👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “Is marketing dead? – StreetLib”

Read Is marketing dead? (Medium)
Book marketing. The black sheep of independent authors and publishers. Accepting that your creation, your work of art, your jewel (=your…

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “What to expect when you’re publishing on Amazon Kindle Store”

Read What to expect when you’re publishing on Amazon Kindle Store (theindependentpublishingmagazine.com)

Nothing new or interesting here.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “How to Declutter Your WordPress Administrator Interface”

Read How to Declutter Your WordPress Administrator Interface by Arnaud Broes (WordPress Plugins)
The WordPress admin interface is complex and jam-packed with exciting options, which is great for experienced users. But what if you're just starting out?

Meh… not as interesting or detailed as I would have expected from the title.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “A Blowhard At Large” on Deciphering Glyph

Read A Blowhard At Large (glyph.twistedmatrix.com)
I don’t like Tweetstorms™, or, to turn to a neologism, “manthreading”. They actively annoy me. Stop it. People who do this are almost always blowhards. Blogs are free. Put your ideas on your blog.

A brilliant and short essay on why Tweetstorms are positively dreadful.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “How Donald Trump’s business ties are already jeopardizing U.S. interests”

Read How Donald Trump's Business Ties are Already Jeopardizing U.S. Interests (newsweek.com)
The president-elect is issuing statements to world leaders that radically depart from U.S. foreign policy, and benefit his family’s corporate empire.

Already, there is a situation in which the president of the United States could be blackmailed by a foreign power through pressure related to his family’s business entanglements.

And this from the candidate whose only real campaign message was to call his opponent “crooked” and insinuate with no clear lines or proof of any sort that she used her position of power to line the pocket of her non-profit and thus herself. Though he came far from beating her in the popular vote, he’s completely and soundly beat her in the appearance of corruption.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “There’s a secret trick to getting more Instagram likes — and every internet star knows it”

Read There's a secret trick to getting more Instagram likes — and every internet star knows it (Mic)
Genius. Did it work for you?

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “Why Wix’s response to WordPress re GPL license is weak | WP Garage”

Read Why Wix's response to WordPress re GPL license is weak (WP Garage)
After being accused of ripping off GPL material by WordPress co-creator Matt Mullenweg, Wix CEO Avishai Abrahami responded...inadequately. Here's why.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “The Wix Mobile App, a WordPress Joint | Matt Mullenweg”

Read The Wix Mobile App, a WordPress Joint by Matt Mullenweg (Matt Mullenweg)
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to try new things — phones, gadgets, apps. Last week I downloaded the new Wix (closed, proprietary, non-open-sourced, non-GPL) mobile app. I’m always int…

🔖 A First Step Toward Quantifying the Climate’s Information Production over the Last 68,000 Years

Bookmarked A First Step Toward Quantifying the Climate’s Information Production over the Last 68,000 Years (link.springer.com)
Paleoclimate records are extremely rich sources of information about the past history of the Earth system. We take an information-theoretic approach to analyzing data from the WAIS Divide ice core, the longest continuous and highest-resolution water isotope record yet recovered from Antarctica. We use weighted permutation entropy to calculate the Shannon entropy rate from these isotope measurements, which are proxies for a number of different climate variables, including the temperature at the time of deposition of the corresponding layer of the core. We find that the rate of information production in these measurements reveals issues with analysis instruments, even when those issues leave no visible traces in the raw data. These entropy calculations also allow us to identify a number of intervals in the data that may be of direct relevance to paleoclimate interpretation, and to form new conjectures about what is happening in those intervals—including periods of abrupt climate change.

Saw reference in Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores [1]

References

[1]
“Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores,” Phys.org. [Online]. Available: http://phys.org/news/2016-12-unpredictability-theory-ice-cores.html. [Accessed: 12-Dec-2016]

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores”

Read Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores (phys.org)
At two miles long and five inches in diameter, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS) ice core is a tangible record of the last 68,000 years of our planet's climate.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Trump and American Populism: Old Whine, New Bottles”

Read Trump and American Populism (Foreign Affairs)
Two strands of populism have long thrived in American politics, both purporting to champion the interests of ordinary people. One shoots upward, at nefarious elites; the other—Trump’s tradition—shoots both up and down, targeting outsiders at the bottom of the ladder as well.

The title was a little link-baitish, but overall, this is an excellent history of the populism movement in America. Recommend.

🔖 I’ll have to get a copy of Gest’s work to read now that I’ve seen two references to it in two different articles.

My Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Two different, often competing populist traditions have long thrived in the United States. Pundits often speak of “left-wing” and “right-wing” populists. But those labels don’t capture the most meaningful distinction. The first type of American populist directs his or her ire exclusively upward: at corporate elites and their enablers in government who have allegedly betrayed the interests of the men and women who do the nation’s essential work. These populists embrace a conception of “the people” based on class and avoid identifying themselves as supporters or opponents of any particular ethnic group or religion. They belong to a broadly liberal current in American political life; they advance a version of “civic nationalism,” which the historian Gary Gerstle defines as the “belief in the fundamental equality of all human beings, in every individual’s inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and in a democratic government that derives its legitimacy from the people’s consent.”

Although Trump’s rise has demonstrated the enduring appeal of the racial-nationalist strain of American populism, his campaign is missing one crucial element. It lacks a relatively coherent, emotionally rousing description of “the people” whom Trump claims to represent.

By invoking identities that voters embraced—“producers,” “white laborers,” “Christian Americans,” or President Richard Nixon’s “silent majority”—populists roused them to vote for their party and not merely against the alternatives on offer.

For much of his campaign, his slogan might as well have been “Make America Hate Again.”

According to a recent study by the political scientist Justin Gest, 65 percent of white Americans—about two-fifths of the population—would be open to voting for a party that stood for “stopping mass immigration, providing American jobs to American workers, preserving America’s Christian heritage, and stopping the threat of Islam.”

This is the second article in the same issue of Foreign Affairs that’s quoting this same statistic from the same paper. [1] [2]

 

References

[1]
J. Gest, “Why Trumpism Will Outlast Donald Trump,” POLITICO Magazine, 16-Aug-2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/why-trumpism-will-outlast-donald-trump-214166#ixzz4HVdcw5u3%C2%A0. [Accessed: 12-Dec-2016]
[2]
J. Gest, The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality. Oxford University Press, 2016.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “Progressive Web AMPs”

Read Progressive Web AMPs (Smashing Magazine)
PWA or AMP? Both! Let's combine progressive web apps and AMP to provide fast experiences on the web, with all the whistles and bells of native apps.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “A Cassandra in Trumpland: Sarah Kendzior’s Pithy Commentary on Privilege”

Read A Cassandra in Trumpland: Sarah Kendzior's Pithy Commentary on Privilege by Omair Ahmad (The Wire)
Kendzior's collected essays, "The View From Flyover Country", condemns a system so blind to its own faults that it punishes people as “failures” for playing in a game that is rigged against them.

👓 Chris Aldrich is reading “Populism on the March”

Read Populism on the March (Foreign Affairs)
Donald Trump’s candidacy is part of a broad populist upsurge throughout the Western world. Economic stasis and rapid cultural change have provoked a backlash across Europe and North America, and enlightened leadership will be needed to respond to legitimate grievances without pandering to the public’s worst instincts.

This is one of the most sane analyses I’ve seen in a while about what is happening in the world. I recommend it highly.

My Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Trump’s political genius was to realize that many Republican voters were unmoved by the standard party gospel of free trade, low taxes, deregulation, and entitlement reform but would respond well to a different appeal based on cultural fears and nationalist sentiment.

The number of immigrants entering many European countries is historically high. In the United States, the proportion of Americans who were foreign-born increased from less than five percent in 1970 to almost 14 percent today. And the problem of illegal immigration to the United States remains real, even though it has slowed recently. In many countries, the systems designed to manage immigration and provide services for integrating immigrants have broken down. And yet all too often, governments have refused to fix them, whether because powerful economic interests benefit from cheap labor or because officials fear appearing uncaring or xenophobic.

For the vast majority of human history, people lived, traveled, worked, and died within a few miles of their birthplace. In recent decades, however, Western societies have seen large influxes of people from different lands and alien cultures.

There is a reality behind the rhetoric, for we are indeed living in an age of mass migration. The world has been transformed by the globalization of goods, services, and information, all of which have produced their share of pain and rejection. But we are now witnessing the globalization of people, and public reaction to that is stronger, more visceral, and more emotional.

Voting patterns traditionally reinforced this ideological divide, with the working class opting for the left and middle and upper classes for the right. Income was usually the best predictor of a person’s political choices.

The most striking findings of the paper are about the decline of economics as the pivot of politics.

The shift began, as Inglehart and Norris note, in the 1970s, when young people embraced a postmaterialist politics centered on self-expression and issues related to gender, race, and the environment. They challenged authority and established institutions and norms, and they were largely successful in introducing new ideas and recasting politics and society. But they also produced a counterreaction. The older generation, particularly men, was traumatized by what it saw as an assault on the civilization and values it cherished and had grown up with. These people began to vote for parties and candidates that they believed would, above all, hold at bay these forces of cultural and social change.

This convergence in economic policy has contributed to a situation in which the crucial difference between the left and the right today is cultural.

The most widely held job for an American male today is driving a car, bus, or truck, as The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson has noted.

That slower growth is coupled with challenges that relate to the new global economy. Globalization is now pervasive and entrenched, and the markets of the West are (broadly speaking) the most open in the world. Goods can easily be manufactured in lower-wage economies and shipped to advanced industrial ones. While the effect of increased global trade is positive for economies as a whole, specific sectors get battered, and large swaths of unskilled and semiskilled workers find themselves unemployed or underemployed.

Today, an American’s economic status is a bad predictor of his or her voting preferences. His or her views on social issues—say, same-sex marriage—are a much more accurate guide to whether he or she will support Republicans or Democrats.