Mister Rogers to His Adult Viewers

Mister Rogers died twelve years ago yesterday. In honor of his legacy, PBS released the following nessage he recorded just months before he died. This message, intended for the adults who grew up watching him, captures in miniature the heartfelt traits that made him so beloved. RIP.

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Found: Genetic Markers for Chronic Fatigue

Found: Genetic Markers for Chronic Fatigue→

The immune systems of people with chronic fatigue syndrome differ from those of healthy people, and patients with recent diagnoses can be distinguished from those who have had the condition for longer, researchers reported on Friday.

The findings do not have immediate clinical applications for patients, experts said. But the biomarkers discovered by the scientists may eventually form the basis of the first diagnostic test for the illness.

Encouraging news. Faster please.

How Programming Is Like…

How Programming Is Like…→

…solving a Rubik’s Cube:

When you attempt to solve a Rubik’s cube, doing one side is pretty easy. It can often appear that you are making good progress: it’s already 1/6th complete! As you try to solve another side, you realise that in order to complete the second side, you have messed up the side you have already completed. These unintended consequences are very common when you write code. If you manage to complete 2 sides you feel like you are making significant progress – 1/3rd of the puzzle is now solved, you might think.

As you progress to the next side you become aware of the increasing complexity – how making changes in one place has ‘knock on’ effects in another. With each side you attempt, the difficulty of completing it becomes harder until you realise that you need to take a different approach.

ISIS Next Target

ISIS Next Target→

Lebanon. Michael Totten’s assessment is rather pessimistic too:

ISIS has announced that Lebanon will be the next state to fall under the sway of its “caliphate.” According to Beirut’s Daily Star newspaper, the only reason ISIS hasn’t attacked yet in force is because they haven’t decided on the mission’s commander.

The Lebanese army is one of the least effective in the Middle East—and that’s saying something in a region where the far more capable Syrian and Iraqi armies are utterly failing to safeguard what should be their own sovereign territory.

So France is going to send a three billion dollar package of weapons to Lebanon and the Saudis are going to pay for it. It won’t solve the problem any more than a full-body cast will cure cancer, but it beats standing around and not even trying.

Is Mobile Tech Killing High End Photography?

Is Mobile Tech Killing High End Photography?→

Vincent Laforet predicts that the age of the standalone camera is coming to an end. His is an interesting persoective and probabky right for the vast majority of users.

“Long story short:  most companies are going to stop catering to the professional high end market.    The market has changed enough in the past years so significantly, that’s it’s more likely that the average user is following a YouTube user you may never have heard of – as opposed to a highly decorated and respected professional photographer who is an “Ambassador” for a specific brand.    We should all be paying attention to this trend…   Brands follow the clicks and traffic – end of story.   Today is all about “ROI” or “Return on Investment” or clicks that can be tracked and quantified.

Why the Gap Between Worker Pay and Productivity Is So Problematic

Why the Gap Between Worker Pay and Productivity Is So Problematic→

Wages are stagnating. This interview explores why and how we’ve coped.

This much is clear: there are no easy answers.

Rivkin: There are some forces at work that are unstoppable and we probably wouldn’t want to stop them even if we could. Forces of globalization, technological change—those genies are out of the bottle. But there are other parts of they dynamic that are purely choice. The damage done by underinvestment is a self-inflicted wound.

We need a movement toward cross-sector collaboration for rebuilding the commons and for sharing prosperity. We’re seeing multiple examples of businesses that have realized that it’s in their interest to make sure that their workers are well educated, are skilled, that their supply networks are healthy, that the infrastructure in the cities where they operate is strong.

The Problem With Fact-Checking the Internet

The Problem With Fact-Checking the Internet→

Truth is hard:

[Facebook news feed manager Marra said:] ‘We haven’t tried to do anything around objective truth,’ Marra mused. ‘It’s a complicated topic, and probably not the first thing we would bite off.’

I can understand Marra’s reluctance to police stories based on fact. Even in a society with ready access to fact-checking sources, what constitutes ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ is highly problematic. It shouldn’t surprise us that, even in this age of Google, myths remain, because these myths feed into a deeper truth that we believe about the world – that ‘radical feminists’ are so ridiculous they want kids to eat vagina cookie, that a woman is so harassed by men that she is forced to don a third boob to escape them, that our first black President is so ungodly that he will excise all symbols of Christianity from our country.

And myth is often more meaningful than fact:

“In The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), the novelist Milan Kundera wrote: ‘Without realising it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.’ And maybe that is what internet memes accomplish. They take the confusing pieces of the world and order them into a mosaic (or news feed) that makes sense to us. And instead of curing us of our myth-making, the internet has made this practice even easier, no matter what pain it might cause to others.