:OpenAccess: snark 

It literally explains, step by step, how to administer a crisis like this, from the earliest glimmerings that it might occur, right through a full-blown pandemic. It mobilizes resources, identifies shortages, and coordinates comms and strategy. It is, in other words, a meaningful set of steps that the US government could have taken to head off the virus. We taxpayers paid handsomely to develop it. Now we're paying again because Trump ignored it.


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That explains a lot about the pandemic. Specifically, why therecommendations in the "Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents" (AKA "the pandemic playbook") were not followed.


This is a 69-page report created by the NSC in 2016. The Obama NSC chief briefed the incoming Trump official on the playbook in 2017, and that official seems to have wiped his ass with it and flushed it.


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The thing is, grifting is incompatible with objective truth. The job of a grifter is to tell you his building is ten stories taller than it actually is, that his inauguration crowd was larger than it actually was, that his infomercial service is actually a "university."

The grifter president is surrounded by a grifter upper echelon, sociopaths whose power and wealth derive from lying like crazy and stealing from people. To put it mildly, these people do not value expertise.


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In The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis describes how the core US civil service is made up of extremely passionate nerds, people who are very smart about their domain of expertise, and work quietly and tirelessly to see policy that comports with evidence.


This is what makes them "the reality based community," the term Karl Rove used to disparage those who claimed (correctly) that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan would be a perpetual, destablizing quagmire.


:OpenAccess: snark 

Assigned my student to confirm identifications on for our distribution modeling project, and he's already on top of the ID leaderboard!

Can anybody point me to a DSLR star photography tutorial? The last time I tried taking photos of stars was many years ago and I forgot everything.
Please boost.

In the midst of this pandemic, you can make informed decisions about what digital tools work best for you and your communities, and use security and privacy best practices to protect yourself and others. eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/what

@stsquad I wonder if you start them with Emacs and just use the toolbar for the first week, and then add stuff one step at a time, would that be manageable? Maybe not, but it always strikes me as a bit unreasonable to assume that you can't use Emacs until you master everything about it.

@stsquad I'm curious about the learning curve for beginners, since it's been such a long time since I was one. Is it really so overwhelming? I mean, if you ignore all the features and pretend it's just Nano to start with, does it matter that there are a zillion key-bindings that you don't know about?

today we're launching the campaign for the Keyboardio Atreus, the ultraportable ergonomic mechanical keyboard!


I've been selling these as DIY #mechanicalkeyboard kits for over 5 years, but now working together with @obra we're able to offer a fully-assembled version at a significantly lower price; check it out!

@gaffen also Michigan, although that one is aimed more at technical users:


@gaffen where are you? There's an amazing website for New England that includes technical keys and more accessible introductions to the local flora:


@indie @emsenn you can configure to present common names in large text, with scientific names appearing secondarily in smaller text (i.e., the opposite of what your screenshot shows).

The common names you'll see depend on the location of the observation and your preferred language. Users can add common names for languages that don't already have one.

update: the funny smell in my home office disappeared after a shower; still no idea what caused it, just glad it's gone.

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