October 14, 2016
October 14, 2016
October 10, 2016
By the way, according to the tool at Planetcalc, Trump used 1,162 unique words; Clinton used 1,242. According to Readability-Score, Trump spoke at a 7.6 grade level, while Clinton spoke at a 9.0 grade level. Yay for democracy.
October 3, 2016
September 30, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s tech policy is progressive. This doesn’t surprise me because the techies she has surrounded herself with understand the Internet not only as an information system but as a democratizing, person-to-person, many-to-many, cultural force.
Her policy brief, however, is long and detailed. No, of course you won’t agree with everything in it. Me neither. But that’s how politics works, and how it’s supposed to work.
So I decided to try to reduce the policy down to a more manageable scale, starting with a bumpersticker and working my way up. It’s here.
If you care about the cyber, vote.
September 22, 2016
The Clinton campaigned apparently auditioned a bunch of celebrities to stand in for Trump as she practices debating him. I somehow managed to get the transcripts of their auditions. They include, perhaps surprisingly, Louis CK, Bryan Cranston, Quentin Tarantino, and some others.
You can read the full transcripts here.
September 2, 2016
I believe we invented the indoors because it’s better than being outdoors.
I don’t care about sports. Oh, sure, I watched the clips of the USA’s women’s gymnastics team, but mainly as amazing science fiction because clearly that was not possible.
I enjoy watching dance for the same reason, although I am also capable of being moved by it, something that no home town team does for me. I went to a couple of dance classes with my not-yet wife when we were courting, but I stopped coming out of pity for our poor, kind teacher who would not accept that someone could fail to master walking with his arms in opposition to his legs…you know that thing humans do when their right hand swings back as their left leg swings forwards.
Needless to say, I was not on any high school or college teams.
In short, I am your basic indoor Jew. A schlub.
I prefer it this way. Bodies are over-rated, except for eating and, well, you know. They’re high-maintenance and whiny. But what are you going to do? You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em, am I right?
So I was surprised to realize that I may have become a jock.
It’s September. I live in Boston. Tomorrow we might get snowed in until April, or, like last year, it might stay early Fall until January. Which means my jogging days are numbered. And, of course, they’ve got a big red number counting down as well, given that I’m 65 years old and never thought I’d still be sweating into a baseball cap at this age.
Jogging — yes, I know the whippersnappers don’t call it that any more — is the only athletic activity I’ve ever succeeded at, where success means doing it more than twice in a row. I started doing wind sprints when I was in college, very occasionally, and then in grad school in Toronto started running at the local YMCA. That came to an end when people complained about the volume of my footfall on the wooden track. Apparently my feet have hinges that cause them to slap the boards like cricket bats. So, I began running outside.
I reached my peak around 1977 when I trained for and then ran in a 10K. I was pretty proud of myself as I reached the finish line until a twelve year old girl sprinted past me chewing gum and holding a transistor radio to her ear. But in truth I’ve never been motivated to run fast or even a bit faster. I’ve been motivated by making it back home where I can sit indoors.
That ultimately is the secret to my success with jogging: I head out in a loop and the only way to make it stop is to keep going.
I am a terrible jogger. I was always slow but now I watch who’s passing me and realize that I only feel like I’m running. Still, I come home and sweat for half an hour.
Being a world-class athlete isn’t always pretty
During the intervals when I’m running, I do it maybe 3 times a week, although I’ve been running every day, compulsively, all summer. I put on my bright green shorts, one of my ancient baseball hats, and my earphones playing something upbeat that I can stop listening to as the voice in my head gets more insistent, and run 2.5-3.5 miles depending on how I feel and how cool the temperature is; my endurance is in a non-linear negative relationship with the heat.
The truth is that my mood is better during the months when I’m running. Could be the sunlight, which I otherwise avoid the way other people duck out of the rain. Could be the cardiovascular effects; my heart rate is lower during my running months. Could be the general lassitude the exertion brings on; when it comes to everything, I just give less of a damn. Who knows.
But what’s made me think that I’m slipping into jockhood is that I’ve actually been looking forward to my daily jog. I’m not running any faster, I’m not running any better, I still look like a bag of potatoes falling down the stairs, but I sort of enjoy it. Sort of.
It will pass. As will we all.
August 30, 2016
Clinton policy page home page
Clinton Tech and Innovation policy
Trump policy home page
Trump’s Tech and Innovation policy
I did a Google search on “site:donaldjtrump.com technology” and likewise for innovation and couldn’t find a tech policy on his site, although he does support the GOP platform which mentions innovation:
I couldn’t find a tech policy per se, but their platform mentions supporting uncensored and unregulated media and tech, privacy, and the use of innovative tech to protect the environment.
The party platform doesn’t have a top-level tech policy, but there’s a subsection of the” Advanced Technology and Defense Conversion” section that talks about telecommunications, and one about Open Source Software.
August 14, 2016
Here’s some info about the 2,200 TED Talks based largely on the tags that TED supplies on its Web site; the data are a few months old. Keep in mind that I am grossly incompetent at this, so I’ve included the SQL queries I used to derive this information so you can see how wrong I’ve gone and can laugh and laugh.
Number of unique tags
378 of ’em
SELECT count( DISTINCT(tag) ) FROM tags
Most popular tags
Tags used only once or twice
SELECT COUNT( tag ) , tag
Most viewed talks
Quite possibly wrong.
select times_seen,title from talks
Tags of the most popular talks
There’s a very good chance I got the sql wrong on this.
SELECT DISTINCT tags.tag , sum(talks.times_seen) FROM tags
Tags of least popular talks
same as above, but ascending
May 26, 2016
It’s changed a lot in 14 years, but hasn’t swerved from its core principles: News and ideas for Democrats, in an open, conversational forum, with a strong commitment to building a community and getting shit done.
DailyKos is absolutely one of my go-to sites. Here’s some of what I like about it:
It is open about its commitment to Democratic values, but it is also fact based. For example, if an economic report isn’t where we’d like, DailyKos doesn’t try to put a happy face on it. It instead tries to figure out what’s going wrong and how it can be addressed. If this means criticizing Democrats all the way up to President Obama, they do it.
DailyKos has remained true to the vision of blogging as a way of democratizing voice. While the site has an excellent staff of paid writers — each of whom has her or his own voice — there are also thousands of bloggers at the site. The site has community-based ways of featuring them on the front page. This gives a real sense that site is ours.
Humor is part of the daily life of DailyKos.
Markos keeps his eye on the ball. The site is about helping Democrats win in order to advance progressive values. In March Markos decided that it’s time for the site to turn away from Bernie supporters doing the Republicans’ job for them by attacking Hillary in nasty, irrational ways. Supporting Bernie is fine. Open criticism of Hillary is fine. More than fine. We need to be alert to her limitations as well as to the ways in which Trump will attack her. But name-calling, personal attacks, or conspiracy theories about Vince Foster at this point will not help the progressive cause. As Markos says, there are plenty of other places on the Web for that sort of thing. So, you’ll still find people at the site fervently backing Bernie, and plenty of criticism and concern about Hillary. But not the sort of angry jeremiad that tears us apart.
The site does not get lost in the presidential horse race. It focuses also on state and local elections.
DailyKos is a fascinating hybrid of commitment and evidence-based dialogue. Here’s looking to many more years of it.
May 4, 2016
I am far from the first person to notice this, but it really pisses me off.
Treyarch, the creators of Call of Duty, in the latest version let’s us decide to play as a woman. Other games have been doing this for a long time. So, have half a yay, Treyarch. Nevertheless, your player’s gender is not reflected in the script. There’s an argument I don’t want to have about whether this makes sense; it really just comes down to bucks.
But what really pisses me, and many other people, off is this character choice screen:
This was an incredibly expensive game to design. The graphics are awesome, the sets are amazingly detailed. In single-player campaign mode, it’s a full length action movie—albeit not a very good one—and is budgeted like one.
But Treyarch couldn’t be bothered to spend $2.50 more to add some non-white faces to the roster. Really?
Here’s a fairly random screen shot I picked up from the Web.
Keep in mind that this is about one sixth the resolution you get on a gaming PC. Treyarch can add intense detail to a gun or piece of shrapnel but can’t be troubled to design a few faces that aren’t white?
We’ve got a word for people who assume that the white race is the “real” race.
Not ok, Treyarch.