Speaker for the Diodes

Jul. 25th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"[I]n late 2015, I came across a set of pictures with no identifying text. They appeared to show a gigantic apartment in what looked, from the windows, very much like New York. But I know Manhattan and its sophisticated style pretty well, and at first glance, you would think the place didn't belong to an American but to a Russian oligarch, or possibly a Saudi prince with a second home in the United States. There were overscaled rooms, and obviously incorrect-looking historical detailing and proportions. The home had lots of gilded French furniture and the strange impersonal look of a hotel lobby, with chairs and sofas placed uncomfortably far from one another. There were masses of gold; there were the usual huge chandeliers, branded relics of famous sportsmen like Muhammad Ali, and mushroom-colored marble floors. There was relatively little in the way of paintings, but otherwise, the place reeked of dictator chic. As it turned out, this familiar yet unfamiliar apartment -- a familiar style to me by then, but in an unlikely location -- belonged to Donald Trump, who by then was running for president. This was the penthouse of the potential leader of the free world." -- Peter York, "Trump's Dictator Chic," Politico [thanks to [info] b>realinterrobang</b> for quoting this earlier]

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Jul. 24th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"'Third World' is an obsolete term, (since the Second World no longer exists) but if you're going to use it in the sense of referring to the Global South, it's not horribly inaccurate to say the US is a First World nation geographically coextant with a Third World one, where the citizenship is determined by class (economic and social.)" -- [info] kadath, 2008-03-04

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Jul. 23rd, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"For it's not enough to walk the moon, send robots off to Mars
 Nor send a lucky handful out to catch a glimpse of stars
 We're gonna live and work and space. We're gonna go to stay
 And the ones who'll make it happen,
  the ones who make it happen,
   yes the ones who'll make it happen
 are the ones who make it pay"

  -- Jordin Kare (b. 1956-10-24, d. 2017-07-19), "Bloody Bastards"

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Jul. 22nd, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From "Oh this has not gone well" (part 14) by Redditor "ThisHasNotGoneWell":

"Well," I started, how do I explain statistics, and not sound like the boringest boring person in the world, "In the world I come from people have enough free time on their hands, and they take games seriously enough, that people will study a game like a Mage might study magic. I had plenty of time when I was waiting for the pass south to clear, so I spent some time pulling the rules apart, figuring out the probability of any given hand. The other players might have a gut feeling as to how probable a given hand is, but I know the figures exactly. I'll also try to keep track of what cards I've seen played already. Between that, and having worked out the probabilities of each, I usually have at least an idea of how good my hand is compared to the others."

"Wait," she said, trying to wrap her head around what I'd just said, "So, you know what cards they have in their hand?"

"Not quite, I know what cards they probably have. And even if I don't know specifics, I'll at least have an idea of whether their hand is better or worse than mine, and that's really all I need."

"Don't humans have anything better to do?"

I thought of the many hundreds of hours spent playing videogames and watching Netflix.

"Nope."

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Jul. 21st, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Kids need superheroes so they can dream big. Adults need superheroes to remind them what being good is." -- Scott Weinberg, 2017-08-08

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Jul. 20th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Everybody knows, a humungous thing happened on Sunday, July 20th, 1969 at exactly 4:17E.D.T. The 'Eagle' has landed. Bingo. Just like that. Man became an alien." -- Janet Turpin Myers, Nightswimming

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Jul. 19th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I'm not generally in favor of killing anyone to 'improve the species.' But if it *must* happen, I'll make a strong argument for starting with those people who want to practice eugenics." -- [info] interactiveleaf, 2008-02-14

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Jul. 18th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin." -- Mitch Albom, For One More Day [via Goodreads]

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Jul. 17th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"The audience usually has to be with you, I'm afraid. I always regarded myself as not even preaching to the converted, I was titillating the converted.

"The audiences like to think that satire is doing something. But, in fact, it is mostly to leave themselves satisfied. Satisfied rather than angry, which is what they should be."

-- Tom Lehrer, in a 2003 interview in the Sydney Morning Herald (interviewer: Tony Davis)

[And then there are those satirists who manage to leave room for both reactions simultaneously...]

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Jul. 16th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Rabbi Hillel also asks, 'If I am only for myself, what am I?' If you don't identify as being negatively affected by misogyny, this is where you come in. We are all part of the interdependent web of existence. What affects one affects us all. Sometimes connecting the dots from one form of harm to another is too abstract to notice immediately. Sometimes we benefit in obvious ways from oppression, even as our bodies and souls are destroyed in other ways. Cisgender men benefit in some ways from patriarchy. They get higher salaries on average, reduced risk of violence, and a greater likelihood that they will be heard when they speak, among other things.

"Patriarchy also gives men an increased risk of being bullied if they veer too closely to feminine patterns of behavior. It leads society to punish men for maintaining a connection with their emotional and inner life. It gets in the way of true and trusting relationships. Misogyny negatively affects men. Being for ourselves and being for others can mean the same thing when it comes to dismantling oppression."

-- Rev. Lyn Cox, 2017-03-05

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Jul. 15th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?" -- Brian W. Kernighan

[Also quoted as: "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."]

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Jul. 14th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I'd better quit my talking, 'cause I told you all I know,
 But please remember, pardner, wherever you may go,
 The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done
 That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done."

  -- Woody Guthrie (b. 1912-07-14, d. 1967-10-03), "Biggest Thing That Man Has Ever Done (aka. The Great Historical Bum)", 1941

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Jul. 13th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

""He's not like that in real life.' Stop. Is the internet real? Yes. Are the people on it living? Yes. Then he's like that in real life." -- Patrick S. Tomlinson, 2017-07-05

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Jul. 12th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"If you are describing any occurrence... make two or more distinct reports at different times... We discriminate at first only a few features, and we need to reconsider our experience from many points of view and in various moods in order to perceive the whole." -- Henry David Thoreau (b. 1817-07-12, d. 1862-05-06)

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Jul. 11th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech." -- Thomas Hobbes (b. 1588-04-05, d. 1679-12-04)

[To my friends observing Tzom Tammuz, may you have an easy fast.]

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Jul. 10th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Spider-Man, Spider-Man
 Does whatever a spider can
 Uses violence to stop a theft
 So much for the tolerant left"

  -- Ashley J Cooper, 2017-07-06

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Jul. 9th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"The early labor movement was, however, inspired by more than the immediate job interest of its craft members. It harbored a conception of the just society, deriving from the Ricardian labor theory of value and from the republican ideals of the American Revolution, which fostered social equality, celebrated honest labor, and relied on an independent, virtuous citizenship. The transforming economic changes of industrial capitalism ran counter to labor's vision. The result, as early labor leaders saw it, was to raise up 'two distinct classes, the rich and the poor.' [...] On their face, these reform movements might have seemed at odds with trade unionism, aiming as they did at the cooperative commonwealth rather than a higher wage, appealing broadly to all 'producers' rather than strictly to wageworkers, and eschewing the trade union reliance on the strike and boycott. But contemporaries saw no contradiction: trade unionism tended to the workers' immediate needs, labor reform to their higher hopes." -- History.com Staff, "Labor Movement" (2009)

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Jul. 8th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-25:

"Digital witnesses, what's the point of even sleeping?
 If I can't show it, if you can't see me
 What's the point of doing anything?
 What's the point of even sleeping?
 So I stopped sleeping, yeah I stopped sleeping"

  -- St. Vincent, from her song Digital Witness.

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

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Jul. 7th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"It does frustrate me at times that many of us -- and I've done this at times -- we luxuriate in the blessings of this country, and we forget that urgent obligation that there is ... As long as there are people suffering injustice, especially at the hands of our government, then we have so much work to do." -- US Sen. Cory Booker, on the podcast Pod Save the People, 2017-05-02

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Jul. 6th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I don't think I'm an idealist. I'm a realist. And I see the progress. The progress has been remarkable. Look at the emancipation of woman in my lifetime. You're sitting here as a female. Look what's happened to the same-sex marriages. To tell somebody a man can become a woman, a woman can become a man, and a man can marry a man, they would have said, 'You're crazy.' But it's a reality today. So the world is changing. And you shouldn't -- you know -- be despairing because it's never happened before. Nothing new ever happened before." -- Benjamin Ferencz, last surviving Nuremburg prosecutor, interviewed by Lesley Stahl on the CBS television program 60 Minutes, aired 2017-05-07

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