Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday Night Links

  • We sailed overnight from Abu Tig and arrived at the Suez Canal Yacht Club around 9am. We had been in radio contact with Felix Agency for hours and they did a good job of juggling quite a few boats that were arriving. We got tied up to the buoys quickly and with plenty of help from the yacht club people. A number of boats had previously reports excessive charges for canal transit. In Abu Tig, at least 5 boats were carefully measured and we calculated the expected charges based on the published formula. We all had these numbers for reference. The measurer was on Sea Witch with a couple of hours of arrival. Although Felix Agency had promised to accompany the measurer, they were not present on our boat or any of the other boats I spoke with that day. The measurer came down below and sat at my saloon table. He asked me to measure my engine room - width, height and length. No other measurements of any kind were taken. He asked for the numbers from my coast guard doc certificate and also looked at the measurement form I had prepared. I showed him my calculations and the expected amount. He said he "would see". The previous week, Heartsong III and Nighthawk had transited the canal. Their measurer (no idea if it was the same gentleman or not) had asked them for a watch, sunglasses and a phone. We had cigarettes, money in an envelope and sunglasses prepared. When he went to leave, we gave him the money ($10 USD - all the boats had agreed to not give more than that) and a pack of cigarettes. He politely asked if we had anything "to remember the boat by". We gave him a hat and a picture of the boat. So far, we were content with the process. [Sail Safely]
  • This means the actual artwork does not technically benefit from any of the tamper-proof advantages like “decentralization” or “immutability” typically associated with the blockchain (unless you think of the token itself as the artwork instead of the image). Put another way, there is nothing stopping someone from altering, moving, or removing the image from the location the hash is pointing to. If that were to happen, all you would be left with is an immutable record stating that you own an artwork, with no way of actually seeing it. Perhaps you are thinking, “Why not just store the image on the blockchain? It is, after all, a database, right?” Well, blockchain is great for a lot of things, but storing large image files is not one of them. Unless you can make art with a super tiny footprint, it is impractical to store traditional image files like JPEG or PNG on the blockchain. This is what makes Autoglyphs so damn cool. Matt and John decided to accept the storage limitations of the blockchain as a challenge to see what they could create that could actually be stored “on chain.” [Artnome]
  • Seattle is a disaster. I originally started doing policy research on homelessness, trying to understand why all of the West Coast cities have become havens of tent camping, open drug use, and public disorder. I had watched it happen in my own neighbourhood over the course of a few years. It was an affluent place—median home price above $1 million—but it just collapsed. First it was tents on the sidewalks and people shitting in the streets; then it was a series of armed robberies and a man immolating another man with a Slurpee cup full of lighter fluid. Our local elementary school had to do regular “needle assemblies,” teaching kids how to avoid syringes on the playground because there was a massive homeless encampment less than 100 yards from the school. I naively thought that better policies could solve the problem. But the problem is much deeper— it’s the political culture. People in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have been brainwashed into believing that decriminalizing street camping, welcoming opioid migrants, providing “harm reduction” services, and dismantling the state psychiatric hospitals is a form of “compassion.” Instead, they’ve created one of the greatest institutional cruelties in the United States—hundreds of thousands of people left to rot and die in the streets. All of the problems with social justice progressivism can be identified in this single issue. It’s textbook unintended consequences. [Niccolo Soldo]
  • Tesla is using its owners as "guinea pigs for the technology," Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group, told Insider. "And what's much more concerning, quite frankly, is they're using consumers, bystanders, other passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists as lab rats for an experiment for which none of these people signed up." [Business Insider]
  • We’ve seen moral panics like this many times across American history erupting in the Eastern states which have produced generations of millenarian lunatics, utopian dreamers, fanatics, zealots and religious hypocrites bent on imposing conformity and trampling on the rights of everyone else who lives in this country who are the EVIL oppressors standing in the way of the perfection of the world. The great EVIL of the age changes across history. The perverse mentality that gives rise to it though is perennial. [Occidental Dissent]
  • Over half of the excess mortality from all unintentional injuries among Native Americans resulted from hypothermia and from pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. New Mexico Native Americans were nearly eight times more likely to die in pedestrian--motor vehicle crashes and were 30 times more likely to die of hypothermia compared with other New Mexico residents. At death, 90% of those Native Americans tested were highly intoxicated (median blood alcohol concentrations of 0.24 and 0.18 g/dL [corrected] for pedestrian and hypothermia deaths, respectively). Despite the fact that most Native Americans in New Mexico live on reservations, most deaths occurred at off-reservation sites in border towns and on roads leading back to the reservation. Conclusions: The possession and sale of alcohol is illegal on many Native American reservations. This policy forces Native Americans who want to drink to travel long distances to obtain alcohol. These data suggest that this policy is also the likely explanation for the markedly increased risk of death from hypothermia and pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in this population. [NLM]
  • Your job is to make the Marxist argument that this is the typical ruling class tactic of using racial animus to keep the working classes divided and powerless. If you do this right, you can get a bunch of minorities on your side without driving away any whites; mutual enemies are the duct tape of political coalitions. The pro-Trump shift among blacks and Hispanics in 2020 proves that minorities are willing to vote Republican once someone frames the conflict in class terms. And success stories like Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Nikki Haley prove that white Republicans are friendly to minorities once they're convinced they share their values. [Slate Star Codex]

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