Links: The Disaster Continues   03 August 2020

I guess as a disclaimer for this first story I’ll mention I took a position at Amazon. We’ll see how much it reduces the number of links to Matt Stoller and Scott Galloway.

MacKenzie Scott is donating her billions much faster than her ex Jeff Bezos – I’m impressed by so many things about her approach: She’s moving quickly, using simple process, giving money to groups run by those with the lived experiences of the people they serve, and she’s letting them decide how to do it:

“I gave each a contribution and encouraged them to spend it on whatever they believe best serves their efforts. Unless organization leadership requested otherwise, all commitments were paid up front and left unrestricted to provide them with maximum flexibility.”

The Trump Corona Disaster

Why doesn’t Trump try harder to solve the coronavirus crisis?:

“The irony is that if he’d just performed with minimal competence and just mouthed words about national unity, he actually could be in a pretty strong position right now, where the economy is reopening, where jobs are coming back,”

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”:

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

A harsh lesson in the reality of COVID-19:

I admit I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. I admit traveling deep into the conspiracy trap over COVID-19. All the defiant behavior of Trump’s more radical and rowdy cult followers, I participated in it. I was a hard-ass that stood up for my “God-given rights.”

Coronavirus Disinformation Video Seen 20M Times Before Facebook Took It Down:

Think about a large casino. There might be thousands of people gambling at any moment. Casino management can’t pay attention to them all. But if someone starts wagering at a pace of, say, $1 million per hour — over $15,000 per minute, every minute — yeah, I’d say casino management is going to take a close look at that person very quickly.

Teachers as lab animals:

In other words, teachers are going to be lab animals used to see how much kids spread the virus and how deadly it is for the adults who are near them, in closed spaces, for hours every day.

In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both.:

And I speak from a position of significant privilege. We were, until recently, a two-income family with savings, paying for more than the minimum of child care hours that we needed each day just to cover what-ifs, living in one of the most expensive cities on earth. We have laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi, and didn’t think twice before panic-ordering pencils, paper, markers and anything else we thought might help our children.

How the Child Care Crisis Will Distort the Economy for a Generation:

I’ve been really struck by how much the federal government scrambled to save the airlines — “Oh, wouldn’t it be terrible for our economy if we lost all our airlines?” I guess it wouldn’t be great. But how terrible would it be for our economy if we lost all our child care and our schools? That would be way worse than losing our airlines! That would leave not only the current working generation unable to go back to work in the same way, it would mean that we are not preparing the next generation so that they have skills. I mean, it is so substantially worse than losing your airlines. And yet we gave less money to the entire child care sector than we gave to one single airline, Delta.

Why Your USPS Packages Are Delayed:

DeJoy may try to intentionally disrupt USPS services in order to sabotage the mail-in ballot system ahead of the November elections, that he is hellbent on privatizing the USPS, and that he is in cahoots with Trump. But at the same time, they dismissed the possibility he is responsible for current or past package delays.


Competing protesters converge on Breonna Taylor’s hometown:

By the time Black activists dressed in black fatigues arrived in the heart of downtown Saturday afternoon, most of the white militia members had already left. Police in full riot geared looked on.

How Police Unions Fight Reform:

Police unions enjoy a political paradox. Conservatives traditionally abhor labor unions but support the police. The left is critical of aggressive policing, yet has often muted its criticism of police unions—which are, after all, public-sector unions, an endangered and mostly progressive species.

Georgia sheriff Harry Young seeks reelection against Black opponent:

His case for the job was his 24 years of experience as a resource officer for the county schools, and more recently, as a Cairo police officer. He had coached football and basketball and felt he had the trust of Black and White parents across the county.

It’s Funeral Time for Colonial Monuments:

“By creating a hole large enough to bury the statue, the work’s excavation (along with its title) suggests the burial of the Cook monument itself, along with the burial of destructive governance and treatment of Indigenous land, Indigenous people and Indigenous knowledge.”

John Lewis: Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation:

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me.

James Hong: The actor with 600+ credits and counting – Two bits really highlighted the importance of creating your own spaces:

Realizing that Hollywood wouldn’t be able to provide the roles Asian Americans deserved, Hong set out to carve his own space. Along with actor Mako Iwamatsu, Hong helped organize an Asian American acting group in Los Angeles. […] East West Players has nurtured great talent over its 55 years. Actors such as Randall Park, George Takei, John Cho and Daniel Dae Kim have all been associated with the theater. And according to East West Players’ current artistic director, it is thought that at one point, 70% of Asian American actors in Hollywood had a connection to East West Players.


The golden rule of software quality – Frustrating how clearly they explained something I’ve thought about for a long time:

Prefer to push fixes upstream instead of working around problems downstream.

Turning the IDE Inside Out with Datalog:

tl;dr: I made a prototype IDE in which language semantics are specified in datalog, powered by a datalog interpreter written in TypeScript, running the browser.

Why Protest Tactics Spread Like Memes:

But Hong Kong does play a central role in the activist imagination, scholars and activists said, thanks both to the tactical ingenuity of protesters there, as well as Western media’s willingness to cover pro-democracy demonstrations extensively.


KFC Crocs sold out less than half an hour after launch - Business Insider – I personally asked Deana to buy me these as an anniversary present but was told they were “repulsive”:

The shoe collab, which features clogs painted like fried chicken buckets topped with a chicken-scented charm, was first unveiled at New York Fashion Week in February.

Tony Hawk breaks down skateboarding’s legendary spots - YouTube – This history and architectural aspects of skating are interesting, but what I really enjoyed is looking at the way they told this story as a WFH documentary with Zoom interviews and Google Earth flyovers:

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