Speaker for the Diodes

Dec. 13th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

[On a three-legged-stool metaphor for user-experience...]

"If you view UX as a tacked-on piece, it makes everyone's job harder. If you try to assign success or failure to one piece of the stool, it makes it harder for the whole to gel. It creates adversarial thinking, which damages team formation. Most importantly, it leads to a fragmented experience for customers. Hit them with enough sharp edges, and they'll leave.

"Or you can work to make the stool amazing from top to bottom, and reap the rewards of happy, productive users."

-- Alex Feinman, "Come for the features, stay for the experience", 2017-10-30

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Dec. 12th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Hi. History nerd here. I'm seeing some creepy takes on adults having sex with teens as historically normal, and that's only kinda true." -- Kristen Hanley Cardozo, 2017-11-18

"Yep. I've somehow traced my family tree back to 200 AD, on average even in the dark ages, most women married at 18-25 with a 3-5 yr age gap. Don't know if the woman was older, but marriages where both parties were born the same year were even more common than like 8-10 yr gaps.

[...]

"And a thing I learned about recent marriage ages? Before social security, my female ancestors often only aged 9 yrs between censuses ;-) So the age that their obituary says they were born and the age the first census says they were can be off by up to 5 yrs. On the other hand my male ancestors would age sightly when wars started! So men born 1899 would be 11 in 1910, then become 17 in 1914, and 45 in 1940. So one specific couple who were really born the same year ended up claiming birth dates about 10 yrs apart by the time they died!"

-- Rachel (@TheNobleWoman), 2017-11-19 [alas, I've forgotten whose link I followed to find this]


For folks lighting the first candle tonight, happy Chanukah!

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Dec. 11th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"As a teenager, I attended a lecture on courtship by a home-school speaker who was popular at the time. He praised the idea of 'early courtship' so the girl could be molded into the best possible helpmeet for her future husband. The girl's father was expected to direct her education after the courtship began so she could help her future husband in his work.

"In retrospect, I understand what the speaker was really describing: Adult men selecting and grooming girls who were too young to have life experience. Another word for that is 'predation.'"

-- Kathryn Brightbill, "Roy Moore's alleged pursuit of a young girl is the symptom of a larger problem in evangelical circles"</i>, 2017-11-10

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Dec. 10th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I'm old enough to remember when the GOP was against pedophiles." -- Liz Lilly XoXo, 2017-12-06

"Well you know [...] the Republican party has eliminated the elephant as our symbol, and it's now been replaced with Pedobear."</i> -- Rick Wilson, on the With Friends Like These podcast, 2017-12-08

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Dec. 9th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"[The] people who complain about dinosaurs 'not being scary anymore' because it's been discovered they have feathers and are closely related to/ancestors of birds are so bizarre like.

"Its not about how scary they are, they are/were real life animals and what matters is learning more about them, not how well they fit into your science fiction horror film lol.

"Can you imagine a 13 foot chicken running at you with full intent to eat you??? That's fucking terrifying holy shit.

"Peacocks are synonymous with vain, frivolous beauty and they will attack cars. They will attack you while you try to get to your car. They're like six feet of useless feathers and they will destroy you. Imagine if they were carnivorous and had functional spurs.

"A t-rex could look like a gay disco ball and i guarantee that you would fucking book it if it had a problem with you."

-- Chrissie, personal conversation reported by [info] - personal zenlizard, November 2017

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Dec. 8th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I figured out the policy rationale behind all these dumbass moves from the Trump Administration. Their axiomatic assumption is that America is over, and they're giving the wealthy one last chance to strip it for parts. Net neutrality is a great example -- there is literally no social benefit to allowing cable companies to ghettoize the internet and nickel-and-dime their customers, but it's not fair to deprive the cable companies of an opportunity to participate in the Great American Liquidation Sale." -- Adam Kotsko. 2017-11-22 (I haven't found the original, but there's a picture of it.)

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Dec. 7th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"This August resembles too much that of 1939; the last summer of peace until 1945. Then aged 16 and still wet behind the ears, I'd go to pictures with my mates and we'd laugh at the newsreels of Hitler and other fascist monsters that lived beyond what we thought was our reach. Little did we know in that August 1939, life without peace, without carnage, without air raids, without the blitz, could be measured in days. I did not hear the thundering approach of war, but as an old man I hear it now for my grandchildren's generation. I hope I am wrong. But I am petrified for them." -- Harry Leslie Smith (WWII veteran and author of Don't Let My Past Be Your Future), 2017-08-14

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Dec. 6th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I can't control the wind but I can adjust the sail." -- Ricky Skaggs

[Happy St. Nicholas Day -- honouring the Bishop of Myra (b. 270-03-15, d. 343-12-06) secret gift-giver and patron saint of children, students, brewers, sailors, pawnbrokers, and repentant thieves. Before Sinterklaas moved to the North Pole, he came from Turkey (though Myra was Greek at the time).]

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Dec. 5th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"I hope everyone hasn't skipped over grappling with why the 'great feminist awakening' didn't happen years ago when we knew abt young black women were being abused by famous people. We can keep recycling exclusionary feminism, or we can embrace inclusive womanism." -- Brittany Packnett, 2017-11-21

"My hope is that very soon we won't have to tack adjectives like 'intersectional' and 'trans-inclusive' to feminism. If it is exclusionary, it isn't feminism. TERFs and second-wavers can fight me." -- Elizabeth Blackburn, 2017-11-21

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Dec. 4th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"In America you don't say 'I lack empathy and basic critical thinking skills' you say 'I'm just not political' which means, 'I am so privileged that politics has never been personal for me so I'm not engaged and I think it makes me smarter than people who are.' Isn't that amazing?" -- khaleesi, 2017-11-13 (thanks to Kat for sharing this earlier)

A followup tweet clarifies: "This tweet is specifically about people who think they are "above" politics. Not about those who don't have access to politics or can't safely engage as a result of compounded marginalization."

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Dec. 3rd, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"These special holidays give rise to various liturgical calendars that suggest we should mark our days not only with the cycles of the moon and seasons, but also with occasions to tell our children the stories of our faith community's past so that this past will have a future, and so that our ancient way and its practices will be rediscovered and renewed every year." -- Brian D. McLaren, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices [via Goodreads]

Today is...
Gregorian: 2017 December 03 (First Sunday of Advent)
Julian: 2017 November 20
Hebrew: 5778 Kislev 15
Islamic: 1439 Rabi`al-Awwal 14
Persian: 1396 Azar 12
Mayan: 0.0.0.13.0.5.0.8
Indian: 1939 Agrahayana 12
Coptic: 1734 Hathor 24

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Dec. 2nd, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"[...] To get back to Facebook poster's launching point, you can't 'normalize' someone who's normal, who acted normal to begin with, who will likely act normal a long time from now. I think people conflate 'normal' with 'accepted' or 'approved of'. While I hate to beat it to death, as I've said, I knew someone IRL who acted like a 'nice Nazi', though that's an oxymoron of gargantuan proportions. Instead of 'nice' maybe I should've said 'normal', so one could paint a less puzzling picture. But the point is how often you can't, don't - won't see Normals coming, because they don't walk, talk or act any different than YOU.

"I know I didn't see a Normal coming roughly 10 years ago. I don't like to play Wise Elder because mentally I'm probably still about 23, but humor me for a sec: I didn't see him coming. I didn't see him coming. I didn't see him coming. And you might not have, either.

"I knew him through work for months before he admitted he was a 'Nazi' (his word); until then, nothing suggested it. There was no hint of anything 'wrong', 'abnormal', 'strange' or any adjective one might lean on: no hateful talk, no vile jokes, no whining over [insert class/race/color/culture/gender/sexual preference/women here]. He dressed nicely. Shaved. Smelled good. Had a laid-back easiness that'd never let you guess he went around hating an entire religion and culture as a fucking lifestyle choice."

-- [info] - personal marahmarie , 2017-11-20

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Dec. 1st, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"You can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider." -- Robert Frost (thanks to [info] blueeowyn)

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Nov. 30th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"'Virtue signalling' is a pejorative name for 'setting a good example'. Don't let them twist it." -- Marnanel Thurman, 2017-11-19

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Nov. 29th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From "The Last of the Iron Lungs", by Jennings Brown, 2017-11-20:

In the 1940s and 1950s, hospitals across the country were filled with rows of iron lungs that kept victims alive. Lillard recalls being in rooms packed with metal tubes--especially when there were storms and all the men, women, adults, and children would be moved to the same room so nurses could manually operate the iron lungs if the power went out. "The period of time that it took the nurse to get out of the chair, it seemed like forever because you weren't breathing," Lillard said. "You just laid there and you could feel your heart beating and it was just terrifying. The only noise that you can make when you can't breathe is clicking your tongue. And that whole dark room just sounded like a big room full of chickens just cluck-cluck-clucking. All the nurses were saying, `Just a second, you'll be breathing in just a second.'"

In 1955, Americans finally had access to the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk. "It was hailed as a medical miracle and the excitement about it was really unparalleled as far as health history in the United States," Jay Wenger, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's polio-eradication effort told me. "No one who remembers the 1950s, in terms of polio, wants to go back there and be in that situation again."

A little later in the same article:

But even though the last wild case of polio in the US was in 1979, it still haunts this country. "A lot of people think of polio as a disease of the past and don't realize there are people here today that are still suffering the effects of polio." said Brian Tiburzi, executive director of Post-Polio Health International (PHI), an advocacy group for the estimated 350,000 to 500,000 polio survivors living in the US. "If there's a virus anywhere in the world, it could just come back in."

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Nov. 28th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"A father who opens the door to his daughter when she comes home late might adopt a confrontational style, implicitly inviting a contrite response. But his daughter, feeling her agency being denied, pushes back, which provokes her father's anger. A power struggle ensues, until the conversation terminates with one or both stomping off to their bedroom. If the father had emphasised his love for his daughter, a conversation about acceptable norms might have developed. But doing so isn't easy, partly because children know exactly which buttons to press. 'I tell (the police), if you can deal with teenagers you can deal with terrorists,' says Laurence." -- from "The scientists persuading terrorists to spill their secrets" (2017-10-13), by Ian Leslie, quoting Laurence Alison

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Nov. 26th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-07-20:

"I'm so fucking tired of black women always being described by their skin tones! Honey-colored this! Dark-chocolate that! My paternal grandmother was mocha-tinged, cafe-au-lait, graham-fucking-cracker brown! How come they never describe the white characters in relation to foodstuffs and hot liquids? Why aren't there any yogurt-colored, egg-shell-toned, string-cheese-skinned, low-fat-milk white protagonists in these racist, no-third-act-having books? That's why black literature sucks!" -- Paul Beatty, from his novel The Sellout.

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

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Nov. 25th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"If you read it with the assumption that the author is an AI trying to cover its tracks, the article becomes quite entertaining." -- Christian Lonsing, 2017-11-03

(The article in question is "Should we be afraid of AI", by Luciano Floridi)

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Nov. 24th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"You can't have a story with time travel, you can only have a story about time travel" -- Rob Miles, 2017-11-02

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Nov. 23rd, 2017

05:35 pm - Chessiecon -- rides?

I am way behind on everything. Um, anybody heading to Chessiecon tomorrow afternoon with room for a passenger + music gear, passing my way? Also looking for a ride home again after midnight. (It looks like I have rides for Saturday & Sunday.) Gear includes instruments and amps, possibly the piano if there's enough room for it. I am in SoWeBo, a few minutes off of I-95.

Performing @ Time Travelers Social Friday night and with HCB on Sunday morning.

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