8 stories

False Dichotomy

There are two types of dichotomy: False dichotomies, true dichotomies, and surprise trichotomies.
Read the whole story
774 days ago
Share this story

GET OFF OUR LAWN: The case by an angry, old lady for why Donald Trump doesn’t deserve your vote.


Trump WH lawn 1

Margaret, I look at this picture and I am disgusted. I know I’m supposed to be upset about the Hatch Act. I get it. The law is the law and even the President isn’t above the law. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. And Mitch McConnell told us the law and the constitution needed to take a back seat because Donald Trump is just too important. Screw national security. Screw the Hatch Act. Screw the Constitution.

You know why I am mad when I look at that picture? The real reason? It’s not the Hatch Act. It’s not impeachment.  It’s not who is leading in the polls and who isn’t. It’s not about blue beating red or red beating blue. I am pissed off because America and Americans deserve better.

America hasn’t solved the pandemic yet and Americans are still dying by the thousands.

America hasn’t opened back up for business yet and Americans are holding on by a thread.

Parents want their kids back in school. Teachers want to feel safe.

Business owners want to return to business as usual. Customers want to shop.  God how I just want to go out to dinner and see a movie.

Children want to visit their aging parents in nursing homes. And Grandparents want desperately to hug and kiss our grandchildren one more time.

How dare you. How dare you, Mr. President. We are out here in America doing EVERYTHING we can to NOT get or spread this disease. And some of us are doing it without knowing if we will be able to pay our rent next week. We are wearing masks. We are social distancing. We are making sacrifices every day in hopes that we can reduce the number of deaths. For me 1,000 deaths were too many much less 200,000.

Every other first world country has gotten this thing under control and here we are still leading the world in cases and deaths.  That’s not success.  That’s failure.  You want to blame this city or that state.  You want to blame this Mayor or that Congressman.  How is that helping anything? We needed to work harder at this.  We needed to ALL come together and do what was needed to be done.

And then you do this? You bring a thousand of your fans together without masks, without any precautions whatsoever? And then you put it on television and rub our noses in it with a million dollars’ worth of fireworks?  Fuck the Hatch Act.  I don’t give three shits about the Hatch Act.  Screw it.  And SCREW YOU MR. PRESIDENT.

We are out here dying. Quite literally dying. Over five thousand of us died just during your little show. And what do you do? You announce to God and country that you don’t care. You don’t bare any responsibility. You can do whatever you want whenever you want because, in your world, pandemic or not, being President is more important than being American.  While we are struggling and yes, afraid… you throw a party.

I didn’t watch last night. I didn’t listen to your speech. I am tired of your lies and the people who lie for you. But I saw the pictures. I saw the gathering and the hugs and the cheers and the absence of masks. And here I sit doing my small part to help America recover. And today I am sicker than I have ever been. My heart is broken. My brain is tired. And I am out of my mind with anger.

Your selfishness is killing people. You don’t deserve our votes. You don’t deserve to breathe the same air we breathe. In your America 200,000 people are dead and it didn’t have to be that way.  In your America children are rioting in the streets begging for justice and it didn’t have to be that way. In your America whites are told to fear blacks and blacks are told that equality isn’t a right but rather a reward for good behavior.

You are rigth Mr. President. You and your family said it all week long.  I hate YOUR America. It’s an awful, shameful, disgusting place to live.

To be clear, it is Trump’s America. It is not Barack Obama or Joe Biden’s America. YOU are the President.  YOU.  Donald J. Trump. HEY SIRI.  WHO IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?  ALEXA. WHO IS THE 45TH PRESIDENT?

It’s YOU. It’s all you.  I look at that picutre and I realize that everything bad with our nation isn’t because of Republicans or Democrats or white people or brown people or black people.  I am so tired of being afraid of my neighbors.  I am so sick of looking at Facebook and wondering who is going to piss off  whom. It’s not them. It’s not us. I look at that picuture and I realize, it’s you.

I can’t wait for Joe Biden’s America. I am begging for Joe Biden’s America. WE ARE DYING FOR JOE BIDEN’S AMERICA.

Go back to your castle in the sky, Mr. Trump. Go back to your palace in Florida. Go back to your nice life with your pretty wife and your perfect children. Go back and please take Rudy, Mitch, Lindsey, Marco, Mike, and the rest of them with you. Go now so the healing can begin.

This great nation of ours will survive you, Mr. Trump.  But as God as my witness, I pray that your Presidency doesn’t survive us this November. I mean it. Really.

Read the whole story
1333 days ago
Share this story

How to Start Your Network Automation Journey

1 Share

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step they say… but what should that first step be if you want to start a network automation journey (and have no idea how to do it)?

Anne Baretta sent me a detailed description of his journey, which (as is often the case) started with the standardized configuration templates.

Read the whole story
1538 days ago
Share this story

Seth Godin, Bestselling Author

1 Comment and 2 Shares

Our guest this week is Seth Godin. Seth is a 19-time bestselling author, a blogger, an internet pioneer and a teacher. You can find out more at seths.blog.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

LaserBond 100: All-Purpose Metal Marking Material
So, the Glowforge laser cutter was a sensation on Kickstarter, and unlike many Kickstarter sensations, it actually works. It’s a device that goes back and forth like a CAD cam flatbed printer, except it’s got a high powered laser in it that can cut through wood or acrylic or maybe chocolate. I haven’t tried chocolate. And I have been bad at it for a long time, and I’m getting better. They put up a sign in my building in the lobby, and I don’t like the sign. So I made a new one. I ended up making 18 versions to get it to look professional. And the key, which is talked about a little bit on the very active Glowforge discussion board is this new product called Laser Bond 100, and it’s this weird hack, which is this: Laser cutters of this sort can’t cut through metal, but they can heat it up. So, if you spray a certain kind of lubricant on the metal, when it heats up, it becomes impervious to everything, and then you just wash off all the other bits. And it’s a super weird way to make a sign, but it works beautifully.

Ashes Still Water Boats Canoe Plans
I’m imagining that I’m going to build a boat in my garage. Imagining is way better than actually doing it. So here’s the quick background: In 1955, there were more canoes in Canada than automobiles. It was the number one form of transportation for the whole country. And the canoes were mostly cedar strip canoes. A cedar strip canoe is made from very thin strips of cedar on top of wooden ribs, just like the ribs in a human being’s lungs that hold your lungs together. And then you can either put fiberglass or even more elegantly canvas on this boat. And the company that made most of them was the Chestnut Canoe Company. And I know this because I learned how to style a canoe from the student of the person who invented the sport in the 1930s. I once paddled with him, and I’ve taught thousands of people in Canada how to canoe. But even though I make my own canoe paddles, I’ve never made my own canoe. Well, the Chestnut Canoe Company, the pioneer, long out of business, and I’ve always been fascinated by how you just take basically 40 pounds of cedar strip scraps and make it into a boat. Well, there’s this guy, who has built a website where he sells you a tube with plans in it. That’s all you get is a printout. And what I love about it is it’s as if he has the ethos of a $50,000 motorcycle manufacturer. It’s got a style to it. It’s not just here’s the minimum, it’s here’s the maximum, here’s the Rococo Baroque version of a set of plans to make this timeless boat. And it is entirely possible I will never make the boat because I got almost 106% of the satisfaction just by knowing that I could.

Seth’s Zoom & Skype Call Tips
One of the biggest shifts of the last five years is that more and more people are realizing you don’t need to get on an airplane. You can just do a video call. And just before this, I was on a video call with 60 people, but you can do a video call with two people. And if you flew across the country and showed up at a meeting looking like you had just eaten pizza and then slept in it, people would laugh at you. But people show up like that in Zoom calls all the time. And so I wrote a blog post called How to Be on a Zoom Call. And basically what I describe is where to put the light, where to put the microphone, what to wear, don’t have a conversation in the middle because, unlike a conference call, which you can put on mute, it’s really hard to put a video call on mute talking to other people because everyone can see you. And so, if I’ve added sanity to anyone’s life with these six or eight points, I hope that it was worth the free click.

Paul McGowan’s speaker journey
There’s a guy named Paul in Boulder, Colorado, and he makes all the little pieces or some big pieces for expensive stereos, like pre-amps and amps and power conditioners and stuff like that. And what I like about this story is it’s a maker’s story because he has succeeded at doing it. But he made a friendship years ago with a guy named Arnie Nudell, and Arnie built the biggest speaker that was for sale in the history of the country, four boxes, each one bigger than a casket. So, if you bring these four boxes home, you’re going to need a casket because your spouse is going to kick you out. But leaving that aside, most people believe that Arnie’s speakers were some of the greatest ever made. Well, Paul hooked up with Arnie toward the end of his life, and they started talking about what would it be like to use modern technology to make that again. And unfortunately, Arnie died about nine months ago, and in his memory, Paul is persisting in making this speaker. What’s really cool about it is for a year he’s been sharing everything he’s been doing, talking about it. Halfway through, they abandoned the plans and started over in a different direction, and he’s doing it in front of all of his customers, and he hasn’t taken any orders. It’s not a Kickstarter ploy. It’s just a guy who likes being a maker. And I’ve been thrilled to watch it. He just demoed the prototype two weeks ago, and you can see some of the posts that he’s put up as it’s unfolded, and it takes real guts, I think, to be this sort of maker.

Pacojet for ice cream
There’s a machine in Switzerland that you can get called a Pacojet, and they use it in restaurants. You probably have never seen one. It’s a little bigger than a sewing machine. And in it is a blade that spins in a vacuum at about 10,000 RPM, which is wicked fast. And it comes with a half a dozen metal aluminum canisters that you fill with a homemade ice cream mix. In my case, I make a vegan one with four kinds of nuts, dates, and cocoa powder, and you freeze it to four degrees below zero. Then you put the canister into the Pacojet and tell it how many servings of ice cream you want, and you press a button, and it spins down at super high speed and spins off as many servings as your restaurant needs. And it is the best ice cream technology in the world. It’s using a totally different way to break up ice crystals to make deliciousness. And if you care a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot about homemade ice cream, this is the thing to get.

LEVOIT Air Purifier
This thing is such a breakthrough. In my office, I make lunch for everyone every day, and dosas are big on the mango, and dosas make a little bit of smoke. And this was a problem. It turns out this machine — you put it next to your stove, and you press a button, and all the smoke disappears. It’s got a carbon-something filter inside that is good for many, many hours. But I only use it for five minutes at a time, so I haven’t used it up. I have one next to my Glowforge. I have one next to my stove.

Copper Grill Mats for Dosas
Dosas are made from two ingredients, rice and lentils. So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, it’s a home run. They’re delicious. You make them on a big cast iron skillet with no sides. But it turns out that the super popular brand new copper mats that are a miracle for cooking fish on the grill, you can also just dump the dosa batter right onto the copper mat, and you can grill your dosa. I got some copper mats for Dan Pink. I’m now a hero in his home. These copper mats cost a dollar each on Amazon. It is the size of a small cooking sheet. They’re flexible, and they’re just woven copper. And what you do is you put them on the grill, you warm them up for just a minute, and then nothing you put on them will stick. You can cook fish, anything. And it’s a miracle. Why did they just get invented now? If this was on late night TV, you would say, “That’s impossible.”

Dosa batter wet grinder
If you want to make the batter for dosa, you first have to move to South India, and then you get the two ingredients, and they have to each be soaked separately. And then you have to grind them in with all the wet grinder, which are a granite flat surface that’s round, and then these conical granite pyramids that spin around and grind things to a very small size. The reason you have to move to South India is, after you’ve made the batter, you have to plunge your hands into it repeatedly. That is how you inoculate it with whichever sort of bacteria makes it ferment. Now, I did not make my batter in South India, so my inoculation isn’t quite as successful, but you can’t skip the part about infecting it with the bacteria. But leaving that aside, a wet grinder is a miracle. You can make hummus in it. You can make chocolate from scratch, from cocoa nibs, and you can make this product. And there are lots of people who are importing them from India. The interesting thing about the Cocoa Town link is the guy who imports it from India realized it was the cheapest way to make homemade chocolate. So he just put a sticker on the outside, calls it Cocoa Town, and he doesn’t even mention dosa. You just have to pay extra because you can make chocolate in it.

Also mentioned:

My day job, the thing I’m spending all my time on now, is learning, not education. No certificate, no degree, no accreditation, no tests. Show up because you want to learn something. And it’s in the spirit of what I learned from Kevin all the way back to Whole Earth, which is that, if you’re enrolled in learning something, it doesn’t need to be sugarcoated the same way, and you are open to experience, which makes you open to change. So at akimbo.com, that is what we are building: one series of workshops after another where people work with each other, face to face on video or in discourse, around small lessons, over months of time, where at the end, they are transformed in the way they see the world, and they don’t care that they didn’t get a certificate.


We have hired professional editors to help create our weekly podcasts and video reviews. So far, Cool Tools listeners have pledged $390 a month. Please consider supporting us on Patreon. We have great rewards for people who contribute! If you would like to make a one-time donation, you can do so using this link: https://paypal.me/cooltools.– MF

Read the whole story
1648 days ago
Share this story

Impossible choices

1 Share

Learning from his family, his animals and his work with tribal people, Gregory Bateson saw the creative potential of paradox

By Tim Parks

Read at Aeon

Read the whole story
1742 days ago
Share this story

No, 5G won't kill WiFi

1 Share
I've seen two things today that are trying to suggest that 5G (or even 4G) are going to cause problems for WiFi, or even "kill it". 

Ignore them.

Firstly, this piece by Bloomberg (link) suggests that a combination of mobile operator's renewed flat-rate data plans, along with LTE-U, could render WiFi obsolete. It's one of the worst pieces of technology "journalism" I've read in ages.

Secondly a discussion on Twitter led to a 3GPP document about "New Services and Markets" from a year ago, which talks about "Mobile Broadband for Indoor Scenario" in section 5.5  (link). That seems to suggest that 4G/5G could replace office WiFi or even wired LANs.

Needless to say, both are total nonsense. There is a longstanding strain of thought among some "cellular fundamentalists" that WiFi is just a step away from being replaced by mobile operators' services. It is wishful thinking, verging on delusion. 

While there are some corner-cases that might swing one way or the other based, on pricing and perhaps neutral-host cellular using LTE in unlicensed bands (perhaps in MuLTEfire guise rather than the anti-competitive LTE-U and LAA variants), those are rare exceptions.

In home, offices, and public spaces, there is essentially zero chance that owned WiFi or fixed ethernet are going to be replaced in large quantity, by 5G operators acting as LANaaS providers.

There are many reasons for this, but some of them are:
  • Billions of WiFi-only devices, from PCs and tablets, to TVs, printers and a broad array of consumer and industrial products.
  • Billions more WiFi-only devices in future (no, not everything will have a cellular module & eSIM - it's way more expensive and limiting - see my report link)
  • The ability for WiFi to operate easily in "service", "subscription", "amenity", "owned", "free", "local", "sponsored", "venue-provided", "ad-supported" and many other business models. Cellular connectivity - reliant on SIM or eSIM - generally enshrines "subscription" and a service model as the only option.
  • Ability of venue-owners to control and police WiFi network access (eg a cafe-owner or conference organiser can give the codes to their choice of user, under their conditions)
  • Use of WiFi Direct for P2P connectivity
  • Integration of WiFi in businesses with LAN and security systems
  • Preferential use of WiFi in-built to smartphone OS's and connection-management tools
  • Large % of people who are not using flat-rate mobile data plans, especially prepay users in most of the world
  • A broad view that WiFi is not only "free" but also *different* as it isn't owned / metered / tracked by a service providers
  • Anonymity of most WiFi hotspots
  • Huge push of WiFi by cable, fixed-broadband and some WiFi-first MVNO providers, including to outdoor / metropolitan zones and being built-into 500 million or more home gateways around the world
  • Use of WiFi in public transport (buses, trains, planes) - even if backhauled by 4G and/or satellite, plus increasing use of WiFi hotspots in cars (again, linked via LTE to the network)
  • Poor penetration of cellular for deep-inbuilding use without DAS or small cell coverage, which is often impractical
  • Lower costs of infrastructure, especially given the heavy IPR load associated with 4G modems and base stations. 
  • Enterprise desire to use multiple connections for cloud/WAN access, eg via SD-WAN

I think the most risible line in the Bloomberg piece is this "Wi-Fi also helps fill in gaps in some office buildings and homes that have spotty cellphone coverage" - in many ways, it's the complete opposite of the way many users view the two technologies.

Every analysis I've seen has suggested that WiFi use is generally growing faster than cellular data consumption, and there is very little reason to expect it to change. In many ways, I'd expect WiFi - and also other unlicensed band technologies for LPWAN and IoT - to outstrip coming cellular use-cases, especially indoors but also for the wide area.

One last thing I'd add - I'm seeing an increased amount of interest in the opposite to LTE-U and LAA - the idea of running WiFi in licensed bands, either with new forms of spectrum-sharing, or perhaps even with adventurous regulators looking at getting more usage out of existing spectrum. After all, if the technical work suggests that LTE-U doesn't compromise or interfere with WiFi, then the converse is true as well, especially at lower power in regions with no cellular coverage, or indoors.

Overall: Ignore any reports of WiFi's demise, or the ability of 4G/5G to replace it in the future. It's simply not going to happen, except in a couple of tiny overlaps on the big wireless Venn diagram. WiFi puts downward pricing pressure on cellular data - it's probably part of the reason for the return of flatrate data in the first place.

Read the whole story
2580 days ago
Share this story
Next Page of Stories