As discussed previously, on Fridays, I present my weekly social media roundups. Note that toots of articles generally include header images from the articles, which I don’t include here unless their creators happen to have released them for use under a free license, and I notice. Most have not, or I don’t notice. But I now add my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

Also, I don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

“Programming” Note

For people reading this when it comes out, I’ll hold my first, highly experimental “office hours” tomorrow—Saturday, August 5th—where you have a decent chance to track me down for whatever conversations people seem interested in. From what looks like 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM GMT, you can either…

I picked Matrix, because they created it as Free Software on a federated, open protocol, which fits well with many of the blog’s goals. I picked Cohost, because it has the “Ask” feature, which might draw out some readers who might otherwise not want to dive into a chat system.

Both will have the best moderation that I can muster. Will we look back on this as a success? You’ll only know if you participate.

9:07 – Mon 31 July 2023

Image Not Shown: Teenage girl on street that's decorated for a festival

Latinx youth benefit from ethnic pride and culture from Futurity

Empowering youth to recognize and draw strength from the cultural wealth of their ethnic/racial background is critical for their well-being, especially during mid-adolescence when they are forming their sense of self by exploring who they want to be, what they value and what their goals are.

Hashtags: #Ethnicity #SelfImage

I admittedly find studies like this a bit hard to take. While I want teenagers to thrive, family stories about “the old country”—that none of the living relatives had visited, let alone lived in, by the way—always came off as pointless and mildly embarrassing. But then, I also didn’t grow up with people asking if I belonged in this country.

12:01 – Mon 31 July 2023

Quoted on Mastodon

There are as many as a score more novel devices about the entire machine, some of them being innovations in fire-fighting.

James Jerpe

Hashtags: #Quotes #DisabilityPride

9:03 – Tue 01 August 2023

Stationary houseboats in Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, 2022
Stationary houseboats in Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, 2022
Image credit: by Rezwan, (seemingly) released under the same CC-BY license as the article

Permission to restore century-old houseboats in Kashmir’s Dal Lake is a welcome move for tourism from Global Voices

Dwindling tourism, due to the prolonged curfews and internet shutdowns coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, already had a noticeable impact on the survival of these boats in the following years.

Hashtags: #India #DalLake #Tourism

I don’t have much to offer, here, except wishing the area luck. I don’t envision myself traveling to Asia, but if I happen to do so, Dal Lake looks like a great stop.

12:04 – Tue 01 August 2023

Quoted on Mastodon

Zealous, yet modest; innocent, though free; Patient of toil, serene amidst alarms; Inflexible in faith, invincible in arms.

James Beattie

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:04 – Wed 02 August 2023

Content Warning: US Politics

Image Not Shown: Two people in fatigues walking past a large sign reading Headquarters XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty

Republicans cling to traitorous Confederate names from Daily Kos

It seems weird to defend those traitors until you realize that embracing Confederate flags and defending slavery are now a feature, not a bug, of the modern conservative movement.

Hashtags: #USPol #GOP #Confederacy

Much like how they fought the infrastructure bills but want credit for their passage on the campaign trail, Republicans also agreed that we shouldn’t name bases after traitors and passed that bill, only to insist that the real heroes fought to destroy this country for the right to own people and breed them like cattle.

12:06 – Wed 02 August 2023

Quoted on Mastodon

Authority intoxicates, And makes mere sots of magistrates; The fumes of it invade the brain, And make men giddy, proud, and vain; By this the fool commands the wise, The noble with the base complies, The sot assumes the rule of wit, And cowards make the base submit.

Samuel Butler

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:01 – Thu 03 August 2023

Image Not Shown: A glowing red ball in a decorated military uniform, facing out over helmeted troops

The surprising truth about data-driven dictatorships from Pluralistic

Having given up on manually assembling training data based on careful human judgment with multiple review steps, the AI industry “pivoted” to mass ingestion of scraped data from the whole internet.

Hashtags: #AI #Oppression

I had a professor in college who would quietly talk about how a consulting gig had mostly radicalized them, though nobody used the term at that time. Someone called them in, back before people would have done this on computers, to build a predictive-policing model. After studying the data, they determined that—you guessed it—no statistical analysis existed that could turn arrest records and convictions into crime predictions, except inside the already-policed. The prediction could only ever say to continue current policies.

They thanked this person, sent them on their way, and then hired the statisticians to do exactly that.

I emphasize the story, because Doctorow unfortunately downplays how authoritarians don’t always want accurate information from their models. They often want a chart that tells them to “stay the course.”

12:05 – Thu 03 August 2023

Quoted on Mastodon

Cease, every joy, to glimmer on my mind, But leave, oh leave the light of Hope behind!

Thomas Campbell

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:05 – Fri 04 August 2023

Image Not Shown: Adults in striped shirts help a small child with work, all seated at a table

A Bittersweet Milestone for the Anti-Poverty Movement from OtherWords

In fact, both Democratic and Republican parents polled in 2023 preferred a child credit that did not have any work or income requirements by a margin of 2 to 1.

Hashtags: #Poverty #TaxCredit

I’ve almost certainly gone through this analysis before, but this once again shows us that (a) people become poor when they don’t have enough money, (b) giving poor people money takes them out of poverty, and (c) attaching conditions and tracking to that money, rather than keeping it out of the hands of not-poor people, instead fails to lift people out of poverty.

12:03 – Fri 04 August 2023

Quoted on Mastodon

It is our follies that make our lives uncomfortable. Our errors of opinion, our cowardly fear of the world’s worthless censure, and our eagerness after unnecessary gold have hampered the way of virtue, and made it far more difficult than, in itself, it is.

Owen Feltham

Hashtags: #Quotes


Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, I drop any additional articles that didn’t fit into the one-article-per-day week, but too weird or important to not mention, here.

Image Not Shown: A Mickey Mouse pin with rainbow colors adorns a worker's shirt

Progressives’ embrace of Disney in battle with DeSantis over LGBTQ rights comes with risks from The Conversation

Corporations’ loyalties tend to lie with profits and shareholders, and the political principles that companies embrace may get quickly discarded when profits are threatened.

I feel like I’ve talked a lot about this, recently, though maybe not on the blog. Recent politics has left me in an uncomfortable position, because we now see progressives cheering a monopolistic company trying to push back against corporate oversight. And while I feel happy watching Disney and DeSantis hurt each other, whoever survives this will present a greater threat to all of us, later.

Follow Me

If you appreciate this sort of content, then you should probably follow me on Mastodon to get it as early as possible…and feel free to reply, at least to the good stuff.

Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.