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Archive
Some Pulp

Winner of best animation at SXSW this year. So great:

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From BBC Nature

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And from this awesome article over at Kill Screen…

Some ideas don’t pan out. But along the way, a few foundational contributions are made to the nascent field of Move hacking: the maximum number of Moves connected to one computer turns out to be nine instead of seven, and the team creates a platform for integrating multiple computers to which Moves are connected. Not only does this allow 20 controllers to be in the grid, it means 18 or more players for J.S. Joust and other games.During the game jam they’re not only learning new techniques for themselves, they’re likely advancing the state of the art.

Oh fuck yes.

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I saw this play before an episode of Misfits, which is a pretty cool show from the UK that I’ve been watching.  The advertisement of course has nothing to do with the show, but it’s really really great and I wanted to share.

Enjoy.

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I put together a Spotify playlist of all of the Juice the Blog “Stuck In My Head” songs that I could, in chronological order. The songs were grabbed from anyone using the “Stuck In My Head” tag, and I wasn’t able to find all of the songs.

The collection is 5 hours of head-sticking greatness spread across 84 tracks spanning 3 years. It starts with “Why? – Light Leaves” and ends with “Jonathan Coultin – Nobody Loves You Like Me”.

Grab the playlist here: JTB: Stuck In My Head (Spotify Playlist)

If anyone is interested in any collaboration on the playlist, I am all for it. Otherwise, I will try to maintain it through updates as I see them.

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Will clean this post up later, but for now, go to this link and watch this video, and let the memories flood back.

http://www.rit.edu/showcase/index.php?id=114

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Preamble: I fanatically unconditionally support the Patriots for heritage purposes. I think Brady and his receivers had a spectacular game on their season opener against the Dolphins on Monday.

I have seen a lot of New England press these last few days that follows the narrative of “YOU THOUGHT BRADY DIDN’T HAVE A DEEP THREAT WHAT ABOUT THAT 99 YARD PASS PLAY TO WELKER” This is from the Patriots blog, which will do nothing but compliment the Patriots of course … but let’s be honest.

(( I apologize for not having source material … ))

Brady said himself something along the lines of “It’s not like I threw it 99 yards. I threw a 16 yard pass and Welker took it all the way”

The 99 yard run should really be more of a fault of the Dolphins defense than a credit to the Patriots’ offense. I don’t think risking those deep threat runs are a good idea to be honest; the Patriots proved last season that throwing smart, short route is a smart offensive strategy. By throwing short, safe routes, you prevent turnovers and maintain a consistent drive up the field until you get into the red zone.

I just don’t think New England fans should start claiming we have some sort of unprecedented deep threat. I think Belichick and Brady would agree with me.

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Much fuss has been made about Rick Perry’s careless remark about Ben Bernanke.  While most of the media has honed in on the obvious ridiculousness of basically calling for the lynching of a public official for doing his job, I think it’s more telling from a policy perspective to try to understand why Rick Perry would be so against monetary easing.

Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias weigh in on this very topic.  Klein bemoans an “a much broader, and unfortunate, shift among Republicans on monetary policy.”  While Yglesias somewhat disagrees by pointing out that “Perry’s concern is that monetary easing would work well, and he was putting Bernanke on notice to avoid it because he wants to win the election.”

The thing is that they are both right.

I think one of the most startling discoveries I’ve made in the last few years is that the GOP is dominated by Austrian School disciples.  I wasn’t even aware of this non-mainstream school of economics until I had a chance encounter with a believer at work, who had manage to convert one of my friends.  One of the major theories of the Austrian School is the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, in which they basically blame the Fed for every recession ever:

Proponents believe that a sustained period of low interest rates and excessive credit creation results in a volatile and unstable imbalance between saving and investment.[2] According to the theory, the business cycle unfolds in the following way: Low interest rates tend to stimulate borrowing from the banking system. This expansion of credit causes an expansion of the supply of money, through the money creation process in a fractional reserve banking system. It is asserted that this leads to an unsustainable credit-sourced boom during which the artificially stimulated borrowing seeks out diminishing investment opportunities. Though disputed, proponents hold that a credit-sourced boom results in widespread malinvestments. In the theory, a correction or “credit crunch“ – commonly called a “recession” or “bust” – occurs when exponential credit creation cannot be sustained. Then the money supply suddenly and sharply contracts when markets finally “clear”, causing resources to be reallocated back towards more efficient uses.

So it’s not as if the GOP doesn’t think that monetary easing wouldn’t work in the short term.  I think they mostly agree that it would.  It’s that they believe that in the long-term we will suffer for it.

So the real problem here isn’t a lack of understanding or a disingenuous ruse to win an election.  It’s much worse than that.  The entire GOP has been captivated by a non-mainstream school of economics, which proposes long refuted theories, and they are fighting for something they think is right.

The problem is that they are really, really wrong.

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I worked on the preliminary pitch for this. As produced at Logan LA.

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Despite getting our creditworthiness downgraded over the weekend, the US government can borrow money at the cheapest rates ever.  In fact, the rates are so low that they are lower than inflation.  People are begging the government to hold on to their money for them, and we are slapping their hands away in the name of ideological purity.

Real interest rates on US treasuries

 

I’ll use a simple anecdote to illustrate how silly this is.  Imagine your car broke down.  It’s completely totaled.  You have a high paying job, but your commute is 20 miles.  Your city has no viable public transportation system.  You go to the car dealership, and they tell you that since your credit is so good, they’ll offer you a 0.9% interest rate for 5 years.

Any half intelligent person would buy the car.  You’re current car broke down, you need one to commute, and the dealership is so desperate to sell the car that they are essentially paying you money to take the car now, as opposed to later, by offering you an interest rate below inflation.

I mean let’s think this through.  If I were to save my money from now until 5 years from now, and buy the car with cash, I would pay more money for the car than if I borrowed money today.  This is a no brainer.

However insane, the federal government is basically turning down this deal.  We’ve got a broken economy.  An economy that has a bunch of idle resources desperately searching for something to do in return for money.  The federal government could borrow money, spend it on infrastructure projects, utilize idle resources, and jump start the economy.  Oh yeah, and it wouldn’t cost us anything to borrow the money.

Why is this so difficult to understand, and why isn’t this highlighted more often?  I guess I get spoiled reading Yglesias

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Hey juicers, I know its Saturday and all, but I want you all to take today by the horns and get things done.

If it’s 11:00 and you are still in bed, maybe in your pajamas, maybe a little hung over … the air is thick around you and you have already read everything on reddit, then you are doing it wrong. Jump up and get to it! The day is short. Spring out of bed, and for gods sake take that shower that you have been putting off. Better yet, toss in a load of laundry before the shower and then take that shower. When you are done getting up, move the laundry over right away.

See? Not that bad right? Now that you are up and alert, go do something! Hop over to a coffee shop, perhaps? Grab a cup of coffee and don’t just take it to go. Stay a while and maybe read the local paper. Is it nice out? Find a park and take a walk. Might be a nice day for it. You know that place that you’ve wanted to grab lunch at when you drive past but never make the time to go to? Stop over there for a bite after the park. I think the local cinemas may have some cheap matinees as well.

I am so proud of you all.

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Brad, I think this was your idea:

http://bigthink.com/ideas/38299

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I’ve been reading a lot of right-wing reactions to Osama bin Laden’s death, and most of them make sure to mention that this wasn’t solely Obama’s victory. “Bush helped too!” is the common refrain.

I don’t want to downplay former President Bush’s desire to capture OBL, which I’m sure was insatiable, but you have to remember what a huge waste of time Iraq was. Thankfully, The Guardian helps us out:

The American effort faced other problems too. Crucial assets such as surveillance drones and personnel – some of whom had spent 18 months learning the ground – had been diverted to Iraq. “By April, May 2002, we began losing people to the groups that were preparing for the Iraq war,” said Scheuer, who after heading the CIA’s Bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999 was its chief adviser from 2001 to 2004. “We were losing Arabic speakers. Very experienced people.”

The US military’s elite commando unit, Delta Force, had been transferred out of Afghanistan. So too had the 5th Special Forces Group, which included the best linguists, and was replaced in Afghanistan by a unit largely composed of Spanish speakers with mostly Latin American experience. The CIA case officers with tribal contacts were rotated out. The result was that “we ended up with the best and the brightest chasing the wrong man in the wrong desert,” said former senior CIA officer Riedel

This was Bush’s prominent role. Starting a misguided, wasteful, and distracting war. All it took was a realignment of priorities, better intelligence cooperation, and some diligent field work to finally bring OBL down. And that’s what Obama brought.

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Also, I honestly thought you’d never see Obama (or any President, really)  mention Gary Busey’s name on national TV.

(Also, Seth Meyers killed it too.)

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I wanted to take a minute to highly recommend Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.

I came across this book in a fairly serendipitous manner. Having driven to the airport much earlier than expected, I found that I forgot to pack a book for my flight. I spent a good 15 minutes scanning the titles in the airport version of Powell’s Books. I finally ran across Goon Squad on a display, announcing its recent reception of the Pulitzer Prize for 2011. I decided to give it a shot.

I knew I had done right by myself when, while checking out, the store attendant gushed, “I just finished this. It’s so good.”

Goon Squad is, in essence, a coming of age novel. It is centered around a mid-size punk rock record label owner in NYC, and branches out to various associates and acquaintances of his.

I say branch out because what is truly remarkable about this book is its novel structure.  You find yourself bouncing from character to character, back and forth through time, all while piecing together each and every character’s puzzle.

You’d think that this kind of structure would limit the character development, and in turn, limit your empathy for the many characters you encounter, but it truly doesn’t. This is a testament to Jennifer Egan’s talent.

Please pick up this book.  You won’t be sorry.

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