thursday linked list: china hacking US hardware, compromising on policy is dead, delayed sexual assault allegations

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies – wow – this is a huge scoop and incredibly scary! (if you have hardware access to a machine there’s basically nothing you can’t do)

Democrats Don’t Care About Policy Compromise Anymore β€” Just Like Republicans – this makes me really sad. Like I’ve mentioned before I’m much more of an incrementalist/pragmatist. It also seems very very difficult to pass anything meaningful without compromises.

Why Women Can Take Years to Come Forward With Sexual Assault Allegations – I know it can seem like an “ambush” or whatever, but there are good reasons most women don’t report sexual assault when it happens to them 😦

Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all US employees – yes, this is partially a political move, and partially a business move, but even though the reasons aren’t altruistic this is an unambiguously good thing. Yay!

How AI changed organ donation in the US – I was vaguely aware of this, but this is a really cool application of an algorithm to save lives!

Which Foreign Aid Programs Work? The U.S. Runs A Test β€” But Won’t Talk About It – interesting, although this is aggravating:

“In this country we don’t like giving poor people money,” he says. There’s “an inherent sense” that they can’t be trusted to spend it wisely. No matter, Carbonell adds, that the research strongly indicates that poor people don’t spend cash aid on vices like tobacco and alcohol.

“We don’t want to be seen as just giving handouts to poor people,” he says. “And that is a very deeply ingrained fear at USAID.”

What Happens When Gig-Economy Workers Become Employees – some like it, some don’t.

Once again, Putin gives us a lesson on the usefulness of the blatant lie – sigh

U.S. officials suspect Russia in mystery ‘attacks’ on diplomats in Cuba, China – this is an interesting twist.

A Map of the World Where the Sizes of Countries Are Determined by Population – cartograms are good and useful!

I lost my infant son to a drunk driver. This change could save countless lives. – lowering the legal blood alcohol concentration limit would save lives!

The Surprising Reason that There Are So Many Thai Restaurants in America – whoa, didn’t know that the Thai government subsidized restaurants! Also “gastrodiplomacy” is a cool word.

Many Ways to Be a Girl, but One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules – the rare article that’s depressing for girls _and_ boys!

The Effectiveness of Publicly Shaming Bad Security – I’m glad we’ve reached a point where this can work!

Fear: Trump in the White House review

Fear: Trump in the White HouseFear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was interesting, but in a very busy few weeks for news (moreso than usual, I think?) I didn’t want to read more about politics.

One of the problems with a book like this is that it relies on a few sources that have their own agendas (usually including making themselves look good) so it’s hard to know how much to trust it. I didn’t read Michael Wolff’s book or Omarosa’s book because I don’t trust the authors; here I do trust the author, but there’s only so much fact-checking that can be done about conversations where only two or three people were present.

A lot of the interesting parts I read about elsewhere, but a few things:
– It’s chilling how easily Trump lies about stuff. (and clearly knows that he’s lying) This is not a huge surprise having observed his presidency, but…still.
– Reince Priebus comments that Trump has “zero psychological ability to recognize empathy or pity in any way”, which also seems true.
– During the whole escalation with North Korea over Twitter, Trump wanted to send out a tweet ordering all US military families out of South Korea, which North Korea probably would have seen as preparations for war. Luckily it didn’t happen! (the book is vague about why, whether someone talked him out of it or he just forgot about it)

Aaaaanyway I like reading nonfiction books but I need a little escapism so I’m going to stop reading about politics for a bit.

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Now Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma review

Now Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting DilemmaNow Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma by Heather Turgeon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has the same ideas as How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind. Which is OK – I’d rather have books saying the same thing then say that it’s good to yell at your kids or whatever. (FWIW it’s not good; don’t yell at your kids!)

Where this book stands out is that it lays out a ton of scenarios that really helped me internalize the lessons. So I’m going to try to remember to go back to this book every once in a while and browse through it again.

(one new part is the stuff about screen time, which: maaaaaan am I not looking forward to those fights…)

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my happy place

When I’m having trouble sleeping (which was more of a problem before I had kids!) or trying to calm down, I would close my eyes and picture something peaceful. Usually this was something I remembered from one of our Hawaii vacations – nighttime on the beach, hearing the waves come in and go out, etc.

This weekend I left David with the kids to go pick up takeout. I wasn’t gone for very long but it took a little longer than I thought, so I was a bit stressed coming home that Vanessa would get to bed late. When I walked in, I heard David say “there’s Daddy!” and Vanessa said “Daddy!” and ran up to me and gave me a big hug. So I have a new happy place now πŸ™‚ (for future recollection, she was wearing her yellow monkey shirt πŸ™‚ )

(she also will say “Hi Daddy!” randomly even when we’re in the same room which is totally adorable!)