VICE
"The research discovered that excess deaths between Democrats and Republicans remained steady in the early part of the pandemic then began to separate after vaccines were widely available. Schwartz said the reasons why were beyond the remit of the study, but speculated that early COVID prevention measures were government-driven while the vaccine required someone to make a personal choice."
We should never forgive the political party and their media servants that made this happen.
Popular Information
"In the piece, Fuller recounts a time in 2016 he saw a man grab “a handful of beef jerky” and walk out of a Walgreens. Based on this five-year-old anecdote and a statement from Walgreens, Fuller declared a “shoplifting epidemic” and called into question a sentencing-reform measure that reduced some thefts from felonies to misdemeanors. The piece, notably, does not include any data on crime rates in San Francisco."
The media wrote dozens of stories about a retail theft epidemic but it wasn’t based on reality. Why does the media choose to write about some topics frequently based on hearsay? Why aren’t there consequences or retractions with the same volume?
EFF
"The OGL 1.0a includes a strange term claiming that you agree to be bound by this contract by “using” the “Open Game Content,” such as the mechanics. Wizards of the Coast wrote D&D’s license to operate like a cursed helm, where you’re doomed the moment you put it on."
This is a fun read about the company behind Dungeons & Dragons attempting to change the way people create content for the game. It must be frustrating for Hasbro to see frequent million dollar kickstarter projects for D&D products they didn’t develop. But that demand for their game wouldn’t exist if creators were worried about being sued. They rose to popularity with an open license and now they want to change the terms.
locusmag.com
"Facebook addressed this problem by giving MySpace users who switched to Facebook a bridge between the two services. Simply give this tool your MySpace login and password, and it would use a bot to login to your MySpace account, scrape all the waiting messages in your queues and inbox, and push them into your Facebook feed. You could reply to these, and the bot would log back into MySpace and post those replies as you."
A wild moment in time in Facebook history and total platform lock-in makes this idea of mixing data between services unimaginable today. Happy to see we’re starting to leave these walled gardens and imagining new ways of being online.
Current Affairs
"To ignore Musk is to sacrifice the precious clicks that a new Musk prediction will inevitably garner. Thus a for-profit tech journalism website faces a conflict between its financial self-interest and its integrity. In a time when it’s tough for media outlets to survive, it’s hard to turn down the clicks."
Good rant. Bullshit pays for the media (among others) but causes significant problems for society. Seems like an intractable problem.
Stanford News
"There are also health and attitudinal consequences for managers who are laying people off as well as for the employees who remain. Not surprisingly, layoffs increase people’s stress. Stress, like many attitudes and emotions, is contagious. Depression is contagious, and layoffs increase stress and depression, which are bad for health."
This Stanford professor says the current tech layoffs aren’t based on business fundamentals or economics. It’s basically bad vibes among lemming executives that is causing real pain for everyone.

Music: Champagne Year (St. Vincent Cover)

I am mildly obsessed with the song Champagne Year by St. Vincent so I made a cover version with a guitar as vocals. ugh, the loose timing of everything in this was difficult to copy. But it was a nice musical meditation and challenge over the holiday break.

onfocus 2022 numbers

I've been keeping this site alive since 1998. I don't think it qualifies as a hobby anymore—I'm not sure what it is. Most of what I post here is a quote from a news article with a sentence or two about it. I rarely post personal news like I used to. I think I feel compelled to share something when the article has information I think should be amplified. This site isn't a big amplifier, but it must scratch some sort of psychological itch to do it.

In 2022 I posted 109 recommended articles. I linked to 70 unique hosts. The top 5 sites I linked to were: The Atlantic (9), The Washington Post (8), The New York Times (8), The Guardian (4), and The CNN (4). My most used tags in 2022 were: politics (53), media (20), covid-19 (16), twitter (13), social (9), ethics (8), music (7), health (7), tech-culture (7), government (6).

I only posted three photos here in 2022 and that used to be the majority of posts.

Thanks for spending some of your partial attention here in 2022—even if it's just this post. I do see people reading this site and I appreciate having the outlet.
palant.info
"So the more correct interpretation of events is: we do not have a new breach now, LastPass rather failed to contain the August 2022 breach. And because of that failure people’s data is now gone. Yes, this interpretation is far less favorable of LastPass, which is why they likely try to avoid it."
I believe password managers are critical and also that this password manager is being mismanaged. I guess the time for me to move to a different service was last year.
The Pudding
"A few decades ago, physicists got involved in studying inequality. They normally study the physical world – like how two balls might interact when they hit each other. But they started using their methods to study economics – a field now dubbed econophysics. Instead of looking at how two balls interact, they looked at how two people might interact in a transaction, and then modeled how that might play out on a large scale. This helped them model wealth distribution."
This is a very entertaining article about an economic exercise called the Yard-sale model that helps visualize wealth distribution.
Ed Zitron
"Yet they will always be deeply vulnerable to their own failures. They will always make mistakes, because they don’t believe they’ve ever made one. And when they start losing, they lack the capability to stop the world from falling down around them, because that starts at a point of introspection they’ve never had to reach."
2022 was definitely powered by unchecked ego. This article is a great summary of cracks forming in the media myths.
Lawfare
"Others may argue that with so much money involved, the bad guys will find another way. I strongly disagree. There are only three existing mechanisms capable of transferring a $5 million ransom—a bank-to-bank transfer, cash or cryptocurrencies. No other mechanisms currently exist that can meet the requirements of transferring millions of dollars at a time."
More fuel for the anti-crypto fire.
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