[D]on’t even get me started on the frequent perception by fellow citizens that the federal government has anything of importance to do with things like trash pickup, school hours, or the hours that the DMV is open.

John Patty

A Minimalist Map of Milwaukee

It’s not actually that minimalist, or even that good, but it’s an interesting way to reduce the city. Made by Archie Archambault (via The Journal Sentinel).

I’d love to see Matt tackle this kind of thing with all of his nonexistent free time.


The more I read people’s reactions to this study, the more I’ve started to think the outrage has nothing to do with the study at all. There is a growing amount of negative sentiment towards Facebook and other companies that collect and use data about people. In short, there’s anger at the practice of big data. This paper provided ammunition for people’s anger because it’s so hard to talk about harm in the abstract.

danah boyd

'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,' the saying goes. Fool me two dozen times — there’s no adage for that.

John Gruber on Facebook’s manipulations of users’ emotions

If you discovered a cure for cancers in one year, the executive who runs your research company would make far more money from the discovery than you would. How do you feel about that? People who work for large companies, many large companies, not all, but people who work for these companies that have sold out to superstar executives… those people know very well that if they do something important from which the company makes a lot of money, the country club set will steal the profits and pay them off with a pittance. This is the reality of the current system. It DISCOURAGES innovation, it discourages creativity, it discourages hard work, on the theory that this is merely a free enterprise system at work. It is not a free enterprise system at work at all; it is a travesty of a free enterprise system. 120 years ago, companies built monopolies to control markets, and claimed that this was merely free enterprise at work. It wasn’t, of course; monopolies are not the free operation of the market, they are the destruction of the market, the blockage of the market. I believe in free enterprise, I believe in capitalism, and I believe in Milton Friedman, but this is NOT capitalism and it is not free enterprise; it is organized theft.

Bill James (via Nish)

Really rich guys can come up with ideas that they think are great, but there is a danger that everyone will tell them they’re great, even if they’re not.

Jay P. Greene, head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas

When an author tries to obscure a solid premise or doesn’t stick to the basic path of “Beginning, middle, end end” I wonder if it’s an artistic choice or if it’s a sign that they doesn’t know how to make something good out of something simple and clear.

Andy Ihnatko

The price of your personal information will be set by auction. It’s up to you to decide if you want to create a reserve price or to let the highest bidder win. As of today most people would trade all their personal information for almost zero price. This will not last and consumers will find out their value over time. I can’t predict how it will change but it will be a combination of offers being made and personal data catastrophes which will act as warnings.

Horace Dediu