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

“We won the popular vote.”

At one point when Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio was saying that the Clinton campaign had failed to understand the fact that 70% of voters believed the country was on the wrong track, her Campaign Manager Robby Mook interrupted: “We won the popular vote.”

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Posted in haha, media, politicish, quick thoughts

“I can’t imagine a worse pick”: Critics slam choice of Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education

…Betsy DeVos, is a woman who never went to public school, nor sent her children to public school, nor worked for public schools. She does, however, come from a wealthy family that has donated millions to the Republican Party.

Aside from often being a pretext for trying to spread the teaching of right-wing religious beliefs to American schoolchildren, school vouchers have the ignominious distinction of first becoming a prominent issue in 1954, when Southern states began advocating voucher programs after Brown v. Board of Education so they could simultaneously pull their children from and defund recently desegregated schools.

Oh. Good.

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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts

Donald Trump’s First, Alarming Week as President-Elect

Seven days may not be enough time to fully assess any new leader, especially in the case of Trump, whose first week was marked by seeming chaos in his efforts to put together an Administration. But what we’ve learned so far about the least experienced President-elect in history is as troubling and ominous as his critics have feared. The Greeks have a word for the emerging Trump Administration: kakistocracy. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as a “government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.” Webster’s is simpler: “government by the worst people.”

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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

What the Hell Just Happened?

The Flip Flop: In less than a generation, the GOP has gone from the party of personal responsibility to the party of the system is rigged against you. Remarkable. The only thing that changed faster was the shift from Family Values to Donald.

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Posted in politicish, quick thoughts, wtf??

How did Hitler rise to power?

jkottke:

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?

razairazerci:

religiousragings:

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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Posted in quick thoughts

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.

Posted in quick thoughts

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.]

[UPDATE: They totally did, it’s a variant with a lot of nice qualities, and it’s totally fine.]

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??