2.21

But more than that, the study says something fascinating about how we perceive the world around us: that visual cues can effectively override our senses of taste and smell (which are, of course, pretty much the same thing.)

Location-Based Pay” – Who Are You to Complain?

Armenia Is an Orphaned Client State

Grant Thornton ‘failed to check Patisserie Valerie cash levels’

How Poverty Makes Workers Less Productive

The U.S. fumbled a lot of things during this pandemic, but compared to almost every other peer nation, it is handling vaccination well.

Once again. Facebook (and Google) relies on and collects a majority of its data from *when you’re on products they don’t control and you’re not intending to interact with them.* That’s why they fear iOS privacy changes, data protection (aka privacy) laws & antitrust scrutiny. /1

Colorado City mayor resigns, responds to his controversial Facebook post

Taking a Fall

What went wrong with America’s $44 million vaccine data system?

Facebook reported revenue it ‘should have never made’, manager claimed

How Oracle Sells Repression in China

Citibank just got a $500 million lesson in the importance of UI design

The Fantasy of Opting Out

RightBooks: American Carnage

Random

Two recent obituaries.

Darwin Ness

We frequently worshipped with Darwin Saturday evenings. Observing his drive, devotion and faith was humbling, to say the least.

David Villa

I met David – wearing a Santa tie – while we were marooned at O’hare. This occurred when United Airlines’ ORD – MSN flight performance was modeled after a random number generator (2008-2009).

Take your chances: canceled, on time or delayed. The odds grew against the paying traveler as day turned into evening.

Thus we stood at the gate, not at all surprised that our last flight of the day to Madison was cancelled.

We shared a rental car to Madison that evening, swapping family and business tales, including the recent big bank bailouts.

Our paths occasionally crossed and included lunch or tea conversations.

Life on earth is fleeting; our “time of grace”, for sure.

PS. After enduring endless ORD – MSN flight misadventures, I phoned Air Wisconsin’s VP – Operations.

I simply asked when they might stop with the random number generator? Laughing, he said that United determines where and when they fly. (Air Wisconsin continues to provide “regional jet” service to the large “mainline” airlines).

2.14

Amazon responds to Elon Musk’s accusations of impeding SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet plans

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

The Full Automation Fallacy

Build or Die! US Industrial Policy with Rob Atkinson

How The US Legalized Corruption

People are fed up with broken vaccine appointment tools — so they’re building their own

Kate Bingham: Why the UK strategy on Covid vaccines has been a great success

The year 2021 will bring DeFi into adolescence

The days are long but the decades are short

The computers rejecting your job application

Protecting your capital during a war

We’re still missing the origin story of this pandemic.

China is sitting on the answers.

REPORT ON THE 2020 PROTESTS AND CIVIL UNREST

Covid-19: Social murder, they wrote—elected, unaccountable, and unrepentant

The Vaccine Had to Be Used. He Used It. He Was Fired.

“Yet what we see at times is people with a Bernie Sanders sign and a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their window, but they’re opposing an affordable housing project or an apartment complex down the street.”

FORMER FBI OFFICIALS TAPPED FOR AMAZON’S GROWING SECURITY APPARATUS

1/ “Covid-19: Social murder, they wrote“: “medical professionals allow(ed) themselves to be manipulated by corrupt politicians & influenced by media propaganda instead of being guided by their own ethical principles

Credit scores and internet browsing

More Money, More Vaccines?” Here’s a Solution in a Toolkit

News outlets paid off old editorial promises with new headlines: Ponzi journalism.

In defense of interesting writing on controversial topics

Martin Luther Rewired Your Brain

2.7

Fauci.  Compare that to revisiting the Balaji thread.

The Effects of High?Information Environments on Legislative Behavior in the US House of Representatives

Wake Up, You’ve Been Asleep for 50 Years

Oral History Interviews During a Pandemic

The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election

Commentary on the Time 2020 election article.

The anti-science presidency?

From control rooms to testing, several strategies helped UP contain pandemic

Consider the Source

How the New York Times deceived Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

Today, the fate of the SpaceX Starship offers an example of how government oversight agencies can stifle innovation when they are unable to distinguish between innovation and execution and throw roadblocks in front of the single company that has transformed access to space.

Sweden: Here’s a graph they don’t want you to see

Now It’s The Democrats Turn To Destroy The Open Internet: Mark Warner’s 230 Reform Bill Is A Dumpster Fire Of Cluelessness

Political Strategist Bradley Tusk on What Micromobility Startups Can Learn from Uber

I found this discussion fascinating in light of my 2014 uber experience in Manhattan. I was astonished at the street, market and brand power uber created – and leveraged politically.

This discussion with Bradley Tusk – part of the recent Micromobility World conference – illuminates uber’s early approach to markets, governments and its powerful ability to leverage interest in app mobility.

Further, the conversation offers a frank look at “realpolitics”. To wit “but you know, if we waited for their permission everywhere, we’d never, would’ve got off the ground.”

and:

Because fundamentally, if they believe that you can make it harder for them when their next election they’re going to do what you want to do. If they think you can help reelect them, they’re going to do what you want to do.

And if they think that you can’t impact it, you’re completely irrelevant. So fundamentally, if there is legitimate, true demand among the people of the city to have more scooters in the flee and on the streets and you mobilize that properly, it will happen.

mp3 audio version // machine generated transcript (pdf)

Posted in Uncategorized.

Madison Utility Costs

A recent neighborhood Facebook post mentioned a “HUGE” jump in the property owner’s MGE (Madison Gas & Electric) January bill.

I’ve occasionally taken a look at Wisconsin utility costs. MG&E has generally been the most expensive (2018-2019 PSC summer .xslx file).

A few links:

11.25.2020 Regulators approve 1-year electricity rate freeze, 4.1% gas increase for MGE customers.

11.27.2014 PSC approves a 80% increase in Madison Gas & Electric’s fixed monthly fee to “maintain a connection to the grid”.

The Madison utility company initially submitted a proposal last June that would have raised the fixed charge to $22 a month in 2015, $48 in 2016, and $67 by 2017.

The kilowatt-hour charge, meanwhile, would have fallen from 14 cents in the winter to 3 cents, and 15 cents in the summer to 4.5 cents by 2017.

2007: Isthmus on elected officials, lobbying and the utlity industry, including:

In 2002, Williamson had testified that Chvala asked him to send campaign donations from Madison Gas & Electric to the Kansas Democratic Party. Kansas allows direct campaign contributions from corporations; Wisconsin does not. From 1998 to 2001, MGE and its subsidiaries sent at least $170,000. Money from Kansas was then sent back to Wisconsin, to a group run by Chvala.

Posted in Uncategorized.

1.31

The Architecture of Mass Vaccine Distribution

A Curious Journey through the Story of the Passport

US Defense Intelligence Agency admits to buying citizens’ location data

Train Wreck: The Penn Central’s failure resonates today.

Moore’s Law & Cars

Yet Reuters has found new evidence that the CDC’s response to the pandemic also was marred by actions – or inaction – by the agency’s career scientists and frontline staff.

WHO advisor: COVID-19 pandemic likely started via lab leak

They believe that the role they are ostensibly to serve is as the “enlightened stewards” of society, taking the liberty of reimagining everybody else’s lives.

The High Price of Mistrust

The public’s expectations on privacy were changing, he said, and Facebook’s old approach wasn’t cutting it anymore. 

It’s clickbait, and it’s bad for you

Our Virginia regulatory state is failing us

Independent crafters get really taken for a ride by the federal government. We get taxed to the nth degree, and it wasn’t really worth it pursuing that as a business, even as a side hustle. I mostly just make them as gifts.

The difference between resistance and sedition, between protests and insurrections, is who’s in charge.

How we made Typerighter, the Guardian’s style guide checker

Talking about deplatforming with Yael Eisenstat

The GameStop Short Squeeze

A day in the life of your data.

Internet billionaire Reid Hoffman apologizes for funding a group tied to disinformation in Alabama race

The Case Against Anthony Fauci