politics & philosophy Archives

Buh-bye, Facebook. 2015

Last June I quit using Facebook both personally and professionally. I'd been feeling pretty queasy about their creepy terms of service switcheroos already, but pile on real name policy problems and ever-increasing revenue-generation interference with having your posts actually seen by your followers and I was pretty dubious already. But it seemed necessary. "You've got a brand! How can you not be on Facebook?!" So I held my nose and stuck with it, at least for my Discardia and Art of the Shim social media presence.

The turning point came when news broke that the Facebook app was going to start quietly recording background sound while you worked on a post. WTF?! Ostensibly to identify music or TV and include it in the post, but really? Facebook, do you think we don't know you're not going to sell that marketing info and let the NSA listen in? How dumb do you think we are? 

That was it. I posted an announcement with a link to a video explaining why everyone should be leaving Facebook and I deleted the apps from my devices. No more social media posts via Facebook.

You know what? It did absolutely no damage to my brand. It didn't affect my sales. It didn't reduce my reader interaction as an author/publisher. 

Turns out, Facebook needs us waaaaay more than we need Facebook. And we don't need it at all.


Over the past year I've been duplicating all the content from my Facebook accounts onto my own sites and today I finally made time to copy over the last of it. Time to permanently delete my account. Ahhhhh, how nice!

For posterity, and an illustration of just how much a professional account contains attempts from Facebook to get you to spend money to reach your own followers, here are screenshots of the page as it now appears. Amusingly, because the last thing I posted was the 'Delete Facebook' video, all the automatically mocked-up ads they want me to buy use that graphic.

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Facebook's constant clawing for additional personal information is very visible in my old personal account:

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 7.26.23 PM



Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 7.28.18 PM

Posted on October 3, 2015 at 04:38 PM in politics & philosophy, The Web, tools, warnings & kvetches, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Election Slate November 2014 2014

As the influence of money in politics grows stronger, voting in every election grows more important, particularly whenever we have a chance to enact safeguards against that influence and to elect candidates committed to protecting individual rights against corporate power.

Fortunately for me, it's easy to vote in San Francisco. No one is actively working to reduce my participation through diminishing poll hours and locations as is occuring in some communities around the U.S. If anything, the election process here is becoming more convenient. The polling station in City Hall opens on weekdays 29 days before the election and on the two weekends prior to election day, Tuesday November 4th. Vote by mail (whether permanent or just for this election) is also available and those ballots should be out in the mail this week.

San Franciscans should particularly come out to vote Yes on Measure A which will provide vital funds for street and transit improvements.

Here are my recommendations for this election:

Governor: Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown
He's been doing a great job under challenging circumstances. I'm hopeful that he'll continue to strike a balance between fiscal responsibility and care for the people of the state.

Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom
Definitely a reasonable choice to step in and keep Brown's work on track if he should become unavailable for some reason. His opponent, Ron Nehring, opposes the Affordable Care Act and same sex marriage, as well as wanting to repeal the criminal justice realignment program which has been an excellent change for the state; we do not want Nehring a heartbeat away from leading California.

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
His pledge to defend the principles of the Voting Rights Act is a particularly good sign.

Controller: Betty T. Yee
Her long experience with state financial matters, lately as a Board of Equalization member, will serve us well in this position.

Treasurer: John Chiang
With him termed out as Controller, I'm glad we have a closely related position for this tough, savvy, and fiscally dextrous public servant to move into.

Attorney General: Kamala D. Harris
Very solid work from her on the foreclosure crisis in particular; let's keep her on the job.

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
He's done a great job protecting consumer interests without driving insurance companies out of the California market; not an easy balancing act. (More on him and the role of the insurance commissioner here: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-end-insurance-commissioner-20140508-story.html )

Member, State Board of Equalization, District 2: Fiona Ma
Though often too partisan in more politicized positions, Ma does have a sound financial background and we can hope will be able to carry on Betty Yee's good work.

U.S. Representative, District 12: Nancy Pelosi
She's far from perfect, but she's far better than the alternatives and I want to keep her strong voice in the House.

Member of the State Assembly, District 17: David Chiu
I really did not like the made-up mud-slinging campaign Campos has run this year and it has completely soured my formerly good opinion of him. As I said in June, I'm sticking with Chiu as someone focused on achieving results. I'm hopeful that he will take on a bit more of Ammiano's progressive mantle as he moves to this larger stage where stubborn idealism is more needed than in heart-on-its-sleeve SF.

Judicial appointments: Yes to all, especially Goodwin Liu (pity that he was blocked from his appointment to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by a Republican filibuster).
More background on this section of the ballot and these justices here: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-end-appellate-justices-20140921-story.html

Judge of the Superior Court, Office no. 20: Carol Kingsley
As I noted in June, Kingsley's experience stands out here.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson
Definitely don't want to give the privatization movement the boost Marshall Tuck would bring.

Proposition 1 (California Water Bond): Yes
Great start to this LA Times endorsement, "Even in wet years, there will never be enough Sierra snowpack to give every interest group and every region in California enough inexpensive water to quench every thirst and satisfy every ambition. The state has a long way to go before it properly takes account of its water limits and updates the way it divvies up this crucial natural resource." http://www.latimes.com/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-end-proposition-1-20141008-story.html

Proposition 2 (State Budget Stabilization): Yes
Restoring fiscal sense and stability.

Proposition 45 (Healthcare Insurance Rate Changes): Yes
When the biggest healthcare corporations spend a quarter of a million dollars fighting against something relating to rates, it's a damn good sign that they are worried their profits might be at stake. Make 'em justify any attempt to fleece us.

Proposition 46 (Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors): No
Actually mostly about raising the limit on the amount of medical malpractice lawsuit awards.

Proposition 47 (Criminal Sentencing Misdemeanors): Yes
Another good move to emphasize rehabilitation rather than expensive prison internment for low-risk offenders. Allows for felony sentencing still for violent offenders.

Proposition 48 (Indian Gaming): No
I'm a no on this one not because of any particular flaw with the proposition, but because I'm very dubious about the healthiness of adding yet more casinos. They seem to me to be a tax on those weak at assessing statistical probability. Not as bad as lotteries, but still biased toward getting their money from the poor and middle income rather than the rich or businesses.

SF Measure A (Transportation and Road Improvement Bond): YES!
The positive impact these funds will have is going to extend beyond their basic physical results of better streets and transit. Market Street, in particular, will be a dramatically better place to be. This one needs a 2/3rds vote, so make sure everyone you know gets to the polls to make it happen!

SF Measure B (Tying Muni Funding to Growth): Yes
We're building a lot more housing here and business is booming, so if we don't want that increased traffic to cripple our public transit we need to make sure transit funding grows with the city. (For entertainment purposes only, do check out the opposing arguments on this one in the Voter Information Pamphlet. Sorcerers!)

SF Measure C (Children's Fund Reauthorization): Yes
This renews a vital 3-part set of funds for child and youth services. Great programs, already proven to help the city, particularly those of lower and middle income families.

SF Measure D (Retiree Health Benefits): Yes
Do not mess with the retirement benefits of people who've worked hard for them. This is a no-brainer, bringing together less than 50 people's benefits from a dissolved agency under the larger city retirement umbrella.

SF Measure E (Soda Tax): Yes
Bringing a small portion of the externalities of these unhealthy beverages into their price and using that money to fund health, nutrition, and activity programs is a great idea. Again, follow the money; the big soda companies don't want to see this pass any more than the cigarette companies want to see taxes on cigarettes. Look at all the arguments against which were paid for by the American Beverage Association California PAC—all but one and that was funded by the Republican Party.

SF Measure F (Pier 70): Yes
If these developers worked with the nearby community enough to get a proposal so good even the Bay Guardian and the Sierra Club would endorse a big waterfront development, it's got to be fantastic. Supported by everybody, apparently, except that "Sorcerers!" dude from Measure B. (I didn't really know anything about this project before, but now I'm very excited about it. Yay for revitalizing that old industrial bay frontage!)

SF Measure G (Anti-Speculation Tax): Yes
Additional tax on sales of certain multi-unit residential properties if flipped within five years. Opposed largely by the Realtor and Property Management industries, naturally. Pay particular attention to the cases when this would not apply, on page 122 of the Voter Information Pamphlet, which deflate much of the scaremongering against this measure.

SF Measure H (Natural Grass Athletic Fields): No
Not an easy decision, particularly as regards probable loss of dark evening skies in the area surrounding and the potential impact of that on bird life, but with water a growing issue it seems flat out nuts to prohibit artificial turf fields.

SF Measure I (Renovation of Fields): No
Badly written measure which messes with existing review and appeal processes.

SF Measure J (Minimum Wage Increase): Yes
Increasing take-home pay at the lowest compensation levels will help the local economy and ease the pressure on working people in the Bay Area. Having a huge wealth gap is as bad locally as it is nationally. Even setting aside that principle, when a city is so expensive that low-compensation workers can't live there, the region suffers an economic loss in the form of time lost to commuting.

SF Measure K (Housing Policy Statement): Yes
This is a step in the right direction on improving housing affordability in this expensive city.

SF Measure (Pro-Car Policy Statement): NO!
Go live somewhere else if you don't want to live in a healthy city. San Francisco people are more important than cars.

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 08:33 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Election Slate June 2014 2014

Was hoping to get this up earlier but a combination of travel and headcold slowed me down. Fortunately it's all pretty straightforward this time.

Governor: Jerry Brown
This guy plays economic management on the hard setting and he still seems to be winning the game. Very interested to see what he can do with a few more years of turning things around.

Lietenant Governor: Gavin Newsom
Seems to be doing just fine and working well with Brown.

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
Seems to have done a good job in the State Senate.

Controller: Betty Yee
A fair, capable administrator.

Treasurer: John Chiang
Another sound fiscal adminstrator from whose good work the state can continue to benefit.

Attorney General: Kamala Harris
She's doing a good job, let's keep her at it.

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
Seems to be doing good work so far.

Member, State Board of Equalization, District 2: Fiona Ma
Though often too partisan in more politicized positions, Ma does have a sound financial background and we can hope will be able to carry on Betty Yee's good work.

U.S. Representative: Nancy Pelosi
She ain't perfect, but she's far better than the alternatives and I want to keep her strong voice in the House.

Member of the State Assembly: David Chiu
(his has been one of those campaigns where the larger pile of mailers with over-the-top photoshopped imagery indicates which side NOT to support. When this campaign season started I didn't see huge differences between David Chiu and David Campos, but the way Campos and his backers have conducted their campaign—with attack mailers, stretched truths, and sensationalism instead of a proven track record—makes it clear that they aren't the same kind of candidate at all. I'm sticking with someone focused on achieving results, through keeping his ass in his chair for Board of Supes meetings and compromising when necessary. I'm hopeful that Chiu will take on a bit more of Ammiano's progressive mantle as he moves to this larger stage where stubborn idealism is more needed than in heart-on-its-sleeve SF.

Judge of the Superior Court, Office no. 20: Carol Kingsley
All three candidates look pretty good, frankly, but Kingsley's experience stands out here.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson
Definitely don't want to give the privatization movement the boost Marshall Tuck would bring.

State Proposition 41: Yes
This is a small price for housing people, better yet that it helps homeless veterans.

State Proposition 42: Yes
Public information access needs to be protected from budgetary excuses. Pleasingly, this also creates incentives for local government to streamline their processes to keep their costs down while still providing the required access.

City and County Proposition A: Yes.
This is earthquake country. We cannot rely on century-old infrastructure to protect us and allow us to recover quickly. Bonds are a way better investment than the massive expense of lost income we'd see with greater damage and delayed recovery after a major quake or big fires.

City and County Proposition B: No.
This is a bad, sneaky proposal and an attempt to create loopholes for developers. Elections are not the place to conduct planning and evaluate environmental impacts. Why would we want to push these decisions into an arena which favors big money over community wishes? We know what elections are going to bring; piles of often-sleazy mailers attempting to manipulate opinion. Election mailers don't build community. Participation in the planning process can. Besides, aren't we supposed to be those liberal citizens that believe government can be a force for good? We have a public participation process; let's use it.

Posted on May 31, 2014 at 04:46 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1)

media I've enjoyed recently 2014

Advertising and Selling

- Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold (TEDtalks)

- Full Price Beats Penny Saved for Selling Some Items (60-second Science)

- Candidates Affect Viewer Reactions to Ads in Debates (60-second Science)


- Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture (TEDtalks)

- Jacqueline Novogratz: Inspiring a life of immersion (TEDtalks)

- 100,000-Year-Old Art Studio Discovered (60-second Science)


- Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools (TEDtalks)

- Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies (TEDtalks)

- Science Grad Students Who Teach Write Better Proposals (60-second Science)

- Doodles and Drawings Help Cement Concepts (60-second Science)

Food and Drink

- Student Researchers Find Secret Tea Ingredients (60-second Science)

- Molars Say Cooking Is Almost 2 Million Years Old (60-second Science)

- High-Pressure Food Treatment Can Kill Microbes And Up Nutrients (60-second Science)

Health and Growth

- Charity Tilleman-Dick: Singing after a double lung transplant (TEDtalks)

- Molly Stevens: A new way to grow bone (TEDtalks)

- Gamekeeper's Thumb Condition Outlives the Occupation (60-second Science)

- Test Tells Viral and Bacterial Infections Apart (60-second Science)

- Poultry Farms That Stop Antibiotics See Resistance Fall (60-second Science)

- Endurance Exercise Has Stem Cells Make Bone Over Fat (60-second Science)

- Carbon Nanotubes Impale Compulsive Cells (60-second Science)

- Online Gamers Help Solve Protein Structure (60-second Science)

- Health Data Could Spot Genocide Risk (60-second Science)

- City Cyclists Suck In Soot (60-second Science)

- Rapid PCR Could Bring Quick Diagnoses (60-second Science)

- Pathogen Genomics Has Become Dirt Cheap (60-second Science)

- Kid Scientists Show Medicines Can Be Mistaken For Candy (60-second Science)

- Fever Increases Numbers of Immune Cells (60-second Science)

Nature and Sexuality

- Christopher Ryan: Are we designed to be sexual omnivores? (TEDtalks)

- Mole's Extra Finger Is Wrist Bone-us (60-second Science)

- Full Moon May Signal Rise in Lion Attacks (60-second Science)

- Send Ants to College (60-second Science)

- Sea Lampreys Flee Death Smells (60-second Science)

- Toxoplasma Infected Rats Love Their Enemies (60-second Science)

- Modern Rivers Shaped By Trees (60-second Science)

- Upright and Hairless Make Better Long-Distance Hunters (60-second Science)

- Electrolyte Balancers Set Stage for Multicellularity (60-second Science)

- Flesh-Tearing Piranhas Communicate with Sound (60-second Science)

Politics and Philosophy

- Jody Williams: A realistic vision for world peace (TEDtalks)

- Martin Jacques: Understanding the rise of China (TEDtalks)

- El Nino Ups Conflict Odds (TEDtalks)

- David Puttnam: What happens when the media's priority is profit? (TEDtalks)

- Steven Pinker: Violence Is Lower Than Ever (60-second Science)

Technology and Physics

- Johanna Blakley: Social media and the end of gender (TEDtalks)

- Leyla Acaroglu: Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore (TEDtalks)

- Dan Berkenstock: The world is one big dataset. Now, how to photograph it... (TEDtalks)

- Medieval Armor: Was It Worth the Weight? (60-second Science)

- Traffic Cameras Save Millions in Canceled Crashes (60-second Science)

- Juno Mission Gets Goes for Launch (60-second Science)

- Channeled Chips Can Spot Substances (60-second Science)

- Smartphone System Saves Gas (60-second Science)

- Sound Sends Electron to Specific Location (60-second Science)

- Moon Not Made of Cheese, Physicist Explains (60-second Science)

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 01:38 PM in creativity, Food and Drink, health, linky goodness, politics & philosophy, school, sex, the big room with the blue ceiling, warnings & kvetches, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

The MetaGrrrl Slatecard for November 2012 2012

Here's my voting plan, ready to be put into action this afternoon or tomorrow morning:

President: Barack Obama
No president will ever be perfect, and there are things he's done with which I disagree, but they are far outnumbered by the things he's done which I like and which I think make our country and the world stronger, healthier, and smarter.

Voting for Obama over other liberal candidates is very important to me as I believe a strong show of support for rational, fact-based governance will help to continue moving future elections in the direction of better lives for all Americans. We don't go from 0 to 60 in one election, folks. Eyes on the prize and let's move the center back to the center.

U.S. Senator: Dianne Feinstein
Holding my nose here after her position on PIPA, but she's an important force for achieving actual results in the Senate.

U.S. Representative: Nancy Pelosi
No nose-holding here; Pelosi has been doing a good job.

State Senator: Mark Leno
Very pleased with his work.

State Assembly: Tom Ammiano

Board of Education: Garcia-Meza, Rodriguez, Norton, Haney.
Based on examination of their candidate statements and websites; good mix of administrative experience, realistic goals, and strong vision. Budget challenges favor those who have learned how to get their institutions through tough times, but good to bring in some fresh ideas too.

Community College Board: Leung, Berg, Ngo, Santos

BART Director: Tom Radulovich
Steady hand on the rudder; keep on keepin' on.


State Propositions:

30: YES!
Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding
This is the good, smart approach to maintaining our educational system and, thus, the future of the state.

31: NO
State Budget. State and Local Government
Adds needless bureaucracy and inflexibility to budgeting process and endangers environmental protections.

32: NO!
Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates
This is straight-up an effort to impede political participation by labor and other non-corporate voices.

33: NO
Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage
Follow the money here; insurance companies trying to use political process to create more ways to jack their pricing. Also, we voted against this in June 2010. Apparently we have to keep knocking them back in line.

34: YES!
Death Penalty
The death penalty should be repealed; it's not an effective deterrent, it's more expensive than life imprisonment, and it's morally wrong. Let's put that money to better use solving unsolved murders and rapes.

35: No?
Human Trafficking. Penalties
This seems like a fairly obvious Yes—I think human trafficking is bad—but people I respect find it shaky (and probably ineffective) as a legal matter. I'm leaning No at this point.

36: YES!
Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties
The 'strikes' right now are currently not required to be serious or violent crimes. This fixes the current problem of putting someone in prison for life for something as small as stealing.

37: NO
Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling
While I do believe that it's important to understand where your food comes from, there are too many things wrong with this proposition. It adds a huge burden on producers and grocers to obtain written statements about the origin of every ingredient or product they use or sell. Many basic foods are already GMO—for instance 85-95% of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S.—which would create a labeling cascade into any product containing some of these ingredients. Worst of all, enforcement is expected largely to occur through consumer lawsuits.
Even without all that weight on the No side of the scale, there is the further question of whether GMO foods actually represent a danger: "there is little if any evidence that changing a plant's or animal's genes through bioengineering, rather than through selective breeding, is dangerous to the people who consume it. In fact, some foods have been engineered specifically to remove allergens from the original version."*

38: NO
Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs
This is the bad state budget proposal, put on the ballot to interfere with Prop 30. Vote Yes on 30, No on 38.

39: YES
Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding
This closes a tax loophole and brings much needed revenue into a vital area for California's future (and continued good business environment). Has the potential to also create jobs in the state.

40: YES
Redistricting. State Senate Districts
A yes vote keeps what we currently have (created by the commission we voted in in 2008) instead of indulging in more gerrymandering.


San Francisco Measures:

City College Parcel Tax
I am a big fan of community colleges as a means of helping maintain opportunity for all citizens. Though it sounds like City College could be better managed, I don't think taking away funding is the right way to achieve those improvements.

Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond
Great parks and playgrounds transform neighborhoods. Spending money on them pays itself back and more in revitalization of communities and individuals. This also includes needed seismic safety improvements, which will help avoid costs (and perhaps lost lives) in a disaster.

Housing Trust Fund
Cities need a diverse range of housing; this makes affordable housing an ongoing priority.

Consolidating Odd-Year Municipal Elections
Let's save costs, save everyone's time, and increase turnout by bringing all these elections together.

Gross Receipts Tax
Let's not penalize job creation, let's fund from those who can best afford it.

F: NO!
Water and Environment Plan
My smart friend Jennifer Granick said it well: "$8M for a study that is step one is draining Hetch Hetchy, the marvelous source of our pristine drinking water, brought to the City by gravity, without need for (polluting) electricity or filtration." (See the rest of her slate card here.)

G: no vote
Policy Opposing Corporate Personhood
Jennifer had a good answer here: "The same theories that give us corporate personhood give us First Amendment rights for unions and NGOs. When you figure out how to parse that under our law, I’ll read your ballot measure. Until then, you are wasting trees."


District 5 member of Board of Supervisors:
This election has gotten really ugly with infusions of money from non-local interests and just plain foul anti-local-candidate mailers. This is a position which should be supporting the interests of my neighborhood, so I am deeply suspicious of this influx of outside money.
First choice: Hope Johnson (real local energy, not someone trying to leapfrog to a higher position)
Second choice: Christina Olague (doing a fine job right now)
Third choice: Thea Selby (seems also be truly locally focused)



Want more background? Check out Kid Beyond's great notes on his slate (scroll down).

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 02:02 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Case Study of Republicans vs. Democrats on FEMA 2012

"The lesson here is simple. At a deep ideological level, Republicans believe that federal bureaucracies are inherently inept, so when Republicans occupy the White House they have no interest in making the federal bureaucracy work. And it doesn't. Democrats, by contrast, take government services seriously and appoint people whose job is to make sure the federal bureaucracy does work. And it does."

- Kevin Drum in Mother Jones

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 02:28 PM in politics & philosophy, preparedness, the big room with the blue ceiling | Permalink | Comments (0)

All Out 2012

Glad to hear Ukraine's anti-gay Law 8711 has been shelved—but it may be back in Sept. Keep the pressure on. #equality

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 04:31 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Not paying forward 2012

RT @BarackObama: FACT: In 2010 and 2011, Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income—much less than what many middle-class families pay.

Can't help but think of this:

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Soldier" speaks of "putting to death" 2012

RT @aral: Salvation Army [Australia] official: non-celibate LGBT people should be put to death. I know who I won’t be donating to ever.

And the Salvation Army Australia official statement, which appears to be, in essence, look at what we do and don't listen to what some our representatives say.

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 01:20 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Isn't it time to change the U.S. postal service? 2012

I'm shooting from the hip here, but think of what we could achieve if we repurposed it. Think of those 574,000 employees, many of whom have direct knowledge of each household in an area. What else could they be doing if they weren't spending all their time carting mostly junk mail to people's doors?

Suppose we start freeing up resources for more needed tasks by only delivering physical mail two or three times a week. Half or a third of the delivery effort could surely be done with two-thirds or half of the people and vehicles, probably fewer in urban areas.

Rather than cutting jobs—in a time when more jobs are needed—shift those jobs into roles with more of a social return. Peace Corps is another independent agency of the United States; what if we started to shift the USPS infrastructure toward support of economic and social good here in the U.S.? What if we made a concerted domestic investment in increasing productivity and self-reliance in our communities?

I would sure rather have that than the ability for some person to carry a piece of paper from my house to somebody else's house in a couple days for less than 50 cents (as cool as that is).


Posted on June 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

It's good to have an eloquent ally 2012

"you're afraid of that woman's voice & you don't think you can beat her intellectually without using a cheat code"

More background and commentary from Daniel Nye Griffiths at Forbes.


"I don’t know who these hateful people are, but they are not the gamers I know. They are not the men I know."


Let's keep focused on having the "what you did" argument with those who leave hateful comments, not the "what you are" argument.

Posted on June 15, 2012 at 04:46 PM in games, linky goodness, politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Yo, Hank. 2012

RT @harikunzru: So Church of England opposed to 'redefining marriage'? Wasn't it created to do just that? Looking at you, Henry VIII...

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mmm, taxes. 2012

RT @atduskgreg: “I liked crowdfunding better when it was called taxation.” — @anildash

Posted on June 9, 2012 at 05:01 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Argh. 2012

RT @ryanqnorth: Amazed these are books published today, and not 20 years ago. RT @chasingray: Dear @Scholastic you should be ashamed.

Posted on June 9, 2012 at 10:46 AM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

This doesn't seem a strong selling position 2012

RT @BarackObama: RT @BenLaBolt: VIDEO: He said it -- Mitt Romney promises to fire teachers, police officers, firemen.

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 10:31 PM in linky goodness, politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

"We have to get over this, as an industry." 2012

RT @jessajune: Can't We Discuss This Like Adults? / Fantastic rational criticism of the recent game trailer furor.

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM in games, politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Drawing battle lines 2012

RT @BarackObama: Every GOP senator just voted against helping women get #EqualPay for equal work.

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 01:43 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Participate. 2012

Voted. It took 4 minutes. #noexcuses

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 11:49 AM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Not too happy with Ukraine right now 2012

Anti #gay crackdown in Ukraine during #Euro2012. Tell Merkel to dump the cup.

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 10:19 AM in politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

A reminder of what we're up against 2012

RT @BarackObama: Republicans have promised to block the Paycheck Fairness Act today—a bill that would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Women of the U.S. (& men who believe in equality), it is time to punish Republicans at the polls. EVERY election matters this year. Vote.

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 08:26 AM in politics & philosophy, tweets, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Watching Wisconsin today 2012

RT @mc_frontalot: Wisconsin! You will note that in 100% of cases, a 'union buster' is an amoral thug owned by the plutocrats. Recall Walker Tuesday!

RT @cshirky: Republican activists are lying to WI voters, saying if they voted FOR a recall, they don't need to vote IN the recall.

Isn't deliberately misleading a large number of voters about exercising their right to vote a crime? If not, why not?

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 11:31 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

little stuff matters 2012

Might have noticed before, but since @MituK's great post on "normal" the color of @Atul_Gawande's mic here is glaring.

(Great talk by Gawande, I should also note.)

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 05:31 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

my June 2012 voting slate 2012

Barack Obama, with great pride and pleasure.

State Propositions:
28: Yes. Supported by folks I usually agree with.
29: Yes. Smoking creates expensive health problems which often create burdens for others beyond the smoker. Extra money for cancer research combined with higher costs that may reduce the number of smokers is a double win.

City & County Propositions:
A: No. I understand the garbage/recycling contracting could be improved in theory, but the reality is that a worker-owned, locally-based business that's doing a great job doesn't need to be messed with. (Also, support from Quentin Kopp is a great indicator of how not to vote.)
B: Yes. Let's keep this beautiful landmark preserved and available to the public.

Democratic Central Committee, District 17:
Zoe Dunning, who serves her country well.
Bevan Dufty, who is sometimes a bit preposterous but who I generally like and trust.
Matt Dorsey, who seems to have been doing well.
Petra DeJesus, ditto.
Scott Wiener, who I've been supporting for years with no regrets. Also, he's a big NERT supporter and that makes me really happy.
Alix Amelia Rosenthal, again someone I've had no regrets over voting for.
Gabriel Robert Haaland, ditto (plus congratulations on choosing a first name he really loves, something my also-trans pal Ashley has made me much more aware of lately).
Rafael Mandelman, ditto.
Carole Migden, hell yes. Let's keep those smarts working for us.
Justin Morgan, good endorsements and goals, plus we need more black male representation.
Hydra Mendoza, pretty sure I've voted for her in the past too and she has good endorsements.
David Campos, don't always agree with him (iirc) but good endorsements.
David Chiu, I've been really very happy with and continue to support strongly.
Leah Pimentel, pretty sure I've voted for her in the past too and she has good endorsements.

U.S. Senator:
Dianne Feinstein, with frustration and reluctance due to her position on PIPA, but we need a powerful fighter for women's health and pay issues, which make more of a difference in more people's lives.

U.S. Representative:
Nancy Pelosi, who has come out against SOPA. Good.

State Senator:
Mark Leno, who's continuing to do great work.

State Assembly:
Tom Ammiano: ditto.

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 03:39 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

fix the broken process 2012

RT @anildash: Maybe a better way for companies to understand why racist/sexist ads are bad is to describe them as factory defects

Anil's posts are reliably worth reading, but I think this may be one of his best yet.

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 03:04 PM in linky goodness, politics & philosophy, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Innovation is what we need right now 2012

Planning my vote & noting with concern @DianneFeinstein's apparent continued support of PIPA. RIAA shouldn't trump the rest of us & the web.

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 03:04 PM in politics & philosophy, tweets, warnings & kvetches, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

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