Weekly Reads: 01.19 – 02.23 2020

“He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation, he was the complete Renaissance comedian – writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children’s author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have.”
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Jones’ work as a popular historian, political writer, and comedian “is not the full extent of [his] oeuvre,” writes Rozsa, “but it is enough to help us fathom the magnitude of the loss suffered on Tuesday night.” His legacy “was to try to make us more intelligent, more well-educated, more thoughtful. He also strove, of course, to make us have fun.”
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On October 20th, 2018, Lizzo posted a video from a show in Iowa City, Iowa, on Instagram. It was of her playing flute while covering Kendrick Lamar’s “Big Shot.” Lizzo and her backup-dancing Big Grrrls hit the shoot dance in the middle of the song before she resumes her flute-playing. “I think that was another reason why I was so satisfied,” she continues. “Because I was known as a flute player now. Secret’s out: I am a band nerd.”
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Get a drastic haircut
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Plant milks can, nevertheless, have a dark side, as when any crop is produced in mass quantities. It’s important to consider not just whether they are grown using organic methods. Other factors include how the farming of the crop affects people and native habitats in developing countries, the carbon footprint and water use. And while each product has its trade-offs, some plant milks are more sustainable than others.
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For those seeking a more realistic experience, Botnet even offers paid features that bring computer-generated trolls into the mix as well as a “Dad bot” to drop dad jokes on your posts.
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Hundreds more fan-authored works followed, including a touching if bawdy series of poems by Alexander Pope in which the shipwrecked adventurer’s wife—barely mentioned in the original—complains that her husband is never at home to do his duties by her. When Gulliver returns from his final adventure, he has become so disgusted with the human race that he hides from his family. The fan-written Mary Gulliver was, understandably, put out by her husband’s newfound abstinence.
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People often criticize companies for calling their customers a community. The question isn’t whether or not their customers are a community. They are. The question is whether or not the shared identity is meaningful to them.
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This messaging app I built for, and with, my family, it won’t change unless we want it to change. There will be no sudden redesign, no flood of ads, no pivot to chase a userbase inscrutable to us. It might go away at some point, but that will be our decision, too. What is this feeling? Independence? Security? Sovereignty? Is it simply… the feeling of being home?
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There is no magic. There is no layer beyond which we leave the realm of logic and executing instructions and encounter unknowable demons making arbitrary and capricious decisions. Most behaviors in one layer are comprehensible in terms of the concepts of the next layer, and all behaviors can be understood by digging down through enough layers.
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Abundance problem: too much of everything—over-production, over-achievement, over-communication—leads to the problems of abundance: exhaustion, fatigue, and suffocation—when too much exists.
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They are captured in flight, blurred and ominous, and at rest, perching on telegraph wires, trees, fences and chimneys. Fusake photographs them alive and dead, and maps their shadows in harsh sunlight and their tracks in the snow.
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So if you can inject latency into sites artificially, you can reduce the actual impact of the addiction in a controllable way while not denying the enjoyment of the Internet to yourself. Hacker News with 100ms latency feels like liquor: Hacker News with 9000ms latency feels like small beer.
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But there’s another, less easy answer, and one that I think gets to the heart of why I love Lynch’s Dune so much. All of the elements of the film that grate on critics, from the near-constant voiceovers to the unexplained powers of the Mentats and Bene Gesserit, are near and dear to me, because they made sense to my 8-year-old, Star Wars-loving self. More than that, Dune gave me a world in which everything was not guaranteed to turn out all right—something to temper the almost relentless optimism of Star Wars.
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So I was gifted a fountain pen for Christmas and haven’t looked back since. I’m a bit out of practice so it’s been a bit messy, but it’s a pleasure to write with and I actually enjoy referring to my notes now, even if it’s just a page in my notebook where I calculated the electricity bill or recorded my conversation with the buildings insurance company.
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The story always ended the same way — knee-deep in Jekyll/Hugo/Hexo/etc’s documentation, trying to grok the internals and what the hell was going on underneath the hood. I was editing themes, making my own themes, and doing everything unrelated to actually writing.
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Nevertheless, it’s important as a kind of memento mori: Remember that everything you consider solid—all this path-dependence—is a side effect of decisions made by people who aren’t substantially smarter than you are.

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