Uber and Lyft learn to drive Sacramento

Uber, Lyft leave fingerprints on Sacramento ride-hailing bills

I’m curious about the requirement that drivers need to be fingerprinted. If it’s a good idea to require it for other drivers, why should Uber and Lyft be exempt?

And I’m encouraged to hear that Sacramento killed legislation that would have allowed ride share drivers to organize. We truly do have the best legislators money can buy.

[Carolyn Said/San Francisco Chronicle]

No friends with benefits for Britain after Brexit

In a 20-minute speech Tuesday morning to the German Parliament, Ms. Merkel said she expected that Britain would want to maintain “close relations” with the European Union after it leaves, but she also signaled that Britain could not expect a business-as-usual approach.“Whoever wants to leave this family cannot expect to have no more obligations but to keep the privileges,” she said.

Merkel Vows to Keep Europe Together, as Farage and Le Pen Cheer ‘Brexit’

[Alison Smale and Sewell Chan/The New York Times]

Excellent insight into the contradictions inherent in the gun problem

Science fiction writer Steven Brust lays out the problems and contradictions inherent in trying to discuss the problems of US gun violence, much less solve them. Gun violence is tied with most of the other major problems with society: “desperation, anger, inadequate mental health care, living in a country where the government and the police see human life as without value, along with backwardness, intolerance, religious fanaticism, and other signs of a decaying society.  … When we see supposed liberals, who up until a month ago railed against the ‘terrorist watch’ no-fly list as racist, arbitrary, and undemocratic (all of which is true) now cheering wildly to increase the powers of the list, we can get a hint of how inter-related gun issues are with everything else.”

Brust’s post is short, worth reading and thinking about.

Hypothesis: the problem isn’t guns, it’s the saturation of guns. We’d be better off if more people chose not to exercise their Second Amendment rights. When people talk about buying guns for self-defense, it’s other people with guns they’re primarily interested in defending themselves from. It’s a vicious cycle — and the gun companies and NRA gets rich off of every turn of the wheel.

Contradictions Inherent in Changing Gun Laws

Historians look to preserve what’s said on social media for future generations

We look to the journals, notebooks, and private letters of past generations to find out what people were really thinking and doing. Now, social media serves that purpose. But preserving it is tricky, both technically and ethically.

Jenna Wortham, The New York Times:

In August 2014, Bergis Jules, an archivist at the University of California, Riverside, traveled to Washington for the annual meet-up of the Society of American Archivists. The day before the conference began, Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Jules, along with millions of others, found himself glued to Twitter for news, reactions and commentary. In the days that followed, hashtags like #IfTheyGunnedMeDown challenged the narratives presented by the mainstream media and prompted a national dialogue about racial stereotypes and police brutality. Jules teamed up with Ed Summers, a software developer in attendance, and started collecting tweets that included the word “Ferguson.”

As an archivist, Jules was struck by the way Twitter — and all social media, for that matter — is permanently altering the way we think about history. “We’re thinking ahead to how we’ll look back,” Jules says. He offered the example of how their project, DocNow, collected tweets tagged with #SayHerName, a campaign that emerged within the Black Lives Matter movement to make the movement more gender inclusive. For now, DocNow is focused mainly on Twitter, but Jules hopes it may be built out in the future to work elsewhere.

Social media might one day offer a dazzling, and even overwhelming, array of source material for historians. Such an abundance presents a logistical challenge (the total number of tweets ever written is nearing half a trillion) as well as an ethical one (will people get to opt out of having ephemeral thoughts entered into the historical record?). But this plethora of new media and materials may function as a totally new type of archive: a multidimensional ledger of events that academics, scholars, researchers and the general public can parse to generate a more prismatic recollection of history.

In March, I participated in a talk at the Museum of Modern Art about racial and gender disparity among Wikipedia contributors and how it influences the texture of the site. (Roughly 80 percent are men, and minorities are underrepresented.) Print out everything about the “Star Wars” universe, and you’ll have a heavy tome, but many notable abolitionists and female scientists are practically nonexistent. Considering that Wikipedia is the sixth-­most-­visited site in the world and increasingly treated like the encyclopedia of record, this problem seems worth considering. After the discussion, Kyra Gaunt, a professor and social-­media researcher, approached me. In her spare time, she maintains the “twerking” entry on Wikipedia, which is embroiled in a never-­ending debate about how to define the dance move. Is it more crucial to highlight its roots in black culture or Miley Cyrus’s impact on its mainstream popularity? Even new historical records like Wikipedia can be derailed by old biases reasserting themselves. At least Wikipedia publishes each page’s edit history, so as long as it can keep its servers running, there will be a rich catalog for future historians to see what we argued about and why.

The internet is pushing us ­— in good ways and in bad — to realize that the official version of events shouldn’t always be trusted or accepted without question. And historians are constantly updating the record by looking for primary sources that were overlooked in earlier eras, often from marginalized figures.

How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History

Scott Adams says V-neck sweaters humiliate men

Scott “Dilbert” Adams argues that V-neck sweaters are emasculating.

I can’t figure out whether Adams, who has espoused other bizarre views, seriously believes this or if it’s parody.

For the record, I bought myself a V-neck sweater this year and liked it. I wore it a couple of times on a trip back east in February. A V-neck sweater is an excellent, versatile, cool-weather garment, particularly if you’re living out of a suitcase; you can dress it up, with a suit, or dress it down, with jeans.

One of the few liabilities of living in Southern California is you don’t get opportunities to wear cool stuff like sweaters and boots and vintage leather jackets.


Perhaps the biggest unreported story of this presidential election is the humiliation of the American male. Unless I’m blinded by confirmation bias – which is entirely possible – it seems to me that the humiliation of American men is now institutionalized in the media.

Check out this commercial for dishwasher detergent. And take careful note of the American man’s v-neck sweater. That’s the uniform of a man who is owned by a woman.

You’re laughing because you know it’s true. How many of the married men reading this blog have received those same sweaters as “gifts” from women? Personally, I’ve received about 25 over the years. None from men. I received three of those sweaters so far this year. I throw them away. Nice try.

Also this:

All wrong

Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie

Democrats are complacent about beating back the Sanders insurgency and gleefully watching the Republican Party tear itself apart. But the Sanders campaign wasn’t a freak led by a Washington maverick. It was an uprising of fed up voters, as the Trump campaign had been. The Democrats shouldn’t be complacent. They’re next.

If they had any brains, Beltway Dems and their clucky sycophants … would not be celebrating this week. They ought to be horrified to their marrow that the all-powerful Democratic Party ended up having to dig in for a furious rally to stave off a quirky Vermont socialist almost completely lacking big-dollar donors or institutional support. …

But to read the papers in the last two days is to imagine that we didn’t just spend a year witnessing the growth of a massive grassroots movement fueled by loathing of the party establishment….

The twin insurgencies of Trump and Sanders this year were equally a blistering referendum on Beltway politics. But the major-party leaders and the media mouthpieces they hang out with can’t see this, because … Washington culture is too far up its own backside to see much of anything at all.

[Matt Taibbi/Rolling Stone]

Once-whitebread Kansas embraces its diverse future

Until recently, Kansas was the stereotype of whitebread America. But that’s over, as Kansas is seeing waves of Latino immigration. Dodge City and Garden City are now majority Latino.

They dismiss talk of building a wall and making America “a real country again.”

James Fallows, The Atlantic:

And every single person we have spoken with — Anglo and Latino and other, old and young, native-born and immigrant, and so on down the list — every one of them has said: We need each other! There is work in this community that we all need to do. We can choose to embrace the world, or we can fade and die. And we choose to embrace it.

A Note About Trumpism, From the Real America