May 02, 2017

The Crowd is Catching Up

Hi Crowd!

It’s been a long time since I sent out a newsletter because I’m been 10000% invested and focused on the “Our World Our Data” conference I produced this last weekend at MIT. I’ve got more to write on that, as well as more on current bits, but I need to clear the cache and the stuff below is a half written letter from many weeks ago, just to get it off my plate and into your hands. Sorry if it sucks, I promise you’ll see another very soon.




“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: "I don’t bother you - don’t bother me". - Yohji Yamamoto


As someone who wears all black all the time, I loved reading this piece about why fashion designers wear all black all the time.


“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: "I don’t bother you - don’t bother me". - Yohji Yamamoto


Also, I’m kinda digging this wheel record player.


If you want to see how public perception and reality don’t line up, just look at the Fearless Girl statue in NY.


Have you been following the Spouseware story? Seriously… if you are so worried about what you spouse/partner/etc is doing that you are buying software to spy on them you should probably get out of that relationship because you aren’t mature enough to handle it. This survey showing that millennials prefer government spying to partner spying 1 to 5 is kind of misleading and click-baity - I think given the choice anyone would prefer “random anonymous faceless group they may never encounter” spying on them over “someone they love and trust and see every single day.” No? One of those is an infringement on your rights, one is a breach of personal trust. Pretty clear which is immediately more painful. That doesn’t seem surprising to me.


This NY Times profile on Travis from Uber is brutal. And so is this New Yorker story about a woman who was sex trafficked.Take note in it that village priests put curses on girls telling them if they ever try to run away the curse will get them. Surprise, religion and superstition causing problems again. Though I feel when talking sex trafficking it’s important to draw the line between that and sex work, and I found these “9 things I learned after a year of sex work” pretty eye opening. Sex work in general in a hard topic because it gets deep into the roots of what choices people can make on their own without societal influence, as well as the question if we as a society an unattainable ideal that people should be able to find partners with 100% matching sex drives. If you want to read more on this, the book “Mating in Captivity” is a quick and interesting read. You may remember an old link I posted that showed couples who have sex just once a week see physical and emotional benefits from it, though singles with the same frequency don’t see those same perks. And more often than once a week doesn’t increase that at all, but less - even if both people think it’s enough doesn’t show the same benefits. There’s some magic in the “couple + sex” here. But the truth is there’s so much we don’t know about this, and I think it’s a shame that there is such a stigma on studying it because we have so much to learn and people would probably be much happier knowing it. Speaking of knowing things and sex work, did you know there’s a Trip Advisor for UK Sex Workers? Somewhat related, anyone surprised that a high percentage of Catholic priests are gay? Speaking of not being surprised, people are using drones to send porn and drugs to inmates.


Speaking of relationships and being happy, or not - there is more evidence that Facebook is bad for you, bad for your friends and bad for everyone’s mental and emotional wellbeing. And while you can use things like Go Rando to try and mess with what Facebook thinks you like, the research shows that if you delete your Facebook account you’ll be happier. Speaking if being happier, I’ve never done acid and have a blanket hands off policy on recreational drugs, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the idea of microdosing very interesting.


It turns out people aren’t just being stubborn and ignorant, but rather there are reasons why facts don’t change our minds, and chances are your musical tastes got frozen in your 20s.


The meaning of life is *

Tell me something, would you like it if this newsletter was more scheduled? Or do you like the random-you-never-know-when-it’s-coming-ness of it?