Read - Finished Reading: How Saint George’s Dragon Got Its Wings (JSTOR Daily)
The lack of living dragons has never stopped people from drawing them. The trends for dragon design tend to organize along East-West lines: dragons in Asia are snakelike, wingless and benevolent, while European dragons are menacing winged lizards. When an artist situated right between Asia and Europ...
Read - Reading: Cold comfort for journalists by Bill BennettBill Bennett (Bill Bennett)
"The life of the journalist is poor, nasty, brutish and short. So is his style."
Stella Gibbons,
Cold Comfort Farm
And then there is Blaise Pascal. In 1657 he wrote:
"Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte."
I agree wholeheartedly. Though I like the way that the first quote ties the idea more directly into journalism, the pedantic in me wants to attribute the broader original sentiment to Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (1651). Doing this also allows us to frame all of humanity which seems to be having its own sort of problems–yet again.

“Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Read - Want to Read: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius TranquillusGaius Suetonius Tranquillus
As private secretary to the Emperor Hadrian, the scholar Suetonius had access to the imperial archives and used them (along with eyewitness accounts) to produce one of the most colourful biographical works in history. The Twelve Caesars chronicles the public careers and private lives of the men who wielded absolute power over Rome, from the foundation of the empire under Julius Caesar and Augustus, to the decline into depravity and civil war under Nero and the recovery that came with his successors. A masterpiece of observation, anecdote and detailed physical description, The Twelve Caesars presents us with a gallery of vividly drawn—and all too human—individuals.
Read My GPS Logs by Aaron PareckiAaron Parecki (Aaron Parecki)
I've had a fascination with maps for as long as I can remember. During family road trips to San Francisco I remember tracing our route on a map with a highlighter in real-time. Many, many years later, I am able to trace my route automatically with a GPS receiver on my phone. https://aaronparecki.com...
Aaron has really done some awesome map related work with his GPS tracking. Looking at just his personal map data for a year or two will give you an idea about how much other corporations can gain from tracking millions of people this way.

Looking at some of the map pins like for Target on his map will tell you that Google could potentially be using aggregate data about visits to companies as a way of knowing how well or poorly a company is doing and then using that data to make bets for or against companies in the stock market. This could give them the ability to front run investments if they wanted to.

Read - Want to Read: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (a.d. 121 180) embodied in his person that deeply cherished, ideal figure of antiquity, the philosopher-king. His "Meditations "are not only one of the most important expressions of the Stoic philosophy of his time but also an enduringly inspiring guide to living a good and just life. Written in moments snatched from military campaigns and the rigors of politics, these ethical and spiritual reflections reveal a mind of exceptional clarity and originality, and a spirit attuned to both the particulars of human destiny and the vast patterns that underlie it."
Read Fixing Times on EXIF by David ShanskeDavid Shanske (david.shanske.com)
I’ve been working on a patch for WordPress that involves fixing the incorrectly stored timestamp stored as part of WordPress image metadata. I already do something like this in my Simple Location plugin, but I’ve found a way that works more simply. To summarize the issue, there are multiple date...
Read - Want to Read: First Draft teaches journalists how to avoid amplifying misinformation by Chase Budnieski (newscollab.org)
Claire Wardle stood in front of a lecture hall filled with local journalists, smirking while they struggled to write a headline without amplifying the misinformation they were...
This is my first read post from Indigenous.
Read Homosalus by Waliya Yohanna Joseph (vispo.com)

Give your time to people.
Give your talent to people.
Give your treasure to people.
Shield your taste from people.
Shield your tongue from people.
Shield your temper from people.
Commit yourself to trust in people.
Commit yourself to truth in people.
Commit yourself to teaching people.
Then, your life must be successful.
Then, your life journey would be smooth.
Then, your life would be without sorrow.

Fascinating interactive poetry.
Read The Moral Deformity of Team Trump by Jim Andrews (vispo.com)
Images made with/by Aleph Null 3.0. Donald Trump, his cabinet, his main advisors, and a few Republicans incinemated. 231 images of these bandits mixed randomly together. Steve Bannon, Mike Pence, Steve Mnuchin, Myron Ebell, James Mattis, Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Ryan Zinke, Wilbur Ross, Tom Price, Ben Carson, Elaine Chao, Rick Perry, Betsy Devos, Scott Pruitt, Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Invanka Trump, Jared Kushner, James Woolsey, Newt Gingrinch, Mitch McConnell.
A fascinating little art project.
Read A Song of Scottish Publishing, 1671-1893 by Shawn (electricarchaeology.ca)
The Scottish National Library has made available a collection of chapbooks printed in Scotland, from 1671 – 1893, on their website here. That’s nearly 11 million words’ worth of material. The booklets cover an enormous variety of subjects. So, what do you do with it? Today, I decided to turn ...
This is more cool than truly useful, but I could see audioizations of data like this being used to surface and recognize patterns that might not otherwise be seen.
Read Why Don’t Polls Have More Information About Black Voters? by Kevin Drum (Mother Jones)

Rashawn Ray wants us to stop treating African Americans as a monolithic group:

Black Americans vote on par or higher than their state population. They represent a significant share of Democratic voters, especially in states like South Carolina (nearly 60%). Despite representing this large voting bloc, polls such as Quinnipiac continue to frame black Americans as a monolithic group, while disaggregating white people by age, political identification and education.

I argue it is important to see the heterogeneity of black Americans. Others agree. Professor Eddie Glaude Jr said: “We have to be more nuanced in how we talk about black voters. I would love to see the breakdown of the Q poll. Age. Class. Etc.” Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith said, “I’ve examined the newest Quinnipiac poll very thoroughly … and unfortunately, it does not break down black voters by age, class, education, or even gender. Just ‘Black.’ White respondents receive more nuanced treatment in the poll.

The problem here is not one of racism, but of statistics. The average poll reaches about a thousand people. Of those, about 13 percent are likely to be black. If you then break things down by, say, age, you’ll have only about 30-40 respondents in each group. Unfortunately, as the group size goes down, the margin of error for each group goes up. In this case, the margin of error for each of the age groups is upwards of 15-20 percent, which makes the results useless. It would be a dereliction of duty to even report them.

Some polls oversample blacks and Hispanics to avoid this problem, but that’s expensive. It’s usually done infrequently, and only for surveys specifically aimed at reporting the views of one ethnic group. So don’t blame Quinnipiac for this. It’s a problem of arithmetic and money, not bad faith.