I remember the first time a blind friend let me listen in on her screen-reader’s text-to-speech narration, a high-speed chipmunk squeal that she had trained herself to decode; I was hugely impressed.
More than a decade later, I’ve found myself sometimes speeding up my favorite podcasts to 1.2 or 1.5 speed, especially whenRead More
The facts don’t speak for themselves. Someone always speaks for them. From the opioid crisis to vaccines, vitamin and health supplements to climate change — even the widespread use of lobotomies to quiet problem mental patients — celebrity scientists and charismatic doctors have made tremendous mistakes. Thanks to their fame, they escaped the corrective mechanismsRead More
Parker Wiseman ran for student office in high school with photocopied flyers. He debated the public school system in social studies class. In college he took the courses and shook the hands that would help him join that peculiar Southern subculture of the embattled Mississippi Democrat, a pugnacious sort who plays darts and drinks whiskeyRead More
Confirmation bias is our tendency to seek evidence that supports our beliefs and that confirms our assumptions — when we could just as well seek disconfirmation of those beliefs and assumptions instead. It feels like we are doing the hard work — doing the research required to build good beliefs — but since we canRead More
Uncanny Japan is a podcast dedicated to the island’s most peculiar folklore. I’ve barely got started but already know I’ll have to binge the entire series (note that each episode is coffee-break short, less than 15m). Pictured above, from Episode 7, is a thousand-stitch belt believed to ward off gunfire. [via Metafilter] WeWantPlates is aRead More
The cyberpunks, the Founding Fathers, the 19th Century philosophers, and the Enlightenment thinkers — they each envisioned a perfect democracy powered by a constant multimedia psychedelic freakout in which all information was free, decentralized, democratized, and easy to access. In each era, the dream was the same: A public life for the average citizen thatRead More