On being careful as we try to learn from history: "America Is Not Rome. It Just Thinks It Is"
(Plus- *the* Hugo)
“History does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another.”*…

Opt for optimism? bit.ly/2H9u48Q

Pascal's Wager, updated-- and inverted: ""Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Let’s Not Find Out"
(Plus- Silly Putty)
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”*…

Rethink reality: bit.ly/2TBlyo6

What was true of Soviet central planners is true of Big Tech today: namely, the assumption that society can be improved through pure "rationality": "Big Tech’s Harvest of Sorrow?"
(Plus- Radio)
“Central planning didn’t work for Stalin or Mao, and it won’t work for an entrepreneur either”*…

Rethink "reason": bit.ly/2TBkqku

A Tory stalwart argues that Britain has, for all practical purposes, undergone a coup
(Plus- the Berlin Wall)
“Change threatens, and its possibility creates frightened, angry people"*…

Brace for more bluster: bit.ly/2Z6YHSE

An environmental approach to data rights: "Data isn't the new oil, it's the new CO2"
(Plus- the IBM PC)
“A better world won’t come about simply because we use data; data has its dark underside.”*…

Ponder privacy: bit.ly/2ZY87B4

How to understand the universe when you’re stuck inside of it
(Plus- Arrabal)
“Why should things be easy to understand?”*…

Muse on monads: bit.ly/2MXhnBI

Precious ancient manuscripts from western Africa are under threat as Mauritania's desert libraries vanish
(Plus- the Smithsonian)
“I rather think that archives exist to keep things safe – but not secret”*…

Treasure treasures: bit.ly/2H19mI2

Some people say “the climate has changed before,” as though that should be reassuring. It’s not: "Lost Cities and Climate Change"
(Plus- Walden)
“And then the water ran out, and they fell back, realizing too late that their prosperity was borrowed, and there would be no more coming”*…

Facing facts: bit.ly/2GWWPWc

So … what if everyone went back where they came from?
(Plus- Mehmed IV)
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself”*…

Contemplate commonality: bit.ly/2Kmmx8I

Ralph H. Cameron staked mining claims around the Grand Canyon, seeking to privatize it. The cautionary tale of "The Man Who Tried to Claim the Grand Canyon"
(Plus- Cape Cod National Seashore)
“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”*…

Contemplate the commons: bit.ly/2YHfxLJ

They slaughtered our ancestors and derailed our history-- and they’re not finished with us yet: "How Mosquitoes Changed Everything."
(Plus- the man who pioneered germ theory)
“I lit a thin green candle to make you jealous of me, but the room just filled up with mosquitoes”*…

Nestle under your net: bit.ly/33fYwaU

How, over three centuries, the heresies of two bankers became the basis of our modern economy: "The Invention of Money."
(Plus- the first U.S. income tax)
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”*…

Ponder the pecuniary: bit.ly/31kspFa

Ikea surveyed 22,000 people in 22 countries, and came up with six visions for the future of our homes: "See Ikea’s 6 visions for how we’ll live in the future."
(Plus- the pencil's inventor)
“Home’s where you go when you run out of homes”*…

Settle in: bit.ly/2Kd2RUG

Almanacs are not only surviving, but thriving in the 21st century: "The Surprising Success of America’s Oldest Living Magazine."

(Plus- what the Crystal Palace and the Cavendish banana have in common)

“Sopping, and with no sign of stopping, either- then a breather. Warm again, storm again- what is the norm, again? It’s fine, it’s not, it’s suddenly hot: Boom, crash, lightning flash!”*…

Turn the page: bit.ly/2ywAYQT

How our attempts to pay attention can lead us to miss important dimensions of what's going on around us
(Plus- Declaration, signed)
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work”*…

Iris out: bit.ly/2YE2NoT

Researchers are close to a quantum computer that can perform tasks a classical computer can’t: "Quantum Supremacy Is Coming: Here’s What You Should Know."
(Plus- the largest yoyo)
“A classical computation is like a solo voice—one line of pure tones succeeding each other. A quantum computation is like a symphony—many lines of tones interfering with one another.”*…

Get weird: bit.ly/2YD5zH4

As avocado prices rise, some Mexican cooks are making a substitution: "Fake Guacamole is Here. The Secret Taquerias Don’t Want You to Know About and How to Spot It."
(Plus- George Baxter)
“Here too it’s masquerade”*…

Aspire to authenticity: bit.ly/32UL6Rg

How do quantum possibilities give rise to objective, classical reality? One possible explanation: "Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests."
(Plus- Hoffa disappears)
“I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics”*…

Ruminate on reality: bit.ly/2MsdkNE

Being and drunkenness: how to party like an existentialist
(Plus- Baudrillard)
“Life has no meaning a priori… It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose”*…

Raise a glass: bit.ly/2ymYlfu

How have we come to build a culture around a futile, self-defeating enterprise: the pursuit of happiness? The implications of our (mis)understanding of America's founding document: "The Impossible Dream."
(Plus- Duchamp)
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination”*…

As we differentiate between self-satisfaction and self-determination: bit.ly/2ZgN6RN

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Refactor Camp

Mastodon instance for attendees of Refactor Camp, and members of various online/offline groups that have grown out of it. Related local groups with varying levels of activity exist in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Austin.

Kinda/sorta sponsored by the Ribbonfarm Blogamatic Universe.

If you already know a few people in this neck of the woods, try and pick a handle they'll recognize when you sign up. Please note that the registration confirmation email may end up in your spam folder, so check there. It should come from administrator Zach Faddis.