@NYTimes obits: 227 females, 476 males

Today, January 16, there was 2 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. Catching up, yesterday, January 15, there was 1 female and 4 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 14, there was 2 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 13, there was 2 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 12, there was 1 female and 3 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 10, there was 1 female and 3 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 9, there was 2 female and 4 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 8, there was 1 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. January 5, there was 2 female and 1 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. Since I started tracking it here, that is 227 females and 476 males featured. #IfYouSeeSomethingSaySomething

(I started tracking the obits here on May 14 02017, but I’ve missed days when on travel.)

More Quantified

Or, the importance of error bars / confidence levels…

Today I received the Airthings Wave to monitor radon (we are in the western US!) – it is bluetooth to my phone at the moment, but I’ll have to see if I can actually log the data more permanently (maybe a raspberry pi bluetooth? WAHOO!). At any rate, it says we have a radon level of <0.3 (or 0.1 pCi/L) with 32% humidity and a temperature of 71F. Our Ambient weather station (about .75 m away) says 69.1F and 28% humidity.. The usual curse of making more than one measurement (means you don’t know which is correct!). At any rate, the radon sensor is going down the sub-stair enclosed area (aka beer basement) and we’ll see how that goes. I’ll have to see if I can get a bluetooth connection to a raspberry pi and do some real data logging.

In that vein, I’ve gotten munin going and have five of the local data loggers (sohpi itself, the picam, the shake, the boom, and the ads-b receiver) all reporting state of health data.

Data! the best way to counter anti-fact politicians..

The quantified self

More the quantified environment. I’ve continued on the SEAMONSTER theme and added lots of instrumentation. Some of that includes a weather station (Ambient, been good), an aircraft tracker (ADS-B), an all-sky meteor camera, a seismometer (or two), an infrasound sensor, and more. I’m currently working on adding a raspberry pi zero-W based webcam and will put some thoughts here.

A quick search shows that motion is still a maintained piece of code and can do what I want (I haven’t used that in about a decade – I was pleased to find it!). With all these sensors (and Torsten’s complaints about network ping times, as well as occasional network flakiness), it is time to get back some SOH (state of health) monitoring tools. rrdtool is what I used back in the day – I found it at the top of my search so it appears to still be alive. (pet peeve – the web pages I first found didn’t have date/time stamp, so who really knows..) Plenty of tools have been built on top of rrdtool, but it looks like rrdtool is still a good foundation (in my searching, I did see reference to YARW (yet another religious war) about different versions of rrdtool).

motion on the raspberry pi seems the thing for the webcam. I’m taking a stab at rrdtool. Perhaps moving to python/rrdtool? I’ll take a look at that – back a decade ago, we used perl to run the rrdtool infrastructure. Maybe I’ll track the progress here – and perhaps get a fancy modern dashboard going as part of this quantified environment..

@NYTimes obits: 213 females, 455 males

Today, January 4, there was 0 female and 5 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. Catching up, yesterday, January 3, there was 0 female and 3 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 26, there was 1 female and 1 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 25, there was 1 female and 1 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 24, there was 2 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 23, there was 0 female and 3 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 22, there was 0 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 21, there was 2 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 20, there was 0 female and 3 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 19, there was 1 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 18, there was 0 female and 2 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. December 17, there was 1 female and 3 male featured obituaries in the New York Times. Since I started tracking it here, that is 213 females and 455 males featured. #IfYouSeeSomethingSaySomething

(I started tracking the obits here on May 14 02017, but I’ve missed days when on travel.)

Reclaiming social – an experiment in progress

I recently (three weeks ago, Nov 1) cold turkey quit facebook and twitter. I also tried to become less tied to google. Here’s my thoughts and stories on that so far.

Bottom line – so far, so good. I do miss about 5% of FB.

Why? Jaron Lanier’s “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” (see below) was the catalyst. But I’ve been considering this for many months. Jaron’s book helped me distill my reasons:

  1.  Social media had a negative impact on the 2016 presidential election.  It provided a tool that was exploited by both foreign and domestic groups trying to influence the election.
  2. Social media is not as good as it should be.  It has been hijacked by advertising (see WSJ article below) which drives (on steroids!) the filter bubbles.  By actively disengaging, I hope that we can motivate Silicon Valley to “step it up” and find a better model for social media.  (The “BUMMER” business model that Jaron discusses.)
  3. I used social media to keep in touch with people (fantastic! and I miss that) and events but also as a “go to” distraction while waiting in line, sitting at the airport, etc.  This ate up useful creative thinking time and became a negative feedback (sucking up more and more time).
  4. Social media is “just a tool” and tools are not inherently good or bad.  Tools can be used for good or bad and can be well designed or poorly designed.  At this time, the way I was using social media (or being used by social media..) was more bad than good (that’s my hypothesis, that I’m testing out..).

How am I implementing it?  I  quit going to FB and twitter (This blog does still auto-publish to twitter.  I haven’t turned that off yet, still pondering.)  I didn’t delete my account or the app on my phone, I just don’t use them.  This has freed up a surprisingly significant amount of both time and attention.  As for google, in the past I had all my email forwarding to google and used their interface.  I changed the forwarding to my talus-and-heavner.com address which has a decent webmail and IMAP interface from dreamhost.  I started rebuilding spam filters and need to get more aggressive about that (google did pretty good at that).  I did backup all my gmail (~20GB) and google contacts (and imported the contacts in my t-h email) as an mbox so I can search that.  I switched my browser from chrome to firefox.  I switched my search tool from google to duck, duck, go.  I have used gmail about 5 times to search up an email/contact – I have the app on my phone still, but moved it from bottom bar to buried in a folder.

Various sources and thoughts on this from this month:

 Jaron Lanier’s “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” was the catalyst.  I recommend you read it.  The ten arguments are critically important and have at least significant merit and are worth seriously considering.  The final thought from the book is “Note that I didn’t name this book Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right now and Keeping Them Deleted Forever.  After you experiment, you’ll know yourself better.  Then decide.”

The Nov 14 Wall Street Journal article on “Beware the ‘Free’ Internet” (yes, behind their paywall, but the key plot below illustrates that FB, twitter, and google (alphabet) derive almost all of their revenue from advertising.  So they are motivated to drive filter bubbles and track users (sub-optimal social media motivation in my view):

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The Nov 16 Science Friday discussion on “You Are How You Read” – deep reading is still a critical skill, even in our era of information overload/bombardment and the requirement of skimming.  I recommend the 17 minute discussion, but (yes, ironically..) to summarize for you: “These days, we experience most of what we read online, and that has made us excellent skimmers and multitaskers. But we’ve gotten worse at the kind of reading that requires critical thinking and analysis, referred to as “deep reading.””  FB/twitter drive the “tl;dr” (too long; didn’t read) and skimming/multi-tasking.

The Nov 20 Marketplace “Make Me Smart” podcast on “How do you get out of your echo chamber?” Again, summary: “It’s tough to admit you have a filter bubble, and even harder to break out of it. But we all live in one: Social networks are programmed to serve up content they think will appeal to you, and that can create a feedback loop that keeps diverse voices out of your media diet. So what can you do?” Jon Keegan’s WSJ look at “Blue Feed, Red Feed” is a great side by side look at the filter bubbles we live in.   It is interesting to here both Molly and Kai talk about their social media usage – and when they turn it off / take it a break.

I use aggressive ad blockers and anti-trackers in my browser and router.  I’ll keep that up and turn it up – clearing cookies regularly, etc.

My conclusion (to date, still evolving!) – social media tools could be fantastic.  They have a great role in connecting us and sharing ideas – some of the original idealism around the internet itself.  However, our tools have been subverted by the advertising model and made us the product, not the beneficiaries of these tools.  We need to remain aware of this and find ways to change it.

Raspberry Shake

Happy times in pi land.

I helped fund the Raspberry Shake personal seismograph kickstarter and we received ours last night.  The setup was no problem and we are streaming the data out for integration into a global seismic monitoring network.  There is a known issues with the wifi on the pi in this first distribution of the software.  I imagine it is high priority and I don’t want to break ours, so I’m not going to fight it on my own.  I’ve got an ethernet cable to the pi sitting on the brick fireplace for now.  Once wifi works, the seismometer will go down in the cellar on the concrete pad.  For now, check us out!

I opted for the custom 3-d printed case for the shake:

dll hell will never go away

despite the best intentions, dll hell sticks with us all. I’m working on the python discord module on a fresh raspberry pi install. I’ve got python 3.4 goodness going. discord.py really wants 3.5. Of course, I make the modifications at the FAQ and… it doesn’t work. apt-get doesn’t want to offer me a python-3.5 install.  The more things change (raspberry pi, discord, python), the more they stay the same..

Raspberry Pi

I’m afraid I’m almost becoming addicted! I have three so far, but need more raspberry pi. I have one catching and pushing the glacier photos at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center (both at an alaska.edu site and Weather Underground). I have a second pi for the UAS weather station (waiting for a roof to be done so the weather station can be re-deployed). A third one is at home — for fun and currently over-tasked. I have an alamode (extra sweet!) and have the integrated arduino doing blink and other various things. It is also running mpd and icecast to stream media through the house. And running munin. And I need to setup a second openvpn network for all the pi’s! It isn’t even running apache yet, but I did get emacs and python pretty well souped up. I think I need one just for media server, another for met station and web server.

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