Favorites October 18th 2023
With further time, it's clear that the explosion was just in the parking lot. It's forgivable that mainstream news sources got this wrong initially, but they continued to report inaccurate info way way too long. US Intelligence later issued a statement that Gaza Militants were behind the blast. Biden made a statement in Israel compared the entire Israel/Hamas situation to the aftermath of 9/11, which the US did not respond to particularly wisely. Here's an argument that Biden speaking in Israel is important because folks there trust him more than their leadership
This puts us in the top nations 10 for *median* wealth, which is quite impressive. Here are some more graphs of how well the US economy is doing: GDP above pre-pandemic forecast, with estimates of this quarter’s GDP even higher yet. Inflation lower than any other G7 nation, and median real wages above pre-pandemic trend.
Biden's polling isn't great, he's got a 40% approval rating, but pretty much all other world leaders are doing worse. Maybe the good economy is helping him?
This is great news! It's just a pilot program, but I'm happy we're fixing this particularly strange process around H1-Bs
It's wild how much RFK appears to hurt Trump in polling. I'm pleased to be proven correct (at least so far).
• Long thread dissecting the Gaza hospital explosion. TL;DR: While the overall story of a flattened hospital turned out to be essentially fabricated, and this particular explosion was likely a rocket misfire from Gaza, the fact is that ongoing airstrikes in such a densly populated area are killing quite a lot of civilians, just not *these* civilians
Flotsam and Jetsam
– IRS will provide free online tax filing finally! It'll initially be in 13 states covering 44% of the US population. (src)
– Apparently US Satellites have been able to detect surface-to-air, air-to-air, and surface-to-surface missiles since like 2006. (src)
– Atlanta Fed's GDP forecast is just getting higher and higher (src)
– You can now get a pretty good 'rotoscoped' look using controlnet with stable diffusion animation systems (src)
– In NYC single family homes are taxed differently from apartments, SFHs make up the majority of all market value, but only 8% of assessed value, while apartments, at 24% of market value make up 39% of assessed value. Super unfair to tennants. (src)
– Turns out spiders use tools to help them think, an exocortex. They use their webs as part of their cognitive processes (src)
– French nun tackles a climate activist who opposed a new church. (src)
– Theory that return to office policies are stealth layoffs: Nvidia is doing great, so they're not returning to office. (src)
– Jim Jordan lost another House vote for Speaker, plus now Republicans voting against him are receiving threats against their families. (src)
– Egypt shouldn't be blocking people from leaving a war zone. (src)
– Walkthrough of how Shortwave's Email AI system works (src)
– Social Media during a war is a source of disinformation, we shouldn't be speaking too confidently about anything, especially early on. (src)
– The CHIPS act isn't a jobs program, it's a national security program, how many jobs it creates is not important. (src)