Why Is the Iraq War Never Mentioned in Debates About the Iran Deal? – The Atlantic

In most discussions of the nuclear accord, the Iraq War never comes up. That’s insane.

smart people may offer smart explanations for why the demand for capitulation that proved so disastrous in America’s dealings with Iraq is well-suited to America’s dealings with the country on Iraq’s eastern border. My point is merely this: These people should be required to offer those explanations

Source: Why Is the Iraq War Never Mentioned in Debates About the Iran Deal? – The Atlantic

Ad tech is killing the online experience | Felix Salmon | Media | The Guardian

Advertising is making the mobile web almost unusable by clogging up our bandwidth … This is the tragedy of the commons. It’s your bandwidth, and you’re paying for it, but everybody else is clogging it up with stuff you never asked for or wanted.

it’s a function of misaligned incentives.

When it comes to the economics of online publishing, the first thing to remember is that job No 1 isn’t to get the news to you. Rather, it is to monetise you, by selling you off, in real time, to the highest bidder. This happens every time you click on a link, before the page has even started to load on your phone. Once upon a time, if you and I both visited the same web page at the same time using the same web browser, we would end up seeing the same thing. Today, however, an almost unthinkably enormous ecosystem of scripts and cookies and auctions and often astonishingly personal information is used to show you a set of brand messages and sales pitches which are tailored almost uniquely to you.

That ecosystem raises important questions about privacy and just general creepiness – the way that the minute you look at a pair of shoes online, for instance, they then start following you around every other website you visit for weeks. But whether or not you value your privacy, you are damaged, daily, by the sheer weight of all that technology.

Source: Ad tech is killing the online experience | Felix Salmon | Media | The Guardian


the price of efficiency for advertisers is the user experience of the reader. The problem for publishers, though, is that dollars and cents — which come from advertisers — are a far more scarce resource than are page views, leaving publishers with a binary choice: provide a great user experience and go out of business, or muddle along with all of the baggage that relying on advertising networks entails.

More: Why Web Pages Suck – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Web Design – The First 100 Years

imagine if you could travel back in time and offer to show one of those Boeing engineers what air travel would look like in 2014, fifty years on.

What might he have expected to see? … Consider what that engineer had seen happen in his own lifetime. The first attempts at powered flight took place right around the time he was born.

I submit to you that the last thing that Boeing engineer would expect to see in 2014 is what actually happened. … Unless you are an airplane nerd, you would be hard pressed to distinguish the 787 from its grandfather.

It’s not that the technology failed. … But it wasn’t worth it! Because the technologies we had were good enough.

Today I hope to persuade you that the same thing that happened to aviation is happening with the Internet. … the devices we use are becoming ‘good enough’, to the point where we can focus on making them cheaper, more efficient, and accessible to everyone.

So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.

We can store incredible amounts of information, but we can’t really move it around. So the world of the near future is one of power constrained devices in a bandwidth-constrained environment. It’s very different from the recent past, where hardware performance went up like clockwork, with more storage and faster CPUs every year.

Source: Web Design – The First 100 Years

How High School Nearly Destroyed Me, and Why School Choice Matters | The Freedom Pub

Many say school choice is a dangerous idea because it turns parents and students into customers and teachers into something like service providers. In my experience, the absence of school choice turns parents and students into captives with no ability to make decisions that would improve educational opportunities.

Being sick all the time was hard enough, but it was nearly unbearable to be sick in a school where the vast majority of the teachers and school administrators thought I was fabricating the illness because it was officially undiagnosed. My parents had followed all the proper guidelines for ensuring the school would continue to make reasonable accommodations for my education. They took me to countless doctors and received documentation from each indicating there was a real medical problem. They also ensured I was signed up for the 504 Plan, a set of policies established by federal law mandating public schools continue to offer sick and disabled students an education, and they met with school officials constantly to try and keep them on-track.

There was no one willing to hold these teachers and administrators accountable for breaking federal law, and there were no other public school options available.

When people ask me how I found my way into the pro-liberty movement, the honest answer is that I was pushed into it. I didn’t learn much about calculus or physics in high school, but I received a priceless lesson in how bureaucracies work, how teachers unions protect their own at the expense of schoolchildren, and why giving parents and students the freedom to make educational choices should be a universal right, not a privilege reserved for the few.

Source: How High School Nearly Destroyed Me, and Why School Choice Matters | The Freedom Pub by Justin Haskins

How feeding children’s ambition only sets them up to fail | Aeon Essays

Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous

Passion doesn’t lead to purpose but rather, the other way around. People who get really good at something that’s useful and that the world values become passionate about what they’re doing.

Source: How feeding children’s ambition only sets them up to fail | Aeon Essays