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Dec 23, 2021 15 tweets 3 min read
There's a disconnect between critiques of Telegram and its practical use that have made me uneasy about joining technical pile-ons around how it's not really encrypted messaging. Let me use the example of Telegram use in the Hong Kong protests I arrived in Hong Kong with each hair standing individually on end because everyone was using Telegram, which of course stores every group chat server-side like Moxie says. It took me a while to understand why it was so popular despite this shortcoming
Dec 22, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Good thread on how the FDA is preventing cheap, rapid covid tests from reaching the American public. I'm not on a campaign of hate against the Biden Administration. I voted for the guy. But I did so on the understanding that he would bring competence and seriousness to a government that had been a clown car, and I am genuinely appalled at how little changed around fighting covid
Dec 21, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Biden's press secretary made a sarcastic joke about this exact idea at a press conference 13 days ago, implying the cost (a result of the President's own policy) would be prohibitive. The tests will start to arrive after the omicron wave has crested. Paying a fortune to pharmaceutical companies who profiteer from FDA dysfunction in order to deliver an insufficient number of tests through a broken postal service too late to matter will be a real full body workout for the American government.
Dec 21, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
According to The Hill, the Democrats' new plan is to drive a wedge between Manchin and his voters by making this popular senator from an R+23 state vote against a whole series of Democratic bills. If Biden really wants to get Manchin in trouble with WV voters, he should recall the Senate from vacation, have Manchin write a 1.8T spending bill of his choice, and pass it immediately. This would have the added benefit of being the only sane strategy, and good for the country
Dec 20, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
I find these highly public attacks from within the party inexplicable. Manchin is someone who pretty capably represents the interests of an extremely conservative state, and I can think of 50 senators who it makes sense to attack before you start eating your own like this. Democrats who do well in Trump districts are the only hope the party has for winning in rural America, and we need more of them, because rural America is the only path to a Senate majority. So maybe tone down the civil war and fight the pandemic or something.
Dec 19, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Is there interest in a good faith technical explanation of this? I feel like a lot of those exist, but if smart people like Jay Rosen are not getting their minds around it then there is something amiss. What's the missing piece? I like to write and would gladly take a swing. A recurring problem in blockchain exposition is that people from outside tech see the trillions of dollars and growing mountain of cryptocurrency projects and reasonably assume some useful substantive core must exist under the hype, while those of us in tech know the awful truth.
Dec 19, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read
The story here is that the party in power wasted its first year unwilling to pare down a bill to something that would pass its caucus, sent itself home for the holidays, and now blames the senator by some miracle we still have from WV for why people's child tax credit got cut off The theme here, with the praiseworthy exception of the infrastructure bill, is a failure to lead. You use the materials you're given to achieve what you realistically can, you keep disagreements private, and you don't sleep on a pandemic you promised to make your top priority.
Dec 17, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read
We're now days away from New York City being overwhelmed by its biggest covid wave, and one or two weeks out from it happening nationally. I'm starting to fear that the President is too old or out of touch to do his vital job as a public communicator, and that there is no plan. ImageImage We need a national leader to step up and tell people:

1. It's going to get bad, we'll get through it
2. You're not fully vaxxed with two shots, get a third
3. We take these measures to protect our fellows, not ourselves. Wave the flag a bit, cite Normandy, whatever you need.
Dec 16, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
They've had a year to prepare this legislation. The only part of it that hasn't been constantly changed is the contention that it's urgent. If two senators are obstructing the bill, then let them write it themselves, and pass that. Don't just go home on another vacation. Put it off just a little longer and you can run on Build Back Better again!
Dec 16, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
The quoted tweet here is a glimpse into an alternate and saner world we could have made for ourselves I would totally keep a drawer of these tests and take one before meeting people, if I had any idea where to get them. I bought tests for my mom online but they're ten bucks each. People harp on how covid deniers and antivaxxers are ruining everything, but the status quo stymies even the most well-meaning. Home tests are an expensive hassle, there's a long wait for boosters in places, mask quality is all over the map.
Dec 16, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
What the deep fried fuck kind of public messaging is this? The booster is not Xanax, it's an integral part of getting vaccinated. More importantly, you don't just get vaccinated to ease your worries, you do it to help everyone in your family and community who might otherwise get sick.
Dec 16, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Imagine if we covered hurricanes like we do the pandemic. There would be massive headlines when a new one formed, then the nation's chief meteorologist would say (based on no evidence) that it looks mild to him, and we'd have no further mention of the storm until it made landfall Right now we know from looking at data in South Africa, Scandinavia and the UK that we're headed for a very large wave of illness that will swamp the medical system in many states even if (as we all hope) the variant is relatively mild. We even know roughly when to expect it.
Dec 14, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
The Senate is giving itself 15 weeks of paid vacation in 2022. The Senate's web page explaining why it takes the entire month of August off is entertaining reading. "In 1963, the Senate met from January to December without a break longer than a three-day weekend." They tasted a normal American work schedule and thought, never again.
Dec 14, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Senator @SenBlumenthal appeared on Saturday at an event organized by the Connecticut (!) Communist Party to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the founding of CPUSA. This is a system that murdered some 100M people, and subjugates over a billion today. facebook.com/events/new-hav… The legacy of McCarthyism and red scares in the United States, the strong support of CPUSA for the civil rights movement, and the fact that they never came within a mile of power means that there's more sympathy for communism in the US than in the places where it was imposed.
Dec 14, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Don't want to speak for Alex, but my experience with high-follower web3 enthusiasts is that they rapidly block any form of public criticism. The only twitter group that comes near them in terms of inability to cope with opposing views are venture capitalists. Web3 is an uncensorable, truly democratic vehicle for free expression where the powerful can no longer censor views they don't want to hear, and I'll instantly block anyone who says otherwise.
Dec 13, 2021 13 tweets 3 min read
Yay, I get to do my rant about the Sabatier reaction in spaaaaace!

Gather round, everyone, and listen to the story of:

CO₂ + 4H₂ →CH₄ + 2H₂O Everyone loves the Sabatier reaction because it takes carbon dioxide and turns it into something useful: water and methane (aka rocket fuel or natural gas, depending on who you want to raise the funding from). All you need is a hot metal catalyst and some hydrogen.
Dec 13, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
A disorienting aspect of climate change is that there is a lot of potential sea level rise from runaway processes in Greenland and Antarctica, and those are locked in and going to happen (or not) even if we were to cut all emissions to zero tonight. washingtonpost.com/climate-enviro… If I am salty about the "climate emergency" framing, it's because of stuff like this. Scaring people out of their wits with the misleading message that we still have one last chance to save the planet is not a good idea, and it's not true.
Dec 12, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
There was a tornado outbreak with a 219 mile ground track in 1925. Was that climate change? I know no one ever thinks they're spreading disinformation, but that's what you're doing when you assert a causal link without evidence between an extreme weather event and climate change The explanatory mechanism is different, but otherwise this is the same mental process as arguing that God is sending storms to punish us for being bad, or voting for the wrong people, or whatever.
Dec 4, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
Cryptocurrency in theory: transactions enforced by code, you don't need to trust anyone, money can instantly go anywhere, banks can't stop you

In practice: transactions enforced by bugs in code, you can't trust anyone, money can instantly go anywhere, banks can't help you Traditional banking: your funds are secured by an intrusive apparatus of government surveillance and a set of hoary laws passed in the 1930s

Cryptocurrency: your funds are secured by a long, random integer in the wallet app your spouse just deleted to make room for Candy Crush
Dec 2, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Another day, another $120M cryptocurrency theft. The mechanism here highlights a point I made before—given a set of decentralized, unusable tools, civilians will gravitate to centralized, easy to use tools like the website that just stole all their money. theblockcrypto.com/post/126072/de… The list of assets stolen is great. From "wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) and convex finance (CVX) to more complicated tokens like "ibbtc/sbtcCRV-f." The idea is that you put your funny money on BadgerDAO, and it's loaned out and you make a preposterous rate of interest, risk-free!
Dec 2, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read
Also could use an explanation of why the stops stayed in place this long. Not to mention how many of the stops seem to remain in place. I flew through Dallas-Fort Worth not long ago, a major travel hub for a big airline. Why couldn't I get a rapid covid test there, or for that matter a vaccine? Why aren't there pop-up testing and vax clinics all over?