Web Excursions 2021-04-15

🌟 [Post of The Day] How Did a Self-Taught Linguist Come to Own an Indigenous Language?

She is particularly interested in the ways in which American law “makes certain things into property that shouldn’t be seen as property,” and during the past few years she has focussed on the somewhat surreal legal status of the Penobscot language. “People say, ‘Hey, you can’t own a language!’ ” she told me recently. “And it’s, like, ‘Well, yeah, actually you can, through the misadventures of I.P. and copyright.’ ”

“Frank was so interested in Penobscot, but he also had a certain view of it,” she said. “He couldn’t stand that certain people spoke the language differently.” Once, Dana recalled, Siebert corrected the pronunciation of an elder speaker in front of a large group. Many people never forgave him for it. For decades, they had been told not to speak Penobscot at all, and now an outsider was instructing them on how to do it properly.

Siebert’s collection was auctioned off the following year, in a two-part sale at Sotheby’s. It comprised more than fifteen hundred items: books, manuscripts, maps, prints, newspapers, pamphlets, and photographs. Bishop, in an introductory essay for the sale’s catalogue, described Siebert as “the most knowledgeable Americanist of his time,” whose library was “probably the last great collection of Americana to chronicle and follow the frontier across our continent.” Selby Kiffer, a senior vice-president in Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts department, called the auction “monumental,” saying, “Fifty years from now people will still be talking about it.” The collection, he added, “electrified the Americana book-collecting community.” The sale brought in more than $12.5 million. As stipulated in Siebert’s will, his daughters split the sum. Each bought a house for herself, and together they bought one for Marion. No provision was made for the Penobscot people.

She ended the lesson with a common greeting, which translates as “How are you surviving today?” And then she provided the customary response: “It’s hard for those of us yet living.”

Lower the paywalls to keep the bullshit at bay

  • The institutions of truth seem to be too busy erecting paywalls to notice that they’re loosing the market to those that manage to operate without direct payments.

  • An under-explored option in this area is micro-payments for individual articles.

  • Another option that’s more appealing for consumers is news aggregator subscriptions that let you pay one subscription for access to multiple publishers.

  • One of the web’s original sins was committed: they forgot to implement seamless payments.

  • To this day, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that powers information exchanges on the web has yet to define status code 402 Payment Required.


  • In theory, audio offers the best of both these approaches. It separates a person’s face from their words, as written quotes do, while retaining their tone and some expression of their personality.

  • The voice, which humans — and, increasingly, computers — are great at recognizing.

  • Individuals are unmistakable from the characteristics of their voice alone.

  • What stripping away a name does do is remove a direct line between an online presence (e.g., social media profiles) and a recording, though that isn’t completely airtight, either.

  • Extra care is taken to scrub identifiers from written assets for the podcast Polycurious.

    • This is less for legal reasons than it is for social ones: On the show, host and producer Fernanda and co-host Mariah discuss their experiences with non-monogamous relationships

  • What they still can’t control for is the continued recognizability of their own voices, which they don’t alter in any way.

  • The melding of human and computer processes is chilling, and at its core is an overwhelmingly complex ability that we already possess.

The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence

  • The genre’s preferred method of narration is the parable.

    • An arresting example of human behavior is clipped from a newspaper article or a research paper.

    • Stripped of the social and historical detail that might give it depth and complexity, it furnishes a readily digestible lesson about right and wrong, or, in Goleman’s case, productive and unproductive allocations of emotion in the “subterranean economy of the psyche.”

  • Armed with the cocktail chatter of more glamorous disciplines—neurobiology’s excitable circuits, psychoanalysis’s theories of attunement—and with stirring quotes from great literature, he transformed emotional intelligence from a specialist term into a marquee billing, capable of drawing as many readers as there are personal problems in the world.

  • Start to slot in cities and dates, to fill in the gaps in history, and Goleman’s diagnoses seem beside the point.

    • This failing is inherent in the self-help genre,

    • whose premise is that the capacity for change always lies within ourselves.

  • Encourages readers to stay alert, continually monitoring their reactions in order to bring them in line with accepted rituals of emotional expression.

  • It places Goffman’s arts of impression management—the friendliness of a saleswoman’s voice, the elegance of a teacher’s gesture, the charisma of an executive’s presentation—at the heart of productivity.

  • Arlie Russell Hochschild, in her 1983 book “The Managed Heart,” coined the term “emotional labor” for this kind of work.

    • “Day-care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, airports, stores, call centers, classrooms, social welfare offices, dental offices—in all these workplaces, gladly or reluctantly, brilliantly or poorly, employees do emotional labor,” she wrote.

    • “The poor salesclerk working in an elite clothing boutique manages envy. The Wall Street stock-trader manages panic.”

  • By turning “emotional labor” into “emotional intelligence,” Goleman replaces the concrete social relation between an employee and her employer with a vague individual aptitude.

  • Envision “Emotional Intelligence” and the books descended from it as morality plays for a secular era, performed before audiences of mainly white professionals.

    • In a theatre that admits no light or sound from the outside world, the audience watches as poor, begrimed laborers and criminals are pushed onstage to shoot their kids and stab their teachers.

    • Pricked by the masked vices of Rage, Depression, and Anxiety, shamed by the veiled virtues of Empathy, Mindfulness, and Reason, the players have no chance at salvation.

    • The lessons of emotional intelligence are not theirs to learn.

    • Even from the front row, they cannot see that the masks and veils hide a reality in which they are no freer than the players they condemn.

    • To pull back the mask would be to uncover an impotence they all share.

    • And it might allow the audience and the cast to rise together, becoming angry to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, toward the right people, who have, for the past twenty-five years, sold them some of the most alluring and quietly repressive ideas in recent history.

No, Google! Vivaldi users will not get FloC’ed. | Vivaldi Browser

  • FLoC will expose your data. More than ever.

  • In the past, an ad company could only see the aspects of your personality relating to the websites where its ads were used.

    • An ad provider that was only used for 1000 websites might only have seen each visitor on one or two of their sites,

    • so they could not build up much tracking data about you.

  • Now every website will get to see an ID that was generated from your behaviour on every other website.

    • Websites that only have contextual ads, or no ads at all, still could get used in the calculation.

    • This may change in future since the technology is currently experimental.

Yamauchi No.10 Family Office

Hiroshi Yamauchi was the third president of Nintendo Co., Ltd. He was one of those people who possessed truly unique creativity and a pioneering mindset, along with foresight and the understanding of what users wanted. He took over his grandfather’s struggling playing cards production business and single-handedly transformed it into the global entertainment and play giant that Nintendo is today. And he kept going. He never stopped striving for more. He wanted to reach more people. He dreamed. He leapt. He lived.

Hacker News

  • Clewza313: Unfortunately this is standard marketing pablum for Japanese companies, with "future" (mirai) and "dream" (yume) both being particularly common tropes. Alan Booth talks about this back in 1995 in Looking for the Lost:

I passed through the pavilion's Dream Tunnel into the World of Dream and from there to the Parades of Dream and Play. ... Technology, specifically the technology of Mitsui, Toshiba, and the rest beyond his wildest, yes, dreams, can help you fly again. "Love, love, love!" sings a choir as we file out of the pavilion. "You can reach the sky, if you only try!" https://books.google.com/books?id=Lh4jEAAAQBAJ&pg=PT312

  • cmod: For those interested, dev agency is Mount Inc. https://mount.jp/

    • Some behinds the scenes production stuff on their Twitter feed. 

The very common vaccine ingredient at the center of J&J, AstraZeneca drama | Ars Technica

  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses the adenovirus (Ad26), which was first identified in 1961 from anal swabs of children in Washington, DC.

  • The AstraZeneca vaccine is based on an adenovirus that circulates in chimpanzees (ChAdOx1).

  • Over the years, researchers have considered adenoviruses useful delivery systems for vaccines and gene therapies.

    • easy to brew up in big batches in laboratory conditions

    • appeared relatively safe in humans; often modified so they can’t replicate in our cells

  • a troubled past.

    • Researchers all but abandoned their use in gene therapies in 1999 following the tragic death of 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger.

      • the massive dose of virus vectors triggered a fatal immune response.

  • Researchers carried on with adenoviruses for vaccine development,

    • where potent immune responses can be a plus instead of a peril.

  • Adenovirus-based vaccines have held a lot of promise over the years, but they have had notable stumbles, too.

    • researchers halted a major trial of an Ad5-based HIV vaccine after data indicated that the vaccine increased the risk of becoming infected with HIV in people who had preexisting immune responses to Ad5.

    • vaccine developers moved away from Ad5 to other adenoviruses

  • adenovirus-based vaccines were often seen as front-runners

    • a more established technology than the mRNA-based vaccines

    • logistical advantages

      • relatively cheap, easy to make, and easy to distribute

  • the unusual combination of blood clots and low platelets

    • low platelets typically leads to increased bleeding, not increased clotting

    • closely resembles a condition called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia or HITHIT develops because of an aberrant immune response.

      • patients start producing antibodies that attack a common platelet protein called Platelet Factor 4, or PF4.

      • These antibodies seem to activate platelets and pro-clotting particles, while lowering platelet levels, ultimately leading to HIT.

  • several adenoviruses can bind to platelets and activate them.

    • That said, the small batch of adenovirus vectors delivered in a vaccine shot is unlikely to stick around and cause significant platelet activation

  • even if the clotting conditions are due to the adenovirus vectors, Ertl emphasizes that the risk is still extremely small, the vaccines should still be used, and there’s hope for adenoviral vectors ahead.

Fixing the Big Sur proxy icon delay globally

You could remove that delay in Finder using the command defaults write com.apple.Finder NSToolbarTitleViewRolloverDelay -float 0. But that only affects Finder, and you have to repeat it with various bundle identifiers for each app making use of the Big Sur toolbar layout.

You can set this globally for all apps in one fell swoop:

defaults write -g NSToolbarTitleViewRolloverDelay -float 0