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.
Categories: misc Tagged with: hillary Date: September 30th, 2016 dw
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.
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.
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. https://www.lp.org/platform
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
# of talks tagged
FROM tags GROUP BY tag ORDER BY count(tag) desc;
Tags used only once or twice
SELECT COUNT( tag ) , tag
GROUP BY tag
ORDER BY COUNT( tag ) ASC
Most viewed talks
Quite possibly wrong.
A new kind of job market
How to grow a tiny forest anywhere
I believe we evolved from aquatic apes
Is anatomy destiny?
Get your next eye exam on a smartphone
How Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place for li…
Anatomy of a New Yorker cartoon
How butterflies self-medicate
A powerful poem about what it feels like to be tra…
A Magna Carta for the web
Seas of plastic
How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nu…
The lost art of democratic debate
My wish: Protect our oceans
Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.
The sound the universe makes
Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
Our century’s greatest injustice
How to read the genome and build a human being
Watson, Jeopardy and me, the obsolete know-it-all
The birth of Wikipedia
Institutions vs. collaboration
Are we ready for neo-evolution?
How art, technology and design inform creative lea…
The shrimp with a kick!
How we cut youth violence in Boston by 79 percent
Design for people, not awards
Let’s bridge the digital divide!
A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.
Augmented reality, techno-magic
select times_seen,title from talks
order by times_seen desc;
Tags of the most popular talks
There’s a very good chance I got the sql wrong on this.
Total times viewed
TED Brain Trust
SELECT DISTINCT tags.tag , sum(talks.times_seen) FROM tags
INNER JOIN talks ON tags.talkid = talks.talkid
GROUP BY tags.tag
ORDER BY SUM( talks.times_seen ) DESC
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.
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.
Until close to Newton’s time, the stars had been accepted as a fixed background to the motions of the Earth and the rest of the solar system. The idea developed that they might be bodies like our sun, but even through a telescope they still looked like luminous points, revealing nothing of their size. Newton found a way to tackle this problem (System 596). He noted that a prominent (first magnitude) star looked about as bright as Saturn. He knew how far away Saturn is; and also knew that we see Saturn by the sunlight that it scatters back towards us. Given that the intensity of light from a source falls off as the inverse square of the distance, he could calculate how far away a star like our sun would have to be to look as bright by direct radiation as Saturn does by reflected light. His result, expressed in modern terms, was about ten lightyears, which is absolutely of the right order of magnitude.”
A.P. French, “”Isaac Newton, Explorer of the Real World,” pp. 50-77, in Stayer, Marcia Sweet, ed., Newton’s Dream. Montreal, CA: MQUP, 1988.
Categories: misc Tagged with: newton Date: April 22nd, 2016 dw
The excerpt argues that the 1960’s political movement did not fail. It changed expectations by changing our sense of what’s possible. One effect of this: it limited the ability of American politicians to blithely engage in foreign wars for a full generation…and then changed the way we engage in those wars, albeit not necessarily for the better.
Obviously we can argue about this. But that’s not my main interest in the excerpt. Rather, I’m interested in the power of changes in common sense, which I’m taking to mean our most basic ideas about how the world is put together, how it could be put together, and how it should be put together.
This is the very core of my fascination with technology for the past thirty years. It’s why I studied the history of philosophy before that.
And btw, this is not technodeterminism. “The link between technology and common sense is indirect, but real”The link between technology and common sense is indirect, but real: new tech opens new possibilities. We seize those opportunities based on non-technological motivations and understandings. When tech is radically different enough that new strategies successfully exploit those opportunities, we can learn a new common sense from those strategies. That is, in my view, what has been happening for the past twenty years.
Anyway, I now I have three books to read: Something by Wallerstein, The Democracy Project, and Graeber’s early work, Debt.
A tip of the haat to Jaap Van Till for pointing me to this. His recent post on the current French protests fills an important gaap in American media coverage. (I tease because I love :)