Links June 2014


Russ Albery wrote an insightful blog post about trust, computer security, and training programmers [1]. He makes a good case that social problems in our community decrease the availability of skilled people to write and audit security code.

The Lawfare blog has an insightful article by Dan Geer about “Heartbleed as a Metaphor [2]. He makes some good points about security and design, ways of potentially solving some flaws and problems with the various solutions.

Eben Moglen wrote an insightful article for The Guardian about the way that the NSA spying is a direct threat to democracy [3]

The TED blog has an interesting interview with Kitra Cahana about her work living with and photographing nomads in the US [4]. I was surprised to learn that there’s an active nomad community in the US based on the culture that started in the Great Depression. Apparently people are using Youtube to learn about nomad culture before joining.

Dave Johnson wrote an interesting Salon article about why CEOs make 300* as much money as workers [5]. Note that actually contributing to the financial success of the company is not one of the reasons.

Maia Szalavitz wrote an interesting Slate article about Autism and Anorexia [6]. Apparently some people on the Autism Spectrum are mis-diagnosed with Anorexia due to food intolerance.

Groups of four professors have applied for the job of president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta [7]. While it was a joke to apply in that way, 1/4 of the university president’s salary is greater than the salary of a professor and the university would get a team of 4 people to do the job – so it would really make sense to hire them. Of course the university could just pay a more reasonable salary for the president and hire an extra 3 professors. But the same argument applies for lots of highly paid jobs. Is a CEO who gets paid $10M per annim really going to do a better job than a team of 100 people who are paid $100K?

Joel on Software wrote an insightful article explaining why hiring 1/200 applicants doesn’t mean you hire the top 0.5% of workers [8]. He suggests that the best employees almost never apply through regular channels so an intern program is the only way to get a chance of hiring the best people.

Chaotic Idealism has an interesting article on some of the bogus claims about autism and violence [9].

Salon has an interesting articleby Lindsay Abrams about the way the food industry in the US lobbies for laws to prevent employees from reporting animal cruelty or contamination of the food supply and how drones will now be used for investigative journalism [10].

Jacobin Mag has an interesting article by Geoff Shullenberger about the “Voluntariat”, the people who volunteer their time to help commercial organisations [11]. I don’t object to people voluntarily helping companies, but when they are exploited or when the company also requires voluntary help from the government it becomes a problem. We need some legislation about this.

Laura Hudson wrote an insightful article about how Riot Games solved their online abuse problem [12]. There are ideas in this that can apply to all online communities.

Matt LeMay wrote an interesting article for Medium titled “What (Else) Can Men Do? Grow The Fuck Up” [13]. It’s a general commentary on the treatment of women in geek communities (and most other places).

Foz Meadows wrote an insightful analysis of the attempts of bigots to influence science-fiction [14]. If I had more spare time I’d read some of the books by bigoted authors on the “Sad Puppy Slate” (from a library of course) and see if they lack talent in the same way that Orson Scott Card does.

Racialicious has an interesting article by Phenderson Djeli Clark about the horrible racism and bigotry of H.P. Lovecraft [15]. I have only read two HP Lovecraft stories, one was mediocre and the other (The Horroe at Red Hook) was quite poor – largely due to his inability to write about non-white people.

Grace Wyler wrote an insightful article for Vice magazine about the right-wing terrorists in the US killing cops [16].

Paul Rosenberg wrote an interesting and amusing (for people outside the US) article about the gun crazies in the US [17]. Maybe the gun crazies should have a “loaded assault rifles and tequila” party to follow up on their “gun appreciation day”.

A US TV show made a 4 minute clip of some of the stupid things that Tony Abbott has done [18]. Tony is almost as stupid as Dubya.

1 thought on “Links June 2014”

  1. Martin says:


    Many thanks for these lists-o-links. I find I look forward to them these days as there are usually several interesting things to read.
    Keep ’em coming.


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