1 week down. It’s starting to look like more than just a hole in the ground.
Nerd writer (and Jeopardy champion) Arthur Chu writes in The Daily Beast about when “Nerd Culture” becomes “Rape Culture”:
Nerdy guys aren’t guaranteed to get laid by the hot chick as long as we work hard. There isn’t a team of writers or a studio audience pulling for us to triumph by getting the girl.
Ezra Klein sits down for a 46-minute wide-ranging interview with Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the great stagnation that followed. It’s an interesting and revealing glimpse into the man and the decisions that followed an unprecedented crisis and the possibility for total collapse.
Claire Cain Miller writes in The New York Times about how the tech industry can be a disgusting boy’s club of infantile male culture:
Elissa Shevinsky can pinpoint the moment when she felt that she no longer belonged.
She was at a friend’s house last Sept. 8, watching the live stream of the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon on her laptop and iPhone. Entrepreneurs were showing off their products, and two young Australian men, David Boulton and Jethro Batts, stood behind the podium to give their presentation. “Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits,” Mr. Boulton began, as photographs of women’s chests on a cellphone flashed on the screen behind him.
In a fabulously technical post, Ken Shirriff shows why I always tell people not to cheap out on no-name replacements for “boring” components like chargers and cables:
Apple sells their iPad charger for $19, while you can buy an iPad charger on eBay for about $3. From the outside, the chargers look the same. Is there a difference besides the price? In this article, I look inside real and counterfeit chargers and find that the genuine charger has much better construction, power quality, and most importantly safety.
(Note: if you can’t stomach paying the Apple premium for chargers and cables, Monoprice sells cheaper versions of comparable quality.)
Todd S. Purdum profiles Bruce Schneier for Politico:
Schneier is a legendary encryption specialist who has written or edited 13 books on the subject, and worked for the Department of Defense, telecommunications companies, banks and governments. Most recently, he’s been a vocal advocate of the idea that the best security systems accept a reasonable amount of risk; a blind focus on protecting against every threat, he says, usually comes with unexpected costs.
Wonkblog alum Ezra Klein writes about identity politics shapes our reason for his new online publication Vox:
There’s a simple theory underlying much of American politics. It sits hopefully at the base of almost every speech, every op-ed, every article, and every panel discussion. It courses through the Constitution and is a constant in President Obama’s most stirring addresses. It’s what we might call the More Information Hypothesis: the belief that many of our most bitter political battles are mere misunderstandings. The cause of these misunderstandings? Too little information — be it about climate change, or taxes, or Iraq, or the budget deficit. If only the citizenry were more informed, the thinking goes, then there wouldn’t be all this fighting. It’s a seductive model. […] But the More Information Hypothesis isn’t just wrong. It’s backwards. Cutting-edge research shows that the more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become.
Maciej Ceglowski gave this as a talk at the Webstock conference on February 14 in Wellington, New Zealand. The conference describes it as “A meditation on the surveillance state, interface design, tech culture, and the dangers of thinking you know what will happen next, told through the astonishing life of Lev Termen.” It’s long, rant-y, and wonderful. Read it all. Here’s the teaser:
In 1952, an American attaché in Moscow was innocently fiddling with his shortwave radio when he heard the voice of the American ambassador dictating letters in the Embassy, just a few buildings away. He immediately reported the incident, but though the Americans tore the walls out of the Ambassador’s office, they weren’t able to find a listening device.
When the broadcasts kept coming, the Americans flew in two technical experts with special radio finding equipment, who meticulously examined each object in the Ambassador’s office. They finally tracked the signal to this innocuous giant wooden sculpture of the Great Seal of the United States, hanging behind the Ambassador’s desk. It had been given as a gift by the Komsomol, the Soviet version of the Boy Scouts.
Cracking it open, they found a hollow cavity and a metal object so unusual and mysterious in its design that it has gone down in history as ‘The Thing’.