Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

  • “What I think but don’t say is that we “dare” charge what we do because a critical mass of people are willing to pay that much. As someone who thinks capitalism is on the whole pretty icky, it makes a definite amount of sense to me that if what we’re offering is essentially a luxury service, we would charge as much as people are willing to pay. If what we’re offering isn’t food or water or medicine or a foundational education (which, don’t get me started), as long as it’s a sidecar, an add-on, an optional addition to those necessities, why shouldn’t we charge what people will pay, so long as they’re happy with the results?

    And then I cringe, listening to my own thoughts.”

    tags: weekly test prep capitalism essential supply demand

  • I don’t know how I feel about the song but the way it all works technically is pretty fascinating.

    tags: music loops technology weekly youtube video

  • “It’s an iterative process. I’m peeling an onion, and I can continue peeling that onion for the probably the rest of my life.

    How many times have you sneezed today? This month? Over the last 3 years? Thomas Christiansen knows his sneeze count because he’s been tracking them since 2011. We’ve actually heard from Thomas before, but we were happy to have him give an update on his unique self-tracking project at the 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference.
    To better understand his allergies and his overall health, Thomas began tracking a discrete phenomena, his sneezes. By plotting them over time and then exposing himself to other data like sleep, travel, and diet he’s been able to start to understand himself better. Watch his talk below to see what Thomas learned, and how he thinks about his process of continuous learning.

    tags: weekly thoughtvectors sneeze rabbithole qs quantifiedself

  • ““Mad Jack” Churchill enjoyed danger so much that he fought World War II with arrows and a broadsword — that’s him on the far right below, leading a training exercise in Scotland.

    “Any officer who goes into action without his sword,” he said, “is improperly dressed.”

    Churchill charged through the whole war this way — he’s the only British soldier to fell an enemy with a longbow — and yet he lived to be 90. He died peacefully in Surrey in 1996.”

    tags: history weekly wwii

  • “He requested that his skin be made into two drumheads, to become the property of his life-long friend, Warren Simpson, leader of a drum corps, of Cohasset, on condition that on Bunker Hill at sunrise, June 17th, each year, he should beat on the said drum the tune of ‘Yankee Doodle.’ On one drum-head was to be inscribed Pope’s ‘Universal Prayer,’ and on the other the ‘Declaration of Independence.’

    ‘The remainder of my body,’ he continues, ‘unless for anatomical purposes, to be composted for a fertilizer to contribute to the growth of an American elm, to be planted in some rural thoroughfare, that the weary wayfarer may rest, and innocent children play beneath its umbrageous branches rendered luxuriant by my remains.’”

    http://t.co/VMjnW3zsU1 I need to one up this guy for plans for my corpse.

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 19, 2014

    tags: IFTTT Twitter weekly futility closet death drums

  • “Instead, rain brings them salvation. When it falls over the ocean, it doesn’t mix with the seawater straight away. Instead, it forms a layer that is either fresh or only mildly salty. If the conditions are right, these “freshwater lenses” can be both deep and persistent. And the yellow-bellied sea snake, it seems, drinks from them.”

    tags: research water ocean snakes weekly wcydwt thoughtvectors

  • A path to really, really boring writing.

    “Not sure if what you’ve written is correct? Writefull tells you how often your selected text is found in the database.

    If the number is low, this means it has not been used by many writers before you, and you might want to change it into something else. If the number is high, your selected text is good as it is!

    tags: writing data weekly technology dystopia english WRITEFULL

    • Not sure if what you’ve written is correct? Writefull tells you how often your selected text is found in the database.


      If the number is low, this means it has not been used by many writers before you, and you might want to change it into something else. If the number is high, your selected text is good as it is!




  • “Next month, with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Taveras’ city will launch “Providence Talks,” a new effort to take on the “word gap.” Providence will distribute small recording devices — essentially word pedometers — that tuck into the vest of a child’s clothing. These will automatically record and calculate the number of words spoken and the number of times a parent and child quickly ask and answer each other’s questions.”

    tags: words data quantified vocabulary weekly ?

  • ““There are an infinite number of boring things to do in science,” he told me. “But we live these short life spans. Why not do the thing that’s the coolest thing in the world to do?””

    tags: neuroscience brain perception newyorker weekly

  • “We trust children with freedom to a larger extent. For instance, no grades are given until age 12, which I would say is proof that we trust children longer to learn without threats. School itself starts later, at age seven. There are little academics before then. The goal for a child at seven is to be able to write his or her name and to know that reading is done form left to right. Other than that, it’s all play, and some exercises are meant to foster students’ sense of trust and safety in each other.”

    tags: education trust sticks grades weekly

  • “Apparently, it was common among protesters to carry around the leftovers of weapons that failed to take them out of the game.”

    tags: weapons ukrainian revolution weekly

  • “Why does a $500 tuxedo rent for $90 a day while a $20,000 cat rents for only $40?
    Why do female models earn so much more than male models?
    Why might retailers deliberately hammer dents into their own appliances?
    Why do the keypad buttons of drive-up cash machines have Braille dots?
    Why are child safety seats required in cats but not in airplanes?
    Why are whales, but not chickens, in danger of extinction?
    Why is there a light in your refrigerator but not in your freezer?
    Why do 24-hour convenience stores have locks on their doors?
    Why are newspapers, but not soft drinks, sold in vending machines that allow customers to take more units than they paid for?
    Why are brown eggs more expensive than white ones, even though the two types taste the same and have identical nutritional value?

    h/t Enoch

    tags: economics questions weekly

  • “”The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity, a network not of wires but of people,” said Francis, adding: “The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.””

    Pope Francis says the Internet is a ‘gift from God’ – http://t.co/axJpSb9Byr “”The digital world can be an … http://t.co/JrhAFoDzCt

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 17, 2014

    tags: IFTTT Twitter weekly pope internet culture tweet

  • “*The school is a business that produces educated children as products. The teachers are employees. The administrators are managers. The government is the board of directors. The tax-payers are the shareholders. School-businesses must be “accountable,” which means producing quarterly reports in which numbers — test scores, attendance — go up, regardless of whether that reflects any underlying educational merit.

    Homework is eating American schoolkids and their families – Boing Boing “*The school is a business that produ… http://t.co/acZAnMfyf0

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 17, 2014

    tags: IFTTT Twitter weekly education school tweet homework

  • “What can we learn from Information Aesthetics to understand today’s condition and potentials of media analytics? What could Max Bense’s mathematical philosophy of critical rationalism tell us about the objective reign of information and algorithms of nowadays? Are there affiliations between the filigree vector graphics of the sixties and seventies to the exuberant image aggregates after the iconic turn? And: how could connections look like between methods of distant readings of abundant piles of pictures with very close investigations of their details? What would ultimately be a simulation of the art historian’s gaze by the means of digital computers? Could even art history become a branch of computer science? And: how will aesthetical questions be answered in the age of Big Data?

    Cultural Analytics as proposed by Lev Manovich is a contemporary attempt to address such questions. Departing from the problem that digital image media brought about in the last decades – the impossibility to view all or at least a significant fraction of all of the images that circulate in the net – Cultural Analytics aims to offer methodologies for dealing with this torrent of images by creating visualizations and thus even more images extracting chrominance, size, creation date, information, redundancy etc.

    tags: dataviz information analytics aesthetics weekly

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