Lots of Interesting Nice (web-based) Knick-knacks

I bough Sperry Topsider shoes this week. I love Sperry boat shoes, I just do. My vegan friend game me some shit for it though! So I did some research, here’s where you get your vegan styling clothing if that’s your thing. This stuff isn’t even that expensive, though most of it is off-brand. I probably won’t give up Sperry shoes, but I’m all for ethical sourcing and that grab bag.

http://www.fairwear.org  http://www.veganchic.com www.thediscerningbrute.com

A story about coming out from behind the veil

A very interesting article about a woman’s choice to take off the hijab and live her life. It traces the social history of Egypt, and psychology of being covered up. The critical line: “If a woman could choose to wear a miniskirt, surely I could choose to cover my hair? I wanted people to address my mind and to not objectify me, I would say. Ultimately, I could not sustain that line of thinking because, as a feminist, I demanded that people address my mind and not objectify me, regardless of how I dressed.”

What is sufficient for satire?

A modern convention of the left is that everything is political. It is not rare to hear POC or queer writers arguing that their merely loving/living is revolutionary. It may well be that my privilege is showing here, but adding the tediousness of politics to the mundane reality of eating breakfast before work seems, boorish, excessively reverent. Thus satire, often politically charged, is a battleground for political thought, and the very framing for that thought. I think the opinions herein are liberating a beautiful spectacle from a dower frame.

Good Technology Alienates You

People complain that social media creates faded friendship, shadows of what we once had. People complain that we spend too much time on our phones, when we are right in front of each other. Facebook and the iPhone are also incredibly popular. This article tries to tie it all together.

The Internet is a radical place, but one still dominated by the people dominating the outside world – A study in memes

They looked at people. People got paid to do this. Academics get paid to look at memes all day. I should have been a sociology major in college because that’s all I did anyway.

The US gets some moral high ground back

When the US holds itself, and those acting on its behalf, accountable, I am very happy. So the sentencing of some of our war criminals is awesome. Stuff like this may be the thing that makes me proudest about this nation, because so few do it. I really hope the (sadly) inevitable wars that we fight in the future will have an oversight system that builds on this justice.

Video games? In my classroom?

Suck it teachers! The military has used simulations to teach for a long time now, and that political theory where benefits are conferred to US civilians through the military has it right again! Soon enough we will learn through precious precious video games.

I have long maintained that a small chin is an ‘(highly) evolved chin.’

I point out the exceptionally wee ones, even to the consternation of my paramours. Anyway, science backs me up, again. AS ALWAYS.

The sexual rights of dementia patients, debated

If you want to go reading some moral quandary stuff, here you go. The man wants to sleep with his wife. The children say that the wife can no longer consent. Science says that some dementia have very high sex drives, whereas others lose that urge. For the ones that want it, it is said that the touch and affection can powerfully meaningful and healthy. Read this one for sure.

A useful guide for managing your glycamic load

That is, if you are interesting in managing the levels of cortisol and insulin in your body, then check this out. The lower, the better, unless you are aiming for type 2 diabetes.

The chef of the future

IBM’s Watson computer is now creating amazingly outlandish recipes. Check some out, it sources them from flavor profiles from all around the world.

The best American business is (drum-roll)

Quick tip, it is why lobbying will be so hard to regulate going forward in the US.

Maintenance Sex is important to a relationship

You may not want to have sex, but if you want to stay together. You’ll want to go and have that sex.

The left-right paradigm is almost universal

Which makes sense, since they have found strong predictive factors for this political split that are universal throughout humanity. But this sort of political divide does not have to mean war and governmental dysfunction.

Is the happiness gap following the wage gap in the US?

Kinda, but not so much, not as much as you would think. Consumer choice makes people happy. A very interesting read.

Baddass of the week:

Civil Asset Forfeiture is when you are legally robbed. The cops can, for any reason, stop you and take your stuff. Under any flimsy pretext of illegality that can be thought up, they can keep it. To get it back, your stuff goes on trial, and it is presumed to be guilty, and you have to pay to prove the innocence of your stuff. Susanna Martinez, governor of New Mexico, has changed that in her state!

(Special shoutout to this American hero)

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An encyclopedia of last week

No filler, just everything ever that happened in the last 7-days

How to eat in a water-scarce america

California is running out of water, but californians still need to eat. This is also just the beginning, many places will run out of water, but they will still need to eat. This is a guide for finding the least water intensive diet you can stick to. Eggs, spuds and greens.

J.P. Morgan has an algorithm to detect rogue traders – before they rogue.

In order to minimize legal costs, not because it is the right thing to do, JPM is running out a way to identify traders who are the most likely to operate outside of the law, and endure a fine. I guess this is regulation working – good! It is super creepy that Minority Report stuff can end your career now.

Kenyan TV takes on NGOs

NGOs are ubiquitous in africa, and their presence is growing. Also growing, is the general feeling that so much of what they do is useless and wasteful. Kenyan satirists get a chance to flex their frustration and make fun of this hopefully and least benign institution.

The hottest thing in board games

The New Yorker picks up the surge in popularity for a game form that was once just for children. Europeans have pioneered a new type of game, in the Risk/Diplomacy tradition that focus on strategy, but try to keep games to about an hour of play time.

A survey of matriarchal societies in the natural world

What does it look like when animals naturally organize around a female power structure? The answers are telling, if varied. The closest structure, to ours, I would posit is Orca society. I think they are more wolf-like than we are, we have more Bottle-nose in us, in my not at all a professional opinion.

DNA alone is insufficient to explain heritability

This would be a pretty prickly problem for modern science, how to you explain it? Except for the answer, proteins called ‘histones,’ are what DNA wraps itself around. These proteins govern how DNA acts, decreasing some of the randomness that might otherwise gunk up the evolutionary process.

The pentagon is thinking of making it easier to become a citizen

Sorry, this link is gated. But it is a cool story, and my friend Asim is featured.

New Arrested Development!

Weird, I didn’t know there was any remaining fan outcry for more, but it looks like new episodes may be on the way.

The most famous artist is an asian woman

Yayoi Kusama, ladies and gentlemen! Winner of 2014 museum attendance in the art world

The labyrinth of regulation, hair braiding style

A Dallas woman has spent time in prison, and spend too much in taxes and fees in order to make her living braiding hair. Forbes follows the plight of people who want to be entrepreneurs, who want to practice traditional forms of hair management or therapy, but who are met with insane road blocks. There is good regulation, and then there’s this. A good lens a the politics of licensing.

How the internet of things will allow regulatory creep into every day lives

Unless we do something about it! Of course… After reading about the praxis that hair salons can undergo, this is a look at the future. As the ‘internet of things,’ as it is called, enters more and more of our things, government bureaucracy will likely follow. What does that mean, what will that look like?

A moment of victory and surrender for a D.C. gadfly

A touching and personal story of a man, who, if nothing else, has a tremendous amount of passion. Someone who cares about his community, and will make, at least in the eyes of many others, an ass of himself, in order to get his point across. He celebrates legal weed in D.C., but may have to give on one of his convictions and watch a baseball game in the city he calls home.

The Congressman overseeing the secret service, was denied from said service.

Self-explanatory and totally embarrassing. But hardly surprising given the people who run congress. Hopefully he won’t be able to screw too much up.

Good guy of the week:

The judge who sent a torturer to face justice.

An former US ally who over-saw torture and terror was hiding from justice in the US. Now he will have to face justice, even though some saw him as a defender of freedom. I’m glad this fascist won’t be protected anymore.

Two films I just found about and want to see

Nine Scenes from Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense
About the life of Franz Fannon, a revolutionary anti-colonial thinker
Ex Machina
Looks like a cool piece of modern sci-fi


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They are running out of internet

It will soon all be gone

Think long and deep and hard, how can you better serve our robo-masters?

Because robo-consciousness is here, and ‘Hector’ is going to change everything.

I feel like I may have covered this guy before, but it is still a stunning story

A con artist who gave away ‘millions,’ was treated like royalty when he was really a fraud, and never broke the law. He’s a nut, but also, like, legally.

Anglo-Saxon’s teach modern medicine a thing or two about eye care

Pharoic Egypt and the Islamic Golden and considered two of the finest eras, previous to our own, to be the recipient of medical care. The European Middle Ages are thought to be rather the opposite on the scale of medical know how, and certainly no one has looked to the war-like saxons for great things of this nature. But a new find is turning prevailing theories of germanic science on their heads.

Literally the opposite of vindictive justice

Liberal, hell, libertine is what my gut reaction to the Norwegian penal system is. I have a hard time thinking that the place they call prison could be worse than many of the free l

This weeks minor miracle worker: maybe minor is unfair

And his antipodian doppelgänger: the canadian

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A window to the world, through a window of your browser

I went to SXSW in Austin. Man, I should live in Austin at some point.

Stars Pulse to the Golden Mean

Not all stars, actually just a certain type. This story starts with a theory, that intelligent civilizations might communicate with one another by tweaking star behavior with nutrino blasts. It turns out this discovery is no consistent with such a fascinating hypothesis. But what we have learned is that starts do not blink in non-chaotic ways, their pulsing occurs in a very specific way, one that corresponds to the ever-impressing golden mean.

A discussion with the “Buddhist Bin Laden”

Burma is a very buddhist country, and in an effort to dispel stereotypes, it practices religious violence on muslims. There is an ethnic group in the nation’s east, the Rohingya, who are related to the Bengali people, that are the target of monk-led ethnic cleansing. Hear what the all but  unknown leader of this effort has to say.

Christianity and the State of the USA

The roots of the United States as an explicitly Christian nation have their roots in the depression. Many poor and disaffected turned to their church for answers in those hard times. They also turned to the government for answers, and as history will tell you, Roosevelt’s federal government offered popular solutions. Elite capitalists, their grip on the government as loose as it may have ever been, turned to the church for real and spiritual salvation. The (re)joining of america’s civil religion with christian-capitalism was born, and later solidified during the red scare.

Justice Capitalism

A central creed amongst many if not all Social Justice Warrior circles is that capitalism is incapable of producing a just world. I think this aversion to capitalism often prevents their messages from being accepted in circles that might otherwise embrace them. Paul Tudor Jones II, from his name alone you can tell he’s a capitalist, tries to imagine a system where social justice can feel at home in a capitalist world.

Trolls on Wikipedia

Never trust everything you read, especially things on, or citing, wikipedia. Why? Because it is so far from perfect, and there is a class of person who seek to come up with the most perfect wikipedia hoax. I appreciate, on one hand, the moxie, if you will, that these hoaxers have, but I love my social goods too much to be happy about it. The Bicholim Conflict is the most successful wiki-hoax known to date.

Being loud and obnoxious is the way to riches

I don’t know when in society is became a thing to profit off cynical self-parody in a totally non-ironic way. But in america, without joking, you can just say “I’m an asshole, give me your money, this is how it works.” And it works! This is a thing now. Maybe its always been a thing, and now its reported, but we’re there, as a society.


The Right learns to love the first amendment

Historically the right wing has loved the second amendment, and the left wing has gotten to love the first one. Now that corporations are people, the roll of the first amendment in society is changing. The doctrine of corporate personhood is allowing the corporate sector to use the religious and speech protections in the bill of rights to escape regulations the left likes. No word yet on what it will take the right to love the tenth amendment.

Run, don’t walk away from Minnesota

You can ejaculate on food, as you please, consequence free. So frat life there just became the worst ever.

You are being hacked at a restaurant

I am not sure there is a lot you can do with this information, but at least you now know how you are being exploited.

A talk with Jane Goodall

She’s the best! And cartoons.


I think I want to start highlighting minor miracle workers. Today’s is a judge in new york who decided to stop allowing his court room to exist as a racist nuisance.

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The Missing Links

I had a good week, got a lot done, read a lot, thought a lot. I like that a lot of my priors were confirmed this week. I have been thinking. Whenever we come across something that jives with our priors, there should be a mechanism in place to challenge it. Skepticism is good and healthy (obviously to a degree) but we so often let our guard down when we hear good news. Hearing bad news is so hard, seldom have the energy to really question the good stuff. I am going to come up with a process to verify if something that confirms my priors is really true, so I don’t get bamboozled.

Should We Audit the Fed?

Rand Paul has failed to get senators like Elizabeth Warren to support his bill to change the nature of congress’ oversight of the Fed. This article argues that the Fed is in face as transparent as it needs to be, and that further efforts will politicize the Fed. It is known that we want federal/central banks to be a-political, the more independent they are the better they do. I am for transparency, but I trust this congress less than I trust the Fed for sure.

Here is a place to judge body types

A meta-data study on what we find attractive. The bodies they use aren’t much more complex than the polygons from super smash bros. though.

SUGAR – a drug

We eat too much of it, it is addictive and you can get withdrawal from it. Our society is very unlikely to do much about this though. I only say this half jokingly, if black teens got really sugar high and then started killing people, then, and only then, could we see a change.

One of the great issues at hand when we talk about income inequality is ‘quality of life.’

While income inequality has been shown to negatively impact health, goods and services become cheaper, even relative to the shrinking bottom lines many americans deal with. This article takes on the complicated topic oh how quality of life has changed through time. I still reject the conservative notion that high levels of income inequality necessarily produce superior ‘goods and services’ outcomes, but just because income inequality increases does not mean quality of life must. (I think it just means quality of life will likely grow slower) Related IMF Paper

What does the brain on acid look like

For the first time in history, we are taking a journey to this part of knowledge. A british group is crowdfunding a mission to see how the brain changes on LSD while consciousness changes. People report transformative experiences under the influence of LSD, now we can know what those changes look like.

Menopause’s purpose is hinted at by whales

Female whales live longer than males, just like in humans. Unlike (some) human societies female whales run the social show. The children of long living, high status female whales have tangible advantages in fitness compared to whales without such an advantage. This shows that female whales can contribute to their own genes’ fitness level even after they cease to be able to give birth. I will be looking for this trait in my baby mamma(s?).

Britain better show some good work with LSD, because it has a lot of atoning to do

The brutal nature of Britain’s colonial administration is coming to light, despite the former empire’s best efforts. Even after the atrocities of the second world war made the west reevaluate the relationship between the occupier and the citizenry the UK killed, raped, and terrorized Kenyans and others on truly horrifying scales.

A useful cost of living tool for people moving to Dallas

I think others like this exist for other cities too! It shows you how much you could/should spend based on where you plan to live, and what you make.

New theory posits that dishonesty is passed down through generation

Morality is only so universal, one only needs to turn on the news for a brief moment to see that humans argue over right at wrong all the time. Honesty is usually held to be a constant, but lab testing has shown that even if we conceive of honesty as a good innately, practicing it is anther matter. Parents take care to be honest in front of kids, implying an awareness that this trait can be influenced by parental behavior, but researchers also found that boys experience more cheating from parents. It is theorized that this can explain differences in female and male behaviors.

Need a long term investment strategy?

This fund bought stocks once, 80 years ago, and hasn’t made a change. By buying a broad enough swath of the market, this fund has out performed the stock market even though certain buys have gone absolute bust. A very interesting read.

How life could exist without oxygen

Hugely important article. Scientists have theorized ways that life forms could develop in otherwise hostile environments here in our own solar system. Moons like Titan could be the home to life forms that exist in the paradigm described in the article above.

Humans are not perfect, stop expecting victims to be

Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner did not have to be perfect citizens to be victims of racist policing systems. This article explains why we can’t look to personal faults in victims to excuse the injustices of power structures; specifically through the campus rape lens.

An article in the SSRN claims that government spending does not decrease freedom

Looking at government spending as a portion of GDP, and using definitions of freedom from the Fraser Institute, ICRG, Heritage Foundation, and the World Bank, there is no relationship. Basically, the libertarian fear that big government = bad government isn’t true. It probably does increase the degree to which the state can misbehave, but it also increases the state’s ability to punish misbehavers.

Atheists stuck deep in theocracies

A poignant look at people who grow up in conservative religious communities and lose their faith. They are trapped in a world, even more insane than the general one, but tied down by their isolation from the rest of the world. The main focus is on those in the hasidic community, but this is applicable everywhere, and sheds insight in to the difficulty of policing these communities.

Regulation is not the cause of the decline in American dynamism

There is a lot to read in that post, but it turns out that the real cause was looked at in another paper by the same people.

Those last two studies relied on something one journal just banned

Significance testing, has been standard in the scientific community since about the 20s. Now, the journal, Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP) may be setting off a revolution that changes all of that. They haven’t embraced much, there is some acceptance to Bayesian methods, but this might be the first domino is either more rigorous testing in science, or more uncertainty (in a way). If we are lucky, both!

Arthur C. Clark summed up how I feel about ISIS destroying the precious ancient history of Iraq: “It was the mark of a barbarian to destroy something one could not understand.”


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Foster The People – Houdini (RAC Mix)

This is an old song I wanted to put up here. Back when Foster The People was the best, and RAC was new and pretty much only did good remixes, this came out. The break when the lyrics go “sometimes I wanna disappear…” reminds of the dancing I would like to do back when I listened to the Klaxons.

High You Are (Branchez Remix) – What So Not

I somehow missed this way back when, so I’m trying to remedy that. I really like What So Not, and this is a nice remix of their work. This comes out sounding pretty unique. I like when a song has particular flavor.

Alt-J plays ‘Breezeblocks’ for Like A Version

Just a nice live version of Breezeblocks

The Jazzual Suspects – This Beat

This is a simple beat, but its beautiful, contemplative and uses modern mixing techniques well. Of course the stand out is the Jack Kerouac. It sounds like Gene Wilder is narrating Kerouac’s written jazz. I want to listen to this in San Francisco with a passion I will not be able to communicate to you.

I really haven’t been listening to enough music :/

10 Hours! Of:

Nightcore – Colours Of The Rainbow

There isn’t a lot to add to this. This is super high energy sleep fighting music.

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The return of the link

New content, mercifully new! An interesting coterie of things here. I highly recommend the article on words for anyone writing. A lot of imagery and inspiration there for you.

They (Robots) Took Our Jobs

Or why the coming second robotic age won’t be so bad after all. Well, it could be great, for everyone across every income level, if we actually listen to Larry Summer. This doesn’t need to be radical to work!

A broad vision for better policing

The first part of the list is sort of meaningless, but the other 4 suggestions are really quite critical. De-militarize, reorient accountability, and the policies that criminalize common and non-harmful behavior.

An interesting history of the bra

The bra has been around for a very long time. It has gone in (Greece) and out (the Middle Ages) of fashion, and gone from function to form to both.

Born in the computer age, read in the stone age

Well I suppose its more like reading in the post-Gutenberg era. I myself hate reading on a kindle, and I suppose I’d take a paper over reading an article on the computer. Not that I have to make that choice often.

Chicago has had its own “Black Site’ run by a real live former CIA interrogator

You get a civil rights violation! You get a civil rights violation! You get a civil rights violation! Everyone get a civil rights violation! Said the Oprah of illegal detention and torture in the third largest freaking american city! Most of the ‘punished’ were black, so this will blow over soon enough.

A beautiful compendium of words we are forgetting

A fascinating scholar is collecting all of the great words english is foolishly letting fall to the wayside. He is a nature writer, and he is rediscovering the english speaker’s appreciation for nature by bringing to light the wealth of vocabulary we have to describe it.


A cool graphic tutorial on how to divide fractions

Would have LOVED this as a kid, its cute and short and easy.

Over ten million people are ‘stateless’ in west africa

Being stateless is the worst, you have no national structure defending your rights, and it is almost impossible to change that. This is like being a refugee, but even worse. The cruelty these people suffer at the hands of people and institutions is heart-hardening.

How 21st century syndicates stay that way

Mexican gangs impress tech-savvy workers to do their bidding. Professionals are kidnapped but no ransomed, instead they are forced to set up the systems by which cartels like The Zetas evade their rivals and the government.

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