Opinion | The Research Scandal at Stanford Is More Common Than You Think
Scientific journals need to harden their defenses against research manipulation.
“This self-reflection in the scientific research community is important. To address research misconduct, it must first be brought into the light and examined in the open. The underlying reasons scientists might feel tempted to cheat must be thoroughly understood. Journals, scientists, academic institutions and the reporters who write about them have been too slow to open these difficult conversations.
Seeking the truth is a shared obligation. It is incumbent on all those involved in the scientific method to focus more vigorously on challenging and reproducing findings and ensuring that substantiated allegations of data manipulation are not ignored or forgotten — whether you’re a part-time research assistant or the president of an elite university. In a cultural moment when science needs all the credibility it can muster, ensuring scientific integrity and earning public trust should be the highest priority.”Posted on 2023-07-30T14:51:30+0000
How the Cheesecake Factory became the chain restaurant of millennial dreams
The Cheesecake Factory defied the restaurant industry’s rules of success.
Great read on the history of the restaurant, covering a bit of its evolution and the industry in general.
“The Cheesecake Factory breaks rules in a way that most of us don’t feel like we can. It’s practically comedic: This thing that shouldn’t exist, especially in a notoriously unforgiving industry, somehow does. Better, fancier, more coherent restaurants have all bit the dust, yet this mall girl-approved, Byzantine spectacle with a pseudo-industrial name keeps chugging along. At the Cheesecake Factory, “something for everyone” doesn’t just mean a hilariously exhaustive menu served amid America’s most chaotic high-low aesthetic mix; it also means a homemade combination of comfort, nostalgia, and deliciousness that can’t help but work.”Posted on 2023-07-28T15:31:35+0000
Code Kept Secret for Years Reveals Its Flaw—a Backdoor
A secret encryption cipher baked into radio systems used by critical infrastructure workers, police, and others around the world is finally seeing sunlight. Researchers say it isn’t pretty.
Not sure what’s worse here, the fact that this encryption was so bad or the fact that state agencies let this go on and happily exploit it for almost 2 decades.
“Brian Murgatroyd, chair of the technical body at ETSI responsible for the TETRA standard, objects to calling this a backdoor. He says when they developed the standard, they needed an algorithm for commercial use that could meet export requirements to be used outside Europe, and that in 1995 a 32-bit key still provided security, though he acknowledges that with today’s computing power that’s not the case.”Posted on 2023-07-28T06:24:39+0000
Tesla exaggerated EV range so much that drivers thought cars were broken
Inundated with complaints, Tesla created "Diversion Team" to cancel appointments.
“"Tesla years ago began exaggerating its vehicles' potential driving distance—by rigging their range-estimating software," the article published today said. "The company decided about a decade ago, for marketing purposes, to write algorithms for its range meter that would show drivers 'rosy' projections for the distance it could travel on a full battery, according to a person familiar with an early design of the software for its in-dash readouts."”Posted on 2023-07-28T06:09:47+0000
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee | Leopold Froehlich
Meet the feuding twin sisters who popularized the American advice column.
This takes the whole family business concept to another level.
“Lederer’s only real competitor in the advice-column business was Dear Abby, written by her twin sister, Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips (aka Abigail Van Buren, aka Popo Phillips), who had her own 65 million daily newspaper readers.”Posted on 2023-07-28T04:25:02+0000
Breaking Superconductor News
I wrote recently about the turmoil in the field of higher-temperature superconductors, but little did I know what was coming. Yesterday two preprints appeared on the rXiv site, the first bearing the attention-getting title “The First Room-Temperature Ambient-Pressure Superconductor”, and the sec...
“But as usual, it's a gigantic step to just show that such things can exist. That’s what will shake everyone up well before any applications come along, and if this reproduces, labs around the world will frantically start looking for quantum-well superconducting materials of their own. Who knows what could come out of that? Robust high-current-density room-temperature superconductors are right out of science fiction (SF readers will recall that one such material was a big plot point in Larry Niven’s Ringworld). Electrical generation and transmission, antennas, power storage, magnet applications (including things like fusion power plants), electric motors and basically everything that runs on electricity would be affected. We could stop throwing away so much generated power on heating up the wires that deliver it, for starters.”Posted on 2023-07-27T14:09:32+0000
Poisons and Perils on the Salton Sea
Toxic dust plagues marginalized communities on the shores of this disappearing salt lake.
“Furby: For example, with the Salton Sea drying out, the microbes that normally live in the water might be experiencing extreme stress, the same way that when you're stressed, you sweat and smell bad. But these microbes could be producing hazardous compounds as a byproduct. And then that compound gets attached to the dust and blown into the communities where people are getting sick.”Posted on 2023-07-25T15:42:49+0000
Researchers find evidence of a 2,000-year-old curry, the oldest ever found in Southeast Asia
It's hard to imagine a world without spice today. Fast global trade has allowed the import and export of all manner of delicious ingredients that help bring Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Sri Lankan (and so many more) cuisines to our dinner tables.
“If you've ever prepared curry from scratch, you'll know it's not simple. It involves considerable time and effort, as well as a range of unique spices, and the use of grinding tools.
So it's interesting to note that nearly 2,000 years ago, individuals living outside India had a strong desire to savor the flavors of curry—as evidenced by their diligent preparations.
Another fascinating finding is that the curry recipe used in Vietnam today has not deviated significantly from the ancient Oc Eo period. Key components such as turmeric, cloves, cinnamon and coconut milk have remained consistent in the recipe. It goes to show a good recipe will stand the test of time!”Posted on 2023-07-25T15:39:27+0000
If you remove the first word from the string "hello world", what should the result be? This is the story of how we discovered that the answer could be your root password!
Great writeup, quite accessible to someone who’s not an architecture expert. My mind was blown when it came out this was detected via fuzzing.
“It turns out that mispredicting on purpose is difficult to optimize! It took a bit of work, but I found a variant that can leak about 30 kb per core, per second.
This is fast enough to monitor encryption keys and passwords as users login!”Posted on 2023-07-25T06:58:19+0000
Power Causes Brain Damage
How leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise
Interesting reading. Did not realize there have been actual studies looking at brain patterns here.
“But tornadoes, volcanoes, and tsunamis aren’t the only hubris-restraining forces out there. PepsiCo CEO and Chairman Indra Nooyi sometimes tells the story of the day she got the news of her appointment to the company’s board, in 2001. She arrived home percolating in her own sense of importance and vitality, when her mother asked whether, before she delivered her “great news,” she would go out and get some milk. Fuming, Nooyi went out and got it. “Leave that damn crown in the garage” was her mother’s advice when she returned.”Posted on 2023-07-25T04:02:13+0000
Advice for Operating a Public-Facing API
Advice for Operating a Public-Facing API posted on wednesday, july 12th, 2023 I've been operating Pushover's public-facing API for over a decade now and I thought I'd pass on some advice for those creating a new API. Pushover's API might be unusual in that it is used by a wide range of devices (embe...
Great advice here.
"This took me years to stumble upon, but use a short prefix for each type of random ID you create. Instead of generating an API token of Mk7vuCg9eptiV8qid4mn, make it appMk7vuCg9eptiV8qid4mn. Instead of a user key of zo2iD3x3J9, use userzo2iD3x3J9. Pushover uses a for API tokens, u for user keys, g for group keys, s for subscribed user keys, etc. This makes it easier for users to keep multiple keys/tokens straight when they all look like gibberish and it makes it possible to automate helpful API error responses like "your token parameter has a user key instead of an API token"."Posted on 2023-07-24T03:21:49+0000
Unfortunately, Kelly Rowland couldn't have used the =HYPERLINK() function to message Nelly
The Kelly Rowland/Nelly song Dilemma features an infamous scene amongst nerds where Kelly Rowland tries to send a message to Nelly using a ...
"The Kelly Rowland/Nelly song Dilemma features an infamous scene amongst nerds where Kelly Rowland tries to send a message to Nelly using a Nokia 9210 Communicator (like this one that I just happen to have to hand)"Posted on 2023-07-22T22:25:50+0000
How my online gaming addiction saved my Ph.D.
Or, how I cookie-clicked my way to a doctorate in interaction design. It’s been 5 years since I finished my Ph.D. on user interfaces for machine learning. To celebrate/commiserate, I’m sharing an u…
Great read on ideation and how inspiration for work comes about.
"We could view my investigations of Cookie Clicker’s mechanisms as ‘basic research’, i.e., research without an immediate application in mind. There is evidence that basic research in the sciences leads to productivity increases in manufacturing. Eloquent arguments have been made that forgoing basic research is costly, that “when academic research starts demonstrating industry relevance is when funding should be cut off, not augmented.”
Or, taking it down a peg, we could simply label what I was doing as gathering ‘useless knowledge’, which like basic research does not have an immediate application in mind, and additionally does not even seek to answer questions considered useful in some way. Here again, mine would not be the first story lending credence to the idea that useless knowledge is, ultimately, useful!
But perhaps the simplest way to view this episode was as a playful, recreational activity which through sheer dumb luck gave me the skills needed to solve an important problem in my work life. My colleague Titus Barik analysed how programmers talk about programming as play, involving ‘spontaneous and creative expression’, ‘experimentation’, and ‘purposeless, ludic activity’. He found that many programmers reflect on episodes of playful programming as joyful experiences that catalysed learning."Posted on 2023-07-22T22:22:54+0000
Cold restart whole system after total outage
"What are folks’ views on systems so large where cold-starting the whole system is almost impossible?"... — M'colleague In A Slackroom Next Door.
“In abstract terms, many Google-likes and Apple-likes and Amazon-likes are possible. i.e. if you hard-stopped one of those, odds are you can re-create things that behave like those. You are guaranteed to never get back exactly Google, or Apple, or Aamzon. But you can ground-up create verisimilar entities. They've happened, in fact (Yahoo, Nokia, Baidu, Yandex, Alibaba, Samsung, etc.)”Posted on 2023-07-21T05:22:22+0000
Building an an Early Stage Startup: Lessons from Akita Software
Jean Yang sold her startup to Postman, and shares the details on what happened in the 5 years leading up to this sale.
Read this in the morning while having breakfast and it's chock full of solid advice on running a company, hiring, selling, and the economy. Well worth a read!
"Planting the seed creates luck: writing or similar activities can help. Jean blogged both at MIT – where this blog helped new grads get into the school, and thus grow her network – as well as Akita – where her blog was how Postman’s CEO connected with Jean.
There is a good question of whether Akita would have sold to Postman had it not been for some of these side activities – like writing online – that helped create luck.
It takes hard work to make the most of your privilege and luck. Jean emphasized how she does not think much of her story is replicable for everybody, thanks to a lot of privilege she had as well as the luck in this story. But it still took a lot of hard work to make the most out of this situation, and a lot of grinding that followed.
You can also speed up building your network by doing more, or with more “grinding.” Yes, Jean had the privilege of going to MIT. However, it was her hard work and involvement with the community that built up a reputation, so that years later her former classmates would be enthusiastic to recommend her to their network.
Whatever group you are currently in – at work, at a professional organization, or at school – your actions and connections with others can help shape your reputation, and thus help build your network within that group."Posted on 2023-07-20T22:38:56+0000
A Black Man Was Elected Mayor in Rural Alabama, but the White Town Leaders Won’t Let Him Serve
For three years, Patrick Braxton says he has experienced harassment and intimidation after becoming the first Black mayor in Newbern, Alabama.
“Two years ago, Braxton says he was the only volunteer firefighter in his department to respond to a tree fire near a Black person’s home in the town of 275 people. As Braxton, 57, actively worked to put out the fire, he says, one of his white colleagues tried to take the keys to his fire truck to keep him from using it.
In another incident, Braxton, who was off duty at the time, overheard an emergency dispatch call for a Black woman experiencing a heart attack. He drove to the fire station to retrieve the automated external defibrillator, or AED machine, but the locks were changed, so he couldn’t get into the facility.”Posted on 2023-07-20T14:32:33+0000
Americans’ Views on Israel Are Changing. Washington’s Isn’t
President Herzog's D.C. trip has only underscored the growing public divide over U.S. policy toward the Middle East.
This data actually surprised me. Wow. I thought this was only a widely held opinion within my bubble and I’m glad to be proven wrong.
“Polls this year have shown that the gap between the American public and those elected to represent them is widening when it comes to U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly among Democrats. This year, for the first time, an annual Gallup survey found that Democrats’ sympathies lie more with Palestinians than Israelis by a margin of 49% to 38%. The survey found that sympathy toward Palestinians among U.S. adults is at a new high of 31%, while the proportion not favoring either side is at a new low of 15%. That’s a remarkable shift from only a decade ago, when sympathy toward Palestinians stood at just 12%. During that same period, sympathy toward Israelis has declined from 64% to 54%.”Posted on 2023-07-20T06:13:01+0000
Fable unveils Showrunner AI to create South Park-like TV shows with you as the star
Fable has released Showrunner AI technology, dubbed SHOW-1, which can generate new episodes of TV shows with you as the star.
I know this is also a thinly veiled press release but this gives black mirror vibes
“Saatchi acknowledged the release of this technology raises disturbing questions in the middle of the strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, and Saatchi said the threat of AI is real for Hollywood, and that writers need to gain clear assurances on the use of AI by Hollywood. In a disclaimer on the South Park episode, Fable noted that the celebrity voices are “generated poorly” and it’s for “research purposes only.””Posted on 2023-07-20T04:28:38+0000
Stanford president resigns over manipulated research, will retract at least three papers
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne will resign effective Aug. 31. He will also retract or issue lengthy corrections to five widely cited papers for which he was principal author after a Stanford-sponsored investigation found “manipulation of research data.”
This journalist is going places - very well deserved for his great reporting while still in college. (And yes he’s won awards already. Can’t wait to see what else comes out).
“Retracting a paper is a rare act, especially for a scientist of Tessier-Lavigne’s stature. A database of retractions shows that only four in every 10,000 papers are retracted. The move is saved for when there is “clear evidence that the findings are unreliable,” according to guidelines from the nonprofit Committee on Publication Ethics. Tessier-Lavigne had claimed repeatedly last autumn that the issues in his studies “do not affect the data, results or interpretation of the papers.”
For several papers worthy of retraction to have been principally authored by the same scientist represents “unusual frequency of manipulation of research data and/or substandard scientific practices,” the investigation concluded. Tessier-Lavigne is expected to retract or issue robust corrections to at least five papers in response to concerns he had not addressed for years, including a widely publicized study that he once claimed “turn[s] our current understanding of Alzheimer’s on its head.””Posted on 2023-07-20T04:16:35+0000
Microsoft lost its keys, and the government got hacked | TechCrunch
China hacked dozens of email accounts, including in government. Microsoft opens up, slightly, about how the hackers pulled off the heist.
“With the immediate threat thought to be over, Microsoft now faces scrutiny for its handling of the incident, thought to be the biggest breach of unclassified government data since the Russian espionage campaign that hacked SolarWinds in 2020.
As noted by Ars Technica’s Dan Goodin, Microsoft went to great lengths to do damage control in its blog post, avoiding terms like “zero-day,” referring to when a software maker has zero days notice to fix a vulnerability that has already been exploited. Whether or not the bug or its exploitation fits everyone’s definition of a zero-day, Microsoft went out of its way to avoid describing it as such, or even to call it a vulnerability.”Posted on 2023-07-18T15:55:08+0000
EchOh-No! a Vulnerability and PoC demonstration in a popular Minecraft Anticheat tool.
A vulnerability in a gaping security hole of a driver allows an attacker to attain nt authority\system privileges via a Privilege Escalation attack.
Come for the cool technical writeup, stay for the master class in how to be terrible at PR and treating a bug bounty report.
“Overall, this entire situation is very damaging to your reputation.
How would your users feel if they realise that actual real issues in your own product is met with abuse and ignorance? - you should know better, Josh, especially as you are the CEO of an Anticheat company - which requires the trust of your users to exist!”Posted on 2023-07-17T05:11:40+0000
Reddit removes years of chat and message archives from users' accounts
Many Redditors were caught off guard by the removal of their chat and message history.
Someone please explain to me how anyone thought this was a good idea. With just a few weeks notice too. Is it time for Meta to launch a Reddit clone too? (Groups are right there…)
“Mashable confirmed with Reddit that messages and chat history are no longer available if they were made prior to January 1, 2023. A Reddit spokesperson forwarded Mashable a changelog announcement(opens in a new tab) made on June 22 where the company shared that these messages would be removed.”Posted on 2023-07-15T06:31:19+0000
Italian uproar over judge's 10-second groping rule
Young Italians object to the acquittal of a school caretaker who admitted groping a teenage student.
Mind you, in those 10 seconds the 66 year old man did stuff that is way way over the line (not mentioning it here). Wouldn’t surprise me if this judge has other suspect rulings / behavior.
“A Rome public prosecutor asked for a three-and-a-half year prison sentence but this week the caretaker was acquitted of sexual assault charges. According to the judges, what happened "does not constitute a crime" because it lasted less than 10 seconds.
Since the ruling, palpata breve - a brief groping - has become a trend on Instagram and TikTok in Italy, along with the 10secondi hashtag.”Posted on 2023-07-13T05:49:32+0000
Lawyers with supreme court business paid Clarence Thomas aide via Venmo
Payments to Rajan Vasisht, an aide from 2019-21, underscore ties between the justice and lawyers who argue cases in front of him
“The lawyers who made the Venmo transactions were: Patrick Strawbridge, a partner at Consovoy McCarthy who recently successfully argued that affirmative action violated the US constitution; Kate Todd, who served as White House deputy counsel under Donald Trump at the time of the payment and is now a managing party of Ellis George Cipollone’s law office; Elbert Lin, the former solicitor general of West Virginia who played a key role in a supreme court case that limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; and Brian Schmalzbach, a partner at McGuire Woods who has argued multiple cases before the supreme court.”Posted on 2023-07-13T05:29:34+0000
Disinformation researchers under investigation: what’s happening and why
US researchers have spent years studying how conspiracy theories spread. Now they are accused of helping to suppress conservative opinions.
“One scientist familiar with the situation expressed a sense of frustration, saying that there is no way to counter the conspiracy theory suggesting they were part of an effort to censor conservative voices. They point out that researchers ran their studies openly and in full view of the public, and question why the judiciary committee is conducting its investigation behind closed doors, instead of allowing scientists to testify publicly about their work and their findings.
“I don’t think they want public testimony, because they don’t want those optics,” says the scientist, who requested anonymity so they could speak freely. “It’s political retaliation,” they say, and there is little that the individual researchers who are being targeted can do to fight back.”Posted on 2023-07-11T14:25:40+0000
Inside the perverse system of 'lazy management' that's destroying the tech industry
Tech executives and investors have claimed that loafing employees are dragging down companies. But experts say the real problem is "lazy management."
“He spent the next two years bouncing around — switching teams, watching project leaders get promoted despite, he said, producing nothing of substance, and generally spinning his wheels. Graham was paid more than $300,000 a year but had little work to show for it. Feeling adrift with nothing to do, he gradually disengaged from his job and was eventually put on Amazon's formal performance-management plan.
Facing the threat of firing, Graham was finally put on a project to use machine learning to improve Amazon's music recommendations, which he described as "the first really interesting thing I worked on." He was happy to feel like a valuable member of the team, but Graham's manager told him something stunning: The finished project, which Graham worked on for more than a month, wouldn't see the light of day. It was simply an exercise to satisfy the terms of his performance plan and string out his employment, he was told. Graham left Amazon soon after.”Posted on 2023-07-11T04:17:35+0000
On covid California's supreme court just said the quiet part out loud
Nate Bear published a post on Ko-fi
“The California Supreme Court just ruled against Kuciemba on the basis that a victory, while, in the court's words, "morally" the right thing to do, would create "dire financial consequences for employers" and cause a "dramatic expansion of liability" to stop the spread of covid.
There’s a few stunning details to note in this case. First, the court agreed that there is no doubt the company had ignored the San Francisco health ordinance. In other words, they accepted the company had broken the law. And then concluded “yeah, but, capitalism.””Posted on 2023-07-09T00:47:42+0000
"VC qanon" and the radicalization of the tech tycoons - Anil Dash
A blog about making culture. Since 1999.
“But, since the first step to fixing any problem is being able to clearly identify it, I'm gratified to hear more people recognizing the social and cultural factors that are shaping the otherwise-inexplicable choices of some of the most powerful people in the business world. Now here's hoping that those outside the bubble can gather together and organize an effective counter-response to the increasing dangers and harms posed by the radicalization of the loudest voices in tech.”Posted on 2023-07-07T23:40:07+0000
How Lossless Data Compression Works | Quanta Magazine
One student’s desire to get out of a final exam led to the ubiquitous algorithm that shrinks data without sacrificing information.
"Very little research, by contrast, is currently being pursued on lossless strategies, where transmissions are made smaller, but no substance is sacrificed. The reason? Lossless approaches are already remarkably efficient. They power everything from the PNG image standard to the ubiquitous software utility PKZip. And it’s all because of a graduate student who was simply looking for a way out of a tough final exam.
Seventy years ago, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor named Robert Fano offered the students in his information theory class a choice: Take a traditional final exam, or improve a leading algorithm for data compression. Fano may or may not have informed his students that he was an author of that existing algorithm, or that he’d been hunting for an improvement for years"Posted on 2023-07-07T05:07:34+0000
graydon2 | The Rust I Wanted Had No Future
Great reflections on a software project and its evolution. Interesting even if you're not into Rust.
"Maybe you've nodded your head about one or two of the things above and think they're good ideas -- "hey, maybe we should have had a BDFL!" -- though more likely you think they're terrible. But the point of this post isn't just to lob a bunch of suggestions about direction at the current project, or grind a bunch of long-dull axes, or even to make myself look bad in public.
The point is to indicate thematic divergence. The priorities I had while working on the language are broadly not the revealed priorities of the community that's developed around the language in the years since, or even that were being-revealed in the years during. I would have traded performance and expressivity away for simplicity -- both end-user cognitive load and implementation simplicity in the compiler -- and by doing so I would have taken the language in a direction broadly opposed to where a lot of people wanted it to go."Posted on 2023-07-07T04:45:22+0000
In a 1994 qualifying match for the Caribbean Cup, both Barbados and Grenada attempted to score deliberate own goals – because it was the best strategy available.
Reminds me of various corporate incentive structures.
"But! Grenada could also do the math. They quickly worked out that an own goal of their own would lose them the match (2-3) but let them go into the finals on goal difference. And, just as quickly, Barbados realised that they couldn’t let that happen – so they had to defend not only their own goal, but their opponents’ goal too!
For the final five minutes of regular time, fans were treated to a truly bizarre sight. Grenada was trying to score a goal in both directions: if they won or lost by one point, they would have the greater victory. And to stop them, Barbados was defending both goals at the same time – blocking both attempts at their goal, but also attempts by Grenada to score an own goal."Posted on 2023-07-07T04:34:19+0000
Behold the Afghan Burrito: A Bay Area Classic, Remixed
The Berkeley hotspot’s secret ingredient is a golden sauce you can’t stop eating.
Need to try this place ASAP.
"The latest trendsetter? West Berkeley’s Afghan Burrito, whose namesake specialty comes generously stuffed with kebab-inspired chicken or steak, rice, beans and — crucially — a signature “Golden Sauce” so top-secret that co-owners Khalid Popal and Hani Kharufeh are reluctant to tell me any of its ingredients. (“There’s water,” Kharufeh conceded the third time I asked the question.)"Posted on 2023-07-07T04:13:18+0000
The AI Founder Taking Credit For Stable Diffusion’s Success Has A History Of Exaggeration
Stability AI became a $1 billion company with the help of a viral AI text-to-image generator and some misleading claims from founder Emad Mostaque.
Finally made my way through this, and oof. One quick takeaway was definitely around how the memes poking fun at crypto bros who've now become AI bros means AI has hit it mainstream and uh...
"These aren’t the only misleading stories Mostaque, 40, has told to maneuver himself to the forefront of what some are calling the greatest technological sea change since the internet — despite having no formal experience in the field of artificial intelligence. Interviews with 13 current and former employees and more than two dozen investors, collaborators and former colleagues, as well as pitch decks and internal documents, suggest his recent success has been bolstered by exaggeration and dubious claims."
"Following a string of abandoned startups (including a crypto project centered on a digitized Quran), Mostaque founded Stability in 2019 as an AI-powered data hub that global agencies would use to make decisions about Covid-19. "Posted on 2023-07-07T04:11:58+0000
Opinion | Who died and made the Supreme Court a Congress?
Now that Republican appointees are a supermajority on the Supreme Court, it has set out to essentially rewrite American laws.
“Making the choice for the legislature — that’s exactly what this Supreme Court now does, on a regular basis, and on a range of key issues. It takes issues decided by the people’s representatives and then re-decides them in a manner that pleases the conservative supermajority on the bench. So an elected, and Democratic-controlled, Congress can write and pass a progressive law, but an unelected and very conservative Supreme Court can just rewrite it.
Confidently. Brazenly. Shamelessly.
These are not neutral judges. These are politicians in robesPosted on 2023-07-04T21:08:59+0000
Opinion | Half the Police Force Quit. Crime Dropped.
The charming town has a powerful tale to tell.
““I haven’t been on the job long enough to make any significant changes,” Chief Green said. “Yet we’re losing officers left and right. It’s hard not to think that they just don’t want to work under a Black supervisor.”
The interesting thing is that according to Chief Green, despite the reduction in staff, crime — already low — has gone down in Golden Valley. The town plans to staff the department back up, just not right away. “I’ve heard that the police union is cautioning officers from coming to work here,” Mr. Harris said. “But that’s OK. We want to take the time to hire officers who share our vision and are excited to work toward our goals.””Posted on 2023-07-03T01:23:18+0000
The Man Who Broke Bowling
Jason Belmonte’s two-handed technique made him an outcast. Then it made him the greatest—and changed the sport forever.
Did not know much about professional bowling before this (played a lot as a kid though). The novelty of the approach sometimes reminds me of how deep learning based game AIs come up with crazy novel strategies because they learn from a blank slate. How many innovations do we lose out on because we educate humans to think a certain way? (Not that I think we shouldn’t, but still..)
“His destiny was sealed shortly before his birth, when his parents, who knew almost nothing about the sport, opened a bowling center near their home in Orange, Australia, some 160 miles northwest of Sydney. As a toddler, unable to manage the 10-pound house balls with one hand, young Jason rolled them down the lanes with two. At age 7, he tried bowling one-handed for all of 10 minutes—“just sucked,” he once said—and never looked back.
The criticism assumed a plaintive tone at first. “It was, Come on, you’re a big boy now. It’s time to bowl properly,” Belmonte recalls. As a 10-year-old, when he was beating bowlers five and six years his senior, the accusations grew more hurtful, impugning his character: cheat. “There was frustration on why I wouldn’t convert, and that was where I felt a loneliness,” he says. “Because when you’re young you want to feel part of the community. And I didn’t. No one wanted to coach me. They all wanted to convert me. And so there was a point where it was like, I’m just going to do this myself.””Posted on 2023-07-02T05:39:29+0000
Perspective | Shifting views about psychedelic drugs require a new category for them
Culture, norms and laws are changing — but history says that demands an even bigger rethinking.
“As we redefine our society’s stance toward these fascinatingly protean substances, then, we should be mindful of their category-defying history.
�Psychedelics have been an integral part of human culture and experience since long before the concept of “drugs” even emerged. Perhaps one lesson of these mind-expanding substances is that to truly harness their potential, we will need to expand the ways we think and talk about them, too.”