Sunday, September 12th, 2021
If there’s one thing to read on this 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, perhaps this is it, a narration of the 9/11 film “by Jules Naudet, a French-born documentary filmmaker working with his brother Gédéon on a film about a rookie firefighter at a station in Lower Manhattan.”
One of the men sent up the stairs by Chief Pfeifer is his younger brother, Kevin. He will never see him again. As Jules Naudet’s camera pans over the faces of the firefighters in the lobby of the North Tower, you realize with shock that his footage, which includes Kevin Pfeifer, is the last time many of them will be captured for posterity.
This is so full-throated by David Horowitz (posted by John Hinderaker at Powerline). Entitled “The Read Existential Threat”, it rings very true to me, given the unforced error that is the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Anti-white racism, and ignorant attacks on the American founding – these constitute the greatest existential threat to America. And the fact that Black Lives Matter fictions make up the crippling doctrine of our military leaders should wake everyone to the menace we face. There never has been a greater threat to our patrimony and freedom since the darkest days of the Civil War.
Gordon Brander thinks seriously about the Web vis-a-vis mobile.
By now, the web’s network advantage had evaporated. The iPhone’s native apps were internet apps, sandboxed, and talking HTTP, just like a web app. The iPhone was designed for a world that included the web. The web was not designed for a world that included the iPhone.
Tuesday, August 31st, 2021
In googling what appears to me the flimsiness of the Jewish edict to not eat milk with meat, I came across Michael Harvey’s Times of Israel blog post “Why Separate Milk and Meat?” in which he argues it’s all a misreading of the word “milk” in “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”
The word for milk features certain vowels underneath to make the sound of chalev, distinguishing the word from others. Why is this important? Well, there happens to be another Hebrew word with the exact same letters, Chet, Lamed, Vet, but is pronounced, instead of chalev, chaylev. And that is the word for fat, as seen in such passages as Leviticus 7:23: “You shall eat no fat of ox or sheep or goat.” Could this commandment have actually been referencing fat instead of milk?
Thursday, August 26th, 2021
Wednesday, August 25th, 2021
Saturday, August 21st, 2021
Friday, August 20th, 2021
Friday, August 13th, 2021
What’s with Bahrain’s DERASAT thinktank signing an agreement not just with an Israeli counterpart, Jerusalem’s JCPA, nor even with two, also Herzlia’s AEI Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center, but now with three, adding Tel Aviv’s INSS. That doesn’t seem right to me; pick a counterpart.
On the INSS web site, the visit warrants not just the top story position but the heading “Special Announcement”. At JCPA it’s no longer the top story but the headline is prefixed “History:”. The Abba Eban Center doesn’t seem to have a news facility. Yet over at DERASAT, the post about the agreement with the JCPA (which a few days later is no longer even discoverable on their website) did not contain the word “Israel”. And there’s no mention at all of the two more recent agreements.
Wednesday, August 11th, 2021
On an Israeli TV news panel, here is Issawi Frej in career-defining, full-throttle top-flight impassioned co-existence mode, making religious Yesh Atid MK and former Minister of Education Shai Piron choke up on air.
Sunday, August 8th, 2021
La Maison Xun, a restaurant in Beijing by LDH Architects, featured in Archinect.
Saturday, August 7th, 2021
Thursday, August 5th, 2021
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021
John McWhorter on “Black Fragility”:
DiAngelo, you may have heard, has a new one out. But do you really need to read yet another book about how white people just don’t get it? After all, roll the tape again and the main theme of intelligent black thought might not be so obsessed with this notion that black America must sit mired in charismatic anomie until white people “get it.” Imagine a black America all about not “Why don’t they get it?” but “How do we get ours regardless?”
As Israel finally passes a budget, Mansour Abbas, leader of the Islamist Raam party, appears to have been the kingmaker, is budgeted an unprecedented $16b for infrastructure, crime, healthcare, education and transport.
Monday, August 2nd, 2021
Sign up for SPECTRE: The Board Game.
Face James Bond as You Plot, Scheme, and Battle to Become SPECTRE’s Number One.
Sunday, August 1st, 2021
J. D. Vance makes what seems to me an historic speech, calling on the Republican Party to be the family party:
The fact that we’re not having enough babies, the fact that we’re not having enough children, is a crisis in this country. It’s a crisis because it makes our media more miserable. It’s a crisis because it doesn’t give our leaders enough of an investment in the future of their country. And it’s a crisis because we know that babies are good.
And here’s a doozy:
The Democrats are talking about giving the vote to sixteen-year olds. But let’s do this instead: let’s give votes to all children in this country, but let’s give control over those votes to the parents of those children.
A great topic, covered well: in Wired, Clive Thompson surveys the problem with productivity software:
To-do lists are, in the American imagination, a curiously moral type of software. Nobody opens Google Docs or PowerPoint thinking “This will make me a better person.” But with to-do apps, that ambition is front and center.
Friday, July 30th, 2021
Wednesday, July 28th, 2021
Tuesday, July 27th, 2021
Monday, July 26th, 2021
Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
I wanted a way in Apple Mail to list all emails from VIPs to which I’ve not yet replied. After googling, I found a nice solution at MakeUseOf: “4 Mac Mail Productivity Tips All Professionals Must Know” (2019).
So I made a Smart Mailbox “VIP Unreplied” with all the following rules:
- Sender is VIP
- Message was not replied to
does not contain donotreply
- Message is not in mailbox “Already Replied”
And in the “Already Replied” Smart Mailbox:
This second one because sometimes a message is handled in some other way than a reply or doesn’t need one.
Monday, July 19th, 2021
I think the author’s almost actually serious in his call to ditch HTML for PDF:
PDFs are page-oriented. This is another fundamental freedom – toknow unambiguously which part of the document you are looking at.Compare to infinite-scroll HTML pages which are disorienting bydesign. This may sound trivial, but seriously: with infinite scrolling,you are fundamentally not in control of the reading experience.
Ha, since he posted the mainfesto as an actual PDF, when I copied that quote it pasted full of triple-spaces and some non-spaces, which I’ve kept for effect — so much for that! Still, the author does bring up many important issues.
Via Hacker News, “The Eleven Laws of Showrunning” by Javier Grillo-Marxuach is so beautifully written and serves as a primer for management of anything
As special and wonderful as creativity and process may be, they are assets that can be channeled, managed, made to work on call, and sent to bed at a decent hour.
Since I’m currently watching Disney Gallery / Star Wars: The Mandalorian, showrunners Jon Favreau and David Filoni appear to exemplify the virtues.
Sunday, July 18th, 2021
This top-draw (The New Republic) essay on James Bond and Ian Fleming is ostensibly disparaging about its subject, but author Scott Bradfield’s sheer depth of knowledge marks him a fan. Another clue: although it’s a book review of The World Is Not Enough: A Biography of Ian Fleming by Oliver Buckton, in the entire piece Buckton’s name is mentioned just once! This guy Bradfield’s clearly been chomping at the bit to write something Bondy.
Saturday, July 17th, 2021
A mandate for President Isaac Herzog. It soars to this:
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I found myself thinking: How can we set a new Guinness World Record and bring the largest number of Jews together for a show of solidarity and support on Zoom? My conclusion was that only the president – regardless of who that is – can gather the different backgrounds and denominations to the same “room.”
Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
Tuesday, July 13th, 2021
In “How to Structure a Large Scale Vue.js Application”, one piece of advice new to me is to keep a flat
components folder. Author Daniel Kelly lists no fewer than 8 reasons to do so. I’m gonna let this cook, as I have indeed found nested folders sometimes problematic for some of the reasons he lists.
For me the worst two bugbears are that when there are many tabs open, their labels all get reduced to a useless homogenous “index.vue”, and that Sublime Text’s superfast all-project search doesn’t provide links to files so I have to hunt them down in my file tree.
Update: Well I never actually tried it because the file paths don’t look like links, but blimmin’ heck, double-click them and the file opens. Sababa! You’ll get my $80 soon, soon, you Ozzie geniuses.
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
I transcribed more of this book than any other, quoting these great guys who’ve been there and done that; it’s one for dipping in to when seeking inspiration.
The author — wife and Y Combinator partner to Paul Graham — gets out the way as much as possible and lets these guys speak; think Studs Terkel but only with hugely successful tech people.
Monday, July 12th, 2021
Friday, July 9th, 2021
A voice new to me, David E. Bernstein, gives a fresh and concise viewpoint on the tired topic of why so many love to hate on Israel, providing separate reasons for the disparate groups. For Christians:
Christian critics of Israel so often accuse Jews of not learning anything from the Holocaust; in their mind, the Holocaust is a story about Christian sin and possible redemption via the actions of the victims; the fate of the Jewish people as a people is at best irrelevant.
Mohammed started his empire with limited territory and a small army, only to expand throughout the Middle East and North Africa. There is undoubtedly some latent fear that Israel is a camel’s nose under the tent for Jewish expansionism. This of course misunderstands Zionism and Judaism, but the average Muslim knows little about Judaism.
A reminder of the marvel and fragility of the Web by Jonathan Zittrain, law professor and computer science professor at Harvard, and a co-founder of its Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
Michael Pollan writes just wonderfully of his coffee withdrawal.
In this new normal, the world seemed duller to me. I seemed duller, too. Mornings were the worst. I came to see how integral caffeine is to the daily work of knitting ourselves back together after the fraying of consciousness during sleep. That reconsolidation of self took much longer than usual, and never quite felt complete.
So much more to quote here; he takes a little meander into intellectual history before returning, now a bit further along in time, to his own predilection. Then on to the science.
Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
“China-US Relations In The Eyes Of The Chinese Communist Party: An Insider’s Perspective” [PDF] by Cai Xia at the Hoover Institution, June 2021 (via Ambrose Evans-Pritchard).
Since the 1970s, the two political parties in the United States and the US government have always had unrealistic good wishes for the Chinese communist regime, eagerly hoping that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the CCP’s rule would become more liberal, even democratic, and a “responsible” power in the world. However, this US approach was a fundamental misunderstanding of the CCP’s real nature and long-term strategic goals.
The Guardian posts an excerpt from Gillian Tett’s Anthro-Vision. Regarding working from home, a senior trader at JP Morgan observed:
The really big problem was incidental information exchange. “The bit that’s very hard to replicate is the information you didn’t know you needed,” observed Charles Bristow, a senior trader at JP Morgan. “[It’s] where you hear some noise from a desk a corridor away, or you hear a word that triggers a thought. If you’re working from home, you don’t know that you need that information.” Working from home also made it hard to teach younger bankers how to think and behave; physical experiences were crucial for conveying the habits of finance or being an apprentice.
The most valuable sort of press is not articles about you, it’s when people mention you in passing as a matter of course.
Paul Graham, Founders at Work
Tuesday, July 6th, 2021
Sunday, July 4th, 2021
Thursday, July 1st, 2021
Michael Allen Smith of INeedCoffee.com goes without drinking his beloved bean for a whole month:
For a good chunk of the month, I was extremely sad. It was like a death in the family. It was during the depths of this period that I realized that I had been using coffee as a way to avoid feeling down. And I had been doing that multiple times a day for two decades.
What a sinking feeling, reading the announcement that Marginal Revolution is launching on Facebook’s Substack ripoff Bulletin”:https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/06/a-more-than-marginal-boost-for-marginal-revolution.html (I get a blank screen in Firefox, and naturally there’s no RSS feed). It’s interesting that trillion-dollar Facebook feels so threatened by Substack.
Wednesday, June 30th, 2021
I’ve just seen a play at the Brighton Fringe — no that’s overstating matters, let’s call it a performance, barely — entitled Shitfaced Shakespeare. It makes me feel way worse about theater than doth Spanish novelist Javier Marías, who writes (2017):
There must be some happy medium between lazy, outmoded productions à la Pérez Puig (who seems to have been in charge of the Teatro Español in Madrid for decades now) and the jokey superficialities of the professional innovators.