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They Still Don't, I Guess

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.19.14

The title of this article is kind of nonsensical, but the article itself is interesting - I hadn't realized how much effort people put into suppressing MJ's 1995 song "They Don't Care About Us". (All I remembered was the Jew me/Kike me line being controversial.)

Apparently radio stations were reluctant to play it and one of two videos - a prison video made by Spike Lee and Michael Jackson - was banned from TV. The article implies that all this was in response to the black anger message of the song, rather than the Jew me/Kike me line. The prison video is at the link.



 

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Meet up - Pittsburgh!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.19.14

Heebster, we will be in Pittsburgh at Rft's mom's for Christmas. Can you put up a post to see if there's interest in a meetup on Tuesday 12/23 or maybe Friday 12/26? There's a nice bar, 1947 Tavern, within walking distance of where we'll be staying, but we could potentially also do it at the Squirrel Cage for comedy value/Moby's convenience.

So says Snarkout.

Confidential to Snarkini: Yes I can!



 

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Guest Post - Uber Economy

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.19.14

Dairy Queen writes: Sadly, I believe this article is on to something.

There are only two requirements for an on-demand service economy to work, and neither is an iPhone. First, the market being addressed needs to be big enough to scale--food, laundry, taxi rides. Without that, it's just a concierge service for the rich rather than a disruptive paradigm shift, as a venture capitalist might say. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a large enough labor class willing to work at wages that customers consider affordable and that the middlemen consider worthwhile for their profit margins.
Uber was founded in 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the worst financial crisis in a generation. As the ride-sharing app has risen, so too have income disparity and wealth inequality in the United States as a whole and in San Francisco in particular. Recent research by the Brookings Institution found that of any US city, San Francisco had the largest increase in inequality between 2007 and 2012. The disparity in San Francisco as of 2012, as measured (pdf) by a city agency, was in fact more pronounced than inequality in Mumbai (pdf).

(note there are links in that quote that I couldn't for the life of me reproduce)

One (among many) question suggested by the article is whether the technological middle man of uber and its ilk is key to preventing collective action by labor, or the kind of "learning the trade, moving up the ladder" dynamic claimed to exist in Mumbai (does it really?) or whether it is a question of deeper social structures.



 

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Read a combative Welshman

Posted by Ben
on 12.18.14

Hey, check this out.

I confess that "If the APR of loan sharks is so excessively high then why don't they own the whole world?" is not a question that it would ever occur to me to ask, or, having read it, find particularly puzzling.



 

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Cooked!

Posted by Ogged
on 12.18.14

I've had my iPhone 6 (the smaller of the bigger ones) for about a month now, long past the time that I would have grown accustomed to it and decided that Apple knew better than I what I would enjoy, so I can now state definitively that this phone is too damn big, a pain to hold, and not nearly as enjoyable to use as the 5/5s. Bring back the smaller ones, damn it; I kind of hate this thing.



 

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Sony

Posted by Ogged
on 12.18.14

There's a lot more to say, but I think Josh gets the nut of it. I'm flabbergasted that the movie was pulled. Have people sign a waiver with their tickets. The publicity would be fantastic.



 

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Trigger Warnings

Posted by Ogged
on 12.18.14

Bad!



 

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Very important.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.18.14

And soothing. But not the type of thing that will generate much of a discussion, I suspect.



 

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Nothing important

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.18.14

This guitarist is the worst. I like her because she made me laugh, but you might like her for her sheer shirt and lack of pants.

Unrelated, the 20 most popular websites by year, since 1996.



 

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Guest Post - Prison Guards

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.17.14

J, Robot writes: The NYT's recent coverage of problems at Rikers has been both fascinating and upsetting (though it matches what Law & Order had led me to suspect). The union head appears to be popular with his members, but I wonder how well he is serving them in terms of their day-to-day safety.



 

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Schemes and such

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.17.14

David Mumford and John Tate were asked to write an obituary for Alexander Grothendieck for Nature magazine. Then they were rejected for writing too mathy an obituary, which you may read here. Mumford is upset over the lack of mathematical literacy. I don't think the editors picked the best examples to convey to him why it will be incomprehensible - and I don't think the column was unsalvageable - but I think Mumford is out of touch with the mainstream Nature reader.



 

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Blow who?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.16.14
Congressman Blake "Ducky Pajamas" Farenthold, who represents an area of Texas that runs from Bastrop to Corpus Christi, is the proud owner of Blow-Me.org, his spokesperson confirmed to Buzzfeed.

Stay classy.



 

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Festival of Lights

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.16.14

It's that time of year where I wish I did something to balance all the secular Christianity that my kids are swamped with. Enjoy!

Via E. Messily



 

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Genealogy

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.16.14

One of our commenters sent in a perfectly good guest post and then asked me to paraphrase it. Okay. Their friend Shmax wrote a website post. He was adopted, and did the 23andMe test mostly to find out about anything health-related. It turned up his biological mother, who turns out to be a journalist/poet/scholar/interesting person/Irish. He's still looking for his biological father now, so heads up to our Irish commenters. Make this anonymous. Don't print the above, maybe just paraphrase.

(Now in my own family, my mom also sent off for 23andMe, because we're all abuzz about my grandfather's identity swap, but we haven't gotten the results yet. In addition, my parents are visiting my grandmother, and went through some of her old files and found a bunch of love letters indicating that she did indeed know about the first marriage, because she was the other woman.)



 

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Peshawar

Posted by Ogged
on 12.16.14

Might have taken that one a little too far, guys.



 

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Here is some quality music

Posted by Ben
on 12.15.14

I claim that this is basically fantastic and extremely well done.



 

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Bad Reviews

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.15.14

Shit My Reviewers Say is funny. Sometimes you side with the author:

"I also would add that while I don't have anything serious to complain about, I also see this work as being pretty straightforward - there is no "big idea" that I see as especially imaginative or creative. Again, it is extremely solid, just not necessarily sexy."

Sometimes you side with the reviewer:

"The writing and data presentation are so bad that I had to leave work and go home early and then spend time to wonder what life is about."

Sometimes you know nosflow wrote the paper:

"The author's spelling of coordinate, while technically correct, is arcane and annoying."


 

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ATM: help with a holiday gift

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 12.15.14

Dairy Queen writes: Help requested from the hive mind!

Heebie's take: Significant other, you must not peek below the fold, should you stop by. Strictest orders.


read more »



 

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What Binds Us Together

Posted by Ogged
on 12.15.14

Nice little interview on the "new" psychological theories of procrastination, which see it as a problem of mood and emotion, more than one of poor time management. Worth reading. Some of it sure does ring true for me, and with the stuff about self-forgiveness, it seems they're getting closer to the "root causes" of procrastination, although it seems a bit preliminary yet.



 

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