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friday linked list: Democracy isn't losing much support, Daft Punk + Strongbad, normalizing Trump [Dec. 9th, 2016|09:33 am]
Greg
[Tags|]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

- That viral graph about millennials’ declining support for democracy? It’s very misleading. - wow, I saw the original article and it was incredibly misleading, like How to Lie With Statistics bad. Boo!

- Random Access Fhqwhgads - if you like Strongbad (and especially if you also like Daft Punk!) stop what you're doing and take a listen! So good. Definitely worth $1!

- 52 things I learned in 2016 - a bunch of random interesting stuff!

- The case for normalizing Trump: Foreign populists have been beaten by talking issues, not personality - kind of depressing but if talking about issues is the way to beat Trump, I'm on board!

- Inside Jobs is a project from The Atlantic where they interviewed a bunch of Americans about their job. I love hearing about people's jobs!

- If Waffle House Is Closed, It’s Time To Panic - I've read about the Waffle House Index before, but this had some details I hadn't seen before.

- Republicans suddenly discover that Obamacare repeal might not be so awesome, after all - Kind of disappointing that the Republicans haven't figured this out in the 6 years since Obamacare passed...

- Simmons vs. Gladwell: The Future of Football - very looooong read, but they think concussions/other NFL problems are becoming a Big Deal(TM)
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friday linked list: Moana, depressing Trump links, space race [Dec. 2nd, 2016|03:40 pm]
Greg
[Tags|]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

- The controversy behind Disney's groundbreaking new princess (Moana) - the "controversy" here is that one woman thinks that Moana is fat (she is not - look at the pictures!) and:
I think it tells girls that they don’t have to be fit. I think it’s setting up girls for unhealthy lives in the future and also for disappointing romantic lives.
which is so amazingly stupid I just can't even. Anyway, Moana is a good movie and you should see it!

- Depressing Trump links: these are important, but maybe don't read them all one after another? Trump: The Choice We Face, Coping with Chaos in the White House (thanks Andrew!), and Twenty lessons in how to deal with authoritarianism.

- The Time an Engineer Accidentally Started the Space Race and Changed the Course of History - interesting, I didn't realize the space race took such cajoling to get started!

- Seattle Minimum Wage Experiment is Over - they raised their minimum wage to $15/hour and unemployment is down!

- How to Talk to Someone You Hate - some good advice here (thanks David!)

- The Real Reason Women Quit Tech (and How to Address It) - sigh, but at least there are ways to address this (thanks Adam!)

- Quantum physics offers new way to factor numbers - interesting! (thanks Stephen!)

- See Incredible Basketball Shot Set New World Record - impressive!
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happy Thanksgiving linked list: charter schools, prisons, grover on Twitter, robot armies [Nov. 23rd, 2016|10:58 am]
Greg
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[Current Mood |happyhappy]

- It seems like there's evidence that some charter schools can work. (although the ballot measure described in the article was defeated by a wide margin...)

- If Prisoners Ran Prisons: Five Texas inmates say what they’d do differently - good idea, and ones pulled out in the article all seem pretty reasonable to me!

- Grover from Sesame Street had a near meltdown on Twitter - happy to see Sesame Street expanding its horizons. Also, hah!

- Who Will Command The Robot Armies? - another great talk by Maciej Ceglowski, also known as the founder of Pinboard. (I also really like the format of text on one side with the accompanying slides on the other!)

- NASA’s analysis of seemingly impossible engine: it works - extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and we're not there yet, but the EM Drive is pretty exciting!
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How to stand up against a registry of Muslims in the US [Nov. 20th, 2016|01:27 pm]
Greg
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[Current Mood |angryangry]

During the campaign, President-Elect Trump (yeah, I know) had called for requiring Muslims in the US to register with the government. This is not unlike what the Nazi's did to the Jews in the late 1930s, before the Holocaust. Obviously one doesn't necessarily lead to the other, but this is pretty terrifying to me.

Is he going to follow through? Who knows, but this week a pro-Trump SuperPAC spokesman pointed to the precedent of Japanese internment during World War II, so it's still being talked about.

So today I pledged to stand together with Muslims if such a registry is created and sign up myself. I don't take this step lightly, but I strongly feel that it's the right thing to do to stand up against this very un-American idea.
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some thoughts about President Trump [Nov. 10th, 2016|09:53 am]
Greg
[Tags|, ]
[Current Mood |sadsad]

- Well, that was the worst election party ever...

- Take some time for yourself. It's OK to be sad and feel despair for a little while. Do what makes you happy: read a book, watch a movie, hug your family, go for a walk. I worked on an app last night, because creating makes me feel better. I'd advise against reading more about politics/the election for a bit. Come back when you feel ready.

- Don't lose too much faith in humanity. Hillary got more votes than Trump. And just because someone voted for Trump doesn't mean they're racist, misogynist, etc...although it does mean they're OK with having a president like that, but it's not the same thing.

- There are a lot of ugly things going on out there. I wish I could say that things are going to be OK, but honestly I have no idea. What's important is that we stand up for each other, no matter our race, religion, or country of origin.

- Get involved. If you didn't vote (and lots of people didn't!), take a long, hard look in the mirror. Worried about civil liberties? Donate to the ACLU. Worried about hate groups? Give to the SPLC.

- I found Bernie Sanders' statement to be pretty inspiring. The fight isn't over!
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non-election-related linked list: Obamacare lowering uninsured rate, boo Wells Fargo [Nov. 6th, 2016|10:44 am]
Greg
[Tags|]
[Current Mood |nervousnervous]

My gift to you - links that are not election-related. (but don't forget to vote!)

- The Impact of Obamacare, in Four Maps - a reminder that although there are some growing pains with Obamacare, it has dramatically lowered the number of people that don't have health insurance.

(hey, I said "election-related", not "politics-related"!)

- Workers Say Wells Fargo Unfairly Scarred Their Careers - I listened to a recent Planet Money podcast about this, and it made me angry. Glad we don't bank there!

OK, fun video time!

- Omni-directional conveyor belts are fun to watch - that they are!

- This video of Cubs fans singing "Go Cubs Go" after Game 5 at Wrigley Field was surprisingly touching. I think I have a thing for large singing crowds (like "Sweet Caroline" at Red Sox games) Keep in mind that after this game they were still down 3-2 in the World Series, and everyone still looks pretty darn happy :-)

- They're coming with a Hamilton mixtamp, and this cover of "It's Quiet Uptown" by Kelly Clarkson is pretty haunting. (for non-Hamiltonphiles, this is after Hamilton's son dies)
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A little math problem about baseball [Oct. 30th, 2016|04:40 pm]
Greg
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[Current Mood |relaxedrelaxed]

Since the baseball season is almost over, I wrote up a little math problem based on FiveThirtyEight's MLB predictions. Check it out!
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It's a two-party system, and why that should make you feel better [Oct. 29th, 2016|10:32 pm]
Greg
[Tags|, ]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

Sometimes I get depressed that, even though he's likely to lose, 44% or so of voters are going to vote for Donald Trump.

But! That doesn't mean that 44% of people agree with everything he does. Although we do have third parties, even people who vote for them realize that they're voting on principle (or as a protest), and either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be president. People who vote for him probably like some things about him and dislike other things about him. It doesn't mean that 44% of people approve of sexually assaulting women, or building a wall between the US and Mexico, or think that the election is "rigged", etc., etc., etc.

(I admit there's some wishful thinking in here!)
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thursday linked list: implicit bias, paying Walmart employees more works!, Twitter and harassment [Oct. 27th, 2016|01:37 pm]
Greg
[Tags|]
[Current Mood |calmcalm]

- We’re All a Little Biased, Even if We Don’t Know It - implicit bias is a thing, but being aware of it can help you counter it (although more research is needed).

- How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More - nice to see that doing the right thing can pay off...

- “A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment - I really like using Twitter, but the harassment problem is pretty terrible there. (of course I don't get harassed because I'm not a woman) As others have noted, it's ironic that Twitter was cowardly about fixing the problem because they didn't want to scare users away, and now that they're trying to sell the company nobody wants to buy them because of their image problem...

- Remember how Columbia made a peace deal with the FARC? Turns out Columbian voters narrowly rejected the deal. I haven't been following the story so I'm not sure what's happened since then, but that seems sad :-(

- Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate - if you're surprised by this then I'm guessing you aren't on Facebook. I guess it's good that the left-wing pages only wrote 20% false posts compared to the 38% false posts on the right-wing pages, but that's still not great!

- Safety Net Cut Poverty Nearly in Half Last Year - just a reminder that Social Security, food stamps, etc. are effective in lifting people out of poverty

- Lessons in the Delicate Art of Confronting Offensive Speech - changing the subject is a good strategy!

- In the Chicago Police Department, If the Bosses Say It Didn’t Happen, It Didn’t Happen - good investigation of a drug ring operating inside the police department *sigh*

- Full(er) House: Exposing high-end poker cheating devices - wow, this sounds like something out of a Bond movie, but it can be yours for the low price of $5000!

- Voices From Wells Fargo: "I Thought I Was Having a Heart Attack" - yikes

- Civilization 6 is out! I haven't played much, but here's a handy district cheat sheet.
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Vote early, Texas! [Oct. 23rd, 2016|05:43 pm]
Greg
[Tags|]
[Current Mood |excitedexcited]

Early voting begins tomorrow! Here's what you need to know in Travis County:

- You can get a sample ballot by entering your name and date of birth here.
- Here's where you can look up early voting locations - our favorite is the Randall's at Braker and 183, as it's usually not too busy if you don't wait until the last day.
- Not sure how you're going to vote in local elections? No problem! Here's the nonpartisan League of Women Voters guide (PDF). For a bit more color here's the endorsements from the Austin Chronicle. Presumably the Austin American-Statesman has some endorsements somewhere but I can never find them :-/
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