— WIRED (@WIRED) February 13, 2018
:D Via Twitter.
Marcus was thoughtful enough to send me The Emperor of All Maladies, which I had meant to get months ago, but with everything going on, it slipped the brain. I was barely into the book, tears in my eyes, thinking “yep, yep, yep” and identifying with so much. It’s a truly riveting narrative, and it’s what the very best books always are – an opportunity to learn.
One thing which really struck deeply home was when the author talked about how it’s difficult to think of cancer as a thing, it’s more on the person side, and that’s so true. I don’t think of my cancer as random cells happily cloning and evolving at the expense of the rest of me; I don’t think of it as a nebulous disease; I don’t think of it as a thing. It’s more like you separate, and there’s a shadowy self staring you down, a dark charcoal swipe of a doppelgänger, challenging you to wage war for your life, and cancer cells are much better at the whole evolution business than we are, which is why you get poisoned and radiated to what feels like an inch from death. All that said, and given the recent nightmare of treatment, I found myself profoundly grateful for the current stage of medical and technological advance when I read this:
The sixteenth-century surgeon Ambroise Paré described charring tumors with a soldering iron heated on coals, or chemically searing them with a paste of sulfuric acid. Even a small nick in the skin, treated thus, could quickly suppurate into a lethal infection. The tumors would often profusely bleed at the slightest provocation.
Lorenz Heister, and eighteenth-century German physician, once described a mastectomy in his clinic as if it were a sacrificial ritual: “Many females can stand the operation with the greatest courage and without hardly moaning at all. Others, however, make such a clamor that they may dishearten even the most undaunted surgeon and hinder the operation. To perform the operation, the surgeon should be steadfast and not allow himself to become discomforted by the cries of the patient.”
I’d dearly like to be able to go back in time and smack the fuck out of Heister, and a host of others. Misogyny seriously sucks, and boy, is it ever present in cancer treatment. It’s certainly lessened a great deal, but it’s still more than present. Sigh.
Anyroad, highly recommended, for everyone.
ETA: Feeling better, got my anger and FUCK ITs back. Yeah.
We have CNS News editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, having a chat about this net neutrality business. Like most of the altwhatthefuckever, they are thrilled by the rollback. Their little discussion runs off onto quite the side road…
Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Jeffrey joined host and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to discuss why he believed rolling back net neutrality rules was a good decision. Like many of his right-wing counterparts, Jeffrey argued that net neutrality never really existed because tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have suppressed conservative voices. He went on to draw out an analogy to self-driving cars.
Okay, all of you fucking idiots out there – net neutrality is not about your personal sense of persecution. People will still be able to shun you. They’ll still be able to ban you. That would be because no one likes you. Go eat worms.
“This may seem an odd comparison, but I think it’s a real one, that we’re moving, Tony, toward automated cars, for example. And in the regulatory world, there’s the debate over how they’re going to regulate these automated vehicles. But you can imagine the control over our lives the government would have if they could remotely control our vehicles, which they may in fact someday be able to do and I think we have to think about that,” Jeffrey said.
“It doesn’t get discussed a lot but it’s going to happen,” Jeffrey said. “Down the road at some point automobiles are going to be automated and someone is going to be in control of the infrastructure that directs how those automobiles move.”
Jeffrey then painted a scenario where the government takes control of self-driving cars to prevent anti-choice activists from being able to transport themselves to protests.
“Imagine that the government is doing something outrageous like legalizing the killing of unborn babies and a lot of people want to go down to the Washington Mall one day a year and make it known they’re sticking up to the right for life, but the only way they can get through to that Mall is by getting on a transportation system that’s controlled by the government,” Jeffrey said.
Last time I looked, Roe v. Wade was still the law of the land, which means abortion is legal. Supposedly. As for the rest of your moronic scenario, Mr. Jeffrey, what is it we have now? There’s no governmental oversight of roads; there’s no licensing system for driving; there’s no speed limit; there are no regulations in place concerning automobiles; no one regulates trains, planes, subways, or traffic, and so on, right? Right? Oh, wait. Yes, there’s a fucktonne of regulation in regard to transport, that’s why transportation has its very own department in the government! Golly, guess you learn something new every day, don’t ya, fellas? So far, transportation systems don’t seem to have interfered with you nosy, judgmental assholes in the least. Pity.
And then we have self-styled “prophet” Sundar Selvaraj, who is still on Jim Bakker’s show, who has come up with quite the tidbit:
Selvaraj recounted how, a few years ago, “the Lord Jesus appeared to me about the False Prophet who is mentioned in Revelation, chapter 13 and then very simply and very clearly he said, ‘The present Pope Francis is the prophesied False Prophet.’ And then he went on explaining to me the many things the false prophet will do, and then later on, I did some research and I found that whatever the Lord Jesus told me what what exactly Pope Francis has already begun to do.”
Selvaraj said that on the day that Pope Francis met with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli president Shimon Peres in 2014, “a meteor flew very close by earth and NASA nicknamed the meteor ‘The Beast.’ So that confirmed what the Lord revealed, that the False Prophet—the beast that is mentioned in Revelation 13—is the Pope.”
So, NASA has confirmed Selvaraj, who confirms Jehovah, who confirms that Pope Francis will lead the world into worship of the antichrist, if that lazy dude ever shows up. If Lance Wallnau hears about this, it just might wreck his little crush on Steve Bannon.
Using “badge politics”, censoring those who don’t worship twitter’s liberal dictator, & implementing procedures to annihilate conservatives from the Internet?
Sounds like twitter is carrying out its own “final solution” for conservatives.
And so it begins. Twitter is quick to call me and others Nazis, but they are literally trying to eradicate my presence. Just like Hitler.
Twitter is uh, cracking down on hateful tweeters (not the Tiny Tyrant, natch), by removing their little checkmark. Yeah, that will show them. While I can’t say I think much of this ‘action’, it’s certainly upsetting the conservanazi crowd. Laura Loomer says Using “badge politics”. If that little checkmark didn’t mean anything to you Ms. Loomer, why on earth did you pursue it so hard? You claim Twitter is ‘annihilating’ conservatives, literally trying to eradicate your presence. Going by your checkmark free tweets, that has not been accomplished in the slightest. Perhaps you should save your hyperbole for a time when Twitter actually does something, like ban your account.
All the checkmarkless nazirati are having fits, as if this truly impacts their ability to spread their bigotry, hate, and fear. Perhaps it does, and if so, good. You can read many of the linked tweets of the nazirati at RWW.
First, What Is Digital Humanities?
Humanity (and not just the humanities) mediated through the largest extant body politic. A global vehicle (and personal prosthetic) for containing what it is to be human and humanist–within and without the academy. – Robert Long.
Digital Humanities: the creation and preservation of extensible digital archives to document, and tools to interact with, material culture. – Robert Whalen, Northern Michigan University.
A fluid term to describe a variety of practices applying and theorizing the intersection of technology and humanities questions. – Amy Earheart.
There’s more. Much more.
Introduction: In the decades following the onset of the Index Thomisticus project, medievalists were often early adopters of the digital, and continue to play an important role in the development of a broader field, which came to be called digital humanities. This field took other forms and names during its emergence and subsequent development: humanities computing, humanist informatics, literary and linguistic computing, digital resources in the humanities, eHumanities, and others.
These competing alternatives, among which “humanities computing” had long been dominant, have only recently made place for the newly canonical term “digital humanities,” which today is rarely contested. “Digital humanities” is generally meant to refer to a broader field than “humanities computing.” Whereas the latter is restricted to the application of computers in humanities scholarship and had narrower technical goals, the former also incorporates a “humanities of the digital,” including the study (potentially via traditional means) of digitally created sources, such as art and literature.
DH is therefore profoundly multidisciplinary and attracts contributions from scholars and scientists both within and outside the humanities and the humanistic social sciences. Digital humanists have taken care to define themselves in an inclusive rather than exclusive manner. As a result, the term “digital humanities” connotes a greater sense of integration than the diversity of approaches that are sheltered within the “big tent” of DH and that are also reflected in the contents of this supplement.
White Spots: A Journey to the Edge of the Internet was launched last year as an app for iPhone and Google Play. It visualizes the digital networks around us, mapping those “white spots” where there is no network connection.
The multimedia project involves a VR experience where you can use Google Cardboard to scan local digital signals in real-time, as well as a smartphone world map pinned with short documentaries on living with and without the internet. If you visit a white spot, you can add a pin with the story of your experience.
On launching White Spots, my screen was immediately swarmed with cellphone networks and a jarring digital noise. You can click the text “get me out!” to map directions to the nearest white spot. From my apartment in Brooklyn, I am 156 km (97 miles) to the nearest one, a quiet corner of Lake Waramaug State Park in Connecticut. However, for me, and potentially most White Spots users, disconnecting would be a choice. The app’s world map shows much of North America and Europe in the black, while large sections of South America and Africa are white voids.
You can read and see much more about this app at Hyperallergic.
IV. – Development of Wireless Telegraphy. Scene in Hyde Park. [These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady is receiving an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results.]
This is from Punch magazine, in 1906. They didn’t quite get to cellphones, but they weren’t completely off the mark, either. The Punch Almanack, in 1879, also speculated on the possibility of a telephonoscope:
(Every evening, before going to bed, Pater and Materfamilias set up an electric camera obscura over their bedroom mantel-piece, and gladden their eyes with the sight of their Children at the Antipodes, and converse gaily with them through the wire.)
Paterfamilias (in Willow Place): “Beatrice, come closer, I want to whisper.”
Beatrice (from Ceylon): “Yes, Papa dear.”
Paterfamilias: Who is that charming young lady playing on Charlie’s side!
Beatrix: “She’s just come over from England, Papa. I’ll introduce you as soon as the game’s over!”
A version of Skype was foretold, too, by a number of people. You can see more here.
It’s seems that whole clumps of bitter techbros are fleeing to the MGTOW life (that’s Men Going Their Own Way, if you didn’t know), and advocating a life of male separatism. Just a thought, but if you avoid women at all costs, it might not be a surprise that your viewpoints are more suited to a cave than a nice high tech office somewhere. Naturally, this is an evil witch hunt, with the intent to subjugate men (and make them do what? Scrub out the toilet?) and other nefarious things. As always, the irony of men screeching “witch hunt!” escapes them entirely.
One of those who said there had been a change is James Altizer, an engineer at the chip maker Nvidia. Mr. Altizer, 52, said he had realized a few years ago that feminists in Silicon Valley had formed a cabal whose goal was to subjugate men. At the time, he said, he was one of the few with that view.
Continue reading the main story
Now Mr. Altizer said he was less alone. “There’s quite a few people going through that in Silicon Valley right now,” he said. “It’s exploding. It’s mostly young men, younger than me.”
Mr. Altizer said that a gathering he hosts in person and online to discuss men’s issues had grown by a few dozen members this year to more than 200, that the private Facebook pages he frequents on men’s rights were gaining new members and that a radical subculture calling for total male separatism was emerging.
“It’s a witch hunt,” he said in a phone interview, contending men are being fired by “dangerous” human resources departments. “I’m sitting in a soundproof booth right now because I’m afraid someone will hear me. When you’re discussing gender issues, it’s almost religious, the response. It’s almost zealotry.”
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Altizer, when you decide to pontificate about how women should not be in a workplace, and they should be quiet about slaps on the ass, if they don’t want to deal, they should stay home and do what they were ‘made’ for and all that, it will elicit a response. Women have been responding to misogynistic attitudes for thousands of years now. If we, from time to time, snap or yell, well, I’m sure you’ll understand the frustration of having one generation after another having to repeat themselves.
I do love the touch of the soundproof booth, though. For unknown reasons, the NYT has decided to give these sad separatists a full work up, because life is so gosh darn hard for men, especially those of the white variety. I’ll wish them fun in their cones of silence, and continue to pay attention to those men who have happily figured out that yes, women are human beings too.
A while back, Rick asked me about Bitcoin. Along with the rather alarmed look on my face, I shook my head and said “stay the fuck away from it.” That said, I wasn’t in a position to explain all the reasons why, or the history of it and all that. I just muttered “stay the fuck away” again. Conveniently, David Gerard has a book all about that! Many of you are familiar with Mr. Gerard from Rational Wiki. I got this for Rick, but of course, I had to read it too, because book.
It’s excellent, covers what you need to know, and is informative, entertaining, and sometimes, horrifying. So if you’ve been curious, or thinking maybe you ought to “get in on that”, read first. You can read select excerpts from the book here.
Wired has an interactive map, and points of interest when it comes to toxic trolling, and who has the worst, and where the least toxic places and people are. Or maybe those places have a lot of people who don’t internet much. Vermont is the most toxic.
There’s been some very interesting research happening in Chicago, and it turns out that trees reduce crime. I don’t find this surprising at all, but I’m a “must be attached to the land” person. When your environment is bleak and desolate, you end up with bleak, desolate, desperate people. We need to be aware of our earth, we need to be connected to our planet. In urban environments, the best way to restore that connection is with trees. Yes, they are a long-term investment, but that’s good, because it means people are thinking the right way, generations ahead of themselves.
In June, the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative and Morton Arboretum released what they say is the most comprehensive tree canopy data set of any region in the U.S., covering 284 municipalities in the Chicago area. Now, that data is helping neighborhoods improve their environments and assist their communities.
“When we go to talk to communities,” says Lydia Scott, director of the CRTI, “We say ‘trees reduce crime.’ And then they go, ‘Explain to me how that could possibly be, because that’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard.’”
In Chicago, where more than 2,000 people have been shot this year, scientists are looking at physical features of neighborhoods for solutions. “We started to look at where we have heavy crime, and whether there was a correlation with tree canopy, and often, there is,” says Scott. “Communities that have higher tree population have lower crime. Areas where trees are prevalent, people tend to be outside, mingling, enjoying their community.”
The map revealed that poorer neighborhoods are often “tree deserts,” areas with little or no tree canopy. Trees reduce flooding, improve property values, prevent heat islands, promote feelings of safety, reduce mortality, and provide other significant social and health benefits. This means that when you live in, for example, the South Side, where trees are scarcer, you lose more than just green leaves overhead.
Never before have researchers been able to look so widely and deeply at this sort of data. The map is huge—it covers seven counties—and extremely detailed. That has allowed Scott and her colleagues to notice some startling patterns. For example, in the North Shore community—an affluent, lakeside, suburban area—canopy cover tends to be 40 percent or higher. On the economically depressed South Side, canopy can be as low as 7 percent.
That last is no surprise, either. As it goes with people, the poorer you are, the less of everything you get, including trees. There’s much more to the article, all the research, how it was conducted, and information about Blacks in Green, who are doing stellar work. Click on over to Atlas Obscura for the full story. Then see if you could help plant a tree. Or just hug one.
On this August 21, a total solar eclipse will be viewable across North America, a rare occurrence that will likely be greeted by a wave of iPhones and digital cameras raised to the sky. Although photographing an eclipse relies a bit on luck, timing, and preparation, our ability to document the celestial event is more accessible than ever. In the 19th century, it took years of experimentation with the newly invented photographic medium to successfully capture a fleeting eclipse.
Attempts at solar eclipse photography are recorded going back to 1842, including Gian Alessandro Majocchi’s photograph of a partial eclipse taken on July 8 in Milan (an image which has not survived). Stefan Hughes, author of Catchers of the Light on the history of astrophotography, writes on his blog that Majocchi’s daguerreotypes only caught the before and after of the totality (or total obscuring of the sun), with the ultimate eclipse just a big blank. It wasn’t until the eclipse of July 28, 1851 that the moment of eclipse was successfully photographed. At the Royal Prussian Observatory in Königsberg (today’s Kaliningrad in Russia), a daguerreotypist named Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski carefully exposed a plate through a small refracting telescope attached to a heliometer. The daguerreotype revealed the moon perfectly positioned over the sun, exposing the solar corona for the first time in photography, hovering like a halo around the darkness.
You can read and see more about these fascinating ventures in astrophotography at Hyperallergic.