👓 Scripting News: August 17, 2017

Scripting News: August 17, 2017 by Dave Winer (Scripting News)
Another shift happened a few years ago, when I decided it was okay to develop just for myself, with no intention of ever releasing the stuff I was working on. That led to a new style of product, and a happier developer. I was always doing it for myself, and fooling myself into believing it was for other people. I'm no less a narcissist than anyone else. Once you own that, you get a lot more powerful, I have found.

A great advertisement for selfdogfooding.

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👓 Weniger Social Media, mehr Mensch by René Meister

Weniger Social Media, mehr Mensch by René Meister (renem.net)
Seit ein paar Wochen schon mache ich mir Gedanken wie ich der Flut an Informationen in sozialen Netzen entfliehen kann. Wobei Informationen hier vielleicht nicht das korrekte Wort ist, denn der größte Teil was auf Twitter & Co. geteilt und veröffentlicht wird, ist Content nach dem ich überhaupt ...

The title of this piece translates as “Less social media, more people”.

My favorite quote from it, roughly translated from German is:

I would like to see contributions for which I am really interested, which stimulate me to think, in which I can learn something.

This is about as good a reason to join the IndieWeb as one could want​​.

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👓 The Friendliest Lawsuit Ever Filed Against the Justice Department | Law Fare Blog

The Friendliest Lawsuit Ever Filed Against the Justice Department by Benjamin Wittes (LawFare)
In February, speaking before a joint session of Congress, President Trump declared that: “according to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.” There's a lot of reason to believe this statement is a compound lie—both to believe that the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism-related crimes did not come here from elsewhere and to believe that the career men and women of the Department of Justice did not provide any data suggesting otherwise.
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👓 How the design firm behind the Xbox built the bike of the future | The Verge

How the design firm behind the Xbox built the bike of the future by David Pierce (The Verge)
"We wanted you to be able to take the bike and go with how the city moves." Teague was enlisted to design a new kind of bike by Oregon Manifest, a non-profit dedicated to making the world think differently about bikes. Its Bike Design Project gave firms in five cities the opportunity to build a bike made with their city in mind; the public then voted on the winner, which will enter a limited production run from Fuji Bikes. The New York City bike had a USB phone charger built in; The Evo, from San Francisco, was all about modular storage. Chicago's Blackline bike was a rugged pothole-conquerer of a bike, and Portland's PDX came with an app to personalize the ride just for you. For every different city, a different bike. But the voters picked Seattle. They picked Denny, the bike Jackson and the team at Teague designed with Sizemore Bicycles, a custom-bike maker in the city.

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👓 Culling Apps Because of the iPad by Jack Baty

Culling Apps Because of the iPad by Jack Baty (www.baty.blog)
This means that in order to work easily in both desktop and mobile environments, I must rely on apps that work well in both. Taking that further, it means that I want to use the same app everywhere. My love for plain text files remains. It’s great being able to edit my files using any number of Dropbox-compatible apps, but using one app to edit Markdown on the Mac and a different one on iOS is beginning to feel like overhead I don’t need. The drawback here, and it’s a big one, is that I may need to abandon some of my favorite things. At least the ones I live in, now that I live in different places.

Having relatively uniform tools across computing modalities certainly has something to say for itself.

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👓 Link: The futility of science communication conferences by John Hawks

Link: The futility of science communication conferences by John Hawks (johnhawks.net)
Rich Borschelt is the communication director for science at the Department of Energy, and recently attended a science communication workshop. He describes at some length his frustration at the failed model of science communication, in which every meeting hashes over the same futile set of assumptions: “Communication, Literacy, Policy: Thoughts on SciComm in a Democracy. After several other issues, he turns to the conferences’ attitude about scientists...

John’s note reminds me that I’ve been watching a growing and nasty trend against science, much less science communication, in the past several years. We’re going to be needing a lot more help than we’re getting lately to turn the tide for the better. Perhaps more scientists having their own websites and expanding on the practice of samizdat would help things out a bit?

I recently came across Science Sites, a non-profit web company, courtesy of mathematician Steven Strogatz who has a site built by them. In some sense, I see some of what they’re doing to be enabling scientists to become part of the IndieWeb. It would be great to see them support standards like Webmention or functionality like Micropub as well. (It looks like they’re doing a lot of building on SquareSpace, so by proxy it would be great if they were supporting these open standards.) I love that it seems to have been created by a group of science journalists to help out the cause.

As I watch some of the Domain of One’s Own community in higher education, it feels to me that it’s primarily full of humanities related professors and researchers and doesn’t seem to be doing enough outreach to their science, engineering, math, or other colleagues who desperately need these tools as well as help with basic communication.

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👓 One possible benefit from disabling comments by Colin Devroe

One possible benefit from disabling comments by Colin Devroe (cdevroe.com)
There has been an ongoing discussion as to whether or not blogs should always have comments enabled to allow its readers to be part of the conversation. I myself firmly believe that each blog post should be thought of as a starting point of, or a response to, a conversation. Some deal with this issue from an ideological perspective in that they disable comments because they feel that people will behave differently when commenting than they would if they wrote from their own Web sites.

Written nearly a decade ago to the day, much of what this post has to say about blog comments is still roughly true. There are some interesting thoughts which inform a lot of what is going on in the IndieWeb community today.

In anecdotal conversations with some and certainly in my own personal experience, I’ve heard/seen that posting your own thoughts and replies on your own website encourages (perhaps forces?) you to do a bit more thinking and examination before replying. The fact that you’re not limited to a certain number of characters also helps to expound on your ideas/thoughts as well.

I’m curious, however, given the state of politics today, if it will scale? Perhaps if there’s still a technological or financial hurdle in which people have more invested in their web presences it will. Given the dumpster fire that some sectors of social media have become–in some part because of the lack of resistance as well as anonymity–it may not.

I still hope for the best, and am glad for the friends and colleagues I’ve met through doing all of this thus far.

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👓 Lyme Disease’s Worst Enemy? It Might Be Foxes | New York Times

Lyme Disease’s Worst Enemy? It Might Be Foxes by Amy Harmon (New York Times)
New data suggests the rise of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases may be tied to a scarcity of traditional mouse predators.

This is really news? Researchers and abatement people seriously haven’t tried or studied this prior to now?

👓 Mob Mentality and Toxicity in Academia by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Mob Mentality and Toxicity in Academia by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
I’d like to thank the incredible outpouring of support and emails that I have received. If I have not yet responded to your email, have patience, and please keep writing me. If you are a dean or tenured professor, thank you so much for reaching out. Let’s keep this conversation going. We owe it not just to ourselves or to academia, but most of all, to those whom we educate. As of posting on Monday at 1:30, my blog has received over 160,000 hits. I am also now in the top 0.01% of the most searched for people on academia.edu. This is bigger than any of us know. This is no longer about the suspected misappropriation of my work, nor even about the depressing reality that legal action was brought against Dr. Mao by another graduate student a year prior to my own. This is now about how and why this was allowed to happen, and about the mob mentality of those in academia who refuse to acknowledge the writing on the wall.

I’m so glad to see that there are others paying attention to this issue. I hope the issue keeps moving forward.

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👓 Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street | San Francisco Chronicle

Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street (San Francisco Chronicle)
Thanks to a little-noticed auction sale, a South Bay couple are the proud owners of one of the most exclusive streets in San Francisco - and they're looking for ways to make their purchase pay. The couple's purchase appears to be the culmination of a comedy of errors involving a $14-a-year property tax bill that the homeowners association failed to pay for three decades. In a letter to the city last month, Scott Emblidge, the attorney for the Presidio Homeowners Association, said the group had failed to pay up because its tax bill was being mailed to the Kearny Street address used by an accountant who hadn't worked for the homeowners since the 1980s. Two years ago, the city's tax office put the property up for sale in an online auction, seeking to recover $994 in unpaid back taxes, penalties and interest. Cheng and Lam, trawling for real estate opportunities in the city, pounced on the offer - snatching up the parcel with a $90,100 bid, sight unseen. Since the purchase in April 2015, the couple have been quietly sitting on the property, talking to a number of land-use attorneys to explore their options. [...] if the Presidio Terrace residents aren't interested in paying for parking privileges, perhaps some of their neighbors outside the gates - in a city where parking is at a premium - would be. "I was shocked to learn this could happen, and am deeply troubled that anyone would choose to take advantage of the situation and buy our street and sidewalks," said one homeowner, who asked not to be named because of pending litigation. [...] the homeowners association has sued the couple and the city, seeking to block Cheng and Lam from selling the street to anyone while the city appeal is pending - a move residents fear could complicate their efforts to reclaim the land. The residents say the city had an obligation to post a notice in Presidio Terrace notifying neighbors of the pending auction back in 2015 - something that "would have been simple and inexpensive for the city to accomplish." There's a bit of irony in the couple's purchase. [...] a 1948 U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning the enforcement of racial covenants, homes in Presidio Terrace could be purchased only by whites.

An interesting case in which something that fell through the cracks may cause a bizarre problem.

Tina Lam and Michael Cheng have bought Presidio Terrace, a private street lined with expensive homes. Residents apparently had no idea the common spaces were up for sale.

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👓 I am disappointed but unsurprised by the news that an anti-diversity, sexist, manifesto is making… | Include

I am disappointed but unsurprised by the news that an anti-diversity, sexist, manifesto is making the rounds at Google. by Erica Joy (Include)
I am disappointed but unsurprised by the news that an anti-diversity, sexist, manifesto is making the rounds at Google. This is not entirely new behavior. Google has seen hints of this in the past, with employees sharing blog posts about their racist beliefs and the occasional internal mailing list question, “innocently” asking if Black people aren’t more likely to be violent. What is new is that this employee felt safe enough to write and share an 8 page sexist screed, internally.
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👓 So, about this Googler’s manifesto. | Yonatan Zunger – Medium

So, about this Googler’s manifesto. by Yonatan Zunger (Medium)
You have probably heard about the manifesto a Googler (not someone senior) published internally about, essentially, how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, it’s just not worth it. Until about a week ago, you would have heard very little from me publicly about this, because (as a fairly senior Googler) my job would have been to deal with it internally, and confidentiality rules would have prevented me from saying much in public.
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👓 Exclusive: Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated] | Gizmodo

Exclusive: Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated] by Kate Conger (Gizmodo)
Update 7:25pm ET: Google’s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance Danielle Brown has issued her own memo to Google employees in response to the now-viral memo, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” Brown’s statement, obtained by Motherboard, can be found in full at the end of this article.
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👓 How Rachel Carson Cost Millions of People Their Lives | The Daily Beast

How Rachel Carson Cost Millions of People Their Lives by Paul A. Offit (The Daily Beast)
Rachel Carson is, and should be, a revered environmental icon. But her crusade against one pesticide cost millions of people their lives.
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