trying to figure out a way to make it look as if progress is occurring

david simon:

You show me anything that depicts institutional progress in America: school test scores, crime stats, arrest reports, anything that a politician can run on, anything that someone can get a promotion on. And as soon as you invent that statistical category, fifty people in that institution will be at work trying to figure out a way to make it look as if progress is occurring when actually none is.

a protest to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom


In one of the strongest protests yet by a major cultural institution, the museum has reconfigured its fifth-floor permanent-collection galleries — interrupting its narrative of Western Modernism, from Cézanne through World War II — to showcase contemporary art from Iran, Iraq and Sudan, whose citizens are subject to the ban. A Picasso came down. Matisse, down. Ensor, Boccioni, Picabia, Burri: They made way for artists who, if they are alive and abroad, cannot see their work in the museum’s most august galleries…

The works will be up for several months, and alongside each painting, sculpture, or photograph is a text that makes no bones about why it has suddenly surfaced: “This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.”


computers tell us that humans are completely wrong

the world’s reigning Go champion, Ke Jie:

After humanity spent thousands of years improving our tactics, computers tell us that humans are completely wrong. I would go as far as to say not a single human has touched the edge of the truth of Go.

give your asshole customer to the enemy

bob sutton:

Ann Rhoades, former head of the People Department at Southwest Airlines, described to me how a fellow executive earned the loyalty of Southwest gate agents by interrupting a nasty and abusive passenger, telling the jerk that he couldn’t allow his people to be treated that way, and then marching him to an American Airlines gate to buy him a ticket to send him on his way. This not only brought Southwest people together because they felt protected, it brought them together because American was seen as an evil competitor that deserved that asshole passenger.

how should we behave during this Apocalypse?

Kurt Vonnegut’s last words delivered to an audience:

“And how should we behave during this Apocalypse? We should be unusually kind to one another, certainly. But we should also stop being so serious. Jokes help a lot. And get a dog, if you don’t already have one.… I’m out of here.”

people don’t like to hear that, but it’s true

martin gibala:

In general, exercise is not a huge contributor to weight control. People don’t like to hear that, but it’s true. It is much easier to cut calories in the diet than to burn large numbers of them with exercise of any kind.

not the Department of Following Orders

noah feldman:

(Sally) Yates referred to “this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”… Yates was saying that the department has a long-term obligation, transcending any particular administration, to stand for the rule of law.

That’s an inspiring position for the head of a department that is called the Department of Justice, not the Department of Following Orders.