How did this work? In brief, Europe’s political fragmentation spurred productive competition. It meant that European rulers found themselves competing for the best and most productive intellectuals and artisans. The economic historian Eric L Jones called this ‘the States system’. The costs of European political division into multiple competing states were substantial: they included almost incessant warfare, protectionism, and other coordination failures. Many scholars now believe, however, that in the long run the benefits of competing states might have been larger than the costs. In particular, the existence of multiple competing states encouraged scientific and technological innovation.

Commentary on iPhone cameras

Asia travel notes.

What Data Do The Google Dialer and Messages
On Android Send to Google

Plus, the black mark on their files means they often can’t get a contract with more favourable fixed rates.

When the device is installed, a stove or anything else requiring 240 volts of electricity won’t work.

Load limiters allow for continued operation of a furnace, a few lights and small appliances (but only one at a time). If too much electricity is used at once, the limiter will trip — turning off the power all together, until the meter is reset physically by the client or remotely by the distribution company.

There are many players in the field – Epic, Cerner, Meditech, AllScripts, AthenaHealth, to name a few. It isn’t necessarily bad to have many players, but these players don’t cooperate in data interoperability, as they see the difficulty of data migration as a competitive moat. (Taxpayers have lavishly subsidized electronic medical record sales)

Hacking Google Maps to fake a traffic jam.

You don’t write the code for the machines, you write it for your colleagues and your future self (unless it’s a throw away project or you’re writing assembly). Write it for the junior ones as a reference.

The Americans came up with a solution: issuing debt to bring the dollar back to the U.S. The Americans started to play a game of printing money with one hand and borrowing money with the other hand. Printing money can make money. Borrowing money can also make money. This financial economy (using money to make money) is much easier than the real (industry-based) economy. Why will it bother with manufacturing industries that have only low value-adding capabilities?

The complete list of alternatives to all Google products

The manager of Blue Origin’s rocket engine program has left the company

Why big nations lose small wars: The politics of asymmetric conflict.

Google routinely hides emails from litigation by CCing attorneys, DOJ alleges

Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers.

“When I first noticed the airbrushing on the segment referenced, I thought something was honestly wrong with the video. But then, I watched it again and thought, ‘Wait a minute, this appears to be intentional. Lia’s features are softened,’” Denhoff said. “I then went to my original photo, on the sites that they could access to license the photo, and compared it and immediately saw a difference.”

NCLA Takes on U.S. Surgeon General’s Censoring of Alleged Covid-19 “Misinformation” on Twitter

You can dine and shop well enough in the La Brea district of Los Angeles to forget that its name translates as “tar”. You can savour the treasures of the LA County Museum of Art and ignore the lake of gurgling black goo in the park outside. You can decide against the La Cienega route to LAX and avoid the sight of oil derricks, bobbing up and down like perpetual-motion executive desk toys. In the end, though, even in California, home to the disembodied economy of tech, the coarse physicality of the energy sector is inescapable. And so, ever more, in all our minds, is its importance. The war in Ukraine has put paid to a series of fantasies. No, Germany cannot opt out of History. No, it is not butch to tweet adoringly about a strongman you don’t have to live under or near. Yes, the EU is a dream, not an ogre, for tens of millions of people in its near abroad. Of all the illusions, though, the most quietly punctured is the idea that tech is the industry at the centre of the world: the one that makes it go round. Energy, it turns out, is still a worthier bearer of that mantle. This is an education for anyone born in the half-century since the Opec oil crisis.

The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding Software Engineers

The optimism, however, is the assumption that allowing the war to keep going will necessarily undermine Putin’s position; and that his humiliation in turn will serve as a deterrent to China. I fear these assumptions may be badly wrong and reflect a misunderstanding of the relevant history.

For more than forty years, I struggled to get decent health insurance. My first grown-up job, as a fact checker at a weekly magazine, came with a medical plan, but my wife and I were in our early twenties and therefore didn’t think of that as a benefit. My take-home pay was less than the rent on our apartment, so I quit to become a freelance writer, and for months after that we had no insurance at all. Then my wife, Ann Hodgman, got a job at a book publisher. When our daughter, Laura, was born, in 1984, Ann’s policy covered most of the cost of the delivery.

He began by going to an important center in his industry and becoming an understudy to a master practitioner. Rural Haiti is to health vulnerability what Silicon Valley is to tech innovation. In his early 20s, Paul went there to work for Fritz Lafontant, a Wozniak-like Haitian priest pioneering a community-based approach to the social determinants of health.


This research shows people are perceived as less powerful when they use pictures versus words. This effect was found across picture types (company logos, emojis, and photographs) and use contexts (clothing prints, written messages, and Zoom profiles). Mediation analysis and a mediation-by-moderation design show this happens because picture-use signals a greater desire for social proximity (versus distance) than word-use, and a desire for social proximity is associated with lower power. Finally, we find that people strategically use words (pictures) when aiming to signal more (less) power. We refute alternative explanations including differences in the content of pictures and words, the medium’s perceived appropriateness, the context’s formality, and the target’s age and gender. Our research shows pictures and words are not interchangeable means of representation. Rather, they signal distinct social values with reputational consequences.

There Are Still Some Cars That Dealers Can’t Sell Right Now

I sat down expecting a narrative history of the fall of Rome, but was pleasantly surprised to find a portrait of the changing empire populated by statistics and technical hypotheses of a kind one would usually encounter in a copy of the Economist. The first ten pages alone contain references to cosmogenic radionuclides, the Maunder Minimum and the Early Anthropocene. I confess I needed a dictionary.

‘Pro’ has lost all meaning, and Apple knows it

White Castle Expands Partnership with Miso Robotics to Install Flippy 2 in 100 New Locations

Cities Should Not Pay For New Stadiums

Stop Crime SF threatened litigation when Boudin gave the San Francisco Chronicle some cherry picked data that he withheld from us earlier. Suddenly, everything he gave the Chronicle arrived by email at 9pm the night before Thanksgiving. After we threatened to sue, newly appointed City Attorney David Chiu got involved. He defends local officials against lawsuits. We want to thank Chiu’s office for facilitating the release of the data from Boudin’s office and avoiding a lawsuit Boudin would have lost.

State Can’t Force Adoption of Critical Race Theory Concepts in Curriculum


Local activists attempting to force district into curriculum changes

The News: Attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a letter to the Cedarburg School District making clear that the district is not legally required to adopt Critical Race Theory concepts in their curriculum, nor can the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) legally mandate the school district to adopt Critical Race Theory concepts in their curriculum. The Cedarburg School District recently investigated a complaint from a local group alleging that its curriculum violates state and federal law and found no violations. That group has now made an appeal to DPI suggesting Cedarburg’s curriculum is not “diverse and representative.”

The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Dan Lennington, said, “Cedarburg should not be intimidated into adopting controversial and politicized curriculum as a result of vague and unsubstantiated charges made by a local activist group. And any attempt by the state to force curriculum changes would be inappropriate, unwarranted, and likely illegal.”

San Francisco’s Detracking Experiment

Tom Loveless:

San Francisco Unified School District  (SFUSD) adopted a detracking initiative in 2014-2015 school year, eliminating accelerated middle and high school math classes, including the option for advanced students to take Algebra I in eighth grade. The policy stands today. High schools feature a common math sequence of heterogeneously grouped classes studying Algebra I in ninth grade and Geometry in tenth grade. After 10th grade, students are allowed to take math courses reflecting different abilities and interests.

Implementing Common Core was provided as the impetus for the change. When first proposed, district officials summed up the reform as, “There would no longer be honors or gifted mathematics classes, and there would no longer be Algebra I in 8th grade due to the Common Core State Standards in 8th grade.” Parents received a flyer from the district reinforcing this message, explaining, “The Common Core State Standards in Math (CCSS-M) require a change in the course sequence for mathematics in grades 6-12.” Phi Daro, one of Common Core’s co-authors, served as a consultant to the district on both the design and political strategy of the detracking plan.

The policy was controversial from the start. Parents showed up in community meetings to voice opposition, and a petition urging the district to reverse the change began circulating. District officials launched a public relations campaign to justify the policy. Focused on the goal of greater equity, that campaign continues today. SFUSD declared detracking a great success, claiming that the graduating class of 2018–19, the first graduating class affected by the policy when in eighth grade, saw a drop in Algebra 1 repeat rates from 40% to 8% and that, compared to the previous year, about 10% more students in the class took math courses beyond Algebra 2. Moreover, the district reported enrollment gains by Black and Hispanic students in advanced courses.

Important publications applauded SFUSD and congratulated the district on the early evidence of success. Education Week ran a storyin 2018, “A Bold Effort to End Tracking in Algebra Shows Promise,” that described the reforms with these words: “Part of an ambitious project to end the relentless assignment of underserved students into lower-level math, the city now requires all students to take math courses of equal rigor through geometry, in classrooms that are no longer segregated by ability.”  The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) issued a policy brief portraying the detracking effort as a model for the country. Omitted from these reviews was the fact that the “lower-level math” to which non-algebra 8th graders were assigned was Common Core 8th Grade Math, which SFUSD and NCTM had spent a decade depicting as a rigorous math course, as they do currently.

Jo Boaler, noted math reformer, professor at Stanford, and critic of tracking, teamed up with Alan Schoenfeld, Phil Daro and others to write “How One City Got Math Right” for The Hechinger Report, and Boaler and Schoenfeld published an op-ed, “New Math Pays Dividends for SF Schools” in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In this public relations campaign, there was no mention of math achievement or test scores. Course enrollments and passing grades were presented as meaningful measures by which to measure the success of detracking.


In democracies, the opposite is true: the winning coalition is large, and the real selectorate is almost as large as the nominal selectorate. This means that dictators can keep their jobs by handing out private goods to their cronies, whereas democratic leaders have to dole out public goods to maintain their power. That seems to square pretty well with observations in the real world.

This is supposed to be yours, as the first person singular pronoun My implies. Problem is, it’s TheirChart. And there are a lot of them. I have four (correction: five*) MyChart accounts with as many health care providers, so far: one in New York, two in Santa Barbara, one in Mountain View, and one in Los Angeles. I may soon have another in Bloomington, Indiana. None are mine. All are theirs, and they seem not to get along. Especially with me. (Some later correction on this below, and from readers who have weighed in. See the comments.)

Payment technologies offered by the Federal Reserve have evolved over time. In the Federal Reserve’s early years, it established a national check-clearing system and used dedicated telegraph wires to transfer funds between banks. In the 1970s, the Federal Reserve developed an automated clearinghouse (ACH) system that offered an electronic alternative to paper checks. And in 2019, the Federal Reserve committed to building the FedNow SM Service, which will provide real-time, around-the-clock interbank payments, every day of the year.

This Texas Town Was Deep In Debt From A Devastating Winter Storm. Then A Crypto Miner Came Knocking.

Notes on banking and crypto.

You’re a 22-year-old Ukrainian who has just been handed a Kalashnikov, four magazines of thirty rounds, a helmet, and body armor. Last week you were studying architecture at Kyiv National University. Now you’re standing in the lead rank. An officer counts off and puts a hand on your shoulder. “You’re a fire team leader.” He points at the next three people in your rank. “That’s your team.” There are three people behind you. You’ve never seen them before. They await your command.

Long one of America’s safest cities, Seattle had 612 shootings and shots-fired incidents last year, nearly double its average before the pandemic. The city has just experienced its two worst years for homicides since the 1990s, when murder rates were at all-time highs. Gunfire has erupted all across surrounding King County, not just in neighborhoods plagued by violence.

New cars make me want to Saab. Once upon a time, not all cars had to look like folded-up Optimus Prime.

How do you suppose they’re going to tell what position you had that thing set to when your car rolled under the reader? The answer turns out to be relatively simple: they put a sign over each lane, and it just flashes up a “2” or a “3” depending on what it heard from your transponder’s response.

An interesting illustration of this comes from Union of Salvation (Soyuz Spaseniya, 2019), a film about the radical Decembrist revolt of 1825, made with the support of the Russian state. To the considerable shock of older Russian friends of mine who were brought up to revere the Decembrists, the heroes of this film are Tsar Nicholas I and the loyal imperial generals and bureaucrats who fought to preserve government and order against the rebels.

1. China cannot be tied to Putin and needs to be cut off as soon as possible. In the sense that an escalation of conflict between Russia and the West helps divert U.S. attention from China, China should rejoice with and even support Putin, but only if Russia does not fall. Being in the same boat with Putin will impact China should he lose power. Unless Putin can secure victory with China’s backing, a prospect which looks bleak at the moment, China does not have the clout to back Russia. The law of international politics says that there are “no eternal allies nor perpetual enemies,” but “our interests are eternal and perpetual.” Under current international circumstances, China can only proceed by safeguarding its own best interests, choosing the lesser of two evils, and unloading the burden of Russia as soon as possible. At present, it is estimated that there is still a window period of one or two weeks before China loses its wiggle room. China must act decisively.

4 Year Old Israeli Child tests positive for polio


The regional health administration in Jerusalem opened an epidemiological investigation and is in contact with the child and his family for specific instructions. The patient seems to have been infected with a strain that has undergone a change and could cause disease in those who are not vaccinated.

Until Sunday, no cases of polio had been recorded in Israel since 1989. The Health Ministry called on those who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated.

Indications of the virus have been found in sewage samples in the area, although this has occurred in the past without any infections being reported.

The case in Jerusalem comes as an outbreak of the virus was reported in Malawi. The strain found in the outbreak there was linked to one circulating in Pakistan, where it is still endemic. Polio is also endemic in Afghanistan.

Most Academics Went Silent. Why?

Vinay Prasad

Of course, some academics were notably vocal during COVID-19, taking the thesis position – lockdown, school closure, masking, temperature checks – or the antithesis – that these interventions don’t work or did more harm than good. But notably most academics were silent.

I understand why laboratory scientists might have stayed out of it, but two groups puzzle me: global health advocates and early life course/ disparities researchers who were quiet.

Lockdowns might ultimately be the single most destabilizing event in the last 25 years globally. They have led to famine and extreme poverty like we have never seen in modern times. Oxfam warned last summer that 11 people die each minute from hunger, outpacing covid.

A generation of kids have lost their future. UNICEF reported in March 2021 that 168 million kids lost a year of school, and many lost more.

India faced some of the longest closures, mortgaging the future of tens of millions of kids, leading to catastrophic educational losses.

School closures in the USA were disproportionately in liberal strongholds and attitudes were temporaly linked to Trump’s advocacy. Closing school for more than a year is the greatest domestic policy failure of the last 25 years. As a lifelong Democrat/ progressive, I know with confidence that my team is responsible for this. 

Yet, throughout this pandemic, notice how many global health scholars were totally silent on lockdowns. How many global health researchers said nothing as India sacrificed the future of a generation with school closures? How many US based disparity researchers or early childhood advocates were silent on school closure? I believe most were quiet!

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?


“Apparently they have extra Starships to go around. We are very excited. We weren’t part of the conversation but we got tagged by that other Twitter handle that was asking for it be by South Padre Island, and then he was the one that suggested well why don’t we do it near the airport since the airport serves both communities,” Partida said.

It cited as proof of that commitment designing “highly reliable, maneuverable” satellites designed to break up completely upon reentry; placing satellites initially in very low orbits after launch for initial checkouts; operating the entire constellation at altitudes below 600 kilometers, so that satellites will naturally reenter within 25 years of the end of their life if they are not deliberately deorbited; and the use of an autonomous collision avoidance system.

While the Biden administration claims that Putin bears all the blame for the current Ukraine crisis, Burns makes clear that the US helped lay its foundations. By taking advantage of Russian weakness, he argues, Washington fueled the nationalist resentment that Putin exploits today. Burns calls the Clinton administration’s decision to expand NATO to include Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic “premature at best, and needlessly provocative at worst.” And he describes the appetite for revenge it fostered among many in Moscow during Boris Yeltsin’s final years as Russia’s president. “As Russians stewed in their grievance and sense of disadvantage,” Burns writes, “a gathering storm of ‘stab in the back’ theories slowly swirled, leaving a mark on Russia’s relations with the West that would linger for decades.”

Do Higher-Priced Hospitals Deliver Higher-Quality Care?

Maybe I am wrong—tragically wrong—but I cannot dismiss the suspicion that we are witnessing an elaborate charade, grossly magnified by prominent elements of the American media, to serve a domestic political end. Facing rising inflation, the ravages of Omicron, blame (for the most part unfair) for the withdrawal from Afghanistan, plus the failure to get the full support of his own party for the Build Back Better legislation, the Biden administration is staggering under sagging approval ratings just as it gears up for this year’s congressional elections. Since clear “victories” on the domestic woes seem increasingly unlikely, why not fabricate one by posing as if he prevented the invasion of Ukraine by “standing up to Vladimir Putin”? Actually, it seems most likely that President Putin’s goals are what he says they are—and as he has been saying since his speech in Munich in 2007. To simplify and paraphrase, I would sum them up as: “Treat us with at least a modicum of respect. We do not threaten you or your allies, why do you refuse us the security you insist for yourself?”

Sipan Murad, a 22-year-old Yazidi survivor from Kocho, emerged six months ago from seven years of captivity in Syria and has described her ordeal in detail to a journalist for the first time.

The introduction of chocolate to the Catholic world caused a dilemma: could it be eaten? Should it be given up for Lent?

The Far Reach of the White House’s Zero Trust Memo

Some digital nomads cross borders multiple times a year, never staying in any one country long enough to become a “tax resident.” (More on tax residency in a future post.) However, Americans are always a tax resident of the US, no matter where they are.

Most of the new innovation we’ve seen in the past years have created BRAND NEW problems (when they originally promised us they would FIX PROBLEMS for us) if you look closely enough at them. Cough… Social Media… Cough…

The yearly turnover rate among long-haul truckers is 94 percent. And you wonder why you’re not getting your orders on time?

There’s also a few other benefits to using ships as a comparison. Unlike cars (where most production information is locked up with the producer), there’s a lot of publicly available data on ships and shipping cost. Because they’ve been produced for so long, and because ships can be built basically anywhere with water access, we’ve also seen a lot of cycles of shipbuilding moving to somewhere cheaper – America to Britain, Britain to Japan, Japan to Korea and China. And because shipbuilding is often considered a matter of national importance (for its connection to navies if for no other reason), these shifts tend to produce a lot of speculation on how x nation has lost their shipbuilding advantage, and how they might recover it, which is useful if you’re trying to understand the moving parts of the industry.