Pinned toot

“The web’s existing logic tells us that social platforms are free in exchange for a feast of user data; that major networks are necessarily global and centralized; that moderators make the rules. None of that need be the case. We need people who dismantle these notions by building alternatives”

“If the author’s identity were irrelevant, why had Cummins and Einhorn overstated her tenuous connections to Latin America and reached for authenticity as a marketing tool? He “hadn’t yet understood what it was that was bothering people,” one Macmillan employee said. “The problem wasn’t necessarily that she wasn’t Mexican — the problem was that we published the book in a way that we said defined Mexicans.”

“By this point in the 21st century, you should know enough to run full speed away from people who talk about optimization—people who take over beloved institutions with little appreciation for what those institutions actually do, who talk about getting better by getting leaner, about rooting out inefficiencies and pivoting into a new “space.”

“According to this theory, buying time—by doing things like hiring a house cleaning service instead of tidying up, ordering takeout instead of cooking, or paying extra for a direct flight—can increase our sense of control and, ultimately, our feelings of well-being”

“The pandemic has cast a harsh light on the fractured foundations of the American hospitality model, a pillar of which is this notion that the customer is always right. It’s become abundantly clear that the industry needs to stop prioritizing the wants of customers over the wellbeing of its staff”

“the average requested fee has increased from about $5,000 in 2018 to about $200,000 this year.

To make all of this happen, ransomware gangs have professionalized. A whole underground economy has developed to provide support services like stolen credentials or even consulting time with network access specialists”

“The web’s existing logic tells us that social platforms are free in exchange for a feast of user data; that major networks are necessarily global and centralized; that moderators make the rules. None of that need be the case. We need people who dismantle these notions by building alternatives”

“Once publication commenced, Dickens fell behind, gradually losing his advance because he could not keep up the pace of writing. He often was ill, his life was constantly interrupted by other commitments, and his energy and attention were compromised”

“as Trump makes his own broad-ranging claims of election fraud, the stalwarts of the movement born in the wake of Kerry’s loss are processing different emotions. Freeman and Simon, for instance, old comrades-in-arms, now find themselves in a kind of civil war, split over whether Trump’s rantings are a golden opportunity or a toxic diversion”

“The Monday noon rush stopped. SoulCycle devotees didn’t want to ride in an empty room or with new teachers. With sparsely attended classes, grumpy instructors, and a front desk staff that wasn’t, literally or figuratively, able to give you their socks, the company lost its core base of riders”

“Billions of minuscule barnacles clinging to a ball of rock hurtling through space at 67,000 miles an's amazing we've made it this far. Even more extraordinary, a relative handful of barnacles make beautiful things for all the other barnacles to enjoy along the ride. Even with a trillion stars and a trillion trillion planets, I still wouldn't be surprised if we had the only artists in the universe”

“By early 2020, a handful of hedge funds had altogether purchased $11 billion worth of credit default swaps on the CMBX.6 tranches—a sum nearly six times greater than the value of the debt itself”

“The group prototyped and tested everything with real phones in the lab. Their approach adds essentially zero latency, and doesn’t introduce any new bottlenecks, so it doesn’t have performance/scalability problems like most anonymity networks”

“By pricing HBO Max the same as HBO, Stankey seemed to assume HBO users would simply switch to HBO Max over time. But the transition has been slow, as pay TV and streaming distributors — once HBO’s needed partners — have little incentive to market HBO Max to the millions of people who already get HBO”

“All of this is perfectly legal, providing the trader doesn’t deliberately try to push the closing price down to an artificial level to maximize his profits, which constitutes market manipulation under U.S. law. Manipulation can result in civil penalties such as fines or bans, or even criminal charges carrying a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years”

“Anytime I tried to defend Barack Obama or Hillary, he also started to ramp up this knowing tone, like, Do you really believe what the liberal media tells you? Implying that I was brainwashed, but he knew the real truth because Alex Jones told him so. He also started buying a lot of survival gear — backpacks, rations, that kind of thing”

“Shannon’s general theory of communication is so natural that it’s as if he discovered the universe’s laws of communication, rather than inventing them. His theory is as fundamental as the physical laws of nature”

“searchers who had spent years obsessing about the treasure felt the finder owed them answers — if not the location, then surely a couple of clues. When neither Fenn nor the finder provided any, the tribe of dot connectors and pattern recognizers began began subjecting the scant photographic documentation of the discovery to relentless analysis”

“Cyberpunk: The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future is his magnum opus, sort of like Dungeons & Dragons, with the swords and sorcery swapped for silicon and cyberspace. Pondsmith’s favorite way of summing up the essence of the genre: “It’s ‘let’s pretend,’ with rules.”

“Ed’s reading program was prodigious. I knew that he was working his way systematically through the Western canon, but I could not appreciate the scope of the project or of Ed’s perseverance until I saw it for myself”

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