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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It's always nice when a movie has a positive, practical message, and there's no message more practical or positive than "don't kill your friends." That simple, but easy to forget piece of human wisdom is at the center of "Don't Kill Your Friends," in which Huntz Hall, as "Ensign Dilbert" keeps killing his friends. He also kills some innocent civilians with whom he seems to have no prior relationship! read more

Throughout the 1990s, the Internet was a slumbering giant. Newspapers and publishers expected it to remain an alternative platform that mainly catered to Neopets enthusiasts and lovers of age-regression porn. In a 1998 column, New York Times elder wonk Paul Krugman summed up this frame of mind with his pedantic, antisocial flair: The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law" -- which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants -- becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's.* * Krugman's column, disappeared from the regular Internet, can still be found here read more

Americans' beliefs about politics are as inaccurate and bizarre as ever. ... The other week, Donald Trump was upstaged at a campaign rally in Florida, not by Representative Ron DeSantis, for whom the rally was ostensibly held, and not by some rowdy supporters, and not by the media. No, Trump was eclipsed by an alleged shadowy figure named Q -- a person at the heart of the "QAnon" conspiracy theory, which holds, among other things, that special counsel Robert Mueller is not actually investigating Russian election interference, but rather top Democrats' involvement in a variety of criminal enterprises, including child sex trafficking.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the "landscape" of universes allowed by string theory. read more

Dozens of cars were set alight and stones thrown at police as gangs of masked youths went rampaging across Sweden on Monday evening. Fires were reported in Malmö, Gothenburg and Helsingborg as dramatic footage showed youths targeting vehicles in a shopping centre and hospital car park at Frölunda Torg in the west of the country. read more


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