Liked How Discord (somewhat accidentally) invented the future of the internet by David Pierce (Protocol)

Five years in, it’s clear that Discord has done something remarkable. It’s built a space that feels unlike any other on the internet. It’s not quite group chat, it’s not quite forums, it’s not quite conference calling. It’s all of those things and none of them. It turns out, in that messy middle, is a place that mirrors what it’s like to be human, and interact with other humans, more closely than just about anything else on the internet. (For better, and sometimes for worse.) That’s not what Citron, Vishnevskiy and their team were going for, but it’s what they have now. And they’re not pivoting anymore.

Liked On Randomized Trials and Medicine by zeynep (Insight)

In reality, while opposing masks has now become an ideological component of pandemic-denialism, some the problems I outline above permeate not just supporters of this president, but much of Western medical establishment as well. This is also why the instruction to “just follow the science” isn’t enough to address this pandemic. Yes, we should absolutely follow the science, but here’s the awful truth: we do not have a “science” that is fully up to the challenge, especially when it comes to understanding the intersection between human behavior and the pandemic, and the many complications and twists of the failings of our expert communities and how they relate to society. That task remains ahead of us.

Zeynep Tufekci explains why just ‘following the science’ is not enough. A part of the problem are the limitations to what can be measured when it comes to randomized trials.

The demand for a randomized trial proving the benefits to mask-wearers rests on one of the most important but least understood facts about why we started recommending masks in the first place: to prevent disease transmission to others. Mask-wearing is not an individual benefit, it’s a community benefit. Further, this discussion reveals some of the underlying reasons for our feeble response to this pandemic: reasons that go beyond the obvious and many failures of the OUTGOING (!) administration.
To have a proper study for masks for source-control, we’d need to enroll communities and do a cluster randomized study—comparing communities, not just individuals. That is both difficult and also with much less explanatory power than one would hope since pathogen is also overdispersed: some people get hit badly by the disease just by chance. That makes causal inference harder.

Liked Depression Is the Ultimate Identity Thief (Psychology Today)

Depression is not something that just disrupts our lives — it can change how we see ourselves as people. Let’s start with experiences and resulting connections that never happen because of our depression. Maybe we don’t have the energy to see a new band when they play a show in our town — so we don’t have what could have been a magical life-altering experience of discovering our favorite band. And our identity also becomes connected with helplessness. We don’t naturally assume we are someone who can “make things happen” and plan for the future, because we can’t be sure depression won’t severely undermine our life goals.

Liked War in the time of Neanderthals: how our species battled for supremacy for over 100,000 years by Nicholas R. Longrich (

Even after primitive Homo sapiens broke out of Africa 200,000 years ago, it took over 150,000 years to conquer Neanderthal lands. In Israel and Greece, archaic Homo sapiens took ground only to fall back against Neanderthal counteroffensives, before a final offensive by modern Homo sapiens, starting 125,000 years ago, eliminated them.

This wasn’t a blitzkrieg, as one would expect if Neanderthals were either pacifists or inferior warriors, but a long war of attrition. Ultimately, we won. But this wasn’t because they were less inclined to fight. In the end, we likely just became better at war than they were.

Liked Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency has never made me laugh by Virginia Trioli (ABC News)

We are witnessing one of the most important battles of our times: not just the electoral one, but the battle between the power and importance of our institutions and of facts, and the self-interested misrepresentation of the truth.

The skirmishes are without precedent. Television networks actually took down and cut the feed of a US President as he gave a speech of countless untruths. Twitter now routinely deletes his tweets. Social media platforms suspend the accounts of his high-profile surrogates.

This is a moment of reckoning, the first time that a civil society has genuinely asserted itself over the jungle of social media and the ecosystem in which Trump has thrived and that he has so effectively used.

Liked A Practical Guide to Building Ethical AI (

Here are seven steps towards building a customized, operationalized, scalable, and sustainable data and AI ethics program:

  1. Identify existing infrastructure that a data and AI ethics program can leverage.
  2. Create a data and AI ethical risk framework that is tailored to your industry.
  3. Change how you think about ethics by taking cues from the successes in health care.
  4. Optimize guidance and tools for product managers.
  5. Build organizational awareness.
  6. Formally and informally incentivize employees to play a role in identifying AI ethical risks.
  7. Monitor impacts and engage stakeholders.
Liked Copying is the way design works (

I don’t fancy myself to be the van Gogh of design, to be anywhere on the level of Stallman or Carmack in my approach to copying, possessing even one-one-hundredth of Steve Jobs’ ability to steal artfully, or to be in any way comparable to Charles or Ray Eames. But I can certainly copy all of their work. I can copy their mindset, their process, and their designs.

I can make cheap, small-scale facsimiles, fangzhipin, to demonstrate some quality of the original. I can make exact replicas, pixel-perfect fuzhipin, to learn how the originals and their creators work. Or I can create shanzhai, unsolicited redesigns, commenting and riffing on the work of others. All these copies have an important role to play in the process of design.

Liked It’s Not About Intention, It’s About Action – (

A Stoic is able to think positively because they know they can create positive outcomes with their actions. A Stoic isn’t afraid to think negatively either, because these thoughts help shape the actions they’re going to take (again, to create a positive outcome). They don’t wait for The Universe to line up perfectly with their vibrations and visualizations. They get moving. They assert agency. Action by action, Marcus said, no one can stop you from that.

Liked How to hide from a drone – the subtle art of ‘ghosting’ in the age of surveillance by Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick (

It would be nice to live in a world with fewer impositions on privacy, one in which law enforcement did not use small quadcopters and the Department of Homeland Security did not redeploy large Predator drones to surveil protesters. And, for people in some parts of the world, it would be nice not to associate the sound of a drone with impending missile fire. But given that those eyes are in the sky, it’s good to know how to hide.

Liked The Real Hunter Biden Story Everyone is Missing by zeynep (Insight)

In the 20th century, it is attention, not speech, that is restricted and of limited quantity that the gatekeepers can control and allocate. In the digital age, especially in countries like ours, there is no effective way of stopping people from publishing or talking about this story through traditional censorship—but there are many ways to regulate how much attention it gets.

This is an especially important consideration in the weeks leading up to a presidential election, with so little time left to allocate our attention to important questions. Given the decreasing time available, what are the important questions, and how much attention should they get, and how?

Liked ‘There’s only so much time left’: Bruce Springsteen on life, love and voting out Trump by David Leser (The Age)

But I visit with him every night. It’s a grace-filled thing [because] the soul is a stubborn thing. Souls remain. They remain here in the air, in empty space, dusty roots and sidewalks. And in the songs that we sing. That is why we sing. We sing for our blood and for our people because that is all we have at the end of the day. Each other. – Bruce Springstein

Liked ABC Politics with Annabel Crabb (

I’m assuming nobody in Melbourne is reading this because they’re all off getting their roots done or just openly, lasciviously strolling about without the threat of having their collar felt by the Recreation Rozzers. But on behalf of all of us at the ABC, may I convey our congratulations to, and admiration of, the great people of Victoria, who have had an awful lot chucked at them this year. The photo in this account of the Great Reopening is just glorious.

Liked Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown might be finally be over, but we are still deeply divided by Virginia Trioli (ABC News)

It’s a bit of a paradox, because at the same time we have banded together strongly like never before. We wait to see whether what happens next, our recovery and the help we get along the way, will bind some of the wounds as well.

Liked 10 Classroom Blogging Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) (The Edublogger)

Classroom blogging can be a powerful and effective way to enhance the learning experience for your students. However, if you’re new to starting a blog, there are some important things to consider before jumping in.

Let’s recap the ten mistakes to avoid with your classroom blog:

  1. Forgetting to obtain permission
  2. Making participation optional
  3. Failing to share with an audience
  4. Publishing inconsistently
  5. Not respecting copyright
  6. Forgetting to use or update pages
  7. Not having clear grading guidelines
  8. Ignoring categories and tags
  9. Overlooking accessibility
  10. Choosing the wrong platform
Liked How I Finally Fixed My Parents Dodgy Wifi With AmpliFi by Troy Hunt (Troy Hunt)

I moved on and extended the network out to my jet ski with their Mesh products, did a ground-up build in my brother’s house (which I remain jealous of) and just last month, released a free course on UniFi commissioned by Ubiquiti. Clearly, I’m a UniFi convert.

But UniFi isn’t for everyone. It’s a “prosumer” product which means it’s great for everyone from technical people installing it in their homes through to professionals building out entire shopping centres or stadiums with the gear. But it’s not great for non-techies; there’s both design and setup involved and frankly, a heap of features they’ll never need. That’s where AmpliFi comes in, Ubiquiti’s consumer line for the home.

Liked Cuts to humanities departments are cuts to our ability to reason by Catherine Ford (The Age)

When you diminish humanities departments, you fracture and destabilise an apparatus that fosters and supports thinking – analytical, creative, imaginative, productive, progressive thinking.

When you cut down humanities teachers and students, who, together, bring what they read, learn and test in their courses to a society that cannot afford to think less, or be critiqued less rigorously, or fail to imagine, you are shutting the book on the very heart and brain of that society. You attack places where enlightenment, useful consternation and doubt, and intellectual pleasures and satisfactions, are a currency passed from one generation to the next. You target an enterprise, a practice, and a legacy, whose benefits are far-reaching.