Monday, August 9th, 2021


You’re In The Red

The fight that pits humanity vs climate change isn't over. But so far, humanity has been beaten up, knocked around the ring, and dropped to the canvas a few times. And even in this heat, climate change has barely broken a sweat, choosing to just sit back and watch as humanity punches itself in the gut. In short, the bad news is that the scientists we ignored when they accurately warned us about the risks of temperature hikes, sea rises, and deadly weather patterns are back to inform us that what they said would happen has happened and things are, inevitably, going to get worse in the coming years. BBC: Climate change: IPCC report is 'code red for humanity.' The good news is that all is not lost. We know what's causing the changes and we know how to slow things down before the Earth turns into a rolling fireball. All we have to do is come together as humans, follow the science, and do what it takes to change course before it's too late. You know, sort of how we handled Covid.

+ Five things we have learned from the IPCC report.

+ "There's no going back." Vox: The devastating new UN report on climate change, explained.

+ Meanwhile, firefighters tackle historic California wildfire, and the Greece wildfires? "It's like a horror movie but it's real life." (And there's not much time to change the script.)


Nomo Cuomo?

The walls continue to close in around Andrew Cuomo and his supporters. Melissa DeRosa, his top aide, has resigned. And "Time's Up leader Roberta Kaplan resigned Monday over fallout from her work advising Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration." Cuomo, as we've seen, won't be satisfied until he's inflicted maximum damage to his aides, former supporters, party, and state. Communism, Fascism, and Authoritarianism aren't the biggest threats to democracy. Narcissism is.


Taipei Attention

"In Taipei, young people like Nancy Tao Chen Ying watched as the Hong Kong protests were brutally extinguished. Now they wonder what's in their future." NYT Mag (gift article for ND readers): Is Taiwan Next? (No one stopped China in Hong Kong or Xinjiang. So why would they stop themselves?)


Eye Phone

"Apple says these new features preserve privacy as they combat child abuse. For critics, though, the biggest question is not about what the technology might do today; it's about what it could become tomorrow." It's awesome. And it's worrisome. MIT Tech Review: Apple's radical new anti-abuse technology provoked both criticism and praise by scanning directly on iPhones.

+ The excellent John Gruber has a deep dive on this subject. Apple's New ‘Child Safety' Initiatives, and the Slippery Slope.


Seeking a Hire Power

"Employers in the U.S. face an interesting challenge ahead – how to fill nearly 10 million job openings with about a million fewer workers than there are positions available." CNBC: There are about 1 million more job openings than people looking for work.


Hat Tricks

"There are three types of pimps. Megan Lundstrom will tell you this. First, there's the boyfriend pimp, the one who romances you with promises of a family, who coaxes you into turning tricks each night to finance a blissful future—the one you think you're in love with, until the abuse becomes too much to bear. If you try to escape, the boyfriend pimp flips out. Then there's the CEO pimp. He's flirty at first, but instead of wooing you, he works you to exhaustion with promises of modeling fame. He charges a "choosing fee" to enter his enterprise and a "leaving fee" to exit. He, too, gives you bruises, but this is business, and you've got a quota. You go on autopilot, which numbs the pain. Finally, there's the gorilla pimp. You might meet him at a bar and wake up later having been drugged, kidnapped, and raped." Elle: The Unlikely Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor and the Instagram Account That Saved Her Life.


We’re Surrounded

"In 2019, there were ~2k high-tech devices orbiting the planet. Today, there are more than 6k. By 2030, there will be an estimated 50k ... Satellites are set to grow by 1,000% in the next decade. They might help us predict pandemics and save the planet." (They might also turn space into a junkyard.) How the explosive growth in satellites could impact life on Earth.


It’s the Cycle of Life

"Some 700,000 people were expected to celebrate their enthusiasm for motorcycles at the 10-day event that kicked off Friday in the western South Dakota city ... Law enforcement in Sturgis and Meade County are reporting their calls for service during the first few days are up dramatically compared to previous years." Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is the busiest in years. (Media outlets should just reprint headlines from 2020. The story is basically the same...)

+ "That may mean that this is a six-month phenomenon in a country, rather than a two-year phenomenon. But I do caution people that this is the delta variant and we have not run out of Greek letters so there may be more to come." Larry Brilliant on the pandemic, the variants, and where we are in the fight. The world is nowhere near the end of the pandemic.



Tokyo Olympics: Toughest Games? Decathletes and heptathletes say probably (amazing photos). Heptathlon winner Nafissatou Thiam: "I was just looking forward to being done with it." (I felt the same way about trying to figure out the Peacock app.)

+ Pat Forde: I've Covered Nine Olympics. Nothing Prepared Me for Seeing My Daughter Win a Medal. (Nothing prepared me for how often my daughter responds to my texts with, "IDC.")

+ 21 striking photographs from the Olympic Games.


Bottom of the News

Dan Kois in Slate: "The Segway also reminds me of my fallibility. To this day, thinking about it fills me with dread. That's because in 2001, I was a young literary agent—and Dean Kamen's book was my first-ever big deal. The cascading series of miscues that tanked the Segway began with that book proposal, its leak, and the ensuing hype. And I've always had a sick sense that the leak was somehow my fault. So I set out to report the story, to wade back into the mess I made when I got in way over my head, and to figure out once and for all the answer to a question that's eaten at me for 20 years: Did I kill the Segway?"