🎧 The Power Of Categories | Invisibilia (NPR)

The Power Of Categories by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel from Invisibilia | NPR.org
The Power Of Categories examines how categories define us — how, if given a chance, humans will jump into one category or another. People need them, want them. The show looks at what categories provide for us, and you'll hear about a person caught between categories in a way that will surprise you. Plus, a trip to a retirement community designed to help seniors revisit a long-missed category.

The transgender/sexual dysphoria story here is exceedingly interesting because it could potentially have some clues to how those pieces of biology work and what shifts things in one direction or another. How is that spectrum created/defined? A few dozen individuals like that could help provide an answer.

The story about the Indian retirement community in Florida is interesting, but it also raises the (unasked, in the episode at least) question of the detriment it can do to a group of people to be lead by some the oldest members of their community. The Latin words senīlis ‎(“of or pertaining to old age”) and senex ‎(“old”) are the roots of words like senate, senescence, senility, senior, and seniority, and though it’s nice to take care of our elders, the younger generations should take a hard look at the unintended consequences which may stem from this.

In some sense I’m also reminded about Thomas Kuhn’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and why progress in science (and yes, society) is held back by the older generations who are still holding onto outdated models. Though simultaneously, they do provide some useful “brakes” on both velocity of change as well as potential ill effects which could be damaging in short timeframes.

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The 86-Year-Old Breakout Star of Sundance | The Daily Beast

The 86-Year-Old Breakout Star of Sundance by Kevin Fallon (The Daily Beast)
After six decades in showbiz—she made her film debut opposite James Dean—Lois Smith is finally getting her due as a grieving widow in the Sundance sci-fi drama ‘Marjorie Prime.’

Continue reading “The 86-Year-Old Breakout Star of Sundance | The Daily Beast”

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Trial Balloon for a Coup? | Medium

Trial Balloon for a Coup? by Yonatan Zunger (Medium)
Analyzing the news of the past 24 hours

Analyzing the news of the past 24 hours

The theme of this morning’s news updates from Washington is additional clarity emerging, rather than meaningful changes in the field. But this clarity is enough to give us a sense of what we just saw happen, and why it happened the way it did.

I’ll separate what’s below into the raw news reports and analysis; you may also find these two pieces from yesterday (heavily referenced below) to be useful.

From “The Day After Tomorrow.” I resisted the temptation to use the analogous shot from “Planet of the Apes.”

Continue reading “Trial Balloon for a Coup? | Medium”

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The Republican Fausts | The New York Times

The Republican Fausts by David Brooks (nytimes.com)(7 hours 22 minutes 2 seconds)
They struck a deal with the devil, Donald Trump, that comes at too high a price.
President Trump at a retreat last week in Philadelphia for congressional Republicans. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media.

Continue reading “The Republican Fausts | The New York Times”

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Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states | Associated Press

Trump's voter fraud expert registered in 3 states by Garance Burke (AP News)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election,

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned.

Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states. He voted only in Alabama in November, records show. Continue reading “Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states | Associated Press”

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The Web Cryptography API is a W3C Recommendation | W3C News

The Web Cryptography API is a W3C Recommendation (W3C News)
The Web Cryptography Working Group has published a W3C Recommendation of the Web Cryptography API. This specification describes a JavaScript API for performing basic cryptographic operations in web applications, such as hashing, signature generation and verification, and encryption and decryption. Additionally, it describes an API for applications to generate and/or manage the keying material necessary to perform these operations. Uses for this API range from user or service authentication, document or code signing, and the confidentiality and integrity of communications.

h/t

This has to be the most awesome Indieweb pull request I’ve seen this year.

This has to be the most awesome Indieweb pull request I've seen this year.

Heres why I did it: Trump

WithKnown is a fantastic, free, and opensource content management service that supports some of the most bleeding edge technology on the internet. I’ve been playing with it for over two years and love it!

And today, there’s another reason to love it even more…

This is also a great reminder that developers can have a lasting and useful impact on the world around them–even in the political arena.

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🎧 Entanglement | Invisibilia (NPR)

Entanglement by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel from Invisibilia | NPR.org
In Entanglement, you'll meet a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia who can physically feel what she sees others feeling. And an exploration of the ways in which all of us are connected — more literally than you might realize. The hour will start with physics and end with a conversation with comedian Maria Bamford and her mother. They discuss what it's like to be entangled through impersonation.

I can think of a few specific quirks I’ve got that touch tangentially on mirror synethesia. This story and some of the research behind it is truly fascinating. Particularly interesting are the ideas of the contagion of emotion. It would be interesting to take some complexity and network theory and add some mathematical models to see how this might look. In particular the recent political protests in the U.S. might make great models. This also makes me wonder where Donald Trump sits on this emotional empathy spectrum, if at all.

One of the more interesting take-aways: the thoughts and emotions of those around you can affect you far more than you imagine.

Four episodes in and this podcast is still impossibly awesome. I don’t know if I’ve had so many thought changing ideas since I read David Christian’s book Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History[1] The sad problem is that I’m listening to them at a far faster pace than they could ever continue to produce them.

References

[1]
D. Christian, Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Univ of California Press, 2004.
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Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market | The Verge

Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market by Lauren Goode (theverge.com)
Fitbit today released preliminary results for its upcoming fourth quarter earnings report, and the news isn’t good.

Continue reading “Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market | The Verge”

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IndieWebify.Me and the Knowledge Gap | DataHive Consulting

IndieWebify.Me and the Knowledge Gap by Lynne Baer (DataHive Consulting)

Last week, a friend asked me what I thought of IndieWebify.Me, a movement intended to allow people to publish on the web without relying on the tools and storage of the giant corporations that currently control the majority of the social web. I’m the kind of person who gladly supports her local independent bookstores and farmers’ markets and food purveyors, links to IndieBound.org instead of Amazon to buy books, and admires the ideals of Open Source Software. So, I’m biased towards an independent and open experience. Continue reading “IndieWebify.Me and the Knowledge Gap | DataHive Consulting”

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Google Recalls Staff to U.S. After Trump Immigration Order | Bloomberg

Google Recalls Staff to U.S. After Trump Immigration Order by Mark Bergen (Bloomberg.com)
Alphabet Inc.’s Google delivered a sharp message to staff traveling overseas who may be impacted by a new executive order on immigration from President Donald Trump: Get back to the U.S. now.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google delivered a sharp message to staff traveling overseas who may be impacted by a new executive order on immigration from President Donald Trump: Get back to the U.S. now.

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai slammed Trump’s move in a note to employees Friday, telling them that more than 100 company staff are affected by the order. Continue reading “Google Recalls Staff to U.S. After Trump Immigration Order | Bloomberg”

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🔖 Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott (Portfolio, May 10, 2016)
The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second genera­tion—powered by blockchain technology—is bringing us the Internet of value: a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.

Blockchain is the ingeniously simple, revolution­ary protocol that allows transactions to be simul­taneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamperproof public ledger of value. Though it’s the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital cur­rencies, the underlying framework has the potential to go far beyond these and record virtually everything of value to humankind, from birth and death certifi­cates to insurance claims and even votes.

Perhaps not necessarily this particular book which appears to be on the overview side, but sometime this year I’d like to delve more deeply into the concept of blockchain and the tech behind it.

Anyone have recommendations of books they liked?

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