“A Systematic Assault”: GOP Rushes to Change Election Rules to Block Medicaid in South Dakota - Bolts
The latest Republican effort to weaken direct democracy faces a key test next week in South Dakota, the first state in the nation to set-up a popular initiative process.
So much for democracy. This is just further evidence of the erosion of democracy in the US.
“The erosion of direct democracy in South Dakota mirrors how the GOP is reacting to initiatives they dislike elsewhere. According to an analysis last year by the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Republican lawmakers filed dozens of bills nationwide to make it harder for voter-initiated measures to make it onto the ballot, and many of them have become law.
In Utah, after voter-initiated statutes that legalized medical marijuana, expanded Medicaid, and created an independent redistricting commission all succeeded in 2018, the legislature repealed all of the statutes in its next session; they later added new restrictions on the process of gathering signatures, making it more burdensome for organizers. Mississippi’s supreme court shut down the state’s entire ballot initiative process last year while striking down a marijuana referendum. Similarly, after Idahoans approved Medicaid expansion in 2018, the legislature moved to thwart future efforts by greatly increasing the difficulty of qualifying an initiative for the ballot.”Posted on 2022-05-30T23:49:37+0000
The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives
By enacting simple laws that make guns safer and harder to get, we can prevent killings like the ones in Uvalde and Buffalo
A lot of great things in this moving piece. Two things really stood out:
1) guns kill more kids than active military or police each year in the US
2) we aren’t even allowed to research gun violence by law, thanks to the NRA
“We need to become the kind of country that looks at guns for what they are: weapons that kill. And treat them with the kind of respect that insists they be harder to get and safer to use.
And then we need to become the kind of country that says the lives of children are more valuable than the right to weapons that have killed them, time and again. Since Columbine. Since Sandy Hook. Since always.”Posted on 2022-05-29T19:47:35+0000
Perspective | Why the press will never have another Watergate moment
Fifty years ago, the nation was gripped by media coverage of Nixon’s crimes — and there was no Fox News to tell it to look away.
“Yet thinking about Watergate saddens me these days. The nation that came together to force a corrupt president from office and send many of his co-conspirator aides to prison is a nation that no longer exists.”Posted on 2022-05-29T17:51:58+0000
Computing Expert Says Programmers Need More Math | Quanta Magazine
Leslie Lamport revolutionized how computers talk to each other. Now he’s working on how engineers talk to their machines.
Great interview of one of the greats in computer science (Leslie Lamport). Goes into theoretical CS and foundational systems work; along with formal verification and education.
“Specification languages like TLA+ aren’t used very widely in industry, right? Why do you think that is?
Well, I’m doing what I can. But basically, programmers and many (if not most) computer scientists are terrified by math. So that’s a tough sell.
Secondly, every project has to be done in a rush. There’s an old saying, “There’s never time to do it right. There’s always time to do it over.” Because TLA+ involves upfront effort, you’re adding a new step in the development process, and that’s also a hard sell.”
Strawberry Curry Is a Modern Twist on an Old Tradition
Fruit curries have a sweet and savory history.
“In modern times, health benefits are increasingly a reason why fruits are added to curries. Or they serve as an innovation or talking point: contemporary grape curries simmered in cashew nut paste being one such example. They’re also a way of showing off wealth and status. Combined with luxury ingredients such as cream, saffron, pistachio nuts, and gold or silver leaf, they can be a shorthand for conveying that a completely made-up party dish has desirable historic royal associations and is “Mughlai.””Posted on 2022-05-28T22:30:58+0000
Opinion | America May Be Broken Beyond Repair
If our system can’t respond to the slaughter of children, what can it do?
“It will be impossible to do anything about guns in this country, at least at a national level, as long as Democrats depend on the cooperation of a party that holds in reserve the possibility of insurrection. The slaughter of children in Texas has done little to alter this dynamic.
Republicans have no intention of letting Democrats pass even modest measures like strengthened background checks, and as long as the Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema refuse to amend the filibuster, Republicans retain a veto over national policy. Victims of our increasingly frequent mass shootings are collateral damage in a cold civil war, though some Democrats refuse to acknowledge it, let alone fight it.”
Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-y...
The more that comes out about the police response the more horrified I am. First the refusal to go in and now it’s appearing that the police were the ones that successfully barricaded the shooter into one classroom. With kids in it. All the kids that died were in one classroom.
And other reporting says they later only went in to save their own kids.
““Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.”Posted on 2022-05-26T03:31:53+0000
A Country That Devours its Children
21 dead in Texas, and no hope in sight
Very depressing, and beautifully written at the same time.
“Francisco de Goya is remembered more for his Black Paintings than he ever was for the lush light little scenes that leave no imprint on the memory, his luxuriant years in the Spanish court, before he began to fear madness above all things and exiled himself in the Quinta del Sordo, the House of the Deaf. Madness is interesting, particularly when paired with a febrile hand and a delicate brush, and the story of America’s collapse is being written by a thousand thousand minds sharper than mine and more comprehensive than mine and better equipped to tell you what to do and how to feel and what to think. Me, I think of the open mouth. I think about small limbs whorled out in their moment of death, which came too soon and did not need to come at all. I think about a country surprised by the carnage it creates but continuing to feast. I think of the great limbs of the beast kneeling as it feeds and know it will not rise again.”Posted on 2022-05-26T02:26:30+0000
The Police Timeline of the Texas School Shooting Has a Lot of Holes
Texas law enforcement officials are being strangely opaque about what actually happened during the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
“DPS Director Steve McGraw said twice that the cops were the ones who barricaded the shooter into a classroom.
That contradicts previous statements by other DPS spox, who said the gunman barricaded himself and immediately began shooting kids.”Posted on 2022-05-25T23:08:23+0000
If Your Children Came Home Today
Parents, I wonder how your children came home today. They may have come through the door like a human hormone cyclone: exploding loudly through the room and leaving a trail of clothes, shoes, and backpacks—before raiding the pantry and departing quickly to level another section of the house. They ...
“Some children didn’t come home and our politicians and many of our citizens barely lifted their heads beyond quick, empty thoughts and prayers tweets they think exonerate them from culpability and exempt them from action.
This is because too much of America is losing something critical: we’re losing our outrage when children are murdered with guns.”Posted on 2022-05-25T05:53:41+0000
Eighteen students and three adults killed in Texas school shooting, governor says
The school had children who were in second, third and fourth grade, a police spokesperson saidThe gunman, identified by the governor as an 18-year-old man, died at the scene, reportedly killed by the police
““We’re devastated by this horrific act of gun violence that will forever traumatize the Uvalde community,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization that is part of Everytown. “School shootings are not acts of nature, they’re man-made acts of inaction, of cowardice, of corruption by all lawmakers who refuse to pass laws proven by data to stop preventable, senseless shootings like in Uvalde. We cannot and will not accept a reality in which our children aren’t safe in schools or their communities.”
Such efforts are all but sure to fall short, however. There was a push to enact gun safety measures ten years ago after 20 young children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. But the efforts to pass legislation, which Joe Biden supported as vice-president, fell apart in the US Senate. The Uvalde massacre was the 27th school shooting this year in the US, according to Education Week.”Posted on 2022-05-25T01:32:03+0000
New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces
Witness testimony and videos obtained by CNN reveal how the veteran Palestinian-American journalist was shot dead in a targeted attack in the West Bank, while she was covering an Israeli raid with a group of other reporters.
This is notable as I believe this is the first time in recent memory where a western news outlet has called out Israel for what they have done. No ifs or buts here, well sourced byline and article, and I imagine a bunch of legal cover prepared behind the scenes.
“But an investigation by CNN offers new evidence — including two videos of the scene of the shooting — that there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death. Videos obtained by CNN, corroborated by testimony from eight eyewitnesses, an audio forensic analyst and an explosive weapons expert, suggest that Abu Akleh was shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.”Posted on 2022-05-24T20:11:42+0000
How Computer Scientists Learned to Reinvent the Proof | Quanta Magazine
Why verify every line of a proof, when just a few checks will do?
“The theorem gave a new understanding of NP and explained some of its intriguing properties. Computer scientists had found that for some NP problems, answers seemed not only hard to compute, but hard to approximate as well. The PCP theorem helped explain why. It said that if a solution to an NP problem was found, it could always be reformatted in a way where most checks from a verifier (say 90 percent) would pass (but not all of them, because the proof is still just probabilistic). From the vantage point of the verifier, it would therefore look like the problem was solved approximately, to 90 percent accuracy. But because NP problems are hard to solve, it is often difficult to find a PCP for them, and therefore it’s equally hard to find a solution that is approximately correct beyond a certain point (such as 90 percent).”Posted on 2022-05-24T15:25:35+0000
Fixing Memory Leaks in Rust
Memory leakage in Rust is completely safe...until you run out and it results in your program being killed by the kernel. Learn how we solved this issue to eliminate memory leaks.
Great read that covers an investigation into a production issue and a fix; while going into some detail about async and observability in Rust
“A few weeks ago, as Journeys adoption started to increase and JourneyX started to process more events, we began to notice a disturbing pattern in its memory usage. The most active processes were consistently utilizing lots of memory, then getting killed by the kernel. The Linux kernel has a piece of functionality called the OOM (out-of-memory) killer, which will automatically kill processes when they consume too much of the system memory. This prevents the system from becoming unstable or locking up due to resource starvation. In our case, the JourneyX processes were constantly being killed, restarted, and killed again by the OOM killer. This showed up on a graph as a sawtooth pattern of rapid allocation and near-instant deallocation when the process was killed. Memory usage would spike up to 17 GiB in the busiest processes, but we expect one of these worker processes to need under 1 GiB.”Posted on 2022-05-24T04:16:59+0000
My experience as a Unit-18 Berkeley Lecturer
From spring 2021 through spring 2022, I was a Unit-18 Lecturer for UC Berkeley in the EECS department. A Unit-18 lecturer is what is often c...
Universities keep getting more expensive and unaffordable; while teaching loads increasingly go to overworked and underpaid adjuncts. This situation needs to be remedied somehow.
This is a long and detailed account of one person’s experience here as an adjunct at Berkeley.
“Here are my reflections on the various aspects of being a Unit-18 lecturer. I am grateful for the experience, as I've learned a lot, but alas, there were more negatives than positives in the end. I will be going back to industry, but perhaps one day will return to academia when it's a better fit.”Posted on 2022-05-23T11:19:25+0000
The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers
In 1791, enslaved Haitians ousted the French and founded a nation. But France made generations of Haitians pay for their freedom. How much it cost them was a mystery, until now.
Well sourced, engaging article on the absolute misery the world (especially, France) put Haiti through. I learnt a lot from this one.
Minor qualms aside (a few exaggerated claims of being the 'first' to report on this; concerns around local experts not being cited) this is well written and worth a read.
"No country could be expected to come to Haiti’s defense. The world powers had frozen it out, refusing to officially acknowledge its independence. American lawmakers in particular did not want enslaved people in their own country to be inspired by Haiti’s self-liberation and rise up.
So, Haiti’s president, eager for the trade and security of international recognition, bowed to France’s demands. With that, Haiti set another precedent: It became the world’s first and only country where the descendants of enslaved people paid reparations to the descendants of their masters — for generations.
It is often called the “independence debt.” But that is a misnomer. It was a ransom."Posted on 2022-05-22T01:17:34+0000
When You Don't Learn Your Parent's Language, What Is Lost? | KQED
The mother of KQED reporter Izzy Bloom never taught her daughter to speak her native language, Japanese, because she was told by doctors that doing so would be detrimental to her brother, who has a rare genetic syndrome. The truth turned out to be more complicated.
Great human interest story that goes into some of the science behind multilingualism and how kids with disabilities are (and are not!) affected by it.
““In the U.S., what is so interesting is that we are probably the most plurilingual country in the world. We have a lot of languages that are being spoken,” she said. “But it's also one of the most aggressively ideologically monolingual countries in the world in that we really don't casually accept that multilingualism is normal and should be preserved.””Posted on 2022-05-21T17:49:41+0000
Laws restricting lessons on racism make it hard for teachers to discuss the massacre in Buffalo
In Texas, a teacher told her students she was required by law to provide them with multiple perspectives on the racist conspiracy theory that allegedly motivated the deadly attack.
“On one hand, she explained that authorities are investigating the killings as a racially motivated hate crime carried out by an 18-year-old who reportedly wrote of his belief in a conspiracy theory that white Americans are being “replaced” by people of color through immigration, interracial marriage and integration.
“But I’m also supposed to tell you that that’s just one perspective,” Close recalled telling her students. “Another perspective is that this young man was out defending the world — or his kind — from being taken over.”
Close waited for her comment to fully register with her students, then added: “If you guys want to know why I’m thinking about quitting at the end of the year, it’s because of these types of policies — the fact that I have to have this conversation with you.””Posted on 2022-05-20T22:25:40+0000
Puzzling Quantum Scenario Appears Not to Conserve Energy | Quanta Magazine
By resolving a paradox about light in a box, researchers hope to clarify the concept of energy in quantum theory.
“The search continues for a resolution to the apparent paradox, and with it, a better understanding of quantum theory. Such puzzles have been fruitful for physicists in the past. As John Wheeler once said, “No progress without a paradox!”
“If you ignore such questions,” Popescu said, “you’re never really going to … understand what quantum mechanics is.””Posted on 2022-05-20T22:19:14+0000
A Mathematical Formula for the Right Time to Show Up at a Party
We made an interactive calculator—with help from a mathematician—that bypasses the confusion about what “fashionably late” means and tells you definitively when to arrive.
“Aveni also went in a floral direction—he said my party could start when nearby sunflowers faced a certain way—but my favorite idea of his was more interactive. “I’d give everybody a stick 12 inches long,” he said, “and I’d tell them, ‘Go out into your backyard, find a flat place, put the stick in the ground, and when [its shadow] reaches a certain point—maybe when it’s three feet from the base—that’s when I want you to come.”
So if you ever get a stick in the mail from me, you know you're in for a good time.”Posted on 2022-05-19T23:29:47+0000
Democratic Voters Deliver Stinging Rebuke to Party’s Manchin-Sinema Wing
Voters shrugged off an obscene amount of spending from super PACs to send a message to Democrats: Do something.
“The stunning wins come as the party debates who is to blame for Biden’s sinking approval rating and increasingly dire forecasts of upcoming midterm losses. Party establishment figures have pointed the finger at the left for making unreasonable demands couched in slogans like “defund the police” that turn off voters. The progressive wing has countered that Biden’s popularity has sunk as centrist Democrats have slowly murdered his agenda, while the left has fought to enact it. “Posted on 2022-05-18T21:44:35+0000
What binds American white supremacists and Israel's brutal assault on Palestinians | Opinion
Food for thought as I ponder the events of the last week.
“Just as in the Republican Party in the U.S., many in the right wing of Israel’s government have lost their way, and are damaging their country more than their enemies could. And just as in the U.S., the cure is to set aside euphemisms and both-sidesism and excuses and to acknowledge that both our countries are suffering the institutionalization of forms of racism that runs contrary to our espoused values, even if it is hardly contrary to the actual truth of the history in either nation.”Posted on 2022-05-16T13:36:10+0000
mjg59 | Can we fix bearer tokens?
“So sure this isn't trivial. But it's also not impossible, and making this stuff work would improve the security of, well, everything. We literally have the technology to prevent attacks like Github suffered. What do we have to do to get people to actually start working on implementing that?”Posted on 2022-05-16T08:02:04+0000
Republicans Must Answer for ‘Great Replacement Theory’ Violence
If Biden and Democrats still have to answer for “defund the police” and CRT—the GOP should answer for the racist, violent theory they’ve pushed.
My 2cents as a brown man: if I always have to “answer for my race” or “please tell me why Muslims hate us all”; why do republicans never have to answer for their ilk?
“Journalists and reporters must repeatedly hound Republican officials with follow up questions about this national security threat. Recall that Democrats and President Joe Biden still are asked about “defunding the police,” even though it is not a mainstream DNC position, or about critical race theory (CRT) panic even after it was revealed to be a bad-faith trojan horse created by right-wing activists to incite racial panic and anxiety.”Posted on 2022-05-16T07:11:11+0000
ongoing by Tim Bray · Golang Diaries: Generics
My coding time this year has been invested in Quamina, an event-filtering library implemented in Go. Just in the last couple of weeks I spotted an opportunity to bring Go’s shiny new generics to bear, and not just anywhere, but for a central data structure. I got good results, but the process was ...
“When generics arrived in Java, I hated them. I thought the ratio of pain removed to complexity added was way too low. I don’t hate Go’s generics, which is actually pretty strong testimony given that I spent the best part of a couple of days fighting all the stuff described above.
But, my guess is the Go generics story is isn’t finished yet.”Posted on 2022-05-16T05:08:38+0000
The Buffalo Shooter Isn't a 'Lone Wolf.' He's a Mainstream Republican
The right-wing extremists who control the modern GOP are all gripped by a racist delusion. The shooter is just the latest to act on it
“When the rhetoric of an entire movement devolves into Manichaean demonization of their political foes; when demographic shifts are represented as apocalyptic; and when a party can appeal to nothing but the consolidation of white power, it is an inevitability that such rhetoric will leave bodies in its wake. The Republican Party caters chiefly now to those who claim that to be born the wrong color is an act of genocide, and act with appropriate fervor. There has never been a lone wolf when it comes to racist terror in the United States; it suffuses every aspect of our politics and policy, and in latter years the mass howl of fear at change comes from a jaw that drips with blood. As long as we fail to recognize the wellspring of racial animus that animates the right wing in this country, the corpses will continue to accrue.”Posted on 2022-05-16T01:09:59+0000
‘Machine Scientists’ Distill the Laws of Physics From Raw Data
Researchers say we’re on the cusp of “GoPro physics,” where a camera can point at an event and an algorithm can identify the underlying physics equation.
“In February, they fed their system 30 years’ worth of real positions of the solar system’s planets and moons in the sky. The algorithm skipped Kepler’s laws altogether, directly inferring Newton’s law of gravitation and the masses of the planets and moons to boot. Other groups have recently used PySR to discover equations describing features of particle collisions, an approximation of the volume of a knot, and the way clouds of dark matter sculpt the galaxies at their centers.
Of the growing band of machine scientists (another notable example is “AI Feynman,” created by Max Tegmark and Silviu-Marian Udrescu, physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), human researchers say the more the merrier. “We really need all these techniques,” Kutz said. “There’s not a single one that’s a magic bullet.””Posted on 2022-05-15T21:49:34+0000
Former Judge Resigns From the Supreme Court Bar in a Letter to John Roberts
The letter describes why he's lost faith in the Supreme Court.
“I no longer have respect for you or your majority, and I have little hope for change. I can’t vote you out of office because you have life tenure, but I can withdraw whatever insignificant support my Bar membership might seem to provide.”Posted on 2022-05-15T09:56:49+0000
Opinion | How Shireen Abu Akleh's funeral became another means of Palestinian oppression
Even when mourning their dead, Palestinians can’t be Palestinian.
“Let that sink in. A nuclear-armed power, with one of the world’s most powerful militaries feared a flag-draped coffin. Israeli police wanted to deny Abu Akleh’s family and the public from publicly grieving the national icon and journalistic hero because they didn’t want her funeral to serve as a reminder of the national cause for liberation, dignity and independence.
When mourners poured out of the house carrying the flag draped coffin and began to chant, the police moved in to block the procession from advancing. Video shows police attacking mourners and pallbearers, beating them with batons, and at one point, almost causing pallbearers to drop the coffin.”Posted on 2022-05-15T06:39:22+0000
You don't need to read the El Paso killer’s manifesto. Just turn on Fox News.
You don't need to read the El Paso killer’s manifesto. Just turn on Fox News. Written by Matt Gertz Published 08/05/19 10:40 AM EDT Share Comment Shortly after a gunman murdered 20 people in a Walmart in El Paso, TX, on Saturday, the hashtag “#whitesupremacistterrorism” began trending on Twitt...
This is from 2019 and still super relevant in light of today’s shooting - I’d hazard things have since gotten worse. Today’s manifesto had quotes indistinguishable from what has been said by Tucker; and now the great replacement theory is mainstream. More than half of republicans believe it per a recent poll; and a lot of their politicians have said it too.
Dark times ahead.
“Fox’s use of this rhetoric of demographic replacement and migrant invasion has not occurred in a vacuum. It has been mirrored by Republican politicians, including President Donald Trump, who similarly deploy those racist tropes. That's no coincidence -- both Fox and the GOP depend on riling people up with racist appeals for their success. Their behavior won't change unless their incentives change.”Posted on 2022-05-15T06:24:37+0000
Indignity Vol. 2, No. 39: Sad!
HEIGHTENED CONTRADICTIONS DEP'T.
“At this point in 2022, with the Trump movement trying to take its revenge on the entire election system, that desperation may be all those voters have left—not a climate initiative, not a pandemic strategy, not a working social welfare program, not the Civil Rights Act or Roe v. Wade. Facing an existential threat against something much greater than the Democratic Party, the Democrats have been retreating into the habits that made Trump possible in the first place: hollow institutionalism, intra-party recriminations, self-sabotage along Republican attack lines.
As liberals and centrists dabble in anti-mask activism and crime scares, the left-of-center voting public finds itself in the paradoxical and demoralizing situation of seemingly caring more about whether the Democrats beat the Republicans than the Democratic Party does. Throughout Trump's presidency, the left complained that Trump was a bogeyman who allowed complacent Democrats to feel politically engaged without actually accomplishing anything. Now, he might be the only thing still capable of getting them to take the perils of this moment seriously.”Posted on 2022-05-15T03:44:06+0000
Live Updates: Gunman Kills 10 at Buffalo Supermarket in Racially Motivated Attack
The gunman, an 18-year-old white man, live streamed the shooting, which officials said was being investigated as a hate crime. Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were Black.
Texas has declared open season on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with censorship law
Texas residents can now sue Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for allegedly censoring their content after a federal appeals court sided Wednesday with the state's law restricting how social media sites can moderate their platforms.
“In short, the decision has allowed Texas to declare open season on tech platforms, with huge ramifications for everyone in the country. It could reshape the rights and obligations of all websites; our relationship to technology and the internet; and even our basic, fundamental understanding of the First Amendment.”Posted on 2022-05-13T21:02:55+0000
Starbucks Baristas Are Unionizing, and Even Howard Schultz Can’t Make Them Stop
The return of the company’s longtime CEO hasn’t slowed the workers, who are inspiring activists at Amazon and showing the extent of labor’s new power.
Schultz’s second run as ceo will (hopefully) go down as one where he tried to put in crazy amounts of horrible changes to try - and fail at - bust unions. Workers unite!
“But growing numbers of baristas are saying the company’s Covid policies have radicalized them, even if other chains’ conditions may be similar or worse. Both before and during the pandemic, they say, Starbucks consistently prioritized cost-cutting over their basic needs. The company rolled out $3-per-hour hazard pay in March 2020—but rolled it back after two months. Workers say that Starbucks refused to pay them during self-isolation following exposures if they hadn’t tested positive and that it didn’t do anything to help them secure tests. Twenty people who’ve worked at Starbucks during the pandemic say understaffing has gotten severe enough that it’s sometimes been a struggle to make it to the bathroom. Two of them say they’ve soiled themselves at work because they had no backup.”Posted on 2022-05-13T10:43:34+0000
Researchers Pinpoint Reason Infants Die From SIDS | BioSpace
Researchers from The Children's Hospital Westmead in Sydney, Australia released a study that confirmed not only how infants die from sudden infant death syndrome, but why.
This is amazing and I hope more research is done here to pinpoint a preventative measure.
“Since then, she’s worked to find the cause of SIDS, both for herself and for the medical community as a whole. She went on to explain why this discovery is so important for parents whose babies suffered from SIDS.
"These families can now live with the knowledge that this was not their fault," she said.”Posted on 2022-05-12T21:09:04+0000
The Democrats Really Are That Dense About Climate Change
The party doesn’t even seem to realize that it’s blowing a once-in-a-decade chance to pass meaningful climate legislation.
“Aside from the Helen Lovejoy–esque nature of this appeal, it is factually wrong. Climate action was “for the children” in the 1990s. “We’re not doing this for the children,” Kate Larsen, an energy analyst at the Rhodium Group, told me after the event. “We’re doing this for us!” Heat waves hot enough to cook human flesh are already happening this month; they will become more common over the coming decades, striking multiple times a year. Unbearable droughts, sea-level rise so high as to break levees, and unpredictable famines will characterize life. Most of the world’s coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, will undergo bleaching every few years, meaning the water will be so hot that the coral will eject their symbiotic microorganisms into the water, starving themselves in the process.”Posted on 2022-05-12T05:51:52+0000
'I don’t know how my son will survive': Inside the dangerous shortage of specialty formulas
The shutdown of a Michigan infant formula plant has disrupted the supply of products that are a lifeline for thousands of people with rare medical conditions.
““If this doesn’t get fixed soon, I don’t know how my son will survive,” said Phoebe Carter, whose 5-year old son John — a nature-lover and “paleontologist in training” — has a severe form of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a rare digestive and immune system disease driven by a dysfunctional immune response to food antigens. “I just can’t stress that enough.””Posted on 2022-05-12T03:46:01+0000
Why I Quit Google’s WebAssembly Team, And How It Made Me Sick
I joined Google in early 2015 to work on the V8 team as one of the first authors of the WebAssembly specification. This is a partial story…
This was a sad story to read, a growing indicator of how burnout is often systemic and organizational and not a personal thing. Of course I’m sure nothing happened to the exec in question.
“Over the last two decades I’ve managed to be productive despite struggling with chronic illness, and I owe a lot of this to the people I’ve worked with. Despite that, Google is the worst place I’ve ever worked and it quite literally gave me brain damage. If you find your job is making it hard to sleep, making you feel on edge every day, or making you constantly question your own self-worth, I would encourage you look for a new job.”Posted on 2022-05-11T19:24:12+0000
Shireen Abu Akleh: Al Jazeera reporter killed by Israeli gunfire
Israeli forces shot Abu Akleh in the head while she was on assignment in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
““We were four journalists, we were all wearing vests, all wearing helmets,” Hanaysha said. “The [Israeli] occupation army did not stop firing even after she collapsed. I couldn’t even extend my arm to pull her because of the shots being fired. The army was adamant on shooting to kill.””Posted on 2022-05-11T19:18:46+0000
Former employee blows whistle on baby formula production plant tied to outbreak
A whistle blower document regarding product safety at a plant that manufactured infant formula linked to a deadly, ongoing outbreak provides damning
This whole complaint is pretty damning; reminiscent of the regulatory capture that happened with the Boeing crashes.
“Complaints were made to management at the Sturgis site. Even members of Quality Assurance (QA) leadership were also reported to have expressed concerns to the Complainant. One member of QA leadership went so far as to suggest to Complainant the “criminality” of the decision to proceed in this manner.””Posted on 2022-05-11T17:41:42+0000
Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe is still the only one circulated inside Supreme Court
A rattled Supreme Court will meet Thursday for the first time since the abortion opinion was reported.
So the leak was a shattering blow to the supreme court’s integrity but statements like this are not? Color me surprised.
“Of those rulings, the Obamacare one ruffled the most feathers because Roberts reportedly reversed his position days before the decision was announced, ultimately voting to find the law constitutional.
“There is a price to be paid for what he did. Everybody remembers it,” said an attorney close to several conservative justices, who was granted anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the court’s arguments.”Posted on 2022-05-11T13:33:59+0000
In Texas, abortion laws inhibit care for miscarriages
Medical professionals face tough quandaries when treating patients who have a miscarriage, a scenario that could soon play out around the country if abortion restrictions tighten.
This keeps getting worse and worse.
“The other miscarriage treatment is a procedure described as surgical uterine evacuation to remove the pregnancy tissue — the same approach as for an abortion.
"The challenge is that the treatment for an abortion and the treatment for a miscarriage are exactly the same," said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington in Seattle and an expert in early pregnancy loss.
Miscarriages occur in roughly 1 out of 10 pregnancies.”Posted on 2022-05-11T12:51:57+0000
Why isn't Biden doing more to address the baby formula shortage?
Women can't just turn on their boobs like a free-flowing spigot of breast milk. It's the kind of crisis that parents—both left and right—are going to remember this November.
It’s really crazy that the US has a strategic reserve of cheese (millions of pounds of it) but not for a critical supply like baby formula.
“Still, ignorance is no excuse for inaction, particularly from those who know better. A failure to address an everyday struggle affecting countless parents, caregivers, and of course, literal humans who by definition rely on others for their basic needs is bound to give credence to the notion, fair or not, that life under the Biden administration just isn’t working out. That it sucks, that we’re living the ramifications of inflation, and the government seems a bit too chill about it. “Posted on 2022-05-10T08:07:30+0000
Physicists Show How Quantum Uncertainty Sharpens Measurements | Quanta Magazine
Throwing out data seems to make measurements of distances and angles more precise. The reason why has been traced to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
“Recently, Yunger Halpern and other theorists showed that Kirkwood-Dirac negativity also underlies quantum behavior in contexts besides metrology, including quantum thermodynamics and fast information scrambling in black holes. The researchers say that bridges between these domains could foster further insights, or metrological advantages.”Posted on 2022-05-10T07:51:20+0000
This is really cool! Looking forward to going all in here.
“But database optimization has become less important for typical applications. If you have a 1 GB database, an NVMe disk can slurp the whole thing into memory in under a second. As much as I love tuning SQL queries, it's becoming a dying art for most application developers. Even poorly tuned queries can execute in under a second for ordinary databases.”Posted on 2022-05-10T00:43:33+0000
Authorities find human remains in Lake Mead twice in one week
Lake Mead's falling water levels could lead to the discovery of more human remains in the reservoir, a police officer warns.
“Water levels on Lake Mead have been dropping after two decades of drought made worse by climate change, with federal and state officials recently reaching a $200 million deal to maintain the viability of the reservoir that millions of people rely on.
But authorities had warned the public that Lake Mead's falling water levels could lead to the discovery of more bodies hidden below the surface.”Posted on 2022-05-09T23:33:28+0000
Opinion | I Cherish My Grief for the Mother I Never Expected to Have
There is grief that strangles you and grief that holds you.
Such a beautifully written essay. Who’s cutting onions in the house at this time of night?!
“That grief that strangles, versus the grief that holds — I know the difference now. I didn’t cry when my birth mother left, because my grief before was mostly made up of anger so ferocious that it just made me hate myself.
The grief I feel over the loss of Margaret levels me regularly; big floods of tears, suddenly, in the middle of the day. But at the same time, this grief is so much sweeter. Because I get to keep her. I get to miss her. The ways she took care of me, the things she taught me, the little ways that I wound up resembling her sometimes, even if she didn’t raise me.
Margaret used to tell me, “You’re so easy to love.” Somehow, now, I believe her. Her voice is in my head now, too. She gets to stay.”Posted on 2022-05-08T11:07:05+0000
Xilem: an architecture for UI in Rust
Rust is an appealing language for building user interfaces for a variety of reasons, especially the promise of delivering both performance and safety. However, finding a good architecture is challenging. Architectures that work well in other languages generally don’t adapt well to Rust, mostly bec...
This was a really interesting exploration that goes into the complexities of building good UIs in general (state is hard!) and in particular how to do them in Rust which imposes additional constraints I’m on how you manage state. Looking forward to trying this at some point.
“The work presented in this blog post is conceptual, almost academic, though it is forged from attempts to build real-world UI in Rust. It comes to you at an early stage; we haven’t yet built up real UI around the new architecture. Part of the motivation for doing this writeup is so we can gather feedback on whether it will actually deliver on its promise.
One way to test that would be to try it in other domains. There are quite a few projects that implement reactive UI ideas over a TUI, and it would also be interesting to try the Xilem architecture on top of Web infrastructure, generating DOM nodes in place of the associated widget tree.”Posted on 2022-05-08T10:51:56+0000
McConnell says national abortion ban ‘possible’
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview with USA Today a national abortion ban is “possible” if Roe v. Wade gets overturned this summer. “If the leaked…
So much rage over the last few days on the abortion ban news. I don’t know where to begin.
““Mitch McConnell confirmed what voters have long known: Republicans will use every tool they can, from the courts to Congress, to make abortion illegal everywhere and strip away a woman’s right to make our own decisions. For voters, the stakes of protecting and expanding our Democratic Senate majority in 2022 have never been higher.””Posted on 2022-05-08T01:18:34+0000
A faster lexer in Go - Eli Bendersky's website
A faster lexer in Go May 03, 2022 at 19:53 Tags Go , Programming , Compilation It's been a while since I've last rewritten my favorite lexical analyzer :-) That post is the last in a series implementing a lexer for the TableGen language in a variety of programming languages, using multiple technique...
Great read on profiling and improving Go programs.
“This post discussed some potential optimizations to a lexical scanner written in Go. It touched upon the relative efficiency of converting byte slices to strings vs. taking substrings, discussed some strategies w.r.t. API design in Go, and even got into optimizing GC behavior.”Posted on 2022-05-07T11:21:38+0000
This Australian Bartender Found an ATM Glitch and Blew $1.6 Million
We asked Dan Saunders to describe the loophole and his five months of partying.
I wonder what would have happened had this guy not turned himself in. This is a pretty wild story.
Also, how do audits miss something like this?!
“So how did the police finally get involved?
I was seeing a psychiatrist as a result of the guilt and the anxiety. I felt like I needed to talk to someone about it. The first psychiatrist I saw said "I'm not qualified to do this" and I was like, “dude you're the shrink, surely you're qualified.” But then I found a guy who was a bit more sensible. He didn't tell me what to do or anything like that, but he said that turning myself in would be important and it’d clear my conscience and make sure I could move on.”Posted on 2022-05-07T11:16:04+0000
How the Cinder JIT’s function inliner helps us optimize Instagram
This blog focuses on Cinder's JIT compiler and its new function inliner and how it helps us speed up our production application on Instagram.
Interesting read on JITs
“It’s time to collect data about the performance characteristics of our workload and figure out whether we can develop good heuristics about what functions to inline. There are papers to read and evaluate.
Take a look at our GitHub repo, and play around with Cinder. We have included a Dockerfile and prebuilt Docker image to make this easier.”Posted on 2022-05-07T11:09:47+0000
Where Do Space, Time and Gravity Come From? | Quanta Magazine
Einstein’s description of curved space-time doesn’t easily mesh with a universe made up of quantum wavefunctions. Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll discusses the quest for quantum gravity with host Steven Strogatz.
Absolutely engrossing podcast transcript which discusses emergent theories on the origin of space time and some recent research in quantum gravity. Sean Carroll is great as always.
I loved the ending which touched a bit on the philosophy of science:
“Well, I do think that and, you know, I think that there’s a school of thought that says that scientists should not talk about their results until they’re completely established and refereed and everyone agrees they’re right. And not only do I think that that’s implausible, because even results that are refereed and published could be wrong, I think it’s very antithetical to the spirit of how science is, you know, and I want to emphasize that science is not just a set of results that are handed down from on high, it’s a process. We could be wrong. We’re making suppositions and hypotheses and guesses, and we’re going to figure out whether or not they work. And that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. That’s, that’s how science works. So I’m very willing to talk about tentative things as long as I try to emphasize that they are tentative things.”Posted on 2022-05-07T11:02:17+0000
Starbucks Broke Law By Firing And Threatening Pro-Union Workers, Labor Board Alleges
An official with the National Labor Relations Board filed a wide-ranging complaint accusing the coffee chain of violating workers’ rights.
Starbucks’ union busting campaign has really been something else. I’m glad the labor board is finally doing it’s job.
“The complaint filed Friday was unusually wide-ranging, alleging a pattern of intimidation and retaliation at several stores in New York. It also implicated CEO Howard Schultz, alleging he violated the law last November by promising “an increase in benefits” if they didn’t unionize.”Posted on 2022-05-07T04:16:41+0000
The Institutionalist's Dilemma
On trusting the process after it's openly failed
“The legitimacy crisis is that our institutions are illegitimate. For my entire adult life, beginning with Bush v. Gore, our governing institutions have been avowedly antidemocratic and the left-of-center party has had no answer for that plain fact; no strategy, no plan, except to beg the electorate to give them governing majorities, which they then fail to use to reform the antidemocratic governing institutions. They often have perfectly plausible excuses for why they couldn’t do better. But that commitment to our existing institutions means they can’t credibly claim to have an answer to this moment. “Give us (another) majority and hope Clarence Thomas dies” is a best-case scenario, but not exactly a sales pitch.”Posted on 2022-05-06T07:52:40+0000
Abbott says Texas could 'resurrect' SCOTUS case requiring states to educate all kids
The comments came after a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court revealed that a majority of justices were considering overturning Roe v. Wade.
Harming everyone just because you feel one person doesn’t deserve it…
(Though education is a human right!)
“Abbott raised the possibility of challenging the ruling on education during a discussion about border security, after Pagliarulo asked whether the state could take steps to reduce the "burden" of educating the children of undocumented migrants living in Texas.”Posted on 2022-05-05T04:15:41+0000
The Tale of a Crypto Executive Who Wasn’t Who He Said He Was
The chief operating officer of ZenLedger, a software company, boasted of work for Goldman Sachs and Larry King. Did anyone check to see if it was true?
“And who wouldn’t want to talk to him? In interviews — and a lengthy Forbes profile — he talked about turning his life around and getting his M.B.A., stints at Wall Street heavyweights like Goldman Sachs, and staggeringly profitable crypto investments that allowed him to make millions of dollars for himself and people like the talk show host Larry King.
If only all of that were true.
Within a few weeks of announcing the I.R.S. deal, the company fired Mr. Hannum. I had asked ZenLedger about things I could not verify about Mr. Hannum after I talked to him for an article about crypto trading and taxes. Much of what he had said to others did not check out, either.”Posted on 2022-05-04T05:47:31+0000
Mathematicians Coax Fluid Equations Into Nonphysical Solutions | Quanta Magazine
The famed Navier-Stokes equations can lead to cases where more than one result is possible, but only in an extremely narrow set of situations.
“The new paper does not definitively settle whether Leray solutions are unique. Its conclusions rely on an external force crafted specifically to make non-uniqueness occur. Mathematicians would prefer to avoid the addition of a force altogether and prove that some set of initial conditions leads to non-uniqueness without any outside influence. That question is now perhaps a stone’s throw closer to being answered.”Posted on 2022-05-03T16:17:00+0000
Exclusive: Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows
"We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," Justice Alito writes in an initial majority draft circulated inside the court.
:| no words.
“The overturning of Roe would almost immediately lead to stricter limits on abortion access in large swaths of the South and Midwest, with about half of the states set to immediately impose broad abortion bans. Any state could still legally allow the procedure.”Posted on 2022-05-03T00:49:39+0000
I won free load testing
Long story short: a couple of my articles got really popular on a bunch of sites, and someone, somewhere, went "well, let's see how much traffic that smart-ass can handle...
Great read on diagnosing a ddos attack and making code changes quickly to make a server robust against them. Covers profiling, observability, caching, and various Rust frameworks.
“Long story short: a couple of my articles got really popular on a bunch of sites, and someone, somewhere, went "well, let's see how much traffic that smart-ass can handle", and suddenly I was on the receiving end of a couple DDoS attacks.
It really doesn't matter what the articles were about — the attack is certainly not representative of how folks on either side of any number of debates generally behave.
My assumption is that it's a small group (maybe a Discord?) with a botnet, who wanted to have fun.
And, friends: fun was had.”Posted on 2022-05-02T04:52:04+0000
The end of the last remaining Covid protections deepens the categorical exclusion of the vulnerable.
“Our society is driven by contingent logics of austerity, under the constant pressure that there will never be enough care to go around, and you are only entitled to the survival you can buy; but we can and must demand more. We must look to those who have the most complex needs and build our community protections around those needs, instead of prioritizing the needs of the least vulnerable, which is what we are doing now. We cannot rely on pharmaceutical technology alone. We also have to use all of the social, economic, and political technologies at our disposal––just as much tools as vaccines and antivirals––like social distancing, masking, paid leave, eviction prevention, community harm reduction, upgraded ventilation, infrastructure investments, Medicare for All, debt cancellation, decarceration and so much more. These are just some of the potential social and fiscal tools that we could use to help people not just survive the pandemic but thrive in spite of it.”Posted on 2022-05-01T22:02:31+0000