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How Wikity Works [...]

Much of software development is _open_, meaning that anybody is allowed to take code that someone else has written and modify it for their own purposes. This is similar to the idea of open content in education: open textbooks, open educational resources, open pedagogy. When someone performs a modification of this type we celebrate it as a success, and call it a "fork...

 

Vulgarity as Ethos [...]

> Vulgarity has always been employed in revolutionary rhetoric, perhaps most notably in the propaganda leading up to Jacobin’s own beloved French Revolution. Forget snark, the pamphleteers of France were all too happy to satirize and smear the upper class with the utmost malice. Clergy, royals, and anyone else in power were slandered and depicted visually in all man...

 

Bruenig Brocialism [...]

> For women and people of color who have tangled with Bruenig, his righteously wielded personal invective comes on top of the online abuse they already suffer. He does not appear to be bothered by this. “Identitarianism is … heavily intertwined with certain discourse norms demanding deference to (even bourgeois) members of various demographic groups,” he wrote i...

 

The Brocialists Know Where You Live [...]

Supporters of Matt Bruenig threaten women who disagree with him. > He is widely admired for his work on poverty, particularly his refutations of the so-called success sequence, which holds that a person can avoid economic immiseration by finishing high school, getting a full-time job, and delaying child-bearing until after age 21, and then only within marriage. On Tw...

 

$2,700 [...]

> For months, the Federal Election Commission has been writing to the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors have exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit and that hundreds more may be foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money. The most recent, and by far the longest, letter came on Tuesday and flagged more than 1,500 questionable donors....

 

Why Shame Doesn’t Work [...]

Shaming people seems like it should work won't people change if it helps them avoid the pain of feeling shame? But as researcher Brené Brown points out, shame does the opposite, because it pushes us inside of ourselves: >Researchers June Tangney and Ronda Dearing, authors of *Shame and Guilt*, explain that feelings of shame are so painful that it pulls the focus to...

 

Identity More Than Policy [...]

> Perhaps for that reason, the generational difference in ideology seems not to have translated into more liberal positions on concrete policy issues — even on the specific issues championed by Mr. Sanders. For example, young Democrats were less likely than older Democrats to support increased government funding of health care, substantially less likely to favor a h...

 

Shame, Guilt and Social Media [...]

This is a tricky subject, and trip wires are everywhere. I'd ask that people put aside for a minute the whose-side-are-you-on lens (you can pick it up again soon) and consider why shame and guilt are different, and why public shaming might erode empathy. Put simply, guilt is an internal feeling directed outward. We feel it when we do something that we feel is not a re...

 

Data Wall of Shame [...]

"Data Walls", which display student achievement in relation to others, are said to motivate students. Instead, they often single students out for shame. > “Diving Into Data,” a 2014 paper published jointly by the nonprofit Jobs for the Future and the U.S. Education Department, offers step-by-step instructions for data walls that “encourage student engagement”...

 

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon [...]

The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (also called the _frequency illusion_) describes the common experience of learning about something new (a trend, a fact, a band, a word) and suddenly finding it is _everywhere_. People who experience the Baader-Meinhof effect become convinced that the new thing they are aware of has become an overnight success. >Your friend told you abou...

 

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant [...]

> United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously remarked that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” when arguing that opening up the policymaking process to public scrutiny is the best way to remove corruption and restrain self-dealing by politicians....

 

Imitation and the Arts [...]

> After all we are a world of imitations; all the Arts that is to say imitate as far as they can the one great truth that all can see. Such is the eternal instinct in the human beast, to try & reproduce something of that majesty in paint marble or ink. Somehow ink tonight seems to me the least effectual method of all — & music the nearest to truth. Susan...

 

Sugar Added [...]

New nutrition labels are coming, and they will highlight added sugar, among other things. > > First lady Michelle Obama Friday unveiled the country's first update to nutrition labels in more than two decades — a move that helps cement her campaign to encourage Americans to eat healthier. compared to new label (right)") > The new Nutrition Facts labels, which will ...

 

Nuclino [...]

> Have a look at Nuclino. It's a modern alternative to Confluence: > > It supports real-time collaboration in the editor > You have wiki-style organization with instant linking between pages > It's built as a modern single-page-application, making search/navigation/etc. faster than with server-side software...

 

Imagined Audience and Micro-celebrity [...]

> This article investigates how content producers navigate ‘imagined audiences’ on Twitter. We talked with participants who have different types of followings to understand their techniques, including targeting different audiences, concealing subjects, and maintaining authenticity. Some techniques of audience management resemble the practices of ‘micro-celebrity...

 

Imagined Audience on Social Network Sites [...]

> The findings reveal that even though users often interacted with large diverse audiences as they posted, they coped by envisioning either very broad abstract imagined audiences or more targeted specific imagined audiences composed of personal ties, professional ties, communal ties, and/or phantasmal ties. When people had target imagined audiences in mind, they were...

 

Jenny Joseph [...]

Model for Columbia pictures. Her only modeling gig was as the woman in the logo for Columbia Pictures....

 

TEST of image [...]

...

 

Filter Bubble Pushback [...]

> Eli Pariser parsed all of this in his 2011 book “The Filter Bubble,” noting how every tap, swipe and keystroke warps what comes next, creating a tailored reality that’s closer to fiction. There was subsequent pushback to that analysis, including from scientists at Facebook, who published a peer-reviewed study in the journal Science last year that questioned ju...

 

Machine vs Groove [...]

Message discipline could be compared to the hypothetical use of the drum machine, the human effect is lost even though it can be closely simulated by expert programmers. Any movement, organisation or political party that designs in message discipline designs out the fluidity and freedom that allows for a virtuosic interpretation of values and ideals to the detriment o...

 

“Most Empowering” Menu [...]

> The more choices technology gives us in nearly every domain of our lives (information, events, places to go, friends, dating, jobs) — the more we assume that our phone is always the most empowering and useful menu to pick from. Is it? The “most empowering” menu is different than the menu that has the most choices. But when we blindly surrender to the me...

 

Bartlett’s Remembering [...]

> This is why, as Sir Frederic Bartlett demonstrated in his book Remembering (1932), no two people will repeat a story they have heard the same way and why, over time, their recitations of the story will diverge more and more. No ‘copy’ of the story is ever made; rather, each individual, upon hearing the story, changes to some extent – enough so that when asked ...

 

Rap Was Skillful Appropriation [...]

> Kurtis Blow > Early rapper > > Click for biography > > Those breakbeats . . . we would listen all day to music trying to find one beat that was good enough for us to rap on. We loved [“Walk This Way”] because it was rock-and-roll. There were DJs in the early ’70s. When Flash came out, he took it to the next level. He understood that when you played the ...

 

Fry-scraper [...]

> A London skyscraper 20 Fenchurch Street also known as Walkie Talkie because of its shape acts as a concave mirror and focuses light onto the streets to the south. It has been nicknamed as the 'Walkie Scorchie' and "Fryscraper" by those who work nearby and the media. > >...

 

What are some examples of bad design? – Quora [...]

> A London skyscraper 20 Fenchurch Street also known as Walkie Talkie because of its shape acts as a concave mirror and focuses light onto the streets to the south. It has been nicknamed as the 'Walkie Scorchie' and "Fryscraper" by those who work nearby and the media. > >...

 

Notion and SlimWiki [...]

> I’ve found 2 easy-to-use beautifully-designed wiki platforms recently: Notion and SlimWiki. > Notion describes itself as a collaborative document editor while SlimWiki describes itself as beautiful wikis for teams. I just got emailed by both of them today asking for my feedback, but I haven’t used them extensively to provide any. But I do want to love the direc...

 

TED Claim Doesn’t Replicate [...]

> Paul Zak at the Centre for Neuroeconomic Studies in Claremont, California, made his moral molecule hypothesis famous in 2011 when he memorably squirted a syringe of the hormone into the air while delivering a TED talk. When people sniff oxytocin before playing a money-lending game, it increases how much they trust each other, he explained. > > But several teams hav...

 

Demos on College Cost [...]

> This brief attempts to pinpoint the cause(s) of spiraling tuition by taking a deep dive into public university revenue and spending data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Delta Cost Project Database.9 In the brief, we split public 4-year universities into two categories: research institutions—schools that have a high level of research activity a...

 

Avatars as Social Status [...]

> For socially marginalized science-fiction fans and computer geeks, the virtual world could help people enjoy a level of social status and acceptance they lacked at home. Using a computer granted them a level of godlike power, because they had skills most people lacked. In advertisements for Habitat, the early online community was billed as a “place full of dram...

 

Racial Mystery Zone [...]

> Japanese audiences, unlike American audiences, don't understand Motoko to be a Japanese character, just because she speaks Japanese and has a Japanese name. This speaks to the racial mystery zone that so much anime exists in, allowing viewers to ignore such unpleasant dynamics as oppression and discrimination even as they enjoy stories that are often direct respo...

 

Public Records and Social Media [...]

> In the age of social media and Web 2.0 technology, state governments are connecting with citizens in new ways, particularly through the use of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. > However, state agencies maintaining social media sites are faced with the task of ensuring such action adheres to public records and open meetings laws. As a result, some ...

 

Possible Commands [...]

/rename /delete /image /fork /diff /history /comment /links Only one that requires file position is image....

 

Brady’s Delegation [...]

> What Ryan and others have never seemed to grasp, one of Brady’s former teammates explains, is that Brady has always been smart enough to accept that it’s impossible to know everything. That’s why he’s the best postseason quarterback of all time. (Brady holds the record for most playoff wins, yards and touchdowns.) That’s why he obsesses over the simple fun...

 

No Slacking for VICE [...]

> Slack has been an indispensible tool. However, we noticed that more and more time was being diverted to Slack. It wasn’t just joking around, although there was plenty of that. We'd find ourselves spending 30 minutes in a spirited debate about a story we all seemed interested in, but then… no one would write something for the site. It was as if the Slack discussi...

 

Tenuous Balance [...]

> Asked their opinions of three separate scenarios for the future of Obamacare, 58 percent to 37 percent said they would like to see the 2010 health care law replaced with care for all, as advocated by Sanders. As far as flat out repealing the Affordable Care Act, which Donald Trump has vowed to do, 51 percent to 45 percent expressed support. And in terms of keeping t...

 

Musical Shovel Ware [...]

According to the former SVP of Publishing and Electronic Marketing, much of the decline of Tower Records wasn't because of the inability to think about the digital technology as the future, but the inability to bring the music labels alongside with them. Thus, much of the early digital offerings were limited to public domain songs. > One of the very real problems w...

 

$400 Emergency [...]

In a recent poll, 47 percent of the population said they would have to borrow money to cover a $400 emergency. Is this why otherwise economically well-off populations feel precarity? > Part of the reason I hadn’t known is that until fairly recently, economists also didn’t know, or, at the very least, didn’t discuss it. They had unemployment statistics and income...

 

Safe Space Petri Dishes [...]

> But guess what? The first concrete movement toward gender-neutral bathrooms started at universities. Now it's becoming mainstream. Good work, idealistic college kids! This is why we should think of universities as petri dishes, not a sign of some future hellscape to come. They're well-contained areas for trying stuff out. Some of this stuff dies a deserved death. So...

 

Reducing Papers [...]

An author makes an argument that we should be publishing less research in the form of papers, and more research as mundane data. >The only practical solution is to take a more differentiated approach to publishing the results of research. On one hand funders and employers should encourage scientists to issue smaller numbers of more significant research papers. This c...

 

Journey-to-Crime [...]

Criminals commit crimes fairly close to home. > Rossmo: The research in what’s called “journey-to-crime” finds that most offenders commit their crimes one to two miles from their home. It varies for a number of factors: the age of the offender, or the gender, the type of crime, but we would say that in most cases the crimes are close, and they are closer for vi...

 

A Constructive Alternative [...]

From Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals: don't attack the status quo without having an alternative in hand. > The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his suddenly agreeing with your demand and saying "You’re right – we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us."...

 

Asymmetric and Pew [...]

But the asymmetric polarization has reached the voting public as well and is now a critically important component of our polarized politics and dysfunctional government. In fact, the Pew report itself presents nuggets that support it, particularly if one focuses on the politically engaged members of the public. Here are a few of the takeaways from the Pew report:...

 

Boorstin’s Future [...]

Daniel J. Boorstin predicted our current dilemma in 1962: technology makes illusions as vivid as reality. > In his 1962 book, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, former Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin describes a world where our ability to technologically shape reality is so sophisticated, it overcomes reality itself. "We risk being the first peo...

 

131 Times [...]

Resusable bags are not always greener. > Los Angeles is the latest American city to ban the use of single-use plastic grocery bags, but experts say their most common replacements—paper and reusable bags—come with environmental and financial costs of their own. > > Indeed, some reusable bags need to be used over 100 times before they’re better for the environme...

 

The Internet and Confirmation Bias [...]

> There are plenty of explanations about why conspiracy theories exist. These range from a decreasing amount of trust in leaders and institutions to proportionality bias (a belief that big events must have big causes) to projection and more. The most predominant factor—confirmation bias, the tendency to use information to confirm what you already believe—is in man...

 

Experts at Communication [...]

Deaf people are actually more expert at communication than those who can hear. > The ironic part of all of this to me is that after this type of interaction, the hearing person usually ends up pitying me—because I am not proficient at the one solitary communication strategy that they value above all the other options. Deaf people are viewed as a liability in terms ...

 

Sugar Quenches Fatigue [...]

People forget the sugar industry was as powerful (or more powerful) than Big Tobacco, and just as shameless....

 

Too Many Blood Tests [...]

The assumption at the heart of personal health profile companies like Theranos may be completely wrong. More tests for more things don't necessarily make us healthier. In fact, they can make us very sick: >It seems obvious: Finding a disease as early as possible would lead to fewer deaths than finding it late. But as more and more research is showing, it’s not as si...

 

Writing With the Machine [...]

> The goal is not to make writing “easier”; it’s to make it harder. > > The goal is not to make the resulting text “better”; it’s to make it different — weirder, with effects maybe not available by other means. > > The tools I’m sharing here don’t achieve that goal; their effects are not yet sufficient compensation for the effort required to use them...

 

Templated Self [...]

Coined by Amber Case, the term "templated self"  describes how the affordances and defaults of systems affect online expressions of identity. > A self or identity that is produced through various participation architectures, the act of producing a virtual or digital representation of self by filling out a user interface with personal information For example, the desi...

 

Facebook’s Injection Tool [...]

Facebook's trending news feed is produced by algorithm, but has been further curated by a squad of young Ivy League journalism graduates working on Facebook's "trending news" team. These curators use an "injection tool" to push stories into the trending news that would not naturally be there. Via Gizmodo: > Several former curators described using something called an "...

 

Letting Humans Talk to Machines [...]

Skeumorphism is a phrase primarily used to described the way designers mimic the look of natural objects in their design. Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan argues that it's not just a design aesthetic, but also a way in which we design perceived affordances, a term coined by Don Norman. So skeuomorphism isn't a trend or a binary. It's not Forstall against Ive, or shadows ver...

 

WSU Course Materials Cost Post [...]

> Because students cite financial struggles as their biggest barrier to academic success, WSU faculty, students, staff, and administrators are working together on solutions to reduce the cost of classroom materials at WSU. > The Course Materials Cost Reduction Presidential Task Force has been collaborating on a report soon to be submitted to the Interim President Dan ...

 

The Image that Still Haunts Her [...]

Even in the early days YouTube used humans to filter content, and the shape of content moderation (as well as the problems of unmoderated content) appeared early. > Videos arrived on their screens in a never-ending queue. After watching a couple seconds apiece, SQUAD members clicked one of four buttons that appeared in the upper right hand corner of their screens: "A...

 

Letting Humans Talk to Machines [...]

Skeumorphism is a phrase primarily used to described the way designers mimic the look of natural objects in their design. Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan argues that it's not just a design aesthetic, but also a way in which we design perceived affordances, a term coined by Don Norman. So skeuomorphism isn't a trend or a binary. It's not Forstall against Ive, or shadows ver...

 

Conscious Agents All the Way Down [...]

> Here’s a concrete example. We have two hemispheres in our brain. But when you do a split-brain operation, a complete transection of the corpus callosum, you get clear evidence of two separate consciousnesses. Before that slicing happened, it seemed there was a single unified consciousness. So it’s not implausible that there is a single conscious agent. And yet ...

 

No Pro-Vax Twitter [...]

> The other finding from observing anti-vax network graphs is that despite the vast majority vaccinating—national vaccination rates remain above 90 percent—there is no offsetting pro-vaccine Twitter machine; most parents simply vaccinate and move on with their lives. People don’t organize in groups around everyday life-saving measures; there is no pro-seatbelt a...

 

Vaccine Asymmetry [...]

> Last month, for example, a study looked at the relative percentages of pro-vaccine vs. anti-vaccine content on Pinterest and Instagram; 75% of the immunization-related pinned content was opposed to vaccines. This was a dramatic shift from studies of social networks in the early 2000s, when the percentage of negative content was estimated at around 25%....

 

Cannibalizing Federation [...]

The dream of federated services is promising, but most successes run the opposite way, and they do so for reasons related to quality of experience. > That has taken us pretty far, but it's undeniable that once you federate your protocol, it becomes very difficult to make changes. And right now, at the application level, things that stand still don't fare very well in ...

 

Choral Explanations [...]

Following Ward Cunningham's idea of a "chorus of voices" we describe an emerging pattern of "choral explanations" on the internet. Choral explanations occur in a bounded space, sometimes defined by a question or a title. Rather than respond to one another they present alternate takes on the same issue. ## The Biggest Collaborative Resource On the Web Question: What's...

 

Some Definitions for Wikity Users [...]

**Federated content** is content stored in multiple separate repositories that can present to the user as though it is being served up from a single repository. You know you are in a federated environment when you occasionally don't know or care where a particular document is being served from. As an example, consider an RSS reader, which pulls documents from a variet...

 

Net-enabled Miserliness [...]

> With this new route to miserliness, are people less likely to analyze, and more likely to use the Internet as a sort of external memory? A new study indicates the answer is “maybe, for heavy users.” > > Researchers at University of Waterloo conducted three studies examining the association between self-reported smartphone use and performance on questions like t...

 

Invention of the Viking Age [...]

> Until the viking age was invented, there was no horned-helmeted viking, and vice versa: the two go together like Easter and bonnet. A "viking age" is first mentioned in 1873, in two independent Danish and Swedish articles; the period gets its first monumental write-up in Johannes Steenstrup's four-volume Norman-nerne published between 1876 and 1882. Perhaps only an ...

 

Historical Truth and Narrative Truth [...]

Donald Spence, writing in 1982, argues that there are two models of truth, serving two different functions. Author Ruth E. Ray summarizes the difference in her book on nostalgia and story-telling:  As defined by psychologist Donald Spence, historical truth involves concrete objects and events; a memory is historically true if it can be factually verified. Narrative t...

 

Nomentum [...]

We want to see stories in numbers over time. But what if the motion in the numbers is an illusion? > Put it this way: there have been two narratives of the campaign. One is full of ups and downs, momentum and stunning reversals. Trump is doomed! He’s inevitable! Bernie has won seven in a row — can he be stopped? > > The other sees a fairly stable race, with state...

 

Vindictive Protectiveness [...]

This is an excerpt from the Waking Up podcast, titled "Evolving Minds: A Conversation with Jonathan Haidt", published on the 9th of March 2016, in which Sam Harris speaks to Jonathan Haidt about the safe spaces, trigger warnings, microaggressions, and the disturbing nature of "vindictive protectiveness" on university campuses. Harris and Haidt also discuss religion, i...

 

Antifragile [...]

Antifragile systems get stronger as more pressure is exerted on them. The classic example Talem uses are your bones. As you grow, it is necessary to put weight on your bones; by doing so you strengthen the bones....

 

Creativity Is a Great Motivator [...]

> These things make a great recipe for a fun lecture. But somehow, it seemed too complicated; it seemed like there is a greater idea behind these reasons. And then it dawned on me: > In past semesters, I tickled the students’ logic center. They had fun solving sciencey, mathy puzzles. But this semester they had an additional motivation: The students could create som...

 

Losing the Forest in the Digital Trees [...]

New study suggests that we are losing the forest for the trees when we read digitally. > There are several explanations for why mobile digital technologies may prime or trigger a lower-level, concrete mindset in individuals. As noted earlier, prior work has shown that even brief experiences with digital technology for newcomers can have significant effects on neur...

 

Google Results Influence Independents [...]

Google results can have a huge impact on how independents view candidates. > Beyond market control, the algorithms powering these platforms can wade into murky waters. According to a recent study from the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, information displayed in Google could shift voting preferences for undecided voters by 20 percent or more ...

 

Finding What You Like Should Take Effort [...]

An argument that algorithmic discovery of music takes away the important process of self-discovery. > I do feel pessimistic about the whole project. I do feel that if the great push of the smartest minds in this business is moving towards efficiency in curating for you, in delivering you what it knows you will like from the great abundance, well, something’s being ...

 

Curating the Facebook Trending Feed [...]

> These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to...

 

Regulation of Foraging [...]

> Gordon noticed that colonies had adapted to their desert environment by not “sending out” as many foragers on extremely hot and dry days, subsisting on the seeds they had stored up instead. But what she didn’t know was how this was regulated. After all, there were no paternalistic ant “managers” monitoring the weather reports and issuing memos to the forag...

 

The Anternet [...]

> Distributed networks, such as ant colonies and the Internet, operate without central control. Such systems are regulated using feedback based on local interactions among simple components. In this paper, we investigate the algorithms evolved by harvester ant colonies in Arizona to adapt the foraging rate to the available food on a given day. The connection with cong...

 

Rich and Middle Class Agree [...]

>But the researchers critiquing the paper found that middle-income Americans and rich Americans actually agree on an overwhelming majority of topics. Out of the 1,779 bills in the Gilens/Page data set, majorities of the rich and middle class agree on 1,594; there are 616 bills both groups oppose and 978 bills both groups favor. That means the groups agree on 89.6 perc...

 

Should Mapcodes Replace G.P.S.? – The New Yorker [...]

Mapcodes form an alternate way of referencing locations on a map: > Or, according to Kewal Shienmar, you could just type “97.N7” into an app and navigate straight there, smartphone in hand. Shienmar’s organization, a nonprofit called the Mapcode Foundation, has designed a system that assigns a unique and easily remembered address to any spot on the planet, witho...

 

A Feeling of Enclosure [...]

Enclosure creates a sense of place, and a coziness. > The geometry of streets and sidewalks is a critical topic. Generally speaking, the reason settled streets in older neighbourhoods and European cities feel “cozy” and “charming” is because they provide a feeling of enclosure, which humans want because it gives them with a coherent sense of place, like rooms ...

 

Noooooooooooo [...]

# This is a Heading * and this * is * a bullet...

 

Public Financing Not the Answer [...]

>But full public financing of campaigns is not the answer. We understand the appeal, but short of an unlikely constitutional amendment or a reconstituted Supreme Court placing limits on private money in political campaigns, public funding simply cannot provide candidates enough resources to overcome hugely expensive “independent” campaigns against them by super PA...

 

Consequences of Term Limits [...]

>Does it work? Term limits of some sort have been implemented in 21 states since 1990 (in six of them, the limits were ultimately overturned), and the experience has given scholars time and opportunity to evaluate them. But instead of channeling ambition in the right, public-interest direction, term limits have the opposite effect: New lawmakers immediately begin plan...

 

It Was Gingrich [...]

>From the day he entered Congress in 1979, Gingrich had a strategy to create a Republican majority in the House: convincing voters that the institution was so corrupt that anyone would be better than the incumbents, especially those in the Democratic majority. It took him 16 years, but by bringing ethics charges against Democratic leaders; provoking them into overreac...

 

Datensparsamkeit [...]

Datensparsamkeit is a German word that "refers to collecting only the minimal amount of information necessary to complete a task." It is opposed to the now common practice of gathering as much information from the users actions as possible, in anticipation of future use. > > I learned about datensparsamkeit from a colleague who was creating a confidential survey too...

 

Bad Pile [...]

Matt Haughey talks about how his site got put in the "bad pile" during a Google spam blocking update, and how that affected his traffic. > I kept waiting. For a year and a half, I waited. The revenues kept trickling down. It was this long terrible process, losing half overnight but then also roughly 3% a month for a year and a half after. It got to the point where we ...

 

Safe Asset Shortage [...]

> Beyond that, however, Hamilton argued that the existence of a significant, indeed fairly large national debt would be good for business. Why? Because “in countries in which the national debt is properly funded, and an object of established confidence, it answers most of the purposes of money.” That is, bonds issued by the U.S. government would provide a safe, ea...

 

Addicts Used Doctors, Not Dealers [...]

> For many of them, a pill was an expedient way to try to help their patients. Figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the period 2008 to 2011 show that among those who were at the highest risk of overdose, 27 percent used their own prescriptions and another 49 percent either got or bought opioids from friends and relatives. Only 15 per...

 

Pseudoaddiction [...]

> And then there was the flawed concept of pseudoaddiction: If the patient comes in and is showing signs of drug seeking, that doesn’t mean the patient is actually addicted to opioids; it more likely means that he or she just needs more opioids to control pain. So the first response should be to prescribe more....

 

Surprised by Disagreement [...]

An interesting theory about why this 2016 primary has been tough on social media: we assume our friends agree with us and are surprised when they turn out not to (and sometimes react badly to that). > As with so many modern relational ills, much of the problem lies with the internet. It’s not just that people tend to be more obnoxious online than they are in person....

 

Gaslighting Lived Experience [...]

> The term gaslighting refers to a manipulative denial of reality; it derives from the 1944 thriller Gaslight, about a man trying to make his wife believe she’s going insane. In talking about the primary, several people used it to describe frustration with friends who refuse to acknowledge obvious truths. “Here’s the thing about the gaslighting,” Hrushetska sa...

 

84 Percent Posted Little to Nothing [...]

> A necessary disclaimer—evidence for this is entirely anecdotal. The people who came to hate each other over the Democratic primary are a small, unrepresentative group of political obsessives. Most people never talk about politics online; in a 2012 Pew Research Center study, 84 percent of social media users said they’d “posted little or nothing related to polit...

 

Hostile Architecture [...]

> "The term hostile architecture is new—or new in the popular vernacular anyway," says James Petty, a freelance criminologist whose PhD research focuses on the ways in which society regulates homelessness. "But practices of designing cities and urban landscapes in certain ways that favor certain groups of people and not others has been going on for a long time." > ...

 

Crossed IM [...]

Via Michael Nielsen from...

 

Policy Through Bridge Height [...]

Robert Caro discusses his shock at understanding how seemingly neutral infrastructure decisions were being used to enforce segregation. Here he discusses Robert Moses, a city planner who built racism into the city's architecture. The example: he built 180 or so bridges too low for buses to pass under, effectively keeping black users of public transport out of broad s...

 

Elevator Button Puzzle [...]

> In a building’s lobby, some number (N) of people get on an elevator that goes to some number (M) of floors. There may be more people than floors, or more floors than people. Each person is equally likely to choose any floor, independently of one another. When a floor button is pushed, it will light up. > > What is the expected number of lit buttons when the eleva...

 

Munitions Maximization [...]

> This re-examination of the recommendations relating to hours of work of the HMWC finds them broadly consistent with our analysis: at the levels of working hours in 1915 and 1916 during the War, hours reductions would have had small or no damaging effects on output; those weeks without a day of rest from work had about ten percent lower output than weeks when there w...

 

Emoji Crowd-Out [...]

> As emojis’ popularity has exploded, so has their press coverage, which Unicode has embraced. In recent years the consortium has weathered and begun to resolve the backlash over a lack of diversity inside emojis’ character set and now presides over an influx of proposals for new emojis from both invested private citizens and companies like Durex condoms. Last Dec...

 

Interest Cost [...]

In 2011, federal borrowing costs climbed as congressional Republicans refused for a time to increase the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit, raising doubts about the government’s ability to repay its debts. The Bipartisan Policy Center calculated that the higher rates will cost taxpayers about $19 billion...

 

Programming by Poking [...]

> In this talk at the NYC Lisp meetup, Gerry Sussman was asked why MIT stopped teaching the legendary 6.001 course, which was based on Sussman and Abelson’s classic text The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP). Sussman’s answer was that: (1) he and Hal Abelson got tired of teaching it (having done it since the 1980s). So in 1997, they walked i...

 

Missed MRI Critique [...]

> Now, Eklund has written to me to say that he’s just learned that the long tail problem was actually noticed nearly a decade ago, back before he began to work on the issue. In 2008, neuroscientists Kriegeskorte et al. published a paper showing long-tailed autocorrelations in fMRI from the human brain and – remarkably – also in fMRI data recorded from a dummy br...

 

The Forgotten Joys of QBASIC [...]

> Yes, QBasic is a terrible procedural language. It introduces one to concepts widely considered harmful, uses awkward syntax for implicit declarations, is not case sensitive, is non-zero-based, etc. the list goes on… When developing a skill, it is much better to acquire the right reflexes from the start rather than have to correct years of bad practice. Following t...