‘Maybe it’s notes on a cityscape to absorb the rugged, unpredictable geography of this location where the “forgotten but not gone” reside.’ –Daphne A. Brooks

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“The maximum speed required to break through the earth’s gravitational pull is seven miles a second,” says David Wojnarowicz. “Since economic conditions prevent us from gaining access to rockets or spaceships, we would have to learn to run awful fast to achieve escape from where we all are heading.”

{ The New Inquiry | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

About 25% of American couples that eventually move in together do so after four months of dating, and 50% after a year. By two years, over 70% had moved in.

New study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents

this study finds that brighter nights, those with a full moon and no clouds, have significantly more crime than nights without any moonlight

Never Commit a Crime When Your Phone Is Connected to a Wi-Fi Network

A Few Thoughts about Deep Fakes

Sand and gravel are being extracted faster than they can be replaced. Roughly 32 billion to 50 billion tonnes are used globally each year, mainly for making concrete, glass and electronics.

History’s Greatest Horse Racing Cheat and His Incredible Painting Trick

Why everything you know about nutrition is wrong

In 2019, blockchain has been piercing the food industry at an accelerated pace. According to recent research, 20% of the top-10 global grocers will use blockchain by 2025

An 1851 manual on making ice cream [via Austerity Kitchen]

I spent a day eating food cooked by robots in America’s tech capital [more Austerity Kitchen]

More than 400,000 people have joined a Facebook event page calling for storming Area 51

Facebook’s stock went up after news of a record-breaking $5 billion FTC fine

Google takes another run at social networking with Shoelace

To Break Google’s Monopoly on Search, Make Its Index Public

In a Constantly Changing San Francisco, Change is Constant — by A.I. Algorithm [Thanks Tim]

I’LL WASH YOUR PET

You’re up, you’ll get down. You’re never running from this town.

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We analyzed over one million posts from over 4,000 individuals on several social media platforms, using computational models based on reward reinforcement learning theory. Our results consistently show that human behavior on social media qualitatively and quantitatively conforms to the principles of reward learning.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

image { Dissecting Reinforcement Learning }

Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them, and give names to these shadows.

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In mid-1947, a United States Army Air Forces balloon crashed at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Following wide initial interest in the crashed “flying disc”, the US military stated that it was merely a conventional weather balloon. Interest subsequently waned until the late 1970s, when ufologists began promoting a variety of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories, claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed and that the extraterrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military, which then engaged in a cover-up.

In the 1990s, the US military published two reports disclosing the true nature of the crashed object: a nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

photo { W. Eugene Smith, Untitled [man holding bottle, S-shaped foam form emerging from it], Springfield, Massachusetts, 1952 }

Every day, the same, again

The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance—by their heartbeat

People keep spotting Teslas with snoozing drivers on the freeway

people judged that altering some moral facts was impossible—not even God could turn morally wrong acts into morally right acts. Strikingly, people thought that God could make physically impossible and logically impossible events occur.

In a technical tour de force, Japanese researchers created eggs and sperm in the laboratory. Now, scientists have to determine how to use those cells safely — and ethically.

An interoceptive illusion of effort induced by false heart-rate feedback

Cockroaches may soon be unstoppable—thanks to fast-evolving insecticide resistance

In recent weeks, hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted U.S. government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy, including oil and gas, sending waves of spear-phishing emails

China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App — Border authorities routinely install the app on the phones of people entering the Xinjiang region by land from Central Asia, gathering personal data and scanning for material considered objectionable. [NY Times | Vice]

China may soon be home to half of the world’s most powerful supercomputing systems.

China’s Social Credit System Is More Kafka Than Orwell

Gutenberg Didn’t Actually Invent the Printing Press

James Joyce and the Writing of Odor 

Cincinnati Built a Subway System 100 Years Ago–But Never Used It

In 1999 Sweden banned the purchase—but not the sale—of sex. The idea of criminalising prostitutes’ clients is spreading

Deepfake revenge porn distribution now a crime in Virginia

Why pilots are seeing UFOs

The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” will fly over Hollywood in celebration of the upcoming film Captain Marvel during the afternoon of March 4, 2019. + U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds stunt team flying over Hollywood Blvd [Thanks Tim]

I was shift and shuft too, with her shester Mrs Shunders

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A few months ago, I started hearing about something called Superhuman. It’s an invitation-only service that costs $30 a month and promises “the fastest email experience ever made.” Marc Andreessen, the influential venture capitalist, reportedly swore by it, as did tech bigwigs like Patrick and John Collison, the founders of Stripe. The app was rumored to have a waiting list of more than 100,000 people.

“We have the who’s who of Silicon Valley at this point,” Superhuman’s founder, Rahul Vohra, told me in an interview. The waiting list is actually 180,000 people long, he said, and some people are getting desperate. He showed me a photo of a gluten-free cake sent to Superhuman’s office by a person who was hoping to score an invitation.

“We have insane levels of virality that haven’t been seen since Dropbox or Slack,” Mr. Vohra added.

Last month, Superhuman raised a $33 million investment round, led by Mr. Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz. That valued the company at roughly $260 million — a steep valuation for an app with fewer than 15,000 customers, but one apparently justified by the company’s trajectory and its support among fans, which borders on evangelical. […]

I spent several weeks testing it out. And it turns out that the hype is mostly justified, at least if you’re the kind of person who can spend $30 a month to get your inbox in order. […]

Some of the app’s features — such as ones that let users undo sending, track when their emails are opened and automatically pull up a contact’s LinkedIn profile — are available in other third-party email plug-ins. But there are bells and whistles that I hadn’t seen before. Like “instant intro,” which moves the sender of an introductory email to bcc, saving you from having to manually re-enter that person’s address. Or the scheduling feature, which sees that you’re typing “next Tuesday” and automatically pulls up your calendar for that day.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

‘Reason not the need.’ –Shakespeare

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{ Rich get richer, everyone else not so much in record U.S. expansion }

More Americans are saying they need a variety of animals — dogs, ducks, even insects — for their mental health. But critics say many are really just pets that do not merit special status.

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{ Trump’s ties }

OMG SHUT UP AND TAKE OUR MONEY

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{ Horns are growing on young people’s skulls, caused by the forward tilt of the head. Phone use is to blame, research suggests. | Washington Post | No, Teenagers Are Not Growing ‘Skull Horns’ Because of Smartphones | Time }

Sleep no more

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Humans need more than seven hours of sleep each night to maintain cognitive performance. After ten days of just seven hours of sleep, the brain is as dysfunctional as it would be after going without sleep for 24 hours. […]

The best ways to train your body to fall asleep quicker is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even if you don’t have a good night of sleep.

{ Quartz | Continue reading }

photo { Thomas Prior }

In this big game that we play, life, it’s not what you hope for, it’s not what you deserve, it’s what you take

A woman who was knocked unconscious by a cyclist will be awarded compensation, despite a judge finding she had stepped into the road while looking at her phone.

Robert Hazeldean, a garden designer, who was also knocked out by the collision, will pay thousands in damages and court fees to Gemma Brushett, who works for a finance firm in the City of London and runs yoga retreats. […]

Judge Shanti Mauger, at Central London county court, said: “Cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.”

{ Guardian | Continue reading }

‘Nothing brings you peace but the triumph of principles.’ –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Suppose you live in a deeply divided society: 60% of people strongly identify with Group A, and the other 40% strongly identify with Group B. While you plainly belong to Group A, you’re convinced this division is bad: It would be much better if everyone felt like they belonged to Group AB. You seek a cohesive society, where everyone feels like they’re on the same team.

What’s the best way to bring this cohesion about? Your all-too-human impulse is to loudly preach the value of cohesion. But on reflection, this is probably counter-productive. When members of Group B hear you, they’re going to take “cohesion” as a euphemism for “abandon your identity, and submit to the dominance of Group A. ”None too enticing. And when members of Group A notice Group B’s recalcitrance, they’re probably going to think, “We offer Group B the olive branch of cohesion, and they spit in our faces. Typical.” Instead of forging As and Bs into one people, preaching cohesion tears them further apart.

What’s the alternative? Simple. Instead of preaching cohesion, reach out to Group B. Unilaterally show them respect.Unilaterally show them friendliness. They’ll be distrustful at first, but cohesion can’t be built in a day. 

{ The Library of Economics and Liberty | Continue reading }

photo { Stephen Shore, Queens, New York, April 1972 }