Boing Boing Community Tips & Trends

Ξ September 23rd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Stumbleupon Review of :


Ξ September 19th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

It's Fun To Be A Fundamentalist CC© Curtis Gregory Perry

    This study's uniquely broad based comparison of socioeconomic conditions in the most prosperous democracies confirms that they vary widely among these nations, and that the U.S. is the most dysfunctional prosperous democracy overall. Possible causes for this pattern, including the diversity of the population, immigration, a frontier heritage, pathological media, and popular religiosity versus secularism are examined. Of these factors the U.S. is exceptional only in its high level of religiosity, which strongly statistically correlates with adverse and insecure societal and economic conditions in the developed democracies. For all their flaws, strongly secular advanced democracies display superior cumulative internal conditions, with some nations in western Europe enjoying the best overall circumstances yet seen. These results contradict the moral-creator socioeconomic hypothesis, including the thesis widely held in America that a democracy can combine libertarian economics with high levels of popular religion and charity to achieve socioeconomic success. Conservative religious ideology is a probable contributing causal factor of societal dysfunction, in part because it opposes the modulation of free market capitalism with extensive government based assistance, as well as the pragmatic social policies, that have proven more effective at creating the exceptionally secure, equable and benevolent overall societal and economic conditions that have unintentionally helped cause the least theistic prosperous democracies yet seen to come into existence. Both the socioeconomic security hypothesis, and the secular-democratic socioeconomic hypothesis popular in many secular democracies, are correspondingly supported.


Crap Detection

Ξ September 10th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Science |

    Shermer's Boundary Detection Kit

    1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
    2. Has the source often made similar claims?
    3. Have the claims been verified by another source?
    4. How does this fit with what we know about the world and how it works?
    5. Has anyone, including and especially the claimant, gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only confirmatory evidence been sought?
    6. In the absence of clearly defined proof, does the preponderance of evidence converge to the claimant's conclusion, or a different one?
    7. Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and tools of research, or have those been abandoned in favour of others that lead to the desired conclusion?
    8. Has the claimant provided a different explanation for the observed phenomena, or is it strictly a process of denying the existing explanation?
    9. If the claimant has proferred a new explanation, does it account for as many phenomena as the old explanation?
    10. Do the claimant's personal beliefs and biases drive the conclusion, or vice versa?



Pivotal Tracker – Free Lightweight Agile Project…

Ξ September 9th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Stumbleupon Review of :

Luvly Jubbly.

A project management system you don't have to spend more time on than the actual projects you are tracking.

It has a pretty much flat initial learning curve (see the short intro screencast) but seems to have more under the hood when needed: including Fibonacci sequence based difficulty profiling, which, when you come down to it, is pretty much essential in this day and age.

Be nice if it had nesting like, but the tagging makes up for that.

ed (22 Sept '09): Actually, it does have a form of nesting, you can turn on tasks in the settings to further split up the primary stories.



Ξ September 6th, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Unbrand America CC© Ende

    The net (whether we're talking Web 2.0, Wikipedia, social networks or laptops) offers people the opportunity to build economies based on different rules -- commerce that exists outside the economic map we have mistaken for the territory of human interaction.

    We can startup and even scale companies with little or no money, making the banks and investment capital on which business once depended obsolete. That's the real reason for the so-called economic crisis: there is less of a market for the debt on which the top-heavy game is based. We can develop local and complementary currencies, barter networks, and other exchange systems independently of a central bank, and carry out secure transactions with our cell phones.

    In doing so, we become capable of imagining a marketplace based in something other than scarcity -- a requirement if we're ever going to find a way to employ an abundant energy supply. It's not that we don't have the technological means to source renewable energy; it's that we don't have a market concept capable of contending with abundance. As Buckminster Fuller would remind us: these are not problems of nature, they are problems of design.

    If science can take on God, it should not fear the market. Both are, after all, creations of man.
    We must stop perpetuating the fiction that existence itself is dictated by the immutable laws of economics. These so-called laws are, in actuality, the economic mechanisms of 13th Century monarchs. Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be subjected to the scientific method and mathematical scrutiny, it is not a natural science; it is game theory, with a set of underlying assumptions that have little to do with anything resembling genetics, neurology, evolution, or natural systems.

    The scientific tradition exposed the unpopular astronomical fact that the earth was not at the center of the universe. This stance challenged the social order, and its proponents were met with less than a welcoming reception. Today, science has a similar opportunity: to expose the fallacies underlying our economic model instead of producing short-term strategies for mitigating the effects of inventions and discoveries that threaten this inherited market hallucination.

    The economic model has broken, for good. It's time to stop pretending it describes our world.


Facebook and MySpace Users Are Clearly Divided Along…

Ξ September 3rd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

© Big Fat Rat

    One way of thinking about the transition from MySpace to Facebook is through the frame of fashion cycles and fads. MySpace was first; arguably, some people got sick of it and, when Facebook came along, voila! This is certainly true for many teens (and adults), but this explanation would only work if MySpace was dead, or if users of MySpace thought of it as uncool.

    The fact is MySpace is still quite popular among a certain segment of the population. Only a month ago, I was doing fieldwork in Atlanta, where I found heavy usage of MySpace among certain groups of youth. They knew of Facebook but had no interest in leaving MySpace to join Facebook.

    Herein lies the reality that makes all of this quite messy to deal with.

    It wasn't just anyone who left MySpace to go to Facebook. In fact, if we want to get to the crux of what unfolded, we might as well face an uncomfortable reality: What happened was modern-day "white flight."

    Whites were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. The educated were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. Those from wealthier backgrounds were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. Those from the suburbs were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. Those who deserted MySpace did so by "choice," but their decision to do so was wrapped up in their connections to others, in their belief that a more peaceful, quiet, less-public space would be more idyllic.

    This dynamic was furthered by the press, an institution that stems from privilege and tends to reflect the lives of a more privileged class of people. They narrated MySpace as the dangerous underbelly of the Internet, while Facebook was the utopian savior.

    And here we get back to Kat's point: MySpace has become the "ghetto" of the digital landscape. The people there are more likely to be brown or black and to have a set of values that terrifies white society. And many of us have habitually crossed the street to avoid what is seen as the riffraff.

    The fact that digital migration is revealing the same social patterns as urban white flight should send warning signals to everyone out there. And if we think back to the language used by teens who use Facebook when talking about MySpace, we should be truly alarmed.


Advice to a Prophet by Richard Wilbur

Ξ September 2nd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

    When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
    Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
    Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
    In God's name to have self-pity,

    Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
    The long numbers that rocket the mind;
    Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
    Unable to fear what is too strange.

    Nor shall you scare us with talk of the death of the race.
    How should we dream of this place without us?--
    The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,
    A stone look on the stone's face?

    Speak of the world's own change. Though we cannot conceive
    Of an undreamt thing, we know to our cost
    How the dreamt cloud crumbles, the vines are blackened by frost,
    How the view alters. We could believe,

    If you told us so, that the white-tailed deer will slip
    Into perfect shade, grown perfectly shy,
    The lark avoid the reaches of our eye,
    The jack-pine lose its knuckled grip

    On the cold ledge, and every torrent burn
    As Xanthus once, its gliding trout
    Stunned in a twinkling. What should we be without
    The dolphin's arc, the dove's return,

    These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?
    Ask us, prophet, how we shall call
    Our natures forth when that live tongue is all
    Dispelled, that glass obscured or broken

    In which we have said the rose of our love and the clean
    Horse of our courage, in which beheld
    The singing locust of the soul unshelled,
    And all we mean or wish to mean.

    Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose
    Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding
    Whether there shall be lofty or long standing
    When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close

- Richard Wilbur


Boston Review & Noam Chomsky: Crisis and Hope

Ξ September 2nd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

    Warnings about the purposeful destruction of U.S. productive capacity have been familiar for decades and perhaps sounded most prominently by the late Seymour Melman. Melman also pointed to a sensible way to reverse the process. The state-corporate leadership has other commitments, but there is no reason for passivity on the part of the "stakeholders", workers and communities. With enough popular support, they could take over the plants and carry out the task of reconstruction themselves. That is not a particularly radical proposal. One standard text on corporations, The Myth of the Global Corporation, points out, "nowhere is it written in stone that the short-term interests of corporate shareholders in the United States deserve a higher priority than all other corporate 'stakeholders.'"

    It is also important to remind ourselves that the notion of workers' control is as American as apple pie. In the early days of the industrial revolution in New England, working people took it for granted that "those who work in the mills should own them." They also regarded wage labour as different from slavery only in that it was temporary; Abraham Lincoln held the same view.


Kuchh Kook Hota Hai – Keema Cauliflower

Ξ September 2nd, 2009 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

YouTube Preview Image Keema Cauliflower recipe.

First, take six ounces of bollyfunk, dance it well.

And to drink...