Blurt!Commonplace Book

“Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer publishes mysteries, thrillers, and true crime novels; Little A handles literary fiction and nonfiction; AmazonCrossing is responsible for translated texts; 47North does science fiction and fantasy; Skyscape is for teen and young adult books; there’s Two Lions for children’s books….” (Paris Martineau and Louise Matsakis, “Why It’s Hard to Escape Amazon’s Long Reach”)

Jan. 13, 2020, 10:36pm

“[Acknowledging luck] just means that no one ‘deserves’ hunger, homelessness, ill health, or subjugation — and ultimately, no one ‘deserves’ giant fortunes either. All such outcomes involve a large portion of luck.” (David Roberts, “The radical moral implications of luck in human life”)

Jan. 13, 2020, 10:32pm

“On this half-empty passenger ship with its swirling ’80s carpets right out of The Shining, there is very little sober talk of blockchain’s obstacles or limitations. … Instead, the core and only existential question is which of the various coins and ICOs (initial coin offerings) will make you the richest the fastest before dawn.” (Laurie Penny, “Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche”) Bonus quote: “John McAfee has never been convicted of rape and murder, but—crucially—not in the same way that you or I have never been convicted of rape or murder.”

Jan. 13, 2020, 10:23pm

“People like to discuss the ill effects of social media on misinformation, but the Content Cycle demonstrates the deep, almost biological connection between the megaplatforms of the internet and legacy media like television, in a complex ecosystem of aggregation, outrage, performance, and attention.”

posted Jan. 13, 2020, 10:04pm

Added a visible RSS link to the bottom of the front page, rather than only buried in the site metadata.

Jan. 12, 2020, 9:01pm (edited)

“The German study found that, measured simply by weight, the overall abundance of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years. If you looked at midsummer population peaks, the drop was 82 percent.”

posted Jan. 12, 2020, 8:37pm

“The researchers also looked specifically at the 2008 economic collapse and estimate that a $1 minimum wage increase could have prevented over 13,000 suicides if previous trends held for this period.”

posted Jan. 12, 2020, 7:52pm

“East Antarctica is in fact a graveyard of continental remnants. [Scientists] have created stunning 3-D maps of the southernmost continent’s tectonic underworld and found that the ice has been concealing wreckage of an ancient supercontinent’s spectacular destruction.”

posted Jan. 11, 2020, 12:07pm

My to-do list:

Jan. 11, 2020, 12:03pm (edited)

While I catch up on my backlog of posts, I’m going to be interspersing the backlog with things I’ve just read.

Jan. 11, 2020, 12:03pm

“The cult of untranslatables goes beyond orientalism. They spread, meme-like, with the same misleading explanations repeated. Often, they hew suspiciously closely to stereotypes about the culture in question.”

posted Jan. 11, 2020, 11:59am

“On the next round of 600 mg, four percent of kids in the placebo group made it through, while 67 percent of those in the treatment group did. And 2.4 percent in the placebo group could tolerate 1,000 mg of peanut protein, compared to half the treatment group.”

posted Jan. 10, 2020, 10:29pm

“What does this have to do with pop music? The Lempel-Ziv algorithm works by exploiting repeated sequences. How efficiently LZ can compress a text is directly related to the number and length of the repeated sections in that text.”

posted Jan. 10, 2020, 10:26pm

“[T]hen there have also been some strange recurring bloopers in which environmental activists have haplessly stumbled into casual alliances with dangerous members of the far-right radical fringe.”

posted Jan. 10, 2020, 10:22pm

“But it is not enough to reveal the conservatives' false promise of judicial neutrality. Progressives must offer their own vision for what the Constitution should be understood to mean.”

posted Jan. 10, 2020, 10:13pm