PlasticBoy Ben Williams' blog about technology, Linux, digital music, Rhapsody, veganism, and a little politics. Wed, 20 May 2015 16:18:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lifestyle: Medicine That Inspires Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:23:06 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Lifestyle: Medicine That Inspires
Revolution may sound dramatic, but that’s what we need. We have already lumbered through health care "reform" here in the U.S. Controversial as it has been, it is really just a minor modification of our sick care system, and more universal access to it. Nothing in our current system will prevent the dire projections about unsustainably, unaffordably-high rates of diabetes in the U.S. from coming true.

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Notch: I’m leaving Mojang Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:25:10 +0000 “If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.”


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Sustaining git-annex development Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:28:47 +0000 After his successful Kickstarter, Joey Hess is fundraising to continue working on git-annex.

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Free Will, Determinism, Quantum Theory and Statistical Fluctuations: A Physicist’s Take Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:48:57 +0000 Carlo Rovelli on free will. You have no free will, but it’s OK because you’ll never understand why you do anything anyway.

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America’s founders would be horrified at this United States of Surveillance Wed, 03 Jul 2013 10:20:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Dan Gillmor:

You may believe there’s no possibility of America turning into a thugocracy, that the amassed information – conversations, business dealings, personal health and financial data, media consumption, gun records and so much more – will never be systematically misused that way. But even if you do, ask yourself this: if a young employee of one of the countless private companies administering the surveillance state could get access to so much for idealistic reasons, how vulnerable is this material to people with baser motives?
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Who Pays? Tue, 26 Feb 2013 18:14:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax System in All 50 States..
The main finding of this report is that virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair, taking a much greater share of income from middle- and low-income families than from wealthy families. The absence of a graduated personal income tax and the over reliance on consumption taxes exacerbate this problem in many states.

(via Flutterby)

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Japanese Movers Sat, 23 Feb 2013 22:25:31 +0000

Leave it to the Movers – YouTube.

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Senators on torture in Zero Dark Thirty Fri, 21 Dec 2012 14:06:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Senators McCain, Feinstein, and Levin write to Sony Pictures regarding the depiction of torture in Zero Dark Thirty:

Recent public opinion polls suggest that a narrow majority of Americans believe that torture can be justified as an effective form of intelligence gathering. This is false. We know that cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is an unreliable and highly ineffective means of gathering intelligence.

The use of torture should be banished from serious public discourse for these reasons alone, but more importantly, because it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, because it is an affront to America’s national honor, and because it is wrong.

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SOPA Roundup Sat, 21 Jan 2012 11:22:08 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Here are a few smart things people are saying about SOPA and PIPA. Jeff Atwood gets at the key political takeaway:
So yes, join us in fighting the obvious insanity of legislation like SOPA and PIPA that threaten the open, unfettered Internet. But please, please also join us in attacking the far more pernicious problem of lobbyist money subtly corrupting our government. If we don’t deal with that, we will never stop fighting bills like SOPA and PIPA.

Y Combinator wants to invest in startups that will replace Hollywood:

The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.

And finally, Nat Torkington responds to the President’s challenge to the tech industry to find ways to fight piracy:

All I can think is: we gave you the Internet. We gave you the Web. We gave you MP3 and MP4. We gave you e-commerce, micropayments, PayPal, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, the iPad, the iPhone, the laptop, 3G, wifi–hell, you can even get online while you’re on an AIRPLANE. What the hell more do you want from us?

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Coal Energy Drink: Keeps You Running Until It All Runs Out Sat, 01 Oct 2011 23:15:45 +0000 ]]> 0