Replied to Automatically sending Webmentions from a static website by James Mead (jamesmead.org)
I'd also like to find a way to say thank you to Aaron Parecki who built webmention.io and Ryan Barrett, Kyle Mahan, et al who built brid.gy. However, I can't see a way to do either and, indeed, the latter explicitly say "We don't need donations, promise." 
In the past, I’ve heard many of them say to make a donation or support the IndieWeb Open Collective instead.
Read New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life by John RennieJohn Rennie (Quanta Magazine)
The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.

they found that the glyoxylate and pyruvate reacted to make a range of compounds that included chemical analogues to all the intermediary products in the TCA cycle except for citric acid. Moreover, these products all formed in water within a single reaction vessel, at temperatures and pH conditions mild enough to be compatible with conditions on Earth. 

Annotated on October 13, 2020 at 10:20PM

Annotated Appointment and confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States (Wikipedia)
The modern practice of the committee questioning nominees on their judicial views began with the nomination of John Marshall Harlan II in 1955; the nomination came shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, and several southern senators attempted to block Harlan's confirmation, hence the decision to testify.[1][8] 
Interesting that this practice stems from the imposition of what looks like racist policies.

I wonder if it could really be used in reverse to help break down racist policies on the next nomination?

Annotated Peter Thiel Met With The Racist Fringe As He Went All In On Trump (BuzzFeed News)
A longtime libertarian who dabbled in eccentric ideas like seasteading — artificial island communities in international waters far from governmental jurisdiction — and life extension, Thiel had made occasional forays into mainstream politics. 
First time I’ve seen seasteading as a word in context.
Read Most Spoken Languages (most-spoken-languages.sanstream.nl | SanStream Studio)
When we are young we first learn the language from the people around us. This helps us to communicate, share ideas and learn from them. Most of the time just this is just one, but it can be more than one. The last decades the network of people that human being know (due to globalisation) has shifted from knowing just the people in your local area to people all across the world. In order to effectively communicate with other people from across the world it is useful to speak a shared language.

Finding data 

You’re right about data here. I follow some research out of the MIT Media lab by Cesar Hidalgo who may have some interesting data resources if you poke around.

Some additional starting points:

Read Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees to Get More Work by Spencer Soper (Bloomberg)
Someone seems to have rigged Amazon system to get orders first
Operation reflects ferocious rivalry for gigs in a bad economy

They believe an unidentified person or entity is acting as an intermediary between Amazon and the drivers and charging drivers to secure more routes, which is against Amazon’s policies. 

Surely this would be the case as someone would potentially need to watch the phones in the tree to ensure they aren’t stolen. That may represent a larger cost in potential loss that the potential gain.
Annotated on September 11, 2020 at 08:39AM

A Flex driver who has been monitoring the activity said the company needs to take steps to make sure all drivers are treated fairly.“Amazon knows about it,” the driver said, “but does nothing.” 

Orders don’t necessarily need to be proximity based at the level of 20 feet, so Amazon should be able to make the changes at the level of several miles to prevent against something like this.
Annotated on September 11, 2020 at 08:42AM

Annotated Bobcat Fire Update (City of Arcadia)
***Update as of 9/9/2020 @ 4:51 PM***Voluntary evacuations lifted for residents north of Foothill Blvd. and east of Santa Anita Ave. The Bobcat Fire has generally progressed away from the City of Arcadia.  The current weather forecast suggests that Santa Ana winds will dissipate this evening and the Red Flag Warning will be removed after 8:00 p.m.Based on these factors, the City of Arcadia is removing the recommendation for residents to evacuate.  However, residents are advised to remain on alert for any changes to weather conditions that may affect the fire.  Evacuations may be necessary for your safety if conditions change. 
This is a particularly good sign!

Annotated Welsh in Three Months by Phylip Brake and Mair ap Myrddin (DK Publishing)

However, if Welsh does not yet possess a spoken standard, it does possess a literary standard which can be traced back to the translation of the Bible by Bishop WIlliam Morgan in 1588, which in turn is based on the language of the medieval court poets who were the heirs of the Cynfeirdd, the earl poets Aneirin and Taliesin. These lived in the sixth century AD and described battles which took place in today's Scotland and Northern England [...]

Annotated The Mabinogion (Oxford University Press)
Sioned Davies is Chair of Welsh at Cardiff University. Her special interest is the interplay between orality and literacy, together with the performance aspects of medieval Welsh narrative. 
Oh! This is fascinating. Perhaps some interesting tidbits for my growing theory about the borders of orality and literacy could be hiding in some of her research?
Annotated Top 10 goddesses in fiction by E Foley and B Coates (Hypothes.is)
Circe by Madeline Miller
This magnificent story of the famous witch goddess from Homer’s Odyssey was shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s prize for fiction. It is both hugely enjoyable, showing the very male classical epic from a female point of view, and profoundly affecting in its depictions of the trials of immortality. This book is the closest you can get to experiencing what it might really be like to be a goddess, with all its benefits and sacrifices. 
This book keeps popping up with positive reviews of an intriguing sort. I’ll add it to my list of books to read.
Read A New Theory of Western Civilization (The Atlantic)
Could a marriage policy first pursued by the Catholic Church a millennium and a half ago explain what made the industrialized world so powerful—and so peculiar?
This is the second article on this book that I’ve seen in the last week or so. Perhaps I should add it to my list?

Henrich, who directs Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, is a cultural evolutionary theorist, which means that he gives cultural inheritance the same weight that traditional biologists give to genetic inheritance. Parents bequeath their DNA to their offspring, but they—along with other influential role models—also transmit skills, knowledge, values, tools, habits. Our genius as a species is that we learn and accumulate culture over time. Genes alone don’t determine whether a group survives or disappears. So do practices and beliefs. Human beings are not “the genetically evolved hardware of a computational machine,” he writes. They are conduits of the spirit, habits, and psychological patterns of their civilization, “the ghosts of past institutions.” 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:03AM

WEIRD people have a bad habit of universalizing from their own particularities. They think everyone thinks the way they do, and some of them (not all, of course) reinforce that assumption by studying themselves. In the run-up to writing the book, Henrich and two colleagues did a literature review of experimental psychology and found that 96 percent of subjects enlisted in the research came from northern Europe, North America, or Australia. About 70 percent of those were American undergraduates. Blinded by this kind of myopia, many Westerners assume that what’s good or bad for them is good or bad for everyone else. 

This is a painful reality. It’s also even more specific to the current Republican party. Do as we say, not as we do.

This is the sort of example that David Dylan Thomas will appreciate.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:09AM

By the time Protestantism came along, people had already internalized an individualist worldview. Henrich calls Protestantism “the WEIRDest religion,” and says it gave a “booster shot” to the process set in motion by the Catholic Church. Integral to the Reformation was the idea that faith entailed personal struggle rather than adherence to dogma. Vernacular translations of the Bible allowed people to interpret scripture more idiosyncratically. The mandate to read the Bible democratized literacy and education. After that came the inquiry into God-given natural (individual) rights and constitutional democracies. The effort to uncover the laws of political organization spurred interest in the laws of nature—in other words, science. The scientific method codified epistemic norms that broke the world down into categories and valorized abstract principles. All of these psychosocial changes fueled unprecedented innovation, the Industrial Revolution, and economic growth. 

Reading this makes me think about the political break in the United States along political and religious boundaries. Some of Trumps’ core base practices a more personal religion and are generally in areas that don’t display the level of individualism, but focus more on larger paternalistic families. This could be an interesting space for further exploration as it seems to be moving the “progress”(?) described by WEIRD countries backward.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:19AM

If Henrich’s history of Christianity and the West feels rushed and at times derivative—he acknowledges his debt to Max Weber—that’s because he’s in a hurry to explain Western psychology. 

This adds more to my prior comment with the addition to Max Weber here. Cross reference some of my reading this past week on his influence on the prosperity gospel.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:21AM

Henrich defends this sweeping thesis with several studies, including a test known as the Triad Task. Subjects are shown three images—say, a rabbit, a carrot, and a cat. The goal is to match a “target object”—the rabbit—with a second object. A person who matches the rabbit with the cat classifies: The rabbit and the cat are animals. A person who matches the rabbit with the carrot looks for relationships between the objects: The rabbit eats the carrot. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:25AM

Toppling the accomplishments of Western civilization off their great-man platforms, he erases their claim to be monuments to rationality: Everything we think of as a cause of culture is really an effect of culture, including us. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:27AM

He refutes genetic theories of European superiority and makes a good case against economic determinism. His quarry are the “enlightened” Westerners—would-be democratizers, globalizers, well-intended purveyors of humanitarian aid—who impose impersonal institutions and abstract political principles on societies rooted in familial networks, and don’t seem to notice the trouble that follows. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:29AM

Read I Crossed Back Into a State of Denial by David FrumDavid Frum (The Atlantic)
At the Canada-U.S. border, I encountered a study in contrasts.

It did not have to be this way. But as Trump aptly said of himself and his policy, “It is what it is.” He accepted more disease in hopes of stimulating a stronger economy and winning reelection. He’s waiting now for the return on that bet. As so often in his reckless career, his speculation seems to be that if the bet wins, he pockets the proceeds. And if the bet fails? The losses fall on others. 

A very apt description of Trump’s life philosophy. Also a broad perspective at how many Republicans and Libertarians seem to view the world economically: privatizing profits and socializing losses.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 10:55AM

Read Why Trump Supporters Can’t Admit Who He Really Is by Peter Wehner (The Atlantic)
Nothing bonds a group more tightly than a common enemy that is perceived as a mortal threat.

A powerful tribal identity bonds the president to his supporters. As Amy Chua, the author of Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, has argued, the tribal instinct is not just to belong, but also to exclude and to attack. “When groups feel threatened,” Chua writes, “they retreat into tribalism. They close ranks and become more insular, more defensive, more punitive, more us-versus-them.” 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 10:34AM

“Motivation conditions cognition,” Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer at The Atlantic, wisely told me. Very few Trump supporters I know are able to offer an honest appraisal of the man. To do so creates too much cognitive dissonance. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 10:36AM

That they are defending a person who is fundamentally malicious, even if he makes judicial appointments of which they approve, is too painful for them to admit. 

But surely in the multi-millions of Republicans, they could find someone who could also appoint those judges, but not have the myriad moral failings that Trump does. For surely if they can’t, then they’re doomed to failure and misery sooner or later.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 10:38AM

But what’s different in this case is that Trump, because of the corruption that seems to pervade every area of his life and his damaged psychological and emotional state, has shown us just how much people will accept in their leaders as a result of “negative partisanship,” the force that binds parties together less in common purpose than in opposition to a shared opponent. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 10:41AM

Read [Notes] Timeful texts, Matuschak & Nielsen by Peter Hartree (Google Docs)
“To be transformed by a book, readers must do more than absorb information: they must bathe in the book’s ideas, relate those ideas to experiences in their lives over weeks and months, try on the book’s mental models like a new hat. Unfortunately, readers must drive that process for themselves. A...

I would like to have a one-click subscribe podcast feed that contains interviews with people I follow on Twitter — new releases and periodic highlights from the past. That’d be quite easy to build on top of the ListenNotes API. Anything to shift away from the “latest episodes” feed as the default, argh. Has someone done this? Breaker? 

You might be able to cobble something like this together with huffduffer.com using tags and some clever searches.

Annotated on August 15, 2020 at 11:04PM