How to Heal the Left-Liberal Divide

Pete Davis, writing at Current Affairs:

Roughly speaking, these two sides could be characterized as the “populist wing” and the “establishment wing” of the party, but even the divide’s terminology is a point of controversy between the feuding sides. The party’s left wing, for example, wants to call the conflict the “left-liberal divide.” Loyalist Democrats want to play down the divide, calling for unity on the grounds that Democrats are either (if they are younger, millennial types) all members of the Left, or (if they are older, Clinton-era types) all “liberals.” The Right, meanwhile, does not understand the divide, continuing to believe in a monolithic “radical left” filled with “radical liberals.” This leads to the funny situation, as one commentator noticed, where members of both the Left and the Right reach for the same “I made it through college without becoming a liberal” t-shirt.

This is a good piece.

Accidental Music Podcast (Encore Episode 154)

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined by special guest Deanna Chapman. Deanna returns to the show to discuss music and technology. We talk about Brand New’s High & Low set (which Deanna saw in person), new albums from Mutemath, Foo Fighters, The National, PVRIS, and more, and then go deep on the latest Apple event. We talk about the new products, Apple Music, iOS 11, and what we think we want to upgrade and not upgrade.

Add Favicons to Tabs in Safari

Favicongrapher:

Faviconographer asks Safari.app for a list of all visible tabs (and their positions) in the current window, and for the URLs of those tabs.

It then uses that information to fetch the corresponding icons from Safari’s Favicon cache (WebpageIcons.db), and draws them above the Safari window.

It’s a “hack” — the cleanest solution would be Apple implementing Favicons in Safari — but it works surprisingly well.

Note: Faviconographer does not “hack” your system. It does not inject code into other apps or manipulate system files. In fact, it doesn’t even require Administrator access!

I’ve gotten used to not having favicons in tabs, but I know a lot of people live by them.

Science Fiction – Part Two (Encore Episode 153)

Encore 153

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Thomas Nassiff. Thomas returns to the show to discuss the album we spent most of our time recording this show waiting on … Brand New’s Science Fiction. This episode of the show differs from the previous episode in that we we spend most of the time talking about the album roll-out and the industry ramifications of this new album. We talk about the band going #1 on the charts, how this specific roll-out was the only way they could live up to expectations, and the chance of there ever being a band like this again.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this actually happened.

This Is for Boston

Isaiah Thomas, writing at The Players’ Tribune:

But that’s what I think my trade can show people. I want them to see how my getting traded — just like that, without any warning — by the franchise that I scratched and clawed for, and bled for, and put my everything on the line for? That’s why people need to fix their perspective. It’s like, man — with a few exceptions, unless we’re free agents, 99 times out of 100, it’s the owners with the power. So when players are getting moved left and right, and having their lives changed without any say-so, and it’s no big deal … but then the handful of times it flips, and the player has control … then it’s some scandal? Just being honest, but — to me, that says a lot about where we are as a league, and even as a society. And it says a lot about how far we still have to go.

This whole thing is fantastic and worth reading.

Pixelmator Pro Coming This Fall

Pixelmator, my image editor of choice, has announced their new “Pro” app coming later this year:

Pixelmator Pro is an image editor packed full of innovations. From a reimagined editing workflow and simplified editing tools to machine learning powering all-new, intelligent image editing features. So the tools at your fingertips are smarter and more powerful, yet more intuitive and easier to use than ever before.

It looks good.

Scenes From a Debacle in Phoenix

Dave Eggers, writing on Medium:

In downtown Phoenix, in the space of a few blocks, there were 15,000 Trump supporters and 10,000 anti-Trump protesters. There were Bikers for Trump and a platoon from the John Brown Gun Club, an anti-fascist group carrying loaded handguns and semiautomatic weapons. There were roving packs of weightlifters wearing pro-Trump attire. There were men in sleeveless Confederate flag jackets, and there was a giant inflated chicken made to look like Donald Trump. There was a man with a megaphone who asserted throughout the afternoon that homosexuals were going to hell, drunk drivers should die, and women who wore skirts deserved to be raped. There were anarchists, antifa, and hundreds of heavily armed police officers. This was a week after Charlottesville, the country grieving and boiling in the madness of its most irrational era, and in Arizona, it was more than 105 degrees and felt far hotter.
That no one died that day in Phoenix is miraculous.

‘Star Wars: Rebellion’ Expansion Set

Fantasy Flight Games:

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of the Rise of the Empire expansion for Star Wars: Rebellion!

Inspired largely by the characters and events of Rogue One, Rise of the Empire introduces a plethora of new heroes, villains, starships, troopers, and vehicles from that film, alongside other characters, ships, and events from Star Wars: Rebels and the classic trilogy, plus new missions that add more drama and intrigue to your games.

Hannah and I have been playing the original board game, Star Wars: Rebellion, over the past few nights and it’s one of the best board games I’ve played in a long time. Can’t wait to check out this expansion set.

Science Fiction (Encore Episode 152)

Encore 152

You may have had to wait a few extra weeks for a new episode of Encore, but that doesn’t come close to the eight year wait for a new album from Brand New. But, it’s here, and we’re gonna talk all about it. I am joined this week, once again, by special guest Drew Beringer to break down Science Fiction. We talk about our history with the band, our thoughts on their catalog, and do a track-by-track through the new album. We discuss the band’s place in the music scene, why they resonate so much with fans, and argue how the new album stacks up in their discography.

There’s never been a band quite like Brand New, and we may never see anything quite like them, or their rabid fanbase, again. I hope you enjoy our deep dive as much as we did recording it.

Cloudflare’s Lava Lamps

Katharine Schwab:

When you walk into the San Francisco office of the cloud network and security firm Cloudflare, you’re greeted by a receptionist–and a giant wall of 100 lava lamps. It isn’t just a throwback to the 1960s. The lava lamps act as a random number generator, helping to encrypt the requests that go through Cloudflare, which make up 10% of all internet requests.[…]

Cloudflare turns the “Wall of Entropy” into encryption using a camera that photographs the wall every millisecond of every day of the year. Any one of the company’s systems can turn the display of pixels–which changes based on a multitude of factors, like the movement of the lava, the inclusion of anyone who’s walking by, and the shifting daylight–into random numbers.[…]

In London, they use dual pendulums. While a single pendulum swinging back and forth is very predictable, mathematicians have shown that if you take a pendulum and hang another pendulum from it, you’ll create a system that no one has figured out how to model.

The E-Mail Larry Page Should Have Written to James Damore

The Economist:

Your interpretation is wrong. Your memo was a great example of what’s called “motivated reasoning”—seeking out only the information that supports what you already believe. It was derogatory to women in our industry and elsewhere. Despite your stated support for diversity and fairness, it demonstrated profound prejudice. Your chain of reasoning had so many missing links that it hardly mattered what your argument was based on. We try to hire people who are willing to follow where the facts lead, whatever their preconceptions. In your case we clearly made a mistake.

Have you ever noticed how no one takes sentences that start “I’m not a racist, but…” at face value? Here’s why, in the words of Jon Snow in “Game of Thrones” (season 7, episode 1). When Sansa Stark tells him: “They respect you, they really do, but…,” Snow laughs and comes back with: “What did father used to say? Everything before the word ‘but’ is horseshit.”

On Subscription Software

Matt Gemmell:

My favourite writing app, Ulysses, recently went subscription-only. I signed up. Subscriptions always court controversy, understandably. Here are a few thoughts.

I believe in the argument that developers need sustainable income. Paying once and then getting free updates for years isn’t reasonable. Paid upgrades can help, but subscriptions are probably a more stable business model. I can see the attraction. Beyond that, who knows?

And:

If it’s something I rarely use, I’ll probably just pick another app. If I’m not invested in it (in terms of its specific workflow, features, user experience and such), it’s even easier for me to just move away.

But if I can truthfully answer yes to one or more of those questions, and the subscription isn’t extortionate on a monthly basis, then I’ll sign up and see how I feel about it later. If I’m strongly committed, I’ll sign up for a year. If I’m less sure, one month. I’ll review it before renewal, in either case — and again, I only even reach this stage for apps which pass the above test; a tiny minority. If the apps don’t see timely updates and bug-fixes during the subscription period, obviously I’d be motivated to quit. I think that’s reasonable.

That’s what it all boils down to for me. Am I super-comfortable with subscription software? Nope. I doubt I’ll ever love the idea. But I can deal with it, if it keeps the handful of apps I really, really need updated and available.

Basically how I feel about the whole thing. And yes, I also subscribed to Ulysses. I use the app every single day.

How “Nice White People” Benefit from Charlottesville and White Supremacy

Lauren Duca, writing for Teen Vogue:

For white people who don’t self-identify as disciples of Richard Spencer, David Duke, and/or the ancient demon Beelzebub, there is extreme anxiety around the accusation of racism. We see this fear of blame in Trump’s statement. “Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama” seems to say, ‘Hey, there’s been a tense racial climate in this country forever. It’s not anyone’s fault!’ Except the opposite is true. American white supremacy has been a problem forever, and it is all of our fault, fellow white people.

White people benefit from white supremacy. Period. Peggy McIntosh spelled this out for us in 1989, but apparently we’re still not quite getting it. Her famous piece, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” lays out undeniable ways that it is simply easier to be white in this country, like always having a boss who is a fellow white person, or, you know, being able to eat Skittles at night without getting shot. Most white people didn’t ask for this privilege. Actually, that’s the whole idea. White privilege is an inherent advantage that easily goes unnoticed and unacknowledged. Rather than stuffing down the sense of shame associated with this obvious unfairness, why not work to even the playing field?

Lauren Duca’s column has become a must read for me.

Is Social Media Making You Miserable?

Markham Heid, writing at Time:

One recent study examined the links between Facebook use and wellbeing. “We found that the more you use Facebook over time, the more likely you are to experience negative physical health, negative mental health and negative life satisfaction,” says study author Holly Shakya, assistant professor and social media researcher at the University of California, San Diego.

Taking One Discography to a Desert Island

Last night, while listening to some music and having a beer, I tossed out a question on Twitter that I’ve always found fascinating:

Desert island game, but you have one band’s full discography only, who do you go with? I’m thinking I’d have to pick Jimmy Eat World.

What I’ve always liked about this question is that it forces you to make decisions beyond just thinking about a favorite band. If your favorite band doesn’t have a large catalog then you’re stuck for a while with only three albums. And if you are looking for diversity in music styles, or strength in numbers, then there’s another way you can go. The idea of a band’s entire body of work, and looking at it as a whole, has been a long running theme of mine. After asking the question, and getting promptly dunked on by none other than Mark Hoppus,1 the answers started coming in.

At first it was a bunch of what I expected from our little music scene. Lots of Brand New, Blink-182, Yellowcard, and Thrice. And then all of sudden the answers started to change. I’m not sure how or where it started,2 but the tweet ended up going a little viral and spreading way further than the small group of followers that know me and the kind of music I have written about on a daily basis for years. The replies started coming faster and it was way more Billie Joel, Rush, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, and Barbra Streisand. It was funny to watch the conversation completely change from the kind of music I’ve been listening to and writing about over the course of a few hours. And, because it’s the damn internet, that also meant I now had quite a few people that really didn’t like my pick (or some of the early replies).

Those that have read my writing for years know how much I like Jimmy Eat World. I’ve talked before about how I think they have one of the best catalogs in our little scene and they just keep putting out great music. My thought process is that I love the band, there’s a lot of music in that catalog, and there’s enough style changes so I’d have something for every mood while I’m sitting on island. Now, after getting a few snarky tweets about how could I not pick The Beatles or The Rolling Stones,3 I kinda wish I went with something even more out there: A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, Strung Out? Might as well earn the snark.

All-in-all it was a pretty hilarious evening, and I’m curious to see how our community would answer this question. So, if you wanna hit the comments I’d love to see what the prevailing artist and catalog in our forums ends up being.


  1. I need to make this tweet a mug so I can drink tea out of it.

  2. I think somehow it got passed around a few sports writer circles.

  3. Definitely sports circle.

Andrew Belle – “When the End Comes” (Song Premiere)

Andrew Belle will release his new album, Dive Deep, on August 25th. Today I’m excited to bring you the premiere of the new song “When the End Comes.” When describing the song, Andrew said:

“When the End Comes” is about just that – it’s about how on one hand I can know that at the end of my time here I won’t care about much else besides the people that I love and who love me back; and yet I get so distracted and caught up in my own head with everything going on these days that I need reminding of that on a daily basis. At the end of my life there will only be a handful of things that mean anything to me and so I wrote this song about keeping those things close and putting everything else in the background.

Pre-orders for the album are now up and ticket packages for the upcoming tour are also available. I’ve been looking forward to this album for a while, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to disappoint.