Gongol.com Archives: December 2019

Brian Gongol


December 17, 2019

Computers and the Internet Arguments in good faith

Twitter needs a button to indicate a post made in good faith vs. "bad faith". It ought to be possible to use the crowd knowledge of people whose motivations one already respects to sort out arguments that are not worth seeing because they are made in bad faith. To work, the system would have to let users preselect the people whose judgment they trust. And that's what probably makes it most unworkable, at least for now.

Science and Technology Toyota will prioritize self-driving tech on commercial vehicles

Whatever gets us fastest to a state where human error can no longer kill 30,000 Americans a year, please. Since safer alternatives to highway driving (like passenger rail) are still non-viable, we should take what we can get.

Computers and the Internet Did the end of Google Reader undermine democracy?

You may think this is overstatement. But there's actually a fair case to make that RSS had critical mass that could have been maintained if Google Reader hadn't been slaughtered. And the twist from user control of RSS feeds to algorithmic control of "news feeds" was a bad one.

News Send the spray paint

Someone needs to take another look at the Joe Biden campaign bus

Broadcasting Streaming better

Netflix needs a "folding laundry/drying dishes/assembling toys" mode, where it randomly picks episodes from a preselected list of your favorite series and plays them haphazardly, like a low-wattage UHF station.

Business and Finance "A skeptic's guide to Modern Monetary Theory"

Worthwhile reading. N. Gregory Mankiw is credible and his analysis is fair. MMT doesn't seem to lend any credence to real constraints in the economy. Playing games with the money supply doesn't erase those constraints.

Threats and Hazards Where did these people come from?

There's a strange breed of political commentators who have lately been promoting a weird view of Catholicism -- trying to design it to be some kind of powerful anti-(classical-)liberal force in the world. Just curious: Have any of these people ever even met a Jesuit? Whether it's called integralism or Catholic dominionism, it's strange and runs directly counter to much of the teaching of the order that produced the current Pope -- who, it seems safe to wager, would probably confess to greater struggles with his own faith than a lot of people who want to blend their orthodoxy with their political science.

News An obit that tells a story history books cannot

A story told both in a family obituary and a follow-up newspaper piece with care and empathy

News Two traffic stops on I-80 yield 211 lbs. of marijuana

"At approximately 7:20 p.m. CT, another trooper observed a Ford Explorer following too closely on Interstate 80 at mile marker 273 near Kearney." At last! Someone finally got busted for riding another driver's tail.

News Skimmers, fake IDs, and drugs

Considering the charges, what are the odds anyone will be willing to post bail for this miscreant?


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