onfocus

Some Words To Not
"Letting an AI system do this work for you means giving up all of that. It's like sending a robot to do your WestWorld vacation for you, and just sharing the photos it took on your Instagram feed. Behaving in this way is not at all about cheating, it is about missing the whole point. If you care about having clear ideas and becoming better at what you do, you want to be writing."
I don't see anything in this post.
New York Times
"In 2006, when scientists discovered that H5N1 had not spread easily among humans because it settles deep in their lungs, Kuiken of Erasmus University Medical Center warned that if the virus evolved to bind to receptors in the upper respiratory tract — from which it could become more easily airborne — the risk of a pandemic among humans would rise substantially. The mink outbreak in Spain is a signal that we might be moving along exactly that path."
So this is happening. I really appreciate Zeynep Tufekci's reporting.
API Evangelist
"This makes me wonder what it would be like if I decided to take all my API evangelism superpowers and unionize all of the public API developers out there and ask them to stop working for free. Do not sign up for any new APIs. Do not work for free. I don’t care how interesting an API is, your time is too valuable."
The it’s just business! argument doesn’t ring true when companies expect free public work to build private value.
brr.fyi
"We have plenty of shower space and time. The metered commodity here is water."
Fascinating slice of life from the land of polar bears.
stanforddaily.com
"Stanford’s communicative infrastructure cannot depend on the judgment of social media companies or volunteer maintainers of servers, and social media is too important for our university to leave on the hands of profit-making enterprises or well-meaning nonprofits."
I think all institutions should be considering this if they believe social media is an important way to communicate.
Wired
"And that’s fair because this is new—not just the drug, but the idea of the drug. There’s no API or software to download, but this is nonetheless a technology that will reorder society. I have been the living embodiment of the deadly sin of gluttony, judged as greedy and weak since I was 10 years old—and now the sin is washed away. Baptism by injection."
Paul Ford shares his experience and anxieties taking a newly approved drug that removes hunger.
VICE
"“Contrary to industry narratives, the increase in the price of eggs has not been an ‘Act of God’—it has been simple profiteering,” the letter notes, adding that the industry’s profit margins have risen to “unprecedented” levels alongside egg price increases."
Trust-busters assemble! Is a thing I would say if we had a department of justice. Or a representative government of any kind.
Variety
"As a result, it will be increasingly difficult for any but the most popular podcasts to claim a sizable chunk of the ad dollars available. Creators will therefore need to maximize ad revenue as much as possible, and limiting their potential audience through an exclusive distribution model will be increasingly untenable."
GOOD. I am so happy we still have a distributed, open podcast distribution system based on RSS.
popula.com
"Concerns are, indeed, growing. A regular reader of the Times might conclude that the paper itself is cultivating those concerns—even when the “data is sparse.” With the story about social transitioning in schools, in the past eight months the Times has now published more than 15,000 words’ worth of front-page stories asking whether care and support for young trans people might be going too far or too fast."
NYT continues to be awful and push a harmful agenda.
pluralistic.net
"Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die."
I really wish this die phase would hurry up. A company can wreck a lot in the time it takes to die. (And Cory has been on a roll lately! This post is a barn burner!)
Popular Information
"Ironically, Manatee County is making thousands of books inaccessible to students just in time to celebrate ‘Literacy Week’ in Florida, which runs from January 23 to 27. Only about 50% of students in Manatee County are reading at grade level."
Felony prosecution for providing books in the classroom! This is the nazi behavior we have been warned about happening in modern times.
Washington Post
"Over the past two school years, the number of attempts to remove books from schools has skyrocketed to historic highs. Of the thousands of titles targeted, an overwhelming majority were written by or about people of color and LGBTQ individuals, according to the American Library Association and PEN America."
The real cancel culture in America. Feels like governments in many states trying to dismantle or at least diminish the effectiveness of public education.
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