Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Painboy
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Painboy »

JD wrote: 09 Oct 2020, 14:05 An interesting article on America's change from a high-trust to a low-trust society, what this bodes for us, what history suggests, and how we might turn things around.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ca/616581/

I don't agree with it all of it, but there's some interesting stuff, and it is definitely a real and significant issue.
I just can't get past the apocalyptic tone of the article. I'm sorry but even in 2020 things just aren't that bad. And I think a not small part of the current anxieties are people convincing themselves that things are that bad when they're not. Unfortunately our tribal brains are not very good at understanding the actual scale of things.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Painboy wrote: 09 Oct 2020, 22:17
JD wrote: 09 Oct 2020, 14:05 An interesting article on America's change from a high-trust to a low-trust society, what this bodes for us, what history suggests, and how we might turn things around.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ca/616581/

I don't agree with it all of it, but there's some interesting stuff, and it is definitely a real and significant issue.
I just can't get past the apocalyptic tone of the article. I'm sorry but even in 2020 things just aren't that bad. And I think a not small part of the current anxieties are people convincing themselves that things are that bad when they're not. Unfortunately our tribal brains are not very good at understanding the actual scale of things.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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JD wrote: 09 Oct 2020, 14:05 An interesting article on America's change from a high-trust to a low-trust society, what this bodes for us, what history suggests, and how we might turn things around.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ca/616581/

I don't agree with it all of it, but there's some interesting stuff, and it is definitely a real and significant issue.
A bit heavy on the "the real problem is that people realize they're getting fucked over" angle vs why people are actually getting screwed over by institutions.. Not to mention that every single damn cohort of young people in my lifetime has been predicted to be crushed by modern life and inclined to embrace a different, collectivist ethos from the modem culture.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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The NY Times Magazine pretty explicitly sneers at the idea that free speech is good:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/maga ... peech.html
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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JD wrote: 19 Oct 2020, 11:49 The NY Times Magazine pretty explicitly sneers at the idea that free speech is good:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/maga ... peech.html
As we hurtle toward the November election with a president who has trapped the country in a web of lies, with the sole purpose, it seems, of remaining in office, it’s time to ask whether the American way of protecting free speech is actually keeping us free.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Did the Times mention anything about revisiting that whole freedom of the press nonsense, too?
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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I'm not sure if sneers is the word I would use. Bazelon is pointing out some of the negative consequences of relatively robust free speech in a digital world.

The proposed solutions that I see in here are:
  • [the government] could stop the decline of local reporting by funding nonprofit journalism. It could create new publicly funded TV or radio to create more alternatives for media that appeals across the ideological spectrum.
  • using Section 230 as leverage to push the platforms to be more transparent, for example, by disclosing how their algorithms order people’s news feeds and recommendations and how much disinformation and hate speech they circulate.
  • Congress, as well as the Justice Department, can also promote competition through antitrust enforcement.
  • banning microtargeted political ads, requiring disclosure of the ad buyers, making the platforms file reports detailing when they remove content or reduce its spread.
  • treating [social media] platforms like essential facilities, the European version of public utilities, and subjecting them to more regulation.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Hugh Akston wrote: 19 Oct 2020, 13:21 I'm not sure if sneers is the word I would use. Bazelon is pointing out some of the negative consequences of relatively robust free speech in a digital world.

The proposed solutions that I see in here are:
  • [the government] could stop the decline of local reporting by funding nonprofit journalism. It could create new publicly funded TV or radio to create more alternatives for media that appeals across the ideological spectrum.
  • using Section 230 as leverage to push the platforms to be more transparent, for example, by disclosing how their algorithms order people’s news feeds and recommendations and how much disinformation and hate speech they circulate.
  • Congress, as well as the Justice Department, can also promote competition through antitrust enforcement.
  • banning microtargeted political ads, requiring disclosure of the ad buyers, making the platforms file reports detailing when they remove content or reduce its spread.
  • treating [social media] platforms like essential facilities, the European version of public utilities, and subjecting them to more regulation.
And is there any of those that don't make you piss in your pants a little?
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 19 Oct 2020, 12:59 Did the Times mention anything about revisiting that whole freedom of the press nonsense, too?
The Times is goodspeech, so they will never be affected by restrictions on press freedom. Only badspeech will be affected.
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Painboy
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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JD wrote: 19 Oct 2020, 11:49 The NY Times Magazine pretty explicitly sneers at the idea that free speech is good:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/maga ... peech.html
Aside from the obvious violations of liberty, there's never any evidence provided that free speech is the problem or that any proposed restrictions have a measurable effect. It's just all "hey look some people believe crazy stuff and they shouldn't" and all you have to do is shut down an article or two and they suddenly stop believing crazy shit.

This doesn't even get into the backlash and resentment it breeds when a targeted group gets hit by this. It will only drive them to play unfair wherever possible since they no longer see playing field is fair.

Yeah it's a quote from a video game but it's a good one.
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau »

JD wrote: 19 Oct 2020, 13:48
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 19 Oct 2020, 12:59 Did the Times mention anything about revisiting that whole freedom of the press nonsense, too?
The Times is goodspeech, so they will never be affected by restrictions on press freedom. Only badspeech will be affected.
Um, Bret Stephens writes for the NYT, and he is bad speech.

Oh, wait, the Young Turks taking over the newsroom probably want him gone anyway. So, yeah.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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In many ways, social media sites today function as the public square. But legally speaking, internet platforms can restrict free speech far more than the government can. They’re like malls, where private owners police conduct.
What I think has been lost is remembering that political opinion in the "public square" used to be whoever the local paper decides to publish in its letters-to-the-editor or local op-eds, or whoever had the means and access to 'zine/newsletter type publishing stuff. Anyone who thinks public political discussion is *more* restricted than it used to be is being willfully obtuse or is under 40.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Painboy wrote: 09 Oct 2020, 22:17
JD wrote: 09 Oct 2020, 14:05 An interesting article on America's change from a high-trust to a low-trust society, what this bodes for us, what history suggests, and how we might turn things around.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ca/616581/

I don't agree with it all of it, but there's some interesting stuff, and it is definitely a real and significant issue.
I just can't get past the apocalyptic tone of the article. I'm sorry but even in 2020 things just aren't that bad. And I think a not small part of the current anxieties are people convincing themselves that things are that bad when they're not. Unfortunately our tribal brains are not very good at understanding the actual scale of things.
It's a very conservative take on the mechanisms of apocalypse. The idea that for community to matter in a moral sense it must be voluntary seems to occasionally get lost in that narrative, as does the idea that the thing we cling to is often just "we aren't Them" and the thing we build community around is pooping on Them.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Interesting and readable paper that addresses the question "how did Britain make sure their naval captains engage the enemy when they are far from control of the Admiralty"


The British Navy Rules: Monitoring and Incompatible Incentives in the Age of Fighting Sail

All navies during the age of fighting sail (approximately 1580–1827) faced a serious agency problem. Ships of war were expensive, powerful, and critical for the protection of overseas trade. Yet they were put in the hands of a captain who was sent out with the most general orders: to blockade a port, patrol for pirates and privateers, escort merchant vessels, and in times of war, engage the enemy. The captain had a large informational advantage over the Admiralty in terms of local conditions; in fact, it is hard to imaging a more severe case of asymmetric information. During the age of sail communication was intermittent, slow, and limited; the world was still generally unexplored, with shoals, waterways, and trade winds not mapped, and even finding positions of longitude were only developed towards the end of the Eighteenth century. Worse, given that ships were propelled by wind, disasters, losses in battle, and other failures of duty could be blamed on the ill fortunes of nature.

Added to the severe information asymmetry was the temptation of a captain or admiral to seek out private wealth and safety rather than engage in more dangerous and less profitable assignments. For example, what prevented captains from using their ship to seek weak, but wealthy, merchant prizes rather than enemy frigates or avoid monotonous and dangerous blockades for profitable raiding shore parties? What incentives existed to put his ship and life in harm’s way for King and country? Although the British Navy dominated the open seas for most of the period in question, the obvious explanations are refuted: their ships were not better, their tactics were flawed according to the experts of the time, and the raw material of their sailors and officers had no distinct advantage over the navies of Spain, France, or Holland.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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dead_elvis wrote: 01 Nov 2020, 12:45 Interesting and readable paper that addresses the question "how did Britain make sure their naval captains engage the enemy when they are far from control of the Admiralty"


The British Navy Rules: Monitoring and Incompatible Incentives in the Age of Fighting Sail
Thanks for posting this, I'm going to have to read it later. I've been reading some Patrick O'Brien novels lately, and he certainly gets into some of this - a captain had orders, but he also had a lot of leeway in carrying them out in practice, and luck played into it a lot. If you missed a rendezvous or a message got lost at sea, it could be very much a "for want of a nail" situation.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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JD wrote: 01 Nov 2020, 13:15
dead_elvis wrote: 01 Nov 2020, 12:45 Interesting and readable paper that addresses the question "how did Britain make sure their naval captains engage the enemy when they are far from control of the Admiralty"


The British Navy Rules: Monitoring and Incompatible Incentives in the Age of Fighting Sail
Thanks for posting this, I'm going to have to read it later. I've been reading some Patrick O'Brien novels lately, and he certainly gets into some of this - a captain had orders, but he also had a lot of leeway in carrying them out in practice, and luck played into it a lot. If you missed a rendezvous or a message got lost at sea, it could be very much a "for want of a nail" situation.
That's a great find. Very interesting. I'm always fascinated by that period of time. In large part due to the O'Brien novels as well.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Agree with above great link a lot to digest and some surprise counterintuitive stuff (I.e. how they sailed relative to the wind)
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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I knew some of this, but I didn't realize how far it went. Basically, the rough draft of Star Wars was a wretched mess in terms of storytelling, and it fell to the editors to make a compelling story out of the raw material George Lucas handed them.
How Star Wars Was Saved In the Edit: https://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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JD wrote: 10 Nov 2020, 14:29 I knew some of this, but I didn't realize how far it went. Basically, the rough draft of Star Wars was a wretched mess in terms of storytelling, and it fell to the editors to make a compelling story out of the raw material George Lucas handed them.
How Star Wars Was Saved In the Edit: https://www.yout ube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk
I'm not sure that's a terribly unusual situation. Some directors, especially young directors with budgets large enough to do so, just keep filming and filming and filming, depending on the edit to make sense of it all. By contrast, Hitchcock, Eastwood and a handful of others were known to "cut as they shoot." I don't buy the "auteur" theory of filmmaking; but to the extent it has any validity, Eastwood, Allen, etc. meet the criteria. Lucas, by contrast, was pretty much known from the start as a guy who cared about the wiz-bang of a scene without especially caring where it led.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 10 Nov 2020, 16:30 I'm not sure that's a terribly unusual situation. Some directors, especially young directors with budgets large enough to do so, just keep filming and filming and filming, depending on the edit to make sense of it all. By contrast, Hitchcock, Eastwood and a handful of others were known to "cut as they shoot." I don't buy the "auteur" theory of filmmaking; but to the extent it has any validity, Eastwood, Allen, etc. meet the criteria. Lucas, by contrast, was pretty much known from the start as a guy who cared about the wiz-bang of a scene without especially caring where it led.
Oh, I'm not surprised; I know that editing is incredibly important to filmmaking. The interesting part of the Youtube video is, IMO, the specifics of "put this scene before that scene, because it makes the reference clearer" or "cut this shot because then it increases the tension of the surrounding ones", and the degree to which George Lucas's rough edit looks like a trainwreck.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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American Graffiti was the pinnacle of Lucas' artistic career.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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thoreau wrote: 10 Nov 2020, 16:58 American Graffiti was the pinnacle of Lucas' artistic career.
Which begs the question, Who edited that?
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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John McWhorter explores a controversial theory that the Phoenicians had trading posts in Denmark and thereby influenced Germanic languages.

https://slate.com/podcasts/lexicon-vall ... ns-english
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Speaking of Slate, which I usually try not to, this is a short but interesting interview with two authors,
...Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. In their 2005 academic study The Logic of Political Survival and its 2011 mass-market adaptation The Dictator’s Handbook, they propose a model for why some leaders are overthrown and other survive, known as selectorate theory. In this model, leaders survive by keeping their “winning coalition”—the essential supporters who actually have the power to overthrow them—happy. The goal of politics is not to improve conditions for the population at large; it’s to extract resources from the population at large and give them to the leader’s winning coalition. And a smart leader always keeps the number of people whom they have to keep happy as small as possible. Despite the book’s title, its model applies to democracies as well as dictatorships. In fact, the authors argue that dictatorships and democracies don’t differ in kind, but instead, in the size each requires to maintain a leader’s winning coalition.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

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thoreau wrote: 24 Nov 2020, 13:37 John McWhorter explores a controversial theory that the Phoenicians had trading posts in Denmark and thereby influenced Germanic languages.

https://slate.com/podcasts/lexicon-vall ... ns-english
I listen to hours and hours of podcasts in a work day, and Lexicon Valley has been in heavy rotation for the last couple months since I discovered it. I also enjoy John McWhorter on Glenn Loury's show as well.
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