Opinion | The fall of Roe is the culmination of the Democratic establishment’s failures
With a radical GOP on the brink of consolidating power, it's time for new party leadership.
Worth thinking about. Damning and I agree with the core thesis: new leadership is required.
“The overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the underwhelming reaction from senior Democratic leaders to that huge defeat, make the case even clearer that the party’s too-long-in-power leaders — including President Biden — need to move aside. On their watch, a radicalized Republican Party has gained so much power that it’s on the verge of ending American democracy as we know it.”Posted on 2022-06-30T01:06:04+0000
Reading Ourselves to Death — The New Atlantis
This essay is not real.
Food for thought. Maybe humans weren’t meant to interact with this much text on a daily basis.
“The anthropologist Joseph Heinrich has suggested that the rise of literacy in the West helped to produce a certain mindset that he calls “WEIRD” — for “Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic” — that excludes some aspects of reality in favor of others. The neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene has speculated that literacy could “displace and dislodge” the older functions of parts of the brain that contribute, in non-literate cultures, to a particular sensitivity to things like our immediate environment. Writing, as the Native American activist Russell Means would have it, is a way of seemingly controlling the world, a way of shearing it of the intangible. It is “the imposing of an abstraction over the spoken relationship of a people.” Maybe we just don’t know anymore what to do with the experience of experience — and putting it into writing, of course, only adds to the problem.”Posted on 2022-06-30T00:46:53+0000
Humans can't endure temperatures and humidities as high as previously thought | Penn State University
Penn State researchers found that the maximum wet-bulb temperature humans can endure is lower than previously thought — about 31°C wet-bulb or 87°F at 100% humidity — even for young, healthy subjects. The temperature for older populations, who are more vulnerable to heat, is likely even lower.
Given climate change, this is really scary. 35C wet bulb was hit again in parts of Pakistan this year and a lot of scary things happened. We’ve been planning for and worried about the apocalyptic scenarios if that hits elsewhere. 31 is probably happening in a lot of places already and…
“It has been widely believed that a 35°C wet-bulb temperature (equal to 95°F at 100% humidity or 115°F at 50% humidity) was the maximum a human could endure before they could no longer adequately regulate their body temperature, which would potentially cause heat stroke or death over a prolonged exposure.
Wet-bulb temperature is read by a thermometer with a wet wick over its bulb and is affected by humidity and air movement. It represents a humid temperature at which the air is saturated and holds as much moisture as it can in the form of water vapor; a person’s sweat will not evaporate at that skin temperature.
But in their new study, the researchers found that the actual maximum wet-bulb temperature is lower — about 31°C wet-bulb or 87°F at 100% humidity — even for young, healthy subjects. The temperature for older populations, who are more vulnerable to heat, is likely even lower.”Posted on 2022-06-29T20:29:28+0000
Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a child in the backseat is a horrifying mistake. Is it a crime?
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
This is from 2009 but I came across it just now. So heartbreaking and well written. The thing that struck me the most was how people were so quick to judge and prosecute, and even turn down measures to prevent this. Because it can never happen to them. Until it does. I really hope things have improved since.
“Two decades ago, this was relatively rare. But in the early 1990s, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front airbags could kill children, and they recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car; then, for even more safety for the very young, that the baby seats be pivoted to face the rear. If few foresaw the tragic consequence of the lessened visibility of the child . . . well, who can blame them? What kind of person forgets a baby?
The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate. In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.”Posted on 2022-06-29T19:40:29+0000
NC scholar: With Roe gone, Congress should suspend the Supreme Court
NC scholar: The elected branches of government must fight back, as has happened before in history | Opinion
“The U.S. Supreme Court has informed the nation and the world that the American constitutional ideal of liberty protects guns but not a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. A huge majority of us don’t believe that. These right-wing statists have declared that doesn’t matter. They’ll force it on us anyway. Their preferences prevail. Human rights and democracy be damned. They seem oblivious to the fact that they have, this day, announced the death of the Supreme Court. It may come in a month, or in a couple years, but it’s coming. Self-inflicted.”Posted on 2022-06-29T19:33:34+0000
The Supreme Court hands the religious right a big victory by lying about the facts of a case
Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is a big victory for the religious right, but only because Gorsuch misrepresents the facts of the case.
“And, contrary to Gorsuch’s repeated claims that Kennedy only wanted to offer a “short, private, personal prayer,” Kennedy was surrounded by players, reporters, and members of the public when he conducted his prayer session after that game. We know this because Justice Sonia Sotomayor includes a picture of the scene in her dissenting opinion.”Posted on 2022-06-28T07:28:09+0000
America Is Growing Apart, Possibly for Good
The great “convergence” of the mid-20th century may have been an anomaly.
This echoes a lot of my feelings.
“Podhorzer isn’t predicting another civil war, exactly. But he’s warning that the pressure on the country’s fundamental cohesion is likely to continue ratcheting up in the 2020s. Like other analysts who study democracy, he views the Trump faction that now dominates the Republican Party—what he terms the “MAGA movement”—as the U.S. equivalent to the authoritarian parties in places such as Hungary and Venezuela. It is a multipronged, fundamentally antidemocratic movement that has built a solidifying base of institutional support through conservative media networks, evangelical churches, wealthy Republican donors, GOP elected officials, paramilitary white-nationalist groups, and a mass public following. And it is determined to impose its policy and social vision on the entire country—with or without majority support. “The structural attacks on our institutions that paved the way for Trump’s candidacy will continue to progress,” Podhorzer argues, “with or without him at the helm.””Posted on 2022-06-24T19:11:53+0000
Fuck This Country
It's hard to shake the feeling that there are now more ways to die than to live in America.
“I don’t want to hear anything about how voting in November is now more important than ever. Spare me, I am begging you. As I’ve written before, my entire career voting at the national level, for my whole life, has been a reaction to Democrats’ emotional blackmail: If you care about Roe at all, hold your nose and vote for us. We now all see where that’s gotten us, and we see how little elected Democrats are willing to do to protect us. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer can barely be bothered to say the word “abortion.” But don’t worry, Pelosi has already blasted out a fundraising email. (She says she’s “absolutely sick to my stomach” and needs “25,000 Democratic gifts in the next 24 hours.”) And the Senate has promised to…hold a hearing. In July. A real sense of urgency there!”Posted on 2022-06-24T18:58:20+0000
Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending right to abortion upheld for decades
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, reversing Roe v. Wade, the court's five-decade-old decision that guaranteed a woman's right to obtain an abortion.
This is the worst timeline. A fully corrupt Supreme Court doing whatever it can without any regard for the rights of millions of Americans; or even the appearance of self consistency. It’s so blatant.
Yesterday; NY’s ban on concealed carry was repealed because it’s too important to leave to the states (among other arguments); today, abortion was “left up to the states”.
“Writing for the court majority, Justice Samuel Alito said that the 1973 Roe ruling and repeated subsequent high court decisions reaffirming Roe "must be overruled" because they were "egregiously wrong," the arguments "exceptionally weak" and so "damaging" that they amounted to "an abuse of judicial authority."
The decision, most of which was leaked in early May, means that abortion rights will be rolled back in nearly half of the states immediately, with more restrictions likely to follow. For all practical purposes, abortion will not be available in large swaths of the country. The decision may well mean too that the court itself, as well as the abortion question, will become a focal point in the upcoming fall elections and in the fall and thereafter.”Posted on 2022-06-24T15:38:58+0000
Solaris - The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction
Been a while since I found a good sci-fi short story randomly and I have to admit this one was pretty good - a flash fiction on the end of the universe.Posted on 2022-06-24T06:15:43+0000
A reinfection red flag
Why a new report is so troubling
“There is simply no excuse for why these vaccines are not being hyper-aggressively pursued, particularly given the trajectory of relentless increased SARS-CoV-2 immune-evasiveness (and resultant enhanced transmissibility), the new worry about reinfection sequelae and Long Covid, and the known unknown next Greek letter variant we may well be seeing in the months ahead. The lack of priority and resource allocation stems from the illusion that the pandemic is behind us, which is obviously off-base. If ever there was a callout for don’t just stand there, do something, this is it.”Posted on 2022-06-23T00:28:38+0000
Software Engineering - The Soft Parts
Today I will share some of the software engineering soft skills I have learned from my first 10 years on Google Chrome, where I am a Senior Staff Engineering...
Extremely long and equally valuable. I’m going to find myself going back to this from time to time for insightful career advice. This also reminds me I need to get back to my own writing at some point.
“Invest in friendships and relationships with folks you can learn from. Be open to their guidance, mentorship, their successes, and their failures. Never be afraid to ask for help or insight. In a lot of cases, it's just a question away.
At every stage, remember that mastery over technology, business domain, and human resources at a given organization has to be cultivated over time. An organization cannot hire masters from another and expect them to be productive from day one. If you are a good engineer, you will contribute to your organization's growth. In return, new avenues will be available to you, allowing you to acquire new skills and grow yourself.”Posted on 2022-06-22T02:33:00+0000
History of The Morton Salt Girl: Who Is She? (Umbrella And All)
Truly thinking outside the box, the designers at the Morton Salt Company decided to package their new, free-flowing salt in a cylindrical shaped container.
This was a fun little historical tidbit I wasn’t aware of.
“They were so sure about their "unique differential" that they based their entire product around its function. It is, really, what most companies should do with their products, and the amount of thought that every major company deserves, yet rarely gets. Not only did they innovate a packaging style, but they did it to prove a point that their invention did. The packaging, product, slogan, and branding, then, all tell one story -- which is brilliant. “Posted on 2022-06-21T16:15:55+0000
“If there’s kids in there, we need to go in”: Officers in Uvalde were ready with guns, shields and tools — but not clear orders
The Texas Tribune has reviewed law enforcement transcripts and footage that federal and state investigators are examining after the May 24 tragedy.
I’ve said this many times and will continue to say this again, but this story keeps getting worse as more information comes out. At least this has more truth to it than most of the info out there so far which has been lies coming from the cops.
“The first to reach the victims inside pulled motionless, bloodied children onto the hallway’s linoleum flooring as they tried to assess their vital signs. None of the children appeared to make a sound. One child whose still body was placed on the floor had to be gently pushed to make room for others streaming in and and out, his blood leaving a wide swath of crimson across the hallway floor.”Posted on 2022-06-21T05:14:12+0000
“You Know What I Say About Men Who F--- Asian Women?”
When white women hypersexualize Asian women onscreen, we suffer the consequences.
This was quite enlightening. I hadn’t seen enough of the referenced content to pick up on the biases but now that they’ve been pointed out, uh…
“When I think of how to eradicate this phenomenon, the word that comes to mind is consent. I was born into this world with these lies alive and well, yet I never consented to them. How many more generations of Asian women will be damned before they’re even born, seen first and foremost as a type in someone else’s story? Why is our humanity seen as something to be earned, as Tiffany’s awkwardly is in Senior Year, rather than as a given? And when will Asian actresses finally have access to roles that respect their talent rather than waste it?”Posted on 2022-06-20T07:23:18+0000
Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists
New details connect police in India to a plot to plant evidence on victims' computers that led to their arrest.
This is crazy - police didn’t like what these activists were doing so they hacked them, planted evidence, and then arrested them for it.
““We generally don’t tell people who targeted them, but I’m kind of tired of watching shit burn,” the security analyst at the email provider told WIRED of their decision to reveal the identifying evidence from the hacked accounts. “These guys are not going after terrorists. They’re going after human rights defenders and journalists. And it’s not right.””Posted on 2022-06-19T04:45:40+0000
The wannabe food influencer who's wanted by the FBI
When a man calling himself Gavin Ambani tried to make his mark on the London food scene, the story of a fraud hunt stretching from Hollywood to Indonesia followed in his wake
This was an interesting look into the London food scene and a great human interest story about how one specific criminal acted.
“The word in London’s restaurant community is that there are plans to make a drama or documentary series out of the Hollywood Con Queen story. Perhaps the final irony is that it’s said that it will be screened on Netflix, the streaming service for which Tahilramani claimed to work. Extraditions are never foregone conclusions but what does seem certain is that he has at last found the fame – or at least infamy – that appears always to have been his dream.”Posted on 2022-06-19T04:10:23+0000
Sheryl Sandberg and the Crackling Hellfire of Corporate America
Is this feminism?
Well written story that made me pause for thought. Starts as a great criticism of Sandberg but then goes into the economy and into more human content.
“Today’s young people have been forced to learn that old lesson, because they are the inheritors of 40 years of corporate greed, private equity’s smash and grab, bank deregulation, and the collusion of the very rich and the U.S. government to squeeze every penny it can from the middle class and move it into the counting houses of billionaires. They know the game isn’t rigged against them; they know the game was lost long before they were born.
Corporations are now faced with labor shortages, and there are rumblings from the owner class about the demise of the great American work ethic. But corporations are the ones who killed it. Young people today know that work is not your life; it’s how you pay for your life. It’s an exchange of money for labor, and they are not interested in devoting a jot of extra energy to jobs that pay minimum wage and offer no health insurance or savings plan, for employers who show no loyalty to their workers.”Posted on 2022-06-18T23:42:31+0000
Perspective | Feeding my daughter taught me about what it means for the body to need help
Some women feel ashamed that nursing doesn’t come “naturally” to them. We shouldn’t be.
“But I did come away with my first real lesson of 2022, and of parenting: You do what you can. You do everything you can, and sometimes “everything” will only get you halfway there. If you’re lucky enough to live in a time where our brains have invented ways to help our bodies close the gap, then you should accept that help with pride and not shame. That doesn’t diminish your personal efforts, and it doesn’t taint the end result. You feed your baby, and you don’t have to let your soul be sucked dry.”Posted on 2022-06-18T22:42:19+0000
Leaked Amazon memo warns the company is running out of people to hire
Unions might not be the tech giant’s biggest labor threat.
“In the Inland Empire region of California, for example, Amazon may cycle through every worker who’d be interested in applying for a warehouse job by the end of 2022, the internal report warned. One of the reasons is that Amazon is increasingly finding itself in a bidding war for workers with rivals in the area, which is a key logistics region because it is within a two-hour drive of 20 million potential customers and two of the largest container ports in the US.”Posted on 2022-06-18T01:15:07+0000
Long Covid Is Showing Up in the Employment Data
More Americans in and out of the labor force are having trouble remembering and concentrating, a common Covid-19 aftereffect.
“Given that labor-force-participation and employment rates in May were only about half a percentage point below where they were before the pandemic for prime-working-age adults (those aged 25 through 54), and above pre-pandemic levels for those aged 55 to 64, such estimates seem high. Still, dig a little deeper into the monthly Current Population Survey from which these statistics are derived and it is apparent that something new is ailing millions of Americans, even though many are staying on the job despite it.
The Census Bureau, which conducts the 60,000-household CPS on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, asks about disabilities as well as employment. The resulting estimate of the number of 16-and-older Americans with a disability is up by about two million since early 2020. It had been rising over the decade before then as the population aged, but not at nearly that fast a pace.”Posted on 2022-06-16T08:15:30+0000
People who caught Covid in first wave get ‘no immune boost’ from Omicron
Study of triple vaccinated people also says Omicron infection does little to reduce chance of catching variant again
Well this isn’t scary at all.
“But previous infections also mattered. Among other findings the team reported infection with Omicron increased protection against future infection with other variants. However, it only offered a limited boost to protection against another Omicron infection – a response that was actually weakened among those who had also previously had the original strain of the virus.”Posted on 2022-06-16T07:36:02+0000
Silicon Valley’s Horrible Bosses
Dispatches From the Elon Musk School of Management
This resonated a lot.
“It is an awful, shortsighted way to run a company. But it is at least a helpful lens through which to evaluate some of these lauded tech leaders. Because when you cut through the bravado and ego, and the tweets and blog posts, very little remains. The Musk School of Management doesn’t just model bad leadership; it props up leaders who cling to past successes and who substitute vision with bluster. It is the hallmark of an ideas man who is, in the end, out of good ideas.”Posted on 2022-06-16T07:02:22+0000
In hottest city on Earth, mothers bear brunt of climate change | The Express Tribune
On May 14, the day temperatures in Jacobabad hit 51 C, making it the world's hottest city at that time
This is horrifying. The article goes on to say that a 1C increase is likely to cause at least a 5% increase in miscarriages and stillbirths.
“Her 17-year-old neighbour Waderi, who gave birth a few weeks ago, is back working in temperatures that can exceed 50 Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), with her newborn lying on a blanket in the shade nearby so she can feed him when he cries.”Posted on 2022-06-14T23:04:28+0000
ongoing by Tim Bray · Making Code Faster
I’ve enjoyed writing software for 40+ years now. Lots of activities fall into that “writing software” basket, and here’s my favorite: When you have a body of code with a decent unit-test suite and you need to make it go faster. This part of the Quamina diary is a case study of making a piece...
Great read on profiling and optimizing code. It focuses on Go but the approach is general.
“Take-aways · Test. Benchmark. Refactor. Iterate. It’s not fancy. It’s fun. I have been known to whoop out loud with glee when some little move knocks the runtime down significantly. How often do you do that at work?”Posted on 2022-06-14T05:46:49+0000
Amazon calls cops, fires workers in attempts to stop unionization nationwide
As Amazon prepares to argue that the union victory in Staten Island should be overturned, employees around the country are accusing it of using illegal anti-union tactics.
““While Amazon likes to boast about its competitive starting pay, its generous benefits, and its support for select progressive policy items, this ‘pro-worker’ sentiment fades away the moment its own workers state they want to exercise their legal right to collectively bargain,” Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Friday.”Posted on 2022-06-14T05:37:15+0000
Astronomers Reimagine the Making of the Planets
Observations of faraway planets have forced a near-total rewrite of the story of how our solar system came to be.
“Time is the essence of the problem. Human curiosity may be unbounded, but our lives are short, and the birth of planets lasts eons. Instead of watching the process unfold, we have only snapshots from different points.
Batygin, the Caltech astronomer, compared the painstaking effort to reverse-engineer planets to trying to model an animal, even a simple one. “An ant is way more complicated than a star,” Batygin said. “You can perfectly well imagine writing a code that captures a star in pretty good detail,” whereas “you could never model the physics and chemistry of an ant and hope to capture the whole thing. … In planet formation, we are somewhere between an ant and a star.””Posted on 2022-06-13T00:31:21+0000
Graduate Student’s Side Project Proves Prime Number Conjecture | Quanta Magazine
Jared Duker Lichtman, 26, has proved a longstanding conjecture relating prime numbers to a broad class of “primitive” sets. To his adviser, it came as a “complete shock.”
“Lichtman posted his proof online in February. Mathematicians noted that the work is particularly striking because it relies entirely on elementary arguments. “It wasn’t like he was waiting for all this crazy machinery to develop,” Thompson said. “He just had some really clever ideas.”
Those ideas have now cemented the primes as exceptional among the primitive sets: Their Erdős sum reigns supreme. “We all think of the primes as special,” Pomerance said. “And this just adds to their luster.””Posted on 2022-06-08T02:48:58+0000
Impossible-Seeming Surfaces Confirmed Decades After Conjecture | Quanta Magazine
Using ideas borrowed from graph theory, two mathematicians have shown that extremely complex surfaces are easy to traverse.
“This time, they succeeded, posting their paper online on July 12.
“It was really surprising that this thing I gave my Ph.D. student I thought was some easy thing, it turned out to be really important,” said Magee. “More important than I ever thought it would be.””Posted on 2022-06-07T00:28:08+0000
Free US school lunches were a dream come true. Now, a hunger crisis looms for 10 million children
Congress has failed to extend school meal waivers, expiring on 30 June, and the impact will be felt almost immediately
“But for now, there appears to be scant political will to continue the waivers on Capitol Hill. The Biden administration didn’t include the extensions in its latest $1.5tn spending bill, reportedly at the insistence of the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell. McConnell has not commented publicly on the issue, and his office did not respond to a request for comment. But a GOP aide told Politico in March that it was no longer necessary to expand school nutrition programs more than two years into the pandemic.”Posted on 2022-06-05T05:30:52+0000
How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever
What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a confer...
This is amazing.
“The year was 1986, and the American Physical Society’s annual April meeting was slated to be held in San Diego. But when scheduling conflicts caused the hotel arrangements to fall through just a few months before, the conference's organizers were left scrambling to find an alternative destination that could accommodate the crowd—and ended up settling on Las Vegas's MGM grand.
It was an unmitigated disaster for the Grand. Financially, it was the worst week they’d ever had. After the conference was over, APS was politely asked never to return—not just by the MGM Grand, but by the entire city of Las Vegas.”Posted on 2022-06-04T22:47:00+0000
Physicists Trace the Rise in Entropy to Quantum Information | Quanta Magazine
The second law of thermodynamics is among the most sacred in all of science, but it has always rested on 19th century arguments about probability. New arguments trace its true source to the flows of quantum information.
“Maybe, though, the real value of re-deriving the second law lies not in satisfying Hilbert’s ghost but just in deepening our understanding of the law itself. As Einstein said, “A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises.” Yunger Halpern compares the motivation for working on the law to the reason literary scholars still reanalyze the plays and poems of Shakespeare: not because such new analysis is “more correct,” but because works this profound are an endless source of inspiration and insight.”Posted on 2022-06-04T21:10:36+0000
Opinion | In death row case, the Supreme Court says guilt is now beside the point
With last week's ruling, a possibly innocent man is set for execution in Arizona.
I don’t understand the US Supreme Court anymore.
“In the 1993 case Herrera v. Collins, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a staggering claim. The Constitution, Scalia wrote, does not prevent the government from executing a person who new evidence indicates might be “actually innocent” — that is, someone with the potential to legally demonstrate they did not commit the crime for which they were convicted. Scalia didn’t just make his point casually. It was the reason he wrote a concurring opinion.
Scalia’s claim was so outlandish that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor felt obliged to specifically rebut him, even though they agreed on the ultimate outcome in the case. Only one other justice joined Scalia’s opinion: Clarence Thomas.
Last week, Scalia’s once-fringe position became law.”Posted on 2022-06-03T06:05:18+0000
MC387035: Microsoft Purview: Additional classifiers for Communication Compliance (preview)
Coming soon to public preview, we're rolling out several new classifiers for Communication Compliance to assist you in detecting various types of
Not great to lead with this example first. Like I get the money laundering or fraud ones but...
"The following new classifiers will soon be available in public preview for use with your Communication Compliance policies.
Leavers: The leavers classifier detects messages that explicitly express intent to leave the organization, which is an early signal that may put the organization at risk of malicious or inadvertent data exfiltration upon departure."Posted on 2022-06-02T23:25:13+0000