Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Category: Links (page 1 of 91)

Links van 30 september 2015 tot 2 oktober 2015

Why Kindergarten in Finland Is All About Playtime (and Why That Could Be More Stimulating Than the Common Core) – The Atlantic
“[Children] learn so well through play. They don’t even realize that they are learning because they’re so interested.” When children play, Osei Ntiamoah continued, they’re developing their language, math, and social-interaction skills. A recent research summary “The Power of Play” supports her findings: “In the short and long term, play benefits cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development…When play is fun and child-directed, children are motivated to engage in opportunities to learn,” the researcher concluded.

Surprisingly Turing-Complete – Gwern.net
Turing-completeness (TC) is the property of a system being able to, under some simple representation of input & output, compute any program. TC, besides being foundational to computer science and understanding many key issues like “why a perfect antivirus program is impossible”, is also weirdly common: one might think that such universality as a system being smart enough to be able to run any program might be difficult or hard to achieve, but it turns out to be the opposite and it is difficult to write a useful system which does not immediately tip over into TC. It turns out that given even a little control over input into something which transforms input to output, one can typically leverage that control into full-blown TC.

What Old Age Is Really Like – The New Yorker
What does it feel like to be old? Not middle-aged, or late-middle-aged, but one of the members of the fastest-growing demographic: the “oldest old,” those aged eighty-five and above? This has been the question animating me for a couple of years, as I’ve tried to write a novel from the perspective of a man in his late eighties.

My 90’s TV!

The Pointless Cowardice of John Boehner – The New Yorker
The mainstream reaction to the forced resignation of John Boehner as the Speaker of the House has been a kind of weary admiration. He fought the good fight against the extremists in his Republican caucus, the narrative goes, but his solid Midwestern virtues (he’s from Ohio) were ultimately no contest for the extremism of the Tea Party. This interpretation is far too generous to Boehner, whose failures, political and substantive, were due mostly to cowardice. The tragedy of Boehner is that he could have been a great Speaker, even on his own terms, but instead his legacy is one of almost complete failure.

Links van 25 september 2015 tot 30 september 2015

Hollywood history podcast: Buster Keaton’s move to MGM in 1928.
MGM was paying Buster Keaton $3,000 a week and seemed literally afraid to let him open his mouth. But as sound fully took hold at MGM, Keaton would long for the days of silence. Listen to the episode to find out how, over the next three years, Keaton lost everything—his house, his kids, his job at MGM—and how, over the three decades after that, he got his dignity back.

Applying to College Shouldn’t Require Answering Life’s Great Questions – The Atlantic
There are innumerable sites that offer advice for college applicants, and almost all of them involve admissions experts pleading with students to “be genuine.” But I don’t blame a 17-year-old girl for thinking her authentic answer to “What makes you happy?” won’t get her into college. My honest response—which probably would have involved Ben and Jerry’s and a new episode of Gossip Girl—certainly would not have gotten me into school. It’s not reasonable to tell a 17-year-old kid to “Be yourself!” while asking him to evaluate the meaning of knowledge in the 21st century or to discuss philosophical theories.

BBC – Earth – Why don’t you ever see baby pigeons?
Baby pigeons have been described as 'butt ugly'

BBC – Earth – Rats will save their friends from drowning
If one rat is drowning, another will step in to save it. The new finding suggests that these rodents feel empathy

Ignore Pope on climate, says Republican Marsha Blackburn – BBC News
Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the second-highest ranking member on the House energy committee, says the jury is out on global warming. Asked what scientific evidence would persuade her that climate change was a threat, she replied – "I don't think you will see me being persuaded." Asked whether she accepted the theory of evolution she said: "No I do not."

Links van 18 september 2015 tot 23 september 2015

U leidt een stad vol schorremorrie, Burgemeester | Jan Blommaert (en z’n gedachten)
De bewoners van Uw stad blijken in de wereld zoals U ze beleeft bovenal veroorzakers van overlast te zijn, potentiële misdadigers en ordeverstoorders, profiteurs, labbekakken, links uitschot en ranzige bakfiets-egoïsten “die ge vijf frank zou geven als ge ze ziet”. Volk dat zomaar (zomaar!!) door het rood licht loopt of fietst, dat automobilisten hindert in de uitoefening van hun vrijheid, en het efficiënte bestuur van Uw kleine Rome saboteert. U bestuurt een stad die, volgens Uw eigen beeld ervan, bevolkt wordt door schorremorrie dat zoniet goedschiks dan kwaadschiks – met para’s en oorlogswapens – moet leren zich te gedragen. Uw bevolking ziet U als een collectie zwakkelingen die dringend wat discipline moeten aanleren. Kogels van negen centimeter lang kunnen daarbij helpen. U lijkt de bevolking van de stad, waarvoor U een soort surrogaat-vader zou moeten zijn, eigenlijk te haten. Uw houding is die van Basil Fawlty die een hotelgast in zijn Fawlty Towers, die om zijn aandacht had gevraagd, toeschreeuwde: I’m trying to run a hotel here!!

The bitter rivalry behind the world’s smallest chess program
“You only have one life and so many minutes in your day—in your life—to accomplish things and to focus on things that matter,” Olivier Poudade says. His heavily accented voice comes crackling down the line from his cellphone, bounced and beamed from Savoie, in the French Alps, where he’s vacationing and visiting his mother. While overlooking the mountain ridges of the Tarentaise Valley, the 44-year-old Frenchman is talking about the things that matter in life, and how the time in which we have to do them is finite and always diminishing, ticking away whether or not we spend it wisely. With his time—he figures about 600 hours over three months—he wrote a computer game called BootChess. It’s a chess game crammed into an impossibly small 487 bytes of code; the Wikipedia page explaining the rules of chess, in contrast, runs 53,162 bytes, more than 109 times larger. When he released BootChess in January 2015, it broke a 32-year-old record for the smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform.

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Is Our Most Misread Poem
Most readers consider “The Road Not Taken” to be a paean to triumphant self-assertion (“I took the one less traveled by”), but the literal meaning of the poem’s own lines seems completely at odds with this interpretation. The poem’s speaker tells us he “shall be telling,” at some point in the future, of how he took the road less traveled by, yet he has already admitted that the two paths “equally lay / In leaves” and “the passing there / Had worn them really about the same.” So the road he will later call less traveled is actually the road equally traveled. The two roads are interchangeable.

The sad state of web app deployment / fuzzy notepad
My experience is admittedly limited here, but as far as I can tell, installing a Rails app is impossible. It reads configuration from the source directory. It logs to the source directory. You have to manually precompile all the assets, which are of course also written to the source directory. Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks in the world, championed by developers everywhere. And you can’t actually install anything written with it. This is a joke, right?

An Odd Couple: Samuel Beckett & Buster Keaton | Moving Image Archive News
Some 50 years ago, the playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett and the silent-era film star Buster Keaton worked together on a singular creation of cinematic art.

Links van 7 september 2015 tot 18 september 2015

Hebden Bridge Chess Club: The Hardest chess problem in the world?
Hebden Bridge Chess Club members will be well acquainted with my passion for digging up chess curiosities from across the ‘interweb’. Recently I came across the perplexing puzzle below. It’s White to play and mate in 1.

Anil Dash
To be fair, Will.I.Am’s interest in technology has become clearer in recent years; he recently put out a smartwatch called PULS, which is a good alternative to the Apple Watch for people who prefer a smartwatch that doesn’t work.

West ‘ignored Russian offer in 2012 to have Syria’s Assad step aside’ | World news | The Guardian
Russia proposed more than three years ago that Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, could step down as part of a peace deal, according to a senior negotiator involved in back-channel discussions at the time. Former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari said western powers failed to seize on the proposal.

Slipping Away | Maclean’s Magazine
Jo Aubin has Alzheimer's. He's 38.

That Facebook post you just liked is an ad—and you didn’t even realize it
In the gold rush for Facebook traffic, brand and celebrity pages are the final frontier. Liquid Social’s strategy circumvents that problem facing most publishers by letting people with influential social media accounts do the legwork.

Links van 24 augustus 2015 tot 28 augustus 2015

Longread: “Schaam u, meneer De Wever” | Vluchtelingen | De Morgen
Hij kon zijn oren niet geloven toen Bart De Wever deze week verkondigde dat erkende vluchtelingen een apart sociaal statuut moeten krijgen. Henri Heimans, voormalig topmagistraat en voorvechter van de geïnterneerden, is zelf de zoon van een politiek vluchteling. 'Dit is dwaze, populistische praat.'

See Very Early Concert Footage of the B-52s, When New Wave Music Was Actually New (1978) | Open Culture
Pop music, I had already decided, was for suckers. The only sounds that spoke to me were loud, abrasive, and deliberately unlovely. Then someone in our dorm put on “Rock Lobster” and it blew my narrow mind.

The Art of Onfim
The drawings from Novgorod that we have found appear to all come from a Russian boy named Onfim, who lived at the end of the twelfth century or beginning of the thirteenth century in the city of Novgorod. By the estimate of the archaeologists who unearthed his works, he was around seven years old at the time that he made these drawings.

‘Spreek elkaar aan op asociaal kalasjnikovgebruik’ | De Speld
Het is een groeiende frustratie in de publieke ruimte: mensen die een terreuraanslag willen plegen met een kalasjnikov, terwijl omstanders daar last van hebben. Een bewustwordingscampagne moet ervoor zorgen dat mensen elkaar durven aan te spreken op terroristisch gedrag.

Isis blinds journalists with its barbarity, but we must continue to report – Comment – Voices – The Independent
Why does Isis never attack Israel – indeed, why does its hatred of Crusaders and Shias and Christians and sometimes Jews rarely if ever mention the very word “Israel”? And why do Israel’s air raids on Syria always target Syrian government or pro-Syrian Iranian forces, but never Isis? Indeed, why are Turkey’s air assaults on Isis – happily supported by Nato – far outnumbered by their air raids on the Kurdish PKK, some of whose forces in Syria are fighting Isis? And how come the Turkish press have publicised a convoy of weapons being taken across the Syrian border to Isis by Turkish intelligence agents? Are Turkish engineers running the Isis-controlled oil wells, as Syrian oil engineers claim?

Links van 21 augustus 2015 tot 23 augustus 2015

Jeremy Corbyn and the 1,000 days that destroyed Britain | Daily Mail Online
With enemies like this, Corbyn doesn't need friends.

COLUMN. Nico Dijkshoorn: ‘Marc Coucke is een lichtvreter en … – Sportwereld
Dolgraag zou ik Marc Coucke eens in gesprek zien met zijn nieuwe spectaculaire aankoop voor het volgende seizoen, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Marc stelt zich voor aan Zlatan. ‘Hi, Ibra, I’m Marc Coucke, the crazy president of the Kustboys. Everybody likes me because I am a crazy guy. I sing Couckenbak and everybody says, hahaha, that’s Marc Coucke again. I dance on tables. Thats what I do.’ En daarna de reactie van Zlatan. ‘I am Zlatan. Fuck off, fatso.’

Stephen Colbert on Making The Late Show His Own | GQ
Since last winter, after laying to rest the blowhard host of The Colbert Report and inheriting Letterman’s seat on The Late Show, the most inventive comic of his generation has been consumed with one very large question: Who will he be now? Stephen Colbert—the real one—gives a sneak peek. And in revealing his truest self (and boy, does he go deep), he shows us how he might just reinvent late-night, too

Israel hit by rockets fired from Syria amid confusion over who is to blame | World news | The Guardian
Israeli defence sources initially blame Palestinian Islamic Jihad, before switching to Iran’s Quds Force, then blaming Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad

Kim Jong Un Guides Emergency Enlarged Meeting of WPK Central Military Commission
The situation of the country is now inching close to the brink of a war due to the continued anti-DPRK political and military provocations by the U.S. imperialists and the south Korean puppet forces. The broadcasting for anti-DPRK psychological warfare, resumed by the south Korean puppet military gangsters in all sectors of the front under the pretext of doubtful "mine explosion" case which occurred in the demilitarized zone of the western sector of the front on August 4, is still going on day and night. And the leaflet-scattering operation against the DPRK, kicked off with mobilization of die-hard reactionary organizations, has gone beyond a tolerance limit. Psychological warfare against the DPRK is, in essence, an open act of war against it. In this regard, the General Staff of the Korean People's Army on August 20 sent an ultimatum to the south Korean puppet Ministry of Defense that a strong military action would be launched at once unless it stops the anti-DPRK broadcasting for psychological warfare and removes all psywar means within 48 hours.

Links van 14 augustus 2015 tot 19 augustus 2015

What Paleo diet experts think – and why they’re wrong | Life and style | The Guardian
Claims by proponents of the carbohydrate-averse food regimen supposedly based on what our paleolithic ancestors ate do not stand up to scientific scrutiny

Information Consumerism: The Price of Hypocrisy – Überwachung – FAZ
many Europeans are finally grasping, to their great dismay, that the word “cloud” in “cloud computing” is just a euphemism for “some dark bunker in Idaho or Utah.”

With hundreds of thousands of new supporters, Labour is on the verge of something big – what a complete disaster! – Comment – Voices – The Independent
The fervour around Jeremy Corbyn is extraordinary, but it wouldn’t be fair to suggest he’s the only Labour politician who can bring large crowds on to the streets to greet him. Tony Blair is just as capable. In his case the crowds are there to scream that he should be arrested for war crimes and to throw things at him, but that’s being pernickety; he can certainly draw an audience.

Les Forges | Cours de pixel art 1 : préface
Le pixel art, même s'il a aujourd'hui perdu beaucoup de son importance à l'échelle de l'industrie du jeu vidéo, demeure un médium très utile aux créateurs indépendants et aux petites productions. Sa patte immédiatement reconnaissable a le don d'émouvoir une large frange de joueurs, tout en offrant aux créateurs l'occasion d'utiliser des techniques uniques en leur genre. C'est de ces techniques que nous allons parler aujourd'hui, dans cette édition revue et augmentée du cours de pixel art original des Forges.

Author | Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami's bureau.

Links van 9 augustus 2015 tot 13 augustus 2015

One Book’s Cover | Brightweavings Journal
This spring I was working with my American and Canadian editors, and an art director, and a gifted artist to devise and shape the cover those territories are sharing for Children of Earth and Sky.

sbdc » Betrayed
I used to be able to trust that Apple products would just work. Now I can’t. I feel betrayed. And that’s on top of the massive piece of shit that iTunes has become. While I’ve been reassessing my digital interactions I now find myself reassessing what tools I use as well. Suddenly a dumb music player that reads 256GB MicroSD cards sounds like a more appealing travel companion than my iPhone. And that makes me reassess everything else.

How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic
Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.

Het Islamdebat en hoe ik het probeer te voeren | Jan Blommaert (en z’n gedachten)
“levensbeschouwelijke neutraliteit” is dan ook niet de afwezigheid van religieuze symbolen uit het publieke theater, het is de onverschilligheid tegenover religieuze symbolen

Google’s $6 Billion Miscalculation on the EU – Bloomberg Business
Oops. "Whatever goodwill it had stored up, Google started to lose in 2014, in the aftermath of the Snowden affair. Several of the leaked NSA documents revealed how Google and other companies had given the spy agency access to users’ accounts. Google said it was following the law and fought the NSA practice, but the damage was done. “What’s the use of a two-factor authenticated e-mail if the NSA is reading it, too?” Wagner says. “There was a huge shift.”"

Links van 29 juli 2015 tot 7 augustus 2015

DUNE: The Insanely Complete 3-Hour Fan Cut
You think you’re a fan of Dune? Michael Warren has you beat. He put together this massive super-cut of David Lynch’s cult-classic 1984 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune comprised of footage from the original theatrical cut, the extended TV cut, and deleted scenes. This labor of fan love resulted in the following three-hour version. Originally done two years ago, an update earlier this year improved sound and video quality of the TV cut insertions.

The Five Characteristics of An Ideal SaaS Company – Redpoint Ventures
With more than 80% of venture capital investments occurring in enterprise and with the public markets disproportionately rewarding SaaS companies with huge enterprise value-to-revenue multiples (median is 7.6), it’s no surprise that interest Software-as-a-Service is booming. After meeting quite a few SaaS companies, I’ve compiled a list of my ideal characteristics for a SaaS business below.

Trello CSS Guide
Writing CSS is hard. Even if you know all the intricacies of position and float and overflow and z-index, it’s easy to end up with spaghetti code where you need inline styles, !important rules, unused cruft, and general confusion. This guide provides some architecture for writing CSS so it stays clean and maintainable for generations to come.

Why write Python in Visual Studio? – The Visual Studio Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs
Recently, Visual Studio 2015 was released with support for Python. Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) are available to help throughout Visual Studio in all the places you’d expect, from editing and IntelliSense, to debugging, profiling, and publishing to Azure. You can find all the details and some video walkthroughs, documentation, and other resources on visualstudio.com, and the post announcing Python Tools 2.1 and Python Tools 2.2 beta. In this post I want to talk about some of the reasons to consider using Visual Studio next time you are working in Python.

Doing Terrible Things To Your Code
believe a key turning point in every professional programmer's working life is when you realize you are your own worst enemy, and the only way to mitigate that threat is to embrace it. Act like your own worst enemy. Break your UI. Break your code. Do terrible things to your software. This means programmers need a good working knowledge of at least the common mistakes, the frequent cases that average programmers tend to miss, to work against. You are tester zero. This is your responsibility.

Catholic-Hierarchy: Its Bishops and Dioceses, Current and Past
Current and historical information about its bishops and dioceses — heerlijke website

Links van 18 juli 2015 tot 28 juli 2015

The Corbyn Effect | The Disorder Of Things
Blair and company argue that the Tories crave a Corbyn win, but the trap has been set a move beyond that: Cameron and Osborne can rest confident that the terror of electoral wipe-out will have a neo-Blairite Labour party galloping towards their position anyway. Always fighting the last war, and on a badly-chosen battlefield. The Labour mainstream cannot adapt to new parameters, cannot think except in the abjection of the spectre of a hard left, even as they appoint themselves the true custodians of the world-to-come.

John Horton Conway: the world’s most charismatic mathematician | Siobhan Roberts | Science | The Guardian
On a late September day in 1956, John Horton Conway left home with a trunk on his back. He was a skinny 18-year-old, with long, unkempt hair – a sort of proto-hippie – and although he generally preferred to go barefoot, on this occasion he wore strappy Jesus sandals. He travelled by steam train from Liverpool to Cambridge, where he was to start life as an undergraduate. During the five-hour journey, via Crewe with a connection in Bletchley, something dawned on him: this was a chance to reinvent himself.

Startups And The Big Lie | TechCrunch
Lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running. No one likes to put it that way of course. Instead, we use phrases like “hustling” and “fake it until you make it” to make the idea of lying more palatable. “Information control” is among the most important skills a founder has traditionally needed for success, and these euphemisms change nothing of the daily behavior.

Have anti-GMO activists gone off the rails? – Notes & Errata by Mark Morford
Example after example, Saletan shows how anti-GMOers, far more than advocates (who are far from perfect, obviously), have become the worst kind of hypocrites, repeating lies and long-discredited myths to the point that not only have genetically modified foods, seeds and plants been demonized far beyond their actual threat (which is, scientifically and nutritionally speaking, negligible) they’ve turned the anti-GMO argument into the exact kind of toxic dogma these same progressives usually decry about the conservative mind-set: that is, a nasty calcification of thought, extreme righteousness, willful disregard of fact.

Tools en utilities voor Genealogen
U vindt op deze site verschillende links naar software en waardevolle informatie voor de genealogen.

Links van 9 juli 2015 tot 14 juli 2015

How Not To Sort By Average Rating
PROBLEM: You are a web programmer. You have users. Your users rate stuff on your site. You want to put the highest-rated stuff at the top and lowest-rated at the bottom. You need some sort of "score" to sort by.

From Folklore to Exotica: Yma Sumac and the Performance of Inca Identity—Vol. 1, No. 3—The Appendix
Yma Sumac, the Peruvian singer, startled audiences in the United States and Europe with her remarkable voice, beauty, and mysterious “Inca” princess/priestess persona. Accounts of Sumac’s life—like the largely fictional narrative quoted above—are full of fantasy and contradictions. Nevertheless, this piece begins with yet another story about her discovery: a true one.

UK to block Greece short-term funding solution
"The idea that British taxpayers' money is going to be on the line in this latest Greek deal is a non-starter", a British treasury official was quoted as saying. — in het Duits is het nog mooier: "Die Vorstellung, das Geld britischer Steuerzahler für die neuste Vereinbarung mit Griechenland zu verwenden, ist ein Rohrkrepierer."

Ontmanteling euro is straks nog enige optie | Opinie | de Volkskrant
Operatie geslaagd, patiënt overleden. Waarschijnlijk is dat de beste samenvatting van het akkoord van afgelopen weekend. Ik moet de eerste econoom nog tegenkomen die het nieuw afgesproken pakket voor Griekenland ziet werken.

‘We underestimated their power’: Greek government insider lifts the lid on five months of ‘humiliation’ and ‘blackmail’ | Mediapart
In this interview with Mediapart, a senior advisor to the Greek government, who has been at the heart of the past five months of negotiations between Athens and its international creditors, reveals the details of what resembles a game of liar’s dice over the fate of a nation that has been brought to its economic and social knees. His account gives a rare and disturbing insight into the process which has led up to this week’s make-or-break deadline for reaching a bailout deal between Greece and international lenders, without which the country faces crashing out of the euro and complete bankruptcy. He describes the extraordinary bullying of Greece’s radical-left government by the creditors, including Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s direct threat to cause the collapse of the Hellenic banks if it failed to sign-up to a drastic austerity programme. “We went into a war thinking we had the same weapons as them”, he says. “We underestimated their power”.

I can’t support a Europe that acts as a thuggy bailiff against Greece | Comment is free | The Guardian
As I watch what is happening in Greece, I feel myself to be increasingly Eurosceptic and wondering too if Eurosceptism is not code for the anti-German sentiment that currently abounds. If the European project that once seemed so noble now comes down to the European Central Bank, which is not in any way independent but acts as a thuggish bailiff to further impoverish Greece, what actually is it? If Germans believe they should not have to pay for the mistakes of Greek governments, then they do not see the crisis of Greece for what it is: a crisis of all Europe. Bailouts have been funded for the financial sector since 2008. To simply blame Greece is unsustainable.

Links van 4 juli 2015 tot 7 juli 2015

Greece is solvent but illiquid: Policy implications | VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal
Greece’s debt is 180% of GDP, which seems to make it insolvent without large primary surpluses. This column argues that since restructuring lowered the interest burden to just 2% of GDP, Greece is solvent – or would be with nominal GDP growth of just 2%. The ECB’s misdiagnosis has caused an unnecessary banking crisis. The solution is to accept that Greek debt is sustainable, so the austerity programme can be relaxed and liquidity support provided to the Greek banking sector.

Column: Laat u niet verblinden: als Griekenland de Eurozone verlaat, is de ECB verantwoordelijk | Paul De Grauwe | De Morgen
De ECB stelt dat ze gebonden is door regels. Alsof het regels zijn die God aan Mozes heeft gegeven op de berg Sinai. Maar de regels die de ECB zichzelf heeft opgelegd, zijn louter boekhoudkundig. De ECB heeft die goddelijke boekhoudkundige regels trouwens tijdens de grote bankencrisis van 2008 zonder schroom opzijgezet. Het ging toen niet om Griekse banken, maar om Belgische, Duitse, Franse en Nederlandse banken. Een centrale bank is verantwoordelijk voor financiële stabiliteit. En als dat leidt tot boekhoudkundige verliezen, dan is dat zo. Een centrale bank hoeft zich geen zorgen te maken om verliezen die alleen een boekhoudkundig leven hebben. Helaas is de ECB meer bezorgd om een propere balans dan om de stabiliteit van het Griekse banksysteem en het welzijn van een hele natie.

Hoezo, Byzantijnen en Ottomanen? – De Standaard
Mia Doornaert beoefent een soort van essentialistische wit-zwartgeschiedschrijving van grote lijnen en kort genomen bochten, waarvoor gebrek aan serieuze kennis blijkbaar geen belemmering vormt. Het is dan ook geen toeval dat zij precies Robert Kaplans Balkan Ghosts ‘een prachtig boek’ noemt. Ik ken binnen de internationale gemeenschap van historici van de Balkan niet één die dat boek ernstig neemt.

Longread: De Griekse crisis: dit was allemaal zo vermijdbaar | Standpunt | De Morgen
Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Zijn kleurloze loyauteit zal hem een verlenging van het mandaat aan het hoofd van de eurogroep opleveren. De geschiedenis zal genadelozer oordelen dan zijn tafelpartners.   De Nederlander Dijsselbloem is het symbool geworden van alle verdeeldheid en alle vertwijfeling van Europees links. Ook voor wie de materie van dichterbij volgt, zal het schrikken zijn geweest dat de ideeëncrisis van de sociaal-democratie zo totaal is.

Greece: Only the ‘No’ Can Save the Euro
To understand the bitter fight, it helps first to realize that the leaders of today's Europe are shallow, cloistered people, preoccupied with their local politics and unequipped, morally or intellectually, to cope with a continental problem. This is true of Angela Merkel in Germany, of François Hollande in France, and it is true also of Christine Lagarde at the IMF. In particular North Europe's leaders have not felt the crisis and do not know the economics, and in both respects they are the direct opposite of the Greeks.

Links van 28 juni 2015 tot 29 juni 2015

The Alleged $7.5 Billion Fraud in Online Advertising – Moz
The only way to reduce wasted impressions significantly is to research and implement digital ad campaigns manually rather than use programmatic ad buying. Digital advertisers should research potential websites on which they want to run advertisements to see if they are legitimate—potentially even running ads on only the largest, well-known sites but doing so continuously. This way, it might be best to focus your ad campaigns on quality viewers rather than trying to maximize the quantity of viewers by also including lesser-known sites.

Lead Bullets – Ben’s Blog
Early in my tenure as product manager for the web servers at Netscape, we faced a terrible crisis. We just got our hands on Microsoft’s new web server, Internet Information Server (IIS), and benchmarked against our product. Microsoft’s IIS had every feature that we had, was five times faster and we knew that they were going to give it away for free. This might not sound so bad, but we had just gone public three months earlier with a story to Wall Street that said, “Don’t worry about Microsoft giving away the browser because we will make money selling servers.” Oh snap.

Greece crisis could be a Sarajevo moment for the eurozone | Business | The Guardian
It will be said in response that Greece is a small, insignificant country and that the single currency has much better defences than it had at the last moment of acute trouble in the summer of 2012. Diplomats in Europe’s capitals took very much the same view in late June 1914.

Europe’s Empress stays silent – POLITICO
When Greece first called on Europe to save it from collapse in 2010, Merkel faced a stark choice: follow the advice of the world’s leading economists and offer Athens a path to debt relief in exchange for reform or heed the demands of her center-right coalition by extending loans at punitive interest rates with no debt forgiveness.

Merkel, with a PhD in physics and a reputation for cool calculation, chose politics over economic reason. That strategy now lays in shambles.

L’UE n’a pas d’argent pour la Grèce, mais a 11 milliards d’Euros pour un pays non membre, l’Ukraine. Victoria Nuland avait eu raison, « F**K the EU » | Réseau International
Alors que la Grèce demande un accord avec l’Europe et que l’Union européenne, la bave aux lèvres, impose encore plus d’austérité paralysante à un autre de ses membres… Bruxelles n’a aucun problème pour distribuer des milliards pour un état non membre, l’Ukraine. Le plus drôle, c’est que la Grèce, l’Espagne, le Portugal et d’autres pays touchés par l’économie de la Troïka de l’UE devront débourser pour les néo-nazis ukrainiens. Imaginez si les milliards généreusement octroyés par une UE corrompue à une Ukraine encore plus corrompue, étaient plutôt utilisés pour stimuler la croissance dans une Europe appauvrie.

Links van 12 juni 2015 tot 25 juni 2015

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head: A Mosquito’s Lament – Phenomena: Curiously Krulwich
A study says a mosquito being hit by a raindrop is roughly the equivalent of a human being whacked by a school bus, the typical bus being about 50 times the mass of a person. And worse, when it’s raining hard, each mosquito should expect to get smacked, grazed, or shoved by a raindrop every 25 seconds. So rain should be dangerous to a mosquito. And yet (you probably haven’t looked, but trust me), when it’s raining those little pains in the neck are happily darting about in the air, getting banged—and they don’t seem to care. Raindrops, for some reason, don’t bother them.

Bye, bye Amazon, Netflix and Uber. China is here and you’re losing. | Duco van Breemen | LinkedIn

Building Analytics at 500px — Medium
A look at building analytics from the ground up at a mid-sized start-up and some of the challenges faced along the way

“Onhoudbare leningen aan Grieken opgelegd alleen om Duitse en Franse banken te redden” – DeWereldMorgen.be
“Waar de Griekse schuld tot 2010 in hoofdzaak een zaak was van de privésector, meer bepaald de banken, werd vanaf 2010 de schuld volledig verschoven naar de Griekse overheid. Daarmee werden de Duitse, Franse en Nederlandse banken gered die in de problemen kwamen omdat de Griekse banken hun schulden niet langer konden betalen. Die schuld werd door het Europees akkoord volledig verschoven naar de Griekse overheid, dus naar de bevolking. Met andere woorden, de 'oplossing' die Griekenland werd opgedrongen had als enige bedoeling de privéschuldeisers in Duitsland, Frankrijk en Nederland te redden.”

New Zealand’s Mighty Mongrel Mob gang in haunting portraits | Daily Mail Online
It is New Zealand's most notorious gang whose members operate in a criminal world of violence that is usually shut off to the outside world. But one photographer managed to gain their trust – and in turn rare access – resulting in haunting images of some of the key members of the Mighty Mongrel Mob.

Links van 26 mei 2015 tot 11 juni 2015

Syriza moet op de knieën vanwege Spanje – De Groene Amsterdammer
Totale vernedering van de Griekse populisten is sinds januari het onuitgesproken doel. Syriza moet en zal op de knieën. De ruggengraat moet worden gebroken. En dat heeft niets met Griekenland te maken – hinderlijke kiezelsteen in de hiel van de Europese schoen – maar alles met Spanje, de vierde grootste economie van de eurozone, waar zo’n zelfde progressief populistische beweging op het punt staat de middenpartijen weg te vagen.

I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me – Vox
I have intentionally adjusted my teaching materials as the political winds have shifted. (I also make sure all my remotely offensive or challenging opinions, such as this article, are expressed either anonymously or pseudonymously). Most of my colleagues who still have jobs have done the same. We've seen bad things happen to too many good teachers — adjuncts getting axed because their evaluations dipped below a 3.0, grad students being removed from classes after a single student complaint, and so on.

The man who was caged in a zoo | Pamela Newkirk | World news | The Guardian
In 1904, Ota Benga was kidnapped from Congo and taken to the US, where he was exhibited with monkeys. His appalling story reveals the roots of a racial prejudice that still haunts us

Horror and hope: paintings from the Zaïre popular school – in pictures | World news | The Guardian
A new exhibition gathers rarely seen works by leading Congolese artist Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu, who depicted the country’s brutal colonial past, the fight for independence and later struggles for power

Verschillende vormen | Pleegzorg Vlaanderen
Pleegzorg bestaat in heel veel verschillende vormen. Een pleegkind kan vele jaren in je gezin wonen. Maar je kunt er ook voor kiezen om een kind af en toe een weekend op te vangen. Samen met jou zoeken we naar de vorm van pleegzorg die je op het lijf geschreven is.

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