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Loud



Loud is a blog by Baldur Bjarnason who has a BA, MA and PhD in literature and interactive media (specialising in structure and experience design). He lives in Bristol, UK and works in web development, research, design and marketing.



 



On conversion versus engagement

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 13:50:00 +0100

Over on my ‘real’ blog, I’ve written something about the state of debates in the ebook industry.




"“The consensus statement is that climate changes are being observed, are certainly real, they..."

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 00:16:44 +0100

““The consensus statement is that climate changes are being observed, are certainly real, they seem to be increasing, and that humans are mostly likely the cause of all or most of these changes,” he said.”

- Climate Change: Public Skeptical, Scientists Sure : NPR



"There is one country in particular where this disconnection between the political, the personal and..."

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 23:25:53 +0100

“There is one country in particular where this disconnection between the political, the personal and the economic poses an acute threat to the world economic order. That country is Germany. The economists speak of ‘macro-economic imbalances’, the fact that German interests and, say, Greek or Irish or Spanish interests are not in alignment. The German economy is too big and too powerful for the health of its neighbours, unless European monetary policy is somehow ameliorated to help the smaller, weaker countries stay in step. Interest rates which, during the first decade of the euro’s existence, suited German manufacturers, caused toxic credit bubbles to grow in Greece and Ireland and Spain. The consequences of those credit bubbles could take another decade to unwind, ten years of hard times for the citizens of those countries, who will spend most of it sweating to earn the tax money to pay back the German banks whose lending fuelled their bubble. German savings go to German banks to lend to other countries so that they can buy German goods from German companies who then save their earnings in German banks who lend it to … and so on.”

- LRB · John Lanchester · Once Greece goes…



"That might sound like a recipe for disaster, but Argentina defaulted in 2001, froze the banks,..."

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 23:23:23 +0100

“That might sound like a recipe for disaster, but Argentina defaulted in 2001, froze the banks, declared its foreign debts void, and cut itself off from IMF funding – and since then, it’s been the fastest-growing economy in fast-growing South America. (The Indignati, by the way, are well aware of this example.) But this is an extremely high-risk strategy, not just for Greece but for the whole of Europe, and to attempt it would require that a lot of planning had already taken place. But we wouldn’t know if it had, because these plans need to be kept secret in advance if markets aren’t to bet on exploiting them. If this work hasn’t happened, extensively and at levels which carry the necessary political clout to execute the plans when the default happens, the euro is odds-on to fail. However complacent and oblivious the European political elite has been, it is hard to believe everyone will turn out to have been that soundly asleep at the wheel.”

- LRB · John Lanchester · Once Greece goes…



Google plus

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 15:03:29 +0100

So… Anybody else on Google+? The place looks kind of empty.

In any case, I’m baldur.bjarnason@gmail.com on that thing.




"Adams seems to be believe that men are naturally sexually aggressive, and women/society put limits..."

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 10:58:02 +0100

Adams seems to be believe that men are naturally sexually aggressive, and women/society put limits on their natural impulses. This is what Jezebel got wrong: he doesn’t believe this. He wishes this.

And when he says society is a “prison” for men’s natural urges to penetrate random women like in caveman days, he is not really complaining about this prison. That’s what he wants. He wants it to be true that society is cockblocking him.



- The Last Psychiatrist: Jezebel Proves Scott Adams Is Right



People mistakenly assume that Iceland has good fisheries...

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:48:13 +0100

(image)

People mistakenly assume that Iceland has good fisheries policies. It does, in the same way it has good banking ethics policies, admirable non-binding resolutions on freedom of speech, and pollution regulations.

Iceland is corrupt. The laws on the books have no bearing on what is practiced on the ground.




"It is not a natural law that motorized traffic should be allowed access everywhere. It is generally..."

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:19:37 +0100

“It is not a natural law that motorized traffic should be allowed access everywhere. It is generally accepted that cars are not welcome in parks, libraries, community centers and houses. The advantages to not having car traffic everywhere are obvious, so even though there are compelling arguments for allowing car traffic all the way to the front door, in many situations there are equally good arguments for establishing car-free areas surrounding the residences.”

- Streetsblog New York City » Jan Gehl on Making Cities Safe for People



"Zeitgeist is The Da Vinci Code on steroids."

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 20:38:21 +0100

“Zeitgeist is The Da Vinci Code on steroids.”

- Skeptic » eSkeptic » Wednesday, February 25th, 2009



"If only 16% of the population can read and comprehend this article, then what does it mean to say..."

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 17:28:37 +0100

“If only 16% of the population can read and comprehend this article, then what does it mean to say that 29% of Americans (over 25) have a Bachelor’s degree? The best thing we can say is that you can get a Bachelor’s degree and still have a fifty-fifty chance of not being able to read and comprehend an article in Hispanic Business Magazine. That’s not good. Not good at all.”

- Tom Morris - How to join the elite - learn to read



"One way to really see this is when people on Twitter auto-update their Facebook (guilty as charged)...."

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 13:25:32 +0100

“One way to really see this is when people on Twitter auto-update their Facebook (guilty as charged). The experiences and feedback on Twitter feel very different than the experiences and feedback on Facebook. On Twitter, I feel like I’m part of an ocean of people, catching certain waves and creating my own. Things whirl past and I add stuff to the mix. When I post the same messages to Facebook, I’m consistently shocked by the people who take the time to leave comments about them, to favorite them, to ask questions in response, to start a conversation. (Note: I’m terrible about using social media for conversation and so I’m a terrible respondent on Facebook.) Many of the people following me are the same, but the entire experience is different.”

- danah boyd | apophenia » Some thoughts on Twitter vs. Facebook Status Updates



"Now, put yourself in the position of a headteacher, faced with deciding whether or not to offer..."

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 12:54:22 +0100

“Now, put yourself in the position of a headteacher, faced with deciding whether or not to offer Applied ICT or Computing. The former is an absolute joke of a course, requiring little more than a pulse to pass. The latter requires familiarity both with standard applications like operating systems and officeware, but also relatively advanced use of databases, and basic programming in a high-level language. Which one would you, the headmaster, choose to offer, considering the potential success rates?”

- Tom Morris



"I’m really getting annoyed with OnSwipe."

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 10:58:38 +0100

“I’m really getting annoyed with OnSwipe.”

- Scripting News: OnSwipe. Can I get a ‘hell, yeah’?



"Now, you can call me a bigot if you like, but if I am trying to find people to go into business..."

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 22:26:31 +0100

“Now, you can call me a bigot if you like, but if I am trying to find people to go into business with, programmers to work with and the like - if you are stupid enough to think that the universe is just one giant home delivery catalogue, you are not qualified. How do I know that the code you write is reliable if you deny common-sense cause and effect relationships? You don’t have to write unit tests because the spirit of Ramtha shines down on you and tells you that the code is good.”

- Tom Morris - When did the tech community become such a big conduit for bullshit?



"The Internet isn’t crowding out book reading: “For adults who read online articles, essays, or..."

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 18:33:05 +0100

“The Internet isn’t crowding out book reading: “For adults who read online articles, essays, or blogs, the book-reading rate is 77 percent”. This is no surprise: television has fucked up far more people’s lives than the Internet ever could. Worrying about the Internet rather than television is a little bit like worrying about the trace amounts of carcinogens in your coffee when you smoke forty a day.”

- Tom Morris - Techno-bandages don’t work



"If you are finding it difficult to communicate, stop blaming lack of face-to-face visual contact. If..."

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 15:58:34 +0100

“If you are finding it difficult to communicate, stop blaming lack of face-to-face visual contact. If you can’t communicate in writing, it may be because you can’t write properly. There is a cure for that: education and practice.”

- Tom Morris



"Linux users yesterday: “I hate websites that use Flash. They’re slow and awful...."

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 12:10:48 +0100

Linux users yesterday: “I hate websites that use Flash. They’re slow and awful. Let’s hear it for open web standards!”

Linux users today: “Apple is evil for not pre-installing Flash, a third-party, proprietary web plugin. How dare they encourage the use of open web standards. I’m going to mention Steve Jobs by name and rant about how I’m able to do apt-get on the command-line to install Flash, which is somehow the same as having it pre-installed. That’s proof that Apple is evil. Wake up, sheep!”



- Want Flash Player On a MacBook Air? Download It Yourself - Slashdot



"If you wanted to catalogue the shit-eating complacency and pretentiousness of Web 2.0, infographics..."

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 17:32:31 +0100

“If you wanted to catalogue the shit-eating complacency and pretentiousness of Web 2.0, infographics would be right up there with the damn TED conference and people who put “rockstar” on their business card.”

- Tom Morris - Infographics are porn without the happy ending



"And, really, what can one say about Objectivism? It isn’t so much a philosophy as what someone who..."

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 16:21:31 +0100

“And, really, what can one say about Objectivism? It isn’t so much a philosophy as what someone who has never actually encountered philosophy imagines a philosophy might look like: good hard axiomatic absolutes, a bluff attitude of intellectual superiority, lots of simple atomic premises supposedly immune to doubt, immense and inflexible conclusions, and plenty of assertions about what is “rational” or “objective” or “real.” Oh, and of course an imposing brand name ending with an “-ism.” Rand was so eerily ignorant of all the interesting problems of ontology, epistemology, or logic that she believed she could construct an irrefutable system around a collection of simple maxims like “existence is identity” and “consciousness is identification,” all gathered from the damp fenlands between vacuous tautology and catastrophic category error. She was simply unaware that there were any genuine philosophical problems that could not be summarily solved by flatly proclaiming that this is objectivity, this is rational, this is scientific, in the peremptory tones of an Obersturmführer drilling his commandoes.”

- Article | First Things



"A simple point illustrates this: several of the leading figures are evangelical atheists, with a..."

Sat, 25 Jun 2011 14:29:31 +0100

“A simple point illustrates this: several of the leading figures are evangelical atheists, with a highly contemptuous view of religion. How will NCH teach history, which cannot be understood without an extremely sophisticated understanding of the phenomenon? What place, and what guarantees, will there be for any young, untenured, historian with a more nuanced view?”

- future thoughts: Private Virtues?