Blurt!Commonplace Book

“Before California was West, it was North and it was East: the uppermost periphery of the Mexican Empire, and the arrival point for Chinese immigrants making the perilous journey from Guangdong.” (Carolina A. Miranda, “Remapping L.A.”)

Jan. 14, 2020, 8:59pm

“An unkind summary, then, of the past half decade of the consumer internet: Venture capitalists have subsidized the creation of platforms for low-paying work that deliver on-demand servant services to rich people, while subjecting all parties to increased surveillance.” (Alexis C. Madrigal, “The Servant Economy”)

Jan. 14, 2020, 8:40pm

“[W]e find that ‘vegetable’ rarely applies to the entire plant (or to the same parts of the plant), while it also has a way of applying to things that aren’t actually vegetables. It is a category both broader and more specific that the thing it’s supposed to describe.” (Lynne Peskoe-Yang, “Vegetables Don’t Exist”)

Jan. 14, 2020, 8:35pm

“[C]onversion disorder, or mass psychogenic illness, as it is also known, is essentially stress that strikes a close-knit group, like an embassy under siege, and behaves epidemiologically—that is, it spreads like an infection.” (Jack Hitt, “The Real Story Behind the Havana Embassy Mystery”)

Jan. 14, 2020, 8:27pm

“[The study] estimated that Uber and Lyft increased traffic fatalities last year by an astonishing 1,100 — an enormous human toll. The study also found, surprisingly, that Uber and Lyft have no effect on drunk driving.” (Angie Schmitt, “All the Bad Things About Uber and Lyft In One Simple List”)

Jan. 14, 2020, 8:14pm

“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

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

“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.” (Brooke Jarvis, “The Insect Apocalypse Is Here”)

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.” (John Timmer, “Higher minimum wages linked to reduced suicide rate”)

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.” (Robin George Andrews, “Beneath Antarctica’s Ice Is a Graveyard of Dead Continents”)

Jan. 11, 2020, 12:07pm

My to-do list: • Fix up the formatting on smaller screens. • Explain a bit about this ongoing project.Possibly transfer entries from @sben_links, though that’s going to be non-trivial (e.g. what do I do about dead links?).

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