🪐 Birch Bark Issue #67

Hello and happy Friday! Messing a bit with the format again, this time quoting a bit from each link since I know you don’t always have time to read the whole thing. As always, I’d love to know what you think!



IGN employees wrote an open letter to their parent company for interfering with their editorial autonomy (not a good look for Ziff Davis):

We, the undersigned employees of IGN, are appalled by the recent management decision to subvert our editorial autonomy and remove our post directing aid to the Palestinian civilians currently suffering a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.

If you like a good “fake news” story, this one about a Jeopardy! contestant flashing a white supremacy symbol will hit the spot.

So the element of this story that interests me most is how the beating heart of nerdy, liberal fact-mastery can pump blood into wild social media conspiracy, and send all these smart people down the sort of rabbit hole that leads other groups of Americans to believe that children are being transported inside refrigerators. And, I wanted to know, how they could remain committed to that point of view in the absence of any solid evidence.

Daryl Baxter on Apple needing to give iPadOS its “Mac OS X moment”:

It needs its own Mac OS X moment, one that developers and users can really flex their muscles to the tablet with next to no restrictions and no compromises

And then there’s José Adorno on why they moment should not be to just throw macOS on the iPad:

By taking iPadOS 15 to the next level, rather than falling back on macOS, Apple can embrace the iPad for what it is: a hybrid device that is incredibly powerful. There are features Apple can bring from the Mac to the iPad, but the iPad should not run macOS. It needs iPadOS 15 with full optimization for the form factor.

My two cents on this issue is that macOS absolutely should gain touch, but that does not mean that it will somehow become the same thing as iPadOS. After all, the new electric Ford F-150 is not suddenly the same thing as a Tesla now that they’re both electric.

It’s crazy to me how hard Republicans fought against cable providers from being labeled as common carriers and now want to label Facebook and Twitter that way. On the other hand…

For veterans of the net neutrality fight, this might seem a bit confusing: After a 20 year fight against common carrier rules for telecoms, are Republicans really going to embrace them for Twitter? And many skeptics see it all as just more posturing for the midterms.

“The Republican Party isn’t interested in governing, or passing legislation,” Berin Szoka, TechFreedom president told me. “It’s all about performance, and then the culture war, and this is the ultimate intersection of those two things.”

Maybe we should all just be happy and recognize that in many ways, this is the golden age of video games:

So, just for one day, let's unequivocally marvel at how far games have come. These are the golden days of gaming.

Election analysis is always interesting, no matter if your horse won or not:

Suburban whites moved left; young and non-white voters showed up.

More good news, since 2015, renewable energy has absolutely plummeted in price:

with current technology and in a subset of available locations we can capture at least 6,700 PWh p.a. [petawatt-hours per year] from solar and wind, which is more than 100 times global energy demand.” And this will not require covering the globe with solar arrays: “The land required for solar panels alone to provide all global energy is 450,000 km2, 0.3% of the global land area of 149 million km2. That is less than the land required for fossil fuels today, which in the US alone is 126,000 km2, 1.3% of the country.” These are the kinds of numbers that reshape your understanding of the future.

And finally, Emily Stewart on how anyone who tells you they know exactly what’s going to happen in the economy is lying to you:

The country and the world are staring into a black box of uncertainty on the economy. It’s frustrating, but it’s also inevitable. Anyone who says they know exactly what is going on in the economy right now is lying. The same goes for anyone who says they know what’s going to happen next.


Yup, this was an interesting video about microwaves.

Sara Dietschy has me looking at NAS solutions now. Damn you, Sara!!!!!

Canoopsy has a great YouTube channel, and this video hit me in the feels.

Do you have an hour to think about movie trilogies and a sentient coconut?