odds & ends
Posted by Hal Neumann (+8761) 10 days ago
“It’s not speech per se that allows democracies to function, but the ability to agree—eventually, at least some of the time—on what is true, what is important and what serves the public good. This doesn’t mean everyone must agree on every fact, or that our priorities are necessarily uniform. But democracy can’t operate completely unmoored from a common ground, and certainly not in a sea of distractions.”

An Avalanche of Speech Can Bury Democracy
--Zeynep Tufekci
September/October 2018
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“By the 21st century, loneliness has become ubiquitous. Commentators call it ‘an epidemic’, a condition akin to ‘leprosy’, and a ‘silent plague’ of civilisation. In 2018, the United Kingdom went so far as to appoint a Minister for Loneliness. Yet loneliness is not a universal condition; nor is it a purely visceral, internal experience. It is less a single emotion and more a complex cluster of feelings, composed of anger, grief, fear, anxiety, sadness and shame. It also has social and political dimensions, shifting through time according ideas about the self, God and the natural world. Loneliness, in other words, has a history.”

One is the loneliest number: the history of a Western problem
-- Sally Davies, ed.
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“One of the South's most popular breakfast chains plays an important role in hurricane forecasting. Waffle Houses are known for staying open through anything. So when the company decides to close one of its locations because of bad weather, it means the storm is an unusually bad threat. It's called the Waffle House Index, and FEMA monitors it. Seriously”

You'll know Hurricane Florence is bad when the Waffle House Index hits code red
--Maura Judkis, WAPO
September 13, 2018
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[Edited by Hal Neumann (9/13/2018 4:09:15 PM)]
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