– The Mayday PAC to reduce the influence of money in politics. (yes, they’re aware of the irony) It’s a Kickstarter-esque project being run by Lawrence Lessig. I don’t know how likely this is to help things, but I desperately want it to succeed so I contributed. You can learn more about it (or read the FAQ) and I’d encourage you to pledge to help US kickstart fundamental reform by reducing the influence of money in politics.
– A chart of view of homosexuality in different countries – the US comes out looking pretty good, relatively speaking. No huge surprises – Africa/Middle East are terrible, Asia somewhat less so, and go Europe! (thanks David!)
– The Control Group Is Out Of Control – interesting look at parapsychology (ESP, precognition, etc.) as the “control group” of science. If they’re finding significant results, then we need to figure out what they’re doing wrong. More from the “science is hard” department: Lab Rats May Be Stressed By Men, Which May Skew Experiments
– Comcast is destroying the principle that makes a competitive internet possible – a very good look at net neutrality and specifically the Netflix/Comcast fight.
– The Single Mother, Child Poverty Myth – Scandinavian countries have a similar rate of single mother families as the US, but a much smaller rate of poverty among those families due to welfare-type programs. Of course, that means that children in single mother families, through no fault of their own, are much likelier to grow up in poverty in the US. Boo. (thanks David!)
– To Divide the Rent, Start With a Triangle – hey, I’m pretty sure I saw a colloquium about this at SWT Math Camp! (blah, “Texas State”, whatever) Also, props to the New York Times for putting up an interactive rent division calculator.
– Steve Jobs Defied Convention, and Perhaps the Law – Apple basically admitted to backdating options for Jobs and other senior employees, but got off with a slap on the wrist. (thanks in part to their “swift, extensive and extraordinary cooperation.”) But as the article says, the bigger threat to Jobs’s reputation is the numerous anti-poaching agreements Apple had with other companies. See:
That same year, Mr. Jobs wrote Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google at the time, “I would be extremely pleased if Google would stop doing this,” referring to its efforts to recruit an Apple engineer. Mr. Schmidt forwarded the email, adding his own indiscreet comment: “I believe we have a policy of no recruiting from Apple and this is a direct inbound request. Can you get this stopped and let me know why this is happening? I will need to send a response back to Apple quickly so please let me know as soon as you can.”
When Mr. Jobs learned that the Google recruiter who contacted the Apple employee would be “fired within the hour,” he responded with a smiley face.