Monday, May 25, 2015
My pecha kucha talk about Open Library in 24 seconds
Open Library is so cool. I found several books from my childhood there. It is weird to see those illustrations that I never remembered but that are so familiar.
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
coffeeandsleeping:if there was a way to make your blog have a smell, so that everyone visiting your...
if there was a way to make your blog have a smell, so that everyone visiting your blog automatically smelled it, what would you make your blog smell like?
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
"It is not too early to begin considering what happens to Democracy when half the population can..."
- Jerry Pournelle (via azspot)
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
H.R.2252 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): To clarify the effective date of certain provisions of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014, and for other purposes. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
S.665 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
In The Plot Against Trains, Adam Gopnik muses about how infrastructure in America has become dilapidated in part because we (or at least much of we) believe little good can come from the government.
What an ideology does is give you reasons not to pursue your own apparent rational interest – and this cuts both ways, including both wealthy people in New York who, out of social conviction, vote for politicians who are more likely to raise their taxes, and poor people in the South who vote for those devoted to cutting taxes on incomes they can never hope to earn. There is no such thing as false consciousness. There are simply beliefs that make us sacrifice one piece of self-evident interest for some other, larger principle.
What we have, uniquely in America, is a political class, and an entire political party, devoted to the idea that any money spent on public goods is money misplaced, not because the state goods might not be good but because they would distract us from the larger principle that no ultimate good can be found in the state. Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow.
The ideology of individual autonomy is, for good or ill, so powerful that it demands cars where trains would save lives, just as it places assault weapons in private hands, despite the toll they take in human lives. Trains have to be resisted, even if it means more pollution and massive inefficiency and falling ever further behind in the amenities of life – what Olmsted called our “commonplace civilization.”
The way be brings it back to trains at the end is lovely:
A train is a small society, headed somewhere more or less on time, more or less together, more or less sharing the same window, with a common view and a singular destination.
Well, except when you’re on that Snowpiercer train. Although in the end (spoiler!), Curtis brought the train’s segregated society back to “a common view and a singular destination” by crashing it and killing (almost) everyone on it. Hopefully America isn’t headed toward the same end.
I can’t wait until there is a commuter train thru my town. 2020, hopefully.
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Monday, May 18, 2015
Sunday, May 17, 2015
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