try and shut down dissent? This is what that actually looks like. Note: reality not valid for those who think Ronnie Reagan's shit don't stink. I suggest listening to the interview.

"While the National Rifle Association publicly fights against a national gun registry, the organization has gone to incredible lengths to compile information on 'tens of millions' of gun owners — without their consent." Well, I'm sure it's okay then, because nobody's databases have ever been hacked. And, the NRA is only using it for recruitment and fund raising, ya know. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"In fact, since 1979, while productivity has grown 75 percent, average wages are up just five percent." Five percent doesn't keep up with inflation. Well, someone is benefiting from those growths (hint, it's probably not anyone you know personally). Also note the starting conversation about how having a college degree doesn't guarantee higher pay like it used to. Many jobs in Design that I've seen where they've asked for at least 5 years experience are paying roughly what I made in 1995.

"A significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans evidently believe that President Barack Obama is to blame for the poor response to the hurricane that ravaged their state more than three years before he took office." Although the differences look like they're within the margin of error, however the percentage who are sure if it was Bush or Obama leads both by a wide margin, and that's almost as discouraging. This is what is known as "low-information" voters. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Jim Hines on the Chelsea Manning thing. Look, I get it. One of the things our main stream society fears is a loss of identity. It fears anything that challenges that sense of identity (a lot of bullying falls into this category). But this really isn't that hard (well, except for where to house Manning, and then you have a whole can of worms). If someone asks you to refer to them as the Christ Reborn, of Napoleon Returned, that's one thing. It's another thing if someone says, "I'm not as I appear to you". Also, form a biological standpoint, if you think sex is as easy as who has an XX and who has an XY in the 23rd chromosome, understand that knowing that and thinking you're an expert is like knowing your ABCs and thinking your Shakespeare. There's a big gap in there even before we get to the psychology of sexual identity.

"From one end of their educational trajectory to the other, our society told these kids science was important. How confusing is it for them now, when scientists receive death threats for simply doing honest research on our planet’s climate history?" Creationism, climate denial, anti-vaxers and all the other anti-science movements are mostly for short-term monetary gain and protecting embedded interests and aren't concerned with helping us afterward. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @ChuckWendig For every so-called rule of writing and storytelling is a bad-ass author breaking the shit out of that rule and making that violation work.

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