4 stories
·
1 follower

Read what you've read recently with the new recently read stories feed

10 Comments and 18 Shares

Like it says on the tin, you can now go back and see what you’ve read with the Recently Read Stories feed. It’s on the bottom of your feed list, just above the saved stories.

This feed records all of the stories you’ve read in feeds, shared blurblogs, and even in feeds you’re not subscribed to. It does not record stories that are marked read as part of a mark all/previous as read action.

Read the whole story
jdv
2345 days ago
reply
Great idea! I am always reading in "Unread" mode, and often have a hard time finding stuff I just read.
popular
2346 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
9 public comments
rgsunico
2343 days ago
reply
This is clever.
Quezon City
jhamill
2346 days ago
reply
Fantastic. Keep up the great work Samuel!
California
jbloom
2346 days ago
reply
This is a great feature!
Columbus, Ohio
fanguad
2346 days ago
reply
great tool. just have to remember not to click on stories (in Global Shared Stories) just to make them go away
Boston, MA
mburch42
2346 days ago
reply
This is actually great. Another Google Reader feature I've been missing.
infogulch
2346 days ago
reply
Does this work with stories you've clicked to open in a new window without expanding?
Missouri
smilerz
2346 days ago
reply
Exactly what I needed!
Chicago or thereabouts
Fidtz
2346 days ago
reply
hooray!
skorgu
2346 days ago
reply
Oh yes! I've accidentally reloaded the page and not had a great way to find the article I was *just* reading so this is great!
lograh
2346 days ago
agreed, this is great to have. Keeps the history across sessions and devices, also!
Tazio
2346 days ago
I didn't even know I wanted this feature, but now that it's here, I love it!
theprawn
2346 days ago
Yes! This is the most exciting feature in a while! Now to see it hit Android...
Technicalleigh
2346 days ago
This is fantastic. Anyone know if there's a keyboard shortcut to jump to this view?
dukeofwulf
2346 days ago
Yo dawg, I herd you like to read your recently read, so I added a recently read feed so you can read your recently reads. :^D
samuel
2345 days ago
@acrentz Make a request for keyboard shortcuts on http://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur. File it under 'idea'.

I kind of hate TED talks

1 Share

The good

There are good things about TED talks. It’s nice to have a thoughtful articulate person saying something a little bit new and a little bit different. OK I’m done.

The annoying

Then there are annoying things about TED talks. People are so ridiculously polished. No idea is that perfect! Rumor has it that, after getting professionally trained for their TED performances, the producers then remove all the “umms” and awkward silences to make it even more perfect. Yuck.

Here’s one way to think about it: TED talks aren’t as good as blogs because they’re are less good than blogs because they not interactive – the audience is expected to receive and not talk back. That’s why I prefer to blog in my underwear and bathrobe, imagining my friends on their living room sofas, also wearing pajamas, and objecting to my stupidity. And that’s why I like the feedback and the comments. It makes my ideas better.

At the same time, TED talks are not as deep as books, where you have enough time and space to actually think through an argument. How could you really develop a deep thought in 20 minutes? You just can’t.

Instead, you have a manipulation of the past which often result in simulated emotional responses, much like how the soundtrack to Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” makes me cry every time I hear it, no matter what emotional state I’m actually in.

The essence of what’s annoying about TED talks is perfectly parodied byOnion Talks, especially this one:

The evil

But what I really hate about TED talks is the curating of ideas that it represents. I realize that any gatekeeper will do this, but I’m particularly concerned about the TED byline, “Ideas Worth Spreading”. According to whom?

Who gets invited to those things? Whose ideas are interesting but non-threatening enough for the TED audience?

And how often do other, rawer ideas get ignored? How appealing do I have to make my idea to rich people in order to be an insider in this mini self-congratulatory universe?

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about written by a woman who was uninvited to give a TED talk under suspicious circumstances (with a follow-up here). Granted, it’s a TEDx situation, but it’s the same problem. The paragraph I worry about most:

Looking back, I must admit that upon learning of this invitation some of my colleagues and I questioned TEDx Manhattan’s commitment to serving as a platform for looking at our food system from a non-privileged perspective.Changing the Way We Eat is not a venue for the common person. The website makes no mention of available scholarships to enable low-income people or students to attend the pricey one day conference. Not only must attendees pay $135 for the privilege of sitting and listening, they also have to apply, explaining why they deserve to be part of the audience and then hope to be selected! Unless the Glynwood Institute does real serious targeted outreach to communities of color (which I haven’t seen and was the primary purpose of my screening party), their set up is going to result in the exclusion of low-income and people of color, regardless of whether it is intentional. I received feedback from a past attendee that presenters referenced poor people and people of color only as being the recipients of charity or service. I thinkChanging the Way We Eatneeded to hear my voice in order to change the way the mainstream food movement thinks about poverty, food access, hunger, and food system change.


Read the whole story
jdv
2807 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Update on organic food

1 Share

So I’m back from some town in North Ontario (please watch this video to get an idea). I spent four days on a tiny little island on Lake Huron with my family and some wonderful friends, swimming, boating, picnicking, and reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan whenever I could.

It was a really beautiful place but really far away, especially since my husband jumped gleefully into the water from a high rock with his glasses on so I had to drive all the way back without help. But what I wanted to mention to you is that, happily, I managed to finish the whole book – a victory considering the distractions.

I was told to read the book by a bunch of people who read my previous post on organic food and why I don’t totally get it: see the post here and be sure to read the comments.

One thing I have to give Pollan, he has written a book that lots of people read. I took notes on his approach and style because I want to write a book myself. And it’s not that I read statistics on the book sales – I know people read the book because, even though I hadn’t, lots of facts and passages were eerily familiar to me, which means people I know have quoted the book to me. That’s serious!

In other words, there’s been feedback from this book to the culture and how we think about organic food vs. industrial farming. I can’t very well argue that I already knew most of the stuff in the book, even though I did, because I probably only know it because he wrote the book on it and it’s become part of our cultural understanding.

I terms of the content, first, I’ll complain, then I’ll compliment.

Complaint #1: the guy is a major food snob (one might even say douche). He spends like four months putting together a single “hunting and gathering” meal with the help of his friends the Chez Panisse chefs. It’s kind of like a “lives of the rich and famous” episode in that section of the book, which is to say voyeuristic, painfully smug, and self-absorbed. It’s hard to find this guy wise when he’s being so precious.

Complaint #2: a related issue, which is that he never does the math on whether a given lifestyle is actually accessible for the average person. He mentions that the locally grown food is more expensive, but he also suggests that poor people now spend less of their income on food than they used to, implying that maybe they have extra cash on hand to buy local free-range chickens, not to mention that they’d need the time and a car and gas to drive to the local farms to buy this stuff (which somehow doesn’t seem to figure into his carbon footprint calculation of that lifestyle). I don’t think there’s all that much extra time and money on people’s hands these days, considering how many people are now living on food stamps (I will grant that he wrote this book before the credit crisis so he didn’t anticipate that).

Complaint #3: he doesn’t actually give a suggestion for what to do about this to the average person. In the end this book creates a way for well-to-do people to feel smug about their food choices but doesn’t forge a path otherwise, besides a vague idea that not eating processed food would be good. I know I’m asking a lot, but specific and achievable suggestions would have been nice. Here’s where my readers can say I missed something – please comment!

Compliment #1: he really educates the reader on how much the government farm subsidies distort the market, especially for corn, and how the real winners are the huge businesses like ConAgra and Monsanto, not the farmers themselves.

Compliment #2: he also explains the nastiness of processed food and large-scale cow, pig, and chicken farms. Yuck.

Compliment #3: My favorite part is that he describes the underlying model of the food industry as overly simplistic. He points out that, by just focusing on the chemicals like nitrogen and carbon in the soil, we have ignored all sorts of other important things that are also important to a thriving ecosystem. So, he explains, simply adding nitrogen to the soil in the form of fertilizer doesn’t actually solve the problem of growing things quickly. Well, it does do that, but it introduces other problems like pollution.

This is a general problem with models: they almost by definition simplify the world, but if they are successful, they get hugely scaled, and then the things they ignore, and the problems that arise from that ignorance, are amplified. There’s a feedback loop filled with increasingly devastating externalities. In the case of farming, the externalities take the form of pollution, unsustainable use of petrochemicals, sick cows and chickens, and nasty food-like items made from corn by-products.

Another example is teacher value-added models: the model is bad, it is becoming massively scaled, and the externalities are potentially disastrous (teaching to the test, the best teachers leaving the system, enormous amount of time and money spent on the test industry, etc.).

But that begs the question, what should we do about it? Should we well-to-do people object to the existence of the model and send our kids to the private schools where the teachers aren’t subject to that model? Or should we acknowledge it exists, it isn’t going away, and it needs to be improved?

It’s a similar question for the food system and the farming model: do we save ourselves and our family, because we can, or do we confront the industry and force them to improve their models?

I say we do both! Let’s not ignore our obligation to agitate for better farming practices for the enormous industry that already exists and isn’t going away. I don’t think the appropriate way to behave is to hole up with your immediate family and make sure your kids are eating wholesome food. That’s too small and insular! It’s important to think of ways to fight back against the system itself if we believe it’s corrupt and is ruining our environment.

For me that means being part of Occupy, joining movements and organization fighting against lobbyist power (here’s one that fights against BigFood lobbyists), and broadly educating people about statistics and mathematical modeling so that modeling flaws and externalities are understood, discussed, and minimized.


Read the whole story
jdv
3023 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

TextMate 2 at GitHub

1 Share

Today I am happy to announce that you can find the source for TextMate 2 on GitHub.

I’ve always wanted to allow end-users to tinker with their environment, my ability to do this is what got me excited about programming in the first place, and it is why I created the bundles concept, but there are limits to how much a bundle can do, and with the still growing user base, I think the best move forward is to open source the program.

The choice of license is GPL 3. This is partly to avoid a closed source fork and partly because the hacker in me wants all software to be free (as in speech), so in a time where our platform vendor is taking steps to limit our freedom, this is my small attempt of countering such trend.

I am also a pragmatist and realize that parts of the TextMate code base is useful for other (non-free) applications, so I may later move to a less restrictive license, as is currently the case with the bundles. For now, please get in touch with us if there are subsets of the code base you wish to use for non-free software, and we might be able to work something out.

Anything related to the code base, including contributions, can be discussed at the textmate-dev list or ##textmate#textmate on freenode.net. Pull requests can be sent via GitHub but if you plan to make larger changes, it might be good to discuss them first if you want to ensure that we are interested in accepting a pull request for such change or simply want advice on how to go about it.

Read the whole story
jdv
3033 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete