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
Nick Rubin is a high school student. His father, a longtime friend and senior lawyer at Microsoft, pointed me to a plugin Nick was building to scan the page you’re reading in a browser, and highlight the names of Members of Congress. When you hover over the name, you see from whom the Member…
Music decreases children’s perceived sense of pain, say [researchers]. The team conducted a clinical research trial of 42 children between the ages of 3 and 11 who came to the pediatric emergency department … and needed IVs. Some of the children listened to music while getting an IV, while others did not. Researchers measured the children’s distress, perceived pain levels and heart rates, as well as satisfaction levels of parents, and satisfaction levels of health-care providers who administered the IVs.
"We did find a difference in the children’s reported pain – the children in the music group had less pain immediately after the procedure," says [researcher] Lisa Hartling. "The finding is clinically important and it’s a simple intervention that can make a big difference. Playing music for kids during painful medical procedures would be an inexpensive and easy-to-use intervention in clinical settings."
“I was talking to Chris Rock the other day about taking the Letterman job. I was trying to convince him to take it. He says, “Absolutely no possible way.” Both of us are out when you hear “makeup everyday.” You hear that and I’m out. But I said to him, “What would your father do? Would your father turn down a job like that?” I go, “What kind of father are you? What kind of man are you?” He has other ways to make money, so it’s not really a fair question. But that was funny to me. To think of his father getting an opportunity like that and going, “You know what? I don’t think so. Sounds inconvenient.””—Jerry Seinfeld
“If you think for one second, for one solitary second, that demanding tolerance for men as a group, that dismissing the reality of violence against women because not all men kill, not all men rape, if you think that’s more important than demanding justice for those who have been brutalised and murdered by those not all men, then you are part of the problem. You may not have pulled the trigger. You may not have raised your hand to a woman in your life. But you are part of the problem.
This is not the time, to use the refrain of apologists for bigotry, to play devil’s advocate. The devil has more than enough advocates today. On most days, I can put up with aggressive faux-objectivity being used to shout down women’s experiences and silence gendered trauma, but not today.”—Laurie Penny: ”The devil has more than enough advocates today.”
“I believe [Obama] pledged to appoint FCC commission that would honor net neutrality and keep net neutrality as law. The latest proposed rules by Wheeler—what he’s really talking about is creating a fast lane where people can pay to have their content treated unequally. That’s not net neutrality. That’s pay for play. That’s antithetical to net neutrality.”—Senator Al Franken
"On Thursday, the commission voted 3 to 2 along party lines to consider two options. Under the first option, the F.C.C. would require cable and phone companies to provide their broadband subscribers a basic level of unfettered Internet service. But as long as that condition is met, telecom companies would also be able to charge businesses like Netflix fees to deliver their movies faster to consumers than others.
Under the second option, the commission would reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, akin to a public utility. That would allow for more stringent regulation that could prevent companies like Verizon and Comcast from engaging in unreasonable and unjust discrimination. Many consumer advocates like Public Knowledge and legal scholars like Tim Wuof Columbia Law School have recommended this option all along.”
Mr. Wheeler and the commission’s two other Democratic members say they will listen to public comments over the next four months before making up their minds about which of the two options they will pick. (The agency’s two Republican members said they voted against the proposal because they do not think the F.C.C. should adopt any such rules.)
There are serious problems with the first option. It would give phone and cable companies a financial incentive to scrimp on basic high-speed Internet service in order to encourage companies like Apple or Google, which owns YouTube, to pay fees for premium delivery. Mr. Wheeler said on Thursday that he doesn’t want the Internet “divided into ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ ” but that’s exactly what would happen if the commission creates a regulatory distinction between basic and premium offerings.
The commission would be on much more solid ground if it decided to classify broadband Internet service as a utility. Mr. Wheeler has not been very enthusiastic about this option, which has many opponents among lawmakers in Washington, particularly Republicans who usually side with deep-pocketed phone and cable companies on controversial regulatory matters. But the chairman and the other two Democrats on the commission have to consider this option seriously if they want to make sure Americans can access lawful content on the Internet without restriction.”