As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which are not included here unless they happen to be available under a free license. Most are not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I’m not restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

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

9:04 – Mon 27 July 2020

What Coronavirus Job Losses Reveal About Racism in America from ProPublica

The classic fact about Black unemployment, is that it’s been two times the white rate since we started measuring it.

Not quite related, but As of today, only 4 Black CEOs remain in the Fortune 500 from Fast Company

…a woman accused him of pretending to be a photographer to lure her into a relationship.

I don’t link these because I think they’re literally related, because a CEO leaving after his scheme for manipulating women is discovered isn’t “unemployment.” But it’s worth looking at where the ethical bar is for different people. It’s sleazy, but it’s hard to imagine a wealthy White man being asked to step down because he lied about not being a Fortune 500 CEO to impress someone he found attractive.

12:04 – Mon 27 July 2020

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

9:01 – Tue 28 July 2020

What You Need To Know About The Battle of Portland from Bellingcat

Riots are assumed to be life-threatening situations, and so the PPB increasingly started making riot declarations to justify their use of tear gas.

And incidentally, NYPD Disappeared Black Lives Matter Protesters Into Detention for Days at a Time. Lawmakers Want to End the Practice. from The Intercept

The bill would oblige all police departments in New York State to either bring an arrested individual before a judge within 24 hours or immediately release them upon request.

I wrote a little about the history of the term riot a little over a month ago and the first article is a perfect illustration. The second article makes the point that the “secret police” aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, for the non-White people in the country.

12:02 – Tue 28 July 2020

My fellow Americans, out of this experience, may we all better understand and appreciate our Constitution, strive harder to preserve it, and make a fresh start at restoring the trust between the branches of government. For, in America as 200 years ago, the people still rule.

Daniel Inouye

9:03 – Wed 29 July 2020

A Trump Ad Used This Photo of Protesters Beating Up a Cop — in Ukraine, 6 Years Ago from VICE News

…feature different captions, which are tailored to issues like religious freedom and abortion and not policing issues.

This is repulsive and, if we still had a functioning Federal Election Commission, rather than a refusal to nominate for half the vacant seats, there would be consequences for this. Perhaps allowing someone who campaigns dishonestly isn’t the right person to empower a board that monitors campaign integrity.

12:03 – Wed 29 July 2020

Imagination has been the companion of my whole existence—lively, swift, restless, at times timid and balky, most often ready to devour plain upon plain in its course.

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

9:05 – Thu 30 July 2020

Liberian fishing communities stand up to Chinese supertrawlers from Global Voices

Fishing without a license comes with a fine of up to $1,000,000 United States dollars under Liberian Fisheries Regulations, but illegal fishing has long persisted in Liberian waters due to a lack of monitoring and policing.

Keep in mind that the “Somali pirates” were fishermen whose livelihoods were destroyed by illegal international fishing. So, this is an improvement and we’ll ideally see good results from this simpler, safer action.

12:01 – Thu 30 July 2020

The organ’s varied harmony would fail

To give expression to the tender part,

And is it not the noblest aim of song,

The perfect end of music’s melting art?

Tilly Aston

9:02 – Fri 31 July 2020

Bacteria tied to stunted growth in malnourished children from Futurity

…lower than normal levels of proteins involved in various aspects of growth, higher levels of proteins resulting from breakdown of the lining of the gut, and hyperactivation of the gut immune system.

Some estimates suggest that as high as one percent of cells in the human body are part of the microbiome, and presumably the other forms of microscopic life in there are also significant, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the little guys are found to be increasingly important to our health.

12:05 – Fri 31 July 2020

To accept anything on trust, to preclude critical application and development, is a grievous sin; and in order to apply and develop, “simple interpretation” is obviously not enough.

Vladimir Lenin


Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, here’s a sixth article that didn’t fit into the week, but too weird to not mention.

Is it time for Netflix subscribers to go on strike? from Quartz

The researchers call this form of collective action a “data strike,” and say it might help average internet users gain some leverage against major tech companies. While they used Netflix as an example, the tactic could also work against other giants like Facebook, Google, or Amazon.

While it’s a fun idea, this sort of activity doesn’t work particularly well, simply because the companies already have your data. You’d need to find some way of poisoning the new data to make an impact, which is much more difficult. That said, leaving a service isn’t bad.

Do stone tools put humans in America 30K years ago? from Futurity

Because although we searched very thoroughly for human DNA in the samples we gathered during the 10 days we spent at the Chiquihuite Cave, there were no human traces to be found.

This is an odd story, ancient tools with no evidence of the people who might have left them. There are some interesting possibilities, but most don’t hold up under scrutiny.

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