We did it!

Front page of the Recorder

My town’s library is 112 years old and we are in dire need of a new building. Plans for a replacement have been in the works since the mid-1990s.

We now have a $10 million grant from the state of Massachusetts to cover half the cost, and after much consternation and activism by the community, the City Council finally voted last night to authorize the borrowing authority necessary to accept the grant.

This is a huge deal for my town, and I am super-excited about it.

For anyone interested in the details, you can read more over on my other site.

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The social platforms’ claims about the benefits of connection and scale are bullshit. These companies need to be broken up.

Opinion | We’re Asking the Wrong Questions of YouTube and Facebook After New Zealand – The New York Times:

The volume of the uploads is staggering — for what it says about the power of the platforms and our collective desire to share horrific acts of violence. How footage of the murder of at least 50 innocent people was broadcast and distributed globally dredges up some deeply uncomfortable questions for the biggest social networks, including the existential one: Is the ability to connect at such speed and scale a benefit or a detriment to the greater good?

That question is easy to answer. The ability to connect at speed and scale is a clear detriment to the greater good.

We need to find ways to break up platforms like Facebook, Google, and YouTube. I am skeptical that it is possible to break them up in the traditional way, despite plausible arguments that they are monopolistic.

The best bet is probably via data privacy laws and regulations. Giving users explicit and unequivocal ownership of their personal data and the use thereof might introduce enough friction to break the business models of these companies and kill them off.

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I spent a nontrivial portion of my day listening to a bunch of Squeeze albums and I feel like I am a better person for it.
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I generally try to avoid the “A legislator said something stupid/offensive” types of controversies, but this latest piece of garbage from Steve King is really just beyond the pale.

Even in the current political environment, it is legitimately shocking that a sitting member of Congress would re-tweet a meme joking about which side would win a new civil war.

I wonder what portion of the US economy is attributable to recurring subscriptions that people want to shut off or intend to shut off, but haven’t because it’s too annoying or they have forgotten about them.
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Pete Buttigieg is pretty damn impressive.

I’ll admit that I have not, up to this point, paid much attention to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for President. Someone in my RSS feeds shared a video of his recent townhall on CNN this morning, though, and I have been watching it:

Color me impressed.

How did I not know that xscreensaver was available for MacOS?

I am thrilled to be able to run my beloved BlockTube screen saver again after all these years!