The problem with the G.O.P. isn’t callousness, greed, or even self-righteous asshattery. It’s all of the magical thinking:

Take the new Republican Senator from North Carolina Thom Tillis, who must have thought this annecdote would help strengthen an argument about role of government as reported in the Washington Post:

Tillis said he was at a Starbucks in 2010 talking to a woman about regulations and where businesses should be allowed to opt out. His coffee companion challenged him, asking whether employees there should be required to wash their hands.

As a matter of fact I think this is one where I think I can illustrate the point,” he recalled telling her. “I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says we don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom. The market will take care of that. It’s one example.”

As Colby Itkowitz points out in a parantetical: ”Is requiring a sign not a regulation?” Putting logic asside, how much do you have to love liberty to be against public health policies like hand-washing? Or is this just a costly signal? And if so, is the demand to signal to the base creating a one-upmanship which has forced some of those seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to come out against mandated vaccination? I want to beleive that they are smarter than this and that they just assume their voters aren’t.

The Republican Party circa 2015: pro-guns, no shots, and very dirty hands.

[The recent measles] outbreak has fueled a backlash against the anti-vaccine movement that is likely to be counterproductive. Dr. James Cherry, an infectious disease specialist at U.C.L.A., for instance, labeled parents of unvaccinated children “selfish” and “dumb,” while a Los Angeles Times columnist, Michael Hiltzik, called for treating “the anti-vaccination crowd” as “public enemies.” If we’ve learned anything in politics over the last few decades, it’s that this kind of language is likely to be polarizing, driving people away rather than persuading them.

– Brendan Nyhan, Spreading Along With Measles: Polarization on a Hot-Button Issue

Verisign, the registry responsible for .NET, is raising its costs by $0.61.

I feel a great disturbance in the Internet, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

Kids will think it’s funny that their ancestors used to stare at glowing rectangles hoping to suspend disbelief.

Chris Dixon on Virtual Reality

AT&T: Give us $10 per month to access your existing family plan data bucket.

Me: Okay and how much more data do I get in my bucket per month?

AT&T: None, but you have to lock your SIM card to our network.

Me: Um… brb.

T-Mobile: please accept our offer of 200mb/mo of free LTE data.

Me: Thanks, I will!


[several months pass]


T-Mobile: Hey, you’ve used over 80% of your 200mb allotment this month. Toss us $10 and we’ll give you 5gb.

Me: Ha! What’s the catch?

T-Mobile [sheepishly]: You have 150 days to use the 5gb, BUT we promise not to dip into this bucket until you exhaust your free 200mb.

Me: Wait, that’s not a catch?

T-Mobile: I love you!

Me: I know.


If you are going out to eat with a small group, I recommend two stops. No, don’t eat any more food than usual, but distribute your meal across two restaurants. Have a few appetizers in one, and then leave and move on to another.... This approach will improve the conversation at your table, if only by breaking up the original seating plan. It also makes you more aware and more appreciative of what you are eating.

If you are going out to a movie, see two. There is a fixed cost of attending, whether in terms of the traffic, the babysitter, or simply the will to spend time away from Facebook.

– Tyler Cowen suggests Playing Two

I came of age in San Francisco working at a software startup during the dot com boom. The cyberpunks and the geeks were my friends. We worked together, we lived together, we raved together. Yes, a lot of what motivated us was the golden handcuffs (i.e. a salary of stock options only good in a future IPO) but I remember being motivated by the idea of technology changing the world for the better. Sometimes it felt like we were revolutionaries. Unfortunately a lot of those ideals, if they still exist, have become…corrupted is too strong a word… subsumed. The revolution has been corporatized.

Zoë Keating on being pressured into a business deal with YouTube

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