August 31, 2012

“Manufacturing Taste” by Sasha Chapman | The Walrus | September 2012 (If you love mac & cheese…also a nice history of cheese in Canada.)

Things That Shouldn’t Be Said In Modern Society To Be Said At Least 1,400 Times At RNC | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (Could be published in the NYTmes.)

Everything You’ve Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong | Mother Jones (School should be special for every student.)

Apple Jury Foreman: Here’s How We Reached a Verdict – YouTube. (Kind of disturbing.)

Facebook Improving Site Integrity Systems To Combat False Likes | TechCrunch. (Facebook is a mess. Many of the Profiles and Likes are fakes, much more so than they will admit. Real identities are what made FB win; are fake identities what will make it lose?)

Outside Online Print This | My Life With Lance Armstrong. (6 Tour de France’s was not an easy thing to do, even if you were cheating.)

J.R. Moehringer’s 120 reasons why football will last forever – ESPN The Magazine – ESPN. (Prediction: football will be drastically different within a decade (e.g. 2 hand touch). I’m serious.)

What is the value of a science PhD: Is graduate school worth the effort? – Slate Magazine. (Doing something you love is never a waste of time. S&T will be the subject of our next essay.)

Pretty awesome super cut from kogonada on Stanley Kubrick’s use of one-point perspective.

For his latest supercut, new this morning, kogonada highlights Kubrick’s use of “one-point perspective,” which refers to compositions in which spatial planes converge at one vanishing point in the distance—such as in a shot down a long hallway, or over train tracks headed into the horizon. As the video highlights, Kubrick also tended to place his subjects right over that vanishing point, dead-center in the frame, making any symmetry (especially in creepy twins) particularly striking.

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital | Rolling Stone

Taibbi on Romney – you know this is going to be a fun read.

And this is where we get to the hypocrisy at the heart of Mitt Romney. Everyone knows that he is fantastically rich, having scored great success, the legend goes, as a “turnaround specialist,” a shrewd financial operator who revived moribund companies as a high-priced consultant for a storied Wall Street private equity firm. But what most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back.

A path forward for Europe

August 29, 2012 — 6 Comments

Let’s take as given two facts: 1) there is sufficient will and reason [2] to keep the EU together, and 2) what’s been done as of yet hasn’t worked and won’t work.

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The Comeback Skid – NYKrugman

“Let no crisis go to waste” comes to mind. The real goal – of some – is to get rid of the income tax completely (and bring America back to the 1920s). Didn’t we already fix that mistake?

You see, all that boasting about the Jersey comeback wasn’t just big talk (although it was that, too). It was, instead, supposed to demonstrate that good times were back, revenue was on the upswing, and it was now time for what Mr. Christie really wants: a major cut in income taxes.

Your one stop shop for Krugman:

The Catholic church in America: Earthly concerns | The Economist

I think the future of the catholic church – particularly in america – is one of the most interesting questions of the next decade. They’ve made a clear decision to focus on more religious (almost evangelical) versus casually religious parishioners. I don’t know if that will be a good long-term choice. I also don’t know if it’s the morally right thing to do since those parishioners in particular – one could argue – have the most need for a religious community. The politicization of some parishes is also a problem. Don’t make me be a Republican to be a Catholic.

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.

Howard Aiken


At the 1983 International Design Conference at Aspen, a young Steve Jobs predicted that within two years, the market would see more computers than automobiles.

Video available at The Center for Design Innovation

Steve Jobs: The Lost InterviewWhether he was an ass or not, the man thought longterm, even when he was young. If you haven’t seen Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, it’s also worth seeing – some great insights about the computer industry, people in organizations, and more.

The human microbiome: Me, myself, us | The Economist

Extraordinarily interesting article in the Economist on the effects of micro-organisms in the gut and elsewhere on the human body. Particularly intriguing in regards to: obesity, autism, genetic disorders. Almost has the ring of too good to be true (stem cells anyone?), but still, plausible..and testable.

The link with diabetes was noticed in morbidly obese people who had opted for a procedure known as Roux-en-Y, which short-circuits the small intestine and thus reduces the amount of food the body can absorb. Such people are almost always diabetic. As a treatment for obesity, Roux-en-Y is effective. As a treatment for diabetes, it is extraordinary. In 80% of cases the condition vanishes within days.

Perhaps the most striking claim, however, for links between the microbiome and human health has to do with the brain. It has been known for a long time that people with autism generally have intestinal problems as well, and that these are often coupled with abnormal microbiomes. In particular, their guts are rich in species of Clostridia. This may be crucial to their condition.

I believe that society has a long term purpose: survival. Whether a small village or humanity as a whole, society fulfills this mission by supporting the happiness or contentedness of it’s people as well as by driving progress. Neither alone is enough.

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Boxer glasses tie at computerFrom the Editor: is pleased to announce our first essay today. There will be more to come roughly every week (in addition to short posts and

The limits of light – The Economist

It’s remarkable how fast we are entering the “no-pixel” age. Pixels just won’t have meaning in a decade.

An Unserious Man – NYKrugman

Ryanomics is and always has been a con game, although to be fair, it has become even more of a con since Mr. Ryan joined the ticket.

So if we add up Mr. Ryan’s specific proposals, we have $4.3 trillion in tax cuts, partially offset by around $1.7 trillion in spending cuts — with the tax cuts, surprise, disproportionately benefiting the top 1 percent, while the spending cuts would primarily come at the expense of low-income families.

Your one stop shop for Krugman:

August 19, 2012

Waiting in the Wings: An Exclusive Interview with Chelsea Clinton – Vogue. (Chelsea Clinton has a chief of staff?)

Roseland, Where Obama the Politician Was Born – (I think the second term will be epic.)

The Real Ryan Record: 2 Minor Bills, Lots of High-Profile Talk, Gridlock – Garance Franke-Ruta – The Atlantic. (Not presidential material.)

Paul Ryan’s Record on Science and Government – ScienceInsider. (The biggest issue is the more general one: a philosophy of no investment in our country.)

Trulia’s a Killer Site. Is It a Wise Investment? – Businessweek. (Real estate sites are not sticky.)

“A simple feat… only expensive”: The Oatmeal tries saving Tesla’s lab | Ars Technica. (Read this book about Tesla, I loved it.)

Stay The Course, Facebook. Even If Your Share Price Crashes | TechCrunch. (Fact 1: People use facebook a lot, everyday, all the time. Fact 2: My mom just complained about all the ads she’s getting from her friends; FB’s monetization strategy isn’t working.)

Scientific reproducibility, for fun and profit | Ars Technica. (Stupid.)

App Store Failure and Personal Responsibility. (It’s like writing: even you need to do it, do it. Write the app you want to use.)

Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox. (Talk about a winner.)

Cyborg America: inside the strange new world of basement body hackers | The Verge. (Resistance is futile.)

Startups’ New Creed: Patent First, Prototype Later

The Schox method revolves around teaching startups to view intellectual property as a weapon. How might a rival get around those patents? What features might they think of? Schox often asks engineers who haven’t even built their first prototype to conceptualize unusual extensions of the technology, so that these ideas can be protected just in case. It’s well worth the trouble. Schox says the going rate for a hot patent now is about $1 million.

With the new patent law coming into effect in 2013 (first to file replaces first to invent), patenting first will become even more important. It will be hard for the independent inventor – even for most universities who outsource their patent filings – to submit the number of patents they really should be submitting. In my experience most technology commercialization offices still want a viable path to license in a few years to even consider paying for a patent application. But now, you really should be patenting everything.