Internet

Programmers imagine the most ridiculous ways to enter a phone number into a form – Quartz

And this programmer suggested a way to avoid user input all together: @marypcbuk @Ploogle @paulomgaspar @jeffbonhag @stelian @ftrain @sbisson The final solution for this problem. pic.twitter.com/62kZVFCRkM — Alexander Pushkov (@_iamale_) April 19, 2016 Eventually, programmers on Reddit started making fully-functioning,

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted, Web Design

Rethinking our default profile photo – Twitter Blogs

…[P]eople have come to associate the circle head with masculinity, and because of this association, we felt that it was important to explore alternate head shapes. We reviewed many variations of our figure, altering both the head and shoulders to

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted Tagged with:

Sharon Weinberger: How nuclear fears helped inspire creation of the internet – Aeon Essays

‘How much money do you need to get off the ground?’ Herzfeld asked. ‘A million dollars or so, just to get it organised,’ Taylor replied. ‘You’ve got it,’ Herzfeld replied. And that was it. The conversation to approve the money

Posted in Internet, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

Yearning for President Blog – OAG #9

The Tweet-storm, in the new era of President Tweet, remains a nostalgia-inducing afterimage of the blog and of the era of President Blog, but it may also portend a return or attempted return to coherent, accountable, and consequential civic discussion in a mass society, back from the Great Flood of clicks.

Posted in Internet, Meta, notes, Operation American Greatness, Twitter Tagged with:

All the News that’s Fit to Kill (OAG #8)

The Post appears to be promising to narrate the death of democracy – or, if unconsciously, to be revealing an intention to embody it.

Posted in Featured, Internet, Journalism, Operation American Greatness

Christie Aschwanden: We Asked 8,500 Internet Commenters Why They Do What They Do – FiveThirtyEight

Comments often serve as identity badges, said Joseph Reagle, the author of “Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web” and a professor of communication studies at Northeastern University. “You see this particularly on social

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down – Motherboard

Our smartphone, Kosinski concluded, is a vast psychological questionnaire that we are constantly filling out, both consciously and unconsciously. Above all, however—and this is key—it also works in reverse: not only can psychological profiles be created from your data, but

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, Politics

Ken White: On Punching Nazis – Popehat

…We have social and legal norms, including “don’t punch people because their speech is evil, and don’t punish them legally.” Applying those norms is not a judgment that the speech in question is valuable, or decent, or morally acceptable. We

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness

Why two spaces after a period isn’t wrong (or, the lies typographers tell about history) – Heraclitean River

The author, Farhad Manjoo, is astounded to find so many educated and ignorant people who apparently believe that two spaces are okay. He even polls people over Thanksgiving dinner, just so he can tell them how wrong they are! The

Posted in Internet, Meta, Miscellany, Noted & Quoted

“Human nature only really exists in an achieved community of minds.” – Hegel

Just wanted to note the line, from the Preface to The Phenomenology of Spirit (§69), for later use and overuse. I’m quite fond of the larger passage: Since the man of common sense makes his appeal to feeling, to an

Posted in Internet, Philosophy, Political Philosophy

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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