Open Apple, closed Apple   ◆

Fun article from Christopher Phin in Macworld:

You can date an Apple user as accurately as a botanist counting rings to date a tree, and you don’t even have to cut them in half first.

What you do is work out what they call the Mac’s secondary modifier key. This is trickier to do than you might think, as evidenced by how I had to come up with that awkward description rather than name it myself and so skew your response.

I won’t spoil it, but I’m definitely what Phin calls “a more seasoned veteran”, though I certainly could be a “true keeper of the flame” considering my pre-Macintosh Apple experience.

Seeing White   ◆

From the Scene on Radio podcast, a 14-part series on “whiteness”:

Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story.

Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?

Fourteen utterly compelling episodes. A must listen, regardless of your “race”.

T La Rock, the Man Who Forgot He Was a Rap Legend   ◆

Gorgeously written story in GQ.

T La Rock was one of the pioneers of hip-hop, an old-school legend sampled by Public Enemy and Nas. But after a brutal attack put him in a nursing home, he had to fight to recover his identity, starting with the fact that he’d ever been a rapper at all.

The embedded music brought back memories of my youth in New York.

The Tragic, Forgotten History of Black Military Veterans   ◆

The New Yorker:

“We do so much in this country to celebrate and honor folks who risk their lives on the battlefield,” Stevenson told me recently. “But we don’t remember that black veterans were more likely to be attacked for their service than honored for it.” To be a soldier is to receive training in weapons, in organizations, in tactics: the skills of self-assertion. It is also to lay claim to the reverence that America sets aside for its former warriors. For these reasons, the return home of black soldiers after war has infuriated and terrified white America, setting the stage for reactionary aggression.”.

How a Decision Journal Changed the Way I make Decisions   ◆

A decision journal helps you collect accurate and honest feedback on what you were thinking as you made various decisions. This feedback also helps you see when you were lucky. Sometimes things work out for very different reasons than we thought they would. The key to understanding the limits to our knowledge (see circle of competence) is to check the results of our decisions against what we thought was going to happen and why we thought it was going to happen. That feedback loop is incredibly powerful because our minds won’t provide it by themselves.

Spy Circles Suggest Kremlin Is Behind Dozens of Fake Trump Sex Tapes   ◆


To sum up, the idea that President Trump has been caught on tape doing something sordid is inherently in the realm of the possible. But has he been? Here’s where things get tricky, fast. I’ve investigated this issue for the past couple years. I’ve talked to dozens of well-placed sources (many of them longtime spy-friends), and I can share with you some basic conclusions.

To be clear: having fake sex tapes can only be an issue if there’s reason to believe their are real sex tapes too.

I Miss Barack Obama   ◆

David Brooks, writing for the New York Times one year ago:

[…] it feels as if there’s been a decline in behavioral standards across the board. Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses, and that maybe we have taken too much for granted, have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply.

That was about the campaign, and the decline seems to have continued its downward trend since the election.

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.

It’s safe to say that none of those adjectives will ever be used to describe the current White House occupant, without a negation in front.