📰 Crafting Some Chum

Lots of news chum accumulated over the last few months while I’ve been focused on other articles. Here are some articles related to crafting and such:

 

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📰 Pod People Read the News

One of the categories in which I collect news chum is titled “Music and iPod”. The articles I’ve collected here fall into two broad categories. The first looks at the changing music marketplace. The second collects information on potential iPod replacements. So unlock your device, take your scroll-wheel for a spin, and let’s start.

The music industry is changing. What’s old is new again, and maintaining what you have becomes more work. The world is divided between those that want to own their music (some say “hoard, my precioussss”), and others are just fine with leasing it and paying subscription fees. Generational divides are at play here. Here are two articles exploring that divide:

  • Spotify is fine. But let’s mourn the passing of CDs. Once loved, the humble CD is now derided. It’s forefather, the vinyl LP, is having a resurgence. There are those giving the cassette some loving for the mixtape. But the CD? It’s sound was “too perfect”. Is it time for the requiem?
  • Wired headphones are having their quartz moment. When Apple decided to get rid of the 3.5mm port for headphones, wired headphones began to be pushed out the door. People were willing to live with the spotty connections and limited battery life of unwired headphones. But just like mechanical watches and vinyl, wired headphones are finding their space.

One of my worries is the eventual death of the iPod and the iPod ecosystem. I’m not sure whether it will be due to the death of hardware, or Apple deciding to remove iPod Classic support from iTunes, leaving iPod users high and dry. So I’m always looking for alternatives. Here are some articles related to that:

 

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📰 Beauty is in the eye of the News Chum

Another area in which I collect news chum is titled “Size and Beauty”. Articles in this area explore body image, and society’s acceptance (or non acceptance) thereof. It also explore how we treat people based on their appearance. As I clear out the news chum, let’s see what’s in this area:

 

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📰 Is News Chum Kosher?

As I continue to clear out the accumulated news chum, here’s a collection of articles that had been accumulated in the religion and Judaism areas:

  • The Disease of Christian Privilege. For as much as our great nation touts religious freedom and religious diversity, this is a profoundly Christian nation, with clear and distinct benefits — both explicit and implicit — provided to those who are Christian. From common morals to the days we get off, to the views on abortion to the views on marriage, Christianity abounds …. and those who are not Christian pay the price. This article explores how this privilege has influenced … and hurt … our culture.
  • The Loneliness Of The Liberal Zionist. We’re all aware of the place that the Nation of Israel holds in the heart of the Evangelical Christian, and you may even know how the attitude of Orthodox Jews have often become similarly aligned with respect to Israel. But what about the Liberal Zionist? As the article notes, “It means you support the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historic homeland while simultaneously supporting progressive causes in your American homeland.” It also means “having a position on Israel/Palestine, one that is rejected by the anti-Zionist left and the Zionist right.” It also raises loads of questions in light of the recent decision of the Israeli government: how does one balance the desire for a Jewish state with recognition of the rights of other religions and ethnic groups in Israel, especially when many of the progressive Jewish movements aren’t considered to be Jewish-enough for those in power in Israel.
  • Religiously unaffiliated ‘nones’ are pursuing spirituality, but not community. One of the big issues facing organized religion in America is the shrinking of congregational religion. How do we get younger people and younger families into the seats to support the infrastructure? This article points out the difficulty: building the community or supporting the community is no longer a sufficient argument. The desire is for spirituality, which isn’t always found within organizational walls.
  • People Told Me I Wasn’t “Jewish Enough” My Entire Life. Judging other people. It seems to be the main activity of some Jews — in particular, judging whether they are Jewish enough. Here’s an interesting exploration.
  • Surveys show sharp differences between Jews in US and Israel. What do Jews want for Israel? Is the attitude the same for those Jews in Israel, and those in America? This article explores the dichotomy.
  • Jeffersonian vs. Jacksonian Jews: Revisiting Jewish Political Behavior in the 21st Century. I have a number of Jewish friends who are strong Trump supports. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. This article explores the question — in particular, it explores the distinction in view between the Populist, America First bunch (Jacksonian) from those with a more Global perspective (Jeffersonian). Quite interesting reading.
  • Why Are Jews So Pro-Choice? Abortion / Choice. It is one of the driving forces of those on the right to oppose it. But it is also one of those areas where those who aren’t that ilk of Christian feel they are having a Christian moral shoved down their throats. Here’s an explanation of the Jewish position. (Note: This item also appeared in my “Lighting the Political Fire” post earlier this week — a good post, you should read it)
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📰 Securing the Future

And the cleaning out of the accumulated news chum links continue. Here’s a collection of links related to cybersecurity, but the concern here is not where you think it might be:

  • When Identity Thieves Hack Your Accountant. We are all concerned about the online services that we used, and what might happen when they are attacked. But have you thought about the human service providers you use? Your accountant. Your auto repair shop. Your financial advisor. They use services too, and these services have your information. Hint: The adversaries have thought about it.
  • Why Cities Are So Bad at Cybersecurity. Many folks are aware of the US government’s efforts in cybersecurity, and at least the awareness is growing. But what about your state and local governments? How cyberaware are they? The answer, unfortunately, may not be as good as you might like. Now think about this: most of our critical systems are at the local level: power, elections, traffic control, ….
  • Transportation is now the third most vulnerable sector exposed to cyberattacks. The previous item connects directly to this. When we think about cybersecurity, we think about our banks, our national security systems. But one of our most vulnerable sectors is transportation — from automated traffic systems to air traffic control to automated trains to the computers in our cars. Just imagine attacks on all those black Ford SUVs carrying government officials. There’s a lot of risk there.
  • 4 Mistakes Security Pros Make and how a Wellness Model can Help. When we think security, we think certification and border protection. But a holistic wellness model is a great way to think about the subject. According to the National Wellness Institute, “wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment.” The model surrounding wellness is essentially a conscious effort to help an individual become self-directed to achieve their healthiest state, based on awareness and choice.   Wellness also understand that you don’t get well at once; it is incremental improvement.
  • Don’t Give Away Historic Details About Yourself. One way to start getting well is to stop answering those quizzes about yourself. Giving away historical data helps adversaries in so many ways: from giving hints on passwords (if you’re not using a random password generator) to giving answers to security questions for password recovery. Think before you answer a quiz.
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📰 This Is My City

And there’s still more news chum to clear out. Here’s a collection of various articles about Los Angeles:

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📰 Lighting the Political Fires

As I continue the process of clearing out the news chum, here is a collection of articles that should serve as political incendiary catalysts, sure to light that political spark of discussion:

  • Nobel Laureate Economist Says American Inequality Didn’t Just Happen. It Was Created. Quote: “Those with power used that power to strengthen their economic and political positions, or at the very least to maintain them. They also attempted to shape thinking, to make acceptable differences in income that would otherwise be odious.”
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialists of America member. Here’s what that means. Just as Trump was a whistle to the hard right folks, Bernie Sanders was a whistle to the hard left. We’ve seen the growth of a subgroup in the Democratic party called the Democratic Socialists. This isn’t a particular party, and it isn’t your father’s socialism. Further, it doesn’t add up financially.
  • Why Are Jews So Pro-Choice? Abortion / Choice. It is one of the driving forces of those on the right to oppose it. But it is also one of those areas where those who aren’t that ilk of Christian feel they are having a Christian moral shoved down their throats. Here’s an explanation of the Jewish position.
  • I Was Fired For Criticizing Trump. We have a President who seems to feel any criticism of him is fake, and he’s convinced some in the news profession that criticism is not allows. What happens when a liberal editorial cartoons runs into a change of ownership at his paper?
  • How to be an uncivil Trump resister without leading a vigilante mob. We’ve all heard the calls for civility. But when should you be uncivil, and how?
  • Immigration in America. Think immigration is a new problem? It is both what made America, and what some claim is destroying it. But do you understand it? Here’s a visualization of immigration to America as the rings in a tree trunk.
  • Trump’s Republican Party, explained in one photo. A real T-shirt at a Trump rally read: “I’d rather be Russian than a Democrat”. This captures what Trump’s identity politics has done to America, and how it can destroy this country. Since when has the Russian system of government with its dictatorship, false democracy, and draconian laws been better that what we have in America, even with the opposition party? I wrote about this with respect to Israel and their new National law about Jews coming first a few weeks ago. Identity politics — in which one group is 100% right and the other group is subhuman — is destructive.
  • Remaining Trump Supporters. What camp do you fall into: (1) Too arrogant to admit Trump was a mistake; (2) Too embarrassed to admit it; or (3) Too dumb to see it?
  • Fake News (no link here — just look at any Trump tweet). A challenge of the day, for those who purport that the news is “Fake”: Find multiple verifiable sources demonstrating a pattern of false news from the source claimed to be fake, other than the one making the claim that it is fake. A couple of times is human error: there needs to be a verifiable ongoing pattern of falsehood, from sources across the spectrum that can be verified.  Note: Bias is different than Fake. Biased news can have the bias filtered out, but is ultimately based on the truth and that underlying truth can be verified. Fake news is false and untrue, and cannot be verified.

As I say, “ready, set, discuss”.

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📰 Design You Haven’t Thought About

I’m finally past the mapping project for the highway pages, and I’ve posted the theatre reviews for the last weekend. Do you know what that means, boys and girls? It means I can get back to clearing out the accumulated links for news chum (as in, “ready, set, discuss”). This collection all struck me as having to deal with design issues you might not have thought about:

  • Coffee Cup Lids. Have you ever thought about that styrene lid you get on your take-out coffee or tea? Who designed it? What is the meaning of all those symbols. It turns out that there is a new book on the design of the humble lid, and there is even more details in an Atlas Obscura post on the same subject, where they decode the lid.
  • Concrete. If you were to think about what makes our civilization possible, your mind might turn to the humble man-made rock, concrete. It allows us to build in a variety of shapes, it makes our roads and tall buildings possible. But its manufacture comes with a tremendous environmental cost, and it is one of the reasons we are at peak sand today. The manufacture of cement creates loads of greenhouse gases, and the manufacture of concrete traps water and sand in a way that can’t be easily recovered (certainly, the sand).
  • Airline Maps. Consider the humble airline route map in the back of your in-flight magazine. Have you ever thought about how it is designed? How it shows you the detail the airline wants you to see while hiding others? How it conveys messages about the brand itself. Here’s an interesting exploration of the design process behind the creation of the map.
  • DC Metro Stations. When you travel on transit, you probably don’t think about the station design. But that design can tell you a lot about the system, when it was built, and the messages and wayfaring notions the transit operator wants to convey. Just consider all the different station types in Washington DC.
  • Highways and Cities. When you think about the design of highways, what thoughts go through your head? The material the road is made out of? How much easier it will make it for you to get from point A to point B? The fact that it completes a line on a map? But do you ever think about how the design and routing of a freeway can impact a city? Building a highway can divide communities and make racial segregation worse. This isn’t new; think about the “other side of the tracks” distinction. Look at how freeways such as the Harbor divide south-central LA. But that raises the next question: Would removing a highway undo the damage? How might we build these structures so that they do not divide.
  • Batteries. Finally, here’s a questions of A, B, Cs. More properly, I should say AAA, AA, C, and D. Here’s a handy diagram of all types of batteries.

 

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