🍑 Birch Bark Issue 48

The wild death throws of 2020

Before we get started today, a quick note on the events from this week in the US capital. I think the actions by the mob both outside and inside the US Capital building this week were abhorrent, illegal, counter to democracy, and embarrassment to this country (which is not short on things to be embarrassed about), and 100% egged on and encouraged by the President of the United States.

The predictable calls from the right wing media to somehow paint these as peaceful protesters who didn’t do anything particularly wrong, or to suggest that this was actually Antifa despite weeks and weeks of planning this in the open on social (and private) media sites is as absurd as it is predictable.

We need to lower the temperature in this country, and I don’t think we can do that by just both-sides-ing this away. We have to recognize, together, that there are deep problems with the United States, and that we are not going to agree about everything. Debate is good, but we need to start living in a shared reality where we’re working from the same set of facts. I don’t have the answer for how to do this, but I think this is a critical step in us having a fighting chance at a good faith debate about anything.

One thing I do know is that having a President who doesn’t fan the flames of hate and peddles conspiracy theories with “people are saying…” garbage is a start.

Links

Hijack Your Feed - This clever Mac app replaces the ads in your Twitter timeline (website only) with tasks from the Reminders app.

Which Emoji Scissors Actually Close - Very important reporting here on what scissor emoji would actually function as scissors in the real world.

The Full(est Possible) Story of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping Press Conference - This is quite the read about one of the most insane political stories from 2020.

Nintendo’s 2020 was Quietly an Amazing Year for Switch - I know this is old news, but I will never stop thinking about the years where the tech press was hung up on Nintendo throwing in the towel and just make iPhone games.

We Need to Bring Back Clowning On Some Guy

We simply cannot go on like this, allowing the howling scolds to keep feeding an insatiable hunger for retribution. We need to return to our senses here and dial back the stakes to a reasonable level. We need to bring back Clowning on Some Guy.

The End of Adobe Flash

Every day we write code, we’re deciding who is welcome and who is not.

This is the Cost of a Failed Impeachment

When the Senate failed to remove Trump last year, it all but guaranteed his future attempts to overturn the election.

Google Gets Organized

And if the Alphabet union stays small, its impact could be limited. But with a quarter-million potential members, and tensions inside the company continuing to boil over, I wouldn’t bet on it staying tiny forever.

We’ll see how many Googlers sign up — and fork over 1 percent of their salaries for the cause — in due time. In the meantime, here are a few guesses about what we can expect to see next.

How Does the Coronavirus Variant Spread? Here’s What Scientists Know

“The bottom line is that anything we do to reduce transmission will reduce transmission of any variants, including this one,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist affiliated with Georgetown University. But “it may mean that the more targeted measures that are not like a full lockdown won’t be as effective.”

Videos

Art

Self-portrait, by eyeteapot

Mental Health, by DarthKweeva

Untitled, by szoraidez

Music

Madvillainy by Madvillain (2004, hip-hop)

Persona 5 Soundtrack (2017, newly available on Spotify and Apple Music)