Links from the last week

1. Why Lansing is investing in bitcoin

Actually a nice local news article about bitcoin, for people interested in the subject.  On an odd note:

When the Lansing Board of Water & Light was compromised with ransomware in April 2016, hackers demanded they pay a $25,000 ransom in bitcoin to unlock its systems. The bitcoins were bought at a bitcoin ATM outside of the Lansing area.

We paid?  And, even more oddly, we bought the bitcoins from a bitcoin ATM?

2. Induced Earthquakes: Myths and Misconceptions

Nice little post from USGS, especially to say – it isn’t fracking, per se, causing the induced earthquakes, it’s wastewater injection, and only certain types (injection rate for example) of wastewater injection.

Most injection wells are not associated with felt earthquakes. A combination of many factors is necessary for injection to induce felt earthquakes. These include: the injection rate and total volume injected; the presence of faults that are large enough to produce felt earthquakes; stresses that are large enough to produce earthquakes; and the presence of pathways for the fluid pressure to travel from the injection point to faults.

3. The Rolling Revolution in Sex and Gender: A History

Worthwhile and pretty matter-of-fact attempt to trace the intellectual history of currently popular ideas about gender identity.

Subverting norms unites queer theory to transgender rights. For her understanding of norms, Butler relies especially on French post-structuralist philosopher Michel Foucault. Foucault shows how society imposes norms subtly, by constructing “truth” and “reality”; social norms come to constitute a theory of what categories one must fit into to be human. These expectations, Butler believes, must be exposed as artificial so that a more open and “queer” future can arise. In Butler’s technical language, Foucault exposes the “mechanism of coercion” behind the modern preference for heterosexual sex in the hopes of liberating a more polymorphous expression of sexual desire.

4. Departing AP reporter looks back at Venezuela’s slide

Truly remarkable personal tale of Venezuela’s rapid descent.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro blames the U.S. and right-wing business interests for the economic collapse, but most economists say it actually stems from government-imposed price and currency distortions. There often seemed to be a direct line between economic policy and daily hardship. One week, the administration declared that eggs would now be sold for no more than 30 cents a carton. The next week, eggs had disappeared from supermarkets, and still have not come back.

5. How Airlines Schedule Flights

I cannot entirely attest to its accuracy, but a neat video about how airlines schedule flights, especially as regards hub usage.

6. Grade Inflation, Higher and Higher

Grade inflation continues at four-year-colleges – but GPA’s actually peaked at community colleges just after 2000 and have been on a slow decline since then.

7. To Defend Public Schools, the Hard Left Puts On the Tinfoil Hat

The acceptance and availability of private and homeschooling in America is the best thing we have going for ourselves as a country.

This week brought to you by car shows in Lansing, Michigan.

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