Liked ABC Weekend Reads

In the end – and here is where the modern masters of metrics and data will roll their eyes – I think you can only go on instinct: on the idea of telling stories that seem meaningful and affecting and only ever wanting to talk to one person – one audience member – and trying damn hard to make it connect. It’s like your best friend is drunk and distracted at a really fabulous party and you very much need to tell her something extremely important, right now! How do you get their attention? That’s the whole job. You can be the judge of whether that’s working here or not.

Liked Smith returning to bat was brave… but only if you leave your head inside cricket’s glass box

Some sports have a fundamental stupidity, and a few of them an equally fundamental hypocrisy. Many cricket folk look down their noses at the barbarity of boxing, or bullfighting, or the rugby codes, where trying to hit someone in the head gets you sent off. In cricket, you can try to hit someone in the head with a ball travelling 150 kilometres an hour, a proven killer, but you can only do it twice an over. And then twice the next over. And so on until you get tired or you hit him.

Liked From search-engine to walled garden: majority of Google searches do not result in a click (Boing Boing)

Google’s original pitch to the rest of the web was, “We deliver traffic: people search here for answers, and we send them back to you to get them.” But over time, and for a variety of reasons (not all of them bad, see e.g., “Not sending people to sites that have malvertising”), the company has been trying to serve the answer to your question with no further clicking required.

Now, that strategy has hit a tipping point. According to analytics from Jumpstream, the majority of Google searches no longer end with a click. On Sparktoro, Rand Fishkin calls this “a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden.”

Liked How to Argue Better

1. Say nothing (to start with) – Allow people to vent. Don’t interrupt and certainly don’t judge by saying things like, “Calm down,” or “You’re obviously mistaken here.”

2. Ask questions rather than try to make a point – This is easier said than done but try to ask questions that clarify the reasons behind the anger/upset or conflict – “Why is that upsetting you?” or “It strikes me that this is the problem. Have I heard you right?”

3. Recognise that you played a part here, and own it – Rather than talking about what the other person did/does/feels, talk about what you did/do/feel. Talking about the other person just makes them get even angrier.

Liked The USA is imprisoning people it finds undesirable. Australia has already lived this nightmare | Jason Wilson (the Guardian)

As white settler cultures, Australia and the United States share many things. And one is a long history of confining and concentrating people that the settler population determines to be undesirable. In both countries, genocidal hot wars against native populations petered out into a practice dumping remnant indigenous people into reservations or missions.

Liked For the first time in a long time, we’re setting up a generation to be worse off than the one before it (The Conversation)

Most Australians want to leave the world a better place for those that come after them.

It’s time to make sure we do it.

Lots of older Australians are doing their best, individually, supporting their children via the “Bank of Mum and Dad”, caring for grandchildren, and scrimping through retirement to leave their kids a good inheritance.

These private transfers help a lucky few, but they don’t solve the broader problem. In fact, inheritances exacerbate inequality because they largely go to the already wealthy.

We need policy changes.

Reducing or eliminating tax breaks for “comfortably off” older Australians would be a start.

Liked Google Is Tightening Its Grip on Your Website (Medium)

Using AMP means a stripped-down version of the page that can be difficult to copy a link from or browse the rest of the publisher’s site — let alone avoid being tracked by Google as you’re reading. Nearly five years into AMP, there’s still no way to say that you prefer the full version of sites or that you don’t want to be served AMP pages at all. The only way to avoid them is by not clicking anything with the AMP logo in search.

Liked It is the child within us that trembles before death by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

I think the best thing to take from the experience of losing someone close to us other is to begin a life worth living right now. Not putting off for the future right action and virtuous living, but practising them immediately.

Liked Inside the Weird World of Shakespeare Conspiracy Theories – InsideHook (InsideHook)

So why are people so willing to believe evidence-free theories involving secret agents, faked deaths and unknown royals over the far simpler theory that the guy whose name is on the plays was the actual author?

One answer is simple snobbery. It is impossible for many people to believe that a (“eww”) commoner with minimal education could have written great plays.