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From User: Decius

There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

Career Advice
Topic: Business 9:04 pm EST, Jan  8, 2013

Moxie Marlinspike:

Jobs at software companies are typically advertised in terms of the difficult problems that need solving, the impact the project will have, the benefits the company provides, the playful color of the bean bag chairs. Likewise, jobs in other fields have their own set of metrics that they use to position themselves within their domains.

As a young person, though, I think the best thing you can do is to ignore all of that and simply observe the older people working there.

They are the future you. Do not think that you will be substantially different. Look carefully at how they spend their time at work and outside of work, because this is also almost certainly how your life will look. It sounds obvious, but it's amazing how often young people imagine a different projection for themselves.

Look at the real people, and you'll see the honest future for yourself.

Attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Two from Colin Powell:

Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.

From Rumsfeld's Rules:

It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.

Career Advice


Watch the entire 30-minute Urban Outlaw documentary
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:55 pm EDT, Oct 25, 2012

The fuller version of Urban Outlaw debuted at the Raindance Film Festival in London, and is now available to watch from the comfort of your own computer. Sit back, grab your Porsche hat, dim the lights and enjoy the complete story by scrolling down below.

Watch the entire 30-minute Urban Outlaw documentary


APOD: 2012 January 21 - Days in the Sun
Topic: Science 12:40 pm EST, Jan 21, 2012

From solstice to solstice, this six month long exposure compresses time from the 21st of June till the 21st of December, 2011, into a single point of view. Dubbed a solargraph, the unconventional picture was recorded with a pinhole camera made from a drink can lined with a piece of photographic paper. Fixed to a single spot for the entire exposure, the simple camera continuously records the Sun's path each day as a glowing trail burned into the photosensitive paper.

APOD: 2012 January 21 - Days in the Sun


Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It
Topic: Politics and Law 10:16 pm EST, Dec 19, 2011

This talk is worth your time.

Lawrence Lessig, in an October 26, 2011, Google Talk:

In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government-driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission-trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.

With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted-but redeemable-representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.

While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In Republic, Lost, he not only makes this need palpable and clear-he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.

Decius:

It's important to understand that it isn't Congress that must change -- it is us.

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It


xkcd: Money
Topic: Business 8:58 pm EST, Nov 21, 2011

This is pretty amazing.

xkcd: Money


The Mercury Program - Slightly Drifting
Topic: Music 11:01 pm EDT, Sep 12, 2011

The Mercury Program -- Slightly Drifting, 2002

The Mercury Program - Slightly Drifting


The Dark Side
Topic: Science 10:49 pm EDT, Sep 12, 2011

David Owen:

The day after Dave Crawford and I inspected nighttime Tucson, I drove five hundred and fifty miles north to Bryce Canyon National Park, in southern Utah. That evening, I joined about two hundred people, including many children, outside the visitors' center, where telescopes of various sizes had been set up in the parking lot. Several were equipped with computerized tracking devices, which could be programmed to find and follow interesting objects in the sky. At one station or another, I saw the four Galilean satellites of Jupiter (tiny dots in a line), Saturn (with rings), a dense group of old stars, known as a globular cluster, a pair of twin stars (one blue and one gold), and the mountains and valleys that Galileo saw on the moon. With just my own eyes, I saw the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, which rapidly crossed the sky just before eleven o'clock, and, a little later, I saw the meteor-like flash of a passing Iridium satellite.

I spoke with Chad Moore, the program director of the National Park Service's Night Sky Team. "Many people who come to our programs have never really looked at the night sky," he told me. "A woman once came up to me and said, 'The moon was out during the day this morning -- is that O.K.?' "

I laughed out loud when I read that last sentence.

Here's a photo I took of the daytime moon in Bryce Canyon:

And for good measure in reference to Bruce Sterling's photos of a recent Texas fire, here are two of a 2009 fire at Bryce Canyon:

The Dark Side


Ecuadorean Sky (Boing Boing Flickr Pool) – Boing Boing
Topic: Travel 10:36 pm EDT, Sep 12, 2011

Looking onto Andean fields near Simiatug, Ecuador.

Ecuadorean Sky (Boing Boing Flickr Pool) – Boing Boing


The Case Against COICA | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:58 am EST, Nov 18, 2010

Peter Eckersley:

COICA gives the government dramatic new copyright enforcement powers, in particular the ability to make entire websites disappear from the Internet if infringement, or even links to infringement, are deemed to be "central" to the purpose of the site.

Instead of passing dangerous anti-innovation bills like COICA, Congress should be working to clear the licensing roadblocks that make it hard for new businesses and new models to emerge, thrive, and pay creators.

Senator Leahy is leading the government into the swamp of trying to decide which websites should be blacklisted and which ones shouldn't, and they're going to discover that the line between copyright infringement and free political speech can be awfully murky.

Decius:

We should be screaming at Leahy. I'm so disappointed to see him backing something like this. He is usually computer literate. I used to think he was one of the few people in Congress whose positions I could trust. Unfortunately I'll have to view him with suspicion from now on. He has consorted with the devil.

It could be worse:

The Hong Kong government has unveiled a plan to use 200,000 young people from organizations like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides as watchdogs for internet copyright infringement. Many civil liberties advocates question the use of teenagers in state-sponsored law enforcement.

Mark Kingwell:

What is the only thing worse than un-civil discourse? No discourse at all.

Noteworthy:

Oh, wait, is copyright protection preventing you from accessing the work of an author who died 99 years ago?

Vint Cerf:

The Internet is for everyone -- but it won't be if Governments restrict access to it ...

The Case Against COICA | Electronic Frontier Foundation


The Main Driver
Topic: Politics and Law 6:26 am EST, Nov 16, 2010

"Leonard Nimoy":

It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies. And in the end, isn't that the real truth?

The answer ... is No.

Charles P. Pierce:

Truth is what moves the needle. Fact is what sells.

Paul Krugman:

It's true that the PowerPoint contains nice-looking charts showing deficits falling and debt levels stabilizing. But it becomes clear, once you spend a little time trying to figure out what's going on, that the main driver of those pretty charts is the assumption that the rate of growth in health-care costs will slow dramatically. And how is this to be achieved? By "establishing a process to regularly evaluate cost growth" and taking "additional steps as needed." What does that mean? I have no idea.

Col. Lawrence Sellin:

I don't hate PowerPoint. In fact, I use it often. I do object to its use as a crutch or a replacement for serious thinking. Also, the overuse of PowerPoint can give the illusion of progress, when it is really only motion in the form of busy work. It can confuse the volume of information with the quality of information.

George Packer:

Last week, a local reporter asked the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, why tax cuts should be expected to improve the economy when real incomes actually dropped after the original Bush tax cuts. According to the Times, Toomey "brushed aside" the question with the reply that he "did not believe the data." How convenient for him!

David Phillips:

Once you've told the big lie, you have to substantiate it with a sequence of lies that's repeated.

Peter Norvig:

Using PowerPoint is like having a loaded AK-47 on the table: You can do very bad things with it.

C. J. Chivers:

One day in spring 1968, after a skirmish in a gully near Khe Sanh, Gunnery Sergeant Elrod found an AK-47 beside a dead North Vietnamese soldier. He claimed it as his own. This was not a trophy. It was a tool.

A few weeks later, Gunnery Sergeant Elrod was walking across a forward operating base near Khe Sanh with his AK-47 slung across his back.

A lieutenant colonel stopped him.

"Gunny, why the hell are you carrying that?" he asked.

"Because it works," Elrod replied.

Slim Charles:

It's what war is, you know? Once you in it ... you in it. If it's a lie, then we fight on that lie. But we gotta fight!

The Main Driver


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