J, Robot writes: The FBI agent is named Rock Stone. If that's not Unfogged material, I don't know what is. And McAllen is where Atul Gawande did that great piece on medical overcharging.
Heebie's take: I have a deep affection for the valley, despite not having spent much time there. Or maybe because of that. There's not much reason to go besides regional academic conferences. The most striking thing about the various towns is that you feel like distance has warped and you're in some isolated, distant forgotten land, instead of just two hours south of San Antonio. (It's a really dreary two hours, though.) Or maybe I'm romanticizing it unnecessarily.
My parents gave us a ceramic knife. I'm led to believe that this will be a transformative experience. I've got celery ready to go.
Just just just just just just just. Just just. Semantic satiation. Just just.
(Obviously this article is one of those silly things where hey! if it correlates with the group that has less power, then let's admonish that group to stop doing it!)
Just just just.
Try not to waste too much time playing this game. (Is the game Monument already well-known? The website makes it look so.) I barely like any games, but little puzzles like this are fun.
It won't be hard not to waste too much time playing this game, because the code fits in 144 characters. Still!
Well, we finally listened to the Adnan Syed season of Serial on the road last week. It started out great, but by the end I was unimpressed...
I guess it's still spoilers? Under the cut.
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1. This is when it started to fall apart for me: "The thing about Jay is that he lied about small things all the time, but he would never lie about something like this."
That is not how liars work.
2. Once you bring in The Innocence Project, I really only want to hear what they're doing. I no longer care that you have now disproved the 2:36 phone call in fifteen different ways, whereas last week you had only disproved it in ten different ways.
3. Sarah Koenig, your endless ruminations are not sufficiently fascinating to justify that much airtime. It all seemed a bit narcissistic that we'd care so much about her journey to find out the truth, instead of just the actual content of the case. Why did you start recording episodes before having the resolution from the Innocence Project? It all seemed very egotistical to me that she thought her ruminations would be heavy enough to give the last episode enough weight. No, I'd rather hear about the DNA.
4. It annoyed me that they spent so little time entertaining other killers, and what a different narrative might look like.
5. Okay I'll go back and read the thread that you all had last December. Probably all of this was addressed but I was not yet there.
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Still seems like the first two chapters on the 13th is a good plan! But you know what, no one has indicated a willingness to do the summarization/reaction honors. If no one wants to go first, I will, but c'mon, people.
Witt writes: The NYT posted this very simple puzzle. I was surprised to find myself in a minority subset (9%) among respondents. I won't spoil the surprise, but the fundamental thing that confused me was why that was such a small minority among respondents.
My greatest fear in doing policy work is that I will publish something that will cause people to laugh and point out an obvious explanation that I have overlooked. I would have assumed this was a widespread fear and that my solutions for overcoming it (basically, try to poke and prod as much as possible at my own material before it goes out the door) would also be very widespread.
What am I missing?
Heebie's take: the underlying phenomenon about policy work and corporate America is not well-illustrated by that puzzle. People like to solve puzzles! People sometimes try to solve puzzles without looking at the answer in the back of the book. It's a thing. (The underlying phenomenon is still interesting in its own right.)
Also I recognized the puzzle so I couldn't say whether or not I was a superior being.
This is just nuts (keep scrolling).
E. Messily sends along this very weird story with this great headline:
Canadian potato farmers on the hunt for saboteurs: 'These are really evil people'