July 26, 2020

So, to get Peacock Premium, which is included in my Xfinity internet, I have to request, receive, and setup a free streaming box from Comcast, then setup the account on there?

These strategy taxes are unbearably stupid.

Jason Becker

July 25, 2020

Elsa’s pant leg slid up revealing quite a bit of body hair that’s grown during quarantine.

Me, deadpan: “Nature is healing.”

Jason Becker

*But aren’t blogs dead? *· Um, nope. For every discipline-with-depth that I care about (software/Internet, politics, energy economics, physics), if you want to find out what’s happening and you want to find out from first-person practitioners, you end up reading a blog.

Tim Bray

I love a great blog. I admit, I use this space mostly as a “life blog” or “daily log” space, which is probably my least favorite genre of blog. But it’s also the easiest to write, and part of why I maintain it is to get into the habit of blogging at all. This way, one day, I can write more things that great blogs are made of. In Bray’s words,

Dense information from real experts, delivered fast. Why would you want any other kind?

Jason Becker

July 24, 2020

I think the official GOP position is that the government is incapable of doing anything right, except for administering burdensome, complex systems that make it hard to vote or receive government support of any kind no matter how dire your needs.

Jason Becker

How to change US housing to hit Paris Agreement goals

Los Angeles is already on track for the Paris 2050 goals, in part because energy demand is low there (fewer heating and cooling days) and because of California’s efforts to decarbonize its grid. Boston, by contrast, has to do all of the above: extensive retrofits, decarbonize its grid, install lots of heat pumps, and have solar panels on 40 percent of its homes. Even then, the communities within the Boston area that were projected to meet the goal were significantly more dense than they are at present.

Jason Becker

As PPP money runs out, businesses begin layoffs

“It basically says the same thing as our outlier status in the numbers of death and infections: We blew it,” said Robert Reich, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley and former labor secretary under President Bill Clinton. “Other countries managed to both contain the coronavirus after three months and also keep large numbers of workers on payrolls. We didn’t do either.”

Jason Becker

July 23, 2020

‪The last season of The Magicians was not it’s best, but that show was still a triumph and an accomplishment.‬

Jason Becker

Local control yields optimizing for local value capture for current residents.

Jason Becker

Yelp’s data on what’s happening in our economy is terrifying. Their charts on permanent versus temporary business closures indicates we are in a deep, long, permanent recession. Some caveats apply about interpreting private data sources.

Jason Becker

I have a week in August that I need to use for something that gets me out of my house, safely. I do not like sleeping outside with bugs and humidity of a Mid-Atlantic August.

What should I do?

Jason Becker

What feature would your dream house have that’s not very common?

For me, I think it would be an accessory dwelling unit that I can use as an office/creative space.

Jason Becker

Never has a piece so completely failed to engage with its actual critics– the side stepping done here on the actual impact on protection from discrimination is incredible.

A Black poor student is being served by a Catholic School with government support because the public system has been starved of resources by regressive state tax schemes compounded by new exit rights for individuals starving the system further. They happen to be non-cis gendered. Their state mandated and supported education now denies their identity and their ability to practice that identity because religious groups define membership. Their teacher, who teaches math, turns out to be non-binary and fired because during period 1 math they say a prayer.

The only black member of the entire school staff wants to teach The New Jim Crow in their social studies class, and as a result is fired, because the teacher is a lunch monitor and grace is said before meals. The state pays to teach them there is a scientific, rather than political, controversy on climate change and evolution. They are unable to request the use of accurate pronouns. When they are bullied and harassed about their gender, they are told they are in the wrong.

They are a minor. They are placed where their parents demand. Their options are limited, because the system has been designed to hollow out all other options. They are not empowered to choose their association or membership at all.

What if they are Jewish?

Religious groups should get to choose their membership and teach their doctrine, freely. Their entanglement in public purposes, with public money, involving minors is their choice. What the courts have done is secured the rights of religious groups over all individual rights.

If these groups solely engaged in voluntary religious activity with their own money and purposes, I’d have concerns, but they’d be minor. When they are engaging in state mandated education with state money in areas where there’s no functional choice… well.

The Lemon Test is a good standard and we should take excessive government entanglement seriously. Unfortunately, our response is to allow religious groups to do whatever they want on behalf of the state because they are religious, rather than excise religion from state action.

I love civil society. I have the same small c conservative appreciation for volunteer association and lots of distrust of large, concentrated power and coordination. But this reframing of the conversation is too divorced from the critical reality

Jason Becker

That feeling when your team has done two weeks of deep thinking and user research on how to make a change and blow your mind with what they come up with.

Jason Becker

July 22, 2020


July 21, 2020

Every time the House GOP and right wing media attacks Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, they make her so much stronger. There’s a special hatred that is seething among them, and they have to believe they are playing somehow to their base supporters by going after a young, left, Latina congresswoman. But they also seem to think they can reach beyond the base of people who are afraid of her just due to her identity.

From what I can tell, the right has seized on AOC also in part because they want to appeal to me. I’m exactly the kind of cosmopolitan, well-educated, elite, male, white liberal that is set up to bristle at someone like AOC rising in the ranks due to her “fame” more than her accomplishments. And yet, the right just raises my estimation of her every time she overcomes their bile.

Who is AOC other than a safe congresswoman on the left end of the party? That’s what I’m supposed to think. But then the right coordinates merciless attacks against her, and she just rises above the mountain of shit they sling, with grace, humor, strength, and, importantly, the kind of humility they are desperate to prove does not exist.

Without the right wing scorched earth campaign against her, I would be waiting 10 years to see if she can build coalitions and pass laws, demonstrating she’s more than a charismatic politician. Instead, she’s been tested for leadership and she keeps passing the test.

I don’t view her as a freshman congresswoman. The right did that.

Jason Becker

July 20, 2020

I can’t stop thinking about how when The Benjamins wrote “I have a picture of you that you didn’t give me,” it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek creepy.

Today we all have these pictures.

Jason Becker