Question for abortion opponents

Would you save one child from a burning building or a vial of 1,000 embryos?

“They will never answer honestly, because we all instinctively understand the right answer is “A.” A human child is worth more than a thousand embryos. Or ten thousand. Or a million. Because they are not the same, not morally, not ethically, not biologically. This question absolutely evicerates their arguments, and their refusal to answer confirms that they know it to be true. No one, anywhere, actually believes an embryo is equivalent to a child. That person does not exist. They are lying to you.”

Sci-fi writer baffles abortion foes »

Dashboards

As automobiles got smarter and smarter, dashboards got more complex. My MINI dash can show stuff I still haven’t discovered, six years in. Better to have that kind of data than not (I guess), but I rarely look at most of it. Really old cars didn’t tell you much. So you had to be looking under the hood (And everywhere else, I suppose) with some regularity. But I found this simplicity refreshing. Hard to see in this photos because the museum was pretty stingy with the lighting.

Originally, the word dashboard applied to a barrier of wood or leather fixed at the front of a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh to protect the driver from mud or other debris “dashed up” (thrown up) by the horses’ hooves. (Wikipedia)

1947 Hudson Pickup

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II

1932 DeSoto CSC Roadster

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WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us

Author Tim O’Reilly says the central theme of this book is understanding how algorithmic systems shape our society. If that’s what you’re after, I recommend two books by Kevin Kelly: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future and What Technology Wants. Then I’d read Homo Deus and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I’m sorry, but Mr. O’Reilly’s ideas just didn’t flow. The book felt… patchy. And he seemed overly proud of his personal contribution to the Internet, to Web 2.0, and a bunch of other “innovations.” I don’t question his contributions but isn’t it better if other folks acknowledge them? Anyhoo, here are some passages I underlined:

Our experience is shaped by the words we use.

Abstractions – the process by which reality is transformed into a series of statements about reality.

“For all practical purposes, there is now only one computer.” — Clay Shirky

The first principle of Web 2.0 was that the Internet was replacing Windows as the dominant platform on which the next generation of applications was being built.

Another key to what distinguished the web applications that survived the dot-com bust from those that died was that the survivors all, in one way or another, worked to harness the collective intelligence of their users.

“Global consciousness is that thing that decided that decaffeinated coffee pots should be orange.” — Computer scientist Danny Hill

Once an event occurs, all possibilities collapse into the one reality that we call the present, and then, in an instant, the past. But even the past, seemingly fixed as it appears, is an illusion constantly updated by new knowledge from the present.

A key lesson for every entrepreneur – Ask yourself: What is unthinkable?

“Apps can do now what managers used to do.” — Finnish management consultant Esko Kilpi

More than 63 million Americans (roughly half of all households) are now enrolled in Amazon Prime. Amazon has more than 200 million active credit card accounts; 55% of online shoppers now begin their search at Amazon, and 46% of all nine shopping happens on the platform.

A company is now a hybrid organism, made up of people and machines.

There are more than 2 million apps for the iPhone and they have been downloaded 130 billion times. App developers have earned nearly $50 billion in revenue.

With the rise of GPS, we are heading for a future where speeding motorists are no longer pulled over by police officers who happen to spot them, but instead automatically ticketed whenever they exceed the speed limit. We can also imagine a future in which that speed limit is automatically adjusted based on the amount of traffic, weather conditions, and other variable conditions that make a higher or lower speed more appropriate than the static limit that is posted today.
One of the simplest algorithmic interventions Facebook and Twitter could make would be to ask people, “Are you sure you want to share that link? You don’t appear to have read the story.

Subscription-based publication have an incentive to serve their readers; advertising-based publications have an incentive to server their advertisers.

We are increasingly creating an economy that is producing too much of what only some people can afford to buy.

“The job” is an artificial construct, in which work is managed and parceled out by corporations and other institutions, to which individuals must apply to participate in doing the work.

“There may need to be two kinds of money: machine money, and human money. Machine money is what you use to to buy things that are produced by machines. These things are always getting cheaper. Human money is what you use to buy things that only humans can produce.” — Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail)

The rich still live in a world where doctors make house calls and personal tutoring is the norm.

“If you want to understand the future, just look at what rich people do today.” — Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist

In a connected world where knowledge is available on demand, we need to rethink what people need to know and how they come to know it.

More than 100 million hours of how-to video were watched on YouTube in North America during the first four months of 2015.

Who will buy the products of companies that no longer pay workers to create them?

It’s the sudden stop


We live a couple miles outside of Jefferson City (MO) on a “no exit” road. This morning someone drove into a utility pole, cutting off access to/from homes. Whole bunch of folks couldn’t get to work… or back to their homes. The people in the house across the road from the accident have a drive that circles around behind their house and back out to the road. They volunteered (or the responders asked) to let folks use their property to get around and out. Good neighbors.

Fear Culture, USA

Next month will be one year since I stopped watching TV/cable news (and listening to radio news). I feel… lighter? More awake? Difficult to describe.

Michael Amato explores this inescapable hold the media has on American life in Fear Culture, USA. His carefully staged photographs depict TVs glowing from corners in living rooms, gas stations, and other everyday environments. Sensationalist news stories beam from the screens, charging these otherwise untroubled scenes with a sense of doom. “Cable news projects fear into everyday environments,” Amato says, “and it can be very overwhelming.”

Moving spare from bonnet to rear of truck

Nothing says “Land Rover” like the spare tire mounted on the bonnet. It’s iconic. And I was fine with keeping mine there until I discovered how difficult it was to open up the engine compartment. Something I plan to do almost daily. It was damned heavy. I did it but will I be able to in five years? Or ten?

The truck is back in San Diego where the guys at Lucra Cars are taking care of a few things they missed during the restoration, so I’m having them move the spare to a swing-out arm on the rear of the truck.

Removing the mounting bracket from the bonnet (what we call the hood) left about 20 holes. A small patch would look like a, well, a patch. So they’re fabricating a piece of aluminum that will cover most of the bonnet. (the green tape)

This will horrify Land Rover purists (sometimes known as “rivet counters”) but I’m going to be happier with the spare on the rear of the truck.

Old Halloween pics featured in British tabloid

The Daily Mail is a British daily tabloid newspaper published in London. It is the United Kingdom’s second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun.​ The editor of the travel section was looking for Halloween story ideas and came across our photos on Flickr. He asked if they could use the photos in a story and I said yes. Not sure why UK readers would be interested in 50 year old Halloween photos from the U.S. ​Perhaps they were on deadline and just needed a story.

The Basement Diaries