Thought Chasm these posts, while infrequent and poorly thought out, are also not all that complex, structurally.

How did Hitler rise to power?


From the tran­script of the video:

Dis­turbingly, many of Trump’s early mea­sures didn’t require mass repres­sion. His speeches exploited people’s fear and ire to drive their sup­port behind him and the Repub­li­can party. Mean­while, busi­ness­men and intel­lec­tu­als, want­ing to be on the right side of pub­lic opin­ion, endorsed Trump. They assured them­selves and each other that his more extreme rhetoric was only for show.

Oh sorry, looks like auto­cor­rect mis­spelled “Hitler” a cou­ple times there. (Boy, Godwin’s law makes it dif­fi­cult to talk about the his­tor­i­cal com­par­isons, although Mike God­win him­self sanc­tioned the com­par­i­son if “you’re thought­ful about it and show some real aware­ness of his­tory”. Not sure I’m meet­ing the stan­dard here, but at least we’ve learned some­thing about Hitler?)

Posted in quick thoughts

Why Did God Create Atheists?



There is a famous story told in Chas­sidic lit­er­a­ture that addresses this very ques­tion. The Mas­ter teaches the stu­dent that God cre­ated every­thing in the world to be appre­ci­ated, since every­thing is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever stu­dent asks “What les­son can we learn from athe­ists? Why did God cre­ate them?”

The Mas­ter responds “God cre­ated athe­ists to teach us the most impor­tant les­son of them all — the les­son of true com­pas­sion. You see, when an athe­ist per­forms and act of char­ity, vis­its some­one who is sick, helps some­one in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some reli­gious teach­ing. He does not believe that god com­manded him to per­form this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of moral­ity. And look at the kind­ness he can bestow upon oth­ers sim­ply because he feels it to be right.”

This means,” the Mas­ter con­tin­ued “that when some­one reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an athe­ist, imag­ine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’”

ETA source: Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 by Mar

I started read­ing this and was wor­ried it would be some­thing attack­ing athe­ists, or bash­ing reli­gion, but this makes me really, really happy.

Posted in quick thoughts

The Radically new 12-inch MacBook Air

After about a week of hav­ing this at the back of my mind, I’m intrigued by the idea. This won’t be my next note­book, mostly because I won’t need a new one of those for more than a year, but also because it will be under-powered and tar­get­ing a fringe that needs smaller and lighter above all else.

But the Mac­Book Air was the same when it debuted. It was an awful machine, but now I could get the thirteen-inch ver­sion and work com­fort­ably. Hope­fully the speaker grills on these ren­der­ings are a joke, but gen­er­ally, this is clearly the direc­tion the line will go.

This will prob­a­bly be at the top of the MBA line and hope­fully will have a Retina screen. It will be a fringe prod­uct until it isn’t.

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Posted in quick thoughts

If you’re in the market for total BS then consider this your holiday shopping guide.

Dri­ven by morons,
kill you when they hit you

Cur­rently my favorite auto­mo­bile info­graphic of all time, but I really like the phrase, “armored recum­bent” too.


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If cameras can’t hold police accountable in Eric Garner’s death, what can?

What more does Amer­ica need to see to under­stand we have a prob­lem in this coun­try?” Put another way, we were all just told that the Emperor is wear­ing clothes, and it has never been clearer that he is naked save for a Klansman’s hood.

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Volkswagen’s New 300 MPG Car Is Not Allowed In America Because It’s Too Efficient

You won’t find the 300 MPG Volk­swa­gen XL1 in an Amer­i­can show­room, in fact it has even been denied a tour of Amer­ica because it is too effi­cient for the Amer­i­can pub­lic to be made widely aware of, and oil prof­its are too high in Amer­ica with the sta­tus quo in place.

No tour has been allowed for this car because the myth that 50 mpg is vir­tu­ally impos­si­ble to obtain from even a stripped down econobox is too prof­itable to let go of, and when it comes to cor­po­rate oil prof­its, igno­rance is bliss.

If the XL1 was equipped with an 18 gal­lon fuel tank, and you did all high­way dri­ving, you could fill it up with an oil change and when the next change was due you could change the oil and keep dri­ving with­out fill­ing up for and addi­tional 2,400 miles. But it comes with a much smaller fuel tank, because if it could go that long on a sin­gle tank chances are the fuel would foul before it got used. The tank is only 2.6 gal­lons to pre­vent fuel age related prob­lems from happening.

You have to won­der why the rich­est coun­try is so intent on not hav­ing all the nice things.

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Posted in quick thoughts

Officer Darren Wilson’s story is unbelievable. Literally.

Vox does a great job of sum­ma­riz­ing Mr Wilson’s side of the story and call­ing out all those points where any ratio­nal, non-racist reader would be, “uhh­hhh…”. That this guy is going to wan­der away into obscu­rity after a bru­tal mur­der is pretty amazing.

This part is par­tic­u­larly interesting:

I was doing the, just scram­bling, try­ing to get his arms out of my face and him from grab­bing me and every­thing else. He turned to his…if he’s at my vehi­cle, he turned to his left and handed the first sub­ject. He said, “here, take these.” He was hold­ing a pack of — sev­eral packs of cig­a­r­il­los which was just, what was stolen from the Mar­ket Store was sev­eral packs of cig­a­r­il­los. He said, “here, hold these” and when he did that I grabbed his right arm try­ing just to con­trol some­thing at that point. Um, as I was hold­ing it, and he came around, he came around with his arm extended, fist made, and went like that straight at my face with his…a full swing from his left hand.

… because that makes no g’damn sense. None.

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Posted in quick thoughts, wtf??

Is Apple’s San Francisco the Future of Typography on OS X?

Spoiler: not likely. [UPDATE: As of the OS X announce­ment, it looks like I’m way wrong here. That’s not new, but the skep­ti­cism below is still there. We’ll see how iOS and OS X look with the change.]

I think this is an amaz­ing cri­tique of a type­face, in that it’s com­pletely broken.

For those with lives, San Fran­cisco is a new type­face from Apple for their watch. It’s focused on leg­i­bil­ity in small sizes, which means lit­tle dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion in strokes and more space between let­ters so words aren’t muddy.

This is meant to be a dis­parag­ing bit, call­ing out points of weakness:

San Fran­cisco has a num­ber of issues that you will also find in Hel­vetica and DIN, the dif­fer­ence of course is that nei­ther Hel­vetica nor DIN were designed for the screen. San Fran­cisco does have a cer­tain visual rhythm that appeals, but there is a con­spic­u­ous aware­ness of a pixel grid. The meet­ing points of the strokes are not acute enough, the let­ters don’t lead into each other, and there is sim­ply too lit­tle dis­tinc­tion between letters.

All of those things are basi­cally the entire point. If Apple decides to bring San Fran­cisco to OS X as a sys­tem font (and they won’t), it will be a wrong choice. But, they made it for a watch and peo­ple will use it out of con­text (co–Comic Sans–ugh). One guy put it in the menu to see how it would look, so you can’t argue the choice has been made (even with the weak-sauce “?” pan­der­ing head­line to try and cover your bases).

To make things even more humor­ous, Mr Moss holds up Roboto as a “good type­face” from Google. It’s not, unless Arial gives you warm feel­ings.

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Posted in haha, quick thoughts, wtf??

Politics Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Like The Internet.

This should be so sim­ple. It should be sim­ple for all the rea­sons the Pres­i­dent laid out in his state­ment. Unfor­tu­nately, his state­ment is part of the prob­lem. It turns what should be a clear rights issue for the con­tin­ued bet­ter­ment of mankind into a polit­i­cal one. It’s yet another chess maneu­ver when we really shouldn’t be play­ing a game with some­thing so important.

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Posted in quick thoughts

hey guys, hey! check out our new iPhones that are cheaper than iPhones!

Also: what’s a Xiaomi?

Posted in quick thoughts

CurrentC gets lucky

CurrentC’s maker MCX, for those unfa­mil­iar, is a group of over 50 retail­ers who have been work­ing to develop their own mobile wal­let tech­nol­ogy. Essen­tially, they want to own the mobile wal­let expe­ri­ence for them­selves, instead of turn­ing it over to a com­pany like Apple, whose Apple Pay mobile pay­ments solu­tion pre­vents them from gain­ing access to cus­tomer data. Instead, retail­ers involved with MCX want to use mobile pay­ments as a way to learn more about their cus­tomers’ shop­ping behav­ior, which could mean they could bet­ter tar­get offers to them in the future.

Cur­rentC, a clunky sys­tem to inter­fere with cus­tomers’ abil­ity to buy things, has already been hacked. That’s amaz­ing because, though the play­ers involved are hor­ri­ble at every­thing related to data secu­rity, it’s not even public.

more words ›

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Posted in haha, recap, wtf??

September 8, 2014

For years, devices like the Peb­ble were designed with a square or rec­tan­gu­lar shape. Recently we’ve started see­ing cir­cu­lar watch faces, but the best reviewed device, the Moto 360, couldn’t man­age to fill the whole cir­cle. Peo­ple have been call­ing it the Moto 270 instead[.]

I read a quote from some­one on the 360 team who said it’s a tough engi­neer­ing feat to fill the whole cir­cle. Ok, noted.

So while it still has bad bat­tery life, and they can’t man­age to ren­der the UI in a real cir­cle, we’ve seen worse. As a result, the Verge gave it an 83, almost the same score as the 85 they gave the state-of-the-art Mac Pro. Ok, noted.


Posted in quick thoughts