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Links 1 through 10 of 194 by Rob Friesel tagged essay

I'm not going to quote it. Just read it. (Although by now you almost certainly have since I'm about 2 days behind on this and it was *everywhere* 2 days ago...)

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David Simon, on the NSA/PRISM scandal.

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Maciej ("the Pinboard guy") on David Simon's "We are shocked, shocked..." piece. «Secrecy erodes the rule of law because it makes democratic accountability impossible.»

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David Simon, responding to Maciej (responding to David Simon): «And if I sound exasperated with other liberal voices on this issue it’s because their barricades are in the wrong place, facing the wrong way, defending the wrong moral and legal terrain. Thus far, the sum of of liberal argument against the NSA program amounts to a veritable Maginot Line of legal ignorance, borrowed libertarian selfishness and jaw-dropping obliviousness to the notion that those who fear a civil liberties apocalypse and wish to fight against such are decades late to the fields where battles actually rage.» You might be able to get away with David Simon's first, but definitely read Maciej's post and this.

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James Sommers, writing for Aeon: «The price of a word is being bid to zero. That one magazine story I’ve been working on has been in production for a year and a half now, it’s been a huge part of my life, it’s soaked up so many after-hours, I’ve done complete rewrites for editors — I’ve done, and will continue to do, just about anything they say — and all for free. There’s no venture capital out there for this; there are no recruiters pursuing me; in writer-town I’m an absolute nothing, the average response time on the emails I send is, like, three and a half weeks. I could put the whole of my energy and talent into an article, everything I think and am, and still it could be worth zero dollars.» This resonates with me in so many painfully obvious ways.

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Paul Miller, writing for The Verge: «He [Nathan Jurgenson] pointed out that there's a lot of "reality" in the virtual, and a lot of "virtual" in our reality. When we use a phone or a computer we're still flesh-and-blood humans, occupying time and space. When we're frolicking through a field somewhere, our gadgets stowed far away, the internet still impacts our thinking: "Will I tweet about this when I get back?"»

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Francisco Dao on TED and similar "idea" events: «Ultimately, being willing to believe anything new and exciting is every bit as dangerous as being closed to new ideas. One appears to be aligned with learning, but in reality they both lead to ignorance because of their lack of critical thinking.»

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Michael Lopp: «Innovation is not born out out of a committee; innovation is a fight. It’s messy, people die, but when the battle is over, something unimaginably significant has been achieved.»

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Cédric Beust, making the case that "non-blocking code reviews" are superior to the blocking kind, and also to pair programming.

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Lee Billings, writing at centauri-dreams.org: «Anyone in the Southern Hemisphere can look up on a clear night and easily see Alpha Centauri — to the naked eye, the three suns merge into one of the brightest stars in Earth’s sky, a single golden point piercing the foot of the constellation Centaurus, a few degrees away from the Southern Cross. In galactic terms, the new planet we’ve found there is so very near our own that its night sky shares most of Earth’s constellations. [...] One of the few major differences would be in the constellation Cassiopeia, which from Earth appears as a 5-starred “W” in the northern sky. Looking out from Alpha Centauri B b and any other planets in that system, Cassiopeia would gain a sixth star, six times brighter than the other five, becoming not a W but a sinuous snake or a winding river. Cassiopeia’s sixth bright point of light would be our Sun and its entire planetary system.» This is a great article summarizing this amazing discovery.

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