Rachel Strohm

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Rachel Strohm

1 hour ago

“This kind of informal multi-agency coordination encourages “policy shopping,” where the agency with the least restrictive privacy rules can perform surveillance that other agencies wouldn’t be able to,” says Jake Wiener, a fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center and an expert on fusion centers and protest surveillance. “That means overall more surveillance, less oversight, and more risk of harassment or political arrests.” Further, Intrepid could provide “a forum where many agencies can contribute, but no agency is responsible for oversight and auditing," making it “ripe for abuse.”

The secret police: Inside the app Minnesota police used to collect data on journalists at protests

technologyreview.com

Rachel Strohm

2 days ago

A few weeks after his arrival in the summer of 2002, Broughton walked into the local watering hole, Club 90 South. “The only seat left was the one behind the bar,” Broughton says of his initiation into the pantheon of South Pole bartenders.

The Perils and Pleasures of Bartending in Antarctica

atlasobscura.com

Rachel Strohm

7 days ago

If it was anyone else on this earth, they’d be dead. The African water cobra that had tagged him two hours earlier is so rare a specimen that no antivenom for it currently exists. Yet cobra bite and lagers notwithstanding, Tim looked fresh; he was well on his way to becoming the first documented survivor of that snake’s bite.

Mithradites of Fond du Lac

thebeliever.net

Rachel Strohm

7 days ago

The Mongols’ logistics and operational technique went hand in hand. As the Mongol armies moved over fresh grasslands outside Hungary during their approach, the green pastures fed the horses in a way that sustained the soldiers for days afterward—a kind of logistical “running start”—as the fattened horses provided milk for the soldiers. Then, as the Mongol forces concentrated on the business of fighting, they were able to move almost entirely unencumbered by logistical considerations—at least for a week or so. Their blinding speed deprived their victims of any kind of advance warning.

When the Mongols Set Out to Conquer the World, There Was Only One Limiting Factor: Grass

historynet.com

Rachel Strohm

7 days ago

In the 90s and 2000s, English language learning was a huge fengkou, the site of an insane commercial and VC scramble. At the heart of it were electronic dictionaries (电子词典), singularly Chinese computing devices ostensibly meant for language acquisition. In reality, they became so much more: the repository for a whole generation’s private world of notes, virtual pets, sprawling RPGs and coding experiments. Somewhere between a Nintendo DS, Chromebook, Ti-83 Calculator, and a Tamagotchi, electronic dictionaries were wildly popular, extremely customizable, and gleefully modded to support dizzying possibilities.

S02 Episode 9: China Dreams of Electric Words

chaoyang.substack.com

Rachel Strohm

8 days ago

The events in Minnesota have ushered in a new era of protest policing. Protests that were intended to call attention to the injustices committed by police effectively served as an opportunity for those police forces to consolidate power, bolster their inventories, solidify relationships with federal forces, and update their technology and training to achieve a far more powerful, interconnected surveillance apparatus. Entirely new titles and positions were created within the Minneapolis Police Department and the aviation section of the Minnesota State Patrol that leverage new surveillance technologies and methods, which will be explained in detail in this investigative series.

The secret police: Cops built a shadowy surveillance machine in Minnesota after George Floyd’s murder

technologyreview.com

Rachel Strohm

8 days ago

Mid-century modernism left a distinct imprint on Indian architecture and urban design. From Le Corbusier to Louis Kahn, modernist maestros from around the world shaped a generation of Indian architects’ materials and modalities. Although the planned city of Chandigarh – designed by Corbusier as the shared capital of Punjab and Haryana – was once seen as the zenith of Indian modernism, its shortcomings have earned the disapproval of many a critic. Examining the city today, it fails abjectly through the lens of the climate crisis and in creating social inclusion. At the same time, there is much to learn from some of its charm that is overshadowed by its monuments.

What Le Corbusier got wrong (and right) in his design of Chandigarh

scroll.in

Rachel Strohm

8 days ago

The generals were pushed out in 1985, and the constitution of 1988 cemented the new democracy and guaranteed Indigenous rights, but every successive civilian government — left, right, reformist, reactionary — continued with the road building and policies that furthered the destruction of the forest.

The War for the Rainforest

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

All of which is to say that while I’d expect Future Space Armies to be very large, I don’t think you can cleanly extrapolate from the size of armies in WWII to get to the frontline combat strength of Future Space Armies: the tail is going to be much, much longer and the demands of logistics and resource mobilization may also sharply limit the degree to which a population can be militarized. A lot depends on the sort of society being posited here.

Fireside Friday, April 22, 2022

acoup.blog

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

Onywere rushed back to Nairobi, where he and his colleagues at several Kenyan universities studied recent satellite images of the lake. The images showed that the lake had, in the past year, flooded the area around it. Then Onywere searched for images of some of the lakes nearby: Lakes Bogoria, Naivasha and Nakuru. All of these had flooded. As he extended his search, he saw that Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, had flooded, too. So had Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world.

A drowning world: Kenya’s quiet slide underwater

theguardian.com

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

Financial preparedness goes hand in hand with operational preparedness. Having finance but no social registry with clearly identified and targeted beneficiaries will not go very far. Identifying who, when, and how households should receive financial support is an essential part of building adaptive social protection

Preparing today for tomorrow: Stress testing social protection systems

blogs.worldbank.org

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

When the government or the nonprofit sector builds rental housing, the investment can be self-sustaining. If we want to address the chronic housing shortage, rapidly build as many affordable homes as possible, and expand the stock of valuable public land assets, this option is at our fingertips.

A Massive Expansion in Public Rental Homes Could Literally Pay for Itself

jacobinmag.com

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

At 8am Valentin Geiko, who was in charge of the shift at the power plant, issued an emergency alert. He telephoned the heads of department on site, to tell them about reports of explosions across Ukraine and sightings of Russian planes above Chernobyl. Anton Kutenko, who worked in nuclear-waste management, called his wife, who was looking after their two small sons. “When are you coming home?” she asked him. “I don’t know,” he replied.

The inside story of Chernobyl during the Russian occupation

economist.com

Rachel Strohm

12 days ago

Critics attacked Keller for her defiant radicalism. “It manages to practically destroy her angelic image,” one wrote. For generations, Keller’s angelic image was preserved largely due to assiduous whitewashing by the institutional forces of the press, the publishing houses, and the educational system, which united in presenting Keller as a model of spiritual strength and moral uplift.

Helen Keller’s Socialism Has Been Whitewashed

jacobinmag.com

Rachel Strohm

12 days ago

Necmi shrugs. He does not know. One of the glories of the Tas Tepeler is that they are so old, no one knows. Your guess is literally as good as the expert’s. And yet a very good guess, right now, leads to the most remarkable answer of all, and it is this: archaeologists in southeastern Turkey are, at this moment, digging up a wild, grand, artistically coherent, implausibly strange, hitherto-unknown-to-us religious civilisation, which has been buried in Mesopotamia for ten thousand years. And it was all buried deliberately.

Is an unknown, extraordinarily ancient civilisation buried under eastern Turkey?

spectator.co.uk

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

The world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are quietly planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts, a Guardian investigation shows.

Revealed: the ‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown

theguardian.com

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

For many Caribbean communities across New York City, carefully curating barrels to ship to relatives outside of the U.S. is a relatively common practice. Fueled by an urge to provide for loved ones left back home, the Caribbean diaspora in New York, and cities around the country, meticulously source a variety of sought-after goods, intricately packing them in barrels on the cusp of overflowing and eventually mailing them overseas. The unconventional shipping method is the most affordable way to get a hefty load abroad.

Remittance by the Barrel

theprepared.org

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

In particular what folks tend to mean when they say this or that thing was the ‘tank’ of the ancient or medieval world, they mean it was a heavy and heavily armored platform capable of tremendous offensive power, able to ‘smash’ infantry out of defensive positions or engage in maneuver-and-fire assaults. Mostly, as we’ll see, this is not how these ancient war vehicles were used.

Collections: Ancient ‘Tanks’? Chariots, Scythed Chariots and Carroballistae

acoup.blog

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

“I’ll be confronted by spaces I’d like to enter, spaces I used to go before I was a wheelchair user, that are not accessible to me now,” says Segarra. “And in lieu of filing lawsuits, I’ll ask repeatedly, for years, for accessibility to be implemented, [only] for these requests to go completely ignored. The onus should not be on disabled people and their allies [to enforce the ADA], it should be enforced through inspection.”

30 Years after the ADA, It’s Time to Imagine a More Accessible Future

bitchmedia.org

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

The variation in human skin tones is due to a pigment called melanin, which comes from the Greek word melas, “black, dark.” Melanin is found in most living creatures, and when it is studied scientifically, researchers usually use the ink of Sepia officinalis, the common cuttlefish. Our social sorting by skin color can be put in more technical terms as a question of how much melanin our bodies produce and maintain as part of our epidermic structure.

The Physics of MelaninScience and the Chaotic Social Construct of Race

bitchmedia.org

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

Before picking up his son and the four of you grabbing dinner together, the Costa Rican lawyer offered to snap some photos with your phone, which you posted to Facebook, and which hundreds of friends liked but no one really believed, because:

A. O was Nigerian’s oldest bachelor and U had abandonment issues;
B. Who gets married in their fifties after dating three times, every decade?
C. That year, the day after Easter Sunday happened to be April Fool’s Day, which is now your anniversary;
D. All of the above.

All of the Above

therumpus.net

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

Making a seaweed album was a fairly common Victorian pastime. The same sort of person who collected shells or ferns, or outfitted a home aquarium, might purchase a kit of preprinted paper that would help her assemble a seaweed book. Queen Victoria is said to have made a seaweed album as a young girl, presenting it as a gift to the Queen of Portugal. Albums were exchanged amongst tweens, gifted to grandchildren, or donated, like a quilt or a pie, to a charity auction. One collector sold albums to buy blankets for the poor in her parish, and another to raise money for wounded soldiers.14

Love and Longing in the Seaweed Album

publicdomainreview.org

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

My first three heroes are: Dedan Kimathi (October 31st 1920 – February 18th 1957), Malcom X (May 19th 1925 – February 21st 1965) and Pio Gama Pinto (March 31st 1927 – February 24th 1965). Their ideological stand, brilliance and organizational skills attracted both friends and foes.

All were born under different circumstances in the 1920’s with all their lives ending in the ages between 37 to 40 years after committing their lives to liberating their fellow oppressed.

February : My SHUJAA Month

matharesocialjustice.org

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

Instead, it’s the story of the nearly forgotten man who spent a lifetime fighting against racism, and who sought a better life for his family in 1950s and 1960s England. Avtar Singh Jouhl ended up battling prejudice in pubs, factories, and at the highest political levels. But despite his great deeds—taking Malcolm X to a segregated pub is only one brushstroke on the giant canvas of his life—he didn’t even have a Wikipedia page until I created one.

Breaking the Color Bar — How One Man Helped Desegregate Britain’s Pubs (and Fought for an Anti-Racist Future) — Good Beer Hunting

goodbeerhunting.com

Rachel Strohm

13 days ago

But as early as 1542, the Swahili were initiating diplomatic contacts with the Ottomans to throw off the commercial yoke of the Portuguese, this action prompted a series of Portuguese attacks on several cities including Mombasa and Mogadishu but these were mostly repulsed, leaving them undeterred by the Portuguese threats.

The Portuguese and the Swahili, from foes to unlikely partners: Afro-European interface in the early modern era

isaacsamuel.substack.com

Rachel Strohm

21 days ago

Young wanted to figure out what the sculpture was, so she did some Googling and she started to piece things together. She contacted an auction house in London that confirmed it was really old — like FIRST CENTURY old. Another auction house managed to find the head in a catalog of items from a German museum in the 1920s and 1930s.

It was listed as a portrait bust of a man named Drusus Germanicus.

And so began Young's four-year ordeal trying to get rid of a 2,000-year-old sculpture.

So the $35 sculpture you got at an Austin Goodwill was looted from a museum during WWII. Now what?

kut.org

Rachel Strohm

21 days ago

It’s rare to see corals reproduce in the wild, and it was a first for Koch — spawning typically happens just once a year. But that night was also special for another reason: Many of the spawning corals were individuals that Mote researchers had planted on the reef five years earlier. Those corals survived Hurricane Irma, extreme heat, and a disease outbreak, and still grew large enough to reproduce, all in record time. It was a rare sign of hope for an ecosystem under siege.

How to resurrect a coral reef

vox.com

Rachel Strohm

26 days ago

Nowadays, Italy’s peculiar system of fictitious streets is used less for trapeze artists or lion tamers and more for people who are homeless or precariously housed. Homeless people can ask to be registered as a resident of a fictitious street, which gives them an official address that they can put on their ID.

The Italian Streets That Don't Exist on Any Map

atlasobscura.com

Rachel Strohm

26 days ago

For the world’s viruses, this is a time of unprecedented opportunity. An estimated 40,000 viruses lurk in the bodies of mammals, of which a quarter could conceivably infect humans. Most do not, because they have few chances to leap into our bodies. But those chances are growing. Earth’s changing climate is forcing animals to relocate to new habitats, in a bid to track their preferred environmental conditions. Species that have never coexisted will become neighbors, creating thousands of infectious meet-cutes in which viruses can spill over into unfamiliar hosts—and, eventually, into us.

We Created the ‘Pandemicene’

theatlantic.com

Rachel Strohm

27 days ago

The new model turned the questions around. It started with a problem and asked textile makers to solve it. The problem wouldn’t be about the cloth but about the wearer’s body. The fabric had to be more than color-fast, clean, or cheap. It had to keep the user cool or warm or dry, undistracted by physical discomfort and the energy toll of weight. The imagined customer wasn’t a housewife tired of laundry or a fashionista looking for the next big thing. It was a skier, a jogger, or a basketball player. Polyester triumphed by becoming a performance textile. ‘It moved from being disco to sporty’, says Amanda Briggs, a designer and trend consultant who spent three decades at Nike. By answering the demands of outdoor enthusiasts and athletes, polyester developed attributes that pleased just about everyone.

How polyester bounced back

worksinprogress.co

Rachel Strohm

27 days ago

To this day I haven’t been able to shake the glory of that moment. After all, I’m a Black American, and Black Americans aren’t American citizens. Any civil rights you supposedly have evaporate in the presence of the police. If you do not humbly and docilely submit to their will, they are afforded the privilege of ruining your life by charging you with a crime, physically brutalizing you, or, if they so choose, killing you for no reason. They will face no repercussions for doing any of these things. I witnessed a Turkish Muslim stand his ground against white police officers and come away victorious. Never in my life had I felt that powerful, and I haven’t felt that powerful since.

Notes From The Underground

astra-mag.com

Rachel Strohm

32 days ago

Pearson’s statistical work was inseparable from his advocacy for eugenics. One of his first example calculations concerned a set of skull measurements taken from graves of the Reihengräber culture of Southern Germany in the fifth to seventh centuries. Pearson argued that an asymmetry in the distribution of the skulls signified the presence of two races of people. That skull measurements could indicate differences between races, and by extension differences in intelligence or character, was axiomatic to eugenicist thinking. Establishing the differences in a way that appeared scientific was a powerful step toward arguing for racial superiority.

How Eugenics Shaped Statistics

nautil.us

Rachel Strohm

36 days ago

Ideally, statisticians would like to divorce these tools from the lives and times of the people who created them. It would be convenient if statistics existed outside of history, but that’s not the case. Statistics, as a lens through which scientists investigate real-world questions, has always been smudged by the fingerprints of the people holding the lens. Statistical thinking and eugenicist thinking are, in fact, deeply intertwined, and many of the theoretical problems with methods like significance testing—first developed to identify racial differences—are remnants of their original purpose, to support eugenics.

How Eugenics Shaped Statistics

nautil.us

Rachel Strohm

37 days ago

I am here for the skeleton. This whale is giving itself to us, its body with so much to teach us. Huggins keeps referring to it as “Peter’s whale.” I suppose, in a way, it is — the whale will hang in my university — but I do not think a person can (or should ever) own a whale, even though the federal permit in my pocket does put this whale’s body under my care.

Bones, Bones: How to Articulate a Whale

longreads.com

Rachel Strohm

38 days ago

Monitors have taken on an increasingly important role in Colombia’s cam industry, which expanded during pandemic lockdowns and drove many to start camming, often signing up to work with studios. Juan Bustos, founder of Juan Bustos Studios, estimates that about 10% of the camming industry workforce consists of monitors like Farias. Monitors help teach models the ropes in an industry for which there is no formal training, according to the three studios, six monitors, and seven models who spoke to Rest of World.

Meet the off-screen workers who keep the adult webcam industry running

restofworld.org

Rachel Strohm

38 days ago

He fell asleep, he told Motherboard, because of the punishing attendance policy the railroad enacted in February called Hi Viz, a points system that requires workers to be on-call upwards of 90 percent of their lives, depriving them of any semblance of a non-work life. (The worker provided Motherboard with recent documents verifying his recent work schedule.) At the start of February, workers got 30 points. Taking time off almost always costs them between two and 15 points. They can only earn points back by being available for work with 90 minutes’ notice for 14 consecutive days, meaning they can’t go out of town, schedule doctors appointments, or go to a movie. Use all 30 points and they get suspended and given 15 more points. Use those 15 points and they get suspended even longer and given their last 15 points. Use those and they’re fired.

‘What Choice Do I Have?’ Freight Train Conductors Are Forced to Work Tired, Sick, and Stressed

vice.com

Rachel Strohm

38 days ago

“It’s funny how the industry has evolved so that they are now a good guy,” said Ellen Adler, the publisher of the independent New Press. “I would say their rehabilitation has been total.”

How Barnes & Noble Went From Villain to Hero

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

40 days ago

If incantatory texts of Mahāyāna Buddhism work through recitation, are the illiterate barred from enlightenment, should they lack the supreme linguistic recall of Hōichi? The answer requires knowing more about literacy and language in Japan. The stakes of correct recitation were high in the pre- and early-modern era, with strict rules for pronunciation existing since the 1100s, and sutra recitation (dokyō) becoming an artform in the following century. Charlotte Eubanks tells the story of Emperor Goshirakawa, who supposedly incinerated a wing of the imperial palace after mispronouncing “a single character of the Lotus Sutra”.

Reciting Pictures: Buddhist Texts for the Illiterate

publicdomainreview.org

Rachel Strohm

41 days ago

one major discrepancy between the band council system and older systems of governance is the imposed presence of a Chief. European colonists when encountering Sachems (whose sole authority was to negotiate land use between family groups so that over-hunting would not occur) erroneously believed they were encountering village or community headmen. This historical error has had devastating effects on the formulation of local governance as many of the people themselves have come to believe that older systems of governance were hierarchical when in fact they were purely horizontal in power distribution between individuals.

Anishinaabe

en.wikipedia.org

Rachel Strohm

48 days ago

But ironically I’ve heard many anecdotes of people [in China] having learned about censorship circumvention tools not because they were interested in dissident politics, but that they had to use a VPN to watch porn.

*NSFW* S02 Episode 7: Horny on Mainland

chaoyang.substack.com

Rachel Strohm

53 days ago

In dismissing and smearing Mr Smalls, the company relied on the hardball tactics that had driven its dominance of the market. But on Friday, he won the first successful unionization effort at any Amazon warehouse in the United States, one of the most significant labor victories in a generation. The company’s response to his tiny initial protest may haunt it for years to come.

How Two Best Friends Beat Amazon

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

55 days ago

Archaeologists and physicists both covet ancient Roman lead—for very different reasons. Old lead is pure, dense and much less radioactive than the newly mined metal, so it makes ideal shielding for sensitive physics experiments. But it also has historical significance—and many archaeologists object to melting down 2,000-year-old ingots.

Ancient Roman Lead Melted Down to Explore the Frontiers of Physics

scientificamerican.com

Rachel Strohm

55 days ago

Tulloch is one of a growing number of US workers turning their personal data over to private companies in exchange for paycheck advances, fueling an industry potentially worth up to $12 billion, by some estimates. In 2020, $9.5 billion in wages were accessed early, according to the research firm Aite-Novarica Group, up from $6.3 billion in 2019. These early payouts can be habit-forming; a 2021 report from the Financial Health Network found that more than 70 percent of pay advance users took out consecutive advances.

Workers Are Trading Staggering Amounts of Data for 'Payday Loans'

wired.com

Rachel Strohm

55 days ago

When Mailikaimu asked Mohammed more personal questions, like how he had ended up in Albania, where there was no sizable Uyghur community, he felt he could confide in her about his cruel fortune: he’d been sold to the United States for bounty as an alleged terrorist in post-9/11 Pakistan, held for four years at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, and finally exonerated and resettled in Albania, a former communist state in the Balkan Peninsula that he hadn’t known existed and could not have found on a map.

Endless Exile: The Tangled Politics Keeping a Uyghur Man in Limbo

thewalrus.ca

Rachel Strohm

55 days ago

First, people discover a phenomenon and come up with ways to measure and record it. Later, people devise new technologies to modify and engineer the phenomenon. Between the two, there is a period that I will call the read-only window:

During the ROW, historical evidence can be recorded, but not manipulated. For example, photography was invented in the early 1800s, and the first photomontages were produced in the mid-1850s. So the ROW for photography lasted for about 50 years, after what it became read/write, and of course the powerful used it for political manipulation throughout the following centuries.

Conspiracy-proof archaeology

malmesbury.substack.com

Rachel Strohm

55 days ago

Plenty of research has been published on the ways that names understood to be Black can hinder a person’s professional, social and financial prospects. Nevertheless, Black folks continue to adorn ourselves with names that celebrate us, our history, our place in America. We have been defining and redefining ourselves through our names for 400 years. Why stop now?

What’s in a Black name? 400 years of context.

andscape.com

Rachel Strohm

59 days ago

So while dowsing for the dead may seem particularly wacky, it’s just the most extreme example of a problem afflicting the forensic practices many Americans have seen touted on television for years, says Randy Shrewsberry, a retired police officer who founded the nonprofit Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform. “Law enforcement regularly accepts the flaws of these practices, despite the life-altering impacts that can occur when they’re wrong.”

He Teaches Police “Witching” To Find Corpses. Experts Are Alarmed.

themarshallproject.org

Rachel Strohm

59 days ago

Between 1998 and 2010, kindergarten teachers’ expectations for math and reading acquisition shot up, as did the amount of time children spent being instructed on discrete skills previously deemed beyond the reach of kindergarteners. Compared with their 1998 counterparts, kindergarten teachers in 2010 were far more likely to believe that academic instruction should begin prior to kindergarten, and that children should leave their classrooms knowing how to read.

Education Reformers Are Waging a War on Play

jacobinmag.com

Rachel Strohm

59 days ago

I can tell you what TropeTrainer was, what it did, and what it meant to people. I can tell you about the person who made it, about what happened after he died, and what was lost.

But I can’t quite describe that voice.

I first heard it played to me over the phone from a copy that hadn’t yet ceased to function. It was a voice unlike any I’d ever heard: not human but made by humans, generated by a piece of computer code dating to the 1980s, singing words of a text from the Bronze Age in a cadence handed down, from one singer to another, over thousands of years.

TropeTrainer was software that had been taught to sing the words of God.

Then it went silent.

His software sang the words of God. Then it went silent.

inputmag.com

Rachel Strohm

59 days ago

I first heard it played to me over the phone from a copy that hadn’t yet ceased to function. It was a voice unlike any I’d ever heard: not human but made by humans, generated by a piece of computer code dating to the 1980s, singing words of a text from the Bronze Age in a cadence handed down, from one singer to another, over thousands of years.

TropeTrainer was software that had been taught to sing the words of God.

Then it went silent.

His software sang the words of God. Then it went silent.

inputmag.com

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