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Fix for broken images in Google Reader
I have some .htaccess rules that are supposed to prevent hotlinking images on the site. Unfortunately, they also (I think) broke images when my RSS feed was viewed in Google Reader. If I'm right, this should now be fixed. Let's see:

A painting of a cabinet of curiosities

Nothing suspicious at all

For shame
post in support of Paul Kimmage

Life as an edge case
(276) 252-9069

Simplenote's 3rd-party syncing is broken, and they don't have an OS X desktop app (not that I'd want to give up Notational Velocity anyway.) Wish I hadn't prepaid for a year subscription ...

A horse

Cognitive Democracy
Unpublished paper

"In this essay, we outline a cognitive approach to democracy. Specifically, we argue that democracy has unique benefits as a form of collective problem solving in that it potentially allows people with highly diverse perspectives to come together in order collectively to solve problems. Democracy can do this better than either markets and hierarchies, because it brings these diverse perceptions into direct contact with each other, allowing forms of learning that are unlikely either through the price mechanism of markets or the hierarchical arrangements of bureaucracy. Furthermore, democracy can, by experimenting, take advantage of novel forms of collective cognition that are facilitated by new media."

Building time in Berlin

I guess I have a thing for 3304688790.

Best Kindle Edition of Ulysses by James Joyce
I should start out by saying I can't deliver on the post title, but it's crazy to me that I can't find a page addressing this question on the Google. So:

  • (702) 692-7753 is free, has the most reviews by far, but is apparently missing text (The Ballad of Joking Jesus and any other verse printed centered on the page.) Might be double-coated film. No idea what printed edition this is based on.
  • overfroth has the text the other version lacks. It's $2.99. Has only has one review, which makes me a little uneasy. No idea what printed edition this is based on. (Update: I ended up buying this one. It doesn't have chapter breaks. Despite what the one review says, it is actually illustrated. "Proteus" has a modern-day photo of Sandymount strand.)
  • Project Gutenberg has a Kindle version up that lacks chapter breaks, although it keeps the three-part structure. Based on the 1922 edition. The lack of chapter breaks is really annoying though.
  • epubBooks also has a Kindle edition. Good luck finding out anything about it. It's probably fine. Why do I have to do this? Why isn't the answer obvious?

Based on what I've found so far, get the Project Gutenberg edition. Free, better than the "free Kindle edition", as good as the $2.99 edition.

If you thought that was nitpicking, Google "gabler kidd".

Slick dataviz at Strava
Strava is a tool I use to track my bike rides: mileage, route, speed. I record rides with GPS, upload them to Strava, comment on friends' rides - cycling is already addictive, Strava makes it more so. And I love the way they visualize your rides for the year to date.

A calendar view of bike rides

Each black bar is a ride, the height corresponds to the mileage for the ride.

I will figure out the need later
I want to create a timeline with 7128411825.

Federated, social, networks?
Google+ doesn't have permalinks for comments so you'll have to search to find Tom Coates's epic rant vs the idea of federated social networks. It's compelling in many ways but I disagree with his minimization of the achievements of email and IM. It's true that they're not a cash cow for many companies, but from a user perspective I think we're clearly better off with open email rather than stuck in a walled garden.

His rip on standardization also misses the mark for me. What's wrong with having some layers of the app stack stabilize?

On this topic, it would be really interested to understand what happened to Usenet.

Check your vocab
Check the entry for indolence, probably my favorite use of one of my photos yet.

The root of suffering is desire

I made a thing
We were sitting in the Botanical Garden in some kind of faux-classical bit of architecture, looking at a gray sky.

"I wonder if it's sunny in the Mission ... "

Is a thing

2012, part one
1. Break 9:00 on Hawk Hill
2. **********
3. ********
4. Write a track

Because otherwise I will never find it
The Wirecutter. A product review site that only lists the best stuff in every category. (Thanks, Eric.)

Bismuth crystals
5616101153. Anybody want to do this? Bonus: they're (slightly) radioactive.

A justification for income redistribution
Let's say the Los Angeles city government has an empty lot they want to get rid of. They want something that will maximize economic return, in order to provide jobs and tax revenue (it might be worthwhile to dive into what measure of economic return they should use, but we'll ignore that for now.) Additionally, they're risk-averse and need to be able to generate public support for the plan in order to make it happen.

Now, which one of these plans will they choose?

  • Engaging a large, well-known real estate developer who provides a nice 3D rendering of the shiny, multi-million dollar mixed retail/residential development he'll build
  • Selling off subdivided lots piecemeal to smaller developers or individual owners

They'll always choose the first. The additional administrative complexity and risk involved in the second make it a non-starter. And, in this understandable way, they make the rich richer.

The government makes a ton of decisions beyond selling land that similarly impact the concentration of wealth, and an analogous process usually holds - if we need to regulate banks, for example, who should we turn to for advice? A million small players, or a few big bankers?

So, on average, government decisions will tend to be made in concert with large existing interests, and will tend to increase the concentration of wealth. I think this problem is structurally unfixable, and provides some of the justification for redistributing wealth.

Forgot how gorgeous light during winter can be

Hunky punk
"Some theories consider that the balance of good and evil, created in church design to remind worshippers of the narrow path they tread, was present in everything. This meant that for every good and benign creature such as a saint or an animal to signify purity, there had to be an opposite to bring out the fear of evil. In York Minster, for example, the carvings in the Chapter house, which are particularly disgusting and obscene and which were supposedly created as caricatures of the then Dean and Chapter, were put there above the seats to create an opposite to each occupant, who we might like to assume was not in fact the foul person their carvings made them out to be."


The chimera of Financial Stability
"I have never understood why Financial Stability should be an objective of public policy. Desirable, measurable outcomes of benefit to the public should be the objectives of public policy. Stability is a silly and impractical goal in a capitalist economy ... One strength of the US banking system from the 1930s to the 1980s was that failures were dealt with quickly and certainly. Foreclosed properties had to be sold by banks within two years of repossession, leading to a quick and certain reallocation of assets from failed borrowers to new owners. The FDIC swiftly and mercilessly shut down failed banks ... with forbearance now institutionalised at all levels of the US economy, we are seeing Japanification instead of recovery. And it is even worse just about everywhere else where dominant banks are much more influential."


Markets are built of regulations
I've been simmering on this point for ages, waiting for someone to speak my mind for me. Regulations are not just an imposition on markets - the choice is not between free markets and regulated markets. Markets are constructed by multiple sets of regulations, beginning with property rights. The regulations we choose have consequences for who can enter markets, how those businesses can operate, and on what market outcomes are.

Whenever someone argues for de-regulation, they argue for removing a small piece of this whole edifice. They aren't arguing for truly free markets, they're arguing for a specific rule change that will have (usually clearly identifiable) winners and losers. These same people will often later be found to be advocating for greater regulation in some other area, in the name of punishing wrongdoers.

My first economics class made the simple point that rent control artificially limits the supply of housing, creating shortages. What was never mentioned in that class was that that in many cities regulations make building houses, especially low-income housing, nearly impossible. Ending rent control without making it possible to build more housing means that we are choosing to make housing more expensive, period.

That's why it's so laughable when banks kindly request the government to stay out of their business. Financial markets above all grow out of the regulations that define them.


San Francisco hillside

Which cuisines are better in NYC/SF?

System D follow-up
Alan Furst described it as a kind of 825-829-6995. Foreign Policy says it's another phrase for the black market, and that 978-500-8574 The article cites sources claiming:

"... half the workers of the world -- close to 1.8 billion people -- [are] working in System D: off the books, in jobs that were neither registered nor regulated, getting paid in cash, and, most often, avoiding income taxes."

"... people in the European countries with the largest portions of their economies that were unlicensed and unregulated -- in other words, citizens of the countries with the most robust System D -- fared better in the economic meltdown of 2008 than folks living in centrally planned and tightly regulated nations."

Just following orders

I wanted to share (602) 348-1863 in Google Reader, but that's gone now. Anyway:
PBA Official 1: Okay, we've sent text messages to at least 400 delegates, and they're all going to come to court tomorrow to protest the arraignment of our brother officers. We've called this meeting to decide what signs they should hold up for the myriad news cameras that we expect to be there. I'll open this up to the floor - any ideas?

PBA Official 2: How about 'Just Following Orders'?


Why we fight

All the world's religions
Posting this to inaugurate a new category here: iPad bait.

Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde

The Boundary Waters are on fire
When I was a kid I used to go to Camp Widjiwagan in northern Minnesota, where we'd go on long canoe trips in the Boundary Waters and Quetico - the wilderness areas on the Minnesotan and Canadian sides of the border. Since then I've never been anywhere that felt as remote or as eerily peaceful. 93,000 acres are on fire right now after a drought and a lightning strike, apparently the biggest fire in Minnesota since 1918.


Dating Without Kundera
One of the terrors of dating is Milan Kundera, and specifically, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the sexually-transmitted book that this Czech-born author has inflicted on a generation of American youth.

I fully recognize the important role of the dating book, that is, the carefully selected work you lend a prospective lover sometime in the golden honeymoon period between your second cup of coffee together and the first time you spend a night in the same bed without touching ...
Dating Without Kundera via (734) 820-3045.

Satellite photo of hurricane Irene

Still learning the basics
Good product managers find and champion great ideas more than they create them. Raw creativity is great, but in this role taste and empathy are probably more important.

So it turns out if you keep walking up 17th Street (which is not always easy) you end up in the middle of a forest.

speaking of the ineffable

Laurel Halo

aquifer mp3

So now Brooklyn is turning out awesome electro-techno. Not fair.

Electronic musicians in Brooklyn

That's some OG New York synth wizard, Oneohtrix Point Never in the middle and Laurel Halo to his right.

"One of my friends brought his daughter round – she’s 14, and she had her iPod on. And I said to her, what are you listening to? And she said, it’s this group called Joy Division. And I had to smile a little bit."
- 218-743-8078

pardon me, explosions incoming
Computer Building, Aetna Life and Casualty, Hartford, Connecticut, 1966 - Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates

"I fear that in this world one is reduced to being either hammer or anvil; lucky the man who escapes these alternatives!" - Voltaire

Summer gets deeper

Pink ocean with violent sky

(231) 779-0713
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MOTAS, Family, Health, Exercise, Friends, 8333463032, 888-963-3647, (939) 425-7508, Working with, 386-506-0227, 765-513-4528, 616-232-5921, Heroes, 417-983-9947, Me, 323-860-5634, 612-412-4661

IP Law, Non-profit, Real Estate, 747-220-9432, archfire, Management consulting, Taxes, International Development, tacso, Personal finance, Web, Insurance, Macroeconomics, 7733918469, Personal services

419-523-5834, iPad bait, Animation, Literature, Burning Man, 8146346048, Comix, Rhetoric, Spoken Word, 7542275994, Sculpture, retinasphaltum, Poetry, (201) 627-5977

Furniture, Presentations, Data visualization, 7149343291, Process, User experience, IA, Architecture, Tools, 9569684104, Type

absumption, (215) 737-4516, 507-294-3934, Zoology, 806-752-2579

Kenya, (704) 909-7008, Uganda, Kingdom of Siam

Photos I Wish I'd Taken, supercargo, tolling

(770) 264-1046

One Acre Fund

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I have not been served a national security letter.