Boston.com used to be a useful website. But something happened earlier this year that has turned the site into one of the biggest piles of drivel I have ever come across. The content that is truly useful and entertaining—Weather Wisdom and Love Letters—are absolutely buried on the site, at least two clicks which in web terms is almost dead and gone, without any links on the front page. If Boston.com weren’t such a hack job nowadays I would kind of understand (but only kind of) making readers walk to the back of the store, but the front page content is so awful now that I don’t want to take the time to dig any deeper than absolutely necessary. Boston.com has become this confusing mix of poorly written editorials mixed in with articles somewhat resembling news (though largely unimportant and much of it having nothing to do with Boston) and not much visible, cohesive organization.
In reading about how to handle registration transfers for new cars, I came upon this question:
Q#9. I am 17 and hold legal title to my 1963 Honduras Maroon Chevy Impala. Can I use this law when I trade the Impala for a 1968 GTO?
“1963 Honduras Maroon Chevy Impala.” I need to add that to the joke vault. I think it’s the “Honduras Maroon.” Apparently it’s a thing.
I might have quoted this in the past, but I think this is just great:
We like free enterprise and tend to favour deregulation and privatisation. But we also like gay marriage, want to legalise drugs and disapprove of monarchy. So is the newspaper right-wing or left-wing? Neither, is the answer. . . it opposes all undue curtailment of an individual’s economic or personal freedom. But like its founders, it is not dogmatic. Where there is a liberal case for government to do something, The Economist will air it. Early in its life, its writers were keen supporters of the income tax, for example. Since then it has backed causes like universal health care and gun control. But its starting point is that government should only remove power and wealth from individuals when it has an excellent reason to do so.
The Economist explains itself: Is The Economist left- or right-wing?
We live in an odd time. Access to information has never been more readily available, though lack of understanding can cause big problems.
I Fucking Love Science: What’s MSG, And Is It Bad For You?
Full stop. Well said.
This, then, was one of my themes for Dune: Don’t give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero’s facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.
It is demonstrable that power structures tend to attract people who want power for the sake of power and that a significant proportion of such people are imbalanced—in a word, insane.
That was the beginning. Heroes are painful, superheroes are a catastrophe. The mistakes of superheroes involve too many of us in disaster.
Dune Genesis by Frank Herbert
The last time I’ve read Dune is many years ago. Perhaps a new reading during my winter break is in order.
I have faith in our ability to manage change, but I do not have faith in change itself if only because change is never as accommodating as we are.
x is free from y to do z
x is free from y to not do z
x is free from y to become z
x is free from y to not become z
x is not free from y to do z
x is not free from y to not do z
x is not free from y to become z
x is not free from y to not become z
Based on work by Gerald MacCallum (1925-1987)
Today, too many of our digital services projects do not work well, are delivered late, or are over budget. To increase the success rate of these projects, the U.S. Government needs a new approach. We created a playbook of 13 key “plays” drawn from successful best practices from the private sector and government that, if followed together, will help government build effective digital services.
U.S. Digital Services Playbook
Three of the plays—1, 6, and 7—focus on people alone. Solid advice for any project.
Everything wrong with Photoshop exemplified in one update:
While I can understand Adobe needs to keep their software fresh to maintain sales, this is just plain old bloatware as far as I am concerned. I don’t need 3D modeling and manipulation in Photoshop. I need a scripting API that actually works so that I can create truly integrated workflows to save me time and money. This 3D update is instead a complete waste of my time and money.
Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing.
Meat, by Terry Bisson
Probably for the best.