Social Media April 2023

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Cathy Wilcox, Sydney Morning Herald

Dear Mr. Twitter, I see that you have blocked #Substack — blatant censorship. Therefore after this tweet I will stop visiting Twitter altogether and will only return 1 month after you have fully restored Substack links. See everybody else at the ‘don!

More on the Substack crackdown by Musk. “Elon Musk supports freedom of speech (except for journalists, bloggers, critics, competitors, anti-fascist activists and his workers),” writes Max Berger.

Wow, I just created a substack account in order to create a holder page (I wasn’t planning to post content on it, just a link to my blog). To my surprise the edit screen has still not appeared — it’s been 20 minutes! (Days later, the problem appears to be fixed and my holder page is here:

“A man came up to me -a strong man- and he took my hand, with tears in his eyes… and said, “Sir, you have the right to remain silent.”” John Collins (Twitter).

For the record, I rarely link to twitter (and certainly do not embed Tweets) not because I hate Musk and company but because tweets are ephemeral–can’t you just copy/paste the text of it without bothering with hyperlinks? I try to link to their domain or bio page instead.

CLIMATE MATH (Updated): Although the climate change situation has become more dire, the price of renewable energy has improved considerably: according to Lazars, solar power generation costs about $34 per Megawatt Hour; Wind Power generation is $39; natural gas power generation costs 59$ and coal-fired power generation costs $108. Despite this obvious cost advantage, Texas still favors natural gas and coal. For example, my Fort Bend county gets its power from the nearby Parrish coal/natural gas plant — whose air pollution is estimated to cause about 109 premature deaths per year according to a recent Sierra Club report. That is insanity. Wouldn’t it be better for Harris County and Fort Bend County to gets its power from an energy source that won’t also kill us?

I really need to update the Climate Change Cheatsheet. Stay Tuned.

Complete image and explanation. This comes from the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report.

Hence the need for “negative emissions” also known as carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. The main problems are 1)it’s very very expensive and 2)who will pay? The sad thing is when the Paris Agreement was being hatched in 2015, everybody knew that even under the best case scenario, those Paris Agreement commitments would still fall short. 

Here’s a primer on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and a nice Vox explainer video.

Jeff Masters on the coming real estate bubble from unpriced flood risk:

FLORIDA REAL ESTATE BUBBLE: A 2023 study in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change has drawn attention to a massive real estate bubble in the U.S. — property that is overvalued by $121-$237 billion because of current flood risk… Florida had the highest property overvaluation — about $50 billion. In 2021, Florida’s real estate industry accounted for $294 billion, or 24% of the gross state product, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

Wall Street Journal has made all of Evan Gershkovich’s reports about Russia during the wartime free to read.

NPR leaves Twitter altogether. This comes after Twitter wrongly blocked Substack posts. Wow, I’ve never seen a billionaire CEO ruin a company so rapidly. Timothy Noah: If @elonmusk insists on calling NPR and the BBC “government/public funded” he should do the same for Tesla (“government-funded cars”). A decade ago Musk had sucked $4.9 billion from the federal teat. God knows what that hypocrite’s total is now.

Fun introduction to how to prepare for your Jeopardy appearance. (I’m a big fan of the show, but I know very well that I would be a bad contestant. I’m sloppy about my answers, have huge gaps in my education and can’t figure out the strange word game categories like BEFORE AND AFTER. Also, I have never bothered to learn state capitals or rivers/mountains or US presidents. Interestingly, my killer category is not literature but classical music.

Amanda Lear on paying your taxes vs. playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Natalka Sniadanko on how global crises fade away from public memory:

Turning reality into a metaphor and then back again is an ongoing process. Tragic news, gradually forgotten, resurfaces in poems as metaphors. Conversely, the fatigue from Ukraine, which was initially feared at the start of the war and had seemed like a distant metaphor, became a reality. While sympathy and the desire to help have been solid and widespread, fatigue has become undeniable. We must now confront the fact that Ukraine continues to be a white spot on the mental map of Europe, a blemish that continually generates negative news and danger, prompting us to want to protect ourselves instinctively. It is high time that we seriously thought about what we are going to fill this white spot with other than bad news.

This was mentioned as the funniest SNL sketch ever — and I’m inclined to agree (you have to watch until the end though). Here’s a Barack Obama cameo on SNL and of course my SNL playlist.

Dudewithsign . Apparently this guy (Seth Phillips) is famous by now and people are ripping off his likeness for commercial purposes.

Here are some things I really really despise: Lawn mowers, two stroke leaf blowers, Jim Jordan, fossil fuel companies, Putin, Mike Pence (maybe even more than Trump), Greg Abbott, gun fetishes,

Here are some things I despise: TV morning shows, superhero moves and TV series, Starbucks, anything having to do with real estate, Ted Cruz, zombie-themed books and TV shows, high school football (anything football-related really), anything evangelical, Ellen Degeneres (used to like her, she was ridiculously overexposed on TV during COVID lockdown)

Here are some things I am completely indifferent to: Taylor Swift, people’s birthdays, Costco, videogames, JayZ/Beyonce, Adam Sandler, Game of Thrones, Chick Fil A (totally overpriced processed food), beach time (though I love swimming), Tik Tok, Elon Musk,

Things I’m actually a fan of: sardines, CNN, HBO, country music, Hilary Clinton (and Bernie Sanders!), MacDonalds (well, maybe I mean I don’t despise it), Diet Coke, Eurovision,

Video: Bob Mackie, prolific costume designer for Carol Burnett talks about his iconic costumes.

Sam Levin on Stand your ground laws:

An analysis last year found “stand your ground” laws were linked to an 8% to 11% increase in homicide rates, or roughly 700 additional deaths each year. Florida’s “stand your ground” law has increased both justifiable and unlawful killings, with one study finding a 32% increase in firearm homicide rates; and another analysis showed that in 79% of cases, the assailant could have retreated to avoid confrontation. And research on “stand your ground” laws has found huge racial disparities, with white Americans much more likely to find success with self-defense claims, particularly when they kill Black people.

Sam Levin, The Guardian.

Matthew Rozsa on that crazy movie Soylent Green:

Tribute to Traute Lafrenz (last surviving member of White Rose Resistance)

Here’s an AHA press release about a comparison of various diets: Dash and Mediterranean comes on top, Keto and Paleo diet comes on bottom (surprise, surprise). You can read the actual published study or download a PDF of the study here.

The MIND diet (the anti-Alzheimer’s diet) has gotten a lot of positive coverage. The key thing is eating more leafy vegetables like kale.

Here’s a nice discussion between three intellectuals about Bergman’s Persona (one of my alltime fave films). Author/critic Dan Schneider is an impressive critic who runs the Cosmoetica website and does a video interview series.

El Nino will be coming with a vengeance this winter — and record global temperatures next year.






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