Week Links

Week Links Feb 29

Another link dump of things I thought were worth sharing

Week Links Feb 29

Another link dump of things I thought were worth sharing

Another link dump of things I thought were worth sharing

Florida Bill Would Make It Easier to Kill ‘Bears on Crack’

In the Sunshine State, where alligators sunbathe, and oranges grow with attitude, there’s a new menace: bears on crack. 🐻🔥

Plot Twist 1: The Bear Dealers Picture this: A dimly lit alley in the Everglades. A shady bear dealer whispers, “Psst, wanna try some premium Florida crack?” And there it is—the illicit bear drug trade. 🐾💊

Plot Twist 2: Bear Rehab Centers Desperate bears, pupils dilated, stumbling around like they’ve just binge-watched all seasons of “Breaking Bad.” They need help. Introducing: Bear Rehab Centers. Step 1: Admit you’re a bear. Step 2: Detox from honey addiction. Step 3: Group therapy with fellow bears. 🐻🤝

Plot Twist 3: The Florida Legislature Enter the Florida legislature. They’re not messing around. Their solution? Legalize bear hunting. Because nothing says “rehab” like a well-aimed bullet. 🎯🔫

Bear Self-Defense Tips:

  1. Bear Pepper Spray: Now available in “Original” and “Extra Spicy” flavors.
  2. Bear Whistle: Blow it, and the bear will pause to dance the Macarena. (True story.)
  3. Bear Diplomacy: Engage in a heartfelt conversation. “Hey, Yogi, let’s talk about your life choices.”

Public Service Announcement: Remember, folks, bears are not inherently evil. They’re just misunderstood. Maybe they’re not on crack—maybe they’re just having a midlife crisis. 🐻🌄

So next time you encounter a Florida bear, offer it a smoothie and a yoga mat. Namaste, crack bears. Namaste. 🙏🍌🌿

Florida Rep Cites ‘Crack Bears’ in Effort to Legalize Killing Black Bears in Self Defense
Rep. Jason Shoaf referenced violent “crack bears” when advocating for his bill allowing Floridians to kill bears in self-defense on Jan. 30.

Feynman - Life and Times in podcast form

“The Life & Work of Richard Feynman Explores in a Three-Part Freakonomics Radio Miniseries” delves into the fascinating journey of Richard Feynman, a brilliant physicist known for his contributions to quantum mechanics, particle physics, and scientific curiosity.

Here’s a summary of the three-part miniseries

“The Curious Mr. Feynman”:

“The Brilliant Mr. Feynman”:

“The Life and Science of Richard Feynman”:

These episodes provide a captivating glimpse into the mind of a true genius—a man who questioned everything, embraced adventure, and reshaped our understanding of the cosmos.

The Life & Work of Richard Feynman Explored in a Three-Part Freakonomics Radio Miniseries
Here at Open Culture, Richard Feynman is never far from our minds.

Greenwashing in Sports

In the insightful article "Greenwashing Through Sport" by Freddie Daley and Andrew Simms, featured on DeSmog, the narrative unfolds around the controversial partnership between Saudi Aramco and Formula One (F1). This collaboration is brought under scrutiny for its potential to mislead the public. Despite the sport's widespread appeal and its capacity to draw in millions of fans worldwide, the sponsorship arrangement with Aramco stirs debate over the practice of greenwashing.

The authors argue that Aramco capitalizes on F1's connotations of rapid advancement and innovation to advertise "green" initiatives like "mobile carbon capture" and "advanced fuels." These technologies, purportedly aimed at decarbonization, are presented as forward-thinking solutions. Yet, the campaign glosses over the significant detail of Aramco's extensive fossil fuel operations.

The stark reality presented is that the technologies touted by Aramco fall drastically short of being viable decarbonization strategies. With a demonstration plant that contributes a negligible 0.0004 percent to its crude oil production, Aramco's purported shift towards sustainable energy solutions appears superficial. Despite claims of curtailing expansion in light of the energy transition, the company's reliance on oil is undiminished.

The article posits that the inclusion of wokeness in sports sponsorships serves as a veil for fossil fuel entities to engage in greenwashing practices, allowing them to disseminate misinformation without facing consequences. It suggests that sports, as a remaining bastion for such advertising, warrant closer examination to uphold principles of transparency and accountability.

Greenwashing Through Sport
Later this week, Formula One’s wildly popular documentary series, Drive to Survive, will return with a sixth season. The dramatic show, which captures the highs and lows of motorsports’ biggest stage, boasts almost seven million viewers. The show has been pivotal for driving a whole new generation of fans to F1, a sport that now […]

woke? Woke? WOKE?!?!?!

The article reflects on the controversy surrounding #WokeGemini, highlighting the potential of generative AI as a creative tool to reimagine history inclusively. It criticizes the backlash from right-wing media and politicians, who see such uses of AI as threats or political correctness, accusing them of projecting their biases and racism. The discussion extends to the broader debate over AI's responsibility and its role as a mirror to society's biases, aspirations, and fears, arguing against simplistic guardrails and for a nuanced understanding of AI as a creative and reflective tool.

Reflections in the ‘woke’ mirror
Regarding the supposed furor over #WokeGemini… If we saw generative AI as a creative tool, then I’d say imagining the founding of America with women &…

Political Ads Can Target Your Personality. Here’s What Could Go Wrong

In this thought-provoking piece, the authors delve into the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and political advertising. They highlight the risks associated with personalized political ads tailored to individual personalities. Using GenAI (a collective term for AI language models), the researchers demonstrated that GenAI can manipulate people by customizing political ads based on their personality traits. For instance, messages were rephrased to appeal specifically to individuals with different levels of openness to experience—one of the “Big Five” personality traits.

The concern lies in the potential misuse of GenAI. While it’s designed to reject requests related to criminal activity or privacy breaches, experts fear that it could become a powerful tool for spreading misinformation. Given its ability to generate and customize messages at an industrial scale, there’s reason to worry about societal divisions, ideological-driven violence, and political repression.

Political Ads Tailored to Voters’ Personalities Could Transform the Electoral Landscape
This banner year for elections worldwide may witness the arrival of advertising tailored to your personality

Is TikTok your goto social platform? Welcome to Middle Age.

Millennials and Gen Z are using social media platforms in unique ways, reflecting a shift in societal values. Here are some key insights:

  1. Algorithm-Driven Content: Gen Z doesn’t primarily seek updates from friends on social media. Instead, they rely on personalized content suggested by algorithms. They appreciate content that informs, entertains, and engages through direct messages.
  2. TikTok’s Influence: TikTok has become a central hub for Gen Z, surpassing platforms like YouTube and Google for culturally relevant content. It’s not just about viral dances; users turn to TikTok for learning, including career planning, local business insights, politics, and more.
  3. Authenticity Over Surface-Level Likes: Both Gen Z and Millennials crave authenticity. Social media is shifting away from hyper-edited photos and toward spaces where users can discover real, meaningful content.
TikTok Is For Millennials, It Turns Out
Read to the end for some “Avatar: The Last Airbender” outfits that go hard as hell

When you panic

Panic attacks can be terrifying, making us feel like we’re losing control or facing imminent danger. However, it’s crucial to recognize that panic attacks are primarily physical overresponses to external situations. For instance, someone who has been working an exhausting 80-hour week might experience panic as their body’s way of saying, “Slow down and rest.” The body is essentially “sounding the alarm” to convey important information.

Here are a couple of key points:

  1. Feeling Overwhelmed: When your body feels overwhelmed by thoughts, worries, or constant stress, it responds physically. Just as excessive stimuli like bright lights and loud sounds can cause discomfort, emotional overwhelm triggers physical symptoms. Pay attention to what’s happening in your life—workload, relationships, and rest—and differentiate between non-urgent stress responses and true emergencies.
  2. Perceived Danger: Our bodies sometimes struggle to distinguish between real danger and perceived danger. For example, driving on a busy highway during rush hour isn’t inherently dangerous, but the body’s response to speed and busyness can make us feel otherwise.

Remember, your body isn’t trying to frighten you; it’s attempting to communicate essential information.

What’s Really Happening During a Panic Attack
Recognizing the intersection of physical and emotional.


Bill Beatty

International Man of Leisure, Harpo Marxist, sandwich connoisseur https://4bb.ca / https://billbeatty.net

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