This week on my podcast, I read the first three parts of “Are We Having Fun Yet?” my ongoing Medium series on what we can learn about aggregate demand management and scarcity from the history of queues at Disney theme parks.
Part I: Are We Having Fun Yet?
Part II: Boredom and its discontents
Part III: Now you’ve got two problems
I also published a fourth item in the series yesterday, “Managing aggregate demand,” about auctions, queuing, fairness and antitrust.
New installments will go up on Sundays — next is “Expectations management.”
The episode is here:
The worst part of machine learning snake-oil isn’t that it’s useless or harmful — it’s that ML-based statistical conclusions have the veneer of mathematics, the empirical facewash that makes otherwise suspect conclusions seem neutral, factual and scientific.
Think of “predictive policing,” in which police arrest data is fed to a statistical model that tells the police where crime is to be found. Put in those terms, it’s obvious that predictive policing doesn’t predict what criminals will do; it predicts what police will do.
Cops only find crime where they look for it. If the local law only performs stop-and-frisks and…
#20yrsago Vernor Vinge in the NYT https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/02/technology/a-scientist-s-art-computer-fiction.html
#20yrsago Bruce Perens on Dmitry Sklyarov https://web.archive.org/web/20011023092940/https://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2800985,00.html
#15yrsago Five things about blogs that no one ever needs to say again https://stevenberlinjohnson.com/five-things-all-sane-people-agree-on-about-blogs-and-mainstream-journalism-so-can-we-stop-talking-ea0f75b3c163
#10yrsago Missouri State business-school professor leads successful campaign to ban Slaughterhouse-Five from local schools https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/jul/29/slaughterhouse-five-banned-us-school
#10yrsago Gingrich’s million Twitter followers: “80% dummy accounts, 10% paid followers” https://www.gawker.com/5826645/most-of-newt-gingrichs-twitter-followers-are-fake
#10yrsago Wisconsin Democratic voters targeted with Koch-funded absentee ballot notices advising them to vote 2 days after the recall election https://www.politico.com/blogs/david-catanese/2011/08/afp-wisconsin-ballots-have-late-return-date-037977…
This is Part IV in this series. In Part I, I opened the with news that Disneyland Paris is getting rid of its Fastpasses in favor of a per-ride, per-person premium to skip the line, and explored the history of Disney themeparks and what they meant to Walt Disney. In Part II, I explored Disneyland’s changing business-model and the pressures that shifted it from selling ticket-books to selling all-you-can-eat passes, and the resulting queuing problems. …
Last October, the RIAA launched a bizarre campaign of legal bullying against youtube-dl, a free/open library that lets people save Youtube (and other) videos for a variety of purposes, including critical analysis, offline viewing, archiving and remixing.
The RIAA attacked youtube-dl under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA1201) a 1998 law that indiscriminately bans helping people remove DRM, even if no copyright infringement takes place.
DMCA1201 is a pure hazard. For decades, manufacturers have weaponized it to prohibit otherwise legal uses of their products: if a product is designed so that a use requires removing…
#20yrsago RIP, Poul Anderson http://www.locusmag.com/1997/Issues/04/Anderson.html
#20yrsago Copy-protected CDs cracked two weeks after their introduction https://web.archive.org/web/20010803144120/http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/533
#20yrsago PC Forum panel on P2P with Shirky and Gene Kan https://web.archive.org/web/20010820163912/http://www.edventure.com/pcforum/transcript.cfm?Counter=13
#15yrsago How POWs in a Nazi camp got a Disney insignia https://web.archive.org/web/20061209200825/http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/08/01/wwii-pows-get-a-disney-designed-logo/
#10yrsago What Murdoch’s media empire did: the big picture https://web.archive.org/web/20110805111419/http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/07/27/what-rupert-murdoch-means-for-you-personally/
#10yrsago Flowchart shows the complexity of the New Zealand’s Internet Disconnection copyright law https://web.archive.org/web/20111105044005/http://lawgeeknz.posterous.com/copyright-infringing-file-sharing-amendment-a
#10yrsago Stephen Fry vs Ann Widdecombe: Catholic Church https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fN3zDtfivc…
#20yrsago RIP CCC founder Wau Holland https://web.archive.org/web/20011006055514/https://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,45728,00.html
#20yrsago Disney to open Tokyo Disney Sea https://web.archive.org/web/20011120051153/http://www.latimes.com/business/la-000061951jul30.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dbusiness
#15yrsago How thieves steal RFID-enabled cars https://www.wired.com/2006/08/carkey/
#15yrsago Diebold voting machines can be beaten with a switch-flip https://web.archive.org/web/20061007120655/http://openvotingfoundation.org/tiki-index.php?page_ref_id=1
#10yrsago Official London anti-terrorist publication says anarchists should be reported to local police https://web.archive.org/web/20110801233618/http://communitysafe.gov.uk/articles/5962-griffin-weekly-briefing-sheet-attached/attachments/801/download.pdf
#10yrsago Perma-cookie wars continue: KISSMetrics sneaks cookies back onto your computer even if you turn off every cookie vector https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1898390…
There’s a difference between a con-artist and a grifter. A con-artist is just a gabby mugger, and when they vanish with your money, you know you’ve been robbed.
A grifter, on the other hand, is someone who can work the law to declare your stuff to be their stuff, which makes you a lawless cur because your pockets are stuffed full of their money and merely handing it over is the least you can do to make up for your sin.
IP trolls are grifters, not con artists, and that’s by design, a feature of the construction of copyright and…
#15yrsago Melbourne mall defends its photons from terrorists https://www.theage.com.au/national/picture-this-city-puts-photo-ban-in-the-frame-20060730-ge2tga.html
#10yrsago Sleepy English town to be entirely surveilled in case criminals forget and drive through it on their way to crimes https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8670642/Sleepy-market-town-surrounded-by-ring-of-car-cameras.html
#5yrsago How to pay no taxes at all! (if you’re Apple, Google or Facebook) https://www.change.org/p/iphone7boycott-make-apple-pay-its-fair-share-in-tax
#5yrsago Lessons from the DNC: Ronald Reagan, the Southern Strategy, and “abnormal politics” https://crookedtimber.org/2016/07/30/philadelphia-stories-from-reagan-to-trump-to-the-dnc/
#1yrago Interop to the rescue https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#interop-competition
#1yrago Why sweat smells https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#no-sweatski
#1yrago Solar heroin https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#solar-heroin
#1yrago Mexico’s new copyright vs cybersecurity https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#ciberseguridad…
Back in 2019, visitors to the Universal Studios theme park in Florida started to post to social media about their experience with the RFID-chipped paper cups they got to use with the park’s self-serve soda fountains:
Getting nickle-and-dimed in a themepark that charges whopping sums for admission is frustrating, sure, but as Daniel Danger wrote at the time, the noteworthy part was in the clumsy-yet-detailed way that this disciplinary technology was deployed.
Not only did it impose all kinds of rules about how your “unlimited” cup could be used (you had to wait 120 seconds before refilling it, etc)…