feed the monkey

Politics, music, sports, culture, technology, food.

Towards a Subversive-Free internet.

Alexis Madrigal, at the Atlantic:

Imagine you’re walking down the street and you say out loud, “Down with the government!” For all non-megastars, the vast majority of people within earshot will have no idea who you are. They won’t have access to your employment history or your social network or any of the other things that a Google search allows one to find. The only information they really have about you is your physical characteristics and mode of dress, which are data-rich but which cannot be directly or easily connected to your actual identity. 

On the boulevards and town squares of Facebook, you can’t just say, “Down with the government,” with the knowledge that only a small percentage of the people who hear you could connect your statement to you…The pseudonym advocates note that being allowed to pick and choose a different name solves some of these problems. One can choose to tightly couple one’s real-world identity and online identity… or not. One can choose to have multiple identities for separate networks. In the language we were using earlier, pseudonyms allow statements to be public and persistent, but not attached to one’s real identity. 
This is a problem to the extent that social activity online exists entirely within G+ and Facebook, which is why, as disgusting as it often is, a place like 4chan has real value. The online world can’t be subversive-free. 

The central irony of financial crises is that they are caused by too much borrowing, too much confidence and too much spending, and they are solved by more confidence, more borrowing and more spending.

-Larry Summers.

[ed - That’s two Larry Summers quotations in two weeks. Time to slow down.]

Yes, you can bring a Goat into an Apple Store (h/t Gothamist).

Because there was no real reason to kill this ant (it wasn’t in her house or threatening her in any way) I read it as an act of existential revenge for what life had done to her body.

— - Charles Mudede, satisfying his “write one gloriously crazy and inappropriate post per week” quota over at The Stranger

The American People Are An Ever More Spherical People

Yglesias, quoting some fancy study:

Within the course of the 20th century the American population went through a virtual metamorphosis from being the tallest in the world, to being among the most overweight. The American height advantage over Western and Northern Europeans was between 3 and 9 cm in mid-19th century, and Americans tended to be underweight. However, today, the exact opposite is the case as the Dutch, Swedes, and Norwegians are the tallest, and the Danes, British and Germans — even the East-Germans — are also taller, towering over the Americans by as much as 3–7 cm. Americans also have shorter lives. The hypothesis is worth considering that this adverse development is related to the greater social inequality, an inferior health care system, and fewer social safety nets in the United States than in Western and Northern Europe, in spite of higher per capita income. 

We’re getting shorter, but at least we’re getting fatter. We still have the most mass!

parislemon:

benkessler:

[Click to Enlarge]
Windows v. Mac at McDonald’s.
/via Josh Helfferich

Perhaps the best representation of Windows vs. Mac that I’ve ever seen. And it comes via a McDonald’s pamphlet.
I also love that step 1 for the Mac is to turn your AirPort on. In other words, for 99% of people, the Mac setup is actually only two steps: connect, and open a web browser.

parislemon:

benkessler:

[Click to Enlarge]

Windows v. Mac at McDonald’s.

/via Josh Helfferich

Perhaps the best representation of Windows vs. Mac that I’ve ever seen. And it comes via a McDonald’s pamphlet.

I also love that step 1 for the Mac is to turn your AirPort on. In other words, for 99% of people, the Mac setup is actually only two steps: connect, and open a web browser.

Gojee: A Promising Food Site

Enter an ingredient you’re in the mood to cook, and Gojee searches a well-curated selection of image-rich food blogs for a recipe that uses that ingredient. You also have the option of inputting the contents of your pantry, so Gojee will focus its results on using what you’ve got. Gojee knows I have quinoa and garlic, and was in the mood for an egg dish, and so, Quinoa Falafel w/ Tahini Sauce…

…among dozens of other results, all of which look good, in that they are handsomely presented, and seem to be good recipes. I’m quite impressed with the blogs the results are pulled from (Food52 and Not Eating Out In New York are personal favorites), as well as the sites they don’t pull from (Food Network, Allrecipes).

The future of the company is linking the “what you have in stock” portion of the site to your loyalty card at your grocery store, so you don’t have to manually update it as you buy new things. This seems like a cool feature that won’t get very far. (No loyalty card for the garden, farmer’s market, etc.).

The River, Part 1

I was very late to Bruce.

This was not for lack of opportunity. At sixteen, I got deep into Ryan Adams. I loved, and still love, Heartbreaker, a fine alt-country specimen. But I took more slowly to the follow-up record, Gold, in large part because everyone said he had abandoned alt-country for the sounds of Springsteen. To me, this was a self-apparently bad move. I have no memory of deciding that Bruce was lame. It seems like something I always knew, a fact inherited from everything.

Read More

Bartlett: Obama is a Conservative President

Truth:

Liberals hoped that Obama would overturn conservative policies and launch a new era of government activism. Although Republicans routinely accuse him of being a socialist, an honest examination of his presidency must conclude that he has in fact been moderately conservative to exactly the same degree that Nixon was moderately liberal.

Here are a few examples of Obama’s effective conservatism:

  • His stimulus bill was half the size that his advisers thought necessary;
  • He continued Bush’s war and national security policies without change and even retained Bush’s defense secretary;
  • He put forward a health plan almost identical to those that had been supported by Republicans such as Mitt Romney in the recent past, pointedly rejecting the single-payer option favored by liberals;
  • He caved to conservative demands that the Bush tax cuts be extended without getting any quid pro quo whatsoever;
  • And in the past few weeks he has supported deficit reductions that go far beyond those offered by Republicans.

Conservatives will, of course, scoff at the idea of Obama being any sort of conservative, just as liberals scoffed at Nixon being any kind of liberal. But with the benefit of historical hindsight, it’s now obvious that Nixon was indeed a moderate liberal in practice. And with the passage of time, it’s increasingly obvious that Clinton was essentially an Eisenhower Republican. It may take 20 years before Obama’s basic conservatism is widely accepted as well, but it’s a fact.