callingbullCities are trying to figure out what to do about the prospect of snake people moving to the suburbs when they have kids.

GM didn’t kill streetcars. At least, not all by itself.

Raj Chetty’s “income mobility map” is really quite flawed. I pointed in out last year, and Uncle Steve is pointing it out now.

Hospitals are looking for slightly less unfriendly ways to get paid.

I wonder if we’ll have meticulously detailed digital replicas of all the cities, at some point in the future.

You can go too solar, it turns out.

I’d never heard of the MOVE bombing. Had you?

Romania may end bribery by legalizing bribery for physicians. Which is apparently sort of a thing in Hungary.

A sort of real life version of Wyatt’s Torch in Pennsylvania, albeit without the ideological symbolism.

This is definitely true for me: Once a superior product is available, I stop worrying about breaking what I have.

How mustard gas lead to chemotherapy.

According to math, aliens are likely to be about the size of bears.

Half of Democrats, and over a third of Republicans and independents, believe that hate speech should be a criminal offense.

Ramez Naam writes of the disruptive power of renewables.

A snake person quest, in cartoon form.

Immigration officials have a checklist of what to look for when trying to detect their equivalent of green card marriages. Some are saying it’s problematic.


Category: Newsroom

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

19 Responses to Linkluster Cleaning Product

  1. Kolohe says:

    your snake people translator also changed it to that word in the link, making a dead url. (I was wondering if the WaPo had picked up on the same lexicographical convention)

  2. oscar.gordon says:

    Hospitals & high deductible plans – I recall this being something that was discussed a lot during the run up to PPACA, so why didn’t the PPACA include language to expand the HSA’s &/or make them easier to do?

    • trumwill says:

      High deductible plans are becoming a reality. Gruber said the Cadillac tax was a bit of a poison pill that they put in there that would with time push people to higher deductible plans and gradually end the usefulness of the employer-based healthcare system.

      I’m interested to see if that happens! However, Hillary Clinton has said she wants to see the Cadillac Tax go.

      • Oscar Gordon says:

        Hillary is saying a lot of things right now that won’t make it through the general election.

        • trumwill says:

          Yeah, but this one seems to have momentum. Seems a good chance that will be a part of the compromise to please Democrats in exchange for repealing the medical devices tax (which the GOP wants).

          This assumes Congress starts functioning again, of course.

  3. mike shupp says:

    I’d not take that “math” about bear-sized aliens seriously. We probably had fewer than fifty million human beings running around back when agriculture was getting off the ground — probably a lot fewer people, actually — and humans were not hugely bigger ten thousand years ago.

    Maybe for squirrels and coyotes size and population density are correlated. But humans don’t rely on “natural” processes to feed themselves. Nor, for that matter, do house cats or cattle.

    • Michael Cain says:

      OTOH, Charlie Stross and I have both done SWAG estimates about the size of the population necessary to support the current leading-edge human tech. He argues that given sufficient central command-and-control, a touch under 10M is enough. I put it at 30-50M without the command-and-control, because there will be inefficiencies. This is a topic with a long history in speculative fiction. One of the oldest that I remember is in James Blish’s Cities in Flight novels; core NYC, with a population of a few million, has to engage in trade of people and ideas because they aren’t self-sufficient despite a large degree of automation (eg, secondary education).

      • Michael Cain says:

        Off on a tangent, if we’re looking for space-faring aliens, if I remember the numbers correctly, a somewhat denser Earth with surface gravity of 1.3g makes it impossible — given what we know today about strength of materials and chemical reactions — to reach low orbit with chemical-powered rockets.

        • Oscar Gordon says:

          So Nuclear power?

        • Michael Cain says:

          That question’s more your bailiwick, isn’t it? I’m just a systems guy. I seem to recall that they’re not that much more powerful than chemical rockets, and if used in the initial lift phase, have a probability of spraying nasties into the biosphere that ranges from 1.0 for some designs down to “it’s only a problem in those odd cases where something goes wrong and it blows up.”

        • oscar.gordon says:

          Well, yes, but I’d have to do some work to find out. I was just wondering if the source that had mentioned the 1.3Gs limit had put forth techniques that would work in a higher gravity field.

        • oscar.gordon says:

          OK, so did some quick number crunching, and it is possible to get to low orbit at 1.3Gs, but it would be pretty much impossible the way we normally do it.

          It might be possible in a fashion similar to SpaceShipOne. I’d have to do more math I don’t have time for.

  4. RTod says:

    The term MOVE Bombing threw me, but when I looked at the linked article I thought, “Oh, he’s talking about the Osage Ave bombing.” I’ve never heard it referred to as the MOVE bombing before now.

    The article you linked to is interesting, in that it points to the fact that it occurred in a pre-internet/24 hour news era as being the reason why it was never a thing people cared much about after it happened. I think that’s wrong. The author points to current police shootings as the obvious comparison point, but there’s really a far more obvious one: rural militias, which were big news in the late 80s and early 90s.

    In fact, when government killed civilians at Waco and Ruby Ridge just a few years later, there was a pretty enormous outcry about it from conservative and anti-government groups, including libertarians. In fact, those two events became a staple of conservative talk radio fodder for more than a decade, and are still brought up *somewhat* frequently on talk radio and FOX.

    All of which is to say that there was indeed a notable difference that likely led to people going nuts about the government’s actions against rural militias and not caring all that much about the people who lived in and around the urban MOVE compound, which included neighborhood residents and home owners who had nothing to do with MOVE. But that difference wasn’t the internet.

    • trumwill says:

      They’re certainly not all wrong. Even

      What did talk radio have in early 2000? A very strong information network. Easily the best of its time. So if alleged government misbehavior of particular interest to them happens, it has lots and lots of walls to bounce off of.

      The left, meanwhile, didn’t have that network then… but the Internet provided them the network that the right had back then. Which I think validates their point.

      • Glyph says:

        There’s also the factor that until fairly recently a lot of conservatives or libertarians, by dint of their small/local-control political preferences, would tend to see a questionable or illegal Philly (or Ferguson, or Baltimore, etc.) police actions as a Philly, Ferguson or Baltimore problem; whereas Waco and Ruby Ridge were the Fed, which can reach anywhere; that is, they are everybody’s problem.

        • Glyph says:

          Thinking about this some more, there’s something else too. When I think “cult” (and MOVE at that time were arguably sort of one), I tend to think of the Jim Joneses and the David Koreshes and Father Yod and Heaven’s Gate – that is, I tend to think of “weird/noncomforming white people”. Only Oregonians and Bloom County fans remember the Bhagwan.

          But surely there are proportionally just as many weirdos of color.

          Why don’t they quickly come to mind when I’m thinking “cult”?

          I suspect that much as people tend to be most concerned for those “like them”, they also tend to pay more attention to those in “their” group who deviate from it in some way; that is, they tend to leave worrying about the fate of the black (potential) cult, to black people.

  5. fillyjonk says:

    20 or so years ago, I did the Slacker’s Quest (the Gen-X version of the Snake People Quest).

    I don’t remember it being so questy.

    I don’t remember (figuratively) killing so many monsters.

    I remember it as being largely about fighting boredom and the envy I felt for friends who were pulling down $45K with a B.S.

    I did have better success than the character in that did at getting a job when I emerged with a Ph.D., but that was partly blind luck (found a job posting for someone retiring who taught the classes I could teach)

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