It has been a busy May. I redesigned this site, and of course the everything is still shut down due to the pandemic, which is deeply weird. This post is the first of what I hope to be a regular thing, a place to put stuff that doesn’t quite merit its own post, and also a way to keep me actively involved at this site when things get busy (and hopefully avoid some of the unintentional hiatuses that have occurred in the past).
As part of the site redesign, I posted all of my stories. I also went ahead and posted There Are No Words, which is one of my favorites. You should go check it out.
As part of learning about how APIs work, and because it is a useful tool for me, I wrote some code that will show you a random Netrunner card (especially for mobile, since there is already a Chrome plugin that works pretty well). I’m still figuring this stuff out, so it doesn’t do everything I want it to, but it is at a point where it works.
New stuff elsewhere:
Akim Aliu’s piece on how far hockey needs to go if it wants to claim to be welcoming to people who aren’t straight white men. I really liked Aliu’s focus on how the sport is more than just the NHL and that what we are seeing is a cultural problem, not a problem confined to one organization such as the NHL. Unfortunately, some of the stuff the article talks about is a little too familiar from my time spent as a Zamboni driver. I had hoped that things had improved in the intervening years, but it sounds like that is not the case.
If you wanted (needed?) more evidence that social media is probably a net negative for society, here’s an article about how facebook knows that its platform exacterbates division but chooses to do nothing. None of this is surprising, since, like reality tv, of course social media thrives on conflict. Of course, reality tv is spectator conflict and social media is participatory conflict, so it may be even worse in that regard. Jaron Lanier’s book 10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now is a quick fun read on the topic if you want to know more.
Planet Money did an episode on municipal internet. The whole idea of corporations being able to write legislation (especially legislation that affects them) is pretty disgusting. Even so, I could maybe see it if their entire argument didn’t rest on the idea that a fast internet connection isn’t a utility. I don’t think that people working from home right now think it is a luxury. As it is, municipalities wouldn’t want to be providing internet service if corporations were doing a good job. As it is, arguing that cities shouldn’t be able to run their own internet is like saying that the USPS shouldn’t exist because it undercuts FedEx (yeah, I know that this exact argument is probably being made somewhere). I’m interested to see what Washington State’s new Broadband Office does, maybe things will get better in this corner of the country.
This is my first attempt at this new roundup post thing. I think that for now I’m going to do it on a monthly basis, since I want it to be something that is relatively easy to keep up, but I might increase the frequency at some point.