links for 2010-08-26

  • goes through all the interview steps, too detailed to quote
  • terrible. Given that factual backdrop, you'd think that people would say, "You're right, we made a terrible, terrible error, we investigated the case incorrectly, and it led to this tragic result." But no. Even with the DNA evidence, even though the serial murder-rapist gave a full, detailed confession and provided all kinds of details that no one knew, but the real perpetrator could know, this detective just last week said, "I'm sorry, that's ridiculous, Jeffrey Deskovic is guilty. The only false confession in this whole matter is the false confession given by the serial rape-murderer."
  • To me, the meaning was clear: when people search, they aren't just looking for nouns or information; they are looking for action. They want to book a flight, reserve a table, buy a product, cure a hangover, take a class, fix a leak, resolve an argument, or occasionally find a person, for which Facebook is very handy. They mostly want to find something in order to do something.
  • Social norms etc - if you expect that everyone else is cheating/stealing you do too
  • The park officials in Massachusetts aren't really trying to minimise the risk that you might drown. They're trying to minimise the risk that you might sue. The problem here, as Mr Howard says, isn't simply over-regulation as such. It's a culture of litigiousness and a refusal to accept personal responsibility. When some of the public behave like children, we all get a nanny state.
  • The implicit recommendation seems to be that when you’re choosing a tomato, you should care about all the energy costs. Well, yes. You should. You should care about all those costs. And here are some other things you should care about: How many grapes were sacrificed by growing that California tomato in a place where there might have been a vineyard? How many morning commutes are increased, and by how much, because that New York greenhouse displaces a conveniently located housing development? What useful tasks could those California workers perform if they weren’t busy growing tomatoes? What about the New York workers? What alternative uses were there for the fertilizers and the farming equipment — or better yet, the resources that went into producing those fertilizers and farming equipment — in each location?
  • STUFF I DON’T WANT TO DO, AND WON’T: -ORGANIZE ALL MY DIGITAL PHOTOS -STAY ON TOP OF ALL MY EMAILS -DRINK 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY -DO IRON MAN OR CLIMB EVEREST STUFF I WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE: -ALLOW TOXIC PEOPLE IN MY AIR SPACE -NONSENSE STUFF WE HUMANS SHOULD NO LONGER ALLOW: -CNN BLARING IN AIRPORTS/PUBLIC SPACES (SO MANY BETTER OPTIONS!) -NON-STOP CONNECTIVITY– EATING INTO THE SACRED SPACE WHERE INVALUABLE REFLECTING AND THINKING OCCURS. -LETTING ANYONE UNDER AGE 18 DRIVE -RIDICULOUSLY COLD AIR CONDITIONING IN JUST ABOUT EVERY PUBLIC SPACE (MAJOR WASTE OF ENERGY, AS WELL AS UNCOMFORTABLY FREEZING) -5-YEAR PARTY SCHOOLS
  • photos of social networking names, poverty, pretty
  • One explanation is that nerds want to show off their non-social skills, and so require social games so that there are others who can observe their impressive performance. But nerds seem to prefer more social interaction in their games than having a mere audience requires. Another explanation is that while nerds like to socialize, they are terrified of making social mistakes. This explains why they tend to avoid eye-contact – it is too easy to make the wrong eye contacts. Games let nerds interact socially, yet avoid mistakes via well-defined rules, and a social norm that all legal moves are “fair game.” Role-playing has less well-defined rules, but the norm there is that social mistakes are to be blamed on characters, not players.
  • anne holland posts results of A/B tests on this blog. interesting finding: "We think it’s interesting that Version A won even though its ‘Download Now’ button was way below the fold. Perhaps the authoritative quote made a big impact. Kudos to YNAB for testing their product tour page. This shows you really should be testing every page that can get you more conversions."
  • Amazing, inspiring
  • writer goes to amsterdam to see what retail pot looks like. When Jason asks me before my first shift, "So, you did your homework? You know your way around the menu?" I say, "Oh, sure." But what really happened during my tasting session was that I got very worried that someone in the coffee shop might try to talk to me, so I sprinted back to my hotel and stood in front of the elevator for thirty terrified seconds, praying that I wouldn't have to cope with the desk clerk bidding me good evening. At last I made it to the third floor and was so relieved to reach the sanctuary of my room that I spent twenty minutes moonwalking the carpet and singing Andy Gibb's "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" before collapsing on the bed, where I lay awake until dawn, quaking with the conviction that every decision I've made since birth has been corrupt, selfish, and wrong.
  • large numbers of planes sitting empty in western deserts
  • incapable of being imitated or copied; surpassing imitation; matchless. Like this word
  • great introduction to a counterintuitive idea, that you should want to live as long as possible. I am appreciating this format more and more "All right," Harry said coldly. "I'll answer your original question, then. You asked why Dark Wizards are afraid of death. Pretend, Headmaster, that you really believed in souls. Pretend that anyone could verify the existence of souls at any time, pretend that nobody cried at funerals because they knew their loved ones were still alive. Now can you imagine destroying a soul? Ripping it to shreds so that nothing remains to go on its next great adventure? Can you imagine what a terrible thing that would be, the worst crime that had ever been committed in the history of the universe, which you would do anything to prevent from happening even once? Because that's what Death really is - the annihilation of a soul!"

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