Shawn attended The Putney School, a private liberal arts high school in Putney, Vermont, and graduated with an A.B. in history from Harvard College. He studied economics and philosophy at Oxford, originally intending to become a diplomat; he also traveled to India as an English teacher, on a Fulbright program.
“Ralph is not a rule-follower like Lisa, nor a rule-breaker like Bart; Ralph does not observe the rules because he is almost completely unaware of them. More than any of the other students at Springfield Elementary, Ralph is a child. Bart and Lisa and Milhouse and Nelson and Janey are kids, and therein lies the difference.”—
Is it racist that a white, 20 year old unarmed kid was shot by a black cop on Monday, Aug 18, 3 days ago and its no where in the news? Oh wait, it happens all the time, its just not newsworthy. Sucks to be white.
Dear Racists: I know you’re going to to be trotting this out in the next few days claiming that this shows how white people are just as badly treated as black people in the US (though, of course, the idea that “it happens all the time” to white people is, of course, a ridiculous and disgusting lie).
But guess what, fuckheads, as usual, you’re wrong as fuck. The reason this tragedy isn’t national news is because, surprise surprise, a similar (ish) shooting of a white teenager by a black cop is being handled by the authorities completely differently! That’s right, you dumbfucks, this officer is being immediately and vigorously investigated, the officer’s name was released, the victim wasn’t denied medical care, nor was his body left on the street for hours. It’s almost like we treat black and white people differently in our justice system! And if you want to argue that the fucking Salt Lake City PD (oh shit, was I able to read about this case in the NATIONAL NEWS?!?!?! ) is racist against white people, you are fucking out of your mind.
So, nice try, you asshole, I know you were salivating over finding a case to compare this to Mike Brown, but, even with this timing, you’re not even fucking close to proving your racist “point.”
“Female voters in the US have been called “soccer moms” and “security moms”. In 2004, single women were “Sex and the City voters”. Now – because apparently women can’t ever just be “citizens” or “voters”, or more likely because conservatives prefer to call us names instead of delving too deep into women’s issues – we are “Beyoncé voters”. Bow down, bitches.
Most single ladies would generally be thrilled with a comparison to Queen Bey in any way, shape or form, but the cutesy nicknames for politically-engaged women need to stop. Surely pundits and the political media culture can deal with the collective electoral power of the majority voting bloc in this country in some better way than symbolically calling us “sweetheart”, complete with head pat.”—Jessica Valenti: Nick-naming women ‘Beyoncé voters’ is exactly why we don’t vote Republican (via gregferrell)
“It’s not the federal government but the local police department that has come to pacify the populace and nullify certain inconvenient Constitutional guarantees. It’s not internationalist coastal elites, but authority-worshipping middle Americans who are marching down the streets with rifles in hand. Friends, neighbors, patriots. “Good people,” [The NRA’s] LaPierre calls them, along with Rand Paul. When you see them coming, these good people bearing arms, don’t shoot—run.”—The Guns of Ferguson: When Tyranny Really Comes into Town, the NRA Goes into Hiding
As the curator of The Wirecutter’s headphone section, I get asked questions about headphones all the time. One subject that seems to pop up a lot? Beats. They’re one of the most popular celebrity headphone brands as of late, generating a higher proportion of questions than usual. Readers often want to know: Why don’t they ever seem to get our recommendation? In general, it’s a price vs. performance issue, and often they don’t measure up to their competition. But there are a lot of specific reasons, too. So, to better address the frequently asked questions of Beats by Dre, we thought we’d talk you through each model, what you might be looking for when you first consider it, and then why we’d put our hard-earned cash somewhere else.
I love love love The Wirecutter. It’s an invaluable tool.
“Amazon is not your friend. Neither is any other corporation. It and they do what they do for their own interest and are more than willing to try to make you try believe that what they do for their own benefit is in fact for yours. It’s not. In this particular case, this is not about readers or authors or anyone else but Amazon wanting eBooks capped at $9.99 for its own purposes. It should stop pretending that this is about anything other than that. Readers, authors, and everyone else should stop pretending it’s about anything other than that, too.”—John Scalzi
“It is not just that the unintended deaths of Palestinians is so disproportionate to any corresponding increase in security for the Israeli targets of Hamas’s air strikes. It is not just that Netanyahu is able to identify Hamas’s strategy — to create “telegenically dead Palestinians” — yet still proceeds to give Hamas exactly what it is after. It is that Netanyahu and his coalition have no strategy of their own except endless counterinsurgency against the backdrop of a steadily deteriorating diplomatic position within the world and an inexorable demographic decline. The operation in Gaza is not Netanyahu’s strategy in excess; it is Netanyahu’s strategy in its entirety. The liberal Zionist, two-state vision with which I identify, which once commanded a mainstream position within Israeli political life, has been relegated to a left-wing rump within it.”—Jonathan Chait
A week ago today, we watched as thousands raised more than $1.5M for the #MaydayPAC — a commitment to fundamental reform in the way Congress funds its elections. It was electrifying and amazing, and many of us heard the first fireworks as we crossed our $5M goal.
“We’ve made loans to about a dozen microbrewers and provided coaching to another 30. They are a lot of fun. For me personally, and for us as a company, it connects us with our small-business roots. And if one of these companies is successful enough that they take some market share from us, well, more power to them. I don’t worry about that. I worry about how we create a beer culture that respects the art of brewing and wants beer with flavor, taste, and authenticity. If we can create that environment, there will be plenty of business for all of us.”—Samuel Adams founder and chairman Ed Koch
“In the 1960s in the U.S. it was not unusual for metro newspapers to have 80 percent market share or more. By the 1990s it was under 50 percent in some places. But newspapers kept raising their rates for advertisers, who had to pay more to reach less of the market. The logic was: where else are they going to go? Well, eventually an answer to that question emerged—Google, Facebook—and newspapers discovered how much loyalty they had built up among advertisers.
Facebook has “where else are they going to go?” logic now. And they have good reason for this confidence. (It’s called network effects.) But “where else are they going to go?” is a long way from trust and loyalty. It is less a durable business model than a statement of power.”—Jay Rosen: Facebook Has All The Power
The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” And it remains entirely legal for a jury to acquit, regardless of the evidence, as a means of resisting unjust laws and sentencing. Juries have nullified to protest injustices throughout American history—in defense of the Boston Tea Party, against the Fugitive Slave Act, against Prohibition.
Despite this proud tradition, nullification has been a well-kept secret since 1895, when the Supreme Court ruled that while juries had the right to nullify, judges were not required to inform them of this power.
“Structurally the idea is stone soup: you post a sign saying “this is the [social network] for people interested in x,” and all those people show up and you make money from them. What lures founders into this sort of idea are statistics about the millions of people who might be interested in each type of x. What they forget is that any given person might have 20 affinities by this standard, and no one is going to visit 20 different communities regularly.”—How to Get Startup Ideas (via nickdouglas)
“Most of the Yelp reviews are wrong. They just are. Yelp is great for finding information if you forgot the address of a place. You Google it, you say, “Yes, that’s where it is,” and then maybe you spend some time reading reviews when you’re already on your way to the restaurant. And that’s useful. But for the most part, no chef is going to take a Yelper’s review seriously, even though they might read them.
[Yelpers] are just not professional critics. The best analogy I can give is fantasy sports or lawn-chair stockbrokers. For the most part, unless you’re really studying the stats and you’re a former football player or baseball player and know the industry inside and out, it’s most likely that your insights aren’t that great.
When you get reviewed by one of the top critics, they are advocates for the consumer. Even though they have their own personal bias, they are working to put themselves in the shoes of what somebody might want in terms of value and food for the people who might go to that restaurant. The problem with Yelp is it’s so personal; reviewers only think about themselves: “I don’t think anyone should go to this restaurant. It’s the worst.” There’s just not enough empathy to think about how other people might experience it. It’s only from their lens. Also, Yelpers don’t have any professional protocol. They sit down and say, “If you don’t do this, we’re going to give you a bad Yelp score.””—David Chang, on why Yelp is the worst