Can Anything Be Done About All the Money in Politics? 

Thomas Edsall caps a short survey of our attempts at campaign finance reform with a recommendation to return parties to the center of the political money universe:

Reinvigorating political parties by lifting all restrictions on the contributions they receive and on the way they spend their money — with maximum transparency — is the best option to encourage politicians to respond more to the public will and less to special interests.

Endorsed. Heartily.

[The iPhone] 6 Plus should never have shipped with just 1 gigabyte [of memory]. What’s more, the whole thing makes me more skeptical than ever of Apple’s decision not publicize their mobile devices’ memory specifications. The implication is that users shouldn’t have to worry about counting RAM anymore, and while that may be closer to being true than it ever was before, it’s still not quite realistic. The amount of RAM that Apple shipped with the iPhone 6 Plus last year was just enough memory to get by in 2015; what they should have shipped was twice that… in order to really get away with deprecating this particular specification, Apple should be shipping more than enough, rather than just enough.

Khoi Vinh

This but also for the iPhone 6. A user can (begrudgingly) learn to manage their way around 16 GB of storage, but 1 GB of memory is something that can only ever be at best tolerated and then still the limit will regularly and perhaps very frequently be annoying.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

Isaac Asimov

You’ve Seen It All Before, and Nothing Else Like It 

Joshua Topolsky on the role of design in Apple’s product innovations:

In the age of digital, execution is staggeringly important, and there isn’t a single company in existence that can pull off polish and simplicity like Apple. While other companies struggle just to get all of their devices and services talking to one another, Tim Cook and friends are worrying over the details that actually make consumers pay attention. The products don’t just work the way they should; they feel the way they should. Reducing friction, even a single click, can change the way a user perceives an entire product.

Kim Davis has, in effect, claimed that she is a legislature of 1. Her supporters seem to think that’s just fine. But it’s not. Her actions constitute the pure elevation of individual will over democratic practices. Accepting her decision as legitimate means fundamentally rejecting the notion of government of, for and by the people.

Davis’ supporters seem to claim she’s just exercising her rights in failing to do her job. But she’s not. She’s conflating the law making and the law implementing functions and making her own ego the center of all politics.

That’s not democracy. That’s fascism.

Lane Crothers on Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis who opted to go to jail instead of issuing marriage certificates to gay couples based on her own religious objections

A Salute to Solo Programmers 

Jean-Louis Gassée who in praising solo programmers singles out the excellent Gus Mueller who as Flying Meat Software is the maker of the mighty Acorn:

There is bloat, and there is hope.

I’ve been buying software from Gus and Flying Meat for over a decade. He makes great stuff.

I’m also convinced that Arrow’s Theorem (plus maybe a bit of principle-agent theory) helps explain why all the best apps are made by solo programmers or very, very, small teams.

Donald Trump, the Green Lantern Candidate 

Brendan Nyhan, writing for The New York Times:

Mr. Trump is playing a character we created — a Frankenstein’s monster of myths of the presidency come to life.

Other politicians can’t easily knock down his claims given their own proclivity for making exaggerated promises and claims about what they will accomplish as president. Mr. Trump is in a sense calling their bluff.

Commentators find themselves in a similar bind. Those who often blame presidents for not turning around the economy or failing to exert powers beyond the capacity of the office may find it difficult to hold Mr. Trump accountable. After all, he’s only claiming to possess the Green Lantern-style powers that they’ve previously suggested presidents should exercise.

Any company like Uber, which sits in the middle of a two-sided market, has to constantly navigate supply and demand: it can never have too much of one, relative to the other.

Felix Salmon, attempting to ascertain what Uber pays their drivers (via DF)

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