I wonder if I'll be able to break my bad habit of constantly checking news sites for the latest outrage or frightener after the 20th?

The lockdown provoked squeals of outrage from the world's wealthiest people, who insisted that the factories be re-opened. As the slogan of the day went, "If a billionaire needs you to go to work to maintain his fortune, then you are the source of that fortune - not him."

We can't afford to be indifferent to any of our systemic problems any more: not climate science, nor inequality, nor monopoly, nor the lurking eugenics that justifies it all.

eof/

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Politics, Josh Hawley, Media 

If I'm dunking on GOP senators who've destroyed their credibility in the service of Trump, then possibly Senator Hawley wins the prize. He's certainly getting dragged in the media and his peers aren't exactly defending him.

Hawley is yet another yappy dog, only he thinks he's his own dog and – like many small dogs – thinks he is a lot bigger than he actually is.

As George Will said of Hawley, "Has there ever been such a high ratio of ambition to accomplishment?"

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Politics, Ted Cruz, Media 

Meanwhile Trump's other little yappy dog is either doing a better job keeping his mouth shut or has already discovered no one is interested in what he has to say.

Senator Cruz is truly a profile in cowardice – after getting his ass kicked in the 2016 primary, after Trump insulting him to his face, after Trump claimed his father helped assassinate Kennedy, even after Trump call his wife ugly – Cruz elbowed his way to the front of the boot licking line.

Fuck you too Ted.

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The 'megascale' structures that humans could one day build. bbc.com/future/article/2021011

> If we consider megascale engineering that has actually happened – the terracing of parts of South East Asia, the land reclamation of the Netherlands, the US Interstate Highway System, the internet – it consists of projects that can be implemented piecemeal, where work can cease and resume after learning experiences, and where the system is not dependent on every part functioning perfectly.

good news from 2021: sea shanties are now public domain

Politics, Lindsey Graham, Media 

I keep seeing Senator Graham being quoted in the media as if what he says has some value or weight.

Why? For the last four years Graham has displayed a truly impressive lack of principle and a coward's ability to bend whichever way the wind is blowing. He has nothing to say worth hearing, aside from a public apology.

Just shut the fuck up Lindsey. You defenestrated your credibility long ago; when you made yourself into Trump's little yappy dog.

#1 (The role of the Internet)

Put another way, after we serendipitously discovered cities as creativity boosters it took another 10,000 years to knowingly create computers and the Internet as a creativity booster.

I think we cannot expect to make the best use of our new tool right away – even at our current accelerated rate. And, like cities, some of that creativity has toxic applications.

Still, the door to the future has cracked open. And we can only guess at what waits on the other side.

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#1 (The role of cities)

However, agriculture allowed for more people and cities allowed them to clump together and writing allowed them to broaden their knowledge of 'what came before'. And creativity flourished.

Without cities, and the accumulation of knowledge they allow, we could never have made the great leap in human creation from discovering new ways of chipping stone spearpoints to discovering the role of chance in Quantum Physics.

Thing is, we've only had cities for >10,000 years…

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#1 (The role of knowing)

However, the corollary is: the more 'old' you have – the more you know about more kinds of things – the more creative you can be. Also? The more creative people you have, the more opportunities for creation – whether via combination or serendipity.

And this explains human progress perfectly.

When there were few people limited to tribal knowledge both factors were reduced. Progress happened slowly. People were just as smart as they are today, just fewer and narrower.

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#1 (The role of chance)

Of course, even raw chance – a slip with a musical instrument or a spatter of paint or accidentally discovering vulcanized rubber – requires a human able to recognize it's value and explore the new ways it can be applied. In this way serendipity becomes part of 'what came before'.

From this, I derive two separate conjectures:

1. It is valid to call the Universe a 'creation' – whether or not you believe in a creator God

2. Fuzzing is applicable to creative endeavors

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Thoughts on Creativity (a series)

#1

There's no such thing as 'tabla rasa creativity'; for the act of creation is not the so much act of creating something absolutely new as it is the act of combining the old in absolutely new ways. Perhaps the greatest exemplar of this is Andy Warhol, but in truth all creators – whether artist or songster or writer or scientist or engineer – can only build on what came before.

The only thing able to create something absolutely new is raw chance. Serendipity.

Poliics, Lies and Misinformation, Deplatforming 

Deplatforming Trump Is Already Having a Huge Impact. A new report finds election misinformation online has fallen 73 percent since the president’s ban from Twitter. motherjones.com/media/2021/01/

Sometimes I think Trump's greatest flash of genius was the Goebbelsesque claim of 'Fake News' levied at real journalists and media outlets. In one move he devalued their reporting, gave his supporters an out door from reality, and bulwarked his own lies.

When parties reverse their stance, supporters immediately switch their opinions
news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2
#hackernews #tech

For the last year someone has been systematically logging off the forest in the property directly south of mine.

This morning they are cutting trees right up against my property line.

It's their trees, nothing I can do about that. But, well, aside from the fact I hate seeing healthy trees cut down like that I'm worried both about one of their trees coming down onto my property or them cutting one of my trees.

It isn't as if I need one more thing to be angry about right now.

Set it and forget it.

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