Merlin Mann on a better media diet

Posted on Thu 30 November 2017 in Dispatches • Tagged with politics, quote, social media • 1 min read

Politics, celebrity gossip, business headlines, tech punditry, odd news, and user-generated content.

These are the chew toys that have made me sad and tired and cynical.

— Merlin Mann, Better

This is from the revised essay republished seven years ago. It’s worth revisiting, especially when you add in our new …

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N.K. Jemisin on the secret of oppression

Posted on Sun 23 July 2017 in Dispatches • Tagged with politics, quote • 1 min read

Tell them they can be great someday, like us. Tell them they belong among us, no matter how we treat them. Tell them they must earn the respect which everyone else receives by default. Tell them there is a standard for acceptance; that standard is simply perfection. Kill those who …

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Nine podcasts to help you escape the horror of our dying republic

Posted on Sat 20 May 2017 in Dispatches • Tagged with culture, gaming, horror, podcasts, politics, writing • 5 min read

Let’s face it. Things are bad right now.

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s hard to be happy about anything at the moment, unless you’re, I don’t know, a bridge troll, I guess? You need something to take your mind off things …

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A Minimum Wage of $70,000 a Year

Posted on Thu 16 April 2015 in Dispatches • Tagged with business, culture, economics, politics, wages • 1 min read

The New York Times reports that a Seattle-based company has announced that they will be increasing the minimum wage for all of their employees to $70,000 per year.

“The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd,” said …

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NJ Legislator Who Sponsored Anti-swatting Bill Gets Swatted

Posted on Wed 15 April 2015 in Dispatches • Tagged with feminism, gamergate, news, politics • 1 min read

Swatting is the disturbing practice of calling in an anonymous police report in order to trigger a SWAT response to a person’s home. It’s been in the news more and more recently, with a number of prominent feminists in the tech industry being targeted in particular. In New …

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White Millennials Are a Failed Experiment in Color Blindness

Posted on Mon 06 April 2015 in Dispatches • Tagged with culture, feminism, politics, sexism • 2 min read

Interesting piece from PBS that makes a strong case that while Millennials have been raised to be more inclusive of diversity, the framework in which they’ve been instructed blinds them to the systemic racism present in our society.

For one, movements toward racial justice have always attracted a sliver …

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The Deadly Global War for Sand

Posted on Thu 02 April 2015 in Dispatches • Tagged with crime, geology, politics, war • 1 min read

Fascinating piece on both the legal and illegal sand trade, and the immense criminal industry that has grown up around the latter.

Today criminal gangs in an estimated 70 countries, from Jamaica to Nigeria, dredge up tons of the stuff every year to sell on the black market. Half the …

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Ars Technica Now Knows Where You’ve Been

Posted on Tue 24 March 2015 in Dispatches • Tagged with politics, privacy • 1 min read

Ars Technica has successfully completed a public records request that allowed them to acquire 4.6 million records from the Oakland Police Department’s automated License Plate Reader (LPR) system. Using their custom built visualization tool, they are able to extrapolate a shocking amount of information about the travel patterns …

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Doctorow on Talking to Children About Surveillance

Posted on Sun 04 May 2014 in Dispatches • Tagged with nsa, politics, privacy, security, surveillance • 1 min read

Great article from Cory Doctorow on the conversations he’s had with his six year old daughter about mass surveillance. What’s particularly revealing is which concepts she intuitively grasps from her own experience with technology, and how that aligns with research done on the online habits of children.

Kids …

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Explaining Bitcoin

Posted on Tue 28 January 2014 in Dispatches • Tagged with bitcoin, economics, politics, tech • 1 min read

Nik Custodio has put together a wonderfully easy to read primer on Bitcoin titled “Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five”. I think there are valid concerns out there about Bitcoin (more of that another time), but it doesn’t stop it from being a remarkable technological achievement, and this article …

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