Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Category: Links (page 1 of 92)

Links van 24 januari 2016 tot 5 februari 2016

Hoe snel een rechter een vrouwenhater wordt – De Standaard
Maartje Luif vraagt zich af voor wie ze banger moet zijn: voor een man die na vier keer nee niet stopt, of een rechter die denkt dat er niet-brutale verkrachtingen bestaan. Op de sociale media is een neologisme uitgevonden: de ‘verkrechter’, een magistraat die de daden van een verkrachter minimaliseert.

Dat is behalve grof en vulgair ook en vooral oneerlijk en onjuist. Een rechter mag enkel in zijn vonnissen spreken en heeft geen enkel verweer tegen berichtgeving over zijn vonnissen en zijn persoon. Die man en zijn integriteit worden door de modder gesleurd, en hij mag zich niet verdedigen. Mag ik opmerken dat er niks zo makkelijk is voor een rechter als de maximumstraf geven, zeker in zedenzaken? Dan ben je streng en flink en dapper geweest en iedereen kan met een gerust hart gaan slapen en zich beter voelen. Als die maximumstraf niet wordt opgelegd, mag je ervan uitgaan dat daar enige reflectie aan is vooraf gegaan en dat daar enige dossierkennis en een redenering aan ten grondslag liggen.

Consumers Must Look Elsewhere Than the IAB for Protection | DigitalNext – AdAge
For those following the IAB's position on ad blocking — arguably "the biggest boycott in human history" — this comes as no surprise. Only ten days ago at Digiday's Ad Blocking conference, IAB COO Patrick Dolan took stage to articulate the IAB's thoughts on the subject matter. Any hope for plans, timelines or substance were quickly quashed by vague statements. The subtext, however, couldn't have been clearer: The IAB is irrelevant to consumers.

Interactive Advertising Bureau comments on Ad block plus – Business Insider
Mwahaha. "President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Randall Rothenberg used the opening keynote speech at the IAB summit to accuse Adblock Plus of being an "unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes" and an "old-fashioned extortion racket." The vitriol came after Adblock Plus complained that it had been "disinvited" from the summit for no reason."

Congratulations on your new adorable bundle of felonious odors, mysterious noises, green secretions, and is the baby supposed to bend that way? You have a cuddly list of symptoms in the making. But where will you turn in the middle of the night when the baby monitor goes off (or, for the co-sleepers, when you’re kicked in the milk-engorged tit) and your baby is up with a fever? Your parents, who—at best, you feel—were barely able to keep you alive, or, at worst, should still be paying your therapy bill? Not in this wonderful age of information. So where does a busy working mother turn between her decaf soy latte and pre-natal yoga classes for all the answers to life’s questions? The tribe of the Mommy Bloggers, of course.

On Wine. A tragedy. — Medium
Here’s the truth about wine. You may be just like me and cars. Someone who wants to drink something fruity and fresh on a terrace in summer or rich and red with your steak at night. Who should care what you’re drinking? Only you should! Quaff away, slurp if you want. Hell use a straw and mix it with 7up for all I care. Are you smiling when you do it? Are your friends laughing with you? Great. You did it right.

Links van 7 januari 2016 tot 23 januari 2016

Europese islam – De Standaard
België kan een voorbeeldfunctie hebben en vragen dat Saudi-Arabië en Marokko zich niet meer bemoeien met de theologie en de structuren van de moslims. Dat zou een mooi begin zijn. De kiemen van het moslimextremisme in Europa zitten niet in het feit dat er een gebrek is aan rationele en humanistische interpretaties van de islam, want die zijn er in overvloed. Het probleem zit, onder andere, in het feit dat conservatieve en obscure versies van de islam onder onze ogen worden gepromoot en ondersteund door bevriende staten. Terwijl rationele en hervormende ideeën bestreden worden omdat ze juist kritisch zijn voor machthebbers en hun lakeien overal.

» The Crisis at New Montgomery Street The Wikipedian
The Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikipedia community it supposedly exists to serve have become increasingly at odds with one another. A deep exploration of why is beyond the remit of this post—for now, we just need to put everything that’s going on in one place.

Bernie Sanders Is The Only Choice | Jerry and Joe Long
The only foreign policy difference between Hillary and Margaret Thatcher is that the more bellicose and reckless one is still living.

Behind the Ronald Reagan myth: “No one had ever entered the White House so grossly ill informed” – Salon.com
Reagan embarrassed himself in news conferences, Cabinet meetings. Recalling how GOP cringed at his lack of interest

The Effects of Parallax Scrolling on User Experience in Web DesignJUS
Parallax scrolling is becoming an increasingly popular strategy in web design. This scrolling technique creates the illusion of depth on a webpage by making the background images move slower than the foreground images. In addition to its ability to engage users with a website, advocates of parallax scrolling claim that it improves user experience. Researchers attribute this pleasurable user experience to the fulfillment of the following variables: usability, satisfaction, enjoyment, fun, and visual appeal. We hypothesized that parallax scrolling would positively influence each of these five variables and subsequently the overall user experience.

Links van 24 december 2015 tot 2 januari 2016

affordance.info: Le journal d’Anne Frank est un cadeau.
Pour ce texte, pour ce témoignage, pour ce qu'il représente, pour ce qu'il permet de ne jamais oublier et pour ce qu'il permettra à tant de lecteurs de construire et de comprendre, je garde la conviction qu'il n'y a pas d'autre combat à mener que celui de sa libération, pas d'autre hommage à rendre que celui de son partage sans limite, pas d'autre place à lui accorder que celle qui lui revient de droit en le laissant s'élever ce jour dans le domaine public. Voici le texte original néerlandais au format epub (.epub), word (.doc), et texte (.txt)

The Discovery of Roscoe Holcomb and the “High Lonesome Sound” – The New Yorker
When Holcomb starts to sing in his loud, stick-straight, foghorn voice, my whole body shifts into a hyper-aware, overperceptive state: in the language of our age, this is called “being present,” but it feels more like “being electrified.” Suddenly, you see and feel everything. Comparable situations include being frightened (when, say, someone has followed you down a dark block), or, perhaps more generously, falling in love: nothing matters except whatever is happening directly in front of you. Cohen would eventually—and famously—describe this as “the high lonesome sound.” For years, he couldn’t even unpack his own response to it. “I thought it was modern, but also ancient. It was really rural, but appealed to my avant-garde tastes somehow,” he said. There was something in Holcomb’s playing that seemed to defy time while simultaneously confirming time, reiterating a continuum: “I was hearing a man confronting the dilemma of his own existence,” is how Cohen put it later.

When Chefs Come To Medical School, Doctors Learn Nutrition : Shots – Health News : NPR
Is your doctor your go-to for nutrition advice? Neither is mine. And why would I expect that? Fewer than a quarter of doctors say they've had sufficient training to provide nutritional advice to their patients, according to recent polls. We all know about the Hippocratic oath, but there's that other thing Hippocrates said: "Let food be thy medicine."

Feminist trouble | spiked
I am continually shocked and dismayed by the nearly Victorian notions promulgated by today’s feminists about the fragility of women and their naïve helplessness in asserting control over their own dating lives. Female undergraduates incapable of negotiating the oafish pleasures and perils of campus fraternity parties are hardly prepared to win leadership positions in business or government in the future.

Procedural modeling and procedural lighting. Shading is a mix of procedural and textures. Raymarched. You'll need a fast machine for this one.

Links van 7 december 2015 tot 20 december 2015

“Cats and Dogs” by H. P. Lovecraft
Between dogs and cats my degree of choice is so great that it would never occur to me to compare the two. I have no active dislike for dogs, any more than I have for monkeys, human beings, negroes, cows, sheep, or pterodactyls; but for the cat I have entertained a particular respect and affection ever since the earliest days of my infancy. In its flawless grace and superior self-sufficiency I have seen a symbol of the perfect beauty and bland impersonality of the universe itself, objectively considered; and in its air of silent mystery there resides for me all the wonder and fascination of the unknown. The dog appeals to cheap and facile emotions; the cat to the deepest founts of imagination and cosmic perception in the human mind. It is no accident that the contemplative Egyptians, together with such later poetic spirits as Poe, Gautier, Baudelaire, and Swinburne, were all sincere worshippers of the supple grimalkin.

The mysterious Islamic movement quietly sweeping the Middle East – CSMonitor.com
An ultraconservative Muslim order that preaches nonmilitancy is gaining followers across the region. Does Dawah represent an antidote to Islamic State or another threat to the West?

‘A tortured heap of towers’: the London skyline of tomorrow | Art and design | The Guardian
The ley lines, the hallowed dome of St Paul’s, packs of hungry dogs – and a tipsy surveyor in the 1930s … these are the invisible forces shaping the City’s skyline

How Elmo Ruined Sesame Street
Sesame Street’s most-marketed character is an over-exposed drag. He has managed, ironically, to make a children’s show too childish. Thanks in large part to Elmo, Sesame Street is now a less sophisticated and less useful tool for kids to learn from. This sentiment may hurt, but it’s time to do something about this furry, red problem.

The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the
The myth persists that in 1492 the Americas were a sparsely populated wilderness, -a world of barely perceptible human disturbance.- There is substantial evidence, however, that the Native American landscape of the early sixteenth century was a humanized landscape almost everywhere. Populations were large. Forest composition had been modified, grasslands had been created, wildlife disrupted, and erosion was severe in places. Earthworks, roads, fields, and settlements were ubiquitous. With Indian depopulation in the wake of Old World disease, the environment recovered in many areas. A good argument can be made that the human presence was less visible in 1750 than it was in 1492.

Links van 3 december 2015 tot 5 december 2015

Overselling Breast-Feeding – The New York Times
All too often, advocates cross the line from supporting a woman in her decision to breast-feed into compelling a woman to do so.

Loved Ones Recall Local Man’s Cowardly Battle With Cancer
"Most people, when they find out they've got something terrible like this, dig deep down inside and tap into some tremendous well of courage and strength they never knew they had," said Judith Kunkel, Russ' wife of 11 years. "Not Russ. The moment he found out he had cancer, he curled up into a fetal ball and sobbed uncontrollably for three straight weeks."

Dune Week: Spice Filled Sandworm | Kitchen Overlord
First, mix the yeast and warm water. Let the yeast blossom like a sand storm in the desert. After ten minutes, add the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and eggs. Whisk it all together until your bowl starts to smell like stale spice wine. Add half the flour. Top that off with the melted butter. You may think you want to add the melted butter to the liquids, but you’re wrong. The heat will destroy your yeast as surely as a spice mining platform attracts a worm. Top it off with the rest of the flour.

Minister Van Overtveldt: “Ga er alles aan doen om te vermijden dat multinationals 700 miljoen moeten terugbetalen” – DeWereldMorgen.be
Als het van de Europese Commissie afhangt, moeten 60 multinationals 700 miljoen euro teruggeven aan de Belgische overheid. Een mooie som in tijden van besparingen. Maar minister van Financiën Johan Van Overtveldt staat pal.

Former Isis hostage says airstrikes on Syria are a trap | World news | The Guardian
A French journalist held hostage by Islamic State for 10 months, has made an impassioned plea against bombing Syria, saying it was a trap that would only benefit Isis.

Links van 1 december 2015 tot 3 december 2015

Hitler’s Plan to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill—at the Same Time | Mental Floss
The opening of Operation Long Jump takes readers inside a meeting between Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill, held at the British Embassy in Tehran in 1943. The purpose of the summit: how to rid the world of Adolf Hitler. But before the trio of leaders and their senior military advisors can come up with an agreeable plan to win the war, Nazi assassins enter the room, draw submachine guns, and at the orders of Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, murder the leaders of the three most powerful armies in the world. The assassinations didn’t happen, of course, but after learning when and where the meeting would take place, Hitler set a plan in motion to kill everyone there in one fell swoop. As author Bill Yenne writes in his astonishing work of nonfiction, the decapitation of the Allied Forces was narrowly averted when a Swiss double agent stumbled onto the plot.

Bay 12 Games: Dwarf Fortress

The Imperfect World of A/B Selection – Simon Blog
Selecting users into A/B buckets is the core construct of any web-based experimentation platform. Yet building and designing an A/B selection algorithm is surprisingly difficult, and the process of bucketing users is far more complex than just flipping a coin or spinning a roulette wheel. Ensuring a persistent experience across multiple devices and various user states is hard. Depending on your requirements, what may start out as a simple selection algorithm can quickly devolve into a complex multi-key user identity system with real-time operational requirements.

FreeCol – Home
FreeCol is a turn-based strategy game based on the old game Colonization, and similar to Civilization. The objective of the game is to create an independent nation.

Sketch Blog – Leaving the Mac App Store
There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.

Links van 27 november 2015 tot 30 november 2015

3 Blogging Principle that leads to Dramatic Success in a very Short Time | GET-D-TIPS
Blogging success is no longer magic, even people who are no longer SEO expect has achieved blogging victory with just 3 simple blogging principle. Many people blogging that has been blogging for long that has not make hug success neglect these principles and just blog for blogging sake and wants to make it. Every business has principles and if don rightly success is sure. So lets see the 3 simple blogging principles

The Guardian goes all-in on AWS public cloud after OpenStack ‘disaster’ | Cloud Computing | Computerworld UK
The Guardian has revealed that it is moving all its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services’ public cloud, after a project to deploy the open source platform OpenStack in its own data centres was aborted.

Potential changes to cookies in Chrome. – Google Groups
Cookies are a bit of a rough edge on the web's security model. They don't respect the same origin policy, and the disconnect between their persistence model and that of the rest of the platform causes no end of teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling among developers and auditors alike. We're planning a few changes to bring things into something more closely resembling alignment

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret — Medium
Please allow me to introduce you to Uncle Rhabdo, CrossFit’s unofficial and disturbing mascot. Uncle Rhabdo is a cartoon commonly referenced in CrossFit literature and representative of a troubling trend among CrossFitters.

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund (@crusoe_dachshund) • Instagram photos and videos
Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund Author of NYTimes Bestseller "CRUSOE THE CELEBRITY DACHSHUND".

Links van 20 november 2015 tot 27 november 2015

The trouble with saying you don’t want children – BBC News
When Holly Brockwell spoke to the BBC about her decision not to have children, she knew she might be criticised on social media. But the attacks went far beyond what she had expected – accusations of selfishness soon turned into vitriolic abuse that made her deactivate her Twitter account.

J’ai été otage de l’État islamique. Daesh craint plus notre unité que nos frappes aériennes | Nicolas Hénin | Comment is free | The Guardian
Ils vont suivre l’actualité et les réseaux sociaux, à l’affût des répercussions que pourront avoir leurs attaques meurtrières à Paris. Je les imagine, en ce moment même, scander : « Nous sommes en train de gagner ». Ils seront encouragés par tous les signes de réaction excessive, de division, de peur, de racisme, de xénophobie. Ils seront attentifs aux monstruosités qu’ils pourront lire sur les médias sociaux.

Belgium Terrorizes Itself | World Affairs Journal
If a handful terrorists are planning an imminent attack and don’t get rolled up even more imminently, all they have to do is wait until Tuesday when the city is back to “normal” to strike.

Boko Haram have just murdered 2,000 people – so why aren’t we talking about it? | Comment | Voices | The Independent
On Saturday, Boko Haram murdered 2,000 people. Amnesty International called it the "deadliest massacre" in the history of the extremist group. Homes were burnt down and buildings destroyed as corpses of men, women and children lay in the street. A survivor harrowingly spoke of  'stepping on dead bodies' as he escaped. Those that could grabbed what they could and fled. The attack has been described as "heartbreaking," "barbaric," and "senseless". And it is. But it won't change anything in Nigeria.

Detectify Labs
Popular Google Chrome extensions are constantly tracking you per default, making it very difficult or impossible for you to opt-out. These extensions will receive your complete browsing history, all your cookies, your secret access-tokens used for authentication (i.e., Facebook Connect) and shared links from sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive. The third-party services in use are hiding their tracking by all means possible, combined with terrible privacy policies hidden inside the Chrome Web Store.

Links van 15 november 2015 tot 18 november 2015

A New Biography of John le Carré Offers Insight into the Cold War Author’s Life – The Atlantic
And in the middle of it all is the spymaster Smiley, as much priest as agent, dense with subterranean knowledge, blinking, suffering, doughily pliable and razor-sharp. His wife cheats on him; his colleagues at the Circus, le Carré’s fictional version of British intelligence, corral him with a bruising, bullying affability. Quietly goes Smiley: memory spy, an artist of recollection, traveling back into the files, back into the memory banks of frazzled ex-Circus types such as Connie Sachs, back into his own mind, to find the truth of what is happening around him.

After a year, Google’s effort to get ad-avoidant site visitors to pay flounders – Digiday
A year after launching Google Contributor to give publishers a way to charge for their content, uptake has been slow.

What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II – The Washington Post
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie of New Jersey was one of the many governors who on Monday said they would oppose settling Syrian refugees in their states; Christie insisted that he would not even permit "3-year-old orphans" entry. Today's 3-year-old Syrian orphan, it seems, is 1939's German Jewish child

Letter to Baghdadi – Open Letter to BaghdadiOpen Letter to Baghdadi
Join hundreds of Muslim leaders and Scholars worldwide in their Open Letter to Baghdadi.

The Saudis Are Stumbling. They May Take the Middle East with Them. – FPIF
America’s leading Sunni ally is proving how easily hubris, delusion, and old-fashioned ineptitude can trump even bottomless wealth.

Links van 13 november 2015 tot 15 november 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance | Freedom House
"What is being taught today in Saudi public school textbooks about how Muslims should relate to other religious communities will poison the minds of a new generation of Saudis," said Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom and principal author of the report. "Whatever changes have been made in the Saudi educational system, clearly more needs to be done."

Tufte CSS
Tufte CSS provides tools to style web articles using the ideas demonstrated by Edward Tufte’s books and handouts. Tufte’s style is known for its simplicity, extensive use of sidenotes, tight integration of graphics with text, and carefully chosen typography. Tufte CSS was created by Dave Liepmann and is now an Edward Tufte project.

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name
Today’s Apple has eliminated the emphasis on making products understandable and usable, and instead has imposed a Bauhaus minimalist design ethic on its products. Unfortunately, visually simple appearance does not result in ease of use, as the vast literature in academic journals on human-computer interaction and human factors demonstrates.

‘Amandeldrank is een hype: geen superfood en al helemaal gee… – De Standaard
Waarom we zwichten voor de verpakkingen van amandelmelk waar een knapperige noot wordt opengebroken en het sap eruit spat? ‘Omdat we gewoon een nieuwe hype hebben: meer moet je daar niet achter zoeken’, zegt professor Theo Niewold van de faculteit bio-ingenieurswetenschappen aan de KU Leuven. ‘Net zoals we enkele jaren geleden sojamelk “ontdekten”, zien we nu plots amandeldrank in reclames en kookboeken.’

Doing Something About the ‘Impossible Problem’ of Abuse in Online Games | Re/code
As a result of these governance systems changing online cultural norms, incidences of homophobia, sexism and racism in League of Legends have fallen to a combined 2 percent of all games. Verbal abuse has dropped by more than 40 percent, and 91.6 percent of negative players change their act and never commit another offense after just one reported penalty.

Links van 7 november 2015 tot 13 november 2015

Homeopathy ‘could be blacklisted’ – BBC News
Dat het tijd werd. "Ministers are considering whether homeopathy should be put on a blacklist of treatments GPs in England are banned from prescribing, the BBC has learned."

Europese waarden – De Standaard
Wat rest nog van de Europese waarden als vrijheid er alleen is voor de handel en niet voor mensen? Of van de humanistische verlichting als individuele gelijkheid van kansen er alleen is voor autochtonen en niet voor lui met een badge? Vicepremier Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) begreep het al. Hij trachtte de christelijke waarde van de naastenliefde te discrediteren door snerend te vragen hoeveel veldbedjes de kerk in haar lege kloosters neerpootte. Ziedaar zijn oplossing, ziedaar zijn mensbeeld.

David Cameron hasn’t the faintest idea how deep his cuts go. This letter proves it | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
Ever wondered how the prime minister sleeps at night? Now we have the answer: blissful ignorance

Facebook’s traffic to top publishers fell 32 percent since January – Digiday
While Facebook makes headlines for cooking up new initiatives with publishers, the actual traffic it’s sending those publishers has fallen sharply. Referral traffic (desktop + mobile) to the top 30 Facebook publishers (as defined by their reliance on Facebook) plunged 32 percent from January to October, according to SimpleReach, a distribution analytics company. The more reliant the publisher on Facebook, the bigger the hit: Among the top 10, the drop was a steeper 42.7 percent.

Larry McCaffery — On Encompassing the Entire Universe: An Interview with Gene Wolfe
The only way I know to write is to write the kind of thing I would like to read myself, and when I do that it usually winds up being classified as SF or "science fantasy," which is what I call most of my work. Incidentally, I'd argue that SF represents literature's real mainstream. What we now normally consider the mainstream—so called realistic fiction—is a small literary genre, fairly recent in origin, which is likely to be relatively short lived. When I look back at the foundations of literature, I see literary figures who, if they were alive today, would probably be members of the Science Fiction Writers of America. Homer? He would certain belong to the SFWA. So would Dante, Milton, and Shakespeare. That tradition is literature's mainstream, and it has been what has grown out of that tradition which has been labeled SF or whatever label you want to use.

Links van 29 oktober 2015 tot 7 november 2015

Genre Snobbery Is a ‘Bizarre Act of Self-Mutilation’ | WIRED
Literary writers find their creativity hemmed in on all sides by close-minded attitudes about what a novel should be, and fantasy and science fiction writers find their work dismissed out of hand by large numbers of readers and critics. But the biggest losers are readers themselves. “It’s a bizarre act of self-mutilation to say that ‘I don’t get on with science fiction and fantasy, therefore I’m never going to read any,'” Mitchell says. “What a shame. All those great books that you’re cutting yourself off from.”

Google Is Beta Testing Its Answer To Header Bidding, Called ‘DFP First Look’ | AdExchanger
Google is beta testing a solution within DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) that will allow publishers to bring in high-value impressions before reserved inventory in their ad server.

How ISIS Spread in Syria and Iraq—and How to Stop It – The Atlantic
“It is perfectly true, as the philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition: that it must be lived forwards.” This observation was made in 1843 by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in a journal entry, but it might have been written about the contemporary Middle East. We have been living the Islamic State forwards, surprised at every turn, but we can perhaps begin to understand it backwards. Although ISIS took most of the world by surprise when it swept into the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014, the group and its forebears had been proclaiming their goals for a decade. Like many consequential events, this one didn’t sneak up on policymakers; they simply didn’t see what was taking shape in front of them. ISIS told us exactly what it was going to do, and then did it. This was a secret conspiracy hiding in plain sight.

all ur faves are trans
"my disorders include but are not limited to: autism, bpd, dpd, ocd, adhd, aspd, hpd, avpd, gad, psychosis, chronic depression and did. all of them are self-diagnosed, but pls dont say that i dont have them bc i do."

‘De Europese hypocrisie en schizofrenie over ggo’s moet stoppen’ – België – Knack.be
En iedereen doet rustig mee. We mogen ggo's invoeren als dierenvoer (ongeveer 30 miljoen ton per jaar), maar we mogen het hier niet telen. Dat is de – op zijn zachtst gezegd – onlogische stand van zaken na de stemming in het Europees Parlement vanochtend. Het wordt tijd dat Europa luistert naar de wetenschappelijke adviezen van EFSA en niet naar ngo's en politici die hun ganse ideologie, van anti-globalisering tot anti-kapitalisme, projecteren op de problematiek van de ggo's. Je zou het kunnen vergelijken met de klimaatonderhandelingen in Parijs. Daar laat Europa toch ook zijn agenda niet bepalen door ontkenners van de klimaatopwarming en een stelletje gemarginaliseerde wetenschappers? Waarom doet ze dat dan wel in het GGO-debat? Want de wetenschappelijke consensus rond GGO is minstens even groot als deze rond klimaatopwarming.

Sinds wanneer wordt beleid immers gevormd door diegene die het luidst praat of door een buikgevoel en niet door wetenschappelijke argumenten op basis van objectieve data en heldere procedures?

Links van 14 oktober 2015 tot 26 oktober 2015

Why Homejoy Failed — Backchannel — Medium
Homejoy is far from being the lone example of a Silicon Valley startup to prioritize growth over revenue. Silicon Valley’s investors have published countless blog posts urging entrepreneurs to focus on expanding the customer base and to worry about a sustainable business model later.

Oscar (2014) on Vimeo

Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium
Twitter’s a cemetery. Populated by ghosts. I call them the “ists”. Journalists retweeting journalists…activists retweeting activists…economists retweeting economists…once in a while a great war breaks out between this group of “ists” and that…but the thing is: no one’s listening…because everyone else seems to have left in a hurry.

How Long Can Heavy Metal Legends Like Lemmy Kilmister Keep Rocking? – The Atlantic
This is the scalar difference between Motörhead and AC/DC: Lemmy has always spoken profoundly and poetically to his constituency of banged-up bikers and disaffectees; Angus is global. But when it’s done—and it’s almost done—there will be no more Anguses, no more Lemmys. The bloody-minded, death-demolishing longevity of AC/DC and Motörhead cannot be counterfeited or repeated.

Kristof Calvo: ‘Dit ruikt naar amateurisme’ – De Standaard
‘Natuurlijk hadden wij de nettoverhoging graag onmiddellijk helemaal doorgevoerd, maar we moeten ook rekening houden met de stand van het land dat we geërfd hebben’, beet N-VA’er Hendrik Vuye terug. ‘We kuisen de rommel op van 25 jaar socialisme. Het land dat we van u geërfd hebben, is een ziek land.’ Vuyes partijgenote Sarah Smeyers ging nog een stap verder, en noemde het socialisme ‘een ziekte die al tweehonderd jaar duurt’. ‘Het beleid van de federale regering zal opnieuw groei en jobs creëren’, maakte Vuye zich sterk. ‘We verlagen de lasten voor ondernemingen, verbeteren de competitiviteit en gaan voor jobs, jobs jobs.’ Dat werd bij PVDA op hoongelach onthaald. Raoul Hedebouw wees er bijvoorbeeld op dat ‘Coca-Cola vorig jaar nauwelijks belastingen betaalde in ons land, maar wel een kwart van de banen in Zwijnaarde schrapt’.

Links van 10 oktober 2015 tot 12 oktober 2015

Ze zijn zo lief voor de N-VA meneer | Salon van Sisyphus
Jarenlang stonden de redacties , alle redacties, onder politieke druk. Vandaag de dag zijn de redacties daarvan bevrijd maar hun pas verworven vrijheid hebben ze zelf verkwanseld. Ze hebben de politieke druk vervangen door een commerciële. Zoals toenmalig hoofdredacteur Siegfried Bracke het ooit zei tegen zijn onderhorigen : “steek Filip De Winter in uw uitzendingen, dat is goed voor de kijkcijfers.” Vandaag doen Bracke’s opvolgers hetzelfde met zijn  huidige partijvoorzitter.

Waarom is het gemakkelijker om een linkse mens rechtser te maken dan omgekeerd? – België – Knack.be
Angst maakt ons in elk geval conservatiever. Dat lees ik weer in The Republican Brain van Chris Mooney. 'Je kunt liberals gemakkelijk conservatiever maken', schrijft hij. 'Niet met argumenten, maar door hen bang te maken of dronken te voeren.' De verklaring zou in beide gevallen dezelfde zijn: angst en alcohol remmen het complexe denkvermogen af

De VRT is onpartijdig genoeg, dank U. | Jan Blommaert (en z’n gedachten)
Is het zo moeilijk om de betoging en de staking te zien als vormen van conflict waarin diverse partijen tegenover mekaar staan met diametraal tegengestelde belangen? En als onderdeel van een groot proces van sociale en politieke strijd waarin voorvallen niet op zich, maar in relatie tot mekaar gezien moeten worden? En is het zo moeilijk toe te geven dat men zich doodwerkt op zinloze thema’s zoals peilingen, terwijl datgene wat mensen echt iets over hun samenleving leert verwaarloosd wordt, of herleid tot amusement en geweld? En als dit zo moeilijk is, is dat dan zo moeilijk toe te geven? Het is nochtans best dit te doen, aangezien de eenzijdigheid van deze berichtgeving moeilijk te weerleggen is. Enkel wanneer men de ziekte identificeert zal men de remedie vinden, zegt mijn boerenverstand. Begin er eens aan, mijn geliefde VRT-journalisten.

The Fascinating Life and Tragic End of the Polish Countess Who Became a Heroic British Spy
Krystyna Skarbek was said to be “Winston Churchill’s favorite spy;” she led an extraordinary life that peaked with clandestine acts of heroism during World War II—and ended tragically just a few years later. Six decades after her death, a biopic is said to be in the works. It’s about time.

Why SQL is neither legacy, nor low-level, nor difficult, nor the wrong place for (business) data logic, but is simply awesome!

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.

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