Blurt!Commonplace Book

“Twitter wanted all of the credit for the innovation and none of the credit for the impact, when the reality was the other way around. Time after time, they came right up to the limit of acknowledging that, always to turn away at the last moment.”

posted Sat., Sep. 17, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“[I]n this case, the unseen companion was producing copious amounts of radiation that was heating the star. This process essentially produces a star with a ‘daytime’ side bathed in radiation, so it’s more energetic and brighter, and a ‘nighttime’ side that emits the star’s intrinsic brightness.”

posted Fri., Sep. 16, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“My assessment … suggests that the blues has very old roots, originating with performers who found new ways of playing African-inflected music in the New World — but typically in rural areas where they could remain immune to many of the influences linked to commercial trends in American music.”

posted Thu., Sep. 15, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“[Y]ou are now operating a small thermal refinery that is making light short-chained vaporous hydrocarbons from what was once $8-a-quart oil. They are being conveniently routed to the cabin through carefully formed channels in the heating system, plus the rust holes in the floor provided by Mother Nature herself over the past few decades.”

posted Wed., Sep. 14, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“[M]ost of my callers realised that they can’t contribute to a field without meeting today’s quality standard. … One of them might even publish a paper soon. Not a proposal for a theory of everything, mind you, but a new way to look at a known effect. A first step on a long journey.”

posted Tue., Sep. 13, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“If you do a meta-analysis of all the publications resulting from trials that weren’t preregistered, homeopathic treatments outperformed placebo by a statistically significant margin. If you look at the publications that resulted from trials that had been preregistered, there was no statistical difference between homeopathy and placebo.”

posted Mon., Sep. 12, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“Nearly every one of the 382 stone tools unearthed at Xiamabei is less than four centimeters long; making and using these smaller blades would have allowed early humans to do more work with less material. Handles helped make the tools easier to grip and more versatile; [Fa-Gang] Wang and his colleagues found one bladelet with part of a bone haft still attached to the stone.”

posted Sun., Sep. 11, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“[Ludovic] Slimak and his colleagues say that there was probably less than a year between the end of Neanderthal occupation here, in Layer F, and the time our species moved in, in Layer E. That makes it very likely that the two species actually met and interacted at the site, or somewhere very nearby.”

posted Sat., Sep. 10, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“Zillow’s formulaic purchasing strategy virtually guaranteed that it would get the slice of the inventory it had most overrated. Any time there’s a problem with the home not captured in the Zestimate … Zillow’s iBuying program was likely to overpay. And the people getting a great deal from Zillow would be those most likely to take the deal.”

posted Fri., Sep. 9, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“Sometimes the birds would lose a tool, leaving it out of reach inside the cage. In that case, they’d reach for another tool but wouldn’t use it to retrieve the food—instead, they’d retrieve the first tool, then use that to get the food. One individual went three layers deep into this sort of recursion.”

posted Thu., Sep. 8, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“Hate becomes the water you swim in. After all, if you’re going to post that or write that or draw that or think that or say that, then you better be ready for people to call you a cunt. If you can’t stand the heat, you should shut the fuck up and go back to the kitchen. Or something like that.”

(The article begins with this warning: “Content Advisory: This essay contains images of graphic language, racial and homophobic and transphobic slurs, and references to sexual violence.”)

posted Wed., Sep. 7, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT (edited)

“Landing on the tarmac is something planes routinely do — in fact, it’s where they usually land — but with a jetpack, something unfortunate happens when the pilot lands on concrete. The jet turbines on the pilot’s back blow 800-degree exhaust on to the ground, and this heat has nowhere to go but out, spreading across the pavement like a bomb radius.”

posted Tue., Sep. 6, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“But it was [Tré Seals’s] typeface ‘Ruby,’ named in honor of Ruby Bridges, the first child to integrate a previously all-white elementary school in the South, that grabbed my attention. Ruby is Vocal Type Co.’s reclaiming of ATF’s Jim Crow.”

posted Mon., Sep. 5, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“The less optimistic possibility is that financial engineering is all crypto can do. It may make money transfers more efficient, maybe it makes collecting royalties quicker and more transparent…. Those are all great, valid use cases. But they are narrow in scope: they were already financial transactions.”

posted Sun., Sep. 4, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT

“When you think about it, OpenSea would actually be much ‘better’ in the immediate sense if all the web3 parts were gone. … However, if they had built a platform to buy and sell images that wasn’t nominally based on crypto … I don’t think it would have taken off because this is a gold rush.”

posted Sat., Sep. 3, 2022, 8:00:00pm PDT